~The Binding~

Chapter 50

Nick grabbed their luggage from the belt and headed out to the pickup area to catch a taxi. Suzie would meet him there after she was done in the bathroom. A few fans watched Nick from a distance, wondering what he was doing in Boston. There were rumors of his solo CD, so maybe he was recording in Boston.

Suzie spied on the fans from a distance, standing behind a column. If they got one look at her, the entire BSB community would know for sure that Nick was going to be a daddy. Nick spotted Suzie and had to smile; she was so self conscious. He knew she was not going to come out of hiding until the fans disappeared. Nick smiled to the fans and they slowly walked over to ask for an autograph and some pictures with him. Suzie watched the giddy girls walk back to their parents who were patiently waiting.

"You can't always wait for the fans to leave or we'll be late for everything in life from here on out!" Nick complained with a sexy smirk as he put their luggage into the trunk of the taxi.

"Until our families know about the baby, I don't want too many people seeing us together, okay?" Suzie whined as she tried to sit down which wasn't easy as the back seat sank so damn low and she had to balance her body with a belly she wasn't used too.

"Well, this will be a moot point come Monday then." Nick said as he shut the door. "God, I feel so low to the ground in this thing."

The shocks on the taxi needed some immediate attention. "Next time, I'm ordering a limousine." Nick said as he struggled to pull Suzie out of the back of the cab.

Walking up to the Onyx hotel, Suzie got a chill up her spine. She loved coming home - she was looking forward to going out to eat at some of her favorite restaurants. Kentucky didn't have nearly as good as a selection. "Did you make reservations at Taranta's or Bacco's?

"We can go where ever you want. Both restaurants have a reservation on hold for me."

"Aren't you special, Mr. Rockstar?"

Nick blushed. "Shut up or I'll call your brother to come and join us!"

Suzie's face became flushed, "You wouldn't dare."

Nick chuckled, "Nah, tomorrow's going to be a long day. No need to torture ourselves for a few more hours."

The sun was shining through a crack in the window treatments come morning. Stretching out her naked body, Suzie slowly climbed out of bed and made her way to the bathroom. Nick tried to pull her back to his body without much success. Slowly opening his eyes, Nick finally focused on the bright red numbers that glared off the end table. 'Time to face the music,' Nick thought.

He wasn't worried about telling Suzie's parents. To him, he was in love with their daughter and he planned to be with her until she had enough of him, but he would always take care of his daughter's needs and even Suzie's, whether they were together or not. Nick hoped they would be together forever, but he knew that there were so many obstacles in their lives; it would take a lot of work to make it work. He wasn't naive enough to believe that sometimes maintaining the hard work wasn't always his strongest asset. He would be the one to screw it up, not Suzie. She is more like Kevin - older, more mature, and would make better decisions than he would. He hoped that she was strong enough to forgive him for the mistakes he knew he would make.

Nick heard the shower running and knew he had a good twenty minutes to himself. He pulled the drapes open and exposed the sun into the hotel room. Looking out at the Boston skyline, Nick was lost in his thoughts. So much had happened here; life altering changes in the group with A.J. and rehab then 9/11.

After ten different outfits, and Nick saying he liked her in all of them, Suzie finally settled on a light blue sleeveless babydoll maternity dress. Nick especially liked how Suzie's breasts fit in it with her cleavage exposed. He couldn't wait to get her back to the hotel and get her out of her dress. But that would have to wait until much later.

The car ride was quiet. Nick held Suzie's hand which made her smile. She stared out of their Lincoln town car window and watched the scenery from her youth pass by.

They ascended up a hill and came to a stop. Neighbors lingered a little longer to see who was arriving. Suzie heard her name in an Italian accent saying hello. Suzie smiled and waved, "Hello Mrs. Mancini, how are you?"

"Bene. Quanto tempo sono stai visitando?"

"Oh, just for the day." The car was blocking Mrs. Mancini's view from Suzie's stomach and as luck would have it, Nick blocked her view as they walked into her parent's home. "Since when do you know Italian?" Nick questioned Suzie as the walked up porch steps, "I thought you were Irish!"

"I'm both you ding dong. Mrs. Mancini has taught me a few Italian words over the years growing up and my friends' parents only speak Italian, although a different dialect. You learn a few things without even knowing it." Suzie shrugged her shoulders as she walked up the stairs in the hallway that lead to her parents' living room.

