Chapter 6 The Convenience of Marriage
Elizabeth was left rooted to the spot as her husband’s form progressed into a distant object, literally if not in her affections.
Had he just admitted to be falling in love with her? Charmingly delivered as his greatest flaw?
The concerns she might have felt towards moving to Pemberley had come to nought.
She had worried that Georgiana would be excessively proud as Mr Wickham had described or the paragon of virtue Miss Bingley described. Georgiana, of course, was neither. She was a delightful sister and an amiable friend.
Life at Pemberley had not at all matched her prejudice of a dreary and sombre place to call home. She had much to occupy her time and the neighbourhood was lovely. Mrs Reynolds did not make her feel inadequate but taught her what her education from her mother had not entailed.
Even Mr Darcy himself had grown undetected into her heart.
As she watched his person dip into the woods, a realisation hit her full force. What if he did not come back? Forever lost in some unforeseen mishap? The pang that hit her chest drove her forward and soon the mad dash of the mistress could be witnessed from the upper floor windows. “About time,” Mrs Reynolds muttered as she checked the window sills for dust.
Mr Darcy did not slow his stride nor did he give any other indications he had heard her.
She was only a few strides behind him, the dolt must have lost his hearing during the last few minutes or was he deliberately avoiding her? Elizabeth was not one for procrastination, always facing the bull head-on.
“Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley of Derbyshire!”
His pace continued undaunted.
“Please, I beg you...”
Elizabeth halted. If he did not want to talk to her, she could not make him.
Fatigue descended upon her. She wanted to sit down but the ground was damp and uninviting. Directing her gaze upwards, a thick branch over her head looked inviting. She had not climbed a tree in over a decade but to be perched above the world was tempting...
“Oh no, you do not.”
“Climb that tree. With your merit list on ice and horseback, it is doomed from the start.”
“Are you calling me clumsy?”
“Not clumsy precisely but you definitely have an exaggerated confidence in your abilities.”
“You came back to rescue me? I can assure you, Mr Darcy, I am in no need of rescuing, at the moment...
While I confess the branch has a certain allure, I am not about to give you more reasons to avoid my company. It is clear to me that my presence is not wanted and I will act accordingly in a minute but first I wanted to tell you something.”
Mr Darcy met her gaze with grave solemnity, steeling himself for whatever may come.
“I love you!” She whispered before her breath hitched, she could not utter another word as a lump had formed in her throat and made speech impossible. She turned and fled out of the woods, aiming for her chamber before the tears that threatened to spill accomplished their feat.
Henry Linney, undergardener, was watching an amusing scene unfold before his eyes. Why his master and mistress preferred running in and out of the woods was quite beyond him when they had a comfortable house to enjoy in more pleasurable pursuits.
His sister had heaped praise and lauder upon her mistress but what he witnessed belied her assumptions of the level of common sense.
He was certain she would never catch up with the master’s long legs and he prided himself that he had been right when she resurfaced alone at a full run. He almost cursed when he was proven wrong a moment later when the master caught up with her. He hauled her back into to the woods but only behind the first tree.
Henry averted his eyes in respect as kissing ensued.
It was obvious they could not agree on a location. Mr Darcy tried to tow her out of the woods by tugging on her hand but Mrs Darcy had other ideas and a bush of lilac was her preferred hiding place. It would have given more coverage in the summer but in the early days of spring, it did not render much in the form of cover.
Henry respectfully averted his eyes, it would not be long before little feet would tattle along the hallways of Pemberley...
The master had had it and took the matter into his own hands, quite literally. The squeals and laughter wafted up to his vantage point as Mr Darcy carried his wife to the house.
He did not choose the main entrance this time but a backdoor, leading up the second floor in the east wing...
Henry Linney was right. By new years, if not exactly the tattling of little feet could be heard, the tiny cries of a new-born heir, could...
Note: The last three stories I have written have been “nice” Darcy. I believe I have earned the right to write another jerky one or a horrible badass one or both...