Chapter 80

Bron showered and stepped out.  She noticed a dress bag on the back of the bathroom door with a note.  The note simple said, “Love you.”  Bron unzipped the bag.  It was the overpriced dress she saw at the store.  “Idiot,” she giggled.  Bron finished getting dressed and put on her face.

When she walked out of the bathroom both Carlos and Jake gave her the once over.  “Very nice,” Carlos said.

The suite door swung open and in walked Kevin.  Bron’s mouthed dropped, that’s hot.  “Damn!” Bron just about screamed.

“Same to you darlin’,” Kevin grinned.  Bron was getting flustered just looking at him and he knew it.  It’s the long coat, she likes me in long coats, he mused. 

“Hey Kev you have to wear that suit more often.  She doesn’t have a word to say,” Jake chuckled.

“Let’s go,” Bron groaned as she grabbed her purse and coat.

They walked to the elevator and got in, as they turned around they laughed.  They saw four Backstreet Boys, two brothers, two ‘uncles’, one mom, and a little girl gaping at them.  “Boo!”  Bron yelled as the doors closed.  Laughter was heard from the other side as the elevator started its ascent.

Bron looked at Kevin questioningly, “What’s that about?”  Kevin dropped his eyes to the floor,  “Something about you having legs and wearing a dress.”

“I have legs,” she laughed.

“Oh I know.  Nice legs, especially when they’re wrapped…”

“Stop Kevin!”  Bron shouted out, as she figured out where he was going.  Carlos snickered under his breath.

Once out of the elevator they were shown to a limousine.  Carlos rode up front and off they went.  In the limo Bron asked where they were going. 

Kevin was uptight; he wanted to talk.  They had so much to discuss and he just wanted to get to wherever they were going.  “I have no idea,” he answered her without taking his eyes off the window.

They rode for ten minutes with neither of them speaking.  Bron gently placed her hand on his and spoke softly.  Something was eating at him and she needed to find out what.  “Tell me what’s wrong.”

“We’ll talk at dinner,” he replied without looking at her.

Panic welled up inside of her.  She had had second, third, and fourth thoughts about this.  She felt maybe he was having the same.  “Kevin if you’re having second thoughts I need to know,” she said quietly.

“I’m not, so relax,” as he gently squeezed her hand.

The limo stopped a few minutes later and the door was opened.  Bron was surprised when she saw that Keith had opened the door, “You sneak.”

Kevin grinned at his best friend, “Who set this up?”

“Mom,” Keith chirped back to him.

Kevin and Bron walked into the restaurant and it was completely empty.  No customers, nothing.  Kevin smiled, privacy at last.  In his head, he thanked his mom and whoever else had done this for him.  Aloud he spoke to her, “Gotta love them for trying, Italian too.”

They were greeted and sat at a table away from the din of the kitchen.  The hostess was pleasant and sweet to both of them.  Several times she had addressed Kevin as Mr. Richardson and Bron as Mrs. Cooper.  It hit a nerve in Bron but she didn’t know why.  Kevin was quite surprised; he had never pegged her as the jealous type.  Kevin was hiding the small smile inside as he watched Bron.  After the third time, Kevin smirked at Bron, “Green doesn’t become darlin’.”

Bron’s cheeks pink, “Like you should talk.”

They ordered a bottle of wine and dinner and they talked small talk as they waited for the first course.  Finally Bron had enough, he wanted to talk, now he was going to.  “Why were you so upset on the way over here?”  Bron asked staring at her glass in her hand. 

Kevin watched and then slid his chair next to her instead of across from her.  He didn’t like the space between them it wasn’t intimate enough for him.  “We have so much to talk about and I don’t know where to begin.”

“Yes we do but I need to know if this something you still want otherwise we are wasting our breath.”  Bron knew it had to be said even though she didn’t want to.  Somehow this man had pushed and shoved himself into her life and her heart and she didn’t want to lose him.

Kevin grabbed her hand quickly, “Don’t doubt how I feel about you or that I don’t want this marriage.  I do,” he spoke.

Bron raised her eyes with a sense of relief in them that even he could see, “You scared me for a minute.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to,” he smiled and squeezed her hand again and continued to speak.  “Bronwyn Cooper will you marry me?” he asked, still holding her hand.

Bron didn’t say anything at first.  Slowly she took a sip of wine and set the glass back down.  “I thought we were past that all ready.”

“Umm…  I….  I was wrong to ask you the way I did.  I want to ask you the proper way.”  Kevin lowered his eyes to his plate.  It had been eating at him.  The way he had asked was not the way to start a life together.  You couldn’t exactly share that with other people.  He was waiting for her response, she was slow to answer him.

“I guess so, since this is the second time you have asked me.  It’s nice to see you still have a conscious.”  Bron spoke in even tone.

