Here in this OR Grant was in control, the best at what he did. He appreciated order. Outside, life was more difficult, unexpected. Now that his father and stepmother were gone, he had to admit to a tinge of guilt over his father dying with their relationship in shambles. When Grant had learned his father hadn’t updated his will after Lily’s birth he’d found it difficult to believe. With his brother unavailable, Grant had been the next in line to receive custody of Lily. He couldn’t let his newborn sister be taken by state services, could he? How would his father have felt about that? He didn’t want to give her up to Evelyn’s aunt and uncle either. This was one task he would demonstrate himself worthy of.

“Doctor, the organ is here.”

A man entered, carrying a cooler. The pace would pick up and Grant would have to apply all his energy to seeing that the bad liver was removed and the new one put into place. He wouldn’t have time to think about Lily.

With the blood vessels clamped off and the organ removed, Grant inspected the new one. “It looks good. Let’s get this done.” Gently he placed the liver into the cavity and began stitching the vessels to it. The phone of the OR wall rang. Grant continued to work.

“Dr. Smythe, it’s for you.”

His brow wrinkled. “Who is it?”

The nursed asked, then called, “It’s a woman who says she’s your nanny.”

“What the hell?” he murmured. Louder, he said, “I can’t speak to her right now.”

The nurse relayed the message. “She is being rather insistent.”

He huffed. “Jane,” he said to the fellow, “would you please check for bleeding and start closing while I get this?”

A soft mumble followed him to the phone. His colleagues must find the situation curious. It was out of character for him to take a call while in the OR. He had a good relationship with his team but he was also known for not tolerating interruptions during surgeries.

He resisted grabbing the phone out of the nurse’s hand. “This had better be good,” he growled into it. “I’m in the middle of surgery.”

There was silence on the other end. Finally a voice said, “It’s Sara Marcum. I’m sorry, I had no idea that they would put me through to the OR.”

That eased his aggravation a little. “Now that you have me, what do you need?”

“It’s late. Since we had no time to talk I wanted to know if I’m supposed to stay the night. I didn’t come prepared for that. I have a father who is expecting me home.”

Grant hadn’t thought of that as he’d rushed out of the house. He’d just assumed... “Yes, I am going to need you tonight. Every night. If you’ll please just make do for now, I promise tomorrow I’ll give you a full list of your responsibilities. I need to get back to my case.”

“I have responsibilities as well but I’ll be here with the baby until you come home.”

“Thank you.” He hung up the phone. What responsibilities? Could hers be more important than a baby or a lifesaving transplant? He paused for a second. Hadn’t she said something about being evicted? Maybe she had gigantic problems as well. He’d get this transplant patient taken care of first and then head for the house. Losing a nanny again wasn’t what he needed.

As he returned to the table his team gave him questioning looks over their masks. He shrugged. “I was given custody of a baby and have a new nanny. Now, can we get this patient closed and out to ICU?”

* * *

Sara hung up the phone. Dr. Smythe hadn’t been happy with her call but he’d left her no choice by leaving so abruptly. With an eviction on the horizon she needed the money this job would bring, but she wouldn’t allow anyone to treat her unprofessionally. He had almost done so by all but throwing the child at her and leaving.

It was time to find that nursery. Sara cradled the baby in her arms and, with the diaper bag slung over her shoulder, she climbed the wide circular staircase to the second floor. Going along the passageway, she searched each room for one that looked like a baby’s room. At the end of the hall, across from the master bedroom, she found a small slice of heaven.

The walls were painted the palest pink. She’d had a pink room growing up. It had been that color when her mother had left. When this little girl became old enough, would she think she had done something wrong to make her mother leave, as she herself had? She hoped not.

Above a snowy-colored crib draped in rosy colored netting was the name ‘Lily’ in white letters on the wall. Lily. Pretty name.

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