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Then an announcer boomed over the speakers, "Ladies and Gentleman, Wallace Shipley and his wife, Charlotte," here the audience was so loud they drowned out the announcer's voice with their enthusiastic applause. "Performing for their very first time together!" finished the announcer.

The stage lights went on, and Charlie suddenly found herself bathed in bright light. The audience went silent, and her hands trembled. Charlie instinctively looked to Adam for help. He winked at her, and nodded for her to begin. Adam couldn't start playing unless she did, for she opened the duet.

In a split second of panic, Charlie wished she had taken one last look at her sheet music before stepping onstage. Her courage promptly returned by the very next second. Adam was counting on her, and she was determined to not let him down. Her trembling hands reached out for the familiar keys before her, and music sounded as the duet began.

Then Adam's piano joined Charlie's, and while the two played, Hugh guessed that he could have heard a pin drop, for everyone's attention was riveted to the famous musician and his wife. The composition was simply entitled, "Us," and it was appropriately named. The two piano voices intertwined seamlessly into one song, so that no one piano had the lead for very long. It was the very essence of teamwork, and of something more-- a relationship where each depended upon the other in such a unifying way, that even Hugh momentarily lost himself in their harmony.

Then came the more technically demanding part of the duet, and Charlie's fingers nimbly ran across the keyboard as though she had been doing this her entire life. Her training was kicking in, and Charlie made the finger coordination in the music look effortless. She was dimly aware of the hushed audience as she played, but it wasn't to them that her music was directed. It was to Adam, the one who loved her with all the strength a man was capable of. Charlie played with passion, so that when she came to the final bars of music, she was suddenly sad it was over.

As the last key sounded, the audience exploded into loud applause. Adam stood up from his piano and went to Charlie, his face beaming proudly. He kissed her hand, and they bowed to the audience. To Adam's shock, they received a standing ovation! Numbly, Charlie looked over the sea of flashing camera lights and applauding people. She had never seen so many people in one place in her entire life!

Closing music played from the loudspeakers, and the announcer reminded everyone to donate money to the nearest homeless shelter in their area. The stage lights went dim, and Hugh escorted the couple offstage.

"Well done!" exclaimed Hugh, shaking Adam's hand, and then Charlie's. "I confess, I thought the duet was going to be something of a publicity stunt, but that was brilliantly executed! I've got to hand it to you Adam, you married a talented woman!"

"I had very good teachers," answered Charlie, as Dave and the other men joined them. "Hugh, this is Dave Walker. He and Adam were my music teachers."

Just then, Seth Harding approached the group and congratulated them on an excellent performance. After exchanging a few words with Adam and Charlie, Seth turned to Dave. "I've heard about you," he smiled.

"You have?" asked Dave in surprise.

"When Wallace Shipley touches something, it turns to gold," grinned Seth. "I envy you." The internationally acclaimed pianist shook hands with Dave, and walked away.

Dumbfounded, Dave stood there, rigidly staring at his hand. "Seth Harding shook my hand!" he exclaimed excitedly. Then Dave had to rush off and find a bathroom, to lose more coffee and donuts.
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