Sunday, March 27, 2011

Studio Time: Eight

South Beach: 109 Harbor Place - 11 PM

It was a cool evening, the scent of fresh rain that had come and gone still lingering with the salt air. Blade led Beth to the patio and wrapped strong arms around her as he lowered his mouth onto hers and kissed her, his mouth warm, his body warm. They sat on steps lurching a little crookedly down to the beach, leaning into each other until a gust of wind snatched at the firelight, tossing embers across the stone and sand. She moved one sandaled foot and stepped on the fire until it blinked itself to death.

"About Dani," he began.

Yes, about Dani. There had been another one after her. She had googled them all and looked at the photos and read the little Wiki entry about each one and how somebody thought they'd met and how somebody thought they'd split. She hadn't learned much and hadn't thought much about what she had learned until Danica Cole walked out of wiki and spoke to her. How important was it to know if the man she was dating was still involved with an ex? How important was the man? She didn't know, and his hand was down between her knees and hers was right there and this was not the time, if there was a time, to talk about yet another ex, but not now it wasn't. He was hot and close and hard and she didn't want to talk about Dani or Gemma or Julia.

"You don't need to explain anything to me about her, Blade. Trust me, I understand about women from a man's past. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and shredded it."

He framed Beth's face in his large hands and tenderly kissed her. "Tonight I'm not Blade. I'm just a man, just Alex, someone who wants to be here for you, and I want you to understand. I need to explain."

The harbor lights across the bay lit the side of his face, dim and distant but bright enough to show those freckles. Uneasy memory pricked at her. Why did he have to have freckles. She stepped back out of the embrace and shivered, a quick strange shudder, and looked up at him. She'd gone further with this than she ever intended to go and bringing the ex into it, explaining about the ex, she didn't want to care about anybody's ex. "Alex," she began, found an edge in her voice and stepped back from that, too, and tried again. "If you think I need to know, go ahead and explain but I don't. Need to know."

"It's okay. I’ll make you a deal, sit down over there, get comfortable, if you're cold, and babe you're shivering, I'll throw another log on the fire. I can be a son of a bitch but I don't lie and I don't keep secrets from the woman I'm with. Whatever you want to know, you can ask me."

Kicking off her shoes, she curled up on the wide couch, recognizing it as more than a couch, watching him toss wood into the narrow firebox, set it aflame, and expecting him to join her. He didn't. He knelt down on the stone and said simply, "Truth or dare. I go first. It’s simple . Dani and I were pretty happy considering I was gone a lot but she wanted to start a family right away, while she was young enough to get back into modeling. You know how I feel about kids - I’m not going to be an absentee father - so I said no. That was the one thing we never could agree on, timing for her was perfect but for me not so much. It was a deal breaker. That’s it.”

Truth or dare? They could have waited. Beth didn’t remember how old Danica was, but a model’s shelf life was short, even a supermodel with the face and the legs and the long thin waist that was Danica's. He wanted truth or dare, give him some. "All right," she said flatly. "My turn. Alex, you’ve been telling me that my feelings for Coop are written on my face. You think I don’t see the same thing on yours? On Dani’s? I think there is more to it than you are letting on or even admitting to yourself. If you still love her...”

“I don’t.” Alex stood suddenly and took her in his arms. He kissed her passionately, his lips both soft and hard at the same time. His eyes lit with desire, Alex eased up while his hands moved along her back until he finally pulled her close to him. “Let’s not waste any more time talking about the past. I would much rather spend my time with you, here and now.”

“Alex...” As if time was something she was wasting and the past was just the present hiding behind the door, how do you spend time. Put a nickel in the slot pull the hammer and hope you get something always hoping for something hoping for the jackpot not Cooper no point hoping for that because it was done and she was left here with whatever was left, and it was more than she deserved. Maybe he was using her and maybe it didn't matter find the time wait until you hear it wait until you see it. Beth slid her hands down Alex’s back, fingers gently crossing his shoulders, reaching up to find his mouth again and breathing more damned time into that kiss. “Do you remember what you said, that you would help me to let go? Are you sure you’ve let her go?”

