Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sessions 26 - Torch

These are the things that I miss
These are not times for the weak of heart
These are the days of raw despondence
I never dreamed I'd have to lay down my torch for you like this

South Beach Crossing: Chinatown Tunnel - 4:55 pm

Ryan paced the ten steps down the sidewalk, past the liquor store, keeping an eye on the bank across the street.  Mel had been in there only two minutes.  He glanced around the corner, started to turn back, when one of parked cars caught his attention.   You're imagining things, he gruffly told himself.  No way she would be in this neighborhood. 

The hotel door swung open, banging on broken hinges, catching the woman by surprise as she tried to catch it, prevent it from slamming into the glass.  She missed, let it go, stepped out into the hot sunlight, blinked, and looked directly at him.

Stunned, Ryan could do nothing, say nothing, staring at her while she stared back.  She took a step in the other direction, then turned back, looking at him, still silent.   "Beth?" he finally managed to say.   When she didn't move, didn't speak, he drew a long, unsteady breath and went to her, still not sure she was going to wait for him. The air shook, cars thundering across the overpass above him. She looked up, hesitated, but she didn't go. She waited.

The awning cast a shadow across her face but she hadn't changed, the same woman who continued to haunt his dreams, the one he had when he woke up alone and sweating.  "How are you, Ryan?" she said, that soft familiar voice, but she seemed stiff, her voice careful, formal. She backed up, smoky blue eyes, pretty little lace dress, rings sparkling on her fingers, exactly as he remembered her. Better than he'd remembered her. 

His right hand propped against the grimy wall, he smiled down at her.  He hadn't seen her since that brief glimpse at the police station, and hadn't been this close since she turned him away that night outside Stanfield's mansion.   It couldn't hurt to say a couple of words to her. It couldn't hurt to talk to her...  "What are you doing here?  Are you here by yourself?"

"I was supposed to meet someone about a renovation; he didn't show.  I was just leaving."  All the easy camaraderie they'd once had was gone, replaced by painful intensity and wariness.  She looked almost frightened, poised to leap and run, arms crossed defensively across her breasts. 

Ryan had spent a lot of time wondering if she knew about Rayne, struggling with the shame, shoving the thoughts aside, but they crept back again now.  He didn't believe she knew.  She wouldn't exchange one word with him if she did.  It wasn't him, it had to be Cooper,  that had to be it, and there wasn't a damned thing he could do but respect that choice.

"It's not safe," he gently told her, letting his hand brush her bare shoulder, travel down to her hand.  Beth didn't pull away, but neither did she accept the handclasp.  His heart aching, he let it go.   "I'll walk you to your car."


NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 27


thewynd said...

You know...after all this time he still carries her in his heart. I just love this. Something so simple as a chance encounter that you know is not going to end well.

You did good even though you aren't exactly feeling your best. Very soft and emotional piece right up to the end.

Phoenix said...

Ugh! Ryan needs to get OVER it and move on!! And Coop doesn't need to blow up before he talks to Beth...but we're talking about Coop so we know that probably won't happen! *sigh* One scene, two different perspectives! Can't wait to see how it all turns out!

I hope you feel better girl! Take care of yourself!

Qui. said...

I agree with Phoenix! he needs to just let go! How many times do you have to have your heart squeezed before you say that's enough?

I almost choked on a grape when I saw that picture of Cooper on his bike! Him seeing that after Wyatt said what he said.. worse that could happen!

Muzegoddess said...

Of all the streets in all the world Cooper had to drive up that one. Ugh! And that nasty little parting shot that Wyatt made will make seeing this even worse.

My heart is just bleeing for Ryan, he still can't get her out of his system after all this time. If he only knew that she does know all about him and Rayne and it says something to me that she is speaking to him with that knowledge when he assumes that she wouldn't.

This doesn't look good, not good at all and once again I am left hanging onto the edge of the cliff desperately waiting to see what's next.

S.B. said...

Gayl, if it had been more than half a dozen shots, I could not have managed it. Thank you for editing.

Ryan does still carry her in his heart. He's gone a long way past being able to do much for her, but we both know he's unlikely to step aside if he sees a threat, or if he gets another chance.

S.B. said...

Hey Phoenix!

Ryan's been trying to get over it. They had a very deep, close bond, and it has not been shattered. Fractured, but not not shattered.

Cooper will not stop and talk. Yeah, we're talking about Cooper.

and thank you so much for the personal note. I'm trying.

S.B. said...

Qui...well, Ryan tried to let go. He really believes she's unhappy, sticking it out for the sake of the kids, married to someone he thinks is an arrogant prick, someone who doesn't give a damn about her. And that belief is frequently reinforced.

Worse could happen. Worse probably will...

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess...oh yeah. Of all the streets in the world Cooper could have driven down, on his way to confront Gemma, he chose that one. He's in one extremely foul mood.

Ryan fell in love and stayed there. And he'll never know Beth knows about Rayne, not if she can help it. She's protecting him. He doesn't know that either. Love is a complicated thing.

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh! Don't stop there! o_o If Ryan so much as puts a hand on Beth's shoulder, Cooper is surely gonna get into a fight with Beth again. :( How long will it take for them to repair their relationship?

