Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sessions 1 - Blurry

soundtrack: Blurry ~ Puddle of Mudd


Downtown Metro Area ~ Hitman Records

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Cooper arrived early at Hitman. He needed to catch up, make calls, and go over plans for the expansion and renovation he and Slim discussed on the flight home. The maelstrom that had been the last several months seemed to have finally settled. It felt good walking through the doors of the place; it had been too long and he was anxious to get back to writing music.




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Taking the stairs two at a time he entered the office and called Slim. "Hey man, its Coop. Yeah everything's fine, it is now anyway or it will be. I just need to tie up a few loose ends. I took a look at the blueprints but we can discuss that when you get in."
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Cooper paced irritated that he had to be here and anxious to get home. He wanted to get this over with quickly. He had debated how to handle the situation with Ryan and finally made a decision. Turning abruptly when a breeze blew through the entrance Cooper turned and watched Ryan walk through the doors, his strides long and confident and the morning sun illuminating the hard line of his mouth.
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Cooper approached him; his expression fierce as he leveled his eyes on the bodyguard. "Let's talk upstairs."
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Ryan had been preparing for this conversation for weeks although he didn't anticipate it would come this fast. Following Cooper up the stairs he stood arms folded and waited for Cooper to speak.

Drawing a deep breath, Cooper exhaled and went right to it. "I don't need your services anymore Ryan."

"You're firing me?"
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"I'm terminating your contract. If you'd prefer to tender your resignation it's all the same to me but you're done as of right now. Let me make this clear; I don't want you near my wife. You don't call her, you don't see her. You disappear from her life. I'll see to it you get a letter of reference. If you want it to be a decent one, you'll remember what I just said."
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"You have a problem with the way I did my job?" Did he have a problem with it? It had been obvious before Paris, but that had been the breaking point. He could no longer ignore the way Ryan looked at her, or the way she responded to Ryan. No one in his right mind would retain a bodyguard who had obviously become emotionally attached to his charge.
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"Yeah I have a problem with it!" Infuriated, Cooper was barely able to keep his temper in control. "I have a problem with your relationship with my wife!"
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"There is no relationship. I did exactly what you hired me to do," Ryan snapped as he stepped toward Cooper.
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"I didn't hire you to get involved with her," Cooper shot back flatly. "Are you going to stand there and deny you have an interest in her beyond business?"
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Ryan glared at Cooper, hard, direct. "I keep my personal and business relationships separate. I told you that in the first interview. Of course I have a personal interest in her and your daughter and I do a damn good job of taking care of them."

"And you think I don't?" Cooper shot back at him, enraged. It was the same challenge Ryan had thrown at him before the tour, almost word for word. "You didn't answer my question!"

"I think I did. Does Beth know?"

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Cooper turned away as he shuffled some papers on the desk and tried to regain some composure. "She has more important things to care about than an employee."

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Employee...arrogant asshole, Ryan bristled; everything was a possession to him, a thing. He shut his eyes briefly, inhaled and then growled, "She doesn't know does she?" Ryan knew how much Beth cared. He knew she wouldn't like it, knew she wouldn't have much to say about it either. Ryan was more convinced than ever that staying with Cooper was going to end up breaking her heart. "You'll have my resignation by 5PM."

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"Fine. I'll see to it you get severance pay. Two weeks." Cooper turned giving Ryan one last cold look. "We're done here."

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Ryan's heavy footfalls down the stairway drew Landry's attention as she settled in to start her day. "Ryan? What are you doing here? What's going on?" She couldn't recall the last time she had seen Ryan in a mood this foul and it frightened her.

"Not now Landry, I need to get out of here," he grumbled.

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She sat at the desk dumbfounded as she watched him shove the doors open and storm out. Bright sunlight poured through momentarily blinding her. Trying to let it go Landry stared at the computer and then rose with a sigh and headed upstairs.

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Cooper was still angry, at Ryan, at himself for hiring him when he had misgivings. The misgivings ran deep - he'd spent less than half a dozen days in a month with her for a hell of a long time, Ryan moving right in, and some of that attachment went both ways. How much, he didn't know, not yet. Seeing movement from the stairwell he wheeled around and shouted, "What didn't you get?!"

Startled, Landry hesitated, "I guess this is a bad time..."
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Cooper's mouth fell open. "Landry, no, I'm sorry I thought..." He stared openly, "You're pregnant? I didn't know." Cooper began to second guess his reaction with Ryan. He had just fired a guy who was about to become a father. Could he have been wrong?
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"I didn't think it was important enough to bother you on the tour. Anyway that was what I came up to discuss. I'm taking a few days. I'm moving to a new place."
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"Sure, it's not a problem Landry. Funny, Ryan didn't mention it. "

"He wouldn't Cooper; it's not his style to discuss his personal affairs. And it wasn't exactly planned."

