A/N: Got some requests for an epilogue to "Mr. Darcy's Bathing Beauty," so here is something like that. I couldn't figure out how to continue the story from the point I left off. I thought it was kind of perfect just the way it was. So here is a sequel instead! It's set one year after Elizabeth and Darcy marry. Hope you enjoy. Oh, and there's smut here. Rated M. Turn back now if you don't want to read it. *SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to it's prequel, "Mr. Darcy's Bathing Beauty. If you haven't read it yet, do so before you read this one, or it'll spoil it for you.
I don't own Pride and Prejudice, these aren't my characters, you know the deal…
Elizabeth Darcy awoke to a sun well into the sky. Usually such a thing was quite unlike her; she had never been the early riser her disciplined husband was, but she rarely slept this late. Recent days, however, found her doing it more often. It was different, but she had grown accustomed to it. She gave a shrug and stretched languidly.
Impulsively, she reached over to her husband's side of the bed to attach herself to some warm rippling muscle or smooth her hands over his hair. All she met with, however, was flat sheets. Confused, she turned her head to see for herself that he, indeed, was not there. That was odd, too. Even when she overslept, he liked to be there when she woke up. And if he had to go before she rose, he would wake her to say goodbye – usually in her favorite, most explicit way.
As the last vestiges of sleep cleared from her, she remembered with a pang; he was on a business trip to the North county of _shire. He had some investments there to see to.
When he initially told her he was going, she had tried not be too disappointed. After all, they had been married a year. This was the first occasion he had left her side in that entire length of time. Up until this point, he took her everywhere he went. And he was only to be gone a fortnight. A single fortnight of separation in a year of marriage was not so bad.
At least, that was what she kept trying to tell herself. The reality was different. She missed him, missed him every day he was gone. It had been a little over a week, but it felt like a month.
She laid there pouting over it for a minute longer. Then her practical disposition took over and she rolled her eyes at herself. She was not some adolescent girl suffering an infatuation; she was a grown woman past the "honeymoon months" of her marriage. For heaven's sake, Elizabeth, he will be back in a few days, she thought. She would just have to manage until then.
Sitting up straight, she reached over to pull the bell for Nancy, her lady's maid. As she sat and waited, her head turned again to Darcy's side of the bed. She slumped a little bit. Usually he was there, his head against the pillow, dark hair contrasting starkly with the white background. If he was asleep it was deep and heavy; he knew no other way to do it. She teased him that she could throw a roaring ball in their bedchambers while he slept and he would be none the wiser the next morning.
With a girlish sentiment she resented, she brushed her hand against the pillow and envisioned him there. When he slept his face lost all its severity. His features softened to an almost lamb-like sweetness. His lips parted adorably and his cheek would squish slightly against the pillow. His beautiful curls would be matted and frenzied (usually thanks to activities he had passionately engaged in with her prior to sleep), and if he was having a pleasant dream, he would smile. The only sign of potent masculinity in his face would be the slight stubble of a beard that had slowly re-asserted itself since his shave the previous morning. She loved to run her fingers over the roughness, reveling it its contrast to her soft features. He was so masculine, it made her melt.
But when he slept next to her looking so harmless and child-like, that made her heart thrum, too. She loved feeling privy to this Darcy, this more vulnerable version of the man that no one else got to see. In moments like that she truly felt the distinction of being his wife. No one else saw him sleep. No one else was aware of his innermost thoughts, his well-hidden fears, or secret desires. There was no one other woman who sat and ate intimate breakfasts with him on his bed, wearing only a robe, if that, or knew about that adorable mole he had just above his left buttocks. No other woman heard her name on his lips as his face twisted in passion at the moment of his climax every night (or morning, or afternoon, or evening, or whenever else they got the urge). Was there a more sacred trust? She thought not.
With a groan, she buried her face in his pillow. She was pathetic. Fine. But she would breathe in his scent of soap, leather, and spice. She did so, and whimpered. Well, that was stupid. Now she really missed him.
"Come hooome," she whined to nobody.
At that moment, Nancy appeared in the doorway. "You rang, m'um?"
Elizabeth jerked up, looking guilty. "Oh! Yes. Good morning, Nancy."
