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Abby really had no idea, but she still wanted to leave. Seeing they were fighting a losing battle, the two men let her go.

"I wonder what the triplets are going to be like," mused Terry, as John got down a box of cereal from the cupboard. "I wonder if they're going to be anything like our Abby."

"God help us if they are," smiled John, wearily.

"By the way," asked Terry, curiously, "why were you on the couch?"

True to John's prediction, Abby arrived much too early and had to content herself with waiting in the parking lot. A few minutes before eight-thirty, she saw her father's car pull up.

"I know, I know," she laughed, walking to their vehicle as John and Terry got out, "you told me this would happen!"

"At least you're saving me the trouble of saying, 'I told you so'!" grinned John, putting an arm around his daughter as the three made their way inside the hospital.

To her delight, when Abby walked into Jake's room that morning, she discovered that he was just waking up.

The young man smiled broadly when he saw her.

"How was your night?" she asked, going straight to his bedside.

"I don't remember it," he whispered, carefully inhaling a painful gulp of air before speaking.

"That's good," Abby nodded to him encouragingly. She wanted to tell him that the powerful sedative was so he could rest without any flashbacks, but decided to hold her tongue. The less said about that, the better.

"How are you doing, Son?" John ventured, stepping forward with Terry at his side. Terry waved to him and smiled. "You know," said John, "I think your face is a little less swollen today, don't you think so, Abby?"

Abby looked back to Jake, while he awaited her verdict.

"I don't know," she smiled playfully, "it's hard to tell. This is pretty much the way he's always looked!"

At this, Jake started to laugh. However, his broken ribs quickly cut the laughter short, and he had to wait for a few minutes before the pain started to back off a little.

"I'm sorry," she apologized.

Jake smiled weakly at her, and for awhile, they just gazed at each other. Neither one said a word, for words were unnecessary. Jake hungrily drank in her deep blue eyes, and sighed longingly, despite the throbbing in his ribs. Deep down, Abby knew he was wishing that he could be normal.

"It's all right," she quietly assured him, touching the sheet a few inches from his hand. "We love each other. That's all that matters."

The ex-convict closed his eyes, and bit his bottom lip. This time, Abby knew it wasn't out of physical pain.

By now, John and Terry were beginning to feel like intruders. Just as they were about to wait in the hall, Abby noticed for the first time a large vase of yellow chrysanthemums and white daisies near Jake's bed.

"Who's this from?" she asked, picking a white printed card from the bouquet. "Dad," she called to him, "I think this is from one of your friends." Abby handed the card to her father, for she didn't personally know the sender, but was familiar with their name.
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