September 8, 2015 - The recent thefts of stories here at has led some authors to pull their stories from this website. I do not plan to do so at this time, however, I do feel the need to include the following: This story is protected by copyright law and may not be used, copied or republished without the expressed written consent of the author. My work has been available online elsewhere for many years so establishing my ownership will not be an issue for me. Don't go ruining it for others.

August 19, 2014 - I'm back from my summer travels. I need a vacation to recover.

This is my promised 'Ann deBourgh' story. I can safely say it's like none other you have ever read. Now before you finish the Prologue and decide you want to hunt me down, I suggest you continue on through and read chapter 1. While I will not answer the obvious question you should all have at the end of chapter 1 until I post chapter17, I think you are all smart enough to figure out what is going on with my plot.

Please forgive any egregious Regency and etymological errors. I began this story as a lark, fully expecting it to be complete in 10 or so chapters. Some 36 chapters and a prologue and epilogue later, I was finally finished. Yeah, I underestimated where this tale would take me … just a little. *snort*

I'll post 2-3 times a week.

And here we go!

A Mother's Favorite Wish


Alone at last! That was all Fitzwilliam Darcy could think of as he escorted his wife into the bridal chamber.

The day had begun very early. He had awoken with the dawn and could not go back to sleep. Eventually, his valet was summoned and they prepared for the wedding. There had been little question that it would take place in the home country of his bride; she would not have had it any other way. Her mother had suggested a grand wedding in Town, but Darcy was happy that he and his bride were of like mind. A wedding in the country, the wedding breakfast at the manor, and then they could leave everyone behind and retreat to the Darcy Townhouse for some peace!

There was nothing spectacular about the marriage service, although his new mother-in-law spared no expense entertaining her guests at the meal afterward. Everything was meant to proclaim that her daughter had married one of the richest men in Derbyshire and would thereafter take her proper place as Mistress of Pemberley. However, before they would go to Pemberley, they would stop in London.

Ah London! Only a half-day's journey from the home of his mother-in-law, it was the center of culture of his nation. Too bad there were also people there. Still, Society would spare them from any necessity of entertaining. Newly wedded couples were afforded at least a few weeks as "not at home".

But that was for the future. At present, Darcy didn't care to see anyone but his bride – preferably unclothed.

The air in the Mistress's chambers was heavy with the scent of roses from the two bouquets in the room. The new Mrs. Darcy had been inspecting the changes she had ordered in her new quarters – not too many, but enough to make it hers and not her predecessor's.

Darcy, who had escorted her into the chambers only to have her abandon him at the doorway, grew impatient as he watched her move about the room. Walking was not the activity he wished to observe. He considered himself a disciplined man, able to wait until his wife would signal her readiness for intimacy. But he was unable to stay any longer, in her presence, in her room with both of them so fully clothed. He closed the door behind him and spoke, desire dripped from his voice.

"Dearest, I know we have just arrived…" Surprisingly he found himself at loss for how to continue his speech.

She smiled seductively at her husband's open-ended request and sauntered back to stand before him. He watched in fascination – and increasing lust – as she laid her hands against his chest and then slid them up to his cravat and began to untie the intricate knot. Once this task was accomplished, she removed the article, stood on her tiptoes, and nipped at his neck.

The moment her lips touched his bare flesh, Darcy was finished being passive and pulled her firmly against his body. Soon, their clothes were strewn about on the floor and they tumbled onto the massive bed. He could not wait and neither could she. The consummation of their union was fast and torrid and satisfying and when it was over they lay panting in each other's arms. Before long, they were asleep.

It was still light outside when Darcy awoke; his bride snuggled against his body. He loved the way her dark tresses, free from any restraint, lay in contrast against her pale, soft skin. Her hairpins were someplace in the room, most likely on the floors with their forgotten and for now unneeded articles of clothing. He had been in too much of a hurry to run his fingers through her curls earlier and the offending pins had been dispatched without any worry as to their final destination. Now her hair was a glorious and unruly mass; he would ask later if he could brush it for her.

She must have sensed a change in her husband's breathing because soon the bride awoke and joined the bridegroom in the joyous reality of the recognition of being in the arms of a lover.

"Did you sleep well, Mrs. Darcy?"

"Uhm, rather well, Mr. Darcy. Although I am not usually one to nap in the afternoon."

"You have had quite a day. It is not just any day when you are wedded, feted and ravished."

"Indeed not, I must admit I was a bit disappointed."

"Over the wedding or the breakfast?"

