~The Binding~

Chapter 28


One day and night had passed and on the second night, Kevin lay in the bed, alone. Two in the morning glowed in neon green. He knew it would start but not this soon. Bron was prowling around downstairs. Suzie was going to be delayed for two more days to actually catch up on bids for upcoming jobs. Mc had had a fit knowing that getting Suzie back to Lexington after hanging around with her confidant would be difficult to say the least. Kevin heard the entire argument between the two partners thanks to a conference call, a very loud one. Suzie didn't say a word as Mc and Bron fought it out and Mc won in the end, "She has to stay here and work!"

Grabbing a pair of boxers, he snuck down the stairs to see what Bron was up to. The computer screen was glowing in the dark. Her light was on next to her desk. Shaking his head, he watched her fingers fly across the keyboard. She would stop; pick up a coffee cup, sip, and then place the cup back down. Kevin's head jerked when he saw a flame light and a puff a smoke. "Damn," he frowned at her. "She's smoking again," he stood in the living room and watched through the French doors.

"Hey," Jake stood at the top of the stairs, watching Kevin peer through then French doors.

Kevin came up the stairs not wanting to alert Bron that he was up or wake the kids. "She's fine, she's writing."

"Banging her stress out on the keyboard?" Jake turned to head back to his room. There was no sense in going down to check on her, she would just make him leave.

"And smoking," Kevin wrinkled his nose.

"Damn, she was doing so well," Jake shut the door after going into the room.

Kevin fell back into bed and closed his eyes; he needed to sleep if she was going to stay up. Somebody would have to take care of the kids in the morning and knowing Bron, her mood would be the worst. As he nodded off he thought about the meeting they were going to have with Webster later today. They were going to go over Bron's testimony one more time. Kevin laughed when Webster said that they needed to coach her on what to wear to the trial. Bron groused in the background, "Whatever. Why don't you ask Kevin, he has such a fashion sense."

Kevin sat in the chair, not sure how he managed to get dragged into this but he knew it would pass like the rest of her mood. The only thing he was banking on was some alone time with his wife. Suzie and he had managed to talk Bron into spending some time out of the house with Kevin and without the kids after Suzie arrived. Tears welled up in Bron's eyes; Kevin thought she was going to cry, until she burst out laughing. "Suzie is going to baby-sit our kids, again!"

Suzie snorted on the other end of the speakerphone. "Well, you'll owe me for it. At least Jake will be there to help."

"Time to get up," Bron shook Kevin awake.

Kevin grumbled into his pillow before he rolled over, he tried to look at his watch and gave up due to his own inability to focus on the numbers. Too lazy to turn, he asked Bron, "What time is it?"

"10:00," Bron walked around the room picking up his dirty clothes. Throwing his socks in the hamper, she looked at him. "Come on."

Slowly sitting up, he yawned, "Did you come back to bed?" His smile was lazy as she stopped and looked at him. "I know when you aren't with me."

"No I didn't, I couldn't sleep. Sleep is over-rated." Bron opened the closet door.

Kevin pulled on a pair of pajama bottoms. The cold air nipped at his skin, "How cold is it?"

Bron handed him what he needed, the top to the bottoms he was wearing.

Slipping his arms through it, he gave a quirky smile. "Whatcha' thinkin'?"

"You look sexy in flannel," she pulled a boot out from under all the sweaters and watched him button up his top.

"Yep that's me, Ward Clever." Kevin joined her at the closet and looked down at the mess. His eyes wandered around, the shelves looked like they were going to topple. "Just like home."

"The house is clean, leave my closet alone," Bron moved stuff around on the floor of the closet to find the other boot. Fishing her hand through the piles of clothes, she pulled the matching boot out.

"Amazing," Kevin just shook his head. He needed coffee, it was ten and Webster was coming at eleven. Kevin remained mute as Bron stepped out the front door looking like a miniature commando. He had showered and having breakfast by the time she made it back downstairs. Jake had made Bron and Kaylin breakfast and he was lucky enough to be handed some leftover French Toast. Standing up he watched from the window as she entered the garage. Kaylin was dogging her heels and dressed exactly like her mother.

"They are going to snowblow the driveway, you can sit down now." Jake spoke from the kitchen as he washed the dishes.

"I think you should stay on as our nanny too," Kevin snickered with his back turned.

"You never know Kev. Bron is my family and I would get paid to play with my niece and nephews. Two paychecks, one for security and for being a Nanny."

"Wait a minute, I didn't say that you would get a …" Kevin jumped as snow slammed into the front door. Dashing to the door, he saw Kaylin on the other side with a huge grin on her face. Kevin opened the door and the cold blast of artic air made him yell even louder. "You do that again and you're… OW!" Kevin was fuming as he wiped the snow from his face and spit it out of his mouth. His cheek was stinging and he was sure he had a red mark from the impact. Kaylin fell into a pile of snow laughing and Kevin slammed the door shut. "BITCH!" he yelled as he focused on his wife, who stood from her launching spot laughing.

