“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 21:  Courting Couples, Part 2,  May 19, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1236)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 21:  Courting Couples, Part 2,
May 19, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1236; and on Wattpad)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):   Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes;  Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay, daughter of Lady Constance and Lord Alfred is portrayed by Francesca Capaldi; Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre, Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York, and Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York (portrayed by Rupert Penry-Jones) who is smitten with Lady Elizabeth Blount (portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay), who is sister to Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex (portrayed by Richard Armitage)_  and sister-in-law to his young wife Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex (portrayed by Kate Winslet]

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.


Ch. 21:  Courting Couples, Part 2

Though with Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby coming to live with his wife Lady Constance and daughter Tamsin up at the large and elegant Sussex Hall Manor House last night, the excitement of this momentous family reunion makes sleep hard won—except for the youngest of them, the now Lady Tamsin Lindsay of York.  For nine year old Lady Tamsin’s eyes close in sleep almost as soon as she gains her bed and her parents kiss her good night upon her forehead.

But for Lord Alfred’s/Vicar Whitby’s and Lady Constance’s parting to sleep this night, it is charged with the pleasing tension of former lovers yearning for reconnection,  yet with them waiting for full reconciliation until they court for a suitable period and then are wed, again.  Lord Alfred still feels himself to be a vicar and barring remembrance of his marriage to Lady Constance, he has told her that he wants to hold a new marriage ceremony—that can be a renewal of their vows to each other.

So, the couple walk through the connecting door from Lady Tamsin’s bed chamber to Lady Constance’s bed chamber and part chastely, albeit in near proximity to her bed.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  Taking her small hand in his, he chastely kisses it upon the top of her soft skinned and creamy complexioned hand.  “I will leave you now to your rest, Constance.  And in the morning, we shall start our lives anew as a family with ourselves and with our daughter Tamsin.”

Lady Constance: “Oh Alfred!”  She sighs.  “It has been my fondest wish these past ten years for us to do so.”  Her loving gaze almost undoes him with the depth of her unswerving devotion.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “And mine as well—to have a family.”  He states somewhat obliquely, since he still does not remember Lady Constance—however much he truly wishes that he did.  So he smiles then exits to the empty hallway and then enters his newly assigned bedchamber across from hers.


And though the Ducal parents of both York and Lancashire families have also long since gone to their beds, their offspring Lady Gwendolyn of York and Lord Robert Knightsbridge the Marquess of Wyre [(2) below]—and the Lancashire Ducal heir—remain seated in matching wing chairs on either side of the front parlor’s hearth.  The waning embers from the nearly fully burned logs still casts a bit of warmth in their direction.

Studying Lady Gwendolyn by the evening’s candlelight glow, Lord Robert finds her countenance pleasing—not the least of which is because she is not looking at him whiles she gazes at the hearth fire burning low, and nor is she judging his action or thoughts.  He had spent the five years after earning his university degree in anthropology in studious pursuits by  traveling around the world.  And though he had occasionally accepted the favors of a comely widow or two over the years, he has not found love.  Nor does he think that he ever will find love.

And yet, he must marry and produce an heir.  Then his thoughts return to the lady before him.  Though he is tired from the long day and its momentous events in having Lord Alfred Lindsay of York the Marquess of Malten returned to his sister Lady Constance, Lord Robert finds a comforting silence in his present situation—of just he and Lady Gwendolyn [(3) below] sitting together in companionable silence.  And he also wishes for his own connection to someone—whether it be in simple pleasing  friendship, or something more passionate.

Lord Robert:  “A penny.”  Lord Robert smiles at Lady Gwendolyn, who raises her droopy lids to gaze upon him with a small smile.

Lady Gwendolyn: “Oh Robert.  I think my thoughts are worth more than a penny.”  She teases in her dusky alto tones.

Lord Robert: “No doubt, but I left my purse in my chambers.  So all I have in my current possession is one penny.”  He pulls the penny out of his waistcoat pocket to show it to her.  Then he hands the penny out to her and she takes it.

Lady Gwendolyn: “Very well, I will take this offered penny on account.  Ha!”  She laughs and he smiles. He looks inquisitively at her, wishing her to relay her thoughts to him.  “Well, I am so happy for my brother Alfred to be found alive and reunited with his wife Lady Constance and their daughter Lady Tamsin.  My heart is full to overflowing with joy for them.”  When Lady Gwendolyn is often accused of being terse and moody, her surprising good humor takes Lord Robert somewhat aback.

Lord Robert: “I share your sentiments.  Yet, I feel that knowing my niece as I do, there will need to be more of their spending time with each other in order to cement their renewed family ties.”

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Well Tammy seems quite taken with her Papa my brother  Alfred and seems to accept him without reservation.”

Lord Robert: “True.  But just as she previously had thrived under her Mama’s sole and undivided attentions, Tamsin will likely seek to monopolize her newfound Papa’s attentions.”  He raises his eye brows, as if in suggestion of something yet unspoken.

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Do you propose that Tammy’s interests be redirected?  To allow Lady Constance and my brother Alfred time alone together to renew their acquaintance?”

Lord Robert: “I see that our thoughts are in harmonious accord with one another.”  He smiles, him thinking that harmony is a pleasing state for any relationship.

Lady Gwendolyn: “What do you propose?” She asks queryingly.

Lord Robert stands and gentlemanly holds out his hand to assist  Lady Gwendolyn in rising from her chair.  And she stands next to him, though she gracefully pulls her hand away from his as soon as her balance is assured.  They are becoming friends and there is an ease in communicating and being with each other.  But the proprieties must be observed with her as an unmarried woman and he as a single man.

Lord Robert: “Let us sleep upon it, My Lady.  Perhaps something will occur to one of us in the morning.”

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Indeed.”  She bestows upon him a small smile.  Then he escorts her to her York family bedchamber hallway, before attaining his own Lancashire family bed chamber down the far hallway.


Meanwhile, Lord Harold Blount  [(4) below] and his love Lady Penelope Lindquist had attained London and her Grandmama Winston’s townhouse yesterday—where she was greeted warmly by both her Grandmama and her Grandmama’s sister, her Great Aunt Lady Lucretia Beckham Knott, her cousin Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount’s Grandmama.

And Lady Penelope had revealed her baby joy to him on their ride to London in his brother’s borrowed Sussex family carriage—since she was concerned about the bumpy state of the roads and her condition.  Lord Harold kissed her joyfully for their upcoming parenthood, then instructed his coachman to drive more slowly.  Then Lord Harold and Lady Penelope enjoyed some tender cuddling time in the carriage as they made plans for the future.

Of course their future relies upon her Grandmama Winston’s and her Great Aunt Lady Knott’s help.  And after hearing both Lady Penelope’s [(5) below] story of her husband’s malfeasance of her dowry funds being his only use for her, and the verity of her virginal state being attested to by her husband Lord Harold Blount—who had married her in a French ceremony a few months ago, before he bedded her and got her with child—the Archbishop of Canterbury was deeply troubled at the current mess they were in.

It seems that with Lord Harold’s help Lady Penelope had obtained a French Lutheran decree of divorce [(6)] —based upon the financial fraud that her husband had perpetrated upon her, and since their marriage was never consummated.  However, since her marriage to the Earl of Lindquist occurred in England, the English church has to concur with the French Lutheran divorce decree.  And for her hastily arranged French marriage to Lord Harold to count in England, her first marriage needs to be annulled by a date prior to her second marriage—so some backdating will need to take place.  And then, Lord Harold and Lady Penelope will need to have a wedding vow solemnization ceremony in England to both finalize their earlier French marital union and for their child to be legitimate in the eyes of the law.

So tonight, Lord Harold and Lady Penelope enjoy a marital reunion of tender passions at his brother Christy’s London mansion known as Sussex House.  And Lady Penelope finally feels cherished and loved for her sweet self, because Lord Harold married her without expectation of a dowry—since her large dowry was squandered by her first husband.  And though her Grandmama Winston has decided to settle upon her an additional 10,000 pounds, Lord Harold Blount insists that the funds be held in trust for Lady Penelope’s use and direction alone—for her future protection, should he pre-decease her many years from now.   And the now married man and soon to be father Lord Harold is finally becoming the man and gentleman that his family hoped that he would mature into one day.

