A beginning note: I really don't know much about the time period despite my research, so apologize for any mistakes ahead of time.

Mr. Darcy's Daughter

Prologue

A man's sons are ever a matter of pride to him, and there is no satisfaction like that of seeing them grow to be men. And yet while sons are a man's pride, a daughter will always hold a special place in his heart, one that no son could fill.

"Emmalyn! Emmalyn Darcy!"

At the sharp voice, Emma looked up, suddenly coming out of her thoughts to find she was still in the lesson room with her brothers, who were giggling at her distraction.

"Yes, Miss Baxter?" she asked meekly, seeing the tutor was exasperated.

"You are not paying me any mind! I have asked you three times to read the sentence out of your book!"

Emmalyn's gaze dropped to the book open before her. At only six, she was young to be reading, but she couldn't bear to be left behind her brothers for long, and had begged and begged her father until he had consented to let her begin. There were few things her father would not consent to, and those he said no to, she knew not to coax about.

She studied the words on the page, but had no desire to attempt to read them at the moment; she wanted to be out in the warm and sunshiny gardens playing with William and Peter, not inside…

"What is the first word?" Miss Baxter asked, sounding as if she were trying to be patient.

"I don't know."

"Sound it out. What letter does it begin with?"

Emmalyn stared at the page, unable to focus on the letters. A soft knock sounded at the lesson room door, and with a long-suffering sigh, Miss Baxter called, "Come in."

"Sorry to disturb the lessons, Mum," the maid said, dropping a curtsy, "but the mistress sent me to tell the children that their father is home."

"Papa!" Emmalyn squealed, scrambling from her chair. She was the first out of the lesson room, followed closely by ten-year-old William and eight-year-old Peter. She didn't heed their calls for her to wait.

Racing through the great Pemberley hall, disregarding any sense of decorum, she flew to the main entrance and straight into her father's waiting embrace.

"Oh! How's my little girl?" Fitzwilliam Darcy asked, scooping her up and holding her as she hugged him tightly about the neck before pulling back.

"Very tired of lessons," she said seriously, placing one hand on each cheek and staring into his dark eyes so like her own. He chuckled, his smile coming much easier after so many years of marriage to his wife Elizabeth.

He looked much the same as he had all those twelve years ago on their wedding day, save for just a touch of distinguished gray around his temples. Still fit as ever, he set his daughter down as his sons came to greet him.

Older now, the boys thought it much too unmanly to hug their father as they had before.

William gave him a bow. "Father, you're home!" He couldn't keep the grin off his face, a smile which his father noted was much like his mother's.

Peter attempted to copy his older brother, but couldn't keep from bouncing a little as he stood before his father. His words came out in a tumble of excitement. "We missed you ever so much!"

"Yes!" Emmalyn chimed in, clasping her hands behind her back and beaming at him.

"Well, I bring good news. Your Aunt and Uncle Bingley have agreed to come and stay for a visit very soon." The three children exclaimed in excitement, and their father had to wait a moment before continuing, "You will soon be playing with your eight cousins." He raised his eyes to the ceiling with a look of despair at the looming end of any piece and quiet the house might still possess, even with three children and a baby.

Dropping his gaze, he spotted his wife at the top of the stairs waiting for him. Beautiful as ever, she immediately captured his eyes. Her smile was playful as she waited. She's never one to make things easy, Darcy thought. And I don't mind that a bit.

"Run off and play, while I greet your mother," Mr. Darcy called without looking away from Elizabeth. He wondered how, after all these years, he could miss her so intensely when they were parted — even for only a few days. Moving slowly up the stairs, he removed his top hat, stopping before his wife.

"How was your journey?" she asked, offering her hand.

"Very well, thank you, only lonely," Mr. Darcy admitted, taking her hand and kissing the back of it.

"Well, I can't say it was lonely here, not with the children," Elizabeth teased. As there were no passing servants at the moment, Mr. Darcy took his chance and kissed her. The kiss lasted perhaps a little longer than it should have there in the entrance hall, and they were brought apart by the giggling of the children, who hadn't run off very far after all.

Mr. Darcy turned away. "Back to your lessons, you little scamps!" he ordered, and the children scattered, giggling. He was left to stare after them and notice suddenly how very grown up little Emma looked in the dress she wore. He thought with a pang that all too soon he would have to be fending off the advances of young men in pursuit of her, his only daughter.

"Is something wrong, love?" Elizabeth asked, tilting her head to look up at him.

He squeezed her hand. "No, nothing yet, Lizzy." And as they started up the stairs he thought, he had better be one very special man for me to be able to give Emma into his care…

This is my first Pride and Prejudice fan fic and I really don't know if it's any good. I would really please like to hear what you think. Your reviews will be no doubt be the deciding factor of whether I ever write and post more. thank you!

thank you so much for the reviews! I'm so excited, (but also a little worried) I'll do my best to post another chapter as soon as possible!