Welcome back to Austen Promises! Today, you’re getting a short little Regency tidbit. I hope you enjoy it! <3
Merry Christmas, Mr. Darcy! is now live on all the vendors I usually sell at, though it still is not up on Gumroad. It’s getting there. 🙂 It will only remain on the blog a few more days, so read up if you have not already!
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Elizabeth Darcy sank to a seat on the settee before the fire in the sitting room she shared with her husband. It had been a long day, and she was exhausted. Sighing to herself, she thought about calling for bathwater but decided to wait just a few minutes. Sitting felt so very good!
The door behind Elizabeth opened and closed, and a few seconds later, she smelled her husband’s cologne. Turning her head to the right, she watched him walk around the end of the settee and sit down beside her. He is so handsome, she thought with another sigh. It is too bad I am so tired. If I were not, I would sit on his lap and kiss him. Aloud, she greeted him. “How was your day?”
Fitzwilliam Darcy could see that his wife was done in. The sparkle in her fine eyes was dimmed, and she looked like a wilted rose. “Good, actually.” He tilted his head. “How was yours?”
Elizabeth sighed, a sound that seemed to come from deep inside her bones. “Busy. Challenging. Endless.” She quirked the side of her mouth up in a half-hearted grin.
“I can see that it has affected you.” Darcy continued to examine his beloved Elizabeth for a few seconds more, before ordering her to lie back. He rose to assist her then sat down again, lifting her feet into his lap. Removing her shoes, he placed them side by side in front of the couch and then began to rub her left foot.
Elizabeth moaned loudly, closing her eyes. “Oh, that feels good! I have been on my feet all day without a break.”
“Why?” Darcy asked. “We have servants to help you. Where were they?”
Elizabeth opened her eyes once more. Staring at Darcy, she stated, “They were busy with other tasks.”
“And you did not wish to interrupt them?” Darcy shook his head at his independent and frugal spouse.
“No, I did not. There is no reason I cannot chase after my own children and put my own clothing away. It is not as though I tried to cook something.” Elizabeth followed her firm declaration with a brief glare. Then, she closed her eyes once more.
Darcy was quiet for a few minutes, keeping his focus on the rubbing of Elizabeth’s feet, moving from the left to the right foot. Eventually, he was able to work out exactly how to say what he wished to. “They were hired to serve you, my love, in part to prevent just such an event as this.”
Another deep sigh from Elizabeth led to a reluctant agreement with his statement. “I know.”
“Please; allow them to assist you. Assign them tasks. We have nursery maids to chase after Bennet and Maddie. We have a steward to take care of tenant needs, and,” he added when he saw her mouth open, “a trained midwife residing on the estate to assist the women.” Darcy took note of his wife’s grimace, but he continued. “What have you had them doing?”
This time, Elizabeth only opened one eye. “I sent Nanny Susan to assist Mrs. Reynolds with the books.”
Rolling his eyes, Darcy groaned. “Elizabeth.”
“Well,” his wife replied, a defensive note in her tone, “they are my children, after all.”
“They are, I agree, and it is right and just that you spend the majority of your time with them. However, by doing such things, you are keeping yourself from fulfilling other duties. At the same time, you are making things much harder on Mrs. Reynolds.”
Elizabeth kept her eyes and lips tightly closed for a long time as she silently acknowledged the truth of his words. She had known the housekeeper was unhappy with her, but she could not stop herself. Finally, she looked at Darcy. “I know. I will apologize to them both. I know that I need to allow the staff to fulfill the duties they were hired for.”
“Thank you, my love.” Darcy paused in his rubbing. “I know it is still difficult for you to allow others to do for you what you are capable of doing yourself. I want to spoil you, you know, but I cannot, because you are always busy or tired.”
Elizabeth reached her hand out to touch Darcy’s arm. “I apologize to you, as well. I fear that I have been trying to prove myself all over again since Maddies’s birth. I should be able to do everything unaided, at least that’s what I hear inside my head.”
“You do not have to do everything by yourself. Please understand this.” Darcy urged Elizabeth to change her thinking. “I love you and have married you, and I find you perfect. You have nothing that you must prove to me, and no one else’s opinion matters. Or it should not.”
“You are correct.” The corners of Elizabeth’s lips lifted a bit. “I will stop. I am sorry.”
“I forgive you. I love you.”
“I love you, too,” Elizabeth whispered. “Will you rub the other foot again?”
Darcy chuckled, a quiet sound that soon turned into full-blown laughter. “Yes, my love; anything you wish.”
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment for me! <3