“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 33: Wedding Night,
August 19, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1256; & 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 importance/mention in this chapter): Lord Duncan of York, the Viscount Lindsay (portrayed by Rupert Penry-Jones); and his fiancé Lady Elizabeth Blount of Sussex (portrayed by Jessica Brown Findlay)]
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 or Mondays. I hope that you enjoy this chapter.
Ch. 33: Wedding Night
The wedding of Lady Elizabeth Blount of Sussex to Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay of York is an elegant and intimate affair held in the Sussex Village Church the following Monday. Lady Elizabeth looks beautiful in her ivory lace overlay of her ice blue satin wedding gown that had been her Grandmother Sussex’s and also her own late mother’s wedding gown. And she will also be adorned with the delicate York tiara designated for the brides of the Viscounts of Lindsay, Lady Elizabeth looks and feels like a princess. The sentimentality of her choices brings her family to happy tears of joy.
Smiling at the altar as his bride is escorted to him by her elder brother Lord Christian Blount the Earl of Sussex, Lord Duncan looks no less handsome than his bride Lady Elizabeth looks beautiful. Lord Duncan’s [(2) below] wedding ensemble in colors of cream and ivory cravat and waistcoat, complements hers—without seeming to be overtly matching. And the church’s decorations of abundant and roses in cream and pink also convey their pleasing aromas throughout the wedding ceremony.
Lady Elizabeth’s and Lord Duncan’s wedding vows are heartfelt as they gaze upon each other and recite after the Vicar of Sussex Village—with the Bridegroom’s elder brother Lord Alfred Lindsay the Marquess of Malten and Vicar serving as his Best Man supporter, rather than officiating at the wedding himself. And Lady Elizabeth’s sister-in-law Lady Madeline Sinclair Blount the Countess of Sussex, serves as her Matron of Honor supporter
Lord Duncan: “I Duncan Edward Lindsay take you Elizabeth Catherine Blount to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law. This is my solemn vow–and thereto I plight thee my troth.”
Lord Duncan takes a deep breath after having gotten through his speaking of his wedding vows and smiles lovingly at Lady Elizabeth. It is her turn to speak her wedding vows to him now—and she surprises him with her strong and steady voice, when her nerves had still been quite evident in the days leading up to their nuptials this day.
Lady Elizabeth: “I Elizabeth Catherine Blount take you to Duncan Edward Lindsay be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to …” Lady Elizabeth pauses there. For tradition would have her vowing to obey her husband. And though she is not averse to the general sentiment, the overt expectation that her husband should have dominion over her yet rankles her. She notices the Vicar leaning forward and mouthing the word obey. And now the wedding guests lean forward, them also waiting to hear the conclusion of Lady Elizabeth’s wedding vows. Then she turns back to gaze up into the eyes of her bridegroom Lord Duncan, who grins for her continuing disagreement with this one issue in the wording of the bride’s wedding vows. And Lord Duncan gives her hands resting in his hands a gentle squeeze, he smiles in chagrin to the vicar, then he turns back to Lady Elizabeth and mouths to her to cherish, and she continues with a smile. “…to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law. This is my solemn vow–and thereto I plight thee my troth.”
The wedding guests sigh in relief. Though the bride has deviated slightly in the wording of her wedding vows, they should still be considered to be married legally—if slightly unconventionally.
Then Lord Duncan and Lady Elizabeth are pronounced man and wife, introduced as the Viscount and Viscountess Lindsay of York, and sent walking down the church aisle with radiant smiles of joy, to the peeling of church bells, the well wishes of their family and friends, and copious happy tears of the ladies of both families. And once outside the church, Lord Duncan lifts his bride into his arms above his head and twirls her around to the delight of the Sussex villagers gathered to catch a glimpse of Lady Elizabeth, now the Viscountess of Lindsay—before he brings her back to the ground and kisses her soundly to the clapping and cheering of the local populace.
Lord Duncan’s happiness in wedding his wife Lady Elizabeth this day will not be constrained by station or protocol. And Lady Elizabeth’s effusive joy shines with her love for her husband Lord Duncan as they sweetly kiss frequently in their open carriage ride back to Sussex Hall for their wedding breakfast, that is really high tea in the late afternoon—a later in the day wedding was a consideration given to the pregnant wives sister-in-laws of Lady Madeline’s residual and Lady Penelope’s raging morning sickness with their respective with child conditions.
And after much toasting to the bride and groom at the post wedding, wedding breakfast–eating yummy foods, greeting and thanking everyone as they also show off their new wedding rings–Lord Duncan and Lady Elizabeth are finally able to slip away to their bridal suite for tonight.
