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"Yes," hesitated Adam, "that's what he told me as well. Frankly, I think this will turn out to be nothing but a hoax. Even so, we're taking a lot of security measures. If you think it's too dangerous for Chad to be with us, I could get the private jet down here and Kevin could bring him back to Twin Yucca."

At this, Chad frowned.

"No," answered Shirley, "don't do that. Chad is probably better off up there than he would be back here right now. If some pervert thinks they can get money from you in exchange for Charlie, then why not your nephew as well? No, let Chad stay with you for the rest of the vacation. He's in God's protection, and he's with family. I trust you and Charlie to take care of him."

"Thank you for including her in that," smiled Adam, gratefully.

When he hung up, Adam looked at his still alarmed nephew.

"Your Dad is back, and you can stay," he said, answering both of the boy's unasked questions.

"I'd like to see you try to get rid of me," challenged the eleven year old. "Just when things are really getting interesting, you want to send me home!"

"I didn't want to," replied Adam, tenderly, "but I would, if I thought you were in danger."

When Adam returned to the room, Charlie moved over and made room for him on the bed.

"I heard," said the young woman, leaning her head on his shoulder. "I'm glad Thomas is back."

The boy returned to his vigil, and waited for Kevin, relieved that he had permission to stay.

"He's here," announced Chad, opening the hotel door long enough for the bodyguard to enter before securing it once more.

"What's that for?" asked Kevin, seeing Chad wedging the chair under the door handle.

"It's to keep the intruders out," explained the boy. "Did you get my double-stacker hamburger?"

"I'd better keep my eyes open," grinned Kevin, handing the boy his dinner in a fast food bag, "or else, I have the feeling I'm going to be eating this again, tomorrow night!"

After saying grace over the food, it was promptly distributed amongst the rest of the famished travelers. Kevin had found out from one of the locals what time the sun would set that day, and was disappointed to learn that it was about a half hour earlier than in Twin Yucca! No midnight sun for the ex-SEAL. However, sunrise was at four thirty.

"No way I'm waking up for that," muttered Kevin.

As promised, the sky darkened at eight o'clock that night. Chad went into the room he shared with Kevin and watched the television while his roommate read a book he had brought along, looking up from the pages every minute or two to maintain a watchful guard.

"On behalf of Wallace Shipley, he's sorry you have to spend this vacation hiding in hotel rooms," said Adam, as Charlie flipped through the channels on their set to see what was on.

"Why should he apologize?" she laughed.

"If it wasn't for him," mused Adam, "you wouldn't be in this situation."

"Well," teased Charlie, "that depends on which situation Mr. Shipley is talking about. If he's referring to the fact that we have to hide, then I accept his apology. But Mr. Shipley should know, that I would would still be with Mr. Clark, wherever that might happen to be."

"Oh," whispered Adam, as Charlie cuddled close to him, "I don't know about Mr. Shipley, but Mr. Clark likes to hear that."

Chad looked across the room through the adjoining door, and rolled his eyes. The eleven year old promised himself that he would never make a fool of himself over a woman, as his uncle was doing now. No woman was worth that!

The group had driven the first three hundred miles of the Alaska Highway, but Chad was in no hurry to reach Fairbanks, their ultimate destination. This was an adventure he was sure he would never forget!

"Thou [God] wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
~ Psalms 16:11 ~

"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
~ Proverbs 4:18 ~

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