divider.jpgbroken heart                          How To Mend A Broken Heart                                            broken heart



<<==  Back                                                                           Back to My Stories                                                           Forward  ==>>


Chapter 5


Fitzwilliam Darcy sat at his desk staring blankly at a piece of correspondence that had arrived during his four week trip toCornwall.  He had been forced to attend to some estate matter on behalf of his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, since there was no other family member to do so.  He had felt that the matter could have easily been handled through the post, but his aunt would not hear of it.  She wanted it settled quickly and felt that if there was not someone there to oversee things, the matter would drag out indeterminately. 

The trip had been tedious, the business matter innocuous.  He had too much time on his hands to think.  The dark and gloomy skies along with the stark and bleak coast of Cornwall only increased his lonely and melancholy moods, moods that had been his constant companions these last three years-–moods which also had to account for the reason he committed the most impetuous action of his lifetime on his return yesterday.  An act that he was beginning to feel he might soon regret.

He knew he should not think on it anymore.  What is done is done and there was no going back.  But think upon it, he did as he poured himself a glass of port and leaned back his chair.  Going back three years to the catalyst of what he hoped would not be his folly; he began to remember what had led him to how he had behaved yesterday:

From that day, almost three years ago, when Elizabeth Bennet had refused the offer of his hand in marriage, he had nursed a broken heart.  She had not only refused him but accused him of cruel and heartless deeds, not to mention, maligning his character.  He had been angry when he left her; how dare she say such things to him.  He had spent the entire night writing a letter in defense of her accusations.  His honor demanded justice. The next morning he left the manor house at Rosings Park hoping to catch her on her early morning walk to deliver the missive in person.  He had waited and waited.  When she did not appear, he roamed through other areas he knew her to frequent.  He returned to the house at Rosings when it had became evident that he either missed her or she did not take her morning ramble through the park as was her usual habit.   His cousin, Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, and he had scheduled a call at the parsonage to extend their farewells, as they were departing the next day, and he had reasoned that he would find a way to slip her the letter at that time.

Later that morning, however, when they called at the parsonage, he had been disappointed to find Elizabeth was not there.  A family emergency had called her home, and she had left early that morning.  Darcy had not believed the story about the family emergency and thought she disliked him so much that she could no longer be in his company.  And thus, his heartbreak began.

Fitzwilliam Darcy sipped his wine and breathed deeply as he reflected on those dark days that followed. Back in London, he had kept himself busy during the day attending to business and estate matters.  He only attended social functions, such as the theatre or the opera or an occasional musical soirée, where he was least likely to have a lot of personal exchanges with others.  During the day, he struggled to keep to his normal ways in order to prevent anyone from suspecting the pain in his heart.  He did not want anyone prying into his private affairs.  But the nights…Darcy shook his head and swallowed back his pain. The nights were the worst, for all his sorrow was released at night.  The first two weeks after his return from Rosings Park, he had fallen asleep on a pillow drenched in his tears.

After a month of struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy, he felt his façade slipping and knew he needed to get away to a quiet, secluded place and let his wounds heal.  So off he went to Pemberley, his home, the place he loved most in the world.  Pemberley would let him sort all this out; there he would find peace. 

Upon reaching Pemberley, he still felt the need to find a way to defend himself against her accusations.  When he re-read the first letter he had written to her, he realized that it had been written with a bitter tone.  He spent the next several days re-writing it until he was satisfied that it conveyed his sincerity and affection and would show her his remorse in all that was said that terrible evening.  But how was he going to get the letter to her?  He could send it to her, but that went against all that was proper.  Even if he did away with propriety, once she saw it was from him, would she even dare to read it? No, he believed her animosity toward him was so great that it would be tossed in the fire.  Now she would never know just what a scoundrel George Wickham really was.  He would never know if her sister, Jane, had truly cared for his friend, Bingley. While this had explained some of her dislikes of him, what had been her other reasons for disliking him?  Darcy passed his hand over his face and stared at the fire crackling in the grate as he thought about that time of soul searching.

Thus he had set about dissecting all their interactions since he had first made her acquaintance.  He knew she had overheard his insult of her at the assembly when they first met.  She had alluded to it at Rosings.  How could he ever have thought that she was not tolerable enough to tempt him?  She was all that he had ever wanted in a wife, a partner in life, and he had so casually dismissed her that fateful night.  Her disapprobation toward him must have begun as he had inadvertently wounded her pride.  He knew his pride would have suffered if such a thing were said within earshot about him.  He took another sip of wine and shook his head, his memory now in full control of his facilities.

