Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sessions 16

The Crossing

Cooper paused outside the café while Rayne described some concern she had over the Gibson he’d bought her. He had made reservations here a week ago, going out of his way to ensure she was available, taking the time to make sure the host understood he would be there and would do what they could do to give him some privacy.

He listened while he watched her talk, the way she talked, the way she looked.  She looked a lot like her mother, the same skin, the same mouth, and the same challenging attitude.  Rayne had never required the kind of attention Wyatt had needed from him. He had let it go, let her grow up, and was only now realizing that he didn't know who she was or how to reach her.

"That Gibson doesn't quite work for me. It's like butter when I play it. The pickups are weak," she said, continuing the conversation as she strolled behind him toward the table.

They took a seat.  "All right," he responded, leaning across the table toward her, wanting to connect and help. "What's the problem with it? You've got the Pro II pickups, warm and smooth, great clarity. It's a classic SG with an innovative pickup."

She was opening up, leaning in towards him, explaining in detail what she wanted. "I don't like warm and smooth. I want something grittier, harder. I want it to scream. I barely get a whimper out of it. I'd rather move to the Kramer; it's versatile. I can shred a Baretta as good as you can, Dad."

Cooper regarded his daughter.  "I'm sure you can Rainie, but you need to perfect your sound on any guitar, make it yours. Listen to how Wyatt does it; he uses the Gibson and the Kramer and works them both. You've got to work on it, practice, until you get a sound that is uniquely yours."

She drew back. Every time he mentioned her brother, Rayne shut down on him. Rayne and Wyatt seemed to get along; he didn’t understand it. "I’ll have plenty of time to do that since I’m going to be living right next to him at college.  It'll be easy for him to let you know how I'm progressing."

Cooper took a deep breath. Not this again. She’d been moping and sulking about that damned rental for months, and there was nothing wrong with the place. She'd been running wild, he knew that. Elise had mentioned something about a guy Rayne had been hanging with, something she didn’t like about him. He did want Wyatt to keep an eye on her.

"You're where I want you to be," he told her, sitting back and taking her in, everything about her. If he was missing something, some critical factor, he couldn't see it. As far as he could tell, she simply wanted to have what she wanted with no restrictions, and he was not giving her that. "You're there for a reason, Rayne. I want to know you're safe. Don't you understand that?"

“I don’t need a babysitter,” she huffed. “Ryan taught me how to take care of myself.”

What the hell was she trying to do, get a rise out of him? McDermott.  Even the sound of that name burned through him, infuriating, and it was probably deliberate on her part. He struggled against the anger, trying to think how to pull the conversation back without engaging in an argument with her, put this shit aside, the rental, Ryan, all of it and talk to her, when a familiar voice greeted him. “Hey Coop, how are you?”

He recognized Stevie’s voice before he looked up at her, and drew a long breath of sheer relief. “Hi there, are you here by yourself?”

“Shaun’s joining me in a few.” She glanced at Rayne, who was sitting there glaring at both of them mutinously. “Hi Rayne.”

Rayne laced her hands, making a fence of them in front of her face, a Rayne stockade, and swept her gaze across them. “Hi,” she responded in an expressionless voice. She seemed to have some kind of antipathy for Stevie, something else Cooper didn’t understand.

Cooper rose and reached out to Stevie, allowing his hand to glide slowly up her bare arm. Leaning in he smiled, dragged his lips along her cheek and lingered near her neck before placing a gentle kiss there. “Come on, sit down with me.”

She laughed, placing her hand against the rough stubble on his face and smiled at him. “I’d like that.”

With one swift and angry gesture, Rayne shoved back her chair, stood up, and without a word strode off toward the back of the café. Embarrassed, Cooper managed to grind out, “College nerves.”

“I’ll go talk to her, Coop,” Stevie offered. “Maybe she needs to talk to a woman about what’s bothering her.”

“Thanks,” he replied, uneasy. The evening had gone wrong in a big way, and sending Stevie after her didn't seem like a good idea at all. Well, nothing else he'd tried had worked, he’d let Stevie take a shot at Rayne. She couldn’t make the situation any worse.

Stevie pushed through the iron gates leading to the patio at the back of the café, knowing the way. It was kind of a favorite, right on the water, between the bridges, and the owner was good about keeping things quiet. The gate squeaked a little as she opened it. This was where the girl had gone, wasn’t it?

