Posted on 2011-10-16
Georgiana Darcy stood staring out the window, eyes taking all surroundings of her home. From the grass still damp with morning dew to the trees now loosing their leaves. Autumn truly was the most beautiful of seasons. So much colour, from red to brown to green to gold and more so. Even the sky held a myriad of shades.
Blue, light grey, dark grey...
"We are lucky, are we not, Mrs. Reynolds? To reside in such magnificence."
"Yes indeed, Miss. Darcy. I have always thought it the epitome of splendour itself."
Georgiana smiled and turned to face the housekeeper. "I could not have found a better description. Have the guests arrived?"
"All but one, Miss. As per usual."
The young woman chuckled at the annoyance expressed on the housekeeper's face. If there was one thing Mrs. Reynolds thought truly distasteful, it was complete lack of manners and respect.
Georgiana sighed. "The staff here work ever so hard to prepare the rooms. Tell me, did the guests have the decency to cancel their room or have they left us with the deposit."
"The deposit, Miss."
The young lady nodded. "Be sure to add from my personal fund."
"Of course, Miss." Mrs. Reynolds paused for a moment. "Is there ought else we need to discuss?"
Georgiana swallowed, but shook her head. "It shall be as it always has. He will come for me and I will remain in here."
A snow white hand gracefully rose and halted the older woman's words. "Please, Mrs. Reynolds. No more of this. It is the same each year. He comes and I hide, just like I did before. This room is unknown to him and it will remain so."
"There might be a way to end your torment, Miss. Darcy."
"I have no wish to end my torment, for it is what I deserve. My deeds were the cause and my penance will be paid in full."
Tears glistened in the housekeeper's eyes. "That is trollop, if I may say. It has been so very long now, surely you realise it is time for an end?"
"The only wish I have is for my brother to find his peace, but we both understand that cannot ever be. I took what was dear to him and his pain is too great to allow forgiveness." Georgiana returned her attention to the window and watched a car appear on the far edge of Pemberley's drive.
The sight of such a thing still never ceased to amaze her. "How far the world has come in so short a time. Mrs. Reynolds, did you ever think you would see a car?"
The housekeeper chuckled and went to stand at the young lady's side. "No indeed! Nor did I ever think to see man fly."
Georgiana's eyes sparkled. "Oh yes! So many wonders to behold. I should have liked to fly, I think, and learned to drive a car. They come in all sorts of shapes and colours, you know. How it must feel to have such freedom. Especially for a woman."
"How great this country could have been if women had enjoyed the freedom they do now. Particularly as corsets are no longer a requirement, though I cannot condone skirts that skim the buttocks. Why, those are skirts only a harlot would wear."
The young lady laughed openly at the sheer contempt that dripped from the housekeeper's tone. "Oh yes. For us, however, it will never be and for that, I..."
"If not for you, Miss. Darcy, we could not have witnessed all these miraculous changes and that is how you must think of it. It will do no good to dwell upon that which cannot be undone."
Georgiana grasped the elder woman's hand as she shared the view of more motovehicles pull to the house. After so many years of seeing the same sights, it was no longer odd and unwelcome for her home to be a lodging house. In fact, it brought her comfort to know Pemberley was safe for now and was, according to the magic screen in the library, highly recommended.
How her dearest brother would be awed to witness such a thing as the magic screen. Its true name was a computer, but that name did not fully describe it and so magic screen it was. It allowed people to converse with others as far away as Australia and America alike, it provided information in mere seconds, and it was just... Magic.
While she could not use the magic screen herself, she would often stand behind those in the library and watch as they worked it with ease. If only her brother could see past his pain and anguish, he would be in awe.
Georgiana would often imagine how her brother would react to the sights. Sometimes she pictured him staring quietly out of the window with her, other times she pictured him stealing glances at books the lodgers held in an effort to learn about the world as it was now, but...
Her brother could never be well enough to enjoy the delights. Too much suffering, too much pain, too much anger. Those were dangerous emotions for anyone to have, much more so for a poor soul like her brother.
Full year round, he lay in wait and silence, all that bitterness and rage allowed to fester until it could not be contained and then he came for her. It terrified her, even after so many years, yet there was no way of ending it.
The chiming sound of a bell interrupted her musings and Georgiana beamed at the housekeeper. "Pemberley is open for business I believe, Mrs. Reynolds."
