Bossing the Cowboy (Circle B Ranch #4) - Kennedy Fox Page 0,1

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 ruby-red-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.

I turn and look at her, narrowing my eyes. “Excuse me?”

She licks her plump lips that I want to drag my teeth across. “It’s just, I’m going to school to practice medicine, so that’s what I’d like to learn.”

I blink at her, remembering how ignorant and self-absorbed I was at her age. “You’ll do whatever I need you to do. You’ve only just graduated with a bachelor’s in animal science. You aren’t licensed to practice yet, and your previous job experiences include being a barista and shoveling horse shit. So if Beverly needs an extra hand filing or answering phones, that’s where I’ll put you. Understand?”

Elizabeth swallows hard, and my eyes immediately gaze down her throat. “Uh yes, of course, Connor.”

A rosy blush covers her cheeks.

“It’s Dr. Wallen,” I correct, then go over scheduling and how we organize records. Since most of my clientele has larger animals and livestock, my office hours are limited to only two days a week. The rest of the time, I’m traveling to different ranches within a fifty-mile radius.

“If I get an emergency call, you’ll come with me. That means you’ll always need