SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME Chapter 8 Fanfiction by Suz Home Page CHAPTER EIGHT


'stuck into': with reference to food, it generally means to eat with great appetite.

Kidleys: 'Robbie-speak', otherwise known as kidneys.

Bazza: Australian nickname for men called Barry

'Taking the micky': to tease by mild ridicule


A trickle of sensation moved like an electric current through her causing the misty cocoon of sleep to clear. The faint tickle of stubble on her shoulder and neck did not retreat with the mist of sleep, and shaking off the last remnants of slumber, she recognized the warm, soft flutter of Will's breath on her neck. As her awareness tracked lower, she realized his hands were gently cupping and moulding her breasts. Pleasurable sensations arced from her nipples straight down to the wetness between her legs. Her sleepy senses registered the feel of him inside her, moving slowly and rhythmically. Reluctant to open her eyes, she clung to the last shreds of sleep and allowed herself to picture the erotic image of their bodies moving in sync. She detected the sound of his measured breathing and the rustle of the soft sheets; her senses were heightened. The wonderful scent of him and the unmistakeable aroma of sex wafted up to her in soft gusts as their movements increased. She couldn't resist a small sigh escaping as she fell into the natural rhythm of their movements.

"Honey?" Her short breaths quickened. "What are you doing?"

His hands, warm and gentle, continued to roam her soft skin, stopping here and there to stroke or fondle.

"Hmmm?" His response was muffled as he nuzzled softly on her neck, inhaling the citrusy scent of her bath gel mixed with that indefinable sleepy smell that had turned him on so much in the first place, leaving him with an erection that felt as hard as a rock and looking for some place warm to go. "If you can't tell, baby, I must be doing something wrong."

"No, nothing wrong," she croaked, as he reached over to circle her clitoris sending sharp needles of electric shocks through her lower body.

Will had noticed from the change in her breathing that Lizzy had woken fully. It didn't matter--he had been so turned on by her response to him while she was still sleeping that he couldn't have stopped even if he'd wanted too. He smiled as he heard her try to stifle a moan. He could feel the reason for it travel through their joined bodies right down to his toes.

"Do you want me to stop?"

"No! No. Mmmph." A satisfied moan gurgled up through her chest, exhaling with her breath and she leaned back into the heat of him, an involuntary whimper escaping as he fondled her again. She wondered distractedly how long he had been busy for her to be so near her peak. She was vaguely aware of his other hand snaking under her as she leaned into his warm chest, feeling for her nipple, tweaking the hard bud gently between his fingers.

That did it. Lizzy was gone to Georgia on a slow train bound for heaven. Like gentle waves pushing up on shore, her climax rippled through her, rhythmic, slow, steady, turning her limbs to water in its wake. She mewled softly as it went, releasing a long, gusty sigh as the pounding of blood rushed through her ears.

Uncurling her toes from the dwindling aftershocks of her orgasm, she felt William behind her still thrusting slowly, dragging out his pleasure till he could stand it no longer, and then finally come … a soft, exhaled rumble of delight in her ear as he filled her.

"I'm sorry, baby," he mumbled into her neck, enfolding her in his arms tighter. "You were so warm against me when I woke. I started running my hands over you, and … well, I just couldn't stop.

Lizzy smiled to herself as she languidly rolled over to face him, raising her eyebrow at him quizzically. "Couldn't, or didn't want to?"

How he loved that soft husky sound of her voice in the morning, still thick with sleep. "I would have, but you didn't help matters by rubbing that cute little bum against me," he said, running his hands over said body part and massaging it gently. "Anyway, good morning, my gorgeous lady," he smiled at her between kisses.

"It certainly is," she grinned. "I've never woken up that way before; I thought I was dreaming." Lizzy stretched languorously in his arms. "But you're so much better than an alarm clock. Much quieter, too," she teased. "Of course turning you off can be a bit of a problem. I haven't found your button."

Will lazily stroked his fingertips over her still puckered nipples. "Baby," he purred, as his hands ran down over her hips and paused, pulling her closer to him. "You pressed the right button the first time we met."

"Hmmm … I feel like having a nice, long shower," she said, kissing him back and wrinkling her nose at the feel of his morning stubble on her face. "You coming in with me?"

"Oh no. I don't trust myself. If I did that you'd never get to work, believe me."

'Work? Oh m'god! I forgot all about it. I'll be late!" Lizzy bounded out of bed, dragging half the sheet with her as she went, revealing Will in all his glory. Unable to resist the sight of him lying there like some Greek god wrapped in a toga, she leaned back over for a quick kiss, slipping her tongue into his mouth and noticing as she stood up, the flicker of interest it generated lower down. Laughing, she grabbed her bra and undies and padded to the bathroom, Will growling as he hungrily watched her saucy little wiggle every step of the way.

Trying very hard to ignore his already growing erection at the incredibly sexy sight of Lizzy walking naked around his bedroom, he swung his legs over the bed and grabbed a pair of shorts, intent on vacating the room before his resolve faltered. He heard the shower turn on and the door to the shower bang shut. Unable to resist, he snuck a peak as he walked out, catching a glimpse of her naked and wet. Shaking his head, he rubbed the tightening in his shorts and escaped while he still could.

Letting the steam swirl around her, Lizzy ran the soft sponge over her body, leaving a trail of fragrant white froth which contrasted with the sun--kissed tan of her skin, skin that still tingled where William had touched her … in all the places he had touched her.

