~The Binding~

Chapter 31

Removing his finger from the mute button, he rolled the chair restlessly around the office.

"If Solarez is being protected by a dirty cop or should I say cops, it would have to be higher up in the precinct. It would have to be the South Precinct." Bron was onto something since she could hear the office chair squeaking over the telephone line, Mc was uncomfortable. By hastily glancing to Webster and Maddigan it solidified her thoughts. She turned to Kevin for confirmation.

Kevin sighed, "I have never accused you of being stupid."

Maddigan's eyes bulged in response to Kevin's statement.

Bron focused a death glare on Webster; he shrugged under the attack, "Neither have I. Although, Chicago was pretty up there in the stupid department."

Kevin snorted, Mc laughed, Bron groaned. "I don't want to talk about that."

None of this made sense, going back to the discussion he had had with Mc, Webster, and Jake at Passions Peak. Something wasn't right and two and two were not adding up. "If he admits to murder during this trial and her case is stopped, he would still go to jail, right?"

Now it was Bron's turn to look at Kevin. When she did, she frowned, "Well duh… If we could get that I would be happy not to do this." Idly she stared at Kevin but asked a question that wasn't directed towards him, "How do you plan on nailing down cops if you can not even get what we have to not be screwed with?"

Maddigan kept reading the documents as he spoke. "We're not banking on it, but there is always the chance."

"Really how?" Bron didn't like all the lose ends and speculation.

"Another day on that subject, I have to go. I have a meeting. Bye," Mc uttered and hung up on them. He could not longer sit in Kentucky and listen to the agony in Bron's voice.

Webster began, knowing Mc would be reached if they did try to call him back. "Mc told you to be cold and calculating, but I don't want cold. I do not want you to hesitate on every answer you give. The jury will get the wrong impression. Bron, you have to let them see your emotions and I know that is tough for you. However, you can not have any outbursts in court," Webster grinned at her.

"I understand," Bron stood up and stretched, letting Webster know she was ignoring him. "Well I have had enough this. I feel kind of tired so I'm going to go lay down." Grabbing her water bottle, she turned to Kevin. "Watch the kids, I'm really tired. I'm sure it's your fault too. It would be wise not to do that again." Placing her hand on the doorknob, she turned it. Pausing, she looked over her shoulder. "He doesn't have a meeting so you could probably call him back to go over his testimony."

"One thing," Maddigan waited for her eyes to land on him. "Dress code. You need to look nice. Do not wear anything too business like, nothing too sexy or sultry. Also, nothing to maidenly or antiquated either."

"Antiquated, there's a word for me," Bron chuckled as she pulled the door open. "Will a bag do? Kevin seems to like those when I go with my boys and leave him with the kids."

Webster busted out laughing watching Kevin's face turn red.

"I'm not staying home with the kids for this one," Kevin grumbled, not over what she had just said, but the word antiquated.

"Keep the boots at home. You do own pumps right?" Webster was snickering knowing Bron forever, boots were a given.

Kevin watched Bron's back stiffen, then he giggled.

"I have pumps smart ass, some are even lady like." Bron smiled to the door as she walked through the doorway. Shutting the door, she waited on the other side. After all these were men, they were always pigs.

"I like her in boots." Kevin defended her.

Bron smiled as she took two steps up the stairs.

"It saves my back," Kevin laughed loudly.

"You'll be sorry later," she whispered as she headed up the stairs to check on Kaylin.

Sticking her head in the door, she frowned at the mess. Looking around, she didn't find Kaylin so she went to Andrew's room. Jake sat rocking Cooper as Kaylin slept on the floor. "I'm going to lay down a bit. Lurch has something planned for later. If you need help, go get him. The shit slipped me something."

"What?" Jake's face registered the shock.

"I'm sure it's something from Gabe so don't worry." Bron pulled the door almost shut. Finally, she crawled into her bed. Grabbing Kevin's pillow, she hugged the object closer to her body and pouted. "If I wasn't so tired, I'd kick his ass for this."

Kevin sat in the dining room debating what to do next.

