Bossing the Virgin

By: Lila Younger

“So,” Violet says, leaning in. “What do you think about your new boss?”

My eyes fall down to my plate. Where to start? With the dreamy blue eyes? Or the perfect body and ass? Or with the fact that Logan reminded me a lot of Jake? He’s rich, powerful, and probably used to everyone listening to him and doing what he says. I can’t get involved with him, no matter how sexy he looks. My heart can’t stand to be broken in half like that again. I stab my pasta and twirl it onto my fork. Best not to think about Logan at all.

“He’s okay I guess. Kind of reserved. I don’t think I’ll be seeing him much.” Technically no lies were said, but I still felt as though I was lying to my best friend, just a little.


I am more confident in my plan once I hired Mikayla for the job. To be honest, she wouldn’t have been my first pick. Fresh out of culinary school, not too much experience under her belt; it all added up to a big gamble. But I’d already interviewed a more chefs than I can count, and none of them could accurately describe the direction that I wanted to take Red Canyon Steakhouse. More than a few of them were concerned about changing the menu at all. But complacency was the reason we were in this mess to begin with. Even restaurants need to keep up with the times.

It has nothing to do with those perfect lips and mile long legs, I tell myself. I almost believe it. Not that I was about to step over the bounds of professional ethics. The company has enough shit to deal with. The last thing that I needed was for the board and everyone else to lose faith in me and hand the company over to some guy who would squeeze everything he could out of the company my father started before selling it off.

I always knew that someday I would become owner and CEO of Red Canyon Steakhouse. My father had drilled it into me ever since I was a kid. Back then, I would come home after school every day and do my homework at the table between lunch and dinner service, when the restaurant was quiet except for the sounds of the chefs in the kitchen prepping for dinner. Then, at five, when the first diners would start trickling in, my aunt would come pick me up to go home so that my parents could keep working into the night.

Family dinners weren’t a thing in my household. Instead it would be family breakfasts, where my dad would go and talk about the restaurant and explain to me how things were done. I’d done my fair share. When I turned sixteen, I became a dishwasher; at eighteen, when I went to college, I became a waiter. When I was getting my MBA, I was assistant manager at one of the smaller branches near campus. There was no such thing as a free ride with my dad. He’d worked too hard for every cent and he wanted his boy to know that same lesson. ‘Nothing is a replacement for cash earned with your own hands son,’ I can still hear him saying to me. At the time I resented my dad for it. We were clearly doing well. At that point, Red Canyon Steakhouse was opening new branches left and right. Now though, I’m glad for it. If I didn’t know how to run a restaurant inside and out, I know we don’t have a rat’s chance in hell of getting out of the mess we’re in.

“How could he have let all this happen?” I mutter to myself.

But I do know how. My father died of a heart attack at his desk. He was working late that night, like most nights, and hadn’t been found until the next morning. It was too late then. According to my mom though, what killed him was the stress. He had kept her, and everyone else, in the dark about the true nature of things. She thought he was planning on taking the chain national, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, we had expanded too quickly, and we hadn’t been able to scale our operations to keep up. The standard had slipped at Red Canyon Steakhouse, and with it, our profits. I’m heading to a meeting right now to see just how bad it all really is.

I enter into the meeting room, and steel myself for bad news. The grim faces on my staff say it all. Each of them has a piece of the puzzle, but because my dad handled everything, nobody knew just how bad things were. Until now. Until I stepped in. I wasn’t going to do things like my father did. He was a great man, but he was also a control freak, and that just doesn’t work in a company with more than a handful of restaurants. There are just too many moving pieces to keep track of. Add to that the shoddy bookkeeping, and well, it’s a miracle our doors are still open.

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