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Mike gave Adam one last hug before they went inside. "That baby's going to be healthy, Uncle Adam. I just know it is!"

Autumn passed, and Dave prepared to leave Villa Rosa for the university in Los Angeles. Charlie promised she would keep up with her finger exercises, and Adam assured him that Charlie hadn't seen the last of her lessons. Adam was already working on another composition for Charlie, and he would keep her busy trying to learn this new piece. With hugs and assurances of future visits, Dave left and Adam's music room was suddenly a little emptier.

Adam compensated for his loss of a music partner, by getting Charlie back at her piano. It was starting to get a little difficult, however, for her pregnancy was showing, and her belly got in the way of getting too close to the keyboard.

"You're going to have to face it sooner or later!" Charlie laughed to her husband. "If I get any bigger, there go my piano lessons!"

Just before Christmas, Adam's new album made its debut. It was the first album he had put out in several years, and many attributed "Unification" to the success of his marriage. From the loving titles Adam had given his songs, he did little to discourage this conclusion.

With the release of Unification, Adam grew to appreciate the airfield at Villa Rosa. Gary had no difficulty in finding venues where Wallace Shipley could make one or two performances and then fly home the next day; Adam was just grateful that when he flew home, it was actually to his home, and not to an airport. It meant less of a commute, and it made everything that much easier for him and Charlie to be together.

Adam was able to draw large audiences wherever he went, and it was an especial treat to his fans whenever Charlie was able to attend one of his concerts. Now that Charlie's pregnancy was noticeably apparent, she didn't feel very comfortable waddling onstage to play a love duet with Adam. Even so, she managed to make enough appearances that Adam finally told her it was enough. The media had had plenty of opportunity to cover her pregnancy, and he assured her that his fans would understand when she didn't show up for anymore concerts. The album was selling nicely, and Charlie could finally rest.

December came and went, and Charlie's belly grew larger with every passing month. Shirley gave her sister-in-law the promised baby shower, and Maggie had delighted in surprising Charlie with some bedding that she had hand sewn just for the baby. It was a happy time for Charlie, and after her baby shower, she had Adam set up their new baby crib in the master bedroom. Wally watched on in curiosity, and even played with Adam by grabbing his screwdriver and charging into the courtyard with him in pursuit! It wasn't unusual to find missing household items mysteriously buried in the garden, and whenever Adam missed something, he always knew where to look.

A few days after Adam's birthday in February, Charlie's doctor announced that he could finally determine the gender of their baby. As to whether or not the baby had inherited the AD gene, both Adam and Charlie decided that they didn't want any tests done to make that determination. It would not affect any decisions, and Charlie wanted their child to make that choice when it was old enough to decide for itself.

Before the doctor announced the baby's gender, Charlie asked Adam one last time if he really wanted to know.

"Some people want it to be a surprise," she reasoned.

"I'm not one of them, are you?"

"No," smiled Charlie, "I'm not."
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