They had two adopted children already.
They say she is amazingly beautiful.
Yet they honestly think there is no choice left.
They can actually talk!
They entered the house and she glanced at the dark fireplace.
"They do not belong here," returned the Prince.
If they give me plenty of it I'll not complain about its color.
He reached her and turned, walking beside her as they started back up the hill to the house.
As they continued toward the house, he cleared his throat.
This would be the only attempt they would make.
And what have they promised?
Why should they eat their sixty acres, when man is condemned to eat only his peck of dirt?
They were glad to see Mr. Harris, for he was the minister.
They don't scare us much.
There were no stairs in their houses, because they did not need them, but on a level surface they generally walked just as we do.
They ought to be hanged--the brigands!...
Alex was supposed to be sterile, but they had been wrong about that.
Why should they begin digging their graves as soon as they are born?
One day they were sitting at the table working on coloring books when Alex came home early.
I knew by the way my mother and aunt dressed when they were going out, and I invariably begged to go with them.
The highest Petersburg society was assembled there: people differing widely in age and character but alike in the social circle to which they belonged.
Talking about it might help her, but they had already talked the subject lifeless.
The three men, as they passed, looked down and saw the little birds fluttering in the cold, wet grass.
But, except for these fleeting memories, if, indeed, they be memories, it all seems very unreal, like a nightmare.
I had noticed that my mother and my friends did not use signs as I did when they wanted anything done, but talked with their mouths.
They even agreed to take care of the animals while Alex and Carmen took their first vacation.
Quicker, quicker--and that they should leave me in peace!
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.
I see how human ingenuity and new technologies have eliminated previously insoluble problems once we stand back and let free markets do what they do best: direct the allocation of capital to find a solution.
They didn't foresee the baby boom brought about by a new post-war prosperity.
My father made holes in these so that I could string them, and for a long time they kept me happy and contented.
You know I did all a father could for their education, and they have both turned out fools.
They circled the room twice before a hand reached up and tapped Alex on the shoulder.
For a few minutes they held on to each other, kissing as if they hadn't seen each other in a week.
They had to move forward, and leave the past behind them.
When they passed over a field of grass Jim immediately stretched down his head and began to nibble.
In a few minutes they had forgotten about the birds.
They exist simply because we have not had the means to solve them in the past.
Carmen and Alex hosted Thanksgiving Dinner for all the family they had in Arkansas.
I imitated this action, even wearing his spectacles, thinking they might help solve the mystery.
They were faithful straight liners.
Such a house my father built after the Civil War, and when he married my mother they went to live in it.
They tell me I walked the day I was a year old.
For one terrifying moment the enormity of what they had done brought her close to panic.
He felt that his words, apart from what meaning they conveyed, were less audible than the sound of his opponent's voice.
Pierre, however, felt excited, and the general desire to show that they were ready to go to all lengths--which found expression in the tones and looks more than in the substance of the speeches--infected him too.
The assembled nobles all took off their uniforms and settled down again in their homes and clubs, and not without some groans gave orders to their stewards about the enrollment, feeling amazed themselves at what they had done.
But all these hints at what happened, both from the French side and the Russian, are advanced only because they fit in with the event.
"Why are they leaving the town?" asked Alpatych.
What sort of governors are they to do that?
Those colored suns are exactly in the same place they were when we came, and if there is no sunset there can be no night.
The French at Vitebsk, in four days' march they may be at Smolensk; perhaps are already there!
The door of the Governor's room opened and they all rose and moved forward.
Then they turned bottom side up, and continued to roll slowly over until they were right side up again.
At this they both put their heads over the side of the buggy and looked down.
Dorothy kept hold of his hand and followed him, and soon they were both walking through the air, with the kitten frisking beside them.
In the vegetable gardens they found the strawberries and melons, and several other unknown but delicious fruits, of which they ate heartily.
"They look like doorways," said Dorothy; "only there are no stairs to get to them."
They are too young to fly, and the mother bird is making a great fuss about it.
They saw the mother robin flying about, and crying to her mate.
Their mouths were open for the food they were expecting their mother to give them.
And what little they have promised they will not perform!
