segunda-feira, 16 de novembro de 2015

Regency love story - part 6

hello,
My lovely Darcy friends invited me to join a flash project for Holidays inspired short stories and '45 days in Europe with Mr. Darcy' has got a follow up!

Yeah, those lovely Darcy and Lizzy are stuck in South Africa very close to Christmas, it's all love and bickering in Portuguese only - so far. I'll post more about the project of this pocket book once it moves along.

Anyway, here, if Elizabeth can't find her way out of an impossible situation, help may reach her...



Love in acts

1st act

LOVE HURTS

angst, rated M, short, sequel to P&P
previously

PART 6-

‘Oh, my goodness, finally you’ve come!’ Georgiana ran with opened arms to hug her brother and sister, already in quiet sobs. ‘They won’t let me see him; they keep me with the children. I’m too old for the nursery; I understand what’s going on.’

‘Calm down, Gigi.’

‘Oh Fitzwilliam! How could this have happened?’

‘All will be well, Gigi.’

‘Oh Lizzy, are you ill?’ The tall girl’s eyes lost focus with the sad tears. ‘Don’t fall ill too, I beg you!’ She wrapped her arms about Elizabeth muffling the protests.

‘She’s not sick, Gigi. Let her breath, though.’ He tapped his sister’s shoulder with care while holding his wife by her too thin waist. ‘Where is uncle Matlock?’

‘With Richard. They won’t let me in, or the cousins. Only the men and aunt can come in.’

‘We’ll go there directly.’ He announced for the butler who handed their outer garments to a footman and maid, nodded and pointed the way Darcy knew too well, the big old house was familiar to him almost as much as Pemberley. He kept his wife’s hand tucked firmly in the crook of his to give him strength, dreading what he would find.

Once upstairs, the butler knocked on Colonel Fitzwilliam’s door; the nurse opened and on seeing the crowd, took a step back to let Darcy in but shook her head and raised a palm to Elizabeth.

‘Cousin?’ She yelled rising on her toes and craning her neck reaching almost Georgiana’s eyes, in the hopes of seeing anything over the nurse’s shoulder.

‘I’m here!’ Richard answered.

She held the door with her shoulder as the nurse made to close it. ‘Cousin, how are you?’

‘Alive!’

‘Planning to keep that way? Don’t lie.’

‘Yes, Lizzy!’

‘You have always been precise in promise-keeping, can’t change now!’

He chuckled, she heard other tense chuckles and the door opened almost unbalancing her to let lady Matlock get out.

‘My dear Lizzy!’ She hugged Elizabeth’s shoulder. ‘We had to wait almost a week for you to arrive so we could have such needed respite.’

‘He sounds well. Is he?’ She asked worriedly, Georgiana looked expectantly from one adored sister to an adored aunt.

‘As much as possible.’

‘Can’t I see him?’

Lady Matlock looked from her nephew’s wife to her niece. ‘Better not yet.’

Georgiana whimpered. ‘He’s disfigured.’

‘No, my dear.’ She patted Georgiana’s hand. ‘He only needs time and our prayers.’ Lady Matlock sighed. ‘Let us move to my parlor, we can have tea.’ She eyed the butler and he nodded. ‘Send for my daughters as well.’



‘Oh my, this is the most beautiful bonnet of the season, cousin!’ Lady Brakenbury, or simply cousin Margaret, gushed.

Georgiana lowered her cup. ‘The redingote is absolutely divine.’

‘And the tippet, the muff…’ Lady Dorset, in her mama’s parlor simply Claire, touched her cheeks to the thick welcoming fur. ‘Oh, cousin, we will have to be careful not to be seen together because I am surely placing an order for these!’

‘I haven’t seen any of these last time I was in London.’ Margaret hit her hands inside the watermelon sized brownish muff. ‘Tell me where you found these, Lizzy.’

‘It was Fitzwilliam…’ Elizabeth apologized to lady Matlock. ‘I still think it fickle to worry about fashion when facing such a worry, but he sent for the shops. Yesterday I had my parlor in London full when I finished breakfast.’

‘Maybe he merely wanted a distraction.’ Lady Matlock smiled kindly.

‘And instead of fencing at the club, he chose pleasing his wife…’ Claire sniggered.

