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Chapter 55

The peaceful morning was pierced with a masculine scream of  “SUZIE!”

Blinking twice she looked at the ceiling of the living room.  Her eyes fluttered shut slightly and a warm smile was on her face.  The smile grew wider as she remembered last night.  “Oh Bron it’s definitely the ‘love pit.’

“SUZIE!” came from the kitchen.

At least she had taken the time to toss her clothes back on last night.  Even though Nick was somewhat unenthused about the idea.  She knew that Kaylin was an early bird and she wasn’t.  The last thing she wanted was for Bounce to see her in any manner of undress or in a compromising position. 

Almost rolling off the couch, she wavered into the kitchen.  The sight was confusing to her.  “Nick, why are you standing on the kitchen table?”

Nick gulped, “There’s a snake in here!  It tried to crawl up my leg.”

“A snake in Bron’s kitchen?  You’re dreaming.  What did you smoke after I fell asleep?”  Suzie laughed at the impossibility.

“Okay smartass but look behind you!”  Nick’s finger pointed to the space behind Suzie in the corner.

The shock of seeing a reptile in the kitchen when you’re half asleep was enough to send her up onto the table with Nick.  “KAYLIN!  DAMN YOU!”

Little giggles came from the backdoor followed by the sound of small feet on the slate floor.  “You found Herman.  Thanks Suzie.”  Logan walked over to the corner and picked up the snake.  It wound around his wrist and arm.  It’s tongue darting in and out tasting and sensing the air. 

Logan looked at both of the adults,  “Nick, whatcha’ doin’ up there?”

“I’m having coffee,” he glared at Logan.  “Is that your snake?”

“Yeah, wanna pet him?”  Logan shoved the snake up in the air towards them. 

Suzie screamed as she grabbed onto Nick, “Get it out of the house!” 

Justin had been watching the creature Logan was holding with much interest.  His leash tethered to the end of Kaylin’s wrist.  Tied to Kaylin’s other wrist was the new puppy, now known as Britney.  The snake hissed loudly at being handled and all the commotion.  Justin barked and began cutting a path towards Logan and his reptilian buddy.  Britney right behind him.

“No Justin, No!”  Kaylin was shouting and tugging on the leash.  Justin out weighed the little girl by forty pounds, easy. 

Logan ran out of the room trying to protect his beloved pet.  Justin and Britney followed with Kaylin hanging on for dear life.  “Uncle Nick!”

“Shit!”  Nick hopped off the table as Kaylin was being dragged through the house.

“Oh my God, if they don’t come home soon, I’m dropping this kid off somewhere.  When the hell did he pick up that dog?”  Suzie was at her wits end by now.  Hurrying after the comical troop of two kids, three pets, and a blond pop star.  Following the barking, she ran up the stairs.  “Logan, get the damn snake out of this house!  Kaylin, get to your room!  Nick, take the freaking dogs outside now!”

All of them froze at the shrill scream, “Uh-oh, she’s pissed.”

Suzie settled on the largest troublemaker of the bunch, “Kaylin, did you just swear?”

“No it was Nick,” she answered sheepishly. 

“Kaylin don’t lie.  You’re not suppose to lie,” Nick’s disappointment showing on his face. 

Nick didn’t say anything but Logan’s, ‘darn it,’ distracted Suzie enough.

“Darn it what Logan?  What are you doing here so early anyway?”  Suzie frazzled by at this point.

“Darn it, I lost Herman again.  My mom is gonna kill me.  I’m here because Nick said I could come back with them.”  Logan looked up at Suzie waiting for the yelling to begin.  Suzie shook her head and left. 

“Okay,” Nick clapped his hands together.  “She’s really angry now.  So, let’s find Herman and then take the dogs for a walk.  If we’re really lucky, Kaylin’s parents won’t come home until after we find him.”

Nick took the puppies downstairs, while the kids searched for Herman.  “He has to be up here, where could he go?”

The kids search ended very shortly after being left on their own to search.  Six year olds are not known for attention spans.

Kaylin tugged on the door leading up to the offices, “Let’s look up here, maybe he got upstairs.”

Logan eagerly followed his companion.  “What’s up here?”

“This is where my Mom and Kevin work… well everyone works up here.”  Kaylin charged up the stairs.

“Hey this is cool,” As they ran from Bron’s office, through the reception area and into Kevin’s office.

“Wanna see something cool?”  Kaylin opened a door off of Kevin’s office.

“Wow, what is this stuff?”  Logan took in the magical buttons and sliders in front of him.