As he went downstairs, he mused over the changes in his life since he'd met Lizzy, and not a single one would he change. It struck him as pretty ironic, that as hot as readers thought his books were, he found real life with Lizzy was even better. He smiled to himself as he thought about their morning wake up and her upstairs in his shower. Yeah, it just doesn't get any better than this.

Twenty minutes later, Lizzy appeared--showered and dressed, looking very professional, but still undeniably sexy. He handed her a cup of tea as she came over for a kiss.

"What's for breakfast?" asked Lizzy, suddenly realising how hungry she was.

"Poached eggs on toast and some bacon. Sound all right?"

"Sounds wonderful. You'll make someone a fantastic wife someday," she joked at him.

"Or husband," he said under his breath. But she was already talking again, and he turned to face her when he realised what she was saying.

"I hope you don't mind, Will, but I better go home after work tonight and catch up with Jane. I've hardly seen her since Charles' party, and I really should let her know I'm okay."

"I don't suppose a phone call would suffice?" he asked, resisting the unmanly urge to pout.

"No, you'll just have to do without me for one night. Think you can do it?"

"One night … maybe. Any longer than that, and I'm coming looking for you," he winked in semi--seriousness.

Jane was getting impatient. She paced from the kitchen to the window and back again. She had raced home from work to get dinner ready for her and Lizzy and now all she could do was wait. She was dying to know how the weekend had gone. In fact, she wanted to know all about her and Will. There were too many blanks that she wanted filled in. It had been altogether too long since they'd had a girl's night at home.

She heard the lock click on the front door and grabbed a beer out of the fridge ready for Lizzy.

"Sis? You home?" she heard Lizzy call from the bedroom.

"In the kitchen," replied Jane. "I have dinner ready for us, so you and I can just relax and chat."

In her room, Lizzy stopped, t--shirt half on, and cringed at the unlikely thought of Jane's cooking and relaxation in the same sentence. But something was definitely amiss. The smells coming from the kitchen were too … good? With some trepidation, she wandered into the kitchen. Jane rushed over to hug her. Their separation seemed even longer than it had actually been. For Lizzy, it felt like a lifetime ago; so much had happened.

"Here," said Jane, thrusting an ice--cold beer into her hand. "I thought you might need that. Shall we eat first and then talk, or …"

"I'm not all that hungry … maybe we could talk first," said Lizzy, when in actuality she was starving.

Jane looked knowingly at her sister and laughed. "You're a terrible liar, my dear, sweet Lizzy. I brought home your favourite pizza; prawns, crab, bacon, lots of cheese … Still not hungry?" she said with a twinkle in her eye.

It was obviously no secret to anyone by now that Lizzy was a seafood freak. Steak, pizza … just throw on a few prawns or oysters and Lizzy would follow you anywhere.

"Let's sit on the balcony, Jane. We can gaze in wonder at the five inches of beach view we have through the Norfolk pines while we eat."

They got stuck into the pizza, or more to the point, Lizzy did. Just as well Jane had bought the family size one. After a few slices, Jane was full, but still thirsty. She stood up and walked into the kitchen.

"Another beer, Lizzy?" she called.

"Mmmm, yes please. This is great!" she said around a mouthful of pizza. "You can take over the meals if you like. And there was I thinking you were into all that healthy stuff."

"We can put those last couple of slices …" Jane arrived back with the beers and had been about to suggest they refrigerate the last couple of slices, but saw there was no need.

"Were you hungry, Lizzy? I thought you said …"

"I lied," said Lizzy artlessly.

Hearing Lizzy so happy was a balm to Jane. Since the divorce, Lizzy had numbed herself to normal emotion trying to cocoon herself from further hurt and Jane had become concerned that Lizzy was shutting herself off from happiness as well as pain.

Lizzy had been busting to tell Jane all about her weekend away … well, not quite all, which did not stop Jane from discreetly inquiring further. Lizzy laughed at her attempts to approach the subject delicately, and opted to put her out of her discomfort quickly.

"If you're asking whether we had sex, Jane, the answer is no." She grinned at the disappointed expression that came over her sister's face. "But did he make love to me? To my mind, my body, my soul … yes! Yes!" she said, gazing reflectively off into space. "He just … has this … way …" she trailed off.

"Lizzy? … Lizzy!" nudged Jane, gently shaking her sister's arm. "I think I get the picture. So, where do you two go from here?"

"I could ask the same question about you and Charles, Sis." She looked at her sister pointedly, but all she received in return was Jane's enigmatic smile. "Okay, I get it -- me first. With William and me, I don't really know what to say. He's certainly doing a very good job of making me forget just what a pain in the butt he was when we first met," she teased. "But there are so many sides to William Darcy … he's almost too good to be true. I just don't want the same thing to happen with William that happened with Anthony," she said softly.

"But they're nothing alike, Lizzy. Surely you can see that?"

"I know, I know, but I guess I've been in self--preservation mode too long. But what about Charles and Robbie? Are you happy?"

"Lizzy, don't be shocked, but I moved some of my things up to Charles' house for the nights I stay up there."

"Really? My sister, the goody two shoes?"

"Don't tease, Lizzy. With Charles, it's different. It's as if we were both looking for the same thing. I feel … I don't know how to say it … complete, when I'm with him."

"And Robbie? How are things with the little guy and you?"

"He is the most adorable kid, Lizzy. He's now in Lewis' class … Oh, I'm sorry, Lizzy. I didn't mean …"

"That's okay. You can mention him. I still feel awful about what I did to him."

"He understands, Lizzy. He asked me to tell you that."

"And Robbie?" asked Lizzy, anxious to get away from the guilt she felt over the way she had treated Lewis.

"I think he has accepted me in their lives."

