Elizabeth passed out the tea while silently thanking God that her mother had been shopping all morning thereby sparing her the pain of her continual references to the fact that Jane was expecting to deliver within two months and pointing out to her the obvious fact that she herself had not conceived. She was also grateful for the fact that her father had arrived and hoped that he would be able to act as a buffer between the two of them.
She noticed that her husband was in a jovial mood today and attributed it to the fact that they were to have dinner with the Gardiners this evening, as well as to her father's coming, giving him the chance for some intelligent conversation and a game of chess.
She was horrified when her mother informed them that she had purchased Lizzie a new night gown and robe telling her that she must dress in something more alluring if she was to maintain her husband's interest and give him an heir.
"I am sure you must be wearing that old thing that you wore at home, which would make even a new husband lose interest." She said, "I'm sure Mr. Darcy you will find this new one most pleasing."
"Oh but I find what she sleeps in now very pleasing, I assure you," replied Darcy with a wicked grin at his wife.
"But Mr. Darcy, she has had it for years and I am sure it is rough and raggedy by now."
"Oh she has had it all her life, I believe, and I can assure you it is very silky and pleasing to the touch," replied Darcy barely able to suppress a laugh while Lizzie gave him a pleading look trying to hush him.
"I myself sleep most comfortably in raiment even older that hers," he added.
Elizabeth for the first time in her life was grateful that her mother was not of a mind to understand what he was implying, but she gave him an 'I'll get you for this' look, as her mother continued to rattle on about getting him some new night clothes.
Looking at her father, she knew immediately that he understood full well what her mischievous husband was about, when he raised an eyebrow and hid a smile behind his hand stifling the laughter that she saw in his eyes.
To spare herself further humiliation she reminded her mother that she was to take a nap before their trip to the Gardiners, pointing out that she had been so busy all morning that, unless she got some rest, her nerves would be on edge all evening and she would not enjoy the visit to her brother's.
Her relief was almost overwhelming when her mother agreed and departed for her bedroom.
"Fitzwilliam Darcy you will pay dearly for this," she laughed with her husband and father.
"I'm sorry, my heart but I could not resist," replied her husband with a kiss before retiring to the den with her father.
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