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"Uncle Rick understands that he won't be able to tell anyone who's hiding out in his guesthouse," assured Bill. "Since I'm your manager, he was one of the few people who knew Adam Clark was Wallace Shipley-- even before you went public. You can trust him. I always have."

"All right, if you say so," shrugged the musician.

"By the way," added Bill, "I'm sorry Dad couldn't make it for the wedding. You know how he hates to fly."

"I remember," smiled Adam.

(Bill's father, Ronald Paulson, was the college music teacher who first "discovered" Adam's talent for music.)

"Now that that's settled," said Melvin, "our next problem is how to get you and Charlie out of the hotel without being followed."

"It's not going to be easy," warned Gary. "The parking lot outside is packed with fans, and they're expecting you two to leave for your honeymoon, so they're waiting for you to exit the hotel."

"Our plans is this..." began Bill, his voice quieting to a whisper so no one in the hall could overhear.

Back in her room, Charlie was able to get a little rest. Soon Vera stood hovering over her, changing her into traveling clothes.

"What are you doing?" asked Charlie, with a cough.

"I'm getting you ready to leave," explained the old woman. "Adam is going to take you somewhere safe, so you can get better."

"I won't go," said the teenager, resisting Vera's effort to pass her head through the neck of the blouse. "I want to go home with you!"

"Adam is going to take good care of you, Pumpkin," replied Vera. "If I went also, it would make it harder for you both to get out of here without being recognized. Now, hold still, so I can finish dressing you."

Charlie was too weak to put up much of a fight. After she was dressed, Vera let her sleep until it was time to leave.

At about midnight, the young woman was suddenly awakened from her sleep by a pair of strong arms, lifting her from the bed.

"Put me down, Adam!" she cried. "I don't want to go with you!"

"Quiet!" whispered Adam, carrying her into the hall.

"Please," she whimpered, "take me back!"

Instead of taking the elevator, Charlie found herself in the stairwell, as he carried her down a flight of steps and then through an exit door. Charlie felt the cool summer night of the outdoors kiss her face as Adam brought her outside.

"I'm going to put you down," he breathed in a hushed voice. "Don't make a sound, and stay in the shadows."

Charlie followed his eyes to what looked to be the outside of the main entrance of the hotel. Fans and media were lined up, excitedly waiting for the anticipated couple.

"Here they come!" shouted someone.

In wonderment, Charlie took a step forward, but was quickly pulled back into the dark shadows by Adam. Even now, there were people just feet from where they were hiding, watching from a distance to get a glimpse of the newlyweds when they left the hotel.

Then Charlie heard the crowd wildly cheering and shouting, as a couple exited the main entrance, both wearing sunglasses, even though it was in the middle of the night. She noticed they kept their heads down as Kevin, Bill, Melvin, Gary, and Adam's nephew Mike, flanked the man and woman on every side, hurriedly escorting them to their limousine without pausing to greet the throng.

"Wal-lace! Wal-lace!" the crowd began to chant excitedly.

"Now!" whispered Adam, as he grabbed her hand and quickly darted behind the fans that were still watching the hotel entrance.
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