Saturday, February 6, 2010

After Effects

6:00 AM Bolthouse Beach House - Azura Beach

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_01

The morning sun had refused to let him sleep; the one drawback of having picture windows—no sleeping in. And he had wanted to so badly; if for no other reason than to continue the dream he had been having about Isabella. He had replayed his encounter with her in his head a million times and couldn’t shake the urge to kick himself in the ass for being so stupid. The very fact that he had forgotten he was with someone else at the time made him uneasy as it signaled just how preoccupied he was where she was concerned. After he had picked his face up off the floor and managed to convince Rachel to come back to his place, he had spent the better part of the evening making it up to her and now she lay half dressed on his brand new Italian leather sofa; an annoyance he figured he could excuse considering his faux pas at the restaurant.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_02

He fixed himself a drink and wandered over to his desk to check for the email he had been waiting on from Thad. Still nothing. Deciding not to wait for what he needed any longer he pulled open his desk drawer and began shuffling through the mess of disorganized papers searching for the number to his office.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_03

As he moved through the clutter the palm of his hand grazed over something smooth and shiny. When he realized what it was, he grasped it and held it in his hand for a few moments before placing it on top of the desk. Staring back at him were two crystal blue eyes, ivory skin, and a smile that even now he couldn’t help but return. He had forgotten about this picture of her—the only picture he had of himself and Skye together.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_04

She was named for the color of those eyes, bright and clear and blue but always harboring a void that Blake had tried desperately to fill. He remembered the night the picture had been taken; the dinner at the Italian restaurant she loved; the long walk on the beach. He was going to ask her to marry him that night but fate preempted him from doing so and the series of events that followed permanently cancelled any dreams he had of being with her again.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_05

His memories were the only parts of her that he had to hold onto and the pain associated with them had created the man he was now. Numb and heartless; meaningless sex his only portal to any remote kind of emotion. Anything that compared in the slightest to what he felt when he was with her had eluded his grasp and several years and countless women later the inevitable disappointment he felt left him with no other choice but to get lost in his own physical gratification to temporarily ease his pain.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_06

As his thoughts came crashing down on him, the smile he wore slowly faded and he shoved the picture back in the drawer and slammed it closed. Finishing the rest of his drink he stalked back to the kitchen to pour himself another. He relished the sensation of it burning the back of his throat; a chaser for the unbearable restlessness that had been creeping up his spine; the constant reminder that the wounds on his heart would probably never heal.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_07

This was the first time in a long time that he had thought of Skye. He had used his ritual of partying until all hours and blurry one night stands as a remedy for his loneliness but recently, more often than not, those vices had been replaced with quiet nights alone thinking about the one woman in Las Vistas that barely gave him the time of day.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_08

No other woman had affected him this way since Skye, and in many of the same ways he felt connected to her as if some part of her needed some part of him. He was getting in way too deep, far past his comfort level; so focused on the hunt that he hadn’t stopped to think about what would happen after he finally caught his prey. He was loosing control in the situation and he didn’t want to think about what might happen if he pursued it any further. Falling in love again, if it was even possible, wasn’t something he was ready for and continuing to let his infatuation with Isabella drive his actions spelled nothing but trouble in his mind.

Ep. 09_Sc. 01_09

Looking back at the sleeping woman on his couch he let himself fall back into the pattern he was used to; throw a bandage over the bullet hole and keep moving. He gripped her thigh to wake her and barely gave her a moment to realize what was going on before he began unhooking her bra. The decision had been made. Whatever it was that was going on between he and Isabella wasn’t going any further.


8:05 AM Osborne Residence - Spanish Quarter, Downtown Las Vistas

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_01
Ep. 09_Sc. 02_02

Gunther looked down from the loft, his expression intent and tender. Every breath, every movement, every flutter of her eyelids; he took it all in and held it close to him praying that somehow he would never have to let it go. She had come to him in the middle of the night crying and desperate and as much as his brain had told him it was a bad idea, his heart wouldn’t let him say no. And so he stood there watching her sleep wishing that he could be the one lying next her instead of the pillows on the sofa.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_03

He had offered her the bed, but she had fallen asleep there and he couldn’t bear to wake her. It was probably just as well since he didn’t know if he would’ve been able to keep himself for joining her if she had been in his bed. The couch only had room for one.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_04

He crept down the stairs quietly and started the business of making her something to eat. Bacon, scrambled eggs with cheese, and bean sprouts stuffed between two pancakes; strawberry syrup. It was a strange combination that he had taken to eating once he found out it was her favorite and it was actually quite good to him now.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_05

