“I’ll have it ready.”
* * *
Grant arrived back at his father’s house well after dark. The front porch light was on. He pulled his vehicle into the bay beside Sara’s.
A light was on over the back door and one shone in the kitchen. Sara was a considerate woman. He entered through the kitchen door. His intention was to go straight to bed but a piece of paper on the counter caught his eye. In clear penmanship was written, “Please let me know when you come and go. I like to know when someone is in the house.”
He’d been accountable to himself for so long that he’d never even thought to say anything when he came or went. Crumbling the note into a ball, he tossed it in the trash before starting toward the stairs. In his room he emptied his pockets and kicked off his shoes. Walking through the bathroom adjoining his and Sara’s bedrooms, he found Sara’s door closed. It would be his guess that she’d had no idea that they shared a bathroom when she’d picked this room. He tapped lightly on her door. No response. Rapping again, he listened and then opened it. Light shone across the floor. Sara looked small in the large bed with only a sheet covering her.
“Sara,” he called in a low voice. He didn’t want to startle her but she had asked for notification when he arrived.
“Um...” She twisted toward him, giving him a glimpse of firm behind covered in hot pink panties.
When Kim had told him she knew someone who could help him, he’d assumed it would be an older female. Not a pretty young woman. Being attracted to the nanny hadn’t been part of his plan. That didn’t make him much better than his father. No woman off limits. With a sick feeling he categorized them both as lechers. The one person he had no interest in being like was his father.
“Sara,” he called again.
She sat up part way.
“I’m home,” he almost growled.
Instead of a T-shirt she wore a nightie with spaghetti straps. The delivery man had apparently brought her clothes. As she turned, the material tightened, giving him a glimpse of the curve of a breast.
He couldn’t do this nightly. His libido would get the better of him. Neither did he need to chase her off. The rapport between them was tentative enough as it was. He desperately needed a nanny and he couldn’t have her backing out on their agreement.
“Oh. Okay. Thanks for letting me know.”
“Sure.” The hallway door was the closest and his fastest escape. From now on he’d come home well before bedtime or leave a note on the door.
* * *
Over the next three days Sara spent the time feeding, changing and cleaning Lily. While she did so she made sure she didn’t hold Lily any longer than necessary. The more she looked into the sweet face or played with Lily, the more Sara knew it would be increasingly difficult to leave her when the time came. She wasn’t going there again. The first time hadn’t ended well. Giving up Emily had been too hard.
Keeping her emotional distance was her goal. She only had a few more days to go. If she could earn enough for a down payment on a place to live and keep her heart uninvolved, she would consider it a job well done. Even now she feared she might have some trouble leaving Lily when the time came but she would do it. She’d done it before and would do it again.
She wasn’t having the same problem with Grant. Despite all the time she’d spent with Lily, she’d only seen Grant a handful of times. They had said one or two words to each other and he had been out the door each morning, and after that first day he’d not even picked up Lily.
Except for the one night he’d awakened her he hadn’t stayed at the house. She’d checked the master bedroom each morning and the bed hadn’t been slept in, but he’d been in the kitchen dressed and ready to go when she and Lily had come down. Surely he wasn’t spending that much time at the hospital.
Sara hadn’t bargained on sleeping in the huge house by herself and she didn’t like it. She needed to speak to Grant and see what the deal was. He was probably staying out at night, having a good time with a woman. Did he have a girlfriend? What if he did? Why would she care? It was none of her business.
He never asked about Lily or ever really had any interaction with her when he was home. It was as if he was afraid to have anything to do with the child. Was he purposely making sure he didn’t become fond of her because he was worried he might lose her?
Early Wednesday morning the house phone rang. Sara didn’t bother to pick it up. The answering-machine would get it. From where she stood at the kitchen sink she could hear the message.