Saturday, November 5, 2011

Studio Time: Twenty

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49 Windward Cove, Bay View - 7:42AM


Alex awakened with a start. Disoriented, he slowly sat up and tried to get his bearings. This wasn't Dani's bedroom, even through his hazy vision that was obvious. The decor was masculine - maybe she hadn't gotten around to decorating it yet. He squinted when a ray of sunlight filtering through the blinds, hit him squarely in the face. His head was pounding but he wasn't so addled or hungover to not remember what Dani wanted from him, what she so courageously asked him for last night. A baby.


He had to clear his head. Turning on the shower, he stripped his underwear off and stood under the cascading water. As the hot water sluiced down his shoulders and back, he replayed the previous night in his mind. She opened herself up to him, opened her heart and laid it bare. She stood there, vulnerable but proud, ready to take on the consequences of his decision one way or another. It had always been clear to her what she wanted out of life, and she made it clear that a baby was going to be in her immediate future but what Dani wanted didn't always fit with his plans.

Dani, his Dani...her lower lip quivered when he gently turned her down but she did not cry, not one tear. She handled his refusal with the same quiet grace as she always did when he denied her. It would have been easy for him to take her to bed and pray that he didn't knock her up. He knew he could be a monumental ass, but he could not do that to her. Even then, he still tried to seduce her.


Alex turned off the shower, dried his body and wrapped the towel around his hips. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he briefly wondered what a kid of theirs would be like, if they would have a boy or a girl. What price would that child pay having an absentee father with his lifestyle, what toll would that take on his career? What if some guy eventually came along who was willing to give Dani the life she wanted, a home, a family, a solid marriage...he didn't want some other man raising their child, some other guy being there for all the Kodak moments. Their child...

"Get a grip, Blade," he muttered to his reflection.


He padded toward the bedroom across the hall, knocked gently and then entered. Her bed was made, he wasn't even sure it had been slept in. His eyes fell on a collage of photos on her wall - their wedding photos. They had been so happy that day, so in love. It pained him to see these photos, knowing that happiness was gone and it had been his fault. She was always with him even now, always under his skin, in his heart, in the small things like the scent of a flower that brought her to mind.


She had not let go of their history either, their marriage, and he was stoking the fire every time he came to her. She put up with every woman that had come after they split. She comforted him, listened to him, mended his broken heart and soothed his ego with quiet grace. Alex swore under his breath and realized that telling her no, forcing her to follow through with her ultimatum, was the right choice even if it meant she might be with someone else. He never allowed the possibility to enter his head before and it killed him to think of her in another man's bed. Selfish bastard...


He dressed and went downstairs. Dani was in the kitchen making breakfast and his stomach lurched at the aroma.

"There's a mug of hot coffee on the counter for you. I thought you might be hung over so I added a shot of J.D. It always did ease the morning after headaches." She did not turn to face him, she must have heard his boots lumbering down the stairs.

"You always know what I need, don't you..."


She turned to face him then and Alex noticed the slight redness that ringed her eyes. He would give anything to make her pain go away. She smiled wistfully at him. "Yes, I always know what you need, Alex. I know what I need, too."

Dani walked toward him and placed a trembling hand against his face. Her voice was barely above a whisper. "I can't do this anymore, Blade. When you walk out the door, I don't want you to come back."


Brick House Tavern, Downtown Metro Area, South Beach 11:38AM


“Hair of the dog? Isn’t it a little early to be hitting the sauce?”

“It’s Happy Hour somewhere...what makes you think I’m hung over?”

Rob lifted his body onto the bar stool, flagged the bartender and signaled for two more shots. Checking the surface of the bar quickly, he leaned an elbow on it and studied him. “Fuck you, Alex. We were thirteen years old the first time I got you drunk. We’re long past who knows what and why.”


Alex swiveled around to face Rob and hooked a boot through the rung of the stool to steady it. The room began to spin and his stomach rumbled but he managed to hold it together. “If you’re here to gloat about your so-called date, I don’t want to hear about it. We both know it meant nothing.”

