(An original Regency Romance story copyrighted by Gratiana Lovelace, 2021; All rights reserved) [(1) story cover below left]
[Illustrations: I cast my stories as I write them. So from time to time, I will illustrate my story with actors and such, including: Richard Armitage as Lord Edward Carlisle, Daniela Denby-Ashe as Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle, Blake Ritson as Lord Kittredge Wells, Polly Walker as Lady Patience Creighton, Bill Nighy as Lord Nigel Creighton the Earl of Stoke, and others as noted.]
[Author’s Note: This original Regency romance is a work of fiction, and as such, any character names, scenes or other descriptions were written at the creative discretion of this author. And this is a gentle and tender romance (G to PG-13), but with some frank discussions about love and marriage put to humorous effect. This is my disclaimer.]
Ch. 12 (PG-13): Newlywed Heaven
Happily ensconced in Lord Kittredge Wells borrowed luxurious and comfortably large traveling carriage to take them to his estate at Wells Castle to begin their two week honeymoon wedding holiday, the newlyweds of Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle cozily sit side by side upon the same soft dark purple velvet bench—with Lord Edward’s legs easily extended before them.
With his arm around Lady Emily’s shoulder[s], Lord Edward would dearly love to kiss her forehead. But there is an impediment to him [kissing] her forehead, or anywhere nearby—[it is] not [due to] propriety, for they are married now. But it is her wide brimmed hat [(2) right].
Lord Edward: “Emily Darling, our journey will take two hours to reach Wells Castle, would you not like to remove your hat and be more comfortable?” He smiles hopefully. Of course, asking for her to remove her hat, is all that he is asking her to do, for the moment.
Lady Emily: “I am comfortable now.” Lady Emily smiles and nods at him agreeably. “Thank you for your kind consideration, Edward Dearest.” Then she sees him pout—rather cutely, in that full grown man who still wants his treat look. “But you are, perhaps, more acquainted with the discomfitures of long carriage journeys than I. So I will remove my hat.”
And so, Lady Emily removes her hat—first removing its long, pointy, and dangerous looking hat pin that had secured her hat to her coiffure, then placing her hat upon the opposing bench. “Is that better?” She smiles up at him brightly.
Lord Edward: “Definitely!” He leans in and he gently, reverently kisses her forehead. Now she pouts. “Is something wrong, Emily Darling?” He worries.
Lady Emily: “Not wrong, per se. But since we are alone together in this large and comfortably appointed traveling carriage, I thought that we might be able to, well, to kiss more—in addition to our lovely cuddling together as we are now.” Her sweet face pinkens with her boldness.
Lord Edward: “Exactly, my thoughts as well, My Love.” Then Lord Edward wastes no time and he immediately kisses his new youngish wife upon her lips most tenderly, for several adoring moments [(3) below]. Then he gently moves on to kissing her cheek and her long creamy smooth neck as he leans over her as she lies back upon the bench seat cushion a bit.
Lady Emily: “Hhhhh!” Lady Emily sighs in feeling so cherished. “Ooh Edward, you make me feel so wonderful, I feel like I might swoon.” She gushes.
Lord Edward: Still with his lips upon her lovely throat, feeling her rapid heart beat pulsing through her vein there, he asks. “Do you want me to stop, My Darling?” He very much hopes not.
Lady Emily: “Oh no! I like it excessively!” Lady Emily strokes her husband’s hair in an encouraging way—for him to keeping doing, what he is doing. “But your shirt points are painfully poking me, in my … my upper chest. Mightn’t you remove your cravat and collar for me?” She asks him sweetly.
Lord Edward: “With pleasure? And my utmost apologies!” Lord Edward also remembers to say as he swiftly sits up, deftly unbinds himself from his cravat—carefully removing the lovely diamond stick pin that Lady Emily had given him for her wedding gift to him—then he removes his attached collar and unbuttons the top of his shirt a bit. “There! Is that better?” He asks with a smile. Then he notices that she is staring at him—or rather at his neck.
