Mr. Darcy found himself giddy like he had not been since back whence he was a school boy. The smile upon his face for the past fortnight had not wavered one bit. The cause of this was the sweet gift that he was planning for Mrs. Darcy’s impending birthday. He had not always been this way, and found his newfound love of romantic gestures to be a pleasant situation. His sweetElizabethbrought these thoughts out of him, and he truly knew not from where they sprang forth. He only knew that he dearly loved how much better of a man she motivated him to be.
“Mrs. Reynolds, has it arrived yet?” Darcy inquired of his housekeeper for the fourth time this morning. He paced back and forth in the front drawing room, awaiting a delivery that was due to show sometime this morning.
His affable housekeeper placated her Master with a simple, “No sir, but I have word from the footmen that they have spotted a courier about one kilometer from Pemberley on his way here. So I wager that the arrival should occur any moment.”
Darcy continued to pace back and forth with his hands clasped behind his back. He knew thatElizabethwas strolling in the gardens with Georgiana, per his design this morning. He did not need Mrs. Darcy around when the post arrived as he likened that he may not be able to control himself. So, he had enlisted the aid of his dear sister to ‘suggest’ a walk toElizabeththis morning. Georgiana had sweetly smiled at her loving brother and easily acquiesced.
Darcy pulled at the white cravat around his neck as a flush came upon his face at the thought of the present that would be arriving. Elizabeth’s birthday was two days hence, and Darcy had been planning the commission of this present for the past two fortnights. Granted, Darcy had a variety of presents for his bride, and although he knew that she would love them all because they were from him, he knew that she truly wanted for no material gestures. He had procured a ruby and diamond necklace that was exquisite, as well as a few fine gowns created by Madame de Loire especially made forElizabeth. There were a multitude of ‘things’ that he would bestow upon her on her special day, but the one simple gift that was arriving momentarily, Darcy knew that Elizabeth would love the most.
The courier stepped up the marble staircase of Pemberley as Darcy himself opened the door to greet the man. The uniformed man was slightly taken aback at seeing the Master of the house open the door, but quickly checked himself as he proffered the package to Mr. Darcy. Darcy quickly disappeared with the parcel into his study, leaving Mrs. Reynolds to complete the paperwork for the post. The elderly lady smiled to herself as she knew all about the sweet gesture that Darcy was enamored with at the moment.
Ensconced in his study, Darcy opened the parchment surrounding the gift. A local craftsman had artfully created a wooden, inlaid frame around a simple piece of paper. A pane of glass covered the contents of the displayed prose as Darcy ran his fingers along the beveled edge of the wood. Contained within the frame were a selection of poems thatElizabethheld near and dear to her heart. She often had Darcy read them to her when they were luxuriating within their chambers together. He knew them all by heart, as the words were ingrained in his mind. The poems were by a variety of authors, including one by Coleridge and one from Lord Tennyson. In total there were five odes to love displayed within the frame. Darcy’s heart flipped and beat faster as he ran his fingers along the words. He imaginedElizabethreading them for the first time after opening the gift. He knew that she would likely tear up and deeply feel his loving gesture for what it truly was. These words were among some of the strongest prose that described their deeply shared connection. Often words could not describe what they truly shared, but some did come close to capturing the true feeling. Darcy knew that what they shared was special. It was not something borne of novels or stories. It was real life and they luxuriated in the truly felt, once in a lifetime feeling they shared together.
Darcy realized that he was still smiling as he quickly wrapped back up the gift. He was infinitely sure that this gesture would beElizabeth’s favorite package that she opened on her birthday. All the pounds in the world could purchase diamond necklaces, butElizabethwould know right away that this gift came from deep within Darcy’s heart. He thought that she might be speechless upon opening it, and could imagine her dark chestnut eyes simply looking up at him. Twinkling and full of love. He could see her eyes in his mind as she looked at him, knowing that no words would be able to describe what she felt at that moment. Her beautiful eyes would reach deep within his soul as they always did. He would smile back at her, and then lean over and kiss her lips and touch her cheek.
Hiding away the gift, Darcy attempted to compose himself and went in search of his wife. His heart was full of her at the moment and he could not get her out of his thoughts. He longed to touch her and lay his hand upon her arm. He strove to maintain himself as he moved down the grand staircase. He had no idea how he could control himself over the following two days. But he chuckled at his discomfort. The sweet gesture that he had devised would likely cause him to smile more and make his eyes twinkle every moment that he looked upon his wife for the following two nights. He sorely hoped that she did not notice.
His heart was full. His life was better with her in it. Giddy, as a schoolboy, Darcy went in search of his wife…