Bron dug through her entire purse looking for her cell phone. She dumped the contents in her lap. Kevin turned his head towards her for a scant second. “You don’t have it.”
“Where is it?” Bron yet again barked at him.
He took one hand off the wheel and patted his left coat pocket. “Safe, I couldn’t have you calling a cab on me.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t take my wallet. Lord knows you have done that before.”
Kevin’s grin was as wide as the four-lane he was driving. “Ya can’t call a cab with your wallet.”
“I could have paid someone to take me where I wanted to go or I could have asked Suzie and Nick. Now, I want to go to Scout’s and be with my friends.”
“Sorry, you need to rest. Maybe this summer we can have a party and they can all come down. You need to get something to eat-”
“I could have eaten at Scout’s!”
Kevin stared straight ahead, but her hands were in his peripheral vision. She was white knuckling her fingers she was so mad. “We have perfectly good food at home and a bed too.”
“DAMMIT KEVIN I’M SERIOUS!”
Kevin shook his head, “Yeah I know, and now I’m deaf too.” Kevin caught the movement of her hand. For a nanosecond, he wondered if she had her gun and then he frowned knowing it wouldn’t fit in her purse. He slammed his right hand down on the childproof lockout.
“God, I hate you some days!” Bron screamed at him as she banged on the door handle of his truck.
“OH, what like you were actually going to jump out of a moving vehicle?” Kevin chuckled and then his nose wrinkled after glancing at her. “Yeah you would. You really don’t want to deal with this.”
“There is nothing to deal with… nada… zip… zero--”
“God you live in the Village of Denial darlin’.” For the rest of the ride Bron was doing a boil and he was doing a slow simmer.
Bron flicked the radio on as Kevin turned up the road that led to the house. She snorted loudly when Get Down came down on the radio. Kevin slammed her hand off the radio and changed the station.
“I happen to like that song. Not that you’ll be getting down anytime soon.” Bron fumed.
Kevin could have sworn he felt his eyebrows creep up to his hairline with the smart remark. “Don’t taunt me baby. That game has already landed your sweet little ass in hot water with me before. If I recall you really didn’t fair well in any of those situations. Did ya?”
The truck bounced when she slammed the door shut after getting out. He took a deep breath before exiting the truck. God he could go for a drink right now. This had to be one of the longest days of his life. He wanted out of the dark suit. He pulled his sunglasses off his face. He paused for a moment to look back down the dirt drive to make sure nobody had followed them home.
Kevin entered the front door that she had left open. He watched Bron kick her high heels off and they flew across the floor slamming into the wall. He shook his head when they rebounded and came to a rest in the middle of the floor. “Are you done with your temper tantrum because you didn’t get your way?”
The dogs bounded towards her and then they suddenly skidded to stop. Their butts dropped to the floor and they waited with their tails thumping madly waiting for her.
“Leave me alone,” she yelled at both them. The dogs immediately went to the floor into a down position.
“Don’t yell at them. They didn’t do anything.” Kevin chided her. “Come on guys I’ll let you out while Miss Grumpy changes her clothes.”
Kevin called the dogs, “Jussy, Brit.” They bounded off the floor to him. “Don’t be long Bron, you need to eat,” Kevin called back to her. “Don’t think you’re sneaking out either!” Kevin armed the alarm and as he waited for her acknowledgement.
“No freaking shit!” Bron stomped up the stairs.
Kevin let out a long sigh as he headed toward the kitchen and the back door. He stopped at the refrigerator and grabbed a beer on his way to letting the dogs out. “She’s in a mood guys. If you’re smart, you’ll be scarce tonight.”
Kevin walked into the hallway. He slipped the black leather dress shoes he had donned for the occasion off. He stuffed his dress socks in his shoes. Barefoot seemed like a good option. He hung his suit coat and tie on one of the hooks. Popping the buttons on the collar of his shirt, he felt he could breathe. Then he loosened the buttons on the cuff. He bent his arm and rolled a cuff as he studied the top of the stairs. Waiting and watching to see if she was going to show or if indeed this was truly going to get ugly. Then he rolled the other cuff. The dogs barking to be let in caused him to stop his train of thought. He made his way back into the kitchen and checked the clock. Bron had been up there for twenty minutes. He would give her another ten before he went up and hauled her down here to eat.
