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"Jake reminds me of someone we know," observed Izumi, thoughtfully.

"I know, I thought of Terry, also," agreed John. "Though, Terry never had it that bad. Thank God!"

"That's because God made the two of you friends," smiled Izumi, lovingly. "It's all right with me, John. I think, though, that we need to keep him away from our Abby, until we're sure of his character. Christian or not, he's been in an adult state penitentiary for nine years."

"I agree," affirmed John.

After the couple prayed and asked God to bless them and the guest that He had so Providentially placed in their way to help, John went outside and told Henry their decision.

Upon hearing the news, the Sheriff clapped John on the back.

"Now, what do you want for rent?" asked the Sheriff.

"Henry, we're not in this for the money," smiled John.

"No more than I," grinned the Sheriff. "But, I don't think it's wise to outright give him the rent for free. The idea is to make him independent-- if not in fact, then in technicality. How about ten dollars a week? Though, I know rent for a nice little house like that would go for considerably more."

"That's fine with me," replied John. "We'll get it ready for him. I'll have to turn on the gas and electricity, and make sure the major appliances are working."

"I'm sure he'll appreciate it," said the Sheriff.

"You said Jake was fifteen when he was incarcerated?" asked John, thoughtfully. "Plus nine years in prison... that makes him about twenty-four, doesn't it?"

"I believe it does," replied the Sheriff. "Why do you ask?"

"Izumi and I aren't comfortable with the idea of letting Jake be around our Abby-- at least, not immediately."

"I'll make sure Jake understands," said the Sheriff. "I almost forgot, there is one thing you should know."

"What's that?" asked John.

"Jake doesn't like to be touched," related the Sheriff. "Dick says he's just getting used to shaking hands, but it's possible he could act a little violent to any other physical contact."

"I see," said John, gravely.

"Don't get me wrong," said the Sheriff. "Jake doesn't have a history of violence... except for the one conviction, of course. What I mean is, he isn't a trouble maker. And, he'll be going to therapy two times a week. If he doesn't attend, it'll be in violation of his parole, and he could be sent back to prison. I realize it's asking a lot, but does your offer still stand?"

With an uneasy groan, John shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

"Our Abby's going to be engaged soon," he reasoned. "So, she won't be around the house as much in the future. Terry will be back from the business trip in Hong Kong, early next week. Since he and I work from home, Izumi won't be by herself. After taking everything into consideration, I suppose it's still all right for him to come. But, Henry, I want you to tell him, that if he does anything to threaten or hurt my family, so help me, I'll turn him out of that house, myself!"

"I'll make sure Jake understands," repeated the Sheriff, turning to leave. "All he needs is a chance, John."

"I'm willing to give him one," said John.

"God bless you folks for your willingness," said the Sheriff, shaking John's hand and getting back into his pickup, for he had made this errand while on his own time, and not while he was on duty.

Just as the Sheriff's vehicle was pulling away, Tyler's car drove up to the Johannes house. He got out and opened Abby's door for her.

"Did you two have a good time, tonight?" greeted John, expectantly.
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