Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sessions Chapter 36 - Voices

It's like a hurricane inside her
It's like a hurricane inside her room
It's like a hurricane inside her mind

Clear Water College - Stanfield Rental: 5 PM

Rayne pulled up hard in front of Wyatt's rental and sat there in the car while the rain slid down the windshield and the engine ticked and cooled. Someone had already moved into the place across the street, windows lighted against the late afternoon wet chilly gloom threw that yellow light into the puddles in the drive where her car used to be. It had been her place. It wasn't now. She didn't have a place now.

The long drive had drained some of her anger and she waited and watched the place where her brother lived and morosely considered how he was likely to react when she marched up to the door and announced that Gemma was the boogey man after all because Cooper gave Toad a contract. Cautiously condescending. Kind. Maybe he'd ask her if she'd been drinking, as if there was any doubt he'd ask that.

The front door opened. Jason and his girlfriend Kes dashed out into the rain, hanging onto each other and laughing as they cut through the carport. Those two were probably going to get engaged. How would Kestral manage all the shit that would come hurtling her way once Crux started to tour? Maybe she'd just go cook something. Maybe she wouldn't care. No, she'd care. Kes would care. Cade would care. As cool as her mother played it, she cared. And everybody got hurt because of women like Gemma Wilson.

She slammed the car door and hurried up the sidewalk to the front door and banged on it until Wyatt finally cracked it open. It was almost 5 o'clock but he looked sleepy and rumpled. And surprised. "Rainie? What are you doing here? Is something wrong?"

"We need to talk," peering past him, half expecting to see Gemma herself stretched out on the couch but the room was shadowy and empty and quiet. "Is Gemma here?"

Wyatt rubbed his face, staring at her, confused, and shook his head. "No, nobody's here, sorry I just woke up. You want to come in? What's going on?"

University - Academy Park: 5:30 pm

"Kind of strange weather," Wyatt remarked as he walked beside his sister through brush and trees, everything heavy and dripping. Rayne had insisted they get out of his house and talk in the damned park, so he had yanked on some clothes and here they were, in the park. He was wet and chilled and wanted some coffee and had begun to wake up sufficiently to realize this was really weird. "Uh, Rainie, this is far enough. What the hell's going on?"

She found a bench, sat down on it. He considered sitting next to her but damn, it was wet, so he crossed his arms and tried to shrug off the rain and waited, wondering if she was drunk or using. "Dad brought over a contract for Jimmy's band," she said, looking up at him through wet hair. "I pushed him as hard as I could about Gemma and he pushed back, he wouldn't agree to even consider offering a contract if she wasn't part of it. Wy, you know what he thinks about Jimmy, you know what's going on. You know he'd never give Jimmy a contract if he wasn't doing it for a woman."

Agitated and breathing hard, Rayne clenched her hands and looked down at the muddy trail. His first reaction was oh shit...maybe she was seriously unstable, or maybe she was going to cry. He drew a deep breath, sat down next to her on the wet bench and put his arm around her. Wyatt spoke in what he hoped was a calm and reassuring voice. "Rainie, if Dad gave him a contract, that's a good thing, isn't it? And Gemma's his agent, so she's going to get a piece of it. You know how these things go. Jimmy's got talent, maybe Dad thought about it and changed his mind." Wyatt considered what his father had been going through with the family. It was possible he was offering an olive branch, some way to begin mending fences. Wyatt frowned as he considered what Rayne believed.

Rayne slid out from under his arm and got up and stared at him, and now he wondered why he ever thought she was going to fall apart. Once she got something stuck in her head she wouldn't see past it. Rayne shoved her hands through her wet hair and glared at him. "What is wrong with you? Why don't you ever see what's right in front of you? You know what, I don't care anymore. Tell Gemma to change her sheets before you climb into bed with her, Wyatt. You are definitely sharing that bed with Cooper. Just don't say I didn't warn you."

