Passages 22

Sandy Point Marina - 10 AM


Pulling up by the marina, Jimmy took another long scalding gulp of coffee and leaned against his truck. He hadn't gotten more than a couple of hours of bad sleep, drunk sleep, the house hot and full of those girl mosquitoes that bit, and he'd heard Rennie walking around upstairs, when he could remember anything from last night. Couple of hours ago she'd run water and yelled at him to get dressed, and made coffee for him and sat next to him on the back porch for a little while, saying nothing, just sitting there, until they got in the truck and drove here.

"That's his bike. He's early," Rennie was saying nervously. "That's not a good sign."

Hung over and shaky, Jimmy tossed the coffee cup into the bed of the truck, lit another cigarette, his hands unsteady, looking at the big bike. It wasn't no shiny new thing; it had scratches down the side, been used hard. He inhaled smoke and swept the place, trying to find the man and finally did.

Cooper Stanfield standing way down there near the pier, one tall son of a bitch in bike leathers, his arms crossed, looking down at them. He'd been telling himself he could deal with the man but looking at him now, didn't seem so damned easy.

"Hang out in the stores or something," Rayne whispered. "He's going to be really pissed. Let me try to talk to him first."

Cooper had started to stride toward them. I'm fucking dead, Jimmy thought miserably, but he shook his head and insisted, "No way I'm taking that pussy way out. You want to get you some time with him, you do it but me I'm not running and hiding from the man. He wants to say something to me about you, I get to say my own piece back to him."

She glanced up at him with big eyes. She'd been doing good staying there with him, griping about the heat and everything but doing good until last night. "Toad, that's not the best way to work it."

"I left me all the best ways a long time ago." He pulled away from her and met Cooper's hot glare. "You're not doing this by yourself. I got to be here."

Cooper stepped down the stairs, walking slowly now, one long hard stride after the other. He stopped a few paces away and ripped his gaze from Jimmy to Rayne and then back again, and then he stood there for a long silent minute and said nothing.

"Hi Dad," Rayne began and putting on one great big smile. "Let me explain - ."

"I'll deal with you later," Cooper cut her off fast, focusing on Jimmy. He stared at him, took a step closer, his voice dropping lower, one long enraged growl. "Jimmy Breaux. Interesting coincidence that you'd show up with my daughter after I turned down your agent. I've met idiots, but I doubt I've ever met anyone in your category. In what world do you think I'd let you use my daughter to get to me?"

One real good thing about nothing to lose was you got nothing to lose but your own self; he was down to that. Again. He dragged on the smoke and stepped aside from Rennie. Amazing what the man didn't know about his own kid, dump her in rehab and write the big check and don't pay any mind to why she got in that place to begin with. "You got you some worlds that don't got a fucking thing to do with her," Jimmy shot back, and deliberately flicked cigarette ash at the man's boots.

"You don't know a damned little bit about what's been hurting her. She don't belong to you, you look again Rennie she's got herself her own life so back the hell off." Thinking again about begging for a contract, had he got so low he would do that, he let the anger take him, not yet. "And I can make it on my own, you don't go telling me I got to come begging to you. You don't know me either, ain't never gonna happen."

The man was studying him. Hot eyed yeah but he didn't look like he was going to nail him with a knife now. More like he was going to cut him open and see what was inside, what Rennie hadn't told him. Jimmy had heard that about Coop, the man figured things out, he was smart. And Cooper kept examining him until it did feel like he'd peeled back his skin and was looking at his guts.

Something else was playing across Cooper's face, something Jimmy couldn't get, kinda like Cooper thought something was funny. Or maybe nothing funny at all. The man got up right in his space and no matter how much Jimmy told himself he didn't care, it was damned intimidating. "Don't wait for her," Cooper breathed down at him. "And good luck. When you cross me, you fucking need it."


Cooper was marching her up the steps toward the deck where nobody was, not this early in the morning. Rayne tried to turn around to see where Jimmy had gone and got a terse order from her father. "Don't bother looking back, Rayne."

She did anyway. Jimmy was still there and still looking lost. She was pretty sure he wouldn't get back in the truck and drive home, not without her. Pretty sure but not positive. Her stomach turning with nerves and the acid remains of black coffee, she put one foot in front of the other and followed her father and tried to tell herself that she could come up with something.

