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"The sooner we set camp," said Charlie, "the sooner we can go hiking."

Chad however, wasn't in the mood for company. He set off on his own, while Charlie watched nervously from a distance, trying to keep track of the boy Shirley had so adamantly insisted stay within eyeshot.

"He'll be all right," said Adam, coming to her side, and following her eyes to where Chad was standing on the banks of the river, skipping smooth stones over the glassy surface.

Charlie started a campfire, getting ready to cook lunch. This was something that she had done for her father and his camping party many times before. Soon, the savory smell of hot-dogs and warm biscuits lured the boy back to camp where his uncle had a plate ready for him.

"There's no place like this in the Mojave," Adam sighed contentedly, after the last biscuit had been eaten.

"I'm looking forward to that midnight sun I keep hearing about," said Kevin, looking up at the blue sky.

"You won't see it," said Chad. "It's too late in the year."

"What time will the sun set, then?" asked the bodyguard.

Chad shrugged. He only knew that they were too far south and too late in the year to experience a day without night.

"I think I'll stay up and find out," announced Kevin, leaning back and taking a sip of hot coffee.

Just then, Adam's satellite phone rang.

"It's Bill," said Adam, getting up to talk to his personal manager in private. "What's up, Bill?"

"I just got a call from the police," said Bill, his voice audibly shaken.

"What is it?" asked Adam, all at once sober.

"A woman in Los Angeles was arrested yesterday for shoplifting, and she confessed to being a member of a plot to kidnap Charlie and hold her for ransom," said the manager. "The LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department] doesn't know how much of it's true or not, but they want Charlie to be extra vigilant. They don't have anyone else in this supposed plot yet, so we'd better play it safe for a while."

"Does this have anything to do with the intruder who tried to break into Charlie's room last year?" proposed Adam.

"The police didn't say," replied Bill, "but I don't think this has anything to do with that. You're a high profile celebrity, and there's a lot of sick people out there."

"Has the press gotten wind of where we are?" asked the famous musician.

"Not from anything that I've heard so far," answered Bill. "How's everything where you are? Has anyone recognized you yet?"

"I've had one or two double takes," said Adam, "but I don't think anyone has believed their eyes yet. This is the last place anyone expects to see Wallace Shipley."

"Good then," sighed Bill. "I'll stay on top of the situation, and check in with you, if I have any more news. In the meantime, try to stay low."

"Thanks, Bill," said Adam, gratefully.

The new husband returned to the afternoon campfire and picked up his still hot cup of coffee.

"What did Bill want?" asked Charlie, gathering everyone's used paper plates and tossing them into a campground trash can.

Adam hesitated, his pause causing everyone to look at him expectantly.
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