~The Binding~

Chapter 21

 

"You blow this and you're dead.  I will use you as a punching bag until you're very old," Kevin mustered before being knocked out of the doorway by four kids.

"HO!  HO!  HO!"  Santa came in the door swinging a sack over his back.  He knew all the kids, but the one he wanted to impress most was suddenly clinging to her mother.  This was not Kaylin by any stretch, he thought.  The other lady he wanted to impress looked damn fine in a short little black skirt.  He watched her squint at him; she couldn't tell who he was either.  Santa looked at Kevin, confusion running rampant on his face.

"She's loaded off her ass," Kevin whispered into Santa's ear.

Mc now stood in front of Santa only to have Kevin give him a nod.  Once Kevin nodded, Santa was allowed to come into the living room.  The adults all stared, who was this man dressed up in a suit? The kids jumped up and down.  Bron came closer to inspect Santa, "Very good," she smiled.  She didn't know who it was, but obviously he had been expected to be here by Kevin, she was trusting his judgment.  "Let's get Santa a chair, guys!"

A chair was placed in the center of the room as Santa took his seat. On his way by Suzie, Santa's hand slid a little intimately across her rear-end. She gasped and then stared at him. When Suzie's eyed narrowed at him, he thought she might throw her drink in his face. "Merry Christmas," he smiled.

"Pervert," Suzie put some distance between herself and Santa. Now she was sobering up since she had to fly home tomorrow afternoon. There was no sense in going on a plane with a hangover.

Kevin had to hold back the tears that were threatening to spill out along with his laughter as Santa pouted when he was called a derogatory name.  Kevin then nodded to Andrew and the two of them walked up the stairs.  The plan was for Kaylin to go last. Kevin had a special gift for his daughter that he wanted to give to her in front of everyone.  It was a gift that should be shared, instead of hidden away, and then she could cherish it for the rest of her life.

Santa would wait until the special gift was brought downstairs before he would start.  The kids climbed all over him, tugged on his beard to make sure it was real.  He answered questions on the fly like, "Are those real reindeer?  Where is Rudolph?  How many elves do you have?"

"Are you coming back after we go to bed?"  Logan wanted to make sure.

"Of course I am!  I'll swing by about three in the morning, but you better be sleeping or I won't stop."

The answer caused the adults to chuckle.  Bron shook her head when she heard Santa say 'dawg', now she knew whom Santa was and he was doing a great job.  Kevin and Andrew came down the stairs with a huge box that looked like it weighed a ton as they grunted.  Mc and J.D. jumped up to help as the box was settled next to Santa on the floor.  Bron swooped down on Kevin and began to play twenty questions.  Finally, Kevin looked at her, "It's for Kaylin. You can wait, just like the kids."

"I'm her mother," Bron's face puckered up.

"And I'm her father," Kevin gave her a wry smile.

Bron let out a little huff as she went to stand by Suzie, "What the hell could that be?"

"He didn't say anything to me.  Santa grabbed my ass,"

"Now I know you’re drunk, Santa isn't into groping."

"He did, I'm telling you."

"Right Suz," Bron rolled her eyes.  Playing along when Suzie was this ripped would be fun.

Suzie looked at Santa and then at Kevin and then back to Santa. "Well, he did.  Who the hell is that anyway?"

Bron lied, "I don't know."  She could have said Keith, Kevin's best friend and bus driver, since he wasn't here tonight but with his own family.

Kaylin stared at Santa, half in disbelief and half full of wonderment. She went to stand by her Dad who had placed Cooper in the bassinet not to far from Santa.  "Is that really Santa Daddy?"

"Looks like him to me," Kevin smiled, he could see the doubt but a little fear too."  Why don't you ask him?"  The fear he recognized as she held onto his fingers tightly.

"Are you really Santa?"  Kaylin asked as the other children frowned at her.  They didn't want her to upset Santa.

"Aren't you Kaylin Richardson?"  Santa replied with a question.

Kaylin nodded but squeezed Kevin's hand tighter.

"You're seven years old.  You have an older brother and a younger brother, right here."  Santa pointed to Andrew and then Cooper.

Kaylin frowned, "Do you know who my dad is?  He's Kevin Richardson, he’s famous.  Anybody can find that stuff out about us."

Bron shook her head.  Kaylin was proud to have Kevin as her Dad; all doubts would have been erased by that comment.

"My Mom says, fans are good, they can find out anything. Some of them even know when Dad has to take a leak."

Kevin choked on his drink as Bron rushed forward to cover the little ones mouth.  "Ha ha, a little fan talk that went to the extreme."  Bron wanted to go hide somewhere, anywhere, but in the room they were currently in.

Santa nodded knowingly at Kaylin, his face scrunched slightly, he needed to convince her and now he could see why. She was so distrusting but as himself he had never seen it because she was always comfortable with him.  "Didn't you break your Mom's vase when she was on her honeymoon?"

"I didn't break it, Uncle Nick did.  He blamed me so he wouldn't get in trouble!"  Kaylin frowned at being accused once again.  Then she smiled, "You really are Santa.  Nobody knows that stuff."

