“Love is a Choice”, Ch. 19 (PG-13): Saturday Luncheon Brings Southwick Sibling Reconciliation and Lord Rafe’s Revelation, May 5, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #406)
[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Lord Rafe Wingate, Carla Gugino as Lady Katharine Southwick Wingate, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Plunkett, Emilie Francois as Anna Wingate, Mark Strong as Sir Collin MacGregor, Alan Bates as Lord Charles Wingate, Christian Bale as Stuart MacGregor, Daniel Day-Lewis as Sir Antony Southwick, Michelle Pfeiffer as Lady Charmaine Southwick, Catherine Deneuve as Lady Esmѐ Sinclair, Julian Sands as Sir Percival Southwick, Samantha Morton as Lady Lucinda Southwick, and others, etc.] [Story Logo 1abcd]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Love is a Choice” is a story of love and romance set in the early to mid 1800’s. I like Regency sensibilities with regard to comedy of manners, but Romantic period modes of dress. Ha! As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (perhaps some R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.
Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Come Saturday morning–24 hours after Lady Charmaine had her small stroke–she continued to improve. So much so, that she and her husband made love–gently–to Lady Esmѐ’s dismay, and the doctor’s dismay. But Lady Charmaine’s left arm and leg weaknesses are still present, and her memory loss about the past eight years continues. Their son Sir Percival and his wife Lady Lucinda arrive at the Southwick London home with their 10 month old baby Eliza and all are reconciled to Lady Charmaine. Lady Esmѐ even gives her great granddaughter her pearl necklace–since Eliza would not let go of it anyway. Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine earlier that morning shared their news about Anna with Sir Antony, who advised them to wait to mention her to Lady Charmaine until after his son Percival arrived. However, Sir Antony graciously included Anna in the invitation to the Wingate’s to join them for tea this Saturday afternoon–though, it is not likely that Lady Charmaine will leave her sick bed for luncheon or tea since her Saturday morning was very tiring for her. And Sir Antony will stay by her side after their morning nap. But the two young couples and Eliza will have luncheon together. And perhaps, Lord Rafe will share his news of his daughter Anna.
“Love is a Choice”, Ch. 19 (PG-13): Saturday Luncheon Brings Southwick Sibling Reconciliation and Lord Rafe’s Revelation
While awaiting for Lady Lucinda to return from tending to baby Eliza’s diapering needs, Lady Katharine welcomes her brother Sir Percival to the small family dining room for luncheon with her husband Lord Rafe. It is the first time that the two siblings will have time for an extended period of catching up with each other. And it is a time for the new in-laws–brothers and sisters– to start to get to know each other. Sir Percival walks into the small dining room where he sees his sister Lady Katharine and her husband Lord Rafe whispering to each other tete a tete–though Sir Percival cannot hear what they are saying.
Lady Katharine: Whispering. “Rafe, if Anna is to visit for tea today, we should really tell Perce and Lucy about her.”
Lord Rafe: Whispering back. “I agree. But let us see if an opportunity presents itself naturally to reveal this news.” She nods. “Ah! Here is your brother now.” They both look up at Sir Percival entering the room.
Sir Percival: Sir Percival [(2) right] bows, because Lord Rafe is in the room. “My apologies, I do not wish to intrude upon your private conversation.” He starts to back out of the dining room.
Lady Katharine: Gracefully walking toward him, she smiles and extends her hand to her brother and he kisses it. “Nonsense, Perce. We have been awaiting your and Lucy’s return from seeing Mama.” She bites her lower lip. “Did all go well?”
Lord Rafe: “Come, come, man. Let us dispense with ceremony. We are family now, after all, Perce. Please just call me Rafe.” Lord Rafe [(3) right] nods his head at his brother-in-law and shakes his hand. Then Lord Rafe then looks bemusedly askance. “You have not misplaced your wife and baby, have you?”
Sir Percival: “Ah! No! Ha ha ha! Lucy is tending to baby Eliza and they will join us in a few moments. Babies require much tending, and we left Eliza’s nanny at Lucy’s parent’s home today. Though I wanted to leave Eliza at home with the nanny, Lucy would not be separated from her–even for an hour. Hhhhhh!” He sighs in annoyance. As a husband, Sir Percival has grudgingly had to accept that Lady Lucinda is now focusing much of her tender care upon their baby–when in the past, he had been his wife’s sole focus.
