“Expectations” (Book 2)–Ch. 32: Wedding Nervousness,
August 12, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1255; and on Wattpad)
[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. 32: Wedding Nervousness
With Lady Elizabeth Blount of Sussex having settled her major wedding issues of her gown, tiara, flowers, attendants, and that her and Lord Duncan Viscount Lindsay of York’s wedding will be singular—with her being the only bride that day at the Sussex Village Church in now only one week’s time—Lady Elizabeth is beginning to revert to her former personality of extreme shyness and incapacitating nervousness.
Lady Madeline notices Lady Elizabeth’s unease first—when Lady Madeline relayed to Lady Elizabeth a womanly talk, as requested by their Grandmother Dowager Countess Lady Catherine. Lady Madeline hoped that she had conveyed to her best friend and sister-in-law Lady Elizabeth the loving tenderness to be expected from one’s husband—as well as, some of the practical matters of love making. A pale faced Lady Elizabeth slowly nods to her sister-in-law Lady Madeline. Lady Madeline feeling quite pleased to have the wedding night matter addressed with expedience and decorum this fine Monday morning.
Then Lady Elizabeth mutely but gracefully exits Lady Madeline’s boudoir for her own bed chamber—with Lady Elizabeth wondering how she can ever look at her brother Christy and his wife Maddie again, without thinking about them doing that. Hence the reason for Lady Elizabeth declining joining her family and her fiancé Lord Duncan for luncheon this day.
Naturally, Lord Duncan was disappointed not to see his soon to be bride Lady Elizabeth at luncheon. But he asked that his posey of violets that he brought for Lady Elizabeth to be given to her. However, when Lady Elizabeth still did not show for dinner time—her relaying via her Ladies Maid that she will take a dinner tray in her room due to her feeling ill—Lord Duncan decides to take matters into his own hands, literally.
Lord Duncan heads to the kitchens and lifts Lady Elizabeth’s food tray out of a maid servant’s hands, and he heads to Lady Elizabeth’s bed chamber suite’s sitting room with him—him having the foresight to ask that a similar tray of food be prepared for him and brought up as well.
Even though Lord Duncan eschews dining with his soon to be Blount family Sussex in-laws, in favoring of dining with his love Lady Elizabeth, he had still kept his wits about him. Lord Duncan had made his excuses—him not actually stating that he will dine with Lady Elizabeth alone, in her bed chamber suite. Lord Duncan has a healthy appreciation for his soon to be brother-in-law Lord Christian Blount Earl of Sussex’s sense of propriety with regards to his sister Lady Elizabeth.
Lord Duncan knocks on Lady Elizabeth’s bed chamber suite door in the Sussex Hall Dower House. Though he has not been inside her bed chamber suite yet, Lord Duncan knowing its location is just one way his eagerness for his soon to be bride is evidenced.
Hearing the knock and realizing that her Ladies Maid has her hands full with her dinner tray, Lady Elizabeth still wearing her elegant fine dining gown opens her bed chamber suite’s sitting room door to the hallway. There she finds Lord Duncan grinning from ear to ear as he holds a dinner tray. And she promptly shuts the door in his face.
Lady Elizabeth: “What are you doing here, Duncan?” She implores nervously through her bed chamber suite’s sitting room door. Her face flushes and her heart starts to beat loudly.
Lord Duncan: Smirking bemusedly, he counters in a deeply smouldering voice. “Elizabeth, My Love. I bring you sustenance. You must eat if you are to be well enough for our wedding next Monday.”
Lady Elizabeth: “Was it not made plain that I wished to dine alone tonight?”
Lord Duncan: “Oh yes! But I did not wish to dine without you.” He teases. Then with his cheekiness being met with silence, he tries another approach. “I miss you, Elizabeth. Please let me dine with you this night—either here in your sitting room or in the Conservatory downstairs. We can even have your Ladies Maid sit in a corner, if you like.” A far off corner, he thinks.