"Who the hell is that?"  Suzie glared at Bron, knowing damn well she had to know who it was.

Kaylin jumped up in Santa's lap, "Do you know the Toothfairy?"

At a loss, Santa nodded a yes, what else could he do.

"Tell her I said thank you for the twenty dollars last week."  Kaylin poked her tongue through the gaping hole in the front of her mouth.

"Twenty!" came from more than one parent in the room.

Kevin turned his back to the kids and mouthed, "I didn't have change."

"She got twenty, I only got a quarter," B.J. looked at Santa.

"I got a dollar," Logan smiled.

"Okay present time," Santa called the tooth auction to a close as Kaylin jumped off his lap as fast as she had jumped in it.  "Madison," Santa called her up, she thanked him politely and climbed down.  The little girl was in awe and very quiet as she went to her parents holding the gift tightly in her hand.  Will and B.J. followed with Kaylin going next.  The boys were extremely excited to get the one toy that neither Tim nor Janey could manage to get their hands on.

Bron smiled knowing that the parents were very appreciative of her efforts to get what the kids really wanted; Harry Potter was the hot thing this year.  Silent thank-yous were sent to her from around the room as each child received something very special and very wanted.

Kaylin was next as Santa motioned for her to come and sit. "So Miss Kaylin, is there anything you really wanted for Christmas?"

"You're really Santa?"

"I thought we settled that already," Santa winked at her.

"I want a sister," Kaylin chimed.

Kevin was patting Bron's back from her coughing fit.  "Wrong pipe," Bron croaked out.

"I think that is one for you to talk to your Dad about."  Santa very calmly informed her; but was trying very hard not to bust a gut.

Kaylin lips moved back and forth, "He did it wrong last time, now we have him," Kaylin pointed to the bassinet.

"Kaylin, the little game that you are playing with Santa is not going to help and you're just making your Mother mad."  Kevin warned in a voice that was quiet but carried enough weight to cause the girl to stop.

"Sorry, I thought it was worth a shot," She grumbled.

Santa laughed as well as the rest of the people in the room.  "See that big box over there?"  Santa pointed.

"Yes," Kaylin's smile was mega-watt.

"That's yours, go open it."  Santa hadn't finished the sentence before she was gone and tearing the paper off.

Bron knew what it was just as soon as the paper came off the corner.  She glared at Kevin, "That is mine."

"My chest!"  Kaylin tried to raise the lid but only managed with the help of her older brother.  The other kids weren't impressed over the big wooden box as Kaylin was.  When she saw presents inside with the other kids names on them she yelled for them.

The kids tore into the gifts and Kaylin began to pull personal items out of her big gift.  The wooden box held Photo albums, framed pictures, and items from Bron's first wedding and life with C.W. Kaylin hadn't seen the wedding dress in the bottom that was wrapped in blue tissue paper to preserve it.  The one Bron wore when she married C.W.. Then Kevin put pictures of the new family in the chest and new mementos.

Hank stood up and looked around the room; he raised his glass towards Kevin.  "For anyone who doesn't know, Kaylin's Dad started that chest when Kaylin was still a baby.  He didn't get to finish it," Hank choked up.  "But Kevin here, finished it for her.  Now, she has a little of both her dads that will always be with her. He's a fine man and a great father."

Bron bawled long and loud as she hung to Kevin and cried like a baby.  Suzie cried, everybody cried.

Finally, Kevin cried when Kaylin walked up to him and raised her arms up to be picked up by him.  Squeezing him tightly she smiled, "Thank you for the hopeless chest!"

"It's a Hope Chest," Kevin corrected her as she held on with her arms wrapped around her neck.

"Mom says no man will ever put up with me, I'm hopeless."

The adult's laughter brought a close to the tears and tissues that filled the room.  Happily, Kaylin went around the room and showed everyone her scrapbooks that Kevin had given her, even ones that he had made just for her.

"Those are all my pictures and photo albums," Bron shoved a finger into his chest.

"Yes, and you were hiding them from me.  So why don't we not do that anymore and let her enjoy both of her families."  Kevin was being corny.

"You didn't dare invite the Outlaws, did you?"  Bron's was ready to sink her teeth into his flesh if he had.

"No baby, I'm sentimental, not stupid."  Kevin squeezed her hand.

"One gift left, a few more requests, then I have to take a flight kids."  Santa reached into his bag and pulled out a round object wrapped in paper.  Bron tried not to laugh as Santa bounced the object up and down next to him.

"Who is that for?"  Logan asked, knowing that it had to be a basketball.

Picking up the object, Santa spun it on his fingertip, "It's says Kevin Richardson…  Oh nope, sorry, Kevin Cooper Richardson."  Santa pulled the ball back as Kevin reached for it.

"I see," Kevin laughed.

"Kids need sports, it keeps them healthy." Santa winked.

"Cooper can't play basketball, he just wears diapers and sleeps and poops."  Kaylin added her two cents in.

"Well, it's still his from Saint Nick. So does anybody else have any requests?" Santa eyed Suzie and Suzie backed up.

"Oh, I do," Bron dropped in Santa's lap like a three ton brick.

