Chapter 19 - The Eagle Is Overheard
"I thought I told you not to call me on this number!" an angry and hushed voice spoke through the phone.
"Oh, hold your horses, Younge. No one is suspecting anything. I cannot believe that they are just so stupid! They have no idea at all!"
"Are you sure?" the man asked.
"Absolutely certain. We will come into some serious cash very very soon. Have you arranged everything for our departure?" the woman asked.
"Yes, everything is in order. I have secured a new identity for both of us. When do you think the eagle will land?"
"I can't believe you still insist upon this stupid, childish code language. But the eagle is underway, it has its pray in view and will be ready to strike in a few days."
"Good. The longer it takes, the greater the risk of detection."
"The eagle is right on schedule , Peter. And you know what the most beautiful thing is? Our pray has had a major argument with Lazy Lizzy. I am sure it was because of me. " Here the woman paused and laughed. "Revenge sure tastes sweet!"
"Ears, what have you got for me?" DI Foster asked the man who came into his office.
"Boss, we have information that suggests that the eagle will land very soon." Sergeant Lobkov said.
Sergeant Lobkov, by birth Russian, was of an average height, and was of a very common appearance, which made him very suitable for detective work. His only distinctive feature was a set of very large ears. A fitting coincidence seeing that he was responsible for monitoring all the "spy"- gear the police used in their investigations. Unsurprisingly this had earned him the nickname "Ears".
"Kovlob! I have no idea what you're talking of!" DI Foster barked. He gave the man a smile that exposed his not so tolerable set of teeth.
"Very clever Foster, or should I join you in your game of assaulting another's name and call you Sterfo?"
"No need to get your knickers in a twist, Ears. How's the case?"
"What I was saying chief, we finally got something from the phone tap in the Darcy's office. It seems Wickham is planning to secure the money this week. Or as I said, the eagle will land very soon."
"They use code language?" Foster asked.
"Code language seems a bit overrated for the stuff they use, but yes."
"Will we be able to nick Younge too?"
"We've got him on tape, sir."
As Mr and Mrs Smith tried to board the plane that would take them to Monaco, they were arrested by the airport police.
Surely it was all a misunderstanding! They explained that they were a newlywed couple and that they were going to Monaco on their honeymoon, but the airport officers were not impressed in the least. They had been ordered to arrest these people and that was exactly what they would do.
Mr and Mrs Smith were informed that they were arrested on suspicion of using illegal travelling documents and escorted to an office. Here they were left alone for a while to "stew".
In the next room, DI Foster, Sergeant Lobkov and William Darcy observed the couple through the two way mirror.
After ten minutes of total silence the woman spoke.
"What is happening? I thought you said we made it through. Are they on to us?" the woman was starting to panic.
" Hush!" Mr Smith whispered.
"Hush? We are arrested at the airport and all you have to say is HUSH? I will do no such thing!" Mrs Smith cried. "You've got us into this mess, you get us out of it!"
"If I recall correctly this was not my idea." He said in a angry but subdued tone.
Chapter 20 - Trial And Error
"You weren't very adverse to the scheme if I remember correctly!" the woman cried.
"There was no need to deviate from our normal mode of business!" Mr Smith argued. "I told you the Darcy's weren't suitable for this!"
"Not suitable? I believe there was quite some money to be gained, Peter!" the woman cried.
"But we had nothing on them! I told you that. This Darcy fellow is as straight as they come. There was no dirt to be found on him at all!"
The only reaction the lady gave was "Hrmpf"
"Your only reason was revenge" the man said.
Back in the other room, DI Foster shook Darcy's hand. "I thank you very much, Darcy. We've nailed them. I believe this will make a very strong case in court. You will have your money back within the week."
Both men looked back towards the fighting couple in the interview room.
"I fear the love story of Mr and Mrs Smith has come to an end." DI Foster grinned.
"What do you think Younge meant with this revenge?" Darcy asked.
"I don't know. And frankly I do not care. It has no bearing on the case, and is therefore not of my interest." The police inspector answered.
"Would you if you find out, inform me?" Darcy asked.
"By all means, Darcy."
"Your Honour, the prosecution calls Mr Peter Younge."
It had been a very eventful experience, Gina's and Darcy's first attendance of a court hearing. The trial had been going on already for two hours, and half an hour ago Cherie Wickham had been removed from the courtroom, after being told to remain silent thrice by the judge. Her last outburst especially had been worthy of an BAFTA award for drama, had she been acting. The trigger of this "incident" had been the entrance of Mr Thomas Bennet into the courtroom.
Foster had called on the Bennet's to disclose the particulars of the Wickham case, and had advised Thomas Bennet to attend the trial. Foster had thought it would bring him closure, to see Wickham sentenced for her crimes.
This morning Thomas had had half a mind to forget about the court hearing entirely, but he was all but forced to go by his daughter. Having had a quiet drive and a leisurely cup of tea Thomas Bennet had entered the room, two hours after the trial had begun. Not two minutes later Cherie Wickham had been removed due to "disrespect to the court".
"Mr Younge, I understand you have been acquainted with Cherie Wickham for quite some time?"
Mr Younge replied in the positive.
"What was the nature of your relationship with Miss Wickham?"
"We were engaged to be married."
"Partners in life AND partners in crime!" the prosecutor stated, failing miserably from not laughing at his own little joke.
"OBJECTION Your Honour" cried the Defence.
"Mr Younge", the Prosecution continued, "could you explain to the court how you came to select your victims?"
Peter Younge had cut a deal . He would give information on all the people Wickham and he had swindled in return for a lower sentence. His loyalty to Cherie Wickham had ended when upon their arrest at the airport Wickham had accused him of having forced her into collaboration in his crimes, and of a great number of other charges, under which physical assault, kidnapping and emotional assault . Really, the defence lawyer of Cherie Wickham had been wiser to plead insanity on Wickham's behalf instead of the "not guilty" he did plea.
Younge gave his account of how they had selected all their victims, except one.
"And the Darcy's?" the Prosecution asked.
Thomas Bennet who had taken a seat next to the Darcy's patted Gina on the arm. He had seen her anxious looks and wanted to reassure her. "All will be well, my dear. All will be well"
"That was solely Cherie's idea" Younge answered, "I advised her against it. As I told you, we made sure we had some dirt on every one of our victims, so we could blackmail them into silence should they find us out. The Darcy's were rich to be sure, but there was no dirt to be found of them. But Cherie persisted." Here he paused to send an apologetic look towards the Darcy's.
"I do not know, or let me rephrase that, I do not understand the reason why Cherie selected the Darcy's. She found out about a relationship between Mr Darcy and old acquaintance of hers. I believe she held some kind of grudge against this woman. At least she congratulated herself upon separating the couple."
