You are Much in the Way Sir!
"The only thing you"re achieving is wearing out your carpet."
"There is something wrong. There must be," Darcy cried as he walked about.
"Darcy don"t be ridiculous." Bingley laughed. "These things take time." Bingley rose to pour his friend another drink. "Calm yourself. You may have a far greater time to wait." Bingley handed his friend the drink, poured another for himself and sat down to the newspaper. "Do yourself a favour Darcy, sit down and read your book." Darcy took the advice and sat down with his book only throw it onto an empty chair. "I cannot concentrate on that piece of rubbish." Darcy sat down only to stand back up again and return to pacing. "This cannot be normal."
"Darcy drink and calm yourself. There is no reason to worry. It has not been nearly long enough to start worrying."
"I can"t help it."
"Only natural," Bingley said not raising his head from the paper and sipping his drink.
"Perhaps I should go up there and check on them."
"Darcy," Bingley laughed, "That is hardly appropriate."
"There is nothing I will see that I have not seen before," Darcy countered in a raised his voice.
"Darcy, please. I know you are worried but really."
"Bingley we are both married men."
"I hardly think this is appropriate. Leave it to the care of women."
"I never figured you for one of those Bingley."
"One of what?"
"The kind of man embarrassed by the mere mention of his wife"s bed."
"How much have you had to drink?"
"Not enough to suffer this." Darcy stopped his pacing and laid his head down on the mantle.
"I imagine what is going on up there is worse." Bingley laughed returning to his paper.
Darcy was silent for a while wearing out his floor, when Jane came downstairs. Her steps alerted Darcy and he ran up to meet her on the staircase.
"There is something wrong," Darcy insisted, misinterpreting Jane"s general calm for sadness.
"No, she is doing very well. However, Mrs. Creilly says it will be a while yet. I just came down to inform you of her progress." Darcy"s shoulders sank. Jane placed a loving hand on one and assured him with a warm sympathetic smile that Elizabeth was very well. "She is very strong."
Darcy headed back to his study to see his friend. Bingley rose putting away his newspaper and inquired after his sister in law. "Jane says she is fine." Darcy sighed.
"So I told you." Bingley responded slapping his friend on the back. "Oh I understand how you feel. I felt just the same when Simon arrived."
"Somehow I doubt it." Darcy retorted quietly to himself.
The hours crawled by and Darcy"s anxiety increased. It had been 15 hours in total and he had been there for nearly seven of them. Darcy could not hold back any longer. He went upstairs and stood outside the door. Though generally a man who abhorred deception and concealment, Darcy could not keep himself from pressing his ear against the door. He listened, but all he could hear were indiscernible muffled voices. He stood there for a while. A scream emanated from inside and Darcy"s heart leapt as he leaned in closer. With another cry, unable to hold back any longer he entered the room, much to its occupants" surprise. Darcy hovered in the doorway looking at his tired and perspiring wife. Overcome with concern and fear Darcy found he could not move. He had never seen her look so frail. With the maids and midwife surrounding the large bed, Elizabeth seemed very small. She gave him a weak smile. Jane rushed over and ushered him out the door gently closing it behind her and guiding him back downstairs. She was sweet but firm in her censure. "Mr. Darcy I understand you are concerned, but you must trust her to my care. She needs to concentrate."
"Jane you would tell me if there was something wrong, wouldn"t you?"
"Yes Mr. Darcy I would tell you. But there is nothing wrong."
"Is she alright?" Jane sighed at the question. Even Jane"s gentle temperament could only stand so much frustration. She took his hands and reassured him that his wife was fine and everything was proceeding normally without any cause for concern. Darcy didn"t appear convinced. "Mr. Darcy bringing life into the world is not easy. Trust me I know. My sister needs me now. Why don"t you try to get some sleep? I will have someone wake you if there is news." Jane shook her head as she headed back to her sister. "I told you its woman"s work," Bingley remarked. "Have another drink," Bingley said as he wandered over to his friend who slumped himself in a large wingchair. He hoped and another drink might encourage his friend to sleep.
Darcy sunk his head into his hands. "No thank you, I already smell like a distillery." Bingley laughed at his friend"s restlessness. "Darcy, I felt the same when Simon was born. I was so worried I ordered my horse taken out well before dawn so I could ride my jitters out. When I came back I had a son."
"I can"t leave. I won"t leave."
"I didn"t suggest that you should."
"I cannot help feeling doomed Bingley. It is like some premonition of evil."
"I never knew you to be so ridiculously superstitious. Where is your reason?"
"I know I am being ridiculous, but I can"t help feeling troubled."
"Women have children all the time Darcy."
"Not in my home." Darcy said quietly as his continued to pace.
"Darling what news is there?" Bingley addressed his wife taking her hand. Darcy stood still and quiet. Taking his hand Jane leaned in close and announced, "You have a daughter Mr. Darcy."
"She is well and resting."
"May I see her?"
"She is very tired."
"I must see her," he insisted.
"Alright, but only for a moment."
Jane led him upstairs to his wife and instructed everyone to leave them for a moment. Darcy took his place on the bed, by Elizabeth and looked down at his new child. "She is perfect just like you," he whispered putting his finger in the child"s tiny hand.
"She has her father"s disposition. She was very determined to take her time and not rush into anything."
"She did make a very impressive entrance into this world."
"Oh, I must look awful." Elizabeth sighed brushing away stray strands of hair
"No, no. You look lovely."
"No need to flatter my vanity. I know I must look hideous." Darcy stoked her cheek and whispered, "I was so worried about you."
"I observed that. Didn"t think I was up to it?" Elizabeth"s light laughter eased Darcy"s concern.
"No," Darcy laughed. "It"s just the last child that was born here was Georgiana." Darcy looked at Elizabeth intently. "Are you really alright?"
"Yes, I assure you. You needn"t worry. We are both very well." Darcy placed a kiss on her forehead and continued to coo at his child.
"I was so worried it would end up like Mother. She was never well after Georgiana" Darcy whispered tempting fate.
"I was thinking we could name her Margaret after your mother." Mrs. Creilly entered and instructed the young father that both baby and mother required rest and quiet. "You get some rest too sir. You won"t have a good deal for some time."