Going into the kitchen, she didn’t find Grant there. She looked out the window to the pool and didn’t see anyone there either. Was he still in the car? Opening the door, she searched the carport area and saw no lights.

She was starting to worry. Something was wrong. Maybe it wasn’t Grant but someone else who had driven up. She shook the thought away and checked other areas of the house. Saving his father’s den to search last because of how Grant felt about the place, she expected the lights would be off and they were. She moved to leave the doorway.

“Are you looking for me?”

She stopped short at the harshness in Grant’s voice. He’d not used that tone since the day they’d met. “Why’re you sitting in the dark?” She went to the nearest lamp and reached to turn it on.

“Leave it.”

She stopped in mid-motion. “Why?”

“Just leave it.”

“What’s going on, Grant? What’s wrong? Has something happen regarding Lily?”

“No.”

She walked closer. Her eyes adjusted to the absence of light and she could see him sitting in the chair behind the desk. She came to stand at the corner nearest him.

Grant rubbed his hands over the worn brown leather of the chair arms. He rocked back. “Do you know that up until last week I’ve not been on my father’s side of this desk since I was maybe seven?”

Sara didn’t say anything. It wasn’t a question she was expected to answer. He was off somewhere that didn’t include her.

“He never allowed me to sit in his chair. Said I had to earn the privilege.” Grant didn’t say anything for a few moments. “I was never good enough.”

“What has happened?” She all but whispered the words.

“Nothing, except I let a patient die.”

“I’m sorry.” Her hand went to rest on his forearm stretched along the arm of the chair. “I don’t believe you just let a patient die.”

He pulled away. “How would you know?”

Sara let her hand drop to her side. “Because I know the type of person you are. That you’re the kind of doctor who cares deeply about your patients and others.”

“So now you know all about me?”

“I don’t. But I know how you treat me. Lily. I’ve watched you with my father. You care. You’d never intentionally let a patient die. I would swear you put all your knowledge and compassion into everything you do. Sometimes things happen that we can’t control.” Like your mother leaving for no reason. Or caring more about a baby that belonged to someone else than you should.

“He sat right here and said I’d never be a good doctor.”

Anger roiled in her. If she could only tell his father off. “But you are. You know you are.”

“Just what makes me think I’ll be a good father to Lily? How do I have the audacity to think I would be good enough to raise a child? Or not be like him?”

“Forget about your father. Grant, tell me what happened today.” She wanted to help him but she couldn’t figure out how.

“The surgery was going fine and then it wasn’t. It was as if the patient had an immediate negative reaction to the donated liver. I had promised the family that their mother would be fine. To trust me. But I let them down.”

“You did the best you could. You can’t control everything.”

He jerked straight and glared at her. Speaking through clenched teeth, he said, “In my OR I do!”

Sara flinched as if slapped but didn’t step away. “I don’t need to stand here and tell you how many people you have saved with your talent. Or how important it is. There’s a baby asleep upstairs who would have no home or someone who cared about her if it wasn’t for you. My father and I have a roof over our heads because of you. Your father was wrong, so wrong about you. But you’re the only one who doesn’t believe that.”

She turned to go. Grant grabbed her around the waist and pulled her into his lap. He buried his face in the curve of her neck.

Grant felt the instant Sara relaxed. She wrapped an arm around his shoulders as he pulled her tighter against him. He’d found his lifeline. From her had come all the right words, the correct indignant tone when scolding, but it hadn’t been until she embraced him that his heart opened and accepted what she’d been saying. He held her, not moving for a long time. One of her hands went to his hair and smoothed it, as if he were a child looking for reassurance. For a moment he had been. What he had missed in this room had been someone to have faith in him, and he had that now. Sara had given him a gift. She believed in him.

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