Monday, November 15, 2010

Sessions Chapter 44 - Raise Your Glass

Right right, turn off the lights,
We're gonna lose our minds tonight,
What's the deal, yo?

I love when it's all too much,
5am turn the radio up
Where's the rock and roll?




South Beach: Coast Road, Ferguson Residence - 10 AM

 

Blade drew breath and listened to the voice on the other end. It was late morning, the ocean was calm and the skies were clear although in South Beach you never knew when a rain shower would breeze through. He stood on the deck, shirtless, wishing he’d had another cup of coffee before calling her.







“You need to understand this, I am not interested in getting involved with you or anyone else.” Beth’s tone was clipped and decisive, undercut by what sounded like water. Maybe she was outside.



Blade could sense that he may have pushed a little too much. Never one to give up on a challenge, and he was sure the prize was worth it, he switched directions. Backing off only a bit he kept his tone light. “Getting a little ahead of yourself, aren't you? I'm not asking you out on a date; it's business.”



She paused and Blade waited, imagined her thinking on the other end, not trusting himself to push further until she said something. He didn’t wait long.



“Blade, stop it please. This is not a good time for me, I'm really not into the games. It's not business. You know it and I know it. If you want to ask me out, do it, but no games.”



Satisfied that he had made it through at least one barrier, Blade smiled and gazed beyond the bridge, wondered if she was doing the same. He could hear the surf crashing through the phone. He’d won this round but he still had an uphill climb to win her trust - and her heart. In his most assuring voice, Blade answered. “No games...just dinner and some distraction. I can't do card tricks for you, but I promise I'll be entertaining.”



They’d settled on the time; he would pick her up in an hour. Moving toward the end of the deck Blade sighed and stared at the breakers. He had been serious about not playing games with Beth. He wanted her, knew her worth, at least he convinced himself of that last part. She was a woman of surprises and considerable strength. No doubt he had barely scratched the surface. Taking one last long gaze Blade inhaled and began formulating his plan to win her over.



South Beach - First Break: 11:00 AM







South Beach - Seaglass Corner: 12:00 PM















 

South Beach - Blue Moon Marina: 6 PM







 











Millwood - Parrot Pier: 10 PM





It had been a pleasant afternoon. They stood beside each other in the cool evening, comfortable and silent, listening to the ferries in the distance and the occasional gull. The salty air was crisp and damp, laced with the aroma of fish, both from the ocean and the seafood shacks that lined the beach down the road from where they stood. Beth glanced at him and broke the silence, “You've been married four times?”



Blade glanced down, reflected on those marriages and what he had hoped to gain from each one. Grinning sheepishly he confirmed it. “Yeah, four, kind of embarrassing to admit it. I haven't sworn off marriage yet; maybe that's excessive optimism, but I still want it, if I can find the right person.”

 

Beth turned to face him, her arm resting on the railing and a look of amusement in her eyes. “How old are you, twenty eight or nine? Thirty? Four is ridiculous. Maybe you ought to figure out why you keep driving the car into the ditch before you get back behind the wheel.”

His smile grew wide at the remark. Absently flicking a loose stand of hair from her cheek he challenged her. “Are you offering a refresher course in driver's ed?”



“You wouldn't want one from me. No doubt...NO doubt you've seen those photos of me in Probe.” Beth laughed and then turned away, gazing out at the darkness once more.



Blade moved closer, looking at her quietly, admitting, "I saw them; I've heard about the guy. You didn't go back to him when you split with Cooper, or is that still going on?”

Moving further down the pier Beth folded her arms, turned and shaking her head, answered, “No, it's over, it's been over for a long time. It was a terrible mistake, the one mistake I regret most, the one thing I would take back if I could.”



Taking several long, easy strides Blade stood before her. He searched her face, wondered what went on in her head, looking for an opening that could draw her closer to him, to earn her trust. “From where I'm standing, you look pretty damned human; you're allowed to make mistakes.” He paused, thought about it, thinking about what he knew about the man, what he'd done, what he'd done himself, looked away before fixing his eyes on her again. ”Coop was on the road all the time, doing what we do...it's a problem that ends a lot of marriages. My hands aren't clean either.”

