~The Binding~

Chapter 34

They were at the 2.5-mile mark, halfway home, she still hadn't spoke. He stared straight ahead, focused on the road. Huge snowflakes fluttered across the windshield and down into the beams of his headlights. He ignored the death glare that she was giving him. If she had any type of physical power behind those deep brown eyes, his head would have been blown off at the shoulders by now, or at the very least incinerated to hell. Kevin's gut still burned like hell from her shot-put fist. He winced as he straightened up in the seat. He didn't dare mumble or anything else. He internalized his laugh, knowing the predator that sat next to him would finish him off this time if he showed the slightest hint of weakness.

Okay, so maybe it was wrong to call his loving wife a predator. He turned his head to the side and glanced at her. She hissed at him. Nope, that would be pretty accurate right now. Then he smiled.

"What the hell is so funny? I don't think this is damn bit funny. You'd better be lying to me or I will kill you."

"You'd upset the fans, Darlin'," Kevin spoke quickly as he pulled into the driveway. Well, not exactly pulled in, more like plowed in. The snow kept falling, even faster now than when they had first left.

He exited the truck and started to walk around to her door. "Why do I bother?" he grumbled as she split out of the truck and stormed up the walk as he rounded the front of the truck. She unlocked the front door and threw it open. She waited by the door. As he reached the door, she slammed it shut. Then he watched the lock turn. Okay, this was his private bitch, the damn locks. Ripping the keys from his pocket, he unlocked the door and let himself in. It wouldn't have pushed the wrong button, but it was the damn smile she wore when she did it. This was the first time he had ever seen the smile and he was pretty damn confident she had worn the same smirk all the other times she had tried to put a locked door between them.

Bron went into the house. She thought about locking his ass out of the bedroom as she went up the stairs and it dawned on her there wasn't a lock on the door. It didn't matter, just like downstairs he had the keys. Kevin had the keys to everything. She was trying to come to grips with her unladylike exit from the club. At least she wouldn't have to explain to anyone in the kitchen. They would never repeat what had happened tonight. She walked to the bedroom after checking on the kids and undressed. She slid a nightgown over her head and walked over to the bed.

Kevin walked in as she turned the blankets back. His mind harked back to what she had said in his Mother's kitchen the night she told everyone at Scout's they were married. 'I didn't lock the door.' It finally clicked in his brain, locking the door was her last stance against being hurt. But, he would never truly hurt her, he loved her too much. She had to know that.

His gaze traveled the room to the alarm clock. The numbers glowed 4:00 and he knew it would be a long day tomorrow. He had sent the page while he was at the bar to bring his little brothers into the game plan.

Bron punching her pillow pulled and huffed. "I'm calling Dr. Gabe Galloway, tomorrow. I want the truth straight from the horse's mouth, or ass, I should say. I won't even get into his morals or ethics of telling you before me."

Kevin stripped, ignoring her words. The cool air of the room hit his skin and caused him to shudder as he crossed the short space to the bed. Flicking back the blankets, he eased into the bed. Since she was going to give him the cold shoulder, he thought about giving her his back. He knew she was upset and even understood her anger at not being told. All of the blame rested on him right now. He had promised Gabe he would tell her immediately but Bron hadn't shown any signs of being pregnant other than being hormonal. She attributed those to PMS and it was so easy to let her continue to believe so. She had enough on her mind with the trial and Stevie. Once he factored in a new baby, he thought she would go off the deep end for sure, or worse yet, loose the baby from stress alone. Any person under the stress of a trial, kids, and a full time job would be hard pressed to keep it together. Being married to him didn't make life any easier. Toss in the age difference that some fans had the nerve to throw in her face and he had a very clear understanding of wanting to protect her from this new information. He didn't want her to loose this baby because of stress.

Rolling onto his back, he shoved his hands under his head, as she lay motionless on her side. Bron needed to come to terms with this her own way. When she shifted, he flinched.

"Nervous much," Bron sniffed.

Kevin rolled his head to the left and he looked down at the top of her head. "Ya ready to talk now?"