He chuckled, the laughter genuine and delighted and some of Alex goofy because he did that beguiling unexpected tilt. “Are you jealous, babe? You don’t need to be jealous. I’m sure, I’m damned sure.” Leaning over, he nipped at her neck, cupped one breast and ran his thumb across her nipple, all charm and all sex and his voice husky as he returned, “Are you?”

The gentle sister Jealousy, she had never spoken and she was still silent and it wasn’t for her that she whispered, “Make me forget.”

“It will be my pleasure.” Alex began to slowly undress her leaving a trail of kisses along her bare skin as it was revealed. The small click of his buckle as she loosened his belt, and then she glanced up at his face.

Something in her heart slammed. All the doors and windows flying shut, a storm draft of emotion and memory ripping off hinges banging them into walls and floor and bringing down the ceiling of her life. Into the labyrinth she descended. He took her body, and shaking with sex and desire and the heat of his mouth, she still turned her face away from him. You dropped the thread're lost...


  1. These two do have some good chemistry, although I'm not sure I can see them being together long-term. Hell, I'm not even sure they're together now. But they both have someone they're trying to get over and they seem to have otherwise similar needs right now and given their personalities, I think they could still be friends if it ended.

    Love the writing here. The ending was almost ethereal, with the allusive prose and the gorgeous lighting. Great work :)

  2. That is an interesting observation Van! They really aren't together although I think Beth is more aware of that than Alex is. I completely agree about the friendship though.

    Blade's choices in women is really fascinating. Dani even mentioned that Beth had similar looks to wives #1 and #4. Digging into what draws him to the ones he chooses is a side note that SB and I have talked about.

    Thank you so much from both of us!! B did a wonderful job using light here. I am so glad you mentioned it. :)

  3. Wow, these two! The worse thing you can do is lean on the next to get over the last and I am not so convinced that Alex is as over her as he says. When you have prime rib in front of you, you don't think about your last meal.
    They go so well together and as Van said, I honestly believe they could possibly be the best of friends.

    Everything actually works out for them. He doesn't want to father children because he doesn't want to be an absentee father while Beth's children already have a father and that is not what she is in search of. I just don't know. I think Coop still has that place in my heart.

    Something in her eyes in that last shot is sticking with me. They reveal a sort of sadness and uncertainty. I hope she figures things out soon!

    Coop needs to get back in this! Find an over the top but private way to win her back! Sorry, I do know. He still has my heart!

    The shots were beyond amazing and the writing alone was enough to explain every thought, feel, and emotion! Always happy to see these updates!

  4. Qui, I like these two together. I didn't want to like them together, but I didn't like Alex at first either. Beth is with him for the wrong reason, but sometimes you need an excuse to get involved with someone, and Alex's initial motives were kind of mixed, too. They like each other despite themselves. He's more than a distraction and she's more than a trophy. However, at least one of them is still in love with somebody else.

    I am really struggling with the exterior lighting. I had lights all over the place: up in the air and on the ground and on the wall and I still couldn't get rid of some of the shadows or light the faces the way I wanted. It's frustrating.

  5. Something about Alex caught me when he was first introduced. I had that "Oh no" feeling and as we saw more of him he grew on me to the point that I began to like this pair as well. Figures they'd both go into it with one motive and in the center, realize there may be more. I hope that somebody is Beth.

    It really looks beautiful! I'm on the outside and see not one flaw but I know what you mean! Tons of lights everywhere just to get the shadows where you need them. Still very beautiful!

  6. Beautiful update ladies! I loved the shots, the lighting was just gorgeous, whatever you did Beth it worked out phenomenally!

    Interesting pair, these two. I'm totally with Van, it doesn't really appear that they are actually together and that last shot - wow!

    I do like that Alex offered up an explanation about Dani, even though Beth didn't "need" to hear it, that speaks about his character to me, I like him much better than when he first appeared. He is one to grow on you!

