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Chapter Twenty

The diner had never been that busy before.  For most of the night diners waited for the exi booths to become available or a seat to free up at the counter.  The tips were flowing freely.  It was a very good night.

Finally by 1:30 in the morning the crowds started to slow down.  The booths and stools were still full but no one was waiting anymore.

“Abbey, have you taken a break yet?” a voice boomed from the kitchen.

Abbey poked her head into the kitchen.  Barker stood over the grill, the sweat from the head glistening off his dark skin.  The white cotton apron stretched across his rotund belly was stained with the night’s success.

“Not yet, Barker,” she replied.

“Abbey, you’ve been on your feet all night non-stop.  You need to take a load of.”

Abbey glanced out at the dining room.  More customers were coming in.  There were still more tips to be had.  With a night like this, Abbey could renew her hopes of going home.

“I will in a bit, Barker.”

Barker stared at her then smiled and shook his head.  He worried about her but he understood her need for money.  He tried as much as he could to get her closer to going home.  Abbey smiled to herself.  Barker was probably the closest thing she had to a father.

“Abbey, you have another table,” Mitzi’s singsong voice announced as she came around the corner.  Mitzi was in her early thirties and was very attractive in a tired, four-packs-of-cigarette-a-day way.  Abbey offered a quick “thanks” and scampered off on tired feet to fill glasses with water.

Abbey very carefully pinched together the four small clouded glasses together and balanced them out to the dining room.  She set them on the table of the booth closest to the window.  She reached into the pocket of her uniform to get her pad and pen.

“Good evening.  What can I get you to drink?” she greeted.

She lifted her eyes to take the first order.  Her heart seized in her throat.  She couldn’t breathe.  She also couldn’t pull free from the eyes that locked with hers – eyes equally wide in surprise.

Ice blue eyes.  Unmistakable ice blue eyes.

Abbey forced a smile on her face as she took a step away from the booth.  Without another word she fled to the kitchen, pressing herself against the cold tile wall and praying it would swallow her whole.

“Barker, you’re right.  I think I need that break,” she squeaked.  Barker nodded in agreement.  Abbey turned as Mitzi rounded the corner again.

“Mitzi, could you take my table?” Abbey pleaded.

Mitzi glanced out into the dining room with a smile blooming across her face.  “Those four guys that just came in?  Hmmm…they are hot and they look rich.”

“Uh-huh,” Abbey agreed, wishing Mitzi would go away.

“Especially the one on the end with the black hair and the crazy beautiful blue eyes.  When I walked by I heard an accent.  Mmmm…very sexy.”  Mitzi giggled.  “I’m gonna get his number.”  She skipped off to take their order.

Abbey glared at Mitzi as jealously began to bubble in the depths of her belly.  She knew she had no right.  But still – at one point the man had been Abbey’s husband.  Mitzi needed to back off.

Abbey shuffled across the kitchen to sit on an upside down five gallon pail.  She sank down on it then took the cheese fries Barker offered to her.  She nibbled on them, the electric terror vibrating through her nerves robbing her appetite.  Abbey lifted her head as Mitzi breezed back into the kitchen and tacked her new order over the grill.

“So, did you get the hottie’s number?” Abbey asked weakly, forcing a smile on her face.

“Nope,” Mitzi answered.  “Sadly, he’s a married man.  He’s wearing a gold band on his left finger.  A lot like the one you wear.”

Abbey didn’t notice as the cheese fries slid off her lap onto the floor.

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About triciaandersen

I am the author and illustrator of the children's book "The Peculiar Princess". I am also the author of two adult fantasy romance novels, "The Sorceress of Savon" and "The Woodcutter King of Muladin". Along with being an author I am married to a wonderful guy and have three beautiful children. I coach youth track and field, sew and chase my children around to their various activities.

Posted on May 22, 2012, in author, books, fiction, novel, romance, story, Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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