Rob fell silent. He took the shot. Ordered another and downed it before he slid his attention back and asked, “So that’s why you went running to Danica...because it meant nothing?”


“How did you know...never mind.” Alex flicked a piece of ice off the bar, stood leaning against the bar and frowned. How could he explain about Dani? He still hadn’t wrapped his head around the idea that she didn’t want to see him again. The thought left a hole inside him that was cavernous. He scanned the room quickly and in a subdued voice said, “She asked me to give her a baby.”


Rob shook his head and chuckled. “And of course you said no. Alex when are you going to admit you love the woman and be done with this Cooper business - which I might add is going to blow up in your face sooner rather than later.”

Not that again. Alex twirled his drink in his hand, considering the drink and considering Rob. Yeah maybe he'd been MIA and he'd had other things on his mind, but there wouldn't be any damned band without him. If he hadn't gone after Cooper, forced Rob and Duff to change things up to take him on, they wouldn't be where they were, climbing right up Coop's ass. Finding Beth Stanfield hanging out there, he would have been one stupid son of a bitch not to use something like that to knock Coop off balance, and she was unexpectedly appealing. He wasn't ready to give that up.  Sliding carefully off the bar stool, he eyed Rob and, reluctantly, asked, "All right, I'll bite. What're you talking about?"


Rob stood as well, kicking the bar stool aside, a quick uneasy move, and straightened his sleeves before folding his arms. The Rob maneuver. Alex expected nothing more than a lecture but what he got instead surprised him. “Our date last night, which I might add was a dismal failure, ended with the two of us running into Queen Camilla and the man himself. It took all of about two seconds for Cooper to sweep your girl onto his white horse and ride off into the sunset. Normally I would not give a damn but I am bone tired, Alex. I have been holding all of this together with spit and twine, sacrificed everything I cared about for this band and what have you done?”

His first reaction was confusion, followed by anger. Rob must have pissed her off; she wouldn't walk off with Cooper like that, she hadn't even mentioned his name in weeks. "What the hell do you mean...what did you say to her?"


Rob hesitated, glanced off to the side and sighed. “He walked up and did what he does and walked off with her. She’s into him and for some damned reason he’s not going to stop running after her. Alex, make it work with Dani. You’re in love with the woman, don’t throw it away. There’s no way back, and there’s no substitute and you know it. I’m out of here. I’ll be at the studio.”


49 Windward Cove, Bay View - 1:56PM


Staying in shape was never a concern of Dani's. She worked out when she needed to, always watched her diet but was never fanatical about it. Today, however, there was nothing she needed more than a blast of endorphins shooting through her body. She did two circuits on her exercise bike, yoga and finished it off with a run on the beach. The sea spray hit her body with a cooling mist and she thought about going another mile when a shadow moved between the palms.



"You shouldn't have come back, Blade." He twined his fingers through hers and brushed the damp hair from her face.

"Not Blade - Alex. Yes, answer is yes."


  1. Oooooh! Now hopefully he doesn't screw this up. And you know... I think Alex could find a way to make this work. He's a bit more metacognitive than instinct-driven Cooper, more conscious of everything--otherwise he wouldn't have weighed the pros and cons of baby-making in the first place.

    I kind of hope it's a girl.

    In spite of his own problems, Rob is such a voice of reason. Gotta admire someone like that.

  2. Wow, Van that was fast! I don't think the ink was even dry LOL!

    The thing about Blade/Alex is that he really is two different men. Take the rock star out of the equation and he would be a solid family man. His childhood was not ideal so he does not want to inflict that on a child of his own.

    I will admit I am anxious to see what they have. Assuming he can knock her up ;)

    Thank you from us both.

  3. Let me also add...Rob has always been the voice of reason. Like he said, the spit and twine - the glue.

  4. Heheh... I was doing a routine check of my blogroll and the time on your update was "29 seconds ago" XD

  5. *grins*

    Thank you for sticking with us...

