~The Binding~

Chapter 6

Bron searched for the glowing numbers on the alarm clock that normally sat on the nightstand on Kevin’s side of the bed.  The clock was there but it wasn’t glowing.  Rubbing her eyes, she could feel the puffiness from the crying she had done earlier in the evening. 

Pulling herself out of the bed, she went into the bathroom.  Closing the door, she turned the light on.  Her insides hurt like a son of bitch and she thought maybe Kevin might have done her some harm.  After using the toilet, she felt better, just stiff and sore.  Originally, what had woken her up was the dull ache in her chest that had turned into sharp pains.  She had forgotten to pump. 

Looking across the vanity, she saw Kevin’s ever present shaving kit. Sitting next to it was her breast pump from home, he had bought her.  She didn’t know if she should walk out of the bathroom and hit him with it for screwing everything up on her or thanking him for bringing it to her.

Plugging the unit in and waiting for some relief, she eventually just cursed him.  Her mind was still fuzzy and she couldn’t think clear enough to figure out what the hell she was going to tell him.  “You’re an idiot, just tell him it was a fan.  He won’t know any better.  I’ll go home and just be very careful.  I won’t leave the kids with anyone but his family.”

Satisfied with half an idea going in her head, she finished getting some relief.  By now, she thought maybe she would have dried up, at least some.  She had heard that it could be painful and she had some inkling that she was close.  Expressing milk with a cheap pump for Wal-mart was much worse then just dealing with the pain.  She hadn’t stored milk in days since she had been taking ibuprofen during the day while she was at work. 

Sighing she unplugged the unit after emptying the bottles down the sink.  Turning off the light, she opened the bathroom door, and made her way back to bed.

Kevin was snoring and still sound asleep.  The blinds had been drawn and the room couldn’t get any darker.  She felt strange like she should be up by now but her body begged for more sleep.  Bron hadn’t slept well since she had been down here.  Every little noise or squeak would wake her and then her imagination would take over.  The rest of the night would be spent huddled up in the large wrought iron bed, quaking uncontrollably.

The dead weight that now lay next to her turned in his sleep.  Arms pulled her tightly against his body.  His mouth mumbled, “Love you so much.”  Even in his sleep, his hands began to move over her body in a more intimate manner.

Bron closed her eyes and settled into the pillow.  Kevin ceased his exploration in time for her to go back to sleep, which she promptly did.

Hours later, Bron stirred again.  This time she felt more rested and less hazy in the head.  Turning over she saw the other side of the bed was empty and made.  Bron groaned, one of Kevin’s neat habits was in full force, bed making.  It wasn’t that she minded since only twice since they had been together had he actually woke up and got up before she did.  The last time he had made the bed with her still in it.  He was trying to be helpful since she had just gotten home from the hospital and having Cooper.  But the sheets were so tight she couldn’t move.  Patiently she waited for him to leave the room before she slackened the blankets and sheets.

Kevin had been so attentive when they had first come home.  He doted on Cooper and Kaylin, Andrew as well.  Making sure that all of them had equal time was important to him.  They had talked between themselves, he didn’t want Andrew or Kaylin to think that Cooper was special because he was Kevin’s biological son.  During the days before he had left for Japan, he would spend hours with Cooper while the other two kids were at school.  When Andrew came home, he would talk sports and news with him and ask him about college.  He would rib Andrew about changing majors behind his mother’s back because he thought she would kill him.

When Kaylin came home, it was homework time.  After their confrontation in September, she never gave Kevin a hard time about the homework again, well almost never.  Kaylin had turned back into her old self.  She was trying very hard to please and impress him.  Kevin was thrilled and showered her with even more attention when she did well. 

Bron sat up in the bed and her mind went back to the time they had spent in Chicago.  It was the beginning of the end for them; at least she thought it was.  The letters started when she moved to Lexington.  The confrontation with Lenny, Solarez, and Solarez’s men in the hotel suite was the undoing of them all.  In the back of her mind, Bron felt that if everyone had left her alone to deal with her demons, she would have been fine.  Yes, she knew Lenny needed to be caught but she didn’t need to face him or his brother that day.  Kevin felt she needed closure, who the hell was he to decide that?

Blowing out a breath, she decided a shower was in order.  The water cascaded down her aching body.  Too bad it couldn’t stop the throbbing inside as well as the sore muscles and pains she felt.

Drying off with an over-sized towel, she slipped her arms into her robe and wrapped her hair in another towel.  Placing her hand on the knob she took a large gulp of air.  She wasn’t too sure what she was going to face on the other side of the door.  Yes, it would be Kevin but which one was the small thing that was worrying her to death.  Would it be the, gentle, loving, hardheaded man she married or the frightening man from last night?  Pulling the door open her nose caught the smell of morning-coffee.  “That’s a good sign, I think,” she mumbled as she walked down the hall to the kitchen. 

“Morning,” Kevin chimed.

“Oh this isn’t good, he’s too chipper,” Bron whispered quietly.

“Coffee is ready.  What do you want for breakfast?”  Kevin poured another mug of coffee and set it on the table.

Bron was literally frowning at him, he laughed.  “What’s wrong?”

Bron snorted, “Okay, I can play this game.”

Kevin took a sip of his coffee and waited for her to sit.  When she did, he was right behind her chair.  Leaning over, he gently placed a hand on each of her wrists, pinning them to the table.  “There are no more games darlin’.”

Bron heard the accent, thick and full, with a gruff inflection.  “There you are.  I was wondering where you went.”  She had to hide the smile; she was still treading water to try to save herself with him.  But the real Kevin was there, lurking under the surface.

“Breakfast?” he leaned further into her face.

“Cereal,” she smiled.

“It seems we have a mouse, the cereal is all gone.  Besides, that stuff wasn’t very good for you.  Really, Reese’s Puffs?”

“More like a rat than a mouse.  Make me some toast.”  Bron looked at the garbage can.  Amazing she didn’t think it could hold that many empty cardboard boxes.  “Looks like the mouse forgot to recycle.  I’m going to go get dressed.  I’m late for work.”

Kevin dropped the toast in the toaster and pushed the button down.  “You are way past late, but you quit anyway.”

Spinning around she opened her mouth.  “What do you mean I quit?”

“Your boss called a few hours ago.  It is three in the afternoon.  I told him you were no longer available to work at his fine establishment.  Really Bron, an after-hours club?”

“Good tips,” she glared at him.

“You have money at home, which is where we are going the day after tomorrow.  Right after we have the discussion on why you pulled such an asinine stunt to begin with.”

“I need to get dressed,” Bron turned but was cut off.

“No, we need to talk, then you can get dressed.”  Kevin stood blocking her way. 

Weighing her options, she looked at him; the big bad Kevin was in place, not wanting to take him on, she smiled at him.  “I just want to put some clothes on.”

“Clothes off is better when we talk.”  Kevin knew his words would get a reaction and they did.  That small palm of hers contacted with his cheek so fast he jumped backwards.  His hand was still covering his cheek where it stung, when she waltzed by him and into the bedroom.  The door slammed shut.  Kevin debated; he really, really just wanted to go kick her ass for that as he rubbed the side of his face.  “Guess I deserved that,” he grumbled as he went back into the kitchen to mull over what had transpired earlier while she was still sleeping. "So much for toast."

Kevin had a busy morning.  Waking up at around ten, he snuck out of the bedroom.  Last night after Bron had fallen asleep, he had unplugged the alarm clock and pulled the blinds.  Over the months, he had learned that his wife rose at four in the morning only if she knew it was four in the morning.  Today was a perfect example of tricking her into thinking it was still night when it was mid-afternoon.

Kevin had unplugged the phone last night so the first thing he did was call Jerald at Nick’s on an old cell that had been in the house. Then he called Tim.

Tim’s call was the one that sent Kevin into a frenzy.  Kevin spoke to Kaylin first, who was highly upset with him for leaving her.  “You promised you wouldn’t leave me Daddy.”  The voice she used was one that she didn’t use often, only when she was truly frightened.  After speaking with Kaylin and reassuring her but telling her nothing, he spoke to Tim.  He sure as hell didn’t feel like the father at the moment.

Tim had Suzie breathing down his neck while he talked.  Kevin could hear her yelling that if she didn’t speak to him, he would be damn sorry.  “Please Tim, I can’t, she doesn’t understand.”

“Just talk to her, she has some information for you.”  Tim had to finally spit it out because Kevin wasn’t going to budge.  He was insistent that nobody know anything about what was going on or where they were.

Tim thrust the phone at Suzie, “Try and tell him.  Give me those I’m going to fax them to him while he is talking to you.  Maybe the stubborn jerk will listen if he sees it.”

Tim grabbed the papers and walked back to the room he used for a home office.  Nobody on the face the planet had the fax number to Kevin’s house in Florida, at least he didn’t think so.  Tim began sliding pieces of paper into the fax machine. 

“Suz, I can’t talk to you now.”  Kevin emptied another box of cereal into the garbage can.

Kevin’s voice sounded angry but she ignored him.

“You have too.  I know why she is there.  Tim said you thought this was a fan or stalker related.  It is.” 

Kevin cut in on her, “I figured that out, thank you.”

