Eoin "vigil" Byrne - Daniel Sharman // gustave "doc" kateb ~ milo ventimiglia
Elora "valkyrie" Vogel - Lauren German // michiel "thatcher" cowden ~ charlie cox
Sarah Flament - Inbar Lavi // olivier "lion" flament ~ matt bomer
Maja Wiśniewski - Rachel Keller // demetria brunsmeier ~ priscilla quintana
Cecile "frost" Charpentier - marie avgeropoulos // john "thermite" tracer-cohen ~ hugh dancy
Kingsley "blackbeard" Graham - David Giuntoli // nienke "iana" meijer ~ emilia clarke
Altiva "Mira" Messias - Eiza Gonzalez // ryad "jackal" ramírez al-hassar ~ pedro pascal
Zofia “zofia” Refn Höelscher - Scarlett Byrne // maxim "kapkan" senaviev ~ armie hammer
Donnatella Haugland - Candice Accola // eirik "ace" haugland ~ gaspard ulliel
Ioanna “Gridlock” Borisovna - Caity lotz // maeve "buck" kriergaard ~ rooney mara
Abel “Warden” Sartori - Alvaro Morte // sanaa "nomad" el maktoub ~ najwa nimri
Aimée “Twitch” Chauveau - Sophie Cookson // myrtle "glaz" shulman ~ aya cash
Laufar “Fuze” Bladwood - Bill Skarsgard // jaimini "kali" kalimohan shah ~ anya chalotra
Caecilia “IQ” Colias - Michelle Borth // thaysa "caveira" neves ~ tainá müller
Dominica “Bandit” Brunsmeier - Priscilla Quintana // lana maria kantor ~ emeraude toubia
Eun Jung "dokkaebi" Bak - im jinah // benjamin "smoke" black ~ michiel huisman
Bae Sooyeoung "Aruni" Park - Yeri // yumiko "hibana" imagawa ~ karen fukuhara
Natasyia "Finka" Melnikova - Phoebe Tonkin // letizia "ying" castillo ~ angelique boyer
Ahmed "Wamai" Aziz - Rami Malek // elżbieta "sun" bosak ~ florence pugh
Piero "Maestro" Bianchi - Tom Hardy // aria "alibi" de luca ~ jameela jamil
Millicient "Blitz" Fischer - Lily Rabe // mildred belladini ~ sarah paulson
Leonoro "Kaid" Nguyen - Aiden Turner // agathe elizabeth "nokk" donaldson ~ eleanor tomlinson
Sébastien "Rook" Brodeur - Chris Evans // marius "jäger" streicher ~ sebastian stan
François "Montagne" Couture - Henry Cavill // mary "ash" eliza mizrachi ~ jessica chastain
Georgina Kateb - Mandy Moore // cordelia "lesion" mei lin ~ chloe bennet
Maria Guadalupe "Goyo" Sánchez - Ana de Armas // miles "castle" campbell ~ idris elba
Fayola "Melusi" Buhle - Tessa Thompson // erika "maverick" thorn ~ brie larson
Achilles "Pulse" Rehan - Oliver Stark // maximilian "mozzie" desreaux ~ ryan guzman
None But You
(Thomas Hunt x oc*Amanda) in a regency era romance as requested by @pixieferry
A/N So sorry, sickness kept getting in the way of finishing this chapter. On to better things. House party chapters are something I look forward to reading by Regency Romance authors like Julia Quinn and Stephanie Laurens. Something romantic and often humorous typically occurs with the main characters and/or their friends. I knew from the moment @pixieferry gave me the idea for this story that I would have a house party happen. Now, let's see how much mischief I can cause for Thomas and Amanda and of course there friends.
@graceful-popcorn @krsnlove @alleksa16 @hopelessromantic1352 @pixieferry @emceesynonymroll @buzz-bee-buzz @hopefulmoonobject @cora-nova @rainbowsinthestorm @lxaah11 @dr-nancy-house @friedherringclodthing @aworldoffandoms @ab1901 @i-bloody-love-drake-walker
Summary: Friends, family, and the unwanted journey to Lady Millicient Rawlings's country home for a house party. Lord Thomas intends to further his courtship with Lady Amanda.
