As she worked on the scrapbooking pages spread out before her, JenniAnn mused over how startling a difference a month could make.  In December she had holed away scrapbooks and photo albums in an effort to prevent Max from learning by accident who Andrew was.  Now, as January neared its end, she and the newcomer were seated in Andrew's living room with those very same mementos scattered around them.

Max smiled as he held up one album.  "Not sure what I think about this goatee.  And I saw the guy looking like a caveman."

JenniAnn looked up from the recent Christmas photos she was pasting down.  She reflected tenderly on the decade old image of Andrew.  "He had one for a while in 2003.  I thought he looked so cool."  She lowered her gaze, focusing on the page she was working on.  "He was working as a lawyer then."

"I can totally imagine Andrew in front of a judge, delivering impassioned speeches like Atticus Finch, working to get justice for the wronged." 
The young man smiled.  "Truth, justice, and the... angelic way?"

Despite her unease, JenniAnn smiled at Max's play on his beloved Superman's motto.

"So who was Andrew prosecuting?"

JenniAnn remained fixated on her work.  "No one.  He was a defense attorney."

Max's eyes shot up in surprise.  "Oh.  Wow.  So the person on trial was innocent?"

JenniAnn shook her head, finally looking up.  "It was complicated.  The case, I mean."  She reached for the photograph, slipped it out, and cradled it in her hand.  "And us..." she thought.

Max frowned, sensing there was more to the story than a difficult assignment.  Andrew and JenniAnn were the source of many questions for him.  He wanted to know more about them and their past, shared and not.  Yet he couldn't bring himself to press the woman.  "You don't have to tell me about it," he assured.

JenniAnn was quiet for a few moments, lining another Christmas photograph up.  When she was finished, she met Max's waiting gaze and smiled.  It was quite obvious he was merely being polite.  "Thank you.  But I'm thinking you really want to know." 

Max blushed.  "Yeah.  I'm sorry.  I know this is going to sound weird but I sort of feel like a little kid wanting to hear about his parents' early days.  I mean... I know you're not my parents but..."

"I get it.  And it's not weird."  JenniAnn remembered hanging on her mother's every word as she'd spoken of meeting her father, of the couple's first date, their courtship, the proposal, the wedding.  It had made JenniAnn feel secure to know they'd been together for what seemed a very long time in her little girl mind.  Two people who loved each other so much had to stay together, she'd reasoned, and if they stayed together then she'd always have the home and family she loved.  Belatedly, Max had found that security and JenniAnn couldn't blame him for grasping at any evidence he could that it was rock solid and deeply rooted.  She squeezed his hand.  "You're family now and you deserve to know the family history.  First... mine.  We need to go back to the first time I saw Andrew.  Before you were even born and I was just four years old."

"Four?"  Max cast a quizzical look at the storyteller.  "But I thought Andrew said you were seventeen when you met?"

"I was.  But meeting is different from seeing.  Catherine had taken me shopping when she got a call from a police friend.  He asked her to swing by some place... an alley.  Catherine thought he knew she had me with her but he didn't.  So we showed up and there was this dead body.  A man.  Murdered."  JenniAnn shook her head.

"How terrible for you at such a young age to see..."

JenniAnn bit her lip.  "Well... thing is... I don't think I really did see the body.  I was distracted.  While Catherine was chewing the cop out and hiding me away from the body, I saw two glowing men.  The one didn't much interest me but the other... he was beautiful and perfect and I was sure he was a fairy prince.  Or maybe Cupid."

Despite the seriousness of the conversation, Max laughed.  "You thought Andrew was either a fairy or the little guy with a bow and arrow?"

JenniAnn smirked.  "Yes and no.  The classic Cupid.  The gorgeous, manly, golden god.  Vincent was educating me well even at four.  Anyhow, I mean... I didn't think Andrew was truly a god.  But something... other.  More than us but less than God.  Somehow it didn't occur to me that he was an angel.  Given the art we most often see, I think I thought all angels were ladies.  In any case, Cupid... our Andrew... didn't see me seeing him.  He wouldn't know about that until a few years ago.  But I never forgot.  I waited for him for thirteen years.  Never dated in junior high.  Nor high school.  Some people thought I was a late bloomer.  Others thought maybe I was gay.  But I... I just couldn't let go of the memory of Andrew and I always believed he'd come back to me... and I didn't want to have to shed a boyfriend when he did.  And Andrew did come back.  And gradually that puppy love turned into something more real."

