To Thine Own Self (Chapter Seven, page 1 of 5)

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Alex continued to be troubled by something. It was in the way he stood, gazing absently out the window for long periods of time. If Gerald was his problem, he gave no indication when they were together. Gerald obviously admired Alex, and Alex talked to him in a way she had only heard him talk to Bill. There wasn't anything in particular that she could say was different. It was an overall combination of respect and interest.

Trying to balance her time between the children, Alex and her guests proved more difficult than she imagined. It certainly helped to have Jenny watch the children, but even that created a problem. Destiny cried every time Carmen left. When Carmen or Alex dropped by unexpectedly, she was happy - until she saw them. Alex reasoned that she simply didn't want to be left behind. That might be so, but it was still worrisome. If Destiny had been a few years older, she could have gone with them. Jonathan had his own agenda. His friends had always been older, probably because he was so mature for his age. There were five boys in their band - two of them a rebellious age of fifteen. They had badgered the parents of their thirteen year old member into getting him a cell phone and then had started on Carmen. Alex had walked in on them when they were trying to pressure Carmen and put a sudden and decisive end to the argument. Later Carmen and Alex had explained to Jonathan that he was too young for the responsibility of a cell phone. That didn't set well with him, but he accepted it with reservation. He intended to prove he was responsible. Hopefully that would convert to chores done on time without prompting.

The safari tours were going well. So far, on their daily rides, they had managed to see at least one of every species - even a mountain goat. Rains had been cooperative, only coming in the night, and gentle at that. The mornings while they rode were mild. It couldn't have been better, but entertaining three men on a daily basis was a mental workout.

Maybe that was why Alex considered Felipa's request. One evening after the children were all in bed, Carmen climbed the stairs to see if Alex was done with his work yet.

He glanced up from his computer when she came into his office.

"Felipa just called." He said. "She wanted to know if you could use some help."

Carmen hesitated. "Does she want to visit us?"

He nodded. "That was the general idea."

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