It took Darcy longer than he had expected to return to Pemberley House. He could not wait to be back inside.

The snowfall had not ceased, indeed, it looked to be falling heavier. Walking back, he burrowed deeper in his greatcoat. But warmth and comfort were secondary only on his mind, the first was of course that he missed his bride.

For certain only an urgent matter, such as he had attended to, could pull him away from his wife of merely more than a fortnight, especially at that time of night.

There had been trouble with a foaling mare. Normally Darcy was not called for such incidents, but his stablemaster, who on that day had gone to visit with his mother in the next village, had not yet returned—no doubt deterred by the heavy snowfall. And although the grooms were more than capable in handling the situation, they had thought to inform their master, for the mare was Darcy's favorite, right after his steed, Galahad. It had taken three full hours, but at the end of it, both mare and foal pulled through.

Heaving a sigh a relief, Darcy had left the stables with a lighter heart than when he first entered it that night.

From a distance, he saw Pemberley House. In his eight and twenty years, he had never considered how immense it looked from another's point of view. Only when he brought Elizabeth home to it as its new mistress did he realize the responsibility he had given her upon their marriage. And with that realization, he had sworn to himself that he would do all that he could to help ease her way. She would be a great Mistress of Pemberley, of that he had no doubt. His Elizabeth could achieve anything.

Certainly he loved Pemberley, he was proud of his inheritance, and of what he had contributed to it. But mostly he valued the estate and its people for it represented all that he believed in—hard work, loyalty, a sense of belonging, and family. And in all this, Darcy was beyond happy that Elizabeth was his partner.

Following with the stately form of the building, Darcy found his eyes focusing on one spot. While most of the windows were dark, drapes pulled closed, his gaze was drawn to those that shone with the glow of candlelight. Blinking against the snow, he felt a smile form on his face, felt his heart grow warm.

As if he willed it, a shadow moved to the window. He knew that form, that silhouette that called out to him even in his sleep. Elizabeth waited for him, watched for his return. She was his lighthouse, like a ship out at sea he followed her back to safety.

Was it madness that made him miss her though she was but a short distance away? If it were, then he longed for no cure.

Darcy doubled his stride and he soon found himself inside the house. Shedding his great coat, he called for his valet.

Inside her bedchamber, Elizabeth set the letter she had been writing to her friend, Charlotte Collins aside. Indeed, her ramblings about snow had bored even herself. Looking at the clock on the mantlepiece, she sighed. Three quarters of an hour past midnight. Darcy had been gone for more than three hours now, one of the longest he had been away from her since they wed.

Listless, she walked to the window and peered out, trying her best to see past the mighty fall of snow. Looking towards the direction of the stables, Elizabeth tried her best not to worry about her husband.

She had seen the anxious look on his face when he received news of the foaling mare's difficulties, and although she did not wish to part with his company, she felt that he needed to go and so urged him on. Her Fitzwilliam looked after what he believed was his to care of, human or animal alike, Elizabeth understood that he was that kind of man. And for that she valued him even more.

Although not yet performing his full duties as master of the estate, Darcy had taken on a very few of the more pressing matters that his steward informed him of. On one evening, Elizabeth had expressed her concern that he might be neglecting his duties because of her, to this Darcy had given her a warm look.

"Tell me of any gentleman who is expected to perform estate or business matters on his honeymoon, my love. Especially one who is known by all to be truly devoted and captivated by his bride."

And to this Elizabeth had blushed.

"Had we wed in the summer, we would have spent our honeymoon in the continent." He had taken her hand and kissed it. "Alas, my love, we shall have to wait some months before we can embark on that trip."

However much the idea of traveling and seeing new places, experiencing new cultures appealed to her, Elizabeth had kissed her husband's cheek and told him with shining eyes that she much preferred where they were.

