"Of course not," said Dorothy.
The houses of the city were all made of glass, so clear and transparent that one could look through the walls as easily as through a window.
Then all three of them laughed heartily.
Certainly she had been under a lot of stress.
She glanced up at his face, but it gave no clue of his mood.
Did Alex think of her that way?
He wants one of his own.
Very likely he has stopped to take care of them.
There exists two sorts of optimists.
He reached the edge of the tall roof, stepped one foot out into the air, and walked into space as calmly as if he were on firm ground.
The central and largest one was white, and reminded her of the sun.
Just take care of yourself.
It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.
He was not a very large man, but was well formed and had a beautiful face--calm and serene as the face of a fine portrait.
They even agreed to take care of the animals while Alex and Carmen took their first vacation.
The four lawyers rode along, one behind another; for the pathway was narrow, and the mud on each side of it was deep.
I will take care of Alex.
These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
A few impressions stand out vividly from the first years of my life; but "the shadows of the prison-house are on the rest."
"Goodness!" she cried, grasping the iron rail of the seat.
They began to wonder if there were no people to inhabit this magnificent city of the inner world.
"Are you afraid of getting fired?" she asked with a grin.
They seemed to be falling right into the middle of a big city which had many tall buildings with glass domes and sharp-pointed spires.
We'll take care of them together.
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.
Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes.
He parked the truck in front of the house and headed down the hill.
Pierre pushed his way into the middle of the group, listened, and convinced himself that the man was indeed a liberal, but of views quite different from his own.
If anything could take her mind off the worry of surrogacy, he could.
He stood and tossed the last bite into his mouth, washing it down with the last of his milk.
Of course, to an extent, she did.
It was indicative of dissipation and the exercise of authority.
Are you down here taking inventory or doing a lot of thinking?
The storm has blown two of the little ones out of the nest.
He hardened his heart against the senator who was introducing this set and narrow attitude into the deliberations of the nobility.
Alex was romantic enough to understand the sentimental significance of the home she had inherited.
It was in July, 1805, and the speaker was the well-known Anna Pavlovna Scherer, maid of honor and favorite of the Empress Marya Fedorovna.
With these words she greeted Prince Vasili Kuragin, a man of high rank and importance, who was the first to arrive at her reception.
His clothing fitted his form snugly and was gorgeously colored in brilliant shades of green, which varied as the sunbeams touched them but was not wholly influenced by the solar rays.
As a matter of fact, I did.
If the noble awistocwacy of the pwovince of Moscow thinks fit, it can show its loyalty to our sov'weign the Empewah in other ways.
He was head of the house - the one who made final decisions.
Her sigh was a mixture of contentment and relief.
If Alex knew that, he gave no indication - and she had no intention of telling him.
Once the fire of passion was gone, it was embarrassing.
But then, she hadn't approved of his drinking or the way he treated Lori either.
"We had a lot of earthquakes," said Dorothy.
Jim's ears were standing erect upon his head and every muscle of his big body was tense as he trotted toward home.
Just then the buggy tipped slowly over upon its side, the body of the horse tipping also.
The man had taken a step or two across the glass roof before he noticed the presence of the strangers; but then he stopped abruptly.
I can see plenty of nice gardens and fields down below us, at the edge of this city.
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.
A middle-aged man, handsome and virile, in the uniform of a retired naval officer, was speaking in one of the rooms, and a small crowd was pressing round him.
The naval officer spoke in a particularly sonorous, musical, and aristocratic baritone voice, pleasantly swallowing his r's and generally slurring his consonants: the voice of a man calling out to his servant, Heah!
Was it greedy to want one of their own as well?
None of it made sense.
The storm continued most of the night.
Warm him some chicken soup and make sure he drinks plenty of water.
And take care of yourself, too.
As proud as she was of Jonathan, it was Alex who stayed on her mind for a long time after the phone call.
Señor Medena would take care of him and see that he got to the hospital if he needed to go.
Maybe it was more a case of wishing it were so.
At the end of January, Princess gave birth to the first foal on the ranch that wasn't sired by Ed.
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.
Have we fo'gotten the waising of the militia in the yeah 'seven?
The coop was a comfortable 48°F - warm enough to keep the eggs from freezing, but cold enough that the chickens didn't get shocked by the temperature change when they went out of the coop.
Alex was a love child - of that she was certain.