Is Beth hesitating to walk away from Ryan? It's almost like she's waging an internal war in her head, wanting to leave but simply can't. It's like she's thinking "just a few words wouldn't hurt" too. :\

I totally agree with Gayl. :) This was soft yet emotional. Even though the feelings weren't entirely described, I could still guess how their hearts are stirring just from their actions!

S.B. said...'s going to get interesting, I hope. If Cooper fights with Beth and Ryan is there, that might be the last damned fight Coop ever has with her. Ryan's been waiting a long time for an excuse to take Cooper apart, and he's gone deep into the dark side.

Beth was in love with Ryan. She made her choice, and Coop is definitely her choice, but it doesn't mean she doesn't still have a deep attachment to Ryan. Is she hesitating? She didn't turn on her high heel and leave, did she? She waited for him. A few words wouldn't hurt....

I'd love to open up a discussion about how to write about emotions and feelings. My preference is to let actions describe it, but I don't know if that's the best way.

Van said...

Well, Beth is certainly in for a bad day. Not only does she have the awkward encounter with Ryan, but Cooper happens to drive by? Something tells me the Stanfield home life is not about to get any better just yet :(

Poor Ryan. He's trying to move on, but what they had was pretty strong. Not as strong as Beth's bond with Cooper, perhaps, but definitely significant. It's not the sort of thing he can just resolve to put behind him.

Great work! :D I hope you feel better soon.

S.B. said...

Van, we hope to push it past the Coop and Beth and Ryan triangle. Sometimes all it takes is a random event.

I love random events and the consequences.

I'm an idiot about doctors. I let things go until I'm red lining before I deal with obvious medical issues. Not sure what that says about me. STUPID comes to mind....

S.B. said...

total crap shots for this one. I think I've gone too far past the 'shots don't matter' mode. present excuse is something real, I'm sick, but shots do matter.

Van said...

No, that doesn't make you stupid. A lot of people hate going to doctors, and not for irrational reasons--doctors and hospitals do have as much of an association with death and disease as they have with healing, after all. I don't go until it's the absolute last resort either because I come from a long line of hypochondriacs and have this morbid fear of ending up like my mom and her mom and her mom and running out for a tetanus shot every time I cut myself shaving my legs--not nearly so rational, but still somewhat understandable. There's nothing wrong with not wanting to see a doctor unless you absolutely have to, and it definitely doesn't make you 'stupid'.

Sinclair said...

OMG Ryan move on!!! His infatuation with her is getting old. She has made it clear she doesnt want him. She wont leave Coop. Yet he still waits like a puppy for her to come back. It would do harm to talk to her. He needs to act like she and the rest of the Stanfield clan do not exist. He'd be better off. Yet he wont. And now Coop is gonna start a fight. *head shake in dissapointment*

The Lunar Fox said...

Whoa whoa whoa! This whole piece is packed with emotion perfectly. Perfect shots, perfect writing. OMG those last shots of Cooper, my heart seriously dropped. I was like "Oh no" and "OH NO." That look on his face says it all.

Beth's posture, Ryan's posture, even if the pictures weren't there I could see it, but the pictures multiply what I am picturing.

It is never easy to move on. Beth did try her best, but still, Ryan seems to know Cooper and Beth well enough that he's still hopeful.

S.B. said...

Hey Sinclair:

aw poor Ryan! He's done his best to move on. He's not really waiting for her, and definitely not stalking her, but he was, and still is, in love with her. He has not been able to completely put his feelings aside, nor has he changed his mind about Cooper.

If Cooper hadn't already been angry, he might not have reacted so strongly. Will he start a fight? It's not likely to be one he can win, and there's nothing like wounded male pride to make men do stupid things.

Thanks for sticking with us!! We hope it won't take too much longer to show where we're going with all of this!

S.B. said...

thanks LunarFox! thank you so much!

It's hard to portray that mix of love, despair, protectiveness, and maybe still a tiny bit of hope that is Ryan. He does know enough about that husband/wife relationship to continue to believe it's toxic. He's not actively waiting around to pick up the pieces, but you're right, it can be very very hard to move on under the circumstances. And thanks for the comments on my main blog, for the link, and for all your support!

Rachel said...

Oh crap! Oh no. A fight is definitely brewing now.

I feel so badly for Ryan and Beth. They lost everything they had together, even the friendship. I wish they could be together, but after the situation with Rayne I don't think it will ever happen...

I almost dread what is coming!

S.B. said...

Hey Rachel!

They did lose everything they had together, including a friendship that meant a great deal to both of them. I think it would be very very hard to put that relationship back together again, even if Cooper wasn't in the picture, and he definitely is.

So excited you are reading! Thank you again so much for leaving us comments!

Laura said...

I actually read this one back when it was first posted, and am kind of, ummm, back-commenting? ;)

Beautifully written! I really admire the attention to detail in this - the set is just wonderfully constructed (they always are!), and the writing too! The way the whole space is used in this scene, from the overpass to the air to the characters themselves was really impressive.

Oh, Ryan, what are you going to do with him?

Love the song choice on this one too.

S.B. said...

Laura, we consider our world as almost a character in itself. Obsessive about the detail...

It's hard to describe the relationship Ryan has with Beth without reading all the backstory. The connection is powerful. They know each other.

And I love that song too!

Thank you so much!!!