Kevin's mouth slowly
fell open as he yanked his wife behind him when the doors flew
open. "I'm gonna have a heart attack over this shit."
Mc started laughing at Webster and Muriel as he strolled into
the room. "Like someone who had bad intentions would knock."
Slightly abashed Muriel and Webster holstered their weapons.
"We have come up with something... I think." Mc paced
the room after loosening his silk tie.
Four men and Maddigan joined them in the anteroom.
"Oh no," Bron jumped up from her chair.
Kevin watched her gulp for air like big old fish gobbling worms.
Her eyes were searching for something. "For Christ sakes
Bron not now!"
Kevin grabbed the wastebasket since Bron was fighting as best
she could not to hurl again. Kevin knew she would refuse to
get sick with strangers in the room. She moved to the far off
corner. Kevin left the can with her where she had gone to sit.
The gagging noises echoed off the walls. Kevin could tell everyone
was wisely choosing to ignore the sounds as he stood with his
back to her. He let out an exasperated sigh.
Muriel shot Kevin a look of fury. She rushed to Bron's side.
Webster tapped him on the shoulder causing Kevin's head to back
up. Webster leaned over Kevin's shoulder. "She's good."
"Yeah, she is." Kevin wasn't sure if he would lose
limb if he approached his wife since he had shot his mouth off.
He didn't mean to yell at Bron but his stomach was turning as
fast hers right now, he was sure of it.
"Muriel?" Mc called her as he stared at the men lining
Muriel stood up next to Bron, but she refused to acknowledge
Mc as she stared at Webster.
"Muriel, I just want to know if you play poker."
Mc walked up to her and waved his hand in front of the woman's
face so she couldn't ignore him.
She nodded a yes.
"Good, we're about to play one hell of game lady. You
better be able to back it up with rock solid evidence."
Mc's jaw slid from side to side as he waited for an answer.
He inclined his head towards the men who had entered with him.
"With there help."
Muriel's gaze remained pensive as it switched from Mc to the
gentlemen. "I have copies of every report, every log, and
every call. All the visits. I have original depositions and
recants. I have surveillance videos of the officers in question
visiting witnesses the day before recants. " Muriel smiled.
"Aren't you just a little old taskforce all by yourself?"
Mc growled at Muriel.
Kevin could tell Mc's frustration had just about peaked over
the entire ordeal. Mc's eyes would flash with noted anger from
the woman to the three men and then to Bron. "Tell them
how to get it. We need it here now." Mc's thumb hitched
behind him to the men who lined the wall.
"Wait just a minute McDonald. You don't run the federal
government. You're not my boss nor will you ever be. You're
not going to run this case, I am. I don't know this woman. There
are rules we need to follow-"
"Shut the hell up Maddigan!" Webster cut Maddigan's
speech off. "This is way bigger than any of us thought
it would be."
Kevin watched Webster's sight land on Bron, who had left the
pail in the corner and had rejoined them. Then he switched to
Mc. Something was getting to him, probably the same thing that
was getting to Kevin. How the hell could this woman accomplish
what so many had tried and couldn't? She was nothing but a little
Mc's hand went to his neck, his fingers wrapped around his
neck. His head twisted sharply to the side. The sound of bones
cracking resonated. Mc paced the room in quiet irritation. He
stopped in front of Kevin.
Kevin stood between Bron on Mc. Mc would glance around the
room. Webster seemed as tense as Mc was. Kevin was going to
make one thing clear as a bell to all of them. "You're
not playing poker with my wife and baby's futures."
"I'm not thinking poker anymore. I'm thinking more of
a crap shoot." Mc took his suit coat off. He hung the coat
over the back of the chair taking great pains to make sure it
"I'm listening." One of the men wearing a standard
blue pinstriped suit came away from the others that had entered
"If you go get what she has… Review it while we're in
court. The feds can take a different direction in this case
and she is out of this totally." Mc's index finger pointed
towards Bron. "I cannot stand her going through this not
knowing if we what we want to happen is going to happen. It's
"Not really, it's already a federal case." Maddigan
glared at Mc. "It's my case."