At  daybreak of the coming day, the two elderly ladies plan to be ensconced in Lady Knott’s comfortable carriage and the newlywed Lord Harold and Lady Penelope Blount  will be traveling  in the Sussex family carriage.  They all plan to travel to Sussex Hall in the countryside in the morning—reaching it in the afternoon.  Until then, all parties concentrate on getting a good night’s sleep—especially Lord Harold and his pregnant wife Lady Penelope lying tenderly in each other’s arms.


Unfortunately, Lady Elizabeth Blount has trouble sleeping in her bed chamber in the Sussex Hall Dower House this night.  But for her younger brother Lord Harold galivanting off to rescue his lady love Lady Penelope Lindquist—who also happens to be the cousin of her sister-in-law Lady Madeline, and her grandmother Lady Knott’s niece—their home seemed to be a buzz of activity today.  And with her happy loving thoughts of Lord Duncan of York the Viscount Lindsay, she feels ever so happy and excited.

Most pressingly, Lady Elizabeth  hopes to find a new hidden location for kissing  Lord Duncan—since their back garden terrace location was discovered.  And she wonders how she might speed up the whole courting business between Lord Duncan and she—in order to get to the being married to him part more quickly than in the six weeks timeframe that her brother Lord Christian had stipulated.

With her dearest friend and sister-in-law Lady Madeline so happy with her brother Lord Christian as husband, Lady Elizabeth wants to also experience that marital happiness, an inkling about  which Lady Elizabeth received when she and Lord Duncan shared their stolen kisses earlier today.

And unbeknownst to anyone, Lord Duncan had procured a special marriage license for he and Lady Elizabeth before he traveled to stay at the Summer at Sussex Hall Manor.  That was well before he knew of his brother Lord Alfred being returned to them and Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay would be free of the expectation to marry Lady Constance Knights bridge Lindsay—whom he thought was his brother’s widow.  But Lord Duncan did not then, nor now, wish to marry Lady Elizabeth in order to thwart his marital destiny.  In fact, Lord Duncan feels that in loving and marrying Lady Elizabeth, it will be the making of his future happiness, and of hers.

So, this night—having had his valet discreetly inquire earlier to Lady Elizabeth’s ladies maid as to which upper floor Sussex Hall Dower House bed chamber window belonged to his love Lady Elizabeth—Lord Duncan stands below Lady Elizabeth’s  bed chamber window.  Shifting the haphazardly gathered from the nearby garden  flower blooms into his left hand, his right hand reaches into his coat pocket where several small stones—pebbles, really—were earlier placed there by him.  Lord Duncan lifts his hand over his head and tosses the pebble upward to a certain  window.

To Lord Duncan’s chagrin, the darkened lighting conditions  just after midnight do not allow him to see that the window sash is raised to allow the cool and pleasant night air to waft gently into Lady Elizabeth’s bed chamber.  So he hears no tap upon the window glass, nor the almost silent thud the pebble makes on the rug inside the bed chamber.

Trying again, he steps back and hurls another small pebble at the window.  This time the pebble hits something solid inside the bed chamber—as evidenced by a cat giving a small screech.  He cannot risk discovery and looks about to see if he has been found out.  But  his heart also will not be thwarted in his mission this night.  So he tosses a third pebble and it taps against the window glass—unbeknownst to him, creating a radiating crack upon the thin glass window pane, but not breaking it.

Having picked up her cat to cuddle it when she heard it screech in its soft bed pillow by the window, Lady Elizabeth jumps back when she hears the window glass crack.  Not knowing what is going on, she surreptitiously looks out of the window, only to find her love Lord Duncan standing hopefully in the moonlight, gazing up at her with a broad smile upon his face.  And she raises the sash a bit further and pops her head out of the window.  Would that there were a two story trellis upon that side of Sussex Hall Manor House, Lord Duncan would risk the climb to claim her lips again with his lips.

Lady Elizabeth: “Duncan, I’ll be right down.”  She whispers.  “Meet me …”  She pauses, her wanting to choose a place that her brother Lord Christian’s bed chamber sitting room windows do not look over.  “On second thought, you stay there.  I will come to you.”  And Lady Elizabeth ducks back into her bed chamber, plops her cat upon its pillow, and she grabs her thin night robe to cover her equally thin nightgown.  She reasons that it is dark outside and not too chilly.  So her less than fully attired state will not flout propriety, nor risk her catching a cold.

Lady Elizabeth stealthily makes her way down the back servant staircase to the main floor.  Then she traverses to a servant exit near where her Lord Duncan stands still looking up at her bed chamber window.  He wonders the wisdom of him seeking out his love at night when all are abed—as they both should be.  But the thought of being abed, with Lady Elizabeth—as his wife, of course—causes him to feel deeply … unsettled, in a yearning, young swain kind of way.

Lady Elizabeth:  Bursting to the out of doors, Lady Elizabeth whispers breathily for her exertions in racing through the Dower House.  “Duncan!”  Then she launches herself into his arms and he wraps his arms around her as they kiss with loving abandon,  him necessarily dropping the gathered flowers upon the ground.

Lord Duncan:  His lips finally breaks from hers, only to wend a path of searing kisses down her long creamy neck.  “Oh Elizabeth, My Love!”  He smoulders in a passionately deep voice.  “I want you as my wife and in my bed as soon as possible.”  Her skin through her two thin layers of fabric feels soft and supple—her having ample womanly curves, despite her tender 18 years, which excite his passions.

Lady Elizabeth: Clasping his head in the hope of bringing it back up for them to kiss some more, she responds with equal passion. “I wish that, too, Dearest.  But my brother Christy insists on our having month long courtship, and then that we wed after that.  I do not know how to persuade him otherwise.”  Then she reaches her lips to his again and their mouths become one in their joining together, coupling their lips and tongues together, even as their bodies yearn for the same.

Lord Duncan can think of a way to speed Christy’s decision.  But he will not compromise his love Lady Elizabeth.  Her reputation is unblemished, and it is his honor to keep it so as her future husband.

Lord Duncan:  “My Love, I must return to York Castle in three weeks, to assess the progress of the repairs and renovations.  I will ask Christy if we may be married in two weeks, so that we might have a short wedding trip on our way to York Castle.”

Lady Elizabeth: “I like that idea!”  She agrees wholeheartedly.

Lord Duncan: “But in the next two weeks, can you arrange your pretty wedding gown that you have dreamed of since childhood?”  He asks hopefully.  For he understands that for ladies, the wedding ceremony where she is the center of attention is a pinnacle moment in every young woman’s life.

Lady Elizabeth: “I have dreamed of having no particular wedding gown, Duncan.  My only long lasting wish has been that you will be my husband.  Everything else is secondary.”

Lord Duncan: “My Love!  How practical you are!”

Lady Elizabeth: “I would marry you tomorrow, but I would like my scapegrace brother Lord Harold to attend.  And we are as of yet, uncertain about his location—other than him seeking to rescue his Lady Penelope.  And for my Grandmother Lady Catherine’s sake, I would also like Lady Madeline’s Grandmama Lady Knott to return and be in attendance.  Other than also having your parents and the Lancashire’s join us, I can think of no others to invite.”

Lord Duncan: “That is brilliant!  We will say to Lord Christian that we wish to wed in two weeks time—to allow our special guests to arrive, before we must be off to York Castle.  And shall we be wed from the Sussex Hall Manor House Chapel or the village church?”

Lady Elizabeth:  “Either would suit me.  But the local villagers having watched me grow up, might wish to see me at least in a passing carriage.  So perhaps we can wed at the village church, then have a large garden reception up at Sussex Hall Manor.”

Lord Duncan nods, smiling broadly.  He and Lady Elizabeth have fixed their plan to wed earlier rather than later.  They just need to get Lord Christian to agree to it in the morn.  Let alone, they will have to come up with a plausible reason why one of Lady Elizabeth’s Dower House bed chamber window panes is surprisingly cracked and needs replacing.