  6. The end made me smile from ear to ear! Maybe the kick from Rob and news of Beth leaving with Cooper was what he needed. Sticking it to Cooper may be important to him but Dani is more important! Women that stick around for as much as she has are rare and to have one love him and to love her back is something worth hanging on to!

    I love Rob! More than words can express!

  7. OMG! That was awesome! I needed this! A nice, big reason to smile and this was it! I am SOOOOOOOOO happy Rob let it out with everyone concerned in this triangle and he got to Blade right there and told him flat out to stop fucking with Dani!

    She didn't deserve the shit that came her way and through everything has been there for him no matter what. It was great they are finally going to try and work things through. I enjoyed the way Blade was going over everything in his head: his selfishness, his stubbornness, his efforts to keep Dani as that safety net; it helped him make a clearer decision.

    Rob is the best, they'd be nowhere without him. He deserves a Superman cape :D


  8. Qui, there are things that Dani and Alex still need to work through but they should be together. It doesn't mean it will be easy or that he might not worry over career vs. family. However that is what makes this situation real and makes them human I think.

    Rob is a doll.

    Thank you so much from both of us.

  9. Daijahv, you are right, Rob does deserve a cape. I think I have one somewhere...

    It was definitely a feel-good piece. Alex working through all the scenarios in his head is so 'him'. He really isn't an impulsive man although at times his choices make it seem so. You absolutely nailed his thought processes and motives.

    Thank you from us both!!

  10. How brilliantly written! The first scene made me ache for those two, and the end was a fantastic climax. I'm really interested in seeing where they end up!

    It's interesting how Blade sees himself as the driving force behind Flight's success into er, Coop's arse, shunning no tactics, while it is Rob who holds everything together. Seems like he needed a little reality flash there.

  11. I like Rob's in your face attitude. He's done trying to handle things with kit gloves.

    He said yes!!! I can't believe he is going to give her the baby she wants but I'm happy he changed his mind.

  12. Yuxi, thank you so much for the comment on the writing. That means more than you know.

    Blade has an ego, no question, and as the front man his perspective can get skewed but he has always been introspective and no doubt about it, he does love Dani. We'll see how things play out with them from here on.

    Rob has scrambled for what he has and has always been the real driving force behind their rise.

    Thank you again from both of us.

  13. Jazen, Rob pretty much shoots from the hip but he knows how to manage each personality in this band. His past taught him to read people, taught him how to get what he wants from them.

    We love Dani and Alex together but it might not be as easy a road as they think.

    Thanks so much!

  14. Good for Dani telling that ass to take a hike! He doesn't deserve her.The way he uses womem...Dani to heal him, Beth to get at Cooper. What a complete dick!
    I hope Dani finds someone much better for her before Alex reliazes what he's missing.
    ARGH! Nevermind. Stupid women get what they deserve I guess.

    Great update as usual guys!

  15. Wow! I wasn't expecting that at all! I can't wait to see what happens with Blade/Alex and Dani now. He loves her but the reason he never wanted children was a reasonable one. I wonder if he will come to regret this decision.

    I like Rob. No-nonsense and he knows what he's talking about.

  16. Oh, my heart broke for Dani when she told Alex not to come back. I've been there and done that and it's not fun, but she really needed to do it.

    I'm scared for her though. She seems to be getting what she wants now but sometimes strange things happen to a man when he does what he "should do," even if a big part of him really wants to do it. I just hope Alex is not one of those guys that gets caught up in a moment and then has second thoughts.

    Especially since I can't see him walking away from this thing with Beth/Cooper that easily. I suppose he'll find another way to deal with that and if that's true....I can't wait to see it.

    Fabulous upate!

  17. Carla, I wasn't actually sure this would happen either but as we talked it through, it seemed right. Honestly it is possible he may regret the decision or at the very least have 'buyers remorse' but we'll see.

