Long overdue… all I can offer is that selling a house these days is an insane business. Almost as nutty as trying to buy a house!

 

*Chapter Sixty*

Dinner passed in much the same companionable manner that lunch had. Conversation was easy-going and plentiful. Liz took delight in comparing the version she knew of the American Revolution with Will and Henry’s. Of particular interest to her were the varying accounts of King George. Liz held fast that the Monarch had been a tyrant of the worst sort, while the men declared he was nothing of the kind. In the end, they agreed to disagree and Liz promised she would show them all the key historic areas of Boston while they were in town.

When dinner was finished, Will and Henry expressed their many thanks for a meal well done. Henry was clearing the table while Will stood at the sink, helping Liz with the dishes. “Love, you sold yourself short. You,” Will kissed her cheek, “are a marvelous cook. I’ve never had such… tasty chicken before.”

Liz smiled, “That was a very politic way of saying it was interesting. I never said I was a gourmand. I marinated some chicken and then grilled it. No big deal. Though now that I think about it, this will seem very fancy compared to what’s on the menu for tomorrow.”

Will finished drying the pan he’d been working on and then set the cloth over his shoulder. “Dare I ask?”

“How do you feel about cream of mushroom soup, tuna and potato chips?”

Will’s brow wrinkled as he tried to make out what one could possibly do with those three very different things. He then laughed. “For a moment, I thought you were serious.”

“Oh, I am. Tomorrow I’m making potato chip casserole. I promise, though it may sound strange, it’s delicious. And before you go and tell me that you don’t like tuna, or mushrooms, or even chips, I would like to remind you that you’ve liked everything that I’ve asked you to try so far.”

“That’s true enough.”

“Thank you. The casserole is one of the dishes that I remember my mom making when I was little. I promise that you’ll like it.”

“I’m sure I will.”

Reynolds came in with an armload of dishes. “Shall I set these in the sink then, or would you prefer me to load them in the dishwasher?”

“The sink would be fine.” Liz then remembered dessert. “Henry, could you pull the pie out of the refrigerator for me? Will, could you turn on the coffee?”

The trio enjoyed their coffee and sugar-free chocolate cream pie. Only after Will helped himself to a second piece did Liz inform him of the uniqueness of the dessert. “Really? I never would have guessed,” he claimed as he dug his fork in for another bite.

It had been a long day, especially for Reynolds, and so everyone agreed to turn in early.

As Will and Liz walked arm in arm to her room, Will yawned. Liz could not help but tease him, “So sorry to have kept you from your beauty sleep!”

“That’s not it at all.” He protested, “You see, I have this incredibly sexy fiancée…”

Liz grinned as she interrupted him by asking, “Should I be jealous?”

Will looked her up and down with a critical eye and said, quite seriously, “Oh, most definitely.”

He was not at all surprised when his jest was met with a smack on his arm. Liz mock-scolded him, “For a remark like that, I ought to not bother you and let you get plenty of sleep…”

“Elisabeth…” Will whined.

“…but then again…”

“Elisabeth!”

“…I know that I would sleep much better with a little before-bed exercise…”

“Elisabeth…”

“…which, of course I could get just as easily on my treadmill.”

Will moved quickly to step in front of her to block her path in the hope that she would no longer ignore him and would listen to what he wanted to say. Hands on her hips, Liz schooled her features into what Will would soon learn was her ‘teacher’ face. “Yes, Mr. Darcy? Did you wish to speak to me about something?”

God help me, if she thinks that fierce look of hers is in any way a deterrent…get a grip, man! One fantasy at a time! “Um, no, not particularly. I believe,” in one quick move he picked her up in his arms, “that the time for talking is long since past.”

Trying, unsuccessfully, not to giggle, Liz asked, “Whatever will then occupy our time?”

He kissed her nose and grinned. “You’re the smart one; I give you full leave to work it out.”

 “Hmm,” as he carried her down the hall, she tapped her chin and pretended she was contemplating grave matters, “I believe we can engage in some mathematical equations.”

