Fool, my favorite!”
“You are welcome, Mrs. Darcy,” Johnson, the footman, replied as he smiled back at her.
Darcy frowned at the exchange. His wife was just too charming for her own good. He looked up to Johnson, as the young man served him his dessert, and clipped, “That will be all, Johnson.”
“Yes, Mr. Darcy.” He bowed to both Mr. and Mrs. Darcy and left the dining room.
Opening her eyes, she dipped her spoon into the bowl and retrieved another large portion and repeated her actions.
Darcy had been
watching her carefully and when she went to take her third spoonful, he said, “
She looked at him quizzically and asked, “What should I not do?”
He leaned in and lowered his voice, “Make those noises.”
She arched her brow, “What noises are you speaking of?”
He sighed. Why is she doing this to me? I thought she was satisfied and now she is trying to arouse me again. “Those noises you make when you are about to climax.”
Her eyes widened. Then she smiled seductively at him. Leaning over to place her hand on his thigh, she asked, “Does it arouse you?”
“You know good and well it does, now please desist!” he replied, giving her a stern look.
“I will race you up the stairs to your chambers. We can get naked and fornicate all afternoon in that big, huge bed of ours,” she challenged him.
I have created a true vixen, a siren, she
will be the death of me. With an
authoritative demeanor, he said to her “
Pouting, she stuck her spoon into her bowl. Taking another spoonful to her mouth, she began her auditory appreciation of the Raspberry Fool.
“Or you will do what? Send me to my room like the naughty girl that I am?” She was trying her best to provoke him and she succeeded.
“Yes, I would send you to your room but I know you will not listen to me. But I do know who will make you go to your room,” he countered.
She raised her eyebrows in disbelief that that would be possible and replied, “You do not want to escort me into my bed chamber and be naughty with me?” she raised her eyebrow and gave him a seductive grin.
He reached out and rang the bell. When Johnson entered the room, he addressed the footman, “Johnson, will you have Mrs. Winters join us?”
“Yes, sir.” Johnson bowed and left to retrieve Mrs. Winters.
“Yes, Mrs. Winters. She has magical powers that make people do things that they do not want to do even if they should,” he smirked.
“Really?” she asked incredulously.
“Yes!” he affirmed.
“And just how do you know she has these powers?” she inquired.
“From first hand knowledge, she was my nanny,” he explained.
He looked into her eyes and smiled. “And naughty big girls, as well,” as he waggled his eyebrows.
“I doubt that!”
Staring back and crossing his arms across his chest, he said to his wife, “Just wait and see.”
They both sat staring at each other – stubborn as mules – until Mrs. Winters arrived.
“Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Darcy, is there a problem?”
Without taking his eyes from his wife’s, he said, “Yes, Mrs. Winters, there is a bit of a problem. You see Mrs. Darcy is not feeling well and needs to be excused from spending the afternoon with you. I feel that she should retire to her chambers and rest.”
rushed over to
“So tired in the middle of the day, were you sick this morning when you woke up?” Mrs. Winters continued her examination.
“I noticed you had a healthy appetite at lunch today.” Mrs. Winters observed.
normally have a healthy appetite,”
“Well, we must get you to bed right away. You are going to need all the strength you can muster for the next few months.” Mrs. Winters helped her from her chair.
“Yes, dear, it
is important for a new mother to get all the rest she can at the
beginning. It allows your body to spend
its time nurturing the child.” Mrs.
Winters tried to lead
“Nonsense, dear, you have most of the symptoms. Flushed countenance, tired in the middle of the day, eating for two. It might be a bit early for the morning sickness. You know some ladies do not suffer it. You might be lucky there…”
The housekeeper was quite excited at the prospect that the arrival of the Darcy heir was imminent and would brook no opposition. “Mr. Darcy, you have seen that your wife is experiencing the effects that conceiving a child has on a woman’s body...”
Interrupting his housekeeper, “Yes, but there could be other causes for these symptoms…”
“At the same time?” Mrs. Winters would not be denied.
with all due respect, in your condition, you should be resting.” Taking
Looking at the documents on his desk, he knew that his personal turmoil would not allow him to address that work. Bypassing his desk, he walked to the window and watched the snow flurries drift down from the heavens to land on the snow that still covered the back garden. He laughed at the fact that it was snowing again. Had snow begun to fall this morning instead of the sun shining, he and Elizabeth would still be in their chambers making love right now and this whole mess would have been avoided.
