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His burden suddenly seemed a little less heavy because she was there to share it with him. Adam hated to disturb Charlie's rest, but he was too tired to resist her help. The young woman stroked his head until she heard the soft rhythmic breathing of her mate, who had at last fallen asleep.

The next morning, Charlie awoke to find Adam still clinging to her. Outside, she could hear the construction crew beginning a day of work on Villa Rosa.

There was much cleanup work to do before any remodeling could even begin and Thomas was eager to get started. He already had a work detail combing through the rooms, gathering all the trash and debris that littered much of the old building. Weeds were another matter. They had sprouted up through the cracked floor, and had taken solid root; the inner courtyard was mostly filled with tumble weeds, and had to be cleared before Thomas could even get a good look at the architecture it concealed. All in all, anyone who had allergies would've done best to stay away from Villa Rosa while cleanup was in progress.

Back at the house, Charlie could hear Kevin quietly moving around in the living room. She gently nudged Adam, trying to get him to move so she could get up. Just then, the teenager heard a knock at their front door. Kevin answered it, and Charlie heard a boy's voice.

"Adam," she whispered, "I have to get up."

Her husband sleepily turned over, freeing the young woman. She quickly dressed and went to the living room where Kevin was talking to Chad.

"I came with Dad," said the boy, when Charlie warmly greeted him. "Where's Uncle Adam?"

"He's still asleep," she answered, going to the kitchen to start a pot of coffee.

Chad was familiar with his uncle's erratic sleeping patterns and decided to wait around until he woke up. Kevin ate and went outside to help, for it was better than sitting still and doing nothing. As Charlie washed the breakfast dishes, Chad sat down on the floor and leaned against the wall.

"What have you been doing with your summer vacation?" she asked, trying to break the silence.

The boy shrugged his shoulders and remained silent. Seeing he didn't want to talk, Charlie politely excused herself and went outside to discuss with Thomas about the architect.

Chad waited for half an hour before he heard his uncle stirring in the next room. Expectantly, he got to his feet and waited outside the closed bedroom door.

"Well!" said Adam in surprise, when he saw Chad. "This is a pleasant surprise! Do you know where your aunt is?"

"She's outside," answered Chad, as Adam went to the kitchen to eat breakfast.

"How's Mike and Sandra?" inquired the man, pouring a cup of coffee.

"Fine I guess," replied the boy. "Mike's really busy at the store lately, so I don't see him very much. Can I ask you something, Uncle Adam?"

"Sure," he replied. "What is it?"

"Do you and Aunt Charlie ever fight?" wondered Chad.

"We can have our disagreements," answered the musician thoughtfully, "but we work them out with love and patience. Why do you ask?"

Chad shrugged and remained silent.

"Is everything all right at home?" wondered Adam, sitting down in one of the two chairs in the living room. He knew Chad well, and sensed that something was weighing on his mind.

Chad took the other seat and stared at the floor.

"Dad and Mom have been fighting a lot," he said in a low voice. "It's been worse since Dad's stayed home from his trips. Mom cries a lot, and neither one will tell me what's going on. Mike isn't there, and I don't know what to do."
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