Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Studio Time: Two

South Beach Metro Area West: At First Bite - 1:29 PM

They had been at it for most of the day. Mercury Rising planned to release their newest CD in conjunction with the Rock Music Awards. The timing was perfect, and, he had to admit, none of them, not Heydon, not Aidan, certainly not Danny, had shown this kind of excitement, the prolific flare of creativity, he couldn't remember how long it had been. Cooper stepped outside and inhaled deeply. Sometime during the day it had rained; the air was fresh, crisp and bright. He’d needed to stretch his legs.

Cooper headed down the street taking long, leisurely strides toward a new bistro he found tucked into a side street. Aptly named At First Bite, they had a hot pastrami and Swiss that hooked him the minute he sank his teeth into it. The thought elicited a rumble from his stomach. He’d wash it down with a beer and head back to Hitman afterward.

Approaching the bistro, Cooper scanned the outdoor tables and debated whether or not to eat inside when a familiar figure caught his eye. His father, Eric, placed two cups of what Cooper assumed was espresso in front of a young redhead and sat. As far as Coop knew his parents had never strayed...hell, if they had he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.

Hesitating, debating between the pastrami and the possibility of catching his father in a tenuous situation, Cooper’s decision was made when his father spotted him and waved him over.
Cooper smiled and strode toward them. If his father had been up to anything there was certainly no evidence of it by the look of pleasant surprise on his face.

“Cooper! Come on over here; you remember the Mahoney family from the old neighborhood? This is Katie, their youngest. Sit, join us, I’ll grab another coffee while you get re-acquainted.”
Eric offered a seat and then headed back to the counter for the espresso. Cooper acknowledged her with a nod and smile. He didn’t remember her. She was pretty enough, young and fresh-faced with a distinct innocence about her. Cooper immediately set aside any notion that his father might be playing matchmaker. There would have been no way he could anticipate that Cooper would show up there. Relaxing, he attempted to break the silence.

“I’m at a disadvantage here...it’s been a long time since the old neighborhood. Have we met before?”
She smiled. Her face held that same star-struck expression to which he'd grown accustomed.

“We’ve never met but I know you. I am a big fan of your music...and of you. I was so excited when I ran into your dad at the music store! In fact I was going to ask him about you.”
Shit. “I see.”
Katie leaned into him.

“I read about your divorce. You must have women throwing themselves at you...although I guess that wouldn’t be anything new. It must be so hard for you. If you ever want to talk...I’d be very willing...”
Katie’s hand found its way onto Cooper’s leg, moving up past his knee to his thigh. His body immediately and surprisingly reacted.

Gently removing her hand, not missing the words she’d emphasized, Cooper shifted in his seat and flashed a charming smile at her. Katie was right about one thing, it wasn’t anything new but it wasn’t what he wanted. If she thought she had any chance with him beyond a quick fuck she was mistaken. Not with some girl from the old neighborhood with connections to his family.

“You shouldn’t believe everything you read in a trashy tabloid. They rarely print the truth. My wife and I are not divorced and I’ve never been inclined to discuss the details of my marriage with anyone.”
“Here you go, son, just the way you like it!”

Returning to the table Eric hesitated, looking from Katie to Cooper with a rather perplexed expression. Rising, Cooper ignored the coffee his father offered.
“Thanks Dad but I’ve got to get back. Give Mom a kiss from me.”

He moved quickly back toward the studio, the pastrami and Swiss long forgotten. Maybe he should call her, maybe he should write her a letter...he kept on walking frustration escalating with each stride.

South Beach Metro Area East: Chameleon - 10:41 PM

Melinda unlocked the door to her private office, entered and shut the door firmly behind her. It was dark. Leaning against the door, easing the tension from her body she breathed in the quiet solitude before flipping the light switch on. Turning she gasped, stifling a scream at the sight of a man sitting on her loveseat.

“Finding strange men in my private office is really starting to get old. How did you get in here?”

Cooper smiled up at her from the couch. He stretched his long legs out and rested both arms on the sofa’s back. Any other woman would have taken it as an invitation.

“I charmed the kitchen staff into letting me in. They told me there was a private party going on upstairs. I wasn’t interested in being noticed. And I’m not sure I like being referred to as strange.”
Laughing, she set a high-backed chair next to him, settled into it and studied him. If Melinda knew one thing it was how to read a man. Cooper was tightly wound, a potent combination of sexual tension and sensuality. It was one of the things Melinda’s girls loved about him. She had even heard one of them admit that she’d be willing to pay him for a tumble. But looking deeper, looking behind the mask of the man who was openly appreciating the woman in front of him, she could see pain.

