watched the two men posture for position, Kevin now stood next
to her, closely, a little too close. She gave him a gentle shove,
but it was more like a mouse trying to move a mountain. Kevin
Silently she stood
next to the man she had married, facing off with the man that
she truly did hate some days, but also the only man that she
had counted on for so many things in her life.
Billy and Carlos
now stood inside the office, watching and waiting.
"You don't owe
him an explanation Bron. Mc, I want you to leave, right now."
Kevin's insides were twisting with anger, and as sorry as it
sounded, guilt. He should have forced Bron to sell the business
and cut ties when he first sent her down here and none of this
would be happening. Things had snowballed on him since day one
when he met his wife and she had slapped his face for pissing
Suzie had joined
the impromptu gathering since it was a room full of people whom
none were speaking, except Kevin. His voice was loud enough
to carry through the entire house not just the offices.
Bron's focus switched
from one man to another. All these people in this house to find
out which person or persons were threatening her and her family.
Not one of them had gotten any more information then what she
had given them to on her own. She would need to make a decision;
it was guaranteed to be a very unpopular one with everyone in
the office but one. The stress was eating at her. She had to
deal with her personal problems, the kids, and now the business,
as well as Christmas. Reaching under her desk blotter quickly,
she pulled a sheet of paper out, and handed it to Mc. Her actions
were swift since Kevin would tear it from her grasp if he knew
what she was about to do. Nevertheless, she needed help and
there was one person that she had known the longest that she
could count on above anyone else. After thinking much of last
night instead of sleeping while Kevin lay next to her softly
snoring, she knew deep in her heart that he wasn't a suspect.
It wasn't his way, he was a physical and direct man. "Did
you write this?"
Kevin grabbed for
the paper, but it was too late. His entire body lurched over
Mc's eyes were scanning
the document; his physical reaction hinted that he was getting
angrier with each passing word he read.
Mc began to pace,
as he flipped over the paper and read the back of the letter.
A look of confusion crossed his face as he finished that side
and flipped it back over again.
The only person Bron
focused on was Suzie. Her eyes never veered from her. Bron didn't
want to look at Kevin, whose blatant rage seemed to radiate
from his body and into hers since they were standing so close.
His breathing was heavy and he was fisting his hands. There
was no sense in her looking up at his face since she knew that
his nostrils would be flared, his face would reflect his feelings,
and his brows would be tightly pulled together. When Kevin was
angered, he had a way of sucking the oxygen out of a room. Bron
couldn't catch her breath if she wanted too, there was no air
left for her to breathe. Kevin had taken it all.
The huff that came
from Billy and the muttered curse from Carlos detoured her from
looking at them. She knew that they were thinking that she had
just ruined all of their hard work. None of them could see she
was just trying to end this as fast as possible; she had a trial
to deal with as well. It was getting to be too much. Lately
she would panic when she couldn't find Kevin right away. If
Kaylin had been outside with the horses, she made sure the dogs
went with her. Cooper was either with her or Kevin. Andrew was
always close by or at school.
Mc glared at Kevin
then slowly he turned to look at Billy and Carlos. "This
explains a lot of your recent behavior. Is this the only one?"
stared back into the razor sharp eyes, taunting him in a manner
that she knew he hated. Her face was smug and catty at the same
time. She had practiced this face for many years and it was
the easiest way to make Mc become unglued.
that shit on me," Mc frowned back. "That face is meant
to piss me off, it doesn't work as well as it used to."
answer my question," Bron's face hardened immediately.
She hated it when he had her pegged. Bron didn't miss the little
snicker from Kevin either.
Mc chuckled as his
eyes drifted around the room full of angry and upset people.
"If I wanted to get you Spark, I'd just take you. I don't
play games," Mc waved the paper at her, "Games are
for chickens. You wouldn't be with Pop Star here," Mc pointed
to Kevin and then leveled a very familiar look at Bron. "If
I hadn't approved."
Mc turned and looked
at Kevin, "I can see why you would be upset with Sparky
here, but she does love you. You should know by now how your
wife thinks. She ran to protect and that was all. Draw the hunter
away from the hunted. Now if you think that you can settle down
long enough for me to look at what else you have, we may be
able to find a solution to this."
A little scream started
from deep inside Bron. It rolled up her throat, over her tongue,
and when it slipped out her lips, it sounded like a roar.
Mc frowned at her
as he pulled his jacket off. "Will you shut up," he
mumbled as he shook his head. Flopping his jacket over his arm
he walked out of the office.
Kevin's tongue balled
up in his cheek; he leaned down to kiss Bron. When their eyes
connected, he backed up, thought about it, and changed his mind.
Her eyes registered the full-blown hissy-fit she was going to
have and he wasn't into pain this morning.
Carlos and Billy
had followed Mc into the reception area. Kevin, Suzie, and Bron
still stood in Bron's office. Mc glanced back through the glass
into Bron's office, waiting for Kevin. Kevin scrambled for the
doorway, practically running out of it. Pulling the door shut,
he waited, a loud bang resonated off the door. Kevin contained
his smile; Mc smirked. "Her aim is improving. You should
look into lighter staplers." With a chuckle, Mc entered
Looking through the
glass of her office and into Kevin's, Bron watched Mc unbutton
the cuffs of his shirt and roll up his sleeves. "He just
pisses me right off! I can't stand him! He's a jerk! He's manipulative,
heavy-handed, and obnoxious."
"Sort of like
Kevin but without the looks," Suzie bit her tongue as she
waited for Bron to direct her attitude towards her.
Bron slowly walked to her desk. Sitting down, she pulled herself
up to her desk. Chewing on her cheek as she bounced a pencil
around on her hand. "I hope this wasn't a mistake. God
knows when this house clears out tonight, the wrath of King
Richardson will be in full force."
"I guess it's
a good thing we are going shopping." Suzie offered up a
little relief to her friend.
Bron smiled. "I forgot about that." Bron's face scrunched
up as she saw the pile of paperwork on her desk. "Okay
let's get this done. I still need to get a grocery list going
for the party."
"You have a
full plate, you need to learn to delegate. Instead of cooking
for all these people and having this full blown party, why don't
you cut it back to something more homey?" Suzie saw the
invitation list growing and growing. In the back of her mind,
she knew this wasn't good timing on Bron's part to have this
many people around. Judging by what she had heard about the
company Christmas parties that Bron and Mc had every year, Bron
was doing this out of habit and obligation. The employees were
lavished with expensive gifts, fine food, wine, as well as entertainment.
"I can't, it's
expected," Bron raised her head up as Kevin entered her
office. Going to her desk, he raised her blotter, looked, dropped
it back down, and then left.
just really gets to me," Bron stretched as she rose from
"So did you
tell him what you wanted for Christmas?" Suzie swung the
conversation to something more pleasant.
"There is nothing
that I want other than to be left alone. Knowing Kevin it will
be gift certificates. God I hate those things, they are so impersonal.
It holds no sentiment other than, 'I was too lazy to take the
time to shop for you.'" Bron picked up the checkbook and
the pile of receipts that were sitting on top of it. "Do
me a favor, please." Bron pushed the checkbook towards
"I don't want
to know your personal business," Suzie's face soured.
"I just want
you to balance it. If I let him do it, he'll ream me out for
how much money I spent. Did you know I married a tightwad?"
Suzie laughed, "Fine,
but you have to trade me."
Bron whined, as she turned the baby monitor up, Cooper would
be up soon and wanting to eat. Listening intently to the monitor,
she didn't see Kevin open her door once more and stand just
outside of it.
"You have to
have this party catered," Suzie now had a little leverage
"I don't want
to have it catered. My family and friends are use to good food
but not fancy food. If I were to serve them crab puffs or something
like that, they would never forgive me." With her arms
crossed on her desk, Bron laid her head down and yawned. "Damn,
I'm tired. I don't think I slept an hour last night."
Out of her peripheral
vision, Suzie caught a glimpse of Kevin waiting at the door.
"Well then at
least get some help with it." A grin formed on her face
as she saw Kevin nodding, egging her on.
"I can help
you do the cooking," Suzie smiled.
Hearing what Suzie
had said, Kevin stepped behind the wall so Bron wouldn't hear
him laugh. As far as he knew, Suzie could nuke, he wasn't sure
about the cooking part.
Slowly Bron raised
her head. Cooper began bawling through the speaker. "Hire
a caterer, keep it simple but good. The last thing I need is
your help in my kitchen." Bron frowned and mumbled as she
went to her son, "Just what I need, a nuked Christmas dinner."
With Bron being as
tired and keyed up as she was, she never saw Kevin as she walked
by him hiding behind the door.
Kevin walked up to
Suzie in a flash, patted her head, and smiled. "Good girl,
Suzie smiled back at him. "We're going shopping and to
dinner tonight. Just us girls."