He slammed a chair back from one of the tables, making some room, and stood there looking out at the boats for a few long and terrible seconds. She had run through all kinds of scenarios last night and never had come up with one she thought would work, but waiting for him to yell at her seemed like the only way to let it begin.

"Whose idea was it to walk out of rehab?" Cooper demanded. Rayne wondered if that was a real question, hesitated, and then before she could formulate a response, he hit her again. "How the hell long have you been involved with Jimmy Breaux? Is that where you've been? You know I called them this morning - you left a week ago. Did you really think I wouldn't find out?"

She backed up against the table and clenched her hands together. This was one question she had thought about, and she tried to repeat what she'd decided to say, her own voice sounding thin and high and scraped bare, anything but the strong front she desperately wanted to put up. "I left because I didn't want to be there anymore. He let me stay with him. Nothing's going on, Dad. We're just friends. And I did call you, I called you last night."

"Friends," Cooper repeated sarcastically. "Kiss that off Rayne. You're coming home with me, and I'll decide where you're going from there."

A bird flew by and dumped on the table. Rayne looked at the bird shit and thought about shit in general, a whole load of shit going back to her mother and Ryan, her father and Stevie, Camilla the Whore acting righteous, Gabe laughing at her, and she started to get mad. Every single one of them had done something stupid, just as stupid as what she'd done, worse, a lot worse. And would he be yanking on Wyatt like this? Oh Wyatt, you have to come home and then I'll tell you where you can go. I don't think so. She stepped around the table and leaned back against the rail, the tall grass on the other side scratching her bare arms, and swallowed hard, thinking about Jimmy who hadn't backed down and was still out there waiting for her. Not even remotely sure of what she could do about anything, Rayne did her best to appear in control. Drawing a steadying breath, she looked up at her father and said, "No. I'm here to talk to you. I'm done with the crap I did, I'm clean, and I'm not even really here for myself, and I love you Dad and I'm sorry about the stuff I did, but I'm here to talk. I can walk off right now. You know I can."


Cooper looked back at her, fighting anger, anger directed at his daughter and at the asshole waiting for her, still waiting despite what he'd told him. What was going on here? Wyatt had been difficult, but he understood Wyatt. He could forgive his son's anger and resentment; he'd hurt Wyatt by walking out on him and Jules. Rayne...he'd done everything he possibly could to ensure she felt safe and loved, spent as much time with her as he could, ripped time out of his schedule to be with her. But here he was again with one of his children staring him down and breathing resentment and pain, and this time he had no idea what was wrong.

"Come over here," he told her, moving away from where Jimmy Breaux could see them, kicking aside a chair and someone's discarded cooler. Rayne followed, and he saw the nerves now in the way she stumbled against the chair and fidgeted with her hair. She was trying to hide it, and that bravado was familiar. He'd come up against that with her mother; he knew how to force his way through it. "All right," he said, working hard to disguise his anger, to sound reasonable, "You want to talk, tell me what's going on. Jimmy Breaux. Rehab. All of it, Rayne."

She picked at her fingernails, something he'd never seen her do, then clasped her hands and shifted on bare feet and cleared her throat, and started in on what sounded like a speech she'd prepared the night before. "Didn't you ever need someone to trust you? I know you did. I know about Stevie. She took you in when she didn't have any reason to trust you at all. I'm asking you to trust me to do the right thing, and to know who I can trust. I know you have a lot of reasons not to do that, but I'm clean, and I know what I want. And this is...well it's about trust."

He eased up against the side of the building, thankful the bar was still closed, watching his daughter, waiting. Rayne didn't say anything more. Trust. What the hell? "Rayne," he said, "I don't know what you're talking about. What's this got to do with Stevie? You mean back before I met your mother? What's your point?"

She closed her eyes, leaning against the deck rail, gently rocking back and forth against it, "That is the point. At least you know who I am. If I ask you for something, you know what you're getting. Somebody trusted you when she had no reason to do it and no idea who you were or what she was getting."

