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As Dave got off the plane, he offered one last prayer to heaven and then took a deep breath. Then he saw them. Near the area where he was supposed to claim his luggage, he recognized two very familiar faces. On either side, they were flanked by some imposing men who looked as though they were on duty. Momentarily going numb, Dave gulped hard.

Just then, Adam saw Dave, and waved to him with a friendly smile.

Dave nervously nodded, and walked over to where his new employer was waiting. "I didn't expect y'all to come get me," he greeted them. Normally, when Dave was trying to be businesslike and formal, he could make his Southern accent disappear. But his stomach had been tied into too many knots on the flight over, to remember his Southern drawl now. As he stood face to face with the famous Wallace Shipley for the second time in his life, it came tumbling from him unchecked.

Adam warmly shook Dave's hand, and pretended not to notice how damp and clammy it had felt. He understood Dave was nervous, and did his best to set the man at ease. "I'm glad you're here, Dave. You remember my wife, Charlie, don't you?"

Dave's eyes went from Adam to the woman standing at his side. "Nice to meetcha again, Mrs. Clark," he politely smiled.

While Adam talked to the newcomer, Charlie looked the man over with the same degree of wariness she gave the bodyguards before knowing them better. Unlike Kevin and his colleagues, however, Dave was not as imposing or distant in his mannerisms. There was no air of professionalism that reminded Charlie of someone who knew what he was doing. Perhaps she would think differently upon hearing him again at his piano. For Adam's sake, Charlie certainly hoped so.

"Honey?" Adam's voice broke through her thoughts, and she looked up to find his expectant face looking at her, as if waiting for an answer.


"Is the restaurant we passed on the way here, all right with you?" he repeated.

"If you don't mind getting mobbed by fans," shrugged Charlie.

"Oh, I forgot," sighed Adam, disappointedly. "I'm sorry, Dave. We have to stick with drive-throughs, because I sometimes attract too much attention."

"That suits me just fine," Dave assured his employer as another passenger from his flight gave Adam a double-take. "I'm not choosy."

"That's good to hear," chuckled Adam. Just then, a man tapped the famous musician's shoulder and asked for an autograph. Dave quietly watched as Adam graciously took a moment to speak with one of his fans.

In the parking lot, Adam helped Dave put his suitcases into the back of the SUV, while Charlie waited in the passenger seat up front. The bodyguards took the very back seat, so Dave had the middle of the SUV all to himself.

After Adam climbed behind the wheel, he talked with Dave as they drove to a nearby drive-through and ate in the parking lot. "On the off-chance we don't work well together," Adam was telling him between French fries, "I'll make sure you're paid until you can find another job. From all the conversations we've had over the phone, though, I don't think it'll be necessary."
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