Monday, October 26, 2009
Sessions 17 - No Surprise
It came out like a river once I let it out
When I thought that I wouldn't know how
Held onto it forever just pushing it down
Felt so good to let go of it now
Not wrapping this in ribbons
Shouldn't have to give a reason why
soundtrack: No Surprise ~ DAUGHTRY
Downtown Industrial Area - Rowan Photography Studio
On edge, irritable and arriving earlier than necessary, Cooper approached the photo studio and stopped just outside. It was converted from an old rundown spa, a smaller, more private place located in the industrial area downtown.
Increasingly frustrated over the constant tabloid articles and being hounded for a sound bite about his personal life, he had chosen this place over the others to shoot an upcoming feature for Rolling Stone. The photographer and staff were carefully screened; at the least it would insure that no mishaps like the one with Asteria would occur.
Pushing through the door Coop approached a girl who stood in the foyer. She glanced up at him, knitted her brows, and then addressed him. "You're a bit early; we weren't expecting you for another 30 minutes."
"I know I am. I'll wait." Cooper snapped at the girl.
"You can change over there, room on the right. We have a few things laid out for you. Makeup and hair is waiting to your left." She gestured toward the area above him, " They are still shooting Stevie but you can go on up. Whenever you're ready."
When Cooper finally ascended the stairs he found a small group milling around one of the staging areas.
No doubt it was Stevie who had captured their attention. Seeing him, a couple of the men stepped aside as he moved toward the front; at least none of them had cameras.
Cooper folded his arms and smiled as he watched appreciatively, and watched her watching him.
"Stevie knows how to work a camera. Bring back memories for you or is that still fresh in your mind?" A deep growl behind him pulled Coop out of the moment and he turned visibly angered and looked straight into source of that rumble.
"Why are you here Rafe? You really want to stir up more shit with me?"
"I'm just here for the story, doing my job.” Rafe glanced at Stevie, then turned back and casually added, ”Which reminds me, I was going to ask you how you like the whole house husband gig? Got any recipes I can share with my wife?"
Trying to appear unfazed Cooper smiled at Rafe. Even if Rafe managed to get a rise out of him, he'd be damned if he was going to let him know it. "Maybe I ought to stop by one of these days; as I recall your wife finds me rather entertaining."
Rafe smiled right back at him, more teeth and cold eyes than amusement. "I'd be real careful if I were you, Cooper. I don’t like you, and I’m not Shaun; I won’t put up with your wounded animal act with my wife. I’ve got a real good friend who doesn’t find it particularly entertaining either, and she’s got options. You’re not the only damned act in town.”
Angry, frustrated, uneasy, and determined to blow it off, Cooper turned his back to Rafe and strode over to Stevie. His face relaxed into an easy smile as his eyes swept the length of her. She was barely dressed, her outfit revealing more of her than Shaun would probably like, but she was every man's fantasy. He stroked her bottom lip with his thumb and watched her smile. "You look hot Stevie."
"So do you." She ran a hand through his hair, fingers sliding through the silky texture and continued, "I like what they did with your hair. It's sexy."
Turning serious for a moment Stevie glanced at Rafe, who met her gaze straight on, and then back to Cooper.
"You know you shouldn't let him or any of them get to you," she told him softly.
"They aren't, not really. I'm just weary, going stir crazy."
Draping his arm around her bare shoulder, he turned Stevie away from the crowd and whispered, "You're a good friend Stevie, and I appreciate your support. It means a lot." She didn't respond but slipped her arm around him and squeezed gently.
"Stevie, we want to get some shots of you and Cooper together. If you can give us a few more minutes we can start there and finish up with Cooper's session." The same girl from the foyer, she must be some sort of coordinator, was smiling, almost patronizing, as she watched the couple and waited for one of them to respond.
Smiling once more Stevie answered, "Sure, I have time."
As much as he tried, Cooper could not get in the spirit of the photo shoot. Increasingly resentful of the constant judgmental glare from Rafe, the heat from the lights, and the irritation he brought with him in the first place, they had to keep retaking the shots if they got any at all.
"All right, let's just take a quick break and regroup shall we?" The photographer approached Cooper, if he had been irritable he certainly didn't show it, and spoke quietly, "Look, I am supposed to be shooting sexy rock stars. I don't know what the problem is but I need you to perform here, with Stevie. I need these shots before I can let her go and now we're getting backed up. Now I've seen the sexual chemistry you have with her, it's explosive, so can we cut through the bullshit and see some of that?"
Cooper glanced around the room once more. They were all still there, watching, waiting, and whispering, their lascivious thoughts exposed in their expressions. This photo shoot was like having sex in front of an audience and while he wasn't modest, he didn't like it, not this time and not with Stevie. Hell, they all thought he was fucking her anyway; what was he supposed to do?
More furious than ever at the assumptions, he wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary, so why was everyone making such a big deal out of it now? He was tired of it, the innuendo and the gossip, all of it. Fuck them all.
He reached the end of his rapidly unraveling patience as he sucked in a breath. As the photographer began to walk away, Cooper lost control. "You want explosive? How is this?" Cooper went for the lights knocking them over in a loud clatter as they popped one by one. "Did that get your attention? How is this?" Cooper kicked the motorcycle with his boot dumping it on its side.
Wheeling around, he took clear, hard aim at the photographer.
"I told you I wanted a closed set. You clear these people out of here now and if you're lucky, I won't call Rolling Stone and have your ass fired. Now get the fuck out of my way!"
Nudging Rafe hard with his shoulder as he shoved past him, Cooper stormed off the set incensed and infuriated as he thundered away from everyone.
NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 18