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"After the fight we had last night," remarked Adam, "do you really have to ask?"

"I suppose not," she admitted.

"Shirley invited us to go with them to the hospital," he continued, glancing at his wife to see her reaction. "You don't have to, if you don't want to. Thomas is doing well, so no one is rushing to his bedside."

"I'll go with you," said Charlie, rinsing off another plate before placing it into the dishwasher.

"After that," proposed Adam, "we'll go straight to your grandmother's house. Maybe, you could call Vera and let her know that we're coming."

"Are you sure you don't mind leaving Shirley?" wondered Charlie.

"Let's get something clear," said Adam, pulling the dishcloth from Charlie's hands and taking her into his arms, "my first responsibility is to you-- not my sister."

Before she could thank him, Adam kissed her. When they remained quiet for some time, Kevin glanced up to see what was going on. With another smile, the bodyguard returned to his handgun.

"Whoa!" exclaimed a loud, boyish voice.

Charlie was startled out of her husband's arms, only to find Chad in the kitchen doorway. To her great relief, he wasn't gawking at them, but at the handgun dismantled on the table.

"Can I hold it after you put it together?" asked the boy, going straight to the table and admiring Kevin's firearm.

"You most certainly may not!" exclaimed Shirley, entering the kitchen behind her son and casting a disapproving glance at the handgun. "Adam, you know how uncomfortable I am about having something like that in my house!" she shuddered.

"We'll be leaving in a few minutes," replied Adam, trying to hide an amused smile from Charlie's still blushing face, "so it won't be in your house much longer."

"I should hope not!" Shirley adamantly shook her head.

"So," mused Adam, looking over Kevin's shoulder as he reassembled his firearm, "that's where you went, last night."

"Mrs. Overholt [Vera] kept it safely hidden, right where I asked her to," said Kevin, sliding the gun barrel into place. Hearing the metallic sound, Shirley jumped, and quickly ushered Chad out of the kitchen until it was all over. "I'll be finished in a minute," he assured Adam.

The kitchen clean, and the handgun assembled, Kevin and Adam loaded up Shirley's minivan with their luggage. As Kevin was placing the last of the suitcases into the vehicle, he noticed a SUV pull up to the adobe house and park a little ways down the road. Since the Garners were the only ones who lived on the street, its presence was very conspicuous, to say the least. Casting a wary eye at the vehicle, Kevin slammed shut the side door and went inside to warn Adam and Charlie.

"Looks like we've been spotted," he announced, showing Adam to the window and pointing to the SUV. "Its either a reporter or a photographer, and since no one has been able to take a picture of you with your wife after the honeymoon yet, my guess is that it's a photographer."

Adam sighed. This would change their plans slightly.
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