Max sighed, already feeling more content.  "Thank you for telling me that.  I... please don't think that I've been thinking that one day you'd, uh, walk out on Andrew.  I don't.  But..." 

JenniAnn noticed the young man's face cloud as it did when he thought of his parents.  "Trust issues.  I understand that.  I won't take any worries ya have personally.  Promise."

"Thanks, JenniAnn.  But after hearing that... that you remained loyal to Andrew even through the worst of adolescent hormones... wow."  Max shook his head then smiled breezily.  "I can't really imagine anything or anyone tearing you from him now!"

"Nothing ever will but..."  The woman blushed as she continued.  "It wasn't always easy.  And I'm no saint.  Please just remember all this before I tell you what happened in 2003 or else you'll think me terribly awful."

Max set his hand on the woman's arm.  "I could never think that."

JenniAnn squeezed his hand.  "Thank you.  So... when I tell you this, I hope you'll realize that Andrew's not likely to walk out on me, either.  He stuck with me through some pretty ugly behavior."  Drawing in a deep breath, she began her story.  "It was early spring 2003, I was a junior in college.  Twenty.  I... and some of the others... had sensed something in Andrew.  A sadness.  And then... then came the lawyer stint..."


Early Spring 2003

Andrew dropped his briefcase onto the floor as soon as he stepped into his living room.  Serendipity was warm but he still felt chilled.  The trial was over, the verdict in, and Andrew was trying to forget, for just a few hours, the images Rafael had left him with.  But the angel of death couldn't forget the car speeding away.  Boys laughing.  A young woman pale and limp on the street... her body broken, her mind locked away for months.  It was unbearable.

Andrew sunk into his recliner, took off his glasses, and rubbed at his eyes.  He gasped when he opened them.  Marissa was standing in the doorway, staring at him.  Before he could make any remark, Andrew's wearied eyes focused.  The figure wasn't Marissa at all but JenniAnn.  Her long, blonde hair had tricked him.  "JenniAnn," he greeted.  "How are you?"

The young woman stepped into the living room and settled into the chair across from Andrew's.  "Fine, thanks.  Sorry to intrude.  I didn't think you'd be here just yet.  I was just returning your dishes from last week's potluck then was gonna leave."

The angel of death shrugged.  "It's okay.  Good to see a friendly face."

JenniAnn wished Andrew wouldn't even bother smiling if it meant something so strained as his current expression.  She reached over and briefly set her hand on his.  "How are you?"

"Can't complain.  Almost done with an assignment.  And then... then onto the next one."

The woman's stomach lurched as the angel referred to "the next one."  There was something hesitant and even dreadful in how he said it. 

Andrew blinked.  JenniAnn was so pale.  So like...  He shook his head, dismissing the thought.  Marissa was healing.  JenniAnn was safe.  Apparently disturbed but safe.  "JenniAnn, are you sure you're okay?" he checked.

"I... yes.  Just concerned.  You looked so... tired when I came in."

Andrew looked to her with a slight, affectionate smile and patted her hand.  "I'm fine.  Just long days at the legal office I'm working at.  We wrapped an emotional case today."

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Andrew didn't respond at first.  He was sure of two things: first, he did want to talk about it.  Second, he definitely did not want to talk about it with a girl barely out of her teens.  And yet he found himself nodding.

JenniAnn kicked an ottoman into place beside Andrew's chair then sat.  She looked expectantly at him.

The angel of death considered his friend.  Months earlier, JenniAnn had borne hearing his account of Meg's violent attack by the man with red boots.  She'd proven she wasn't a child and Andrew knew he had to accept that and start behaving accordingly. 
He let out a shaky breath and started.  "There's this young woman... Marissa.  Right around your age.  A few months ago she was hit by a car driven by a sixteen year old boy who had his younger cousin with him.  After they hit Marissa, the two drove off and left her severely wounded."

The young woman cringed and took Andrew's nearest hand in hers.  "How terrible.  How's Marissa now?"

"She's come out of the coma the crash left her in but she has a long road ahead of her."  Andrew squeezed his friend's hand.

"I'm so sorry.  I'll pray that she continues to recover."

Andrew smiled.  That alone justified his telling JenniAnn.  "Thank you.  She needs the prayer."

