Sunday, April 24, 2011

Studio Time: Eleven

South Beach: The Harbor Hotel - 4 PM

Somehow he'd expected a whole chorus line of ballerinas, all of them decked out in pink tulle and tiaras and twinkling around like a bunch of escapees from a music box. There were two of them. One wore what looked like her workout clothes and the other something he'd find in a strip club or gracing one of Mel’s whores. Hugs held onto him, hiding her face and peeking out, and Cooper tightened his grip around his daughter's hand and glared at Sydney. "Where are the ballerinas?”

"It's early," she assured him. She straightened a box with the toe of her shoe and glanced out the window toward the stage where Rob Porter had been standing but no longer was. "The other girls are on their way."

The 'girls' stopped strutting and posing. Turning, the elegant lift of their arms, a move he recognized and appreciated but another time, not this time, they stared at him out of painted eyes. One of them said to the other, "Oh my god. It IS Cooper."


Syd swept across the room, shooing them, and they fluttered back behind a curtain, still whispering and peeping back at him. This wasn’t what Hugs had expected; it wasn’t what she wanted and it wasn’t what he wanted. No ballerinas, no deal.

“You know why I’m here.” Finding a reasonable voice, making an edged smile, brightening it for his daughter’s sake. “I’m not going anywhere until I get what I want. Do you understand me?”

"Cooper.” Syd looked annoyed. She replaced the annoyed with something resembling patience, crossing the room toward him, heels clicking on the wood, each step an exclamation point. “We have a tv crew standing by waiting for you. I did explain the schedule.”

Hugs released her death grip, dropped the bunny on the floor and ran one small hand reverently across the ballet barre. It was the first time since they’d arrived that she seemed comfortable. Lowering his voice, Cooper stepped closer to Syd. “You’re not listening to me, Sydney. I don’t give a damn about your schedule; I’m not leaving her.”

"I'll stay with her. They're not waiting to interview me. I don't even go up until after Wyatt."

Rayne, strolling up alone although Cooper doubted she was here without Jimmy Breaux, kneeling down beside her little sister. "Maybe they'll let us practice some ballet before the rest of the ballerinas get here. Maybe you could show me all those ballerina positions because I don’t know a single one of them!”

Striking up from the floor, still smiling. "We won’t have a problem with that, will we? Syd.”

Sydney put one six inch heel next to Rayne’s hand where she'd splayed it on the bare floor, avoiding skin by millimeters, and smiled right back. "No problem at all. Rayne."

Hugs stared at herself in the mirrors, twisting to look at the back of her dress. Cooper watched Sydney pound off down the foyer talking urgently on her cell, until Rayne finally said to her father, "You don't look happy to be here."

“I’m not. I would much rather write a check than sell my time but...” Cooper drew a breath and tried to rein in his aggravation. “Hugs was excited about it and I couldn’t disappoint her...that’s all I seem to be doing lately.”

Two more little girls ran into the room, followed by a little boy who sat down on the floor and refused to move. Wyatt would have done that, or Nate. He wasn't sure about Eric; he didn't know what Eric would have done. If Gemma's kid had been his -

“Mom’s going to be here, maybe she’ll bid on you."

Dragging his attention away from the boy, Cooper crossed his arms and tried to focus. Years ago he would have considered Beth bidding on him pretty damned sexy, but not now. If he had to watch her bid on fucking Alex...his stomach churned at the thought, but if she did, he'd deal with it. That wasn't going to last. He knew her. He knew her the same way she knew him, right down to bone and blood and the spark that lit them both up. “I would never want your mother to buy time with me, Rain Drop. I could never let her do that.”

Rayne put her hand on his arm. There was nothing gentle about Rainie, but the gesture was kind and firm and unbearably sweet. She took a step back, folding her arms, watching Hugs and Heydon’s bratty son circle each other. Another sour thought...if Jay was here, that meant Camilla was somewhere close and carrying her basket full of unwanted advice, Cammie's basket of poison candy eggs. Hugs danced; Jay banged on the mirror; the unknown boy howled, and Rayne stood quietly in the late afternoon sunlight and looked at him. “It’s going to be all right, Dad, I know it is.”


  1. I love this one. Whimsical and happy through the eyes of a little girl, an unnecessay annoyance to her father, and a hazy flash of past innocence lost for her older sister. Big fat headache for Syd all the way around. And yes, I do think she would've stepped on Rayne's hand if she thought she could get away with it.

    My heart can't help but bleed for Cooper. Even though this is his own doing he never meant to lose the woman who makes him whole and he seems so empty without her. And I love the way he still calls his daughter Rain Drop. Just having an "I love Cooper" moment.

    Lovely and touching update.

  2. Ha, Sydney would totally stomp on Rayne's hand! I almost thought she was going to, actually but I suppose she still needs Cooper on side. Stomping on his daughter's hand wouldn't do much to help that.

    I always appreciate an appearance by Hugs. She's like a little ray of sunshine in this rather adult world she's living in. Cooper and Rayne are both so tender with her.

