Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Studio Time: Fourteen

There was nothing wrong with his shirt. Uneasy and on edge, Alex waited, trying to catch whatever was going on between Rob and Syd and a breath from an open window. It was sultry, uncomfortable, lightning in the clouds over the marina and an inadequately cooled and ventilated room. Duff walked in wearing that same damned smug expression he always had when he thought he had something remarkable to take back and work over.

He'd had a couple of encounters with Duff's dream girl. Good luck with that piece of ass. She came with a mouth and an attitude to dress up those legs and tits and if he got past that, she came packaged with Cooper. Someone should turn up the AC in this place...Camilla giving him a strange look as she grabbed a manhattan and went somewhere else more interesting but that woman was always strange.

"Rob Porter!" Sydney was screaming. Rob walked out onto the stage, not looking at him, looking at nothing, and sat down on a bar stool. He hooked one leg into the rungs, shifted his shoulders under the suit jacket, straightening it, and, being Rob, did nothing else. He lit up the stage by doing nothing but sitting on a damned bar stool. The overhang and the walled courtyard protected him and the audience from the worst of the rain, but the wind was picking up. They'd have to move things inside before long.


Distracted, he looked down, one of Syd's assistants saying something to him, another crack of lightning striking directly overhead and through the thunder he heard Syd. "The lady knows what she wants! Duff, if you're still here, you certainly set the precedent! Date package for Rob sold to Beth Stanfield!"

The lights flickered, hummed, and went dark.


Rob shoved the curtains aside, took two quick strides down into the dark off the stage. He stumbled.

"What the fuck is that?! What the hell is going on?! You set this up!" Alex was beyond enraged as he confronted his friend with a quick shove. Whose side was he on, Cooper’s? He sure as hell wasn’t on his. He took a quick look outside, but he couldn’t see one damned thing through the rain. If she planned this, if Cooper was waiting out there with a big grin on his face, no he couldn’t believe she had, she’d been coming onto him. It made no sense in hell, none of it.

Rob was wet. Picky as ever, he ran his hands through his hair, cool cold collected Rob, some of that control running right down his face along with the rain. Losing it, he turned and snarled like a little white cat. "I didn't set up shit! Ask your god-damned girlfriend what's going on! I'm through. I'm getting out of here. For once in your life, you deal with it."

Alex roughly grabbed Rob’s arm, stopped him from walking away, Rob glaring at him, glancing down at his hand and then up again. The dim light flashed red on those damned rings in his lower lip. Lindsey had encouraged him to pierce his lip, and the memory of that old betrayal stirred, knotting in his stomach. It hadn't been Rob, though. Rob wouldn't, but he had this time. “I know you, Rob. You don’t like it when I get involved, I get that, but I know what I’m doing with this one. You stepped way out of line here!”

Syd tried to intervene but Alex brushed her grasp off. "Alex, I'm sure - "

"Sure of what, Syd? Sure you can get him to hop when you yell rabbit? Were you in on this? I'm out of here, fuck both of you!"

Syd turned to Rob, beseeching, ”Rob, he can’t walk out! Isn't there something you can do?”

Rob looked at her as though he had not heard a word, some kind of half grin on his face and then turned, walking out into the storm.

”Rob!” Sydney stood in the open door. People were grabbing their cocktails, pushing in out of the rain, and some of them were beginning to stare. ”Rob, please, do something!”

Without looking back he retorted, “I just did.”

And in one unbelievable desperate moment, Syd looked at Alex. She was fighting for control, and she looked pathetic. "Alex?"

On his way out the door, rain dripping down his neck, rage riding him hard, ripping up ground he thought he'd forgotten, Alex turned back and laughed at her. As angry as he was, it was time Rob walked away from that. "Bitch, don't look at me to save your little party."


Cooper stood on the upper level looking down. It was hard to control the grin that spread as he watched Beth walk away. He'd spent the last hour in the private bar, avoiding the damned auction, refusing to acknowledge anyone who approached him with any update on any of it, not even when something interesting apparently happened with Rayne. If it was important, he would deal with it later. Then the storm kicked up off the marina and he stepped outside briefly, intending to check on Hugs when he stopped and decided to observe from a distance.

