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Fallen ~A Mills's guide to wooing Brom

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Fallen~ A Mills guide to wooing Brom

 

He was possibly the meanest man in Sleepy Hollow.... the world; but that was not going to stop Jenny Mills from trying to make him smile.....human by using her sister of course.

~Warning~ there is strong language in the first few chapters.

I

"Son of a bitch, what the fuck is this!" His voice was unmistakably harsh and it sent everyone within the sound of his voice scurrying for cover. Jenny Mills jumped at the sound of his menacing tone. Her eyes were those of someone who was guilty as they moved from left to right looking for an escape. They were to deliver the letter after lunch when she would leave not before lunch. She had really stuck her neck out for everyone in the office this time. Abraham Van Brunt was notorious for parking where he should not. So far, no judge had really stuck it to him. However, Judge Leena Reyes was a friend of Jenny's mother and she asked her for a favor. Everyone in the office just wanted two weeks of peace and as long as he was there that would never happen. Working at Van Brunt Tower was amazing but being around their boss was not. He was an evil, mean, rude bastard. He needed someone to pull him from his high horse.

 

Jenny placed the plastic top back on her salad bowl and gathered her things. She crawled around her desk and when the other secretary cowering in front of her desk nodded that, she was past Van Brunt's viewing spectrum Jenny stood up and made a run for the door.

Frank Irving the unfortunate and only vice president of the company slumped his body in his chair before he got up and walked down the long hallway towards the huge mahogany doors of Abraham "Brom" Van Brunt's office. The cursing billionaire turned the paper upside down and held it up to the light searching for a secret message. Frank sighed and walked on the expensive zebra wood floor towards the huge mahogany desk. Abraham slammed the paper down on his desk and looked up at Frank's smug face. "What the hell does this mean as part of your community service you have to work at Hawley's diner?"

Frank leaned over, picked up the paper, and read it. He nodded and then he lowered the paper. "It means that as part of your community service you have to work at Hawley's diner for two weeks."

"WHAT!" Frank's ears rang as Abraham snatched the paper from his hands and balled it up, then opened it and started ripping it to pieces. Abraham threw the pieces on the floor and then knocked everything on his desk on the floor. Frank stood there silently as his boss went on his tirade. He was in shock. He never thought anyone would have the balls or ovum to do something like this. Work in a dirty and greasy diner. He could not wear a suit and work he had to wear a uniform. When he was finished with practically destroying everything on his desk Frank looked up at his boss. Some of his long blonde hair had managed to escape his top knot. He was deeply into his samurai training. Frank was sure that temper tantrums were not part of his training. He was breathing hard and his face was a shade of red that Frank had never seen.

"You start tomorrow."

Those outside the office cringed when they heard the breaking glass and curses that followed. Frank walked out of the office and closed the door behind him. He wore a small smile on his face as he walked back down the long hallway towards his office.

*()*

Abbie laughed at the retired doctor Henry Parrish as she poured him another cup of coffee. He always came during her shift and left when it ended. She was his favorite person in the entire town. "If I was younger you would not have a choice but to love me."

Abbie chuckled again as the others in the diner took exception to the doctor's words.

Nick came out of the back frowning. "Hey gramps what did I tell you about getting Miss Mills all hot and bothered before the lunch crowd."

Henry frowned at the owner and continued talking. "Anyway, I heard that some real piece of work is coming here to work off some community service."

Nick walked over to the doctor. "Now how would you know that before me? This is my establishment."

"People like me and the Judge is a personal friend of mine. She really wanted him to suffer by sending him here." Those in the diner laughed. Nick Hawley ran a clean place in part because his staff loved working there and loved the patrons that ate there. Their desire to have a nice place had nothing to do with the owner's son.

"What is that supposed to mean? He will learn some manners here."

Henry chuckled. "Yeah if you let Abbie train him,"

Abbie smiled as she walked away from the arguing men. This was a typical Monday. Nick and Henry always started it off with a bang. "Maybe he just needs someone to listen to him."

Henry shook his head and leaned over to his left so that he could see her instead Nick standing in front of him. "Oh no he's a real asshole."

"What's his name?"

Henry picked up his paper and sipped his coffee before answering one of the other patrons. "Abraham Van Brunt,

Silence filled the diner for the first time in 30 years. Abbie looked around as everyone stared at Hawley's owner. Nick trembled at the thought of having all that raw rage in his diner. He knew why this was happening to him. Make the mistake of calling the Judge's daughter a whore and then this will happen to you. Nick looked over at Abbie and smiled. If she could not tame the man called Brom by no one that lived to tell about it, she would come running to him for help.

"Go ahead use her like you always do. If it were not for her, you would be on the street like the bum that you are. If she ever leaves this place so will everyone else and I mean the customers too."

Nick smiled at Henry, as he moved closer to the counter. "Let me tell you something, you old piece of shit. Abbie is never leaving me. She is going to be with me forever."

"Stop talking to me as if you have a shrine in her honor in your bedroom. You are nothing like your father. He worked for a living you just live off it. You don't know anything about hard work. Even this guy coming here knows what hard work is."

Abbie walked over to the conversation and smiled. The two men could not help but smile back. "Luke needs you in the kitchen."

Nick just stared at her. God she was beautiful even in the white and blue waitress uniform with her thick long hair pulled back into a bun. He spent most of his time looking at her ass and legs and dreaming of being the lucky man that took the Mills cherry. He had already tried to woo Jenny but she threatened to kill him. He needed someone a little more balanced. They were the daughters of Shotgun William Mills. He would shoot anyone that even thought about touching his daughters. He brought them up with a sense of fear. Everyone knew how violent the man was to strangers and his own family. He was the reason the Mills girls avoided men. They did not need a man to validate them. Jenny was always mean. Abbie was another story. She was sweet, kind and loyal. Nick wanted to be the one to witness her love every day but so far, he was falling short. Abbie treated him as her boss and nothing more. He had to change that.

Nick stared at her a little longer until she smiled and shook her head as she walked away.

Henry ruffled his paper to get Nick's attention. "Get your ass in the kitchen and be a manger not a stalker."

*()*

Why was everyone so afraid of this Abraham Van Brunt? Abbie thought as she sat on her sofa wrapped up in her grandma's afghan and eating chicken noodle soup. Why was he coming to Hawley's diner was her second thought? There were plenty of places to send someone like him why there? Her phone rang and Abbie smiled at the name on the ID.

"You usually call right when I get home not at six."

"I just want to say that I am sorry. I had no idea that she would send him to you."

"What,"

"I mean I asked her too but I was joking because she always said you could make the devil purr."

Abbie set her soup down and stood. "What are you talking about?"

"Abbie I did it. I asked Leena to send him to Hawley's diner. Well not really but... yes I did it please forgive me."

"He can't be worse than Daddy."

Jenny was silent and then she hung up the phone. Abbie's heartbeat increased and caused panic in her body. She had never been afraid of anyone but she was starting to get a little worried. What had this man done to make her sister afraid? Their father had a shotgun what did this man have to bring fear into everyone that mentioned his name. Abbie took a deep breath and decided that she would do as she had always done. She would be herself and let the chips fall where they may. No one was going to make her change.

*()*

Frank rode in the back with Abraham that morning as they drove downtown towards Hawley's diner. He had finally stopped cursing for two minutes for Frank to tell him that the judge would frown upon cursing of any kind. She could extend his time if she saw fit. Abraham let another tirade fly as Frank stared straight ahead. Claude pressed down on the gas pedal to speed up the torture.

They stopped in front of the diner and Abraham just sat in the car staring at the clean window and the people inside laughing. "I bet the inside of this place is caked with so much grease that my arties harden the minute I open the door."

Frank looked at the diner. "The Hawley diner has won many awards this year including the cleanest and healthiest diner in the city."

Abraham turned and stared at his Vice President. Frank continued talking. 'You will be expected to adhere to all the rules and regulations of this establishment. You are ordered to be civil and kind to your crew and your direct superior."

Superior...fuck that!"

Frank pulled an envelope from his pocket. "Your progress will be monitored."

"By who,"

"I was not informed of who it was for my safety."

Abraham sneered at him as he exited the car. He was enjoying this Abraham could tell. His robotic tone seemed cheerful all of a sudden. Claude too seemed ecstatic. He never drove that fast in all his 70 years. Abraham reached into his breast pocket and pulled out his five hundred dollar sunglasses. Claude opened his door and he stepped from the car. Frank waited for him at the door. Claude opened the diner door and the bell at the top of the door rang. All liveliness inside the building stopped the minute Abraham crossed the threshold. All eyes focused on him. Frank smiled and began greeting people as they slowly made their way towards the front counter.

"What are you doing?" Abraham asked frowning at his Vice President. Frank continued smiling at everyone as he answered his boss.

'It is customary to greet people as a sign of friendliness."

