It's short! But I did promise an update by the end of the year. I don't know when I'll update next, but I so appreciate the continued support! Hope my muse returns in 2013. God bless and stay safe tonight everyone!

"I don't know how you can say to me that you'd rather be here than anywhere else," a tired, cranky Olivia said from the couch a couple weeks later as Elliot propped her feet up on his lap and pressed his thumbs into the swollen arches.

"I'm a middle aged woman who's never been less mobile in her life, who's gained close to 40 pounds, at high risk for any number of disorders or diseases and who still has 8 weeks, that is 2 entire months, to go before she gives birth and I'm so swollen and achy and tired all the time. I can't ever imagine going back to normal…"

She paused for a moment, "and I'm whining and feeling sorry for myself and I don't mean any of it, I want this baby so badly and I love you so much and I still don't know why you're here but I'm so glad you are," her words got faster and higher ended with a frustrated wail as she fought back the ever-present tears.

Elliot just laughed softly before taking both her hands and pulling her into a sitting position so she could stand. She sighed and let her head rest on his chest.

"Come on," he took her hand and led her to the back door. "Maybe a walk before dinner will loosen up your joints a little…then we'll stick you in a warm bath okay?"

"Stop being so wonderful," she sniffed, laughing tearily. "One day your fiancée will come back, toned and smooth and bright eyed."

Holding hands they made their way down to the beach and walked along the surf. At 5 o'clock it had gotten slightly cooler, but was still glaringly hot – even for the end of July, beginning of August.

Not caring about the heat, Olivia kept her hand clasped firmly in Elliot's, with her other resting on her belly as they walked slowly and contentedly down the beach past their property.

The fact that they were beyond their property meant that the sight of a man jogging down the beach towards them didn't seem out of the ordinary; wearing sunglasses and one of those lightweight mesh tanks with a hood, the man ran past them.

The crash of the waves against the shore along with the faint calls of the seagulls and distant traffic also meant that neither of them heard the soft crunch of sand underfoot from a third set of feet.

Elliot turned around just in time to see the jogger's fist coming at him clutching a large rock. As Elliot fell, bleeding and unconscious, to the ground Dale Stuckey threw the rock, and the evidence it carried into the ocean.

Did anyone see that coming? Didja? Didja?!