He could fix
the problem with Mrs. Winters. He would
go talk to her, explain things, and then get her to retract any gossip that
might have gotten around. She should
know better than to broadcast that piece of news but he knew that soon the
whole household will have heard it.
Tomorrow he would deal with the gossip; today he needed to deal with
What was it that she always told him? Yes, when she wins an argument, they both win. When she loses an argument, they both lose. She was right on that count. His stupid male pride forced him to win a stupid argument at any cost and now they were both suffering because of it. When would he ever learn? His pride and arrogance caused her to reject his first marriage proposal and he had resolved then and there to never let it come between them again. So during the second week of his marriage, he forgets that resolve and it happens again. Oh! He knew she would forgive him. What he was worried about was how much damage he had done to her trust in him.
He should have just hauled her upstairs, over his shoulder if necessary, and had his way with her. That is what they both wanted, both desired. But no, he had to let that stuffy, proper man he used to be step in and muck things up. He should have rescued her from Mrs. Winters clutches when things got out of hand. But he did nothing, he just sat there gloating that he had won his point. He was definitely not proud of his actions.
Watching the snow fall, he was reminded of an afternoon just last week. He and Elizabeth stood in front of the window watching a raging snow storm. He was standing behind her with his manly parts nestled all nice and snug along her buttocks and up her lower back. One of his arms rested under her bosom and the other across her stomach. She had her arms resting on his. Peace and quiet enveloped them as the storm raged outside.
For the first time that he could remember, he cried. Not tears of sadness or sorrow but of pure joy and contentment. She leaned back and he saw that she was crying those same tears. She leaned in and softly kissed his lips and then laid her wet cheek against his so their tears would mix. How long they stayed that way, he did not know but it seemed an eternity as neither wanted to give over to that one insightful moment.
Looking back to what had happened earlier; Darcy realized that he had reverted back to the man he had been before his marriage and not the man that was part of that one being. He had acted like the man he used to be, a man that he did not like very much and a the man who had been immensely lonely. He never wanted to be that man again. For once in his life, he was truly happy and he liked himself. He knew love – what it was to love and be loved. He now had someone he could share his life with, his hopes and dreams, his successes and failures, his secrets. He had opened himself up and liberated his inner being, his essence, and he did not want to close himself off again especially not to her. And that was exactly what he had done today that caused this mess. Now he needed to go to her and make things right.
thought about her up in her bed chamber.
She was probably still angry and full of righteous indignation. Oh! How he loved an angry
the window, he made his way to the door.
Hearing voices, he hesitated.
Listening carefully, he heard Mrs. Winters talking with
She was angry. Why had he treated her in such a way? She was just being playful, like she always was with him. He enjoyed her playful nature and even encouraged it. There was that spark in his eyes that told her that he was highly aroused, he wanted to do to her what she had be propositioning to him. Why did he not just take her upstairs and enjoy what she was offering? He was not acting like the man she had married. In fact, he was acting like that staid Mr. Darcy she had first meet over a year ago, not her Will.
Based on their conversation at lunch, she knew that neither of them had anything pressing to do after lunch, at least nothing that could not wait until tomorrow. What is wrong with him? They were still practically on their honeymoon. After all, it was snowing again. Why could they not just retreat back to their honeymoon routine?
In this vein she continued, pacing in front of the fire. With every turn, not only was her ire increased but the hurt of his rejection magnified until she was in high dungeon.
door to her chambers a few inches, he peered in to see his wife pacing in front
of the fireplace in all her glory. She
was not pacing, she was marching in front of the fireplace. Arms moving about as she punctuated her
indignation at him and her beautiful breasts bobbing and swaying along with
her. Watching her, he contemplated the
verbal duel that they would soon wage when he confessed his foolish mistakes,
and begged her to forgive him. She would
have her say and he would counter her accusations. Before long she would feel the need to soothe
and comfort him or he would have aroused her to the point that she needed
soothing and comforting. Next they would
make up and all would be right with the world.
