Obligatory Disclaimer: I own nothing. The characters and many of the lines belong to the incredible genius who was Jane Austin.
A note before you begin: This is just for fun, not expected to be taken too seriously. Just indulging a little fantasy of mine and sharpening my writing chops. Every time I watch the proposal scene from either P&P version, I wish Darcy would just grab Elizabeth and kiss her into submission! Here's my version of the proposal scene. Enjoy! ;)
What Elizabeth was doing in the parlor at the parsonage could only be described as hiding. She knew she should feel guilty for lying to her friends by claiming a headache she did not have, but she just could not face him again.
When Elizabeth had been intercepted on her morning walk by Mr. Darcy again the previous morning, she became completely convinced that he had purposely sought her out when he knew she would be alone. The way his dark eyes traced over the curves of her body made her tremble inside. What was more alarming was that she did not totally dislike the feeling.
As much as she fought in her mind to maintain her dislike of Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth Bennet could not control the reaction of her body to his presence. She often caught herself studying him when she was sure nobody was looking. There was no denying that he was a superb example of masculine beauty. Broad shoulders and narrow hips, well-formed legs that looked amazing in riding boots, and eyes so dark they were almost black where just a few features that Elizabeth found most disconcerting. It seemed terribly unfair that someone so physically perfect should be so flawed in the areas of character, behavior, and judgement.
Elizabeth was an innocent. She knew very little of the ways of men and women, but she knew enough to know that men had certain needs. These needs, though very mysterious to Elizabeth, where clearly written in Mr. Darcy's eyes when he had stared at her when they were alone in the woods. She was used to him staring. Had been doing so since they had first become aquatinted. His intense scrutiny had always made Elizabeth uncomfortable, but until they were alone together in the woods she had assumed that he was only staring at her to criticize and to find fault. Alone, however, and closer than they had ever been on the narrow path with her hand hooked through his arm, Elizabeth began to assign another meaning to his gaze.
The long and short of it was, Elizabeth was afraid of him. She knew he did not care for her. It had become obvious that he was attracted to her, wanted her physically. With what she knew of his character from Mr. Whickham, and from her own observation of him over the time of their acquaintance, she was not sure that he was a man to be trusted. True, he had always behaved as a perfect gentleman when they had been in each other's company thus far, but perhaps he was only waiting for her to become comfortable in his presence before...she wasn't sure exactly what...compromising her somehow. And she feared herself as well. The feelings his gaze and nearness incited in her body were difficult to ignore, and she was sure he knew this and would use it to his advantage. She was unsure of her ability to resist him should he come even closer. She pictured him stepping very close to her, black eyes boring into hers, and taking her hand, lifting it to his lips...She closed her eyes and rested her head against the back of her chair. Her hands trembled.
Elizabeth started when she heard the parlor door open. When she opened her eyes she had to blink several times to be sure she was fully awake. There, standing in the parlor before her, was Mr. Darcy himself!
"Are you well, Miss Elizabeth?" he asked. His voice was raspy and his breath came quickly. Elizabeth thought she had never seen him so agitated.
"I am, thank you," she replied with cold civility, still stunned by his sudden appearance.
"When I heard you might be ill, I had to come," he continued. Elizabeth's mouth gaped open in astonishment and confusion. What cared he for her health? She was about to find out.
Mr. Darcy sat down for a few moments, then rose and began to pace from the chair to the mantlepiece, then to the window. He completed this circuit twice before finally coming to a stop in front of Elizabeth, where she now stood in front of her chair in confused silence.
Raking his fingers through his hair nervously, he began-
"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed." Here he paused to take her hand in both of his before continuing. "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire...and love you."
Elizabeth was sure she had never been more astonished in her twenty years. She felt the color creeping up her chest and all the way to her scalp. She wondered if she had heard him correctly, or was she perhaps dreaming? Before she could formulate any kind of response, he continued.
"From almost the first moment of making your acquaintance, your beauty has tormented me. Oh, how I have wanted you! I have yearned for you to the point of physical pain. Your beauty, wit, and intelligence all have enthralled me. I have fought to suppress these feelings in vain. Despite my sense of the inferiority of your birth, the degradation such an alliance would inflict upon my own name, and the low nature of your family and connections, I find that I must have you, or be driven to Bedlam. Please say that you will accept my hand."
