~The Binding~

Chapter 44

Bron glanced at the clock more than once. Kevin had caught himself doing the same. The phone rang and Bron grabbed the portable from the table and off she went.

Webster sat back after wiping his mouth with a napkin. "I was waiting for her to leave. You're done up here. You can head home any time now. Lenny has decided to throw himself on the mercy of the court."

Kevin's eyebrows rose high on his forehead. "He sure as hell didn't show her any mercy. Why didn't you tell us when you first got here?"

"Because she would want to fly out tonight and the weather isn't conducive to that." Mc jumped into the conversation. "Let her unwind until tomorrow. Hank can get a good night's sleep and we can fly back tomorrow afternoon."

"We have to close this place up," Kevin's mind began to make mental notes of all the things that had to be done to the house before they leave. It would take at least a day to do most of it.

"Not necessarily," Mc stood up and began to clear the table. "Mike has agreed to stay here instead of the crappy apartment he's been renting."

"It's bad enough she actually let Steve stay here not knowing what was going on. Don't you think you should have asked us first?" Kevin sounded surly for a reason. He didn't need Mc to make arrangements for them. Kevin watched for Webster's reaction. Webster wasn't giving him one.

"No, I should have asked Bron, it's her house. However, since I've known her longer, I know she wouldn't mind and would appreciate the fact that Webster wouldn't trash her house or go through her shit." Mc gave Kevin a look that intended to put Kevin in his place.

Kevin had been dully chastised and corrected that this was Bron's house and only Bron's house. "Fine," Kevin reached for the last crab leg as he stood up. "Let me go tell her so she can tell Kay-"

"Kevin, don't. Kaylin is fine. Just let things lie until tomorrow comes. Let's make sure nothing is going to change." Webster stopped Kevin in his tracks.

"Yeah, you're probably right. With our luck, something will happen." Kevin groaned as he sat back down.

"Hell, she's going to be on the computer all night anyway." Mc grinned at him.

"She is not. She's spending time with me." Kevin wanted some quiet time with his wife. They hadn't even begun to address what had happened today. He didn't even care if he had to suffer through a chick flick with her to get the time.

"So says you, but I bet not. It's Tuesday, the ladies have their chat." Mc gathered up the silverware and headed to the kitchen.

Bron wandered back in the room. She handed Kevin the phone and then headed to the kitchen as well.

"Hi baby," Kevin watched Bron and listened to Kaylin on the other end. Bron and Mc were unloading the dishwasher together. So why was the simple task eating at him? Simple, because it something that could have been had he not been thrust into the picture. His mind was pulled from its thought and back to Kaylin. Kaylin could be a handful but he truly did miss her, Cooper and Andrew as well. "You saw us on the television?" Kevin's eyes grew wide as he turned in his chair to look at Bron.

"It's cool." Bron mouthed back to him and gave him two thumbs up.

Kaylin babbled at him and then he understood why Bron was okay with it. "Oh, I'm sorry they turned it off on you." Kevin smiled and thanked his lucky stars that Nick and Suzie had shut the television off on her. "So you spent the day hiking in the woods?" Kevin laughed even louder. Somehow he didn't think Suzie would have been thrilled in the least with hiking through the woods in the wet and sloppy weather with temps in the forties.

Kevin stared at the window. "Tracking critters were you. What did ya find?" Kevin snorted when the small voice came back with the words, "Are you sure it was a Kentucky Wildcat? You're really sure you saw the track." Kevin was trying not to laugh as he glanced to his wife who had a balled up fist resting on each hip with silverware fully loaded in both. She was frowning at him big time. Kevin waved her off.

The conversation moved quickly from her day of tracking wild animals to when they were coming home. Kevin listened to Kaylin complain that she wanted them to come home. He reassured they wanted to come home too but reinforced the fact that they couldn't at least not right now. "I'm sorry Kaylin but we can't come home yet."