His anticipation of going toe-to-toe with a furious
Pushing the door open a little further, he was able to slip into the room. She was so caught up in her anger that she had not realized that he was there. He began to untie his cravat. Removing his coat, he walked to the bed. He laid those two articles of clothing on the bench at the foot of the bed. Then he toed off his shoes as he unbuttoned his waistcoat. Placing the waistcoat with his other discarded clothing, he began to pull his shirt over his head. That is when she finally noticed him.
“What are you doing here?” she glared at him.
Pulling his head out of his shirt, he replied, “Undressing.”
“Yes, I can see that but why are you here?” she asked still glaring at him.
As he finished unbuttoning his breeches, he pushed them halfway down his thighs. Sitting down, he looked at her and responded, “I came to check on you.” He then proceeded to remove his breeches and stockings and laid them with the rest of his clothing.
She planted her feet and crossed her arms over her chest. “A simple knock on the door would have sufficed, there is no need to come in here and take your clothes off.” She glared at him challenging him to explain himself.
“Yes, I could have but maybe I wanted to see for myself. Besides we agreed that when we are in our private chambers we would be naked. It allows us to be open and honest in our communication.” Holding his hands out to acknowledge her state of undress, “I see that you are still in agreement with that. And I feel we have things to discuss, we should do so in as open a manner as possible.”
Glaring at him, she remarked, “I thought the fact that we are to be naked in our chambers was so that you could have your way with me at your convenience.”
He smiled, “Yes, it has proven expeditious in that regard. But I believe that it works both ways, you seem to know exactly how to have your way with me,” he said as he began to walk toward her, coming to a stop a couple of feet in front of her. Leaning in, he reached out to remove her arm that was blocking his view of her delightful bosom.
She batted his hand away and snarled, “Do not touch me, Sir, if you want to retain the use of that hand.”
Stomping her foot, she turned around leaving her back to face him.
“Ah! Yes, that wonderful
behind of yours. I find that there is
just enough meat on them to get a good grip to leverage myself as I thrust
deeply into you. There is nothing like
the sound of my bare skin slapping your bare cheeks.” Reaching over he squeezed a cheek. He grinned as he saw her shaking in anger; he
had raised her indignation with that comment.
This was quite a bit of fun but then an angry
Reaching behind her, she swatted his hand away, “I requested that you not touch me, Mr. Darcy.” Turning around to face him again but now placing both hands on her hips, she looked him in the eye and said, “Furthermore, you will not be thrusting into me or slapping bare skin against my buttocks in the foreseeable future. So if you require satisfaction, I suggest you remove yourself to our other chamber and gather together a stack of handkerchiefs to catch your seed as it spews forth, for it will not be spewing forth within me.”
he went to settle himself on the sofa that faced the fire and her. With his legs splayed out to offer her a view
of she would be missing but enforcing that statement, he responded to her
“Why ever not, Mr. Darcy?” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“Because I would break my promise to you about not spilling my seed anywhere but within you,” he stated with a grin.
“I release you from that promise. And besides you were willing to break your promise earlier today in your study when you could not control your arousal. I dare say you would have broken it had I not come along.”
“ Maybe so but you did come along and the point it moot as I was able to spew forth my seed within you, several times as the case may be. And besides, I do not want to be released from that promise. After tasting what you have to offer, I would find it abhorrent to receive my satisfaction by any other means but within your warm and luscious body. Being within you is like heaven on earth, nothing can replace that sensation.”
“Arghhhh!” she exclaimed and then continued, “Besides you only spewed forth twice not several. Several denotes more than twice,” she smirked.
He gave her his best cocky grin, “By my count, I have spewed forth within you four times so far today. No make that five, you did wake me in the wee hours of the morning demanding to be satisfied.”
She glared at him. She just hated it when he was right and she was angry.
Placing his fingers around the base of his arousal, he began to sway it back and forth. He silently chuckled as he watched her eyes following it as if she were watching a pendulum sway. “I see that you might be interested again in having me spew forth within you. As you can see, I am ready to do so. I am at your command.”
She raised her eyes to his and then looked away. “You cannot rebuff my offer, hurt my feelings and then show up twenty minutes later to claim what you rejected. My offer is no longer valid.”
