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Chapter 104

Suzie’s head bounced off the garage when she heard her nieces and nephews screaming.  They had just arrived for the party to find the Backstreet Boys at their aunt’s Luau.  The women were gathered around the gifts, admiring them. 

The shriek or squeal as it was heard had come from Bacon, A.J.’s new friend.  

“Boys, put that pig down, ya ain’t greasin’ it, that’s mean.”  The gravel voice of MeeMaw carried in through the screen door.

“Sqeeeeeakkkkkkkkkkkkkkk,” could be heard the next block over.

Suzie yelled across the yard, “People think I’m weird enough.  Leave the damn pig alone, unless you want a chapter of Deliverance because Bron has her pen and pad out.”

Suzie watched four men run away from the pig as fast as possible, especially Kevin who dropped poor Bacon.  “Men!”  Suzie cranked the window closed.

“Auntie Suzie!”  Jessica came running across the yard.  “The Backstreet Boys are at your house!”

“I know Jessica, I know.”  Suzie was hoping the excitement would die down before somebody on the block called the cops on them. 

“One actually almost lives here Jess,” Bron’s head bobbed up and down, feeling the need to throw some fuel onto the fire.  Teenagers were great when they were in controlled situations.  They loved the boys and they were very happy to show it.

“Auntie Suzie, who lives here?  Tell me it’s Nick.  Come on,” Jessica begged.  “It can’t be Kevin, he married an old lady.  Brian’s married too.”

Suzie was going to slap Bron for opening her mouth but Jess had evened the score for her.

Bron was laughing at the girl; it didn’t matter to her, at least not today.  “Lucky Kevin,” she snickered.

“What do you think of Kevin, Jess?”  Bron asked, but Becky had warned her daughter to mind her manners, since she was talking to “Kevin’s old lady.”

“Sorry,” Jess apologized after an exaggerated ‘O’ had been formed on her lips.  “Are you having Kevin’s baby?”

Bron started to chortle as she looked at Suzie, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?”  Shaking her head, Bron stood up, “No, I’m having Rosemary’s baby.”

“Bron!”  Suzie yelled as Bron left her with her family.  Dinner was going to be served soon.

“Hey, you’ve seen’em in skirts.”  Bron laughed as she headed to her spot.  Dinner was going to be served soon, not soon enough, she was hungry.

Moseying over to Kevin who now sat next to Suzie’s father, Bob and her brother Paul, they began to chit-chat. Paul spoke up first.  “Suzie likes it here.”

“I hope so,” Bron nodded, she knew she was going to get the drill.

“How serious is she with blonde?”  Paul was directing his question to Bron.

“I don’t ask, it’s not my business,” Bron was just as direct.

Kevin laughed, “Everything is your business.  I told them that.”

Bron shot him an annoyed look just as dinner was announced.  “Saved by the dinner bell.”

“I’ll get your plate darlin’, sit and talk.”  Kevin succeeded in extricating himself from the table and the conversation.

“Weasel,” Bron muttered under her breath only to have Kaylin save her with her plea for food. 

“I’ll get it,” Kevin grabbed her hand.  “Mom needs to sit for awhile.”

“No, my Mommy will get it,” Kaylin pulled away.

Bron heard the ‘my’ and a worried look crossed her face, that was new.

Kaylin was a little upset at being separated from her playmates while dinner was set out.  Being told you had to sit and eat was getting in the way of the fun that was to be had.  When the dishes were cleared from the meal, the catered dessert was announced.  The kids had their choice but most of them watched the flaming ice cream. 

Again, Bron found herself in an uncomfortable spot, faced with Paul.  Suzie’s dad was a pushover, Paul wasn’t.  “So how did my baby sister afford such a beautiful home?  Did Blonde buy it for her?  Is she that good?”

Kevin had the sudden need for a drink.  Bron made him stay, his thirst could wait.  “I pay your sister well.  She works for me Paul, you know that.”

Nick saw the pow-wow going on and thought maybe he needed to be involved.  Kevin was not very comfortable from the way he was shifting around in his seat. 

“Seat taken?”  Nick asked as he stood next to the table. 

“Of course not, I’m just defending your girlfriend to her brother.  He thinks you bought this place for her.”