"Oh sweet Jesus!" came out of Bobby's mouth as he enveloped his youngest sister into his arms for a long hug. Whispering in her ear, he continued, "Do I need to neuter that boy?"
Chuckling Suzie said "No," as she kissed her brother's cheek, whispering back, "Be nice."

Bobby took a step back and gave Nick a once over look with his 6' 2" frame standing up straight. "Hmmm," came from his throat. Now Nick was nervous. Trying not to show his nerves, he reached his hand out, "Hey Bobby."

Bobby smiled shaking his hand, "You are one brave mother fucker." He patted Nick on the back and escorted him further into the house. "Let's go tell the new grandparents." A cackle rang out of his mouth.

~~~

Bron was skimming the internet while trying to focus on working. She was a little nervous for her friend. This could be a really bad day for the expecting couple, or it could turn out fine. Bron should know in a matter of hours. One click later and her mouth dropped open. "Youngest Backstreet Boy is going be a dad" read the title above the picture. There was a picture of Nick and Suzie hand in hand coming out of Taranta's restaurant in the North End.

Kevin walked into his wife's office to give her an afternoon kiss and find out what she'd like to have for lunch. Leaning down to kiss her forehead he noticed the picture on the computer screen. "Ain't no denying it, Suzie's all baby. I'm going to go check-in with management before they harass Nick."

"Oh, they won't be," Bron replied. "Suzie turned off his cell phone this morning. I'm sure his mother has been trying to reach him," Bron laughed. "She's about to lose her bread and butter." Bron took a break from the internet to spend time with Cooper and wait for Kaylin to get home.

~~~

The couple returned to the hotel a few hours later, exhausted. Surprisingly, Suzie's parents were not at all upset. At first, they were shocked but never did they get angry or yell. Nick did most of the talking, which surprised Suzie. He spoke as if he had matured 10 years in ten hours.

Jumping on the end of the bed with a huge bounce, Nick said, "I thought that went well, don't you?" Nick flipped opened his cell phone to see if he had any messages. 'Oh, this can't be good. Seven calls from my mother, three from my father, one each from Aaron, Leslie, BJ and Angel.' Nick thought about checking his voicemail and reading his text messages until Suzie walked out of the bathroom in a short white silk and lace night gown and quickly turned off his cell phone.

Suzie sat down beside Nick on the bed and put her feet in his lap. "Amazingly well. Nick, can you do me favor and rub my feet? They are killing me!"

"Sure, wait a second; I'll be right back." Nick disappeared into the bathroom and came out with a small blue bottle. "This will help you relax."

Suzie lay down on the bed and enjoyed feeling Nick rubbing her feet, massaging between her toes and kneading her arch then slowly making his way up her calf. A whimper escaped from her lips as she lay with her eyes closed, totally lost in Nick's touch. He slowly slid his hands up Suzie's legs massaging her thighs. Nick crawled up onto the bed and brought his lips to hers. He brushed some of her hair that fell onto her face behind her ear. Lying on his side, Nick slid his other hand under Suzie's nightgown and began messaging her belly. His eyes staring at her breasts. He was amazed how beautiful they looked.

Suzie reached up for Nick's neck and pulled his face down to hers, enveloping his mouth in hers. Sensing her urgency, he kissed his way down her neck. Untying the stings that kept her breasts hidden, he stared at two hard nipples. Engulfing his mouth around one while massaging the other with his hand made Suzie's head spin. Suzie's outstretched arms grabbed the sheets and wanted much more.

"I think horny pregnant fairy is my most favorite."

Suzie chuckled at him, "Kevin and his fairies." One thing Suzie could count on with Nick was he never disappointed her in the bedroom. He was amazing; his hands, his tongue, and his lips were magical when they touched her body.

Suzie sensed the sun was up but didn't feel like actually waking up just yet. Then she heard his voice. He was in the bathroom with the door closed talking to someone. She could tell by the tone in his voice he was pissed. He began yell-whispering and she heard Nicks' voice say "Mom" a couple of times. Knowing his mother must have found out, Suzie quickly fired up the laptop to see what she could find out.

