Book Title: The Mists of Time Book 4 of The Oracles
Author: Delia J. Colvin
Release Date: November 1, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
Preview of The Mists of Time Book Four of The Oracles by Delia ColvinPART ONE: INTO THE KAIROS Kairos: A Greek noun. 1) An opening in time. 2) Defining moment. Sarabeth’s, the popular Manhattan breakfast spot, was packed for Christmas Eve brunch. Friends and co-workers, still bundled in scarves and hats, exchanged extravagantly wrapped gifts over waffles, Eggs Benedict and mimosas. The windows were steamed and a cozy warmth filled the room, that looked out onto the wintery glow of a snow-covered Madison Avenue. Paolo sat alone at a crowded center table, looking more like a model than a business man, in his gray wool slacks and fitted sweater. His blue eyes were widened with irritation. What was wrong with this woman? He brushed his fingers through his thick black hair and then drummed them on the table. Nicky moved through the dining room and past him in a series of graceful, dance-like motions designed to avoid other servers, customers and tables, and completely ignored him. It had become a habit of hers, and Paolo was not used to being ignored—especially by women. Several months before, meeting Nicky had been the most powerful jolt of his very long existence and the man who women chased, fell hard...on his face. Nicky scurried by him with a stack of dirty dishes and he lifted an elegant finger, hoping that she might finally acknowledge his presence. Instead she looked past him and blurted, “You’re not in my section.” “Your section was full,” he said, although she was already gone. He wanted a chance to compliment her new hair style—a short bob with long bangs. He wanted to tell her how the cut enhanced her pale complexion. The fact was that the combination of features, her nearly black hair, her complexion and her blue eyes were extraordinarily striking. But Nicky’s tiny frame wove between tables and customers and disappeared into the kitchen. Katie, another server, brushed her hands along Paolo’s broad shoulders in a short massage before resting his head back against her ample breasts. “Hey Paolo,” the blonde cooed seductively. Noticing that Nicky had returned, Paolo raised his voice. “It appears this establishment is too busy to provide good service to all of its customers.” Nicky rolled her eyes and started to say something, but Katie interrupted, “Nicky, if you’re too busy, I can take Paolo.” Katie was discussing the table, but the implication was clear. Nicky sneered, clearly irritated. “He’s all yours!” Smiling seductively, Katie posed in front of Paolo. “Now then...what would you like?” Old habits die hard. Paolo leaned forward, glancing briefly to the exposed top of her breasts, with a half smile that most women found irresistible. But in fact, he had little interest in Katie. “Hmmm, what do you recommend?” he asked, with a twinkle in his eyes. Katie lifted a knowing brow and leaned her arm on the table, better exposing her cleavage. “I have a few suggestions.” Nicky passed and her tray “accidently” shoved Katie. “Hey!” Katie bristled. “Sorry,” Nicky said, raising her arms, in pretended innocence. Katie’s face reddened as she turned to Nicky. “What’s the big deal? You said you weren’t interested.” “As I said before, he’s all yours,” Nicky steamed and turned to take the order from a table right next to them. “Paolo, let me order for you, and if you don’t LOVE every bite, I’ll owe you a drink...after work.” He was enjoying this game... Until a moment later when he heard a playful giggle. Paolo whipped his head around to see Nicky flirting with a man that the other waitresses had excitedly identified as the star to a soap opera. The man was leaning over to whisper something to Nicky and she giggled and whispered something back to him. Meanwhile Katie was informing Paolo of her favorite drink that promised to make her “lose all control”ose all control"f ck, laughing usly belonged to she dove to hide her emotions from him. . Paolo nodded, but wasn’t listening and in an instant was out of his chair and headed toward Nicky and the actor. Dejected, Katie stopped mid-sentence and went to tend another table. “Excuse me, Nicky,” Paolo said. “Wait your turn!” She snarled in response. “I have been waiting my turn patiently, but you seem to have time for everyone else.” The actor turned to Paolo, “Can I help you?” “No. You cannot,” Paolo curtly dismissed him. “Cara, I must speak to you...alone.” “Have a seat Paolo. Katie’s helping