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Chapter 33

As Anne went upstairs to Kevin and Bron, she was confirming her suspicions with Jake.  She walked into their room not bothering to knock.  Walking straight up to the bed, she found Kevin holding Bron and uttering apologies.  Under normal circumstances she would feel like she was intruding, this was not normal.

Glancing to the left, she spotted the broken liquor bottle on the floor.  Her eyes swept the room and she saw the torn nightgown on the carpet.  Listening to what Stevie said, the fight that had taken place, and Kevin babbling apologies she had an indication over what had happened.  Now she was angry also, but at Kevin.  “GET OUT!” she yelled at her son. 

“No,” he responded to her. 

“I said get out!  Jerald!”  Anne screamed. 

Jerald was in the room accompanied by Jake before she had even closed her mouth.

“Get out now Kevin!”  His mother stood there arms akimbo, she wasn’t going to budge.

His mother was way beyond rational, she was psychotic and he had figured out why.  Quietly he got up and left the room, he was shoved out the door by his brother. 

“You moron what did you do?”  Jerald hissed as Anne slammed the door with everything she had.

“None of your damn business,” Kevin spat back as he leaned on the wall in the hallway.

The door was opened and a wastebasket was tossed out of the room.  It tipped from the force from which it was thrown.  “This is my damn house and that’s my wife,” he growled at Jerald trying to regain control of the situation.  He knew if his mother had figured out that he had treated his wife in an inappropriate manner, there would be no forgiveness or peace from her.  She wouldn’t understand, he thought to himself.

Kevin placed his hand on the knob and it was jerked open.  In front of him stood a very angry mother as she glared at her him.  Her lips were pursed together tight and she wore a scowl on her face.  “Jake stay with Bron.  I want to speak to my son, now.”

Jake went into the room.  Kevin tried to catch a glimpse of his wife but the door was slammed in his face.  Jake was as angry as Anne.  “Fuck this,” he yelled as he placed his hand on the knob again.

Hearing the yelling and door slamming he went upstairs to see what was going on.  He had never heard Anne even raise her voice.  “You turn that knob and you will pay the consequences,” Mc spoke as he surveyed the contents of the wastebasket that had spilled onto the floor. 

Kevin groaned, he didn’t need Mc’s shit too.

“Downstairs all of you.”  Anne leveled a look at all three of them.  “Keep your hands to yourselves.”  She commanded as she watched the tension grow between Mc and Kevin.  She glanced to Kevin and pointed to the floor, “Pick up that mess before Gabe gets here.  So help me god Kevin if you hurt Bron or my new grandbaby you’ll burn in hell,” she snarled at him as she walked away.

Slightly stunned he glanced to Mc looking for confirmation of the statement; he didn’t get one as Mc followed Anne.

“Ma’s going senile Jer,” he uttered as she bent down and began to pickup the debris.  “Bron can’t have anymore kids.”

“Kevin don’t talk about Ma that way or I’ll give you a serious ass kickin’ not that little smack down you had with Stevie.”

Jerald gently gripped Kevin’s elbow effectively steering him downstairs and away from Bron.  Anne sat at the kitchen table watching Stevie.

Kevin walked in and they glared at him, “What?” he shot back as all eyes fell on him.

Silently they questioned him on what had taken place.  Obviously something happened, everyone had seen the contents of the wastebasket.  Kevin guarded the wastebasket like it was a prized possession.  He set it in the hall closet and shut the door firmly.

“Bron won’t tell me what happened between you two Kevin.  Would you like too?” 

“No,” he spat angrily; it was private, between them, not them and his family.

“Well I’m you’re mother, we always find these things out in the end.”  Anne saw the bruises on Bron’s forearms and thought she had seen a mark on the back of her neck.

Kevin exhaled loudly at being put on the spot and made to feel like he was eight years old again.  He went and looked out the kitchen window trying to fumble for a coherent, non-detailed explanation.  His hands gripping the sink for support, they didn’t need details.  “Nothing happened.  I lost my temper and almost did something foolish.  I did scare my wife.  I think that’s why she’s upset and sick.”

Anne made no comment as she watched him get a glass of water from the tap.  Bron wouldn’t tell her what happened and she was trying to pull all of it out of her son.  Her head shook slightly from side to side at the answer that was lacking information.

“Mom, ya better understand something.  I won’t be giving you any grandchildren.  Bron can’t have kids anymore.  She was lucky to have Kaylin.  Just please don’t bring it up around her, it will upset her.  We haven’t even discussed it between us yet.  She knows how much I wanted kids.  We have Kaylin, that is enough for us.”

