~The Binding~

Chapter 29

Webster rolled his eyes; this meeting was going to take awhile. "All the evidence is circumstantial. Right now, it is your word against his. However, we do have grounds based on the incidents to work on a much stronger case for the Rico laws. One way or another, Lenny will stay in jail."

"I'm not worried about that piece of scum right now." Bron looked out the window as the snow fell from the sky.

"I thought that is what you wanted. What else are you concerned about?" Maddigan wasn't sure which problem Mrs. Richardson was thinking about.

After exchanging a look with Kevin, she shrugged her shoulders, "It's nothing."

Maddigan looked at Webster for a hint, when Webster raised his head up and down once; he knew what the concern involved. "We won't hurt your friend Steve when we bring him in. Every one of his friends, including you, state that he is mentally unstable."

"I don't want Stevie hurt, he needs help," Bron uttered.

"And he'll get it, safely in the prison system where his ass belongs, far away from you." Kevin spoke as he read the paper that was placed in front of him. His voice held a matter-of-fact tone and nothing else.

Shuffling papers, Webster paused and looked at Bron and Kevin. "I'll be honest, Lenny has the best group of defense lawyers that his brother's money can buy. They will try and rip you apart but we have a few surprises for them."

"What about discovery? You can't have surprises?" Now Kevin was truly interested.

"We aren't creating them, Lenny will. Certain things will come to light in this trial and the aftershocks are going to be felt for a long time. I guarantee you, Lenny will not get out of jail and few may join him."

Bron noted the coldness in Webster's voice and appearance. She didn't know who or what he was referring to but now she was worried. "Stop for a minute." Bron left the room and returned with her office telephone from upstairs. Unplugging the standard house phone, she plugged the office telephone into the jack.

Kevin and Jake surmised on their own who she was calling. It wasn't a stretch for either one of them. Webster's tone and actions had set this ball rolling.

Placing the telephone in the middle of the dinning room table, she dialed a number. Suzie answered the phone in full business form.

"Where is he?" Bron's voice was short and tense.

Suzie didn't question Bron's abruptness, she knew what was going on today. "Your office."

Bron's nose wrinkled, "He needs to get his own."

Suzie wasn't going there, she was tense enough on her own. She had received news today that would not only turn her world upside down but everyone else's as well. "He doesn't have his own office. Hang on."

Bron's face puckered up, turning her head to the side, she looked at Kevin. "She's crabby today."

Kevin's brows shot to the ceiling, "Gee and you are so sweet too." Bron wasn't nice; obviously Suzie wasn't going to be nice back or she was choosing to ignore it.

"Yeah," Mc pulled his head away from the computer. All he heard was a strange voice speaking loudly.

"This is highly irregular. I don't think we should continue with this." Maddigan closed his folder.

Maddigan was posturing for full control of this case. Kevin wasn't about to let that happen. Webster was going to remain in control so that he could find out what was really going on. "If you want a trial, you will continue. Otherwise we'll fly back to Lexington tonight." Kevin didn't question the call, nor did he let it needle him like he normally would. Obviously Bron was looking for reassurance the Mc wasn't going to join Lenny in jail. If she knew the truth that they had been hiding from her, the call would have never been made. Kevin needed to find a way to tell her without her blowing up. Although he didn't see a way of preventing the blowup since she had been lied to once again. His own words were chewing on him, about no more lies or secrets. "Good time to get a conscious."

"What?" Bron looked at him.

"Nothing," Kevin stood up and walked to the French doors to make sure Kaylin was still upstairs.

When Bron spoke her voice croaked, "Help me…"

"I'm here Spark," Mc rubbed his eyes. He was tired, he wasn't sleeping well, and lately he would do anything for a decent nights sleep. Worry, guilt, and sorrow at him nightly, even when his own wife was lying next to him.

Unassumingly Webster opened Maddigan's folder, "We can continue. This is the other half of the witness list."

"McDonald?" Maddigan stared at the telephone rendered speechless.

"The one and only," Mc quipped, knowing he had an audience.

Kevin ambled back to his chair. "Thank God for that."

"Chill Pop Star," Mc laughed at Kevin.

"What do you have to do with this?" Bron glared at Webster and then at the telephone, something wasn't right.

"Nothing, I'm just a character witness for you," Mc jumped on the question to quell Bron's suspicions. He would tell her the real truth in the coming days but only face to face. He wanted her to know before the beans were spilled in the courtroom, even though all parties concerned except Kevin and Jake advised against it.

Bron pushed for a more direct answer, something wasn't right. "That isn't what I hear. Are you playing both sides of the fence again?"

"Yes," Mc blew out a breath, sometimes he had to give a little to satisfy his partner.

"Asshole," Bron grimaced. She had an answer but it wasn't a full one and she knew it. Somebody was full of shit but she wasn't going to find out who right now. Her angry eyes landed on Kevin, "And you knew about this?"

Mc stifled the laugh, he knew who she was speaking to without even being in the room. "Don't tear up Kevin's ass because you're pissed at me. When I come up the day after tomorrow, we'll talk. Just the two of us."

"And me," Kevin sat back in the chair and stretched.

"Threatened much?" Mc laughed at Kevin again.

Jake cooled the conversation quickly. When the three of them went at it, it wasn't a pleasant experience. The freak side show of this dynamic group didn't need to be showed to Maddigan. "Stop now," Jake spoke and then waited for them all to calm down.

Maddigan opened the folder. "This should be done separately."

Mc understood the why but also was smart enough to know that wouldn't happen. "I'm here for moral support."

"He doesn't have any morals," Bron balked getting her dig in because she was still pissed off. "He's amoral."

