Chapter 79

Pulling into the parking lot at the mall it was agreed that they would split up for two hours and then meet back together.  Kevin had turned the tables on Bron just in case she had any wild ideas.  He was taking Jake and Bounce with him.  Carlos was to go with her.

Bron didn’t care.  She held her hand out to Kevin after checking her wallet and still finding it empty.  “Carlos has it for you,” he grinned as he walked away with Bounce at his side and Jake on the other.

“Hmmpf, can he just ditch you like that?  I thought you told him what to do.” 

Carlos chuckled, “He bribed me.”

“Come on Carlos, let’s go do some damage to Master’s card,” she grinned.

They were in and out of shops.  She actually asked his opinion on a couple things and he was somewhat happy about that.  He never had a chance to spend any time with her to get to know her.  Bron found an awesome tie that lit up Carlos’s eyes.  She grinned and went in to buy it, never really saying it was for him.  “Kevin won’t wear that.”  Carlos told her. 

“I know,” Bron smiled.  Bron had bought clothes for Bounce and gifts for everyone else. 

She halted at a jewelry shop and glanced in the window.  To Carlos she look crest fallen, he thought maybe he knew why.  “Why don’t we go look?” he said to her. 

“Nah, it’s not the same if he’s paying for it.  I wish he would have at least given me something of my own back.  He doesn’t trust me ya know.”

Carlos did a double take and smiled, “Let’s look, we have time.”  Carlos followed her and knew where she was going.  Yep she was, he leaned over the case and whispered, “Size 11.” 

Bron shook her head, “Maybe later I don’t want him to pay for it.”  Carlos reached in his wallet and handed Bron a card.  Bron looked at the card and then to him. 

“We won’t tell him,” he smiled. 

Bron paused, unsure of herself.  This was a rare moment for her.  “Would you have anything put on it?” he asked Bron. 

“Just initials and the date,” she answered still wrestling it around her head.  Carlos called the sales clerk over and asked if they had a jeweler there and she replied yes.  “Bron why don’t you get it and if you don’t want to give it to him you don’t have to.” 

Bron smiled, “It’s good to see hanging with the boys hasn’t affected your smarts Carlos.”  Bron pointed to one, “I like that one.  It’s plain and simple.”  They both agreed it was perfect.  Bron wrote down on a piece of paper what she wanted and handed it to the girl.  The sale was paid for and the clerk went to the back of the store.

Bron and Carlos stood there waiting.  Bron heard giggling and chattering behind her.  She lowered her head slightly and turned it towards Carlos.  “I think we’re in trouble.  They know who you are,” Bron whispered. 

Carlos started getting nervous until he saw the blue UK hat out of the corner of his eye.  He was standing back and watching from across the corridor of the mall.  Carlos waved and the girls all turned to see.  Bron refused to unlock her eyes from the jewelry case.  Kevin began to walk away with Bounce as soon as Carlos waved.  It was a good thing to, the girls started shrieking, “Look!” and followed them.

“What the hell?”  Bron turned around. 

“Hmm, girls are fickle,” Carlos muttered and hoped Jake could handle it.  They waited patiently and the woman returned with the box and handed it to Bron. 

Bron handed it to Carlos, “Can you hold on to this for me?  Please,” she asked.  “Sure,” Carlos answered her.

They left the store and ambled down the corridor.  Bron stopped at a gift shop and looked inside.  She smiled and motioned Carlos over.  It was the other half of their shopping party.  Kevin was trying to buy something and didn’t want Bounce to see it.  Bounce was all over him and Jake wasn’t helping. 

Bron walked into the store.  “Hi guys.  How’s the shopping?”  Kevin took the opportunity and moved away from Bounce to the cash register. 

“Kev is fun to shop with.  We went too…,” Bounce stopped as she heard Kevin cough. 

“Where did you go so far?”  Bron asked curiosity chewing at her now. 

“Can’t tell mom Kev would be mad,” She smiled. 

Bron heard deep chuckle from behind her at the register.  “That’s okay Bounce.  Come on, I want to show you something.” 

Bron pointed to it and Bounce smiled, “Mary’s angels.” 

“Let’s get her one.  You pick,” Bounce took on the task, studying the case, and then settling on one.  She pointed to it and Bron pronounced it perfect.  They walked to the register as the clerk was bagging Kevin’s purchase. 