"And the boys?  Were they just being reckless or was the driver too inexperienced or..."  JenniAnn drifted off when she saw Andrew tense.  "Oh geez.  The defense attorney probably tried to chalk it up as mechanical error or something, didn't they?"

The angel of death stared at their joined hands, his stomach in knots.  "JenniAnn, I... well, I was the defense attorney."

JenniAnn blanched.  She could imagine Andrew defending a wrongly accused person.  But a driver who, if nothing else, had left a woman critically wounded? 

Andrew stared out the window as he continued to speak.  "I didn't know what really happened.  Part of me believed they were reckless or the car hydroplaned and then they got panicked and... and left.  But Rafael... he was the prosecutor... he kept saying that a terrible video game inspired the boys to enact it in real life and Marissa..."

"Marissa was so many pixels and points," JenniAnn interrupted, her tone bitter.

The angel nodded.  "That's what he'd said.  And the video game... it has... it's had an impact.  That much I eventually realized.  They... they called Marissa 'street scum.'"  Andrew shook his head.  The words, and the hatred and disrespect behind them, still disgusted him.  "It's what the video game calls prostitutes," he explained, his voice as angry as JenniAnn's.  "But it wasn't until the passenger... the cousin... testified that I really saw that... that it wasn't an accident.  They targeted this girl who... she'd done nothing to hurt or threaten them.  Only because..."

"Because she was an object.  Not real.  Street scum," JenniAnn echoed through gritted teeth.

Andrew looked back to JenniAnn after he felt her hand slide away from his.  He watched as she stood and began to pace.  "JenniAnn, I'm sorry.  I shouldn't have told you.  I... I wanted to talk to Tess about it but she and Monica had to check in with Gloria and..."  The angel of death dragged his hand through his hair, silently chastising himself for unloading so much on her.

The woman swung around to face him.  "You think I'm upset because you confided in me?"

Andrew nodded.  He stood to comfort her.  "Everything about it is upsetting.  And you're a compassionate person and it's a lot to..."

"And every bloody day I have to pass magazine covers and see commercials and hear about these vile video games where women are objectified and abused and... and mutilated.  And now I find out that you've spent all this time defending someone who targeted a woman because she was 'street scum'?" JenniAnn demanded.

Andrew's hand froze an inch from his friend's shoulder.  "It was my assignment.  The Father sent me," he responded quietly.

"Hydroplaning?!?" JenniAnn continued to rail.  "What is that!?  You *were* one of those defense attorneys who grasp at straws just to get their client off!"

"JenniAnn, I..."  Andrew adamantly shook his head.  "No.  I... I didn't know.  The street was wet and... and he was a new driver and I was obligated to provide the boy with a defense."

"And they were obligated to show respect for their fellow man and woman!"

"I know.  I know that and what that boy did... it hurts to think about it.  And it tears at my spirit to think about how scared and hurt Marissa was... the obstacles she'll still face."  Tears welled in Andrew's eyes as he spoke, tears for Marissa and tears over the rent he felt in his bond with JenniAnn.  He knew he had to get through to her.  After drawing in a deep breath, he tried again.  "JenniAnn, I promise you that I wasn't being underhanded or trying to cover up guilt.  I would never do that!  You have to believe that.  But the law requires..."

"Common sense!" the young woman spat out.  "Have you ever seen some of those video games?  It doesn't take much reasoning to suggest that, yeah, maybe all that violence might make someone lash out.  Did your client ever even show any remorse?"

Andrew bowed his head, shaking it slightly.  Victor never had and the angel couldn't fathom that cold-heartedness.  But being self-absorbed didn't automatically make the young man guilty of a higher order crime. 

"And that didn't tell you anything?" JenniAnn shouted.

Startled, the angel's head shot back up and his eyes locked with his friend's enraged ones.  "JenniAnn, it was more complicated than..."

"What if it had been me?" JenniAnn cried.  "What if it had been any of us?  Would you still have gotten up and spouted off about hydroplaning?"

Andrew's breath caught in his throat as he struggled for some response but he was too angry, too horrified.  Mostly he was shaken.  JenniAnn had given voice to the only fear he had.  Reeling, he pulled his friend towards him.  His arms clasped around her and he buried his face in her hair.

JenniAnn yanked her head up to demand the angel let her go but when she opened her mouth, only a strangled gasp came out.  Andrew was sobbing.  She had made Andrew cry.  She had done this terrible thing.  Every ounce of rage left her.  She reached up and caressed his face, brushing at the tears she had caused.