Nick’s face wrinkled up, “Yeah right. Last week I had ask her if I could borrow twenty bucks from her for gas.  She wouldn’t even lend it to me.”  Nick’s finger was now pointing in Kevin’s direction.  “I had to borrow it from him.”

Kevin needed to say something to cover for Suzie, Jane was taking care of Nick’s finances, and hence, he was on an allowance.  He would need to discuss this with Nick but not now, and not in front of her family.  “Nick, Suzie was still pissed off that you called her in the middle of the night to tell her that you had just remembered that you had forgotten to return the videos you rented when you were here last month!”

“I’m very glad to hear that,” Suzie’s father nodded.  “I raised a smart girl.  She should be careful with her money.”  Kevin watched the exchange between the two. 

“You’re her step dad right?”  Nick knew this but needed a topic besides himself to discuss.

“Yes I am.  She’s grown up so much since I started dating her mom.  Suzie was a real pisser when she was a teenager.  All that smoking and drinking drove her mom and me nuts. Fortunately, she never got into any trouble in school.”

Paul interjected, “Yeah, but only because she went to an all girls catholic high school.”

“You shittin’ me?”  Kevin looked at Bob.

Bron fumed as she kicked his leg under the table.

Kevin felt the slight pain but kept on talking, “She must have been a naughty catholic girl.”

“I wouldn’t say that,” Bob grinned and then took a sip of his beer.  “She did have her moments. When she was around 12 years old, she was always sent to the Directors office at her summer camp.  She used to lock little boys in the closet just to scare them.”

Taking a long sip of his beer, Kevin nodded, “She wouldn’t get away with that at my camp.”

“Hell no, you would’ve locked yourself in the closet with her,” Nick snickered.

Kevin stood up and Nick shut up.  Kevin just might come after him; Kevin was well on his way to getting drunk.  Kevin sat back down when Nick wilted under his gaze.

Paul chuckled at Nick’s comment then said, “Seriously, she was a good kid.  She’s the smartest one out of all of us.  Always made honor roll and was the only one of us to go to college.  But, she has her blonde moments.” 

Bron started to laugh, “You mean like when she graduated with honors but had to ask her roommates what the Latin words on her degree meant? 

Nick was laughing at both of them, knowing that they weren’t being mean spirited, just telling the truth.

“Your family treats her well Kevin,” Bob remarked.

Kevin nodded and sipped from his beer, “She’s family now.”

“Speaking of family, what is it with the cow stuff?”  Nick looked at Bron.

Bron closed her eyes and shook her head.  Paul, Kevin, and Suzie’s father broke out in laughter.  How could Nick not know, when they did, after all of this time.

“You still don’t get it?”  Bron looked at a blank-faced Nick.

“Speaking of blonde moments,” Kevin laughed.  Now they were all in tears.  “God, they are so much alike at times, it’s frightening.” 

Paul leaned closer to the table.  “It goes way back to when Suz was young, she ran on the husky side.  She was a real hef…”

Suzie's father scowled at his son, “Paul, don’t talk like that about your sister.”

Bron wasn’t saying a word, she knew it all and just had plans of leaving it alone until Suzie came over.

Dropping the traditional floral necklace around Nick’s neck.  “For you.”  Suzie stood next to Nick.

Nick turned his cheek expecting a kiss; he got one with tongue.  A lick up the entire side of his face, from A.J.

“Yuck!”  Nick wiped the spit off his face.

“Kevin, I’m stealing your wife.”  A.J. announced

“You can’t steal her but you can borrow her for a moment.”  Kevin was more than shit faced.

Bron’s smile shined, Suzie pointed at Bron and looked at Kevin.  “Don’t blame me when those words come back to haunt you.”

“Yeah really look, I just got laid and the new mattress hasn’t even been delivered yet.”  Nick was biting his tongue between his lips, he knew what he had said but he wanted to know how Bob was going to take it.  Nick didn’t dare look up at Suzie, he could feel her eyes boring into his head.

Suzie was waiting for the earth to open up and swallow her whole. 

“I’m glad somebody finally bought her a mattress.  I think she has had that one since she was in college.”  Bob nodded as he opened another beer that had been delivered to him by his wife.

Paul sat back in the chair, his hands now behind his head.  With his father saying that, it was instantaneous approval from him.  Paul signaled over to his brother Bobby that all was good

Suzie left all of them to go find A.J. and Bron to figure out what they were up too.  With those two together, it usually meant trouble for Nick.  She didn’t want any scenes, jokes, or antics tonight.

