When Carmen's father died, she thought she was alone in the world, yet all these people had been there for her.
Carmen's mouth went dry with fear.
Carmen's smile was wry.
Felipa smiled at Carmen's inquisitive look.
True, but her answer left Carmen's stomach tied in a knot.
They rounded the corner of the building to see a group of men lounging against the fence, watching a display that made Carmen's blood run cold.
Finally Alondra guided an Amethyst necklace around Carmen's neck.
Dulce appeared at Carmen's side, dressed in a dark blue gown with a high collar.
When Carmen's gaze returned to Dulce, the woman had a smug smile on her lips.
A strong hand grabbed Carmen's arm as the band started another song.
Jonathan tugged on Carmen's arm.
Finally Destiny put her arms around Carmen's neck and simply hugged her.
He sighed heavily and rolled over, putting an arm around Carmen's waist and snuggling close to her.
Movement outside the window caught Carmen's attention.
Carmen's first impulse was to snatch Destiny back, but the six months waiting period had long passed.
Warm fingers clutched Carmen's hand and she looked down to find Jonathan watching her anxiously.
Lori's voice brought Carmen's attention back to the visitor.
Carmen's mouth went dry.
Leaning his head close, he whispered into Carmen's ear.
Destiny's little fingers wiggled on Carmen's ribs and she laughed.
Alex grabbed Carmen's waist and pulled her back a few steps.
At Carmen's startled gasp, he said he didn't think that was an issue because they brought him back quickly.
Carmen's attention returned to Lori as she spoke.
At Carmen's uncomfortable look, she shook her head.
At Carmen's sharp look, she shrugged.
The wind yanked Carmen's hair with icy fingers.
Katie took the towel from Carmen's hands.
Katie spoke in a low voice over Carmen's shoulder.
Carmen's face burned even hotter.
Tessa scrambled over the rocks to reach her infant, stepping on Carmen's fingers in the process.
"Now Alex," Katie began in a scolding tone, "You can't keep throwing your past in Carmen's face.
Katie looked relieved, but Carmen's stomach took an uncomfortable lurch.
So absorbed was Katie in her wedding, that she didn't notice Alex was always at Carmen's elbow.
Carmen's truck broke down and I'm going to tow it home for her.
It shot off the counter, hitting the block wall and bouncing off to roll across the floor and stop at Carmen's feet.
Sliding an arm across the back of Carmen's chair, he leaned close, speaking softly in her ear.
Alex released Carmen's hand as she stepped into the house.
These things were on Carmen's mind as she settled into one of the chairs set up in the family room.
"You look so serious," Katie said, her large blue eyes searching Carmen's face.
A warm deep voice drifted in from the kitchen and Carmen's gaze riveted on the kitchen doorway.
Warmth ran up Carmen's neck again, invading her cheeks.
Bill tossed Carmen's supply package to Alex, who deftly caught it.
Bill said one of the limbs of the tree had gone through the roof over Carmen's bedroom – all the way down and punctured her mattress.
Lori took the conversation elsewhere, but it remained at the back of Carmen's mind - even after she left and walked to her house.
Still, it was crowded, and living out of a suitcase wasn't Carmen's idea of living.
Warmth flooded up Carmen's neck.
Katie was watching her when Carmen's attention came back to the dishes.