Chapter One

The bar in Southern California wasn't as crowded as it usually is, and the bartender was feeling nice tonight. "Here," said the bartender, Stan, handing two Samuel Jackson's to the two women. "This is on the house girls."

"What do you want Stan?," asked one of the women.

"Nothing Maria," Stan answered.

"He's a guy. Of course he wants something," snapped the other woman.

"Tonight is slow Jewel, but by the way it sounds, sounds like you have guy problems. Is it Steven again?," said Stan haughtily.

"Why do you ask?," said Jewel a little too quickly.

"Every single night you come here, sit in the exact same spot, order the exact same drink, and always talk about the exact same thing-Steven."

"I do not," said Jewel defensively.

"They've decided to have a little time away from each other," added Maria.

Stan looks at Jewel and she turned away.

"She took two weeks vacation off work just to spend time with him. Though not anymore," continued Maria.

"We have been seeing each other for five damn years. I ask about the m- word and he freaks and says we need a break," said Jewel.

"Commitment problems," said Stan knowingly.

Jewel smiled sadly. "That's men for you. I'm 25 and still not married."

"Not all men are like that," retorted Stan.

"Name a guy you know."

Silence. "Fine, you win."

"Go out of town for your vacation. Have some fun," said Maria.

"I don't think-"

"That's it," said Stan snapping his fingers, interrupting Jewel. "I am going to visit family down in Texas soon."

"Texas," said Maria in disbelief. "Where is your accent?"

"It's my aunt and uncle. They own a pretty decent ranch, and I am visiting because my aunt is sick. You should come with me."

"What!? No way," said Jewel. "Your aunt is sick. It would be totally rude."

"No it won't. About a mile away, there is an inn that they own. You can stay there."

"I'm not so sure."

"Go, Jewel," said Maria. "You really do need it."

Jewel looked into her friend's face and saw that she was truly concerned about her. "Sure," said Jewel, giving in. "When are you leaving?"

"Hmm. Thursday," said Stan.

"That's in two days," said Jewel, uncertain now.

"I know," replied Stan. "Hey, are you coming or not?"

"Bartender," called a customer.

"Just a minute," Stan yelled to him, but still looking at Jewel.

"Sure."

"Sure?"

"Yes."

"See you then." And he walked towards the customer.

"You're going to Texas girl," said Maria.

"Yep," said Jewel warily.

The both lifted their bottles, said cheer, and took a long swift drink.