Elizabeth blushed and shared a conspiratorial glance with Claire. Surprisingly, it was not only Colonel Fitzwilliam who was extremely pleasant company; his three siblings were also very agreeable. Maybe their congeniality surprised Elizabeth so much because she expected variations of Lady Catherine. ‘I wasn’t even sure the modiste would finish the adjustments on the redingote in time.’

‘You are so thin, that’s why the window piece fitted you.’ Claire bit her lip. ‘A husband making an effort to please his too thin wife… I wonder why?’

‘Why?’ Georgiana was instantly worried. ‘He said she was not sick.’

‘She will be in a few weeks…’ Margaret lowered her head to look at Elizabeth through her lashes.

‘Months, sister!’

‘Girls!...’ Lady Matlock admonished her laughing daughters trying hard to contain her own mirth.

‘Why, sister? Will you be ill?’ Georgiana’s large eyes widened.

‘Not ill, Gigi.’ Margaret leaned forward in her seat. ‘But she’ll be in pain.’

‘Oh, dear Lord, that pain. I swore I wouldn’t do it anymore and two years later, bam! Now I’m done. Two boys are enough: he has his heirs already.’ Elizabeth, Margaret and Lady Matlock chuckled. ‘It is. It’s very hard to find wet nannies for more than one babe, you two will see. You laugh, sister, because you only have one.’

‘Dear Lord!’ Georgiana’s cup rattled. ‘You’re with child!’

‘No, no Gigi. I’m not.’ Elizabeth squeezed the girls’ hand.

‘You’re not?’

‘No.’ She sighed and shook her head looking down.

The sisters looked at each other, then at their mother who shook her head discretely but they laughed loud anyway. ‘She’ll be soon!’ They said together as much as they did when little girls and it was impossible to keep a straight face with married ladies of the Court behaving like children.

‘With all these presents...’ Claire winked at Elizabeth.

‘Soon, very soon, Gigi.’ Margaret nodded sighing to calm her laughter.

Elizabeth still looked down, her cheeks so deeply flushed she felt even a little lightheaded.

‘Girls.’ Lady Matlock said. ‘Take Gigi to-’

‘Not to play for the babes!’ Georgiana raised her voice.

‘For a stroll.’ Lady Matlock leaned forward and tapped the girl’s hand. ‘If your sister can be as generous as I know she is, you three can take her muff and tippet for company. I know I’d love to.’

Elizabeth forced a smile. ‘Please, they hate to spend one second not being gushed upon!’

Once the merry trio had left, Lady Matlock patted the seat beside her. ‘Come here, my dear.’ She observed her nephew’s wife figure and she seemed to have lost more weight than her splendid dress gave way. ‘You seem sad.’

‘We’re very worried about cousin’s health, aunt.’

‘All of us are in dire straits; I waited anxiously for Fitzwilliam to improve Richard’s spirits with his company, they had always been very close since babes.’

‘Fitzwilliam was beyond himself when he received the news. We were in Scotland, if he’d been closer, he would have arrived sooner.’

‘Scotland! I say!’ Elizabeth looked at her hands on her lap. ‘What on Earth were you two doing in Scotland? A honeymoon?’ Still Elizabeth kept silent. ‘My dear, calm your heart.’ Lady Matlock took both Elizabeth’s hands in hers. ‘You’ll soon be with child, you two are just starting and at first, it takes patient to… adjust to the bedroom visits.’

Elizabeth’s sigh faltered. ‘It’s not that, aunt Daphne.’

Lady Matlock chuckled. ‘I see… A love match is so very different from a regular marriage.’ She smiled sideways. ‘We have no reason to believe Fitzwilliam have trouble siring-’ She stopped hearing a discreet sob. ‘What is that?’ Elizabeth stood to fetch a handkerchief from her reticule forgotten on the couch she had sat with Georgiana. ‘You may talk to me, Lizzy. I know your mama is far away; my sister is no longer with us and frankly, if she were, she wouldn’t be of much help anyway.’ Lady Matlock muttered. ‘She and her sister were made from the same clay.’

Elizabeth shared a chuckle with the lady who graciously waited until she gathered her courage. ‘I shall not breed a Darcy heir, my lady.’ She turned to the window and the older woman waited. ‘And Fitzwilliam does not have trouble siring. I have proof.’ She stopped to hold in her tears. ‘He had.’ She sobbed. ‘He-’

‘Had a mistress.’ Lady Matlock said calmly. Elizabeth nodded still looking away. ‘Maybe more than one?’

She turned sharply. ‘You knew?’

