© Kat Morgan 1999/2000
In Name Only
Chapter 57: Wanted - One babysitter
© Kat Morgan
"I cannot believe that there isn’t a babysitter anywhere in the city of New York."
"I told you I’d look after CJ. Stop worrying," Leighanne chided Kat.
"Not a baby!" CJ pouted not that he’d finally finished chewing the huge chunk of waffle he’d stuffed in his mouth.
"It’s a figure of speech, CJ," Kat replied absently. There was nothing like waking up with the arms of the guy you love wrapped around you. Unfortunately Kat had wished it had been Kevin’s arms and not his son’s.
She’d tried to slip out of his grasp as carefully as she could, but one small twitch changed CJ from a softly snoring lump to a fully alert whirlwind. She’d managed to get him clothed and parked in front of the television with little trouble. The problems started when she’d tried to organize for someone to watch him while she was at her meeting.
Leigh had offered – pointing out hat Kevin and Howie would be doing most of the work. Their appointment at MTV wasn’t until late in the afternoon. So really Leigh’d just have CJ for the short while when the Boys were on TRL.
Kat hated to do it but she was going to have to agree. Her appointment was at 11 a.m. and was expected to continue until early evening. The book needed so much work…
Kat knew that was her fault. Again. She’d handed in shoddy work just to make the deadline. It just hadn’t been as important to her as what was going on at home. Now she’d have to pay for it with a long and tedious revision session. And she’d have to defend her writing, even though she wasn’t too proud of it this time out, just so it looked good. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive….
"Careful, CJ," Kat’s hand flashed out in time to rescue the glass of milk he was just about to knock off the table.
"Mom…" he complained.
"Don’t whine at your mother, little man." Kevin slid into the chair beside Kat.
"Hey Kev," Leigh smiled before turning her attention back to Bryleigh.
"Hi," Kat said softly.
He discreetly gave her hand a quick squeeze. "Feeling better? You were so tired last night…"
Kat blushed a little. "I…"
His voice dropped to his sexiest tone. "You looked so cute all snuggled up with CJ. I didn’t have the heart to wake you. I should have cuddled up with the two of you."
"I wish you had," Kat replied with a tremulous smile.
He caught her eyes with his emerald gaze. "I wish I had too. Tonight?"
Kat nodded, afraid to speak. There was too much emotion in her heart.
"Kethy? Take me to the zoo?"
Kevin turned back to his son. "Sure thing, sport. Can I have breakfast first?"
CJ seemed to think about it for a moment. Then winked. "Okay."
Kat repressed a quick shiver. The boy acted like a perfect mixture of the two male role models he had vying for his attention. His mannerisms and behaviors were so evenly spilt between those that Kevin used and those that Howie used. It was almost uncanny. No wonder no one had even questioned his parentage. People expected him to act like Howie... and he did. And the people who knew to look for traces of Kevin always found those too.
"Is there any room in there for me?" she mumbled.
"What?" Kevin asked.
"Nothing. Just trying to get my thoughts together for my meeting."
"Your mommy’s talking to herself again, CJ," Kevin joked.
"Always does that," he replied before stuffing another gargantuan slice of waffle into his mouth.
Leigh started to laugh and Bryleigh chimed in.
"Oh stop that," Kat grumbled, though inwardly she was glad. Kevin seemed more relaxed about all this than usual. Kat was going to have to find out what AJ had said to him and thank him profusely.
Leighanne had gotten tired of Kat calling every few hours just to make sure that things were okay and had turned off her cell phone. She understood why Kat was doing it: a mixture of need to take a break from her meetings and anxiety over a domestic situation that was fraught with tension. But it had still been annoying. So she’d told her not to call again and turned the power on the phone off. That was what voice mail was for wasn’t it?
Besides everything was going smoothly. They had arrived at the MTV studios with plenty of time to spare. And while she’d lost some of her assistant babysitters to the makeup chair, she’d gained new ones who were more than willing to coo and fuss over both Backstreet babies until it was time for the show to start.
On the other side of the room Tara Lawence, TRL’s host, was fussing and cooing over Nick, much to his chagrin. Leigh wasn’t surprised when he came over to play with his favourite "niece" and "nephew."
"Don’t even say it," he growled at Leigh when she smirked at him. "That woman is toxic."
"Make nice, Nick. The new single’s being premiered today."
"Yeah, well it’ll still be premiered today no matter what. No need for me to kiss up to that barracuda."
He flashed Leigh a grin then swung CJ over his shoulder. He tried to tickle him, but had to work hard to avoid the flailing feet. "Okay, that’s not going to work." He put CJ down and asked him all about his trip to the zoo. He’d all ready heard it all once before, but CJ had been so excited about the trip that he had no trouble starting his tale again. Besides, Tara was not enamored of children and she kept her distance as Nick sat on the floor in front of a wildly gestured CJ and Bryleigh climbed on his lap.
AJ ambled over, and was almost knocked over by Brian who had sprinted past him to pick up Bryleigh. The little girl had jumped off Nick’s knee as soon as she saw her beloved father and was running towards him.
Nick turned to Leighanne and grinned. "A Kodak moment."
Leigh laughed as the two Littrells hugged each other. "I have way too many pictures of that."
Kevin, unfortunately, got cornered by Tara, and spoke politely with her, while he watched CJ wistfully.
A tech scurried by signally five minutes to the start of the show. AJ, Nick and Brian who were dancing with CJ and Bryleigh broke off their performance, much to the chagrin of onlookers. The two children had been laughing uproariously as they tried to imitate the moves that the older men were doing. Even Howie joined in for a second before giving CJ a hug and taking his seat in the studio.
Leighanne gathered the two children together and moved back, out of the way, as the show started.
"Auntie Leigh?" CJ started to tug on her skirt and Leighanne looked down. "Yes, CJ?"
"Bryleigh’s not okay."
Leighanne turned to look at her daughter who gazed up at her with a sort of greenish-tinge to her face. "Mama?"
"Sweetheart what’s wrong?" The words were only just out of Leigh’s mouth when the little girl threw up. Leigh groaned. When CJ had come back from his excursion with Kevin he had made a big deal about how he had saved some of his precious candy floss to share with Bry who hadn’t been able to go to the zoo with him. Bry had promptly eaten all of it, and between that and all the jumping around the children had done – with the oversized children – it had obviously not sit well with her little stomach.
It was only a little bit and Bryleigh looked so apologetic, one lone tear slowly spilled down one cheek. "It’s okay, Bry. Mommy will make it all better." Leigh signaled to one of the crew and explained the situation. Arrangements were made to clean it up immediately.
"CJ, I am going to take Bry to the bathroom. You stay right here. Don’t move. I’ll be right back, okay?"
CJ nodded and Leighanne carried a contrite Bry to the washroom. As Bry was washing up Leighanne peeked out to check on CJ, and chuckled as she saw CJ directing the clean up of his cousin’s mess. Just like Kevin, he was always taking charge of things.
Leigh scooped Bry gingerly into her arms. "Feeling better now?"
"Yeah," the little girl whispered. "Am I in trouble?"
"No honey. Just be more careful when you eat sweets. I know that CJ got it for you especially, but you don’t need to eat it all at once."
Bryleigh grimaced and replied decisively. "No sweets."
Leighanne gave her a hug "Good. Let’s go back and watch Daddy, okay?"
"Okay." Bryleigh was busy playing with Leigh’s necklace, fully recovered from her ordeal.
Leigh skirted the newly washed area of the floor and looked around. "Now where did CJ go? I told him to wait right here."