Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sessions 23 - Fire and Rain

Oh, I've seen fire and I've seen rain
I've seen sunny days that I thought would never end
I've seen lonely times when I could not find a friend
But I always thought that I'd see you, baby, one more time again, now






Their encore had been a blur of music and lights along with the crowd screaming for more but Cooper's attention was definitely focused elsewhere. Whoever the girl was, she was the spitting image of Julia. He didn't discount the possibility that she could be a manufactured replica meant to derail him, it wouldn't be the first time he had been deceived with smoke and mirrors, but he shoved the idea aside. Julia was dead but this girl was a living, breathing mirror image of his long dead ex-wife and he was going to find out who she was. He was quickly realizing the plans he had made with Beth were going to need to be postponed. There was no way he was going to walk out of here without finding out who the hell this woman was and what she wanted. Grabbing his cell, he placed a call. "Hey baby, it's me..."




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


"I'm going to be longer than I thought - something's come up….Baby, I’m sorry. I’ll be there as soon as I can."

Beth stared speechlessly at the phone, then glanced up at the clubhouse. She saw him through the windows, standing there, not looking in her direction, looking at a woman. Who was she? Her skin crawled. She looked like Julia. Julia was dead. It wasn’t Julia, just someone who looked like Julia, looked too much like Julia. Tightening her grip on the phone, she almost challenged her husband, but she took a deep breath and replied shortly, "All right, I’ll see you later."


Brooding and uneasy, she lingered in the warm night air and continued to watch Cooper and the mystery woman. He leaned over her, then turned away, then turned back, his body language agitated. Several other women were wandering around, trying to catch his attention, getting distracted smiles but not the usual flirtation. Coop could knock them dead and dismiss them at the same time when he was into it. He didn’t seem to be into it.

Women came up with all kinds of bizarre excuses to get close to Cooper. It was conceivable that some look alike had deliberately played up the resemblance to Julia, hoping to intrigue and excite him. He would definitely be intrigued and excited, but all that old guilt and love and sorrow and loss was still there, bottled up, waiting for something like this to release it.


A thread of memory, a sunny day in the city in an art gallery, Ryan there with her, Ryan's deep voice warning her about Julia, about women in Cooper's past, what had he said? She remembered almost everything Ryan had ever said, every moment, his touch, his voice. He had said something about women, about ghosts from Cooper’s past. He’d said, "It doesn't do any good to look back at them." That advice had proved to be seriously wrong.


Instead of heading north across the dark field toward the parking lot, Beth grabbed the rail and started rapidly up the stairs, running almost headlong into Rafe who was exiting the press room via the back door. “Hey,” he greeted her absently, trying to get past.


“Rafe, wait a minute,” she said, grabbing at his arm, which seemed to be the only way to slow him down. “Do you know that woman with Cooper?”

He glanced back, shrugged, “She’s an agent; she’s shopping a couple of clients.”


That made some sense; at least it explained her presence. Beth mused, “She looks exactly like Julia.”

He stopped trying to get around her, looked back at the woman and then said, “I never met Julia. Pretty good angle though, she’s sure got his attention, but I doubt he’s going to buy what she’s selling. The best of them is that guy Breaux who can’t stay sober long enough to find his way to the studio. I hear he’s in rehab.”


The name meant nothing to her. Beth started to thank him and move on past when Rafe stepped into her path. It was quiet on the catwalk, and he pitched his voice low. “Speaking of rehab, how’s Rayne?”

She stiffened, pulled away from him. “I suppose she’s all right. Thank you. I don’t want to keep you, Rafe.”


“Beth,” he continued firmly, “you need to forgive her. She’s a kid. You and Ryan did a lot worse, and you know it. Think about how she felt seeing your bare ass plastered all over the tabloids. Give her a break.”


