Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Studio Time: Twenty Five

Sandy Point.  First Night.


Rayne’s admission took him by surprise. Duff folded his arms and stared at her, stunned with anger and intense jealousy, an emotion to which he rarely succumbed. He’d been confident in the progression of their growing relationship to the point that he’d underestimated both the swamp rat’s place in Rayne’s life and her compassion for the boy. His assumption that she’d severed those ties was a mistake he didn’t normally make. He’d dismissed the relationship and its significance. Now, he struggled with the prospect of a sexual relationship between Rayne and Jimmy. She was his.

He had tried a variation of this move at the gallery; Rayne had called his bluff and threatened to break his arm in the process. He'd had three months with her since then, though, three months to pull her close, to gain her trust, to push his own control past limits he'd never tested, and he felt confident she would not let him go.  Adequately confident.  Not, he had to admit, completely certain.  Stepping away from her, knowing she might step back in retaliation, knowing he had given himself no room for error, Duff swallowed hard and took a second step.  This was not a game, not a test of wills. For him it was a hard limit.

So angry he had to fight to keep his voice steady, Duff bit out his response. “I fully expected you to cut ties with Jimmy. You have not done that. Let me be clear—I will not share you at all, not with anyone. That you put his needs before mine cuts to the quick. Rayne...I've waited for you, I don't want to leave, but I can't stay with you when you're still with another man.”

He saw the shock sweep across her face.   “What?  Why?  You're leaving because of Jimmy?  We're just friends - I'm not sleeping with him, I haven't even had lunch with him in a month.  I can't walk out on him, Duff.  You don't understand about Jimmy.  He needs me.”

He was not really certain she was being honest about the 'lunch', and was very certain Jimmy Breaux did not consider the relationship limited to lunch.  Son of a bitch.  Not tonight.  Duff closed his hand around her shoulder, tightened the grip, and pushed her harder.  If she did not take him seriously now, she never would, and it was as much over as that fucking lunch.  “I need you cara. I want to be the center of your world and I won’t share you.  I can't do it.  If you change your mind, if you end it with Jimmy Breaux, completely end it, let me know.  Perhaps we can talk.”

She did not move, caught in his grasp, smooth skin under the grip of his fingers, then he felt the deceptive muscle in that slender bicep flex and harden.  Rayne was a complex combination of strength and innocence, ferocity and tenderness.  She said one word.  "No."

Rayne grabbed the waist of his slacks and pulled hard until they slammed against the table scattering trinkets onto the floor. She quickly worked the buckle of his belt open and unzipped his pants. She wrapped her fingers around his erection as he lifted her onto the table. She spread her legs and caught and held him around his hips, circling him with silky arms and legs. pulling him close. There was his tigress.

“I've already decided."  Something fell off the table and with the sweep of her other hand she knocked another small trinket aside and let that one fall, too.  "You can't go.  I've waited months and I'm not going to wait anymore just because I haven't said something to Toad.  I'll tell him, just make love to me, I want it all, everything.”   

Her mouth an inch from his, her breath on his lips, Rayne's  eyes alight she moved onto him and breathed, "Don't leave.  You're not going to leave now, are you.  Please."

Duff groaned. The anticipation and fantasies he’d had about her couldn't hold a candle to the reality. Heaven. Rayne’s fingernails scored his back as they rocked back and forth. The little table creaked underneath their weight. If they kept going the thing would splinter into pieces. He lifted her off the table and carried her to the bedroom.  The old floor could open up and empty them into the beach - it would not stop him now.

It was a porch bedroom, siding and brick and long windows in warped frames open to the wind off the channel. Rayne had furnished it with an old bed and a silver vanity table, one candle burning, flame blowing in the same wind.  It was unexpectedly beautiful.

Duff carefully stepped across the room and laid her face down on the bed.  He roughly grabbed a fistful of her golden hair and leaned into her.  For a moment her body tensed then she yielded.  

There was nothing, not here, not now, not with this woman, nothing more he needed.

The tigress had walked willingly into the cage...