Kevin walked to the back door and opened it. The dogs padded in softly and went to their dishes. They turned their big heads up at him and waited. “I’ll feed ya, hang on a second.” Kevin made his way to the pantry and scooped up the dog chow. After dumping it in the dog’s dishes, he went to the intercom. Kevin punched up the button on the intercom. He heard her talking to herself. “I don’t need this shit, he’s going to bully and push me, and I’m not ready. There’s more to this that he’s not telling me.”
Kevin didn’t hear anything else the voice had faded on him. He took a long swig of his beer, draining it and stared at the intercom.
“I’m right here,” Bron growled at him from behind causing him to jump.
“Funny, you little shit.” Kevin turned towards the refrigerator. Popping open the door he surveyed the contents. “What do you want to eat?”
“I’ll get my own,” Bron voice was as surly as her disposition.
Kevin didn’t bother to turn around since he had a good idea where she was heading, straight for the pantry and the junk food. He smiled while his head was still in the refrigerator. He had taken care of the stash a couple of days ago. He found a pasta dish that someone had sent over; he pulled it out and placed on the counter. A slap in the back made him jerk up and almost slam his head on the open cabinet door. Kevin spun around to face her. “Don’t do that again!”
Bron stood in front of him. Her eyes were huge and she was breathing through her mouth. She held the object up to his face and shook it violently at him. “What’s this?”
“Ahh, an empty box.” Kevin crossed his arms over his chest.
“What did you do with my chocolate fudge Pop Tarts?”
It was supposed to be a question but it sure as hell didn’t sound like a question to him. “I got hungry.”
“You’re full of shit Richardson!” Bron slammed the empty box into his chest.
Kevin recovered but not as quickly as he should have as Bron came after him again. His brain was trying to figure out how to defend without hurting, but she was making it damn difficult since she kept coming at him. He had to be careful of her ribs; God forbid he would injure his unborn child. His brain flashed the warning that the breakdown was here, right now, when he saw the tears welling up in her eyes. All this had started over a simple box of toaster pastries that he told he had eaten but that he had actually tossed out on her.
Kevin backed up. He wedged himself in the corner of the cabinets between the stove and run of cabinets to the right. He put his hands in the air deflecting two strikes from her. The third one hit him square in the chest. When Bron was pissed, she hit with her entire body. He ignored the pain and then brought his arms in a circle above her head. He dropped his arms sharply wrapping her up in his arms. He pulled her into his body. Kevin couldn’t defend himself but he could contain her, hopefully.
“LET ME GO!” She screamed as tears gushed down her face.
With all her might, she tried to push away from him, toss herself out of his reach, even grabbing onto objects to pull herself out of his embrace, including the oven door handle. He simply lifted her off her feet. “No,” he whispered softly as he drew her to him in a crushing hug. “Never,” he whispered again.
“Please,” she cried to him.
“It’s okay darlin’, let it go.” He lightly placed her feet on the slate floor. Kevin held onto her as she screamed over and over again for space. After 20 minutes he felt her push into him instead of pulling away. Kevin began to rock her back in forth in his arms as he stood there. Kevin looked over her head to the dogs. They seemed to be sitting there staring back at him in disbelief. The crying slowed some as he sensed her start to drop out of his arms. He followed her down to the floor. Kevin placed his back against the heavy cabinet doors. He placed her on the floor next to him still enveloped in his arms. Their bodies twisted tightly together almost forming one.
She placed her head on his good shoulder and cried silently. She was fighting not to cry. The more she held back, the more she hiccupped. Then she would wince from the pain of having cracked ribs. He reached over and grabbed the ever hanging dishtowel off the handle on the over door.
Kevin lifted her chin up with his index finger and thumb once the crying had slowed again. He gently wiped her face being careful not to get any mascara that now covered her face and her eyes. “It’s okay to be upset and hurt.”
“I don’t get it, he was my best friend.” Bron sniffled. “I loved him. Why would he do that to me?”
“Oh baby, he was sick.” Kevin pulled the dishtowel away from her face. “I’m going to tell you something that you’re not going to be happy with. Steve was staying at the bed and breakfast.”
“My bed and breakfast?” Bron’s expression changed to one of indignation.
“Yeah baby, yours and Suzie’s place. I had a hunch and Pete followed up on it. Sweetheart, the things that Stevie had in that room made me want to vomit. It was like something out of crime show on television. It was awful and ugly. Know that in the end he just wanted to be with you in a really sick way.” Kevin didn’t plan on telling her all the details but at least if someone else mentioned it to her, she wouldn’t be blindsided by the news. He knew Bron would understand his implication.
