The Lady Bountiful was a full 200 feet in length, had four decks above the waterline, two decks below, a helipad, two VIP suites in addition to the owner’s suite, a pool and jacuzzi, a movie theater, a massage parlor and beauty salon, a playroom, a bar, and a library.
Jacob had been the son of a billionaire all his life, but this felt like a step above luxury. He fought the pride that tore through his chest. He followed closely at Nicholas’s heels and tried to emulate his presence, confidence without haughtiness, if that were possible. Jacob wasn’t sure he’d ever be able to master the art of true humility like Nicholas, but he’d like to try.
They met up with Adele, and their parents near the dock where their new home at sea would take them on the maiden voyage to Cancun, Mexico. They intended to put down roots there, for how long, he didn’t know.
There would be a celebration that evening with a cocktail party and official launch, but this afternoon was for the family to meet the crew and get settled in their state rooms.
Just as they were about to board, Liam called from the deck overlooking the docks something that sounded like “Wait for us.” He and Rachel held hands as they ran like kids through the sand to meet up with the rest of the family.
They were laughing and happy, and everyone reached around the group giving hugs, Adele patting her sister’s growing baby bump, Liam punching his brothers in the arms affectionately, giving hugs to their mother and father, and lifting baby Joseph from their mother’s arms to nuzzle him.
“I missed you, little brother,” Liam cooed at baby Joseph.
“See, Nicholas.” Jacob elbowed him. “I’m no longer the spoiled little brother.”
“Dude, you will always be spoiled,” Liam said.
“How was your honeymoon?” Adele asked her sister Rachel.
“Figi was incredible,” Rachel said. “Oh, and hanging out with this big lug wasn’t so bad either.” Rachel wrapped her arms around Liam’s waist and held him close.
“You made it home just in time to come aboard and meet the crew,” Father said, holding out his arm toward the ramp leading up to the yacht, and they all followed him.
The lineup of men, and a few women, was impressive, as if staff from a small resort were commissioned to care for this vessel and its owners. A man slightly younger than father stepped forward and offered his hand.
“Mr. Cohen, I’m Captain Jeffrey Arnold. Welcome aboard the Lady Bountiful.”
“Thank you, Captain Arnold.” Father shook the pro-offered hand and turned to introduce the family. “This is my wife, Sarah, and she is holding our youngest, baby Joseph.”
“The pleasure is mine, Mrs. Cohen.” Captain Arnold nodded regally.
“This is our oldest son, Liam, and his wife, Rachel, our son, Nicholas, and his wife, Adele, and our nineteen-year-old son, Jacob.”
“Ah, Master Jacob, you are the same age as my daughter, Maryam.” Captain Arnold gestured to his right where stood an elegant young lady with dark brown eyes and chestnut waves of hair so dark brown it was almost black. “Perhaps the two of you can become friends.”
“Maryam,” Jacob whispered, suddenly lightheaded. “What a beautiful name.”
The adults surrounding him laughed and Maryam lowered her gaze, biting her lower lip, her olive skin deepening in color. Jacob cleared his throat, mortified that his first encounter with the captain and his family had been so embarrassing.
“Anyway, this is my wife, Valerie,” Captain Arnold continued. “She is matron of the interior staff, with Maryam as her assistant.” The captain pointed out the rows of housekeepers, the chef and his staff, the deck crew, the engineers.
Jacob wasn’t paying any attention to the remaining introductions. His eyes were locked with Maryam’s, whose tiny smirk answered his unspoken question.
How soon do we set sail?