Kevin exhaled so strongly he almost blew the candle out.  He hadn’t even realized he was holding his breath.  “Thank you,” he said still holding onto her hand.  The conscious remark was still stinging but I guess I gave her reasons for feeling that way.

The server came and dropped off their plates.  Bron replied with a “Thank you,” as the waitress hesitated at the table.  Bron tried to pull her hand out from under Kevin’s but he didn’t relinquish it.  The waitress smiled slightly at Bron.  Bron was uncomfortable, “Kevin, I need my hand to eat.” 

Kevin released Bron’s hand and smiled at the waitress.  She informed them she would be back in a bit.

“Thanks Bron,” Kevin busted on her for pointing out his error. 

Bron giggled back at him, “It’s okay Lurch,” she cooed once the waitress walked away.

They sat and ate waiting to see who was going to go next.  Bron began that one so he figured it was his turn.  “Bounce,” he uttered as he glanced up from his plate to meet Bron’s eyes.

“What?”  Bron questioned.

Kevin sighed loudly.  He felt like he had hit a brick wall right off the bat.

“Come on Kev.  I know she is a handful.  I’m not expecting you to deal with her or handle anything,” Bron’s face became slightly angered.

Kevin knew why too.  It was Bron’s last thing in her life that she could control and she was afraid he would wrestle her power away from her.  He dropped his fork to his plate and wiped his mouth with the napkin.  “Wrong Bronwyn,” came out in a very thick Kentucky drawl.

Bron jerked her head back a little flabbergasted at the tone and the use of her entire name.  Usually that only happened when he was angry with her.

“I want to be involved in her life but you don’t want me to be.  You’re afraid that she is your last remaining control.”  He spoke to her with the accent still even thicker.

“Kevin you’re wrong.  Kaylin is a child, not a tool or a control issue.  She had gone through so many adjustments lately.  I just want to protect her.  If you want to be involved that’s fine, we all know you have that fatherly discipline routine down pretty good,” Bron smirked at him trying to lighten his mood.

“She like me.  She likes my family,” he replied.  He was ignoring her smartass remark.

Bron shook her head, “Yes she does, as Kevin the Backstreet Boy not as the man that her mom is going to marry.  Not Kevin who is going to tell her what to do and when to do it.  She’s a lot like me, she’s doesn’t take well to being told what do.”

Kevin frowned as he caught the gist of what Bron was saying.  He thought for a moment and recalled the endless conversations he had had with his family.  At first he thought it was because Bounce was just having a difficult time and needed to adjust.  Then he knew it was because Bron had turned her into a spoiled brat when C.W. had passed away.

Bron grinned at Kevin, he was lost in his own thoughts and she surmised what he was thinking.  “You made an impression on me to change my attitude, you can’t do that with a six year old.  You two had a good day today, together, but you got in argument over sheets.  I have a feeling that if we had been at home and not in public there would be no sheets.  I also think somebody’s backside would have been smarting from an attitude adjustment and it wouldn’t have been mine.”

Kevin broke out in a full laugh, “It’s not fair that you should know me so well.  I know that you don’t agree with that type of discipline so I will try very hard not to.  I need to tell you Bron I’m not going to be negotiating again like I did today.  She is a child not an adult and she needs to learn that.  I want to be a family but things have to change.  I don’t want you to interfere every time I do or say something.”

The waitress intruded to retrieve their plates and deliver another course.  “Let’s just take it as we go.  I won’t interfere over discipline, I’m not that good at it anyway.”  Bron said as the woman walked away. 

“Thank you again,” he sighed.  “Those sheets really bothered me,” he groaned.

Bron was hiding the smile trying to form on her lips, “What’s the matter Lurch you don’t want Little Man in your washer?”

Kevin closed his eyes and groaned at the mere thought of Nick Carter’s face flipping around at him in his new dryer.  Bron began to giggle.  “Thanks for thinking of her and understanding that we are a pair.”

Kevin grew silent once again as his gaze drifted to his plate.  Bron figured dealing with Mc was easier then dealing with Kevin at the moment.  “What else do you want to talk about Kevin?”  Bron asked him.

“I know you’re worried about stuff getting in the papers.  I just don’t want you to close yourself off from me again.”  Kevin answered her but spoke to the plate in front of him.

“Look at me,” she requested and he complied.  “It will get in the papers, we know that.  I feel sorry for you not me.  My bad times are over yours are just beginning.  I’m worried how this will play out against you and the boys, not to mention your family.” 

Bron eyes were misted over and he could see that she was about to cry.  She was damn scared of doing this and had every reason to be.  She had probably thought up every conceivable worse case scenario in her head and he knew it.  He leaned over and placed his lips on her forehead.  “That is why I love you.  Everyone else comes first.”

