We rejoin our nefarious couple as they seek lodgings on their first evening from Brighton. Lydia is determined to provide her love all the entertainment a gentleman might require, but Mr Wickham seems a little preoccupied. Could he, perhaps, be concerned about some mysterious personages? Or is he more thoughtful about what the remainder of their night will hold? As Mr Bennet is fond of saying, “Read on!”
-Catherine Curzon and Nicole Clarkston
Catch up on their previous adventures here!
Within half an hour, Lydia had refreshed herself adequately, and was once again ensconced in her lover’s embrace as their carriage rattled on to the north. Though his words were little different than before, his affections seemed somewhat subdued.
Lydia pouted and tugged at his lips with her fingertips. “George, have I vexed you? Are you so very put out that I insisted upon a stop?”
Wickham blinked up at her as though surprised at the question and opened his mouth to speak. He closed it, then opened it again and said, “Not at all, my love, I am merely thinking of our destination!”
“As for myself, I am thinking more of what she we shall do when we arrive at our destination,” she winked, then wrapped her arms about his neck for another of her endearments. “Fear not that you will be forced to be patient with me, for I do not intend to be patient with you.”
“Miss Bennet!” Wickham blinked, his voice merry with the jokey admonishment. “I intend to lay myself entirely at your tender mercy.”
“Mercy? I have none, nor do I intend to take prisoners. There, is that proper speak for a soldier’s lady?”
He touched his lips to hers and told her in a devilish growl, “Perfect.”
The next few minutes were left to their heated embraces, with that vexation replaced by a rather more pleasing manner. It grieved Lydia to think in the midst of these kisses that her love seemed so set on remaining almost gentlemanly until Gretna Green. She would have to see how far almost could be stretched.
As it happened, “almost” was quite a relative term. After another hour of traveling, the blushing couple requested accommodations in the most collected manner possible for and elated soldier and a novice young lady. They were duly shown to their quarters, a perfectly respectable room set aside for married travelers, and Lydia made a prompt inspection of the bed. She bounced twice, and pronounced it eminently serviceable for their purposes.
“George, are you certain you are determined to remain on the floor tonight? How could you be so cruel? This room is rather cold.”
“I made no mention of the floor, my love,” he replied, raising one eyebrow as he checked the door was securely locked. “The chair shall be perfectly serviceable for me, never fear!”
“There is a dreadful problem with that chair, for it is terribly far away from the bed. How shall I keep warm if you insist on remaining so far away? Would you not rather come warm up the bed with me for a little bit, so that I may sleep comfortably?“
“Miss Lydia, would you think me a gentleman tomorrow if I did?” Yet she saw the gleam in his eye, a spark of the mischief that so drew her to him in the first place.
“I already know you are not a proper gentleman, which is one of my favorite things about you. I would much rather have a passionate man than a gentleman, but I think it is charming that you keep up the pretense, nevertheless.”
“She thinks me charming!” He made a pantomime of clasping his hands to his heart. “Miss Bennet thinks me charming!”
“Oh, you do try my patience so! Come over here and satisfy my request, Mr Wickham, or I shall no longer think so. I have been led to expect a bit of tenderness in store for this evening, and I shall be vastly disappointed if all you intend to do is tease!”
Wickham took a few steps towards the bed and paused, his gaze raking over her.
“I would never wish to see you disappointed,” he purred. “My love.”
“Darling George,” she laced her fingers behind his neck. She tugged him gently near, resting her forehead on his and nuzzling his cheek with her pert little nose. “Stay in my arms tonight?” she pleaded.
“What a request that is.” Wickham blinked. “Whatever is a fellow to do?”