"Christ, that didn't take long." Suzie saw her reflection on the people.com website. Turning on her phone, she had a few voicemail messages. She skimmed them wanting to see if Bron called. She opened up her email program and signed in. The familiar "Welcome, you have mail," resonated through the speakers. "196 emails? Holy shit!" Suzie's eyes scanned the inbox and she was surprised how many fans had her email address. Some emails were nasty, others were supportive and then there was the proverbial, "If you leave Nick now, no harm will come to you." Then Bron's email popped up, with one short sentence. "Good job, can't wait to see you. Bring me some cannolis and don't tell Kevin."

A loud bang brought Suzie's mind away from the computer screen. Nick came out of the bathroom trying to remain calm. "Our plans have changed. We're heading back to Kentucky."

"Okay."

"My mother is a bitch and we are not going to see her anytime soon."

"Okay." Suzie watched Nick closely as he walked around the hotel room gathering his things. He was pissed off. And it was turning her on. Suzie shut down the computer and grabbed her things.

After checking out late, Suzie had one more pit stop to make before they board their plane to Kentucky.

"Kevin isn't going to let you bring those into his house." Nick complained as they paid for a dozen of chocolate chip cannolis from Mike's pastry.

"They aren't going to go to his house. They're staying at our home." Suzie remarked casually.

Nick was too caught up after hearing Suzie's words; he completely forgot what they were talking about. "Yeah right, like you would hide pastries from Bron. She probably told you to get them and not tell him."

They landed in Kentucky and headed home. When they hit the house Suzie grabbed the phone and Nick just grinned. At least she seemed to lighten his mood for awhile. Suzie cleaned and talked to Bron on the phone. "God forbid you two get disconnected for more then twenty-four hours!" Nick shouted up the stairs to Suzie.

Suzie turned and shot him the finger. He laughed as he began hauling suitcases upstairs. When he went to bed he was still pissed at his mom, but tomorrow would be a better day.

Nick slept in and Suzie had already left for work. He found a note on the kitchen table propped up next a cannoli. The note read. "If you want more you know where to find me." Nick shook his head as he drank his coffee. "Like there would be any left by the time he got there. He took his time getting dressed and then headed for Kevin's house.

He said his hellos to the dogs, Jake, and Cooper. Cooper seemed to be growing like a weed lately. He headed up to Bron's office and maybe another cannoli if he was lucky. He found the ladies but not a cannoli in sight. Bron was riding a sugar high for sure.

Kevin couldn't tell what the hell he had walked into but he almost slammed his head into the office door as he craned his head into Bron's office. Suzie and Bron were laughing and dancing around. A rather large head covered in blonde hair bopped by the window. He tossed open the door to hear Nick singing Get Yourself a Bad Boy.

He rolled his eyeballs towards the ceiling when he heard Nick try and do Kevin and A.J.'s backup vocals along with all his ohs and ahs. Kevin jumped into the lyric and threw Nick off his pace by doing so. Then Bron was laughing when Kevin tossed his 'Huh' in, complete with pelvic thrust. When A.J. sauntered into the room he hopped on the Backstreet train too. The three band members were having more fun than the women even though they truly hated the song. Kevin stared using Bron as prop.

"Nice Train, real nice." A.J. started twirling Suzie around. "If you like innovative better get someone creative, honey." A.J. stopped for a second almost causing Suzie to trip. "You so did not slam into your pregnant wife Kevin," A.J. cackled since Kevin was jamming to it full bore.

Bron sang and smiled. "If you want it make it last, gotta know just who to ask." Bron grabbed onto Kevin's hip and danced around him. "Babe it's gotta be the best and that's him."

They sang and cavorted some more since A.J. and Kevin were laying down the background vocals of, "If you really want it good and bad boy."

A.J. wiggled his brows at the women. "Your Momma shouldn't know."

"Hell, he should know what his Mama does," Bron laughed obnoxiously.

"Don't be talkin' 'bout my Mama," Kevin began to do a little hip grind with her pregnant belly. "If you really want it good girl get yourself a bad boy." He sang.

"Did you even know what you were doing Nick?" Bron giggled.

"No, but Kevin used to laugh his ass off about it," Nick laughed as he traded partners with Kevin.

"I trust you're up to speed now that Critter is on it's way," Kevin's snarky laugh was followed by Suzie's, "God Kevin."

