Read One Last Call Online

Authors: Susan Behon

One Last Call (2 page)

BOOK: One Last Call
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He did an about-face so all Sarah could see were the worn back pockets of his jeans. From what was framed by her open car window, Josh still had a nice butt too.
Damn him.

Sarah sat there in the shadows staring at that sexy rear end for a good minute.

Josh’s impatient groan interrupted her denim survey. “Come on now, the mosquitos are chewin’ me to bits. Just climb on out of there, put your arms around my neck, and wrap your legs around me…” His words trailed off.

That brought up an erotic image of another time she’d been wrapped around him. Prom night up at the Falls, they’d been fogging up the windows in the backseat of his old black Mustang. There’d been nothing between them but hot skin, tangled limbs, and fervent touches…Yeah, Memory Lane needed a roadblock. Starting now.

“Fine! I need some room to get out, so move your butt.” Sarah would suck it up and get it over with so she could get some much needed distance. They’d been done for years. Over and then some. Touching Josh out of necessity now should be no big deal.
No problem.
She was a grown woman now. Besides, he was an ass…with a nice ass.
Shut up, Sarah.

Josh took a grudging step forward and braced himself with his hands on his hips.

This was such a bad idea for more reasons than Sarah could name, but she couldn’t stay in a ditch all night.
Forget it.
Sarah turned the key off in the ignition. She wasn’t driving out of there anyway. Time to make the leap.

* * * *

Josh barely kept himself from flinching when he felt the firm grip of Sarah’s small hand on his shoulder. The outward calm he’d been showing had been completely fake and scraped together for her benefit. Truth be told, his heart was still hammering against his ribs from seeing her Mini Cooper stuck in the ditch.

Sarah’s little toy car wasn’t any bigger than a matchbox as it was. When he drove up and saw that it was
wrecked vehicle, Josh almost jumped out of the truck before putting it in park. The thirty seconds it took to get down in the ditch and see that she wasn’t hurt took ten years off his life. Feeling her touch now jacked up his heart rate even higher.

Her left hand latched on and squeezed the ball of muscle on his shoulder as she pulled her way out of the damaged car. The sweet, hot hint of her breath tickled the back of his neck when she gave a final kick off the door and wrapped her slender arms and legs around him. His hands automatically went to her thighs to brace her on his hips.

Good God

Pleasure mixed with torture had a name, and it was Sarah. The soft swells of her breasts pressed so intimately between his shoulders that he had to lean forward in reaction to the sensation. He was getting lightheaded. Had he forgotten to breathe?

Josh had to pull his shit together before Sarah pegged him for a fool.

He forced himself to stand a little straighter and hitched her up on his hips. “Put on some weight since last time, darlin’?”

“Fuck you.” Those unbelievable words popped out of Sarah’s sweet mouth before she slapped a hand over it. When she lost her balance holding on one-handed, she squeezed her thighs harder against his torso to stay upright. She had on some sort of long shorts or capri pants. At least her legs weren’t bare. Feeling Sarah’s soft, smooth skin under his fingers? That would have dropped him to his knees for sure. Josh was still tempted to goad her into saying something else shocking so she would grip him harder.

He was a masochist.

“Tell me how you really feel, darlin’.” He hid his surprise with sarcasm. Sarah hadn’t been big on swearing before. If she was going to throw an F-bomb at anyone now, Josh figured he was the one who deserved it. Sarah hated him and with good reason.

Josh wasn’t sure if there was anything he could say or do to get her to forgive him. Their first face-to-face meeting wasn’t supposed to be like this. Since coming back to Madison Falls, he’d imagined confronting Sarah in plenty of different scenarios, and piggybacking her out of a ditch after midnight wasn’t one of them. Even that went beyond anything he could have made up in his head.

It didn’t matter. Sarah needed his help, and Josh considered himself lucky that he’d happened by when he did. The circumstances weren’t ideal for dredging up past mistakes and Josh knew that. He also knew that it was long past overdue that he made things right with her. Having her delicious body wrapped around him in the process wasn’t exactly a hardship either. Sweet torture, yes, but not a hardship.

Sarah remained quiet during his trek up the slope of muck, dirt, and overgrown grass. He was being an idiot and he knew it. She weighed practically nothing. Josh was only breathing hard because her silky blonde hair was brushing the side of his neck. He hoped that, in the dark, she wouldn’t notice the goose bumps skittering down his arms. With the midsummer heatwave, it was still over seventy degrees out. There was no chilly night breeze to blame for his reaction.

Once they reached the crunch of gravel at the side of the road, Sarah loosened her grip.

Not so fast.

Josh didn’t want to let go of her yet. “Hold on, sunshine. Wouldn’t want you to bruise those pretty little feet of yours. I’ll carry you to my truck so you can take it easy while I get you squared away.”

“Stop calling me sunshine!” There was a slight tightening of her legs that had him once again wanting to provoke her by saying that endearment again and again.
Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine.
What he wouldn’t give to turn Sarah facing him and prop her up against the hood of his truck. He’d irritate her, and she could squeeze the living hell out of him with those sexy thighs.

Josh wasn’t going to make any more promises he couldn’t keep, so he didn’t respond to her demand. He pried open the passenger door on his tow truck and backed up until Sarah could boost herself up on the bench seat. She scrambled off of him as soon as she was close enough to the seat to make the transition safely. He was reminded that he still had her purse when she reached over and snatched it off his arm.
Like I’m going to keep it?

He closed the door once she was situated and hopped in on his side. He threw the truck in gear and maneuvered it close enough to hook the back of her car. From the looks of it, it would be a simple snag and tow. There was absolutely no traffic so they had the road all to themselves.

Before Josh could open his door, Sarah laid a hand on his arm to stop him. As soon as she’d made contact, she snatched her fingers back as if his skin were on fire. Either that or she thought he had a rampant case of cooties.

Sarah took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders. Her voice held a certain stoic calm. “Is there any way I could pay for the tow without going through my insurance?”

Josh noticed that she held her checkbook on her lap.
She thought he was going to make her pay him for helping her out?

Josh shifted away from her and shoved the driver’s-side door open.

“No charge on the tow. I was out on a call anyway.” That was the reason he’d been out driving around in the middle of the night. “Old Walt Mahoney had a flat tire. Said he didn’t want to mess with his bursitis by jackin’ up his car. He probably left the bar not a half hour before you.” Josh lifted a shoulder in a careless shrug, trying not to show that her gesture insulted him. When it came to Sarah, he’d never charge her for anything. “I was passin’ by. It’s just a friend helpin’ a friend.”

Sarah slipped her checkbook back into her bag and stared straight ahead. “We’re not friends.”

Josh wasn’t going to show a reaction to that either.

“Yeah? Sorry, sunshine, but that’s about to change.”

He jumped down and slammed the door, cutting Sarah off before she could respond and tell him to go to hell.

Chapter 2

could a man who worked on cars for a living smell so good? Instead of a scented cloud of motor oil, she’d detected hints of Irish Spring soap and cinnamon gum. It had taken all Sarah’s efforts not to press her nose to his neck and inhale with greedy zeal. Maybe she’d knocked her head on something during the ditch dive.

She ran her fingers over her scalp, searching for bumps. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary besides messy hair. That was the least of her worries right now. Sarah rolled her neck and shoulders with a wince. They were sore from bracing for impact and would probably feel worse tomorrow. She hoped some aspirin and a hot bath would go a long way in easing her aches.

Sarah peeked over her shoulder and watched Josh push and pull on some levers on the back of the truck. It would probably be better for her peace of mind not to stare at him. Seeing him bend and flex while he worked was giving her ideas…none of them good. It wasn’t right that the man could still fill out a pair of jeans in a way that made her shiver. Why couldn’t he have on a grungy old pair of coveralls?

Josh adjusted the hook so he could rescue her poor car. From what she could see, the left headlight was smashed. There were no signs of collision to the doors so they should have opened. Maybe the safety locks engaged on impact? She’d find out soon enough.

She tried to console herself that it could have been worse. If she’d run over the deer, Sarah would’ve had the death of Bambi on her conscience. Not to mention the extra damage Bambi-cide could have done to her car. The near miss meant her Mini Cooper might still be easily fixed. She was determined to be optimistic about something tonight, even if it was a longshot.

Aiming for a distraction, Sarah searched through her bottomless purse for her phone. Mom would have expected her a half hour ago and would be worried sick if Sarah didn’t let her know why she’d be late getting home.

