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"'Money isn't my problem,'" he repeated with an amused smile.

"Oh," sighed Charlie, "so you heard that. I was having some difficulty being taken seriously," she explained. "Everyone kept hanging up on me, until I told the last guy that my husband was Wallace Shipley."

"I'm sure that got his attention," laughed Adam.

"It did," grinned Charlie. "He's coming today."

"Congratulations," Adam nodded to her, approvingly. "If my name can open any doors for you, then use it freely, Charlie."

"It certainly opened Beppe Donato's door," she mused.

"Donato?" Adam exclaimed in surprise. "Why, I know him! Dad and I worked with his company several years back, on the Desert Vista complex on the corner of twenty-third." Adam laughed. "You didn't have to drop Wallace Shipley's name to get his attention. Clark would have been enough!"

Later that morning, a shiny black pickup with white letters pulled up to the Villa Rosa estate. A large man in his early seventies stepped out and greeted Adam and Charlie.

"So, it IS you!" chuckled Beppe, heartily shaking Adam's hand. "Your wife called me today, and I confess, she took me by surprise!"

The men swapped questions about each other's families, until it was time to get down to the business at hand. Beppe walked about the estate, while Charlie explained to him what she wanted done, and listened to his own list of suggestions. To Beppe's surprise, Charlie was more informed than he had first given her credit. She knew what she wanted, and had some ideas of how to go about getting them done. With a proud smile, Adam remained in the background, occasionally tossing in his opinion where needed. Even if Villa Rosa remained one big shack, at least it was making Charlie happy.

But Villa Rosa would be no shack. The vision Charlie had for the place, was intriguing Beppe. He had only been half joking over the telephone when he had said that problems sometimes have a way of solving themselves, if you throw enough money at them. He knew Adam had deep pockets, and Beppe was no longer laughing.

After several hours of discussion and planning, Charlie went inside to get everyone some food and cold soft drinks. While they waited, the two men sat in the shade on the front steps of the mobile home and swatted away the flies that accosted their faces.

"I guess you were surprised to get Charlie's phone call," surmised Adam, as Beppe took off his baseball cap and fanned himself from the heat.

"It took me off guard," Beppe admitted. "But once I realized it was your wife I was speaking to, things started making sense. I don't personally know of very many who could afford to pay for something like this. Charlie's got some pretty big dreams, Adam."

Adam could sense the hesitancy in Beppe's voice.

"Whatever she wants, Beppe," he answered his old friend, "I'm more than willing to pay."

"You're that far gone over her?" chuckled Beppe.

"I'm afraid I am," admitted Adam, as Charlie came out with chilled drinks and a plate of sandwiches for their lunch. "And I hope I never recover!"

Laughing, Beppe opened a can of soda and helped himself to the food.
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