    Wonderful chapter and I loved your dance studio set!

  3. I have to mimic Muzegoddess! I am loving Cooper right now. Normally I would not feel any pain for anyone who did he did but I do and I can't seem to move on until I see him happy. That may never come but still...

    I see him making up with Hugs and by this I mean for his lack of time with the others. I see him being there for Hugs as he has been with Rayne since the whole Gemma thing came about and even the rehab visits. That makes me love him even more.

    Rain Drop! I love that still!

    Cooper not being able to let Beth bid on him says a lot. Especially because he'd just deal with her bidding on Blade. I have hope ( like Rayne) that she'll bid on Cooper! That would be a perfect time for them to talk and get everything out there.

    I have no doubt in my mind she would have stepped on her hand! And that Jay is a mean little replica of his mother.

    I agree, lovely and touching!

    Which prompt table are you two using? I'm sure I can pinpoint which one this best fits for you so you can add it.

  4. Muzegoddess...he does still call his daughter Rain Drop. Rayne lost her innocence a long time ago but she loves her little sister.

    Coop is one very unhappy man, but it really isn't all his fault. He does what he does, but Beth tore it down first.

    Syd would have stepped on her hand, no doubt.

    I love Hugs. I hope she survives. And thank you, from both of us!

  5. Carla, WHAT dance studio set?? I wish I had one! I found some stuff that sort of works so thank you!!

    Hugs is the only one of all Cooper's children who has, so far, been shielded from the world he lives in. I just love her. That innocence probably won't last long.

    Sydney would have stomped on Rayne's hand for sure if she didn't need Cooper. Syd does not like someone in her face.

    Thank you!!!

  6. Qui, Cooper is damned determined to make things different with Hugs. He blew it with the rest of his children, this time he wants to keep her safe and happy and he's probably not going to be able to do that. But he is trying.

    I wouldn't give him a pass for what he did either, but he's running on empty now.

    Rayne has always been on his side. Not entirely for great motives. Doing her mother's boyfriend blew that relationship up forever. She's a spoiled monster but she does see things clearly, and she does love her father and she really loves her little sister. Seeing Rayne as a mommy here....Gayl don't hit me...

    We're using the second prompt table. Table 2.

    Thank you so much for all your support. Here and everywhere.

  7. Sydney is being pretty bitchy for someone who wants her way! Doesn't she know she needs to be all sweetness and light if she wants Cooper to cooperate? I can't believe she nearly stomped on Rayne's hand...I have a feeling that wouldn't have gone over well with Cooper.

    Rayne coming to the rescue is sweet. Poor Hugs--somebody needs to stomp on Sydney's hand. Great update!

  8. Rachel thank you!

    Syd is distracted. She's losing someone she loves and she can't fix it. Not sure she really cares what Cooper thinks or wants but she's pushing through it because she has to. And if she stomped on Rayne's hand, Cooper would have done more than walk out. A Rayne scream would have brought Toad hauling ass up there, too. Sydney out the window.

    Thank you again, from both of us. You take care of yourself!!

  9. What are the prompts?

    Lovely shots again in this update, I'm very much looking forward to the charity event - and I always love seeing Hugs. She's so precious... at least right now.

  10. Thank you, Rad.

    Here is the link to the three prompt tables:

    The challenge is to use all of the prompts in one of the three tables before choosing a second table. A few people have managed to use all the prompts on all three tables, not an easy task at all.

  11. Coop is so intense and broody in this piece! I can't help but ♥ him...AGAIN!!! Gah! But they had an agreement. Hugs wants to see tutus!! Coop is not please and that line about not wanting Beth to buy time with him...lawd!! Coop! Why can't I quit you??? ;)~

    Rayne spending some time with her littler sister was sweet and Coop calling her Rain Drop...I-I just stared at my screen with a stupid grin on my face! LOL!!! As much crap goes on I sometimes forget that they were probably all close at some point in time in their lives! If they could just get back...

    Why is Sydney upset? Did she and Rob have a disagreement? Interesting, interesting!

    Loved this guys! Awesome as always! I really like the little studio that you did. Little details that made it pop!:)

  12. LOL Phoenix! Hugs wants some tutus!! I didn't realize there were different kinds of tutus until I started working on this.

    Cooper is moody and intense and trapped in a situation that's almost guaranteed to make him feel even worse. He's started relying on Rayne; as she has matured, she's become someone he feels close to on an adult level, but she's still his little Rain Drop.

    I think it's safe to say that something has definitely stressed Sydney's composure.

    Thank you about the studio. It took a little bit of work to come up with something that wasn't too big but was still large enough to work in. Finding the ballet barre was a stroke of luck.

    Thank you so much from both of us!

  13. LOVELY update! The screenshots are perfect, I am in awe in the amount of detail in each shot. Really inspiring!

    Hugs is adorable! Her name is so fitting, she seems so sweet and innocent. I wonder if she will turn out like Rayne however? Seems like she will be forced to grow up before her time with everything going on around her. Innocence only lasts so long...