It was. The patio overlooking the embankment was dimly lit, but Stevie saw her down at the western end under the long sweep of the bridge. Rayne was looking off into the distance across the bay, her back turned to her, poised in that familiar stance she had often seen Cooper take.

Hesitating, Stevie took a moment to study the girl. She knew very little about her, and, despite her offer, she wasn’t sure what to say to Rainie. Was she leaving a boyfriend behind? And if she was, what could she say to her about it? Get over it? Stevie had never had many female friends, and she certainly had no experience with emo teenage girls.

She approached her, walking past the fountain, stopping at the line of shrubbery between the patio and the embankment, and, in a cheerful tone said, “Rayne, want to talk about it? Your dad’s kind of concerned, but if there’s something you don’t want to share with him, I’ve been around. Can I help?”

Her face half lit, Rayne seemed to stiffen. As a child she had resembled her mother more than her father, but the young woman standing there was now strikingly like Cooper. Strong and unexpectedly mixed emotion swept through Stevie. The same fire and passion in her eyes, the same strong jaw line, even her hair, the silky texture, the way it fell across her face, it was disconcerting. She could still feel Cooper’s touch on her skin from only moments ago; looking at this girl brought back memories.

Before she had a chance to deal with it, Rayne crossed her arms, her expression cold and closed, and said, “You want to help. You came out here after me because you want to help?”

Stevie took a deep breath, already realizing this wasn’t going to be easy, and tried again. “I thought there might be something you didn’t want to share with your dad, something that’s bothering you. Like a guy? Somebody he doesn’t know you like? If there’s something going on, I really would like to help.”

Rayne took a step closer. Fireflies blew around like sparks. Her voice low and tight, Rayne said, “I didn’t step out of a candy box, Stevie. I know what’s going on. Whatever you’re getting from my dad, I don’t come with the package.”

This was definitely not what she had anticipated. College nerves? This wasn’t college nerves. The girl was what, jealous? Scared? Did Coop have any idea what was going on here? Stunned and off balance, Stevie stammered, “Rayne, that’s not – there’s nothing – you don’t understand.”

Stevie’s attempt to try to explain fell into some kind of volcano and it erupted with a bang. The girl freaked, started shouting, her long hair falling in her face as she slammed her hands together, long-fingered hands, Cooper’s hands, and raged out on her.

“Do you think I’m stupid, Stevie? You want Cooper, and you’re stepping right over my mother to get to him, and then you have the nerve to come out here and make nice with me?”

If she had been concerned about anybody hearing the kid lose it. well fuck that! This child, this brat, was going to get in her face? After everything she and her mother had put Coop through? No way was that going to happen! Stevie squared off, setting her hands on her hips, and staring her right down, let it fly.

"You listen to me, little girl. It is because of your mother and you that Cooper gave up a part of himself. You are too spoiled and too self-absorbed to see that but I'm not. He isn't getting what he needs from either of you. I know him. He is my friend and I will be there for him; I'll give him what he needs whenever he needs it!"

Rayne did not react, blink, didn’t appear to even draw breath. She just stood there, sizing her up, a long and thorough assessment. It was like she was looking for the next move in a game, strange and kind of unnerving. That wasn’t Coop; from what Stevie knew about Rayne’s mother, it wasn’t her either. She was backed up against the fountain and felt the water spray on her shoulders and hair, making her even more irritable and angry and uncomfortable.

Then Rayne unexpectedly smiled, tilting her head, another old and familiar gesture from her father.

“Hello, Shaun,” she chimed, her voice sweet and cool. “Stevie was just telling me about my dad, how they’re such great friends that she’ll give him whatever he needs anytime he needs it. Anything he wants.  Isn’t that nice?”

That was not what she meant, not the way Rayne made it sound. She’d taken it out of context; she’d turned everything upside down.  Shaken, caught between wanting to slap the girl and try to explain, Stevie looked around and directly into Shaun’s luminous eyes. He gazed back, silent and unreadable.

The little bitch was still smiling. “Bye Stevie,” Rayne cooed. “Don’t forget me. I totally won’t forget about you. I promise.”


Van said...