"So it is. I shall return to you directly."
The young woman yet again returned her attention to the window so she could take a few moments to marvel at what the world had become. "Oh brother, if only you were able to see this."
Posted on 2011-12-13
Cordelia Curry pulled into the drive of the home her husband and she had just bought, then brought her car to a stop before she reached the end, her eyes on the building itself.
It wasn't dilapidated, but there was a lot of work to be done and thankfully most of it was superficial. The outside structure was completely sound, no rot or damp anywhere to be seen, but the inside? Plaster cracked at a single glance, the wooden floorboards were weak and showed signs of giving way at the first sign of feet.
Longbourn was, in a nutshell, a fixer-upper.
Yet that was the reason why they bought it. Well, that and the cheap price.
As far as she was concerned, five hundred and fifty thousand pounds was a bargain for a twenty four bedroom country house with a history. Sure, three boys and two adults didn't need twenty four bedrooms, but it was the location that swayed them.
Middle of the countryside, with a river and small forest close by. The location was well past the right side of perfect and usually when something was this perfect, there was usually a catch, yet this place didn't seem to have one whatsoever.
Arthur Junior, Jason, and Daniel had already expressed how much they approved when they first saw the house. The boys hadn't waited until the car stopped before they were out and running around like it was the best place on Earth.
Cordelia cringed at the thought of having to clean up after her sons when they came in caked in heaven knew what, but that was the point. She never had the chance and she was never allowed to go out and learn what it was like to be a kid.
It was why she fell for Arthur.
Sure he wasn't book smart and didn't know his Shakespear from his Dandy, but she didn't either. He was passionate about what he believed in and he practiced what he preached, and he was the same with their children.
Arthur wanted his boys to grow up the way he did and Cordelia wanted her boys to grow up the way she didn't.
Coming from a rich family, all she had been given was money and clothes or shoes or a car. It wasn't until she met Arthur that Cordelia understood that her parents had basically bought her silence all her life.
If it spoke, give it money and it would stay quiet. That had been her life and she'd be darned if her kids ever grew up that way.
Arthur Curry saved her in so many ways and he would continue to save her. She knew she was snappy and spoke without thinking, but those traits were not going to change because it was just who she was. In other ways, she was so much better.
She knew now that shoes and clothes did not make a person, and having money did not make a decent person. Even with all her money and her family name, Cordelia found what people truly thought when they saw a woman under thirty two with three children and pregnant with the fourth.
The looks from those who expected her to live on state benefits, the others who thought she was whorish with a kid who wasn't her husband's, and the worst ones were always the ones would didn't want children. She knew many, too many, women who didn't want children because pregnancy would ruin their figure and those women would look at her as though she was disgusting and their expressions made her feel less than a pebble in their shoe.
Cordelia Curry could deal with that with both arms tied behind her back while standing on her head. Hell, she'd been dealing with that since Jason was born. The looks, the disdainful sniffs, the lip curls...
She'd suffered it all and if she was honest, she'd suffered with judgment long before pregnancy. As a five foot seven inch tall female with a generous bust and naturally waved chestnut hair, Cordelia had dealt with judgment all her life.
It only got worse after she met Arthur.
For a start, her husband was a swimmer and therefore had an amazing body. So amazing that she couldn't wait to see him mow the lawn in summer when it was too hot to wear a shirt. Then there was his absolute moral compass.
He might be a vegetarian, but he didn't shove his own beliefs down the throats of others. He respected people and respected life in general. Be it fly, spider, or cockroach. Arthur Curry would not kill, but release, and it was this that got her heart.
Her husband grounded her, kept her from being too caught up in things that didn't matter.
He had given her three beautiful boys and they deserved to live, not simply exist as they would have done otherwise.
The boys had already proved they would be living here. There was so much space for them to run, trees for a tree house, fishing, and they would not only have their own bedrooms, but they would also have a family room and a games room. On top of that, they would be able to host wedding parties and birthdays once it was all done up, so the house would pay for itself. Not that the boys gave a heck about that, because they didn't.
Money wasn't an issue, not since she came into her trust fund, but both Arthur and herself agreed that her trust fund money should be for the boys. So it had been decided that they would have to tighten their belts until Arthur's first wage came through and her photography business took off.
Cordelia looked the house over again before she nodded in approval, then scowled at her stomach when the baby kicked. "I know you're there and for your information, my kidney is not a trampoline."
