...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
"Thank you for your understanding," said Adam. "One more thing-- does Jerome know the results?"

"I couldn't say," replied Peter. "I'd assume he would, but I really don't know."

Adam went out to his car, and sat dumbly in front of the wheel before breaking down into tears.

"My poor Charlie-girl!" he wept.

As much as he mourned for the future that he knew she would suffer, the thought of her choosing to endure it alone, grieved his very soul. It was a full hour before Adam could regain enough composure to make the drive back to Twin Yucca.

Several hours later, Adam pulled up outside of Mullen-Overholt. He shut off the engine and sat there, deep in thought. A lone tumbleweed blew across the street and hugged one of Adam's car tires, before tumbling off wherever the wind would carry it. Just then, Adam's eye caught sight of Jerome's car pulling up. Adam opened his car door and followed Jerome into the facility.

When Jerome saw Adam's face, he smiled grimly.

"You wish it were me, instead of her, don't you?" he sneered. "Someday, she'll be in a place like this-- who knows? It might be this very one. She could have a bed next to her father's!"

Adam lunged at Jerome, pinning his back to the wall.

"You knew she was positive, didn't you?" he demanded.

"I told Charlie that I would help set up the test, if she promised not to tell me the results," answered Jerome.

Adam let go of Jerome's shirt and stepped back.

"By the way she took the news, I only concluded the obvious," Jerome added, straightening his collar.

"How could you let her go through that, alone?" asked Adam, in bewilderment. "She's all by herself! How could you do that to her?!"

"I'll let you in on something," confided Jerome. "It may surprise you to hear this, but every time one of my residents dies, a little of myself dies with them. Perhaps I have no soul left to feel what you ask. I don't know. But, I used to know. I used to be the best in the business. Do you know why? Because I cared! Me! Jerome Overholt! You ask how I could let Charlie go though this alone. Ask me how it feels to see your family succumb to this silent monster, one at a time. I'll tell you one more thing, Adam. I thought I was going to be next. Sometimes, that thought has been the only way this job seemed bearable. As horrible a death as Alzheimer's is, it has to be better than the death I'm living, right now."

Adam stared at his former chess partner. Without a word, he turned to leave.

"You're going to her, aren't you?" said Jerome.

"I've loved her, like I've never loved any other woman," replied Adam.

Then Adam left Mullen-Overholt, silently vowing to never let his beloved go to such a man as Jerome Overholt, pitiable creature though he was.

When Adam reached home, he found Vera waiting for him on the doorstep. Miraculously, there were no fans to hound them-- a fact for which Adam was truly grateful.

"You saw her?" asked Vera, as Adam unlocked his front door and they stepped inside.

"I saw her," he replied, tossing the keys onto the coffee table. "Vera, I found out what happened to Charlie."

He looked at her solemnly.

"Tell me, Adam," urged Vera.

"I saw Peter Webber, this afternoon," he began.

Vera didn't need to hear anymore. She sank down on the couch and buried her face in her hands. Vera was very familiar with the name, for he had been the one who tested Arnold and Chuck, and had been after Jerome to be tested, for many years.

"Not Charlie!" wept Vera, her aged frame shuddering with grief. "I'm too old, Adam! I've lived too long! First my husband, then my son, and now my only grandchild! How can God ask so much of me?"

"I can only say," replied Adam, numb with grief, "'the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.'"

Adam sat down on the couch and held Vera.

"We won't fail her, will we-- you and I?" he asked. "I'm going to fly to Montana, this evening. Do you want to come?"

After Vera left Chuck with Evelyn at Mullen-Overholt, she boarded Adam's private jet. On the flight back to Montana, Adam planned what he would say to Charlie. He held Charlie's satellite phone tightly, for she had left it behind in Twin Yucca. Adam planned to return it to her, as soon as he could.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the other satellite phone rang.

"Mr. Clark," said Kevin, his voice sounding an alarm in Adam's soul, "Charlie's gone!"

"And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her."
~ Genesis 29:20 ~

Love "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:7 ~

end of chapter
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!