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"I think I can manage under my own power," Charlie smiled, as her husband helped her back to the chair.

"You just take it easy," insisted Adam. "Do you want me to get you something? One of the guys brought donuts."

At the mere mention of food, Charlie could feel her stomach lurch. "No thanks," she quickly declined. Even though her stomach was feeling better, she still had to fight the cigarette smoke that was gathering in the room.

Impatiently, Joel took another puff of his cigarette and checked his watch. When Adam was done playing house, they had work to do.

A few moments later, Adam left Charlie, and as he passed Joel, he suddenly realized the source of Charlie's nausea.

"Please put that out," requested Adam, in a voice that gave Joel the strong impression he was being told, and not asked. "Your cigarette smoke is making my wife sick."

"Whatever," sighed Joel, and he crushed the cigarette in a nearby ashtray. "Let's get the sound check over with so we can get started."

After some preparation, Adam took Charlie to the large sealed room and seated her at one of the pianos.

"You don't need your music, do you?" asked Adam. "I'm not sure I remembered to bring the sheet music with me."

Hearing their conversation over the sound equipment in the control room, Dave knocked on the window pane to get Adam's attention. In his hand was their duet.

"Thanks!" Adam grinned.

After Charlie had her music situated in front of her, she was beginning to feel a little easier with her surroundings. At least in here, she couldn't smell the remnants of Joel's cigarette.

Adam took his place at the second piano, and Joel's voice sounded over a loud speaker. "Okay, start when you're ready!"

Adam winked at Charlie, and Charlie began to play. Halfway through the first measure, the loudspeaker told them to stop. "Could you start that over? We had some technical difficulty."

Patiently, Charlie started for the second time. She thought it was going quite well until Joel's voice interrupted the recording session. "Sugar," he asked, "could you please strike the keys a little harder? You play as though you don't mean it!"

Surprised, Charlie looked to Adam. Surely, Joel couldn't have been talking to him!

"Try a little more emphasis," coaxed Adam.

With a sigh, Charlie started the composition over, and once again, Joel stopped her. "I don't think you heard me, Sugar. Let's hear some of that passion you showed at the benefit concert!"

Straightening her back on the hard bench, Charlie started the piece one more time. Sure enough, Joel's impatient voice stopped her yet again. "Are you completely tone deaf?" he half shouted at her. "Maybe you can't hear me, or maybe you're not listening!" Not bothering to switch off the speaker, Joel turned to one of the engineers seated beside him. "What a dumb slut! I guess Adam didn't marry her for her brains!"
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