Archive for the ‘Watching as their love grows…’ Category

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.

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“Good evening Jane,” Mr. Darcy’s voice carried through the thick, dark amber air within the chamber.

“Hello Mr. Darcy,” Jane replied.  Her lips seemingly did not move, as if her thoughts unfolded naturally by design.  She pondered if the words had merely formulated within her own mind. 

“I hope you are well Miss Austen,” the tall figure standing before her huskily intoned.  “You look peaceful this evening, which pleases me as you had appeared so troubled when last I visited you.”   The firm look upon his creased visage portrayed his concern for her well-being.   His dark brown eyes pierced through the darkness within the chamber, gazing into her very soul within her deepest regions.

Jane ruffled under his firm gaze, slightly pleased at his caring tone, although partially disturbed that she had caused him distress.  “I am quite well Mr. Darcy, I appreciate your sentiments on my behalf.”

“I am pleased my lady, now pray tell why did you conjure me to your bedside this evening,” the handsome figure smiled slyly as if he already knew the answer to his inquiry.

 Jane squirreled deeper within her covers, pulling the warm layers more tightly around her lithe body.  She looked into his eyes, and lost herself within.  Forcing herself to speak she whispered, “I wish to inquire as to how you and Miss Bennet are getting along.  I truly am concerned for your relationship sir as you mean much to me, as you know.  Indeed, do her fine eyes still hold sway over you?”

Darcy shook his head, the darkness surrounding his muscled frame shimmering with layers of ripples in the early hours of the morning.   “Jane, you and I have had this conversation many times before my love.  You well know that Miss Bennet is now Mrs. Darcy, and has been for some time now.   We are extremely happy together and I have found a love that I never knew existed.”

Jane’s face scrunched up in mild distaste at his reply, as if she was physically assaulted by his words.  She knew the truth in them as she continued her inner struggle.  Her tortured reply issued from her thoughts into the evening night, “With all the faults of her familial connections, and her poor opinion of you sir, I must admit that I am displeased to hear your words.   When I last focused upon the two of you, her opinion was mightily vexed through the advice of Mr. Wickham.”

“Jane,” the tall figure bent downwards, sitting upon the bed in which she lay.  He gently put a firm hand upon her arm which was lying above the covers, patting her tingling skin.   “You know that you are very special to me, yes?   Everything that I am, I owe to you my lady.   However, I daresay that you know how the story should end.  Elizabeth and I are meant for one another, you know this better than anyone I suppose.   Please, finish the story and let us be happy together.   No one will ever take away the place in my heart that I hold you within.”

Jane smiled at his kind words, and simply nodded her head.   She lightly lay her own hand upon his, reveling in the warmth that he exuded.  His inner fire had always burned brightly to be sure.  She chuckled heartily at the warmth beneath her cool fingers.  “Yes I know my love, and you are as sweet as I could have ever imagined, assuring me of my place within your heart.  I daresay that I have no experience with matrimonially things personally, which may be why I have been thwarted from completing your journey.    Or perchance, I had hoped to attempt to keep you all for myself,” she boldly added, gazing up into his loving eyes with a mild degree of hope.

Darcy smiled upon her with a face full of love and thankfulness.  “I shall always be with you Jane.  You know that.   I will likely continue to visit you for many years to come while you lay here and dream.   The nighttime hours are reserved for us throughout the rest of your eternity.   Thank you for knowing what now to do.   I bid you a loving goodnight my lady.”  He rose from her bed and gently brushed his lips across the top of her hand as he faded into the murky blackness in a corner of her room.

Jane Austen slept onwards throughout the rest of the night.  A smile was upon her face as she slept.  Dreaming of him had put her more at ease.  In the morning she would arise and finish the rest of the story as she now knew what she had to do.

