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"I doubt it," smiled Adam. "You could play the duet in your sleep, so I don't think you need any more work. Charlie," he suddenly sighed, "your dog is tugging at my shoe laces!"

"You were the one who bought her!" reminded Charlie, picking up the puppy to give her a loving hug.

Adam had bought Wally to make Charlie happy, and the animal was certainly fulfilling its purpose. Giving the dog a thankful pat, Adam went on with his packing; he was glad he could give Charlie something to make her smile a little wider, and her eyes just a little brighter. Adam returned to the closet for another suitcase. "Are you sure you don't want to buy your dress in Palm Springs? I'd rather not do any shopping when we get into Houston."

"Spoken like a true man," laughed Charlie. "All right, I'll take Kevin with me, and we'll drive into Palm Springs after lunch."

"The jet will take off tomorrow morning," Adam warned jokingly, "so you don't have forever to find your dress!"

During lunch that afternoon, Charlie noticed Dave wasn't touching his food. "What's the matter?" she asked. "Aren't you hungry?"

"Not really," he sighed.

Charlie could only laugh. "You aren't feeling nervous about the concert, are you? You don't even have to go onstage!"

"All those important people will be there," Dave shook his head anxiously. "I feel like I'm crashin' a party I wasn't invited to."

"You were invited, because I was invited," Adam insisted. "When we arrive in Houston, you'll see what I mean. I won't be the only one who brought a personal manager or secretary."

Dave pushed away from the table. "My appetite is gone."

"I'm not gloating," observed Charlie, "but I didn't think you got nervous over anything!"

"Now you know," Dave smiled grimly.

"Dave, why don't you come with me?" invited Charlie. "I'm going into Palm Springs to find a dress for the duet, and it'll help get your mind off the trip. We should be back before evening."

Taking another bite of his lunch, Adam waited for Dave's response.

"My packin' is already done," sighed Dave, "so as long as I won't get under foot, I suppose it'd do me some good to get out for a few hours."

Charlie smiled at her bodyguard. "I'll be ready to go, just as soon as Kevin finishes his sandwich."

"Let me use the bathroom, first," Kevin replied, getting up from his chair. "If you're in such a hurry to get moving," he suggested, "why don't you pull the SUV up to the house, Charlie?"

"I don't suppose you'd let me drive?" she pleaded hopefully.

Kevin shook his head and tossed her the car keys. "Nope."

"How am I going to get my driver's license, if no one ever lets me drive?" argued Charlie.
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