Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sessions Chapter 32

Oceanside - Palms Hotel: 2 PM

Kicking sheets aside, Cooper struggled up out of that old dream, sucking for air through suffocating dream smoke, fighting for breath, fighting past the fire it caught him burned pain god he was burning.... there was no smoke. He could breathe. The room was cool. A hotel. His thoughts blurred, where the hell was he, on tour, in a room he couldn't for the moment recognize. He'd dreamed it, it was another nightmare, he didn't go there in his dreams, hadn't gone there in years, she kept him from going there, she stood in the way.

He sat up on the the bed and peered out through a headache that wouldn't quit at sunlight in palm trees.  He'd dumped the suitcases in a corner when he dragged himself here a few hours ago and literally fallen into bed.  That was about four hours ago.  It was quiet. The expensive quiet he insisted and paid for, couldn't hear the wind in those trees, couldn't hear a thing. Quiet. He clenched his hands in the pillow cases, damn, no I didn't dream it. Fuck. It's real. This time it's real.

Oceanside - Palms Hotel 4 PM

Arriving shortly after Cooper had finished eating, Slim took the chair opposite him and signaled the waitress for coffee. "Strange place to be meeting isn't it?" One look at Slim's expression was all it took to realize he had a pretty good idea why Coop was at a hotel. Still, he needed to talk to him, strategize, and formulate some kind of plan to deal with the Gemma issue. Slim was not only his trusted friend but a shrewd business partner.

"Elise tossed me out of the house yesterday." Cooper watched Slim's face for a reaction. He got none except for a slight tensing of his jaw. Slim merely sat back arms folded and Cooper wondered how much he may have already known.

"Go on."

Cooper dove into it.  Wyatt, Rayne, Ryan and Mel, but he left out the worst of it: Gemma. "I should have let it go but I didn't. I promised her we'd start over but I didn't keep up my end. I pushed her too far Slim. I beat her down until she thought the only thing left was to let me go. It's the last thing I want."

Slim's face remained impassive and yet Cooper knew instinctively that his friend was not pleased with either him or his behavior. That reaction further solidified his anger with himself at having been too hotheaded and stubborn to see things clearly. 

"By now you should have figured out how to keep your damned mouth shut. You keep after her about McDermott and throw the whorehouse in her face, I see why she threw you out, no mystery there. If you want her back, man go do some groveling. Is there something else going on?”

This was it. Cooper leaned an elbow on the table and rested his chin in the palm of his hand. A vivid memory of that time so long ago when Slim believed Cooper had cheated on Julia came to mind. He winced slightly and then braced himself as he spoke in a quiet voice. 

"That's what I am going to need your help with. I went to Gemma Wilson's house. I was livid. At Elise. At Ryan. At my kids. Ryan bounced me off a wall, I wasn't thinking straight. Anyway, I drove out to Cloud Lake, and I slept with Gemma."

Slim leaned in, his mouth a twisted scowl. "Jesus fucking christ Coop: Gemma? Are you out of your mind? What're you telling me, that we've got to come up with a way to keep her from telling Elise? Give her what? Any damned thing she wants? Contracts for any piece of shit band she can dig up?"

Cooper frowned. "I know it's bad; I know I fucked up. I shouldn't have gone over there.  Are you going to help me deal with this or not?"

Slim stood and looked down at Coop. "I'll make the call and set up a meeting." Hesitating as if he intended to say more, Slim released a deep breath. "I'll let you know the when and where." Turning he strode purposefully away.

Oceanside - Palms Hotel 10 PM

Restless, Cooper paced back and forth. He'd tried to write in between calling Elise. No one answered the house phone. He wouldn't leave a voice message knowing that the twins would more than likely intercept and erase any message he would have left. Besides, what he wanted to say was too personal, too intimate for their ears. He'd already left messages on Elise's cell telling her where he was staying and how to reach him. She hadn't called.

