The boy laughed cheerfully and jumped out.
He laughed at that, and his laugh was merry and frank.
Then they turned bottom side up, and continued to roll slowly over until they were right side up again.
Dorothy grabbed fast hold of the buggy top and the boy did the same.
He parked the truck in front of the house and headed down the hill.
Dorothy sighed and commenced to breathe easier.
They have two fertilized eggs and they want final consent.
Carmen brushed them away and returned to her prayer.
The voice and words belonged to Josh, and yet he had been dead for more than two years.
The sky had grown darker again and the wind made queer sobbing sounds as it swept over the valley.
Taking her in his arms, he held her close for a moment and then planted a kiss on her forehead.
Whether you are rich or poor, live in the developed world or the developing world, life today is better and easier than it was a century ago by virtually any measure.
Reluctantly she pulled away, her pulse and respiration in a race.
At some point, that stopped bugging her and became an attraction.
The speech he gave in September 1962, announcing that goal, spent a good amount of time justifying the expense and explaining the urgency.
Humor danced in his eyes and twisted smooth lips.
All that did was to enwich the pwiests' sons and thieves and wobbahs....
They saw the mother robin flying about, and crying to her mate.
Without answering, he headed for the fireplace and opened the wood box.
Jim's ears were standing erect upon his head and every muscle of his big body was tense as he trotted toward home.
It was the favourite haunt of humming-birds and bees.
But I warn you, if you don't tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist--I really believe he is Antichrist--I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my 'faithful slave,' as you call yourself!
She stopped and gazed up at his face.
Count Ilya Rostov smiled blandly and nodded approval.
With a wild neigh of terror the animal fell bodily into the pit, drawing the buggy and its occupants after him.
He reached her and turned, walking beside her as they started back up the hill to the house.
He was not going very fast, but on his flanks specks of foam began to appear and at times he would tremble like a leaf.
The boy was startled and his eyes were big.
Dorothy and Zeb looked at one another in wonder.
He walked down the hill, pausing a reverent moment at the headstone, and then ducked under a limb as he continued down the hill.
There was a breath of danger in the very air, and every few moments the earth would shake violently.
People overwhelmingly believed the future would be better, and they were right!
Next minute there was a roar and a sharp crash, and at her side Dorothy saw the ground open in a wide crack and then come together again.
Then she looked at Zeb, whose face was blue and whose hair was pink, and gave a little laugh that sounded a bit nervous.
The top of the buggy caught the air like a parachute or an umbrella filled with wind, and held them back so that they floated downward with a gentle motion that was not so very disagreeable to bear.
Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.
It was indicative of dissipation and the exercise of authority.
The conductor helped her off the car and then the engineer started his train again, so that it puffed and groaned and moved slowly away up the track.
We've been away for a long time, you know, and so we're anxious to get home again.
All this was so terrible and unreal that he could not understand it at all, and so had good reason to be afraid.
Zeb shook the reins and urged him to go, but Jim was stubborn.
We have, in fact, envisioned a better world and have made it happen.
With this thought in mind the girl took heart and leaned her head over the side of the buggy to see where the strange light was coming from.
And you may even—reasonably, optimistically—think it to be quite likely.
His tail was short and scraggly, and his harness had been broken in many places and fastened together again with cords and bits of wire.
So he moved the cars slowly and with caution.
Dorothy had a green streak through the center of her face where the blue and yellow lights came together, and her appearance seemed to add to his fright.
"Of course," growled the horse, "and then we shall be sorry it happened."
Yes, and Jonathan is at school.
But they continued to fall, all together, and the boy and girl had no difficulty in remaining upon the seat, just as they were before.
He stooped and picked up a bird's nest that had fallen upon the ground.
He lifted the nest gently and put it in a safe place in the forks of the tree.
They have got to live a man's life, pushing all these things before them, and get on as well as they can.
It was completely covered with vines, climbing roses and honeysuckles.
Then they rode on, talking and laughing as before.
Long dark lashes and black curly hair - he had it all.
