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Chapter 47

Mc clasped Bron’s hand and drew her next to him as a camera flash went off.  “Thanks,” Bron whispered.

“Okay the guests that we wanted are here.  Shall we?”  Mc smiled as the two of them eyeballed their prey.

“Don’t you think we should mingle a little?” Bron second-guessed him.  “Oh man, look at all these people.  I think I just impressed the hell out of myself.”  Her eyes traveled pass the fireplace to the pool and terrace area.  The set-up was gorgeous, soft lighting, music, and it wasn’t raining. 

Mc shook his head from side to side slightly, “I want to get this over with.”

A large hand came to rest on Bron’s shoulder.  She had no need to turn around to know that it was her husband standing behind her.  Her husband and Kris that is.  Suzie and Nick had calmly entered the throng of people in the living room. 

Kris stood next to him but not as close as she would before, she felt extremely uncomfortable being put in this position.

“Play nice with the Marriott people if you want that contract,” Kevin whispered between Mc and Bron’s head.

“We will,” Bron cackled.  “I want that contract, I’ll do anything to get it.”

The hand tightened around her collarbone, “Within reason,” she whispered again.  The fingers loosened slightly.  If she backed up, her head would most likely slam into Kevin’s belt buckle.  Kevin’s belt buckles were like his living room, very large.

Kevin stood on the step above them listening to them make tactical plans like an army task force.  “Divide and conquer,” Bron spoke quietly.

“No, all together is better.  Let’s see if the old fox has still got it or he needs his cronies to back him up,” Mc’s head turned slightly towards her.  He glanced at her face and then up to Kevin.  “Thanks, this would have been easier if she wasn’t wearing that damn afterglow.”

Kris’s hand flew to her mouth to cover it, a slight blush in her cheeks.  Kevin turned his head to snicker, covering his mouth with his hand. 

“You assholes,” Bron hissed as the party of four approached them.  “Gentlemen, I’m so glad you could make it,” Bron smiled and graciously held out her hand.  “It’s always such a pleasure to see you again.”

“Bronwyn Cooper you are looking rather radiant tonight, you just light up the room,” the silver haired man noted.  His three companions joined him immediately, all wearing very business like attire not party attire.

Kevin’s giggle was heard by all of them, they moved their gazes from Bron up to him.  “Oh sorry, I’m Kevin, Kevin Richardson.  It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Four men scrutinized Kevin from head to toe.  “So Mr. Richardson, what do you think of the work they have done on your home?”  The elder one asked.

Kevin’s chest swelled as they addressed the CEO of Operations.  “I couldn’t be more pleased.  They have used innovative ideas and new technology to build an environmentally friendly home.  Let me show you the heated kitchen floors.” 

Bron’s eyes bugged in her head as she swiftly turned to Mc.  “Help me,” she requested softly.

“Kevin we will, but before we do that, let’s take tour of the upstairs?”  Mc shanghaied the men and started up the stairs. 

“I’ll be right with you,” Bron smiled.  Going up two steps, she looked Kevin in the eye.  “Knock it off before they figure this entire charade out.” 

“Ya ready?”  Kevin quipped as he pulled at Kris’s hand. 

“No and I don’t like doing this.  Let go of me,” Kris was done, she was not going to take part in this anymore.

“Whatever,” Kevin waltzed off leaving her standing by herself. 

Suzie and Nick saw the encounter as Bron flounced up the stairs and Kris was left to her own devices.  Just then, Carson Daly from MTV came into the room.  The camera right behind him and he was making a beeline for Nick.  The cameraman was focusing on the stairs.

“You don’t think they caught any of that, do you?”  Suzie leaned over to Nick’s ear.

“Let’s hope not,” Nick smiled and spoke through clenched teeth as Carson crossed the room towards them.  He didn’t miss the fact that Suzie blowing in his ear felt damn good even if she was just talking.

Suzie began to separate from Nick only for him to grab her hand and pull her back.  “You’re not leaving me alone with him, I can’t stand him.  He gets me to say shit that Kevin says I’m not supposed too.”

Suzie became mortified and scanned the room for an available Backstreet Boy.  Brian smiled and set his drink down.  He hustled quickly to both of them.

“Carson, how are you?”  Brian jumped in before he had reached Nick. 

