How To Mend A Broken Heart
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Elizabeth Bennet sat on her bed in her nightclothes pondering what Mr. Darcy had done to her that day to have her body act in such an unexpected way. She had been completely mortified at his reference to her bosom and the fact that he acknowledged it as the cause for her being off balance.
She had hated her breasts since she was twelve years old. Before then her figure had been slight and agile, and she had been able to run and play with the neighborhood boys, climb trees, slip through hedgerows and all with ease. Then during that fateful year, her breasts decided to blossom, causing her agility to be thrown off kilter and the boys to tease and taunt her. If that was not bad enough, each year they grew bigger and bigger, thereby curtailing some of her favorite activities. She could no longer be a tomboy and she resented her breasts for the loss of her freedom.
Of all her sisters, only Lydia had come close to her buxom figure. Her other sisters had what she would have considered a normal bosom. Why was she the one cursed by such an ungainly chest? She would have given anything to be blessed with Mary’s almost flat chest or even Jane’s small round orbs. But no, she was forced to exhibit herself in a most unseemly way.
As much as she had always tried to mash, mangle, and contain her unruly bosom, she had never experienced the sensation in them as when she realized that Mr. Darcy viewed her least favorite physical attribute with admiration.
This is when her nipples puckered and their tips hardened to the size, in her own perception, of grapes. If that had not been bad enough, warmth spread through her body and pooled in the area between her legs. While it was a pleasant feeling, it also held a sense of longing. Though she did not know what that longing entailed, she did realize that while she endured those feelings, she could not escape the feeling that Mr. Darcy was a magnet and her nipples were what were pulling her to him.
She wanted to talk to someone about what was happening to her body, but she did not know who she could go to. Lady Suzan and she had become close but not close enough to share something so personal. Besides, she could not let Lady Matlock know that her nephew had left such an impression on her guest. She might send him away and Elizabeth did not want that.
Astonished that he would volunteer to help in preparing her for her presentation, she found that he was quite knowledgeable and offered what she needed to know in an entertaining way. When she would reach a point where everything was overwhelming, he would utter some nonsense that would send her into peals of laughter. Who knew Mr. Darcy had such a sense of humor. It was just the respite she needed to continue onward. In addition, in the few moments that they had together when they were not attending to her ‘lessons’, they talked about anything and everything. Their friendship deepened, and she found that she enjoyed being in his company. No, she did not want to risk losing his friendship by some silly, inconsequential thing as an unexplained bodily reaction to heaven knows what.
She considered going to her Aunt Gardiner with her concerns. Knowing that Lady Matlock would not let her out of her sight until after the presentation, Elizabeth had to rule out the one person she knew who could possibly explain all this to her. The thought of putting such an embarrassing predicament in writing and sending it to her aunt was quickly quashed.
Deciding that she would just have to deal with this on her own, she crawled into bed and tried to sleep. However, her mind was fixated on the subject, and she could not help but place her hand on one of her breasts to see if she could get the same reaction from them as she did this morning when she looked at Mr. Darcy.
Pinching her nipple, it immediately hardened and that pleasing, aching feeling returned. She stifled a moan as she arched her back when the same warm sensation flooded her body.
Now she was more confused than ever.
On the evening of Charles Bingley’s return, he entered the parlor where the family normally gathered to await the dinner call. But instead of the quiet he sought, he found his sister, Caroline, pacing back and forth.
“Good evening, Caroline, how have you been?” he asked.
“Charles, where on earth have you been? I have been frantic. Mr. Darcy called here for you yesterday and was quite concerned that I had not seen you for several days.”
“Caroline, I have not been gone that long. I will go to see Darcy when I get a chance,” he stated.
“But it must have been something important for him to call!” she cried.
“He has been out of town and then tied up with his engagement. I am sure that he is just getting around to calling,” he said calmly.
Narrowing her eyes, she said almost accusingly, “Charles, just where have you been?”
Looking at his sister without any expression on his face, he replied, “That is none of your concern.”
“But it is my concern. I am mistress of this house, and, as such, I need to know the comings and goings to properly manage the household,” she cried.
“I am the Master of this house. And as such, my affairs are just that, my affairs. I told you how long I would be gone before I left,” he said, becoming agitated that his sister continued into matters he preferred to be kept private.
“Louisa and I were frantic. We knew not where you had gone. When Mr. Darcy showed up on our doorstep, we feared the worse.” She was determined to get an answer from her brother.
“As you can see I am perfectly well. No harm has come to me,” he said as he swept his hand down his body to indicate that he was still in one piece and had no serious malady.
