|The Evening Before
Author: Daniella Harwood PM
Mr Bennet happens to catch sight of Darcy when he visits the Gardiner's with the news concerning Wickham and Lydia. This chance encounter allows him to reach an understanding with his future son in law.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Adventure - Chapters: 14 - Words: 33,302 - Reviews: 116 - Favs: 139 - Follows: 100 - Updated: 12-07-11 - Published: 11-16-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7555841
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Many evenings passed before Darcy ever found himself alone in Netherfield once more. After his evening spent in the company of Elizabeth and Mr Bennet, during which he had amazed both father and daughter alike by revealing the exact amounts he planned to settle on his future wife and children, and the weekly allowance and duties of the future mistress of Pemberley.
The former of which he had ratified with them and their solicitors after the news was made known to the rest of Longbourn, there had followed a number of dinners, held at various houses in the neighbourhood, as the news of the engagements came to be learned and announced.
The last of these was yet to be given, hence his solitary, for Bingley had travelled to town to tell his sisters and then fetch them back to Netherfield in time for the last dinner engagement planned before the news of the forthcoming nuptials were published in the papers and thus to Society at large.
As for his own family, Darcy already held in his possession letters of congratulation and promises to attending said wedding. His Matlock cousins, Aunt and Uncle, were overjoyed, as was his de Bourgh cousin Anne, and although Lady Catherine had yet to send a reply, both he and her daughter were hopeful that she had paid heed to the warning he had given her when she visited him in London.
Georgiana too had sent her response to his news, and her joy had been such that four pages were insufficient to contain her delight. She was also invited to the dinner at Netherfield, indeed her carriage was expected any moment, which was why Darcy had refused to stay to dinner at Longbourn, something which a year before he would never have felt so much of a temptation to accept.
Silently he stood at one of the windows of the Drawing Room which overlooked the driveway to the house, his eyes awaiting the slightest sign or sound which would tell him that his sister had arrived. A half-full forgotten wine glass rested upon the windowsill before him, the sole remnant of his evening meal. Though outwardly impatient in both expression and stance, inwardly he was turning reflective.
He felt upon the brink of so many things tonight. Peace, contentment, bliss, fulfilment, happiness. It could be defined in so many words, and yet summed up into one. Completeness.
He had never thought to reach this state. He had never believed it was possible. All his life he had been searching for what was missing within him, attending assemblies, balls, social functions, Society events which he hated, but felt obligated to attend, due to a friend or family member, when really, though until this moment he had refused to admit it to himself, it was because of the flame of hope within him which had refused to die away. That he would find someone in those crowds of debutantes and daughters, someone who would make feel what he felt to be on the brink of now.
And he had. He had found Elizabeth. Or she had found him. Perhaps even they had both found each other. Whatever the truth, despite all the once, seemingly insurmountable, obstacles between them, they had come together and found an understanding far beyond that hope of his. Which was something within itself. Something to reflect over, to marvel upon, to savour.
To cherish for the rest of his life. Indeed, he had much to cherish already. Barely had their courtship begun, yet he was wishing for more. They had kissed twice on the day he had proposed, and more had followed each day, with the kisses proving each more enjoyable and memorable, and all the more difficult to end, on both their parts. He accomplished so many things he had long wished to earn the privilege of, and in so few days!
He had heard her joyful laughter, seen her smile at him, heard her speak his first name, and in such a tone that he silently wished for no one else to speak it again, save her. She had kissed him, held his hand, allowed his to caress her cheek, and wound a curl of her dark hair in his fingers while he savoured the pleasure of her love.
He had been able to gaze closely at her beautiful eyes, to realise the compliment he had paid them at Lucas Lodge all those months ago was woefully inadequate now he knew that they were really looking at him. He had come to be able to tease her, and to be teased in return, to laugh with her, and exchange beliefs, thoughts, ideas, knowledge, and more, to a far greater degree than he had ever found with anyone.
Everyday with her he learned something new, and earned more privileges, making everyday, every hour, every second, without her, wanting. He could not wait until the day came when he would be able to spend every moment with her, and without any interruptions, when he would be able to grant her everything he had to offer, for the rest of their lives.
A crackle and rustling, sounds of wheels pressing on the pebbles of the driveway, became audible then, making him come out of these thoughts in time to see his sister's carriage drive pass the window he was standing before. Darcy straightened, brushed out the rumpled creases in his clothes caused by his stance, then left the Drawing Room and made his way to the Entrance Hall of Netherfield to greet Georgiana.
It was time to enjoy the rest of his life, now that he had someone to share it with.