When Josh yanked open the door and climbed back in, he checked a few more switches on the dashboard and buckled up. If he noticed her groping fruitlessly through her bag, he didn’t comment on it. Instead, he put the truck in drive and watched the rearview mirror while he slowly tugged her car out of the ditch.

“I was meanin’ to ask, Sarah, how did you end up in a ditch anyway? There’s nothin’ out here.”

“I was playing chicken with a deer. He won. Have you seen my phone?” She’d only managed to locate two missing tubes of cherry Chapstick and an old receipt for coffee.

Josh glanced over at the purse on her lap. “No. Why? Who do you need to call?”

It was none of his damned business. “My mom.”

“Your mom?”

“Everyone has one. I moved in with her a few years back when Dad passed away.”

“So you take care of her?”

“I did at first. Mom does most things for herself now.”

“You’re a good daughter.”

Moving in hadn’t been that much of a sacrifice. Her ex-husband, Richard, had gotten their house in the divorce. Taking care of her mom was only right since she was living there.

“She’s a good mom. Do you have a phone I could use? I want to let her know I’m okay.”

“No problem.” Josh fished his cell phone out of his console. Instead of handing it over, he touched in some numbers and held the phone to his ear. Sarah heard her mom’s raspy voice carry in a worried flurry of words.

He gave Sarah a sidelong glance as he answered, “Mrs. Brandon? I’m sorry, I mean, Lucy? It’s Josh.”

He’s on a first-name basis with my mother?

“No, ma’am, Sarah’s fine. Had a little fender bender is all. I have her with me.”

That must have calmed Lucy since the decibel level lowered to the point that Sarah couldn’t overhear her side of the conversation.

“No, ma’am. She didn’t get hurt, but I have to tow her vehicle to the garage.” There was a brief pause before he continued. “You go on and get some rest now. I’ll take her home.” His indulgent smile was a quick flash of white in the darkness. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll do my best.” Josh’s smile broadened into a full blown grin. “Yes, ma’am. You too.”

You too?

He thumbed the End button and turned to her. “All set. What do you say we get outta here?”

“Why do you have my mom’s phone number?”

Josh rubbed the back of his neck one-handed and stepped on the gas. “Well, speakin’ of doin’ things herself, your mama’s been to the garage a few times to get her oil changed.”

“What do you mean she’s been to the garage? Your garage?” God, of course
garage. It was the only one in Madison Falls. “Why would she do that? She knows I get the oil changed for her.” It was unnecessary, but she added, “Somewhere else.”

“I guess Lucy didn’t want to go somewhere else. If you want my opinion, I think she likes my dad.” Josh checked his side mirror and explained. “Your mama’s come in for an oil change three times this month.”

Sarah’s jaw nearly hit her lap. “Three times? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“Nope. I don’t think my dad minds either because I end up changin’ clean oil so they can talk in the office.”

“By talk, do you mean…?”

His eyes widened at the implication. “Lord, I hope not. Either way, I wasn’t about to open that door and find out. She gave me her number so I could text her when I was done.”

“How long do they stay in there?”
Do I really want to know?

Josh gave her a sidelong glance. “Not long enough for any hanky-panky, if you ask me.”

Lucy was a widow, not to mention the mother of two adult daughters. That didn’t stop Sarah from feeling weird about her being interested in a man. She was a grandmother, for goodness sakes! Did grandmas dabble in hanky-panky?

A horrific thought occurred to her. “So if my mom and your dad got married, that would mean you would become my bro—”

Josh cut her off. “Not even. There is no way in hell that I’d ever think of you as a sister, stepsister, or any other variety of the word!”

Yeah, ick.
She’d lost her virginity to the guy. Fate couldn’t be that cruel.

“Anyway, if that ever happened, we’d be related through
, not blood.” He steered until the truck and her car were straightened out and pointing in the right direction. Josh made a distracted grimace. “Besides, it’s a little soon to be talkin’ weddin’s.”

Sarah stared out the passenger window while a fog of awkward silence descended in the truck cab. Never in a million years did she think she’d be riding alone in the dark with Josh Logan again. She used to sit in the middle of the bench seat so they could hold hands while Josh drove. Back then, she couldn’t get close enough to him. Now, Sarah wished for a wider cab. His nearness was bringing up too many memories better left forgotten.

BOOK: One Last Call
6.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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