Kicking the door shut with his heel, he hung the bathrobe on the hook. He reached in and flicked the faucet on. Stepping in the glass enclosure, he let the jets from the body spa work their magic on his sore muscles. Sleeping with Bron last night was as close to a professional wrestling match he ever wanted to encounter. She was all over him more than once. One time he woke up forcing her back as she tried to persuade him to make love to her while he was sleeping. He cocked his body slightly as a jet of water came too close to his shoulder. At least the stitches were out and the wound was closed but he didn’t want to risk tearing it open. He turned another dial and the rain shower faucet kicked in. He stood under it for a good five minutes. The bathroom had now turned into a sauna when he finally stepped out of the shower.
The water didn’t do much to dull his anger at his wife. She was breaking every rule that he had laid down. They weren’t supposed to have sex and she knew it but it didn’t stop her from trying. Not to mention it had yet again been a sneak attack in his sleep. He understood the pent up feelings she had; he suffered from the same. Add in the additional stress of everything that had happened over the last week and the funeral, you had Bron going at full tilt. Last night she broke down, but it wasn’t truly over. He only hoped that with the passage of time her senses would dull over the situation.
Kevin’s hand swiped the mirror. He reached over and flicked on the fan and the heat lamp. After nudging the faucet on, he then hit the plunger on the brushed nickel faucet to plug the drain. The clear liquid swirled in the marble vessel. Leaning closer he studied the grimace he was wearing. Now he had to go play mister nice guy with all of her friends when all he wanted to do was whack her a good one for fighting him all day yesterday and keeping him up most of the night. His shoulders slumped; he was exhausted and understood it was his own fault. After being with the fellas for so long, he was used to issuing a dictate and that dictate was followed without question. He wasn’t used to someone actually trying to outwit him at every turn. That was exactly what his wife had done to him. He told her they were going to sleep in and just chill until he was satisfied that she was doing okay mentally with everything that had transpired. What he neglected to add was that nobody should come over here either. His smile cocked to one side as he thought about her. He swirled his razor in the water. “Life will never be boring with you darlin’.”
After raking the sharpened steel for the final time over his throat, he wiped his face with a towel, and then he ventured to the door. Kevin pulled on the knob gently; he glanced out the door to make sure the coast was clear. Nick and A.J. had vacated. Walking straight to his dresser he grabbed his boxers and then to his closet for jeans. He circled back around to grab a clean tee out of the bottom drawer of the dresser. Kevin stopped for a second. Bron’s chemise hung off the back of his wing chair next to the fireplace. Picking it up, he rubbed the satin material between his fingers. Absently he brought it to his face. Kevin rubbed the fabric against his cheek. He scrunched up the fabric and brought it to his nose; he inhaled. It smelled like her perfume. Kevin couldn’t recall the name but she only wore two scents but it was the one he preferred. “Soon,” he mumbled. “I miss you, I miss us together.” Kevin let out a deep-seated sigh, “Damn, I miss sex.” He grumbled as he dressed.
Life was hustling in his house as he came down the stairs. People walked up to him and thrust their hands at him as he meandered to the back patio and then back to the kitchen. Kevin politely smiled, he hadn’t had coffee yet, but they didn’t know that. They all could not say thank you enough for his graciousness for the chance for old friends to get together one more time. He was able to break away after fifteen minutes. Walking into the kitchen, he found three people, Mc, Nick, and Dewey, the cook from the restaurant. As Kevin frowned, Dewey handed him a cup of coffee. “You can stay,” Kevin grumbled as took his seat at the table.
“Oh, I am staying. That gorgeous, wonderful, sweet wife of yours offered me a job at her bed and breakfast. Bron and that Suzie are the best women I have ever met.” Dewey gushed as he looked at Kevin.
“I’ll agree with the gorgeous, the wonderful has been put on hold for the moment. Bron hasn’t been sweet since she was sixteen.” Kevin slugged half of his coffee down.
“Got news for you buddy, she wasn’t sweet then either.” Nick fished through Kevin’s fridge and came out with a handful of grapes.
Kevin gave Nick a questioning look. Nick knew Kevin didn’t work on full power in the morning until after a few cups of coffee.
“All of these people went to high school with your wife. They hung with her while she was in college too. You could learn all kinds of shit about her. Did you know your wife was kicked out of Brownies?” Nick started laughing.
Kevin smiled broadly, “Because she was hanging with the Cub Scouts. They were making bird houses not pot holders.”