Nick caught the cue, turning on his heel he headed in the other direction with Suzie.

A flustered Carson looked at Brian, narrowing his eyes slightly, “I think you did that on purpose Brother Brian.”

Brian stuck his tongue in his cheek, “Would I do that Carson?  By the way, where is John Norris?”

“He’s here, as a guest I might add.  I didn’t get my invitation.”  Carson felt slightly shirked by the boys when his invitation never arrived.

“It must have gotten lost in the mail,” Brian answered as he waved Howie over.  They managed to keep Carson talking and busy.  Giving him what he thought was juicy gossip from the Backstreet Boys. 

The cameraman took footage of the room and each man engaged in private conversation.  Interviews would be spliced in later.  If something important came up then Carson could call him over.  Panning the room, he noticed that Kevin and Kris were barely together, opposite sides of the room in fact.  Kevin was playing the endearing host but Kris was not.  He also noted that every now and then Kevin would watch the stairs as if waiting for something.  Panning the room one more time, he again ended up on Kevin.  This time Kevin’s facial expression had changed.  He was wearing a brilliant, full-face smile.  That smile was considered rare footage at the station.  Following the direction that Kevin was looking, his lens stopped on the stairs.  At the top of the stairs a short woman with dark hair.  Very well dressed in a gown of bright green.  Kevin seemed to be enchanted by the lovely woman, albeit she was obviously a little older than him.

Keeping the camera rolling he wandered back over to Brian, Howie, and Carson.  “Who is that?” he asked Carson.  He was hoping Carson was bright enough to ask that question to Howie and Brian. 

“I don’t know,” he shrugged and continued his conversation.

“Jesus,” he whispered under his breath as his lens switched from Kevin to the woman.

Brian tapped the side of the camera, the camera turned towards him.  “Hello,” he shot an infamous grin into the lens.

Carson just shook his head, “Who is that?”

“That’s Bronwyn Cooper, Kevin’s contractor,” Howie answered.

“Check it out, Kev’s eyeing her up.  He’s always been the player hasn’t he?  That’s low when your girls is just across the room.”  Carson was rattling off at the mouth again. 

The guys exchanged disgusted looks and the cameraman sighed.  Pulling the equipment off his shoulder.  “Carson, I need to talk to you, outside.”

The cameraman left as Carson turned to the fellas, “Be right back, duty calls.”

“Don’t let Bron near him, she’ll drown him in the pool,” Nick uttered as he walked by them.

Kevin smiled as Bron almost bounced down the stairs, now he knew where Kaylin got it from.  Her eyes were sparkling with excitement.  She tried not to make a big deal of getting to him.  Trying to make it casual, as she brushed by him she whispered, “Kitchen.”

Taking his time and speaking with guests, Kevin made his way into their kitchen.  The wait staffs were all exchanging glances with each other.  “Did you see a short woman go through here, about this high?”  Kevin’s hand was now leveled with his chest.

“I’m not short,” came from the corner. 

“There you are,” he smiled as she went out the side door.  Turning back around he could see Jake’s massive frame filling the doorway.  “Thanks dude,” he called as he went out the side door.

“I got it,” she latched onto his arms as he came out the door.  Kevin faltered slightly as he came down the two steps to the small patch of grass.

“Congrats darlin’,” as he swung her around in the air.  The two of them spinning about like children at play, giddy with happiness.

“I’m so excited I can stay home for the next three years.  Do you know with this means?”  Her eyes were twinkling at him.

“Yep, you can stay home and raise our baby.  We are going to have a wonderful life, wife.  You, me, the kids…”

“Don’t forget the dog,” Bron laughed.

“Yeah and the dog,” as Kevin set her down.  “Come on we’re going to get caught for sure.  You set Suzie up with Nick you should at least go see how she’s doing.  Did you eat anything?”

“No I didn’t but I will, I’ll check on them first.  Did you see the chocolate on that table?  I think I died and went to heaven.”

“Stay away from the dessert table Bron, you don’t need it and the baby doesn’t either,” Kevin held the side door open for her.

“I just want a taste, okay.  You coming?”  Bron asked. 

“I’ll be there in a minute.  We can’t show back up together.”  Kevin waited the obligatory five minutes and then headed back inside.

“I don’t believe this,” the cameraman muttered as he tossed his cigarette down to the ground. 