"If we can see it now while you are in court and it is
airtight, yes." The suit wearing man turned to Maddigan.
"We need something stronger than character testimony to
get a conviction and you know it. You're banking on him screwing
up and so far he hasn't done it. A confession would seal it
and taking down the rest of them would be icing on the cake."
"Dammit!" Maddigan slammed his hand down on the table.
"I've worked hard on this case and I won't have it yanked
from me and closed down because you have bigger fish to fry."
"You have no jurisdiction or control of this. It's not
your call, it's the boss's call." The man stared at Maddigan
Kevin seemed lost in the roles each man played in the group.
He had been left with the impression that Webster was Mc's boss.
That line of distinction didn't seem so clear now. All of the
men seemed to be taking direction from Mc. Kevin sat down and
studied all the players in the room. Bron followed and sat next
to him. He couldn't stand it and had to ask. "I'm confused.
Who exactly are you anyway?"
"I'm Dave Tate from International Operations among other
"International Operations… What the hell is that bullshit?"
Kevin asked as his eyes rested on Bron. Her coloring wasn't
"Drug trafficking stupid." Mc answered the man.
Kevin pulled up straighter in the chair. Mc had seethed the
words not spoke them. "Pardon me for asking."
Muriel stepped forward. Kevin watched the woman take on a new
persona she obviously new the man or at the very least the name.
"I can give you what I have. It will give you Solarez,
his enforcers, his soldiers, and his runners."
"I need more to get involved." The man in the suit
now stood directly across from her.
"I can give you the point of origin in Columbia right
to Queens Pier here on the waterfront. From that point directly
into Solarez's warehouses. I have transportation logs and surveillance
video. I have his runners, his dens, and his safe-houses. With
what I have you can prosecute everyone who is involved from
the South District that is protecting Solarez, including Captain
Roberts as well as Lenny. But, you don't want him for just that,
you want more. I only have one taped conversation of Lenny spewing
crap about what happened to her husband and what he did to her.
It's recorded from a bar conversation. It's not enough."
Kevin's eyes bugged and he knew it. He knew if this woman had
that much on Solarez and his crew she had to have something
on Mc. He glanced to Mc nervously.
Kevin received a scrutinizing look from Muriel. Kevin closed
his eyes and moved his head from side to side. She paced a few
steps and then abruptly stopped in front Tate. He seemed to
be leading the other men who had entered the room. "I have
stuff on him, but he's not in this. He got me the deal, you
can't prosecute him."
Muriel confirmed Kevin's suspicions and concern. Kevin had
never been able to define the love hate relationship between
Bron and her partner but he knew that Mc going to jail would
"He's been out of this for a little over two years now.
Since her first husband was killed. He works for me and has
been undercover. Webster is partner now." The man smiled
at Muriel then extended his hand. "I assume we have a deal
"Commander?" Muriel questioned.
Kevin watched the woman light up like a damn Christmas tree.
She was actually glowing at the prospects of the new job.
"If it goes as deep as we think this does then the Commander
will have to resign from the pressure alone. The Commissioner
will stay, he's wants rid of the garbage as well." Tate
offered his hand once again to her.
Muriel clasped his hand and Kevin watched the arms slowly go
up and down.
"What the hell!" Bron stood up and slammed her palms
on the table. She glared at Tate and Muriel. "Like hell
you're making a deal. My family, my friends, my husband, and
I have been put through hell over this." Bron walked up
Kevin pushed his chair back, Bron was beyond pissed. Her finger
flew out as she went up on her tiptoes and got right in the
man's face. "If you think for one freakin' minute I'm walking
away from this you're crazy. I've been sitting in the shit for
too damn long because of that asshole." She jabbed the
man in the chest as she spoke accentuating every word that came
out of her mouth.