She could count his ribs easily where they showed through the skin of his body, and his head was long and seemed altogether too big for him, as if it did not fit.
The buggy seemed almost new, for it had a shiny top and side curtains.
She set down the bird-cage and poked the boy with her parasol.
I confess all these festivities and fireworks are becoming wearisome.
"Those were the first words I ever said," called out the horse, who had overheard them, "and I can't explain why I happened to speak then.
Anna Pavlovna Scherer on the contrary, despite her forty years, overflowed with animation and impulsiveness.
Alex had destroyed it then with suspicion and accusations.
He got down from his horse and very gently took the little ones up in his big warm hands.
They may have missed on specifics (such as each of us owning a personal jet pack and a flying car) but in general were dead-on.
Such a house my father built after the Civil War, and when he married my mother they went to live in it.
It should have arrived at Hugson's Siding at midnight, but it was already five o'clock and the gray dawn was breaking in the east when the little train slowly rumbled up to the open shed that served for the station-house.
She walked toward it and found the horse tied to a tree and standing motionless, with its head hanging down almost to the ground.
It was a big horse, tall and bony, with long legs and large knees and feet.
His somber gaze met hers and then drifted to her lips.
Jumping out of the buggy he put Dorothy's suit-case under the seat and her bird-cage on the floor in front.
He and Uncle Hugson have been having a fine visit.
Swiftly they drew near to the flaming colored suns, and passed close beside them.
Two children, brother and sister, were on their way to school.
A sudden gust of wind circled them and whispered words in her mind.
No, but I can't sit on the fence forever - and I do want another baby.
The worst thing was their terror of reaching the bottom of this great crack in the earth, and the natural fear that sudden death was about to overtake them at any moment.
These they could not see, but they could feel them pelting the buggy top, and Jim screamed almost like a human being when a stone overtook him and struck his boney body.
Also, turning her head, she found that she could see the boy beside her, who had until now remained as still and silent as she herself.
He married Lucy Helen Everett, who belonged to the same family of Everetts as Edward Everett and Dr. Edward Everett Hale.
It was called "Ivy Green" because the house and the surrounding trees and fences were covered with beautiful English ivy.
The little porch was hidden from view by a screen of yellow roses and Southern smilax.
She and Dad would have loved Alex.
They entered the house and she glanced at the dark fireplace.
She sighed and walked over to the window seat.
Pulling his head down, she met warm lips again and surrendered to the passion he always managed to arouse.
In the kitchen she removed two mugs from the holder and reached for the coffee pot.
It was true, and it brought color to his neck, but he didn't comment.
"Yes," she answered, looking gravely at his tousled hair and blinking gray eyes.
Then the boy picked up the reins, shook them, and said "Gid-dap!"
I work for Uncle Bill on his ranch, and he pays me six dollars a month and my board.
"What is your name?" said Dorothy, thinking she liked the boy's manner and the cheery tone of his voice.
Tomorrow Uncle Henry and I must start back for Kansas.
He leaped into the saddle, and away he dashed with his officers close behind him.
And you know what?
The horse had stopped short, and stood firm as a rock.
I lived, up to the time of the illness that deprived me of my sight and hearing, in a tiny house consisting of a large square room and a small one, in which the servant slept.
It is a simple premise and yet, at the same time, an article of faith—a faith that the future would be better than the past.
My grandfather, Caspar Keller's son, "entered" large tracts of land in Alabama and finally settled there.
These men were lawyers, and they were going to the next town to attend court.
Self-emancipation even in the West Indian provinces of the fancy and imagination--what Wilberforce is there to bring that about?
The nobility don't gwudge theah lives--evewy one of us will go and bwing in more wecwuits, and the sov'weign" (that was the way he referred to the Emperor) "need only say the word and we'll all die fo' him!" added the orator with animation.
She smiled to herself - and not always because he rubbed her the wrong way.
They even agreed to take care of the animals while Alex and Carmen took their first vacation.
In addition to the assistance from the renters, the money finally gave her an income of her own, and the token independence that went with it.
She pushed the thought from her mind and turned to him.
