Monday, March 8, 2010

Sessions 22 - You Need to be Here

The whole world's racing by
And no words can describe how this feels inside
You need to be here, you need to be here with me
They come and go so fast, these moments never last
So you need to be here, you need to be here with me

soundtrack:  You Need to be Here ~ Hoobastank


Wildcat Stadium - Benefit for Performing Arts, 8:42PM

Pacing between the stacks of equipment, Cooper watched Storm Warning as they moved into the last set. If they hadn't booked the benefit concert months ago and featured Storm Warning as the opening act Cooper would have found another band. Tyler's performance was lackluster. Shaun avoided eye contact with Stevie. The energy in their music was gone; they were doing nothing more than phoning it in and even that sucked. "Everything all right Coop?" Slim had walked up quietly behind him.







He turned to Slim, shrugged, trying to mask the unease he felt and glanced back at the press door for the hundredth time. "Yeah...you haven't seen Beth, have you?"


"Not since you asked ten minutes ago."

Choosing to indulge Slim's sarcasm he muttered, "She's probably waiting until Storm Warning finishes." Cooper looked down at the stage once more his face drawn tightly as he stood with his arms folded.


"Probably...you still thinking about touring again?" Slim asked him, his tone casual but he watched him carefully. On edge, distracted, Cooper continued to impatiently stride around, all the while shooting glances back at the door.

"I've got some details I need to work out before that's going to happen but yes, I am."



They both watched as Stevie rose from behind her kit and waved to the crowd as she joined the other two for a bow before filing off the stage behind Shaun and toward the clubhouse doors. "Any chance Stevie would be one of those details?"


Tyler briefly, and without much interest, acknowledged the benefit performance crowd again and strode offstage in the other direction without a backwards glance. "Yes she is," Cooper agreed, thoughtfully watching Tyler.


"All right," Slim remarked, "then we need to address it soon. I'll get in front of it. If things go sideways with them, and I have no doubt they will, we need to be prepared." Briefly resting his hand on Coop's shoulder, Slim strode away and began barking orders at the crew.


Wanting to move away from the chaos, Cooper stepped out onto the balcony that led to the catwalk that would take them onstage. Absorbed in his thoughts, he jumped, startled, as someone lightly stroked his back. Beth pulled back, startled herself and apologized, "Sorry! I thought you were expecting me."


He drew a long breath of relief, slid his arm around her waist and smiled down into her eyes. She didn't want to be here, not with Stevie in the same venue, and it had taken a good deal of effort on his part to cajole and seduce a promise from her. He'd told himself she'd keep that promise, but as hours dragged by, he'd begun to worry. They had to start rebuilding trust. This benefit performance, close to home, was supposed to be that new beginning for both of them. "You're a couple of hours late. What happened? Did they give you trouble out front?"


"Just waiting for the main event, that's all." She touched his mouth with her fingertips, her expression serious, uncertain, and said to him, "You really didn’t think I’d stand you up, did you?"

“It crossed my mind,” Cooper admitted.


Beth’s attention drifted away from him toward the door that Stevie just exited. They exchanged a wary glance until Stevie abruptly turned and walked out, Beth's eyes following the direction Stevie had gone. “Hey,” he warned her, his voice gentle but his grip on her shoulders hard. “Let it go. It’s over. We’re not looking back. Fuck the past; that was our deal. I don’t want you thinking about anybody but me tonight. Got it?”


For a heartbeat she didn’t respond, and then she smiled and slowly ran her hand down his bare arm. “Then get out there and make sure I don’t.”


"Let's do this," Heydon's voice cut into the moment and Cooper looked up. The rest of the band stood waiting for him to take the lead, looking to him the way they always did to set the pace. Danny drummed absently on his thighs, Aidan waited calmly with a half grin, and Heydon, still seemingly bitter over what Coop could only imagine was resentment for the way things had gone down. But no matter what their differences were off stage, when they performed they were one cohesive unit.


Adrenaline pumped furiously through him; that same rush, the amped up electricity moving him forward with confidence as the legendary rock monster prepared to take the arena.


Halfway into the performance Cooper paused. His shirt clung to him, damp from sweat. Slowly and purposefully Coop pulled it up and over his head eliciting screams from the girls in the audience. The last remnants of winter had melted away and the early spring air felt great against his skin. He bent down, grinning at the girls in front as he reached out and clasped their hands briefly. Even the slightest attention from him had them all believing, fantasizing that he would notice them, take them back stage, each one wanting the world to know she was the one he wanted.