"No," Bron answered as she shifted closer to him.

Her body shook a little. Instinct told him to curl his arms around her and hold her but he stopped. It would only exasperate the situation. He stared down at the top of her head as she crept nearer. Her head now rested just under his arm, her cheek pressed against his ribs. She pushed closer, her head now on his chest. He would wait it out, until she sought him, wanting and needing comfort.

He dropped his arm slowly from behind his head to rest his bent elbow on the mattress on the other side of her. His hand went to her neck and his fingers massaged the knotted muscles. His thumb on one side and his fingers on the other made small rotating circles along the long, slim column. "I love you."

"I love you too," she signed in return.

His hand went to her shoulders and repeated the process. He waited for her breathing to reflect her state of sleep. He pulled her closer and sighed as well. His eyes shut and he smiled. Happy thoughts entered his head as he contemplated another new baby in the house.

The wail of an infant woke him from a nice dark dream, one that would be put on hold until the birth of his child that she carried deep inside her womb, his child. He had planted his seed inside of her; the impossible had taken place again. "Thank God," he murmured as he drifted back to sleep.

Bron lay in bed, exhausted from the emotions of last night. She had fed Cooper and now wanted to rest just for a while longer. Jake was up and taking care of Kaylin. The scratch of hair on her neck made her shrug her shoulder. She batted at it to make it go away. An arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her back against his body. His lips pressed against her neck, his tongue trailed behind her ear. "Stop it," she whined as she tried to pull away.

A strong arm rolled her on her back and he covered her body with his. Long raven black hair fell forward, and tickled her face. She fought off the remnants of sleep as she opened her eyes. His leg had already separated her legs; his eyes focused on hers. The vibrant green eyes were concentrated in a stare. His mouth formed a thin line across his face and dipped at the corners. His brows scrunched together, almost forming one. He was frowning as his face dropped closer to hers. Not quite nose to nose, while one hand locked onto her wrists and gathered them in his hand and drew them over her head. The other sought the seat of her womanhood. She didn't know whether to speak or close her eyes and pretend it was nothing more than a dream. Dark boy was back with a grudge to settle from last night. She opted for closing her eyes.

"Don't," his voice commanded as he stroked her, finding the hub of her pleasure. Kevin felt immersed right now. He wanted to make things right, to love her into oblivion and make her understand that he would take care of her, that it was going to be okay. Her eyes flew open in shock as he searched the depths of chocolate pools for something more than what they were showing right now. He searched for understanding and forgiveness, he wasn't getting it. It only served to notch up the intensity he was feeling. She didn't understand and she wasn't going to give him any leeway to explain.

"No," she tried to pull her wrists from his grasp in earnest.

"Yes," he pressed all of his weight onto her body to still any further movements she had planned. "I love you."

"I don't love you right now," Bron turned her head away. His hand flew up and grasped her jaw; he turned her face to his.

"Don't say those words to me. You know better." Kevin felt the panic rise in his chest. He couldn't imagine life without her. Bron filled in all the holes for him. The need to care, to protect, and the darkest of them all, the need to own. His mouth latched onto hers. He kissed her with all the passion and possession residing inside of him. He didn't stop until she returned his kiss with as much ardor as he had given it. His fingers delved inside of her.

Bron couldn't catch her breath, as she returned his kiss. His beard and goatee scratched her sensitive skin as he lavished her neck and faces with kisses. Rubbing his entire body against her, her nerves prickled every sensation. The fact that she couldn't move, only heightened the sensation.

She pulled on her arms to get him to release her, which he did. Her arms wrapped around his shoulders and pulled him closer. Kevin rocked into her slowly as he guided her along the path he had set. She mumbled her wants and he fulfilled them for her.

Kevin lay sated next to her. Her eyes were closed and she had drifted off to sleep. His feelings had consumed him upon awakening. The way she acted at the bar last night was purely to push his buttons. It worked, but he didn't act on it until he awoke. Bron was internalizing everything last night. This morning he loved her the only way that felt right to him.

