To Thine Own Self (Chapter Eight, page 1 of 12)

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Carmen sat on the edge of the bed as she pulled her boots on. Having Felipa at the house allowed her to spend more time with the children. Felipa entertained the guests in the morning and Carmen joined them after lunch. Apparently the arrangement pleased Destiny because she stopped crying when Carmen left her. On the other hand, maybe it was simply the arrival of Felipa that made her happier. Felipa couldn't stay forever, though. Maybe a different sitter? Some personalities simply didn't work together.

Carmen sighed. Eventually she would have to hire someone to help with the tours - assuming they became more frequent. That would necessitate raising the cost of the tours for guests. Still, this was supposed to be a business, not a hobby. They were making money on it, but there was so much debt to begin with. Alex said not to worry about it, but that hardly seemed like a good business attitude.

She yanked her other boot on. Jenny had arrived earlier and the three youngest children were napping. Jonathan was gone again to band practice. It seemed that they rarely saw him anymore and those boys weren't the best influence. Was she being overprotective?

Pushing the thought from her mind, she headed down to the barn. She was looking forward to an afternoon of riding with Felipa and the others. She found them all at the barn. Aaron was saddling a horse for Felipa, his saddled and standing to one side. Rob and Gerald were standing beside their saddled mounts, looking proud. No doubt they had saddled their own as well. For a moment the idea that the guests had to saddle their own horses troubled her, but on the other hand, maybe it was a good thing. They had learned a lot since they came, and they were obviously proud of it. Was she overprotective of everyone?

Carmen saddled Princess and they all left the corral. A half-hour later, at the creek, Gerald decided he wanted to walk a while. Carmen decided to stay with him while Felipa took Aaron and Rob up the trail. They were supposed to meet at the spring. That was the plan.

As the trio disappeared into the forest, Carmen spoke to Gerald.

"I think Felipa and Aaron are getting along well."

Gerald glanced after them and nodded. "Rob appears to be struck with her."

Carmen glanced at him. "She's a very special person."

He nodded again, glancing down at Carmen, his expression solemn.

"So are you."

She grinned. "Would you put that in writing?"

He chuckled. "I don't think that's necessary - especially not for Alex."

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