Winifred couldn't help but smile as she was stood in front of her mirror in the bedroom that she shared with George early the next morning, her gaze fixed upon her husband as she continued to slowly button up the front of her dress and he made his way up behind her with a loving smirk upon his lips. Neither of them spoke as his hands came to settle upon her perfect waist through the blue material of her dress and his soft lips came into contact with the warm skin of her shoulder, a beautiful sigh leaving her as he started to place slow open-mouthed kisses along her shoulder and towards her slender neck. 'George...' She breathed as her eyes fluttered closed of their own accord and she allowed her head to fall back against his bare shoulder as she slipped the final button on her dress through the hole, her lips curving up into a stunning smile as he wrapped his strong arms protectively around her middle. George soon began to trail his tender open-mouthed kisses along the creamy skin at the side of her neck as he brushed his thumb softly against the flatness of her stomach, Winifred humming incoherently in delight as she sucked her lower lip and allowed her hand to reach back in order to lose her fingers in his soft hair.
He sucked gently upon the pulse-point behind her ear a few moments later, her legs buckling beneath her with a whimper as he grazed his teeth against the sensitive flesh. Her cheeks held a rosy blush as he caught her around the waist before she could hit the floor, a look of pride upon his face as he turned her to face him and her perfectly soft hands came to rest upon the warm skin of his chest. 'It's rather satisfying to know that I still have that effect on you.' He chuckled gently as she gazed into his eyes and a lock of silky blonde hair fell into her face, her lips curving up into a loving smile as he brushed it tenderly back behind her ear with the tips of his fingers. 'You're still just as gorgeous as you were on the day we met, you know.' He sighed as he allowed his hands to come to rest upon her hips before he drew her flush against his chest, her beautiful giggle making his heart swell with the love he held for her as she ran her dainty hands warmly along the outside of his arms. 'I still find myself wondering why you would marry such an old man.'
'You're not that old,' She reassured him as her light blue eyes glistened perfectly. 'And I married you because out of all of the men that my father had ever ordered me to dance with, you were the only one who had ever been a gentleman towards me. You were the only one who made me feel safe and who didn't try and kiss me, and I genuinely liked it when you held me in your arms. I still like it when you hold me in your arms. Back when we were courting and when you would take me to dances and out to dinner you always gave me your jacket when I was cold, but no other man had ever done that for me when I had courted them. I remember one time when a man took me to a public house for a date. I was sat in the corner of the room all night whilst he danced with other women and had beer after beer until he couldn't walk straight. Then, after stumbling around when we had been walking home, he made me kiss him. I didn't court another man for years, George, not until you.' He smiled lovingly down at her before kissing her forehead softly and drawing her slightly closer to him. 'I know that it sounds awfully sentimental, but I don't think I'd feel so satisfied in my marriage if I had married someone other than you.'
'I don't even want to think about you as someone else's wife.' He sighed as he stroked her cheek with the backs of his fingers and she allowed her eyes to flutter closed, his lips curving up into a warm smile as she covered his hand with her own and slipped her nimble fingers through the spaces between his own. 'You know, on the night of your father's party the only woman I actually noticed all night was you.' He admitted. 'I may have danced with countless other women that evening, but when I was dancing with them I was unable to stop looking at you. The only thing that I didn't like about you was the fact that you looked so lonely and unhappy in the life that you were living.' She nodded quietly.
'I guess not everyone is blessed enough to have parents that love them.' She sighed as she cast her gaze down to his chest, a small smile on his lips as he took her by the chin.
'You had one of the most dreadful and unhappy childhoods that I have ever heard of, my darling, and yet you are still the most compassionate and affectionate woman that I've ever met. You're loving, you're gentle, you're funny, you're an amazing pianist and you are the perfect wife and mother. It takes an extremely strong person to have had such a terrible childhood and still have such a beautiful heart, my love, and I am so grateful to have you as my wife.' She sighed tearfully. 'I say, that was bold talk for an Englishman.'
'I love you so much.' She sniffed as she ran her hands warmly along the front of his chest, tears sparkling in her eyes as she gazed up at him. 'Even though I don't say it often.'
'I love you too, my darling.' He cupped her flawless face in his hands, stroking his thumbs against the porcelain skin of her cheeks. 'Now let me kiss you, you gorgeous woman.'
