Hello again. I started this a little while ago but realized that I hadn't uploaded it here. So for those of you who know me on DeviantArt, this is not new but it will be continued.
I really cannot express in words how much I love this series and the wonderful couple who are at the center of it. I only hope I can do them some semblance of justice.
The ride had been long and tiresome but Percy didn't mind. His back was still terribly sore from where Chauvelin's soldiers had beaten him on the beach near the Pére Blanchard's hut but he hadn't really noticed it. Since his yacht, the Day Dream, had landed safely in Dover, Sir Percival Blakeney could think of little else but his wife. Marguerite. The name seemed a thousand times more wonderful then it ever had for he knew now that at long, long last he had her love.
He had not let go of her hand since they had entered the coach. Only at the posting inns, when he had needed to take care of some of the arrangements, had he reluctantly left her. But the moment they were together again he would take her small, delicate hand and hold it lovingly in his.
In the privacy of their coach they exchanged many words, which filled in the empty void that the past year had been. Hands and eyes were locked throughout their journey. He could not look away from such dazzling blue depths, which glittered like sapphires in sunlight. Nor could she stand to be away from him. Her newfound love for a man she had so recently despised bubbled up inside her and the loving words she said soothed his heart, which had ached with longing for her for nearly a year.
They arrived at their splendid Richmond home late in the evening. Percy stepped out of the coach first then offered a hand to his wife. Gladly accepting his assistance, she alighted from the vehicle and set foot at last on familiar soil.
"Home," she breathed, for it truly was her home now. Before it had just been a place, a house she shared with an idiotic fop who cared more about the latest fashion then about her. It was a new place to her, however, since she had returned from near-death at the hands of Chauvelin and his soldiers. She was an enemy of bloodthirsty France and even the affection for her dear brother was dwarfed by the overwhelming love and devotion that she now felt for her husband. She turned to him with a smile hoping to see in his eyes the same look of adoration and contentment. But as she gazed upon him the sick feeling of worry filled her. Although he smiled back at her, dark circles lined his eyes and his complexion was shockingly pale. She had observed that he had seemed quite tired in the coach, of course, but now he looked almost ready to faint.
"Is something wrong m'dear?" queried Sir Percy, as she scrutinized his face.
"N-no," she answered uncertainly. She didn't like at all how he looked but thought it better to ask him inside, away from the servants. Smiling, he offered her his arm and they began to ascend the steps of the main terrace. Percy had only taken a few steps when he suddenly tottered and had to grab onto the marble balustrade for stability.
"Percy!" she gasped as he caught himself. He looked even paler then before and his eyes had lost the shield of inane merriment with which he perpetually masked his countenance. A pained look flashed across his face and he grunted softly as he tried to steady himself. It had all happened in an instant. "Frank, quick!" Marguerite called out and Sir Percy's personal valet rushed to help her. But before Frank could reach the stairs, Sir Percy had straightened up and was quietly laughing his shy, inane laugh.
"I'm quite well my dear," he said, squeezing her hand reassuringly. "Just a bit cramped from being in that demmed coach for so long." She began to protest but his eyes stopped her. She nodded, unsure of what to do, and walked with him the rest of the way into the entrance hall.
After having her cloak and his overcoat removed, Sir Percy dismissed the servants and the house quickly went to bed. Taking her arm in his once more he lead her up the staircase to her chambers. They walked quite close and she could feel his warmth through his satin jacket. Upon reaching her door, he bowed gallantly over her hand and, kissing it, bid her goodnight.
"Stay with me tonight," she pleaded. Her eyes were large pools of the deepest blue and Percy found himself lost in them. He longed to hold her. His desire and her beauty buried his fatigue. It had been so long since they had been truly alone and happy in each other's company. His heart thundered in his chest as he looked down on her face.
"Lud m'dear," he whispered with a smile, "you know I am unable to deny a pretty woman."
She pulled him inside, quickly closing the door behind her. Turning back to him, she was unexpectedly pulled into his arms. She melted into his embrace; so warm and comforting, her head fitting perfectly beneath his chin. It felt so right, something she had not experienced from him since their marriage. Slowly he brought a hand under her chin and tilted her face to meet his. She could see the passion burning in his pale eyes and trembled at his touch.
His lips met hers in a soft, loving kiss. It was the first they had shared in nearly a year. Percy had yearned to hold her during the long and weary hours they had spent traveling but had kept himself in check. Now the passion that had welled up inside him over the months of their estrangement suddenly burst through the floodgates of his soul. It spilled over him and he found himself unable to resist any longer. His lips pressed more firmly against hers and he moved his hand to the back of her neck to support her head. Utterly lost in the moment, she wrapped her arms around his neck, tilting her head to deepen the kiss. When his tongue brushed her lips she shuddered and held him tighter, but did not bar him entrance. It snaked into her mouth, and a groan rumbled in the back of his throat. He had wished for so long to hold her like this. Now she was fully his: his wife, his love.
They broke apart reluctantly, out of breath from the outflow of emotion. Percy clasped her to him tightly, afraid that the moment was only a dream and at any time she might fly away and leave him again.
