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Kevin had come home for the Lexington show. They had made a quick out in Indy so that they could get to Lexington early, Kevin and Brian’s hometown. Kevin arrived home somewhere between three and four in the morning. Bron heard the distinct snore of her husband lying face down in his pillow at five.
Creeping over to him, she covered him with kisses, he never woke up. “You are really tired,” she whispered as she headed to the shower.
Bron tried to keep Kaylin away from him until at least lunch. She had made many childhood memories and a few masterpieces for him while at camp.
Kaylin sat at the kitchen table eating her lunch, watching the timer on the oven. Her mom told her that when it buzzed she could go wake him up. Secretly Bron had added a few minutes here and there when she wasn’t looking. Kevin needed to sleep. She didn’t know if he had slept on the bus on the way home or not but by the sound of the snore earlier, the answer was no.
A sleepy grumble of, ‘Morning’ came from the doorway. Bron looked at him, he looked wiped-out.
Kaylin shrieked and nearly toppled him as she jumped up towards him with papers in her hand. Kevin caught her but stumbled slightly. Unawake and unaware was not a good thing in his house. He then was greeted by the two puppies who now had doubled in size and looked like fat Labrador Retrievers. “Hey guys,” he rubbed heads with one hand and held onto Kaylin with the other arm. A wet cold nose sniffed where it didn’t belong and made him go up on his toes, “Rude dogs,” he frowned.
“They like you,” Kaylin smiled.
“Hope so, at their size I don’t think I would want them to not like me.” Kevin stepped over one dog and around the other to get to a chair at the table. He barely sat down before coffee was set in front of him. “Your Mom is good to me,” he tousled Kaylin’s hair.
The two of them sat at the table and Kaylin went through the last two weeks of camp. She recited everything she learned, showed him her award, and gave him the complete life cycle of a butterfly.
Bron watched the rough and tough Richardson turn into the Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man when Kaylin gave him a God’s eye she had made just for him, along with a beaded bracelet. The colors were somewhat wild but he put it on anyway. “Thank you,” he kissed her on the cheek.
“So you had a good time?” Kevin questioned, dead positive of the answer he would get.
“Yes, I’m going to be a scientist when I grow up and save the habitats for animals.”
Bron laughed, Kevin scratched his nose, “You are? Good you can work for me. You’d cut me a deal right?”
“Only if I make my fifteen percent profit margin,” Kaylin smiled thrilled to be talking about adult things.
Bron’s shoulders shook, her back was turned to them. Kevin laughed, “Your Mama teach you that?”
“Uh-huh,” Kaylin gave him a hug and hopped down. Like any other six year old, the conversation was over.
“She’s your double darlin’,” was whispered in Bron’s ear, as arms wrapped around her.
“Hey, if she is to survive in this world, it’s takes knowledge and skills.”
“Bron, Kaylin is going to rake me over the coals. I’m going to take a shower, care to join me?” Kevin pulled her closer. “I haven’t really come home yet,” a husky whisper on the side of her face. His eyes now a darker green and shining at her.
The time they had was spent together wisely. Family and friends were invited over. It was a whirlwind in their home. Kevin had come home and left just as quickly.
Now Bron lay in the hospital bed thinking of that happy day; she had really screwed up this time. It wasn’t her fault, it truly was an accident. An accident she could have avoided.
Mc yelled about all the family and friend’s houses they were doing until Bron told him that Kevin was paying the going rate for the jobs that were for his family. They needed the work and they were now working on Scouts. Bron didn’t say much when Mc cut Janey and Pete a deal. Bron felt that there weren’t two more deserving people in the world. Janey showered Mc with enough attention that he lapped it up like a pet poodle. They spent almost every weekend together. On occasion, they both would fly off to some place. Bron assumed it was an appointment with a specialist and that Mc was taking care of his problems.
She thought back to every step she had made that day. She had been on edge; another note had arrived the night before. They were roofing Scout’s new addition after just finishing up the new foundation for Kevin’s grandmother two weeks before.