With this he lifted her captive hand to his lips and bestowed several tender kisses along her palm and wrist, gradually making his way up her forearm while pulling her closer to him. He was more than a little shocked when Elizabeth roughly wrenched her hand from his grasp and wiped it on her skirt.
"How dare you?"she glared up at him, angrily. "How dare you insult me and my family and then presume to take such liberties?"
Darcy was furious. Had she any idea what it had cost him to open himself up to her as he had done? to offer all he had?
"Is this to be all the reply I am to have the honor of expecting?"
"Yes, it is," she nearly spat back at him.
"I believe, madam, that it is the established mode in cases such as this to express a sense of obligation, or at the very least, gratitude, for the sentiments avowed!"
"If I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you, but I cannot! I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly."
His dark eyes bored into her, and he stepped closer to her. She automatically took a step back. Her legs came into contact with the chair behind her, which she quickly scrambled to put between herself and Mr. Darcy. The small barrier between them gave her courage to continue.
"I would be terribly sorry to occasion pain to anyone- except perhaps you! But take heart sir, I am sure the feelings you tell me have prevented your regard can have little difficulty in overcoming it!"
"You are cruel, indeed, madam, to reject me with so little endeavor at civility. For all the months of torment I have suffered for you, you begrudge me a few kisses on your hand. If you knew the extent of my desire for you, this would seem a trifle indeed."
His dark eyes spoke eloquently of his need. She stood frozen under his stare as he knelt on the chair in front of her and recaptured her hand, instantly turning it over and kissing her palm. She gasped at the unexpected sensation of his hot tongue on her skin as he gently nipped at her wrist. Her heart began to beat wildly.
If didn't take Elizabeth long to remember her anger, and she tried to pull her hand away again. This time, however, he was prepared for the possibility. Try as she might, she could not free her hand from his iron grasp.
"Were you not cruel to speak of your desire for me and then call me a degradation in the same breath? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have!"
Darcy paused in his ministrations to her forearm upon hearing her last statement. What else could she possibly be holding against him? What was he guilty of, besides lavishing his attention on such an ungrateful and unworthy wench? His baffled look further inflamed Elizabeth.
"Do you honestly think that any consideration could temp me to accept the man who has ruined, perhaps forever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?"
Darcy felt the color drain from his face. How did she know of his interference with Bingley and her sister? He never failed to underestimate her intelligence. Nothing seemed to escape her notice.
"Can you deny that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other, of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, and the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind? And yet, you have the audacity to boast of your success in this endeavor!"
Comprehension spread over Darcy's face as the source of Elizabeth's information suddenly dawned on him. Damn that Richard! It was insufferable enough that he had been constantly flirting with Elizabeth since their first meeting, but now he had opened his big mouth and made her think even more ill of him than she apparently had before! Darcy had wondered several times since coming to Roseings if Elizabeth preferred Richard's company to his. Jealousy and rage flooded over him.
"Can you deny that you have done it?" Elizabeth repeated.
"I have no wish of denying that I did every thing in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself."
With that, he wrapped one hand around her waist and pulled her towards him, burying his face in her neck with a groan, tasting her soft skin with his tongue. It was impossible to have her tempting form so close and still believe that he could not have her. At the very least, he would taste some of her delights before surrendering.
Elizabeth's blood was quite stirred by his closeness, and by his soft lips and tongue on her neck. She felt helpless against the strength of the arm wrapped around her waist. But it was not a completely unpleasant sensation. She took a deep breath, hoping to clear her head, but his smell, so heady and earthy, sent a wave of desire through her unlike anything she had ever experienced. His glossy black hair, so close to her face, temped her fingers to touch. His strong shoulders would be so pleasing to lean on. Shaking her head to clear it of such unwanted thoughts, Elizabeth forced herself to remember why she was refusing him. Now he was biting at her collarbones. She knew she must distract him before he went farther.
"But it is not merely this affair on which my dislike is founded." He paused his ministrations and looked up at her. What now?
" Long before it had taken place my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Mr. Wickham. On this subject, what can you have to say? In what imaginary act of friendship can you here defend yourself?"