He wasn't involved in anything illegal and you have no reason to be concerned about spending any of the money he acquired.
Why hadn't she thought of his comment in that context?
Some of it came from life insurance.
Is that because of the infection?
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.
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.
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."
At this they both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked down.
Here and there were groups of houses that seemed made of clear glass, because they sparkled so brightly.
The roof beside them had a great hole smashed through it, and pieces of glass were lying scattered in every direction.
But not a sound had broken the stillness since the strangers had arrived, except that of their own voices.
The girl, greatly astonished, ran to lean over the edge of the roof, and saw the man walking rapidly through the air toward the ground.
Soon he reached the street and disappeared through a glass doorway into one of the glass buildings.
"Yes; but it's lots of fun, if it IS strange," remarked the small voice of the kitten, and Dorothy turned to find her pet walking in the air a foot or so away from the edge of the roof.
"None of us has had breakfast," said the boy; "and in a time of danger like this it's foolish to talk about eating."
But he did not wish the little girl to think him a coward, so he advanced slowly to the edge of the roof.
Dorothy kept hold of his hand and followed him, and soon they were both walking through the air, with the kitten frisking beside them.
Alex was doing everything in his power to provide her with all the experiences of a natural mother.
She stopped in the kitchen when she spotted the skillet of scrambled eggs and a pan of biscuits beside it.
We are somewhere in the middle of the earth, and the chances are we'll reach the other side of it before long.
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.
Everywhere you turned, people were speculating about, or building models of, the "House of Tomorrow," the "Car of Tomorrow," or the "Workplace of Tomorrow."
The family on my father's side is descended from Caspar Keller, a native of Switzerland, who settled in Maryland.
He was respectful of her concerns, but they didn't see eye-to-eye on any of it - except the fact that they both wanted another child.
It was the first time she thought of Katie that way.
That served another purpose when the conversation turned to the possibility of another child.
That was when Mary decided to relieve her mind of a troubling thought.
First of all, I married Alex because I love him.
Just about time I think the two of you are making progress, something like this comes up.
Alex chuckled and relinquished the remainder of the waltz to him.
No more searching for frozen half-tires in the snow and stomping the water out of them.
He had been taking care of her for nearly a year now.
Alex met her at the door, a steaming cup of coffee in one hand.
I'll take care of the others if you want to watch the kids.
For one terrifying moment the enormity of what they had done brought her close to panic.
She was a veritable garden of indecision.
But I guess if we have, it's no worse than having a child out of wedlock.
You always look neat and clean - even if you are a little out of style.
She searched his face for some indication of comprehension, eventually finding it only in his voice.
Sometimes he even did it when there was a room full of people between them.
That pleased smile was on his lips again and his eyes held a glint of humor.
The men cheered as he turned the horse and rode it out of the corral.
It wasn't true, of course.
Of course, it was possible that someone might harm her.
Carmen felt the full weight of a question that had no answer.
And yet, Katie and Alex were close siblings now in spite of their age difference.
My guess is that most of the savings came from Señor Medena, though.
But why didn't you say something to me about all of this before now?
What part of 'wealthy' were you having problems understanding?
Katie stood and carried the pan of potatoes to the sink.
They weren't exactly best of friends.
He came back from a trip down there one time and was upset because he said Uncle Fabrice treated him like a dunce in front of customers.
Sure, but don't you get tired of it?
Sometimes, but it's a long way to a restaurant and a lot of hassle to go.
One of the most appealing things about Alex was his confidence.
Still, all the information Katie provided created a clearer picture of why Alex acted the way he did at home.
Part of it was simply his nature - and that part was sweet and selfless.
Alex decided to build a room upstairs for his office, out of the reach of Destiny's exploring hands.
It was a pleasant escape from the dust and noise of the building going on above them.
The carpenters tried to keep the dust level down, but it was impossible to avoid all of it.
The x-rays were conclusive and indicated a bad infection in the lower lobe of one lung.
Preventing Destiny from crawling out of the bed wasn't easy.
Carmen sat one side of the bed and Alex on the other, each holding a tiny hand.
Of course - and he wanted to be there as much as she did.
It felt strange to have only the two of them at the table.
Instead of improving, Destiny got steadily worse.
With it came a host of nightmares.
His red shock of hair stood up like a flame as he glared down at her.
No, if one of us has to get snowed in up here, I'd rather it was me.