One of them, a girl with ample breasts, followed suit and removed her top and tossed it to him. Laughing, Cooper picked it up, lifting it to his face and inhaling deeply before wiping his face and body with it and tossed it back to her with a seductive smile and a wink. The girl, in turn, looked around proudly. She had been singled out and there was no doubt she would linger after the show hoping to catch his eye again.


Cooper looked back at the band. Walking over to Heydon, he leaned in and said something that caused Heydon to smile as he glanced toward the girls in front. In the next moment Cooper's guitar sang, a loud frenetic wail that was soon joined by Heydon's as well as Aidan's hard driving bass line. This was what it was all about; after all the years they had been together, despite their differences of opinion, when Mercury Rising took the stage they were a well oiled machine.


Cooper felt more alive than he had in ages. He was doing what he loved, performing on stage, and the adrenaline, that natural high fueled him. It was a part of who and what he was. He had already made up his mind that he needed it, wanted it, and with Beth's blessing he planned to make that happen. Ever since the beginning, with Julia, with Stevie, with all the women who blew in and out of his life, it all lead to this moment, where he was now. This benefit performance was just the beginning.


Strutting around the stage, giving it everything in his impressive arsenal, Cooper put on a show for his girl who stood by the back of the stage and watched him, waited for him, wanted him and supported him; it was what he dreamed of.


Finishing the last song in the set, they took their bows and ran off the stage. "I hope that performance met with your approval," his eyes were lit with the energy and passion he took from the music as he smiled down at Beth.


He was dripping with sweat now, and her skin glowed with the heat, fever hot against his as she brushed up against his body, shouting above the crowd and breathless. “You’re incredible! You’re so going to do this – you’re going to go on tour again! I want you to do it! Don’t tell me you won’t!”


"When have I said no to you baby,” he grinned sucking in the heat and the sexual energy, electric between them, and impulsively dove into what he’d been considering. “You're coming with me. I know what you want, and I’m taking care of that, but this is what I want. I want you with me, I want you there. You come with me."

Laughing, Beth stepped even closer and whispered in his ear. "I always do come with you."


Drawing a quick breath Cooper looked around before shifting his eyes back on her. "I've got one quick encore and a meet and greet upstairs. Wait for me and then we're getting out of here." He started toward the stage before looking back, happier than he had been in years, and caressed her cheek, "I love you baby."


As he turned once more, Cooper stopped suddenly hoping to avoid running straight into someone and the euphoria he felt moments ago left him as instantly as if he had been drenched with a bucket of ice water. The woman blocking him, standing in his way, looking directly at him – Julia. It couldn’t be. He staggered and fought for his balance, found it somehow and angrily confronted her, "Who the hell are you?"




------------------------

NEXT CHAPTER: Passages 16

55 comments:

S.B. said...

Here's to getting back on track, and the shots are wonderful!!!

Qui. said...

The shots ever amazing! I love how you can feel his energy on stage. how happy he really is. it's good to see him and beth so in love again!

but wait.. Julia? what an ending!!

Mao said...

Loved the shots! I always especially love the concert shots you guys get--they always seem so alive and just smack with that concert aura. And whoa, the end? That had me surprised. I KNEW something was coming, too much calm...

Great to see you two back in the saddle again and what a great way to return, too! The subtle tension flying around is getting THICK!

Muzegoddess said...

O...M...G!!!! What the hell??? LOL. Okay, first the writing and shots are on fire. I love the performance shots and the color, the energy in them is phenomenal. I have really missed Sessions and I didn't realize how much until I read this. The band back on track and Beth and Cooper working things out is wonderful.

But what the hell?? Julia? Where did she come from? Where has she been? What does this mean?? Just when I think it's all coming together. OMG, OMG, OMG!!!!

This has left me utterly speechless, which is a great thing. Can't wait to see where this goes.

ermine said...

*gasp!* Nononono, she's Julia's lost sister or something. Clearly!

S.B. said...

Qui, thanks! Gayl's performance shots are second to absolutely no one!!

Coop is happy. He's trying to mend his relationship with his children, and put it back together with Beth, and all is going very very well until...

bwwahhh....

S.B. said...

Thank you Mao! Gayl's concert shots are always incredible!! And of course something was coming LOL!

We had fun with this one. It was a pleasure to work it up.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, we missed Sessions too. It felt very very good to get back there!

Cooper and Beth are working things out, still a lot of love and fire there.

and yeah...who is that?

Thank you!!

