Kelsey takes the bottle of scotch with a smile, the business card vanishes into a coat pocket as she gives it a brief glance. "I'll be just a moment." She then again disappears into the kitchen, returning momentarily with a tray in each hand. She sets the one balancing a half dozen empty liquor glasses with ice down first, on the coffee table near the couch. She then serves Birchard a quick splash of scotch, setting the bottle down next to the tray and pouring herself a glass of ice tea from the other tray.
“It’s homemade and unsweetened, but we have sugar if you’d like.” Kelsey then walks behind the couch, bending down to unlock and open up a small liquor cabinet just behind. Popping back up with a bottle of brandy, she turns toward Alexander. “Sir? Brandy Scotch or Iced Tea?” Getting the man’s answer, Kelsey nods and splashes the liquor over ice.
Kelsey seems a rather incongruous figure, much younger than her initial appearance first suggested, perhaps mid thirties to early forties, seeming to step with surprising speed as she walks the drink over to Alex; flowers in her hair, thigh length sun dress, sandals on her feet, and a highball glass in her hand. It’s eye wrinkling, in fact, as if you just caught a whiff of patchouli in the opera house.
She checks on Alex's sugar status once more as she walks back into the kitchen, returning with a full tray carrying club sandwiches, asparagus and red pepper wraps, a wine glass, a bowl of sugar, and an obviously chilled pitcher of deep red liquid.
“Sangria.” she says as she sets the pitcher down. Bits of cherry and orange circles swirl at the disturbance, providing the visual evidence to back up her claim. “That’s homemade too. Our recipe. Those of you who didn’t speak up for yourselves will just have to start with that,” she says with a smile. “ You'll be having nothing but water for a while after this...may as well enjoy it while you can."
As she walks away from the table with her glass, she pauses at the empty fire place, giving the men a reproachful glance. "Not one of you knows how to set a fire? Shameful!" Her declaration carries a hint of good natured mocking mixed with genuine disappointment.
With practiced ease she quickly knelt down and busied herself with preparing the fire, moments later stepping black and orange tongues of flame licked at old newspaper and larger chunks of wood.
"There we go." she says with an nod of satisfaction. She then slides off her sandals and sits cross-legged on the carpet. She raises her glass in a short and simple toast, “To all of you,” and then sips at the wine. Nodding once, she sweeps her gaze around the room, and speaks.
“Okay. Welcome to Discovery Outdoor Adventures. Though officially, none of that starts until tomorrow morning. I’m Kelsey, and Gregg and I are in charge of the welcoming and relaxation side of things..though I’m sure you wouldn’t have guessed that by the reception you received. I’m sorry again about that. So, please, let me start making up for lost time. Shoes off, everyone. You are on vacation, Relax. That means sit, too,” she says as she looks up at Alexander.
She looks back at Alexander. “I’m sorry, your name…?” Once she gets it she continues. "Rebecca had the right idea in getting you all talking, even if none of you said all that much. That’s what usually happens, but that’s normal. Many people coming to Discovery have never done this before, and some people, especially you Starmark groups, have never done anything at all even close to this before." She pauses to adjust her dress and glance back briefly at the fire before continuing.
"So you’re a little ill at ease…and you tend to answer any questions about what brings you here evasively. It’s hard for people to know themselves honestly even when they’re alone. It’s almost impossible in front of strangers; everyone’s guard is way up here, “ Kelsey says, chopping a hand at the highest level of her reach. “We need to try to get it to at least down here,” she brings her hand to chest level, “before you all head off tomorrow. You can’t refresh yourselves without first leaving all that baggage and junk you brought with you behind. We’ll work more on that later.”
She takes another sip of the Sangria and smiles almost conspiratorially. “Gregg would usually be telling stories about the perils of stress right about now, and how much harm you are all doing to your bodies. I’m sure you all know the gist of that stuff already; I like to start by actually releasing some of that stress. Fear of the unknown and a perceived lack of control are two of the biggest stressors a person can have. Chances are, everyone here has a little of both of those right now. So let me start by letting you start. Get all of your questions out now. Otherwise they’ll buzz around in your head like those bugs outside all night, and we don’t want that. We want you satisfied, relaxed, and ready to face tomorrow’s adventure with a clear and free heart and mind.”
“What would you all like to know about me, Discovery, or anything else that is on your minds? And please, introduce yourself before you speak.”