the outside, the Richardsons
looked like an average family getting ready for Christmas, which
was only two days away. The pre-Christmas mood in the house
was intense as far as people who knew them. The big Christmas
party was taking place tomorrow in their home. The house was
bustling with the caterer that Suzie had hired, who came with
a decorator that tried to fuss with Bron’s house and was told
politely twice to don’t touch anything.
The third time wasn’t as polite but the message got through to the ditzy
blonde decorator with a passion for Backstreet.
was snapping at everyone, ‘like a pissed off ‘gator,’ as Kevin
so eloquently told his mother. Bron was busting on everyone
as she worked up in her office getting ready for next year's
contract work and the company taxes. It didn’t
help matters much when another letter was sent to her with a
very blunt message. Bron stared at it for a long time before
she even handed it over to Kevin.
words written on the page made the hair on Kevin’s arm stand
on end. “This is your last Christmas with the perfect family.”
Kevin turned the note over and then handed it to Mc as the three
of them occupied Bron’s office.
sighed and sat on the couch with the letter in his hand. He
casually tossed one arm behind his head and crossed one leg
over the other. He stared at the letter for a long time before
he spoke, “I don’t get why he is doing this, but after Christmas
we are going to take care of this once and for all.” Standing
up, he walked over to Bron’s desk and flipped through the pages
of the reports that she had been working on.
waiting?” Bron sat across from him.
don’t know what for. I handle this by myself.” Mc cast a glance
at her that was more of threat than anything else.
stood up and glared at Mc, irregardless
she knew something was wrong with Stevie. “Don’t you hurt him.”
do what is necessary to handle the problem,” Mc pulled the paperwork
off the desk. Going back to the couch, he plopped down on it.
Resting the folder on the arm of the chair, he leafed through
the pages, “Is this everything?”
know it is, stop ignoring me,” Bron's voice came from behind
the desk like a shotgun blast.
sat on the side of the desk just watching, his leg swinging
back and forth. He wouldn’t interfere
between the two of them since Mc was well beyond the point of
lashing out at Bron. The feeling of something gnawing on him
like bone had been driving him crazy for days. Kevin couldn’t
stand the fact that Billy and Carlos had gone home, now he truly
was in the dark. They were all standing around waiting for
Stevie to make his next move, even if it was via long distance.
Now he had made his move and Kevin felt partially enraged and
partially sick to his stomach. The scenarios of what could
happen had played in his head for days now. The nagging doubt
of ‘What if we’re wrong and it’s not him,’ cropped on occasion
moved to the other end of the couch, waiting for Mc to enlighten
chuckled, he knew exactly what she
was doing. Handing her the folder he smiled. “Find a charity.
We need to make a fat donation very quickly.”
followed him as he went out to the reception area to direct
Suzie to do something. “Stop this. Tell me what you are going
eyes narrowed at her, “We’re going to find a worthwhile charity
for a big fat donation so we can drop down to the next tax bracket.
We do this every year.”
not what I mean and you know it,” Bron was huffing at Mc. Her
anger no longer contained.
yawned, she had found the tension was best to ignore unless
it was being directed towards her.
Bron was spastic and her temper seemed to flash at the smallest
things. Suzie fingered the new necklace she was wearing.
taste,” Mc took a closer look. “The twelve days of bling-bling seem to be working it’s
magic on you Suz. What do you think
you’ll get today?”
Nick,” she giggled.
sound of Cooper crying in the baby monitor sent Bron flying
out of the reception area and down the stairs just after she
groaned over Suzie’s comment.
stood by the door of the office. “I know of a charity,” he
said worthwhile,” Mc hissed at him. Turning he marched back
into Bron’s office and waited for Kevin to turn around. “Shut
the door, we need to talk.”
knew this was coming and he wasn’t
sure if he wanted any part of it. The ego side of him wanted
to protect his wife at all costs; the human side of him didn’t
want to know what Mc was inferring.
need to regain your control in this house. She is slowly going
insane with worry. Bron is ready to blow Kevin and she is scared
shitless right now.”
don’t think I don’t know that. This is hard on all of us,”
Kevin’s hand swiped down his face as he expelled air from his
lungs. “Why the hell can’t we just have him locked up?”
it’s all circumstantial evidence. We can’t prove a damn thing. I don’t
want this to go down like her other case and C.W.’s
case. Granted the man works for me and he is my best friend
but something is wrong with him, he’s unbalanced. I think this goes way deeper than any
of us could imagine.”
bit his tongue, wanting to say that they were all unbalanced
as far as he was concerned. “This waiting it out is hard.
At least the tour is over. Christmas is right around the corner…”
Kevin stopped as the words on the note hit home.
I have to help Bron deliver your Mother’s Christmas gift today.
Why don’t we all go? I’ll hang at
your Mom’s for awhile and watch the kids. You and Bron can
maybe go to dinner or something.”
it Mc,” Kevin looked out into the reception area. “Bron won’t
be separated from the kids.”
jaw slid back and forth, “What happened to the demanding, commanding,
egotistical bastard that I first met when I met you?” Mc wanted
them to have some time alone away from everyone. Time for Bron
to just let it out. She wouldn’t
do that if she was around anyone.
snorted, “Old age mellowed me.”
her to dinner. I’ll give you the charity check.” Mc smirked.
don’t have to pay me to take my wife to dinner. I’m just trying
to figure out how to get her to agree to let the kids out of
we’ve turned into a gentleman; and here I thought you had balls.”
