Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sessions Chapter 42 - Yesterday


Suddenly,
I'm not half the man I used to be,
There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly.


Oceanside - The Palms: 7:49 PM
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By the time Gemma tracked Cooper down at the Palms she was prickly, hot, and irritable. They stonewalled her at Hitman. Cooper wasn't there and the girl in reception had refused her repeated inquiries as to his whereabouts. It had taken time and several phone calls before she tracked him down at the Palms. Hailing a cab, she made it to the hotel as the sun was beginning to set. Flirting with the bellhop at the front desk scored her the correct room number. Stifling a wave of nausea, maybe it was just her nerves and not the hormones, Gemma firmly knocked on the door and braced herself having no idea what she was going to say.

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Coop had just showered and pulled on a shirt when he heard the knock. There was no way Rayne could have made it that quickly from Sandy Point. Moving toward the door he pulled it open and found the last person he wanted to see.

"What are you doing here?" he demanded.

"May I come in please?"

"No, you can't. I thought I made it clear I didn't want to see you again."

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Gemma pushed past him. "Yes, crystal clear but what I have to say is best handled where we can't be overheard."

Fully aware that Rayne would be there soon Coop eyed Gemma suspiciously and left the door propped open. "You've got three minutes and then I'm tossing you into the hall."

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She stood arms folded and glared back at him coldly. "Fine. Have it your way then. I'm pregnant."

Cooper froze and then kicked the door shut with his boot. Shaken, his guts twisted in knots, he couldn't flat out deny it was his; he'd taken her unprotected more than once that night, but he'd be damned if he was going to take responsibility on her word alone. Highly doubtful that he'd been the only one she'd screwed during that time, he didn't even know if she was making it up. She wouldn't be the first woman to claim he was the father of some kid.

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He moved toward her, menacing, threatening, white hot anger searing through him, and growled, "I don't believe you. From the second I laid eyes on you I knew you were trouble. Why are you even telling me this - what makes you believe it's even mine? You got what you wanted. That kid - if there even is one - if you think you're going to hold that over my head - I'll destroy you."

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Gemma stepped back until her thighs hit the table. Reaching back she braced herself and in as calm a voice as she could manage replied, "You know perfectly well why I think it's yours. I don't want anything from you...I thought you should know."

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"Damn you, that's bull shit! You're going to stand there and tell me you haven't been with anyone else? You don't want anything? Don't fuck with me Gemma! I'll rip you to shreds! I don't want anything to do with you or any kid of yours!"

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Her face went white and he could see fear and anger in her expression but Gemma held her ground. "You think I wanted a baby, that I orchestrated this? You're insane! I never invited you to my bed! I wanted a fucking contract! If it gets out that it's yours, it could ruin me!"

Cooper glared at her, anger roiling inside him. His voice was grim, cold, unfeeling and flat. "Get rid of it."

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Gemma drew a breath - Coop wondered if she'd even begin to breathe again. He wished that she wouldn't. "I...I can't."

"You can't?? You mean you won't!" Clenching his fists, how the hell could he have been so damned stupid, Cooper threatened, "I want nothing to do with this. You breathe one word, you come near me or anyone in my family, you give anyone the slightest idea that this kid might be mine and there won't be a corner in this world where you can escape what I will do to you. I swear Gemma I will kill you. Now get out!"

~~~~~

 



Yanking her hair up, struggling with windblown tangles, Rayne found a clip in her purse, took it in her teeth and forced her hair into it. The valet parking guy was staring at her. It was a rental, let him stare, let him tow it, she didn't care.



She started inside, stopped, nervous and tired and briefly reviewed what she wanted to say. Hi Dad, sorry about bitching you out, I need money. Why had she thought this was a good idea? She didn't even have a place to stay tonight if he turned her down or ordered her back into rehab. There was Randi...but Toad's comment about Nic bothered her...she didn't want to push that, it would be really strange and awkward.



Uneasy, she went out into the courtyard, standing there in the spray between the fountain and the heavy heaving pounding surf and tried to remember the room number. Was it 102? She could call him again. She didn't want to call him again. He might change his mind.



 

A door opened, slammed shut, and there at the end of hall was Gemma Wilson. Walking right out of Room 102 with attitude and not bothering to even see if anybody else saw her.



One long sashay through the hotel past the luggage and the chairs and the damned bellboy, all that black hair swinging and red shoes tapping on the tile just as if it made absolutely no difference in the world if somebody knew she'd come out of Cooper Stanfield's hotel room.



 

Rayne watched her until Gemma caught a taxi. She followed her back outside and watched until the taxi disappeared going east, not the way to South Beach, so the bitch was going home to Millwood. It was hard to move, hard to breathe; that whore, she knew it she KNEW it and there it was. Got some new great contract deal going on, Gemma? Need to stop by his hotel room to use his big pen again?



She fought it, digging her nails into her palms, trying to focus on why she was here, she couldn't take her on, not now; if she did, she lost any chance of getting what she'd come here for. Walk. Go. Be sweet, be very very sweet, and wait your turn at her because it will come, it's coming.