This was going round and round. If she was asking for something, he didn't know what it was. Why was she asking him to reach back to a time in his life he had buried once and for all? Grasping at something he could give her, he responded, "Rayne...yes, she did but I ran into people who weren't willing to take a chance, and in retrospect I can't blame them. One of them, Gabe Lombardo - one of Randi's cousins - could have put me in touch with Slim and ended the whole thing if he had been willing to take that chance. I wish he had, but I understand why he didn't. You haven't spent the time, you haven't worked to build your reputation. What's this about? I don't even know what you're asking me to do."

Rayne had perched on a table; she looked up at the hot blue sky, and at the boats moored motionless in the marina, and out past him down the boardwalk where he suspected Jimmy Breaux was still crawling around somewhere, and she bit her lip, distracted. He was tired; he'd driven out here after a long dream haunted night that never seemed to end only to crash up against some of the same shit, and the place was a damned oven. Increasingly frustrated, wondering what he was missing, had she started drinking again, was it Jimmy, Cooper was ready to end this. If she was going to play games, she could play them at home where he was more comfortable, not out here in public. He started to turn away from her when she finally, in a low flat voice, said, "I'm asking you to give Jimmy a contract. I'm asking you to remember what it was like when someone helped you through something that hurt. And I'll tell you something you don't know about me in return. I'll give you the name you wanted. I guess you already know him. Gabe."


NEXT CHAPTER: Rising Above Chapter 13


Gayl said...

Jimmy standing up to Cooper - now that is something you do not see everyday in a rising musician. Near suicide for him but he notches up one more rung on the ladder for having pride. Would Cooper intentionally sabotage his career? Interesting thing to ponder.

Rayne doing her best to look controlled and self-assured and Cooper sees the child in her still but she is putting on a brave face. And she throws the name out there. That had to shock and confuse Cooper.

Absolutely gorgeous shots.

S.B. said...

Jimmy thinks Cooper has already written him off. And even if he did believe he still had a chance, he wouldn't go duck behind a tree and leave Rayne there by herself. He knew he was in for it.

Rayne is trying to be big and bad and not coming up with much in the way of firepower. Gabe was the best she had. Shock yeah, plus open up the whole family again. What did Rafe know...

I just couldn't manage much with the shots this time. Did the best I could. Thank you so much for giving me Coop's voice, for editing, for all of it.

Dinuriel said...

Well, at least they can't say they didn't talk :S

Great job on all the interactions--Cooper and Jimmy, Jimmy and Rayne, Rayne and Cooper. Also, I loved how you had both Rayne and Cooper comparing Rayne and Wyatt. For very different reasons, granted, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Sorry for the rather incoherent comment. I'm a little bit dazed at the moment O_o

S.B. said...

Van, every comment from you is gold LOL! You're never incoherent!

and thank you about Rayne and Wyatt and Cooper and Wyatt. Didn't want that relationship to slip by, and I did think about it quite a bit. Cooper came down hard on Wyatt, but grab him by the hair and haul him home when Wyatt got into trouble with the, he didn't.

Muzegoddess said...

Well there's certainly a lot going on here... I can admire Jimmy for taking a stand with Cooper and not folding when it was confrontation time. He must really care about Rayne to have done that with the person he was counting on most to give him a shot. Talk about burning bridges there.

I think there might have been a small part of Coop that admired it a little teeny tiny bit? Maybe. I hate to say it but it's just like a man not to realize that there is something deeper going on with Rayne. Not that he could ever know about the whole Gabe thing, but I wish he would've done this kind of digging about what was wrong a lot earlier.

But knows now... Gabe....of all the people in the world. That's a sour pill to swallow. Can't wait to see what has to say about.

Old lot or not, you blew me away with these shots, the vantage points, the facial expressions. All spectacular. And for something that was supposed to be longer you certainly packed a punch in part of it.


S.B. said...

thank you Muzegoddess.

I don't think Cooper admired anything about Jimmy. What Jimmy did was professional suicide. And absolutely yes, it is just like a man to blow off whatever was going on with his daughter. He did try to get her to explain why she'd crashed and burned, but it was only after she had crashed hard. Her mother didn't try very hard either though, did she? Well, after Ryan, the relationship between mother and daughter was not the best.

What he'll have to say about it depends on what Rayne has to say, and how far she thinks she has to go to get sympathy and get what she wants for Jimmy. Maybe not the best tactical decision on her part.

thank you so much for the compliments on the shots. Coming from you, that means a hell of a lot!!