He hadn’t expected her to bid on him, but bidding on Rob...how in hell had she come up with that? She was making some kind of statement, one he was certain was directed at him as much as Alex. Leaning into the rain, watching her walk away, ignoring the storm, owning the storm, watching Alex running around looking like he suddenly realized he'd stepped into the direct path of the lightning bolt...

Fucking priceless.


  1. Well, LOL! I thought I was caught up, I no sooner finished 13, and I saw in google reader that you updated.

    Great great twist to the bubbling stew of egos, and selfish, self absorbed rock stars. Beth showed some real moxie here. Fucking priceless indeed. My opinion of her was just kicked up a few notches.

    Nice atmos shots with the rain, and the first shot with the lightening bolt~
    Storm indeed.
    Oh, that shot of Alex/Blade in shadow, Syd touching his shoulder, damn he looks sexy. Maybe he needs a lady like Syd's assistant.

    Well done again!

  2. Karen, we were hoping this little twist would be kind of a surprise LOL! I'm glad you think it worked.

    It started to rain in the middle of taking shots, so I improvised and just made the most of it.

    I really like that shot, too. Alex has his own appeal and the lighting and the angle made the most of it. I doubt he'd go for Syd's assistant although she seems pretty smitten with him!

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read!

  3. Hmmm, so now there are two interesting dates to look forward to. Rayne and Duff's, and Beth and Rob's. I'm sure they'll both be fascinating, and for very different reasons.

    I think Blade needs to chill. Sure, it's got to hurt that his girlfriend bought a date package with his best friend, but accusing Rob of rigging it? Rob doesn't even seem to like Beth all that much, and then there's the thing with Syd. I'm not sure if it would be worth it to him.

    Besides, if Blade wants to be honest with himself--which admittedly maybe he doesn't--did he ever really have Beth in the first place?

    Gorgeous shots, as always! And great writing! :)

  4. Van, you're right. Rob's not interested in Beth at all, nor would it make any sense to publicly embarrass his friend even if he had managed to get Beth and Syd to go along with it. Alex isn't thinking clearly. He needs to take a step back, but, being Alex, he probably won't. He's been getting mixed messages, too, which doesn't help. And Beth could have simply gone home instead of causing more drama but she chose to do something that sent a undeniable signal to Cooper. The date with Rob is not going to be particularly pleasant.

    Thank you on the shots! I was in that lot off and on for days trying to get inspired and avoid using the same old interactions.

  5. What a gorgeous piece! I loved the shots, esp the rain & lightning element and the lighting. Too stunning. Wow, I didn't expect that twist with Beth bidding on Rob, it certainly made Cooper's day I suppose.

  6. Thank you, Val! I was so stuck with this piece, just wandered around with no inspiration, until it began to rain on the lot. Serendipity but it gave me something to focus on.

    LOL yes it certainly made Cooper's day. He was not expecting that at all. At the most, he thought she might decline to bid at all.

    Thank you from both of us!

  7. Wow! What a twist. That was the absolute last thing I expected to happen, but a shrewd move on Beth's part. Sent a very strong message, one that I'm not sure I completely understand yet, but one that will surely cause a ripple effect of some kind. This date with Rob will be...interesting at the least if she goes through with it.

    I feel bad for Syd, sort of, she seems to be a woman who is always in control and she's way on the outside of that right now. All of her little players have gone rogue and left the chess board. Will be interesting to see how she bounces back.

    I'd like to feel bad for Alex but, honestly, he knew what he was getting into with Beth, I guess he just never considered the possibility of loosing...if he has acutally lost. Lots of questions in the air; which I LOVE!!

    Another wonderful update!!! So sorry I've been behind.

  8. Hey there, Muze! I hope things are settling down for you, finally. It's good to hear from you again, and no apologies needed.

    LOL we were hoping this would be a surprise! It made sense. She didn't want to hurt either of them by showing preference, but it was also a signal to Coop that the commitment to Alex is not set in stone. She has to know that Alex was using her even though there's genuine affection as well, and there's Dani in the background. Yeah, the date with Rob is going to be interesting. He didn't like her before this, he's certainly not going to be happy about spending time with her, if they go through with it.

    Laughing about all Syd's players going rogue on her! Maybe this would be a good time for her to take a look at herself and her priorities.

    Thank you from both of us!

  9. Major "oh shit" moment!

    Who in the world saw that coming?! I have to admit that I smiled hard! That was perfect! She chose neither of the men, the one expecting her to bid on him nor the one that doubted she'd bid on him...PERFECTLY PRICELESS!