The waitress appeared yet again and apologized for the interruption.  Kevin told her don’t worry about it.  Once she left again, Bron spoke.  “Now eat you’re losing too much weight.” 

They ate and chit chatted enjoying the idle conversation.  It didn’t take much time to hit the next roadblock in the conversation either.  Bron informed Kevin that when he was on tour that she would be at home running her business.  He was used to having her with him but that he was going to have to adjust.  She then informed him that after the Las Vegas concerts she was going home. 

Kevin had two words for her after hearing that she was going home after they got married, “No Way!”

“Yes way,” Bron frowned.

“Listen you’re staying with me until I have to go to Mexico City,” He spoke loudly and in a voice that let her know this was not open for negotiation.

“Kevin…” she started to speak.

“No!”  Kevin almost shouted.

“Kevin I have my flight booked.  You have a ton of things to do and so do I.  We will see each other again in two weeks.  You have concerts in Phoenix, L.A., San Diego, and then Mexico City.”  Bron tried to reason with him but she could see she was failing miserably at it.

Kevin sat there shaking his head from side to side the entire time she spoke.  For crying out loud, he’s acting like a baby, Bron spoke to her inner self.

“We’re getting married on the seventh and you want to leave on the tenth.  That gives us three days to be together and still no freaking privacy.  On top of that there are two shows to do,” Kevin rambled off to her.

Bron waited for him to continue but he didn’t.  She opened her mouth to speak and he looked at her, “It’s not going to happen.  We are going to L.A. together.  I have a house to pack up and you can help.”

Bron was not going to L.A. come hell or high water.  That’s where he had been living and he hadn’t been living alone.  She had her flight booked and she was going to Kentucky.  She knew she couldn’t change his mind so she figured the hell with him.  I’m leaving when I want too, not when he says he I can.  “Fine,” Bron answered him.

Kevin cocked his head at her, yep that was too easy, but I’ll deal with it later.  He figured it was his turn and he was going back to that work thing that was eating at him.  “Is there another way that you can do your job and not be on all those job sites?”

Bron was first shocked and then angry.  “Now who is pulling a power play?  My job is what I do, you’ll have to learn to deal with it,” she hissed at him.

Kevin closed his eyes as his own words were tossed back in face.  He opened them when he heard Bron snickering out loud.  “Yes,” he looked at her.

“It’s The Call face just before you jump out the window in your video,” she grinned.  “All frustration, please don’t make me do this.”

Kevin smirked at her, “I’ll try to deal with your job.  It’s not going to be easy.  My dad did that for years to put food on the table.”

“I love you,” Bron giggled.

They had finished eating and began tossing single words back at each other and how they would handle things.  Bron spit out management and fans.  Kevin said that he would tell management in L.A., it wasn’t there business anyway.  He wanted to be damn sure that the press wasn’t alerted before hand.  The fans, some would be fine with it, some wouldn’t.   

Kevin’s turn came and he tossed out wedding to which Bron’s entire body tensed.  “You can’t avoid it, you will be there.” 

Bron thought about the way the line was delivered.  It wasn’t sweet either it was flat out don’t even think about not being there.  “No shit,” she replied.

“Come on Bron can’t you be a little happy,” Kevin whined.

“I’ve done this before.  It’s a royal pain in the ass,” she replied.

“Well I haven’t,” he spoke.

Bron backed up and understood that she had hurt his feelings.  “I’m sorry you’re right.  It’s just my nerves.  I don’t mean to offend you.  Besides I don’t think we have too much say in it anymore anyway.”

Kevin picked up his glass, “I hope they are having fun because this is the last party they plan for the Richardson’s.”

Bron smiled, “I think they are.  Look at this.”  Bron waved her hand across the room.  “I don’t know why but I do appreciate it.”

“Yeah me too,” as he leaned over and spoke to her ear.  Bron’s hand slid under the table and Kevin was very pleased.  Finally they had some time alone.  They hadn’t discussed everything but they had hit the main things that seem to be troubling both of them.

Kevin had enough, he wanted to go somewhere and be alone with Bron.  “Let’s get out of here,” he whispered to her and called the waitress over.  She had the check ready, he glanced at it, grinned, and then handed her a large bill. 

As they stepped out of the restaurant, Keith pulled up as if anticipating their departure.  “Somebody is spying on us,” Kevin chuckled.

As they got in the limo they scrunched together.  Kevin started it and Bron wasn’t protesting to loudly.  The necking was getting hot and heavy in the back of the limo.  Keith knew that Kevin’s family and the boys had started a little game called ‘Keep Away’, at least until Vegas.  Once there they figured Kevin would pound the shit out of all of them if he wasn’t left alone.  “How old are you two?” broke the heavy petting session in the back followed by a familiar chuckle.