“She’s precious, Kevin. I can tell you that much. When Mc put the bar up for sale, I didn’t know what I was going to do. There isn’t a ton of work up there and I’m sick of winter.” Dewey commented.
“Bron to the rescue,” Mc shot Kevin a cheesy look. “Let’s take a walk, partner.” Mc motioned for Kevin to follow him out the door.
Kevin sucked down the cup that Dewey had given him and poured another before he followed. Mc waited out on the side porch. He sat on the step and stared at the people milling about.
Kevin lumbered to the back steps. He sat on the second step. Thrusting his legs out, he wrapped his hands around this coffee mug and took in the bright sunshine. Nick bounded down the steps and headed to the far field. Kevin stared at the huge crowed wondering if all these people were from New York. “You’d better know all these freaking people or Bron isn’t the only one I’m going to go apeshit on.”
“Yep, I know every single one of them.” Mc thrust his legs out as well; he made a fist with his hands and rested his elbows on his knees. “That’s Diane, a great waitress.” One of Mc’s fingers pointed towards a woman Bron’s age with black hair.
“I met her,” Kevin sipped his coffee. He couldn’t believe it was this unforgiving hot in Kentucky this early in the morning.
“There’s Pete, you know him,” Mc chuckled.
“Ya think?” Kevin snorted. He watched Pete bend down to talk to Logan. Logan took off in the other direction. Of course, he would be with Kaylin; she waited for him at the barn. Kevin watched Logan skid to halt when B.J. appeared at the barn door. “Interesting,” Kevin elbowed Mc.
“Oh that is one jealous boy over that little girl.” Mc, who was always observant, watched Kevin and studied where his line of vision tracked. “We’re going to have a problem when she’s sixteen.”
A few more cars and trucks pulled in. Kevin finally saw another familiar face, his brother Jerry and Kris. They waved but they went to the barn instead of the house. Jerry had a huge tin tub. He managed to get a few hands to help him offload it from his pickup.
“I assume we’re having a picnic?” Kevin questioned Mc.
“Company picnic. But the patio would be way too crowded for everyone so we’re taking over your farm.” Mc snickered.
“Great the patio will be enlarged by the end of summer.” Kevin shook his head.
“Saw the drawings myself already.” Mc smiled. “Just an excuse to add more rose bushes.” Mc grinned at him.
Kevin pursed his lips together. “God, she’s driving me nuts.” Kevin drained his cup. His body jerked when another cup appeared by his head. Turning his head, he saw Dewey standing there. “You keep that up and you might be staying right here and taking care of us. The hell with the bed and breakfast.”
“Oh I would love that,” Dewey quipped.
“I bet you would, get a move on.” Mc grunted. Dewey left post-haste as soon as Mc spoke.
Kevin grunted, “Another one lusting after my wife?”
Mc started to laugh so hard his coffee sloshed out of his cup. “No, that would be Jake.”
“Jake doesn’t lust after Bron, half the time he wants to kill her like I do.”
“I meant Dewey lusting after Jake.” Mc deadpanned.
Kevin’s lips formed a huge ‘O’ and then Mc watched his chest rise and fall. “Ohh,” Kevin said nothing but now he had a way to get Jake’s goat and he would use it too.
“Let’s see, we have Billy out there playing football. Billy is the son of John the DJ and his wife Ruby. I hope you know the other two, the one I helped raise and then one you helped raise.”
Kevin swayed his head in the direction Mc had pointed. “I think I recognize my son and my little brother. Kevin watched them toss the ball around a bit. A person came running up to them with a bunch of flags. Kevin watched Andrew and Nick walk parallel to each other. It looked like they were laying out a football field.
Kevin’s attention focused on a new vehicle coming up the driveway. It seemed somewhat familiar to him. Kevin deferred to Mc.
“My coolers.” Mc sat up and planted his feet wide apart. He placed his elbows on his thighs. “I don’t know what the hell to do for these people. They don’t fit into the construction company. They’re people who have always worked in the food and beverage industry.”
Kevin understood Mc’s dilemma. He felt that way many times when the tour had been suspended so A.J. could go to rehab. The men and women who were on tour with them were paid well, but it was still their paycheck. It’s how they survived. “We’ll figure something out. We always have the new bar.”
Mc pulled a blade of grass out of the ground. He stuck it in his mouth and chewed. “I was thinking along the same lines. All of them are more than worthy. For us to have a seasoned crew open a place as large as we are planning would be to our benefit.”
