Emma Woodhouse never imagined that she would one day find herself completely naked in Donwell Abbey.
Though, to be fair, she had never imagined she would also find herself engaged to Mr. Knightley.
After the dramatic meeting in the rain and the whispered confessions and promises of everlasting commitment, the pair had returned to the Abbey soaking wet and shivering with wide grins pasted on their faces. Mrs. Reynolds had been shocked to see them in such a state and quickly spirited Emma upstairs for a hot bath and a change of clothes.
“Lord help me if you should die here,” the housekeeper had mumbled as she helped Emma out of her drenched and muddied garments.
Emma settled comfortably into the bath as Mrs. Reynolds stepped out to find something for her to wear overnight while her gown and undergarments were cleaned and dried. She heard Mr. Knightley meet the older woman in the hall and Emma lifted her head a little to hear snippets of their short conversation.
“Mr. Knightley you cannot be here!,” came Mrs. Reynolds' scolding tone.
Then Mr. Knightley’s warm baritone voice murmured something and Emma could have sworn she heard the words “Mr. Woodhouse” and “My head on a pike.”
“Yes, yes,” came Mrs. Reynolds' reply, her voice fading down the hall, “When the rain has stopped.”
After her bath, Emma was wrapped in a robe and shown to a bedroom that had been cozily made up with fresh linens and a crackling fire. Emma glanced out the window at the darkened sky, rain still pouring down heavily.
Mrs. Reynolds bustled in with a dinner tray for her and set it by an armchair near the fire. “Don’t fret Miss Woodhouse, it is early yet and I think the rain should stop in an hour or so. We’ll send a man to your father - say you’re here and safe til the morning when your clothes are ready.”
Emma frowned - Mr. Woodhouse would have a terribly anxious night alone at Hartfield. “Can I not borrow something? Perhaps something of Mrs. Knightley’s?”
“Oh no,” Mrs. Reynolds shook her head as she uncovered a few dishes on the tray, “No, her things are long gone. Jewelry was kept of course, for the future generations. I believe Mrs. John Knightley has a few pieces. But the madam’s gowns and such were given away shortly after her passing - God rest her soul. Mr. Knightley is not one for nostalgia. Or romance! There was never a word on keeping anything for a future missus. I truly doubt he will ever marry.”
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Emma sat in the armchair and looked over the food prepared for her - a charming meal of white soup, chicken tartlets, and a mug of spruce beer. There was a baked apple with custard for dessert, which made her smile. She instantly imagined Mr. Knightley quietly asking a kitchen maid to have something sweet brought up for her. It seemed very like something he would do.
She glanced around the room while she ate. It was a good-sized bedroom with tasteful wallpaper and curtains. She wondered if Mrs. Reynolds saw to the decorating all by herself, or if Mr. Knightley had a say in any of it. She thought not - Emma could not picture him pouring over fabric samples. He had not the patience for it and would surely find it dull work indeed.
Later, after she'd had her fill of custard, Emma sat on the floor by the fire to brush her hair out and braid it in one long plait down her back. She had just begun to eye the turned-down bed when there was a soft knock at the door. “Come in!,” she called cheerfully, assuming it was a maid come to take the tray away.
The door opened and in stepped Mr. Knightley, shutting the door gently behind him. He was dressed now in a long nightshirt and a dressing gown of his own.
Emma’s eyes widened. “George!,” she whispered fiercely, though she was entirely pleased to see him, “What if someone finds you here?”
Mr. Knightley smirked at her and placed his hands in the pockets of his dressing gown. “Ah, that is the pleasure of being master of one’s home - for I may send the whole house to bed whenever I want.”
Emma’s heart beat a little faster as he came and sat behind her on the floor, gathering her up in his arms so that she was leaning against his chest. He was warm and solid and she melted against him.
“Do you wish me to leave Emma?,” he whispered into her ear.
“No,” she all but moaned as he began to plant hot kisses along her neck.
She felt him smile against her skin. “I assume you are not wearing anything underneath this robe?”