Surrounded by blankets of brilliant white, Pemberley had presented a marvelous sight. Everything about it was novel to her. Though she had been received as its guest the previous summer, Elizabeth's experience as Pemberley's mistress was of course so very different. Her reception by Mrs. Reynolds, and the rest of the staff was all that was warm and deferential. Discovering the house with Darcy as her guide was a significantly different experience as well, one which brought a great blush to her cheeks.

It would be a month before Georgiana would come to them and close to another one before they received guests.

Indeed, Elizabeth could not have wished for a better beginning to their married life.

Pushing the drapes further aside, she noted that the snowfall showed no signs of ceasing. Contrary to that, her worry increased as the visibility outside turned for the worse. She had been told that afternoon that they would be in for heavy snowfall come nighttime, but thinking that all would be safely indoors, Elizabeth had not felt the need to fret.

Now as she watched for Darcy's return, Elizabeth could not maintain her calm.

"William, where are you?" She whispered.

Suddenly, a movement caught her eye, hurrying even as it neared the house. Her heart beat faster, it was Darcy. Even from that distance she knew it for certain. Tightening her dressing gown, she hurried to the bell pull.

It was Dawson, his valet, who insisted on the warm bath. In his rush to return to Elizabeth, Darcy had intended only a quick wash using a basin, when Dawson objected rather strongly, and continued that Mrs. Darcy might not appreciate the smell of the stables and blood in her chambers.

Quite taken aback by Dawson's uncommonly forward statement, Darcy was rendered for a moment silent. Then with a rumbling laugh, he had bid his valet to continue with the preparations for the bath while he washed clean his arms, face and hands using the basin.

Now soaking in the bathtub, he was glad to have heeded his valet's advice, for not only did the chill leave his body, but now he felt that he need not have scruples in touching Elizabeth with hastily cleaned hands. Pouring the last of the warm water over his head, Dawson bid him good night and stepped out of his master's chambers.

Thus had been their routine since Dawson's employ. At the end of the day, Darcy always dressed himself for bed, a routine that proved beneficial now that he was a married man. He closed his eyes for a few moments and felt the last of the tension leaving his muscles.

After a while, bracing his hands and arms on the sides of the bathtub, Darcy emerged from the water.

Reaching for his banyan, he was confused when he saw it not on its customary place on the table beside the bathtub. Thinking that Dawson had forgot to leave it out for him, Darcy hurriedly stepped over the side of the bathtub. He was beginning to feel cold again.

Elizabeth, upon quietly entering the room, saw her husband reclined in the bathtub, his head resting on its edge. Her heart softened at once. She had at first kept silent for she had no wish to disturb Darcy's rest. Quietly she moved to the table and picked up his banyan and linen. Still quietly she watched him, moving back to go unnoticed.

But as the seconds passed, she realized that would she have wanted, she could not have been able to speak at all, for her beloved presented an image that left her speechless. His profile, outlined by the fire that burned quietly in the fireplace, was both noble and beautiful. As he shifted, eyes still closed, the muscles on his shoulders glistened, the line of his neck showed reigned in strength.

She wondered when—knowing indeed that it would never happen—she would ever find him unappealing. For the few weeks since their wedding, his effect on her had increased to such an extent that Elizabeth only had to look at certain parts of him to find her blood stirred.

When he had risen from the water, his back to her, Elizabeth's breath left her. To be sure, she had seen her husband disrobed many a time now, but the effect of the water and the light of the fire turning his body into a glistening form, was to Elizabeth's already aroused state too much.

With a trembling hand, she tucked her loose hair behind her ear and moved to him.

"Might this help?"

Nearly jumping in place, Darcy whirled around. Elizabeth walked towards him, her face pink, the missing banyan in her hands. But before he could answer, his wife was sliding the garment onto his arms. Standing nearer, she pressed it close around his torso.

"I did not hear you come in, wife." Darcy grinned.

"I did not wish for you to hear me come in, Fitzwilliam, I had not wanted to interfere with your relaxed state." Elizabeth bit her lip, hesitantly, she raised the cloth she had in hand and dried his face, neck and hair. Then she touched her nose to his neck. "You smell good, my love."