"Like that's any surprise …" said Lizzy, smiling quietly.

"At night when I stay there, he climbs up onto my lap for a cuddle and a story before he goes to bed. To feel that warm little body coming to me for comfort … I just can't explain it, Lizzy. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world."

Lizzy smiled to herself as she thought of Robbie climbing onto Jane's lap. She could understand Robbie enjoying it; she had become rather partial to doing the same thing to William.

"And Charles? What about the two of you? Is it serious?"

"I love him, Lizzy."

"Oh, come on, Jane. You can't possibly know that already. You two have only been together for five minutes."

"No, Lizzy. I do and I know it, and I know he feels the same way about me, too. What about you and William?"

"Apparently William loves me; he keeps on telling me so."

"And you?"

"Oh hell! I don't know. When he says those words to me I just melt inside, my heart does this little flutter thing and I go all mushy. But I just can't say it back to him."

"Do you think he expects you to?"


"What's the problem, Lizzy? Don't you love him?"

"How do I know? We've only been talking and not fighting for a couple of weeks. Not exactly the best track record."

"If it's love, Lizzy, you'll know."

"That's hogwash, Jane."

"No, it isn't. Just trust your feelings. And don't fight it. He won't let you down--not like Anthony did."

"I wish I could have your faith, Sis."

"Look at is this way, Lizzy. If Will suddenly wasn't in your life anymore, how would you feel?"

"Like shit. It's weird. When we're together, I can't stop touching him. Not sexually--I just have to connect with him in some way. And I could sit there all night and look at him. He has the most expressive eyes. It's like reading a whole story in them--he doesn't even have to say a word and I can tell what he's thinking. We've even started finishing each other's sentences and talking in this kind of verbal shorthand," she grinned uneasily.

"Like I said, trust your feelings, Lizzy." Jane would have said more, but she didn't want to push too hard and push her away from her feelings about Will. Her sister could be the most contrary person on earth when she wanted to be. But it was fairly obvious that she had very strong feelings for him. That look in her eyes when she talked about him was a dead giveaway. Jane just didn't understand why she was fighting it so hard. Lizzy talking brought her out of her musings.

"Anyway, who knows? There's no rush. I say we just enjoy it; heaven knows we deserve some happiness. But I guess this means that neither you nor I will be around here as much as we used to."

Jane nodded in agreement.

"I told William I would stay over there as much as I can, and to tell you the truth, I hate being away from him. You don't mind, do you?"

"No, I feel the same way. I feel so … right with Charles, that when I'm not with him I don't sleep very well anymore. Isn't it funny how quickly you get used to sleeping with someone again?"

"Or not sleeping," Lizzy winked.

"Hey bro!" called Georgiana as she came into the kitchen where Will was lifting something smelling damn tasty out of a pot on the stove. "Do you mind having an extra mouth to feed tonight? If you don't have other plans, of course," she winked at him.

"Bro? When did I become 'bro'?" he asked, leaning over to kiss her forehead.

Georgie rolled her eyes. It looked like he was in one of his pensive moods.

"No, I'm quite on my own tonight." Despondency was written all over him. "Lizzy is spending the night with her sister."

"You don't sound too thrilled. Missing her already?" She noticed the look flicker over Will's face and smiled to herself. "I take it she loved the little surprise holiday?"

A cheeky smile lit up his face. "She did. We both did."

Georgie laughed at her brother. His face told the story more than any words could do. But for Will, the weekend with Lizzy had taken on a surreal quality now that they were back and he was alone in the house.

"So?" prodded Georgie. "How did it go?"

"It went well."

"Will, you're about as interesting as a potted plant. I don't know what Lizzy sees in you," she sighed exasperatedly.

"Obviously something you don't, little sister," he winked.

"Aaah! Now we're getting somewhere," she said, expectantly leaning across the breakfast bar at him.

He laughed as he handed her a plate. "Eat this and shut up, Miss Nosey."

"Well, you can't blame me for wanting to know. You stomped around here for weeks like a bear with a sore head, and now … well … there's something different about you. I don't know … you're smiling, for one thing. What has she done to you? Where has my brother, the grump, gone?"

"You're relentless, aren't you?" he said, fixing her with a pained stare to which she just nodded innocently. He sighed in resignation. "Lizzy and I had a fantastic time. She was very happy, which made me very happy. Satisfied? And you can read into that whatever you like."

"So, did you two … you know …" winked Georgie, squawking at the flush that rose up her brother's neck. "You devil! You did!" she hooted. "Bravo, brother dear. I take it the reality was better than fiction?" she asked, dissolving into an outbreak of raucous giggles at the look of discomfort that spread over his face. "Sorry," she choked, coughing, trying to get her breath back.

"Serves you right, cheeky little bugger. Now eat your dinner before it goes cold."

"Fine. But this is serious for you, isn't it? I mean, you haven't been out with anyone since … erm … you know," she finished lamely to Will's quick glare.

Will readied to berate Georgie for trying to interfere in his love life again, but the look on her face brooked the angry comment as it reached his lips. Her hand reached over to squeeze his in encouragement. He sighed in defeat. "Serious? As in do I love her? Yes, I do. Serious, as in do I want to marry her? In a heartbeat, if she would have me."

"Wow. That's pretty serious. Does Lizzy feel the same way that you do?" asked Georgie quietly.

"I don't know. That's the hard part. I don't want to push her, so I don't say much--just try to show her how I feel. Every time I've tried to tell her, I end up sticking my foot in my mouth and we start fighting. But I want her … more than I've ever wanted anything in my life," he said, almost to himself.

