Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sessions 19

It only hurts when your eyes are open
Lies get tossed and truth is spoken
It only hurts when that door gets open
Dreams are lost and hearts are broken.

Bay View - Marina District Midnight

He should have come up with a better way to handle that. Cooper headed back down Lyon Street toward his bike, mentally reviewing the confrontation with Stevie, already second guessing himself.

He still hadn't decided how to discuss it with Elise, but he knew he had to include an apology. She'd insisted there was a problem. She'd been angry and frustrated, and she'd been right. He was going to make things right and get the hell out of here for a while, take her on vacation somewhere, maybe just the two of them if he could find someone to watch the twins for a few days. As difficult as they'd been the last couple of weeks, that might not be easy.

Pausing next to his bike, Cooper glanced down the sandy boardwalk as the neon sign on the restaurant sputtered and buzzed. Street lights splashed across beach grass and illuminated a strip of stores, deceptively low key and downscale. The marina at the far end was dark at this time of night, but the beach bar was open and crowded, the laughter and music rising above the slap of the waves against the marina pier. Cooper hesitated, tempted, considered stopping in for a drink, thought maybe not, he wanted to go home, when the light by the bicycle rack caught a shock of red hair.

Cooper sucked in a quick breath, but it wasn't McDermott, just some skinny kid locking up his bike and leaping up the steps, shaking the sand off his feet. Cooper watched him, wondering again where McDermott had gone - he'd made some private inquiries, uneasy about not knowing, but had come up blank.

He started to shrug it off, looked back once again and there was Heydon, leaning back in a chair and engaged in an intense conversation with Tyler. Heydon's back was turned to him, but on the other side of the table lounged Cam, and she definitely saw him.

He hadn't said more than half a dozen words to Heydon since the blow up and didn't want to take the time to say anything now. Heydon was one of his oldest and closest friends though. He could take five minutes to say hello, then get out of here. Cooper reluctantly started down the boardwalk toward the bar.

Cooper made it up the first step, avoiding discarded sandals, suntan lotion, very large squashed bugs. "Hell yes I'm looking at options," Tyler was saying. "Shaun may be able to keep it together but I'm tired of the damned drama. Coop can't keep his hands off Stevie and it's coming apart. I don't want to be locked up on some bus with the two of them while this shit is going down."

Heydon, bare feet touching Camilla’s manicured toes, set a glass of dark beer down on the table and shook his head. "I don't know man, you're taking a big risk. You're sure you can't put up with it?"

Cooper froze. Camilla snared him with her gaze, holding it, tight and relentless, and let fly a ringing tangle of words. "Hi Coop come on over here and say hi are you alone I don't see Elise." She paused, and added, "Or Stevie."

Heydon moved abruptly, getting to his feet, while Tyler turned and stared and looked trapped and embarrassed. "Hey Coop," he muttered. "I'm just ah going somewhere. I was going home because I have something I need to do there. At home."

Camilla smiled, although the smile was directed not at Tyler but at Cooper. "Bye sweetie and don't forget to turn off the stove next time because that's how you burn down things, when you leave things burning you should have turned off. Coop are you going to sit down with us or are you going to stand there or maybe you left something burning too."

The tall beach grass fluttered behind her, dry and rattling in the breeze off the bay. Like a sniper nestled in the grass, her target directly in the cross hairs, she didn't drop that smile one inch. Cooper ignored her, glanced at Tyler's broad retreating back, and turned to Heydon. "I was in the area," he said. "I thought I'd say hi, maybe buy you a drink."

Heydon rubbed the back of his sunburned neck and studied him in silence for a long, uncomfortable moment. "Suit yourself," he finally returned.

Cooper’s temper started to flare. He struggled with it, shutting it down. Maybe he'd acted too precipitously, maybe he should have discussed it first, but he still didn't intend to go back to a full tour schedule. Heydon needed to get over it, find another way to make up his cash deficit.

"You know what, I'll talk to you later," he said to Heydon, and looking pointedly at Cam, "I really want to get home."

Camilla leaned way back in the chair, scraping wood against wood as the chair hit the deck rail behind her and sending an empty beer ran rattling down across the deck into the dry grass. "Now why would you want to go there, Coop? Elise moved out. I think it was today actually it was tonight or this afternoon sometime today because I heard she got out after you left to meet Stevie. You think she knew you were meeting Stevie? You do know she left. Don’t you know that?” The sniper squeezing the trigger and firing, and waiting, watching the strike.

