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Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

September 26, 2016 02:49AM
Author's Note: Hey ladies, this is the last of my posts for this series of one-shots. This includes parts 4, and 5, so the piece is now concluded. If any of you speak Italian, I do not speak it, and I was at the mercy of google translate for the few Italian phrases in here. If they need to be corrected to make sense, let me know and I can leave a note for the archiver to fix it. For anyone looking for a conclusion to Georgiana and Tye's story, it can be found in the short story 'Beautiful Music', which is already in the archives.

I so appreciated the comments people left for each installment. It was fun to go back to these characters. I hope you all enjoyed it too! smiling smiley

Begin Archiving!

Part 4

E. Children

As Georgiana grew older, she grew more independent. She had a driver's license now, and her own schedule, her own friends, and goals. She was making plans to travel for her gap year, she was taking tours of universities, she was talking about the future.

Emma and George Knightley moved households. George secured himself a partnership with a local family practice near Donwell Abbey. Emma still maintained the London art gallery, now staffed by a young team of art curators. She continued to sell her work there. Donwell Abbey was large enough for an art studio, though, and the countryside, said Emma, was constantly inspiring her.

Anne and Frederick, too, found their lives changing. Anne changed primary schools, taking a local post teaching Year One students at a school just a few blocks from their home. Fredrick, after an injury abroad, was removed from active duty, and was settling into his new role as a squadron trainer at the military base.

Will was offered a new position at work. They discussed the offer over dinner—in a pizza shop, of all places, squeezed together into one side of a booth. An hour of back-and-forth discussion led to one conclusion: he didn't want the promotion.

“Elizabeth, ten years ago I would have called myself crazy for passing this job up. Now I can't bring myself to say yes to it.” He sighed. “The travel this would involve---it would be double what I'm doing now. This isn't a job for someone with a spouse.”

“Not for someone with a spouse,” Elizabeth whispered carefully. “Or...not for someone with a family?”

He stayed silent. She felt his fingers tease at her ear. Perhaps this whole hour of conversation-- what they needed, what would work for their lives--- had really been leading up to this.

“Georgie needs less of us...” Elizabeth continued.

Will pressed a kiss to her temple. “Yes.”

“And I know we talked about waiting longer...”

"What do you want?” His dark gaze sought hers. “What about your dancing?”

“I love ballet, Will, you know that. But..." she hesitated, "the way that I love it is—it's not my whole life anymore. I started my career at seventeen. This will be my ninth year dancing Nutcracker. My eighth year dancing Swan Lake. I've been cast in every ballet I could ever hope to dance in. Even if I do continue dancing, I've met all my goals on the stage. My charity work is more fulfilling--and I can continue that even if we do have a baby.”

“A child's a big change.”

“I know. But I'm ready for motherhood, Will. I'm sure of that. Would you—do you--”

He leaned down, kissing her softly. “Yes.”

“Are you sure?”

“I'm sure.” He kissed her again. He was five years older, thirty-one now. Maybe he'd been ready for awhile.

Adoption, pregnancy. As time passed, they talked about both. Elizabeth wanted both eventually, in the years to come. They agreed to start with adoption. The process could take months, if not years.

It wasn't easy. They'd known it wouldn't be. Even choosing which country to adopt from left Elizabeth's stomach in knots. They'd love any child equally, no matter where that child came from.

It was a combination of factors that made them settle on one particular country in Eastern Europe. Will traveled there frequently for business, he knew their diplomats, he knew their courts, he knew their legal system. Beyond that, his late mother had had ties to the country. Her grandmother—Will's great grandmother—had emigrated from there to England in 1918.

One evening Will took out a photo box, letting her look through it in the privacy of their bedroom.

"Your maternal great-grandmother was an emigre?" she murmured as she looked through the photos. "Will, you never mentioned it..."

"There wasn't much to say," said Will, tugging off his sweatshirt. He settled on the bed next to her, unhooking his watch and setting on the bedside table. "She died when my mother was young."

