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“Gee first skirts, now more pink, you are beginning to scare me Kevin,” Bron laughed as she tried to wrap her arms around him.
“Away with you woman, you reek,” Kevin crunched up his nose.
“Why sir, it’s just good ol’ Kentucky dirt,” Bron batted her lashes at him, in mock offense.
“I’m serious, you stink,” Kevin blinked at her.
“Thanks and you know what you can do,” as she bolted up the stairs for the shower. As she headed up she yelled down to them. “Mc is due back here in a few, we have a safety meeting, the damn insurance is being a pain in my butt.”
“Mom smells like dirt,” Kaylin sniffed.
“Yep, dirty dirt,” Kevin motioned for to her to sit again. They almost finished zipping and closing their luggage. Kaylin listened as Kevin began to instruct her on how to behave at camp. He talked; she trailed around the house behind him. Strolling into the kitchen, Kaylin grabbed the jelly; he grabbed the peanut butter. Bron swooped in to join them. “Thanks for thinking of me,” as she slapped two pieces of bread on the counter.
Glancing at his watch, Kevin frowned, “You didn’t eat yet?”
“No, like I had time,” as she smeared the peanut butter on the bread.
“You have to eat, you’re going to get sick,” Kevin chided on her as he bit into his sandwich. He watched her go for the pickles yet again.
“I’m eating… I’m eating,” Bron mumbled with a mouth full of food. “Look you’re the one going out on tour, don’t crank on me about eating. You have concerts from now until August.”
“Spark, you have to learn your manners all over again,” as Mc came in the back door with Stevie and Jake.
“Lunch?” Jake looked at her.
Kevin and Bron both looked at their watches, Bron tossed Jake the bag of bread, “Helpee selfee,” she garbled.
“Are you almost done packing?” she stuffed the rest of her sandwich in her mouth. She wiped the crumbs off her hands and began to suck on the pickle
“Almost, but we need to talk,” Kevin jammed the rest of his lunch in his mouth.
“Now?” Bron giggled as her eyes surveyed the occupied room. Kevin wanting to talk usually meant something totally different.
“Not that,” Kevin shook his head as he walked towards the foyer.
“Oh well,” Bron chuckled, “Ya can’t blame me for trying.” She followed him as he had expected her to do.
Kevin was now holding a suitcase in his hand, a pink one with Power Puff girls on it.
Bron jumped in front of him, blocking his way.
“Bron move,” Kevin swung another bag over his shoulder. “Janey is coming to pick up Kaylin for camp.”
“She’s not going. She’s my daughter and I told her no camp.” Today was the day that Logan was leaving, Bron knew because again Kaylin was a typical relentless six year old. For weeks, she had driven her crazy. Just as Bron was going to tell yes she could go, she thought about the notes she had received and vetoed the whole idea.
“Grow up, you sound like a child,” Kevin leveled a look at her that would have sent most people fleeing for cover, not his wife. Bron would’ve under normal circumstances taken it as a threat, but not over this. Kevin didn’t know about the notes and she wasn’t going to tell him.
“I told her no,” Bron plopped down on the bench.
“I want to go Mom,” Kaylin sniffed, little tears sparkled in her eyes. She sat on the bottom step of the stairs. Neither of them had heard her join them.
“Why?” Bron was outrageously pissed at Kevin for this maneuver.
“Cuz all the kids are going.”
“Bullshit, don’t be a follower, be a leader,” Bron hissed out of anger.
“Talk about the pot calling the….” Kevin stopped seeing Mc, Jake, and Stevie crowed by the kitchen doorway listening.
“It’s true, Logan is going, I want to go too…”
Bron couldn’t fight the dynamic duo any longer. “Fine go. I don’t care,” Bron stood up and stalked to the kitchen, batting at the people blocking her exit. They didn’t budge, she was forced to stand in the dining room and listen.
Kaylin began to bawl loudly, “She doesn’t love me anymore…. She…”
“Stop,” Kevin stuck his forefinger up in the air. “That is nonsense. She does love you, that’s the problem. She doesn’t want you far away from her. She misses you.” Kevin halted his words since Kaylin had stopped crying.
A loud sniffle from Kaylin and she looked at him, “It’s just camp.”
“Well your Mom is very protective of you, she loves you,” Kevin’s eyes slid to the doorway, carefully. He was watching Bron from the corner of his eye as she slinked around feeling guilty. She had her little episode and had talked to Mc briefly as the four of them stood in the other room out of sight.
“I just want to play with the other kids. I want to do the stuff that they are going to do.” Kaylin’s eyes glistened with tears.
Kevin’s heart was breaking, Kaylin could fire him up and then make him cry just like her mother did. “I know you do, ya little devil,” as he walked to her. Kneeling to her level, he held his arms out to hug her.
Bron quietly shuffled back into the room. Sitting on the hall bench, she opened her arms for a hug. Kaylin flew from the stairs into her arms. Bron stroked the soft blonde curls. “I’m sorry baby. I didn’t think you wanted to go that badly. I’m very nervous about you being away from me, but I guess it’s okay.”