Kevin didn’t say much; he studied the dirt at the end of the steps. “We’ll probably take on those who want to move, but they still have to interview. Just because they worked for you doesn’t give them an automatic in. We have locals who need work too.”
Mc seemed to weigh Kevin’s words. “Fair enough,” he answered as he nodded his head.
The two of them sat on the step and watched what seemed like a village beginning to form on the farm. They watched the old friends mingle and make new friends.
Kevin searched all the faces of the ones who wandered by them as they sat. For reasons unknown to him, the people that were approaching him before were now wavering away from him. Then it dawned on him it was because he was sitting with their boss. “Don’t they want to meet me?”
“Oh hell yeah, but I also told all of them that it was your decision and that we had to agree. They don’t know you like they know Bron. With Bron it would be an automatic yes, here we’ll give you a job, build you a house. Guess what we’ll even pay to move you down here.”
“We aren’t building any houses for them,” Kevin chuckled.
“That’s not your decision. That’s mine and Bron’s, you stick with the jobs.” Mc countered letting Kevin know he was poaching in his territory.
“Mc come on, you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Kevin groaned.
Mc shook his head. “I have no intentions of it Kevin, but it’s still not your call. Do not cross into mine and Bron’s business.”
“You’d be a fool to even mention it to Bron. She wants to take care of the world.” Kevin finished what he had to say and left it at that. No, it wasn’t his decision but if he did end up having say he knew what his answer would be already. “So I’m not seeing the one person I need to see.”
Suzie walked past Mc and Kevin with a plate full of brownies. “Just where do you think you are going with those?” Kevin asked her knowing full well who would be on the chocolate lickety split.
Suzie gave him a huge smile, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Suzie gave him a wink and continued walking toward the barn.
Mc watched her as she was beginning to waddle in her flowered sundress. He chuckled to himself.
Kevin eyed Mc, “What’s so funny?”
“Oh I was just thinking back to the conversation Nick had with A.J. and Brian earlier this morning. He was telling us how horny Suzie is and that he’s looking forward to resting when he goes on his promotional tour. She wants it morning, noon, and night, like eating. It’s like her new craving for food.”
Kevin groaned in frustration. For once, he envied his little brother. Mc watched Kevin’s back as he stormed towards the barn knowing his wife was in there. “Poor Popstar,” Mc snickered as he shook his head. Mc headed back into the kitchen to discuss some things with Dewey that weren’t sitting right with him about Stevie.
Entering the barn, Kevin found Bron who was supervising the set up of a table. He hovered just out of her sight line. Suzie was behind him watching him watch Bron.
Nick had watched Suzie cutting through the grass carrying a plate and told his teammates he needed some nourishment. Kevin glanced back to the barn door and saw Nick swing his arm grabbing onto to Suzie while his other hand reached for the plate while giving her a hug.
“That will cost ya,” Suzie flirted with an evil grin.
Nick had a scared look on his face, “How much?” Nick backed up ten paces and Kevin grinned.
Suzie put the plate down on the table, turned, and wrapped her arms around his waist while standing on her tiptoes leaning into his ear, “I’ll collect it later tonight unless you’d like to be adventurous.”
“Wherever you want, baby.” Nick gave her a gentle kiss and then proceeded to shove the brownie in his mouth.
Bron walked by grabbing Suzie by the arm “I need her for a second” she said to Nick as they continued to go outside of the barn running into Kevin. Bron completely ignored him. “Hey Kev,” Suzie said with a huge smile.
“That was quick,” Kevin chuckled. Suzie gave him a questioning look. Bron told her to ignore him.
“Where are we going?” Suzie finally questioned Bron.
“I’m introducing you to our new head chef for the B&B.”
“Don’t we have a head chef already? Did he quit?”
“Nope. You are firing him today.”
“Why me?” Suzie was confused.
“Because it will be nicer coming from you. I’m the mean pregnant lady. You, well, you are more the….how do I say it? You’re more compassionate than me.”
“Fine,” Suzie pouted. It was a lost cause to argue with Bron, especially lately. They had been getting some crappy feedback about the food lately from some of the guests that had stayed at the B and B. They weren’t actively looking to replace that she knew of.
Bron smiled knowing she won this battle. “Okay, the guy’s name is Dewey and he used to work with Mc at the restaurant in….what the hell is so funny?”
