~The Binding~

Chapter 47

Scout's was filled to capacity with friends and family. This was a celebration of sorts for the family. Bron and Kevin really didn't want to do it but understood that the others needed to blow off some steam. Things had been too tense for far too long. Within two weeks the South District had been cleaned out. Muriel was raining supreme. Webster had come down for a visit to let them know what was going on. Lenny had his sentencing and would be behind bars for a very long time. He was convicted on the rape charge as well as racketeering. Thanks to Webster, Mc and their team. Kevin was included as part of team. Had Kevin not baited Lenny in court that day, Lenny would have never been convicted. Kevin was Lenny's greatest downfall.

Every one of Kevin and Bron's extended family and friends had been invited to a party. Kevin's entire football team from high school had been invited and his drama buddies. They held the party under the guise of a reunion to keep the press away. As far as Bron and Kevin were concerned the party could go on for days as long as they could leave anytime they wanted to. The kids were at Anne's for the night. The woman had ever so nicely volunteered to baby sit much to Bron's disgust. The kids were Bron's way of getting out of it. But it backfired on her. Kevin was pleased; they needed an adult night out. He wanted the pleasure of introducing his wife to his old classmates. Bron understood there was no way in hell she was going to get out of it.

They had closed off Stevie's pipeline of information. He hadn't contacted them and they hadn't found him. The phone had been purchased in Pennsylvania. The bill was set up as a reoccurring charge on a credit card. The card payment was traced to an account from a Canadian bank. Money had been wired into the account from all over the world. Basically, it was a dead end. Mc was on edge about it and told Kevin many times. Kevin kept telling him to enjoy the peace for a bit. Kaylin was now the proud owner of a new Barbie pink cell phone that had been pre-programmed by her Mom to only dial certain numbers and only accept certain numbers.

Scout's had been renovated a little more while they were gone. It was done more to Kevin's taste then to Bron's. It was a hometown gin mill and that was all. A DJ booth had been erected in the corner and a new dance floor was installed. According to Janey the DJ booth was only temporary, since her new investor preferred an old fashioned jukebox. Bron fumed and Kevin smiled.

"I bet I know who your new investor is too," Bron pouted at her.

Janey ran her hand up Kevin's arm. "There's something said for good ole boys makin' out good and then coming back home. But don't worry Bron I'm going to open a new state of the art nightclub downtown."

"You didn't, did you?" Bron's hard stare met his face as Janey walked away.

"Invest here, no. I just sort of talked her out of it. This was purely Mc's choice. She's just pullin' your chain darlin'. The new place they're thinking about opening, I might. An investment means more money coming in, that's always good. Sort of like the Bed and Breakfast that you and Suzie have going." Kevin wrapped his fingers around her hand.

Bron's eyes glazed over at the thought of a premiere nightclub downtown. Kevin chuckled at her watching her face and knowing the engine was starting to fire up with new ideas. "We'll find ya a place to dance, I promise."

Mc handed Janey a fresh quarter for the jukebox after speaking to her. Kevin's face scrunched up when Mc approached him. Kevin had a death grip on Bron's hand. The strength of the grip was enough to make Bron turn from her conversation with Nick and Suzie to him.

"Can I dance with your wife?" Mc smiled.

"Well, you have my permission. However, the real question is can you dance at all Mc?" Kevin laughed as Bron raised her eyebrows at him.

Bron latched onto Mc's hand. "Who the hell do you think taught me to dance to Prince to begin with?" She snorted as she walked away with Mc. "That pole isn't in the private lounge for nothing."

"That's a joke, right Jake?" Kevin shifted in his shoes as Suzie and Nick joined in on the laughter.

"'Fraid not buddy." Jake began to laugh and slapped him on the back. "I think you're pretty safe with this one. I don't think she can quite funk out on that song."

John Melloncamp's Club Cherry Bomb blared from the speakers mounted on the wall. The tunes were definitely from the eighties all the way.