Morning dawned on about three inches of snowfall and it was still coming down.
You'd better stay in out of the weather... and get some rest.
Less than an hour after the phone call, Destiny woke up in a fit of coughing.
They said she'd be sleepy because of the medicine, so I'll try to sleep while she is asleep.
You'd better get some rest... and take care of yourself.
A feeling of panic grew in her as she reached for the button to summons a nurse.
She was right, of course, but having mama stand there watching her suffer was just as upsetting for Destiny.
She backed out of the tent and tucked it under the mattress.
The nurse would have no way of knowing how uncharacteristic this behavior was for Destiny.
Minutes later when the nurse arrived with a syringe of medicine, Destiny was asleep again, still clutching the doll to her chest.
For the first time, it crossed Carmen's mind that he was kind of cute.
Partly because of the way he worded things, but mostly because he tried to mask his emotions - like Alex.
Wet auburn curls were plastered around her pale face and the back of her neck.
More important, though, was the fact that he believed the child should not suffer for the sins of the parent.
For a moment she envisioned him and felt a pang of loneliness.
It was the middle of the day, and Alex never took a nap.
I don't want to be in the middle of your feud.
"I'm alright," he said after he regained control of his voice.
Jonathan, you take care of your Dad, alright?
Jonathan rarely asked for anything and the idea of having someone in the house playing music was appealing.
She was cleaning the coffee pot and Alex was reclining in a chair at the table, enjoying the last cup of coffee.
Where the children were concerned, she had no intention of remaining silent.
He did a lot of researching before he talked to me.
Finally he leaned forward and stood, rubbing the back of his neck.
The doctor set a due date of August 17th.
On the 28th of February they celebrated her thirtieth birthday.
Yet it was a short period of time for so much to have happened to them.
Pulling Alex's pillow from the bed, Carmen caught the faint whiff of his cologne.
She gathered it in a hug and smelled deeply of it.
She started to put the pillow down and caught the movement in the mirror from the corner of her eye.
The snow melted, leaving in its wake a harvest of spring flowers.
As April slipped into May and the last threat of frost passed, she began planting them in the garden.
It's wandering around in circles and it's not at all afraid of us.
Alex got a relief when the conversation turned to something else and stayed there for the rest of the evening.
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.
I thought you had finally accepted that the money belonged to both of you.
Destiny stiffened with a fit of coughing and then drug a deep rattling breath.
But all along, they believed they would ultimately prevail—and not just win the war, but also do something epic that would change the course of history for all time.
First of all, dear friend, tell me how you are.
"I think that before discussing these questions," Pierre continued, "we should ask the Emperor--most respectfully ask His Majesty--to let us know the number of our troops and the position in which our army and our forces now are, and then..."
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.
I was born on June 27, 1880, in Tuscumbia, a little town of northern Alabama.
He wouldn't have approved - of that she was certain.
The balmy weather of Thanksgiving Day had given way to a frosty day after.
Thanks to Alex, that chore had been turned into a simple twist of a knob.
They should be doing an ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
Of course, if you prefer, we can wait until you come home from work and make it a fun family event.
Alex didn't know about her fear of flying and she'd just as soon he didn't learn.
The Christmas tree could only be seen from the back of the house, but that didn't matter.
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.
It was presumptuous of him to purchase them.
I always pictured myself driving a van instead of a truck.
I didn't have much of an idea about the cost of raising children then, either.
Alex glanced at Jonathan and then rubbed the top of his head.
The answer came swiftly - because she no longer thought of him as adopted.
He was simply one of their children.
He watched absently as she shrugged out of her blouse.
I just didn't see any point in spending money on new clothes when my old ones still had a lot of wear in them.
He didn't want to go, so maybe this was his expression of resistance.
When they finally got on the plane, she and Jonathan had a window seat - Jonathan in front of her.
In spite of her decision not to, she glanced out the window.
Señor Medena eyed Carmen thoughtfully, but like Alex, there was no way of knowing what was on his mind.
Carmen tried to focus on Felipa, but her mind was full of questions.
Alex climbed into the car beside Carmen and placed his arm protectively on the back of the seat behind her neck.
Señor Medena was watching Alex, but from the corner of her eye Carmen could see Alex was looking out the window.
We also have a couple of wild asses.
Still feeling the sobering effects of that cool regard, she forced a smile.
