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"That sounds like something Dad would say," smiled Abby, with a soft groan. "Am I your other half, Jake?" The ex-convict eyed her suspiciously. "Don't look at me like that," she laughed. "I'm not the one who waited to eat dinner until their 'other half' came home!"

"If it bothers you so much, I won't do it," replied Jake, getting up from the table to eat in the living room.

"Wait," called out Abby, with a heavy sigh. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, Jake! You know I'm not a romantic."

"I wasn't trying to be romantic," he explained, "I was trying to act like a team. If nothing else, that is what we are, aren't we?"

"You're right," conceded Abby. "I tell you Jake, just when I think I have you figured out, you go and pull something like this."

"What do you expect me to do?" he asked, sitting down at the table again. "The only time I ever see you anymore, is early in the morning, or late in the evening."

"And sometimes, in the middle of the night," she added, referring to his flashback the night before.

"Do you have to bring that up?" Jake asked pleadingly.

"What?" she challenged him. "You said you never see me, and I was only adding that you do see me more than just at mealtime."

"Do Mr. Winkler and Dennis really work you so hard?" he implored. "Must you spend all your time down there?"

Abby sighed and looked up at her friend.

"What do you want from me, Jake?"

"I don't want to be left out," he answered in a sincere voice. "This family is all I have, and you're a big part of that. I know things are different now, but we've been good friends in the past, haven't we?"

"Aren't you blowing this out of proportion?" she asked.

"Abby, I know when someone's trying to avoid me!" he cried, his voice finally rising above a low hush.

"What about you?" she retorted. "You won't come into my room anymore, but stay in the hall, like there was an invisible line you can't cross! And last night, when you had your flashback, I couldn't get inside any faster because you had locked your door! Who is trying to avoid who?!"

Upon hearing a disturbance, John found Abby and Jake involved in an argument in the kitchen. With his arrival, Jake quickly became silent, for this conversation was too private and personal to share in front of his father-in-law. Seeing that the young man was uncomfortable, John gave his daughter a warning look, and left the room.

"I can't talk here," said Jake, getting up from the table. "Could we go outside... please?"

AJ stepped out into the cool evening air and went out a little ways onto the beach, until they were far enough from the house to speak in private.

"Abby," began Jake, "I know we can't just go back to the way things were, but I think we can still be friends."

"If by that, you mean that you have to walk ten feet around me as though I had a catching disease, then no, I don't agree," she replied. "I don't know why you're being so skittish about it, Jake. I'm the one who remembers that night-- not you."

"Why do you think I'm so afraid?" he asked. "I know you know, and it terrifies me!"

"I don't want you to leave," she begged.
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