Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Good news for lovers of my Pride & Prejudice & Racecars series … I have plotted and begun Book 4! Not only that, I’ve developed a premise for a fifth book. I’m happy about this, because I have been wanting to do a book per track of this series. I’m a long way off with just five books, but it still makes my heart sing. <3
Book 4 does not have a title yet. LOL However, when it begins, we see Liz and Will in the motorhome at the track the weekend following her rescue. We will also see Caroline, and find out where she’s hiding. The post is just over 1,000 words, so almost half a chapter.
I’ll be writing this like I started the last book … one post at a time. The books just don’t sell well enough that I can devote an entire month to writing one and then posting multiple chapters a week. I wish they did!
As I did with the last book, I will create a master list of posts. I will also try to remember to link the posts each week. We don’t need the master list until next week, so look for it then!
Did you know that for a monthly pledge of as little as $1 at Patreon, you can have early access to all my blog posts, including my Thursday ones? Patrons also get a free copy of each of my books once it is complete.
Liz Darcy lifted her head from her husband’s shoulder and stretched, biting off a moan at the stab of pain from her bruised back. When Will didn’t move but remained asleep, Liz carefully lifted his arm and slid to the edge of the couch. She urgently needed to visit the bathroom but didn’t want to disturb him.
Liz carefully stood, clinging to the small bedside stand built into the corner of the bedroom in the back of the luxury motor home. Bracing herself on the wall, she shuffled into the bathroom and took gingerly lowered herself to the toilet. She had no more than settled when Will suddenly appeared and leaned on the door frame.
“I didn’t mean to wake you, I’m sorry.” Liz spoke softly, despite the fact they were alone.
The corner of Will’s mouth lifted. “Someday you’ll learn I can’t sleep without you beside me. Not for long, anyway.”
Liz smiled back. “Tonight, I’m grateful for it. I probably should have woke you to help me up. Now you can help me back to bed.” She finished her business and held her hands out. When Will pulled her to her feet, she put herself back together.
“Ready?” Will wrapped his arm around Liz’s waist, careful to hold her so that he put no undue pressure on the bruises that covered her back.
Liz leaned against her husband, allowing him to take on a large portion of her weight. She nodded. “I am.” She took a step forward, Will stepping alongside her in the tight space.
Soon, they had Liz tucked back in bed. Will made sure she was comfortable. “Can I get you anything while I’m up?”
Liz bit her lip. She had promised Will she’d take pain meds if she needed them, but she still worried about the effects the drugs would have on the baby. However, the heating pad was doing very little to ease her pain. She sighed. “Yes, actually, you can. You can bring me two of those acetaminophen on the counter out there, and some water.”
Will nodded. “Sure.” He turned and stepped out of the room, but was back in a couple minutes with the requested drug and a bottle of cold water. He sat on the edge of the bed after placing the pills and bottle on the bedside stand. Once he had helped Liz sit up, he handed her first the acetaminophen and, once she had them in her mouth, opened the water and gave it to her. After setting the bottle back on the stand, he eased his wife down and pulled the covers back up. “I’m very happy you took those.”
Liz nodded, a small smile pulling the corners of her lips up a tiny bit. “I know. We probably should have brought the hot water bottles or something, but it was just such a pain in the rump to do it.”
Will chuckled and kissed Liz. He stood to go around to his side of the bed. Climbing in and scooting down, he pulled her close. “Whatever your reason, I’m glad you did it.” He kissed her again. “The PI is supposed to be here in the morning to give me a report in person.”
“Do you suppose he’s found Caroline already?”
Will shrugged. “I don’t know. I hope so, but kind of doubt it. She has enough money to pay for a whole new identity. She could hide for years if she wanted to.”
“She does?” Liz was starting to relax, the pain pills beginning to take effect.
“Yes, she and Charles and their sister each inherited a fortune from their grandfather, and when their dad dies, they stand to inherit even more money.” Will ran his hand up and down Liz’s arm as he spoke into the dark room.
“Wow. I didn’t realize … this will make it harder for the detectives, as well, then.” Liz struggled to keep her eyes open as she listened to Will speaking.
“It will, yes, but they have probably already tapped into her bank and credit accounts. They can track her movements that way.” Will yawned. “Anyway, we need some sleep so we are alert and awake for that discussion. He kissed Liz’s head. “Good night, Darlin’. I love you.”
“Love you, too.” Liz’s words were mumbled as she drifted off to sleep.
New Orleans, Louisiana
The same day
Caroline Bingley stretched in her bed as the early-morning light peeked through the bedroom window. She squinted, turning her head the other direction. Then, realizing she had a pressing need, tossed the covers back and stumbled to the bathroom. When she came out, she dropped back into the bed with a groan and went back to sleep.
Two hours later, Caroline woke up again. She sat up, reaching for the cell phone that lay on the bedside stand. She blinked at the time, laying the phone back down and tossing the covers back. She plodded across to the coffeemaker and pressed the button. Good thing I prepped that last night, she thought. Picking up her tablet, she plopped into one of the two chairs that sat beside the small table and turned it on.
Caroline first searched the Charlotte, North Carolina area newspapers for any articles or police reports that mentioned her name. In the four days since she’d fled after hearing the description of her Mini Cooper on the radio, there had been not a word about a search. She’d left the Mini behind, at her apartment building in Gaffney, South Carolina. They’ll not be looking for the van, and they have no idea where I was living. It will be a while before they find the car.
The coffeepot finally hissed the last bit of brew into the carafe, and Caroline set aside the tablet in favor of pouring herself a cup. She added hefty doses of both creamer and sugar from the dish of packets that sat beside the pot. Then, she sank back down into her chair, bringing the cup to her nose, sniffing deeply, and then carefully sipping.
What do you think? Feel free to leave me a comment below. <3