Oh the hell with the world. Darcy gazed out the carriage window, refusing to look at the other occupant in the carriage. Darcy could not fathom how yesterday Elizabeth had declared them the happiest couple in the world and yet today she stated she wanted an annulment. Damn you, Richard.
Darcy blamed his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, for his current state of unhappiness. All was well yesterday, until the wedding breakfast at Longbourn. Darcy knew his cousin was only teasing and trying to anger him. Of course, it worked, as always. Darcy was not an inexperienced man; not as experienced as his cousin, but he could find his way around in the bedchamber. He was eagerly anticipating his wedding night with his love, Elizabeth. He understood that Elizabeth was an innocent and he would be gentle and patient with her. After that, they could learn from each other about the marriage bed.
But, of course, Richard had to intervene. As Elizabeth was talking with Jane during the wedding breakfast, Colonel Fitzwilliam sat down next to his cousin.
"I say, Darcy, you will be one lucky man tonight." Richard slapped Darcy on the back. He poured them both a glass of port. Darcy thought it a little early to be drinking, but said nothing, choosing instead to gaze at his new bride.
"So, Darcy, do you have your plan of action ready for tonight?" Richard grinned.
"Richard, I am not going into battle . I hardly believe this calls for a plan." Darcy grumbled.
"Nonsense!", exclaimed Richard. "What is your plan of attack? Do you plan to let her change into a nightdress with the help of her maid, or do you intend to rip that dress off her body the second you are alone?"
"Keep your voice down." Darcy hissed before glancing towards Elizabeth and imaging himself doing just that. I would frighten her to death. Of course, she shall change with the help of her maid. Hopefully she shall not need much time. Darcy was lost in his own thoughts when he heard his cousin whispering in his ear, nearly causing him to jump from his seat.
"How do you plan to get her in your bed?" Colonel Fitzwilliam asked, grinning behind his glass of port. "You cannot just ask the poor thing, you will seem rather savage."
Darcy picked up his glass of port and drained it of it's contents. He glanced towards Elizabeth again, she looked up and smiled towards him. He had not thought of tonight in so much detail. He just assumed it would all happen naturally. How will I get her in my bed? Maybe I will just pick her up and deposit her on the bed. Yes, of course, that is what I shall do.
"Do you plan on talking to her during the process or will you just remain aloof?" Richard could see the tiny beads of sweat on Darcy's forehead and actually felt sorry for him. Then again, it is not everyday that Fitzwilliam Darcy gets married; this was a rare opportunity to be seized.
What would Elizabeth want? Would she want me to talk to her and encourage her, or would she prefer everything to be quiet? Damn you, Richard.
Charles Bingley interrupted Darcy's musings. "Well everyone, it was a delightful wedding breakfast and I thank you all so much for attending our wedding today. I do believe it is time to return to Netherfield before it gets too late. Darcy, Elizabeth, are you coming with us now or do you plan to stay longer?"
Before Darcy could answer, Elizabeth rose and stated "I believe we should stay a little longer, for tomorrow we will be journeying to London and it will be a while before I see my family again."
Darcy poured himself another glass of port and swallowed a large amount. Does she fear tonight so much that she does not even want to be left alone with me?
Charles and Jane Bingley soon said their farewells and headed for the carriage to take them to Netherfield. Darcy watched with envy as they made their way outside.
"Has Mrs. Bennett explained tonight to your young bride, Darcy." Richard asked.
"God only knows what that woman told her daughters." Darcy spat out.
"She more than likely told her to lay there and not move or speak until you have had your way with her." Richard teased.
"Richard! I will not have my way with her." Darcy whispered.
"Why ever not? If she was my bride…" Richard stopped speaking when he noticed Darcy staring at him with venom in his eyes.
"Forgive me. I just meant that if I was married, I would be having my way with my wife tonight. But, she would definitely not remain still or quiet." Richard explained.
Darcy emptied his glass again before pouring another round for his cousin and himself. He could barely make out his mother-in-law's voice from across the room.
"Now Elizabeth, remember what I told you, dear. It will not last long. He will be done before you realize it is happening. Just lay there and be a good wife. You shall have him an heir in no time."
"Yes mama." Darcy heard Elizabeth softly reply.
What a half-witted, foolish woman! Thank God she will be too many miles away for frequent visits.
Darcy rose and quickly grabbed the back of his chair, realizing he was unsteady on his feet. Blast! I shall kill Richard for trying to get me drunk before my wedding night.
Darcy slowly walked towards Elizabeth. "My dear, are you ready to leave? Have you said all your goodbyes?" He prayed his wife was ready to get out of this place. He felt as if he was trapped in a cage and needed to escape.
"Yes, William, I am ready." Elizabeth said her farewells one last time before leaving for Netherfield with her husband. Darcy had decided they would stay one night at Netherfield before leaving for London. Now, he regretted that decision. He could feel his head start to pound and cursed himself for letting his cousin's words get under his skin.
