With large brown eyes, her shoulder-length hair in disarray around her face, she captured his attention. She wore the same T-shirt she’d had on earlier and jeans. Most women he knew wouldn’t have been caught dead without every hair in place. Not this one.
He cleared his throat. “Why don’t you have a seat and we’ll talk while I clean this mess up.”
“It’s late. Aren’t you tired?”
“Beat. But I don’t know if I can be counted on to be here in the morning.” He tried for one of his most charming smiles. “And I don’t want to take the chance that you might use that umbrella on me.”
She looked at the instrument, as if she’d forgotten she held it, then at him. “Okay, but just for a few minutes. Lily will be awake again soon.”
His father and Evelyn had named Lily after his paternal grandmother. Grant had once confided in Evelyn that he wanted to give the name to a daughter one day. He’d trusted her with that knowledge and she’d violated it. It was just another example of how she and his father had cared nothing about his feelings. He’d sworn he’d never trust that freely again. With every woman since Evelyn he’d been cautious about what he revealed about himself. If he didn’t let a woman get to know him too well then he didn’t have to worry about being hurt by her. Show no weakness.
That had been the problem with his father. He’d used it against him. Grant had wanted to impress him, wanted to do the right thing in his eyes, but nothing had seemed to please him. Grant had worked at it as a kid and even as an adult, hating himself for caring what his father thought but still trying to please. Maybe raising Lily was just one more way of proving he was good enough. Irony. The way to say I told you so. He was disgusted with himself. Even with his father gone, he was still trying to demonstrate himself worthy of being his son.
The nanny—he wished he could remember her name—had hung the umbrella on the back of a chair at the table and sat down. She had an expectant expression on her face.
Grant grabbed a dishrag and started mopping up the milk. What had she told him her name was over the phone? When Kim had called that afternoon he’d been looking for paper and pencil to write it down but Lily had started crying.
Tossing the rag in the sink, he dropped into the chair at the end of the table. “I’m sorry, I can’t for the life of me come up with your name.”
She raised a finely groomed eyebrow. “Let me get this right. You’re not even sure that I’m the person you were expecting? What if I had kidnapped Lily? You couldn’t even tell the police my name.” She leaned toward him, her voice rising with indignation. “I sure hope you show more concern for your patients.”
Okay, he deserved some of what she said but he was a fine doctor and refused to take that comment about his professionalism. “I’ll have you know that my patients take precedence with me.”
“Yeah, I don’t doubt that. I saw an example this afternoon.”
He’d walked into that one.
“Let me help you. I’m Sara Marcum. I’m here until you can hire a full-time nanny for Lily. For now she is fed, clean and sleeping upstairs.” She stood. “It’s late. I’m tired. We can continue this discussion in the morning. Good night.”
Sara straightened, making the thin shirt material cup her breasts. She wasn’t wearing a bra. Her nipples pushed against the fabric. Grant couldn’t help but stare.
She made a small sound of distaste and picked up the umbrella. For a second he was afraid that she might really use it on him but she headed out of the kitchen. The view of her backside was almost as inviting as her front. She had a high, firm butt that made her jeans more than just clothing.
Grant shook his head. He had patients to see about and Lily to situate, his father’s estate to settle, and now a smart-mouthed, take-charge nanny who was too cute for his own good.
Nope, that wasn’t a road he would be going down.
SARA WOKE FROM a deep sleep. It took her eyes a moment to adjust to the darkness and for her to register the low shriek of a baby. Slinging the covers back, she jumped out of bed.
How long had Lily been crying?
Sara wasn’t tuned into the child as her real mother would be. Would she have had that maternal bond with Emily? The question made her flinch. It couldn’t have existed in her own mother because it had been so easy for her to leave. She shook away the darks thoughts. Right now Lily needed her.