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A servant strode lightly into the room, interrupting Darcy’s solitude.   The white haired, finely clothed footman announced that Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s carriage proceeded up the approach towards Pemberley.  Darcy thanked the man and sighed to himself.  He had been enjoying his afternoon and was certain that an unannounced visit from his aunt could not bear good tidings.   Since completing some business affairs earlier in the day, and a vigorous ride upon his horse, Darcy had been lounging in his conservatory.   A cup of tea and a good book sat nearby his hand as Darcy amusedly wished that it had rained today to forestall a visit from his aunt.  Darcy loved hearing the rain drum and prattle upon the roof of the conservatory, but today was not one of those days.

Greeting his aunt in the foyer moments later, Darcy could tell from the manner in which she strode in the doorway that he wasn’t going to enjoy this visit in the least.  “Lady Catherine, to what do I owe this unexpected, welcomed surprise?” Darcy inquired with a slight bow to his aunt.

“There is no cause to greet me with a welcome Fitzwilliam, as you will likely not like what I have come to demand of you.   I have just been to Longborne where I was continually vexed and rudely treated,” Lady Catherine glared at her nephew as if she dared him to speak up before she said her peace.   She ambled into the drawing room away from the servants, and didn’t even look back to see if Darcy followed her.   Seated in an oversized chair, she continued, “I went to inquire to the unpleasant Miss Elizabeth Bennett as to her intentions upon you my dear nephew.   She was very blunt and unforgiving in her address to me and caused me great strife.  That woman has a wild, saucy streak in her that knows no bounds.”

Darcy inwardly smiled, careful not to let his pleasure assert itself onto his face as he furrowed his brows appropriately at the news that Lady Catherine bestowed upon him.  He must admit that he missed Elizabeth greatly, and had been musing earlier in the conservatory of how and when to see her again.  Properly responding he said, “My lady, please allow to me to express my confusion as I do not know the subject that you were inquiring about at Longborne.  To what end were your questions unanswered?”

“You know very well of what I am speaking nephew,” Lady Catherine spit out in retort.  “I will not have the shades of Pemberley continue to be thus polluted by a woman with such low connections and family relations.   Your father would roll over in his grave if he had heard of what I was informed.   Pray tell Fitzwilliam, what are your intentions towards this lowly girl?  As I could not get a straight answer from her, I must know the answer.”   The elder woman glared at Darcy, forcing him to pull upon a reserve within him not to issue a retort at her baiting reference to his father’s memory.

“Aunt, first and foremost, you know that I would never ‘pollute’ the walls of Pemberley thus, as you reference.   Secondly, I have not formally announced any intention to form into a bonding with Miss Elizabeth Bennett.  Thirdly, if I did ever wish to do so, please know that although I hold you in high regard, you have no sway over my actions or those concerning Pemberley.”

Lady Catherine looked back at Darcy as if he had struck her.  Her face screwed up into a grimace as she formulated her response.   With a heavy sigh she attempted another tactic, “But Fitzwilliam, you must acknowledge that the woman has very low breeding and no connections within society in the least.   I know not what is within your mind, but if you do have some interest in this woman, please allow me to talk some sense into you.   I will not have the family name soured and downtrodden in this manner.”

Darcy took a deep breath, picturing Elizabeth’s smiling face in his head, her eyes twinkling at him, as he lost himself within their deep chestnut-brown pools of beauty.   “Aunt, again, you have no governance over my actions or who I am to eventually wed.   You have no sway upon the workings or prestige of Pemberley, so please do not overstep your bounds.  If you have nothing else to add, I must hasten to suggest that you depart.”

Lady Catherine sighed deeply, rising to her feet, muttering to herself.   “If that is the way you must be, I see that I will gain no quarter here.  I had thought I would find keener minds that might prevail to dissuade me of the rumors that I heard, but I am disheartened to find that is not the case.”

