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Just then, Chuck stirred and opened his eyes. When he saw Adam holding Charlie's hand, he scowled so much that Adam felt uncomfortable and finally relinquished his hold.

"We need to tell him about us," Adam softly whispered to Charlie.

Charlie shook her head in disagreement. "He won't understand what he's being told. Besides, he might not remember long enough to make any difference. Daddy still has AD, you know. Surgery won't change that."
Legal Disclaimer: The characters and events depicted in this story are fictitious, and should not to be interpreted as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The author is not a medical doctor, and used omentum transposition as a plot element in "The Greatest of These" in a manner that may not necessarily be the case for most people with Alzheimer's Disease. Consult your doctor before making any decisions. See the links page to learn where you can get more information about omentum transposition.

Uneasily, Adam shifted in his seat while Chuck continued to stare at him. How much of that stare was because Chuck could remember him from the hospital, Adam wasn't sure. Maybe Chuck's dislike wasn't growing-- but only surfacing whenever he saw a grown man touching his daughter. It was hard to say, but Adam decided that until he had a better idea of what to do, he would keep his hands off Charlie whenever Chuck was watching.

As they traveled home, Adam's strategy appeared to work. As long as Adam didn't touch Charlie, Chuck didn't seem to remember any dislike for Adam, and everyone got along together fairly well.

After arriving back in California and being processed through customs, Adam's private jet landed at the airstrip on Villa Rosa's estate long after the sun had already gone down. Everyone was still on German time, and since it was early afternoon in Germany, they were tired from their trip but not sleepy.

The only one ready for bed was Chuck, for he was extremely worn out. Unfortunately, this made his disorientation worse than usual. He had been repeatedly told that they were going home, but this strange place looked nothing like the home he had been expecting. Chuck mumbled something to this extent, and Charlie suddenly realized he was remembering their apartment in Montana. Nothing here was familiar to him, so that Chuck kept edging toward the front door as if begging to leave. While Vera tried to explain that Villa Rosa was his home now, the last of Chuck's strength faded and he lay down on the living room carpet to sleep. He would try to understand it all later. Right now, he was just too tired.

Realizing that he was down there to stay, Adam took a throw pillow from off the couch and gently slid it under Chuck's head. Then he retrieved a blanket from the master bedroom and placed it around the shoulders of the sleeping man. "Are you sure we shouldn't try to get him into bed?" Adam wondered.

Vera shook her head wearily. "He's finally calmed down, and I don't want to risk setting him off again."

Charlie knelt down on the carpet and lovingly adjusted the blanket over her father. "I love you, Daddy. I'll see you in the morning."

As she stood up, someone knocked on the front door and Adam went to go see who it was. Since no one had asked to be let in through the main gate, it had to be Dave, for Kevin and the bodyguards had already said their goodnights and retired to their bungalows.

Dave smiled warmly as he walked into the living room. "I'm glad y'all made it home safely." His voice quickly hushed when he saw Chuck asleep on the carpet.

"You didn't have to wait up for us," Charlie softly scolded him, for Dave was still fully dressed and it was two in the morning. "We called ahead when we knew we'd be getting back so late."

"That's all right," shrugged Dave, still looking at Chuck. "How's he doin'?"

"He's making some very encouraging progress," beamed Vera. "I'm going to fix everyone a small late night supper. Would you care to join us, Dave?"

"I didn't come over lookin' for food," he chuckled quietly, "but that sounds right good, Mrs. Overholt. Thank you."
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