Cooper eased onto the couch in his room and plucked absently at his guitar, then set it aside and stared out at the ocean. It wasn't very late but he was in no mood to go out and deal with the club scene. Maybe a walk on the beach would help clear his head.

Rising he stood in front of the window and looked out at the lights and beyond toward where he knew his home was. Certain that Elise remained there with the kids he exhaled and tried her cell. One ring and it went straight to voice mail. It was off. She had turned her cell phone off.

Grumbling inwardly he snapped it shut and resumed staring out the window remembering the first time they met, the connection that was like electricity. He'd fought hard to make Elise his. They had been through so much, so many obstacles stood in their way but he persisted and won her heart. Then he managed to crush her slowly and painstakingly, something he never meant to do but his jealousy and pride prevented him from seeing that. She had been his touchstone and he let her slip away.

Swearing he picked up the cell once more and dialed. "Ellie, baby it's me. Meet me for dinner tomorrow night at that restaurant on the pier in Bay View, you know the one. I'll be there at 7. I miss you baby. Please. We need...I want to talk about this. I love you."

Setting the phone down Cooper ran a hand through his hair absently and returned to the window more determined than ever to find his way home. He'd always been able to seduce her, get her to put everything aside for him. He had never lost a woman he wanted to keep, and damn it, this was not going to be the first time, not with the only one he'd ever really wanted.

South Beach - The Peninsula

"I miss you baby. Please. We need...I want to talk about this. I love you."

Damn you, Coop...no. Just no.


Van said...

Hooo boy. This is such a tangled web and they both screwed up badly. It's only natural that they're hurting, but I'm not sure they should be rushing back into things so soon. They probably should talk, but it would probably be for the best if they just keep it at that for now and try to start slowly.

Of course, these two do have their way of making unconventional things work. I suppose we'll just have to see :)

thewynd said...

Hey Van! Somehow I don't think they will fall back into each any time soon. Cooper is anxious to begin his campaign to win her back though. He really doesn't want to lose her.

It is very tangled.

Muzegoddess said...

Poor Cooper, right back in that dark place again. I'm glad that he is realizing the role he played in it, but still trying to hide the truth (they both are actually) isn't going to help. His heart is in the right place but sowing seeds of deception only reaps more pain in the end.

I love the display of both sides of this painful situation. They are both in this so deep and neither one has a clue of the bombshell the other is holding that would blow it apart all over again even if they did give into what their hearts want.

So sad.

Valpre said...

Just when I thought you couldn't break my heart anymore, and you do. Both their pain and sadness is just too much. More skeleton's in the closet with Cooper trying to buy Gemma's silence. Whatever it is him and Slim are planning can't be good in the long run. It's great to see the smexy Slim again. Fantastic writing as always.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, it's a very difficult place for Cooper, and for Beth. She would probably overlook sex with some random woman, but Gemma is...well Gemma is Julia. And Cooper's reaction if/when he finds out his wife hid the truth about his daughter and Ryan...there's no way that will ever turn out to be anything but catastrophic.

She will probably hold to her decision to stay apart despite what she feels. Cooper wants what he wants.

S.B. said...

Hey Valpre! It IS good to work with Slim again LOL! Slim's used to cleaning up after Coop but this is a very big mess. He's hurting; Beth is hurting. There's no clear way back.

Rachel said...

It's nice to see Slim again, even under these terrible circumstances. He gives it to Cooper straight, and doesn't bother to hide his disapproval.

I really wonder if Beth will give in and go see him. I think they need time apart more than anything right now. He's finally starting to see his role in this, but he still has no intention of telling Beth about Gemma. With that hanging over his head, any reconciliation he has with Beth will be in danger.

Beth's pose on the bed while listening to his message is perfect--she looks so tired and defeated. Almost like she's cringing as she's listening to his message.

Qui. said...

Seems like this is not going to get any easier for either of them! You can tell that the love is still there but there is a jumbled mess in the way.