"I'll keep Cooper
but you are going to have a change in security until this is
over with." Kevin searched Bron's desk for nothing special,
he was snooping around looking for anything that didn't belong
"Oh and who
made this decision?" Suzie's eyebrows furrowed. "I
don't like him, I don't like being around him."
"I didn't tell
you who it was but I assume you are a smart individual. I made
the decision and it is what is best for her," Kevin's voice
raised a few octaves.
"You don't need
to yell at me, I'm not her nor Nick." Suzie grabbed the
checkbook and the receipts. "Now I'll fix this mess."
"What are you
doing with our checkbook?" Kevin checked out the pile of
receipts as Suzie grabbed for them.
"Bron said you
would yell at her if you saw the receipts. She said you were
a tight wad." Suzie laughed as she grabbed them.
"I am not, but
the damn woman forgot to pay the car insurance. How the hell
do you do you forget to pay the insurance?" Kevin loped
after Suzie as she went to her desk.
Pushing the button
on her calculator, she began sorting the receipts. "I'll
take care of it."
Kevin paused at his
door, with his hand on the knob. Turning back, he looked over
his own shoulder, "Christmas?"
"I'll find out
tonight what she wants, so far nothing but peace and quiet and
no gift certificates."
"Shit," Kevin's face scrunched.
"It's your wife.
Tell me you had more sense than that." Suzie had to hide
the grin. 'Boy did Bron call that one,' she mumbled in her head.
hard to buy for. She doesn't really tell you when she wants
something and when she does she just goes and buys it."
Suzie held the receipts
up to Kevin, "No shit."
Suzie didn't see
Bron until later in the afternoon. "Where have you been
of my son. Kaylin is going to be home soon. Are you almost done?"
Bron shifted Cooper to her other arm.
"Come here you,"
Bron heard from behind her and Cooper was picked up off her
The sounds of cooing
and baby babble from a group of grown men hinted at a smile
as she faced Suzie.
Suzie handed the
checkbook back with a complete accounting of where the money
had been spent by category. The page was picked from the top
of the book by a familiar hand. The hand that bore the platinum
wedding band on his left hand.
"My, my... Haven't
we been busy. Thank you Suzie, at least when I'm broke I will
know where my money went."
Bron's head tilted
as she turned, "You mean my money." Grabbing the paper
"Hey Mc are
you paying for half of this damn party?" Kevin questioned
as he was handed a second copy of the paperwork.
I'm paying for half the party. Oh and do us all a favor, get
a new suit for this one."
Carlos busted out
laughing. The only thing that drowned him out was the two 'Mom-s'
being screamed up the stairs and one heavy set of feet pounding
up the stairs to the office.
Bron stood with her arms crossed.
Andrew shrugged. "My truck is broke down again. Can I use
Looking at her watch,
it was almost dinnertime but then she was going to just cook
something for Kevin and him, "Depends. Where are you going?"
All these people
in the office were making him uncomfortable, especially his
brother being there, "Come on Mom, I'm going out."
Bron wasn't budging.
"Cut him some
slack Bron. He said he's going out, probably on a date that
he doesn't want to share with everyone standing here."
Kevin's common sense chimed in.
"I would like
to know where he's going?" Mc stepped a little closer to
A set of keys were
pressed into Andrew's hand. "Be home at a decent time,
don't drink and drive with my truck. I know you are on break
but that doesn't give you a license to tear up Lexington."
Andrew waved at everyone as he left.
Kevin dropped an
arm around Bron's shoulder. Cooper now resting in his other
arm. Leaning down, he whispered in her ear. "Tit for Tat."
Kevin shrugged, batted
his eyelashes, "Don't worry about Little Man and I, we
can fend for ourselves."
Kaylin zoomed by him leaving an air trail in her wake.
"Hey baby, how
was the last day of school?" Kevin bent down to her level
still holding Cooper.
"I have a project
to do. We have to build a house with straws. Will you help me?"
be better at that than I would?" Kevin tried not to laugh.
The daughter missed the obvious, much like her mother.
she cupped her hand over mouth and to her Dad's ear. "Mom
looks really mad right now. What did you do to her?"
"Oh well, nuthin'
much. But don't worry, you're still going shopping and Uncle
Mc is going too."
Kaylin danced around the room.
Bron's head moved
from side to side as her sarcasm kicked in, "Oh Yeah."
laugh echoed off the walls as Bron left to go downstairs. "I
love you darlin'," he yelled.
"Kiss my ass!"
she yelled back.
This page © 2001 - 2007 Bronwyn
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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
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