"Cool. Feel better now? At least one of you knows how they feel." She tried to lighten the pensive atmosphere that had descended over them. "Well, if she's going to be my new sister--in--law," she said, playfully punching a surprised Will on the arm, "I'd like to get to know her a little better. From what I saw of her at Charles' party, she seems lovely. And she's crazy about you. I could tell."

"How? What? Did she say something?"

"Trust me, Will. There was only one man she wanted to be with. You were just too busy being jealous of every man in the room who even glanced her way to notice. And of course, that number you pulled with Anne went over like a lead balloon. Heaven only knows what you were thinking when you did that. Just a sec," she said as she grabbed her mobile out of her bag. "What's Lizzy's number?" She smiled as he recited it off the top of his head. Holding her hand up at his quizzical look, she spoke, "Hi, Lizzy. This is Georgie. Yeah, I'm fine. No, I'm at Will's. We were just talking about you." She laughed heartily at something Lizzy said. "I can imagine. Look, I was wondering if you would be free for lunch next week? Uh huh … Okay, I'll let you get back to me later, then. No problem. See ya."

"What was so funny?" asked Will the minute she pressed the 'ok' button on the phone.

"Looks like Lizzy isn't the only topic of conversation around town tonight … oh, and she told me to give you a hug and a kiss from her," she winked at him, enjoying the smug smile she received. "By the way, have you told Dad yet?"

"No," he stated emphatically. "You know what'll happen once he hears. I'll be expected to take Lizzy down to Pemberley and …"

"Why are you avoiding it, Will? It's not the money, is it?"

"No. Her ex--husband was pretty loaded from what she tells me."

"Well, what?"

"There are a few things you don't know about, Georgie. Things that might make it difficult."

"Will, if she loves you, you'll find a way to work around it. If your intentions are what you say they are, she has to know--sooner rather than later."

"I know, I know. I'll tell her soon. Just let me enjoy this for a little while, okay?"

"You're such a wimp," stated Georgie, grabbing their coffees and walking out to the deck as he followed her.

Following Charlotte's directions, Will made his way to the coffee shop where Lizzy was having lunch. He had missed her all last night and had spent half the night tossing and turning before snuggling up to her pillow and finally falling into a restless sleep. By mid--morning, it was just too much and he decided to surprise her by arriving at the office to take her to lunch, only to find out she'd already left. Trying to move out of the way of people ebbing and flowing out of the entrance to the coffee shop, he scanned the tables looking for her. Frowning, he finally caught sight of her. He also spotted the man sitting opposite her. As he watched, Lizzy laughed at something he said, her eyes lighting up with merriment. A shaft of pure jealousy shot down through his intestines seeing her looking like that with somebody who wasn't him, but it was nothing compared to the bolt that sizzled through his head and almost shot steam out his ears when the man in question picked up her hand and kissed it. Sprung into mobility, he strode slowly over to the table, softly but surely like a panther stalking his prey, his eyes not leaving the pair for a second. The sweet sound of her laughter stood out through the combined chatter of the surrounding patrons.

The blood running through his veins turned icy as he caught snippets of their conversation as he neared them …

Her: "No, I can't make it tonight …"

Him: "… just the two of us …"

Her: "… you, sweet thing, you …"

Him: "…why I love you … "

Her: "I love you, too, but … William! What a nice surprise! What are you doing here?"

The rock hard contours of Will's face were set, granite--like, into a smile. Or what he thought was a smile. Lizzy wasn't fooled for a second. She had caught sight of him just before he reached them and was disturbed by the expression. Standing up, she put her arms around him and pulled his stiff neck down for a kiss. This resulted in only a slight softening of the tension.

"William, I would like you to meet a good friend of mine, Bazza Wilson. Bazza, this is William Darcy, my … err …" She looked at William in question.

"Boyfriend," he said more sharply than he intended. His arm still firmly around Lizzy, Will stuck out his hand. "Pleased to meet you, Bazza. I hope I'm not interrupting anything?" And get your eyes, and your hands, off my woman or I'll break your face. The friendly tone of Will's voice didn't fool anybody -- not when matched with the steely glint in his eye.

"Yeah mate, nice to meet you, too," he said, shaking Will's hand and resisting the urge to grimace at the force of Will's grip. "Okay, Bunny. Gotta run." He hadn't failed to miss the warning message from Lizzy's 'boyfriend', but feeling reckless, he leaned over to give her a goodbye peck on the cheek anyway. "It was great catching up with you again. I'll give you a call next time I'm in town. Maybe we can do dinner instead? If you can get free, that is. William …" he nodded as he moved away.

"Sit, William."


"It's a long story. I'll tell you later. Now sit."

He sat.

"You're doing it again. What the hell was all that about?"

"Who is Bazza Wilson?"

"Why are you being like this?"

"Like what?"

Lizzy sighed in exasperation. "You know damn well what I mean. Bazza is an old friend. We grew up next door to each other, went to school together. He's like a brother to me. She screwed up her face in frustration at the disbelieving look on his face. We used to play together with our building blocks … Getting the picture?" she asked, eyebrow lifted.

Consciously trying to shrug off the tension that had enveloped his body, Will grasped Lizzy's small hand in his big one. "I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what?" He had acted like a total ass and she had no intention of making this easy for him.

"For acting like an idiot." Hopefully one pound of flesh would be enough sacrifice, he thought.


Dammit! Obviously not. "For not trusting you. But, come on, you can't blame me. How was I to know? He said he loved you …"

"So that's why you went all caveman on me?"

"I'm not sure I would describe it as 'caveman'. I prefer to think of it as protecting what's mine."

