“I guess you’re right.”
“Don’t you think we should practice a little so that you don’t act surprised in front of him when I kiss you?”
“You plan to do that?”
“I don’t want him to guess this isn’t anything but a love match.”
She seemed to study his lips. He shifted in the seat slightly. He was used to women begging for his kisses and she was acting as if it were a death sentence.
“I guess we could. We just don’t need to get carried away.”
“I’ll promise not to if you don’t.” Grant leaned toward her and to her credit she didn’t back away. Her lips were moist and inviting. Her hands remained in her lap. With great effort he kept the kiss a simple touch of the lips.
“Okay, we have a lot to do and need to get going.” Sara was already in the process of opening the door.
Right. What he wanted to do was pull her back to him and give her a proper kiss. To his satisfaction he noticed the small tremor of her hands as she released Lily from her car seat. The chaste kiss had affected her after all.
Soon their little party was headed up the walk toward the building. Before they could get to the door a short, balding man hurried toward them from the direction of an adjacent building. He called out, “Ms. Marcum!” Sara’s steps slowed as he came nearer.
“Is everything okay?” Grant asked, putting a supportive hand at her back.
“Yes, it’s just the manager.”
Grant stopped pushing the stroller and she placed Lily in it.
The man came up to them. “Ms. Marcum, you and your father will be out today?”
Grant was developing a dislike of the man already.
“Yes. That’s why I’m here. The moving van will arrive this afternoon.”
“Good. I expect you to leave the apartment in the same condition you found it in when you moved in.”
“Look.” Grant pushed the stroller forward, drawing the man’s attention. “Why don’t you just stay out of Ms. Marcum and her father’s way for the rest of the day?” He pulled out his wallet and handed the man some bills. “That should cover any issues you happen to invent—I mean, find. Now, if you’ll excuse us, my fiancée and I have packing to do. Sara, why don’t you push Lily?”
She did as he asked and started up the walk. Grant followed.
“I could have handled him myself,” Sara hissed.
“I know, but I enjoyed putting that open-mouthed look on his face.”
“Dr. Smythe, I think you might like being a tough guy.”
He shrugged. “He’s a jerk. Which one of these apartments is yours?”
“Right this way. There’s Dad now.”
A man using a walking stick was headed in their direction. He was tall, slim and had a head of thick brown hair neatly combed into place. From his carriage he looked like a no-nonsense type of person. Sara must have acquired her personality from him.
“Hi, little girl,” her father called.
“Hey, Daddy.” She picked up her pace, meeting him halfway with a hug.
Neither of his parents had ever given Grant that type of reception.
When father and daughter let go of each other, Sara’s father turned his attention to Grant and Lily. “So, who do we have here?”
Grant moved up closer to Sara and extended his hand. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Marcum. Grant Smythe.”
The man gave Grant a firm handshake and a steady look. “I’m Harold. You’re the doc my little girl is planning to marry so suddenly?”
Grant wasn’t particularly comfortable with lying to the man but he couldn’t take a chance on the truth slipping out. Putting an arm around Sara’s waist, he smiled at her. “I am.”
Sara’s eyes widened but she didn’t flinch.
Harold continued to study them before he said, “Rather quick, isn’t it?”
To her credit, Sara stepped closer to Grant and squeezed his arm. “That’s what love at first sight is all about.”
Her father grunted and gave Grant a pointed look. “I know this isn’t a good day to discuss this uninterrupted but I expect to later.” Her father’s attention turned to Lily. “And this must be Lily.” Harold smiled down at Lily, who cooed and kicked.
Grant was relieved that Harold had dropped the subject of the marriage for the time being. When he picked it up again Grant would be prepared. By Harold’s tone of voice Sara had obviously told him a lot about Lily. How much had she said about him?