Disclaimer: I own nothing but my imagination. Characters belong to CBS and P&G.
Kairos ~ ~ Chapter 1
A/N: Kairos is an ancient Greek word regarding time. It signifies a time in between, a moment of undetermined period of time in which something special happens. This story is slightly A/U; It differs in regards to minor additional characters, time line for the My Two Mommies project, Olivia's childhood, and her schooling in London.
A/N Takes Place between 02Jan2009 and 15Jan2009 episodes. (After Christmas and before the two mommies presentation.)
Fandom: Guiding Light Pairing: Olivia/Natalia/Gregg/Emma and Random Misc Characters.
Ratting: NC 17
Natalia Rivera sat at the head of the conference table. A laptop open to her left and leather a day plainer to her right. Her russet eyes darting back and forth, she listened to the arguments swirling between the banquet manger and the restaurant manger. Natalia heard "Bacon wrapped shrimp are not kosher, and not a good idea for finger foods at a Bar Mitzvah Betsy." Natalia's mind drifted back to the morning.
She pictured it. The farmhouse kitchen with Olivia.
"Bacon, I smell bacon." The sleepy hotelier said while stumbling into the room.
The Latina looked over her shoulder. She perused Olivia, starting at her bare feet, traveling up her shapely legs, and hips encased in black P.J. bottoms, to her bare toned torso, black sports bra wrapped breasts and the white open robe.
" Where are your slippers?" Natalia quipped, "The exercise is paying off Liv. You look fit and healthy. You seem to just glow. Darn, I'm embarrassing myself, Ms. Spencer, in the words of Billy Crystal and Richardo Montalban, Darling you look fabulous, simply fabulous. "
Olivia smiled. She scrutinized the younger woman. "That's my super hero, in long underwear, and hair in braids. By the way what's with the Pippi Longstocking do?" Olivia queried as she eased closer to the stove and her housemate. "I'll just help myself to coffee, and some fruit." The older woman casually lifted a dish cloth covered plate.
"Olivia Spencer there is no bacon." Natalia chuckled, "Could you try and get our daughter, I mean Emma up and ready for school?"
The hotelier retorted "Rivera I smell bacon, where is it?" Natalia replied "I'm sweating onions, garlic, bell peppers, and Ají caballero peppers in bacon grease. I'm making Pernil. It's Puerto Rican slow cooked pork. Liv you put lots of extra miles on your pedometer, you deserve a treat." The younger woman stirred the mixture in the black iron skillet. "Missy take your splendid self out of the kitchen. Get dressed, get Emma, and then I'll treat you to a healthy breakfast."
"Oh I'm fabulous and splendid , but I'm not near as adorable as you are in your braids, and long johns..."
Olivia smiled innocently before grabbing both ends of braided hair and deftly loosening them. The Latina's hair sprang from it confines and flowed about her face and down her back, a wild black river of silk. Olivia paused and lifted some of the wayward hair to her face. "Yummo, I still smell bacon."
...Ah life with Emma and Olivia is never boring. A life littered with happy moments. Natalia pulled herself back from her musings.
"Where are we on the Arron Bar Mitzvah, the Tillman's Silver anniversary and the winter employee party? " Natalia's questions stopped the tirade.
Betsy Stephens replied first. "On the Tillman's event, Buzz from Company is doing the catering we are only providing a room, and the pay as you go bar. The Bar Mitzvah menu needs some tweaking. The Employee Party is still being planed in detail, tiny little details." Betsy Stephens concluded.
Greg Parker, a rangy beanstalk of a man, with dark wavy brown hair, brown green eyes, and a mischievous smile, sat ramrod straight at the conference table. "'Why doesn't anybody care about the little things? It's the little things that make or break an event." Greg agonized, he flailed his hands to emphasis his agitation.
