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An Engagement Story

As the children had been asleep when Maria and Georg returned from the Gazebo asking them would have to wait till morning. Georg woke up before dawn and went about his morning workout routine. He finished as the first rays of sun started to light up the sky. As Georg stood watching for a few minutes it reminded him how Maria had brought light back into his family that had been lost in darkness after his wife died. Next Georg took his morning shower and readied himself for breakfast.

Maria had been woken up by the rays of sunshine coming through her window. It had been such a beautiful evening that Maria had left the drapes open when she went to sleep. As Maria stirred the events of last night became more real to her. She was now engaged the Captain. Maria got out of bed and got dressed. While Maria made her bed she smiled as she thought about her rendezvous with the Captain at the Gazebo the previous night. She was pulled from her thoughts when she heard a soft knock at her door. "Come in." She called softly as she propped her pillows against the headrest. The door opened to reveal the seven Von Trapp children all dressed but still looking a little sleepy. "We wanted to make sure you were still here." Marta said running to hug Maria. Although she was hurt by Marta's word she knew that she had lost some of their trust when she ran away. Opening her arms to accept Marta's hug Maria replied, "Of course! Didn't I promise I would be here in the morning?" The other children nodded and sat on the bed. "Maria, will you talk to father?" Brigitta asked. "About what?" Maria said placing Marta on her lap as she joined the others on the bed. "The Baroness," Louisa cut in, "We don't like her." "She's nothing like you. "She doesn't play the games right." "She's no fun." "She's too worried about not getting dirty." Suddenly all the children were trying to tell her things to tell Georg about the Baroness. Maria had forgotten that the children didn't know the Baroness had left. "Alright Alright children I will inform your father of your concerns after breakfast when you start your studies." Maria said ending the children's seemingly never-ending list of the Baroness' flaws. "Come now, it's time for breakfast; you don't want to keep father waiting now do you?" Maria asked after a glance at her clock told her it was time for breakfast. There was a collection of "No Fraulein Maria" as they all made their way downstairs.

Everything was going smoothly till Brigitta asked, "Father did you go somewhere last night?" Everyone's eyes were on Georg, "No Brigitta I didn't why do you ask?" Brigitta politely finished chewing before responding, "I was up reading last night past bedtime and I heard the car leave then come back." After a pause Georg addressed the whole table, "Well I didn't leave last night but Elsa did. We have ended our engagement and she left for Vienna." The children looked over joyed but they tried to contain it as they were still eating. After Maria noticed the children were done she excused them, "Children go on upstairs and start your lessons I'll be up in a minute." There was a scraping of chairs and clinking of china as the children stacked their plates neatly and got up from the table. After the children left Georg waited as Maria finished her last bites before taking her into his study so they could talk in private.

"Maria, are you ready to tell the children?" Georg said guiding Maria over the couch. "Yes I think so. The children came to see me this morning before breakfast to make sure I hadn't left again. I think once they saw I was still here they seemed to have accepted me again. When were you thinking of telling them?" "Well" said Georg taking in what Maria just told him, "I was thinking of telling them after their lessons." "Georg I think that's a fine idea. Maybe we can have a picnic lunch to celebrate." "That sounds lovely, now I'll go talk to Frau Schmidt about the picnic. You Fraulein can go aid the children in their studies now." concluded Georg putting an emphasis on Fraulein in a teasing manner. "Of course Captain." Teased Maria; playing along as she left.

