~The Binding~

Chapter 49

Bron was discharged as promised. She was home by nine in the morning and happy to be sitting in her kitchen. She wouldn't see Kaylin until after school but she did call her when she knew Jake would be dropping her off to reassure her that she would be home after school and Daddy or Uncle Jake would be waiting for her at the end of the driveway when she got off the bus.

Bron's nails banged out a rhythm on the table. She rehashed Jason's words over in her head. She could handle the three or four days of rest. God knows the house needed a good scrubbing. The last part she wasn't sure if she wanted to kill Jason for what he had said or Kevin for his reaction. Or more like non-reaction. Jason had told both of them under no circumstances would marital relations take place over the next four to six weeks. Bron blew a gasket. Cory laughed and Kevin was blasé in his answer, "Not a problem."

"NOT A PROBLEM!" Bron bellowed at him in front of both the doctors and the nurse.

Kevin folded his shoulders in and then out. "We've done it before Witch, we can do it again."

"You did it before, to me. It was your choice!" Bron's index finger was almost impaling Kevin's chest with each word she spoke. "I had to talk to Gabe to get you out of your abstinence mode. I wasn't happy the first time around with that. Now they're telling us we have to! And you're okay with this?"

"Darlin' it's just sex," Kevin reached to try and comfort her only to have his arm slammed so hard he actually grimaced in pain.

"Don't touch me ever again, you bastard!" Bron growled and stormed out of the room.

Kevin rolled both lips in to stop from smiling at Gabe and Jason. Jason was blinking back the tears. Kevin cleared his throat, "Ahh, she took that rather well. Thanks guys." Kevin walked out the door. He turned back when they started laughing and glared at them. Kevin forced his feet to move forward and head to the truck to go home. "Ohhh it's gonna be a long day," he moaned to himself as walked out the hospital door. "Thank a higher power they told me last night or I might have reacted the same way." He spoke to himself as he made his way to his truck and his wife.

Bron's thoughts rattled to a stop when Suzie's voice broke her concentration.

"You're here already? That's great." Suzie smiled at her.

"Just peachy," Bron mumbled as she went to the coffee pot. She poured a cup and looked out over the field.

"I'm so glad nothing happen to you or the baby." Suzie touched Bron's arm.

"Yeah, me too," Bron grumbled as she shook off her hold and headed to the pantry with her now full coffee cup. Jussy had decided to nap in front of the doorway to the pantry. "MOVE!" Bron barked at the dog. Jussy pulled his huge body off the floor and took off for another room.

Suzie looked over her shoulder to Nick who had followed her in. Her eyebrows went up and just as suddenly went back down when Bron came out of the pantry with a bottle of beeswax and cloth.

"Do what you have to do to keep busy. I'm not in the mood to work and I have other things on my mind." Bron left the two of them standing there.

"Oh boy," Nick crossed his arms. "I wonder what that's all about." Nick poured two cups of coffee one for him and one for Suzie.

"I have no idea. I'm sure Kevin will fill us in. I'm just happy they didn't lose the baby. She's probably just a little emotional right now. She'll be fine in a while." Suzie's eyes trailed Bron as she headed to the pit.

The same scenario played out day after day for two weeks. Bron would put Kaylin on the bus. She wouldn't talk to anyone. It was if she was in deep thought all the time. Suzie didn't push knowing something serious was up and maybe Kevin and Bron didn't want to share it with them. Maybe the baby was in more jeopardy then the couple was willing to say or something was wrong. Bron had lost weight not gained. She was cranky most days and everyone but Kevin steered clear of her. Mc was now calling Suzie looking for stuff instead of Bron. Bron spent all her time with her kids as if the others .

One day Suzie stopped Kevin and Nick before they went into the studio. "Kevin, what's wrong with Bron? I feel real funny talking to her lately. She's so distant. I don't know what I can and can't say about your baby or my baby for that matter." Suzie's waterworks started.