Okay, first off, thank you for the much-needed distraction from this damn Aristotle paper :D I am eternally in your debt. Anyway...

Woah, dirty play, Rayne! Still, I can't say I wouldn't do the same thing if I perceived some woman to be making moves on my dad while my mom wasn't around, so I won't begrudge her there.

Poor Shaun. He just wants his wife to himself. Like, Stevie sounds believable when she says she loves him and not Cooper, but she does still need to let Cooper go (although it is good that she is trying to be there for him--a complex situation indeed).

And I totally feel Rayne on the whole Wyatt thing. I feel the same way every time my mother mentions one of my "perfect" cousins.

Thanks again for the muchly-needed break :D

Keep up the great work :)

~Drew said...

Great shots, esp. love the one shot through the fountain, nicely done.

Rayne was typically spoiled here, and took great delight in stirring the pot vis a vis Shaun, who, is breathtaking. How I missed him!
Can't say I blame him for his concern, perhaps there is nothing more than friendship, but Stevie could be just trying to convince herself, more than Shaun. There is definitely a connection there between Cooper and Stevie, their scenes crackled.
Great show of emotions here on all fronts, great update!!

Phoenix said...

Ugh, ugh, ugh! Rayne what are you doing? I sorta liked you kid but...not so much in this piece. I understand what she's trying to do but she's going about it the wrong way and being a really...well a bitch. I don't like that kinda of underhandedness at all.

Poor Shaun. Apparently he's been thinking this for awhile now. Letting it simmer in the background and stupid Rayne just made it boil.

Of course Coop was an idiot. He was supposed to be having dinner with his daughter not inviting his friend to eat with them. And that comparison with Wyatt? Dude, Coop what the heck man? That irritates any kid regardless of if their close to their parents or not!

Stunning visuals, the writing was one point.

S.B. said...

Dinuriel - LOL distraction is a wonderful and terrible thing isn't it!

Yeah Rayne played dirty. I'm not sure what else she could do at that point except burst into tears (and, at the same age, that's probably what I would have done). And Stevie did drop that opening right in her lap.

Nobody likes to be compared to their stellar siblings/cousins. Been there...And parents just do not seem to get it.

Shaun and Stevie and Coop...interesting that Cooper was sitting there fuming over Ryan, yet he doesn't bat an eye about gettin cozy with Shaun's wife right out in the open. Stevie doesn't appear to see the crazy parallel either.

Thank you so much!

S.B. said...

thank you Drew.

I swear that is the last LAST talk/sit scene I ever shoot. It drove me insane. I was so frustrated with the overlays and the poses.

Seems to me to be more than friendship between Stevie and Cooper. Shaun is being very self-controlled, at least so far.

S.B. said...

Phoenix, I rewrote and rewrote trying to up the 'brat factor' for Rayne LOL! In her defense, it has to be almost impossible to respond reasonably to an attack by an adult woman who is hitting on your father. Rayne is definitely drawing a comparison with the Ryan situation and can't make sense of what's going on. So she kicked Stevie in the shin.

Coop is about as self-absorbed as his daughter. He doesn't see it, not Wyatt, not Stevie. Not yet.

thank you so much!!

Mao said...

I LOVED the shots with the bridges. Loved. Especially the first one. Just great composition. Whoever did those--many kudos!

As for Rayne, I don't know, this update gave me new appreciation. Is that wrong? Oh well. She's got strength and she isn't afraid to use it. That was brilliantly played, completely smooth. Loved it. Stevie needs to wake the hell up and stop being such an idiot, now.

Shaun, poor Shaun. Sorry, Cooper, but when it comes to attractiveness, he beats your butt tenfold, LOL! But then again, he has the traits I adore, so maybe that's it. And the fact he isn't nearly as messed up. He has every right to be pissed. If it were me, I would have went batshit a long time ago. Stevie is playing a dangerous game and acting like it's nothing. She needs to wake up and smell the freakin' coffee.

I'm still sort of shocked by my adoration of Rayne in this one, but maybe because I can relate. I've been there and I did the same damn thing, only at six, only at twelve, only at sixteen. So, you go, Rayne. Beat a whore down, LOL. Not that Stevie is, but she's acting like it!

S.B. said...

Hey Mao!

