“Nothing to be sorry about. It’s just the way it is.” Did Sara take everything that came into her life with such matter-of-fact acceptance?
“So, have you always lived with your father?” He didn’t usually take the kind of interest in a woman that warranted that type of question.
A worried looked formed on her face then disappeared. “Yes. He’s disabled. There was an explosion at work years ago and he was hurt.”
What had that look been about? Why was he asking all these questions about her personal life? He never involved himself in a woman’s life beyond what was required for a good time. His rule was not to make any commitments other than the one to his mother. He didn’t trust his judgement of women. The less they knew about him the smaller the chances of him being hurt. He didn’t need to know this stuff for her to care for Lily. Perhaps the sharing-a-meal idea hadn’t been his wisest.
“Have you found a nanny to replace me?”
He didn’t look at her. “No.”
“Have you looked? My time will be up soon.”
Grant met her gaze. “I thought I could maybe talk you into staying a while longer.”
She slowly shook her head. “That wasn’t our agreement.”
“I know. But I need your help. Don’t you need the money?”
Her face turned red and she looked away.
“You said something about being evicted the other day. If you will stay, I’ll make it worth your while.”
“It won’t matter. My father has to be out by this Saturday.”
“So where do you plan to go?”
“I don’t know. I’ve not had time to look for anything. I guess to a hotel until I can find us a place.”
The waitress brought their food and left.
“Anyway, you have enough to worry about with Lily. This is my problem and I’ll handle it.”
She was making it pretty clear she didn’t want to talk about it any more. He needed to figure out some way to at least get her to stay a little longer.
They ate in silence. Grant had completed his meal and Sara was still working on hers when Lily stirred.
“Do you mind giving her a bottle while I finish?” Sara asked, pulling one out of the bag hanging on the stroller.
“Won’t she wait?”
Sara’s look implied he had to be kidding. “Yeah, for about three seconds and then she’ll cry loud enough to break the windows. What’s the deal about holding her anyway? You did a good job earlier. It’s just a bottle. She does all the work.”
“I guess I could.”
“Thank you. I’ll be done here in a minute. Then I’ll change her diaper and we’ll get out of your hair.”
“You’re not in my hair. I told you I was finished for today.”
“You’re sure acting like we are.”
Sara was starting to annoy him. “Well, you’re not.”
“That’s the way it sounded to me.” She placed the bottle on the table in front of him as if she was daring him to admit he was afraid to feed Lily.
“It did not.” He was reluctant but had no plans to admit it.
Sara laughed and the sound rippled through him, almost a caress. “We sound like high-schoolers.”
Grant grinned. His life had been so serious for so long it was nice to smile. “Rather silly ones at that.” He lifted Lily out of the stroller and cradled her in his arm. “Okay, this is my first baby feeding. What do I do?”
“Just put the bottle to her lips and she’ll handle the rest.”
Grant did as instructed and Lily quit crying the second she had the nipple. He beamed at Sara as she finished eating.
“I told you. Nothing to it.”
Lily had finished her meal and Sara stood. “Let me have her and I’ll take her to the restroom for a burp and a diaper change. If you don’t mind, would you push the stroller out?”
Sara reached down, again coming close enough for his senses to appreciate her, and took Lily into her arms. She did so with complete confidence. It was hard not to trust her. Something he never did where women were concerned. “This baby stuff comes natural to you, doesn’t it?”
A startled expression mixed with regret crossed her face. “I learned most of what I know from babysitting as a kid.”
Grant watched them go. It was the perfect maternal picture. They could be mother and daughter.
As in Lily’s mother.
Sara had said she was being evicted. If he offered her a place to live, would she consider marrying him as a business deal? Kill two birds with one stone? The idea was too crazy. But Leon had said that he needed to be married if he stood a chance of keeping Lily. Desperate people did crazy things. What would he lose by asking her? The most she could do was slap his face and quit.