Hanging up the phone, she turned and shrugged her shoulders.
"Wrong number," Bron mumbled to Suzie.
"Yeah sure it is but you had better tell Kevin about
it." Suzie ventured where she thought she shouldn't but
Bron would ignore it.
"I will," she answered as the phone rang again.
"Hello, Merry Christmas."
Suzie snickered, Bron was being perky, it just wasn't her
style. She watched Bron talk and walk to the window. The men
were running for the tree line. Nick rolled in the snow and
hid behind a tree. Bron was laughing, he should have picked
a tree that was fatter than the sapling he was trying to hide
behind. "Yes MeeMaw, I know that you are coming over
today and that it is tradition. I know you wanted to do Christmas
dinner but Kevin wanted it here with us." Bron rolled
her eyes and pointed to the window.
Moving from her chair, Suzie joined her at the counter. They
quietly laughed as the adult men became superheroes. Kevin
and Nick were really into it. Shaking her head, Bron turned
away as they disappeared into the trees. "Yes, I'll see
you then." Disconnecting the call, it rang again before
she had a chance to place the telephone back on the charger.
Suzie watched Bron's face cloud over sadly. She wasn't talking
just listening. Suzie reached the phone only to have Bron
turn her back and cover the microphone with her hand. "Kaylin,
your grandpa is on the phone!" Bron shouted and waited
by the doorway for Kaylin to race in, which she did. Grabbing
the telephone, she stood in front of her mother.
"Why do you still let them get to you?" Suzie whispered.
"I don't really have a choice, they are her grandparents."
Bron listened while she worked at getting the dinner ready.
The conversation was geared towards a seven year old. Bounce
rattled off the list of gifts that Santa had brought her and
Bron's face soured as she eavesdropped. "And Andrew got
"Whoa," Bron grabbed the telephone and listened
to the man yell at her.
"It's paint gun!" Bron shouted back into the telephone.
"Nothing real. C.W's are locked up until he is old enough
to handle them properly."
Suzie studied Bron's reaction and waited for the inevitable
slam that these people still managed to give Bron. Predictably,
Bron's mood changed rapidly and then the flash of anger followed
by a profound darkness seemed to take over her confidant.
"It's in the papers, wonderful. Yes I'm coming home,
you know I have too. Yes, he is coming with me, he's my husband.
I really don't care if you like him or not." Bron slammed
the phone down and looked at Bounce. "GO PLAY!"
Bron yelled at her.
Kaylin took it in stride as she watched her mother become
upset. "It's okay Mom, if they don't like Dad, they're
just being jerks." Kaylin marched off in a huff.
"Oh shit, I shouldn't have yelled at her or had that
conversation in front of her."
"They really didn't give you an option nor do they ever."
Suzie followed Kaylin to have a talk with her since Bron was
obviously not up to it.
Kaylin played with the monstrous dollhouse that was twice
the size of her. Chatting away with Barbie, Suzie listened.
"It's okay Barbie, they're jerks. Dad is great and I
love him. He told me that he would always be my Dad no matter
what people say."
Suzie smiled and walked away. Going back into the kitchen,
she watched Bron chop vegetables with a vengeance. She would
keep what she had heard to herself and maybe talk to Kevin
about it later. Cooper moved in his infant seat in the middle
of the kitchen table. The mood of Christmas day had been lost
and Suzie hoped it was temporary.
The telephone rang again and Bron stared at it. "Let
the machine get it. I don't feel like talking to anyone."
"You do know that they don't have to accept or like
Kevin. You married him. Kaylin is happy and Andrew is happy."
Turning she looked at Cooper who was starting to drift off
to sleep. "Cooper looks very happy."
"Yeah, we're all happy," The caustic remark flew
out of her mouth before she could stop it. "I'm sorry,
you didn't deserve that. They upset me every time. Even long
"Let it go," Suzie grabbed a paring knife and began
to chop carrots. "Your daughter is very smart. I just
heard her tell Barbie that her Dad is great and she loves
A small smile dared to cross Bron's lips. "She adores
him. For a while I didn't think it was going to work out,
but it has, hasn't it?"
