Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I thought last week’s post was the end of Chapter 4, but it turns out it wasn’t. This time it is, for sure. It’s another nice, long post. <3 We left off with Will heading hell bent for election out of the parking lot after an encounter with Caro.
For those who missed the first post, you can find it here.
The second post is here.
Post #3 is here.
Post 4 is here.
Post #5 is here.
Post #6 is here.
Post #7 is here.
Post #8 is here.
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Neither Will nor Liz looked back as the pickup shot out of the parking lot and onto the street, nor did they speak until they were on the outskirts of town and headed toward their house.
Will took his eyes off the road long enough to glance over at Liz for a quick second. Noting that she was staring out the passenger door window, he asked, “Are you ok?”
Liz sighed. The further away from Caroline Bingley they got, the more her anger receded, but the woman’s words had awakened thoughts and feelings in Liz that she had thought she had conquered. She trusted her husband, she really did, but … what if that crazy woman’s words were true? She sighed again, then turned to look at her husband, her forehead wrinkled. “Yeah, I think so.” She shook her head. “Physically, anyway.”
Will said nothing for a few minutes as his mind tried to process what his wife meant. He thought back to the confrontation with Caroline and tried to remember what Bingley’s sister had said to Liz. With a shake of his head, he realized that it didn’t matter what her specific words were. Something had struck Liz the wrong way, and Will had a gut feeling that unless he dealt with this head-on, she would stew and worry. He had never forgotten what she had told him about the last guy she dated before she met him, and how that guy had cheated on her. Immediately, Will braked and turned down a dirt road that he knew ended in a fishing hole.
“Where are we going?” Liz had never been down here before. She clung to the grab bar above the door as the truck bounced and swayed for potholes and ruts in the roadway.
“Someplace quiet. I think we need to have a talk.”
Liz said nothing, and two minutes later, Will had pulled the truck to a stop in a wide, graveled parking area right in front of the small lake. He put the gearshift lever in Park and shut the engine off, turning in his seat to look at his wife.
“Tell me what’s going on in that pretty head of yours, Darlin’.” He held up a hand when Liz began to protest. “Don’t tell me nothing is wrong. I can hear it in your voice and see it in your eyes.”
Liz rolled those eyes and huffed. She did not want to talk about this. She knew, though, that Will would insist, and they’d likely sit right here until she told him what she was thinking. If I knew where I was, I could get out and walk home, she thought. She would not do that, though, because she had only lived in the area a few months and Will had driven out of town on a road she was unfamiliar with. She huffed again, but then started talking.
“I don’t know that I can tell you,” Liz began. “I trust you, I do. You have never lied to me or given me any reason to doubt you. I put you through all kinds of stuff before I allowed myself to even fall in love with you, and you proved yourself over and over.” Liz waved her hand in front of her as she spoke.
“She said you would never marry someone like me. It hit me hard, is all.” She twisted in the seat as much as her seatbelt would allow. “I asked Jane this the first time I met you. Why me? You could have anyone, and you chose to pay attention to me. You could have married any number of models or actresses, or even sisters of friends. You have women throwing themselves at you on the track every weekend, and yet you married me. Me. Liz Bennet from Ohio.”
Will slid across the seat to sit right beside his wife. “Liz,” he began as he brushed his fingertips across her cheek. “I married you because I love you, so fiercely that it scares me sometimes. None of those other women, the ones who throw themselves at me, matter. None of them touch me like you do, deep in my heart. They don’t make my heart race and my breath go shallow. Only you do.” He leaned closer to her and with a final whispered, “Only you,” he brushed his lips across hers once, then again, and a third time before settling them over hers in a searing kiss.
When Will finally pulled away, both he and Liz were breathless. He leaned his head on hers with his eyes closed and waited for his pulse to slow. “I love you,” he whispered as he kissed her forehead. “I love you, and I will never hurt you. I promised to cherish you in sickness and in health, and I mean to do it forever. No insane stalker woman is going to separate us.”
“Oh, Will,” Liz whispered back. “I love you, too.” She brushed her lips across his, then began to cry.
Will reached between himself and Liz and unclipped her seat belt. Then, he pulled her into his lap and held her while she alternately cried and apologized for doubting him. He rubbed her back and murmured words of love until she calmed.
“What about Caroline?” Liz hated to ask, but the woman made her nervous.
Will sighed. “I had a civil no-contact order sworn on her in Pennsylvania last year. Bingley sent her to Europe as soon as she got out of jail. Picked her up and drove her to the nearest large airport, and put her on a plane for Paris. But, that was a year ago, and I don’t know how long those things are supposed to last.”
“That was in Pennsylvania, too. You should check to make sure it even works down here.”
Will heard the worry in Liz’s voice. “Caroline is jealous. She sees that I love you and though I don’t think she is willing to admit it, she knows I never wanted her. I think that restraining order, or the threat of another one, will keep her in order.” He wiped the tears off his wife’s cheek with his thumb. “I’m not saying she’s harmless. She proved last year that she’s not, when she attacked a fan of mine. We’ll be cautious and careful, but I don’t think we need to worry.”
Liz nodded in agreement. “Ok, we’ll be cautious and careful, then. You’ll call your attorney, though? To be sure about the restraining order?”
Will hugged Liz close. “I will. I promise.”
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below. <3