"Are the horses settled?" Elizabeth asked with her back turned to Darcy.
All his brain could do was burn the image of her slender shoulders and back swelling at her waist to frame a heart-shaped bottom, which blended into slender legs. He attempted to speak, but it was dry as a man in the desert, "What are you thinking madame?" he forced.
She turned then, with a look that should have set off warning bells, but instead spiraled his desire to degrees he hadn't experienced since his youth, "The rain soaked me to the skin the only solution was to take those wet clothes off. I do not intend to spend my time at Nethersfield Park sick in bed."
"You need to put on clothes. Here, I brought in some of our things, I am sure you will find something." His voice sounded harsh, but anything less would have been a whisper to the ringing in his own ears.
Elizabeth stood on display by the fire. She eyed the bags, but made no move to retrieve clothes, "You are my husband. We married months ago and this is the first time you have seen me naked. You don't think that strange?"
"No. I think it proper." He answered, as he tried to catalogue the species of fish in the Netherfield fish pond. It wasn't helping.
"You dislike seeing me naked then?" Elizabeth asked, hurt bubbling into her voice.
He stepped toward her, then stopped, balling his fists to control his instinct, "No. That is not at all the truth. Like everything about you Lizzy, I am entranced. However, this is very untoward and not how a husband should look at or think of his wife."
"Why?" How she confounded him when she was at her most vulnerable?
"Yes, why is it untoward for a husband and wife to see each other naked, or talk about making love, or expressing passion? Why?"
Darcy stood in the little cottage dripping from the drenching rain more exposed than ever. Tonight would end one of two ways. It would be every desire he had come to life, or his worst nightmare, breaking him and Lizzy beyond repair.
Elizabeth walked with slow, but determined steps. From this day forward he could not see her crossing a room without this vision taking over.
"It would not take your sensibilities into account to assume such a conversation wouldn't upset you." The excuse sounded as hollow as he knew it to be.
She approached him and began unbuttoning his jacket. He looked down and a pink blush colored her cheeks, but no other signs of distress.
"What are you doing?" He asked shakily.
"You are wet." She looked up, guileless curiosity shined in her eyes, Darcy tried to take over his own undressing to no avail. "Please put some clothes on. I will concentrate better if you have clothes on."
"No. This is terribly liberating."
Darcy's head was spinning. He worked daily to tamp down the attraction. His love for Elizabeth was such that he no longer even noticed a beautiful woman the way he used to.
"Oh, look what I found while you were tending the horses," she changed subjects and walked to the table near the fireplace. Her retreat was more erotic than her approach. She swung around holding two glass jars, "I found a food cellar in the corner. We have pickled carrots and green beans, and a dried ham hanging on a hook. We shall feast." Her smile was bright and innocent.
"Just how long was I outside with the horses?" He had either fallen into a bawdy dime novel sold to young bucks in London, or something else was afoot. At least it ceased talk of love making. It wasn't much, but a drowning man will grab onto anything to stay afloat. He finished taking off his coat, vest, and shirt. His pants could dry on his person.
Darcy busied himself, finding a knife to cut the ham, which looked delicious. His stomach groaned, reminding him how long ago lunch was. Lizzy swept by him to grab plates and mugs for the Meade in the cellar with the food. Darcy opened the jars and together they plated their meals and sat to eat.
Darcy's fork hovered over his plate, but couldn't bring the food to his mouth, "You have to be getting chilled."
She plucked a piece of ham put it in her mouth examining him as she chewed, "What memories do you have of your parents? Were they affectionate with each other?"
Darcy failed to see how that pertained, but realized if he were to convince her to get dressed he needed to play along, "I, I haven't considered it in so long," He ate as he remembered.
"Well, I remember mine. There was a time that mother was not so nervous and ridiculous and my father not such a recluse. He would stare at her over the breakfast table and she would giggle, or father would pat her bottom when he didn't realize we were looking."
Darcy thought about it, "Well, yes I guess when you explain your experience I can remember they were as well, when at home with no guests."
"So, I'll ask you this, do you not think that your father saw your mother naked?"
"Well, possibly, but I would wager it wasn't at the dining table." That got a giggle out of Lizzy, and Darcy couldn't help smiling. He sat back in his chair, with his Meade in hand, "I like to insist I am not an ignorant man, so is there a lesson in this outrageous scene."
Now, Lizzy's cheeks blazed, "Well, Mr. Darcy every time I attempted to speak with you about our marriage bed, you shut yourself off to me. I had an opportunity to create a situation where you could not avoid it."
Perhaps the Meade was potent, or his resolve died, it mattered not at this point. He rose, reaching for Lizzy's hand. At the table's end he pulled her into the circle of his arms. Lizzy would tempt and challenge him every day. Her breasts soft on his cooled skin. He bent, taking her mouth with his. Oh, God she tasted of sweet Meade and smokey ham adding an earthy element to his senses. Lizzy reacted as she did every time he came to her bed. She never turned him away, or appeared to dislike his attentions.
Lizzy's hands rubbed his back from waistband up to the shoulders. Each brush an electric shot to his desire. He pulled her to him, exploring her back drinking in the softness, but with no waistband to slow his progression he traveled beyond the sensual curve of her buttocks fitting nicely in his hand. Her reaction was a low moan in her throat, without breaking the kiss.
Caressing up her body, he cupped her breast in his. He looked down his larger, darker hand against the tender ivory skin of her breasts made him harder if that possible. Caresses through her nightrail, held nothing to this, he was lost, "Lizzy. I-- need you, but I don't want to upset you." He managed through the haze of lust he kept banked. Once he broke the reigns, he wasn't sure he could pull it back.
"Perhaps," She said with slow meandering swirls of her hands around his chest, "We should not worry so much about the unknown and let it happen as it should." She leaned in and kissed the center of his chest.
He reached down and tipped her face to his, "If you are uncomfortable I must tell me." She smiled at him, "No, Lizzy, I am serious. I could not live with myself if I scared you, or worse hurt you."
Lizzy laid a hand on his cheek, "I will, but you must promise you will not hold yourself back until I say you need to"
He nodded once, unable to talk through the passion building to levels making him shake with need.
Within minutes Darcy was out of his pants, with his boots. He led his beautiful wife to the bed, that was conveniently nestled into an alcove next to the fireplace chimney.
The most decadent experience in all his years, was not something he purchased, it was Elizabeth Bennett laying naked, next to him with her pressed against him. "Oh God Lizzy, you will be my death."
She answered his plea with a gentle kiss to his neck. He was lost. Giving himself up to his banked desire. Desire forced away for months. Turning Lizzy under him, her long black hair a contrast to the witness of her skin, he forced his brain to slow and bent to take her nipple into his mouth, extracting a deep moan from his wife. A noise he wanted to pull from her every day for the rest of his life.
"Lizzy, I need--"
"Yes." She answered, lifting her hips undaunted.
Darcy rose above his wife, naked with nothing between them, society's expectations expelled from their little cottage. He took a moment to search for any signs from Lizzy, but nothing but pure desire burned in her eyes. Slowly, he entered her and once seated, he lay back down so their bodies touched from toes to chest. Within moments, Lizzy rolled her hips, shooting desire through him like a lightening bolt. The feel of her surrounding him much stronger now, than when he would creep in the darkness and take her without branding her as his. Now, there was no mistaking.
How would he go back to proper discord and behavior once tonight ended. Tonight, he would enjoy his mistress-wife, and put reality out of his mind.
"Lizzy, I believe we can add something to your list of accomplishments."