“But, Charles, what if we needed to reach you,” she pleaded. You have always been so malleable, what has gotten into you?
“Caroline, I am my own man and do not need to answer to my younger sister,” he said with conviction hoping to stem the tide of this conversation.
Looking at her brother, she began to think when he had become so obstinate. Lord and Lady Matlock’s dinner when he found out that Jane Bennet had married. Then a sense of horror filled her. If he cannot have Jane Bennet, is he considering substituting one sister for the other? NOOOOO!
Trying to stay calm, she asked, “Have you had a chance to visit Miss Eliza Bennet since the dinner?”
“No. However, I planned to call on her soon,” he replied.
“Do you think it wise?”
Looking curiously at his sister, he replied “Of course, she is an old acquaintance. It would be foolish and most uncivil not to call on her. I am surprised that with her new connections, you have not been to call on her,” he stated.
“Yes, but our acquaintance was ever so slight,” she countered. She knew no matter how great her connections were, Eliza Bennet was the last person she wished to see. That country chit frightened her. It was like she knew some secret about her and was just waiting for the right moment to reveal it to the world, showing Miss Caroline Bingley up in a most humiliating way.
“Caroline, she spent three days at
“Charles, you are not thinking of courting Miss Bennet. I believe that Lady Matlock may have hopes for a match between her and General Fitzwilliam.”
Charles just laughed as he had heard the tale of Lady Matlock’s one and only attempt at matchmaking. Then it dawned on him that Caroline thought he might be interested in Miss Bennet. Thinking to have a little fun with his sister, he said, “You might have a good idea. With her new connections, she would definitely raise our own family’s consequence. She is pleasant and charming and quite pretty. I could do much worse.”
“Charles!” she screamed. He would not dare think of such a thing. I could have easily handled Jane Bennet; she was always so compliant. But Eliza Bennet would see me on the curb with bag and baggage forcing me to live with Louisa and that disgusting husband of hers, Mr. Hurst.
Taking pity on his sister, he smiled, “Miss Elizabeth is a wonderful lady, but she loves a good argument and you know how I detest confrontations. I think it is safe to say that I would prefer her as a friend to being my wife.”
Caroline scowled at her brother. While he, in turn, simply shook his head at his sister’s snobbery.
Fortunately, dinner was called. Charles raised his arm to escort his sister to the dining room.
Once they were seated, Caroline asked again, “Why can you not tell me where you have been?”
“Caroline, we have already been over this. Enough! No amount of prying and wheedling will force me to reveal something I consider part of my private business. May we not change the subject? Please tell me about your day.”
Seeing that she would get nowhere with her brother in his current mood, she began a detailed itinerary of her shopping trip with Louisa.
Lowering his head, he focused his attention on his meal as he ignored his sister’s monologue. However, it was not long before his thoughts drifted to his whereabouts of the last few days and a small smile crept on his lips. Millie, what a delight she was! I would never have thought someone would make me lose my modesty and inhibitions, but two days lying naked in bed with her has done just that.
As he contemplated the last few days, he realized that he had also gained a sense of his masculinity. Living in the shadow of the likes of Edward and Richard Fitzwilliam and his friend, Darcy, he could not help but be somewhat intimidated by their accomplishments. Edward Fitzwilliam, Lord Matlock, though he may be considered a loveable rake by most, took his title and family seriously. Richard Fitzwilliam was a General in the Army and had gone to war overseas. He was in command of hundreds, if not thousands, of men who depended on him for their well-being. Darcy had managed a large estate and raised his sister for the last eight years. He had hundreds of people relying on him for their welfare.
What did he have to show as a man? The care and security of two sisters who were constantly asking him to do this or buy that. It did not do much for his sense of self-worth. But Millie had allowed him to display his masculine abilities which, in turn, gave him a sense of confidence and self-esteem. He may never have the great responsibilities of his friends, but he also knew that he did not need to feel inadequate. He was man enough to handle those matters he was constantly faced with. All he wanted was a wife to care for and who cared for him, a family to raise, and to fulfill his father’s dream of having a country estate.
He had hoped to have that with Jane Bennet but he let his friend and sisters talk him out of pursuing her. Regret of the fact that he had never gone back to discover the truth of Miss Bennet’s feelings for him had followed him over the past few years. And now she was married. With her marriage and the events of the last few days, his misgivings had vanished and for the first time in quite awhile, he felt that his future would allow him to attain those goals, though it would be with someone other than Jane. It would be with a lady who shared a mutual affection with him and who would be willing to share his simple dreams.