Betsy Stephens lounged, in the leather chair beside him. She snarled "Parker what are these little things? Are you still in a huff about using plastic, not china plates, and crystal stemware? Are you in a tizzy over the balloon arrangements instead of silk flowers? This is a party, not a royal reception.".
Natalia's characteristically sweet nature had evaporated. She pressed her plush dusty pink lips together in a half frown. Her coca hued eyes slanted in exasperation. The bickering and snide comments had laid waste to any warmth or humor she could generate. She felt like a referee in a spit ball fight.
"Paul and I make the staff parties' events." Greg miffed.
Betsy Stephens fiddled with her dish-water blond hair. An air of boredom floated from the slightly plump women."Parker if you get to book a three piece band, I want an open bar. It would make this a truly adult event." Betsy shot back.
Natalia quietly asserted, "You two work out the details, and hand them over to me. I'm not buying that an open bar goes with live music. This will be a family party no themes, ice sculpture and champagne fountain. This is not a formal affair. I didn't get a high school prom however; I'm not going to force others to re-live theirs. Natalia advised.
"Betsy, I want to make myself clear; we are not glamorizing alcohol at this party. Non-Alcoholic drinks will be readily severed and pushed."
Betsy and Greg both rose to leave the conference room. "Greg, please stay a moment." Natalia insisted.
"Betsy I need the monthly inventory for the bar from you by tomorrow close of business." The last comment directed at Betsy Stephens had the desired effect of hurrying her out of ear shot.
"Greg, Ms. Spencer's birthday is in February. I'd like something special. Her brother Sam and daughter Ava plan on coming here to surprise her." Natalia advised.
"How about a Valentine's Day party, slinky sexy dresses and tuxedos,... " Greg replied.
Natalia interrupted "I was thinking Dinner and a Murder Mystery Party, or a Luau, or a Casino Night Party. Ms. Spencer is lucky with cards not with love." Natalia concluded.
Greg sauntered off. The Puerto Rican followed him out of the room and took the elevator to her office.
Natalia felt the pain of a headache starting in her shoulders and snaking up her neck. Stiffing and tightening muscles traveled into the base of her head. A dull throbbing at her temples gave an advance notice of a migraine. She tried to ignore it. She fished in her huge black purse for aspirin, nothing. Knocking at the door interrupted her search. "Yes, who is it?" The door cracked open Sarah Wojahowski appeared. Fair skinned, brown twinkling eyes and short amber brown hair, Natalia rubbed at her neck and glared at the intrusion.
"Ms. Rivera, Here is a fax that came into the front desk, We forwarded you an electronic copy, but it bounced back. Are you alright?" Sarah chirped.
"I'm fine." Natalia groaned. Sarah eased forward and handed the fax over. Natalia rubbed the back of her neck with one hand.
Sarah rejoined "Do you have a pain in your neck. I hope it is not caused by your most recent hire."
"No Sarah you are not the cause. It is a jumble of things, the winter party is the cherry on top."
Sarah moved behind Natalia, "I don't think you can get the right angle to rub the kinks out. I'm no expert but let me try." Sarah tentatively placed her hands on the Lanita's exposed shoulders. She moved her thumbs in small semi circular motions.
"Ouch you hands are ice cold." Natalia exclaimed.
"Sorry, I have the legendary Cold Hands Warm Heart Disease. Tell me about the event." Sarah inquired.
"It is not an event. Greg and Paul normally take care of it with no problems. Paul is at the Chicago Beacon. He is training the staff there." Natalia explained.
"Is a Greg is jealous that the Food and Bev honcho is off training another staff? Training is not for the faint of heart. It requires skill and patience. The Winter Party thing should be a snap for Greg." Sarah surmised.
"Greg is getting into full diva persona over it. He insists everything must be perfect. It's a staff party. He is worse than Dianna Ross PMSing. When he starts throwing up his hands and hysterical moans 'Why doesn't anybody care about the little things? It's the little things that make or break an event.' I want to say to him Miss Scarlett there are far far better things to get your knickers twisted over, frankly my dear I don't give a fiddle-de-dee." Natalia ranted quietly.