Her husband was so undeniably English, so tied to centuries of history in England. As an Irish national, she found it delightful that he had a bit of some other culture in him, too. Even if it was a small bit.

There were photos of his great grandmother dating back to the early 20th century. Why had she never made this cultural connection before? His maternal aunt was named Catherine, after all. His mother was named Anastasia. The 'Ana' in Georgiana's name came from that name. Was it really such a surprise that a small portion of his family came from somewhere other than Derbyshire?

One black-and-white, circa 1915, photo showed an elegant woman draped in pearls and fur. This was her, Will's great grandmother. Clearly she, too, had been wealthy. An emigre, thought Elizabeth, but not the sort who'd come here with nothing in her pockets.

“She must have had a thousand stories," she said. "What was her name?”


She tucked the photo back into the photo box, set the box aside, then settled into his embrace. “Elegant name, Galina. My whole career, I've been surrounded by girls with beautiful names like that. Being called Lizzie seems a bit ordinary.”

"I don't think so. Are you saying you don't like your name?"

"Well, I--"

"I love your name." Her husband rolled her over. "Elizabeth, I've always loved your name. Right from the start."

"It's not quite exotic." She laughed as his hands trailed up her stomach. "It's not a long, beautiful name like Oksana, or Ekaterina, or Alina."

"You have a long," Will's lips pressed to her skin, "--beautiful name. Elizabeth Rose.”

“Well,” she said, breathless, “I suppose when you like say it like that..."

It could take months simply to get approval to adopt. Some couples waited years for a child. A few lucky ones passed through the process within six to eight months. It would happen, they agreed, whenever God willed it to happen.

The next few months were the most stressful, paper-work filled months of Elizabeth's entire life. There were dossiers for Will to submit, and forms to fill out. Elizabeth was required to get a letter from three separate physicians---her rheumatologist, her family physician, and her nephrologist---stating she was physically fit for adoption, that her lupus wouldn't be a hindrance to caring for a child.

They were assigned an adoption facilitator. There were interviews in-office, and at their home. They had a home inspection. They needed character references. Fees had to be paid. Will had to file paperwork with the embassy in London and the embassy abroad. They received a certificate of eligibility.

In August they were matched with a child in an orphanage. It was a baby boy, Nicholas. He was eight months old on the match date—this was barely old enough, the facilitator told them, to even be on the adoption registry. But, God willing, he would be their son.

In September, they traveled to visit the baby. Laws required that adopters reside in the country for four weeks.

In person, Nicholas was shy and heart-breakingly small. He had pale hair and sky blue eyes. The medical report said he was anemic. He wasn't crawling yet, or even trying to. The baby wasn't trusting enough to let them hold him. When they returned to their rented hotel room, Will hugged her tight. Both cried.

They returned to the orphanage day after day, week after week. For their allotted hour, Will and Elizabeth sat with the baby, talking and offering the small toys they'd brought with them. Nicholas was cautious with the toys, and with the Darcys. By the end of the second week, he'd accepted one toy, along with the Darcy's careful touch, letting both hold him.

After that, it was more meetings with a local judge, and more paperwork to file with two separate embassies. A four week visit became eight slow weeks, all of October and November. Nicholas needed a visa authorizing travel out of his own country's borders, and a second set of papers authorizing entrance with Will and Elizabeth into the United Kingdom. Their stay stretched beyond their required residence mark, and still Nicholas wasn't theirs yet. The wait was endless, painful---Will started having with nightmares, Elizabeth suffered insomnia.

“I'm worried about your health, love,” Will murmured one sleepless night while she was in his embrace.

"I know."

"You feel warm." His fingers touched her cheek. "You're getting a rash."

She buried her cheek against his chest. She'd noticed it too. That butterfly rash was a marker of her condition acting up. “Nicholas will be ours soon. I'll be fine then.”

