A Viscount’s Disguised Maid – Extended Epilogue

Five years had woven their magic over Hartfield Manor, its stones and timbers restored to a splendor that whispered of days long past and glories reborn. The once-dilapidated estate now stood proudly as proof of the resilience and dedication of its owners, Eileen and Liam Corbridge. Where neglect had once left its mark, now care and affection bore fruit—quite literally, in the case of the gardens. Flourishing under Eileen’s attentive eye, the blooms danced in vibrant hues and the orchards sagged with the sweet burden of fruit soon to be harvested.

The interior of the manor hummed with life, its halls echoing with the laughter of children and the soft murmur of a well-run household. More household staff had been hired over the years, but none so beloved as Eliza and Samuel. Now in their old age, the couple had taken up residence in a cozy cottage on the estate’s grounds. Their role had gently shifted from servants to something akin to old aunt and uncle, offering both wisdom and indulgence in equal measure to the estate’s younger residents.

Eliza often took her morning tea in the gardens, her eyes following the flutter of birds or the scampering of little feet through the hedgerows. Samuel spent his days pottering in the small workshop he’d set up in the back of their cottage, fixing everything from broken toys to wobbly furniture, his hands still sure and steady despite the years.

The manor itself had regained its place as a vibrant and lively residence, its doors open often to friends and neighbors. The community around Hartfield had come to respect and admire Liam for his integrity and Eileen for her grace and intelligence. Together, they had not only rebuilt a house but had woven the fabric of a strong and supportive local society.

As the sun began to dip below the horizon, casting long shadows over the freshly mown lawns, the manor bathed in a golden glow, the light spilling from windows aglow with warmth and welcome. Inside, preparations were underway for an evening that promised to be filled with good company and the simple joy of shared meals.

The promise of the night ahead brought a smile to Eileen’s face as she adjusted a vase of fresh-cut flowers in the entrance hall. She stepped back, her hand resting lightly on her belly—no longer flat but not quite showing the full curve of her third pregnancy. Her thoughts drifted to Liam, her partner not only in marriage but in every aspect of life at Hartfield. Together, they had turned the tide of fate that once seemed so bleak.

“Everything looks wonderful, Eileen,” Liam remarked, coming to stand beside her, his presence warm and steady.

“It feels like a dream sometimes,” she replied, leaning into his side. “To see all this come to life from the ruins that we started with.”

“A beautiful dream, made real by your strength and vision,” Liam said, pressing a kiss to her temple.

Eileen laughed softly, her eyes sparkling with reflected light. “And your unyielding determination, my love. Hartfield stands as much as your triumph as mine.”

Together, they looked out at the estate—their home—not just restored but reborn, much like their own lives entwined and flourishing under the wide, hopeful sky.

That evening, Hartfield Manor buzzed with a particularly vibrant energy, its grand dining hall lit by the soft glow of candles and filled with the gentle clink of fine china and the joyful din of congenial conversation. At the head of the long oak table, Liam and Eileen played gracious hosts to Ryan and Claire, who had become not merely neighbors but dear friends and confidants over the years.

In the nearby drawing room, the laughter and occasional shrieks of children playing formed a merry backdrop to the adult’s more subdued tones. William, the eldest of Liam and Eileen’s children, was a boy of five with his father’s sharp blue eyes and easy smile. His leadership was gentle yet assured as he orchestrated a game of hide-and-seek with his younger sisters, the twins Amelia and Charlotte, and Ryan and Claire’s two toddlers.

Amelia, with her mother’s curly hair, had found an ingenious hiding spot behind the heavy drapes, while Charlotte, more daring and outspoken, giggled from beneath the grand piano. The sound of their laughter echoed through the halls, infusing the manor with life and joy.

Back at the table, Eileen shared a look with Liam, her eyes sparkling with the reflection of the candlelight and the deep satisfaction of the life they had built. “It’s nights like these that I cherish,” she murmured to him, her hand resting gently on his arm.

Liam squeezed her hand, his gaze sweeping over their friends and children. “To think how much has changed since we first walked through these doors,” he replied, his voice thick with emotion.

The conversation shifted as Ryan shared tales of his latest exploits in the village, where he had taken up a position that allowed him to use his keen understanding of agriculture to help local farmers. Claire, ever the attentive mother, split her attention between the stories and the sounds of the children, ensuring their play remained safe and happy.

As the meal progressed, Eileen excused herself to check on the children, her steps light and quick. Upon entering the drawing room, she found William attempting to corral his sisters into a new game, his approach both kind and firm.

“Amelia, Charlotte, let’s play ‘knights and dragons’ now! I’ll be the knight, and you can be the dragons!” he declared, his imagination as vivid as the tales his father told at bedtime.

