Our eloping couple are on the road once more, but what new surprises await for Lydia Bennet and George Wickham?
-Catherine Curzon and Nicole Clarkston
Catch up on previous adventures here:
“My dear George,” Lydia sighed contentedly as he mounted the coach after her and took his seat. ”I must say, you do look rather dashing this morning. I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something so… roguish about your appearance. I do say, it is rather refreshing to see a man unencumbered by quite so many layers about his neck. I declare, you could give fashion advice to Mr Brummell himself.”
“I do have an eye for what complements me,” Wickham told her with an air of preening confidence. “Although, if you intend to continue stealing my clothes, who knows what I shall be wearing when we cross the border. A blanket and a bright smile?”
“Then you shall be the handsomest gentleman north of Brighton. Perhaps we should take fewer stops,” She grinned at him, mischief sparkling in her beautiful face.
“I shall run out of shirts if we do not,” Wickham smirked.
“George how long before we arrive in Scotland? Will it really be a full week of travel? Cannot we just marry in London?”
“There are–” He rolled his eyes, clearly searching for the word. “Obstacles, my love. Small matters, but obstacles nevertheless. Is this not an adventure though, you and I and the road ahead?”
“I simply thought you might find the adventure more… adventurous under slightly different circumstances. You know me too well to think I am a prudish bore, but a lady must look to her own interests, after all.”
“Are you not happy, my love?” Wickham pouted.
“My darling George, words cannot express my happiness every moment I am in your company. I am the most blessed woman alive, but I intend to remain so. Do not think by my words that I have no confidence in you, my darling. Had I not the greatest faith in your honour, I would never have left Brighton with you. My papa always said that I was a difficult girl for ensuring that I got my way.”
George gathered her into his embrace and drew her close for a kiss, and not the sort of kiss than any papa could possibly approve of. In fact, it was the sort of kiss that one should really only share after Gretna Green, which only made it all the more delicious.
Lydia drew back only faintly, just enough to look into his eyes but she made no effort to free herself from his embrace. “Wickham, you are a ruffian and a cad, and you are far too proud of it. Will you kiss me again like that?”
His reply was to do just that, and scoop her into his lap as he did. A ruffian and a cad he may be, but he was her ruffian and cad. That was perhaps her favorite part of this deliciously wicked man she had claimed for her own. He was just naughty enough to suit her tastes, but not so much that she would ever feel unsafe with him. She might have the pleasure of seeing him devoted only to her, this slightly roguish man who had never before bound himself to any other, though he certainly had had the opportunity to do so.
“I am a ruffian and a cad and a poor choice of husband,” he purred. “But for all that, do you love me?”
“George, you ridiculous man. Of course I love you. I would not have thought you so insecure as to ask again. If I did not love you, would I let you do this?“ She took his hand and placed it and a rather interesting spot, then brazenly looked into his eyes and wrapped her arms about his neck. “We have some while in the carriage, all alone sir. Whatever will you do with me?“
“Whatever indeed? And I am not insecure, my love, I just adore hearing you tell me that you love me.” He pressed his lips to her throat, allowing that opportune hand to caress the spot in which she had placed it. How warm it seemed again, Lydia realised, how changeable the weather.
Lydia had every intention of permitting him some rather shocking liberties there, in the safety of the coach, but her enjoyment of his delirious caresses was abruptly interrupted. There was a cry from without, and she found herself torn from Wickham’s arms when the carriage lurched to a halt. Rough words were exchanged between the driver and someone else, and Lydia pouted as she regained her equilibrium. “How ridiculous! Someone else must want to ride the coach. Could they not have caught us up at one of the regular stations?”
George held up his hand and whispered, “Keep your head down, Lydia, don’t make a sound.”
Lydia had never been adept at silence, and no more was she inclined to practice that art now. “But Wickham, what can they mmffffrrrmmm!” She shook her head angrily and pulled his hand from her mouth. “Wickham! How dare—” At his hissed reply and the urgency in his face, she last begin to understand that he was serious.
“Leave it to me,” was his urgent whisper before he kissed her. “And we’ll soon be on our way.”
Eyes round, she bit her lip and nodded. Surely all would be well. She had George to protect her, after all, and he would never leave her side, even if….
“George Wickham!” a voice commanded. “Step out of the coach!”
To be continued…