Nick stared at the approaching party. His eyes moved towards the big man wearing the Armani black suit and sunglasses. He looked as if he wanted to destroy him. Henry cleared his throat waiting for Nick to say something.

"Are you going to say something or just stand there and drool all over the counter?"

Nick glared at the old codger with murderous intent on his face. The bell at the top of the door rang again. Abbie walked in with loose hair and regular clothes on. "Sorry Nick I'm late but Miss Henderson's car would not start so I had to drop her off."

She walked towards the counter. Frank smiled at her and said good morning. Abbie returned his greeting and returned his smile with one of her own. Abraham said nothing. He did not even move his head but his eyes followed the dark skinned woman all over the diner.

"That's alright Abbie this is Mr. Van Brunt Lisa is going to train him."

The waitress in question suddenly realized that he had said her name and looked over at Nick.

"What."

Abbie raised an eyebrow. Why had he suddenly changed his mind? Did he know something she did not? Lisa was not strong enough. She barely talked. Was he trying to punish Henry because Lisa was his granddaughter? Abbie nodded and then turned towards Abraham. She extended her hand towards him. The man never shook anyone's hand. He stared at her for a moment before extending his hand forwards. Abraham's hand swallowed hers. Abbie smiled up at him.

"Welcome to Hawley's Diner, we will treat you well here."

Frank waited for Abraham to return a polite greeting. When he saw none coming, he looked at his boss. Abraham sighed and mumbled some words. "Thank you. I am sure that I will not enjoy it."

Abbie laughed. "Okay,"

She pulled her hand away from his, grabbed her things, and walked to the back. Lisa slowly walked up to the counter with her head down. "Mr. Van Brunt Will you come with me please."

Abraham ignored the woman. Frank showed him the envelope and then handed it to Nick his superior. He knew that Abraham had a scowl on his face as he glared at him. Lisa continued looking down at the floor as she waited for him to comply with her words. Abraham turned his attention to Lisa as she shrank before him and then started walking towards the back.

"Claude will return at....when does his shift end?"

Nick smiled reading the letter in the envelope. "Five,"

"He will be here at five, please have a good first day." Frank watched the scowl on his face grow.

"So this says that he has to work the whole two weeks unless I say otherwise."

"Yes." Frank faced the owner and studied him. His research told him that he and Abraham would clash, brutally. The man had no work ethic. His employees were the true owners of the diner.

"How rich is he?"

Frank felt another pair of eyes on him and looked at the old man sitting on the stool. "Henry Parrish."

He extended his hand and Frank shook it. "Never mind the idiot we'll take care of gargantuan while you're gone."

Frank raised an eyebrow at the man's choice of words. "Mr. Van Brunt is very capable of taking care of himself but I understand your meaning."

Nick frowned when Frank returned his attention to him and then walked away from the counter heading for the door. "What the hell are you doing Henry, insulting the guy's boss like that?"

"What in the hell are you doing asking about his money? That is so trashy?"

Nick smiled and walked away from the counter. "One of these days I am going to throw you out of here."

"Yeah you and what army, "Henry yelled as the others snickered at their bickering.

*()*

Lisa stood outside the employee changing room shaking like a leaf. She could not do this. Abbie finished putting her hair up into a bun and then placed the hair net over it. She walked up to Lisa and placed her hand over the girl's arms. "Lisa are you okay?"

"Abbie I can't do this. He does not even look at me. He looks through me. I can't do this. I'm going to quit."

Abbie chuckled and pulled the scared girl into her body for a hug. "You can't quit you have school loans to pay off. Besides Henry's your kin and you would never hear the end of it. Look I will take over."

Lisa pulled away from the embrace. She did not want Abbie in trouble. "But Nick."

"I'll talk with him. Go take my tables." Lisa nodded and then hugged her again. When she heard the door opening Lisa ran away. The blonde haired giant stepped from the dressing room wearing a specially made uniform of dark blue pants and a white shirt. He held up the black hair net and looked at it as if it were some alien creature.

Abbie chuckled at him and Abraham looked down at her. She smiled up at him. "It's a hair net.

You have to wear it."

He did not look swayed by her words. Abbie chuckled again at his you got to be kidding me look. "Come on bend down and I will put it on for you."

He stood as still as stone. Abbie continued smiling up at him. "I will be gentle I promise."

Abraham slowly leaned down as Abbie took the net from his hands and gently placed it over the long blond hair in the top knot. She stepped back and Abraham straightened.

"Now you look like a Hawley employee."

"Fucking awesome," His voice was monotone. The woman before him snickered at his enthusiasm. Abraham made a note of her disobedience. She smiled up at him as she led him towards the time clock. Nick walked back towards the clock with Abraham's time card and a scowl on his face.

"Abbie what are you doing? Lisa is going to train him."

"Really Nick, Lisa is afraid of everything."

"Well I need you on the floor."

"There is no one out here Abbie."

Henry's voice made Nick let a curse fill the backroom and Abraham saw Abbie hide her smile. "How does that piece of shit know what we are talking about from way out there when he can't hear a word that you say sitting next to him."

Abbie took the time card and began explaining it to Abraham. "Listen Lisa is coming back to train him."

"Can you not talk while she is explaining this to me I can't hear her over your yelling."

"Listen I run this place not you so you better get your high and mighty attitude out of your voice right now. I am your superior."

Abbie looked up at Abraham as he stood his full height. "You know the other option was jail. I could still go there because of what might transpire back here."

"Kick his ass. We won't tell."

Nick looked towards the front again hearing Henry's voice. He returned his attention to Abbie and Abraham when heard the other patrons laughing, "Alright you can train him today but tomorrow Lisa is back on the job."

Abbie saw the stare down begin again between the two men and decided to defuse the situation.

 

"Thank you Nick,"

Nick heard her sweet voice and looked down at her beautiful smile and everything else. Abraham noticed that his eyes lingered as Abbie turned away from him. Nick met his eyes smiling at him before walking out of the back.

*()*

Henry watched the giant walk around the diner as if he were killing roaches. He was used to doing things his way and screwed up several times making coffee. Abbie just smiled at him and encouraged him until he got it right. Henry smiled at her gentleness even with the bumbling idiot Nick. He still did not understand why she just did not slap the guy for the way that he looked her. If he were younger, he would punch Nick in the nuts. Abbie walked away from Abraham to go to the back and Henry motioned him over to him.

Abraham frowned at the gesture but walked over to the old man that was still reading the same section of the newspaper from this morning. "What are you in for?'

Abraham raised an eyebrow. "Being me."

Henry chuckled. "How's that working out?"

A very slow smile appeared on Abraham's face. "It has afforded me wealth."

"Don't forget the hairnet."

Abraham continued smiling. "How could I forget that?"

Nick looked over at the two of them talking civilly and anger grew inside of him. That was not what he needed the richest guy in the world making friends with Henry Parrish the devil's spawn. He could not allow that to happen. He did not want anyone making this giant feeling comfortable here. Nick walked over to the two.

"Abraham why don't you come over here for a second to continued your court appointed training."

Abraham and Henry looked at the smiling Nick as he pointed at Abraham.

"You only have to deal with this for two weeks I got the rest of my life."

Nick glared at the old man as Abraham snorted and walked away from him. He slowly made his way around the counter keeping his eyes on Nick in case he drew a weapon. Oh, how he wished he would draw a weapon. Nick watched Abraham as he slowly walked up to him as if he was planning to attack him. Nick stood beside the broken ice cream machine. "Have you ever made an ice cream cone before?"

Abraham gave him an irritated look. Nick smiled at him. "Well the best way to learn is to jump right in."

Nick handed him a waffle cone. Abraham took it from him and stepped closer to the machine as Nick curiously moved back. Abraham grabbed the lever that would release the ice cream down the tube and the white liquid sprayed from the tube onto the front of Abraham's pants.

"NICK! I told you that that machine was broken." Abbie turned the machine off when it did not look as if Abraham was capable of it because he was glaring at her boss.

Nick fought hard to stop the laughter growing in his body. "When did you tell me that?"

Henry looked at the giant steaming with anger. He dropped the waffle cone and advanced towards Nick but Abbie gently grabbed his arm. "We have extra uniforms for you in the back."

Abraham looked down at the gentle hand on his arm but could not pull away. He did not want to hurt her. They were very close to Nick she would be in the line of fire. Why did she care if he killed this man? It was apparent to him that no one cared for Nick. He would be doing them a favor. He could survive in jail. Her tugging on his arm became annoying and finally Abraham gave up trying to wait her out. He followed Abbie pass Nick staring at him the entire time.

*()*

Abbie let her hair down and sighed with another day complete. Abraham was probably her worse trainee yet. He was rough and uncaring but she knew that if Nick left him alone he would bend… maybe a little. She heard a noise behind her and saw Nick standing there. A frown crossed her face. "How did you get in here so fast?"

"You were too deep in thought over the giant."