"Of course not those."

Darcy was a bit indignant. "I had thought… You seemed to enjoy…"

She smiled that damned sexy smile at him again. "You know very well I did, husband. Did I not tell G*d that?" Darcy smiled at her reference to her rather vocal responses in their earlier activities.

"Then why did you say that you were disappointed?"

"I did not say I was disappointed in my ravishment. I am only disappointed that you have not yet begun to repeat those pleasures."


"Really, Fitzwilliam, what would my mother say to such language?"

"I do not give a damn about Lady Catherine. The only person I plan to please, dearest Anne, is you."

And with that he began once again, though much slower, to do just that.

Chapter 1

Kent, 1790

Two weeks after Lady Catherine Fitzwilliam wed Sir Lewis de Bourgh, the new bride was convinced that her mother had lied to her. Because she feared her mother and did not wish to think contrary of her, Lady Catherine had given the situation a full two weeks to improve; however, nothing had changed. The only reason the she could credit as a possibility was that her mother had cruelly deceived her.

Simply put, the performance of her wifely duties was not the pleasant experience her mother had led her to believe it would be. The first time hurt, just like mama had warned, and the only improvement she had experienced in all of the subsequent encounters with her husband was a lack of pain. That Sir Lewis certainly did not seem to find the situation lacking, based on his frequent visits to her bedchamber, did not improve her mood. Lady Catherine could only pray that she would soon fall with child. Then, she could refuse him admittance to her bed. Once an heir and a spare were produced, she could, in good conscience, permanently lock the door between the master's and mistress's suites and never have to put up with the discomfort again!

Unfortunately for Lady Catherine, she did not become pregnant. Instead, she suffered through the first year of her marriage with nary a missed monthly course. The second year was proving as fruitless as the first. Even Sir Lewis was becoming discouraged and his visits became fewer and farther in between. That is, until he came to the conclusion that he would need to visit some of his vast holdings – in particular those in the West Indies. Upon the realization that he would be gone from England the following spring when the weather was better for the crossing, Sir Lewis renewed his campaign to sire an heir. Lady Catherine was, unsurprisingly, quite put out. She had enjoyed the respite from her duties and was rather disappointed in their frequent resumption. She prayed all the time for a child, but it seemed no one was listening.

Well, if Providence would not help her, she was willing to give it a hand. And so she hatched a scheme that, if it worked, would solve her greatest problem. First, she enlisted the aid of a few servants placed in strategic positions in her household. They would be well paid for their work, and then sent off someplace where they could not betray her secret.

The first servant thus approached was her own lady's maid, Maggie Stuart. Lady Catherine had little doubt that Stuart would object, but she was a little surprised at the young woman's audacity.

"I will help you, your ladyship, in exchange for the position of your housekeeper here at Rosings."

That earned Maggie a raised eyebrow from her mistress. Lady Catherine took a moment to observe the young woman before her. Her maid was nearly the same age, and although she was just a servant, appeared un-intimated.

"Well, well. You are shrewder than I would have guessed. I like that in a servant, Stuart, as long as you keep your place. How do I know you will not betray me to my husband?"

"Pay me well and do not ask too many questions and you have my unswerving loyalty, my lady."

"Deceive me and I will see you ruined. Do you understand?"

Maggie squared her shoulders and dared look her employer in the eye.

"As long as you remember that such threats go both ways. I will help you and I will keep your secret and see that the others do as well. Do we have a bargain?"

A smile threatened to escape onto Lady Catherine's face. Stuart had the nerves needed to play the gambit. "And you will enlist the aid of others?"

"Only as absolutely necessary for success. I assume they will not be in residence long?"

"Of course not! I will see to it that they end up far away from here when the time comes."

"Then I accept."

"Choose well; you have as much to lose as I do."

"No, not nearly as much. Then again, I have not nearly as much to gain. Very well, I will see to it that certain items are obtained without them being traced back to you and begin to make other preparations for the time ahead. You do realize, don't you, that the greatest difficulty will lie in finding a midwife to agree to this?"

"Money will persuade the matter."

"As you wish, your ladyship."


Finally, spring arrived and Sir Lewis made his preparations to sail. His wife was ecstatic, though she did her best to hide it. Three months previous she had put her plan into motion. At first, her maid's cooperation was all that was needed in the disguise. Lady Catherine had also made an effort to eat more to put on some additional weight. She hadn't gained much, just enough to make her clothes a tight fit. It was time to talk to her husband.

Lady Catherine waited until Sunday after church services. She found him in his study.