For the remainder of the trip to the ranch, Alex remained in a good mood.
Carmen refrained from looking at Alex or displaying the shock she felt at the introduction of two more siblings he had never mentioned - an entire family.
Her eyes were almond shaped, the brown of the iris so dark that it was almost black.
Do you mean the odds of two healthy babies, or the sex of the babies?
It was the idea that I would never have one... the death of a dream, I guess.
I've seen opossums that weren't afraid of me, though.
His gaze traveled over her as she climbed out of her jeans.
Shucking the last of her underclothes, she reached for her nightgown.
It isn't one of those things you can talk through, I guess.
I should get rid of this and buy something a little more feminine.
Besides, it was time to replace some of the things she'd been wearing since before they were married.
Umm. Well, I think something like 50% of marriages fail - maybe more.
It was one of those break-through moments.
Her face warmed as she thought of it.
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.
Still, the feel of his hand was reassuring.
Outside of this being her first trip in an airplane, the rest of the flight was uneventful.
It was his way of focusing in - pulling her close without the intimacy of touching.
Did I give Jonathan his fair share of attention?
Neither of the children seemed concerned about the flight, though.
A wide porch stretched the length of the building, and above it were two balconies with black wrought iron banisters that curved out gracefully.
Of course, they didn't have the same mother, either.
Each of them hugged him and talked briefly to Destiny.
The four of them followed Felipa upstairs.
Amusement twinkled in his eyes and played with the corners of his mouth.
After he left, she lifted one of the suitcases and placed it on the bed.
I have a couple of polo shirts, but no light shirts.
He pulled the shirt tails out of his pants and shucked it.
Give me one of those polo shirts and I'll go wash up.
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.
The man sitting at the other end of the table was introduced to them as Morino el capataz - their foreman, Morino.
Apparently the duo was considered part of the family.
Carmen wanted to shrivel out of sight.
Jonathan leaned forward so that he had a full view of Señor Medena.
Waiting until they were out of view from the men at the corral, Carmen rode up beside Alex.
The shock of what happened gave way to fury as Felipa turned back to them.
"I did not think of his wound," Felipa admitted.
The rest of the ride was pleasant.
A touch of humor lurked in Señor Medena's dark eyes, but he continued as if he didn't notice.
The men did not know of the wound.
Alex said nothing, his stoic features giving no suggestion of what was on his mind.
They were well aware of what could have happened.
It's none of my business how you run this outfit.
I have been made acutely aware of that fact since I was a child.
I feel certain of it.
Alex had asked one of the men go into town and rent a car for them.
Finally he put a hand on the wall on each side of her head.
Dragging it up again wouldn't do either of them any good.
It was time to shove those old inhibitions out of their bedroom.
If she was invited, it was as a guest of Alex, so he would tell her when and if he decided to go.
Her dark eyes fixed on Carmen, eagerly waiting for the rest of the story.
I mean, there are different kinds of love.
It was true, of course.
"Basically, that I require a lot of attention," Carmen said.
She doesn't have any reason to be jealous of me.
His father was never able to get custody of him as a child.
On the other hand, when the issue finally came to a head, she would have been in the middle of it all anyway.
Besides, after he inherited, he could always put someone in charge of the estate.
It wasn't as if he had to be there every living minute of his life.
Felipa left Carmen at the foot of the stairs, striding off without another word.
For a moment a pang of homesickness engulfed her.
One of the men is staying up with her.
Jonathan said you were taking him to some kind of horse race tomorrow.
The boxes were heavy, so carrying two of them was too much weight to handle.
At least he couldn't blame her for any lack of attention this time.
As they approached the building, a large group of people came out whooping and yelling.
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.
From there the horse dashed in and out of the poles and came to a stop on his haunches.
How could he do such a thing in front of Jonathan... and where was Jonathan?
Maybe he felt more comfortable thinking of it that way.
Alex obliged and then the four of them continued to a lot where some horses grazed.
The weather was balmy, adding to the enjoyment of the day.
It is nice to have so many people to take care of your children, yes?
Remembering what Felipa had said about the girls being out of a home if Alex refused the inheritance, she smiled.
Yes. But I like taking care of my children.
From the corner of her eye, she saw Alex watching her.
"We have plenty of room at the house," Alex stated brusquely.
Then they caressed their way up her side, his thumb sliding under her bra and gently up the curve of her breast.
