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"I'm afraid she doesn't want you right now," informed Mae.

"I know," sighed Adam. "Looks like it's the couch for me."

"Just until the measles are over," consoled Uncle Rick.

After Uncle Rick and Mae left, the new husband made his bed on the sofa and lay awake the entire night, aware of the fact that Charlie was just in the next room.

The next morning, Adam went to the bedroom and checked on Charlie. She was still asleep, so he was able to get a good look at her. The measles had progressed; her face was red, and the rash was now making its way down her neck and chest. Charlie stirred and opened her eyes.

"How are you feeling?" he asked her.

With a cry of dismay, the teenager pulled the covers over her head.

"Go away!" she shouted, her voice hoarse from coughing.

Adam scratched his head and went back to the living room. Married life wasn't quite what he had expected. At seven, Mae and Uncle Rick appeared with breakfast, and food for their refrigerator that Mae had brought to make them a little more comfortable. While she attended to Charlie in the bedroom, Uncle Rick gave Adam a guided tour of his apple ranch.

Adam had to admit that it was beautiful. The summer sun made the apple leaves fragrant, perfuming the air with their sweetness. The sky, the mountains, the trees, everything was scenic and peaceful.

"Over there's our apple shed," pointed out Uncle Rick, "where we house our cider press. Back towards the road, is our store. Mae cooks pies and things, and I sell 'em! It's a small operation, but we like it."

Uncle Rick looked at Adam and could easily see that his mind was elsewhere.

"You probably never imagined you'd spend your honeymoon on a sofa, did you," laughed the gentleman. "You know, there's one thing you and I have in common-- our wives. As you've probably noticed, Mae is considerably younger than I am. My first wife passed away in '89, and I swore I'd never remarry. Then, one day during picking season, Mae and her parents came to buy apples. She was beautiful and young, and I didn't think for a second that I'd ever have a chance with someone like her. But, as God would have it, she fell in love with me, and I with her. Not a day goes by, that I don't thank the Almighty for sending her to me."

Adam smiled, and kicked at a stone on the ground.

"You're right," he replied, "we do have something in common."

"By the way," remembered Uncle Rick, "Bill called this morning. He said to tell you the press found out that stand-ins had been used, and that there's a lot of speculation where you two are right now."

"Unbelievable," sighed Adam wearily.

"He said to lay low and to not be seen in public," continued Uncle Rick, "or your cover will be blown."

Back at the cottage, Mae was stocking her guest's refrigerator and talking to Charlie, who didn't feel like leaving her bed.

"There's enough food to last for a while," she said, coming back to the bedroom, and sitting down on the edge of the bed to check Charlie's temperature. "I'm going to keep bringing your meals, but the food is just in case you or your husband want a snack, or something. Hummm, you're fever went down a little. I guess the rest helped. Did Adam leave you alone like you wanted?" she wondered.

"Yes," replied Charlie, "but he keeps hovering near the bedroom door, as if I'm suddenly going to change my mind."
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