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“I honestly don’t think we should have a big wedding,” Leah said, once again tucked into Jacob’s arms while lying together on a lounge chair by the pool. This had become their evening routine after having dinner with the other girls. They planned together, talked of deeper, more meaningful subjects, and kissed—a lot. “Our family and closest friends. And, I mean, closest friends.”
“Are you sure you don’t want a poofy, white dress and a tiara tucked within an intricately curled upswept hairdo?”
“Unless you want a double wedding and my sister can have the same princess wedding, then no.”
“That’s not part of the plan.” Jacob gulped.
“Exactly. She deserves everything I receive.”
“That is not part of the plan either,” Jacob said, knowing Leah would understand. He was giving Leah his innocence, something a thousand times more valuable than he would be able to give her sister. His gift to Leah was a onetime thing.
“Are you still feeling regrets about giving yourself to me?” Leah asked tentatively.
“Babe, I don’t have any regrets about anything involving our marriage, including that.” He turned and rolled slightly away so he could look her in the eye. “I’m giving myself to you, willingly, wholeheartedly, all of me.” He gulped, realizing the inaccuracy of his statement but not backtracking to correct himself. His whole heart was not with Leah, and he knew that she knew what he couldn’t verbalize.
“Ooh, I get all of you for seven whole days. I’m honored.” Her words dripped with sarcasm, masking the underlying hurt and resentment that no amount of reassurance could abate.
“Our marriage is forever, not for seven days.”
“Let me rephrase that.” Leah cleared her throat. “After seven days I will have to share you with my sister.”
“I wish you wouldn’t think of it that way.” Jacob felt like crying. No matter how many times he tried to reconcile the situation, there would always be jealousy between these two otherwise inseparable twin sisters. And he couldn’t help feeling he was at fault.
He kept reminding himself that this was part of God’s plan to build his kingdom by bringing children into the world, and that they would all be blessed for their involvement. They were entering into this agreement with clear minds and open hearts. There was no other way they could make this work. “I am going to give you the best of me for seven days, and that is something Rachel will never have. For her entire married life, she will have to share me.”
“I hadn’t thought about it that way,” Leah said with humility. She tucked herself back within Jacob’s embrace, but he wasn’t done with his impassioned statement and pulled away again to look her in the eyes.
“During those seven days, I want to make you feel so loved and so… satisfied… that for the rest of your life you will look back on that time as the happiest days of your life. I want you to show me how to love you.”
“I have no idea how to do that,” Leah said.
“Then we’ll learn together,” Jacob whispered. “Because I have no idea what I’m doing either.”
“Then neither of us will be disappointed if things don’t work out perfectly,” she said with a provocative lilt to her voice. Jacob almost purred with anticipation, his body responding to having her in his arms and tucked up against him. Leah raised her eyebrows and smirked. “Based on your visceral reaction to our conversation, I’m guessing you and I will have no problem figuring things out.”
“God made our bodies this way,” Jacob said, trying unsuccessfully to calm down. “There is no other way in this plane of existence to get closer to God then through the joining of our bodies.”
“I wish we could experience that right now,” Leah said.
“You and me both.” Jacob ended their verbal communication by lowering his face and joining their lips, molding himself to her in a way that was beyond what they should be doing before marriage. His hands twitched from the overwhelming desire to reach for places they shouldn’t roam, and he gripped his fists into the hem of her shirt, forcing them to stay on the correct side of the fabric. He released his connection to her mouth and moaned into her hair. “Leah, I want you so badly.”
“We need to stop,” Leah gasped.
“I know, I know, I’m so sorry.” Jacob surrendered to the sobs that overtook him as he pressed his face into her hair. “Leah, I’m so sorry. God, Father, I’m sorry.”
Jacob knew repentance was going to need more than one fervent request for God’s forgiveness. He’d taken things too far. Way too far. Allowing his physical emotions to overpower the spiritual nature of what he knew would be the best night of his life, if he could hold off that long.
“We’re not doing this again,” Jacob said suddenly, pulling away just far enough to look down into Leah’s eyes again. “Tomorrow after dinner, we are going to sit somewhere where other people can see us at all times, and we’re not going to lie on a lounge chair together, and we’re not going to kiss passionately, and I probably shouldn’t be alone with you again until our wedding night.”
“Probably a good idea,” Leah squeaked out a response.
“And I promise you that on our wedding night I am going to exert every last bout of my energy making you feel incredible. I want to touch you everywhere and kiss you everywhere and let every molecule of my body make love to every molecule of your body.”
Leah’s only response to Jacob’s sensual declaration was a soft moan that was almost a whimper.
“But tonight, I will spend on my knees asking forgiveness from God.”
“Jacob”—Leah took his face in her hands and held him a few inches from her—“God will always forgive you.”
“I sure hope so,” Jacob said with yearning. Then he pressed his lips to hers hungrily one last time, knowing he wouldn’t be doing this again until their wedding night.
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