The other woman smiled. "Good morning to you, m'um. What shall we start with today? Will you be wanting your breakfast now or shall I take you through your toilette first?"
Elizabeth thought about it. The thought of food was strangely appealing yet sickening at the same time. She could think of only one thing she wanted. "If you would, please bring up a tray of tea. And sardines and jam."
Nancy had nodded her head at the tea, but the other items caught her off guard. "Sardines and…jam, m'um?"
Nancy tried not to wrinkle her nose in disgust. "Yes, m'um…right away. Will there be anything else?"
Lizzie bit her cheek. "I believe I shall have a bath as well."
Nancy nodded. That request, at least, made sense. She curtseyed and turned to leave, shaking her head imperceptibly.
Lizzie sat back and sighed. If nothing else, she was quite looking forward to breakfast.
Mr. Darcy sat atop his horse as it made its way through one of Pemberly's many woods. He had untethered Midas from the carriage about a mile back so he could cross through this particular wood in solitude. This one was his favorite. He was not sure why; perhaps it just felt the most alive. The birds seemed to sing more here than in the other forests. Every time he came through here the animals revealed themselves; fox, deer, any form of wildlife. There was a stream that wound its way through until it opened up into a wide, untamed river. He had let it alone even when it flooded and created problems almost out of a certain respect for its passionate nature.
He smiled slightly as he pondered that thought. He did have an inclination for things of a passionate nature, didn't he? Perhaps most particularly when it came to women; or maybe just one woman above all. He sighed. Lizzy. He missed her. It was why he had cut his trip to the North short. There were things that he still had not quite ironed out with his associates, but they could be dealt with at another time, or by correspondence if necessary. He needed to see his wife. He had been gone only a week and a couple of days, but it felt like a month. With that need in mind, he spurred Midas on faster.
As they came around the bend that revealed his magnificent manor to him, he pulled him to a stop. Here was another reason he so loved this wood – the view of Pemberly from this exact angle. It sat atop the ridge just above the glassy water of the river, a shining beacon to his eyes. This was his home; the home of his fathers. He loved every square inch of Pemberly. He always had. But never more than now, now that his beloved Lizzy stood beside him as its Mistress. With her there, his home was perfect.
Nudging his horse forward, he crossed the final expanse between him and all he loved.
Knowing that riding into the courtyard would create a buzz, he instead steered Midas to a back entrance to the house. He was hoping to surprise Lizzy. The last thing he wanted was for her to hear from a servant that he was back. He wanted to see the shock and delight on her face for himself. Alighting from the horse, he tossed the reigns to an astonished footman and ordered he be taken to the stables. Then, without a backward glance, he took the stairs two at a time. Normally he would have been more conscious of keeping his austere composure around a servant; but just then he simply didn't care.
Two pillared corridors, one winding staircase, and several surprised servants later, he was at her bedchamber door. Carefully and quietly, he let himself in. Scanning the room, he was quickly disappointed by what he saw. She was not there. Checking the antique grandfather clock along the wall, he rolled his eyes. It was nearly noon. Of course she would not be there. He should have thought to ask one of the servants where the Mistress was. Never mind. He would just have to find her.
Turning to go, he put his hands on the doorknob, but stopped when he heard something. It sounded like…humming? And something else…the distinct lapping of water.
Turning back to walk further into the room, his breath caught. She was there. He had not seen her earlier, for she was hidden behind a screen.
And lying in her bathtub.
Her back was to him. He took the opportunity to take in the creaminess of her shoulders, shining in their wetness. Her thick dark curls were piled atop her head in a messy, sensual, afterthought of an arrangement. Her head was resting at a tilt on the rim of the tub; an accommodating posture, for with it to the side like that he could see the tips of her divine breasts as they peeked above the water and suds, teasing him by keeping their sweet pink nipples just out of sight.
Welcome home, Mr. Darcy.
As he looked on with blossoming desire, she lathered her hands with soap. Then with slow, agonizing sensuality, she lifted one beautiful leg out of the water. Pointing her toe, she slid her soapy hands along the length of her creamy thigh. Reaching her knee, she bent her leg to smooth her hands over her calf; that same shapely calf he loved to drape over his hip as he availed himself of a treasure further north.
His arousal burgeoned into full-blown need.
