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"It's all right, Abby," he tried to comfort her.

"Jake," she cried, gulping back even more tears, "I didn't know this would happen! I never would have teased you so much, if I did!"

Jake put his arms around Abby, and let her weep into his cotton shirt.

"I know you didn't do this on purpose," he replied tenderly. "If you don't stop crying pretty soon, you'll have me doing it, too. You wouldn't want that on your conscience, would you?"

"No, I wouldn't," whimpered Abby, drying her face on his shoulder. "What's wrong with me, Jake? I don't usually fuss this much, and my moods are off the scale. I feel as though I'm loosing my mind."

"Abby, you're not crazy," Jake assured her, "you're just pregnant. There's a big difference."

Suddenly, Abby clutched up and her hands instinctively went to her belly. With a monumental gulp, Jake sat up in bed.

"What is it?" he asked nervously.

After a minute, Abby relaxed and sighed in relief.

"It was probably only something I ate," she smiled. Just as she was rejoicing that the pain was over, Abby clutched up again. "Oh!" she cried. "There it comes, again!"

At this, Jake jumped out of bed and frantically searched for his clothes, before realizing that he was already dressed. Abby moaned, and the young man began to feel faint.

"I should be writing down the contractions," he remembered, as his previous studies began to resurface in his mind. Jake located a fishing magazine on the fly tying desk and grabbed a nearby pen. "Tell me when the next contraction comes," he instructed, hovering over the bed until she cried out in pain. Jake scribbled something on the magazine, and counted to himself until Abby's relieved face indicated that the contraction was over.

"Here we go again," groaned Abby, as she doubled over in bed. Jake grabbed her outstretched hand and began to count.

"One, two, three," he mumbled, until the pain once more subsided. When the next contraction made Abby cry out with as much intensity as the previous pains, Jake ran to the living room telephone and called his father-in-law.

"I'll be over with the car," said John, quickly hanging up the phone.

"Your Dad's coming!" Jake shouted, as he ran down the hallway and into her bedroom.

Abby was a little less frantic now, and Jake thought it might be due to the fact that she knew her dad was on his way. A second look at the scribbles on the magazine, however, soon told him a different story.

"Abby," he remarked thoughtfully, "I think they're going away."

Before long, John and Terry's anxious faces appeared in the bedroom doorway, and Jake showed the men Abby's contraction times.

"How are you feeling, Sweetheart?" inquired John, bending over the bed and placing a concerned hand on his daughter's forehead.

"The pain's almost gone," she sighed in relief.

"Probably Braxton-Hicks," said Terry, as John nodded in agreement. Then, the two noticed Jake's pale face.

"Son, you're looking pretty white," observed John. "Better put your head between your knees, before you pass out."
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