Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sessions Chapter 43

South Beach - The Peninsula

Elise opened the front door and welcomed the embrace Cooper offered. He held on tight breathing deeply, trying not to let the anguish he felt bleed through his arms. He was going to hurt her, he knew it, and there was nothing he could do to prevent it. That moment had come and gone the morning he came home and kept his mouth shut while she held out her pain and guilt in open hands.

Reluctantly, Cooper released his hold running his hands along her arms. "Where are the kids?"

Before she could answer a peal of laughter rang out as Harmony bounded down the stairs. "Daddy! You came!" Running up to her father she threw out her arms as Cooper scooped her up and planted a kiss on her forehead. Behind her walking more slowly down the stairs were Nate and Eric.


Cooper rose looking directly at the twins, "Your grandmother is waiting for you in the car." Before they could respond Cooper glanced down at Hugs, "I think she said something about pancakes at the diner." As Hugs raced to the car Cooper shifted his gaze back to the boys, "Don't keep her waiting, go." Exchanging glances with their mother neither twin spoke as they left the house.

Elise folded her arms as she tilted her head slightly, watching his mother drive off, obviously confused. "Hugs has been waiting all morning to see you. Is everything all right with Rayne? Is that why you sent the kids off with Cass?"

"Rayne is fine, as well as can be expected I guess. She wanted to move out on her own; I said I'd help her. Baby, that's not why I'm here, can we go somewhere to talk?"


They walked down to the beach, a place that seemed to connect them to each other. Settling into the warm sand Cooper drew her down toward him until she sat facing the ocean as he slid his arms around her. "I love you baby." His words were little more than a sigh as he leaned into her. "I never meant to hurt you. I don't know how you manage to forgive me every time I fuck up but you do. It's a lot to ask and I don't deserve it but I'm asking - I need you to forgive me again."

Elise stood and Cooper rose with her. She took a light breath and looked away out at the beach before facing him. "Coop I told you, it was my fault, I cheated. Nothing you have ever done compares with that, and whatever you do now, we're separated. You don't need to share it with me. I don't want you to.”

Cooper shut his eyes. He'd let her believe that lie and allowed her to bear the brunt of his mistakes. He had to tell her the truth, a truth that might end his marriage for good, not a choice he wanted but one that he created without anyone else's help. It wasn't Ryan or any of the women that fucked it up, not this time.

He wanted to reach out to her so he could hold her to him when she tried to pull away and leave him but his arms were like lead weights. His heart raced and his throat went dry. He was going to lose her, please don't let me lose her

“This isn't about anything that happened since I moved out. Elise, that night after I saw you with Ryan, there was something I didn't tell you. I went to Chameleon and talked to Melinda, that part is true, I was there but not all night." He drew a breath; this was it, the final cutting words. "I went to Millwood, to Gemma Wilson's place. You were there when Ryan nailed me to the wall and I don't know, don't even remember what I did or how I got there, but I think I slept with her."

Elise took a little half step back, walking carefully, slowly, then a few steps up the stairs away from the beach. “Gemma Wilson.  Julia's cousin.  What are you saying, that you've been seeing Julia's cousin?  Wyatt's cousin?”

"No, God no! I was angry at her, at you, at Ryan. I never intended to fuck her it just happened! I thought I'd lost you and I wasn't thinking straight. Shit El, I wasn't thinking at all." Coop rubbed his forehead before continuing. "She came to see me last night at the hotel to tell me she's pregnant. She thinks it's mine but baby she's going to have to prove it before I'll believe it. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that night. I'm asking you to forgive me, please."


A long moment passed. Her silence hung between them, and for the first time since he had known her, Cooper could not read her. If she'd shouted at him, hit him, something, he could deal with that but not her silence. "El, I know you're probably upset, I'm sorry."

"Upset?” She started slow, her voice picking up speed, breath after breath, finding octane, coming right at him hurtling at him.

“I’m ‘upset’," she said, biting it off. "Coop, I am 'upset' when Nate and Eric break curfew. Upset. You let me hang out there, the bad one, the one who cheated, and you used it, you used it. You were rolling around in bed with Julia’s cousin? And she's pregnant? With your child? And I am UPSET?!"

"I know I'm not a perfect man, but you have to believe me when I tell you it didn't mean anything. I should have come clean but I thought we could put everything behind us and start again. I still want that." Cooper reached out to her but she pulled away anger written all over her face. And worse, disappointment.

