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Abby was silent.

"Dr. Jacoby would love to hear all this," he chuckled. "You're good therapy for me, Abby."

When she remained quiet after several more minutes, Jake looked down at the solemn face leaning against his shoulder.

"You're suddenly quiet," he mused.

"I was praying," said Abby.

"For what?" asked Jake, with a curious smile.

"I was just thanking God for a little boy who learned to trust," she sighed gratefully.

Jake and Abby remained in bed all that morning, simply trying to accustom him to her touch by snuggling and holding hands beneath the warm covers. However, as noon approached, Abby began to feel the effects of holding still for so long. She was getting restless, and Jake realized that the only way he would be able to keep her, was to go with her.

Since Jake couldn't eat because of his painkillers, they both skipped lunch and went outside to enjoy the several inches of snow that had fallen the night before.

"Doesn't everything look fresh and new?" exclaimed Abby, eagerly inhaling the crisp winter air. "By January, I'm going to be sick of the stuff," she quickly acknowledged, "but right now, I only want to enjoy it!" Abby looked at Jake, who was trying to keep up with her exuberance. "You've put me in a very foolish mood," she laughed. "I feel a strange kind of helplessness, as though you have me in the palm of your hand-- yours to crush or to cherish. Even so, I'm not afraid. Why is that, Jake? What have you done to me?"

The young man put his arms around her and sighed contentedly. But Abby couldn't hold still for long, and Jake had to release her much too soon.

"Let's build Mom's snowman!" she exclaimed, tugging him by the hand and leading him to her parents' bedroom window. "Hi, Mom!" she shouted, waving through the partially curtained window to get Izumi's attention.

The very expectant mother looked up from her book and smiled when she saw her daughter, standing outside in the snow with Jake.

"Hi, Sweetheart!" she called back. "Hi, Jake!"

"We're going to build you a snowman!" Abby shouted.

"What?" hollered Izumi, unable to hear her daughter clearly through the closed window.

Abby cupped her hands to her mouth and was about to repeat herself when John slid open the window.

"If you two shout a little louder," he laughed, "then the neighbors might hear you better!"

"John," Izumi eagerly asked, "would you get my coat? I want to leave the window open. I think they're going to build a snowman, and I want to watch!"

"Well then," he sighed, "you'd better bundle up. It's freezing cold out there, Little Dove, and in a few minutes, it's going to feel like that in here."

John helped Izumi put on her heavy winter coat, and then covered the rest of her with a thick warm blanket. He fought the urge to tease her, as she finished the ensemble with a stocking cap and gloves. Instead, John kissed his wife and opened the bedroom window wide open.

"I'm going to keep the door closed," said John, "or else the rest of the house is going to get pretty interesting." He rubbed his arms and waved to AJ, before joining Terry in their home office. At least there, he could stay warm!

Seeing they had an audience in her mom, Abby was impatient to begin.

"Come on, Jake!" laughed Abby, taking a handful of snow and adding to it until it was big enough to roll on the ground. Jake rolled the ever growing ball of snow, while Abby patted it down into a firm shape.
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