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Chapter 72

Bron was restless; sleep hadn’t come easy over the last two days.  Hurried phone calls had taken place.  Before she could fully understand what was going on Kevin had placed her on a plane with Kaylin heading back to Lexington.  This is where she lay in bed trying to reconcile everything that had taken place. 

She had watched the guys do the morning shows and MTV.  Nick was taking this the worst by far out of all of them, at least publicly.  It was tormenting Kevin as well, he just hid it better than the rest of them.  The guys had chutzpah to openly admit that A.J. had problems and that the tour had been suspended while he sought medical attention and rehabilitation for his ailments.  A decision would be made in a month on whether or not the tour would resume.  Management had pitched a fit when the men refuse to continue without the missing one-fifth of Backstreet. 

Kevin had called more than once to check on Kaylin and her.  He wanted to see how they were doing with all of this; Bron heard the heated arguments in the background among all of them.  It seemed that Backstreet was in the middle of purging their souls to each other.

Turning over in bed, Bron smiled slightly, the group was together but the label and management were at polar opposites of the guys.  The last call had been when it was time to put Kaylin to bed; Bron had taken to carrying the portable phone around with her instead of searching for it every time it rang. 

“Guess who?”  Kevin smiled as he spoke into the receiver.  Cole from management was behind him speaking with Brian.  They had been trying to re-work tour dates so that all of the cities that were cancelled would still get a show.  The overseas tour had been written off as a bust and was not going to happen except for the Japan tour over Thanksgiving.  Secretly, Kevin was hoping it would be cancelled too, his baby would be born by then and he wanted to stay home.

“Hi Kevin,” Bron was cool and reserved.  She was still pissed that he had sent notes down to her and Suzie all day that day, then told her to get packed he wanted her home and not involved in this mess.  She pitched a fit in front of Carlos who stood in for Kevin and received the verbal tongue-lashing that was meant for his charge.  “If we are a family then he shouldn’t be calling all the shots, all the time!”  Bron blew up at Carlos.  Carlos by now was used to Bron’s mouth and just let roll off his back.  He tried not to grin knowing Kevin’s goose would be cooked when he actually returned to Lexington.

Suzie wasn’t too happy when she received a simple note from Nick stating he didn’t want her here either.  She was more hurt than angry; their relationship was still new and fresh.  Anger and their first big blowout had yet to happen.  Since Suzie was in her hometown, she asked Bron if she would mind if she took a few days off.  Suzie was in dire need of a mental break.  Bron knew she needed a break.  Thankful for some alone time, Suzie made plans to stay with some friends.  More importantly, as far as Suzie was concerned, it didn’t involve anything Backstreet.

“You’re still mad…”  Kevin pinched the bridge of his nose with his forefinger and thumb.

“Why would I be mad?  It’s not like had a say in anything.  Right?”  Bron was terse back at him.

“We’ll talk when I get home.  I love you; don’t make this harder than it has to be.  I just didn’t want you around all of the press and shit.  I know how that upsets you.  Hell, I couldn’t walk out the hotel this morning without getting a camera in my face.”  Kevin was trying to soften the use of his own heavy-handed tactics; he thought it might work.  She didn’t understand or was just being hardheaded, her reply to his little speech would tell him, how angry she was at him.

“Are you doing okay?” came in a muffled whisper.  Bron would let sleeping dogs lie; Kevin was seeking her forgiveness in an unusual way as always.

“I’m alright… I guess… I feel real bad… I feel I should’ve done something sooner… Ya know before he said that to you…”

“Kevin, A.J. didn’t really mean those words, that was the booze and the drugs talking.  I love you, come home soon.”

“I’ll be home tonight.  I’ve got all my shit packed up.  We hired drivers to return the buses, Keith is coming home with me.”

“What time?  I’ll wait up…”  Bron began to tuck a yawning Kaylin into bed.

“No, it’ll be late, go to bed…  I don’t even have a flight out yet.  Let me talk to her before she falls asleep.”

