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"It looks delicious," Abby sighed, hearing her stomach rumble as her nose caught the aroma on the breeze.

"Hold on," he laughed, getting out a bottle of sparkling water and filling two fluted glasses. "We'll have coffee with dessert," he grinned.

"There's dessert after all this?" she asked in surprise.

"Yes, there is," affirmed Jake, "so make sure you save room."

There was so much food, that Abby was about to say that he really shouldn't have gone to so much time and trouble, but caught herself just in time. Jake looked so delighted that he was making her happy, that her practicality seemed out of place in the presence of such a giving heart.

"Try to enjoy it, Abby," he pleaded, recognizing the familiar hesitation on her face that usually proceeded a cautionary remark.

"I'm in no danger of not enjoying myself," she softly laughed, as he reached out and took her hand from across their makeshift table. "If you're not careful, you're going to spoil me. I really don't deserve all this."

"That's for me to say," replied her husband, gently crushing her hand with his firm grip.

Hands joined, the couple bowed their heads and Jake thanked God for their meal. As if a loving breath from God, a warm breeze intermingled with the lightly cool air, and kissed the couple with its presence.

Then Abby helped herself to the gnocchi she had been hearing so much about. Jake took a sip of his mineral water and watched in joy as Abby's face melted into a wide smile.

"It's wonderful!" she exclaimed.

Hungrily, she filled her plate with Jake's cannelloni and tossed salad, leaving room for at least two slices of bruschetta on the side.

"I thought 'Murphy' was an Irish name," mused Abby, with a full mouth.

"It is," munched Jake.

"You sure do make good Italian, for an Irish guy!" she laughed.

Reveling in her happiness, Jake sighed contentedly. After they had had their fill, Jake opened the ice cooler and pulled out a mouthwatering chocolate strawberry pudding, topped with whipped cream and a delicate vanilla sauce. Abby thought she couldn't manage a bite more, but when she saw Jake dishing the confection into her bowl, she changed her mind and readily dove in.

"This isn't the way for me to get my figure back," Abby warned him.

"You look good to me," Jake observed her with a grin.

"Keep feeding me like this," she laughed, "and I won't!"

"That would be impossible," he replied, emphatically shaking his head. "Nothing can touch what makes you beautiful to me."

Dazed by the earnestness of his words, Abby didn't know what to say. She suddenly felt her eyes moisten, and shook her head mournfully.

"Now look what you're making me do," she whimpered, vainly trying to stop the oncoming tears. Jake crawled to her side of the picnic blanket, and embraced his wife. "I don't know why I'm crying," wept Abby, drowning her joy in his arms. "I'm terribly happy, Jake!"
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