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Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

February 27, 2015 01:56AM
Prosperity and Pretension

A sequel to Pride and Prejudice wherein we follow the events that unfold immediately after Darcy and Lizzy's wedding; Rated T

Chapter 1

With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

It was done. She was his. The vows were exchanged before most of their friends and relatives, and Fitzwilliam Darcy proudly slipped the ring on the finger of his bride, inwardly beaming while exercising every muscle in his body not to appear so. He was not Bingley, who stood beside his own lovely bride in the double wedding with a ridiculous grin that revealed all in his heart. Darcy had always envied that quality in Bingley whilst acknowledging he could never, ever share his enthusiasm and approval of all things as he did; but even Darcy had to admit that Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet were truly right for each other. They would light up a room as a couple, and theirs shall be a joyful household full of laughter, and their children should grow up marvelously.
Though Darcy had readily sanctioned being married in a church before God, he was not elated with the sizeable amount of guests in attendance, courtesy of his overzealous and spectacle-loving new mother-in-law. In all honesty, he would have carried Elizabeth off to Gretna Green the moment she accepted him if that were her fervent wish. He was that ready to end his suffering after a year of internal torment, though he should never admit such desperation. The very thought of eloping to Scotland was absurd, after all, and ungentlemanly.
Had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner…
But even after that lengthy reading from the Book of Common Prayers, even after being addressed by the vicar and the dance of the hands, Darcy was reminded that they were yet not married as the couples were asked by the parish priest to kneel down before leading everyone in prayer.
“O Eternal God, Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Giver of all spiritual grace…”
Darcy hardly listened to the prayer, feeling the eyes of all around them. Some of the guests he respected more than others—Col. Fitzwilliam, for example—while others, such as Caroline Bingley and Louisa Hurst, only reminded him of the miserable cynic he once was and the life he never realized he hated until he met and fell in love with Elizabeth Bennet, now Elizabeth Darcy. Now?
“…And have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands, I pronounce that they be man and wife together, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Now they were married. Now she was Elizabeth Darcy; but the blasted ceremony bid he remain still another eternity whilst the vicar added a final blessing and sang a Psalm, followed by another Psalm, then another final blessing…Gretna Green was appearing more to Darcy a much more satisfactory alternative that he wished he had given more thoughtful consideration.
“…Sanctify and bless you, that ye may please him both in body and soul, and live together in holy love unto your lives’ end. Amen.”
Amen! Darcy took a deep breath and glanced at his bride, squeezing her hand as they headed up the aisle.
He took long strides on their way to the registry, forcing Elizabeth into a jog to stay by his side, her laughter coercing a smile from him wide enough to reveal the two handsome dimples she first noticed upon visiting Netherfield last year when her sister fell ill. She had thought he was laughing at her wild appearance after a three-mile walk in mud to see to poor Jane, but after months of misunderstanding Mr. Darcy’s character to her own detriment, Lizzy now understood that those dimples meant a rare and wonderful moment had occurred. She would enjoy the challenge of making them appear as often as possible.
As they signed the registry, Darcy had to keep reminding himself that this was real. This was happening. No longer was he only married to her in his dreams, both waking and sleeping. No attention was paid to everyone applauding the two couples as they made their way out of the church and toward the waiting barouche carriages that would take them to Netherfield for the wedding breakfast.
Dash all this pomp and circumstance. As far as he was concerned, Darcy could not start his life, their life, soon enough, and he knew Elizabeth felt the same way. She told him during one of their rare, private walks during the two-month engagement that further tested what was left of his fortitude.
“It is all for Mama,” sighed Elizabeth. “Jane and I discussed it, and, much as we are eager for a simple and immediate ceremony…”
