Prospector's BBQoding
Was it unethical to experience other restaurants to get ideas for their competitor's website? Perhaps. Did Jerome care? Nope.

Laptop to his right, food to his left, he was tapping on his keyboard and taking bites in a regular interval. Just fix that little coding problem and then maybe a beer. Just one, and then an uber. He carried Mathis' lighter everywhere since he had received this uncanny birthday gift from the surly stranger he had met by chance, but he still didn't want to make a jamais deux sans trois when it came to vampire attacks. Better not tempt fate.

For now the biggest enemy could be defeated with the power of coding and that was fine.

There was a place at his table if someone wanted it, and he would offer a smile to anyone walking by. He had manners, after all.

t-Never two without three

Sure was weird being back in Camp Baron and not feeling the whole group vibe. Wild. Weird. The bear wasn’t sure about it, but Emmett was willing to wade through the whole vibes of newness to get some bbq. He’d done some job well done work all morning and who didn’t deserve a whole plateful piled with the stuff? Exactly!

Looking over all the filled tables with people coming back from church services and the like, Emmett was going to have to share a table at this rate. And bingo! One was just ripe for the taking with a solo dude typing away. Easy.

Coming up, Emmett didn’t waste time telling what he was about. ”Mind if I join you? There aren’t any more seats, really.”
Everytime a stranger had joined him at a table, surprisingly useful conversation had followed. Jerome wondered if this would be the case this time too.

"Tables are meant to be shared." He replied with a welcoming smile, pulling his laptop a bit closer to spare it from possible spillings.
That’s the kinda response he’d been hoping for.

Tray down, he slid into the bench, excited to dig in.

”Name’s Emmett,” he offered while grabbing his fork to stab at some onions.
"Jerome. Nice to meet you." He replied.

Better eat before it got cold anyway.

"Can't believe it's been more than a year living here and I only just discovered this place today."

It was great, if not a little far from home
Onto a slice of white bread they went. Next up was some brisket, something he delicately placed one slice at a time as Jerome offered his own intros.

”Oh man! A whole year without this place is a crime. Ya gotta try the tomahawk mac and cheese sometime. It’ll blow your mind.”
"Noted." He said with a smile.

He took a bite of his own lunch.

"In my defense, I live over in Starling and I don't have a car." He added.
He grinned for it, moving to slather bbq sauce over his little sandwich of heaven that was in the process of coming to life before their very eyes.

Starling was chill… not having a car kinda sucked though. ”Ah man, that makes it hard.”

Emmett looked up to him, to the laptop too. ”What had you come out here, then?”
"Wanted to experience some new place while working." Jerome replied. "Literal food for thought."

Also he was very good at multitasking, just not all the time.
Emmett let out a laugh as he smashed the next piece of bread on top. Sandwich made! Look at it in wonder. ”That works!” Food for thought and all.

”What other cool places have you seen?”
"Spider Books is great if you like cats, and books, of course." Jerome provided with no hesitation. "The owner is the nicest person ever and helped me get over my fear of cats."

It was easier to mention said fear now that he was over it.
Emmett wasn’t sure if he’d ever been there, but super noted.

He took a big bite. ”Wait, do they have cats just running around there as you read?”
"Not every time, but yeah, that's the concept! Really good to build, uh, resistance?"

That wasn't the right word. He frowned.
”Whoa, that’s awesome,” he said while chewing through a bite. What were manners? Didn’t matter, he had lunch to eat.

”Glad it helped. You ever think of owning one?”
Jerome barely noticed the chewing as he was already reaching out for his phone.

"One actually adopted me." He replied with a chuckle, before showing the most recent picture of his gigantic ginger pal. "His shelter name was Mr Orange Pants but I'm trying to see if he'd answer to Pumpkin. A bit simpler! Do you have pets?"

This was a topic that got him quite enthusiastic. This was his first pet, as moving around was not the easiest lifestyle for pet ownership, and he was settled in Colorado now.
The cat distribution system struck again!

He leaned in as a phone was shown his way to get a good look at the orange cat. ”Man, Pumpkin is so much better.” Bbq sauce fell to the platter from the sandwich.

Sitting back, Emmett nodded. ”My bro and I have two gerbils we rescued from a friend.”
Jerome nodded, glad to have a stranger's approval on cat names.

That phrasing though...

"Rescue from a friend?"
He flinched at hearing it back. Oops. Well! It wasn’t wrong?

”Uh, yeah, she, um.” This felt really weird to just like let out to a guy he’d just met, but yolo he guessed.

”She passed away a few years ago, so.”
Jerome's eyes widened.

"Oh no, I'm so sorry." He said as fast as he could. Good job! "Glad they have a new home, well not that new, but you get what a mean."
Yeahhhh, what a mood killer. Sigh.

”Fo sure. They’re happy. Here.”

He wiped his hands down hastily on a napkin that was definitely not enough before grabbing his phone. Scrolling through pictures, he’d soon show the two fuzzballs climbing around the elaborate tank they had.

”There they are. Pretty cute, huh?”
The expected "Awww." followed.

"I'd be scared to lose them under the couch." He mentioned with a chuckle.
Very cute, def with that response.

He grinned, pulling the phone back to him to take another look before setting it down.

”Ah yeah, you gotta be real careful with the little guys. We got a hamster ball for ‘em and everything.”
Jerome wondered if his cat would enjoy some kind of big wheel like the hamsters had. Maybe?

"They're in good hands, I see." He commented.
”The best,” he assured, going back to his food. ”I dunno how long they live, but hopefully forever.”
Jerome was pretty sure it wasn't forever, but wouldn't say that out loud.

"Good care will help, for sure." He replied with a smile. "So, outside of gerbil wrangling, what do you do?"
Insert into his mouth a whole spoonful of beans. Why was bbq so good?

”A little bit of this and that. Lotsa odd jobs.” And maybe soon, his old job back? Cliff wasn’t in town anymore so who’s to say the Sanctuary didn’t have a space for him again or was the whole place closed? Hmm, he really needed to check on that.
"Such as...?" He asked.

Jerome wasn't sure why this answer had him thinking serial killer, but it had.
Emmett sighed, looking up at the sky as if recounting an entire list. He was!

”Trash pickup, camp counselor, groundskeeper, laundry guy, powerwashing, carwash, uh, a lot more, but those were more recent.”
Oh, that kind of odds jobs.

"Jack of all trades, huh." He commented. "I'm only good with computers."

With a little smile and a wave at his laptop.
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