“Does everyone get to do this?” she asked.
“Well, not everyone. I’m a member and a big supporter so I get a few perks that others don’t.”
A man beside the wall pushed a button. The roof of the ceiling slowly opened. He soon left.
“Come over here and look through this.” Grant directed her to a pedestal chair beside the telescope. “Put your eye right here.” He pointed to an eyepiece. “Close the other one.”
She did as instructed. There were pinpoints of light in the sky. More than she’d seen on their honeymoon night.
“Now, use this.” Grant took her hand and placed it on a knob on the arm of the instrument. “Roll it back and forth until what you see becomes sharp and clear.” His hand remained on hers and his body surrounded her with warmth. She was safe.
“Sara, are you listening to me?”
“Yeah.” She moved the knob. The sky became filled with hundreds of thousands of bright lights. She held her breath in amazement. “I thought it was pretty cool to see all the stars out in the field but this is unreal.”
“It is pretty grand.”
Over the next hour Grant showed her some of his favorite stars, even rattling off their names. “I have one more to show you.”
She moved away from the telescope, giving him room to look into the viewfinder. After making some adjustments with the knob, he stepped back. “Okay, I want you to look straight ahead at the star just to the right of the brightest.”
Sara looked into the eyepiece. “Got it. What am I looking at?”
“My favorite star. Sara.”
Her heart leaped forward a beat. She pulled back and looked at him. “What?”
“I named it after you. It’s even official. I have a certificate at home.”
She threw her arms around his neck. “What a lovely gift. Thank you.”
“I thought maybe it would help you to know that you had a bright light up above whenever you’re afraid of the dark.”
“It’s the nicest gift I’ve ever received.” She kissed him with all the love she had in her heart.
When she pulled away Grant groaned. “On that note I think it’s time for us to go home.”
Sara gave him a smile of encouragement. “I don’t have a problem with that.”
As they headed toward Highland Park Sara thought back over their wonderful evening. She wished there could be more. Her star wasn’t visible in the glow from the lights of the city but she knew it was there. It would be there when she needed it most. When she had to leave Grant and Lily.
* * *
The next Wednesday Grant went to work early so he could return home before noon to get ready for the custody hearing. Leon had assured him that he needn’t worry about the hearing, telling Grant that it should be straightforward. Regardless, Grant was nervous. What if he lost Lily? Then he’d lose Sara as well. That just couldn’t happen. He couldn’t imagine his world without them both in it.
His life had been disrupted and in turn he’d done the same to Sara’s. Their marriage, no matter how much he was enjoying his time with Sara, especially physically, was still just a business deal. One he’d paid her handsomely for. She had only agreed to it to give her father a place to live. She was getting what she wanted from the arrangement.
They had both wanted something and had received mutual compensation. Or at least that’s what he told himself. It was much easier than admitting that he might be falling in love with her. Though “might” wasn’t the right word. He cared for Sara far more than he’d ever cared for Evelyn. He’d never met a more giving woman in his life. Both in and out of bed.
When he made it upstairs to change he found Sara in Lily’s room. She was humming softly as she rocked and looked down into Lily’s face. They belonged together. Would Sara consider staying longer? Maybe forever? As the nanny?
“Hey.” He stepped further into the room.
“What’s going on?”
“She was a little fussy. I was just taking a moment to calm her. I think she knows that something important is happening today. Babies sense things.”
Grant stepped closer. “Are you worried?”
“A little. How about you?”
“Some, but I’m pretty confident. Leon says it should go our way.” That was how he thought of it now, as something he and Sara were doing together. “I’ll get dressed and then take her off your hands so you can change.”