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"Jake," hesitated Abby, as he got to his feet and walked over to where she stood, "maybe you should lay down some more."

"Dr. Jacoby said we should go at my pace," he reminded Abby, his eyes leveling with hers. "Let me make my own decisions-- at least, when it comes to this." Jake gently kissed Abby and then smiled at her triumphantly. "Go eat the lunch Terry made. I'll be along in a while."

"And leave you here by yourself?"

"Please," he requested, "go to your parents' house."

"What are you going to do while I'm gone?" she wondered, suddenly realizing that he didn't want her around for a reason.

"I'm only going to take a quick shower," explained Jake, turning his face away from her, for he could feel himself beginning to blush with embarrassment.

"You'd better make it a cold one," grinned Abby, now understanding what he had meant.

With a bashful glance at his wife, Jake disappeared into the bathroom and shut the door behind him.

As Abby entered her parents' kitchen, Terry looked up at his niece in surprise. He hadn't expected to see her so soon.

"You didn't have to come back," said Terry, wiping his hands with a washcloth and tossing it onto the countertop. "I don't want to interrupt anything you and Jake might have going on."

"I'll ignore that last comment," smiled Abby, grabbing his cookbook and thumbing to the next recipe they had earmarked for the Thanksgiving meal.

"Have you or Jake had lunch?" asked Terry. "I'm guessing that you didn't go home to eat."

"Even Dad and Mom have more privacy than we do!" groaned Abby. "Do I have to keep you updated on every aspect of our relationship?"

"I'm not asking for any details," mused Terry with a grin, "I was only wondering if you and Jake still wanted lunch."

Abby looked at her uncle and smiled in spite of herself. It was a little unnerving how perceptive Terry was.

"The egg salad is in the refrigerator," grinned Terry, seeing that he had guessed correctly.

"Please," she asked him, "don't tease Jake when you see him. He's a little sensitive about all this."

"I won't," he promised, giving the young woman an understanding hug.

Grateful for Terry's assurance, Abby started in on her lunch and kept a watchful eye on the kitchen clock. She didn't want to leave Jake by himself for very long, and was prepared to go check on him if he didn't show up in the next few minutes. When her husband finally arrived, Terry kept his promise, and Jake unwittingly escaped the knowing grins and chuckles that Abby had endured.

As everyone set about to make ready for tomorrow's celebration, a holiday spirit pervaded each soul in the Johannes household. Even Jake, who was relatively unfamiliar with Thanksgiving and its traditions, was soon caught up in Terry's jokes and funny stories, all the while trying to line a large casserole dish for the apple cobbler. Jake laughed so hard that Abby finally had to ask Terry to calm down, for he was only making Jake worse. However, the warning went largely unheeded by both men, until Jake suddenly had to retreat to the living room couch until the pain in his chest lessened. Realizing his mistake, Terry subdued his mirth, though he found it difficult to do.
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