The early morning sun sifted through curtains shading the bedroom windows facing the channel between the islands. Rayne buried her face in the pillow unwilling to allow the sun to disturb her dreams. Her body still hummed from the sex she and Duff had. They’d made love most of the night. She was no virgin but his sexual expertise far surpassed anything she’d ever experienced. God, some of the things he’d done to her…

She’d wished he’d stayed the night but he insisted he had to leave. Had she told him she would move in? Had he asked her that? Vague memories of whispered words and promises came back to her. In the haze of lust and passion, did she agree to give up her beach house? It wasn’t like she couldn’t keep the place just in case. But if she cut ties with Jimmy, she really didn’t need the place anymore did she?  

Jimmy. He was fragile but in truth they’d already drifted apart. The band was barely a band at this point and they’d find a replacement for her. Or for him. She’d known for a long time, ever since she met Duff, that Jimmy wasn’t the man for her. That didn’t make what she needed to do any easier.

Rayne climbed out of bed and threw on a pair of old jeans and a ratty tank top. She flipped on the radio and headed to the kitchen to make coffee. Halfway there, she stopped to pick up the stuff she and Duff had knocked off the table the night before. With the exception of a few shells she and Toad collected, most of it remained intact.

“The unconscious body of Jimmy Breaux, lead guitar and front man for the band Brew, was found on the beach behind his house early this morning by a local jogger. Paramedics arrived on the scene and rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The immediate cause of death has not been released…”

Sea shells spilled from Rayne’s hands as the news sank in every word slicing through her, cutting her.  Oh god, oh god, oh god.  No, no, no, that can't be true, it's a mistake, it's somebody else, it’s a lie! They’re lying! Where was her cell? There, on the floor. With shaky fingers, she punched in Jimmy's number but the call went straight to voicemail. She tried again. And again. This was a sick joke.  Woody set this up or that stupid pink sunglasses girl who wrote for the paper, she could do something like this.  She'd just go over there. 

She'd taken three steps toward the door when someone knocked. She knew it! God, she was going to kill him. Or someone. Relief overwhelmed her as she ran to the door and threw it open.


He was disheveled, he hadn't shaved, his hair was a mess, he wore a sweater and jeans, he let the screen door bang shut behind him.  "I came as soon as I heard." He took her in his arms and held on tight.  "There was traffic, the drawbridge was up, it took too long."

"No, you don't believe that shit do you? Tell me it isn't true!" Rayne searched his face for reassurance but found none. She felt her knees buckling and clutched at his shirt relying on his strength to support her. 

"I told you he needed me.  I should have been there for him! I betrayed him, Duff!  I told him I would stay and I didn't!  It's my fault!  I can't--I can't breathe. Get me away from here!" Rayne sobbed uncontrollably.

Duff stroked her hair, brushed her temple in a light kiss, standing there on the screen porch in the early morning light, holding her.

"Hush mi amore. I'm going to take care of you, cara.  I'll take care of everything.  You will never have to worry again."


  1. NO!!!!! OMG NO!! FOR REAL??? YOU KILLED JIMMY!?!? JIMMY'S DEAD??? OMG!!! WHAT??? No. Nope. I'm with Rayne. I can't believe that. That's Holy crap I can't believe you committed to that. Wow. Wow...

    This might have a very negative impact on Rayne and Duff. The night he tells her she needs to cut ties and she says "HE NEEDS ME" Jimmy dies?? OMG! I can't believe that. She might even blame him for this. I really hope that's not the case. Damn.

    I'm so sad. I can't believe he's dead. He was so damaged though. I really hope he's at peace now :(

    And the Duff/Rayne scene. S-M-O-K-I-N-G! HOT! Wow. I LOVED how he made her give herself to him first. Made her promise to be his before they went any further. And the best part, Rayne did not and would not let him leave hahaha. I was with her on that. NOPE! You're here now, My Duff. You're not going anywhere.

    P.S. Disheveled Duff is even sexier! YEOW!

