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Kaylin’s first day of school went well, the principal hadn’t called. Kevin sat at the end of the driveway in his truck waiting for her to get off the bus.
It seemed to be an added precaution since unknown vehicles would linger at the end of the driveway now. Pete would chase them out when he drove by in his cruiser. They only had to actually call twice because people were stubborn and would not leave. Bron had been rattled this afternoon so he said he would meet Kaylin
“Where’s Mommy?” Kaylin tossed her backpack in the truck.
“Up at the house, she’s not feeling good today.” Kevin waved to the bus driver. “How was school today?
“It sucked, Logan and I aren’t in the same class.”
Closing his eyes, he sighed at the language. “The world won’t end, you’re on the same bus.” Kevin turned around and drove up to the house. He stopped half way up to pick up the dogs. The entire truck sunk down on its springs and then back up again as they combined weight of over three hundred pounds jumped in the back seat.
“If I had known,” Kevin pushed a wayward tongue away from his ear. His headrest now covered in dog spit.
Kaylin smiled at him since he was laughing as he told the dogs to sit. “They like to go for rides.”
“I wish they would ride in your Mom’s truck and not mine.” Kevin pulled his truck back to the barns.
“Mom’s truck is broken again,” Kaylin jumped out, leaving her backpack behind. The animals came first in her world.
Kevin didn’t say anything as he grabbed the sack and headed up to the house. “Homework Bounce, don’t be long.”
“I won’t,” she yelled from Fiona’s stall.
Bron had paced most of the day in her office. She felt very defenseless right now. The day after they had come home from their trip, she went through the mail. Buried in the bottom were three letters. All of the letters were mailed from her hometown. Each letter dealt with a different time period over the last three weeks. The first one had comments about what had happened with Kevin and Kaylin out in Los Angeles, the press conference, and even the aftermath of what came about with the reporters in Lexington.
The second one had everything they had done while they were away on vacation, even their outings to the Arabian Nights dinner show and the beach. Kevin’s excursions to the golf course were included.
The third letter had to do with events upon their return to Lexington. The fact that Bron and Suzie had moved Suzie’s house-warming party to the first week of September so that the guys could attend if they wanted too.
This had been Nick’s idea since he knew they would all want some time off and this would be the only break for them for a long time. But there was no mention of why, just the date change.
All of the letters did contain one common thread. They were all threatening to her and even more so to Kevin and the kids. This was new; he had never threatened Kevin directly. Obviously, he had threatened Kaylin back when they were in Pittsburgh.
Confusion was raining down on her. She didn’t know whether to say something to Kevin or not. The last line in the letter made her bones chill and her blood run cold. It also cinched the decision for her, she wouldn’t tell Kevin. The line simply said.
It’s amazing how easy it is to get to Kevin. All you have to do is say you are an environmentalist. Security can keep overeager women away and teenagers. They can’t keep people like me away.
“The child has survived the first day of school,” Kevin announced from her doorway.
“Thanks honey,” Bron’s preoccupation with what was going on in her mind very clear.
“We need to talk babe,” Kevin closed the door.
“About what?” Bron’s temper flared not wanting to be bugged at the moment.
“Breastfeeding,” Kevin sat in the chair opposite hers.
“Not going to happen, I’m too busy.” Bron flipped the folder shut. Kevin managed to pull her away from her thoughts in a millisecond.
“I think we should breastfeed,” Kevin raised the book that he had brought with him into the office and settled it on her desk. Nothing like playing Daniel and the Lion’s Den with her. Today, he was the Lion.
Bron leaned back in her chair; it wasn’t that hard, she could barely lean forward anymore heading into her twenty-seventh week of her pregnancy. “We?” Coming from Kevin was not a surprise, on the other hand, it was. To think that he knew her schedule consisted of very long days, traveling, as well as his schedule. “Well, unless you have some additional equipment that most male models don’t have, this isn’t a we decision. Is it?”
Raising an eyebrow at her, he questioned the comment. It wasn’t a biological function; it was his wife being a smart ass. “It’s what is best for the baby. You can take in enough protein in a tablespoon of peanut butter to feed an infant from your breast for the entire day.”
Bron started to laugh as she looked at him. Now his facial expression changed to one of a person who had been insulted. “Does the peanut butter come encased in chocolate because you forgot to mention that I can’t have that while I’m breastfeeding? Nor can a drink or smoke.”
“You haven’t smoked in months, not since I took your cigarettes.” Pausing slightly, “See and it’s a good thing I did.” Kevin’s head moved up and down to indicate his good deed.
“It doesn’t mean I won’t smoke again,” Bron gave him a catty smile.
“Come on don’t start again, you’re doing great.” Now Kevin would beg. He knew she smoked and had shanghaied her cigarettes along with her wallet, cellphone, and purse during the trip from Pittsburgh to Chicago.
“Kevin I don’t have the time to do this.” Bron rolled her eyes at him. “I’ve tried this before and it’s a wonderful thing but dammit I just can’t do it all. I don’t have a normal job.”
“You’ll be home for a couple of weeks, you can do it then. See breast milk is always there. It’s the perfect temperature and you don’t have to refrigerate it. No sterilization needed. No packaging either.”
Bron didn’t know if crying would side track him or not. The packaging comment even made her laugh. “I have a dishwasher, I don’t need to sterilize. I nuke formula very well.”
“You are not suppose to do that, you could burn the baby’s mouth. It says so in the book.”
Kevin’s ‘know it all’ attitude was shining brightly. Damn he’s a toughie when he wants his own way. “Find me a mom in America that has a microwave and I guarantee you she’d nuke baby formula in the middle of the night.”
It wasn’t like she didn’t want to but two things had always held her back. She slept very little and the basic principal that formula fed babies slept longer appealed to her. The other was plain and simple, freedom. It sounded selfish and it was, but she rarely had time for herself. What little time she had would be lost.
Kevin let it fly, what the hell, the worse that could happen is that she would kick his ass. “We can buy a breast pump and you can pump when you go back to work. One of those good ones, I checked it out, they’re a couple of hundred bucks but it would be worth it.”
Grabbing a pencil, she rolled it between her two fingers. “Breast pump? A breast pump? When am I supposedly going to have time to pump in front of say thirty or forty guys?”
He was losing and if he didn’t think of something damn quick, he could forget it. Getting Bron to eat halfway decent during the duration of this pregnancy was hard enough. Could she stick to an even stricter diet after the baby was born? He doubted it.
Reaching into her desk, Bron placed a book on the desktop that Kevin had been become very familiar with. “My copy, and I read it.” Pausing, Bron was ready for the argument from hell with him. She found something in the book that she became very interested in. The concept of a home birth wasn’t new to her, the concept of giving birth in her favorite place, her bathtub, at her own home, with no interference by outsiders was the perfect plan in her mind.
Kevin scouted his chair forward, resting his forearms on the desk, he literally twiddle his thumbs. She’s playing poker with me, I can tell, she’s even wearing that poker face.
“I will think about it but as long as we are on the subject, let’s just get it all out of the way. Shall we? Jake is going to sub-coach for you for Lamaze Class. Is that okay with you?” Bron asked. Bron was going to ease into the bomb very slowly; working up to it.
It wasn’t that he minded and he knew they were close. Okay, he spoke only to himself, he did mind. “You can’t find a girl, what about Suzie?”
“I don’t think the birthing process is her cup of tea. Jake knows me better than anyone does and he can read me like a book. I would rather have him just in case.” Bron stated the obvious.
“In case what?” Kevin stretched
“I don’t know, maybe go into labor when you’re not home. Besides, I asked her to keep an eye on Bounce and she said she would. Suzie can’t be in two places at one time. Gabe has a book for you on Lamaze, I’m sure. The man has a book for everything.”
“Fine, Jake is in.” Kevin tapped the book with his finger, “Breathing techniques are in this book. You must not have read it fully.” Kevin pushed his butt forward in the chair getting into her personal space. Something was definitely up.
Suzie was glad the blinds were open. Catching sight of the books on the desk, she called Jake upstairs.
“What’s up Suzie?”
“Bron’s finally going to ask him,” Suzie snickered as Jake ran for a paper and pencil. She knew what she was going to ask since she helped Bron do the legwork on this. Bron would never take on Kevin empty-handed.
They lurked and watched. Then the sonic boom hit the house.
“ARE YOU FUCKIN’ NUTS? NO WAY! NO HOW!”
Bron’s office door was almost peeled off the hinges as he came storming out of her office and still yelling. His hands were in the air as he shouted at Bron. They were flying in all different directions, including making the universal sign for crazy. “Are you senseless? You have really lost it! You want to give birth to my only child in our God damn Jacuzzi!”