And oh, did he kiss her.
It was a short time later when the two of them were sat together in the dining room and Winifred was slowly sipping her tea as George read The Times, the two of them looking at one another with a knowing smile as they heard the sound of small feet upon the staircase in the hall before the dining room door opened and Jane and Michael entering with smiles upon their faces as they made their way over to their parents. 'Good morning, father!' Jane giggled before pressing her lips gently to his cheek in a soft kiss, a kind smile upon his lips as he watched her make her way around to her mother who was currently having her own cheek kissed by their son. 'Good morning, mother.' She giggled softly as Winifred drew her into her lap, her eyes closing momentarily as her mother pressed her lips to the side of her head in a slow kiss before allowing her to settle against her chest.
'You both seem very sunny this morning,' George chuckled as he slipped his arm around Michael's middle and allowed his son to cuddle against his chest. 'What's the occasion?'
'Bert promised us that he'd take us to see Mary Poppins today, father! He told us that she's staying with her Uncle Albert for a little while because she came back when the park was empty after everyone had flown their kites and he asked her to be his wife! He gave her a ring and everything and she says that we can go and see her! May we, father?' A gentle chuckle escaped George's lips as Jane's small chest rose and fell heavily with her excitement, her deep blue eyes sparkling beautifully as Winifred stroked her hair gently.
'I don't see why not,' He reassured her, ruffling Michael's hair affectionately in the process. 'As long as you don't go running off and you stay where he can see you at all times.' The children nodded obediently, hopeful smiles upon their faces. 'Well then, I think the two of you had better go and get dressed.' Jane and Michael needed no more convincing. Once George was positive that his children had returned to their nursery, he grasped his wife's hand and brought her to settle in his lap. 'You know what this means, don't you?'
'Mmm,' Winifred hummed as she slipped her arms warmly around his neck. 'Could it mean that we have the whole afternoon to ourselves?'
George chuckled lovingly as he leaned forwards to kiss his wife's perfectly warm lips tenderly, deeply. 'I think it might.' He teased as he nuzzled the tip of his nose against hers.
'Oh, how exciting.' She giggled with a loving smirk, her mind running wild with all of the things that they could do over the next several hours.
The possibilities were endless.
George couldn't help but sigh deeply in contentment as he lay beside his wife later that same afternoon and her head was resting upon the warm skin of his shoulder as she ran the tips of her dainty fingers soothingly through his chest hair, his strong hand resting possessively upon the creamy skin of her hip beneath their covers as he nuzzled his nose into her soft blonde hair and allowed her perfectly intoxicating scent to invade his senses. The two of them adored the comfortable silence that they always ended up falling into after lovemaking, considering it permitted them to let one another know just how deeply they loved one another through simple kisses and tender caresses. A soft sigh escaped George's lips as he took his wife's perfectly sculpted hand from his chest and brought it to his lips, Winifred gazing dreamily up at him as he brushed feather-light kisses against the pads of her fingers and she tangled her leg loosely with his own under the covers. 'You're always so gentle and loving with me, George, even when we have our arguments.'
'It's because I love you, my dearest one.' He kissed her forehead lingeringly. 'I know that you weren't shown what love was when you were younger and I know that your father wasn't the warmest towards you, and even though you didn't say it out loud I know that you could see some of his traits in me before Mary Poppins came.' She sighed softly as she dropped her gaze to his chest, feeling her heart swell with love for him when he began to stroke his fingers comfortingly through her hair. 'I don't judge you for it, Winifred. I vowed to you on our wedding day, away from your parents and from our guests, that I would be there to help you forget about your past and to protect you when you needed me to. I broke that vow when I put my title and my wealth first, and I shouldn't have. I swear to you, my love, that I am going to be the man that you need from this point on.'
'I just need you to be more of a husband to me than a father, George, that's all.' She admitted softly as she traced the sharpness of his collarbone with her fingertips. 'I want to be able to discipline our children myself when it's needed and I want to have my own voice, my love. I just need you to support me instead of trying to have authority over me.'
'I promise that I'll try harder, my darling.' He whispered, pressing his lips lightly to the tip of her pointed nose. 'Now come here.'
A soft squeal of delight came from her as he brought her to his chest, his lips capturing her warm mouth in a delicious kiss as he ran his fingers through her perfect golden hair.