Rayne turned her back on him abruptly and began to march steadily through the rain soaked leaves. His temper flared. "How the hell do you get from a contract to Gemma's sheets? You're being ridiculous Rayne! Just listen to what you're saying! How do you make sense out of this shit you come up with? Dad and Gemma...that's not happening! Rayne, damn it, wait!"

Oceanside - Palms Hotel: 7 PM

Intense rain hammered relentlessly against the window of Cooper's hotel. The slapping sound reminded him of a car wash beating a steady rhythm as it sprayed against the glass. He paced, his attempts at remaining calm slowly unraveling with each step. Cooper stared out the window; he'd realized in this kind of weather there was no way he could attempt to make it to Bay View on his bike so he'd ordered a car - it was late and so was he.

Swallowing his irritation he tried the lobby again. "This is Cooper Stanfield. Has my car arrived?" Pounding the toe of his boot against the carpet he listened as the desk clerk told him the same story once more, the storm had caused delays, traffic lights were out, they'd ring him as soon as the car got there, and did he want them to call the restaurant again. Angry, Coop barked at the receptionist that he'd make the call himself and slammed down the phone.

Increasingly frustrated and restless, he could feel anxiety gripping him. Coop had to get out of this hotel. Although the suite was ample in size, he felt caged in, chained where he did not want to be, in a prison of his own making. He needed to go home, needed his wife, his children and that realization hit him as forcefully as the storm that insistently battered the window. Why did he always fuck things up?

Swearing, he'd tried Beth's cell again. It was going straight to voice mail. Maybe the storm was scrambling the cell service or a tower went down. With this kind of weather anything was possible but he didn't want to consider the alternatives, wouldn't let the dark unease fill his head. Shoving down any doubts about Beth changing her mind and not showing up, Coop hesitated and then called the house. If she had already left - Coop was uneasy about the idea that the twins could get her a message - or even would.

"Hello?" A soft voice, a child's tentative voice answered.

His stomach clenched at the sound. "Hi baby it's Daddy, is Mommy still at home?"

"Mommy left cause she said she was going to find you and you know what Daddy, she took the car she says bad words about. And Daddy, NatenEric been fighting and Nate says there's a hole in the sky and it's gonna suck us up an' Eric hit him and made his nose all bleeding and he burned up all the popcorn but not on purpose. Daddy when are you coming home? I want you to come home. Why won't you come home? I miss you."

Cooper's heart splintered. "Soon baby, Daddy's going to come home soon."

From behind him lightning exploded followed by the deep roar of thunder, a sound Cooper was entirely sure may have come from within him. His kids were alone; he'd left them that way on the worst possible night. Trying to sound reassuring he asked Hugs to put Nate on the phone.

"Did you and Eric block your mother's cell again? And don't lie to me Nate. I've been trying to call her and she isn't picking up. In this storm I know she would answer." When his son assured him they couldn't block her cell even if they wanted to, Cooper demanded he have Eric call her.

When that call failed, Cooper's unease grew a thousand fold. Something was wrong and he could feel it in his bones. Cooper hesitated, stifled an expletive and then added, "Tell Hugs I'm on my way. Keep trying your mother and anyone else who might have seen her. I'll be there as quick as I can."

University - Miranda Taylor's Rental 7:15 PM


Pushing past his sister Nic hurried into the kitchen. Setting down the bag he rattled off its contents quickly while he pulled the jacket he wore, now drenched, off him. "There are extra candles in the bag just in case and I brought batteries but I never thought to ask if you had a flash light."

Tilting her head toward the counter where her flash light rested Randi replied, "I probably should have got an extra one but its fine. I talked to Will a little while ago. He said he was going to help get his parents to higher ground and I just got off the phone with Mom. She is seriously freaking out Nicky."