She could hear Cooper’s voice through the glass door. He sounded confused and irritated. This was not the time to chat about Rayne. She didn’t want to talk about Rayne, or think about Rayne and Ryan together, it brought up such impossible and conflicting emotions including a couple best left ignored back in the darkest shadows in her mind. “Rayne will be fine. Thank you for your concern; I have to go.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Cooper wove through the crowd mingling in the press room absently acknowledging fans, press, or the promoters that greeted him as his eyes scanned the room for the slender woman that threw him into a tailspin. Cooper spotted her at the buffet table idly chatting with a distributor. He watched her carefully, even her movements were like Julia's, but there was an edge to her that he never saw in J.


Drawing a deep breath he easily worked his way through the crowd and grasped her arm. "We need to talk. In the other room.” Leading the way, Cooper steered her away from the crowd.


“I don't believe you answered my earlier question. Who the hell are you?" She faced him, slowly dragging clear blue eyes up along his body until they met his gaze. Cooper was struck once more with the familiarity of those eyes, Julia's eyes, Wyatt's eyes, but there was a difference in the challenging glint apparent in this woman's.


"I didn't expect you to be this tall," she began. "I can certainly see why Julia would have been so smitten. I'm Gemma Wilson, Julia's cousin."

Cooper rocked back, stunned, and eyed her suspiciously. So she was related to J, but he didn’t remember a cousin, and he couldn’t wrap his mind around why she would be here, distracted by her looks, so much, too much like Jules. "Julia never mentioned you."


She laughed; it was almost musical, "Well no she wouldn't. We were never really close; our fathers didn't exactly see eye to eye on much of anything and neither did we. We were rather competitive, Julia in her mild-mannered way and me...well, not so mild-mannered. But I'm not here to discuss Julia."


He stepped close and in a hard voice, demanded, "Then why are you here? Why now? If you're looking for something from me, I can't help you."

Gemma slid back and settled on top of one of the crates, stretching out one long leg. "I think you can. I represent Brew. I'm shopping labels. Yours seemed like a good fit. Jimmy's going to be a big star so I'm giving you the first shot."


The last thing Coop wanted was to give Breaux a chance to get any closer to him or to Rayne. It was bad enough that he and Rayne ended up in the same rehab facility. Opening the door to further contact was not going to happen even if the guy was talented. And apart from Rayne, Breaux had a lousy rep; he'd fucked up every opportunity he'd had. He couldn't come up with any reason to associate his label with that idiot, not until he cleaned up, if and when that ever happened. "Jimmy Breaux? Why in hell would we sign him?"


"Give me a break Cooper. I saw the opening act. They stunk up the place, you know it and I know it. Jimmy's getting his shit together, but I think you know that already, and when he does he is going to be a force in this business." She hesitated for a moment as if weighing her next words carefully, "You and Julia had a son...Wyatt was it? Is he signed? I've heard he's pretty good. Maybe I'll stop by and see him while I'm in town. I wouldn't mind shopping him around; in fact I know a few labels that would jump through hoops to sign him."


Cooper's anger flared. The last thing he needed was for Wyatt to be thrown back into painful memories by this doppelganger. He was suspicious and wary of this girl and wasn't about to let her insinuate herself into his life or that of his family. "What makes you think he would be the slightest bit interested in what you have to offer? Wyatt knows where his best interests lie. That's one trip you can cancel."

"He's my cousin, even if he is once or twice removed; it's the least I can do to stop by and meet him while I'm here." Gemma started for the stairs but hesitated and, looking over her shoulder at Cooper, she smiled, "I have a small house in Millwood near my aunt and uncle. Stop by if you're in the area and we can talk more about Jimmy." Almost an afterthought, she added, "I wouldn't mind hearing about Julia if you don't have a problem talking about her. It was nice meeting you, Cooper."


She turned to leave without waiting for a response leaving him stunned. Cooper watched her descend the stairs, more suspicious than before, deeply disturbed and confused. He had no idea what to think of this woman and her motives. Access, definitely she was after that. He hadn't missed the subtle moves, something he'd normally ignore, but he couldn't with this woman, so much too much like Jules, the way she walked, the way she looked at him. Contemplating stopping by to run down some memory lane she'd never even walked with Jules, hell no, he couldn't do that.