Bron crunched her eyelids shut. She hiccupped again. “There’s more. Tell me the rest of it.”
“No,” Kevin answered.
Bron began to get up but didn’t get far as Kevin held her firmly in place. One arm wrapped around her shoulders and the other had a grip on her right forearm. “I don’t want you to get mad but I will give you a light version. He had photos of you, our family, and our life together. By the remnants of those photos he was hell bent on destroying all of us to get to you. Not even Kaylin was safe. It was awful and it’s never anything I would have wanted to see, let alone let anyone else see, especially you or Kaylin.” Kevin understood by using certain words he would get his point across without so much agony involved for her.
Bron leaned her head on his chest as he talked. He felt that maybe he could tell her a little more since she had calmed some. Maybe it would do him some good to tell her. He thought for a second and decided to tell her the rest. Mc would only end up telling her someday anyway. “It was Mc, Webster, and I. Nobody else was there. I found a diary under the mattress that I wish I hadn’t. It truly was the diary of a nutcase, Bron.”
Kevin relinquished the dishtowel he was holding when she requested it by simply tugging on it. He waited for a signal from her to continue. She turned her face up to him. His heart felt heavy with dread. “Witch, the things I read scared me. The only reason the three of us read it was to try and find out the why behind everything he had done.”
Bron adjusted slightly as Jussy came to her. The dog didn’t make a noise; he lumbered over to them. He turned once and lay down next to Bron. The dog stretched out and then rolled on his side, shoving Bron more into Kevin’s lap and off the floor. “Do you mind dog?” Bron hissed at the animal but in the same token her hand went out and rubbed his fur.
Kevin moved a wet bang out her face, as he studied her eyes for a long while. “Darlin’ Stevie didn’t kill C.W. but he did help set it up inadvertently. We read the diary and he informed Lenny about C.W.’s coming and goings. He didn’t realize at the time that he was setting your husband up to die.”
Kevin swallowed hard his mouth felt parched so he licked his lips. He honestly wasn’t sure if she could handle the next part. He pulled her closer and rested his chin on her head. He couldn’t look her in the eye; he couldn’t handle the hurt he knew he would see. Kevin cleared his throat, “Stevie was the one who told Lenny the best way to hurt Mc was to hurt you. He told him that you two were much more than business partners and good friends. I guess--.”
“I don’t want to hear anymore,” Bron whined to him as she wrapped her arms around his chest.
Kevin glanced down enough to see that she was staring at his neck. She knew what was next as much as he did. “I want you to know as much as possible without the gore. Stevie did not set up your rape. He felt guilty about it. Your violation is what started this entire thing. He stayed in contact with Lenny to try and manipulate him, but it backfired on him and he didn’t see it until it was too late. He was in too deep and couldn’t get out. If he had gone to Mc, Mc would have killed him on the spot and he knew it.”
Bron’s body shuddered in his arms. He felt a long sigh come out of her and her weight shifted onto him. Kevin hadn’t realized that he had absently been stroking her temple as he talked to her. He saw her lower her lashes, her eyes were closed again. “When I came into the picture things went south on him and he couldn’t hold it together anymore. He was trying to make amends to you for what had happened and I was in his way.”
At this point, she was in his lap. Kevin shifted her to the side and placed her on the floor. He used the cupboards as support as he stretched his arms out and pulled his body from the floor. He reached down with both hands to help her up. Jussy came off the floor and sat next to her. Kevin tapped his leg and Brit finally joined them. “I’m going to take you upstairs and you can climb into bed. Then I’m going to come down and get us something to eat. Once you’ve eaten I want you to take one of Gabe’s magic pills and you’re going to go to sleep. You wake up when you feel like it. We’re not taking off anywhere until I know that you’re okay with this.”
Kevin let her lean on him as the events of the past week finally kicked her ass into oblivion. The exhaustion had kicked in big time. Once Bron was settled, he raced to the kitchen knowing that if he didn’t get back up there she would be sound asleep. Any other time he wouldn’t care, but she was pregnant and she hadn’t eaten anything that he could remember today. Kevin passed on the microwave dishes and opted for sandwiches knowing it would be quicker. He slapped lunchmeat between thick slices of homemade bread and dashed upstairs.