“Do you want to talk about it?”
He stood up and walked toward the fireplace, stared at his reflection in the mirror and then abruptly turned toward her.

“No, I want to fuck.”
Melinda’s place offered much more than the average gentleman's club. She decided awhile back that if she was going to run a whorehouse it would be the classiest and most exclusive club around. Her girls were beautiful, discreet, and highly skilled in all things sexual and sensual, but they weren't the only option for someone like Cooper.

“Coop, you could have any girl you wanted and at any time. Why come here?”
It wasn’t as if she really needed to ask the question. She knew the answer before he even opened his mouth. He was still in love with his wife. Anyone who knew him beyond the persona would see that. Cooper sighed and ran one hand through his hair, an uneasy, distracted gesture.
“Come on Mel, it isn’t like I want to go clubbing and meet a nice girl. I already met the girl; I trashed what I had and it doesn't look like I'm going to get it back. I’m not interested in dating or a relationship. I don’t want to deal with all the crap that comes with it. I need a good fuck - no strings, no empty promises to call, no expectations. Is your dance card free?”
He might need a lot of things but Melinda was certain he needed a friend. She would push it, try and get him to open up; maybe she could get him to see things differently.

“I’m a very good listener, Cooper. Talk to me; I’d like to help.”

“If you’re offering therapy the only kind I want involves you wrapping your legs around me. If that’s what you had in mind, then by all means, let’s talk.”
Folding her arms Melinda shook her head. “You know I won’t go there with you, Coop, not anymore.”

Cooper glanced away and then slid his eyes back to her. Any previous vulnerability, any sign of emotion had been replaced by pure, arrogant rock star.

“I know - figured I’d ask anyway. Since you won’t oblige I’d like that pretty little blonde, Lyra - and Onyx, both of them. Is the red room open?”


  1. Damn Coop! That's all I can say! A man will be a man and I'm sure this time a part from Beth has been hard on him but damn!

    Something needs to give and soon. Neither of them can seem to get over the other and both seem to be looking for distractions. Just...damn!

    P.S. that redhead groupie needs a cold shower! lol

  2. Dude. Melinda better not let him get his way...

    And I agree with Qui about the groupie, but she is GORGEOUS! Did you download her from somewhere (oh please oh please) or did you make her??

  3. God it hurts to see him like this, even if I am mad at him for (supposedly) getting Gemma pregnant. He really misses his wife and if he's not careful he's going to find himself going down the same dark path she had to pull him out of. I really hope Melinda can get him to talk his way through this instead of screw his way through it.

  4. Qui: Cooper is definitely not handling things well. He is lonely, and he is a very passionate and sensual man. He and Beth are intertwined and it is hard for both of them to move on. It's like losing a piece of oneself.

    Thank you from both of us!

  5. Christi: I think if Cooper wants something no one will stop him.

    And thank you about the groupie! She is homemade although I forgot that I use default brows so they didn't come over when I sent her to Beth. As a rule we do not share our characters but she will never appear again so I'll see what I can do...

    Thank you from SB and me!

  6. Muzegoddess: It does hurt and he can easily fall into old patterns and darkness. I'd like to think he is stronger and more mature than before. He hasn't let go of Beth anymore than she has let go of him. This separation to Cooper is not final. He wants her back but has yet to figure out how.

    Thank you!

  7. I understand about not sharing. I just think she's beautiful. Where are her eyes from?

  8. Wow Christi thank you! I admit for a girl who was only going to have a walk-on I spent a good deal of time on her. I love creating...

    Let me check on her eyes. I can't recall offhand but it isn't the set I usually use which is geneticized (I know that isn't a word but...)

  9. Christi: I'm having a hard time with the eyes. I know where I got them but the site is down...did you want Katie? And since I've never uploaded a sim for anyone, is there a protocol for packaging one with CC?

  10. You know, I was so happy when he brushed off the redhead, but my heart crashed to the floor in that last scene. He's really not handling the separation from Beth, and I'm with Qui, something's got to give soon; avoiding the problem will not make it go away.

  11. You know, I can't say that Cooper's behavior here surprises me. As hurt and tormented and hopelessly in love as he is, he's very passionate and very sexual. It's like water for him--he's going to need a good screw at some point, and since he's so hung-up on Beth, he might as well be with someone who understands the concept of no-strings-attached.

