Garrett’s lips curved into a half-smile. “You can close your mouth now.” He crossed his arms, and despite the smile, his eyes were serious. “Why not? At dinner, you said your grant project at the school had wrapped up. Couldn’t you get a leave of absence from the hospital?”
“Well, I’m sure I could, but…” But the man had lost his mind! With a sharp shake of her head, Rachel held up her hands. “Wait. We are not having this discussion. It’s completely out of the question. My whole life is here. I can’t just pick up and move.”
Garrett turned his back and shrugged, swallowing the last of his wine. “It’s not forever. Just until Lily’s adjusted and caught up. Six months? A year at the most. It’s your call, of course. But, you told me how far she’s progressed in such a short time. Think about how much she’d benefit if you continued to work with her one-on-one.”
Rachel crossed her arms and waited for the silence to become awkward enough for Garrett to turn back around. “Nice try, but guilt doesn’t work on me. Remember, I raised four siblings. I’m pretty much immune.”
Another shrug. “It was worth a shot. But it’s also true.”
Scooping up his glass, Rachel escaped to the kitchen. She gripped the counter’s edge, trying to wrap her mind around his suggestion. The little flutter of excitement in her chest terrified her. She didn’t do things like this. She didn’t consider things like this. Taking a deep breath, she tried to calm her racing heart.
From the other room, Garrett spoke. “I’m going to crash. I don’t need an answer tonight, but I have to leave Kansas City tomorrow afternoon at the latest. I moved a meeting in New York to Friday, but I can’t move it again.” He leaned around the corner into the kitchen and captured her attention. “At least tell me you’ll think about it.”
Great. No pressure. And she sure didn’t need him to prompt her. She’d definitely be thinking about it. Pretty sure it was all she’d think about until she figured out a way to say no. “I will.”
Alone again, Rachel scrubbed every inch of the kitchen, twice, her nerves cranking her into overdrive. Switching off the light, she wandered back to the living room and plopped down on the sofa.
Refusing his offer was the logical choice, but what would happen to Lily if she said no? Visions of cold, dark boarding schools with dour taskmasters swam into her vision. Rolling her eyes, a dry laugh escaped. So much for guilt not working.