Grant took her hand. “Sit with me. I’ve missed you.”
Sara nodded and took a seat at the far end of the sofa. “Put you head in my lap and close your eyes.”
He leaned back and did as he was told. “That’s what I missed most about you being gone. Someone taking care of me,” he murmured as his eyelids lowered.
Grant’s large body crammed on the small sofa reminded her of too many circus clowns trying to get into a tiny car. Seemingly impossible but accomplished. Sara stroked his hair and soon he was breathing evenly. She’d be here as long as he needed her. Until he told her to go. No more running.
* * *
Grant woke to the sound of Sara’s voice. She was there with him. He’d never been so glad to see someone.
Lily. What about Lily?
He sat up. A nurse and an orderly were positioning Lily’s metal baby bed against the far wall. Sara stood and started across the space. Her posture implied she was in caregiver mode. He joined her beside Lily, who lay quietly in the bed.
“What did they find out?” Sara asked the nurse as she brushed a finger across Lily’s cheek.
“The doctor will be in to speak to you in a few minutes,” the nurse said, straightening out an IV line. She and the orderly nodded before they left.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared than I have been in the last few hours.” Grant gripped the bed. “To think I resented Lily, offloaded my issues with our father on her.”
Sara rubbed a hand across his shoulders as they both looked down at the child. “You came around pretty quickly. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with her.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t do as well by you.” He put an arm around her waist.
Her body tensed.
Was Sara afraid of what he might say next? “I love you, Sara. I think I have since the moment I saw you in the door of the chapel. Whatever happens here, I still want you with me. We belong together.”
She turned in his arms and before she could say anything his lips found hers.
Someone cleared their throat. Grant pulled back. He glanced around and saw Lily’s doctor. Releasing Sara, Grant took a step toward the balding man in scrubs with a lab coat over them. “Dr. Rodgers, what did you find out?”
He smiled. “The preliminary test shows no bacterial meningitis.”
“That’s great.” Grant turned and hugged Sara briefly. She had tears in her eyes. Keeping a hand at her waist, he presented her to the doctor. “This is my wife, Sara.”
“Nice to meet you,” Dr. Rodgers said.
“So what happens now?” Grant asked.
“Lily will need to at least stay overnight and we’ll start antibiotics and keep her on fluids just to be on the safe side. She should be able to go home tomorrow if there are no negative changes.”
Grant shook hands with him. “Thank you so much.”
“You’re welcome. Now, why don’t you try to get some rest? You look like you need it.” With a smile he left the room.
Grant gathered Sara into his arms again for a tight hug. She returned it. When he let go he cupped her face and looked into her eyes. “Tell me you won’t ever leave me again.”
She smiled. His heart almost beat out of his chest. “I love you too and I’m never leaving you and Lily again.”
“That’s what I wanted to hear.” He found her lips again.
Lily whimpered. Sara broke their kiss. Reaching into the bed, she picked up Lily and cradled her against her chest. There was a rocker in the room and Sara sat in it. Grant adjusted the IV pole so it stood nearby. Sara looked down into Lily’s face. “I’ve missed you, my little love.”
Grant’s world had righted itself.
* * *
Sara couldn’t believe that Grant had said that he loved her. Even more significant was that he’d kissed her right there in the hospital room. Even more wonderful, it was the first of many times he did so.
She talked Grant into going home only by reassuring him she wouldn’t leave Lily for a minute. Hoping he would stay and get some rest, she really wasn’t surprised when he turned up hours later with food for both of them. They stayed the night in Lily’s room, taking turns sleeping on the sofa. Lily was released the next morning. Sara called work, saying she wouldn’t be in, and followed Grant and Lily home.
As she pulled up the drive she thought back to that first meeting between her and Grant. She chuckled. They had come a long way since then. Circling the house, she took her old slot in the carport. Grant had Lily out of the car seat by the time she arrived to help him. She had missed these moments and had believed she’d never have them again.