When one of the lines ended with, 'Thirty five and half way done.' Mc patted Bron's shoulder and the entire room filled with screams of laughter.

Kevin began to smile as Bron fell into full dance mode. She pulled a move he didn't think was possible pregnant.

"I could be wrong on that though," Jake stared at the dance floor. His head cocked to the side as he studied the couple, "Yeah, I'm wrong."

"What the hell is it with you people? Do any of you have two left feet?" Kevin bristled at the two of them on the dance floor.

"Just you Kevin! Bron says when you freestyle you look like a frog in a blender," Jerald shouted to him.

Nick was laughing so hard his face was red. Nick headed up to the booth. He was playing DJ tonight again.

"Watch this Kaos." Kevin went to the jukebox and pulled the plugged to avoid anyone feeding it anymore quarters. Kevin saw Bron and Mc go to the side of the dance floor and speak to Tracy and Tim. He went up to the DJ Booth and pulled a CD from the case, "Play this punk."

"Are you crazy? I am not playing this." Nick stared at the CD in his hand. "They'll kill me if I play this."

Kevin shook his head no and headed for his wife. "Come on baby." Kevin latched onto Bron's hand and shoved Mc out of the way.

Backstreet's Everybody thumped the walls. Kevin grinned, "She's all mine now loser." Kevin waltzed and thumped his wife around the room.

Suzie snuck behind the DJ booth and pulled the power cord. Nick didn't even notice the lack of instruments playing. However, the song kept going since every member of Backstreet was in attendance and they were all singing their parts as if they had never stopped singing together. Except Kevin who was too busy rocking Bron out on the dance floor. Nick grabbed Suzie's hand and pulled her to the floor. "This song was always a blast. I love this and Larger Than Life."

"You just wanted to be a space dude." Suzie quipped at him.

"Hell yeah!" Nick dropped into his sexual line and Suzie turned six shades of red when he patted her tummy.

Time passed and introductions were made. Bron met so many of Kevin's friends from high school she couldn't keep the names straight. She stood with Suzie off to the side and watched the crowd. Kevin stood with a group of men all his age. They were all around the same size.

"It must be his football buddies," Bron studied them. "Damn, they're all so damn big. It must be something in the water around here. Not one of them is less than six feet and they're all around two hundred pounds or more."

"Well I see the drama buddies over there, they're a little different," Suzie giggled and pointed with a little too much flair.

"Suz stop," Bron snickered at the off color remark. Bron scanned the room for her family. She spotted Andrew, Mc, Webster, and Jake hanging out at the buffet table. Tim and Jerald were hanging out with Pete. Tracy had wandered off with Janey. "Kris didn't show."

"Well duh, I don't think she's ready to tell Kevin yet." Suzie elbowed her. "What's going on over there? Who is she?" Suzie's gaze traveled back to the football group.

Bron bit her bottom lip as a beautiful blonde entered the circle of football players. "Oh that's Tina. Kevin's first kiss." Bron smiled. "She hates me."

"Oh come on. Have you ever met her?" Suzie rolled her eyes at Bron. "How do you know she hates you?"

"I heard about it when I was getting my hair done last week. They were fifteen years old and he kissed at the roller rink or so I was told. The woman that did my hair went to school with them." Bron made a mental note to find a male hairdresser in town who gossiped less. "Another blonde."

"I think I read about that in a magazine some where. He must have said something in an interview." Suzie's forehead wrinkled as she tried to remember. "He does like blondes."

"She wasn't invited tonight, but it looks like she's crashing it anyway." Bron watched the woman walk into the center of the group of men that included her husband. Bron craned her neck and studied her. The woman liked to be the center of attention. Especially Kevin's, she touched him every time she spoke to him. Kevin hugged her and loosely held a hand on her shoulder as he spoke to her within his little circle of men. The hug fest went on for a few minutes. Kevin turned and scanned the crowd. When his eyes landed on Bron he stepped away from the men bringing Tina with him.

