Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sessions 3 - My Heart, Your Hands

I can feel the knife carving your love in my heart
You promised you wouldn't harm a hair on this fragile body, no, that's not fair.
But how can I trust you? How can I trust you?

With my heart, in your hands closing your grip!
My heart, in your hands closing your grip!
I'm so afraid that you'll leave me cold with my heart in your hands closing, closing, closing.

Try to sit here with closed eyes
It's not possible
Cause how do I know that you'll be good doing the things that you know you should

Yeah, how can I trust you? How can I trust you?
With my Heart, in your Hands closing your grip!
My heart, in your hands closing your grip!
I'm so afraid that you'll leave me cold with my heart in your hands closing.

How can I trust you? How can I trust you?

With my heart, in your hands closing your grip!
My heart, in your hands closing your grip!
I'm so afraid that you'll leave me cold with my heart in your hands closing your grip, your grip, your grip!





Bay View - South Shore
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"You've been unusually quiet today." Landry looked around at the few boxes she had left to unpack. The furniture she and Ryan picked out for her place had been delivered and Ryan patiently moved things back and forth until she was satisfied.

"I'm fine," Ryan answered flatly.



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"Ryan, I know you; you are not fine! Do you think I don't know how you get when you are angry?" Landry stood rubbing her back absently as she stared at him. In a gentler voice she asked, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Throwing a quick look over his shoulder as he crouched down to rip open a box Ryan noticed she looked paler than usual. He fought the urge to snap at her, yell at her to leave it alone.
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Rising, he strode over to where she stood. "I don't want to talk about it; what I want is to know if you feel all right. You look tired Lan."
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She walked toward the window and stared out at the ocean. This was still so difficult. Landry kept telling herself he wasn't that far away. Maybe now he would...what, come to his senses? See what he had? Sighing she turned to look at him. "I'm as big as a whale. I'm carrying around 20 extra pounds and it's all in my stomach. I can't see my feet. I can't sleep on my stomach. I can't wear a bikini without feeling incredibly self conscious."
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Ryan narrowed his eyes as he reminded himself that she was pregnant and more moody than usual. Not that he needed to be reminded of her condition. He breathed in and in a level voice responded, "I just wanted to know how you felt."
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"Well now you know. Look, I'm going to fix something to eat. Will you stay?"

Ryan watched her walk to the kitchen and followed brushing the dust off his hands. "I don't know Lan."

"For heaven's sake Ryan, I'm not asking you to sleep with me, it's just food."
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Throughout the meal their conversation was stilted. Both tried to pretend nothing was wrong, that the situation was not uncomfortable for them until they ran out of things to say and became silent. Reaching for something else, Landry brought up a topic that had always ended up in them arguing. "Have you given any thought about names for the baby?"
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Although he did not understand why, it made Ryan uneasy to think about names. It made the situation all the more real and permanent. "I don't know Landry, you decide, it doesn't matter."
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"Don't you want some input here? How can you still be so detached from all of this? You're going to have a son or a daughter Ryan; you're going to be a father. A child with your name, doesn't that get to you at all? I can't believe you can remain so disconnected from this!"
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"Damn it Landry, I get it all right? I get it! Why do we have to talk about this every time we have a conversation?"

"I just thought you would want some say; at some point you need to stop pretending that this isn't happening. If you don't want any part of your child, say so and I'll do this by myself."
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Landry rose and began washing the dishes, angry for allowing her emotions to get away from her. Ryan quietly moved behind her feeling every bit the ass. Sighing, he put his arms on her shoulders and spoke quietly, "I do care Lan; I want to be part of the kid's life, I really do. I promise I'll start thinking about names."
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Turning to face him she smiled weakly, "It just...means a lot to me knowing that you'll try to be a good father, to be involved."
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Weakly returning the smile, Ryan gently embraced her. "I'm going to go upstairs and put that crib together. You need to sit down and take it easy."

