Bossing the Virgin

By: Lila Younger

“I’m surprised that you don’t like cooking,” Mikayla says. “I mean, as the owner of a restaurant business.”

“My father owned a restaurant business,” I correct. “I worked most of my life at Red Canyon Steakhouse, but I wouldn’t say that this is my passion.”

“I guess not, if you’ve got pizza on your speed dial,” she says teasingly.

“And Thai, and sushi. I do have a varied palate. Don’t get me wrong. I do enjoy eating food. Just not making it. I don’t have the patience to sit for hours making stew or pasta by hand.”

Our conversation is cut short as I open the door to the kitchen, and she stands for a second taking it in. Even though it’s an older kitchen, my father had sunk a lot of money into it in the beginning to make it a chef’s dream, and I guess it’s still holding its own after all this time. Mikayla walks slowly down the counter, checking everything out. She opens the door in the pantry, nodding thoughtfully, and proceeds to the fridge. Then she starts pulling out the drawers, murmuring pleased sounds as she spies something she likes.

“Well? Think you’ll be able to cook in this kitchen?” I ask.

“For sure! There are a few things ingredients that are missing, but for today, I think I’ll still be able to blow your pants off.” She pauses suddenly and goes red, then quickly turns around and opens the drawer she just opened moments before. “Especially in such a fancy kitchen! I can’t wait to use this thing!”

I resist the urge to laugh at her chatter. It’s cute, and besides, I like the fact that she’s thinking about me naked. I certainly have been thinking about her. Of course, it would be a terrible idea, seeing as I’m her boss. Not to mention unethical. I may be the owner, but that doesn’t free me to do what I want.

“I think that’s a pineapple slicer,” I say.

“Oh, I’ve got lots of ideas for pineapple,” she says weakly.

“Well, I’m just about ready for lunch if you want to start,” I say, letting her off the hook. “I’ll just sit over on the end of the counter here if you don’t mind. We can go over some ideas you have for the menu while you cook. Unless you prefer not to multitask.”

“I can multitask,” she says with more than a little bit of relief. “And I’ve got lots of great ideas. I couldn’t even sleep last night there were so many. I wrote them down for you, but I’m happy to talk in detail about them.”

She pulls out a piece of paper from her purse and hands it over. I glance at the list as she washes her hands. There are over twenty items on it. I’m impressed. I pick a random selection to go through with her, and she chats animatedly as she works. There’s a farm outside of town that make the best cheese, and another vendor at the food market downtown that’s got the freshest catch in town. More than once I find myself not so much listening as looking at Mikayla. Her enthusiasm is apparent, and damn if it isn’t incredibly sexy too.

Maybe I should dismiss her before the idea takes hold and I act on it. But I don’t have a good reason for it, because her food is amazing. She’s managed to elevate basics, in a style all her own. Even with a limited pantry, she’s managed to make the food taste like it came from a Michelin star restaurant. This is good. This is hopeful. With Mikayla at the helm, we just might be able to pull this off. Red Canyon Steakhouse might just make it.

As long as I can keep it in pants, I think. It’s the only thing that sours my good mood.


The next two weeks pass by in a blur for me. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I have this job. It’s been a dream for quite a long time, and to have it actually happen, when it was such a long shot really has improved my confidence. The subtle jabs about my skill from Jake are slowly being replaced as I start settling into my new role at Red Canyon Steakhouse. After I’d proved myself to Logan, he officially offered me the position. My pay was ridiculously huge, enough that I’d definitely be able to afford that apartment he referred to me, but more than that, I finally felt like things were turning around.

At first I thought that I wouldn’t see that much of Logan, but in fact, the complete opposite happened. He showed up almost every day, usually around lunch time. I was making food often, experimenting with recipes and discussing with various people about quality of ingredients and scalability, and I guess Logan didn’t want the food to go to waste. I didn’t mind at all of course. That man is seriously easy on the eyes, and as long as I was talking about food, I was too excited to get embarrassed. It was my comfort zone, where I didn’t stumble over my words or feel stupid in front of a guy.

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