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Chapter 73

The sunbeams streamed into their bedroom; slowly he rolled on his back.  Grabbing his pillow, he wrapped both arms around it and sighed.  Burying his face into the goose-down.

“Are you getting up now?” a small squeaky voice asked.

Opening one eye, he turned his head.  “Good morning Miss Kaylin.  What are you doing in my room?”

“It’s Mom’s room too,” she pouted at him.

“Yes it is, but you didn’t answer me.”  Rolling on his back, he sat up slightly.  He patted the mattress next to him and she shimmied up the bed.

“I’m hiding, Mom is really mad.”  Kaylin took her Mom’s spot.  Crossing her legs, Indian style, she was ready for some deep conversation.

“What makes you say that?”  Kevin yawned as he listened to the small fry next to him talk.

Kaylin was not too sure she might get in trouble.  “Mom is slamming stuff in the kitchen and she’s all dressed up.”

Okay Kaylin now had his full and undivided attention.  His mind was now devising a plan to get her out of the room so he could go see just what kind of trouble he was in for.  “Tell ya what,” he scratched his head.  “Why don’t you go down to your room and get some sneakers on and we’ll go for a walk in the woods.”

“Butterfly hunting!”  Kaylin yelled just a little too loud for Kevin’s senses.

“Yeah sounds good,” his face scrunched up at the volume.

“Cool!” she jumped off the bed, landed with a thud, and raced out of the room. 

Kevin counted to three and made a mad dash for the bathroom.  “I will never get used to this!  That kid has caught me naked more than any other female I know.”  Turning on the water in the shower, he shivered at first since he hadn’t waited for the water to warm.  Dressing after his shower, he headed downstairs to face the devil herself, he chuckled as he walked in the kitchen.  If the table could groan, it would have.  Plates piled high with food filled the square mass.  Pancakes, waffles, sausage, bacon, omelets, something that look really strange and fancy but smelled good. 

“Good morning dear!  I wasn’t sure what you wanted this morning so I made everything you like.”  Bron was cheery, too damn cheery for his liking this early in the morning.  Bron was a morning person and he wasn’t, most days the world just revolved around him at this hour and he didn’t notice.  His eyes traveled up from the tip of the black stiletto pump to the silk encased legs, to a skirt... a skirt that was full... very full... damn that’s one of those old fashioned crinoline thingies.  A little too poofy around the tummy, he giggled to himself.  Next, he saw a white apron, a shirt that was prim and proper with polka dots and upturned sleeves.  Her face... something about that face frightened him.  He began to laugh at the huge costume pearls she wore in her ears.  “I really fucked up,” he groaned to himself.

“What’s that dear?  I’m sorry I didn’t hear you,” Bron stood in front of him with a mop and a pail.  He was mesmerized watching a silver-charm bracelet dangle on her arm.

Sitting down at the table, he tried to figure out how to even start this conversation.  Bron had once again hit him right between the eyes with his own beliefs and secret double standards.  The secret double standard of, yes women should be successful, however, I want my wife to stay home and take of me.  Yes Mr. Richardson, a man of the new millennium had just been put in his place.  It seems June Clever and Martha Stewart had arrived on the scene to give him a beat down.  “Just coffee,” he coughed, afraid to say much more.  The eyes flashed back at him, oops, wrong thing to say, he thought to himself.

“Told ya she was mad,” Kaylin stood in the kitchen doorway.

“Oh yeah, she’s mad,” Kevin choked on his coffee, it was too damn hot.  “Um Kaylin, I need to talk to Mommy for a few minutes.  Why don’t you go outside and wait for me.”

“Okay,” Kaylin shuffled to the door.  “Mom?”

“What?”  Bron barked, she wasn’t happy she wasn’t getting the reaction she wanted from Kevin.

“Don’t hurt him, I want him to take me butterfly hunting.”  Kaylin let the backdoor slam as she headed for her spot on the porch.  Her Mom snarling at her was not a good sign, they were going to be awhile.

Kevin stuck his finger in the air, he crooked it slightly and then straightened it back out.  “C’mere.”

“No,” Bron huffed as she held onto the mop.