"It has, now don't let people who have no bearing on
your life interfere. Besides you have to be in a good mood
when they come back."
"I do?" Bron questioned as she quirked an eyebrow
at her friend.
"Yes, it's Christmas and you are a sentimental suck."
"I am not," Bron smiled. Suzie had her pegged.
"Let's put him down for a nap. While this is cooking,
I think we should go load up the new software." An evil
grin replaced the smile she was wearing.
"You are going to get in so much trouble with that."
"I know! I can't wait!" Bron picked Cooper up,
let out a low whistle and the dogs charged to her.
Suzie groaned, "Here comes the spit brigade."
"Stop, you love them." Bron laughed.
"Like hell I do," Suzie groaned as Justin looked
at her with a huge string of spit running from his mouth to
the floor. "Ecck," she rolled her eyes.
Walking to the living room, Kaylin was happily playing. Bron
muttered something and Justin bounded down into the pit. Crawling
up on the couch, he laid down with his head on his paws. Wrinkles
showing and big brown eyes shone back at her. Bron laughed,
"If Kevin comes, get off the couch. Besides, he feeds
you from the table and he isn't supposed to." Justin
thumped his tail and let out a low woof.
Suzie's head went back and forth. Justin had just been put
on guard duty with Kaylin. This was a first, Bron was really
"Come on Brit, time to go to work." Bron carried
Cooper up the stairs. Suzie watched as Bron was followed by
a dog that weighed almost two hundred pounds and it's head
was even with her waist as they walked. Bron's hand dropped
down and she rubbed the dog's head. "You're a good girl."
They rounded the corner at the top of the landing.
"Justin don't eat Barbie." Kaylin grabbed the doll
that the dog had managed to steal from the table.
"Good thing her name isn't Britney," Suzie giggled
as she went up to the offices. Bron would join her as soon
as Cooper was put down and Brit was put on guard duty. Admitting
that she was a little shocked, she had never seen Bron more
or less post the dogs on guard duty but she could see how
it would be useful and more comfortable for everyone. Not
many people would want to approach a child when they had to
go through two hundred pounds of fur and snarling teeth. Suzie's
mind whipped back to Stevie, the dogs hated him. "Smart
dogs, they knew before us."
"What?" Bron charged into the reception area of
the offices to hear Suzie talking to herself.
"Nothing," Suzie ambled behind Bron as Bron sat
at her computer.
They installed the software, played with it a little, read
the manual, played some more. The nice interlude was broken
when Kevin's voice boomed over the intercom. "Where's
Bron looked at her watch, "Shit!"
Suzie was right behind her as they ran down the stairs. They
froze in the kitchen. "What the hell?" were the
first words to come out of Bron's mouth.
"Oh my God!" Suzie stood glued to her spot. "We
have to catch a plane."
Andrew was laughing, Keith was laughing, Kevin was trying
not to laugh. When his wife turned her eyes on him, he quickly
closed his mouth and placed his hands in the air. She was
ready to let him have it and he knew it.
Bron's mouth fell open and she reached to slap Kevin who
had his hands in the air. "How dare you! Do you know
how dangerous that was? Look at him! He has to go to Boston
to be with her family! Did you even think about how you could
have hurt him?"
Kevin's eyes tripled in size as it hit him like a brick.
Bron was yelling at him as loud as she could. The guys were
laughing, Suzie even started to grin. Swallowing, he dared
to answer her, "He's not ours, he's a big boy, you can
get out of the Mommy mode now."
A whack on the head stunned him as he grabbed her arm and
glared at Bron. "Don't hit me! I'll hit you back!"
"You are an idiot; that was dangerous and stupid!"
Bron was getting louder and louder.
"How do you know it was me? Why is it every time Little
Man gets hurt, I get blamed for it?"
Bron fumed while she looked back and forth between the two.