Kevin walked in his office and slammed his door shut.
Bron stood in the frame of her door with a pout on her face. “I thought he might be a little upset but not this upset. Oh well, I’m doing what I want anyway. I should have caught him after he came home from Keith’s stoned the other night.”
Kevin’s door crashed open again. His hands were on his hips and legs spread apart.
Bron turned back to him, “Knock off the superhero shit, it ain’t gonna work. I’m having my baby at home without other people around and with no meds. Drugs aren’t good.”
“Ha! Over my dead body woman. You are going to have my baby in a hospital just like any other normal person!”
“Watch me,” Bron shot him a smirk.
The smirk hit Kevin the wrong way as he ran across the short space, threw open her door, and then slammed it shut again.
“Know what?” Jake nodded.
“What?” Suzie whispered.
“I think this is a draw,” Jake whispered back.
“Give it a couple of minutes, she has a back up plan.”
Jake moaned, “Of course she does, she always has a plan B.”
“Look Kevin it’s not that bad, they have doctors on call if they need them.” Bron now knew she should have had a back up plan.
“No, no, no, I will not let you do this. I can’t believe they are letting you do this. You are high risk. Did you tell them that? Do they understand how old you are?”
Kevin was towering over her, pointing that big damn finger in her face. Bron didn’t answer him. She explained to the Midwife the circumstances of who they were and why she wanted a home birth. The woman did tell her that she wanted permission from Gabe. These were extraordinary circumstances and she wanted a doctor to back her up if anything happened.
Bron needed Kevin in her corner for this. They would need to go to Gabe together. Gabe was ‘Old School’ and she didn’t think she had a chance in hell convincing him. Using the laidback ‘it’s all natural’ point she thought for sure she could get Kevin to see things her way.
Noting the silence and taking it for a negative he spoke, “You didn’t tell them did you?”
“Yes I did, she just wants Gabe’s permission... Sort like a backup if anything goes wrong.” Bron let the cat out of the bag.
Kevin slapped his leg and began laughing. “Settled then, it ain’t happenin’. Gabe won’t do it and you know it. That man brought me into this world for Christ sakes with forceps and you think he is going to let you deliver a kid in our tub. Nice try babe.” Kevin stood up, straight and tall. “Sorry Witch, not this time.”
Kevin sauntered out of Bron’s office. Bron slammed the door behind him.
“Damn, he won,” Suzie frowned. She kind of liked the idea. Granted she didn’t think Bron could do it without drugs but hey, she thought she should have been given the chance.
Waiting the arbitrary few minutes for Bron to cool off, Suzie opened her door. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s not a big deal.” Bron whipped another dart at the dartboard.
Suzie suppressed the giggle since Kevin’s face had now been taped over it. “You do know that the hospital has LDR rooms available but you have to reserve them.”
“LDR? I missed that. What is that?” Bron turned to her, her arm in mid-air.
“Put the dart down and we’ll talk.” Suzie wasn’t about to trust Bron’s temper.
“I hate hospitals,” Bron jammed the dart into Kevin’s eyebrow on the dartboard.
“It’s the same set up, including a whirlpool. You labor, deliver, and recover all in one room with less medical intervention.” Suzie handed Bron the brochure. “The good news is that it’s in the hospital, so if anything is needed you are already there.”
“Oh My God this is perfect. It’s what I want and it’s what he wants.” Bron ripped out of the room, leaving an air trail behind her. “KEVIN!”
“You cheat Suzie, you freaking cheat.” Jake stood at the door with a breeze caressing his face. A breeze Bron had left in her wake. “She didn’t have a plan B, you did.”
Suzie grinned, “She wouldn’t consider it before. She was dead set on doing this at home. Bron can have tunnel vision when she has her mind set.”
A kiss blindsided Suzie; she looked up at Kevin.
Kevin had the famous happy face on, “You are wonderful. Do you want a raise? A new car? A vacation?”
“Can it, you hillbilly,” Suzie slapped him away. “Just let me get out of here for the night.”
“Dinner? Stay for dinner,” Bron grinned. “You are so much better than a therapist.”
“Why thank you. I take pride in my job.” Shutting down the office for the evening. “Speaking of therapy... Mc’s anger management classes are coming along great. Anybody else interested in taking them?”
Kevin laughed and Bron replied, “Bite me bitch.”
“She’s back,” Kevin giggled even louder. The girly giggle.
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