"Have you been to Newbury before?" Amanda asked softly.
Thomas nodded and replied in a near whisper. " I have for the races. Have you ever visited?"
"I haven't been in quite some time. Lady Millie has invited me often over the years of our friendship." She glanced over at her sleeping aunt when she began to snore.
Lady Lucinda had fallen asleep once they left London. Thomas and Amanda had been either enjoying the scenery in compainonable silence or been speaking in low tones to one another.
Amanda shook silently with laughter when her aunt began to mutter about that hateful man in her sleep. Thomas smiled and shook his head. "You mustn't wake her. No matter what man is causing her trouble."
Amanda wiped her tears as she struggled to keep her laughs quiet. "You are only tempting me further." Her bright smile grew even more so when he slipped his hand in hers.
"Thank you again for agreeing to ride with me." He whispered.
"Thank you for offering." She whispered back.
"It is still quite some time until we arrive if you wish to rest." He said when she apologized for yawning. He lifted his arm and urged her closer.
She rested her head against his shoulder and sighed. "Since my illness, I have been napping more so than usual."
He pressed his lips to her forehead. "Then you should rest so that you can enjoy all the diversions offered at the house party."
She looked up at him. "I would rather talk to you though."
Thomas felt his heart soften even more with her words. He wondered why he had resisted her for so long. Each time they had been together since he convinced her to give their courtship a chance proved over and over how right she was for him.
He urged her closer to his side. "As much as I enjoy talking to you, I would prefer to be without your conversation for a few hours so that I can monopolize your time once there without worry."
She chuckled and rubbed her cheek against his shoulder. "You would find a way to make it logical."
He chuckled softly. "Rest." He ordered. "We should be there by the time you wake up."
Amanda turned more towards him and closed her eyes. The gentle sway of his carriage combined with the warmth of his body lulled her into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Thomas rested his head back as he thought of the lady in his arms. He had been very much against the notion of marriage at this moment in his life. What man wished to be shackled to some silly, giggling, could barely speak an intelligent thought tonnish Ms.? After meeting Lady Amanda, he could see that the notion of remaining a bachelor was losing the allure it once held.
Since he had become honest with himself, he saw that he was indeed attracted to her in a multitude of ways. On the physical and intellectual levels, he was drawn to her in a fashion that he had not experienced with other women. Her gentle nature was a welcome respite from the few ladies of the ton that had an intelligent mind yet also possessed a devious, spiteful persona.
Knowing her now and how the few stolen kisses had made him yearn for more, he wondered if he should not take advantage of Millie's house party and propose marriage. He saw no reason to prolong the courtship if Amanda was willing. The only reason a gentleman courted a lady for months was so that he wasn't forced to give up his precious freedom so soon. That or the gentleman in question was unsure of the lady. Thomas knew what he wanted and he felt certain of the lady. He decided to discuss the matter with her when they were next alone. He was not going to take a chance of something unforeseen happen to interfere with his plans.
With that having been worked out to his satisfaction, he closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep.
"My dears, we have arrived." Lucy said while waking them.
Amanda sat up and rubbed her eyes. She covered her mouth as a yawn escaped and smiled at seeing Millie on the front steps.
"You are here at last!" She pressed her cheek to both Amanda's and Lucy's then gave Thomas her hand. "Welcome to Clovervale Court." She ushered them inside. "Your rooms are ready. Tonight will be an informal dinner so that all may recover from travel."
Her parents, Lord Gabriel and Lady Henrietta Rawlings, the Viscount and Vicontess of Clovervale warmly welcomed the guests in the entryway. Lucy and Henrietta linked arms as they followed the younger ones upstairs.
Once Thomas and Amanda were in their rooms, along with Millie remaining with the latter to winkle out more of how the courtship was going; Henrietta pulled Lucy inside her own chambers.