"I know. I just got off the phone with Dad on my way over here. His plane just landed and he is trying to get across the bay bridge before they shut it down like they did the ferries." Knowing his father Nic figured that he'd swim if that's what it took to get his mom and sister to drier land and out of danger. The surf was bad, crashing against the beach behind their house, rapidly threatening to flood the place. What couldn't be brought in or nailed down had quickly become flotsam.


Seeing the look on Randi's face he reassured her, "We'll be fine here; the worst of it will probably be the power going out. And don't worry about Mom. You know Dad will take care of her. This storm wouldn't stand a chance against him." Nic took a breath, smiled and then asked, "I should probably get back. You going to be okay here by yourself?"


Randi folded her arms and raised her chin in haughty response. As if he even had to ask, no storm was going to scare her. "I can take care of myself, don't worry."


As Nic was about to answer, they both heard pounding at the front door. He followed her as she went to answer it, hanging back as she braced herself from the wind that blew in. "Rainie! Get in here; you're soaked, are you all right? God you're freezing cold!" Randi tried to pull Rayne into the entry as she fussed over her while Rayne's eyes leveled on Nic standing in the archway.


Shivering, eying the two of them, maybe wondering or knowing that Randi had something strong she could drink Rayne pulled her attention back to her friend.

Rayne's voice, rough silk, managed to stop the barrage of concern pouring from Randi, "Can I stay the night?"

South Beach - Coast Road 7:30 PM

The first kick landed squarely on the door. Beth almost slipped and fell down the hill into the bay with the second kick. She'd hydroplaned, run off the pavement and dug herself even deeper trying to get back on the road. And she'd dropped her cell. It was lying somewhere down there in the rocks and the heavy surf, and if she didn't rein in her temper, she'd be down there with it.

Half a dozen cars sloshed by. Nobody would stop in this storm. She could walk. She could walk in high heels for over a mile and hope she didn't get hit by someone else who had driven too fast. Or she could sit here.

Trying to come up with something else, something that didn't involve walking, a car finally pulled up and stopped behind her, wipers batting furiously at the water, powerful engine shutting down. And against all hope and expectation, Rafe slammed the door, stepped out into mud, swore and yelled. "What the hell are you doing out here?"

She should have known. Defensive, prickly and wet, she tossed it back at him. "I'm meeting Cooper. I ran off the road. And I could ask you the same thing."

"I'm on my way home, and that's what you should be doing. You left your kids there alone in this storm?"

The passenger door opened and a tall man wearing a long leather coat eased out, hunching against the onslaught of rain and wind. Rafe conferred with him briefly and then together they stared at the car stuck in the ditch. He glanced at her, straightened, gave her an obvious thorough second look and grinned. "Beth Stanfield..."

Irritated and even more defensive, she bit back a retort; she didn't have to explain herself to Rafe. The other first she didn't recognize him, and, when she finally realized who he was, it wasn't some wonderful happy moment. Superstar frontman for the band Flight: Alex Ferguson AKA Blade. Another arrogant musician. "Hi, Blade."

"My car didn't show; Rafe's giving me a ride," he offered as if he expected her to be overcome with astonishment and concern, and he was still smiling. Bright blue eyes, thick brown hair and a sprinkle of freckles that didn't quite jibe with the name Blade; the freckles reminded her of Ryan. What was it with these bad ass men and freckles?

"How nice for you," she tossed in his general direction and turned her agitated attention back to Rafe. "Rafe, I have to make it to The Iron Gate and I'm really late. Can you get me out of the ditch?"

"Yeah. Alex, give me a hand over here."

"I hear you and Coop split up. His loss..."

Was he, inconceivably, trying to chat her up in the middle of a storm while she was on her way to meet Cooper? Beth stared at him, literally speechless. "Cut the shit," Rafe ordered him, annoyed, "We've got a fucking car to move, you going to help me?"

'Blade' finally put his shoulder to the rear fender, and together they rocked the car until it moved forward out of the mud and back onto pavement. She watched, waiting for him to slip and fall face first in the mud, but he grinned at her and put as much muscle into it as Rafe, well almost as much.