Sitting back and stretching his arms along the top of the sofa, he looked out the window and said, “’Tis a pity. Cold, snowy afternoon, a nice, hard arousal ready to fornicate with my wife, I cannot think of a more enjoyable way to pass the time.”
She had to turn away or he would see what he was doing to her. All she wanted to do right now was to climb upon him, letting him fill that aching void between her legs, offer up a breast for him to soothe the pain of desire with his gentle suckle. She wanted to run her fingers through his hair, lightly scraping his scalp with her fingernails until he gave that shudder that went racing through his body only to end with that exquisite tingling sensation deep within her. As she struggled to get control of herself, she heard his voice.
That did it for
Taking a deep breathe, she turned around to face him. Tilting her head to one side, she retaliated, “Why did you not follow through if you were so desirous? I was perfectly amenable to such a proposal.” She gave her husband a tender look to show how eager she would have been had he complied with his urges. She starting playing with her nipples and moved a hand between her legs to show him what she wanted him to do. Seeing desire flash in his eyes, she saw him start to rise to come to her. She had him where she wanted him. Resuming her cold, hard stare, she said, “Unfortunately, my amenability for entering into conjugal congress with you now is naught. But all this talk about fornicating has aroused me. Maybe this is a good time to practice female masturbation.” She pinched both her nipples and pulled them away from her body as she let out a loud moan. Moving her hand back between her legs, she closed her eyes as she began massaging her folds, vocalizing the pleasure she was giving herself.
Watching her was mesmerizing and he was getting very aroused watching her, painfully aroused. This was not the direction he wanted this discussion to go and he needed to stop this now and get things back on track before he forced himself on his unwilling wife.
Continuing what she was doing, she opened her eyes and looked him straight in the eye, “Yes?”
With a pleading look in his eye, he said, “Please, stop.”
Lowering her gazed to his erection which his was stroking quite forcefully, she countered, “I will if you will.”
Not realizing what he was doing, he looked down and then removed his hand and placed it on the sofa.
When she saw that he had ceased his actions, she ceased hers. Placing her hands on her hips, she asked, “Now what?”
“Yes you did, why did you send in your delusional and deranged ex-nanny and housekeeper to drag me away?”
“Like I said, I
was not thinking rationally. And while I
should have known better, my male pride raised its ugly head and demanded that
I win at all costs. And all it did was prove
the one universal truth of our marriage:
When Elizabeth wins, we both win; when
“As they say, it only it takes one time to conceive a child. The trick is determining which one time it was that caused the conception.”
He went on, “When I announced to Mrs. Winters that I was to be married, she immediately began knitting baby booties and airing out the nursery, collecting fabric swatches and paint samples eagerly awaiting the time when she could sit down with you to redecorate the nursery. You see, Agnes Winters has been in charge of me since I was born. First, as my nursemaid, then my nanny, and now my housekeeper, she does not want to watch my children suffer the same lonely childhood that I had. She has explained to me that my sole purpose in this marriage is to keep you birthing babies so there will not be a lonely one in the bunch. To be honest, I think she expects us to keep having babies until she is in her grave.”
“Just how many babies is she expecting us to have?”
Looking up at the ceiling as he did a mental calculation, he responded, “Oh! I would say 15 or 20, maybe 25”
“25! That is impossible. Fitzwilliam Darcy, I am not a brood mare, no matter what you or your housekeeper may think,” she exclaimed. Softening her speech, she added, “But I do want to have your children, just not that many, and I do not want to be rushed into it.”
sincerity, he looked at her and expressed his true thoughts, “
Looking at the floor, she was profoundly moved by his declaration. She felt the same. Even with her ire gone, she still was not ready to submit to him physically. They still had issues to discuss and she needed to know what had sent him on this destruction course that he had taken. So without the animosity, she began her investigation of what had set off her husband.
“Fitzwilliam, you know that the whole household now believes me to be carrying your child.”
“That I have lost credibility in this household.”
“How is that?”
“Because, now I will be pampered and coddled and made to take things easy so as not to endanger my delicate condition. I will not be able to do anything for myself and will be constantly watched.”
