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“Hello, in there."

Jacob was afraid he might look and sound silly, down on his knees in front of his sister's swollen belly, talking to it. But Evie merely smiled and he continued his “introduction” to his soon-to-be niece or nephew.

"Hello, in there,” he began again. “How is it in there? I bet it's all nice and cozy and warm. Safe, right?”

His sister snorted. Jacob looked up at her, smirking before turning back to his subject.

"It's true. You're safe in there, but out here...out here is where the problems are. And sorrow...”

Henry came in at that moment and looked over at his wife and brother-in-law.

"I just want you to know,” Jacob continued, “that I'll always be here for you. No matter what.” He gave Evie's stomach a gentle rub and kiss, and looked sheepishly at his family.

Henry had come over to them and put his arm around his wife. Smiling, he said, “That was beautiful, Jacob. Thank you for that, brother.”

"I agree.” Evie said with a mischievous smile. “Very surprising, coming from you.”

Jacob scowled. “Very funny. But I meant it, you two. I will guard that child with my life.”

The married couple smiled and both reached for Jacob, pulling him into a family hug.