“I won’t go if you don’t want me too.” Kaylin rocked in her arms.
“No baby, I want you to go. You can learn all about the butterflies, trees, and all that stuff you love so much.” Bron pulled her closer not wanting to let go.
Kaylin’s distress quickly swung to excitement. “We’re going to do snakes too.”
“Thrilling,” Bron squeezed her eyes shut at the mere thought of that disgusting thing that had been in her house.
“Do you know what kind of snakes are in Kentucky?” Kaylin’s eyes widened to offer her mom the new nugget of information. “Logan is bringing Herman to camp with us, he’s going to sleep with us.”
Bron’s face paled, Kevin’s hand clamped over Kaylin’s mouth. “Quit while you’re ahead kid.”
“That is gross,” Bron bent to pick up the small backpack as Janey pulled up to the house.
Janey pulled up and waved. The trunk of her car popped open. Kevin loaded up the bags into the back of the car.
“Do you have that thing with you?” Bron called from the porch steps.
Janey shot Logan a questioning look, “Logan?”
“Oh, you mean Herman.” Reaching down to his lap he pulled out his pet. “Yeah, wanna pet him?”
Kaylin yelled cool, Bron yelled, “Oh God,” as Kaylin’s backpack fell to the ground.
Kevin was quickly by her picking up the bag, “For God sakes,” he grabbed the bag. Walking to the car, he tossed it in the backseat. Kevin went up to the side window as the snake was thrust out of the car at him followed by Kaylin asking if Kevin wanted to pet him.
Kevin jumped back as the animal was as shocked as he was, giving Kevin a loud hiss. “Maybe later," he chuckled.
“What’s wrong with her?” Janey pointed to the frozen Mrs. Richardson on the porch.
Leaning in the window Kevin snickered, “Scared shitless.”
“Oh,” Janey laughed.
“Bye Mommy,” Kaylin yelled as Bron blew her a kiss from the stairs. Kevin and Bron waved as they pulled out of the driveway and towards the road.
“Ready to go babe,” Kevin dropped an arm on her shoulders.
“Drop dead,” Bron tossed his arm off of her and she tossed her head back. Walking into the house, she slammed the door in his face.
“Thought that was a little too easy,” Kevin chucked as she opened the door.
“Darlin’,” Kevin stood there and was promptly hit with his suitcase. “Bron, you need to calm down, it’s just camp.” He was hit with another suitcase, “Dammit,” he groaned. He put his hands up in defense. “Baby…”
“Don’t you baby me Richardson. You planned this all along, you even had Mc put someone in there for security, he just told me that.”
The argument had now spilled back into the house. Suzie carefully stepped over the luggage strewn in the foyer. Bron was kicking the shit out of suitcase with her work boots on. The front door was open, two of Kevin’s suitcases lying on the front lawn.
“Mail,” Suzie waltzed into the room, she tossed a piece of fabric at Kevin.
“Oh thanks, I’ve been looking all over for this.” Kevin shook his head.
Bron was still shouting at him over Kaylin going to camp, what he was doing now was just frosting her even more. “I told her she couldn’t go, you turn around and said she could. That is wrong!”
“Nice tablecloth Kevin,” Mc was amused as hell and just couldn’t resist the urge. Watching Kevin from the other room had become unbearable. Bron was going nuts and he was ignoring her for a skirt.
“It’s not a tablecloth, it’s a skirt.” Kevin held it up to his waist.
The laughter that roared from Mc as well as Stevie and Jake couldn’t be ignored. “You guys don’t know fashion. I have no problems with my sexuality.”
“I don’t recall us questioning it?” Mc laughed. “But considering you have to call me to smooth the waves around here, I wonder some times.”
“Look, damn you, I don’t need your interference to run my family. I wanted Kaylin to have the opportunity to go to camp, that is all.” Kevin quickly defended his actions. “She’s a kid and spends too much time with adults.”
“Yeah right,” Stevie spoke with an uneven tone. “Bron will pick her up tomorrow and you know it.”
“She will not, I forbid it.” Kevin looked at Bron who now was wearing a very strange face.
“You do?” an all-telling look on her face as she looked at the toe of her steel-toed workboot.
“Yes I do! Who the hell wears the pants in this family anyway?” Kevin shouted.
Bron’s loud Ha, ha, ha, ha, echoed in the house as she left him and his skirt standing in the hallway. Her business partner, her bodyguard, and her male best friend tailed her.
Kevin’s face was screwed up as Suzie glanced at him. “Need a ride to the airport?”
Kevin flung the object of ridicule to the floor. “Yes I do!”
Everything was tossed into Suzie’s car. He entered the house once more while she waited for him outside. He hit the button on the intercom. “I’ll call you later.”
“Don’t fucking bother,” she barked back at him.
“Hormones suck, but I still love you,” he hissed into the speaker. Turning he paused by the front door. He slammed the door with everything he had, knowing she could hear it on the third floor.
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