"Any progress on the journey?" The vicontess asked.
Lucy laughed while removing her bonnet and pelise. "I believe they have a definite attatchment to one another." She rubbed her stiff neck while stretching. "I pretended to be asleep so that they could speak freely to one another."
Henrietta laughed while sitting down on the bed. "You always were the clever one. Is there anything I can do to hurry things along?"
"Not at the moment." Lucy replied. "But stand at the ready, Hen. These two are quite possibly the most stubborn pair I have ever encountered."
"More than you and Nicholas?" Henrietta asked. Her countenance fell at Lucy's nod. "Oh dear. No wonder Millie has been so concerned."
"Speaking of stubborn offspring, what of your plans with Millie?" Lucy asked while sitting down across from her.
"The same one as last year's." Henrietta grinned mischievously. "I am determined to see her matched with Lord Summers."
"Is there any assistance I can offer?" Lucy asked.
"I'm afraid not." Henrietta rolled her eyes. "Millie is a darling but I believe she has inheritted my tendency to fight against any man who challenges her."
"Until Gabriel came along." Lucy reminded her with a bubbly laugh.
"That man still has the ability to vex me faster than anyone else." Hen's lips curved into a smile. "I adore every moment with him, but as you recall...I refused his attentions at nearly every available opportunity."
"He was quite the persistent charmer." Lucy recalled. Her gray green eyes sparkled with her memories. "And he fell for you the moment you didn't fawn all over him."
Hen tossed her head back, much as she used to all those years ago. "I can never forget how he was with Ms. Cassandra Mercer. If I heard Gabe say one more compliment about her amethyst eyes, I would have most likely knocked the daylights out of him."
"Well, to be fair, her eyes were her best feature." Lucy gasped when a small foot pillow was thrown at her. "Henrietta Rawlings! I'm surprised at you. You won the man and truth be told he most likely referred often to that lady's eyes just to get a rile out of you. You were usually surrounded by beaus of your own. He had to gain your attention somehow."
"Hmph." Hen burst out laughing when Lucy threw the pillow at her. "I suppose after twenty-five years of marriage and three children, I can be more gracious towards him."
"I know Timothy is away at Eton, is Michael and Cora coming?" Lucy asked once they were able to stop laughing.
"Yes, they are." Hen said with excitment. "I believe they will announce that Gabe and I are going to be grandparents soon."
"Oh Hen! That's wonderful!" Lucy hugged her. "What will you do with a minature Michael running about again?"
"Spoil him." Hen admitted. "Just like I did with his father. Gabe will be much worse than I. He still allows the children to get away with mischief."
"I think it is wonderful." Lucy stated. "If we can get Millie and Lord Ryan together, this time next year you might be expecting your second grandchild."
"Exactly!" Hen stood with a determined gleam in her eye. "I must go down and wait for the rest of the party to arrive. I'll let you know if anything occurs with Amanda and Lord Thomas."
"I'll do the same with Millie and Lord Ryan." Lucy promised.
"Michael warned me in his last letter that Cora's cousin is coming with them." Millie sat down in the wingback chair across from Amanda. "I despise Ms. Victoria Fontaine."
"I only saw her from afar at Michael's wedding. Is she truly that dreadful?" Amanda asked.
"Worse. So much worse." Millie replied dramatically. "She loves to stand beside me and ask people why her blue eyes and blonde hair are so much more vivid than mine." Millie's own beautiful sapphire eyes flashed with anger. "She is a notorious flirt. And coniving! I heard that she caused two men to duel over her."
Amanda gasped. "How horrible! No one died, did they?"
"No. One of the gentlemen has a lame arm now. Neither one would delope. The other was hit in the leg and recovered." Millie leaned closer and lowered her voice. "Gossip has it that the two men were as close as brothers yet both unknowingly fell under her spell. When one caught the other alone with Ms. Fontaine, it completely destroyed their friendship and she was forced to flee town."
"Why is Michael allowing her to travel with him and Cora?" Amanda asked.
