I think you might be able to work out from the title what this story is about. Multi chaptered, almost finished, new chapter every couple of days. Enjoy.
And yes, I know I have other stories to be getting on with but its either ignore this and stare at the computer screen for hours trying to block this out and get on with the others, or have two (or more) separate documents opened and work on them all. Does that make sense?
He stayed in Bath for another two weeks after the engagement was announced to their family and friends. Not wanting to leave her there alone and in the company of her family alone. And though he would not admit it aloud, he was also a touch nervous that Lady Russell might interfere in their plans once again.
He was eventually persuaded by Anne, to make the trip to Town to request a special licence, once she had agreed to return to Kellynch with the Musgroves and the Crofts to make the preparations. They had managed to complete a lot in the past fortnight and come the wedding day, all was expected to go without a hitch.
The ceremony would be a small one, neither one wanting to postpone the occasion for any reason such as waiting for certain flowers to come into bloom, nor for distant family members to make a couple of hundred mile journey. They had toyed with the idea of eloping, both old enough to marry without permission or consent, but both Sophia Croft and Anne's younger sister Mary had taken it upon themselves to be both equally excited and in anticipation of the wedding day itself, that they decided against the plan to travel north to Gretna in Scotland.
Five days previous he had escorted his sister, the Admiral and Anne in their coach, to the outer suburbs of Bath, sending them on their way back to Kellynch before turning his horse around and heading for Town.
He made it to London the following day, even with stopping for the night at a highway inn and replenishing both himself and his horse. Whilst he wanted to get there in good time, he wanted to get there in one piece.
Obtaining the special license had been fairly simple. He had pleaded his case before an agent of the Archbishop, made a financial donation towards one of the churches charity organisations and waited. Having been told to return the following day, he had taken up for the night in a local inn and waited it out till morning.
Arriving at the Archbishops dwelling house he was informed that his application was successful and after he had provided the correct payment, he had the license in his hands.
He decided against starting his travels that evening, preferring to walk the cobbled streets of London and purchase a gift or two. He had been unable to lavish many gifts on his fiancé in the previous two weeks, both of them more content to spend the time within one another's company rather than apart. Giving Frederick little time to scour the fine shops of Bath in search of that perfect gift.
He found it in a small shop down a side street in the centre of London. The blue sapphire necklace and earring set was an effective diamond in the rough amongst the various bits and bobs that lined clear glass cabinets within the shop. Those coupled with the singular piece or two he had picked up on his travels meant that he could surprise her for several days before their marriage. Something he had been wanting to do for a while now.
On the forth day he set out from London on his way back West to Kellynch. Again he stopped off for the night, unwilling to risk travelling through the night. They where not expecting him back so soon, and he could allow some time to be cautious in his travels without anyone worrying about why he was not back on time.
And here he was now, within five miles of Kellynch; within five miles of Anne.
The country lane his was travelling down was one he had passed many times before. It was one of the main thoroughfares into Kellynch and its surrounding area. The road was lined with trees on either side, the foliage around their bases wild and natural. A perfect place for the local wildlife to shelter in.
It was one of those creatures that started the next train of events.
An adder that had been resting in the sun on the side of the road was startled into wakefulness by the tremors created by Frederick and his horse and decided at that moment to dart across the small stretch of track right in front of the Captain and his horse.
The horse, usually of a stout and * character, reacted to the snake by rearing suddenly and unseating his rider from his saddle. Frederick, not anticipating the sudden movement, felt himself being lifted from his seat and flung a distance into the ditch on the side of the road.
He hit the ground with a solid thump, his head rebounded of a rock, and the darkness settled in.
He was found on the side of the road by a passing farmer and his son an hour or so later. Once the two men had determined that he was still alive, they loaded him carefully onto the back of their cart and wheeled him into the parish of Kellynch and the local surgeon's house.
The surgeon, upon seeing whom it was, urged the two men to continue on up to the main house whilst he worked on Frederick in the back of the cart.
When they reached the bottom path, the elder man sent his son on ahead to the house to alert them. When the cart had reached the front doors, half of the staff where waiting outside to help transfer the Captain inside and up to his room.
The current masters of the house, and Miss Elliot, where currently on a visit to the Musgroves at Uppercross and where not home when Captain Wentworth was brought into the house in the condition he was in. A servant with an urgent message was dispatched immediately to fetch them home.
Frederick did not wake till they had deposited him on the bed and had begun to stripe him of his outer set of clothes. He had become agitated then, fighting with them till the surgeon had managed to calm him. He was groggy, but having a patient was awake was much better than one who was not. He was able to make a more accurate appraisal of the injuries that Frederick had sustained and declare him to be ok, aside from the knock to his head that had left him with a terrible ache and a bit of swelling.
By the time the Crofts and Anne had arrived back at Kellynch, each in varying degree of panic and worry, the surgeon had finished upstairs and was waiting to intercept them at the foot of the stairs. Ready to allay their worries about their brother, brother in law, fiancé.
"He took a tumble from his horse," the surgeon said as he lead them up the stairs. "He has a nasty bump on his head, and some scrapes and bruises, but everything else seems fine. He had been up and talking to us for the last twenty minutes or so."
The surgeon knocked and pushed open the door to Frederick's room, entering before the others did. He went directly to his patients bedside, speaking to the man and making him aware of the guests that had entered his room.
They watched as Frederick opened his eyes and focused on them. His smile widened when his gaze fell upon his sister and her husband.
"Sophia," he said, his voice sounding a little worn but with a mild degree of surprise, as though he was not expecting her. "What are you doing here?"
"What do you mean, what am I doing here?" she asked, coming to his side. "I have come to see you."
Anne came to a halt by the base of the bed, unsure of how she should be acting around him considering that he was laying in bed half dressed. The Admiral had taken his place behind his wife by the surgeon.
"Are you not going to say anything to Anne? You had her worried sick." Sophia asked him, looking between her brother and the woman standing at the foot of the bed.
Frederick looked at her and then back at his sister. His face blank, and Anne felt her heart speed up just that little bit.
"Frederick?" she asked, her voice wavering slightly.
He studied her for a long moment, his brow furrowed in confusion. He opened his mouth several times before closing it without uttering a sound. Finally he pulled himself up into a sitting position.
"Have we met?"