~~~~~



Cooper slammed the door behind Gemma and paced the length of the room, distracted, shaken, desperately trying to think of some way, any way he could manage this. As much as he would like to believe the gossip and rumors wouldn't reach his family, he knew they would.

The phone rang. He jumped, startled, hesitated for a couple of seconds, uncertain he would even talk coherently, then picked it up and answered cautiously, "Yeah?"



It was Beth. Coop listened, blank, as she told him she'd just finished up with Blade, adding dryly, 'what a piece of work', then asked if he was coming over. Hugs was expecting him. She sounded happy and hopeful and calm; she sounded like she wanted him.



"I can't," he began and almost choked on the words. "Rayne, uh Rayne called, said she wanted to talk. Tomorrow, I'll be there as soon as I can tomorrow. I'm sorry."

There was a pause, then she said, "That's fine. If Rayne wants to talk to you, that's more important. Cooper, are you all right?"



He could not possibly respond to that. Gripping the phone, he came up with some lame reassurance, lying, hearing the disappointment in her voice. Damn it, if he'd been able to get there tonight, maybe he could have convinced her to let him stay; Blade obviously hadn't made any headway.  He needed time to think, time to come up with some way to explain...Gemma if that was real, he had to explain....he couldn't do it tonight.   Fucking idiot, you  screwed up before but this time you've really torn it all apart.



Another knock on the door; he pulled himself together, quickly buttoned his shirt, and there stood Rayne, glaring at him. "This is a surprise," Cooper managed to say, "a good surprise. Come on in."



She marched in and strode to the door leading to the balcony and stood there, her posture tight and stiff, not even facing him as she said, "I decided I want to set up on my own for a while. I don't have any money and I was wondering if you'd help me out."

He kicked absently at the foot of the bed with the toe of his boot, completely unable to focus. If his daughter needed money, he'd give her money, it was the least he could do now. "Sure sweetheart, whatever you need, it's yours."



Rayne crossed the room, circling close to the bed, examining it as if searching for something before she stopped uncomfortably close and stared up at him.



It was a long challenging look, very direct, and he began to wonder why. "Really...well thanks. Dad, you know who I saw just now? I saw Gemma Wilson, coming out of your room. Is that why you gave Jimmy that contract, because you're sleeping with that woman?" Cooper realized, a sickening realization, why she had been studying the bed.



Stunned, his heart hammering in his chest, Cooper folded his arms, struggling hard to retain some composure. "I am definitely not going out with Gemma Wilson. She stopped by because she had something she thought was urgent...she was mistaken. Rayne, I love your mother; I always have and that has not changed."



She sat down on the end of the bed and, in a quieter voice, countered, "Maybe you think this is none of my business, but I was going to join Jimmy's band, and I can't do that if you're involved with his agent. This is about more than just you and Mom. I know all about Ryan, and I wouldn't blame you if you split when that happened, but none of this makes any sense. What is going on with Gemma?"





Something about the way she was sitting there watching him reminded him of the little girl she'd been, stubbornly demanding a toy or a trip to the beach, relentless but endearing. "Rainie...it's complicated...this business, people crawl out of the woodwork wanting things, pulling at you, latching on for the ride. Your mother and Ryan...I...was angry about that...didn't understand...Gemma...thought Julia was her ticket in the door. Shit baby I'm no saint, I'm not perfect...it doesn't mean anything..." What the hell was he saying, Cooper exhaled and shifted his eyes toward Rayne.