Suzie’s shoulders shook as she tried to contain her laugh. “Dewey?”
“Yes, his name is Dewey.” Bron didn’t think it was so funny. Suzie’s face was bright red and tears were streaming down her face.
“Seriously? His name is Dewey?” Suzie laughed.
“What’s the matter with his name?” Bron was getting irritated that she didn’t know what was so funny.
“Please tell me he doesn’t have siblings named Huey and Louie. Or an Uncle Donald.” Suzie couldn’t contain her laughter any more. “Shit, now I’ve gotta pee.” Suzie sprinted towards the house.
Kevin and Nick walked up to Bron. “What the hell did she put in those brownies?” Kevin questioned as he took in Suzie’s disposition.
Nick asked Bron, “She was laughing, not crying, right?”
Bron nodded her head up and down, her face scrunched up with confusion. Turning towards Nick, her lips twisted a minute. “Who the hell are Dewey, Huey, and Louie?”
Nick’s face lit up, “Seriously, you’ve never heard of them?” Kevin chose this moment to take a step back and watch from the sidelines. Man, if Bron cut loose on Nick’s ass, at least he was out of her strike zone.
Bron’s face scowled, “If I knew, I wouldn’t be asking you dipshit!”
Nick chuckled, “They are Donald Duck’s nephews.”
“Yeah, they’re Donald Duck’s triplet nephews.” Nick noticed Bron still looked confused so he kept going, “Created by Walt Disney. Friends of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Ya know where your husband worked and used to be Aladdin. Oh wait, he’s calling that regional theater now.” Nick snorted at her.
At this point Kevin doubled over in hysterics as well causing Bron to turn and face him with a look to kill. “Something amusing you Richardson?”
Kevin coughed, “I’m going to go check on Suzie.”
Nick followed him, “Yeah, me too.”
Bron stood in the middle of the yard, dumbfounded muttering, “Dewey Duck.”
The boys entered the house and both began laughing as soon as they heard the door shut. Each grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. “Man, it’s getting hot out there,” Kevin wiped the sweat from his brow, “I’m going to go change into shorts.”
Nick walked into the living room to find Suzie standing over the A/C vent letting what cool air lingered in cool her. “Hey babe, how are you feeling?”
Suzie wrapped her arms around Nick’s torso, “I’m good. How about you?”
Leaning down, he kissed her cheek and began trailing her kisses down her neck, causing Suzie to moan, “Very good.” After a few minutes, Suzie tensed up a bit. “I think you need to stop soon or we’ll have an audience.” Suzie noticed the kids walking towards the house.
“Yeah, I don’t think Bron is in the mood to explain some things to Kaylin about sex and stuff. She’s having a hard time just figuring out the Ducks.”
Suzie chuckled thinking about Dewey, “That poor man, his mother must have been pissed she got pregnant to name him that.”
Nick held Suzie close, resting his chin on top of her head while looking out the window, “What names do you like?”
Suzie concentrated for a moment, “It’s hard to choose just one name.”
Nick smiled while kissing her temple, “That’s why we need two.”
“Fine. I like for a girl: Isabella, Grace, Autumn, Olivia, Chloe, Ella, Nicole or Aria. And for a boy, I like Matthew, Samuel, Thomas, Sean, Alex, or Stephen. What about you?”
Nick has never made it through a baby conversation lately without being injured so he learned to seduce Suzie while answering her questions. Leaning down towards her neck, Nick gently pressed kisses below her ear again while whispering, “I think we need to see the baby first.” Switching sides, he concentrated below her other ear, “I can’t decide without knowing what it looks like.”
Suzie’s eyes were closed and she leaned into Nick humming, “Mmmmm ’Kay.”
Nick grinned knowing he successfully escaped this discussion unharmed. A beep from the driveway startled the couple back to the present. Nick saw that Mama Richardson and the doctor had arrived. “The party is about to begin. Ready little Mama?”
Cupping Nick’s cheek with her hands giving him one last kiss, she smiled, “Let’s go help bring in the food.”
Kevin bounded down the steps. As he landed at the bottom of the stairs, he gave the couple a questionable look. “Get control of yourselves you two. I don’t feel like explaining the birds and the bees again to Kaylin. At least not until my next kid is here because my ass is still on the hook if it isn’t a girl.” Kevin winked and laughed. He went into the kitchen, leaving the two of them standing there contemplating his words.
“You know what’s so amazing?” Suzie looked at Nick as his fingers began to entwine with hers.