However, it seems that there was a slight difficulty at first for where their wedding night will take place. The Sussex Hall Manor house with its dozens of bed chamber and sitting room suites seems to be the ideal location. Then Lord Duncan’s Valet overheard yesterday that some jovial traditional—meaning annoying—interruptions were planned for the wedding couple. This will not do for Lord Duncan. He has been tenderness itself in calming his bride’s nerves about their wedding night. And he can only imagine how mortified, she will feel if they are having an amorous moment and a group of people–comprised of villagers, Sussex Hall Estate staff, and perhaps a few family members–start to sing to the newlyweds under their bed chamber window, or worse.
So after Lord Duncan pleads for privacy on his wedding night with his bride’s brother Lord Christian, a ruse was planned–sending a fake wedding couple away in a carriage. Lord Duncan’s valet and Lady Elizabeth’s ladies maid were attired in their employers’ clothes. And from the distance of the stables, no one could tell the difference.
As Lord Duncan leads his bride Lady Elizabeth further into the upper stories of Sussex Hall on the North side—overlooking a small moat—they come to a pair of double doors leading into one of several of the royal state guest apartments, which were last used over fifty years ago.
Lady Elizabeth: “I have never been exploring on this floor of Sussex Hall before. Is it even habitable?” She asks uncertainly, her noticing a stray cobweb in the corner of the spacious foyer before the double doors.
Lord Duncan: “I have been promised that our bridal bed chamber would be made habitable for us, My Love.” He smiles hopefully, wanting this night, their wedding night, to be private and joyful—with every comfort that he can show her, including privacy. He will bolt the doors to the royal apartment suite once they are inside.
Lord Duncan lifts a lit candle from its nearby wall sconce holder and slowly opens one side of the impressive double doors and walk inside. There they find several companion wall sconces waiting to be lit. Lord Duncan lights every other wall sconce as he leads her to what he hopes will be their bed chamber. The low light casting a forgiving glow upon the elegant but quite out of fashion furnishings. At least the hall table seems to have been dusted, and no drop cloths are upon the furniture. So Lord Duncan remains hopeful for the comfort and privacy of their bed chamber this night.
Lady Elizabeth: Clinging to her new husband’s coat tails, Lady Elizabeth looks around her in awe. “Everything looks so old, but of the highest quality. Do you think a King or Queen ever slept here?”
Lord Duncan: “I do not know. We will have to ask Lord Christian—tomorrow.” He affirms he intends not to focus upon the history of these rooms, but rather, upon the rooms present occupants, themselves. “Ah! Here it is!” He sighs in relief at finding a door festooned with a fresh floral wreath—that was placed there to indicate which bed chamber had been prepared for them.
Lady Elizabeth: “How lovely!” She smiles shyly at her husband.
Then she turns the door knob and pushes the bedchamber door open to reveal an enormous room with a large canopied bed in pale blue satin bedding across from a fireplace with a low fire built in its hearth, but plenty of wood nearby to stoke it higher. They walk inside the bed chamber to find every comfort imaginable provided for them—a small dining table with flagons of wine and water, with a tray of fruit, cheese, and such, underneath a clear glass covering, with crystal goblets, china, sterling silver table ware, and linen table cloths and napkins.
And there is even a separate bathing and necessary chamber behind the bed chamber’s fireplace that they can see through the open hearth. So they walk through the open door to one side of the fireplace to access the bathing room. Through this room is a dressing room where they find their trunks of clothes open—with some clothing for tomorrow hung up on hangers, as well as night things left accessible by their being laid folded over some of the chest of drawers pulled open. Then there is another door that lets out on the other side of the fireplace and they are back in their wedding night bed chamber for this night.
Having previously lit a few more wall candle sconces and then placed the lit candle he was carrying into a wall sconce holder, Lord Duncan draws his new wife into his arms. Lady Elizabeth [(3) below] gazes up at her husband with loving adoration.
Lord Duncan: “I am very well pleased that our wish for privacy and for comfort tonight will be accomplished with these rooms.” Lord Duncan leans down and lightly kisses his young wife. “Are you also pleased, My Love?” He asks yearningly. He is trying to be a patient lover, but he does so hope to get to the loving part of this night.
Having replaced her sense of wonder in her surroundings with the realization that she and her new husband are entirely alone, Lady Elizabeth realizes that she is a bride and will become a wife this night.
Lady Elizabeth: “I am.” She replies in a small voice. Her nervousness is returning.
Lord Duncan: Hoping to ease her nervousness, he asks impishly. “Shall we try out the bed?” Then he races out of the dressing room into the bed chamber and jumps onto the top of the bed’s mattress. He bounces on his bum–him having turned his body as he leapt. “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!” He laughs as he removes his boots.