Everyone could here the sadness in Kevin’s voice as he spoke with his back to them.  Jake and Andy were the only one who knew that Kevin was privileged to the information before hand.  Jake thought that it was only fair that Kevin go into this marriage well aware of the situation.  That was the main reason that Jake had Andrew bring the medical file with him and give it to Kevin before the two of them were married.

“Are you absolutely sure Kevin?”  Anne asked as she looked towards Stevie and Mc.

Kevin swiped his face with his hand from his forehead to his chin.  What a position to be in.  It’s really none of their business, but I guess they have made it their business.  “Because it says so in her medical records.”

Kevin studied Mc’s face, it was like stone, unreadable and unemotional.  Kevin knew why, Mc had been more than nasty as everyone termed it to Bron in the past.  If Kevin had the file then he knew how much pain he had inflicted on Bron.  Stevie was wearing a definite frown.

Anne made fresh coffee and puttered around the kitchen.  She wondered to herself how her son knew so much about his wife.  He knew everything in her life down to the minute detail.  ‘They had never discussed this,’ was a shock to Anne.  She wanted to know if Kevin knew about this before they got married.  Children were something that Kevin treasured and had always wanted.  If he had known before then she knew that the love that he held for Bron was deep.  If he didn’t know she felt sorry for him.

Finally, Gabe pulled into the driveway and came to the side door.  Kevin was more than surprised to see him and knew that his mother must have called him.  Kevin motioned him in and pleasantries were exchanged.  Kevin led Gabe upstairs with his mother right behind them.

At the top of the stairs, Kevin cut his mother off.  “I can handle this myself,” he whispered.

“Really?” her eyebrows shot up like her son’s always did.  She crossed her arms against her chest, “Just like last night.”  She waited for him to move aside. 

Kevin moved and let her pass.  Man, that woman has too much power over me, he groaned in his head.

Anne walked in first and told Gabe to wait a minute.  She left the door cracked open slightly.  They could see Anne whispering.  Kevin watched Bron’s head whip up and then she yelled, “No!”

Kevin opened the door and looked at Jake.  Jake immediately left the room.  Gabe followed Kevin into the room.

“Bronwyn I want you to meet Dr. Gabe Galloway.  He’s our family physician,” Kevin spoke not pulling any punches. 

The implication was that this stranger was now her doctor.  Bron frowned, “I have a physician, Mary,” was her only response as she huddled into the bed.  She was holding the covers tightly due to having this person in her room, a person she didn’t know.

“Mary doesn’t live her babe.  You have had this bug for over a week and it’s the second time around.  You can’t even hold down water.  The headache was so bad that you tried to take one of those heavy-duty things that Mary gave you last time, but it wouldn’t stay down.”

Bron groaned as her stomach lurched again.  Drinking that last glass of water was not a smart idea.  Anne was at her side as Bron emptied the water from her stomach into the garbage can from the bathroom.  “Damn I’m so sick of this,” she whined as she lay back down.  Kevin was such an observant bastard; she got nothing past the man.  Always watching, taking it all in, and never saying a word.

Gabe ambled to the bed and sat on the side of it.  Looking around the bed, he was very impressed with it.  It was obviously made just for them.  A slight chuckle irrupted inside him but he contained it.  “Well maybe we should find out what’s wrong,” he spoke as he snapped open his gab.

“I’m fine it’s just the damn flu!”  Bron grumbled as the man rolled up his sleeves.

“Well let’s see if you’re right young lady.”  Gabe reached for Bron’s arm.  She retracted it, placing it under the sheet.

“Bron it’s fine, trust me,” Kevin reassured her.  He watched as the arm returned to Gabe’s hand.  It was the fact that a total stranger had touched her.  Kevin knew it and Bron knew it.

Gabe began his assessment of the new Mrs. Richardson.  He had already made his diagnosis by appearance alone.  Her skin was pale and shallow, her eyes sunk in dark circles outlined them.  This would be for formality purposes only.  He gave instructions and Bron complied.  Her attitude had changed since Kevin kept glaring at her.  Gabe stifled his giggle watching the two of them interact between each other.

The corners of Kevin’s mouth tugged up into a slight smile when he heard his wife ask if Gabe was a Richardson.

The old man chuckled slightly and answered her with a no.  To which Bron sarcastically replied that he could be, he didn’t understand the word ‘no’ either. 

Kevin leaned on the dresser with his arms crossed watching and waiting.  Gabe let out a whistle and Kevin went to his side.

