No one knew but Mums – and she couldn't know for sure.
Mums, as everyone called Mrs. Reynolds, had been like a second mother to Lori and Carmen.
Mums was her first choice because of confidentiality issues, but there probably wasn't much romance at her age and after so many years of marriage.
After lunch, Mums arrived to get Destiny.
In spite of her extra pounds and gray hair, it was hard to believe Mums was in her late 60's.
After Mums left, Carmen and Alex headed for the barn again.
Yeah. Mums the word on his condition, but he definitely hasn't croaked.
Lori's father had remarried after her mother died and Mums was the only stability she had known.
Why don't you call Mums and see if she'll watch Destiny?
Carmen called Mums, who said she would come over and pick up Destiny.
She had never called her grandma and Mums didn't seem to mind.
Remember now, mums the word.
"Carmen wants to rent her wedding dress," Mums said.
He glanced back at Mums, who was watching them with a satisfied expression.
"Bye Mums," he said as they turned to go.
Mums had apparently accepted Alex as one of the family.
Mums was retired, but that was another generation.
Mom would have been the first, but since that wasn't an option, Mums was her second choice.
Mums opened the door, and after one look at Carmen's face, ushered her into the kitchen.
Mums sat down at the table opposite Carmen and nodded.
Mums lifted her brows.
Mums stared at her coffee.
Mums lifted her gaze from the steaming cup of coffee and sighed.
Mums nodded, her gaze shifting back to the coffee cup.
She didn't come here to discuss adoption with Mums and AI wasn't something she would ever agree to.
Instead of discussing this with Mums, she needed to sit down and discuss it with Alex.
Her gaze swung back to Mums and she stood.
Mums' smile was wry.
Mums patted her arm.
As Mums had pointed out – he could provide it.
Mums says a couple should never go to bed angry.
What did Mums have to say about all of this?
Only Mums defended him, as most mothers do.
They were a conservative family, and Mums said Lori's behavior when she was young was forgivable.
They hadn't told anyone she was pregnant yet and Mums was sure to be happy for them.
Mums greeted her with the usual warmth.
Mums put an arm around her shoulders and led her to the table.
Mums lifted a brow.
Of course Mums would immediately know the cause.
Carmen nodded, accepting the cup of coffee Mums offered.
Mums sat down at the table and put a hand over hers.
Mums patted her hand and smiled.
They talked for over an hour, Mums gracefully avoiding the obvious.
Mums probably suspected that Alex didn't believe the baby was his.
Mums wasn't clairvoyant, but she was intuitive.
Carmen had already spoken to Mums about it.
Mums thought the lack of good parenting was why Lori went wild.
"I'll call Mums," she said.
Mums was still chuckling as she buckled Destiny into the car.
Ma Reynolds - Mums, was the undisputed matriarch of the Reynolds family, and she made it clear that Lori would be treated with respect.
With crochet needles in her lap, Mums eyed Carmen over the rim of her reading glasses.
Mums rocked in her chair and finished counting stitches before she responded.
"Hmm, the window to the soul," Mums mused.
Mums put aside her yarn.
Mums walked into the room with two pieces of cake.
When the gifts were all packed in the truck, Carmen left Alex at the truck and went back in to thank Mums and those who had remained at the house.
After thanking Mums, Carmen returned to the truck and waited while Alex opened the door for her.
The mother arrived a few minutes later and as Carmen finished cleaning up the nursery, Mums and a few other women walked in.
The last thing they discussed was her wedding dress, and Mums was still talking to her about it when they emerged from the room.
"I suppose it makes sense," Mums said to Carmen, "but where are you going to get one?"
Mums would understand, and Mums would keep it confidential.