Lady Elizabeth: Clapping her hands with glee, Lady Elizabeth dashes right after him and jumps onto the bed as well. “Ha ha ha ha ha!” She giggles. “Oh Duncan! This mattress is so well cushioned! As old as it must be, I would never have thought it to be this comfortable!” She marvels. She slips off her wedding slippers.
Of course, her brother Christian Lord Sussex and his wife Madeline Lady Sussex had the mattress and bedding replaced for them.
Lord Duncan: “Nor I.” Then his eyes gleam. “Shall we see how high we can bounce?”
Lord Duncan stands on the bed mattress, then holds out his hands and helps her stand up as well. Then they hold hands and begin to bounce upon the bed, higher, higher, until their heads reach the bed’s tall canopied satin covering. They collapse onto the mattress in a fit of giggles for being so silly—with them rolling around its large surface.
Lady Elizabeth: “Ha ha ha! Oh Duncan, I have not bounced on a bed in years!”
Lord Duncan: “Nor I. But it seemed like something fun that we should do, together.”
Lady Elizabeth: “That was fun, Duncan!” She smiles sweetly up at her husband now leaning over her in their bridal bed. “I am glad that we can still have fun as a married couple.” Afterall, Lady Elizabeth is just eighteen years to Lord Duncan’s twenty five years. And her youthful exuberance is part of what has endeared her to him.
Lord Duncan: “I promise that we shall never forget to have fun, My Darling Elizabeth.” He leans down and kisses her gently, tenderly, lovingly, and adoringly. “My love? Shall we remove our wedding clothes and be more comfortable in our night things?” He smoulders as he gently caresses his index finger down her cheek.
Lady Elizabeth: “As you wish.” She sighs. Then she startles. “I will …”
Lord Duncan: “You will…” He smiles kindly at her slightly trembling voice.
Lady Elizabeth: “This gown has the fastenings in the back. I will need you to undo them for me.” She bites her lower lip. Lady Elizabeth has only ever had her ladies maid help her undress—except for Lady Madeline when she was trying on her wedding gown. And she realizes that their removing their wedding clothes is possibly a prelude to their loving each other this night.
Lord Duncan: “Of course, My Love. And will you help me with my cravat? I was trying to loosen it earlier, but the blasted linen seems to be knotted too tight.” She playfully swats at him for using such language in front of her. “My apologies, my dear. But you would swear, also, were your neck trussed up like a Christmas goose.” He widens his eyes teasingly at her.
Lady Elizabeth: “Well, we ladies also have constricting garments. They are called corsets.” Now she smiles teasingly at him as she tugs at his cravat. Little does she know that he is as eager to help her out of her corset as he hopes she is in releasing him from his cravat. “There! I have your cravat undone.” She timidly removes her hands from his loosened cravat.
Lord Duncan moves to sit up upon the bed, and he guides her to do so also.
Lord Duncan: “Will you please help me unravel myself, Elizabeth?” He asks tenderly.
Lady Elizabeth: “Alright, if you wish.” She looks at the two strips of his cravat neck cloth that are hanging on either side of his neck. So she reaches up to his neck, pushing one length of his neck cloth around to the back, and then grabbing it with her other hand. This causes her to lean in toward him, each time that she reaches behind his neck for the cravat.
Lord Duncan: “I wish to kiss you, My Elizabeth.” Then he does—tenderly at first, then with growing adoration and passion. And Lady Elizabeth stops her cravat unraveling and lays her hands upon his shoulders as he kisses her, and she kisses him back.
As her arms eventually reach around his neck and runs her fingers through his hair, his arms and hands embrace her—with his hands deftly untying her wedding gown bodice corset ribbons until her gown bodice loosens and sags.
Lady Elizabeth: “Oh!” She clutches the front of her wedding gown bodice to her breasts. “I must change into my night gown. Thank you for your help, Duncan. Please excuse me.”
And before he can reach out and draw her back to him, she skitters off of their bed and heads into the dressing room. Lady Elizabeth now has no trouble removing the rest of her wedding gown skirting, petticoats, etc., before donning her wedding night lingerie gifted to her by her sister-in-law Lady Madeline. She has not even tried it on before and finds it to be not a very warm garment with her back exposed. However, there is a matching silk robe that helps cover her back to ward off the dressing room’s chill.
When Lady Elizabeth steps out into the bed chamber again, she finds it empty.
Lord Duncan: Seeing her in their bed chamber through the pass through fireplace, he calls out to her. “Elizabeth, I am briefly in the bathing chamber, then to the dressing room. I will be with you in a moment.”