"Don't touch me! I've blamed myself all this time, overlooked your behavior because I didn't have the right to say anything and you think this is about believing you? I don’t care if it didn’t mean anything! That is not the point! Your betrayal is not the fact that you fucked some girl; it's that you let me carry the blame so you wouldn't have to face yours.  And it's not 'some girl' Cooper, it's that particular woman.  She's Julia's cousin!  She looks like your dead wife!"

She stood there cool, tightly controlled, and quiet. Cooper held his breath and waited. "You need to go," she said without looking back at him. "Now. Before the kids get back. You have to go. I don't want to see you again." Without another word Elise moved toward the house her head held high but even then Cooper could see her trembling.


"I'm not going to let go. Elise, listen to me, I need you, we need each other. We know each other...I am not letting go!" Cooper thought she might have said something but if she did, her words were lost, carried away, carried away by the wind and the tide and each and every long quiet step she took away from him, each and every single and irrevocable footstep going away.


Van said...

Yeah, I agree with Beth. Sleeping with Gemma wasn't Cooper's unforgivable mistake. If he had just been honest with her in the beginning--just made it so she knew that she wasn't the only one at fault--then things might have been okay, or at least as okay as it ever is for them.

This isn't going to be over. Any end for these two is really just another beginning. Even if they break up for good, they'll still be completely intertwined. They just keep colliding and reacting.

Glad you managed to get the update together, despite everything both of you are going through. Gayl, I hope your injury is healing and your general health is improving, and Beth, I hope all the chaos you're going through right now is coming to a more manageable place. Sending hugs for both of you *hugs*

Phoenix said...

Oh man! I thought I'd be happy when this confrontation came. Coop would get what was coming to him and Beth could move and and finally be...I don't know...she's happy with Coop so she wouldn't be entirely happy without him.

Coop had to realize that he just couldn't ask for forgiveness and expect it to be over and done with. Beth beat herself up for her cheating with Ryan and for what seeing as how he did the same thing.'s a cluster. A mess and it's not going to get any clearer any time soon.

Wonderful piece guys! As always! I agree with Van. With all the issues you two are dealing with it's a surprise this got out. Thank you! And I hope all is well on both your ends!

Valpre said...

Whoa, now that it's finally out in the open I don't know how to feel. Is it weird that a part of my heart breaks for Coop too? But Beth's right, he shouldn't have let her carry the guilt alone.

As always, amazing, beautiful writing, and equally stunning shots. I especially love the bird's view one. I think it just gives off a sense of how tiny they are in the huge mess that's unfolding before them. *don't mind me. I'm rambling, I've never been good with metaphors*

It's good to see an update from you two. And Beth, I hope you're slowly finding your way in RL. And Gayl, more hugs to help with your speedy recovery.

Rachel said...

Oh wow...I'm glad he told her. He needed to tell her. I wonder if they'll survive this one, though. Cooper is usually easily distracted, and if Beth doesn't come around quickly enough and he gets into one of his moods where he feels sorry for himself, he'll mess things up even worse.

I'm so happy to see this, and I hope it means things are becoming more manageable for you two!

Kiri said...

Good for Beth! And she called it right down the line.

I hope that Coop understands that.

As for if they get back together - I hope if they do, it's under a new understanding. Coop needs to step up to the plate here, but I'm glad that Beth is finally taking part in her life.

Laura said...

I get the feeling from him sometimes that he doesn't realize that her forgiveness is not a given, or not infinite. I think maybe it's more naive than it is selfish, because he doesn't seem to enjoy the mistakes he makes. Maybe he needs this wake-up call, that he might not be forgiven, or at least not easily. Maybe he'll have to actually work hard for it and really prove himself this time, if it happens at all.

I kind of wish he hadn't told her like this. I'm not sure what good possibly could have come of it. Sooner or later might have been better than here, when it's all still so fragile.

The last paragraph was beautiful, with her words lost in the breeze. Beautiful, but foreboding :(

I am also very glad to see this posted, and I hope it means you're both doing well enough to work on it!

And Gayl, I meant to say on one of the other posts, but I'm sorry to hear about your back, and I hope you recover as quickly as possible!

S.B. said...

Van, you're right. It's not going to be over. Those two are tightly tangled up in one another, and neither of them really wants to cut those bonds. If Cooper had told her the morning he dragged himself home, they could have gotten past it. It will be hard to do that now.

Thank you so much for your concern. We are both still struggling but I'm glad I was able to find the time to put this up. Thank you!!

S.B. said...

Val, so glad you're reacting like that! Coop is not a bad guy at all, impulsive and spoiled and arrogant, but not bad. And he's in love and he knows he screwed up. Thanks so much about for the compliment on the shots! After fighting with the CC for so long, I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to accomplish.