He pulled his tired body from the bed after noticing the time. A.J. and Nick would be here by now. He checked on Kaylin for a long while in the living room. The chatter in the other room filtered through the doors, not enough for him to hear the conversations though.

Mc watched the clock and hoped the hell one of them would roll out of bed soon. The house was filling up fast. The good doctor had called and he was on his way up with a mother-in-law and a son. Suzie sat at the table staring at the French doors waiting for them to open. Mc wasn't sure if Kevin knew Anne was making a trip up here and he wasn't going to risk going upstairs to ask. The thought of seeing the two of them in bed together, bugged him still.

Mc took up the kitchen table with paperwork. Webster hung back waiting for something, what, he didn't know. It was a little awkward when he let himself into Bron's house this morning and Webster joined him at the door. Webster didn't ask him why he was there or how he got the key to get in.

With the arrival of A.J., Mc knew the message Kevin sent last night went through. A.J. must have already been on the east coast when he received the page. When Nick strolled through the door he sent Suzie a quirky look, she just smiled.

"Backstreet Party?" Jake gawked at the shorter of the two.

"Looks that way," A.J. pulled out a chair.

Jake obviously couldn't fathom A.J.'s reasons for being here. Nick was a given, Suzie was here. "I'm confused," Jake walked to Mc.

"Don't be." Mc reached under his chair and handed Jake a plastic bag. He had been sitting across from Kevin last night when Kevin made a few calls and sent a page out.

Jake looked in the bag, his eyes grew wide, and he looked from Mc to Suzie. "This is a joke right?"

"Hell no," Mc laughed.

Suzie frowned, "It isn't funny. When she comes down here, you'd better be nice." Suzie reached for the bag only to have Mc snatch it from her. "What's in the bag? Please no gag gifts?"

"I don't give gag gifts, boy wonder does." Mc pointed to Nick.

"Hey!" Nick defended himself.

Mc watched the doors open and out stepped Kevin. There was no look of shock or surprise on his face at seeing his two of his little brothers sitting at his dining room table.

"Where's Bron?" Suzie spoke up, killing off the silence in the room.

"She's still sleepin'," Kevin sheepish grin and rapidly reddening cheeks made the entire guest list pause.

"Is she still in one piece?" Mc leaned out of his chair to follow Kevin's frame to the coffee pot. Considering the conversation they had at the bar last night. His first order of business was to make sure Bron was in one piece. Kevin was pretty pissed last night. Bron punching him in the stomach only rubbed salt into the wound.

"Pretty much," he snorted.

"It's cold up here. How the hell do you people stay warm?" A.J.'s shoulders shook. His fingers wrapped around his coffee cup as he shivered. Setting it down, he lit a cigarette.

"Ya make your own heat, Bone," Kevin laughed.

Mc didn't join the others in laughing at the old joke.

They heard her voice before the doors open. She was talking to Kaylin on the other side. Kevin's brows furrowed as he stared at the door.

"Hmm?" Going to the kitchen cabinet, he pulled another coffee cup off the hook. He went to the pot, poured a cup, and then walked to the table. He motioned Nick out of the chair and set the cup down. Kevin ambled back to the row of cabinets that separated the sun room from the dining room. He leaned back and sipped his coffee casually.

None of this made sense to Jake. The poor guy was seriously confused. Mc joined him at the dining room table with the bag he had brought. He hid it under the chair.

"What's that?" Kevin questioned from across the room.

"A little gift for--"

The doors opened and Bron came into the room. She acted as if the gathering of people was nothing more than normal. She took her seat and grabbed for her cup. Mc watched her scan the room and her gaze stopped abruptly on her husband. Kevin was still leaning back on the countertop, one hand on the top, his legs crossed at the ankles, and his other hand wrapped around a coffee mug. He gave her big smile.

"It's too early for this shit," Bron groaned loudly.

Kevin and Mc laughed, Suzie patted her shoulder. "Ignore them, they're apes."

"I'm a pig." Nick chimed trying to lighten the mood, obviously.

