Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square, Chapter 356

Chapter 356

"Ruthy?"  Gerard smiled as he poked his head through the night nursery door.  "Is Gamilla in our new rooms?"

"Yes,"  Ruthy frowned.  "She came up her not half an hour ago."

"So, I take it that the hen-do has finished for the evening?"  Gerard smiled.

"Don't ask me."  Ruthy snapped.  "And, you shouldn't be so flippant when referring to a gathering which included Her Ladyship."

"I heard Her Ladyship call it just that this afternoon."  Gerard replied.  "Listen, Ruthy, why do you have to be so sour all the time?"

"I don't know what you mean."  Ruthy turned her head away.  "And, I'll thank you to keep your voice down.  I've only just gotten the baby to sleep and it was no easy task with all the noise in the house."

"Well, the noise 'as stopped now."  Gerard raised an eyebrow.  "Everyone's gone to their beds, and I think it's high time you do the same."

"And leave the baby?"

"Ruthy, it ain't like you sleep in here."  Gerard answered.  "Gamilla's right here.  If the baby cries, we'll hear 'im."

"You just want me to leave so you can be alone with Gamilla."

"Right you are."  Gerard nodded.  "And, you'd best get used to it, too.  When we return from our wedding trip, Gamilla and me..."  He pointed to the door to their new suite.  "Will be sleepin' right in there.  Together.  And, we will not want you to be sittin' out here in the night nursery all the time.  You got your own room to yourself in the attics.  So, why don't ya go up there and get some sleep?  You'll be busy tomorrow and the next two weeks.  Rest while you can."

"You are not the person to whom I answer, Mr. Gurney."

"No, you answer to my bride-to-be."

"I answer to the Duke of Fallbridge!"

"Ultimately we all do."  Gerard laughed.  "But, first you got Mr. Speaight, and Gamilla and even Mr. Iantosca and me.  We're valets and the masters' footmen.  So..."

"Very well."  Ruthy said stiffly.  "I shall leave."

"I know you're gonna 'ave it rough here with Gamilla gonna be gone for awhile, havin' to take care o' things all by yourself, but, I heard His Grace say he was gonna see to it you got help and..."

"I manage alone quite well.  God knows I'm mostly alone here anyway."  Ruthy scoffed as she walked out of the room.

"Lord..."  Gerard shook his head.  He straightened his livery and smoothed his hair before knocking on the door to the rooms he'd soon be sharing with Gamilla.

"Yes?"  Gamilla called out.

"It's your groom."  Gerard teased.

"Oh!"  Gamilla exclaimed, rushing to the door.  "Don't come in.  You ain't supposed to see me before the weddin'!"

"The wedding is tomorrow.  I can see ya all I want tonight."

"Oh, no you ain't!"  Gamilla laughed, leaning against the door to prevent Gerard from opening it.  "It's after midnight.  Today IS tomorrow!"

"I see."  Gerard replied.  "Maybe...maybe, it don't count 'til the sun rises."

"No, no."  Gamilla replied playfully.

"Well, at least tell me how your party went."  Gerard laughed.

"Through the door?"  Gamilla asked.

"You're the one what won't let me in, Love."

"All right,"  Gamilla chuckled, opening the door.  "But, if we get bad luck, it's all on your head."

"No bad luck, Love.  Not ever again.  It's gonna be you and me.  How could we 'ave bad luck?"

Gamilla grinned and embraced Gerard.  "I believe it, honey.  For true."  She took him by the hand.  "Come on in.  Tomorrow, this is your home, too."  As she closed the door, she looked over her shoulder.  "Is Ruthy gone?"

"I sent her to bed.  Love, why is she so sour?  She's always been a bit stiff, but, she's gotten all the more unpleasant over these weeks."

"I don't know."  Gamilla shrugged.  "I think maybe she don't feel like she's part of everythin' here.  Like tonight, she didn't get to join us."

"I can see her bein' bitter 'bout tonight,"  Gerard nodded.  "But, it ain't like we don't try to include her."  He shrugged.  "I can think of many times when one of us 'ave offered 'er a place at table next to us and she takes her tray and leaves.  If she wants to be friends, she don't make a good show of it."

"Long as she does her job, I don't care."  Gamilla laughed.  "Right now, all I care 'bout is you? How was the evenin' with the men?"

"No, I asked you first."

"Oh, honey, it was beautiful."  She grinned.  "They were so sweet."

"What'd you do?"

"Oh, we laughed and ate and played silly games, but mostly talked.  And, look."  She pointed. "Look at all them gifts they done gave me."

"That was sweet."  Gerard nodded.

"You didn't look."

"I only wanna look at you." 

"Oh, Gerry."

"It's true, Love!"  Gerard patted her hand.

Gamilla looked away bashfully.  "How was the evening with the men?"

"Great fun.  Mr. Punch led us all in some bawdy songs.  I should say, the Duke did.  But, he was all Mr. Punch tonight."

"Even in front of the Queen's groomsman?"

"Sure was."  Gerard laughed.  "All but Dr. Halifax and Mr. Punch smoked cigars and we told jokes and they teased me.  His Grace  gave me a handsome groomin' set and five lovely new suits of clothes to wear on our trip.  Charlie gave me a fob."

"You don't gotta watch."  Gamilla giggled.

Gerard reached into his pocket.  "I do now."  He retrieved a handsome gold pocket watch.  "A gift from Dr. Halifax."

"Oh my goodness."  Gamilla gasped.  "Ain't it handsome?"

"It is."  Gerard returned the watch to his pocket.  "Yet, all I can think of is you.  Ya know, I been thinkin' 'bout Scotland.  Ya know...before it all went bad.  The night of the ball when you and me danced."

"I remember."  Gamilla smiled sweetly.

"Dance with me."  Gerard stood and offered his hand to Gamilla.

"Now?  There ain't no music."

"Don't need it."  Gerard shook his head.

"I will dance with you, Mr. Gurney."  Gamilla stood.

"Thank you, Mrs. Gurney."

"But, then ya gotta go."

"I will."  Gerard nodded.  "I'll be good.  I just can't wait tomorrow for our first dance as husband and wife."

"We ain't married yet."

"Close enough."  Gerard winked.  "It's gonna be the first of many dances."

"It sure is, honey, it sure is."

Did you miss Chapters 1-355 of Mr. Punch of Belgrave Square?  If so, you can read them here.  Come back on Monday for Chapter 357 and some BIG SURPRISES.

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