Qui. said...

That expression on Cooper's face said it all! The fact that he stood his ground made me love him even more!

It feels like Rayne has let go of this anger she used to harbor. I'm happy about that too!

This chapter was intense! wonderful and full of emotion!

S.B. said...

Hi Qui! I think you meant Jimmy standing his ground? He did, although it was crazy to do it.

Rayne has let go of her anger because she has someone who showed her how useless it was. Jimmy has been very very good for her. Unlikely she will stay away from him, or him from her.

Oh thank you!! Thank you so much!!

The Lunar Fox said...

"...I get to say my own piece back to him." OMG... soon as he said that, I had chills. All I could think was, "Famous last words!"

I really don't think I can say anything after this-- I'm just stunned. Everything was perfect and surprising. About the only thing I expected was Cooper being a complete badass, lol.

Rayne and Jimmy are an amazingly perfect mess.

Phoenix said...

I read this earlier but I was heading out the door for work and couldn't leave a proper comment! Now I'm work...*whistles innocently*

OMG!!! Cooper standing at the top of the stairs just glaring would have made me turn tail and run for sure! I wanted to squeeze Jimmy when he stood up to him. That's awesome! Show no fear Jimmy!! Cooper will slice you to shreds!

And Rayne trying to have a little backbone and failing miserable. And there's still that bitterness she has with Wyatt. *shakes head* And Cooper confused about why Rayne just can't be happy made it all more heartbreaking!

Loved your shots and the scenery and the writing and...everything was just perfect! PERFECT! Only thing that I didn't like...

How short it was! ;)~

Valpre said...

This was such an emotional chapter. I loved the way you showed the different interactions.

I can't say Toad's surprised me though. I always thought he had guts and balls and lived by his own rules, so him standing up to Coop was not a shocker. But must definitely have been one for Coop.

I don't know why you're not happy with the lot you used because it looks breathtaking to me. If I can have my lots to have the "lived in" feeling yours always have I'll be super happy. Atleast father and daughter got to talk, now the ball is in Coops' end. I can't wait to see what he does with it. And you just had to end it there didn't you. Awesome screenshots which go with breathtaking writing as always :-D

S.B. said...

Lunar Fox, I'm glad I surprised you LOL! Yeah, Cooper would definitely be a badass in this situation. Rayne took HIM by surprise, and not in a good way. On top of that, he's feeling manipulated by people he doesn't like (Gemma and Jimmy). I don't think Jimmy could manipulate his way out of a paper bag holding a pair of scissors, but Coop doesn't know that.

Those two are a perfect mess. What a perfect description! Thank you!!

S.B. said...

Now Phoenix...reading at work *snickering*.....

Jimmy didn't have much choice. He could have hidden and let Rayne take the heat, but that wouldn't impress her much even though she would have understood it. He just sunk the last boat in his fleet by taking on Cooper though. Cooper can go after him and make sure his career never takes off, although I'm not sure he would do that. Like Cooper though, Jimmy has a temper, and Coop hit all the right buttons.

Rayne is still envious and somewhat resentful of her brother. I really don't think Cooper would have handled Wyatt the same way he did his daughter, but then the circumstances are not identical, and Rayne is NOT Wyatt. And Coop genuinely doesn't understand why she's not happy or what he could have done differently.

aww thank you for the compliments on the shots. I can't manage long pieces. Once I start, I want to finish, and it takes me too long to wrap up even a short update. Thank you!!!

S.B. said...

Hey Val!

Well, it's not that I don't like the lot, but I've used it a few times and I like to mix things up with different lots. Gayl is better than I am at achieving the 'lived in' look. I've studied work by some really wonderful writers who can whip up the most amazingly realistic sets. I'm still learning! And your sets are wonderful!

Toad has a lot of self doubt, but not about his music. Plus, he really does like Rayne. Separating the two of them will probably make both of them see how much they do like each other. So yeah, he was going to stand up to Cooper. And Cooper was truly taken by surprise!

Thank you so much for your support and the comments!

Emily said...

Phew! Caught up! Luckily I wasn't too far behind! :D

I love the dynamic between Rayne & Jimmy, it's a strange sort of relationship but I'm really interested to see where it goes although romantically I have to say I prefer Cruz for her but it's nice to have meaningful relationships that aren't just based on sex. I'm hoping Jimmy & Rayne help each other get straightened out!