"Totally awesome. You just mix a 'Tale Of Two Cities" and 'Gone With The Wind' Greg would enjoy it. You know all diva's adore classic drama. Sarah rejoined.
"Ouch again Sarah, are you trying to rub my neck or wring it. Ah I think you found the kinkiest of knots ah yeah just a little harder and to your left,...ah so good..."
"Ah so good " Olivia heard through the cracked open door of her assistant, Natalia's office. Her involuntary response of jealousy mixed with curiosity amused her. Jade green eyes sparkled at the thought. I'm too old for such nonsense as jealousy. Curiosity had become a constant companion for her. Natalia was an enigma. She pondered that enigma with affection.
Olivia was holding two mugs in one hand and a brown file folder in the other as she pushed the door open with one hip. Glaring at the two younger women Olivia arched an eyebrow. Striding into the room, setting the mugs and folder down on the desk. "If you two are going to start braiding each other's hair, I can come back." Olivia teased.
She surveyed the situation. Natalia's head was resting on her folder arms. Sarah was behind her. Sarah's hands firmly moving on Natalia's back. Nothing was overtly amiss. Yet it felt unsettling. An unwelcome reminder that Natalia had a plethora of friends and acquaintances. People loved her. People willing to do a kindness or two for her. Everyday things holding elevators, or locating lost keys, or hold her hand at church.
Sarah removed her hands quickly from Natalia's neck a guilty hand-in-the-cookie jar look crossed her face. "I was just helping Ms. Rivera. She couldn't reach the kinks herself."
"I surmised as much." Olivia affirmed "Please call a masseuse."
"Yes Ms. Spencer. How about Yvonne Adamicz." Olivia nodded her agreement.
"Wow that is such an awesome suit Ms. Spencer. it is Armani right, too cool. Black is a great color on you, and the lavender shirt makes it pop. Are those driving mocs? You always look so polished." Sarah gushed.
"Sarah flattering my taste in clothes is not necessary. I'm not going to dismiss you over a back rub. Killing the professor with a candle stick in the bar yes. Having sex in the garden shed yes. Doing a line of cocaine with Eric Clapton yes. Rubbing my Executive Assistant's back no." Olivia deadpanned.
"OK Boss. No sex, no homicide, no drugs, no fun." Sarah chimed.
" Get back to work before the boss changes her mind, and oh yes there are driving mocs." With that Olivia swatted Sarah on her behind on the way out of the office. "That scamp, why did you hire her?" Olivia inquired.
"I hired her to keep us young, hip and awesome. Olivia my head and neck still hurt. You drove away my masseuse." Natalia pouted.
"Oh really, I requested a replacement. You need that vacancy filled post haste?" Olivia moved behind Natalia. While rubbing her hands together to warm them Olivia teased Natalia "Is this part of your plan to get me to do more manual labor?" Strong fingers kneaded her tense muscles, working from the back of her neck down to the top of Natalia's bra. Then traveling up with her thumbs reaching the nape of her neck. Pausing Olivia, listened to the content sighs from Natalia. She tenderly ran her fingertips into the back of Natala's hair savoring the soft thick mane.
Natalia found herself lost in the delicious feel of Olivia's hands upon her skin. Her skin tingled all over not just her shoulders and back. Her nipples and thigh muscles tightened. She envisioned Olivia's warm supple fingers in her hair and upon her neck. Natalia loosened two buttons on dress to give Olivia better access to her back.
Olivia was preoccupied as well. The simple pleasures human touch, shared confidences, and shared humor, brought a sense of completeness to Olivia. She felt happiness and joy. Emotions Olivia Spencer knew were fleeting for her. The proverbial other shoe would fall.
