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Chapter 15

Bron braced herself: it was Sunday, the onslaught was coming.  She was sipping her coffee watching Anne and Bounce get ready for church.  Andrew was still sleeping when Bron begged off saying she was going to work.  Anne frowned at her and reminded her it was Sunday.  Bron smiled as they walked out the door, “No rest for the wicked Anne.”

Yesterday could not have been any worse.  She managed to get into three arguments with Frank, and a physical fight at the job site.  Her temper definitely got the better of her.  If Frank’s wasn’t usurping her authority, then his son Chris was trying to ask her out for a date.  Things didn’t get better when the fight broke out.  Mc broke it up by promptly slamming her to the ground.  Bron had made the decision right then and there that Kentucky dirt didn’t taste any different then her own dirt.  She picked herself up and she became aware of how stupid she had been. 

Bron prided herself on maintaining her cool at work.  But when a complete stranger stands back and calls her best friend a derogatory name, her business manners left.  The shock on the man’s face couldn’t be missed, he had just been hit square in the jaw by a woman.  A little woman, who was his boss.  Confusion set in and he didn’t know whether to return the blow or walk away.  It was Chris, Frank’s son, who convinced him that if he wanted to keep his job, he had better walk away.  Bron on the other hand would have kept using the man as a punching bag if she had had the chance.  Too bad Mc showed up and she was tossed to the ground.

The only excuse she could provide Mc for her lack of manners was that the man, named William, had called Jake the ‘N word’ as Bron called it.  She couldn’t even say it herself, it made her stomach turn.  Mc shook his head as he chastised her reminding her that this was a new place, new people, and not everyone thought like they did.

Frank had offered to fire the guy since he was one of his crew.  William was out of place, he should put his personal feelings aside if he wants a paycheck.  Bron laughed since Frank didn’t put his own feelings aside where she was concerned.  Mc said no that William could stay but he was to stay away from Bron and Jake.  By now Bron was fuming and asked Mc to take a walk.  She yelled at him, he yelled at her.  Bron wanted him gone.  Mc didn’t.  William stayed, Mc said Bron had done a very good job about making another enemy and if he was here then he could keep on eye on him.  Mc’s parting sentences stuck in her head for the remainder of the day.  “Jake makes four of you, he doesn’t need protecting.  Don’t embarrass your husband.”

“Ewww,” Bron groaned she had temporarily forgotten about him.  “I’m in deep shit with him.  If this gets out, he’ll hit the ceiling.” 

“Who are you talking too?”  Mc asked as he made his way into the kitchen.

“Myself,” as she sat at the table.  “Don’t you knock?  This isn’t your house.”

“Well I would have but since Anne is outside talking to a sheriff, I figured I would come and get you.  He wants to see you.”  Mc snarled at her.

“Oh no,” Bron groaned.

“Oh yes, come on.  Let’s see if we can get you out of this mess.”  Mc waved her to follow him.

Bron walked out of the house to see Anne chatting away with an officer about Kevin’s age.  Slowly she approached unsure of why he was here.

“Can I help you?”  Bron inquired.

“Yes Ma’am, I’m Kevin’s neighbor, Pete.  I thought I would drop by and introduce myself,” as he offered his hand.

“Hi I’m Bronwyn and I’m Kevin’s contractor,” she smiled as she carefully turned her head to Anne. 

Anne just shook her head as she continued to the other side of the driveway to leave.  She knew that Bron didn’t want anyone to know she had married Kevin.  It was a respect problem with the woman.

“I heard you had a little trouble out there yesterday,” he grinned.

“Nothing I couldn’t handle,” Bron spoke not aware of how much Pete knew.

“I would say that you handled William pretty well.  He’s still not sure if he was actually punched in the face by a woman.  I explained to him that he could file assault charges.”

“Listen, I apologized to the man.  I was way out of line.  He overstepped the line himself.” Bron spoke in a monotone voice showing no emotion.

Jake had ambled out of the house and stood behind Bron.  He nodded to Pete who nodded back. 

Pete grinned.  “I explained that to him.  Do me a favor, please try not to let it happen again. ”

“Thank you,” Bron replied. 

“Not a problem and remember I’m Kevin’s neighbor, we went to school together.  I’ve been keeping an eye out on his place for him.  If you need anything give me a ring.”

“I will,” Bron grinned.

The three of them watched as the squad car pulled out of the drive.  “Way to go Mrs. Cooper,” Mc Sneered at her.  “Meet your new neighbor.”

“Shut up,” as she headed back in the house.  She came back out with her keys.  “Let’s go,” she uttered as she climbed in Mc’s truck. 

