Thursday’s 300: Walking the dogs

Welcome back to Thursday’s 300!

This post is brought to you by Darcy’s Surprise Betrothal. (affiliate link: free to click on but may result in me earning a few pennies)

This vignette contains two canine characters I wrote into a previous vignette a couple years ago, Nero and Claudius. I also chose to insert Brutus from To Save Elizabeth into it, because I loved him so much. <3 It was inspired by times I have walked around my large back yard here at Burton Cottage with my Boxer, Jasper.


Walking the Dogs

Elizabeth Darcy wandered through the gardens behind her home with her dogs gamboling at her feet. Though she admired the roses that lined this section of gravel paths, running her hands over the tops of the flowers and being careful to not get pricked by the thorns, she kept half an eye on her boys.

“Ah-ah-ah!” Her sharp cry made both mastiffs and the single Great Dane stop in their tracks. They wiggled their noses in the direction of the cat that had streaked out from behind an arbor but did not move toward it. Instead, the Dane sat down, his tongue hanging out of his mouth. The smaller dogs collapsed into identical panting heaps. Elizabeth rolled her eyes and grinned.

She stopped at an intersection in the path. Ahead of her was the orchard and the place where the boys had plopped down. To the left was the maze, and the path to the right led past a section of wildflowers to a folly. She looked down each path, chewing her lip as she thought about which delightful area she wished to explore this day.

Hmm, she thought as she squinted up at the sun. I am rather warm. Perhaps a visit to the folly is in order. She whistled to the dogs. Only Brutus, the youngest of the three, immediately popped up and trotted to her side. She patted his head. “Good boy.”

She whistled again and waited. No response. Rolling her eyes, she called sharply to them. “Nero! Claudius! Come!” She hated when she had to sound mean like that, but sometimes the canines simply would not listen. “I bet if I were Darcy, you’d come at the first whistle.”

She watched as the pair slowly lumbered to their feet and waddled toward her. They stopped in front of her, looking up with their tongues hanging out and smiles on their faces. She rolled her eyes again. “Good boy, Nero. Good boy, Claudius.” She headed toward the folly, snapping her fingers and giving the command to “come”.

A few minutes later, she was relaxing in the shade of the folly, the three dogs napping around her. She looked away from the distant scene she had been examining when she heard her husband’s voice.

“There you are.”

Elizabeth smiled and patted the seat beside her. “Here I am.” She leaned forward to accept his kiss. “Were you looking for me?”

Darcy leaned back, making himself comfortable and wrapping his arm around his wife’s shoulders. “I was. I missed you. I finished with Mr. Allman and wrote all my letters and wondered where Pemberley’s mistress had gone off to. I was in need of your lips.”

Elizabeth grinned and leaned forward to kiss him again. “I have been missing you, as well, but I knew you had important things to discuss with the steward, and I did not wish to interrupt. The boys have been keeping me company. Have you not, my loves?” She giggled when three sets of eyes opened, three sets of ears perked up, and three tails wagged. “See? I told you.”

“I knew you were well-attended. That is why I did not demand a footman accompany you. I am well aware that no one could threaten you without one or all of your dogs tearing him or her apart.”

“That is very true. It would likely be all of them, though.” She shrugged and tried not to giggle. “Can I help it that they adore me?”

Darcy rolled his eyes and pulled her closer. He kissed her temple. “I suppose not.” He looked up to take note of the position of the sun. “I believe it is nearly time to dine. Will you come in with me? I should like your assistance in my bath.”

Elizabeth looked at him with one brow raised. “Should you now?” When he blushed, she could not control her chuckle. “Very well.” She stood. “I would very much like to help you in your bath.” She held her hand out to him as she looked at him from under her eyelashes, which fluttered madly. She grinned when he laughed and stood up, then took his hand and pulled him toward the house.

The End



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