'Oh, it's so beautiful!' Jane exclaimed gently as she took in the sight of Mary's engagement ring and her former nanny smiled as she was sitting on the settee, Bert's arm draped around her shoulders as Michael was sat in Albert's armchair whilst he watched the goldfish swimming around it's bowl. 'You're not going away now, are you?' Jane asked softly.
'Mmm, I don't think Bert's going to let me out of his sight.' Mary teased as she lay her free hand upon her fiance's chest, Bert chuckling affectionately as he nuzzled her hairline. 'Actually, Jane, I have something that I've been hoping to speak to you about for the past couple of days.' She admitted gently as she brought the young girl safely into her lap. 'I was wondering, considering you're so good with fashion,' The two of them giggled together. 'If you would help me pick out my wedding gown?' Jane's eyes widened excitedly.
'Really?' She gasped, her deep blue eyes sparkling happily.
'Really!' Mary giggled. 'Also, now this is a large responsibility, I was wondering if you would do me the honour of being my bridesmaid?'
'Yes!' Jane exclaimed, wrapping her arms around Mary's neck in a gentle embrace. 'Uh, I mean,' She remembered herself as Mary smirked at her. 'Yes please, Mary Poppins!'
'And Michael, I was wondering if you'd be my best man at the wedding.' Bert smiled over at the young boy, Michael beaming from ear-to-ear. 'You are me best mate, after all.'
'Can I?' He gasped as he got up from the armchair and hurried over to the small group.
'Course you can,' Bert chuckled. 'I wouldn't 'ave asked if I didn't want you to be.'
'We'll have to get your parents' permission, of course.' Mary admitted to her former charges. 'I don't want to go upsetting your father by planning it all without his knowledge.'
'You can ask him when you walk us home!' Jane giggled as she slipped out of her lap and brushed down her skirt. 'Mother will be so happy, won't she, Michael?'
Her brother nodded eagerly.
'That's settled, then.' Bert smiled as he slipped his arm around Mary's perfectly slight waist. 'We'll ask 'em together.'
'You were the most beautiful woman in the entire world to me on that day,' Winifred couldn't help but smile as she felt her husband's strong hands coming to rest upon her hips whilst she was stood in the hall later that afternoon and she held one of their wedding pictures in her hand, a gentle sigh escaping her as she stroked her thumb along the glass pane and she gazed at the sight of herself in the flowing white gown she had worn almost twelve years ago as she was standing upon a bridge that stood above a brook. 'You're still the most beautiful woman that I have ever set my eyes on.' She hummed softly in contentment as he pressed a kiss to her neck. 'Who would have thought you had a bump under that dress?' The two of them chuckled lovingly at the memory of how she was already five months pregnant with their precious Jane at the time of the photo being taken.
'I don't know how I remember this, considering it was so long ago, but I remember she was kicking the whole way through our first dance as husband and wife.' She smirked as she leaned back into his embrace and he tightened his hold around her perfect waist. 'Do you have any idea of how worried I was that my father would find out? I was terrified.'
'It didn't stop you from being a perfect mother to her before she was even born though, did it my love? I can still remember seeing you sat in that old rocking chair every single night for the last months of your pregnancy, talking to her and telling her how loved she was.' She smiled at the memory. 'I can't believe she was so laid-back in the beginning.'
'She may be much more excitable now, but she still loves to cuddle with me.' Winifred admitted gently. 'I never thought that it would feel so nice to have her fall asleep on me.'
'If you do fall pregnant again..' George murmured softly into her ear as he began to sway her slowly from side-to-side. 'Do you think we might keep the baby in our room. I told you that I wanted to be a proper father if we had a third one, and I told you that I wanted to raise it properly, and I meant that. I want to be able to hold our baby in my arms.'
'I never did nurse either of our children, did I?' She asked softly. 'I never got to feed our own children, how absurd is that? I know that it isn't proper, but they were our babies.'
'Are we agreed, then?' He smiled as he rested his chin upon her shoulder. 'If we have a baby we're going to raise it like a normal mother and father should?' She nodded gently.
'Yes, George, we are.' She smiled lovingly up at him. 'Now kiss me.'