It took a minute for what was going on to sink in Nick's
head. Once it did he replied quietly, "He almost took
my eye out," but hid the smirk.
Kevin's face contorted through ten faces of anger before
his hand shot out and he grabbed Nick by the shoulder. "You
close it right now!"
"Come on Nicky, let's see if we can try and get some
of that off!" Bron slapped Kevin's hand way. "Bully!"
Nick laughed again until Kevin's eyes landed on him, then
it became a quiet snicker. Kevin was now in the doghouse with
Bron and he was the cause.
Suzie couldn't make up her mind, whether she was pissed off
that her boyfriend had a blue paint stain in the center of
his forehead and now resembled Papa Smurf or laugh because
Bron was playing mother hen.
"I wanna eat!" Kevin barked as Bron led Nick out
of the room by his hand.
"Well too bad! You should've been more responsible.
Shooting at people, you're sick." Bron's stomach turned,
all she could think about was C.W. and she was sure that Kevin
hadn't or he wouldn't have pulled such a stupid stunt.
"It didn't hurt much just sort of jolt but it really
stung. I wanted to cry!" Nick tossed in some comments
and winked at Kevin. Kevin's chair scrapped across the slate
tile. Nick ducked thinking Kevin was going to come after him.
Walking up to her bedroom, she stopped in the laundry room
and then proceeded to her bedroom. "Kevin is an idiot."
Nick saw the hurt that Kevin had missed. "Aww, we were
just playin'. Don't bust his nuts for that."
"Nick, it's wrong, screwing around with guns, paint
or otherwise gets people hurt." Grabbing the bottle that
she had brought from the laundry she dabbed some on a tissue
and then sprinkled water from the faucet on the tissue as
well. Reaching up to Nick's face she couldn't reach. "Stoop
down here. You damn people are all too tall."
She dabbed the tissue on his forehead where it was obvious
that Kevin had taken careful aim. Bron didn't say anything
and could only imagine what horseplay had gone on. Now she
would confiscate the so called toys. "There you go."
"Damn that stings, what is that?" Nick looked in
the mirror and sighed as the blue mark disappeared as he dabbed
at it with the tissue.
"A fifty-fifty blend of bleach and water. Sometimes
at work I get stuff that is impossible to get off. I use this."
"Now let's go eat. I'm sure my husband has managed to
work himself up enough to blast both of us. Me for playing
Mommy and you for sucking up the attention." Bron smiled
and squeezed his hand. "I'm glad you came. She was missing
you and seemed very lonely even though we're all here."
"I'm glad I came too," Nick smiled. "I could
use a hug every day."
Bron groaned as they walked down the stairs as Nick borrowed
some of Kevin's old lines.
Walking into the dining room, the table setting had been
finished. All of the food had been moved to the table. Kevin
was silent as she sat down at the table. Grabbing her hand
impatiently, he squeezed it. "I'm sorry, I forgot about…
"It's okay, just don't do it again. Shoot lower,"
Bron's anger had waned away thanks to Nick's antics and boyish
"I don't think so," a voice spoke from the other
end. "Kevin needs his vocal chords and head. The group
needs the stunning good looks since he is the cutest one.
I need the lower end." Suzie began to smirk.
"What for Aunt Suzie?" Kaylin leaned on the table.
Kevin snorted, Nick blushed, Keith shook his head along with
Andrew. Bron just laughed, "Let's eat."
"I thought Uncle Nick was trying to be Uncle A.J. with
all the blue stuff."
"No Kaylin, your Dad was an idiot. He did something
stupid, without thinking but he'll never do it again."
Kevin humbled himself in front of all of them.
"That's okay Dad, I still love you." She leaned
over and kissed his cheek from her chair on the left side
Kevin's smile was bright and his face reddened as he waited
for the usually ribbing he would get from Keith and Nick.
It didn't come, the only thing was a series of 'aww-s' from
all of them.
This page © 2001 - 2007 Bronwyn
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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
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