"Oh my Margot," he breathed into her hair, his voice thick with desire. "How I have longed to hold you again." She snuggled into the smooth fabric of his jacket, endeavoring to be as close to him as possible.
"Percy," she sighed, her voice muffled against the cloth. It was so good to have him back. He gently pulled her to a chair by the fireplace and sat her on his lap. His voice was silent but his hands and lips spoke volumes. She nestled against his broad chest, fully contented in his arms. He was very warm. His cheeks were flushed and that tired look still lingered in his eyes. But Marguerite attributed his appearance to the hours of travel, the beating he had received the night before and the kisses they shared. Percy was incandescently happy. He had never felt so alive. Even his daring escapades did not compare to this. He held her close, wishing the night to never end. But the heat from the fire was making him dizzy and he was infinitely grateful to be sitting down.
A noise in the hallway made her jump. After everything Chauvelin had put them through Marguerite was still on the alert. She moved to get up but was restrained.
"Leaving me so soon? Or do you merely wish to move to a more…comfortable location?" he asked, lifting an eyebrow mischievously. She gasped and swatted his chest, eliciting from him a long rolling laugh.
"I only wish to check the hall," she huffed, playfully. It was so good to be able to exchange such light-hearted banter. Just three days ago she had regarded him with bitter contempt. Yesterday she had been ready to die for him. Now she could not imagine life without him.
"I'm sure it was just one of the servants," he replied as she tried to stand again.
"Forgive me Percy, but you must understand that after what we have just gone through in France I am still a little frightened, even in our own house and even with you." He smiled sadly, the evening now tainted with an air of regret. It broke his heart to know that he had brought fear into her life.
"At least allow me to accompany you then."
"No, you stay here and rest. You have had so little time to do so and you must be very tired. It's only just down the hall."
"As you wish, sweetheart," he said quietly. "Although I am loth to let you out of my sight for a moment." She giggled as he laid feathery kisses along her jaw line. This time her efforts at extricating herself were unimpeded and she stood before him. Her eyes held a hint of triumph, his, accepted defeat.
"I will be back before you have the chance to miss me." And with a kiss she was gone.
He watched her retreating form. When she had closed the door he sighed heavily unable to contain his regret. He knew her knowledge of his identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel would bring her some worry but he had never intended to cause her fear or suffering.
He rubbed his temples, trying to rid himself of the ever-worsening dizziness. The fire was making him hot and he rose with the intention of relocating to the window seat where the cool night air chilled the glass. As he stood the room began to spin violently. He tried to take a step but his vision blurred. The room around him faded away until he was left with an inky darkness.
Marguerite had walked down the hallway to look for anything that might have been out of place. Satisfied, she hurried back to her rooms and her husband. Upon reentering the room, however, the object of her affection was not to be found. He was no longer in the chair by the fire and she could not see him anywhere else in the room. Unsure of what might have happened during her absence she crept closer to look for him. When she found him she gasped in horror. He was lying prostrate on the floor, an arm extended towards the window seat that had been his destination. Rushing to his side she rolled him carefully onto his back pillowed his head on her lap and began anxiously calling his name.
"Percy… Percy!" she urged, as she stroked his face. To her dismay she found his cheeks and forehead burning with fever. His eyes fluttered open to her worried face.
"You fell, darling," she answered him, endeavoring to hide the quiver in her voice. "You have a terrible fever. We must get you into bed. Do you think you could stand if I helped you?"
Percy nodded, still out of sorts and unsure of what had happened. Normally his pride and gentlemanly decorum would not have allowed him to be caught in such a situation or to need help walking, but as he could barely stand on his own, he reluctantly let it slide. He didn't have much choice. Either Marguerite could help him or she could call for a servant. He did not want anyone else to see himself in such a state of weakness so he used the chair to lever himself up and tried to overcome his state of vertigo.
He made it to the bed, leaning heavily on his wife's arm, and sat on the edge. Marguerite knelt and took off his boots. He made to protest but at a serious look from her the words died in his throat. He had managed to remove his jacket, cravat, jabot and waistcoat with little trouble and in only his shirtsleeves and trousers felt much cooler.
"Ah…" he sighed, "I think I am much better now." But as he tried to stand Marguerite pushed him down onto the bed. Thinking quickly, he grabbed her arms and used her momentum to pull her on top of himself as he fell backwards onto the sheets.
"Thank you dear heart," he said, placing a kiss on her nose. "I am ashamed to be in such a state before you. I pray you will forgive me." She lay against him and sighed contentedly.
"I am only happy to be with you. But really Percy," she chided him, sliding to her feet, "you need to rest." She fixed him with a stern gaze, but could not quite keep from smiling. With a chuckle he gave in. He was truly touched by her worry. After brushing his lips reverently against her hand, he obediently slipped beneath the covers. Marguerite went to undress then soon lay down next to him and he drifted off into a restless sleep.
One thing I must mention, I did not pay a whole lot of attention to anachronisms. I apologize if that upsets you. This is for fun anyway. Please let me know what you thought. All reviews, questions, comments, etc. are welcome.