It had been years since they had hosted such a large group. She no longer felt anguish or guilt over living. Silly as it was, she had internally felt as though she had no right to truly live after losing her most loved ones. Marianne smiled to herself as she looked around the room.
Jane, Lizzy, and their husbands were speaking together in a corner. Lizzy was simply glowing, and, if her pale features were any indication, it looked as though Jane and Mr. Bingley would be making their own announcement soon.
Mary, Georgiana, Lydia, and, surprisingly, Miss Bingley surrounded the piano forte, deciding on what selections would be best for the afternoon. Caroline had come with her brother and Jane. Mr. and Mr. Hurst had decided to remain in London and celebrate with friends.
Lord and Lady Matlock sat in the middle of the room, doting on their grandson. Lord Ethan and Lady Oliva were sitting not far from his parents, chatting with Mrs. Ansley and Mrs. Whitmore.
Glancing around the room one more time, she realized that Kate and Richard were missing. She frowned to herself. Now where could they have gone? Her answer was given in the form of snow striking the window. Darcy leaned towards the window to investigate. He laughed and opened the window.
"I am not sure that this is proper behavior for a gentlemen of your status."
"Perhaps according to your standards," called Richard, "but I prefer not to act old before my time."
Darcy splutter and, before he could retort, received a snowball to his face. By this time, everyone had made their way to the windows.
"You're going to regret that!" Darcy turned to his wife. She smiled cheerfully at him.
"Go, and be thankful my current condition renders me unable to participate. I am not sure your pride could handle me trouncing you in a snowball fight."
Jane, noticing her husband's longing, bid him to go and enjoy himself, as well. "I shall stay and keep Lizzy company."
Lydia and Georgiana, unable to convince Mary and Caroline to join, ran for the doors.
"Be sure and dress appropriately," called Lady Julia.
"No worries, Mother," said Lord Ethan, leading his bride for the door, "we'll make sure they are properly attired."
"If they had wanted to be alone, they didn't go about it the right way," said Lord Matlock, cuddling the child in his arms.
"I should say not… Richard! Put her down this instant!" cried Lady Julia. Richard had flung Kate over his shoulder and was running with her further into the garden. Their laughter and Kate's weak pleas were all that was heard in response.
"Let's close the window, now. No need in Mrs. Darcy catching cold," said Mrs. Whitmore, moving to do as she said. Lizzy was going to rebuttal, but the older woman sent a glare that caused her to rethink it. The remaining group watched as the others rushed from the house. They were greatly amused by the game that commenced. After about an hour, Marianne called for tea to be prepared. The gentlemen would need something to soothe their wounded pride.
Oh my goodness! My first completed story! I am so excited! Thank you for all the reviews, follows, and favorites! I will be posting the first chapter of Love for Mary shortly. Sorry this took so long. I have actually been writing a lot, but I am working on several stories, most that I have yet to even post. Some are the stories I mentioned, others are for other fandom's, like the Hobbit and Lord of the Ring's. I write as I get inspiration. I no longer set deadlines for myself. It does not help me to try and force it. Also, school is back in full swing, and with homeschooling comes homeschool groups and activities. I have to socialize the kid! Once more, thank you for your support and I sincerely hope you enjoyed my story.