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"That's very thoughtful of you," replied Charlie, shaking her hand, "but Adam and I think it's best if we don't remain in Twin Yucca."

Constance flinched a little when she heard the words, "Adam and I" come from Charlie's lips. She stared at the teenager for a moment, and then resumed her sales pitch.

"I hope I can persuade you otherwise," said Constance, pulling out a glossy folder from her briefcase. "This area of Southern California is rapidly growing, and it's only going to be a matter of time before people commuting from Los Angeles are going to discover our low land prices. Let me show you..."

Here Constance proceeded to show Charlie a series of homes near or around Twin Yucca. Charlie smiled and politely listened. It was clear to her that Constance did not want to be here. She was only here because Shirley was a good friend, and Shirley wanted them to stay in the area. By the time the sales pitch was over, Charlie had promised to look over the brochures Constance had given her.

"Well," said Constance, getting up to leave, "I've taken up enough of your time. May I ask..." the woman hesitated. "I know it's probably none of my business, for what's done is done. But, did you know that Adam was Wallace Shipley, when you first came to Twin Yucca?"

"No, I didn't," answered the teenager, surprised by the question. "I was as shocked as everyone else."

"It's really astounding," said Constance, "I've known him for nearly nine years, and I never even had the vaguest hint of his other identity. But then, Adam is full of surprises. After all, I always thought I was his type."

Charlie didn't know what to say, or how to answer. Constance, however, wasn't expecting a response. Without another word, she left the Overholt house. When the front door shut, Charlie breathed a sigh of relief-- the meeting with Constance was over.

The days that followed were a like a dream for the teenage girl. The long anticipated Christmas special finally aired on public television, causing more than a little commotion in the small community. Charlie couldn't look out the window without exciting fans outside the house. She had recorded the special on tape, only to get a DVD version in the mail from Adam, along with a note saying that he loved her.

His tour had intensified in appearances and concerts, so that he found little time to talk to Charlie on the satellite phone. Oftentimes, when she called, he wasn't able to answer. Charlie lost count of how many times Adam had apologized, but she always insisted that she understood.

Christmas came and went and Adam and Charlie were talking even less to each other than before. It's wasn't intentional, but their schedules and responsibilities were giving them little time to be together. January passed, and then March. Wedding plans were at fever pitch, while Shirley frequented the Overholt house daily with fabric samples, flower arrangement ideas, and a multitude of other details that any wedding coordinator would have been more than happy to handle for her.

April began pretty much as had the months before, with much planning and preparation. On the twenty-third, Charlie would turn seventeen-- an event which she looked forward to with great anticipation. Little did she know, however, that this month would change her life in more ways than one.

"Hurry, up, Grandma!" urged Charlie, as she waited for Vera to put on her coat. "Maggie and Jeff are expecting us!"

Kevin was waiting by the front door, ready to hurry Charlie off to a car outside. The bodyguard had opted for two vehicles instead of just one: a sport utility vehicle that was parked out of public sight for the purpose of traveling long distances without being recognized, and a car, to shuttle her about Twin Yucca.

"I'm coming," replied Vera. "Didn't Maggie give you even a tiny hint as to what the big announcement is?"

"Her lips were sealed!" laughed Charlie. "I think it has something to do with Jeff being promoted, though," she guessed. "I just hope they don't move-- at least, not before we do!"

At last, Vera was ready, and the front door opened. Kevin got the women safely to the car, while tourists and fans eagerly took pictures of the little maneuver.

Since Twin Yucca was a small place, they quickly arrived at their destination. Jeff hurried the women inside the Erickson house, where Maggie happily received them.

"Charlie," she smiled excitedly, "I'm so glad you're here!"
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