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"I've been keeping track," replied Jake. "I can read a calendar, too."

In the flood of his recent ordeals, Abby had thought her pregnancy had pretty much been forgotten by him.

"I've probably been reading up on it more than you have," added Jake, with a small smile. "You and your runaway pet hamster! I'm not taking any chances."

"I would never forget to feed a baby!" she exclaimed indignantly. "Honestly, Jake!"

The young man grinned at her and walked into the master bedroom, where Izumi was eagerly waiting. She hadn't seen Jake since before he had been arrested, and was understandably anxious to see him.

"There you are!" she exclaimed, smiling warmly at her son-in-law. "It's so good to see you, Jake!"

"Hi, Mom," he smiled, trying not to make a big deal out of her large, distended belly. He had realized his mistake with Abby, and wisely decided not to stare at the obvious. "How are you doing?" he inquired.

"That's kind of you, especially when I should be asking you the same question," sighed Izumi. "I'm so very sorry about what happened to you in prison."

"What's done is done," he shrugged, as Abby entered the room and helped to adjust the pillows her mother was leaning on for support.

"Thanks, Sweetheart," said Izumi. "Ten more weeks of this bed rest to go. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's for the triplets. Every day I can give them inside my womb, increases their chance for survival."

"Jake," asked Abby, sitting down on the bed beside Izumi, "how's your chest been doing? You're not whispering anymore, so I guess the pain is getting better?"

"I guess so," he replied, awkwardly stuffing his hands into his pockets. "When I take deep breaths, it really hurts."

"Jake's moving back," Abby informed her mother. As she said this, Abby noticed Jake clutch up, for fear that she would talk about "the process," in front of her Mom. Seeing he was uncomfortable, she changed the subject as soon as she could.

After their visit with Izumi, AJ walked down the hall on their way to the living room. As they passed the triplets' nursery, something caught Jake's eye. Curious, he went inside. Unaware that he wasn't behind her, Abby continued on her way. She listened to the men talking in the living room for awhile and was about to make some comment to Jake, when she noticed for the first time that he wasn't there. After a quick search, Abby found him in the triplets' nursery.

"There you are," she sighed in relief, as Jake stared at the finished mural on the wall.

"It's good, Abby," he smiled. "I really like what you've done."

"You did most of the work," said Abby, not trying to take credit for the completed artwork. "I just followed the lines you had sketched on the wall."

"I can't tell where you started, and I left off," Jake sighed happily. "You're finally painting with your heart, Abby." By the honest look on his face, she knew it was a sincere compliment.
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