M/F Erotic Romance
Do first impressions always last?
When veterinarian Brett Coulson and stable owner Samantha Hanson-Bishop meet, it’s hate at first sight. He thinks she’s a snobby, stuck-up bitch who wouldn’t know nice if it bit her on the backside. She thinks he’s a blundering, inexperienced little boy who shouldn’t be within fifty miles of her prized horses. But it doesn’t matter much—they’ll never have to see each other again. Or will they?
When fate throws them into the same room together at a charity fundraiser, the resentment between them quickly resurfaces. But mixed in with that resentment is something they both tried to deny… attraction. Will the chemistry between them cancel out the animosity, or were their first impressions just too powerful to change?
Note: On Her High Horse was previously published in the Coming in Hot Boxed Set.
Word count: 17,278
There was a knock at the door. Brett looked up from where he was transferring hand-written notes onto the practice’s computer system—he hadn’t yet gotten comfortable with taking the iPad out on calls. He was paranoid he’d drop it in a cow pat, or worse. “Yes, come in!”
One of the veterinary surgery’s receptionists—an efficient blonde called Natasha—sidled in, a wry expression on her face. “Hi, Brett. I’m really sorry to bother you, but there’s a woman on the phone, and she’s being, um, rather rude.”
Frowning, Brett replied, “Who is it? And why is she being rude?”
Natasha blew out a breath and shrugged. “She won’t tell me what the issue is. Won’t even tell me what animal she has. She just keeps saying she’ll only speak to a ‘trained professional.’ I don’t know who it is, either. All I know is her first name is—”
“Samantha?” Brett supplied, his shoulders slumping and eyebrows raising.
“Uh, yeah. How did you know? Oh God, I haven’t gone and insulted one of your friends or something, have I? I didn’t mean to, honestly. It’s just she’s being a bit difficult…”
“Natasha, don’t panic. She’s no friend of mine. I’ve never even met the woman. Besides, if she was one of my friends, I’d be giving her a bollocking for being rude to one of my staff, wouldn’t I? Anyway, if it’s the Samantha I think it is, then she’s being very difficult, and you’re being overly polite. Andrew warned me about her.”
“Yeah. Bloody typical that she’d phone while he’s away. The man barely ever takes a holiday, and now he finally has, his most awkward client is on the blower. He damn well owes me one after this.”
“If she’s a regular client, how come I’ve never spoken to her before?”
Shrugging, Brett replied, “Dunno. Maybe she’s got Andrew’s mobile number or something?”
Natasha gasped. “But he never gives out his mobile number to clients. He’s very strict about that—always asks us to take a message and if it’s urgent, pass it on to him directly.”
“Yeah…” Brett scratched his head. “He didn’t say much about her, beyond that she can be difficult. Honestly, I was a bit distracted when he mentioned it so I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention. I wish I’d asked more questions now, but I never thought I’d have the misfortune of having to deal with her.”
“You haven’t, yet.” Natasha raised her eyebrows and jerked her chin towards the phone on his desk.
“Good point.” He gave a wan smile. “Suppose I’d better find out what she wants, hadn’t I? If she’s special enough to have Andrew’s precious mobile phone number, then I ought to keep her sweet.”
“Probably wise.” Natasha left the room, closing the door behind her, but not before Brett spotted the slight smile on her face. Relieved to pass on the bitchy customer to him, no doubt.
Taking a deep breath, he picked up the phone. “Hello, Brett Coulson speaking. How can I help?”
“Oh,” came the reply, “Brett. Ah, yes. You’re the other vet, aren’t you? Jolly good. Know what you’re talking about, do you?” The woman’s accent was posh, southern. Like she’d been to a finishing school or something.
Gritting his teeth, Brett then pasted a smile on his face, hoping it would be apparent in his tone, despite the daggers he was actually staring at her through the handset. “Yes, I most certainly do.” Should fucking do, after five years of training and the same again working in the profession. I’m not on bloody work experience here.
“But you sound so young.”
Glad she couldn’t see him, Brett rolled his eyes. Her problem obviously wasn’t an emergency, the way she was waffling on, time-wasting. “I’m almost twenty-nine, Mrs…”
“It’s Ms, actually. Samantha Hanson-Bishop here. So you’re still a baby then.”
“Is there something I can help you with, Ms Hanson-Bishop? Only I’ve a call to go out on in a few minutes.” He couldn’t help the emphasis he’d put on the Ms. It could be construed as sarcastic, but it was still a damn sight more polite than anything he really wanted to say. Would she just get to the point already?
“Yes, yes, of course. That’s why I’m telephoning. I just wanted to make sure I was speaking to someone who actually knew what they were talking about. Clearly your receptionist doesn’t know anything about animals, much less my thoroughbred horses.”
Ah, okay, that made things clearer. The stuck-up, posh bird ran a stable. Now the haughty attitude made sense—she was entitled, bored, and thought she was better than everyone else. Wanting to defend Natasha—who was, in fact, very knowledgeable about animals, it being part of her job and all—Brett had to bite his tongue. If the woman, however snobby and irritating, ran a stable of thoroughbreds, then she was no doubt bringing plenty of money into the practice. They were doing okay, but the loss of a big customer without a replacement wasn’t something they’d be able to sustain for very long. And word of mouth was very important in this game—he didn’t want her bad-mouthing him or the surgery.