The irony wasn't lost on either of them: the adoption was possibly more difficult for her health than pregnancy would have been. A few more weeks of this stress, and she'd risk a serious lupus flare.

Will left at dawn that morning. He was gone for the whole day, holed up at the local magistrate's office.

And then, finally (and, she suspected, in large part due to some pressure placed on the magistrate by her barrister husband), Nicholas was theirs.

Months had passed since they'd settled home with their baby. Her rash faded quickly when they returned to London. Her health improved. She and Will settled into life here with Nicholas.

And then, a few weeks into January, came a surprise: Elizabeth was pregnant. It was her nephrologist, of all people, perhaps the least sensitive, most blunt physician in all of London, who gave her the happy news.

"But--" Elizabeth shook her head. Dumb surprise warred with joy. Pregnant? "I've been married for years, but I'm diligent about making sure I---that is, I always remember to---"

"Mrs. Darcy, the truth is, all of us have our forgetful days." The doctor flipped through her chart. "You were on prednisone recently."

"Briefly." Her mind was still spinning. She always remembered. But what if she hadn't, recently. They'd been adjusting to the baby, and-- "For two weeks in December."

"Who prescribed that?"

"Well, my regular physician. I had a mild flare but--"

"There are some studies showing prednisone may briefly heighten a woman's fertility. Or perhaps it was simple forgetfulness on your part."

"But--" Elizabeth's joy was quickly paired with panic, "--what if I conceived while I was on it? Would it hurt the baby?"

"You said it was a two week drug course in December. Based on the information you've given, my calculations say you conceived in January. You should be fine. You may be a pregnant woman, but as far as I can tell you are a healthy pregnant woman. Might I remind you, I am not an obstetrician, Mrs. Darcy. Any further questions should be addressed to a specialist. We are here to talk about your kidneys, so could we please move on to that?"

Their family of three would be a family of four by early October.

She was now seven months into her--very health---pregnancy. Her old bras were tucked away. Stretchy maternity pants were her new friend. Even her loosest, biggest summer dresses from her old wardrobe had stopped fitting after her fourth month.

Lately, she'd been borrowing a lot of Will's shirts, usually pairing one of his old button-down shirts with leggings during the day. She slept in his t-shirts at night. Today, though, was a check up with the obstetrician. Will would be going with her, and little Nicholas too. They'd be celebrating with lunch afterward.

Simply getting Nicholas out the door took work. The little boy was making leaps and bounds with every week that passed. He loved her. He loved Will. He loved being held by them.

With her pregnancy progressing, though, picking him up and carrying him for long periods was not only difficult on her back, the act of bending left her dizzy.

At seven months, Elizabeth wasn't just a little pregnant anymore, she was very pregnant. All Nicholas understood was that mummy couldn't hold him for long anymore. This morning it was leaving her sweet little boy in tears. That, combined with her pregnancy hormones, and her early morning fatigue, prompted Elizabeth to start crying.

She thanked heaven for her husband. Will eased Nicholas from her arms, and pressed a kiss to her lips.

“Go back to bed, love. It's early yet.”

“But the baby---” she sniffled, “his breakfast is---and we still need to dress him---and his diaper bag needs repacked, and---”

“I'll handle it.”

“Will," she hiccupped, "his favorite blanket's still in the dryer.”

He leaned down, his lips brushed hers again, “I'll handle it. I'll take care of this baby. You can take care of that one. Rest.”

She went back to bed and slept a whole second hour. Then she took a shower. She dried her hair, did her makeup, and dressed in one of her new maternity dresses: a white cotton summer dress with a high empire waist. She found her cross necklace---an old favorite--- and a pair of silver earrings.

When she returned to the living room, Will and Nicholas were there. Nicholas was cuddled up to Will. Their little boy was pushing a small, red toy car across the couch pillow.

Will reached for her hand as she neared him, squeezing it. “You look beautiful, Elizabeth.”