Darcy accompanied his aunt back to the doorway, inwardly smiled as he pictured that this was likely how the discourse with Elizabeth had probably proceeded as well.   Darcy was sure that her quick wit and sharp tongue had given Lady Catherine a more vicious lashing than even he had done.   He would have to ask her about it someday.   Suppressing his grin, Darcy bid his aunt farewell, “Aunt, you know that you are always welcome at Pemberley, and although I will not apologize for the state of my mind, you should know that I continually have the best interests of family and Pemberley firmly in my countenance.” 

“Hmmph!  We shall see about that,” Lady Catherine retorted.  “I daresay that I will never accept that woman into the Darcy family.   She is a pleasant enough kind of girl, but certainly is not your equal Fitzwilliam.  I do hope that you reconsider your actions and think heartily upon them before doing anything rash.”

“I certainly have listened to your opinions Aunt, but in the end I will do what is best for me and Pemberley,” Darcy proudly defended his position.  “I wish you a good day Aunt, but nothing that you say will sway my temperament.”

“Well then, good day sir,” was all that Lady Catherine added before departing.  Continuing a muttering to herself with Darcy politely ushering her out the door, he could hear her distasteful state of mind through the heavy oak.   Darcy would not let his Aunt change what was firmly within his heart and knew that even though she had more to say on the matter, he was resolute in his standing. 

Darcy stood by a window in the foyer, watching as his aunt was assisted back up into her carriage by the awaiting footmen.   His heart actually was soaring upon reflection of the encounter, and he found himself missing Elizabeth all the more so now than he had been earlier.  It seemed to him as if they were oceans apart from one another at the moment, and he sought to somehow close the distance in order to be able to gaze upon her beautiful face.   He longed to touch her hand, and dance with her.  He ached to look upon her face, and hear her witty remarks.  He sought to make their union possible with every fiber of his being.   Interestingly, more so now after his Aunt’s visit than ever before, Darcy’s head and heart allowed him to hope as never before.  His heart raced at the prospect of being with the woman of his desires.

He was extraordinarily proud of hearing how Elizabeth had stood up to his aunt.  He knew that she was a well-poised, proper lady, and was heartened to hear that she had stood her ground.   It was just one more thing that he learned about Miss Bennett that heartened him deeply.  Even more pleasing was the fact that she had not dissuaded Lady Catherine of the possibility of a connection with Darcy. 

Hope burgeoned within him as he wondered if Miss Bennett missed him as much as he did her.  He could only hope that Elizabeth’s heart was opening up to him, as they had enjoyed many pleasant moments together in the recent past.  He hurried to his study to make plans to depart for Longborne as soon as possible.  He could arrive under the auspices of visiting Bingley, but knew that his horse would direct him with haste into the waiting arms of Miss Elizabeth Bennett.  Could he dare to hope so much as to be well received by her?  His mind soared at the prospect as he prepared his travel plans.  He would not tarry even a second more, desiring to be at Longborne the very next morning.

Darcy knew what was in his heart, and that was all that mattered.

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Darcy sat in an extremely uncomfortable, oversized chair listening to his Aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh drone on about some oversight of her groundskeepers. Darcy’s focus was not on his aunt, but rather was tuned into the sounds that exuded from the nearby room where the pianoforte was located. Colonel Fitzwilliam’s laughter was overheard by Darcy as the current song played on the instrument came to an end. The woman upon the bench playing the notes was none other than the lovely Miss Elizabeth Bennett. Darcy could hear small snippets of conversation between the two of them, and decided that he could take it no longer. Wrestling himself from his chair, Darcy strode over to their room. As he leaned against the door frame, Darcy spied Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth laugh over something. Darcy had not heard the words that were spoken and wondered if they had been in reference to him. Such a childish thought, Darcy chastised himself. But true.

