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"You could've started by telling me that in the first place," he replied, dryly.

"I could have," she admitted, "but you needed a distraction."

"Other than you?" Jake grinned. "Be careful about teasing me like that in the future, Abby. I'm not as good at this game as you are."

"I never practice on anyone else," she assured him.

"Thanks," chuckled Jake, trying to hide the fact that he was pleased.

"You didn't do too badly, yourself," Abby reminded him. "After all, you made me smile."

"That's right!" he exclaimed. "I did!"

But as the night breeze continued to play with Abby's hair, Jake couldn't help but watch her. When Abby saw this she sighed.

"Do you want to go inside?" she asked him.


"Then stop it, Jake."

"Could I hold your hand, then?" he requested.

"You won't take it the wrong way, will you?"

"No, I'll be content, Abby."

With a smile, she nodded her consent.

"I feel like I'm always fighting to hold your hand," he softly joked, kissing the slender fingers of his hard-fought treasure.

With a contented sigh, Jake settled down and enjoyed the stillness of the bay with his wife. In the distance, shooting stars crisscrossed the horizon, giving any onlooker ample opportunities for making a wish. But Jake and Abby didn't need any stars to hang wishes upon. Their Heavenly Wish-giver heard each whisper and longing, and knew all their hopes and fears for the future. This was no deaf star, but the living Creator of all the universe. He was with the young couple, and He graced their hearts with the hope that came from His word.

Jake and Abby were happier than they thought they should be, for as the sun rose in the east, they both knew it was the dawn of their last full day in Three Mile Bay.

"We have to stay awake," said Abby, as she and Jake strolled to her parents' house to collect Ricky. "No matter how tired we may get, we must keep our eyes open. If we sleep now, then we won't be ready to get a good start on the road, tomorrow morning."

"Right," said Jake, nodding his head in agreement. He knew it was easy to say while they weren't sleepy, but come this afternoon, it would be a different matter.

"Good morning!" greeted John, as the two came through the front door. The three adults were on the floor with the babies, while Izumi cradled Ricky in her arms.
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