“Tell June and Martha to go away, I want to talk to my hormonal pregnant wife whose nose is out of joint because I screwed up.  I should have had my wife’s support over the last few days and instead I sent her packing like she was a hindrance that I didn’t want to deal with.  At least she thinks that is why I did what I did.  I just wanted to protect her from the prying eyes and questions of the press... She has had some problems in the past that she doesn’t deal with well.  My brother offended her when he had no right.  The press had begun to dig up nasty stuff on all of us and I didn’t want her to be a part of that.”  Kevin stopped his speech and grabbed for a piece of toast.  Quietly he sipped his coffee and waited it out.  She would either throw something at him or soak up his words and take with them the understanding and the knowledge that he was protecting him in what Bron called his ‘Inborn, Neanderthal, Barbaric, Kentucky good-ole-boy way.’

“Don’t you want some eggs?” he heard a sniff.

“Umm maybe.  Did you put arsenic in them?” he asked as his head tilted towards her.  The tears and the hormones were backing up.  He heard a vehicle pull up in the dirt and rock driveway.  He hoped Kaylin had enough sense to stall off whoever it was.

“No, I thought about salt peter but then I’m only penalizing myself.”  Bron stood motionless, holding onto the mop for dear life.

Kevin’s arm swung out, Bron silently walk towards him, stopping next to him.  His arm wrapped around her.  He pulled her down into his lap.  Grabbing her neck, he tilted her head back.  His lips casually brushed against hers then they began to feast off hers.  Their tongues danced as they battled out the leftovers of the argument. 

Coming up for air, she gasped.  “You so suck.”

“Very well too, from what you tell me.”  He smirked as he had again managed to redeem himself.  “We need some private time,” he smiled and kissed her again.

“Excuse me people, that is what the upstairs is for,” Mc stood at the backdoor.

“Excuse me, it’s my damn house!”  Kevin yelled back as he began to nip at her neck.

Mc walked in, grabbed a plate from the counter, and sat down.  He began to fill his plate as he watched the two at the other end of the table sharing a chair and some tongue.  “Looks good Bron.”

“He’s not going to leave,” Bron nuzzled closer.  “He wants me to come back to work.”

“Nope, you’re staying home with me,” Kevin spoke so that Mc could hear them.

“Are they done yet?” came from the kitchen door.

“Not yet...  but they will be…  Kev pass the syrup,” Mc began to laugh so loud that Bron and Kevin couldn’t help but join in.

“I hate my life,” Kevin’s head leaned on Bron’s back.

“No you don’t, now pass me the damn syrup and let my partner come back to work.”  Mc was giving him a hard time too.

“What changed your mind?”  Kevin still hadn’t decided what he wanted to happen.  The truth was that Bron was an individual but if Bron went back to work, it was up to Gabe, and nobody else.

“The guys are pissing and moaning like a bunch of pansy asses.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  All I hear is Bron wouldn’t do that.  Bron wouldn’t like that.  Hell, I can’t even get them to get me a cup of damn coffee and they would bring her breakfast in bed.”  Mc received his syrup from Kevin.

“My boys miss me,” Bron smiled at Kevin.

“You have too many damn men friends,” Kevin groaned knowing he would lose no matter what.  “Light duty, use your head, and see what Gabe says.”

“Love you,” Bron danced out of the kitchen.  “I already checked with Gabe, he said yes.”

Kevin shook his head as he watched her go.  “I’ll never win with that one will I Mc?”

A loud laugh came from the other end of the table, “Not unless she wants you too or…

“Or what?”  Kevin swung back to face him.

“You could beat it out of her,” Mc was half serious and half laughing.

Kevin shook his head as he stood up.  “I have butterflies to catch…”   He left Mc sitting at the table.  Stopping at the door, he called to Mc, “Hey.”

Mc turned to face him; Kevin was very serious suddenly.  “You keep an eye on her but don’t you lay one single hand on her.  Jake is watching you as well.”

“You got my word,” Mc nodded.  Yes he was pushing Kevin but for good reason.  He didn’t like the fact that Kevin had sent Bron home.  To Mc it was a sign that Kevin was done with her and Backstreet was more important or that Bron was more important and he didn’t want her to get caught up in the backlash.  By him testing the waters like he just did, he knew the second notion was true and not the first.

“Hurry up,” Bron grabbed her thermos and filled it with water. 

“What the hell is the hurry?  You’re going back to work, even if it’s just sitting in the damn truck.”  Mc was scarfing down the food on his plate.

“He might change his mind.”

Bron was out the door before he could put the fork down.  “Damn woman drives me nuts.  I put the two of them together so I can get some space and I’m still babysitting her ass.”

“MC!”  Bron shouted from the truck.

“I’m coming!” he made himself a sandwich for the road.

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