Posted on Saturday, 24 February 2001
Mr. Darcy's traveling coach arrived at The White Hart at half past eleven. If one had the power to see beyond the shades that had been pulled down for privacy, they would have observed a young couple, obviously newly married, the young Lady, leaning against her husband, her bonnetless head of dark chestnut curls laid charmingly upon his shoulder, the young Gentleman's arm around the slim waist of his wife of a scant six hours, snugging her next to him.
Mr. Darcy was torn between just sitting in his coach, looking down at his sleeping Elizabeth and gently waking her up, as they had arrived at the inn that he had favoured while traveling between Derbyshire and Hertfordshire. This was not the first time that Fitzwilliam Darcy had sat this close to his Elizabeth while she slept. (I will not go into the particulars here but lets just say that she was very beautiful while she was sleeping. My Gentle Readers will know to what I am referring. LYLAS, Your Gentle Author. )Yet Darcy's choice was taken from him, as somehow through her sound sleep, Lizzie felt her husband's eyes upon her. This, in combination with the cessation of the carriage's motion made Lizzie start awake.
The cessation of the carriage's motion woke Lizzie, she looked sleepily around her, and smiled at Mr. Darcy, remembering where she was and why.
"Oh William! The carriage has stopped. Have we arrived at The White Hart?"asked Lizzie in a sleepy tone.
"Yes dearest Elizabeth, we have arrived, but only just. The ostler will be here soon to open the door, that will give you time to set yourself to rights again." said Darcy, as he assisted Lizzie back into her pelisse and tied the ribands of her bonnet at a jaunty angle. Darcy, at this point, had no time for more than a quick kiss, before the ostler opened the door of the carriage. Darcy jumped down before ostler had had time to let the steps down, and gently lifted his bride out of the carriage. The keeper of The White Hart, Mr. Josiah Porter, recognised his most constant guest, and realised that the young Lady in his arms was his bride. Mr. Porter welcomed the newly married pair to his establishment warmly, and informed the couple that their servants had arrived two hours since, and were just finishing up with the rooms, and enquired as to whether the Darcys would like to partake of the late cold supper that awaited them in his best private parlour. The couple readily agreed to this, as it had been some time since the wedding breakfast, and they were both hungry.
The supper, consisting of cold sliced meats, bread, various cheeses, a bowl of apples and pears, a plate of Mrs. Porter's fresh biscuits, tea, wine and cider was delicious. Lizzie and Darcy each made the other smile with observations on the events of the day, and the family members that had come to the weddings.
"Your Uncle, was most welcoming. I like him, he reminds me of both Papa and Uncle Gardiner, your Aunt, well, I had completely forgotten that Aunt Gardiner had been a schoolfellow of your Aunt's, Lady Paxton and the Old Baroness Lochmaben, as had I forgotten, until he asked, while I was in Hunsford, that Aunt Gardiner was the Colonel's godmother, (Forgive me, but this is a hitherto unknown fact I recently discovered. LYLAS, YGA. ) Marsden is the most personable, Colonel Fitzwilliam is the most charming, I truly enjoyed his company while I was in Kent, I noticed that he teased you more than I did, and Lady Marsden is. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ." said Lizzie
"The most like you, my Dearest, Lovliest Elizabeth." finished Darcy, in a teasing tone.
"Mayhap she is. I was quite scandalized by Lady Marsden's impressions of your Aunt. So I was not the only young Lady who has stood in defiance of your Aunt, regarding the matrimonial plans she had made for her nephews. I must say the story of your cousin's courtship was quite amusing. I was also surprised that you had made the acquaintance of my cousins after you left Rosings and went back to Town. Never was I more surprised to discover that you were the "knight" that Maria Elizabeth had referred to when my cousins came to Longbourn to stay, while My Aunt and Uncle traveled in Derbyshire. So you are Miranda's "dedicated knight"? Neddie and Caleb told me how you helped them with their kite." replied Lizzie, smiling.
"Miss Maria Elizabeth informed me after I had saved her, that you had made Miss Miranda for her, and that she was her favorite doll. One wonders how she came to be christened Miranda?" asked Mr. Darcy curiously.
"Well, two years ago, my Mother sent Jane and I to Town in hopes that we would find proper husbands. I was enjoined by her to refrain from carrying any of the books I had been reading with me to Town, I had been recently devouring My Father's bound collection of Shakespeare, and I was devastated, and so he secretly presented me with a specially bound edition of "The Tempest". It was while I was making Maria Elizabeth's doll, that I was reading "The Tempest", and that is how the doll came to be christened Miranda." replied Lizzie, beginning to yawn. It was not long before Darcy was having trouble stifling yawns himself, and soon the couple were making their way upstairs to their chambers.
Posted on Wednesday, 28 February 2001
Retiring to their bedchambers, Lizzie was soon in her abigail, Anna Rose's capable hands. Lizzie quietly enquired as to whether she had given Darcy's valet, Rushford, the letter she had wanted secreted in her husband's dressing gown. Anna Rose answered in the affirmative, which brought a mischievous smile to her lips. Anna Rose helped Lizzie into her nightrail and dressing gown, and Lizzie quickly dismissed Anna Rose, as she was wont to brush and braid up her own hair. It was thus that Darcy found his wife, when he entered the bedchamber. Lizzie was drawing a brush through her long, dark chestnut brown hair. This immediately made Darcy's heart skip at beat, as it occurred to him, that as Lizzie's husband he now had right to see her with her hair down, and unbraided. This was something he fantasized about, even before it was certain that there was a chance that they would be married, he had dreamed of this moment, even during those most tortured days in London, following the disastrous muddle he had made of the proposal he had made at Hunsford. Lizzie's hair was just as he had dreamed it would be, reaching below her waist, and was, to risk an extremely tired cliché, like silk, chestnut brown silk.