    I love Cooper's pet name for his daughter, 'Rain drop', so sweet!

    Very nicely done, Flawless! Looking forward to more!

  14. I'm finally getting a moment to leave a comment.

    It was interesting to see Coop all anxious about ballerinas and Hugz possibly being disappointed with him.

    As always I loved the update, especially since it showed Coop and Hugz. I love Rayne too, but Coop's relationship with Hugz reminds me over and over why I'm still rooting for him even after so many of his mess-ups. He's a great dad when it comes to Hugz, or he's really trying, and no one can take that away from him.

    BTW, happy belated birthday, Beth.

  15. Thank you Lucid Dreams! Hugs really is adorable. You're right about innocence not lasting but I am not sure she will take the same path that Rayne did. She is very different and growing up in a different situation than Rayne.

    So glad you enjoyed this - thank you from both of us!

  16. Valpre, Cooper does not want to let that little girl down. He is doing something (the auction). He carries a lot of guilt about not being there for his other children and Hugs is his last chance to do the right thing as far as he is concerned. Disappointing her is not something he wants.

    Thank you so much from both of us. We are all a bit behind on reading so please don't worry about that...

  17. Okay, I am caught up. Even though I may not "get" all the background, I think I will be fine.
    I love your pictures...they are Awesome. I am sure you hear that a lot.
    Can't wait for the next update.

  18. Thank you, Holley. Rayne and her father are good. Rayne and her mother, not so much. Teenage girl seducing her mother's lover ISO her one great mysterious childhood fantasy prince is something they're not going to ever get past. Coop will probably get over his wife and Ryan since there's a pot calling the kettle black issue.

    Thank you so much from both of us. Our shots are a collaboration. We both appreciate the time you took to read this and leave a comment, more than we can say. Thank you!

  19. I usually leave better comments, it's just that I have so much to absorb. LOL!

  20. Holley, I am overwhelmed with gratitude that you left any comment. That you read it at all. You do not even know how grateful.

  21. Oo, I second Carla's sentiment. Hugs is a little ray of sunshine. I can't wait to see her grown up, but not too soon. As a kid, she's so darn adorable and sweet and she really manages to bring out the best in both Cooper and Raine.

    And I love when Cooper gets all Cooper-y like this. They had an agreement, and he's not backing down. That seems to really be the only way to deal with Syd.

  22. Lunar, I think Hugs is definitely the ray of sunshine. How Coop and Beth can look at her and not see the love that made her and fix things is remarkable. She could very well end up the strongest of all of the Stanfield kids.

    May I say I love the idea that Cooper can be Cooper-y? Like it's an actual thing? Which, he informs me, is quite true.

    Thank you from us both.

  23. I, too, am turning into a Hugs fan. What a lovely girl. I wonder how much tension she picked up from Cooper. With all the drama surrounding this lovely little girl's life makes me sad because I'm afraid that it will dampen her sunshine. I hope now. The fact that Gayl mentions that she may be the strongest gives me hope.

    Is it a terrible thing for me to think that I could see the most awesome cat-fight between Sydney and Rayne? They both seem to have that something that is too big for both of them to be in the same room at the same time.

    P.S. - My money would be on Rayne.

  24. Choco, thank you!

    Hugs is a very empathetic child; she would pick up on her father's unease and tension without understanding what was going on. Despite the fact that she trusts him, the situation scared her.

    Oh god LOL! Rayne and Sydney? Rayne would definitely come out on top in a cat fight with Syd and just about everyone else! Thanks for the really amusing image!

    Thank you so much from both of us!

  25. LOL Syd is NOT happy! Please woman, step on my hand and watch what happens :P

    Aww poor Cooper! I am still blown away by the amount of love he has for Hugs. It’s so heartwarming and I can’t get enough of it. He really is such a deep person and I’d seriously do time for him for beating his wife senseless just for him! I swear.

    Ok, no I am not overlooking what he did to her but I mean come on, the man is really trying and she is traipsing off to some warm body that she doesn’t even seem to want to be around…denial is a bitch and hiding those feelings will only make matters worse…

    Now Rayne. I get the sneaky feeling that someone dark, handsome and dangerous is waiting for her at that auction :D (so jealous) lol I can’t wait to see who bids on her…though I know who I want to win >:)

  26. Daijahv, yeah. If Syd stepped on Rayne's hand, she'd lose the foot.

    Cooper is a complicated person, arrogant and temperamental, but he does love his little girl and he's going to protect her, damn it!

    Beth has always aced denial. She's been called on it by her friends, by her lover, and by her husband, but it's what she does. That's one of the reasons she doesn't get along with Rayne, who also called her on it. LOL and you have my permission to smack her!

    Rayne is blissfully unaware of what's out there waiting to bid on her...

  27. Hugs = love! She's just soooo adorable and yay for Cooper wanting to improve as a Daddy, no ballerinas, no deal! Love it! :D

    Beautiful shots and writing to go along as always, on to the next one!

  28. We both love Hugs so much. And Cooper really wants to be there for her and be a good dad.

    Thank you Emily!!