Gingerly smiling to herself. Joy, happiness and loving kindness, Olivia reflected. Ava and Emma were her joy, and brought her happiness, Josh and Buzz brought her kindness, but only Natalia Rivera gave her all three to overflowing. Life is good. I am in the present. I am in the now.
"Lord help me Ms. Spencer is omniscient . How did she find out about me in the kitchen herb garden with Tracy. Breathe in with the good air out with the bad." Sarah thought.
The petite brunette halted in front of the elevator, pulled a cell phone out of a pocket and said "Call Yvonne, Hi there. Are you booked today? How soon can you get to the Beacon? under a half hour okay. The who, Ms. Rivera, the what a back, shoulders, neck massage. Payment, oh and I'll double check but I think it will be billed to medical. The Where? I'll check but it could be in her office. " Turning away from the elevator Sarah strode back to Natalia's office and knocked, "Ms. Spencer, Ms. Rivera Yvonne can be here in 20 to 35 minutes, where would you like the massage here or in one of the vacant rooms. "
Olivia bent down and whispered "La mia dolce amica, would you like the masseuse here or in my suite?"
Natalia felt Olivia's breath caressing her ear and the side of her neck. It made her quiver. Turning her head slightly she admired the full red lips, shapely arched blond eye brows above lovely sea green eyes. "Olivia did you say dulce amiga? I didn't know you spoke Spanish. Natalia mused to herself "Her voice is just this side of epicurean delights. Epicurean that is a ten point word... I've got to stop playing scrabble with Blake."
"Close Natalia I said 'la mia dolce amica' Italian for my umm friend.
"Olivia my neck, and head hurt too much to make decisions or argue I'm happy to be your sweet friend."
"Sarah, tell Yvonne my suite. Okay my sweet friend, I have a conference call in less than an hour. Franchise business to wrap up . I'll call Emma's school. I want her to take the school bus here. She and I can eat dinner while you get your massage. Then I'll drive the three of us home." Olivia stopped massaging her assistant and remarked "Emma wanted me to surprise you with a new coffee mug she made. Surprise. She made two in art class. Mine is the pink one and yours is the blue one. I think she mix the paints they both look purple to me. I just hope I don't mix them up."
Natalia raised her head and looked closely at the mugs replied "Liv look she put a big "N" on this one and a big "O" on the other one." Natalia sat up right in her chair. "Could you rub my the top of my shoulders? " reaching up she caught the older woman's hands in hers and placed them on the top of her shoulders. Looking up at Olivia her warm brown eyes caught and held her in place.
Olivia's eyes turned from sea-green to dark emerald as she caressed Natalia. She gazed down at the Latina, admiring her. The golden skin, warm deep pools of chocolate eyes, the pink rose tinted lips, a hint of adorable dimples. "Please don't stop yet, tell me about your upcoming conference call. " Natalia sighed. Olivia knew it was part of the dance, a ruse to allow herself to be touched and to touch. Natalia's hands rested lightly on Olivia's. Her palms running over the back of the hotelier's hands up her wrists to her forearms and back. Natalia's returning caresses, sending a message of returned affection.
Natalia's inner voice told her. "Just feel don't think. Don't be afraid. Be in the now."
The phone rang jarring the two women. Natalia hit the speaker button and "Natalia Rivera, Beacon Hotel."
"Ms. Rivera the masseuse is set up, and waiting for you."
Natalia replied "I'm on my way." Looking at the blond she directed her "You go off to your conference calls. I'll see you and Emma in a bit, oh and give Jellybean this from me." with that the Latina rose and hugged the hotelier brushing a quick kiss on one check. Natalia left the room. Olivia let out her breath in a whoosh.
"Yeah I'll give our girl a hug and a kiss." Softly humming "A Kiss To Build A Dream On" to herself Olivia left her assistant's office thinking "A kiss and a hug to build a dream on. Even if these dreams are nothing more than left over sand from a wayward sandman."
