Welcome back to Austen Promises!
After a couple weeks of no posts so I could be ill, finish a book, and work on another project, I’m back with a sweet little scene. As with my last several posts, this one has no relation to any other post. It’s just a random scene out of my head, and one I greatly enjoyed doing, after struggling for days with the project I mentioned. <3
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“You are a treasure, Mrs. Reynolds. What would I do without you?” Elizabeth Darcy praised her housekeeper, who had dug through the attics and found the perfect little footstool to put in the guest room that Elizabeth had set aside for her father. “If we pull this old material off and replace it, clean up the wood, and fix the wobble, it will be good as new.”
“I thought the same,” the housekeeper replied. “I will take it downstairs and assign a maid to remove the cloth and clean the wood right now. When that is complete, I will take it down the way to the estate’s carpenter to have the legs repaired.”
“Excellent. Hopefully, it will be complete before my father decides to visit. He is such a dilatory correspondent that I may not know he is coming until he is knocking upon the door!” Elizabeth’s eyes twinkled above her fond smile.
Mrs. Reynolds could not help but smile along with her mistress. “If that is all, Mrs. Darcy, I will take my leave and get our project started.”
“Oh, certainly! Thank you for locating it.” Elizabeth dismissed the servant, then picked up her shawl and the book she was currently reading and, checking the mantel clock for the time, headed out toward the front door. Her husband would not be home for another hour or two, and she intended to spend that time in the garden with her nose in her book.
Elizabeth walked around the side of the house, following the drive for a short time before cutting behind the house and through the grass to the lower gardens. Though she would have liked to sit in the sun, it was important for Mrs. Darcy to look her best, and a sunburn was not the way to do it. So, she chose her favorite bench under an arbor covered in purple wisteria in full bloom. With her shawl around her shoulders, her feet on the bench and her back against the arbor, she lost herself in the world of Fanny Burney’s Evelina.
Fitzwilliam Darcy strode up the drive from the direction of the stables. He had spent the day riding the estate with his steward, checking on the drainage and the progress of the spring planting. He now stank of horse and sweat and desired nothing more than a bath, a meal, and a kiss from his wife.
A few minutes later, he walked into the house, hoping to at least get a kiss, even if he had to wait for the bath and meal. However, his wife was nowhere to be seen. “You there,” he said to a maid who had exited the yellow drawing room, “have you seen Mrs. Darcy?”
The maid curtseyed. “No sir, not for a while. I think she went out.”
“Out? What do you mean?”
“Outside.” The maid thought for a second, and her countenance brightened. “She took a shawl and a book. I have never seen her take a book when she walks in the mornings, so perhaps she is in the gardens?”
Understanding dawned. “I would imagine you are correct. You may return to your duties.” Darcy nodded his head in thanks and turned back toward the entrance. He picked up the hat he had set on the table and put it on his head, then opened the door and walked back out. Following the drive to the back of the house, he stopped and looked out at the gardens. He could not see his wife from where he stood, but he also knew the lower gardens were her favorites. He knew her well enough to know that she would not necessarily use the graveled path further down the drive. He struck out across the grass.
Finally, after a few minutes of searching the lower gardens, he found her in her favorite spot. Her head leaned back against the arbor, and her book rested on her chest. Darcy stopped and watched her sleep for a minute, thinking about how beautiful she was, and how young she looked when she was sleeping. Eventually, his desire for a kiss overtook his wish to watch her sleep, and he quietly approached, leaning down to press his lips to hers.
Elizabeth’s eyes opened and she smiled at him, stretching as she awakened. “Hello, my sweet prince,” she said before she lifted her hand to wrap around his neck and pull him closer.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment for me! <3