Sunday, April 25, 2010

Reality Check

Monacco Desert Cottage – Vista Hills

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 01

“Hello daddy.” Isabella reluctantly held the phone to her ear listening to her father’s rough voice. It contained a variation of tenderness mixed with brute as it always had, and as usual, it sent a variation of conflicting emotions charging through her; comfort, fear, love, loathing, confidence, and complete mistrust. She had always been a daddy’s girl and with a man like her father, that title came with a heavy price. Nothing was ever simple when it came to him.

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 02

“Nice to finally hear your voice Mi’ja. It’s just a shame that the threat of a surprise visit is the only way to get you on the phone. There must be something going on there that you don’t want me to know about.” Isabella shifted uncomfortably, absently looking at the clock on the wall. Nico would be there soon. It was down right scary how intuitive her father could be.

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 03

“I’ve been busy doing your bidding. That’s what you wanted isn’t it?” she said, raising her voice. “I’ve got things under control here, there’s no need for you to come all the way to the states to check up on me.” She tried hard to conceal the desperation in her voice but got the feeling she hadn’t been successful. But if her father could hear it he didn’t let on.

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 04

“So that must mean that the Syntec Global deal is moving along well. You’re not letting Marc Bauer give you any shit are you?” “No daddy. Mr. Bauer understands exactly what I want and expect. He’ll give it to me in due time if he’s smart.” Carlos let out a chuckle. The girl sounded just like he did when he was her age; hard nosed, determined, and blindly naive. “Okay querida. I trust you. I just don’t like being put off. You are my daughter. I love you. It’s your voice I want to hear…at least every now and again. Okay?”

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 05

Isabella smiled in spite of herself. That was the effect he had on her. One minute she wanted to fight with him and next minute she wanted nothing more than to be wrapped in his arms. As many turbulent times as there had been in their lives, she still considered him her rock; the one constant that would always be there. “Okay daddy. I love you too. Talk to you later.”

Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 06
Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 07
Ep. 12_Sc. 01_ 08


Las Vistas International Airport – Hanger #27

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_01

Rook looked down at his watch for the third time in 20 minutes. He must have it set wrong; Nico would never be this late. Just as he let that rational sink in it was loudly contradicted by the deep drone of the clock tower in the distance -- 10:30 and still no Nico.

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_02

He pulled out his cell phone and dialed his brother’s number again. It rang once and went straight to voicemail. Irritated he dialed the house number. It rang several times until a male voice answered. “Who the hell is this?!” he growled.

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_03

"It’s Rider. What’s going on?”

“What the hell are you doing there? Put Nico on the phone.” Rook was growing impatient with Nico’s blatant disregard for his time.

“He’s not here. He asked me to stay here and keep an eye on Bianca while he went to meet you.”

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_04

“Well he’s obviously he’s not here so where the hell his he? Did he say he was going somewhere else?”

“No, just to see you,” Rider replied, a hint of concern growing in his voice.

“Fine, if he calls or comes back tell him to forget it, I’m leaving.” Rook abruptly hung up and headed for his car.

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_05

At this rate they would never get this deal done and it had to be done soon. It was the third time in a week that Nico had either been late or hadn’t bothered to show up at all. It was getting old and Rook was damn tired of it.

Ep. 12_Sc. 02_06

On the few occasions he had seen his brother he was only there physically as his mind seemed a million miles away; and he didn’t have to guess why. Rook’s face contorted into anger as the realization hit him. Nico had ignored his advice and abandoned his better judgment. He was with her…..again.


Monacco Desert Cottage – Vista Hills

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_01

It was late, the sun long gone; the sound of crickets chirping resonated in the air. Lexie was downstairs fumbling around in the kitchen, Nico’s phone had been vibrating wildly on and off for the last hour and somewhere out in the distance a coyote was howling, but somehow, as they sat together on the terrace, it seemed like they were the only two people on earth.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_02

Nico’s mood had calmed considerably from the state he was in when he first arrived. His expression, usually a scowl, had been especially surly and he had barely said two words to her before carrying her to her room and throwing her on the bed. To say that he had been anxious was an understatement. “So do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” Isabella said resting her head against his chest, his arms wrapped around her. The way he held her felt more like he was trying to comfort himself rather than her. “Who says there’s anything wrong?” he said in a tired voice.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_03