Later, she lay in bed, tucked warmly under the covers as his boots clicked away from her on the hardwood floor - down the hall and into the den.
"It's not a big deal," Carmen said, and launched into another subject.
Alex got a relief when the conversation turned to something else and stayed there for the rest of the evening.
Alex gently turned her around and took her into his arms.
Ed merely looked at them and then back at Carmen.
How do biscuits and scrambled eggs sound?
She straightened and smiled at him.
He was dressed in his usual indigo jeans and western shirt.
She kissed his lips softly and rolled away from him.
The idea was reinforced when Gerald turned and walked out the door without doing so.
He gagged and coughed.
The shed at Hugson's Siding was bare save for an old wooden bench, and did not look very inviting.
As she peered through the soft gray light not a house of any sort was visible near the station, nor was any person in sight; but after a while the child discovered a horse and buggy standing near a group of trees a short distance away.
Presently he woke up, rose to a sitting position and rubbed his eyes briskly.
Then he got into the buggy again and took the reins, and the horse at once backed away from the tree, turned slowly around, and began to trot down the sandy road which was just visible in the dim light.
The central and largest one was white, and reminded her of the sun.
Around it were arranged, like the five points of a star, the other five brilliant balls; one being rose colored, one violet, one yellow, one blue and one orange.
Dorothy was too dazed to say much, but she watched one of Jim's big ears turn to violet and the other to rose, and wondered that his tail should be yellow and his body striped with blue and orange like the stripes of a zebra.
We are somewhere in the middle of the earth, and the chances are we'll reach the other side of it before long.
At this they both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked down.
The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep.
All cuddled down together and were very happy.
He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small; For the dear God who loveth us, He made and loveth all.
You may come to America and be poor, but if you work hard, your children will have a better life and a better opportunity.
Even in the days before my teacher came, I used to feel along the square stiff boxwood hedges, and, guided by the sense of smell would find the first violets and lilies.
There, too, after a fit of temper, I went to find comfort and to hide my hot face in the cool leaves and grass.
Perhaps I don't understand things, but Austria never has wished, and does not wish, for war.
The boy flicked the big, boney horse with his whip and looked thoughtful.
Water was dripping from the trees, and the grass was wet.
They rode slowly, and talked and laughed and were very jolly.
By the midpoint of the twentieth century, America's dreamers were preoccupied with the future—and not just any old future, but the great and glorious future that seemed inevitable.
I see I have frightened you--sit down and tell me all the news.
With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception.
Science would solve everything, prosperity would grow indefinitely, and people would thrive.
His highest duty to fodder and water his horses!
They have decided that Buonaparte has burnt his boats, and I believe that we are ready to burn ours.
And yet, didn't clinical words like selective reduction and gestational carrier mask the facts?
Her sigh was a mixture of contentment and relief.
All the papers had been signed and the money provided.
In the meantime, Thanksgiving was coming up - and then Christmas.
Alex was uneasy because he and his biological father had never seen eye to eye.
If Alex knew that, he gave no indication - and she had no intention of telling him.
She stretched and sat up, reaching for her clothes.
We've been married for nearly five years, and we just made love.
He bent over, picked up her clothes and tossed them to her.
I'm going to make myself a sandwich and get back to work.
Why don't we go out for supper tonight - just us and the kids?
Are you opposed to a break now and then?
He shook his head and rolled his eyes.
After dressing and freshening up, she found him in the kitchen wolfing down a sandwich.
He glanced at his watch and swallowed before answering.
We've got a meeting at two and it's almost one-thirty now.
He stood and tossed the last bite into his mouth, washing it down with the last of his milk.
She followed him out the door and watched as he hopped into the truck and started the engine.
He grinned and waved.
No one could deny that Alex was a devoted husband and father.
Carmen and Alex hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for all the family they had in Arkansas.
That made all their children her aunts and uncles, and their grandchildren her cousins.
In a way, Carmen and Alex had adopted a family.
Alex had been the one who helped her see them as true family, and yet he was having issues accepting his own father.
