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“Babe, we need to talk,” Jacob whispered, holding Leah in his arms while drawing lazy circles on her bare stomach. Neither of them had any desire to move or breathe or pull blankets or sheets up around their bodies. After four incredible days of making love, there wasn’t an inch of each other’s bodies they hadn’t explored nor wanted to conceal.
“Honeymoon’s over already?” she teased.
“Definitely not,” Jacob said in a husky voice, then kissed the top of her head and pulled her a little closer. “But we need to get dressed temporarily and go have dinner with your sisters.”
“Clothing is so overrated,” Leah drawled. “I’ll just stay here, and you go talk to them.”
“Do you really want to let me out of your sight while I go have a romantic dinner with three other women?”
“On second thought, where are my clothes?” She halfheartedly tried to scramble out of Jacob’s arms, but he pulled her back and rolled her over so that he was looking down into her gleaming eyes.
“Dang, you’re gorgeous,” Jacob said with conviction. “How the heck did I get so lucky to be married to you?”
“I dunno, ask my sister?” Leah joked.
“I thought so.” She reached up for a tiny peck, then laid her head back on the pillow. “But back to why you’re making me get out of bed long enough for a meal with the girls.”
“We haven’t told them anything yet,” he reminded her. “Like, anything.”
“Hadn’t thought of that.” She sighed. “Yeah, I guess that warrants a trip to the dining room.”
“Rachel and I talked before the wedding about just telling the girls about her and me getting married and not going into any further details.”
“You don’t think they’re ready?” Leah lifted her eyebrows.
“What do you think?”
“I dunno, I mean, I think they’d agree willingly.”
“That’s kind of what your sister thinks too.” Jacob brushed the strands of hair away from Leah’s face. “Maybe we should play it by ear. See how they react to the news that I’m marrying Rachel.”
“Sounds like a good idea.” Leah nodded. “I’ll follow your lead on that.”
“Thank you.” He kissed the tip of her nose. “Want to take a shower with me?”
“Uh, yeah.” There was an underlying duh at the end of Leah’s answer.
As they were moving to get out of bed, Jacob realized what a complete mess their suite had become. They’d dismissed maid service since the wedding, ordered room service so many times that there were stacks of trays and dishes lying around, and clothes strewn everywhere.
Leah’s wedding dress was still on the floor in a crumbled mess of white lace that had been kicked into the corner, Jacob’s suit pants still had the belt in the belt loops and was in a similar pile on the other side of the room, and yoga pants and hoodies and underwear were strewn about.
Every time they tried to get dressed and do something other than make love, their clothes didn’t stay on longer than it took to eat a meal or lie on the coach and talk. The television may as well have been a decoration on the wall, and Jacob couldn’t recite any current events happening in the world.
“Maybe we should clean up a little first,” he suggested. “And call for maid service while we’re at dinner.”
“Sounds like a good idea.” Leah started gathering articles of clothing as she was heading toward the bathroom. “I have a hamper in here if you want anything sent to the laundry.”
“I don’t think I’ve had any of these clothes on long enough to call them dirty.” Jacob held up his favorite sweatshirt, noting that he couldn’t even remember wearing it, or taking it off for that matter. “Do we have to dress nicely for dinner?”
He answered his own rhetorical question by heading to his suitcase and digging out a pair of slacks and button-down shirt. He folded his hoodie and athletic shorts, tucking them back into the suitcase as if they hadn’t been lying on the floor for who knows how long.
“Do you have any idea where my cell phone is?” Jacob asked, turning around and glancing at any surface within his view.
“It’s here on the floor in the bathroom,” Leah called from where she was starting the shower.
“What a strange place to leave it.” Jacob couldn’t remember when he’d last held it in his hands. He grabbed his charger, took it with him into the bathroom, and plugged in his phone before joining his wife in the shower.
He had the honor of helping Leah wash her hair, then they got so distracted that they ended up back in bed, soaking wet. A little while later, Jacob lay on his pillow with the afternoon sun streaking shadows across his face and chuckled. “I think I need another shower before dinner.”
“Tell you what.” Leah rolled over and propped herself on one elbow. “You take a shower, and I’ll call down to arrange for maid service.”
“Sounds good,” Jacob said. “I’ll send a text to your sister, asking if she can gather everyone together for dinner.”
“Mm-kay.” Leah closed the distance between them and kissed Jacob lightly on his lips, then whispered, “I love you.”
“I love you too, babe.” He forced himself to get out of bed and headed for the bathroom where he found his phone and typed out a quick text. Hello, darling, could you gather Bilhah and Zilpah and meet us for dinner this evening?
A reply came back almost immediately with one word, Yep.
Jacob could almost picture Rachel’s tight-lipped response, and he chuckled. She didn’t seem happy, but there wasn’t much he could do about that now. He’d make it up to her later.
He turned on the hot water and climbed in the shower with a soft smile, knowing that in less than an hour he would hold Rachel’s hand as he sat between her and her sister and prayed over their meal together.
It was in that moment that Jacob realized he hadn’t taken the time to speak with God in days. Oops, sorry.
A warmth flowed through Jacob’s heart, and he knew God had never been more proud of him. Prayer and devotion didn’t always involve words. God had been witness to Jacob’s every move since the last time they’d talked on the sofa in his apartment while holding Rachel’s hands.
Resting the side of his head against the shower wall, Jacob closed his eyes and let God’s Spirit pour down upon him, cleansing him symbolically as the water and steam cleansed his flesh. His tiny, whispered prayer contained everything God needed to hear in that moment. “Thank you.”
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