"His name is Abraham." Abbie closed her locker. Nick's eyes travelled down her body the tight dark grey shirt just showed off her wonderful big breasts and those jeans accented her ass. Her long midnight hair hung over her shoulder and down her back with a slight curl at the ends. She was an angel.

Abbie looked up and saw Nick staring at her as if in a daze. He always looked at her like that and it was beginning to annoy her. Another sound behind Nick drew her attention. Abbie leaned to her left and saw Abraham standing there in his black Armani suit. He looked very powerful except for the hairnet on his head. Abbie smiled and walked towards him.

What did she want? Abraham crinkled his brow as she came closer. Why was she always smiling? If she knew what her piece of shit boss wanted, she would not be smiling.

"Bend down." Abraham took his sweet time lowering his head. He heard a soft chuckled come from her as she removed the hairnet.

"Top knot,"

"Yes,"

Abbie continued smiling up at him. "Do you train?"

Nick cleared his throat. Abbie turned and faced him. "Are you staying to help plan the menu with Luke and me?"

Abbie sighed. 'I can't I have to take Mrs. Henderson home."

"Abbie this is sort of important."

"Luke can do it by himself he always does. He is a master chef."

"Okay don't feed his cock too much Abbie."

Abraham saw her body jerk at Nick's words. She turned around with a frown on her face. "You have great people here Nick and you don't appreciate them at all."

"I appreciate everyone. I pay you guys don't I."

Abbie returned her gaze to her smiling boss. "You don't think we can go elsewhere for more pay?"

Nick lost his happiness and then thought about what she was saying. "I did not mean that you guys are not worth more. You all are invaluable to me."

 

Abbie turned away from the fumbling man and smiled up at Abraham as she walked past him. Nick watched her go and frowned.

"She is everything to me. She just does not know it yet. She is getting too mouthy lately. I know that is Henry's influence though. Still I am going to have to tell her what's what. I am the alpha here but can be my beta."

Abraham said nothing as the man rambled on about his power. He could care less about what he was saying. Nick faced at him. "What are you waiting for Fabio?"

"My shift is over."

"Oh you want to fight. You are still inside my establishment."

Abraham frowned at the man's constant smile. "Then walk yourself outside so Fabio can kick your ass."

Claude appeared in the doorway. "Ahh damn looks like I am going to have to give you a rain check for that Abe."

Claude stepped further into the room and Abraham turned and left. He walked to the car seething with anger. He could not wait for tomorrow to come. Nick Hawley had no idea what he had just started and with who.

Author's Notes

Hope that you enjoyed this chapter. I did some editing to correct some errors. Frostbytefire

Chapter Text

Chapter II 

 

He was late again. He was always late. Why did she put herself through this? If she wanted, she could get a job making 3 times what Jenny made doing something that she hated. Her father wanted her to get an economics degree. He wanted her to be successful like he was. He wanted her to be him and Abigail wanted no part of that. He was a callous man. He was a bully. He was not a man of warmth or capable love. He was a man of coldness and hate. He loved to yell and terrorize Abigail, Jenny and their mother. It took their mother 15 years to get away from the name calling and cursing. She and Jenny heard it every day, their mother, every second. Recently their mother had hired a lawyer to have their father permanently removed from her street. She had a restraining order but he just moved into the same neighborhood. He did not care if he went to jail. He had no friends all he had was his family that he terrorized. None of them could understand his need to do this. The courts had silenced his voice but they could still hear it sometimes. He had made her and Jenny's childhood hell.

A knock on her window pulled Abigail from her thoughts and towards her passenger side window. Jenny stood there wearing an uncomfortable smile. Abigail glared at her but unlocked the door. Jenny cautiously opened the door and got inside. She closed the door and they sat in silence for a while until Jenny spoke.

"I'm sorry."

Abigail faced her with a frown on her face. 'You could have warned me how he was Jenny."

"You are the only one that I know that can change him."

"You can't change someone like him Jenny. Look at daddy; he is probably worse now than before the divorce."

Jenny frowned. "That's because no one wants to listen to him. Everyone wants to listen to Mr. Van Brunt but without the roughness and language. You are good at talking to people Abbie. People respond to you even the rough ones. I have watched you do it all my life. You are the only person that can do this."

Abigail turned away from her shaking his head. "He needs some anger management therapy not a girl from Hawley's diner."

"He needs a girlfriend. Now I know this is not how or whom you envisioned in your fairytale life but Abbie he can be kind and very generous. He just needs someone to open him up."

Abigail shook her head again. "I am not the one Jenny. I am tired of dealing with people like him and Nick."

Jenny angrily sighed at her sister's response. "I love my job Abbie. I go in on my days off that is how much I love it. What I don't love is how unyielding Mr. Van Brunt is. He can't see beyond what is in front of him. You could make him see that. "

Abigail said nothing. "I helped Mom with the new house...ME! and only ME."

The Hawley diner waitress faced her sister and smiled. "Thanks for reminding that I let you and Mom down."

"Abbie you have an Economics degree."

"He wanted tha..."

"It does not matter. Did he get the A's? Did he work hard and study all the time? NO! All he did was make our lives miserable. He acted as if we would run amuck if he did not tell us how to do everything. That degree is not his it's yours so use it."

Abigail turned away from her sister and stared out the front window. Silence filled the car. A chauffeured car pulled into the parking lot and both sisters knew that it was Abraham. "Nick late again?"

"Yep," Abigail replied.

"He's going to go ballistic. You know he could whip Nick into being a better person and manger"

"Well he wanted to beat him up on his first day. I don't think that they will be friends."

Jenny looked across the street at the Law office called Baltus. "Are they still trying to buy the diner and turn it into a parking lot?"

Abigail looked over at the building. "Yeah,"

"What's the woman's name? I'll look her up and see what I can find out about her."

"Katrina Van Tassel,"

Jenny wrote her name down in her planner. "I'm sure the Van Brunt main frame has something on her."

"What Abraham did not date her?"

Jenny made a face. "He thinks that lawyers are the vermin of the earth. It has something to do with his first business acquisition. The lawyer somehow got half of the property but Abraham got it back and hated lawyers ever since. This is why Irving knows everything about everything. He is the only one that Abraham trusts. I think that he is his only friend."

"Is he in on this?"

"We all are. I talk about you all the time. You have always solved my problems. I know that I am asking a lot of you but there is no one better than you."

Abigail lowered her head. "What do you want me to do Jenny?"

"Make him human. Make him nicer. Just be you but....sexier. Show some interest in him. I will help you if I can. You have to get him to notice you."

"I work in a diner Jenny I can't be sexy here wearing a hairnet."

Jenny frowned at the frown on her sister's beautiful face. "Well then get a real job and help me with Mom. I love my job Abbie."

"That's low,"

"I know and I am sorry. You can help me keep my job Abbie so you don't have to use that degree that you earned all by yourself. You are wasting your life here."

Abigail turned away from Jenny and watched Claude get out of the car and walk towards the back seat to open the door for Abraham. The giant man dressed in the magnificent dark grey suit and sunglasses wore a scowl on his face. "Maybe he needs to go to jail."

"He's very generous and we all love him. He just needs some love in his life...maybe a hug or something." Abigail turned and scowled at her sister. Jenny knew that she had just worn out her welcome and smiled at her sister.

"I am not hugging him."

"He is a very good looking man Abbie and I know that he has noticed you. You might enjoy it."

The frown deepened on her sister's face as Jenny's smile widened. "Are you going to help us?"

Abigail turned away from her sister and looked at the black vehicle in the parking lot. Abraham saw her car and started walking towards it. "He's coming you better leave."

Jenny prepared to leave. "Just be you ….and sexy"

"I am sexy."

"No you're not." Jenny gathered her things and exited her sister's car. She quickly walked over to the car waiting for her. The driver who also worked for Van Brunt sped away. Abigail got out of her car and walked over to greet Abraham. God he was tall she thought as she raised her head and smiled.

"Good morning Abraham."

"Is this asshole always late?"

"He can be sometimes." Abigail moved her long hair behind her ears. Jenny's words rolled around in her mind about helping Van Brunt's employees. The man was not going to make it easy. Her eyes looked down at what she was wearing. The faded blue jeans and black shirt looked out of place next to his crisp suit. She wished that she had worn a skirt or something else.

Abraham's eyes scanned down her body as they stood there. For a diner worker she was exceptional in the beauty department. She was the reason for all the return visits from the patrons. "Why don't you have a key you are possibly his best worker."

"Then he probably would never show up." She watched the man nod at her words.

"If he worked for me there would never be a next time. I did not sign up for this shit."

He watched the smile on her face widen. "No the judge did it for you."

Abigail watched him raise an eyebrow at her words. He was not expecting such a return from her. "Nick is not the greatest owner."

"You are a genius"

"And neither are you from what I hear." Abraham frowned at her retort to his statement.

"Wake up alone again today."

Abigail chuckled. "You will never know and I will never tell. Lisa will train you today."

