Brighter Than The Sun
There was a lot of talk, of course, following Susie and Robbie's impromptu wedding, many speculated if they had to get married because there was already a bun in the oven, or if it was scorned pride what made the new earl of Greystone marry mousy Susannah Westman as it was quickly known that his former fiancée Miss Meredith Montgomery eloped to Scotland with a wealthy architect, Mr. Peter Jensen.
"Well," Robbie said one morning while they were having breakfast in bed and reading the paper shortly after their wedding. "There might be a bun in the oven by now, I've certainly worked hard enough."
"Do you think I'm mousy?" Susie asked as she read that rumor a little bit down the page.
"Not at all." He answered, tossing the paper aside and grabbing her instead. "Though I admit all your clothes are hopeless."
"I suppose why you haven't let me wear nothing at all these last few days." Susie said with a long-suffering sigh.
"Maybe I just like having you naked," Robbie said in his best attempt of a rake-ish voice.
Susie laughed and half-heartedly battled his hands away when he began to fondle her, but in the end she did let him kiss her and roll her over and have his way with her (well, she let him think he was having his way, when in truth he was putty in her hands).
Luckily, all rumors were laid to rest a couple of weeks later when Emma's wedding arrived. Emma had decided to make her wedding a grand affair, she wanted to rub it on the faces of everyone who said Brian wouldn't marry her, everyone who made fun when their engagement dragged on.
"You're Beautiful," Robbie told her that day when Susie donned her dress. He liked to tell her that, it didn't matter if she was wearing one of her frumpy dresses or her nightgown or nothing at all, he always, always said that.
Susie twirled in front of him, letting the gray-blue silk of her dress swirl and shimmer. This dress fit, Emma had made sure of that, and Susie had allowed her lady's maid to pull her hair up with an assortment of aquamarine studded pins, while soft, curling tendrils of hair fell just so, framing her face. Her glasses, for once, were gone.
Everyone commented on it, of course, how Susie was looking so beautiful now, had she always been so beautiful? Or was it just married life that sat so well with her? No one knew for certain, but almost everyone agreed Lord Greystone had been a lucky dog in marrying such a beautiful woman. And they were so besotted with each other that it was ridiculous. Robbie let go of Susie only with the greatest reluctance when Emma called her, and he only let her dance with one man other than himself: Sam, and that was only once.
Susie, of course, was quite happy with that arrangement, she liked being tucked to his side, especially when Robbie would lean down and whisper inappropriate things to her ear, like how much he would like to take her dress off, pretty as it was, or how the little curl that fell over he cleavage was driving him crazy.
There was only one tense moment during Em's wedding, when Peter Jensen showed up with his new wife, the former Meredith Montgomery. The other guests looked from one couple to the other, but both couples were remarkably calm. Mr. Jensen was Lord Rutland's best friend, and Susie had always liked him, and she also sort of liked Meredith, they would never be the closest of friends but there was no ill will between them; so, to the disappointment of everyone, there was no scene.
Gossips without victims tend to die quickly; a few weeks later no one even talked about Susie and Robbie, other than to comment that they obviously were a love-match.
As for buns being in the oven, Robbie was right and only nine months and two weeks after their wedding day, Susie gave birth to their first son. Robbie was proud as puff of his baby, and loved to hover around him and Susie.
"What are you thinking, love?" Robbie asked her one night when she was trying to rock their son to sleep, Adam, Viscount Leighton was one hyperactive baby, it took forever to get him to sleep and he woke up at the smallest sounds. Not that Robbie or Susie complained, they were enchanted by their son and catered to his every whim.
"The first day we met," Susie said in a hushed voice
"You were the most adorable little thing, back then." Robbie said, kissing the top of her hair.
"My whole life changed that day," Susie said, smiling down at her baby. Adam was too small to tell if his eyes would remain blue like hers or turn silvery like Robbie's, but he already looked so much like his father that Susie couldn't imagine something like eye-color could spoil the effect. "I fell in love with you, that day."
"What's there no to love?"
Susie smacked him on the shoulder, which unfortunately jostled Adam who let out an indignant wail. As they both fussed over the baby, Robbie began to understand something, something his parents knew but wouldn't tell, something each set of parents had to learn by itself: With children, there is no room for quiet happiness, but loud joy is a fine substitute for it.
Sure, neither him or Susie had slept a night through in months, and his sex life was in shambles for the time being – he was back at stealing kisses and illicit tumbles around Adam's schedule – but he wouldn't change any of it.
He was happy, at last.
End of Epilogue
End of Brighter Than The Sun