Author's Note: This is the END of the Course of Love. Just a little teaser to hold you over until I finish work on the sequel (which may take some time). Thanks to everyone who has reviewed! It's finally over!
The Course of Love
Five weeks later…
"Crap." Lizzie sighed, looking at her calendar on her phone.
"What's wrong?" Will asked. He was finally moving around like normal, almost completely recovered from being shot. He wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her neck.
"I…I…Will, I can't think when you do that." Lizzie's breath grew labored.
"I'm finally able to resume physical activity. Care to join me, Mrs. Darcy?"
Lizzie's resolve crumbled like a house of cards and she turned in his arms, pulling him down for a passionate kiss. She forgot all about her calendar and enjoyed being with her husband again for the first time in over a month. The next morning, she was surprised to see she was the first one awake. It was a beautiful day, but owing to the amount of physical activity from the night before, Lizzie decided to forgo her run. That's when a sudden, horrible realization hit her and she sat bolt upright in bed and let out an uncharacteristic curse.
The sudden movement woke her husband. "What's wrong?" Will asked, sitting up.
"How many times did we…"
"Five, I think." Will kissed her shoulder. "What's wrong, my love?"
"I…I was so focused on your recovery that I missed my appointment to get my birth control shot. I was supposed to get it three weeks ago." Lizzie explained. "And we didn't…crap."
"Lizzie, you are not going to get pregnant from one night of unprotected sex."
"It only takes one time, Will." Lizzie pulled her knees up to her chest. "Oh God."
Will put his arms around her and rested his head on her shoulder. "Elizabeth, it is going to be okay. You are most likely not pregnant, but if you are, then we'll just take things as they come."
"From now on, we're using something. Once I get my period, I'll make another appointment, but until then…"
"I'll pick something up later." He said, kissing her neck. "Can we practice some more?"
"Did you miss this entire conversation?" Lizzie looked at him, incredulous.
"One more time won't hurt. I have five weeks to make up for." Will moved his attention to that special spot behind her ear and soon Lizzie was unable to form a coherent thought or objection.
As December turned into January and the hustle of the holidays was over, the Darcys were preparing to return to Pemberley to begin the final stages of planning their wedding. Two weeks into January, Lizzie had still not had her period, and the stress was getting to her. When Georgiana arrived home from getting her dress altered, she found her sister-in-law pacing in front of the bathroom door.
"Lizzie, you are going to wear yourself out." She sighed. "You need all your strength for dinner at the Matlocks tonight. Why on earth are you up here pacing?"
Elizabeth looked at the younger woman, clearly stressed. "I haven't had my period. It's more than two weeks late. I can't sit or do anything, I'm in the middle of a Agatha Bennet level panic session!"
"And you're pacing in front of the bathroom…" The light bulb went off for Georgiana. "You took a pregnancy test. But why are you panicking? Don't you two want a family?"
"Yes, but not so soon! I mean, we haven't even been officially together a year and we aren't publically married yet." The timer went off and Lizzie dashed into the bathroom. "Positive."
"It's time to make a doctor's appointment Lizzie." Georgiana grinned. "You are going to make me an aunt!"
Lizzie felt faint. "I'm going to take another. This could be a false positive."
Around test number six, Georgiana got worried and called Jane. "Jane, I need you here as soon as possible. Lizzie needs you."
"Is she okay?" Jane asked, worried.
"Physically? Yes. Mentally? I don't know." Georgiana replied.
"I'll be right there."
As soon as Jane entered Darcy house, Georgiana rushed her upstairs to the master suite.
"Where is she?" Jane asked.
"Bathroom." Georgiana sighed.
Jane opened the door slowly. Lizzie was leaning against the tub, her knees pulled up to her chest, a pregnancy test on the floor in front of her.
"Lizzie?" Jane asked. "Is it…"
"Positive." Lizzie sighed.
"Are you sure?"
"If I wasn't before, the other eleven tests confirmed it." Lizzie nodded, not taking her eyes off the pregnancy test. "I'm pregnant."
Georgiana and Jane both felt like jumping up and down and squealing with joy, but that was clearly not what Lizzie needed at the moment.
"Are you okay?" Georgiana asked.
"No. I'm completely freaked out." Lizzie bit her lip. "What am I going to do? I need…what I need is a drink and I can't have one. What am I going to tell Will?"
"I think my brother is going to be happy."