Nick's car pulled into the parking lot and Abigail walked away from Abraham shaking on the inside but cool and calm on the outside. She could not believe how easily her lie about sleeping with someone flew out of her mouth. She would never say things like that to anyone. This man was like a virus why would anyone want to work for him. Abigail walked up to her boss with a slight frown on her face. Nick smiled at her and let his eyes run over her body. "Are you and Fabio having a little disagreement this morning?"

Abigail looked back at Abraham as he walked towards them. She saw the scowl on his face and turned back to Nick. "Why are you always late? It is not as if I can't find another job. Do you think that I like sitting here waiting around for you? I have to set up the kitchen for Luke he had to take his sister to the hospital this morning."

Nick stopped walking as she ripped into him. "Sorry my car..."

"Whatever Nick, you have enough money to buy many cars that start. And I don't want to know about who or what you were doing last night just open the door."

He stayed far away from her as possible and unlocked the door. Abigail pushed the door open and walked into the semi dark diner.

"What the hell, is she on her period early or something?"

"What would you know about anything that involves her?"

Nick smiled. "You'd be surprised."

"Somehow I don't think so. You are everything that I imagined you to be." Abraham glared at the man as he walked inside the diner.

*()*

Nick wiped the counter as he served Henry another cup of coffee. There was definite change in the atmosphere. Abigail showed her face a few times as she set up the kitchen but she did not smile or speak to anyone. There was a noticeable silence today. Nick discovered that he did not like it...at all. Even Fabio was watching Abigail's comings and goings. He had done something to her to make her angry. She had never been like this all the years that she had worked here.

Abigail smiled at Luke as he walked into the kitchen. "Thank you Abbie for setting up for me."

She returned his smile with a small one. "Anytime Luke,"

"You okay," His concern was on his face as he placed on his apron and began to cook the first order. She nodded and walked out of the kitchen. The strange sound that greeted her as she walked down the hallway made her stop at the entrance to the dining area. She had never heard it this quiet before since she started working here. Not even Henry had an insult for Nick that morning. She could not let this continue. She had a job to do. She had to help her sister and her mother. She had to help Abraham Van Brunt become a human and that was exactly what she was going to do.

Abraham walked out of the employee room and saw Abigail lower her head and take a deep breath. She then lifted her head and walked out to the dining area. He walked to the entrance in time to see her talking to Henry and smiling at his return to her question.

"Hey everybody I found her Nick did not kill her." A cheer went around the diner that made Nick glare at Henry.

"Shut up geritol."

 

Abraham had no idea what Lisa was saying. The girl mumbled instructions about taking orders with her head down. He had to lower his head to hear her but he really was not listening. He was watching Abigail taking orders and laughing. She was in her element around people. Especially with the young lawyer named Orion. He was definitely interested in more than just her coffee. He did not stop smiling at her from the moment she walked towards his table.

"So are you ready to take some orders?" She looked up at him quickly and just as quickly looked back down at her feet. Abraham stared at her light brown hair and then stomped away from her.

Henry chuckled watching the man stomp to the nearest table as if he was trying to bring the building down. Henry continued chuckling until he saw the man sitting at the table sizing Abraham up for a fight. He was Judge Len Holden. He was good friends with Abraham's judge. He would make trouble for Abraham just because he thought that he could. He was also the judge listening to the Baltus law firm complaining about the diner. None of it was true but Len Holden always went to the highest bidder.

"Your order please," Abraham's voice was direct but at least he smiled a little. The judge glared up at Abraham while his wife smiled and proceeded to give him her order.

"You are very rude." Abraham looked down at the man and frowned.

"I don't think that he was rude dear." The woman smiled up at Abraham but her words did not sway Len.

"You could at least greet us before stomping over here." Abraham lowered his pad and looked at the woman.

"Good morning." He said and she smiled at him.

"Good morning to you." Len glared at his wife but continued with his assessment of Abraham's work.

"You are still very rude." Lisa walked up to the table.

"He sounded okay to me." Abraham looked down at the fearful girl as she stared the judge in the eyes. She might be afraid of him but she was not going to let anyone give him a hard time.

"What do you know? He is rude and arrogant."

"Well....not so far. He's been kind of nice today."

Nick started walking towards the table as Len glared up at Lisa. "I don't care. I don't like him. He's a menace and he needs to go to jail."

"It's still not too late to go. I might even bail you out if you take this bastard out." Nick whispered Abraham's ear as he walked past him and stood at the table bringing the entire diner to a standstill.

Now, Judge Holden. I kn...."

"Quiet you, I have half a mind to shut this place down and give it to Baltus for a parking lot."

"HEY NOW LEN!"

The judge looked around Nick and saw Henry sitting at the counter. "Henry Parrish,"

Henry raised his coffee cup in acknowledgement. He did not turn around or stop reading his paper. "Normally I would not get involved in diner talk but you are messing with one of our people and I can't have that. So I just want to say that Jack is sitting over there in the third booth from the window."

Len looked over at the chief of police staring at him as he ate his bacon.

Henry continued. "Then there Bartley your community gate security officer. You know the man who lets you out at night when the lovely Evie is asleep so you can see your mistress on Fifth Street."

"Sixth," Jack said drinking his coffee.

"Oh she changed streets."

"We picked her up yesterday. She thinks that if she moved to another place we won't find her." Jack rolled his eyes after his statement. Sounds of laughter filled the diner after his words.

"You do like them with brains don't you Len." Henry said turning the paper over.

Len stared at his wife across from him. She picked up her fork and tried to stab him but Nick grabbed her arm. "You Bastard, they told me that you were cheating but I refused to believe them. You are finished!"

She pulled away from Nick and pushed her way out of her seat as Len tried to explain himself. She shoved past him on her way out of the diner. Len grabbed his folders and followed her to the door and outside pleading with her all the way.

Once they were outside the chatter returned to the diner as if nothing had happened.

"They don't like him it had nothing to do with you Fabio."

Lisa looked up at Nick. "He was being mean to Mr. Van Brunt for no reason."

Nick stared at the suddenly not so timid waitress and frowned. 'Go clean something."

"But I have to..."

"Abbie we need you over here." Abraham watched Lisa leave as Abigail walked towards them.

"Lisa was doing a great job. She needs to train to improve her skills."

Nick raised both eyebrows as he looked down at her. 'Are you trying to tell me what to do?"

"Someone needs to," Henry said flipping the pages in his paper.

Abraham watched the smile appear on Abigail's face as Nick walked away from them to confront Henry. She enjoyed the people here.

"You feel better now than you did this morning."

Abbie looked up at him. 'What,"

"You are smiling." He watched her roll her eyes but continue to smile.

 

"Let's try another table."

*()*

"How long have you done this?"

Abbie looked across the lunch table at Abraham. He seemed interested in her ever since her anger reared its head this morning. He had not cursed one single time that they worked together. He did seem nicer but that was because Henry kept Nick away from them with his insults. She could possibly do this. However, it would take longer than two weeks, it would take about three years and four days and twenty minutes; but he was showing promise.

"For a year and a half,"

"While many of your co-workers lack people skills you do not."

"Are you included in the co-workers that lack people skills?" She chuckled at his frown.

"I have people skills"

"You don't have people skills."

"I have people skills." His jaw became tight with anger as she smiled with dimples this time.

"Okay if you say so. You did very well with taking orders today." Abraham just stared at this annoying woman smiling at him as if that was going to stop his anger that she personally woke.

"I mean that. I am very proud of you."

"I don't care."

Abigail chuckled and placed the top on her empty salad container. "Yes you do."

Abraham smiled. "As much as you wish I would I do not."

Abigail nodded as she stood. She looked down at him and smiled. "Now I know that you do."

She walked away from the table with Abraham watching her leave. She had been here too long if she thought two days were enough to make him care what anyone thought least of all her. He watched her avoid Nick as he tried to talk to her. "What the hell did you do to her?"

Abraham stared at the man as he came closer. "She was like that before I started working here you just never noticed that she dislikes you."

"He knows he just doesn't care."

Nick balled up his fists hearing Henry's voice. "That old fucker is going to have a nasty fall one day. Wouldn't that upset you Van Brunt you being BFF and all?"

"Jealous," Abraham stood and Nick backed as the big blonde walked past him. Nick snorted at his question as he walked away from him.

*()*

Henry watched Abraham clear away his last table for the night and leave the tips on the table. "Those are yours and I think the blonde left her number."

Abraham grunted. "I don't think so."

Henry chuckled. "Good I think that Nick dated her."

"You follow his love life."

"No I just hate his guts …and everything else."

Abraham chuckled. 'What about Miss Mills?"

Henry raised an eyebrow. "What about her?"

"Her love life....does it exist."

"Why you interested?"

Abraham frowned at the mere suggestion that he would find someone like a diner waitress appealing. He had a standard and she was not it.

"NO"

"Then why are you asking? I know that everyone finds her gorgeous. Even numb nuts tinkles a little in his underwear when he stares at her. It is common that she gets that reaction, so do not beat yourself up about it."

"I don't find her to my liking."

Henry rolled his eyes. "Whatever, she does not have a boyfriend but I think that lawyer fella likes her …a lot. His name is Orion.....something. Lisa knows him. She said that he is good people but I don't know about that. Maybe you could look him up for me with all those connections you got. It would be easier to keep this quiet if you did it."

Did this man think that they were friends because they were talking to each other? These people swayed like flowers in the wind to anyone that smiled at them. They were starved for attention. Abraham would have nothing to do with any of them.

 

Why were they still talking? No one could like Henry after just two days. He was going on his ninth year with Mr. Parrish and he still wrote down ways to kill the old bastard. Nick walked over to them with a frown on his face. "Are you spending the night here Fabio? It's closing time"

Henry sighed and looked at Nick. "You know I am doing my best to help him not kill you. I am trying to show him that all life is precious but you just keep opening your mouth and letting your idiot self-speak."

"You think that you're amusing old man. No one wants you around not even Mrs. Parrish. She sends you here to get out of her house because she hates you."

Henry sighed and folded his newspaper as the rest of the staff came out of the back. "No she is sick of your mother complaining about you. I was sent here to get information for her."

The color drained from Nick's face as he stared at the old thorn in his side. "You're spying on me for that greedy bitch."

Henry frowned at his words about his generous mother. "You show respect she wiped your ass and I leave out all the good stuff."

Nick tried to leap over the counter but Luke quickly grabbed him. Abigail and Lisa watched Luke struggle with Nick as he screamed at Henry.

Abraham thought the scene seemed contrived. Henry knew what would make Nick snap but he never used that in his regular insults, they were planning something.

Henry watched the red faced man struggle with Luke trying to escape his hold. "I don't know why you are so upset. Everyone spies for your mother. She asks all the time about the diner."

Nick began pulling away from Luke. He did not care about the others he just hated this man. Lisa and Abigail jumped in and helped Luke contain the raging diner owner.

Henry looked over at Abraham. He had not moved from his spot. He was not going to get involved with their problems. He was not one of them. He would never be one of them. He had his own code that began and ended with him.

Luke and Lisa helped Nick outside the diner talking to him about going home and cooling off. "Nick I'll lock up. Just go home before anything happens."

Nick opened his car door and looked back at Abigail.

"Everything will be alright I used to do this all the time remember. Just go"

Nick let the angry breath he had been holding escape before he got into his car. Lisa and Luke watched him start it up and drive away.

"So do you think he was really that angry with me?" Henry asked Abraham as he got off his stool.

"He was as angry as you wanted him to be so that he would leave."

Henry chuckled. "He is easily blinded."

Lisa and Luke walked back inside the diner as Abigail began pulling down the shades. Lisa began giggling and followed Luke into the back.

"Well your ride is here?" Henry said as the black limousine pulled into the parking lot. The old doctor said nothing else as he walked towards the back leaving Abraham alone with Abigail.

The reclusive billionaire walked into the back of the diner towards the employee locker room. He could hear the others in the kitchen talking. They suddenly quieted when they heard his heavy footsteps approaching. He did not care what they were planning. He just wanted to leave and take a shower.

Abigail waited for Abraham at the door. She watched the handsome man walk towards her still wearing the hairnet. She decided today that she would not be so helpful towards him. "You're still wearing the hairnet."

Abraham ripped it off his head when she made no move to help him. Abigail opened the door for him as he came closer. "See you tomorrow."

He was about to ask about the scene earlier but Abigail seemed in a hurry to get rid of him. No one hurried him. People paid to be in his presence and this woman was dismissing him as if he was no one. Abraham stopped in the doorway. He saw her look of surprise cover her face.

"Am I holding you from something?"

"No the world does not revolve around you."

How quickly she had changed from annoying to being annoyed with him. Abigail smiled at him. "But I understand that you think it does. See you tomorrow."

She dismissed him with another smile and closed the door in his face. He heard the lock click and then turned and walked away.

 

Claude sneaked peeks in the rear view mirror to study his employer's mood. He was usually quiet but this was a different kind of quiet. Something was bothering him and nothing bothered him. He gave the pain not received it. Mr. Van Brunt stared at the diner until he could no longer see it. Someone had challenged him and that was not a good thing nor was it healthy.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

III

 

Nick threw his cards down on the poker table in disgust. He had just lost all but five hundred of the ten thousand that he had just won several hands ago. The sum was just a drop in the bucket of what he owed to the diner and the loan shark Crane and his associates. Nick lowered his head into his hands. How did this happen to him? Granted he was not the perfect son but he thought that if he took over something that his father loved it would keep him away from gambling. He was an idiot to think he would change. He knew that he would just have more money to spend. The responsibility just made things worse. The stress of the day to day management of the diner made him gamble more. He was his own worst enemy. He wanted to keep all the money so instead of hiring an accountant that he could manipulate; he asked Abbie to balance at the books. He did not count on her being a wiz with numbers and finding out his theft. She threatened to go to his mother since she owned the majority of the business. Nick knew that his mother would not think twice about going to the cops. He never begged so hard in his life. He promised to replace the 150,000 that he owed if she just gave him time. She gave him two weeks.

Nick groaned and moved away from the poker table. He was in a bind and borrowed the money from the Englishman that's what the people on the street called him but his name was Crane. He used that money to repay the diner and now Crane wanted his money back....doubled. Now, he was in real trouble. Crane and his henchmen would make him bleed. He was in so much trouble but he just could not stop. No one could know his evil. Abbie could not tell anyone it would ruin his name. He could pay off Crane with money from the diner. He just had to make sure that Abbie would not talk. So when Crane threatened to kill someone he cared about her name fell from his lips. They would attack her instead of him. He would be able to redeem himself. He would be whole again and no one would know of his evil.

*()*

 

He was there early. He did not know why being dismissed by her plagued his sleep last night. He was grumpy now. He only slept for three hours when his thoughts were not on Abbie and her friends trying to get rid of him. He did not care about their get together. He was not use to anyone dismissing him. He was not Nick Hawley. He was Abraham Van Brunt and no one dismissed him, especially not some small time dimpled smile waitress. He was not going to let her think that she had bested him. He had taken down many men tougher than she was. He would not lose this battle.

Abraham watched as her dark blue SUV pulled into the back of the diner's parking lot and parked. He felt anxious for the first time about something that did not involve money. He got out of the car before Claude reached the door. His gaze never faltered from the driver's side door as he walked across the parking lot towards her vehicle.

 

Abbie grabbed her purse and exited her vehicle. She did not sense the man behind her because her mind was elsewhere. When she turned around Abraham stood right there staring at her as if she had insulted him. A scream escaped her. She was not expecting anyone to be there this early.

"Abraham!" Her hands flew up towards her chest. Her face showed her fear and surprise as she stared up at him. Abraham gave no notion that he was even willing to apologize for frightening her. He just stood there staring down at her. He looked angry to Abbie. She hoped that she had not caused his disagreeable attitude. Abbie turned and closed her car door.

"I was not expecting anyone here this early."

"I was up so I decided to come in."

Abbie smiled up at the man in the dark blue suit and dark sunglasses. Of course, he was an Adonis in world of average men. "Dedicated already I see,"

Abraham frowned when that dimpled smile formed as she turned away from him and walked towards the diner. Dedicated to work here, was she intoxicated? The only reason he was here was because he did not have a reason to go to jail yet. Although the day had just begun, he had a feeling that his lick would change as soon as the owner Nick Hawley arrived. Abraham followed Abbie towards the locked back doors.

"The people here do grow on you."

"You make them sound like a fungus." Her laughter filled the air and surprised him.

"No like friends; you have friends don't you?"

Abraham bristled at her question. What business was it of hers? People were only good to you if you had something that they wanted and he had a lot of things that people wanted. He trusted no one and that was the way he wanted it. "I know people and those people would never be my friends. Not everyone can be trusted."

Abbie unlocked the door and walked inside with Abraham following closely behind her. She put in her code for the alarm and then sat her purse down on the counter.

"What about that gentleman that came with you your first day here?"

"Frank?"

"Yes. You only glared at him twice. I've gotten at least ten in that first day. Isn't he your friend?" Abbie walked by him towards the front of the diner turning on the lights as she passed the switches on the wall. Abraham followed and watched her move around the clean empty diner once they reached the front. She rolled up the clean shades and let the sunlight invade the diner and fight with the electricity.

"Frank is my vice president."

Abbie looked over her left shoulder and saw that he was watching her like a lion watched a gazelle. She did not know if that was good or bad. Was her line of questioning angering him? He did not have to answer her. His dark glasses made her wonder what he was looking at. Was he even looking at her? Abbie turned around and returned her attention to rolling up the shades.

