“What was that?”
“It was while your mother orchestrated who would ride in what carriage to the wedding service. He’d muttered ‘All this to do about nothing. It’s almost as bad as St. James’ Court.’ At the time, I thought he was being his usual mercurial self, but his promotion amongst the landed gentry must have been to what he referred.”
“Mama will be beside herself. She now precedes Lady Lucas. Oh, they’ll never be friends now.”
“Were they ever?”
“They had… I guess you would call it a mutually polite acquaintance.”
“Wait until she realizes you outrank even me,” Darcy teased.
Lizzy rose from her chair and circled behind her husband of two years. She leaned down, wrapped her arms around his broad shoulders, and laid her cheek against his.
“We are equals. You are a gentleman, and I am a gentleman’s daughter. There is no rank in our house, not unless the Monarch decides to bestow a title upon you, which would be well deserved but not sought. Fortunately, Kitty, as Lady George Kerr, outranks Mama. She might be able to contain her ebullient gloating.”
Darcy brought his hand up to his shoulder and laid it over her small hand.
“I believe a trip to Longbourn is required. Your mother will want to herald the news to all and sundry and require her well-situated daughters to flank her every side. Are you up to the task?”
Lizzy kissed the top of his head before stepping away, the small bump barely visible beneath her morning dress.
“Fortunately, we are in London, and what’s a day’s travel on a good road? Even so, Nanny and I will have our hands full with Bennet and Andrew.”
“You shall manage my love. Your courage always rises when challenged.”
“You know me well.”