Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sessions 2 - Helpless

Helpless, helpless, helpless
Baby can you hear me now?
The chains are locked
and tied across the door,
Baby, sing with me somehow.

Helpless, helpless, helpless.

Neil Young

South Beach - Stanfield Residence ~ Early Afternoon

Rays of sunlight beat down on Cooper as he pushed up from a deep sleep, startled and slightly disoriented. Beth's side of the bed had been made, he noticed as he slung his legs over the side and stood.

Running his hands absently through his hair he tried to shake off the cobwebs in his head as he studied Beth through the etched glass of the bathroom door. She was up and dressed as if she had somewhere she needed to go. Sighing, he made his way toward the bathroom wrapping a discarded towel around him. He wasn’t sure what time it was, whether Rainie was home, whether Beth had the boys in the bathroom with her – safer to cover up.

He pushed open the doors, glanced around, no twins, just Beth standing there looking at him with the same distant expression she’d worn since he told her he’d fired Ryan.

This could not continue. Trying to ignore it for now, Cooper spoke, “Hey baby, are you going somewhere? You should have gotten me up earlier.”

“I’m going out for a little while,” she responded quietly. “Can you watch the twins? It won’t be longer than an hour.”

Cooper hesitated, watching her walk past him into the bedroom, her back to him. He had expected her to blow up last night when he dropped the news about Ryan, but she hadn’t. Instead she had gone quiet and still. Responding to him, and he had needed and wanted that physical and emotional response, but not that way. He would have preferred a fight.

He followed her and deliberately stood in her way. “Sure I can watch them. Where are you going?”

She started to say something, then shrugged. “Nowhere. Just to the park. I need some time by myself, that’s all. I’m taking my cell; I won’t be out of touch.”

“If this is about Ryan – “

Beth touched his cheek, ran her fingers gently through his hair. “I love you, Coop. I’m not angry. I just want to get out of the house for a little while.”

It was not an answer, which meant it definitely was about Ryan. Irritated and disturbed, he let her go, watching as she passed through the doors and descended the steps, heading north, on foot, toward the park.

Give her some space, he told himself, but it was a damned good thing he’d gotten rid of Ryan.

South Beach - Waterfall Park ~ Late Afternoon

Beth walked the few blocks down the coast road, sticking as close as she could to the shelter of the trees and shrubbery and fighting with sand in her shoes. Time to think, yes, she needed time to think, but she could have done her thinking at another park. Not this one. Not the one where they had spent so much time – but as soon as she ducked under the palm fronds and looked toward the pond, there he was. As she had anticipated he would be.

Ryan shifted his weight, hands clasped loosely, and looked up at her from his seat on one of the rocks that bordered the pond. “Hi,” he said, his face alight, “I wondered if you would show up.”

This is not a rendezvous, she told herself uncomfortably. Neither of us arranged it. Her heels sinking into the sand, she approached him. “I didn’t know if I should come, or if you’d be here.”

He stood up, stretched, and looked at her directly replied, “Of course I’d be here. I’ve been hanging around for a couple of hours. The seating is lousy, but it was worth the wait. Are you all right?”

Was she? No. She was standing here with the man her husband distrusted and had just fired. And she felt guilt and loss and grief and amorphous regret. And she had no idea what to say.

Ryan stepped closer to her. “Beth,” he repeated in a low, tense voice, “are you all right? Did he come down on you about any of this?”

“No, no, that’s not why I’m here,” she assured him, the question and the intent behind it making her uneasy. “Ryan, I wanted to tell you I didn’t know he fired you. I’m sorry. I know I told you I would stop it but I couldn’t.”

He glanced down, swept the little park quickly, and taking her hand, his grip warm and tight, told her, “Let’s go over there behind the rocks. We’re too exposed.”

Beth followed him, distracted by the touch, stepped behind the shelter of the overgrown landscaping, then abruptly and completely unexpectedly began to cry, her shoulders shaking.

Pulling her gently into the lee of the rocks where at least they would have some small degree of privacy, Ryan touched her hair, whispered against it, his voice thick with pain and anger, “I’ll be all right. And I'm not leaving. Don’t cry.”

She shook her head, looked up at him. “I can’t think…I’m sorry. For the whole mess. For whatever I’ve done to get you fired. I’m so sorry.”

“We’ll work it out. Cooper doesn’t scare me, Beth. Whatever you want to do, we’ll work it out. But if you’re worried about me – that’s not something you need to take on yourself. You didn’t get me fired. That’s between Cooper and me.”