He laughed, “
“But I want to earn their respect and devotion.”
“You will with time. Just give them a chance to get to know you and you will have that respect and devotion before you know it. But if it makes you feel better, I will have a talk with Mrs. Winters and have her rescind any gossip and explain to her that she has broken her own rules about gossiping and has spread information to the household that is not confirmed.”
“Thank you. Why can you not talk to her now before it gets abroad? I would hate to have my family informed of this news, especially only after two weeks of marriage. My father is bound to think on it and realize that it takes more than a couple of weeks to determine if I am with child. Then he will think about all those long walks we would take alone during our courtship. His imagination will go rapidly to picturing you having your way with me in the hayfield or in some secluded glen or deep within a copse of trees or maybe in the hayloft above the barn. Before you know it, he will have engaged Mr. Bingley’s and his shotgun to show up on our doorstep demanding satisfaction for having sullied me. Not even thinking that it no longer matters as we are already happily married. He would explain to Mr. Bingley what a disreputable and untrustworthy cad you are and he should denounce all connection with you. And in the end, I will be estranged from my family, you will have lost your dear friend, and your beautiful body will be riddled with buckshot from Mr. Bingley’s shotgun. So you see, it behooves us to get this nipped in the bud.”
He laughed at her description of what was to befall them but went on to assure her that that would not happen, “I can guarantee that this information will not get outside this house so you can rest easy.”
“And just how are you so sure?” she demanded.
“Mrs. Winters’ gang of thugs, that’s how,” was his innocent reply.
She looked at him astonished, “A gang of thugs?”
He chuckled, “Yes! When you are in a position of authority, you need to have something that those under your command have a fear of, something that will make them think twice about the consequences of their actions if they were to step out of line or break the rules. So, Mrs. Winters has her gang. The first Wednesday of every month Mrs. Winters dons her coat and bonnet. Either Mr. Andrews or I present her with a bag of money, mostly coins as coins make the most noise. She departs with her husband, Joseph, who happens to be the stable manager here, in a Darcy carriage that I provide for them. They return by late afternoon with an empty bag.”
She stared in disbelief at him. “And you condone her paying good money to thugs!”
He nodded. “It is very effective. You should hear some of the stories that have been bandied about relating the fate of those unfortunate souls who have run afoul of Mrs. Winters and have had to tangle with her gang.”
“But how does that guarantee this news will not get out of this house?” she questioned.
“Mrs. Winters is very protective of Georgiana and me. She knows how we value our privacy. So her one cardinal rule is that nothing leaves this house about any Darcy or any goings-on in this house on the lips of a servant nor is any servant to speak of such matters in front of any person that is not part of the household. She backs that rule up with the threat of her gang.”
“Somehow I do not see Mrs. Winters, even if she is with her husband, sitting in some dingy pub down by the docks handing out money to big, burly men. It is a wonder that she is not robbed or worse.”
explained, “That is not exactly where she spends her Wednesdays. You see, she and Joseph first go shopping at
places that I have an account. I pay for
all their purchases. They buy candy,
toys, books, and clothing. Then they
bundled up their purchases and go to St. Perpetua’s to minister to the orphans
that have found their way there instead of an orphanage. Her brother is the rector there and cannot
seem to turn away those children in need.
He takes care of them instead of sending them to an orphanage until he
can find a better situation for them.
“Mr. and Mrs. Winter spend the day doling out their goods. They play with the children or read to them or just tell them stories. Mrs. Winters has a whole series of stories about a little boy who she once knew that had a propensity for getting into trouble and she would have to rescue him; that boy being me, of course. The bag of money goes to the rector to help with food and other necessities for the children. So you see, she is not in so much danger as that.”
“Absolutely, I will even let you deliver the bag to Mrs. Winters yourself.” He was proud that she was willing to participate in the ruse but he already knew that she has a truly, good heart. “Now, are we through with arguing? Can we begin our afternoon of fornicating?”
“Not quite yet. You still need to explain the reason why you acted so foolishly earlier.” She looked at him encouraging him to be truthful about what had set off all this turmoil in the first place.
Leaning forward, he planted is feet on the floor and rested his elbows on his knees. Hanging his hands between his legs, he looked at the carpet while he gathered his thoughts.
