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Chapter 10

Later that night found Virginia Wagstaff sitting on the bed in her guest chamber at Matlock House.  She was dressed in her nightgown and was impatiently awaiting Julia.  It had become a ritual between the two friends that when they were under the same roof that they join the other, once their husbands had been accommodated, and discuss those things that could not be talked about in the parlor.  They shared all the details of their life with the other.  And tonight they had the dinner party to dissect.

Virginia was a bit disappointed that she had not been able to lure Mr. Darcy to her bed chamber.  She had been without a man for too long and greatly desired to feel between her thighs that which only a man could provide.  When she had determined that Mr. Darcy was interested in her or, at least, her physical assets, she resolved on remaining chaste until such time as she could lure him into marriage.  If she should fall with child before she could secure him, then all would be lost and that was a risk she would not take–-not for Fitzwilliam Darcy.  Should she have allowed him into her bed before a proposal of marriage had been offered then she knew that he would have taken her as a mistress and she would never have access to his wealth.

Her late husband had left her comfortably well taken care of, but the bulk of his estate was in trust for their eldest son with some of it set aside for their younger son.  While she could live quite well without having to marry again, the wealth that she would have access to as Mrs. Darcy paled in comparison.  Her friend, Julia, had done well and was now a Countess.  While she would like a title, Darcy’s connections would be almost as good as a title and she would be afforded access to a much higher level of Society than her current status would allow even with her connection to Julia.

In addition to the wealth and status that being Mrs. Darcy would provide her, the fact that her future husband was an extremely handsome man only added to her desire for the position of his wife.  She had heard stories about his prowess with the ladies and she was eager to find the truth in them.  Especially now that they would be married soon, she saw no reason for them not to anticipate their wedding vows.  She had noticed a decided bulge in his trousers on several occasions and knew that he could be easily persuaded to consummate their marriage before the wedding.   She had hoped it would be tonight but as she was spending the night a Matlock House, she could wait–-but not very long.

Soon the door opened and Lady Julia waltzed in the room removing her dressing gown.  Laying it on the back of a chair, she went to sit on the edge of the bed facing her friend.

“Julia, you are here early.  I did not expect you so soon,” Virginia exclaimed.

 “Edward just left my bed.  It did not take him long tonight.  He entered my rooms, climbed on top of me, and was done in a matter of minutes.  He is in his bed passed out.”

“Too many celebratory drinks.” Virginia laughed.

“Yes, it would appear so.  Though I am sure my instructions to the footmen to keep his glass full aided in that result.”

“I was impressed at the reception of the news of the engagement.  Everyone seemed surprised and pleased,” Virginia said.

“Not everyone.  I am sure my mother-in-law did not care for the news.  And did you see the look on Miss Bingley’s face? Why I am sure you could have knocked her over with a feather!”

Both women cackled.

Virginia smiled. “I have to admit it was priceless.  Poor girl!  I understand she has had her cap set for him for quite some time.”

Julia nodded. “Six or seven years, or so I have heard.  Whatever will she do now?”

Laughing in unison over Miss Bingley’s misfortune; it took them a minute to catch their breath.

“Edward says that Darcy has been considering promoting Mr. Bingley as a suitor for Georgiana.  I am sure Miss Bingley was thinking the same thing though for different reasons.  She figured that one marriage in the family would lead to another,” Julia informed her friend.

Virginia thought a minute before adding, “Yes, Mr. Bingley and Georgiana would make a good match.  Maybe we could have a double wedding of the Darcy siblings.  I would like to have her out of my hair once Fitzwilliam and I are married.  Having her about the house will be quite limiting!” she snickered.

“Yes, we have much to do to get that mousy creature ready to be a wife. Though I would expect she could do better than Charles Bingley for a husband.  With the Darcy name, she should attract at least a Viscount or Earl, maybe even a Marquis or a Duke.  If she did not have that Darcy obstinacy, finding a husband for her would be much easier,” Julia stated.

“How are we going to endure another whole day with her? And why did you suggest such an early start?” Virginia questioned.

“Ginny, there is still a lot to do and very little time to achieve those tasks.  Besides, do you have a problem being in my guest room?” Julia pouted.

Virginia reached over to give her friend a hug. “I never regret my time spent with you.”

As Virginia held her friend tightly to her, she noticed that something was wrong with Julia.  Leaning back a little, she asked, “Jules, what is the matter?”

Julia racked with sobs, finally cried out, “Ginny, I am with child again.”

“Oh! No! Not again.  That will be five children in less than eight years.  Why do you not ban him from your bed?” Virginia exclaimed.

“You know why I cannot.  Ginny, you will help me through this?” Julia cried.