“Work it out? There’s no way to work it out.” Beth searched his face, struggling hard with emotion far more intense than she had anticipated. The speech she had silently rehearsed – part friends, wish him the best, the bloodless farewell – now seemed insane. Lie to him, she screamed at herself. Tell him you were sick of having him around. Get mean. She couldn’t do that either. “There just isn’t any way,” she repeated in a tired whisper.

“You don’t have to think it through right now. I’m not going to run off. Come on, don’t cry.” He glanced over her shoulder, saw no one, then abruptly decided he’d had enough of this. Ryan wrapped his arms around her, pulled her tight against him, and simply held on, the embrace returned, close, warm, impossible. What he wanted damn it how much he wanted it. No way was he going to give up yet. Not yet. Not this time. Not again.

She leaned her head against his shoulder, breathed him in. Deep misery and the sick knowledge that not only was he in love with her, she was more than half in love with him. Cooper was right – it had to end.

“Take some time,” Ryan pressed urgently. “You’re going to get hurt. It’s already there. Take some time and think about what you’re facing with him.”

Beth pulled away, put a step between them. Shaking her head again, she replied her voice unsteady, “I don’t need any more time. I don’t have any more time. There’s no time, ever. I have to go. Goodbye Ryan.”

South Beach - Mitchell Residence ~ Late Evening

It was late when Heydon arrived at the house in South Beach. He let himself in and found Peri waiting for him in the kitchen. "Is Cadence up?" he quietly asked as he looked around for his daughter.

"She's upstairs finishing her homework. Let's go into the living room." Peri studied him carefully before walking toward the living room and sitting.

They sat next to each other in an awkward silence. Finally unable to endure it, Peri spoke softly. "You aren't coming home are you?"

Heydon looked around taking in the subtle changes in the house he realized it was very much like his marriage, something he no longer recognized. It hurt like hell to walk away from the woman he had loved with his whole heart but staying would mean losing himself.

Heydon walked around the room before sinking back down on the couch and leveled his gaze on Peri. He paused as he tried to choose his words carefully. "We both need to walk away with our dignity before we utterly destroy the tenuous relationship we have right now. I don't want to fight anymore; I don't want to hold onto this anger. We both need to move forward."

They both stood and walked toward the door when Heydon pulled her to him one last time and kissed her gently. "I should go," he whispered, his voice husky with emotion. He needed to go now before it became more difficult.

"Do you want to say goodnight to Cadence? She'll be disappointed that she didn't see you."

He shook his head. "It's probably not a good idea. I'll spend time with her this weekend; it's going to be hard for her to understand."

They walked together to the door. Peri waited as he strode down the walk toward his car and didn't turn back until the taillights disappeared around the bend along the beach road.

As Peri shut the lights, she glanced up to see Cadence sitting huddled at the top of the stairs. Her heart tightened as she wondered how long she had been sitting there. "Cadence, it's late. You should be in bed." Cadence slowly descended, tears filling her eyes.

"You drove him away didn't you? It's your fault Daddy's leaving us!"

"Oh Cadie your father isn't leaving you, he loves you and your brothers."

She swiped a hand across her face and shouted, "It's your fault! Why can't Daddy stay here? I don't want to be with you! I hate you! I want Daddy!"

"Stop it Cadence; you're not a child anymore! Go upstairs and get some sleep. We'll talk about this as a family when your brothers get here. I know this is difficult; please understand that your father and I tried but we just can't make it work anymore."

Her face filled with anger as she stared at her mother. "We aren't a family," she said through gritted teeth, "because you made Daddy leave." Without another word, she turned, ran up the stairs and slammed her door with finality.

Downtown Metro - Hard Rock Cafe ~ Past Midnight

Determined to attack her blue mood aggressively, and silently swearing never to talk to MJ again as long as she lived, Camilla suited up, spun downtown and spent the evening in half a dozen clubs, running through them, the mood still chasing her. It was close to 2 a.m. before she hit the Hard Rock Café.

As soon as she stepped off the elevator onto the second floor, she saw him. Heydon Mitchell.

Camilla watched him, the curve of his back, something about the way he seemed to sit on one hip, everything said defeat. Now that was too bad. She’d always liked Heydon. Well she’d always liked all of them except Danny and that wasn’t anybody’s fault they just didn’t get along.

“Hi,” Camilla said, sliding onto the stool next to him.

Heydon shot her a sour look. “That seat might be taken.”

