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The boys rolled into the house one by one. Bron was glum when Mary didn’t come she was with A.J.’s grandmother who had become ill. A.J. was going to leave first thing in the morning and head back home. He was only coming to check out the new studios and home of the record label.
Three times she called them for dinner and nobody showed up. She stomped upstairs and found them all messing around in the studio singing off the wall songs and playing with the equipment.
“Okay gentlemen, I’m so happy you like your new toys, but dinner is getting cold and I’m getting hot.” She stood in the doorway. She watched Nick, Howie, A.J, and Brian fly past her and downstairs. Kevin sat at the soundboard, “Kevin come on.”
He didn’t acknowledge her nor move. Walking up behind him, she placed her hands on his shoulders and gently rubbed. “What’s wrong?”
He shrugged his shoulders not offering her an answer. She wrapped her arms around his neck and leaned on his back. One hand tucked the stray hairs behind his ear. “Are you angry with me?”
“No,” as he studied the controls in front of him. The blues had permeated him after a remark that Nick had made. He was hiding his feelings rather well until he saw her. Kevin had told them about the shirt clause that he had signed earlier. A.J. cackled no way in hell would he sign anything even close to that for any woman, not even Mary.
Nick had told him that he was one of the luckiest people he knew because he had Bron. She would do anything for him, she would fight for him, fight next to him, and had enough sense not to take Kevin’s ego seriously. She was learning to handle the freaky side of Kevin just as well, Nick laughed. It was the last part that bothered him the most and brought on the doldrums. Nick had said it was a shame that the entire world couldn’t see how happy Kevin was. “Nick said something to me today.”
Placing her head next to his, “Do I need to go downstairs and kick his ass for upsetting you?”
Kevin chuckled, Nick was right she would stand up to him, next to him, and for him. “No, he just said that it’s a shame people can’t see how happy I am.”
“Ohhh, Kevin, I’m not ready for that. I need to get my life together. I told you I was scared. I don’t want you guys to be dragged through the dirt with me.”
“You don’t know if that would happen, you’re assuming.”
“Okay it’s a safe assumption, but when will it be the right time,” as he turned to look at her with watery eyes.
“I don’t know... It’s just that...”
“Bron we have to figure something out. I’m not going to go on like this.” As he stood up and left.
She let him go and headed to her office. In her wildest dream she never thought this was something he would want to blast to the world. He was always so private, so secretive. She sat at her computer reading and writing. She did pull down the last chapter of Night Train like he had asked. She was doing the re-write when Kaylin came in. Glancing at her watch, dinner was over hours ago. It didn’t matter these days most of what she ate left a few minutes later.
“Mommy, are you okay?” as she came around the desk.
“Yes,” as she patted her lap for her to sit.
“Did you and Kevin have a fight?”
“Hmm, no, not really. Come on it’s time for bed.” Bron shut the computer down and turned off the lights.
Crawling into the big white canopy bed together, they began to read together. Bron noticed the infamous Carter sheets still on the bed and wondered if Kevin knew about it or had just forgotten. Bounce drifted off and Bron slipped out of the room quietly.
Heading to bed herself, she assumed the boys would be partying most of the night with Suzie and Gillian. She wasn’t in a party mood. Climbing into bed, she fell into a deep sleep swiftly. Waking up hours later she discovered that Kevin had indeed finally came to bed. Closing her eyes, she drifted back to sleep.
Kevin crept silently out of the room early in the morning. Today he was going to make her breakfast, he felt guilty about what he had said to her the night before. He knew things had to be worked out first with her case before she would want one single outsider to know. He was sitting on the fence and depending who said what, he would lean one way or the other.
Making breakfast, he headed upstairs to find her yet again sick to her stomach. Now his feelings were more than mixed. If she was that upset over just him questioning it, it wasn’t worth it. Setting the tray down he waited for her. He looked at her, he couldn’t explain it but she looked wilted to him, totally rung out.
Kaylin shuffled in and figured his plans were just shot to hell. Looking at her he knew she didn’t look good either. She sat next to him on the bed and he could feel the heat radiating off her.
Bron looked at her and her hand touched her face, “Kevin go get me a thermometer.”
Bron moved over and made room for Kaylin as Kevin went in search of a thermometer. Finding it, he brought it to her. Kaylin opened her mouth and they waited. Hearing the beep Kevin grabbed for it. “One hundred and two, that’s it everyone is out of here today, my women are sick.”
Kevin left the room to let the guys know the flu was alive and well in his house. Reservations were re-worked as everyone left early. None of them wanted or could afford the time off for the flu. Seeing the studio was the main objective and none of them wanted to spend their precious time off sick.
Over the next several days Kevin played nursemaid to his ailing family. He had arranged for Suzie to get a place not far from them. A place of her own that she could go and have some peace and quiet away from them. Both of them under the understanding, she loved working for them but she wasn’t going to live with them.
Bron would smile when he would check in or ask questions about her business. The last time he came into their room. “Where are my guys?” she asked.
“They’re here, I told them to leave you alone, Andy is doing a great job. Suzie is taking care of everything else. Oh, by the way never call her a secretary or ask her to get you some coffee, she gets mean like you.” She watched as he left the room.