"But I miss you and Mom." Kaylin whined louder

Kevin kept calm but he knew it was going to escalate. The daughter was very much like her mother. "And we miss you too baby."

"Then let me come see you!" Kaylin yelled this time at him.

Kaylin was so much like her mother that he had anticipated a non-direct resolution to her problem as well. She then insisted she be allowed to come up for the weekend. Kevin didn't dare say they would probably be home by the weekend. "You can't come up here, you have school."

"This weekend, please Daddy. Please?"

Kevin's gut twisted. The word 'Daddy' seemed to make him turn into marshmallow fluff. He heard the sorrow and it was tearing him up, he was out of options now. Kaylin wouldn't let it go. "I said no. Now the subject is closed."

"It's not FAIR!"

Kevin pulled the handset away from his ear. When he placed it back all he heard was dial tone. Kevin frowned and then sighed dramatically. "She's so much like her mother. She hung up on me."

Webster and Mc laughed, Bron wasn't laughing.

"The little brat," Bron grabbed the phone. "We are not that much alike," Bron snapped at him.

Kevin wouldn't touch that one for sure. No they weren't just similar. Kaylin was stamped duplicate of her mother even if Bron didn't want to admit it. "Let it go darlin'. She's upset, she misses us and we miss her. She saw us on television today. We were caught in a crowd of people. She said she thought they were going to squish us. Nick turned it off on her from what she told me. Then the three of them went hiking in the woods looking for a Kentucky Wildcat while Uncle Jake watched Cooper." Kevin bit his lips knowing the Wildcat story would piss her off.

"Nick is an idiot to drag Suzie through the woods. Kentucky Wildcat my--"

The phone ringing in her hand shut down Bron's mouth. Kevin cocked his head towards Mc.

"Suzie what the hell is going on down there?" Bron barked into the phone and left the room as she did so.

"Don't worry we haven't told a soul." Mc filled the soap dispenser and closed the dishwasher. "Let her have her girly time with the ladies."

"I want some time for me." Kevin balked at Mc as he tapped the right buttons and the dishwasher turned on. "We need to discuss a few things."

"Richardson, you get laid more than any man I know. Discuss is not what you want to do tonight. Take the night off and let her be with her girlfriends. Jake will be in there and keep on eye on things."

"How often I get laid is none of your business," Kevin gave Mc a self-satisfied smile.

"It is not quantity my friends, it is quality that counts." Webster chuckled. "Speaking of which, I have the night off so I'm heading to hell."

"Be quiet Webster, Bron is always quality." Mc grabbed his coat and headed for the door right behind Webster. "You better pay for your own damn drinks."

Kevin sat at the dining room table as the front door slammed, then the lock turned. He wondered if he would ever have any privacy with Mc around. He doubted it, possibly when the mess with Stevie was settled, but even then it looked bleak. "How the hell would he know if she was quality?" Kevin mumbled to himself slightly pissed that Mc would even bring up the subject let alone make a comment about it. But then knowing that they had never had sex was somewhat satisfying. There was at least one part of Bron Mc had not gotten to first. "I'll be getting that key back too," he grumbled as he pushed the dining room chair away from the table.

Since Mc had finished the dishes Kevin went in search of his wife. He found her at her desk in her office. She was sitting Indian style in her office chair and he wondered how much longer she was going to be able to pull that position off. Her head crooked to the side as she used her shoulder and her head to hold the phone while she typed on the computer. He paused by the door to listen to her conversation. He assumed she was still talking to Suzie.

"She'll calm down now that she has talked to us." Bron spoke. "Tell Nick I said thank you for taking her hiking. At least she couldn't hear or see anything. I'm sorry about the running gag with the Kentucky Wildcat. Kevin is like a dog with a bone with some of these never ending gags." Bron groaned, "Yes Suz, just like the damn running present gag."

Kevin watched from the doorway, he hid the smile knowing Suzie was giving Bron some shit. She flicked the desk light on and Kevin covered his eyes. The light was like pure daylight. Bron wasn't talking she was just listening. He still hadn't found out how Webster knew Steve was so close to them.