Bron listened to the clerk fawn and gush over Kevin and she started to laugh.  Man, I thought I had it bad, she mused to herself.  Kevin heard the laugh and knew it was her.  He turned and cleared his throat with a poker face on.  “Is there something funny Miss?”

“No,” she returned as she blinked at him trying not to let the laugh rumble out of her.  “I’m sorry Mister Chasez.  I didn’t mean to embarrass you,” she said with an amused grin on her face. 

Jake and Carlos stood behind them laughing at the remark.  “Shit,” Carlos laughed.

What did she just call me, slammed through Kevin’s head?

“Oh my God.  That’s not J.C. Chasez, that’s Kevin Richardson,” the sales woman exclaimed as she looked at Bron like she had a screw loose.

Bron dropped her head to hide her smile and then picked it up to see what Kevin reaction was.  “Oh I’m so sorry I get those boy bands mixed up.  You know, Back N Sync, O-Boys,” Bron started laughing.

Kevin grabbed Bron’s face and kissed her, he almost deep throated with his tongue.  He pulled his head back to a very red faced Bron.  He crinkled his nose up at her and smirked, “I hope that clears that up for ya.” 

The sales girl stood there with her mouth hanging open.  She didn’t believe what just happened.  Kevin kissed a woman, a strange woman, in public no less.  Carlos and Jake were in fits of laughter, Bounce included.  They heard clapping in front of the store.  Jake and Carlos immediately moved to the front of the store.  Carlos recognized the girls from the jewelry store.

“Not funny Lurch,” Bron frowned at him. 

“You asked for it,” he chuckled. 

“P.D.A. is not your style,” Bron informed him. 

The sales girl interrupted, “Really it’s not.”

Kevin couldn’t help laugh, “It’s not huh.  Are you done here?”  Kevin asked. 

“Almost,” Bron replied as she pointed to the case and told the clerk what she wanted.  The woman left and Kevin told Bron he was going to go sign for the girls out front.  He handed Bron his card and went up front. 

Bounce followed Kevin to the front of the store.  Bounce stood by him thinking this is really cool.  She heard the girls ask Kevin who is the woman was that he kissed in the store.  More than once he reminded them that is not a question they should ask.  He did it in a friendly manner.  The oldest girl turned her attention to Bounce who had not moved from Kevin’s side.  “Who’s the lady?” she grinned to the little girl. 

“My mom,” Bounce replied with a huge smile.  “What’s she to Kev?” she asked.  Kevin was going to intercede on the exchange but he had talked to Bounce and wanted to see if she understood. 

“Family,” was the answer the girl received and Bounce looked up at Kevin and smiled a huge smile.

Perfect he chuckled in head, smart girl just like her mom.  “Come on Kev who is she?” the oldest in the crowd asked again as Bron walked up to join them. 

Bron was edgy but knew she had to be friendly, “How’s the shopping girls?”

“Great now,” they giggled in unison.

“Who are you?” the girl asked again.  Kevin had to give the girl credit for persistence. 

Bron smiled not knowing what to say, “Why don’t you ask Kevin?” 

The girl groaned loudly and Kevin laughed.  He finished his signing and grabbed Bron and Bounce’s hands.  “Come on girls let’s go,” he said.  He turned back to the group of girls, “No tellin’ we’re here.”

They were walking through the mall when Bron spied a store and slowed down.  “Please, just for a minute.  I want to look.”

“I’m hungry,” Kevin moaned. 

“You’re always hungry.”  Bron pouted.

“Okay,” Kevin gave up.

“Come on Carlos,” Bron grabbed his hand.

“Hey what about me?”  Kevin said to her.

“I don’t want you,” Bron answered.

A smile crept across his face, “You didn’t say that the other night,” Kevin laughed.  Bron just looked at him, shook her head and walked away.  Pervert she thought.

She heard him say come on Bounce she’s deserted us again and they walked into the store by themselves. 

Bron was on a mission, she had seen it and wanted it.  She had the store’s catalog back at the hotel.  She went for it and sighed.  “What do you think?” she turned to Carlos. 

“Is that for the project Andy is working on?”  Carlos grinned.

“Who has the big mouth?”  Bron hissed at him.

“Jake,” he answered.

“Big mouth is going to get it.  What else do you know?”  Bron questioned him.  She was pissed, she didn’t include Jake for a reason.  She didn’t want Carlos to know and she damn well didn’t want Kevin to know.

“All of it,” he grinned.

