On Thursday morning Sarah was awakened by someone shaking her shoulder gently and speaking low.
Sarah groaned and rolled over.
“Sarah, come ride with me.”
She turned over, her eyes wide. “Sterling Evans did you forget what happened last time we went riding?”
Sterling glared at her, “Are you saying you’re never going to ride again because of one bad ride?”
No... Sarah thought to herself. She groaned and pushed the covers back. Sitting up on the edge of the bed she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.
“Hurry and get dressed, I’ll start saddling the horses.” Sterling said as he left the room.
Sarah dressed quickly and splashed some water on her face. When she made it to the barn Sterling was throwing the saddle over Sonny’s back. She smiled at Sterling and gave Sonny a rub.
“She likes you a lot,” he said to her.
Sarah turned back to Sterling, “I like her too.”
“She was my mom’s horse. She’s been stubborn since mom died. I was surprised when she let you ride her the first time.”
“What?” Sarah laughed at him, “You told me to ride her!”
Sterling laughed out loud, “ No, I pointed to Prairie.” He motioned to the golden and white horse in the stall past Sonny.
“Oh. Oops” Sarah chuckled as she led Sonny out of the barn and hopped in to the saddle.
Sarah had to admit, she was nervous. The last ride they had was still fresh in her memory. Sterling turned to her. “Want to ride to the west side? Then you can see the herd.”
“That would be great, lead the way!” Sarah smiled, hoping he wouldn’t notice how nervous she was.
The ride was as beautiful as always. They stopped at the top of a hill and looked down at the herd. There were hundreds of cows spotting the fields.
“Oh wow!” Sarah exlcaimed.
“We’ve had a good herd this year. It’ll be awesome sending them to market next month. It will set us up comfortably for the next two years.”
“Really? That’s amazing. You must be proud of the business you guys have built.”
“We are,” Sterling turned and smiled at Sarah. He grabbed the horn of her saddle and pulled her horse closer to his. He spoke low, almost in a whisper, “Sarah, I’m going to kiss you now.” Then he leaned in and brushed his lips against hers. He kissed her softly and with gentle passion. When he stopped Sarah took in a sharp breath, apparently at some point she had forgotten to breathe.
“Sarah you are my wife, technically I could kiss you even more than that- which I’ll be honest, I want to kiss you just about all day.” He gave her a smirk and turned his horse around. “You ready to head back?”
“Mhm,” Sarah said quietly. That is true, we are technically married, she thought to herself. They rode back, Sarah took in the plains as they crossed them. This was a new, free type of beauty she had come to really appreciate.
When they made it back to the barn they put the horses away and gave them a good brush. Just as they were about to head back to the house Sterling grabbed her and held her against the side of the barn. “Mrs. Evans..”
Sarah started to protest, but he cut her short.
Sterling’s voice was husky, his face just inches from hers, “Mrs. Evans I’m finding I am having a hard time staying away from you. Have any suggestions?”
“Well for starters you could not keep me pinned against a barn door,” she let the sass drip a bit.
Sterling smiled, “That is true, but if I wasn’t this close I wouldn’t be able to do this.” And with that he leaned his face down and kissed her. He kissed her longer this time, and Sarah forgot about keeping her distance. She stopped fighting the fact she wanted him too. So she kissed him back. They wrapped their arms around each other and let their new feelings for each other flow between them. Every touch of their lips sent tingles down Sarah’s spine.
Sterling pulled back and spoke breathlessly, “I hope you know I’ll be doing that every day, for the rest of our lives. You’ve got me hooked Mrs. Evans.” She saw the fire in his eyes and she knew he was telling the truth.
“Well, Mr. Evans,” Sarah straightened herself and smoothed her dress, “I guess I’ll need to avoid the barn then.” She looked up at him and gave him a teasing smile. He returned it and took her hand as they walked back up to the house.
After breakfast they all went on with their day as usual. Sarah didn’t have much planned so she decided to take some time and read a book. It had been a while since she had just read. She read for hours, enjoying the story she had picked from the shelf in the sitting room.
Sarah woke to Sterling’s lips brushing her forehead. “Oh!” She sat up and looked at him, “I must have dozed off. What time is it?”
Sterling looked at his watch, “Four thirty. We ended our day a bit early.”
“Hmm,” Sarah hummed, “Why don’t you go wash up. I’ll sneak us a couple ice teas and we can go out on the porch.”
“Perfect,” he smiled and made his way upstairs.
They sat on the porch swing, looking out across the land in front of them.
“Are you busy tomorrow morning?” she asked, turning to Sterling.
“No more than usual, why?” he replied.
“I need to go to town. Would you like to come with me?” She smiled sweetly, hoping that would convince him.
“Sure. I’m needing some new rope anyway. I was going to send Garrett for some but I’ll just go with you.”
“Good.” Sarah smiled.
He took her hand and kissed her knuckles, igniting that fire in her eyes once again.