He set the plate of hot food down on the coffee table in front of her and caught himself staring at her again. Even at her lowest she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He shook her a little and she slowly came out of her slumber. “Wake up sleepy head; I’ve got food for you.” Her eyes opened slowly and she smiled when she saw what he had for her. “Thanks G-man.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_06

“You feel like talking about what happened. I know you tried last night but I couldn’t understand you through all the blubbering you were doing.” His smile caught hers as she gobbled down a large bite of the concoction on her plate. “I told you Thad kicked me out. He took my keys and cleared out all of my accounts. I only have $350 left on the only credit card in my name.” She paused before taking another bite and looked up at Gunther; the most pathetic puppy dog look in her eyes. “He’s such an asshole,” she said as she shoveled another forkful in her mouth.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_07

“Yeah he is. But what did you do this time SiSi? “I just had a few people over and he got pissed.” “How many people?” he asked, knowing the answer wouldn’t be good. “Not many,” she said looking down at her plate. “How many people Sienna?” She looked up at him and rolled her eyes knowing what was coming. “About 30 or so.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_08

“Are you crazy? No wonder he threw you out I would’ve too. “So you’re on his side now?” she said. “I’m on your side, you know that, but you can’t keep screwing up and expecting everyone to just look the other way. What did you want him to do; bring a keg and join the party? You’re in his house on his dime, but you don’t care. You just do whatever you want and everyone else be damned. You’re not in high school anymore and it’s way past time for you take responsibility for yourself.” Frustrated, he stood up and walked away from her into the kitchen.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_09

Sienna sat on the couch pouting and pushed her food around with her fork, disturbed that Gunther seemed to be turning on her. Sure he might have had a point but that didn’t make it any easier to swallow. She was the baby of the family and the only girl, a privilege that she had used to her advantage all her life. Work and responsibility had always been left to her brothers. Why anyone expected such things from her now after all this time was beyond her comprehension.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_10

Picking up on her long silence Gunther sensed that he might have hurt her feelings. “Look, I didn’t mean yell at you. You just have to face reality. You’re an adult; you need to start taking care of yourself. Clearly Thad isn’t going to do it and the rich husband thing isn’t the best plan either. You might have to settle for a normal guy,” he said as he sat down beside her and put his arm around her. It was more than a subtle hint that went completely over her head.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_11

She looked at him with sad eyes and gave a weak smile, conceding defeat. “I know, Gunther, but I’ve never had to do anything for myself. I’m not smart like my brothers, I’ve never worked before, I’m not good at anything. Why can’t anyone understand that?!” Her embarrassment showing, she turned away from him when he pulled her closer.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_12

“First of all none of that is true. You’re one of the smartest people I know, maybe not a genius, but you’re not as clueless as you pretend to be. And second, you’re good at a lot of things you don’t give yourself credit for. All anyone wants is for you to try and do something with your life instead of club hopping. You keep this up and you’ll be 60 years old in VIP. Not a good look,” said with a devious smile.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_13

Sienna let herself laugh and pulled him into a hug. “How do you always know how to make me feel better,” said imparting a kiss on his cheek. The sensation of her lips on his skin was enough to drive him crazy and he had to fight the urge to turn his head and have his lips meet hers.

Ep. 09_Sc. 02_14

Completely oblivious to the battle going on inside of him she slipped from his grasp and hopped off the couch, heading for the bathroom. “Where are you going?” “Well if I’m going to take care of myself I guess I have to get a job so that means I need some new shoes. I can’t possibly go job hunting with any of the old ones. I’ll be ready to go in ten minutes.” With that she slipped into the bathroom and left Gunther shaking his head in disbelief.


2:45 PM DeSantos Residence - Sagebrush

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_01

How can she not know who I am? The question had been running through Bianca’s mind since her encounter with the Monacco woman and it was still no closer to being answered. She had foolishly conjured up an image in her mind of how things would be when they came face to face; speechless recognition followed by tears and hugs; an emotional reunion of mother and child. But it had been nothing like that. The woman hadn’t spoken to her, or even so much as glanced her way at the restaurant. She had only turned around when it was obvious that Bianca was staring at her and even then it was painfully clear that she had no idea who Bianca was. How could that possibly be? Could she have been wrong about her?