They reached her room and he hiked her up higher on his shoulder so he could open the door. “Maths? We’re in your bedroom, I want you and I’m pretty sure you want me and all you can come up with is maths?” He dropped her unceremoniously on the bed.

Nonplussed by his actions, Liz sat up on the bed and patted the space next to her. “I was thinking more along the line of story problems. Let’s see, Liz and Will started with forty condoms, and they used two earlier in the day, and one was, uh, rendered unusable. Now, if there are thirty-five left in the morning, how many did Will and Liz use that night?”

Will laughed. “I was always bollocks at story problems. Might we divine the answer by practical application? I only say this because I believe there may be a problem with the equation… I think there were less than thirty-five left.”

Liz was, of course, never one to stand in the way of such a teachable moment. After they’d applied themselves, quite diligently, to the problem, they enjoyed a very good night’s rest. Much later the next morning, they would find Will was right. There were only thirty left.

Will was still exhausted when he found he was unexpectedly awake in the middle of the night. Liz was sleeping soundly, her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder. I cannot believe this… I really need to go back to sleep. Will was still contemplating how to shift Liz without waking her so he could use the loo when he was startled by the now-familiar strains of Go Northwestern Go. Will groaned, “Elisabeth…  your mobile is going off.”

Instead of waking, she snuggled closer. He tried again, “Liz, if you don’t get up, I cannot vouchsafe for your bloody mobile remaining in one piece after I throw it against the wall.”

“Mmm. It’s too nice here with you to get up.”

“Thank you, Love. But you need to get up. Now.”

“Crud monkey.” She gave a stretch and yawned, “My, but aren’t you bossy this morning, Mr. Darcy?”

“It seems one of us needs to be reasonable.” The dim light of her phone lit her face enough for Will to see she was not pleased by this statement. He explained, “The sooner you get up, the sooner you can come back to bed.”

She propped up her head with her elbow and questioned, “And, exactly, why would I want to do that?”

“Uhm, because, well, I thought that maybe, perhaps, we might…”

Liz loved it when he was tongue-tied; she was certain there were few things more adorable in the entire world. “I’m teasing you, William. If I get up and go take care of business, I can get back to bed and we can shag some more. Am I correct in assuming this is what you were trying to say?”

He smiled in relief that she had both understood him and was not upset. “I wouldn’t have said shag.” Liz gave him a doubtful look and he began to laugh. “Alright, perhaps I would have done,” he admitted. “It’s all your fault, you know that, don’t you?”

“This should be interesting. What’s my fault? Diabetes?”

“No, that’s not what I meant at all. Sometimes I think you misunderstand me on purpose, just to see me flustered.”

Liz scratched his beard and kissed his cheek. “I plead the fifth and choose to remain silent.”

“I knew it! You needn’t mistake my meaning when I speak to discompose me, Love. You do that all on your own, and quite well, too! But, once again, you’ve distracted me. What I meant to say was that I woke up a few minutes ahead of your alarm. If I wasn’t here this morning to make certain you heeded your schedule, what would have happened?”

“Well, if you weren’t here, which is too a horrible thought to entertain, I wouldn’t have been up quite so late. It’s all this late-night activity that is making getting up so early difficult.” Liz could see Will was about to apologize but stopped him by saying, “And I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love you, Will, and am so glad you are here.”

“Thank you. I cannot think of one other place I would rather be. I love you, too. Now go!”

Liz stole the sheet and ran to the bathroom, leaving Will behind to ponder how domestic his life was becoming.

When Liz was done with her medication, she was surprised when the bed was empty upon her return. Liz called out, “Will?”

“In here, Love,” came the muffled answer from her dressing room.

Will, standing there naked, was looking through drawers, but she couldn’t imagine why. “What on earth are you doing in my closet?”

Holding up a t-shirt that compared airspeed velocities of laden and un-laden swallows, he complained, “I was told there was lingerie, I was promised lingerie; and yet, I have seen neither hide nor hair of such since we’ve arrived.”

Still wrapped in the bed sheet, Liz took the shirt from his hand and laid it back in the drawer where it belonged. With purpose, she turned to the tall lingerie chest and opened several drawers from Will to look though. With a wave of her hand and a roll of her eyes, she asked, “There, satisfied?”

