Darcy struggled awake, alarmed for an instant that he could not move his right arm or his legs, he smiled to himself after opening his eyes to see a mass of dark curls on his shoulder. He could not move his arm because it was wrapped around his wife and his legs were entwined with hers making it impossible to move them either.
Yesterday had been their wedding day and they were spending the night at Netherfield Park before going to London on the morrow or, he corrected himself, today.
He smiled as he recalled coming into the bedchamber last night only to find it empty, so he thought, but as he moved to take one of the chairs in front of the fireplace he saw her standing at one of the large windows looking out over the garden. She had opened the drape and stood there all in white with her long dark hair hanging down her back. With the moonlight streaming in around her she seemed bathed in an ethereal glow and he had to stop to take a deep breath before moving across the room to her, he loved her more than life itself.
He pushed her hair to one side and brushed kisses on her temple and down the side of her face to her shoulder and, when he felt her start to tremble, he asked if she were afraid of him, to which she replied that she was not afraid of him but a little afraid of what she knew nothing.
Turning her to face him he kissed her gently at first but with ever increasing ardor and when she returned his ardor he moved his hands down her shoulders divesting her of gown and robe in one motion and picking her up in her arms carried her to the marriage bed.
As he lay there enjoying the feel of her in his arms he recalled the words of Andre DeLasall a year ago.
"Fortunate indeed will be the man who wins her, if he has the patience and the tenderness to awaken the passion that lies sleeping behind those beautiful eyes, for he will never need a mistress, she will be enough for any man."
He did not think that even Andre, though he was a Frenchman, would be prepared for the depth of her passion, he himself was not. They had been carried to heights that he had never known before and he wondered if he would ever get enough of her. They had made love, slept then wakened to do it all over again through the night.
Rolling over to lay her softly on the bed and trying to disentangle their legs he watched as she awoke with a smile and stretching her arms and legs with soft purring sounds he laughed and called her his beautiful tabby cat.
She pulled his face to her and kissed him softly, smiling at her he told her to hold the thought and he would be back directly and hurried from the room.
When he returned, she was coming from her own dressing room and went to pick up her gown, as she was wearing only her thin peignoir when she started to don the gown he took it from her saying, "Never mind that."
"But its cold in here," she replied.
"I will warm you" he said quietly.
"But you said we must get an early start for town," she replied with a teasing smile.
"London can wait," was his reply as he again lifted her to the bed.
It was an hour and a half later before they finished with their baths and all else to go down the stairs for breakfast before leaving for town. Jane and Charles were awaiting them with happy countenances to match their own.
"Was the room comfortable enough, did you sleep well," asked Bingley with a grin.
"All was well indeed," was the reply.
Darcy was impatient to be done with the business at hand and return home to his bride, it was the fourth day of his marriage and the first time he had been separated from her for even a few minutes and he was missing her terribly.
The business with his attorney was important though and he was anxious to have it done so that he could have peace of mind.
Mr. Baxter could not help but notice his impatience and tried to make small talk until the papers were all ready to be signed.
"Your new wife will be very happy with the generous settlement you are providing for her," he said.
"No, no, she must know nothing of this," said Darcy in alarm and seeing the look of surprise on the face of Mr. Baxter he hastened to explain.
"Before we were married I started this procedure, and on the last day that her father and I were working on it, she happened to come into his study to inform us that tea was about to be served. When her father informed her of what we were planning, she became very upset and declared that she would have nothing to do with any settlement, though we both tried to reason with her, she was adamant that there must be no settlement papers and if we insisted there would be no wedding.
"She asked her father to leave us, so that she could talk to me privately. She thanked me for the thought but declared that she was not marrying me for money, which I myself knew well. She said that she could never be comfortable if she knew that she was to receive money, if anything should happen to me, that all she wanted was to be my wife, that I was all she wanted or needed.
"I could not speak for a moment at such a declaration, but soon agreed to let the matter drop, if that was what she wanted, for I knew that she meant what she said and that she would not go through with the marriage if I did not agree, and the thing uppermost in my mind was that she must be my wife.
"I will tell her myself when the time is right but for now it must be kept secret."
Mr. Baxter readily agreed and seeing Darcy's agitation tried to calm him by asking him to go to their club for a drink and perhaps a game after their business was finished, but Darcy was anxious to return home to his Elizabeth and declined.
"Will you be at Lord and Lady Matlock's dinner tomorrow night then," he asked.
"Yes indeed," replied Darcy, "for my Aunt and Elizabeth are already fast friends and enjoy each other's company greatly."
Shaking hands with Darcy after the papers were signed he found himself looking forward to the Matlock's party so that he could meet this young woman who seemed to have enchanted all of them, well most of them at least, with the exception of Lady DeBourgh and Miss Bingley of course.
"I shall look forward to seeing which of the famous Darcy jewels she will be wearing," he said jokingly.
"Then you will be disappointed I fear, for she does not care for what she calls flashy jewels, at the most I might persuade her to wear some pearls, but no diamonds, rubies, or emeralds," Darcy laughed.
Well, this must be quite a young woman indeed, no jewels and no large settlement for her, thought Mr. Baxter, he was most anxious indeed to meet her.
Arriving home Darcy was met by his wife rushing into his arms and kissing him ardently. Coming up for air he looked into the shocked eyes of his housekeeper, who had, he was sure, never seen such an overt display of love before.
Taking her hand and leading her into the library to escape the prying eyes of the servants he was surprised to hear her say that Charles and Jane had come to town to seek privacy. It seemed that her mother and sisters had come to visit every day since the wedding and spent most of the day, giving them no time for themselves, so they had come to town to escape them. They would be at the Gardiners tonight and since Lord and Lady Matlock were to be there also she was sure that Lady Matlock would invite to her dinner too.
He could see how happy Elizabeth was to have her sister here as she was very anxious about her first party in high society and he himself would be happy to have Bingley there. He was sorry to have missed them but would have plenty of time to catch up since it would be a few days yet before the would be going to Pemberley even though Elizabeth wanted so much to be home in the north country and Pemberley
Further Musings© 1997, 1998 Copyright held by the author.