"She'll be fine Kevin. What did you give her instead of Tylenol?" Webster questioned.

"A very mild sedative, she hasn't slept in the few days that we have been up here. She is no longer comfortable here. It's a prescription that was given to her by her physician." Kevin felt the need to prove himself. Reaching for the bottle in his coat, he handed it to Webster.

Webster pushed the bottle towards him. "It's not like I don't believe you."

"I don't make a habit of giving drugs to my wife that she is unaware of." Kevin didn't like the tone or the manner.

Maddigan closed the folder. "Sleep is probably good for her right now."

Making sure they were gone, Kevin went upstairs to give Jake a break. He took Cooper and sat in the rocking chair to feed his son. Kevin unloaded all of his concerns on Jake. Jake listened with his usual concern.

Kevin decided eating dinner while they were out would be a better choice. With great difficulty, he roused Bron from a dead-sleep. It was rare to have trouble getting Bron up and moving. She whined, complained, and stalled all the way to settling herself in the passenger seat of the rental. "You could have left me sleeping. I would have been fine with that."

Checking his rearview mirror, throwing the van in reverse, he punched the gas. "I didn't think it would work that well. You can take another one tonight."

"Hmmpf," Bron yawned, she didn't feel awake or rested. They wandered through the mall and Bron followed along. Jake and Kevin were doing most of the talking. Kevin pushed the stroller and Kaylin walked next to him and almost on top of him at moments. Kevin made a sharp left into a storefront and stopped. He held his hand for his wife to join him.

"This is really, really low, even for you." Bron stood silently while Kevin made all the arrangements. She followed the receptionist, to which her family joined her. "All of you can't fit in here. Good Bye." Bron closed the door and waited. The procedure took ten minutes. After a short conversation with the man helping her, he left. Nervously she tapped her foot. She despised this; it was actually making her feel her age, or even worse, older. "I hate this," she whispered as the door opened.

A goateed figured stuck his head in the door. "How are you?"

"I'm fine, but I'm pissed at you for being sneaky." Bron could not see a thing due to the drops in her eyes.

"If you would do the simple things in life to take care of yourself, then I wouldn't have to," Kevin stepped aside to let the doctor enter the room.

Kevin watched Bron squint; he chuckled until the doctor spoke.

"Well you need a prescription, quite a strong one. I'm surprised that you could see print items at all."

"She couldn't that's why she's here," Kevin pulled up a chair to join the conversation.

"Are you talking the "B" word? And I don't mean the one that rhymes with witch either," Bron sat trying to focus.

"Unfortunately we are," the doctor laughed at the woman who sat across from him. "You can head out and get a pair of frames. You'll be getting two prescriptions. One for reading and one for driving. One set of glasses should do."

"Driving?" Kevin looked at Bron.

It was her turn to smile, "I have no depth perception three feet looks like thirty…."

"Or thirty could be three, she has double vision too."

"You will not drive my truck ever again," Kevin was stunned this was all new to him.

"It's a birth defect stupid. I've lived my entire life with it and do just fine."

"That's why you run into doors and stuff." Kevin shook his head in disbelief. "You can't tell six inches from ten inches."

Now the doctor did laugh loudly and Kevin joined him.

"Lucky for you I won't touch that one Kevin. I'm going to pick out some frames." Bron left Kevin standing there. Walking out to the front, she shopped for frames. Jake followed her around as she tried on different pairs giving his advice. A pair appeared in front of her, she did admire them as she took them from the hand that offered them.

"Lightweight, not large, good springs since you'll be slamming on your desk." Kevin snickered as she kept the frames and went in search of another pair. "What are you doing?"

"I'm not wearing bifocals. I'll get a pair and call them reading glasses and I'll get another pair to drive with." Bron hissed at him.

"Whatever," Kevin wasn't to argue because at least she was picking out frames and not walking out the store without them. "You'll lose them."

"Probably, get a copy of the prescription for me," Bron found another pair by Ray-Ban. "Very cool," she snatched from the shelf.

"Those are glasses for your car," Kevin drawled slowly.