Lady Katharine: Lady Katharine [(4) right] looks very wistful. “Babies are such dear ones. I long for the day when Rafe and I have a baby.” Lady Katharine stops speaking abruptly, pinkening up embarrassedly while realizing that she is perhaps being a bit forward to speak of when she might become with child–even though she is speaking with her brother.
Lord Rafe: Smiling broadly at his charming wife, Lord Rafe raises his left eyebrow as he wraps his arm around her waist and pulls her closer to him–but not flush with his body, which would be too brazen. “My dear, I will be delighted when we have a child together.”
Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine look at each other and tilt their heads as if in asking a telepathic question. They are on the cusp of mentioning Lord Rafe’s daughter Anna to Sir Percival. But fate intervenes, as Lady Lucinda and baby Eliza join them. And Lady Lucinda is proudly wearing the pearl necklace that Grandmere Lady Esmѐ gave to baby Eliza and urged Lady Lucinda to wear until Lady Eliza was old enough to wear it.
Sir Percival: “Here you are, Lucy! I had almost given you up, my dear.” He leans in and kisses her forehead as she holds baby Eliza in her arms.
Lady Lucinda: “Perce, as you well know, Eliza is a handful when she needs to be changed.” Lady Lucinda says tartly, but with a smile [(5) right]. “She is all arms and legs thrashing about and I am quite exhausted.” Lady Lucinda blows an errant bang curl from out of her eyes as she unceremoniously deposits their daughter into Percival’s hands. Sir Percival holds his daughter a tad awkwardly–hoping that Eliza’s messes are all cleaned up.
Lord Rafe: “Ha ha ha ha ha! That sounds like a pleasant problem to have. Though you are so petite Lady Lucinda, I perfectly understand your difficulties.” Lord Rafe nods and she smiles.
Lady Katharine: “Well Perce, you could help out. You are tall and strong.” She suggests impishly.
Sir Percival: “Help out with what, Kathy?” He asks quizzically.
Lady Katharine: “With changing baby Eliza and helping with her other needs.”
Sir Percival: He gazes upon his sister, Lady Katharine, with horror. “Kathy, you must be out of your mind! Hhhhhh! Children are best kept in the nursery and under a nanny’s care until they can put an intelligible sentence together.”
Lady Katharine and Lady Lucinda look aghast at Sir Percival’s common male viewpoint for their time.
Lord Rafe: “Perce, if you wait that long, your children might already have establishments of their own. Ha ha ha! May I?” He holds out his hands to Sir Percival, asking to hold baby Eliza.”
Sir Percival: “Gladly!” Sir Percival hands over his child to Lord Rafe.
Lord Rafe: Lord Rafe smiles down at the cheerful baby Eliza and playfully shows his finger to her waving hands and she grapples on to it. “You have a very good grip, Eliza. That will be a useful skill as you grow older.” Then he gazes wistfully at his wife, Lady Katharine. “When Kate and I have children, I do not want to miss a moment of their existence.” His smile fades to poignant sadness. “Life is so short. We must take every opportunity to be a positive and nurturing influence in our children’s lives. And through them discovering the world, we also discover it anew–seeing a blade of grass, recognizing shapes in the clouds, telling them bed time stories. I want to do it all with my children. Hhhhh!”
Lady Katharine leans in to her husband’s shoulder and lays her head upon his upper arm as he continues to hold Eliza.
Sir Percival: “That is a most unique perspective, Lord … I mean Rafe.” He frowns a bit for Lord Rafe not expressing the male viewpoint.
Lady Lucinda: “Well, I wholeheartedly concur!” She nods her head at her husband. “Fathers are just as capable as mothers in tending to and nurturing their children.” She states with characteristic aplomb. Sir Percival married a spitfire–in his bed, and out of it.
Lord Rafe: “Indeed! And fathers are very important to their children’s lives.” Lord Rafe thinks about his daughter, Anna, and how he was not given the chance to be involved in her early life. Lord Rafe smiles down at baby Eliza whom he is gently rocking in his arms–but he says nothing as he manfully holds back from tearing up. It would not do for Lord Rafe to display such emotion as a man–per society’s strictures of proper behavior. Men are to be unemotional and logical–rational thinking and tempered behavior are their lot. But that viewpoint is most illogical when loving families are involved.
Lady Katharine: “Oh Rafe.” She squeezes his arm and tears up, also thinking about Anna’s early years that Lord Rafe was excluded from.