“Thank you.” She eased herself next to him. “Thanks for letting me rest."

"Of course." His dark eyes studied her. "How's the baby?"

"Good. He was a bit restless while I slept, but that's normal. How's our little lad?”

Nicholas lifted the small car in his hands, tilting it. His soft blue eyes were bright with excitement. He wiggled, climbing onto Will's lap. “Dada, cat!”

"He's good." Will grinned. “Did you hear him say car?”

“Cat!” said Nicholas.

Their little boy was making leaps and bounds in motor skills. He was walking, and climbing, and picking things up. He babbled quite a lot, usually nonsense, but occasionally one or two words in something the Darcys assumed was his native language. English was coming more slowly. He'd picked up dada, and muma, and nothing else.

Her hand brushed up her husband's back. “It sounded like cat, mo chroi.”

Nicholas let out a small, happy squeak. “Dada, cat!”

Will grinned. His left arm circled around Elizabeth. His right arm held Nicholas closer. “It's definitely car.”

Elizabeth laughed. “Have you been reading him a book about cats?”

“No." He pressed a kiss to her head. "He's still nuts about the one with the truck. We read that three times while you showered.”

In the safety of his father's embrace, the boy started dropping the car, then picking it up again. “Muma, cat!”

“We've never had a cat,” Will murmured. “Our friends don't have cats. I wonder where he might have heard---”

“Cat!” said Nicholas.

“Maybe he just likes cats?” Elizabeth grinned. “Does it matter?”

“No. Maybe it's just the closest he can get to the letter 'r'. Otherwise, the only thing I can think of is--”

Cat---his aunt's most frequent nickname. Will winced. He'd spent a good portion of the previous evening talking to Richard on the phone, listening to the airman announce he was about to give Lady Catherine an earful over her 'suggestions' concerning Richard's children, Jason and Annie.

“It can't be,” said Will.

“No,” she agreed. She kissed Nicholas's soft cheek, then lifted her head to kiss her husband. “His third word in English...”

He bent his head, accommodating by touching his lips to hers. “Could be anything.”

She smiled. “Yes.”

His free hand caressed her very round abdomen. “My bet's on the word car.”

“Mine, too.”

Will leaned in, kissing her softly. Nicholas was wiggling in his father's arm, reaching for the ground. The baby inside her kicked. They had an appointment to keep.

“Are we ready, Mrs. Darcy?” Will whispered as he drew back.

She smiled. “All set.”

Part 5
F. Dinner

“You have a reservation?”

“Yeah," Tye exhaled. "I'm meeting a family here, actually. The Darcy family.”

They had said Friday, hadn't they? 8:00 PM? Ciao Claretta, that was the name of the restaurant Georgiana had texted him about. A promise to his dear friend was prompting him to return to London, even on a night when Paris was the only place he ought to be. The world premiere of his new symphony was tomorrow. He could barely believe he'd dragged himself out of the concert hall.

Will and Elizabeth had arrived early. Will was sporting a three-piece suit. Elizabeth had donned a white cocktail dress. They were squeezed together at a small square table, whispering to one another.

As he neared the table, it was Elizabeth who noticed him. She stood to give him a welcoming hug. Will greeted him with a handshake.

“How was your train trip?” Elizabeth asked.

“The Eurostar?” Tye slid into the chair opposite them. “Not bad.”

“I hope you brought your appetite,” Elizabeth said.

“She's right.” Will handed him a menu. “Dinner's on us.”

“You don't have to--”

“A congratulatory gesture,” Will said, "for your successful premiere tomorrow."

“Alright. I'm too hungry to argue with that.” Tye grinned at the pair, flipping the menu open. “This looks like a nice restaurant.”

“Yes, it's very special to us,” Elizabeth remarked, “Will took me here the night he proposed.”

“No kidding?” Tye said. “Do you come back here often?”

“From time to time,” said Will. “We're not in London much anymore. Nicholas is in primary school at Lambton. That keeps us at Pemberley for most of the year.”