Paul, Kevin, Nick, and her father seemed to be getting along pretty well, especially with the beer flowing.

Suzie glanced around her yard noticing her nieces and nephews playing horseshoes.  She did miss her family, some days more than others.  She saw Anne and MeeMaw sitting and talking with her two sisters and her mother.  “That can’t be good,” she thought.  “Maybe I should bring over another bottle of wine.”  As she was about to go in her house, she noticed Howie, Brian, and Leighanne looking at pictures with her brother Bobby and his wife Debbie.  “Oh God, I’m so screwed,” she groaned.

Standing at her back door, she heard A.J. and Bron talking in her kitchen.  “She has to have some in here somewhere.  I know she does!”

“Where the hell could she hide it?”

There was one part of Suzie’s life that Bron didn’t know about.  Not that Bron would care but considering her history, Bron would lecture her about it.  Going around to the front door, she slowly opened it, and headed for her bedroom.  Opening her closet, she checked in the shoebox on the top shelf.  It was still there.

“Put the pot back, I won’t tell Officer Pete but only if you tell us where you hid the ice cream.”  Bron was charged; she was going to get what she needed to get through this party, come hell or high water.

Kaylin had crashed in one of the spare bedrooms from swimming most of the afternoon and evening.  It was now going on nine at night.

“Shit!”  Suzie jumped when she heard them.  Dropping the lid, she slid the box back onto the shelf and closed the door.  Leaning on the door with her hands behind her back.  Her fingers were still wrapped around the knob when she smiled.  “What pot?  I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Bron danced into the room, “Don’t lie sweetheart, I know about these things.  A.J. and I can keep a secret.”

A.J. laughed, then he grinned.  “It’s all lies that they print.  I can keep a secret.  I really can, especially for a price.”

“Assholes,” Suzie grumbled as she headed downstairs to her basement.

Without a doubt, Bron was looking for something she hadn’t had in a long time.  The one thing that she had talked about for the last week, the craving!  Making her way to the freezer, Suzie opened the lid.  “Eat till you puke.” 

“Yes!”  Bron grabbed four pints of Peanut Butter ice cream.  “Come on reformed party boy, they can keep their fruity ass drinks.  We are making the real deal.  I told you I knew she had some, she’s a closet Ben and Jerry’s junkie.”

A.J. cackled as he came up the stairs behind Bron, “Kills the munchies!”

Suzie walked outside and looked around.  She was so screwed if they said anything.  Stopping as she heard the splash of water, she was enticed to look towards the pool and grotto.  The older kids were swimming again.  The guys were now wasted, it was almost dark.  Kevin, Nick, and Paul had joined a large crowd centered around her newly installed chiminea.

Kevin’s family were on their way out the door and saying their good-byes.  The only people left were the fella, their wife’s, and girlfriends, along with Suzie’s family. 

Returning to her backyard, her brothers had the torches burning, that is when Suzie spotted strangers in her yard. 

“There she is!”  Nick ran to Suzie and grabbed her arm.  “Come on, I got something really cool for you.”

“What the hell?” she looked at the group that had formed a circle.  Suzie was twirled around by Nick.  Looking down, she was now wearing a grass skirt.  Nick pushed her to sit on the ground.  The drums began to beat and the troupe performed.

Bron and A.J. watched from the window.  “Excellent, Kevin won’t hear the blender.” Bron was hitting the buttons to the beat of the music. 

A.J. was digging around in Suzie’s cupboards.  Spotting two boxes, he pulled them out of the pantry.  “Hey Bron, I got an idea.”

“What?” she turned towards him. 

A.J. was grinning like a madman, “Think we should?”

“If Officer Pete shows up, we’re dead.”  Bron began digging for the eggs.  “Find the oil.”

The cooks began to get to work.  Bron was the one who slipped into Suzie’s bedroom, A.J. wouldn’t do it.  “It can’t be said that I was in there later, it’s a Nick thing.”

“I gotcha,” Bron winked and left.  As they sipped their milkshakes and watched the Hula dancers, they waited for the timer on the oven to go off. 

“BZZZZ, dessert is ready,” A.J. grabbed the pans from the oven.

“We have to do this on the sly A.J.  No kids,” Bron warned him.

