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Darcy and Elizabeth cuddled together in their large bed as the morning light began to creep through the gaps between the window curtains. They were both exhausted, having just arrived back at Pemberley from London the evening before. Though the trip usually took three days with two overnight stops, the couple had decided to push through this time, and make the trip shorter. Doing so, however, meant riding in the carriage for far longer each day, a task that was physically wearing. They had fallen into bed shortly after their arrival and had barely moved since.

Now, with the sun rising and the sound of their personal servants moving about their dressing rooms, the couple was slowly awakening. Elizabeth moved first, sighing and then snuggling down deeper into Darcy’s embrace. I just want to lie here, she thought drowsily. Why can we not sleep all day?

His wife’s wiggling drew Darcy further out of Morpheus’ arms. He stretched a bit, yawning, then tightened his hold on her. He kissed her head before burying his nose in her hair. “I love you,” he whispered, eyes closed as he attempted to drift back to sleep.

Elizabeth smiled at his soft words, her eyes slowly shutting as slumber overtook her once more.

Some time later, Darcy’s valet peeked into the room. Seeing the master and mistress still motionless and buried to the ears under the covers, he withdrew and tiptoed down the hall to Elizabeth’s dressing chamber. Knocking softly, he waited for the maid to open the door, and then motioned her out to speak to him.

“They have not yet awakened. Mr. Darcy did not leave instructions for me; did Mrs. Darcy indicate to you a time she wished to rise?”

“She did not, but she was exhausted last night.”

“The master, as well. I do not know why they insisted on making the journey home so quickly.”

“Nor do I, but they did. What do you think we should do now?”

The valet thought for a few moments, weighing their options. Finally, he spoke. “The steward has not asked to speak to the master, and it seems everything is in order for now. I think we should allow them to sleep. They will call when they need us. Let us ask that water be kept heated for baths when they do rise.”

“That sounds like an excellent plan.”

The pair separated then, busying themselves with the cleaning of clothing and organizing of shelves for the remainder of the day.

Darcy and Elizabeth slept all that day and well into the night. When they finally did awaken and they saw how dark it was, they dressed themselves and quietly made their way to the kitchen, where they raided the larder for cold meats, cheeses, bread, and water. After sneaking back up to their rooms as quietly as possible, they occupied the next few hours with activities that interested them both, before succumbing to sleep once more. That day, they rose shortly after the sun.

Not a word was ever spoken about the mess they left in the kitchen, though the cook did wonder who made it.

Copyright 2016 by the author.

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