Personal affairs...Cooper imagined there was a lot Ryan didn't share. "Where are you two moving?"
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Her voice was quiet, "It's just me that's moving. Ryan and I broke up. And before you ask, yes the baby is his. It was just...very bad timing."
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Cooper was silent for a long moment as he studied her carefully. "I'm sorry Landry. Was it another woman?" He waited for some indication that might confirm his suspicions.
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She laughed sardonically, "No, it was nothing like that, just the wrong woman."
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"Landry, if there is anything I can do, please don't hesitate to ask." Anything except hiring Ryan back, Cooper thought dryly. He would have to be in dire straits before he would walk that road again.
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"You'll find someone else Landry, a man who will treat you right and make you happy. Ryan doesn't deserve you." Cooper fought the urge to divulge his suspicions.
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"He's a good man Cooper but we've been unraveling for awhile; I just didn't want to see it." She exhaled and turned to leave. "I love him Cooper; it just isn't enough."
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Cooper watched Landry disappear down the stairwell. She certainly had his sympathy; Coop didn't envy her being a single mother. A fleeting thought that Ryan might come to his senses quickly faded as his suspicions bubbled to the surface once more.
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South Beach ~ Stanfield Residence: Late Evening
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The sun had already set by the time Cooper arrived at home. He ended up spending the entire day at Hitman laying down tracks for some new songs he had written. Tired, he ascended the steps outside his home, pushed through the doors and punched in the security code.
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Beth had just finished putting the twins down for the night when he came into the bedroom. Turning to face him she smiled warmly and pulled him in close. "You're late. Are you hungry?" she asked him softly.

"As a matter of fact, I am."

"Let me fix you something."
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As Beth started toward the door, he wrapped his arms around her tightly and murmured, "I'm not hungry for food." He kissed her deeply, and then reluctantly pulled away. Cooper pulled off his shirt and sat on the edge of the bed watching her as she walked toward him.
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"You look tired Coop; is everything all right at the studio?" Beth searched his face as she began to kick off her shoes.
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He was silent for a long moment before he inhaled deeply and replied, "Everything is fine. I spent most of the afternoon laying down tracks."

He hesitated for a split second. She wasn't going to like this. How much she didn't like it, he wasn't sure. What the hell, the man was a bodyguard; she couldn't possibly give a damn about someone like that. Not a serious damn. Looking up at her, Cooper slid back on the bed, waiting, and announced, "And I fired Ryan."

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NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 2

NOTE: This particular chapter follows up on our earlier work.

29 comments:

S.B. said...

Breaking out the champagne! This looks fantastic! The shots, the blog, the header, everything! I love it! And the choice of the music was inspired!

You know how much I love this piece. Complex, layered emotion; anger; resentment; jealousy. Love. And a carefully delivered bombshell at the end...at least Cooper chose a perfect moment to drop it.

Ryan can be truly frightening when he's angry. And intent on doing what he sees as the right thing. That's someone definitely not to be taken lightly.

Beautiful, beautiful writing and gorgeous pics. The shot of Cooper on that bed is fabulous!

It has been an incredible pleasure -- here's to continuing the journey.

Gayl said...

I've got the fresh strawberries to dip in the bubbly! It really does look fantastic! Especially now that we posted something!

There is a lot going on here and yes, Ryan can be very dangerous. I don't think we have even scratched the surface of what he is capable of for love or what he believes is right.

I am truly excited about this! It feels fresh, new and really really good!

Phoenix said...

Oh man! This was awesome! I loved all the shots, the sets, the layout to the blog is amazing(I LOVE the header) and the tension is so thick! I can't wait to see what's going to happen down the road!

And...there's goes Coop's chance to get a little action but at least he was honest!

Gayl said...

OK you have to tell me how you even found this! I don't think the Alliance post was even up before I saw your comment! LOL! You're fast!

Come on, you think you could say no to Cooper???

Thank you Phoenix; it should be a wild ride!

Phoenix said...

LOL! Beth had it up on her page already!:P It was on my blog roll!! Haha!!

I click, I saw, I HAD to read! Love it!!

As for saying no to Coop...I think I can say no but I don't know if I could stick with it!:P

Great as always!

Gayl said...

LOL! Well that explains it! I thought you were psychic for a second there.

Thank you again!

simstate said...

Okay - I've accepted that I am so never going to catch up - I'm jumping from one blog to another.

Sorry - ha ha - I cheated and checked out the newest post anyway, and hopefully won't be kicked out for asking too many noob questions.