"Yes, it's over for me I think. I don't know yet. No, I don't want to talk about what happened or how it happened. I'm just happy that I can leave here soon, I hope. No, I don't know when but they'll let me know when we can leave."

Kevin leaned on the doorframe. He was always fascinated by the way Bron could multitask when she wanted to. Here she was opening and closing files, talking on the phone and logging into chat at the same time.

"I'm pretty sure Webster is going to stay up here to see this through. I'm thinking about asking him to stay here at my house. He's living in a shithole of an apartment. At least here he'd have some space and he can watch my house. No, I trust him." Bron's fingers flew across the keyboard as she became quiet again. "Yes I know I trusted Stevie. God, you sound just like Kevin some days."

Kevin rolled his eyes thinking Mc sucked most days and Suzie was dead on. He headed to the bedroom. He could pack up their things and she wouldn't even be aware of it since she was upstairs. He needed to have the fairy conversation with Nick and he didn't want Bron to overhear that one.

Kevin fished his cell phone from his pocket as he cracked open the closet door to retrieve one of the suitcases. "Nick, It's Kev. Pickup."

Tossing the suitcase on the bed, he waited for Nick to answer. When Nick didn't answer he hung up and called his own house phone. Jake ended up answering. Jake gave him the run down of what was going on. He was also informed that Stevie wasn't more than 15 feet from them and that of all people, it was Suzie who had picked him out of the blur of people. Kevin paused as he looked out the window and wondered if he was out there watching them now. Kevin crossed the carpeting to the other window that faced the driveway. The unmarked police car sat in the driveway facing the road. Kevin questioned whether it was enough security for them since Stevie was spotted so close to them today.

Kevin tossed his clothes haphazardly in the suitcase. After hearing everything that Jake had dumped on him he just wanted to get the hell home. "Where's Nick?"

"He's upstairs talking to Bounce. He's expanding on the Kentucky Wildcat story. You had better find out from him what he is telling her or we're all going to be screwed up."

"Don't call her Bounce, she doesn't like it anymore." Kevin chuckled knowing Jake would probably be frowning at the remark. God knows Kaylin had no trouble correcting him the last time he had called her that.

"Yeah right. Anyway, Nick moved pretty quick today to flick that television off." Jake huffed in Kevin's ear.

"Dude, you are out of breath. You need to start working out." Kevin snickered.

"Okay Pop Star, you and I when you get home. We'll put the gloves on for awhile." Jake passed on his remark. "Mc called awhile ago and told me the deal. He also told me to expect you home tomorrow, weather permitting, but I'm not to tell one damn person."

"Let's hope so, barring any freak snowstorm." Kevin could here Nick talking in the background.

"Dude you're in Buffalo in February. It's all freak snowstorms." Jake was howling with laughter.

"Funny man, real funny." Kevin began slamming his clothes in the luggage. "I hate this shit."

"Not half as much as I hate the 'No-Sense-of-Humor Fairy," Nick's voice rang in Kevin's ear

Now it was Kevin's turn to howl. "Dude, they don't have a sense of humor when their pregnant unless they're in the sack. Then everything is funny. I haven't figured that one out yet."

"You could have told me that earlier." Nick growled back at him.

"I couldn't, bitch fairy was here all day. Along with moody fairy, I was watchin' what I said." Kevin offered his excuse.

"Ah man, I'm sorry Kev." Nick spoke.

Kevin scratched the tip of his nose. He could've sworn Nick was expressing some compassion for him. "I think Suz being pregnant is changing you."

"Man, it changed you. I mean really come on. This is a new little life and I helped create it. How awesome is that." Nick let out a long breath.

Kevin shook his head as he watched the snowfall thicken. "It's pretty awesome bro. So, what other fairies have you run into so far?"