Planting kisses on the corner of his mouth, she whispered.
Carmen couldn't make out more than a few words, but one of them was mare.
Are wou pwoud of me?
Because of last night?
Maybe they knew what kind of bait to throw out.
Was the man capable of thinking of someone other than himself?
After lunch, all four of them went outside to play ball.
Carmen made a ball out of a pair of socks.
They did the cheering and the jeering - and lots of laughing.
In that moment of obvious joy, Alondra barely had an accent.
But then, maybe Alondra was one of those people who simply took a long time to warm to strangers.
Nina returned with a dress made of dark purple velvet and satin.
They sat her in front of a mirror while Felipa worked.
Felipa pulled the hair up and used combs with amethyst jewels on them, giving the impression of long hair.
The rest of us will be along soon.
Felipa led Carmen to the top of the stairs.
In the sea of faces, she didn't see Alex.
We're the guests of honor tonight.
Slipping her hand through his extended elbow, she let him lead her into the center of the room.
First of all, I wasn't the only one involved.
Your aunt and uncle seem pretty fond of you.
He grinned, the dimple playing below one of his twinkling eyes.
A tall young man tapped his shoulder and Alex surrendered her to the second dance of the evening.
That was the extent of their conversation before Señor Medena cut in.
Speaking of which, where was Alex?
There were so many people she had never seen - lots of good looking women.
Carmen turned and tipped her head back to look at the face of the man who towered over her.
He was protective of you before he even met you.
Of course, she knew Alex well enough now to know he didn't like people to hand out information about him.
Maybe Katie was simply trying to stay out of trouble.
I never thought of him as being anything else but a salesman until I saw him tonight, but he seems so... comfortable now.
They must have been close, and yet, to the best of her memory, Alex had not spoken of Gerald.
Carmen caught her breath, instinctively searching the sea of faces.
Of course, she could have used sign language, but that would have been distracting - and it wouldn't have been as personal.
So the party was actually for him, not both of them.
If it had been for both of them, they would have invited some of her friends - like Katie and Bill.
Someone offered her a glass of punch.
His breath smelled of liquor.
I'm tired of waiting.
He sat down on the edge of the bed, staring at his feet... and then keeled over on the bed.
Maybe the effects of the liquor would wear off by morning.
In spite of the uncomfortable sleeping accommodations and the situation, she fell asleep almost instantly.
His lips covered hers in a long warm kiss that left her short of breath.
The service on Christmas Eve day was, of course, about Jesus.
The subject was how Mary had been a vessel to carry the son of god.
They didn't know about the science of surrogacy back then - but then, they didn't know about cesarean delivery either.
Dulce handed Carmen a picture, her face a study of emotion, but her lips revealing nothing.
He's very protective of his family.
I don't think of it that way.
I think everyone was guilty of staring at her at least once - if for no other reason, wondering if she was going to fall out of her dress.
Alex admired the breasts - which probably rated him right up there with the majority of men.
Has she been disrespectful of you?
She had probably resurrected his memory of how Lori had tried to break them up.
But I think it's important that we're both aware of what's going on, don't you?
I don't want to put the girls out of a home.
Even a bird is smart enough to push the fledgling out of the nest when it fails to fly on its own.
All the girls have the opportunity of going to college while the money is still there.
I don't want you to give it up because of me.
What if Señor Medena had three boys instead of three girls?
You know, I just thought of something.
She could believe that of Dulce, but not of Felipa.
When you bring the babies home, can I come stay with you for a while and help take care of them?
With the photos in her hands, the fertilized eggs were a thing of the past.
When you want a baby so bad, the first morning of sickness is a blessing.
Actually, her first morning of sickness had been unpleasant, until she discovered the cause was pregnancy.
The ultra sound photo brought back a vivid memory of Alex watching the screen as the baby moved in her womb.
She bit her lips to keep them from quivering and blinked her eyes to get rid of the blur.
"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.
They loved one child as much as the other, but one child could never take the place of another.
For the most part, the facial expressions of those sitting around the table were sympathetic, but Dulce looked as if she was ready to break into tears.
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.
Yet somewhere deep inside she feared that if he was capable of betrayal once, then he might be again.
A piñata had been hung from one of the banisters above and the children of some of the employees joined them.
Alfonso assured him that it was no big deal - that Señor Medena would pay for it because he had lots of money.