Darcy caught the gaze of Miss Bennett and noticed a gleam in her eye as she looked back at him. He could see some kind of mirth captured within her eyes which twinkled up at him from her seated position. She looked over at Fitzwilliam and smiled. Darcy indeed now knew they had been talking about him without any reservation in his mind. Colonel Fitzwilliam spoke up to Darcy, bidding him to join them in pleasurably listening to Miss Bennett’s playing. Darcy held sway at the doorway, observing from afar, as his gaze went from his cousin, to Miss Bennett and then back to his cousin. Fitzwilliam chuckled at Darcy’s reticence to engage in the conversation, but Darcy retorted he was pleased to listen to the wonderful way Miss Bennett played from where he was.

Inwardly torturing himself, wanting to move closer to Elizabeth and stand by her side as her slender fingers continued playing along the keys, Darcy simply stood, watching. She indeed did not even play that well upon the instrument, but this did not seem to bother her in the least. She appeared happy to simply entertain and try her best with the skills that she possessed. Darcy thought that her quality of composure while executing a less than stellar performance was an endearing aspect of her personality. She loved living and doing, no matter what she was set upon. Darcy had more than once mused to himself that the affable Miss Bennett would wrest every ounce of enjoyment out of the day that she possibly could. In a faraway place, removed from Darcy’s inner musings came the shrill voice of his aunt as she demanded to know what was going on in the pianoforte room. Fitzwilliam chuckled as he called out to his aunt that he had just persuaded Miss Bennett to provide them with another tune.

 Lady Catherine’s response was of the ilk that Elizabeth would play better if only she practiced more. Darcy smiled at Elizabeth’s lack of response to this jibe as she simply began to play the next measure. At least the music drowned out any further inquiry from Lady Catherine, for which Darcy was pleased.

As he held Elizabeth’s eyes with his, Darcy watched her gallantly struggle with the composition in front of her hands. Her eyes twinkled and gleamed in the well lit room, and Darcy lost himself in her angelic, focused face. Her determination and fortitude amidst all circumstances seemed to have no bounds. Darcy knew that she inwardly must be cursing both her lack of practice, and Lady Catherine’s observation of it.

Finally, Darcy strode over towards the pianoforte, near to the side of Fitzwilliam as he watched Elizabeth’s fingers eke out the notes. She gave Darcy a quick sideways glance, likely wondering what was within his mind. If only she knew, Darcy smiled back at her. If only she knew…

He was determined to profess his love for her very soon, and request her hand in marriage. He would have already if not for her damned relations, which he could still not reconcile himself with. But, she had captured his heart and soul and he knew that he desired nothing more than to make her his wife. He had not prepared what he would say to her when he requested her hand, but knew that he must force himself to utter the words. Soon, as if not, he would likely drive himself mad with desire for her.

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Fresh out of the pond fronting the Pemberley estate, Darcy strode across the expansive lawn towards the front of his manor.   Dripping from the refreshing pleasure of diving into the pond to cleanse his body from the dust of the trail, Darcy was invigoratingly looking forward to the rest of his afternoon.   His white shirt clung to his muscled frame, water dripping off of him as he ran a hand through his moist hair.   He handed off his top hat and coat to a footman who appeared out of nowhere and continued his walk up the hill.   He felt pleased to be home at last, and knew that he would have a relaxing, if not boring afternoon alone.  Perhaps he would ensconce himself in the library with a good book and a glass of brandy he mused to himself as he walked through some trees that lined the side of the pond.

Lost in deep thought, which of course centered upon the ever present inner torture of his unreturned love of Miss Elizabeth Bennett, Darcy strode forth.  He found himself pondering what she might be doing at this very instant.   Surely she was laughing gaily away at something she was finding amusing.  Her simple zest for life, and positive outlook on her surroundings continually increased his respect for her.   Her opinions and thoughts were deeply engaging, and Darcy could not wait until the next time that he would lay his eyes upon her face.   His heart felt that it would burst as images of her flowed through his mind.  Her smile and angelic face assailed him daily.  Indeed, often a conjured image of her deep, dark brown eyes was the final thought in his mind before he succumbed to sleep at night. 