Georg looked at the clock in his study, it was only eight o'clock. The children wouldn't be done with their lessons until eleven. Georg left and discussed the plans for the picnic with Frau Schmidt. She told him that a few things were needed from town for the picnic. Georg thought this would be a perfect excuse to go to town and do the secret errands he needed to do so he told Frau Schmidt he would go himself; that way if anyone asked he could say he went to get the groceries. Next Georg told Franz to bring the car around. Once in town Georg went to the jeweler; he planned to officially propose to Maria after having the children's approval. Georg wanted to give Maria his mother's ring but it needed to be cleaned as it had been sitting in a box with an assortment of his mother's belongings that Georg intended to give to the children when the time was right. The jeweler told Georg to come back in an hour. So Georg picked up the items on the list that Frau Schmidt had given him then got some coffee before going back to the jeweler. The last stop on Georg's trip was Nonnberg Abbey. Georg knew Maria had called these nuns her family and he only felt right if he also had the Mother Abbess' blessing before proposing to Maria. Georg rung the bell and waited. "May I help you?" asked the Mother Abbess who happened to be walking by the front gate when Georg rung the bell. "My name is Georg Von Trapp and I was hoping to have a word with the Mother Abbess about Maria." Georg said. "That would be me. Please come in." replied the Mother Abbess opening the door. The two walked in silence till they reached her study. "What can I help you with in regards to Maria Captain?" the Mother Abbess asked once they were seated. "Unofficially I have asked her to marry me. I say unofficial because she thought we should tell the children before it was official. We are going to tell them today; when I get home in fact. When I propose officially I'm going to give her this ring." said Georg gently laying the newly polished ring on the desk. "And I was also hoping to have your blessing." finished Georg. The Mother Abbess replied almost instantly, "Yes my son I give you my blessing… May I?" she asked gesturing to the ring. Georg nodded and she picked it up. "It was my mother's. After I unofficially proposed I was thinking of the type of ring that Maria may like. I know she doesn't like expensive or flashy but I wanted to get her something nice. It hit me that I had my mother's ring still in a box with a variety of her other belongings. I took it out and knew it was the ring for Maria. It was been approved by aristocracy when it was on my mother's hand but now it is more of an heirloom that I think Maria should have." Mother Abbess listened to Georg and when he was done said, "Now I have to ask, did Agathe wear this ring Captain?" "No Mother. My mother was fond of Agathe but she didn't her to have her ring; she said Agathe was not the girl for the ring but I know my mother would tell me that Maria is and would want her to have it." "Very well my son," said the Mother Abbess standing up, signaling the meeting was over, "God bless you and may I wish you good luck." "Thank you" said Georg carefully putting the ring back in the box and leaving the study.

Back home Georg gave Frau Schmidt the groceries to compete the picnic baskets. Georg climbed the stairs and went to the nursery to check on the children. Standing in the door way he saw Gretl and Marta's faces tense with concentration as they studied their spellers, Brigitta was reading in the corner, Louisa was reciting her lessons to Maria, Kurt was working on geography, and Freidrich was reading Leisl's essay, and Leisl was checking Freidrich's math. Georg cleared his throat and they all looked up. "Well," he said consulting his watch "It looks like you all have been working diligently. You may all be done for the day." The children quickly put away what they were working on and then turned their attention back to Georg. Maria was now standing next him. Georg glanced at Maria before continuing, "As you know I am no longer going to marry the Baroness. With your permission there is someone else who I would like marry." Georg held up his hand to quiet the children how instantly started to ask questions. "If you agree to it I would like to marry Maria." said Georg taking Maria's hand. The children didn't say anything but ran to hug Maria and their father. Laughing Maria looked at Georg and said, "I'll take that as a yes Captain." Georg pulled her into a hug and chuckled. "Fraulein Maria, does this mean we can call you mother?" asked Gretl once the initial excitement had worn off. "Now this goes for all of you," said Maria looking at each child in turn. "If you wish you may call me mother. However I want you all to know I don't want to take your birth mother's place. Just because I'm going to be your mother it doesn't mean I'm replacing her or taking her memory from you. Understood?" "Yes Fraulein." The children chorused. Georg cleared his throat, "Alright now who wants to go on a picnic?"

Freidrich and Kurt carried the picnic baskets, Leisl was walking with Gretl and Marta, and Louisa and Brigitta were discussing a book they were reading. Behind the children Georg and Maria were walking idly with their arms around eachother's waist. When they reached the picnic spot Maria laid out the picnic blanket and checked to make sure the food travelled well before going off the join the others. Georg used this time to tell the children of his proposal plan. After running around for a while they all sat down to a delicious lunch. After they were done eating Leisl and Freidrich pulled the children off somewhere. Maria and Georg folded up the picnic blanket and packed away the remaining food so it was ready when they were ready to leave.

