What had she gotten herself into? She’d known this wasn’t a good idea. But she was here now. Sighing, she had no choice but to see to the baby for the time being. Leaving the baby by itself wasn’t an option. Sara would never, ever do that. When the presumptuous doctor returned she would tell him that this arrangement wasn’t going to work. She would still need to figure out something for her and her father. Maybe she could make Mr. Cutter see reason. Working for Dr. Smythe wasn’t the answer.
Walking across the black-and-white-tiled floor, she entered the living area. It was the most un-child-friendly place she’d ever seen. With overstuffed white sofas and chairs sitting on plush white carpet, she could only hope there was never any red juice in this child’s life.
Heavens, she didn’t even know if the baby was a boy or a girl, much less its name. The infant let out another scream.
It must be time for a diaper change and a bottle. Then she would put the tyke down for the night. There must be a nursery somewhere but for now the kitchen would have to do. At least she could find some food for the child. If she focused on the practical, maybe she wouldn’t need to worry about the emotional part of working with a baby.
Sara gathered what looked like a diaper bag and headed down the wide main hall in search of the kitchen. It turned out to be a wide, spacious room with large windows overlooking a swimming pool. A small house sat beyond. The garden surrounding the area was green and immaculate, like the front lawn. If she had ever imagined a perfect kitchen, this would have been it. She’d heard of the Smythes and their status in the community but to live in this opulence was far beyond what she was used to. The baby whined. Sara jiggled it.
Dropping the diaper bag on a padded bar stool, she walked to the corner area of the room near the table. There she found an infant seat that could be set on the table. She strapped the baby in, leaving the bouncer on the floor while she hunted for formula. Not seeing any on the counter, she checked in the refrigerator. Inside were already prepared bottles. Setting one on the bar, she lifted the baby seat up and, after heating the bottle to the right temperature, started feeding the child.
The baby’s angry face turned angelic in its eagerness to eat. At least someone was happy. Something that simple tugged at Sara’s heart. What would it have been like to see Emily smile with this kind of pleasure? She had to forget that time. It was gone. But she couldn’t forget. Still clung to those precious days.
* * *
Grant stretched his arms out, waiting as the surgical tech slipped the green gown over his arms and went around him to tie it in the back. Had he lost his mind?
He knew nothing about babies. Hadn’t wanted to know anything about them. Now one had been plopped into his lap. More amazing was that he planned to fight to keep her.
Grant’s teen years hadn’t been easy between him and his father, but his parents’ divorce had made it even worse. His father had left his mother. The breakup had devastated her. She’d taken it so hard Grant had feared that she might be committed. With his parents divorced and his older brother living in a commune in California, all his mother’s care had fallen on Grant. Thankfully he had convinced her to get help. Now she was living in Florida and by all accounts doing well.
To strain the relationship further, his father had ended up marrying Evelyn, the girl Grant had been in love with. Even at thirty-two, being betrayed by them had been the final slap in the face Grant had been willing to take. Trust had been hard to regain. His interactions with his father and Evelyn had been few and far between over the last two years. His father had made an effort but Grant had been unable to forgive him. Learning that he and Evelyn had had a baby only disgusted him more.
“Dr. Smythe, they’re waiting for you in surgery,” another tech called.
Grant shouldered his way through the swinging OR doors and into the room. The patient, a middle aged man, already waited on the table. “Sorry I’m late,” Grant said to the room in general before asking the anesthesiologist, “John, is everything ready to go?”
“Patient is stable,” John answered.
Grant stepped up beside Jane, the woman who was dressed much as he was. She was just months away from finishing her training as a transplant surgeon. “Where’s the liver?”
“Thirty minutes out,” Jane answered.
He nodded. Looking at the patient, he could see Jane was already in the process of opening. “Good, then let’s get this patient ready to receive his new liver. He has a family waiting.”