"Oh good grief … like I was in any danger," she said, rolling her eyes. "At least now I know where Elizabeth Courtois gets all that macho man stuff from. And, by the way, it doesn't work on us modern girlies, so you can put your club away, Cave--boy--the competition has been scared off." She shook her head at the satisfied smirk that spread across his face. "William Darcy--what am I going to do with you?"

"I could think of any number of things right off the top of my head, but none of them I particularly want to do in a public place." The deep huskiness of his voice sent a flood of warmth through her--a partner to the one that had flushed through her when she caught him determinedly striding towards her and Bazza a short while ago. He looked so incredibly yummy when he did the strong, silent hero--thing. What girl could possibly resist that look? she thought.

Managing to calm her racing hormones, she turned back to the topic at hand. "That's beside the point. Anyway, what are you doing here? I thought I wouldn't see you until tonight."

"I missed you. I needed to see you; I thought I'd surprise you and take you to lunch."

"Well I'm a busy lady. Maybe you should make an appointment next time," she winked.

"Fine. I'm booking you for tonight and tomorrow night and the night after that …"

"I get the picture," she said, laughing. Reaching over, she kissed him full on the lips, loving the taste of him.

It was later that night and Lizzy had headed straight over to William's after work. She was re--heating and stirring the dinner that Mrs Reynolds had left, and smiled as William came up behind her and put his arms around her, hugging her, inhaling the smell of her freshly washed hair. She enjoyed the quiet domestic feel of it. In fact, that was one of the things she enjoyed most at Will's--the feeling of ease they had now with each other.

"Mmmm, you smell good enough to eat. Dinner nearly ready? Would you like me to set the table?"

She smiled and nodded. Coming home from work and relaxing with William was great. And anyway, she couldn't see the point in going home to an empty apartment. Jane wasn't there very much. Apart from Monday night, she hadn't seen her sister, although they had spoken briefly on the phone. Just as well they were all spending the weekend at Charles' place. At least they could catch up then.

"Looking forward to this weekend?" he asked, as if sensing her thoughts. "I thought we could drive up early on Saturday morning and go to the Newport markets on the way. I promised Robbie I'd pick him up a treat."

"Got you wrapped around his little finger, has he?'

"I guess so," Will laughed. "If I ever …" He stopped, feeling an idiot. A careless, insensitive idiot. "Lizzy, I'm sorry …"

"It's okay, William. I've accepted it. That doesn't mean I can't still enjoy other peoples' kids," she said patiently. "And Robbie is a little cutie," she smiled up at Will. "Jane certainly loves him to bits. I think Charles got the short end of the stick the other night when we talked. It was 'Robbie this, and Robbie that …' But I'm really looking forward to seeing them at home--they sound like a proper little family. I'm happy for Jane and Charles. They both deserve some happiness after what they've been through."

"And so do we," he said, hugging her to him as she nestled against his chest. "I love you, Lizzy," he said softly.

"I know," she said, reaching up to kiss him.

"Come on, Lizzy. We're only going for the weekend," called Will from the front door to her apartment.

"Just a sec. Only a couple more things," she said, coming through from the kitchen with two carry bags full of what he feared was more food. There was enough now to feed an army.

"What's this?" he asked, peering into one of the bags. One looked like a selection of foil wrapped parcels, and in the other, some covered containers that smelled delicious. But he still couldn't resist a tease. "I think Charles can afford to feed us, sweetheart. He isn't quite on the breadline yet."

"Jane asked me to bring a couple of things for the barbeque today, Mr Smarty Pants. And you haven't tried my cooking yet, so just pipe down. You're going to eat your words by the end of today," she assured him as she sailed past him and down the stairs.

Shaking his head, Will closed the door and followed her down the stairs and out to the car.

He opened the boot and placed the two bags in there beside the other mountain of 'necessary' stuff Lizzy had packed. "At this rate I may need to get a bigger car," he muttered under his breath.

"I beg your pardon? You were saying?" asked Lizzy coming up alongside him and tickling him in the ribs.

As they drove up the driveway to Meryton an hour later, Jane came running out to meet them, followed closely by Robbie.

"Dad! Dad! They're here!" Robbie called over his shoulder.

"Hey, you two," said Jane, leaning in Lizzy's window as the car stopped. "We thought you'd never get here? Did you get caught in traffic?"

Lizzy looked at Will as he opened his mouth to say something. "Just one word …" she threatened, causing Will to burst out laughing.

"My lips are sealed," he said dramatically walking around to the boot.

Jane looked curiously at Lizzy. "Don't get him started," sighed Lizzy.

"Hey, Jane … is Charles free?" asked Will.

"Charles is cheap, but never free," said a masculine voice coming up behind him and slapping him lightly on the back. "Why? … Holy Moly!" he exclaimed, looking in the boot.

"I was hoping you might still have the forklift--save us carrying all this up to the house," he laughed.

"I heard that, William Darcy!" laughed Lizzy, coming around to see the guys dissolving into fits of laughter. "Very funny. Just start hauling and leave the wisecracks to the comedians."

Between them, they managed to get all of Lizzy's stuff into the house in one trip.

While Lizzy and Jane unpacked, Will stood talking to Charles outside the kitchen, discussing the rugby game that was due to be televised later that night. He looked down when he felt a warm little hand grasp his and looked down at Robbie patiently waiting to speak to him. Finishing what he was saying to Charles, he squatted down to Robbie's level, and looked at him squarely. "And what can I do for you, Master Bingley?"

Lizzy and Jane looked on fondly as Robbie scuffed his joggers nervously.

