swing angle

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A day in the life: Christopher Jackson, from ‘Bull’ to Broadway’s 'Hamilton’ (USA Today):

Sunday marks his last performance in the musical, which opened off Broadway in February 2015.  But on a late-October Friday, USA TODAY followed him on one of his last really busy days. At home in a Westchester County suburb, his son C.J., 11, left his lunch at home, while daughter Jadelyn, 7, forgot her eyeglasses. So dad and mom, singer Veronica Vazquez-Jackson, made separate trips to provide them. Around 9:30, he arrived at Bull’s Brooklyn studio and went into makeup for his scene with guest star Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin).

[…]

11:28 a.m.: Jackson wraps the scene and heads to his dressing room. “Once we’re done with a scene, it’s gone.” Shooting television, “the camera is the only audience that you really have, and five weeks later you see what really came about.”

With Hamilton fame fueling interest, he auditioned for several pilots last spring, and Bull was among the last.  Through prior arrangement, his scenes on Hamilton days are scheduled for mornings.  "Most often when you’re on a TV show they need to have all of you,“ he says, but "they get how important it is for me to finish out my run. I’ve joked for years I want to land a TV show so I can finance my theater habit.”

Now that Hamilton has taught him how to say goodbye, “We get more Chris Jackson, which we love,” says Weatherly, adding his role will expand. “Sorry for all the Hamilton fans who don’t get to see him as George Washington.”

1:44 p.m.: In jeans, a cap, Air Jordans and a navy coat, he leaves the studio for a few hours of midday rest at home. Sometimes he hits the gym, or he’ll catch up on scripts before heading south to Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theater.

6:15 p.m.: He arrives at Hamilton for an 8 p.m. performance, one of five he typically does each week (others are performed by Nicholas Christopher, who will take over the role permanently on Nov. 15). Jackson is one of a few remaining original stars of the smash musical;  co-stars Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., and Lin-Manuel Miranda, left in July. “Chris is one of the hardest-working people I know, and so if anyone can make (double duty) work, that’s him. I’m excited that the show has found its success. That’s my buddy,” says Miranda, who also teamed up with him on Broadways’s In the Heights in 2008 and Moana, the animated Disney film out Nov. 23, for which Jackson sings an opening tune.

6:50 p.m.: “Hamilton is as hard a job as anything I’ve ever done,” Jackson says. “It’s equally rewarding, but it’s very taxing. It’s just so hard physically and emotionally to do it, and it just empties you out.” And by late September, juggling the two jobs left him feeling he was “done,” in part due to his kids: The workload  "guaranteed that I wouldn’t have a day off.  After about a month, I was like, that’s going to be a problem. I needed to be with my kids and my wife.“

7:05 p.m.:  Network TV scripts change each week, 22 times a year. Hamilton’s stays the same. But that doesn’t make it any easier, he says, likening it to a baseball player’s swing. "The inner workings of that swing, the angles, the speed, the tempo is completely different every single time you pick up the bat.”

8:15: The lights go down, and Hamilton goes up. Jackson makes his entrance in Act One’s opening song, “Alexander Hamilton.” The crowd in the 1,300-seat theater roars with approval. Did anyone anticipate such success when rehearsals began two years ago? “Lin didn’t; nobody did,” he says. “If they tell you that, they’re lying.” But neither did they fret over a potential flop: “It didn’t feel like a flyer; it was too smart for that.”

11:28 p.m.: After greeting friends onstage after the performance, Jackson changes back into his jeans and exits the stage door to greet autograph-seeking fans, an enraptured group filled with emotional kids and teenagers.  "I would characterize them as enthusiastic,“ he says. The sessions "remind me of a revival experience.”

One earnest young woman on the line sums it up best as Jackson reaches her spot: “Thank you for giving me the feels.”

No Payne No Gain

PHOTOGRAPHY: James White
TEXT: Paul Flynn

 

Last year LIAM PAYNE had a conversation with Justin Bieber. He doesn’t usually do this sort of thing. There’s a shop Liam frequents in Los Angeles. Whenever he sees one of Will Smith’s kids or a Kardashian he feels too self-conscious to introduce himself. “There’s still that little boy inside of me,” he says. With Bieber, it was different.

