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Bron sat alone in her own home, back in New York, for the second time since she had moved to Lexington. Everything was just as she had left it. Stevie had never moved in but he did make sure that the place was taken care of. Andrew had driven them back to New York the morning of September 12. It seemed so surreal, the day before was the day that the United States of America stood still. Terrorists had attacked the country in the most horrible way, taking the innocent lives of men, women, and even children. “It’s not fair, how can they do this?” seemed to be the collective cry of the nation.
Bron thought back over the last seven days very concisely. It had been a difficult week for everyone. Bron panicked since Kevin and the Boys were in Boston. It had taken her a full day and half to get in touch with Kevin. All the circuits were jammed as loved ones tried desperately to get in touch with loved ones. Finally crying when she heard his voice on the end, they both broke down in tears simultaneously.
Kevin’s bus had been stopped at the border for the night and he tried to call her as well. Nothing seemed to work and he tried most of the night, then his phone rang, it was his wife.
Bron was relieved that Leighanne had never made her flight and she was informed that one of the team had lost his life in this horrible act of vengeance.
Bron knew this would hit Kevin pretty intensely; the crewmember was flying home to be with his wife as she was about to deliver their baby. “I’m sorry Kevin...” Bron paused, he had no idea where she was; she was calling on her cell-phone.
“It’s okay but I really don’t think that it’s such a hot idea that you are at your home and not at our home.” Kevin had been told where she was and why. That Bron had panicked because nobody was around her but Kaylin. Everyone had gone out on the tour but her, Andrew, and Bounce.
“I needed to feel safe. I want to come to Toronto but they aren’t letting planes fly and the drive, I don’t know if I could take it.”
“Stop right there, we are coming down there after the Kantana show so you stay right there. I’ll spend the night with you and the kids at your house. It would be nice to see your house. I’ve only seen pictures and video tapes of it. We’ll drive to Cleveland together in the morning. Andrew can take you guys home from there.”
“Mc’s really pissed,” Bron mumbled as she saw that Mc and Jake had pulled into her driveway as she spoke to Kevin. She never told them she was leaving; she just left. Her and her two children. “He just got here.”
“I talked to him, he’s fine and he understands why you need to be there. I have some interviews to do. I’ll call you when I’m done. I want to talk to Andrew though before you hang up.”
“He’s not here, he went to see C.W....” Bron sniffed, it seemed that her emotions wouldn’t calm unless she was talking to him and she didn’t understand the why of it. “He’s missing his dad right now.”
“You’re there by yourself?” Kevin questioned, he didn’t like the idea one bit.
“No, Mc just came in the door with Jake.” Bron heard them calling Kevin and telling him to get a move on.
“I gotta go, I’ll call you later. I love you,” Kevin hung up. He would definitely be calling when he was done.
Walking down the corridor, Kevin watched Suzie from a distance. Nick and Suzie seemed even closer now than ever. Not that it was any big shock; tragedy always brought people closer together.
Kevin and the group numbly fulfilled their obligations. Interview after interview to exhaustion.
Bron was also sitting and reminiscing over the Luau. It was a happier time. MeeMaw had a new pet pig but his name was no longer Bacon, she said that was ‘Just a terrible thing to call a pig’. Kaylin named him Wilbur because Bron and Kevin refused to let her keep the pig at home. Kevin’s words to Kaylin cleared the picture up for her. “The dogs will look at that little thing like it’s ham on the bone.”
Hearing a loud noise, Bron was startled back to the present. Her heart went to her feet as she tossed open the front door but she turned to yell behind her at the same time.
Kevin came off the bus before Keith could stop it from rolling. Kevin’s arms were open wide as she ran into them and Kaylin plowed into his legs. “Thank God! Jesus I was so scared,” he held both of them tightly. Andrew hung back until Kevin waved him on. He had missed Andrew just as much as the rest of them.
“How touching?” Keith came off the bus and joined the hug.
Kaylin had a death grip on Kevin’s legs. Reaching down, Kevin picked up the little girl. “Why are you crying?”
“I thought you were gone, like my Daddy.” Kaylin sniffed.
Bron could have sworn she heard Kevin’s heart shatter in his chest.
“I’m not going anywhere Bounce,” Kevin grabbed his wife’s hand as Andrew and Keith followed Kevin onto the large Victorian porch. “Nice place, wow look at all the roses,” he smiled. “I really like the porch.”
“Want one just like it?” Bron smiled.
“Not this year, we have enough going on, we just finished the nursery. No more remodeling this year.”
“You are no fun,” Bron led him through the French doors and into the sun parlor.
Kevin took in the house, it wasn’t perfect, it was an old farm house. Wood and stone floors; a cozy fireplace in the living room. The ceiling had wood beams that Kevin was admiring as Bron brought him a drink along with one for Keith.
