Her One and Only Knight – Extended Epilogue


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Mary looked out the window. The grass was long and green, ruffled by the breeze. The land stretched out around the country house, serene and calm under the bright sunshine.

Mary stretched sleepily and turned to look into the small upstairs drawing room. The walls were panelled, the curtains green velvet; brought down from Chatfield Manor to decorate the room at the country house. She smiled to herself. The garden was a little sparse when they first moved there, but during the two years she had lived at this small country estate, her sister-in-law Olivia had worked on it, with Davie’s help, relishing the project. Now, beds of daffodils and irises graced the area around the downstairs terrace, and the garden was planted with roses.

She breathed in, smelling the fragrant summer air. Footsteps outside the room made her look up, and she smiled to see Harriet there, her hair covered by a small indoor bonnet. She still worked in the household, dressing Mary’s hair and supervising the laundry. She had married a farmer in the valley near the country estate since moving here, and she was now the proud mistress of a thriving house. Mary grinned at her fondly.

“Is the produce being delivered?” she asked, referring to the wagon which would drive up weekly from the farm to deliver fresh vegetables to the house. Similar deliveries would follow from the miller and the dairy. It was a calm, comfortable existence.

“Yes, my lady,” Harriet said, her face lit with a grin. “The master will be back soon?”

“He will,” Mary agreed. She felt her own heart thump with excitement. Tom had been away, travelling briefly up to a military barracks, where he worked as an advisor. Since receiving the knighthood, he had decided to become involved with the military again, supervising the battalions stationed in England and coordinating the veterans who were returning from abroad.

“Very good, my lady. I will inform the cook.”

“Thank you, Harriet,” Mary said fondly.

She looked around, breathing in and thinking that it was so pleasant to be here, the estate the perfect distance from Chatfield. It was a day’s coach ride away, which made it possible for her to see her family often but also to have a sense of distance, which she found healthy.

She drifted across the room, considering working on her sewing – she was making an embroidery for the drawing room. The clock on the mantel showed that it was almost midday and time for luncheon. She felt her heart thump with excitement as it meant Tom would soon return. He had said he would be back for lunch. She put the embroidery aside and went down the hallway, pausing in the bedchamber’s door to adjust her hair where a stray lock had fallen loose. She sometimes wore her hair loose – when she and Tom were not expecting visitors – and found it a pleasant informality compared to the tight braid she had always worn. She could scarcely remember that now. Even though it was only a few years ago, it already felt like another lifetime.

She walked back to the stairs, thinking to inform the cook that they might need to hold luncheon back since Tom might have been delayed on his journey. She turned on the steps as she heard someone call her name from the doorway below.

“Mary! Where is my dearest?”

“Tom!” She squealed the name, running down the stairs. He met her at the bottom, and his arms wrapped her in a tight embrace. She felt her cheeks flush as she breathed in his scent. He smelled of leather, clean linen, and a musk scent on his skin. She felt her heart fill with love, and she stood there, just holding him tight, unable to think of anything except how wonderful it was to see him.

“Mary,” he said gently. She looked up at him, and he looked into her eyes, unable to look away. Her heart thumped in her chest. It felt so natural to be here with him, so wonderful. She loved him so much.

“How was your ride?” she asked him as they walked together up the stairs. He held her hand, looking fondly at her.

“Good,” he said. “It was pleasant weather, and we made suitable time.” He looked around the hallway. “I am glad I made it in time for luncheon…my stomach has been rumbling for the last half hour.”

Mary chuckled. “I am glad I didn’t ask the cook to hold luncheon back, then. It is ready now.”

“Good. I’m starving.”

She followed him into the drawing room. They usually ate there, finding it more intimate. If they had many guests – which they often did – they ate in the dining room, which had a long terrace looking out onto the lawn. But for now, it would be welcome to eat in the drawing room. Tom followed her in, and they took a seat at the table. Tom rang the bell, summoning the butler. They had a small staff – the butler, the cook, and three maids, of whom Harriet was one. The butler was a young man from Chatfield who was the son of a wounded veteran and was eager to fulfil the role.

“Sir?” he greeted Tom.

“We will take lunch, please, Harris.”

“Of course, sir. My lady.” Harris grinned.

Mary paused at the table. Tom was looking at her, and she grinned, knowing what he was thinking.

“Is Alexander asleep?”

Mary shrugged, eyes sparkling. “He might be. Let’s have a look.”

Tom grinned too, and they went upstairs to the nursery. It had been an attic room, and Tom and Orton had converted it together. 