Bron passed the phone to Kaylin whose eyes were half closed.  “Yes Kevin….  I love you too.”

Bron smiled at her daughter sleepily closing her eyes.  The only thing keeping her going was the fact that Kevin was on the phone.

“She’s out,” Bron sat on the bed and watched her sleep.

“I want you to go lock up and just relax.  Who is there with you?”  Kevin had other doubts and fears nagging at him as well.  Something just didn’t feel right to him.

“Andrew is downstairs watching a movie.  He’s yacking with a girl he met,” Bron made the comment with a tone that relayed to Kevin she wasn’t happy.

“Good. I was starting to worry,” Kevin snickered.  “Gotta cut those apron-strings Mama.”

“Talk about the pot calling the kettle black,” Bron left Kaylin’s room, shutting the door.

“Look I’m calling a truce…  I love you,” Kevin waited.

“I love you too, see you later.”  Bron hung up first. 

Bron felt the mattress move.  She didn’t open her eyes in the darkened room or even move, “Kaylin go back to your own bed.” 

“This is my bed, you made it for me,” she heard in a deep voice.

“You home?”  Bron inquired still drowsy with sleep.

‘Nope, you’re dreaming,’ was chuckled to her as cool air brushed over her skin, the blankets were settled back down quickly.  “Fine, in that case dream-man, get closer.  I’m cold.”

Kevin pushed an arm under her neck, her head now rested on his bicep.  Idly his fingers toyed with her hair.

“You okay?” turning on her side she snuggled as close as her growing stomach would allow.

“I guess so,” he sighed as he closed his eyes.  He didn’t want to talk anymore, he had been taking for two days straight. “Go to sleep, we’ll talk in the morning.  I know you’re really pissed at me and you’re holding back but I’m just beat.”

Bron fought the laughter but the smile broke free.  “I’m not mad at you.”  She could never fault her husband for not knowing her.

Kevin turned her on her side as he spooned up behind her.  “You can’t lie to me baby,” he laughed a little as he said it.

Bron wriggled her butt for his benefit, nestling up against his crotch.

“Behave woman, I’m too tired,” he properly chastised her as he shoved her back with his hips.

“I missed you,” Bron half whined.

“I missed you too but I don’t have the energy.”  Kevin pulled the blankets around both of them.

“Okay but be prepared for a full bitch fest tomorrow.”  Bron began to feel the solace of being in her husband’s arms again.  She relaxed, as did her body.  “Kevin Richardson said no to sex.  This is becoming a habit with you.”

“Witch, it’s not a habit, I’m just too damn tired.”  Kevin’s body adjusted one more time, having removed her nightgown and tossing it to the floor.  She didn’t protest and he was thankful for that.  Pulling her back towards him, he relished the skin to skin contact that he so sorely needed since he had sent her home so he cold deal with matters.

“I’ll be prepared baby...  Bring it on,” his head rested not to far from hers.  “Just remember the rules, no biting, no hair pulling, and under no circumstances do you hit below the belt.”  Closing his eyes, he let his mind take a break after the last few days of turmoil.  So many things had rapidly invaded his thoughts.  He had built the last ten years of his life around Backstreet.  What would he do if Backstreet were no more?  Would he still be successful?  He wanted to produce music; he had a studio to do that in now.  He had Krystal to manage and they always sought out new talent.  There were so many endeavors and things he wanted to try before people considered him a has-been.  Maybe it was time to do some of those things.  One of the coolest in his book, he was going to be a Dad.  Hell, if Brian and Leighanne could adopt, they could pull this off too.  Bron was already a Mom; he wanted to be a Dad to Kaylin too.  Maybe this break would be good for everyone, a chance for everyone to step back and evaluate his or her lives and accomplishments.  A chance to set new goals and enjoy them.

Bron felt her body being squeezed by a tree-trunk of an arm that had wrapped itself around her body.  This gesture was followed by a loud sigh.  Bron closed her eyes, knowing that he had finally relaxed as the tips of his fingers splayed across her ever expanding belly.

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