Slim always knows what to do!

I doubt these two will get it together anytime soon but I do hope they will.

The part about the twins erasing the message made me laugh! Those two don't play when it comes to Beth! lol

Great update!

S@n said...

What a mess...
I didn't want to feel sorry for Cooper...but seriously the way you described his emotions and his pain touched my heart! I do feel sorry for him...I just wanted to hug him (and Beth) tell them both it will all be better.

I would love to see Cooper fixing and facing the result of his actions all by himself without Slim... like a man... facing what he did...

I don't want him to keep pretending that nothing happened... and just go back to win his girl again... both he and Beth need to come out clean without secrets for their relationship to work or to formally end it...

I do believe their love is big enough to look past Gemma and the affair between Ryan and Rayne...
of course the truth will hurt, probably the pain will take them near death, but at the end, after some time of thinking and healing... I think they will make it work... !

Awesome chapter!!

S.B. said...

Rachel, Slim is always a very solid force. It's a pleasure to work with him!

A meeting might not lead to a reconciliation. Cooper and Beth are both very raw; it's more likely to go very wrong even if they're able to work it out in the long run. He is starting to see his role, but it's a tentative epiphany. If she challenges him, I can see him blowing up again.

Thank you so much about that shot! It was surprisingly difficult to get. Not sure what was wrong with the OMSP's, but I could not get them to work properly.

S.B. said...

S@ndy, it's very hard not to feel sorry for Cooper. He was pushed very hard, had to deal with his wife's infidelity shoved in his face with graphic photos, and kept running into Ryan. And Ryan never backed down.

They have a ways to go. A quick dinner date is not going to resolve things, but Cooper is right, it's a start.

Looking past Gemma is one thing. Looking past Rayne and Ryan would be much, much harder.

Thank you!!!

S.B. said...

Qui, it's not going to get easier for them anytime soon. It is a jumbled mess, and we're seeing the ripples widen and widen.

And yeah about the twins LOL!

Thank you so much!!

Ning said...

Slim is like a solid anchor for Cooper the ship which is in the middle of some super choppy and rocky waves called "Marriage". I'm really surprised he could come up with a solution so fast! Or at least, calm down and see what's the next best step to take instead of just keep shouting at Cooper (I think that anyone would have done that instead. :P) Boy, isn't Slim an awesome friend and partner to work with? ;)

I really wouldn't know what I would do if I were Beth. On one hand, the man you love so much it hurts is trying his best to win you back, but on the other hand, deep down inside, you know it's gonna take a miracle for this relationship to continue. :( There's always this "what if it could still work?" lingering somewhere and that's bad.

One last thing that I HAD to comment: What the hell, Coop? You're still thinking of it in terms of "never lost a woman he wanted to keep?" It's high time you let that pride go, man! This isn't about physical attraction anymore! o_o *reaches in the whack Coop on the head*

thewynd said...

Van: Very tangled web indeed. Sometimes you can love someone so much and still need to separate yourself from them. Coop won't let the dust settle before trying to woo his wife. He will try to keep her off balance I'm sure. He loves her. Thanks!

Muzegoddess: Thank you! Beth is his touchstone literally. Believe it or not she keeps him sane and grounded. His past shook him to the core so much so that his nightmares are very real.

Valpre: Slim is totally smexy!! LOL! I don't think either of those two know what Gemma will do or how she will react. So far we have only seen Cooper's reaction to what happened between them. Assuming she is ruthless they need to be prepared. Thanks so much!

Rachel: Slim has always been there for Coop. He may not like what Coop does but he will always watch his back. He is a solid guy and loyal to a fault. And I honestly love him; I wish we had more for him to do in the story. As for Beth, I think she will be extremely cautious. I cannot see her falling into bed with Coop and forgetting everything. They have a long way to go. Thank you so much for reading!

