Note to Reader: Jacob’s story is Part Three of The Billionaire’s Sons, Book One of the Sayid Family Saga. All of these characters are introduced in Parts One and Two of Book One.
Other than Jacob and Maryam, the other main players in this part of the story are Liam (Jacob’s oldest brother) and his brother Nicholas, the esteemed philanthropist who plays at least a minor role in almost every story in the series. After this opening scene, most of these characters fall off the page. I’m showing you this chapter because it really brings out character development for the main characters.
Background: Nicholas and Adele were childhood sweethearts reunited as adults in Part One of The Billionaire’s Sons. Nick’s older brothers took a liking to Adele’s older sisters and within a year they’d all paired off and gotten married. This opening scene is Liam’s wedding to Rachel, who is pregnant (I know, scandalous!). All the other weddings take place in Parts One and Two of Book One. I hope you enjoy the chapter even though there are a bunch of characters you don’t need to remember. Feel free to ask me for clarification. As always, any feedback, positive or negative is greatly appreciated. -Julie
“How many weddings can you cram into one year?” Jacob leaned over and spoke quietly to his brother, Nicholas. They both wore black tuxedoes and stood at the front of the atrium where they’d stood together to watch their older brother Lyle marry his wife, Miriam almost a year ago to the date, and where their brother Sam had married Miriam’s younger sister Leanne three weeks ago.
“I’m very sorry Daniel has run out of daughters,” Nicholas said, patting Jacob on the back. “You’ll have to marry outside the family.”
“Pretty sure I’m a little young to be thinking of marriage.” Jacob chuckled lightly. He was only nineteen and barely finished with his schooling, if he could call it that.
As much as they’d been travelling the past few years, calling his learning home schooling was a stretch. More like unschooling. Learning things the hard way, being dragged to work by his father and brothers, letting mom rely on him to help take care of his baby brother while she attempted to cram English and math lessons into his head alongside Hebrew and Arabic and world history. She’d finally called it good and declared him graduated, for whatever that was worth.
Schooling was a lifelong pursuit anyway, and Jacob kept studying even without her guidance. Being the son of a billionaire, he’d never need to work outside the family to make a living, but there was always the need for scholars. Jacob was good at journaling and storytelling like his brother Nicholas and more often tagged along to whatever Nicholas was working on.
“Well, there’s still Ruth,” Jacob mused. “About ten years too old for me, but still…”
“Hadn’t you heard?” Lyle leaned over from his spot on the other side of their brother Sam. “She’s marrying Zach.”
“Seriously?” Jacob spoke a little too loud and drew the attention of the few friends and family gathered together. He shrunk back and hunched his shoulders.
“Do you guys mind?” Liam took a step forward to look at all his brothers at the same time. “You’re ruining my wedding.”
“Like you ruined mine?” Lyle baited him.
“I ruined your reception,” Liam said. “There’s a difference.”
“Your wedding hasn’t actually started yet,” Jacob pointed out. The pianist was playing softly in the background as people took their seats and prepared for the simple ceremony. “Technically there’s still time to run.”
“And have father and Daniel fight over whose shotgun to use?”
“Well, these tuxes will work just as well for a funeral as for a wedding,” Jacob said.
“Very funny,” Liam grumbled.
“You know, if you guys would stop having sex before you get married, you could choose when to get married rather than be forced to get married because your girlfriends are pregnant.” Nicholas lifted his chin, then his mouth pulled into a tiny grin. “Like Adele and I did.”
“Yep, you’re perfect, Nicholas,” Liam said. “We’ve established that over and over.”
“Adele pregnant yet?” Lyle asked with a gleam in his eye.
“I dunno…” Nicholas pinched his lips together, obviously trying to hide a smile.
“Look at that cheesy smile, you sly dog,” Lyle teased. “It’s been what? Five months? You should be celebrating by now.”
“Not for lack of trying,” Nicholas said under his breath.
Their three older brothers started laughing but Jacob wanted to crawl under one of the pews in embarrassment from the entire conversation. “You guys are hurting my virtuous ears, and delicate countenance.”
“Eh, you’re going to love being married just as much as the rest of us, little brother,” Sam said, reaching around Nicholas’s back to shove Jacob’s shoulder.
“That would require me to grow up, oh, and meet a girl.” Jacob felt a little flutter in his stomach at the thought. All this talk about marriage and what came after, or in Liam and Lyle’s case, before, the wedding had gotten Jacob a little more excited about the prospect. Maybe being married wouldn’t be so bad. Something to look forward to.
The music shifted into a traditional wedding march and the brothers straightened into a line, standing at attention like the upstanding young men they should emulate.
Within a few moments, Rachel appeared at the other end of the aisle in a soft pink gown with a high waist that almost hid her growing midline.
Jacob peeked over at his brother, Liam, noting the grin that spread onto his face at seeing his bride. The circumstances may not be perfect, but at least Liam and Rachel were in love.
Love. Something even more important to look forward to.