Bonus Epilogue! Lady Bridget’s Wedding
Dear readers, Please enjoy this bonus epilogue to Lady Bridget’s Diary, the first book in my Keeping Up With The Cavendishes Series. I thought Bridget and Darcy’s love story needed a little extra something. Something sweet, perhaps 😉 XOXO, Maya
Let The Bride Eat Cake!
Bride: Very excited
Groom: Very handsome
Cakes at the wedding: 2 or 3?
If there was one thing Lady Bridget Cavendish was looking forward to on her wedding day, it was cake. Perhaps a vanilla cake with a delicate buttercream frosting, with a slight tang of lemon. Or a rich, velvety chocolate cake slathered in icing. Perhaps she wouldn’t decide and would have two cakes!
Three, if you count the traditional wedding cake, which was some very heavy and dense British thing that seemed to involve fruit and alcohol (in a cake!) and a hard fondant icing. Apparently it would keep for days. Weeks, even.
Oh, she knew other women cared about the dress; Bridget was far more excited to stop caring about fitting into said dress. Other women cared about ensuring that the notice was in the newspaper and the nuptials were appropriately reported; the Duchess of Durham was assured that the London Weekly would absolutely be covering the wedding in their famous column Marriage In High Life.
And the groom. One mustn’t forget the groom.
Not that she would or could.
Bridget was madly in love with her groom.
Lord Darcy. He of the eyes like a sky after a thunderstorm and oh-so-proper demeanor and unbreakable honor. He who surprised her with deep kisses and intense passion. Bridget had despised him at first. He was so self-righteous and proper when she would make every possible misstep. He was so wrong for her, yet so deliciously right for her at the same time. What she’d thought had been disapproval had been desire. It just took her a while to see it. Let all the other girls have their bad boys; she had her Lord Darcy.
When one was marrying an upstanding, honorable and utterly dignified man like Darcy, one did not have to worry about whether he would make it to the church on time. He was as reliable as the laws of physics. Which was very romantic, if you asked her, which you should because it was her day.
Which was why they were having two cakes. No, three.
Annoying sisters who burst into one’s bedchamber whilst one is daydreaming about one’s future husband: 2
And duchesses: 1
And future sister-in-laws: 1
Bridget had only just closed her diary and set it aside. She’d been lolling in bed, writing, when her sisters burst in.
Amelia gave a fiendish grin. Claire, Meredith and the Duchess followed behind.
“Writing in your diary, are you? Let me guess what it says,” Amelia struck a pose with a thoughtful expression. “ Ooooh I loooove Loooord Darcy. Perhaps as much as I love cake. Which is why I am having two cakes on my wedding day.”
“Amelia!” Bridget shouted. How the bloody hell did she know that already!?
“It’s not so much that I read your diary so much as I can tell what you are thinking at any given moment,” Amelia said.
“Also, I read your diary.”
“Sisters.” Bridget heaved a tremendous sigh.
“You sound like your brother,” Meredith said.
“The poor man who laments the hardship of having the three best sisters in the world,” Amelia said.
“I don’t know if poor is the word to describe James anymore,” Claire pointed out.
“We’ll he’s certainly not impoverished with regards to his sisters,” Bridget added.
“Enough of this chattering about,” cut in Her Grace, the duchess of Durham. It was difficult to say if she was more delighted or relieved to be so close to marrying off one of the Cavendish girls. “We have a bride to dress, to say nothing of the rest of us. We cannot be late to the church especially for reasons like bickering or lying abed daydreaming about wedding cake.”
“You don’t deny it,” Amelia said.
Bridget shrugged. “It’s true.”
“You’d think you’d be lying in bed daydreaming about your wedding night instead of your wedding cake,” Claire said slyly.
“Oh I’m sorry, have I embarrassed you?”
“Sisters.” She heaved another sigh. Best get her deep breathing done before putting on her corset.
When Bridget stepped into the church—St. George’s of Hanover Square—and saw her Darcy waiting for her, all thoughts of cake fled. This strong, honorable, kind and handsome man was waiting for her, to promise himself to her, to love her. Just as she was. And she loved him, oh did she love him. She would walk toward him down the aisle without a doubt in her heart or mind.
He stood with his brother, Rupert, at his side.
Amelia fussed with the train and Claire adjusted the veil. Josie pressed a lace-embroidered handkerchief to her wet eyes.
“It’s a happy occasion, duchess! No need to cry,” Claire said.