That night as they prepared for bed, she approached Alex about it.
It was a long time back, before they were married.
Do they want more?
The children played and they all talked for a while longer.
They must be in Tulsa.
After a moment of thanks, they all began their meal.
I think it's something about my body chemistry that they don't like.
They gazed into each other's eyes for a moment before he spoke.
"Pull!" cried Dorothy, and as they did so the royal lady leaned toward them and the stems snapped and separated from her feet.
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.
When Dorothy recovered her senses they were still falling, but not so fast.
These spires were like great spear-points, and if they tumbled upon one of them they were likely to suffer serious injury.
Instead, he drew a leathern case from his pocket and took from it several sharp knives, which he joined together, one after another, until they made a long sword.
As they sat upon the grass watching Jim, who was still busily eating, Eureka said:
Then the three held a counsel to decide what they should do next, but could think of no way to better their condition.
"And they have no hearts; so they can't love anyone – not even themselves," declared the boy.
But they marched straight onward.
At a place where two roads crossed, they saw a tall gentleman coming to meet them.
These are easy to spot: They rely on huge conceptual leaps without a framework to support them.
While entertaining, they are never, ever correct.
His methods had probably died with him; and if they had not, how was a little girl in a far-off town in Alabama to receive the benefit of them?
They have told me nothing, and probably cannot tell me anything to the purpose.
Here is life, an experiment to a great extent untried by me; but it does not avail me that they have tried it.
Only they could fail to see it, the prince continued, evidently thinking of the campaign of 1807 which seemed to him so recent.
Here and there were groups of houses that seemed made of clear glass, because they sparkled so brightly.
"How did they happen to be so little?" asked Dorothy.
Then they rode on, talking and laughing as before.
Still, as the prince is unwell my advice is that they should go to Moscow.
Fishes are not animals, and they are as cold and moist as the vegetables themselves.
The advisors of the Princess did not like this test; but she commanded them to step into the flame and one by one they did so, and were scorched so badly that the air was soon filled with an odor like that of baked potatoes.
Many of them were so tame that they would eat from my hand and let me feel them.
I suppose they're both a little artificial.
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.
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.
She fed them and gathered the few eggs they had laid after she gathered them yesterday.
They put her through college and it was her intent to stay with them as long as they needed her.
There was shopping and packing to be done before they left on vacation.
They should be doing an ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
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.
"Are they good seats?" she asked.
A few minutes later they all marched in and took their places at the table.
After grace, they all started passing food.
They were paying someone to create it and then paying someone to carry it.
Besides, it was time to replace some of the things she'd been wearing since before they were married.
He slowly lowered his head, and when his lips touched hers, they were warm and firm.
I mean, that they didn't feel this way all the time.
So why should we listen to what they call normal?
They still had something mysterious and exciting to explore.
They would have some time to enjoy a late Christmas at home when they returned.
They looked a lot alike in some ways.
With everything going on, Carmen didn't have time to worry about flying, but when they were all sitting at the airport, she finally had time to stew over it.
When they finally got on the plane, she and Jonathan had a window seat - Jonathan in front of her.
After they retrieved their luggage, Señor Medena instructed a man to carry it to a white limousine.
We... actually, I... was thinking about adopting a few wild horses from out west where they have too many.
When they reached their destination, Alex pulled her aside and gently corrected her.
From the foyer, they entered a huge room with a wide staircase that curved gracefully from the balcony on the second floor.
Carmen met his gaze for a moment - long enough to reunite, and then they both turned back to the others.
Well... they had been flirting with each other in the car.
Of course, they didn't have the same mother, either.
No. Do they ever have a formal dinner?
They swelled and blended smoothly - and that flat tummy was so masculine.
They had never been anywhere else overnight together.
They call her a gestational carrier.
Later, as they walked back to their room, Jonathan looked up at Carmen.
Having a baby was something they should be excited about - talking about to others.
When they turned around, Alex was still on the horse.
Waiting until they were out of view from the men at the corral, Carmen rode up beside Alex.
He was alright and they probably wouldn't do it again.
Still, by the time they returned, Alex looked exhausted.