After a few
moments, he began, “
“Yes, scared. I do not know how to walk that thin line of maintaining the intimacy with you, which means so much to me, and not shocking the maiden sensibilities of my sixteen-year-old sister. So I reverted back to the Mr. Darcy who masked his emotions so that no one could see what lay underneath. We know how well that approach worked. But I do not know how to find a way to unite the new me with the old me.” He looked at her begging her to help him.
head and looking up at her, “
Leaning down to kiss him, she responded, “Will, the honor is all mine for having such a husband for I know of no finer man on this earth than you.” Placing her hands on his shoulders, she pushed him back on the sofa and climbed astride him, “Now, Mr. Darcy, I am ready to begin an afternoon of fornication that you have been so anxious to get on with.”
He grinned as he wrapped his arms around her and kissed her quite passionately.
As the Darcy’s confabulation was going at full tilt upstairs, below stairs a different to do was taking place.
Mrs. Winters, having
settled Mrs. Darcy in her chamber, descended the stairs to find
“Not here in the corridor, let us go to my office. I have the most wondrous news.” she said as she led the way below stairs.
Arriving at her office, she found Abernathy also waiting to hear about the commotion in the dining room. Standing beside him was Joseph, her husband, who had just come in to have his lunch and warm himself but was curious as to what was going on. He decided to stay to see what all the hub-bub was about before returning to the stables. Opening her office door, she ushered the three gentlemen in.
After every one had settled themselves, she exclaimed, “My dear boy is finally going to be a father.”
Each man in the room wore a look of shocked incredulity.
Looking at their astonished faces, she responded, “Well, what do you think they have been doing for the last ten days? I can assure you that they did not spend all that time reading to one another. And as we all know, the consequence of such an activity is a child.” She gave each man a knowing look.
The men were left speechless for a full minute.
Joseph looked at his wife and calmly said, “Agnes, they have only been married less than a fortnight. It is too soon for her to know if she is with child. You were four months gone before you realized that Ian was on the way. Granted Mrs. Darcy is a country girl and probably more attuned to the ways of nature than these flighty, city girls but I still think that it is too soon for her or you to know if she is going to have a child.” Thinking for a moment, he pensively said, “Unless…”
That ‘unless’ hung in air as each person considered its implication.
Finally Abernathy broke the silence, “NO! I cannot believe that. I was with Mr. Darcy the entire time he was in Hertfordshire before and after his engagement. When he retired at night after spending nearly the entire day with Miss Bennet…er… Mrs. Darcy, he did not have the attitude of a man who had satisfied his carnal lust. In fact, it was just the opposite; he displayed a frustration and restlessness of a man who had not been satisfied in that way. Besides, from what I heard, the Bennet household was in constant chaos trying to ready two daughters to be wed. I doubt they had the time or opportunity to slip away to such an assignation.”
Mrs. Winters, trying to hold on to the fact that there would soon be Darcy children running about, was eager to ensure the truth of her announcement without consideration of its implications, “That boy is of a passionate nature, though many do not see it but I know it is there. Also we all know he can be an impatient man in getting what he wants when he wants it, more so than others of his gender.”
Agnes Winters sat pensively reflecting on what had just been said and what had happened in the dining room. How had she been so mistaken?
Joseph was a calm man, a trait cultivated by working with horses all his life. He knew you could not let things get out of hand lest disaster strike. Leaning over, he touched his wife’s hand. “Agnes, please tell us exactly what happened in the dining room. Let us all try to make sense of it.”
Agnes looked at her husband and nodded. Taking a deep breath, she began her narrative, “Mr. Darcy summoned me to the dining room to inform me that Mrs. Darcy was a bit tired and would like to be excused from our tour of the house this afternoon so she could rest. She looked a bit flushed and she had eaten everything on her plate which denoted that she had a hearty appetite, like she was eating for two. Those three symptoms suggest that a woman is in the family way. With this being the first day since their wedding that we have seen them, he must have achieved his sole purpose of marrying and that is begetting a Darcy heir. What other explanation could there be for their appearance this morning?”
Always in control of a situation, Joseph tendered, “A flushed face means that she might have been angry with him…”
“Nonsense!” his wife said, “Those two are besotted and I cannot image them ever having angry words.”
“Be that as it may, your boy there,” Joseph looked to ceiling, “has a talent for sticking his foot in his mouth at the most inopportune times. I can only imagine what he said to her on his first proposal for her to have refused it.”
Hudson and Abernathy looked at each other. Both with the same thought that Mrs. Darcy had refused a first proposal of marriage from Mr. Darcy – unheard of!
Mrs. Winters gasped, “Joseph!” Looking him square in the eye, “We will discuss your impertinence later.”
Joseph Winters merely nodded. Yes, he made a mistake in mentioning such a private matter but he honestly believed that the other two men knew, after all, the three were thick as thieves. He was not looking forward to spending a cold winter’s night in the room above the stables with the other lads.
Turning her attention to Hudson and Abernathy, “Gentleman, not a word of what you just heard is to leave this room. For if I find that either of you have breathed a word, I will personally make sure you are both hung from the hayloft in the stables by your manly parts and I will parade every servant in this house out to see your disgrace. That would be example enough to keep their mouths shut. Have I made myself clear?”
Both men nodded and said “Yes!”
Abernathy, evidently not concerned with his body parts or being on display in
such a manner, had to offer his say. “It must have happened in
“Abernathy!” Mrs. Winters exclaimed.
Abernathy recalled from his musings, replied, “Yes, Agnes, not another word.” Though he knew that this little bit of information would be occupying his thoughts for some time to come.
Joseph, trying to keep the threat of violence from escalating further, chose to move the conversation back on track, “Agnes, why do you think he summoned you? He could just have easily escorted her to her chambers and either sent word or notified you himself. He must have gotten himself into a pickle and called his old nanny to get him out of it.”
Mrs. Winters pondered her husband’s words, “Yes, you might be right.”
Abernathy and Agnes laughed. Mr. Winters looked confused.
Mr. Winters just nodded his understanding.
“You know,” Mrs. Winters said, “when I went up a bit later to inform them that lunch would be delayed. I could have sworn they were still so engaged. I remember thinking that he had quite the stamina and she must be quite energetic to keep up with him.”
“Well if that
be the case,”
As they all sat looking from one to another, Joseph finally concluded, “There you have it, everything is explained and Mr. Darcy remains an honorable man.”
Winters exclaimed, “Johnson was witness to it all.
“Or that you be the fool,” Mr. Winters mumbled under his breath.
Left alone with his wife, Joseph stood and said, “Agnes, you best apologize to them; the sooner, the better.”
“Yes, it will be done before the day is out,” she said absently as she was still thinking about all that had happened today.
Joseph went to leave then he turned and said, “And another thing.”
She looked at him and queried, “Yes?”
“Stop knitting baby clothes. If you want to put those knitting needles to good use, I need a nice, thick wooly sweater. This cold weather is settling in my bones.”
She smiled at him, “I will start it this evening.”
He smiled back, “Does that mean that I can sleep in our bed with you to keep me warm tonight?”
She rose from her chair and went to stand in front of him. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him soundly and said, “Yes, I cannot imagine a bed on a cold winter’s night without you in it.”
He smiled at her and left for the stables. On his way, he thanked heaven that he would not be in need of making his bed in the room above the stables. It was always quite toasty up there but his wife was a much better source of warmth. After what he had just witnessed, he also thanked the powers that be that he worked with horses as they were a lot easier to deal with than people.
As the lovers were busy assuaging their fears, their reprieve was being delivered to them in the form of an express from Lord Matlock.
Lord and Lady
Matlock had taken their niece, Georgiana Darcy to
As reports of snow and cold weather up north began to filter in, the Matlock’s decided that their old bones were best suited to remain in the more moderate clime of Brighton than suffer the ravishes of the snow and ice in London or further north. Deciding to prolong their holiday for another month or two, they consulted with their niece, who was more than delighted to remain with her new friends and hope that the possibility of making even more new friends would present itself.
Lord Matlock quickly penned a letter to his nephew requesting permission for Georgiana to remain with them at least through Christmas and possibly on through January and sent it off express.
The Darcys had
mixed emotions about the missive.