"Damn it!" he growled realizing how much time had passed, and he knew he had already blown apart the new beginning that he wanted with Beth. Once again, he’d put her second, and he’d done it after pressing her to come with him, after insisting that since Ryan was out of the picture, he’d have no problem making things right on his end. And once again, something had gone wrong.



Before his cell was out of his pocket, Beth had come through the door and headed for him. The expression she wore was hard to read and he knew that any apology would seem hollow but when she reached for him, put her arms securely around him and murmured against his chest, a quiet reassurance, he relaxed and leaned back into her. She’d known, somehow she’d known he needed her. Instead of leaving, she’d come back for him. They were going to get through this. He didn't need to tell her about Gemma. "Let's go home baby."

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

NEXT CHAPTER: Passages 18

30 comments:

Qui. said...

Beth knows about Rayne and Ryan?
Gemma looks so much like Julia that it is crazy! I hope that doesn't start to play with Cooper's mind. It's nice to see him and Beth together!

Wonderful as always!

Dinuriel said...

Good to see that the Julia look-alike won't get in the way of Cooper's relationship with Beth. Still, though... that's got to be pretty unnerving, the spitting image of his late ex-wife O_o

He's right about Wyatt, though. Seeing Gemma would probably kill the poor kid :(

Here's hoping Beth's relationship with Rayne is still salvageable. Also, should be interesting to see Cooper interact with Jimmy...

S.B. said...

Thanks Qui!

Yes Beth does know. She knows because Rafe knows, and he told her.

http://tinyurl.com/yhr3qp4

too late, it's already playing with Coop's mind!

S.B. said...

Van, whether or not Gemma gets in the way is still to be seen. Hard to get past a woman who looks so much like your dead ex, your first love.

I think Wyatt would have some kind of breakdown.

Sometimes relationships between mothers and daughters are not salvageable. This may be one of those times.

And YES. Can't wait until Cooper and Jimmy start to interact.

~Drew said...

Cooper just continues to get slammed, it's one thing or another. This Gemma smells like trouble. She certainly shook things up, and her asking about Wyatt got my spider sense tingling.
Great to see Rafe. And love it that he brought up her bare ass in the magazine, nice one Rafe!

Love the segue into Jimmy as well, nice tie in. Looks as though Cooper is going to deal with him, one way or another.

Nice shots, and a great update!

S.B. said...

LOL Drew! Yeah Rafe would and WILL bring up the bare ass fiasco. He's right, in my opinion. Mom is not dealing with daughter in any rational or healthy way.

Gemma is ambitious. Tossing Wyatt out there like was something close to a challenge.

Cooper dealing with Jimmy. Hmmm...Once upon a time when I took karate, the instructor said, some things possible, some things not possible.

The shots. Yeah. Thank you. Did the best I could to do justice to Gayl's text. A plague on all big bare rooms and crowds of people who have to stand around them.

thank you...

Phoenix said...

Oh Lord! Cooper can't catch a break!:( And Gemma...she doesn't seem as if she's concerned about anything other then getting clients. And she really doesn't need to stir up anything with Wyatt. He's just finally settling down and not being so erratic.

Beth, Beth, Beth...are you going to let a man get between you and your kid? Seriously? Both of y'all need to get some kind of therapy because Beth still has issues and lord KNOWS Rayne does!

I do like how Beth and Coop are coming together. Trying to work things out, being a cohesive unit. :D

This was an amazing update! :D

S.B. said...

Phoenix, you know you just gave me an idea. Ok I have to ignore that for now.

Gemma wants to sell her clients. Whatever she's got she can use, maybe she'll use it. Cooper and Julia - he has a lot of powerful and mixed emotions.

