Cowboy Bikers MC #1 - Esther E. Schmidt


— Harlene —

I love my job. Sometimes it’s hard and right in your face when you’re balancing the life of furry patients in your hands, but most of the time it reminds me of why I became a vet in the first place. It’s primarily due to the strength animals have and the way they are able to bounce back; it’s one of the main reasons I never give up in my own life.

Even now, only one week since my father and brother died in a horrible accident. Life goes on, right? Well, the veterinarian services my father worked so hard for goes on, and it’s my drive to pick myself up off the ground each day…to go on.

My father was my inspiration and he motivated me to become a vet. As did my brother who became a vet three years before I did. The veterinarian clinic my father started treats both large and small animals. We do get occasional exotic pets but with them it’s more like a first aid where we always refer them to a specialist. The same goes for cases that are too complex for the large and small animals; we refer them on.

I guess the reason for expanding the clinic to help all animals came from the fact that my father never gave up. Not when it came to an animal, and surely not when it came to dragging your ass out of bed at odd times each and every day. So, I owe it to him—to both my father and my brother—to continue the veterinary clinic the way we have been doing for years.

This also meant I had to hire two people to fill the two spots my brother and father left behind. I decided to hire my two best friends and it’s also because of them that I’m still capable of functioning. We all met in veterinary school. Cassidy was a year behind me and just finished, so for her it was perfect timing.

Joaquin, on the other hand, dropped out of vet school a few months ago. That didn’t stop me from hiring him because he’s more than capable of handling the phone and assisting where needed. He’s OCD when it comes to planning and keeping everything clean. Like I said, Joaquin is more than capable.

His parents labeled him as a failure—which he absolutely isn’t. He might be an extravagant person because he paints his nails and dates both women and men, but no one should judge another person if you’re not standing in their shoes.

My cowboy boot hits the brakes when my eye catches movement from my right. I hear the roaring of bikes when they fully come into view. My SUV comes to a stop and I open the door to stand in it and get a better view as I lean over the roof of my SUV. Are these guys insane? They are herding cattle with freaking motorcycles.

Anger surges through me. No wonder my father never let me handle anything that involved The Iron Hot Blood Ranch, these guys are idiots. Herding cattle with their bikes instead of using horses or their dogs. I keep observing the situation for a few more breaths and it seems the cows are used to it. But still, who does that?

I get back into my SUV and head for their ranch. I reach for my silver travel mug—filled with coffee—and enjoy a few more sips before I take a hard right to enter the property of The Iron Hot Blood Ranch. From what I’ve been told, a motorcycle club runs this ranch. And yes, that’s the reason my father and brother kept me far away since the rumors are these guys are a pretty wild bunch with their parties and some dirty business.

But again, rumors, since I wasn’t allowed anywhere near those guys. Not even if they came by the clinic. My father would send me out back or completely out of the building to make sure I didn’t run into any of them. But my father, nor my brother, are here to keep me away. And I have a clinic to run. I can hardly turn away clients or animals in need of medical attention, so here I am.

A young guy with jeans, cowboy boots, a Stetson hat, and a leather cut with patches jogs toward me to open a large gate. I flutter my fingers in a wave as I drive past him. Another biker with black hair, scruffy jaw, and a