Darcy's man quietly retreated from the room. His master lay, his wound re-dressed, comfortably in bed, recollecting the afternoon's delights. In particular the feel of his wife in his arms as they danced sat delicately in his heart.

A knock at the door between his room and his wife's set his heart hammering. "Come in," he stuttered.

"Mr. Darcy, how are you doing? You're not over-tired, are you?" she asked, crossing the room quickly. "I suppose I should not have danced with you so much."

He started to rise, protesting that he was in fine health. She gently pressed him back into the pillows, pressing a kiss to his brow.

"You may fool the rest, but you will not fool me, Mr. Darcy. I know how gravely you were injured in protecting Bennet honor. I cannot allow you to strain yourself."

He gathered her to himself, gazing up at her adoringly. "With you so near, I cannot help but heal quickly. You must not worry yourself."

She stroked his hair fondly back from his face. "If my keeping close will heal you the sooner, I should stay as close by you as I may."

Darcy's heart skipped a beat. He opened his mouth to say what he knew not, when Elizabeth stopped it with a kiss. Some ages later she pulled back a nonce, and whispered, "Shall I stay, Mr. Darcy?" He could only nod fervently and slide back, drawing her down into bed with him.

They lay on their sides facing each other. She caressed the side of his face tenderly while he held her close, savoring her precious warmth so near to him.

"I love you, Elizabeth," he breathed, drawing her closer.

"And I love you, Mr. Darcy," she returned before kissing him once more.

And they lived happily ever after.