  7. That last shot...there's so much sadness in her face when sadness should be the last thing on her mind...I think it says something without saying anything at all. *sigh*

    I wonder if Beth had asked Blade how long it's been since he slept with his ex if he would have answered directly. He was quick to say that he wasn't in love with her(and I don't think he is, not really!) but that's really not the time to play truth or dare just like Beth said.

    Love, love, LOVE the writing and the shots are just amazing. I love the play of shadows on their faces as they shift and as the conversation moves along! Wonderful job.

    As much as I'm disgusted with Coop for what he did he needs to get back on the scene before Beth really falls out of love with him*crossing fingers that she's still in love with him*.

  8. Awww. :(

    It's too bad--I think if they wouldn't have played that game of Truth or Dare that she might have actually enjoyed the sex at the time and regretted it later. It seems like she regrets it almost immediately, but she wants to force herself to heal. She wants to tell herself that she's ready and she'll do it even if she really isn't. I'm getting a totally different vibe from Blade's side--he's just eager. He doesn't even seem to care that he's a distraction at this point--she isn't coy or sly about it, either, she asks him to make her forget.

    Beautiful chapter, but so very sad.

  9. Emily: I think both Alex and Beth went into this with completely different expectations about what each of them would get. There is definitely appreciation, an honest friendship, but at the end I think that reality struck, at least for her. I didn't really make her forget. I think it resonated even more what she has lost. Alex is a good guy and he does try to be up front.

    Phoenix: She is sad and I don't think that will ever really leave her no matter what happens down the road. As for whether or not Blade would honestly answer, I believe he would. I don't think he would deny what he had going with Dani and it has been a little bit longer than what it may appear since he and Dani had sex. As for Coop, he hasn't been completely out of the picture but things in other areas need to be settled before he will make a full on move.

    Rachel: I have to agree...Alex could have waited for a better time to explain about Dani. From Beth's point of view, she doesn't think there is a chance that she and Cooper will reconcile but the heart wants what the heart wants and forgetting, letting go is not so easy. She is trying and she truly does enjoy Blade's company.

    Thank you all so much from both of us.

  10. That was quite the intimate post and not just because of the sex. It was interesting that Beth seems to be trying to convince herself that everything isn't as serious as it might be. It certainly looks like there could be potential for it to be serious.

    I can understand why she might be quite cautious to let someone in but I hope there's some A for effort on Alex's part because he was forthcoming about the information. He certainly didn't have to but usually these things can come back and bit a guy in the ass later on.

    Lovely work ladies. I noticed the play on lighting here and it worked out wonderfully!

  11. Choco, thank you. Thank you for sticking with us and taking the time to leave a comment. It means a lot.

    Beth is trying to convince herself that she isn't falling in love with Alex. And Alex...he gets more than an A for effort. He's driving a dangerous road, he's pushing it and he's not holding anything back. However. He married four women and he thought he was in love with each and every one of them. And he's as reckless as he was the first time and every time and as thoroughly convinced he knows what he's doing.

    The lighting was hard to work with. Really hard.

    Again, thank you so much from both of us. I really love your work, too. It's a great feeling to get a comment from a writer I admire.

  12. LOL, I just LOVE that she Googled all of his wives for some reason - I think it's probably something I'd do too! :D

    Not the best time to bring up Dani, but considering they just ran into her, I can see why he'd want to clear the air about her. (Is this the same night as the last piece?)

    OMG, such good lines in this! "Trust me, I understand about women from a man's past. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and shredded it." LOVE!

    And that ending, so beautiful and painful! The look on her face says it all! :(

  13. thank you, Laura. We had trouble with this scene and kept rewriting it, changing the point of view and other things, which is why it wasn't included with the previous chapter.

    It does take place the same night, so it sort of made sense that he would want to clarify things. Plus, Alex has four ex wives (and hell yes I'd google them too LOL) which seems to me sort of offputting. I mean, what went wrong all those times? It was a difficult piece to write. Both of them are struggling with a lot of baggage.

    That last shot was a killer to get. So thank you from both of us!!

  14. Having followed your work for a little over a year now, your guys still leave me speechless all the time, with every update. This was beautiful, the writing and the visuals.