Suzie made some shuffles towards the kitchen and stopped. “Kevin can be really uptight but days like this when he’s just relaxed he takes everything in stride. I wish he was like that all the time.”
Nick didn’t say much as he pulled her hand and in turn her body towards the kitchen. “Don’t forget he’s raised one family already. Now it’s different pressure. It used to be that he was always on us in case one of us would end up knocking a chick up.” Nick chuckled and then stopped dead when he saw Kevin, Cory, and Andrew in the kitchen.
Suzie snickered under her breath. “Too late for you but he still may have that stress.”
“Football game Nicky, you in?” Kevin was lacing his sneakers.
“You betcha.” Nick ran out the door behind Andrew. Kevin, Cory, and Suzie stood in the kitchen for a minute.
“Well now,” Cory became instantly nervous as she looked at Kevin and then back to Suzie.
“You need to relax girlfriend. We’re all friends here. Well, you’ll be Bron’s friend as long as you don’t get pregnant.” Suzie didn’t mince words.
“SUZ!” Kevin yelled at her as he stood up.
“It’s the truth, think about it a minute.” Suzie paused for effect. She watched Kevin wince, twice.
“Oh,” Kevin shook the thought from his head, literally. He looked at Cory. “You two had damn well better not because I don’t think I could maintain control over her if something like that happened.”
“Kevin’s into control.” Bron growled from the doorway.
Suzie snickered and Cory fought it. “Let’s go,” Suzie grabbed Cory’s hand and they headed out the side door.
Bron waited for Dewey to exit the kitchen. Dewey had been around Mc and her for years. He was smart enough to know when she was going to blow and to get the hell out of the way.
With silent footsteps, Kevin walked up to her. Bron leaned back on the counter for support. Kevin glanced down. He saw her bare feet but he saw more than that, he saw feet that were very bloated. Bron turned around and looked out the window, annoyed with his obvious inspection of her feet. One hand came up on her left and gripped the counter. Her eyes darted to the right as his other hand followed.
His name was spoken with a raised pitch in her voice. He couldn’t decipher whether it was fear or something else. “Darlin,” he smiled wickedly as he stood behind her caging her in his arms. She attempted to negotiate some distance but he didn’t yield. “I’ve been trying to talk to you since I got up this morning. We need to get a few things straight.” He stepped a little closer to her, not giving her any room now but not putting pressure on the precious cargo she was carrying.
Kevin leaned down to her ear. He brushed a strand of hair away. “I’m pretty sure I said we weren’t going anywhere today.”
“You didn’t request it, you demanded it.” Bron stared out the window.
Kevin could tell she was doing her best to ignore him but he did have a point to make.
“Had you requested it, I might have listened. However, you didn’t, you commanded it. I never have followed orders well.”
Bron’s voice scorched him. She wasn’t playing with him, she was serious. He raised his hand and latched onto her jaw. His other hand forced her body to turn her body towards him. He lifted her chin so there was only scant space between them when he lowered his head and looked her directly in the eye without bending over. He was being domineering for a reason. “There is going to come a time when you aren’t pregnant and can’t get pregnant that you will learn to listen to me. After this baby is here and when I feel comfortable enough to leave the kids here without us, you and I are going to take a week and jet off to special place I know. There you can find out what the other side of me is like. You know the one you taunt and provoke all the time. You’ll find out what control is all about darlin’” He smiled his special little smile that unnerved her to her soul. He leaned down and locked onto her lips. This was no ordinary kiss. His tongue tasted, teased, and tantalized until her mouth opened. He wasted no time proving his point, channeling his frustration at the lack of sex between, as well as controlling everything about the kiss including her response. Her head backed up. “Not done yet,” he whispered as he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer to him. He slowed the second kiss down and let it reflect the need, the want, and the promise of what someday soon would be again.
Bron’s arms reached up wrap around his neck and he pulled away. His arms dropped to his sides and his hand landed on her ass. He pulled her as close as he could with her belly bulge as he could get. He then went in for another kiss. Her skin now had a high sheen on it and her face was flushed bright pink. He winked at her after he pulled his head back. “Can’t do ya now Witch. You’ll just have to wait.”
“THAT SONOFABITCH!” was screamed from inside the kitchen. The voice carried out the screen door, the kitchen window, and half way down to the barn. Kevin stood on the back porch with a killer smirk on his face. Everyone looked at him and he just smiled as headed towards the barn.
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