Lady Lucinda: Noticing the changed demeanor of her brother and sister-in-law, Lady Lucinda asks delicately. “Rafe, you seem to have a sympathy for the bond between father and child. This bodes well for your and Kathy’s future children.” She smiles encouragingly at him.
Of course, Lady Lucinda has heard the rumors about Lord Rafe the Rake as much as anyone–and she had worried for her new sister-in-law, Lady Katharine. So this unexpected display of sensitivity about family from Lord Rafe is entirely welcome in Lady Lucinda’s view.
Lord Rafe: “I guess you could say I come by my child rearing viewpoints through my own difficulties in that regard.” Lord Rafe says a bit vaguely as he starts to open up about Anna. He hands Eliza back to her mother, Lady Lucinda. Then he clasps Lady Katharine’s hand in his.
Sir Percival: “Oh?” Sir Percival hesitates to pry–even with family, and also knowing of Lord Rafe’s reputation. Lady Lucinda looks at Lord Rafe questioningly, but not critically so.
Lady Katharine: “Rafe, I think it is time that we told them about your daughter, Anna.” She smiles lovingly at her husband.
Lord Rafe: His mouth curls up at the corners a bit. “You just did, my love.” He squeezes her hand in his.
Sir Percival and Lady Lucinda smile pleasantly as they look at Lord Rafe–patiently waiting for an explanation.
Lord Rafe: “I have only recently become aware that I fathered a child–my daughter, Anna–with my first love twelve years ago, when I was but sixteen years old.” Lady Lucinda’s eyebrow raises slightly. “Though my Mama has known about Anna and been in her life for the last five years, providing for her education at a convent and such. Anna is now eleven years old and her Mama died unexpectedly two weeks ago. So Anna has come to live with my parents and continue her education under the tutelage of a governess. Anna is now, of course, also my responsibility. And I look forward to getting to know her.”
Sir Percival: “Well!” Sir Percival exclaims with a bit of shock.
Lady Katharine: “Anna Wingate is a dear girl whom we both look forward to getting to know and to love.” She states in firm solidarity with her husband. Lady Katharine squeezes Lord Rafe’s hand back. “The Wingates travel to London today and will hopefully be able to join us for tea later.”
Lady Lucinda: She rubs her daughter’s cheek and cooingly says to her. “Hear that, Eliza? You have a cousin named Anna.” Then Lady Lucinda looks up and smiles graciously at Lord Rafe. Lord Rafe nods respectfully to Lady Lucinda. “Rafe, thank you for telling us about Anna. We look forward to meeting Anna soon. Perhaps if she and your parents are still in London this next week, you and they might join us for luncheon one day at my parents’ home.”
For extended family to acknowledge the news about a relation’s child out of wedlock is one thing. But for that family to warmly welcome the child into their home is quite another level of acceptance.
Lord Rafe: “We will be honored to accept your kind invitation, Madam.” He bows deferentially to Lady Lucinda.
Lady Katharine: “Thank you, Lucy. We will look forward to it.” She smiles brightly.
Sir Percival: Recovering from his earlier shock, he says impishly. “Well, if Anna is eleven, then she will be able to join in the conversation.” Then he points his thumb to baby Eliza being held by his wife Lady Lucinda. “Unlike this one, as of yet.”
Sir Percival: Sir Percival’s eyes go wide. “Eliza said Papa! Her first word was Papa!” He eagerly takes his daughter out of his wife’s hands and holds her above his head and twirls her around in an uncharacteristic show of ecstatic emotion. Then he holds her in front of his chest. “Say it again, Eliza. Say Papa.” And then he twirls her around again for good measure.
Lady Lucinda: “Careful, Perce. Eliza just ate not a half hour ago.”
And then, little Lady Eliza gives evidence of that–as she spits up a bit onto her Papa’s suit coat.
Sir Percival: “Egad!” [(7)] Startled, he holds his daughter out away from him.
Lady Lucinda: “I warned you. Ha ha ha!” Lady Lucinda shakes her head bemusedly and takes her daughter back–mopping up baby Eliza’s mouth as Sir Percival tries to mop up the spit up on his coat.
Lady Katharine: “Oh Perce!” She looks bemusedly at her husband. “Ha ha ha ha ha!” She giggles.
Lord Rafe: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” He rocks his head back in laughter. Lord Rafe looks forward to the day when he gets spit upon.
