"Hey there, Little Bit." Damn she looked good in that blue dress. Mustang's ass was dragging after the surgery, but now she was in the room he felt wide awake.
"How are you feeling?" She kept her voice low, he supposed in deference to his recuperation.
"I'm good." Even better now that she was there.
"You don't have a cast on?" Perched on the edge of the chair next to the couch, she eyed his bandaged arm in the sling.
"Nope. The steel plate or whatever kind of space-age metal they put in me does the job of the cast. I just need the ace bandages and sling for the next few months or so to support it." Hopefully she'd keep visiting regularly and make those months more bearable. "I have to go back in a week and get the staples yanked out of the incision though."
She cringed. Apparently she felt about staples the way he felt about needles. "You know, if you need a ride anywhere while you're here, just give me a call. I'd be happy to drive you wherever you need me to."
He pulled his eyes away from where the neckline of her dress had gaped so he could just see the lacey edge of her bra. "I think I might take you up on that offer."
Sure the doc had said he could drive himself, but having Sage drive him would sure be nice, especially if she was wearing that little number she had on now.
"Okay. Great. I'll give you my cell-phone number." She grabbed the pen from the table where his mother had left it after they'd done the crossword puzzle in the paper together and looked around for something to write on.
Mustang felt in his jeans pocket and came out with a fuel receipt from when he'd filled up on the highway between Trenton and Magnolia. Had it only been a few days ago that he'd left the circuit and headed home? It felt like a million years, though spending time with his father always felt like that.
He handed the small scrap of paper to her. She jotted down her number and then gave it back to him. Perhaps having that new cell phone wasn't such a bad thing after all. He'd program her number right in, if he could figure out how.
"Thank you, Little Bit."
Her eyes narrowed. "Are you ever going to stop calling me that?"
"Nope." He grinned. If she only knew she had been starring in his painkiller-induced daydreams ever since their meal together.
"Hmm. Maybe I should start calling you Michael again then."
Mustang laughed. "Darlin', you can call me whatever you want."
That offer came out a bit more flirty than it should have considering he'd decided Sage would be off-limits while he was home. Although, what harm could a little innocent flirting do?
One dark eyebrow shot up. "I'll remember that."
"I hope you do." Damn, she could go from innocent to vixen at the drop of a hat. He liked it. Mustang wondered briefly what she'd call him, what terms of endearment she'd use with him in bed. His conscience poked at him. Sage was off-limits.
"I found the video on the Internet from when you broke your arm." Luckily, she changed the subject to safe territory. She touched his good arm lightly. "I'm sorry. I know you're out of competition until the fall."
"How do you know that?" He hadn't even told his parents exactly how long he'd be out of competition, for obvious reasons. If he needed to make an escape from the paternal torture or life as a prison guard, he'd just pretend he was going back to join up with the circuit.
She blushed and lowered her eyes. "I read it on the pro-bull-riders injury report online."
He frowned. "There's an injury report?"
"Yeah. On the Internet." She nodded.
One day he would most likely have to give in and at least learn about computers, if not actually get one. But what was more amazing than his injury being all over the web was Sage. She had actually taken the time to research him online.
Sage was interested and Mustang found that very interesting. She sat so close he could easily admire her dark eyes, inherited from her Mexican grandmother. Then there were those lips, perfectly shaped for kissing. Not to mention those hips he'd love to grab and hold on to tightly while he took them both on a wild ride.
He shook off that thought. "Well, while I'm here, however long that is, it's nice catching up with you again. You and Grams are good people. The kind of people I miss when I'm away."
"And Rosemary too?" She said it and watched him closely, almost like she was waiting for his reaction. "Do you miss her?"
He hadn't exactly been thinking about Rosemary when he was talking about the good people of Magnolia. "Sure. Her too."
Rosemary had always treated Sage like an annoying little sister, when she wasn't outright ignoring her. He supposed he was guilty of ignoring her too a few times near the end. Right before high school graduation when Sage was hanging around them constantly and all he wanted to do was find an opportunity to get his hand in Rosemary's shorts. He'd ended up getting more than his hand in there.
Mustang raised his good arm and brushed a finger down one side of Sage's suddenly somber face. "You sure have grown up. Going to college and working as a teacher. Rosemary has nothing on you."
She finally met his gaze. "There's a thing or two I don't have that she has."
"Are you are talking about a husband and a kid?" He'd learned all about Rosemary marrying Bobby over dinner. Not that Sage had come out and said her sister had trapped her husband into marriage by getting pregnant, but Mustang had read between the lines of Sage's tone and expression. "I wouldn't be so quick to rush into that if I were you. You've got a lot of living to do before all that."
Sage studied him closely for a moment. "You're right. I do have some living to do."
Then she leaned in...
The moment her lips neared his, his body tensed, ready to pounce. When her mouth pressed against his, if he hadn't been in his parents' living room with his mama mere feet away in the next room, he would have had Sage on that couch beneath him before she could say Woah, Mustang. Sling be damned.
He wasn't supposed to be kissing Sage. He'd made a deal with himself to steer clear of her while he was home. Maybe if he'd had some clue of what she was about to do, he would have been able to stop it.
Yeah, right. Who was he kidding?
As it was, even with his mother just in the kitchen, Mustang couldn't stop himself from tangling his hand in Sage's hair and holding her mouth tighter against his. He didn't think twice as he tilted his head and plunged his tongue into her mouth. He nearly came in his jeans when she moaned softly against him as her tongue met his.
Then it was over. She pulled away and when he could concentrate again, he heard his father's footsteps on the stairs outside.
His mother appeared in the kitchen doorway. "Do you want to stay and eat with us, Sage? Nothing as good as what you're used to after Maria's cooking, mind you."
With that interruption the moment was gone, but the thrill inside him remained.
"Stay," he whispered, still breathing heavier than normal.
Sage's gaze met his. He saw a need that matched his own there. It seemed like forever before her eyes finally broke away and she answered his mother. "Thank you, Mrs. Jackson. I'd love to."