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Angrily, Adam rose from the piano and marched into the control room. A quick-thinking engineer had switched off the speaker, so all Charlie could do was watch them through the window. Adam didn't look happy, and by the time he left Joel, Joel didn't look happy, either.

After Adam returned to the live room, he apologized to Charlie. "Joel may have a loud mouth, but he's one of the best recording engineers in the business." Then he leaned forward and whispered something into Charlie's ear. "This is business, Charlie-girl. You don't have to like him, just work with him long enough to finish the job."

"I understand," nodded Charlie. She had heard some rough language behind the scenes at the benefit concert, and knew that Adam wasn't responsible for their foul mouths. After all, this was the world, and not Villa Rosa. "I'm ready to start whenever you are."

Charlie was showing a measure of professionalism, and it made Adam proud to see her not taking everything Joel said to heart.

The duet began, and this time, the loudspeaker was silent. It wasn't until after the song was finished, that Joel finally spoke. "Adam, could I have a moment with you?"

Charlie felt the soreness in her back as Adam went to the control room. She had a feeling Joel didn't like their performance.

Through the window, Charlie saw Joel yell at her husband. Charlie guessed that Adam had requested Joel to have their discussions where she couldn't overhear, and when Joel began to yell and wave his arms, she was grateful that she couldn't hear what was being said. Patiently, Adam remained relatively calm and even smiled at one of the other engineers. After waiting for Joel to finish, Adam said something, and then returned to the live room.

"We're going to take five," he announced. "Are you hungry, Charlie? There's a good deli just around the corner."

"Joel didn't like our duet, did he?" guessed Charlie.

"He thought it could use some improvement," admitted Adam. "Now, how about that deli? Right now, I'd like a hot pastrami on rye with mustard and tomato. Let's forget about the diet right now, and have ourselves a treat! How about it?"

Charlie glanced back at the window, and saw Joel chain smoking another cigarette.

"Come on," smiled Adam, putting his arm around Charlie as she got up from the piano bench. "We all need a few minutes to relax."

Dave and the two bodyguards joined the couple, and soon the five were crowded around a small table eating deli sandwiches and carefully sipping hot coffee. Since this was a such small establishment, there were very few people around to recognize Adam, and Charlie felt as though she could truly relax for a few minutes.

A half hour later, Adam and Charlie returned to the sealed live room. Interestingly, Joel was in the bathroom, so everyone had to wait for him to return before they could begin.

Instead of complaining, Adam shared Charlie's piano bench, and they played some of the finger exercises that Dave had taught her.

"You probably wish we were recording exercises, instead of the duet," Adam smiled good-naturedly. "Can't say I blame you. This session hasn't been going too well."

With a small contented sigh, Charlie leaned her head against Adam's shoulder. "At least the company is good," she mused.
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