Rafe slapped his hands on his muddy jeans, muttered another expletive, and turned back to her. "Turn this piece of crap around and go home. Your kids need you more than Stanfield does; he's probably not going to make it in this weather anyway."

Taking a couple of careful steps toward her, Blade said quietly, "If you need anything, give me a call. I've got a place right up the road, I bought it last week, I'll be there the rest of the month, maybe longer."

"Jesus man, drop it," Rafe growled, " she doesn't need anything you've got."

He shoved into his car, started the engine, and together they sliced through and vanished behind the wall of pounding water. She was wet and cold. Lightning hissed and struck, but if she hadn't been bitten by that electric snake yet, either it couldn't find her or no longer cared.


NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 37

Author's Note: Bio for Blade provided here..


Van said...

Yikes, that is one freaky storm! Hopefully everyone makes it out okay... :S

I don't blame Raine for being suspicious of a Cooper/Gemma affair, but I do wish she wouldn't jump to the conclusion. On the other hand, it's probably better that she thinks they had a consensual affair than if she thought Cooper had raped her.

Here's hoping at least one of the parents can make it back to the kids. Actually, hopefully both will...

S.B. said...

Van I definitely overdid the lightning, but it's my personal bete noire and we get a lot of it...and it seemed appropriate under the circumstances.

Rayne will be just fine. She found a way to shelter without even trying to get back to Jimmy, and she's got her Nic there to comfort her.

I don't think making it home is going to be the biggest problem either of the parents has with the storm.

Thank you so much

Rachel said...

Love the storm! I just hope no one gets hurt.

Hmm...Blade--very interesting guy. I look forward to seeing if he'll be causing some trouble around that area. He's pretty forward...

I hope Wyatt didn't try to follow Rayne. :( I wonder if he'll start asking questions since Rayne has raised the issue of Gemma with him?

Wonderful as usual! :)

thewynd said...

Van, it is one freaky storm blowing people in all kinds of different directions.

Rayne is very tenacious and she really does not trust women when it comes to her father.


Rachel, doing the storm was an interesting experience. As for Blade, he is interesting indeed. Another arrogant rock star. We'll see what he is up to soon I'm sure.


Christina said...

wow, the shots here are incredible! i'm tempted to go grab myself a blanket..

I've been introduced to some new characters in this one, which is exciting..Nic is really, really handsome! if he's been around, i can't believe i've missed him!

as for's been a long, long time since i can remember seeing him encounter cruz.

and this Blade? he's definitely arrogant and..well..straightforward. But, beth holds her own for sure. i'm anxious to see what's going to happen..will she turn back? or keep going to find that cooper is not there? how will she find out he's at the house with the kids?

and for Rayne, *sigh*, i hope that girl finds some direction..she's such a bundle of rage and hormones!

great shots again! the setting was so authentic; it really supplied some in-depth feeling of the environment.

thewynd said...

Hey Christina! Nic is Rafe's son, Randi's sister, and has had it bad for Rayne since they were kids. Rafe's family hasn't really been included in Sessions but we have put a few side pieces and photo shoots up with them.

As for Blade...stay tuned. I don't think too much time will pass before we see what Blade's up to.

Thanks so much!

Qui. said...

That was a serious storm!
Good to see Nic and Randi in this one!

I love Rayne. If I've never said that before, I'm saying it now! She is up on everything and never fooled. Wyatt had a point, Gemma is his agent but we know better.

This Blade dude rubs me the wrong way!

GREAT chapter! I was on twitter through my phone and when I saw this, I snatched my laptop off my table before I even had the chance to read the rest of the tweets!

Valpre said...

Yay, update!

Wow, it's true, when it rains it pours. I loved the storm, and your mad photoshopping skills.

Rayne's on to something with Cooper and Gemma, and I have a feeling she won't let it go so easily.