On the way out plans, were finished for moving Bron’s stuff down while Kevin was in Mexico City.  Mc was going to file the paperwork for the new property tomorrow.  The Bailey house would be flattened by noon.  A pole barn would be erected to store equipment and machinery.  Mc handed her the specs he had looked up previously and they agreed.  Bron ordered the materials a week ago and they would arrive by one in the afternoon.  The barn would be up in four or five days. 

Mc was pulling onto the dirt road to the house when he asked, “When’s Kevin coming home?”

“He was going to come home today but he has to re-do a photo shoot,” Bron replied as she climbed out of the truck.  “I guess tomorrow, I was asleep when he called last night.”

Mc laughed and so did Jake, “That was convenient.”

Bron laughed as well, “Sure was, come on let’s board the third floor.  I don’t want him to see it.”

Mc nodded as Hank and J.D. pulled up.  “Let’s get to work guys,” he smiled.

The work went swiftly as well as the day.  Bron had succeeded on boarding up the third floor so Kevin couldn’t get to it even if he did figure it out.  Before she did she surveyed it.  It was perfect.  The rooms were almost complete.  Mc had even made sure that the electronics and furniture were in place before they boarded the entrance up.  Mc had laughed at her for doing the job half ass backwards wanting the third floor finished so quickly.  He also knew the point was that Kevin not get access to it and she needed a place to work.  Once Kevin left for Mexico City, the boards would be removed.

Bron walked through the house with a smile on her face.  They were dry walling the first and second floors.  The second floor containing no less than ten bedrooms.  Kevin had eight but with rearranging the bottom floor she squeezed two more rooms out.  Bron was baffled as to why he would want that many bedrooms in the first place but as far as she was concerned it suited her purpose. 

She strolled down the hall to their bedroom and smiled when she walked in.  Hank and J.D. were working on her special project.  They were the only ones allowed to know besides Andrew. 

Her grin grew as she watched them basically laughing at her in a good natured way.  “Bron, Kevin does not know about this does he?”  Hank Chuckled.

“Noooo,” Bron grinned.

“Didn’t think so,” he laughed.

“It’s not everyday that a woman builds an alter to a God,” J.D laughed.

Bron took the teasing as she laughed with them, “You’re just jealous J.D.”

“Not really Bron, I’m a married man,” he snickered.  “Are you going to paint the ceiling above it with that fancy paint job?”

Bron’s smile filled the room.  She had hired a friend of hers to do the project.  They had ran through a million ideas before they went back to the original one.  “It’s called  Trompe l’oeil J.D. and yes I am.  She’s going to start it as soon as Kevin leaves.”  She then headed to their master bathroom and surveyed the fixtures.  She almost purred when she saw her tub.  Climbing into it, she sat and looked out the frosted glass of the garden window.  It was perfect, it didn’t get any better than this as she looked at the scenery outside.  Mc called to her as he came in the room.  She heard him snicker at J.D. and Hank and make an objectionable comment about the ‘Shrine Richardson’ as he called it. 

He sauntered into the bathroom and looked at her sitting in an empty tub.  “That works better with water.”

“No kidding,” Bron replied mockingly.

Mc surveyed the built in Jacuzzi that you could hold a party in.  The walk in tiled shower with a glass block wall circling half way around it for privacy.  Porcelain sinks and state of the art faucets with a country charm.  Everything that she had put in the house was top notch and the best.  She had thought out each change thoroughly before hand.  “You did a good job Spark.  The man is going to come home and never want to leave.”

Bron eased herself out of the tub, “Don’t say that Mc, us together all the time is not good.”  She walked out of the bathroom to hear Hank and J.D. talking about Kevin’s plane ride to Vegas.  J.D. was questioning him about Kevin.  Bron cleared her throat and the talking stopped.

Bron turned and began to walk out the door.  “I want the door installed and locked before we leave today.  Nobody gets into this room but us.”

Bron headed to the downstairs and ran into Frank and Chris.  “What are you doing here?” she questioned both of them.  Jake appeared immediately out of thin air hearing her speak.

“Catchin’ up on some stuff,” Frank grumbled.  He was behind and knew it.  Yesterday had been a waste.  Mrs. Cooper had handed him a list a mile long of screw-ups.  Even he had to admit that the list was long but did need to be addressed.  His workers were getting sloppy and he knew that she wouldn’t stand for it.

