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To Charlie's surprise, it wasn't easy to find someone willing to take on the renovations that Villa Rosa required. Many hung up after she gave them a brief rundown of the condition of the estate, and one even suggested that she tear it all down and start from scratch!

On the other side of the room, Charlie could hear Adam happily playing at his instrument. She had gone through every general contractor in the book-- save one, but he had been out of the office and could not be reached. Dread began to seep into Charlie's heart. She feared that Adam was going to seriously regret following her out to the middle of nowhere, and plunking down a million dollars for a wasteland, simply because she had wanted it. Charlie knew he would never berate her for this seemingly foolhardy decision, but she desperately wanted to prove herself worthy of him! Just as Charlie was beginning a prayer to rescue her from this mess, her satellite phone rang.

"Hello?" asked the caller, with a slight Italian accent. "My secretary said you were trying to reach me," he explained, trying to speak in a loud enough voice to be heard over the construction going on behind him. "What can I do for you?"

Charlie quickly related her situation to the man, and she could hear him audibly sigh.

"Do you think it's a hopeless cause, Mr. Donato?" she finally ventured to ask.

"Well, Ma'am," he chuckled, "sometimes, if you throw enough money at a problem, things have a tendency to find their own solutions." Beppe Donato hesitated. He could tell this potential customer was a young woman, and the likelihood of her being able to afford his services was highly unlikely. "You'd probably do better to tear down the building, and start over in a different location," he advised. "A project like this isn't for the faint of heart, and it certainly won't be cheap."

By the polite but condescending tone of his voice, it suddenly occurred to Charlie that perhaps the other contractors had turned her down, simply because she had sounded young over the telephone. Maybe, they thought she was just a daydreaming teenager who couldn't possibly pay for what she was proposing. Summoning what little self dignity she had left, Charlie managed to continue, all the while hoping that she didn't sound like the little girl she was beginning to feel.

"Money isn't my difficulty, Mr. Donato!" she tried to laugh with some authority. "My husband and I are living in a mobile home on the estate, and his piano fills most of our small living room! He needs a proper music room to compose in, and as soon as another mobile home can be delivered, the rest of my family will be joining us."

Music room? Compose? Beppe was intrigued.

"Who is your husband?" he asked.

"Why, Wallace Shipley, of course," replied Charlie, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "Really," she gulped, silently praying that Mr. Donato would believe that she truly was who she said she was, "we've already invested a million dollars in this location, and fully realize that it won't be the last million before Villa Rosa is completed. I may sound young, Mr. Donato, but I'm not naive!"

The man laughed out loud-- more out of relief than anything else. Now that Beppe fully understood who he was speaking to, he knew he could take her seriously.

"How do I get to Villa Rosa?" he asked, pulling out a pen and scribbling down Charlie's directions. "I'll be there today."

With a triumphant smile, Charlie hung up the satellite phone and hugged herself in congratulations. Suddenly, she realized that Adam's music had stopped. To her chagrin, she found him observing her from across the piano.

"How much did you overhear?" she timidly wondered.
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