Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sessions 15

Ocean View

Everybody expects me to break
but I'll never break down again
Everybody expects me to give up
but you'll never see me giving in
Everybody wants me to lose
but I'll never lose who I am

-Sacrifice-Theory of a Deadman

Cooper wandered around back stage with Rayne trailing behind him as he pointed out various things and people out to her. It had been the first time he had been in an arena since he told his family he was going to quit touring. But this was no tour; it was a benefit, so technically he was keeping to his word. Despite the strong pull from the stage, the sounds of the crowd, he would prove to himself and to them that he could do this.

"Rainie, come with me, over here." Cooper led his daughter to the edge of the stage as they dodged stage hands and crew. As the crowd focused on the band that was warming up the audience, he drew Rayne's focus on them. "Watch the crowd, pick people out you can relate to on some level and use that connection to draw them in when you're on stage." He stood behind her and pointed while Rayne's eyes swept the crowd almost as if she was looking for one face in particular until she drew a quick breath and smiled.

Leading her back behind the stage he continued, "Never speak to the crew and they should never speak to you. Do not engage them in a lengthy conversation. If you need something done you'll have people for that so use them. That is what they're paid to do."

"You're acting as if I am already a star, Dad."

Watching the crew move around him like a well oiled machine, Cooper drew a breath as the rush of adrenaline pumped through him like an intense charge of electricity. Pulling his attention back to her Cooper frankly spoke, "By the time you get here you will be a star Rayne. You need to know what to expect and how to handle yourself. If you don't, people will take advantage of you."

"Did you give Wyatt the same lessons I'm getting?"

Cooper stood still absorbing the familiar sights and sounds that surrounded him. The intense rush of a live performance, even if it wasn't his own, overwhelmed him briefly.

"Daddy," Rayne gently interrupted his thoughts, "Did you?"

Cooper answered honestly. "No I didn't Rayne. Wyatt has a different set of skills. In some ways he's stronger, in some ways you are.  I don't treat you the same.  That's not an insult.

Rayne shrugged. "So you've always said." Two stage hands laughed in the background as they hurried to setup the last of the equipment for Storm Warning. She seemed to dismiss him as she watched them work.

Cooper let it go.  He saw Elise standing out of the way looking tired and uncomfortable.

Maybe it had been a mistake to insist Elise come with him tonight, but he wanted to prove to her that he was committed to both his work and his family. They were not mutually exclusive.  They had never had been.

Beyond her he noticed Stevie laughing easily with Shaun by her side. They were about to take the stage.

Rayne walked with him toward her mother and stood by as he kissed Elise gently on the forehead. Brushing a stray tendril of hair from her face he asked, "You ok?" Elise nodded once and smiled. His gaze quickly drifting to Stevie and back, Coop turned toward Rayne once more, "Wait here with your mom. I'm going to check on Storm Warning."

Myriad emotions played on Rayne's face, in her eyes. Unexpectedly, Rainie threw her arms around her father's neck. "That should be you going out there Dad. You belong on the stage, not behind it. Go out there, you really should. I'd rather see you tonight than Stevie.”

He wanted it, felt it, that overwhelming need to be in the spotlight working the crowd pulling at him hard. But he had been adamant about quitting, for them. "No raindrop, not this time." Cooper's mouth curved in a slight smile. He turned on the heel of his boot and walked away.


Hurrying down the stairs, Rayne slid between the rail and the stage, deliberately slowed her pace, and approached the boy who waited there.

He was watching her, leaning back against the stage, the stage lights crossing and recrossing his face.

“You made it,” Rayne greeted him, trying to breathe normally and not act like she was going to pass out or something from excitement. They were messing with the lights before Storm Warning came on, red and blue and yellow. She walked up between his legs and looked down at him. He looked exactly the way she remembered except maybe better. He wasn’t, he couldn’t be, the person she remembered. That was a long time ago, if it ever even happened, and he was her age.

“Yeah, I said I would try to get out of work. Got here as soon as I could.” Cruz slid off the deck as the stage lights flashed off. She blinked in the sudden dark. He smelled warm, like he’d been driving in the heat, or the smell of sunburned skin. He didn’t look sunburned. He looked like he never sunburned or maybe he was just permanently sunburned, dark tanned skin and those shocking blue eyes still focused directly at her.

She’d barely eaten, slept, thinking about meeting him, wondering if he would actually show up. Now that he was actually here, Rayne couldn’t come up with a single thing to say. She stepped back mentally, telling herself to wait, wait until he said something else. His attention wandered as he looked past her into the shadows backstage. “Damn,” Cruz remarked, “is that Cooper Stanfield? What’s he doing here?”