To be fair, his father hadn't made things any better by offering money to Alex and not his sister.
With so many people at their house, it was fortunate that the weather was warm and dry so they could utilize the courtyard for the children.
Whatever the case, Mary questioned anything that might indicate discord between Carmen and Alex.
Almost everyone else had already left, so Katie and Mary volunteered to help.
Carmen stopped washing the dish in her hand and stared at Mary in mute silence.
Carmen rinsed a dish and sighed.
She placed the dish in the rack and glanced at Katie.
Katie shook her head and sighed.
They circled the room twice before a hand reached up and tapped Alex on the shoulder.
Alex chuckled and relinquished the remainder of the waltz to him.
Alex swung around, his eyes twinkling with humor and that cute dimple teasing his cheek.
Such a pleasant day and evening should have ended with a restful night and happy dreams, but it didn't.
She sat up, pulling the blanket around her nightgown and shivered.
And so, if she couldn't have it in her head, she'd put it into his.
Alex rolled over and faced her.
He reached out with one arm and drew her toward him.
"And I you," he said softly.
She went to the coop first and watered the chickens.
No more searching for frozen half-tires in the snow and stomping the water out of them.
She fed them and gathered the few eggs they had laid after she gathered them yesterday.
When she opened the barn door, the Appaloosa mare lifted her head over her stall and nickered.
Six-month old Dandy nickered to his mother, but Casper was busy talking to Princess and Dawn.
Alex had promised the foal to Jonathan and he had already named it Eureka.
Are you guys ready to eat and go outside?
She scooped up some oats and fed each of the horses.
She grabbed the coffee cup and took a sip as she stepped around him.
She stopped in the kitchen when she spotted the skillet of scrambled eggs and a pan of biscuits beside it.
He came up behind her and took the coffee cup from her hands, sitting it on the table.
Turning, she put her arms around his neck and kissed his lips.
And stop this necking before the kids come in.
She picked up her coffee cup and took another sip, her eyes searching his over the rim.
"I've got to go wash my hands and shuck this coat," she said.
They put her through college and it was her intent to stay with them as long as they needed her.
The household account he had set up for her was healthy and growing with the monthly deposits he made.
Katie said that was because Carmen had been raised poor and had become frugal.
It was nice having Alex home all day and having the family together, but all good things come to an end.
There was shopping and packing to be done before they left on vacation.
His penetrating gaze prowled over her face and pounced on her eyes.
His expression and tone were anything but understanding.
His tone and expression awoke an old unwelcome feeling.
They had to move forward, and leave the past behind them.
It will be so much fun to work on it with Jonathan and Destiny.
Of course, if you prefer, we can wait until you come home from work and make it a fun family event.
The unknown can be worse than reality, and she had no idea what to expect on the flight.
Alex didn't know about her fear of flying and she'd just as soon he didn't learn.
As it was, the kids might pick up on her fear and emulate.
The neighbors couldn't see into any of their windows, and they were far enough off the main road that the only traffic would be people coming to see them.
The day before they were scheduled to leave, Alex came home from work and asked to see the tickets.
She retrieved them from her purse and handed them to him.
He looked through them and then handed them back without comment.
"Good enough," he replied, and dropped into his chair.
He picked up the newspaper she had set out for him and started to read.
He lowered the newspaper and his steady gaze met hers.
You and Jonathan wanted to go.
He lifted the paper and started to read again.
She stepped forward and pulled the newspaper down with one hand.
Leaning forward, she lifted his chin with her other hand and kissed his lips.
He rolled up the newspaper and hit her playfully on the backside as she walked away.
Alex stood and walked down the hall.
You'd better go wash up and tell your Dad supper is ready.
A few minutes later they all marched in and took their places at the table.
Do the Sanders know where everything is and what needs to be done with the animals?
They were paying someone to create it and then paying someone to carry it.
Alex glanced at Jonathan and then rubbed the top of his head.
I already have a son and daughter.
Jonathan grinned and Carmen glanced at Alex.
Warmth crawled up her neck as she grabbed her nightgown and pulled it over her head.
