July 6, 2014 - Just got home from a relaxing weekend up north in the cool pines of Flagstaff. I'll catch up on replying to reviews tomorrow.

And so we come to an end. I have one more surprise up my sleeve for you today.

Chapter 39

Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters. A general gasp went up in Longbourn church when Lord Matlock, with Anne on his arm, followed Mr. Bennet and his two eldest daughters into the church. How Mrs. Bennet kept from fainting was proclaimed a miracle far and wide. Anne, in turn, was nearly overcome when she spotted her mother smiling, SMILING at her, seated next to Lady Matlock.

When the service was complete and the three couples waited outside to receive their well-wishers, Anne nearly flew into her mother's arms.

"I am sorry, Anne. I wish you and Richard joy. Come and visit me at Rosings when you are ready. We have much to discuss, but this is neither the time nor the place. This is your special day to enjoy."

The wedding breakfast went off with nary a problem. Miss Bingley managed to keep from offending her brother or his bride, but struggled with her civility when she greeted the new Mrs. Darcy. Instead of causing a scene, she excused herself. Bingley was saddened, but hoped this was a first step in reconciliation. Mrs. Blackwell was not as confident as her nephew.

Soon, three carriages were on their separate ways to London. The Bingleys had left Netherfield to their guests and were looking forward to the peace and quiet an empty house in Town would afford them.

Safely alone in their carriage, Darcy moved to sit next to his brand new wife. "Elizabeth Darcy, I like the sound of that," he whispered into her ear.

"It will take some getting used to, but it brings me great pleasure as well."

"May I kiss the bride, Mrs. Darcy?"

"I do not believe her husband would mind."

As pleasurable as both found the exercise to be, they both knew that it would be many hours before they would arrive in London. Reluctantly, they stopped their ministrations and settled for nestling into each other's arms. Elizabeth recalled the parcel in her bag.

"Fitzwilliam, I have something I wish to give you."

"What is it?"

"It is something I picked up for you in London when Jane and I were there shopping for our trousseaus."

She handed him the wrapped parcel. Darcy eagerly unwrapped the paper to discover a beautifully bound copy of Shakespeare's Sonnets. Inside he found an embroidered bookmark opening the volume to Sonnet No. 116.

"I hope you approve?"

"How could I not dearest, loveliest, Elizabeth."

As planned, the Darcys stayed in London for just over two weeks before heading to Derbyshire. Once again, Elizabeth was mesmerized by the view as they approached the great house.

"Welcome home, Mrs. Darcy." Darcy said as he handed her down from the carriage. Mrs. Reynolds had assembled the entire staff to greet their new mistress. Many remembered Elizabeth from her previous visits and were very pleased to welcome her as the new mistress. After the introductions were made, Darcy slowly led his bride to the great library.

"Do you know what day it is Elizabeth?"

"The 30th of July."

"Do you remember the significance of that date?" Elizabeth was puzzled. "Perhaps this will refresh your memory."

Darcy opened the door to the library. As Elizabeth walked in, comprehension dawned.

"I believe you know these people. Or does Mrs. Darcy need introductions?"

Inside sat Georgiana, Mary and Mr. & Mrs. Gardiner. "I could think of no more appropriate manner to bring you back where you belong than to have the three people most responsible for you being here awaiting us."

"But, you are supposed to be touring the Lakes?"

Mrs. Gardiner hugged her shocked niece and said, "My dear, when Mr. Darcy wrote us asking us to come, we decided to alter our arrangements."

Georgiana embraced her dear sister. "Welcome home, Elizabeth Darcy!"


As the years went by, the three couples alternated hosting the other two on the occasion of their anniversary. The Fitzwilliams, despite their reconciliation with Lady Catherine, lived for several years at Greenebrooke. In that time, Richard Fitzwilliam became an accomplished manager and when the time came for him and his bride to move into Rosings, he was more than ready for the challenge. The great estate flourished under his stewardship.

Within a year of their marriage, the Bingleys purchased an estate in a neighboring county to Pemberley to fulfill the dearest wish of the sisters, as they were not more than thirty miles apart.

Georgiana and Elizabeth became as close as sisters could ever be. Elizabeth guided the young woman into adulthood with her unique brand of wit and charm. They grew to love each other so dearly that when the time came for Georgiana to marry, she wept, not over leaving Pemberley, but from being separated from Elizabeth.

The Darcys lived and flourished at Pemberley, Elizabeth presenting an heir to her beloved husband not more than a year after their marriage. Bennet Charles Darcy was the pride and joy of his grandparents.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Bennet did not live to see another of her grandchildren born. One day she complained of her nerves, fainted, and never revived.

Mr. Bennet was often drawn to the north to visit his daughters. He loved to arrive unannounced at Pemberley and Darcy wondered if investing in some pigeons was not such a bad idea after all.

Lady Catherine continued to astonish her family by healing the breach with Darcy. Elizabeth became, by far, her favorite niece and Lady Catherine delighted in her visits to Pemberley. On one such visit, four years into the marriage, Mr. Bennet made one of his unexpected appearances. Lady Catherine took a liking to his wicked sense of the absurd and to the surprise and delight of all their family, they fell in love and were married within three months.

When word of the attack on Fort York reached England in the summer of 1813, Elizabeth feared the worst. However, Lydia and her husband were safe. He surprised himself by remaining cool under fire and was promoted for his leadership and heroism.

Louisa Hurst presented her husband with an heir in November of 1811. Mr. Hurst continued the tradition of giving the first born Hurst son a name beginning with the letter H. Louisa remained blissfully ignorant of her husband's mischief until after Hubert Ulysses Hurst was christened. In her indignation, she carried her point by obtaining his leave to allow her to choose the name of their next child. Fifteen months later Dorothea Ursula Hurst made her presence known to the world.

And what of Caroline Bingley? She did not return to Lincoln with her Aunt after her brother's marriage. Instead, she went to live with another lady friend in London. She never was completely reconciled with her family and eventually settled for a marriage of convenience to a notorious London rake who admired her sharp tongue and her willingness to overlook his succession of mistresses.

Georgiana, Mary and Catherine all determined to follow their sisters' example and marry for love. Eventually, they all did. But that… is another story.

The End. Truly!

And there you have it. To answer the most obvious question. No there is no sequel and none planned... though I've learned to never say never. T

BTW The Darcys would not have named their son Bennet.

Since this is the end, feel free to lavish your praise. You've been great leaving reviews all along the way and I do truly appreciate it.

I will be doing quite a bit of traveling over the next 6 weeks in order to see my son with the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps. I'll be posting another story called A Mother's Favorite Wish after we're all back in home sometime in August. AMFW is complete so you don't have to worry about a WIP. I do have a story I'm writing now, but I won't post it until its done, edited and ready for mass consumption.