"You're looking a little rough this morning Bron. I don't think I have ever seen your hair stand up on your head like that." A.J. gave her a shit eating grin.

"AJE!" Kevin warned him.

Bron's head dropped back, she made a slow circle with her head. "It's the headboard on that damn bed. He gets me every time." Bron dropped her chin to her chest. "Do I have a bald spot like you now?"

"Abuse is all I get from your woman Kev. I'm telling you, you need to get her under control." A.J. cackled.

Bron's head snapped up and she glared at Kevin's back. He'd quickly turned around for more coffee. Mc pulled his chair closer to hers. He stared at her until she turned her head to look at him.

"What?" Bron snapped at him. The room crackled with the annoyance she was showing.

Mc grabbed both of her hands. He turned them, wrist up in the air and set them back down. He leaned even closer to get a better look at her upper body.

"Are you done inspecting me like a heifer? I know he was pissed, but he's never been that pissed."

"Just once," Kevin mumbled a little too loudly as his hand settled on his stomach. Mc glared at Kevin. Kevin returned a glare right back.

Suzie stifled her laugh with her hand.

"You'll be a heifer soon enough," Nick chuckled.

All eyes turned on him as if he had committed murder. "Ahh… Just kidding."

"Oh Nicky boy, we need to have a talk. Just you and I." Bron's eyes narrowed to slits.

Mc cast a glance over his shoulder to see Kevin standing at attention. His brows were high on his forehead, and he looked as if Nick had lost his mind. Mc reached under his chair for the bag he had brought. Pulling it up, he dropped it in her lap.

Bron looked at the bag and set her coffee cup down. She slyly opened the top of the bag and peeked down into it.

Mc watched a huge smile begin to form. She scrunched the bag closed. Leaning over, she kissed his cheek. "Thank you. It's just what I needed."

"Congratulations," Mc murmured, stunned by the kiss. He leaned towards her to return it and stopped mid-kiss.

"Lips off," Kevin growled from the other side of the room.

Mc started to chuckle and so did Bron as she turned to face him. "He's going to be so pissed."

"I know." Mc laughed right along with her.

Bron pulled the contents out of the bag and slapped it on the table.

"Don't be givin' her that shit." Everyone laughed but Kevin who was pissed. He set his cup down and came around the table. He grabbed for the bag but Mc shook his head no.

"One, just one. Why the hell would you give her a two pound bag of Reese's cups?" Kevin snarled as he tried to get the bag away from Bron. When her teeth touched his hand, he backed off. "You're gonna get sick."

"I am not," Bron tossed one to Suzie.

Suzie ripped at the wrapper as if someone had given her a diamond ring inside. She raised it to her mouth, and paused when Nick cleared his throat. Her gaze now focused on him.

"They ain't healthy for either one of you. You guys are pregnant, you should be eating fruit or something."

"Damn," Kevin shook his head and looked from Nick to A.J.

A.J.'s cackle echoed around the room. Along with Jake's, 'holy shit', and Webster's, 'great, just what we needed.'

Bron ignored all of them as she bit into her second one.

Kevin snatched the bag off the table and tossed on top of the six-foot tall refrigerator.

"I have a ladder."

"Not anymore," Kevin crossed his arms and focused on Alex as he meandered back to his wife. He stood behind her chair and waited for A.J. to speak.

"So you hauled my ass up here to freezing cold weather to tell me you did the impossible, again. You could have told me on the phone." A.J. half smiled at Kevin.

Kevin seemed to stand a little taller with A.J.'s remark. "No, I called you up here to deal with the label."

"I thought Brian and Howie did that." A.J. crossed his arms.

"It's time for you to step up to the plate. Howie needs a break and Brian has the new baby." Kevin stood stock-still waiting for Alex's answer.

"Baylee," Bron quipped. "Kevin, why can't you ever remember the kid's name?"

Mc watched Backstreet business play out in front of him. Kevin had offered A.J. more responsibility, pronouncing him healed, possibly.

A loud sigh came from A.J. then he smiled. "Okay, boss. Whatever you say."

