She’d held hands with Grant yesterday. It had been for her father’s benefit but she’d still enjoyed it. Even though Grant’s actions had been playacting, a tingle had gone through her with each of his touches. She was going to have to get control of herself or she would be in more trouble than she’d imagined.
Families with their children on bikes zig-zagged their way past them. She waited for Grant. She turned to find him putting a second blanket over Lily before he locked the SUV. He’d come a long way from the first few days after she’d met him. She especially liked the change in him toward Lily. The man was starting to grow on her, even though she didn’t like to admit it.
She was enjoying her day. Now that she better understood Grant, she could appreciate why he’d been so angry and had snapped at her when they’d first met. His family life hadn’t been easy either. She felt sorry for him, which she was confident he wouldn’t appreciate. On top of being horribly wounded by his father, now he was responsible for Lily. He must almost be at his tipping point.
Watching Grant push the stroller, she noticed he was a natural. He would make a good father to Lily. Would she have been a good auntie if she’d stayed in touch with Emily? She’d made her decision. Lifting her chin, she reminded herself that time in her life was behind her. Those thoughts should be buried and not brought up again. Unfortunately, being around Lily seemed to have resurrected them all. She had to keep her emotions in check or these two people would break her heart.
Sara refused to ruin a wonderful day by going there. She focused on Grant.
“What?” he asked. “Why’re you looking at me that way?”
“I was just thinking that you’re really picking up on this baby stuff.”
He didn’t meet her eyes as if he felt embarrassed. “I don’t know about that. I still think there’s a lot to learn.”
“There’s always more to know.”
He shrugged. “Let’s just say that Lily and I are figuring out how to get along.”
“I’m glad. She deserves people around her who care. Every child does.”
He didn’t say anything for a few paces. “Your father implied you’ve had a child.”
Sara didn’t want to go into all of that with Grant yet if she didn’t he’d probably keep pushing until he had an answer. She would make it short and to the point. “Some close friends wanted to have a baby but couldn’t. I had it for them.”
He stopped strolling. “You were a surrogate?”
“Yes. Now you know what my father meant by that comment yesterday.”
“Really?” His voice held his obvious shock. “I had come up with a number of scenarios but that wasn’t one of them.”
“I don’t imagine it would be.”
“So what made you decide to make such a monumental choice?”
“You mean like marrying someone you hardly know so that he can win a custody case?”
Grant gave her a sheepish look. “I guess I deserved that. I really shouldn’t be surprised.”
She stared at the ground. “What does that mean?”
“Just that you have a big heart and you’re a nurturer by nature. That was such a commitment.”
There was that word. Sara had only been committed for nine months, then she’d run. Just as her mother had. Commitment wasn’t in their blood. “You’re right. So few people understand that.” Including her. She shivered.
“Are you cold?” Grant asked. Before she could answer he pulled the light blue cable-knit sweater he wore over his head and handed it to her. “You should be warmer with this.”
She took the sweater. “But you’ll be cold now.”
“I’ll be fine. My shirt has long sleeves.” He checked on Lily.
Sara pulled the sweater on and adjusted it around her body. Grant’s body heat surrounded her like a blanket of warmth. “It’s a little big.”
“Do you mind...?” Grant removed the collar of her shirt from inside the sweater and pulled it up around her neck. He brushed a lock of her hair back. “Perfect.”
If she’d been cool before, she wasn’t any longer. Both inside and out. Heat had flooded through her the second Grant had stepped close. She stuffed her hands into the pockets of her jeans to stop herself from reaching for him. If he really understood who she was, that she’d run first chance she got, he’d have nothing to do with her.