Qui: It is never easy with these two. So much love but then at least Beth realizes that sometimes it isn't enough. That doesn't make it easy to accept but we will see how it goes! And the twins are very much on their mother's side here. They will do what they can to shield her. Thank you!

S@ndy: It is a mess. They are both hurting so much. As for the mess with Gemma, I doubt that Slim will be managing her on his own. They really have no idea how she will react or what she will do. She did not instigate the encounter with Coop; it was very unexpected. Beth and Coop have so much love but they need to talk, open up and let those things that are eating at them out so that it doesn't poison their marriage. If they can do that and survive it, nothing will ever tear them apart. Thank you S@ndy!

Ning: Slim has always been the anchor for Coop, yes. I'm not sure he has a solution yet but between the two of them they will look out for their interests. Coop and Beth are so raw and still very much in love with each other. They need to step back and re-evaluate their situation. It will either work or it won't. I think Beth is the only woman on the planet that can keep Coop off balance and unsure. So in that respect his thoughts about not losing a woman he wanted are very true. He always gets what he wants like a spoiled little boy. Hehe. Thanks Ning!!

The Lunar Fox said...

Ning whacking Cooper, lol! He needs that though. Seriously.

I've been thinking about this entry a lot, but not sure what to even say!

This morning I realized the irony that Cooper tells Slim the thing he can't tell Beth. It makes sense, I mean he does need someone to confide in. But it's still ironic, isn't it?

Phoenix said...

Late comment is late! Sorry!!

Ohh...Slim is SOOOO pissed!! I mean, I hope Coop realizes how upset his best friend is with him and the entire situation. I wonder how much Slim can take before he tells Coop to fix it himself?

Coop and Beth need some breathing room. Him calling her constantly and her turning off her cell aren't going to help either one of them. They need to figure out how they got to where they are so that it doesn't happen again. Sure there were times I liked them together but I always felt they were toxic because they never let anything go! Blah! I actually want to see how they do apart!

Loved the writing in this one. The confusion, the uncertainty, the tension coming from Slim...it just all goes together with what's going to be sore spot for everyone. Gemma.

thewynd said...

Lunar: No doubt Cooper has made similar mistakes over and over. He does need a swift kick.

The thing with Cooper and Slim is they grew up together, Slim has always had Coop's back. They are like brothers. It is ironic however. I hesitate to think that Coop would have said anything to Slim about Gemma if it wasn't for their business. It is interesting to think about it though.

thewynd said...

Phoenix! No worries, I hope you are feeling better.

I have no doubt that Cooper knows what Slim thinks. However it doesn't matter what he thinks about Gemma so much as it is what he thinks and does about the potential impact on their label, their reputation in the business and the possibility that bands can be shoved at them because of a potential scandal or worse. Coop forced himself on Gemma and may very well have evidence to that effect.

Beth probably did the best thing for their relationship despite how difficult and painful it was. They need to re-assess what they are doing to each other and to themselves. Bottom line is they really do love each other.

Laura said...

I'm glad to see you guys say that nobody will likely rush back into anything here. Because they certainly need the time to calm and think and heal. I wouldn't figure he'd take that time, if she told him to come back tomorrow, he'd come running back and not think anything of it. But it's needed, if they're ever going to try for it again in a better place. She seems smarter than that though, so I trust her.

thewynd said...

Laura, you are right about Coop. He would go back. I still think he would try to make things right, do things better. They both need time and space.

Beth blames herself for Ryan, for cheating, and it isn't so much her being smart in that it is about Beth letting Coop go.

thewynd said...

Hit the Publish too soon...

Just want to also voice my thanks for reading and leaving a comment!

~Drew said...

Yow. Cooper at times is a frustrating character. But underneath the arrogant rock monster facade is a achingly vulnerable man. You both capture it so well.
And Beth, she still has Coop fever, no mistake. Can she resist him?
Great update, hit all the right emotional notes~