“Those are tears of relief,” Meredith explained.
Then her dear brother James was there, walking her down the aisle.
Then there was nothing but her and Darcy. She forgot about everyone in the Church and beyond. She only had eyes for Lord Darcy and he, her. They promised to love each other forever more. And then they sealed with promise with a kiss.
Courses at the wedding breakfast before cake: multiple!
Guests: the cake is really the important thing
During the breakfast, Bridget enjoyed a moment alone on the terrace with Rupert. He was now her brother-in-law, but for a second there she was quite sure that she’d wed him instead. He would always hold a special spot in her heart, since he was the first Londoner to make her feel welcome.
“To think, for a second there this might have been our wedding,” Rupert remarked.
“I might have written Bridget and Rupert Wright in my diary more than a few times.”
Rupert grinned. “We would have gotten along. But we would not have shared the same love and passion you share with my brother. I daresay no one could make him happy like you do.”
“That’s because he’s scared everyone off with his brooding.”
“That’s why you are precisely what he needs.”
“And what about your prospects, Rupert? Now you have female relations to badger you about your matrimonial prospects.”
His smile faltered slightly.
“I may never marry. But I am not alone. I am in love and I am happy.”
Follow his gaze to Mr. Frederick Croft. Their eyes locked.
Bridget saw and squeezed his hand. “As long as you are happy, I am happy.”
Darcy found them and gave his brother A Look. Rupert grinned and understood and made himself scarce.
Bridget kissed her new husband. Then she smiled at the thought of her new husband! This reminded her of the wedding. And wedding cake. Oh, now she was grinning.
“You’re thinking of cake, aren’t you?”
“And how much I love you. But yes. Cake.”
“Whatever the brides wishes…” Darcy motioned to a footman to bring his bride a slice of cake and a moment later it appeared. Bliss was just a bite away. She had a generous slice of vanilla cake on plate, a silver fork in hand—the good silver—and she was just about to take a bite when Lady Tunbridge bustled over.
“Lady Bridget! Well I suppose we should call you Lady Darcy now! I must confess I never thought I’d see this day after you fell flat on your backside in the middle of my ballroom.”
“I suppose it’s a moment one can’t forget.”
“I also remember that Darcy rescued you.” Lady Tunbridge gave a “knowing” wink and beamed that such a romance began at her party. Somehow, this reflected positively on her hostessing. But rescue wasn’t exactly the word Bridget would use for her first meeting with Darcy. A more apt description would have been “present during her hour of humiliation.” But that was all in the past. Now they were in love…and married…with wedding cake…and Bridget was unable to take a bite because guests kept interrupting to do things like congratulate her and wish her well and inquire after her honeymoon plans.
Finally goodbyes were said to the wedding guests and introductions were performed at Lady Darcy’s (!) new home with her new husband.
“Before you get settled, there is something I’d like to show you.” He was grinning. Darcy did not usually grin.
“Oh? I am intrigued.”
Her intrigue only increased when it became clear that the distinguished Lord Darcy was leading her away from the public rooms and…down the servants’ stairs into the basement.
“I’m given to understand that this is the way to the kitchen,” he explained.
It was not. After a wrong turn or two and some encounters with very shocked servants, they found the kitchen. The cook, a large woman named Betsy with a red cheeks, greeted them with a charming smile.
“Ah there you. Lord Darcy. Lady Darcy.”
“It is lovely to make your acquaintance,” Bridget said genuinely.
“Lovely to meet you as well, my Lady. But this I think is what his lordship brought you to see…” She gestured toward an array of cakes on the large, rough hewn table.
A sponge cake, a pound cake and something that looked like gingerbread.
“I wasn’t sure what you liked, so I made a few. Cake is never wasted.”
“All of them. I love all of them.”
“Glad to hear it. I’ll just be off them. There is some champagne too.” Betsy disappeared and Darcy popped open the bottle and poured them two glasses of champagne.
Bridget eyed the cakes, in raptures.
“This is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me.”
“I should hope so.” Darcy gave her a grin. “But this is only the beginning, my lady.”
“I have never even imagined such romance.”
“My motives are purely selfish. Your happiness is my happiness.”
“You know, Darcy, this will all make for an excellent snack after our wedding night…”
Are you keeping up with the Cavendishes?
Don’t miss It’s Hard Out Here For A Duke, in which the Duke of Durham falls in love with the one woman he can never wed.