He’d have to give the idea some thought.
* * *
Sara washed the bottle she’d used to feed Lily. It was hard to believe she’d been working with Lily and living with Grant for almost a week. Soon she would be on her way. She and her father would rent a trailer on Saturday and move their belongings to a cheap hotel down the road from the apartment complex and then spend what was left of the day looking for another place to live. It made her tired just thinking about what was ahead.
Grant would have to take care of Lily or find someone else to for the day. That wasn’t her worry. She needed some time away from Lily anyway. Maybe all the packing she had to do would take her mind off how much she enjoyed being a mother to the baby.
The outside kitchen door was unlocked and to her astonishment Grant walked in. He carried two bags of Chinese food. Other than the meal they’d shared at the café, he’d shown little indication that she and Lily existed.
He placed the bags on the table. “I thought you might like some takeout.”
It was thoughtful of him and totally out of character from what she’d seen. “I like Chinese.”
She put Lily in the windup swing nearby. “I’ll get us something to drink. Is tea okay?”
Grant had pulled white cardboard boxes out of the bags and placed them on the table by the time she returned with their glasses.
“Chopsticks or fork?” he asked.
He nodded. “I’m impressed. Never mastered them.”
Was the man making an effort to be congenial? She could learn to like this person. “A surgeon who can’t handle two sticks?”
“Give me a scalpel and let me loose.”
“We can’t all be good at everything.” She took the offered chopsticks.
“No, I guess we can’t.”
Was he thinking of his father’s expectations of him? She watched as he placed a fork-load of food into his mouth. He had a nice mouth. Full and generous. There were lines around it as if he laughed often. Despite the couple of uncomfortable personal moments between them, he seemed at ease with who he was.
“I’m glad you made it home early.”
He shook his head. “This isn’t my home. I have an apartment downtown. We’re only staying here because this is where Lily’s stuff is.”
“Okay. I can tell that’s a sore subject.”
Between chews he said, “You sort of have a smart mouth, don’t you?”
She shrugged. “Some people might say that. Hey, since I have you here I have a couple of things I need to discuss. First, I need some cash to pick up a few things for Lily. And the other is to remind you that I will be off on Saturday.” A stricken look came over his face as if he suddenly felt sick. She quickly added, “I told you this earlier in the week.”
“I remember. I’ll take care of Lily. Meet me in my father’s study after you get Lily to bed and I’ll write you a check.”
* * *
Grant couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten a meal in a kitchen with someone. Either he was out playing poker with colleagues, on a date or at some sporting event. So why had he decided to come home early and bring dinner? Home. He hadn’t called this place that in years.
With misgivings he approached his father’s desk. This room was the least appealing one in the house for him. It was the place where his father had spent all his time questioning Grant’s decisions. His friends, where he was going to school, his choice of career. In this space his father had tried to explain why he was divorcing his mother.
But none of those things he wanted Sara to know.
He told himself he had moved past those days but entering his father’s ethereal personal space had brought them back in a flash. Grant looked at his father’s leather desk chair. The last time he’d sat on that piece of furniture he’d been a kid, sitting on his father’s knee. A week ago he wouldn’t have even said that was a real memory. What had changed? Everything.
He took a deep breath and reached across the top of the desk for the business checkbook lying there.
Sara entered and waited close to the door.
“I’ll have this for you in a sec.” Grant picked up a pen and started writing.
“Great. You know, this is my favorite room in the entire house. Outside the kitchen it’s the homiest, most comfortable.”
Grant closed the checkbook with a slap. “It’s not mine.” He really was losing his mind. What had made him say that? He had no intention of having a conversation about how he felt about this space.