Amelia looked up, her face bright with enthusiasm. “Can I be a dragon princess?” she asked, already twirling in a dance of her own making.

“Of course, you can,” Eileen laughed, her heart swelling with pride at the inclusive spirit her son displayed. “And Charlotte can be the dragon queen!”

Back at the table, Liam and Ryan were deep in discussion about the estate’s finances. “With the debt finally cleared and your investments thriving, Hartfield really has become a symbol of resilience,” Ryan commented, raising his glass in a toast.

“It’s thanks to Eileen’s steadiness and some fortunate turns in the market,” Liam acknowledged, his pride in their joint accomplishments clear. “We can now ensure a comfortable future for our children.”

As dessert was served, the laughter and chatter continued, the bonds of family and friendship intertwining like the vines in Hartfield’s lush gardens. Eileen returned to the table, her expression serene as she rejoined the conversation, her heart full with the realization of how far they had come. 

As the evening waned and the golden hues of twilight melted into the deeper blues of night, Liam and Eileen found a quiet moment away from their guests. Standing by the wide window overlooking the manor’s flourishing gardens, they reflected on the serendipitous twists of fate that had drawn them together. The memories of their first encounter at the Two Roads Inn were as vivid as if they had been etched into the glass before them.

“Do you remember that stormy night at the inn?” Liam asked, his voice low and filled with wonder. “How could I ever forget?” Eileen responded, her hand finding his. “It seems like another lifetime, yet here we are.”

Inspired by that fateful night, they had established an annual celebration at the Two Roads Inn, a cherished tradition that allowed them to relive their journey and share their joy with friends and family. Each summer, as they spent time at Gratwell Manor, the inn would come alive with laughter, music, and the warmth of shared stories, reinforcing the bonds that had turned acquaintances into lifelong friends.

Their reverie was interrupted by a letter delivered earlier that day, bearing news that rippled through the high society of London. Lord Edward Barrington, a figure from Eileen’s past fraught with less fond memories, had met a dramatic end in a duel in Hyde Park, following an ill-fated attempt to charm a young heiress. “It seems a fitting end for a man who never could grasp the concept of honor,” Liam remarked, his tone more of observation than judgment.

“And what of Arabella?” Eileen inquired, her curiosity piqued by the tangled webs of their acquaintances. “She has finally acquired the title she so desperately sought, though at a steep price,” Liam explained. “Married to an aging viscount in Cornwall, her life is far from the romantic dreams she once harbored.”

Their conversation shifted to a more heartening change in their social circle. After years of tension and misunderstandings, Liam and his cousin Reginald had found a way to mend their rift. The reconciliation had been unexpected but profound, altering the dynamics within their extended family.

“Reginald has changed, Eileen. Our past grievances seem so trivial now,” Liam confessed, a note of relief in his voice. This newfound closeness had extended to their spouses as well, with Eileen and Lady Nora finding common ground despite a rocky start. “Nora and I had our differences, but watching our children play together, forming bonds… It’s softened something in both of us,” Eileen shared, a smile touching her lips at the thought of their latest gathering.

The children, blissfully unaware of the complexities of adult relationships, had indeed played a crucial role in drawing the families closer. The estates of Hartfield and the neighboring lands held by Reginald and Nora had become frequent meeting grounds for picnics, games, and seasonal celebrations, turning former adversaries into allies and even friends.

As the couple returned to their guests, the resonance of their shared past and the anticipation of their future filled the air around them. Their life at Hartfield Manor was not just a tale of love and redemption but also one of forging enduring legacies through the strength of community and the healing power of forgiveness.

Back at the dinner table, the chatter had turned to plans for the upcoming summer festivities at Gratwell Manor. Ryan, ever the enthusiast for tradition, raised his glass. “To Hartfield, to family, and to friendships that weather all storms!”

“To Hartfield,” the assembly echoed, their voices mingling in the warm embrace of the manor’s walls.

***

As the guests began to depart, the sounds of carriages crunching on the gravel drive beneath the grand old oaks of Hartfield Manor marked the end of an evening that had, once again, drawn together the threads of past and present. The night air was crisp, and as the final carriage disappeared into the twilight, Eileen and Liam lingered on the steps of their home, their hands intertwined.

“Look at it, Liam,” Eileen whispered, her voice filled with a mix of awe and contentment as she gazed at their home. “It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? That after everything, this is ours, that we’ve come this far.”

Liam drew her closer, his arm wrapping around her shoulders. “Every stone and beam,” he agreed softly, “it’s not just a building, Eileen. It’s a testament to us, to our family, and to what we can overcome together.” His eyes, reflecting the vestiges of sunset, held a depth of emotion that only years of shared life could produce.

