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"I know you're sensitive about the difference in our ages," she continued, "but you're not the only one who sometimes feels as though they're in over their head! You should have a wife who already knows the things that I'm just beginning to figure out! All it takes is one slip on my part, and you could be exposed before the world as a first class fool for marrying me! I've dragged you out here, and now everyone is waiting for me to fail!"

"No one thinks you'll fail," disagreed Adam, "least of all, me!"

"You should have seen Uncle Jerome," argued Charlie. "The way he looked at me, and then at Villa Rosa! He's just waiting for me to punish you for being the godly man, that he knows he should be! And now I've dragged grandma and daddy out here!" Charlie's back straightened in her indignation. "Don't you dare sit behind that comfortable piano of yours and doubt my faithfulness, Adam Clark! I have plenty of reasons to feel sorry for myself, but you don't see me doubting your love, do you? Well, do you?!" she wept, retrieving her already damp handkerchief and blowing her nose.

"No, I don't," he admitted. "You give everything you have, Charlie, and then you push yourself, and give me more." Wondering if she would resist a hug, Adam carefully slid beside her on the front seat and gently touched her hand. When she made no effort to get away, he unfastened her seat belt and wrapped his arms around his wife, holding her tightly. "You're a good woman, Charlie," he whispered. "Please, be patient with me. I may have had more life experience than you, but when it comes to a relationship like ours, I'm learning everything for the first time."

"I can identify with that," Charlie weakly smiled.

"You know," recalled Adam, "I remember my dad once telling me, 'If happy marriages were easy, everyone would be doing it. But when you love someone, its always worth the effort.'"

"It's worth it," affirmed Charlie, drying her face against Adam's shirt. Through the darkness, her fingers felt the well-muscled arms of the former Master Plumber she was married to. "And you were jealous over them?" she wondered, incredulously.

"I'll always care when someone looks at you with hunger in their eyes," said Adam, "but I promise to never again doubt your love. Jealousy is a terrible thing, Charlie, and I'll fight it with every breath I've got."

"The only hunger I'm interested in satisfying," promised Charlie, "is yours."

"I don't deserve to hear you say that," he thanked her, "but I appreciate it, just the same."

"What men are you referring to?" it suddenly occurred her to ask. Charlie sat up and tried to remember anyone on the crew who might have behaved inappropriately toward her. "Many of them use profane language," reflected Charlie, "but Beppe told them to cut it out when I was around."

"Their choice of words isn't what I'm talking about," said Adam. "I don't know, Charlie, maybe it's just me being overly sensitive. I have a beautiful, attractive wife, who often catches the eye of other men. It's just something I've got to learn to accept."

"I don't notice men doing that to me," reflected Charlie. "There were those boys and their father when we were fishing in Alaska that one time, but that's about it."

"I could easily have been jealous over nothing," sighed Adam. "If you don't notice it, then it's probably not happening."

Charlie could see that Adam was feeling very badly, and she didn't want him to continue beating himself up all night. With a teasing smile, she playfully eyed her handsome husband, and he looked at her expectantly.
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