Three sharp intakes of breath could be heard in the absolute silence of the courtroom. All eyes were directed at the trio.
"Do you know the name of the woman in question?" this time it was the judge himself who addressed the witness.
"I do not know her name, but she called her "Lazy Lizzy" as far as I know."
"Is the lady in question present today?" the judge addressed the public.
The lady in question had at that exact moment launched a serious attack upon a bush using hedge shears. She wouldn't admit it to herself but she was nervous. She had heard that Wickham had been arrested, but she would not feel tranquillity before that woman was securely behind bars. Right at that moment she was imagining the lavender bush she was cutting to be the voodoo representation of Cherie Wickham. So the bush got a bit shorter than it should, big deal!
No, there was definitely no calming affect due to the aroma of lavender in Loversall that day. But the trial did not explain all of her anxiety. It was Darcy. It had been three months since she had last seen him. Her father would see him again today.
What must he think of me? To suffer from such a creature. I could have prevented it merely by being open with him, she thought. The months of April, June and July had past, and while shortly after she had left Pemberley she believed she had been wise to write the letter, time had made her regret writing it at all. Of course Darcy had to be informed about Wickham, but the letter she had written.Cold, so cold! At the time it had been a defence technique. To pretend she was writing a letter of business enabled her to write a "faithful narrative of all her family's dealings with the Wickhams."
Would I ever meet him again? On the one side she wished to see him most dearly. To see his laughing, loving face once more. To feel his touch. He was present in her dreams almost every night, but to wake up and find it all a figment of her imagination was hard, almost too hard to bear. If she would see him again, and see that he had moved on, that would be very painful indeed.
Chapter 21 - Master Of Emotion
Summer had left Derbyshire, and Autumn had taken its place. A season much better adapted to the mood of the master of Pemberley. The beauty of the autumn didn't surpass him, he appreciated the beautiful colour scheme nature had chosen for her trees this Autumn, but he understood the underlying biological cause of it too well. Nature is retracting all its energy, to protect itself from winter and maybe she will be able to bloom again in the spring to come. But that spring is still far, far away he thought.
Yes, the fresh Autumn air did good to his burning headache, he thought while roaming through Pemberley's groves. He was a healthy man, he exercised daily, made sure he ate his veggies and at least two pieces of fruit every day. Fibres! Fibres are essential! But he could have consumed half an oak, fibres didn't save him from the headache brought on by the Orange Witch.
Gina and Charles had meant well, they had seen his sullen mood, seen him seek his refuge in work, and had organized a surprise party for his birthday. He appreciated the company of his sister, Charles and Jane, Richard and Charlotte, but he could do without the squeals of delight of Caroline Bingley.
While most people look forward to celebrating their birthday, Darcy would rather forget about it entirely.
As a little boy he had loved to celebrate his birthday. Months before he would, together with his father, calculate how many more nights he had to sleep before it was his birthday. The day before "the big day" his mother would be in the kitchen with Mrs Reynolds for most of the day while Darcy was absolutely forbidden to enter. The next day after breakfast Mrs Reynolds and his mother would come walking in with an enormous homemade birthday cake. Over the years he had had a horse-cake, a plane-cake and a rocket-cake for the years he was determined to become, respectively, a jockey, pilot and astronaut when he would be all grown up.
Now he had turned 31, he was still in the prime of his life, but felt he had lost most of his joy in life.
Oh, do not fear dear reader that Fitzwilliam Darcy had lost the will to live. Not at all. But as it is for most people, his birthday was a time to reflect on what he had achieved in the year that had past, and it was no satisfying retrospect at all. His business had done well, taking the worldwide financial crisis into consideration, but the achievements of his personal life were poor indeed.
How is it, that as children, we believe that at thirty surely we will be happily married to the love of our lives, have 1.8 children (or whatever the average is in your country) a golden retriever dog and a subscription to the Avro-bode  (or whatever magazine most family's are subscribed to in your country). Then we reach the age of thirtyish and throw a fit because we do not have the dog yet, nor the children, let alone the love of our life, and only the magazine subscription is within reach.
Such were Darcy's thoughts as he turned back to the house and saw Useless come running towards him. As he reached Darcy he jumped up and insisted on being patted.
"Yes, yes, I shouldn't be all grave, I do have the dog!" Darcy said with a wry smile while patting the dog.
"Well, Gina, what is your opinion now on this sad business with William and Lizzy?" Jane asked Gina when they were alone.
"William is I fear, very unhappy." Gina answered.
"Yes, I have noticed his grave mood. And I dare say Caroline's speeches were not at all helpful!"
Earlier the day, all friends had had a jolly time during breakfast. Even the taciturn expression of Darcy had made its way for a laugh. A merry party it certainly was, until Caroline came in.
Maybe it was her jealousy at the friends having a good time without her, or the delicious smells of the special birthday-breakfast that made her cranky, but there was no mood killer like the entrance of Caroline Bingley. She took a seat at the table, directed a disapproving look at the guitar-shaped birthday cake, and took a bite of her cracker.
Having finished her breakfast, that consisted of 2 crackers, a pharmacy of vitamin pills (at least that was what she called them), finished off with a cup of tea, she was sufficiently energized to congratulate Darcy profusely with his birthday.
"Dear Willy, 31 already! How time flies. Well I must say you still look like 25 to me, and not a day older. It must be all the exercising you do!" She said, looking appreciatively at his torso. Seeing the somewhat revolted expression on Darcy's face, and being afraid she had insulted him, she continued; "Physically I mean of course. Physically you still look like a young god, mentally you are of course far older than 25."
"Oh yes, mentally he is well over sixty!" Richard chimed in, which deserved him a kick under the table from his cousin.
"I must say I always preferred the mentally more mature man", Caroline said with a disturbing look of devotion at Darcy. "When you reach the age of thirty, it is time for a man to settle. He should marry and produce an heir." Caroline said, thinking it high time he offered marriage to her.
" I dare say I would be highly ashamed of myself to be thirty and unmarried! It is simply not done!" Caroline said, conveniently forgetting that she was 29 years old and very much unmarried herself.
Both Gina and Jane directed a look at their host and saw that a stern expression had replaced the cheery one his face held before Caroline had walked in.
Caroline unaware that she was delivering Darcy a massive headache with her shrieks then started to bother the company with what she thought was the duty of society's higher classes, and began to speak of her London friends, "My friend Louisa Hurst...", without anyone paying attention.
In the relative privacy a secluded part of the garden offered, Jane and Gina continued their conversation.
"She is just as unhappy as William is, although she hides it well." Jane said.