Santa groaned loudly as his face wrinkled.  "Thank you Mrs. Richardson," Santa smiled.  "Gained a little weight, did ya?"

"She had Cooper," Kaylin laughed.

Bron had that look in her eye that spelled mischief over and over again.  Nick had seen it before, Kevin's birthday present for one.

"What can I do for you?"  Santa patted her calf then her thigh; his hands stopped moving upward hearing Kevin's voice.

"Watch the paws there Clause," Kevin laid a look on Nick.

"You should make that into a song," Bron giggled.

Santa was snickering now, "So what can I do for you?"  Santa was laughing.

"That's a loaded question Santa," Bron laughed.

Kevin shot them both a laser death glare.

"I have a man who loves me very much," Bron smiled.

Santa nodded in agreement.

"However, he has some problems,"

Kevin leaned in on the other side of the chair, "I do?"

"Yes, you see he doesn't really take orders well… from me."

"A whole lot of other people too from what I hear," Santa gave Kevin a cheesy grin.

"I would like him to be… more obedient, less controlling, less anal, and basically a 'Yes-Man'."

Santa had tears flowing down his eyes as he spoke, "I think we may have a problem."  Santa was in a difficult spot; Kevin was on one side, sizing up Santa's next move.  Santa just might get a beating. The adults were laughing their asses off and Bron was just having fun as she swung her legs about.  "I think you have me confused with your Fairy Godmother but I'll tell her you were looking for her."  Santa shoved her off his lap so fast Kevin had to catch her.

"Anyone else?  Do you want to sit on Santa's lap?"  Santa looked at Suzie and patted his lap.  A few adults caught the innuendo but not many.

"Perv," she whispered.

"Okay, I think when I stop by your man's house, I'll tell him how sloshed you were."

Suzie's mouth dropped open wondering how the hell Santa knew she had a man.  "Look, it's bad enough that I get cow gifts because I've been told that my man doesn't have to pay for the cow if the milk is free..."  Suzie took a long breath and scowled first at Anne and then at Santa, “Ya know what?  I shouldn’t have to pay for the entire pig for five or six ounces of sausage either!”

A couple of gasps from the adult males in the room were heard but the women who weren’t laughing out loud were snickering discreetly.

Kevin rushed to Suzie, grabbed her by the arm, and yanked her into the kitchen, swearing the entire way.

“Bron!”  Kevin was yelling for her.  Suzie was yelling for her too, only with a little more panic in her voice.

Bron punched Santa in the arm, snorted like a pig, and then laughed.  “She’s a little drunk and she misses her pig,” Bron laughed even harder and yelled, “Coming!” as Kevin and Suzie continued to call for her.

Santa ignored the drunken woman but he knew the pig would get even some day for this embarrassment.  Santa stood up, pulled his sack up, and waved.  Walking to the door, the kids followed.  "Oh wait a minute I forgot something."  Santa turned around and walked back into the living room.  "Which one of you is Janey?"

"That's my Mom, she's right here."  Logan happily showed Santa the way to his mom.

Santa leaned in towards Mc, "Do you want to borrow my sleigh?  I have a few extra minutes.  It's very romantic you know.  Mrs. Clause thinks so anyway."

Silently Mc grabbed Janey's hand.  Grabbing their coats, they headed to the front door.  "This is perfect," Mc practically ran out the door.

After sticking Suzie in the kitchen with a pot of coffee Bron and Kevin returned to the party.

"That sucks, they get a ride," B.J. yelled as Leighanne grabbed his arm.

"We're going to be going home now," Leighanne stood up with the help of Brian.  "You need to get to bed.  Beside you can't go out in the cold like that."

Bron shook her head, she felt sorry for B.J. Ever since the surgery, his mother just wouldn't let up.  Brian looked just as upset over the statement.  He was angry, it was a lot harder for Brian to mask his anger, then it was for Kevin.

"Cheer up dude, he's coming back later to give you more presents," Kevin tried to lift his spirits.

"I know," B.J. stuffed his hands in his pockets.

"You wouldn't want to go anyway, Mc is going to ask my Mom to marry him and it's going to be all mushy stuff if she says yes."  Logan announced to everyone including B.J.

"Do you think she'll say yes Logan?"  Bron questioned him.

"I hope so.  I really like him, he's fun."  Logan went off to play as some of the party members decided it was time to go.

Bron returned to the task of sobering up her best friend. 

After a half hour, Logan began to prance by the door.

"Ease up man, I'm sure she'll say yes," Kevin could tell this kid was a nervous wreck.  Then the sleigh bells rang in the air.  Logan ran to the door and opened it.  He shouted across the lawn.  "Did you say yes Mom?"

"YES!"  Mc yelled back to him.

"Told ya dude," Kevin smiled as he waited for them.  Coats and hats on, they were the last to leave.  Kevin went into the kitchen to check on the girls.  Kaylin was in bed, she actually wanted to go to bed, and Cooper had been tucked in.  Andrew was upstairs in his room watching television.  Suzie was drinking coffee as she sat watching Bron clean up the dessert dishes.

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