Mr. Darcy was not one for expressing his feelings openly, and his shy demeanor was often mistaken for one of arrogance and pride. He had only two confidents that he could trust wholeheartedly. His sister, Georgiana, was all that was left of his immediate family, and his love for her was evident even to complete strangers, though they did not often acknowledge their depth. It was his second confident, his cousin Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, who stumbled upon a crumpled up piece of paper, clearly meant to have been burned as it laid mere inches from a crackling fire.
Richard was never one to pry, but this past week had been a confusing and hectic one. Darcy had made a sudden decision to quit Rosings a week earlier than intended. HE had insisted Richard need not accompany him back to Pemberly, but Richard was no fool, and he knew his life long companion had disturbing things on his mind. Here was a letter, evidently in Mr. Darcy's hand writing, and he was sure it held all of the answers he was seeking in regards to his currently inebriated cousin.
Feeling terrible for the invasion of privacy, he uncrumpled the letter and read:
Mother had always told me that keeping a diary is like having a friend to tell all of your secrets to, and never having to fear them being passed on. That was when I was 12, and I am still not so sure that this is necessary, but I am finding my emotions out of control at the moment, and though I trust Richard more than this dusty old book my mother entrusted to me all those years ago, I cannot bear to admit my weakness.
Looking back on the situation now, I can see that I handled it in a most despicable way. My arrogance was everything she had accused me of. I had flattered myself that she would accept my hand, even after I insulted her entire family. I am well aware that I am one of the most sought out bachelors in England, and despite her low connections and vulgar family, I cannot reign in my feelings, and I find myself only wanting to be sought out by her.
How surprised I was to learn that not only does she feel exactly the opposite of me, but she did something no other woman would ever dare, or want, to do. She turned me down.
Our argument still pains me to think of. But I will not go over the particulars here. Frankly, I am having a hard time trying to organize my thoughts for this insignificant piece of paper.
What shocked me even more than her rejection was how I felt about it. At first I acted rationally, as anyone would. I became furious with the false accusations she threw at me, and I remained furious for the better part of the night and following morning. As calm as I felt handing the letter to her, knowing that that the letter was all I could do to change her opinion of me, scared. The emotions assaulting me were both familiar and unfamiliar. My heart seemed determined to batter its way out of my chest and throw itself at her, because as usual I was stunned by her expressions, the way the light danced in her hair, her brown eyes…
But there was the fear that she would never forgive me. I am accepting of the fact that we will never marry, but I would at least like to be considered a favored acquaintance, as opposed to the lesser favorite in comparison with George Wickham.
The realization of losing her forever is more than I can bare. I would love to be able to completely forget her and all the trouble she has cost me. Yet still I find myself awaking with her name on my lips, my heart still pounding and my eyes watering from the dream that would never come to its blissful end for me. Perhaps it is my way of preventing hope that someday my dreams would become reality.
I thoroughly intend to burn this now, as my body and emotions are betraying me once more. I knew my love was deep, but I have not cried since my mother died. It is shocking to me, yet seems strangely fitting.
I will strive to think of her no more, and I know this will be in vain. I will not ask for the flames to eat away at her memory like they will with this letter. This letter that I have written for no one but myself, and I fear that it has not conveyed a tenth of the emotion I feel right now. I must write these words down, for I can not scream them from my garden as I long to do.
I love you with my heart and soul, my mind and body. I love you with an aching in my heart that tells me that despite propriety, I must be with you no matter what. This same aching tells me that this will never be, and I must, and will, live without you. I love you my Elizabeth.
The letter was sighed with a dried tear drop, crinkling the yellowed paper. Richard was shocked beyond belief, beyond words. Had this not been in his cousins unmistakable handwriting, he would believe it a forgery. Darcy was in love with Elizabeth Bennett? They were so different, and Darcy took his position in society seriously, to a point where it was ridiculous. He must really be in love if his feelings were altered so.
Richard threw the letter into the fire, determined that no other prying eyes should see it. Then he cast his eyes to the ceiling, where just above, Fitzwilliam Darcy was dreaming….
"Elizabeth," He breathed into her ear. His whole body was on top of hers as he ducked his head for another passionate kiss. You are doing this in the wrong way Darcy. He told himself. He couldn't really bring himself to care enough to stop however. She was willing and even as excited as he was. When he kissed her neck he could feel her pulse, and when she looked at him, he spoke the words he needed to say before this went any further.
