Chapter 10

They both walked back and took their seats.  Lunch was finished without an angry word exchanged between any of them. Kevin glanced again at the watch on his wrist,  “Come on we have to get back to Mr. Jackson’s he said he was going to try again.”

The leader left with his troops in tow.  They pulled up to Chase’s place to see Cass’s pickup parked there already.  Along with another truck.

“Shit, I don’t know if I’m ready for this,” Kevin whispered.

“Hey she’s already threatened to shoot you, so don’t worry about it.”  Nick laughed.

“Funny Kaos, real funny.”  Kevin glanced in the mirror and pulled the collar up on his jean jacket.

Kevin strolled through the doors to see Cass sitting in Chase’s office with another elderly man.  “NO!  He can’t do this, I have my rights and he can’t just waltz in here and have her stabbed with a needle to prove a point.”

Kevin’s chin set went hard and he knocked on the door.  Not waiting to be called in he walked right in.  He went to stand behind Chase’s desk, “She wouldn’t have too, if you would just tell me the truth.”

Kevin watched the anger perk just below the surface,  “We’re waiting for my lawyer.”  She sat in the chair her eyes narrowed at him, glaring.

The old man laughed, he slowly reached in between the two chairs.  Slowly grasping her hand, he squeezed.  “I don’t think that is necessary Cass, but if you want to we will.  I will sign the paperwork if need be or you can take her and do it voluntarily.”

Cass’s head dropped, she had been bested before she even started.  She stood up and walked to the door.  “How much did he pay you Bailey?”

Cass was blind sided by a force that drug her back into the room and slammed her into the chair.  The door was slammed shut.  She was scared shitless now, she knew she had pissed off Judge Bailey.  “That man did not pay me a dime and don’t you ever make an accusation like that again.  I was your family’s attorney before I became a judge.”

She didn’t raise her head as the tears fell freely, “I don’t want her hurt.”

Kevin came around the desk.  Grasping both of Cass’s hands he willed her to look at him.  Raising her face she looked at him, “Just don’t hurt her, Annie is special.  Don’t take her away from me.”

“I will never, ever take her away from you.  I just want to be in her life Cass that’s all.  I want to get a chance to know her before she even knows the truth.”  Kevin had an urgent craving for a drink.  He could feel his mouth going dry, like it was filled with cotton.  The saliva in his mouth building up anticipating the quenching of thirst.

Cass’s hatred and bitterness were edged off by the promise that he wouldn’t take her away.  She felt sorry in a way for him.  She had read all the articles that had been printed, his messy divorce and the real reason why they had divorced.  But after all the years hatred burned deep in her heart.  No, not hatred, hurt and bitterness.

“Did you get divorced because you didn’t have children?”  Maybe there would be some consolation in the answer. 

A whistle came from the other side of the door.  Kevin stood up and opened it, two of the four fell into the room.  “Judge Bailey meet some of my family.”

Nick with Brian lay on the floor.  A.J. and Howie stood in the door giggling. Kevin stood over the two fools on the floor.  “Smooth guys, real smooth.”

Nick smiled from the floor, “Hi Cass,” 

Draping one arm over the chair, she cocked her head.  Cass smiled, “Hi Nick, you’re still cute as ever.”

“Ahh, I bet you say that to all the men that fall at your feet.”  He spoke as he stood back up once Brian got off him.

Cass’s eyes hardened and Nick realized he had stuck his foot in his mouth again.  “Sorry Cass,” he said softly.

“Since I have no choice, we’ll get this done and over with.  How long will it take?”  Cass’s animosity returned all to quickly.

“It isn’t necessary Cass if you just would tell me…”  Kevin turned back to her. 

Chase interrupted, “As your attorney Kevin, I think that you should go…”

Cass stood up, “That’s right Kevin she may not be yours and then where will you be.  I’ll do it tomorrow.  We’ll all together.”  Walking out both doors.

“Dammit Chase,” Kevin bellowed as he went after her.  Watching A.J. go he stopped in his tracks.

Kevin turned back into the office.  “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled at you.  I’m just very upset about every thing that has happened.  How long will it take?”

“About a week if she gets it done right away.”  Chase handed the papers to Judge Bailey to sign. 

Kevin placed a hand on the paperwork.  “Please, give her until tomorrow.  She said she would and I believe her.”

Judge Bailey shook his head in descent and signed them.  “I won’t be here tomorrow.  Chase will hold onto these and only use them if he has too.  You don’t know Cass son, she is very, very bitter.  They say the good Lord never puts more on your plate than you can handle.  I think Cass’s plate is about as full as she can take.  Annie is a special little girl.”

All heads turned when they heard the spinning of tires in the dirt and gravel.  They watched A.J. come back through the door.  He was sporting a big grin.  Noticing it Kevin frowned, knowing A.J. he just got one-upped in Cass’s book.

“Wassup?”  Kevin asked.

“Nothing to do with you.  I’ll wait for you outside.”  A.J. did a fancy little dance move out the door to be a show off.

“They’re at it again,” Howie mumbled.

