Once Bitten, Twice Shy (Chapter Two, page 1 of 9)

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When she left the dairy on her way to the house, Carmen was further convinced of Alex's love of fine things. Parked beside her truck was a sporty looking rental car. If he found it embarrassing to ride in her truck, what would he think of the little room upstairs?

She sighed. At least the room was clean. She glanced down at her clothes. More than she could say for herself at the moment. Warmth crawled up her neck at the thought of the impression she must have given Alex. He probably thought she was a hick.

Fortunately, Alex was nowhere in sight when she entered the house. She cleaned up as much as possible without changing clothes. In less than an hour she would be out in the barn again. Combing her hair, she was thankful for the natural curls that softly framed her face. Leaning forward, she examined a suspicious looking line at the side of her eye. A wrinkle? She wiped it away and breathed a sigh of relief. Only an eyelash, this time. Tossing the brush on the dresser, she turned away from the mirror. There was no sense in fretting over it. There was only one way to keep from getting old, and life in an old withered body still sounded better than the alternative.

Katie was alone in the kitchen when Carmen entered. She turned excitedly.

"Well, what did you think?"

"About what?"

Katie rolled her eyes. "Alex, of course."

Carmen shrugged. "He seems like a nice guy."

"That's all?" Katie frowned. "I thought I was picking up on some major vibes out there."

Carmen dropped into a chair at the table. "You were picking up on my surprise. I wasn't expecting someone so elegant."

"Elegant?" Katie practically spit the word out. "He just came from the office. What did you expect, overalls? I thought he looked nice."

"Sure, but I don't think the goats were impressed - by him or his fancy rental car. I guess he couldn't picture himself in my old jalopy. And by the way, where did he see a picture of me?"

Katie's expression and tone were caustic. "He got the car because he wanted to do a little sightseeing while he was here. He didn't want you to feel obligated to drive him around."

Carmen eyed her suspiciously. "And the picture?"

Katie busied herself setting the table. "I sent him a picture of you."

Carmen eyed her back suspiciously. "What Picture?"

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