Cooper's breath caught in his chest. Was she jerking him around? No, Cammie didn't make up shit like that but that couldn’t be true, and how the hell would she know. Elise wouldn’t do that to him; she would have yelled, said she was leaving, she would have called. If she’d found out he was meeting Stevie and tried to call…his cell...he'd turned it off this evening before he'd met Stevie. If she'd tried to call, she would have gotten a terse message and no response.

Heydon glanced at Camilla, then back at Cooper, and his expression subtly changed, a shadow of sympathy crossing his face. "Maybe you should give her a call," he offered quietly.

Yeah, he should definitely do that and right now. His voice stiff, Cooper ground out, "Later."

The boardwalk yawned before him, a long empty stretch between him and his bike and some small measure of privacy where he could call without looking like an ass in front of god knows who. Cooper rigidly controlled his pace, forcing himself to walk, sand crunching under his boots, ten more steps, five.

He broke into a run, ducked into the shadow between the restaurant and the dark street, and grabbed the cell out of his pocket. For a split second he hesitated and looked back in case someone was following him, and then swore under his breath, fuck them, all of them, anyone and all of them. None of it mattered if she was gone.

It rang. And rang. Ten times. Fifteen. Nothing but long, soft purrs, signals going out and landing nowhere.

Cloud Lake

“Did you leave that note?”

Standing in the overgrown driveway behind Nate, Eric answered his twin brother in a quiet, firm voice, “No, I dumped it down the disposal, just before we left. Mom didn’t go back in and look for it.”

Eric took a few steps across the broken stone, shivering, glancing at the suitcases still left waiting for them to bring inside. They’d already hauled a ton of shit in there. Nate was staring at something across the dark road that might be a barn and an old house with a broken porch. Trees were growing up right through them. Things rustled, plants or animals or something, maybe something large.

“What about the cell?” Nate pressed his brother. Turning his back to whatever might be out there in the dark, Nate leaned back against the hood of the car. It might still be warm.

Why was he the one who always had to execute these plans? “Took care of that too. She won't even know he's blocked.”

They both looked back at the house. Rayne had been in there a long time, until a few minutes ago when she tore off and drove over the mailbox on her way out, leaving them to prop it back up again. Their mother had crossed back and forth in the light for a while, pacing, then went out back or upstairs but they couldn’t see her now. “Asshole,” Nate muttered. “Fucking asshole. He’s gonna be fucking out of his mind.”

Eric let it go for a minute. He was on board with this but it hadn’t been his idea, and he still wasn’t convinced it was going to work the way Nate thought it would. “You don’t think he'll run off with Stevie?”

Nate shrugged, straightened and ran his hand through his hair, sparing another suspicious glance at the deep shadow under the trees. Neither of them liked this place. It was supposed to be temporary and couldn’t be temporary enough. “We talked about this. He won’t do it. You think too much.”

Eric shoved at a clod of dirt with the toe of his boot. They usually agreed on almost everything but he wasn’t as certain about his father’s intentions as his twin seemed to be. Nate blew up faster. “Maybe not but you know what we saw.”

“Get real,” Nate scoffed. “She's not the only one. He’s not running off with her."

“She's the one he keeps going back to,” Eric pointed out again. “She's the one with her hands down his pants in the men's room.”

Nate tossed his head back and looked irritated, looked like their dad when he was pissed about something. And the thing was, he had the voice and the hands, and the talent, and they both knew it. He strode off toward the back of the house, skirting the pile of suitcases and the car, and turned and growled, “I was there, Eric, looking through the same window as you. I’m telling you, he won't be thinking about her, not when he can't find us. Let her try to take his mind off that.”

Cold, edged wind blew through the pines, moaning like an unhappy animal. It was really dark. Off in the distance a few lights blinked but they might as well have been a hundred miles away in another town, and that surf was as cold as the wind. They looked at each other.

“We did good this time,” Nate assured his brother. “He didn’t even answer the phone tonight. You know he was with her. We did good. Payback for Mom.”

Eric watched the lights across the water, a whole lot of nothing out there. Whatever happened, none of this was good. Nate was waiting. Nate wanted him to say it. “Yeah,” he agreed, reluctantly, still not sure he believed it, pretty damned sure he didn’t believe all of it, but he said it. It wouldn't take their dad long to work through this, so he wasn't even sure how effective it was going to be, but Nate was right about one thing, it was payback.

