It is Saturday, and I am still celebrating my “Month of Love” so must therefore share a romantic excerpt! I chose this one from Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemberley for a couple of reasons.
1. Loving Mr. Darcy is on sale in Kindle format for $2.99. Cool! Not sure why it isn’t on sale for Nook too, since these sales usually go hand-in-hand, but alas only on Kindle this time. So, if you have a Kindle and don’t yet have Volume 2 of The Darcy Saga series as an eBook, you are in luck! Loving Mr. Darcy on Kindle
2. My upcoming release – Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship – covers the betrothal period. One of the mentioned events I was able to expand upon is this scene from Loving Mr. Darcy. It takes place at “willow bench” where Lizzy retreats to read in solitude. On three occasions she met Mr. Darcy there, two during their engagement. In this scene they are married, again at willow bench, and sharing memories from those prior interludes. Memories that lead to romance!
“Elizabeth… Elizabeth… Mrs. Darcy.”
Lizzy slowly opened her eyes, the hazy figure bent over her gradually focusing. “William?”
He smiled. “Miss Elizabeth, what a delightful surprise. Come here often, do you?”
She laughed, accepting his hand to assist her into a sitting position from the slumped pose she currently occupied in her slumber. He brushed off her skirts as he knelt in front of her. She smiled and caressed his face. “Yes, I come here often. However, the best occasions are when handsome gentlemen intrude.”
“And how often does that occur, pray tell?”
“A dozen or so, over the course of time, naturally.”
“A dozen, you say? That many? Any particular events or gentlemen of special import?”
Her fingers moved to the knots of his cravat as she replied, “Only one gentleman that is burned in my memory. He intruded upon me thrice. On the first occasion I noted he had the loveliest neck and my thoughts were quite wicked.”
Darcy was genuinely surprised. “Truly? I did not suspect. I have been under the mistaken impression that you hated me then.”
“No. At that time I simply thought you annoying and pompous. Also, I had concluded that you disliked me.”
“Foolish girl,” he said as he ran his fingers over her lips.
“Yes, to be sure. Of course, mistaken impressions aside, your neck is quite delectable and I was not so completely foolish as to not notice!” She leaned in to his now bared neck for a smattering of delightful kisses. He sighed happily, a hand encompassing each slender ankle. Murmuring against his skin, “Why were you racing so crazily that day, William, and looking at me so strangely?”
“I always looked at you strangely, my dear, because I was enchanted by you and utterly at a loss as to how to proceed. You dazzled me at every turn and rendered me mute and dull. A woman as intelligent as you had no choice but to deduce my moronic behavior unworthy and reproachable!”
Lizzy shook her head and clasped his face with her hands. “Do not say that! I was the fool to not see your worth and love.” She kissed him. “You did not answer my question, however. Why on that particular day were you running so dangerously and later spoke of dreams tormenting you?”
“Oh, yes, I remember now.” He smiled and laughed. “I had forgotten.” He sat back onto the grass, lightly massaging her calves and feet. “You surely remember my confession to you, dearest, of the nature of many of my dreams involving you?” She nodded, blushing slightly. “Later, once we were betrothed, those dreams of making love with you were welcomed. Practice sessions, I deemed them.”
“William!” she declared in mock shock, and he laughed.
“However, earlier, during my sojourn at Netherfield and your abiding there, the dreams began and they were not welcomed. Enjoyed certainly, but I was mortified once I awoke. I was dismayed that I, Darcy of Pemberley, a gentleman with superior temperance and constraint, would lose control even in my sleep so as to consider you in such a way. Yet, I could not deny how… pleasant… it was.” He chuckled. “It was a torment, Elizabeth. I was madly in love with you, yet successfully fought against it during my waking hours. Then I would dream of you in such a vivid and delightful yet crude and disrespectful manner. Mornings were horrible. I would wake in a sweat, weary, aroused, and ashamed.”
He paused, gazing into her beloved eyes. “On retrospection, I was never successful in denying my affection for you. I simply managed to deceive myself, employing my years of discipline to bury my thoughts and urges. That particular morning was one of many in which I woke in a heightened state, unfit for company, and in need of oblivion from my decadent musings. Parsifal offers that. We love running fast, as you are aware. There is a freedom to the exercise. You become one with your horse, and the power and concentration necessary invade your mind and erase all else. It is liberating.”
He paused again, smiling dreamily and firmly gripping her feet in his lap. “When I encountered you so abruptly, standing on the fence watching me, my first thought was that I was still in a dream. God, Elizabeth, if you only knew how beautiful you were! Your simple dress, the green one it was, no bonnet or fancy gloves, your hair pinned but loose about your lovely face, your feet bare, your eyes shining and cheeks flushed. You took my breath away! Nothing in my dreams compared to the reality of how stunning you were. I wanted to leap off Parsifal and into your arms with an aching desire beyond anything I had ever experienced in all my life, and it was only my embarrassingly acute aroused state that kept me on his back!”
“Hmmm… Perhaps you should have leapt, William. Think how differently things may have gone.”
“Do not tease me, Elizabeth. I was a beast, and you would have slapped me or kicked me in a painful location, and rightfully so!”
“Maybe not. I was examining your neckline far too boldly and reliving the touch of your hand. That is why I snapped at you so rudely. You unnerved me.”
Darcy kissed her covered knees, laying his cheek on her thigh. “No use contemplating might have beens, my love. We are here now and you are more beautiful and I am yet again breathless and captivated. Now, as then, my mind and heart are consumed by you, dearest wife.”
Lizzy beamed, fingering his soft hair as they stared at each other. “I love you, William. Thank you for sharing with me, for persevering in your suit, and for tolerating my fluctuating moods. I do not deserve you but am abundantly grateful that you are mine!”
He rose to his knees, hugging her body with hands on her hips. “I am eternally yours and you are eternally mine.” He kissed her slowly and thoroughly, voice husky when he next spoke, “We need to return to the manor for dinner, love. Are you feeling well?”
“Very well,” she whispered, seizing his mouth while hands roamed over his chest, unbuttoning the waistcoat. “Love me, Fitzwilliam, as you wanted to before.”
“Elizabeth! It is broad daylight. You…” She strengthened the force of her kiss and focused her fondling, eliciting a deep groan from her husband. Finally, struggling for breath and control under the insistence of her attack, he uttered, “Oh sweet Lord, Lizzy! Someone could happen by. We should not…”
“No one passes this way, my lover. No one but you, that is.” She pushed his unresisting body backward onto the grass, following with kisses over his now exposed abdomen.
Gasping, he clasped her shoulders. “What… What about those other dozen men?”
She looked up in surprise, “There were never any others, William. Surely you knew I was jesting?”
He grinned. “I had to be certain.”
….and the rest shall be left to your imagination until you read the novel!