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Abby nodded understandingly, and watched as he buttoned his shirt and then ran a comb through his hair.

"You really don't know what month this is?" Jake asked her once more. "I mean, besides the start of smallmouth bass season," he quickly added, knowing how much she had been looking forward to catching the fish again. "Never mind, Abby," he finally smiled, seeing that she really was clueless. "I'm probably just being overly sensitive." Even though he was attempting to downplay his disappointment, Abby could plainly see that he was heartsick.

"Won't you just tell me what I'm forgetting," she pleaded, "so I could hurry and apologize?"

"It's all right," dismissed Jake, picking up an article of Abby's laundry from off the bathroom floor and dropping it into the clothes hamper. "Did you nurse Ricky, yet?"

"He's ready and waiting for you," she answered.

After Jake had strapped on the baby sling and placed Ricky into his secure little nest, Abby sighed contentedly as the infant looked up at his daddy with two brown eyes so like his own. Jake lightly touched Ricky's small crown with his lips.

"Are you ready to face the world, little man?" he whispered tenderly. The child opened his mouth in an "ooooh," and then smiled happily as Jake offered him a finger to grasp. "Oh, Ricky," Jake smiled in amazement, "what a miracle you are! Do you know that you're an absolute blessing? Do you?" Jake chuckled softly as the child began to close his eyes for a nap.

Preparing to leave for her parents' house, Jake leaned forward and gave Abby a quick peck on the forehead, for he was unable to give her their usual kiss before parting.

"Try not to be too long before you come to breakfast," he told her. As he started down the hall, Abby called after him.


"Humm?" he asked, looking over his shoulder before coming to a complete stop.

"I love you, Jake."

A warm smile spread across his handsome face.

"Abby," he sighed deeply, "never stop telling me that."

For some reason, Terry was all winks and smiles at the breakfast table that morning. Even John and Izumi seemed unusually happy whenever they looked in AJ's direction.

"What's with everyone?" wondered Abby, as she took a sip of coffee, and noticed her mother's beaming face over the brim of her mug.

"As if you didn't know!" laughed Izumi.

John and Terry broke out into knowing chuckles, but when Abby continued to look baffled, everyone turned to Jake for an explanation.

"It's no big deal," he shrugged, "she just didn't remember-- that's all."

Silently, Abby looked to her uncle for help. Terry stared at her with raised brows, as if trying to coax her memory along. When that failed, he started gesturing to her with his hands.

Somewhat amused, Jake slid back in his chair and watched Terry's charades. Undisturbed in his sling, Ricky lay snuggled against Jake's chest, oblivious to what was going on around him.
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