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_02

No. She had to be right. That woman had to be her mother and she had to be the “love child” that she had left behind. The picture in her father’s room proved they had been together back then, she was the exact age that any child they had would’ve been, and the whispers that stopped every time she entered her classroom meant that everyone else knew it too. But still, she couldn’t be completely sure. Not without confirmation; which she thought she would get from the woman herself. But since that hadn’t happened would have to find another way.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_03
Ep. 09_Sc. 03_04

The wet smack of a water balloon snapped her out of her thoughts. “Bullseye !” Bianca stood up sopping wet and angry. “Damn it Devin!” she shouted at her friend who was smiling in satisfaction. “Relax its just water. God! It really shouldn’t take that much to get your attention you know.” Devin turned her ammunition back to Georgette who was already soaked to the bone. Bianca grabbed a towel and began wiping herself off. Having her friends around was a distraction she didn’t need, regardless of the fact that she had asked them to come over in the first place. Devin wasn’t the type you poured your heart out to about anything and Georgette wasn’t any better. She spent most of her time doing whatever Devin told her to do.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_05

As she turned to sit down she caught movement in the corner of her eye and turned around to see Rider sitting in the cabana behind her. “What are you doing here?” she said, clearly less than thrilled to see him. “Just enjoying the view” he said, his gaze focused past her and squarely on Devin.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_06

“You’re not her type,” Bianca said scrunching her face in disgust. “Devin doesn’t like losers or drop outs.” His gaze still trained on the scantily clad blonde, he fired back at her. “Bleach blonde airheads aren’t my type either, but for her I’d make an exception. And I’m not a drop out anymore; I’m graduating in June.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_07

“After how many years? Most people are out of high school before they hit 20.” Rider finally turned his attention towards her, his temper slightly flaring. “I’m not 20 yet.” “You will be in June,” she replied satisfied that she had won one of the many rounds of verbal combat they engaged in regularly. He rolled his eyes and went back to staring at Devin.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_08

Irritated by his presence and the amount of attention he was heaping on her friend Bianca stared him down until he was forced to look her way again. “What?!” “Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be following Rook around or something?” “ I would be if Nico hadn’t made me come here to baby-sit you. I’ve got better things to do than this. The only reason I’m still here is because there’s nice scenery to look at. Why don’t you stop being a brat about it and hook me up with her. Does she have a boyfriend?”
Ep. 09_Sc. 03_09

Ignoring his question she paused for a moment to think. It wasn’t like her father to leave without telling her. Mrs. Brooks was milling around somewhere so having Rider assigned as her watch dog meant that wherever he was he definitely didn’t want her to find out about it. “Where did he go?” she asked. “I don’t know,” Rider said still fascinated with the eye candy.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_10

“Did he take his gun with him?” “I don’t know Bianca; I didn’t pat him down before he left okay. So what’s up with Devin? Is she single or what?” Still tuning him out she rose from the lounger and headed for the house. “Where are you going?” Rider called after her, but she kept walking right past the pool, right past her friends and straight upstairs to her father’s room.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_11

Exactly as she suspected his gun was in the same place it had been a few days earlier, sitting alone, unloaded on his dresser. Wherever he had gone it hadn’t been for business as his piece was like an extra negotiating tool he never left home without. Confused and concerned, she walked out onto the balcony that overlooked the pool and stared down at Rider who had given up lurking from afar and finally made his way over to talk to Devin.

Ep. 09_Sc. 03_12
Ep. 09_Sc. 03_13

He seemed totally oblivious to the change in her father’s behavior and likewise was probably as clueless as she was about the truth behind her suspicions. He definitely wouldn’t be any help at putting the pieces of this puzzle together. She had considered asking Rook, but she knew better than to believe that he would ever betray his brother’s trust. He was a big stone wall that she didn’t want to push. Left with no other options she decided it was time that the other party in this triangle be consulted. Like it or not, she was going to have to ask her father to tell her the truth, a prospect that gave her little comfort.


7:10 PM - Phoenix Heights, Downtown Las Vistas

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_01
Ep. 09_Sc. 04_02

“What do we have here?” Reese said as he dipped under the caution tape and walked towards the group of officers huddled together in the middle of the alley. They stepped aside to let him through revealing a body lying in a puddle of blood on the street.

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_03

It only took him a moment to scan the lifeless woman before him; young, very attractive, brown hair, and stripped naked with two slits carved into the sides of her face that were weeping blood. “Damn it, not again!” he said as he shook his head and turned away. “It’s him isn’t? Where did he leave the letter this time,” he asked one of the officers.

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_04

“Folded up nice and neat right between her legs. This guy’s a real sicko,” the officer replied holding up a plastic bag with a small piece of paper in it. “Send that to the lab right away. I want it read and analyzed immediately.” Reese knelt down close to the woman, a look of regret in his eyes, but he refrained from touching her. “Do we know who she is yet?”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_05

“No ID yet; still a Jane Doe for now,” another officer replied. Just as before, any personal property of the victim was nowhere to be found and if they were in fact dealing with a serial killer, this woman would eventually be identified as a prostitute, a runaway, or some other nameless person that society had thrown away. “I’m sorry Jane. I’m going to find out who did this to you,” he whispered to what was left of the victim. He stood up and began walking towards a man who was approaching the scene.

