Me: Good-day. Thank you for meeting with me, Lord and Lady Stanton. In honor of Valentine’s Day, my readers have a few burning questions for you.
Tavis: It’s our pleasure, though why the details of our lives would be of any interest baffles me. Ask away. We’ll answer as honestly as able.
Amelia: (sticks out tongue at Tavis) I will be completely honest, thank you very much. I rarely tell so much as a Little White Lie.
Me: Who’s older?
Amelia: That’s easy. Tavis is about five years older than me.
Me: Alright. Who expressed their interest in the other first?
Amelia: Your nose is growing, Husband. It was you who pinned me to the ground outside my father’s stable, and it was you who insisted on a moonlit waltz.
Tavis: Ah, but you so conveniently forget how you pressed your wee body into mine, closed your eyes and begged me for a kiss.
Amelia: I said no such thing!
Tavis: Sometimes actions convey more than words ever could.
Amelia: Unfair! What woman could resist you in your black evening clothes and all that dark, brooding masculinity. If I did ask for a kiss, albeit unconsciously, I blame your irresistible good looks. Is it my fault I am no stronger than the average woman?
Tavis: I rest my case.
Amelia: Ridiculous man. What’s your next question?
Me: How long have you been married?
Tavis: A year.
Me: And how long have you been acquainted?
Amelia: A year and two weeks.
Me: Were you, ah, caught in a compromising position necessitating such a hasty marriage?
Tavis: Mean you did I tup the lass soon as I saw her?
Amelia: (blushing red) Tavis! You’re embarrassing her!
Tavis: No, I’m not. It’s you who is embarrassed, my sweet wife.
Amelia: Can we not discuss (whispers) our tupping?
Tavis: (to me) My wee wife is beyond mortified, so I’ll only say the tupping happened after we married at Gretna Green and that is was verra satisfying. That should be enough for your avid readers.
Me: Moving on, who has more of a barbed tongue?
Amelia: Do you mean forked because Tavis tells a lie as smoothly as any charlatan.
Tavis: (runs a frustrated hand through his hair) Necessary lies. Lies to keep you safe. I told you all after the danger had passed.
Amelia: Only after I was kidnapped and almost made into a bigamist.
Tavis: I’d have ne’er let you marry that snake. Besides, I saved you right enough.
Amelia: Who saved whom?
Tavis: Fine, we both saved each other.
Amelia: (kisses him on the cheek)Better.
Me: Kidnapping? Bigamy? Care to elaborate on that?
Tavis: No need to spoil the ending for those who haven’t read our story yet.
Me: Good point.
Amelia: Are we almost done? The baby is due up from his nap soon, and I’ll have to go feed him.
Me: A nice introduction to the next question: how many children do you have?
Tavis: Just the one, a boy born this month.
Me: Are there plans to enlarge your nursery?
Tavis: Think you I am a man of little sense? My wife is beautiful and the tupping is beyond satisfying. Of course we’re going to expand our nursery.
Me: As we are on the subject of marital activities, who takes up most space on the bed?
Amelia: Me, definitely!
Tavis: Aye, the lass enjoys sprawling most indelicately across the mattress and anyone who happens to be there. Many a morn I’ve awakened with her knees pressed into my back and me almost falling onto the floor.
Amelia: I don’t hear any complaints.
Tavis: And you won’t. I happen to like how you sleep and have passed many hours watching you slumber. Like that night we stopped at the crofter’s cottage.
Amelia: You had kissed me senseless and then stormed out leaving me to wonder what I had done wrong.
Tavis: It’s what you did right that forced me from the hut to sleep with the horses. I almost lost the right to call myself a gentleman after that kiss. Or before for that matter. I don’t know how many nights I stayed awake staring at you across the fire, dreaming up ways to get ye into my bedroll.
Amelia: You hid it well, for I never knew what you struggled until after we wed.
Tavis: Aye, well you were mighty perturbed with me for the pace we kept after I stole you away from your da and took you across England to Gretna Green.
Me: One reader does ask who is the better rider
Tavis: ‘Tis me, though Amelia has quite a fine seat herself.
Amelia: Since Tavis has begun breeding horses, I’ve had to learn simply to keep up with him. I’m a much better rider than I was when we first married.
Tavis: (winking) So you are, lass. So you are.
Me: Final question, who wears the pants in the relationship?
Tavis: What an odd question. Amelia wears dresses, and fine ones, too. Are you casting aspersions upon my ability to adorn my wife in clothing suited for her station as Countess of Stanton?
Me: I just meant-
Amelia: And even then, Tavis, you wear trousers but rarely. He much prefers his kilt and then he only wears that (fanning herself) and no other garments underneath.
Amelia: In fact, the kilt he’s wearing now is one of my favorites, and if I remember correctly from when he dressed this morning—(flushes and clears her throat) Oh, is the baby crying?
Me: What? I don’t hear anything.
Tavis: (rising) No, that’s definitely the baby.
Amelia: (grabbing his hand and rising) You’ll excuse us, please? The butler will show you out.
Me: But I have some more questions!
Amelia: Another day? Come back later when we’re not so busy with the baby and …other things.
Me: When will that be?
Tavis: Never, if I have anything to say about it.
(C) Sara Ackerman, 2017