Kevin stepped up to Bron. He reached to touch her to calm her
down. "BACKOFF!" Bron slapped him. Kevin chose the
wise route and stepped back. He had a hard time looking at the
other men in the room since his wife had cracked him a good
Bron's arms dropped to her sides. Her fists clenched so hard
Kevin could see her knuckles turning white. He knew she wanted
to roar with pain right now and hoped the hell she didn't. When
her eyes closed and she clamped her jaws together he knew she
was screaming on the inside. He had seen that silent scream
too many damn times. Every time she had nightmares about this
entire ordeal. Including the time she literally bit her lips
so hard with her teeth that she bled so people wouldn't hear
"Baby…" Kevin would try to ease her out of it. Kevin
moved up to her slowly. He debated whether to go for the shoulders
or the hands but knew well enough to stay away from the feet
when she was this livid. She let him place his hands on her
upper arms. She turned her face to him. He stared at her intently
trying to read her.
"Spark, what the hell are they supposed to do?" Mc
almost yelled but he was containing his fury as well.
"So much anger in this room," Muriel quipped.
Kevin felt like saying this is nothing compared to some days.
Bron walked away from him.
"I'm not giving this up." Bron went and sat at the
table. She let out a humph as she slammed her body in the chair.
Her arms were crossed over her chest and she was digging her
nails into Kevin's suit coat.
The only sound heard in the room was the metal tip of Bron's
high heel bouncing on the marble floor to a beat only she was
hearing. Her eyes were narrowed as she stared at Maddigan, then
her focus switched to Webster, then to Mc. She went around the
room one by one until she had glared at each one of them.
Kevin pulled a chair up next to her. He unfastened his cufflinks
and rolled up his sleeves. He glanced at his watch. They only
had fifteen minutes until court was re-convened. Kevin reached
over and grabbed her hand. His large hand enveloped her petite
one. He needed to stand by her and for her. He was the one who
started this entire ordeal. His thumb began to casually turn
her wedding ring around her finger. "She's got a point."
"Yeah, I got a point." Bron's jaws slammed together
again as soon as the words came out. The room was silent for
a full three minutes. All eyes were resting on her. "I'll
give you both." She whispered.
"Yeah right. You can't." Tate snorted.
"Oh yes I can. It might not follow the book. But I can
get Lenny to go absolutely nuts in that courtroom." Kevin
tried to connect her words with any ideas he thought she could
come up with.
"I'm listenin' Spark." Mc pulled a chair up on the
other side of Bron.
Kevin could only see the back side of her head since she had
turned her to face Mc. Her fingers were still wrapped around
his though. They were cold and clammy.
The scraping sound of wood on marble was heard as everyone
pulled up a chair.
"I don't have time to explain it. They're going to call
us back in there." Bron spoke.
Kevin could tell she was spinning those little wheels in her
head on something. Her plan wasn't fully formed yet or she wouldn't
"Court won't be called into session until I say so."
The man spoke as he took a seat across the table from Bron.
"We've had enough surprises with this case so we're going
to hash out our game plan first."
Kevin watched Bron's lips switch from side to side. She chewed
on her bottom lip, much like he did when he was anxious. "To
this day, Lenny associates me with being Mc's property. Lenny
refuses to acknowledge anything or anyone else who I am involved
with. The moron is in the wrong century. We seen it in Chicago,
things don't change with that man."
Kevin felt her fingers move on his hand as she stared at the
tabletop. "Maybe if he thinks… Umm say… I'm only on temporary
loan to Kevin. But that I'm going back to Mc. It'll piss him
off like you have never seen." Bron smiled a smile that
could light up the room.
"Like hell!" Kevin yanked on her hand. Kevin jerked
her arm hard; he wasn't going to be ignored. Bron was forced
to look at him and only him. "What the hell are you sayin'?"
"Mc is my pimp. Ya know the famous pop-star needs to get
Mc and Webster started laughing. They continued laughing until
Kevin's bark ceased it. "Fuck no! You are friggin' nuts.
I will not allow you to take that road with him."