This was her second incident of stupidity. The other sin, a major infraction in Kevin’s rulebook, MeeMaw’s foundation. This time she was sure that both Kevin and Mc would side against her. Bron would be put out of work for this one.
The rain was warm but strong, the wind blowing so hard it drove the drops into her skin like pellets. The ladder swayed slightly but she caught her balance. Swinging her leg over the brick wall she sighed, “Piece of Cake,” she grinned in the pitch-black night. “I can’t believe they left the plans up here.”
A lighting strike flashed. She jumped as she searched for the platform. Her fingers now curled around the plans. “I’m getting the hell off of here,” as the thunder and lighting worsened.
Walking over to the ladder, she grabbed for it. The wind picked up again. “Oh no you don’t,” she scolded the inanimate object. Another gust came as she had one foot on the wall. Grabbing for the ladder, she dropped the plans, as she did the ladder blew off the side of the building, something struck her in the back. She inhaled as she doubled over more from fright than pain. As she did, she tripped, falling to the roof, banging her head.
She woke up to, “You are a damn fool,” being yelled at her.
They helped her off the roof and into Scouts. For the first time, she was getting mutinous glances from J.D. and Hank.
“Come on, we’re going for a ride.” Mc helped her out of the chair.
“Okay take me home, I’m freezing.” Bron wasn’t going to mention that one of the ladder boards blew off the building and struck her. That would be an invitation for Mc to chew everyone out. Too bad, she was the one that set it up. Nobody to blame but yourself. She looked down at her clothes, she was soaked clean through, she was cold and shivering.
“You’re not going home, you’re going to see Gabe. You have a goose egg on your head.” Mc was checking her out from head to toe.
“No, I’m not. Kevin is coming home in the morning.”
She was snapped back to the present as her eyes and ears watched the steady blip of the fetal monitor. Gabe had dressed her down severally and Anne who just happened to be with him when he got the call. She wasn’t pleased either.
Of all days, it had to be today, she needed to get home somehow. Kevin would be home in the middle of the night again; her stage-two sonogram was scheduled for tomorrow. She wanted to get home before Kevin.
She sighed heavily as the door opened in the room. Bron never turned over, it was late at night, she knew who it was. Stevie was her soul source of support right now, everyone else was angry with her. “Stevie, don’t call him please. I will be home in the morning before he gets there. The baby is fine. I’m fine, he doesn’t need the stress. He’s ready to kill A.J. as it is.”
The door closed and she heard nothing. Bron fell asleep with the steady tones for the monitor easing her mind. Their baby was fine, she was fine.
Bron turned in the bed when a noise woke her to find Kevin sitting in the chair. Glancing at the clock on the wall, only one thing could explain his presence; Mc had gone and picked him up.
“Don’t call me? Isn’t that sweet of you?” Kevin spit at her.
It wasn’t Stevie in her room last night, it was Kevin. She couldn’t remember what time it was. Bron open her mouth to defend herself.
“Don’t even bother, you are so done, it’s not funny. Your physician and your partner have now put you out on disability. They just signed the papers,” Kevin’s jaw slid from side to side in anger. His jawbones popping in the process.
“I could go on light duty,” Bron smiled at him hoping to melt the laser- like glare she was receiving. Meet him half-way, he might cut you some slack.
“Sure baby, light duty. Does that include insufficiently tied ladders in a rainstorm?” Kevin sat back in the chair, tossing his feet on the bed. “Does that include climbing under houses, going on roofs?”
Bron figured she had better negotiate this right or it was going to be a miserable summer. “Desk job?”
“Maybe, we’ll discuss it when your doctor comes back,” he closed his eyes and tried to erase the mental picture of his dingbat wife on a roof, in a rainstorm, and twenty weeks pregnant. Opening one eye he looked at her, she was staring at him. She wasn’t fighting or giving him a hard time. The guilt was settling in, good dammit.
“I said maybe. Gabe will be here in a bit. Kaylin is with my mom. We’re so gonna talk about this when we get home. Clear?”
“Umm, yes,” was the best she could rally.
