Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Today, you’re getting another short little Regency tidbit, totally unrelated to the previous story. I hope you enjoy it! <3 Today’s story did not start out being inspired by anything, but ended up being a pretty good description of the day I wrote it! 😀
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Elizabeth Darcy was having a bad day. She had forgotten to tell the housekeeper, Mrs. Reynolds, that she and her husband were dining out, which meant Cook did not know. Which meant that estimable woman was angry that her pot roast would be ruined. Which meant that the entire household could hear her anger in the pots that were banged in the kitchen, and the maids and footmen were tiptoeing in and out of the kitchen.
On top of that, Elizabeth had been required to settle a dispute between two maids who were fighting over the affections of a footman. In the end, Elizabeth was required to dismiss the male servant, who had been working his way through the maids, romancing them and pitting them against each other. She did nothing to the maids beyond giving each a day off without pay, though that would change if the two took up their dispute again.
Finally, Elizabeth had made an error in her accounts, and it had taken three very long hours poring over the books line by line to discover her mistake. All that extra work, she thought, because I wrote two numbers down in the wrong order. She shook her head as she went through and corrected the dozens of entries that had come after the mistaken one.
Finally, Elizabeth was done, and she tossed her pen down. Closing up the inkwell, she stood, stretching out her back and yawning. She picked up the account books and strolled through the beautiful halls of Pemberley to the housekeeper’s room. She jumped once, when Cook slammed two pots together, but managed to not scurry away in fear. She was, after all, the mistress. Still, she was relieved to enter Mrs. Reynolds’ sitting room and hand the account books over. After a brief chat with the elderly lady, Elizabeth headed wearily up the stairs, feeling as though she had fallen out of a very tall tree.
Every muscle in Elizabeth’s body ached. She was tired and felt as though she could sleep for days. The thought of having to make the drive to the neighbors’ estate to dine made her want to weep. And, she had not seen her husband all day.
Darcy had been up before dawn, to go out with his steward to oversee the installation of a new grinding stone at Pemberley’s grist mill. While Elizabeth was certain he had kissed her and told her he loved her, she had slept through it. She missed him dreadfully. She would rather stay in with him this evening, but knew she could not.
Arriving at the door to the sitting room connecting the mistress’ chambers with the master’s, Elizabeth paused. All was quiet. Fitzwilliam must not be home yet. With a deep sigh, she turned toward her rooms, intending to call her maid and begin her preparations for the evening’s outing.
When she opened the door to her bedchamber and stepped into her room, Elizabeth was shocked at what she saw. A few candles were all that lit the room. There was a fire built up in the fireplace, and the table next to it was covered in a white cloth. On the bed were strewn what seemed like hundreds of rose petals. Hearing a noise in the dressing room, she headed that direction, her gaze distracted by the remarkable state of her boudoir.
As Elizabeth reached for the handle, the dressing room door suddenly opened. Before her, wearing his robe and, Elizabeth suspected, little else, was her husband. She stopped, her hand flying up to rest on her chest.
“Fitzwilliam! I did not know you had returned.”
Darcy pulled his frazzled wife into his arms. “I have been home for nearly an hour. I saw you working on the books, so I left you alone and came straight upstairs.”
“Did you …?” Elizabeth waved her arm in the direction of her bed.
Darcy grinned. “I did.” He kissed Elizabeth before speaking again. “Smith hinted that you had dealt with some nonsense amongst the staff and when I asked Mrs. Reynolds about it, she explained about Cook and the accounts.” He shrugged. “We do not have to be at the Hayes’ until seven, so I thought we could stay up here and rest together for a while. What do you say?” He kissed her nose.
Elizabeth smirked at him. “I say I would love to. Who can refuse a scantily clad gentleman, rose petals, and food?” Her giggle was cut off when Darcy firmly applied his mouth to her lips, stopping any sound for a long while. They never made it to the Hayes estate for dinner. All thoughts of it were driven out of their heads until early the next morning.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment for me! <3