"Ah, the no humor, bitch, and one that cries all the time. Does that one have a name?"

"Yep, it's called, 'Approach with Extreme Caution.'" Kevin's shoulders shook as he chuckled.

Now Nick was laughing with him. "No shit man. It wouldn't be so bad if you were dealing with them one at a time but they switch so damn fast with no warning. I can't keep up. Kev, I'm serious man. I don't know if I'm doing this right."

Kevin sat on the bed; he crossed one leg over the other. His bottom lip rolled in before he spoke again. Nick needed more than his reassurance, he needed the book. "I'm sure you're doing fine Nick. It just takes a little adjustment. Has she gone to see a doctor yet?"

Kevin couldn't see Nick but he could tell Nick had left the upstairs and went downstairs. Kevin could no longer hear Kaylin, Jake, or Cooper in the background. "She made an appointment with that Jason guy."

"Jason guy?" Kevin knew the name, but the why was skipping over him.

"The one who delivered Cooper with Gabe. Remember?" Nick offered Kevin the connection.

"Oh, him. I think he's the one Bron's going to be seeing." Kevin had ninety-nine percent of his stuff packed. It wasn't that hard. Most of it was suits and they were in his suit bag. All that was left was his shaving gear in the bathroom.

"I would think so, he's moved into Gabe's building. I guess Gabe is only semi-retiring. At least that was as much as I was told and with the mood she was in, I wasn't asking any questions. I guess they're going to be partners." Nick answered Kevin.

"Good, I'm a little worried since it's so soon after Cooper. I don't want Gabe to be too far away for this one." Kevin unzipped the other suitcase he had pulled from the closet as he cradled the phone on his shoulder.

"I don't think he's going to be far from you," Nick snickered.

Kevin shook his head not understanding the comment. He didn't want a long winded explanation either. "Go up in my room. Go to the left side of the bed. The bottom drawer of the nightstand has a book you can start reading. I'm sure you'll get one when you go with her to her appointment with Jason. You are going right?"

"Don't be stupid, of course I'm going." Nick answered him.

Kevin could here Nick bounding up the steps. He waited for Nick to speak.

"Ya know I really like your bed. It looks really comfortable."

"Stay the hell out of my bed, Nick." Kevin barked into the phone. He wasn't sure if Nick was actually in the bed or just trying to get a rise out of him.

"I ain't going to run into anything in the bottom drawer of this thing that's going to ohhgg me out, am I?" Nick asked and then snickered into the phone.

"Depends on what ohhgs you out Nick." Kevin laughed at him.

"Dude it's not funny. We're close but not that close. I don't want to know what goes on in this bed. Power plays and all that shit. You're too freaky." Nick huffed at him.

"I didn't plan on telling you what goes on in that bed." Kevin laughed again. "Ya better not even sit on my bed." Kevin waited and debated if he should have lent Nick the book now that he was being a punk.

"Cool, thanks man. This is just what I needed." Nick spoke to him. "Why the sticky notes?"

Kevin set Bron's things in the suitcase gently. For some unknown reason he didn't want to finish this conversation too quickly. He'd be left to talk to himself. "Things you don't want to miss boy. I want it back when you get your own copy. I've got one that isn't ready to hatch yet too. Don't lose my damn sticky notes either."

"Love the highlighter man. I'll let you go now that I have something to do tonight. Besides, I'm not real sure which fairy I'll be bedding with tonight." Nick moaned loudly.

"I'd watch yourself if I were you. You might meet up with Bitch fairy again if she hears you talkin' like that."

Nick chuckled, "That bitch is mean. Besides the ladies kicked me out of chat. Jake blew my cover and none of them would talk to me like they used too. It was fun being one of the girls. Anyway, they were busy making plans for the WIC conference."

"WIC? It sounds familiar, but I don't know why. Oh yeah, that Women In Children thing." Kevin paused. It finally dawned on him what Nick had said. Suzie had an appointment with Jason. "Hey, Nick, if Suz made an appointment with Jason does that mean she's staying in Lexington?"