And elsewhere in the Sussex Hall Manor House and the Sussex Hall Dower House, the sleeping inhabitants will awaken this morn in several hours to a few more surprises of their own.

To be continued with Chapter 22


Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 21 images  for  May 19, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1236)

1)  “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister  to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2)   Lord Robert Knightsbridge, Marquess of Wyre, in neckcloth, cls, is Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars in “Sense & Sensibility” via Yet Another Period Drama blog; image link is http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_rvFfNUQOjpM/TVGkb1i7aoI/AAAAAAAAAb4/5bn3OIkBBBY/s1600/hugh+grant+edward+ferrars.jpg

3) Lady Gwendolyn’s pale light purple lavender silk organza evening gown (Grati background mask) is Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood in 1995’s Sense & Sensibility found at  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e4/a8/be/e4a8becc0d292a3c0f1412358cef9653.jpg

4) Lord Harold Blount image  (background mask  by Grati) is that of Crispin Bonham-Carter in the 1995 mini series Pride and Prejudice and was found at  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112130/mediaviewer/rm1864548864

5) Lady Penelope Lindquist is portrayed by Lily Travers—who appears on Victoria season 3 in 2019 as Duchess Sophie of Monmouth; the image was found at https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/specialfeatures/victoria-s3-new-cast-characters/

6) The French Lutheran divorce decree that I refer to is complete fiction—a dramatic device that I conjured up to help the two lovebirds along.

“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 21  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for May 19, 2019 (Post #1236):


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 20 story URL on my SAL blog Post #1235,  May 12,  2019:




Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, Dreams, Emma Thompson, Family, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Honor, Hope, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Romance, Storytelling, Weddings, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 20:  Courting Couples, Part I,  May 12, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1235)

Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 20:  Courting Couples, Part I,  May 12, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1235)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

 [As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):   Lord Christian Blount, the Earl of Sussex, and his young bride and Countess Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount;  Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes;  Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay, daughter of Lady Constance and Lord Alfred is portrayed by Francesca Capaldi; and Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay (portrayed by Rupert Penry-Jones) who is smitten with Lady Elizabeth Blount (portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay) who is sister to Lord Christian]


Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.


“Expectations” (Book 2), Ch. 20—Courting Couples, Part I

Before they are to have a light dinner with Grandmother Lady Catherine Dowager Countess of Sussex, Lady Madeline’s husband Lord Christian Earl of Sussex, and his sister Lady Elizabeth Blount, Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount Countess of Sussex sits plumped up upon her bed pillows—with her ankles raised on yet more pillows, to stem their slight swelling due to her pregnancy with their first child.  She is writing in her journal  about what transpired this afternoon, with Vicar Whitby revealed to all as the long lost Lord Alfred Lindsay Marquess of Malten.  It is rather a long journal entry so far, as her husband Lord Christian [(2) below] paces the floor in their sitting room area.

Lady Madeline: “Christian, Dearest, you will wear out the lovely rug with your pacing.  Please sit down, preferably next to me.”  She smiles with sparkling eyes and pats his side of their bed.  She then returns her journal and pencil to her nightstand to give her husband her full attention.  With her long flowing auburn tresses falling about her shoulders, Lady Madeline [(3) below] is a vision of womanly beauty.

Lord Christian:  “Would that I could be relieved of my concerns.”

Lady Madeline: “And what concerns might those be?”  Yet she knows very well what his concerns are—as any wife should.

Lord Christian:  He moves to doff his boots, jacket, and waistcoat before coming to sit next to his wife atop their soft satin bed coverlet.  “You know very well that Lord Duncan kissed my sister Elizabeth on the hidden part of the garden terrace.” He states irritatedly.  Their sitting room bay window to the back garden has a clear view of that portion of the terrace, on the other side of the thickly overgrown hedge.

Lady Madeline: “Yes Dear.  People in love usually do kiss.”  Lady Madeline pats his muscular shoulder leaning over her.  She is far too sanguine for her husband’s tastes. “We did.”  She raises a saucy eyebrow in his direction, and he pouts.

Lord Christian: “Yes, but we were already engaged at that point.”  He counters.  “Lizzie and Duncan are not yet engaged.”

Lady Madeline: “Yet they could become engaged, if you would simply let Lord Duncan know that you encourage his suit of your sister, Lady Elizabeth—and she is also now my sister through our marriage.”

Lady Madeline purposely uses Lady Elizabeth’s full name, to lend an air of maturity about her—that her childhood nickname of Lady Lizzie does not convey.  In actual fact, Lady Elizabeth is only four months younger than her sister-in-law Lady Madeline—and Lady Madeline is already married to Lord Christian and bearing their child to come in the Autumn.

Lord Christian: “Darling, I want Elizabeth to be as happy in her choice of love as we are.  Yet I do not like the marital machinations surrounding Lord Duncan.  Initially, Lord Duncan was unofficially betrothed to his believed to be dead elder brother Lord Alfred, the ducal heir’s fiance Lady Constance.  Then his brother Lord Alfred is returned to the Lindsay family of York.  And suddenly Lord Duncan is available—and him not being required to wed his brother’s former betrothed, whom we now know Lord Alfred had married secretly before he went off to war and was injured and presumed dead—and he was thought lost to his family ten years ago.”

Lady Madeline: “Yes, that is exactly my point—Lord Duncan is now free from other marital expectations of him.  And you will do well to accept the situation that Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan love each other and wish to marry.”

Lord Christian:  “But …”  He is interrupted, when an Earl is never interrupted—or he should not be.

Lady Madeline: “Dearest, please.  Think of your sister Elizabeth’s happiness.  Her heart’s desire is all wrapped up in Lord Duncan.”  Lady Madeline uses her most entreating tone and hopeful expression.  For Lady Madeline knows that Lord Christian knows that he has no other avenue of approach in keeping his little sister Lady Lizzie, his little sister forever.

Lord Christian: “I will think upon it over dinner.  Then if Lord Duncan returns to us as planned after his family dinner with his parents and Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby, Lady Constance and her family up at Sussex Hall, I will lay down some courting ground rules with him.”

Lady Madeline: Now patting her husband’s muscular arm and then laying her head upon his shoulder.  “Thank you.  Now let us lie down and nap.”  Lord Christian’s eyebrow saucily perks up in interest.  “No Christian Dearest, I really do suggest that we nap.  It has been a most overwhelming day.  Hhhh!  Perhaps I will feel less tired when we go to bed later.”  She smiles sweetly at him.

Lord Christian: “Of course, My Darling.”  He helps her adjust from sitting to lying down on their bed–and he joins her there.  “Rest, My Love.”  And they both doze off.


Up at the Sussex Hall Manor House, the Lindsay family—including Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred’s ducal parents of York, his wife Lady Constance [(4) below] and their child Miss Tamsin, and his brother Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York, and their sister Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York, etc.—arrive and are escorted to their bed chambers to freshen up and change before dinner at Sussex Hall.  Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby is astounded by the size and grandeur of the stately home.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “My word, Sussex Hall is magnificent!”  It is obvious that Sussex Hall has been well maintained and enhanced over the years.  And Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred eagerly looks around at the splendor.

Lady Constance:  “It is.  But it is a family home as well.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  Focusing upon a silvery shining knight of armor in a far niche, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred asks distractedly.  “Was that knight armor display always in that location?”

Butler:  “Why, no My Lord.”  He bows, for all of the Sussex Hall Manor staff have been apprised of the developing situation with regard to Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten’s return to the bosom of his family. “The 1st Earl’s knightly armor formerly stood guard at the base of the grand staircase.  But it was moved when it was often inadvertently knocked over…”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “Yes, by someone sliding down the bannister.” He admits sheepishly, for he had knocked over the knight’s armor a time or two in his youthful visits to Lord Christian’s boyhood home when they were on holiday together from Eton nearly twenty years ago.

Lady Constance: “You remember that, Alfred?” She smiles up at him and he nods with a smile.  Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby’s memories of his life before the war are random and disjointed—and none about Lady Constance yet. But at least he is remembering some things, he thinks.