“And Bennet's right behind him,” Elizabeth added with a small laugh. “The wee boy's so eager to do everything his brother does."

Tye reached for his water glass. “And the younger children?”

“Elise and William,” said Elizabeth. “Elise is four already. I can barely believe it. And William's four months old. He learns new things every day.”

“My youngest sister Lynnie's eight this year,” Tye said. “I can barely believe how tall she's getting. It won't be long before she's taller than her mother.”

“How is Lydia?” Elizabeth questioned carefully. “I haven't seen her in years.”

Tye hesitated. His other sisters had never warmed to Lydia. She tested even Edmund's famous patience. His mother and father had reconciled after a brief divorce. His mom couldn't stand the sight of her. Lydia was temperamental and impulsive. But it wasn't easy being part of the Bertram family. He couldn't help but feel sympathy for her.

“It's never easy being a single parent,” Tye said at last. “Lydia does her best with it. She moved into a cottage on the Mansfield Park property some years ago. It seems like a good fit for Lynnie.”

“I just hope she's happy,” said Elizabeth.

"Lynnie's sweet enough to make everyone happy," Tye confirmed. "Even her parents."

Tye smiled, hearing Georgiana's voice behind him. “Will!" she called out, "Lizzie, oh I'm sorry I'm late! Tye, you're here already, too. I wasn't sure if you'd arrive before me. Margaret kept me busy for longer than I'd thought. I had the worst time trying to get a cab here.”

“Georgiana,” Elizabeth's laugh was gentle, “don't rush, sweetheart, we won't start our meal without you, will we Tye?”

“Never.” Tye set his glass down, straightened his tie, and stood to greet her properly.

He nearly fell over when he saw her.

Twenty-three year old Georgiana Darcy looked like she'd walked off the cover of a magazine. She wore a gold dress, designed to show off her hour-glass figure, and her long, beautiful legs. Her curly hair was up, with a few strands falling from her chignon to brush her face. There were diamonds in her ears. Her eyes were smoky with eye shadow. She smelled of rose perfume.

She greeted Will and Lizzie with a hug, then moved toward him.

“Tye,” she said breathlessly. “Goodness, you're very smart in that black suit. And you're wearing a tie, too. You're looking so well.”

He was speechless.

“That's a beautiful dress, Georgiana,” Elizabeth said.

“What little there is of it,” Will remarked dryly.

“Well, it's Friday night. I wanted to dress up. And it's nearly Christmas. How often do we get to have dinner together, all four of us?”

“Not often enough,” Tye remarked.

“Yes, and this restaurant is an old favorite of our family's.” Georgiana said to Tye, offering a teasing smile. “A great place to celebrate, right?”

The longer he looked at her, the tighter his collar seemed. He'd seen her in the occasional daring outfit since she'd entered university, but never anything that made her look quite this---

Tempting. he decided. It's just Georgiana. Just your old friend. You've known her for years. You can't ogle her. Not now. Not in front of her brother.

“I--” Tye cleared his tight throat. Was it hot in here, or was it just him? “Your brother and sister-in-law were telling me how great the food is here. How about we take a look at the menus?”

They settled at the table again, Elizabeth and Will at one side, Georgiana and Tye opposite them. His stern reminder not to notice her dress, or her body, just to notice her---sweet Georgie---seemed impossible. It was easier when his focus was on her eyes. She had beautiful eyes, warm eyes. They made him think of her mind, and all her many gifts.

He chose to make her mind his focus. They talked about her coursework at Cambridge. One of her current professors was a former mentor of his.

“His sessions are so difficult,” she said, reaching for a bread stick.

“Leopold's always tough on his favorite students,” Tye remarked. “That said, if he's ever unfair to you---”

“No, no, Tye. The pressure's all mine.”

“Well, if that changes, call me. I would fly to Cambridge and give him hell on your behalf.”

A small smile appeared on her lips. “I know.”

“This—Leopold--was a teacher of yours, Tye?” asked Elizabeth.

“Many years ago,” Tye confirmed, “when he still taught at Bardwell.”

“Tye was, oh, I think—twelve years old?” Georgiana announced with a laugh.

“I was twelve-and-a-half,” Tye defended with a grin. “That half year counts for plenty.”

“If I say that I'm twenty-three-and-a-half,” said Georgiana, leaning closer to him, “would you consider me more grown-up than I was as a mere twenty-three year old?”

“Georgiana,” he said, brushing a stray brown curl from her eyes, “I'm smart enough not to argue with any woman about her age. Even you.”

At last, he glanced at Will and Elizabeth. Will was whispering something to his wife. Elizabeth was simply watching Georgiana and Darcy with a smile. Tye shifted in his chair, reaching for his water glass again.

He'd managed not to stare at Georgiana's dress. That smile of hers distracted him, though. And her hair--

He was twenty eight---due to celebrate his twenty ninth birthday next autumn. Georgiana was, as she'd reminded him, twenty-three. It was hitting him for the first time that yes, he and Georgiana were on equal footing now. If they'd met as strangers at a party, he never would have thought of her as anything other than a grown woman.

Their meals arrived. Tye had the filetto al balsamico. Elizabeth and Will both ordered the arista alla fiorentina. Georgiana tried the tagliatelle al tartufo, which she kindly offered to share with him. Over and over, until the end of the meal, she kept offering.

Finally, when she was down to her last bite, Tye relented with a grin. He set down his water glass. "Alright, Georgie. Convince me."

"I will," Georgiana said. She lifted her own fork to his mouth.

It tasted like everything he loved about Italy--rich parmisane, creamy butter, homemade pasta, earthy pepper.

More inviting was the warmth in her eyes, richly intelligent, playful, still just a little shy. Every thing about her looked soft tonight--her skin, her curls, her eyes.

"Not bad, is it?" she whispered, drawing the fork away.

"It's---" He could barely think around her tonight. What was the question? "Geeze, Georgie, it's incredible."

"Oh, it is my favorite fam-ily!" A woman with silver-gray hair and a rose pink dress was nearing the table."Elisabetta, Fitzwilliam! Eliabetta, I see you have had your baby. How many bambini is it, four?"

"Four," said Will, taking Elizabeth's hand. "This is our first trip to London since William's birth."

"When they are bigger, you bring them here to eat. And Georgiana, bella, you have dressed so beautifully for me. Or is it because of your fidanzato here?"

"Claretta," Georgiana set her fork down, rubbing at her neck. "Non è il mio fidanzato. Lui è un amico."

Claretta's gaze shifted to Tye. "Un amico?"

Across the table, Elizabeth laughed. "Oh, dear."

"Deja vu, right?" Will murmured, grinning at her. “Easy on the boy, Claretta.”

"But I cannot believe it.” Claretta repeated. “Solo un amico?"

"Madam." Tye looked chagrinned. "My Italian is very limited—I can't speak much—”

“He doesn't speak Italian, Claretta,” Georgiana said quickly.

“Questo vestito?” Claretta insisted, “per un amico? Is that what you tell me?”

This dress, for a friend? Tye offered a tired laugh. He couldn't really speak much of it, but he knew more Italian than he let on. It was past midnight, too late for things to get lost in translation. How was he supposed to answer that? Especially when he didn't know the answer himself. He'd been wondering it for most of the night. “Georgie, when did you learn Italian?"

Georgiana was still blushing. "Oh, Will rents a summer house there. We go there every year. Claretta, this is Tye Bertram. Tye, this is Claretta. She's the restaurant's owner, and an old friend of our family."

"Claretta," said Elizabeth, “Tye here is a wonderful musician. He teaches in Paris."

"A sua sorella piacciono i musicisti?" said Claretta to Will. Your sister likes musicians.

"Le piace questo musicista, sì,” Will confirmed calmly. She likes this musician, yes.

Georgiana's mouth dropped open. "Will!"

“Georgie,” Will said, “You're a grown woman. I accepted that years ago. You'll have to excuse us. It's getting late. Elizabeth and I should head out.” He stood, offering a kiss to Claretta's cheek. “Claretta, have Crespo charge the evening meal to my account.”

“But no dessert?” Claretta said with a frown.

“Perhaps for Tye and Georgie?” Elizabeth confirmed lightly. “Tye, the panna cotta here is wonderful.”

“Are you headed back to the apartment, Lizzie? Will?” Georgiana asked.

“Soon.” Will confirmed. “There's a place near here that Elizabeth and I want to visit first, though.”

"Goodnight, Georgie, sweetheart. And Tye, we were so happy to have you join us for dinner," Elizabeth added. "We do wish you loads of luck for your premiere tomorrow. If you two want to stay for dessert--"

Tye rubbed at his jaw. “Georgie, I'm happy to stick around if you want to.”

“Well,” Georgiana was blushing again, “sure. I'd like that.”

Will nodded. “We'll see you at home, then.”

“Tye, if you'd be nice enough to drop Georgie off before you head back to—” Elizabeth hesitated, “where are you staying tonight?”

“The Delshire Grand, though it won't be much of a stay. I'm taking the 8:00 AM train back to Paris.”

“When you do arrive home, Georgie,” Elizabeth added, “be careful not to make too much noise? William's a good sleeper, but the London apartment's still new to him. I wouldn't want him frightened.”

“Yes,” Georgiana nodded, “of course.”

They ended up staying at Ciao Claretta's until the restaurant closed. They split an apple tart and an espresso, and talked quietly. She was older now, and more at ease with expressing her opinions. In these last few years, he'd come to realize how similar their tastes were, how they loved the same books, the same films, the same places. They shared details about their lives, their families, their hopes for the future.

And, as often happened in these last few years around her, Tye felt the stress inside him fade away. The premiere in Paris mattered, but this time with her mattered more. He wouldn't have traveled all this way---when he could least afford it---if he hadn't already known that deep inside his heart.

He drove her home. It was stop-and-go traffic, typical of a late Friday in London. When he parked at her building, he glanced over at her.

She was dozing quietly.

“Georgie,” he whispered. Gently, he reached across, brushing the edge of her cheek. “Georgiana, sweetheart, we're here.”

“Already?” she whispered. Her eyes opened slowly.

He gave her a soft smile. “It's past 2:00.”

“Too quick,” she said quietly. “The whole night.”

“Yeah, for me too.” He gently touched a curl near her brow. “Let me walk you up.”

He escorted her through the sleek lobby, and up the lift. Once again, as they had a dozen times before, they stood at the door to the Darcy's apartment. For the first time in their long friendship, Tye Bertram was at a loss for how to offer his goodbye.

She was his dearest friend. His best friend. He'd come all this way for her---he'd go anywhere in the world for her. When had it happened? When had he fallen in love with her?

"I wish I could be in Paris with you," she whispered.

Than be in Paris with me,[/i] he thought. Tonight wasn't the night to say it. But soon, it would be. "When can I see you again," he said softly.

"The next semester will be busy. But my graduation--Lizzie and Will, they're giving me a party. My whole family will be there. Lizzie's brothers, her parents, all my friends...would you come?"

"Yes," he said quietly. He touched her cheek.

I'd go anywhere you asked me to, Georgiana. He didn't say it before he left her. But he would say it--and everything else inside him---when he saw her again.


Date Night

It was a rare week back in London at the Montgomery Victoria. The Darcy children, in the midst of their summer holiday, were being rewarded of with a week of excitement. Parks, museum visits, special treats, and lots of time together.