Butler: Opening the dining room doors, he says. “Luncheon will be served in a few moments.”
Lady Katharine: “Thank you. Shall we sit down everyone?”
Sir Percival: “Uh. I will be back after I wash off this mess so it does not stain.”
Lady Lucinda: “Very well, Perce dear. But we are starting without you.”
So after Sir Percival tidies up his appearance, he rejoins his wife and his now sleeping baby–it seems that Eliza was tired after she spit up on her Papa–his sister, and his brother-in-law for a lovely lunch where they shared more family togetherness.
After luncheon, Sir Percival and his family return to his wife’s home, but they plan to visit again in the days to come as his Mama, Lady Charmaine continues her recovery.
After luncheon with her brother and his family, Lady Katharine and Lord Rafe walk upstairs to see how Lady Charmaine and Lord Antony are faring. The butler informs them that Lord and Lady Southwick are eating their lunch in her bed chamber. However, they learn that Lady Esmѐ is keeping to her bed chamber to rest. Lady Katharine knocks on her Mama’s bed chamber door.
Sir Antony: “Enter!” He says cheerfully before he chomps down on another bite of his sandwich.
Lady Katharine and Lord Rafe enter to find her parents back in their clothes and sitting up at the small table in the window. Well, Sir Antony is fully, if casually, dressed. Lady Charmaine elected to remain in her nightgown and dressing robe since she is napping a lot.
Lady Charmaine: “Come in, Kathy and Rafe.” Lady Charmaine [(8) right] beckons warmly to them. With her hair down about her neck and shoulders in soft curls–not like her usual tightly curled coif–Lady Charmaine looks every inch the measure of an ethereal beauty. Indeed, Sir Antony can barely tear his eyes away from her loveliness–between his bites of food, that is.
Lady Katharine: Lady Katharine smiles warmly and quickly crosses the room to her parents and kisses their cheeks. “Mama. Papa.” Lord Rafe trails behind her. Then they sit at the table to chat with them while they finish eating.
Sir Antony: “Have you eaten?” He takes another bite.
Lord Rafe: “Yes, thank you, Sir Antony. We had luncheon with Sir Percival and his family.”
Sir Antony: He swallows. “This food is delicious! I have never tasted anything so good in my life! I am ravenous.” Sir Antony [(9) right] glows with happiness at having his Charmaine back in his life as his love.
Lady Charmaine: “Antony Dear, please slow down or you will choke on your food.” She squeezes his arm caringly. Lady Charmaine’s own luncheon plate is only partially eaten. And unconsciously, she is indicating her own difficulties with eating at present.
Lady Katharine: “Are you not hungry, Mama?” Lady Katharine asks worriedly.
Lady Charmaine: “Not really, Kathy Dear.” Then Lady Charmaine lightly touches her throat. “And I just seem to be having a small difficulty with swallowing some of the heavier foods at the moment. But the fruit and soup are delicious.” She smiles as she takes a small sip of her tea–swallowing [(10)] carefully. As long as she takes small sips and small bites, she can manage without choking on them.
Sir Antony: “We will have to tell the doctor about your difficulty eating when he returns on Monday.” He squeezes her hand caringly. Sir Antony so wants his Charmaine to be well in every way–so that she will fully enjoy life again.
Lady Charmaine: “Now Antony, it is merely a small annoyance, a trifle. And I was never a big eater.” She shoots an amused look over at her husband stuffing his mouth with food.
Lord Rafe: He smiles at his mother-in-law’s facial expression. “Madam, if I may. Sir Antony’s exuberance in eating is perhaps in joyful recognition of your continuing recovery.” He nods with a smile.
Sir Antony: “Just so!” He bobs his head up and down. Of course, Sir Antony is also joyful about his reunion with his wife and renewing their romantic life. And he cannot wait until their next loving tryst–but he knows that he has to be patient, with patience not being one of his virtues.
Lady Katharine: “Mama, the butler said that Grandmere is keeping to her room and napping. Is she feeling alright?” She asks a bit worriedly. Lady Esmѐ is 62 years old and of failing health herself in recent years.
Lady Charmaine: “Kathy, I think that for your Grandmere, the stress of my illness and then reuniting with Perce this morning has sapped her strength. She and he were oddly strained at first, but Perce eventually warmed to Mama.” Then she turns to her husband, Sir Antony. “Antony, do you know why Perce seemed a bit distant to his Grandmere?”