"Aw shit Suz, it's not you, honest." Kevin was by her side and started rubbing her back. "Please don't take it personal. Our baby is going to be fine and so is yours."

"But she won't talk to me," Suzie bawled. "I miss my friend."

Kevin's cheeks bulged and slowly let out the air he was holding. "I miss her too. She's upset right now. Jason and Gabe have put some restrictions on us that aren't sitting to well with Witch right now. Just try and stay out of her way for a bit longer."

"You said us," Nick cocked his head to the side. "What the hell does us mean? What restrictions would they put on both of you?"

"Oh shit," flew out of Suzie's mouth after Nick had rephrased what Kevin had said. "You're kidding!"

"'Fraid not," Kevin stood up. He glanced at her calendar and counted off the weeks by tapping his finger on the sheet of paper. "We have four weeks more to go."

"Four freaking weeks. She's gonna be like this for four more weeks?" Suzie slammed her hands down on her desk. "Like hell she is." Suzie left both men standing there as she went into Bron's office and slammed the door.

"I'm not getting it." Nick stared at the two women who were now facing each other on the other side of the glass window.

Kevin licked his lips and folded his arms over his chest. He stood back. He hadn't gotten anywhere with Bron. She refused to budge on the abstinence. He had heard, 'What's good for the goose is good for the gander,' more times then he wanted to count. All he knew was when the day finally came that they could be together; he was going to make sure it was damn special for her. "Neither am I. And neither is Bron."

"Ahhh," Nick's head went up and down acknowledging that he understood the problem now.

Suzie came out of Bron's office and Bron was following her. Suzie's hands were whipping wildly in the air and Bron was growling something at her.

"There are tons of things you can do. Stop being so virginal. Just because you can't go to home base doesn't mean he can't." Suzie's hands were blazing away as she talked with her hands as well.

"That's not fair!" Bron yelled. Bron's arms were undulating in the air.

Kevin took up residence on the arm of the couch in the reception area, while Nick took a seat on the corner of Suzie's desk. Kevin knew he wouldn't miss this for the world. Suzie never had a qualm giving Bron a wake up call and vice versa.

"Life isn't fair Little Mama, get over it." Suzie waved pages in the air at Bron.

"Bullshit!" Bron yelled back at her. "He can, but I can't!"

Bron's folders were being flipped in the air a little faster then Suzie's pages. Kevin chewed on the side of his cheek as he and Nick exchanged glances. Nick was probably learning way more about his sex life then he ever really wanted the kid to know. But at this point he didn't have a sex life so it really didn't matter. Hell, he had spilled his guts to Nick last week over a bottle of Jack and a late night in the studio. But he had left that part out. He had dumped on Nick about his fear of losing the baby and had left the conversation at that.

"Look I know he's good, you told me that. Hell, you tell everybody that. You write it down! So maybe it's time you brushed up on some of your other skills." Suzie had moved to behind her desk.

Nick's head backed up and he blinked at Kevin. He opened his mouth and then closed it.

Kevin watched Nick's ears turn red as he sat there. Yep, Nick had questions. Nick always had questions. Kevin was chewing on his bottom lip. He didn't know who he should be embarrassed for the most, Bron, Suzie, himself, or poor Nick.

"My other skills are fine. If I can't get off, than neither can he. This is his fault to begin with. He just had to have his way, again. Just like last time. He-"

"Time!" Nick shouted and his hands formed a football time out.

The thought had crossed Kevin's mind that his little brother was making a big mistake by stepping into this one.

Nick turned his body to face Bron. "Bron, I feel sorry for you. That has to suck. But ya know what; my brother is a good guy. You said you loved him for better or worse. Now you've been through a ton a shit and you're going to let six weeks of no sex trash your entire marriage? Get real!" Nick's hand flew out and he pointed to Kevin.

Kevin knew he didn't want to be pulled into this shit for sure. Kevin's head backed up not sure what Nick was up too. He would have to hang tight and see what happened. No matter what he said right now it would be misinterpreted.

"This is the man that you wrote about for years before you met him. The tall, dark, handsome Kentuckian, remember? The one with the gentle image to the public, wonderful manners, and the fine southern gentleman you wrote so much about. The person you suspected had a dark side behind those green eyes your so damn fond of. Get your head in the game woman! Work on it!"

Kevin wanted to applaud Nick's speech but he figured he'd get hurt if he did. Nick sounded like a true coach in a really sick way.

Bron stood frozen in her spot. She blinked at Nick a few times then her lips sort of quirked up and then down. They ended up in a straight line with her brows crinkled as she seemed to be thinking about something. She turned to face Kevin. Dropping her head she started to approach him, "Sorry, I've been a bitch about this," she mumbled quietly.

Kevin snapped his head to the side and back. Everyone heard the bones crack. He was going to remain calm and not berate her. He could hold out as long as he had to in order to save his child. He didn't like the distance she had put between them but knew it couldn't be handled like he had done in the past. He had to be gentle this time around. Things were just too fragile right now. "Not a problem, you were upset. I love you and I understand this upsets you."

Bron walked up to him. She placed herself between his legs as he sat on the arm of the couch. "I think we need to talk." Kevin pushed her away from his body and began to pull her toward his office by her hand. "Not here, downstairs." Bron moved the other way only to have Kevin follow her when she reached back to grab his hand. "Thank God Jake has Cooper this could take a while."

Kevin let out a loud sigh of relief or anticipation. He couldn't tell. He was hoping for the second. The couple left quietly.

"I love you Carter!" Suzie reached up and grabbed him around the waist.

"It was nothin'," Nick turned in Suzie's embrace. "Bron's a lot like me. She can hold a grudge for a long time. She just needed someone other than Kevin, this time, to kick her ass for it."

"You are not like Bron." Suzie waved her finger at him.

"We're a lot alike Suz. We both like to laugh and have a good time. But she's more like Kevin than anybody else. Since I've been with Kevin longer I kinda have him figured out. He wouldn't put the moves on her because he wouldn't think it was fair if he couldn't do the same for her. He's kind of a gentleman that way. Bron is still mad over what happened in Florida and that she's pregnant. Not about the no sex thing. They'll work it out."

"Nick, do you know what happened in Florida?" Suzie had always wanted to ask. But she knew the day that they had showed up and she saw Kevin's reaction when asked the first time about what happened between him and Bron; she knew she wouldn't dare ask again. There was something so dark about his words that it gave her chills and she felt she needed to be protected from him.

"Yeah, I do. It wasn't one of my brother's more shining moments but he accomplished what he wanted to do, I guess." Nick walked towards Kevin's office doorway.

"Things got a little heated and he was a little overbearing with her?" Suzie pried.

"No Suz, things got very heated and he was controlling and rough with her." Nick walked into the office. "This baby wasn't an Immaculate Conception. It was Kevin's way of letting her know she was his wife and always would be." Nick shut the door.

"Whoa," Suzie shook her head and thanked her lucky stars she had Nick as a buffer. It seems things could get ugly between Bron and Kevin. She caught glimpses of it here and there but never a full outright scene.

Bron's mood the next day was closer to normal. She was still hormonal and some what pissy but she wasn't so withdrawn. Suzie watched her moods swing. She dismissed it most of the day as she tried to get excited about going to dinner with Nick in town.

Suzie's own mood was swinging like a pendulum. Her increasing girth was getting on her nerves. She was six and half months pregnant with her first child and not showing like she was pregnant but she was showing like she was fat. A few photographs had showed up when she and Nick had gone out. People accused her of putting on the pounds. Nick laughed it off saying, "Boy are they in for a big surprise in a few more months," Nick giggled like a little boy. It annoyed her that Nick was never upset when they called her names. He would grin like a school boy and say, "I'm going to be a Daddy. I don't give a shit about those people."