Like each of the select bands who go through their boy-to-man rite of passage in full public glare, Liam at 23 is a disarming mix of confidence, knowledge and conviviality wrapped up in a frightened canary let out of its cage. Sometimes he’s the boy at the bus stop. Sometimes drops in reflexive anecdotes about his dealings with Donald Trump. No one understands Bieber’s experiences with quite the same clarity on quite the same timeframe as Liam and his four One Direction buddies.

“Obviously [Bieber]’s struggled a lot through the way the world looked upon him,” Liam says. “I don’t feel sorry for him,” he continues, “he’s great guy, inside there’s a really good heart. I said, look, the difference between me and you is that I had four different boys going through the same thing to look to. He didn’t have that.” Quite out of character, Liam Payne reached out a hand to his peer. “I said to him, listen, take my number and any time you want to have a chat, let me know because I’m here and I understand exactly what you’re going through and I understand your world.”

It was a lovely thing to do. “He needs somebody like that and in that position,” he qualifies, placing himself deferentially into the third person. It’s sweet for other reasons, too. In Bieber there is something of the idiosyncratic otherworldliness of a Michael Jackson figure. Liam Payne, a pretty, straight talking lad from Wolverhampton appears at first not to be that thing at all. “There is that in all of us.” he avers, meaning not only Bieber but his fellow One Direction alumnus Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson. “We all have this chaotic side to us. You know, they say that anger breeds passion. I think that’s the same with a lot of us, that we let things get chaotic very quickly. We’re used to chaos.”

Liam is sitting in a quiet antechamber above the photo studio where today’s cover story has been shot. He says he likes interviews and honours the assurance in a quietly riveting half hour before he’s whisked magically away. It’s Friday evening. Liam has been working out with millennial precision to make sure he’s at top physical condition should he be required to lose his shirt during the shoot. He’s whippet slight flesh, definition counts.

Six years ago, One Direction came third on the national TV talent show, the X Factor. 1D was an assembly-line operation pieced together audition stages. Boys that barely knew one another, slotted seamlessly together in the kind of multi-demographic hit their boss Simon CowelI so adept at plugging into the national grid each year. That year, Liam and his bandmates Niall and Louis looked like they’d been schooled at a premium boyband academy. Each sported variants of Bieber’s early slideover haircut. It was easy to imagine any of them taking a stool in Westlife or learning to breakdance for Take That, had they been born in another time and place. Within the trio there was a safe place in which teenage girls and boys could measure their sexuality, whilst tapping their toes. That wheel still turned. Flanked at either edge of the three were genuinely new angles for the British boyband model; Harry Styles, Cheshire’s own reality-age Mick Jagger and Zayn Malik, a practising Muslim from Bradford and nonpareil physical work of art to whom supermodels have since flocked. The five together hit enough familiarity and newness to open up a global fame haul not touched since the heady days of Duran Duran, Culture Club and Wham back in the 80s. During the summer of their astronomical American takeover there was a plausible touch of Beatle-mania. They felt like an England football team winning the World Cup. Their records have sold in North Korea.

Liam and the boys were the first band to taste that fame level in the age of social media, making their story simultaneously that of the boys next door and untouchable messiahs. There was something refreshingly undone about them. Their best songs, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, ‘Little Things’, ‘Steal My Girl’, even the precociously titled ‘Best Song Ever’ are undeniable additions to the Great British pop cannon. Liam says the 1D song that he’d buy above all others is 'Once In A Lifetime’, the little known track from their 2014 album, Four. “That’s my favourite song. Very Coldplay-esque. I wanted it to be a single but they just wouldn’t have it. It was very relaxed the way we chose our records and made things. It was really simple.” Someone else did it.

When 1D lost their X Factor trophy to semi-hot handyman Matt Cardie and were beaten to the silver medal podium by classy Scouse songbird Rebecca Ferguson, Liam was 16. He had auditioned for the show pre­viously, at 14, as a kind of minipops Michael Bublé, Wolverhampton’s hitherto unseen swing angle. On his first induction to the X Factor factory, he was instructed by producers to go home and rethink his shtick as the last 24 were whittled down on TV. He says it attuned him to the hard knocks of rejection. Such was the omnipotence of the show back then Liam’s audition storyline was enough to grant him a local working men’s club career where he honed his skill and paid his dues.