"You betcha," she grinned as she waited her turn.

While Bron was being fitted, Kevin walked around the store. He smiled as he pictured her riding in the 'vette with her glasses. Then he remembered most likely should lose them since she couldn't even keep track of her car keys lately. Looking over the rack, he found a chain to loop around the glasses.

"Would you like me to include the Granny Legs with your purchase?" The receptionist wrapped her fingers around the chains.

Kevin gawked, "Yes. Could you do me a favor and not call them that around her?"

"Sure Kevin," she grinned.

Damn, she knows who I am, Kevin sighed as his brain raced. "I'll give you an autograph."

"Bribery isn't necessary but I will take one for my daughter anyway."

Bron turned in the chair, Kevin was pouring on the showman smile. She whispered to Kaylin to go see what was going on. Unfortunately, Kaylin refused to move. "Oh well," Bron turned in the chair.

After the fitting, she was informed that she could come back in an hour to pick up both pairs of glasses.

"You should have picked the Sponge Bob ones Mom," Kaylin grabbed onto her hand.

"I would have just for you Bounce, but Uncle Mc would've laughed at me." Bron giggled as Kevin nodded in agreement.

"He's going to laugh anyway," Kaylin shrugged. "Let's go get some pizza." She grabbed onto Kevin when her mother frowned. "Please DADDY!"

Kevin's head swung from left to right a few times. "Okay, pizza it is."

"And you say I spoil her?" Bron followed hoping the food court offered something else since just the thought of pizza was giving her heartburn. Kevin, Kaylin, and Jake settled on pizza. Bron searched for lighter fare and settled for a salad.

"You sick?" Jake looked at her.

"No she's saving calories for that piece of cheesecake sitting in the pastry shop," Kevin almost dropped his pizza since his wife's hand connected with his arm.

"Jerk," Bron flipped open the cell. Punching the button, she frowned when the voicemail came on. "Hmmm," she disconnected and hit another button. She was a little upset; she tried two more numbers the same thing happened. She stared at the telephone, then at Kevin, and then back to the telephone.

"Aww, you can't find your sister," Kevin snickered. Wiping his face with the napkin, he grabbed another slice from his tray.

"Shut up," Bron frowned and dialed home. Clicking her nails on the table she waited, then the answer machine clicked on. After listening to the message on her own machine, she spoke into her cell. Her voice reflected her annoyance at not being able to reach anyone, "This is your Mother calling. You have ten seconds to pick up the telephone or I will call Pete to raid your party…"

"Hi Mom!" Andrew wheezed into the phone. "I'm not having a party."

"And you're a damn liar."

Kaylin opened her mouth to chastise her mother and Kevin stuck a bread stick in the open jaws. "Quiet," he whispered.

"I'm not, I swear. Do you hear anything?" Andrew held the telephone out and prayed that she didn't.

"Okay, you're not having a party. I give you credit, I had one hell of a party at sixteen when my parents went out of town."

"I'm not sixteen," Andrew eased into the pantry to shield any noise from the basement.

"I know; that's what scares me. All of us would have had a party by now." Bron watched Kevin say no as his head moved from side to side. "Okay your Dad said he wouldn't but I think he's only saying that to make me feel better."

"I'm fine, the dogs are fine, and the horses are fine. I called Meemaw like you told me to do, and she's fine." Andrew wanted to get off the telephone as quickly as possible. Risk was not option with this.

"I can't find Suzie," Bron sat with her lips puckered.

"I'm sorry you lost her Mom. She'll find her way home. They can use her drivers license, it has her address," Andrew snorted into her ear.

Bron's son was giving her shit, just as she had done on many occasions. "Suzie has been acting weird lately."

"She's not acting weird, she's acting pregnant just like you did with Cooper and Kaylin." Andrew looked around the pantry for more munchies since his mother seemed to get very quiet on him.

Bron mulled it over, "Suzie is not pregnant. She's knows I would kill Carter and then I would…." Bron stopped as she watched Kevin and Jake exchange a glance and then lower their heads respectively. "I gotta go. Don't trash the house, because I will take it out on your hide when I get home. Love you." Bron disconnected the call and studied the two people acting mysteriously across from her, both of them adults. Checking her watch, her glasses were close to being ready. "I'm going to get my glasses. Wait here." Shoving her chair out with more force than was necessary, she left them sitting there. The table vibrated from the chair being slammed into it.

Kevin grabbed his telephone and started dialing madly. Thank God he had drawn his own conclusions and had placed a call to Nick to confirm his suspicions. "Carter you better answer right now!" Kevin whispered the message but with enough force that Nick wouldn't doubt that he was pissed. The call was answered with a, "'Ello."

"Bron just found out," Kevin coughed into the phone hoping Kaylin wasn't picking up on the conversation.

"Shit! Man, she's going to kill me." Nick squeezed his eyes shut.

"Which one is going to kill you? Yours or mine," Kevin growled.

"Your wife for letting it happen and my woman for not being able to tell her first," Nick paced around the room. "Damn, Damn, Damn, I'm screwed."

Patiently Kevin waited for an answer. He wouldn't have known either had he not put it together and then called Nick and made the boy confess. "You already did that Daddy! She can't find Suzie. Where is she?"

"I dunno know," Nick shook from his toes to his head.

"You don't know?" Kevin questioned him further.

"No I don't know. Do you know where Bron is all the time?" Nick winced after he said. "Sorry man, you do know."

"I make it my business to know Nick. Find her and have her call Bron before this gets ugly. Make it tomorrow. Bron has had a long day and she's as fussy as the baby."

"Cool I'll find her," Nick couldn't wait to get off the phone. He called everyone he could think of. The only place he didn't call was Suzie's parents. Sitting on his couch, he spoke aloud. "I'm so not going to call there. We are going to fly up there next week. I just need to sit tight until she calls me and then I can tell her." Nick waited and waited, until he finally fell asleep on his couch holding the telephone waiting for Suzie to call him.

Bron said nothing; she stewed the entire time she was at the mall. She would only speak to Kaylin and babble to Cooper. She was all out mad. Kevin and Jake knew that Suzie was pregnant and she was hurt. Not only did they not tell her but her best friend didn't tell her.

Kevin tried to speak to her in broken comments, such as, "Maybe they wanted to wait. It's early in the pregnancy." Jake spoke the only words that made Bron stop and pause caustically, "Maybe it isn't his."

"You're an ass," Bron barked as she slammed the door on the van.

Kaylin giggled until she received a look from her Dad to watch it.

Once back at home, Bron said nothing. Grabbing her new glasses, she went upstairs. The bedroom door closed with a pop. Getting the kids to bed proved easy with Jake's help. Cooper was already sleeping and Kaylin wasn't far behind him.

Kevin slipped his clothes off after entering the room warily. Fall out over this could be very ugly for him. Sliding under the covers, he waited for her to talk. Fidgeting, he peered over her shoulder. "Good book?"

"It is now that I can see it," Bron turned and smiled. Leaning forward she kissed him. "Thank you."

A little of Kevin's self-confidence slid back into its proper place. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"What? The case? No, I've talked enough today." Bron turned the page.

He wasn't referring to the case at the moment, but knowing Bron she wouldn't talk to him about it until she spoke to Suzie first. "Do you want anything to sleep?" Kevin moved a little closer.

Bron's jaw slid a little from grinding her teeth. "You left it in the medicine cabinet. I took one as per the directions."

Kevin settled back on his pillows happy that things seemed a little brighter. "So umm, do me a favor? Nick is like my baby brother, you know that. He sings a ton of leads for us…"

"When I'm done with that little shit, he'll being singing the old high notes without a problem."

Kevin turned the light off on his side of the better, "Oh that makes me feel so much better. You're not shutting down on me at least." His hand blocked a wayward knee. "Go to sleep wife, you're going to need it."

Bron lay awake, she listened to Kevin snore and finally gave it up. She knew what she needed and sleep wasn't the answer right now. Slipping around the room, Bron gathered what she needed and quietly made her way to the bathroom.

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