Looking over at his sister rambling on about some shop she ‘had discovered’ on Bond Street, he could not help be feel a tinge of pity for her. She had rebuffed several eligible suitors in hopes of becoming Mrs. Darcy. He had counseled Caroline that event would never happen but she would not listen. She never listened to him and always went off to do whatever she chose. He wondered if her heart had been hurt by Darcy’s engagement or just her pride. Her pride, definitely! If her heart was involved, she would be much more distraught by the news and would not be harping on me. Though I probably should be the kind, considerate brother and help her find a suitor. She is not getting any younger, and I do not relish the thought of having to take care of a spinster sister.
Seeing that she had regained her brother’s attention, Caroline continued on the path of discovering what he had been doing the last several days, “Charles, are you planning on disappearing again in the foreseeable future?”
Maybe not! Perhaps it is best that I leave her to her
own devices and have Louisa and
Standing up, he announced with a smirk on his face, “Caroline, pray excuse me. It seems I have not much of an appetite, and I am somewhat fatigued by my activities from earlier in the day. I believe I will retire for the evening.”
Turning, he walked toward the door but stopped abruptly when he heard his sister’s shrill voice.
“Charles, I will see you at breakfast in the morning, will I not?” she asked in a tight voice tempered with a cool tone.
“I will leave word if I am not able to attend you in the morning.” He stifled a chuckle. She would not be pleased with that response. When he heard her fist pound the table, he prayed that he would make it out of the dining room unscathed by any flying objects.
Once safely removed from Caroline’s pending temper tantrum, he climbed the stairs to his chambers. On entering his dressing room, he found his valet napping. Rousing the man, he began undressing. When they reached the point where he was normally handed his freshly laundered night shirt to put on so he could complete his disrobing with some modicum of privacy, Charles Bingley took the night shirt and flung it on a nearby chair. His valet stood for a moment with his mouth agape while Charles removed his breeches.
When he was completely naked, he reached over and grasped his dressing gown and slipped it on. Looking at his still astonished valet, he uttered, “What? It is not like you have never seen me naked before. After all, you do assist me in my bathing.”
“Yes, sir,” his valet acknowledged, still somewhat taken aback by his Master’s uncharacteristic lack of modesty.
Charles walked into his bed chamber and removed his dressing gown and placed it at the foot of the bed. Then as he paced about the room, he could not help grinning at his boldness. He never thought it would feel so good to walk around in the nude, though he had done so with Millie. In fact, today was the first time he had dressed in two days. But to do so in his own rooms was liberating.
There was a slight chill in the air, so he walked over to the fire to warm his bare body thinking about his quest to find a wife. He had lost enough of his natural temerity to ask Millie to instruct him in how to pleasure a woman. Her instruction was very detailed and he was a diligent student. In fact, he found that pleasuring her was just as stimulating as what she did to him to bring about his arousal. He knew when he married he could not expect to spend days on end in bed with his wife with frequent bouts of passionate lovemaking as he had with Millie. But with his new found knowledge, he hoped to show his wife how pleasant their coupling could be and that would surely allow him a few extra hours in her bed and maybe even the entire night.
He thought back on those times when he woke up to find Millie had aroused him fully and was mounted on him---riding him as if he was a horse and she was galloping across a great expanse. While he would never expect such a reward from his wife, he hoped that he might be able to awaken her in a similar manner that would culminate in an early morning romp between the sheets.
Hearing his valet exit the dressing room after finishing his duties for the night, Charles walked back into his dressing room and straight to the full-length mirror. Wondering what Millie saw when she looked at him, his curiosity had won out. Examining his body from head to toe, he tried to match what she said about his body to what he saw reflected. With nothing to compare himself to, he decided that maybe he did have a nice body, surely nothing to be ashamed of. Looking down at his male appendage that had stiffened as he mused about his unknown bride-to-be, he reached down and pumped it until it reached a fully erect state. Turning one way and then the other, he looked at his manhood in the mirror. She had said that G-d had been generous to him in that part of his body. In her profession, she would have seen quite a few examples of how a man was endowed. So he decided that he need not worry about disappointing his future wife in that regard. Besides he did not think she would have any previous means of comparison or, at least, he hoped she would not.
Walking back into his bed chamber, he went to the bed and threw the covers all the way to the foot. Getting into bed, he proceeded to finish what he had started in his dressing room as visions of Millie smiling above him danced in his head. When he had finished, he planned to lie in his bed exposed to the entire chamber allowing the sense of freedom and liberation to lull him to sleep. However, Charles Bingley was a man who enjoyed his comforts, and it was not long before he reached down and pulled the bed covers up over his chilled, nude body before drifting off to sleep.