Kevin watched under his half-open eyelids, waiting for the squawking to begin. If it didn’t he had his say, work was done. Desk job only, in her office, at their home. All of this would take place after her unscheduled vacation on tour with him for a couple of days with Kaylin.
The door swung open to find Gabe with a smile.
“Morning!” Bron was cheerful, if for any other reason than to annoy the shit out of Kevin. He was going to get his way and she couldn’t fight it. Mc would see to it and back him up one hundred and fifty percent.
“Good morning! We really need to stop meeting like this,” Gabe was his normal cheery self on the outside. Really ticked off at the woman’s lack of common sense on the inside. Last night he debated as to whether or not he should sign the papers putting her out of work. It was Anne who had convinced him he should at least for Kevin’s sake. Kevin would worry constantly. She then relayed to him what had been happening with A.J. Anne also managed to insinuate that Mc might now be able to control his temper. The last statement made up his mind for him. Mc was a person that Gabe kept at arms length. He didn’t like the man, he didn’t understand the bond between Kevin and Mc or Mc and Bron. He made the comment to Anne once that it didn’t make sense. Anne told him that he shouldn’t pry. He had been properly put in his place.
The door swung open again to find Kaylin and two suitcases. Bron looked from Kaylin to Kevin and then back again. “Where are you going?”
“With you Mom,” she walked over to Kevin and crawled up on his lap.
“Where am I going?”
Gabe was shocked at the tone she used and he thought she might have growled.
Kevin gave a grin, dimple and all, “With me, on tour.”
“No I’m not. I have work to do,” Bron frowned.
“Had, as in the past tense. You’re done,” Kevin’s eyes narrowed.
Gabe looked at the two adults who looked like children right about to go at it. “Kaylin, go wait in the hall with Mrs. Anne. I need to talk to your Mom and Kevin.”
Kaylin left, Gabe frowned at the both them. “You shouldn’t do that in front of her.”
“Who the hell asked you?” Bron spoke louder than she had intended.
“Excuse Mrs. Nasty Gabe, she just figured out she lost, big time. Let’s do the sonogram. We need to get out of here.”
Gabe left to get his equipment, the door closed.
“Now you just wait a damn minute, you little dictator.” Bron was really pissed, he didn’t ask, he just was going to say this is what we are doing and you’re going to do it. A desk job was one thing she could work around, a vacation, no way in hell.
“No.” Kevin leaned in to face her. A millimeter didn’t separate their faces. “I can’t worry about everyone. You want a desk job; you can have it, when I’m home! You are a misguided child. Half Wonder Woman, ‘I can do it all,’ half Cinderella, ‘Innocent and stupid.”
“Kiss my...” Bron shut up as she watched the nasty side of Kevin begin to appear.
“Smart woman,” he spoke just as he stood up and the door was pushed open yet again.
Gabe and the specialist concurred that an Amnio wouldn’t be necessary. Every measurement and placement fell well within the norms.
Bron survived the two-hour sonogram. Kevin was the recipient of a videotape. “Gee thanks Gabe, I’m sure he’ll be showing it to his buddies now.”
“Just Keith and Carlos, maybe Nick,” Kevin laughed just to needle her a little. They both had calmed down somewhat.
Bron didn’t say it but Kevin could tell, she was going with the flow to buy time. She assumed everything would go back to normal in a couple of days. “Fat chance,” he mumbled in his head. He loved her dearly but Bron drove Kevin nuts faster than Nick did most days.
Bron was plunked into a seat on the plane. Kevin was busy playing with Kaylin and ignoring her. “Who is taking care of the house, the dogs, and everything else?”
A one-word answer and he continued his time with Kaylin. Bron groaned as she picked up the writing tablet, it was going to be a long week. Bron smiled with extreme happiness when Kaylin asked where they were going.
Kevin replied, “Hershey, Pa.” His eyes swept to Bron to see her reaction. Yep that was what he was looking for. Bron would be in heaven, the home of the Reese Cup. “God, I’m gonna have to watch her like a hawk,” he laughed to himself.
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