you, remember?” She headed back toward the kitchen, pushing through the double doors, but Paolo followed. She turned and glared. “You know you aren’t supposed to be in here.” The manager, Maia, a no-nonsense New Yorker, stopped prepping plates. She placed a hand on her hip and lifted an authoritative finger to the door. “Paolo, out! And please stop harassing my servers.” A waitress with brown and purple hair said, “Oh come on Maia. Paolo can harass me anytime.” “Me too,” Another waitress said. Paolo smirked and Nicky rolled her eyes. A gay waiter passed Paolo and checked out his body. “Oh yeah. Me three.” The cook placed two plates of Eggs Benedict under the heat lamps. Maia glanced at the ticket. “Nicky, table three is up.” The manager pointed to the door that led back into the dining room, “Paolo—Don’t make me eighty-six you.” Paolo lifted his hands in question. “Eighty-six?” “Permanently ban you from here,” Nicky said, flatly. Offering an apologetic shrug to the manager, Paolo exited. Maia waited for the double doors to close and said, “Andrea, can you take out Nicky's order?” “I can take my own,” Nicky argued. Maia placed a hand on Nicky's shoulder and waited for Andrea to leave with the plates. “What's going on with you and Paolo?” “NOTHING!” Nicky bristled and then took a deep breath in an attempt to calm herself. “I'm sorry, Maia, but I have no idea why he keeps bothering me.” She folded her arms over her chest. “He’s a good customer, but if that were the case I would have eighty-sixed him long ago.” “What are you talking about? I swear I've never even gone out with him.” “Maybe you should.” “What? I wouldn't! He's a player. You saw how everyone in here was after him.” “Yes, and I also noticed that you are the only one that he's interested in,” Maia said. “He's slept with half the girls here.” “Nah...” Maia said patiently. “Veronica told me that her and her twin sister did a threesome with him.” Nicky rolled her eyes. “Why would I even think twice about him after that?” Maia took Nicky's elbow and led her away from the line. “The reason is because Veronica isn't capable of telling the truth about anything except the daily specials...and she even has trouble with that. I'll bet Paolo doesn't even know her name, let alone have a guess about her real bra size. Besides,” Maia paused and raised a single brow, “by the way your face lights up when he comes in, I suspect you feel more for him than you're willing to admit.” At this Nicky's jaw dropped in outrage. “Are we done?” “I just think you should see him...after hours.” “I don't want to see him at all.” “Yeah, well notify your face,” Maia said. “That's all. Just consider it.” Nicky walked brusquely to the kitchen door as Maia finished, “It would sure make my life simpler.” It would make her life simpler, Nicky thought, but what about the serious complications it would add to mine? Paolo was calmly waiting as Nicky reentered the dining room. She again pushed past him and he followed. “You know you’re getting me in trouble.” Nicky picked up some dirty dishes and dropped off a check and was on her way back to the kitchen. As she passed him, he touched her arm. She froze, stunned by the electricity in his touch and her eyes locked on his. “It is Christmas Eve. Cara, please give me a chance,” he said softly. She worked to break her eyes away from the pleading in his. “I can’t.” She paused. Lies typically came easy to her anymore, but for some reason, not in this case and she tapped her foot and squirmed with discomfort. “A few of the girls are getting together tonight. I wouldn’t want to disappoint them.” Nicky nodded toward Andrea and Katie and then lifted a suspicious eye. “I think Veronica's going with us too.” She watched Paolo's face, but saw no recognition of the name. She pulled away and hid in the kitchen. It was late afternoon when Sarabeth’s closed. Veronica and several other waitresses, exited the dark restaurant onto the street aglow with Christmas gaiety. They chatted excitedly about their plans. Andrea, the girl with the brown and purple hair turned to the back door of the restaurant. “C’mon we're waiting for you!” Nicky and Katie exited the restaurant. Katie smiled broadly and tightened her scarf . “I was afraid you were going to leave me behind,” she said, pushing her blonde hair over her shoulder. One of the girls laughed. “Don't be silly! It's Christmas eve—and we're the A Team!”
Nicky kept her eyes down, avoiding any conversation. Alone, she walked down the snowy street without so much as a wave good-bye.