Lady Emily: “Oh my! I have never seen a gentleman’s neck before. Yours looks so commanding, strong, and … solid, like a tree.” Then Lady Emily reaches up and touches his neck, then she strokes his neck, with her placing her hand flat at the base of his neck. “And your upper chest skin is smooth, but it also feels very … hard.” She observes with wonder—her alluding to his muscles.
Lady Emily’s [sweet] innocence and naivete is proving to be quite a delight to Lord Edward.
Lord Edward: “Thank you, My Love. I admit to enjoying riding, fencing, and other sport. So I keep myself in peak physical condition. Perhaps later, you will have occasion to see them.” He hints at his other muscles, then seeing his wife Lady Emily tilt her head in curiosity and surprise, he amends his explanation. “I mean, my demonstrating some of those sports and activities for you.” He dissembles.
Lady Emily: Feeling bold, Lady Emily suggests innocently seductively. “And, Edward Dearest, might there be some activities that we as husband and wife may do together?” She smiles sweetly. For her sisters’ pre-wedding chat has made her curious to know and to experience what all well loved wives know and experience.
Lord Edward: “Yes. Of course.” He smiles hopefully to her.
Then Lord Edward more fully ponders her request for activities that they may do together. And lovingly ravishing his new young wife in the carriage—though tempting for a future time–is not how he wants to tenderly cherish her as they begin their loving marriage together this day.
Lady Emily: “Well?” She queries boldly.
Lord Edward: “Perhaps we should try to nap a bit.” He states as he also removes his suit jacket and waistcoat for his own comfort. “The coachman will need to rest the horses in an hour. So we will also have our delayed midday meal at an inn, before continuing our journey to Wells Castle.” The wedding breakfast foods were light fare, and Lord Edward is hungry for a substantial meal to fortify him.
Lady Emily smiles and nods in agreement. She likes how her husband Lord Edward is being kind and considerate of her—by him taking their new husband and wife togetherness slowly. So she leans against her husband’s shirt covered chest and he encloses her in his arms, also clasping her hand lying upon his chest. They sweetly kiss each other, and doze off cuddling together for the first time.
Since napping in a jostling carriage ride is not as restful as it might sound—even with their stop for a delayed midday lunch—Lord Edward and Lady Emily are eager to be at their friend and cousin Lord Kitt’s Wells Castle to start their honeymoon. Or at least, to see more than just the inside of their loaned luxurious carriage.
Lady Emily looks out the carriage window as it begins to turn into the drive leading to the front of Wells Castle and she is in awe.
Lady Emily: “Kitt’s Castle is enormous!” She exclaims in wonder trying to count all of the castle turrets, but realizes that the castle itself is so deep that she is unlikely to be able to do that from their current vantage point.
Lord Edward: Him having visited his longtime best friend Kitt’s favorite home at Wells Castle many times over the years, Lord Edward nods in agreement. “Oh yes, it is. When I was a boy and first came to visit Kitt at a school break, I lost my way trying to get from my bed chamber to the breakfast room. And with hidden passages for servants to move about in, for them not to be in the main castle hallways, I was quite alone.”
Lady Emily: “What happened?” She asks in concern for the then child Lord Edward.
Lord Edward: “Well, when I failed to appear for breakfast, Kitt guessed that I might need assistance finding the breakfast room—since I was not known then to ever forgo a meal—so he eventually found me, staring woefully at an empty ballroom. Then he lead me back to the breakfast room and we ate our meal. Ha ha ha ha ha!” Lord Edward laughs heartily at the memory.
Lady Emily: “Well I hope, Edward Dearest, that you will guide me as we move about the castle. I would not want to get lost and find myself alone.” She shudders. As child, she never liked hiding games for that very reason.
Lord Edward: Smiling tenderly to her, he assures her. “Of course, Emily Darling. We shall do every thing together while we are here.”
Lady Emily: “Everything?” She asks wonderingly.