    I can't wait for these dates!

    Figured Blade would be upset over this since he and Rob were kind of sharing a woman before. Even though she chose and married Alex, Rob was still a factor. Damn... just when I thought I couldn't love this any harder!!

    Everything inn this chapter is absolutely breathtaking!

  10. Qui, thank you so much from both of us! She didn't chose either of them, and the one she chose had history she certainly doesn't know but it couldn't have been more effective. Blade didn't get his public acknowledgment and now Rob's caught in the mess he's been trying to prevent. Syd's event is falling apart. Cooper is amused, although that's not likely to last when he finds out who bought his daughter's date..

    Gayl and I have been looking forward to this piece LOL!

    Thank you! I am so happy it surprised you!

  11. OMG OMG WHAT?!! Rewind Beth Stanfield won who?! OMG! TOO FUCKING PRICELESS IS RIGHT! HAHA That was TOTALLY unexpected! I AM BEYOND thrilled that fuckhead Alex is left out in the cold, hard rain. Checkmate that asshole!

    Rob is too much of a sweetheart and I love him to pieces I really do! Alex was right on that one, about time he walked away! He needs to separate himself from that overbearing control freak! She is too much for anyone and I don't really think she is capable of love simply because her first instinct is to win at all costs no matter who gets hurt!

    LADIES I AM DYING to see the next chapter!! You MUST hurry with it and no I haven't forgot to add the obligatory MMMMMDUFF!! HAHA Love that man HOT! YES!

    Thank you again this was perfect! LOL

  12. LMAO Daijahv!! Poor Alex. He really isn't a bad guy, but he made an assumption about someone he doesn't know as well as he thinks he does, and he got involved with her in the first place for the wrong reason. Shooter warned him this whole game he's playing with Cooper could backfire. He put her in a very awkward and difficult position, and he got slapped down. So now he's pissed and embarrassed. He'll get over it.

    Rob is in the process of getting his heart broken but he's doing what he has to do by walking away. He is definitely a sweetheart. He's not going to enjoy going on even a fake date with Beth Stanfield, though. I doubt she'll look forward to it, either.

    All you got was one shot of Duff LOL! Hot, yes.

    Thank you from both of us!!! We enjoy your comments so much!

  13. I wonder what it means that Beth bought the date with Rob?
    Alex sure wasn't happy, but I LOVED Cooper reaction.
    I agree with everyone else about Rob walking away from Sydney. I know you can't help who you love, but no matter what the Beatles say, sometimes you need more than that. I am glad he took a stand against her.
    great update guys. I am in love with the style of this writing, it's very minimal, but impactful I think.

  14. I so didn't see that coming! Beth found a way to stick it to both of them and suck all of one type of drama out of the situation (but of course she injected a whole other type of drama into it) by buying someone she couldn't care less about.

    What an awesome outcome. :)

    Rob is just done with the whole thing, and I'm happy he walked away from Syd. I can't wait to see how the rest of this auction goes--the rain really works here. :)

  15. Hi Holley!

    Basically, she decided to buy a date with anyone as long as it wasn't Alex or Cooper, and preferably someone she was at least acquainted with. It was just Rob's bad luck. She wasn't thinking about what kind of problem that would cause between Rob and Alex, and really doesn't know enough about their history or the dynamic between them to have any idea that it would be a big deal. She had to know that Alex would be pissed, but it was better than going along with his plan to stick it to Cooper.

    Rob's suffering. He can't do anything except walk away from it, though.

    Thank you! The writing is a total collaboration. We write and edit it together.

    Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment.

  16. Rachel, SURPRISE! LOL! We were both really hoping for this kind of reaction.

    It was her only way out other than to refuse to play at all. She couldn't bid on either of those two men.

    Rob is burned up and done with it. Alex piling on like that was the last extra shove out the door.

    I'm so glad it worked for you, and I'm happy about the dumb rain. It came along at just the right moment.

    Thank you from both of us!

  17. Wow! If you were aiming for surprise, you definitely surprised me here!

    I guess, all through this drama, I always come back to wanting to see Cooper and Beth back together. But I have to admit, seeing Beth stick it to the both of them was kind of satisfying! I feel for poor Rob though, stuck in the middle of it.