Emma laughed lightly and shook her head. Mr. Knightley bit her ear and slid a hand into the front of her dressing gown, sighing deeply when he met bare flesh. She turned her face up to him and they kissed slowly while he caressed her breasts and ran his hand down her stomach.
“George?,” Emma panted in between kisses.
She swallowed and fiddled with the collar of his dressing-gown. “You seemed almost frightened to see me when I found you. Did I really cause you so much pain?”
Mr. Knightley stilled for a moment, then he kissed her temple and moved his hand up to stroke her collarbone. “I was...quite hurt by thinking you did not want me as I wanted you - but that is not the reason for my shock.”
He pulled back from her slightly. “You will laugh if I tell you.”
“I shall not!”
Mr. Knightley eyed her skeptically.
“I swear it.”
Mr. Knightley raised an eyebrow at her and sighed. “Do you remember at the Eltons’ dinner party when I talked of my visit to the gypsies?”
“Yes! You had your fortune told. Good harvests and such things.”
“Indeed. But that was partially a lie. I spoke to a very interesting lady who read my palms and told me the woman I loved would appear before me in a field of flowers.”
Emma’s mouth dropped open in shock as Mr. Knightley blushed and avoided her eyes.
“She said it merely as a joke at the end of the reading,” he explained while twirling a bit of her hair, “But then today…I was most overcome. By you...the flowers...all of it.”
“Oh George,” sighed Emma as she brought his mouth down to hers for another kiss.
“I love you Emma,” Mr. Knightley murmured as he kissed her cheeks and eyelids. “I believe I have always loved you.”
The beauty and sincerity of his words gripped her heart and squeezed tight. Suddenly she was burying her face in his chest while hot tears coursed down her cheeks.
“Emma, love, why are you crying?”
“Because I love you!”
He let out a dry laugh. “And that makes you cry?”
“I am afraid!,” sobbed Emma, “Of change, and things I cannot yet imagine.”
“Oh my dearest…,” He tried to calm her, but she would not allow it yet.
“And papa! How am I to leave him?! He could not bear it - and I think I could not as well.”
Mr. Knightley took her face in his hands. “There will be no change,” he said firmly, desperate to see her stop crying, “I shall come to Hartfield.”
She looked up at him. “You will?”
He smiled, revealing his dimples. “Yes - there is no reason that I cannot be master of Donwell while residing at Hartfield. Everything may stay much as it is, but now I may be with you truly and rightly. In your bed - as I belong.”
Emma sniffed, and her tears slowed but did not stop.
“Does this not make you happy?”
“It does!,” Emma insisted.
“Then why do you cry still?”
She laughed. “Now I am crying because I am extremely happy!”
Mr. Knightley could not help the chuckle that escaped from him. He gathered Emma to him as she buried her face in his neck. He laid his cheek gently against her head.
“I love you,” she whispered as Mr. Knightley rubbed her shoulders and back, “I love you, George Knightley.”
She turned in his arms and straddled his lap fully. They began to kiss as she moved against him, grinding down hard to make him groan. Mr. Knightley pulled her robe down from her shoulders so that he could lick and caress her skin. When she was fully naked he tried to lay her back on the floor but she shook her head. He watched her every move as she withdrew from his embrace and began to undo the belt of his dressing-gown. Then she drew his nightshirt off and he tried to bring her back to his lap, but she playfully swatted his hands away. He was already rigid when she brought her hand to his cock, but the feeling of her there still made his eyes roll back.
“Shh,” she smiled, “Let me.”
She stroked him until he was cursing and calling her name in pleasure while his hands roamed her body. He loved every part of her. And his arousal increased knowing she desired him just as much as he desired her. She made him come in but a few minutes - just with her hand. Mr. Knightley thought it the most exquisite orgasm he had ever experienced. He moaned and fell back against the carpet when it was through.
“How you have ruined me, Emma,” he breathed.
Emma trailed a hand through the hair on his chest and smirked. Then she leaned down for another kiss.