So, my first noob question is - wasn't Beth the married girl Rafe was messing with? I'm gonna go back and skim a bit just to get some bearing.

S.B. said...

Hey simstate - ROFL!

No...ummm...wrong woman and the right woman was a widow.

But I am very glad you asked. I'm going to write a summary/synopsis, sort of who did who and when and what happened. Gayl and I were just discussing this the other day. This whole thing is too long and too involved at this point, and we don't honestly expect anyone to go through 2 years worth of writing.

So thank you!

Gayl said...

simstate, don't worry about catching up; it's a lot of reading. And now you don't need to jump around bcause we will both be posting here. I don't know how much of a detriment it is not to know all the back story but some of it is not necessary if you at least have a sense of the recent past.

Rafe and Beth are extremely close friends, like brother and sister. There was never a romance between them. Not sure who the married girl is you are referring to *glares at Rafe suspiciously* but he definitely got around when he was in college.

Thanks for reading!

~Drew said...

Another great update, I am always amazed at the depth of emotion that simmers and boils over in Cooper. He is so expressive!

The blog looks very crisp, appealing, great job, y'all.

I think Cooper is bang on in is instincts here with regard to Ryan, and my feelings, if Beth doesn't like it, too bad. Cooper hired him, Cooper can fire him.

Now, not to say Ryan does not appeal, he certainly does, and Beth may deny it, but she feels a pull toward the guy. Who wouldn't. And perhaps Ryan has a point about everything being a possession to Cooper. This was entertaining to see these guys hiss and spit at each other!
Some bumps in the road ahead, I think! Wonderfully done, and the shots...well...

Mao said...

Wow, what a way to end it! I can't wait to see how this one goes. Oh, Cooper, what are you doing? Excluding Beth from these decisions is NOT a good idea. It isn't going to push her away from Ryan, but to him. /shakes head sadly

Maybe Cooper could take a note from Landry? Sheesh.

I can't wait to see what you two have in store for this new "chapter" in everyone's lives!

goodbye-sun said...

Oh man, you know he has to know that little titbit of information is not going to just slide past Beth. Trading one problem for another is not going to make it all go away, and I'm with Mao, its only going to make her feel like she has to make things right for Ryan, but now there is no employee/employer net to catch them.

Lachesis said...

Gayl,

The colors, textures and detail of the sets are beautiful. I admit, I've never been able to catch up, but I've read enough to know who the people are and you've written the interactions in such a way that even if you haven't read everything, it's still very easy to know what's happening.

Very well done, and very well written. I'm so looking forward to following along and not feeling like I'm running to catch up. I was so happy to see this. :)

Gayl said...

Drew: Cooper is like an eternal flame of emotion. A lot of fire in him that can calmly flicker or flare up and burn you badly. And so glad you like the blog. SB did all the hard work (colors, etc) I just whined about it...

Ryan and Cooper I suspect are not done sparring yet. Hard to say. Thanks for reading and commenting. Always appreciate it!

Mao: It was a good cliff hanger of sorts wasn't it? Quite the bomb he dropped. He knows there is something there and had to shut it down. I have no doubt he is confident in his relationship with his wife but things (obviously) can get out of hand. Ryan is right to an extent...Coop does have a thing about what he feels is his. Whether Beth lets it go or reacts, we'll have to wait and see.

goodbye-sun: No it won't just slide past her and she will feel horrible about Ryan for many reasons. I think she understands that it is for the best but that doesn't make it much easier.

Lachesis: I never expected you or anyone to read all that back story! Two years worth of writing would put anyone off. I am glad that it does make sense though. SB has already started putting a synopsis/summery together so we will try to get that out there...somewhere. Thank you so much about the sets and the writing!

Emily said...

Okay first let me thank you for picking that song! It's one that I loved once upon a time and had no idea who sang it, therefore you forget all about it! So I went and downloaded first thing, lol!

Secondly, "She has more important things to care about than an employee."
Ouch! Poor Ryan. NOT! Never did like him. :D
Loved that Cooper was sort of giving it to him, letting him know where he stands. Although I do believe Ryan when he says that he's a professional and would never let it go past that. But having your wife care about someone like that is JUST as bad as them cheating, to me!

And oh boy, this last conversation is not going to be peaches and cream.

Love this new chapter of everyone's lives, can't wait to see where it takes them all. Well done!

Gayl said...

Emily! Happy to oblige with the song!

You are so funny, I think you may be the only one who dislikes Ryan LOL! But that's ok! I do think he would have remained professional but it was a bad situation that was bound to get worse and Cooper did what he believes is the best thing. Where it goes from here will be revealed soon.

veron-asher said...

