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Chapter 57

Stalling some more, Suzie set the table.  Curiosity killed the cat and Bron was near death. 

“Oh if you only knew what that man can do!  Nothing like a Little Man Lovin’ and honey, he isn’t little,” Suzie grinned a smile.  Their arms shot up as they high-fived each other.

“I don’t want to ever hear you complain that guys talk too much.”  Kevin stood leaning on the doorjamb with an amused grin.

“Shit,” Suzie’s face flamed red.  Bron’s matched it when Nick walked in!

“What?  I got something hanging out of my nose or somethin’?”  Nick looked at the two women.

“More like your pants, Nick,” Kevin snickered as he sized his youngest brother up.

“You told her!”  Nick whined, as he pouted at Suzie.

Bron walked up grabbed his cheeks and pinched.  “No details… yet.  If it’s good, I’ll use it in a chapter.”

“No you won’t,” Nick puffed out of his puckered cheeks.

“Watch me,” Bron gave Nick the brows.

Turning to Kevin, Bron saw some sadness; he smiled weakly, “What are we going to do when she’s sixteen?”

“Boarding School,” Bron kissed his cheek.

“With her record, good luck,” Suzie couldn’t resist.

“Where?”  Bron whispered as she walked by Suzie. 

Kevin stepped quickly over to Suzie’s side.  Giving her a squeeze after dropping an arm around her shoulder.  He leaned down and whispered in her ear.  “If you’re really smart, you won’t tell her ‘the pit’.  I eliminated the evidence of this little copulation but I’m not happy about it.  The glasses and the wine are gone.  ‘The Pit’ is my second bed, if you know what I mean.  The fact that you two christened it bugs me.”

Kevin was irritating Bron, she didn’t want interference from him.  “Kevin!”  Bron snapped.

“Nick’s room, of course,” Suzie sputtered her answer.

Kevin, satisfied with the answer, clapped his hands together.  "One Whirling Dirvish coming up!” Kevin left the kitchen as they took their seats.

Kaylin shuffled in after a few minutes.  “I’m sorry Mommy, I lied.  Nick didn’t hit me with the ball. I ran into it.”

“No more lying Kaylin,” Kevin pulled her chair out and pointed to it.  It was a command that did not need any further interpretations for anyone at any age. 

“Yes sir,” she whispered quietly as she took her seat.

“It’s okay baby,” Bron cooed to her.

“No it’s NOT!”  Kevin snapped. 

Bron’s mouth fell open at the velocity.  She tilted her head and glared, Kevin was over-stepping his bounds in her book, not in his.

“You’re going to have some rules.  You will no longer terrorize this house.  Now let me make theses rules clear to you.  You will not have anyone over without permission.  You do not go with anyone, anywhere without permission.  You will be to bed at a certain time and you will not place demands on people.  You will listen to the adults in the house.”  Kevin stopped as he placed some food on his fork.

“Is that it?”  Kaylin asked with a cocky attitude.  Mom had forgiven her, it was okay now.

Nick choked back his dinner.  Looking at Suzie, he shook his head from side to side. 

Kevin tried to be stern but the kid had too much attitude.  “Yeah and you’re going to summer school too, it’ll keep you out of trouble.  Your homework will be done every day, even on Friday.  In case your mom has to go someplace over the weekend.”

“You can’t do that!  Summer School is for dummies,” Kaylin was two steps short of tears.

Watching the interplay between Kevin and Kaylin Bron sensed what was going on.  Something had shifted; this was like old home week.  Kaylin wasn’t being sweet and nice, she was being herself, much like Kaylin used to challenge her father.  It was anything goes and all out to get his attention focused on her instead of Andrew, negative or not.  Bron leaned over and covered her mouth with a napkin as she whispered something to Kevin. 

Kaylin smirked as her head bobbed from side to side.  Mom said no.

Kevin didn’t speak for the next ten minutes as they ate.  The adults knew he was spinning his wheels on something. 

Kaylin just assumed he was doing what Mom had told him to do, like everyone else did.  “Can we talk about the sex stuff now Nick?”

“Why are you asking me?  Ask Suzie?  ” Nick squirmed in his seat.

“That’s it!”  Kevin was out of his chair almost knocking it over.

