Summer Kickoff

caldecott_icon.png fletcher_icon.png gordon_icon.png rylie_icon.png zan_icon.png

Where: Mayor's Mansion

When: May 28, 2012; Late Afternoon

What: The annual Memorial Day day barbecue at the Mayor's home has its share of food, fun, and games.

The kickoff to the summer season began as it has for years. An event that almost needs no advertising, it’s nearly become an expected tradition. A barbecue, hosted by Mayor Caldecott himself, upon his own front lawn. It opened with a moment of silence for those who have and are serving, followed by thanks and welcome. Then all were invited within.

The smells of grilling foods are plentiful. Ribs and burgers, chicken, dogs, and brats. Salads of all sorts cover tables along with chips and cookies. Soda and water are in plentiful supply. Nothing has been skimped on. There’s also games and activities for all ages, as well as mingling. It is the social event that brings the city together.

For Rylie, this is a working holiday. Running interference, arranging who meets with the Mayor, how long they get before they're ushered back to the party and generally making sure the event runs smoothly.

It never does, at least on this side of things. That the guests are none the wiser is just part of the job. Just earlier, they lost a grill due to faulty propane tank, but by the time everyone is taken inside, the mess was cleared away and a replacement acquired.

Which is why Rylie is taking a break for the moment. And her breaks, inevitably, bring her to the food.

While this isn't the sort of event that Fletcher would normally find himself at, something about the bright imagery has drawn him in. It's all the smiling people. They remind him of a different time and place in his life.

The big man gives a smile of his own and finishes the last bite of a heavily loaded hot dog. "Mmff," he grunts happily.

A blue polo, khaki's, the mayor looks almost downright business casual as opposed to all business, shaking hands with those who Rylie permits near - and provides the names so that he doesn't look like a complete imbecile. The mayor is all grins, speeches and welcomes between cups of iced tea and baby kissing and hosting duties. Posing for pictures too, that impeccable white smile and black plastic rimmed glasses that cost a fair sight of money. But he's somewhere else here, talking it up with the people who descend upon the patch of greenery in vegas.

One of those too is Gordon Crain, who's there in nearly the same attire - though his shirt is that shade of pink that's not that offensive on a man and he'sbeen grinning and shaking hands with many people, representing the Crain Corporation. With an eye on Rylie when he's not busy talking, looking at her in a way that's perhaps just a little too salacious.

But he's near FLetcher, and talking with some older grey haired and pearls wearing old woman, talking about the possibility of hosting something or other for a charity. At a node from her, he's excusing himself, turns and bumps into Fletcher.

"You work too hard." Zan's voice comes from behind Rylie, jokingly chiding. Predictably, he's been seen around, albeit a bit elusive throughout the event once the welcoming was completed and the public allowed inside. Evasive except when protocol and decorum required as the mayor's son that he appear pleasant and social to some guest or another. Now he's appeared near the tables of food, arms folded across his chest and a small grin tugging up one corner of his mouth.

A gaggle of kids run past the mayor, cheeks flushed with excitement and too much sugar. Somewhere they've acquired water pistols, spraying each other and anyone as they scamper about. In their wake, the voice of a parent calls after them in failing effort to draw them back while others milling chuckle and murmur in vague amusement while activity briefly stirs things up.

The gaze from Gordon eventually has Rylie glancing over his way. She greets the older man with a crooked smile and a wave before Zan grabs her attention. For the guy closer to her own age, she leans over to press a quick kiss to his cheek. Nothing more than a polite greeting for the moment. The press is sure to be here, after all.

"Yes, I do. And I wasn't allow to order beer for this thing. But, he pays me pretty well," she says with a grin as she takes up the spot beside him, her hip bumping against his more playfully. "Where've you been hiding?" Her gaze flicks over to Gordon, briefly, as if having some sort of internal debate over the man.

Or maybe debating just how much time someone of his status should get for press shots with the afternoon's host.

"Hello," Fletcher greets the man, even in mid-collision. A small spin and a guiding hand are enough to minimize the impact, combined with a deft bit of footwork for a person of his size. "All right, then?" he queries politely.

Little does he know that he's offering a hand to one of the city's movers and shakers. To Fletcher, he's just another guy in a pink shirt.

Rylie and Zan are spared from the mayor needing to do something and have time to enjoy themselves. Gordon however, distracted by Rylie, focuses his attention on Fletcher, offering his hand out to the independent man in return. "Gordon Crain. I apologize about that. Such a crush here, hard to move around without jabbing elbows into everyone. You are?"

Polite and press appropriate or not, Zan's grin ticks just a bit bigger at Rylie's gretting. "Yeah, well. Kids and all. Don't think Dad's ever had beer at these things." A shrug follows in response to the question, gaze taking in the guests and other goers, eventually following hers to Gordon. "Oh, around. Doing just enough to be present and keep up appearances."

"Yeah, I guess it would be bad for the kids. And possibly the mayor's image," Rylie says with a small chuckle. She looks back from Gordon to Zan, her smile a little nervous, but mostly normal. Mostly. "I appreciate that. Your dad might have made me come drag you out by an ear if not. And that can get embarrassing."

Even someone who lives as far on the fringe as Fletcher knows the name 'Gordon Crain.' "Don't worry about it. Crowded, like you said," he replies, shaking Crain's hand firmly. The only indication of his surprise at his current situation is a slight raising of his eyebrows and a small smile tugging at one side of his mouth. "People call me Fletcher. It's a pleasure to meet you."

"Pleasure to meet you Fletcher. If you'll pardon me?" There's a look in his eyes, taking his concentration off Fletcher and back to Rylie. "I see an old friend that I must get acquainted with" Shark grin sliding into place, he nods to Fletcher before off he goes, swimming in the social waters towards Zan and Rylie.

From a corner of the big social gathering, bearing a tray of fresh fruit and circulating to settle it down on a table meant to mitigate the crush at the main food table, a dark haired man watches the people around him, eyes settling on fletcher. Tall, lanky, dressed in the uniform of those who are serving out the food for the caterer.

Those kids return, weaving between the adults who've chosen to be social to raid the food tables. Like locusts they descend, shooting water at each other while converging on the food. Little hands snatch up hotdogs and soda and cookies, jostling for position and plates among their elders while still wielding half filled squirt guns. Moments later, they're off again with their spoils.

"Something like that," Zan agrees. His brows slide upward slightly when Gordon decides to approach, and his arms drop away from his chest to hook his thumbs in his pockets. Though he glances to Rylie again, his grin remains. "It wouldn't have worked," he points out, bumping his elbow lightly into hers. "But it would've given me better opportunity to convince you to escape this scene with me. Once you found where I was hiding."

"That is true. I'd hear about it tomorrow, but it is tempting," Rylie says with a grin. She watches the kids weave through the crowd, managing to stop one long enough to slip them some cookies and a drink as they push past her and Zan. But it's then that she sees Gordon heading in their general direction. Her lips press together for a moment before she turns to Zan to continue in a whisper only he can hear.

"Whatever happens in the next, like, ten minutes, I really need you to be ultra cool," she says, her tone not helping explain anything. Woman is mystery?

Now that he's done pretending to enjoy having his personal space invaded, Fletcher lets out a long breath and rolls his eyes. Seconds later, he's migrated back toward the food in search of something sweet. No cupcakes to be had, but there's some fruit. He helps himself to several slices of apple and melon, clearly relishing the fresh summer flavors.

"Speak with the Mayors son" The guy dressed in the catering garb offers to Fletcher, as he descends on the fruit that he's just put down. Dark eyes looking at Fletcher, and a little beyond. He gestures to Zan, before starting off, disappearing into the crowd to go see to the rest of what he has to do while here.

Over at Zan's little hubub, Gordon can't hear what Rylie has said to Zan, be he's ready to greet her as he reaches out, hands settling on either shoulder and leaning in to kiss her on her cheek/corner of her mouth. "Rylie. I have missed you. The nights are just not the same in Vegas without you there" The tall man speaks, somewhat avoiding looking or speaking to Zan quite yet.

"There's a show, I want to take you to. If you're free"

Though his brow might draw toward a frown over the whispered words, Zan nods. Slowly. "I can be cool," he replies just as quietly. And it's a cool look he gives Gordon. A practiced grin that doesn't really hold the welcome it might seem to at a casual glance. A slight tightens forms around his mouth at the more intimate greeting the older man gives Rylie, however he doesn't openly seethe. "Which show," he asks, casually sidling closer to the girl. "That's tickets for three, right, Mister Crain? We'll have to check our calendars, but we might be able to work something out."

Leaning into that kiss that lands just a little off her cheek, Rylie smiles warmly. Her cheeks seem to be a little warm, too, as a blush rises up in them. But this is literally a position she's never found herself in before. "Gordon, it's good to see you again. I've been meaning to send a thank you for the flowers, but things have gotten… a little crazy."

And they must have, considering the last time he met her, her weaknesses were fairly simple, but now there's a complex net of them simmering below the friendly exterior. None so stand out as what's wrapped up with the guy standing next to her, though.

Before she can answer about the show, Zan cuts in and Rylie squeezes her eyes closed for a moment before gesturing over his way. "Have you met before? Alexander Caldecott," she explains before she looks over at Zan, "Zan, Gordon Crain." He just said that, but she's nervous. Introducing people is a good fallback.

Fletcher seems a little confused at being ordered about by a caterer. Especially when the order is to strike up a conversation with someone well outside of his own social circle. Puzzled, he shrugs as he finishes his slice of melon and then helps himself to some berries. As he pops a few in his mouth, he turns back toward the knot of people surrounding the mayor's son. Seems to be a bit of tension there.

Why not?

After thumbing a drop of blueberry juice from his lip, Fletcher legs his way back over to the fringe. Close enough to observe, but not close enough to intrude.

"Zan, a pleasure to finally meet the son of the Mayor" Gordon turns away from Rylie, offering his hand out to him, a glance to Fletcher with raised brows. "And this, is Fletcher. Fletcher, meet Zan Caldecott, the Mayors son" There, distract the young upstart and turn back to Rylie, taking her hand in between his two. "As I was saying, I am dying for want of your company, and there's a show that I think you'll enjoy. Please tell me you'll do the honor of being my date?"

"Likewise," Zan responds, his tone edging toward deadpan. He grips the older man's hand in a firm, if brief, handshake then flicks his gaze toward Fletcher. That one gets only a small nod in hello, and a rather offhanded "Hey." So much for decorum. His thumb hooks again into his pocket as a rather flat expression takes over, not quite a frown, but neither is he feigning to grin either.

Rylie was just glancing about to see if the mayor was within line of sight when she finds her hand taken and lets out a slip of a sheepish laugh. "I'm very flattered that you'd think to ask me, and you know I enjoy your company. And shows. But I, ah," she flicks the barest glance in Zan's direction before she turns back to Gordon with that same, warm smile. "I'm not dating around, right now." For all that she dislikes politics, her response is very political. "But thank you."

Suddenly pulled into the conversation, Fletcher lets takes a few steps closer. His gaze travels from Crain to Zan, then to the girl. Awkward. "Yeah… Hi," he responds. "Actually, I was just heading out. Pleasure meeting everyone, though."

And with that, the brawny, bearded man makes his way through the crowd and out of sight.

"Then it's not a date. It's just two people who enjoy each others company. No strings, expectations or otherwise. Promise me. I just want the company of someone I enjoy" He looks to Zan when Fletcher takes off. "I'll secure another two tickets, you can bring someone. A night out for all" He flashes a grin that only men of a certain age and flare can actually pull off and it doesn't seem lecherous.


There's certainly no warmth in Zan's returned look, though his chin lifts a touch in that way of challenging superiority. There's a tightness about his jaw, a slight movement like he might be chewing over something. And he's quite unaware of where his dad is at the moment. But at the grin, he can't help but shake his head, complete with a roll of his eyes. Unfortunately, to the younger generation, it does seem a little lecherous, and it's rather obvious that he's not buying into the innocence of it.

"You know, they told me you didn't take no for an answer," Rylie says with an easy, natural laugh, which might be more worrisome than her anxious glances, from the Mayor's point of view. "Alright. I promise. We'll bring some people; it'll be a party." A party is a safer bet, right? People around. Friendly gathering. "Just send the particulars to the office."

"Wonderful. I'll have the details sent over tomorrow. We'll make it on a weekend" He looks over at Zan, reaching over to clap him on the shoulder. "So you don't miss school. Be such a shame that. After everything the both of you have been through" And with that, and a wave to the Mayor he's meandering that way.

It's a definite effort to not pull his shoulder away from Gordon's hand, but Zan manages. "Thanks for the consideration," he answers, now reaching deadpan. "It's very kind of you." His gaze follows the old man toward the Mayor, a frown definitely setting in when he spies his father looking in this direction. "Great," is more muttered when he finally looks back at Rylie.

The sound that escapes Rylie as Gordon levels those words and walks away sits somewhere between a laugh and shock, like that was the last thing she expected him to say. She, too, looks over the mayor's way again, clearly bordering on upset before she looks back over to Zan. "Is there a place in this house that isn't completely occupied by people?" She asks as she shakes her head. She may have been unwilling to put on a display for the press moments ago, but now she reaches out for his hands and doesn't much seem to care who notices.

At some point, she became very dependant on the Caldecotts.

After a glance to his hands as they're taken, Zan looks up at Rylie again. "My room," he answers without giving it much thought. He's already eschewed any form of propriety during that encounter anyway. He rather pointedly looks toward his dad and Gordon again, unreadable and far from trying to be pleasant without outright scowling. "C'mon," he says more quietly as he frees a hand from hers only to draw it around her shoulders. Turning away from the older men, he nods toward the house and starts for it, guiding Rylie through the lingering crowd.

Rylie doesn't look back again, she just nods to Zan's answer before starting toward the house with him. Her arm wraps around his back as they slip away from the party. The Mayor will just have to end or himself for a little while. But she's pretty sure he'll understand.

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