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Chapter 24

As the chime sounded for a tenth time, the butler announced Mr. Darcy to the ladies of Crandall House.

Lady Suzan and Miss Bennet rose and curtsied to their guest while Mr. Darcy bowed in return.

“Darcy, good morning,” Lady Suzan greeted her nephew.  “It is a fine morning, is it not?”

“Yes, aunt, it is.  Good morning to you,” he said before turning to Elizabeth. “Good Morning, Miss Bennet.”

“Good morning, Mr. Darcy,” replied Elizabeth.

Lady Suzan led Elizabeth to a seat at a nearby table and then turned to offer the seat across the table to her nephew.

Her Ladyship stated, “If you two will excuse me, there is something that requires my attention for…oh!...about thirty minutes.” Giving them a wink, she added, “That table should be enough of an obstacle to prevent any unseemly or improper behavior.”

Darcy gave his aunt a sheepish look, while Elizabeth’s cheeks flushed a bright pink.

“Yes, Aunt, a half hour,” Darcy confirmed the amount of time he would have alone with Elizabeth.

Lady Suzan gave him a pointed gaze as if to say do NOT waste it! before leaving the drawing room on her ‘errand’.

“Miss Bennet…Elizabeth…” he said as he smiled at her.  “Please allow me to apologize to you for having  revealed our personal and private history to my aunt and cousin.”

“Mr. Darcy…William…I should have been more forthcoming with Lady Suzan about our history, but I really did not know…”

“It is understandable and I truly appreciate your discretion on my behalf.  Though I am sure that I do not deserve it,” he admitted.

“But it was something private between us that I did not feel the right to divulge.” She looked at him with a sympathetic gaze.

Reaching his arms across the table with his palms facing upward, he silently entreated her to place her hands in his.  Hesitantly, she placed her hands on the surface of the table and slowly moved them towards his outstretched ones.  Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she placed her hands upon his and gave them a slight squeeze to acknowledge her affection toward him.

Smiling, he wrapped his hands around hers as he gently pressed her fingers in response.  Sobering his mien, he knew they had little time, and he needed to move to the heart of the matter.  “Elizabeth?”

She raised her eyes to his and saw the serious, intense look he gave her.  Beginning to fear that he would not wish to grant her request, she could not help but to silently plead with him to reconsider.

“Elizabeth, are you positive you have thought this through completely?  If we go through with this, there will be no turning back.  Have you considered the consequences?  Once it is done, it cannot be undone.”  He had been conflicted about her request that they should come together as man and wife since she asked it of him.  While he wanted to be with her in the worst possible way, his rational self kept niggling him that it would be her taking all the risks and him none.  That did not sit well with him; he did not want to see her hurt or affected in a harmful way if their liaison were ever to become known.

Gazing steadfastly into his eyes, she squeezed his fingers. “Yes, I am sure.  This is exactly what I want, regardless of the consequences.”  She lowered her eyes from his before continuing, “However, I am aware that you are promised to another.  If you feel you cannot go through with this, then I will release you from my behest.”

“Elizabeth, no, I do not want to be released.  I want the memories we will create together.  I just do not want you to later regret making such a sacrifice for me.”

She looked him square in the eyes, unflinching. “There will be no regrets on my part.”

Smiling, he removed one hand from hers and reached into his jacket pocket and retrieved a small book setting it on the table between them.  “Very well.  It is all set.”  Reclaiming her hand, he nodded to the book.  “In the back plate of this book is a secret sleeve.  I have taken the liberty of drawing up plans for our assignation.”

The happy smile that graced her countenance told him all he needed to know.  Continuing on, he asked, “What are your plans for the summer?”

“Sometime in mid-June, I will return to my family.  At the end of July, Lady Suzan will fetch me from there, and we are to tour Wales and possibly cross the Irish Sea to Dublin for a fortnight before returning at the end September.  Lady Suzan has asked that I stay on with her. “

He nodded. “Will you?”

“I believe that will depend on the outcome of our time together,” she said with a blush on her cheeks.

“Do you believe that you can postpone your visit to your family until the first of July?” he asked.

Looking at him questioningly, she answered, “Yes, I suppose I can.  Why do you ask?”

“Because, I wish to take you to a cottage I have on the coast of Sussex for a fortnight…”

“A fort…” she loudly exclaimed before lowering her voice, “…night?”

“Yes, one night is not long enough but neither is a lifetime.  But I believe we can disappear for a fortnight without raising too much speculation.”  He nodded to the book he placed on the table and said, “The particulars are listed in there.  Please look at them and let me know your thoughts and wishes.  Or if you feel that there is something I have not covered.”

Removing one of her hands from his, she laid it on the book. “Is this how we will communicate to plan our tryst?”