Cooper is just soooo intimidating! Gotta hand it to Jimmy to stand his ground like that and I love that he had the thought of ruining his contract chances but he said it anyway.

I thought the lot actually worked very well but I understand wanting to use another one, that can be really frustrating when you can't do completely the way you envision.

Great update and very interested to see Coop's response to this conversation!

S.B. said...

Hi Emily! Thank you so much for taking the time, and I KNOW how much extra time you have :P

Cruz was the hot sex, that's for sure. Jimmy and Rayne are a whole different thing, and the relationship is already closer, and, in it's own way, more romantic than what Rayne had with Cruz. They need each other; they understand each other; they complete each other. Jimmy would destroy his chances by taking on Cooper, and he would do it for Rayne. And Rayne will probably throw anyone and everyone under the bus for Jimmy.

Coop is one intimidating alpha male!

Thank you so much! Knowing how much you have on your plate, it means so much to both of us that you took the time to read and to let us know what you think.

Rad said...

Rayne standing up to Cooper was great. They're both so alike in many ways, so hot-headed, so stubborn, so broken, so weak but pretending to be so strong...

Jimmy's either brave or a fool.

The shots are indeed lovely.

~Drew said...

Jimmy continues to intrigue, inside that hung-over, grizzled, tattooed, yellow-tobacco exterior lurks a little boy who is vulnerable, maybe, just wants to be loved.
Or, it could be the romantic in me.
Glad you came up with the idea of Jimmy, inspired.
Cooper continues to roar and stalk the earth in full Rock Monster mode. Good for Jimmy to standing up for himself, as much as he was able.
Nice segue with the bird shit. Maybe Rayne can start to work through her daddy issues.

great update ladies~in all ways~

S.B. said...

Rad, that's an interesting comparison between Rayne and Cooper. Cooper has some history he doesn't want to look at or relive, but, as Gayl told me, he is not a weak man pretending to be strong. Rayne is pretty strong herself, but her own darkness is much closer and fresher than Cooper's. If that makes sense.

Jimmy is a brave fool.

Thank you so much!!

S.B. said...

Thank you Drew. I don't see Jimmy quite like that, but he is vulnerable. And not much older than Rayne. I wasn't sure whether he actually would stand up to Cooper. It wasn't until I dug in and wrote it different ways that I saw his reaction clearly.

Daddy issues...LOL! Reminds me of that old George Michael song Father Figure...

And Cooper? Always the Rock Monster!

Thanks for the compliment on the writing!!

S@ndy said...

Jimmy and Rayne standing up to Cooper was great, I'm glad they reacted that way, and so happy they didn't let Cooper to put them down.

The lot is gorgeous, but all your lots are, the pictures lovely and the writing really is amazing...going from one PoV to another is working fantasticaly in this story!
Great job ladies... this chapter was really enjoyable!

S.B. said...

Hey Sandy!!

Coop's primary concern is taking care of his daughter. He doesn't trust her judgment (with good reason). He definitely has a low opinion of Jimmy, also with good reason. It's up to those two to prove him wrong.

I'm sure Jimmy would have backed off fast if Rayne wasn't involved.

I'm glad the different POV's are working. I'll be pushing it even more with the next one LOL! And thank you so much for the compliments on the shots!

Thank you!!

collidingwithme said...

I'm already late, but I thought I should still tell you that this chapter's ending was done splendidly! It makes me really think about where their conversation is going. So glad I have the next chapter straightaway! CAN'T WAIT TO SEE HOW COOP IS GONNA REACT!! *scurries to #23*

S.B. said...

Thank you ning!

cheripye said...

Well I must say I am impressed with Jimmy standing up for himself not willing to cower to Cooper even though he needs this contract and equally impressed with Rayne She is doing a good job :) holding to herself and remaining clean. Although with Jimmy's indescretion the night before lol! I am glad she yelled at him to get up :)

Beautiful lot nonetheless and great screens to compliment the tension filled writing :)

S.B. said...

Hi cheri! I was surprised and delighted to see a comment from you, and hope that means you're doing well.

Jimmy is a surprising person, definitely not easy to categorize! Thank you so much!