    It's interesting that Cooper doesn't seem to see Beth's bidding on Rob as a slight on him, as well as a slight on Alex.

  18. Thanks, Carla!

    Cooper was anticipating the worst. He never expected Beth to bid on him but he was preparing himself to get it from both her and Alex. It wasn't a kiss on the cheek, but it wasn't the slap he thought he was going to receive. He's taking it as a positive sign.

    Rob is definitely caught in the middle. He's taking the brunt from all sides and hasn't done a thing to deserve it.

    So glad we surprised you! When we were planning this out, we hoped it would work. Thank you from both of us!

  19. I expected surprises, but this completely blew me out of the water!

    A small glimmer of hope for Coop; I wonder if he thinks his song/verse for Beth touched her. I don't think he knows it fell apart, ruined when Hugs fell into the fountain.

    I'm glad Rob is finally making a stand with Syd, and how funny that EVERYONE seems to be quite fed up with her. First her husband's showing up, now the mutiny of her stars!

    Rayne...Duff...I absolutely can't wait for THAT!

    That storm suited the mood like it was made for the chapter.

  20. Jillyson thank you!!

    Cooper does NOT know that Hugs didn't give her mother the song/verse. He's assuming that it happened. He really doesn't know exactly what's going on, but a public putdown of Alex was very satisfying even if he didn't get what he wanted, either.

    Poor Syd seems to have run out of friends. Her husband doesn't want her; her boyfriend dumped her; and now all her stars are mutinying. (Is that a word?)

    The Duff and Rayne date should be interesting. That's one both of us have been dying to get into. I was worried that my impatience to get there would ruin this piece, so I'm very glad it seems to be working. The storm really helped me out!

    Thanks from both of us!

  21. This is Jean-Marie (I Can't seem to comment with my Google account. WTF???)

    What a twist....
    The look on Coop's face and his stance...
    Copy-paste "Fucking priceless indeed"

    You guys surprise me every time...

    I love the mutiny of the stars. (new reality show)
    Serves Syd well... Trying to sit on top of the world. One little push and... tumble tumble
    Hehehe, Never liked her much.

    PS: My Sim can't make it. Car trouble (stupid limo)
    Can I do my bidding per phone?

    Hmmm I wonder who Coop's left with? (besides me)
    If Beth already bought a date (conspiracy, I tell you ), who bids on Coop? Who's my competition!

    (I never get tired of that LOL)

    Keep 'em coming ladies!!
    I Love it!!
    A wonderful twisted update

  22. Jean-Marie here

    Can't wait for the infamous date between Rayne and Duff...
    I'm literally biting my nails in anticipation...

    This is going to be epic...

  23. Hi Jean-Marie!

    That's really strange about your Google account. Seeing as how Google owns Blogger, it doesn't make much sense, but Blogger has had a lot of problems recently.

    HAHA!! I'm so glad we surprised you! Poor Coop is left with not much, that's true. Nothing he's going to be excited about so your phone-in bid would probably be welcome LMAO!

    Syd's world is coming down, lights going off. She's trying to keep the pieces together but it's probably hopeless. The mutiny of the stars is marching right along, kind of the dark side of Celebrity Apprentice. How long can you force them to stay there!

    Duff and Rayne's date is almost ready to go. We need to take care of Coop and a couple of other small loose ends but then we can let that one fly. We're looking forward to it!

    Thanks so much from both of us! We really enjoy your comments and we're so glad you're enjoying this!

  24. I wonder what all of this means. So many questions and I can't possibly begin to speculate. Interesting...


  25. Choco, thanks for reading and taking the time to leave us a comment. We hope we can answer the questions soon.

  26. I've been meaning to get to this for days already, so glad I finally got my fix!

    I love the mood here, the storm coming in and picking up, lightning striking, all in more ways than one. Really wonderful!

    Poor Syd, stuck between two powerful and hardened men. She didn't stand a chance at all.

    I love Cooper's reaction as he stared down from above in the rain. Ohh, and that last line, 'fucking priceless' indeed!

    Absolutely amazing, I'm always captivated and in awe after reading every chapter update. Can't wait for more, especially Duff and Rayne's date! Really, really amped for that!