“It is taken I just took it.”

A faint smile touched his mouth. “I meant by someone else.”

She matched the smile but kept it friendly. “Do you want me to take another one?”

“No Cam, you can stay. You never ask first, do you?”

“Yes I do sometimes I do it depends.”

Heydon set his drink down on the bar, hooked one boot in the barstool and studied her. He looked tired, but he wasn’t snarling at her. “All right, I’ll play. On what? What slows you down?”

It depended on a lot of different things, but she didn’t intend to talk about herself. It was sort of a rule she’d made; and if she made the rule then it was a rule she didn’t break easily. Nor did she feel like flirting with Heydon. She didn’t pick on wounded animals. She didn't know if his marriage to Peri was going to fail, although she'd had her own doubts about it for years and it sure looked like it was over, at least from the outside. Camilla hesitated, then, in a quiet, serious voice, told him, “Heydon I’m sorry about what happened.”

“Yeah, thanks. I should have seen it coming.” He downed the shot then looked directly at her. “And I finished it off.”

He sure had done that. Cam stared down at the bar, stole a glance at him, absently slipped a stray lock of hair out of her eyes, thought about it. Things were always so complicated when people were in love. She tried to think of something to say and couldn’t come up with anything except that it was one extremely impressive mess. Maybe she should keep her mouth shut for once.

Sliding off the bar stool, she hesitated again. “You know what, Heydon?”

She half expected him to go back to his drink and ignore her, but he got up, smiled at her with a strange, amused expression. “No, but you’re going to tell me, aren’t you?”

That jibe rolled right over her; she was used to that reaction and ignored it. “Sometimes you think you know somebody and you don’t but you don’t want to change that idea. It’s a lot of trouble to do that. You have to give up things. So you keep acting like you’ve got a pair of flats when you’re wearing 4-inch heels and then you fall on your face right in front of everybody and you feel like an idiot and you knock over other people on the way down. And then you don’t have any shoes at all.” She stopped hard, and realized she might have made it worse. The man didn’t need a lecture from her tonight even if he understood what she’d said and he probably hadn’t.

He stared at her, than laughed. “What the hell…but I guess you might be right.”

“Maybe or maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.” It was getting late. The bartender shouted out last call. She needed to go try to find a taxi before half the place fought her for one.

Camilla looked at Heydon and briefly considered asking him home, then firmly ditched the idea. She was more than a little drunk, plus she didn’t sleep with her friends. Heydon fell into that category and he didn’t need to complicate his life any further by getting involved with her. So just no. Still, she had to say one more thing.

“You blew it with Selene,” she added frankly, pitching her voice low. “That piece of ass expired a long time ago.” Camilla stopped again. She knew too much, had seen too much, had been in the same places with the same people on the same dirty sheets. “You’re too good for that,” she finished, and turned and started for the elevator.

“Cam,” she heard Heydon say. “Cammie?”

Surprised, Camilla turned a little unsteadily on the heel of her sandal and looked back. Heydon was crossing the room toward her, the black leather of his jacket catching the light, red and gold. He smiled, “Wait up. I’m leaving too.”


NEXT CHAPTER: Sessions Chapter 3


Mao said...

Oh, wow. I knew she was going to see Ryan, but yikes. It really does need to end. Beth may love Cooper, but that doesn't mean she doesn't have a definite something with Ryan, either. And they have children! It's like playing with fire! She definitely needs to decide what she wants and make it stick.

And Cooper needs to stop being so possessive and overbearing. Though, maybe his fears are being realized. Maybe that's kicking it up a bit.

The garden is GORGEOUS! I am in such envy, wow. I wish I could make outdoor scenery like that!

Heydon and Peri. What a shame. I want to backhand Cadence. Peri had to walk in on Heydon with Selene. She's keeping a brave face for her kids, not telling them what he did. Or at least not Cadence... and getting kicked in the teeth. I'm really not fond of teenagers, LOL!

Heydon and Camilla. Oh boy! Now there's fire, lol.

S.B. said...

Mao...gardens? You do the most fantastic gardens! I just throw everything in there and then agonize over whether the colors clash with the clothing.

Heydon and Camilla. Yeah. Fire indeed.

Cooper knows what's going on. And he let it happen. Doubt he has much trouble with insecurity. But knowing there's more than physical attraction there between his wife and her EX bodyguard would be a challenge for any man to deal with I think.

Love does strike in different ways from different angles. Walking away from it is hard. Necessary sometimes, but not easy. Just my personal opinion.

and speaking of teenagers, there was another one in the picture here...

