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For a few moments, Adam was silent. "You think Charlie..." he didn't even want to finish the thought out loud. "Vera, I trust her."

"I know you do. But you might want to be careful how much temptation you put in her way."

"Charlie would never do that. I know her."

With a sigh, Vera returned to her knitting. "I hope you're not doing this to prove to yourself that you trust Charlie. Dave Walker isn't a bodyguard, Adam. He's going to be your personal secretary, and will have access to not only your life, but to hers as well."

The television flashed silent pictures in front of his eyes, as Adam weighed Vera's words. "I've had conversations like this with Charlie, in the past," he resisted. "My jealousy has already caused her too much pain. I won't make the same mistake twice."

"Just be careful you're not borrowing trouble," warned the grandmother.

"I believe Dave's a good man, Vera. If I didn't, I never would have hired him."

"Even the good can fall," she reminded Adam. "There, I'm done speaking of this for now. If I think Charlie's in trouble, you won't have to coax it out of me."

"I appreciate your candidness," Adam thanked her.

Vera peered at him over her bifocals with a half smile. "I don't want to be mistaken for that sister of yours."

Chuckling softly, Adam turned up the television's volume and resumed his program.

The days passed, and Dave struggled to get into the routine of Villa Rosa. Since Adam was awake at such odd hours, Dave found it difficult to keep up with his famous employer. Adam would sleep one night through, and then stay up the next-- only to doze in front of the evening news before returning to his piano for another night of nonstop work. To his surprise, Dave was discovering that Wallace Shipley was an insomniac. Even worse, that he was turning him into one, as well! Secretly, Dave wondered if Adam was normally this driven. As greatly as he loved his job, Dave didn't know how much longer he could last!

The interview with Norman Jones had reminded Adam that his fans were waiting for another Wallace Shipley album, and the musician didn't want to disappoint anyone. To be honest, he was eager to find out if he still had the God-given talent that had brought him so much fame. It had been years since Adam's last album, and he had occasional pangs of doubt when he stared at his composer's notebook filled with pencil scrawls and staff notes. It would take a miracle if these notes added up to another hit, and Adam was feeling the pressure of besting himself. What if the high point of his career had already come and gone? His fans were expecting great things of him, and he wasn't sure if his next work could live up to their high expectations. An even graver realization was that he had become his own worst competition. Adam felt as though he had to top his own success, or else it would prove that his career was on the decline.

From the sidelines, Charlie watched as Adam continued to push himself more each day. While her husband frequently had sleep issues, she knew he wasn't usually this out of sync with daylight hours. In the past, Charlie had been able to sweet-talk him to bed, even when he didn't feel he could sleep. After a little loving, Adam would usually find rest and forget about his insomnia. But with the never-ending hours he was keeping, Charlie had little chance to slow Adam down, and get him to relax.
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