Darcy kissed the hand that held his in agreement, as she continued, “…It is our wedding gift to her, for Jane and I shall on that day be beginning what we feel is the happiest of lives, and she shall be nearer to knowing true loneliness after two decades of existing for nothing but the planning and settling of her daughters. Papa will always have his books, but what does she have? She does not know this yet, but when Mary and Kitty are finally gone from the house, Mama will fall into despair. I worry about that.”
There was a long silence as Darcy could certainly relate to loneliness and despair while feeling little empathy for a woman who had raised being an impertinent embarrassment to her daughters to an art form. Still, he did not like the idea of his Elizabeth worrying about anything, so he attempted to lighten the moment.
“Well, if you should like to postpone the wedding another six months to allow more flowers and frippery, I’ve no doubt Mrs. Bennet would be most obliging—
“Bite your tongue, sir!” Elizabeth playfully swatted him on the arm, which made him laugh. She looked at him archly.
“Why, Mr. Darcy? Laughing? I did not know such a thing was possible.”
“It is more than possible,” he said, looking ahead, not daring to meet her eyes lest he kiss her to silence her teasing as he had always imagined.
Well, why not? We are engaged now.
Darcy halted and gazed down at her, much as he had just before he proposed the second time.
Should I ask permission? What if she thinks me too forward? Stop being a fool, Darcy!
Elizabeth looked up at him in a way that he could not mistake her feelings.
“Well, Mr. Darcy? Or shall I call you Fitzwilliam?”
He swallowed hard. “William.”
She lowered her eyelids and said in a voice just above a whisper, “William.”
Careful of her inexperience, he gently put his arms around her as if she may break and lowered his mouth to hers. It started with a light brushing of her lips, then gradually deepened to the point where he hardly knew how or when to stop. His head moved from side to side as he claimed her lips again and again. Her response to him was at first submissive, then just as demanding as she embraced him tightly, prompting him to do the same. He felt her hand on the back of his head, which only heightened his arousal, and he continued drinking from her while inhibiting with great strength his most ardent desires. To keep them from wandering elsewhere, his hands moved to her face, fingertips lightly touching her hair, and he wondered between kisses just how long those dark curls extended and what it would feel like against his bare skin as they lay in bed…
Darcy at last pulled away, fearing he may very well act out the fantasy that began swirling in his mind if he continued. By God, he was a gentleman, and remain one he shall! Closing his eyes, his breathing labored, he fought with himself for control, but kept his hands on her face, his thumb brushing over her now rosy lower lip. Before he knew it, the words spilled out in a whisper: “I love you.”
There was a long silence as he sensed her gaze upon him, yet he could not bring himself to return it.
Reluctantly, Darcy opened his eyes, wanting to close them again immediately, but she commanded him.
“I love you, too,” she said openly, without fear, eyes sparkling in a way that always threatened to undo him.
He lay his forehead against hers. Should he fall down dead at that moment, he would be happy. He never wanted this moment to end and could not imagine having a happier moment in the future. Something in him still feared he might lose her. He could not explain it and refused to dwell on it; therefore, Darcy straightened himself and hesitantly left their embrace.
“Come,” he said, linking her arm around his to lead her back to Longbourn.
As the barouche set off for the wedding breakfast at Netherfield, Darcy laughed inwardly at the impatience he felt at that moment, when just a few months ago he was convinced all hope for ever having her was lost. Now that his future was sealed, all the petals and well-wishes fluttering about them meant very little, while the anticipation of their wedding night in London, their journey to Pemberley, their children, and their subsequent days as man and wife meant everything, that he had finally attained his piece of the world and to the devil with all the rest.
She may very well die in childbirth.
Darcy grimaced at that horrific thought, wondering why such notions plagued him during his happiest moments and wishing he could get shut of them. During this assessment, he felt the gentle squeezing of his hand and looked over at the beauty in white sitting beside him.
“All is well,” she said as though reading his troubled mind. He leaned toward her and kissed her smiling lips.

Chapter 2

At the wedding breakfast in Netherfield’s ballroom, Col. Richard Fitzwilliam was all contentment during this most happy occasion. He was well acquainted with Charles Bingley, who he had met through Darcy a few times and found to be a most agreeable gentleman—and Bingley’s bride, good Lord! She was a diamond of the first water with the temperament of a seraph. But he was truly there for Darcy, his first cousin and dearest friend with whom he had shared his youth. During the celebration, Fitzwilliam glanced frequently at Mr. and Mrs. Darcy, marveling at the change not only in his cousin’s demeanor, but his entire being, since Elizabeth Bennet came into his life.
He had no idea, no idea at all, that Darcy harbored passionate feelings for Miss Bennet during their yearly visit to Rosings Park in Hunsford, Kent, a visit both cousins had abhorred since childhood, yet dutifully sustained if only for their long-suffering cousin, Anne, who remained so much under her mother’s thumb that she rarely spoke even when spoken to. Miss Bennet had been visiting her friend, Mrs. Collins, who lived but a lane apart from Rosings at the Hunsford parsonage; and Col. Fitzwilliam was grateful for Miss Bennet’s company during a normally tortuous week in the household of their wretched Aunt. Having been informed of Miss Bennet’s liveliness of spirit from Darcy, he openly engaged in flirting with her and was delighted in her reception, as no one else in their party seemed willing to take pleasure in anything, but were rather resigned in being at the disposal of, as that ridiculous rector Mr. Collins would proclaim, his noble patroness, Lady Catherine DeBourgh.
Much as he enjoyed Miss Bennet’s companionship during that time, finding both her natural beauty and wit exhilarating, the colonel and second son of the Earl of Matlock had no serious designs on her, as his financial dependence and lack of an inheritance must be duly considered in the choosing of a bride. He had no delusions in terms of his worth, or lack thereof, having “earned” the rank of colonel by value of his family’s estate, though he had always found the military fascinating and took seriously his occupation unlike so many of his peers. He ran his men ragged during mock skirmishes and drills and took care that every one of his subordinates could fire a weapon with the utmost precision. He was held in respect by superiors for that very reason, but with only a meager allowance to help support him, Fitzwilliam had not Darcy’s freedom to marry where he wished, nor could he, to be perfectly honest, provide the kind of life befitting a woman of Miss Bennet’s nature. She needed and deserved what a man like Darcy could provide, not the unsteady life of a soldier’s wife amidst the reign of that madman in France where, if ever called to combat, Col. Fitzwilliam may be gone for weeks at a time while she waited at home, a modest home, with only a maid of all work for companionship; And if he should die in battle…no, that would not do.
Moreover, the depth of Darcy’s feelings for Miss Bennet manifested itself in a most profound and disturbing way one morning at Rosings when Darcy barged through the front door after having been out since near daybreak. “Darcy!” The Colonel had shouted in his most authoritative voice that had halted many a soldier in his tracks. He’d had enough of this secrecy, this sort of turmoil that seemed to consume his cousin of late, for he had also disappeared the day before during a visit from that insipid Collins, his wife, and her younger sister. Lady Catherine was literally in mid-sentence when Darcy bolted from the room without a word. At first, Fitzwilliam was convinced he had either suddenly taken ill or had just heard some dreadful bit of news from one of the servants, perhaps about Georgiana. Upon that notion, Fitzwilliam had started after him when only seconds later heard the front door slam and through a window watched his cousin march down the lane in a most determined manner. Wherever he was going, there would be no stopping him, so the colonel patiently awaited his return, enduring the exceedingly dull visit as best he could and wishing Miss Bennet were there to entertain him.
Miss Bennet? Surely not…
Comprehension dawned while he sat apart from the rest of the party, his thoughts thoroughly engaged over Lady Catherine’s ramblings. The colonel had been out walking with Miss Bennet not an hour before when she had suddenly claimed illness, citing a slight headache. They had been discussing Darcy and his recent intervention concerning his dear friend, Charles Bingley, who came close, Fitzwilliam had told her, to making a most imprudent decision in regards to a certain lady from an unsuitable family…
Did Miss Bennet know the lady? Was she a friend?
Whatever Fitzwilliam had said, it had distressed her immensely, so much so that she had feigned a headache in order to be alone for the afternoon. And Darcy was heading straight in her direction.
It cannot be so. Darcy would hardly condescend…
He admired her, of that Fitzwilliam was certain, for Darcy had never before sung the praises of any lady before Miss Bennet, finding fault with most every available female in his presence to an annoying degree. Some were patently mercenary, while others merely dismissed without reason at all. He seemed, however, to find no fault with Miss Bennet, but rather mentioned her often, was drawn to her presence, and certainly stared enough at her to divert the colonel exceedingly; yet he also knew the strength of Darcy’s sense of duty and propriety instilled in him from a very young age. Though he possessed that luxury, choosing a bride below one’s station was not commonly done and certainly not done by a man of Darcy’s integrity.
Upon my word, I shall get to the bottom of this.
Sensing his return an hour later by the sound of the front door opening, followed by several harsh footsteps, Fitzwilliam decided to appear lighthearted in an effort not to disconcert Lady Catherine further, although she had already begun demanding the reasons for her favorite nephew’s sudden departure. The last thing Darcy needed was her interference, to be sure, therefore Fitzwilliam, acting as a buffer, casually headed in his direction, jovially exclaiming upon seeing his cousin that they’d all quite despaired over having missed his company. With little concern for decorum, Darcy dismissed both he and his bellowing Aunt as abruptly as he had departed, muttering something about tending to a “pressing matter of business” before disappearing up the stairs to his chambers. Now truly alarmed, Fitzwilliam nearly marched up the stairs himself to demand an explanation if only to assuage his profound curiosity. He had decided against it, however, as he knew his cousin well enough to know when he demanded solitude, a solitude that lasted over the next twelve hours.
Had he proposed? Possibly. Had she refused him? Most assuredly not. Perhaps he intended to make Miss Bennet his mistress. So help me, if he compromised her…
Fitzwilliam had appeared at the breakfast table the next morning, ready to confront Darcy as he undoubtedly believed Lady Catherine would. Perhaps he could assist him by keeping her tentacles at bay before getting some answers of his own at a later time. Upon learning that Darcy was already out at such an early hour, Fitzwilliam’s vexation was ready to undo him. What the bloody hell was going on? He kept an eye on the front entrance all morning in anticipation of Darcy’s arrival, determined that upon the massive door’s opening he would have an answer.
Sure enough, Darcy came to a halt right there in the foyer, clearly aware of Fitzwilliam’s presence but staring straight ahead, his expression fearful in its intensity. Fitzwilliam waved off the doorman, who could not have been happier to disappear at that moment.
“It is done,” Darcy said in an unrecognizable voice to no one as the colonel slowly approached his clearly distraught cousin.
“What? What is done, Darcy?”
Darcy stood motionless, squeezing his hat so tightly as to ruin it, as though something violent within him would unleash but for his equanimity. Fitzwilliam was concerned beyond measure. No matter of business would cause his friend these twenty-five years at least to behave thusly. This was personal, and deeply so.
Fitzwilliam braced himself. “Cousin, please tell me you’ve done nothing dishonorable. You must give me that.”
Darcy finally turned his head to look at him, and Fitzwilliam would never forget the utter defeat in his countenance. For a moment, the colonel detected an anger directed at him, a most accusatory stare that suddenly gave way to unbearable sadness. Were those tears in his eyes?
“Darcy, let me help you—“
“Forgive me,” he interrupted. “I must go at once.”
The dark eyes that a moment ago were so full of feeling suddenly turned cold. Fitzwilliam immediately recognized what he was about, as he had seen that look after the death of Darcy’s mother, again upon the passing of his father, then once more after Wickham’s treachery that nearly destroyed his beloved sister. He was suppressing everything he felt and willing himself to remain under complete control.
“Do not do this, Will. You must talk—“
