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"Is it possible, Thomas?" he asked.

"Sure," replied the brother-in-law. "Make a list of what you want and I'll get movers to load it up and haul it here. Don't be surprised if they're followed by the paparazzi, though."

"They were bound to know where we were, sooner or later," sighed Adam.

"Very well then," said Thomas. "There's a pot roast in the fridge that Shirley sent over. Charlie, tomorrow I'll bring out the architect and we'll go over the changes you want."

"Sounds good, thank you," she answered, as Thomas turned to leave.

Charlie went into their bedroom to unpack, while Chad lingered in the living room with Adam.

"Come on, Chad," said Thomas, "it's time to go."

The boy looked up at his uncle, as if begging to stay.

"I'll see you later," said Adam, touching his nephew's shoulder.

Chad reluctantly followed his father out the front door, as a blast of hot air rushed inside. Adam quickly shut the door and looked about the place he was going to call home for the next unspecified number of months. The bleakness of the situation quickly melted, however, as he saw Charlie in the bedroom. With a loving smile, he went in, and shut the door behind him.

That night, after the three had finished Shirley's pot roast sandwiches, everyone went to bed. Outside, Charlie could hear the distant baying of a coyote howling to another companion who answered in like manner. The moonless night outside their window blanketed the untamed desert in darkness, made even more dramatic by the stars that punctuated the vast nothingness with tiny orbs of brilliance.

Inside their bedroom, Adam held Charlie close as she peacefully drifted to sleep. He closed his eyes and waited for sleep to come, but it didn't. Adam stared at the digital clock glowing in the corner of their room, a vigilant reminder of the fact that he wasn't asleep yet. The hours slowly crept by, and his eyes were becoming heavy. Charlie had turned in her sleep, and now Adam was free to move a little without awakening her. Adam fluffed his pillow and closed his eyes once more, as if willing himself to sleep. Soon his eyes popped back open, and he was left confronting the time on the clock.

Quietly, the insomniac got out of bed, and opened the bedroom window, letting in the mildly cool desert air. Another coyote bayed in the distance. Since the window was open, it sounded louder than usual, causing Charlie to stir from her sleep.

"Is everything all right?" she asked groggily.

"Yes, go to sleep," he replied, pulling up the sheets around her shoulders.

The young woman soon fell asleep again, with as little effort as Adam could ever hope for. He returned to his view at the window and sighed heavily. The soft breathing of his companion made him yearn for the rest a few minutes of sleep would bring. If he were back in his old home, he could go work in the garden, or pull out his telescope and gaze at the celestial heavens. If he were in a hotel room on the tour, he could watch television or call Charlie on the satellite phone. But, he quickly reminded himself, in the old days, she wouldn't be lying next to him in bed.

Adam climbed onto the bed and got beneath the sheets, trying to derive comfort from just being beside Charlie.

"Please, God," he prayed to himself, "help me sleep-- even if it's just for an hour or two."

Then Adam felt Charlie's breath upon him, and he opened his eyes to find her looking down at him.

"Can't you sleep?" she asked, sympathetically. "Why didn't you wake me up? I could have helped you."

"I didn't want to make your night miserable, as well," he replied.

"Poor baby," she whispered, caressing his face with her fingers. Adam buried his face in her embrace, finding solace in Charlie's arms. "I'm always here," she said tenderly.
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