“Not all of it.  It is stalker related, but it’s not a fan of yours, it’s sort of fan of hers.”

“Fic shit!”  Kevin yelped into the phone. 

“Tim is faxing some things to you now,” Suzie had become accustomed to Kevin’s hollering and yelling around the house.  After while she mused that the public man that was soft-spoken and shy was different from the real Kevin.  The other Kevin, the one that they all lived with, was loud and obnoxious.

Running back to his office, he saw the faxes now peeling out of the machine and onto the floor.  Kevin picked the first one up and then the second.  Glancing at them, he frowned.  His eyes scanned the letters as the came out of the machine.  Even copies of envelopes were being sent to him with dates and postmarks.  “Where the fuck were these?”  Kevin growled.

“Um... Um... “ Suzie hesitated.

“Suz!”

“In her closet, in the chest at the back of the closet.  It was buried under a ton of boot boxes.  Your wife has too many boots.  I swear Kevin, I never would have looked but she had said something once and it got me to thinking....  Then Andrew said something about you finishing the chest for Kaylin for Christmas and that he hoped it wouldn’t be as heavy as his mother’s that he had to put in her closet....”   Suzie stopped knowing she really wasn’t making sense anymore and she wasn’t sure if Kevin was even listening to her.

“I don’t believe this shit, this is someone in her family, it has to be.  Nobody knows this shit!”

Tim’s voice came in on the same line.  “What do you want us to do?”

“Send me the rest of these.  Suz, are you ready for a vacation?”

“A vacation?”  Suzie’s voice questioned.

“You’re bringing our kids to us.  Tim is going to clean house, change telephone numbers, locks, and security codes.”

“It won’t do any good, they are there everyday.”

“Not anymore.  Operations have ceased at our home.  They will now be handled out of Mc’s house or the bed and breakfast, any place but my house.”

“Kevin that won’t work.  Whoever this is will get suspicious.“

“What the hell am I supposed to do?”  Kevin yelled a little louder than he wanted.

“Call Webster,” Tim added.

“Fuck that, he’s one of them.”  Kevin balked at the suggestion.

“I’m not, am I?”  Suzie spoke softly.

“If I even thought you were remotely involved Suzie I wouldn’t have you setting up an elaborate rouse to get my kids to me.  You’re going to fly to Boston, or at least it will look that way.  Nick is going to fly to Boston too but he is going to stay here.  You are going to come down here under another name with my kids.”

“If it’s Mc, he’ll figure it out.”

“By then, it will be too late.” 

“What about Jake?”  Suzie added.

“No, under no circumstances.  He’ll still get his check but Tim is going to clean house.  I want everyone out.”

“Andrew?”  Tim added.

“That’s my grown boy, he’s fine.  He is coming with Suzie.  Where is he?”

Tim cleared his voice, “Right here, he has heard everything and I’m sorry to break your trust on that but he thinks it is one of them too and he’s a little scared.  He just isn’t sure how you feel about him right now and he came to talk to me.”

“Put him on the phone,” Kevin took a second to gather his true feelings.  He would have to trust or not trust Andrew and the kid deserved to be told how he felt.  Kevin heard Suzie say she would go and make the arrangements for her and the kids.

“Hello,” Andrew spoke much softer than normal.

“How are your brother and sister?”  Kevin asked just as quietly. 

“Cooper is crying his bloody head off, I think he misses you.  Kaylin is scared, I’m scared.”

“I understand and you have every reason to be.  You are going to go to school today like you normally do.  You are going to have a regular day...  Do you hear me?”

“Yes,” Andrew looked at Suzie confused as all hell.  Then Kevin spoke again.

“You’ll see Mom tomorrow.  Your Mom and I have some things to work out and we cannot do that with you kids around.  You understand me?”

“Yes sir,” Andrew began to smile.  He had gained the trust and was surprised he had.  Even Tim had told him not to expect it.  The letters were from someone in their family or from someone who was connected to their family.  They were violent, threatening, and spoke about kidnapping and murder.  Kevin’s life to be exact if Bron didn’t comply with the person’s wishes. 

Andrew handed the phone to Tim. “I guess I’m okay.”

Tim nodded at him.  Suzie and Tim began to lay out an elaborate plan to fool all of them once they had hung up with Kevin. 

“I gotta go.  I got some readin’ to do before Bron wakes up.”

“Bron is still sleeping, it’s one in the afternoon.”  Suzie thought that was very strange.

“We were up late talking,” Kevin laughed as he hung up leaving a stunned Suzie staring at Tim.

“That’s not as good as it sounds, is it?”  Tim asked.

Suzie shook her head from side to side, as she mumbled a no to him.

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This is a work of fiction.
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