Jake held his stomach as he tried to talk. "You have to watch her Kev, you should know better."

"Watch Cooper!" Kevin stormed up the stairs.

Coming back down Kevin headed outside, Jake laughed as Kevin hobbled out the door. Too many layers could make moving difficult.

Jake gladly took a seat on the bench by the window. He laughed when Kevin barreled into Bron and knocked her flat on her ass. Jake watched her scramble to her feet only to have Kevin pick her up and toss her in the snow again. That was the only invitation Kaylin needed as she and Bron tag-teamed Kevin.

Snow-angels were made and a few too many snowball fights. Kaylin jumped up on a branch that was hanging low and sprinkled the snow over her parents. She laughed the entire time as they shook snow from their heads. Kevin took over snow-blowing the driveway as Bron grabbed a shovel and started clearing snow from a the front lawn. An oval was marked off on the ground. The garden hose had been hooked up and lay waiting. Jake laughed, "Looks like the start of a rink. There maybe a hockey game yet. I hope Pop Star can skate." Jake had been holding Cooper who he slowly rocked back and forth. The phone ringing startled both Jake and Cooper. He felt like his private fantasy of his own little family interrupted. "Hello," Jake answered as he cradled Cooper in one of his massive arms.

"She showed, watch your back, you took his side. It's not fair." The caller disconnected. Jake disconnected but waited for the telephone to ring. It did as he had expected it to.

"Jake, we couldn't get a trace," Webster spoke.

"I figured as much. You guys need to hold off for a little bit. They are actually having some fun and Bron is building a rink. She needs this time Web." Jake continued to watch out the window as Kevin began to help Bron clear the snow. He laughed since he could tell that she was giving orders. Kevin was staring intently at the rink and then began to point.

Bron shook her head no at him and handed him a shovel. "You lost that one buddy," Jake chuckled as he listened to Webster.

"So I hear that it's family play time in the snow. Nice ice ball she nailed Kevin in the face with." Webster snickered into the phone.

Jake looked around, there wasn't a soul to be seen anywhere. "Where the hell are you guys?"

"Hidden," Webster sighed. "I hate doing this to them."

"They don't know?" Jake watched out the window. The snow was cleared off and they were now watering the lawn in January. It would freeze in a few hours as cold as it was outside.

"I'm sure they do, we've discussed it. I just don't think they understand to what detail we are around them." Webster wanted Jake to confirm what he had thought.

"No they don't and keep it that way. It will make her twice as nervous knowing somebody is watching her." Jake heard a bang on the window. He laughed as Kaylin stuck her tongue to the glass. "Too bad it wasn't metal, it would keep her busy for a bit."

"How did she do on tour with them?" Webster had seen very few shots of Bron with Kevin on the tour.

"Come on, she was hidden from everybody. I think there was maybe 1 shot when they left for Vegas and one shot when he pulled out of California. Some people saw her at the TRL deal back then."

Webster paused as he flipped through the photos. "Oh yeah, I remember that one, the big kiss."

Kevin and Bron were coming towards the house. "I think you can come now, you're only a half hour late. It looks like they are coming in now."

"I'm only at the corner Jake. They alerted me to what was going on. I decided then to be late."

"See ya," Jake hung up the phone as the front door opened.

"You need to change so you can go," Kevin pulled Kaylin's hat off her head.

"I don't want to go there. I want to stay here with you guys." Kaylin sat on the floor and took her snow-covered boots off.

"You have to go, I have meetings the rest of the day." Bron checked the clock and turned to Kevin. "He's late."

"But I don't want to go to Grandma and Grandpa's."

"Why?" Bron hung her coat up and looked at all the melting snow on the slate floor.

"They don't like Dad. I want to stay home." Kaylin placed her coat on the hanger Kevin had handed her.

"It doesn't matter that they don't like me. They love you." Kaylin always surprised him with what she could figure out herself just by picking up pieces of conversation.

"Kaylin you can't stay here. We're… We're going to talk about stuff that I don't want you to hear."

Kaylin's arms went up in the air. "The trial I know. I know that is why we are here. I'm not stupid Mom."

Bron gulped and her face turned pink. "I know you are not stupid but I have to talk about what happened that day. It's bad enough that I have to re-live it. I don't want you to have too."

Kaylin looked a little confused and turned to Kevin to help sort it out.

"Mom doesn't want you to hear that stuff again and start having nightmares." Kevin lifted his foot since a mop was now being blazed across the floor with enough force to kill somebody.

