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"We could set up your easel in the living room by the window," he proposed, "like the way it is in your house."

"And," added Abby, "we need to get you an easel as well. The living room will become our office. We could put my computer on a desk against the other wall, so you could use it too."

"Is your old bedroom as big as this one?" he asked, a little concerned that everything wouldn't fit.

"I think it's a little smaller," she replied, "but whether it is or not, we'll make it work. You know, now that I think about it, you've left this house pretty much as we prepared it for you. You could have moved the furniture around, and made the place suit you better, if you had wanted."

"I know," hesitated Jake, "but it's not my house. I didn't feel as though I had the right. I still don't. But, you can do what you want. I won't mind."

Abby looked at him out of the corner of her eye and decided not to comment on that last remark. Jake had never felt at home in Three Mile Bay, but she was hopeful that that would change with time.

"When do you want to make the move?" asked Jake, trying to hide his eagerness.

"Why not today?" asked Abby. "It's Saturday, and Dad and Uncle Terry could help. I'm going to go talk to them right now. Do you want to come with me?"

Jake hesitated. He was shy about approaching Mr. Johannes with the plan of moving his daughter out of her family's home, and into the rented home of an ex-convict. At the same time, he was excited to have Abby with him in their own home. And while the little yellow house had not felt like home to Jake, he already knew that wherever Abby was, would be home to him.

Without a word, Jake followed close behind Abby, back to the Johanneses' house. They found John at his computer in the office, taking care of a few minor business details while he still remembered what they were.

"Dad?" asked Abby, as the couple entered the home office. "Jake and I have talked it over, and we agree that it would be a good idea if I moved in with him. What do you think?"

John didn't seem surprised by the announcement, but looked thoughtfully from Abby and then to Jake.

"Are you sure you want her?" he asked Jake, with a tingle of mirth in his sobriety.

"Yes, Mr. Johannes," answered Jake, half expecting the father to yell at him for being so presumptuous as to think that he could take Abby away from her family, to go live with someone such as himself.

"Well," said John, "I won't be able to help you kids move next week, because your mother and I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and Terry and I have a business trip to Vancouver that will last for about a week. If you're both sure you want to do this, then I suggest we move Abby's things over, today."

"Thanks, Dad!" exclaimed Abby, going to her room to start planning the move.

John got up to go find Terry, and related to him Abby and Jake's plan.

"She's moving into his house?" cried Terry, incredulously.

"We knew it would probably happen," said John. "They are married, after all."

"How in the world are they going to be able to hold to their bargain, if they live under the same roof?" sighed Terry.

"I don't know," said John. "But, if anyone can do it, I think those two can. There's no way Jake will ever let anyone get that close to him. You should have seen him a minute ago-- trembling like a leaf in a strong gust of wind. I think it's probably taking all the courage Jake has, to have Abby come and live with him, like this."

"God help them," sighed Terry, going to collect some boxes for the move.

Izumi and John had talked the night before, of the possibility of Abby's departure. And while they were half expecting it, Izumi was saddened to see her daughter leaving the nest. While Jake helped Abby pack her things into the boxes Terry had brought, Izumi went about the house, gathering essentials that she knew Abby and Jake would need.

"Mom," said Abby, when she finally understood what her mother was up to, "you don't have to do that."
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