When they arrived at Castle Alcott, Darcy handed Elizabeth down from the carriage and she saw that Avery, the butler, came out to greet them. "Lady Alcott, I thought that you would be coming as soon as you received my note. Viscount Smithson has been drinking and eating steadily ever since he arrived here. I have tried to shelter the maids from his attentions, but he is becoming increasingly angry with me. He said that he was going to fire me if I did not do as he demanded."
"Avery, do not worry about that. We will have him out of here as soon as we can. Have his carriage made ready for his departure." Elizabeth went into the house with the butler as Darcy was making arrangements for his coachmen and his carriage.
When Elizabeth entered the drawing room, she saw that Viscount Smithson was sitting there with a glass in his hand. He saw her and jumped up, spilling his drink. He staggered to her, put his arms around her, and tried to give her a kiss. She moved back and tried to fend him off, yelling, "Lord Smithson! What are you doing? Let go of me!"
Her shouts brought Darcy running in. When he saw what Smithson was doing, he grabbed him and roughly pushed him away from her. "Smithson! You villain! Get away from her!"
He then pushed him as hard as he could, making Smithson fall down on the floor. He looked up and said, "Darcy? What are doing here? She is my intended."
"She is my wife! If you bother her again, I will call you out. You know that you will not survive if that happens." He saw that the butler was standing there, watching. "Take him out to his carriage. Throw all his clothes in with him and tell them to get off this property immediately or I will personally throw him off."
The butler went out of the room and motioned to two footmen to take Smithson out to his carriage. He told another to get his clothes.
Darcy had put his arms around Elizabeth to comfort her. "My dear, are you all right? I promise that he will never bother you again. If he tries, I will call him out. He is nothing but a drunken wastrel. I cannot believe that he thought that he could just move in here and force you to marry him.
"I will send another note to my uncle telling him what he did and how we dealt with him."
He then turned back to the butler. "Have tea brought in for us. We need something to settle our nerves."
Elizabeth realized that the butler did not know who Darcy was now. "Avery, Mr. Darcy is my husband. We married at his estate of Pemberley just a few days ago, so I am now Mrs. Darcy and no longer Lady Alcott."
She and Darcy sat down and waited for the tea to come in. The tea helped to settle their nerves. He said, "Now what should we do? Should we stay here for a few days to sort out any problems there might be? I do not want to be away from the children or our sisters for too long. In any case, I want to make sure my uncle knows where we are so he can contact us as soon as he sees Langford."
"I also do not want to be away from them for too long. However, I would like to see Jane and Bingley while we are here. I will send them a note inviting them to come to see us. We should be able to go back to Pemberley in just a few days."
Jane and Bingley came over and were surprised to learn of their marriage, but they were very pleased. Darcy worked with the steward on the few problems that had arisen on the estate. They did not stay long at Castle Alcott, but went back to Pemberley to be reunited with the children and their sisters.
After just another couple of weeks, they received a note from the Earl asking when he could come to them so he could tell them his news. When he and the Countess came, they could see that he was quite excited. He asked to talk to Darcy and Elizabeth privately.
"I went to see Langford and Billingsley. At first, Langford only wanted to talk about his wretched bill, even though he had received Smithson after you threw him off Castle Alcott. He knew Smithson had no right to go to live there, so he was very embarrassed about that. He insists that he did not tell Smithson to go to you. Smithson told him that you were married, so he knew that his schemes for him were finished.
"He desperately wanted my support for his bill, so I was in a strong bargaining position. He knew that he, Billingsley, and Smithson were completely in the wrong about what they had tried to do. He did not want any negative publicity because of his bill, so he was amenable to just about anything I insisted on. I did not even have to threaten him about some of his secrets that I know, but he was well aware of that possibility.
"He agreed with just about everything I wanted. He will not oppose your keeping the girls and your son, but we agreed that he would have reasonable access to them. He will give Darcy full access to all records of Alcott's estate and oversight, including full control of the finances of the estate. He could not make Darcy the trustee of the estate as that was given to Billingsley by Alcott in his will. We agreed that the earnings of the estate will be held in trust for the new Baron, your son, but you will have the right to live there whenever you want.
"If Billingsley does not produce a son, your William will become both Baron and Viscount on Langford's death, so he is acknowledged as the heir presumptive of the earldom. Of course, he had no choice in that.
"We wrote all this down in a memorandum of agreement, which all three of us signed. I assume that this document will be accepted in court if it ever comes to that, but I doubt that it ever will."
Darcy was curious. "I find it difficult to believe that he gave you everything you wanted. Did you have to give him anything in return?"
"Yes, I did. I thought that you would realize that. I agreed to support his bill with other House members. What he did not know was that I was going to support it in any case, so I gave him nothing, really. I had a good laugh about that after I left him.
"The person who will be affected the most is you, Darcy. You are agreeing to look after the three children and Castle Alcott. Elizabeth will be giving up her title and will care for the children until they marry or reach their majority."
Darcy just smiled. "I would gladly have agreed to much more. Look what I got in return." He picked up Elizabeth's hand and kissed it. "I am gaining the most precious gift of all—the best wife in the world and an instant family."
Darcy and Elizabeth did not hear from either Earl Carlisle or Viscount Smithson again. With their financial problems, they had to live quietly on their estate as they could not find anyone who would lend them any more money.
Is it any surprise that the Darcys' first child, a son who was named Bennet William Darcy, was born exactly nine months after their wedding? He was followed by two sisters, then another son. With the two girls and baby William, this meant that there were seven children laughing and running in the halls of Pemberley. Darcy and Elizabeth were kept busy looking after them for many years, much to their absolute delight.
Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Kitty made their curtsies to the Queen and the two young ladies made their debut into society, with great success. They enjoyed the attentions of many suitors in their first season, but neither was in a hurry to find a husband and settle down. Kitty's dowry of ten thousand meant that she was considered to be a reasonable catch for any gentlemen, even though the only important connection she had was Darcy and the Matlocks. Near the end of their second season, they both found young gentlemen who passed Darcy's rigorous requirements and they ended up in happy marriages.
Bingley and Jane ended up with three children and lived very happily at Starwood, never once disputing the other. At Elizabeth's request, they allowed Lydia to come to stay with them for a trial period. Darcy, Elizabeth, and Bingley each contributed to set up a dowry for her. Bingley found a cousin who wanted to move up the ladder into more polite society, so he was interested in finding a gently-born lady to be his wife. The fact that she had a reasonable dowry and he needed a mother for his two motherless children, made him willing to accept her in spite of her unfortunate history.
In due time, Baron William became the new Viscount Billingsley and took over the management of Castle Alcott. Under Darcy's tutelage, he had learned how to manage an estate and was successful at running his. After enjoying three seasons of society, he married the daughter of an earl and was very happy.
His two sisters flourished under the parentage of Darcy and Elizabeth and always called them 'Papa' and 'Mama.' Their grandmother, the Countess, introduced them into society when they came out. They both managed to find eligible gentlemen to marry.
So ends this story, with all of our characters settled into reasonably happy situations.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hope you enjoyed this story. I am writing another, but I am not very happy with it. I am afraid that my creative juices are running low. I may take a sabbatical from writing after that, but you never know.
Please remember that I appreciate receiving comments and I read every one of them.