I hope everyone, especially Beth, makes it through the storm.

Phoenix said...

I love the storm being in the background while other storms are brewing all over town. And the shots are just amazing!

Rayne needs to really get through to Wyatt because she's on the right track. I'm sad that the thing with her and Toad seems to be over since she thinks she doesn't have anywhere to go!:(

Blade is WAY hotter than Ryan. I may be biased since I don't care for Ryan at all! :P

Good thing that Rafe was driving by otherwise Beth would have been SOL! And those kids by themselves...they always seem to be on the back burner when it comes to Beth and Coop. I guess because they feel as if they're older...still!

This was great! I read it on my cell but I couldn't leave a proper long comment via text without annoying myself!:P

S.B. said...

Phoenix, Rayne's angry with Jimmy but staying overnight with her best friend doesn't mean she's breaking it off. She's making a statement. She has some decisions to make. If she joins Jimmy's band, she is basically paying her father's mistress, at least from her point of view. Plus the storm made it difficult for her to get back home even if she felt like going for it. She didn't expect to run into Nic. The storm threw her in an unexpected direction.

I do think she got through to Wyatt. Just like his sister, once he gets something stuck in his head, it's hard to dislodge it, but he heard her.

The kids have always come in second place although they haven't been neglected. Rafe's lecture was appropriate.

Blade is certainly hot. He's hotter than Ryan on many levels. Cooper could dismiss Ryan as an employee, nothing but a bodyguard. Blade is another rocker and climbing fast behind him. This is a very different challenge under different circumstances since, after all, Coop and his wife have publicly split.

thank you so much - the storm is background and driver.

S.B. said...

Hey Qui!

Nic and Randi fit perfectly in this one! Rayne is a cynical young woman, frequently right, but sometimes spectacularly wrong. She knows something is up with Gemma and Cooper (even Jimmy acknowledged it seemed likely), but she doesn't see it from the right perspective yet.

Blade is full of himself...sort of like Cooper LOL!

thank you!

S.B. said...

Hi Valpre!

oh god I have no PShop skills. I throw everything at it and hope something sticks and that it's not too awful.

Rayne's in a difficult position with her father and Gemma. It really isn't her business, particularly since her parents split. But Jimmy's contractual relationship to Gemma, and therefore her own contractual relationship with Gemma if Rayne joins Jimmy's band, definitely infuriates her.

Oh they'll all make it through the wind and water. What else hits them in the storm is another matter.

Thank you!!

Laura said...

Oh hi, Blade! *wipes drool* lol! I know, he's probably an ass, but he's sure pretty to look at! ;)

Rafe had me cracking up in this, lol!

Oh my, I was worried there might be a reason nobody could reach Beth! The tension here was beautifully done! Put together just so precisely that it finally hit me, and I was fighting myself to just skip ahead to make sure she was okay. Glad to know it was just because she dropped her phone, rather than some other more morbid reason I worried about! :\ Hope she makes it back safely!

And Hugs, breaking her daddy's heart on that phone call, lol! I actually kind of felt for him there, being stuck and having to hear how everything is falling apart and he can't do anything about it.

Can't wait to find out what happens next, with all of them!

And wow, *amazing* work on the rain and lightning! That must have taken forever!

S.B. said...

Hey Laura!

Blade is sure some smoking eye candy! Yeah, he's a bit of an ass, but Cooper has been called the same by more than one person, including Rafe. I loved working with him again btw.

Coop usually means well. It did break his heart to hear his little girl ask him when he's coming home.

Oh thank you about the tension, from both of us. We tried hard. The rain and lightning were not hard, just PShop brushes.

Thank you so much from both of us!

Aussie Karima said...

~ It's taken me several days but I am now up to the present,LOVE this story! I will be reading everything you two put up,everything is amazing!
~ Thank you for sharing!love,love love it!

Rad said...

Great staging! I especially love the shot where they're pushing the car.