Will pulled out a lovely satin and lace number. “You’ve been holding out on me!”

“Hardly,” she scoffed. “Had I actually been holding out on you, you might have seen some of this before now. If you prefer, however, that I should be wearing more clothes for bed…”

“No, no, not at all. Just good to know that it, in fact, exists. For future reference.”

“William?”

“Yes, Elisabeth?”

“Go back to bed.”

“Right.” As he turned, he was almost afraid to ask, “Are you coming?”

Liz shooed him from the room, “I’ll be right there, Sweetheart.”

Will crawled back into bed and waited. And waited. And waited. After several minutes he called after her, “Liz? Elisabeth?”

He was just about to see what was keeping her when she appeared and put to rest any fears that she had been holding out on Will. Liz was dressed in a racy black corset, tiny matching knickers, garters, some sheer black thigh-high stockings featuring a lacy pattern instead of a seam and a pair of very high scalloped black patent leather heels. Will was speechless.

Liz, pleased with the effect she had on him, teased, “Have I discomposed you again?”   

Will made to get up, but she wagged a finger at him, “No, stay,” and he obeyed. “So, snooping for lingerie, were you? Hopefully, this will meet with your exacting standards.”

As his brain had ceased to function, Will still had no voice but somehow managed to vigorously nod his approval.

She placed a kiss on Will’s cheek and was gone from the room before he had a chance to realize she wasn’t coming back to bed.

Will was dumbfounded. Where did she bloody well go? She can’t just go and leave me here like this! It’s too damn early to go anywhere! Damn… Will got up and searched for his boxers and grabbed his shirt, leaving it unbuttoned. He checked in the loo and her dressing room, finding both empty. So… stalking around the flat in the dark, horny as hell, it is then!

Will trekked though the hall to the empty living room, then into the similarly unoccupied kitchen. Damn. She wasn’t in the dining room or the front hall. Her office maybe? He shuffled towards her office and hoped the light shining from under the door was a good indication that she was inside. Will pushed the door open and his heart leapt at the picture before him. She remembered! I am the luckiest bastard on the planet!

Liz was writing some sort of equation on a white board behind her desk. She was wearing a lab coat and her hair was somehow held together in a tight twist by a pencil. How does she do that? His breath caught in his throat as he realized she was doing this for him. Please, please, please let her be wearing glasses…  

She heard his uneven breathing and smiled to herself before she turned around to give him a look of surprise. Liz tapped her watch and sternly said, “You’re late.”

Yes!! She’s wearing glasses! Giddy with excitement, Will faked being contrite as he replied, “Am I? Please, accept my apologies.”

Liz glared at him over the top of her glasses. She shook her head and took him to task. “We are falling desperately behind schedule here, and you show up late!”

He bowed his head and offered, “Again, I am sorry. What can I do to help?”

“Take a seat, if you would.”

“Happily.”

Liz finished her writing her equation and then, tapping the board with the dry-erase marker, asked, “You do, of course, know what this means, do you not?”

Will shook his head no. “I’m afraid not. Won’t you clarify it for me, Dr. Gardiner?”

Seriously having had no idea what to expect or how it would make her feel to play with Will in this manner, Liz was pleased to find it very intoxicating.

“This is, of course, is a motion equation.”

“Motion?”

“Yes, motion. Accelerated motion, in fact. Now, you must be at least somewhat familiar with how motion works. She began to read through and explain the equation and when she was finished, asked, “So are you ready to begin?”

“Pardon?”

Liz raised an eyebrow in question. “Are you not here to assist me in proving the effects that applying accelerated motion can help bring matter into an excited state?”

The only word Will heard was excited, and that was all he really needed to hear. He immediately rose from his seat, eager to participate in any experiments or demonstrations she felt necessary. Being a man of sense and education Will knew when to bow to her superior knowledge.

This was decidedly one of those times.
 

~home~

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~next chapter~ 

Creative Commons License Out of Reservations by michchick aka Jennifer Hickling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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