Bron looked at both of them, “You are a little behind and don’t even think about billing me for today either.”  Walking into the kitchen, she surveyed what was left to be done.  The tile had been set on the walls and the heat had been installed in the floors.  Bron and Mc came up with a way to heat the entire house using radiant heat and a passive heating system involving a heat pump.  Mc laughed at her idea until he saw it drawn up in the plans.  Using the earth’s energy to heat the entire house.  Once into the idea, it took off for both of them, they ran with it.

Bron was carefully stepping over the mechanics of the floor when she heard someone come up behind her.  She turned and looked at Jake.

“Keeping Eco man happy.”

“Hey if it works, I’m all for it,” she grinned. 

“Wait until he figures out he lost his little island and wine chiller,” Jake laughed.

“He didn’t loose his little wine chiller,” Bron shrugged.  “It’s over there,” as she pointed to the newly installed commercial refrigerator.  “Like Kevin needs wine any way.”

“Amazing the man gets to keep all of his toys too,” Jake laughed.

“Yep and then some,” she grinned.  Bron began checking measurements for the floor installation.  The stone for it was picked up from the property that the house stood on.  Re-checking the specs she heard her name called.

“Yes Chris,” she answered as she stared at her tablet.

“Umm about yesterday, William is really sorry.”

“Not a problem, just keep him away from me.”

“We will.... I was wondering what you were doing for dinner tonight.”

Bron groaned, not this again, she said in her head.  “Chris I told you I’m married and I don’t date,” as she raised her eyes to glower at him.  Enough was enough this guy doesn’t know what no means.  Must be that Kentucky breeding she muttered to herself, they’re all like this.

“Well you look kind of lonely...  I haven’t seen your husband around... ”  Chris was going to push.  Mrs. Cooper was a smart woman.  His attraction for her grew in the last two days to something of a mission to at least be alone with the woman.

Inhaling deeply she decided that the game playing would stop here and now.  “Chris I am not lonely.  I just left my husband.  We were on vacation for the last few weeks.”  Oh, you are such a little liar Bron she thought to herself.  “If you even think that I would go anywhere alone with you, you’re are crazy.  I know your type Chris, I’ve been in the business a long time.  Persuasion is the name of the game, but then you aren’t going to get the chance.  Find someone else to pursue Chris, I’m very married, my husband would not approve.”

Jake raised both eyebrows at the man and Chris finally left, not to pleased either.

“Jake that wasn’t called for,” Bron looked at him.

“Kevin wouldn’t mind,” Jake answered anchored to his spot.

Bron shook her head as she left the kitchen to check the rest of the ground floor.  Jake following behind her.  The living room was fine and coming along nicely.  Bron had the hardest time conceiving this room.  It was huge and partially sunken.  She shuddered, she hated it.  You could play football in the damn thing.  Everything was over scaled and large.  A hulking fireplace looming on the other end of the room.  A mantle made of granite resting on top.  It spoke to her, loud and clear.  Kevin’s making a statement, large and intimidating.  My house, a la Richardson. 

“I have no idea what to do with that fireplace Jake.  Anything I put up there is going to be dwarfed by this room.”  She grumbled and took off for the bathrooms and dining room to check them. 

As she stepped by one of the bathrooms she saw Chris talking on his cell as he was working.  Her mouth fell open hearing what he had just said.  He was talking about her to whoever he was speaking to, he had said her name. 

I didn’t hear that shit just say he wants me to wrap my thighs around his eyes.  Oh you little fucker she thought.  I hear a lot in this job but you are just really pushing me.  Bron stepped back from the door listening to the balance of the conversation.  She was listening to him telling the other person exactly what he wanted to do to her.  Jake had joined her and his eyes rolled as much as Bron’s.  Bron waived Jake back down the hall.  “Jake ignore him, he doesn’t have the guts.  Evidentially we had a miscommunication in the kitchen.  He’s just an idiot.”

“He’s just going to keep asking me and I’ll keep telling him no.  Don’t worry about it,” Bron pursed her lips together.

“I’m not,” Jake answered her.

“Are we cool with this Jake?”  Bron asked.

Jake knew Bron was asking him not to repeat anything he had heard.  It was harmless banter as far as he was concerned and Chris would just continue to be shot down by Bron anyway.  “Yeah I’m cool.”

“Okay let’s go home.  I’m starved and tired.  Besides I want to know if Anne wants to help decorate some of these rooms.  I can’t do it myself.  Maybe she knows why the man needs so many bedrooms.”

Jake called through the house, “Quittin’ time.”

Frank and Chris were shown the door and the house was locked up.  On the ride back Bron inquired the where abouts of Stevie.  The answered she received was silence, better known as it’s none of your business.

“I guess this day was better than yesterday, nothing could be as bad as yesterday...” she spoke to her two buddies.





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