“Jacob?” Maryam knocked on his stateroom door. He tried to let her soft voice comfort him. “Can I come in?”
“Do you even want to come in?” Jacob brushed the tears from his cheeks, embarrassed for her to see him cry. “What’s the matter? Didn’t get enough satisfaction from my brother?”
“How could you even think that about me?” She stopped near the door.
“I see the way Liam looks at you.” Jacob sat up and swung his legs over the side of his bed placing his feet on the floor and stood to face her. “What else am I supposed to think?”
“He looks at all women that way,” Maryam said. “He’s a cockroach and a lowlife and a womanizer and I can’t believe you would think that I would ever go after a man like him.”
“All the women go after him. They always have.”
“Well, I’m not one of them. I am completely offended that you would ever think that about me.” Maryam stalked toward Jacob with narrowed eyes. She pushed against his chest with vitriol. “I don’t know why I ever gave you a chance. I was starting to fall for you.” She pushed him again.
Jacob righted himself. “I’m falling for you too.” He heard the shift in his tone. He felt bad for accusing her of doing anything wrong.
“You know what? I think you’re as bad as your brother.”
“How could you think that?”
“The first time you got me alone you had your hands all over me and you made out with me so passionately my mom thought we were having sex.”
“My hands were not all over you!”
“Are you trying to tell me that if I had locked your stateroom door and pulled you down onto that bed that you wouldn’t have opened one of those condoms and had sex with me right then and there?”
“I would not have done that!” Jacob held up his hands like she had him at gun point.
“You tried to convince our parents to let us get married that very day,” she said. “Why? Because we’d known each other for years and fell in love? No! You wanted to marry me so that we could have sex! Admit it!”
“I do admit it,” Jacob said in defense.
“Ha!” She put her finger to his chest, proving her point.
“But only because I respect you and I’d never take advantage of you. I would never have sex with you before we were married.”
“If you respected me so much then why would you think I’d have sex with your brother?” She pushed him again.
“Because he said he was taking care of your needs.” Jacob sneered, thinking back on how much his brother’s words had disgusted him.
“And you were so quick to believe him?”
“Why else would he need that whole box of condoms?” Jacob pointed in the direction of the door. “He’s obviously taking care of somebody’s needs.”
“Yeah… his own.” Maryam got right up in Jacob’s face and her quiet, pointed words were more powerful than if she’d shouted in his face. “And just the fact that you thought I’d be involved with him makes you just as bad as he is.”
“You stay away from me, Jacob Cohen. My mother was right. All of you Cohen boys are trouble. I don’t want to see you again for the rest of this cruise. I don’t want to see you again for the rest of my life.” Maryam stormed out the door, slamming it in his face.
Jacob pulled open the door and called after her. “Maryam, wait!”
“I believe my daughter told you she didn’t want to see you again.” Maryam’s father stood near Jacob’s stateroom door with his arms folded and narrowed eyes.
“But Captain Arnold, if I could just explain.”
“I think you’ve said enough,” the captain said. “Stay away from my daughter.”