"All right, I do feel a little exhausted. I haven't been sleeping well," she softly answered as she walked toward the couch. "Ryan, thank you."
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Ryan watched her carefully lie back on the couch. His life was slowly unraveling but he would not let her down, or his child. "Don't worry Lan; I will be a good father. Now get some rest."
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One hour later Ryan descended the stairs having assembled all the baby furniture and putting it where he thought it seemed to fit. Gently nudging Landry, who had fallen asleep he said good night and rose headed toward the door.
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The sight of Beth standing there hit him like a blow to the chest. Stunned, he couldn't find words. Trying to recover, he stepped through the door. "Hey," his face softened into a smile as his eyes lit up at the sight of her.
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She couldn't breathe, couldn't speak and couldn't move. Her voice was barely a whisper, "Ryan..." When she finally found her voice the words tumbled out haphazardly, "I came to see Landry; I have a baby gift. I didn't know you would be here. If this is a bad time I can just leave it and go." Her hands trembled so much she was afraid the bear would topple off the package.
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They stood looking at each other unable to tear their eyes away, Ryan grinning and Beth willing her heart to stop pounding, until the awkward silence was finally broken by Landry who, heartbroken to see her worst fear confirmed, watched the exchange. "It's not a bad time Beth, Ryan was just leaving. Come in."
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As the two women began talking Ryan, his heart aching, stormed down the stairs, slammed the car door and gunned the engine as he pulled away from the beach house.
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Ryan drove, going nowhere in particular, but avoiding the direction that would take him home. Things were spiraling downward, he was edgy, angry and he needed to find work soon. Running into Beth had thrown him. Abruptly turning the wheel of his SUV he headed for the bright lights of the Metro area.

Metro Area - Chinatown
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Ryan walked into a busy bar in the heart of Chinatown. He looked around uninterested in his surroundings but scanning it anyway out of habit. Ordering a drink, he downed it quickly then sat at the bar. Flagging down the bartender he growled, "Pour me a Glenfidditch, double, and keep them coming."
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Several cocktails later, Ryan finally began to feel numb when he tensed slightly. Someone had sat down beside him, her perfume wafting over to him. It was expensive, that much he knew. But he wasn't interested in making small talk. Sliding his eyes sideways he quickly raked them over her appreciatively. She was a pretty blonde, slightly familiar looking with a rack that most men would pant over.
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The assessment did not go unnoticed by the young woman. "If you're going to gape at me like that you could at least buy me a drink."

"I didn't think I was gaping."

"Well you were. But I'll forgive you if you order me a gin and tonic. My name's Claudia by the way."
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"Pleasure to meet you Claudia. I'm Ryan. Are you here alone?"

"Not anymore," she purred as she slid her hand under his and smiled.
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They both rose from their bar stools and headed to the dance floor. Ryan watched the way she moved, every curve, every inch of her primed for action. "Why don't we get out of here? This place is a little too crowded." He moved close to her. Claudia breathed him in; a heady combination of expensive Scotch and sweat.
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Claudia flashed a smile at him and before he knew it they were groping each other in a dark alley behind the bar. Ryan backed her into the wall molding their bodies together. He thrust his hips against her and slid his hand under her dress eliciting a moan from her.
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"Get a room why don't you?" a passer-by spat as she glared at them.

"Why don't we?" Ryan's deep voice slurred echoing the suggestion.

"I don't live far from here and I think you'd find my place much more amusing."

"I think you're amusing right here in the alley sweetheart." Ryan moved his mouth down her neck and chest savoring the taste of her.
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Laughing softly Claudia whispered in his ear between kisses, "I'm much better in a nice big bed. Take me home Ryan; I promise it will be worth your while." She moved her hands along his broad back and hips until she found her intended target and smiled at the desired result.
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Reluctantly he pulled back lifting her hand to his mouth as he playfully nibbled on her fingers. "Lead the way."

