had spent the entire ride into Lexington ignoring Bron and speaking
only to Kaylin. They parked next to Suzie in the parking lot
and charged into the mall. They walked around the mall fighting
the holiday shoppers as they decided where they were going to
go first. Kaylin had her list and Bron had to finish some shopping.
Mc walked too fast
for Bron and Kaylin. She stopped and he kept walking as Suzie
chatted away at him about the bed and breakfast. She had found
a caterer for the party. She thought that this business would
work out as a permanent caterer for all of their parties. The
company had a small glitch; they were losing their lease. Suzie
came up with the idea of letting them use the bed and breakfast
as long as they took care of the guests first.
Bron shook her head
as she watched them walk away, she was here to shop not talk
'shop'. She had listened for the last half hour of Suzie pitching
this idea to Mc. In a way she was glad, she didn't know what
to get Suzie for Christmas, later she would speak to Mc about
it and by the look on his face, he would be all for it. If Suzie
had known Mc a little better, she would have known he wasn't
listening to a word she was saying as he continuously scanned
the crowd. However, she was good enough to distract him so Bron
made a left into Dillard's. "Come on baby, let's go in
here and do some shopping." Grabbing Kaylin's hand, she
pulled her into the store.
"I want to get
Daddy some perfume," Kaylin made a beeline for the fragrance
"Men call it
cologne, not perfume." Correcting her as she managed to
follow her daughter to the men's section of the counter.
Kaylin picked up
bottle after bottle off the counter and smelled them. It surprised
Bron that she could reach them on her own, she had grown so
much taller this year. Bron held back a little tear, it had
been a long time since they had gone shopping for a Daddy, whether
C.W. or Kevin.
"I like this
one," Kaylin held the bottle up for Bron to smell.
Bron sniffed and
frowned a little. "I don't like it. Find another one."
The pout came on
quickly, "I like this one!"
"I have to live
with it more than you do, it's too girly." Bron pushed
the bottle away from her. The scent was floral and she couldn't
imagine Kevin wearing it, then she giggled, well maybe, as her
mind took a wicked little left on her. Her sweet visual was
broken up by the words. "Thank you so much. Do it again
and we leave."
Bron shrugged her
shoulders, "You were busy talking business. I'm here to
shop." She looked at him with a smirk that faded quickly
when she saw his face. Oh, she knew that face, it was time to
"Uncle Mc, do
you think Daddy would like this?" A bottle was almost jammed
up his nostril. He couldn't help but get a whiff, it was nasty,
too pansy for him and he didn't mean in a floral sense either.
"I think he'd love it." It delighted him to see the
look on Bron's as she would have to smell the overbearing floral
fragrance mixed with something that reminded him of the smell
of rubbing alcohol. "Why don't I pay for this one and you
can save your money to get something else."
teaching her anything about money Mc if you buy that for her.
She needs to learn how to spend her money wisely and the value
of it." Suzie voiced her opinion.
When Mc slowly turned
around, she looked at the floor.
"If I wanted
your opinion, I would have asked for it. Come on Bounce, you
and I are going to shop, just to annoy your mother because she
"Now wait just
a damn minute." Bron stood glaring at him in the middle
of the store.
Two elderly women
walked by them, one spoke loud enough for both all of them to
hear. "Really, in my day, Moms and Dads, never fought in
front of the children."
Bron's teeth grated
together, she took one step, only to have a hand latch on to
her arm and turn her around. It was Mc with a disgustingly pleased
smile, "Really honey, we shouldn't fight in front of the
Suzie giggled and
Kaylin frowned, "You're not my Dad! Kevin is my daddy,
my second daddy."
Bron turned red and
shut up as the two women turned to look at the four of them.
Bron just walked away shaking her head, embarrassed as to what
the women were thinking and so hoping that they didn't know
her or any of Kevin's family. She could see that old Kentucky
gossip mill just cranking out the rumors.
She walked around
the store, knowing that they were behind her. She entered ladies
wear hoping Mc wouldn't follow her, no such luck. Mc called
her and she stopped. Turning she looked, "Yes?"
"What do you
think?" Mc stood holding up a pale pink angora sweater.