Rayne and Beth. Rayne used and hurt someone Beth loved. And, as far as Beth is concerned, did it for no reason other than flat out lust and stupid teenage rebellion. Jealousy is there, the dark shadow, but that's not the main problem. Will Beth continue to keep her distance from her daughter? Probably. Does Rayne feel like shit about it? Yes. Women judge each other according to a very strict standard of behavior. Evil bitch behavior, even in one's own child, might not be forgiven.

My take on the whole deal. Can't believe I got this far into it.

Hey, thank you!

Penelope said...

Ok, I know she says that she and Julia weren't close but Gemma HAS to know just how much the two of them look alike. She just stood there talking business and playing dumb as though it weren't the elephant in the room. Meanwhile, Cooper is looking positively murderous. There's no way she didn't know how creepy it was for her to bring up Wyatt at all, for any reason. I don't trust her. Cooper is right not to touch that with a ten foot pole. (Even if I do like Toad and want to continue to see him around. :D)

S.B. said...

LOL YES Pen! She did. Chat on and on about this and that and didn't give on that there was anything totally creepy about the fact that she looked just like his dead wife. Or how it would affect Wyatt. Just oh I think I'll stop by.

Toad has no idea that his agent looks like Cooper's dead wife. He's blissfully ignorant. For now. Once he takes a step into Rayne's world, he'll figure it out. He will definitely be around!

Muzegoddess said...

Wow. Just when I thought it was safe to got back in the water. Gemma knew very well what she was doing. Showing up out of the blue looking like Julia. Her motives are certainly not pure. She knew Cooper would freak out and rightfully so. But here again, he's leaving stuff out, not telling Beth something that important. I'm sure he feels like he's sparing her trouble but I think he might be buyinng trouble for himself.

Beth might be tempting fate a bit as well, allowing herself to go to that place in her mind about Ryan, things he's said and done, and thinking about Rayne in that scenario. I get the anger and jealousy but Rayne is her child. At some point she's got to put that fact before anything else.

A new can of worms is wide open and I can't wait to see what's next.

Fabulous update.

Gayl said...

Qui: It is good to see Cooper and Beth together. As for Gemma, I don't think she is actually playing with his mind. But she definitely has motives.

Thanks!

Van: It is shocking to see a mirror image of your ex-wife. I don't think she is looking to get in the way of his marriage. As for Wyatt, he has come to terms with a lot of things regarding his mother although seeing the ghost of her so to speak will definitely bring it back for him just like it does for Cooper. And you will definitely see Cooper and Jimmy interact. Not sure how pretty that will be however.

Thanks Van!

Drew: Cooper does always get slammed just when things are going smoothly. Isn't life like that though? And you spider sense should be tingling! Rafe does have a point with regard to Beth and Rayne but sometimes you just can't forgive and forget no matter who it is.

Thanks for reading Drew!

Phoenix: Gemma is very driven. I doubt she is looking to stir things up with Cooper but she will use whatever she can to succeed. We'll see what if anything goes down with Wyatt. He may surprise you.

Rayne and Beth may have a relationship that can never be mended. But Coop and Beth are solid and I think they will stay that way even if things keep getting thrown at them.

Thank you so much!

Pen: Gemma definitely knows how much she looks like Julia. I doubt she is primarily thinking about what sort of impact she could have on Cooper. For all Gemma knows he moved on long before Julia died so she doesn't think it's a big deal other than the fact that it might get a foot in the door. She may not necessarily be playing the lookalike card but I do think she would play the "family" card. She is ambitious and driven, definitely NOT Julia. And you will see Toad around. He and Coop will interact at some point. That is definitely going to happen much to Coop's chagrin which is probably why he looks so murderous!

Thank you!

Muzegoddess: Gemma has motives but you may be overestimating her perception of the impact she would have on Coop. She knows what she looks like. She also knows that Coop and Julia were divorced. She might simply be using her connection to promote her clients and why not? As for Beth, I think Ryan is always going to be lurking in the shadows of her mind and heart but she has firmly shut that door. Doesn't mean the memories don't come back once in awhile though.