    Rob is a fascinating man and I hope we can get into his history a bit as well. Oh the stories we could tell about him!

    Thank you so much.

  18. Muzegoddess, it took a great deal of courage for Dani to break it off totally. I don't see the road before them as being easy at all. Things won't change overnight for either of them and there will be moments of insecurity. I don't see them as running off to the preacher the following day. There are details that they both have to work out. And we don't know if or how fast she will get pregnant either.

    How Blade deals with Beth/Cooper and that situation will be interesting. He can't exactly keep Dani a secret. He needs to be all in with her at this point. Can he do it? We'll see...

    Thank you...

  19. Holley! Gah, I missed your comment...

    Not a Blade fan eh? LOL! He may surprise you but I can definitely see how his actions have not put him in a good light overall. It will be an interesting road he and Dani take. Definitely not the way it was before. She is a stronger woman now. And he really does love her, he just needs to make some adjustments and sacrifices. Can he? I don't know.

    Thanks so much from both of us!

  20. Ah, an answer to the cliffhanger...only to have more questions! Clearly, you ladies are doing something right.

    Well, the big question is how is he going to break this Beth? Is he even going to bother? Will she be expecting it? She had to have figured that Rob would say something to Alex. I appreciate Rob's honesty to both parties since they both really need to get their acts together. What a brave girl Dani is to tell him that even if it the right thing isn't the best feeling. I'd like to hope that Dani is able to stick to her guns, even if Alex doesn't. For some reason, I feel like he won't.

    Great work ladies!

  21. I am so glad he went back to Dani! I just hope he really means it. If he doesn't, I hope Dani makes him leave for good!

    There was really nothing serious between him and Beth. They were both in love with other people!

    I'm glad that Rob told him straight out to forget about Beth, and recognize how he felt about Dani.

    Can't wait for more!

  22. Awww, yey!! He said yes!!
    I wonder though if he's going to let Beth go and stay with Dani. She was willing to raise the child on her own but since she seems to have never really let him go I'm sure she'd loved to have him by her side.

    I love those wedding shots hanging on Dani's bedroom wall, so lovely. Makes me wish we had something similar in TS3.
    I thought it was sweet how he knocked before entering her room too.

    Wonderful update!

  23. Choco, thank you, I hope we are! More questions is a good sign.

    I don't think Alex can hide what's going on between him and Dani or will even attempt to hide it. Rob's honesty to Alex did make a difference. I really doubt it had much impact on Beth Stanfield. She didn't separate from Cooper because she couldn't make up her mind whether or not she wanted him. Rob's opinion of her doesn't mean much to her.

    I don't know whether Alex can follow through. His intentions are good but it will be hard.

    From both of us, thank you!

  24. Daisies, we're pretty happy about it, too. We both really like Alex and Dani together.

    You're right; there was nothing serious between Alex and Beth. They like each other and might remain friends, but there won't be any heartbreak.

    Thank you!

  25. Jennifer, yes he did! We're both more than a little curious about any baby they have.

    Alex won't have a choice about letting Beth go. Even if she were madly in love with him, Dani would be a dealbreaker, particularly if a baby is involved. Alex's heart is with Dani anyway.

    Those wedding shots are beautiful. Gayl does the most lovely detail work. And the little things like knocking on her door, a mark of respect, do mean a lot.

    From both of us, thanks so much!

  26. Wow, wow!
    SHIT! I'm a day late, this has never happened before. This blows!

    Wow, Rob is on a roll. Biting Beth to go back to cooper ~ Biting Alex to go back to Dani.
    I seriously felt for Dani when he refused and again when she told him to never return. She would've been okay eventually, but this was going to hit her hard. Major breakdown!

    I loved the beach scene. Serene, calming and satisfying. Now I also believe that Alex and Blade are two very different people. The drunken one was Blade and the one who got bit and came back saying yes is def Alex! LOL

    I hope it works out between them now. They look beautiful together. The kid(s) are going to be yummy! I wish them two! Boy for Dani, Girl for Alex as gorgeous as her mother.

