Grant’s mouth was firm. Warm. She rose on her toes. His lips slid over hers, finding a more perfect fit. He pulled her tighter against him, pressing his mouth to hers. Melting, smooth heat rippled her. She’d been kissed before but not so that she shivered and burned at the same time. She opened for him.
It was all about desire, discovery, and acceptance.
Grant jerked away. “Ah, Lily.”
There was a wet spot on his scrub shirt. He chuckled.
Sara’s laugh held a nervous note. “I guess someone is trying to tell us it’s time for a bath. Looks like you’re going to need one too.”
Need filled his eyes.
Was he thinking about something else? Sara forced herself back to reality. She took Lily. “I’ll get her started while you take care of that shirt.”
In the bathroom she picked up the plastic baby tub and placed it in the larger tub.
“So what do I need to do?” Grant asked from behind her. She glanced at him.
He’d removed his shirt and his shoes. With his chest bare he was the sexist sight she’d ever seen. Her pulse rate went into overdrive. If she didn’t get control he would catch her staring. Grant was hitting all her emotional spots tonight. Did he have any idea of how his kiss had affected her? Her heart was still pounding too fast.
“You can get a washcloth and the bottle of baby soap from the counter.” Sara turned the water on, letting it run until it was the correct temperature. Pushing the tub under the water, she filled it.
Grant said from behind her, “You’re amazing to watch. The way you do all this one-handed.”
“It comes from practice.”
“I don’t think I’ll ever get the hang of it.”
“Yes, you will. Why don’t you take Lily and lay her in the tub? Remember to always check the temperature. More babies than you know get scalded.”
“Yes, Nurse Marcum.” He flapped his hand in the water.
She smirked and handed Lily to him. The back of her hand brushed his chest as she did so. She stepped away quickly. Lily’s bath was becoming far too tantalizing. She was dreaming of things that could never be. Like Grant slowly running a bath cloth over her.
Grant went to his knees, gently placing Lily in the tub.
“Squirt a dab of soap on the rag and then just wash her. Start with her face and work down.”
He went to work with the same passion he approached everything. That he’d be the best and succeed. She could only image that same intensity extending to the bedroom. The thought only made her tingle in places better left alone.
While Grant moved the cloth over Lily, Sara enjoyed the play of his muscles across his shoulders. With each motion they flexed and released. The urge to touch, run her fingers over his skin was so great her hand was halfway there when he said over his shoulder, a grin on his face, “I’m done. What now?”
She was jolted from her daydream. Did he have any idea what I was doing? Was about to do?
“I’ll get you a towel.” Collecting herself, she pulled a hooded baby towel out from under the cabinet.
Grant was already standing with Lily in his arms when she turned around. Sara placed the cap over Lily’s head and Grant worked the towel around her. He looked down into Lily’s face with something that was not yet love, maybe infatuation. What a wonderful father he would be to Lily if he’d only let go of all the hurt. He would commit. Not run away. As she had done and would do.
“I’ll lay out clothes and let you dress her. While you do that I’ll straighten the bathroom.”
Gone but a few minutes, she returned to find Grant had already dressed Lily. Sara smiled. Lily’s onesie sleeper was on backwards but she said nothing. It wouldn’t hurt Lily and it would damage Grant’s new-found confidence if she criticized or corrected him. Something told her he’d had far too much of that in his life.
It was time to go. She didn’t belong in this family scene. “I’ll let you finish putting her to bed. I have some things to take care of in my room. Dad doesn’t go to sleep until late. Good night.”
“Sara, I thought—”
Did he think they would continue where their kiss had left off? She would like to but that wasn’t wise. Using her mind instead of her heart, Sara met his gaze. “You’ve got this. You’ll both be fine.”
She left off, without me.
* * *
Grant felt a small grip of panic when Sara and her father left Lily with him the next morning. His talk with her father had gone better than he’d expected. Sara’s dad was concerned about how quickly the wedding had come about and that he didn’t want his daughter hurt, but in the end he had seemed accepting. He loved Sara and only wanted the best for her. Grant had promised he had no intention of breaking her heart.