“Good for you.” He sounded ridiculously pleased.
“I’m just looking.”
“Is someone helping you?”
“Yes, they are.”
“Let me talk to them.”
Her gaze slid to Cody. “Why? What are you going to do?”
“Ask a couple of questions. Or do you want to talk technical?”
“I’m just looking.”
“Fine.” She gave an exaggerated sigh.
She caught Cody’s eye, and he was quick to return to her side.
“My…” Wow. She’d never said the word before. She cleared her throat. “My husband wants to talk to you.”
“Absolutely.” Cody took the phone. “Hello? This is Cody Pender.”
He listened. Then his brow rose. Then he looked at Sage.
Sage got a nervous feeling.
“I would say the LX Two or the Cadmen. We also have the Heckle V series, which is top of the line. It has an excellent safety rating.”
“I’m just looking,” Sage whispered.
Cody smiled brightly at her.
Whatever TJ was saying seemed to be making Cody happy.
“Yes, sir,” Cody repeated. “I can show her each of them.”
Then he handed the phone back to Sage.
“What did you say to him,” she demanded.
“I simply apprised him of your needs.”
“What does that mean?”
“That means he’s going to show you some very nice automobiles. Have fun. Take some test drives.”
“You’re up to something.”
“Yes.” His tone was dry. “It’s my secret plot to get you to buy a car. Wait. It’s not so secret, since I’ve told you all about it.”
“Are you annoyed?”
“No. I’m amused. And I’m serious. Go have fun. If you like something, call Tasha. She’ll ask all the technical questions. I’m texting you her number. Don’t disappoint Cody. He seems really excited.”
Despite herself, Sage smiled.
Three test drives later, she fell in love with a sleek sedan. It had butter-soft leather seats that hugged her body. It handled like a dream, had terrific pickup from a stop and was smooth and quiet inside. It felt compact to drive, but the back seat was roomy enough for Eli.
She parked it back at the dealership.
“You’re grinning,” Cody said.
“This is an awfully nice car.”
“There’s another in the showroom. It has a slightly different set of features.” He opened his door. “Let’s take a look.”
Sage knew she shouldn’t be enjoying this quite so much, but she followed him inside.
“This one is midnight metallic blue, one of the feature colors for the model year.” Cody opened the driver’s door.
She did like the color. It had a subtle sparkle under the lights, and the hue seemed to change as she moved.
“It has upgraded wheels and tires—they’re slightly larger, which is good for highway driving—heated seats in the back as well as the front, a radio and communications system upgrade—you’ll get superior sound from the speakers—and the feature I like best, the panorama sunroof, which is nice for back-seat passengers.”
She couldn’t help thinking about Eli. “I’m afraid to ask the price.”
“I’m not permitted to tell you the price.”
The answer baffled Sage.
“My instructions from your husband were to find you the perfect automobile, have you call someone named Tasha and finalize the details with her. He didn’t want your decision to be colored by money.”
Sage was speechless. How could she choose a car without comparing prices? Price was fundamental to understanding the value.
“Do you have Tasha’s number?” Cody asked.
“You should call her.”
Sage wanted to call TJ, but she suspected it wouldn’t do her any good.
“I don’t usually live like this,” she told Cody as she retrieved her phone. “My life is normally, well, pretty normal.”
Cody gave a wide grin. “Then you should enjoy this.”
“It’s not normal.”
“It’s quite normal. People buy cars all the time.”
“Without asking the price?” She doubted that.
“I’ll tell Tasha the price.”
Sage pressed Tasha’s number. “This feels silly.”
“It feels romantic and generous to me. Your husband clearly wants you to have the perfect car.”
Sage digested the answer, trying to decide how she felt about a romantic gesture from TJ. Then she laughed to herself at the word gesture. This was a whole lot more than a gesture.
“Hi, Sage.” Tasha’s voice was cheerful on the phone. “TJ told me you’d be calling. Did you find something?”