"You can take off your glasses."

Abraham frowned at the smile that followed the command. She thought that she had some power over him but she was mistaken. The sunlight from the window rolled over his face and he felt the heat fill his body. She continued rolling up the shades ignoring him. She was expecting him to comply. He could see her smiling even as she worked. Why was she so happy? Abraham slowly removed his glasses and stared at the occupied woman smiling at herself.

"Why are you smiling?"

Abbie turned and faced the man with the intense blue eyes. He still looked as if he wanted to strangle her but at least he was asking about her. It was a small step but it was a step towards making him …human.

"I love the people here and I love hearing about their lives. They are very interesting. People are interesting if you get to know them. However, the main reason that I am smiling is because I don't work for you."

Another dimpled smile made his muscles twitch. What did she know about any of his business dealings? People fought to work for him. He was the most sought after employer. She had no idea how desirable his company was. "No, you work for Nick Hawley. He is a man of remarkable character that gets along with all especially the elderly. He is a man with unimaginable scruples and etiquette towards his employees; especially to you Miss Mills."

Abbie rolled up the last of the shades and then returned her attention to the billionaire with the attitude. "He is easily controlled."

"Sex,"

The look of horror and surprise that filled her face made him smile. He had made her feel uncomfortable. Usually it took him twenty minutes to make people feel uncomfortable not three days. His happiness began to fade when she started chuckling.

"No, Henry said that a woman would have to be on drugs to sleep with Nick Hawley. I don't do drugs."

The smile on Abraham's face was completely gone when she began walking toward him with a curious look on her face. "You think that low of me because I work here? You think that I would do something like that because we poor folks have no morals?"

Whatever she was implying Abraham was not having any of it. His face contorted into a frown as he prepared to answer her accusation but she smiled at him and walked by him.

"Want to help me in the kitchen after you change?"

Abraham followed her with his eyes as she walked towards the back. She wanted to make him angry. What was wrong with this woman? Either she did not know what she was doing or she did.

 

 

Abraham stared down at the massive grill waiting for its source of power to be given to it. A frown filled his face as he wondered how did the cook Luke cook on  this dinosaur grill every day? The man was a magician to send out the good smelling meals that he did on this apparatus.

"Wow, you got it on the first try. It usually takes me forever to light it."

Abraham threw the match away and stared down at the woman standing beside him. Abbie stared up at the gorgeous giant in the diner uniform. He did not look so angry now. He looked approachable and human. She knew none of his workers ever saw this face. Maybe he felt sorry for saying that she would sleep with Nick. After a moment of thought, Abbie knew that he did not. He actually smiled at her disgusted facial expression. Abbie looked away from Abraham and looked at the lit stove.

"It must be a man thing or something."

Abraham followed her gaze to stove. "It must be."

Abbie moved away from him and began setting out Luke's cooking utensils. "Luke should really have his own restaurant. He is an excellent chef. He would shame every single one of your five star cooks."

"You speak so highly of him. Does he not think that way for himself? Why is he here if he is as good as you say?"

"He did not go to a school to learn to cook. He leaned from his parents and Chef Gerald Frace. He is a well-known master with food However; they do not look at Luke's skill they look at his lack of education at one of their schools and money."

"They run a business and want the best."

"No they want someone who is not Luke. They did not even give him a chance to show them. He is our anchor and if he leaves everyone else will."

Abraham grunted. Abbie raised an eyebrow at the sound. "What is that for?"

"Henry says the same thing about you, although you don't seem to want to leave here."

Abbie faced her coworker. "You think that this is the only skill that I have."

"I don't really care about your skills."

Abbie moved closer to him. "Oh I know that. You're the type that thinks that the world revolves around you. No one else matters but you that is why you are here now. You don't own the world and you never will."

Abbie walked past him as the front bell rang and Nick walked into the diner. He smiled at Abbie as she walked out of the backroom.

"So it's just you and me?"

"What,"

"I've been meaning to ask you about that lawyer who smiles at you all the time."

"Orion? Why would he interest you Nick?" Abbie walked towards the front counter as Nick moved towards her.

"Abbie I worry about you. That guy looks shady."

Abbie sighed and began putting the drawer in the cash register. "Orion is just a friend Nick."

Nick walked towards the counter and stood beside her. "He wants more than that. I hear what he says to his friends."

"You know Henry already told me what you were going to say to me about Orion. He said that you ran it by him yesterday."

Nick's face turned a curious shade of red. "That old fucker, you all think that he is good but he is evil and I don't want him in here anymore."

Abbie closed the cash drawer and looked at her boss with annoyance. He was really starting to get on her nerves. The real reason she was getting annoyed was because he made her think about her accomplishments that her father forced her to achieve. She hated the man and wanted nothing to do with him. Jenny could tell her until she was blue in the face that she did all the work but none of that mattered. She hated everything that he had touched in her life.

"I don't want you Nick. I will never want you. Stop trying to look out for me. I don't want your help and I don't need it."

Nick moved closer to her. "You have no idea what you are saying"

Abbie rolled her eyes and tried to walk away from him but Nick grabbed her arm as Abraham decided to make his appearance felt. Both stared at the big blonde staring at them. Nick released Abbie.

"What are you doing here?"

"Unlike you I am here to work. I also do not touch my workers under any circumstances."

Nick chuckled. "Oh Abbie and I are friends"

Abbie rolled her eyes again and walked away from the counter. "I am sure that Henry will like to know what I said to you."

Nick glared at Abbie. "I told you that he is never allowed in here."

Abbie smiled. "Really,"

Nick looked back at Abraham. He looked ready to pound on him. What did these two do in the back bond or something?

"I doubt Fabio wants to go to jail for us poor people Abbie."

Abbie looked at Abraham and frowned. "I don't need or want him to fight for me. I can take care of myself and you know that I can."

Nick looked at his best worker and knew that she had all the power. She was not above going to his mother and telling her that he was stealing from the business to feed his gambling habit. He promised her that he would pay it back. He had the money but still held it and the deadline was drawing nearer. He had more than just the diner to repay. The loan shark Crane would soon send his man to collect. Nick was sure that that man was already here to beat the money out of him. He had a choice the diner or his reputation and looking at Abbie's angry face made his decision easier by the second

"Just remember who owns this diner."

"I know who owns this diner; Mrs.. Claudia Hawley"

Nick glared at her as he walked towards the backroom. Abbie stared back at him.

Abraham followed her into the back. "He seems agitated"

"He should be."

"Why?"

The intense blues bore into her soul. Abbie looked away from them. "You only have four days left no need to get into our business."

"So there is an us with Nick." He saw anger flash across her face.

"NO, I have no designs on that dishonest degenerate. He is a worthless son and an even more worthless man"

Abraham towered over her as he came closer. She did not turn away from his stare this time. Her anger made her brave. "Had I not been here what would that dishonest degenerate have done to you."

She had three week of defense training and she had hidden knives around the counter. He had found some but not all. Who was she kidding Nick was much stronger and faster than she was. He was under a deadline and desperate. Abbie sighed. "I don't know. I am glad that you were here. Thank you Abraham."

Why did those words mean more to him then they should? His face showed no emotion but his insides quivered with a strange feeling. Someone actually was glad he was around and not cursing his name under their breath. She was different. She was not going to agree with anything he said without a fight.

"I should speak to him."

"He's just under pressure. He will apologize."

Abraham frowned at her words. "I will take that under consideration."

Abbie grabbed his left wrist. "Please don't cause any more stress to him. I have to work here."

He looked down at her hand then back into her eyes. "You should find better employment deserving of your dedicated service."

Her grip slipped from his arm and Abraham walked away from her.

 

 

Nick banged his head lightly on his desk. All he needed was Fabio getting interested in this diner and checking him out behind his back. He raised his head and watched the door open. His worst nightmare walked inside his office.

"What are you doing in here?"

Abraham closed the door and Nick's fear grew. Abraham stared at the man behind the desk. The silence from the man made Nick tremble.

"You got something you want to say before I call the cops?"

"What troubles you may have are your own and not Miss Mills."

Nick chuckled. "She is the problem."

"You caused your problems even I can see that."

"Look at your own ass Van Brunt."

Abraham moved towards the desk and Nick moved back from the desk. "Don't touch her again."

"You think riding in here on your white horse will make her spread her thighs for you. Money doesn't work so I doubt that you have a chance."

"Your depraved thoughts are your own but if you touch her again I will gladly call the cops myself after I break every bone in your face and hands."

The door opened and Luke stuck his head inside and looked at Nick. He was the spy sent by Henry to make sure that Abraham did not make too much of a mess in the office that they could not clean up quickly. Once he saw that nothing was happening Luke had to think of a lie. "Henry said that lady lawyer from across the street is here and wants to see you."

Abraham turned away from Nick and walked out of the room. Luke watched his boss shake and then try to regain his composer. "I'll be right out."