‘Of course not, good Lord!’ Lady Matlock scoffed. ‘A lady is not interested or moved by this.’

‘I’m surely not a lady, if that is what you’re saying.’ Elizabeth sat heavily on a small chair. ‘I could never be considered for cousin Edward. Oh, what am I saying? I apologize, I’m devastated.’

‘Why?’

‘Why?’ Elizabeth’s eyes widened, tears rolled down her cheeks. ‘My husband had- paid-’

‘Hired mistresses.’ Lady Matlock calmly sipped her tea. ‘Hired women are less worrisome than paramours. Paramours from the Ton are the worst.’ She clicked her tongue. ‘They tend to think they have the same rights as the legitimate wife, want to attend the same events as we do in the season.’ Her eyes flashed with an irritation Elizabeth hadn’t seen before. ‘You said Fitzwilliam had?’ Elizabeth nodded dazzled. ‘In the past?’ She nodded again. ‘Before your wedding?’

‘He said as much.’

‘Then, it’s settled.’

Elizabeth shook her head slowly.

‘You think I’m cynic, probably? Don’t bother to answer.’ Lady Matlock sipped her tea again and carefully rested it on the side table as if choosing what to say. ‘When Catherine stormed into this house telling us Fitzwilliam insisted to marry an unknown girl without connections whose father’s estate was entailed to her parson, I decided instantly to like you.’ The corner of her mouth raised slightly. ‘But of course, she is right, it was unwise of Fitzwilliam.’ Elizabeth sat up straighter. ‘A lady of the Ton would never shed a tear for that, neither loose her health for a male indiscretion, much less demanded a Scotland honeymoon!’

‘I didn’t demand.’ Elizabeth sniffed. ‘He went after me because he wanted to.’

Lady Matlock gasped. ‘After you?’

‘He refuses to let me go.’ Elizabeth’s shoulders shook. ‘I asked for an annulment. He denied it and went after me.’

‘Annulment! Good Gracious, indeed it was impossible for my son Edward to have chosen you! I’d never permit the future Earl of Matlock tie himself to such a headstrong silly girl!’ Lady Matlock rose angrily. ‘I hate when Catherine is right!’ She stomped very unladylike. ‘You, girl, have no right to give that old crow any reason!’ She pointed at Elizabeth.

Elizabeth’s tears stopped with her amusement.

‘How did you find out?’

Elizabeth blinked.

‘About the mistresses, girl!’

‘He told me.’

Lady Matlock was more appalled with each sentence the sickly thinning silly Elizabeth uttered. ‘How? Why?’

Using few words and being very economic with details, Elizabeth told her about her aunt’s letter, her need for space after the visits and the Gardiners’ help.

‘Dear Lord! I shall send a letter to your aunt immediately; she has to know the damage she created!’ Lady Matlock walked briskly to Elizabeth and held her chin up. ‘You march down my house right now and tell my nephew you were temporarily out of your mind. Go! The boy admitted to you, by his own accord, by gad!’ She let go of Elizabeth’s thin face and put her hands on her hips. ‘That’s why I have no patience for love matches.’

She walked to the door, locked it, opened a side cabinet using a key fetched from a long necklace and took a crystal jug filled with a yellowish cream and two tumblers. She filled both and gave one for Elizabeth. ‘Drink.’ She ordered. ‘All of it at once.’ And she tipped hers tossing her head back, winced and nodded when Elizabeth put it to her lips. But as she simply sipped, the lady pushed it with the tip of her finger until Elizabeth drained it. ‘Good. Another?’

Elizabeth coughed. ‘What is that?’

Limoncello .’ Lady Matlock said filling again the tumblers. ‘My maid is Italian. I like it better than brandy. Drink again.’

‘Thank you but I’m not used-’

‘Drink, I say.’ She gave Elizabeth a stern look. ‘With me, go.’

She stored the used glasses in the cabinet and closed it. ‘I’ll have Paola give a bottle to your maid. Tonight, you drink twice as much – four tumblers – to give you courage. Then you put on a very revealing dress and give orders to your maid to tell Fitzwilliam’s valet to tell him to come to you.’ She pointed the key at Elizabeth. ‘You behave and please him and very ardently you convince him it was all silliness of a newlywed.’