“I swear I’ll kill him,” Kevin hurried out the door.

The judge and Chase looked at each other and then to others.  “Do they fight over women often?”  The judge asked with a twinkle in his eye.

“No, not generally but you see, when we were here.  Kevin called Cass off limits because we were here to work.  A.J. liked her.”  Nick figured Chase knew everything anyway.

“Ohhhh,” Judge Bailey grinned, “Should have took his own advice.”

The entire room filled with the sound of laughter.  Then the boys slowly headed out to the van. 

The only noise that was heard was road noise until they got back to the lodge.  Kevin wanted to ask but didn’t dare.  A.J. would just rub whatever was going on in his nose.  “Everybody shower up we’re going to dinner, dress nice.”  A.J. boogied down the hall, into his room, slammed the door.  They could hear him singing his heart out.

Kevin stood steaming in the hallway.  Brian began pushing him towards his room.  He was too fixated on Bone’s door.  “He made a fuckin’ date with her.  I don’t believe it.  He made a fuckin’ date with the mother of my child.”

“You don’t know that Kevin,” Brian pacified him as he pushed him past A.J’s door.  Brian was praying his butt of in his head that A.J. was not that stupid.  Then he prayed for A.J. just in case he was.

Brian ran into his room, all he wanted to do was talk to his wife.  He needed some sanity, he wanted to know that his children were okay without him.

“Hi honey,” he sighed as she picked up the phone.

Leighanne had been waiting, it was driving her crazy, she wanted to know what was going on.  She listen to Brian- ask how she was, how the kids were, how his parents were, finally that was it.  “BRIAN!”

Brian laughed as that was exactly what he was waiting for, “Yes honey.”

“Don’t yes honey me Brian, what the hell is going on up there?”

Shaking his head as he dug for something to wear.  “We have a new niece and her name is Annie.”

“Ohh, I’m so happy for him.”  Leighanne sighed.  Her sincerity was genuine, she loved Kevin and hoped this would happen.  “Annie, that’s so cute, Aunt Anne is going to be thrilled.”

“Well it isn’t official yet.  They are going to do a paternity test to keep everything nice and legal.  She looks so much like him it’s spooky.  Oh and the Annie is of the Annie Oakley variety.” 

Brian shook his head in the mirror as he listened to her babble on about how exciting it was to have a new family member.  “Leighanne, I’ve got another problem,” he sighed as he sat on the bed.

“Alex?”  Leighanne surmised.

“Yes, he asked her out on a date I think,” Brian spoke as he slipped on his shoes.  He was prepared for the screech and held the phone a good eight inches from his head, his hearing being important to him.  There were certain lines you didn’t cross with people, especially Kevin and Leighanne.  They were as protective as they come.  Brian waited and then expected to get a dead line.  She would hang up on him and then call and chew A.J. out.  The line went dead as anticipated and Brian smiled as he hung up.  “She’s such a good wife.”

Meeting up in the hallway they waited for A.J. to come out of his room.  He did, whistling away, swinging the keys to the rental in his hand.  “Are you ready for dinner my boys?”

“A.J. what the hell are you pullin’?” Kevin snarled from behind him. 

“I thought you wanted to meet your daughter?” A.J. spoke as he turned to face him.

“I do,” Kevin ground his jaw together.

“Good then put that pretty boy face back on because we are going to dinner to meet her,” A.J. quipped as he walked down the hall.

They all smiled and slapped him on the back.  Except for Kevin who was rooted in his spot.

“We are?” Kevin sounded alarmed to all of them.  They turned he was as pale as a ghost.  “I need to change.”

“Whoa, whoa, you’re fine,” A.J. motioned him to join him.

Kevin didn’t move he had the sick feeling his stomach.  “He’s gonna lose it,” Nick rushed down the hall and threw Kevin’s down open.  Kevin scrambled for the bathroom.

“Warn us next time Alex,” Howie groaned.

They waited for Kevin to reappear in the hall.  A few minutes later he did with a clean shirt on and a different pair of dress pants on.

“Come on daddy let’s go,” A.J. smiled.  The smile that Kevin returned would be something that A.J. would never forget.

Kevin watched all of the familiar land marks go by, “A.J. are we going to Cass’s?”

“Yes,” A.J. replied.  “I should’ve been your lawyer,” as he watched the road ahead.

Kevin laughed, “Knowing you, you’d hose me.”

“Oh yeah!”  A.J. laughed as they pulled up to the ranch house.

“You all right bud?” Nick asked as Kevin didn’t make a move to get out.

“I don’t know what to do or say,” Kevin looked at them unsure of himself for the first time in a long time.

“You can start with hello when you get inside,” as A.J. pushed on his shoulder.

Cass was at the front door waiting, the old adage, “Keep your enemies close,” ringing in her head.

“I want all of you to understand one thing.  My daughter is special.  She only knows that you are friends coming to dinner.  You do not say one word about any of this.”  Cass stood in the door with her hand holding the screen door shut.  “I’m taking her to the doctor tomorrow, like I promised.”

Kevin nodded knowing that it was being directed to at him.





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