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_06

“Hey Luke, tell me you got something from dumpster across the street.” He had been hopeful that the killer would slip up and leave the weapon or some other piece of the puzzle behind but he knew the sullen look on his partner’s face meant that he had come up empty. “Everything’s clean,” Luke replied reluctantly. “In ten years I’ve never seen anything like it, no prints, no weapons, not even a damn eyelash. Whoever he is, this guy is flawless.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_07

Reese turned back to the body, that familiar tight feeling in his chest persisting. This murder was strike three; same type of victim, same killing method, same smart ass calling card left behind saying nothing and everything; taunting them. They were working with a predator and he knew he wouldn’t be able to rest until they found something. “Whoever he is he’s human. He’s going to fuck up eventually and when he does I’ll be breathing down his neck.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_08

The phone on his hip vibrated suddenly, startling him. He put it up to his ear and answered; his voice tense. “Detective Prescott…hey sis what’s up?” Reese said when he recognized his sister’s voice on the other end of the phone. “You don’t sound right. Is everything okay?” Eden replied. “Not from where I’m standing, but I can’t talk about it right now.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_09

“So I guess that means you’re not going to make it for dinner then?” Reese glanced down at his watch. “Is it 7 o’clock already? Damn, I’m sorry Eden I completely lost track of time. Why don’t you wrap it up for me and I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_10

“Okay, but come over early because I’m going shopping with Issy in the morning.” Reese’s somber expression lifted into a slight smile; a knee jerk reaction to the sound of her name. “So she’s still here. How’s she doing?”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_11

“Over the moon now that she and Nico are…ummm…damn I wasn’t supposed to say anything about that was I? Never mind.” Dissolving as quickly as it had come, his smile abruptly turned into a tense frown as he pressed Eden for more information. “She and Nico are what Eden?” he said failing to hide the irritation in his voice. “Well, I guess its okay to tell you. They’re together again, sort of. I don’t know what to call it exactly, but they admitted that they still love each other and they’ve become friendly again if you know what I mean.”

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_12

An all too familiar wave of anxiety washed over him and he felt like he was experiencing déjà vu. This wasn’t the first time his sister had been the one to tell him that Nico and Isabella were an item and just like the time before he wasn’t happy about it. “Well good for them,” he said begrudgingly. “That doesn’t bother you does it? Even after all this time?” Eden’s asked, intently picking up on her brother’s angst. Her questions gnawed at him a bit. He didn’t want it to bother him and it shouldn’t have, but somehow it did.

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_13

“No,” he lied. “They’re both adults, they can do what they want. It’s none of my business anyway.” Eden knew better, but decided not to push him. “Okay, well I’ll see you tomorrow then. I love you.” “ Yeah me too,” he said and abruptly hung up.

Ep. 09_Sc. 04_14

Reese shoved the phone back in his pocket and looked back at the slain woman again. She had probably gotten up this morning thinking it would be another regular day the thought of her own death nowhere in her consciousness. He had seen it a million times; trusting, unsuspecting, innocent people dead at the hands of someone else; caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. As much as he didn’t want it to, Eden’s news about Isabella had started him wondering, if she stayed involved with Nico, could she possibly face the same fate.


  1. This is so beautiful visually, I am smitten. I am speechless. The clarity, the composition, the incredible and totally natural poses - I can't even imagine what it took to create this. My god the scene with Sienna and the plat on her lap is gorgeous!!

    I don't want to skip past Blake, because my heart is breaking for him. The description of him touching the picture of Skye, I could feel it, the change in texture from paper clutter to the glass. Wonderful detail!

    Miss is she taking Gunther for a ride or what? Got to get her some new shoes before she even thinks about looking for a job. Poor guy. He's so crazy about that spoiled brat.

    I feel for Bianca. The exchange with Rider was so real LOL! And the way she casually walks into her father's room to check on his room gave me the creeps. I love the city beyond that pool, and the angles you capture, and the color. Just beautiful.

    which moved smoothly and shockingly into the last scene. Wow. Sure wasn't expecting that. The contrast between both the shots and the description (two slits carved into the sides of her face that were weeping blood - stunning) used here and the lush, almost dreamy atmosphere in the beginning of this chapter is wonderful!

    Absolutely perfect!!

