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Bill was in very good spirits, and when he explained his news, Charlie understood why. "The arena is completely sold out!" he laughed. "Seventeen thousand seats, and they're all sold! This event will not only be broadcast live on network television, but the performances will be sold as an album to raise more money for the benefit! I'm telling you Adam, this thing is big!"

Charlie's mind was still numb with the "seventeen thousand seats," part of Bill's good news. Adam had told her there would only be a few thousand people in the audience, but seventeen sure didn't feel like a few thousand! The car lurched forward in the slow traffic, and Charlie suddenly had to vomit. Since there was no place to do it but the floor, Charlie's breakfast quickly came up and splashed onto Adam's shoe.

"Charlie, are you all right?" asked Adam, taking out his clean handkerchief and wiping her face.

"I feel sick," she mumbled.

At the sight of Charlie's mess, Dave suddenly realized he had to do the same. Before he could give warning, his breakfast soon joined Charlie's on the floor of the rented vehicle.

"Oh, great," Kevin muttered uneasily. "Everyone, don't look down until we reach the hotel."

"Are we there, yet?" Charlie asked weakly.

"Traffic's backed up all the way into downtown Houston," apologized Bill, trying not to look at the soiled carpeting. "I wouldn't be surprised if it's because everyone is coming in for the benefit concert."

Wearily, Charlie propped her head against Adam's shoulder.

"Do you feel any better?" asked Adam, brushing her long hair away from her pale face.

"A little," she smiled. "I'm sorry about your shoes."

Adam looked down and realized what she had been talking about. "Let me lean forward and see if I can't clean those up before we arrive at the hotel and all the cameras."

"Cameras?" whimpered Charlie.

"Honey," sighed Adam, "you knew this was a publicized event."

With a sigh, Charlie opened her purse and took out some lipstick. Adam was right, and she needed to pull herself together before the public had a chance to see her looking less than ready.

"You can lie down once we get inside," promised Adam. Charlie, however, was already beginning to feel better. Adam knew his young wife was having a bad case of nerves, and he smiled hopefully at her improvement. He only prayed she wouldn't be this sick when it was time to go onstage.

It took them most of that morning just to reach the hotel, prompting Adam to guess that they had spent more time waiting in congested traffic, than they had in actually flying to Houston.

Photographers milled around in the hotel's parking lot, trying to get snapshots of anyone recognizable as their vehicles pulled up at the front entrance. When Adam and Charlie stepped out of their limousine, the photographers descended like a swarm of locusts, each one snapping pictures and shouting outlandish questions to make them look in their direction for a better photograph.

Since she was still feeling a little sick, Adam had been concerned Charlie might not hold up very well under the glare of the media. To his admiration, Charlie handled herself with the grace and poise expected of Wallace Shipley's wife.
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