“Would you please contact her and ask her to call me? Here’s my number.” Grant’s mother rattled off a phone number. “I’ll see to her dress as well. Do you have a preference of color?”
“Good. That’ll make it easier. That’s all I needed. See you the week after next in North Carolina.”
“That’s where the wedding will be held.”
Not until that moment had it sunk in that she was truly getting married. To Grant.
Clarisse didn’t seem to take a breath. “I look forward to meeting you. Grant says you’re quite lovely.”
Grant thought she was lovely? Sara stood there in wonder, looking at the red dot that indicated the call was over. When had her ordered and rather dull life spiraled out of control? Probably the minute she’d met Grant and he’d thrust Lily into her arms.
She dialed Kim’s number. They talked about how the nanny job was working out. When there was a pause Sara asked, “Would you be my maid of honor?”
“You mean someday?”
“No, the weekend after next.” Sara worked to make her tone sound even, not nervous.
“Who are you marrying?” Kim’s voice rose. “You haven’t been dating anyone that I know of.”
“I’m marrying Grant.”
“As in Dr. Grant Smythe?”
“Boy, girl, you work fast. Tell me how this happened. I would’ve taken the job if I had known that having the sexy Dr. Smythe was part of the deal.”
Sara was already unsure about the decision and Kim wasn’t helping. “Will you be my maid of honor or not?”
“Of course I will.”
“Thank you. Grant’s mother is handling all the arrangements. You need to call her and give her your dress size and she’ll give you the particulars. Here’s her number.” Sara reeled off the number Clarisse had given her. “I hear Lily crying. I have to go.”
Sara hated lying to her friend and to her father. If word slipped out about the background of their marriage, Grant’s custody case might be damaged. She would just have to live with it and explain all later, hoping they would understand.
Despite being nervous about the wedding in general, Sara liked the routine that the household settled into. Grant said goodbye each morning to her and Lily before he left. He even took a moment to touch or hold Lily. It was as if he was starting to see the child less as his father and ex-girlfriend’s insult to him and more as a charming new human worth getting to know. Sara hoped for Lily’s sake he was thinking less of her as a sister and more as a daughter.
Most evenings he was at home in time for dinner. A few evenings he brought in takeout. On another he cooked. At breakfast she offered to cook a meal in appreciation for those he’d provided. He was very complimentary about her skills.
Her days revolved around Lily and despite her best efforts the little girl was working her way into her heart. With each baby smile or new accomplishment Sara’s heart warmed further. She did her best not to think of Lily as hers but fear started to bubble in her. It would be difficult to give her up. The same concern nagged at her regarding Grant.
No matter how she lectured herself, she couldn’t seem to stop going down the slippery slope. She spent too much time thinking about him sleeping in the room down the hall, or looking forward to him coming home at night, or, worse, his touch. When her father was around Grant made sure they appeared like a couple in love, even to the point of giving her a kiss on the cheek or forehead. Each show of affection only made Sara wish for more. She tried to do her part but it didn’t come off being near as effortless as Grant’s was.
Her time with him and Lily was becoming more domestic with each day. Less employee and nanny. On one level it was nice, on another it made her nervous because she liked it too much. As the week wore on she looked forward to her day off, hoping she could regain some much-needed perspective and have a chance to clear her head. Grant and Lily were temporary in her life and she needed to keep that fact fixed firmly in her mind.
Sara was surprised to see Grant show up early on Friday evening still dressed in his scrubs. Usually he was wearing the same dress shirt and pants he’d left in earlier in the day.
“I thought you might not be home until late.” Sara pulled Lily out of the swing and put her into the bouncer to feed her.