Bossing the Cowboy – Kennedy Fox

VİVİAN!” I snap, losing patience with my soon-to-be ex-wife. Though we’re legally separated, and the divorce papers have been filed, it’s not finalized yet. The biggest issue I’m facing is getting shared custody of our three-year-old. “I want to see my daughter!” “You’re free to come here anytime, Connor. But I’m not going back to Texas.” I blow out a frustrated breath, infuriated by how difficult she’s been. A month ago while I was working, she packed up their things and moved to Lovington where her parents live. We’ve argued a countless number of times about me seeing Olivia since she left. “Unacceptable! You took Olivia to New Mexico without my permission. That’s not what we agreed on.” I pace my office, trying to keep my voice low but fail because I’m too fired up. “You didn’t care to see us when we were there, so why’s it an issue now?” Her taunting voice enrages me. “I was fucking working, not having an affair! Providing so you could stay home with Olivia. I’ve put my blood, sweat, and tears into the veterinarian clinic so I could give you both a nice lifestyle.” The bitterness in my tone is evident, but Vivian doesn’t care.

She’s a selfish, spoiled, and unappreciative person. Now, she’s holding my daughter over my head. It’s a low blow, even for her. “And by the time you came home, Olivia was already in bed. Not to mention how lonely I was and how you were too tired to care. You took us both for granted, and now it’s too late.” It takes everything in me not to comment about the empty bottles of wine I found in the trash daily. Or the men’s clothing in my closet that wasn’t mine. As much as it pains me, I know that playing Vivian’s stupid games is the only way I’ll get to see my daughter again. At least until I can take her to court to fight for a custody agreement. “What did you want me to do, Vivian? Opening the clinic was my dream, and at one time, it was yours too. You knew it would take a lot of work to get it up and running.” After I finished my residency in San Antonio, we moved back to the small town I grew up in so I could be close to my parents. The previous vet had just retired, and it was the perfect opportunity to start my own. I opened Wallen’s Animal Clinic three years ago, shortly before Olivia was born.

Having a baby at the same time wasn’t intentional, but Vivian got pregnant unexpectedly. We were happy to grow our family, but one of my biggest mistakes was not finding a work-life balance. “Yeah, and it quickly became your mistress. Hope you’re happy together.” Groaning, I roll my eyes at her dramatics. Nothing I did was ever good enough for her. “Please,” I finally beg. “You’ve gotta meet me halfway, Vivian. I miss my daughter.” “Bring it up in court then. I’m not moving back there, and Olivia likes having my parents around,” she states curtly. “She’s starting preschool in the fall. She deserves some kind of normalcy.” Before I can argue that her life was fine in Eldorado, my assistant, Beverly, knocks, then slowly opens the door. “The girl for the internship interview is in the waiting room.

” Fuck. I’m in no mood for this right now. “Give me five.” With a nod, Beverly steps out. “Fine, you’re leaving me no choice then. I’ll have the papers drawn up and will see you in court,” I tell her. “Until then, I want to FaceTime Olivia every night.” “You sure you can commit to every night?” She barks out a laugh, causing me to seethe. Instead of going off about how much I despise her, I end the call. I won’t give her the pleasure of knowing she got under my skin. As soon as this pointless interview is over, I’m calling my lawyer and having him start on this. I take a few moments to calm down before cracking open my door and telling Beverly to send her in. I’m not actually looking for an intern, but Rose Bishop convinced me to interview her fresh out of college granddaughter. When I opened, Rose was my first client, and she’s very persuasive. Considering the Circle B Ranch gives me a lot of business, and she’s helped me grow my customer base by word of mouth, I feel like I owe it to her.

I’m still so worked up, I don’t even hear her walk into my office. It’s not until she’s standing in front of my desk that I realize how big of a mistake this was. Jesus Christ. Sparkling green eyes behind black-rimmed glasses gaze at me, and her perfect rubyred-lipped smile nearly takes my breath away. I can’t remember the last time I saw Elizabeth Bishop. It’s been years. When we first met, I was fresh out of college, and she was a teenager just starting high school. If she just got her bachelor’s degree, that means she’s around twenty-two, and I’m at least eight years older than her. She’s far too young to find attractive, but as she licks her lips and stands taller, pushing out her chest, I realize I do. Right then, I know there’s no way I can work with her every day. It’d be inappropriate in more ways than one, and after my split with Vivian, dating again is the last thing on my mind. She’s the only serious relationship I’ve had, and I have no desire to get into another. However, the way Elizabeth looks at me tells me she feels this underlying current streaming between us too. It isn’t one-sided. Blinking hard, I sit up straighter and gesture for her to take a seat.

“Do you have a résumé ?” “Yes. There’s not much on it, though, because of school, but I worked at my family’s ranch during the summer and a part-time weekend job during the school year,” she explains, pulling it from the folder she’s holding. I take it from her and quickly scan over it. Elizabeth Bishop. Honor roll student, president of the Ag Council and the Pre-Vet Club. Beautiful and intelligent. “So, Elizabeth. What’re your plans for the fall?” “Oh, everyone calls me Elle. Well, except my grandmother.” I stare at her, unamused. The less friendly we are, the better. “Go on,” I tell her, bringing her back to my original question. “Oh right. In the fall, I’ll be commuting three hours to vet school, but I’m taking all my classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so if you still need help, I’ll be home Friday through Monday to work.” “So you’d travel that far just to work a few days per week?” I raise a brow.

“I won’t be living there, so I plan to come home anyway. I drove back and forth a lot during college, so I’m used to it. And getting hands-on experience would be a bonus, plus assisting you if you need the help.” “That sounds like a lot to juggle,” I say. “Will you be dependable?” “Absolutely,” she immediately bursts out. “Or will I have to replace you halfway through the summer?” “I want to learn as much as possible while I’m in vet school for the next four years. Not only does it look good on my resume but it’ll help me gain experience before I do my clinical rotations in my final year.” I’ll see if she’s even capable of doing the job before I commit to hiring her. She’s not a licensed vet tech, so I’m not sure what I’d hire her to do besides my grunt work. Setting down her resume, I stand. “I’ll give you a tour of the office and explain how things are run around here.” Elizabeth follows me to the lobby. “You met Beverly,” I say, opening one of the filing cabinets against the wall. “She manages the front desk, but sometimes you’ll help, so you’ll need to know—” “Oh, I don’t typically do admin work,” Elizabeth blurts out.



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Updated: 17 August 2021 — 06:04

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