"Do you want to go on a walk?" Georg asked holding out his hand. Maria gladly accepted and the two started walking around in comfortable silence. Maria found a path through a grove of trees and pulled Georg down the path with her. The clearing they reached was absolutely beautiful. The light that shined through the trees made a spotlight in the center of the clearing. There were flowers of many colors on the bushes and on the branches in the clearing. Maria walked around in awe. Georg guided Maria to the spotlight. "Maria, you have brought light into my family that plunged into darkness after Agathe's death. You have shown me how to love again. Now I want to share that love with you for as long as I live. The Mother Abbess has given me her blessing, So." Getting down on one knee, "Maria will you marry me." Georg pulled out the ring. "Yes Georg!" Maria replied still in shock. Georg carefully slid the ring onto to Maria's finger. "Oh, Georg! It is absolutely beautiful Thank you." Maria hugged Georg as she was still unsure about the whole kissing thing. "It was my mother's I know she would have wanted you to wear it." Maria smiled, "Georg, umm Agathe didn't wear this ring did she? I don't think I—" Georg cut her off, "No Maria she didn't I wouldn't ask you or want you to wear her ring. Because you brought it up, she told me to give it to Freidrich when he is ready for it and my mother wants you to give this to Leisl's suitor when the time comes." "I'd be honored!" Maria said smiling first at Georg then at her ring.

The children were waiting for Maria and their father at the place they had lunch. Finally Brigitta shouted, "I see them!" the children ran to the figures that could be seen emerging from the grove of trees. As soon as they got close enough all the children were shouting, "What did she say?" "Did she say yes?" Finally after the children calmed down Georg spoke, "Yes she said yes. We are now officially going to be married. Georg squeezed Maria's hand and kissed her cheek. Georg and the children laughed when Maria blushed deep red after Georg's innocent kiss. "Maria, may I see the ring?" Leisl asked as they reached their picnic place. "Of course." Maria said giving each child a chance to see the ring. "Oh I hope someday I will have a ring that pretty!" Leisl said when it was her turn to see the ring. Georg and Maria shared a smile. "Now that's many MANY years in the future Georg said some-what sternly. The others laughed and Leisl looked a little hurt. Maria gave her a hug and said, "Now your father just doesn't want to admit that he's getting old. Everyone laughed at that, even Georg chuckled.

The happy family started their walk back to the villa. Georg slowed down the pace he and Maria were walking so they would not be over heard by the children. "Maria do you think I'm too old?" 'What," Maria had stopped dead in her tracks. "No Georg, why would you think that?" Maria had completely forgotten her comment she had made in regards to his age in Leisl's defense. "Back before we left you said I don't want to admit I was getting old." Maria gave Georg's hand a reassuring squeeze. "Georg I was by no means trying to offend you or suggest that I thought you were old. I was merely trying to tease you for your comment about Leisl. I like you just the way you are." Georg was relieved to say the least. "Good, because I love you too much to have allowed you to marry me if you felt I was too old." "Georg you are perfect for me just the way you are. I don't want to ever hear you call yourself old." Georg pulled Maria into a tight hug and placed a light kiss on her lips. They stood comfortable in eachother's arms till they heard Kurt say, "If you guys are ready to keep moving, I'd like to eat dinner. I'm hungry!" Georg and Maria laughed as they stepped apart. Georg took Maria's hand and they hurried to join their children.

Maria turned around to look back over the lake before walking inside. She thought to herself this has been one of the most amazing days of my life. I had so much fun spending the day with Georg and the children. I can't wait for another blessed day like this to come tomorrow. Little did Maria know the engagement bliss would end as frantic wedding planning ensued and the house was packed with chaperones to squash any nasty rumors about the "true" reasons Georg and Maria were getting married.