Andrew knew he couldn't bear it... to see her body broken.  To stand beside Yva's bed, willing her to wake.  To think of anyone speaking so vilely of C.J.  "My heart..." he choked out, "would break." 
Tears filling her own eyes, JenniAnn rested her forehead against the angel's shoulder.  She felt lower than she'd ever felt before.  She'd been heartless, ruthlessly slinging insults because of an ancient rage, newly reignited.  And there had been fear, too.  But that she couldn't bear to face.  "I'm sorry.  So sorry," she apologized.  "Andrew..."

The angel shook his head.  "You're right.  I should have realized... I should have..."

"No."  JenniAnn reached up to cradle his face in her hands.  "I... I was cruel a-and..."

"Andrew?" a voice called from the entryway.

"Rafael," Andrew whispered.

JenniAnn swiftly drew her hands back and took a step away from the angel.

A few moments later, Rafael entered the room.  "Hey Andrew.  Tess said I'd find you..."  The angel paused when he saw JenniAnn and noted both she and his friend were in tears.  "Hey... JenniAnn.  Sorry."  Rafael backed towards the hall.  "Hey so...  I can come back later."  After another curious glance at the woman, he looked to the angel of death.  "Andrew, I just wanted to talk about the case.  When's a good..."

"I was just headed home," JenniAnn interrupted, stepping towards the hall herself.  "I'll leave you both to talk."  She slipped past Rafael and left the room.  Pausing in the hallway for just a moment, she turned to look at Andrew.  He gave her a smile, sad and forced.  She knew she was forgiven but it did little to dull the ache in her heart and the sick feeling in her stomach as she fled.


JenniAnn swiped at a tear as she twisted her Claddagh ring.  "We never talked about any of it again.  I think Andrew didn't want to make me feel any worse.  And then, not terribly long after, Monica got promoted and Andrew was working cases alone again.  Actually, the case right after our fight... Monica wasn't involved.  I think that's partly why Andrew..."  She brushed at another tear.  "He knew it was only the beginning and that soon she'd be away for every case.  It hurt him.  We all did everything we could to comfort him during that transition.  And so... well, there... there didn't seem to be any sense in looking backward.  But the truth was... I was ashamed.  I still am.  I acted like I did partly because I thought it was Andrew who was moving on... not Monica.  And I didn't know how I'd cope... waiting for thirteen years, having him around for three, and then... then gone again?  I was angry and scared and so I acted out.  No excuse.  But, hey, if Andrew didn't bail then... there's no way he will now that I think I'm rather nice."  She looked up at Max with a rueful smile.

Max hugged her.  "You are nice.  And I'm sure you were then, too.  You were very young, JenniAnn.  And I'm sure you think about it way more than Andrew does... if he ever does think about it."

"What am I not thinking about?" Andrew asked with a grin as he entered the room, his latest assignment having come to a satisfying denouement.  The angel instantly sobered when he saw that JenniAnn was crying.  He knelt beside her.  "Laja?  Max?  What's going on?"

JenniAnn looked up at him with a trembling smile.  "Nothing.  Everything's fine, Andrew.  Just... memories."

Andrew looked to Max for verification.  The young man nodded.

"I'll leave you two alone to discuss those memories," Max offered.  "I should get going, anyway.  Rose and Aunt Josephine asked me over for dinner."

Despite her melancholy, JenniAnn smiled up at Max when he stood.  She rose and hugged him.  "Have a wonderful dinner and give them my best.  Thanks for your help today."

"Of course!  Thanks for asking me."  Max leaned nearer and whispered in JenniAnn's ear.  "Have a good, healing talk."  After she released him, Max hugged Andrew.  "We might watch a movie after.  Is it okay if I don't come back until eleven?"

Andrew chuckled.  "Max, you don't have a curfew.  Take all the time you need."

"Thanks.  You too."  Max's glance traveled from Andrew to JenniAnn and back again.  Then with another smile, he left.

The angel of death hugged his remaining friend.  "Now, what has you so upset?"

JenniAnn snuggled against his shoulder for a moment then handed Andrew the photo of himself.

"Oh."  Andrew considered the image then looked down at JenniAnn with an impish twinkle in his eye.  "Yeah, that goatee was pretty sad." 

Laughing, JenniAnn playfully swatted at the angel.  "I loved it!"