"Because Cora is the complete opposite of Victoria. She is such a darling and too softhearted to ever turn her back on anyone she deems family or friend. Michael can never say no to her. So we are stuck playing host." Millie complained. "Wretched business hosting one's relations."
Amanda sat quietly, thinking of what the notorious lady night do with a house filled with eligible bachelors. "We will have to keep on our toes. She may decide on pursuing one of the gentlemen we consider friends."
"Oh!" Millie couldn't sit still a moment longer. "That hussy would attempt something with one of our own!"
"Millie! I'm surprised at you! Using such a word," Amanda's lips trembled and she started laughing. Her lack of control sparked Millie's and soon the two were crying tears as they laughed even harder.
Lady Henrietta knocked on the bedroom door and peeked inside. "Pardon me darlings, but Millie, your brother's carriage is coming up the drive."
Millie smoothed her dress and made Amanda promise to join them downstairs as soon as she was settled.
"The first night of house parties is the most tedious part." Chris muttered. "After one walks about to get his bearings, there is little to do."
"Yes, but thankfully we have pleasant scenery." Ryan nodded to the ladies walking about the garden. He noticed that Thomas was more quiet than usual. "You appear to have a pressing matter weighing on your mind."
"Hmm? Nothing to be concerned with." He replied while watching the doorway.
Chris leaned over to see what held his attention. "What are you looking at?"
Ryan rolled his eyes. "He isn't looking at anything. He's watching for someone to appear."
Thomas ignored them.
Chris grinned with the realization of who the viscount was waiting on. "I say! How was the drive with your companions?"
"Quite pleasant." Thomas answered.
Ryan and Chris waited with eyebrows raised for him to elaborate. He instead turned back to watching the doorway.
"I see it falls upon us once again, Winters, to save Lady Amanda. Would you prefer evenings or mornings?"
Thomas turned abruptly toward them at the mention of his lady’s name. "What are you talking about?"
"If this is the type of conversation you provided for the journey with her, then as both gentlemen and friends of the lady, she deserves to have stimulating discourse during her stay." Ryan smothered his grin at the volatile expression darkening on Thomas's face. "Surely you have no objection. We will speak highly of you and promise her that you will learn how to be entertaining when next she rides with you."
Thomas turned to leave them and reached out to steady the lady he had bumped into.
"Forgive me." He murmered while picking up her fan.
Victoria smiled sweetly at him and included the other two with her enchanting smile. "It was mostly my fault. I was in a hurry to enjoy some fresh air after such a long journey." She held her hand out. "I am Lady Cora's cousin, Ms. Fontaine."
Thomas made the necessary introductions. Victoria's bright blue eyes settled on Ryan. "Perhaps you would be so kind sir to give me your arm as I walk about."
The marquess bowed and held his arm out.
"Where are you going?" Millie asked with a forced smile. She managed to position herself directly in front of the couple.
"Lord Summers was kind enough to offer to escort me about the grounds." Victoria pretended to be shy as she looked away.
"Did he?" Millie glanced up at Ryan. "Well, I'm afraid he is needed by my father. You will find him in the library, my lord."
Victoria curtsied when he offered his promise for another time. She cut a glare to Millie before focusing on Thomas. "Perhaps Lord--"
"Ah! Here she is, my lord." Millie announced when the one he was waiting for walked in. Amanda's puzzled expression left her face when she saw the blond statuesque lady beside them.
Thomas took her hand and settled it on his arm without much ceremony. Victoria studied them with narrowed eyes as they walked outside.
Millie qjickly snatched the remaining gentleman's arm and pulled him after the couple. "I am thrilled you thought of us enjoying the lovely weather together.
Chris hesitantly smiled and went along with her. "I could think of no one else to share this with."
Millie squeezed his arm in gratitude. Once they were put of earshot, she explained why she kept them from Victoria."
"No!" Chris exclaimed. "She's the lady Farnsworth and Perkins dueled over?!"
"Yes!" Millie confirmed. "And I do not wish to see anyone I am fond of be trapped by her." She looked up into his handsome face. "You will tell the others?" She made a frustrated sound when she saw Ryan within the harpy's clutches.
