Grant closed his eyes. His life had changed by a one-eighty turn in less than a month. He was a father and now a husband. Neither of those had been in his plans. To his amazement he didn’t want to run from either. That was because of Sara. But he couldn’t let himself get too close to her. He wouldn’t trust her with his heart. He had done that once and had the scars to prove it. But Sara was nothing like Evelyn. She would never do to him what Evelyn had. Could he expose his heart to Sara? Would it be worth the chance of rejection?
The click of the door opening brought his eyelids up.
“Hey,” Sara said as she closed the door behind her. She was wearing his shirt. It was far too large but he’d never seen any woman look more adorable. His body was already reacting to her. How was he supposed to think straight if he was in a constant state of arousal when he was around her?
She seemed unsure, as if she didn’t know what her reception would be. This morning-after business could make or break a relationship and he wouldn’t let that happen between them. When had he become so interested in a relationship? Since the moment Sara had so freely expressed her pleasure at his touch. For her, he’d done everything right.
Sara came closer. “I need to call and check on Lily. We didn’t do that last night.”
Grant stood and her eyes widened. He smiled. “I had other things on my mind.”
Pink came to her cheeks.
He liked it that he could make her blush. “I called a few minutes ago. She’s doing fine.” He took that second of weakness to grab her hand and pull her toward him.
She resisted his tug. “I’ll ruin your shirt.”
“I’ll get another.”
“But...” She relented and joined him in the water.
“But what?” he said as he pulled her against his chest, sat on the bench and settled her on his lap. One of her arms came to rest along the back of his shoulders.
“Don’t we need to be thinking about getting back to Chicago today?”
“I’m thinking about something else.” His lips found hers.
Some time later, Grant watched as Sara rushed to get all her belongings back into her suitcase. They had spent a leisurely and very memorable time making love before sharing an equally relaxing breakfast. Now, for some reason, Sara seemed a little anxious.
Grant caught her on one of her passes to the bathroom to get something. He guided her down to sit beside him on the bed. “Hey, what’s going on?”
“Nothing. I’m just trying to get ready to go.” She wouldn’t look at him.
“I think there’s more to it than that.” She didn’t say anything. Worry crept into his chest, tightening it. “Come on, Sara, talk to me.”
“I don’t know. It’s just that everything seems so surreal.”
“What’s not real? For me last night was about as real as it gets.”
She continued to look at the dresser in front of them. “You know what I mean.”
“Yes, sweetheart, it’s all new to me too.”
“Please don’t call me that. You know I’m not your sweetheart. This is just a business agreement. I’m just the nanny with benefits.”
That was like a breathtaking thump to his chest. It hurt. “That’s pretty harsh.”
Giving him a pointed look, she asked, “So how would you explain our relationship?”
What was she fishing for? For him to say how much in love with her he was? He’d done that before and what had it gotten him? Evelyn had dumped him and married his father. No, he wasn’t going there, even to keep Sara in his bed. He had to tread lightly here.
“I don’t know. Who do we have to explain it to? This is between us.”
“I’m sorry, Grant. I’m just not sure I’m good with that.”
So much for smoothing into the morning after. He stood and looked down at her. Now she studied the floor, hands clasped in her lap. “Just for the record, last night was damn fine. I would love to repeat it any time you’re willing but I won’t put strings on you where that’s concerned. When you figure out how you want things to be, let me know.” He picked up his already packed bag. “I’ll be waiting outside.”
* * *
Sara hadn’t meant to hurt Grant’s feelings. Or make an already strained situation more stressful. He’d been rejected so many times in life that she didn’t want to damage his ego. Grant deserved better than that.