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Tim hurried to the barn. He watched the door, he watched the kids, but mostly he watched his clueless baby brother play with his daughter and her friends. Kevin was unconscious as to what was going on with his wife. Tim checked his watch several times, now he was worried.
When they were dunking for apples from a huge metal tub, Tim had his chance. Kevin was showing the younger ones how to dunk for apples. Once blindfolded, Kevin stuck his head under the water. A hand on the back of his neck held him there until he used all of his height and weight to pull himself out of the tub.
Tim didn’t let him up. When Kevin did come up, he was sputtering and gasping for air. Whipping off the fake wig he was wearing, the majority of his make-up had washed off.
A towel was tossed in face. Kevin wiped his face off and then lashed out at Tim. He had some choice words to say but none of them appropriate for the age of the audience that surrounded him.
“Missing anything?” Tim grinded his teeth together as Nick joined them. The commotion had attracted both Suzie and Nick to the two Richardson men.
“The ice cream,” Kevin groaned.
Nick stepped closer to Kevin. “Where the hell is Bron? These kids are killing me.” Nick’s body shook as another child slammed into his legs at full force. Beat up the wolf seem to be the game.
Kevin shrugged, “With MeeMaw and my Mom.”
“Nooooo,” Tim’s eyes grew wide. “She’s up at the house fighting off labor so she can sing Happy Birthday, twice. Once for Kaylin and once for you, you big ass.”
“Well if you’re in labor I don’t think you would really be in the mood to sing...” Kevin was gone as it sunk in; the towel was flung to the barn floor.
Tim clapped his hands together, “Halleluiah!”
“WITCH! BRONWYN! WITCH!” Kevin ran screaming to the house as he pulled at the costume. Most of his costume was being discarded on the way to the house.
Anne turned to Tracy, “I knew I should’ve have sent Jerald. Tim has a big mouth.”
“Aw shit, here we go, now he’s going to go ape-shit. I swear, I think he was two steps short of mapping this out and running it like a fire drill.” Bron wanted it all to go away.
“Most likely. Jake put your bag in the truck for you already dear.” Anne would maintain control of this and hoped to maintain control of Kevin. By the sounds of his shouting, he had lost it already.
“What the hell are you doing? Not telling me you’re in labor!” Kevin was yelling as he ran through the house. The balanced of Kevin’s costume was being torn off as he replaced his clothing with street clothes.
They all sat and watched Kevin run around like a chicken with his head cut off. Every time he ran into the kitchen, he had a smart remark for Bron. “Are you stupid? Have you lost your mind? You’re a damn nutcase.”
Bron waited and then turned to Tracy, “He’s going to go get my bag and his book. It won’t be there.”
“Where the hell is the fucking bag? I told you to leave it by the nursery door!” Kevin’s voice came out of the speaker on the intercom in the kitchen.
Bron sat back, “I was doing just fine until you guys butted in.” Bron hissed from the pain, not anger. Bron glared at Tim who had come up from the barn after Kevin. “You couldn’t just let it go, Could you?”
Anne set the dishtowel down after drying her hands. “Tim, help Bron to the truck while I calm your brother down. Take Bron down to the barn.”
“The barn?” Tim cried.
“Do what your Mama says boy,” MeeMaw commanded and her grandkids jumped.
Anne went upstairs to calm her baby boy down. Stopping at the top of the landing, she watched. Kevin was checking each room, searching for the bag. “Honey, calm down. Bronwyn’s bag is in the truck. Tim is taking her down to the barn. We’ll sing happy birthday and then you’ll leave for the hospital. I’ll have Suzie and Nick take Kaylin after the party is over. Andrew can stay here. He can help Tim and Tracy with the kids, and help me clean up. Don’t worry about anything. I called Gabe for you too.”
Kevin was still standing there when Anne barked at him. The classic brain freeze going on with him. “MOVE IT KEVIN!”
Kevin ran down the stairs, he was moving so fast he couldn’t corner the dining room so he went right out the front door. Rounding the house he headed for the barn.
Bron was explaining to Kaylin what was going on.
“I want to go with you, I want to see the baby born,” Kaylin was throwing a fit just as Kevin ran into the barn, winded as hell.
Kaylin pulled from her Mother’s grasp and ran to Kevin, “Daddy I want go too! It’s my party, my sister is going to be born at my party, she’s my present.”
Bron groaned, “Oh God, not the present shit again.”
“Bounce, you can’t go, but I will call you and Andrew will bring you to see mommy and the baby.” Kevin picked her up and hugged her. The present remark did make him smile. He set her back down on the ground.