 *()*

 

Kevin sat in his car across the street from the diner watching people walking around Downtown. He pulled out his phone and called his boss. "Yeah there is a woman there with him. She's beautiful. I can't see her with him though."

"You just want her for yourself Kevin." The pure British accent made Kevin smile.

"Maybe but I have seen how she ignores him. He is just her boss. He's lying to us."

"He is a liar.  He is trying to keep her safe. What man wants something that beautiful to get hurt. I want you to make some noise about her Kevin."

"I will do as you say but she is too gorgeous for Hawley."

The Englishman chuckled. "Just make sure that Mr. Hawley knows that we are watching him and his woman."

Kevin sighed. "Alright,"

He hung up the phone and pulled out his knife and crowbar. He was planning a massacre on Abbie's car.

Chapter Text

 

Chapter IV

 

 

 

He could feel his eyes on him all day. He could feel them penetrating his shirt and searing his skin. Fabio had it in for him and it was all Abbie's fault. He had no idea what they had done in the back but he was sure it was something that agreed with the blonde giant stalking him from the dining room as he took orders with Lisa watching. Nick tried to stay out of sight but Henry kept talking to him as if they were buddies or something. He knew that this was all a ploy to keep Fabio's mind on him. The privileged court appointed employee did not need Henry Parrish's help to stay on task.

"What in the hell do you want, you old fucker. You know that I don't fish or do any of that stuff you old geezers do to pass the time before you die."

Henry chuckled. "I just like seeing you tremble every time Abraham looks at you. He's going to kill you after work I heard him talking about it with the Jack over there in the corner. I told you to leave Abbie alone but you just don't listen."

Nick glared at the smiling old fart and then walked towards the back. He heard Abbie talking on her phone to her sister. She was doing that more now than she normally did. They were up to something. He heard Abraham's name come up and decided to listen in on the conversation.

"I don't know Jenny; I can't work miracles. He thinks that he rules the world and I can't talk him out of that. He does not listen to anyone. I don't know how you think that he will listen to me and change. He does not wish to change."

Nick raised an eyebrow. What were these two planning with Fabio? He knew that the rich man would not like to know that he was part of someone's game. He already hated working here knowing that someone was trying to manipulate him would not go over well. He heard Abbie laugh and then she turned around and saw him standing there. She looked surprised and then angry.

"I have to go Jenny I'll call you later."

Nick chuckled. "So what are you two planning with Fabio?"

"Absolutely nothing that concerns you. She asked me about work and why I am still here.... putting up with you and your criminal antics."

His smile vanished and his anger appeared. "I am not a criminal I just got into some trouble and you would not understand that because you are perfect."

"I am not perfect I just think it's wrong to take money that does not belong to you."

Nick moved towards her. "You keep talking about that like I don't know time is running out."

Abbie stepped back as Nick advanced. "I know that you are doing something with Fabio. Why else would he be so evil towards me now? He only has ten days left here. I can outlast that but you won't. I will tell him about your little conversation if you even think of telling my secret Abbie. I don't know how Jenny is involved in this but I bet he would find out."

Her eyes opened wide with fear and he knew that he had struck gold. She would do anything for her sister. She called him a criminal and he saw no reason to stop his descent into evil. Nick moved closer and raised his hand towards the long hair hanging over her shoulder. "What are you going to do to keep me quiet?"

Abbie slapped his hand away and stepped around him. Nick chuckled and grabbed her elbow and pulled her back to him. "I did not hear your answer."

"Nothing you are a desperate man trying to scare me but it is not going to work. I am not afraid of you Nick and you know it."

Nick released her and smiled. "Yeah I know that but Fabio is another animal all together. What would him knowing that you and your sister have it out for him do to your budding friendship?"

Her beautiful face contorted into a frown and Nick lost some of his bravado. "Abraham and I are not friends we just work together and whatever you are insinuating is all in your little mind."

"I don't care what you say Abbie but you better keep your mouth shut about me and my problems or you will regret it and I mean exactly what you are thinking."

Abbie stared up at her now smiling boss as he moved closer to her. "Although you could change my mind about telling Fabio about your plan if you were just a little nicer to me and invited me over for dinner or something."

~

Henry frowned as he watched the entrance to the back. Where was Abbie? Nick was gone for far too long and that could only mean trouble for Abbie. He knew that Nick was acting stranger than normal and that Abbie knew why. She would not tell Henry the reason but he was sure that it was something that would drive Nick to harm her. "Hey Brom, where's your victim."

Abraham looked up towards the front desk and saw that it was empty. He then looked back at Lisa and she took over taking orders for him. Henry folded his paper as Abraham walked towards the front counter. The police chief in the corner took another sip of his coffee before getting up and following Abraham. Henry got out of his seat and then walked around the counter and towards the back.

 

"I'd die before I let you touch me."

Nick chuckled. "Aww that's so cliché Abbie but I don't think that you mean it."

Nick moved closer. "Abbie,"

Nick suddenly moved away as Abraham walked into the locker room. Nick smiled at the blonde giant. "You want something Fabio?"

Henry and the police chief Jack walked into the room and Nick's smile turned into a frown. "What the hell are you doing in here?"

Henry looked at Abbie. "Are you alright?"

Abbie nodded at him. Nick snickered at the audience. "I don't know why you all think that I would do anything to the innocent Miss Mills. She and I are friends."

Nick walked towards Abraham with a smirk on his face. "You can get off your white horse Fabio there is nothing here but work."

Nick walked towards Henry. "You are not allowed back here."

"I was going to help clean up the mess after Abraham broke your nose but I'll wait until next time because there will be a next time because you are you."

Nick glared at the old man and then walked between he and the police chief.

*()*

 

Abraham sat alone in the break room wondering why it bothered him that Nick wanted to hurt Abbie. Hell he even wanted to hurt her to but not physically. He did not like the rattled look that he could see on her face as he studied her while Nick did his monologue in the back. She had a secret that she was not telling anyone and it was causing her harm. Henry had asked him to check out the lawyer Orion that had a crush on her but Abraham would do him one better he was going to look in to what Nick Hawley was doing to cause this friction with his best employee.

Wait a minute what was he doing getting involved with something that he would leave in ten days. He did not care what went on in these people's lives but he did care that Nick Hawley had crossed him and ignored his words about touching Miss Mills. Nick was the only reason that he was going to look into this diner and its problems. Abbie was just collateral damage.

The soft scent that slowly swirled around his body prompted Abraham to raise his head as Abbie walked into the break room holding her arm. She did not see Abraham sitting there and let her guard down. She was sure that she had a bruise and pulled up the right sleeve of her shirt and saw a slightly darker skin near her elbow. Her body shook with revulsion remembering what Nick wanted in return for keeping her secret about Abraham. If he told Abraham about Jenny. Her sister would be fired and she could not have that. Concern filled her face and then she heard heavy footsteps coming in her direction. She quickly looked to her right and saw Abraham looking at her arm. She quickly covered and it and stared up at him with surprise.

"at are you doing in here?"

"Did he do that to you?"

"What?"

Abraham raised an eyebrow why was she stalling with her answer. He did not care if he went to jail for hurting this man. "Did he touch you?"

Abbie moved away from him. "Don't concern yourself with Nick he will get what is coming to him. You only have ten days so just relax and ride it out."

Abraham stared at her for a moment and then headed for Nick's office. Abbie blocked the door with her body. She stretched her arms out to make her body look bigger. Abraham glared down at her as he stood there ready to move her aside.

"You cannot go to jail because of some alpha dog contest between you and Nick. He is not worth any of your time. The others in the cell would laugh at you because of it. he is nothing and you know that."

"And you know that you should not be here letting him touch you. It's even worse than the way that he looks at you."

He watched her body shake with revulsion. "I.... I know and I am not going to be here for long so don't waste your time and knuckles pounding his face."

She was panicking. She was afraid and desperate to keep Abraham away from Nick. She knew that her cowardly boss would tell what he knew to save his own ass. Abraham Van Brunt probably knew everyone that worked for him. It would not take him long to find Jenny and fire her. She had to keep them apart. Abbie stared up at the frowning face of her co-worker and smiled with dimples. She could do nothing else. Her body was stuck and her heartbeat raced with fear of failing her sister and mother again.

Abraham stared down at her flawless complexion as he considered his options. A frowned filled his face when that annoying dimpled smile filled her face as if she could diffuse his anger. He stepped closer to her and loomed over her tiny form easily. He heard a gasp of fear as he leaned down towards her.

"Stop smiling at me,"

Abbie tried but she was nervous and it kept creeping back on her face. Abraham's anger increased.  "I can't help it I am nervous and afraid that you will push past me and kill Nick even though he deserves it."

He did not relinquish his position close to her body as his angry subsided. "You don't have to be afraid of me."

The blue of his eyes seemed softer to her but she was not sure if it was just the bad lighting in the break room or her fear that made her see that. She lowered her head so that she would stop looking at him thinking that not seeing him would make her fear go away. Abraham lowered his lips to her ear.

