"I will definitely consider you as a partner, Mr Merril. Your report is very impressive."

"Thank you, sir. It means a lot."

Buck Merril extended his hand, and Mr Joseph Rodgers shook it firmly.

Buck exited the building, feeling very confident. He had a good feeling about this one.

It was almost worth the uncomfortable two-hour flight down from Tulsa to Tampa to feel the satisfaction he felt then.

He decided to check out the bars that this city had to offer. He often did this when he went away on business trips - after all, they were there, so why waste them?

Buck especially liked comparing bars to his own. Which was why he usually went to run-down Irish pubs.

Rounding a corner, he found an old bar on the corner. Actually, he heard it before he saw it. Music pounded from within the walls of Static Bar.

Buck entered, trying not to cringe by the bad music choice. He himself would have picked something totally different for his own bar back in Tulsa.

"One beer please," Buck yelled over the music as he slapped a five-dollar bill down on the counter in front of him.

The barman took the money, and counted out the change. Buck noticed that the barman had given him too much change. He held his tounge. It wasn't his fault the barman hadn't majored in Math.

Buck triamphantly claimed a booth for himself as he sat down against the run-down black leather. As he took a sip of his drink, he couldn't help but think about his own bar back in Tulsa. He wondered how Harrison and Shepard were handling the place. At first Buck had been reluctant about going on the business trip to Florida - Shepard handling a bar always equalled trouble.

David Harrison, one of the frequent friends he had, had raised his hand at the oppurtunity at looking after the bar for a few days. Buck trusted Harrison, and he hoped that also entrusting Tim Shepard with his bar wouldn't backfire on him. Not again.

This wasn't the first time he'd been on a business trip - he'd been on a few before. Buck's needed investors and he needed more often than he thought. Investors pulled out at the drop of a hat when something bad happened near or around Buck's. What had made his latest investor pull out this time?

That was because of the shooting of the beloved (or not so beloved) Dallas Winston. Buck found out about three hours after the funeral - a nasty surprise to top off an already bad day. Buck didn't blame Dally for his investor pulling out, not at all. He was just irritated at the fact that he would have to go looking for one.

Buck remembered the funeral clearly - it had only been the previous week. What he remembered most was the somber attitude of everybody who attended. Which consister of the infamous Curtis brothers, Keith Mathews, Steve Randle, Curly and Tim Shepard, and a few guys from down at the rodeo.

The reverend didn't seem very interested in the service he was doing. His voice was set to one tone and he hardly ever looked at them. Buck remembered thinking that the guy must have been on drugs or drunk when he became a reverend.

Buck skulled the rest of his drink. The liquor wasn't all that great - but it was cheap, and it was alcoholic. That was enough for Buck after a hard day of meetings.

Buck stared down at his empty glass for a moment. He thought about how he and Winston would have a few beers together. Dallas always made sure that Buck's glass was never empty. Buck smiled to himself as he approached the counter. He wouldn't let his glass remain empty, either.

"Same again?" the barman yelled as Buck slammed his glass down.

"Yeah," Buck replied as he looked around at the crowd. He hadn't really noticed until right then how crowded and loud the place was. It was music to his ears. Literally.

"Here," the barman placed his now-full glass on the counter, and held out his hand for money.

Buck handed him the change from his first drink, and was disappointed to find that the barman gave him the correct change of fifty cents.

As Buck walked back toward he noticed someone sitting there - or someones.

Buck stopped next to his booth, and raised an eye brow. Two broads sat where he was previously sitting, chatting away and ignoring the towering Buck.

"Excuse me, ladies, do you mind if I sit?" Buck asked, winking as he leant against the booth.

One of the girls giggled, and the other scowled. "Actually, I would mind."

Buck looked down at the broad. He noticed the way her blonde curls cascaded down her face and hung near her shoulders. Her blue eyes pierced through Buck like the bullets that shot Dallas Winston.

"You sure about that?" was all he could come up with. He wasn't exactly used to girls turning him down.

"Come on Sand, let him join us. He's cute," the broad's friend giggled. She'd obviously had a few.

'Sand' rolled her eyes. "This is supposed to be a girls night out. No guys. As if I haven't had enough of them lately." Buck noticed that 'Sand' girl was drinking orange juice.

"It's alright, I'm going," Buck grinned widely and set himself up at the bar. The night was still young, and he didn't want to waste it dwelling on being rejected.

"Don't worry, there are plently more fish in the sea," he heard a voice infront of him say. Buck turned to see the barman motion toward the two girls. Buck rolled his eyes.

"It ain't like that," Buck replied, sipping his beer. The barman looked disbelieving, but served his next customer. Buck thought it served him right for trying to act like his best friend when he didn't even know his name.

Buck was busy downing his third beer when he felt someone stand next to his stool. He looked to his right, and saw the sober girl of the two.

"One G and T and one orange juice," the girl ordered. She took no notice of Buck.

"I'm sorry, but it'll be a minute or two. I've got a lot of orders to fill," the barman said apologetically.

"I can wait."

The broad turned to Buck. "Not from around here, huh?"

Buck looked at the girl. "That obvious?"

The girl laughed softly, and shook her head. "Where abouts are ya from?"

"Tulsa. In Oklahoma," Buck replied.

The girl looked at Buck sharply. "Tulsa?"

"Yeah," he said, sipping his beer. "You been there?"

The girl shook her head quickly. "Just uh, know someone from there."

"Oh? What's her name? I might know her. I know a lotta people back home."

"No, I don't think you'd know.. her."

"Probably do. I own a bar back home."

The girl looked at him sharply, and let out what seemed like a gasp. "Is your name Buck Merril?"

Buck grinned. "I'm proud to say it is. How do you know?"

"I - My friend has been to yours a few times."

"Your drinks, miss," the barman set down two glasses in front of the girl.

"Thanks," the girl took them and walked away.

Buck watched her leave and turned back to the bar.

Maybe I need more to drink.

x x x

This is a new story idea that dawned on me. I decided to give it a go, seeing as to become a beta reader, you need to have at least five entries or a story of 6000 words or more. Please review. Constructive critism is welcome with open arms.