Episode 3: "Strike One"
Part One

In Field Fly Sports Pub

Bryce McKeon made his way through the sea of commotion, past the crowded pool tables, and finally found a familiar face near the Backstop Bar. "Simon, geez, man. You didn't tell me this place would be brimming with beautiful ladies." He motioned for the bartender. "Thanks for helping me move in, by the way."

"Hey! That's what cousins are for, cuz," Simon grinned, slapping Bryce on the back. "Yeah, I see these babes every day. Hey, I'll introduce you to any one of them, if you'd like. Hey, Hayley! How's it shakin', baby?" A redhead turned to him, gave him a disgusted look, then continued to converse with her female friend.

Bryce cracked up. "Oh yeah, a real ladies' man, that's my cousin." His eyes drifted along the wave of scantily clad women who roamed the room. Dangerously short mini skirts, hip-hugging blue jeans, plunging necklines, sultry full glossy lips; Bryce saw so much redundancy in the women's attire they began to merge into a blur of skin. Overwhelmed, he could sooner choose a favorite building in Roman architecture than a sexy single from that room.

"Well, any lady, Bryce, except for that one," Simon pointed the neck of his beer bottle toward a particularly smoking blond in black stiletto heels, skintight black leather pants, and crimson halter top. "Feast your eyes on Kendra Blake, the most eligible bachelorette in the Bay Area. I called dibs on her first." He watched as a muscle bound male approached her, only to be brushed off coldly. "Of course, other guys called it as well. But you watch, she will be mine."

Bryce raised a wary eyebrow. "Well, you score major style points in that choice, cuz," Bryce remarked. "But she seems a little too high maintenance for me."

"Well, I like to maintain high standards, Bryce," Simon replied, taking the last swig from his bottle and placing it on the bar.

Bryce didn't want to belittle his cousin's hopeless dream. "And you should, Simon," Bryce patted Simon's shoulder. "I'm off for some billiards." He had been waiting for a free table and spied a couple leaving one nearby. He headed for the rack of cue sticks leaning against the wall. He chose a stick with a black fiberglass handle and, bracing it under his arm, examined the tip. When he found it to his liking, he turned to the table.

THWAP! The fiberglass end of the cue stick whacked the forehead of an unsuspecting brunette as she passed by the table.

Part Two

In Field Fly Sports Pub

Bryce watched in horror as the young woman spun around to face him. Before he could see her face, the heel of the woman's shoe caught an uneven knot in the wooden floor. Arms flailing, the woman lost her footing and fell smack to the floor on her backside.

Bryce was too astonished for words, not to mention incredibly distraught over the accident. "I-I-I'm so sorry," He quickly stooped down and grabbed her hand to help her off the floor. Before he could lift her up, the woman shook her silky, brown hair out of her face and shot a disapproving look at him. Frozen in complete awe, Bryce grasped her hand and stared back into her flashing midnight blue eyes. The beauty of her face paralyzed his body, rendering him helpless and short of breath. His hand, still surrounding hers, brushed ever so gently against her smooth, tanned skin, sweating from his heightened body temperature and racing heart beat.

"Are you gong to help me up or not?" The woman's heart-shaped, mauve colored lips caught Bryce's stare, snapping him out of his brief hypnosis. He blinked, confused, then upon realizing his own silly repose, lifted the woman to her feet.

"I'm so, so sorry," Bryce apologized profusely. Unable to help himself, he brushed a golden brown strand of her hair from her face. "Are you all right? Can I get you anything?"

The concerned gestures softened the annoyed look on the woman's face and a small smile appeared. "That's quite all right. I'm fine. Please, just be careful next time."

Bryce continued to stare back at her, his head bobbing slowly in agreement. The woman nodded back, laughed softly, and walked away.

"My man!" Simon slapped Bryce on the back. "Way to go! Wow, you're worse than I am! Did you see the look on Lana's face? She looked like she was going to kill you..."

Bryce regained his composure. "Lana? Is that her name?"

Simon nudged Bryce's shoulder. "Lana Whitmire, the one and only. Yes, sir. Great pick, by the way. Let me ask you something...is that how they're sweeping women off their feet in Pensacola these days?" Simon burst into laughter, hardly able to contain himself, while Bryce rolled his eyes. Bryce allowed his eyes to drift back to the hypnotic, exotic beauty, finally satisfied with the move to Palm Terrace.

Part Three

In Field Fly Sports Pub

Kendra set her empty glass on the bar. "Nina, I'm leaving you now."

Nina Parkherst swallowed a tequila shot before biting into the lime slice. "Where are you going? What are you going to do?"

Kendra ran her fingers through her soft blond hair, allowing the layers to fall naturally around her face. "I'm going to introduce myself to the man of my dreams." With the utmost confidence, she sauntered away.

Nina, drunk from the accumulated tequila shots, slurred after her "Introduce me too!"

Smiling radiantly, Kendra set her sights on the handsome stranger. As she had always prepared to pursue her prey, she warmed her determination to its peak, psyching herself with the notion that she would not be denied. "Hello there, stranger," she cooed mysteriously into the man's ear when she approached him from behind. When he turned to Kendra, her glossy red lips curled, her eyes flashed with fiery desire, and her fingers rose to trace the outline of his broad shoulders. "I was hoping you could help me with a little dilemma." Her fingers slid seductively down his chiseled arms, their firmness of his muscles jolting her with delirious ecstasy. He is so beautiful, Kendra thought, her tongue sliding slightly over her bottom lip to prevent his discovery of her salivation.

"How may I help?" The stranger replied, obliging her plea.

"I was hoping you could help choose a drink for me to buy for your handsome self," Kendra gently bit her bottom lip, batting her eyelashes flirtatiously at him. "By the way, I'm Kendra Blake." She automatically held her hand out to his face, expecting a noble kiss on her skin.

The stranger, wearing an uneasy look on his face, took her hand and shook it gently. "Bryce McKeon."

Kendra moaned softly. She threw her head back and gasped with pleasure. "Bryce McKeon," she repeated in a thick, sultry voice. The name just dances from my lips, oh heaven! She giggled. "What an incredible, manly name! And your drink of choice?"

Bryce's eyes darted nervously. "Oooohh, I'm good." He raised his beer bottle as proof. "But thanks for the offer." He took a swig and turned away, heading for an empty table while Kendra gawking in surprise at him as he walked away.

Simon, who had witnessed the whole scene, laughed at Kendra's rejection by Bryce. He draped his arm around Kendra's shoulder. "And she's down for the count!" He bellowed in a mock announcer's voice. "Oooh, that had to hurt!"

Kendra shot a venomous look at Simon and elbowed him in the gut. "Grow up, Simon!" She growled. But quickly, she wiped the scowl from her face, for fear that Bryce had seen what she had done. I may be down, but I'm not out.

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