The angel grinned.  "I know.  Now, really, what's wrong?"

"The things I said to you..."  JenniAnn drew in a deep breath.  "When you were defending that kid with the video game..."

Andrew pulled JenniAnn to him again.  "Laja, that was ten years ago.  A third of your life ago!"

A smile played at JenniAnn's lips as she thought of that.  Still, she couldn't stop reliving the moment she'd looked up at Andrew and seen the tears cascading down his face.

"Let's sit down."  Andrew led JenniAnn to the couch then sat beside her. 

"There... there were no excuses for how I acted that day."

"Something tells me there were some pretty solid reasons, though," Andrew pressed.  "Laja, I let it all go a long time ago.  Do you have any idea how many times you've told me you loved me in the past ten years?  Countless times!  With all of that, why would I hold onto one bad moment?"  He pushed some stray hair behind her ear and sighed.  "But it seems you have so let's talk."

JenniAnn stared down at her hands.  "I... I was just so angry back then.  And so bad at handling it." 

Andrew studied his friend, not quite believing her.  "Laja, I feel like there had to be more to it than..."

"I had been sheltered for so long and was just realizing how unsafe a place the world is for women," JenniAnn continued.  "And so when you told me about what happened to Marissa... that day...  it all just flared up."

Andrew saw it then.  A subtle flinch.  Then JenniAnn's arms crossed over her chest.  She seemed a world away.  Her eyes went wide when he set a hand on each of her shoulders.  "Laja, did something happen that day?"

JenniAnn began to shake her head but she froze when she looked into Andrew's eyes.  Every since their shared dreams, she'd found it increasingly difficult to hide anything from him.  Finally, she nodded.  "It really wasn't such a big deal.  It just... scared me.  I don't know if you remember but I told you I'd come to your place to return dishes.  And I did.  But really I'd come there to... to feel safe."

The angel held her.  "Why did you need to feel safe?  Tell me.  Please."

After a small sigh, the words came rushing out.  "A friend and I had gone out for lunch and shopping in Omaha.  It was a nice strip of lil shops.  I'd always felt safe there.  But that day... we were walking and suddenly two men were behind us, following us.  I dunno of they were drunk or just... just plain awful.  But they started shouting at us.  Vile things about what they... what they wanted to do."

As his eyes clamped shut for a moment, Andrew kissed his friend's hair. 

"Nothing happened!" JenniAnn swore.  "We ran into a lady's boutique and they left.  But it... it was the first time I ever realized... someone might think about me that way.  And they might want to hurt me."

"Laja, I'm so sorry," the angel of death murmured.  "And I understand why you..."

"It's no excuse!" JenniAnn interrupted.  "But I just... I did want you to hold me and tell me everything would be okay but instead... well, you told me about Marissa and I just snapped.  It all fused together in my mind and I... I was angry at you.  I know it's awful but I was.  Not really for defending that boy although I guess I kinda transferred the anger at the drunk guys and all they represent on... onto you.  And it was easier to do than it shoulda been because I really thought... Andrew, everything about you seemed to point to some pending separation.  A good bye.  I was so afraid that you were leaving and I thought that if... if I could get myself to believe that you were... bad somehow then it would make it easier to not see you anymore.  But I even screwed that up!  You were preparing for a separation but it wasn't you leaving us.  It was Monica's promotion.  And just when you most needed a friend as you faced that... I was off being self-absorbed and bitter."

The angel took in a deep breath.  "Laja, you were there with me the very day I said good bye to Monica!  Don't forget that.  And you couldn't have known what was going on before that.  I certainly wasn't telling you.  That argument that day... maybe it needed to happen. 
I was upset, you were upset.  Neither of us were talking about it.  Maybe we both needed to let out some steam.  Besides..."  A smile lit up Andrew's face.  "If I'm remembering right... it ended with a pretty intense hug."

Blushing, JenniAnn smiled.  "Yeah... ya kinda had an amped up... considerably more chaste... George Bailey thing going for ya."

Andrew blushed, too, his smile growing.  "I think... I think I needed that.  Things, umm... well, even before Monica's promotion we were all so... so driven and we didn't have much time just the four of us and... well, things were just a little stressful."

JenniAnn could hear what Andrew was too polite to say: he had gone a while without a hug back then.  "I... I would have hugged you more if only I knew," she lamented.  "And I should have known."

