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"Come on, let's leave them alone," urged Thomas, dragging his family away. "We'll take your luggage home for you, Adam."

"Thanks, Thomas," said Adam, placing his suitcases into the trunk of Thomas's car.

As he did this, Shirley stepped forward and whispered to her brother,

"I AM trying!"

"Try harder!" he pleaded, in a low voice so Charlie couldn't overhear. "She doesn't deserve this kind of treatment."

"You should be spending your time with family," argued Shirley, her voice rising.

"I don't want her to hear you," begged Adam, trying to hush his sister. "I'm here for only the remainder of the week, and I want to spend as much of it as I can with my Charlie-girl. She is family-- or at least, she soon will be! The sooner you can accept that, the easier it will be on all of us!"

Charlie couldn't hear what was going on between Adam and Shirley, but she could easily guess what they were disagreeing about. He exchanged a few more words with her, and then walked away from the car, to where Charlie was waiting for him.

Seeing that the Garners were leaving, Maggie was also about to return home, when Charlie pulled her back.

"Stay with us, Maggie?" she asked. "Adam and I can't afford to be alone together-- at least not until we're married."

Happy that she was wanted, Maggie walked alongside Charlie and Adam as they slowly made their way back to the Overholt house for breakfast. There wasn't any reason to hurry. The streets were practically empty, and there was not a single reporter to be seen.

"I miss Twin Yucca," sighed Adam, breathing in the fresh night desert air, "that, among other things," he added, smiling at Charlie.

"I'm surprised you were able to get away from the tour," observed Charlie, "especially during the Thanksgiving season."

"Well," explained Adam, "since I'm going to have to spend Christmas away from home, I thought at least I could have Thanksgiving."

It wasn't a surprise to Charlie that Adam would have to be on tour during Christmas, but the thought of him not being here at that special time of year, made her want to cry. Sensing what she was feeling, Adam tried to comfort her.

"Hang in there, Charlie-girl," he encouraged her. "Next summer, the tour will be over, and we can get married!"

"Just think!" imagined Charlie, dreamily.

"We saw you on TV!" piped up Maggie, who could hardly wait to see what the engagement ring would look like.

"You did, eh?" Adam smiled playfully at Charlie.

"Maggie! I thought we weren't going to mention it," Charlie reminded her friend.

"OOPS! I forgot!" exclaimed Maggie, putting a hand over her mouth.

"Look, the sun is starting to come up," remarked Adam, diverting the conversation. "The weather here sure beats the rest of the country! In some places, there's already several feet of snow!"

"You don't say," said Charlie, trying hard to keep a straight face.

"Yes, I do say," replied Adam very seriously, not even cracking a smile.

"Oh! What am I going to do with you?" Charlie crumbled, breaking down into laughter.

"You'll have the rest of your life to find out," grinned Adam, refraining from talking about the "it" the girls had referred to.
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