Rayne didn’t know the answer to that herself. Why was he here?  Why had he pressured her mother to come when she wanted to stay home?  She was still considering exactly how to tell this guy who she was when her father noticed her, aimed a brief grin and pointed in her direction before turning away.

Cruz evidently caught it because he turned, studied her carefully, and asked, “You said Stanfield. You're related to Cooper.  He has a daughter.  Is that you?”

Her father strode out onto the stage, stood there poised, his head thrown back, laughing into the crowd.  So, he'd changed his mind about just hanging out tonight.  She thought he probably would.

The place exploded in excitement.  Maybe he wouldn’t quit after all. She couldn’t imagine what he would do if he did quit.  Hang out at home? Mow the lawn?

“Yeah, he’s my father.” She had to shout over the roar, the ripping opening guitar riffs.

Cruz said something; she couldn’t hear it. Her father was prowling across the stage, his attention fixed on…oh yeah.  Of course.

He’d been watching her the whole time. Stevie.  He was like right on top of her.  That had to be some great view down the front unless she accidentally hit him in the face with her sticks. That was an interesting possibility.

In the dark behind the stage stood her mother.  Their eyes met and held.

Rayne folded her arms and considered the woman she’d resented so intensely. What was going on? He’d said he wasn’t going out there; he’d made both of them feel like shit about it. Yeah she’d told him to get out there, but of course not if he was doing it because of Stevie Holloway. That was fucked up.

Cruz had been following the exchange in silence. One of the pyro effects exploding right next to them, heat blasting her face, he asked her, “You want to get out of here?”

Cooper was working the other side of the stage. Elise had vanished back into the shadows. “Yeah,” Rayne said flatly, “let’s get the hell out of here.”

Stevie pushed past Tyler and Shaun, laughing, holding out her hands. “Come on!” she insisted, grabbing Cooper’s arm. “You’re coming out there with us! No way am I letting you hide back here with the crew!”

Elise watched him halfheartedly shake Stevie off. She stared at the woman, looking over her husband’s shoulder right into her eyes, and Stevie met that gaze directly. Something in it was anything but friendly. I didn’t do this to him, Elise thought. It wasn’t my idea.

She expected Cooper to decline and say something about commitment and making the decision to drop touring for a while, maybe permanently.  That was why he had insisted she come, he said.  So he could prove he meant it, that’s what he’d said.

But it didn't work out that way.  One request and like a high school kid on the school stage, he was right up there with Stevie Holloway again.

The two of them were sharing something, Cooper laughing as they ran out together onto the stage to the explosive response from the crowd.

Stunned and confused, Elise started to edge back into the shadows behind the control booth when she saw Rayne standing at the foot of the stairs beside the stage. 

A boy stood close to her, watching her, then both of them looked at her. She could see anger in Rayne’s face, anger duplicating her own, and for probably the same reason. Her father had turned down her plea to change his mind, but he changed it immediately for Stevie.

She turned her back to them and paced down the length of the deck, stepping over cables, until she reached the railing at the back where she stopped, took a deep breath, steadying herself, and gazed out at the ocean. Big dark bluffs and that view, always that view, everything and nothing, water like sky and sky like water, nothing but dark blue with no end and no beginning one dark blue space.

She felt sick. She was pregnant. She hadn’t told him. It would be one more reason for him to quit. She wouldn’t give him that reason. No more reasons. Elise leaned over the rail and wished she could just put her face against it since it was at least cooler than the air. The crowd was pressing and hot and sweating and right behind her.

What was she going to do? Nothing. There was nothing she could do. Not this time. The rail was gritty with sand. It got under the rim of her ring. She saw the light sparkle in the diamond right down to the bottom of that fragment of ancient coal compressed and pressed and squeezed until somehow it became this thing of light and value, a symbol of love and enduring commitment. 

She had violated the symbol first.

She straightened, made some sort of effort to push her hair out of her face and stared at the guy irritably. He didn't seem to notice or care. “Aren’t you Beth Stanfield, Cooper’s wife?”

In the dark and flashing light and the flashing sound, someone from the crew bumped into her. "Hey, sorry," he said, and took a closer look at her.  He added hesitantly and with deeper apology, "Aren't you Elise Stanfield? I'm really sorry."

“No,” she said flatly. “She left hours ago.”


Penelope said...

Really? Pregnant? Again? IS IT COOPER'S???