She jerked her head up and stared at him, letting the nightgown fall loosely around her body.
I should get rid of this and buy something a little more feminine.
He had indicated enough times that he would like to see her in something a little more feminine and fashionable.
He reached for her and she evaded his hands, playfully slapping him away.
Grabbing her hands, he pushed her back on the bed and held her down.
His fingers unwrapped from her wrists and his warm palms caressed hers.
He slowly lowered his head, and when his lips touched hers, they were warm and firm.
She returned his kiss passionately, and when he pulled his head back, she gazed up at him.
She lifted a hand and caressed his cheek.
He had seemed amused by her modesty in the past, and yet it had obviously troubled him.
And yet, in a way, waiting this long might have been an advantage.
They still had something mysterious and exciting to explore.
The golden brown skin and black hair reminded her of the conversation at Thanksgiving.
Of course, Alex didn't have any gray hair yet, and his lips were fuller - more defined.
His eyes blinked and opened, slowly focusing on her face.
She caught her breath and glanced at him in the mirror.
You always look neat and clean - even if you are a little out of style.
She turned her head and kissed him on the cheek.
When she reached Destiny's room, Jonathan was already dressed and was helping Destiny.
I was so excited that I couldn't sleep, so I got up and dressed.
When they finally got on the plane, she and Jonathan had a window seat - Jonathan in front of her.
Strong warm fingers touched her hand and a palm slid under hers, forcing her hands apart.
As his fingers laced through hers, she opened her eyes and found Alex watching her.
When Señor Medena introduced the girl as his daughter, Carmen caught her breath and looked at Alex for an explanation.
Felipa looked to be in her early twenties and had a sunshine smile that made Carmen feel welcome.
Her dark shining hair was pulled back loosely with bejeweled combs and hung in loose curls down her back.
She hugged both Alex and Carmen.
Carmen accepted the hug and stepped back, startled to silence.
Felipa took her from his arms and held her.
Look at those big gray eyes and that beautiful red hair!
Alex was cordial to his father and formal to his sister.
Alex helped the man get the luggage into the trunk and then hurried to assist Carmen into the car before the man could touch her.
Alex climbed into the car beside Carmen and placed his arm protectively on the back of the seat behind her neck.
He wanted to protect her and preserve her innocence.
Well, he did say he would go because she and Jonathan wanted to.
I have a mare; and we have a five-year-old mare with a colt, a four year-old filly, and a two-year-old filly... oh, and my mare is going to foal again in January.
He asked her to go back to Houston with him, enticing her with rides on the beach - and love all night.
She met his gaze and smiled.
His hand dropped to her shoulder and he squeezed it.
When her attention returned to the others, she caught Señor Medena and Felipa watching them.
The expression on Felipa's face reflected both humor and interest.
Jonathan and I will make sure we fill her in on anything she missed.
When they reached their destination, Alex pulled her aside and gently corrected her.
It was a hacienda, not a ranch, and Señor Medena was the patrón.
A wide porch stretched the length of the building, and above it were two balconies with black wrought iron banisters that curved out gracefully.
A tall perfectly formed and decorated Christmas tree stood beside the staircase.
Carmen said, grabbing her hand and kissing the chubby little fingers.
Alex retrieved her from Felipa and shifted her so that she sat on his arm, one of her arms around his neck.
His gaze sought Carmen and the sides of his mouth turned up in a warm smile.
Carmen met his gaze for a moment - long enough to reunite, and then they both turned back to the others.
Actually, she hadn't thought how it looked to others - and there had never been any doubt in her mind that she was fortunate to have Alex.
These are my other two daughters, Dulce and Alondra.
Why had he hidden them - and why had he decided to reveal them?
And yet, there was something about her that suggested she was in uncharted waters - maybe body language.
Each of them hugged him and talked briefly to Destiny.
Alex introduced Jonathan and their welcome to him was equally warm.
Jonathan and Destiny's room had two twin beds in it, as well as a television.
After she left the room, Carmen glanced down at her dress and then at Alex.
Amusement twinkled in his eyes and played with the corners of his mouth.
