Brazen

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"Ugh!" Stephanie Dwyer slammed her apartment door and stomped her foot. "Creep!" A picture fell off the wall and shattered. Water logged, droplets dripped from her nose, her hair, and her eyelashes, pooling at her feet. She scowled. Her new high heels were utterly ruined.

Courtney hid a chuckle behind her hand. Pointing the remote control at the television, she clicked off the sitcom she'd been watching. Her lips crooked into a half smirk. "This one turned into a jerk, too?"

Stephanie dropped her purse onto the coffee table and flopped onto the couch. She kicked her shoes off, scaring the cat who ran into the other room. Staring at the ceiling, she said, "All men should crash and burn."

"That good?" Courtney sat forward, flicking her long black hair behind her shoulders. "There's got to be a couple of good men out there. All we need is one good man each. Is that too much to ask?"

Stephanie lifted pained eyes to her roommate and best friend. "I don't think there's two good guys in this whole universe. I give up. I've had it. I'm not kissing any more toads."

Courtney looked thoughtful, tapping her chin with her forefinger. "Maybe we've been looking in the wrong universe."

Her friend was losing it big time. "What are you talking about?" Handsome Patrick had seemed so perfect, so wonderful. Until she'd caught him with Alyssa tonight, telling her the moon and stars shone only for her, that they were soulmates - the same pathetic lines he'd snared her with.

Some soulmate!

Jumping to her feet, Courtney paced in front of her. "What we need is a vacation away from the city to someplace totally different."

"With totally different kinds of men." Despite herself, her interest was piqued. "We need men who are the opposite of the bozos we've been finding here. No more big shot professionals."

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Courtney grinned from ear to ear. "No more men who drive Mercedes."

"Or who wear Rolex's." Steph started to feel alive again.

"Or who drink champagne." Courtney downed a sip of her diet soda. Mischief danced in her dark eyes. "Give me a down to earth man who guzzles beer."

The spirit grabbed Steph, rejuvenating her. "Give me a man who wears boots!"

Courtney slapped her thigh. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Steph couldn't help but crack a smile. "Let's catch ourselves a couple of cowboys."

"Yahoo!" Courtney crossed the room and turned on the computer.

Steph followed her, staring over her shoulder. Her friend went straight to the Ultimate Travel Agency's booking page.

"I like Texas style. That okay with you?" Courtney's fingers flew over the keyboard as she hummed Mickey Gilley's tune, Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places.

"Sounds yummy. But no big cities. Nothing remotely like New York."

"Don't worry. I'm in the mood for a little two-stepping and wrestling in the hay." Courtney paused, looking up at her. "Can you get off work for two weeks now? I'll have Suzie reschedule all my appointments or give them to Glenn." Courtney was a psychologist and could pretty much set her own schedule.

"Tony owes me two years vacation. I'll tell him to give me two weeks now or pay me severance plus vacation pay." Big words said with lots of bravado.

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