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On their way into the dining room, Jacob caught Rachel by her elbow, separating her from her sister and Bilhah and Zilpah. “Could I have a word with you, Rachel?” he asked. The other three ladies turned with raised eyebrows. “We’ll just be a minute.” He smiled softly, meeting each of their gazes, then winked at Leah.
Leah blushed and lowered her gaze, likely remembering every kiss and sigh and declaration of affection from the night before. Jacob could think of little else the entire day, but knew he had to ask Rachel a few important questions before they all sat together for dinner.
“Are you okay?” Rachel asked quietly. Her face was a careful mask of indifference barely hiding the torture behind her eyes.
“I am. Are you okay?” Jacob asked.
“I’m hanging in there. What did you need to talk to me about?”
“What have you told Zilpah and Bilhah about your vision?”
“Almost nothing.” She shook her head. “I guess I figured you should take the lead on that.”
“It was your vision,” Jacob pointed out.
“But the mantle rests on your shoulders, my love.” Rachel placed her hand gently over Jacob’s heart, and he fought the need to take her in his arms and kiss her ten times more passionately than he’d kissed her twin sister. He reminded himself that they had a very captive audience and that he was currently promised to another woman. “This is your responsibility. Your promised blessing.”
“Our promised blessing, darling,” he reminded her.
“Yeah, yeah, I know.” She sighed.
“Try not to be troubled,” Jacob begged. “Remember God’s plan. And your important role in that plan.”
“I will try.”
“That’s all I ask. Thank you.” Again, he fought the need to pull her close. “I think we should wait to tell them anything beyond my engagement to Leah.”
“Really?” She met his eyes with confusion. “Why the delay?”
“God reminded me while I was praying yesterday that we learn things line upon line, precept upon precept.”
“You don’t think they’re ready to hear the truth?”
“Okay.” She nodded once. “Have you mentioned this to Leah?”
“I wanted to counsel with you first.”
“She will follow your lead,” Rachel said with confidence, reaching up to pat him on his cheek. “As will I.”
“Thank you, my love.” Jacob held Rachel’s hand to his face, then turned and placed a quick kiss on the inside of her wrist. “I desperately want to hold you right now,” he whispered.
“Don’t,” Rachel said forcefully and with insistence, pulling her hand away. “Our family is waiting for us. Let’s go announce your engagement… to my sister.”
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