Now the Darcy household was practicing what they called their 'nighttime voices'. The baby had finally fallen asleep in the adjoining nursery. Every other child in the household was now old enough to know what happened when someone was noisy enough to 'wake baby William.' The baby would start crying. And then either Mummy would disappear with the baby to calm him, or else Daddy would, or else they'd take shifts, depending on how long it took. The boys and four-year-old Lissie made a game of who could whisper softest.

Will put on a movie for the kids. Singing and small animals, that's what the film's main plot was. Bedtime was coming soon. It's amazing how many people we can fit on this couch, thought Elizabeth. Will and Elizabeth were in the middle, their children were placed around them.

By the film's halfway point, all three children were sleeping. Seven-year-old Bennet drifted off early, tucked between his parents. Eight year old Nicholas, safe under Will's left arm, was the next to drift off. Lissie, cradled against her mother, was the last to fall asleep.

“Guess movie night was a hit, huh?” Will whispered with a grin.

“Counts as one to me.” Elizabeth smiled. She stood slowly, lifting four-year-old Lissie in her arms. Will managed tuck-in time for Bennet and Nicholas.

By the time they returned to the living room, it was nearly 9:00. Georgiana was in the kitchen, slipping something into her purse. She'd dressed up for tonight's date: ruby red lipstick, an elegant touch of eye shadow on her eyes, a sleek blue dress.

Elizabeth wrapped her arms around Will's midsection. “Georgie, you look gorgeous. Tye won't know what hit him."

“I hope he likes it." Georgiana checked her phone, then glanced up to her brother. "What do you think, Will?”

Will smiled. “Beautiful, Georgie.”

“Okay, good.” She let out an excited breath. “You know, the restaurant Tye's taking me to is so beautiful. It's that new French one, not far from the British Opera House?”

“Yes, Will took me there for our last anniversary. It's incredibly romantic.”

“Oh, that makes me even more--” Nervous, Georgiana thought, and excited. Since Tye's discussion with her at her graduation party, he'd come to London every weekend to take her on date-nights. “Well, anyway, I'd better go. I'm hoping to meet him before he gets here. I don't want him waking the kids.”

“Goodnight, sweetheart,” Will said.

“Have fun,” Elizabeth added. “Take as much time as you want."

When the door closed quietly behind her, Will hand brushed her cheek. Elizabeth's eyes warmed.

"We have a quiet home," she said.

He grinned, bending down to kiss her. "Yes."

The kiss that followed left her flushed. "She's loved Tye for a very long time," whispered Elizabeth.

"She's part of our family." His mouth brushed her cheek. "Once we fall in love, we are persistent."

"Yes, we are." She laughed. "I love you, Will."

"I love you, Elizabeth Rose," he whispered in her ear.

She smiled. And then she kissed him again.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2016 12:50AM by Amy I..

Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

BernadetteESeptember 26, 2016 02:49AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

KathyKSeptember 30, 2016 03:01AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Janice HSeptember 30, 2016 12:44AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

ShannaGSeptember 29, 2016 06:08PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

jancatSeptember 28, 2016 07:48PM

Comments and some Italian

LilySeptember 26, 2016 06:20PM

Correction Request-and Comments

BernadetteESeptember 27, 2016 02:20AM

Last correction...

LilySeptember 27, 2016 12:49PM

Last Correction Request

BernadetteESeptember 28, 2016 12:56AM

Belated, but corrected. (nfm)

Amy I.October 31, 2016 12:50AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Suzanne OSeptember 26, 2016 05:09PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

KarenteaSeptember 26, 2016 04:19PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Margaret FSeptember 26, 2016 02:36PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Shannon KSeptember 26, 2016 02:29PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

JanetRSeptember 26, 2016 01:51PM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Lucy J.September 26, 2016 04:02AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

Lucy J.September 26, 2016 04:35AM

Re: Beautiful Celebrations: Parts 4 and 5 - Complete

BernadetteESeptember 26, 2016 05:19AM


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