"Uncle Will, you said if I was a good boy all week and ate all my dinner, that you'd bring me a treat. I've bin good, haven't I, Dad? I've eaten everything!" Robbie loved Uncle Will's treats so much that he would have eaten those disgusting kidleys that his Dad liked so much if he had to.

Charles nodded and Will laughed, picking Robbie up and hugging him. "Okay then. I guess I might have a little something for you in the car. Let's go and find it, shall we?"

Minutes later … "Dad! Jane! Come'n see what I got," he yelled excitedly. "Look, it's a train. C'mon, Uncle Will," he said, settling down on the floor in the lounge room, "let's put it together."

"Say 'please', Robbie," stressed Charles.


"Okay, mate. Let's get this train rolling." Will lay down beside him on the floor, helping him put the beautifully hand--carved, wooden train together--all seven carriages plus realistic looking boxes of cargo and hand--painted wooden people.

Wiping her hands on a tea towel, Lizzy looked on smiling as she watched the two of them play together. To Robbie's delight, William turned out to be very good with train noises, and Robbie's attempts to imitate him sparked more hilarity between the two.

This playfulness was a side to William she hadn't seen before. He and Robbie got on like a house on fire, and it was obvious the affection was shared. She watched the way that Will really listened to Robbie when they talked, giving him his full attention. Robbie's face lit with a huge smile when William pulled the cap out of his back pocket they had found at he second--hand clothing stall that looked as close to an engineers hat as they could find, and plonked it on his head. She felt something lodge in her throat as she watched Robbie climb up on Will's lap, hug him tightly around the neck and kiss him. She turned away to discreetly wipe away the tear that had escaped.

Jane had been inconspicuously observing her sister and hadn't failed to notice her reaction. "You okay, Liz?"

"Hmmm. He's great with kids, isn't he?"

"Yes, He's a wonderful uncle. What's going through that crazy mind of yours now?" Silence was her only reply and she moved over to her sister, putting her arm around her to hug her. "Tell me," she said softly.

"He should have a whole tribe of his own."

"Does he know about …"

"Yes, I told him. It's just so hard watching him like that, and knowing that I can't …" She walked away and looked out the window, as if moving physically would somehow distance her from the pain which seemed to follow her everywhere she went.

"You didn't really tell me how you feel about Will, but honey, if you're thinking about him and kids in the same sentence, it must be more serious than you think."

"Oh, I don't know, Jane." She dabbed at her eyes with the corner of the towel. "I think I'm scared to really let go and get too involved only to find out that he wants kids more than he wants me." She stopped for a moment, looking bleak. "I don't think I could stand it …"

"Stand what?" asked Will, coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her in a big bear hug. "Hey, you okay?" he asked, sensing her sigh and mirroring Janes' concern.

"Couldn't stand it if we let all this good food go to waste," said Jane, giving Will a meaningful glance and stepping in for Lizzy while she regained her composure.

"Let's eat," she said, handing Will some plates of food. "Take this out to the deck for me, will you? Charles?" she called. "We're ready. Robbie? Time to wash your hands, sweetie. Lunch is ready."

When Lizzy returned to work on Monday, she remembered to check her diary and called Georgie to arrange a day to have lunch. They settled on Thursday as Lizzy had no appointments for the afternoon, and Georgie had her part--timer coming in to fill in for her for the day.

They met at the Sydney Cove Oyster Bar, a nice little al fresco restaurant on the water at the Quay, looking out over the harbour. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the smell of salt water off the harbour was so clean and fresh--it was a great day to be alive.

Even though they hadn't talked since the party, they both felt instantly at ease with each other. Lizzy was surprised that for someone who used to be a model, Georgie had such a healthy appetite, which only endeared her to Lizzy more. The conversation was easy. Lizzy discovered that William's sister had quite a wicked sense of humour and a very sharp perspective on people. This included her brother.

"Georgie, do you mind if I ask you a question about William?"

"You're the only person I know that calls him that, Lizzy. It's cute. Mum used to call him that whenever he was in trouble. But go for it--ask away. What do you want to know? Lets see … he was one year old when he started talking properly and that was also about the first time he put his foot in his mouth. Or do you want the juicy stuff? Coz if it's juicy stuff you're after, I can't do it. Juicy stuff and sisters just don't go together, you know. Personally, I'm still not sure what any woman finds so damn irresistible about him."

Lizzy laughed. "Really? What? You missed the bit about him being tall, dark and handsome? Not to mention of course, that his kisses can make a girl's toes curl."

"Ewww! Not mine, he doesn't. I just have trouble thinking of my brother and love stud in the same context."

Lizzy laughed at the look on Georgie's face and decided to play with her a little more. "Did you ever see that episode of Hercules where Ares became the God of Lurve?" she asked, dragging out the last syllable for effect.

Georgie couldn't help a snort and a laugh from escaping. "Yes, I did. And please don't tell me that's how you think of Will. White leather from head to foot, hey? I must tell Will about that," she teased.

"Don't you dare!" gasped Lizzy in mock horror, laughing with her. "That's my own private little fantasy ... But tell me about him, Georgie. What he's like as a brother, annoying habits he has--the usual stuff. I'm just trying to paint a fuller picture of him in my mind."

"Yeah, well, anything to banish thoughts of him as the God of Love … yuck!" she grimaced. "Let's see … he's always been a bit of a loner, can't talk to a woman without putting his foot in his mouth as you well know, can be very possessive as you will find out if you haven't already, excruciatingly honest … smart, funny with people he feels comfortable with, standoffish with people he doesn't … Am I telling you anything you don't know?"