What you have on is fine, but if you want to freshen up and wear something else, go ahead.
You could wear a feed sack at a formal dinner and not look underdressed.
His brows lifted and his chuckle was deep and warm.
And leave the door open, would you?
I don't want her to wake up in a strange room and not be able to find us.
Someone knocked on the door and when she answered it, a man brought in their luggage.
After he left, she lifted one of the suitcases and placed it on the bed.
Alex walked in and closed the door to the other bedroom.
He pulled the shirt tails out of his pants and shucked it.
The muscles on his chest and arms were not well defined.
They swelled and blended smoothly - and that flat tummy was so masculine.
Her wandering gaze came up to his face and warmth shot painfully up her neck.
That pleased smile was on his lips again and his eyes held a glint of humor.
He tossed the shirt on the bed and walked silently to her.
The smile faded and his expression became ardent.
For a moment she surrendered to his warm lips and secure embrace, clinging to him as her heart stepped up pace.
"I'll lock the door," he said, his lips returning to hers and lingering in a way that made her feel weak.
Give me one of those polo shirts and I'll go wash up.
"Not for them." he said, and turned to the bathroom.
The idea of making love in a strange bedroom was disturbing enough, but with only a door between them and the children, locked or not, it didn't feel right.
Alex captured her hand and forced her to drop the potatoes.
Her lower lip pushed out and then she started to cry.
Carmen grabbed a napkin and began wiping the mashed potatoes from her hand.
Alex leaned over and kissed Destiny's cheek.
"We'll adjust," she said, and stared down at her plate.
Finally he glanced up and met her questioning gaze.
He glanced at her and then at Dulce.
Why is it good when you adopt a baby that isn't yours, but bad if it's yours and you don't give birth to it?
And yet, she was reluctant to say anything to church members - even family members.
And now she was even resenting Alex for telling his father.
He rested a hand on her shoulder and sighed, gazing down at her tenderly.
I agreed to this and I want the baby as much as you do.
A slow smile spread over his mouth and spilled into his eyes.
What about Jonathan and me?
He crawled onto the bed and lay down beside her, his expression becoming sober.
She rolled over and sat up, but he stopped her with a hand on her arm.
He rose up on one elbow and frowned.
I know, but... we're guests in this house, and...
It was about privacy and morality.
The men cheered as he turned the horse and rode it out of the corral.
His face looked pale and he rode with an alien stiffness.
Felipa kicked her horse into a lope and rode up beside him.
She said something and then rode ahead.
He made a face and stopped his horse.
Unbuckling his belt, he pulled his shirt up and examined the knife scar on his abdomen.
Normally it was a raised area, dark pink, but now it looked red and angry.
Her anxious gaze went from Carmen to Alex and back again.
He was alright and they probably wouldn't do it again.
Señor Medena asked Carmen and Alex to come to his office with him.
Alex leaned forward and placed his hands, fists down, on the desk.
Would it have been better if I had fallen off and broken my neck?
Señor Medena glanced at Carmen and then back at Alex.
She has already apologized and I have accepted her apology.
Señor Medena folded his hands under his chin and studied Alex thoughtfully.
Getting no response from Alex, he shrugged and turned to his desk.
She hesitated at Señor Medena's desk and he glanced up at her expectantly.
For another moment she hesitated, and then joined Alex.
He closed the door and they walked several yards down the hall before he spoke.
Alex looked surprised for a moment and then his lips clamped together firmly.
"No," Carmen agreed, slipping her arm around his and squeezing it.
You're not like him, and I'm glad.
She slipped eagerly into his arms and their lips met hungrily.
And we saw a baby howse too!
He took Carmen by the hand and leaned close to her ear.
He glanced up and smiled.
That night it stormed and then turned cold.
Christmas was only a few days away, and yet it didn't seem like Christmas.
Alex had asked one of the men go into town and rent a car for them.
Carmen was up first, showering and dressing before Alex woke.
He glanced at her in the mirror and continued shaving.
Rinsing the razor, he laid it aside and wiped his face with the towel.