Heh. If I were Rayne, I would stay away from that lifestyle given what the tabloids have done to her father's personal life.

And teenage romances are so fickle. One minute you're in love with your father's former bodyguard. Then the next day, some guy on a motorcycle...

thewynd said...

Hey Pen! Yes it is definitely Coop's. Beth and Ryan was a long time ago. And Ryan has carried that torch for a long time as well.

Rayne is her father's daughter. Music is in her blood. She'll go for it, why not? Rayne is also chasing a dream, a fantasy from childhood. She won't stop looking and right now the guy on the motorcycle is pretty close.

simstwoplayergirl said...

Cooper, Cooper, Cooper, - You are sending out mixed signals....I really feel for Rayne and Beth - that was just too 'in your face'....

S.B. said...

simstwoplayergirl, yeah he's sending out all kinds of signals, that's for sure. Whether it was intentional or not...well probably not. But it certainly wasn't helpful.

thanks so much!

Sinclair said...

Ooooo Cooper. You skanky ho. And here I was ready to be mad at Beth for messing things up. Then he goes and does that. The man is truly a hot mess.

I can totally see why Rayne and Beth would be mad. Thats a total slap in the face. Hes such a slut. I'm totally rooting for Rayne. I love her. Besides her total unapologetic nature shes just..awesoeme! And her new man is to die for. I'm really hoping for good things to come her way with him. She deserves a little one on one attention in her life for once. Its not like her parents give her any.

And whats Beth going to do if a stalker kidnaps her? Or she divorces him. Life after rockstar? LOL SPOUSAL SUPPORT!!!

~Drew said...

Again great emotion, and such a wonderful 'concert' feel for Cooper's performance, and how the sparks were flying between him and Stevie, even if he was not quite aware of it (I Wonder?) but everyone else certainly was.
Love that Rayne obviously sees 'someone else' in Cruz, who, is a cutie BTW,
And if looks could kill, Beth would be arrested! LOL!
One of the best shots? the 'But he didn't decline' shot. Beth in the background, it says so much, did not need words.
And now, she is pregnant.
Interesting place to leave it.
Love the tats!
Great update!!

S.B. said...

Sinclair....awww...poor Coop...he hasn't actually DONE anything yet LOL. Except insult his wife and daughter in front of everybody. NOT a good move.

Rayne is really a love her or hate her sort of person. Definitely not apologetic - that's a perfect description. Her new man is a very hot number himself and a pretty good match for her in temperment.

as far as a divorce goes, not that I think that would happen easily, but Ryan's still around hehe...

S.B. said...

Drew, nobody can do those concert shots like Gayl. I just love them! and she did a great job on those tats.

kind of doubt Cooper is unaware of the sparks...he's a world class flirt.

Rayne sees some resemblance, although the boy is charming in his own right and she might have gone for him anyway. Maybe.

thanks so much! I'm glad it worked for you.

Van said...

Wow, Cooper and Beth reeeeeally need to talk...

Seriously, though, did he do that on purpose, that whole bit with Stevie? In front of Beth and Rayne? Was it some way to silently get back at Beth or something? God dammit, Cooper!!

Meanwhile, I like Rayne's new guy. He seems like a good match for her. But she's quite young still, so we will just have to see.

S.B. said...

Dinuriel: thank you!

Cooper...he wanted to perform; he'd arrived that night with a sort of 'this doesn't really exactly count' mentality. and it wasn't technically touring since he hadn't gone anywhere. But he did make a huge deal out of quitting, so I think it did count.

He didn't set out to hurt anybody; but he is a flirt, and he's impulsive and more than a little spoiled, used to doing and getting what he wants, so he just did it.

Selfish and impulsive and thoughtless but not deliberately mean. It was not his finest moment.

Rayne and her new guy: he may find her more than he wants to deal with, but for now they look good together.

Thanks so much!

Mao said...

Rayne's little friend looks like a mini-Gabe... let us hope he isn't! For everyone's sake. ;) I'm pretty sure he's going to find out that Rayne isn't as "sweet" as she looks. The girl has venom and talons.

Oh boy, this is just painful to watch. Beth is pregnant? Geeze. Talk about timing on that one. And Cooper, what is he thinking? I mean, I kind of know, but he is just bumbling around in the dark. It's like watching blind people navigate a maze and no one is finding their way out.

I just hope Shaun and Stevie stay clear. It looks like Cooper might inadvertently drag them and their relationship into the fray.

As for Beth's comment, yikes. That says a lot...

