...continued from previous page
Be among the first to know when I post new chapters, to new books!

Click Here
Keep up-to-date on all the announcements and website news!

Subscribe today!

My policy is to follow the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12); I hate spam too, and will never sell or give away your email address.
When the service ended, people crowded around Abby and Jake, to wish the newlyweds well. For someone who strongly disliked shaking hands, Jake found himself doing it several times that day, as many of the Johanneses' friends and church members filed by and congratulated them. Abby would have spared Jake if she could, but she knew they were going to have to face these people, sooner or later. By now, it was generally known that they were married in name only, but no one was brave enough to mention it, except for Dr. Gregory, the local veterinary and one of Abby's oldest fishing buddies.

"Why didn't you have the wedding ceremony here?" gently scolded the middle-aged man. "Were you afraid we wouldn't come?"

"A small ceremony was the right thing for Jake and I," reasoned Abby, grasping for a polite excuse. "Besides, it was cozier than a big wedding."

"Abby, I know you better than that!" chuckled Dr. Gregory, good-naturedly. "You didn't want us butting in and asking a lot of questions."

Embarrassed by the accuracy of her friend's analysis, she blushed.

"You always were direct and to the point," replied Abby, as Dr. Gregory laughed and shook Jake's hand.

"After Abby talks you into fly fishing," he invited Jake, "we'd love to have another fishing buddy."

Jake said very little to anyone, making him even more of an enigma than before. When the congratulations were over, the couple went out to the jeep, with John, Izumi, and Terry following soon after.

"Sweetheart?" called Izumi, as Abby was getting behind the wheel. "Agatha has invited us and some others to lunch at her house today, to celebrate your marriage. She'll be expecting you both at half past noon. I'm going to stay behind, and help Agatha get ready."

"Couldn't we get out of it?" wondered Abby, not trying to appear ungrateful.

"Dear," replied Izumi patiently, "you were just married. None of our friends even had the opportunity to send you a card, let alone attend a ceremony! You must let them do something! If you don't come, it will only hurt their feelings."

"We'll be there," Abby agreed.

As they drove away, she glanced at Jake who remained quiet.

"You can handle lunch at Mrs. Hopkins' house, can't you?" she asked him. "She's one of Mom's closest friends."

"If I have an episode," Jake solemnly requested, "promise that you'll get me out of there."

"They're my friends," said Abby. "They'll understand."

"Promise me!" he insisted.

"Take it easy," responded Abby. "If you need to leave, I'll take you home. Just stay calm. This isn't meant to be a punishment!"

When they reached the little yellow house, Jake got out and went straight to his room, closing his bedroom door behind him. When it was time to leave, he reappeared, ready to face Mrs. Hopkins and the other guests.

Abby was surprised to find several acquaintances present at the luncheon, and wondered how Mrs. Hopkins had managed to feed so many people with such short notice. Izumi would later explain that several women had helped out, for everyone had wanted to show their support to the Johannes family.

As in church, Jake said very little and kept Abby in clear sight at all times. In many ways, she was his lifeline in this sea of strangers. Because of his silence, many nearly forgot he was present, except when remembering the occasion for their gathering, in the first place.

"He doesn't talk much, does he," commented Dr. Gregory to Terry, watching the young man from across the room.

"I feel sorry for him," sighed Terry, seeing the glass in Jake's hand slightly tremor. "Abby's taken on a big responsibility."
continued on next page...
<< Love Stories Last PageLove Stories Next Page >>
Spread the Love
One of my longtime readers, Myra Valcourt, has created a Facebook group just for you! "The Works of Judith Bronte" offers a forum to discuss the stories and characters, and a way to get to know other readers. I hope to see you there!