THE GOVERNESS OF BELGREEN MANOR
Even after six years, it was clear that Arthur was still greatly impressed with how her influence had helped his daughters. Yet, she knew she could take little true credit. She had done nothing more than love them and teach them to the best of her ability. It was the girls themselves, their loving natures, and clever minds that had seen them grow into such wonderful young women. And, even after all the years that had passed, Juliet still awoke saying a silent prayer of gratitude for the blessing of such a wonderful family. Now, their third child together was on the way, and Juliet felt she could never be happier than she was right at that moment.
After the girls excused themselves and hurried off to fetch the boys for their lessons, Arthur smiled gently at his wife.
“How are you feeling, darling?” he asked, reaching over and taking her hand.
Juliet giggled and stroked her stomach with her free hand.
“Very…with child,” she said.
Arthur laughed and nodded, patting his own stomach.
“After this breakfast, I believe that I must be too,” he said.
“Well, then, perhaps you would like to have this baby for me?” she asked, winking.
Arthur’s face transformed into one of mock horror.
“I will not even pretend that sounds pleasant to me,” he said. “It is just one more reason why I adore and admire you so.”
Juliet smiled at her husband and kissed his hand.
“You are too kind, my love,” she said. Then, she giggled again. “Besides, I do not think that this…” she gestured to her swollen belly, “would look very becoming on you.”
Arthur laughed heartily and shook his head.
“I love you so very much, darling,” he said.
“And I love you,” she said. “So much more.”
Juliet spent the morning with Marion, discussing how she wanted things arranged in the nursery and getting things ready for its arrival. Arthur had recently purchased a brand-new rocking chair for the nursery, which was delivered later that morning. The servants brought it upstairs straight away and moved the old one to the girls’ room.
The old chair was still in excellent condition, having only been used when Henry and Edward were babies, and Juliet thought the girls were now old enough to appreciate the chair and take good care of it. Once the work in the nursery was finished for the day, she tried out the new chair. It was wider than the old one, and the back of it felt soothing on her sore back. She rocked for a while, looking out of the window, and thinking about how much she was looking forward to the arrival of their new baby.
“Mama?” a voice said from the doorway.
Juliet turned and saw Henry standing in the doorway. He was standing with excellent posture, which she was certain he had not had the day before, with his hands behind his back. When he saw he had his mother’s attention, he put one arm in front of him and bowed formally. Granted, it was a little stiff, and he leaned down a bit too far, but it made Juliet proud, nonetheless. Clearly, the girls had been working with the boys on social etiquette that morning.
“That was very good, darling,” she said smiling, clapping her hands together. “Now, did you want something?”
Henry straightened himself and nodded.
“May we spend the rest of the day outside?” he asked. “We did so well with our lessons, and the weather is so nice.”
Juliet giggled, recalling how many times she had said precisely the same thing to the girls when they were younger. The boys had, in fact, been doing well with all their lessons. In fact, they had proven they were every bit as sharp and clever as their sisters. She opened her arms to her son and smiled.
“You may,” she said. “But only if you come and give me a kiss first.”
Henry beamed and rushed to his mother. He leaned down, gently embracing her. Then, he placed a wet kiss on her cheek.
“Thank you, Mama,” he said, hurrying from the room.
Juliet laughed, listening as what sounded like ten elephants stormed through the hall and down the stairs. She could hear faint giggling, which told her the girls were going outside with their brothers.
Moments later, she could see the children filing out into the rose gardens through the window, seemingly chasing one another with bouts of delighted laughter and calls of getting one another. It only took another moment before Rover, now rather large, came bounding from the other side of the house and straight for the children.
He barreled straight into Edward, knocking him down, and the young boy dissolved into a very audible fit of laughter. Henry rushed over and called the dog off his brother, while his sisters helped him up. From her seat in the window, Juliet could see the impish grin on Edward’s face, and before any of the others could react, he had tugged his sisters down onto the ground with him. They all collapsed into a cluster, laughing, and reaching for the dog, who was running in circles around them, leaping and barking with as much energy as he had when he was a small puppy.
Juliet could not help her own laughter as she watched. She adored her family, and it filled her to the brim with joy to see all the children playing together and caring so much for one another.
“They are truly magnificent children, are they not?” Arthur asked, coming up behind her and putting his hand on her shoulder.
Juliet smiled up at him, kissing his hand and stroking his fingers with hers.
“They are the best in all of London,” she said fondly.
Arthur nodded, kissing her on top of her head.
“I love you, Juliet,” he said, wrapping his arms around her from behind.
“I love you more,” she said.
This is the end of my novel “The Governess of Belgreen Manor”. I hope that you enjoy it! Your effort to read it means a lot to me and I have to thank you for your love and support these difficult days!
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