“It’s music stuff, it’s Kevin’s.  Watch this,” Kaylin hit a few switches and some lights went on in the room behind the board with all the cool stuff on it. 

“You sing in there,” Kaylin nodded with the knowledge of a professor.  “This stuff makes it sound different.”

“Cool,” Logan began move the sliding bars, and push buttons. 

They giggled and played like small children do.  “This is neat Bounce!”  Logan laughed as he yelled in at the top of his lungs. 

A can of pop was sitting on the side of the mixing board.  Kaylin and Logan were very careful not to knock it over.  “I’m going to move this, if it spills I’m in big trouble.”

“YOU BETTER NOT BE IN THAT STUDIO!” was shouted up the stairs.  It was shouted so loudly they both jumped.  The pop slipped out of her hand and tipped over.

“OHHH!”  Kaylin grabbed the can and up-righted it.  “Oh no,” her lip started to tremble.  This was going to get her in some serious trouble.

“It’s okay, we’ll just clean it up, they won’t find out,” Logan looked around for something to clean the mess up with.  He had to help Kaylin; this was an accident and she didn’t mean for it to happen.

Kaylin ran out of the office and back.  She produced a roll of toilet paper.  Un-winding it as fast as they could they soaked up the mess.  They now were left with a pile of soggy tissue.  Scooping it up, they dumped it in the toilet.  Flushing once they bolted back downstairs to find Nick looking for them.  They quietly shut the door and stood in the hall.

“You’re not going to find Herman standing around looking at the floor,” Nick admonished the two little slackers.

Suzie stood at the top of landing, “They’re home early.”  She squeezed out of her lungs, out of breath from running upstairs.

“MOM!”  Kaylin was gone.  Suzie following a little quicker.  A black eye was going to need some explaining on her part.

“Shit,” Nick groaned.  “I knew I should have booked an earlier flight.”

“What about Herman Nick?  Kaylin’s mom is gonna be mad.”  Logan looked to the person he felt was in charge.

Nick looked at Logan like the kid had just punched him in the face.  Suzie came flying up the stairs.  “Boys, how are we doing on our little project?”  The question was asked through clenched teeth.

Logan shrugged, “I can’t find him.”

“Look harder,” Suzie barked as she ran back down the stairs.

“I’m so screwed,” Nick whined at Logan.  “We gotta find him, you don’t know how much Bron hates snakes.  If she finds him, she’ll cut his head off.”

“No,” Logan looked at him in disbelief. 

“Oh yes she will,” Nick grinned as he saw a small balled up object down at the other end of the hall in the corner.  Pointing to it, Logan smiled. 

“Thanks Nick,” he grinned as he went to rescue his friend from a sure demise if Mrs. Richardson had found him.

Bron came up the stairs, “Hey guys.  How are you?”

Nick’s eyes grew wide as she stood there.  “Fine, how was camping?”  Okay, either Bron hadn’t seen Kaylin or she was coming up here to beat the crap out of him, he surmised.

“An experience,” she laughed as Kevin rushed up the stairs.

“Bron honey, wait a minute,” Kevin was frowning.  Nick sighed with relief.  “Baby I need you down here a minute.  Oh hi Logan, you’re mom wants you to come home.”

“She does?”  Logan looked at him.

“Yep, Suzie said she just called.  So why don’t you hurry yourself right downstairs and out the door.  That is, if you have everything you came with?”  Kevin shot Nick a death glare.

“He does,” Nick’s head bobbed up and down as he answered.

“That’s real good, head home Logan, now.”  Kevin pointed to the stairs.

Bron walked by Logan, as she did she heard a hiss.  Her eyes dilated and her mouth opened.  Her body began to shake as Kevin’s hand clamped down over her mouth.  “He’s caught and he’s taking it right out of here.  If you scream, you will scare it and it will create a problem.”  Gently Kevin steered her into their bedroom.  The door wasn’t completely shut when the scream ripped through the interior of the house.

“Wow,” Logan looked at Nick.  “That was cool.”  Both of them stunned at the volume.

Nick nodded and then bent down to get a closer look at Herman, “Nice to meet ya buddy.  Take care and don’t frequent this place or you’ll be a pair of boots.”  Tousling Logan’s hair with one sweep, “Take him home now.”

Logan bounded down the stairs.  Nick almost slumped over when the front door shut. 

The bedroom door flew open and to two adults coughing.  “What the hell has been going on around here?”  Kevin shouted and Nick bolted down the stairs to be with Suzie, if they were in the deep shit then they were going to be in it together.

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