~Drew said...

First off, that KD Lang song sounds like my theme, especially the opening line, 'There is a town in North Ontario...'

Nice subtle bun shot of Cooper, too bad he covered up, LOL! I can't blame Cooper for being concerned, the fact Beth went all quiet is not a good sign. It would have been better had she railed on him.
Beautiful shot of Cooper watching her walk away. I must decorate with plants and foliage more!

The park, of course, is stunning.
Ryan has it bad, to go to the park, hoping Beth might show up, and then, she does. Wow. She is playing with kerosene here.
I must be honest and say... not to fond of Beth at the moment. I can understand the pull, the attraction. Her reaction to his touch said more than words, well done.
And the tabloid chick hiding among the plants, taking a picture? A can sense a shit storm coming. Half in love with him, more than a physical pull, that complicates things even more. Now I feel sad.
Who was that witnessing Beth walking away from Ryan, jeez, someone else? Rayne? Can't make her out...

Love Heydon's observation of the house and his marriage,and Cadence's emotional outburst was bratty, but she is emotional, a teenager.
Cammie and Heydon, just perfect. I love it, never crossed my mind, the pairing, is inspired.

Well done ladies, beautiful piece, the collaboration is seamless.

thewynd said...

I had a lengthy comment that I was prepared to post and sort of gave up on that. I think both Heydon and Cadence have had their eyes opened to reality. One of them is coming to terms with it and the other feels shattered and confused. Either way it is sad.

I have to say that while Beth is more than half in love, she is over the top in love with her husband which I think explains her unwillingness to fight. She recognizes that Cooper is right and ultimately did the right thing.

Karen I have to say that was an interesting observation...a tabloid reporter?

Glad to see that so much speculation is going on here; it means we are doing our jobs as writers.

Anonymous said...

I read this earlier but unfortunately had problems getting the images to show but I am on a different computer now so was able to enjoy both the narrative and the images that went with them.

There is no mistake that there is some sort of attraction between Beth and Ryan. I do feel somewhat sympathetic towards Cooper but also, I think that to some extent, his leaving for his tour didn't help matters. It made Beth lonely and in her lonliness, she sought companionship and Ryan just happened to be the guy that was there at the time. It's anybody's guess what will happen now, but I don't think Beth would abandon her family over Ryan.

I feel sorry for Peri. She is trying to protect her children by not slandering their father's name but in the end, she is the one who will be treated badly by her children. I think if anything, Heydon should be the one to tell his children why he and Peri parted ways. It's not far on Peri having to receive all that teen angst.

I wonder what will happen between Heydon and Cammie....

S.B. said...

Thank you Noir.

Beth won't leave Cooper for Ryan. The realization that she feels more for Ryan than she had admitted to herself made that decision very clear. I doubt that's the last time they run into each other though.

You're right. Heydon should be the one to tell his children and not dump that awful responsibility onto Peri. She has to take some blame for the failure of the marriage, but it was Heydon's infidelity that finally ended it.

At this point Heydon and Cammie are friends only. There's some strong chemistry, and a lot of mutual understanding. I think things are going to develop there, and not just a physical relationship.

thank you again!

Emily said...

From now on I think I will just copy Mao's comments, I always agree with them and she seems to put everything into words that I want to say! :D
And for some odd reason, baby has a sixth sense of when I want to form a sentence, he always seems to start crying! LOL.

Anyway, Beth and Ryan are certainly a dangerous pair, well he's more dangerous for her I think. She probably just needs to stay away from him if that's how she feels!

Heydon and Peri are so sad. And even more so for their kids. Obviously Cadence doesn't really understand what happened but I doubt telling her the truth would magically fix things. I can't imagine telling my children that my husband had an affair! What a bad situation for all of them.

Cammie is so cute, coming to the rescue sort of. Loved the last bit where he follows her out, almost like he's seeing some light at the end of his dark tunnel. I really like Heydon, just think he's made some really bad decisions.

Great update guys, I did enjoy it even though it was very emotional!

S.B. said...

thanks Emily! It was a bit emotional. I had one part of this written a long time ago, waiting for the right time to use it.

I'm pleased so far with the reaction. No heroes or heroines here, although Cooper certainly comes close. It does get messy when you get emotionally involved outside your main relationship. Peri never completely cut it off with Daniel; Beth should have cut it off with Ryan before somebody got hurt. Too late now.