“I’m with it, you serve the parents and kids.  I’ll do the rest of them.”  A.J. and Bron waited for the treats to cool.  Freezers were great for a fast cool down.

“Where the hell is Bron and A.J.?” Kevin was having a skirt tied around his waist by one of the younger dancers.

“I’ll take care of you,” the dancer smiled.

“Yeah and then my wife will take care of me,” Kevin pushed the young girls hand away from him.

Bron and A.J. placidly went outside.  The yard had been split as they walked around with their treats.  A.J. walked to Kevin, “You’re wife was hungry so if you don’t want her to gain twenty pounds by tomorrow, I suggest you get eating.”

Kevin pondered the tray; he had been drinking beer all day.  “I guess I’ll have to sacrifice,” he said as he grabbed two large brownies.  A.J. served Nick, Brian, and Howie, as well as Paul.

Bron was snickering, “Good party Suz, want a brownie?  They’re special. I made them just for you.” 

Suzie looked at the brownies, “Kevin is going to be mad at you.  You’re not supposed to be eating chocolate.”

“Only if he remembers.”  Bron laughed and then turned back to watch Suzie.

As Suzie was eating her brownie, Bron’s words registered.  Suzie stood with the brownie half way to her mouth.  She looked at Bron, and then around the yard to her family, who were all eating the brownies.  Dropping the brownie in her napkin, she ran into the house.  Bron knew where she was going.

Suzie came running out the back door.  Bron stopped her since she looked like she was going to have a heart attack.  “Just one pan and they aren’t being fed to your family.”

Next thing Suzie knew what was happening, there was a hand on her arm.  “Come on Suz let’s learn to hula!”  Nick ran and yanked her towards the group.

Bron took a seat in a lawn chair; A.J. joined her.  Each of them were holding a pan, just in case the wrong person, got into the wrong pan. 

Nick was moving so fast; Suzie didn’t have a chance to recoup.  At least not until it hit most of them.

Bron and A.J. sat and laughed at the antics of Howie and Kevin, who had about four brownies each, trying to learn the Mauluulu.

Bron drew the line when Kevin wanted to do the fire and knife dancing.  A.J. kept telling her to leave him alone.

“I can’t!  He might lose an important body part,” she laughed.

“What the brows?”  A.J. was enjoying the show.  Kevin toasted and drunk was better than a freak sideshow.  “To think, I was actually drunk most of the time and I missed this.  I didn’t look like that.  Did I?”  A.J. reflected on the sights and sounds in front of him and his own past behavior.

Suzie’s parents thought the guys were just a bunch a cut ups.  Paul was the only one who had figured out that they were all stoned.  Only because, he had filched from the doctored brownie pan.  “Damn good brownies sis,” he smiled.  “Columbian or Mexican?”

Suzie would have died on the spot, had Nick not pulled in for another Hula dance.

Bron led Kevin to the truck with the help of Suzie’s brother Bobby.  Thank goodness he was 6’ 4” and could bench press 250 or Bron would have had an even bigger problem.  Kaylin was already buckled up and waiting to go, still half asleep.

Suzie’s stupid grin let Bron know who had finished off the last two brownies. “Enjoy your family tomorrow.  I’m keeping my husband with me until they leave to go back out.”

“Nighty-Nite Kevy Kev,” Nick’s stoner voice kicking in. 

Kevin laughed, “I hate that peckerhead some days.  Nighty-Night Nicky.”

Bron laughed all the way home and was so grateful to have the camcorder with her.  Kevin was snoring within a half hour of getting home and into bed.  Too stoned to move and too drunk to want to.

Meanwhile, back at Suzie’s, her brother’s and sister’s took over the guest rooms while her nieces and nephews crashed on various pieces of furniture.  Hotels had been forgone since no one was in any condition to drive.  Suzie’s parents had gone back to their hotel.

Suzie and Nick settled into her bed when suddenly both were jolted awake hearing her niece, Jessica, squeal, “Oh my gawd, I can not believe I am sleeping in the same house as a Backstreet Boy!”

Suzie smiled in her drug induced state, topped off with a little too much alcohol and sang out loudly, “That’s riiiiight!”

“Don’t sing baby! You can’t sing, you suck.”  Nick’s words followed Suzie’s as well as loud laughter from all who could hear.

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