South Beach Crossing: Hitman Studio 4:19PM
Wyatt slid the red Beetle into the parking lot and walked slowly toward the front entrance to Hitman Studio. Before he reached the door a deep voice called out. "You still drive that little thing?" Wyatt turned in the direction of the voice and grinned. Slim had been like a father to him during the years that his father had been missing. They remained close even after Cooper's return even though they had not seen as much of each other as they used to. With Wyatt at the university it wasn't always easy to make the trip to the metro area. Today however, Wyatt insisted on finding the time; he needed to speak to his father.
"You're a bit off course aren't you kid? You should be at school." Slim's voice was admonishing but his green eyes flickered with amusement behind his ever-present shades. Draping a muscular arm over Wyatt's shoulders Slim steered him toward the door.
"I'm here to see my dad although I don't see his bike anywhere. I called the house but no one was home. I figured he'd be here."
Wyatt followed Slim to the front desk and waited patiently while Slim asked the girl if Coop had arrived. She smiled flirtatiously at Wyatt and shook her head. "I'm sure your father is on his way in kid; we have some contracts we need to go over, tour dates to review. Come on upstairs and we'll catch up until he gets here. You ever see Will on campus?"
"Yeah, he hangs out with Randi and Nic."
Wyatt trailed Slim up the stairs. Picking up a pool cue, he challenged Slim to a game. Figuring he might get some information from Slim that he wouldn't from his father Wyatt casually mentioned a name. "Slim, what do you know about my mother's side of the family?"
"Not much. Why do you ask?"
"My mom had a cousin, Gemma Wilson, does that name mean anything to you?"
Slim's expression was impassive as he gripped the stick and regarded Wyatt. "That is one name I do know. Gemma's an agent. She's aggressively shopping Jimmy Breaux and that band of his, so far nobody's interested including me. She's some kind of cousin isn't she?" He drew a breath and held it for a long while before continuing. "I take it you've come in contact with her?"
Wyatt nodded. "We've talked. I had dinner at her place. She seems all right to me."
Slim bent over the table to line up his next shot. "She's got an uncanny resemblance to your mother." It wasn't a question.
Wyatt straightened up, set the stick down. "I'm aware of it. She looks like my mother, she's related, it happens, so what? What's the big deal about signing Breaux? I met him. He was helping Rainie move out; he seems like a stand up guy, talented. He just needs a chance."
"Did she send you here to try and sway a contract?" Cooper strode into the room already looking thunderous.
It momentarily surprised him but then Wyatt's temper flared. "Nobody sent me here. I said I ran into him, he was with Rayne, and yeah, I think it's shortsighted to walk away from Breaux, I think it's a mistake. He's damned good. You're throwing away great talent. If you want the label to be about nothing but what's safe, then go right ahead and ignore bands like Brew. And what the hell is going on with Rayne? Why am I hearing it from Randi that my sister's been cut out?"
Slim shot a quick glance at Cooper, took a step back from the table, crossed his arms and leveled his eyes at Wyatt. "We built this label together, Wyatt, and I can guarantee you nothing we do is about safe, but like I said, some risks aren't worth it. Jimmy Breaux is one of them. I'll leave you and your father to talk about your sister." He nodded at Cooper, shoved past him and walked out, shutting the door behind him.
Cooper waited, watching Wyatt, then slowly strode around the pool table, prowling, stalking him. "What's going on with you and Gemma? You two are hanging out a lot. You've been discussing my contract decisions with her?"
Standing his ground Wyatt glared at his father eyes burning like dry ice and bit back hard. "Yeah I talked to her. She's got some good ideas. We discussed setting up my own production company with Gemma, picking up talent you won't look at, like Brew. Or Rayne. Rayne's damned good, never noticed that did you? Yeah, I'm thinking about it, and I'm working with Gemma."
"What the hell are you thinking Wy? You don't know - stay away from that bitch, the hell you are working with her!"
"Come on Dad, what's your problem? She looks like Mom? Did you hate Mom so much that you can't let me have some piece of her?"
"Don't throw that shit at me. Don't be stupid Wyatt, she came onto me and didn't get what she wants so she is going to use you just like Bailey did! Open your eyes damn it! She doesn't give a damn about you; she wants me and she is going through you!"
Wyatt exploded. "What the hell are you talking about? You think Gemma wants you? Every woman in the world wants you right? You're dead wrong! No they don't - get over it! It is always about you! You push us all around like some kind of game and do whatever you want and don't give a damn! That's probably why Beth fucked McDermott!" Wyatt paused for a split second then turned on his heel. "Fuck you Dad, I'm out of here - you figure it out!"
Wyatt left the room without bothering to look back. Cooper leaned heavily on the pool table, a blinding rage consuming him. "That goddamn bitch I am going to rip her apart!"
Tearing down the stairs Cooper pushed through the back door, threw his leg over the bike and peeled away leaving a trail of rubber in his wake.
South Beach Crossing: Chinatown Tunnel 4:53PM
NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 26