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"Let me enjoy this," requested Adam, tenderly taking her hand in his. "After all, it's not everyday that we're expecting a baby."

"We're just not expecting the baby, today!" laughed Charlie. "There's a big difference!"

Adam tucked a small blanket around Charlie. "I'm going to take good care of you," he promised.

"You always do," smiled Charlie, closing her eyes for some rest.

For several minutes, Adam lingered beside the couch and held Charlie's hand.

When he showed up in the kitchen a little while later, Vera shooed him out of their way.

"We have everything under control, so there's no need for a man to slow up progress," she informed him. "Is Charlie asleep?"

"I think all the excitement was a little much for her," affirmed Adam. Then Adam remembered he had a phone call to make, and went to contact the lawyer Bill had hired.

When Adam returned to the kitchen, he told Vera about the tabloid and his phone call. "Depending on how scared they are of being sued, they'll probably just pull the magazine and settle out of court," Adam informed Vera, as she handed him some plates to set the table with. "The bad news is, the pictures are out, and they'll never really go away. Our lawyer said they're probably on the Internet by now, and we just don't know about it yet."

"Sorry to hear it," Vera sighed.

Adam took the pitcher of juice from Vera's hands and delivered it to the table. "We knew this was probably inevitable, and I think the forewarning helped Charlie prepare herself for the pictures in that tabloid. She didn't panic and cry, but handled herself like a true pro. I was very proud of her, today."

A whiff of fried chicken drifted toward Adam and he grinned hungrily. Since the doctor had temporarily taken Charlie off her diet, that meant he was, too. "That smells so good," he sighed dreamily. "I haven't had fried chicken in quite a while!"

"Dinner's ready, so you'd better go wake up Charlie," advised Vera, taking off her apron while Mrs. Freemont placed a bowl of coleslaw on the table.

Adam went to the living room and gently shook Charlie's shoulder. "Honey," he whispered, "it's dinner time."

Charlie moaned sleepily, and tried to snuggle deeper into the couch cushions.

"We're having fried chicken," Adam coaxed, pulling off her small throw blanket.

With a yawn, Charlie sleepily blinked at Adam as he brushed the hair away from her face.

"Did you have a good nap?" he smiled tenderly.

Charlie nodded that she had, and Adam helped her to her feet.

"Tonight, after everyone has gone to bed," Adam proposed in a whisper, "why don't we load up an old movie in our room, and I'll make us some popcorn?"

"Why the celebration?" she smiled.

Adam gathered Charlie in his arms and sighed happily. "I have all the reason I need, right here."

"And God remembered [Charlie]... and opened her womb. And she conceived... a son."
~ Genesis 30: 22-23 ~

"Who is like unto the LORD our God... He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children."
~ Psalm 113:5, 9 ~

end of chapter
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