When William Nottage remarried in the spring of 1787 Elizabeth was amazed at her lack of feeling. John attended much to the anger of Edward but he went on Charles' request, who had come to look upon his brother as a God by this point. Amused by Edward's worry that when John saw William again he would automatically recover his earlier feelings for William as his father and wish to not return, Elizabeth saw John off and told him to behave for Sir William. John said he would and was unbothered by the whispers he heard said behind his back. Edward and William had done well keeping the divorce hidden. It was known, but their friends in parliament were able to keep the records sealed. No one really knew the exact reason for the divorce and Edward's surrender of his titles, but the gossip was enough to keep Edward from London. Edward had warned John he would always be the subject of gossip and John was remarkably mature for his age.

William was kind to John when he greeted him at the church and was touched when the boy thought nothing of wrapping his arms around his middle and giving him an affectionate hug. His wife, who was an all around kind woman, was not pleased with John's attendance and was not afraid to let William know. Charles was thrilled though and spent the entire time by his older brother's side, holding his hand and telling everyone he could that he and John were brothers. They looked absolutely nothing alike. Both had taken strongly after their fathers and the things that they had received from their mother were different.

William was happy as he said 'I do' to the woman he had been supposed to marry before arriving in England married to an American. She, Anne, was so pleased she could not keep from crying as she said her vows.

By this time Elizabeth had another son, Edward Nicholas, called Nicky by his family and Nicholas by others, who had been born nine months after Edward and Elizabeth were married. In 87' Sebastian was born but Edward was not losing faith in having a daughter.

"You are still young," he said as he took Sebastian into his arms. "We have time."

"I am cursed to only have sons," she had joked, kissing Sebastian's little fuzzy head.

"Were you alive in the 16th century I am quite certain you would have been Henry VII's seventh wife," he joked. John proudly held Nicky as he met his new brother.

As Elizabeth's family grew to the largest it would be in 1788 with the last of her five children, and Edward's fourth, Charles met his little sister, a little girl named Catherine. Edward, with the birth of his beloved little Sophia decided they would begin with birth control, frightened at the risks of Elizabeth having to give birth again. Sophia was a beautiful little girl that John took to immediately. He loved all his siblings but he was fiercely protective of Sophia. Edward used this to teach John the respectful way in which to treat all women and Elizabeth was confident her son would grow up to be a good man.

After the birth of Catherine, Frederick and Andrew were borne to William's wife and as a result Charles and John grew apart. Elizabeth still saw Charles every Sunday and that did not end until Charles was sent to study in Hampshire in 1797. Edward sent John to the same boarding school 95'. He was upset that he could not send John to France, where Edward had studied as a boy, but he refused to send John to France in such a violent time. As a result, away from home for the first time and reunited in school, John and Charles once again grew close.

As a gift after John's first full year away from home Edward stayed true to his word and gave John his very own dog. When John was given the puppy, even at the age of sixteen, he had been intensely excited and the two bonded almost immediately. The little Springer was solid brown except for the long white strip down her chest and she licked John's face incessantly. He named her Persephone, and she followed him everywhere. He even took her back to school with him, having received consent by the head master, who had been a friend of Edward for years.

When they came back home during their breaks Charles always spent a week in Essex with Elizabeth before returning to London to see his father and step mother. Now that he was almost a man William agreed to let him in the same county with Edward.

In 1800, on his twentieth birthday, John joined the Royal Marines much to his father's pride and mother's horror. When he first walked through the door, dressed in his neat red coat as a royal marine Elizabeth had sworn she saw Edward walk through the door. He was so handsome and proud that Elizabeth could do nothing but give him her blessing. Charles attended his induction ceremony, again to the anger of his step mother who never liked Elizabeth and her family even if seeing them made Charles happy.

Elizabeth's life between the years of 1785 and 1804 was the happiest it had ever been. Her life had been one of tremendous struggle and loss. She lost her mother young, her brothers were lost to the war, and her father died shortly before it ended. She had lost the love of her life for a short time and had struggled with the guilt of loving a man who was not her husband and the pain of holding to her vows despite her misery.

Edward had been everything she could have hoped for. He was a tremendous father, a kind loving husband, and she loved him more than she could put into words. True to his word he never once took a lover and by 1804 it appeared he never would. His devotion to Elizabeth seemed to only have grown with the passing years and he was never far from her side. When he had business in London Elizabeth went with him. When he went to go hunting with his brother, Elizabeth went to whatever home they were staying at.

He was tender with their children, hoping to make up for his lack of contact with John as a boy. He especially doted on Sophia, who looked most like Elizabeth than any of the others. For her part, Sophia loved her father more than life. As close as John was to Elizabeth, Sophia was to Edward. Edward loved her so much that when he began arranging her marriage when she turned fifteen in 1803 he allowed her to draw up her own list of candidates, given they were of noble blood. She was a magnificently beautiful girl and still possessed the name Attenborough despite her mother's origins. Few would hesitate to marry her.

"You are more like your aunt each and every day," Edward would say and Sophia would giggle and glide out of the room.

When she provided him with the list she left it for him to discover on his study desk. There were many respectable names that she would not be opposed to marry but one was circled multiple times and placed on the top of the list.

Malcolm Molyneux would have been a man that many men would dream of having their daughter's marry. He was an Earl and from an immensely influential and respectable family. If Edward had not known his true parentage he would have jumped at the opportunity.

"He is half savage," Edward said sitting next to Elizabeth in the sitting room.

"Edward," Elizabeth had scolded him.

"What if the child comes out more Scot than English," Edward said. "I do not want a Scottish grandchild."

"Edward you disgust me sometimes," Elizabeth said. "Malcolm is a sweet boy and a dear friend of Johnny. He would treat her right. Can you really say so for the others?"

"They would not dare mistreat my little girl," Edward said opening the paper dismissively and reading it. "I would have them shot."

Elizabeth laughed and reached out to hold his hand.

"The world thinks he is Robert Molyneux's son."

He reluctantly relented a few weeks later and wrote to the Earl of Rutland, who was more than willing to agree to the arrangement. Upon Sophia's 17th birthday she would marry the Earl of Rutland. When Malcolm came to the house to meet with Edward face to face Sophia had blushed and ran away from Malcolm when he had attempted to say hello. John himself was pleased with the match and trusted in his friend's goodness.

William came to truly love his wife and was happy. He had come to forgive Elizabeth and wrote to her saying so. He told her he hoped nothing but happiness for her. Both kept the letter a secret from their spouses and Elizabeth burnt it the moment she had received it, but it had alleviated the last bit of guilt she had been suffering from.

Overall, until 1804 everyone had come to a place of happiness and contentedness. It only took five short minutes to bring all that tumbling down.


Just to clear up some confusion. My next story will be following JOHN not WILLIAM.

I have it about a 1/3 of the way written, completely planned out, but I am not going to start posting it, because I want to wait until I finish up Dixie and Rise by Sin. I am also getting pretty into my honors thesis, which is 17th century England. 17th century England is where I am most happy and so a story set in the time has been swirling around my head. So, I am not going to begin posting chapters for John's story until it is finished. You will not have to wait to long, I have it all planned out and am moving on a pretty nice clip with it.

Also, I really Miss Emma and Ellison and wish to get back to them. Plus, Stuart England is calling me home lol.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed Edward and Elizabeth's story. This will not be the last of them I am sure, but this is the end of their struggles.

Thanks for everyone that stuck with me! You are all amazing!