A chime sounded at his hip. Gavin reached down to his phone to find a text from Marie. She’d arranged for an appointment at 4:15 with his concierge physician on Park Avenue. Excellent.
He could’ve just copied the information into another window and included the location to send it to Sabine, but he found himself pressing the button to call her instead. It was a dangerous impulse that he wished he could ignore, but he wanted to hear her voice. He’d gone so long without it that he’d gladly take any excuse to hear it again. It wasn’t until after the phone began to ring that he realized it was 7:30 in the morning. Sabine had always been a night owl and slept late.
“Hello?” she answered. Her voice was cheerful and not at all groggy.
“Sabine? It’s Gavin. I’m sorry to call so early. Did I wake you?”
“Wake me?” Sabine laughed. “Oh, no. Jared is up with the chickens, no later than 6:00 a.m. every morning. I tease him that he’s going to grow up to be a farmer like his granddaddy.”
Gavin frowned for a moment before he realized she was talking about her own father. Sabine spoke very rarely of her parents. Last he’d heard they were both alive and well in Nebraska, but Sabine wasn’t in contact with them. It made Gavin wonder if he wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about Jared.
“My assistant got us an appointment.” Gavin read her the information so she could write it down, including the address of the doctor’s office.
“Okay,” she said. “We’ll meet you there at a little before 4:15.”
“I’ll pick you up,” he offered.
“No, we’ll take the subway. Jared likes the train. There’s a stop about a block from there, so it’s not a problem at all.”
Sabine was fiercely independent. Always had been. It had made him crazy when they were dating. She wouldn’t let him do anything for her. He wanted to argue with her now, but he wouldn’t. His afternoon schedule was pretty hectic, and he’d have to shuffle a few things around to drive out to Brooklyn and get them in time unless he sent a car. And yet, he wasn’t ready to end the conversation, either.
“After the appointment,” he said, “may I take you and Jared to an early dinner?”
“Um...” Sabine delayed her response. She was probably trying to come up with a reason why she couldn’t, but was failing.
“A little quality time,” he added with a smile, happily using her own words to get his way.
“Sure,” she said, caving. “That would be nice.”
“I’ll see you this afternoon.”
“Goodbye,” Sabine said, disconnecting the call.
Gavin smiled as he glanced down at his phone. He was looking forward to his afternoon with Jared. And even though the rational side of his brain knew that he shouldn’t, he was looking forward to seeing Sabine again, as well.
Sabine was surprised that it didn’t take long at the doctor’s office. The paperwork took more time than anything else. Gavin and Jared got their cheeks swabbed, and they were told the office would call with the lab results on Monday.
By four forty-five, they were standing on the sidewalk watching the traffic stack up on Park Avenue. Sabine secured Jared in the collapsible umbrella stroller she sometimes took into the city. It was too busy to let him walk, even though he was getting more independent and wanted to.
“What would you like to eat?” Gavin asked.
Sabine was pretty sure that the majority of places he was used to eating at were not equipped to feed a picky toddler. She glanced around, getting her bearings for where she was in the city. “I think there’s a good burger place about two blocks from here.”
Gavin’s gaze narrowed at her. “A burger?”
She swallowed her laugh. “Let’s wait until Jared is at least five before we take him to Le Cirque. They don’t exactly have a kid’s menu.”
Sabine shook her head and started walking toward the restaurant. Gavin moved quickly to fall into step beside her.
“You’re used to taking people out to nice places and spending a lot of money for dinner. I suppose that’s what people expect of you, but that’s not how Jared and I roll. We’ll probably all eat for less than what you normally pay for a bottle of wine. And that’s fine by us. Right, Jared?”
The little boy smiled and gave a thumbs-up. He’d learned the gesture in day care a few weeks ago and since then, a lot of things had called for it. “Chee-burger!”
“See?” Sabine said, looking over to Gavin. “He’s easy to impress.”