But I have said they did not know you had a wound.
They were well aware of what could have happened.
He closed the door and they walked several yards down the hall before he spoke.
They would purchase a few things for Christmas tomorrow.
For a moment they simply looked at each other.
Right now she didn't care where they were.
"Our children will have everything they need, but not everything they want," Alex interrupted.
The last time he made a business trip to Columbia, he had said they needed the money.
A coloring book and crayons kept her busy while they worked and talked.
Maybe they all needed to know.
The room was silent for a few minutes after they left.
How do they feel about your father offering the estate to Alex?
I know they don't like me.
Do they resent that your father wants only a son for an heir?
It makes no difference how they feel.
After they put all the presents on a table, Felipa finally spoke.
Alex asked as they reached the bottom step.
His gaze flitted to Carmen as they passed.
And then they were walking out the door, still talking about the mare.
A few minutes after they left, Felipa arrived with an older woman she introduced simply as Maria.
As they approached the building, a large group of people came out whooping and yelling.
I think they are all having fun with Alex.
I hope not the way they did the last time.
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.
Jonathan asked Alex excitedly as they joined Carmen and Felipa.
They have some very nice animals.
He said they as if the horses belonged to the ranch hands.
They admired the new foal and a few other horses.
Everyone liked the idea, so they returned to their rooms and cleaned up.
A stop for lunch and then a drive over the biggest bridge Carmen had ever seen - and then they were in Galveston.
On the way across the open water, they saw several dolphins.
Pleasant as it was, they had to go back.
By the time they got back and dressed for supper, Destiny's eyelids were drooping.
Then they caressed their way up her side, his thumb sliding under her bra and gently up the curve of her breast.
I understand when they have an emergency and you're handy, but surely they don't have emergencies all the time.
If so, maybe they should put one on the payroll.
Maybe they think they have.
Maybe they knew what kind of bait to throw out.
He had started the clinic shortly after they were married, so his dream was barely being realized.
They did the cheering and the jeering - and lots of laughing.
They were having so much fun that even Alondra broke down and joined them.
They sat her in front of a mirror while Felipa worked.
Your eyes... they are so unusual.
I guess violet eyes are unusual, but I think they look the same from my viewpoint.
Whatever the case, they had no flow together.
They danced for a few minutes in comfortable silence, and finally he spoke again.
They must have been close, and yet, to the best of her memory, Alex had not spoken of Gerald.
If his family had lived in the United States for centuries, why didn't they learn to speak proper English?
They must be cultivating their own language.
At least they were talking.
His gaze traveled over her face expressionlessly as they danced away from the spot.
If it had been for both of them, they would have invited some of her friends - like Katie and Bill.
After all, he knew Katie too, but they only wanted the people he knew before he met his wife - excluding his sister.
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.
They crawled into bed and she rolled on her side with her back to him.
Home was any place they were together.
Finally his gaze found Carmen as they walked toward the car.
They didn't know about the science of surrogacy back then - but then, they didn't know about cesarean delivery either.
Why don't they inherit?
It was a good thing they didn't change after church, because everyone at the table was dressed as if going to church.
"They're not identical twins," he answered.
Possibly. Possibly they won't even be the same sex.
Carmen glanced at Señor Medena, who was beaming as if they were his children... or as if they were his biological grandchildren.
These babies might not be in her womb, but they did belong to Alex.
What had they done?
It no longer mattered how they were conceived, carried or delivered.
They were expecting - as surely as if they were in her womb.
They loved one child as much as the other, but one child could never take the place of another.
Mom used to say that people suspected in others what they had experienced or what they would do in the other person's shoes.
After supper they all gathered in the room with the tree.
Blindfolded, they knocked it around for a while until it broke, spilling candy all over the floor.
Jonathan and Alfonso were playing with the sticks as if they were swords.
Hadn't they covered this the night they showed him the picture?
After breakfast, they all retired to the entry room and gathered around the tree to open presents.
We accept that they don't, but we still want to feel welcome.
When they arrived downstairs, everyone was waiting.
Hopefully he would be in a better mood after they got back home.
Again it struck her how much they were alike.