S.B. said...

Mao! I'm surprised you got here but so pleased!

I think the mini-Gabe will have a problem putting anything over on Rainie. She definitely has a mean bite and she does package it well LOL.

Stevie is not exactly an innocent bystander. Kind of doubt she wants to destroy her marriage for Cooper though. If he was serious about her, he'd have done something about it a long time ago. They're not thinking, just doing what feels good at the moment.

Thanks so much for figuring out a way to read and leave us a comment!!

S.B. said...

I'm going to add a special comment here. Gayl is having surgery and will be out for a while. I'm trying to keep up for her.

We hope you enjoy this piece and will let us know what you think. I'll try to get all comments to her.

Phoenix said...

YIKES!!! Okay, Coop! Man...I don't like Beth but you're killin me here dude!! I know you're just going with the flow but sometimes you gotta come up against a dam and just THINK for a moment. This is so going to blow up in his face and then he's going to be all: "What? What did I do?" *sigh*

Beth is knocked up again? Geez, she should have gotten her tubes tied or something...or wrapped it up since things were rough with Coop for a minute!

Stevie, Stevie. You're gonna get dragged in regardless! Poor girl!

Love, LOVE these shots! Absolutely incredible. You two continually blow my mind!

Hope your surgery goes well Gayl!!! Take care!

S.B. said...

OMG Phoenix that is exactly what I was thinking his reaction would be. Like What? What'd I do? LMAO yes!

He'll figure it out. Eventually. a lot of eventually in there though. It might take Stevie getting some shit from Shaun, although I can't imagine Shaun putting up with this for very long. Stevie thinks she's helping, rescuing Coop. That's not the case, not this time.

*snicker* thinking about Cooper putting up with wrapping it up and the pregnancy. I don't think so, no wrapping it up.

and thanks so much about the shots. Coming from you, that's high praise!!

S@n said...

Oh my god!!!!
another baby!!!!! WOW! Unexpected...
They haven't even talked about what happened with Ryan!!! and she is already pregnant!

Man, I really really want them to talk!! If they don't talk, it wont work at all!!!

They are fine for five minutes and then, they go back to the hole again!!!

Cooper! Geez!! what was all that talk about his family being more important and quitting touring and all that crap he said? he didn't mean a thing!!
He didn't listen to Beth, he didn't listen to Rayne but damn he DID listen to Stevie!!!!
what is up with that???

Was he just trying make Beth to feel guilty?? It sure looks that way! What a mess!

And what Beth said in that last shot, WOW!!!!!
So sad!
Who is that guy? A possible stalker?

Wonderful beautiful heartfelt writing like always, and really incredible shots!!!
Awesome job!!!

Gayl: I hope everything goes perfect with your surgery! Take care! Good luck!

Awesome chapter!Bravo

S.B. said...

Hi S@ndy!

Those two have a volatile relationship, but they hold on to each other, and neither of them intends to let go. The relationship is intense, physically and emotionally. so yeah, pregnancy happens.

And I'm not sure either of them really wants to talk about Ryan. She did what she could to make sure Cooper knew she wasn't going there anymore. Coop knows she meant it. Don't think they're a sit down and discuss it sort of couple.

Cooper gave in to Stevie because he wanted to give in. He wasn't really thinking about getting back or making anybody feel bad, he just wanted to do what he wanted to do. And blew off what he'd said to his family. Because he felt like it.

And he is flirting with Stevie. That's out there.

Coop is no angel. He's impulsive, arrogant, spoiled, and it takes a lot to live with someone like that.

the guy at the end...I think we're done with stalkers so no, not that.

Thank you so much S@andy. Your shots are just beyond belief beautiful, so that means a lot to both of us.

and thank you, extra thanks, for all your support. It means a great deal.

Muzegoddess said...

Okay, to echo the sentiments of just about everyone else who commented...Beth is pregnant again??!! My head is spining. Seemingly bad timing for that to happen, but you never know, it might be just what the both of them need in the end.

I'm glad that Cooper sees that he just can't stay away from performing; it's a part of him, like breathing. It sucks that Stevie was the one to push him over the edge. Also sucks that Beth is taking shit for Coop's decision. But she has played a big part in this situation to say the least.

Once again I am so damn scared of where things between Coop and Stevie are going (I'm closing my eyes and shaking my head as I type this). This might just keep me up tonight thinking about it (just a testiment to the depth of characters and beautiful writing) :)

You ladies have done it again. Another compelling, breathtaking update.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess...HI and thank you!

