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About a week after Dave's arrival, Charlie peered into the music room and found the newly hired secretary seated at the piano bench, his hands seemingly frozen to the keyboard. At first, Charlie thought she might be interrupting some deep musical thought, but when she noticed his eyes were shut and that she could hear the barely audible sounds of snoring, Charlie realized Dave was actually fast asleep.

Across the room, his employer was crouched over a desk, intently working at some difficult task in a notebook. When Adam suddenly ripped the page off in disgust, Dave jerked to attention and tried to find where he had left off in the composition.

"Is it all right if I interrupt you guys for a while?" inquired Charlie, stepping into the room, and inadvertently kicking some wadded sheets of music on the floor with her foot.

"Come in, Charlie," Adam beckoned her inside.

She tried not to notice his unshaved appearance, but the familiar signs of sleep deprivation were clearly etched in Adam's weary face. Struggling to hide her concern, Charlie gave him a warm smile and bent down to pick up one of the wads.

"Leave it," Adam shook his head in frustration. "I don't know what's wrong with me, Charlie, but the music isn't coming!" There was an unmistakable edge of panic in his voice that even Dave recognized. "What if I can't do this anymore, Charlie-girl? What if..." his voice faded into a groan.

"When have you both last eaten?" Charlie tried to keep her voice light and cheerful. When Adam didn't look as though he knew, she turned to Dave.

"Uhh," Dave paused, struggling to remember the last several hours. "What time is it?"

"I'll have something ready in fifteen minutes," Charlie responded, knowingly. "Adam, maybe you could show Dave our garden. Wouldn't it be nice to eat outside, today?"

Without thinking, Adam nodded in agreement. Then he suddenly remembered his work. "What about my music?" he protested, as she turned to walk out the door.

"The piano isn't going anywhere," she smiled sweetly.

As her footsteps sounded in the courtyard on her way to the kitchen, Adam shrugged at Dave. "I suppose we could both use a break, anyway."

Dave tried not to sound so affirmative in his agreement. Instead, he casually yawned and stretched his limbs.

"The garden is this way," sighed Adam, leading Dave through the courtyard, and into the master bedroom. When Adam opened the glass door, Dave was surprised to find such a garden in the middle of the barren desert. "It's something, isn't it?" grinned Adam. "Charlie built it for me as a surprise."

The two men sat down at the small bistro table and Adam inhaled the warm January air.

After a few minutes, neither man spoke. Then Adam looked at Dave, and he understood why he had been so silent.

"You're pretty tired, aren't you," surmised Adam, as Dave's head bobbed forward to keep awake.

"I'm all right," insisted the sleepy man.

"Still," smiled Adam, "you'd probably rather be in bed right now."

"I reckon I would," Dave finally acknowledged.
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