“I did pubs and clubs.” he says. “When I was a kid, I literally played old people’s homes.” His one taste of what was to come arrived when the Wolverhampton Wanderers FC invited Liam to sing before kick-off at the Manchester United fixture to 34,000 fans in the terraces. In honour of his local team’s squad colours he sang Sam Sparro’s 'Black and Gold’. “It’s funny that that’s where we ended up, playing stadiums,” he says, with pleasing air of pride and bemusement. “It was funny being stood in the middle again and thinking back on that 16 year old boy stood in the middle of a football pitch. My dad said to me, this is going to be the toughest gig you’re ever going to play. Football fans do not want to hear little boy singing. They’re not interested. You heard jeering from the crowd. But I got applause at the end. And my dad said, that is the best thing you could’ve got out of today.”

Liam says he can’t remember much of his time in the X Factor house second time around bar the tears. He was recently delighted to see fellow housemate Page Richardson, the contestant Louis Walsh immortalised as looking 'like a little Lenny Henry’ on account of nothing but his colour, in a Harry Potter film (“the one where it’s Dumbledore’s army. He’s actually in the army, which is amazing. I’m absolutely obsessed with Harry Potter. Fucking love Harry Potter.”). He nods as I mention some of the other names he shared his first home away from Wolverhampton with. Katie Waissel, Diva Fever, Wagner. “There were a lot of different strange characters and lovely people through that show. It was very rushed and strange.”

On account of a childhood kidney condition, he had not even been drunk by the time he left home, Dick Whittington style, to live in a shared London house with a bunch of strangers maniacally chasing their fame dream in real time. “The famous line my dad said was. don’t come home until Christmas, meaning don’t get thrown off it before the final. And after I said goodbye to him that day. I never really went home again.”

When 1D lost, Liam turned to his dad with a “we made it this far” face. His fellow band-mates. he says, were in pieces. He remembers first Harry, then Louis, Niall and Zayn bursting into tears. “A cameraman came over and said 'can I get you boys for an interview?’ and I looked at all the boys crying, in their mum’s arms and I was like, 'look, I’ll do the interview’ because I was the only one who was alright and so I went off to side and did the after-camera interview for us. I just left them because I wanted them to have their moment and the cameras didn’t need to see them like that. There was a real atmosphere. This followed throughout our career a lot of the time.”

In Cowell’s dressing room later than same evening, 1D were told that they would be signed to his label, Syco regardless of their position on the show. “Simon took us up to his dressing room to tell us he was to sign us and Harry literally burst into tears he was so happy.” Emotions run high in boyband land. “He told us. I’m going to sign you. That was the moment. That’s where it all began.” The wheels of the juggernaut had begun to turn. “It was like a bomb went off”, he notes.

There was a pearl of wisdom shared by Cowell that stuck with Liam from that high-stakes evening. “The first thing he said to us after signing us from X Factor was 'look, there are no angels here.’ Which is so true.” What does Liam think Cowell meant by that? “That we’re all people. We all people here.” He doesn’t think it was an invocation of mistrust in music industry, the smoke and mirrors world of real life fame? “No, no, no. It was a moment in a conversation. He said 'look, there are no angels here and I know that you’re all going to make mistakes’. That’s what he was saying. Just get on with what the show is, do your bit. do your business, go to work and be real. That’s what that comment meant. Don’t stress about it, it’ll all turn out alright in the end.”

In that moment, it sounds like Liam Payne made a pact with himself go for it regardless, at the top tier, to claim his moment. “Everyone strives to be the person that they want to be.” he says. “I try too much sometimes, I think. I overstep the mark a little bit sometimes. That’s why I’m such a perfectionist. But sometimes I think you have to believe that are no angels.” The first One Direction single, 'What Makes You Beautiful’ was released in 2011, on September 11th.

The second half of 2016 was an eventful time for Liam Payne, presaged by his signing a solo record deal with Sinatra’s old imprint Capitol Records on July 21st.