Sadly, he nodded his head.  “I abhor having to be forced to such clandestine methods, but Lady Suzan does not want us to raise the suspicions of Mrs. Wagstaff or Lady Julia, for your sake.”

Nodding her agreement, she looked longingly into his eyes as his gaze returned the sentiment. 

“How shall I return my response?” she asked.

“Return the book to my butler.  He will see that I get it.  If we need to contact one another, we will need to use the subterfuge of lending books to one another.”

Elizabeth took the book and slipped it in the pocket of her gown, lest Suzan see it and starts to ask questions that would be difficult to answer.

Hearing footsteps in the hallway, they released the hold they had on one another to assume a proper attitude for two people that were only common and indifferent acquaintances.

Returning to Darcy House, Darcy immediately ordered his carriage.  He was going to his solicitor’s and have him drawn up an agreement to insure that Elizabeth and any child that came from their union would be well taken care of for their lifetime.  It was the least he could do for her, but he wished it would come to more.  He knew that even after two weeks with her their time together would not be enough for him, even if he were to marry Mrs. Wagstaff.  His only hope would be that after she felt his love for her, she would change her mind about becoming his mistress if she could not be his wife.

As the month of May progressed through time, the London season began to wind down.  In a few weeks, those who had participated would be leaving Town for the cooler climes and fresher air of the country or the seaside.  Summer visits were being planned and invitations to house parties were being issued.  There were only a few major functions of the season left to attend. 

While London was winding down, the activity at Darcy and Crandall House was increased as the inhabitants prepared for the nuptials of Miss Darcy and Mr. Bingley.  Georgiana’s awakening as a woman and the awareness of how her body was reacting to Mr. Bingley had caused her to seek a private audience with her aunt, Lady Suzan, once her engagement was made know.  Lady Suzan gave her an honest description of what her wedding night would entail and though there would be pain the first time, it would be much better after that.  Georgiana had many questions which her aunt patiently answered assuring her niece that she and Mr. Bingley would be very blessed in their life together.  Assured that her feelings were natural and just, Georgiana became bolder in those private times she shared with Mr. Bingley, much to his delight and frustration.

Charles Bingley had never considered himself a passionate man.  Long ago when he envisioned marrying Miss Jane Bennet, that part of their marriage was rarely considered but with his recent adventures with Millie and now with Georgiana, he realized that he had misjudged himself, again.  He, indeed, was a passionate man who wanted a passionate wife and Miss Darcy showed every sign of being just that.  Only now the wait for her to become his wife was a trial to him.  His body reacted in the most improper way when they were together both in public and in private.  Fortunately, or unfortunately—depending on the viewpoint, he found his sister, Caroline, a natural suppressant.

So it is safe to say that Miss Darcy and Mr. Bingley were extremely eager for their nuptials.  Though both had decided that anticipating their vows would be wrong; however, that decision might be revisited if another incident occurred similar to the one at a recent ball.

While Miss Darcy might seem shy and timid, she was almost fearless in her dealings with Mr. Charles Bingley.  Before their courtship began, they had always had an easy camaraderie.  When they settled into their engagement, Mr. Bingley encouraged his dear Georgiana to be more open with him.  He treated any statement or question she asked with honesty and sincerity to the point that when they were alone she had become quite bold with him, a fact that delighted him to no end. 

Georgiana took her knowledge, learned recently from her aunt, in a decidedly exploratory direction.  One night at a soirée, Charles and Georgiana had snuck away to steal some kisses.  With their wedding not far off, the couple had been bolder in their touches and exploration of the other’s body.  Mainly it was Georgiana that was bold, but her bravado encouraged Bingley to maybe go beyond what was proper.  That daring on his part was rewarded with her eagerness for more.

While the couple did, at times, flirt within the bounds of propriety, they had not overtly crossed those boundaries.  So it was a surprised Charles Bingley who looked at his bride-to-be when she grabbed his butt cheeks and pressed herself hard against his length.  The passion of their kisses had aroused him but her grinding against his appendage had made it painfully hard. 

Seeing his surprise at her audacious move, she leaned in to whisper in his ear, “I am just taking the measure of the man I am to spend the rest of my life with.”

Her words combined with her continuous pressure on his manhood threatened his control, and he knew that if he did not do something quickly he was bound to burst forth in a most unseemly fashion.

Placing his hands on her hips, he gently pushed her away so he could regain some control over his precarious situation, as he cried, “Georgiana!”

Stepping back, she was contrite, saying, “Charles, I am so sorry.  I did not mean…”

“It is all right, my sweet Georgie.  You did nothing wrong.  It is just that I find you hard to resist, and if you are to make it to our wedding day with your virtue intact, then some restraint is called for.”

She looked at him with a sad expression in her eyes, “Charles, I did not mean to make things difficult for you.”