He watched as she repeated her actions with the second leg, and a memory was triggered. Had he not been in this position before? He seemed to remember another time…at Netherfield…
Oh! Oh yes, indeed. How could I forget?
It was before they were married. He had accidently happened upon her in her room at Netherfield as she bathed. What had followed was one of the most erotic experiences of his life, even if it had not ended in full consummation. He remembered the vanity table he had tossed her atop of, his head between her legs; the bed they had ended up in and, oh God, how her hips had ground into his as she whimpered with the pleasure he brought her for the first time…
That was it. Sweet mercy, he needed her. He needed her now.
He rid himself quickly (and silently) of every last item he wore. Approaching the tub with careful, quiet steps, he stopped just behind her. He could see her naked form even better from this angle. Dropping to his knees, he put forth a trembling hand, letting it hover just above the sweet crevice of her neck. She lay there so quietly, so unsuspecting. She would not be silent for long; he would make her moan his name if it was the last thing he did.
He snaked his hand around her neck. She gasped and made a sort of gurgle in the back of her throat. She tried to twist around to see who held her, but his hand around her neck kept her where she was. He was not exactly rough about it; she was just not about to go anywhere.
"Who – what – unhand me!" she cried.
Unable to turn, she reached back to grab her assailant by the hair. He ducked away from her with a laugh and kissed her neck soundly, licking at its delicate skin with a vengeance.
She stilled. She knew this tongue. In the past year of marriage it had explored every bit of her person, including and especially certain portions of the inside of her person. She smiled. He nipped at her neck, and she sighed.
"Darcy," she breathed. Her voice, so soft, was filled with a fervent need he recognized.
Wasting no time, he climbed into the tub with her. She moved forward to accommodate him. When he was positioned firmly behind her, he let his hands slide over every slick inch of her. Arching against him, she reached back to slide her hands into his hair. His hands found her breasts and he fondled and squeezed, teasing the tips with almost painful pinches. She gave a helpless moan. Gripping her hair, he moved her neck to the side to assault it again with licks, nips and kisses.
Reaching down into the water, he slid his hand over her center. She writhed against him. Slipping two fingers inside of her, he stimulated her with rough, hard strokes. She continued to moan and writhe, taking care to undulate her body against his arousal. He groaned. Unable to hold out any longer, he stopped his ministrations and practically threw her body forward, displacing a wave of water onto the floor as he pinned her against the tub wall.
Ready and eager, she reached behind her to grip his hip. They both moaned as he slid into her, finding home. He moved with fierce abandon, grunting with every hard stroke. She gripped the rim of the tub until her knuckles turned white. Her panting and whimpering only served to fuel his desire, and he quickened his pace. Before long, their ecstasy reached a frenzied height and they reached fulfillment with convulsing, vengeful force.
She moaned his name.
He laid his head against her back, utterly spent. She slid further down into the water, unable to hold herself up even with the assistance of the rim. They stayed like that, breathing hard until they came fully to their senses. He moved back so she could finally turn around to face him. The sight of her delirious smile made his heart melt. Fitting him between her legs, she held his face in her hands and kissed him soundly. She then slid her arms around his shoulders to hug him tightly.
"Welcome home, Mr. Darcy," she said into his neck.
He grinned. "Thank you, Madame. I am most pleased to be here. Particularly since I was graced with such an enthusiastic reception."
She laughed and nipped at his shoulder. "I am nothing if not enthusiastic, my dear. I think – "
She stopped abruptly as another urge very different from the ones she had just been feeling overtook her. She clapped a hand over her mouth.
Alarmed, her husband asked, "Lizzy? What is the matter?"
The words had barely left his mouth before she shoved him away and shot out of the tub, sloshing water everywhere. Dripping wet and naked, she grabbed the nearest chamber pot and proceeded to empty the contents of her stomach into it.
Darcy winced, but not in disgust. He was by her side in an instant, ridden with worry. Unsure whether she would want to be touched (she was in the sort of condition that tended to make people unsociable), he settled for hovering over her like a mother bear. When she was finished she slouched against the pot, groaning. He wasted no time in wrapping a towel round her and lifting her from the floor. He carried her to the bed, her head on his shoulder. When he laid her down and looked into her face, he was alarmed at what he saw. She was pale. He felt her cheeks; clammy.