While in 1D, he says all five boys dabbled on their own material. Because boybands never break up anymore, 1D are officially on sab­batical. Whether that translates as a bit of genial respite or full scale hatred for one another is a matter that’s been carefully blended into their tale with just enough leaks of a hint to either. Zayn, who had already fled 1D’s nest a year earlier, missing their victory lap worldwide stadium tour released his solo album Mind of Mine last spring, reinventing him­self as the Frank Ocean for Unilad readers. Niall played to his Irish card with a forgettable busker-ish ballad for the Christmas market very much carved from the mould of Ed Sheeran and seasonal John Lewis adverts. From the snippet of it we heard. Liam’s song sounded like his ascent to manhood, touting him as a moody, roustabout lover-man in something of Drake’s lineage, complete with street lyrical touches (while writing, a picture appears on Liam’s Instagram feed of him with the Canadian don though it’s not specified whether he’s working or partying with his hero)

Whenever Liam talks about the 1D boys he has the exact same dad-ish air of concern, care, amazement and slight separation from the operation that Daddy Barlow has with Take That. Oh, that’s the other thing Liam had kicked off the year with a new belle, The X Factor’s Queen of Our Hearts, Cheryl Tweedy.

Liam brings up Cheryl, of course he does. The two live in Surrey, out of the city. When I make a joke about him being Lord of the Manor, he says that his sister bought him a plaque to denote his Lordship for his last birthday, a joke that doubled when it turned out Cheryl had been bought a similar gift by Simon Cowell during her tenure on X Factor. “So we’re Lord and Lady, which is hilarious.” To British suburbia, this is of course precisely what they represent, a self-selected aristocracy in which we’ve all played a part in the honours system.

He says things with Cheryl are working out well, becoming temporarily misty-eyed. “This is the thing. In a non-cliché way, it’s weird waking up every day and literally living out your dream. You wake up in the most beautiful places. Obviously I have the most beautiful girlfriend if the whole world and she’s absolutely amazing. She’s been my drean girl since I was younger. She’s so ace.” They are used to companionship. They have Liam’s dog, Watson, a Great Dane. “If I’m ever having a problem or I ever get a bit angsty about something that’s happening in life then I take the dog out for a walk and there’s just unconditional love from him. Anyway, I don’t want to go too much into that. I’m not like a weird dog person.”

“She is a wonderful, wonderful person and it’s amazing to have someone who can relate to so much of things, someone who’s taken greater steps than me. Her solo career was amazing. She’s been in the industry for fourteen years now. She fully supports me. We’re super happy. I appreciate you didn’t ask about it. It’s a very personal, precious time for us. I’m still learning. I’m only 23.”

Because he is the youngest of three, Liam inherited the bed that his big sister’s had slept in at home in Wolverhampton. He tried to paint a wall blue to put his own stamp on the room, still shaded by bunny rabbit curtains into his teenage years, and ran out of paint before finishing. “It was a total tip.” he says of the last bedroom he lived in before fame. “That bed was so old. The last time I went back and sat on it I couldn’t believe it was the bed I used to sleep on. I often think about how I used to sit on the windowsill and just look at the stars and wonder what this was all for. And I often used to think, there must be more to life than this.”

I ask if his parents kept the room the same as when he left. “Well,” he says, interrupting the nostalgia with a little sharp reality, “I bought my par­ents a house so I haven’t actually been back to that room in a long time. I’d like to.” The experiences of 1D made five men very rich, very young.

Liam knows exactly his financial worth. “I do,” he says, letting out a nerv­ous laugh. I ask if I would blush if I saw his bank account. 'Honestly, it is a very scary thought.’ he says. “It is not something that we were given it’s something we worked our asses off for. The way we went to work every day and the way we travelled the world and the way we conducted our business, with great management at the time and greater minds, it turned out great for everybody. But it was a long five years.”

On the last night of the last 1D tour, management presented all four remaining members with a plaque festooned with little badges for every single gig they’d played since their first. “It was a sombre night.” says Payne, who has started becoming more emotionally transparent in front of other people this last year. “To see every show we’ve ever done on a plaque?” he says, raising eyes to the sky. “Again, everybody was in tears. And I’m quite good at holding it together but I have got a lot worse of late. Adverts and things mate me cry. I think I’m getting more emotional as time goes by, especially with everything that’s happening in my life at the moment. It’s a very emotional time and time to reflect on a lot of things and the person that I am to be. Do you know what I mean? If that makes sense?” It makes perfect sense.

