She couldn’t help but blush under his praise as she brought her glass up to touch his.
A few minutes later they were served dinner of filet mignon, seasoned potatoes and green beans wrapped in bacon. The food was divine and cooked impeccably. They made small talk about the weather, Lily and her father’s new house.
Putting his fork down, Grant leaned back in his chair. “I haven’t taken time to tell you how much I appreciate all you’ve done. I couldn’t have taken care of Lily without you.”
“You’ve told me more than once but it’s nice to hear. You’ve been pretty great also. Especially to my father. Lily.”
“I don’t know what I’ll do if I lose her.” Pain filled his voice.
The same as she’d felt when she’d had to give up Emily. Her hands started to tremble and she set her glass down. Why did he bring this up now? “You’ll think you want to die.”
Grant was watching her closely. “Is that how you felt when you had to give up the baby you carried?”
“Yes. That and more. I made the fatal mistake of becoming too attached. Letting myself start to believe that Emily was mine. It almost killed me to give her up. And I wanted to kill to keep her.”
Grant stood and came around the table. He took her hand and brought her to her feet before he enveloped her in a hug. “I’m sorry.”
This embrace was about two people who had been wounded, who understood each other’s hurt. Sara buried her face in his chest and wrapped her arms tightly around him, letting Grant absorb her pain. He’d come to know her so well in such a short time. No other man she’d ever been involved with had seen her as Grant did.
She finally released him. “We’d better finish our lovely meal.”
Grant waited until she was seated again and then returned to his chair.
“I don’t want to upset you but I’d like to know—do you ever see or hear from the couple?”
“No, because that’s the way I want it. The only way I could or can deal with my feelings is to have nothing to do with Emily or my friends. With that choice came guilt.”
“So you haven’t seen or heard from your friends since Emily was born?”
Sara pulled on the ends of her napkin, not looking at Grant. “They left messages but I couldn’t bear to answer. They have finally given up.”
“How long has that been?”
“That must be tough.”
“It is. I want to call them but what if I can’t handle it?”
“But what if you can?” he said quietly.
“Guilt eats at me for how I’ve acted. The more time that goes by the harder it is to approach them. I’m afraid that if I see Emily again I’ll have to suffer through that agony all over again.”
“I think maybe your heart is too big for your own good. And look at what I talked you into. Marrying me so I could keep Lily.”
Sara looked off over the water at the lights of Chicago and back to Grant with his wavy hair, perfect mouth and determine jawline. Yes, but I have had this time with you. “Enough about my woes. So what’s for dessert?”
He lowered his chin giving her a speculative look. “It’s time to change the subject, I gather.”
She nodded. “I do like my sweets.”
“I can take a hint.” He raised his hand to the waiter. “And you should have one.”
Sara was relieved he was willing to move on and not question her further. She wanted to remember this as a happy night. They finished their chocolate pie à la mode with the only light being the lone candle on the table. It was the most romantic dinner she could have imagined.
“This has been wonderful.” Sara placed her fork on the empty plate. “Thank you.”
“We’re not done.” Grant pushed back his chair.
“I can’t eat any more.”
“I mean we still have a show to go to.” He stood.
“We’re going to look at the stars through the telescope.” There was a note of excitement in his voice.
“I’ve never done that before.”
He smiled down at her. “Then this will be a big night for you.”
And it was. She was enjoying having his complete attention. Being charmed by him.
Grant came around the table and helped her out of her seat. They walked hand in hand into the building and down the hallway. He led her to a doorway that opened into a large room with a huge telescope positioned in the middle of it.