Kevin dropped her hand and thrust the chair out from the table
that he was sitting in by a few feet with his legs. He grabbed
the back of Bron's chair and brought it with him, while she
was still sitting in it. They were going to have a private conversation
Mc risked a glance to Webster. Webster nodded in agreement.
Kevin's reaction signaled to them he was out of control. "Kevin.
At least hear her out."
Kevin's hands latched onto the chair and her around so she
was facing him. Bron wrapped both hands around his hands and
squeezed. She opened her mouth to speak. "NO!" Kevin
barked at her. "I forbid it."
Bron eyes were centered on his. Her hands stopped squeezing
his. "Kevin, just listen to me for one minute."
Kevin shook his head from side to side continuously. "I
"Please listen to me just this one time. I'm not saying
that I have to say anything like that in an open courtroom.
I won't make it part of my testimony. All I have to do is sit
at the table and let Mc make the comments. You know Mc knows
how to push my buttons. I can follow his lead from there. God
knows I would probably take the bait out of habit anyway."
Kevin watched Bron pause for a moment, and then she spoke again.
"I would never say anything that would be hurtful to you
or that could be read by others later. Maybe the judge could
seal the courtroom or something."
Kevin held her one hand in a tight grip. His left hand went
to his lip and he began to rub his top lip with his forefinger.
He stopped, "Bron, please. This is crazy. It won't work
it doesn't make sense. I can get laid very easily by any groupie.
What would make you so special?"
"I don't know. Maybe you're into to stuff you don't want
people to know about or discover. Besides, it isn't about you,
don't you see that." Bron shook her head. "All I have
to do is insinuate with that nutcase. I just have to be out
of everyone's ear shot. I could even say I'm pregnant…"
Bron was nearly in his lap as she tried to convince him to
do this her way. She was mindless to the others in the room
right now. "Why would you say that? We don't want other
people to know yet." Kevin's eyes searched her features
for any tell tale signs of what the hell she was thinking. He
didn't get it. She was doing everything they had discussed that
they didn't want people to know about.
"I could say I don't know whose it is. I'm on loan. A
little sharing, maybe? It could be yours or Mc's-" Bron
pulled away from him, but didn't get far since Kevin still held
on to her hand. Instinctively his ire traveled down his arm
to his hand to the person who had caused the violent reaction.
"You're crushing my damn hand!" Bron squealed.
Kevin let go and watched her shake her hand fiercely. He glowered
"I don't think he liked that idea." Mc snickered
at Webster. Webster nodded in agreement and Kevin saw them smirk
back and forth to each other. He could tell they were actually
thinking this insane idea might work.
Bron ran her hand through her hair as she sat in front of him.
"Kevin you wanted this. You wanted me to go through with
this since the beginning of our relationship. You started this.
Now you want me to bail. It's not fair."
Kevin saw the water begin to pool in her eyes. He wasn't prepared
for it. The fury and anger yes, the tears and the hurt, no.
Kevin growled. He'd be dammed if another man was going to lay
claim to his wife or baby. The baby he made with her; especially
considering the circumstances surrounding the making of this
baby. Kevin could visualize the cogs turning in Bron's head.
"Think of something else."
Bron now stood in front of him. She had placed a hand on each
of his forearms. His fingers were curled around the wood of
each arm on the chair so he didn't reach up and smack her for
her such a thought. "Okay, I promise not to go that far.
I won't say a word about being pregnant. We can keep it to a
Kevin's fingers gnarled around the arm of the chair. Bron dropped
her gaze to his hands.
"Lurch, please." Bron pleaded with him not only with
her words but her eyes too. Her hands slowly covered his. Her
fingers stroked the top of his hands from his wrist to his fingertips.
Kevin closed his eyes slowly.
"Yes please," Bron purred.
Kevin's eyes flew open. His hands flipped her hands off his.
He pinned hers under his before she could even jump away. She
was half bent over him now with no where to go. It was that
little satisfied purr she let out that pissed him off. Like
she had won the battle before he had even answered. "I
didn't say yes yet."
