Sorry that it took so long and that it is so short, but I promise the next update will be sooner.
"Darcy," Bingley said hesitantly later that night, "I have given the matter much thought and I have decided that it was time I returned to London." Darcy looked up quickly, his jerky movement proof of his previous inattention. Though Bingley had been talking to him since they had rode in the carriage back from the ball, Darcy had heard none of it. "There are quite a few pressing engagements that call me back. I have made arrangements already." Darcy nodded absently.
"And when will you be back?" Bingley shrugged with a careless air.
"You know my disposition. I am not content to remain in one place for any great length of time. I may go from London to visit other friends of mine in the country, or perhaps I shall visit my cousins. It has been some time since I last saw them." Darcy hardly even bothered to nod this time as he had once again directed his attention to his own thoughts. He showed none of the outrage or pain that Bingley had expected. On whole the interview was going rather well.
"Will your sisters be joining you?" This was not a question Bingley expected.
"There are also a few renovations that will be done to the house in our absence, so it is necessary that we all leave." Again Darcy jerkily looked up, finally giving Bingley his full attention.
"We are all leaving? We will be back in a week, yes?" Bingley sighed understanding now why the interview had been so easy. Darcy had not realized that he was to be separated from Elizabeth.
"Darcy," Bingley began again, standing and placing a hand on Darcy's shoulder, "I am planning to close the house, because I don't know when I will return." Darcy's stricken look almost crushed Bingley's already weakened resolve.
"Close the house," repeated Darcy as though the words were foreign to him. "But why? I had not thought you would want to go away. I thought you too were infatuated with a Miss Bennet."
"I am, but it is as you said merely an infatuation…for both of us." Bingley lied. Darcy shook his head vigorously.
"No, I love her!"
"You think that, but you will see. In a few months she will be nothing but a distant memory."
"I will not forget her," Darcy declared.
"You must! Think of it," Bingley sat in a chair across from Darcy and leaned forward earnestly. "She doesn't love you, you know that. Is this truly what you want to do; spend your life watching her be happy with someone else? Go away; leave this place. For your own sake, you need to move on."
"You ask me to push away all that gives my life meaning?"
"You have not yet known her two months! She is not your entire world. Think of Georgiana. Think of your cousin. Life will go on." Darcy shook his head and moved to stand.
"No, I cannot accept that. How does one survive with a broken heart? They can exist, but do they live? There is no greater accomplishment than to love; love with all your soul. When this love is felt, it is as though one's soul is flying. To take them away from this is to cut off the wings of the soul. Once the soul has known the joy of flying, it cannot live again on the ground."
"Perhaps you will love again."
"No, now that I know what true love is, nothing short of it will ever satisfy me. I will not leave." Leaving his last declaration still hanging in the air, Darcy strode out of the room determinedly.
Really not sure which direction this story is going. I'm letting my muse and the story take over, so we'll see where it goes.