Recalling the fiery verbal exchanges that he had so enjoyed while she was staying at Netherfield nursing her sister, he realized she was doing nothing more that politely putting him in his place and thumbing her nose at his arrogance.  Wickham’s lies would only have exacerbated her already low opinion of him.  Their dance at the Netherfield ball, where he had condescended to dance with her, only went to demonstrate how she could hardly stand to be in his presence as she had baited him and berated him through the entire set. 

That night as he had watched her enter the ballroom, he was struck by her beauty.  He knew she was beautiful, but that night, she was spectacular.  There was not one woman in attendance or one woman in the whole of his acquaintance that could match her beauty or her grace.  He had to be near her, to touch her, to feel for that short period of the dance that she belonged to him. 

When he had seen her talking to her friend, he let temptation override his good sense and asked her to dance with him.  She had refused him on two prior occasions, but he prayed that tonight she would allow him to have her full attention and pretend with him that they were to only two people in the world. 

When the time came to claim her hand for his dance, he realized his impetuous act.  By singling her out, he was all but declaring his intentions; intentions and expectations that he knew, or rather believed he knew, could not and would not be able to meet.  Fear and … and what? Was it love? Yes, I believe I loved her even then... raged within him, and by his natural inclination, a mask of hauteur fell over his countenance to protect all the emotions that were whirling inside of him.  No wonder at her attitude towards him as they went down the line of the dance.  Without realizing it, he had only made her opinion of him worse that it already was.

When he met her again at Rosings Park, he had, at first, ignored her because he knew his attraction to her had not diminished, and he still labored under the belief that her family and fortune were beneath him. Later that attraction grew too strong to disregard, and he set about courting her without even knowing how she felt about him or even seeking her permission to do so.  

How foolish that had been, and it was only further reinforced when he decided that he could no longer live without her. He had gone to her and began his proposal by insulting her situation in life and her family and then went on to describe the objections he had had to overcome to offer his hand in marriage to her.  That was when he realized that he had caused his best friend, Bingley, to suffer the same pain that he was now suffering because he had had the audacity to presume to know the feelings of others.

What a fool I have been!  And still am, for that matter.

How was he to overcome these faults unless he was made to practice?  He knew he needed to attend to them if he was ever to approach her again and beg for a second chance.  He would need to show her that she had made him a better man, a more tolerant man.  It was then when he decided to invite his friend, Charles Bingley, along with his sisters and brother-in-law to Pemberley for the remainder of the summer.  He would begin by practicing on a small group of close friends and then move to a larger group. Then, when he met her again, he would be a man much more to her liking for his efforts.  And maybe by proving to her that he was, indeed, a better man, he would garner a chance to improve the opinion of Miss Elizabeth Bennet in regards to him.

Charles Bingley soon arrived at Pemberley with his unmarried sister, Caroline, his married sister, Louisa, and her husband, Mr. Hurst, giving him ample time and opportunity to practice his new found manners.  Bingley was easy as he was such an amiable and congenial sort of man.  The Hursts only required food, drink, and a bit of entertainment usually consisting of a deck of cards.  However, Caroline Bingley proved more difficult as she tended to ingratiate herself to him in the hopes of becoming the next Mrs. Darcy. It was a trial on his patience as he truly wanted it to be known to her that those hopes would never be fulfilled.

Darcy also had another reason for his invitation.  Bingley had leased an estate, Netherfield, in the county of Hertfordshire, which was but three miles from Longbourn, the estate where Elizabeth Bennet resided.  He planned to confess that he might have been wrong in suggesting that Jane Bennet did not care for Mr. Bingley and thusly propose a fall hunting party to Netherfield that would afford him that chance to be proven wrong about Miss Jane Bennet.  He also had harbored an expectation for himself that it would also produce the longed-for second chance with Elizabeth. When the subject was broached, however, his hopes were dashed when Bingley informed him that he had no intention of returning to Hertfordshire and had let go of the lease.

With that avenue closed and with the departure of his guests, he proceeded to accept an invitation to a hunting party at the estate of a friend in neighboring Staffordshire.  While he still felt the pain of the loss of his Elizabeth, it was dulled somewhat by the company of old friends and the activity of sport. 

