"Dad, I don't want to do an internship at uncle Steve's firm. Why can't I do it elsewhere?" Said twenty-three year old Alexia Powell, not happy with the direction where the discussion was going. She hated uncle Steve's son, Ralph Cooper. He was always touching her in a vulgar way, whenever they met at friendly gatherings of her father. So for the last three years, she had avoided such get-togethers completely.
"Steve's a special friend, Alex. He and his father have personally requested me to ask you to join their company as an intern," he said sternly.
"What if I don't?" She asked angrily. How could they decide for her? She just graduated with finance and accounting and her dad is after her already.
"Don't be difficult, Alex. You know they like you for their son," said her father, angry too at her stubbornness.
"So? Are you planning to get me married to Ralph?" She asked with horror.
"Yes, what's wrong with Ralph? He likes you. He's the sole heir to all that property. He'll keep you happy,"said her father, trying to put some sense in her head.
"Dad, I don't love him. How can I marry him?" She wailed.
"That's what I'm saying. Join their company as an intern. You'd be seeing him everyday. Once you know each other well, you will eventually fall in love," her father said, softly, trying a different approach.
"Love doesn't happen that way. I'll never join their company and never marry him," she said, stomping out of the room to sulk in her bedroom.
"Mind your attitude, Alex. I'm not giving you any choice," he said calmly as she banged the door and left.
She sobbed silent tears onto her pillow. If her mom were alive, she would have surely understood her. She also hated Ralph and uncle Steve, just like she did. She lost her mom four years ago to pancreatic cancer. It was all so sudden that her condition deteriorated and she had multiple organ failure. Her treatment also couldn't be started and she breathed her last.
She was brought out of her unhappy state by the shrill ringtone of her mobile phone. Checking the id she saw it was Tyler, her cousin.
"Hey, Tyler, what's up?" She asked, trying to be normal.
"Were you crying, Alex?" He asked with concern. He was eight years older and a big brother to her. Although, Ivory and Tyler were her cousins, yet they were closer to her than her dad ever could be. Her dad's brother uncle Benny and his son Tyler lived at Bear's Creek in Randall county, Texas. Tyler was married to Jude and they had three children. Trevor who was ten, Troy who was seven and little Paige who was four. Her cousin, Ivory, who was two years older to her lived in Travis Springs and was about to get married there.
"Yeah, bro, dad's trying to get me married forcefully to Ralph. Yucky Ralph, you remember he groped me four years back?" she complained.
"Oh no, that's bad news. Why don't you come down here? Ivory's wedding is in two weeks time. Stay here till you can decide an alternative. What d'ya say?" He asked as her face lit up with a smile.
"Perfect. I'm coming tomorrow," she said and he disconnected the call, chuckling.
She went out of her room to announce her plans to her father. He was in his study, checking some answer scripts. He was a professor of mathematics at a reputable university in Austin.
"Dad, Tyler called to announce Ivory's wedding, two weeks later," she said hesitantly, not sure whether uncle Benny called him or not.
"Yeah, Benny called. You can go if you want to. I won't get so much leave. I will just attend the wedding. You can stay as long as you like," he said as she ran to him and kissed his cheek.
"Thanks, dad. I'll go and pack," she said happily.
Her father chuckled, "Be ready tomorrow by 5am. I will arrange a car to take you to Bear's Creek. It's a fourteen hour drive, so be prepared, " he said as Alexia nodded and left.
Next morning an excited Alexia waved at her dad and left for Bear's Creek.
Bear's Creek, Texas
She reached her destination by evening, dead tired and ready to hit the bed. Everyone hugged her and she ate a little dinner and went to sleep. Tomorrow she could decide what to do.
Next two days she received an update about Ivory's wedding at Travis Springs. Tyler suggested that she could go to Ivory and be her moral support as he wouldn't be able to leave the ranch for so many days. They would go, four or five days before the wedding.
Alexia wanted to avoid her dad and his arguments regarding her marriage to Ralph, when he arrived. She knew that her dad was the most stubborn person alive. If he had decided upon something he would do everything in his power to have his way. She would escape to Travis Springs before he arrived. So taking all her luggage she left for Travis Springs in the car that Tyler arranged for her.
After a tiring twelve hour travel, she reached her destination at dinner time.
The rental car driver dropped her off at the edge of a dusty trail, informing her that it led to her destination. He didn't even help her with her luggage. How rude!
Trudging along, dragging her three heavy trolleys, she muttered curses at the driver, at her bad luck, at Ralph for being a tool and wanting to marry her. If only he and his dad hadn't eaten her dad's head, things would have been so different. She mimicked her dad, Ralph Cooper and even the car driver as she trudged along. Finally, to her relief, she saw a cottage ahead. There was a smell of delicious food being cooked wafting into her nose.
Happy at the thought of food, she went up and rang the bell. When no one opened the door, she started having second thoughts whether she came at the right address or not.
Suddenly the door flew open and there stood her cousin Ivory ready to swat her with a spatula. Wait, a spatula? What the hell!
She stared at the spatula and burst out laughing, clutching her stomach and laughing her head off.
"What's so funny, Alex?" Ivory scowled at her.
"Ivy, am I a fly that you would swat with a spatula?" She asked, with actions mimicking swatting a fly,"A swat here and a swat there," she said dancing, wiggling her hips and swatting imaginary flies. It had her grinning too.
"Nice moves," they both turned to see a smirking Briar staring at Alexia, his eyes dancing with merriment. Alexia was stunned to see a hunk with those ocean blue eyes, staring at her. The guy was older than her, but very fit and extremely gorgeous. The sleeves of his tee shirt were rolled up to show drool worthy biceps with a tattoo on them. He was tall, and muscular, too good a combination to be real.
"Oh my gosh," said Alexia, really embarrassed, hiding behind Ivory and peeping at Briar who chuckled at her.
"Oh, never mind me, carry on," he said grinning and leaving.
Suggested Cast: Teresa Palmer as Alexia Powell and Chris Evans as Briar Summers