Through Every Storm Chapters 8 & 9

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Chapter 8

Wickham  pushed himself up out of the chair in Denny’s sitting room.  “You are right, of course,” he said. “I made a promise, and I’ll keep it.”

Denny clasped him on the shoulder.  “It might not mean much coming from me, but I am proud of you, Wickham.  I know you, ten years ago, would have beat a hasty retreat.”  He walked with Wickham to the door.  “I will walk with you.”

Wickham nodded.

“I always tell the lads the surest way to fail is give up.  Also the surest way to die in battle.”  He motioned for Wickham to exit before him and donned his hat as they walked.

“It means a great deal.” Wickham glanced to the side at his friend. “That you are proud of me.  Not many have been.”

“You’ve not given them much to be proud about until recently.”

Wickham smiled.  It was just like Denny to be so straight forward.  “Yes, well, it is still good to hear.”

“I’m glad of it, then.”

The two men walked for some distance in silence.  “What if she will not listen to me?”

“She’ll listen─eventually.  You feared the same when we travelled to Derbyshire, and she listened─eventually.”  He halted for a moment. “Although she never seemed to listen when you spoke.  It was always after that there seemed to be a change.” He returned to walking.  “I say, I never saw a person so set against an agreement sign any paper so quickly as she did after you left the room.  She read it and grabbed a pen.  Shocked both Darcy and me.” They strode on a bit further before Denny added. “And then the day after her time working, there was such a shift in her.”

Wickham voiced his agreement.

“Any idea what might have wrought such a change?”

Wickham thought back to the beginning of his agreement with Lydia and to the day they had argued in Darcy’s breakfast room.  He remembered how her eyes had grown wide as he took out his notebook to write down her behaviour.  He stopped abruptly.  “I should have told her.”

“Yes, we discussed this already.  You should have told her about why you were paying Darcy, and you should have told her of the trouble you were having keeping the terms of the agreement.”

“No, not that…well, yes, that, but not just that…what Louisa said.”  He turned to his friend.  “When we were on our way to find Lydia, Louisa told me to tell Lydia I loved her.”

Shock suffused Denny’s face and tone. “You’ve not told her you loved her?”

Wickham shook his head.  “Not in a while.”

“How long?”

“The day I sent her to work.  I scrawled I love you on the bottom of that day’s entry.”

“A month?”  Denny’s voice was loud and a bit harsh. “You’ve not told her in a month?” He shook his head.  “Now that is a problem.  You know if you say it now, she’ll not believe you. She will think you are just trying to please her.”

Wickham smiled.

“You look far to happy, Wickham─almost like you do when you know you are about to take the game.”

“I am, my friend. I am.” He began walking again but with a lighter step.  “Come along; I have a promise to keep and a journal to give to my wife.”

“I am utterly confused, Wickham.”

Wickham chuckled.  “And this is new?”

Denny growled.  “I’ve not see you like this in over a month and just moments ago you were beside yourself with grief. Now with little explanation you are happy?”

Continue reading Chapter 8

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Leenie Brown

Leenie Brown fell in love with Jane Austen's works when she first read Sense and Sensibility followed immediately by Pride and Prejudice in her early teens. As the second of five daughters and an avid reader, she has always loved to see where her imagination takes her and to play with and write about the characters she meets along the way. In 2013, these two loves collided when she stumbled upon the world of Jane Austen Fan Fiction. A year later, in 2014, she began writing her own Austen-inspired stories and began publishing them in 2015. Leenie lives in Nova Scotia, Canada with her two teenage boys and her very own Mr. Brown (a wonderful mix of all the best of Darcy, Bingley and Edmund with healthy dose of the teasing Mr. Tillney and just a dash of the scolding Mr. Knightley).

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