Ooooohhhh, pretty!

And, uhm, CLIFFHANGER much?!

Haha, I really love the new look.

Oh wow, I can't wait to hear Beth's reaction. That conversation will be everything if not interesting. I feel like Cooper is only giving Beth more of a reason to jump on Ryan's bandwagon.

Oh, gosh that could be a pun.

veron-asher said...

Aaaannnndddd I really can't find the original to that hair you asked about. It's absolutely peggy, but I can't the mesh number. But here is a link to a retexture, and I'm pretty sure these are the textures I was using.

http://hapsburgxx.livejournal.com/40164.html#cutid1

Gayl said...

Thank you Veron! Yes, we do love our cliffhangers don't we? Glad you like the new look. I take no credit. It would still be a WIP if I was doing it.

I think Beth's emotions are going to be all over the spectrum but in her heart she knows it was best for all of them.

No worries on the hair. I will follow that link and see if I can track it down. Again, the Peggy site is hard to weed through. Thank you for looking though!

Noir said...

Cooper and Beth have worked so hard at their relationship from the very beginning and Ryan muddied up the water. Landry is very accepting of her fate and very resigned that her love will never be returned. Out of all their stories, Landry's is the most tragic right now. A pending mother, alone in the world with a baby to support and no one to help her. I really feel for her.

Once again, you weave an intriguing and strong story filled with colourful characters that seem to jump from the pages like magic.

Gayl said...

Thank you Noir! Landry is fairly resigned. She knows Ryan. It won't do any good to hope he changes his mind. He was honest about his feelings. Who knows what may have happened but sometimes things are not meant to be, lines get blurred. But Ryan will be there for her and the baby so in that sense he will be there for her. It is tragic and sad for everyone.

S@ndy said...

This chapter was fire!!! from the beginning to the end it was just burning anger and frustration!! fantastic writing, I couldn't stop reading, you really capture the frustration and anger of those two men!!!

I feel so sorry for Landry, hopefully she can find someone, I doubt it, she seems like the type of woman who only loves one man in her life... unfortunately she chose the wrong man to love...

I love Cooper, I really do, but sometimes I agree with Rafe and Ryan, he thinks of everything as his possession....
I can't wait to find out what Beth thinks of Ryan being fired!!!

Wonderful writing as always and lovely shots!!! Great job, it was a very intense chapter!!!

Colliegirl said...

I love those last shots of Coop with Beth! They were nicely done!

Wow! So he finally did it. He fired Ryan. I imagine that won't go over so well with Beth, huh?

But something really needed to be done. They needed to have some distance put between them. It didn't look like Ryan had any intention of resigning. The relationship between them was surely headed in a bad direction. And I really dreaded seeing Coop have to deal with another failed marriage. Hopefully, they can work it all out, without too many bitter feelings.

Great writing, Gayl!

Gayl said...

Thanks Sandy! I'm glad the anger and frustration came through. I feel bad for Landry as well but it's also hard to be with someone who does not feel the same way about you.

Gayl said...

Tammy thank you for reading! Yes, he finally did it. I don't think it will come as a surprise to Beth even though she wasn't aware it was happening right then.

I am glad you are enjoying the story!

the_mctavishams said...

gahhh i love it! I think I'm starting at the beginning...? Which is kudos for me, since I usually tend to skim over the first parts and then read from the current place in the story. (shhh don't tell!)

But I loooooove your guys' shots! They're soo amazing. Love the angles, and the lighting. I will be reading this (slogging through slowly, unfortunately, but RL is just so hectic for me at the moment... I'll get there, though!)

S.B. said...

Hey The_McT ! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and leave us a comment!

Well...no, this isn't really the beginning but it's a good place to start. You could check out the bios, they fill in a lot of holes. From this point on, the chapters and the way they interact with the companion stories (which cover the same story lines) are all listed in the Chapter Guide link on the linkbar.

Thanks for the compliment on the shots! I think we've improved since we started this back around January of this year. Coming from you, that is a HUGE compliment!!!

Gayl said...

@the_mctavishams: first of all thanks for stopping by and reading! I don't think either of us expects anyone to start at the beginning of this since it is not only lengthy but spans well over 2 years worth of writing. The summaries and bios are definitely a good place to start. I can't speak for SB but my early work tends to make me cringe some when I go back and look at it.

Thanks so much for the compliments on the shots. They certainly have improved a lot!

Jennifer said...

Hi ladies, finally getting around to making a start on your story. I figured I'd read Sessions and then continue on with Studio Time.
Really looking forward in getting to know your characters and reading what looks to be a wonderfully collaborated piece of work! :)