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"I don't want to talk to you right now," she replied, walking at a fast clip towards the little yellow house on the beach.

"What did I do that was so wrong?" he asked.

"I suppose in Dad and Uncle Terry's eyes, you didn't do anything wrong," said Abby, "but, we made a deal, Jake. You and I promised not to fall in love with each other!"

At this, Jake suddenly stopped in his tracks. Abby turned to face him.

"I never said I loved you," he stammered.

"Then why all the trouble for the secluded spot on the beach, the one tent, the predicted rainstorm, if you weren't trying to plan a romantic evening that would force us to be together?" she reasoned.

"I only wanted to be close to you," replied Jake, shoving his hands into his pockets. "We walk around each other so often, I thought..."

"What did you think?" cried Abby. "That we would suddenly become 'normal' like Dad and Mom?"

"I don't know," shrugged Jake, lowering his eyes. "Please, don't be angry."

Abby brushed her long black hair away from her face and sighed heavily.

"We aren't my parents," she said, patiently. "We never will be. All we have is our friendship. It's all either of us are capable of, and I don't want to ruin it, do you?"

"No, I don't," answered Jake, quietly. "You're the best friend I've ever had."

"Now that that's settled," sighed Abby, "I have to go shower and change, or I'm going to be late for work."

"Does this mean I can't hold your hand, anymore?" he asked in troubled voice.

"Not if you're going to take it the wrong way," she warned him.

"I won't," promised Jake.

"Then, I guess it's all right," conceded Abby. "I'm glad that we can look so objectively at the situation."

"Very objectively," he muttered, with a small frown.

Jake watched in silence as Abby disappeared into the house, leaving him alone with his thoughts.

Already running a little late, Abby skipped breakfast, and drove to work, her mind still on Jake and the camp out. When she entered the tackle shop, Dennis showed her the appointment clipboard.

"And," he added, "Mr. York is coming today for another lesson."

"Doesn't that man have a life?!" cried Abby, as Mr. Winkler greeted them from across the store where he had been checking inventory.

"Abby!" exclaimed the old man, suddenly coming to her. "What happened to your left hand?"

The young woman looked down at her hand and winced. A large blue and purple bruise was already starting to show, where Jake had gripped it so tightly throughout the night before.

"Are those finger marks?" asked Dennis, coming over for a better look, himself.

"It's Jake," explained Abby.

"Is he hurting you?" asked Mr. Winkler in surprise.
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