Too many cooks in the kitchen

The Terrace 
@Archer Lazlo

Asha was all nicely waiting for an interview after having taken some interview tips from her boyfriend who she probably should just tack on hiring manager to his job titles. She owned the place, so she could do that, right? Right. Anyway, it was now nearing interview time, and she hoped for this guy's sake he wasn't late. This would be her first interview, so she was a little nervous!

So hopefully he was more nervous!

To say the least, he wasn't nervous. Not that he was sporting a cocky attitude or anything, just an overall calmness. This was his domain and he was comfortable in it. He pulled up right on time, a copy of his resume in hand while he wore blue jeans and a nice black polo. He cleared his throat and entered the building, his eyes searching for someone who could be called "Asha."

It was easy to pinpoint the presence of a were when it was so close, when she was waiting for someone to appear.

Her head lifted to the swinging of the door, and she looked at a man feel... rather lost. And her cat rumbled, and Asha waited for him to do something useful like text her to say he was here for his interview. For all she knew there was a chance he was some stranger here for a fucking date.

Maybe protocol was for her to confront every were she met, though. Hum.

Asha got up, approaching with her hand out. "Hi there, can I help you?" she asked, though when she got close enough, she realized she knew the scent.

The hell was a cheetah doing on her side of town?

The hair on the back of his neck stood up as soon as he was approached by the woman. Shit. Please tell him that this wasn’t the girl Asha. He couldn’t quite tell what exactly she was but he knew he was a were and a strong one at that. His cheetah growled, trying to act all tough but really it was scared shitless. Archer cleared his throat and extended a hand, shaking her offered one.

"Um, hi. I’m here for an interview about a cook position with Asha. Archer Lazlo, but you can call me Lazlo, " he struggled on getting his words out without growling at her.

"Is that... you?" he retreated his hand and shoved it back in his pocket safely.

The jaguar couldn't hear his, thankfully, but identification was a thing she was exceedingly good at.

Asha shook his hand, watching him talk with some measure of nervousness. Was this some kind of trick by Yana or something? Would Yana send a spy? Or was this dude just way more nervous than he'd been on the phone? She supposed it also helped that she was who she was... Princess of Crestview and all. She could definitely tell he wasn't on her level.


"Sure is," she smiled. "Why don't you follow me upstairs? We can have our interview there."

She'd lead the way, if he'd follow.

He looked just past her ear, avoiding eye contact. Shit. Wasn't eye contact supposed to be good during interviews? But in the case where both of them were weres, was it a good idea to make eye contact knowing she was so much more powerful than he? He gulped and nodded his head slightly.

"Sure, sounds great," he said, following her lead upstairs. Dare he talk about the elephant in the room? They clearly knew what they were, but was it something to bring up? Archer sighed to himself as he kept his distance, but followed Asha along. "Thanks for meeting with me so readily," he said making idle chat.

yo how did I miss your reply SORRY

There was some sort of deferential fear in him, and Asha found herself delighted in it. Was this how Beau felt all the time? She'd have to ask.

She smiled somewhat more serenely, and motioned to follow her. "Normally this area's off limits to everyone who isn't in the group, but I feel it functions pretty well as an interview space in certain situations."

Also she'd brought Isla up here for the sleepytime drug deals so whatever.

Picture this: a large upstairs with a sliding door to a literal terrace overlooking the slowly growing garden that would set them apart from other bars in Mountainside. Inside there were sectionals, chairs, bean bags even — all an area of general comfort. Several mini fridges stocked with beer, packages of jerky for snacking on.

Asha grabbed a pack and handed it to him, and then pondered a beer for herself but decided she wouldn't be so casual just yet.

"Sit," she invited, and would sit across from him wherever he ended up being. "So. You're a cheetah."

Ah shit, now she wished she had that beer. Oh well, best cut to the chase. "You part of Yana's group?"

His eyes were busy wandering around the interior of the space while she spoke. "Uh, thanks," he said quietly, waiting to open the bag of jerky to not seem rude or eager. The jerky sounded amazing at the moment, but he wasn't here to stuff his face with food. This was an interview after all. He sat down at her gesture and watched her body language closely.