Now it was panelled, the floor covered with a soft rug before the fireplace, and the walls were decorated with paintings. The thing that held Mary’s eye was the cradle that stood by the fire, where a tiny, chubby baby lay. A little over a year old, Alexander was golden-haired, smooth cheeked and fast asleep. As Mary tiptoed over, the small child breathed in sharply. She held her breath, watching him roll over. His eyes opened, soft cornflower blue irises focusing sleepily on her face.


Mary felt her heart melt. He was so beautiful, and everything about him, from his tiny star-like hands to his smooth, chubby face with its delightful button of a nose, made her heart light up as if the sunshine poured into it. She grinned as she lifted him to her chest.

“Who’s a fine young fellow!”

“Wuh,” he said. She chuckled. He had started speaking a few months before and now had a vocabulary that consisted of the names of those closest to him and the words for his favourite things.

“How have you been faring, my fine little fellow?” Mary asked him, kissing his hair. She wasn’t sure if he understood the words, but she loved talking to him and took delight in every moment spent with him.

“Sleep,” he told her.

“Have you been asleep then, little man?” Tom asked. He came to stand beside Mary, and she passed the child to him. Alexander’s eyes widened, and he held his hands to his father. 


Mary felt her heart twist, so much love flooding her that it was almost painful. Seeing Tom with their little boy always made her heart ache. She loved them both so much, and seeing how Tom cradled the little boy so gently, his one hand with its broken fingers wrapped around the tiny legs to hold him safe, always made her feel a flood of joy.

“Shall we go downstairs, then?” Tom said, talking tenderly to Alexander. “Would you like to eat something?”


Mary laughed, hearing his reply. Alexander enjoyed his food; one of his favourite pastimes was eating. He liked it as much as he did playing in the mud by the river – his most enjoyable pursuit. The house at Chatfield was his favourite place, and he spent many happy hours there by the lakeside, wading in the shallows with an attentive parent or grandparent holding his hands.

Tom chuckled. “Let’s go down then. Thank you,” he added to the maid sitting by the fire, with her mending work on one knee. She was a cousin of Harriet’s and had slotted seamlessly into their home.

“Not at all, sir,” the maid replied fondly. “Will you take him into the garden later?”

“Yes. We’ll bring him up to sleep after teatime,” Mary told her. She walked ahead of Tom through the narrow door, pausing on the stairs to catch up with him, grinning at Alexander.

“Eat!” Alexander said delightedly.

They all laughed. Mary drifted down the hallway to the drawing-room, where the butler had set their lunch on the round table by the window. Tom sat with Alexander on his knee, and together they fed him finely chopped meat and vegetables from their own plates. It was how Tom had been raised, and Mary found it pleasant and comfortable; far more natural than the way she was raised, where she and her siblings had eaten alone with Nanny Conwell until they were twelve years old, at which time they were deemed mannerly enough to join the adults.

Here, though, there was laughter and joy and Alexander chuckling as they chatted together.

“I wonder when our guests will arrive?” Tom commented as Alexander nestled against him, starting to fall asleep.

“They said that we should expect them at teatime,” Mary said. She felt a frown lower her brow, but she was confident they would arrive safely. The road was far from dangerous.

“My lady,” Harris greeted as he came in to clear away the dishes from luncheon. “Sir. A coach is approaching on the main road.” He looked a little nervous.

“Thank you, Harris,” Tom replied. He stretched his legs and stood, going over to the window. He had put Alexander on the divan in the corner to rest, and the little boy was fast asleep, his blue eyes closed.

Mary went to the window to join Tom. They stood together, watching the road. She felt her heart thump and sudden excitement filled her. It had been so long since she last saw them! She felt her fingers tighten on the wooden windowsill, breath quickening with excitement.

The coach rolled up the road, followed by another, smaller coach. Mary followed Tom to the door, but the coach was already up in the drive, and she could hear a knock on the door. Harris must have reached the entranceway before them because she heard exclamations from the hallway and the sound of feet on the stairs.

“Mary? Tom!” A familiar voice called out. “Why! Look at you!”

“Cameron!” Mary greeted as her older brother appeared in the doorway. He looked a little older than he had the last time she saw him, his brow lined and his mouth bracketed with two wrinkles she hadn’t noticed before. His chestnut hair was fiery, and his eyes twinkled with fresh merriment. The signs of care on his face suggested to Mary that he had been taking more of the duke’s duties onto himself, something he had been doing slowly for the last two years. She heard more footsteps on the stairs and turned to see Lucas and Benjamin rushing up behind. Lucas was now ten and seemed older. He was taller and slender, more like Belinda than his father. Benjamin, eight years old and with a mop of curly hair, was not noticeably like either Cameron or his mother, though his eyes were precisely Cameron’s own.