 

“Don't try to excuse what I did. There isn't any excuse. It's not a math problem: you don't get to cancel it out....” Beth stopped, changed course, kept him off balance. ”You don't have any children? Out of all those marriages, no children?”



Blade moved with the grace of a cat, a very large, feral cat. Turning to gaze out at the surf and the lights lining the road back to the city, he answered, ”I grew up bouncing around from one place to another, and I hated it. It's no life for a kid. Children who grow up in this business, ninety percent of the time they're messed up. I'm not doing that to any child of mine.”



Blade looking back at Beth, realized how that sounded, “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to include your kids in that group. I can be pretty damned insensitive, one of the reasons I'm single again.” He shook his head and lifted corners of his mouth in a wry smile.

“It's all right. It's been hard on all of them.”

 

“You stuck with him and all his shit for a hell of a long time though.”



Beth turned and the ease with which they had been talking seemed to lessen. “Let me make this perfectly clear, I do not want to hear anything negative about Cooper. No trash talk. No revelations. Nothing.”



Surprised, Blade attempted to turn things back around. He raised his arms in surrender and threw his best smile at her. “Absolutely. The man's a saint. Not a word otherwise. I never saw anything, I'll never say anything.”



Beth laughed and shoved him playfully, “You're an ass, Blade.”



Happy that he’d managed to move past her irritation he allowed his smile to widen as he reached for her. “I know, but I'm an interesting ass. Come on....aren't I?”

 

Beth smiled and moved just out of arm’s reach. “As long as you know you wear the ears, and that they're the most interesting thing about you, ok, I'll give you that much. I should go...it's getting too late..."



Moving slowly, carefully toward her, knowing he might be pushing too far but needing to take it further, Blade’s eyes narrowed slightly, “Too late for what, Beth? He's not there. I'll take you home if that's what you want, but you can make your own decisions now.”



He moved closer, lowered his gaze to her lush and inviting mouth, eyes darkened to an intense blue. Knowing the risk he was taking but unable to stop himself Blade leaned down, brushing her cheek with his lips, pulling her up against his body, slowly, waiting for her, letting her move first and maybe she did or maybe he imagined she did, but he found her mouth with his, and, finally, kissed her.


____________________________________________________

NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 45

25 comments:

Dinuriel said...

And so the plot thickens... should be interesting to see where this goes. I think a little fling could do Beth some good at this point, but I can't imagine anything pleasant can come from anything more serious. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Wonderfully written! And unfortunately some of the pictures wouldn't load for me, but the ones that did were gorgeous, as always. Great work, you two :D

S.B. said...

Van, since the pictures are so critical, worried about why they wouldn't load. They're all jpg files. Looking at them again now.

Gayl writes so beautifully.

A LITTLE fling yes, that might do her good. Anything serious would be a wrong turn, and Blade's motives are more than a bit mixed.

Thank you so much from both of us!

Laura said...

Oh holy wow! Let me just say, ass or not, I'm sold on Blade! Now I know why four women married him! Whoo! *swipes forehead* And a man who plays piano! OMG, divine! I cannot fault this hookup if it happens, lol! Just can't! ;)

And what on Earth are you talking about in the VSS thread, the pictures aren't right? The pictures are gorgeous! Every single one of them! The detail put into these scenes is just amazing! Makes my sets look like a blank stage with a couple props on it, lol! I love your sets! I want to live in your sets! The pictures are beautiful eye-candy!

I thoroughly enjoyed this! The sparky dialogue, the lovely images! Thank you both! :)

Rachel said...

Wonderful shots! They really helped tell the story of their day together, and why she'd feel comfortable with him.

I think Blade can provide a welcome distraction for a little while, but he's playing the long game and her head isn't even there. I can see this ending with her being really irritated and him feeling pouty and upset, lol. But at least he wasn't stupid enough to have kids while he was jumping from marriage to marriage.

I can't wait to see where this goes!

S.B. said...