Cooper can't stay away from performing, nor should he.

The Ryan and Beth thing was over, done, finished. She made that very clear. And it wouldn't have been a factor if Rainie hadn't gotten in the middle of it. Ryan's claim freaked Coop out. He's impulsive, made a decision. A bad decision.

Blame Rayne...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I was looking forward to hearing from you.

S@n said...

""Blame Rayne!!""
I really had to comment about that... (more of a comment is just a LOL) Poor Rayne.. oh well...

I can't wait for next chapter... will you guys be taking a break while Gayl recovers? or is there another update coming soon? I sure can't wait!!!

Thanks for clearing up some points! lol I wont be waiting for Cooper and Beth's conversation any longer!

Some times it is easier to leave things behind without looking back... hope it was the right move!
Again really wonderful team work!! Both writing and shots are incredible!

S.B. said...

You know, I don't really go on about what we did or how we thought about the characters, but this would not have gotten to this point if Rayne hadn't gone after Ryan.

I like to write thinking about consequences. Rainie's quest for her prince and what she's willing to do to find him definitely twisted events in this direction.

S.B. said...

S@ndy, don't know if it was the right move or not for them to shove it aside and just not talk about it. Maybe not. Considering Stevie...I'm thinking they sure do have things to talk about.

But Blame Rayne is right. Coop would not have quit if Rayne hadn't set this in motion.

Rayne - Ryan - Ryan getting into it with Coop - Coop doesn't get it but not happy, decides to quit - Coop feeling trapped goes to see Stevie - and so on....

Yeah...blame Rainie.

I think we'll figure out some way to continue.

goodbye_sun said...

Oh man, Cooper has no idea what he is actually doing does he? I mean its bad enough performing after he said he he was done and put them through all the trauma of that decision, but having all his mates blaming Beth and then adding salt to the wound and going out there because Stevie asked?

Poor Cruz, Rayne is just going to gobble the poor boy up.

S.B. said...

goodbye_sun, Cooper really doesn't think he's hurting anybody. He just isn't thinking about it.

Cruz has no idea what he's got there LOL. Rayne is definitely trying him on, trying to decide if he's going to match her fantasy guy standards.

thank you so much for all your continuing support - both of us really appreciate it!

Unknown said...

OMG, no, no, no! Damn Coop you're an idiot! If you wanted to do this, at least do it for your kid. :/

I feel like I'm at a stop light watching two cars getting ready to demolish each other. But can't look away to save my soul. Or theirs. :p

S.B. said...

Hi Lachesis!

Coop is nothing if not impulsive. He'll run up against Shaun if he keeps going in this direction though. Nobody is going to like it, except maybe Stevie who seems as oblivious as he is. Or as willing to play with fire.

thank you so much!

Emily said...

*drags in from vacation* LOL, so not ready to be back!

Anyways, this was a nice surprise to come home to! Everything's getting all stirred up again, isn't it?

Beth & Rayne certainly had a sad moment here, I guess it's definitely harder to watch rather than just know something is going on. And even if he hasn't done something, if I were Beth I'd think he had simply because of what she did. That whole revenge thing is a bitch, keeping my fingers crossed that Coop wouldn't go there! :D

Cruz seems so sweet...we shall see! Ha ha!

Fabulous update, looking forward to more.

S.B. said...

ha yeah it's always hard to come back from vacation!

It would be way too easy for Coop to get that sort of revenge. He wouldn't use Stevie if he was going to do that. so that's not what's happening, not revenge.

Cruz is not exactly sweet. He may be sympathetic though.

thanks so much Emily!

Colliegirl said...

I can't believe Coop just did that to his wife and kid! Deserting them like that, and then openly flirting onstage with Stevie. How embarrassing for them both! And everyone is blaming Beth? That is just so wrong! I swear, where is that man's brains??? Are all men such imbesiles?

Slim! Where is that guy when you need him? Lol! Surely, he would have caught what was happening and tried to knock some sense back into his fool head.

Coop, you owe both your girls a great big apology!

Personally, I would be waiting for him afterwards with a huge frying pan! Oh, h-o-n-e-y! There's something I want to talk to you about... Come here! Hee hee! :D

S.B. said...

ha ha a frying pan sounds pretty good!

yeah Colliegirl, it wasn't one of Cooper's more intelligent moments.

It may, however, served to begin to bring mother and daughter back together. Rayne's starting to feel some empathy.

This thread will be continued in both Sessions and in Passages.

Thank you again - it is always a pleasure to read your comments!