This post is way late, but better late than never, yes? 😀
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Elizabeth Darcy sat cuddled with her husband under a blanket on a sofa in Pemberley’s library. There was a fire dancing in the grate and a chilly rain tinkling the windows nearby. The couple was taking turns reading to each other from a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets, and it was his turn to read.
“Fitzwilliam?” Elizabeth did not hesitate to interrupt her spouse.
Darcy immediately stopped reading. He craned his neck to see his wife’s features, no easy task given that the back of her head rested on his shoulder. “Yes, my love?”
“Do you not think this is a splendid way to spend an afternoon?” Elizabeth tilted her head back and to the side so she could look her husband in the eye.
“I do. I fear my steward does not agree, however.” Darcy’s lips twisted into a wry grin.
Elizabeth sniffed. “Well, Mr. Allman will have to get over that. If he had a wife, he would surely understand.”
Darcy chuckled. “Perhaps, but really, can you see the stern Mr. Allman getting cozy with anyone?”
Elizabeth laughed. “Not really.” She paused. “Perhaps if he did have a wife, she would soften him and he would be willing to snuggle on a couch. But, only if he loved her.” She sat up straight and turned to face her husband. “We need to find him a wife. She must be capable and sensible, and not given to overspending, but she must also be kind and gentle, and most of all, deeply in love with Mr. Allman.”
Darcy’s eyes widened, his jaw falling open. He was speechless for a long moment. “Did you just suggest that I-, we-, play matchmaker for my steward?”
The expectant look on Elizabeth’s face never wavered. “Yes, I suppose I am.” She tossed the blanket off. “I will grab some paper and ink and we can begin to make a list.”
Darcy grabbed at the covering, arresting its momentum toward the floor. “I am not in the least interested in Allman’s love life and neither should you be.” He covered Elizabeth once again. “Trust me on this. If my steward wishes to marry, he will find a woman on his own, just like I did.”
Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “In case you have forgotten, finding a wife was not an easy endeavor for you. Would you not have appreciated someone to … help you along?”
Wrapping his arms around Elizabeth, Darcy firmly stated his opinion. “No. I would not have wished for anyone else’s opinions or actions to be involved. It would have been embarrassing at the least and invasive at the most.” He nuzzled her ear. “In the end, I believe I did a fine job of selecting a companion for my future life, and of snaring her.”
Elizabeth sighed, leaning her head in such a manner that it gave her husband freer access to her neck. At the same time, she rolled her eyes again. “Yes, I suppose you did, since I am here.”
With a decisive nod, Darcy moved from the lovely column of her neck to her enticing mouth. “Indeed.” After that, his kiss removed all thought of Mr. Allman and his marital state from both of their minds.