Beneath the extraordinary life he has lived so far, outweighing every one of his personal, societal and geographic expectations, there’s a deeply admirable humility and candour to Liam Payne. On the subject of his forthcoming record: “l’ll tell you the truth. The dream was to be able to get signed and release an album. That is every musician who’s on Youtube’s dream today. I’ve got the opportunity to work with a really great label, Capitol. The people I work with are absolutely amazing and to get a record deal and be able to release the album that I want to release is the most amazing thing ever.” He has no idea how it will fare. “Even if this went tits up, sideways, it’d still be step one that I got here.”

Liam Payne never voted in a general election. “I’ve never been able to vote,” he explains, “because we’ve always been in different countries and I’ve never really understood it. I still feel like a 16 year old boy when it comes down to things like that and I wouldn’t know which way to go.” He steered clear of the EU referendum (“I kind of knew that we were going to Brexit. It was just a gambler’s feeling”) and doesn’t know how his parents voted in it.

Do you want to know his Donald Trump tale? Of course you do. 'Oh. here’s a story,“ he says, rubbing his hands. “Trump actually kicked us out of his hotel once.” It gets better. “You wouldn’t believe it. It was about [meeting] his daughter. He phoned up our manager and we were asleep. He said 'well, wake them up’ and I was like 'no’ and then he wouldn’t let us use the underground garage. Obviously in New York we can’t really go outside. New York is ruthless for us. So he was like, 'OK. then I don’t want you in my hotel’. So we had to leave.”

He’s seen a lot of life, has Liam. That he retains himself amid it’s spectacular credit to those around him and the man himself. “Now he’s President,” he says, perhaps for a moment reflecting on the opportunities life affords the most unusual candidates. “I just hope he doesn’t kick me out the country.” He’s laughing now. “I hope he lets me stay.”

Source: x

Downfall [05]

Characters: Jungkook x Reader

Word Count: 3,846

Genre: Assassin AU

Prologue | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17


“Why don’t you take it easy for the rest of the day.”

Jin looks over from his computer, where he spent the last half hour jotting down all the information you recited to him about your two most recent and successful missions.

You lift yourself off of the couch in the middle of the office and take a few seconds to stretch out your tired limbs. It’s well past noon now, which explains the growing pang in your stomach reminding you that you haven’t eaten since yesterday evening. You make a mental note to head down to the café to get some sustenance before proceeding to do anything else.

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I stim with my cane!! It has a string on the end so I can hold the string and let it dangle at an angle. It swings around and makes good sounds (:

[Fic][Drabble/Prompt Challenge] Let’s See Where We Wake Up Tomorrow

Title: Let’s See Where We Wake Up Tomorrow
Prompts: Sunset; this one from @otpprompts
Pairing: Jikook
Genre: Angst; tragedy; fluff; zombie apocalypse AU
Word Count: 2659
Summary (kind of): Only the universe knows the difference between distant realities and short-lived dreams. 

Now on AO3.

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Creature Feature: Week of 8 January, 2017

Hello, everyone! It’s Erick. I’m pleased to be writing our very first Creature Feature post! Without further ado, allow me to reveal it:

Pachycephalosaurus

Mature doe Pachycephalosaurus “Gracy” photographed at our BTS studio on 2 November, 2016

Scientific Name: Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis 

Diet: Opportunistic herbivore; occasionally seen foraging for insects

Projected Natural Lifespan: ~20 years

Height: Buck - approx. 2.1 m; Doe - approx. 1.7 m

Length: Buck - approx. 6.3 m; Doe - approx. 5.8 m

Weight: Buck - approx. 492 kg (1,084 lb); Doe - approx. 445 kg (981 lb)

Where: Historical - Midwest United States (Hell Creek) 66 MYA; Huxley - Gladiators of the Mesozoic & Hell Creek

About: Pachycephalosaurus, commonly referred to as “pachys” by our staff, are average-sized ornithischian dinosaurs from the Upper Cretaceous. Living with other famous contemporaries such as Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus in the famous Hell Creek Formation, it’s still very much a star in its own right. Though the thick head ornamentation suggests otherwise, Pachycephalosaurus are very much docile animals and will allow keepers into their enclosure. They enjoy being scratched at the top of their necks.