As if to defy, another kick happened and she laughed, then placed a protective hand over her precious gem. "I choose to see that as your silent way of saying you love me."
Her eyes stung with hot tears when she felt another kick. "You don't have to tell me every five seconds, you know. I can go half hour without assurance of your affection."
Another kick made her laugh out loud. "You are so your father's kid, kid." She paused. "If you're not careful, Kid will be your name."
Cordelia didn't feel anything after that. "Thought you'd give in to that threat."
Chuckling, she got out of the car and walked up to the front door, the gravel under her heels crunched, but the sound didn't take away from the fact the house seemed to be watching her every move.
She paused as she looked, really looked, at the house in front of her. Nine windows and they all seemed to be staring at her, almost like it was waiting or something.
She chuckled and shook her head. "Teach me to watch Amityville before a move."
According to the estate agent, the place hadn't been used in years, so there nothing and no-one waiting, and she put it down to her pregnancy.
Cordelia fished for the keys as she walked the rest of the way to the front door and on walking inside, she was overcome with the biggest sense of peace she had ever felt. Not just peace, but warmth and it was the sort of warmth that could only be found when one came out of the cold and into a room with a proper coal fire roaring away.
"Wow." She murmured to herself as she moved into what she figured was the living room. A lovely room that would be nice and cosy during the summer as all windows were full west.
There were some portraits on the wall that she recognised from her own family collection, especially that of Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Bennet had been the mother-in-law of her great-great cousin or something. Stories of the woman had been passed down generations and from what Cordelia could remember, the woman had been more flighty than a doberman on crack.
She was actually surprised the portraits had been left. Surprised, but very pleased. After all, a family home was nothing without its heritage.
Cordelia walked through the room and took in the pictures, smiling at each and every one of them. The one of Mr. Bennet depicted a man with white hair and a slight curling of his lips that seemed to be more sardonic than anything. After him, there was a portrait of a very pretty young lady with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a soft smile.
"Jane Bennet." She murmured to herself, vague memories of that name cropped up. This Jane Bennet had been the sister of her great-great cousin, yet she couldn't really remember anything said about the woman in the portrait.
A few inches to the left and she found herself staring at a picture of another young girl, only this time there was a serious expression and no smile to be seen. "Mary Bennet." Cordelia stated, hardly able to keep from grinning.
This Bennet she knew as, like Mrs. Bennet, stories about her had been passed down and the most notable had been the affair she'd had with a man called William Collins.
Cordelia chuckled. How like two God fearing people to ignore the teachings. Still, as Arthur said, nobody controlled who they fell in love with.
She moved to the next portrait and laughed.
There were two young ladies, both with brown hair and both smiling widely. One had dimples and an air of wildness about her, the other seemed to be a little more subdued.
"Catherine and Lydia Bennet." Cordelia read and went to move to the next portrait to see a picture of the fifth Bennet daughter, but found nothing bar old wallpaper.
According to Longbourn history and her own family history, there had been five daughters to Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, yet there were only portraits of four.
She went back a few feet and this time noticed the space between the painting of Jane and Mary Bennet, and frowned. It was obvious a portrait had been there, but had long since been removed.
She didn't have time to question it when AJ and his brothers ran into the house.
"Mum! Mum! We're gonna get a tree house!"
Little Daniel nodded. "Dad said so."
Cordelia inwardly smirked. "He did, did he?"
Both AJ and Daniel nodded. "And he said he was gonna teach us how to climb."
She arched a brow. "He did, did he?" This time, there was much less amusement in her voice. Tree climbing was dangerous... And that was why they moved to the country. She had to keep reminding herself of that.
"I did." Her husband stated as he walked in, closely followed by Jason who seemed to have a woodlouse crawling on his hand.
"Jason!" Cordelia half screeched as she jumped. Insects were not her forte.
"What?" Her son asked innocent. "He's not doing anything."
"That's enough scaring your mother." Arthur Curry grinned at his wife. "Go put it outside... And no buts before you start."
Jason Curry pouted at his parents before he made a point of stomping outside to release his pet.
"Ooh, that boy." Cordelia shook a pointed finger, that was quickly grabbed hold of by her husband.
"So." He said as he pulled her arms around his waist. "Nice, huh?"
She smiled up at him, so happy that everything was turning out right. "I've never felt more at home."To Be Continued . . .