They turned, hand in hand, and walked back through the entrance, the heavy doors closing behind them with a satisfying thud that seemed to shut out the world. Inside, the manor was quiet, the laughter and voices of the evening now echoes in the empty halls. But the silence was comfortable, intimate, filled with the resonance of their footsteps as they ascended the grand staircase to the upper floors, where their children were already asleep, dreams undoubtedly filled with the adventures of the day.

In their private sitting room, the couple settled into their favorite chairs by the fireplace where a gentle fire crackled. The room, lined with books and framed memories, was a cozy retreat from the formal elegance of the rest of the house. Here, they could be just Liam and Eileen, not Lord and Lady Corbridge.

Eileen leaned her head against the back of her chair, watching Liam as he stoked the fire, the flames casting dancing lights across his face. “Do you ever think about what life might have been like, if we hadn’t met that stormy night?” she asked, a curious lilt in her voice.

Liam paused, the poker in his hand resting against the hearth as he turned to her. “I try not to,” he confessed with a half-smile. “Because all those paths didn’t lead me here, to this moment with you.”

Their conversation drifted then to dreams for the future, plans for the estate, and the endless possibilities that lay ahead. They spoke of the children, of the lessons they hoped to teach them, and the legacy they wished to leave behind. It was a future built on the foundation of their past struggles, each challenge faced together strengthening the bonds between them.

As the fire dwindled to glowing embers, Liam and Eileen stood and made their way to the window that overlooked the gardens, now shrouded in the gentle embrace of night. The stars twinkled above, a canopy of infinite possibilities.

“Here’s to us, Eileen,” Liam murmured, drawing her close.

“And to Hartfield,” she replied, resting her head against his chest, listening to the steady beat of his heart. “To our home, our family, and all the years to come.”

They remained there, silhouetted against the soft light, a portrait of enduring love and the serene certainty of a shared future, as Hartfield Manor, steadfast and proud, stood watch over them into the quiet night.

THE END


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13 thoughts on “A Viscount’s Disguised Maid – Extended Epilogue”

  1. Hello, my dear readers! I hope you truly enjoyed this heartwarming romance! I would love to know your thoughts on it! Had you imagined a different conclusion for our couple’s love story? I am eagerly waiting to read your comments here! Thank you – always! ♥️💫

  2. Hi, I enjoyed the book very much, as I do all of your stories. That said, a couple concerns about the EE.
    It says that she is rounded with her 2nd pregnancy but they have a boy and twins?
    Also, the stormy inn where they met. I reread that section and it is noon and it mentions the sun shining?
    Sorry, not trying to be critical but I thought that you might be able to correct.
    Also, the intro for the link to the EE says Frederica and Pelham.
    Thanks, Eliza (aka Sharmama)

    1. Thank you so much dear! Your honest feedback and support are greatly appreciated! I am not at all insulted by your feedback, it truly helps me improve along with my stories!

  3. A good story, well thought out plot and believable characters.

    The happy ending was a bonus.

  4. This is my very favorite of all your books! Your writing has matured, the story lines are more involved and interesting, and the proofreading is great now. And the sweet romance is still there. Bravo

  5. I have to say that that agree with the ladies above. What wonderful characters, the way the storyline was always centered on Liam and Eileen. And I love this extended episode, showing how the future shaped out for them. A book I couldn’t put down even though I should’ve been doing some chores around my apartment. Thanks so much!!

  6. Very, very nice. I am usually very critical of Regency romances and with good reason. I have found most of the authors thereof to be lacking in skills of grammar, sentence structure, content, editorial and proofreading. I liken reading a book written by someone with such lack of basic writing skills to be similar to fingernails scraping down a chalk board. I have wondered if those authors just do not bother to read what they have written and allow their less-than-steller work to be foisted onto an unsuspecting public, or if they just do not know any better and believe they have done a grand job. I only saw a couple of grammar errors in your book and the extended version. Refreshing. The book held my attention from the very first word and continued throughout. Bravo. (By the way, I believe only donkeys bray. Sheep and lambs bleat.)

    1. Dear Judith, thank you for your kind words and feedback! I’m thrilled that you found the writing refreshing and engaging. Your recognition of the effort put into grammar and storytelling is truly appreciated. I’ll keep your note about animal sounds in mind for future works. Your feedback is invaluable and motivates me to continue delivering quality content to readers like you.

  7. A lovely read. I had figured out about where Eileen’s change of fortune would come from. But, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the ending, because you added such delicious twists. (There was also that slip about saying her room was windowless, then saying later that the window in her room was so small.)

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