Page 24 of Hungry For More

“If you want me to leave I will, but Sage is coming with me.” I take a step closer to him and hold out my hands. “Do you know why I was late yesterday to Thanksgiving?” He shakes his head no and I point to his phone. “You’re so wrapped up in that you’re missing what’s happening right in front of you. And whatever is going on, that phone has gotten you worked up to the point that you’re yelling about something that has nothing to do with you.”

“She’s my sister! This has everything to do with me!”

“She’s the woman I love and I’m going to marry, Brian. That’s where I went yesterday, to get her a ring. And this morning I went and talked to your parents. So, you can get on board like they are, or you can watch us leave. But either way, this is happening with or without your consent.”

“Are you kidding me?” He looks completely shocked, but I stand there unmoving.

I hear Sage coming back into the kitchen and I turn around to talk to her before Brian can say something to mess things up for me.

“Why didn’t you tell me about your attack?” I ask as I look at her. For a moment I think she’s not going to tell me, but then she sighs and her shoulders sink.

“As stupid as it sounds, I thought maybe you wouldn’t want me after you knew.” I pull her into my arms and feel her face against my chest.

“I’m just glad you’re okay.” I kiss the top of her head and I feel her arms come around me.

How could she think I wouldn’t want her? After everything I’ve said to her, nothing could make me want her less. The fact that it happened makes me want to lose control, but it’s not her fault.

“Why did you tell him?” She glares at Brian, and I reach out and touch her chin.

“Your parents told me.” Her eyebrows pull together in confusion. “That’s where I went this morning. I went to talk to your parents and let them know how much I care about you. How much I love you.”

She brings her hand to her mouth and I can see she’s trying to cover up a smile. “Jensen…”

When she starts to talk, I shake my head so I can finish. “They told me what happened to you and how they’ve been so overprotective since then. Your father was less than thrilled to admit it, but your mom realizes how much they stifled you by trying to keep you safe.”

“We only wanted what was best for her,” Brian says, and I look over at him.

“I know, and I want the same thing. I can’t imagine how helpless you felt,” I say, and I watch him nod silently. I know Brian, and I know how much he loves his family. I also know that a part of him blames himself for what happened to her. That feeling will probably never go away, but it’s time for him to let Sage move past it.

“I love you, too,” Sage blurts out, and when I look back at her she’s got both hands over her mouth and her eyes are round in surprise like she can’t believe she just said it. “I really do,” she whispers behind her fingers and I smile at her.

The feeling is still so foreign to me, but I’ve smiled more this weekend with Sage than I ever have in my life. Her parents told me they knew the moment they met that they were meant to be together and they knew Sage would be the same way. She would look up one day and standing in front of her would be her husband. Now that time has come and I’m ready to be the one.

I pull her hands away from her mouth so I can look at her. “I know.” I give her a cocky smile and she rolls her eyes as I lean down and kiss her quickly.

“Am I just supposed to be okay with this?” Brian asks as he stares at us with a mixture of shock and confusion.

“Yes,” I answer and wrap an arm around Sage. “And then you’re supposed to go after whoever the hell you’ve been hung up on the past few days and figure that shit out.”

I see his jaw clench as he grinds his teeth and he nods silently. I know there’s more going on with him than what he’s telling me and that’s okay. It seems like we’ve both got our secrets right now, but mine are about to be out in the open.

“Be good to her,” he says, looking me straight in the eyes.

“I’ll never let anything happen to her.”

“I’m holding you responsible if it does.”

I nod in understanding. “Fair enough.”

Brian pulls his phone out of his pocket before he walks out of the kitchen and I hear the front door close. It’s then I realize he was still in the same clothes he was wearing last night. What the hell has he gotten himself into?