“Hey little brother, you still got any of those babies left?” Liam didn’t wait for an answer, just strode over to Jacob’s bedside table and opened the drawer. “Oh good, tons of ‘em.”
“Which crew member are you corrupting now?” Jacob asked, setting aside the book he was reading. After the past few days of feeling sick after the storm, he was glad he could read at all. He was just starting to feel better. “Couldn’t convince your younger brother to disobey father’s rules, so you’ve found some other poor schmuck to lead away into darkness.”
“You’re funny,” Liam said. He grabbed one row of five and dropped them back into the drawer and tucked the box under his arm. “No, these are for me.”
“I’m pretty sure Rachel can’t get any more pregnant than she already is.” Jacob was confused.
“Rachel’s not the only beautiful woman on this yacht.” Liam took the box and started for the door.
“Wait a minute,” Jacob called after him. “Are you cheating on your wife?”
“Cheating is in the eye of the beholder,” Liam said and left the room.
Jacob scrambled off his bed and followed his brother. “I’m pretty sure 99% of the people in this world would agree with me that cheating is wrong.”
“Well, I guess I’m in that top 1%.” Liam continued walking and Jacob continued following.
“You’re not going to get away with this,” Jacob said.
Liam stopped and turned to face him. “I’ve been getting away with it for weeks. What’s a few more days?”
“You are a wicked man, Liam Cohen,” Jacob rose his voice, tears threatening. “I’ve known it for a long time. I didn’t want to admit it because you’re my brother. But you are. You’re wicked.”
“You have a right to your opinion. I have the right to mine.” Liam turned away and kept walking toward his stateroom.
“What’s going on, gentlemen.” Their father, Levi stood with their brother, Nicholas near the railing watching the Atlantic Ocean trailing out behind the elegant yacht.
“Liam’s cheating on Rachel,” Jacob stated in a loud enough voice for his father and brother to hear him. Unfortunately, several other people were within earshot as well, including Rachel.
Liam slipped past his wife and tossed the box onto the bed in their stateroom, then pulled the door shut and faced the family. “You think she doesn’t know that, little brother? You think you just ratted me out? Rachel probably even knows her name.”
“Not difficult to guess,” Rachel grumbled. “What exactly am I supposed to do about it?”
“You could demand that he stops,” Jacob said in exasperation.
Liam laughed, standing behind his wife and leaning against the wall next to their stateroom door, arms folded across his chest.
“Have you ever known Liam to do what someone demanded him to do?” Rachel raised her eyebrows at Jacob. “He has needs, and obviously I’m not able to fulfil that role at the moment.” She placed her hand on her growing baby bump.
“I’m a man, Jacob,” Liam said with a sneer. “When you become a man, you’ll understand these things.”
“I am man enough to know that a woman’s body is sacred and should be treated as such. You are defiling your wife and defiling the poor woman who you’re using for your needs.”
“Maybe she’s using me too,” Liam said. “You ever thought of that? Maybe I’m giving her exactly what she wants. Women have needs too. Again, you’ll learn about that when you’re all grown up.” Liam’s tone took on a note of derogatory insult and he glanced over at Maryam who had approached and stood beside Jacob. Liam looked her up and down, smiling. He even winked at her.
“You stay away from my girl!” Jacob demanded.
“Maybe it’s too late for that,” Liam said with a sneer. “Maybe I’ve been taking care of her for weeks. Since you weren’t man enough to do it.”
“How dare you!” Jacob rushed Liam and pushed him back, hard. Liam had a good thirty pounds of muscle on Jacob and came back at him, swinging a fist. Jacob ducked and landed a sucker punch to Liam’s gut. Liam rammed his head into Jacob’s chest, pushing him back just as hard.
Suddenly, Nicholas had his arms around Jacob from behind and their father had ahold of Liam. They both struggled to get out of the restraining grips, but they were pushed back, away from one another.
Jacob finally calmed down and shook free. He glanced over at Maryam, who had tears running down her face. He couldn’t tell if they were from guilt, sorrow, or frustration. Jacob just shook his head and stormed away, slamming the door to his stateroom. He threw himself onto his bed and sobbed into his pillow.