S.B. said...

hi ermine! thanks so much for reading and leaving us a comment!

LOL she's something all right! Sister or something, but definitely something!

Gayl said...

Sorry guys I'm @work and can't respond individually but thanks so much for your continued support! It means a lot to both of us and we were really excited to get this one out there! Lots of treats in store down the road.

We will definitely be addressing who that woman is...since we know Julia is dead...is she a clone? A long lost sister? She is definitely not your garden variety Julia...

Oh, and please use your imagination to fill in standing room only crowds in the arena...yeah...

Dinuriel said...

Wonderful update! Like Qui said, you can actually feel the energy. The shots are gorgeous and the text flawlessly weaves them all together. Well worth the wait :D

Julia? Woah! O_o

S.B. said...

Thanks Dinuriel! After three years, and it is three years this month, we still LOVE working together! And find that energy when we do.

Gayl's shots are incredible!

and Julia...LOL!

Lotus said...

I've been looking forward to finally commenting on Sessions, but I always stick to my "no comments in the middle of a non-recent work" policy.

Contrasting Cooper with Wyatt and Rayne, it's so hard to believe that there's an entire generation between them. Cooper has an impenetrable youth. I feel Beth's maturity, but Cooper is "forever young" with such boundless energy.

No one should ever wear a completely mesh top. Even partial mesh is bad, but complete mesh? Horrible. But I guess that's a matter of opinion and Cooper's definitely in a position where he can be loved for it.

The sweat imagery created a very tangible sexuality. Disgusting, but sexual.

And to end this mess of an unorganized comment, Julia!? I hope the next chapter is close behind because this needs resolution! No pressure!

S.B. said...

Lotus I am laughing so hard!! Coop can wear anything and get away with it LMAO!! On stage anyway.

He's ageless. Boundless energy is exactly right. Beth is earthbound. Cooper is not.

The sweat...definitely sexual imagery. and one of our favorites.

I'm intrigued with your policy, 'no comments in the middle of a non-recent work'. I probably do the same thing, but I'd love to know the rationale behind it.

Thank you again! It's always fascinating to hear from you!

Lotus said...

I love reading responses to my comments, so it's a win/win situation!

My policy rationale is simple. There are three "non-standard" cases when reading a story. My reading is behind, the story isn't updated, or the story is complete.

If my reading is behind, I want learn the answers before I ask the questions. If there's new chapter, why dwell on the old? I prefer to read the new and draw connections. That way the author can still benefit in the present.

If the story isn't updated, I'm not a part of "the rush." Authors in this medium can use the comments they receive, but the momentum is different for the reader and the author after the story has been sitting on the shelf for the while.

And then if the story is complete, that's final impression territory. If the work is done, commenting on long since published chapters is relatively useless. Instead, commenting on the final chapter is what I do because it draws broad conclusions that I hope will be useful to the author in the future.

I'm very... systematic. In all things.

Phoenix said...

First: THREE YEARS?!!! WOO HOO!!! Congrats you guys!!! To collaborate with someone that long is insane!:D I'm glad you guys are crazy enough to have it work and work brilliantly!

Second: Oh boy! I love, love, LOVE your concert shots. It's been said but there is always so much energy you feel right in the middle of it. It's amazing!

And Julia? Oh Lord! I knew it was going to well not for something dramatic to happen! *shakes head* This is not going to be good. Why would she be back after so long?

I'm glad to see Sessions back!:D

S.B. said...

Lotus: win/win for me too. Endlessly curious.

ok now I'm completely fascinated!

Sessions sat there for 2 months while we worked on other pieces and tried to find our way back. So that counts as a story that hasn't been updated. Right? Providing feedback on a story that may or may not continue is definitely different than commenting on a story you're sure is going somewhere. For one thing, it's hard to know what to say if it's been sitting there for a while.

I like systematic. Sometimes I'm too systematic. Life in general has cracked that probably beyond repair.

S.B. said...

Phoenix, Gayl is the killer rock goddess. Nobody can do what she does!

Julia. Maximum impact right? LOL!

We are crazy enough to keep going for three years. It's great! I know I could never do this without Gayl. I wouldn't want to.

Sinclair said...

Yay for going back on tour!

And isnt Julia dead? I cant even try to remember what happened to her its been so long lol.

the_mctavishams said...

This was amaaaaazing. I loved the concert shots, (clearly!!) they were just so ALIVE. Loved it, loved it. And Julia... WTH?? Can't wait to see where that's going..

I think it's so inspiring that you've kept this going for three years. I completely admire your hard work and the passion you both put into it (no pun intended...)

thelook said...

