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"Yes, Jake, I remember," sighed Abby, trying to keep her patience. "What of it?"

"I was wondering," he hesitated slowly, "if you would let me hold your hand."

The simplicity of the request caught Abby off guard. Jake had always given her a wide berth when it came to physical boundaries.

"I guess so," she shrugged, not trying to make the big deal over it that it was.

"Okay," said Jake, nervously taking in a deep breath.

For the space of several minutes, no one moved or said anything, until at last, Abby felt Jake's trembling hand take hold of hers. It wasn't a tender handclasp, but a firm tight grip, as if it was taking every nerve in his being to hold on. Unable to endure the pain any longer, Abby finally had to say something.

"Jake," she whimpered, "you're hurting me."

Alarmed, the young man quickly let go and got to his feet.

"I'm sorry!" he apologized.

"It's all right," she consoled him, rubbing her sore hand. "Nothing's broken."

Just then, Abby noticed that the fish she had put over the fire had turned into a dark black mass of burnt meat.

"There went our dinner," she groaned.

"You should have let me cook," smiled Jake.

"Have you ever made s'mores?" she asked, suddenly remembering to pull out the grocery bag she had brought.

"No," replied the ex-convict, resuming his seat beside her, "but I've heard of them."

"Poor man," sighed Abby, sadly. "First, you take a graham cracker-- open this box would you-- and place half a milk chocolate bar on it. Now, for the fun part." Abby bent down and picked up a small branch and pruned off its leaves and twigs, until she had a long, straight stick. "Uncle Terry uses one large marshmallow to a s'more, but I like it best with two. Put the marshmallows onto the end of the stick like this, and carefully toast it over the fire. See?"

With a boyish grin, Jake pruned down another stick and started on a s'more of his own.

"Uh-oh," he said, as the marshmallows quickly melted from his stick and fell into the fire.

"You're holding it too close to the flames," she explained. "See the way I'm doing it?" Jake grabbed another marshmallow and tried again, this time, with success. "Put the marshmallows on top of the chocolate and graham, and smash it down with another cracker," she directed.

The two laughed and made all the s'mores they could eat. When they had had their fill, Abby took a seat on the ground and leaned back against the driftwood they had been sitting on. Jake followed suit and soon both were enjoying the crackling of the fire and the lulling sound of waves as they broke on the shore. Slowly, Jake took her hand once more. This time, his grip was tight, but not painful.

"Let me know if I'm hurting you," he requested.

In a peaceful hush, the couple watched as the sun gradually dipped into the cool water of Three Mile Bay, extinguishing its heat in a blaze of orange, yellow, and purple, until at last surrendering to the blackness of the night. Clouds in the distance gently encircled the brilliant moon, refracting its light into a soft, pale halo. A damp breeze blew against Abby, and she shuddered, even though she was wearing a warm sweater.

"Are you cold?" asked Jake.
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