  27. Also, Beth bidding on Rob, my Jaw dropped -- Can't wait to see what happens there! I'm hooked!

  28. Lucid, thank you!!!

    We're about to put up a meme on several people including Syd. She really is stuck between two powerful men, or stuck between her choice. One of them doesn't love her.

    Cooper was definitely satisfied with the way the bidding went down LOL!

    We're one update away from the Duff and Rayne date. I'm slogging at the shots, really forcing them at this point. We have to get Coop out of there before we can move on to Duff and Rayne.

    I cannot thank you enough for leaving a comment today. It means a whole bunch to both of us!!

  29. I'm surprised that Beth took that action rather than no action at all to send a message. Now Rob's involved and he didn't need to be. Though it's funny to see Alex get mad at Rob like Rob can really do something about who bets on him.

    I'm very curious about that date. Will Rob even show up?

  30. Lunar, taking no action at all would have been the sensible thing to do. Beth is not a particularly thoughtful, sensible person. Every choice she's made has been flat out emotional with very little, frankly almost zero, forethought about the consequences. This one was intended for Cooper.

    Rob is kind of controlling. Although it was a stupid accusation for Alex to make, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Rob would have engineered something like that.

    If Rob hadn't just broken it off with Sydney, he would have showed up. I doubt either of them will do more than make a perfunctory appearance, if that much.

    Both Gayl and I appreciate your support so much. Thank you from both of us!!

  31. Woah! Just whoah Beth! She pulled that one on her own? Now that is interesting. I'm so anxious to see her and Coop together again. Although I do like Alex just not with her. Love his comment to Syd about saving her little party!

    Oh Cooper, you are priceless! I adore the shots of him on the balcony enjoying the storm going on below! :D

  32. Beth's decision had far more impact than even she realizes. It was a brilliant move. Priceless as Cooper said.

    We like Alex too. He is extremely interesting and his motives behind what he does, what he wants, four marriages, etc is fascinating. I hope we can touch on all that soon.

    Thank you Em!

  33. A little more than half way through reading this story and I just had to comment. First off, I must commend both of you on the visuals. It's so vivid and matches the mood of every scene so well. The way you play with light and shadow is just stunning. I swear sometimes I take forever to finish reading a chapter because I ogle at the details.
    Oh, the drama! Beth is keeping everyone on their toes! Poor Alex, left out in the cold. And to add insult to injury, Cooper had to be out on the balcony looking down on him, knowing he “won” in a sense – the satisfaction of knowing that if he can’t have Beth than neither could Alex. I hope through all the scheming that Beth and Coop can salvage what they had. They had great chemistry.
    I’m probably the only one that felt bad for Syd for some odd reason. Sure she’s not the most likeable person, but seeing her be ditched by everyone was kind of sad-face. I wonder if this will teach her a lesson about how she’s treating people, namely Rob. I don’t know if it’s practical to think that Syd would leave her husband for him, since they have a set routine, but I’m still holding out hope. Though, Rob might just be too good for her…
    Duff fulfills the obligatory creepy-guy-you can’t help find sexy-title, for sure. I think it’s his enigma that intrigues me most. You hinted at there being another woman from his past and I seriously hope he isn’t dangerous. Duff has another thing coming if he thinks he can reenact his explicit Rayne fantasy (or even a watered-down version of it). But a man can dream! Lol I think I’m going to enjoy their date, if just for her reaction towards him.
    Great work ladies. On to the rest. =)

    1. Hi there and thank you! The visuals are an important part of our storytelling, and we both put a lot of time and thought into them so that is a fantastic compliment.

      I actually liked Syd, too. She was one of those characters we thought would go a certain way but didn't, and as we thought and wrote and got more into the Rob/Syd relationship, it became obvious that this was something he was not going to be able to deal with. Most people couldn't.

      I love your description of Duff. You're right that he couldn't fulfill that kind of fantasy without Rayne's willing consent. She's always been the one in control, too. Well, except for her one massive crush on Gabe, and a similar one on Ryan. Perhaps the reason why she was so besotted with a certain type of man (although these were fantasy relationships) says something about how she might respond to someone like Duff.

      As for Cooper and Beth, that chemistry is massive. To quote Bob Dylan:

      "We always did feel the same
      We just saw it from a different point of view
      Tangled up in Blue."

      So yes, there is a chance for them.

      Thank you from both of us. It is wonderful to know that people are still finding and reading this, and enjoying it!