‘I wish I could!’ Elizabeth hiccupped. ‘Pardon.’ She poised three fingers to her lips, lady Matlock shook her head. ‘But as much as I enjoy our marital bed, I keep seeing him naked with other-’

‘Stop. Drink five tumblers tonight. You won’t see anything.’ She stashed the key back in her cleavage. ‘You know what would happen if you make Catherine proud, silly girl? I’ll tell you: if Fitzwilliam gave you the annulment, you would be disgraced and he would not only hire other women but would also marry another! You think you imagine him with other women, be sure you will see him with other women, siring babes with another wife.’ Elizabeth gulped, the liqueur rose back to her throat but she swallowed. ‘Ah! Now you are seeing reason… go to your maid. Wash up. Reappear lovely and making us laugh as you always do. Go!’

Wings – Matlock Hall


‘Here, take this. Milady didn’t say how big, and this is as much I can spare without fore notice.’ Paola extended a small embroidered crystal carafe to Ashton. ‘If she thought it necessary to share her secret, I bet she’ll drain her own bottle in no time.’

‘Weren’t you Italian?’

‘Weren’t you French?’

Ashton giggled. ‘I was trained by a diable Parisienne.

‘Ah, the queen of everything proper and fashionable…’

‘And of hosting titled gentlemen late at night.’

They both laughed and Paola held Ashton by the arm guiding her inside the housekeeper’s den. ‘Lady Matlock’s daughters’ maids are busybodies…’ She pressed her eyes looking around them. ‘They are together often, like to gossip too, be careful.’

‘You’ve been with Lady Matlock for long?’

Paola nodded. ‘Five years or so. Since milady sent her old maid away because the chit passed information to his Lordship’s mistress’ maid.’

Ashton gasped, Paola nodded pressing her lips. ‘Mrs. Darcy has not had a fit of purges in weeks. I fear this much booze will send her back to the pit.’

‘You think this is a lot?’ Paola snorted. ‘You have no idea how much Lady Matlock has every week! I have to cook at a trusted tenant’s house so no one knows about it.’

‘Poor Mrs. Darcy… She can hardly rest from annoyances too. Her family, the Bennetts, are a good cause for brandy. I know so; I worked there for her just before the wedding.’ Ashton trembled in disgust. ‘At least they were not aware of our adventure alone in Scotland…’ She babbled and realizing the faux pas, changed subjects. ‘I hope Limoncello helps her, poor thing, I hope she can make good use of this, then.’ She finished pressing her lips and raising her brows.  ‘Is this like brandy?’

‘Sweeter, lighter, ladylike. My grandmamma used to make it for Christmas and I offered it as a gift to her ladyship. She was very sad because of her husband’s indiscretion and I wanted to keep my job.’ Paola shrugged. ‘I remember my grandmamma saying in Italy, when unsatisfied with her husband, a woman would drink Limoncello and go to bed summoning Cupid to soothe her body and mind.’

‘Did it help?’

‘Want to try tonight? I have a small dose for myself.’ They both grinned. ‘My, my… Mr. Darcy is so handsome… I never thought he would be unsatisfying… I know Colonel is not…’ Paola blinked coquettishly.

Ashton gasped. ‘I’d say, with a house full of valets why would a maid give the sons a chance to have fun?’

‘Full of valets?’ Paola shook her head and searched the housekeeper’s den for a towel to wrap the Limoncello bottle. ‘You may enjoy this house full as it is now, because as soon as they decide Richard-’ She bit her lip. ‘Colonel Fitzwilliam will live; his sisters and brother will leave and take their help with them. I say, only Lord’s Dorset’s valet seems to be proper. The others are only good for a tumble.

‘Mr. Darcy’s too.’ Ashton twisted her nose.

‘Well…’

‘Well…’

‘Will he live?’

‘Richard?’ Paola asked and Ashton nodded holding the wrapped carafe as an infant.

‘I believe so. His legs are in pitiable state and may need to be cut off.’ Ashton winced, Paola nodded sadly. ‘But he’ll still be a fully functional man, rich, handsome to a point, second son of a good family.’ She shrugged. ‘If your lady’s purging return with the creamy, let me know and I’ll give you the lighter version. Lady Daphne prefers the creamy because the smell is softer.’ Paola arranged the carafe in Ashton’s hands to hide it better. ‘If lady Daphne says your lady can use the Limoncello’s help, believe her. She is wise.’

---

‘Cousin, will I have the pleasure of breaking bread with the Darcys tonight?’ Colonel Fitzwilliam smiled seeing Darcy all dressed up for dinner entering his room and checking for any company they may have.