"William, we shall be the happiest couple in the world." Elizabeth threw her hands around Darcy's neck after entering the carriage.
"Yes, of course, my love." Darcy whispered, praying that his headache would go away quickly.
"Are you well, William?" Elizabeth questioned, concern etched in her voice.
"I believe I am just tired after today's activities. I am ready to start my life with you Elizabeth. I love you so very much." Darcy leaned over and brushed his lips across Elizabeth's cheek.
Once at Netherfield, Darcy escorted Elizabeth to her chambers. He kissed her softly on her lips. "I will come for you in half an hour, my love. Is that enough time for you to prepare?"
Elizabeth could feel her cheeks warm. "Yes", she softly whispered.
She entered the dressing room and noted a maid standing near the vanity. "Mrs. Darcy, my name is Alice", she stated before curtseying. " Mr. Darcy hired me to be your personal maid. If there is anything at all I can do for you, just ask it ma'am".
"Thank you, Alice. Can you please help me with this dress? I believe I packed a new nightdress, have you happened to see it?" Alice held up a white, silk nightdress to her mistress. "Yes, that is it." After helping Elizabeth disrobe and don her nightdress, Alice began removing the pins from her mistress' hair. Each pin that was pulled gave way to a dark, chestnut curl.
After dismissing her maid, Elizabeth began to think of all the sweet caresses she shared with William during their engagement. As she brushed her hair, she remembered William's hands running through her locks, occasionally twirling a curl around his finger. She recalled his hands roaming down her body and pausing on her breasts. A warmth between her legs began to stir, and she wondered what kept her William from coming to her. She was not afraid of this night. She had dreamt of this moment for several weeks now. She and Mr. Darcy had decided early on to have an open relationship, and because of that Elizabeth was well prepared for this night. She was actually excited, though she would never tell her mother such a thing.
Elizabeth sat her brush on the vanity and stared at her image in the mirror. She prayed her new husband would be pleased with her figure. Of course he shall be pleased, has he not told me how alluring he finds me?
Elizabeth was not a patient woman when she desired something. It was going on an hour since her husband left her to prepare and he was no where to be seen. She decided to take matters into her own hands. If he will not come to me, I shall go to him.
Leaving her dressing chamger, she entered the cold sitting room, and knocked on the door connecting to his chambers. She listened carefully. She knocked again.
Slowly turning the knob, she opened the heavy door and attempted to adjust her eyes to the darkness. She made out a figure laying on the bed.
"William?" She called out to him and received no answer.
"Is all well?" Still she received no answer.
Walking slowly and softly towards the bed, she noticed that William seemed to be sleeping. Am I not worth staying up for? As her anger rose, Elizabeth began shaking her husband.
"Wake up William", she demanded. Elizabeth could not make out the mumblings of her husband.
"Mr. Darcy!", she yelled.
"I shall just rip her dress….yes that is what I shall do...no I do not need a bed….we could use the floor for all I care." Darcy stammered and rolled over onto his stomach.
After shaking her husband several times, Elizabeth removed herself from the bed. "You are a fool Fitzwilliam Darcy, a drunk fool! I shall not beg you. Goodnight, sir". She left his chambers incensed.
Darcy sat in the rocking carriage cursing himself for letting Richard get the best of him.
Looking over to Elizabeth, he noticed his sweet wife looked absolutely livid and distraught at the same time. He wanted to pull her into his arms and apologize for his behavior, but then again, he actually did not do anything to apologize for. Of course, that is precisely why she is mad-I did not do anything on our wedding night.
Darcy reflected on their conversation earlier this morning. After Elizabeth noticed how happy Jane and Charles were at breakfast, she became resentful. He pulled her into the library after their meal.
"Pray, whatever is wrong?" Darcy questioned.
"What is wrong? You dare ask me what's wrong?" Elizabeth screamed while pacing the library. "My husband of one day does not want to share intimacies with me." Darcy thought her shrill voice sounded a little bit too much like her mother, but would never state such a thing to her.
"Elizabeth, please forgive me. I was not myself last night. I had too much to drink at Longbourn and I let Richard get the best of me." Darcy begged her to look at him. "Please, let us forget last night and start over. I agree that was not a good way to start off our marriage."
"Well since we have not consummated our vows, I demand an annulment." Elizabeth stormed from the room.
Darcy sat staring out the window, remembering how his heart broke at hearing those words come from her mouth. At least got into the carriage with me. I must make this right before we reach London. What shall the staff think if I am not on speaking terms with my young bride?
Darcy glanced over to his wife and covered her hands on her lap with his hands. She startled at the touch and looked down at their joined hands.
"Elizabeth" Darcy sighed. "Please".