“What’s wrong?”  He questioned somewhat unsteady.

“Well your wife is severely dehydrated her pulse is over one-twenty,” Gabe answered as he made notes on a prescription pad.

“That’s high, she’s usually around the seventy’s,” Kevin quipped with great concern as he watched Gabe make his notes.

Bron groaned and Kevin glanced at her.  She was pissed.  She wouldn’t embarrass him in front of the people present but the question was clear, ‘How the hell would you know?’

Kevin debated what to do as Gabe asked Bron questions.  Her replies were fuzzy and inaccurate.  He didn’t think that it was intentional but something wasn’t right.

Gabe picked up on Kevin’s confession and concern and halted the questions.  “Kevin pack some things for your wife.  I’m going to admit her to Central Baptist.”

“No you’re not, it will take a damn army to get me to go.”

Kevin saw the horror in her face, he needed an excuse for her. “Is there any way that we might be able to do something here?  I wouldn’t ask but the press and all.”

His mother’s frown met his gaze, it was the, ‘are you crazy or something face.’

“I wouldn’t have a problem with that Kevin if I knew what was wrong with her,” Gabe frowned at Kevin’s insensitivity.

She didn’t want to do it this way, but Kevin was more than leaning towards their side.  “I’m pregnant and I have the flu, okay.  So just get the hell out of my house and leave me alone,” she spoke fiercely.  Bron watched for the look of complete horror to overcome Kevin’s face followed by fear at the possibility of it all.  She knew he would react this way.  It was the one thing that they had never spoke of.

“That can’t be possible,” Kevin looked at her with that deer in the headlights look.

“It’s possible,” Bron spat at him.  Now she knew for sure he had too much information.  Kevin had been digging again for sure.

“But the records say no-way can that happen,” he continued stunned at what she had just told them.

“No what it say is landing a singer on Neptune is more possible Kevin.  Besides how would you know?  We never have even had a conversation about this.  It seems you know an awful lot.”  Bron had effectively pinned Kevin to his spot and busted his nuts at the same time.  She was done playing, he just admitted to seeing her medical records.

“I... I... Um,” the words weren’t forming in his mouth nor were they coming out.

“Mrs. Richardson are you pregnant?” Gabe asked, even more troubled.

“The test said yes,” was her somber answer.

Gabe snapped the bag closed, “That’s settled, now you are going.”  Gabe seared his coat for his cell phone.

“No I won’t.  I can be treated here.  All they’re going to do is give me fluids in an IV.  I can do that at home.  I don’t need the press and outsiders finding out about this.”  Yanking the duvet even higher and popping her chin out at Kevin.

“Why not let people find out, you should be happy,” Gabe directed his words to her as he began to dial.

“It won’t happen, it never does, this is my eight pregnancy, I have one child, get it.” Bron growled at the old man to the point that he backed up.

“Bron settle down, he doesn’t know,” Kevin interjected into the argument.

“You settle down and where are my records Lurch?  You know too damn much, playing detective again?”

Kevin watched if she wasn’t so weak she probably would have jumped out of the bed and attacked him.  Her eyes weren’t flashing they were glassy but her tone was enough of a warning.

“Kevin do you have Bron’s medical records here in the house.  It might help Gabe quite a bit,” Anne raised a questioning eyebrow at her son.

“I’m fucked,” ran through his head.  Silently he went to the closet and turned the light on.  Reaching up he raised the lid on a boot box on the top shelf.  Pulling out a binder, he dropped the lid back down on the box.  Turning the light off, he shut the closet door, and went to Gabe.  He handed it to Gabe not being able to look at Bron.  She had nailed him before about this shit, he knew he would be buying guilt gifts for the next six months.

“Very organized Kevin,” Gabe chuckled as he looked at the tabs that had been installed.

Bron watched Gabe flip to the section he was looking for.  “You’re so dead when they leave,” came from the bed.

Dr. Galloway motioned Kevin out to the hallway and shut the door.  “Well the information in here is very detailed.  I need to review it.  In the meantime, I’ll set something up here.  I think it is just the flu and dehydration.  She must have been through this once before because she knows the protocol.  I have one condition though she has to come in on me Monday for a complete physical.”

“Fine, she’ll be there,” Kevin smiled.  I’ll tie her ass and she will be there, he said to himself.

“Tell your mom I want to see her downstairs.  I think you and your wife need some time alone.”  Gabe gave him a wry grin and a slap on the back.  “I have some reading to do.”

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