Thank you for the hope and hugs. We're hanging in there!

Anonymous said...

Really glad you guys could get out an update, and this is great. I was holding my breath in places. I don't know whether I'm more worried they'll get back together or that they'll keep sniping at each other.

S.B. said...

Rachel, thank you. Yes Coop needed to tell her, although he wouldn't have if Gemma's pregnancy hadn't forced his hand. He is definitely easily distracted LOL! Maybe this time, though, he'll behave himself. His little girl adores him.

We both really appreciate the support. Things are not great but they're coming along. Thank you.

S.B. said...

Kiri, it was so exciting to read a comment from you! Thank you!

Not positive Coop does completely understand, although he understands that he took a bad situation and made it worse. Beth is finally taking control of her life even though it's not going in a direction that promises much happiness.

S.B. said...

Hey Laura!

That is an interesting point, whether it would have been better to wait to tell her. They were obviously circling back closer to one another, and maybe if he had let that happen first, the truth would not have been so harsh. Cooper does not enjoy the mistakes he's made, regrets them, but tends to dig deeper holes trying to cover them up. Impulsive and optimistic and pretty damned sure of himself. This time he will have to work hard to put this mess back together, if, and you're right, if it can be done at all.

Thank you so much for the kind wishes. Gayl is still not well and I'm still dealing with chaos but we're doing better.

S.B. said...

LOL Rad! Well if they didn't snipe at each other, they'd be a pretty boring couple! Honestly though, that's a wonderful way to put it. The sniping will probably be put on hold since she's been thoroughly burned this time. It will take something special to bring them back together.

Thanks from both of us!

S.B. said...

Hey Phoenix!

What a fantastic way to put it. The payback is satisfying, but she is not going to be happy without him. Coop let her dangle out there and said nothing to alleviate her pain and guilt when he knew he'd done the same thing. NOT nice. Nobody wins.

thank you so much from both of us. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get the shots, very glad I was able to do it for Gayl.

Muzegoddess said...

I knew it. I knew that Beth would be more pissed off about the fact that he let her carry all the blame and guilt for what was wrong between them when he was just as guilty (at that point) as she was. The cheating and the pregnancy thing is way up there, but that ommission on his part was just selfish and cruel even though he never meant for it to be.

I'm sure this isn't the end of things between them but he's got a hell of hill to climb this time. Breaks my heart to see both of them in this place.

The emotions on both sides were written beautifully and captured perfectly in the shots. Wonderful update.

Qui. said...

I like Coop, a lot! Aside from the stupid mistakes he has made, I really think he is a great guy! I'm glad he came out with it before Beth found out another way but did he really expect her to take a couple deep breaths and be over it? slap him and then pull himn into a warm embrace?

I don't care how many times a man cheats, there is no...NO worse feeling than knowing he may have created a child with someone else while being so thoughtless and selfish!

Chances are very slim but I REALLY hope they can get pass this. Maybe Gemma will have the baby and realize it's not his baby...or maybe she'll fall off a bridge?

Rayne and Wyatt!! I do not see them taking it well at all!

Thanks for the update! I know RL is dealing some unexpected cards! LOVED IT!

J A Murphy said...

He had to tell her now - it would have been so much worse if she heard it from someone other than him; and there was no softening this, if he'd tried to weasel around to it she would have been even angrier (if that's possible).

He could have found a better word than "upset", though. Beth's right, upset is when the kids break a vase or she breaks a nail, not when you find out your husband screwed someone else because he was angry at you and now she's pregnant and it could be his.

I've always been in Coop's corner, never really warmed to Beth (sorry Beth!), but I think this is the first time I've actually been able to see his actions from her point of view and could not fault her response.

I hope he is feeling thoroughly ashamed of himself right now. He's always managed to get out of most situations more or less intact, but this one is going to take some doing and he'll be on his own. I'm not sure even Slim can save his arse this time.

J A Murphy said...

PS - As for the kids, well the twins are just going to see this as their attitudes justified, Rayne has pretty much already worked it out, but Wyatt - this could be bad.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, it was the cruelty that stunned her far more than the cheating. Cooper didn't intend to be cruel, but if he could have gotten away with it and let her continue to believe she was the only one who had cheated, he would have. He misread her. She would have been angry if he had come right out and admitted it, but Beth can hardly throw stones, and she would have understood.

Thank you so much from both of us!