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She didn't look that damned good when she walked away, or maybe it was the light.  Or the time.  If he'd had two months lead on Cooper, he'd be going home to the woman he loved instead of walking down into nowhere, one damned step at a time.
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NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 4

Related Chapters from Earlier Work:
Cancelling It Out
Dissonance

17 comments:

S.B. said...

Stunning. Absolutely stunning. So terribly sad - and I know I should pity Landry the most but my heart really goes out to Ryan.

It's been a long time since Claudia strolled onto the scene. That's a mistake, Ryan. But I don't blame him.

Gorgeous shots and the detail blows me away! The gift; the sign in the yard; Chinatown. Perfect!

Just heartbreaking. Fantastic work and writing!

Gayl said...

Thank you...I have to say I feel sorry for all of them. Such a no-win situation. Ryan is spiraling downward for the first time in his life. Falling hard and fast.

Claudia is certainly going to be some comfort for Ryan if only physically. It's been awhile and I think he feels like he can suppress the pain through sex.

I tried not to use too many posed shots. Some were unavoidable.

S.B. said...

You use poses extremely well. There isn't a single shot where I'm sitting here going ok that's such and such a pose. The writing and the atmosphere are so intense, analyzing poses just isn't happening!

Phoenix said...

Blah! I feel bad for Landry! I can't believe she was still holding out. It's time to let go girl and move on.

As for Beth and Ryan...they irritate me. Especially Beth. She can't keep pulling Ryan's heart strings. Or Coops either. For some reason I never liked her. Or Ryan. So I guess they're perfect for each other huh?:P LOL!

Your shots were gorgeous and I can feel the emotion in the air which is probably why I got all emotional!

As for Claudia...I wonder what's going to happen there?

Great piece Gayl!

Gayl said...

Phoenix...I believe that Landry is concerned over Ryan's disconnect over the reality of impending fatherhood. He is not the kind of guy that stays tied to the house ya know? And this is a child that was neither planned or expected between two people who were more friends with benefits toward the end than anything else. Sure she wishes he would see what he has but he doesn't.

As for Beth...I don't know. Pulling his heart strings? I don't think that is happening here. Or with Cooper. She made a choice. She said goodbye and meant it. But they are both still raw and running into each other when it was unexpected caught them off guard.

Claudia is a temporary fix, a physical outlet for Ryan. She is a party girl and nothing like her twin. So my guess is they will have a hot night, maybe a few, but nothing serious there.

Thanks Phoenix! Glad I could elicit a reaction! Means I am doing my job here.

S@ndy said...

:( My heart aches for these trio!!! I just don't know what to say...

Wonderful, difficult to read, engrossing, fascinating, fantastic and any other adjective you want to add... this was a fantastic read, and I was so happy I had more than one chapter to read.. Now that I'm all caught up, I have to say I'm really happy you two are still working together! You are a wonderful team and what you do is just breathtakingly fascinating!!!

Ryan going with the blond... damn, all men are the same.... aren't they? I can't blame him though... Beth is with her husband... and it must be soo hard knowing that she sleeps every night in Cooper's arms...

and Lan... again I can't tell you how sorry I feel for her... she is still holding on to some hope... and I think she will always hope...

Another wonder chapter... what a great read!!!!
Bravo!!!
beautiful pictures, the ones of the Metro area were my favorites, but all of them are fantastic like always the decor, the ligthing,t he angles, everything was perfect!!!
again Bravisimo!!!

Mao said...

Oh, boy. Ryan, what are you doing? Danger! Do not pass go, do NOT "collect" $200. The last thing he needs to do is knock up some random chick because he's drunk and frustrated. Gah.

Poor Beth. Poor Ryan! What a mess. And Landry there, too. Geeze. A fine mess indeed.

Great stuff, Gayl!

Gayl said...