He returned to Pemberley in much improved spirits. With an early winter setting in and the Christmas season upon him, he settled in and began to plan a way to win another chance with Miss Elizabeth Bennet.  After the Christmastide festivities had ended, he was astounded that he had not thought of the fact that he was to attend his aunt, Lady Catherine, at Rosings Park for Easter. Had not Miss Bennet been at the neighboring Hunsford parsonage visiting her cousin and his wife, the Collinses, at Easter last year?  Could she be visiting there this Easter?  His hope began to spark again.  He wished he could be sure but knew that writing his aunt, inquiring if a certain unmarried lady was planning to visit her parson again this spring, would bring down his aunt’s wrath and make things untenable.  Therefore, unless she offered any information about the matter in correspondence, he would just have to wait until he got there to know if his hopes were founded.

For the first time in years, he was actually happy about making his annual duty call to his aunt.  But shortly on his arrival, he spirits were deflated to find Mr. Collins had been replaced by a curate appointed by the bishop and his aunt had many grievances against this appointment.  He listened attentively, for the first time, to his aunt to glean any knowledge about Mr. Collins and consequently about Elizabeth.  After about an hour of airing her ire, she finally got to the part he was most interested in-–what happened to Mr. Collins!  Darcy’s eyes saddened in reflection as he lifted his glass to his lips.

It seemed that Elizabeth had not left because she disliked him, she actually did have a family crisis that had called her home.  Her younger sister, Lydia, had run off with a Lieutenant in the local militia stationed near the Bennet estate.  A George Wickham “Was he not a friend of yours and the son of your late father’s steward?” Lady Catherine had asked.  Yes,” was his answer.  Damn Wickham.  Later it was learned that they had married and moved to America.  Something did not sound right as he could not see Wickham marrying a poor country girl when he was so dearly in need of money, but if there was an elopement, then he most probably deserted his militia duties.  That would make sense as to why he would go to America; if he needed to avoid capture for desertion of his militia duties.  The fact that Wickham was no longer in England was a comfort to him because he detested the man for what he had done to the Darcy family, not to mention the poisoning of Elizabeth’s mind against him.  He hoped that America was far enough away to keep Wickham out of his life forever.

When his aunt related that Mr. Bennet had passed away shortly after, Darcy had been shocked to discover that Mr. Collins was next in line to the entail of Longbourn.  His anger was ignited when he heard how his aunt had encouraged Mr. Collins to quickly evict Mrs. Bennet and her daughters so that he could take possession of what was now his lawful property.  Darcy knew Collins to be a distasteful man, but never had he imagined him to be so cowardly or unchristian.  Also, he had not allowed that his aunt would have a hand in such a disgraceful and unmerciful act; though he should have presumed as much since it was an expedient way to be rid of the obsequious parson.

But what had happened to the remaining Bennets?  Finally he could stand it no longer and asked his aunt.  Her reply brought him to despair as she related that it was the strangest thing, they seemed to have disappeared into thin air.  Most had assumed that the aunt in nearby Meryton or the uncle in London had taken them in but that was not the case; they simply left with a few of the servants and no one had heard from them since.

Darcy’s jaw twitched as he thought about his meddlesome aunt. He was astonished by what she had told him, and he was determined to find the answer to this mystery.  Quitting Rosings Park as soon as he was able, he went to London to begin his own investigation.  He sent trusted agents to Meryton to find out what they could but they came back with nothing that he had not already known.  Most villages may have their share of gossiping residents, but that did not mean that folks were always willing to share their gossip with strangers.  The Bennets, while not necessarily forgotten, were old news, and as no one seemed to know where they had gone, there was no information forthcoming.

Darcy had been bitterly disappointed with this development, but he had not given up. His next avenue was to canvas estate agents in the neighboring areas.  The Bennets would have very little money after the loss of Longbourn.  They could only afford a small cottage in a nearby village or town, but after more than a year of searching, he could find no one leasing such a property that matched the Bennet family’s description. 

Darcy was desperate.  So desperate that he considered inventing a reason to visit the neighborhood so that he could call on the Lucases, a family that had been close to the Bennets and whose daughter had married Mr. Collins.  But Darcy knew that he could not approach the Lucases or Mrs. Collins for information as it would eventually get back to his Aunt Catherine.  He did not want to have to explain his curiosity about the Bennets to her.  It was too big of a risk to take when there was no certainty of success.  If Lady Catherine had not been informed of their whereabouts, then it was probable that Mr. Collins was not aware either.