Before the colonel could finish, Darcy strode past him toward the sanctity of his rooms once again. He started up the stairs, Fitzwilliam close behind.
“You cannot leave at once, Darcy. We have to make our excuses—“
“I am done caring about my duties to that woman or to anyone else!”
Suddenly, both men froze upon the distant pounding of a cane against the floor, followed by the same shrill voice that had set their teeth on edge since boyhood.
“Darcy! Fitzwilliam! Where are you? I demand you come to me this instant!”
Immediately, Darcy turned and started back down the stairs.
“Very well, Richard. We shall leave first thing in the morning.”
“And you will tell me all?”
Darcy gestured for his cousin to join him outside. Both gentlemen departed just before the old woman emerged to impose her wrath.
And so it was. Elizabeth Bennet was indeed the source of Darcy’s despair, as he related during a walk in the direction of the parsonage where she had been residing those last few weeks. Darcy was solemn throughout his confession as he talked of an insulting proposal, the lies of George Wickham, and an ill-considered interference in the lives of Charles Bingley and Miss Bennet’s own beloved sister, wherein a heated quarrel ensued between himself and the object of his most ardent desire. To the colonel, Miss Bennet’s outright refusal of Darcy’s hand was shocking enough, but the venom accompanying it he found near implausible.
Who refuses Fitzwilliam Darcy? Nobody!
As he listened, the colonel began to grasp that both men had underestimated this country lass, that she would not be won over by the mere presence of wealth, the promise of security and a place in Society, and that Darcy, for all his strength of character, had done nothing to actually earn her respect and admiration. Still, as he hated to see his dear friend suffer, Fitzwilliam wanted to advise him as he would his own men, encourage him not to surrender, that there was still hope, especially after Darcy had delivered to her his all-revealing letter that absolved his character she had so soundly condemned. But no, his cousin was not in battle, but rather conquered. Fitzwilliam reminded Darcy that he was at the man’s disposal and willing to do anything he asked regarding the matter. As they were received at the parsonage and told Miss Bennet had not yet returned, Darcy, clearly relieved, had simply asked Fitzwilliam that he make himself available to her in order to validate the details regarding Georgiana and Wickham, then promptly took his leave. As Fitzwilliam waited and poor, awkward Maria Lucas fumbled with the tea, he grew more and more restless, still believing things could be set right between his cousin and Miss Bennet and nearly resolved to search for her himself. He thought better of it, however, for as far as Darcy was concerned, the battle was over and lost, leaving him wounded and embittered. He could not bear to ever again upset her thusly, nor would he ever forgive Fitzwilliam for doing so. There was nothing for it. He would not be moved, and Fitzwilliam could hardly lay blame, nor identify with his grief. After an hour at least, the colonel finally quit the house, resigned that a favorable resolution may indeed be out of reach.
And now here he was, half a year later, attending Darcy’s wedding, for in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat, often comes opportunity. Darcy seized the opportunity as soon as it set foot onto the grounds of Pemberley, held on with both hands, and refused to let go. Indeed, there was no choice to be made, according to Darcy, who asserted simply that another rejection would have cracked his resolve, but never his constancy. Though an intrigued Fitzwilliam persisted, Darcy would say no more than that; and as he saw the joy in his cousin’s eyes while standing next to his beloved bride, Fitzwilliam was ashamed at how little he had regarded Darcy as a man of flesh and blood who could be broken as any man could under exacting circumstances. He was also ashamed of the jealousy he felt at that moment. Truly, Fitzwilliam never wished to become undone by love, requited or not, but he and Darcy had shared a rivalry from a young age that was never malicious, but competitive nonetheless. Fitzwilliam had enjoyed monopolizing Miss Bennet’s attentions during those days at Rosings, proving once again to his wealthier cousin how much better he was at both charming and entertaining the fairer sex; yet Darcy had ultimately and most inadvertently bested him, for even an officer of Col. Fitzwilliam’s courage would not have gone to the depths and breadths to which Darcy had gone to win the heart of a woman, the woman. Yes, theirs would be an extraordinary marriage indeed.

Chapter 3

Elizabeth Darcy could no longer lie to herself that she was not frightened. She was about to leave all she had ever known, had ever loved, in her life, and start a new life as mistress of a most grand estate in which her duties would be, in relative terms, monumental indeed. Her love for William tempered her anxieties, for she could no longer imagine her life without him, no more than she could ignore the enormous responsibilities that awaited her. She sensed her beloved’s impatience during the ceremony and vowed right then and there to never be an idle mistress, but both dependable and useful, for he clearly had in her the utmost confidence. The reservations he had expressed during his disastrous first proposal was an acknowledged blunder he swore he would spend the rest of his life regretting, even when she assured him such moments must be left in the past in order to attain their future happiness.
“Never doubt my pride in you,” he stressed the evening before their wedding.
Elizabeth laughed. “No indeed, sir! If there is but one thing I can always rely upon, Mr. Darcy, it is your pride!”
Out of either emphasis or frustration, she knew not which, Darcy raised the hand that held his and pressed it against his heart.
“I am quite serious, Madam.”
She sobered instantly. “I do understand, forgive me. Had you any doubts, I know you’d have never fought for me as you did.”
“And I would do so again.” He kissed her then repeatedly. “And again…and again…and again.”
And she would do the same for him. She also would see to her husband’s needs, as well as the needs of their staff, their tenants if necessary, their frequent guests, and especially their children. As much as possible, she would relieve William of the stress that no doubt weighed upon him since the death of his father that left him at too young an age not only guardian to a grieving child, but Master of an estate half the size of Derbyshire. Her daily tasks would be nothing to his, and she would prove herself worthy to both her husband and the society that still harbored misgivings.
But such an undertaking would be life-altering, indeed. Before Mr. Darcy lay his claim on her, Elizabeth’s daily tasks were little more than a pleasant walk, a good book, and keeping her younger sisters in line. She spoke to Jane about it at length, sometimes until dawn, for her sister held the same fears and uncertainties. How does one prepare for such an adjustment? Finally, they sought the counsel of their Aunt Gardiner, whose wisdom and calmness of manner always helped to set their minds at ease.
“Dear Lizzy! Dear Jane! Do not distress over such things. It is not quicksilver, but a gradual transition. You are both, as I was, immeasurably fortunate in marrying men who love you so dearly. You will want to please him as he wants you to be pleased. You will want all these things you now fear, for his happiness and well-being will be your first waking thought each and every morning. If nothing else, you will heed this tenet in your marriage: As you have chosen wisely, you must treat kindly.”
Those words were both a comfort and a command to Lizzy. Sweet Jane treated everyone with kindness, even those who did not deserve it, as did Bingley! Elizabeth was more obstinate toward those who made her cross. She could always maintain civility, except when she could not, as Mr. Darcy was most painfully aware. She could not promise, but fervently prayed, that she should never punish him so again, not when his love for her was understood so completely. He was fully in her power, and she would not abuse it. Rather, she would turn her power over to him, not merely in subservience, but in deepest affection.
Both Elizabeth and Jane also fretted over the impending wedding night. Upon retiring, whenever Lizzy brought up the delicate subject, Jane would immediately cover her face with her hands or hide under the covers.
“Oh, Lizzy! What are we to do? Must we be…naked?”
Elizabeth laughed. She knew little of the knowledge between man and wife beyond drawings found in certain books Mr. Bennet had thought were hidden away from his most curious daughter. In truth, the very idea of lying nude with William unnerved her exceedingly, but in a way, she would not admit to her dear, innocent sister, that was most welcome. He had kissed her multiple times during private moments, sometimes quite ardently, and each kiss sent tingles throughout her body. Indeed, she was most attracted to him, and to be perfectly honest had always been, even when she was certain she loathed his very being, even during and after she rejected his hand! Physical attraction was a strange thing, certainly much different than love. Clearly men experienced lust often and love but a few times in life, while women as the recipients of passion either accept or reject a man’s ardor, but tend to fall in love quite frequently. Once again, Elizabeth had placed herself in a singular category of female. She not only loved William with all her heart, she wanted him, and the sooner the better! Was that wrong?
Mrs. Bennet was of no help on this subject, as she stressed that the marriage bed was a cursed duty all wives must bear in order to allow their husbands to both take their pleasure and produce an heir.
“It will be over quickly, girls, and painful to be sure,” their Mother said. “Take comfort in that he will come less and less to you once you become expectant, for men hate the very sight of a woman with child!”
Upon hearing this alarming bit of counsel from her addled nieces, Mrs. Gardiner once again assumed the task of setting things right.
“It is painful at first,” she said thoughtfully. “But after a while…quite glorious.”
Lizzy and Jane watched their Aunt blush and instantly requested to hear more of what they were to expect. Mrs. Gardiner waved off their inquiries, refusing to go into unladylike detail.
“It is different for everyone,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “I cannot tell you what you will feel. I can only tell you that…the more you trust you husband, and certainly the more you love him, the better it will be. For both of you.”
Such a vague summation! At that, Lizzy and Jane were forced to quit the subject entirely, for their Aunt Gardiner assured them they would need no further information, that nature would take its course.
In fact, the very nature of love was what must have compelled Darcy to suddenly take Elizabeth’s hand and furtively lead her from Netherfield’s ballroom to the secluded and darkened billiard room, upon which he embraced her passionately, lifting her off her feet, and kissed her until she could scarcely breathe. With joyful laughter, she wrapped her arms around his strong shoulders and spoke softly into his ear.
“Are you happy, Mr. Darcy?”
He answered by setting her down on the table, wherein he captured her lips again, uttering between kisses, “I remember when you wandered into this room…that evening…while I was alone—“
“Quite by accident, I daresay—“
“Yet I so wanted you to stay and keep me company—“
“A scandalous notion, indeed—“
“Just to be near you for a short while—“
She then discontinued their fervent kissing to take his face in her hands and stare at him in awe.
“Why, dear William! Had you already formed an attachment?”
He pondered a moment. “I hardly know.”
“Perhaps…something within you needed me by your side?”
She remembered that moment over a year ago as vividly as he, how she had become lost on her way to the drawing room after tending to poor Jane, how awkward she had felt having intruded upon Mr. Darcy’s solitary game, and how much his brooding gaze had unnerved her before she hastily quit the room.
They kissed once again, this time slowly, relishing one another. Elizabeth knew that if William tried to take her as his wife right then and there, she may very well do nothing to stop it! If only the entire world at that moment would disappear. Or intervene.
“We must return,” she said weakly.
“Indeed,” he whispered, kissing a trail down her neck and along her collarbone.

Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

JodiFebruary 27, 2015 01:56AM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

Amy BethFebruary 28, 2015 03:20PM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

JodiFebruary 28, 2015 07:16PM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

Lucy J.February 28, 2015 05:16AM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

PeterFebruary 28, 2015 12:03AM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

ShannaGFebruary 27, 2015 10:50PM

Re: Prosperity and Pretension (ch. 1-3)

jancatFebruary 27, 2015 01:37PM


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