He’d remember the lessons of his past, change his present and strive for a happy future. The first step in doing those was to talk to Sara and beg, plead and promise her all the love he could give.

* * *

Sara was in the process of dressing for the day after another fitful night of sleep when her phone rang. It was Kim.

They had been in touch since her and Grant’s breakup. Sara had explained that it just hadn’t worked out between her and Grant.

Kim’s retort had been, “You sure looked like you were getting along fine at the wedding.”

Sara had responded with a few more noncommittal statements and after that Kim had let the discussion drop.

To hear from her so early in the morning meant something was wrong. Her heart thumped against her chest. Was it Grant?

“I thought you would want to know. Lily’s been admitted to the hospital.”

Sara sank to the bed. “What happened?”

“I’m not sure. I just know that Grant canceled all his cases for the next few days.”

“I’m on my way. Thanks for letting me know.”

Sara, with heart pounding and gripping the steering wheel, pulled into the hospital parking lot just before eight. Why hadn’t Grant called her? Then again, why would he? After all, she’d left acting as if she wanted nothing more to do with him or Lily. But loved them dearly and wanted nothing more than to be a part of their lives. Even if her and Grant’s relationship was rocky, she could still show concern for Lily. Maybe help.

There were so many diseases that could cause a young child to become sick. Ones that could affect Lily for the rest of her life. Trying not to think the worst, she hurried through the double sliding glass doors into the lobby of the huge metropolitan hospital. She stopped at the reception desk and gave Lily’s name.

The middle-aged woman told her a floor and room number. “Only immediate family are allowed at this hour.”

“I’m Mrs. Smythe.” It was the first time she’d used the title in public. She found it rolled off her lips rather easily, as if it belonged. At the bank of elevators, she entered one and rode up.

She hesitated before walking down the long tiled hallway. Would Grant be glad to see her? What would she do if he sent her away? She couldn’t let those worries stop her. He needed her even if he didn’t think he did.

Sara knocked quietly on the door to the room then pushed it open. No one stirred. “Grant?” she said softly, not to wake Lily if she was asleep. Sara stepped further into the room. What she found broke her heart.

Grant sat on a small sofa with his head in his hands. She’d seen him angry, disillusioned, and sad, but nothing like the total despondency she was witnessing now. Looking around the room, she didn’t see Lily. Oh, no!

“Grant?”

He looked at her, sat up straighter. His arms opened and she walked into them. Sitting on one of his knees, Sara wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tight. Grant put his head in her chest. They sat like that for a few minutes. He finally looked at her. His eyes were red-rimmed from tiredness or emotion, she wasn’t sure which.

“Lily?”

“The doctor thinks she has meningitis. They have taken her down for a spinal tap.”

Relief flooded her. Thank goodness it wasn’t the worst, as she’d feared.

“They don’t know if it’s viral or bacterial. She’s so sick. Running a fever, crying so that nothing makes her happy. I’ve seen many sick adults but nothing as pitiful as Lily. I was helpless to do anything for her.”

“We just have to believe that she’ll be fine.” Sara rubbed his back.

“I came home very late this morning and the nanny met me at the door, frantic. I took one look at Lily and knew we needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible. Do you know what it’s like to have to hand over someone you love to someone else to care for? I felt powerless.”

Her chest constricted. “I know exactly what you mean.”

His gaze met hers. “I’m sorry, I guess you do. Better than most.”

“How long has Lily been gone?”

“About thirty minutes. They said it would take about an hour.”

Sara untangled herself from him. “You need some rest. If I understand correctly, you haven’t had any in over twenty-four hours. Get some sleep so you can think straight.”

“I need to wait to hear what they say about Lily.”

She stood. “I’m not going anywhere. I’ll wake you when she comes back.”

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