The afternoon had played out so differently than Elizabeth could have ever dreamed. Her heart was bursting at the moment. Her thoughts were jumbled, alive, and full of feeling. She really was at a loss for words, which was such a foreign concept for her. Her love of reading had always provided her the necessary words with which to adequately put her feelings into a tangible concept. However, at the moment, it seemed there were just no words strong enough, to describe the deep connection that was flowing through every part of her body.
Elizabeth and her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner had just completed a wonderful afternoon of touring around the grounds of Pemberley. Led by none other than Mr. Darcy himself, much to Elizabeth’s surprise. The tall, stately figure had been courteous, humble, and full of engaging conversation all day long. He had shown the Gardiner’s and herself so many special parts of the grounds of his estate. Elizabeth’s mind had struggled to take in and absorb all the beauty which stretched out before her.
After their fortuitous meeting in the field when Darcy had appeared out of nowhere, dripping wet with his shirt clinging to his firm chest, the rest of the afternoon had become a blur for Elizabeth. She had no way to reconcile her current thoughts to her previous opinion of the man.
It was almost as if she had, today, met the true Darcy for the very first time.
Her mind whirled and struggled to contain the feelings that threatened to overwhelm her. At current, she was ensconced in the carriage with her Aunt and Uncle and must maintain some outward appearance of propriety. She turned her head as the carriage rolled away from Pemberley, and laid her eyes upon the figure of her thoughts. He stood there, straight-backed, with a dashing top hat upon his head as he waved to the receding carriage. Her brown eyes rolled from the ground underneath his feet, up along his stretched breeches, around the tails of his fine coat, and finally to his eyes. He kept standing there, growing smaller and smaller in the distance as the carriage travelled away from him. She could feel his eyes locked upon her own. The connection shared was unlike any other that she had experienced in her entire life. She held his gaze and smiled warmly back to him in return.
As their carriage began to round a bend amid the tree-lined pathway, he finally faded from her view. She could still feel him however. The connection was not lost. Elizabeth could hear birds in the forest trilling softly. Everything around her looked brighter for some reason. She could feel her heart beating within her chest. Small goose bumps lined her arms within her gloves. She looked over at her Aunt who was smiling back at her. Elizabeth cast her eyes towards her lap to try and contain the rush of emotions flooding through her. She knew that her Aunt could see through her, but found she did not care.
Moments later, Elizabeth engaged in conversation with her Aunt and Uncle about their afternoon. Her Uncle was ecstatic at the prospect of fishing in the Pemberely pond. Her Aunt luxuriated on about the dinner invitation that Mr. Darcy had extended to them. That thought prompted Elizabeth to recall his professed desire for her to meet his sister. A shiver ran through her as she recalled his deep voice within her thoughts. His voice appeared to have a new affect upon her, and the tones of his voice reached deeply within her as they never had before. His caring today had endeared him to her in a way that she would have not thought possible.
With a smile upon her face that would not disappear for some time, Elizabeth looked out the front of the carriage and tried to come to grips with the emotions flowing through her mind. She put a gloved hand to her face and realized that her cheeks actually hurt a bit from all the smiling today. The scenery that passed by was so beautiful and calmed her thoughts as additional distance began to put her further from Pemberley with every turn of the carriage wheels.
The one thought that would not dissipate was of how soon again she would see him. She found herself wondering if their connection would deepen even further, every time hence forth that she neared him. She now had little doubt that it would. The smile upon her visage brightened even further at that thought.