"We sure are bro. I'm moving up here. I'll keep my place in Marathon as an escape joint."

Kevin could tell Nick was as proud as a peacock over this news. Kevin groaned at the mere thought of Nick living with them permanently. He loved Nick like a brother but even some of his longer visits drove Kevin nuts. "Nick you're not moving in with me. We tried that, remember, it didn't work."

"Not you asshole. I'm moving in with Suzie!" Nick yelled at him.

Kevin closed his eyes, "Damn, I'm an idiot." Kevin waited for Nick to resume the call. "Sorry," he apologized loudly and hoped Nick would accept the apology.

"Apology accepted." Then Nick laughed and hung up.

Kevin had finished the packing in record time. Then he headed downstairs and picked up things they had left lying around. After organizing the drawers and dusting a little he unloaded the dishwasher. Kevin had caught up on the laundry and packed what had been washed and dried. The last load was in the washer when he called it a night. A couple times during the evening he had stopped himself from sneaking in to chat to see what the ladies were talking about. Mc was right; she needed some serious girly time with her friends.

After double checking all the doors to ensure they were locked, Kevin headed upstairs to bed. He was a little surprised to see Bron sitting in bed reading.

"Where have you been?" Bron tipped her eyes up from the book.

"Getting stuff done." Kevin meandered around to his side of the bed and hope she hadn't noticed the two suitcases sitting on the floor. At least he had tossed a blanket over them. "So did you and the ladies get your plans for the Women in Children conference set?"

"Huh?" Bron's eyebrows furrowed together.

"The conference. I talked to Nick. He said you guys kicked him out of chat because you guys were planning your WIC conference. Ya know Women and Children."

"Oh oh oh," Bron chuckled. "Yeah, we finished the WIC itinerary."

Kevin began to shed his clothes. He pulled the covers back on the bed and slid in. "When is that?"

"May," Bron closed the book. She turned the light off. She felt strong arms wrap around her upper arms and turn her on her side. "I'm glad I wanted to sleep this way." She quipped in the dark.

"Please, I'm so drained from today." Kevin whimpered to her.

"Yeah, me too." Bron grabbed onto his finger. She began to spin Kevin's wedding ring round and round on his finger.

"You okay?" Kevin asked as he pulled her closer and wedged a leg between hers.

"I think so. It's just been a really weird day." Bron sighed. "Really weird."

"I agree. Let's get some sleep and hope tomorrow we get the word that we can go home."

"I would love that." Bron sighed as she closed her eyes. She wasn't sure if sleep would come to her tonight or not. She did smile in the dark over the WIC comment. If Nick was in the dark then so was Kevin. She wanted it to stay that way for now. "I love you Kevin."

"Love you too Witch," Kevin scrunched closer and closed his eyes. He wondered if sleep would come. He had a feeling deep in his gut that taking care of the problem named Stevie was going to be a lot tougher to handle than the Lenny stuff was.

The phone ringing in the middle of the night woke Kevin from a sound sleep. He stretched out over Bron to reach it. "Yeah," he mumbled not bothering to check the caller ID; he couldn't have seen it anyway in the pitch black room.

"You'll pay for what you did today. Lenny was my friend. You took Bron from me. Be prepared, Richardson because I'm taking her back, whole or in pieces, but know I'm taking her back."

Kevin knew who it was and for some unknown reason, he had been expecting it. The voice had been distorted again through the use of a machine but he knew who it was. Kevin was ready to finish this one off. This was their last demon to deal with. "Bring it on Steve, cuz you don't have a shot in hell." Kevin disconnected the call. He didn't shout his reply knowing Bron was sound asleep next to him. He placed the phone on the nightstand on his side of the bed. Pulling Bron next to him, he hoped they could get back to Lexington tomorrow. Home, well he had his arms wrapped around home. Wherever she was, was home. But, he needed his kids too.

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