Maybe because it had the same theme of wrought iron and ivory as the hacienda - and maybe they had been visiting too long.
Your new couple can always change that part if they want to.
The driver was standing by the car smoking a cigarette as they emerged from the house.
It was a good thing they were going home tomorrow.
She was the one who had insisted on waiting until they were married.
By the time they reached the barn, she had a different perspective of the entire situation.
That would change when they got home.
She found Felipa and Destiny in the dining room where they were having an ice cream snack.
They talked for a few minutes and then Carmen left to take Destiny to their room.
They were at it again - or at least Dulce was.
Was that what they had been arguing about?
They couldn't leave here soon enough as far as she was concerned.
Right now she'd like to kiss those smooth lips - and she might if she didn't know where they'd been last.
When they left, it sucked the life from the room.
Alex had trust issues, and they were there before she married him.
The problem was how they were both reacting to the situation.
If his family wanted him to come back, they would have to get rid of his current responsibilities.
If they were truly soul mates, she should be in his corner all the way.
They all said goodnight and then headed upstairs.
Had they made a mistake?
Even if they could change things, she didn't want to.
Later as she lay awake beside him, listening to the sound of his breathing, it occurred to her that they had fallen into the pattern of making up by making love.
They hadn't actually settled anything, and yet they were no longer quarreling.
Maybe they were both a little wrong... and a little right.
They would be there tomorrow night, so there was no point in making the remaining vacation time unpleasant.
She grinned up at Alex as they left the room to go downstairs for breakfast.
They probably had a lot to discuss and most likely were not alone.
Had they all been arguing?
They could discuss it privately when they got home.
Let him wonder what she would do when they got home.
Hopefully they would come visit sometime.
The next thing she knew, Alex was shaking her awake and telling her they were changing planes.
After what seemed like a short wait, they boarded another plane.
She fell asleep again and didn't wake until they reached NXA in Arkansas.
She was faintly aware when they reached home and Alex carried her to their bed.
They were home and together.
They were home but still playing love tag at night.
Why hadn't they tried it before?
His words were comforting, even if they didn't resolve her concerns.
They were home now - everything was going to be better.
The fact that they were expecting two babies instead of one made it more of a challenge.
And if so, would they be able to fit three people comfortably in the front seat?
Could they afford to buy a van?
Would she ever reach the point that she felt comfortable about spending the money he had earned before they met?
His excuse for going to Columbia had been that they needed money.
If they hadn't been fighting, he might have been there when she started hemorrhaging.
When they got married, there were no children to consider - not even the likelihood.
Actually, what I said was that no one got to the point that they couldn't use more money.
Surely they had other people who spoke Spanish - people familiar with the customer.
The files had been there all along and he had given her passwords and permission to look at them since they were first married.
He didn't want anything to do with them, so they didn't exist.
Considering the problems they presented, she could hardly blame him for that.
Had they argued that much at his father's house?
There was no immediate need for a van and if they did need one, they... he, obviously had the money.
One way to do that is to make sure they don't have all the facts.
They wanted Dad to annul the marriage - even cut off any money for Mom.
He said they called him a bad name.
As for buying a child - was it so different from what they were doing?
She said they were both supportive of her when Alex was born.
Maybe they had inherited or learned it from their mother, not his father.
They don't sound at all alike to me.
I guess that's what they mean by cutting off your nose to spite your face.
They weren't exactly best of friends.
If he decided to go back to Texas, they would all go together.
Their issues faded into the background as they began preparing the house for the new babies.
They had nearly completed the room when Destiny got sick.
She looked at them as though they had betrayed her.
Maybe they had, but what choice did they have?
By the time they finished erecting the oxygen tent over her bed, she had finally settled down.
It was nearly midnight by the time they left.
They both couldn't be there all the time.
They ate and then she put the remaining food in the refrigerator for Alex.
Alex looked up and smiled when they walked into the room.
Alex stood and squeezed his shoulder as they turned toward the door.
After they left, Carmen sank into the chair and picked up a horse magazine.
She'd buy the pizza and have it delivered if they would bring her some.
Was God punishing Destiny because they had been greedy?
