Episode 1

Rhea’s eyes took in the jumbled up figures on her laptop screen, her head tried to make sense out of it, but something just wasn’t adding up.

She picked the scientific calculator by her side and punched in some numbers, the sum total that came up didn’t tally with what she had on her screen.

She frowned.

Someone had been recording the wrong numbers in the account, and that could only mean one thing. Some dolt was stealing their money, and doing a lousy job at covering it up. It was bad enough someone thought they could shift a few dollars without being noticed, but to have hidden it so poorly was an insult to her intelligence, did she really seem that dumb?
Rhea Myers was a 5ft. 10″ bronze goddess in sneaks and combat shorts. She had never really thought much of her looks, but anyone and everyone in Denton County would tell whoever cared to listen that she was a stunner; her 157 pound frame packed the most womanly curves known to man; her breasts were a size 36D, her tummy was flat and defined from the many sit-ups she did every morning, her hips flared seductively and her butt0ckz was the subject of many bar gatherings, her legs were long and toned from jogging, rock climbing and mountain biking, her raven hair had been in a pixie cut since junior high- a decision she had taken when she realized her opponent wouldn’t be able to pull her hair in a fight if it was shorter. Her facial features were feminine; long, thick lashes that had the tendency to look artificial shadowed captivating grey eyes, a cute little button nose complemented high cheek-bones, her lips, full and dark pink, were shaped like a bow- and always in a frown.

Just as Rhea was beautiful, she was undeniably stubborn and tough, most of her features she had gotten from her Dominican mother who had passed on a healthy dose of good genes to her, but her temper and fighting spirit were undeniable traits of her African-American father.

From her elementary level till her present position as the manager of her father’s timber factory, Rhea had fought- and won, more times than a lady should divulge and most men could brag about. Most of her the fights had been more of her will to defend her friends than about her.

Throughout her high school, she had been one of the most popular students, hell she was called the tigress. It was a well deserved title after she beat the Sh*t out of Rory Jenkins, the football team’s best line-backer for grabbing her butt0ckz.

Dressed in her signature sneakers, combat shorts and a tank top, she made her way towards the kitchen. First, she would make herself a nice he snack, and then she would go to the store and jump some poor, thieving bastard.

She had only begun munching on a peanut butter sandwich when she heard a frantic knock on her door. She dropped the sandwich and reached for a baseball bat she kept in the kitchen for nut-jobs that trespassed on her property. The knock came again, harder and more insistent.

“Who’s there?” she asked moving slowly towards the door, her grip on the baseball bat tightening.

“Rhea? Rhea, it’s me.” a tiny voice squeaked from the other side of the door.
She recognized that voice.
Dropping the bat, she went to the door and flung it open.

Standing before her was her best friend, Lynn, they had been friends since they both could walk. Her face was red, her eyes swollen from crying, her golden hair was disheveled and her small frame shook from the intensity of the emotion going through her. The 5 ft. 4″, green-eyed blonde looked up at her like she was her only place of solace with tear-brimmed eyes.

Rhea’s non-existent heart came out of its hiding place and was seized by terror seeing the only person she cared for aside from close family look so distraught and helpless, “Pumpkin, what happened?” she asked softly
Lynn crashed into Rhea’s waiting arms and wept like a deserted woman, rhea di the only thing she could in her childhood friend’s present state- hold her and wait while she cried her troubles away.

All the while, all she could think of was finding out what could have made Lynn this teary- or who.

She had something of an idea as far as the who was concerned. But she waited just in case she was wrong, but if it was who she thought it was, someone would definitely be getting a much deserved beat down before the day was over.

She heard Lynn sniffing, apparently she had no more tears to shed. She had stopped trembling and now lay on the couch, her head in Rhea’s lap while she patted her head.

“What happened Pumpkin?” she asked, calling Lynn by the nickname she had given her over twelve years ago because of her obsession with Halloween and pumpkins.
“He was cheating on me.”
Rhea stilled, she knew who ‘he’ was, that lying bastard she had tried to warn Lynn off, but he had won her best friend’s heart with his good-looks and charm- well, he had the hearts of virtually every girl in the county and beyond, if his looks and charm didn’t cut it, his wealth and bad boy personae would sell. Too bad Rhea had never been fooled by all of that.

Still she asked, “Who?”
“Mitch. I walked in on him Bleeping some other girl, and when I confronted him, he acted like it was no big deal, he even blamed me for visiting without calling first.” she said softly. She sat up and looked straight at Rhea, “He’s my boyfriend Rhea, do I need to book an appointment to see him?”
Rhea shook her head, “No sweetheart, but you shouldn’t cry over him either cos he’s not worth your tears.” she said comfortingly.

“But I love him. He knows I love him, but he keeps hurting me.”
“I know sweetie, but you know Mitch has always been a…” she held her tongue, she was going to call him a selfish, cheating bastard, but that would be making excuses for the rat. She didn’t want Lynn to understand and accept his faults, she wanted her to loathe the guy and be rid of him, “So what did you do?”
“I dumped his cheating butt0ckz is what I did.”

Lynn began triumphantly, and then sulked as she la!d her head back on Rhea’s laps, “Rhea he didn’t even seem pissed. He just smiled and said I could do whatever the F**K I pleased.”

Who would blame the guy? Lynn had dumped and accepted Mitch back more times than the L.A Lakers had been in the NBA championship finals, it just seemed like a routine with them. But it didn’t make rhea any less mad that he would trest her best friend like that, “Where is he now?”
“He’s in his family’s cabin up the hill….”

Lynn cut off her sentence once she realized where Rhea’s thought were, “Rhea, don’t go making any trouble, please, you know Mitch’s family runs the county, he’ll have you locked up and I don’t want you to get a record because of me.”

Rhea laughed, “Pumpkin, I already have a record, another one won’t kill me.” she had been arrested three years ago after she had gone berserk on Kylie Connor, her racist neighbor, who had called her a colored Sl*t simply because the neanderthal she called a boyfriend complimented her. She grunted when she remembered the incident. Kylie had gotten off with a small fine for provoking the outrage and she had spent a week in the slammer and came out to receive a restraining order. Sure she had given Kylie an butt0ckz-whooping to last a life-time, but it didn’t make her feel any better.

“He’s much bigger than you, what if he hurts you?”
“Well he’s going to have to get my trusty bat away” Rhea joked, but Lynn wasn’t laughing.
“It’s not funny Rhe, I don’t want you hurt.

Promise you won’t do anything silly.”

Rhea was all set to say something witty, but the look on Lynn’s face stopped her, “Okay Pumpkin, I promise.”

Lynn gave a small smile, “Thank you.”

Rhea gazed at Lynn’s sleeping form an hour later, apparently all her crying had exhausted her.

Good. Rhea thought to himself, because she had a problem that needed sorting, and she didn’t need Lynn butting in.

With that in mind, she picked up her trusty bat, walked out the door closing it softly so she wouldn’t awaken Lynn, got into her truck and drove out.

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