    Not saying that's the best way to go about it. Just sayin' it seems to be his way, and you did the right thing by keeping him in character :)

  12. Valpre: You bring up an interesting point about the redhead. He brushed her off but if she hadn't been a family friend and with Cooper's father that may have changed things. Cooper isn't handling things well, neither he nor Beth are coping. It may just get worse.

    Thank you so much!

  13. Van: I am so glad that you pointed that out...you nailed it with Cooper. The safest option for him was Mel's place - no tabloids, no strings, no commitments. Any other behavior would have definitely been out of character.

    Thank you Van from both of us.

  14. Poor Coop. The last thing he needed was the encounter with Katie, a reminder of just how screwed up and public his life is. The man can't even have a cup of coffee with his father without being molested.

    We all know that sex is one of his ways of getting out his frustrations, he's shown us that more than once. It's part of who he is, an integral part of the passion and talent that have got him where he is with his chosen career. But Melinda is a friend and it seemed to me that the reason he shut down so fast at the end, turning on the "arrogant rock star" act wasn't because she rejected him, but because she was right.

    He isn't coping but he doesn't know what to do about it so he'll do the thing he knows best - screw someone's brains out and hope that somehow in that post-orgasmic haze it will all fade away. Talking will just bring his vulnerabilities even closer to the surface and although that's what he needs, it would be far from what he wants.

  15. I hope he talks to someone soon, because he can't go on like that.

    He says that he doesn't believe he'll be getting Beth back. That's a bit surprising, but I guess it has been a little while and he's almost certainly heard that she's been seen around with Blade. I feel bad for both of them, and how miserable they seem to be. He has some good things happening for him, and he can't be happy about them because of his messed up personal life. I wonder how much worse it will be when Gemma has the baby...

    Awesome! Can't wait for more!

  16. A lovely young lady who certainly knows what she wants, lol! Hmmm, I do wonder what his dad was up to there - very fishy, especially since Cooper hadn't made any plans with him.

    I wasn't surprised to find him at Melinda's place either. In fact, it was what I figured he'd be doing, at least in a general sense. And I do get how he finds this option safe.

    Been there (I mean mentally - not at a whorehouse, lol!), and totally get it.

    I was also surprised to hear him say he doesn't think he'll get Beth back. He usually has so much more faith than that. But maybe it's healthy for him to realize how much is truly at stake, and that he might actually lose it after all. Reality kicks him in the ass. Hopefully it'll drive him to do something a little more productive about the situation next ;)

  17. I was wondering what Cooper was up to, and this solidified my musings.
    Love the shot with the hand on the leg. The fresh-faced girl isn't shy. At least Cooper didn't take her up on the offer, how crass to drag off a woman for a quick fuck with dear old dad as a witness.
    And he went to Melinda's. The depths of his torment and despair are deep indeed if he has slipped into 'arrogant rock star' mode.
    Wonderful and painful all at once.

  18. Illandrya: Yes! That was something that we really wanted to get across. Cooper is all of that, passionate, talented, creative and sensual. It is as much a part of him as his skin or his eyes. Deep down he did know Mel was right; he knew she would say no. It wouldn't have been the first time or the last that Cooper used sex to escape. By ignoring how he feels he is setting himself up for a harder fall.

    Makes me wonder if Katie hadn't been with Eric, would he have talked some sense into Coop...

    Thanks so much from Beth and I.

  19. Rachel: I don't think Cooper has completely given up hope where Beth is concerned. Right now he isn't making any headway and the closer she gets to Blade the harder it will be. He's frustrated and lonely. His reaction to Gemma and the baby...well that is a little ways down the road but we'll see if that deals the final blow to him or not.

    Thank you very much!

  20. Laura: I think if Eric was running around on Cassandra he'd be in big BIG trouble! They are a pretty happily married couple. And that is one thing Cooper always wanted; unfortunately his career and lifestyle as well as his choices made that difficult for him to manage.

    Cooper's choice was actually fairly logical. He is right about the fact that it's a safe haven for him. Even the kitchen staff will help him hide from the general public!

    Of all the things Cooper has done in the past, this one rocked him the most. He made a grave mistake by underestimating Beth's ability to support and accept his mistakes and to forgive. Honesty and trust...if you don't have that...

    He expected he'd have her back by now. He is definitely beginning to realize just how much damage he did to their marriage.

    Thank you Laura.

  21. ~Drew: I don't think it was much of a surprise that he would turn to Mel's girls. That shot was great wasn't it? Beth gets some outstanding shots.

    I don't think Eric would have approved of him dragging the family friend's daughter off for a quickie at all! LOL!