Andrew was explaining the mechanics of his house and rolling his eyes at every opportunity. “It’s sort of like the mechanic’s car that never runs. Meet the house builder’s house that is never finished.”
“Andrew…” Bron warned him.
“I’m going to my room, I miss that room. I have the entire third floor to myself.” Andrew ran up the old stairs.
“Should have used some of it for the kitchen.” Kevin took in the small space as he walked into it. Three people and it would be cramped. “No wonder our kitchen is huge.”
“That’s right,” Bron smiled as she pushed by him. Kevin wasn’t relaxed yet in this place. Pictures adorned the walls. Pictures of a happy family that wasn’t his. Mc and Jake walked into the front door. Kevin paused mid-sip. “I see you do that here too.”
Mc shot him a look and Jake laughed. “He takes that ‘My Casa, you Casa’ literally.”
Kevin didn’t like the liberties that Mc took for granted some times. “Is there any place you don’t feel comfortable?”
“Jail!” Bron laughed and moved away very quickly.
“Ha ha! I have a key,” Mc looked at Kevin with a touch of smugness on his face.
“Not for long,” Kevin eyed him. “We’ll need Steve’s key too, this is our house, not yours.”
Jake glanced to Mc and Keith quickly. His eyes darted from one to the other.
Bron placed her hands on her hips. “You are very mistaken, this house is mine, all mine.”
“Well, you know what I meant,” Kevin backed it up.
“Yeah I do and Mr. Neanderthal can march his ass right back on his pretty little bus if you even think that will happen.” Bron wasn’t budging. Kevin was very good at taking things and making them his, her house wasn’t going to be one of them.
“I’m glad everything is back to normal,” Kevin grinned and bit his lip.
“Smartass,” Bron flicked him with her dishtowel as she set the table. She had made a large lunch and hoped that tonight they could just relax and go to the concert. They would sleep here and then drive to Cleveland in the morning. A funny thought had crossed her mind, she wondered if Kevin would be okay sleeping in her bed, the bed she shared with C.W. They could talk later about it, right now they were all sitting at the table waiting to be served.
Casting a speculative look at all of them, Kevin and then Mc grinned. Kevin barked, playing along. “Food woman. Now!”
“Oh you are so bad,” Bron set the roast on the table. “Keep talking and you’ll be eating peanut butter. You won’t be bringing all the food I cooked for you to take on the road with you.”
A large lunch that was the equivalent of dinner seemed to fill all of them as they sat and relaxed for the first time in over a week. Kaylin spent most of her time plastered to Kevin. He would talk and drink while she sat so close, Bron was afraid he would get upset. Kevin liked his personal space, the funny thing was, Kevin seemed to be enjoying it as much as Kaylin was.
Andrew dragged out scrapbooks, Bron groaned. She smacked him in the head when he decided finding her high school yearbook would be a great topper to the afternoon.
As they wound down, Kevin yawned. Bron squeezed his shoulder as he sat in the chair. She had been standing behind him when she leaned towards his ear. “Why don’t you go upstairs and lay down for awhile.”
Her words were no sooner out of her mouth when a car pulled in the driveway. Two elderly people came out of the vehicle. “Oh man, I’m out of here,” Andrew yelped and took off upstairs.
“Fuck,” Bron rubbed her temples as Mc stood up.
Mc looked out the window, “I’ll take care of it Spark.”
“No, don’t! You’ll just make it worse.”
Kevin watched Mc, Jake, and Bron. This was very strange; Andrew had taken off like he was shot out of cannon. “Who is that?”
“The Outlaws,” Bron grumbled as she pulled a bottle of Tylenol down from the refrigerator.
“Do you have a headache?” Kevin looked concerned. Bron hadn’t taken anything since she found out she was pregnant. It would have to be something serious if she was.
“Not yet, but I will have one, here two for you too. Anyone else?” Bron held the bottle out.
When Mc and Jake joined her, Kevin became worried. “I think my nap has just been cancelled.”
“No, you go rest.” Bron shook her head, as they entered the front door.
“Does anyone you know knock?” Kevin shook his head.
They came in without an introduction and sat down. The older man looked at Kevin, “So you’re responsible for this mess?”
“Ahhhh,” Bron looked at them. “That was rude. This is Kevin, Kevin meet George and Linda.”
Standing up, Kevin journeyed over to them and shook their hands. “It’s nice to meet Kaylin’s grandparents. I’ve heard so much about you.”
The woman’s face soured up at him, “Do you go to church?”
Kevin could Bron’s fingers pressing into his lower back. “I do when I can, I’d be in serious trouble if I didn’t, since my brother is a preacher.”
“Oh, he is,” The woman’s eye’s were absolutely glowing at him.