Yvonne Adamicz, appeared to be somewhere between menopause and retirement. Her shoulder length blond hair threaded with sliver was tied back. She had intense blue eyes and smooth porcelain skin. "Miss, once you disrobed you'll start by lying on your stomach with your face in the face cradle, under the sheet and blanket. I'll knock before I re-enter, and then I'll get started. Do you have any questions?"
"Yes, I've only had neck and shoulder massages, how long will this take?" Natalia inquired "I booked you for 2 hours if that is not to your liking we can readjust. Yvonne replied "If you are concerned about the rate don't be. Everything will be billed to the insurance."
The lithe Purto Rican woman removed her garments and folded them neatly. She slide herself betwixt the sheets and called out to the masseuse, "All set. Ms. Adamicz."
Yvonne returned to the room, stopping by the mini bar to remove hand towels from a crockpot there. Speaking in a soothing professional tone, the therapist said. "I'm going to place warm damp towels on your back, shoulders, and neck. Please tell me if these are too hot." She open the the blanket and sheet over Natalia.
While arranging the heated towels on Natalia Yvonne speculated. "You're Natalia Rivera who does the cookie give aways from St. Leo?" "Yes." Natalia replied. "I attend St Thomas More in Five Points. Sister Anne mentioned you are a great baker. She says your soda bread is so light you have to tie it down with your buttery dense pound cake." Would you like scented oil?" The therapist said. "Yes, please". Natalia requested.
Yvonne removed the damp towels from the Lanita's back. she surveyed the anatomical structure before her. Long smooth muscles hinted at wiry strength. Firm toned skin with little body fat spoke of either a hyperactive metabolism or calorie restraint. The spread of the hips and traces of stretch marks indicated a pregnancy. Yvonne surmised a blue collar working mother in a gray pinstripe world no wonder she has stressed induced pain.
Yvonne's fingers massaged along Natalia's spine loosen her muscles before focusing on each shoulder and upper arm. The therapist slid her well-oiled hands over the younger woman coaxing muscles into place. The Latina flipped over, and Yvonne gently pressed away the stress Natalia had been carrying in her head and shoulders. She was so relaxed after she flipped back over she fell into a light sleep. "Miss, why don't you put on the robe and lay down in the bed I can finish your legs and feet there just as easily as here."
Natalia dislodge from the warm envelope of the sheet and blanket. She pulled the robe on and loosely knotted it in front. She laid on the bed belly down. The masseuse started on her legs, working from the feet, stretching, prodding and probing every joint. Each toe stretched and pressure was expertly applied to the calves and hamstrings she methodically works up and down until Natalia fell asleep.
Yvonne gathered up her massage accessories then stepped out of the suite. Flipping open a phone she said. "Walt, dear can you come up and help me. My client fell asleep. It's an automatic payment. I don't want to wake her."
The Elevator came to life, Olivia and Emma Spencer stepped out. Emma ran towards the suite almost knocking over Yvonne. "Oh no. I did not think anyone comes up here. I'm so sorry Ma'am." "No harm done, I'm Mrs. Adamicz, What is your name?" "Her name is Emma. Yvonne I'm so glad you were available today." How is Walt, and all of your clan?" Olivia chuckled. "Ah Walt is well and the children and grandchildren are also fine. Sarah said Ms. Rivera is your assistant? She has the back and hands of a hard worker." Olivia smiled. "Yes, Ms. Rivera is my assistant. She is a hard worker, and no stranger to working with her hands." "She fell asleep." Yvonne said. Olivia instructed her daughter "Go drop off your books quietly Natala is asleep."
The bing of the elevator announced it's arrival. "I have not seen Walt since I left Lewis Oil and Construction. Walt Adamicz was a grizzly bear of a man. His thick sliver hair, and bushy eye brows enhanced his tan skin. His six foot four inch frame towered over Olivia and his wife. "Olivia Lewis, er I mean Spencer I have not seen you in such a long time."
