I don’t want to touch it.
I really, really don’t.
He’s egotistical, crass, and my patient’s owner—which makes him totally off limits.
Yep, that’s right. He owns the wiener I’m currently working on.
A wiener dog—get your dirty mind out of the gutter.
I’ve also worked on his spoodle, his cocker-shitzu, and a cheagle—don’t ask. (And no, it’s not a sexual position.)
It doesn’t help that he also represents most of my joint-owned veterinary practice’s small clientele. We’d only just opened the doors a few months ago, and in he strode with a yelping Taco Terrier. One haughty look at our sparkling new facilities, he’d demanded royal treatment, even though I was currently finger deep up a squalling tom cat.
Ever since then, he expects me to serve him.
Any time. All the time.
Him and his revolving zoo of dogs.
One of these days, I’m going to swat him for being such a pompous ass but I can’t deny the way he handles his charges makes me want to see past the ‘do as I say and don’t ask questions’ barking exterior.
But then last week…he caught me staring at his um, cough, package.
His bossy commands switched to a cocky smirk.
He gave me permission to do something I promised myself I would never ever do.
I can touch it.
If I want…
“Oh God, Oh God, Oh God.”
“Wow, you’re feeling extra religious this morning.”
I looked up, glowering at my best friend and business partner, Polly Dartford. Yes, her name sounded as if she’d stepped from a musical and somehow ended up in a Jane Austen love story, but her head was screwed on so damn tight, I honestly didn’t know how we’d made it through university together.
I thought the key to a ‘dynamic duo’ was one was kooky and fun and not afraid to shag a few bad choices or drink a few stupid decisions, while the other was so straight-laced her life was a proverbial straight jacket.
We couldn’t both be so by-the-book and organised and disciplined—where was the fun in that? And how were we supposed to relax when we wound each other up with work stress and life worries?
She was supposed to be the funny one while I was the serious one.
There was no opposite in our girl bestie relationship.
“He just walked in. Didn’t he? I think I hear him.” I stood on my tiptoes, improving just marginally on my average height that I refused to jazz up with heels (screw that, they hurt my feet). I did my best to sneak a peek through the small window on the door to reception.
Polly rolled her eyes. “If you’re so freaked out about helping him, take my eleven a.m. appointment and I’ll do yours.”
She didn’t do well with anything off track from her colour-coded diary. Hell, who was I kidding? I was the same. My phone regularly beeped with reminders and friendly prods to stay on track with my responsibilities.
That was the reason (but not the only reason—oh, no, not by a long way) why I could barely tolerate Ryder Carson.
Dropping my voice, I hissed, “Nice offer, but next time, actually put some enthusiasm and commitment behind it.”
Polly huffed. “Whatevs, it’s called being supportive.”
“Being supportive means actually wanting to do what you just said because it benefits your best friend.”
“Pfffftttt.” She laughed. “Who would honestly want to deal with that man?”
“Exactly my point.”