“Me either, get what you can, when the party is over we’ll get an exclusive or air what we have.  We’ll see if the Backstreet Boy will sing,” Carson laughed as they both journeyed back to the front of the house.

What all of them had missed was the stranger standing at the back of the house.  He was smiling as they walked away.  “It’s about time, Richardson’s days are numbered with her now,” he mumbled as he headed to his car.

“It’s time,” Bron pulled Suzie away from Nick who was just going to plant a kiss on her.

“I can’t believe you just did that to me,” Suzie whimpered, she was so close.  Normally she would have shrieked and bitch slapped Bron had she not been in the process of being dragged through an entire room of people.

Bron shot her a look; “I told him that I set him up with a woman who wouldn’t fall in bed with him at a drop of hat.  Now you two are sucking face in my garden.”

“There’s no bed in the damn garden,” Suzie growled at her.

“Flowerbed,” Bron scrunched her face up at her.  “Doin’ it in the dirt.”

“You’re such a pig,” Suzie snorted and then laughed. 

“Go get Lurch and Little Man, they’re due any minute.”  Bron waited by the door and was soon joined by Mc. 

“What are you up too Spark?”  Mc questioned as the all too familiar glint came into her eye.  Mc had tailed her all night long.

“Nothing,” Bron said sweetly.

Kevin and Nick dutifully followed Suzie to Bron’s side. 

Kevin stepped up to her and placed a hand on her back.

“Stop that,” Bron removed his hand.

“You like it when I touch you,” Kevin grinned a lop-sided grin.

“Are you drinking the red wine again?”  Bron could tell that dark boy along with horny boy were lurking just below the surface of her husband.

“Just a couple of glasses,” Kevin placed a hand on her shoulder, as he bent down and looked her in the eye.  “What did you need us for?

“Door duty,” as she tried unproductively to remove his hands from her.  “It’s your party greet some of your guests.  Krystal is going to sing soon.”

Bron raised her eyebrows at Nick, “I owe you, and remember that.” 

Bron swayed away from them.  Kevin watched her walk away, the dress and hips swinging from side to side.  Picking his head up he looked at Nick.  Nick was bent and looking at his wife’s backside.  Popping him in the forehead, “That’s mine, find your own.”

“She does have a nice butt,” Nick grinned under his bangs.

“ERRR,” Suzie left both of them standing there, of all the nerve to make a comment like that in front of me.

“I think you blew it Nick,” Kevin gave him a smug look.

“Damn, I have to learn to shut my mouth,” Nick slumped slightly.

“I’ve been tellin' you that for years dude,” Kevin answered as he opened the door.  Kevin shut the door quickly.  “I’m dead Kaos, help me.”

“Train, man, you’re being rude to our guests,” Nick opened the door to see three of the women from the sneaker shoot staring back at them.  He remembered them, that was one hell of a night, when Kevin left him with the five of them.  Nick stood there with the doorknob in his hand, the door open, gawking at them.  “We’re screwed, you’re wife is really pissed to do this,” Nick leaned over to Kevin.  Looking at the women in front of him.  “Long time no see ladies, Joy, Barb, and Angela.  Please come right in.”

Nick was very loud to which Suzie added with a chuckle, “Said the spider to the fly.” 

Kevin was squirming and Bron was watching.  Bron was trying not to laugh as Kevin’s emotions ran amuck, the red wine not helping any.  Bron left him standing there to fend for himself.  He wanted to blow a major gasket no doubt, but this occasion called for some decorum.  Bron winked as she went out to the garden.

“Nick, when Krystal goes on.  I’m on the hunt.”  Kevin’s eyes followed the saucy wench known to a few as his wife, chat with people on the terrace.  “She’s all mine, now,” Kevin growled.  “I’ve had enough of this shit.”

Nick shot him a dubious look understanding exactly what Kevin had in mind.  “Good,” Nick caught her looking at both of them and flashed the famous Carter, good boy look.

Kris spotted Anne in the far corner of the room.  Casually she made her way to her, “They have both lost their minds, who do they think they are fooling?”

“Nobody dear, just let them think they are.  They’re in love and they can’t hide it.”  Anne peered over Kris’s shoulder, “Kris, quick go in the kitchen here comes Carson and the MTV crew.” 

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