Not much later, Sara joined him with a bag in her hand. “Are you sure I don’t need to stay here until the movers are done?”
“Positive. I spoke to the lead man and he knows what needs to be taken care of and where to bring the boxes you marked.”
A mover squeezed past them, forcing Sara to step closer to him. Grant saw Harold just behind the man. Wrapping his arms around Sara, Grant kissed her on the forehead. He liked the feel of her body next to his. Too much. He was starting to enjoy this playacting. He was disappointed when she moved away.
“Dad, it’s time to go,” she called.
“I’m ready when you are, baby girl,” he said from behind her.
Grant pushed the stroller toward the SUV, leaving Sara and her father to follow. They joined him at the vehicle. After they had Lily settled in the car seat, the stroller stowed and were in their seats, he took Sara’s hand across the console and asked in a cheerful tone, “Home?”
“Yes.” Sara’s voice was a little high but she grasped his hand in return. It felt right.
To his amazement, after a long time he was starting to think of the house he’d grown up in as home. He glanced at Sara, then into the mirror at Lily and Harold in the seats behind him. If he hadn’t known better, looking in from the outside, they were a family. That was something he’d never planned to have.
By the next afternoon Harold was settled in the pool house and Grant had helped Sara move her things to her room. They had all just finished a light lunch while Lily swung nearby.
“So what should we do this afternoon?” Grant asked.
Sara gave him a questioning look.
“I just figured that you had somewhere to be. Golf course, ball game, country club.”
Normally he would but for some reason he wasn’t interested in that kind of thing today.
“Nope.” He glanced at Harold, who was watching them closely. “I thought I’d spend the day with you guys.”
Sara made a little choking sound but soon recovered. “Well, I was thinking what a beautiful day it is and how much I would enjoy a walk along Lake Michigan.”
It had been forever since he’d spent any time near the lake, or outdoors at all for that matter. “Sounds good to me. Since you didn’t really get a day off yesterday, I think you should get your choice of what we do.”
She scoffed. “And I think any time you’re around you’re the one making the choices.”
“Not this time.” The grin she flashed him made his heart flutter.
He scooted the chair back. “I heard they redid Shoreline Park. We’ll go there. How does that sound?”
An hour later he pulled into the crowded parking lot of the park. Sara had fallen asleep on the way over and woke when he stopped the car. Harold had chosen to stay behind, saying he’d prefer a nap.
Grant had never spent an afternoon at a park with a newborn and a woman but found he was rather looking forward to it. That had happened more and more often in the last few weeks.
“We’re here?” She blinked at him.
“We are. I’ll get the stroller out, change Lily and we’ll be ready to go.” Grant opened the door and climbed out.
“I’ll see to Lily.”
Grant made a mental note to say thanks to Kim for sending Sara his way. By the time he had the stroller out, she was almost through changing Lily. She handed the tiny wrapped up bundle to him to strap in. He had Lily settled and watched as Sara checked and double-checked the contents of Lily’s bag, making sure they had everything they might need. Was Sara this meticulous about everything? Kissing? Touching? Making love?
Those were thoughts he shouldn’t be entertaining.
Sara didn’t strike him as a woman who hopped into bed with just anyone. Or a person who moved on to the next guy. She was more the big-hearted, committed type of person. Her devotion to her father alone said she wouldn’t be interested in a short-term affair.
Yet Grant didn’t intend to have anything but a casual affair with a woman. He’d been hurt and he wasn’t opening himself up for that again. No matter how nice Sara was, could he trust her? She might say all the right things then leave him just as Evelyn had. He wouldn’t risk it.
Not now, not ever.
* * *
Sara looked out over the blue-green water of Lake Michigan. It rippled calmly against the shore. Although the sun was shining, there was a nip in the air. Couples were walking hand in hand along the paved path.