He turned from the mirror and gazed down at her solemnly.
He bent his head and brushed her lips lightly with his own.
His warm fingers released her shoulders and traced their way up her neck, cupping her jaws in his hands.
"So, shut the door," he said, his voice strained, and drew her into his arms, seeking her lips again in a hungry way.
He released her and stepped back.
Ultimately it had cost them a child and her ability to have more.
It was probably the first money, other than the air fares, Señor Medena had been able to spend on Alex - and even then he had to do it through Felipa.
A coloring book and crayons kept her busy while they worked and talked.
No, it is a welcome home party - for you and Alex.
Carmen continued wrapping gifts and didn't comment.
If she was invited, it was as a guest of Alex, so he would tell her when and if he decided to go.
Felipa rolled her eyes and looked embarrassed.
Carmen drew a slow breath and glanced self-consciously at Dulce and Alondra.
I knew because he proved to me that I could trust him with my heart and soul - the way you trust your mother and father.
But if you could trust him this way and there was no electricity, would it still be love?
"Not for me," Carmen said instantly, and then blushed.
We love our parents, siblings and friends.
Alondra watched Carmen reflectively for a while and finally spoke.
And he loves you this much?
Carmen caught her breath - and the denial.
"Alex and I both want another baby," she finally repeated.
Dulce stood and motioned for Alondra to follow her.
Felipa considered the question a moment and then her brows resumed their normal position.
I want what you have - a husband who loves me - and children.
What about Dulce and Alondra?
Dulce watches you and tries to find things you do wrong.
And if Alex refuses the inheritance?
Alex liked being in control, and he had none in this situation.
Carmen put a foot on the first step and then heard voices.
As she glanced up, Morino and Alex started down the stairs, the tall lanky foreman taking two at a time.
We were checking the mare and she bolted, knocking the stable boy down.
And then they were walking out the door, still talking about the mare.
Apparently Señor Medena and his daughters had lived here all their lives.
He stumbled over something and exclaimed before she turned on the lamp beside her bed.
His gaze dropped to her nightgown and his brows lifted.
How could he do such a thing in front of Jonathan... and where was Jonathan?
His gaze dropped to her face and wandered over it.
A stop for lunch and then a drive over the biggest bridge Carmen had ever seen - and then they were in Galveston.
The kids are asleep and we're alone.
He opened the door and spoke quietly to someone.
They did the cheering and the jeering - and lots of laughing.
Felipa and Alondra were there as well.
Felipa was wearing a perky red satin gown with spaghetti straps and full skirt.
They danced for a few minutes in comfortable silence, and finally he spoke again.
The dance ended and he released her, bending over her hand.
Carmen rubbed her sore neck and searched the room for Alex again, but didn't find him.
When the band came back Alondra and Felipa danced Flamenco in duet.
They were so synchronized and fluid that Carmen asked Alex if they danced often.
They mingled with the guests a little longer and then Carmen excused herself.
Alex followed her and stumbled on the stairs.
For a moment he looked confused, and then turned away.
"Whatever," he said, and walked unsteadily to the bed.
He sat down on the edge of the bed, staring at his feet... and then keeled over on the bed.
Hopefully, this was his one and only session with drinking too much.
She removed his Tux and shoes, rolling him around the bed in the process.
In spite of the uncomfortable sleeping accommodations and the situation, she fell asleep almost instantly.
Actually, someone had spiked her punch and he drank it.
And then she remembered seeing Dulce watching her when she accepted the drink.
They crawled into bed and she rolled on her side with her back to him.
His warm lips kissed their way down her neck and across her shoulder.
He nodded and smiled.
She had an interesting perspective, and she made him think about things differently.
She snickered at the unintentional pun and Alex frowned, his gaze an unspoken question.
Alex unbuckled her from the bumper seat and carried her into the house.
Dulce motioned to Carmen from a hallway, so Carmen told Alex to take the children up and she would be up shortly.
Carmen took the picture from her hand and studied it.
It was a picture taken at the party and the focus was on Carmen and Alex.