Laura...isn't he divine?! I kind of go back and forth about what I think about Blade, but a man who plays the piano, and plays it with emotion...puddle time.

The pics. I see so many holes, things I wanted to GET and could not get. I do really love the world and the sets though. They are based on what I've seen and what I love and I do try to recreate the mood even if I can't get the EXACT shot I want! Thank you so so much.

Qui. said...

Well, I'd say he peeled back a few layers verses scratching the surface like he originally thought!
My jaw dropped on that last shot! She'd been backing away from him that whole day and finally allowed him to connect! WOW! I love Coop but I want him to hurt over that. At least feel some of the pain she has to be feeling over the baby possibility.

Two wrongs don't make a right but sometimes it will damn sure make you feel better!

Lovely chapter ladies!

S.B. said...

oh Qui....reality checks are so sweet aren't they? LMAO!!! Two wrongs don't make a right, but women grade on a curve...and making a baby with another woman, even the possibility, that's a whole different level of wrong.

those two might both get what they want. Blade gets to stick it to Cooper. Beth gets some distraction.

Thank you SO SO much from both of us!!

and many hugs to you lady...

~Drew said...

Just about to shut it down for the rest of the week, and I saw you guys updated. Stunning shots, truly. That whole section where the day just passed with no words needed, spoke volumes.
Yet you both knew where to put the crisp writing to make the maximum impact. Blade is a bad boy. I like bad boys.
I like Blade. How deep does he cut?

You guys are amazing, what a team~

S.B. said...

Drew...so SO tempted to make a remark about Blade's sword etc etc.

*snicker*

He is a bad bad boy. He'll cut as deep as he can.

Really happy the visuals with no text worked for you. In between the game crashing on the lots I wanted to use, and me spending hours and hours making up a place once I finally realized I could not make it work, it was a challenge to get the shots. Happy challenge though.

Gayl is a miracle. We do love working together!

Thank you THANK YOU!!

And have a wonderful restful and inspirational rest of the week!

Valpre said...

Wow, I'm floored. I never understood that ish about a picture being worth a thousand words until this chapter. Absolutely amazing shots. Words were truly not needed in those shots, they spoke volumes on their own.

Interesting turn of events, I can't say I was surprised by Blade's actions, but Beth kissing him back came as a surprise. But maybe some time away from Coop will do her good.

Great team work!

S.B. said...

Val thank you!!!! Your shots are so incredible, that is a huge compliment! Gayl did a fabulous sequence of shots with no words about 3 years ago, and I have always been inspired by it. This isn't anywhere near as intense, but we like to try it when we can.

Beth sent Cooper away, and she meant it. They're separated. Not living together and not speaking to each other (well she's not talking to him). Whatever he's doing, she doesn't want to know about it. She likes Blade. He has his own agenda (obviously), but she knows it.

thank you so much from both of us!

Gayl said...

I'm late to the party again...but want to thank everyone for their comments and thoughts.

I have to agree with Rachel's assessment here that Blade is definitely playing the long game and thinks he can win it. However Beth's heart is still tangled up with Cooper's even though they are apart. Getting past that will be no simple task for Blade but he is up for the challenge no doubt.

And I want to second everyone's admiration of Beth's shots. They are spectacularly lovely!!

Muzegoddess said...

Wow, Beth is moving somewhere fast. I don't want to say she's moving on because I know she's not there yet, but she's definately taking a step from under Cooper's thumb, exercising more independence, which just might be good for her.

Not sure if Blade is the best person to do that with, but at least she knows his deal and isn't taking it too seriously. Cooper better fight hard if he doesn't want to lose what he wants to keep.

I love the sequence of shots and the environment and mood in them. It tells so much about their "date" without saying a word; leaves somethings up to interpretation. But that last shot is very clear. The game has definately changed here and Cooper has lost his home team advantage.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, it's a strange choice to make, if she was making a choice between Blade and Cooper. They're a lot alike, and what was a problem with one would be a problem with the other, although what is attractive in one man will be attractive in the other. Distraction is all it is at this point.

Cooper may have lost home team advantage (and I love that metaphor!), but he still controls the game.