"I wish they would just get back together again!" Gina exclaimed. "Fitz was so happy when he was with Lizzy. I do not believe I have seen him so happy after Mum and Dad died."
Jane placed a comforting hand on the hand of the young woman beside her. "You must miss them very much."
"I do miss them very much, but not as much as Fitzwilliam I believe" here she looked pensive. "He feels things much more strongly than I do."
"Just like me and Lizzy" Jane said.
"It must be nice to have a sister, so close to you in age. My brother and I are almost eight years apart in age. And though I love him dearly, I have always longed for a brother or sister closer to me in age. We all did..." the last was said in such a sad tone that Jane couldn't help but ask for clarification.
"You see, my parents had always hoped for a big family, but my mother had trouble getting pregnant. Fitz was born five years after their marriage, and I was born eight years later. After that my mother had a miscarriage and after examination the doctors thought it very unlikely that she would ever get pregnant again. When she was forty-five, she began feeling sick but blamed it on menopause kicking in. Later, it turned out it wasn't menopause at all, she was pregnant again. My father was overjoyed, though afraid of the risks that came with the pregnancy. Very rightfully so, it turned out. After seven months, she went into early labour and died in childbirth. The baby, Susie, died after a week."
"You do not have to tell me all this, if you don't want to" Jane said wrapping an arm around Gina's shoulders after seeing the young woman's eyes well up with tears.
"No, I want to. Although it is sad, it feels good to talk about it. We speak of them so little I worry I'll forget." Using the sleeve of her sweater to wipe away a few tears, she continued: "My father, and Fitz who was eighteen at the time, were both devastated. A month after my mother's and baby Susie's funeral I was sent to live with my Aunt and Uncle Matlock. I understood from my aunt, that my father and brother could not bear to witness my grief."
At that moment Darcy passed the secluded part of the garden, and overheard what his sister said. He stepped into the garden to see Gina and Jane sitting close together.
"I am sorry, I know you don't like to talk about it, but I need to sometimes. I'm afraid, I will forget them."
To Darcy her sister looked almost as if she were ten years old again sitting there on his mother's favourite bench. It had been almost thirteen years ago, but he still felt the loss of his beloved parents every day. He walked over to them and put a comforting arm around his sister's shoulders. Thinking that maybe he ought to indulge his little sister, he decided there was no harm in telling Jane more about his family. And if he could bring comfort to his sister by doing so, who was he to remain silent?
"Gina, luckily, takes after my mother in dealing with emotions", he gave his sister a smile, "she lets them out. I on the other hand, take after my father. So when Gina was away both my father and I handled our grieve by ignoring it, pushing it away until it could be pushed no longer. Acting as if nothing had happened, it was decided that we should continue as planned, resulting in my leaving Pemberley for Oxford. I tried to come home from University every month or so, to see father, but in reality I dreaded to go home to the emptiness and sadness that was Pemberley. During my absence father's health deteriorated significantly. He fell into a deep depression and stopped taking care of himself and drank more than he should. Mrs Reynolds, our beloved and utterly loyal housekeeper, was fired after urging him to stop drinking. He was already far gone by then. It was spring break when I came home to an empty house. I looked everywhere but there was no sign of my father, or Mrs Reynolds. I went outside and walked towards Pemberley's graveyard. There next to my mother's and sister's grave lay my father..."
"He couldn't bear to live without our mother." Gina said.
The trio sat on the garden bench silent for some minutes when Jane couldn't help but embrace Darcy. "I am so very sorry for you William. It must have been terrible to find him like that."
"It's okay, it was all a long time ago." Darcy replied, trying to end the subject. He was a man uncomfortable with people who tried to comfort him.
Gina, sensing her brother's discomfort, thought to lighten the conversation by stating: "Another example of a Darcy man dealing with his emotions!"
"Very true, Gina. Very true" Darcy said with a wry smile and stood up from the bench to leave the company of his sister and Jane.
After a few minutes of comfortable silence in which both ladies thought of their deceased loved ones, they were back to their original topic.
"Talking of people who push away their emotions, I know another just like him."
"Oh, I always thought Charles was very open about what he thinks and feels?" Gina said.
"Yes, he is. It's not Charles I was thinking of. " Jane said.
"Oh?" said Gina looking up to Jane with surprise.
"Lizzy? I always thought she speaks as she finds?" Gina said.
Jane smiled. "Yes, she certainly does. To the outside world Lizzy seems to be a very cheerful outgoing person, but she is not always like that. I would say, the only emotion she likes to deal with is laughter."
"But surely, she is angry sometimes too?"
"Oh yes, she is. She expresses anger very well too. Especially anger against the world. Just a little bit of injustice and she gets all fired up." Jane said.
"I can imagine that!" Gina replied.
"But when the matter gets too personal, she shuts you out." Jane said, her face showing worry. "It seems like she doesn't want to trouble or sadden another with her sorrow."
"She wants everybody around her to be happy, even if she herself is not." Gina offered.
"Exactly." Jane said.
Gina was drawing doodles with a stick in the gravel before her, while Jane stared absentminded at two squirrels. They sat like that in silence for almost ten minutes when Gina said:
"What if we set up a meeting between the two of them?"
"I don't believe it will work. And even more so, I don't think we should interfere. Maybe we ought to consider the possibility that they're just not meant to be together, Gina."
1) Avro-bode is a weekly TV guide in the Netherlands, that I have always considered, when subscribed to, as the absolute evidence of having settled.
Chapter 22 - Private Affairs
"Well, I believe that about covers it. Do you have any questions left, Catherine?" Elizabeth asked the older woman in front of her.
"Such language for an English teacher! Such informality!" Catherine Bourgeois cried.
"It is English, is it not?" Elizabeth answered. She had used up a fair share of her patience with the woman who was to replace her for the next couple of months. "And how is it informal to refer to you as Catherine? Would you prefer if I referred to you as Lady Catherine in the future?" Oh I bet you would, you old crow! Elizabeth thought.
"Well, I presume I ought not to be surprised." Catherine said as if she had not heard Elizabeth's answer. "The downfall of British education was to be expected. The children, I assume, they cannot choose, but schools should certainly make an effort to acquire first rate teachers. I am excessively attentive to these things!"
The pause in the conversation allowed Elizabeth to study the old English teacher in front of her. Catherine Bourgeois was a tall, large woman, with strongly marked features, which might once have been handsome, but now made her look stern. Her air was not one of gentleness, nor was her manner inviting. Whatever she said, was spoken in so authoritative a tone, as marked her self-importance.
"Which university did you attend?" Catherine asked.
" I attended York University, not that I see how this question is at all relevant." Elizabeth replied.
"Upon my word, you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray what is your age?"
"Well thank you, Catherine!" Elizabeth cried with a fake smile. After seeing Catherine's slightly surprised face, she added: "Or did you not mean to compliment me just now, on my giving my opinion so decidedly, although I am still so young a person?"
Catherine was quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer, and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence. There, however, Elizabeth suspected wrong. And the reason Catherine Bourgeois was available for a temporary substitute teachers position had everything to do with it. In another time of life (a hundred years or so ago) Catherine Bourgeois had been a much sought after English teacher, teaching only the offspring of the crŠme de la crŠme of society and would have never even considered accepting a temporary position. Let alone as a substitute teacher. And although misfortune had befallen her (her outdated opinions on education were no longer respected on her former school) having to take instructions from a young presumptuous woman of inferior birth and of no importance in the world was not to be borne!
Apart from being outdated, arrogant, prejudiced and not to forget an old bag, Catherine was also appallingly curious. She therefore swallowed her anger towards the young presumptuous Elizabeth and inquired in a voice that was supposed to pass as friendly after the reason of Elizabeth's unpaid leave.
"I do not pretend to possess such frankness with you. You may ask questions which I may choose not to answer." Elizabeth said, totally fed up with the old woman, and pitying her students greatly for going to have to put up with such an awful dinosaur. There was of course no real reason for Elizabeth not to tell Catherine why she had chosen to take some leave, but the audacity of the woman had annoyed her so that she chose to keep it to herself.
"This is not to be borne, Elizabeth. I insist on being satisfied."
"I cannot see why I should relate my private affairs to you, someone so wholly unconnected with me!" Elizabeth cried exasperated.
"Though I see no wedding ring on your finger...", here she took her time to study Elizabeth's hands, "are you with child?" Catherine asked pointedly looking at Elizabeth's belly. "
Elizabeth simply couldn't believe the arrogant impertinence of this woman. She could of course have told the woman that she was simply taking some time off to promote her book, but her anger towards the woman prevented that.
"Yes! Of course! I used my arts and allurements to draw the man in! I hide the ring away as to not make anyone envious, for the diamond on it is very large indeed." And with that Elizabeth stalked away.
It was a Friday evening late November when Richard parked his car in front of Pemberley House. His visit was unannounced and he hoped he would be able to use the element of surprise to his benefit. Before he got out of the car, he called Charlotte.
"Charlotte dear, any advice for a man going to war?"
"Hello dear. There is nothing to worry about. I just came off the phone with the prime minister and he has agreed to pull some troops out of Afghanistan to assist you there whenever things get nasty."
Richard chuckled. "Just know that I will always love you."
"Yes... But, ehm Richard?"
"You do not expect me to wait for you, do you? It would be very unreasonable, you know. You could be away for years, or die in action and leave me here all alone!" Charlotte cried dramatically. "I am 29 years old, my biological clock will start ticking very soon. I ask only a comfortable home and security...."
"You have missed your true calling in life, dear." Richard said with a chuckle. "I would have loved to escort you down the red carpet to your first Emmy award."
"Oh Richard, how you flatter me, but it is all to no avail. I am not romantic you know."
"Ha-ha, I happen to know that to be a great falsehood!"
"Give William my love, will you dear?"
"Sure. I'll call you later tonight to report back to base."
"Bye. Good luck!"
Richard clicked off his phone, took his overnight bag out of the boot of his sports car and zapped his car closed. Suspecting Mrs Reynolds to have retired to her private rooms already, he took out his own key and let himself in. He searched the living room, kitchen and library, but Darcy was nowhere to be found. Just as he was about to close the door to the study, he saw movement in the corner of the room. He saw Darcy sitting with his head in his hands in an old armchair near the fire. As Richard walked into the room towards his cousin, Darcy looked up. To Richard it seemed his cousin had aged at least five years since he last saw him. Thinking the there-is-nothing-at-all-the-matter-and-I-am-not-about-to-question-you-on-your-private-affairs-though-I-know-you-will-hate-me-for-it approach would be best, he walked up to Darcy and clapped him on the back.
"Darcy, old chap! How have you been?" Richard
"Richard! I didn't hear you come in."
As was his wont in the last couple of months, Darcy spend a great deal of his free time in his study, sitting in the armchair where he and Elizabeth had first declared their love for each other, and where they, only minutes later, had ended their relationship. He had been miles away, thinking back to that day, and had not noticed his cousin until he stood before him in the room.
"I used my own key, I thought Mrs Reynolds would have retired by now."
Darcy nodded his head and tried to fake a more cheerful demeanour. (Remember we are still dealing with Darcy here, don't go imaging any sparkling eyes and smiles showing dimples on Darcy's face.)
"To what do I owe the pleasure of seeing you here tonight?" Darcy asked
"Can't a cousin come by unannounced and share a few drinks with his favourite cousin? Speaking of which... Are you going to offer me a drink, or should I go get one myself?" Richard replied.
After an hour of meaningless chitchat covering all things between their views on nuclear energy and whether muffins with raspberries were preferred to chocolate chip ones, Richard inquired after Darcy's health.
"I am fine, Richard. Why do you ask?"
"Because you look like crap, old chap!"
"I haven't been sleeping very well lately, that is all."
Richard gave his cousin a hard stare and after a few moments of silence said: "Let me guess, lately means ever since Elizabeth and you broke up?"
It was now Darcy's turn to stare hard at his cousin.
"Come man, admit it. You are pining for the loss of Elizabeth Bennet." Richard said.
"Richard, I really do not want to discuss this. It is a private matter."
"Yes, and normally I would respect your privacy, but..." here Darcy snorted, but Richard ignored him and continued on: "this cannot go on like this. There are two people who I both hold very dear and who are both absolutely miserable because they have lost the love of their lives. And think nothing can be done to mend things. Frankly I think they are both too bloody stubborn for their own good, but who am I to...."
"Elizabeth is miserable?" Darcy whispered.
Darcy got up from his chair and took position by the window. Richard, being a reasonable fellow and proud of it, thought it a good move to give Darcy a moment to catch his breath before he would launch another attack. He walked over to Darcy's desk, plumbed down in the desk chair and awoke Darcy's computer from its slumber, thinking he might start a game to the kill time. He knew from experience Darcy's episodes of staring out the window to be rather lengthy, and he may have prided himself on his reasonableness, he knew very well patience was not his strong suit.
And that dear reader, is why he intended to play a game of Solitaire.
Without going into a lengthy description of all the pro's and con's of Richard Fitzwilliam's personality the reader must be informed that besides reasonable and slightly impatient Richards was also incredibly nosey. It can therefore only be considered as inevitable that Richard did not shut down his cousins email program when it showed on the screen. Certainly it would be an invasion of someone's privacy to read his or her email without consent, but as the email that had been opened was only PBP's weekly newsletter Richard did not think too much of it.
"Catching up on your reading are you?" Darcy said.
Richard was surprised to see his cousin standing next to him, apparently this week's newsletter was rather a juicy one for he had not heard his cousin coming towards him.
"Ah, yes. Interesting is it not? I had never thought Mary Benson would go through with it, but finally the "Save Paperclips"-campaign is a fact."
Darcy commented reading the part from their office manager himself. "For using something that is not your own in a reckless manner, even as small as a paperclip, is loss of virtue in a person", Darcy said to quote Mary.
"I have never met a young woman who took everything so seriously!" Richard exclaimed.
Darcy nodded. "Do you remember what we gave her for her birthday last year?" he asked.
"Oh yes! Fordyce's Sermons! It was a capital gift!" Richard chuckled.
"The capital part being her confessing to already owning a copy!" to which both men laughed.
As Richard got up from the chair to pour both himself and Darcy a new drink a message popped up on the computer screen saying "You've got mail!". Seeing that the email was from DI Foster, Darcy sat down to read the missive.
"Hmm, very good." Darcy mumbled to himself.
"What is very good?" Richard asked
"I just received an email from DI Foster, informing me that the money Wickham embezzled from us, will be transferred back to my account first thing Monday morning."
"Good of him to inform you of it personally." Richard said. "He must be quite the workaholic to be still at the police station at this time of day!"
"Indeed he is." Darcy agreed.
"Come to think of it, how did the whole Wickham business end? I understood Younge had cut a deal, but how much time does Miss Wickham have to serve?"
"Three years," Darcy sighed, "it seems so little for all the harm she's done."
"Did you find out what her reason was for stealing money from you? I understood something about revenge was mentioned during the trial." Richard said.
"Yes. Her reason was revenge. Apparently she found out about my relationship with Elizabeth, and thought it an excellent opportunity to hurt Elizabeth and make some profit in the process." Darcy said, with a grave face.
"But how did she know you two were together?"
"Do you remember Collins?"
"You will have to give me a bit more Darce." Richard said, clearly having no idea at all who this Collins fellow was.
"Short, plump fellow. Awful smell. Bought my first edition of Keats during the charity action Bingley's friend hosted here."
"The very one."
"What does he have to do with it?" Richard asked
"Apparently he was rather taken with Elizabeth and he tried to find out everything about her. He then found out that Elizabeth and I were together, and gave up his pursuit. During one of his sessions with his therapist, he discussed it in full detail..."
"I pity the therapist." Richard interrupted.
"Certainly! Even more so, because the therapist was the victim of a burglary in which many files and recordings of therapy sessions were taken."
"Oh? Why would Wickham burglar a therapist? And why the hell would she be interested in Collins?"
"She wasn't. Not at first. There was this other fellow, Cobbins, a client of the same therapist. Wickham and Younge had him in mind for one of their schemes and suspected him to be cheating on his wife. They tried to dig up some dirt on the guy, and stole files from the therapist's office. Unfortunately the therapist's handwriting is very poor. Instead of Cobbins' recording, they took Collins' recording. "
"Unbelievable coincidence!" Richard exclaimed. "And what was the reason for taking revenge on Elizabeth?"
"During her childhood Cherie Wickham was often called into the school's headmistress' office. She was a smart kid, but also extremely spoiled. She got herself into all kinds mischief. She was often reproached to be more like little Lizzy Bennet. One day there was an incident involving a dog. Elizabeth found out about the "biology experiment" Cherie had planned for the little animal, and told a teacher. Cherie was caught red-handed and since her record wasn't exactly spotless she was expelled from school. Her parents were advised to sent her to a special school, and this was as Cherie Wickham described it, "no picnic". All in all, she blames Elizabeth for her difficult childhood."
"Very reasonable." Richard said while rolling his eyes. "So let me see if I understand this correctly, you and Elizabeth broke up due to a misunderstanding involving a former neighbour of Elizabeth who had cruel intentions towards a dog?"
"That is perhaps a little abstract, but yes." Darcy said.
"Hardly the dog's fault Richard." Darcy grinned.
"I wasn't talking about female canines Darcy!"
After a silence of about ten minutes in which both men were consumed by their own thoughts Richard asked suddenly: "Are you still in love with her?"
"Oh bloody hell Darce! With Elizabeth of course, who else?"
In a science fiction story Darcy's burning gaze would have successfully turned Richard in a little pile of dust by now. But alas! Yours truly decided on a another genre.
"I'll take that as a yes then." Richard said, ignoring the burning gaze and walking out of the room.
Some ten minutes later Richard came back holding a book and a poster.
"Had any good reads lately, cuz? You should give this a try." While handing the book and poster to Darcy, Richard said: "Well I am off to bed.
Darcy was left standing in the middle of the study holding in one hand the book which cover read: "Pudding of Consequence" by E. Bennet, and in the other hand a poster that said:
PUDDING OF CONSEQUENCE
signs her book at
Lambton Pemberley Books
November 26th, 18h-21h
Chapter 23 - To A Complete And Utter Fool
It was a flattering business this book tour, but exhausting all the same. The first few signing sessions were awkward for Elizabeth. All these people came to see her, buy her book, and wanted her to write something in it as well! She didn't understand it really. Why ruin a perfectly nice book with a scribble of hers? It was all quite foolish in her opinion, but who was she to be complain?
When her agent in London, Maddie Tuinman, had shown Elizabeth the schedule of her book tour she had been flabbergasted.
"Isn't this a bit.... well... how to describe it... ehm... extensive? Elizabeth asked.
"I understand it must seem almost unreal to you, but trust me, it will work out fine. The sale figures of you book are very promising so far. People will want to have a signed copy of your book. Not to forget your reviews! Your critics were all praise. I seem to remember something like; "I'd like to have a serving of such Pudding every day!"" Maddie said.
"I seem to recall something about this Pudding being tasteless and without flavour!" Elizabeth cried.
"It is high time old Hurst retires, the only books he values are culinary books. Probably thought your book was about food, when he picked it up." Maddie smirked.
And so it had come about that Elizabeth Bennet, author of "Pudding of Consequence" toured the bookshops in the north of England.
Her favourite signing session so far had been in Bradford. The afternoon signing session had almost come to an end, when a loudly speaking old man came in.
"Are we too late?" he asked the shopkeeper. "I told you we should have hurried up!" the old man said to what looked like his granddaughter.
"You are still on time sir," the shopkeeper reassured the man, "Miss Bennet will be here until six o'clock."
"Only a quarter of an hour left. We had better hurry." The old man said.
It took Elizabeth only seconds to understand why the old man and his granddaughter should have to hurry to reach the table she was sitting at within fifteen minutes, when she saw him in movement, or rather lack thereof. The old man, Elizabeth estimated him to be well in his eighties, would surely take ten minutes to travel the twenty feet towards her table. He pushed his rollator forward as if it were an army tank without wheels, and stopped every three feet or so to reach inside his pocket for his handkerchief to wipe his brow.
While the old man was walking at turtle speed, his granddaughter explained to the shopkeeper and Elizabeth that her grandfather refused to make use of a wheelchair.
"I can still walk perfectly well!" the old man protested.
At last the man reached Elizabeth's table, where her offer of taking her seat was accepted with relief. The shopkeeper brought him a cup of tea, and after a few sips and a biscuit, the old man introduced himself as Mick Mc Donald and began firing questions at Elizabeth about her book. His walking speed may have deterred over the years, but the speed with which he spoke was still very much as it ever was. The old man had enjoyed the book immensely he professed, and had urged all the inhabitants of nursing home "The Willows" to read it. He bought twelve books, all signed, to distribute among his elder neighbours.
"And remember, grandfather, don't go bothering Mrs Watson with the book again." The granddaughter warned her grandfather.
"Hrmpf" was the reply.
"Grandfather, you cannot force her to like the book. She is entitled to her own opinion, and if she prefers Rosemary and Thyme..." here her grandfather interrupted her.
"Ridiculous woman. Makes an excellent cup of tea, though." Mr Mc Donald said.
After a pause he said; "You must write a new book soon, Miss Bennet. I want to read another one before I am gone."
"You will surely live for many years to come, Mr Mc Donald!" Elizabeth said.
"Thank you dear. But I still want you to write another book soon."
"He is just impatient." The granddaughter offered.
"Hear what she says? That is the way the young ones speak to their elders nowadays!" Mr Mc Donald joked. After receiving a smile from his granddaughter and Elizabeth, he said; "she is just as impatient as I am. She recommended the book to me, you know."
All in all, the conversation between Mr Mc Donald, his granddaughter, Elizabeth and later on the shopkeeper continued until seven o'clock.
And so Elizabeth spend her days signing away in bookshops all over the North country. Sometimes she could enjoy an hour's chat with a funny, amiable older man, and at other times she spend a signing session of three hours in a stifling, over crowed bookshop with pushy customers.
Elizabeth had been "on the road" full time since the third of November, and was happy that in another three days time the tour would be over. She was so tired, she didn't even know, or care, where her next signing session took place. She just settled into the back seat, closed her eyes and let her driver (that was definitely one of the perks of going on a book tour) take her wherever the next bookshop with waiting customers was.
Darcy couldn't remember having been equally nervous in his whole life. He had been in emotional uproar for three days already. Would it be wise? What if...? he thought. But he had to know. It was not an option not to.
He checked his watch, every five minutes without actually registering the time.
Maybe I should change. I'll wear the dark green sweater, or is it still in the laundry basket? Speaking of laundry, maybe I should shower before I go. I would want to look my best.
As Darcy came out of the shower, he checked his watch, and actually registering the time, saw that he was running late. Oh God. Oh God. I am going to be late! He thought.
He hurriedly dressed, and walked out of Pemberley towards his car. He spurred down the drive only to stamp on the breaks half way. He looked down at his feet, cursed his bad luck and pulled his car into reverse. He drove even faster back to Pemberley, ran inside and was back in his car in only two minutes wearing shoes this time, instead of slippers.
What is happening to me? I seem to be devoid of rational thought! He thought while he severely crossed the speed limit.
Luckily for Darcy it was only a five mile drive. He quickly parked his car, patted his pocket to make sure the box was there, and walked toward the door. He walked in but was stopped by a young man of about twenty.
"I am sorry sir, we are closing." The young man said.
"I thought you were open until nine?" Darcy asked, starting to feel very worried now. "It is still five minutes to nine."
"We do not let in any more customers, sir."
Darcy hated people who used their social standing to "get things done", but in this case he felt he had no choice but to tell the young man exactly who it was he was refusing entrance.
"Elizabeth. It is time to wake up. We are almost there."
Elizabeth opened her eyes to the bright sunlight. It really was a beautiful autumn day.
"I am awake. Thanks for waking me Robbie. Only three more days and you will finally be free from me. No Hyacinth Bouquet behaviour anymore . No more getting crumps onto the seats. No more muddy boots dirtying the mats."
Robbie chuckled. "I enjoyed driving for you Elizabeth. And if you promise to bring cookies every day, maybe I'll drive you on the promotion tour of your second book."
"You've got yourself a deal, matey!" Elizabeth said.
"Were exactly are we Robbie? The scenery looks very familiar." Elizabeth asked, having no idea at all were her promotion visit of today would take place.
"We are five minutes from Lambton."
Elizabeth gasped. Lambton! But five miles from Pemberley!
Elizabeth said no more - but her mind could not rest. The possibility of meeting Darcy, while visiting Lambton, instantly occurred. It would be . . . what would it be like? She blushed at the very idea.
"Are you looking for someone Elizabeth?" The manager of Lambton Pemberley Books asked, when he saw her scanning the crowd that had gathered at the little bookshop.
"No. No. So, we'd better start, shouldn't we?"
After an hour of reading from her own work, and another hour of answering questions, the customers stood in line to have their copy of "Pudding of Consequence" signed.
Elizabeth had kept looking out for Darcy, but after two and a half hours she reconciled to the idea that he would not come. It is probably for the best, she thought.
As Elizabeth let go of the thought that she might see Darcy, she felt all her energy drain away. She was fully exhausted. Thankfully, it was already a quarter to nine, and if there were no Mr Mc Donald's in Lambton, she would soon be able to leave.
While she always tried to make some small talk with the people who came to have their book signed, the last customers of Lambton Pemberley Books were lucky if she looked up to give them a smile, or any sign of recognition at all. The last ones, just put their book in front of her, and she would ask, "to whom should it be addressed?", and she would sign it. She just had no energy left.
She looked up to see only five or so people left waiting for her to sign their books. The day was coming to an end.
There is another perfectly nice white page ruined by my scribbling, and another, and another, and another...
"To whom should it be addressed?" she asked the person in front of her, without looking up.
"To a complete and utter fool." A deep voice said.
Elizabeth already started writing. Rather funny to have your book signed with "a complete and utter fool", but then again, she had had stranger requests than this one. But there was something else that was strange here. Her mind must be playing tricks on her. He sounds just like Will. She stopped writing after "To a compl.." and looked up into the beautiful dark eyes of Fitzwilliam Darcy.
They gazed at each other. After a few moments Elizabeth broke eye contact. She was trying to come to her senses. To Darcy however, Elizabeth puzzled face was torture. He thought he had done the wrong thing in coming. I obviously pain her by being here.
"Wouldn't it be rather silly to address a book to myself?" Elizabeth asked in a quiet tone.
Darcy had been full in thought and had not heard what Elizabeth said.
"I beg your pardon?" he asked, his face showing confusion.
"You asked me to address the book to "a complete and utter fool", and I was thinking that it would be rather strange to address a book to myself." Elizabeth said, a little smile playing on her lips. "You may have been a fool, but so have I. Maybe even more so."
"No, no. I was in the wrong. Utterly and completely." Darcy said.
"Yes, let us argue about who was the greater fool." Elizabeth chuckled.
Darcy looked very confused for a few moments, but his face brightened considerably when he looked into Elizabeth's smiling eyes. Darcy walked around the table, not taking his eyes off Elizabeth for a second, until he stood right before her.
Elizabeth felt him take both her hands in his, and pull her slightly forward. His face was now mere inches away from hers. His eyes moved from her eyes, to her mouth and back to her eyes. And then finally, almost six months after they had last partaken in the activity, their lips touched.
1) Rosemary and Thyme is an English TV series, in which two gardening ladies solve crimes. Not my favourite, personally, but as Granddaughter Mc Donald said, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion.
2) See Chapter 10.
Chapter 24 - Love And Cherries
Two elder ladies, who had had their books signed just before Darcy, watched the couple in amusement.
"Isn't that Fitzwilliam Darcy?" one of the ladies, a Mrs Pool, asked her companion.
"It certainly is." Answered the other.
"Is your sister still housekeeper up at the great house?" Mrs Pool asked.
"Yes, she is. Maria loves her job. She is always going on and on about how she has the best master. How she has never had a cross word from him in her life, though she has known him since he was four years old."
"And so handsome!" Mrs Pool exclaimed.
"Yes! As handsome as ever was seen. But she is very beautiful as well. A pretty, genteel sort of girl," Mrs Brook said eyeing Elizabeth. "Maria told me about her. You know she was afraid Mr Darcy would end up marrying the sister of his best friend."
"Oh yes, I heard about her. Dreadful woman, so I am told." Mrs Pool agreed.
"Skinny, freckled little thing with a dreadful attitude. No, my sister will be very happy to hear that Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet have reconciled."
And if I, dear reader, may be so presumptuous to make a similar assumption, I declare we are all very happy Elizabeth and Darcy have finally reconciled. It really took them long enough, didn't it?
But there is still some unfinished business to attend to.
"Where are you taking me?" Elizabeth giggled.
"Hmmm, I don't know yet... Somewhere where I'll have you all to myself..." Darcy said grinning. He pulled on Elizabeth's arm urging her to walk along with him, until finally they reached the old part of Lambton. Although Lambton had never been a grand village, it was rich in architecture. Old buildings were combined with new tasteful ones, resulting in a pleasant interchange between present and past.
The part of Lambton were Darcy had taken Elizabeth consisted mostly out of old buildings, all nicely renovated. They passed a small museum with an old fashioned sign hanging from the wall bearing the name of "Smithy". On the opposite of the "smithy" was a large square with in the middle a, what looked to be, very old cherry tree. Darcy lead Elizabeth to the bench that stood under the tree, and both of them sat down.
"This, Lizzydear, is a very special tree." Darcy began.
Elizabeth, who was now seriously considering whether it was indeed possible, as her sister Jane had exclaimed on her wedding day, to die of happiness, was thrilled to hear Darcy call her Lizzydear again.
It was really quite unbelievable. Only this morning she had been tired, drained from all energy and if she was honest with herself, absolutely miserable. And now, only half a day later, her heart almost ached with joy.
"It looks very old." Elizabeth said.
"It is. Old and special. You see, once upon a time, there was a young man of little fortune, the son of a steward, madly in love with a young wealthy lady. She was, as far as I know, one of my ancestors. She was destined to make a very advantageous match with a titled gentleman. If I remember correctly, he was of Royal blood."
"Are you of Royal Blood?" Elizabeth asked him.
"No, dearest. No I am not." Darcy grinned.
"That is a shame, for Prince William has a nice ring to it. But please continue the story." Elizabeth said.
"The titled gentleman and the lady were often seen walking around Lambton visiting the shops, especially in the cherry season, for the gentleman was very fond of cherries. The advantageous match the young lady and wealthy gentleman were to make, would purely be a marriage of convenience. They respected and even liked each other, for both were very amiable creatures, but they were not in love. The gentleman was in love with the sister of his best friend, but thought himself bound in honour to the young lady."
"Very honourable of him." Elizabeth said.
"Indeed." Darcy continued. "When one day the lady and gentleman were seated under the cherry tree, the latter busily eating cherries, the lady confessed to the gentleman that she was in love with another man, the son of her father's steward. The gentleman, absolutely shocked and relieved that this advantageous match could not take place, choked on a cherry and were it not for the steward's son, who had been watching the couple, he would have suffocated."
"Oh, let me guess", Elizabeth said laughing, "the steward's son's name was Heimlich!"
To this Darcy couldn't help but laugh. It was so long ago that he had shared laughter with Elizabeth that it didn't even bother him that she was interrupting him in what was supposed to result in a declaration.
"Not to my knowledge, no. But the gentleman, we will call him Heimlich for now," Darcy said, winking at Elizabeth, "was so grateful to the young man who had saved his life, he offered him money. The young man said it was his duty as a Christian, and would not take the gentleman's money. The gentleman then asked if there was nothing he could do for him, no wish he could fulfil, when Heimlich said: "My only wish is to be married to my true love."
"And for true love you shall marry." Said the wealthy gentleman. He offered the steward's son a position on his estate and within three months, both the lady and Heimlich, as well as the wealthy gentleman and his friend's sister were happily married. It was therefore concluded that this,"
Darcy said patting the stem of the tree, "though my guess is, this tree is a slightly newer version, is a lucky tree. Over the years many people got engaged right here under this tree."
"I-I see." Elizabeth stumbled. Oh dear, is he about to ask me to... He looks as if he is. She thought.
Darcy stood up from the bench to fully face Elizabeth.
"Elizabeth", he began his face serious, "I am so glad I went to the bookshop today."
"So am I Will. So am I."
"But this leaves us with another problem. Or at least it leaves me with a problem."
Elizabeth could feel her heartbeat quicken. Surely there cannot be a problem anymore now. Please tell me there isn't!
"I do not believe I would survive if you... if..."
"I do not understand " Elizabeth interupted.
"I love you." Darcy blurted out. "Most ardently. I do not wish to be parted from you, from this day onward."
"Neither do I, Will." She whispered.
Darcy pulled Elizabeth, who had risen from her seat, into a strong hug. They stood there several minutes when Darcy pulled back. He reached inside his pocket and pulled out an old velvety box.
As Darcy opened the box, light from the street lamps reflected on the blue stone of the ring.
Darcy dropped to his knee, and asked: "Elizabeth Bennet, would you do me the honour of accepting my hand?"
Elizabeth, emotion showing on her face, took his face in both her hands and kissed him soundly on the lips.
"Does that mean you will marry me?" Darcy asked, his face showing a wide grin.
1) Quoted and adapted from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie.
Epilogue – Accidently In Love
April, the next year, saw Pemberley in its full glory. Flowers were in bloom, filling the air with wonderful fragrances and making the whole place look positively radiant.
Many guest sitting behind any of the various tables that were placed all over the garden, commented on the fact that Pemberley had not looked so full of life, since poor Anne and George were still alive.
Both Anne and George Darcy, as well as Elizabeth's mother were sorely missed this day. Good old Mrs Reynolds for one, who missed the former Master and Mistress of Pemberley dearly, would have loved to spend days on end helping to plan the wedding. To be working in the kitchen alongside her old mistress to prepare the wedding cake, would have been something.
But at the day her master married, Mrs Reynolds would not allow melancholy to stain her mood. She wiped away a tear and informed Darcy and Elizabeth that it was time to cut the cake.
Mrs Reynolds had outdone herself on the cake. No professional could have topped her.
Only a few tables away from the bride and groom, Jane and Charles Bingley sat enjoying their cake. They were extremely happy to finally have her sister and his best friend married. It had been high time.
Caroline, on the other hand, also at their table, was not enjoying herself. She could of course not partake of the cake, for "Do you know how fattening that is?!", and send a murdering look to anyone who told her she really should try some for it tasted "heavenly". Furthermore it was the day Caroline Bingley saw her future husband, as she had liked to call Darcy, marry Eliza Bennet. Understandingly her spirits were not what you would call high, and the cracker she was eating didn't really help that, for as you may know, crackers do not classify as comfort food. And since it was not food Caroline allowed herself to take comfort in, she chose to amuse herself with one of her old hobbies.
"How ill Eliza Bennet looks! I swear I have not seen anyone so altered since last spring!" Caroline exclaimed.
"Well I think she looks lovely, don't you Jane?" Charles said.
"Yes, well the dress is very lovely. But look how fat she has become! I can positively see her belly through her dress!" Caroline cried.
Jane and Charles looked at each other and laughed.
"She is not fat, Caroline." Charles said.
"Oh come on, the woman gained weight. Any fool can see that!"
"Yes she has. It isn't fat though." Jane said.
"What else could it be? Of course it is fat. No wonder with all the fattening food she eats!" Caroline cried.
"I do not think Darcy would appreciate you referring to the heir of Pemberley as mere fat." Charles smirked.
"Oh do stop talking in riddles, Charles! What on earth are you saying?" she said while she took a large bite of her dry crackers.
"Caroline, Elizabeth is pregnant."
From everywhere waiters came to their table bringing glasses of water to a choking Caroline Bingley. Crackers really are a very dangerous sort of food.
After dinner, the real partying began. The Chalks had offered to play, and all people, excepting Caroline Bingley, were dancing and having fun.
After a while the bride and groom took the stage.
"Hello everyone, and thank you so much for coming. As many of you know my relationship with Will here has not been exactly smooth. I even disliked the poor fellow at first. But over time, he grew on me, and I must say. I do believe I am the happiest of woman right now." Elizabeth addressed the wedding guests.
"Which of course makes me the happiest of man!" Darcy said. "Today I married the love of my life and in five months I'll be a father, I could not be happier." He said with a wide smile.
Loud applause and whistling came from the guests.
"You see," Elizabeth started, "I first fell in love with Will after I heard him play. Some of you who were there at the party at Chattersworth House that day might remember Will singing "Goodnight Elisabeth" of the Counting Crows."
"Since the Chalks over there", Elizabeth said pointing at the bend behind her, "insisted upon us singing a duet, we thought what could be more appropriate than another Counting Crows song? And since we both sort of fell in love with each other by accident, we thought this song very fitting."
Applause and even louder whistling than before followed.
The music started and Darcy started singing.
So she said what's the problem baby
What's the problem I don't know
Well maybe I'm in love
Think about it every time
I think about it
Can't stop thinking 'bout it
How much longer will it take to cure this
Just to cure it cause I can't ignore it if it's love (love)
Makes me wanna turn around and face me but I don't know nothing 'bout love
For the chorus he was joined by Elizabeth.
Come on, come on
Turn a little faster
Come on, come on
The world will follow after
Come on, come on
Cause everybody's after love
So I said I'm a snowball running
Running down into the spring that's coming all this love
Melting under blue skies
Belting out sunlight
Then Elizabeth sang alone:
Well baby I surrender
To the strawberry ice cream
Never ever end of all this love
Well I didn't mean to do it
But there's no escaping your love
These lines of lightning
Mean we're never alone,
Never alone, no, no
By now all the guest at the party were dancing and singing along to the song. The chorus was sang by all.
Come on, Come on
Move a little closer
Come on, Come on
I want to hear you whisper
Come on, Come on
Settle down inside my love
Come on, come on
Jump a little higher
Come on, come on
If you feel a little lighter
Come on, come on
We were once
Upon a time in love
We're accidentally in love
Accidentally in love
I'm In Love, I'm in Love,
I'm in Love, I'm in Love,
I'm in Love, I'm in Love,
Come on, come on
Spin a little tighter
Come on, come on
And the world's a little brighter
Come on, come on
Just get yourself inside her
Love ...I'm in love
(Accidently in Love by the Counting Crows. Part of the Shrek 2 soundtrack)
It was well past midnight when Mr and Mrs Darcy went to bed. It had been a wonderful day, but both were absolutely exhausted. As they lay in bed, with Darcy lying on his back, and Elizabeth cuddling up to him using his chest as a pillow, Darcy asked Elizabeth if she was happy.
"I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than they are. They only smile, I laugh."
"Good to hear dear." Darcy said.
"I love you Will, goodnight."
"I love you too." Darcy said.
He bent over to kiss his wife belly, as he had done every day since they had found out she was pregnant.
"Goodnight little one."
He then kissed his wife, who had already fallen asleep.
"Goodnight Elizabeth."The End