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Chapter 79

Bron took her time going into the house.  Kevin stood at the door, holding in open,  “Do you wanna come inside?” 

Bron snorted, okay he was pissed off, but not that pissed off.  Then again, maybe he was and he was hiding it very well.  When the door closes, I’ll know, as she stepped inside.  The door was quietly shut behind her. 

A hand pushed her towards the kitchen, “Come on, I’ll make us something to eat.”

“That would be nice, but so not you, so just drop the act and let’s get this over with.”

“Fine!”  Kevin barked at her.

“Ohhh, You came back pretty damn quick Darkboy.”

“Don’t push it,” as he stomped off to the kitchen.

Bron moseyed on behind him.  “I really am hungry.”  She winced when a frying pan was slammed on the burner. 

Kevin stood at the stove; every now and then he would turn and glare at her.  With the spatula in his hand, he would flip the burgers and then point the kitchen utensil at her.  “I can’t believe that you would teach Kaylin to play dirty.”

“I didn’t, Suz did.”  Bron went to the fridge and yanked the condiments out. 

“No excuse,” Kevin glared some more as he finished cooking the burgers.

“Okay I was wrong, I’ll admit it.  I should have stopped it while I could but you were driving me nuts.”  Bron watched him plate the burgers

Closing his eyes, Kevin dropped his head into his folded hands.  “This isn’t easy on me either.”

For the first time saw the doubt and fear in Kevin’s eyes.  They had yet to talk about his visit with A.J.  “I’m sorry, I should have been more understanding.”

“You could have asked me to be a Coach, I would have said yes.”  Kevin’s tone was flat as he slapped lettuce and tomato on his hamburger.  He searched the table unable to find what he was looking for.

Bron went again to the refrigerator and retrieved the mayonnaise.  She set it down in front of him.

Kevin grabbed the jar and spun the lid off.  Jamming a knife down into the jar, he retrieved and then slapped the white blob on his bun.

As she sat next to him in a quiet house for the first time in a long time, she pressed her fingers around his forearm.  “I’m really sorry Kevin.  So much is going on with both of us and we aren’t dealing with it well.”

Kevin wiped off his hands on his jeans.  Going to the pantry, he  came back with a bag of Doritos. 

Bron frowned as she watched him dump them on his plate.  She wanted some but knew better.  Licking her lips, she thought about the candy upstairs.  “I’ll sin later with the good stuff,” she spoke softly.

“No you won’t, you’ve had enough damn candy to put you into diabetic shock.  I’m calling Nick and telling him if he wants send his flame candy, send it to her house.”

Bron’s face soured.  “Suzie moved, she hasn’t given him the address yet, so he sends it here.”

This was a news flash to Kevin.  “How nice, where did she move to?”

“A nice Victorian.  It’s really pretty but it needs a ton of work.  Suzie is going to pay the guys to help her out.  We’re hitting full swing now.  I have a crew ready to go to Huntsville and one to Atlanta.  It worries me that Mc won’t be there to oversee but I have J.D. on one and Hank on the other.  Andrew is going to stay here.  Here’s going to school soon.” 

Kevin was chewing away as he answered.  “The business is gonna be fine.  Mc will be fine too, it takes guts to do what he is doing.”  He didn’t miss the long pause about Andrew going to school either.  “He’s a big boy, you have to let him grow up.”

Bron’s eyes hardened, she was tired of hearing that from him.  “So is A.J. You’re still pissed at him over what he said to me.”

Kevin stopped mid-chew; he swallowed, and then choked.  “Point made.  I’m not mad over what he said, I’m mad over what I said to him.  At the time I felt that it was the truth.  I love A.J., I don’t hate him.  I can’t take that back no matter what I do.”

Bron swallowed slightly, as she listened.  Kevin wasn’t done, he was on a roll.

“Look, you are paying that kid what an average man with years of experience makes for doing that job.  He’s nothing more than an errand boy.”

“You’re full of shit and don’t you even think you know how my business works.  It’s not like I’m paying him a shit load of cash to grab his nuts in front of teenage girls.”

“Oh, now who is getting to be the know it all.  Do you have any idea what it takes to put on a show like that?”  Kevin was getting just as angry and upset as she was.

Bron slammed her glass down on the table.  “No, but raging hard-ons go over well.  Don’t they?”

Kevin threw his hamburger down on his plate.  “Look, I don’t want to fight about this shit with you.  It doesn’t really matter anyway.”

“Yes it does Kevin because you are having a hard time dealing with the fact that Backstreet may be over if they can’t help A.J.  Can you be just Kevin Richardson?”  Bron headed for the doorway but slowly so she could hear his answer.

“Yes I can, I can still make music, my music.  I can do a million different things.”  Kevin watched her leave the room, she was right but she was wrong.  Yes, he could deal with it, he just didn’t want too.  He wanted to enjoy life and enjoy his kids.  Money wasn’t a problem but it was stickler for Bron.  It wasn’t like she was suffering from a lack of it, but she sure as hell worried about it.  “You say I’m old school, you want a husband that works, that’s what this is all about.  I’m not doing anything.”

“That’s right!” was yelled from the doorway.  “If you’re not working, be productive.  Do something besides make fucking paper airplanes.  Stop picking on Andrew and I because you can’t handle it.”

“Handle?  Handle?  Ha, talk about not handling things?  Why the hell did you call Webster and ask such stupid God damn questions?”  Kevin watched, she didn’t storm away, Bron wasn’t ready to quit yet, something was bugging her.

“I wanted to know some things,” she stormed back into the room.  

“Oh, what to see who is visiting your rapist?  Why the fuck would you want to know that?”  Kevin began to clear the table. 

“I needed to know if anyone I knew was visiting him,” Bron began to help him clear the table.

“Why?”  Kevin grunted.

“Because I received a piece of shitty fan mail and they mentioned details that not everyone is privy too.”

“Well, he hasn’t had any visitors that we know, so it’s bullshit.  Where is the letter?  I want to see it.”  Kevin crossed his arms and leaned towards her.

“I don’t have it, I threw it away.  I realized how stupid it was and that most of it could have been found out by someone around here.”  Okay, so lying wasn’t good, but she didn’t have anything tangible to tell him, so why worry him.

Kevin’s look became a smoldering one; it wasn’t one of desire either.  “You better not be lying.  You shouldn’t have said a word to Webster about Mc’s surgery.”

“I’m not,” Bron tossed the dishtowel on the rack.  She made a hasty retreat just in case.  Kevin seemed to have a knack for figuring out when she was not telling him the truth.  If she could, she would choke Webster right now.

Kevin chalked the mention of the note up to ‘freaky fan mail’ he had gotten his share through the years, just like the rest of the guys.  Webster was too on the ball to let anything slide by him.  Kevin went up to the offices to call Nick after cleaning up the dishes. 

“Nick, it’s Kev, pick up,” Kevin rasped into the phone.

“Why do you always think I’m home?”  Nick answered.

“Because your lover works for my wife and right now she is out drinking with twenty guys.”  Kevin laughed loudly.

Nick was momentarily stunned over the words, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

“Bron’s crew took her out tonight.  Sort of a celebration, Suzie got me good.”  Kevin grinned.  “I’m coaching Kaylin’s soccer team.”

“All of them?”  Nick felt uncomfortable with the idea.  “That’s not right.  Suzie signed up for courses at the university and she goes to riding lessons twice a week.  She is home every night by ten.  I know, I call.  Suzie will be home.”

Kevin smiled, “Whatever you want to believe Little Man.  Anyway, dude the purpose of this call is to inform you of your woman’s new home address.  Do not, under any circumstances, send candy to this house ever again.”  Kevin was smiling at the employment folder in his hand.  He hated to admit it, but Suzie was efficient, she had updated her own file already.

Nick laughed along with Kevin, “That bad?”

Kevin saw the distinctive shape of his pregnant wife travel through the outer offices in the dark, she headed straight for Suzie’s desk.  “The chocolate,” he whispered.

Nick’s whispered back, “Why you whisperin’ bro?”

“She’s up here stealing candy,” Kevin chuckled softly.  “Oh well, I’ll hide it all tonight.”

“Man she’s got it bad.  How is she doing on the coffee?”  Nick asked knowing that Kevin was worried about the amount of coffee Bron drank in one day.

“One thing at a time Nick, one thing at a time.  Hey, she felt the baby move,” Kevin smiled.  “I didn’t say anything when we were out there with A.J.”

Nick knew that Kevin was as insecure as he was about life after Backstreet.  Kevin had a way of not showing it to anyone.  Once in a great while, it would be displayed.  When they had gone to pay a visit on A.J., it really showed.  All Kevin kept telling A.J. was ‘No pressure man, just get better.  We love you, we’ll wait’.  “A.J. is going to be fine.  Hey dude, did I tell you, Suz got a tat when we were in Boston..”

Kevin snickered quietly as Bron snuck back out of the offices, “Your lips on her ass?”

“Screw you, that’s your wife.  She got Kaos on her hip bone.”

“That’s original,” Kevin leaned back in his chair.

“Oh so is music and pleasure.”  Nick answered him.

A long silence came over both of them.  Both of them spoke at the same time.  “Love ya man, gotta go.” 

Kevin heard Nick laughing as he hung up the phone, “Soccer Daddy, SUCKER!”  The conversation was over when the telephone was placed back in the cradle.

It took Kevin almost an hour to hide the chocolate.  He figured Bron must have gained at least three pounds from the six boxes that he found.  He had to give Nick recognition; it was all the good stuff.

“The damn fool is in love and doesn’t even know it,” as he stuffed the last box in the bottom of his own desk drawer.  “No sense in wasting all of it.”

As he slipped downstairs, he found Bron in bed, reading.  The baby name book was out again.  Kevin began to toss his clothes all over the room.  Bron ignored him, he was doing it intentionally, trying to get her to focus on him.  “You could always get a job as an exotic dancer.”

“No Nick, Howie, Alex, or Brian or any of the different forms of those names.”

“It’s my baby too, besides we haven’t hit our mark yet, I shouldn’t be doing this.”  Bron grinned, as Kevin tossed his boxers to the chair. 

Kevin did a shimmy for her and a butt wiggle.  Kevin smirked when he saw her smile, he busted her.  “Why did you miss your appointment with Gabe?”

“I was busy, I got sidetracked.”

“Bullshit, you didn’t want to get on the scale, did you?”  Kevin slipped under the covers.

“Oh really,” Bron faked a smiled.  I wonder how he knew that, she groaned in her head.

“It looks like Willy Wonka upstairs.”  Kevin snuggled over her shoulder and watched her read.

“I didn’t notice,” Bron quipped.

Kevin laughing hysterically didn’t help her mood as she turned the bed side light off.  “You’re a jerk.”

“The jerk that loves you,” he pulled her close.

“Kiss my ass,” she groaned as he laughed in her ear.

“Oh, sounds promising, but I’m tired.”  Dropping a kiss on her cheek, he closed his eyes.  Yep, he was very tired both mentally and physically.  The next few weeks would prove difficult, he hadn’t told Bron that they weren’t actually going to go back to work for another month.  A.J. needed some transition time.  He needed to go out in the real world and see if he could handle life.  Kevin was sad on one hand but happy on the other.  He would be home up until two weeks after the magic week of twenty-six weeks.  He would keep that secret one more day, he wasn’t into pain tonight.

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