Georgiana Darcy sat in her private sitting room that night reading, though she had not turned a page in the last five minutes as she was too busy thinking about the upcoming season. She was not looking forward to the coming months. How am I going to use my wiles to lure a proper suitor and exactly what allurements should I use to get him to propose to me? I have no wiles. Surely Lady Julia and Mrs. Wagstaff can see that. She was shy, being around strangers and people she did not know very well made her feel awkward and uncomfortable. Would she say the wrong thing? Would she use the wrong title? Would she trip when she went to curtsey? She did not feel attractive. When she looked in the mirror, she saw only a mousy little girl. What gentleman would want to court me, much less marry me?
Her brother and Richard Fitzwilliam, her guardians, had been very sensitive to her feelings, letting her wait before entering into society. After her near elopement with George Wickham four years ago, she no longer trusted herself or her instincts. Her brother had been cognizant of her shyness and lack of self-confidence and had guided her through those troubled times. But now he had turned her over to Lady Julia to prepare her for all that would be expected of Miss Darcy of Pemberley. If she could be more like Miss Bennet, things would be much easier. Miss Bennet had self-esteem, which she lacked. Miss Bennet was witty and could put herself forth to strangers, whereas she was shy and retiring. Miss Bennet made people smile, when she could barely utter enough words to get their attention. Yes, Miss Bennet should be the one to be helping her, not Lady Julia and Mrs. Wagstaff, both of whom seemed to have no patience with her. Miss Bennet took the time to draw her out, to make her feel that she was worthy of attention.
With Fitzwilliam’s engagement to Mrs. Wagstaff, it appeared that he would not have enough time for her. She had barely seen him and had had little time to talk to him since his return. And now she feared that would continue to be the case as Mrs. Wagstaff would take up more and more of his time with wedding preparations. She did not understand why he had chosen Virginia Wagstaff to marry in the first place. There must be other ladies that could meet his requirements. Miss Bennet would be perfect for him and a wonderful sister to her as well. But when a sister is more than twelve years younger than her brother, she could not inform him that she did not like his choice of wife. Not after he had sacrificed so much to raise her. She felt he had given up a chance at finding happiness to care for her, to comfort her, to provide for her. She could not be ungrateful nor could she demand he continue in that role.
But why had he chosen ‘that woman’ to be his wife? As she thought upon it, she hoped it was not for her sake because, from what she knew, that would not be the case. One day she could not help but to have overheard a conversation between Lady Julia and Mrs. Wagstaff about her. They were making fun of her and despairing over the fact that it would take divine intervention for her to attract a proper suitor. Then Mrs. Wagstaff went on to lament about how they would have Georgiana underfoot once she had exhausted her stay at all the relatives they possibly could send her off to visit. Though she did not think her brother would allow such a thing to occur, she did not know his true feelings toward Virginia Wagstaff or the influence Mrs. Wagstaff would hold over him. Therefore, she was anxious about such schemes. Georgiana had hoped that when her brother married, she would find a true sister in his wife, but with Mrs. Wagstaff as his bride, she knew that hope was futile.
Georgiana thought about the list of gentlemen that Lady Julia and Mrs. Wagstaff had drawn up as possible matches for her. All had illustrious titles and sounded gruff and demanding. Would they persuade her brother to advance such a suit? She hoped not. She wanted a gentle and caring man. A gentleman who could make her laugh, a gentleman she could feel true affection toward and who would protect her just as her brother has done. She did not want a suitor that needed her dowry to add to his fortune or replace the fortune he had lost. She did not want some swain that needed her family name to increase his consequence. Nor did she want a suitor that she would be forced to host dinner parties, formal balls, ladies’ teas and such.
She tried to think of the gentlemen that she did know. Outside of family members, the remaining were all friends of her brother’s and most of them were now married. And even then she did not know them all that well. Except for …
Mr. Bingley! He was just the type of man that she could see herself married to. He was kind, amusing, and she already had a great affection for him. Mr. Bingley! Would he ever be interested in me as his wife? She knew she would be seeing him often during the season. She would not feel as awkward in putting herself forward with him as she would with a perfect stranger. Besides, he could always make her laugh and she would need a little humor to make it through the next few months.
Frowning, she thought about the list that Lady Julia had made of acceptable suitors. Mr. Bingley was not on the list. But Mr. Bingley was one of her brother’s closest friends. Surely her brother would stand up for her if indeed Mr. Bingley showed any interest in her. How am I going to get Mr. Bingley to notice me as a woman and not just Fitzwilliam’s little sister?
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