Branded

Riding on the wake of the Brewfest festivities, Judy Dees knows just how to market to the business of tourists and visitors to the town. The front counter sees a constant flow of 'to go' orders, keeping the girls on their toes while in-house dining seems to be moving along at a much more comfortable, if not lazy, pace.

Slumped in one of the window side booths, Jude may be the only lone diner in the diner. A plate of fries in front of him there's a shadow of a chance that there may have been a cheese burger there at one time, but now as he cuts his attention between watching people wander passed the window and sipping at his soda, it's his fries that he slowly works at polishing off. Absently, and without much drive or ambition.

Over the weekend, Jude was off the radar. Now, freshly returned to public view, he looks exhausted and a lot like a potential flight risk, if the wince he sends the sound of a dropped plate is any indication.

Evie had not gone to the brewfest, her face had been absent during it and most of the weekend except the barren city park, empty because everyone else was at the festival. Alone at the moment, she enters and heads immediately for the counter. "Hey, my mom has a call in. Caroline. Yeah." There's a glance back towards the door, her mother and Brie were waiting in the car. "It was a chili cheeseburger, fries and a kid chicken nugget meal." Waiting until it's delivered, she pays then collects. Turning back, she notices Jude and walks over to stand beside his table, holding the food. "Hey, you. How are ya?"

Jude lifts his eyes, watching her for a moment, as if his brain needed to catch up with the rest of him. "Oh, hey." Yes, he's just bubbling over with energy. Not. "I think you and your family at takeout as much as I do." Which may be a New Yorker thing…or it may be a lazy thing, much like his own reason. Not that he can cook. He can toast a waffle, that's about it.

Shifting, he sends a glance out toward the car, eyeing it for a moment before he glances back. "I'd offer for you to it but you look busy."

"Not busy. This is mom and Brie's dinner. I'd planned on hanging around a little while. Unless you're leaving, I could join you? Maybe take a walk after? I had Brie all weekend so mom could go to the festival with some random friends she made at work, so she's giving me a break." Evie leaves it there for the moment, just in case he disagrees.

Jude nods, though his actual answer takes longer to come. "No. I'm not leaving." Not at all judging by the lazy slump that hold shim in the booth. "By all means, sit. Get pie. They have awesome pie." And if only he could muster actual excitement into his voice to match the attempted smile he sends her.

The attempt at a smile says more than any words he had said and Evie smiles in return, even if it's a little guarded. It's just the way she has always smiled. "Ok, I'll run this out. Would you order me a bacon burger and fries? I'm starving." Forget pie! Hustling out, she makes a motion back to the diner to her mother, rolls her eyes at something her mother says, then leans in and kisses Brie, tousling her hair, genuine affection in her eyes as she waves bye to the baby and blows her a kiss. When her mother drives off, she heads back inside and plops down in the seat across from him.

Jude watches her, but as she returns the waitress is just laving, order taken and his drink refilled. When she sits, she gets another one of those forced smiles before he yawns. "Ordered." He leans forward, crossing his arms over the top of the table before he glances at his phone, a missed call still lighting up that call button, but otherwise ignored. "You skipped the festival?"

Once the rush of taking the order to her mother is done, Evie studies Jude, murmuring thanks for the ordering but otherwise not saying much. Even if the smile is forced, she tries not to take that personally this time and her lips quirk in response, giving a half smile. His phone is barely spared a glance when he looks at it. "Yeah." She says finally. "Was it fun? I hadn't seen or heard from you all weekend, I figured that's what you were up to." The waitress is flagged again. "I want a root beer." And it's on its way soon enough.

"I didn't go." He admits after a seconds breath, "I stayed..in. Too many people. Too many possibilities of problems. Too much drama." He reaches for his drink, lifting the straw out so he can take a drink from it, and watch her over the rim of her glass. "There's not much cell service where I live, and I didn't leave all weekend." Beat, "I wasn't feeling well. I'm better now."

When he says he didn't go, Evie looks surprised. "You're still paranoid about something happening? I haven't heard about anything happening since my arrival here. Maybe I scared the off, big bad New Yorker that I am." She playfully flexes her muscles as her food and drink arrive. "Thanks." She tells the staff person. "What was wrong? Just sick?" There is concern in her features as she studies him before she lowers her gaze to her food. Opening her burger, she arranges everything better so it's flatter, then closes it again and cuts it in half with her butter knife. "Want half?" Picking up one half though, she begins eating. After a few bites, she follows them with root beer before speaking again.

"I wasn't hinting that you could have called or texted or anything. I know how cell service is out there from when I was at the train station."