At the mention of Wickham's name, Darcy's temper flared, and his jealousy for her, already inflamed by thoughts of her and his cousin, reached nearly unbearable proportions. He tightened his hold on her waist and leaned over her as he spoke.
"You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns!"
Not to be intimidated, Elizabeth looked him full in the eye and replied, "Who that knows what his misfortunes have been can help feeling an interest in him?"
"His misfortunes!" Darcy repeated contemptuously," yes, his misfortunes have been very great indeed!"
"And of your infliction!" Elizabeth cried with energy.
Darcy shook her, perhaps a bit harder than was his intent, but he felt an urgent need to shake some sense into her. How could she sympathize with Wickham? How could she allow herself to be taken in by his false charm? He could not bare the thought of losing the woman he loved to his worst enemy. The need to claim her as his own reached a new level for Darcy, and he stood and pushed the chair out of the way, pulling her lush body completely against his. He finally released her hand, only to begin tenderly stroking her face, hair, and neck.
"Elizabeth, I will not loose you to him! I have lost too much at the hands of that fiend already, and I will not surrender you to him too! Elizabeth, can't you see that I would give anything to have you? I love you, I need you," his hands moved to her hips and pulled them into his, letting her feel his arousal, "I ache for you."
He leaned closer and whispered in her ear, "Please tell me you will be mine. What can I say, what can I do, to convince you?"
Elizabeth was shaken by his closeness, his hot breath on her cheek. She wasn't sure exactly what to make of the hard pressure she felt against her hip, but she was almost unable to resist the urge to rub against him. She was enveloped in his smell, his warmth. His enticing, masculine body cried out to be touched, worshiped. Her body ached for his touch too. Why, oh why, could she not simply surrender? It was so unfair!
She became even more angry, but the reason for her anger became more and more unclear. Was she more angry at him or at the fact that she wanted him? Gathering all remaining vestiges of courage and resistance left in her body, she pounded her fists against his chest. He stopped and gave her a questioning look. The hurt in his eyes reeked havoc on Elizabeth's resolve. With one final defiant act, she placed her hands on his chest and pushed him roughly away from her, and spat,
"Fitzwilliam Darcy, you are, beyond doubt, the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry!"
As soon as the words left her mouth, she wished she could take them back. The look of hurt and despair on his handsome face broke the last of her resolve. Her fists unclenched, and her hands hung limply at her sides. All anger faded away, and her eyes clouded with tears.
Darcy had been stunned and hurt by her words, more than he would have thought possible. Now he knew beyond a doubt that he truly loved Elizabeth. He wanted more than just to have her as a companion for his bed and dinner table. He wanted, needed, her to love and want him, too. If she could never give him that, than he would never force anything else on her. Crestfallen, he stared at her lovely face, beautiful beyond words even in anger, and despaired that this might be the last time he would ever see her.
As he stared at her face, Darcy soon began to feel hope again, as the anger drained away, and she looked up at him with a look of regret? remorse? What was it he saw in her eyes? Longing, perhaps? Did he dare to believe it? When he saw tears form in her eyes he though his heart would melt. His eyes silently pleaded with her to keep looking at him like that. Could it be possible that her biting remark was as true and thought out as his cutting remark had been at the assembly, on the fateful night on which they first met? She was quite handsome enough to tempt him to distraction. Did he dare hope that she could yet be prevailed upon?
Elizabeth saw the question in his eyes, heard his silent plea. Where was the arrogant man who had walked into this room? The Mr. Darcy that stood before her now looked so vulnerable. She began to feel her heart softening towards him. She remembered what it felt like to be in his embrace, pressed against his strong form. Would he hold her like that again? Did she truly want him to?
Darcy noticed Elizabeth's eyes beginning to move over his body, and he did not miss the tantalizing sight of her bosom beginning to rise and fall faster. When their eyes met again, he held out his arms to her. With total abandon, Elizabeth threw herself into his arms, not caring for the consequences. She only wanted to feel him encircling her again. Darcy's lips immediately sought hers, and she gasped at their first contact. He kissed her hard, with all the desperation and longing he felt. Elizabeth gripped his strong shoulder with one hand, squeezing it, admiring the firm muscle under his jacket. Her other hand got a firm grip on his hair.
For several minutes, Darcy was so caught up in the sensation of her lips finally touching his, that he had no conscious thoughts. Soon, however, he longed for more. He had to know that she would be his.
"Elizabeth," he breathed, breaking their passionate kiss, "does this mean you will marry me?"
When her answer did not immediately come, he searched her eyes. They were full of passion, but also full of questions. She eventually broke from his gaze and swallowed hard. Her fingers unconsciously began stroking his chest through his waistcoat. He rested one of his large hands over hers, holding them against him. He tried to meet her gaze. She knew that she must give an answer, but didn't know what answer to give.
"I," she began, "I...I'm not sure. I will have to think about it."
"Argh!" he growled, and pulled her close to him again, "Damn it, Elizabeth! You truly are trying to drive me to Bedlam!"
"I'm sorry," was the only weak response she could muster.
"Elizabeth, please at least say you will consider my offer. We are meant for each other. I have never felt so strongly about any woman as I feel about you. And I truly do not believe you would be as receptive to my advances as you are if you didn't feel something for me."
Elizabeth looked down at his chest, unwilling to meet his eyes. She could not think when she looked into their black depths. Nor could she think with his warm hands caressing her waist and hips through her dress, or with him nuzzling her neck. It was true that she did feel something for him-something very improper indeed.
Elizabeth exhaled loudly, frustrated by the turmoil in her mind and body. Darcy took her silence as sufficient encouragement. He whispered huskily against the warm skin of her neck, "Just imagine what it will be like to belong to each other. No rules or boundaries between us, only passion, discovery, adventure. I can take you places you've never even dreamed of."
Elizabeth was still silent. His speech had caused all manor of strange reactions in her body. She shivered, felt lightheaded, went weak-in-the-knees, and involuntarily clenched a set of secret muscles she never knew she possessed. All of these multiplied ten fold when his big hand crept up to cup her breast and gently stroke it. She gasped, and had to clutch his shoulders for support.
Darcy groaned and whispered, "I will give you a taste of what you might expect as my wife. Then perhaps you can make a more informed decision."
He slipped his fingers under the sleeve of her gown and pulled the fabric off of her shoulder, exposing her silky shoulder to his hungry lips. Suddenly feeling overheated, Darcy removed his coat and let it drop to the floor, then began tearing at the knots of his cravat. Elizabeth eyed his exposed neck greedily. She placed one hand on either side of his neck, enjoying the warmth of his skin under her hands. After only a moment, he kissed her fiercely, and his hands wound under her bottom, lifting her off her feet. He carried her over the the sofa and laid her down upon it, without breaking the kiss, and pressed his body onto hers.
Elizabeth had never felt so overpowered. She could feel his strength everywhere their bodies touched, which was most everywhere. She shivered anew to think that he could do anything he wanted to her and she would be powerless to resist. She couldn't even make herself want to resist. His tongue pushed into her mouth, and she moaned, involuntarily hitching her knee over his hip. He grasped the hem of her skirts and pulled them up around her hips, his hands moving her wrap her legs around him. All the while, his mouth had moved to tease her nipples through her thin gown. She gasped at the lovely new sensations he was creating.
"You know you cannot resist . Just give in, Elizabeth. Admit that I've won."
Elizabeth immediately sobered at the arrogance of this statement. Who did he think he was? She tried to push him off her, but he was far too heavy. She braced her feet and hands against the sofa and arched her back in an attempt to throw him off, but only succeeded in grinding her hips quite soundly against his, causing him to growl savagely at the unexpected surge of pleasure. He grasped her hip and moved against her again, pressing his lips into the hollow of her shoulder. She felt his lips turn up in a smile at her helpless gasp.
"You know you like it, Elizabeth," he taunted.
She struggled again. He could not suppress a laugh at her pathetic attempts and grunts and groans of frustration. At this, she grasped two firm handfuls of his hair and proceeded to try to pull it from it's roots. Darcy only continued to laugh.
"You arrogant!...pull...conceited!...pull...infuriating!" She pulled the hair at the top of his head so that his head was lifted from her neck. She was not prepared for the instant weakening of her resolve when her eyes met his beautiful dark ones, filled with passion. One of her hands moved to grip his jaw. "Handsome..." Darcy growled and traced her full lips with his tongue. "Tempting..." She pressed her face into his neck, kissing, tasting, and savoring the feel and smell of his warm skin. His fingers began to rake through her hair, causing the pins to dislodge. "Insufferable!" she cried as she bit his neck firmly enough to leave a mark.
"Aw!" he groaned and roughly grasped her breast with one hand, leaving the other tangled in her hair.
"Incorrigible!" She drew back her hand and slapped him across the face. He quickly captured both her hands with his and pinned them above her head. Now she was truly helpless. His lips trailed from her temple to her ear, then along her cheek and down her jaw, over her throat and across her collar bones; he pressed his face into her chest, moaning softly as his lips once again teased her nipples through her dress. She could not suppress her contented sigh. "Captivating..." As soon as the word left her mouth his lips were on hers. He kissed her roughly until he felt her passionate response, thrilled by the sensation of her teeth nibbling at his lower lip. He then freed her hands, thus freeing his to appreciate her soft curves. Her hands moved of their own accord over his shoulders and back, then between their bodies to stroke his chest. Frustrated by the interference of his waistcoat, her fingers tore at the buttons until they finally released. The thin lawn of his shirt was almost no barrier. She could feel every firm muscle of his chest and stomach, and the feeling was glorious. Darcy could scarcely contain his enthusiasm at the realization that she was as interested in his body as he was in hers.
Elizabeth felt an almost painful emptiness deep in her stomach that she couldn't explain. She groaned in misery as the feeling intensified. Darcy seemed to know just what she needed. She trembled as his fingers found the sensitive spot between her thighs, shocked to discover that this was the source of her ache. She knew she should stop him, but seemed to have lost control of her faculties. His warm fingers continued to stroke her. Soon she was writhing under him, and her delicate moans were music to his ears.
"Oh, Mr. Darcy!" she gasped as the feeling began to intensify, concentrating on the point where his fingers met her skin. She was stunned and almost angry when his fingers suddenly left her, and he pushed up off of her. She was not bereft for long, however. His arm encircled her waist and lifted her, shifting so that he was on his back and she was straddling him. His hands stroked her silky thighs, and her hands resumed their exploration of his chest and stomach through his shirt. For a moment they merely admired each other, he enjoying her tousled hair and swollen lips, she adoring his broad chest rising and falling, straining against the thin shirt.
After a few moments, his fingers moved under her, stroking her again. He shifted under her, and began to move his hips against her in time with his fingers. His other hand gripped her hip, encouraging her to move with him. This she did, finding that it intensified her pleasure greatly. Elizabeth was further inflamed by his primal groans of satisfaction as they moved in unison, loving that he was just as absorbed as she. The feeling deep inside her intensified again. It grew stronger and stronger until she threw her head back and closed her eyes, biting her lip to keep from crying out. The feeling slowly began to subside, and she looked down at him. He smiled in satisfaction at the thrill of discovery so clearly written on her face.
He opened his arms to her, and drew her down against his chest. She twined her fingers in his hair and pressed adoring kisses into his neck and jawline. His hands moved under her skirt to grip her backside, pressing her harder against him. "Oh, Elizabeth," he moaned as he moved against her, "my love, yes!" She moved with him, understanding that this pleased him. "Oh, God, yes!" he cried, clutching her closer before shuddering and uttering a final, helpless whimper before going completely limp under her.
They lay exhausted for a few moments before he took her face in his hands, lifting it to look into her eyes.
"That, my love, is only a taste of what our lives will be as man and wife. There is yet so much more that I will show you, so much more to discover together. You are the most beautiful, passionate, generous partner a man could ever hope for. This evening has only strengthened my resolve to make you mine. I am more sure than ever now that we are meant for each other. You don't have to give me your answer now. Think about it. Think about it tonight in your bed. Imagine how it would be to have me in bed with you, holding you, loving you. I know I will be imagining the same thing, for I have been every night for months now." He brushed his lips over hers tenderly, then continued, " I worship you, Elizabeth. Please give me leave to do so forever."
With that, he stood and placed her gently on the couch, collected his discarded clothing, and left.
Let me know what you think! I have one more part with Elizabeth's decision (and some more fun:), coming soon!