"Part of me is happy. But I'm 22 years old. I'm barely old enough to be a wife, much less a mother."
"You are going to be a splendid mother." Jane hugged her sister. "Lets go downstairs, get you some tea, and think about that beautiful baby that is half you, half Will."
"I'll go call Aunt Rose and ask her not to serve you any wine tonight. I'll tell her you've been sick and the medication you are on doesn't react well to wine." Georgiana grinned. "Will is going to flip out."
"I can't tell him yet. The wedding is three weeks away. This is all his fault…he…" Lizzie trailed off. "Sorry Georgie."
"Lizzie, aren't you on the shot?" Jane asked, confused.
"Yes, but with Will recovering and everything that happened, I missed my appointment. The day he was cleared for physical activity…" Lizzie shook her head. "I was freaking out the next morning, worried that this had happened. Though, to be honest, that's not the only possible time. We honestly tried to be careful, but…"
"I understand, Lizzie." Jane hugged her again. "But you need to tell Will. You haven't had too many symptoms, but what if you start getting morning sickness? He's going to worry."
"A lot." Georgiana added. "That's what my brother does best. He worries. And you need to tell Annie soon. We are picking out dresses next weekend."
"I'll be…if I'm right, I'll be six months on at her wedding. I'll be huge!" Lizzie groaned. "Okay. I just need to go on a run, clear my head. When I come home, I promise to make a doctors appointment."
"Lizzie?" Sara called. "Lizzie! Are you home?"
"Oh no. I forgot! I have a hair appointment before dinner tonight." Lizzie sighed and yelled. "Up here, Sara!"
Sara Hawkins, Elizabeth's assistant, entered the bathroom to a very strange sight. Elizabeth Darcy, flanked by her sister and sister-in-law, sitting on the floor of the bathroom with a pregnancy test in front of them.
Jane smiled at her, always pleasant. "Good morning, Sara."
"Mrs. Bingley." She nodded. "Miss Darcy. Lizzie, do I need to call someone?"
"Please cancel my hair appointment and make me a doctor's appointment as soon as possible." Lizzie said, still in shock. "Sara…don't tell."
"Not a word, Mrs. Darcy." Sara only called her Mrs. Darcy now when she was deadly serious. "I'll take care of the trash, but may I offer my congratulations? You two will make excellent parents."
"We aren't too young?"
"Sammy was 21 and I was 19 when we had Sam. It is my opinion that God doesn't bless someone with a child unless He is sure they can handle it."
Less than two hours later, Lizzie was sitting in the Doctor's office with Jane and Georgiana, waiting on the results of the test. Normally, the test would take over an hour to come back, sometimes even more than a day, but due to the low level of activity in the office currently and the fact that they had a lab on-site, the test came back in a little over half an hour.
"It seems, Mrs. Darcy, that you are, in fact, pregnant." The doctor smiled. "Judging from the test results, I'd say four to six weeks on."
"That's about what you figured." Jane nodded. "Oh Lizzie."
"When is she due?" Georgiana asked.
"Well, Mrs. Darcy, is there any specific dates in the time range I gave you that you could pinpoint? We actually just go on statistics with her hormone levels compared the hormone levels of other pregnant women at the same gestation." The Doctor explained. "But if I had a smaller time range, I could give you a more accurate due date."
"It could have been December 3rd. Or anywhere from Christmas to epiphany." Lizzie sighed. "I don't think there were any times between there…no. December 15th and 16th."
"Well, based on the hormone levels, I believe you conceived on the 3rd. That being said, I'd say you'll be due in early September, possibly late August, with your small frame, you may go early."
"How sweet! Your baby could be born on Will's birthday!" Jane exclaimed, excited.
"This will settle the rumors that you eloped because you were pregnant." Georgiana pointed out.
"I'm going to set you up with a prenatal packet about when to make appointments, tips on eating healthy, tips for morning sickness and all sorts of good mommy-to-be goodies. I'll have it put on a flash drive and the receptionist will give it to you on the way out. Do you have any more questions?"
"I know a lot of women miscarry…how…"
"How likely is it? Depends. You are healthy, active, and young. Your chances are less than some of our older mommies. Once you get beyond the first trimester, so long as everything continues to go smoothly, the risk will go down considerably. Just remember, no smoking, no drinking, get plenty of rest, keep the stress level down, sleep whenever you feel you need it, listen to your body. I'm going to give you some samples or prenatal vitamins that should last the next six weeks, then you'll need to buy some."
"Can I still run?"
"If you run regularly, then yes, you absolutely can." The doctor smiled. "You're in for some big changes, but it's going to be alright. Women have been having babies for thousands of years. You can do this."
"Thank you Doctor." Lizzie nodded. "I'll…my assistant will call the office and make some more appointments after I look over the stuff you're giving me."
"Of course." The doctor smiled. "If you need anything, call us."
Lizzie just nodded. This was overwhelming. In the year since she and Will had gotten together, her life had gone so far off the path she had planned she couldn't even see where she had been going before him. The plan had been to finish her degree, get her credentials, and become a teacher. Then, maybe in a few years, get married and a few years after that, start having children. Now here she was, barely 22 years old, married, titled, crazy rich, and about to be a mother. And it was all because Charles Bingley moved in next door.
"Jane, do you want to get some lunch and bring it back? I think my brother is home and they could use some…time." Georgiana suggested as they pulled up to Darcy house.
"Lizzie?" Jane looked at her sister for confirmation.
"That's fine. Just…take your time." Lizzie sighed and got out of the car. "Wait here. I'm sending Sara out so she can pick up anything on this list while you are out."
Will was, predictably, in his study working when she got home. He was bent over a document, scratching through things and adding notes with a pen.
"Hello, darling." Lizzie said from the door.
Will looked up, startled. "Lizzie. I thought you had a hair appointment or something."
"No. I had to cancel it." She shook her head. "I needed to go to the Doctor."
At that, Will stood and rushed over to her. "Darling? Are you okay? What's wrong? Do we need to cancel dinner?"
"No. I'm…not okay, exactly. But no, we do not need to cancel dinner and nothing is wrong." Lizzie touched his cheek gently. "You know, before I met you, I was a responsible, driven young woman."
"You still are, Elizabeth." Will furrowed his brow. "What's going on?"
"I know that we had talked about…" Lizzie bit her lip. "This is all your fault."
Will looked at her, confused. "My fault? What? Tell me what I did and I will fix it."
"You can't fix it. And I guess it's my fault as well. It does take two…"
Will's eyes widened as he finally caught on to what she was saying. "You…are you…Lizzie. Tell me. Are…are you pregnant?"
She just bit her lower lip and nodded, tears forming in her eyes. "I know we talked about waiting-"
She couldn't finish her sentence as Will pulled her in for a crushing kiss, a few tears dotting the corner of his eyes. "I can't believe it. We're going to be parents. I'm going to be a father."
"You're…okay with this?" Lizzie asked.
"I want nothing more than to have a child with you. I'd like to have six or seven, actually." He beamed, and then furrowed his brow in concern. "Elizabeth, are you okay with this?"
Lizzie just nodded, too overcome with emotion to say a word. She was terrified, yes, but seeing how excited he was finally let her move beyond her anxiety and truly enjoy the idea that she was going to be a mother.
"How far along are you?" Will asked.
"About six weeks." She smiled. "But we're not telling anyone, other than Georgiana, Jane, Sara and Charles because Jane will tell him anyway, until I get through the first trimester, got it?"
Darcy nodded. His mother had four miscarriages between himself and his sister, he was well aware of the fragility of a pregnancy. "So…boy or girl?"
"I don't know yet. We won't find out for a while." Lizzie shook her head. "You need to read up on all the baby information the doctor gave me."
"No. I know we don't know this early. I want to know what you want. A boy or a girl." He clarified.
"A boy. So we can call him Bennet and carry on your family's tradition." She smiled. "You?"
"A little girl would be perfect, just like her mother." Will kissed her gently.
"Hmm…flattery will get you everywhere." Lizzie said. "Are you sure we're ready for this?"
"Darling, I don't think anyone is every actually ready for this. As long as we love the baby and try to do what's best, the rest will work itself out." Will pulled her against his chest and held her. "Of course, keeping this secret for six weeks might be the hardest thing I ever do. I don't know that I can wipe the grin off my face."
"You kept us a secret for almost four months. We'll manage." She shook her head. "You really think we can do this?"
"I don't know. I know that I didn't think I could love anything as much as I love you, and now I know that was wrong. I know that you are going to make an incredible mother. I know that whatever comes our way, we will handle it together." He said with conviction.
"Okay then." Lizzie smiled. "We're going to have a baby."