Whether or not their mother even wanted it, whether it should have been directed at their dad in the first place, and when was he going to stop going along with everything Nate wanted to do, all of that…it was all too late now.


Muzegoddess said...

Oooohhhh....what the hell are those two little schemers up to?? Just when things seemed to be moving in the right direction. Still, I can't necessarily blame Beth for moving out. Expressing her concerns verbally obviously didn't spark Coop into action soon enough.

Does Cooper ever think of discussing what he is planning to do with anyone but himself? It would save him a lot of trouble if he did. Just simply telling Beth "hey I know what I'm doing with Stevie is fucked up so I'm going to end it...okay" That's all he had to do.

The shots of course are beautiful. I love the new community lot; looks great. And I am glad that the twins are coming into the mix. For two kids that shared the same womb at the same time, they seem to be very different.

I can't wait to see where this goes.

S.B. said...

I think IMPULSIVE is Cooper's middle name. And it does cause him a lot of grief. He wasn't sure what was going on with Stevie, didn't take it seriously until he was actually there and heard her out, so he probably didn't think it was worth announcing in advance.

The twins are very different. Nate is like his sister, and like his father. Eric is more cautious and thinks things through, but he's a little overwhelmed by his brother.

Thank you so much Muzegoddess. I'm glad the shots worked. I see so many problems with them, and I was unable to get some I really wanted.

Phoenix said...

Dude, dude, DUDE!!! What the CRAP is Cammie's deal? I get yanking his chain or whatever but come on! That was a low blow. Even if she hates Coop no one should be handed news like that with such malice! Come on!

And what the heck Coop! Why are you still so worried about what everyone else thinks? You're a rock GOD and you have the mentality of a teenager. Wait...that makes sense! Nevermind!:P

And the! Such planning went into that! I can't believe they saw that whole scene in the bathroom. Only saw a snippet but it was enough to run with huh?

Nate looks so much like his dad and sister it's not even funny but that last profile shot of Eric was amazing. I like it. And I like his quiet nature as well. This family has WAY too many crazy people in it already!

And Beth? These shots are flippin' awesome! I know we always see the mistakes or things that we can perfect when we take pics but...yeah man. I totally felt as if I was on the beach.

I always say it and I'll say it again...your guys writing, the pictures, the just all blows my mind!

S.B. said...

LOL Phoenix at the teenager remark!

Coop didn't want a private conversation overheard, that was his concern.

Camilla...yeah. She's fiercely loyal to 'family', and right now 'family' is Heydon. And she didn't like what Cooper did to him. So she attacked, and she won't hold back.

Nate is astonishingly like his sister and his father. I put up a couple of shots next to each other and they're like clones. Eric isn't anywhere near as striking but he's quiet and thoughtful. No idea where that came from!

Thank you so much about the shots. I love the beach, and I love recreating it. But I didn't get the ones I wanted because of the crashes, so I really appreciate the compliment.

This would not be what it is without Gayl who edited and pushed and showed me holes I didn't want to see.

Thank you!!!!

Whymustallthegoodonesbetaken said...

I'm really curious to see what the twins are planning exactly. It was nice to finally see them again though! I've finally started working on my own stories but I have to wait a week for my being able to play Sims to really play it out, got to get the stuff to reinstall it on my new computer. My stuff is of course quite terrible compared to yours but its a start and practice will make it better I suppose. =)

Keep up the good work guys!

S.B. said...

Hey there WhyMust (still love that name)!

Thank you so much!

Everybody starts out somewhere. Our early stuff is BAD, and it took years to make it look better. Don't even worry about it. Just start. and the writing is the important thing - all the great shots in the world don't mean much without the writing. You be sure and let us know when you put something up!

Van said...

How did I miss this? Sorry, late to the party :(

Ach, Cooper! This could have all been avoided if he'd just talked things over with Beth. It's almost like his fear of losing her is resulting in a direct fear of her. What those two need is a weekend away somewhere, just talking about their relationship.

Woah, Nate's a real schemer. I don't blame him for wanting to get back at his dad, but I do think he could have dug up some more information first. As for Eric, it's nice to see that there's a more rational, less impulsive twin, but that's not going to help unless he learns to stand up to his brother every once in a while.

Great update! :)

S.B. said...

