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"Hurry up," coaxed Vera, as Charlie handed Maggie the small wedding bouquet. "Everyone is waiting for us in the living room!"

Maggie sighed deeply and looked at Charlie excitedly.

"You've been a very good friend to me," said Maggie, taking Charlie's hand, gratefully. "God blessed us, the day you came to live in Twin Yucca."

"I wish you all the happiness in the world, Maggie," said Charlie, giving her good friend a hug.

"Okay, I'm ready," said the bride, after both women had dried their eyes.

Vera led the way as the three women entered the living room. Since it was such a small ceremony, there was no wedding march, or elaborate wedding dress. The absence of such traditions, however, had not dampened the mood of the gathering. Jeff gulped as Maggie took her place beside him in front of the minister. Charlie was the maid of honor, while Martin Thompson was Jeff's best man.

As the minister began the ceremony, Charlie thought of all that had transpired in the fourteen months that she had been in Twin Yucca: the look of relief on Chuck's face when he saw his baby girl was safe and in one piece, after she had run away from her aunt in North Carolina; and the arguments over her attending a Christian school, along with Chuck's concern that she was yet unsaved. Charlie could still feel the desert air that night on the floor of the Mojave desert as she accepted Christ as her Saviour, and the quiet, ever growing attraction she had had to one person-- Adam. How Adam had been surprised when she pulled out Wallace Shipley's photo on her sixteenth birthday, unwittingly revealing his secret identity! The memory of it almost made Charlie laugh out loud, but she checked herself. Now Jeff and Maggie were exchanging vows. The young woman glanced at Adam, and found that he had been watching her.

"When did this wonderful thing happen to you and I?" wondered Charlie to herself.

She could not point to one place or event in the past and say, "There is when my love first began." Love had tiptoed on the heels of long quiet talks, time spent together in the garden, and their ever-present friendship. Then another thought occurred to her-- one that was unpleasant. She did not have long to contemplate it, however, for this silent reverie was suddenly interrupted by,

"I now pronounce you man and wife. Jeff, you may kiss your bride!"

Everyone clapped and Maggie blushed as Jeff kissed her lips.

"Charlie, you had better put the food out," advised Vera, after everyone had congratulated the new couple.

When Charlie went to the kitchen, she found Adam had followed her.

"I have to leave Saturday afternoon," he said, taking the casserole dish from her hands and setting it onto the kitchen table.

"That goes in the living room on the dining table," answered Charlie, trying to avoid the subject.

"I'd postpone the departure, if I could," Adam continued, in a sympathetic voice.

"The ribbon-salad didn't set," muttered Charlie, "but it will have to do. This wedding was on such short notice. I didn't have much time."

"I'm probably not going to be able to get away from the tour in quite a while," he added. "I won't be here for Christmas, either."

"Must we continue this conversation?" asked Charlie, with a painful sigh. "We can face tomorrow, when it comes."

"I know what you were thinking of during the ceremony," announced Adam, standing between her and the open refrigerator.

"You're getting in my way," pointed out Charlie.

Adam leaned over Charlie and whispered in her ear,

"I'm coming back in the summer, and when I do, I'm not going to leave here without you. Hold on, Charlie-girl. Our time will come."

Then Adam walked over to the kitchen table and picked up the casserole dish.

"You said this goes in the dining room?" he asked.

Charlie nodded, "yes," and gave him a loving smile. She couldn't help wondering how he had guessed what she was thinking.
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