Kevin frowned when he walked into the bedroom. Bron was sitting up in the middle of the bed. Her face still red but free of black mascara. She had her pet monsters on either side of her. Kevin had two plates. The dogs sat up on the bed, their tails banging out a beat on the mattress. “One, the food is for us, not for you hounds. Two, GET THE HELL OFF OF MY BED!”
The dogs bolted from the bed. Jussy almost looked like a flying comic book superhero dog as he whizzed by him. Bron looked at him sternly. “That wasn’t nice; they knew I was upset and they were trying to make me feel better.”
Kevin set one of the plates down on her nightstand. He walked over to his side of the bed and set his plate on his nightstand. He brushed the covers off with his hand. He sent Bron a scorching look. “Never, ever in my bed again. The only one that makes you feel better in bed is me, not the dogs.”
She rolled her eyes at him and reached for her sandwich. Bron bit into it as they both grabbed for the clicker. Bron came up with it. Kevin wrapped his hand around hers and squeezed as if to get her to let go. “I’m upset” She looked at him sadly.
“Don’t pull that shit on me.” Kevin relinquished the clicker and knew he was in for an hour of HGTV, DYI or Food Network before she conked out. He went back downstairs to get something for them to drink and a sleeping pill for her. By the time, he finally settled down, Bron had eaten her sandwich and half of his. It didn’t matter to him; he wasn’t very hungry. He was dwelling on what he had said to her to make sure he hadn’t left anything out intentionally beyond the basics. The gore stuff wasn’t for her to know and he hoped she would never know. Exactly one hour and fifteen minutes later, Bron was out cold and he had switched to a basketball game. He had also made another trip to the kitchen to fill his belly.
Time flew by at a rapid pace the next morning. He was rudely awaken at nine in the morning by his little brother who stood next to his bed yelling at him that it was time to get up.
“You little loser, I’m so gonna kick your ass when I get out of this bed.” Kevin rolled over on his stomach and buried his head in the pillow.
“Dude seriously the little bad ass you’re married too wants your ass out of bed now. We have stuff to do; we’re having a picnic, party, thingy…”
“No!” Kevin barked into his pillow.
Kevin shoulder’s racked together as his bed covers left his body. “I’m gonna kill you Nick!” Kevin rolled over and slammed his feet into the wooden step. He stood up “Dammit!”
Nick put his hands up and back-stepped.
“OhmyGod, I saw Kevin Richardson naked!” came from the direction of the hallway.
Kevin sat with a thump snagging the blankets from Nick’s hand as he did so.
Bron and A.J.’s laughter filled the room.
“Funny assholes!” Kevin yelled at both of them.
“They’re just some friends of mine honey. Don’t pay them any attention.” Bron laughed loudly.
“Kevin you’re wearing your morning frown,” A.J. cackled at him.
“Oh is that what that is? I thought it was because he hasn’t gotten laid in weeks.” Bron snickered as she left the room as fast as she had come in.
Kevin growled. He slowly picked his head up to glare at his two younger brothers. “Why is it, every time my wife decides she needs to entertain, you two are always in on it?”
Nick beamed a smile at him. “Cuz’ she loves us. Don’t you love us Kevy?” Nick stepped closer but backed up when he was almost the recipient of a punch in the face.
Kevin turned slightly and looked at the door. A.J. walked over and tried to lock it. He fiddled with it and then turned to Kevin. “The lock on your bedroom door doesn’t work?”
Nick started to giggle and Kevin turned unearthly stare at him. “I know, I broke it on purpose. So get the hell out so I can get dressed. I guess all her New York friends are here.”
Nick walked over to Kevin’s closet and pulled a bathrobe off the hanger. “Pretty much and we aren’t entertaining. I told her no. I also told not to have a ton of people. Don’t over do it on the food, have the chef at the bed and breakfast bring stuff over. Keith stocked up on the booze and he didn’t get much. All in all you don’t have a choice but we at least limited what we could.”
Kevin rubbed the sleep from his eyes, “Thanks.” His fingers wrapped around the robe. As he donned it he took a step off the bed heading in Nick’s direction.
Nick cocked his head. “Back off, you want to man hug me, put some pants on.”
A.J. busted out laughing and threw the door open. “Great, Nick, thanks a lot buddy.” Kevin shuffled to the shower.
This page © 2001 - 2010 Bronwyn
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.
Used with Permission
No part of this text may be copied or reprinted
without the author's permission.
All Graphics © to Bronwyn