"Not really, but it's nice to hear it anyway. But as a brother?"

"He's the best brother a girl could have, Lizzy, and I say that not just because he's mine," she smiled. "He would put his life on the line for those he loves … and he loves you, Lizzy."

She sat waiting expectantly for a response. She looked at Lizzy and the way she seemed deep in thought. In spite of her young age, Georgie was very good at reading people. There was something going on in Lizzy's head, something that was bothering her.

"If you ever want to talk about that big mountain you're trying to climb, let me know, okay?" she said, reaching over to squeeze her hand.

Lizzy returned the squeeze. "What about your family, Georgie? William hasn't said much. What about your Mum and Dad? Do they live in Sydney, too?"

"Dad lives in South Oz, but Mum passed away when I was about 10." She nodded at Lizzy's expressions of condolences. "It hit Will really hard. He and Mum were so tight, probably because they were so alike in a lot of ways. I suspect that's why he doesn't let people get too close--he doesn't want to go through that pain of losing them again. But Lizzy, that's why I know how much he feels about you. Nobody has gotten as close to him as you have since Mum died. That should tell you something," she said, looking intently at Lizzy.

Whatever she was struggling with, it definitely had something to do with her brother, but she wouldn't pry. "Hey, enough of that," she said, sensing Lizzy's discomfort. "Bad habits? He has plenty. I could write a book. But hey, I don't want to scare you off--this is the closest I've come to having a sister--in--law ever!" she teased. "You'll find out in good time," she smiled.

"Girlfriends?" asked Lizzy.

"None that would count. And the last couple of years he's been like a damn monk. I was starting to wonder if he was gay, or something."

"Oh, I can assure you …" started Lizzy.

"Please! No! Way too much information," pleaded Georgie, her hands over her ears.

They both laughed. Lunch had been so much fun, and a bond was starting to form between the two of them that had nothing to do with their relationships with Will. Georgie liked the fact that Lizzy was so natural, no falseness at all. She could only applaud her brother's choice. And for Lizzy, she found that Georgie was someone with whom she could really relax and be herself with.

But the sun was slipping in the western sky and it was time to go. When they paid the bill and walked out, they saw Will sitting in the car in a 'No Standing' zone, waiting for Lizzy.

Georgie reached over to hug Lizzy. "See? What did I tell you? He's nuts about you." She walked over to the car and leaned in the passenger window. "You moonlighting as a taxi driver now, Will? I don't suppose you could give me a lift home, too? I took the bus in to work today."

"Sure. Hop in." He reached over to kiss Lizzy. "Hey, gorgeous. I missed you."

"I missed you, too."

"Okay, you two lovebirds. Do you think we can put a hold on it until I get out of the car? I'm getting buried in mush here."

Later that night, they lay in bed, enfolded in each other's arms. In the pale moonlight glowing down through the skylight, Will watched Lizzy sleep, gently stroking the hair back off her forehead. A half--smile on her face, she looked so innocent and beautiful, her lips slightly puffy from the intensity of their earlier lovemaking. He felt his heart tighten in his chest at the thought of ever losing her.

"I love you," he said quietly, kissing her softly so as not to wake her. When she was sleeping was the only time he felt he could say it, the only time he could utter the words without risking scaring her away. He kissed her forehead softly once more as she snuggled down closer into his arms.

"I love you, too," she murmured against his chest.

Will felt like his heart stopped beating. He wondered if he was dreaming, or she was dreaming, and he held still, surprised to his core, afraid to let the elation at hearing those words go rushing through his body.

He was still immobilised when she moved her face up to kiss him softly on the lips. "I felt sure that would get some sort of reaction," she said, pouting sleepily.

His pulse started beating again, his heart hammering in his chest. Returning the kiss, he finally broke away, holding her tightly to him.

"Now that's more like it," she murmured against his chest.

He lifted her chin to look into her eyes. "Say it again. Convince me I'm not dreaming."

"I love you, William. I love you … love you … love you," she said sleepily. "Better?" she smiled at him in the semi--darkness.

"Why didn't you tell me sooner?"

"I needed to be sure … sure that you wouldn't hurt me."

He kissed her again, slowly this time, pouring his whole heart into it. It was funny he thought, how the uttering of those three little words seemed to make further conversation superfluous. It was only later, after a lot of tender loving, that Lizzy finally spoke once more.

"There is something that really bothers me though, William."

"What's that, sweetheart?" Will was floating on a cloud of happiness--he didn't think it could get any better than this, but he felt a moment's unease at her words.

"I love you," she paused as Will took this opportunity to nuzzle her neck in response.

"Hmmmmm," came his muffled reply.

"But I know hardly anything about you. You write romance novels and you have a sister called Georgie. Apart from the fact that Richard is your cousin, I know hardly anything about you while you know my whole life story. That's not very fair, is it?"

"What do you want to know?" he asked uneasily, Georgie's words coming back to him.

"Let's see … how about something easy? Parents. You mentioned that your mother died. Where's your father?"

"Dad lives down south--The Barossa Valley to be exact. Mum died nearly twelve years ago. I go down there once a month to check up on him and see how he's going."

"The Barossa Valley? Oooh, I've never been there. I love wine. I've always wanted to do a tour of the wineries."

"I can get you a guided tour anytime you want," he said flatly.

"What does that mean?"

"Lizzy, my family owns Pemberley Estates."

"You're joking!" she said in disbelief. Pemberley Estates was one of the biggest wineries in the country.


Lizzy was speechless. She knew that William was wealthy, but she thought it was from his books. What is it about me and rich guys? she thought. First Richard, and then Anthony …

"So you don't need to write? In fact you don't need to work at all," she said, a horrible thought flashing through her head.