"Lewis, I know you are leaving in two weeks and this may not be the best time to tell you, but I think I may be carrying your heir."

The reaction of the gentleman was as to be expected. First, he was in a state of shock, and then he became very happy. His face displayed the shock most men feel when told they will be a father. Such dismay was soon replaced by a look of relief – his seed was capable of taking root after all – and finally to happiness that he would have an heir! His cousin would be very disappointed.


"It is too soon to know for certain, but I believe it to be so. My courses have stopped."

They had not, but Lady Catherine had most conveniently become ill during the last two and stayed ill until they were over. All traces had been hidden away by her trusted maid and no one in the house was the wiser for it. The extra items Maggie had procured had done their jobs.

"That explains why you were so ill! I have heard that women who are with child can be afflicted most severely."

"Yes, but that is all passed now."

Suddenly the obvious occurred to the man. A palm to the forehead preceded his next speech.

"The timing of this blasted trip could not be worse! I should stay in England with you, but I just cannot. I must go and see to my plantations!"

Lady Catherine continued to play her role.

"As much as it pains me to agree, yes you should go. You must not worry about me. Think of your child. He will depend on the income from those properties once he inherits."

"Yes, yes! You are most correct. My son must have enough money to live in the style he deserves."

"It could be a girl."

She had decided it would be.

"Oh, I suppose so. Then I will go to see that her dowry is fabulous enough to tempt even a Duke!"

Or a Darcy. A girl to marry her nephew Fitzwilliam and unite Pemberley and Rosings.

And so Sir Lewis left his expectant wife to secure his holdings in the Americas. He would be gone for six months, if things went according to his plans. That left plenty of time for hers.


News of Lady Catherine's condition spread throughout the household. Orders were given to prepare the Nursery; the room had not been used in since Sir Lewis was a child. A general sense of relief pervaded the staff. At last, a child!

The weather warmed as spring turned into summer. Lady Catherine's orders where increasingly passed on through her maid to the housekeeper, Mrs. Ward. Mrs. Ward observed the increased intimacy between her Mistress and her maid, Maggie, and reasoned it was a result of her ladyship's condition. Suspicion of her fate never crossed her mind.

Once Maggie agreed to help Lady Catherine fake her pregnancy, she used all of her cunning and connections to see to it that it succeeded. Maggie Stuart had been born in poverty. Her parents could not really afford to feed another mouth and as soon as she was old enough, Maggie found herself looking for work. By the time she left home for good, she had only a meager education and could barely read or write. However, she was a clever girl and smart enough to learn where and when she could. And thus she advanced herself far enough in the world of servants that when Lady Catherine de Bourgh needed yet another lady's maid, she was in the right place to fill the request. From the beginning, Lady Catherine had wished her to stay; perhaps the great lady had found a kindred spirit. But whatever the reason, Lady Catherine was pleased with the results and found Maggie's wrong connections most advantageous to the prosecution of her scheme.

About six weeks after Sir Lewis had sailed, Maggie brought up the subject she was most concerned about.

"I think we need to find a midwife soon. Not one from here, but London," Maggie suggested as she dutifully worked on Lady Catherine's toilette.

"If not London, we can say that she is from there. I suppose your contacts will be able to help find a woman of discretion? Tell me, Stuart, how on earth were you ever recommended for the position of a lady's maid? With all I have learned about your past acquaintances, I'm surprised you were considered qualified."

"Who ever said I was?" she allowed herself to smirk. "I hope I have not displeased you."

"Oh no, at least not yet."

Maggie fussed with her ladyship's hair.

"Have you given any more consideration to where you will find a child? Newborns are more difficult to acquire than a babe several months old."

Lady Catherine frowned.

"I do not want to raise some foundling as my own child. Nor do I wish to pollute Rosings with the offspring of some whore or godforsaken peasant," she said.

"A gentleman's daughter?" Maggie frowned back. This could prove more difficult than expected.

"At the very least."

"Maybe I can find news of some girl sent away from her family to bear someone's natural child."

"That is certainly a possibility more palatable. A gentlewoman by birth would be best. Whomever it is, I do not want to know any of the details other than assurances that the child is from a respectable family. And it must be a girl. Do I make myself understood?"

"Yes, your ladyship." Maggie answered as she finished Lady Catherine's hair. "Rest assured the midwife will be given explicit instruction on your requirements."

Lady Catherine looked in the mirror, lifted her chin, and turned her head from side to side. Not displeased with the results, she dismissed her maid to go greet her guests.


