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"What is?" asked Adam.

"You are," she replied, a little angrily. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I was getting around to it," said Adam.

"When?" asked Charlie. "On our twentieth anniversary?!"

"What's the matter?" he asked. "You sound like you're mad at me."

Tears came to Charlie's eyes.

"I'm having a really hard night," she said, wiping the wet from her cheeks. "Sometimes, you're bigger than life, Adam. Just when I think I know you, you surprise me. What else are you keeping from me?"

"What do you mean by that?" asked Adam, stiffening. "I was only trying to protect you."

"Why?" asked Charlie. "Didn't you think I could handle it-- the threats and the money?"

"You're so young, Charlie-girl," reasoned Adam, "that I though it best to handle certain things for you."

"If you don't consider me as your equal, then why are we getting married?" asked Charlie, getting up from the couch.

Adam grabbed her gently by the arm before she could walk away.

"I'm sorry," he apologized. "It's just that I'm so much older than you, Charlie. Sometimes it's hard not to 'father' over you. You're right, we've got to make decisions together. I love you, and I wouldn't hurt you for the world."

"I know... I love you, too," whispered Charlie, hugging Adam, for he was becoming afraid that she was about to call off the engagement.

"It's nearly five o' clock," said Adam, "why don't you and your family spend the rest of the day with me at my house? By tonight, I'll have someone here to act as a bodyguard-- if that's all right with you," he quickly added, not intending to make the decision without her agreement.

"If you're really as wealthy as all that, then I suppose it's a good idea," conceded Charlie.

"Safety may be of the Lord," said Adam, "but the Bible also says that the Father worketh hitherto and we work. We can't expect God to do His part if we're not willing to do ours."

As Adam led the Overholts outside to drive them to his house, three reporters descended on them seemingly from out of nowhere. Someone snapped their picture and the questions started flying.

"Wallace, what happened? Was anything stolen? Did you know the intruder? Was the intruder a lover of Charlotte's? Will you forgive her?"

Adam did his best to answer them civilly, but his patience was being sorely tested. He fought the impulse to quickly shuttle his future family away, as though they were fleeing. If Adam had learned one thing from Melvin, it was to always appear to be in control-- for nothing excited tabloids more than someone who could not control themselves in public.

Then one reporter spotted the engagement ring. They surrounded Charlie, taking pictures and asking questions, almost simultaneously, as to its worth, carats, etc. Seeing that she was fast becoming overwhelmed, Adam broke through the huddle and led her to the van.

"Please, she's had a rough night, guys," requested Adam.

"Will you give us an interview, later?" asked one reporter.

"Sure," smiled Adam, politely.

"This afternoon?" pressed another.

"If I can get my publicist down here that fast," smiled Adam, getting into the van.
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