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"I'll leave the aquarium light on," he smiled, "so you won't trip over me this time."

With a tired smile, Abby closed her eyes and quickly fell asleep. Jake sighed heavily when he saw how easily she had been able to dismiss his need for her. He longed to lay beside her, and wondered how she could sleep when he was wanting her so much. But, what had he expected her to do-- stay up all night and talk to him? He was also quick to reminded himself that she was tired after nursing and caring for Ricky all day. The pregnancy books had warned him that Abby wouldn't be feeling romantic for awhile after giving birth, so Jake gulped down his frustration and climbed into the sleeping bag on the floor.

The hours passed, and the young man couldn't sleep. He watched the ripples from the aquarium softly reflecting on the ceiling, while he could hear the low sounds of Abby and Ricky, resting nearby. Jake rubbed his eyes and adjusted his pillow. If he couldn't get to sleep within the next ten minutes, he was going to the living room and watch television. But, ten minutes slowly crept by, and Jake remained where he was.

Just as he was about to close his eyes one more time, Jake heard the sheets rustle on the mattress above him. Then a shadow crossed the walls, and Abby's figure came into view.

"Jake," whispered Abby, kneeling down beside his sleeping bag, "are you still awake?"

"Yeah, I'm still awake," he moaned under his breath.

For a moment, Abby was thoughtfully quiet. She reached out and touched his arm.

"If you promise to be gentle," she told him, "I'll let you be with me, tonight."

"Are you sure?" he asked, jerking his head up in surprise. "It's not too soon?"

"The doctor said I could decide when I was ready," replied Abby. "You have to be gentle, though. I'm not completely back to normal, yet."

"I'll be careful," he assured her. "I wouldn't hurt you for the world, Abby."

"I know," she whispered softly.

Jake reached out and caressed Abby's face with his fingers.

"Why now?" he asked.

"It's our anniversary," she whimpered, "and you're sleeping on the floor!"

"I can wait longer, if you need me to," Jake gallantly offered.

"No," she shook her head, "you've waited long enough."

With a smile, Jake sat up in the sleeping bag and eagerly kissed his wife. When his arms embraced her, a disappointing sound came from the crib as Ricky started crying for his mommy. Jake waited for as long as he could, until Ricky became all the more insistent in his cries.

"I'm sorry," apologized Abby, as Jake slowly released his tight hold on her. "He probably wants to be fed."

"Go on," Jake smiled patiently, excusing her as she stood up and went to their son's crib. "I'm not the only one who needs you, anymore."

Abby settled onto the bed and began to nurse Ricky, all the while speaking in hushed tones to soothe and calm the child. This time, Jake felt no need to turn away, but watched from a distance until Ricky's tummy was full and his diaper had been changed. After the baby had been tended to, Jake took his rightful place beside Abby on the bed, finally able to enjoy their anniversary night, together.
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