“Of course, my darling!”  Virginia gathered her friend into a tight embrace and laid them both down.  Pulling the covers snugly around them, Virginia consoled her friend throughout the night as she anticipated spending time with Julia’s body, ripe with pregnancy.  She would have Fitzwilliam Darcy to satisfy her more animalistic needs and Julia to provide nurturing succor.  She was a very happy woman.  If she could get Darcy to get her with child, then all the better.  Julia and she could enjoy the pleasures of a body sensitive to the changes a child growing within them would produce.


In her bed chamber at Crandall House, Elizabeth reflected on the evening that had just passed.  On the whole, she had enjoyed herself.  Everyone had been warm and welcoming.  Whether their reaction to her was for her own merit or the influence of Lady Suzan, she chose not to speculate; time would tell and the truth would come out sooner to later.  To be honest, it did not matter much to her.  She considered her time in London to be of a short duration.  Once her commitment to Lady Emily’s request was complete, she would go back to her own family and friends in Hertfordshire.

The only regret she had of the evening was Mr. Bingley.  She had not anticipated that the news of Jane’s marriage would have affected him in such way.  The normal gregarious and charming Mr. Bingley was quiet as a mouse after she shared her news.  Could he have really been in love with Jane?  And if he was, why had he not simply ignored Mr. Darcy’s interference?  As she thought more on it, she realized that if he could not stand up for the person he loved and at least have tried to find out the truth of the situation without the influence of others then he did not deserve her sister.

Mr. Darcy! What should I think of him?  He obviously was concerned about Mr. Bingley after the news of Jane’s marriage was delivered.  Does he really have a heart?  She laughed to herself, of course, he does.  He did show himself tonight not to be the cold and empty man she previously believed him to be. He had shown a great deal of affection for his sister, his aunt, and even Richard.  Though she had not seen that same affection for Mrs. Wagstaff, but then from what she had been able to gather that match was a marriage of convenience undoubtedly brought about by family pressure for him to start a family. 

Mrs. Wagstaff! What do I think of that lady?  She is not what I had expected for his choice of wife, but then what did I expect?  Mrs. Wagstaff and Lady Julia Matlock appear to be very close friends.  That would explain Lady Suzan’s coolness to Mr. Darcy’s betrothed.  Lady Suzan has made her feelings about her daughter-in-law quite evident.  But what do I think about Mrs. Wagstaff?  She is beautiful…she is friendly in a forced sort of way…she obviously seems to care about Mr. Darcy as she always seemed to be touching him. Miss Bingley had not been pleased with her but, from my own personal experience with Caroline Bingley, that was not necessarily a bad recommendation on the character of another lady.  But there was still something about Virginia Wagstaff that makes me feel uneasy.  Though with her engaged to Mr. Darcy, I doubt I will have much contact with her.  And that will be for the best.

Her thoughts returned to Mr. Darcy. He had been friendly to her.  He had treated her with respect and not with the condescension and arrogance of their past dealings.  In fact, he acted as they were beginning a friendship afresh.  Tonight he was like an entirely different man from the one she had known.  He had smiled at her, quite a lot, and that shocked her as he was quite handsome when he displayed those dimples.  She was embarrassed that those smiles caused a warm sensation to run through her body.  She had never experienced such feelings from a gentleman before and especially not from one that she did not like.  No! I can no longer say that about Mr. Darcy.  Tonight I found quite a bit to like about him.  Maybe even enough to…no, he is an engaged man, soon to be wed. 

Shaking those thoughts from her head, she climbed into bed and fell asleep.


At Darcy House, Mr. Darcy sat by the fire in his bed chamber wearing only a dressing gown.  Staring into the fire, many thoughts and images of the dinner party played in this mind. 

Bingley! What am I going to do about Bingley?  Never have I seen a man more devastated than when he heard that Jane Bennet had married.  He looked as if he had been punched in the stomach several times.  If Bingley had still harbored hopes for securing Miss Jane Bennet, those hopes were extinguished by Elizabeth’s pronouncement. He would then understand why he had been so quiet afterwards…unusually quiet for Bingley. 

What really worried him about Bingley was his drinking.  Bingley never drank more than two glasses of wine with dinner and one port afterwards.  Tonight, every time he looked at Bingley, his glass was being filled.  When the gentlemen were in the library after dinner, Bingley never left the brandy bottle and Darcy was sure that he had seen him refill his glass at least three times and that was when he noticed, no telling how much more Bingley consumed. 

The Bingleys did not stay long after the gentlemen returned to the drawing room.  They had offered their congratulations and then left.  Charles was probably in bed right now sleeping off the effects of too much drink.

He would go see Bingley tomorrow though he did not know what he was going to say.  He would feel his friend out and offer what help he could.  Guilt was not a feeling Mr. Darcy enjoyed experiencing but he definitely felt guilt in how Charles’ life had turned out and he would do whatever he could to assuaged his guilty conscience.

