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"Charlie," he sighed, "are you sorry that..." Adam paused. "Do you ever wish that you'd married a younger man? Please, be honest with me."

"Have I ever wished that I married someone else?" she asked. "Of course not!"

"No," said Adam, "I mean... do you wish that I were younger? Are you ever sorry that I'm not closer to your age?"

"Well," she sighed, "if I am, it's a little late to do anything about it, now!"

"I'm being completely serious," insisted Adam.

"I know you are," replied Charlie, folding her arms, indignantly. "I refuse to answer that, Adam."

"I'm not questioning if you love me," he explained.

"Oh, really?" she cried. "Because, that's the way it sounds!"

Adam softly pounded the steering wheel with his fist, and stared out at the vast Mojave that lay just beyond their truck.

"Do you really want me to answer that?" asked Charlie.

"Yes," nodded Adam. "I do."

"Even after all that's passed between us?" she questioned. "Can you honestly question my desire after everything we've meant to each other?"

"I wish you wouldn't put it that way," he muttered.

"I'm sorry," responded Charlie, "but it's the way I feel!" Hurt, Charlie opened the passenger door and jumped out, her feet quickly carrying her away from the pickup.

"Charlie?" Adam called after her through the still open door. "Where are you going? Home is in the other direction!"

"I don't care!" she cried, her hand wiping away the tears that were beginning to fall.

Charlie heard a truck door open, and then the quick footfalls of someone hurrying after her.

"Charlie," said Adam, placing a firm grip on her arm, and forcing her to come to a stop. Not wanting to hurt her, he quickly loosened his hold, but held her fast, so she couldn't leave. When he saw the tears in her eyes, Adam scolded himself.

"I never should have asked you that question," he apologized. "You're right-- you don't need to prove anything to me, because I should already know."

"You should," agreed Charlie, "but do you?"

A solid gust of wind hit the couple, nearly knocking them off their feet. They were on the open desert, and there was no protection from the Santa Ana winds to soften its blows.

"I know, Charlie," he answered, his hands trying to steady her, as the winds began in earnest. "I know."

"Then, why, Adam?"
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