“Well, you come over here and practically tear my clothes off; barely say hello. It seemed like you were getting out a little frustration. I’m not saying I mind, but that wasn’t all about me was it?” He let out a snicker and squeezed his arms around her tighter. “It was mostly about you. You know I can’t control myself when I’m near you,” he said, letting a smile cross his face.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_04

“Okay, if it was only mostly about me what was the rest of it about?” Nico shifted uncomfortably. “I don’t want to talk about my problems. I just want to enjoy being here with you,” he said as he stroked her hair and kissed her on the top of the head in an effort to pacify her curiosity. “And am I supposed to enjoy myself when I can feel you brooding behind me? Come on, tell me what’s wrong,” she said turning to look at him.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_05

He let out a slightly frustrated sigh. “Look, it’s about work, okay. I don’t want to go there with you. Besides the less you know about what I do the better. A lot of it you really shouldn’t want to know anyway.” He tried to soften the hardness of his expression when he saw her reaction to what he had just said.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_06

Isabella turned around and put her back to him. She sat silently; Reese’s words beginning to echo in her mind. Though she and Nico were virtually skin to skin, she was painfully aware of a distance between them; a void of circumstance that they had always been unconsciously careful not to address. But it was there now, wedging itself further and further between them as their silence drew out.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_07

Finally, amidst his own discomfort Nico broke it. “I know what you’re thinking right now. But he’s not right about everything.” Isabella turned toward him again. “Who,” she said. “Reese. You’re thinking about whatever the hell he said to you about me, but it’s not all true. He only knows the stuff in his police reports and what he’s heard about me.”

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_08

“Then what is true Nico? I know he’s not right about everything he said but is he right about anything? I know a lot has happened, but what? What is it? It’s not just what you do or who you associate with. What are these things that have happened to you that are so awful? I feel like you’re keeping me at arms length sometimes; like I’m not getting all of you. There’s a whole part of your life that’s a mystery to me. Why won’t you let me all the way in?”

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_09

“Because I don’t want you to be a part of that,” he said, rising from the lounger, his tone more aggressive than he intended. “I don’t want you to know that side of me. I hate that side. You might hate me too if you knew some of the things I’ve done.” He held her gaze for a long moment searching for any sign of hesitation on her part but the expression on her face reassured him that his last statement could never be true. He knew she could never hate him, but right now she was the one that needed reassurance of his feelings.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_10

“You’re already all the way in here," he said pointing to his heart. “It’s all yours and it’s the only place you need to be. I love you. I’m not going to let anything happen to you or what we have. I don’t want to hide anything from you, but if it keeps you safe than it’s just going to have to be that way. You’ve got to understand that.”

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_11

His heart was the only place she wanted to be; she had already been away from it for too long. Still, being excluded from any part of him, even if it was a dark place she’d be better off staying out of, made her anxious. It was a problem that had the potential to get worse and it wasn’t the only issue between them. Nico didn’t exactly have full access to her life either. They never spoke about it, but their sneaking around was just as much a protection for her professional reputation as it was a safety precaution. And then of course there was the matter of the “other important person in his life” that they pretended didn’t exist when they were together—his daughter. That was definitely a topic she was in no way ready to deal with. She put the thought out of her mind as quickly as it came and decided to quit while she was ahead.

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_12

Finally she stood and gave him a weak smile. “I don’t like it Nico, but I understand,” she said, not entirely sure if she was telling the truth. “I just don’t want anything to come between us again. Not now.” He took her in his arms and kissed her forehead. “Trust me angel. Nothing will.”

Ep. 12_Sc. 03_13
Ep. 12_Sc. 03_14


  1. Oh man! The last two pictures really summed up the whole chapter. They both have so much to talk about but so much they want to avoid at the same time. That's toxin in a relationship right there. Well, at least they talked about one MAJOR thing. It's a start. But Rook is going to have Nico's head if he keeps screwing up. Sure it's a shady job but it's still a job and other people need the money too.

  2. Yes Phoenix that toxin has been seeping in from the begining. They've always known it was there; just being selectively ignorant to it. And the other big thing is going to be even more of a challenge.

    Rook is one of the many people that know this is not the best thing for anyone. Nico's messing with his money which means he messing with his emotions.