“I know you did not, Georgie, I am very fortunate in finding such a beautiful woman with a passion she is not afraid to show.   Now, please give me a few moments to compose myself so we might return.  I do not believe your brother would appreciate seeing my desire for you so clearly obvious on my body.” He said as he looked down at the unmistakable bulge in his trousers.

Her eyes widened as they followed his eyes to view that desire.  Then she smiled and said, “I guess I was a naughty young lady.”

Laughing he replied, “You are a minx.  When we are married, you have my permission to be as naughty as you want to be.”

She wanted so desperately to wrap her arms around his neck and kiss him but realized she should not.  Knowing that her brother had not been pleased when he had caught them the other day in a tight embrace as Charles fondled her breasts while they were kissing, she thought it would not be wise to add additional fuel to that fire.  It was not long until the wedding, and then Fitzwilliam Darcy would not have much to say if she chose to show her affection for her husband or for her husband to show his affection to her.

Also at this time, another couple was not so blissfully happy.  Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Miss Elizabeth Bennet were in misery about the situation that they had found themselves.

She could no more distance herself from him than she could quit breathing – he had become that vital to her.  During their private conversation that Lady Suzan had granted Darcy, they had planned their getaway to a cottage on the coast that Darcy had secured.  They were to spend two weeks in seclusion before they parted, perhaps forever. 

Thoughts of their escape only made the enforced separation between the two more difficult to endure, but endure it they did.  The constant watch of Lady Suzan on their activities made any contact between them almost impossible beyond civil greetings and innocuous conversation.

They would leave soon after Georgiana’s wedding.  Darcy had announced a trip to settle some affairs and Elizabeth was to return to Hertfordshire, though she sent her arrival date to her sister two weeks after she would leave London.  Lady Suzan and General Fitzwilliam were to stay in London until Lady Suzan would retrieve Elizabeth from her family for their planned excursion to Wales.

Before the impending nuptials of Mr. Charles Bingley to Miss Georgiana Darcy, Darcy decided to invite his friend, Bingley, along with his cousins, Lord Matlock and General Fitzwilliam, for an evening with just the gentlemen.

After a sumptuous feast from the Darcy House cook, the gentlemen retired to the library for brandy, cigars, and a few hands of cards.  They celebrated and chided Mr. Bingley on his loss of status as an eligible bachelor and all had a few laughs at his expense.

After eleven o’clock, a knock at the library door announced the general had a visitor who had urgent news.  Fitzwilliam excused himself from the revelry and went to meet this mysterious visitor, though he had a good idea who it was and what was so urgent to call at such a late hour.

Within fifteen minutes, the general returned to the library and announced:

“Gentlemen, please come with me.  Edward, I have ordered your carriage.”

Darcy stood up and responded, “Fitzwilliam, we are NOT going to a brothel.”

“Speak for yourself, Darcy,” his Lordship answered.  Rubbing his hands together and with a big grin on his face, he added, “It is the perfect way to end an evening with just gentlemen.”

Richard replied, “We are not going to a brothel.”  Although he thought, it might as well as be one.

As the men filed out of the library to gather their coats and hats, Richard held his pouting brother back and said in a low voice so the others would not hear, “But I am sure you will enjoy it, just the same.”

Before entering the carriage, General Fitzwilliam introduced his visitor as Sergeant Major John Hawkins, retired.   Mr. Hawkins climbed up with the coachman while the other gentlemen ascended into the coach.  In the carriage, Richard explained the reason for their expedition.  Each occupant of the carriage had their own reaction to their destination; there was relief, shock, and hilarity.  So when the coach stopped in front of Mrs. Wagstaff’s house, everyone had their own roles in the upcoming assignation.  Lord Matlock had demanded and unanimously been given the role of leader for this mission.  He went to the front door and knocked as the other gentlemen, including the Sergeant Major, trailed after him. 

“Fred, how are you this fine evening?” Lord Matlock greeted the young footman as he waltzed into the foyer.

Fred looked at the newcomer with eyes as wide as saucers, knowing what his mistress was engaged in within her chambers.  The appearance of the other gentlemen, to include Mr. Darcy, made him begin to visibly tremble.

“Do not worry about a thing,” Lord Matlock assured the young man, “I will find you and Tom another position if it comes to that.  Just speak to my housekeeper at Matlock House; she will take you in until another position can be procured.  Now, where is Tom?”

Visibly relaxing, Fred said, “He is at his post upstairs.”

“Very good, now you must remain silent.  Mr. Hawkins, here, will remain with you.  Do you understand?”  Lord Matlock directed.

“Yes, Your Lordship, yes sir!” Fred nodded visibly shaken by what was happening.

“Gentlemen, this way,” his Lordship indicated to Darcy, Bingley, and Richard.

