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Thunder boomed in the distance, as another wave of contractions hit Charlie. These were much stronger than the others, and it took a great deal of courage for her not to panic. She was alone in the dark, and in more physical pain than she had ever experienced in her entire life.

"Dear God," Charlie pleaded with Heaven, "don't let me have this baby by myself!"

Wind whipped at Adam as he rushed down the flagstone walk to the garage. His only thoughts were of Charlie and the baby, and if the noise that greeted his ears hadn't been so strangely out of place, he would have easily missed it. To his great surprise, he could hear the nearby sound of swiftly moving water! Adam frowned. Since there were no rivers around here for a great distance, this could only mean one thing.

"Please, God! No!" he prayed aloud. With a lump in his throat, Adam followed the sound of water past the main gates of Villa Rosa. The emergency backup power for the security system had kicked in, and Adam still had to go through his normal routine of unlocking the heavy gate with a pass code before he could get through on foot.

The open desert's dark expanse seemed to close in on Adam as he made his way down the paved road. Overhead, the sky flashed and rumbled, threatening rain.

Trusting his ears to take him to the source of the sound, Adam followed the road away from Villa Rosa until he reached the one place where it dipped because of a former wash. The sound was quite loud now, and Adam aimed his flashlight ahead, knowing what he would find even before he saw it.

"Who goes there?" demanded a sturdy voice from behind Adam.

Instinctively, Adam put his hands in the air and slowly turned around. "It's me-- Adam!" he called out.

Two figures with flashlights appeared out of the darkness and approached the startled man.

"Sorry if we scared you," apologized Kevin, holstering his handgun. "I heard someone moving around outside and found the electricity off and the front gate open."

"The road's washed out," Adam informed them, shining his flashlight down at the rushing water. "It must really be raining elsewhere, for us to get this much runoff!"

"Guess we're not going anywhere for a while," remarked Kevin.

Adam rubbed his face and moaned. "This can't happen!" he cried.

"What's wrong?" asked Kevin with a joking laugh. "You look like you're best friend just died!"

"Don't say that!" snapped Adam.

Kevin remained silent. The desperation in Adam's voice told him that something was wrong.

"I'm sorry," Adam apologized, turning his flashlight back on the flooded road. "Charlie went into labor, and I have to get her to the hospital!"

"Is there anything we can do to help?" offered Kevin. "You're not getting through that water. It's several feet deep, and it doesn't look like it's done rising. What about the jet?"

"We don't a have pilot living on the grounds," Adam sighed. "One would have to drive in." Shaking his head, Adam turned toward Villa Rosa's gates. "I'd better go back to Charlie before she never speaks to me again! Would one of you see if you can get the generator started? It's pitch-black inside!"

"Can do!" nodded Mark, the second bodyguard on rotation at the time. Mark was a former Navy Seabee, and he was quite confident that he could easily handle the generator. A baby, on the other hand, was another matter altogether!
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