"You part of Yana's group?"

He blinked back to reality as his gaze continued to wander. She had guessed he was a cheetah which was no surprise how she knew it but her question was curious to him. "Yana? I don't know who that is." Ugh, this was getting uncomfortable. He shifted in his chair uneasily, pulling at his shirt collar. Was it shrinking around his neck suddenly? Also, did this chick have something against cheetahs?

Mm, great. So he was just, apparently, some rogue out of the blue. Right.

She didn't need a cheetah connection to see he wasn't looking so well, and she sure as shit wasn't about to spend her drugs on a newbie she didn't even know, so.

"Settle down. I'm going to give you the number of someone who can help you out way more than I can."

Simple, polite, and if it turned out he knew her anyway and this was all some kind of shitty... Mackerel Veil game, well then she'd trumped it anyway with her kindness.

Asha pulled her phone out and motioned that he should do the same, and would read out Yana's number for him.

Okay. Okay.

He was confused. He arched a brow at her curiously and shook his head, "Um, help me out? I'm here for a job interview, remember?" What was this chick going on about? What kind of help did he mean? And whatever it was, he didn't want it. He wanted a job. He wanted money. And to cook, okay?

Archer was getting flustered. All these weres he ran into were very adamant about getting help. From who? He was doing just fine.

She withheld the urge to sigh. Be patient, Asha. This was surely just an extreme noob. But maybe that he was a cheetah wasn't doing him any favors.


"Right, let me step back a bit. You're a cheetah. There is a cheetah group, in Belle Vista, run by a cheetah queen. If you join her group and live and work in Belle Vista, she'll be able to protect you and help you grow and control your beast. I can't do that for you here, because we're not the same animal. So I'm going to give you her number so you can find a job that way. I promise you that it's much, much safer to go that route."

Said patiently. Was he... getting it.

He still wasn't understanding. Was she prejudice against cheetahs? What the fuck.

"Okay, um. I don't want to live in Bella Vista. I'm not asking for your help to teach me how to control my beast, I just want to interview for a chef position," he said, trying to stay level headed. "I have no interest in joining a group, and your advice is really unwanted. I just came here to apply for a job because I have rent to pay. If you don't want to hire me because I'm a cheetah, fine, but I'm not applying for this position as a cheetah, I'm applying for it as a chef, ok?" Hopefully she could get that into her thick head that he didn't care she was, whatever cat and he was a cheetah. What did that have to do with working in this position?

Oh boy. He reminded her of Fray, thinking he knew how life worked when he had zero control over his cat. Was Abraham around? She should have let him handle this — he was better at noobs.

"Well. Long story short, I can't hire you if you don't have anyone available to be responsible for you if your cat busts out. I'm sorry."

She was not putting her place at risk for an avoidable and inevitable mistake. Even Riley was toeing the edge of what she was comfortable with, and at least with Riley she had Cliff to rely on.

He sighed deeply and ran his rough hand over his face. Hiding behind it for a moment, he stood up and grabbed up his folder. Fine. Fine. Fine.

Archer shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. He would take the hint and leave it alone, "Fine, sorry to waste your time, Asha." He was disappointed. Like seriously disappointed. Never had he been turned away because of what he was, especially by someone of his own kind, well kind-of kind. If that was all she had to say, he would take his leave. He wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, his embarrassed tail hiding between his legs.

On one hand — a very human hand, dwindling as it was — Asha felt bad for him. She'd had others take a chance on her.

And then on the other hand, she recalled how those chances had ended up. She was the one who had made the mistakes. It didn't mean she needed to be a bleeding heart for others to do the same on her turf.

"Good luck. I'll walk you out," she nodded, and she was sincere enough.

She'd send everyone a note to be aware of a possibly rogue cheetah who refused to join Belle Vista's group for whatever reason. Better they were all aware in case he tried anything in retaliation.

He shook his head at her, gesturing for her to stay where she was. "No need, I'll find myself out." Archer huffed in disappointment and made his way back down the stairs where they had come up. So much for that then.

Back to the job hunting...


Cool, but she'd follow him out anyway, even if it wasn't next to him.

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