“We didn’t appreciate the fact that Bron just up and moved without telling us for a long time where she was.” The man observed Kevin taking a seat. “We understand that Bron has returned to her old ways so I guess we should have expected as much.”
Kaylin was sitting next to Kevin, leaning down he whispered something in her ear and she went out the front door. Lazily his gaze went to Mc who stood up and walked out. Kevin wasn’t sure what to tell these people. They had made his wife sound like a hooker or something. He could understand why they had so many problems in the past, these people had mind set and weren’t shy about it. Andrew came into the room, he did not acknowledge them, nor did they him.
Sitting back in his seat, Kevin waited as Andrew lingered. “Aren’t you going to say hi to your grandparents?”
“They’re not my grandparents,” Andrew looked around for someone or something. Hearing Kaylin outside, he followed her voice out the door.
“I see,” Kevin nodded at them. “So why is that?”
“He’s adopted,” the woman looked at Kevin blankly, like he should know better.
Kevin was picking his thumbnail when a long sigh came out of him. “It’s a good thing I don’t feel that way about either of the kids.” Kevin saw Mc’s shadow as Mc sat on the porch outside. The window was open; no doubt, Mc was listening in.
“How could you take up with a hippie and that thing that resembles a man that just walked out of here? My son would be rolling in his grave.” The man looked directly a Bron with a pure look of revulsion on his face.
“The reason my son is in that grave is because of your friends.” The woman virtually hissed at Bron
Kevin’s hands went up in the air for all of them to stop. Keith mumbled the bus needed cleaning. Jake didn’t budge as Keith skidded out the door.
“Back it up!” Kevin looked at all of them. Bron had yet to say a word. It didn’t look like she was going to defend herself to them either.
“Look at you; pregnant and all. C.W. told us couldn’t have anymore children. I guess you lied to him.”
Bron’s mouth slowly fell open, then slowly closed. The tears were right there and she was fighting them. She didn’t want these people to reduce her too tears once again.
Kevin slid his chair out and walked to the kitchen. Leaning on the fridge, he took a minute to gather his words. “I guess it’s a good thing that C.W. isn’t here. From everything that I have heard about the man, he sure as hell wouldn’t be letting you get away with talking to her that way.” Kevin was now pointing to Bron. “I would walk very carefully if I were you. If you ever want to see your granddaughter again.” Kevin waited for the ashen looks to leave their faces before he continued. “To know that you don’t like Bron and never have is not a problem for me. However, if you interfere with her relationships with her family and me, I will forbid you from seeing Kaylin.”
“You can’t do that, you have no legal rights.” The woman stood up.
“Not yet I don’t, not yet.” Kevin watched the two of them stand up and slide their chairs in under the table. “I don’t want any more problems today….” Kevin’s gaze turned to Bron. “You’ve upset my wife, please leave.” They marched out the door as Bron ran away from Kevin and up the stairs.
Kevin took a swig of water from his bottle. “Oh I don’t think C.W. would have liked this.”
Jake sat shaking his head, “You surprised them. C.W. tossed them out many times for treating her like that. I just can’t believe they dragged the baby into this.”
Kevin drained his bottle of water, then spoke, “They blame Bron and Mc for their son’s death. I won’t have them turning Kaylin on her.”
Mc walked in the door with a smile, “Ya did good. You held your own. In a couple of weeks, they will call and apologize and ask to see Kaylin up here.”
“They won’t get to,” Kevin closed the French doors and headed up the stairs to find his wife. It wasn’t too hard, he could hear the weeping at the top of the stairs, he just had to follow it.
Opening the door, he took in the room with the queen size four-poster bed. It wasn’t half as lavish as what they had, but it was a nice room. Kevin sat down and waited for her to talk. When she didn’t he leaned over and kissed her on the temple. “They’re gone and so are their nasty words. When I get off tour, we are going to do some thinking about some things.”
Setting the bottle down, he lay down on the bed. Stretching his arm out, he waited for her to roll into him. When she did, his arms wrapped around and squeezed. “Where’s my little pit bull? You let the bullies beat you up. That’s not like you darlin’”
Sniffing Bron dead-pan, “They aren’t bullies they’re junkyard dogs.”
“They’re gone and we are going to the show, as a family. Then we’re going to come home and make love all night in this big old bed of yours.”
Bron frowned at him, “You don’t mind?”
Kevin laughed, “Bron, it’s not my bed but at least the damn thing isn’t thumping over the pavement.” Sitting up, he asked where the shower was. Bron’s face was lily white when she replied.
Kevin swore all the way down the hall. “Assholes,” he grumped as he found it and took some of his agitation out in the form of grumbling to himself in the shower.
“I’m going to talk to Jake about this baby shower. She’s going to need something when she gets home to buck her up. Thank God my brother can not keep a secret for long,” Kevin thought out loud while in the shower.
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