S.B. said... glad someone likes Cooper! He really is a great guy. Did he expect to be instantly forgiven, slapped and then hugged? Well yes. After all, Beth cheated first, and she didn't tell him about it. He found out by seeing photos of her with Ryan, a huge shock he never did get over. Even if Gemma's baby isn't his though, it won't fix it. You're right, it is a horrible empty feeling, particularly knowing that he cared so little about the consequences that he may have fathered a child on another woman.

Rayne already suspects; she won't be surprised, and she will probably continue to blame Gemma. Wyatt is another matter.

Thank you so much for your support. We both really appreciate it.

S.B. said...

Illandrya...thank you. Yes it would have been worse if she had heard it from someone else; it was certainly gut wrenching for Cooper when he found out about Ryan by reading about it in a tabloid.

Team Cooper! Yeah Beth is hard to like. Her response was correct, and understandable, but again, she did something awfully similar. She's painted herself into a corner. If you've done something terrible, it's hard to complain when it's done to you. Either suck it up or throw it all away and walk, which is what she's doing this time.

Slim can't do a damned thing to help him out this time. Slim never believed he was going to get away with it.

and you PS about the're right. Rayne's figured it out; the twins will feel all the satisfaction of 'I told you so'; but Wyatt...he's going to have trouble with it.

Thank you. You have given us so much support, and we are so grateful.

thewynd said...

I don't want to repeat anything that Beth has already said but I do want to thank each and every reader for sticking with us. Thank you always.

~Drew said...

You can't help but feel for Cooper. He really does screw things up without meaning to. He handled this all wrong, but kudos for being honest.

Beth reacted that way I figured she would. Maybe she figures his cheating cancels out hers in some way. I don't blame her for being angry and disappointed.
Just tragic all around.

Great update ladies~

S.B. said...

Drew, thank you. Coop does get kudos for being honest, a little too late though. Beth and canceling it really doesn't cancel out what she did. Nothing ever will. She knows it. She put herself into an impossible situation: either nothing Cooper ever does is wrong, or she says something even though she did something wrong. If it's the former...well I don't know how anyone could continue to pay forever. That's a life sentence. It's an interesting problem. And you're right, tragic all around.

Thank you so much from both of us for all your support. We really appreciate it.

Christina said...

excellent, excellent! this scene was just what i was waiting for..and i'm glad it went the way I had expected.

i'm interested to see what happens with cooper now..since he says hes not going to let go..

S.B. said...

Christina!! It's so good to hear from you again!

Glad it worked for you. There were only two ways it could go, and one of them stretches credulity to the breaking point. Cooper is one stubborn man. He's not likely to give up what he wants.

thank you SO MUCH.

The Lunar Fox said...

Wow, these two! Beautiful work again of course. I loved the pictures, but I actually became so engrossed in the story and the moment that I almost missed over them.

Oh man, Cooper is lucky he's so cute 'cause he's a total screw up sometimes. It is almost a naivete on his part, an expectation that if he suddenly up and does the right thing it will be made better. At least he told, but only because his hand was forced and Gemma upped the ante and I think it would have been much worse to go, "So, you know that woman who's claiming that baby is mine? Yeah... she might be right."

I also hope Gayl is doing all right, and on the right path to healing.

S.B. said...

Lunar, beauty counts. Cooper's got it, and he knows he's got it. It has always worked, so he could safely assume it will still work. He would not have said a single thing if Gemma hadn't forced his hand. And I'm dying laughing at your take on it!!

Gayl is pushing herself harder than she should. *hit me if you're reading this but you are*

Thank you so much. We weren't expecting a comment from you, so it is all the more precious.

S@n said...

Holy cow, and I thought last chapter was dramatic! I don't even know what to say...

but I do agree with Beth, the fact that he let her believe it was all her fault is worst than him messing up with Gemma...

I remember how bad and guilty Beth felt back then... and Cooper did nothing to ease her guilt because he didn't want his own guilt to be exposed, now it is a little too late to say sorry!!

You two are amazing! your characters are so well thought, they come to life with each chapter, so real and human!Wonderful update!

very sad at some parts, and difficult to read but beautiful written and the shots are just perfect too!!

S.B. said...

Thank you, S@n! We know these people so well after all this time. They both have some pretty big faults. It's wonderful to know that they come to life for you!

These two love each other but they trip over themselves and this time Cooper made a huge mistake. She would have forgiven the infidelity under the circumstances. After all, she cheated first. His failure to tell the truth, to take responsibility, allowing her to suffer with all the guilt, was too much.

Thank you so much for all your support, for reading and for taking the time to leave us these comments.