Mc guarded himself as the telephone rang. They all seemed collectively to jump. The office phone sat on the table still from the last meeting. Kevin answered it and hit the speakerphone button. "What's up D?"

"Brian's here too, we're at the studio."

Kevin placed his hands on the back of Bron's chair and leaned forward towards the phone. His entire upper body was in front of his wife. "Good, here's the deal. The backstreet family is growing. Suzie and Bron are both pregnant."

"You got Suzie pregnant too?" Howie's shrill voice screeched out of the speakerphone.

"No you dumbass, I did," Nick laughed.

Mc watched Kevin, his eyes were closed and he just shook his head from side to side. Mc wondered how Kevin put up with it some days.

Bron and Suzie were laughing and snorting so loud you couldn't here the excitement from Brian as he congratulated them and wished them well.

"I thought Bron couldn't have anymore kids." Howie voiced his thoughts.

"Surprise," Kevin gritted his teeth together. His hand landed on her shoulder, and he squeezed.

"Yeah, surprise," Bron brushed Kevin's hand off her shoulder.

"What do we do about the label and management?" Brian's business sense kicked in over the phone line.

"Alex is going to handle it. He's ready to step up to the plate. Aren't you bro?" Kevin seemed to squirm.

"I sure am." A.J. nodded with confidence.

"Okay, that's the end of this meeting."

Kevin reached the telephone and stopped when Howie and Brian asked the same question in different forms.

"How is everything going up there, seriously?" Howie's voice was full of concern.

"Hang on," Kevin walked across the room and picked up the portable. He motioned Nick and A.J. to follow him as they went upstairs to Bron's office.

"God, it's a mess up there. I wish he wouldn't drag people up there." Bron frowned at the retreating figures.

"You took your posters down." Suzie remarked.

Bron elbowed her, almost spilling Suzie's coffee.

A knock at the front door, made all of them turn. Bron looked at Mc who went to let them in. They had seen who it was from the windows and Bron was not in a congenial mood.

Ann Richardson and Doctor Gabe Galloway now stood in her sun room waiting for her to welcome them. Andrew moved from behind them to go to his mother. He went right to her, hugged her for a long time, and kissed her.

Bron still hadn't acknowledged either one of her other guests as she hugged her son. She continued to stare at Gabe and Anne as if they were stone statues. Mc pulled Andrew away for a moment and whispered something. Andrew went through the French doors.

Gabe stepped forward and offered his hand. "He was supposed to tell you. He promised me he would. I never would have told him first, except I wanted to be sure that you knew as soon as possible so you could take care of yourself while you were up here. You're under a tremendous amount of stress and we both know it's not good for you."

The French doors crashed open. Kevin stood there looking at Gabe and his Mother. Mc caught the beginnings of movement from Bron. Damn, she was fast. Her hand went to his ponytail and she yanked.

"Ow!" Kevin reached for her hand and grabbed on. "Let go. I'm warnin' ya."

"Yeah, warn me some more. I don't quake in my boots that damn easy. I'm not one of your little brothers." She yanked again.

"You were quaking pretty good an hour ago." Kevin tried to pry her fingers from his hair.

The laughter of two Backstreet Boys could be heard from the living room. They were smart enough not to enter the dining room.

"Kevin I can't believe you just told her last night. I called you a couple of times a day all last week and you promised me you would tell her." Anne Richardson had begun to take her son to task.

Mc watched Bron let go. A look of merriment had overtaken her; it showed in her eyes. When he looked back at Kevin, he could tell what was so amusing. Mc watched Kevin de-age right before his eyes.

"Really Kevin, is this being responsible?" Anne admonished him, like only a mother could.

Kevin's face grew red and shifted in his shoes. Mc thought Kevin looked to be about nine years old right now.

"I think this rates right up there with your past mistakes. I've raised you better than this."

Mc saw Bron start to smile as Kevin dropped his head slightly.


