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"You know me better than that," Adam smiled. "If I wanted someone to keep my bed warm, I would've married long ago."

"Then why did you pick me?" she tested him with a playful toss of her head.

"If I remember correctly," he softly murmured in her ear, "you were the one who did the picking. I just knew when to give up."

"Do you know what?" Charlie asked, leaning her head against his. "Constance didn't chase you half as hard as she should have."

"You're the only one I'll ever surrender to," breathed Adam. With a happy sigh of contentment, he reclined on the mattress while Charlie continued to kiss him.

At breakfast, Vera noticed Adam's attire and smiled in approval. "It'll do you some good to get outside, instead of sitting at that piano all hours of the day."

"Vera," asked the man as he held up his mug for another cup of coffee, "when did you become my grandma, as well?"

The old woman laughed and Adam smiled good-naturedly. He knew Vera tried not to meddle in his life, and give advice where it hadn't been asked. Still, he had to admit that it felt good to have Vera looking out for his welfare.

"Pumpkin," Vera asked her granddaughter over the breakfast table, "Chuck's birthday is coming up pretty soon. Have you given any thought as to how you want to celebrate it?"

"I've been so busy, I completely forgot!" Charlie exclaimed in surprise.

"I was thinking," proposed Vera, "I could make a special supper of Chuck's favorite food, and then invite some friends over to have a small birthday party."

With a sad nod of her head, Charlie agreed to the celebration. Chuck wasn't aware of anyone around him, and Charlie knew the party was more for their sake, than it was for his.

"We could invite Maggie and Jeff," Vera tried to coax Charlie into a smile. "They haven't seen Villa Rosa yet, and I know you're dying to see Maggie again."

"That's a great idea, Grandma," Charlie gave her a thankful smile.

"I know you're busy," assured Vera, "so you leave all the preparations to me. I'll need a ride into Twin Yucca, though. We're running low on groceries, and I'd like to pick out a nice birthday cake at the delicatessen."

"I could drive you," offered Kevin, finishing off his breakfast. "Of course, if it's all right with Mr. Clark."

"Are you sure?" asked Adam. "You've already been doing a lot around here. From what I've seen, you've been working right alongside the rest of the crew."

"It beats sitting on my tail just watching," shrugged Kevin.

"Even so," acknowledged Adam, "I've already changed your salary to reflect the added work you're doing. You'll notice it in your next paycheck."

Kevin looked at him in grateful surprise.
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