Jude chuckles, leaning back once more. "I don't like groups. I never said that I expected some huge terror to strike the town, just that bad things do happen here. And they have. Just because you don't see them doesn't make it any less true. It's a lot easier to know when you can see peoples intentions." He takes a drink from his coke before he shrugs again, "Mostly I was just sick. Not myself..however you wanna put it. I just needed to hang around the farm." He does as she recalls the signal, or lack of, in along the outskirts. "I know you werent."

His laugh surprises her and Evie lifts her brow, looking bemused to hear it from him. "But there's something that eats people outside of town and going out after dark is bad…" Not that either have stopped her. Bravado was sure something when nothing bad had happened to anyone since her arrival. "Yeah may not see them but in a town this size, surely people would hear about it. I mean I've what, been here all of two weeks, tops, and I've heard plenty of gossip about the station, the night life, the outskirts, everything. People talk." Trying to meet his eyes, she looks for the same telling signs that Brie has when she is feeling bad. Flushed cheeks, bright or watery eyes, just the general pinched look on features. "You don't look real sick. Maybe it was a bug."

Jude shrugs, "People usually don't see things coming until they eat them." He allows dryly, a brow arching gently before he takes another drink from his soda. He's not flushed, or glassy-eyed. In fact short of the faint cuts and scrapes on his arms and hands, easily excused by farm work, he looks rather normal. "It's fine. I'm okay now." He assures her simply, though he does watch her, closely. After a moment he chuckles again. This time his smirk is much less forced. "You don't really believe anything people say about town, do you? You think it's all hot air."

"Yeah I assume there's something eating something, sure. I mean I believe you all believe there's a lot of bad things but every town, every city has something. The crime rate is insane in New York City. You can't go alone after dark, you're all freaking out over something I learned to live with as a kid." Feeling his look on her, that close look, she wipes her napkin over her lips, just in case there was mustard or something there. Her eyes return the close look, raking over his eyes, his arms, the cuts there, his hands. Reaching for one of his hands, the one he had absently rubbed the other evening at the creek, she'll study his palm there if he allows, check out the scar.

"What we have here and what New York has are different things. I have been to New York. Once, to see my sister." Once and only once. "You have bad people because you have a lot of people. What we have rips people to shreds and leaves them for their families to find. New York also doesn't radiate the same type of energy that Haven Point does." He keeps his voice low, but it fades completely as she reaches for his hand. After some hesitation, he lets her have it, though he keeps his fist clinched. This Brie isn't the only one that can be stubborn.

"The Long Island serial killer?" Aka Craigslist Ripper. "Or do you mean something more Twilightish that belongs in Forks?" Evie looks down at his clenched hand with a slight frown. "Hey.. relax a little, I mean we've had sex. Granted, it was completely dark in the room, but I just wanted to see your heart line." Evie doesn't pressure him or try and pry his hand open though and without him giving, she doesn't hold his fist, it'd be awkward. Instead, she retracts her hand and picks up a fry and pops it in her mouth. "I'm just saying every place has issues, this place isn't special. Besides, have you ever ridden the subway at night alone? Talk about negative energy."

"The Long Island Serial Killer was just some psychotic human. You can argue all you want. I see what you can't. Not even with what you can do, you'll never see what we see." He unclenches his fist though, reluctant to really argue. "The fact you dismiss what people tell you is disrespectful to those people have been effected by the things you write off like that." He looks away at that." If she bothers to look his heart line is not easy to see. It's obscured by a rather clear and deeply scared pentagram. A brand.

"I'm not trying to be disrespectful but I don't understand the immediate scare tactics I was faced with as soon as I arrived. So you're basically saying that whatever is killing things outside of town isn't a human." There's a shiver from Evie at the prospect though, despite her brave face she's wearing. "A bobcat?" Just a suggestion! When he unclenches his hand she does reach for it, taking it as a positive sign. Turning it over, there's an audible gasp as she notices the brand there and her dark eyes lift to his, searching them if he even will look at her. "Why?"

"They weren't scare tactics. Just warnings. Maybe we should stop warning people." He allows dryly. "And no, some of it isn't. Not saying everything is like that. Sometimes people go off halfcocked and do something stupid. Sometimes it's deeper than that." Her reaction to his hand seems almost expected. So expected that he shrugs as she speaks rather than after. "Because this isn't New York, Evie."

"Would it be better then if I did leave town? Tell my mother what's going on and let the home town people run us outsiders out of town cause it sure seems like that's what is the intention sometimes." Evie looks back at the brand on his hand and traces the outer edge. "You got this because.." there's a slight hesitation before she retracts that train of thought and follows another sudden one. "Was it deliberate? I mean, voluntary?"

