Not Really the Outdoor Type(4)

By: Paige Tyler

“I have some things to do in the back,” he said as she closed the register. “Will you be okay on your own?”

She blinked. After how many times she’d messed up, she’d thought he’d want to watch her like a hawk. “Yeah, of course.”

“Good. If you need me, just yell.”

As she watched him go, she couldn’t help but think again how different he was from her ex-boyfriend, not only in looks, but in every other way, too. Whereas Keith always had to let people know he was in charge, Jason seemed to have that confident, take-charge attitude about him that made her think he’d fit in just as easily in corporate world as he did in Copper Canyon.

After giving out the wrong change earlier, Kendall was more careful the rest of the day. Until Jason came out to work the other register later that afternoon. Not only did working beside him make her body respond to her new boss in ways that were extremely unprofessional, it also made her mess up and give several more customers too much change. As a result, she came up short but almost a hundred dollars on her cash drawer when the store closed that evening.

She gave Jason an apologetic look. “I’m so sorry. I don’t know how I did that.” She knew exactly how it’d happened, but she couldn’t tell him that. “You can take it out of my pay.”

He frowned, but shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. Just be more careful.”

“I will,” she said. “I promise.”

Apparently, her words didn’t carry much weight because the next day Jason asked her to do inventory instead of work the register. His lack of faith stung, but she supposed she couldn’t blame him. She’d already cost him a hundred dollars. Besides, being out on the floor only gave her more time to look at Jason.

She was so mesmerized by her boss that a customer had to call her twice before she heard him. Chiding herself, she gave the man an embarrassed smile.

“I’m sorry. What can I do for you?”

“I’m looking for Buck Lure. I can’t seem to find it.”

She frowned. “Buck Lure?”

“Yeah.” The man nodded. “You know, you rub it on when you’re out hunting and it makes you smell like a deer in heat. That way, your prey can’t pick up your human scent.”

Seriously? Kendall glared at him. “As if hunters don’t have enough of an advantage. You already have guns—what more do you want? But then again, I guess you’ll do just about anything to get a trophy for your wall, wouldn’t you? Too bad we don’t sell machine guns, otherwise you could get one of those to go along with your Buck Lure.”

The man’s face turned red. She supposed it was too much to hope it was from embarrassment.

“Now, wait just a minute—”

“Is there a problem here?”

Kendall jumped at the sound of Jason’s deep voice. She half turned to find him regarding her questioningly, but before she could answer, the man spoke.

“I asked her where I could find Buck Lure and she went all tree hugger on me about hunting. I don’t know what kind of employees this store hires, but—”

“I’m sorry for the confusion, sir.” Jason said tightly. “The Buck Lure is in the hunting section, on the shelf with the rest of the accessories. Right over there,” he added, pointing toward the other side of the store.

The man drew himself up, gave Kendall a sneer, then stormed off toward the hunting section. Kendall watched him go, her hands gripping the clipboard she held. Jerk.

“What the hell was that about?”

Kendall whirled around to face Jason, surprised by the sharpness in his tone. “I just told him what I thought about him using something as underhanded as that Buck Lure to kill some poor, unsuspecting deer for the sole purpose of putting some trophy on his wall. I guess he got offended.”

Jason clenched his jaw. “Dammit, Kendall. I hired you to stock shelves and work the register. Keep your opinions to yourself.”

Her face colored. “But—”

His eyes narrowed warningly. “I mean it, Kendall. This store—hell, this town—survives on the money from the hunters and fishermen that come here. If you’re going to have a problem with them, tell me now.”

And if she did? He’d what—fire her? Kendall swallowed hard. She liked working at the store, she really did. Why the heck couldn’t she learn to keep her mouth shut? “I don’t. It’s just that I don’t like hunting, that’s all. I guess I saw Bambi too many times as a kid.”

Jason regarded her in silence for a long moment before letting out a sigh. “Okay, don’t worry about it. Just don’t let it happen again. When you’re done here, I need to you put sale prices on some of the gun cases.”

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