The following week Lady Catherine left Rosings for Town. She was not fond of staying in the city at that time, but she needed to be there to allow Maggie to make arrangements for a sympathetic midwife. Once one was secured, the search began for potential expectant mothers who would deliver within the time needed.

Maggie and the midwife agreed that a child of a gentleman's daughter in disgrace was not a possibility. Those women were sent as far from London as possible. The delivery to Rosings needed to be made within the day of gaining the newborn or else the risk that the child could die was too high. A wet-nurse from town would be found and the babe brought to her. They would then secretly be taken to Kent and smuggled into Rosings with the minimum of servants in the know. This meant a baby must be found someplace fairly close to London, but in the opposite direction of Kent. A discrete search began.

Lady Catherine was thankful that Sir Lewis did not monitor her pin money too closely. She was amazed by how much money she was spending. It meant less new clothing whilst her husband was away to offset some of the cost of her "descendant by duplicity" plot, but since she had practically gone into a seclusion to hide her true state, she did not begrudge the sacrifice – too much.

In the area of her clothing, Maggie was of great help, as well. She had a friend who was a seamstress and who owed the maid a great favor. Together, they devised a strap-on contraption that could simulate for the would-be mother a state of expectancy. With this invention in place, Maggie took the new measurements for Lady Catherine and used them to order the few altered gowns necessary for the charade of her confinement. All was ready.

Come September, when the chosen child had been born – and turned out to be a girl – Lady Catherine would herself go into labor and "deliver" the new heiress of Rosings Park.


Mr. Trent, a man of questionable repute, was hired to collect the child. The midwife had located five potential expectant mothers. When word came that a child was safely delivered, he would be sent to see if he could pinch the babe. The first two children born were boys. The next was a girl, but she did not survive the day. Another girl was both born and healthy, but there was no opportunity for Mr. Trent to get near the child. After a week, he gave up. He was desperate; only one child remained unborn. At last the midwife received a report of a little girl born just the day before. Mother and daughter were both in good health. Mr. Trent was dispatched to see what could be done Hertfordshire. He was in luck. When the opportunity came, he stole the child away and headed straight for London. He did not know the family destined for the little girl, but with the amount of money he was paid, Mr. Trent was certain that the child would be raised in a home much grander than the small estate to which she was born.

The midwife sent word that the child was in her possession and that she would be coming to Rosings that night. Lady Catherine went into labor as planned.

"You must give a convincing scream of pain, your ladyship."

"Who do you think I am, some actress? You do it Stuart."

"But you are the one who is supposed to be in labor!"

"I will not and that is final!"

Lady Catherine would not be moved.

There was nothing for it. Maggie let out what she hoped was a convincing cry of pain.

"Next time, put a bit more grunt in it, Miss," the midwife coached.

Maggie just hoped that the orders that no one disturb them were followed. If she was going to have to bellow the next few hours until the baby arrived with the wet-nurse, there would be no voice left to keep the any disobedient servant out.

At last, the hired coach bearing the new Miss de Bourgh and her wet-nurse arrived at the hovel of one of Lady Catherine's man-servants. The chambermaid that Maggie had brought into the plot was waiting there with her beau and took the bundled up child and raced to the great house and to her mistress's chambers while the wet-nurse remained behind. After an hour's wait, she too was brought to Rosing by the ever-vigilant, and somewhat out of breathe, female servant.

Once the babe was safely in her new mother's chambers the "labor" came to a climax and the child was brought into her new world. The midwife pinched the sleeping girl to make sure she cried and the deed was done. Lady Catherine was made to look as if she had just spent the day giving birth, complete with a thoroughly rumpled and damp gown, and simulated perspiration; even her hair was wet. Once the new mother was ready, the other servants were finally allowed into the room to spy their mistress laying in her bed with a newborn swaddled by her side. The clever midwife had brought along enough counterfeit evidence to suggest that a birth, in all is bloody mess, had indeed taken place.

Lady Catherine would, the next morning, write to her husband that he was a father and that the little girl was awaiting his return to England. The new mother also wrote to her sister, Lady Anne Darcy, and informed her of the safe delivery and asked if that lady would consent to be the child's godmother. Anne de Bourgh would be christened when her father was back in Kent.

I cannot WAIT to hear your responses. Be gentle with me even though I married off Fitzwilliam Darcy to ;) Miss 'Anne deBourgh'.

ETA: As for the character labels, see the end note to chapter 17 and chapter 23. ;-)