Bron moved towards
and touched the soft fabric. "For Janey?"
Mc nodded a yes to
but she has gorgeous dark eyes, try this one." Bron picked
up the same sweater in a blue that would almost match Janey's
"Do You think
so?" Mc looked at the sweater carefully.
Bron reached around
and found a skirt made of the same fabric. She glanced to see
that Suzie and Kaylin were in the sleepwear section. "With
this and this," Bron handed him a long cardigan and skirt
to match. "Anything else?"
doesn't have any?" Mc held onto the clothing.
"How about a
ring?" Bron smiled.
Mc warned her.
"Just a suggestion,"
"I hear another
Carter disaster was averted thanks to your husband this morning."
Mc looked at the jewelry display in the back of the store.
"Yes he did,
and don't even look there. We'll go to the jewelry store at
the other end of the mall. What kind of sparkly are you looking
for? A friendship sort of thing?"
Mc shifted in his
shoes and gave Bron a half frown, half smile. She knew him better
than anyone, he was toast now. He had tried for so long to avoid
this conversation with her, but in the end it was her that he
was seeking approval from. In his entire life, she was the only
one that he really gave two shits about, her and her family.
"I really think
you should get engaged. You're happy with her Mc, the first
person since… well, since me, and I didn't make you very happy."
Bron watched to make sure he was listening. There were times
that it looked like he was listening and he wasn't, like what
he had done with Suzie earlier in the mall. "You love her
and Logan to death so what is stopping you from doing this.
Things are different here; people aren't looking to put you
in a body bag. You can make a commitment to someone besides
me and the company." Both of them watched Suzie and Kaylin
as they talked.
"I'm really angry that you didn't tell me what was going
on with you. I could have gotten to the bottom of this a hell
of a lot faster." Mc leaned on the rack of clothes.
the subject." Bron pretended to look at some sweaters hanging
"We are going
to talk about this but not with Kaylin around. As far as the
other, I'm not sure… It's a lifetime commitment."
to you, I'm spoken for once again. So you better find someone
to grow old with." Bron knew he was sitting on the fence.
"I like her; I didn't at first because I was jealous. I've
always come first with you, always, even when I shouldn't have.
Don't string her along. You've done things for her that you
wouldn't even do for me." Her hands slid over the soft
fabric of the angora sweater done in muted grays. She smiled
when she heard him sigh loudly.
Mc knew that what
he was waiting for was to talk to Bron, but no ring would be
big enough for Janey. He had thought about flying to New York
to get one. He could still do it but time would be a factor.
He already knew her ring size, thanks Logan.
Suzie kept Kaylin away from the two adults as they talked. They
looked pretty intense as they spoke. Sticking Kaylin in the
middle right now wouldn't be a wise thing to do.
"I want to get this for my Mom," Kaylin held up the
Suzie's face turned red, "Why would you pick that out for
your Mom?" She couldn't get over Kaylin's pick, it was
a corset type thing with red fishnet stockings and garter straps.
The fabric being bright red velvet with blatant fake white fur
trim and a Santa stocking hat was included.
"It's like Mrs.
Clause," Kaylin smiled.
"For a perverted
Santa," slipped off Suzie's lips before she could stop
it. Two bells strategically placed, complete this garish ensemble.
"I really don't think that is an appropriate gift for your
Mom Kaylin. Let's go look at the flannel pajamas."
"Dad said no
flannel," Kaylin frowned.
Suzie's was puzzled
about the comment, "What?"
"Before I left
Dad said Mom needed new pajamas. He said no Cookie Monster,
Elmo, or flannel."
thought that maybe Kevin had meant something tasteful.
"He said is should be soft and sexy." Kaylin grinned.
Suzie jaw slid open,
'What a jerk, having a conversation like that with a kid. If
he wants sexy, he'll get it,' she screamed in her head as she
closed her eyes.
Mc walked up to them as they stood there staring at each other.
Bron was going to pay for her stuff and the items Mc needed.
"Kaylin, what are you doing with that?" He pulled
the garment from her and hung it back up on the display.
Mom," she whined.
will freeze her butt off in that. Go find something in flannel
for her." Mc frowned at her choice and then pointed, "Hey
look, they have those character dorm shirts. She loves those."