    I loved this update! I'm still smiling!

  27. Jean-Marie, LMAO yes Rob is on a roll. He's closing in on nothing to lose though. Good for Alex and maybe for Beth, maybe, but not a great place for Rob to be.

    Dani is sweet and strong but it would have hurt, it did hurt. This is the right place for both of them, if Alex can find a way to manage Blade and Alex which isn't a sure thing. I think any child from that pair is going to be gorgeous!

    I love that beach scene, too. Gayl did a fantastic job visualizing it and making it work.

    It's so great to get your take on everything. Thank you!! And we're glad we made you smile!

  28. It's nice to see Alex listening to Rob--I'm excited for Dani! I hope they are able to conceive without difficulty. I also hope that he'll actually stick around and decide that he wants to be a father. Something tells me he's already made the choice to do that--he doesn't seem like the type who would grant her request without making that commitment.

    Hopefully this will take his mind off Beth so he'll get out of the middle of that situation! Wonderful chapter, and gorgeous pictures as usual. :)

  29. Thank you, Rachel. Alex's mind was never all that consumed with any woman other than Dani; his motives were mixed although he did like Beth and would have pursued it further at least for a little while longer.

    I think you're right. He's not the type who could grant that kind of request without making a commitment. It's not in him.

    From both of us: thank you so much.

  30. Wow, I get behind a few updates and the entire world is upside down! LOL! These past few have been incredible and now everything is getting shaken up.

    Very interesting dynamics going on right now, old relationships heating back up, and now what happens? My brain is going overtime with all the possibilities!

    I have to say I adore the last few lines you guys choose to end these chapters, each one just leaves you begging for more!

    Well done as always!

  31. Wow - long time - no read - it's been about a year - but I am caught up again - I have read other blogs and taken a break - and I would have to start over from the beginning - not so with you two - Your characters and story lines are memorable - love the new set up - I have always wondered what your neighborhood looked like from hood view - it is just beautiful - so much detail and realism has gone into your set up and shots.....

    I am glad that you are keeping the old work up - some of us crazies do not like summaries when the original is available.....

    I don't like the suspense of waiting for an update or commenting on every update - just know that you have a silent fan who always comes back to catch up on your stories......

  32. Emily, thank you from both of us and I apologize for the delayed response. We like shaking things up a bit from time to time ;)

    It will be interesting to see what goes on from here. Obviously with Alex's decision, there is going to be fallout on all sides.

    We love a good cliffhanger...

    Thanks so much for sticking with us. It is much appreciated

  33. simstwoplayergirl, thank you! Creating memorable characters that are believable has always been a key factor for us so I appreciate that more than you know. Beth does an amazing job with the neighborhood. Making sure that the point of view and line of sight in the images takes it to the next level with the screen shots. I wish mine still looked like that...sadly I can't recreate it at the moment.

    We appreciate each and every reader, silent or not, so thank you again from both of us.

  34. I LOVED the writing in this, such layers of emotion and conflict from everyone. Rob was bang-on as the voice of truth and reason. I am liking him more and more.

    Alex/Blade continues to fascinate. He is like 'two-face', a split personality and both are appealing. And love he refers to himself as Alex in the last panel.

    The amazing shots complimented the text as always, such a symmetry in the story, written and visual.

    Well done ladies!

  35. Thanks ~Drew. Glad the mood came through in the writing. I would have loved to expose more of Rob's inner thoughts because he has quite a few things he could have said about his role in the band but it would have detracted from the focus of this piece.

    Alex has always separated who he is as a man vs. his rock star persona. As confident as he is, he struggles to expose his more vulnerable side. He protects himself with the arrogant outer shell. Both of these men, and we can throw Shooter and Duff into this as well, have many interesting facets.

    Thanks so much from both of us!