‘No, cousin. My lady is still forbidden to enter your room.’

Colonel Fitzwilliam groaned from his bed. ‘Every lady is forbidden, not even Claire and Margaret-’ He grinned. ‘Aside from that nurse but then again, what’s ladylike there?’

Darcy chuckled. ‘Be good, cousin.’

‘Oh, I know this look. What is it? Gossip? Are you sneaking me out for a night ride?’

‘I wish, but with this leg, I wouldn’t dare.’ Darcy still searched the room. ‘Anyone in your chambers?’

‘No. My valet is of no much use anyway, I’m locked here until my leg can grow meat back.’ He shared the same boyish smile. ‘Lock the door anyway; the nurse uses my dressing chamber.’

‘Here, hold this.’ Darcy gave the Colonel Fitzwilliam a small crystal bottle with a small tumbler before walking to lock the said door. ‘Your mama gave my wife this carafe and I might say it is made in heaven!’ He chuckled. ‘Aunt Daphne apparently gave Lizzy order to drink after she retired, but when I entered her chambers to escort her to dinner she was looking so handsome I kissed her and she hiccupped!’ Both men chuckled. ‘And the kiss… lemon. Taste it!’

Colonel Fitzwilliam opened the cork, sniffed, raised his eyebrows and filled a tumbler. ‘Mama has many secrets, doesn’t she?’ He drained it and passed to Darcy.

‘Limoncello, Lizzy said.’ Darcy drank half a tumbler. ‘Have another, I’d better put it back before her maid finds out I took it. And if your nurse shows up, don’t blow in her face!’

After a guffaw, Colonel Fitzwilliam wiggled his brows. ‘It’s quite good… Lighter than brandy… The ladies like it, you say?’

‘My lady loved it.’ Darcy smiled charmingly. ‘Her maid may have not since she had twice the work tonight.’

‘Ah, newlyweds!...’

Darcy’s face hardened and he walked to the window. ‘Your Illness is God sent, cousin.’

‘By all means, cousin! If it’s of your liking, I can drop dead as well.’

Darcy smiled at the window pane looking at his cousin propped upon several pillows reflected on the glass. ‘My wife left me two months ago.’ Colonel Fitzwilliam shook his head frowning. ‘The women I hired, it made her insane.’ Darcy turned. ‘Insane with jealousy!’

While Colonel Fitzwilliam drained almost half the liqueur carafe, Darcy told him the despair that took him over, the annulment request, Scotland and how Colonel’s illness brought Elizabeth to his side again.

‘You should name your heir after me! No! After Napoleon!’ Colonel Fitzwilliam laughed. ‘Napoleon Darcy. I’ll be his tutor, handsomely paid of course.’

‘Of course!’ Darcy shook his cousin’s hand. ‘I wanted to confide in you when I arrived, but you had a full house.’

‘My brothers usually keep me company. But I suspect they were very relieved to see you arrive; now they can ride very far away from my rotting leg.’

‘Did you consider amputation?’

Colonel Fitzwilliam nodded. ‘At the battle field but the surgeons gave me a chance to come home.’ Noise outside the window made Darcy turn. ‘I’ll probably use a can from now on, and trousers. No more breeches. Aunt Catherine will never invite me to Rosings again.’ He faked dismay. ‘Isn’t that sweet?’

‘It won’t stop her to come see you anyway.’ Both men winced. ‘Hurry, give me the carafe. I have to store it and go to my wife before aunt Catherine pounces on her.’

Being denied access to her nephew’s sick bed made Lady Catherine de Bourgh greatly displeased and so she proceeded to make her other nephews just as upset. The former Matlock girls heard icy observations about their ability to sire and raise heirs, Elizabeth for the absence of heirs, Georgiana for having any opinion on married ladies having heirs. The Matlock heir heard about the next heir his wife – left at her parents’ - was about to deliver and how he must provide for his future. The Matlock girls’ husbands and their papa-in-law – all titled men - escaped to a corner leaving Darcy to lend an ear to what-only-God-knew Lady Catherine complained or gave orders about.

Darcy occasionally shared glances with Elizabeth but she looked away before the slow blink. Yes, she loved him ardently and needed him to reassure her but it still felt… foreign. Something he was not entitled to give her.

‘You see Anne, poor thing?’ Lady Matlock asked arriving close to Elizabeth, her tea cup close to her lips.

