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"After this, I can't think of a single thing that could shock me now," he sighed, shaking his head sadly.

"I'm pregnant," blurted Abby.

The very words knocked the cigarette from Jake's lips, as it tumbled to the sand. He stared at her incredulously, reeling from disbelief.

"Are you sure?" he stammered.

"Very sure," replied Abby. "The doctor said that since you were in solitary confinement for the last two years you were in prison, the incubation period for any sexually transmitted diseases to show up are over. That means I'm not in any danger of coming down with AIDS, or anything."

Jake looked at her and shook his head.

"You never should have let me," he muttered. "It's so dangerous for you, Abby."

"I'm fine," she assured him. "The only thing you gave me was a baby. I must confess, I didn't know someone could get pregnant after only one night. I'm really sorry, Jake. You had no say in this decision, so I don't blame you for being mad."

"'Mad'?" he repeated, softly. "How could I ever be mad at you, when I owe you so much?" Jake looked at her and saw that she was trembling as well. "Are you scared?" he asked.

"I don't know if I can raise a baby on my own," she replied, trying to hold back the tears she felt welling up inside, "but I can't bring myself to put it up for adoption. Now that you know everything, if you want to leave, I'll understand."

"Abby," he said in a gentle voice, "I won't run out on you."

"Don't you want some time to think about it?" she asked.

"What's to think about?" he reasoned. "When we got married, I remember hearing, 'for better or for worse.' I'm not sure yet if this is better or worse, but I'm still here. For your sake, I'm sorry we spent that night together, Abby. I'm not sure if I should stay in the same house with you, or not."

"Stop worrying about me, Jake," she replied. "I always manage to land on my feet."

"Do you remember," he asked her, "that first time you talked to Dick?"

"You mean Warden Doyle?" replied Abby. "What about it?"

"I asked him to tell you about my past for a reason," he explained. "I didn't want you to fall in love with me."

"Who said anything about love?" she answered, trying to steady herself, for she was still trembling.

"I mean it, Abby," warned Jake. "Pity me, but don't love me."

"I hate it when you talk about yourself like that," she argued, getting up from the beach and brushing the sand from her clothes.

"I can never love you like you deserve," Jake cautioned her.

"Don't you think that things are complicated enough right now, without talking about hypothetical love?" she asked.

Jake got to his feet and stamped out the cigarette that had been smoldering on the sand.

"I suppose we'd better go tell them," he said in a voice of dread. "I saw Terry watching us from the window just now."

"You don't blame me for not putting the baby up for adoption, do you?" she asked, a little uncertainly.

"If it was my kid, I guess I'd want to keep it, too," replied the young man.
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