I feel for all the kids, but Nate, Eric and Hugs in particular. Too many things for them to manage at such a young age.

Muzegoddess said...

I LOVE the rain effect. Absolutely beautiful and it really fit with the turbulent storms that are brewing with everyone right now.

Round two of Wyatt and Rayne still seems to have him with his head in the sand. I'm wondering why he won't even entertain the possibility of what his sister is saying. Is he really that into Gemma or does he just not want to think of the worst of his father?

I'm also wondering if Nic is going to use this opportunity of seeing Rayne to his advantage and what Jimmy's decision to sign with Cooper is going to mean for he and Rayne. I'm sensing a distance begining to materialize between them.

And just when Coop and Beth have enough crap between them here comes Blade; definately gorgeous and definately ready to give Cooper a run for his money. Just when I think things couldn't get any worse...bang another layer of tension, another obstacle and I love that.

The Lunar Fox said...

Blade just looks like trouble. Complete trouble! I love the bio for him though. Very interesting. The way he's worked in here it's almost like we've known him all along.

I also loved the rain effect here. Something about storms sort of throw you off balance, and it seems that everyone in this chapter was off balance in one way or another. Loved it!

S.B. said...

Aussie Karima! Thank you so much! You have absolutely made my week! We both get very excited over every single comment but it's a huge thrill when someone new leaves us feedback. Enormously gratifying, and constantly amazing to hear from someone who has read the whole thing. Wow!

Thank you!!!

S.B. said...

Thank you Rad. I get lazy with the staging but Gayl always finds a way to make things look fantastic!

Those kids have a lot to deal with. Nate and Eric have had to grow up fast and deal with difficult and not very pretty adult situations. As young as Hugs is, she is already feeling the same confusion.

S.B. said...

LunarFox, thank you! We're both glad the bio helped to slide Blade into place smoothly. We wanted to put this piece together in a way that drew some parallels between Rayne and her mother even though their situations are obviously different. Everyone here is a little off balance, and everyone is seeing things from inside a storm.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, thank you!

Wyatt doesn't have any reason to believe Cooper is interested in Gemma (apart from Rayne insisting he is), and very good reasons to believe he's not, including his father's open antipathy toward the woman. Why would his father be having an affair with a woman he obviously and openly dislikes? It doesn't make sense to Wyatt. From his perspective, it's a great deal more likely that Rayne is simply jealous (Jimmy and Gemma) and unstable.

Whether Nic makes a move or not, he's there. He's there and Jimmy is not, and Rayne is not happy with Jimmy and not certain where she's going or what she's doing. She made an impulsive decision to move in with Jimmy and has begun to realize that she cut off a lot of options by doing that. She doesn't even have a place of her own where she can retreat and think. Using Nic as a haven would be a bad thing, but despite her personal growth, Rayne may not be above doing that.

We didn't see Blade coming for the longest time, although we knew we were missing something. It was one of those AHA! moments when he finally stepped forward and we saw it. He's definitely ready to give Cooper a run for his money, both personally and professionally.

~Drew said...

I am loving this sib talks between Wyatt and Rayne, love the back drop of the storm, very telling.
The shot of cooper looking wistfully out the rain soaked window spoke volumes. Great shots all around.

I want to commend you both for stunning updates this summer. You have taken difficult, somewhat selfish characters and fleshed them into meat and bone and feeling. Wonderful.

And I am caught up~

thewynd said...

Drew thank you so much. Knowing that the characters are coming across as real, flaws and all, that means a lot to both of us.

We have enjoyed this arc and there is definitely more to come!

S@n said...

Seems like the universe is conspiring against Cooper and Beth, just when they had agreed to meet to talk, there is a raging storm! and there is Blade, he really loses no time at all! he is making his first move right there under that crazy weather! LOL he really is something!

S.B. said...

S@n, Blade really is something, isn't he? Rafe didn't find him very amusing LOL!

Thanks from both of us!