"Don't Mom me. I have called you repeatedly. Is that why you wouldn't let me talk to her? Because you hadn't told your own wife she's pregnant." Anne walked right up to her son who was now staring at his bare feet as if he were five. Anne poked Kevin in the chest. "What if something had happened in the mean time and she didn't know. You, my son, are a control freak. I have no idea where you get it from but it will stop this instant!"

Mc snickered, as Suzie and Bron exchanged knowing smiles. Bron pointed at Anne and mouthed, 'From her.'

"Young lady, I'll have you know I am not a control freak." Anne was hell-bent now.

Bron sat up straight in the chair and closed her mouth. A.J. and Nick's laughing from the other side of the door caused Anne to throw the door open. "You two get in here."

Bron quelled the grin and Suzie opened mouth to speak. Bron shook her head from side to side indicating she had better not.

Anne stood in the center of the room with her hands on her hips. Her brows were arched. Mc watched Bron fight the laughter as she looked at Kevin, who seemed unsure of what he could do right now. He never had Anne pegged for this kind of temper.

Anne turned to her side and looked at Nick. "Nickolas, what do you have to say for yourself?"

"It was great."

"Shit," Bron quickly pressed her lips together and dropped her head to hide her laughter.

Suzie looked stunned and Kevin tried hard not to laugh.

Anne Richardson's hand swung up and she smacked Nick in the back of the head, hard enough to make his snap forward.

"Hey," Nick ducked out of the way of an anticpated second slap. "He learned that shit from you!" Nick's voice raised three octaves.

Kevin's tongue balled up inside his cheek and as he rolled his eyes at Nick. "No shyte."

Anne walked away from the men and went directly to her daughter-in-law. "I'm sorry Bron. My son is a serious pain in the ass about certain issues."

Suzie stepped out of the way and let Anne have her seat, next to Bron. Anne turned to her. "Congratulations Suzie and Nick. So when can we start planning the wedding?"

"I need to take a shower," Bron was out of her chair and out of the room before Suzie had the chance to reply.

"When I'm ready Anne. So for now, let's get ready to cook a nice dinner to celebrate all of our good news."

Webster's cell rang, Kevin and Mc both turned to him. Webster looked at the number and stepped into the kitchen. Mc and Kevin followed.

"Great, now this is going to go down," Andrew sighed as look passed from Webster to Kevin and Mc simultaneously.

"Well, this might be the last supper." A.J. lifted his cup only to have everything in the room fired at him that Suzie, Nick, and Jake could reach.

"Hey, hey, hey… Stop, we don't need this shit right now." Kevin grabbed his coat and went out the back door.

Suzie cast a glance to Nick, Nick cast a glance to Alex. A.J. moaned and pushed his chair out from the table.

"Leave him be," Anne spoke. Mc spoke and echoed the same sentiments.

Mc looked to the dining room. "The ball is going to start rolling, it starts tomorrow. Let's have an enjoyable dinner and then we all can head off to where we belong."

"I'm not leaving," Suzie stood and began to clear the table.

"Yes, you are Suzie and so is everyone else. You're going to try and take Jake, Cooper, and Kaylin back with you. If Nick wants to go to the house, he can. So can A.J." Mc watched a tormented Kevin whip snowballs out in the field. "They need the space. I have to stay here, I have no choice."

Suzie heard Anne whisper to her. "It would be great if Kevin and Bron could get through this without worrying about the kids. I'll stay at the house and help."

Mc stared at her, begging her to do this one thing for him.

Suzie closed her eyes. "Will it help?"

"Yes," Mc whispered as Kevin fired a snowball and hit the garage, almost breaking the window.

Anne cut a path to the kitchen. "He'll wear himself out and then come inside. When he was little, he would go beat up on things to get it out. I guess it was better than beating up on people."

"Stevie?" Nick questioned.

"He'll be here, if she is here, he won't miss this. Trust me, we have people back home anyway." Mc went to the backdoor and opened it. "You need to call Billy and Carlos," he yelled out the door and closed it quietly.

They watched Kevin fish his cell out of his coat pocket.

"This just sucks," A.J. grumbled as he headed out the backdoor to talk to Kevin.






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