    I must admit when Blade started chasing Beth, I really didn't think much of him, and maybe Beth's right, maybe he's just using her, but in this scene, letting himself be vulnerable and open with her kind of showed me a different side to him. He's no Cooper that's for sure, and he's not Ryan either, but I think he is who Beth needs at the moment.

    I hope she finds her light, and figures out her way. I hope she gets to a point where Ryan, Cooper and Blade stop colliding into each other in her mind.

    It's so sad to see her so sad. That last shot was incredible, the emotions etched on her face were just too much, beautifully heart wrenching.

  15. are way too kind but thank you.

    Alex isn't pure of heart. He went after Beth to get to Cooper. They both found something unexpected in each other: maybe not great love (not yet) but understanding and friendship and some good sex. He's hanging onto Dani whether he admits it or not, and she is hanging onto Cooper (and Ryan). Sometimes you just can't let go.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave us a comment. It means a lot to both of us.

  16. These are some of the most beautiful shots I've ever seen! The ominous shadows with wisps of light, so beautiful. It compliments the wonderful writing so well.

    Truth or dare is such a fitting metaphor here because they are both only half telling their version of the truth about their feelings and for Beth this really seems like a dare she's challenged herself with to try and move on from her life with Cooper.

    Her face in that last shot just tore me up inside. There is nothing like wanting to want something other than the thing you know your really want and realizing that the new "something" is not enough. But she's crossed a line now and it will be interesting to see what comes of it.

    Once again, beautiful update.

  17. Muzegoddess...thank you. Wow! I'm overwhelmed and so flattered! Not only were the shots difficult to get, but the emotions in this scene were about as shadowy and elusive as the shots.

    They're both playing a game of truth or dare with themselves. Alex is a strange mix of bravado, confidence, ambition and romance. Beth is an equally difficult mix of stubbornness and denial and romance. They are both passionate and romantic people, and they are both individually and as a team spinning a tale they'd like to believe. Both of them have failed spectacularly in the past, but they soldier on...

    Thank you SO much from both of us!

  18. Managed to read a couple of updates this morning, this was heartbreaking to me on a few levels, maybe it was the look on Beth's face in that last shot.

    I like this 'Alex' side of Blade. I think he is in love with the idea of love, not sure he has ever really been. Unless I am way off base as always, LOL! In other words, I think he has the capacity for love, but has never been 'all in' hence the 4 ex-wives. Interesting to see where this relationship with Beth heads. A grand romance, I can't see it, but stranger things have happened.

    Wonderfully done, hit every emotional point in words and images~

  19. Thank you so much, Drew, from both of us! I hope you're feeling better!

    Alex is definitely in love with the idea of being in love. He got his heart broken twice (, but so far it hasn't stopped him. Was he all in with two ex's he really cared about? The first, he was probably too young. With Dani, probably not.

    I can see Alex and Beth ending as friends, but I agree that it's hard to visualize a great romance. The 'romance' chemistry between them just is not there.

    Again, thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave us a comment. Your support means a great deal to us.

  20. I'm still very unpleased with these two. I know they have been through their own tumultuous relationship or whatever but it just seems as though both of them are just running from that past and aren't over it yet and that's no way to start a relationship with someone else IF you are serious.

    She can't and WON'T get over Coop as much as she says she has. I can't see it. It's not going to happen and yet here she is sleeping with another man trying not to even look at him...that's a sign Beth that you shouldn't be there with him!

    I loved this! It had so much in it! I like how Blade said he'd tell her anything and when she actually started to ask questions he shut her down LOL way to keep th at promise there Blade! :P

  21. Daijahv, Alex has built a marital history of poor choices and emotional decisions. Beth has always avoided reality; she denies what she doesn't want to see or deal with until it blows up in her face. She doesn't want to be in love with Cooper even though she obviously is. Alex isn't thinking deeply about the situation; he's just going for what he wants.

    And yes, Alex shut her down when she got too close to the truth about Dani. It wasn't what he wanted to talk about.

    Thank you!!