"I'm calling for the doctor."
"No!" her hand reached out to grab his wrist. "I am fine now, really." Her voice was weak.
"Lizzy, you just vomited the equivalent of a twelve-course meal. I am certain of it. You nearly filled that pot."
She smiled weakly. "You're exaggerating."
He ran his fingers through his hair. "Still. I would feel much better if a doctor examined you. You don't look like you feel any better."
"No, I assure you I am fine. This is not the first time it has happened. It has been coming and going since you left."
She took his hand and coaxed him to sit on the bed beside her. "Relax, my love. It must be my curious diet as of late. I am eating the strangest combinations of foods. Jam and sardines. Liver and apple butter. I even put peas in my tea the other day. Did you know they add an earthy sort of flavor?"
He made a disgusted face. "Why?! What on earth would possess you to eat such strange things? It's no small wonder you've taken ill, Lizzy!"
She raised an eyebrow and shrugged. "I really cannot tell you, my love." He cocked his head. Something in her voice suggested otherwise.
"Perhaps it is merely my way of dealing with my altered sleeping habits. I do sleep into the late morning hours, you know. And yet I am still so tired. And irritable. Did I mention that? I am in the habit of getting irate over the smallest things. I'm afraid I threw a book at poor Nancy the other day because I asked her to bring me The Iliad from the library; she brought me The Odyssey instead."
His eyes widened. "Lizzy, please tell me you are joking."
She sighed, chewing on her lip. "Alas, I am not. Made her cry, can you believe that? I suppose I ought to feel remorseful. Then again, what is a projectile book in comparison to throwing Cook's soup across the table and breaking my favorite china in the process?"
She shrugged. "I wanted a cream-based soup, not a broth."
Springing up from the bed, he walked towards the door. "Well then, that does it. Clearly you are ill. I am going to call for a doctor."
"No, you shan't. First of all, I loathe the idea of the servant girls seeing what is rightfully mine." He looked confused. She flicked her eyes over him. "You are stark naked, my love."
He looked down. "Oh. Yes. There is that."
"Secondly, I am not ill. There is no need for a doctor."
He sighed impatiently. "You have all the symptoms, Lizzy. Vomiting, strange eating and sleeping habits, and now irritability. There is something wrong. Those are symptoms of…of…"
He trailed off and looked at her, light dawning in his eyes. Her lips curled into a self-satisfied smile, eyes shining impishly. His expression changed to dumbstruck, and she could not help the giggle that spilled passed her lips.
"You do not mean to tell me…you are not…because it sounds like…are you?"
She giggled again and smiled radiantly. He knew his answer.
"Lizzy!" he crossed the room in three long strides. Pulling her to her feet, he hugged her tightly, laughing. Because he laughed, she laughed. Pulling back, he looked into her shining eyes.
She laughed again. "Is that all you are going to say, over and over? If at any point I forget my name, the practice should be most helpful. But right now, my love, it is simply repetitive."
Cupping her face in his hands, he kissed her. "You have made me the happiest of men. I can think of nothing I want more than for you to have my child. There; will that do?"
He put his forehead against hers. His hands moved to her abdomen, discovering a small swell. He gently cupped it. She held him by the back of his neck, massaging. They stayed in that attitude for a while. At length, he thought to ask a question.
"Please tell me you were teasing me about the book and the soup?"
She raised an eyebrow at him. "The soup, yes. The book…" She pulled a face. He looked horrified. Chuckling, she said, "Yes, I was teasing you, William!"
He smiled with relief, looking boyish. Her expression changed – quite particularly. She did love his vulnerable side.
"However," she said huskily. He raised an eyebrow. "I was not teasing about the irritability, darling. I can be quite irate when I do not get what I want."
"Oh?" His hands moved to massage her hips. "And what is it you want right now, my love? I am sure I can accommodate the mother of my child."
She smiled. Pulling him onto the bed, she showed him exactly what she wanted.
Hope you enjoyed! Please review! Feel free to leave requests. Just FYI, this may be my last post for a while. Things have gotten crazy with my schedule. I'll be back with more stories as soon as I can! Thanks to you lovely folks for reading my stuff! It really makes my day, like every day.