‘She does look better than last time I saw her…’ Elizabeth said under her breath. ‘She’s almost giving out her secret.’

‘You know she’s not half as sick as her mama believes?’

‘Oh, yes! I saw her playing with the parsonage children once!...’ Elizabeth hid her grin behind her cup.

‘She is quite sassy, isn’t she?’ Lady Matlock asked in a sneer and Elizabeth giggled nodding. ‘Imagine that sassiness in your husband’s bed.’ Elizabeth turned sharply to Lady Matlock splashing tea over her sauce and gasping. ‘When he ‘lets you go’, Catherine will pounce, he will be heartbroken and unable to fight as he did once to marry you. She’ll gloat about having reason; you were unfit for him after all… He’ll have Anne as second wife as not many proper ladies will have a man with an annulment in his past.’ Lady Matlock gloated herself on Elizabeth’s wide eyes turning from Anne to her husband listening stoically to Lady Catherine fill his ears. ‘Catherine will then insist on heirs, Anne will undoubtedly be able to sire one, two, three…’

‘That’s enough, my lady.’

‘I love when I can help young people see reason…’ Lady Matlock sighed. ‘Did your maid give you the Limoncello?’

‘Yes. I already used it.’

‘Really?’ She raised her eyebrows surprised, her lips curling at the corners.

Still shaking with despair, Elizabeth nodded. ‘Fitzwilliam also enjoyed the…’

‘Tartness?’ She asked and Elizabeth nodded. ‘Good. Let Paola know if you need more, my dear.’ She smiled and caressed Elizabeth’s chin before walking away. Charmingly, she crossed the room disguising the conceited smile on her lips. ‘Catherine, Maurice wants to explain to you in details how he managed to bring our son back in the middle of war.’ Lady Matlock sighed exaggeratedly. ‘What an ordeal!’

‘Indeed, that boy was always wild. I advised you repeatedly how to tame him but you never listened-’

‘Go, dear. Talk to him so he can explain everything.’

Darcy sighed deeply. ‘Aunt Daphne, that was a dirty move, uncle Maurice probably didn’t deserve.’ He said quietly. ‘But I thank you, my lady.’ Gallantly he took her hand to place a kiss.

‘I accept your gratitude, boy, but this is not enough.’ Lady Matlock hooked her hand on the crook of his arm and gently urged him towards the other side of the library where the Matlocks served tea after dinner when the house was full of guests. ‘You know that exuberant muff your wife wore today?’ He nodded frowning. ‘Can it be made in white?’

‘I believe so. Or else there was a polar bear cub in her sitting room yesterday.’

‘Oh!’ Her hand shot to her bosom. ‘Was it that big?’

He nodded curiously. ‘Almost as big as my wife, she could pull it by a leash; fortunately she chose the castor one.’ He used a funny intonation for the color name. ‘Why?’

‘And a matching tippet?’ He shrugged. ‘Send for it, my boy. First thing tomorrow.’

‘For you, aunt? Of course, but why? Will you shield me and my wife from aunt Catherine forever?’

She smiled devilishly. ‘See your wife looking at Anne?’

Darcy tilted his head to the side and frowned deeper. Although surrounded by smiling Claire and Margaret, Elizabeth looked haunted; her fine eyes intent on Anne wanly sipping her tea.

‘Poor thing, what may be going through her head, I wonder…’ He looked sharply at his aunt and she nodded still smiling. ‘I could wager my new muff and tippet she is picturing you brokenhearted after the stupid annulment-’ He straightened up surprised his aunt knew about it. ‘Being forced to marry Anne out of duty. How your new mama would demand heirs and well, you can calculate the rest, you know your Lizzy.’ Darcy grinned and leaned down to kiss his aunt but she raised a hand to stop him. ‘Discretion, boy. You had the ability to find the most headstrong girl in all England, now you have to learn how to deal with her. Soothe and control her, identify what has importance for her. Your money obviously doesn’t or else she would be gushing about that marvelous muff.’ He nodded, he had already arrived to that conclusion. ‘She loves you completely; enough to overcome her hurt pride.’

‘Jealousy.’ He said smiling big.


‘Wipe that smile off your face. Play the part. Let her come to you.’ She commanded and he nodded. ‘And keep my Limoncello secret!’

---
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update: 

a revised & extended version of this story will be available on Kindle Unlimited from Jan 25th, 17.