Mc had had enough, "I can hang up."

"No don't!" Bron panicked.

Maddigan didn't say a word. Webster had informed him Bron and Mc's history and then Kevin's involvement. He didn't understand it and wasn't going to pretend to. He might as well just begin so this could be over with. "The courtroom will have a judge, a witness box, defense and prosecution tables, law clerks, stenographers...."

"I've watched court TV, I get the idea." Bron had enough of this non-sense and wanted to get this over with.

Maddigan deferred to Webster, who in turn shook his head. "She knows the layout of a courtroom. She knows Lenny and many of his colleagues will be there. Just give her the standard run down."

Finally, something Kevin wanted to address came up. "Can we get a closed courtroom with no press? This is going to be hard enough on her without the rags and gossip sheets jumping on it."

"Probably not. This case will generate a ton of publicity on the local level. The national attention will be because of you." Maddigan offered a faint hint of dismay over that point.

Bron closed her eyes wondering for the first time if she could really do this. This trial would not only impact her, but everyone associated with her, from her children to all things connected to Backstreet. "I really don't want the tabloids to have access to the details of the attack, or anyone else for that matter."

Kevin sat and listened. Bron still hadn't taken possession of what had happened to her. Bron needed to, not in the sense that it was her fault or blame but the fact that she was violently assaulted in her own home. When she did speak of it, it always referred to by using the word 'the'. Someday she would have to take ownership of it to rid herself of some of the heartache. The event would never be forgotten but maybe the pain could be dulled when she finally owned what happened and absolved herself of the blame. As far as he could tell that would be a long way off unless something propelled her into it full force.

Mc had been listening and the guilt was heavy. "A plan has been put into place to take of the media circus."

"It has?" echoed from all.

"It has," Webster confirmed Mc's words as if he actually knew what Mc was speaking of.

"I would like to be informed," Maddigan stated at the audacity of the man on the end of the telephone.

Webster wanted to kill Mc right now. "When the details are finalized, we will let you know."

"Move on," Mc grumbled as he moved the office chair.

Bron heard the squeaking and rolling of the chair. "Are you on my computer?"

"Oh lord," Kevin moaned quietly to Jake.

"Why yes I am Spark," Mc snorted. He had been trying to get onto the damn thing all day.

"Get off of it! My stuff is on there!" Bron yelled into the speakerphone.

Mc clicked more keys. "I wouldn't worry about it. I don't have the password and I can't figure it out."

"I don't have a password." Bron's eyebrows dipped down in concentration and the she smiled. "Tell Suzie I said thanks," she giggled.

"Dammit," Mc jammed the keyboard shelf closed.

"Come on, stay focused people. There are too many things to go over." Maddigan began,"This case is going to be based on character witnesses. Your word against Lenny's. From what I have read, you have some points that the defense is going to target and use against you."

Bron sat up and listened, "Let's hear them. I think I already know but I don't like surprises."

"You're not a milk and cookie Mom. You have a presence that crosses all lines. You have children, you were a widow and now you are a wife again. You work in a man's world."

"I like it too," she smiled wide. "I can take them to their knees in a bid when I play dress up and they think I'm a dumb female."

Kevin scoffed at the remark; dumb was funny to him as well.

Maddigan shook his head, "That attitude right there will sink this trial. You have to appear vulnerable and sweet."

The deranged laughter from the telephone muffled Kevin's laughter too.

"Both of you are mean," Bron turned surly quickly. She had her moments when she could be that way and they both knew it.

"Bronwyn," Kevin's voice sent a warning for her to settle.

"Look I'm not saying you are. However if you come out with that attitude, you will alienate all the male jurors. They'll turn it over in their heads and make it seem like Lenny did nothing more than put you in your place." Maddigan didn't like to put such a scenario on his own gender but it was the truth.

"BULLSHIT!" Bron fired back with her eyes blazing. The chair shot out from under her as she jumped up and leaned over the table directly into Maddigan's face. Jamming her index finger into the glass of the tabletop as she spoke she continued to yell at Maddigan. "I did not ask for my husband to be taken from me. My daughter to be raised without her father. I DID NOT ASK TO HAVE MY BODY VIOLATED WITH AN ACT OF VIOLENCE BECAUSE LENNY WANTED TO GET EVEN WITH MC!" Both of her hands now rested on the table as she huffed to try and suck air into her lungs. Her arms perpendicular to the table and her entire body weight resting on them; Bron's feet no long touched the floor. A caress on her hand caught her off guard. It was Kevin's thumb, his entire hand covered hers now; his thumb moving slowly in small circles over the top of her hand.

The others sat and cast cautious looks to one another. Bron's eyes were focused on the hand that rested on hers. Not one person spoke as tears dropped onto the hand that covered hers and softly rolled to the glass covering the table. Without picking her head up, she spoke. "I guess I need to work on controlling my feelings a little better."

Silence blanketed the room for what seemed like forever. The air seemed stifling to her. Kevin was the one to break the silence. "You have been controlling that for a long time. It was time for you to take ownership and you just did. I'm proud of you for that because I know it has been a long time coming. I really didn't think you ever would."

Clearing her throat, she sniffed and looked at him. "I need some coffee."
"Make her some coffee Jake," the voice cracked from the telephone.

"I'm sorry," she murmured to the phone.

"So am I Spark, so am I." Sighing Mc closed his eyes as Suzie opened the door. She set a cup of coffee on Bron's desk. Mc eyed her suspiciously; this was out of character for her. "Thanks," he grabbed the cup and took a long sip.

"You're welcome," Suzie quietly began to shut the door.

"Don't take off, she may need you."

"I won't," the door closed quietly.

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