Elizabeth leaned her head back against the settee in the library. Her head ached and she was exhausted. Every autumn, she had periods of bad heads and sore throats. She closed her eyes enjoying the silence.
Half an hour later, Darcy found here there, asleep. It was not like his wife to sleep in the middle of the day, especially in a public room. She had been sluggish and lacking in her usual witty conversations for two days, and Darcy was concerned. Covering her with a blanket, he sat beside her with a book, one eye on the text and one on his wife. These spells concerned him, despite Elizabeth’s declaration that they were to be expected at this time of the year. As he considered the matter further, he hit upon something he could do to solve the problem, he hoped.
Twenty minutes later, Elizabeth stirred. Darcy rose from the desk, where he had just sealed a letter. Sitting on the edge of the settee, he ran his finger over her brow and down her cheek. “How do you feel, my love?”
Elizabeth smiled at him. “Better. Did I sleep long?”
“At least a half hour. I found you here that long ago and stayed with you.” He paused a moment, then spoke again. “I know you have assured me that this happens every year, but I would like to do what I can to alleviate it.” He stopped again to put his finger on her lips when she would speak. “There are new medical discoveries every day. Surely there must be something that would at least relieve the symptoms a bit. I have written to my distant cousin, do you recall meeting him in London? He is a physician?”
Darcy nodded, partly in acknowledgment of her response and partly in relief at her lack of argument. “He spent time in the early years of his training in Asia, particularly India and China. He is fond of prescribing unusual remedies. He may be able to help us. Are you willing to try them, if he is able to provide possible solutions?”
“I am. Anything that will help me feel better at this time of year will be a relief. Thank you, Fitzwilliam.” She lifted her hand to his face, tenderly stroking over his facial hair. “Your care for my every need is part of why I love you so dearly.”
Darcy smiled softly before leaning down to press his lips to hers. “I love you, as well.”
Several days later, a letter arrived for Darcy from his cousin. The gentleman did, indeed, know of remedies to relieve Elizabeth’s symptoms. Immediately, she and Darcy began to use them, and within hours, she was restored to her usual good humor and energy.