"It doesn't bother you at all that fans call me a pig?" Suzie looked as if she was about to cry while sitting in the middle of the restaurant.

'Oh Jesus, here comes a visit from another fairy,' Nick thought. Nick grabbed her hand and began to rub it. It never occurred to him how she would react with the hormones in full play. Normally, Suzie could care less what others' thought - hormonal Suzie was a whole other person. "I'm sorry Suz; I didn't look at it like they were calling you names. I have more years of experience dealing with hurtful names from people I don't know. I don't think you're a pig at all." Nick winced mentally scolding himself for that last sentence. Suzie sat across from him with a miserable look on her face.

Nick gently asked a question he'd been meaning to bring up. Truthfully, there were a lot of questions he's been meaning to ask Suzie, but decided to ignore the confrontation. "Whose clothes have you been wearing these past few months? You haven't gone shopping at a maternity store like Bron has."

With sad eyes and a sniff, "These are my fat clothes!" Suzie began to bawl. With her head down, her shoulders shook uncontrollably. 'Oh crap, the crying fairy!' Nick thought. Looking around frantically for the Maître'd, he pointed to the $20 on the table for the drinks when they made eye contact. They hadn't ordered their dinner and Nick wasn't about to stay and eat now. Grabbing Suzie by her arm, he led her out of the restaurant. He gently put her in his car and had an idea that he was certain would cheer her up.

Nick slowly pulled into the Pea in a Pod parking lot. Suzie wasn't even paying attention; she was mindlessly staring out the window.

Coming around to the passenger door, he opened it and put his hand out to help her out of the car. "We are going to get you clothes that will make you look pregnant, not fat."

After an hour walking around the store looking through the racks, Suzie was so excited that she didn't even question if this was a good idea for Nick's image and what it would do to his reputation.

"Wow, I don't look fat anymore." Suzie beamed in the dressing room mirror. Nick cocked his head to the side, "No, you look thinner; well, except for your bulging tummy. You definitely look pregnant!"

The saleswoman backed away thinking Suzie was going to slap Nick into next week for that comment. But instead, Suzie grabbed Nick's neck to pull him down closer to her mouth. After a few minutes, the saleswoman cleared her throat. "Will that be all?"

"Yes, thank you." Suzie wanted to get out of her new clothes immediately and get home to undress both of them. She'd been so depressed about being fat that she didn't instigate anything sexual for quite a while.

Nick, knowing about Bron and her hormone situation, was afraid to make a move on Suzie especially after meeting the Titty Fairy a few months ago.

Suzie took Nick's disinterest as a sign he wasn't interested in her anymore, sexually. For her own sanity, she tried not thinking about that especially when Nick was going to go out touring which, in her mind, also meant whoring. She hated thinking about it so she pushed it out of her mind. For now, Nick was with her.

As soon as Nick walked into the house with the bags, Suzie slammed the front door shut. She literally grabbed his t-shirt and yanked it off his chest and was quickly unbuckling his belt before he realized what was going on. Realizing her needs, Nick became acutely aware how aroused he was. It had been a few weeks, at least, and he'd suppressed how horny he really was for a while now, instead he released his frustrations in the studio.

One of Nick's songs, I Got You, reminded him of Suzie. He would listen to it over and over again to make him feel more secure in his relationship. The night of the Jack Daniels incident Kevin asked Nick about the song and could tell it meant a lot to him. That conversation led to another and then another. By then both he and Kevin shit faced in the studio.

Lying in bed, Suzie had her arms draped around Nick's chest gently twisting the little hairs that were growing. He had his eyes closed as he lay contently on his back. The couple hadn't spent that much time together naked in months. Suzie rolled out of bed causing Nick to whine, "Where are you going?"

Wrapping her robe around her body, "I'm going to pee and then grabbing a bite to eat. Want anything?"

As Nick thought about what Suzie said, he realized how hungry he was. "Yes please!" The couple never ate dinner. He turned to see what time it was and was shocked, "Is it really ten o'clock?"