Sir Antony: “No Charmaine, my Love. I could not even guess.” He shakes his head in bewilderment. For Sir Antony also does not know the role that Lady Esmѐ played in Lady Charmaine rejecting Sir Antony eight years ago.
Lady Katharine: “Well, Perce was always a bit behind everyone else on things–despite him being my older brother.” She nods knowingly.
Lady Charmaine: “Oh? Ha ha ha! How was your luncheon with he and Lucy and Eliza?”
Lord Rafe: “Very good, Lady Charmaine. It was delicious.” He bows his head to her, indirectly complimenting her for her superbly run household.
Lady Katharine: “Oh, but Mama, there was a bit of excitement before lunch when Perce was holding baby Eliza. She started babblying as babies do–ba ba ba.” She mimics. “And Perce thought she was saying her first word–Papa!”
Lord Rafe: “And he lifted baby Eliza up in the air and twirled her around. Then she spit up on him. Ha ha ha ha ha!” He rocks his head back in laughter again.
Sir Antony: “Spit up seems to be a family trait. Ha!” Lady Charmaine pouts. “Not you, Charmaine–our children when they were babies. Both of them could vomit like a soldier.” [(11) vomit]
Lady Charmaine: “Please Antony, we are eating–or trying to.” Lady Charmaine blanches–as does Lady Katharine. Lord Rafe merely smiles.
Sir Antony: “Well, you are forewarned, Lord Rafe. Your own little ones are bound to…” Lady Charmaine shoots her husband a look. ” … expel their food now and again.” He says more delicately as he smiles broadly at his wife to gauge her reaction. Lady Charmaine’s mouth curls into a small smile and she rolls her eyes in amusement. “The trick is not to let anything the children do put you off balance.”
Lord Rafe: “Thank you, Sir Antony. Perhaps I will have a suit especially made from the water repelling fabric made by that Scotsman Macintosh two years ago in 1824. I already have one of his rain coats that I use when fishing. If it works for rivers and fish, it should work for babies. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!” [(12) Mackintosh]
Sir Antony: “Capital idea! And you seem like you will be a natural at fatherhood when you and Kathy are blessed with children.” He smiles warmly. Of course, he has briefly forgotten what they had told him about Anna earlier.
Lady Charmaine: Touching Kathy’s arm with her good right hand, she smiles. “To think of my baby having a baby. My how the time has sailed by us!”
Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine share a glance at each other. Then they look over at Sir Antony–whom they had informed this Saturday morning about Anna.
Sir Antony: “Oh! Right!” He nods his head remembering about Anna. He shrugs his shoulders. “Now is as good a time as any to tell her.” He tilts his head at Lady Charmaine.
Lady Charmaine: “Tell me what? Kathy! You are not with child already? You have only been married not quite two weeks and only known Lord Rafe for about a month since your coming out ball.” She looks back and forth between her daughter and her son-in-law. “Was there a reason for the haste in your marriage?” She wonders if Lord Rafe had taken liberties with her daughter at or near her coming out ball.
Lady Katharine: “No, Mama! No!”
Lord Rafe: “I assure you, Lady Charmaine, that your daughter’s reputation is unblemished.” He says with great honor.
Lady Katharine: “Now Mama, I told you that Rafe and I didn’t finalize our union until the second day of our marriage.”
Lady Charmaine: Putting her good right hand to her head, she rubs her forehead. “I guess I forgot that. There are so many new things to remember.” She sighs tiredly.
Sir Antony: “Perhaps you should lie down for an afternoon nap, Charmaine?” He asks caringly.
Lady Charmaine: “All I seem to do is nap. Well, except for …” She gazes over at her husband and she winks. He blushes. “But if I am sleeping so much, why do I feel so tired all of the time?” She pouts.
Lady Katharine: “You are healing and getting well, Mama. That takes much energy.”
Lord Rafe: “Yes, you must rest and not over exert yourself, Lady Charmaine.”
Lady Charmaine nods her head sleepily as her eyes droop a bit.
Realizing that their window of time for sharing their news about Lord Rafe’s daughter, Anna, might be closing, Lady Katharine takes charge.
Lady Katharine: “Mama, we also wanted to tell you that Rafe has an eleven year old daughter named Anna who is coming for tea with his parents today.” Lady Katharine claps her hands over her mouth, shocked that she blurted this news out so bluntly. Lord Rafe winces a bit.