“Nephews!” Mary said as they rushed up. They saw Alexander and slowed, instantly falling silent. Tom smiled.

“Lucas. Benjamin. Welcome. I trust you had luncheon?”

“We had sandwiches in the coach,” Lucas told him.

“I’m hungry,” Benjamin commented. Cameron chuckled.

“Tom, it could take the entire farmland to feed their appetite,” he warned. Benjamin shot his father a look, and Mary laughed.

“Come in. Come in,” she said, stepping aside so that Lucas and Benjamin could swarm upstairs. Belinda followed them, and then, walking more slowly, came Davie and Olivia. Mary went to embrace them, her heart soaring to see so many beloved faces in one place. Her parents followed. The duke had grey threaded into his hair, which was distinctly thin, and her mother’s face was more lined, but her eyes held a peace Mary had not seen for many years.

“Daughter,” she greeted.


She hugged her parents, then looked up as Christiana and James arrived. James was carrying a tiny baby in his arms, and Mary approached, tiptoeing so as not to wake the child. She stared down at her. She had red hair and, when she opened her eyes, they were a rich hazel. She looked so much like Christiana that Mary’s heart ached.

“How is little Emmeline?” Mary asked. James smiled. He looked tired but much better than he had when last she saw him. Christiana and James had been to Brighton to go sea-bathing and for long walks along the shore. Mary thought they looked rested and happy.

“She is well.” 

Christiana hugged Mary wordlessly, and she felt her sister’s strong arms around her, smelling the rose scent of her perfume. She wore a rust-brown dress, and Mary thought it brought out the colour of her eyes so beautifully.

“You look well,” Christiana said warmly.

“I feel well. Thank you,” Mary agreed. “As do you,” she said.

They stood and looked at each other for a moment without speaking. Mary could see fine lines around Christiana’s eyes, but she seemed glowing and radiant. She couldn’t wait to talk to her.

They walked, arm in arm, up the stairs together.

When they reached the drawing room, their parents were already seated on the divan, while Tom stood with Alexander in his arms. Davie and Olivia were standing with Tom, talking, and smiling at the baby, and Belinda and Cameron were by the window, talking excitedly about the view. Lucas and Benjamin were already at the table, where Harris had placed a bowl of biscuits, which the children were happily devouring.

“It was a fine trip,” James said as he followed them into the drawing room. Emmeline wriggled in his arms, excited by the sounds of the children talking. Christiana grinned delightedly as James took Emmeline over to introduce her to Alexander.

Mary smiled, watching the two children study one another where their fathers held them. Emmeline was a little older, and she watched Alexander warily.

“Will you take tea?” Mary asked Christiana as they followed Tom to the hearth, where he and James carefully placed Emmeline and Alexander on the rug together.

“I would be delighted,” Christiana said.

Mary rang the bell to summon Harris and then returned to join her sister, who had settled on a wooden chair by the table. She drew another chair and sat beside her, and they settled to talking; discussing the Brighton trip, the estate, and the plans she and James had to add to their manor.

While they sat there, Harris came in. Mary thought he had brought the tea, but he hesitated at the door, his eyes darting nervously to Tom.

“What is it, Harris?” Mary asked, seeing he seemed uncomfortable.

“Um, my lady…A coach just arrived. Shall I bring the guests up?” He looked over at Tom, who caught his eye and came to join him.

“What is it, dearest?” he asked Mary, who gestured to Harris. 

“He says there are guests here.”

“Oh. Bring them up, Harris,” Tom said warmly. “We have plenty of room. If you could fetch a chair or two from the breakfast room too?”

“Of course, sir.” Harris inclined his head politely and went downstairs again. A moment later, Mary heard footsteps on the stairs. 

She looked up and felt her heart lift with delight. Mrs Conwell was there, Mr Conwell beside her. Just behind them was Tom’s aunt Emma. She felt her lips stretch with a grin.

“Mrs Conwell,” she welcomed Tom’s mother. The older woman looked tired, her long, greying hair showing under a cloth bonnet. Her blue eyes sparkled, bright and warm.

“Mary,” she greeted her. “My dear daughter.”

Mary embraced her and held her close, the frail body of her mother-in-law pressed to her warmly. She felt safe in her embrace, the peace and gentleness that she seemed to radiate surrounding her. She looked over to where Mr Conwell stood, looking a little awkward. He had his hat in his hands and turned it nervously around. The Conwells had visited them a few times at the country house, but they always seemed uncomfortable. Since meeting her family that night, they appeared at ease with them, and Mary was delighted when her father stood and shook Mr Conwell’s hand, drawing him towards the rest of the guests.