Suzie leaned over
to Mc, "Kevin said no character shirts or flannel."
Mc grinned. He looked at Bron who stood at the register. Turning
to Suzie, he whispered. "Go pick out something appropriate
from a daughter. If he wants sexy, let's turn the tables on
him and have a little fun with him." Mc grabbed Kaylin's
hand, "Come on, I know exactly what we need."
Suzie watched them
head in a different direction, towards the mens' department,
and then she headed to the flannel.
Bron joined her after a ten-minute wait in line. "What
did you get?"
"Oh, stuff for
me?" Bron tried to peak in the bag. Suzie slapped her hand
away, Bron frowned.
nosey, it's a surprise." Suzie stood with her as they waited
for Mc to catch up to them.
I hate surprises." Bron's stomach growled. "I have
to eat, I'm hungry."
Mc strolled up with
a smile that made Bron do a double take, "What are you
so not good, I can tell," Bron laughed. "Let's go
The shopping was
finished after a fast food meal in the food court. Mc didn't
say much as he looked at the jewelry store across from the food
court. When Bron stood up and began to walk towards the store,
his instincts kicked in and he followed.
Too late, Bron barreled
into the store and began talking. "Hi, I need an engagement
ring, the best and the biggest you have." Bron cheerily
spoke to the clerk.
The clerk tripped
over Bron in her glee to nail the sale.
"I really don't like it when you make my decisions for
me. I think this is something I should do on my own," Mc
admonished to a set of deaf ears.
waiting for my opinion and we both know that. Right?" Bron's
face was lit up as bright as the store displays.
"I think New
York would be better…." Mc stopped as a beautiful ring
was set on the counter.
"My boss has been saving this one for someone special."
The salesclerk turned the box so the ring sparkled in the lights.
"You mean someone
who could afford to pay for it," Bron laughed. "It's
beautiful and perfect. He wants that one."
"Will you stop
steam rolling over me, I can make my own decisions." Mc
grabbed at the box, "It is nice, very nice, comparable
to what I would get in New York."
"The stone was
bought in New York and my boss did the setting. He thinks he's
an artist of sorts."
"Give it to
her Christmas Eve, at the party, make it special."
Mc thrust the box
at Bron, "Why the hell don't you propose to her?"
"You don't have
to get grumpy," Bron smiled as she looked at the ring.
"It would be so romantic and sweet."
the book shit out of your head. I'm not a romantic." Mc's
"You could be
if you tried dammit! What did you plan to do? Throw it at her
and tell her to set the date and let you know. Now you sound
Mc didn't answer
her, so she knew she was close. The way the man thought would
drive a sane woman nuts. Bron snagged the box back from him.
"He'll take it… Wrap it very nicely. I'll wrap it in another
box when we get home. You can ask her on Christmas, at the party."
Mc was not himself,
he crumbled like a cookie, "What if she says no?"
she loves your stupid ass for some reason."
you used too," Mc's eyebrows shot up after he said. Mc
handed over his credit card.
Bron laughed, "Hurts
not to have that fat wallet, doesn't it?"
"I have a fat
wallet but I don't carry it with me, like you do." Mc laughed
Suzie stood way back with Kaylin she had a feeling she knew
what was going on by the dinner conversation. Kaylin couldn't
find out, she would tell everyone. Once Bron and Mc rejoined
them, they hit a few more stores and said good-bye to Suzie.
Kaylin was tired and starting to get miserable as they headed
out to the parking lot.
Bron tried to keep
her awake until they reached home, but it was pointless, she
dropped off before they even hit the edge of town.
Mc adjusted the mirror to see if she was sleeping. "Now
we can talk," he glanced to Bron.
Bron looked out the window.
"You need to
get a handle on this. We need to find out who is doing this
"You know who
it is and so do I. It's Stevie, but I don't understand why he
would do this."
him back home for Christmas," Mc spoke his plans.
point? Wouldn't it be better if he were here and we could watch
him." Bron stared out the window as she chewed on her fingernails.
Mc hadn't seen her
do that in a long time, a very long time. "Something is
wrong, very wrong with him. If I talk to him, it will blow up.