"I won't! He's in jail. You're here, we're not alone. Uncle Jake is here too."

"Oh shit," Kevin groaned as he tilted his head back for moment and closed his eyes.

"Now look," Bron stood with both hands on the mop. "I said."

"You can stay but you have to promise that you will play upstairs and not come down unless I call you. No trips to the kitchen or to the living room."

"Okay," Kaylin bounced into the living room. "Can I stay here for awhile?"

"For awhile," Kevin looked at the empty driveway.

"Thanks Dad!" Kaylin smiled back at him. The triumphant smile she had learned at the tender age of seven, knowing that she had gotten her way.

"Thanks Dad," Bron gritted her teeth after the words were spoken.

"Don't force her to be with them. It will only make it worse." Kevin sounded like a child psychologist.

"Damn you," Bron handed Kevin the mop.

Jake didn't say much until she walked into the living room. "You've come a long way Kevin in a short amount of time."

Kevin held onto the mop as he watched two cars pull in the driveway. "Thanks Jake."

Bron changed quickly. Webster would be along soon. They had come in the house and she knew that once they did, he would show up. She was pretending to not know that she and her family were being watched because she didn't want Kevin to think it would upset her. In fact, it was a relief to her. The house was surrounded by a forest, a creek wound through the back of the property. Critters abounded in the undisturbed fields and hid in the woodlands, without being seen, so could a person.

Charging downstairs, she was greeted by Webster and one other person. Bron frowned at Webster and then turned to Kevin.

Kevin handed her a cup of coffee. "He goes by Maddigan and he is here to help."

"With what?" Bron continued to stare at Kevin, not bothering with the two men at the table.

"With your case Mrs. Richardson. I'm from the government." Maddigan uttered from the table.

Kevin looked over Bron's head for a moment to Webster and then back to Bron. "It's fine, really."

"I'm only here to help."

"As long as you keep that piece of trash in jail you will be helping me." Bron sat at the table and said nothing.

Kevin crossed the room and opened up the French doors. "Kaylin, it's time to go upstairs."

Popping up from the floor, she went to the door that Kevin stood at. The door was only open a crack while Kevin's hand held it in place so she couldn't enter. Kaylin gave it a push to open the doors and Kevin let her.

"Hi Web," she smiled, showing her missing front tooth.

"Hey Bounce," Webster pushed his chair back and went to the door. "How are you?"

"Good," Kaylin nodded her head. "And you?"

Kevin stifled the laugh; she seemed so old some days.

"I lost a tooth," her tongue darted out of the empty space.

"Did the Toothfairy come and visit?" Webster leaned down to get a closer look.

"Yes and she left me twenty dollars," her tongue darting in and out of the hole.

"Really?" Webster's eyes grew wide. "God forbid you should break a leg, Dad here, might have to buy you a corvette like your Mom's." Webster stuck a finger in Kevin's chest.

"Webster!" came out of both Bron and Kevin. Bron looked at Jake to see if he was thinking the same thing that she was. They both rolled their eyes hoping that Kaylin wouldn't turn up with a broken leg.

Kaylin stared at Maddigan, "Who is that? He's new."

Webster knew Kaylin was very observant for a kid her age. She was taught to be that way. "A friend of mine; he's a good guy."

"Oh," Kaylin backed away from the door awkwardly.

Kevin opened the door and walked into the living room. Picking Bounce up, he carried her upstairs. Giving her instructions, he waited for the reaction.

"Oh that would be sweet Dad!"

Kevin watched the wheels begin to spin in the little head. "You have to stay upstairs please."

"A car, a real car. I'm going to draw the one I want. I don't want red… Mom has Red. I want blue or purple."

"Use the monitor if you need me." Kevin stood at the top of the stairs he waited for her to respond.

Grabbing her art supplies, she threw them on the floor. Kaylin heard her Dad groan from just outside her door. She grinned at him, "I'll clean it up."

"You had better," Kevin headed back down the stairs.

Bron wasn't sitting, she was pacing, burning off her nerves while Kevin settled Kaylin in for a bit.

Kevin poured another cup of coffee and sat down across from Maddigan. "Let's begin, shall we?"

Closing her eyes and biting her lip, Bron took a seat. "I really don't like that he is here."

Everyone in the room stared at Maddigan except Bron, whose eyes were still closed.

"I'm here to help."

"Like I haven't heard that before," Bron replied coolly then she sipped her coffee.

"First up, trial procedure," Webster opened a binder he had brought in with him.

"Yee-ha," Bron's eyes narrowed.

"Stop," Kevin cautioned her. He prayed to God they both could get through this. Jake sat in on the meeting since he had placed Cooper down for a nap.

"Let the good times roll," Bron sarcastic attitude had checked in and seemed ready to do battle.






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