The first six weeks of their marriage had seen horrible weather, it had been cold and either rainy or snowy. Although they had spent an occasional evening out or had gone out a few times to shop, to be outside for any length of time was not desirable. Both the Darcys enjoyed being out-of-doors for the benefits of exercise and the peace that communing with nature provided them. With their new indoor activities, however, they found all the exercise they required but they still missed the joys of nature that was afforded to them; the sun warming their bodies, the birds singing, the woodland creatures scurrying around.
When the first full week of the New Year dawned sunny and much warmer than the previous month, the pull of the outdoors lured them to re-acquaint themselves with those pleasures of the out-of-doors. One morning at breakfast after several days of fair weather, Mr. Darcy announced his intention of having the curricle readied so he might take his lovely bride for a morning drive in a nearby park.
“Oh! Fitzwilliam, I would love that but I have promised Aunt Gardiner a visit today,” she said.
A bit disappointed in the disruption of his plans, he queried, “Maybe we can postpone our outing until the afternoon?”
Smiling, she approved, “Yes that would be lovely. I will be back after lunch and will look forward to a drive around the park with my handsome husband.”
is much too pleasant of a morning to waste and I have not ridden
Knowing her husband’s passion for
riding and horses, she agreed, “Yes, enjoy your self but be careful.”
Returning from a pleasant visit
with her aunt,
On reaching his bed chamber, she was surprised to find him lying on the bed completely naked with a damp towel being applied to his manly parts.
“Fitzwilliam! What is the matter?” she cried.
“Nothing! Nothing you need to worry about,
“Do not tell me it is nothing. You are in pain,” she exclaimed. Then concern for where the towel was located forced her to add, “You did not hurt anything important. We will be able to have children, will we not?”
Rolling his eyes, he responded,
“I do not believe you. Let me see for myself.” She took her thumb and forefinger and carefully removed the towel from the injured area. “My goodness, they are all red and swollen. What happened to cause this?” she demanded.
Settling back to his prone
position, Darcy recounted his story, “
“Has anyone seen to this? Have you called for a doctor?” Her concerned for his health was now at the forefront.
“No, I have not sent for a doctor nor will I. Nor will I have Mrs. Winters or Abernathy attend me. It is a minor matter. With a cold compress and a little rest, I will be fine.”
“That does not look fine!” She pointed to affected area. “Fitzwilliam, at least let me go get some vinegar and have Abernathy prepare you a warm bath to soak in.”
“Vinegar?” he exclaimed.
“Yes, vinegar, it will draw out the heat and help reduce the swelling and pain,” she explained.
“Well, a nice long soak in the tub does sound good. But do not tell either Mrs. Winters or Abernathy what has happened,” he requested.
“They are discreet. What harm will it do? They can help,” she said.
“First of all, if Mrs. Winters finds out what part of my body is injured, she will be up here before you know it scolding me for being so careless.”
“Second, this is not something a man wishes to share, especially with another man. It is quite embarrassing to admit I cannot handle my own horse. Besides this has happened to me before and like I said a cold compress and some rest and I will be fine with nobody being the wiser, except for you.”
“You and your pride! I will go get the vinegar and have Abernathy prepare a bath for you.”
“What are you going to tell Abernathy about why I want a bath in the middle of the afternoon?” he inquired.
“Nothing, as you do not want him informed,” she said. Then grinning she added, “I will leave that to you to explain.” She went to the door to leave on her errand of mercy.
“Yes, my dear, I will return as quickly as I can,” she said as she left the room, thinking he was acting like a petulant child but she also had a twinge of concern that things might be more serious than he had depicted them to be.
After they both entered the
office and closed the door,
“Yes, Mrs. Darcy.” The housekeeper opened the door and asked one of maids to bring the requested items to her office.
Mrs. Winters was beginning to
worry that there was something quite amiss that needed her personal
attention. She knew that vinegar was
often used for medicinal purposes and, with Mrs. Darcy being from the country, she knew that her mistress would be aware of its
uses in that area. Returning back to
“No, Mrs. Winters, I am sorry it is a private matter.”
“You have not injured yourself, Mrs. Darcy?”
Determined to find out what had happened to cause such a request, she queried further, “It is not Mr. Darcy, is it? What did that boy do?”
“He went riding this morning” Mrs. Winters said, thinking aloud and then it hit her, “He did not injure anything important, I hope. You will still be able to have children.”
She could only smile at her housekeeper’s one-track mind. Knowing that Mrs. Winters would not stop until she had Mr. Darcy at death’s door, she relented, “Mrs. Winters, it is just minor. Mr. Darcy assures me that this has happened to him before and that a little rest is all he needs to be right as rain.”
Mrs. Winters nodded, “Yes, I remember when he was twelve years old and rode his first stallion…” realizing that she was going on, stopped and asked, “Is there anything else that you require?”
“Yes, would you have Abernathy
draw a warm bath for Mr. Darcy to soak in?”
The housekeeper nodded as she went to have someone fetch Abernathy. Once back in her office, she went to a small cabinet and unlocked it. She took a small jar and a box from the cabinet and set them on her work table.
“The box contains bath salts that will help relax and soothe him. I will have Abernathy put them in the bath water. The jar is a salve. It contains a mild analgesic that will relieve any pain. But only apply it after his bath,” Mrs. Winters explained as she handed the jar to Mrs. Darcy.
Soon Abernathy arrived and was given the box and his orders. Looking at both women and not receiving an explanation for the orders, he left to follow them.
As he was leaving, the girl
returned with the vinegar and cloths.
Mrs. Winters dismissed the girl and handed the items to
“Thank you, Mrs. Winters,”
“Mrs. Darcy?” the housekeeper called to her Mistress.
“Yes, Mrs. Winters?”
“After his bath and he is resting, will you let me know how he is? You know I worry about that boy.” Mrs. Winters asked.
Returning back to Mr. Darcy’s
“What took you so long?” he asked, exasperated by what he perceived as time spent away from him as unnecessary. He needed his wife’s support in his misery.
“Well, it took some time to gather the servants together in the hall so that I could announced that there may be a possibility that you will not be able to father my children,” she grinned at her husband.
“That is not humorous,
Ignoring her husband, she went to the dresser and poured the water in the basin back in the ewer and then poured the vinegar in the basin. After soaking one of the cloths in the vinegar, she wrung any excess out and went to the bed. Removing the towel from him, she went to apply the vinegar-soaked cloth.
“Fitzwilliam, it would be more effective if you were lying on your back,” she advised.
He just stared at her, not moving a muscle.
“Fitzwilliam, it there something else the matter?” she asked becoming a bit concerned.
He just shook his head. He was not about to admit to another problem.
Looking at him, she was confused as to why he would not comply. After all, it was for his own good.
Then she realized what the problem might be, “Your beautiful butt, that I so admire, is it sore as well?” She went around the bed to check for herself. “Yes, your cheeks are a bit…flushed,” she giggled.
Returning back to stand in front of him, “Can you walk?”
“Yes, I can walk. How do you think I made it up here?” He was getting a bit testy.
Going back to the dresser, she placed another cloth in the basin and grabbed a towel. Returning to her husband, she crawled on the bed and moved to the back side of him. Putting the vinegar cloth on top of the towel, she placed both on his bottom.
“Fitzwilliam, roll over on your back and let the vinegar do its work.” She helped hold the towel in place as he shifted to his back with only a wince or two to indicate his pain.
Once she had him settled, she went to get the other cloth and gently placed it on his manly parts.
“Ah!” was his response when everything was settled.
He just shook his head. “I am not hungry.”
“Are you sure? I could have something sent up while you soak.” She was trying to ensure his comfort and he was not helping much.
“Well, maybe a bite of something would be nice,” he admitted.
“I will see to it.” She smiled. “Maybe we should have tea and dinner served up here as well. At least until you are fully healed.”
He smiled and nodded his agreement with her plan.
Going to the dressing room door, she opened it and went inside. She gave Abernathy the orders to have some bread and cheese and cold meats delivered as soon as possible and to inform Mrs. Winters that tea and dinner would be served in her chambers.
Abernathy said, “Yes, Mrs. Darcy, I will see to it immediately.” He stood there a moment longer than necessary, hoping to get an explanation of what was happening. When Mrs. Darcy turned to go back into the bed chamber, he frowned at not being given the information he wanted and then went to attend to her request.
Returning to the bed chamber, she went to sit on the edge of the bed beside her husband and took his hand in hers. She rubbed his palm in an effort to calm him while he lay there silently suffering.
Well, he was not suffering per se. His wife’s presence had taken his mind off of what little pain he had left. However, he was enjoying his wife’s attentions and decided to play on her sympathy a bit longer.
It was not long before a knock on the door was heard.
“Mr. Darcy, your bath is ready,” Abernathy informed.
“Thank you, Abernathy, that will be all,” was Mr. Darcy’s reply.
“Yes, sir. Do you need any assistance?” Abernathy asked. He was just beside himself to find out what had happened to his Master.
“No, Abernathy, that will be all,” responded Mr. Darcy.
“Are you sure that there is nothing more I can do for you?” the valet persisted.
“No! I do not need anything further” was the Master’s curt reply.
“I have left a tray with a light repast for you, sir.” Abernathy was beginning to push things.
“Thank you, Abernathy. I have said I am fine and need nothing further.” Mr. Darcy’s frustration with his valet was beginning to show.
“Very well, sir. Enjoy your bath.” Finally Abernathy departed the dressing room.
Hearing the servant’s door to the
dressing room close,
Settling in the tub, Darcy let out a sigh; the warm water was already doing its magic. His ravaged body relaxed and he finally found some relief. With his body returning to a semblance of normality, he realized how ravenous he was and requested the tray of food where upon he devoured every morsel.
Situating him comfortably in the bed, she pulled the jar of salve from her pocket and gently applied it to the affected area, careful not to give him any undue pain. He did not seem to be affected by her ministrations, which was a sign that things were on the mend. She pulled the covers up and tucked him in. Then she went to stoke the fire to make sure that the room stayed warm enough and he would not catch a chill. Returning to the side of the bed, she leaned over and kissed his forehead.
“Get some rest, Will, I will be back soon to check on you,” she said as she moved to exit the room.
Before she could go far, he took
her hand to stop her and requested, “
“Mr. Darcy, I am sure it is much too soon for you to be attempting that kind of activity,” she responded.
“Maybe so but if I am not able, please let me enjoy the view.” He winked at her and released her hand.
The bath and food and his wife’s
care had gone a long way to relieve any pain he had. In fact, he was feeling back to normal as he
could feel the stirrings of an arousal at the thought of his wife’s naked body. When
Immediately on Mrs. Darcy’s departure from her office, Mrs. Winters had sent for her husband. If, indeed, Mr. Darcy had a riding accident, Mr. Winters would know of it and she would find out just how serious it was.
Lightly rapping on the door,
Joseph Winters opened it and stuck his head in, “Agnes, you wanted to see me.”
“Ah! Joseph, come in.” she answered.
Mr. Winters strode in with that loping stride men have who work with horses. Instead of taking a seat in a chair, he leaned himself on the work table beside his wife. “What can I do for you, my dear?”
Looking up at her husband, she asked, “Mr. Darcy went out riding this morning, did he not?”
“Did you notice anything particular when he returned?” Agnes continued her interrogation.
“No, not really, other than
“What about Mr. Darcy?” Agnes asked.
Thinking for a moment, “Well, I
did think it odd that Mr. Darcy was walking back and leading
“His walk, was he limping?” She was getting closer to what she needed to know.
“Not particularly. He just handed me the reins and walked to the house. But now that you mention it, he was walking slower than normal, almost gingerly. Why all the questions?” Joseph asked.