They all froze when Mc walked into the offices. Well except for Nick who continued to jump up and down on the leather sofa in Bron's office and sing. Nick launched into Missing You and Bron squealed.

"I love that song!" Bron began. "You guys so missed out on this one. It should have been a of single."

Kevin shook his head at her. He couldn't even remember the words. Nick and A.J. seemed to be doing just fine with it. He leaned back on the door and watched. After a few lines his memory came back to him and he joined them.

"Brian is missing." Suzie quipped.

"Who cares," Bron danced towards Nick. He grabbed her hand and they danced around the office. "Oh baby, I'm missing you. We used to love so strong, tell me where'd we go wrong."

"Ya done hittin' on my woman," Kevin laughed when he said it but both Nick and Bron turned to him. His face didn't reflect the words he had said. Kevin was serious. They stepped away from each other. Bron pretended to dust herself off. "Okay, play time is over, time to get to work."

Mc popped his head in the door. "Do you idiots know how many Backstreet Boy tunes I know because I had to suffer through them all day at work? You know the days before MP3 players. We had a boom box. Oh and if you talked during Kevin's conversation mix, your pay would get docked."

Bron covered her face with a folder. Now she was embarrassed. "You didn't need to tell him that. And I always gave it back."

Kevin bit his tongue to stop from laughing. He cleared his throat. "My name is Kev…. And I like the type of girl who can love me for me. The type of girl who I can hold in my arms…

Suzie groaned, "Stop Kevin. We have to work today and she'll be worthless." Suzie walked back to her desk to answer the ringing phone. She shouted back through the door as she went, "Besides, I'm off the rest of the week."

Kevin sauntered up to Bron and wrapped his arms around her. "And baby, my name is Kev and I just want you to know I will always love you. Yes baby-"

"No Diggity!" Mc yelled.

"Oh God," Bron groaned as Kevin swayed her back and forth in his arms. She stuck her head under her husband's arm and stuck her tongue out at Mc. "Jerk."

"Let's go fellas; there is work to be done." Kevin let go of Bron and walked out of the door.

"Crap," Bron dropped in the chair.

"Focus little girl. We have to get bids done today." Mc swatted at her with the folder he was carrying.

"I know," Bron groaned, "But that was so much more fun then staring at numbers all day and making calculations."

"I think it would be." Mc sat opposite Bron at her desk. "What was that all about anyway?"

"Tension breaker I think. I've been a little edgy and they know it as much as you do." Bron flipped open the first folder of many on her desk.

"I really should have a desk in here." Mc pulled a folder from the matching stack on his side of Bron's desk. "You're doing well at the range."

"Let's not talk about that here. I never know if he's listening." Bron picked her head up as she dragged her adding machine over her desk. "And you're not getting a desk in my office. Ask Kevin if you can share his."

Mc grumbled at her. They both knew that would never happen. "You have a home office. You wanted the office here. I was all for getting a place downtown." Bron flipped some pages and turned her calculator on.

"I wanted you to be close to your family." Mc smirked at her.

"You're a damn liar too. You knew what kind of person Kevin was before I did." Bron clucked back at him.

"How are you feeling?" Mc questioned her as he read the bid notes.

Bron sighed, "Okay, I guess. Besides the obvious Stevie problem, I'm good. I'm worried about Andrew. I can't find the kid half the damn time."

Mc laughed at her, "Because he's got a major hookup going Mama."

Bron picked her head up and stared at him intently for a minute. She looked out the window of her office to see if anyone was coming or going. "Who?"

Mc smirked at her, "Little nurse Cory."

"My nurse Cory?" Bron's voice cracked.

"The one and only. They met when you were in the hospital. He took a real shine to her and I have to say I think it's mutual." Mc wore his business face when he spoke to her.

Bron picked up the phone and the number 9 speed dial button. She waited for the other party to answer. It was her lucky day, the right person answered. "Hi, it's me. So Cory, I hear you're dating my son. Since you work for my OB I'm not sure if that's a conflict of interest or not but you better be on the pill." Bron hung up the phone.

Mc shook his head at her. "Andrew is going to be furious with you. I wouldn't be surprised if that girl never spoke to you again. You do know you just embarrassed the shit out of Andrew."