"Oh God," Bron groaned.

"Oh now stop. She could be really nice. You haven't even met her yet. Hell, you're great friends with his last girlfriend. Give her a chance." Suzie smiled as the two people approach.

"I've heard she tells everyone she meets about that kiss. It was fifteen years ago, she needs to get over it." Bron growled as the two were stopped by a group of people.

"Now, now, no need to be jealous. He kisses you every day. Several times a day actually." Suzie whispered and sipped her drink.

"Ladies," Kevin stepped up to them. He dropped the woman's hand and grabbed Bron's. "I'd like you to meet an old friend of mine. Bron this is Tina. Tina, this is my wife Bronwyn. And this is Suzie, my wife's best friend. She's also Nick's girlfriend."

Suzie smiled, extended her hand and greeted the woman. "It's nice to meet you."

"Same to you," the woman gushed.

Bron held back. The woman extended her hand. "It's nice to meet you Bronwyn. I've heard so much about you. Kevin and I go way back."

"I know he told me." Bron smiled as Kevin squeezed her hand. Oh would she love to take a chunk out this bitch. Kevin must have known something was up because he squeezed her hand even tighter.

"I can only imagine what you said. You better not have told her I was your first kiss ever." A sing song voice came out of the woman's mouth. She wrapped an arm around Kevin's waist. The eye lashes batted at Kevin and the woman blushed.

Suzie's eye lids flared open as she stared blankly at Kevin. Her straw stuck between her lips forming an 'O'.

Bron raised her arm to shake hands. "Of course he did, after all I gave him his first baby… ever. So he got to home base with me."

Coke shot out of Suzie nose as she turned. "Oh my God. I have to pee."

Tina left rather quickly. Kevin stood shaking his head after the majority of bystanders watched Tina flee the bar. "That wasn't very nice. I've told you before that green doesn't become you."

"She asked for it." Bron began to walk away. "I need to go check on Suzie. You better go explain to the football boys because they aren't looking to happy with me right now. I have a feeling one or several of them could have scored with her tonight." Bron left Kevin standing by himself. She looked back at him once and headed into the bathroom.

His old teammates were snickering and Kevin raised his glass in a mock salute. The guys cracked up laughing as they approached him. "Dude what did your wife do?"

Kevin smiled, "Tina won't be talking anymore about that little incident. Trust me." A fit a chuckles hit Kevin like a firestorm as he proceeded to explain what went down.

The incident passed and more than a few of Kevin's buddies had come back over and congratulated Bron on putting Tina in her place. Bron was a little shocked but evidently Tina had had an agenda for awhile and Bron had put an end to it not knowing so.

The music hit full swing and the dancing began again. Song after song everyone seemed to dance. Kevin stood between Tim and Jerald. Jake and Suzie made a unique pair with his size and her belly. Kevin watched them from a distance. Content but still worried. Bron had joined him by his side.

They were now cutting the rug to Bonnie Raitt's "Let's give them something to talk about."

Suzie was pleased with her dance partner. "You can dance like Dennis Quaid."

"No, Dennis Quaid dances like me." Jake laughed happy as a clam. "I'm so happy they are getting a taste of normal." Jake turned her so she could see Bron and Kevin quietly standing off to the side next to each other taking pleasure in the evening.

"We're going to enjoy it as long as it lasts Jake. I'm sure he'll kick up soon; it's only been two weeks. Bron and Kevin are getting a taste of normal and once Stevie is out of the way they can have the whole meal." Jake spun her around.

Jake quirked a grin at Suzie. "Are you hungry again Little Mama? I didn't miss that little food analogy."

"Those chicken wings look so good, but they're so bad for me." Suzie's eyes lingered on Webster standing next to the buffet table inhaling the fried delicacy.

Jake said nothing as he danced her over to the buffet. He snagged her one, swiped it through the blue cheese. He held it out to her and then Nick appeared out of no where and sunk his teeth into it.

"Eww," Suzie backed her head up. "That's just gross."

Nick pulled the chicken wing from his mouth. He shook it at her with a bite out of it and the blue cheese running down it. "This isn't good for you."

"Ugh, you promised you wouldn't be like Kevin." Suzie fumed and Jake walked away.

"He's not like me. See I would have given you the chicken wing but I would have made you barter something to get it." Kevin wagged his brows at her making her blush. She hadn't heard him walk up behind her. He was way too good at that.

Nick got a fresh chicken wing from the platter. Swam it through the blue cheese dip and held it out to her. "What are ya gonna give me for it?"

"What an idiot," Kevin hissed and walked away. He spied his wife in the corner talking to Mc alone. He had just left her a few seconds ago. Some days he was okay with it, some days he wasn't. Today was an okay day as long as they didn't dance again. Kevin approached them. He knew the face Bron was wearing. He had seen too much of it lately and this was sort of a celebration tonight. "Lay off of her on the victim impact statement right now. This is a party and you're not going to spoil it for us. His sentencing is over. He's not going to be up for parole for twenty years. Stop badgering her."

"Fine," Mc moaned and walked away.

"Sorry Witch," Kevin mumbled and kissed the top of her head as he draped an arm around her shoulders. His other hand held a high ball glass with ice and Jack Daniels in it.

"It's good, you rescued me." Bron smiled and slipped her hand up inside the back of his jacket. She began to make slow circles over his back. He stretched his shoulders and sighed. "I'm ready to go if you are?" she smiled at him.

"Yeah, I'm ready." Kevin began gathering their things as they said their good byes and exited the party.

"I really didn't want this party." Bron buckled her seatbelt as Kevin climbed in the driver's side.

"I didn't either but they needed it." Kevin turned the engine over and hit the headlights. "It was good to see-"

"Oh fuck," came out of Bron's mouth and Kevin froze. They blinked and the person was gone.

"Damn, I'm sorry baby. Come on, we have to go back inside and let them know." Kevin turned to her. He saw the alarm rise in her, but it wasn't fear.

"No, let me talk to him first. Please, just the two of us." Bron began to panic as she wrestled to try and get the seatbelt undone in the dark.

"NO!" Kevin grabbed her by the arm preventing her from getting out of the truck.

"Please Kevin, please. They'll hurt him. There's something wrong with him. I can help him." Bron tried to get out of the truck but Kevin locked the doors and engaged the child proof lock. She couldn't get out if she wanted too. She kicked the door and banged on the window. "Kevin let me out!"

"DAMN YOU!" Kevin grabbed both of her arms and hauled her up to his face. "You can't help him. He's dangerous." Kevin roared the engine and peeled out of the parking lot. He grabbed his cell from his pocket. Hit a number and spoke with venom in his voice. "He's in the parking lot."

Kevin turned back with enough time to watch the front doors of Scout's blow open and six men stood in the dark. He knew that Pete, Webster, Jake, Jerald, Tim, and Mc would be combing the area looking for Stevie. Kevin was some what happy Stevie had finally shown himself. The last month had been spent waiting for him to make a move and it was getting on all of the male's nerves. Kevin even commented once it was like a tribal thing the way the males protected the females.

For two weeks after the party. Mc had searched, Webster had searched, they had all searched, and he couldn't or didn't want to be found. But he was in town, somewhere. Bron reached for her cell phone as she heard the normal hustle and bustle of her house going on around her. Normal seemed to be returning rapidly. Kevin was yelling for Kaylin to stop screaming and running so the dogs could catch her, he was trying to talk on the telephone.

Nick started yelling for Kevin as he came in the front door seeking out Kevin once again. The two had hit a rough patch when the guys split from the current management and Nick stayed to cut a solo album. Kevin fully supported Nick's actions; however, the rest of the guys weren't as supportive as they could be.

Bron hadn't known this was going on right under her own nose over the last few months. Bron thought back to that day a week ago when she had found out. She was mad for a bit at Nick until Kevin told her to shut up and mind her own business. "Nobody tells you or Mc how to run your business, so don't tell him how to run his."

"Fine, he has my support until-"

"Until he breaks up Backstreet. He won't, so stay the hell out of this." Kevin slammed his office door shut as the two men headed off into the studio.

"I don't like this," Bron stared at the closed door.

"Bron, chill, it's fine." Suzie stepped into untested to water.

"Easy for you to say, you get to hear your man sing."

"You get to have yours only sing to you." Suzie spoke as she typed. She wasn't worried about it. She knew Kevin wasn't ready to quit Backstreet yet. He would some day, but not now.

"True," Bron whispered and smile broke out over her face. "Very true."

"Darlin' what's for dinner?" Kevin spoke from the dining room doorway.

"I don't know yet," Bron looked down.

She heard his reply as the words drifted slowly to her. He had spoken as he walked away. "Make extra, they're staying."

That nagging feeling wasn't leaving as she seasoned pork chops. Tossing the dishtowel down, she reached for the telephone. She had been mulling something over in her head since Stevie had shown up at Scout's. She dialed and waited for the person on the other end to answer. "I'll meet you there tomorrow at seven. No, I'm not telling anyone. I need to do this for me. I'll feel better."

She hung up the phone and hit the speaker button to the studio and to listen to Nick and Kevin do some vocal warm ups. By the end of the Nick and Kevin's rendition of the old Marvin Gaye song 'What's going on,' her mood had improved drastically. Suzie ran into the kitchen practically knocking Bron over. "Are you listening to that? It's freaking amazing!"

"It sure is," Bron continued to move her feet to the music since her stomach had already popped showing her ever growing pregnant tummy. At least at four months her pot belly could be taken for old age. Her family and closest friends knew better. Luckily Kaylin hadn't found out and they all lied to her on a regular basis.

The guys were all over the place and in the public eye lately. A.J. had a new woman, who didn't sit well with Bron. Kevin figured it would pass; it usually did, until a surprise engagement was announced. Howie was writing and hanging out with Gillian in Florida. Brian was making music and doing charity events. The balance of February had blown by after the trial with an announcement in March that Lou was being investigated. Bron and Suzie probably wouldn't have noticed much had two very tall idiots not been belly slamming each other the day the news was announced.

Kevin was the only one laying low, but he was helping Nick on one final track that neither of them wanted to be known outside Kevin's house. Kevin did his own charity events and then ran like hell for home. He did get an offer to do Chicago but he was still thinking about it. Actually he had made his decision and was holding off until the last possible minute. He wanted Stevie under wraps before he took on a role that would take him out of town.

Bron's quietness went unnoticed at dinner, which pleased her greatly. Suzie had her due date finally nailed down. The 'Carter Critter' as Kevin had dubbed said child, to whom Suzie was seriously put out when the nickname stuck, was do to arrive the first week of August on the seventh. Bron didn't say anything and Kevin didn't offer either. Their due dates were only three weeks apart. Bron was due August 28th. Bron figured it was most likely around Halloween for Suzie and Nick. "Suz hit the man candy a little too hard baby," as Kevin told her one night laughing his ass off.

The bed moved slightly well after one in the morning when Kevin had finally joined her. "Did you finish it?" she asked.

"Yeah, I think we got it where he wants it." Kevin pulled her closer to him. He sighed and closed his eyes after wrapping his arms around her. "Love you."

"Love you too." Bron whispered as her eyes remained open, staring at the full moon lighting the night sky.

Bron left a note on the table and left as quickly as possible this morning. She pulled up to the massive wood structure. The white paint peeling off the side of the building wasn't unusual for this type of place. She pulled on the heavy glass door. A man sitting behind a glass partition motioned her in. She walked up to the man she agreed to meet here.