“Mommy!”  Kaylin screamed as Kevin approached.  Grabbing her hand, he yanked her out of the chair, steering her towards the exit.

“Kev don’t!”  Bron warned him.

Kaylin’s yelling became louder as she was dragged out of the room.  Bron sat stunned, not sure of what to say.

“Bron that was totally my fault.  I left the South American interview in the VCR, they must have watched it.  I’m so sorry.”  Suzie was very upset, she didn’t think Kevin would react like this.  Now she felt terrible because Kaylin was probably upstairs getting punishment for something she didn’t rightly deserve.

Kevin came back post-haste.  Sitting down, he began to eat again.

“Kevin?”  Bron questioned him.  When he didn’t answer she began to rise from the chair. 

“Sit down Bron, you’re not going to go to her and tell her everything is okay.”  Kevin pushed the food around on his plate.

“But..”

“No buts,” he continued to eat.  “Suz, I would appreciate in the future if you would take the tapes out of the VCR.  I guess when I said that, I never pictured my own kid asking me that at dinner.”

“No problem Kevin,” Suzie watched, Bron say nothing.  Suzie had seen this dynamic work over several weeks now.  Kevin did as he pleased, King of the Castle was not a relative term, it was a code to live by around here.

“So Kevin, how did you really hurt your shoulder?”  Suzie grinned at Bron hoping to pull Bron out of her blue mood.

“Yeah man, Fatima is going to kill ya.  We start back tomorrow,” Nick egged them.

“Well remember that visual I was doing.  The one with Tarzan and the loincloth,” Bron hissed as she watched Kevin give her the evil eye.  “Lose the loincloth and Meet George.  George, George, George of the Jungle.  Watch out for the tree!”

Kevin felt like a fool, first being fed his words back to him and now this.  “Come on Nick.  I’ll drive you to the airport.”  Tossing his napkin in his plate.  “I could use some fresh air.”  Walking out the back door, he headed for the barn and his truck.

“I’m sorry Bron,” Nick excused himself. 

“It’s alright Nick,” Bron stood up to give him a hug.  “We just need some time to work some things out.  I think you guys may have helped with that.  It just sucks because he’s leaving again tomorrow.  Every time we get a chance to sort things out, something happens to blow it back in our faces.”

Bron paced the kitchen after Suzie left with them to go to the airport.  Kevin was going to drop her off at her place on the way back.  She wanted to go upstairs and talk to Kaylin, that was ‘mother’s instinct.’  She also understood that Kaylin really did need to understand she wasn’t the boss anymore. 

Moving around the house Bron ended up down in the entertainment room.  Settling in one of the chairs, she hit play.  She assumed that what she would see would be the South American tape.  Instead, John Norris filled her screen.  Sitting back she pushed pause, it was a little surreal to see your home on TV.

The tape showed Kevin sitting in the studio upstairs.  He did his patented, “Wanna come inside.”

Bron’s face brightened, “You have a sexy voice husband.”  Kevin did a very small tour.  Of course she frowned when he showed them the living room.  “Ugly damn thing,” she grumbled.  The camera made it’s way upstairs.  The angle was to the left of the stairs.  Nick was hanging in the doorway of the room he used.  “You dressed?  We don’t want to see your green drawers,” Kevin ribbed him happily.

Nick hung a bare leg out the door, Kevin laughed.  The camera swung to the right.  “This is our side, the side you just saw was for guests.”

“I’m guest now?” came from out of the cameras view.  Kevin shook his head.  Leaning into the camera he whispered, “He should just use this place as his address, he doesn’t leave.”

“I heard that!”  Nick giggled.

“Good, leave soon!”  Kevin snickered.

“What’s this first room Kevin?”  John clucked. 

Kevin shook his head, “The bedroom.”

“Who’s bedroom?”  John kept up the prodding.  “The fans want to know.”

“Let’s go upstairs and talk,” Kevin headed up the center staircase towards the offices and studios.  “This is our place and we have some special news for you.”  Kevin jogged up the stairs as the camera focused on his rear. 

“Nice shot,” Bron slid sideways in the over stuffed chair. 

Walking into the studio, the guys were all there but Nick, he had followed the crew up and now was talking to Suzie.

