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Abby looked at Jake's former warden and saw the heartfelt grief in his face. This was the same man who had led Jake to the Lord, who had done his best to protect him in prison, and had given his support to their marriage when others were hesitant. Truly, Abby recalled him once saying that he loved Jake as a son. She knew Jake wouldn't have wanted her to hold anything against this good friend.

"You don't have to blame yourself for anything, Mr. Doyle," Abby comforted him. "You didn't talk Jake into doing anything that he didn't want to do."

Dick crossed the room and gave her a grateful hug before returning to his chair. As Sheriff Peterson located a seat in the ever crowding room, the doorbell rang once more.

"Excuse me," smiled Dr. Jacoby, as he went to answer the door.

"Now who?" Abby silently groaned within herself, for she suddenly realized that all these people could be present to hear what she had to say to Jake. Thankfully, the visitor was only a patient who had forgotten that his session with the therapist had been canceled.

"If Jake agrees to talk to Abby," said Dr. Jacoby, returning to the room, "then everyone must respect their privacy, while they try to work things out. Abby, when the time comes, you may use the phone in my office. The rest of us will wait out here. Is that all right with you?"

Abby smiled gratefully at the therapist and nodded her head in agreement. This was not a conversation that she wanted everyone to overhear.

Three o'clock turned into four, four into five, and still no call from Jake. Not a single person left-- even Sheriff Peterson stayed, and pensively waited for the telephone to ring. Just as Dr. Jacoby was about to get something for everyone to eat, it happened. The telephone rang.

"Everyone remain calm," instructed the therapist. Abby got up and watched as Dr. Jacoby picked up the receiver. "Yes," he replied, "I'll accept the charges."

Upon hearing this, Terry knew that Jake was on the other end.

"It's him," he whispered to John.

"I'm so glad you called, Jake," said Dr. Jacoby, in his composed, professional voice. "Have you had the rape kit, yet?"

"No," replied Jake, "no one has even examined me. I don't know what to do."

"Have you requested to be placed in safekeeping?" asked the therapist. The safekeeping wing of the prison is reserved for high risk inmates, such as former law enforcement, and people who are unable to protect themselves from the others. It wasn't perfect though, for normal inmates still came into contact with the ones in safekeeping, and the opportunities to be abused still existed. Even so, safekeeping was better than nothing.

"I filled out a grievance, like you suggested," replied Jake. "I won't hear if it comes through or not, for a few weeks."

"Jake," began Dr. Jacoby, "there's someone with me right now who would like very much to speak to you. Now, you don't have to talk to Abby if you don't want to, but I want you to think this over very carefully before you turn her away."

"I... I don't think I can do it," he stammered. "It hurts so much."

"Abby is your wife, and she cares about you," continued Dr. Jacoby. "If you won't do this for yourself, then do it for her."

"For her then," replied Jake, his voice laced with uncertainty.

"Abby," informed the therapist, placing his hand over the mouthpiece so Jake couldn't overhear, "he's agreed to talk to you. Go into my office and shut the door. Pick up the receiver on my desk, and I'll hang up."

Abby nervously glanced at her father, and then walked to Dr. Jacoby's office. After closing the door, she picked up the telephone receiver with a trembling hand.
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