They went through their evening routine and then left for the hospital.
When they arrived at the hospital, Alex was pacing.
They have her in pull-ups now and she's not happy about that.
The snow started shortly after they left and the wind blew it horizontal.
They can't keep her temperature down.
A few minutes later they came in and got Destiny to take her for more x-rays.
Yet when they brought her back, she was asleep.
The other lung was infected and they had switched to yet another antibiotic.
She was getting a little dehydrated, so they were speeding up the IV.
The medication they were giving her to clear up the congestion in her lungs was making her sleep a lot, but they thought that was better than having her upset all the time.
Hands clasped, she prayed fervently, asking God not to let Destiny suffer for what they had done.
They did another x-ray this morning and the infection has spread to the other lung.
They changed the antibiotic again.
They said she'd be sleepy because of the medicine, so I'll try to sleep while she is asleep.
I heard they had the airport cleared for flights now that it's stopped snowing.
Destiny probably wouldn't wake before they returned, and even if she did, Señor Medena would keep her occupied.
As soon as they were settled at a table, Felipa lay out her plan.
He said Destiny's fever had broken and if she continued to improve, they would take the tent off her bed in a few days.
They moved Alex's office upstairs and began work on the nursery.
Whatever the case, they were getting closer to their goal.
The babies were healthy and by mid-August, they would have two new family members.
On the 28th of February they celebrated her thirtieth birthday.
They stood there for a moment, watching their image in the mirror.
Carmen watched with Destiny while they waited anxiously for Alex.
They can be downright cantankerous.
They were sitting beside each other, reading when she began the inquest.
Hadn't they talked enough?
She helped Destiny into a frilly white dress with yellow trim and they both finished up with white sandals.
With everything ready, they sat on the window seat and watched for Alex.
When they spotted his truck, Destiny squealed.
Together they went to the kitchen and began putting the food in serving bowls.
When Alex walked through the door, they were standing by the table, waiting on him.
She melted into his arms, eagerly returning his warm kisses and welcoming the feel of his fingers as they searched for the zipper on the back of her dress.
They moved around the room; her head on his shoulder, her hand in his.
It was the first time they made love any place outside their bedroom, and it was way beyond exciting.
It was as if they had started a fresh relationship.
Neither did she, but she wasn't claiming that they were hers, either.
They had been married almost five years, so... that meant the baby was conceived long before they met - about the time he and Tessa were going to get married.
They were making progress, though.
All this happened before they were married - before they met.
Surely he knew she wouldn't leave him over something that happened before they met.
At least now they could face this thing together.
If they presented a united front, Tessa might back up.
Now they could discuss things instead of avoiding sensitive subjects - build on their relationship instead of tearing it down with the same demolition ball.
Within a week, they were back at the hacienda.
She greeted them with a big smile, hugging each of them as if they were old friends she hadn't seen in a decade.
Alex was sitting in their room the last night they were at the hacienda.
They admire you for what you have accomplished.
Like two bull Elk, they were each so focused on pushing the other back that they had forgotten anyone else existed.
Maybe they would both think about it before they jumped at each other next time - especially in front of the children.
They had already made arrangements for Katie and Bill to watch Jonathan and Destiny while they went to pick up the babies.
The trip to the airport and the flight to Illinois were both uneventful, the hotel accommodations better than they could have expected on such short notice.
By the time they arrived at the hospital, the twins were being placed in incubators.
They needed to gain a little weight before they would be released from the hospital, though.
Later they were taken to a room where they were introduced to their newest family members.
It won't make any difference to you whether they are adopted or biological - not in how much you love them or how you treat them.
Maybe it was the emotional high they were feeling because of the babies, but something seemed to have shifted their foundation.
No one knew what the future held, but if they faced everything together, surely they would grow together.
They were chatting together as if they had known each other all their lives.
He moved on before they were aware of his presence.
Sure, they needed to clear the air about the inheritance issue, but that wasn't enough for Carmen.
They sipped their coffee in silence for a few minutes and then Señor Medena spoke.
They would like to have such a life.
If she had stayed with her husband and they had more children, would he have felt financially responsible for the others as well?