A man takes ownership of his deeds and acts responsibly.
Señor Medena was watching Alex thoughtfully, but Alex seemed to be unaware of his attention.
Alfonso watched all of them intently.
Maybe some of it was soaking in.
Was that the way Morino thought of it?
She shrugged as she placed the toy on top of the magazine.
Anyway, it isn't any of her business.
Did you chew her out in front of everyone?
Besides, there was nothing to be gained in either case by saying anything – to either of you.
Let's not think of unpleasant things right now.
Carmen thought that might be the end of the conflict.
He shrugged into one arm of his pajamas.
In other words, it's none of my business.
It wasn't that it was none of her business.
The atmosphere felt stiff and formal, as if this was not part of their routine.
Of course, it went a lot deeper than that.
On Christmas Eve, we sit in front of the fire and take turns reading Christmas stories.
There will be one from each of us to the other, and then a couple for the children from Santa.
Actually, everything belongs to both of us, but I was the one who had the lifelong dream of a horse ranch.
I lost track of time until Alex came along and revived my interest in the ranch.
Part of it, of course, was Jonathan's nature.
Alex put the paper down and turned toward her, sliding an arm behind her on the back of the couch.
Carmen, I don't think you really want in the middle of this.
I am in the middle of it right now - only I don't know what I'm in the middle of.
I'm supposed to be taking care of you...
You're supposed to be taking care of me, but that isn't realistic 100% of the time, is it?
His bittersweet chocolate gaze wandered over her face in search of something, or maybe he was digesting the information.
We didn't mean to keep all of you waiting.
Did he arrange to have Alex out of the way, or was he simply taking advantage of the situation?
The way he did it reminded her of Alex.
Maybe because it had the same theme of wrought iron and ivory as the hacienda - and maybe they had been visiting too long.
On the other side of the thick entry door was a sitting room with lush wine colored carpet.
On one side of the living room a door opened into a large dining area.
The table and chairs were made of a dark rich wood, and the tiles on the floor looked like polished bricks.
It had a quiet look of quality that was soothing.
A couple of wing-backed chairs and sofa sank luxuriously into that thick wine carpet, but what caught her full attention was the wide curving staircase.
Following Señor Medena up the stairs, she ran her hand along the smooth wood, enjoying the cool silky soft feel of it.
I really like the look of wood - especially when it looks this graceful.
A long hallway ran across the back of the upstairs, leading to four bedrooms.
Simple - hardwood floors and lots of light.
He paused at the foot of the stairs and gazed down at her.
Of course, but most people prefer the carpet.
Kicking his foot free of the stirrup, he offered her a hand, never taking his eyes off Señor Medena.
It was a stupid question, of course.
Only his idea of tempting her with a fine house hadn't worked.
Her face flamed as she thought of how it must have looked to Morino.
I can take care of myself.
Carmen let loose of his waist, moving away from the unclean thought.
In fact, at the party he had spent an unnecessary amount of time with the woman he almost married – and hadn't even introduced her.
By the time they reached the barn, she had a different perspective of the entire situation.
Carmen stopped at the corner, uncomfortable with the heat of the exchange, yet unwilling to interrupt.
She stepped closer to Alex, her hands balled into fists at the end of stiff arms.
She caught up with Dulce at the top of the stairs.
And then there was the matter of Tessa.
If Katie hadn't disclosed that incident to her before she met Alex, would he have revealed that facet of his past?
"I didn't know about any of this until we came down here for a visit," she defended.
Alex doesn't want this kind of life.
Dulce lifted her head and managed to reclaim some semblance of pride in spite of the situation.
In other words, when he shook himself free of his current family, he would come to Dulce.
"Of course it matters," he said, following her to the closet and watching anxiously as she started removing clothes.
She took out some of his and hers so he wouldn't think she was packing to leave him.
It was a house full of people who happened to be related to him.
Then he turned away and rubbed the back of his neck in that way he did when he knew he was wrong but wasn't sure why.
She sat down on the edge of the bed and stared at the floor.
She was jealous of Dulce, but she had no reason to be.
Fighting with each other wasn't going to do anything but play into the hands of those instigating the trouble.
If his family wanted him to come back, they would have to get rid of his current responsibilities.
But then, he had made it clear from the start that he didn't want any of them in his life.
He had tried his best to push them out of it.