Dinuriel, that is a wonderful insight. I think it goes both ways. Beth is as much afraid of losing Cooper as he is of losing her. They're circling each other. It would take a lot for her to walk out, but Stevie is a huge issue because the relationship is more than sex, and, from her perspective, he didn't cut it off. She shut down Ryan. She was waiting for him to do the same with Stevie, but he just didn't see Stevie as an issue.

Nate is impulsive and emotional. He's also the one most like his father including the musical talent and the looks. Eric is going to have to learn to stand up for himself and deal. He's not there yet.

Thank you so much!

thewynd said...

I just want to say thank you to everyone who reads and comments on our work. It means so much.

I doubt it occurred to Cooper that Beth would leave like that and was a complete shock when Cammie let it fly the way she did. His intentions were definitely in the right place, his timing is just awful though.

The twins are going to be an interesting facet of the Stanfield family. They are both so different but have strengths that I think complement the other.

Mao said...

ACK! Messy, messy, messy... good one, Cooper. You're going to have fun trying to clean this one up, if you can. Beth leaving was definitely a surprise and the scene with the boys? Wasn't expecting that at all!

These two are all about extremes. It's a great thing and a bad thing. There's never any medium speed, it's intense all the way. Makes for a long, hard road. I hope something can fix this--anything.

Wish I could be more insightful, but unfortunately, I have to go work on NaNoWrimo. xb But, you did great Beth, especially with all the crashing and idiocy your game put you through!

S.B. said...

Mao go write!!!

Yeah those two are all about extremes. But I think they like it that way.

the scene with the boys was something I wanted to do for a lot of reasons, including pulling them into the storyline.

and thank you so much for all your support and everything on top of that!

Sinclair said...

Ooooooo boy. Not a single one of Coopers kids are calm children. Every single one enjoys raising all kinds of hell. I love it. :) Just to clarify cause I was confused. Eric is the tan twin with long hair?

And where is Beth planning on going this time? Cooper does have the ability to find people...minus Ryan that is lol.

And Heydon is a better friend than I could ever be. That whole fool me once thing plays into that situation big time. Camilla gave Cooper a much needed bitch slap. While dirty I dont feel bad because he screwed her man and his best friend over JUST so he could fix his shit at home..that he created..and then fucked up again. Lol its amazing how he manages to mess everything up no matter what he does. I have no pity. He could have figured something out other than throwing Heydon out and saying fend for yourself cause I dont give a damn. O so wrong. I love Cam <3 girl gets it done! She and Rayne should go at it!!!! Cat fight of the century. Next to Cam and Beth. OMG yet another 3 way fight!

And because its never been shown (as far as I can remember) are the twins close with their older siblings? There seems to be like this major missing link between them. Unless you're just supposed to assume that they talk. But honestly based on their personalities I imagine the twins not even considering Rayne and Wyatt really like siblings because those two personalities( Rayne and Wyatt) are just a little to self absorbed to think about coming to hang with their little bros. I do hope Wyatt doesnt try to assert authority because I honestly dont think he has any right to. Especially if they decide to go hang with him for a bit on their road trip to wherever. Where are they going btw?

S.B. said...

Hi Sinclair!

LOL yeah Camilla can definitely bitch slap and do a fine job of it! Cammie and Rayne, now that's a scary thought!

Poor Cooper; yeah, he made a mistake. He should have taken the time to think things through, but he didn't. Heydon and Slim together might have been able to talk him into a compromise except Heydon blew up. That kind of reaction right after the confrontation with Ryan was definitely the WRONG reaction. Coop is trying to put the pieces back together now. He has people working against him at this point though including his own kids.

Beth didn't intend to hide from him; she tried to reach him and then, when she couldn't, she left a note. The twins decided to play mind games instead. Cooper will track them down.

We haven't focused on the boys before now, just mentioned them a couple of times. Nate in particular is close to Rayne; I don't think either of them would be very close to Wyatt. That is a missing link and one we need to address now that we've brought the twins onstage.

Nate is the one with brown eyes and the tan; Eric has blue eyes and lighter skin.

The twins are not going to be able to control where their mother goes or how long she stays. I don't think she has any clear idea what she's going to do - like Cooper, she's impulsive. She wanted to go so she just went. Somewhere, anywhere, as long as it was out of the house. The boys want to throw a serious scare at their father, and they'll continue to try to manipulate the situation as long as they can.

Thank you so much - I always enjoy your comments. You make really good points!!