Andrew squeezed her hand.  "Laja, you were... you weren't even out of college and that was when I was still very concerned that if... well, if we got too close..."

"I know.  And I... I was still nervous about telling you... or... or showing you... how I felt.  Maybe something dramatic did need to happen to push us past those reservations that night."

"I think so.  The only thing I regret is that we couldn't talk about what had happened to you.  I'm so sorry you had to experience that."  Andrew shook his head.  Disrespect towards anyone... especially women... was unthinkable to him.  "No one threatens my Laja," he muttered.

JenniAnn's eyes twinkled.  Well she knew that Andrew couldn't actually enforce his decree but it helped him to say it and her to hear it.  She kissed his forehead and smiled breezily, finally letting go of her own regrets.  "Well, I'm just glad that's all behind us because... we're being watched and studied."

Andrew laughed.  "Oh, you've picked up on that, too?" 

"You don't think... I mean... if Max is building us up in his head as some sorta models... that's not gonna throw things off with him and Rose, is it?  We're not exactly... standard."

"Well, no...  But are you replicating your parents' relationship with me?  We don't live together.  They do.  We aren't married.  They are.  But that commitment, that love, that responsibility they feel for each other; you soaked that in and it became part of you and how you relate to me.  I think Max just needs to see two people who love each other and don't bail when the going gets tough.  He doesn't need us to model appropriate division of closet space or... or, you know, other married people stuff."

"The charm of you blushing just plain never gets old," JenniAnn remarked fondly.  "You're right."  She let out a contented sigh then squeezed Andrew's hand.  "So... if you can and want to say... did you ever find out what happened to Marissa?"

Andrew nodded.  "I... well, I never went back to see her.  She'd just remember me as... as the defense attorney."

JenniAnn hugged the angel's arm.

"But... I did ask Ronald if he could check the file and he did.  Marissa met a guy in physical therapy.  They really hit it off.  Dated for a couple years and..."  Joy shone from Andrew's face.  "They've been married for seven years, remain deeply in love, and have three kids."

"I'm so glad!  And... the boys?" JenniAnn asked cautiously.

"Josh... the younger boy... really turned things around.  Went to college, got a degree in psychology.  He wants to go into child psychiatry.  His cousin... well, Victor hasn't had any more run-ins with the law and he did eventually apologize to Marissa but... I'm afraid he still has some work to do as far as recognizing others' feelings."  Andrew frowned and ran his hand over his hair.

JenniAnn hugged him.  "You did your very best, Andrew.  For him and for justice.  I see that now.  He may come around yet."

Andrew smiled and rested his chin on her hair.  "I hope so."  He thought back to his final moments with the then-teenager, wondering if there was something more he could have said or done.


The angel roused.  "Hmm?"

"Are you here for tonight?"


"How about dinner and a movie?" JenniAnn suggested hopefully.  "If Max is cribbing from us, I vote we crib from him and Rose tonight."

Andrew chuckled.  "Sounds like a plan to me.  Going out or staying in?"

"You pick."

Andrew considered and soon made his decision.  "Stay in.  Let's have dinner right here in front of the fire and celebrate.  Ten years ago we had a fight and now..."

"Now we have a twenty three year old," the woman deadpanned.

Eyes sparkling, Andrew nodded.  "And a fifteen year old.  Kinda.  I just mean... Violeta does seem to be coming to you about, well, girl things."

JenniAnn smirked.  If Andrew only knew the half of it...

"And we have an eight year old," the angel continued.  "Who, thankfully, is still interested in little kid things."

JenniAnn sighed dramatically.  "One of the nuns back in high school took every opportunity to remind us that too much time around boys was bound to lead to unplanned, out-of-wedlock children.  I guess she was right..."

Andrew burst out laughing.  "I suspect this is not what she had in mind."

JenniAnn giggled.  "Probably not..."  She stooped to put away the scrap booking materials. 

The angel crouched on the floor to help.  He noticed when JenniAnn reverently filed away the photograph of him in lawyer mode.  When she closed the photo album, he took one of her hands in both of his.  "Laja, there is nothing you could say to me that would make me stop loving you.  If, later on, you find yourself remembering that night again...please let that be the one thing you take away from it.  Okay?"

Choking up, JenniAnn nodded.  "Kay."

Then, kneeling in the same spot where they'd once fought, the two embraced.  They prayed in thanksgiving to the One who had brought true love from violence and renewed friendship from division.

The End

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