Bron's head cocked to the side. "But you're gonna, aren't
ya?" A smile began to form on her face. "Please Kevin.
We want this guy to be far away from us for a long time. Away
from Kaylin, Cooper, and…" Bron absently touched her stomach.
"Please, this is my only shot. It's dirty just like him
but I don't care anymore. I just want to go home, our home."
Bron stared at him as a tear slipped from her eye and trickled
down her cheek. "Kevin, I promise you nothing we'll be
in the press. Nobody will know anything other than the fact
that he's an evil man and this is over. Backstreet will never
be connected with this."
Kevin's arm swung up and out. He grabbed Bron by the back of
the neck. In a flash he drew her to his face causing Muriel
to go into action until Mc blocked her way. "Fine, but
we're playing this game my way. You know damn well the press
is not even a factor in this, neither is Backstreet," Kevin
ground out. "I had better never ever hear the word 'sharing'
come out of your mouth again. You're carrying my baby… Nobody
else's. Clear?" Kevin squeezed her neck so she understood
Mc was moving swiftly towards Kevin. Kevin saw him coming and
but he didn't let go of Bron. He had no intentions for relinquishing
his hold on his wife. "You back the fuck up right now!"
The four suits exchanged glances. "Proud daddy isn't he,"
Tate commented to Webster.
Hearing the man speak Kevin let go of Bron's neck. His eyes
rolled over her entire body to make sure he hadn't hurt her.
She grimaced at him since she knew full well what he was up
to. He quirked a grin at her when she recognized what he had
"Yes I am a proud Daddy," Kevin stretched. He unrolled
the sleeves on his shirt. Kevin placed his cuff links back on.
He straightened his tie. His fingers flared out towards Bron
mimicking a give me motion.
Bron slipped his coat off her shoulders and handed it to him.
Kevin placed his coat on. He had a plan and it would be his
plan. "Gentleman, we need a few minutes alone in the courtroom.
Ya better figure that one out for us."
Tate and his men hurried out of the room.
Mc snapped his head towards Kevin. Bron turned to face him.
Kevin smiled, his bent elbows propped on the arms of the chair
after taking a seat. His fingertips were touching one another
forming a steeple from an old childhood game. "Just remember
this was your idea."
"I have Lenny figured out. I can read people, he'll break."
Bron rose from the chair she had been forced back into when
Kevin released her. She walked back and forth a little. She
glanced at him several times trying to figure out what he was
Kevin's fingers laced together and he smirked at her. "And
I believe this because you read me so well, right?"
Bron snorted. "I never said I was perfect at it."
Mc scoffed and motioned them to get up and get moving after
Tate opened the door and signaled them to follow him. "Come
on, let's get this done. Muriel, you're going to join us. Let's
see if your presence makes a difference in all of this. I don't
think it will with him. You'll make a difference with his brother,
a big difference. We're going to try and get all of them in
two shots. It's up us three to fire the first shot."
Kevin's drawl was thick and the Kentucky lick couldn't be missed.
Kevin held the door as Muriel and then Bron exited. "That's
my baby, darlin'. If you're smart you won't say otherwise,"
he spoke as he held the door open with his hand.
"Does he get all possessive and jealous?" Muriel
asked Bron under her breath.
"Most days," Bron sighed as she followed Mc.
"It's cuter on him than it was on Mc back in the day."
Bron groaned loudly upon hearing the woman's comment. "Cuter
doesn't necessarily mean better Muriel."
Kevin's knee connected with Bron's butt not by accident as
they stepped out of the anteroom. She twisted to him. Kevin
leaned down and used his patent-pending face that was guaranteed
to wig Bron out. He needed her to be unsettled for this. He
knew how to demonstrate it to her too. "You behave yourself
in there Mrs. Richardson. You are my wife."
"Oh yea, Dark Boy is making a public appearance,"
Bron winced. "That's a first and so not good," Bron
whined loud enough to cause Muriel to exchange a hasty glance
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