Carmen was looking at someone behind the camera and Alex was looking at a girl who stood about five feet from him.
And then her eyes grew large.
And you obey him?
If I didn't want to do what he said I'd tell him so - and he would listen to my reasons.
She shrugged and then walked away.
Carmen stared after her and shook her head.
She dropped the picture in his lap and watched his reaction.
One glance at the picture and his neck turned red.
He picked up the picture and sighed deeply, meeting her gaze.
She reached out and took the picture from his hand.
Actually, Dulce had been disrespectful with every look and word.
She tossed the picture in his lap again and made a face.
His head snapped up and he eyed her suspiciously.
She sat down on the bed and sighed again.
He stood and walked over to the window, staring out it absently.
He paced back and forth across the room, deep in thought.
Carmen stood and put her arms around him.
He is their father and he is ultimately responsible.
He pulled her close and kissed her forehead.
I'll go wherever you go - and I'll be happy there.
A slow smile worked its way across his face and into his eyes.
His laugh was short and humorless.
Glancing in the mirror, he straightened his jacket and tucked the tie back down into his vest.
She lifted her head and gazed up into his eyes.
She squeezed him once more and then released him.
He quickly opened it and pulled out the contents.
Marked on it in bold letters were the words "Baby A" and "Baby B".
Carmen sucked in her breath and looked up at Alex.
He grinned and nodded.
"It could be a girl and a boy?" she asked hopefully.
And then another thought struck her.
When you bring the babies home, can I come stay with you for a while and help take care of them?
She glanced up and found Alex watching her intently.
She shoved the photo back into the envelope and closed the lip, willing herself not to think about the previous pregnancy and its tragic end.
She bit her lips to keep them from quivering and blinked her eyes to get rid of the blur.
A chair scraped next to her and Alex swore softly under his breath.
She clenched her hand and held it tight against her mouth so no sound would escape.
Alondra walked into the room with some tissues and a damp rag.
"I thought you might need these," she said, handing the rag to Carmen and setting the box of tissues on a small table beside her.
She patted Carmen on the shoulder and left the room.
Carmen wiped Destiny's face and eyes with the cool rag and used a tissue to wipe her nose.
The cool damp cloth did wonders to get her own face back to normal and she finally regained control.
It was amazing how children honed in on parents emotions and sympathized.
Alex looked stern, and when Carmen met his gaze, he looked down at his plate.
Well, he was probably embarrassed by her outburst and felt the need to explain.
What would be different this time was the fact that he couldn't deny the babies were his - that and the fact that this time she had no uterus to lose.
A part of her might never forgive him for what he did... and that was a dark part of her personality that she didn't want him to see.
It might cross a person's mind now and then that their spouse might be unfaithful, but insisting on it for months was another thing.
A piñata had been hung from one of the banisters above and the children of some of the employees joined them.
Jonathan and Alfonso were playing with the sticks as if they were swords.
Jonathan knocked a lamp off the table and it shattered.
A man takes ownership of his deeds and acts responsibly.
That evening after Destiny and Jonathan were asleep, Carmen was picking up in their room.
Carmen looked up at his face and found it as stern as his voice.
And the spiked drink?
That's different... and we're wandering off the point.
She sighed and turned away.
I take my responsibility to you and our children seriously.
I have the same need to nurture and protect.
He sank into the chair and let out a long breath.
In fact, he'd probably be horrified to know he slipped and did it now.
That evening Alex and Dulce were standing in the entrance room.
When Dulce stopped talking, he said something and turned, walking away from her.
He pulled the pajama top shut and started buttoning it without looking up.
She let the conversation drop that night, but early the next morning Dulce caught him in the hallway and it was clear that she didn't think anything was settled.
Felipa and Alondra both stopped and stared as Dulce snapped at him.
He nodded and then shifted his attention back to Dulce.
Destiny stared at Alex over Carmen's shoulder and Jonathan was so focused on Alex that he nearly ran into Alondra.
A few minutes later Dulce and Alex joined them at the table.
It was Christmas morning and all was not well.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.