"No I didn't. I just let her know that I know and she'd better not screw up. I'll also find out how close they are." Bron hunched over her desk and the adding machine began ticking away. Her fingers were flying when Mc interrupted her with a question.

"How so?" he was scratching numbers on a tablet. Setting the pad down, he walked over to the plan table and unrolled a set. He locked them down in the frame as they continued their conversation.

"If they're close then she'll tell him about the phone call. If not, then I don't think it's that serious." Bron answered without pulling her head up from the figures she was adding.

"You're insane," Mc laughed. "She's a nice girl. She has a good job, she's cute, she's smart, and you should be happy."

"Andrew should be focusing on school not girls. The way he keeps switching majors he'll never finish." Bron chewed on the end of her glasses before she put them back on. "Now we're doing night school because it was too crazy when I was gone."

"I think you made a big mistake with this one." Mc rolled his shirt sleeves up.

Bron finished one bid and handed it to Mc. He automatically went down the numbers and the wording. "This one is good. Have Suzie type it up and fax it. It's do in their office by Noon."

Bron grabbed the wad of papers and went to Suzie. Suzie was typing away with her back to Bron's office. Bron waited until she was finished before she spoke.

Suzie swiveled around in her chair. Suzie tilted her head to the side. "Yes?"

"Could you type this up and get it faxed over. It's a local job that can keep Frank and his crew busy for a few months. It has to be there by twelve." Bron handed her the work. She glanced towards Kevin's office to see him on the phone and frowning. She turned and went back to her office.

Working on the fifth bid for the day Bron was startled when her son screamed from the stairs on his way up to the offices. Glancing at her watch Bron noted the time. It was one in the afternoon. Andrew should have been at work not here.

"KEVIN!" Andrew hollered and hollered repeatedly as he came into the office. Kevin's office door slammed shut with enough noise that it bounced around in the outer office almost causing the glass on the windows to vibrate.

Mc turned on the stool to face Bron. His shirt sleeves not only rolled but jammed up his arms. "I can almost guess what that is about." Mc clasped his hands together as he waited for either Kevin or Andrew to burst through the office door.

"I doubt that is about my call to Cory. He would never go to Kevin with that; he would come directly to me. If C.W. was alive, then yes, he would go to him because that was his Dad in his eyes after your Dad passed." Bron continued adding numbers when her office door was quietly opened.

Kevin stood in the doorway with his hand on the knob. His index finger and thumb were pinching the bridge of his nose. "Ya know, you really have to stop this shit. It takes a lot of nerve to call Cory and say what you said. He is our son and he's livid that you would embarrass him that way. He's not an idiot and his relationship with her is private. Do not do it again Bronwyn and I mean it. Mother the younger two and the one you're carrying, he's a grown man for crying out loud." Kevin closed the door.

Bron was gaping at the door. Her mouth was hanging open and she knew it but couldn't help it. She had discovered two things today. One, her son was finally in a serious relationship and two her son now viewed Kevin as a father figure. Every muscle in her body recoiled as she stood up. "That little sonofa-"

"Hey, Hey, now. You started this. Now deal with it." Mc stopped her at the door.

"I can't believe he would do that to me." Bron was fuming as she stomped around her office. "The little weasel went to Kevin over this."

"You just called a girl your son just started seeing to tell she'd better be on birth control. If anything, you're the weasel. God forbid he ever marries; you'll drive the girl nuts with your meddling. Well, after your husband's decree, maybe you won't. What the hell did you expect?" Mc's eyebrows arched on his forehead.

"I expected to hear nothing about it because this relationship isn't supposed to be serious." Bron tossed herself in her chair. It wheeled away a little with her in it.

"It's not supposed to be serious just because you say so?" Mc laughed at her.

"I expected her to shut her damn mouth and keep it between us." Bron's chair squeaked.

"Well she didn't, so that tells you they're tighter than what you thought." Mc dropped his head for a minute and then brought it back up. His lips quirked, "Ya know, she's out of school. She's got a good job. He could do worse around here. At least she isn't working a low paying job with a high school education. She's smart."

"Dammit, you said that twice now." Bron picked up the phone and Mc groaned loudly. She waited and tapped her fingernails on the desk.