The joy of seeing her family greet Mr And Mrs Conwell was bright in Mary’s heart, but she turned away from the scene, focusing on Emma, the dearest friend she could imagine. Without the care and attention she had showered not only on Mary but on Tom, they might never have found one another.

“Mrs Conwell,” Mary greeted her respectfully. She embraced Mary, and Mary felt tears well up in her eyes as she held her close, smelling the familiar lavender scent of her clothes. She stepped back, looking at her, eyes moving over her dear face. “You had a pleasant journey?” she asked her.

“Very pleasant. Thank you,” Mrs Conwell replied. She looked well. She wore a linen dress of superior quality, and a cap covered her hair. She looked prosperous, and that was not surprising since Mary knew that her parents had given Mrs Conwell a generous pension, and she now lived in a cottage they had granted her on the estate, enjoying a peaceful retirement.

“I am glad,” Mary said. She led Mrs Conwell into the drawing room. Even though the older woman seemed a little discomforted by the presence of her former employers, she took a cup of tea. She went to the window, standing and looking over the garden.

Mary understood her discomfort and let her stand where she wished, going to sit beside Christiana, where Tom’s parents had also taken seats at the table and were watching their grandchild, Alexander, play on the mat, crawling beside Emmeline.

“They are so dear,” Mrs Conwell murmured. Her blue eyes were gentle as she watched them.

Mary smiled, feeling her heart fill with tenderness. She was deeply fond of Mrs Conwell, who she felt radiated gentle strength wherever she went. She looked over as another step sounded in the hallway.

“Orton!” Tom, who was standing by the window with Cameron, discussing the landscape and a walk they had been on, turned to face the door. Orton entered with a small woman in a neat gown, her dark hair covered with a cloth bonnet. Mary’s eyes widened.

“Orton. Welcome,” she said, going to join him at the door. Tom came to stand beside her, his eyes stretching as he looked at the young woman who stood beside his brother. She looked up at Tom, a little overawed. “Judy,” he greeted her. “How delightful to see you here.”

“Thank you,” the young woman said shyly.

Mary went to speak to her, feeling that she was a little uncomfortable being in the room. She had a broad, friendly face, and her dark eyes were a little subdued when she glanced around the space. Mary thought she recognized her and realized that she had once worked at the inn. She looked over to Orton, meaning to congratulate him, but he seemed shy.

“My lady,” he greeted her. He was standing stiffly in the doorway, looking very formal. Mary grinned.

“Please, call me Mary,” she said. “And do come and join us. We were just sitting down for an early tea.” 

She saw him blink and seem to settle down, and then he followed her into the room, Judy walking a little ahead of him. Mary watched as Tom sat down beside his brother, and the two fell into a conversation at once.

She felt her heart fill with warmth as she looked around the room. It would have seemed too great a task to bring their families together, and yet, in one room, two groups of people from two entirely different backgrounds sat and conversed and enjoyed one another’s company. It was a wonderful feeling, and, looking around at all the smiling faces, Mary felt aglow with love.

Her family was going to stay on for a few days, but there was room enough for Tom’s family to stay the night, though they would have to make use of the cottage as well if everyone were to have lodging. Davie and Olivia offered to take the cottage, and a lively debate resulted, with Orton and Judy saying they would prefer to stay there. Mary smiled to herself.

When the families were all settled, with Christiana and James taking Emmeline to rest in the nursery before retiring to the room they would share, Mary and Tom took Alexander and went to sit on the grounds, letting the little boy play on the lawn while they rested on a bench, looking out over the green landscape.

Mary took Tom’s hand. The feel of it was familiar and gentle, and she looked into his eyes. Her gaze resting on his face, his tender look holding her own.

Her heart was so full of love that she could barely express it. She felt her throat tighten as she recalled the many obstacles they had faced, and yet their love had triumphed. She rested her cheek against his, her lips pressing a tender kiss to his own, and he stroked her face and looked into her eyes.

“I love you, Tom,” she said, her voice thick with feeling.

“I love you, too.”

They sat together and watched the fingers of golden light stretch between the trees as the sunshine painted the horizon in delicate peach, far across the garden.


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Grab my new series, "Regency Hearts Entwined", and get 2 FREE novels as a gift! Have a look here!

7 thoughts on “Her One and Only Knight – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Hello my dears! I really hope you loved the book and the Extended Epilogue. I can’t wait to read your wonderful comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! 💕

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, dear Jan. I truly appreciate it!

      So glad you enjoyed the story! Make sure to stay tuned because I have more coming!

  2. I did think it was odd that Tom wasn’t given a commendation after returning from the war! I’m glad you resolved that at the end of your book. And everything worked out. Lovely story!!! Thank you
    Gwynne C.

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