Lady Elizabeth thinks about Lord Duncan’s offer to dine alone with her. She wants to see him–and she does not want to see him. The womanly talk that Lady Madeline had given her earlier has quite flustered the very young Lady Elizabeth. And Lady Elizabeth certainly does not want to invite Lord Duncan into her bed chamber suite’s sitting room.
Lord Duncan notices that another maid servant bearing what he presumes to be his dinner upon a tray walks up beside him and waits patiently for instructions. He smiles wincingly at the maid servant. Inside Lady Elizabeth’s sitting room, her Ladies Maid has returned to her via her adjacent dressing room and looks encouragingly at Lady Elizabeth.
Lady Elizabeth: “Alright!” Lady Elizabeth quickly opens her bedchamber sitting rooms hallway door, quite surprising Lord Duncan as he flinches. “We will repair to the Conservatory. Follow me.” And she walks out of her room, trusting that her Ladies Maid, Lord Duncan, and the maid servant will follow.
Lord Duncan: “Wait for me!” He calls after Lady Elizabeth as he deposits her dinner tray into her Ladies Maid’s hands. Then he dashes down the hallway to catch up with Lady Elizabeth and offers her his arm. “My Lady.” He smiles caringly at her.
Lady Elizabeth: “Oh!” She jolts and almost topples down the stairs, were it not for Lord Duncan reaching out and clasping her to him. Startled, Lady Elizabeth looks up into her fiance’s eyes. “You scared me!” She trembles.
Lord Duncan: “I could not let you fall, My Love.” He presses her head into his chest, rubbing her back soothingly, and swaying slightly with her in his arms. He is also trembling now, for him having averted her fall, saving her from grievous injury.
Lady Elizabeth: “Thank you.” She nearly squeaks out as she breathes rapidly as another manifestation of her nervousness. And she feels a bit faint as her eyes flutter closed.
Lord Duncan immediately helps her sit down upon the top step of the second floor family bed chambers hallway and he continues to embrace her and to comfort her. He waves at the servants to walk around them and continue with their food trays to the Conservatory.
Lord Duncan: “Now what has caused you such distress, Elizabeth?” He asks caringly as he caresses her cheek with his palm. She shakes her head, not willing to give him the real reason she is so upset—lest he break their engagement. She has loved him for more than half of her life. She cannot lose him now. “Now, now, nothing can be as bad as that. You can tell me anything, My Darling.” Then he tenderly kisses her forehead.
But Lady Elizabeth thinks that she cannot tell him this. But he nudges her and she relents.
Lady Elizabeth: “Lady Madeline said ….” Her voice trails off in embarrassment.
Lord Duncan: “Lady Madeline said …” He encourages her.
Lady Elizabeth: “Uhhh. She said that marriage comes with certain expectations … of making love.” She whispers the last two words, even though there are no servants or family members around to hear her.
Lord Duncan: Lord Duncan realizes that his very innocent bride Lady Elizabeth is afraid of intimacy and he feigns ignorance about the issue, in the hope of setting her at her ease. “Oh?” She nods. “Making love.” He sighs with sweetness, while also trying to keep his lust in check. “That is such a lovely way to put the conjugation of husband and wife”.
Lady Elizabeth: “I love you, Duncan. You know that I do. But I do not think that I want to do what she described.”
Now Lord Duncan has a quandry before him. With him not knowing exactly what was described to Lady Elizabeth, Lord Duncan does not know how to put her at her ease—about them making love as husband and wife.
Lord Duncan: “My Love, I am uncertain what you were told.” He reveals sheepishly.
Lady Elizabeth: “Oh Duncan! I am so sorry. Have you not been told yet, what is expected of us as husband and wife on our wedding night?” She asks so sweetly naively—and gazes at him with such concern– that Lord Duncan has no trouble stifling his laughter. For though he is not a rake nor a rogue, he has had amours in his distant past.
Lord Duncan: “That is it, My Dear. Might you tell me over dinner what about … our upcoming wedding night … concerns you?” He asks tenderly, with no teasing nor smirking. He wants to make his beloved feel comfortable about the loving that they will soon enjoy.
