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"Oh, no you don't." Margot McDougal pushed the thigh-high gate against the side of the black-and-white hog, urging him to move back out of the doorway. "Lordy, Harley, you need to go on a diet."
She leaned against the metal barrier with all one hundred and twenty-five pounds of her, but she didn't gain an inch against the three-hundred-pound pig. "Ugh seriously. We're gonna have to kick up your exercise program to twice a day. Maybe even try out that new fangled Zumba program Ryan says all the fancy city folks are doing to keep their figure."
The pig grunted, turned up his snout and lost all interest in escaping his enclosure. Margot hurried to latch the gate and shook her head. "You and Roy Lee are two pigs in the making, stubborn as all get out, do you know that?"
For the last eleven months, her boyfriend, Roy Lee, had a habit of leaving his clothes willy-nilly all over her apartment in hope their secret relationship would be found out. Not to mention sneaking kisses out in public when he thought no one was looking.
She picked up the empty bucket she'd used to feed the animals, flung her hair over her shoulder and grinned down at the Yorkshire. "I'll make a deal with you, Harley. Once you can outrun me, I'll find you a permanent home where you can have all the female swine you want. Until then, we're stuck with each other because at this point you're too big to use as a breeder."
Harley snorted and turned his slop-covered snout at Margot.
"I know. It wasn't fair that your previous owners spoiled you rotten, and then had to give you up when they moved. I can't keep you here forever, and the only way to get you back in shape is with a strict diet. Until then, we're stuck with each other."
She walked through the large animal barn on her way to the office. Early mornings were Margot's favorite time of the day. She had the veterinary clinic and animals to her herself, and it was almost like having her own farm. Except she lived over her workplace and the animals were never hers to keep.
It was hard to believe a whole year had passed since she'd bought the place outright from Doc Adams after completing her internship, and she'd already expanded enough to hire a part-time veterinarian to help out. Every goal she'd set for herself, she'd succeeded in accomplishing on time.
Her daddy, Stuart McDougal, would have been damned proud of her. She swallowed. He was proud, because if anyone had a special view from heaven, it was her dad. There was no doubt about it. If she had one thing to be thankful for this past year, it was having Daddy know she'd completed what she'd set out to do, before he'd passed away.
Margot strolled across the gravel parking lot and entered Double M Veterinary Clinic through the back door. She stopped in the small animal room in the basement and groaned.
A brown chore coat lay over one of the empty dog crates. She snatched it up, shaking her head. Dang you, Roy Lee.
She gazed around the back room for any other stray articles of clothing Roy Lee might have left behind. Now that her sisters knew about her relationship with Pike's sheriff, she probably should let Roy Lee announce they were a couple to the whole town.