It was then that he realized his Elizabeth was lost to him.  There would be no second chances and all hope for such was extinguished.  From that point forward, Darcy led a quiet life, seldom going out or visiting with his old friends.  He preferred to spend his free time remembering Elizabeth…his Elizabeth, as he would always think of her.  As much as he tried to retain those memories of her, time seemed to persist in making them fade.  But that did not keeping him from trying.  Darcy continued to sip his wine as his mind carried him forward.

Last fall while having dinner with his cousins, Lord and Lady Matlock, at their London townhouse, Darcy was pleasantly surprised to find one of the guests was Mrs. Virginia Wagstaff.

Mrs. Virginia Wagstaff was a beautiful woman.  She was also intelligent, well read, mature, and experienced in handling the duties of a wife and mistress of a house.  She was a widow with two young sons, Tobias and Jonathon.   Darcy had known her husband at university and they remained friends afterward.  In fact, Darcy and Lemuel Wagstaff met Virginia Bartleby at the same time.  It was at an assembly during her debut season.  Both began to pay court to her.  Darcy chuckled at some of the wrangling they did to gain her attention.  Then Darcy was called home to Pemberley when his father fell ill and Lemuel Wagstaff was left in town to win her hand in matrimony.

Wagstaff was a hunting enthusiast which had been his downfall.  While riding in a fox hunt, his horse had slipped on a muddy track, throwing him off and breaking his neck.  His young wife was left with two small sons and an estate that produced seven thousand pounds per annum which was held in trust for the eldest son.  After her mourning period, she was ready to enjoy life again.  With the help of her dear friend, Lady Julia, the present Lady Matlock, Virginia Wagstaff was becoming noticed in society once again. Darcy knew the two ladies well and was glad that Lady Matlock had been such a compassionate soul to her girlhood friend.

Julia Westcomb and Virginia Bartleby became friends at the seminary they attended as young girls.  Both daughters of wealthy gentleman landowners had found they had much in common.  But to look at them, they were so different.  While Julia had dark brown hair and hazel eyes, Virginia’s hair was a pale gold and her eyes were vivid blue.  Julia’s demeanor was cool, aloof, and aristocratic.  Virginia’s, on the other hand, was pleasant and engaging.  Both married soon after their debut season, but marriage had not diminished their school girl closeness. In fact, the Wagstaffs and the Fitzwilliams, Lord and Lady Matlock, were very close and spent a great deal of time together.  Although Edward Fitzwilliam, Lord Matlock, was a few years older than Lemuel Wagstaff, they had many mutual friends.  With their wives being such close friends, the men had developed a friendship as well. 

When Virginia’s mourning period ended, she immediately set her sights on Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy with the encouragement of both Lord and Lady Matlock.  Darcy needed a wife and Julia Fitzwilliam thought having her dear friend as part of the family would bring more joy than could be endured.  Virginia immediately warmed to the idea of having the handsome and wealthy Mr. Darcy as a husband.  If truth be told, she had preferred him over Lemuel Wagstaff.  However, back then she had chosen the bird in the hand in lieu of waiting for the one in the bush.  While she had not been unhappy with Mr. Wagstaff, he was a bit dull for her tastes.  She had produced the requisite heir and a spare and was about to pursue finding someone, on the side, to meet her tastes when she was forced into mourning.  But now the thought of Fitzwilliam Darcy still being available and obviously interested in her, she began her campaign to win the honor of being Mrs. Darcy.

It did not take long for both to revive their initial attraction.  Darcy knew she was eager for his proposal, but he always seemed to come up with some excuse as to why it was not the right time.  He knew in his heart that he still loved Elizabeth Bennet and that was why he was reluctant to offer marriage to another woman, no matter how suited she was to his needs or how attractive she was to him physically.  He did not love her, and he never would.  And that was the irony of it.  He would love one woman and marry another.  He sighed and drained his glass, setting it aside.

Darcy’s time in Cornwall had given him too much time to think on his life and what he wanted, or, at least, needed to bring some joy back into his life.  Fitzwilliam Darcy was a man of lusty appetites.  After several years of near celibacy, he found Mrs. Wagstaff’s abundant cleavage and trim figure enough to bring a stirring to his loins.  Not that his loins had not been stirred in the past few years, a fleeting memory of Miss Elizabeth Bennet was enough to make him stiffen.  But Mrs. Wagstaff’s prominently displayed bosom had engendered a definite response in that part of his anatomy.  He was beginning to fear it may have been that head instead of the one on his shoulders which made the decision to marry much more appealing.