Lord Edward: “Everything.” He smolders and kisses her lightly upon her lips as she trembles.
And at that moment, the atmosphere between the two of them crackles with loving anticipation, as the carriage comes to a stop in front of Wells Castle. They have arrived.
Naturally, Lord Kitt had written ahead to his Wells Castle Butler Mr. George and his Housekeeper Mrs. George to make the castle and its finest royal guest apartment ready for the ease and comfort of his guests—the newlywed love birds Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle at the start of their honeymoon trip.
So upon the Viscount and Viscountess of Carlisle’s arrival, the Wells Castle senior staff are standing at attention in the castle’s foyer to greet the newly married couple who are also friends and cousins of their lord and master Lord Kittredge Wells.
But first the longtime Butler and the Housekeeper greet the newlyweds in the front courtyard as they exit their carriage.
Butler Mr. George: “Lord Carlisle, it is a pleasure to welcome you once more to Wells Castle. And to also welcome your new bride Lady Carlisle. On behalf of Wells Castle, we offer our sincere felicitations upon your marriage this day. And we will endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible for you.” He bows with a flourish.
Lord Edward: “Thank you, Mr. George.” Then he turns to his new wife. “My Dear Lady Carlisle, this is Mr. George the Wells Castle Butler and his wife Mrs. George the Wells Castle Housekeeper. I have known them since my childhood—upon my many visits during school breaks with Lord Kitt.” He beams as the old retainers bow deferentially to him. And he returns their bows, indicating his esteem of them.
Lady Emily: “I am delighted to meet you both! I am certain that Lord Carlisle and I will enjoy our stay at this lovely castle.” She smiles sweetly to her husband Lord Edward and to Mr. & Mrs. George.
Lord Edward and Lady Emily nod at the senior staff assembled in the cavernously large castle foyer as they enter Wells Castle proper. The sturdy gray stone castle exterior giving way to an elegant interior of polished white marble floors and gray stone walls impressively draped with colorful and large tapestries to keep out the damp and the chill in Winter. The castle is lovely, and Lord Edward looks forward to guiding his new wife Lady Emily on a private tour. But for now, the newlyweds wish to focus upon themselves.
So eschewing a tour of the castle just now in order to change out of their traveling clothes and to rest, they are quickly bustled up to their guest bed chamber suite of the elegant Royal apartments that Lord Kitt directed they were to have. For their individual privacy, the his and hers bed chambers and bathing rooms are situated on opposite sides of a shared sitting room with a breakfast nook in the bay window. They each feel that they will be very comfortable here.
After they are left alone in their guest bed chambers suite, Lord Edward and Lady Emily fall into each others’ arms and kiss with aching tenderness for several moments, joyful to be sharing in their wonderous feelings of newlywed love.
And as she had so forthrightly mentioned earlier, Lady Emily gently reminds Lord Edward that his collar’s shirt points are poking her again—so he removes them again for her comfort, as he backs into his bed chamber and she follows him. Then she realizes something as she looks about his bed chamber, with his clothing trunks open.
Lady Emily: “Oh pooh!” She stamps her boot covered delicate foot. Her letting her uncensored rude phrase stand unapologized for, since her Mama Lady Creighton is not here to chastise her about its use. “They must have put my trunks and things in the other bed chamber. So should I change my dress in there? And I want to freshen up with a bath first.”
Lord Edward: “Well, Emily My Love, my guess is that the staff has anticipated our needs and your bath awaits you in your bathing chamber, as does mine in here. Shall I help you, kkhhh, unbutton your gown?” He asks helpfully, and with a bit of a cough to disguise his vocal tone breaking with his own nervousness. Lord Edward has not had this experience before, a wedding night–or afternoon, since it is only 3pm.