Lady Elizabeth: “Alright. Please let me know when you are done in the bathing room, so that … I may visit it briefly.” She stammers shyly.
Lord Duncan: “Of course! Have something to eat while you wait.” He calls out to her as he finishes giving himself a swift shave. He does not want his manly stubble to unduly irritate her soft skin. “I am heading into the dressing room now.”
Lady Elizabeth: “Thank you for letting me know.” She responds to him as she walks into the bathing chamber. This alerting one’s husband of when she wants to use the bathing room—and vice versa–makes her blush. Though, for all he knows, she is merely brushing her teeth and chewing on a mint leaf to freshen her breath—which she also does.
Then Lady Elizabeth returns directly into the bed chamber, so as not to intrude upon her husband in their shared dressing room. But she finds her husband already in their bed chamber, pouring them each a small goblet of wine—while only wearing his night pants with no shirt beneath his open robe. She finds his muscular chest pleasing, and slightly unsettling—then as she moves closer, he removes his robe [(4) below], and she demurely looks away.
Lord Duncan: “There you are, Elizabeth Darling.” He smiles warmly at her. “And I very much like your nightgown and robe. Very pretty.” He smiles warmly at her and hands her a goblet of wine.
Lady Elizabeth: “My nightgown and robe set was a gift from Lady Madeline. But it is a bit chilly.” She sips her wine twice, then she sets the goblet upon the fireplace mantel.
Lord Duncan: “Oh? I am sorry to hear that you feel chilled, My Love. Stand closer to the fire, but be careful not to singe your flowing robe. You had best take it off.”
Lady Elizabeth: “What?” She gazes at him in alarm. “I cannot. The open back of my nightgown is why I am so chilled.”
Lord Duncan: “Ah! Then let us try something. I am naturally warm. So stand with your back to my chest as you face the fireplace.” Then he helps her remove her robe, and he snakes his arm around her waist and brings her to lie flush against his chest. “See? Is that better?”
Lady Elizabeth: “Better?” She asks tremblingly as he gently kisses her bare neck and shoulders.
Lord Duncan: “Warmer?” His deep voice purrs with desire for his beautiful bride.
Lady Elizabeth: “Very warm.” She replies breathily. “Are you certain you do not have a fever, Duncan?”
Lord Duncan: “Only for you, My Love. Only for you.” He purrs, then he guides her to turn around and face him. Her hands rest upon his muscular upper chest. His hands are resting upon her silken covered hips, stroking her sides. And she trembles with his tender touch. “You still seem chilled. Let us remove ourselves to under the sheets and blankets of our bed.” And he guides her to one side of the bed, lifts the covers for her as she slides in. Then he goes to the other side of the bed, and he slides into bed.
Lady Elizabeth: Turning her head to her husband on the next pillow, she nibbles upon her lower lip. “I do not think I can fall asleep with this many candles lit.”
Lord Duncan: Stopping himself from smiling, he hops out of bed. “Very well, My Love. I will extinguish the wall sconce candles, then the only light will be from the fireplace.” As he does so, the illumination in the room lessens. Yet the fireplace still gives a warm glow to the room. “How is that?”
Lady Elizabeth: “Better.” She nods. Then he dashes back over to their bed and slides into it.
Lord Duncan: “Where were we? Oh yes, I was getting ready to give you a good night kiss. May I, Elizabeth?” He asks with loving restraint and patience for her maidenly sensibilities.
Lady Elizabeth: “Oh Yes, Duncan. I wish to kiss you goodnight as well.”
So Lord Duncan leans over his young bride in their bed and he at first gently, tenderly, lovingly, adoringly, and then passionately kisses and embraces her—many many times. She responds in kind with loving kisses and embraces for him, her now feeling quite warm, and not sleepy at all.
And the nascent desire that Lord Duncan is awakening in his young bride Lady Elizabeth is something that he can build upon–as he adores his fully night gowned wife with loving tenderness such that she finds that she welcomes his kisses and embraces, and such, long into the night and into the wee hours of the next morning.
To be continued with Chapter 34
Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement): Chapter 33 images for August 19, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1256)
1) “Expectations” (Book 2, sequel to “Encouragement”) story cover art image represents 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 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
3) Lady Elizabeth Blount Lindsay looking sweetly virginal on her wedding night is Jessica Brown Findlay as Lady Sybil Crawley in Downton Abbey; image found at https://www.integraresine.com/downton-abbey-wedding-dress/downton-abbey-wedding-dress-best-of-sybil-branson-downton-abbey-wiki/
4) Lord Duncan the Viscount Lindsay bare chested is of Rupert Penry-Jones in “The 39 Steps” found at http://yeoldecybershoppe.com/malahide/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/39-Steps-031.jpg
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