Dun, dun dun. Unless.. well we didn't see Julia's dead body and we all know that without a dead bdy there's no proof. Unless she had a secret daughter. Uh oh; thickening plots. That are great! And those shots remind me of when they were back on tour; good good times!

thelook said...

*open mouth* Officially three years? Officially! Pop some champagne and book a vacation spa because you and Gayl and have done incredibley-fantastically-wonderful immense jo. So good you even deserve a new word in the dictionary - infastiful jobs! :D (Meaning: incredible; fantastic; wonderful work.)

S.B. said...

Sinclair, Julia certainly seemed dead to Wyatt, who found her. So without giving it all away, this woman is probably NOT Julia.

thanks!!

S.B. said...

Hi Christi!

LOL! We've enjoyed the past three years immensely. And Gayl always does the most amazing performance scenes!

S.B. said...

thelook...well...she certainly looks a great deal like Julia, but again, she's probably not really Julia. Daughter/sister/cousin something though.

It's a lot of fun to work with the performance and tour updates.

and yeah, three years! Infastiful? LOL! Thank you so much!!

~Drew said...

The rock Monster is back, in spades. Great update ladies, The concert shots again, great work. I am so not worthy, LOL! And I will take sweaty, shirtless (or mesh shirt) Cooper any day of the week.

And I am glad Cooper and Beth and managed to move forward and fuck the past.
What a great full circle you managed here. Great cliffhanger.
And cheers on three years, keep having fun!
~Hugs

AtomicSpaceKitty said...

Excellent shots of the concert!

I'm beyond happy that Beth and Cooper are serious about working on their relationship. It looks like they're going to be tested again really soon though with the appearance of the lady who looks like Julia. Uh, oh! ;)

goodbye_sun said...

Congrats on three years, its amazing how quickly it manages to happen.

Just when they thought everything was starting to fall back into place, or at least well on the way to doing so...Although its hard to imagine just what hold Julia v.2 could have over him now, other than just in the initial shock value.

S.B. said...

thank you Drew...

It is sort of a full circle although we got there more or less by accident. And we're still having fun! Thanks again, so much.

S.B. said...

Hi ASK! Gayl's concert shots are always wonderful!

Whether or not Julia Woman becomes a romantic entanglement (and that's not a given), running into someone who looks like his long dead wife will definitely throw Cooper off balance. Depends on what she wants and why she's there.

Thank you so much from both of us. We really appreciate your support!

S.B. said...

Goodbye_Sun, the three years seem to have just flown by. Hard to believe it's been that long!

Julia v2 probably won't have much of a hold over Cooper. Depends on why she's there. But the shock value would be considerable.

thank you for all the support and kindness you've shown us these past three years. It's meant more than we can adequately describe.

xtinabobina said...

*flails* oh how I love cliff hangers!

I know this piece had to be hard to write in that the stage scenes had to be difficult to formulate in such a gripping and fun way. I was really feeling like a rockstar while reading it( of course if I was, I wouldn't rub a girls bra/shirt in my face..haha nice touch for him tho)

really great writing. Everything just flows easily.

S.B. said...

Thanks from both of us xtina!

Coop is a very sensual guy. Giving the girls a little taste is definitely something he would do!

Gayl does a fantastic job with the stage scenes!

Gayl said...

Sorry I am so remiss in responding to everyone's comments. It really means a lot to both of us that you all continue to support us. Rest assured we are working on the next update and will definitely have some answers for you all.

Emily said...

Oh my! Now that is the way to end a chapter! Crazy good stuff coming...how the heck do you guys come up with this? Julia? Never saw that coming, even if it isn't her.

I love the way things are coming back together for Beth & Coop, very promising! And I agree that she should go with him on tour, just the separation alone would kill me, not to mention wondering what goes on while he's away...I would definitely go if I was her, especially seeing the way it tore them apart before. Lesson learned, I hope!

Fabulous update! Nobody does concerts like you guys, I adored the groupie girls drooling all over the stage and throwing shirts, perfect!

Gayl said...

Thank you Emily. It is always fun doing concert shots and I think we have some interesting material to work with here!

Coop and Beth really do need to spend more time together and I think touring is a great way to reconnect for them.

The Lunar Fox said...

I can't wait for the next update! I actually read this one twice. Loved the concert shots, too. Well, loved the whole thing, lol.

Congrats on three years together. You two are like a rock back yourselves.

S.B. said...

Lunar Fox, what a fantastic compliment! Maybe we should redo our blogs - G&B performing live LOL!

Thank you! I messed up big time trying to post something to LJ so your comment came at a good time!

The Lunar Fox said...

You're so quick! And I'm glad you could understand that. I was trying to say like a rock band, lol! I can only blame the kitties. Yeah, it was Danger-cat. She's learning how to hit capslock and type.

S.B. said...

If she gets much better, hire her out LOL! My big fat Himmie is curled up on the floor next to me, hoping to avoid DOG and kids.

Whymustallthegoodonesbetaken said...

What the....?!!!

OMG NEXT POST NOW!

I knew I shouldn't have read this before needing to sleep. Dang it!

Gayl said...

Hi there WhyMust! No worries, we are almost there with the next one. LOL!

Thanks for reading!

radsims said...

So glad you're back! I missed Sessions and this is a great update. Only one thing though, a couple of the shots seem to be missing for me...

S.B. said...

Rad, thank you.

Missing shots? that's interesting. I'm looking at it right now and don't see any missing shots. Which shots don't show up?

radsims said...

They're all showing now, must have been a temporary thing.

S.B. said...

We're not using a host like PB, so if they don't show up, that's real cause for concern. Blogger burps sometimes, so I hope that was it.

chloe said...

Gayl and Beth!

I am alive and I have been following but college has been SUCH a time consumer.

Your works are just getting better and better and this post reminds me of the first time I ran across dark december, back in the day when Coop and Julia were still married! Ahhh I remember wishing that Julia and Coop would stay together. And as much as I love Beth, Julia... First loves! Meh. WHO IS THIS WOMAN! Has to be a twin or something. Oh Coop, please stay on track! He's finally got everything he wanted the supportive wife, the kids and his band is back on track... Don't lose sight Coop!

Gayl and Beth, I love you guys and keep up the good work! I can't believe how many blogs have started up since Rafe's journal and Dark December. Rayne's all grown up now, WEIRD! But I love the saga. Update more often!!!

<3 Chloe

S.B. said...

Hi Chloe!

It's so good to hear from you again! Yeah, I'm sure college is time consuming...it's supposed to be.

We really appreciate your support. Not very many people have followed this from the beginning - it's so long!

Cooper just disengaged from that mess with Stevie, so he's not likely to jump into another one without thinking about it long and hard. Even though his marriage to Julia didn't last, running into a woman who looks so much like her will undoubtedly rattle him though.

again, thank you!!! It was a thrill to see a comment from you!

Gayl said...

Hey there Chloe! It is always good to hear from you! I have to reiterate SB's sentiments here...the fact that you have stuck with us is amazing! Glad you are still interested after all this time and that really means a lot to us.

Hope college is going well. Stay in touch!

S@ndy said...

Julia??? It couldn't be!!!

This update was really awesome, lol I felt like I was one of those girls in the first road singing along with Cooper!!! :D He really looks hooter when he is performing, I'm so happy he is going back to touring with the Band... and I'm also glad he and Beth fixed everything between them!! This sure feels like a new beginning! Best wishes and luck for them!!!

ps... I feel sorry for Stevie and Shaun :( they used to have such a beautiful relationship now they can't even look at each other in the eye :( hopefully they will also find away to work things out!

cheripye said...

Wow what an intense piece, all the emotions and the Rock Monster God is back 80)! I am glad he's going on tour again but WTF Julia, did she have a twin, I dont remember anything about a sibling then I could be wrong LOL!

Gayl said...

S@ndy, it's good to have you back. You're right, it couldn't be Julia. But a definite lookalike.

I am glad that the concert shots worked. I have a lot of fun creating those. It does feel like a new beginning. As for Shaun and Stevie, I hope they find their way back as well.

thank you!!

Gayl said...

Hi Cherie! Yup the rock monster is back! Julia didn't have a twin, you're right. We'll see how this girl fits in soon.

Thanks for reading!

Colliegirl said...

Julia? Did I read that correctly? I think I must have got a speck in my eye... That can't be right. I feel like I've suddenly ventured into an episode of the Twilight Zone or something. Isn't Julia supposed to be dead? Didn't Wyatt find her murdered at their home when he was a young boy? It certainly did look like her. Well, they do say that there's a lookalike twin of you out there somewhere. Either that or she's come back from the grave to take care of some unfinished business! Lol!

S.B. said...

Hi Colliegirl!! It's great to hear from you again!

We can guarantee it's not Julia! Or an evil twin...

thanks so much for reading!