“I think Mr. Darcy may have injured something important today,” she stated.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
She patted the front of his breeches.
He winced in sympathy and then said, “Well, it is not the first time nor will it be the last. That lad knows what to do and he will be fine before you know it. With his penchant for spirited horseflesh, he should expect to be roughed up once in awhile.”
“But he came in the house and said not a word. Why it was not until Mrs. Darcy returned from a call and came looking for vinegar that I knew anything was wrong.”
“You did not go charging up there lecturing him to be more careful, did you?”
“No, Mrs. Darcy would not let me. I gave her the vinegar, some of those salts and salve you use and had Abernathy draw him a nice, warm bath.”
“Good and I would suggest that this little conversation stay between you and me.”
“Whatever do you mean?”
“Agnes, a man, with Mr. Darcy’s skill as a horseman, does not like it to be known that he had trouble controlling his own mount.”
Agnes nodded. “I just hope it is as you say and it is nothing more serious.”
“My dear, how many times have you attended me when I have been bucked about? The boy’s married now; let him enjoy his wife’s attentions as I have always enjoyed yours.” Joseph grinned at his wife and then bent over to kiss her cheek.
Pulling his wife to her feet, he embraced her, “Everything will be fine.” Reaching down to grab her behind, he pulled her tightly to him, “Besides I may have hurt myself as well and I will definitely require your tender, loving care to soothe what ails me.”
“Joseph!” His wife blushed as she smiled back at him.
There came a knock on the door. Does everyone in this house have bad timing?
Separating, Joseph went to sit in a chair as Agnes sat back down at her table.
“Enter!” Mrs. Winters called.
“Mrs. Winters, whatever is going on with Mr. Darcy?” Abernathy asked still agitated that he had been dismissed from Mr. Darcy without knowing what had happened to him.
Calmly, Mrs. Winters looked at the valet, “What are you talking about?”
“Mr. Darcy taking a bath in the middle of the day; it is unheard of. There is something wrong.” Abernathy explained.
Mrs. Winters just looked at him blankly.
“You know what it is,” he accused.
“Whether I know or not is irrelevant. If Mr. Darcy chooses not to disclose his concerns, we should not pry.” Mrs. Winters mildly scolded the valet.
“I am his valet. I am responsible for his well being. Therefore I am entitled to know his nearest concerns,” Abernathy retorted.
“Maybe so but have you ever considered now he is married it may also be his wife’s concerns. If I am not mistaken, your service to him does not extend to his wife.” Mrs. Winters noted, hoping not to have to explain something that Mr. Darcy wished to be kept secret. After all, she felt a bit guilty confiding such information to her husband when she was asked to keep the matter to herself.
Abernathy looked at Mr. Winters, “You know what is wrong!” he accused.
Joseph Winters just stared blankly back at the valet. He was no fool. He also understood the reason for Mr. Darcy’s secrecy. Besides, his wife was a tough old bird when she wanted to be but she was his tough old bird. He decided that he would much rather tangle with his wife in their own bed than get tangled up in a blanket on a cot above the stables. His lips were sealed.
Seeing that he was not going to
get anything further from those two, he gave an “hmmmpfff”
and stormed out of the office. He would
go to the butler’s pantry and see if
She was amazed, when she walked over to examine her husband’s injury, to find him extremely aroused and still asleep. Relieved to find the swelling was gone and the redness had faded as another type of swelling had replaced it, she was happy to see that he had been correct in stating that all he needed was a little rest.
Pulling up a chair to his bedside, she made herself comfortable as she watched over her husband. While she was tempted to make herself comfortable on top of him, she knew that would not be wise. As it had been quite awhile since there last conjugal coupling, almost eight hours, she decided to practice self-gratification until he was ready to wield his manhood again. Though, from the look of the current state of his body that would not be long.
It was not long before Darcy awoke and was able to convince his wife of his complete recovery and that she really had no reason to worry so over him. And except for Abernathy’s ruffled feelings, everything was back to normal in the Darcy household.