Melodie covered her children with blankets, her heart swelling with love in her chest. Marion was now five, their second child, Simon Jr., was three, and their littlest one, Amelia, was barely three months old. They were the joy of their lives, and so was her husband, Simon.
“Mama will be arriving soon. A few days, give or take,” Simon said when Melodie entered the drawing room.
He was relaxed, sipping some champagne. Her husband looked happier than ever, and Melodie had not even been expecting him. Simon spent the greater part of the week in Isleworth, where he worked with Sir Knowles, and they were currently improving almost all of London. But he never failed to return to Cranston every Friday, spending all of his time with them.
Now, he was there on a Wednesday, and it surprised Melodie. “Why are you here?”
He roused from his seat, crossing the distance between them in mere moments. Simon gazed into her eyes, and she into his. Swirling arcs of brown lit up her heart, sending tremors down her spine. Even though it had been five years after their marriage, their love for one another never faltered. Instead, it bloomed even more. With his absence for most of the week, Melodie looked forward to every Friday when he would return.
“Am I not allowed to miss my wife?” he said playfully, his hair falling across his face. “I saw a gap in my schedule and came running. I missed you, Melodie.”
She felt his hands graze her skin, and her body came alive. Melodie knew that Simon was lying. There was no gap in his schedule, and he came all the way to Cranston just to see her. Simon abandoned his work for her sake, and it made her heart race even more.
“I miss you too, Simon,” she said and pressed his lips to his.
They kissed one another, fingers hot and exploring. Mouths entwined with passion, lips filled with heat, and tongues with want. It was amazing how her body became hot with need whenever Simon was around. Her hand wove through his hair, her body convulsing with joy.
“Take it easy, now,” he replied, pulling away. “Marion might find us here.”
“We will just send her back to bed,” Melodie said and brushed her lips against him one last time.
“I take it that Felicity is not back yet?” Simon asked when they were finally seated and treating themselves to champagne.
Melodie took a sip from the glass. “Her letter arrived yesterday. She is enjoying the tour of the Americas with Lord Mostyn and his family. She says they might visit Greece next.”
“She should be arriving soon with her husband,” Melodie replied. “Her letter arrived a few days ago as well.”
Simon smiled. Every year, his family came together once a year to enjoy the serenity of Cranston. Esther was married to Robert Eversleigh, a famous artist in London and also a viscount. Sam was with the love of his life, Agnes, and going around the world with Felicity. Truly, they were happy.
Melodie smiled at her husband, love blossoming through every part of her body. Not only was Simon hardworking, but he was also innovative. They finally made Cranston their own and made improvements in different aspects of the house. But the best of these was the one Simon made to the lower pastures on the Home Farm.
He improved her ideas and designs, making the drainages even better so that the water could be reused. Now, they were almost one of the greatest producers of valuable wheat every year. They expanded their land, growing wheat and packing almost all of them to London. Their income per annum had skyrocketed, and it was all because of Simon’s intuition and her volatile ideas. They worked together as a great team, and they were even greater parents and had a loving family.
“Has Lord Chalmers called you yet?” Melodie asked.
Simon let out a deep exhale. “I have been receiving calls all through the previous week. I did not know that the ton values intellect. I will finally boast to Sam of my superior intellect.”
Melodie laughed at the unspoken rivalry between the brothers. It made for all the teasing and fun in the house when everyone arrived, and she liked to see the blush on Simon’s face when Sam proved that he was better at everything.
“Remember how we used to resent one another?” Simon asked, laughing.
“I would hardly call it resentment, Simon. Recall that time when I thought you wanted to marry me off because you hated me?”
They laughed together, recalling the memories of the times when they were trying to suppress their affections for one another. The old days were filled with so much fun that Simon still teased her whenever he got the chance.
“Pride and prejudice,” Melodie said, taking another sip of champagne.
As they talked about how the week went, they relaxed into one another with love, joy, and happiness blooming through their hearts. They were happier than ever with their children, and love proved them wrong.