Suzie waddled into their bedroom with a bunch of food thrown together on a tray. "Hard to believe we've been home for almost two hours. We worked up quite an appetite. I'm glad you went food shopping today." Plopping down on the bed, Suzie placed the tray down gently and disrobed.

Grabbing a handful of grapes, Nick commented, "I'll do it again anytime you want. Hungry?" Putting a strawberry between her lips, she leaned in closer to feed him. He snatched the strawberry and a quick kiss. "You keep that up and I'm not going to want to leave this room."

"I think I need to take a mental day tomorrow. I'll call Bron in the morning and tell her I'm not coming into work." Suzie said as she pushed Nick down on his back and straddled his lap.

"I love it when you are horny," Nick moaned as Suzie began kissing his neck. "Bron is going to be pissed."

The next day, Suzie woke to Nick bringing her breakfast in bed with the cordless phone. She called Bron to tell her she needed a mental day to figure out stuff with Nick and the baby. Of course, she didn't want to tell her it also involved catching up on months of sex.

Bron laughed on the other end of the line. "Sure, whatever you want to call it if it makes you feel better. In four weeks I'm taking a freaking week off." Bron hung up on her.

Nick pulled out his calendar to discuss a few things he'd put off talking with Suzie. The last serious discussion had Nick's move to Lexington. "So, you have another doctor's appointment with Jason today at 10AM, right?"

Suzie was not looking forward to this visit. She didn't want to know how much weight she'd gained. "Yeah. Are you coming with me?"

"Hell yeah, I love hearing our baby's heartbeat. Hey, do you think their going to do a sonogram today?" Nick began to pick clothes up off the floor from the night before.

Suzie finished chewing her toast, "Do you mean an ultrasound?"

"Whatever it's called - you know what I mean. I want to see the legs move, the arms crossed or reaching out, the tiny face; I want to see it all. Can we ask the doctor what the sex is? Please??" The last part he begged and he knew it.

"I'm thinking……………no. Maybe not knowing will help get this baby out of me quicker." Suzie's face squished up at him.

Nick thought about it for a second, "That makes sense. But shouldn't we be prepared for the baby's arrival? Clothes, painted walls, crib sheets - those kinds of things?"

Suzie shrugged her shoulders at him. It left Nick unsettled. Nick noted the house when he made breakfast this morning. Since he had moved into Suzie's quaint Victorian home three months ago, boxes lingered in the hallway, their bedroom, spare bedroom, and the office. Between the trial, traveling to New York, and each working hard in their careers, the house had been neglected for far too long; it needed some serious attention. "We need to turn this place into a home, not just a house."

Nick saw the spark in Suzie's eyes. It was the one he had been waiting for. She now understood that he was making a serious commitment to her and their child. "I can ask Bron for some time off next week. She'll understand."

"I don't start the tour for two more weeks. I say we organize and clean this house up and make it our home. Ya think you'll be up to it?"

Suzie contemplated finding out the sex of the baby. Nick was right; they should get organized for the baby's arrival. "Yeah, I guess you're right."

"And we'll need to fly to Boston soon to tell your family." Nick turned the page on his calendar.

"Oh hell no!" Suzie yelled.

"What? Why not?" Nick questioned.

"The same reason you didn't tell your family!"

Nick sighed pulling Suzie closer to him. Her eyes had gone wild on him in complete terror of telling her family. "Suz, the only reason I haven't told my family is they wouldn't care. They'd look at this child as taking away part of their allowance or something. Or you're trapping me into this relationship. I can almost guarantee they would try and sabotage our relationship the entire time we would be there - that would be the only thing they'd care about. I'm almost embarrassed at how selfish they can be."

"Nick, please don't worry about me with them. I can handle myself; I've had how many years defending myself to my brothers?" Suzie had a moment of panic. "Shit, they're going to freak! My parents too!"