Lady Gwendolyn:  Walking up to Lady Constance and her brother Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby, Lady Gwendolyn graciously acts as hostess of their rented property for the Summer. “Come, let me show you to your bed chamber, Alfred.  They are quite cozy.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby blanches at the likely proximity of his bed chamber to Lady Constance’s bed chamber—since they are husband and wife, though he still does not remember their long ago courting and marriage.

Miss Tamsin:  Sliding upon the highly polished marble flooring, Miss Tamsin skids to a halting stop before her parents.  “Where will you sleep, Papa?”  She asks eagerly.  “Next to my bed chamber near Mama’s, or across the hall from Mama and next to Uncle Lord Robert’s bed chambers?”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “Well,  I …”  There is a sudden look of panic in his eyes, for he wishes to court Lady Constance before marrying her, again—and let alone him sharing a bed with his wife, again.

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Normally, a husband sleeps in the room next to his wife, Tammy Dear.”  She caresses her niece’s cheek.

Miss Tamsin: “But that is my room, the one next to Mama Lady Constance, with a connecting door.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  Pleased beyond words, he sighs.  “Hhhh!  I would not wish to displace you Miss Tamsin.  I am happy to be situated wherever it is convenient.”

Lady Gwendolyn:  “Well Alfred/Fred, anticipating Miss Tamsin’s wanting to stay in the bed chamber she was first assigned, I have assigned you the bed chamber directly opposite Lady Constance’s bed chamber.  And it has been made ready for you.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “Thank you.”  He nods, for his sister Gwennies’ tact in assigning him a separate but nearby bed chamber to his wife and daughter in the Lancashire family guest bed chambers hallway—rather than across the castle along the Lindsay’s of York bed chambers hallway.  He still stuns at the revelation that he is a married man with a daughter–but less so as he continues to acknowledge his changed reality.

Then clasping her Papa’s and her Mama’s hands, Miss Tamsin leads them toward her father’s bed chamber.

Miss Tamsin: “Come!  Let us see about the comfort and decoration of Papa’s bed chamber.”  And Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby presumes that his daughter will be quite the fine hostess one day.

Inside his newly assigned Sussex Hall bed chamber, Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby bypasses the bed and walks to the large window with the drapes open letting the last of the West facing setting sun light in.  Of course, Miss Tamsin dashes over to the bed, jumps, and plops in the middle of the burgundy satin coverlet.

Lady Constance: “Tammy!  That is your Papa’s bed.  And I am certain that he does not wish you to wrinkle it.”  She blushes, for she remembers that she and her Alfred mightily wrinkled their marriage bed in the short week when they were first married, before he headed to war.  Such was the loving passion shared between them.

Miss Tamsin: “But Mama, we must determine if he will like this mattress.”  Then she thinks a moment.  “And if the bed is long enough for him.  Afterall, Papa is quite tall.”  She tilts her head looking over at her father, Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby.  Then she pats the bed to her left. “Come Mama.”  And then she pats the bed to her right.  “Come Papa.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby and Lady Constance exchange bemused glances toward each other, across the bed where their daughter lies down the middle.  And he realizes that they will have no need for a chaperone while he courts Lady Constance—that their daughter Tamsin will insert herself into that role.  Rather, his and Lady Constance’s difficulty will likely involve finding ways to spend time alone, together, in order to get to know each other better.

Then Miss Tamsin reiterates her invitation by looking at her Mama Lady Constance and patting the bed side to her left, then looking at her Papa and patting the bed side to her right.  So there is nothing for it, but for Miss Tamsin’s parents to lie down on opposite sides of her—after first doffing her slippers and his boots.  Though in doing so, his silver handled dagger in its sheath slips deeper into his boot unseen.

Lady Constance:  “My!  This mattress is quite comfortable!”  Lady Constance muses.  She has noted and appreciates the attention to detail in the elegance and comfort of the Sussex Hall Manor House.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “It is indeed–more so than my accommodations at my Parish of St. Timothy’s in London.”

Miss Tamsin: “Why do you live in a Church when you could live with us, Papa?”  She asks quizzically.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Because I was the Vicar there. And my need for lodgings was minimal—when I thought myself to be an unmarried man with no family.”  That statement seems to mollify his daughter, in the hope that she does not feel rejected by him with his long absence due to his amnesia due to his war injuries.

Lady Constance: “So no creature comforts there?”  Lady Constance teases, her thinking of him lying on a cot with slats being covered by a thin mattress, if any.  When her Alfred enjoyed the luxuries that his rank and privilege afforded him.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Sadly no.  Hhhh!”  He sighs for the ascetic and less complicated life that he will leave behind to take up with his new found life of privilege as the Lancashire ducal heir, and as a family man.

Lady Constance: “You will miss being a vicar, Alfred?”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Some of it, yes—helping people.  It is…was my calling.”

Miss Tamsin: “But you can still help people and be with Mama and I, Papa.  Just in a different way.”  Sage words of wisdom, from his nine year old daughter.  “There are ever so many people at our family seat in Lancashire–and when we are visiting Uncle Lord Duncan in Yorkshire–who need aid.” Lady Constance smiles at her daughter’s compassion

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Oh?”  He smiles.  “And what is your assessment of their greatest needs, Miss Tamsin?”

Miss Tamsin: “Well, when Mama Lady Constance and I distribute the parish baskets to the poor or ill each week, I would say there are many.  For example, the Wright family in Lancashire—he makes wheels—have a thriving business that sustains them, but they live in cramped quarters above his work shop.  So the children have no where to run and play, nor do they go to school and they can’t read.  The oldest girl is my age, and I have been trying to teach her her letters and some words. But then when we travel to Yorkshire to stay with your ducal parents–now my other set of ducal grandparents—jobs are scarce, and with there being many widows left from the war with naught to live on, I do not know how they scrape by a living to feed themselves nor their children.”  She shakes her small red ringletted head in sorrow.  “So perhaps, your and our greatest challenges lie in Yorkshire.  The Yorks have been grieving for so long for you that they have not kept up with managing their estates and the surrounding villages.  Though Uncle Lord Duncan does his best to help out, their Graces have resisted making any changes.  And there is a vicar opening at their Yorkshire country seat, if you want to continue to be a vicar whilst you are also my Papa and the Marquess of Malten.”

For Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby to admit that his daughter Miss Tamsin has said a mouthful, would be to under emphasize her keen mind and acuity about the rightness of issues and circumstances related to her Papa.

Lady Constance: “Now Tammy Dear, it will be for your Papa Lord Alfred to decide what … projects he will undertake—and where we will live as a family.”  Lady Constance mentions this both to underscore that they are a family, and that she seeks her husband’s input in their future decisions.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “You would follow me, Constance?  Even if I wished to return to St. Timothy’s Parish in London, or to take up the Vicarship in Yorkshire with its cottage rectory, rather than live at York Castle?”  He turns to his side watching her response.

Lady Constance:  “Whether thou goest, we will go.  Whether though lodgest, we will lodge.”  She quotes solemnly and with heartfelt warmth from the Book of Ruth in the Bible.

A peaceful calm descends upon Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby about the rightness of him being reunited with his family—especially his own little family of himself, his wife, and their daughter.  And he smiles at Lady Constance, and she returns his warm smile.  Then his sister Lady Gwendolyn standing in the corner also smiles.

Then once changed and refreshed, they all go on to have a lovely family reunion dinner between the Yorks and the Lancashires.


After dinner, Lord Duncan excuses himself from Sussex Manor, for him to head down to the Sussex Hall Dower House where his love Lady Elizabeth Blount resides with her family, including her brother Lord Christian the Earl of Sussex.  Lord Duncan is long overdue for a chat with the young Earl—about Lord Duncan’s intentions and wishes with regard to him wooing and wedding Lady Elizabeth.

The Countess of Sussex Lady Madeline, the Dowager Countess Lady Catherine, and her granddaughter Lady Elizabeth are sipping their tea in the front parlor.  Whereas Lord Christian Earl of Sussex is playing Billiards by himself and sipping brandy from a rather large snifter.

Lord Duncan: “Christian, do not tell me that you drink alone?  Let alone, that you wager your billiards skills against yourself?”

Lord Christian: “Duncan!  I wondered if you would grace us with your presence yet again this fine night.”  He tosses a look toward the youngish Viscount of Lindsay.  “Ooh sorry!  I did not wish to bring up a sore subject, now that you are no longer the ducal heir.”

Lord Duncan: “Is that what your seeming reluctance is about Lady Elizabeth and I courting and marrying?  That she will no longer be a Duchess in waiting, but she will merely be a Viscountess?”

Lord Christian: “Not at all.  My concern stems from your so quickly attaching yourself to my sister Lady Elizabeth—possibly as a means to previously extract yourself from your ducal parents’ expectations that you would marry Lady Constance Knightsbridge.  Is your affection for my sister real and long lasting?”

Lord Duncan: “Of course!  Lady Elizabeth is a delight—poised, graceful, and charming!  And we have formed a sincere attachment for each other.”  And with Lord Duncan being her first kiss, he intends to make certain that he is the only man to kiss her throughout her lifetime.

Lord Christian ponders Lord Duncan’s avowals for a few moments whilst he sets up his next shot—which lands his ball in the pocket, as he intended.

Lord Christian:  “Very well.  I will allow you to court my sister Lady Elizabeth for the following month during your stay up at our Sussex Hall Manor House whilst your York Castle roof is being repaired.  Then we will revisit your request to propose marriage—if each of you still feels affection for each other.”

Lord Duncan: “I guess that is the best outcome that Lady Elizabeth and I could hope for.” He nods his head.  For he is determined that by the end of Summer, Lady Elizabeth will be his wife.

Then the two gentlemen join the ladies in the Sussex Hall Dower House front parlor.  Lady Elizabeth rises gracefully and glides across the room to her brother Lord Christian and her beloved Lord Duncan [(5) below] who has a small smile upon his face, even if Lord Christian does not.

Lady Elizabeth:  “Why do you looks so grave, Christy?  You did not refuse Lord Duncan, did you?”  She blanches.

Lord Christian: “No, My Dear Elizabeth.  But I wish to set some ground rules.”

Lord Duncan: “Ground rules?  This is something new.”

Lord Christian: “Not entirely.  First, I will allow Lord Duncan to court you for the next four weeks to see if you seem well suited to each other.  Marriage is for life and I will not see you enter into marriage for any reason other than love.”  He glances over to his seated wife and Countess Lady Madeline and smiles tenderly at her, which she returns in kind.  “Second, during your courtship you will be well chaperoned with your ladies maid Hildy or one of us—no sneaking off to the hidden part of the garden terrace for kissing trysts.”

Lady Elizabeth pouts, thinking that she and Lord Duncan will have to find a new secluded kissing place.  Whereas, Lord Duncan blushes crimson to have been caught kissing his hoped for betrothed, Lady Elizabeth.

Lord Duncan: “How …?”

Lord Christian: “The hidden part of the garden terrace is directly below Lady Madeline’s and my bed chamber’s sitting room bay window.”  Then Lord Christian raises a quelling eye brow, even as he glowers at the blanching Lord Duncan.

Lady Elizabeth: “And what is your third rule, Christy?  Everything always comes in threes.”  She whines.

Lord Christian: “And thirdly, …” He pauses for effect, using his most serious elder brother gaze upon them—mostly because he had not thought of a third rule. Yet his young wife comes to his rescue.

Lady Madeline: “Thirdly, you will be discreet in your dealings with each other when in the company of others beyond family, such that no one knows that you are courting.  In that way, if you decide not to become engaged nor to marry, Lady Elizabeth’s reputation will not be harmed by a broken courtship.”  The blame unfairly resides with ladies who break off engagements, much more so than with the men, unfortunately.

Lady Elizabeth [(6) below] and Lord Duncan lightly hold their gloved hands and gaze upon each other for several soulful moments.  Then they each nod to Lord Christian.

Lord Duncan: “We accept, Lord Christian.  And Lady Elizabeth and I thank you for your permission in our getting to know each other better, in order to explore whether our futures are to align with each other—as we hope.”

Lady Elizabeth: “Yes, we do, Christy.”

Lord Christian: “Well then.”  He smiles broadly.  “Let us all enjoy some wine to toast your getting to know each other better.”  Their nearby footman brings in a decanter of wine with crystal goblets for everyone—except Lady Madeline prefers water.

Tomorrow will bring new possibilities for the Sussex Hall estates two known courting couples of Lady Constance and Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby—with their daughter Miss Tamsin—as well as, for Lady Elizabeth and Lord Duncan.  Let the courting begin!

To be continued with Chapter 21


Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 20 images  for  May 12, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1235)

1)  “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister  to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.  https://gratianads90.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/0-zwaaexpectationsbk2-cover-art_nov2218bygratianalovelace-256×401-300res-rev3.jpg

2)   Lord Christian Blount is Richard Armitage as John Thornton in the BBC’s 2004 drama North & South found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-215.jpg

3) LadyMadeline-in-pale-organza-dress-isKateWinslet-inTitanic_Oct0616viaPinterest_Grati-crop

4) Lady Constance Knightsbridge (is Margaret Clunie) and  Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred Lindsay (is David Oakes) in the garden is from Victoria; image found at the Sydney Morning Herald for December 16, 2017 https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/whats-on-tv-saturday-december-16-20171206-gzzjwh.html

5) Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay wearing a Waterfall cravat image is of Rupert Penry Jones as Captain Frederick Wentworth in “Persuasion” found at Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/44/3d/db/443ddbb85a3217c76611f6db0f891839.jpg

6) Lady Elizabeth in-ice-blue-with-lace-overlay evening gown-is Jessica Brown Findlay-asLadySybil-inDA_Oct1116viaExpressCoUK

was found  at http://images.express.co.uk/img/dynamic/79/590x/secondary/20001.jpg


“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 20  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for May 12, 2019 (Post #1235):

Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 19 story URL on my SAL blog Post #1232,  May 05,  2019:

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Family, Gratiana Lovelace, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Blessings for Baby Boy Sussex Birth, May10, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1234)

It’s a Royal baby Sussex boy!  Blessings!


And the newly increased happy family shares their joy!  Blessings again!

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son in St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)





Posted in Baby, Blessings, British, British Royal Family, Family, Gratiana Lovelace, social media, Society, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WCW! Delightfully amused with thumbs up Richard Armitage, May 08, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1233)

It’s the middle of the work week and anything can happen. We could be dizzyingly busy or delightfully amused.  I vote for the latter.  Ha!  To that end …. I hope that you enjoy my latest Richarding installment!
Hugs <3 & Cheers! Grati ;->

(as John Standring in Sparkhouse)

Image thanks to Valentina Ancilotti, myself, & Cyn Dainty!  Hugs <3

Posted in Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, Humor, John Standring, Joy, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Richarding, social media, Something About Love, Wild Card Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 19:  Ever Faithful,  May 05, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1232)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 19:  Ever Faithful,
May 05, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1232)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, left]

 [As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):   Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes;  Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie; Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay, daughter of Lady Constance and Lord Alfred is portrayed by Francesca Capaldi]

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.


“Expectations” (Book 2), Ch. 19:  Ever Faithful

As Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred conveyed somewhat sotto voce when reunited with his unremembered wife Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay his Marchioness of Malten, he was overwhelmed with everyone’s kindness.  Which Lady Constance intuitively understood to mean that he felt overwhelmed in general.  Though she assured him that they were all glad to have him back, she expects that theirs will be a patient reuniting of them as husband and wife.

So when Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby suggests to Lady Constance that they return to Sussex Hall main house for dinner via a separate carriage from the others so that they may speak privately, she acquiesces knowingly.  She even calms their daughter Tamsin’s slight fit of pique at her wanting to ride with them–but being denied that right—with his help by him reminding Tamsin that they had a nice long chat this afternoon.  So now it was her Mama Lady Constance’s turn for a chat.   And he also plans to move to the Sussex Hall manor house tonight, with his valise already packed—that he entrusts to his daughter Tamsin’s keeping in the other carriage, which somewhat mollifies the child.

So after the merest of moment’s shy hesitation, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred gentlemanly helps Lady Constance into their smaller enclosed carriage that Lord Christian loans them for the fifteen minute ride to the Sussex Hall manor house in the waning but still bright afternoon [(2) above].  There is a tension between them—yet not all tensions are bad.  Then once situated in the carriage—with Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby and Lady Constance sitting side by side on the only bench—there is an initially awkward silence between them.  He does not remember her.  Yet, he does not want to hurt her by admitting that—given her faithfulness to him in hoping for his safe return all these ten years.

And unfortunately, Lady Constance is sitting to his right, so Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred protectively holds his right hand away from her and inside his jacket—due to his mangled right hand where his pinkie finger was amputated to remove his signet ring by a thief, who was then forced to turn over the ring to authorities so that his family was at least notified eventually that he had fallen in battle, though they had been incorrectly told that he had died.

Lady Constance notices Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby keeping his right hand away from her.  She wants to put him at his ease.

Lady Constance:  “Alfred …  May I address you informally?”  She asks hesitantly.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “Of course, you may.  But I must tell you, that I have thought that my name was Frederick or Fred, for the past ten years, so I might not recognize that you are referring to me when you call me Alfred.”  He tries to give her a small smile.

Lady Constance: “Ah! I am glad that you almost remembered who you were by picking a name so close to your own.  When we were children, I called you Freddie.”  She smiles shyly at him also.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Ah!  And did I call you Connie, similar to my calling my sister Gwennie?”  He asks unknowingly—but hitting his guess unerringly on the mark.

Lady Constance: “Just so—when we were children.” She smiles warmly at him.  And they both pause in speaking for a moment.  “I want you to know that I will not force you to confide in me about what happened to you in the war and after.  But you may tell your story to me any time you feel that you want to.  I am a good listener.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Thank you, Madam. … I mean, … Constance.”  He uses a slightly less formal mode of address to her—without her title—because he feels that addressing her by Connie would be too familiar.

Lady Constance:  “Of course.”  Her face falls at his formality with her.  “I know that I am ten years older now–at eight and twenty years–than when you last saw me.  And having had our child, my figure is not as youthful as it once was …”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: He blurts out. “You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!”  He gazes at her with awe and astonishment.  “It is I who does not feel worthy of you, Constance–not that you are unworthy of me.”  He assures her.

Lady Constance:   Gently touching his upper right arm, she gazes directly into his eyes—despite the darkened lighting in the carriage.  “Oh no!  You have matured most handsomely.  I was only concerned that … why do you hide your right hand away from me?  Did you not wish to even share that small connection of holding hands?”  She has missed the many small intimacies that they used to share ten years ago—even, them just holding hands.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “I … My apologies, I should have explained to you that my right hand sustained a severe injury after I was cut down in battle.  And thieves roam the battle fields taking valuables off of corpses—however they can.”  He adds cryptically.  Again, he does not want to shock anyone about his injuries.

Lady Constance:  “Hhh!”  She gasps in shock.  “How dreadful!”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  “And though I was not a corpse, I was unconscious when a thief removed my signet ring from my swollen pinkie finger—by cutting it off.”  It takes a moment before Lady Constance understands his meaning—until he holds up his glove glad hand and pushes his right glove’s pinkie finger into an unnatural bend, then squeezes the missing digit.  “I have cotton padding in my glove to give the illusion of my still having a finger.  And I always wear a glove to cover my disfigurement—unless I am bathing, shaving, or sleeping.”  He explains to her shocked face.

Then she schools her expression to one of caring and concern.

Lady Constance: “Oh Alfred!  How you have suffered, My Love!  Does your hand injury still hurt you?”  She asks tenderly and solicitously.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Not any more—not like it did when I was first injured.  Well, it is sore now and again.” He admits belatedly.  “But I am grateful that the monks were able to stem the infection that followed, so that I did not lose my whole hand.”  He grimaces at this painful memory.  He tries to blot out his war experiences and injuries as best he can.  But sometimes, those memories haunt his sleep.

Lady Constance:  “I am glad that the monks were able to tend to you as well.”  She hooks her left hand around his lower right arm, but up near his elbow—her supposing rightly that his lower arm does not hurt.  Then she leans her head upon his upper arm and shoulder.  “Oh Alfred!  When we were told that you had died, but that your body was not recovered, I did not believe that you were dead.  I felt that I would know if you were not living—our connection to each other had been like that all of our lives.  And within me, I knew that I was carrying our child, Tamsin, who was born five months later.  If I had given in to thinking you dead, I would have been swallowed up by my despair at being parted from you.  And I could not risk losing our child, perhaps even your heir.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred:  Gazing upon Lady Constance’s beautiful and guileless face, he stifles the urge to caress her cheek in his gloved palm.  It is too soon for him to act on his impulse of familiar intimacy with her.  “I’m glad that you survived without me and that Tamsin was born.  She is a remarkable child—all due to your love and guidance.  And Duncan had told me how faithful to my memory you were by not accepting my death notice.  How hard that must have been for you.”  He empathizes with her.

They have each had a difficult time these last ten years.  Yet maybe they can move forward, together.

Lady Constance: “Thank you!  Mama and Papa feared that I would be branded a lunatic with my insisting that you yet lived–and then I would be locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane.”  Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred looks shocked.  “But our Tammy, as I call her, has been my one joy while I waited for you to return to me.”

She gazes up at him gazing down at her.  It would be the perfect moment for a kiss, were they not each too shy to venture such an intimate gesture with each other.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “May I confess something to you, Constance?”

Lady Constance:  “Always.”  She smiles up at him, for they were friends and playmates first, before later falling in love with each other.  But she has a little nagging fear that her husband had turned his affections to another in the ten years since she saw him.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Constance, I want you to know that I have been a chaste clergyman these last ten years.  Though many a parishioner had tried to match me with their daughter or granddaughter, marrying did not feel right to me.  Perhaps some part of me knew that I was already married.”  Lady Constance’s breathing slows to a normal pace in relief for his confession.  Then he reveals what he most fears to tell her, because he would not hurt this kind and beautiful Lady, if he could help it.  But he feels that he must be honest with her.  “And I do not remember … us.”  His second confession hangs in the air as if it were a feather suspended by competing breezes.  “But I so wish that I did … remember us.”

Lady Constance:  Sitting up and back a bit from him, she hesitantly asks him. “What are you saying?”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I guess what I am saying is that if we are to … resume being husband and wife …?”

Lady Constance: “Yes?”  She relaxes again.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “Well, I feel that I need to court you, and even for us to then have a wedding ceremony—in order for me to feel truly married to you, and to be a husband to you.”  He flushes with embarrassment, yet glad that the lower light conditions of the carriage somewhat hides his face from her.  “Would you consider my request to court you?  And then that we have a wedding ceremony–again, I suppose?” He smiles warmly at her.

And to Lady Constance, anything that is not an outright rejection of her from Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby gives her hope.  And hope is what she has lived on these past ten years.  Hope that her Alfred would be returned to her, to them—to she and their daughter Tamsin.  And Lady Constance’s hope that she and Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby will find their  loving bond  again, keeps her faith in their love alive.

Lady Constance:  “Yes.  It will be lovely for me getting to know you now.”  She offers him her right hand, which he takes in his left hand and kisses her glove covered knuckles.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “As it will be for me getting to know you now.”

And Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred truly means that.  For Lady Constance’s steadfastness and faithfulness to him, reveals to him the depth of their love for each other in the past.  And if their love for each other had been that deep and abiding  in the past, then perhaps, he believes that their love can be a joy between them again, in their futures.

To be continued with Chapter 20


Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 19 images  for  May 05, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1232)

1)  “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister  to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.

2)   Lady Constance looking  uncertain is Margaret Clunie , with Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby looking shy is David Oakes , from Victoria’s archery scene;  image found at https://www.heyuguys.com/exclusive-margaret-clunie-victoria-christmas-special-return-season-3/

“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 19  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for May 05, 2019 (Post #1232):

Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 18 story URL on my SAL blog Post #1230,  April  28,  2019:

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, David Oakes, Drama, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

WCW Happy May Day with flowers from some Richard Armitage characters, May 01, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1231)

WCW Happy May Day with flowers from some Richard Armitage characters, May 01, 2019 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1231)

Have you ever taken a basket of flowers and hung it on a neighbor’s/friend’s door knob as a May Day gift?

Perhaps Richard or one of his characters could deliver them?

So I’m sharing with you a May Day basket craft I did from an earlier post, in case you would like to make one today.

Grati’s directions for making a paper May Day basket are found here:


Wishing you a lovely day! Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->


Posted in Craft, Creativity, Flowers, Goodwill, Gratiana Lovelace, John Porter, John Thornton, May Day, Richard Armitage, Wild Card Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 18:  An Unexpected Reunion,  April 28, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1230)

“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 18:  An Unexpected Reunion,  April 28, 2019  by Gratiana Lovelace  (Post #1230)

(an original Regency romance copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2018 – 2019; all rights reserved);  [(1) story cover art, below]

[As is my custom, from time to time  I will illustrate my story with my ideal cast consisting of (in order of appearance/mention in this chapter):   Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay the Marchioness of Malten portrayed by Margaret Clunie;  ;  Miss Tamsin Knightsbridge Lindsay, daughter of Lady Constance Knightsbridge is portrayed by Francesca Capaldi;  Rupert Penry-Jones as Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay;  ; Lord Robert Knightsbridge and Marquess of Wyre is portrayed by Hugh Grant ;  Lady Gwendolyn Lindsay of York is portrayed by Emma Thompson; and Vicar Frederick Whitby (aka Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten) portrayed by David Oakes.]

Author’s story content and serializing scheduling notes:  For the most part, my ratings for the chapters will be PG-13—for romantic interludes and dramatic moments.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with these ratings, then please do not read that chapter.  This is my disclaimer.   And I always put the previous chapter’s brief recap at the top of the next chapter.  Also, I hope to post new chapters weekly on Sundays.  I hope that you enjoy this chapter.


“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 18:  An Unexpected Reunion

Alive?  Alive. ALIVE!  Lady Constance Knightsbridge Lindsay Marchioness of  Malten’s heart races with hope as she stares at her brother-in-law Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay’s pronouncement a few moments ago in the Sussex Hall Front Drawing Room.  Her beloved husband Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten lives. He lives.  Her eyes fill with joyous tears. Then she hears the second most loved voice calling to her, as if from far away, down a long tunnel of overhanging trees.

Miss Tamsin:  “Mama.”  She cries out in excitement as her Mother Lady Constance freezes her gaze at the young girl’s uncle Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay. “Mama.”  She tugs at her Mama’s arms.  Then in one last frantic bid to shake her mother out of this unsettling waking dream, Miss Tamsin puts her heart and soul into getting her Mama’s attention.  “Mama!  We must go fetch Papa!  Lord Alfred!  Your husband!”

Lady Constance:  Her reverie broken, she looks down at her imploring daughter Tamsin’s face. “What did you say, Tammy Dear?”

Miss Tamsin: “Let us go find Papa at the Sussex Hall Dower House.”

Lady Constance: “Why would he be there?”  She asks in puzzlement.

Lord Duncan: “Constance, I am so sorry.  I had wanted to break the news gently that my brother Alfred has returned to us.

Lord Robert: “Well Duncan, I do not believe there would be a gentle way to say that a man we all thought was dead is now found to be alive.”

Shoving his shoulders in frustration, Lady Gwendolyn looks in astonishment at Lord Wyre, Lady Constance’s brother.

Lady Gwendolyn:  “How can you be so calm, Lord Robert?  My brother is alive!  Your sister’s husband is alive!  Our niece Tammy’s father is alive!”

Lord Robert:  “Lady Gwendolyn, I am anything but calm that my sister’s hopes and prayers will be fulfilled in Lord Alfred being returned to her alive.”  He bristles at her tacit suggestion that he is unfeeling toward his sister Lady Constance.

The Duke and Duchess of Lancashire—the parents of Lord Robert Marques of Wyre and his sister Lady Constance, and grandparents to Miss Tamsin—stand at the open Drawing Room entrance with astonished faces.  But they are quickly shown to the settee, before they fall down with their shock.

Duke of Lancashire:  “Robert!  Is this true?  Lord Alfred is alive?”  The air in the room is tinged with the portent of something wonderful happening.  And everyone realizes that this moment will redefine all of their lives, forever.

Lady Constance:  Her patience snaps.  “Yes, Papa Duke!  Alfred is alive, and living as someone named Vicar Whitby.  We will find out more later, but I must go to him now.”

Lord Duncan: Gently laying a staying hand upon her arm, Lord Duncan cautions.  “Constance,  my brother is a changed man—with him having lived as a vicar for nearly nine years, and not remembering who he was, not knowing if he had any family.  He was and felt isolated—and he has had to cope with that isolation all of these years.  And the news now that he is in fact a Marquess and heir to a dukedom—let alone a married man and father—has  taken him by surprise, as much as we are surprised in being reunited with him.  I had hoped to introduce him to his family in small groups tomorrow afternoon and evening.”  And he realizes now that his plan will have to be altered.

Miss Tamsin: “Do not listen to Uncle Lord Duncan, Mama.  Let us go to Papa now!”  She tugs upon her Mama’s arm pleadingly.

Lady Gwendolyn: “Yes, let us go to my brother Alfred.”

Lord Robert: “Very well, I will order the carriage and convey Constance, Tammy, myself, and Lord Duncan, Lady Gwendolyn and their parents  to the Sussex Hall Dower House to …”  He pauses.  “… to welcome Lord Alfred home.”

Duchess of Lancashire: “God speed to you all.”  She waves with tears in her eyes.


Lord Duncan had little time to properly explain to his parents the Duke and Duchess of  York why he insisted that they accompany him to the Sussex Hall Dower House.   It was not until they were seated in the large carriage that Lord Duncan broke the news of Lord Alfred being alive and returned to them.  Their parents were overjoyed—but cautious.  They wish to see their son Alfred with their own eyes.

The lot of them will no doubt overwhelm his brother Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby.  But that cannot be avoided.  They have all grieved for Alfred’s loss these past almost ten years.  And, in truth, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred has been alone for so long that he must welcome being embraced by his long lost family.  Or that is Lord Duncan’s hope.

When the carriage arrives at the Sussex Hall Dower House, the sun is only beginning to set—and the late afternoon light baths the sky in shades of pinks and purples.  The Duke and Duchess of York are graciously ushered into the large front parlor where Lord Christian and Lady Madeline are chatting with Lady Elizabeth—their grandmother Lady Catherine is still napping before dinner in one hour at 7 o’clock.  They keep country hours in the country—with everyone in bed by 11 o’clock at night.

Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of  York  appears before his parents.  And Lady Elizabeth Blount rises gracefully upon seeing her beloved Lord Duncan.  Then she sprints across the room to greet him joyfully.

Lady Elizabeth: “Duncan!  I was afraid that you would choose to dine up at Sussex Hall tonight, rather than be with us.”

Lord Duncan: “No, I will always want to be with you.”  He smoulders holding her hands in his hands at his chest as he gazes down at her, drowning in the beautiful azure blue of her eyes.

Lady Elizabeth: “Hhhhh!”  Her face conveys her happiness.

Duke of York: “Well?  Where is he?”

All eyes turn to him.  Not apprised that His Grace has been made aware of Lord Alfred’s return, Lord Christian replies vaguely, but with great respect.

Lord Christian: “Of whom are you speaking, Your Grace?”

Duchess of York: “Our son, Lord Alfred!  His brother Lord Duncan said that he has been returned to us, alive.”  The joyful tears in her eyes speak of her Mother’s love for his lost son.

Lord Christian: “Yes.  Of course.  We have not seen him since he went to his room earlier this afternoon.”

Sticking her head into the door and then leading her Mama Lady Constance behind her, Miss Tamsin shares what she knows of Lord Alfred’s whereabouts.

Miss Tamsin: “Well he had walked over toward the Sussex Hall manor house, and we shared an apple together.  But I did not realize who he was until I spoke with Lady Gwendolyn.  Papa said that she had curly hair like mine when she was young.”

Lady Madeline: “Christian, let us ask our butler to find out if any of the staff has seen Vicar Whitby, I mean Lord Alfred, has returned to the Sussex Hall Dower House.”

She  also stands and pulls the bell and calls for tea and refreshments to be brought for everyone.  When two footman bring the tea and small sandwiches, they also relay that Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred is in his room.  In a quandry as to whether to summon him to their large family gathering of Ducal parents, siblings, in-laws, wife, and child, Lord Duncan elects to fetch him, himself.  Yet there is a plaintive request from the youngest person in the room.

Miss Tamsin: “Oh please, Uncle Lord Duncan!  Let me come with you.  He has already met me in the woods—though at the time, neither of us knew that we were parent and child.”

Lady Constance: “I agree with my daughter, Tammy.  Duncan, please take her with you.”

Lord Duncan: “Very well.”  He says resignedly.

As they walk out to the foyer and up the stairs to the guest bed chambers wing, Lord Duncan and his niece Miss Tamsin are silent—for a moment.  Little children abhor a vacuum.  So Miss Tamsin speaks her mind.

Miss Tamsin: “I hope that my Papa will like me.  Do you think that he will like me, Uncle Lord Duncan?”

Lord Duncan:  Smiling and taking her hand in his as they continue their walk, Lord Duncan assures his niece.  “Of course your Papa will like you, Tammy.  He will love you—as we all do.”

Miss Tamsin: “Yes, he said as much when me met near the woods.  But he did not know then that I was his daughter.  Maybe he was just being polite.”  Her little brow frets, even as her mouth pouts.

Lord Duncan: “I am certain that he meant it.”

Then reaching  Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred’s chamber door, they find it open, with him packing his belongings.

Lord Duncan: “Are you going somewhere Alfred?  I mean Fred?”

Without looking up from tightly packing his valise, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred nods.

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “I am, Duncan.  I find that I cannot wait to see my parents until tomorrow.  I plan to remove myself to the Sussex Hall manor house this evening after dinner.”

Miss Tamsin: “Splendid!”  She claps her hands and enters her Papa’s bed chamber behind her Uncle Lord Duncan.  “I will like meeting my other set of grandparents properly.”

Unnerved at hearing the young girl’s voice and now knowing who she is, Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby whirls around to face her.

Vicar Whitby/ Lord Alfred: “Your other set of grandparents?”

Miss Tamsin: “Yes, Papa.”  She smiles, Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby blanches.  “Everyone came to welcome you and to fetch you.”  Miss Tamsin places her small hand in her Father’s larger hand.  “I shall enjoy having a Papa—for myself, of course.  But also, having you as my Papa means that you will also return to my Mama Lady Constance.  She has missed you so.  And loves you so much that she never accepted that you had died in the war.  And now, you see, she was right.”

Vicar Whitby/ Lord Alfred: Taking a deep breath, then resolving himself to his unexpectedly quick family reunion, he says.  “Duncan, Tamsin, let us go greet our family.”  His training as a vicar is serving him well as he does not show fear—even though a small part of him worries that he will disappoint his family by not remembering them.


After some tea sipping and small sandwich noshing, the Sussex Hall Dower House Drawing Room is eerily silent as they await Lord Alfred being fetch by Lord Duncan and Miss Tamsin.  Each individual’s eyes  dart to the open entrance, eager to catch their first glimpse of Lord Alfred.  In the end, it is Miss Tamsin who leads her father through the Sussex Hall Dower House Drawing Room door.

Miss Tamsin:  “Come on, Papa!”  Miss Tamsin smiles while tugging on his left hand and pulling him into the Drawing Room —since Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred rarely offers his right hand, due to his infirmity of his amputated right pinkie finger.

The room gives out a collective gasp, and every looks hopefully at  Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred—none-more so that Lady Constance.  But she waits her turn.

Duke of York:  “Is that really you, boy?  My eye sight is failing me.  Come closer.”  Lord Alfred looks anxiously at Lord Duncan.

Lord Duncan: “Yes, Papa.  Alfred has returned to us.”  Then he gives his brother a slight nudge, that propels Lord Alfred deeper into the room and to the side of an elderly couple sitting upon a settee.  Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby drops to one knee beside the Duke and Duchess of York.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby:  “There now.  Is this better?”  He gazes into their faces, the faces of his parents—wanting to remember them, but him not finding a scrap of memory slipping out to the surface.

Duchess of York: “It is you, Alfred!”  She sighs in wonder.  “We thought that you were lost to us forever.”  She cries as she caresses his cheek with the open palm of her hand.  “But now, you have come back to us!”

Duke of York: “Well, say something, Alfred.  Your Mama Duchess is speaking with you.”  Ever a bit on the gruff side, the Duke of York is overwhelmed to have his son returned to him.

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Of course, Papa.  Mama, I am glad to see you both.”  He smiles warmly at them, his parents.  But he does not remember them.  And that saddens him.

Lady Gwendolyn: “It really is you, Alfred.”  She looks upon her long lost brother in amazement.  “I must say you’ve matured nicely over the years.”  Then she smiles.

Miss Tamsin leans into her Papa and helps him out.

Miss Tamsin: “That is your sister, my Aunt Lady Gwendolyn, Gwennie.”

Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby: “Gwennie.” He smiles.  “Does your hair still curl?  I had mentioned to Miss Tamsin earlier that I remembered that your hair looked much like hers, when you were a girl.”

Lady Gwendolyn: “It does curl.  And my hair as a child did resemble Tammy’s hair now.”  She starts to tear up at her brother remembering her.  And Lord Robert takes a clean linen handkerchief from inside his jacket and hands it to her.  Then he gives her shoulders a gentle and supportive squeeze.

Then Lord Alfred/Vicar Whitby looks around the room and spies a lady he has not yet met—a beautiful lady who glides toward him, even as he stands up from his parents’ side and strides toward her, them meeting in the middle of the room.

Lady Constance holds out her hand to him.  And Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred lightly clasps her fingers and gives her a slight bow.  He does not know her, but he surmises correctly who she must be.

However for confirmation, Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred looks over at Miss Tamsin who mouths the word Mama to him. Then he turns back to Lady Constance and smiles.

Lady Constance: “Alfred, I have waited so long to see you again.  You have come back to us, to me.”

Vicar Whitby/Lord Alfred: “My Lady Constance.  I am delighted to make your …”  He corrects himself.  For she is not a mere acquaintance.  Lady Constance is his wife—even if he does not remember her.  “… to be welcomed so warmly by you and everyone.  And may I say, that I am also a little overwhelmed with everyone’s kindness.”

Lady Constance steps closer to her husband, leaning in to whisper into his ear.

Lady Constance: “We are very much glad to have you back.”  Lady Constance beckons to her daughter and Miss Tamsin comes to stand with them, creating a very poignant family tableau.

And Lady Elizabeth Blount gazes lovingly up at Lord Duncan who gazes lovingly down at her.  With Lord Duncan no longer to be pressured by his parents to marry Lady Constance—as his brother’s former betrothed, when she was actually his wife–Lady Elizabeth hopes that she and Lord Duncan may have a smooth path to courtship on the path to marrying each other.

However reconstituting the marriage of Lady Constance with Lord Alfred/Vicar of Whitby will require some effort, on both of their parts.  He does not remember her.  And he feels wholly inadequate to provide her with any immediate emotional  understanding of their resuming their lives together as husband and wife.

To be continued with Chapter 19


Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement):  Chapter 18 image  for  April 28, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1230)

  1. “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art is an image representing Lady Elizabeth Blount, sister to the Earl of Sussex in black evening gown–is that of actress Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil in Downton Abby found at http://www.internet-d.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2012/02/JESSICA-BROWN-FINDLAY-as-Lady-Sybil-Crawley.jpg ; the text font  is Vivaldi.


“Expectations” (Book 2)  Ch. 18  URL for Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad story Post  for April  28,  2019 (Post #1230):


Previous “Expectations” (Book 2)  Chapter 17 story URL on my SAL blog Post #1229,  April  21,  2019:

Posted in "Expectations" (Book 2), Creative Writing, Gratiana Lovelace, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Romance, Social Justice, social media, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment