Elizabeth awoke slightly disoriented but then quickly remembered where she was—the big bed in Darcy’s room. The past few days—and nights—had been perfection. Their first night together, their afternoon nap, dinner by candlelight, and then more nights of new experiences and revelations—this kind of intimacy in a relationship was so much more than she had ever dreamed of. At last, she was truly his wife and although her face reddened at the thought of what transpired between them, her body tingled and her heart rejoiced.
As she lay quietly taking time to enjoy becoming more fully awake, she sensed she was alone in the big bed. It seemed strange to her that Darcy could have arisen without waking her, and she began to wonder how late she had slept. The clock told her it was only eight in the morning, not so late as she had first thought. Reaching her arms above her head, she stretched out fully and thought about her plans for the day.
Just as she started to sit up, she realized she was missing something very important—her nightdress. In the rush to be together last night, Darcy had pulled it off and tossed it into the air. It must have landed somewhere on the floor near the bed. Scanning the room, she saw it was now neatly draped across a chair along with her dressing gown. She groaned. Two things came to her mind—how did it get there and more importantly, how was she going to retrieve it.
It was a long way from the big bed to the chair. Reclaiming her nightclothes would necessitate walking eight to ten feet across the room completely unclothed. She would die of embarrassment if one of the servants should choose that exact moment to come into the room! Or what if Darcy returned? It was one thing to be with him under the covers, but it would be something different altogether to be caught out in the open. Just thinking about it made her face warm.
Finally, acknowledging she might be forced to wait for a long time if she did not brave the walk, she took a deep breath and made a dash for the chair. She had just slipped the gown over her head and was starting to reach for the robe when there was a knock on the door. Startled into action, she dashed back to the bed and leaped in pulling the covers up around her.
The door swung open, and Darcy entered carrying a tray with coffee and scones. “I have brought your breakfast, Mrs. Darcy. Ah, I see you have been up already,” he said, nodding toward the chair.
“Did you…” she trailed off, waving her hand anxiously in that direction.
“No, your things were there when I awoke.”
“So someone came in while we were asleep and…” her voice trailed off again. Elizabeth groaned and pulled the covers over her head. Darcy laughed as he set the tray down on the bed. Gently, he uncovered her face and kissed her forehead.
“Most likely, it was your maid Margaret since your dressing gown was on the chair as well,” he said as he began pouring coffee into the delicate china cups.
“I do not think I shall ever become accustomed to having servants around me all the time. Does it never disturb you? Sometimes, I feel as if I am never alone.”
Darcy shrugged. “I do not think about it. Their presence is just a fact of life. Of course, there are times when I wish to be alone. Everyone knows not to come into my study without knocking, and usually no one enters my bedchamber in the morning until I ring. Perhaps, you might tell your maid the same.”
“I am not sure if I shall ever be completely comfortable. They must know everything we do.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Well, not everything.” Darcy added milk and sugar to the cup before handing it to her. Reaching up, he fingered a stray lock of her hair and watched her intently. She blushed under his gaze.
“My love, if you are going to turn red every time I look at you…” he began as he stroked her cheek with his thumb. She leaned her head against his hand.
“I cannot control it. It just happens,” she told him.
He gave a short laugh. “Strange, isn’t it that this is the one sort of situation in which you are the one who is shy and instead of me.”
“Do not tease.” She set her coffee aside. “Now I feel very much in need of hearing again that you love me.”
At that, he smiled. “Lizzy, sweetheart, you must know you are my whole world. I do not think I truly lived until I met you.” Starting just below her ear and working his way down to her shoulder, he placed light kisses on her sensitive skin.
She shivered. Tipping her head back slightly, she closed her eyes, lost in the sensations.
When he reached the obstacle of the strap of her nightdress, he gently slid it off her shoulder. “Lizzy?”
“Hmm?” Dreamily she opened her eyes and found him watching her.
“I love you,” he said softly.
Putting her arms around his neck, she pulled him down to her. Slowly, taking his time, he made sure his lips communicated exactly the extent of his regard.
NOTE: This is a scene from Mr. Darcy’s Proposal, edited just slightly to make it consistent with the original P&P story. I hope you enjoy this peek into the Darcys’ bedroom!