If I act like business as usual, he'll go home and give you
some space. I want to see everything that has been sent to you
"You can't keep
him away forever."
"Do you want
to bet on that? Maybe forcing him away from you will cause him
to make a move." Mc had turned this problem over and over
in his head since this afternoon. Stevie was being sneaky about
this and had played it right under his nose because he had let
his guard down the minute Kevin had come back to Lexington.
It wouldn't happen again. "You don't think it's Jake?"
Bron looked at him like he was crazy, her face scrunched up
so strangely in the dark.
"Yeah, I think
you're right. What do you think caused all of this?" Mc
asked as he drove down the country road.
"Kevin of course.
I think Stevie thought that was I was going to be nothing more
than a flash in the pan for him, a piece of ass." Bron
frowned at her own statement.
"Something turned him though, he has never been like this.
He was always close to you but not obsessed."
"I don't know.
I've tried to think of a million reasons why he would do this.
I just got a feeling that there is something more than an obsession
thing going on, it's really twisted."
Mc spoke what he was thinking.
"What the hell
would that have to do with him?"
"Did this start
when the grand jury stuff went through?"
and when you brought Webster into it. I don't even want to know
why you brought Webster back home."
Mc answered carefully, very carefully. "I wanted it done
right, not sloppy."
"You mean you didn't want someone not to follow through
just in case they decided that they could nail Lenny and Solarez
for something bigger." Bron's skeptical eyebrow went up,
Mc nodded a yes to
her as they turned up her driveway. Pulling up to the front
door, he parked, and turned the van off. "I'll carry her
in." Mc did as he said he would and then helped Kevin carry
packages in while Bron settled Kaylin.
Mc stood in the foyer
ready to leave, "I need my box."
"I told you,
I'm going to put it in a bigger box." His flat palm waited
in the air for the merchandise.
"Come on, let
me have some fun," Bron balked at him.
Kevin watched the
two behave like little kids, of course the two of them always
behaved like little kids, instead one adult in early forties
and one in her late thirties. "What does he want?"
ring," Bron smiled as she danced a little. "Dufus
is going to propose."
Kevin smiled, something inside him let loose with a flood of
relief and happiness about this. His face was literally glowing.
"Kevin you can
wipe that Cracker Jack ass smile off your face. This doesn't
change anything between Bron and I."
Kevin's grin grew
wider, "It sure does buddy."
Mc mumbled and headed for the front door. Kevin was right, it
changed a lot of things. "I'll see you tomorrow Spark."
Bron giggled a 'Love
You' as he headed out the door.
Kevin followed locking the door and turning the security system
on. "Why do I think you had something to do with that?"
he grabbed Bron's hand and they climbed the stairs together.
"Why does everyone
always think it's me?" Bron laughed knowing she was busted.
playing matchmaker, but you shouldn't do that. Look what happened
with A.J. and Mary. Next you will have Suzie and Nick getting
They walked hand and hand down the hall to check on Cooper and
then Kaylin. Satisfied they were sound asleep she continued
the conversation, "Nick and Suzie are going to take awhile.
He's a little slow sometimes on the uptake. He just doesn't
get my hints."
"He gets your
hints, he's just ignoring you. Trust me, he's been doing it
to me for years." Kevin hesitated as she walked towards
Andrew's room. "He's not home yet."
frowned while she looked at her watch. "It's late."
"He's on vacation,"
Kevin would stick up for the kid but he had better be home soon
with no dents in his truck. Andrew was as confusing as Kaylin
sometimes, two kids raised to be instant adults, but at times
they still let you know they were kids.
"He better not
be with a girl," Bron huffed as they went into their bedroom.
"Oh Bron, let it go woman. He's a man," Kevin's hand
waved in her face.
Bron went into the bathroom and started stripping.
Kevin stood for two seconds before his clothes started landing
on the floor and made a path to her.
ask if you could join me," Bron wore a fake pout that was
about as transparent as plastic wrap.
"Ha, ha, ha,"
Kevin laughed as he turned on the water.
This page © 2001 - 2007 Bronwyn
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Used with Permission
No part of this text may be copied or reprinted
without the author's permission.
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