"Why don't we go up to Boston this weekend, before the weather gets too hot and sticky? From there, we'll fly to Marathon and inform my family. It's not like we'd have to say much - one look at you in your new clothes and we're busted." Nick grinned at her.

"Yeah, but what about the fans? A.J. wasn't exactly the best representative of the Backstreet Boys to your management company and media image. Kevin, well Kevin's been so secretive for so long it really wasn't a surprise to the fans that he up and married and didn't tell them. But you, that's different. You've got your solo CD almost done. You're supposed to look available; this could be a big problem with management."

"I don't think it's as big of a problem as you'd think, Suz. I'm keeping it real - if they ask me to confirm your pregnancy, I will. Same with the media. If management gives me an ultimatum, I'm choosing you and my baby." Nick's answer was as honest as his heart. He finally figured out why Kevin was always so obstinate that his private life, stay private.

Listening to Nick, Suzie knew it made sense to go tell their families and get this over with. They were going to find out sooner or later and it would be best if they heard the news from the couple directly. The unpacking of boxes can wait another week.

"Let me call my folks to see if they'll be around this weekend, okay?" Suzie scooted to the side of the bed and grabbed the phone.

"Excellent. Let's ask Dr. Jason if we can have another picture so we can bring them the most up-to-date picture of their grandchild." Nick's grin grew even wide.

Nick called his travel agent and sent off an email to the other BSB members to give them a head's up what their plans were.

Kevin chuckled to himself while reading his computer screen, 'Wait until Suzie's brothers hear about their big news. Damn, I wish I could be there to see this. Bobby might just take Kaos's head off.'

Later that morning, the couple was sitting in the Doctors waiting room. Nick's leg was gently bouncing up and down, causing Suzie to lose her place in her book. She had tried to read the last passage several times.

Leaning into Nick, Suzie whispered. "Please relax. You're starting to get the baby overly excited now too." Nick put his hand on her belly and smiled. The baby bumped under his hand.

After going through the normal routine Jason called Nick into the office. Jason and Cory exchanged smiles as the young couple stared in amazement at the new ultrasound picture. Suzie's stare was more of a bewildering look. Jason questioned her to see if he could answer any questions she may have. "Does her head look big to you? It looks out of proportion with the rest of her body."

Cory suppressed her laugh as she put the gel on the warmer understanding that Suzie was looking for confirmation on the sex of the baby she was carrying. She had asked them once if they wanted to do. Nick said yes, Suzie sort of said no. Cory moved the wand around and then smiled. "The baby's head is always bigger than the body. Your baby girl looks perfect."

"Wow," Nick was ecstatic, "Did you hear that? Our baby girl is perfect!"

Suzie nodded still thinking the head looked huge. Turning to Nick, "You had a big head as a child too, didn't you?" Suzie thought some more, "Your nickname was Charlie Brown."

"You read too many fan articles, Suz." Nick sighed loudly and rolled his eyes at Jason. "She has a big head because she's going to be real smart."

Nick and Suzie returned home with their respective to-do lists before the weekend away. They went in different directions for a few hours. Suzie called Bron and laughed as she explained they had new pictures of their daughter who was going to be very smart. Bron lost it and had to hang up so she could go tell Kevin. Suzie groaned, wondering why she had told Bron to begin with. Suzie had heard Kevin say more than once, "Think of the children."

Suzie felt better, emotionally, dressed in her new maternity clothes. So much so, she scheduled a manicure/pedicure in addition to her facial and waxing. After a couple of hours at the spa, she ran a few errands before heading home.

Nick had begun unpacking the boxes in their bedroom and wrote a list of things he would need to buy to help organize their closet. He then began to clear out the spare bedroom. Nick picked up his drawing book and pencil and began to sketch his idea for the baby's room. With a smile, he doodled girl's named that he liked on the inside margin.

As usual, Suzie was running late. The couple had less than two hours to pack and get to the airport to catch their flight. They were going to spend two nights in Boston. Then they would head down to see his folks. When they returned home they were going to work on the nursery.






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