“You promise?” Kaylin kicked at the dirt.
“I promise,” Kevin gave her kiss and his cell phone. “You keep that, I’ll call you first.”
“Okay,” Kaylin struck her hand out for handshake.
Kevin laughed as he shook her hand, so business like sometimes.
“How cool, my sister is coming everybody!” Kaylin yelled. Yelled loud enough that Bron was sure they heard her all the way in town.
Bron groaned as all eyes turned on her, she shrugged her shoulders and took a deep breath. Kevin stood beside her and they sang the fastest two rounds of happy birthday known to man.
“I will call you. You’re going to stay with Uncle Nick and Aunt Suzie! I love you baby!” Kevin shouted.
“I love you Daddy!” Kaylin was now perched on Nick’s shoulders. Suzie was spitting pop out of her mouth, since this was the first she had heard of this. Well not exactly the first time, but she hadn’t planned on this happening tonight. In about three weeks, she was expecting company. In her mind, she had made other plans for tonight, now that Nick was here.
Kevin ran to the truck to see Jake in the driver’s seat and ready to go. Mc was in the passenger seat. “Why are you going? Jake is her substitute coach.” Kevin questioned Mc as he helped Bron into the truck.
Mc grinned into the backseat, “It wasn’t possible without me.”
“Damn,” Bron groaned and clutched the seat. “Let’s go please, you two can fight later.” Bron whimpered, “This hurts.”
“You’ve been through labor before’ you’re the one who didn’t want meds, had to have the bathtub.” Kevin sat next to her, silently happy that Jake was driving, he didn’t think he could.
“I’ve never been through this before, at least not to this degree,” Bron dug her nails into his thigh.
“What the hell are you talking about? You had Kaylin.” Kevin tried to remove the manacle fingers that was de-skinning his thigh
Mc and Jake were highly amused as they exchanged grins.
“Kaylin was born by Cesarean Section you jerk. It was planned well in advance so I wouldn’t go into labor because of all the problems I had carrying her and I was on bed-rest.” Bron clamped her jaw down when the only thing that came from Kevin was the question, “Does Gabe know about this?”
After Bron punched him in the arm, she felt much better. The fact that a very loud ‘ouch’ came from him, made it sweeter.
The ride was too quiet even for Kevin, Bron wasn’t talking and he couldn’t see well in the truck. Minutes ticked off as they neared the hospital.
Kevin turned the overhead light on in the truck, causing Jake to squint. He looked at Bron. “Don’t squish your face up like that, you’re creating more tension in your muscles, it’ll just make the pain worse.”
Mc and Jake were trying very hard not to listen but Kevin’s remarks weren’t helping. Doctor Richardson had begun to practice, in the backseat.
“Okay breathe deep... ” Kevin watched Bron and frowned. “No, no, not like that, like this.” Kevin showed her the proper way.
“JAKE!” Bron barked.
“I’m getting you there, don’t blame me,” Jake made a sharp right and drove into the hospital parking lot. If he heard Kevin going, “he- he- he,” one more time he was going to piss his pants.
Mc was the first one out of the truck and heading for the emergency room, coming back out with a nurse and a wheelchair. “Doc Gabe is waiting for you Spark,” Mc informed her.
“Jake, keep the press away, you know what you have to do,” Kevin grabbed Bron’s bag and his tattered book.
Things seemed to calm down for Bron once she was inside. On the way up to the floor in the elevator, she looked at Kevin, “I think it’s false labor, let’s go home.”
“According to the book, it’s not,” Kevin leaned on the wall.
The nurse giggled slightly, “First baby?”
“For the idiot standing there, yes,” Bron pushed back into the chair.
A sudden craving of wanting a cigarette and a shot of tequila seemed to tickle her fancy. “I wish I had had a smoke before I came.”
“You don’t smoke anymore,” Kevin looked at her like she was crazy.
“True, I don’t smoke anymore. I don’t drink anymore either and you don’t have sex anymore. You can bank on that one.”
The nurse liked these two. She was hoping that she would get to stay with them. When they reached the floor, she was happy to find out that she would be staying with them. She had been requested by Doctor Galloway to stay with the Richardson’s, she looked down at the chart, “Aretha Franklin?”
Kevin started to grin, “I’m Otis Redding.”
“I see that,” the nurse gave them a smile. She knew who they were. “Let’s go Mr. and Mrs. Richardson.”
“Shhh, you’ll blow our cover. He was supposed to be Marvin Gaye, but he didn’t like that one.” Bron laughed.
“I think Kaylin blew our cover baby,” Kevin walked along next to them as the entered one of the suites.
