Chapter Five

"Derek," said Stan, talking to the person who just joined them. "It's so good to see you."

Jewel looked towards his cousin, Derek. He was attractive and tall. He's brown eyes looked dark and secretive. He was also wearing a cowboy hat like the other guys.

"Stan," said Derek. "It's been awhile."

"Derek," said Tom, basically pushing Jewel into Derek. "This is Jewel, Stan's friend. Not to be confused with girlfriend."

Derek gave Tom an angry glare. Tom smiled innocently. Derek looked at Jewel and just nodded. "We should leave now," he said to Tom and Charlie.

"See you all later," Tom called behind his back when they were walking away.

"Bye," said Ann. "Let's go in."

They walked through the front door. The house was cozy and the air smelt good. "Aunt Caroline must be cooking," said Stan, walking towards the kitchen. Jewel followed him.

Inside the kitchen there was a woman cooking over the stove. "Aunt Caroline," said Stan like a parent telling a child is doing a wrong. "You are sick."

The old woman turned and smiled at Stan. "My favorite nephew," she said sweetly and bringing him into a hug.

"Your only nephew," said Stan reminded her.

She just smiled at the comment and then looked towards Jewel. "Who is your friend?"

Before Stan could answer, Jewel spoke. "Hello. I'm Jewel."

"It's nice to meet you," said Caroline. "Do you have any dinner plans?"

"Not that I know of," said Jewel.

"Now you do," said Caroline, giving her a sweet smile and then returning to the stove.

"Come on," said Stan to Jewel. "I'll show you around the house."

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"I like Jewel," said Tom, leaning on a fence post and watching Charlie rounding up the cattle with other employees of the ranch. "She doesn't have a boyfriend or so I think, but who cares. What do you think Derek?"

"Are you trying to set me up again," said Derek, not bothering to hide the anger in his voice.

"No," said Tom innocently. "She just seems like a nice person."

"Everybody seems like that at first, but then they stab you in the back," said Derek harshly.

"You're lonely," said Tom, ignoring what Derek just said. "As a friend, I am going to tell you that I don't like seeing you like that."

"I am not lonely."

"Yes you are and you are also distant. You've been that for the last past three years and you are 27, not getting any younger. Get your self a girl, but wait, a girl is the reason you became they way you are now," he snapped.

"Shut up," Derek said, wanting to kill his best friend so bad.

"Not all women are bitches like Gabrielle," said Tom.

Gabrielle is Derek's ex-wife. When they first met, everything felt fine. They started dating and the eventually led to marriage. At first their marriage was good, but then he soon found out that she cheated on him twice. Not only did she cheat on him, but only married him for his soon to be fortune when his Uncle gives him the ranch and inn.

"Derek, Tom," yelled one of the employees-Shane. "Since you two have nothing better to do, I suppose you two go and fix the fences."

"What!," said Tom. "You're giving us the hard work."

"Have fun boys," Shane cheerfully said.

"See you two at supper," said Charlie.

"Damn," Tom complained. "This is going to take all day. Besides, my back already hurts. It doesn't need to hurt more."

"We better get started," said Derek, but not forgetting that Tom was trying to set him up with someone.

"Hey, Derek," Tom said. "I'm sorry, but I was only telling you the truth. Anyways, I am not going to stopping trying to set you up with Jewel."

"Have fun," Derek said sarcastically.

In silence, they both left their place at the fence to go to the shed and get the tools to do the job given to them.