In the morning, Sarah rose and put on one of her nice dresses. They were going into town and she didn’t want to look like she had been working in the garden all day. It was one of her favorites. It was a lavender color with lace detailing and sleeves that went down to the elbow. It was pretty and comfortable, which made it her favorite even more. She styled her usual half up hairdo and walked downstairs just as the men came in from their morning duties.
“If I didn’t know any better I’d say you were off to meet a fella!” Brick teased, his laughter booming through the house. “But you do look absolutely lovely, my dear,” he added as he walked past her to the wash room.
She walked in to the dining room and the men joined her. Sterling sat down beside her and turned to her. His eyes went wide as he took her in. “Sarah, you look beautiful.”
Sarah giggled, “You men and your flattery. Just because I’m not wearing my simple work clothes doesn’t mean I’m dressed up fancy.”
“True, but woman you look amazing.” Sterling took her hand and kissed her palm, making her blush.
“That’s enough you two. Acting all mushy at the breakfast table...” Brick teased.
After breakfast, Sterling and Sarah climbed on the wagon and headed toward town. When they arrived they parked in front of the General Store and made their way inside. Sarah grabbed the few things she needed and Sterling got his rope. Sarah handed Sterling her basket of things and started across the square. “You load up, I’ll just be a minute.” She headed into the post office and sent out a letter to Katie. They had been writing religiously since she left Atlanta.
When Sarah exited the post office she looked across the street to Sterling. He was leaning against the wagon speaking to someone. She couldn’t quite tell who but they were too close for her liking. As she made her way over she saw Missy wrap her arms around his neck, talking cute with a big pout on her face. Sarah saw red.
When she approached them she tried to keep her composure. Missy looked at with surprise, “Oh! Sarah! I didn’t know you were in town with Sterling. So lovely to see both of you.” Missy gave Sarah that smile that was both smug and innocent all at once.
“It’s MRS Evans. And it is just so lovely to see you again Missy. Give my best to your gaggle of ladies.” Sarah smiled sweetly and climbed up on to the wagon. Sterling climbed up next to her, tipped his hat to Missy, and they drove off.
Sarah stared off to the side, arms crossed. She refused to even look at him let alone speak to him. All of a sudden Sterling hollered at the horses, “Woah!” He pulled the reins and they came to a stop. He turned over to Sarah. “What on earth is the matter Sarah?” He asked sternly. “You’ve been in a huff since we left town.”
“Sterling Evans, do you expect me to just sit there and watch you hold another woman?”
Sterling let out a frustrated laugh, “Sarah! Missy just-“
Sarah interrupted him, “Sterling, just drive the wagon.”
He stared at her with bewilderment for a minute before he turned and started back home. When they reached the house Sarah climbed down from the wagon and stormed inside and up the stairs. Sterling jumped off the wagon and followed her up, his anger almost as high as hers.
Sarah stomped into the room and shut the door. She grabbed her work dress and was about to head behind the dressing shade when Sterling stormed in.
“Woman, what are you so upset about?” he boomed.
“Don’t call me woman!” she snapped back, “And I saw you there. Her arms around you, y’all flirting and being all cute. I’m not a fool, Sterling Evans.”
The anger flashed through Sterling’s eyes. “Sarah, if you had continued to watch as you stormed over you would have seen me pull her arms off. But there you go, assuming the worst of me,” he hollered as he threw his arms up in the air.
Sarah scowled, “It’s not assuming when I saw it with my own eyes. Sterling, if you’d rather have her than just say so!”
Suddenly Sterling pushed toward her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer when she attempted to push him away. “You are the only one on my mind. What part of that don’t you get?” he whispered.
Sarah looked up at him, the fire still in her eyes. Then he leaned close and encompassed her in a passionate kiss. It was deep and hard, channeling all his frustration into kissing her. Sarah melted in his arms and forgot her anger for a moment as she kissed him back, meeting his passion with hers.
“Don’t ever think that I don’t want you,” he said, finally breaking his kiss from her lips.
She pushed him off as she remembered she was still angry at him, “Excuse me, I have work to do.”
She grabbed her work clothes and walked downstairs, changing quickly in the bathing room. She walked out of the house and to the barn, still fuming.
“What’s wrong with your girl, Sterling?” Brick asked when Sterling joined him on the porch.
Sterling shook his head, “I didn’t even do anything. She’s just assuming I did.”
Brick glared at his son, “Boy, what did you do?”
Sterling huffed, stepping off the porch, “Nothing..”
Sarah was giving the horses a good brush, muttering to herself in anger. Sterling walked into the barn, grabbing a brush and standing on the other side of the horse she was brushing.
“Sarah, I need you to hear me. I did not encourage her, she just doesn’t take no for an answer. I pulled her arms off the minute she placed them on me,” Sterling said quietly, brushing the horse smooth.
Sarah worked silently, not ready to speak to him yet, her stubbornness in full effect.
After a few minutes in silence Sterling scowled, “Sarah, would you say something?!”
Sarah looked up at him, her eyes full of angry tears, “Sterling just leave me alone. You obviously have other desires, so go have fun.” She walked out of the barn and around the back of the house, setting herself quietly on the back steps. She wiped a few stray tears away as she sat on the steps, trying to rein in her irritation with that man.