Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters in Numb3rs.

Setting: Alan's girlfriend of 6 months, Melinda, is making her singing debut tonight at "Shadow Chasers." A popular club known to have launched a few singing careers. Alan has invited everyone he knows to come, and support the new love in his life.

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Don polished off his drink, and then motioned for the waitress to bring him another.

Perhaps, with enough alcohol in his system, he could forget what's been bothering him these past few months, and be the supportive son his father deserved on this special occasion.

Don knew, he had stopped fooling his Father and Charlie, with his denials about anything being wrong. So, in order to stop lying to the two people that meant the most to him, and to ease their growing concern. Don started avoiding them, and their questions by using work as an excuse.

But he couldn't avoid being present tonight to support his Father and Melinda.

When Melinda, was introduced the audience welcomed her warmly with loud applause. Don and Charlie, observing the pride and love on their fathers face, exchanged glances and smiles.

Melinda, opened with a romantic ballad,one of Alan's favorites. At 42, she was much younger than him and Alan hesitated dating her at first because of this. But she was persistant and he found her irresistable,so he took the plunge. Any concerns family and friends had about their age differences disappeared quickly,with the warm and loving relationship that developed between them.

As Don listened, he marveled at how beautifully she sang. her voice was soothing and it lulled him into a comfort zone, where the conflict and worry inside him quieted down for a few moments.
In this tranquil place, he thought a lot about Melinda,how beautiful she looked tonight,and everything that made her such a special person.

Don,didn't realize it, but he had forgotten everyone around him,having been so deep in thought.

It was only the loud clapping that brought him back to the reality of where he was.

Don glanced around the table, as he joined in with the clapping, and was startled to see Charlie looking in his direction.

Don's heart leapt into his throat when he saw the look on his brothers face. Don had let his guard down only for a few moments, but in that short time his face had betrayed him. Charlie had seen in Don's eyes the love he felt for Melinda.