"Bron, Kevin told you not to." Mc exhaled loudly.

"I'm not twelve either. Just because Kevin barks doesn't me I listen." Bron waited a little longer, "She knows it's me, they have caller id." Bron waited for the voicemail to kick in. "Okay, you win, I'm sorry. I won't say another word. You're both good kids. I love him and I'm fond of you. I just don't want you two to screw up your futures." Bron hung up the phone. Her lips twisted as she stared at the receiver. When nothing happened for a full five minutes she went back to work.

A couple of hours later Bron was down in the kitchen when Andrew joined her. He shuffled in with his hands in his front pockets. Bron looked at him as she dropped spaghetti into a pot of boiling water. He didn't say anything. His brown curls covering his eyes. She thought she should tell him to get a haircut but closed her mouth about it. Bron searched for a spoon in the crock on the counter. She stirred the pot until all the spaghetti had descended. Wiping her hands on a dishtowel, she walked to the fridge. "Honey, would you get my cookie jar down for me please?"

Without a word he did what was asked of him. He set it on the table for her. "Thank you," Bron patted his shoulder. She lifted the lid and pulled out a wad of money. A note fell onto the table. Andrew started to grin when he saw it was ticket stub from a Backstreet Boys concert. He peeked into the jar. The jar was loaded with ticket stubs and cash. He stuck his hand in only to get it slapped.

"Stay out of my cookie jar." Bron arched a brow at him as he picked up the ticket stub on the table.

"Are you crazy?" Andrew gawked at his mother. "You paid three hundred and fifty dollars a ticket so you and Bounce could go see to go Backstreet in Toronto?"

"What!" Kevin came into the room and snagged the small square from Andrew's hand.

"Andrew!" Bron gasped at him as she tried to retrieve her memento from Kevin. Kevin was laughing as the guys piled into the room along with Suzie.

"Hey fellas, Bron laid out over seven hundred bucks for tickets to see us." Kevin snorted and passed around the stub. Bron was mortified that they had found out.

"I paid four and quarter once," Suzie shrugged her shoulders.

"To see me?" Nick gushed at her.

"No, to see all of you, dork," Suzie picked up a spoon. She lifted the lid on the sauce pot and stirred. She made sure she wasn't showing her face either.

Bron went into the pantry to retrieve some item she didn't need. She wanted to die now that they knew. She didn't plan on coming out anytime soon.

"Damn baby!" Kevin exclaimed. "You must have really liked me."

Kaylin walked into the room with Jake. "Ohhhh, you're in Mom's Backstreet cookie jar; you're gonna get it!"

Bron flew out of the pantry and slammed the lid back on the jar. Kevin pulled his hand out from behind his back. "What this? Your own little bank." Kevin waved a huge amount of bills in her face.

"You put that back!" Bron reached for the money.

"Hell no. Why in the world do you have this kind of money stashed in a cookie jar for crying out loud?" Kevin began counting, "One hundred, two hundred, three hundred..."

"Leave it alone!" Bron grabbed the money that he had counted out and handed it to Andrew. "Take Cory out to dinner tonight. Stop and pick up some nice flowers too. Make it a nice place Andrew not Steak and Shake. She's a nice girl."

Andrew smiled. "She is a nice girl Mom and I don't need your money to take her dinner. I earn a paycheck. Besides she got your apology and accepted it. So instead of me having dinner with her at her place tonight, I invited her over here for dinner."

"SHE HAS HER OWN PLACE!" Bron's eyes rolled around and she started to hyperventilate. Backstreet Boys were giggling and Suzie's 'uh-oh' was very loud.

"Yep and a really big brass bed," Andrew snickered as he meandered out of the kitchen with his hands still stuck in his front pockets. "It's a queen."

"Andrew!" Bron screamed as she ran after him. She was stopped in her tracks by her husband grabbing onto her.

"Bron, I told ya no." Kevin watched Andrew look back over his shoulder and wink at him. "He's just trying to get your goat because he's still mad."

"Does she really have her own place?" Bron tried to pry Kevin's fingers off her arm without success.

Suzie smirked at Bron's whiney voice. She had heard and seen a lot but she had never heard Bron whine quite like that.

"Yes she does darlin'," Kevin laughed when he answered her.