    1. Thank you! I'm pretty nervous about this but that's where it seems to be going if the characters are who they are. Sometimes even the good die unexpectedly. (About the only thing Game of Thrones has taught me...) Jimmy's death is hard on Rayne and of course she blames herself, and she does have some part in it although staying with him to 'save' him wasn't a realistic option. Duff so far has no idea how hard - if he has a flaw, it's underestimating everybody else.

    2. He will definitely want to keep an eye on Rayne. She really loved him even if it wasn't deeply romantic feelings. She will take that really hard. I just hope she is able to get through it cleanly.

      I completely understand not being able to stay with someone out of a sense of comfort. It wouldn't have been healthy for either of them and Jimmy's demons, obviously, went deep. There was no way Rayne could have saved him. He would have needed to save himself first. more Jimmy Breaux. You're very brave. And I commend you on that. I know how hard it is to kill off a beloved character and you did it very well.

  2. Aww, Jimmy. :( But yes, sometimes it's just a character's time. Here's hoping that whatever the canon afterlife is the DD universe, it's a decent place.

    Still not quite sure to think of Rayne and Duff. He's got that sort of under-your-skin quality that is a double-edged sword (though he is a hot double-edged sword, for sure). The possessive talk before the sex was creeping me out, but he came back to comfort her in the end. I guess I'll just leave it up to Rayne and trust her judgment; I don't see her as the type who stays in situations that no longer work for her on the off-chance they might get better.

    Welcome back, by the way! It's good to see an update here. I hope things have improved for both you and Gayl.

    1. Thank you! I'm going to move on ahead, reading as well as writing. I've missed both of them. Gayl will check in when she can.

      I don't know about Rayne. Personally I couldn't deal with Duff, but Rayne has always had her own strange issues. If he gives her what she needs, she'll stay. If he doesn't, she won't. Duff's domineering, possessive personality provides her with a certain amount of protective structure she's been searching for since she was a child, but she's a volatile, immature and pretty thoroughly spoiled young woman accustomed to getting her way. Duff has the same options, but I don't see him giving her up easily. I don't know about them as a long term couple.

      Jimmy did the best he could with a very bad hand. He deserves serenity and joy.

  3. Thanks for posting. This was a long time coming.

  4. I swear I almost choked on my lunch when I saw the post for this today. I am beyond thrilled to see another post up. And what a great comeback it is. Everything about this is beautiful; Rayne's house, the shots, the poses, the writing, everything.

    The heat between Rayne and Duff is amazing and I'm glad they finally just themselves burn. HOT!!

    I'm sad that Jimmy went the way he did, knowing the writing was on the wall with him and Rayne. Knowing he couldn't do anything to change it. Letting go in everyway. I hope this doesn't send Rayne back down a destructive path.

    Once again I'm am so happy to be able to see this story again. Made my day :)

    1. I was hoping you would see it and give it another chance! It's been such a long time.

      Those two are just radioactive, they're so hot. They don't know each other very well yet but Jimmy's death and the impact on Rayne is going to change that. Both of them have been chasing fantasies for a long time.

      I love Jimmy, it was so hard to let things go the way they inevitably were going. There didn't seem to be any way to save him. I like to imagine that he believed she was with him again before he died.

      Thank you thank you!! I was so excited to see that you'd found it and read it. We are prepping more.

  5. I legitimately gasped out loud when I read the part about Jimmy. I mean, I knew it could've happened but I guess I wasn't expecting it so soon. Poor Jimmy and poor Rayne. I can definitely see her blaming herself. I hate to say that this helps Duff's cause because it feels wrong to say but he sort of lucked out in terms of keeping Rayne even closer to him.

    1. It definitely helps Duff's cause. Rayne isn't easily mastered and he's had a difficult time bringing her to see who he is without shoving him away. He cares a great deal about Rayne. She's vulnerable now, and although she couldn't hold Jimmy up forever, his death right now, coming right at that moment, naturally forces her to blame herself. Duff wants to take care of her; she needs someone to do that.

      Jimmy's death seemed inevitable. He needed someone to save him, and the reality is that nobody could do that.

      Thank you again!

  6. Wow. Jumping in, I remember all the characters involved. And wow, what a way to restart. Jimmy's death is a shock, but it's also fitting.