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“How dare you.” Rachel stood at the door to Jacob’s apartment the day after he’d made the stupid choice to leave her five days into their honeymoon to spend the night with her sister.
He had decided to take a shower while he was in his apartment packing a few items he wanted to take to Rachel’s suite, so he stood before her soaking wet, wearing only a pair of sweatpants he’d pulled on quickly when he heard knocking at the door.
Rachel pushed past him and stormed into his living room, leaving Jacob standing by the open door, which he closed behind her. “Leah had seven days with you. Seven! And I get five? Not even five! Four! Four whole days.” Rachel approached Jacob and shoved him, hard. “That’s not a honeymoon. It’s a long weekend. Barely.”
“It’s not a competition, Rachel.” He didn’t try to take her in his arms or appease her in any way. He followed the nonverbal cues of her fiery eyes and clenched fists. He really didn’t want to be on the receiving end of one of those fists. “Darling, you knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”
“Easy?” She raised her eyebrows. “Easy would have been seven days together before you had to go back to work. Easy would have been knowing you wanted to be in my arms and in my bed for the duration of our honeymoon. Easy is not receiving a text at three o’clock in the afternoon announcing that you’re spending the night with my sister. Easy is not the obvious realization that at three o’clock in the afternoon you aren’t sleeping with my sister.” She actually held up air quotes.
“I’m sorry,” he choked out, knowing there was nothing he could possibly say to make this situation any better.
“You’re sorry?” She raised her eyebrows. “I don’t think you even know what that means. I don’t think you know what you want, or who you want to be with, or where you want to go. I don’t think you know where your relationship with God is right now. If you want to apologize to anyone, say you’re sorry to God.”
“God knows that I am doing what he wants me to do,” Jacob said. “I am trying to follow his plan for me, for us. This is what you saw in your vision. Remember? This life. This situation. This family. We can’t all get what we want at the same time. I can’t be in two places at once.”
“I’m not asking that of you.” Rachel’s voice softened a little. “All I want is the same things she got.”
“That was never possible, Rachel. You knew that going into this.” Jacob took a tentative step forward, still not reaching for her, afraid she would run away and never look back. “I gave Leah everything I had. You asked me to do that, remember? You insisted I give myself to her. And not pretend it was you. And I did as you asked. And now it’s too late. I am in love with your sister. More than I ever thought I would be. Not just the superficial love that presents itself when one is forced to do something they don’t want to do. The deep, lasting, forever kind of love. My love for her is almost as strong as my love for you.”
“Almost?” Rachel’s lip was quivering, and Jacob could tell she was barely holding herself together.
“Come here, darling.” He pulled her into his arms, and she rested her cheek against his bare chest, which was still clammy from his shower. “We made this decision together, and we’re going to get through it together. There is nothing on this earth that I want more than your happiness and Leah’s happiness, and Bilhah and Zilpah’s happiness. You are my life. You are my reason for living.”
“You’re my reason for living too,” Rachel said softly. “I don’t like this contention between us.”
“Me neither.” Jacob leaned down and kissed the top of Rachel’s head. “What do you say we do something fun today? Like put the top down on the convertible and go for a drive. Feel the wind in our hair and the sun on our shoulders and get away for a few hours.”
“I would really like that.” Rachel pulled back and smiled up at Jacob. “Maybe we could go to dinner together somewhere far away from here where no one knows us and we don’t have to pretend we’re not married.”
“I like that idea.” Jacob kissed the tip of Rachel’s nose. “Let me finish getting dressed. Do you need anything from your suite?”
“No,” she insisted. “I don’t even want to go back over to that side of the resort right now.”
“How about we stay here in my apartment tonight?” he suggested. “Far from anyone else.”
“That sounds perfect,” she agreed.
If only he could find a way to give her perfect.
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