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Episode Eleven "New Friends"


Even though it hadn't rained in more than two months, Shaun Bianco was sure he heard a storm as he had slept the night before. He began to get out of the bed in his hotel room smack in the middle of the American area in Puerta Vallarta when he thought he heard a downpour, but he quickly fell back into bed when the monster of a headache he fully earned the night before thumped him.

In the light of the day, he stared out his window and wondered if it all had been a dream. Nothing but dry roads and sweating people. Hot and dry once again.

It was noon — just about time for breakfast — and Shaun headed over to the American watering hole for some eggs, tortillas, beans, and the hair of the dog that bit him.

"Hey there, Shaun, not looking too good today, son. What the hell did you do after you left here last night — get into a fight with a bottle over who would feel more hollow this morning?

"Quit the shit, Sammy. It's all your fault anyway. If you didn't tell that German — what the hell was his name? Dieter, Dexter, Derek or something? If you didn't tell that big German dude last night that I could drink him under the table we never would have gotten so out of hand."

"The boss was all stomping around last night saying he was going to ban you from the place after you got slapped by that German's wife. His name was Dieter by the way. Man, was the boss pissed though. He was saying you cost him way too much business by being a generalized asshole sometimes. When the hell you heading back to the states, anyway? You've been here nearly three months, almost everyday. When you got here you said you were on vacation."

"All in good time, all in good time. I got nothing better to do right now, so what the hell. And as long as I pay my bill, what the hell does Pablo care? Next time your boss complains, remind him I always pay my bill."

"He knows, cabron. He knows."

"Hey, did it rain last night?"

"Rain? Hell no. You were more tanked than you think if you think you heard it raining."

"Yea, well, again, my level of inebriation all comes back to you. That German was a hell of a drinker."

"You held your own, though. Seriously, you had like a three hour head-start on him and you still almost got him."

"Yeah, well my liver has a two-decade lead on him, probably."

"So what you gonna do today, then? Sit here wondering if its gonna rain again tonight?"

"Funny, funny. You know, on second thought, I think I'm gonna do a little sightseeing today. You know, the tourist traps, that sort of thing."

"You know they ain't got no bars out there, right?"

"Hell, Sammy, Pablo isn't going to need to ban me from this place. I might just ban this place from me."

"Ha. No other bar would have you and you would not like any other place, Shauny."

"Don't be so sure."

...

True to his word, after he ate and refilled his internal booze tank, he hopped onto one of the tourist busses to catch some of the sights. The problem was, it just got him more depressed. Even though months had gone by since he first arrived, heading out on the bus was a fresh reminder that he was depressed, alone, and at an end. He had thoughts in his head and feelings in his heart that he did not know how to reconcile. He felt tortured and yearned for the bottle.

By the time he arrived back in town a little past sunset, all he wanted was a drink. No way he was going into Pablo's since he knew Sammy would be there and he could not take one iota of that man's truth and prodding. Instead, the store was still open. He managed to hold back his thirst until arriving back in his room where he promptly downed a glass and laid down. He was asleep before the town clock rang half past 8 p.m. It was the first time in months that he had gone to bed so early.

In what seemed like a moment to him, he was stirred by the sound of rain. This time, he was neither tired nor completely hung-over and he popped up as soon as he thought he knew what he was hearing. He trotted over to the window and saw — a dry street. He turned back to the bathroom. The shower was running. But what, who? He grabbed his pants from the floor and snuck over to the door. He heard nothing but water running and what seemed to be the sounds of a regular shower. As he turned the knob, and realized the door was unlocked, he instantaneously decided to pull it open very quickly to see what the hell was going on.

As he swung the door open, he saw what he thought at the time was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. Brown, petite and vibrant, his dream had gone from scared to wonderstruck in a millisecond. She was wet and wearing a towel. She returned a stare but was not nearly as in awe of the half-dressed man before her. She knew she had him in her control.

As she smiled at Shaun, he smiled back at her, but what she did next, he could not repeat.

In the two seconds it took him to think anything, she dropped her towel and he was awed again. He was so awed, in fact, that by the time he realized she had grabbed a knife when she laid her towel on the counter, it was on his throat.

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