The men quietly make their way up the stairs.  On reaching the top, they could hear faint moans and grunts emanating from one of the bedrooms on the hallway to their right.  Halfway down the hallway sat Tom, with his head laid back, eyes closed, trousers around his knees, and a hand wrapped around his erection, pumping it.

Lord Matlock silently made his way to the lad who was so concentrated on his own pleasure that he had not noticed that four gentlemen stood in the hallway.  Placing his hand over the boy’s mouth, his Lordship whispered to the startled and terrified young man, “Tom, I am here to see your mistress, but I understand she is busy.  Is that correct?”

With wide eyes, Tom nodded.

Listening to the noises echoing down the hall, Lord Matlock said, “Her room, is it the last door on the left?”

Tom nodded again.

“Is the door locked?”

This time Tom shook his head from side to side.

“Thank you, Tom, you have been most useful.”  Looking down at the lad’s swiveled penis still clutched in his hand, his Lordship ordered, “When I remove my hand, you are not to make a sound.”  A nod. “Now straighten yourself and go downstairs and join Fred in the foyer.  He will explain all you need to know.”

When Lord Matlock removed his hand from Tom’s mouth, the young man reached down and pulled up his breeches, stood and scrambled to the stairs while buttoning them before making his way downstairs.

On opening the door to Mrs. Wagstaff’s bed chamber, Lord Matlock’s face lit up with a huge smile. Stepping aside, he allowed the other gentlemen to enter.  All stood in various states of astonishment on their faces to be followed by huge smiles, that is all but Mr. Bingley, who had never seen such a sight. There before them on the bed was Virginia Wagstaff on her hands and knees, moaning with pleasure and oblivious to anything else. 

“Come on, Arnold, ride me harder. Harder, I say,” she demanded.

Sir Arnold Murphy, kneeling between her legs, was pumping fast and furious into her.

“Yes, yes, Ginny, we are almost to the finish line.”  Grabbing her hips, he pulled her back onto him as he thrust deeply into her.  “We are almost there, my sweet little filly.”

This was too much for the amused Lord Matlock who burst out laughing.  “I say, Murphy, my man, you have gotten her all lathered up.”

Sir Arnold Murphy was near the point of climax and did not realize that he and his partner had an audience, Virginia Wagstaff was not.  Turning her head to the voice she recognized, she was horrified to see not only Edward Fitzwilliam but also Mr. Bingley, and Richard Fitzwilliam but most astonishing her fiancé.  Mortified at being caught in the act, she tried to break free from Sir Arnold. 

Sir Arnold’s release was upon him and he grabbed her hips hard as he let go his seed, crying, “Yes, yes. Oh G-D! YES! YES! YES!” before collapsing upon her, sinking them both into the mattress.

“Get off me, you fool!” Virginia exclaimed as she tried to struggle from underneath him while trying to cover herself with a sheet.

“That was some race, Murphy, but I do not think your little filly made it to the finish line,” Lord Matlock remarked.

As Virginia glared at Lord Matlock, Sir Arnold lifted his head and realized that he had had an audience.  When he saw Darcy was one of the attendees, a smirk appeared on his mien. 

“Quite a ride you have here, Darcy,” Sir Arnold smacked Virginia’s buttocks.  “She is very spirited and has a lot of stamina.  She is definitely more that you can handle, so I was giving her a little workout to wear her down for you.”

Darcy stepped forward with a big grin on his face and stated, “You are more than welcome to her.”  Looking at Virginia, he said, “I see you took my suggestion and do not want to wait until autumn to be married.  I guess the one in the bush is worth more than the one in the hand.  I believe our engagement is dissolved by mutual agreement, Mrs. Wagstaff.  I wish you both joy.”  Turning on his heel, he left the room.  Bingley and Richard followed him.

“NOOOOOO!” cried Virginia struggling to get out of bed to follow him.

Sir Arnold held her back saying, “Ginny, he is not worth your time.  He is too much a prude to satisfy you.  Besides, we have the rest of night to satisfy each other.”

“No, Arnold, he cannot just quit this engagement.”  Virginia wailed.

“Ah, but he has,” Lord Matlock injected.  “After we stop by White’s this evening, the whole town will know that Fitzwilliam Darcy is back on the marriage market.”

Glaring at his Lordship, she exclaimed, “You would not dare!”

“Yes, I would.”  Edward nodded his head to emphasize his enjoyment of being able to spread the news. “And Darcy will be there to confirm it and put his own side to the story.  Though, I think that he will be kinder to you than I would be.  Be that as it may, by tomorrow morning the drawing rooms will be buzzing.  Everyone thinks women are the biggest gossipers.  They are not; they are just the purveyors.  We men have clubs for it.  Enjoy yourselves!  I assume Lady Julia and I will be invited to your wedding.”  Lord Matlock left the room with a huge smile, leaving behind a very distraught Virginia Wagstaff and a stunned Sir Arnold Murphy.





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