"Hey," he said, holding her face firmly in his hands, "I'm not Anthony, okay? I will never be like Anthony. That slime ball gives the rest of us a bad name. I write because I like to and I get pleasure from it. I could just as easily go back to my old occupation or take up the running of the company fulltime, but I prefer to do this. Okay?" He waited for her nod before he kissed her lightly on the forehead.

"Just give me a minute, Will. It's a lot to absorb." He waited while she digested this latest piece of information. "So tell me about your parents."

"My dad's name is William too, but everyone calls him Bill. He's a crusty old bugger--age isn't softening any of his edges, I'm afraid. My mother's name was Isabelle. Mum died from a rare blood disorder. We were all devastated, but it hit Dad worst of all--they'd been sweethearts since childhood. Losing her was like losing part of himself and for a few years his grief just overtook him. I handled most of the running of the winery during that time. He slowly came back to us, but he just hasn't been the same since. That's why I fly down there once a month to see how he is, see how the winery is doing."

Lizzy could feel the tension in William's body. Obviously talking about it wasn't easy. "I'd like to come with you next time you go … if you want me to. If he's anything like you, I'm sure I'll adore him."

In the back of his mind, Will knew he should tell her the rest, but he just couldn't. The knowledge of her love for him was too new, too precious, to risk losing now. He couldn't help feeling though, that it was hanging over his head like a dark cloud.

Lizzy twirled his chest hairs through her fingers--a sure sign, he had found, that she had something on her mind.

"What's bothering you, sweetheart?"

"What about … um … girlfriends? You never mention any?"

"That's because since I met you, none of them have any significance any more."

"What about Anne? You and she seemed pretty chummy at Charles's party. I take it she was one of the many?"

"One of the few, actually. Annie and I did date on and off for a couple of years -- yes, but it was never serious, except to Catherine. Not that she was concerned for Annie--she just wanted the name, the money, the company … you get the idea. But Annie and I broke up a couple of years ago."

"Why?" Lizzy was curious now.

Will felt a chill pass through him, turning his flesh cold. He reached for her and kissed her, needing to feel the delicious heat of her against him.

"I can think of much better things to be doing in bed with you than discussing old girlfriends," he said as he nuzzled her neck. "Do you think we could continue this some other time," he murmured as his mouth trailed lower and closed around a nipple.

Lizzy was of a mind to pursue the matter further until the warmth and tugging of his mouth banished all other thoughts except the feel of his mouth suckling on her sensitive breasts and the arc of desire that hit her body as she felt his finger play with her softly.

It was only later as Lizzy lay sleeping and Will inhaled the sweetness of her scent, that he allowed himself to go back …

"Will, if she loves you, you'll find a way to work around it …"

After Lizzy left for work the next morning, Will decided to do some writing, knuckling down so that the hours seem to fly by. His concentration was intense and it took him a moment of two to realise that the phone was ringing. Unwilling to interrupt his flow, he picked up the phone and tucked it between his chin and his shoulder so that he could carry on typing. "Hel--lo," he said.


"Georgie. What's up, punkin?"

Georgie laughed at his nickname for her. "You must be in a good mood. You haven't called me that since I was little."

"I am. Life is wonderful; I am in love with a beautiful woman who loves me and the story I'm working on is coming along nicely -- what more could a man want?"

"She loves you? Did she say it … finally?"

"She did. You are talking to a very happy man." He couldn't stop the grin from spreading over his face as he remembered.

"That's wonderful, bro."

"That's not quite the reaction I was expecting from you especially, Georgie. What's up?"

"Look, I hate to be the one to burst your happy bubble Will, but I had a call from Dad. He's coming up here tomorrow night."

Grabbing the phone more firmly, Will just sat, thinking. "Where is he staying?"

"The house at Whale Beach, I think. I asked him if he wanted to stay with me, but he said he'll be fine." The silence on the other end of the phone concerned Georgie.

"You still there, big brother?"

"Sure. Just thinking. Shit!" he exclaimed. "Look, thanks for the heads--up. At least that gives me a bit of time to try and work something out."

"There's nothing to work out, Will. Just tell Lizzy. She'll understand. Believe me, she will. You two are meant to be together."

"I know. I know. Thanks. I'll talk to you later. Love you."

"I love you too, Will. Bye."

He hung up the phone, his happy mood shattered. He had wanted more time, but he would have to do what he could in the time he had. Swinging into action, he saved his work, pushed away from the computer and headed to the kitchen to speak to Mrs Reynolds who was just back from shopping and was humming to herself as she unpacked groceries.

"Mrs R, could you make something special for dinner tonight? Sorry to put this on you at such short notice."

"No problem. How many people?"

"Just two."

"For you and Lizzy?" He nodded in reply. "A romantic dinner?" A thought ran through her head and she had to stop herself from crossing her fingers. "Leave it to me, Will. Romantic you shall have."

Will smiled at her. "Thanks, Mrs R. What would I do without you?"

Mrs Reynolds smiled to herself. She wasn't what Will needed now, she thought. She had watched the transformation that had overcome Will since that sweet girl, Lizzy, had come into his life. She thought back to the first time she had met her, here in her kitchen. Will so on edge, nervous, embarrassed. Lizzy with the laughing eyes taking the micky out of him. She had known all along that all he needed was the right woman to love. That was the cure for what ailed most of the world, she thought. She paused, a half--peeled potato in her hand. Whatever the occasion was tonight, she would do her part to make sure it was perfect.

Chapter Nine