Bron had to admit; he had jumped into the caretaker role with both feet and was doing an excellent job. Kaylin was back up on her feet already and back at school. It was great having Jake and Suzie to rely on to help out. She was slightly miffed at Stevie because he hadn’t come down to talk to her. It wasn’t like him at all. Finally throwing in the towel, she showered and dressed. She knew if she spent one more day in bed, Kevin would end up dragging her to a doctor.
Going up to her office, she could hear the commotion. It seemed like the beehive of activity was going on without her. She saw Suzie at her desk with Kevin and Mc standing behind her. Suzie wasn’t happy about it either.
“Give the woman some space,” Bron barked as she came into the reception area. Both men looked at her and came out from behind the desk.
“You’re not suppose to be up here,” Kevin began using his bossy tone with her.
Bron looked at him like he had lost his mind. Hearing loud noises from her office, she turned and looked to see half of her crew putting together her wall unit she had ordered. “It’s here!”
Kevin intercepted her and pulled her to his office, “Yes it is darlin’ and so is everything that goes in it,” as he pointed to the floor of his office.
“Ahhh...,” Bron looked at her things, which she considered her inner woman spread everywhere. Kevin had gone through everything.
“You have quite the collection Witch. But we also have some new rules around here.” He walked over to the pile of CD sitting on his desk. “No more Napster or anything close to it.” Ambling over to the box on the floor, he picked up a videotape and held in the air. He shook his head at her, “There will be no more bootleg concert tapes.”
She looked at the books piled on the far end of the couch, “Good reading material,” he grinned. “Now I know where you’re getting it all from.”
Her face burned bright red, she felt it and he saw it. She had never felt more foolish in her entire life.
“Your picture collection is over there,” as he pointed to the corner behind her.
“You had no right to get into my things!” she yelled at him. That was the final straw, messing with her Kevin pictures meant war.
Kevin sat on his desk swinging his legs back and forth. He was enjoying this moment for everything it was worth. “Just trying to help babe.”
She spun around and went to the pictures. If there was one single picture missing she would kill him. They were all there. He came up behind her, “Why are you saving those?”
“Because, I like them,” she pouted.
“You have the real thing!” he chuckled as he left her staring at one of his infamous hard-on shots.
“Oh he’s such an ape!” Bron yelled aloud! The only thing pulling her away from her little rant was the monkey noises coming from the reception area. She watched all of them teasing her and Suzie was shocked to see Kevin in a crouching position, stepping across the floor, dragging his knuckles on the ground. She laughed loudly at the ape noises he was making.
“AHHH!!” Bron screamed as she beat a hasty exit downstairs.
Kevin stood up laughing, holding his stomach. “Well we got rid of her for today,” he grinned at Mc.
Mc couldn’t believe that Kevin could really lay it on Bron and not run after her, sucking up for his teasing.
Kevin wasn’t going to chase after her, he wanted her out from under his feet. He was tired and giddy at the same time. He had bought her a new computer and had some servers installed for her and her buddies to play with. They had their own domain to play in so they had free license to do what ever they wanted. He didn’t want her to see it yet. Her birthday was in a couple of weeks and he was going to wait. Seeing that she wasn’t bouncing back to well from the flu he figured why wait.
The day went finished according to his plan and he was happy. He was going to order dinner in for everyone that had helped him out the last few days. All of them begged off with a suitable excuse. Once dinner was over with, he wanted to show his miffed wife her new toys.
Searching the house he found her curled up on the couch in the living room. An afghan pulled over her. He had recognized the covering. MeMaw must have given it to her, it used to lay over the back of her couch. Leaning down he touched her cheek lightly, “Hey, time to eat.”
Bron rolled on the couch, “Not hungry.”
He went around and down the steps and sat next to her head. Placing his socked foot on the glass tabletop he sighed, “You need to eat.”
“Why so you can tease me?” she muttered as she pulled the blanket up to her chin.
Kevin went to the fireplace and began to build a fire. Once it was going, he sat back down. “Get over it Bron. When did you become Miss Sensitive?”
“You hurt my feelings,” she bent her head to look up at him.
“I was teasing you that’s all, nothing more.” Hearing the car pull up he knew dinner had arrived. Peeling the blanket away he held his hand out. “You are eating.”
Bron grasped the hand and shuffled to the kitchen behind Kevin. Her eyes rolled at the smell of sweet and sour, she ran for the bathroom.
“For Christ’s sakes this is it,” as he went after her.
Bron was heaving as Kevin began his lecture. “This is enough! When I get back from D.C. the day after tomorrow you are going to a doctor. I will drag you by your goddamn neck. This is not right and it isn’t normal.”
Kevin slammed the door behind him as he left. Going into the kitchen, he sat down to eat to have Kaylin look at him innocently and ask, “Is mom okay?”
Kevin checked his attitude before he answered, counting to ten was becoming a regular habit lately. “Your mom is fine, she is just a pig-head jack... mule.”
Kaylin didn’t say another word for the rest of the evening. She helped clean up the dishes and snuck upstairs to be with her mom. Opening the door she looked in, mom was sleeping again. A shadow crossed over her hand and she looked up.
Kevin shook his head to find her sleeping again. “Come on I’ll tuck you in,” as he shut the door quietly. “I have to leave very early tomorrow. I’m going before you and your mom get up.”
Bron didn’t even budge when Kevin joined her. He sighed loudly, he would take care of this when he got home. He had issued his request too many times to have it ignored. Now he would take care of it and make sure it would get done.
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