"You can put your arms down I will not beat Nick today."

Abbie slightly raise her head. She could smell his strong scent of maleness at least that what she thought it was. He smelled powerful. "Are you sure?"

He frowned at her words but repeated what he had said a few seconds ago. Abbie slowly lowered her arms but did not move from his path.

"What will you do if you are not here?"

Abbie looked at his side profile as he spoke. "I have prospects."

Abraham pulled his head back so that he could look down into her eyes. "Such as,"

Abbie frowned and then smiled forgetting that he told her not to smile at him. Abraham frowned at the feelings running through his body when he looked at her as she smiled.

"I'm sorry I forgot." Abbie squeezed past him and walked back into the break room. She waited for Abraham to turn and face her and when he did she smiled at him again. Abraham's frown grew but she continued smiling.

"Are you offering me job Mr. Van Brunt?"

Why was she just standing there smiling at him as if she could sway him with her presence and words? Abraham slowly approached her. "What qualifications do you have to work for me other than annoyance."

Her laughter and smile afterwards caused his right eyebrow to raise. "And disobedience,"

Abbie rolled her eyes at his chastising. "Do you think that Nick will let me leave a few minutes early so that I can go grocery shopping."

Abraham gave her a look. "I can see that happening for you."

Her smile again made him frown again as Nick walked into the break room. "And what do I have here....¦a love connection. Abbie you could do so much better. Customers are waiting for you."

"Don't listen to him Abbie." Henry's voice reached Nick's ears and he turned from them and screamed.

"I thought that I told you to get out of this diner!"

"You told me a lot of things but I don't listen to you. Abbie its almost closing time anyway and the diner is empty."

Abbie smiled but when Nick turned around she frowned at him and walked towards the locker room.

Nick shook his head and turned back towards Abraham. "You know that old fucker is going to talk himself into a beating."

"Just like you, I only have ten days left and at the end of those ten days I am going to beat you. Nothing will change that. I am done listening to anything that you wish to say. It is now my turn to press my advantage over you."  Abraham walked passed the frightened owner and went out towards Henry Parrish. Nick went to the door and saw Henry asking Lisa for a piece of paper as he began writing something down for Abraham.

All Abraham asked him was the correct spelling of Nick's last name but he started writing other information. Nick watched his wealthy court appointed employee chuckle. He had never seen this man chuckle or show anything other than anger. Fear overtook his body as he walked from the door and towards his office. He pulled out his phone and called his enemy.

"I thought I told you not to call me every again" The perfect English accent filled Nick's ears as he paced his office.

"Look I have a problem. You want your money then we are going to have to help each other."

"You owe me money I don't owe you anything."

Nick ran his left hand through his dirty blonde hair. "Look I know that you are having problems cleaning your money because of your guy getting pinched as your people like to say. I can help you with that if you take care of a few things for me."

The silence from Ichabod Crane caused Nick to shake even more. If This man would not help him then he was as good as dead.

"I'm listening,"

"I need you to kill my mother,"

"We were already planning that."

"She's out of town so you are going to have to do it next week. With her gone I will have total control."

"What else?"

Abbie walked by his door Nick went to the hallway and watched her walking away from him dressed in her normal clothes. "I need you to scare someone?"

"The woman that works for you that hates your innards."

Nick glared at the phone and then put it back to his ear. "Yes."

"We have already started that."

Nick chuckled. "No you see she knows about the money so I need her afraid for her life. I need her willing to do anything to be safe."

"Will this help me get my money?"

"Oh it will help us both for the rest of our lives."

Ichabod smiled at Nick's reply. "Consider it done"

Abraham walked passed his door. Nick thought about asking Crane to take care of him but that would draw too much attention and there was no guarantee that Crane could do it. Abraham had lots of connections and the man was scary dangerous.

"Pleasure doing business with you." Nick hung up his phone and then turned he lights off in his office. He checked the diner to make sure it was empty and then turned off all the lights and pulled down all the shades. The set the alarm and then walked out the front door and locked it. He walked around the back and saw Abbie standing there staring at her destroyed SUV. The words your next scratched into the driver side door is what chilled her blood the most. She looked at Nick as he approached the scene.

"What the fuck is this!" Nick did his best to sound incredulous.

"I know you had something to do with this Nick."

The look of terror on her face made Nick's body hard. "No but I can give you a lift home and possibly have dinner with you."

Abbie just stared at him in disbelief as she backed away from him as he smiled. A black chauffeured Mercedes pulled into the back parking lot. Abraham stepped from the car holding the hairnet as if it were an ugly squirming creature. His attention quickly turned to Abbie's vehicle and Nick standing there trying to look concerned. Abbie was beside herself with shock and anger. She could only stand there and stare at her vehicle. Abraham walked over to Nick ad gave him the hairnet. He then faced Abbie.

"I'll take you home and send someone to take care of your car."

Abbie looked up at him for a moment. He had shown her earlier that he was a man of his word by not going after Nick when he had every opportunity to do so. She knew that everything would be alright in his hands. "Okay,"

Nick watched Abraham lead her to his car and then get in behind her. The Mercedes pulled away from him. This was just one incident in many to get this innocent Miss Mills into his bed. Once she was under his control, there would be no threat to his activities with Crane. A smile filled his lips and he continued walking to his car.

*()*

"Do you think that he did this?"

"No, he likes to brag and he would not do anything that would cost him any of his money. I don't know who I upset." Abbie shook her head as she searched her memory for any enemy. The only one that she could find was Nick.

"Maybe he knows who did it. he did not seem concerned about your predicament."

"No he was not concerned. All he wanted was to take me home and other disgusting things..... I am going to Baltus tomorrow. Katrina Tassel keeps calling me and I think that it is time that I uprooted myself."

Abraham frowned. "No don't go to her. She is possibly worse than Nick Hawley. She would use you as a slave and then throw you away. No one last more than two years with her"

"How do you know that?"

"I have hired some of her former workers. They are much happier now."

Abbie took a deep breath and relaxed in her seat. She was surprised that she did not feel worried right now. Abraham said that he would take care of things and she had just let him take over but it felt okay. It was just her car and not her life or anything. "I will pick you up tomorrow."

Abbie smiled as she faced him. "Thank you but Luke can pick me up."

"I drive right by your home it would not be a problem." He stared at her smiling at him until She remembered that he did not like that and she turned away from him.

"I don't think that that would look right and we both have images to keep up. Me sweet and innocent and you dangerously scary."

Her laughter made Abraham raise an eyebrow. Claude smirked from the front seat unseen by his boss.

"You don't seem afraid of me now even though I know where you live." In Henry's zeal to give him all of Nick's information he added Abbie's address, phone number, email address and her favorite colors. He also added some topics for him to talk with her about if they were ever alone.

Abbie faced him still smiling. "You would not be caught dead in my neighborhood."

Abraham smirked. "Is that a challenge?"

"No, it just is not country club and umbrella drinks but it is quiet."

"I don't live in or by a country club." Abbie could see the annoyance on his face.

"Why are you always angry. You are a very handsome man but your frowning makes you look scary."

Abraham leaned closer to her and stared into her eyes. "You annoy me."

He watched her smile at his words. She was not thinking about her vehicle because he said that he would take care of it. he did not like the feelings that came over him because she trusted him without knowing that she did. Abraham's eyes moved down her body and then returned to her eyes. "Do you have other clothing?"

Abbie looked down at her jeans and shirt. "Yes why?"

"Well you said that you needed to go grocery shopping."

Abbie shook her head. "You don't have to do that. I...."

"What are you going to eat? You will have a vehicle by tomorrow evening. I am here now so I will make sure that you are taken care of as a co-worker would want to help another."

"Well co-workers don't normally go this far."

"I am different."

"You don't even like me." Her smile was a big and beautiful as ever and Abraham moved even closer forcing her against the door.

"Stop smiling at me,"

Abbie slowly removed the amusement from her lips. Well she tried her best but it returned as he watched her. She liked this Abraham sitting with her in the car. He made her feel safe and secure even though his face was just a few inches from hers. She did not feel as if she had to defend herself. He was in perfect control of his body and emotions.

"You are so disobedient." An unfamiliar surge of pleasure rolled throughout her body when a slow smile formed on Abraham's lips before he moved away from her. She had never seen him smile at anyone like that. All of his smiles were smirks with the promise of violence. She stayed where he left her for a moment before relaxing in her seat. She looked over at him and saw that he was still staring at her. She turned away and hoped that he could not see how all of a sudden she was nervous.

"I will take you home and return to take you to dinner to further show that I am a concerned co-worker."

Abbie chuckled and then faced him. He was not trying to make her do anything that she did not want to do. He was offering to feed her because he knew that she did not have food. He did listen when he wanted to. Abbie smiled again even though he frowned at her but not with not much malice.

"Okay,"