  2. Ooo Rider. You cute bum. I'm curious to know why he thinks he can pick up high school girls when he's a 20 year old one likes a super senior. Not cute no matter how attractive you are.

    I lovee how clueless Sienna is. That poor boy has probably been in love with her for years and she's never noticed. Or been smart and decided not to let their relationship go there. He's probably one of the only real friends she has.

    I definetly feel like Bianca is quicky becoming my favorite though. I like her. Her witty comebacks won me over lol.

  3. Thanks Beth! Oh that damn plate in her lap what a challenge I'll say but it's what I saw in my head so I had do. For the first time this turned out just like I saw it in my head.

    Blake is like a wounded bird trying to find the courage to fly again. He sees himself falling for Issy but just can't give into it yet. He's running scared for now anyway.

    Sienna is touring Gunther by being so close physically yet so far emotionally. He's really gone over her; way beyond help. Having her in his house might give him the chance he's wanted all along.

    Bianca's getting closer to the truth, but I feel bad for her because she's all alone in this. She doesn't have anyone she can confide in at all.

    The last scene is my favorite. I've been planning it for a while. I wanted it very CSI; dark and ominous. I also wanted to show a different side of Reese. He's a good guy but he takes his work seriously. And he is very protective of those he loves. Issy seems to be one of those people but we'll see how deep that goes.

    Thank you again for the compliments; you know I need the encouragement.

  4. Hey Sinclair. Yes Rider is a super senior and it's worse because he's not dumb, just bit of a screw up. He is bordering on being a dirty old man hitting on Bianca's friends. And she is a little spitfire. I love the dynamic between the two of them; very old married couple.

    Sienna is not the sharpest tool in the shed if you know what I mean. I think there might be a small part of her that suspects that Gunther is in love with her but she is in no way trying to examine it. And yes, he is her only real friend so, subconsciously, she may not want to mess that up. Hmmm, never thought of it that way actually....

    See that's why I love your comments, thank you.

  5. This was great! I'm with Beth, the visuals were great. I didn't see poses or anything of the sort, just natural environments and people in them. The pacing was also great. I loved learning more about Blake, getting some explanation behind his otherwise shallow exterior. Very interesting knowledge...

    I'm glad Sienna has someone she can run to that won't bullshit her. It's a shame she can't see that he's definitely harboring something a bit more than friendship, though. Maybe it's a good thing for him... she doesn't seem very reliable in the end. I'm intrigued about how this going to go.

    And I love Bianca! Her dealings with Rider are quite humorous. She's calling it like she sees it, though. He's still in high school?! He might not be dumb, but he really needs to figure his shit out before he becomes one of those deadbeat types.

    Hitting on her friends, too, sheesh. Some babysitter. ;)

    Loved the lighting at the crime scene--very eerie. It definitely added to the scene quite a bit!

    Sorry I'm so behind. This month has sucked for keeping up!

  6. Mao don't worry about keeping up. You read it and you like it so I'm happy. I'm glad that the visuals and poses worked I was really going for very natural interactions especially w/ Gunther and Sienna. And no he is not going to bullshit her but his soft spot for her makes following through on the tough love difficult sometimes.

    Blake is a big bundle of regret and fear and guilt and since I left that hole wide open for a while (since episode 1) I had to start filling it in. He's known love and loss and doesn't know how to deal with either now.

    Bianca and Rider are quite comical. He's been around so long they fight like siblings. He has been a slacker but he is trying to get it together.

    That crime scene was a beast to light up (way too dark) I had to keep putting floor lights at everyone's feet. But I'm glad you thought it was good.

  7. This was fantastic! Very natural and very well paced. A wonderful read!

    I really enjoyed learning more of Blake, he really is a fantastic character and I'm glad you let us a little bit into his past...
    so he was not always a womanizer... I wonder what happened to his girlfriend.... I'm thinking that maybe she got killed by the same murderer on the last scene?

    That crime scene was also terrific... everything looks so natural!

    I feel so sorry for G-man! I wonder if Sienna would ever find out he loves her...
    Ha! she only got $350 and she is already thinking about spending it on shoes!! She will never change! Good luck, hopefully she will find something to do!

    Poor Bianka...hopefully she will find the answers to all her questions soon.
    Her interaction with Rider is very real, lol... she reminded me of someone.... a friend and her brother, lol always fighting about something.

    Lovely shots, and I LOVED the writing in this one, it all worked so perfect, and it moved so smoothly from one scene to the other! It really was a fantastic chapter!
    Great job!!!

    ps... I was thinking, Eden's husband should be interrogated about the crime!!!