Lady Elizabeth: “I will try.” She nods her head in all seriousness. “Though, you might be as shocked as I was.”
Lord Duncan: “I will reserve my judgement about our making love –as husband and wife–until you have explained your concerns to me. Is that fair?”
Lady Elizabeth: “Very well.”
Lord Duncan helps Lady Elizabeth to her feet. Then they continue down the stairs, and thence to the Conservatory now bathed in the moonlight’s glow for a very romantic dinner.
Lady Elizabeth decides that she cannot speak to Lord Duncan as she must during their dining alone together, with her mouth full. So they elect to have their discussion about their marital expectations after dessert.
Then they remove themselves from their Conservatory dining table and to a nearby cushioned iron bench love seat as they gaze out of the conservatory’s floor to ceiling windows at the beautifully moonlit garden terrace. Lord Duncan takes Lady Elizabeth’s small hand in his and kisses it, then he keeps his fingers interlocked with hers.
Lord Duncan: “Shall we have our discussion now, My Darling Elizabeth?” He smiles tenderly at her and kisses her cheeks and then her lips in gentle kisses [(2) below]. They had previously had more passionate kisses on the hidden part of the terrace. But Lord Duncan feels that gentleness on his part is what Lady Elizabeth needs.
Lady Elizabeth: “Well …” She becomes all shy again with him.
Lord Duncan: “Would you like to whisper your questions and concerns to me?” He asks caringly. She nods, then lifts her hand to her mouth and cups it near his ear.
Lady Elizabeth: “Lady Madeline said that …” And she mentions the brevity with which she was told that she would retain her nightgown on her wedding night.
Lord Duncan: “My Love, I must admit that in Winter time, I often wear a night shirt to help keep me warm—and socks. But in Summer times, as we are in now, I often do not wear anything to bed—to keep cool.” He smiles with a sheepish shrug of his shoulders.
Lady Elizabeth: “Well, I always wear my nightgown.” She states firmly.
Lord Duncan: “As you wish, My Darling.” He kisses her cute button nose, and then lightly touches his lips to her lips in a petal soft kiss. “Your comfort is my utmost wish.” And he knows that her wearing a night gown to their bed—if only in the beginning– will not hinder him in adoring her.
Lady Elizabeth: More whispering ensues from Lady Elizabeth’s lips. “And then Maddie said, regarding kissing and embracing …”
Lord Duncan: “Hmmm. That does sound pleasant—for me to kiss and to embrace you, and for you to kiss and to embrace me. Does it not?” Lady Elizabeth nods shyly. “Perhaps if we kiss every day before we are wed, you will find it pleasant, too?” She nods shyly again as he brings her small hand to his lips for a lingering kiss.
Lady Elizabeth: “And lastly, Maddie says that she and Christy then …” Her face turns red, and her mouth purses her lips together. She cannot even manage to whisper what comes next.
Lord Duncan: “Ah! I think I perceive that to which you refer.” He states in a soothingly modulated deep vocal tone as he kisses her forehead again. Then he whispers in her ears. “I feel certain that you and I will achieve a oneness of bliss in our lovemaking, Elizabeth Darling. We will find our way to joy together.”
And Lord Duncan hopes that in demystifying his loving tenderness toward her, that Lady Elizabeth will have less anxious expectations regarding making love on their wedding night. For her innocence has charmed him completely, such that Lord Duncan will act with loving patience and restraint for as long as his dear soon to be wife Lady Elizabeth needs.
And Lord Duncan does take every opportunity, in the days leading up to his wedding to Lady Elizabeth, to woo her with flowers, bad poetry, tender stolen kisses, and chaste embraces, such that their touching one another feels natural and loving as much for her as it does for him.
To be continued with Chapter 33
Expectations” (Book 2): Chapter 32 images for August 12, 2019 by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1255)
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 Lindsay of York kissing Lady Elizabeth is Rupert Penry-Jones and Sally Hawkins in the 2007 film Persuasion; image found at http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/persuasion/images/5251141/title/persuasion-2007-screencap
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