Camilla is always trying to rescue somebody, when she's not playing with them or plotting against them. I think this is going to be good for both Cam and Heydon.

Unknown said...

S.B. This is beautiful, and you did a wonderful job with the poses. I just love where Beth pulled her hand back and looked at Cooper.

So very full of emotion. Admittedly, I don't know the people as well as I should, but that wasn't necessary, your writing did a wonderful job of illustrating all the fire and ice of emotions going on. And I wish I could do tropical sets as beautiful as yours.

I'm looking forward to getting farther into the lives of these people you and Gayl have created so wonderfully.

Phoenix said...

I thought I commented on here earlier but apparently blogger ate my post! *sigh*

I'm tired right now will come back and post properly on it tomorrow.

I really did enjoy this chapter though! I have several things to say about it!:P

S.B. said...

Lachesis - thank you! I enjoy tropical sets, maybe because they're easy for me to do LOL.

I'm glad you're able to read and understand the general interactions and relationships. As we continue, it will get easier, I hope. There's certainly no point in trying to read two years of backstory.

thank you again so much for reading and commenting.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, the quiet thing is never good, when it gets to that stage there is quite a bit of distance to come back from. So much for Beth and Ryan being somewhere no one would see them. Oops.

If only Cadence knew what resolve it must have taken for her mother to not say anything about what Heydon had been caught doing.

Eek Cammie, send him on his way, you really don't need to deal with someone else's baggage right now.

S.B. said...

goodbye_sun, you're right. It's a lot more difficult to deal with someone who has crossed into the 'quiet zone'. Usually means more serious emotions that anger are in play.

I have a lot of admiration for Peri's restraint with Cadence.

LOL! Cammie likes other people's baggage; they become projects she can fix. This time might be different though. Finally. But she won't let down her guard quickly or easily.

S.B. said...

Phoenix, that's ok. Blogger eats my posts so regularly that I select and copy them before I hit submit.

And I do hope we're creating something that generates mixed reactions.

Anonymous said...

So, Beth and Ryan (her ex-bodyguard) have kids? Trying to mull this over ...

That little trip to the park is gonna bite her in the ass right? Once pictures / gossip gets around about that little clinch they had.

S.B. said...

Hi simstate - Gayl has a bio for Cooper on her bio blog that might help. The children are his.

I don't know if the trip to the park will do more harm than good. Maybe. "Goodbye" needed to be said, and there wasn't going to be an opportunity to do it. Better to hit it hard and deal with it. But then I like messy situations!

Thank you for continuing to read and comment. I am working on a character summary!

Colliegirl said...

Ooo! How naughty of you, Beth! Sneaking away to meet with Ryan in the park! It's very apparent that she does have special feelings for the guy. Why else would she care about saying "goodbye" to the guy? They really do need to part ways... and soon.

I'm getting really tired now, so I'm afraid I will have to call it quits for tonight. That was a great update though. I enjoyed reading it! Great work! :)

S.B. said...

Thanks Tammy. This is the second Sessions chapter and follows the first chapter closely -- next day. So it did kind of make sense to try to set it up somewhere the two of them would think of, like a park, where they could meet. Probably for the last time. At least, that's her intention, that it's the last time.

thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it!

S@n said...

hahaha, I love that last scene with Heydon and Cammie!!! hahahaha, love her 'lecture' I knew she would find away to add something about shoes in her conversationw ith Heydon!!

Beth and Ryan!! Oh my god!!! She loves him!!!!!!!!!!!
half in love!!! there is nothing like that!!! you either are in love or you are not!! that simple....

I think she likes him way more than she realized, but love? She is in for a hard drive... dealing with those kind of feelings all alone becomes a hell after a while...

she might just be trying to convince herself she loves Cooper,just like she might just be trying to convince herself she doesn't love Ryan...
I know I'm making no sense... lol
anyway it is hard and painful when we don't understand our own feelings, we end up hurting not only ourselves but the people around....

I also loved the conversation between Heydon and Peri, he is right, it is better to say good-bye...if they had stayed with each other they would end up hating themselves...

Wonderful chapter, so full of emotions!!!
Great job!!!

S.B. said...

S@ndy, thank you!

I think it's possible to start falling in love with someone, realize it and separate yourself from the person. It doesn't make the feeling go away. B did the right thing to cut it off; should have been honest with herself and done it sooner. There's no question that she's in love with Cooper. That makes it easier for her but not for Ryan.

I love Camilla; she does sort of fixate on shoes, doesn't she LOL!