*blushing* yeah I got carried away with the bridges...just loved the way they opened up the whole world and made it more three dimensional. so thank you!!

and thank you about Rayne. I was kind of proud of her. I would not have had the nerve at that age to attack right back. She looked for a weapon, found only one, picked it up and hit Stevie with it as hard as she could.

Stevie is playing a dangerous game, and so is Coop, but he's used to getting away with it.

thank you SO MUCH!!!

thewynd said...

First off, for anyone who may not be as familiar with the history between Cooper and Stevie, at one point Coop had amnesia and went by the name John Cooper and was taken in by Stevie. The two were romantically involved until one day when Coop came back to her loft and found Stevie in bed with Shaun which also triggered the memory of a long past event between his wife Julia and him. The shock of it brought his memory back and he immediately wanted to be reunited with his wife and son. Hence the lack of choice that Shaun refers to here.

Also, Stevie and Cooper have remained close friends and have always had a warm relationship. So neither one of them thinks this "little flirtation" is a big deal. There has always been a sexual undertone (not sure that is the right word) to their banter. Thanks to Shaun, Stevie might be seeing things differently on that score now. Cooper is just being Cooper. And I would like to point out that Stevie is not a man-eating predator. She is a good person who is trying to help Cooper find his way back where he belongs.

Having said that, it is possible that something can develop...but we aren't saying...

OK. Phew, glad I got that out. Now thank you all for reading and commenting. Believe me, your insights and perceptions really help us in further developing the story and it means a lot to us.

Muzegoddess said...

First I'd like to echo everyone else's sentiments and say that I love the bridges. They look great as does the rest of the sets, scenery,etc.

Just when I think Rayne can't get any bolder, she surprises me again. I love her. When she made that comment about Ryan, I swear I made the same face that Cooper did before I saw the picture. Hilarious :)

I'm glad that she held no punches with Stevie. I see how she and Cooper may not realize what they are doing, but someone needs to say something before it gets completely out of hand and Rayne was the perfect person to say it. And, dragging Shaun into it the way she did was priceless.

I can't believe how clueless Cooper is being about this thing with Stevie and his daughter. I need him to open his eyes because he is scarying the hell out of me with his actions.

And Stevie needs to check her priotities. Shaun love her a lot and it would be such a shame to loose that for what she and Cooper are conveniently calling "nothing."

Once again you ladies have managed to keep me on edge. Still scared as hell of where this is going, but I can't wait to get there.


S@n said...

Oh my gosh!!! What an amazing powerful chapter!!!

Rayne played it really "good" and "dirty" with Stevie!!!!

hahaha I was laughing so hard when Shaun came into the picture just after Stevie had said: ~~"I'll give him what he needs whenever he needs it!"~~ What the heck! Poor Shaun I felt sooo sorry for him...

Stevie needs to open her eyes... she is playing with fire...
she has to understand Cooper is not a kid anymore... (he has not amnesia any more) he
chose his own way and he 'himself' should deal with it... he is to blame for all his mistakes and all his choices, Beth and Rayne had nothing to do... they did not force him to "quit" or stay with them!!!

It is good to be a friend, but girl, your family should always come first!

I agree with Mao... sorry Cooper but when it comes to 'looks and personality' Shaun does beat you off really hard!!!

The conversation between Shaun and Stevie... yikes, it really touched some really important points!!! He gave her lot of material to think about....
I also wonder what would have happened if Cooper hadn't gone back to his first wife...

Stevie make up your mind, and look around, you have a wonderful man to your side!!! he loves you, he had always loved you....

Cooper just proved not so long ago that he WILL NEVER leave his wife.

So wake up!
Do your life, and let Coop deal with his life all by himself...
and next time, Think before you go on saying "I'll give him what he needs whenever he needs it!"
that sound so bitchy... and sorry to say, but you do deserve what Rayne did!!! :D lol

Gayl and Beth: AWESOME CHAPTER!!! Oh my god, I enjoyed every bit of it... AMAZING...
lovely and breathtaking shots and the writing was powerful and to the point, really really awesome chapter!!!
Great job you two!!!

S.B. said...

haha thank you Muzegoddess about the bridges! I thought I got carried away with them, I just loved them!

Rayne is definitely bold. She doesn't always use the best judgement, but she isn't passive. And she's been taught to look for opportunities, for holes in someone's defenses. To sit tight and wait until she sees it, then go for it. And, so far, she has suffered no consequences.

