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On the trip back, a thought had occurred to Charlie, that she hadn't had before. All the time she had spent in Montana had made her realize just how much the Mojave had become her home. Charlie had come to love the desert, and realized that she hated the idea of living elsewhere. Even though she and Adam had decided it was best to move from Twin Yucca, she wondered if they had to leave the desert, entirely. With this new thought in mind, Charlie grabbed her satellite phone and called Adam. After several rings, someone answered.

"Charlie, this is Bill," said the manager. "I'm afraid Adam can't talk to you right now. He's working on his composition, and isn't speaking to anyone."

"Is that Charlie?" asked a voice in the background. "Charlie?" said Adam, after Bill had handed the phone to him. "Is everything all right? Did you get home safely?"

"We had a little trouble with fans," answered Charlie, "so we checked into a motel in Palm Springs until things die down a little. I called because I wanted to know if it would be all right with you if we stayed in the Mojave."

"Isn't Palm Springs in the desert?" asked Adam, misunderstanding her, for his attention was wandering back to his music.

"I meant," reworded Charlie, "is it all right if we made our home in the Mojave? Constance gave me a list of available homes, and I want to check them out."

"If that's what you want," replied Adam, "then do it. I really have to go, Charlie."

"Okay, thanks!" said Charlie, hurrying off the phone.

She glanced down at the list.

"Grandma?" she asked, as the old woman rummaged through Charlie's suitcase for dirty laundry that needed to be taken to the laundromat. "Would it be all right if we went house hunting, this afternoon?"

"Are you sure your ankle is up to it?" wondered Vera, a little concerned. "I think it's best if you got some rest."

"The wedding is next month," reasoned Charlie, "and Adam and I still don't have anywhere to go when we get back from the honeymoon! We can't stay in his house, or ours, because of the crowds it could generate. I need to find somewhere we can live without having to struggle with the media or fans, all the time! Please, Grandma?"

"Very well," sighed Vera, "but I don't want you to hurt yourself. If that ankle starts to throb, we come straight back!"

"Shirley gave me a list from Constance," related Charlie, showing her the paper.

"I'll call Constance," said Vera, "and see if it's possible for her to show us these houses."

Charlie grimaced a little. While she didn't want to go out of her way to be around Adam's old girlfriend, she had to admit that real estate WAS Constance's expertise. Unless she wanted to purposefully go to another real estate agent, there wasn't much choice.

"Yes," said Vera on the phone with Constance, "that would be fine. We'll see you in a half hour, then."

True to her word, Constance arrived a half hour later. She seemed surprised that Charlie was actually going to let her show prospective homes.

"You understand of course," explained Constance, "it won't be possible to go inside the houses, unless I can get the owner's okay, first. There are no open houses right now, so access will be limited."

"I understand," said Charlie, getting onto her crutches, as she, Constance, Vera, and Kevin went out to Constance's car.

Vera and Kevin sat in the back seat, while Constance and Charlie sat up front.

"Well," said Constance, "what home do you want to see first?"

Starting from the top of the list, Charlie made two or three suggestions. After the first few houses, she noticed a troubling trend: they were all in or near neighborhoods, making them equally susceptible to the same problems that they were having in Twin Yucca. Charlie didn't have to go inside to know that these homes wouldn't work. She scanned down the list, running her finger to the bottom of the page.

"What about this one?" she asked. "Villa Rosa?"
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