They do not want the hacienda.
They want what you give Carmen.
If they wanted what he and Carmen had, why didn't they go out and find it?
They could do nothing for the occupants.
Do they have relatives close?
According to Lisa, they were the closest thing to a family that she had other than her parents and siblings.
A person could change a lot in a few years, especially when they were that young.
His bright smile with the two missing front teeth faded as he realized they were leaving without her.
It was a moment that lay in her stomach like a week-long hunger, regardless of the fact that they had been gone only minutes.
Maybe friends didn't let friends drive drunk, but how did they stop them when there were so many?
They would all get together and wash her old car, winding up in a gleeful water fight.
They knew about the break up and maybe they thought she knew about the drugs.
Maybe they thought she never knew.
So they did suspect her.
For a moment they stared at each other.
So they were going to question her.
The blue skirt and sweater were a little dressy for jail, but they'd no doubt give her some fashionable stripes to wear anyway.
They wouldn't all be there unless something terrible had happened.
Everyone was staring at her as if they expected her to faint or something.
They should be home any minute.
They didn't make it to the restaurant.
I guess it was storming so bad that they didn't see or hear the train.
She could drive, if someone would simply tell her where they were.
Her groggy mind wondered why they were there and why she was in the hospital – and then she fell asleep again.
Nick was trying to wake her up so they could go to the mall.
Do you know what they would want?
Anything else they said faded down the hall after them.
They were a family who knew all they had was each other.
It was something they had learned to accept.
They all leaned on each other in hard times.
Together they led her away.
They watched her with matching troubled expressions, asking the same questions and getting the same answer.
They hadn't seen her in church for a while and they were worried about her.
The antidepressants didn't help that much, but maybe they were responsible for the fact that she had not lost control yet.
They both care a lot.
Do you think everything they have done has been with the single ambition of getting third-party information out of you?
It was a selfish thought, showing no appreciation for everything they had done.
But they had been inconvenienced enough with all her problems.
It wasn't as if they could do anything anyway.
She was on the washboard ruts before she realized they were there.
Acquaintances were shallow and many, but if a person had one true friend in a lifetime, they were blessed.
I remembered how isolated these roads were, but I forgot how dangerous they were.
Go up the hill and watch for cars so you can warn anyone before they get to the curve.
It would be dark by the time they got the car off the edge of the cliff.
Her knees were trembling as if they were going to give way at any moment, and her face felt devoid of blood.
It's a long way to drive from Fayetteville, and then they'd have to bring you back in the morning.
But I'm sure they were on another street.
It was something her parents never understood... which was probably why they moved to Fayetteville.
Being close enough so that she could attend college while living at home had been their rationalization, but she suspected they were also trying to stimulate her social life.
They left the main road on a narrow trail consisting of two ruts.
A little further ahead, they glimpsed a white flash of tail as a deer bounded crossed the trail no more than fifty feet ahead of them.
By the time they reached the spot, the deer had vanished in the trees.
She glanced around for some kind of weapon as they walked, and soon came up with a walking stick.
"There's enough rock here to build a housing development," she commented as they worked their way across a jumble of flat red rocks.
When they stopped beside a wide shallow creek, he crouched with his back to her.
Where were they, anyway?
They finally reached the creek, where Giddon stopped long enough to scoop her into his arms.
By the time they reached the house, she was shivering and stiff.
They wouldn't arrive until after 6:00 at the earliest.
They're lying on your bed.
After they finished eating, Giddon rose from his chair.
When they reached the house, she invited him in for a cup of coffee.
How many people knew anything about their boss before they were hired?
The minute they entered the room Connie shut the door and turned to her with wide eyes.
They have a phone.
She stared out the windows at the telephone poles as they approached and sped off in a blur.
With every second, they were getting farther from the safety of civilization.
If Giddon had any such plans, he would soon find they were futile.
Connie immediately assured her that the Giddon's wouldn't be shelling out the money if they didn't think she was earning it.
Three weeks after she began working for the Giddons, they had the pool filled.
They usually spent the morning hours in the garden and the afternoon at the pool.
When they reached door he paused, gazing down at her with an unreadable expression.