Thanks for reading!

I do have a mosaic for Gemma that I will put up this weekend maybe as well as some kind of bio. We both thank you all for continuing to support our work! Thank you so much.

S@ndy said...

Just when I thought things were getting better for Beth and Cooper this Julia's cousin shows up... and shakes Cooper's world all over again... He really is a -bad/odd things- magnet!

I don't really think Gemma is J's cousin... I wont believe anything coming from her mouth, not even a prayer say by her would seem real to me... she seems fake... she is like a sneaky snake trying to catch her prey...

this chapter made me think of Agnes (was that her name? the crazy scientist/doctor from DD?)
They really never found her body, right?
She was completely mad, and there is nothing impossible for a mad scientist... they do from cloning to some kind of face surgery!

Great update!!!

ps. I cannot believe Beth is still angry with Rayne, I mean, she forgave Rian, but she can't forgive Rayne?? Come on Beth, she is your daughter!
Your mistakes are way worst than hers!!!
LOL.. I really like Beth, but she makes me so mad some times... that's why I like this story!

Gayl said...

Thank you S@ndy! I actually had some really strange story ideas that revolved around Agnes (or rather the aftermath of Agnes) but it was too far fetched. No, they never did find her body but she most definitely is dead.

Rest assured that Gemma really is Julia's cousin. It is interesting how you bring up the fact that she seems fake. I think there were some things about Julia that were fake as well. Maybe we will learn what that was if Gemma sticks around!

Thank you again S@ndy for reading!

Sinclair said...

O my Gemma. You sneaky bitch :D I can totally see how manipulative she is. How much does she know about what went down with Julia? She said they werent close so I doubt she would have been in contact when that whole fiasco went down. I'm fascinated to find out how far she's willing to go to get what she wants. Nothing is more entertaining than the claw to the top types.
And Cooper...is he really doing the," I know best for everyone so I'll keep what you dont need to know from you" thing again? Isnt that how Ryan was brought into the picture in the first place? Is he really making this mistake? What a hot mess.

AtomicSpaceKitty said...

I still find it interesting how Beth seems to be treating Rayne more as "the other woman" in the whole Ryan fiasco then her daughter (understandable, but still...). Even though Beth made the choice to stay with Cooper, she's obviously still not over Ryan if she's not able to forgive Rayne (even though she's forgiven Ryan). The whole thing must have really messed with her head.

I like how you both are intertwining "Passages" and this story together. I anticipate Jimmy gracing the pages of this story too. (That guy is just so charming. I'm loving him so far. I know I've already said that, but it bears repeating.)

Gemma is something else. I'm not sure what to think of her yet. I'm guessing she's going to be a troublemaker, but I'll wait-and-see for now. Most likely, whatever happens with her is going to be a major test for Beth and Cooper's fragile relationship.

S.B. said...

Sinclair, I doubt Gemma knows anything about Julia except what anybody else would know. But she doesn't need that kind of detail; the family connection and the access gives her the foot in the door she wants.

Cooper's anxious not the throw another woman into the mix right now. Gemma popped up at a bad time.

Thank you!

S.B. said...

ASK, you are exactly right. Beth knows she has a problem considering Rayne as the 'other woman', but that emotion is there. She doesn't want Cooper to find out. And she does not know that Rayne told Ryan the truth. It's an ugly place to be emotionally.

Oh we are definitely enjoying mixing it up here! Jimmy (and we are just as besotted with him) will show up both here and in Passages. Charming troublemaker.

Gemma will use what she's got to get what she wants. She's walking on broken bones - Cooper's relationship with his wife is fragile and could shatter. Or Gemma might have the opposite effect.

Thank you so much. We both love your perspective!

The Lunar Fox said...

I love this development! I noticed Gemma in passages of course, but didn't make the connection. She must know that she's throw Cooper off a little with her resemblance to her cousin. It's a little evil of her, but I guess when you're dealing in the business of trying to get groups signed, you sort of have to be a little "creative."