Sir Antony: “Ha ha ha!” He chuckles nervously. “Kathy, we must work on your sense of timing. Your Mama is too tired to talk about this news now.”
Lady Charmaine: Lady Charmaine’s eyes widen. “Speak for yourself, Antony.” Then she turns her attention upon Lord Rafe. “Since this Anna is your daughter, would you care to enlighten me?” She says a bit imperiously–like her former critical self before the stroke.
Lady Katharine: “Mama?” Lady Katharine looks hesitantly at her Mama,wondering about her change in demeanor.
Lady Charmaine: She quickly interrupts her daughter. “Kathy! I am speaking with your husband.”
Sir Antony looks warily at his wife having seemingly returned to her attitude of being critical of others that was so prevalent during their eight years of estrangement. And he worries that their idyll of love created by Lady Charmaine’s stroke might ebb away from them.
Lord Rafe: “Lady Charmaine, I welcome relating the facts to you–as I know them.” Lord Rafe intones soberly.
Lady Charmaine: A thought occurs to her. “Kathy, is this why you did not consummate your marriage right away? You were uncertain about the reputation of your husband?”
Lady Kathy: “No Mama! It is one of the reasons why we did. Rafe had been so kind to me to wait until I came to know him better before we …” Her voice trails off. “Rafe was loving and attentive and respectful. And when he discovered he had a child and honorably acknowledged her, I knew that I could love no other but him.”
Lord Rafe: “I offered to release Kate from our marriage vows before we finalized our union.” He says with great probity. “But I am honored to say that she declined my offer.” Lord Rafe smiles and lifts Lady Katharine’s hand to his lips and kisses it. “Katharine is my Angel!” He sighs.
Lady Katharine: “Mama, I want no one but my Rafe to love and be the father of my children! He is my life!” Then Lady Katharine leans over and kisses her husband on his lips sweetly adoringly. And he kisses her back with loving restraint.
Sir Antony: “Kkhhh!” He coughs to obtain his daughter and son-in-law’s attention. They do come up for air from their kissing and looking sheepishly at Lady Katharine’s parents. “Yes, well! Everything seems to have worked out nicely, My Love.”
Lady Kathy: “Yes, Mama. Anna is a sweetheart–like the little sister that I always wanted. And when we told Papa about Anna this morning, he included her in the invitation for tea this afternoon when the Wingates visit.
Sir Antony: “But with you still recovering from your illness, Charmaine, you will not be expected to entertain the Wingates. I will make an appearance to greet the Wingates and to meet Anna. Then I will return to you for our afternoon tea. Kathy and Rafe will host the Wingates to tea downstairs.
Sir Antony, Lady Katharine, and Lord Rafe look hopefully at Lady Charmaine. Lady Charmaine purses her lips as she thinks–a seeming frown briefly showing on her face. Then she rolls her eyes and shrugs her shoulders with a sheepish smile.
Lady Charmaine: “Honestly, everyone! If I am to have a nearly grown granddaughter in Anna, then I should not delay in meeting her– lest she have her coming out ball before we know it.” Lady Charmaine smiles impishly. “You had best sneak her up here past your Grandmere for a quick greeting at some point during afternoon tea.”
Lady Katharine: “Mama!” Lady Katharine squeals in delight and wraps her arms around Lady Charmaine in a grateful embrace.
Lord Rafe: “Thank you for your understanding, Lady Charmaine–and Sir Antony.” Lord Rafe respectfully bows his head to her.
Sir Antony: Lifting his wife’s hand to his lips and kissing it, he gazes into her eyes with love and tenderness. “Charmaine, you are the soul of kindness and the love of my life.” Then he leans in and kisses his wife adoringly on her lips—-and she returns his ardor. They kiss for several moments–and then for several moments more.
Lady Katharine and Lord Rafe look at each other with amusement. Sir Antony opens his eyes while kisses his wife and waves behind her back for his daughter and her husband to depart. Then Sir Antony closes his eyes again and focuses on kissing his wife.
Amusingly dismissed, Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine stand up and start to walk toward the bed chamber door.
Lady Katharine: “We will leave you to your afternoon nap, Mama.”
Lady Charmaine: “Hmm hmmm.” She murmurs contentedly as she continues kissing her husband.
Sir Antony: “Hmmmm.” He growls seductively
After shutting Lady Charmaine’s bed chamber door securely, Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine notice a maid in the hallway.