Thank you so much from both of us!

The Lunar Fox said...

Oh my, well, I must say I'm surprised but not completely. Probably a bad time for Beth to do anything other than hang out with herself for a while, but Blade is... well he's probably just what she needs at the moment. He's attentive and trying and he's completely untainted in the way Cooper is. He's new and fresh and interesting; there's a lot of new ground for these two to discover and that's the exciting part. The beginning of a relationship.


Also, the pictures were wonderful. They always are!

S.B. said...

Lunar, I think Beth would hang out in the bubble bath all day and feel sorry for herself if Blade hadn't pressed her. He's good for her right now. No drama. It's light and easy and fun, with a dash of sex appeal thrown in for spice. They may end up friends if nothing else.

The pictures were fun to take once I got past the crashing lot problem.

Thank you!!

Rad said...

Gotta say, love Blade. He's a breath of fresh air. Like the others have said, a brief fling is about as far as I can see this going (at least as far as it can go without causing havoc). The shots are great - you do yourself down as always.

S.B. said...

Rachel, yes he is. Blade is a romantic, not a very good romantic since he keeps blowing it, but he wants that ideal. And the children and his decision not to have them: that says something about Blade.

Doubtful she's the woman for him. She likes him. She feels comfortable with him. They connect. But long term? Probably not.

Thank you thank you for the compliment on the shots!

S.B. said...

He is, isn't he, Rad? A fling will be about it, as far as I can see, although things might change. Blade does seem to marry everyone he gets serious about.

and thank you for the compliment on the shots. I have specific visuals in mind and get frustrated when I can't capture them.

Illandrya said...

Why does that line from Jurassic Park keep popping into my head ... "I'm always on the lookout for a future ex-Mrs Malcolm".

Well, if she wanted to make Cooper pay, this was one way to go about it. Not that their marriage wasn't already fairly dead, but this I would imagine is the dealbreaker.

It all flowed so smoothly - Blade is one smooth guy!

I hope she keeps that skepticism, keeps this casual. I can't argue that she needs a little play in her life right now, just not entirely convinced this was the wisest of choices.

S.B. said...

thank you so much Illandrya. Both of us really appreciate the time you take to read and to leave us some feedback.

That is the exact perfect quote!!! Blade is always looking for the next ex LOL!

She doesn't want to make Cooper pay. He's already paid enough. She's pretty hopeless about the prospect of ever getting back with him, and does not fault him for anything but lying about Gemma, and I suppose she should not hold that against him either. Perhaps he really should be given something close to a free pass forever. I wouldn't say no to that.

It's an interesting problem. Blade is a minor distraction. Sort of like Cooper and Stevie.

Again, thank you so much.

Phoenix said...

*facepalm*

I remember reading this but I didn't leave a comment?? What the crap??

Dang it Beth!! I want you to move on but I don't know if I want you to move on this soon...and with this particular person! Blade seems really sweet but I have to wonder at the motive. And Beth is still chaffing over the revelation that her husband could have fathered a child with another woman...

Yeah, ya know what? Do your thing girl! I can't be mad! Plus Blade is adorable!

Loved the shots! Gorgeous as always!

S.B. said...

PHOENIX!! It is just so good to see you around again!

She's moving on reluctantly and mostly because Blade is so charming! It was fun to get those shots, to move from one place to another.

Thank you from both of us!

S@n said...

Lovely shots of their date!! very beautiful, I think Beth needed that kind of a day!

I'm starting to like Blade, he really does seem like a nice guy, he is cute and funny and handsome, very relaxed, so different from Cooper!

but... there is always a but... I do hope they take their time to make "this" (whatever it is) work...

Beth is still hurting... so hopefully she wont make a mistake and rush into something with Blade she needs to figure out what is going to happen with her marriage...

S.B. said...

S@n, Blade is definitely different from Cooper in some ways, but there are a lot of similarities, too. He's not a bad guy. He makes a charming companion. He's a distraction, someone she is growing fond of, but she's nowhere close to falling in love with him. Blade's feelings are pretty much the same.

Thank you! It was fun taking those date shots.