This takes place the evening after Darcy and Elizabeth meet at Pemberley the first time.
Darcy watched as Elizabeth Bennet's coach carried her away. He would have preferred having her stay longer. He remained standing until the carriage was out of site. When he could he could no longer catch a glimpse of her carriage, he returned to the cool halls of Pemberley.
Mrs. Reynolds greeted him in the hallway. "Master Fitzwilliam, it is good to have you home. I am sorry I did not have the chance to great you earlier. You must be hungry after your long journey. Shall I have Cook prepare something for you?"
"No, Mrs. Reynolds, I require nothing at the moment," Darcy gave the housekeeper a smile. He idly wondered what Mrs. Reynolds thought of the day's visitors as he headed up the stairs to his room.
He was about to enter his room when he looked down the hall to a set of closed doors. Doors that were kept locked and had been locked for the past five years. The master suite. He did not move into the room when his father died, telling himself he would only do so when he had a wife.
Darcy turned and headed down to his study. He sat behind the large desk that had for generations served as the center of Pemberley's welfare. He opened the top right draw taking out a small oblong box. Inside was a key that would open the master bedroom. Darcy took the key out of the box, looked at it for a moment, tossed it up in the air and caught it tight in his fist. He quickly returned to the locked doors, inserted the key, and turned it. The door opened silently.
Darcy almost expected to see ghosts in the room. He entered the room with some trepidation. Bright sunlight streamed through the French doors that lead to a balcony. There were no ghost here...just happy memories of his parents.
He looked around at the furniture which has not seen any use for over five years, it was draped with Holland covers to keep off the dust--even though Mrs. Reynolds, being a conscientious housekeeper, regularly cleaned and dusted the room. Darcy was unaware that she often thought what a pity it was that the Master's suite was not being used. He walked over towards the bed. He ran finger across a cupid carved into the headboard. He sighed, then glanced around the room.
Over the fireplace was a large portrait of his mother. It was painted when his parents were first married, capturing Lady Anne at time when she would remain forever young and beautiful. His mother smiled down upon him. "How much Georgiana resembles Mother," he thought.
He opened the door that led onto the balcony. From the balcony he could look out across the park toward Lambton. In his mind's eye he could see the horse chestnut tree on the green by the smithy, the church, the inn where Elizabeth was staying. He went back into the room to retrieve a chair. He removed his jacket, and undid his cravat. He sat down in the chair, glanced over at the bed. "Perhaps," he thought, "I have been given a second chance", he settled back into the chair. He crossed his booted legs where the rested on the balustrade, his hands rested in his lap and he daydreamed, once again, of having Miss Bennet at home with him. Eventually, his daydreams turned into real dreams as he fell asleep.
© 1997 Copyright held by the author.