At Huxley: One of our most “recent” creations, our stock of Pachycephalosaurus live in the group of enclosures known as the Gladiators of the Mesozoic, which is also home to other well-endowed dinosaurs such as Stegosaurus, Euoplocephalus, and Triceratops. Naturally skittish animals, we have seen them most active at sunrise and near sunset. They spend a majority of their time concealed in the dense foliage of their enclosure. It’s taken time, but their shyness is starting to ebb. Our guests and vets have spotted a few spending their post-lunch afternoons with a nice sunbath.
A little further in the park, and you’ll notice a standalone enclosure with one buck Pachycephalosaurus named Kirk. We’ll shine the spotlight on this interesting character in the near future!

Notable Behavior: As mentioned prior, our pachys are naturally docile. However, rutting season (normally mid-November thru January) can turn even the nicest into rude, moody little buggers. Their skulls (up to 23 cm thick!) are purpose-made for dealing with opposition. Instead of head-on collisions, as observed in something like a ram, Pachycephalosaurus tend to lob their heads in an angled swing. Their wide chest cavities make for perfect targets with minimal injury. Superficial marks include scrapes, bruises, and scars. 
However, some of these behaviors can still injure a Pachycephalosaurus. Broken limbs and skull lesions are common injuries. During the three-month rutting season, it’s also not uncommon for them to turn on their handlers. Wearing the color red seems to deter these animals from approaching our keepers. If extra incentive is needed, Tyrannosaurus hisses are played from hidden rock speakers (as well as other distraction mechanisms) to give our staff adequate time to distance themselves from a particularly moody animal.

Geneticist Notes: The Pachycephalosaurus currently on display bear the genome version “1.1.” Version “1.0″ were retired after exhibiting severe adverse reactions to routine vaccination.

Keeper Notes: …they like eating glue. No one knows why.

okay no but TanaNoya are totally the kind of bfs who everytime they hang out with people other than each other they spend like an hour just showing people pictures of them on dates and stuff like “and here’s me and ryuu at the arcade and here’s me and ryuu on the swings and here’s me and ryuu on the swings at a different angle and here’s me and ryuu at asahi’s house about to eat food and here’s me taking a selfie with ryuu when he fell asleep during movie night URGHHHHHH HOW COOL IS MY SLAMMIN’ BOYFRIEND AREN’T YOU SO JEALOUS?!?!!?!!” and then like years later at a school reunion he’s like got his phone out goin “and here’s our kickass daughter at the beach and here’s our kickass daughter playin at the beach and here’s our kickass daughter playin at the beach in a different hat and here’s our kickass daughter about to eat real food for the first time and here’s our kickass daughter covered in ryuu’s shirt and sleeping UUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH HOW CUTE IS OUR WICKED LITTLE GIRL AREN’T YOU SO JEALOUS?!?!?!?!!?!”

The ball is alive, Tetsu.  Once you start dribbling, it bears its fangs and attacks.  But there is nothing to fear.  Don’t resist the ball.  Just carve an opening with your drive, moving your arm, your leg, your other leg, then pick a random angle, swing your arm and BAM!  Formless Shot. …What do you mean you can’t do that?
—  Aomine, teaching Kuroko to shoot  [He only shoots freestyle. RIP Kuroko.]
"Landing On Your Feet" - Kurt/Blaine

Kitty!Kurt/human!Blaine.  Warnings for: sex during “heat”, brief mentions of past abuse, brief size kink, brief conception kink (no actual conception).

Blaine is buying champagne when Rachel calls. The liquor store is crowded; he’s worried that if he puts his bottles down to answer her they’ll be grabbed up before he has a chance to defend them, so he cradles his phone between his jaw and shoulder and taps the accept button with his chin.

“You would not believe the acrobatics that I just managed to answer you with my face,” he says.

“You are amazing.” She pauses. “Dare I ask?”

He laughs. It wouldn’t be the first time that she’s interrupted him in the middle of something that had required the full dedication of all of his limbs. “I’m making a very hasty champagne purchase. Competition is fierce. Last minute party invitation.”

“Oh, do tell.”

“Nothing personal, just a director who I’ve been trying to get face time with.” He frowns. “I could try and swing the plus one angle if you’ve changed your mind about staying home with the in-laws.”

"No, thank you, darling. This is a business call, unfortunately. I didn’t want to bother you this close to the holiday, but I’m out of options. We had a stray dropped off five minutes before closing and I can’t take him. Howard’s parents are using the spare bedroom and his father is terribly allergic. Every single one of my other fosters are either out of town, hosting guests, or celebrating already.”

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