He could see her confusion, emotion playing across her face, turning, changing, suspicion replaced with a slow, dawning, unsettling fury. Cooper took a step back and began, "It's not what you think - "







Before he could finish, Rayne slid off the bed, reached out for her father, and wrapped him in a long shuddering and completely unexpected hug. "You don't know what I think," she whispered fiercely. He leaned down and held onto her tight, his rough, weary voice against her hair, "Raindrop..."

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

NEXT CHAPTER: Passages 26

25 comments:

~Drew said...

I am usually not on the computer this time of night, but just as I was logging off, I seen the update.
So forgive me if this seems scattered, as my eyes are burning.

Wow, Cooper was harsh, but, I can't really blame him here. If it is his, he is one potent guy! Just what he needs, more kids. He is juggling so many spinning plates I feel for him, even though he really is an idiot at times as he himself observed. Makes him endearing. And fascinating.

Can't take to Gemma at all. Maybe it's because I can't figure her game plan. But I like to be kept guessing.
Rayne and Cooper have some daddy-daughter issues to hash out, hope they do.
Loads of emotion.
Great work ladies!

Gayl said...

Thanks Drew, we both appreciate it! Gemma's game plan...I don't know if she has it figured out either.

Rayne is extremely devoted to her dad. She is confused but she has always been very outspoken and direct.

As for Coop, he doesn't really know what to think about Gemma's claim but he is going to need to do some damage control and this time I don't think Slim will be able to bail him out.

Dinuriel said...

Some of the later pictures didn't load for me, or only partially loaded, but I think the writing stood on its own here :)

I feel bad for Gemma, but if she really doesn't want anything from Cooper, then I'm confused as to why she thought he should know. Just to spite him?

I think Rayne needs to go on a vacation or something, just by herself for a while. No Cooper, no Beth, no Jimmy. Just her, or maybe just her and a couple of friends like Randi. She needs to get a sense of what she wants out of her life at this point. I can't see that happening any time soon, though :(

Rad said...

Am I the only one who's Team Gemma? If it is Coop's baby then he needs to take some responsibility for it. He's a grown man, he knows what unprotected sex leads to - he's got enough kids after all!

Muzegoddess said...

Wow! Kinda figured that would be Coop's reaction to Gemma's news but at least a part of him realizes that he put himself in this position in the first place. I hope he has he good sense to face this head on, be honest with his wife about the possibility, but then again....

Surprising reaction from Rayne, I thought she was going to rip into him but maybe she could be the unlikely person to help him through this in some way. She and her father are at an emoitonal crossroads here and leaning on each other wouldn't be a bad idea.

Very emotional and moving update.

Rachel said...

Ah geez...strained father-daughter relationships always get to me.

Gemma is such a hard character to like. I feel bad for what happened to her, and I think she's right to be upset over the pregnancy and everything else--but the minute she used it as a bargaining chip she made it clear that she cared much more about getting ahead any way she could than she did about the wrong that was done to her. If she was worried about her reputation, she should never have tried to bargain this way, because the sad truth is that no one would believe that she didn't sleep with Cooper willingly--even if she told everyone about it, she'd be the one to suffer more. She's lucky he took the deal she offered, because in retrospect she probably didn't have him over much of a barrel. If he hadn't been having so much trouble with Beth, this never would have worked.

I hope Rayne is able to get back on her feet. I think she's taking the right steps. I'm glad she's telling Cooper about her plans, and why she'd have trouble getting involved.

Laura said...

Awww, this made me cry :( And then it made me miss my daddy. Not that my dad was anything like Cooper, lol!

Beautiful and touching update!

Valpre said...

Rad, I'm team member number two. I agree. Coop needs to man up and take responsibility. It doesn't matter how this baby was conceived, and if Gemma refuses to get rid of it, that's fine. But he needs to accept his hand in all this. I just hope she means it though when she says she wants nothing to do with him.

MedleyMisty said...

I'm Team Gemma, definitely. I don't like Cooper at all.

I love Rayne, but I didn't like her much either when she was thinking judge-y things about Gemma.

Jimmy is and remains my very most favorite character. :)

Qui. said...

Maybe that scene was more about Coop but, I don't recall Gemma stopping him or asking him to stop so she can nicely walk to the edge of a bridge and jump off! IF that is his baby, he should man up and take care of the baby but she still rubs me the wrong way and I will be the first to do a happy dance when she is GONE! This is on Coop as well! He should have thought about things beforehand...shouldn't have even done it!
End of rant...

Brighter note, it's nice to see Rayne and Coop so close. I hope this lasts for a while.

