The grandfather clock went in time with my heartbeat - slow and anticipating. I sat in the drawing room, listening to the deafening silence in my house. Not for long, I though. Soon the rooms of my house would be warned by love's tender presence - and perhaps with adorable little Elizabeth lookalikes.
I hoped our children would not be males that were like me. What a waste of nine months waiting that woudl be. No more waiting, unless it was for something worth waiting for. This, for example, would most definitely be worth waiting for.
Soon my life would no longer be the empty shell it had become. Soon it would be full of love, full of meaning.
Ironic that one man should have to have his life put to an end for mine to have a point. C'est la vie, I thought, taking a swig of port from the glass bottle in my hand.
Through the window, I watched the sky turn scarlet. I needed the sun to fall faster, the darkness to descend. I needed the nocturnal veil to hide the feat I was about undergo with the woman I loved.
I stood up, swigging again from the glorious bottle before leaving it on the mantelpiece and leaving the drawing room.
I'd waited long enough.
It was dark now. Dark enough for no one to notice me - from across the road, I saw my Elizabeth moving around in her room on the third floor of Johnson's house. She had undressed to her corset and pantyhose, and was speaking across the room - no doubt to that despicable husband.
Not for long, I told myself to calm my breathing and heartbeat.
Her eyes fell upon me. For a moment we made eye contact, before she turned away and continued talking to the husband.
In that moment of eye contact, we'd made a pact stronger than any other ever made...
Tonight. For certain.