“I don’t know. What about Lily?”
“Your father’s going to watch her. Lily can sleep in the bassinet until we get home. As long as Harold doesn’t have to go up the stairs, he’s assured me he can handle it.”
She turned from the sink. “So you’ve planned all this out?”
“I have. We’re married but have never been on a date. That seems wrong somehow. I’d like to correct that tonight.”
“Where’re we going?”
He stepped toward the door. “That’s a surprise. Just wear one of those dresses that you told me mother bought you. Be ready at seven.”
“But that’s Lily’s bathtime.”
“Come on, Sara, quit making excuses. She can go without a bath for one night.”
“But I’m her nanny.”
He walked toward her and into her personal space. “Tonight you’re my wife. Be ready at seven.”
The man she’d met the first day had returned. He wasn’t going to accept any more arguments.
* * *
Sara watched as Grant skillfully drove through the evening traffic into Chicago. They were traveling along Shore Line Drive when she asked again where they were going.
He took her hand and held it. “We’re almost there.”
Grant looked superb dressed in a light blue collared shirt, tan slacks and navy sports jacket. He had even had a haircut. Before they’d left he’d complimented her on her looks as they first appraised each other. She had chosen the A-line dress with flowers around the hemline and paired it with a pink wrap. Feeling good about her appearance, she had practically glowed from his admiration. He’d looked as if he could eat her up. Stepping across the space between them, he’d kissed her forehead. “You look amazing, Mrs. Smythe.”
Now he was steering his sports car into the entrance of the Adler Planetarium on the shore of Lake Michigan.
“I’ve not been here since a school field trip when I was ten,” she said.
“I think it’ll be a little different than that tonight.”
Everything was altered when Grant was around.
Holding hands, they walked into the building. At the desk Grant gave his name and they were directed down a hall. Their footsteps echoed in the large room. At the single glass door, he pushed it open and let her go ahead of him. They were outside again on a triangular terrace that faced the water. In the middle of it sat a table covered in a white cloth with two place settings. A candle flickering in a globe between them. Nearby stood a waiter in a white and black uniform.
“This is wonderful.” She looked at Grant.
He was observing her with a smile on his face. “I thought you might like this. After dinner we’ll go look at the stars without lying on the ground.”
“I rather enjoyed seeing them that way.”
His hand came to her back and he pulled her to his side for a quick hug. “I did too. Especially what happened afterward.”
Sara wished that it could always be like this between them. With each passing day she grew more in love with him and Lily but she was living in a fantasy world. It was all pretend. Not once had Grant indicated he felt anything other than friendship for her. He enjoyed her body but that was as far as his emotions went. He trusted her with Lily and his pleasure but not his heart. She hated Evelyn and his father for causing him to shut off emotionally.
Even if she could convince Grant they could make something of their marriage, did she really think she deserved to have him and Lily in her life? How long would she stay?
She wouldn’t think about that now. It was a beautiful night. She had a handsome man to enjoy it with and she was going to take advantage of the happiness she could have.
Grant held her chair as she sat then took his own across the table from hers. The waiter approached with a bottle of champagne. As he poured Sara looked out at the lights of Chicago reflecting off the water and back at the formally set table. Finished with his chore, the waiter quietly backed away.
“If this is your usual fare for a first date, I can’t imagine what the second date looks like.”
“I’ve never brought anyone here before. For a first or second date.”
Delight filled her. He was doing something special for her. Something that she could remember as theirs only. It made the night extraordinary.
Grant raised his glass for a toast. “To Sara, the most amazing woman I know.”