"Je vous aime vous fera m'épouse cher Elizabeth?" he begged. She nodded rapidly, leaning in to steal another kiss he willingly gave.
"Venir la découverte me" She said to him in a husky voice, and he opened his eyes to look at her questioningly, when all of the sudden she was not there. He was supporting himself on his elbows over an empty bed. He ran his hand along the sheets where she had been, and they were cold.
He jumped off the bed with a strangled cry and turned to his left to where the window was located. There, running down the front path with her hair down, dress muddy and damp, she looked exquisite. But she was running away from him.
"Elizabeth!" he cried in despair.
Her name had escaped his lips just as easily and naturally as breathing, and he sat up in his bed, trying not to recreate the scene he had so exquisitely dreamt up in this very room.
He wanted to remember the dream before it slipped away, like most did. He had asked her to marry him… in French. Odd. He hadn't spoken French in years.
She answered him in French. 'Venir la découverte me' She had said. 'Come find me.'
As much as the invitation enticed him, he knew that the dream Elizabeth and the actual Elizabeth wanted two completely different things.
Despite his better efforts over the past weeks, he could not forget her and never expected to. A part of him didn't want to forget her, but he mentally recoiled from the pain just her name could bring to him. Not even in sleep could he find an escape.
Darcy was determined to exhaust himself to the point of dreamless sleep, and he tried this everyday. Evidently today he had not succeeded. Taking no notice of the time, Darcy quickly dressed and very nearly ran to his front door. 'come find me.' She had said. He was doing the opposite. He was running away.
He found his favorite steed, Agaue and mounted him quickly. Agaue was fast as he had ever seen in a horse, and right now he needed the speed to wipe his mind clean.
Darcy dearly hoped these two am rides wouldn't become a habit.
He urged the horse to move faster, faster then he had ever pushed him before. He knew not how long he was riding, but it seemed ages, and the sun was just beginning to rise when he suddenly realized that he had gone in a strait path west.
Another sleepless night for Mr. Darcy, and now the sun was rising. The sun reminded him of her, and it pleased him and pained him at the same time. Was he ever going to be free?
He slowed to a gallop as he rounded the bend of an old dirt road infrequently traveled, briefly considering finding a stream for Agaue to drink and rest up before the long journey home. You could imagine Darcy's surprise when a break in the trees revealed an overturned carriage about a half mile up the winding road.
Concern for its occupants, a welcome distraction to his current thoughts, overcame his hastily made plans to revive his horse, and with a loud 'ya!' he propelled Agaue to follow the road and make it to the capsized vehicle in record time.
Quickly dismantling, he observed the scene quickly. The carriage seemed vaguely familiar, and hoped that someone he was acquainted with was not in any serious danger. He had no knowledge of what transpired, or when, but he knew it was his gentlemanly occupation to help. (and she had accused him of not being a gentleman! Absurd!)
He briefly wondered where the horse or horses pulling the carriage had gone.
He had no difficulty opening the upside-down door, the glass was shattered and glittered in the brilliant morning sun. Perhaps they had vacated in search for help?
He knocked before looking in, then realized how preposterous that was, bent down to better observe the situation inside—and nearly cried out in surprise and angst.
There, on the roof of this carriage, now on the ground as opposed to being in the air, laid the woman of his every thought, dream, breath…. Broken, bleeding, and with no sign of life.
Elizabeth Bennett was clearly on her way home from Rosings, but her dress was in ruins, hair covering half her face and caked in blood, having clearly sustained a head injury, along with many others.
"Miss. Elizabeth!" He cried out, crawling into the carriage with her, turning her onto her back to look up at him. "Miss. Elizabeth!" he tried again, checking her pulse. He was no physician, but he was positive a heart should not beat so slow. How long had she been out here, hurt and bleeding?
She moaned slightly, opened her eyes and looked at him with an expression of confusion, before she lost consciousness once more.
Trying hard not to jostle her, Darcy scooped her into his arms and carried her while crouching, causing his leg muscles to roar in protest, but he cared not. He needed to get her help as soon as possible.
Mentally promising his horse all the carrots he wanted when they arrived back at Pemberly, he somehow managed to get himself and Elizabeth onto him.
"Je vous ai trouvé mon amour" He whispered to her as he directed his horse north to the nearest town. I have found you my love.