"Dash it all!" Millie whispered angrily. "She got to him."
"She most likely pounced on him when he departed the library." Chris whispered back. "What should we do?"
"Nothing for now." Millie was reluctant to leave Ryan alone with the enemy but there was no other way. "If we make it too obvious that we are avoiding her, she will chase after each of you even more and end up causing pain to Cora." She grit her teeth and nodded as they passed them by. "Being nice to nasty people is a bloody nuisance."
Chris stared at her for swearing. "Lady Millicient!"
"Oh like you haven't used worse language." She hissed. "Forgive me for damaging your delicate sensibilities."
Chris snorted and coughed out a laugh. "I accept your apology." He grunted when she stepped purposely on his foot. "Perhaps we should rest a moment. I seem to have not recovered like I first thought from the journey."
"It's lovely out here." Amanda remarked as they stepped into the folly near the lake. They climbed the smooth stone steps that led to an open room on the second floor. It offered unparelled views of Clovervale and it's neighboring lands.
Thomas stood next to her and stared out at the meadows turning golden in the setting sun. His hand found hers while they silently admired the view.
"Do you have a folly?" She asked.
"No, yet after seeing one of this design, I believe I shall have one constructed on the estate." He smiled softly at her. "Do you have one at Snowfield?"
"We do, but not like this one. It does not have a second floor." Her cheeks were rosy under his unyielding regard.
He took both her hands and brought up the subject that had dominated his thoughts. "I believe you and I have come to know each other well since we first met."
She smiled warmly. "I suppose we have."
His grip tightened. "And though our official courtship has been brief--"
"Barely two weeks." Amanda replied.
"Er, yes." Thomas faltered in gathering his thoughts. "I have come to view you as the only lady I can see myself happily married to."
Her lips parted, forming a silent oh. She finally managed to respond. "You do?"
He nodded. "That is why I am asking you now for your hand in marriage."
Her heart was racing. This was what she wanted, what she had long dreamed of. She was only having a difficult time believing that a man that had admittedly fought courting her to begin with suddenly wanted to enter into an engagement. "You do not think you need more time to contemplate such a life altering decision?"
"A man only needs more time if he does not look forward to his decision." Thomas pulled her into his arms. His lips brushed hers as he spoke. "I am a man who wishes time would hurry so that I can make you mine in every possible way."
She lost all thought within his embrace. Each touch of his lips to hers caused her to yearn for more. He lifted his head and looked into her eyes before all self control was lost. "Tell me," his voice was raspy from their exchange. "Have I your heart?" He pressed another lingering kiss to her lips. "For you have had mine since the moment you scolded me in the bookshop."
She laughed at the memory and nodded. "I lost my heart to you then and each moment I have been with you."
Thomas smiled at hearing her words. "Then you will marry me?"
"Is that a proposal?" Amanda teased.
"You know very well what it is." His stern tone was ruined with his smile. He gently cupped her face, his eyes touched on each feature he found more beautiful with every single passing day before returning to her eyes. "Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?"
Unshed tears of joy sparkled in her eyes. "Yes, Thomas. I will."
He pressed his forehead against hers then shared a brief, passionate kiss. "Come." He took her hand, lacing his fingers with hers, and led her out of the folly. "We must speak to your aunt immediately."
She smiled and took his arm once they were walking near the garden close to the manor. The couple were eager to announce their intentions before those they were closest to.
They entered in through the drawing room doors and both stopped in surprise.
"Once we saw that the axle was broken, I knew then that I would need my travel coach from Montmarte Castle. I will not use another worthless coach from London." The Duke announced to the group around him.
Matt smiled briefly at the pair and made space for Thomas and Amanda to join the circle while listening to the Duke's tale.
"I am pleased that Lord and Lady Rawlings have seen fit to invite me to stay for as long as I like." His hooded eyes leered at Amanda before giving a silent challenge to Thomas. "This is one house party that I quite look forward to being a part of."