SANDY: No one wins in this situation, all three are in a rough spot here. I think I feel the worst for Ryan because both Beth and Landry have something to hold onto. He is still holding onto a dream. Thank you so much for the compliments on the writing and the shots! I like that downtown lot as well.

MAO: It is a mess. About to get messier but that won't be because of the blonde. Thanks as always for reading!

simstate said...

Wow, it's so cool that your hood's so developed - a Chinatown too!

And what a triangle - or rather - a tetrad? Something's gotta give - it's like the tension is just building up and I'm just waiting for a big explosion.

Emily said...

Okay, finally put a finger on at least one reason I dislike Ryan, he is always waffling! He can't seem to decide what the heck he wants or if he does know what he wants, he doesn't know whether to go after it or not! I was so happy with that scene at Landry's after he put together the crib and what not and then-bam! Seeing Beth again makes him go do something stupid like sleep with a random stranger!

I love that shot of him walking through Chinatown with the red lights, that was just gorgeous! And the one with Beth holding the gifts did not looked 'posed' at all, I was totally surprised at that! And no, did not try and figure out what you did, it just looked great!

Wonderful update, I enjoyed it!

Gayl said...

simstate: If you really saw my 'hood you wouldn't say that! LOL! But I really liked that lot and I sort of went with a San Francisco idea since there are ethnic areas there. Probably a Chinatown in every large metro area however. Something will definitely give...and soon.

Emily: Ryan was ready to go for it after he was fired but Beth said goodbye. It is still pretty raw between them. So he goes off and tries to bury the feelings of loss in someone else's arms. It's a temporary fix and not a particularly smart one.

I loved that shot too! It was a total accident. I was trying to setup the camera and it just sort of landed there. I LOVE that lot. There is so much there and it doesn't have a really big footprint.

Thanks, both of you, for reading!

goodbye-sun said...

Must be so frustrating for Landry, not so much the Ryan and Beth thing (though that would have its particular levels of agony seeing it laid out in front of you like that), but just wanting him to show some sign that he will be there for their child emotionally not just physically and all she see is numb from him. The blonde is obviously just a reaction to it all, but Ryan is just making it all that much more complicated by heading that direction.

Colliegirl said...

Stunning is right!

Such a naughty boy...

My heart goes out to Landry. She's the pregnant one, poor girl. In this emotional time she needs all the love and support she can get.

Ryan is such a mess. He's seems to have his head on straight one moment and then it's gone the next! Because of one woman??? And she's not his... she's not even available! ...Spending time with Claudia. This is surely only going to make things worse by carrying on a dalliance with such a woman. She acts like a predatory cat.

This just keeps getting deeper! Great work!

Gayl said...

I think it really bothers Landry that Ryan seems so detached from the pregnancy. She does know that he will be there for their child; she simply wishes that he would be more involved with the pregnancy. And he needs to find a job which I am sure has him distracted!

Thanks for reading goodbye-sun!

Gayl said...

Tammy this is really an emotional time for Landry. There are so many adjustments she has had to make and being alone and pregnant can't be easy.

Claudia isn't predatory so much as she is a nymphomaniac! And Ryan is a hot guy. Of course trying to drown out reality in the arms of another woman is only going to give him a brief respite.

Thank you for reading!

E.M Noir said...

I really do feel for Landry. Ryan's refusal to talk about names with her just proves that he's either trying to deny it, ignore it, or wish things were different. It's true that they can't stay together because he doesn't love her and that would ruin both of them in the end but that heartbreaking scene where Ryan and Beth bump into each other and Landry witnesses it all ... I could feel my own heart breaking at what that would feel like. To utterly love someone and carry his child but to know they love someone else and to physically see that .... it would shatter me.

This is one of my favourite stories and I mean that. I always feel so much reading this series. I've come to really love the characters.

Gayl said...

Thank you Noir! You know your support has meant a lot to us. Ryan's life seems to be spiraling away from where he wants it to be. More ahead for him I'm afraid.