Mc laughed as he walked out of the office and down the stairs.
was holding Cooper as Mc whipped by her. “Hey I thought…
be right back. Your husband wants to see you.”
Bron blinked and headed into her office.
sat in her chair rubbing his temples. He didn’t wait for her to ask since he had heard what Mc had
said. “I didn’t want to see you. Mc thinks we should drop
him and the kids off at my Mother’s and go out to dinner.”
man is delusional if he believes that I would let my kids out
of my sight.” Bron sat on the couch with Cooper in her arms.
stood up, stretched, and then walked over to the door and quietly
closed it. “I don’t really want to go do dinner either but
I think we need some time to ourselves to pull it together for
tomorrow at least. I don’t think being out in public is going
to help any.” Moving to the couch, he bent down, brushing his
hand over Cooper’s dark hair as Bron nursed. “I can’t imagine
what I would do if he hurt one of the kids or you.”
Darkboy to go away Lurch, I need my husband with me now.”
Bron’s eyes reflected the torment in her voice.
right,” Kevin placed his lips on his son’s head and then on
his wife. “I’ll go wake up Andrew and get Kaylin off the video
games. They can go with us.”
up Andrew wasn’t too hard, since he was close to waking up on his
own. “Hey buddy, get up, we’re going to Grandma’s.” Kevin
stood at the door with his hand on the knob.
go, I’ll say here,” Andrew yawned as he scratched his head.
won’t happen. You’re Mom got another letter so you can forget
about being off her radar for awhile.”
mouth, don’t use it around your sister,” Kevin frowned. “We
have to take the buffet and hutch over.”
you need free labor,” Andrew sat on the edge of the bed.
could look it that way,” Kevin laughed as he left the door open
and headed downstairs to the entertainment room. Going down
the stairs, he called for Kaylin on the way.
she yelled back.
to clean-up. We’re going to Grandma’s.” Kevin looked around
the room. She had been pretty neat but the room was loaded with party supplies
for tomorrow. Kevin had yet to figure out where Bron had stashed
all the gifts; he assumed he would see them tomorrow night when
they played Santa after everyone left. The party was scheduled
to start early around four since it was Christmas Eve.
popped off the floor, leaving her socks lying in the middle
of the room. She dashed for the steps until Kevin grabbed on
to her shirt. “Forget something?”
turned around and looked at the game and television; she had
turned everything off. Dad was a pain about turning things
off. “It’s off!” she shrugged but didn’t get free.
those your socks?” Kevin pointed to the floor.
Mom will get them,” Kaylin started to move for the stairs but
her body didn’t move.
you’ll get them. You’re Mom has enough
to do. If you do all the little things that you are suppose
to do Mom would have less.”
can stay home,” Kevin frowned.
Kaylin shrugged loose successfully this time and retrieved the
ran up the two sets of stairs to the hallway. Kevin was right
behind her. Just as she hit her door, she heard her Dad. “Don’t
throw them on the floor in there either!”
stuck her tongue out but her Dad didn’t
see her. “He’s so mean sometimes.”
he isn’t Kaylin, you’re just lazy. You shouldn’t be sticking your tongue out either, it’s rude.
Especially to Dad.”
up Andrew or I’m telling Mom,” Kaylin had her hands on her hips
as if she were playing princess and dismissing one of her subjects.
going to tell me what?” Bron stood at the landing.
is mean and Andrew is picking on me.” Her matter-of-fact attitude
made Kevin snicker as he stood out of her view.
is Daddy mean?” Bron sympathized not knowing what was going
he made her pick up her dirty socks and I yelled at her for
sticking her tongue out at him.”
came up the stairs, “Yes I’m the mean Daddy. I make my kids clean up after themselves. How horrible.”
Kevin did a lively but very bad death scene in the middle of
of them were laughing, even Suzie who was on her way down to
answer the door. The UPS man was coming up the drive. “No
wonder Howie gets all the acting parts.”
laughed as Bron helped him up off the floor balancing Cooper
in one arm. “What are you doing down here?”
she batted her eyes and continued on
down the stairs.
Bron wiggled her brows, dropped Copper in Kevin’s arms, and
ran down the stairs after Suzie.
is bad, really bad,” Andrew tried not to laugh.
like I’ve said before, we’re married not dead,” Kevin smirked.
family stood at the top of the stairs and watched the two women
fawn over the UPS man. Mc grabbed the package from the man,
tossed it to Suzie, signed the paperwork, and shut the door.
is my house! Don’t’ act like that.” Bron slapped his arm.
shouldn’t be trying to pick up the UPS guy. You’re married.”
turned to Mc, “I’m not.”
beats Mark McGrath,” Kevin laughed as loud as he could from
stuck her tongue, “But not Matthew McConaughey.”
Suzie’s eyes lit up. “Got some new ideas?”
I ever, we’ll talk later. I have to
go deliver a Christmas present. I’ll be back later.”
do you mean Matthew McConaughey?”
Kevin came down the stairs two at a time. “Now you two are
snickered as she grabbed the diaper bag from the bench. “Damn,
that would be fun!”
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