    Thanks so much from B and I.

  22. At least he went to Mel's and didn't take the red head up on her offer. I can't believe she was so ballsy and with his father just around the corner. *shakes head*

    Beth and Coop need to talk it out and decide to move forward with the divorce or try and work it out. But both are moving on...well I guess that's what a separation is for.

    I loved seeing Coop again. He was at his highest at the beginning which was refreshing!

    The shots are gorgeous as well.

  23. Phoenix: It is amazing how forward some people can be...

    Beth and Cooper are stuck in a tenuous situation. Neither of them wants out of the marriage, they aren't talking, and they both should because there is a lot of assumption going on about what the other wants.

    Coop is at his highest when he is doing something musical. It runs through him like energy. He needs his family to make it complete though.

    Thanks about the shots. We try very hard to make them work. And it is so good to have you back...

  24. Groupie girl is so cute!

    I find it hard to sympathise with Cooper at the moment. He needs to actually take responsibility for his actions rather than paying lip service to the concept. I get the idea he feels more sorry for himself than anyone else. Still love Melinda though, and I really enjoyed the last chapter with all the band members in it.

  25. Rad: thanks about groupie girl. Cooper needs to get his act together and I suspect he will at some point.

    We are both excited about the new band members. You'll be seeing more of them soon.

  26. I don't know who does most of the lot/set building or if you both share the job but I thought this chapter in particular, the settings were really wonderful.

    I can sympathise with Cooper. But only just. He's lost his wife and doesn't see a way to fix it right now, if there is one. But...he's sort of being a bit of a brat/playing the victim right now and he's making it hard to feel sorry for him. I hope Melinda doesn't give into him.

    I really liked the scene at the bistro. Katie looking all starstruck at Cooper and her busy hands under the table were fantastic.

  27. Carla, we share the task. For the bistro set, I used a nenghi65 bakery lot and changed it to make it work for the scene. Gayl created Melinda's office.

    Cooper is being a bit of a brat. He thought it would be easy to fix and it isn't, and he's not at all happy about it. Melinda isn't going to stand in his way. She's a friend but she's a business woman. If he wants to buy himself a couple of girls, it's his decision, his choice. He said he wanted it, she gave it to him. Melinda is not his conscience.

    We both liked Katie and the feelup under the table!

    Thank you from both of us!

  28. I'm always amazed by how you guys combine the beautiful visual with the writing in your work, it's like beyond a game, the world and everything in it seems completely real. The bistro scene was just gorgeous! And I had a giggle at Coop thinking what his dad was up to, seriously Coop?

    I like Melinda more each time I see her, love that she pushes him to open up to her, it probably would do him some great good, seeing as how well she knows him.

    Great update guys, will come back later to read the next one!

  29. thank you Emily!!! Those shots in the bistro were so hard to get; had to avoid some directions since the map runs off into nothing LOL!

    Melinda is wonderful. Cooper comes close to opening up with her, closer than he probably would have with anyone else, but there's a line he doesn't cross.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you from both of us.

  30. LOL at Katie!!!

    Oh oh.. Cooper!
    It does hurt to see him hurting like he is... but with his actions he is not/will not make things better...
    I know he is not the romantic type, but instead of visiting Melinda's place, he should be calling/visiting/stalking Beth every second of the day... if she doesn't want to see him, stay there till she gets tired of him and accepts to see him!!

    Oh god.. but he is stubborn and damn hot rock star...

  31. S@n, Cooper's pretty stubborn, and he was shut out hard. I think he would be romantic if he thought there was any chance that a romantic gesture would fix the mess.

    Celibacy is not on his list of 'virtues' LOL! From his perspective, it's simpler and safer to get what he wants from Chameleon. He's not interested in getting involved with anyone, and none of the women there expect that from him.

    Thank you from both of us!

  32. Ahh, so this is Cooper, the guy Beth is obsessed with. He must be amazing in bed. That's if they hooked up. lol

  33. tommiegirl, LMAO, yeah, I think it's safe to say Cooper is amazing in bed.

    If you read those first 7 little intro pieces at the bottom of the chapter list, starting with Rescue, their relationship will be clearer.

    (Blade doesn't know that she is the one who kicked Coop out, not the other way around.)

  34. Seconding SBs reply. There is a lot of history between Beth and Coop.

    Thanks again

  35. I don't trust Katie...but I DO love this cheeky line: “If you’re offering therapy the only kind I want involves you wrapping your legs around me. If that’s what you had in mind, then by all means, let’s talk.”