Two incidents during the dinner caused him to lose hope that he would ever be able to dissolve his engagement.  In all his brooding and thinking, he had harbored the thought that if he could persuade Virginia that he was impotent, then maybe she would not wish to marry him.  As far as Virginia was concerned, he was not aroused by her any longer.  Not even the exhibition of her breasts overflowing a too tight bodice could not entice him as he had a bird’s eye view down her décolletage when he stood behind her; though he was not sure whether it was from lack of a physical attraction or his fear that a seam of her gown would suddenly burst sending forward her bare bosom for the whole room to view.  Her voluptuous figure, her intimate asides, did not stir his loins.  No, not even a twitter. 

However, there was one young lady there tonight that caused more than a twitter, Miss Elizabeth Bennet; she elicited a full blown erection.  At the time, he was thankful he was standing behind a piece of furniture to hide his disgraceful display.  Unfortunately, the said item of furniture did not do its office as it was the settee upon which Miss Darcy and Mrs. Wagstaff were seated.  Much to his shock and mortification, Virginia Wagstaff shifted her position on the settee and placed her hand along the back.  With one long finger, she proceeded to outline his engorged length.  Taking a step back to keep her from exploring his private parts any further, he looked down at her with a disgusted look.  She only responded with a seductive smile and mouthed the word ‘Later!’

Fortunately, he was able to regain his composure in time to escort his sister and Mrs. Wagstaff into the dining room.  He had been quite proud of himself as several times he had glanced at Miss Bennet and was able to keep his composure.  When she noticed him, she smiled sweetly and locked eyes with him.  They would hold that gaze until one or the other of their dinner companions would capture their attention.  Of course, things were going too well to remain so and when the dessert course was served, the second incident of the night was triggered.

The frothy whipped concoction that was served was too tempting for Miss Bennet and she surreptitiously placed her forefinger in it for a taste.  As Darcy caught sight of her subtle act, his imagination took hold as he could almost feel his manly appendage covered in whipped topping and in the place where her lovely finger would stroke it. 

With a brain soaked in desire, he did not comprehend that another lady was fondling his most private parts until Virginia leaned in and whispered in his ear, “I have a room upstairs that we can retire to, and I will be more than willing to relieve you of your present situation.”

Looking at his intended with astonishment, he replied, “I believe that it is too early for us to be thinking of anticipating our marriage.”

“Not if we set a date now,” she responded, “After his Lordship makes the announcement of our engagement, people will ask about when our wedding will take place.”

“Mrs. Wagstaff, simply indicate that it will be after the end of the Season.  I have a responsibility to my sister and I cannot see to her needs while concerning myself with wedding plans. So until then, let us not speak of wedding plans.”

“Very well,” she pouted.

It was at that point that Mr. Darcy realized that he would not be able to use the excuse of impotency in trying to dissuade Mrs. Wagstaff from marrying him.  He would have to find another way.  Sitting up and leaning forward, Darcy put his elbows on his knees as he lowered his head to look between his legs before speaking to himself, “All I wanted is for you to behave and now look at the trouble you have caused.”

Chuckling, he went on to add, “Maybe if I had not doused you with cold water this morning, you would have acted like a proper gentleman should.”

Raising his head and adopting a serious expression, he pondered on his future life married to Virginia Wagstaff.  She is beautiful. Her grace, wit, and charm will ease our way through Society.  Already experienced in managing a household, she will make a good Mistress of Pemberley and Darcy House.  Having delivered two healthy sons bodes well for producing my heir.  There is no reason she will not be a good wife to me. She aroused my desire all those years ago before she married Lemuel Wagstaff; I have even felt those same feelings in the past few months.  I was willing to take her as a wife without loving her, why cannot I do so now?

Elizabeth is why.  But what about Elizabeth?  I have loved her for so long, but did I love the person she really is or merely an illusion?  It is evident by her refusal of my offer of marriage that I did not know her feelings or thoughts.  If I take my time to get to know her now, will I find that I have been in love with someone who does not exist?  It has been three years and people change; I have changed.  Has Elizabeth changed?  With what I know of her and the tragedies in her life, of course, she has changed.

Darcy, you are a fool.  You will marry Virginia Wagstaff because you are an honorable and responsible man.  You have made a promise, and you will keep it regardless of the pain it will cause you.  But, Elizabeth, I will make a promise to you as well, whether or not I will ever see you as my wife, you will be forever under my protection.  You have presented me a new beginning with you and I will make the most of it.  If you cannot be my wife, then you will always be my friend.

Looking over at his bed, he tried to imageVirginia in it.  But the only image that came to mind was Elizabeth Bennet sitting in the middle of his bed; her hair flowing about her, that distinctive twinkle in her eye, and wearing only that warm smile that she had graced him with earlier this evening.  Rising from his chair, he removed his dressing gown and crawled onto his bed to join her. 






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