He cupped the roundness of her cheek gently in his palm as he lowered his lips to her own, their kiss slow and sweet as their lips brushed warmly and her hand lay on his chest.
The ring of the doorbell was what prompted the two of them to end their kiss before George released his wife from his arms, Winifred carefully setting the picture frame back on the cabinet before she began to make her way up to the front door, patting her hair down neatly on the way. 'Jane, Michael!' She exclaimed softly as her children were stood on the doorstep, the two of them smiling up at her before they wrapped their arms around her legs and snuggled up against her as she stroked their silky blonde hair comfortingly. 'Mr. Alfred, Miss Poppins,' She smiled at the two. 'The children tell Mr. Banks and I that you're to be married.' Mary nodded with a gentle smile as Bert had his arm around her.
'Yes, Mrs. Banks.' She spoke gently. 'That's actually what Bert and I were hoping to speak to the two of you about, if that's not too much of an inconvenience for you.'
'Of course not,' Winifred smiled as she stepped to one side. 'Come inside and I'll ask Ellen to make us a pot of tea.' Mary and Bert did as they were told before Winifred shut the door carefully behind them. 'Jane, Michael, go and wash your hands and change into some clean clothes, please.' The children nodded obediently before making their way up to the nursery, Winifred approaching her husband. 'Darling, would you please show them into the sitting room whilst I go and speak to Ellen?' George kissed her forehead in reply. She then made her way into the kitchen before George gestured for the newly engaged couple to follow him into the sitting room, a gentle smile upon his lips as he faced them.
It was a short time later when Winifred and George were sat in the sitting room with Mary and Bert across from them, Jane and Michael sitting a short distance away whilst they spoke between themselves. 'So you see, we were wondering if Jane and Michael would be allowed to take part in the wedding ceremony,' Mary admitted as her purse was in her lap. 'Michael as Bert's best man and Jane as my bridesmaid. It's not going to be a very large affair, considering we don't want to make too big of a commotion about it, but they seemed so happy when we asked them about it earlier this afternoon. We understand that we can only do so with your permission, which is why we came to speak to you both.'
'I don't believe there's anything wrong with allowing Jane and Michael to take part, darling, do you?' Winifred raised her brow as she took her husband's hand gently in her own.
'I suppose not.' He admitted. 'But what about their schooling?' He turned to his wife. 'You know that Miss Levinson hates it when they have to miss their lessons.'
'We could always make a schedule of the days when Jane and Michael are able to come with us for dress and suit fittings, Mr. Banks,' Mary smiled. 'Then they wouldn't have to.'
'Well,' George sighed as he brushed his thumb slowly across Winifred's knuckles. 'As long as they don't miss any lessons and you're sure you don't mind, I don't see why not.'
The children's delighted cheers filled the air as they hurried over to the four of them a few moments later, the adults chuckling at their happiness toward the upcoming wedding.
'Then we're all agreed,' Winifred smiled as she brought Jane close. 'And we wish you both every happiness.'
'I hate to see her unwell,' Winifred sighed as she lay in bed beside her husband later that same evening, Jane between the two of them as she slept soundly with her head upon her mother's chest and Winifred continued to trail her fingertips comfortingly through her daughter's warm blonde hair. 'I just feel so helpless, knowing that I can't do anything.'
'Just hold her, my love.' George whispered as he gazed at her in the glow of the oil-lamp upon her bedside table. 'Hold her and let her sleep, and she'll be well in no time at all.'
'When did you become such an expert on these things?' She teased, a loving smirk upon her lips. 'I do love you so terribly, George.'
'I love you too,' He reassured her as he leaned over their sleeping daughter to plant a soft kiss upon her warm mouth. 'Now close your eyes and try and get some rest, darling.'
'Do you promise you won't leave us?' She whispered, her eyes slowly beginning to close as she nuzzled into Jane's hair.
'Wild horses couldn't drag me away now, sweetheart.' He smiled, a gentle chuckle escaping his lips as he took her hand in his own and laced their fingers. 'Now get some sleep.'
'Goodnight, George.' She turned slightly to dim her lamp, her eyes finally falling closed as she settled down with their daughter.
'Goodnight, my dearest one.' He whispered as he turned down his own lamp, plunging the room into darkness before he lay down. 'Pleasant dreams.'
Author's Note: Please review, and thank you for following this story! x