Darcy's skin tingled from his neck straight down to his groin.

"But you must be getting cold." Elizabeth took his hand and led him to her chambers. "Come I had some things brought up to help warm you."

Wordlessly, he followed her.

She led Darcy to her bed, took off the garment that by now had served to dry him, and gently pushed him down until he leaned on the pillows.

Smiling, Darcy watched as his wife fussed over him, arranging the covers and adjusting the warming pan on the bed. Then she moved to the small round table near the fireplace.

"Tea or brandy?"

"Definitely brandy." Leaning back, his smile grew wider as Elizabeth approached the bed again, brandy glass in hand.

"You make for quite a capable valet, madam." Darcy jested as he accepted the brandy from her.

"Indeed? I am glad you find my ministrations to your liking, sir." Elizabeth smiled mischievously at him, then continued more seriously. "I gather everything went well?"

After a sip, he answered.

"Yes, thank the heavens, the foaling was difficult, but the grooms had encountered this before. They were more than capable, though an extra pair of hands was still welcomed."

"That is good to hear, William. I admit I started to worry as your absence grew longer and the snow fell harder." She kissed his cheek. "But no matter, you are here now, and the mare and foal are safe."

"I am here now." Darcy repeated. "I will say that our Derbyshire winters are better experienced from the inside where there is a fire and warm blanket at hand."

The combination of the warm bath, the warm bed and the brandy did its job to completely rid him of the cold. But now looking at Elizabeth, Darcy felt a different kind of heat.

Her dark hair fell in waves about her shoulders, her dressing gown had come undone, exposing to his eyes the virginal white of her sleeping gown. He followed the line of fabric as it scooped low across her chest, exposing the swell of her breasts. Eyes moving up, he imagined running his tongue along the length of her neck, something he knew enflamed her. He put the remainder of the brandy on the nightstand.

"Won't you come and lay next to me, Elizabeth?"

Elizabeth knew the tone he employed, the look in his eyes. She bit her lip, cheeks warming, for indeed, she herself had wanted to venture down that path since she had seen him in his bath. If not for her concern over his catching a chill, she would have initiated their intimacy then and there.

Now remembering the form of his body as he stood from the water made Elizabeth's yearning for Darcy more intense.

He flipped the bedcovers open and watched as she took off her wrapper and slid next to him. Darcy reached down and covered them both, the warmth of the bed and of their own bodies served as a cocoon to the world outside.

Settling on his side, Darcy cupped Elizabeth's face in his hands. He studied her face, eyes that he could drown in, lips that could make him feel like he was the last man in the world.

He touched a finger to her lips, then let it trail down to her neck, down past the valley of her breast, and stopped just below her navel.

"Elizabeth, you warm me like no other, you heat my blood until all I care about is taking you, and surrendering myself to you. Do with me as you wish."

He shifted closer to her until his hardness pressed against her hip. Their gazes intense, Darcy reached down, took her hand and wrapped it around him.

Instinctively, Elizabeth's hand fisted, moved and Darcy was lost. With a groan he took her mouth in a feverish kiss, exploring deeply with his tongue. His hand slid down from her face to capture her breast in a possessive squeeze. Pinching, he rolled her nipple in his fingers until Elizabeth moaned in his mouth, weak against his movements.

Her hand moved over the tip of his manhood, spreading the bead of moisture already there. She knew how much Darcy liked that, and from the way he bit her lip, knew that he craved it still. She kept at it until he could bear it no longer and moved her hand away.

Suddenly impatient, she moved her hips, craving his touch. She needed him, it was an almost constant feeling, but now it was shouting at her to claim and to be claimed.

Sensing this, Darcy broke the kiss, ran his mouth down her neck. Lower he went until he found her heat. Without preamble, he spread Elizabeth's legs, weighed them down with his arms and tasted her.

A keening cry filled the room, Elizabeth's head fell back against the pillows as his tongue brought her to different places, all glorious, all bright and infinite. She was beyond herself.

Darcy sensed when she started to fall back to earth, he glanced up as she weakly tried to nudge his head aside. With a wicked smile, he lifted his head and waited for his wife to look at him. When she did, he pressed her legs further apart and claimed her with his mouth again.

Eyes huge, Elizabeth gasped.

"William!" She sobbed

Instinctively, she tried to close her parted legs. She was too sensitive, the stubble on his chin adding to the already unbearable sensations he created.

"No." Darcy growled. "Again, Elizabeth."

Elizabeth's world exploded. Far sooner that he had expected, her body tensed once more, her legs and abdomen trembled at the intensity of her fulfillment.

Wiping his mouth on the sheet, Darcy moved to gather her in his arms. He whispered to his beloved words of love, words of adoration. On a deep sigh, she opened her eyes and looked at him, slowly she rose on her knees and pushed him back.

As he watched, Elizabeth took Darcy in her mouth, glorying in the deep groan that escaped him, that caused his eyes to shut close and the muscles in his arms to bunch as he clutched the sheets beside him.

Reveling in this recently found power, Elizabeth moved her mouth the way she knew drove Darcy to madness.


Her name came out in a long, low growl. Reaching up, she found his nipple and did as he had done to her.


When Darcy could no longer stop the instinctive movement of his hips, he gently slid a thumb between her lips, releasing her hold on him.

He felt predatory, he wanted to devour her. Pushing her back until she lay on her back at the edge of the bed, Darcy covered her with his body. Surging up, he entered Elizabeth fully, confidently. The cry that rang from her lips felt like a benediction to his desperate body.

He moved powerfully against her. Her own body responded, surging up to meet him halfway. Their joining was almost desperate, both moving as if their lives depended on it. They surrendered themselves to each other, to their love, as they had always done.

Forever or a moment, they could not tell how long they went on. Time seemed not to matter. Nearing the end, Elizabeth sobbed his name.

"Look at me, Elizabeth." Her husband commanded. "Open you eyes."

Helpless but to follow his words, Elizabeth looked at Darcy. And she saw in his eyes what must have been reflected on her own. It would be he and she for always.

When she flew, so did Darcy.

They drifted asleep, Darcy still partially covering her. It was a few minutes later when Elizabeth gently pushed at her beloved. Opening his eyes, Darcy swiftly moved aside.

"I have crushed you."

"No, my love. The weight of your body on mine is always welcome." She caressed his cheek.

"Nevertheless, I am not a small man."

Mischievously, Elizabeth answered. "No my love, you are most certainly not."

Ears turning pink, Darcy laughed aloud. He gathered her to him, moved them up the bed and secured the bedcovers around them.

Holding her to him, her back nestled against his chest, their legs entwined in each other's, Darcy whispered in Elizabeth's ear.

"Have I told you yet today how much I love you, wife?"

"Yes, three times if I am not mistaken."

"Only three, I must be getting rusty."

She chuckled. "I confess to always be wanting to hear it, therefore you must aim to declare yourself at least five times in a day, I should think."

Arms tightening around her, he kissed her ear on a chuckle.

"I love you so, my wife."

Another kiss on her cheek. "How I love you, my Elizabeth."

This time on her neck. "I am thoroughly, absolutely, irrevocably in love with you, Mrs. Darcy."

Giggling, Elizabeth turned to look at him.

Darcy grinned. "There I have outdone myself. That is six times!"

The snowstorm raged outside the windows but neither Darcy nor Elizabeth took any notice. They were both occupied with trying to kiss and laugh at the same time.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Just kidding, as if we need a reason to celebrate our favorite couple's passionate love. ;D It has been a while since I added a chapter here, so here you go.

Just a reminder that these chapters are not in order, they are completely random stories. The only common factor is that D are perpetual newlyweds in each one. :)

Thank you for your reviews, for following and for clicking the favorite button! Until the next chapter. :)