Jude chuckles. "Actually, it's stuff like you telling people that being from New York means anything here is somehow subpar in the danger department. If people didn't care what happened to you, you wouldn't hear anything about it. Anyway if your moms a…Canadian," Ha! "They wouldn't run her out. There's a whole community centered around….Canada." So /awkward/, but the awkwardness seems to be mostly due to the lingering waitress cleaning the table behind them. "If your moms from here, she knows everything about the town. And people live here just fine. It's all about common sense and gut instinct."

When she questions the mark, his hands closes momentarily. "No. It was neither. It showed up on its own. After my dad disappeared."

"I'm not meaning to say it's subpar, but you're discounting my ability to defend myself should the need ever arise." Evie shrugs it off though. "My mom is from here originally. I did find that out. But there's definite Canadian in her blood. My father's also." She crinkles her nose. "So, yeah, mine too, but I guess you already knew that." Releasing his hand, she looks troubled. "I see… I didn't know he had disappeared. I'm sorry."

"You have to respect dangerous things to be able to defend against them. If you brush them off, then you're not going to have the knowledge it takes make the right choices." When she releases his hand, he sits back, shrugging. "A while after my mom was killed. He didn't take it well. Hindsight is 20/20 and all that garbage." beat, "Every family here isn't from the founding. My family moved from the south. There are only eight founding families."

"I respect the danger, otherwise I would never have survived this long." Evie offers a rueful smile. "Listen to me, all Miss Bravado. I'm scared of so many things but I don't allow myself to dwell on it, I can't live in fear, I can't show my baby sister that sort of thing." She lowers her eyes as she says the last though, letting it rest on his hand. "My mother isn't founding either but she is from here originally." Unable to hold it in, she questions further. "Is he alive?"

Jude doesn't carry the topic on any farther. Instead he chooses to fall silence, finishing his drink before pushing the glass to the side with his plate. He's a few more seconds before he shrugs, "No. I don't believe he is." He's almost matter-of-fact about it. Automatic. "After what I've been through, he better be dead."

That was completely not the answer Evie had anticipated and she pales considerably. "You feel like he is dead? So, when he disappeared the mark appeared or when you think he died it showed up?" She looks uncertain and like him, she pushes food and drink aside. "What have you been through?" This time, she reaches for his hand again but not for the brand, she laces her fingers through his almost absently. "Want to talk about it?"

Jude shrugs loosely. "I suppose. I looked for him a few times when I was younger, but I can't see very far outside of Haven so.." he shrugs again, but he allows her to take his hand. He even decides to focus on that rather than her face. "I think that no one will know about the mark means. And..please don't mention it to anyone else. It's my business. I don't want Amelia and Claudia getting involved in it. And I don't want to deal with the elders. I deal with my stuff on my own. It's under control." So no, he doesn't want to talk about it, but he does shift up to his feet slowly. "I wouldn't mind a walk though. My ass is going numb from being parked on it as long as I have."

"Have you ever thought about a private investigator for finding him? At least so you'd know or something." Evie is secretly pleased he doesn't pull his hand away and gives him a tentative smile. "I won't say anything to anyone, you can trust me." She does understand wanting to keep private matters just that. When he rises, she does too, releasing his hand if he lets hers go. "How about we research that mark at the library or something? We could do it together?"

Jude shakes his head as she stands. He does release her hand, but not right away. The same hand reaches to press against her back and lead her out once he's dropped a few bills onto the table. "I don't want to involve others in my family issues. If he's alive he left us. He can stay gone. If he's dead..he can stay dead." There's little sympathy in his voice, but he does sigh. "If you want to. I'm embarrassed to say I never have. I just accepted it, did what I needed to and went on about my life." Openin the door he holds it, "Come on. I parked a block over. I'll drive you home."

One thing is for certain, Jude is a nice guy, like she had known.. with her defenses down long enough to just let herself trust him, they were getting along famously and her smile comes easier as he shepherds her out. "I would like to. We can do it between classes at school, see what we can come up with. It'll be fun." His father isn't mentioned out of respect for him. "That would be good, thank you."

OOC Date: 2015.05.20
IC Date: 2014.09.28
Cast: Jude, Evie



Judy Dee's

Open at all hours of the day and night, this diner sprawls across the east side of the road, surrounded by an expansive parking lot. It's a little gaudy on the outside. The siding is a reflective aluminum straight out of the 1950s, wrapping around the bottom of the building, split by a wide strip of windows, and then continuing again up 'till the roof, which is flat. A thin red tube light borders the length of the building, matching the sign out front that declares the place simply as Judy's.

Inside the retro decor hasn't been continued. It's rather plain, from the gray tile floor to the booths bordering the windows and the round tables dotting the floor. Ceiling fans whirl lazily above during all seasons, and fluorescent lights above wash out most complexions. The restaurant serves food for all types of clients, but the most popular meals of choice are hamburgers. There is a counter that seats about ten people on short stools located near the kitchen.

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