"Are you ready?" The man asked her.

She looked down at his hand. One hand contained a pair of goggles and earmuffs. The other held the Glock 10mm from her barn. "Come on pick it up, it's not loaded. It's been awhile. We need to start over again."

Bron reached for the gun. After checking the safety, she disassembled the gun. She checked the firing pins on the breech. She shook the slide gently and listened for the click of the pins. She re-assembled the gun. She broke it down again and reassembled it again when the pressure didn't disengage. When she finally had it where she wanted it, she looked down the long alley to the paper target and popped the magazine in. As she squeezed the trigger, she squeezed her eyes shut.

Her ears muffs were ripped off her head. "Stop!" The command barked at her, she froze as his hand wrapped around the gun.

"What?" Bron looked at Mc in shock.

"You can't shoot a gun if you're going to shut your damn eyes. We've been through this; you're going to kill someone if you close your eyes. With my luck it'll be the Pop Star and then I'll end up stuck with you again and now all those kids." Mc glared at her. "I can't have that, I'm married now."

Bron inhaled deeply. She turned to the target and raised her arm.

"Picture the bastard Bron." Mc whispered then he placed the headphones back on her head.

She jumped when they snapped over her ears. She pulled the trigger back and nailed the target 1 inch left of dead center. She fired the nine rounds left in the magazine and dropped the clip by ejecting it. She reached behind her back to pull the second clip from the waistband of her rubber banded jeans.

Mc's eyebrows rose up and he snagged the clip before she could load it. She snarled at him and whipped the headphones off. "What now? This is what you wanted right? I pictured him and if he was here, he'd be dead. I hate this; I love Steven like a brother."

Mc said nothing as he gently took the pistol from her. He checked the safety and set it on the table. He reached for the line and pulled the target forward.

Bron staggered backwards away from the target as her hands went to her mouth to stop the vomit from rising. She stared at a picture of her husband with holes blown through his head and chest.

"Lesson number one. Always, always, double check your target. I taught you that from day one."

Bron stuffed her hands deep into her back pockets as she walked away. She pace slightly as she tried to pull herself together. Every now and then she would glance at the target and see Kevin's face and her stomach would turn.

"I'm not asking you to shoot your husband. I'm only trying to give you the ability to protect yourself and anyone around you, should you have too." Mc sighed as he picked up the handgun and held it out to her. "You have to try Bron. Stevie is beyond unbalanced now."

"You don't know that." Bron hissed at him.

"Yes I do. We're seeing things that you don't because Kevin won't let you see them and is shielding you from them." Mc ran his fingers through his hair. He twisted up his lips and frowned at her.

Bron bit her lips together; she swallowed the lump in her throat. Did she really want to know? "How close?"

"Too close but not close enough."

"Thanks for the cryptic answer. So you're following the Hillbilly's orders?"

"Don't ask, don't tell. He likes it that way." Mc smirked at her.

Bron yanked the gun from Mc's hand. She broke it down, cleaned it, and reassembled it. "Fine but you better not tell him you brought me here or you'll be on the receiving end of the dark side for a change."

Mc chuckled, "I'll bet it's nothing like my dark side."

"Junior, his dark side makes yours look like a walk on a fuckin' beach on a sunny day." Bron snapped the goggles in place. She was careful to check her target this time. She watched as photos flew across the gallery. Some were family members and some were of Stevie, Solarez, and Lenny. Mc had done this on purpose so she would be forced to focus on the actual target and not just the movement and shoot. Mc laughed when she shot Nick once in the shoulder.

"Don't give Carter a flesh wound because you're pissed about his solo album." Mc chuckled into the microphone that was wired to her headset. Then she shot below the belt. "Okay I'll give that one for Suzie. Now that Carter is nutless, knock it off and focus."

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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

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