She nods. So the two of them cross through the lovely and well appointed French style sitting room and into her bed chamber. The flower patterned silk bedding is in lovely pastel colors to Lady Emily’s appreciative gaze. Lord Edward leads her to her bathing chamber which is as he thought, fully ready for her to have her bath—with warm water sitting in buckets in front of the fireplace hearth, waiting to be poured into her bath for her. So Lord Edward does that for her—even adding some bath crystals which add [soap bubbles] and a pleasing scent of roses to the bath water. He leaves one bucket near the hearth to keep warm, for her to use to rinse herself with.
Then Lord Edward swiftly unbuttons the back of her gown—and loosens her lacings at her request. Then he leaves her to her privacy and heads back to his bed chamber for a bracing bath himself, then he also shaves. It would not do to scratch Lady Emily’s dear face with his afternoon beard stubble when they kiss. He then attires himself in his loose sleep shorts and a blousy shirt to await Lady Emily.
However, after waiting ten minutes more for her by the sitting room’s fireplace mantel clock, he wonders how long ladies take in their baths. So he walks over to her bed chamber door left ajar and knocks.
Lord Edward: “Emily Darling, are you done with your bath?” He asks, trying not to sound too eager—but that he is.
Lady Emily: “Oh yes, thank you, Edward. I am sorry to have lost track of the time, but I was having so much fun with the bubbles. I must rinse and dry off yet.” She states logically. Then she realizes that she has a predicament. “Oh Edward?”
Lord Edward had turned to sit in the sitting room, but now he turns back to the sound of her voice.
Lord Edward: “Yes, My Love?” He replies, wondering what she might say. Being a true husband is so new to him, he has no idea what to expect.
Lady Emily: “Usually, my maid rinses me. But …” Her unspoken request hangs in the air. Lord Edward is speechless with anticipation. “If you promise to close your eyes and not to look at me, you may rinse me.”
Lord Edward: “Oh! Of course, My Darling.” His voice trembles and breaks vocal tone. “But, if I close my eyes now, I fear that I will bash into the furniture in the bedroom on my way to you.”
Lady Emily: She thinks a moment, then decides. “You may keep your eyes open until you rinse me. The soapy bubbles are keeping me covered.” She states plainly—with no idea what lovely vision of her is being conjured by her husband with the statement that she just made.
Lord Edward: “Right. Very well, Emily. Here I come.” He walks through her bed chamber to the bathroom door again. “Are you certain you want me to rinse you, Emily?”
Lady Emily: “I do, or I will be all soapy.” She states logically.
Lord Edward: “Alright, I am coming in.”
And indeed, Lord Edward’s vision in his mind of his wife Lady Emily in her bath becomes reality as he enters her bathing chamber again. She is facing him and lying in her soap bubbles bath water up to her chin in the white porcelain tub. Her hair is piled high so it does not get wet, yet some tendrils that had fallen down cling wetly to her neck.
Lady Emily: Her trying not to convey her embarrassment in having her new husband rinse her, she asks him. “Edward, will you first place my bath towel on the small table next to me in the bath tub?” He does that. “Thank you. Now please make sure that the rinse water is warm, but not scalding—since it is sitting on the hearth next to the fire.” Lord Edward checks the water temperature by sticking his finger in it, and nods to her that it is fine. “Good, here is what we will do. You bring the rinse water bucket over to the bath and close your eyes.” He does that. “Now I will stand with my back to you and you hold the water bucket over the bath tub and pour it over me.”
Lord Edward: “One question. With my eyes closed, how will I be able to make sure that I am pouring the rinse water on you?” He asks pertinently.
Lady Emily: “Well, you hold out the bucket and I’ll tell you when it is in the right place for you to pour. Let us try it, shall we?”
Lord Edward: “As you wish.” He gulps.
So Lord Edward holds the rinse water bucket up and out over the tub and closes his eyes again. Lady Emily stands up from her bath with her back to him, and she positions herself with her shoulders under the bucket.
Lady Emily: “I am in position. You may pour the water on me now.” She blushes while holding her arms in front of herself.