Lady Katharine: “My parents asked not to be disturbed while my Mama naps. She needs her rest.” She says pleasantly, stifling the giggle that wants to erupt from her heart that her parents are in love again. The maid nods her head.
Lord Rafe: “And we also will take a nap and wish not to be disturbed.” Lord Rafe says languidly to the maid as he squeezes Lady Katharine’s hand clasped in his. The maid nods and departs.
Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine walk silently down the hall to her bed chamber, enter it, and bolt the door behind them.
Lady Katharine: Lady Katharine whirls around to face her husband. “So are you tired, Rafe?” Lady Katharine asks coquettishly as she runs her index finger along her husband’s jawline.
Lord Rafe: Giving her a gleaming smile, he lifts her up into his arms and carries her to their bed and gently deposits her on it. “Not in the least, Kate!” He quickly joins her on the bed and he gently lays partially on top of her–with both of them still fully clothed. “In fact, I am the opposite of tired–in every way.” He smoulders.
Then Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine kiss and caress each other passionately for several minutes–still fully clothed. But somehow, their clothes are not a hindrance to their increasing passions.
Lady Katharine: “Every way, my husband?” Lady Katharine asks minxishly as Lord Rafe nibbles kisses at her neck.
Then Lord Rafe shifts position such that his fully clothed body is flush with her fully clothed body–such that not even a whisper could pass between them.
Lord Rafe: “Are you in any doubt, Katharine my Angel?” He smiles lovingly even as his kisses go lower.
Lady Katharine: “No!” She clutches him to her, urging him to continue his loving ministrations.
Then Lord Rafe and Lady Katharine spend the next few hours in loving communion with each other, again, and again, and again, and again. With their clothes cast aside–so as not to wrinkle them, of course. Well! They are still on their wedding trip after all. And afternoon tea with Lord Rafe’s parents and Anna is a very long and loving four hours away.
To be continued with Chapter 20
1) “Love is a Choice” story logo is a composite image comprised of:
a) Gold wedding gown (cropped to fabric of skirt) found at http://0.tqn.com/d/honeymoons/1/0/C/w/belle2.jpg
b) Oval picture frames were found at http://www.inlineovals.com/product_images/q/675/602agp__91104_zoom.jpg
c) Image (cropped, masked, brightened, color) representing Lord Rafe Wingate is that of Richard Armitage as John Thornton in North & South (2004) episode 2, picture 66 was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode2/ns2-066.jpg
d) Image (cropped, masked, brightened, color) representing Lady Katharine Wingate is that of Carla Gugino as Nan St. George in “The Buccaneers” (1995), Episode 1 vlcsnap-ooh09m21s203 Mar1313 Gratiana Lovelace screencap (cap)
2) Sir Percival Southwick image is of Julian Sands in Room with a View and was found at http://exshoesme.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/julian-sands-in-room-with-a.jpg
3) Lord Rafe image (cropped, brightened) is of Richard Armitage as John Thornton in the BBC’s North & South (2004), episode 1, pix 26 and was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode1/ns1-026.jpg
4) Lady Katharine image (MaskHi-ResHairRev) is of Carla Gugino as Nan in The Buccaneers 1995 epi2 28mpix218 Mar2313 GratianaLovelace Cap.
5) Lady Lucy image (masked, blur, shrp, clr, flip) is of Samantha Morton as Harriet Smith in Emma 1996 May0413 and was found at http://photos.lucywho.com/harriet-smith-photo-gallery-c16241581.html
6) Image representing Baby Eliza Southwick is an MS Office Clip Art image found at
7) “E-gad” is an exclamation derived from “oh God”, English/UK, cite found at http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/egad
8) Lady Charmaine image is Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri May0413 I LoveGoyardBlogspotcom http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_LcjKXayM4K0/TLoL2_NPeUI/AAAAAAAAAYU/YKmauxQvjT0/s640/Cheri+Goyard.jpg
9) Sir Antony image (masked) is Daniel Day-Lewis and was found at http://theamerican.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/DanielDayLewis_2012_AFI_Fest.jpg
10) The Effects of Stroke on the mind and body in brief was found at http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/stroke/effects/Pages/index.aspx
12) The earliest rubberized raincoat was developed by a man named Macintosh in 1824 as noted at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mackintosh , though the misspelling adding a “k” has fallen into general use.
“Love is a Choice”, Previous Story Link to Ch. 18 is: