1One Lucky Lady

A modern day "fluff" P&P short story - Darcy declaring his love to the unaware Elizabeth

PG - a little language, a little sexual reference

It was less than a week before the big event - my beloved sister Jane was to marry her soul mate, Charles Bingley. It surprised none of us that their path led to the altar...from the first meeting they shone in each other's presence. I couldn't help but feel ambivalent about it all...thrilled for sweet Jane, a little jealous I guess and already feeling the inevitable loss of closeness with my sister. I know, I know, life changes, it's not all about you Elizabeth, but you know how it is. Anyway, I'm getting off track, my biggest challenge over the next few days is dealing with Charles's best friend William Darcy. I'm to be the maid of honor and stuck up, arrogant, conceited, blowhard know-it-all William was the best man. Every time I'm in his presence he pisses me off...rarely speaks to me...stares at me constantly with that 'you disgust me' look he's perfected...you know, I'm thinking he's the one whom it really happened to...you know when your mother told you 'your face is gonna freeze that way'? How can, such rich eye candy...oh did I mention he's filthy rich...and squeeze your thighs gorgeous? Anyway, it's obvious he disapproves of me but hell, I've only got to do the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony and one dance at the reception, right? But just in case I forgot to be a good girl, sweet sister Jane had "the talk" with me. I should have known when the phone rang. We discussed the last-minute details Jane was having a melt down over, I reassured her...and then...

"Elizabeth, I know you don't like William, but..." Oh, oh, Jane's serious, she called me "Elizabeth."

"Jane, not to worry, I can't stand the pompous ass, but I promise to be good...you know I would never do anything to ruin your wedding"

"But..."

"No, no buts, I'm trying not to be insulted here...I'll just ignore him and we'll get thru it fine. I am capable of holding my tongue when I need to, plus, my backup plan is to overload on champagne if the urge to put Mr. Perfect in his place is getting the better of my self control."

"But..."

"And besides, we have built in protection...he detests me and I'm sure he'll make himself as distant as possible, as he usually does, so we should be in each other's company for the minimum of time."

"Lizzy..." Oh, Lizzy now is it?

"What can I do to convince you? I promise..."

"Lizzy! Can I get a word in please!"

"Whaaaaat?"

"First of all, William doesn't detest you...secondly, I think you may have feelings for William that you've never admitted to yourself. I have never seen you react this way about anyone you claim to dislike so".

"What feelings ...like hate, disgust, pity? Jane, we've never been able to carry on the most basic conversation without it turning into a battle...I've given up trying to find something redeemable in that man...I only tolerate him for your & Charles' sake".

"Lizzy, things are not always as they appear".

The doorbell rang...saved by the bell "Got to go Jane, someone's at the door...don't worry...everything will be fine...gotta go...talk to you soon...love ya...bye." Whew! I was so relieved to end that conversation. Jane doesn't usually blow things out of proportion, she's usually very calm and serene, but nerve's must be on edge as the big day was coming fast.

It was the pizza I ordered an hour ago...I settled down on the couch to snarf my pizza and wine cooler. I started replaying my conversation with Jane over in my mind...she was soooo wrong, me, have feelings for that, that self important bore...I don't think so. But God, he is a beautiful male specimen...those dark curls, deep amber eyes, and the bod...tall, muscular...stop it Lizzy...what are you doing drooling over that man. Well, Jane is wrong...it's only lust, nothing wrong with my eyes, I can't help it if he's appealing look wise, right? Ok, I'll admit I've thought about him more than once, wondering what's underneath those pants, I mean, what's underneath his seemingly cold personality. And I've wondered what it would take to crack that zipper, I mean, crack that serious exterior. I even wondered at one point if he might be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), but I quickly dismissed that thought...he's all man, he just oozes masculinity. My breasts and sweet spot started getting all tingly...holy ravioli...what's happening here...I'm getting all hot and bothered just thinking about him...didn't have long to decide how to handle this situation as the doorbell rang again...it startled me and made me jump spilling my wine cooler down the front of my T-shirt (my white T-shirt).

"Damn it" I yelled running to the door while trying to blot my T-shirt with a napkin I'd earlier used to wipe pizza sauce off my hands and face. "I'm coming" I yelled as the bell rang again...I tripped over a pile of books I'd been sorting, fell into a large potted plant, it tipped over dumping potting soil all over me, on the already wet, sauced T-shirt. I tried to wipe off the soil, making muddy handprints on my poor top, brushed my hair out of my face and discovered my bare foot was throbbing from hitting the pot so I hopped my way to the door cursing like a drunken sailor. I'm going to rip whoever's on the other side of that door in little tiny bits. I whipped the door open and my mouth dropped to the floor...

Good God, it was HIM! Mr. Perfect Darcy! What was he doing here? He's never been to my place...how did he know where I lived...I suddenly remembered my charming appearance...ohhhhh noooooo, being the class act that I am, I acted like nothing was out of the ordinary and smoothly said (while standing on one foot), "What can I do for you William?" He looked astonished, he just kept staring at my face, chest, foot, and repeated the sequence over and over. "Ah, is this a bad time Elizabeth?" I shrugged, doing my best nonchalant voice and said, "No, why do you ask?"

"God Elizabeth, have you had an accident...is that blood?" he anxiously asked while staring at my chest.

"Ah, no actually, it pizza sauce" I calmly stated and wanted to die when I looked down at my wet T-shirt. I noticed he still continued to stare at my wet T-shirt...I crossed my arms over my chest and asked again what I could do for him. He finally came back to reality and began to stutter and mumble and finally asked if he could come in. This was not good. I was a mess, my apartment was a mess, but I could not think of how to refuse him, figuring it must be important I waved my arm allowing him entrance to my humble, private world. I hopped behind him, he stopped suddenly when he reached the acre of potting soil on the rug..."Oh, just ignore that" I said casually, "I was just repotting some plants". He stared at me, he's not buying it, I thought. Would you like to have a seat?" I asked. He looked at the couch, the remaining pizza had fallen (face down of course) onto the rug, lying next to it was my now empty wine cooler bottle. This is not good I thought once more. I hopped over and picked things up and asked if he would like anything to drink...a wine cooler perhaps, I could wring out my shirt and ... He appeared nervous, but said a glass of water would be great. I can do that. I hopped back to the living room with a bottled water and saw he was pacing about. He stopped and just gazed at me, gazed, yes, that was the word, he was not glancing, not staring, but gazing. I sat down and looked at him expectantly...he nervously smiled, sat down, took a long drink of his water and said, "Have you injured your foot?" Nothing surgery, a cast, crutches, a wheelchair and physical therapy can't fix..."Oh, it's nothing, just carelessly banged it when I was moving furniture". "Oh" he said.

I kept waiting for him to say something...maybe he came by to play Charades, was I supposed to guess, let's see, how many syllables, sounds like...wait, I bet he's come to lecture me on proper behavior at the wedding festivities.

"I spoke to your sister yesterday...I, ah, have been struggling with a personal issue and she recommended I speak with you about it".

Huh? What? Excuse me? I must be dreamin'...William Darcy coming here to ask me for advice?

"I can't imagine what you would possibly need my advice on William, I'm sure you would do better to speak with someone you're closer to."

"Ah, no, I agree with Jane, you probably would be an excellent choice for my needs"...if she only knew...

"Ok, shoot".

"Excuse me?"

"Shoot...go ahead...I'm listening...I'll do my best".

"Ah, yes...well, the problem I'm struggling with involves a woman, a very special woman, someone I would like to make aware of my affections and my commitment to a future with her."

"I see," I said, but I didn't really. "And the problem is?"

"The problem, yes, the problem is that I'm not sure how to go about it, I'm not experienced in these matters and I'm terribly afraid I may muck it up and ruin everything...I'm not very good at expressing my feelings".

"I see," I repeated, but I still didn't. "Wouldn't it be better to speak to a male friend about this, maybe Charles?"

"No, Charles is frightfully busy with the wedding. I couldn't possibly put this upon him now".

"Is there some sort of urgency to this? It has to be now?"

"Yes".

Ooookay...

"Why the urgency? I asked

He just looked at me, then at his water bottle, then at me, then the bottle...meanwhile I was trying to keep my chest covered, but the drying shirt was now sticking to my skin...very uncomfortable. I stared at my swollen foot, wondering if it would bruise, wondering if I would be disabled for the rest of my life...wondering if my plant was dead...

"It hurts".

"Excuse me?"

"It hurts...it physically hurts to hold these feelings to myself...I've got to deal with this."

"Oh"

"Does she know how you feel?"

"I don't believe so."

"Why not?"

"Because, well, I'm afraid I haven't done anything to let her know, actually, I think I've given her the opposite impression...I'm afraid she thinks I don't even like her."

Like I couldn't believe that...

"Why?"

He looked at me deeply, stared into my eyes and quietly said, "Because I'm afraid".

"Afraid...but why?" I asked.

"Because I've never loved anyone, outside of my family, I don't know what to do...it scares me to share my life, thoughts, feelings, passions...I'm afraid of letting anyone too close I think, and I'm afraid I'm not worthy of her love."

"Pardon me, William, but you're not thinking that this lucky lady will turn you away...I mean, you've got it all going for you...gorgeous, rich, status..."

He leveled that gaze at me intently, paused, and said, "Elizabeth...while it is true I enjoy the privileges of being a Darcy and all that goes with it, there are still sacrifices that come with the package. Believe me, I'm not complaining, but I've not had a 'normal' life and the expectations upon me are sometimes suffocating. I may stay in the best hotels around the world and sleep on the finest sheets, but I sleep alone. I am, even with all the advantages, still just a man...a lonely man."

Duh...quick, say something Elizabeth, and not 'you can park you Bruno Magli's under my bed anytime'...there goes that lust thing again...

"She must be some kind of special lady".

"Oh yes, she is indeed."

I was feeling something like jealousy...what's up with that?

"Well, William, I'm afraid I still don't follow what you want from me".

If you only knew...

"You're good with people and instincts, I thought you could give me the woman's perspective on how to proceed."

"Proceed?"

"Yes, how should I approach her?"

"Well, will you see her soon?"

"Yes."

"Ok, for starters, it should be in person, no phone or email, got it?"

"Yes."

"Ask her out, to the theater, a movie, something where you can spend time together without having to talk much, then to dinner, see then you could have something to discuss if the conversation's not flowing."

"Ok...but when should I tell her how I feel...during dinner?"

"No, too abrupt, if you feel like she's receptive, arrange a quiet evening together, your place or

hers."

"Flowers?"

"Just one perfect red rose."

"Wine?"

"Champagne."

"What should I say?"

"Tell me about her".

He stood up and walked to the patio doors, stared out for several minutes, and started speaking, slowly at first, but then he just started flowing with things any woman only dreams of hearing.

"She is everything I've ever dreamed about in a woman, she is unique... smart, beautiful, sexy, funny, serious, childlike, all woman, kind, sweet, passionate, fiery, tender, loyal, brave, talented...you know, she's "real"...a treasure. I want to dare to love her and be enveloped in her love. I want her to have my babies. I want to come home at night and know all's right with the world because she's there. I want to let her know that she makes me a better man. I want to tell her that I love just looking at her, learning about her likes and dislikes, I want to provide for her and to protect her...I want her to know I deeply love and desperately need her."

Damn! I didn't know whether to cry or swoon. Here's the guy who never said more than 10 words to me in one evening telling me his innermost feelings, very intimate and personal. I was speechless, I didn't know what to say, but I did know I was envious of this woman. I was seeing a new side of William Darcy and it was touching and sweet.

After a few moments I found my voice, "William, all you need to do is tell her what you've told

me and if that woman has an ounce of brains she'll melt and be putty in your hands. She is one very lucky woman William."

He spun around suddenly, facing me and asked "Do you really think so?"

"Yes, I'm sure of it".

He stood silently staring at me, studying me would be a better description. I felt the intense feelings pouring out of his eyes...Man, he's got it bad. What I'd give to have a man feel that way about me.

He abruptly spoke again, seemed somewhat uncomfortable now, "Well, thank you so much Elizabeth, you've helped me tremendously, I will follow your advice to the letter. Let's see, one perfect red rose, champagne, tell her what I feel just like I told you...is that correct?"

"You've got it. You can't miss."

He stood there shifting his weight from one foot to the other. "Well, I should be leaving, let you go back to potting your plant. Thank you again". He slowly started toward the door...I limped after him (progress, I'm not hopping).

"You're very welcome William... and William...I have just one question...do I know this one of a kind, lucky lady?"

"Yes, you do," he said. He smiled...where did those killer dimples come from...and then he was gone.

I hobbled back into the apartment and went in to clean up and change my clothes...OH MY GOD, I saw myself in the bathroom mirror...my face was smudged with potting soil, my formerly white T-shirt was now a unique shade of wine cooler pink with dried tomato sauce and dried mud on it! I can't believe he'd seen me like that...I was humiliated. How was I ever to face him again?

I peeled off my crusty clothes and started the shower. I was still dazed by what had just occurred. He was here, we didn't fight, he wanted to talk to me because he respected my opinion. Damn, why didn't he ever show this side of himself to me in the past? Well, too late now, he's drop dead in love with someone else...just my luck, when my ship comes in, I'm at the airport.

I was done showering and put on my favorite nightshirt, at least I was clean. I started to clean up the pizza and wine stains when that damn door bell rang again...I limped to the door, this time carefully avoiding the horizontal potted plant and saw it was William again thru the peephole. Must have forgotten something?

I opened the door and said "Hi"...he didn't reply, just staring with a very serious look on his face...I couldn't explain the look, was it fear? "Did you forget something?" I asked. He just stood there, maybe he was looking for stains on my person, or wondering what I was doing in a nightshirt at 2 in the afternoon, or maybe he was dehydrated and needed more water?

"Do you want to come in?"

"Ahhhh, yes, thank you".

He was different, back to his old self...that didn't last long.

I led him to the living room again, warning him to watch out for the plant. I looked at him waiting for a clue as to what this visit was all about...he smiled shyly at me and from behind his back produced a rose...a perfect red rose...the other hand held a bottle of champagne. He came a few steps closer and said..."Elizabeth...you are everything I've ever dreamed about in a woman, unique...smart, beautiful, sexy..."

We were married 3 months later. I'm one lucky lady.