And I'm loving Jimmy too, so I look forward to seeing him here. For some reason it stood out to me that the name meant nothing to Beth. Probably because it might soon!


But most importantly, I love that Beth comes to Cooper at the end. That speaks volumes!

S.B. said...

Lunar Fox, yes of course Gemma knew she was throwing Cooper off balance. She took a risk, and one that might not pay off. He's suspicious and angry and wary. Her parting offer, come see me and chat about Julia, didn't have the affect she may have intended.

Beth didn't know Jimmy - he's not that well known yet. And yes, she did come to Cooper at the end. She didn't stomp off in a huff about a spoiled evening. It wasn't nearly as important as coming to her husband's rescue. She's unpredictable, but this time she made the right choice.

Thank you so much!

thelook said...

As soon as Gemma said she was Julia's cousin all I thought was 'No way!'. Yes way :) Toad's good but sure Cooper's going to have doubts. He's in rehab for one - with Rayne too! It's just another way for him to get closer to her. Then he's not exactly on time to gigs! I love how Beth came on time too. Buuut both have old feelings stirring up again. Their relationship is hanging in water. If it drops they could just swim out again; not that they'd be the same people. :/

Gayl said...

thelook, Gemma may or may not be totally honest with what she does or doesn't know. Right now her goal is to be successful. She will use whatever she has to achieve that goal. I do think she would stop short of actually hurting anyone though. She is ambitious but not cruel.

As for Toad, you are right. Cooper will be very cautious with him although I don't think he is aware of the extent that he needs to watch him. Beth did the right thing by going after Coop. He needed her at that moment even if he wouldn't have told her that. It speaks volumes to how they are both committed to making their marriage work. She knew seeing a Julia lookalike could have sent him spiraling into emotions he buried a long time ago.

Thanks so much for reading!

xtinabobina said...

temperatures rising.

love the last picture! its so touching! <3 <3 i really hope beth and cooper will find their way out of the dark!

great work ladies. shots were amazing.

S.B. said...

thank you Xtina. Those two have held onto each other so far. And Gemma is not Julia, no matter how much she looks like her. It's not possible to recreate someone you loved and lost.

xtinabobina said...

perhaps not, but it is easy for the brain to get lost in translation when the out of the dark shadows of Cooper's heart come the memories of his Julia...

in all reality though, my interest is piqued once again! what in the world is Julia's cousin, of all people, doing in Cooper's life?!

*bites nails*

S.B. said...

well she was his first 'true love'. He was crazy in love with her, married her like 5 days after he met her. Lost her, found her, lost her again. So maybe you're right...

cheripye said...

Hmmm now I am really really interested in just why Gemma and Julia look like twins. What was that story LOL! WOW she's a shrewd one, no wonder she's successful at shopping around and then the threat to see Wyatt! Just what that family needs another scandalous drama in the tabloids.

Beth and Cooper seem to be well on their way to rebuilding the strength of their marriage.

As always gorgeous screens and breathtaking writing!

goodbye_sun said...

Hey, if I had someone good, but a bit unpredictable on the books, I would be pulling out the dead cousin card too. That is if I was as determined to get ahead as Gemma seems to be.

Rafe is just so good at saying the right thing, even if he doesn't know he's doing it. I imagine Gemma would have gotten a face full of Beth if he hadn't have been there.

Gayl said...

Cherie, Gemma does look nearly identical to Julia but not exact. They are really not very similar in personality either as you will soon see.

As for Beth and Cooper, I think staying instead of leaving on Beth's part spoke volumes to her commitment and I know Coop was relieved she was there.

Thanks so much!

Gayl said...

Goodbye_sun, Gemma is very ambitious and knowing what she has to deal with regarding Jimmy, she will use whatever it takes. I'm not sure that she is going to cause trouble but I think there is more than meets the eye with her.

Thanks so much for reading!