“Leave my secretary alone!”  Kevin shouted at the door.   “Nick, always hitting on the women, he is such a player,” Kevin whispered and smirked into the camera.

“Am not,” as he trotted by Kevin, smacking him in the head as he went by.

“So,” Kevin sat down behind his desk, the camera was entirely on him.  We have some special news for you guys.  Our fans are special to us, this is the second time you’ve been in my house.  A.J. is up first.”  Kevin crossed his fingers hoping he was at least straight enough to talk. 

A.J. thanked the fans for their loving support on the passing of his grandmother.  He rattled on about the tour starting again and how excited he was.

Bron watched and could see the subtle changes A.J. had gone through.  This death had devastated him.  Howie popped on the screen and spoke about his charity. 

Brian was next and what he said nearly made Bron slide to the floor.  He announced that he and Leighanne were adopting a boy, an older boy.  They had met the orphan in the hospital in Lexington.  He needed a heart transplant and was a recipient of some of Brian’s charity.  Brian had asked him if there was anything that he could do for him that would help ease his pain.  When the boy asked Brian to find him some parents, Leighanne broke down and cried.  They waited a few days before discussing it with each other.  He was an ill child, older, and somewhat of a troublemaker.  “We have our reasons for doing this so please be kind.”  Brian literally walked off camera.

Nick jumped up after he was done and told everyone he was moving into Kevin’s house.

“NOT!” was a resounding answer he got off camera. 

Nick giggled again, “Come on, what’s one more.  Brian adopts, you get married, you have steps now… Oops.  I bet you wanted to tell them that.”

Bron smiled, this had all been scripted.  Nick wouldn’t slip up on something like that.  It was too important to Kevin, her, and the rest of the family.

“Yes Nick you can tell them I got married,” Kevin smiled a genuine smile as the camera slowly rolled to him.  “I did!” he grinned.  “I married a special lady in Las Vegas.  She means the world to me.  My wife is a widow with two kids.  She’s great.”  Kevin wiped a tear from his eye.  “Her husband died a tragic death and I would appreciate if everyone would give her some space.  Please don’t pry.”  Kevin made light of a serious matter.

Nick jumped around behind him acting like a goof ball.  Kevin smiled at the camera, “He isn’t moving in but he did promise to baby-sit.  When you see this, I’ll be taking my wife on our honeymoon.”

The sexual innuendo in the laughs that followed couldn’t be missed.  “Dawgs,” Kevin chided them.

“Wow guys you really know how to make the fans rabid.  Anything else?”  The camera quickly cut from Kevin to John and then back to Kevin. 

“Yeah, she worships the ground I walk on,” Kevin laughed as the room filled with ‘ohhhs’.

Leighanne’s remark was heard above everyone else’s.  “Hey Kev, I wouldn’t show her this tape until after your honeymoon.”

Again, the room filled with laughter.  “I don’t plan on it, she’d kill me.” Kevin snickered making the viewers well aware that the comment was meant to tease her not demean her.

“You awake?” came from behind her. 

“Yeah, let’s go to bed darlin’,” Kevin held out his hand.

“That wasn’t too bad, it would have sounded better had you said you worshipped the ground I walk on.”

“Everyone knows that baby, that’s old news.”  As he grasped her hand and led her up the stairs, his fingers holding tightly onto hers.  Kevin stopped in the living room.  Bron looked at the couch, the bed pillows resting on it.  Their comforter was draped over the back.  A fire in the fireplace.  Some candles burning and a bottle of wine on the coffee table.

“I thought we would sleep here,” Kevin whispered as he pulled her closer to him.  “The mattress is still wet.”

“Kevin we have perfectly good beds upstairs.”  She began to walk away until she saw his face.  This entire ordeal with Kaylin had upset him.  He hadn’t seen it coming and wasn’t prepared for it.  Kevin was one to always be prepared for everything.  “Sleep only, we have kids,” Bron tried to pull away.

Kevin’s hands glided over her back, “Andrew comes back tomorrow and Kaylin is sound asleep.”  His hand strayed to the front of her shirt, resting on the top button, “We’ll see darlin’, we’ll see, cuz I think I can change your mind.”  A soft throaty whisper vibrated on her skin.

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