“If any of you blow this I’ll kill you.”  Bron said with fire.

“We won’t,” Carlos laughed.

Bron made a list and got a sales clerk.  She handed her the list and they quickly moved through the section.  Bron scribbled down an address and had it all shipped to the address after she paid for it. 

Bron and Carlos went in search of Kevin and crew in the store.  Bron turned the corner to see a very angry Bounce and an even angrier Kevin squared off in the aisle.  Jake was smirking at both of them.  Bron stopped and listened to the exchange between a six year old and a twenty-nine year old.  Bron had to admit Bounce was holding her own against an incredibly angry Kevin.  He stood there arms akimbo and one eyebrow up.  His chest was huffed up like a rooster.

“I said no!”  Kevin stood there glaring at Bounce. 

“I said yes!  That is what I want.  I’m telling mom,” Bounce pouted at him as she pointed to what she wanted.

“Forget it.  I’m not buying it.  You can find something else.”  Kevin was seriously pissed at her.  Of all things in the entire store this is what she wanted.

Bron and Carlos chuckled at what she was point at.  Bron stepped up, “Okay, what’s going on?”

“I want that for my room.  He says I can’t have it.  It’s my room.”  Bounce looked at her mom begging for help as she grabbed the precious package and hugged it to her body. 

“No way Bron,” came out of Kevin, he wasn’t kidding either, he was very upset.

“Oh,” Bron bite her lip.  “Baby isn’t there anything else you might like?  Maybe we should look some more.”

Bounce shook her head, “No.  I want these, Please mom please.”

Bron walked up to Kevin, wrapped her arms around his waist and whispered in his ear, “Negotiate.  Only when you’re not home.”  Kevin turned to her. 

“Bron come on, please.  I see him everyday.  I don’t want to see him at night too.”  Kevin covered his eyes with his hands.  I don’t believe this shit he muttered under his breath.  “Fine, but don’t think that I’m going to make a habit of negotiating with a six year old,” he seethed at her.

“Come on Bounce you can have them.  But when Kevin’s home he doesn’t want to see them.  Understand.”  Bron spoke to her.  Bounce’s smiled and nodded her head.  They proceeded to pick out what she needed and Bron looked at Kevin with arms full. 

“You’re on your own.  I’m not paying for that stuff,” he walked away.  Jake stayed with Bron.

Carlos followed Kevin, “You’re whipped,” he chuckled.

“I am not,” Kevin growled.

“Shit Kev, you just bought Nicky Carter sheets,” he giggled.

Kevin knew he would get some serious shit from the fellas if they ever found out.  “If you say one word, I’ll have you put with Nick or A.J.,” he growled at him.

“Oh, I’m scared, the real Nick or your new sheets,” Carlos snickered.

Bron was grinning as they joined them.  There was a pizzeria in the mall and that’s where they headed.  They sat and laughed at Bron’s little prank in the gift shop.  Kevin couldn’t believe she would do such a thing.  The food came and it was eaten.  Everyone knew better than to bring up Bounce’s new bedroom stuff.  Kevin found out that Bron hadn’t bought a single thing for herself.  She needed clothes to get her through the rest of the trip.  Now he would take charge and make sure she bought something.  As they were leaving Bron heard the incessant giggling again.  Bron glared at Kevin, “Are they following us?” 

“Probably,” he said casually. 

“This is agitating,” she groaned. 

“Get use to it darlin’, it’s what I do.  It’s my job.” was the reply she received.

“Clothes shopping time,” Kevin announced at they headed for the department store. 

“I don’t need clothes.  I want my clothes.”  Bron answered him.

“Well since your clothes are on their way to my mom’s you don’t have a choice.”  Kevin had dropped the bomb.

“What the hell are you talking about?”  Bron froze in her tracks.  “Witch let’s not make a scene.” He said trying to find a more private place for her to explode. 

They got to a spot in the store with no one around.  “Why the hell are my clothes on the way to your mom’s?”  She spat at him.

“Because home is now Lexington,” he answered in authorative tone.

Bron became bristled by the comment.  This jackass has even had the audacity to move my shit.  She closed her eyes and tried to think of a hundred comebacks and drew a blank.  She really just wanted to reach up and punch him between those damn green eyes.  “You have got to stop doing this shit.  I can think for myself.  I so much want to slap the shit out of you right now,” she hissed at him.

“Be nice or I won’t buy you a new dress.”  He spoke in a measured tone to her.