Cooper is being Cooper. He flirts. It didn't bother Wyatt; why should it bother Rayne? She's not reacting the same way. So far Coop doesn't get it.

I'm not sure what's going to happen with Stevie and Shaun and Cooper. That's an interesting mess.

Thank you so much!!

thewynd said...

Muzegoddess: I dropped on the floor when I saw the bridge shots! Aren't they fantastic? Stevie is starting to see things from Shaun's POV but honestly she did not see anything wrong with what she was doing and means no harm. And she isn't going to be pushed around by anyone including Cooper's daughter but she didn't expect what Rayne did at all.

S@ndy: I think this is something that Shaun has been carrying with him for awhile, that question about who she would have chosen. And I will admit he is hot! LOL! Stevie wasn't expecting Rayne to come at her and twist her words like that, probably why she doesn't have many female friends.

Thank you both for reading!

S.B. said...

S@ndy - thanks from both of us! It is always so great to read your comments - the insight is wonderful!

Stevie did sort of step into that, didn't she? I'm sure she wasn't talking about sex (ok am I sure, I think I'm sure LOL), but she handed that to Rayne on the proverbial silver platter. All it took was Shaun walking up and Rayne picked it up and used it.

Cooper does seem to be leaning on Stevie now, depending on her support and friendship. Maybe too much. It's easy to fall back into a relationship with an old lover, particularly since he's at loose ends. Restless. Unhappy about his decision to quit touring.

Kind of doubt Shaun will put up with it much longer.

thank you so much!! Your support means a lot to both of us!

Deep Blue Sea said...

Beautifully done imagery -I loved how you did the lighting and the decor here - but that is a constant with everything you both do!
I just wanted to say that I can still see Rayne as that 5 or 6 year old that came in on her parents terrible argument way back when and her running off into the night because she was so hurt by what she heard. It's so obvious that her desire still for her parents be together and happy without all that came with the rock stars lifestyle and struggles. Even though she is grown and knows how to play the game of manipulation quite well she still seems to be crying somewhere on the inside for that happily ever after at home. It's too that bad no one else in her life can see that. Excellent and moving chapter as always!

S.B. said...

Deep Blue Sea - wonderful wonderful insight. For a long time Rayne blamed her mother; she's beginning to realize that the situation is complicated and probably beyond any 'fix' to make it the traditional 'happy family', although her mother and father do care a great deal about each other. Also interesting because her brother Wyatt clung so hard to that same hope.

and it may explain, at least partially, why Rayne dreams so intensely about the 'prince' who is going to show up and rescue her. (that's in Passages)

we both try very hard to come up with beautiful imagery!

thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave us a comment. It means a great deal to both of us.

goodbye_sun said...

I have to say, I'm in the same boat as Mao is where Rayne is concerned. Rayne usually drives me batty with her self-righteousness, but this time I really couln't help but think "go for it girlie." All that bitchiness had a right to be there, and even if most of it should have landed square on her father, Stevie was obviously not connecting the dots either.

S.B. said...

Rayne is beginning to experience self-doubt, which should finally cut down on some of that self-righteous bratty attitude. She was, after all, actually wrong about a couple of things LOL.

She hasn't quite figured out how to tackle her father. Stevie walked right into it.

thank you so much from both of us!

thewynd said...

Sorry, I am a bit slow today and just getting here.

Deep Blue Sea: That is interesting insight about Rayne. Seeing her as that child again, remembering her fear about her parents makes complete sense. And as S.B. said, it does draw similarity to Wyatt's need for a happy home as well. Thank you!

goodbye_sun: Rayne found an opening and used it which was appropriate for her. Dealing with Cooper though, might be more difficult for her. I can't see her going for the jugular with her father, not yet anyway. Thank you for reading!

Sinclair said...

GO RAYNE!!!!!! I love that girl. She played that just right. I was kinda hoping for a smackdown cause its clear neither girl is afraid to get rough. But what she did instead was brilliant. It rocked.

And what game is Cooper playing? How oblivious can you be? Does he really think Stevie doesnt want his nuts? And does he really not think the attention he pays to her wouldnt rub Rayne the wrong way? I mean he was practically ready to give her a hickey!