Mr. Darcy may have been considered a prim and proper gentleman by most of his acquaintances, but that was not always the case, especially in his younger days. Young Mr. Darcy availed himself as his sexual appetites dictated, which was somewhat frequently.  However, upon his father’s illness and death, the weight and responsibility of being the new Master tempered those appetites.  When he was introduced to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, he was surprised to find his libido had become extremely active again.

While Miss Bennet’s memory still could elicit that reaction from him, he had learned to ignore it unless he was in the privacy of his chambers.  For some reason, he did not have the heart to satisfy his desires with another woman because he knew that unless he could have Miss Bennet then no other woman was worth the effort. 

Once, well over a year ago, he had allowed himself a taste of carnal pleasures.  He had been too long without the pleasure of a warm female body under his.  Therefore, he ordered his carriage and left orders for no one to wait up for him as he planned on being extremely late returning.

On reaching his destination, he asked for a red-headed lady with a large bosom.  Knowing that a brunette would be tempting the fates if his lady for the evening resembled Elizabeth, he could not forego the pleasure of losing himself in a bodacious set of breasts.  Removing his clothes as he focused on his partner for the night lying naked on the bed, his manhood rose.  Standing tall and proud and on full display, he watched her appreciation of what he had to offer.  Darcy knew from experience that what was so prominently displayed between his legs would either make a woman wince or stare in awe.  If it was the former, there was no need in wasting his time or hers as neither would receive any satisfaction.

At the redhead’s inviting smile, he crawled on the bed and kneeled between her wide, inviting legs.  Leaning over, he began to massage her breasts before lowering his head to lick, taste, and suckle her luscious nipples. 

She was not idle as she grabbed hold of that part of him that dangled above her stomach.  Stroking and squeezing, cupping his balls, she soon had him in such a state that he was ready to climax.  Realizing he was at his limit, he lifted up on his arms and looked down.  There in that one glance it hit him with such a force that he sprang from the bed.  He was about to betray Elizabeth!

Mortification overtook him as he looked down at his straining manhood and realized that he was going to have to complete this by hand in front of a woman he had paid to perform the service.  If he did not find his release, he would be leaving the establishment with the evidence clearly displayed that he had not gotten what he had paid for.  As he began to step away, he felt her hands wrap around his erection. 

As one of her hands lowered to capture his testicles, she said, “Sir, let me.”  Then lowering her mouth to his tip, she began to swallow as much of him as she could into her mouth while her hand covered what would not fit.

Closing his eyes in embarrassment, he let her skills with pleasuring a man bring him to climax in short order.  It was not long after that he was on his way home.

When Virginia Wagstaff began her persistent pursuit of Mr. Darcy, it was accompanied by a womanly body ripened with marriage, maturity and motherhood.  His long suppressed appetites were awakened as the passionate man within him could not but be unaffected by her bosom overflowing an evening gown.  The temptation to replace a warm, welcoming, and beautiful woman rather than using his hand to achieve his gratification was enough of an incentive to consider marriage. 

Having resigned himself that Elizabeth Bennet was lost to him forever also entered into his decision that, perhaps, matrimony was essential to his well being.  He was still a man, a man with physical needs.  He knew that he would never have Elizabeth in that way and he needed to move on with his life and think of himself for a change, to enjoy life and all that it could offer. Not to mention the fact that he was expected to produce an heir to carry on the Darcy name.  Besides, his sister, Georgiana, would soon marry and leave him all alone. 

Georgiana had been the only light in his life these past three years.  She was a shy, introverted girl and an incident four years ago had left her feeling quite vulnerable.  He and Richard Fitzwilliam, her other guardian, had decided to delay her coming out to Society until this year.  She would be twenty in the autumn, and it was time for her to start making her own way in life.  Also, as she watched her brother wallow in some unknown despair, she felt herself becoming stronger to help him.  Now all three of them thought she was ready to face Society.

Fours weeks in Wales with too much time to think about his familial duties, his awakening libido, and his increasing loneliness, had weakened his defenses.  So on the afternoon of his return to London, Mr. Darcy called on Mrs. Wagstaff and proposed.  Of course, he was immediately accepted. 

What man of his wealth and connections would be refused?  But he had been refused before when he had offered his hand in marriage to a young lady.  This time, however, he knew Mrs. Wagstaff’s answer to his proposal before he asked as she had previously left him in no doubt of her answer.





<<==  Back                                                                           Back to My Stories                                                           Forward  ==>>



Email Me