"Walt, you never change. I just told your wife I have not seen you in a number of years. Where have you been?" "We moved to Five Points." Walt Adamicz, wrapped his arms around and held Olivia Spencer in a bear hug. I still can't thank you enough for all you did for me when my oldest needed help." "Walt, don't let word get out that I have a soft spot."
Yvonne looked at Olivia. Your Walt's Island Girl, Olivia Lewis..." "It's Spencer again. He knew me when I was 7 or so on San Cristobel. It was one of his ports of call, Walt was a sailor then. I thought he was St. Nicholas. A young St. Nick, I should add."
Emma burst from the suite. "Mom did you say St. Nick, He already came, this can't be St. Nick he lives at the North Pole not in Springfield." Emma advised.
"Walt, please meet my youngest daughter Emma Spencer."
"I'm please to meet you Miss Spencer. I knew your Momma when she was your age."
"You lived on San Cristobel? Wow ...Can you tell me about Mom when she was my age?"
"Yes, I will but your Momma will have to let me know the time and place. I've got to get my wife home and feed my reindeer." Walt teased.
"Yvonne, good to see you again. Walt don't encourage my daughter. Next thing I know I'll have to haul her to Five Points to feed the reindeer. I already have to buy duck food. I'm going to change into my comfy cloths. Jellybean come with me."
"Life is good Yvonne. The last time I saw her Josh Lewis had left her. She was so sad, I thought she might die of a broken heart. She seems very happy now. More like the little girl I knew."
Olivia pulled a blue sweatshirt, sweatpants and walking shoes from the bureau, then turned to Emma, "Do not leave this room. I'm going into the other room." Walking past the bed Olivia paused and pulled the throw over Natalia.
"This feels like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, only it is Raven Locks and the two Spencers, or is it Sleeping Beauty ? She is lovely. It is the inner woman that is enticing. Her kindness could be mistaken for weakness, but it is part of her allure. Her naïveté is charming. Her unfaltering devotion to those she loves is strength. Her humor surprises me. Olivia, you have a girl-crush, just admit it and deal with it. Dr. Rick told you once you can climb 2 flights of stairs without stopping you can have sex I'm up to 4. Odd thing is I want to be held, not just bang some stranger. Who'd of thunk I'd rather be cuddled and snogged than spank-the-monkey?" Olivia's inner dialog was halted by Emma.
"Mom, don't wake her."
Olivia stepped away from the bed and moved closer to Emma whispering. "Honey after I change we'll go for a walk then have dinner."
"But Mom, Talia made Spicy Pork in the crock pot. Don't you remember?"
Olivia smiles at her daughter. I'm filled with normal up to the gills here. Normal, because I'm sticking with Natalia. Pork Tenderloin, with pigeon peas, garbanzo beans and Ají caballero peppers has got to be healthier than a Buzz Burger. Olivia had watched Natalia prep the meal only 8 hours ago.
"How about that walk Em? We can stop and pick up dessert. We'll take the stairs to the lobby to add a few extra yards. It's only 5 flights" Olivia impassively suggested.
"Gee Mom, I don't need extra exercise.
"Hey Kiddo what would you do for a Klondike Bar?" Olivia quipped before exiting into the other room. The Hotelier reemerged quickly. She did not trust her daughter to not go adventuring.
Emma had a double dose of recklessness. Phillip and Olivia seemed to have the fearless gene. Emma had inherited it. "Leave Talia a note from us tell her we'll be back in 45 minutes."
The lanky hazel eyed girl complied with her mother's request. Emma considered her mother's remark about the ice cream treat. "I can do all sorts of things. I can do handstands and cartwheels; I can dust and polish, or even just be quite, Mom, or I can race you to the stairs." The last comment sent Emma out of the room and her mother in hot pursuit.
"Emma stop give me a hug, right now. Life is good huh?" Olivia said before heading for the stairs with her daughter.