Great update! That hotel hall looks amazing!

Gayl said...

Van: I'm sorry those shots didn't load. We have been trying shorter pieces but this one became a little longer than we thought. :(

I don't think Gemma really knows what she wants. Our gut reaction was very similar...why would she bother with any of it? There is something there...we just have to figure out what that is.

Rayne does need alone time. I think she is definitely going to take it. Thanks!

Rad: I don't think Coop could really walk away from any child of his regardless of the mother. At this point he doesn't know for sure if she is manipulating him. He will eventually find out though. Thank you!!

Muzegoddess: Cooper knows he is going to have to tell Beth. He should have told her everything before. As for Rayne I think she was ready to rip him a new one but she loves him, is defensive of him, and is slowly beginning to see things for what they are. And Coop is also realizing what matters most to him. Thanks!

Rachel: Coop loves his children a lot. He just hasn't been there as much as most parents. I'm going to admit that I personally struggled with Gemma's motivations here which is probably why her reaction seems ambiguous and confusing. I think we will find a way to justify it though. However she is lucky with what she got regarding the contract. For Coop though...he should have said no, told his wife everything and dealt with it. Rayne will do some growing up here I think. Thank you!

Laura: We're sorry to make you cry! Thanks so much from both of us!

Valpre: Gemma is most likely regretting her actions in attempting to use Cooper. She played on emotions that she shouldn't have, tried to dig up a painful past and messed with his kids. He may not be father of the year but no one messes with his family. Thanks for reading!

MedleyMisty: I'm sorry you don't like Cooper...but Rayne is a doll. As is Jimmy! Thanks so much!!

Qui: You're right, she never did really stop him except in the beginning. And that is a big IF. She wasn't exclusive, said so herself, and did consider the possibility it was someone else's. In her mind, given the timing, she believes he is the father. Only time and a paternity test will reveal the truth. I also hope Rainie and Coop remain close. We'll see...

And OMG yes Beth did an amazing job with that hotel and all the shots! Her attention to detail is unsurpassed.

We both thank all of you for supporting our work. We write for ourselves but knowing that others enjoy reading is icing on the cake. Thank you all!

The Lunar Fox said...

Beautiful train wreck! The shots are gorgeous of course. I say that every chapter, but it's always true.

This chapter is filled with interesting personality collisions. Most especially that last one. I did NOT see that coming. Those last shots of Rayne hugging Cooper, well I'm not one to cry, but dang, that did surprise me and made me tear up a little. It's a hug and at the same time almost like they're both holding onto each other. I just love both of their facial expressions.

Gayl said...

Beth's shots always leave me breathless Lunar!

Glad the relationship with Rayne and Cooper came through in this for you. There is a strong bond between them, a lot of similarities, and Rayne has always been in her father's corner. Hopefully that bond won't fracture. Thank you from both of us!

Valpre said...

Yep, the shots are stunning. I had to go back and re-read this since the pics didn't load the first time. They left me breathless.

S.B. said...

Thank you everybody!!

I admit I have mixed feelings about Team Gemma. She initiated a mild flirtation, but in that business, and given who she is and who Cooper is, it wasn't out of line. Cooper was definitely out of line when he marched into her house and more or less forced her into having sex with him. But then she used it instead of taking the high road. I do feel sorry for her though.

Cooper's situation is also complicated. He didn't plan ahead, stop off and buy condoms etc., because he didn't go over to her house with any intention to take her to bed. He was just angry and hurt. And he had plenty of justification.

Rayne's reaction was something we had to work through. Her relationship with her mother is strained. She has always defended her father and blamed someone else when he misbehaved. Her own life is a road filled with wrecked cars. She understands Cooper, and she needs him. And she saw and felt his distress. Anger is a simple response; she's grown past simple responses.

Again, it is just incredibly wonderful to know you are reading and taking the time to leave us such great comments. THANK YOU!!!

Illandrya said...

Gemma seems to be running on instinct, not really a clear thought as to where she is going or how she's going to get there. I'm not a fan of hers, I thought she was trouble the minute she appeared in Cooper's life and played the Julia card; but I can't help feel sorry for her and the predicament she has found herself in.

Still, she has admitted to herself that, while Coop is the most likely father, he's not the only possible one. Has she told any of the others? She had to have known how he would react, so why go to him and say she wants nothing from him? I can understand why Coop didn't believe her and wasn't really surprised at his reaction - glad that he has at least admitted to himself his part in this, even if he'll never take the responsibility out loud.

S.B. said...

Illandrya...thank you!

Gemma certainly isn't acting rationally. Cooper's reaction was predictable. She already leaned on him and got a payoff, now here she is with another claim. He's angry and worried and defensive.

Will he take responsibility out loud? Given the possibility that it is his child, he doesn't have much choice. How does he proceed to put things back together, to salvage his marriage, with that looming over everything? He could take a chance and ignore it and hope...guess the question is, does he feel lucky?

Aussie Karima said...

~ As always the shots were stunning down to the last detail!
~ The last two did make me tear up,because it looks like they are hanging on for dear life & if they let go,just a fraction their world,would slip out from underneath them, & never be the same!
~ I am so glad that Rayne,chose this time to see her dad, as I think after that bomb shell, & he could see his world disintergrate in front of his eyes,weither the threat was real or not, he is in a very vunerable place at this time,he can see what he wants the most,his family slipping away forever!
~ Coop needs to lay it on the line,the damage is allready done & him trying to hide it from Beth probable has allready sealed his fate, but I have a feeling that it will not be the end, I have hope for those two long ago teens that caught a glimps of each other,& fell in love,one day they will realise that!
~ That their love was meant to be!

S.B. said...

Aussie Karima... you made me tear up just reading how you reacted to this. YES! They are hanging onto each other: Cooper because he is very very vulnerable right now; Rayne because she has always loved her father, and the closer she gets, the more she understands. He is definitely no saint. But the bond he has with Beth has held despite a whole lot of crap. Rayne saw that with Ryan: she told him her mother would never leave for another man. Those two have been together since they glimpsed each other as teens. This is going to be hard, but the romantic in me sure hopes there's such a thing as love that's meant to be.

thank you so much

Christi said...

i loved the scene with rayne and coop... so touching, it almost made me cry a little.

Cooper was a little harsh but I can also see where he's coming from.. he's freaked! I hope Gemma doesn't do something stupid next.. but I kinda felt for her in this, too. Big slap in the face for her. :\

Great update as always!!

S.B. said...

Christi, I'm always so flattered when you read and leave a comment...thank you!!!

Cooper is dealing with catastrophe. Impulsive and passionate, this time he went too far.

After following Rayne from the time she was a little girl, it was something she would do. She's been angry with her father, but she's screwed up herself. She does understand, and there's a deep affection between them.

thank you so much from both of us!

Sinclair said...

Ooo Cooper. So cold. At some point I wonder when will he do himself in. I mean he's been fucking up for quite some time now. Yet he just keeps going. Its priceless.

And what if that is his baby?? For one it'll look like his clone...O wait already did that. Well it will definetly look like Wyatt. Lol thats hilariouss. You guys keep the punches coming after all this time! Cooper is such a dumbass.

S.B. said...

LOL Sinclair! If it is his baby, the resemblance to Wyatt would probably be striking!

Coop definitely screwed up this time; he knows it. Maybe he'll surprise everybody by handling things differently.

Thank you so much from both of us, for continuing to follow what we create all this time and for taking the time to let us know what you think.

S@n said...

WOW!! what a chapter! Gemma and Cooper! WOW dynamite!

Cooper, Cooper, you really messed it up this time, now Gemma is pregnant and she doesn't want to get rid of the baby! (that was a surprised, I thought she would go running to the clinic to have an abortion, I'm glad she didn't!)

Now what? what is she planning to do? Keep the baby? give it on adoption? and Cooper, if she does have the baby, can you pretend like that baby doesn't exist?

WOW... a lot of drama going on...

And Rainie! please do not get involved in this situation! Let them fix their mess all by themselves.

S.B. said...

S@n, we struggled with Gemma's decision to keep the pregnancy. We both agree with you that it seemed more likely that she would simply opt for an abortion, but we wanted the baby to be born. So we're assuming she has her reasons for keeping the baby.

IF the baby is Cooper's, and there's a possibility that it is not, he would not be able to wish it out of existence. He'd do the right thing and provide support.

Rayne believed that her father was having an ongoing affair with Gemma, that Gemma had seduced him. This encounter has convinced her otherwise, although she still doesn't know the true circumstances and would probably never believe that Cooper took the woman forcibly.

Thank you so much from both of us.