“This is all yours until the little one arrives. I’m Cory by the way and I’m here for the duration at Doctor...”
“At my request,” Gabe lumbered into the room. “Cory is some what new, so they haven’t tainted her yet.” Gabe laughed at the young woman. “She knows who you are and has been sworn to secrecy.”
“It doesn’t matter. Kaylin just let half of Lexington know.” Kevin rattled on and on as Bron changed and Gabe checked to see how far she had to go. “I even gave her my cell phone.” Stopping, Kevin turned to Bron, “I hope Cole doesn’t call.”
“Kevin you can be quiet now.” Gabe winked at Cory. “Okay, Bron you are doing pretty good. You are just about five centimeters. You’re in active labor, I hope it won’t be much longer.”
“Five? That’s all?” Bron looked at her physician.
“That’s all. You should get up and move around, it’ll do you some good. Practice all the techniques you learned, it will come in handy.”
“I could walk home, that would make me feel much better.”
“Not me,” Kevin shrugged.
Cory snickered as Gabe went out into the hall with her. “She has some time but she might move quickly into Transition. I want to check something out, so stay close to them until I get back. I put a call into an anesthesiologist for an Epidural, but if he gets here tell him to wait for me first. She doesn’t want one but I think she is going to need it. I would rather use that than anything else.” Gabe scratched the side of his head. Something was off, not right, and she was three weeks early.
Gabe looked down the hall for the person he was looking for. “If Kevin gets on you, just tell him I went out for dinner.” The old man laughed as he went down the hall. “I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Jason!” Gabe called to the man he was looking for. “I need a consult.”
“Need any help?” Kevin was there to offer Bron anything she needed.
“No, don’t touch me,” Bron pushed his hand away.
“Sorry,” Kevin wasn’t upset, he had expected this, “The book says that some women act funny during labor and they don’t want to be touched, so I won’t touch you, okay?”
Bron’s eyes narrowed at him, Cory was sneaking a peek from behind the door, not sure if she should enter. “Kevin, stick your book up your ass... Okay?”
“Don’t mind her, she’s usually not like this.” Kevin made a polite excuse.
“Don’t listen to him, he lies... Ahhh,” Bron hissed loudly.
Clearing her throat, Cory came to Bron’s side. “Active labor hurts, the doctor ordered an Epidural for you. They tell you it’s a pain you won’t forget, I don’t buy it. Use the Epidural. It rules out laboring in the tub, but you don’t feel it anyway.”
“She said she didn’t want any drugs,” Kevin answered for Bron. Bron was still recovering from her last contraction.
“I might re-think that honey,” Bron looked at Kevin in obvious pain.
“I’m glad to hear that.” Kevin shook his head.
“Hold my hand Lurch,” Bron offered the hand that Cory wasn’t sticking a needle into.
“You aren’t gonna bite me are you?” Kevin had seen the look before that she was wearing and he didn’t trust it.
“Would I do that?” Bron’s eyes rolled from Cory sticking her.
Bron’s lips pursed, “I wish Mary was here, it doesn’t hurt when she does it.”
“Sorry, just let me get this hooked up. You’re pre-registered so all the paperwork is taken care of. I’ll be checking every few minutes. If you need anything push the call button. Are you comfortable?”
Bron squinted at the girl, her mouth opened, and Kevin’s hand covered it. “Don’t ask Miss Cory, unless you want the truth.”
“I’ll be right back,” Cory patted the side of the bed. “The I.V. is just for fluids, it will keep you strong during all the pushing.”
“I like her, but she should lay off the Mary Sunshine shit,” Bron sat up. “I want to walk around, even if it’s just in here.”
Once she began to walk, Bron felt better; the contractions didn’t seem as bad. Kevin was watching the clock as Cory checked in every few minutes on them. After forty minutes, Gabe came in.
“Where have you been?” Kevin sat on the bed while Bron leaned down with her butt parked between his legs. Kevin was rubbing her back; it seemed to help her.
“Checking something out. How are you Bron?”
“I hate Kevin, he’s never touching me again.” Bron’s quiet voice came from under a washcloth she was holding on her face.
“Doing fine I see. Let’s take a look.”
A long cleansing breath helped Bron calm down. “I really do not like this.”
“I’m sorry,” Kevin mumbled.
“Will you stop apologizing. You are getting annoying.” Bron look would have split a lesser man in half.
“Yes dear,” Kevin smirked at her and mouthed, “I’m sorry.”
Bron laughed at him, her emotions were everywhere. First, she was cranky and hurting and then something strange would happen to her and she became happy again.
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