Home > Until Sage (Until Her/Him #5)

Until Sage (Until Her/Him #5)
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds

Prologue

Science says it only takes four minutes to fall in love with someone.

I didn’t believe that was true, until I met Sage Mayson.

Kim

HEARING A thump, thump, thump, the steering wheel in my hands jerks hard to the left, making me squeak as my car swerves into the oncoming traffic lane. Getting the car back under control, I slow down as it bounces, letting me know I have a flat.

“Great! Just flipping great.” I pull carefully off the road and onto the shoulder, flipping on my hazards as I put the car in park. Grabbing my cell from my purse sitting in the passenger seat, I curse to myself once more when I see the battery is just about to die. “You should have stayed in bed,” I mutter under my breath, but then I think about the baby blue suede bag I scored for seventy percent off from the underground sale I went to and remember instantly why getting out of bed this morning was so totally worth it.

Scanning through the contacts in my cell, I find the number for AAA and press call then put the phone on speaker. “Thank you for calling triple A. Your call may be monitored. Please press one for—”

The phone dies in my hand, and I let out a growl of annoyance. Dropping the now useless piece of crap into the cup holder, I check for traffic and then get out of the car, slamming the door behind me. Checking both tires on the driver’s side, I see both are good, so I move around to the back and drop my hands to my sides. The back right tire is not only flat, but shredded. There is no way I can drive on it without doing major damage to my car.

Resting my hands on my hips, I scan the road to see if there’s anyone coming, but the street is completely dead. “Looks like you’re on your own.” I’ve never changed a tire in my life, so I have no idea what the hell I’m going to do, but hopefully I can figure it out.

Going to the trunk, I open it up and pull out the bottom floorboard, where I locate both a spare and a jack. Taking out the jack, I set it on the ground then spend ten minutes trying to unlock the screws for the tire, which seem impossible to remove. Feeling tears of frustration burn the backs of my eyes, I lean into the trunk, resting my forehead on the edge of the spare tire. “This sucks.”

“Need some help?” a voice asks from behind me. Startled, I jump up, bumping my head on trunk lid, and then quickly pull myself up to stand. Holding the top of my head, I spin around feeling lightheaded. “You okay?”

“I…” Blinking, my mouth runs dry. “Um….” I stare at the guy in front of me, trying to get my mouth and brain to work in unison. Hot is the only word filtering through my head as I take him in. He’s probably six-two, if not taller, long and lean, with broad shoulders, a tapered waist, and skin that shows he’s a mixture of something beautiful. Smirking, his full lips tip up ever so slightly, making me realize I’m staring at him and still haven’t answered his question.

Shaking away my sudden stupidity, I mutter, “My tire blew.”

“You got a spare?” The deep timber of his voice slides over my skin as he steps closer, giving me a full dose of his presence.

I was wrong; hot isn’t the right word. I don’t think there’s one in the English language to properly describe him. Long, thick lashes make his unusual gray-green eyes stand out. His jaw is angled, hard, and his nose crooks a little to the left, but even with that imperfection, nothing could take away from his beauty.

“Yeah, I have a spare, but I can’t get it out of the trunk.” I give myself a silent pat on the back for putting together a full sentence without stuttering. As he comes even closer to me, I jump as his hand wraps around my hip, and he moves me to the side, away from the road.

“Let me take a look.” His head disappears into the trunk, and two seconds later, he stands holding the tire I couldn’t get out moments ago.

“How did you do that?”

“You have to push down on the tire while you loosen the bolt.”

“They should really print that on the tire or something,” I say, feeling my nose scrunch up, and he smiles, showing off a dimple in his right cheek that makes my stomach feel full and melty. Jesus, whoever this guy is, he’s dangerous to the world’s female population.

Dropping the spare to the ground near the back tire, he grabs the jack and puts it in place. “Do you know how to change a tire?”

“No,” I reply distractedly, watching the muscles of his arms flex as he takes a long thingy and starts unscrewing the bolts from the tire.

“What was your plan then?” He pauses, looking up at me, and my eyes move to his.

“What?”

“If you got the tire out of the trunk, what was your plan?”

“I was going to wing it,” I tell him truthfully, and his eyes close briefly as his head shakes side-to-side.

“Come over here.”

“Why?”

“I’m gonna teach you how to change your tire.”

“Oh.” I take a step toward him. Apparently not close enough, his big hand wraps around mine, and he tugs, forcing my feet to move until I’m practically standing between his bent knees.

“Now, you always want to loosen the bolts before you get the car off the ground, it makes it easier to remove them once the car’s in the air.”

“Okay.” I nod, and he smiles again, making me feel like a giddy schoolgirl. This is getting ridiculous. I have never been affected by anyone the way he’s affecting me.

“All right. I’m going to loosen the bolts then we’re gonna raise the car. Got it?” Nodding, I watch the muscles in his arms flex as he loosens each of the bolts. “Then you use this to pump the jack.” He takes the long thingy in his hand that he loosened the bolts with and uses the flat end of it, sticking it into the jack that he starts pumping. “Once you get the tire off the ground about two inches, you stop.”

“Okay,” I agree, watching him pull the long thing back out of the jack once the tire is off the ground.

“After you get the bolts loosened and the car in the air, you remove the bolts completely,” he says as he starts to remove them.

“Can I try?”

“Absolutely.” He lets go of the handle, and I take over and try with all my might to turn the bolt, but nothing happens. “Let me help.” He gets close, too close, placing his hand next to mine on the handle. “Push on three.”

“Okay.” I bite my lip when his body cocoons mine, and his scent of dark, warm amber seeps into my senses.

“One… two… three.” I push with him, and the bolt spins. “Good job. If you’re having problems getting them loose, you can always stomp it.”

“Stomp it?” I turn my head to look at him, and he grins.

“Step on it. Use your body weight to force it to move.”

“Oh, got it.” I nod and move away from him to get the next bolt off without help, but the last one isn’t as easy. I start to do what he suggested, but he stops me with his hand wrapped around my bicep.

“You have heels on.” His eyes drop to my three inch wedged espadrilles. “And I’m here, so you don’t need to break your neck.” He leans over, and with one flex of his muscles, the bolt spins. Pulling off the tire, he grabs the spare and puts it on then sets all the bolts. “This time, we do the opposite. Tighten them as much as we can then drop the jack and tighten them up the rest of the way,” he explains, and I spend the next five minutes watching him tighten all the bolts then drop the jack, allowing the car to lower to the ground before tightening the bolts the rest of the way.

Stepping back when he stands, I notice a thin coating of sweat covering him. The sun has hit its peak, and it’s about twenty degrees hotter out than it was this morning when I left my apartment. Lifting the bottom of his shirt, he wipes his face, giving me a glimpse of his abs. That’s when I notice the dirt and grime from his hands has transferred to his shirt, a shirt I know by the tiny U on the pocket would probably cost eighty dollars, if not more. “Oh, no.”

His eyes drop to where mine are looking. “What?”

“Your shirt, it’s ruined,” I point out, and he shrugs.

“It’s all good. Where are you heading?”

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