“Shut Up!” they both chimed back at Keith.

Kevin grinned at her as he pushed Bron sideways on the seat.  His hand slid up her dress and he leaned over her.  In a husky whisper he spoke to her, “Have you ever…”

He was interrupted mid-sentence by Bron, “No and I’m not going too.  He’s watching us.”  She was screaming in her head she wanted to, but having an audience twice in one week was not her cup of tea.

“I can change your mind,” came back in her ear in a singsong voice, as his hands traveled up her thigh.

“No you can’t,” Bron half-heartedly giggled, knowing full well that he probably could and would if given the chance.  She could also tell by the position they were in that he was up to the task so to speak.  Kevin leaned down her pressing himself against her.  “I want you, you want me,” he mumbled in her ear.  He lowered his lips to hers and kissed her sweetly.  Bron’s defense system was cracking.  Her eyes fluttered open and she saw the all-knowing expression on his face that said triumph was almost his.

The limo came to a screeching halt and Kevin was thrown to floor.  Bron sat up and covered her mouth to stop the laughter from coming out.  Kevin landed on his ass of the floor of the limo.  His hands propping his upper body up once he got his bearings.  “I told you he was watching,” Bron laughed.

“You’re fired!”  Kevin yelled.

Sound broke through he limo again, “You can’t I’m not working for you tonight,” Keith’s laughter at his announcement did nothing to cool Kevin’s anger.

Kevin crawled back up to the seat, “I swear if these assholes don’t stop this shit…”  “Movies,” Bron spoke as she pointed out the window to the sign.  Kevin was getting surly even with her now.  He wanted some relief.  It was no longer an amusement and was starting to really piss him off. 

Bron leaned closer and whispered, “Hey they got that restaurant for us all to ourselves do you think they would do that for us in this nice dark theater?”

Kevin closed his eyes briefly and then grabbed the door handle.  Before Bron knew it he was dragging her into the theater.  “Kevin slow down,” Bron begged him.  Jesus he’s going to kill me, my legs aren’t that freaking long.

Kevin slowed his pace but continued to drag her by the upper arm into the theater.  An usher motioned him to a theater with no sign on it.  He stopped abruptly when he was inside.  He had been dragging Bron with him in desperation to be alone and she slammed into him.  “Dammit!” she yelled at him.

“Hey guys where have you been, we’ve been waiting for you,” was heard by both Kevin and Bron.  “No fucking way,” came out of Kevin in a low growl that only Bron could hear.

The entire theater was filled with the fellas, the band, the dancers, and the crew.  You name it, if they were part of the show or crew they were there.  Nick was the first to laugh aloud as he watched the stunned couple.  “Right up front guys, we saved you two seats,” came laughing out of Brian.

“Thank you so much!”  Kevin yelled and the entire theater began to laugh.  He was so pissed and frustrated it wasn’t funny.  Bron was mortified, she could hide her feelings and thank the Lord Kevin had a long coat on to hide his. 

Kevin pulled Bron to the two open seats in the first row.  “I don’t believe this shit, the first row,” Bron whispered to him.  Kevin dropped in his seat with such force he almost broke it.  Bron snickered a little nothing like a 6’ 2’’ disappointed Backstreet Boy.  “It’s your fav Kev, cheer up,” A.J. snickered out loud.

 Bron laughed quietly until she felt his arm come around her back and pull her closer to him.  Okay now I have had enough she thought.  “Hey Kev,” she whispered.

“Hmm,” he replied as he turned to her face.

“Why don’t we just call a cab?”  Bron grinned.

A smile grew across his face, “You’re such a smart woman.”

Kevin stood up and grabbed Bron’s hand.  “Sit down dear and enjoy the movie.  You’re not going anywhere.”

“Oh God,” he groaned and sat down quickly, “They brought my mother too.”  I don’t want to be here.  I want to be alone with Bron.  What the fuck, I wanna get laid, he was screaming at them in his head.

They sat and looked at the movie, both of them lost in thinking their own thoughts.  He was pissed and horny and so was she.  Bron sat and tried to figure out what was up and then she finally put it all together.  She had to laugh at how much effort they had put into this ‘date’.  She had thought that they were just tormenting Kevin but it was actually a gift for both them.  ‘A first date’, probably the only one they would ever get.

When the movie ended everyone left the theater and piled into vans and Bron and Kevin included.  Keith had left and Bron had to giggle to herself.  They probably figured they were not going to give them another opportunity for them to be alone together.

“Something amusing you?” he said annoyed with her sudden silliness.  With that remark Bron knew he had yet to figure it out.  “No,” she answered quietly.  “I’ll see you upstairs,” she whispered as she exited the van at the hotel with a lighting pace.

Kevin was wondering if that had been an invitation.  All though he really didn’t need one because that was his intention anyway.

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