Still with his eyes firmly closed, Lord Edward slowly pours the warm rinse water and Lady Emily moves her arms and body underneath it to take advantage of the falling water rinsing herself thoroughly. When the bucket is empty, he stands back, and turns around so that now his back is facing her—with his eyes still closed and not peeking, while Lady Emily grabs her bath towel and wraps it around herself, then she gingerly steps over the bath tub rim and onto a towel on the floor, so she does not slip on the marble floor while her feet are wet. Finally, she puts on a large and warm bathing robe made of toweling fabric over her other towel, for her to further finish drying off.
Her husband is yet standing still like a statue, waiting for her next request—listening for her every movement, hearing her drape a towel upon herself. She sneaks up behind him, her still in her state of somewhat undried dishabille.
Lord Edward: “Should I wait for you in the sitting room, Emily Darling?” He asks considerately, though his willpower to treat his wife with patience this day is shredding with her scent of roses and him knowing that she has just stepped out of her bath—after he rinsed her off. “Hhhh!” He sighs deeply.
Lady Emily: She gently touches his back—which he arches when she touches him. “You may wait for me in my bedroom, Edward Dearest. I just need to put on my nightgown and robe.”
Lord Edward: “Certainly.”
He nods, sets the now empty water bucket on the bathing room floor, and steps out of her bathing chamber, and she shuts the door. Then Edward nearly crumples to the floor from nervous tension, but for an advantageously placed wing chair that he plops into. He thinks that this being married business is at turns scintillating and exhausting, in trying to behave with decorum.
After a mere moment, the bathing chamber door opens, and Lady Emily stands gazing lovingly at her husband. Lord Edward gazes in awe at his lovely wife—her long hair lying about her shoulders in silken auburn waves. She steps into her bed chamber and then sits down across her husband’s lap—placing her arms about his shoulders. Then she whispers into his ear.
Lady Emily: “You may ravish me now, Edward My Love.”
Lord Edward: “With pleasure!” He whispers back to her. Then he lifts her into the air in his arms as he stands up, then he gently places her in the bed, before joining her there.
And thus the formerly shy and awkward spinster in waiting Lady Emily and the previously rejected as a husband five years ago Lord Edward cuddle and kiss and such in her bed—achieving together a blissful feeling of newlywed heaven [(4) right] in each other’s arms, several times that day, and in the days following while upon their honeymoon.
In fact, Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle feel so wonderfully lovingly comfortable with each other here at Wells Castle—which they pronounce as very nice, indeed–that they decide to spend their whole two week honeymoon at Wells Castle and its environs, rather than wasting time traveling elsewhere.
Besides, they have another wedding coming up in London, for which they are attendants. And that upcoming wedding event will be their first foray into society as a newly married husband and wife.
To be continued with Chapter 13
References for Ch. 12 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”, June 27, 2021
by Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1393)
- My “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage” story cover illustration is comprised of: a) ivory lace background with Grati edit, found at torrid.com; and a b) Victorian roses bouquet painting by the Boston Public Library, via Atlas Obscura (with some Grati edits ), found at https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-flowerobsessed-victorians-encoded-messages-in-bouquets; and with c) the text in deep pinkish coral in a Vivaldi font.2. The image representing Lady Emily Creighton Carlisle, wearing a wide brimmed hat from her first season, is a “Portrait of a Young Girl” by Albert Lynch that was found at https://www.etsy.com/listing/517131412/portrait-of-a-young-girl-by-albert-lynch;3. Lord Edward Carlisle kissing-Lady Emily Creighton image is of Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe from North & South 2004_May17-20214. The image representing Lord Edward and Lady Emily Carlisle canoodling feet as newlyweds was found at https://ak7.picdn.net/shutterstock/videos/4728737/thumb/2.jpg?i10c=img.resize(height:160)
Gratiana Lovelace Wattpad site link for Ch.12 of “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”:
Previous SAL blog Post #1392 link for Ch. 11 “Seeking the Niceties of Marriage”: