“Grant, I think this conversation is over.”
He was losing this battle. “And I think you expected things to be over before they even began.”
The desire to spit nails filled him. How dared Sara walk out on him? He was better off without her. She was just like Evelyn. He’d started to care about her and here she was dumping him. They’d had their fun. It probably was time for her to go anyway.
So why did he feel pain larger and deeper than ever before? As if she’d just cut out his heart and taken it with her?
SARA BRUSHED AWAY the tears as she drove to her father’s house. Her discussion with Grant, argument really, had been worse than she’d imagined. She’d said some ugly things. But he had as well. Some of it had needed to be said on both sides.
It hadn’t taken her long to pack. Sara had touched the beautiful wedding dress that hung in the closet but hadn’t folded it into her bag. She had taken the dresses Grant’s mother had bought her. Before she’d left her and Grant’s bedroom she’d pulled off her wedding ring. Biting her lower lip so she wouldn’t cry, and with a shaking hand, she’d placed it on the bedside table.
Bag in hand, she’d stopped by Lily’s room and looked in on her. She really was a perfect little girl. As wonderful as Emily. A tear had slid down Sara’s face.
When Emily had emerged into the world, her friends Sally and Charles had been there, waiting to receive her. She herself had been an onlooker. The doctor had handed Emily over to them, not laid her on Sara’s chest. Tears had crawled down her cheeks but she’d said they were from happiness for her friends. That wasn’t true. They had come from the deep groaning heartache she’d felt at giving up something that had been a part of her. That time didn’t compare to the misery she felt now at leaving Lily. Grant. Just as it had had to be that way then, it had to be that way now. Would she ever stop having to give up people she loved? Would she ever be good enough for them?
She had found Grant in his father’s den, sitting behind the desk.
“I’m leaving now.”
He had looked up. “You know I want you to stay.”
“And you know why I can’t.” It had hurt to say it but it was true.
“Thank you for all you have done for Lily.”
“You’re welcome. Did you find a nanny?” If he’d said no, would she have stayed for Lily’s sake?
“I called a service. They’re sending someone in the morning.”
“You’ll let me know when I need to sign the divorce papers.”
“Sara...” The sentence had remained unfinished.
Their looks had met and held. Then she’d picked up her bag and walked out.
At her father’s house she knocked on the front door. He answered with a look of surprise. “What’re you doing here, little girl? And with your bag?”
“Dad, I need to tell you something.”
“Come in,” he said.
It felt odd, being invited into his home, because it had always been hers as well. Instead, she’d begun to think of Grant’s as her home. Now she really didn’t have one. She entered, placed her bag beside the door and followed her father into the sitting room.
“So what has happened, little girl?” her father asked as he settled into his chair.
She took the one nearby. “I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you sooner but our marriage wasn’t a real one. We only married so he could get custody of Lily.”
“I suspected as much.”
“He was awarded custody today.”
“And you left.” There was disapproval in his tone.
“I’d hoped you two could make it work. I could tell from the very beginning that there was something special between you. He’s a good man. You can’t work it out?”
“It’s not to be, Dad.”
Over the next few days she went about life in a daze. She started her new job but didn’t have her heart in it. If she had a spare moment she wondered how Grant was doing, if the new nanny was taking care of Lily as she should. Sara was miserable. Sleep was hard to find. Focusing on work was sometimes impossible. And with each baby she saw she thought of Lily. Worse was the way her body ached for Grant’s touch. As awful as she felt, it didn’t help that her father looked at her with the pitiful expression of a man who didn’t know what to do to make the situation better for someone he loved.