Oh, you son of bitch you are really getting off on the fact that I don’t have jack shit right now.  “You think I can be bought off with a dress?”  She glared at him.

Kevin laughed in his head, yep she got the point, she can’t do anything without me.  “No,” and he wrinkled up his nose up at her, “But I thought I would try.”

They walked back to the group.  “Bron is getting some clothes or we aren’t leaving,” he announced. 

Carlos and Jake groaned outwardly.  They watched Bron circle around a rack of dresses.  One must have caught her interest.  She picked it up looked at it and the price tag.  She set it back down.  Bron turned and went around the corner.  Jake followed her as she left the department.

Kevin grinned, grabbed Bounce and the dress and went the other way.  Carlos, Kevin, and Bounce sat and waited for her to finish.  Forty-five minutes later Jake reappeared with a mountain of bags.  “I hope next time you shut your mouth,” he moaned.

Carlos informed them it was time to leave and called Keith as they headed to the entrance of the mall.  Bron made one more stop and drove Kevin nuts.

As they all got in the van, he was still stewing about what she said.  What the fuck, I can’t believe she bought those things.  Jake saw it and smirked.  After last purchase and what Kevin had heard it finally dawned on Kevin that Bron wasn’t average and that she worked in a non-traditional field. 

Carlos was very amused at the whole thing himself.  He figured he might be able to tease Kevin out his bad mood or the rest of the evening would be ruined.  “So Bron, I like those work boots you bought.  I gotta pair just like them,” he chuckled.

Kevin was pissed at the reminder,  “I like the other pair she bought better.”  I would rather see her in four inch heals and a skirt, not the same pair of boots I wear for Christ sakes, he grumbled inwardly.

Bron grinned at Carlos, she knew what he was doing.  “Well if Andy hadn’t nailed my last pair to the roof while I was in them, I wouldn’t have needed a new pair.”

Kevin’s imagination kicked in to full gear.  “Why the hell would he do that?  You could’ve gotten hurt.”

Bron snickered, “He was keeping me from the coffee truck.”

Inwardly Kevin mad a mental note to meet whoever this Andy was and kick his ass for such foolishness.  Bron watched the deep thought Kevin was in.  “Kevin it’s fine,” she said loud enough to break his train of thought.

Jake was laughing his ass off on the inside.  Bron working at her job was going to be a big stumbling block for Kevin.  He watched Kevin fight with it since he found out.  Kevin was trying hard to look at it as a job.  But the good ole boy was lurking behind the scenes in Kevin’s mind.  It’s man’s a job, my dad did that. 

Kevin was still pensive as they pulled into the hotel.  There were very little fans left and they could make a hasty exit.  Kevin spotted a couple of fans and didn’t want them to be disappointed.  “I want to stop and sign for them.  Do you want to stay with me or go?”  Kevin asked her.  Carlos looked at Kevin his eyes rolling.  Kevin could read his mind, yep I’m still sane Carlos, relax, he said to himself.

“I’ll stay if you want me too, but I don’t want Bounce down here.”  Bron said shakily.  She was hoping Kevin would let her off the hook and change his mind.

“I don’t want her here either.”  Kevin asked Jake to take Bounce upstairs and come back for the packages.

Bron crunched her eyes shut, damn he’s not letting me off the hook.  I should’ve told him no.

Bron stood back from the crowd almost hiding.  The girls shot questions to her and she stood there bewildered at first.  Then she began to answer.  She carefully avoided all questions about who she was and why she was with Kevin.

Kevin finally called it quits and they went inside.  “Nice job,” he smiled at her. 

“Thanks, but never again,” she sighed.

Once in the elevator and the doors closed she slumped again Kevin, “I’m tired.”  Carlos chuckled at her, “Get un-tired you have to get ready for dinner.”

“Dinner too, are they trying to kill us,” Bron exclaimed.

“Would they do that?”  Carlos answered with a smirk.

“In a heartbeat,” she answered him.

They marched off the elevator and Kevin stopped by Jake’s door.  “See you in an hour,” as he bent and kissed her cheek.  The hallway was buzzing with activity as Bron let herself in.

“Where’s my baby?”  Bron asked.

“With Stevie, wiped out,” Jake replied.

Bron rocked back on her heels, “Why do I think that was planned too?”

Jake shrugged his shoulders and smiled.  Bron looked at him with that face, yep it was, and she headed to the bathroom. 

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