  3. oh Isabella, don't do this. If he thinks you'll hate what he did, well what he did IS who he is. And if a man can get away with pushing you away, keeping secrets, and girl you know you KNOW they're bad, then he'll do it with other things too.

    She knows better. This is going to come back and bite her, and she will feel all kinds of guilt.

    And I love these shots. The last two, and the shot where they are lying next to each other but Isabella is looking in the other direction, out into the dark, you absolutely captured the mood and the emotion! Also intensely admiring the shot of Rook taken through the scaffolding! Wonderful composition!

    This is wonderful. Just wonderful. The pace, the tension, the emotion, all of it ominous and perfect perfect!!

  4. Thank you so much Beth. This has been a conversation that was a long time coming for these two, but they still managed to sweep some things under the rug. But as those last two shots show, they both know that the situtation is How can you be with only half of someone? The truth is, you can't and they both know it (deep down), but they don't want to accept it. crossed lovers.

  5. The last two shots here really summed up the theme here. Both knowing or at least thinking about the secrets they are witholding. It's dangerous and fatal for a relationship and add that to the fact that they are sneaking around in the first place is adding the match to the dynamite.

    I love these two together. I kow their relationship may not survive and that they are most likely toxic for each other but I love them.

    Nico is playing a dangerous game not showing up when he is supposed to. He is jeopardizing a lot here. And if Rook knows he is with Issy, that puts her in the line of fire as well.

    I am in total awe over your shots but OMG the writing blew me away!

  6. oh... (insert long sigh here)...
    I agree with Phoenix, those last shot do sum up the whole thing.

    So painful... and so inevitable... Those secrets will come out sooner or later, and I assumed they will destroy and break a few things between them... hopefully their love will stand it all but it feels like they have a long way to go...

    now it might seem easy to just love each other, and avoid the 'unwanted' talking and truths...

    I think they already know what is about to happen... that's why they are not willing to let go yet... you know... they now something big is coming and they just don't want to break what they have yet...

    Rook seems pissed off, and I'm sure he will be the first earthquake to shake Isabella's and Nico's lovely world.

    Isabella father... he is so intriguing... from last chapter, I had imagined he was a SOB.. a really horrible father... but seems like Isabella does love him after all... he has so many layers, I can't wait to meet him!!!

    Awesome chapter.. Really the shots and the writing are amazing like always...
    Perfect chapter, everything was flawless, the conversations, the shots... everything was just perfect!
    Great job!
    I'm so looking forward to next update!

  7. Dynamite is a good metphor Gayl and at this rate that relationship is going to blow. I do love the two of them together too, but I just don't know if they are going to be able to keep things together.

    Rook is another explosion waiting to happen. He loves his brother and would like nothing more than to see him happy, but not at the cost of their business. More than that he sees the train wreck that's poised to happen if they stay together.

    Thank you so much for the compliments on the shots and the writing.

  8. S@ndy, layers don't begin to describe Carlos Monacco. Strangely he is a lot like Nico. Secrets and lies in the name of protecting the people he loves. I guess girls do fall for guys like their fathers.

    It's not looking good for Nico and Issy right now. There are so many things standing in the way, including Rook, and buying their heads in the sand isn't helping.

    I'm really glad you liked this one. Hopefully I can making it better.

  9. So I feel like the only logical question to all of the multiple issues floating around with everyone is how far will they go? How far will Rook go to keep Nico in line? How far will Bianca go to find out what she wants? (amidst sleeping with Rider. Not like you can blame her :P) How far will Carlos go when he finds out about Issy's activities to keep her on the straight and narrow. Are these people like willing to do whatever it takes or are there limits?

    And despite everything else Nico and Issy are a cute couple. No doubt. But hiding stuff helps no one. You cant prepare for the unknown. And I feel like in their lives suprise is not a welcome term.

  10. Oh, Sinclair you've really hit it right on the head. How far will they go? They are all determined people (some a bit more determined than others), but someone is going to have to blink first, so I think there are limits. Bianca is the only person who might not have any as she had nothing to loose at this point.

    What's even more interesting is the fact that they are all relying on each other to either let things be or give up the goods and spill the truth. It's one big pentagon of trouble that probably won't end well.