"That's not right, she's young, and she should be living with her parents." Bron went back to the stove since she knew she wasn't getting out of the kitchen.

"Get over it love. If it's to be, it's to be." Kevin gave her look that put her in her place.

"Fine," Bron huffed and continued on with making dinner while the Backstreet Boys totaled what she had spent on concert tickets for the three years.

"Hey, here's a deal, she paid face." A.J. waved the stub in the air. "I can't believe how much money people spend on tickets. No wonder Tee shirt sales were down."

Bron and Suzie looked at each other. "Oh brother," they groaned in unison.

Kevin collected the memorabilia from the guys and stuffed it back in the jar. He opened his wallet and stuffed the bills in it. "I'll go to the bank and make a deposit tomorrow."

"That's my mad money." Bron stood next to him.

"Well now you can be good and mad because you don't leave three grand lying in a cookie jar." Kevin tapped his wallet with his hand and stuffed it in his back pocket.

"I had that much?" Bron questioned him.

"No, that's what I'm depositing. I left some in there." Kevin went to the china cabinet in the dining room and started to pull out the good dishes.

Bron stopped him in his spot. "She doesn't need my good china."

"Ah, I wouldn't be so sure about that Mama." Kevin set the plates on the table. "This relationship is moving fast and serious."

"NO!" Bron pitched a fit. "It's not happening. I refuse-

Kevin put a hand over her mouth. "You have nothing to do with it. You have stuck your beak in Aje's business, Nick and Suzie's business, and Mc and Janey's too. Now you will stop."

"OWW! DAMMIT!" Kevin yelled and whipped his hand away from Bron. "Ya know what I'm gonna break you of that bad habit."

Bron backed away from him. She headed in the direction of the living room. "You started it. I hate when you do that to me."

Kevin had a nasty gleam in his eyes. "Do you wanna know what that feels like?"

Bron turned and bolted pass Cory and Andrew in a full out run. "Start dinner without me. I royally pissed him off," Bron blurted out as she went by them.

"I mean it dammit, you're never gonna do that to me again!" Kevin was shouting and chasing Bron up the stairs. "Don't lock that damn door either!"

"I can't, you took the lock off!" Bron screamed back but kept on running.

Twenty minutes later Bron sat down at the table. Alex and Nick were smirking at her because Kevin came in the room whistling. Kevin took his seat at the top of table. A visible mark on his palm showed when he reached for the pasta. "Sorry Cory, we had a little problem we had to work out."

Bron stared at Nick from across the table who was smirking at her. He smacked his teeth together at her. "Don't laugh you're next."

Cory cleared her throat causing Bron to turn. Bron looked at her then she looked at Kaylin, who was way more interested in the dinner conversation then she usually was. "I'm sorry our conversation today was a little unpleasant. I can be a tad over protective and I promise not to let it happen again." Bron scrutinized Kaylin but spoke to Cory.

"Yeah because Dad was really mad and told her to keep her beak out of it." Kaylin smiled from her seat on the other side of Kevin. "Then she bit him."

"Traitor." Bron frowned at her. Bron turned to Cory.

Cory nodded once at her. "Look we're dating. We don't have any other plans at the moment."

"Thank you for being so polite about it Cory," Kevin piled the pasta on his plate.

"I saw your Mom today Kevin-"

"So Cory, Honey. What have you two been up to?" Bron leaned almost out of her chair to face the girl.

Andrew jumped in to save the day. He went on and on about the things they had been doing over the last few weeks. Every time Kevin tried to ask about his Mom someone jumped in on the conversation. Even A.J. pitched in to help knowing most likely Anne was still with Gabe and Kevin still didn't know. By the time dessert was on the table, which was none other than Suzie's cannolis again, Andrew was walking Cory to the car and the evening was ending.

Bron and Kevin picked up the dishes in the quiet house. "I'll finish this. Why don't you go help Kaylin finish up her homework?"

Kevin leaned down and kissed her lips. "Love you. I'll give Cooper his bath when I'm done."

Bron had gotten through the evening relatively unscathed. Kevin would never really bite her and she knew it. He had chased her to spook her and it had worked. Then he retrieved a piece of paper he had hidden in his pocket. Suzie had given it to him when she opened up the mail. It was another letter and he wanted to let her know about it. It was the same old crap from Stevie. It was full of threats and reminders that he knew everything. Neither of them understood it but they had tabled it for tomorrow when they would speak to Webster on a teleconference with Mc beside them.