Musing upon how to possibly engineer seeing the lovely Miss Bennett again, Darcy broke out of the trees, and rounded the corner towards his estate.   His eyes were cast upon the ground as he was still deep in thought.   He felt a presence in front of him and looked up to see the beautiful Miss Bennett standing before him.   As if his thoughts had somehow made her appear, he struggled to find his voice.   She likewise appeared to be very shocked to see him, as her face registered heightened surprise.   Realizing that he was still dripping wet, having swam in his clothes with such a lack of decorum, Darcy began cursing his impetuous swim.  He watched her eyes take in the measure of his appearance as he strove to bid her hello.

The ruffled pair exchanged pleasantries as Darcy inquired as to Elizabeth’s family.   He further asked how she was enjoyed Pemberley and shrugged off her assertion that she was instructed that he was not at home.   He answered that he had come home a day early and had not alerted anyone to his coming. 

Darcy bid Elizabeth farewell and conveyed that she was free to roam about the grounds as long as she wished to with her aunt and uncle.   Hurrying into a side door of Pemberley, and then slowing as to keep from running up to his chambers, Darcy’s mind was swirling with thoughts.   His heart beat mightily in his chest as he hurriedly cleansed himself and changed into more suitable clothing.   Elizabeth’s beautiful smile within his memory distracted him as he struggled to tie his cravat.    Hastening down the front stairs, trying not to take them two at a time, Darcy burst through the front entrance of Pemberley.  Finding Miss Bennett and her relations preparing to leave, Darcy hurriedly strode ahead.   He listened to an inner voice scream at him to do something as he called forth his charm and gallantly requested Elizabeth to introduce him to her aunt and uncle.    Suggesting that they all take a walk around the gardens further, Darcy began showing them every affable quality that a host must possess.   He charmingly chatted with Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, regaling the many advantageous qualities of Pemberley.   He inquired with Mrs. Gardiner of her upbringing in Derbyshire, and queried Mr. Gardiner if he enjoyed fishing.  

Darcy felt Elizabeth looking at him during his conversations with her relations, and although he was wondering what was going on within her thoughts, he kept his focus on continuing to play the role of a courteous host.   As the four of them strolled throughout the grounds, Darcy found himself alone with Elizabeth for a spell and asked her many questions about her travels with her aunt and uncle.  She professed again that she would not have come to Pemberley if she knew that he would be in residence, and he answered that he was supremely pleased that she had visited the estate.

Darcy watched as Elizabeth chatted, laughed and smiled often during their walk.   The day wore on, evolving in a perfect manner as Darcy found himself opening up to her.   The torture that he had endured of late, during an absence from her, disappeared from his mind as he focused simply on her adoring gaze and witty banter.  Everything proceeded smoothly for the rest of the afternoon.   As the visitors prepared to depart, Darcy searched within himself for a way to see Elizabeth again as soon as possible.   What pretence could he devise?   He could not very well simply assert himself into their travel plans?   But, indeed, he smiled to himself, they must eat.    He invited the three of them to dine at Pemberley, which they graciously accepted.    Knowing that Georgiana would soon be back at home, Darcy knew that he would also be able to visit Elizabeth to introduce her to his sister and inquired as to where they were staying.

As the carriage slowly revolved out of Pemberley, Darcy reviewed all the conversations, looks, and pleasantries of the afternoon through his mind.  The chance encounter of the day had burgeoned into one of his favorite days in Pemberley in quite some time.  He had seen Elizabeth smile often, and laugh heartily.   As for himself, he was now more in love with her than ever before.    She was truly a breath of fresh air into his life.