And when are we going to see Wyatt? Im curious to see how he and Rayne interact now that theyre older. It sounds like he still treats her like when she was little and tagged along everywhere but thats only what im drawing from conversations between Rayne and Cooper

S.B. said...

Sinclair! This piece should be dedicated to you, since it was your suggestion that we do something to tie Passages back to Sessions that drove a lot of our ideas here.

Cooper likes to flirt, enjoys the game, and he's always done it and gotten away with it. That's Cooper. Does he think Stevie wants more? Probably not. Does he get why Rayne is pissed about it? NO. He does not.

He doesn't understand Rayne at all. Cooper's relationships with women have always been sexual - fans; lovers; wives. Rayne is something different; he doesn't know how to deal with her. And I'm quoting Gayl on this one!

I'd love to see Wyatt and Rayne together. Gayl is still recovering from major surgery so it might be a little while. I'm sure Wyatt does still treat Rayne like a little sister tagging along behind him (and I love that description).

I always love getting feedback from you! Thanks!

Sinclair said...

Aww im flattered that I was the reason for yet another awesome chapter.

And I appreciate the strings being tied together. To many stories leave loose ends. So thanks for not being a jerk and leaving blanks :)

S.B. said...

We try Sinclair! Feedback does mean a lot to us. If you see a hole and let us know, we try to figure out a way to deal with it.

We really do want to produce something that people enjoy - so it helps a lot when people like you actually tell us what you'd like to see. Kind of makes it more fun when we work with the readers!

Much much appreciation!

Emily said...

*crawls out from under a rock*

LOL. Not really but you didn't think I would read and not comment did you?! Never mind it just took me forever! :D

Seriously, this chapter was packed with good old fashioned drama. I loved the first part with Coop and Rayne, her getting mad and then Stevie going after her! LOL, yeah that was a great idea, not! But I guess Stevie really didn't have a clue anyway. I grinned when Shaun came up and Rayne said that, mean yes but oh what a line!

*Sigh* Shaun, I'm on your side brother! Opposite sex "friends" don't work when you're married. Sorry, just my opinion! Either they get the wrong idea about you being nice or shiz just happens when you think you're in control and you're not and after it happens - it's TOO LATE!

Fabulous shots too as always, so inspiring with every little detail that's put into them. Awesome update you guys!

*Crawls back under figurative rock*

thewynd said...

Emily: It can be very difficult to be friend with the opposite sex, especially if they are former lovers. Too much room for misunderstanding all around and everyone has the what-ifs in the back of their minds. Shaun obviously does anyway.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! We both know how busy you are so it means a lot.

Unknown said...

Well, hurray for Shaun, someone needs to be the voice of reason here. There are ways for Stevie to be Coop's friend without hanging all over him, in public or otherwise. I like Shaun and feel terribly sorry for him. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're second choice. :(

And Coop continues on, clueless. Poor man.

There's just nothing that's not irritating about Rayne, is there?

Wonderful, beautiful shots as always. You guys just have the most beautiful sets and you take pictures from angles that just make them look their best. :D

S.B. said...

Lachesis, I'm not sure that Coop is all that clueless. He's doing what he does, flirting, because that's who he is and he enjoys it. He certainly doesn't see the impact on Shaun though. and he does not see or understand the impact on his daughter.

Rayne doesn't like being compared to her brother. She doesn't like her father coming on to Stevie. She doesn't like Stevie. And there's not much she can do about any of it except get pissy and moody. She struck back because Stevie gave her the opening and because it is not in her nature to passively sit by. She's spoiled and can be annoying.

We both work really hard on the sets and the shots, so THANK YOU!!

Colliegirl said...

I read this the other night, but I was so sleepy (from my cold medicine)I forgot to leave a comment... so I came back to read it a second time.

Wow! Coop really seems to be treading on dangerous ground (I know, the poor guy can't help himself. It's sad to see how they've kept hurting the special people around them. I really feel for Shaun and Rayne - what they're going thru. I can hardly wait to read more of your stories!

See you soon!

S.B. said...

Hi Colliegirl!

Cooper is simply being Cooper. He doesn't see any problem with flirting with Stevie.

I feel bad for Shaun. Rayne's sense of propriety is late blooming, to say the least.

It's good to hear from you again!