So, Darcy and Elizabeth were having this shy but touching conversation while sitting on a riverbank and talking about how the water flows to the sea, and suddenly Darcy starts whispering in my ear.
“Only a gentleman would master temptation.” Elizabeth did not know what else to say, and it seemed that neither did he, for the silence between them grew long. Finally she said archly, “I am glad, I suppose, to know that I was enough to tempt you.”
He half-turned toward her, leaning on one hand, his voice low. “You can have no idea how you tempt me. You tempt me every day with the thought of your laughter, and every night with the thought of touching you. You tempt me with your every smile, your glance, the way you bite your lip when you are concentrating, by the sparkle in your eye when someone challenges you, the way you tilt your head when you are about to tease, by your sweetness when you try to protect someone’s feelings. I remember watching you walk past me at Netherfield, and aching to take you into my arms. I remember listening to you play and sing, and thinking you the most fascinating creature I had ever met. I remember how you cared for your sister when she was ill, and how I wished you would care for me in the same way. I remember how your hair glinted in the candlelight at the Netherfield ball, and how I longed to touch it, to take the pins out and watch it tumble around your shoulders. I see the pulse in your neck, and I ache to press my lips to it. I dream of your eyes sparkling for me, your hands reaching for me, your lips against mine. Oh, yes, Elizabeth, you tempt me. Every second, every minute, every hour, every day, waking or sleeping, you tempt me almost beyond reason.” His eyes were dark, his voice almost a whisper by the time he finished, but she heard every word of it.
Elizabeth felt suddenly unable to breathe. A new heat flowed through her, and it was as if his lips had indeed branded her neck, his eyes had indeed claimed her for his. She felt aware of her body as she never had before, aching for him to come even closer, yet at the same time fearing it. She could feel the tension radiating from him, and his scent of leather and fresh soap made her dizzy. She was glad she was sitting; had they still been standing, she doubted her legs would have held her. As it was, she felt as if she might melt and run into the river. How could she possibly reply? She touched her tongue to her dry lips.
“Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth,” he breathed, his words a caress in themselves.
Whew! That Darcy is something else. Now I just need to figure out how to get them out of the big hole they’ve just dug themselves into….