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Darcy stopped in his tracks, and looked over at the angelic face of Miss Elizabeth Bennett.  The words that she had spoken mere moments ago had journeyed deep within his heart.   Her visage smiled back at him as she viewed the myriad of emotions upon his face.   She had lovingly expressed her engaging feelings for him, which had been growing within her ever since her visit to Pemberley.  Her heart and every feeling for Darcy were open to accepting him, as she conveyed her true feelings.  His chest beat heartily as the weight of her words flowed through every fiber of his being.   Reaching across to her he clasped her hands in his, looking down upon her beautiful face.   The rest of the world ceased to exist, with neither one of them noticing that Charles and Jane were disappearing down the trodden path upon which they had all ventured out for a walk. 

Darcy finally found his voice and striving to keep his emotions steady he said, “My lady, your words fill me with a joy that you cannot begin to imagine.  I am blessed and so mightily pleased to hear your feelings have changed favorably for me.  I welcome knowing that we now appear to mirror one another in our innermost heartfelt desires.”

“My dear sir, I know that our acquaintance was wrought by forces outside of either of our control in the beginning, but now that I have come to know you, I will not deny my feelings any longer.”

Darcy felt the smile spreading across his face causing his cheeks to hurt just a little.  The many months that he had been suffering since professing his love for Elizabeth had caused him a great deal of torture.   He knew that the turning point for them had been her visit to Pemberley, and his smile grew even wider at the remembrance of that day.

“Beloved Elizabeth, I am happier than any man has a right to be.   You have already made me into a better man and I would wish not to spend any more of my life without you by my side every day for years to come.”   Watching her face Darcy lost himself in her beautiful smile, noting the twinkling in her eyes.   She may be enjoying this, he thought to himself.   As well she should, given how obtuse my expression of love for her was previously verbalized.   He gazed into her chestnut brown eyes and felt himself realize the full potential of their life together for the first time.   Indeed, he had loved her for many months, but now that her feelings were equal to his, the heavens had opened and presented him with an image of exactly how happy their lives together would be.

Darcy watched as she continued to look up into his face.  It was as if she could read his every feeling showing upon his countenance.  She had already captured his heart, so it was not a surprise to him that she was able to read into his very mind and soul.   He longed to embrace her, but would not do so yet.   Properly, he held her hands in his own, and stared into her eyes.

“Elizabeth Bennett, it would be my greatest honor if you would consent to be my wife.  Everything that you are and all the goodness that you possess are desired by me.   I could not pass another day, without knowing that your beautiful face will be mine to look upon for all eternity.   Your passionate love of life, and intelligent regard for those who deserve it, makes you a woman unequalled by any previous in my acquaintance.”  He paused for a moment, with an attempt to further gather his thoughts.   She was enjoying the moment he could see, as he could read her face as well.  Her brown eyes twinkled even greater as he strove to continue his declaration.   His love for her threatened to overwhelm him as his throat became slightly choked up.   Clearing his throat lightly, he continued. 

“Please do me the honor of accepting my sincerest request in your hand Elizabeth.   I do not know what I would do without you in my life.   Please know that I will strive every day to make you the happiest woman in all of Derbyshire, indeed, in the entire world.  You have my heart, mind, body and soul my beloved woman.  Miss Elizabeth Bennett, will you please consent be my wife?”

She looked back at him as he searched her face for her response.   Barely, she contained her pleasure as she paused and looked off across the fields.   She replayed his words in her head, and they resounded true of nature and intent.   She did not want him to suffer any longer as she spoke to him, “Fitzwilliam Darcy, I would be honored to accept your proposal as my love for you has grown to never experienced heights.   I do know that we will be very happy together, and nothing would please me more than to be with you for the rest of my life.”

Darcy beamed at her as he enclosed his arms around her figure, pulling her close to him.  He held her tightly feeling that now he finally had her in his arms exactly where he had wanted her to be, he never wanted to let her go ever again.   Darcy felt everything that had burgeoned up within him over the past few months finally release as he luxuriated in her embrace for quite some time.   His heart was overflowing and he could not contain his pleasure until sanity and propriety reasserted itself upon him once again.  He stepped back from Elizabeth, sadly letting her out of his embrace for the moment.  Excitedly, he began to walk with her by his side, “We must go back to Longborne now where I will request your hand from your father properly.   I will not wait another minute as I want everyone to know of our happiness.”