Whymustallthegoodonesbetaken said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I will be sure to let you guys know..I might post the little bit I have done sometime soon just to see if its worth continuing.. hahaha I'm really excited for Saturday when I can grab everything I need to get the game on my new computer! Its been rather annoying not having it! Especially since this computer is better suited for what I need. Anyways can't wait for the next post! I got to get the baby away from the stairs!

thewynd said...

Sinclair, your comment definitely got me thinking about Wyatt in this situation. I doubt that he would try to exert authority but he would have some words of caution if he even knew what they were doing. With his history Wyatt is sensitive to "family" and the twins' actions will hurt both their parents, not just their father. I think he would point that out. And I think Eric would consider his words and Nate would blow him off. Even if they aren't close, they are still brothers.

It is a little challenging to tie in all the kids. We will definitely look at a way to fill the holes.

Many thanks again to all of you for leaving such insightful comments!

goodbye_sun said...

I know Cam was harsh, but I kind of think it was all deserved and fairly necessary. Cooper operates so often without thinking about the impact of what he is doing to others, I actually think her style of doing things might have been the only way he would actually have heard what he was being told.

Oh the twins, what a mess this is probably going to be!

S.B. said...

goodbye_sun, Cam has one tool and it's a big hammer LOL. I think she made her point!

The twins aren't Gabe Jr. They can mess around the edges, but since one of them isn't even all that keen, it probably won't go too far.

thanks so much for your support!

Penelope said...

How in the world does everyone seem to know more about Cooper's personal life than he does? I hope Beth did leave (although, the evidence would appear to point elsewhere). Evidently, nothing else seems to be getting through to Cooper.

How old are Nate and Eric? Coop's children getting mixed up in the grown-up drama always equals disaster. Whatever they've done, I already don't approve.

S.B. said...

Penelope, I think Cooper makes a lot of assumptions. He's not a bad guy, but he can be an arrogant prick sometimes. This is one of those times. He simply didn't see what other people saw. And his wife did walk out.

Nate and Eric are very young teens. Doubt anyone is going to approve; Eric doesn't really approve and he's mixed up in it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. We both really appreciate it.

Emily said...

My, my, my. Two more mischievous children from Cooper! I loved watching them but dang, troublemakers! And the one follows the other one? Oh yeah, gonna be interesting to see those two in the future!

Poor get one thing straightened out then your friends won't forgive you when you make an effort, albeit a small one (but drinks would have been a start!) and THEN you find out your wife is gone and probably thinks the worst of you. *shakes head* How will he get out of this one?

Awesome update, the lot was so gorgeous and along with the writing, I felt like I was at some warm, beach side marina hearing the crash of the ocean waves, enjoying some fruity drink. LOL.

S.B. said...

Hi Emily!

I doubt Coop could have anything but mischievous children.

Cooper didn't have a lot of sympathy for Heydon, so he's getting it back now. They'll work it out eventually. Probably. His refusal to take the situation with Stevie seriously until it blew up in his face is the bigger problem.

Thanks so much about the lot. I love places like that and tried to recreate the atmosphere from memory.

Colliegirl said...

There seems to be a serious lack of communication with this family! Now even the twins are getting involved! And how very clever they are! Well, I think Nate is acting a bit rashly on his part, but he definitely got Dad's attention! (I had a sneaky suspicion that someone might be outside that window!) But, does he want to break his parents apart or keep them together! Geez! I hope this doesn't seriously backfire!

Great pictures! The beach scenes behind them were perfect! I really liked that last one of Eric. Nice touch... love his thoughtful expression. : )

S.B. said...

Colliegirl, there's been a serious lack of communication for a long time.

Nate isn't anything but angry. Keep them together or break them apart is not really something he's thought about. He's just pissed at his dad.

Thank you!

S@n said...

I'm so behind with this that everything I could possible say wont make any sense, cause I first read Passages and then Chamaleon...

so I will just say "What a mess!!! and poor Eric... he really should stop listening to Nate..
and they should just let Beth and Cooper fix their marriage...

I feel soo sorry for Cooper here, lol... he will have a hard time next chapter.. trying to find where his wife and children are... :D

Great job !! Lovely shots... I definitely love the last one.. that is my favorite...

S.B. said...

Thanks S@ndy! I love the ambiance in those lots. The marina lot kept crashing on me, so it didn't come out quite the way I envisioned.

Don't feel too sorry for Cooper. He ignored a lot of warning signs. This is a bump in the road for him but maybe a necessary one. Nate and Eric wanted to shake him up and they've certainly accomplished that.

Thank you!