"How is he finding this out?" Bron waved the paper at him.

"I dunno darlin'. I don't… I can't think anymore." Kevin stood there helpless. The heels of his palms pressed to eyes.

Bron felt terrible for him. They had both thought when the phone was turned off it would be over, but it wasn't. Bron wrapped her arms around his waist and pulled him closer. "We'll figure out tomorrow. Come on, Cory is down there and we left her with Nick and A.J. She'll think we're all animals."

"Suzie's there to ride herd on them. Who are you kidding; you just don't want them to touch the cannolis. You finished the last batch and had this batch fed ex in." Kevin patted her ass he walked next to her. "Ya better lay off the cannolis for a day babe. I need you to gain healthy weight not bad weight."

The dogs sat at her feet as she washed the last pot. Kevin came in humming Nobody But You. He smiled at her and then he sang for her. He had noticed that when he sang lately she calmed right down. "Ain't nobody else can me cry…"

"Sing Drowning for me," Bron smiled at him. "I love the greatest hits." Bron waited at the back door for the dogs to come back in. After letting the dogs in they made their way to the pit. Kevin sang Drowning for her very softly.

Suzie and Nick had headed home. A.J. had actually gone with them for a change of pace. Andrew had claimed homework after Cory had left. Kaylin and Cooper were asleep in their beds. "Let's go to bed." Kevin turned and headed up the stairs with her hand enveloped in his.

"I'm bored." Bron remarked as she followed him.

"Well we won't be bored if we go to bed," Kevin chuckled softly.

"You mean you won't. I still will be." Bron cracked back at him. Kevin was getting his fill lately and she was being left high and dry in a manner of speaking.

"Witch I'm sorry, I forgot." Kevin paused at the top of the stairs. "Ya know what, you can take a nice long hot… Crap, you can't do that either."

Bron blew her bangs up. "We could watch a movie instead of sports for a change."

Kevin had a dejected look on his face. "Alright," he mumbled.

"Geez Kevin. I'm not happy about it either. I mean it's always one sided and it's seriously annoying." Bron walked into the bedroom, then directly into the bathroom. Kevin looked in the mirror. He began to smile. "They didn't say no to showers." Kevin left a trail of clothes as he joined his wife.

Bron woke up in a better mood. She stretched and yawned. She rolled on her side to see Kevin was gone from the bed. She glanced at the clock it was eight thirty in the morning on a Saturday. "What the hell," Bron grumbled and wondered what had happened to make her house so quiet. When she entered her kitchen there was a note propped up against a plate of homemade cinnamon rolls. She smiled when she read it. The breakfast was courtesy of Andrew, who had taken Kaylin for her riding lessons. Jake had gone into town with Cooper. Kevin had gone to see his mother. And Suzie would be here at nine to go shopping.

"I do love that boy some days," Bron almost purred as she licked the icing that dripped down her fingers. She wolfed down two of them before she began looking around the kitchen as if someone might be watching her.

"Morning," was yelled from the side door.

Bron bobbled her breakfast but saved it as Brit approached her waiting for it to hit the floor. "Don't even think about it dog." Bron waved her frosting covered finger at the dog.

"Ohhh," Suzie saw the plate and headed for it. She finished one off and then looked at Bron to see if Bron would argue if she took another one. Bron closed her eyes. "Eat it before I eat all of them and puke. Kevin said I needed to lay off the cannolis."

"Kevin is an ass."

"Yep, but he's still my ass," Bron giggled. "Let's go. We have to pick out stuff for your nursery."

"Let's go is right. Nick gave me his American Express." She grinned. "I'd be happier if you would gain weight instead of losing it."

"I'm trying, it's just not staying on. I've lost six pounds." Bron frowned.

"Gee, thanks for telling me that," Suzie frowned back.

"You're steppin' up there girlfriend. Let's go see if we can't get Amex to call him and ask what the hell is going on and if someone has stolen his credit card."

The two friends left out the side door. Bron stopped and set the alarm. Today was going to be a good day. At least until later when they had to call Webster. For now she was going to enjoy it. She needed some retail therapy to feel better.

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