Elizabeth nodded as they turned around and headed back towards her family home.   She chuckled to herself as she added just one more notion as they walked, “I daresay sir, this proposal was quite more highly presented than your previous one.”   She laughed as she saw him squirm a little beside her and took his hand in hers as they walked towards home.   Together they began the journey to embark upon their new life together one step at a time.

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Two couples strolled down the lane away from Longborne with the effervescent Mr. Bingley and Miss Jane Bennett in the lead.   The inwardly tortured Mr. Darcy and witty Miss Elizabeth Bennett followed casually behind the laughing pair of love-birds.  Darcy mused upon their walk, as he strove to come up with some kind of conversational banter to entertain Miss Elizabeth with.  His mind whirled in many different directions, with his countenance beguiled at every mental turn. 

“I truly enjoyed my visit to Pemberley, and apologize again for intruding upon you as we had been assured that you were not at home,” Miss Bennett proffered. 

“The pleasure was indeed mine,” Darcy responded with a slight nod of his head.  “I thoroughly reveled in showing you, your aunt, and uncle the grounds.”   Damn, man why can’t you say what is truly in your heart?  Indeed, the trees had seemed greener at Pemberley that day, his laughter had come more easily, and he that he had been unable to get her smile out of his mind since then.   The stroll that the foursome had pleasured in around the grounds had certainly been one of his favorite days upon Pemberley for many years.   He had thought of Elizabeth every single day since, which continued to torture him to no end.    Could he not just come out and speak of all of these things to her?  No, indeed he must not.    She knew that he had loved her enough to propose marriage to her, and she had refuted him.  But that was before they enjoyed such a pleasurable walk around his estate.  But, he must not cling to false hope where there was none to be found.

And now, they were walking down a tree-lined lane outside of Longborne.   Elizabeth was smiling at Darcy as his musings flowed through his mind.   Her pleasant, chestnut eyes beseeched him, likely pondering what was going on within his thoughts.   If she only knew, he thought.   Darcy strode lightly onward, with the lady of his affections and ever-pervading thoughts mere inches from his side.  He felt as if he would burst if he could not reaffirm his love for her.   Indeed, the feelings would not go away and were only growing deeper with every interaction.   Damn Bingley and his suggestion of a walk, Darcy’s mind asserted.  Chastising himself for agreeing to accompany the walkers, Darcy struggled further.

“Pray tell sir, is it not a truly glorious day for a walk?” Elizabeth broke through his reverie.  “I may even add that the company is welcomed and appreciated,” she boldly added.

Darcy’s face burgeoned into a smile, looking over to the beautiful woman striding next to him.   Her face looked up into his and burned into his very soul.   Her eyes twinkled in mirth, likely again ponderous of his inner thoughts.  Darcy’s thought at the moment was that this walk was indeed turning into a pleasurable day.  He had spent hours over the past few weeks trying every vigorous activity at his disposal to thrust her out of his heart, without success.   Perhaps, all that had been needed was the intervention of Elizabeth’s aunt’s desire to see Pemberley.   That, and his pleasant hosting of the group may have caused Miss Bennett to begin to look more favorably upon him.    If it were the case, he could certainly replicate such an affable countenance.   He looked over to Elizabeth again and began to inquire as to other walks that she enjoyed around her home of Longborne.  She warmed to the topic instantly and regaled him with descriptions of the many fields and paths that she often leisured upon. 

The day was certainly looking brighter, with the trees and fields bursting forth now with brilliant green colors.  Darcy’s eyes were opening further and his heart was ready to receive all the love that Miss Bennett could bestow upon him.   Their feet ambled together down the lane as the walk continued, with both of them smiling more so than they had been earlier in the day.

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