Though Darcy's entry into the bedchamber was in so silent a manner, Lizzie did not hear him, it was not long before she was aware of the fact that she was no longer alone in the room. She was also aware that it was not Anna Rose returning to ask her if she required anything further before she retired for the night, for she could feel her husband's gaze upon her. Lizzie turned from her task of brushing her hair and returned the smile she knew she would find on her husband's lips. As she returned a sweet smile, Darcy held out his arms, as he did on that terrible day at the Lambton Inn, I am referring to my version of that particular scene, in my story," With Angelic Intervention" and she once again went to him. Darcy gently brought his arms around Lizzie in a very warm, but tight embrace. He held her so close that once again he was able to breath in her sweet lavender scent.
"I love you Mrs. Darcy," said Mr. Darcy, as he began to kiss his bride, starting at the top of her head, and began to move down to her forehead, her eyes, the tip of her nose, her lips, most thoroughly there, and moving on to the hollow of her throat.
"And I love you, Mr. Darcy," replied Lizzie, in a tone of quiet wonder, reaching up her hand and rubbed it along the side of his face.
Darcy's reactions were immediate, he held Lizzie even closer, which caused her to tremble in a most delightful manner, as he brought his mouth back down to Lizzie's for a more passionate kiss, which made Lizzie tremble all the more, at this Darcy pulled back.
"Forgive me Dearest Elizabeth. I did not mean to frighten you, or even embarrass you, but how much do you know of what will occur tonight?" asked Darcy, in a lighter tone, not wanting Lizzie to frightened any further.
"Enough. I am a country-bred girl after all. I am not unfamiliar with the mating process, though I am more familiar with the bovine and equine, than the human. I will admit that My Aunt Gardiner took it upon herself to relieve My Mother of one more un-nerving task, by discussing the subject with us." replied Lizzie, trying not to let it show that she was a little nervous about what to expect.
"Elizabeth, I must admit to some very personal knowledge of the subject at hand. This will not just be pleasing for me, as your Mother would have told you, had your Aunt had not taken it upon herself to instruct you instead, though do not know what your Aunt told you. I will also be pleasing you, and promise to be very gentle with you, as this is your first time. I will take my time with you." said Mr. Darcy, smiling at Lizzie, as reached out to untie the sash of her dressing gown, and slowly slipped it from her shoulders, and let it fall to the floor. Darcy gently picked Lizzie up into his strong arms, carried her to the bed and laid her down upon it.
As Darcy began to ready himself for bed, he discovered the note Lizzie had had secreted in the pocket of his dressing gown.
"What is this, Elizabeth?" asked Darcy, recognising on the note he had discovered there, the handwriting of his Dearest Elizabeth.
"That is my special gift to you, my husband. I could not fall asleep last night and so I wrote that note to you, as a very special wedding gift." replied Lizzie, smiling sweetly at her husband from the bed.
Curious, Darcy quickly broke the seal, unfolded the note, and read what follows:
My Dearest William,
I cannot believe it, in six more hours I shall become your bride. I wish the person who thought up that silly tradition about the bride and groom not seeing each other before the wedding could be hung, drawn and quartered. My heart aches for you so. We have traveled a long and twisted road to come to this point, would that we could have avoided it, but I believe that traveling it has taught me much about the special man Our Lord has given to me, and so I wrote the following lines that say how I feel about you. I am of the belief that they capture your perfect portrait.
The smile on your face, Lets me know that
you need me.
There's a truth in your eyes, Saying you'll
never leave me.
The touch of your hand, says you'll catch me,
if ever I fall.
You say it best, when you say nothing at all*
God Bless You
Your Own Dearest,
This immediately brought tears to Darcy's eyes and a smile to his lips, for his dearest Elizabeth had truly taken his portrait in these few lines. He would treasure this note forever, yet in reading Lizzie's note, he mourned the fact that he had no gift in kind for her, but Lizzie surprised him once more, by informing him that had had given her a gift in kind, even before she would have believed a wedding between them possible.
"William, please bring me my reticule, I keep a little common place book there." said Lizzie.
Darcy brought his wife's reticule to her, and she brought out her little common place book. She opened it, and quickly found the page she wanted. Lizzie gave the book to Darcy, who read the following:
From the Common Place Book of Elizabeth R. Bennet
I have just received the following lines from one whom I did not expect. I now know that I am loved by a man who is worthy of my love, respect and admiration. A man whom I do not deserve.
If I had to run, if I had to crawl.
If I had to swim a hundred rivers,
just to climb a thousand walls.
Always know that I will find a way,
to get to where you are.
There's no place that far*
Darcy recognised the lines immediately, he also remembered when he had written them to Lizzie, so it had surprised him that she had not read the letter as soon as she had received it on that sad day at the Lambton Inn. He asked Lizzie about why she had not read the letter immediately.
"I was still overset at hearing what Lydia had done, and by my own fears that I would never see you again, since you knew of it also, so I gave the letter unopened to my Aunt Gardiner, who sent it with the answers to my enquiries regarding Lydia's revelations about your presence at her wedding. I will admit that I cried after I read your letter, after which I copied your lines to me in my common place book, and put your letter in my treasure box with another letter, both of which I will keep forever." replied Lizzie, smiling at her husband.
"As I will keep your letter." said Darcy, as he slipped out of his dressing gown, and joined Lizzie on the bed. He slipped his arm around her waist snugged her close to his side, and soon their married life truly began.
*Darcy's lines to Lizzie are the chorus of the song "There's No Place That Far" by Sara Evans and Vince Gill. This song was written by Sara Evans, Tom Shapiro and Tony Martin.