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"Of course," she said, as he quickly came to her side and hugged her from behind.

"Thanks," he breathed, trying to steady himself against her. "Abby, they can't send me back to prison," he tried to console her with quaking arms. "No matter how mad I may get them, they can't put me back in there unless I break the law."

"Just how mad do you intend to get them?" she asked in a tremulous voice.

"I have to get their attention," replied Jake. "A lawsuit won't exactly make them happy."

Abby closed her eyes tightly.

"What about college?" she asked. "What about your future?"

"I haven't been accepted, yet."

"So?" she cried. "You will be! The acceptance letters are supposed to go out next month!"

Abby tried to get out of Jake's embrace but he hugged her all the harder.

"Your whole future is right in front of you!" she argued. "Jake, let me go!"

The young man suddenly relinquished his hold on her and she quickly stepped away from him.

"How can Dick ask you to do this?" she demanded. "How can you ask me to do this?!"

"They can't hurt me, Abby," he tried to assure her.

"Then tell me it's not dangerous," she challenged him.

Jake bowed his head and then looked up at her through a brown fringe of loose hair.

"Jake," she pleaded, "I know you think this is risky, otherwise you wouldn't be shaking so badly. Don't sugarcoat the truth just because you're afraid I won't go along with Dick's plan. You're my husband. Whatever happens to you, happens to me."

"Dick has had three death threats," admitted Jake, "and recently, someone broke into his home and stole a family photo album. It was later returned with all the pictures of Dick and Sara torn into shreds. I know it sounds bad, but it's just threats and intimidation."

"Jake, don't ask me to do this," she pleaded, shaking her head more adamantly than before.

"I know it's not easy being married to me," he apologized. "I realize I keep asking a lot from you. I promise, I'll go to college after the lawsuit is over."

"This isn't about money!" exclaimed Abby. "I don't care if you ever hold down a single paying job! I'll scrub floors for a living if I have to, but I refuse to give you back to them!"

When Jake began to tremble once more, Abby moved back into his arms.

"I can't take any more discussion right now," he breathed wearily. "Will you let me be with you, tonight?"

"You usually don't have to ask," said Abby, as his hand grasped hers.

"I usually don't feel I need to ask," said Jake, a little uncertainly. "I don't think you like me very much right now."

Abby smiled, almost involuntarily, at this remark.
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