a sequel of
Longbourn and Pemberley Go To War

William Darcy drove the last miles towards his home in silence. This was not unusual by any means. He was by nature taciturn and even when he traveled with other on the ride home, he frequently would not speak to them, content to enjoy the ride in silence.

But this occasion was different. Everything was different. The woman sitting beside him was his wife; his bride (legally) of four days, the lady of his heart for much longer. William Marshall Darcy was pleased by his new status as a married man. It was a development he had not expected by any means when he had left Pemberley three weeks earlier; one that had given him the greatest happiness.

The silence, which normally was comfortable, was troubling him. Elizabeth had been lively and talkative through out the four-hour ride from Meryton to Boston. As they had exited the Mass Turnpike, however, she had grown silent and withdrawn. William had to admit he had not noticed it at first. He was running on automatic pilot. His mind was not fully on the task at hand. It had been his heart that had nudged his awareness. His heart missed the sound of her voice, and the witty playfulness of her words.

He discreetly studied her to try and see what the problem was. Once again, his heart was stolen by what he saw: Elizabeth, who had bravely faced him down when he was at his worst by declaring her love. His Elizabeth, who had boldly spoken her marriage vows without a tear or tremble, was nervous. He could see it in the tightness around her eyes and the tiny frown at the corner of her mouth.

Elizabeth sat quietly, her hands in her lap as she stared out the window. She knew she should be studying the route to her new house. It wouldn't do for Mrs. Darcy to not be able to find her own way home. But her mind was not cooperating. Instead, she kept focusing on the feeling of dread that had settled in the pit of her stomach.

It was ridiculous, she told herself. William loved her and she trusted him to make her transition into Pemberley a smooth one. And still, she could not deny an anxiety over the uncertainty of it all. She had left the town she was most familiar with, and the job that she was competent and self-assured in, all for something she could have never imagined. She knew nothing of the ways of the wealthy. She had no idea how to be a rich man's wife.

But that was what she was, she sighed, looking at the wedding ring on her finger. She had no chance of going back, not that she wanted to, but she did wish she had something to fall back on; a guide, even a book, 'Mistress of Pemberley for Dummies,' anything.

A wave of tenderness rode over William as he heard her sigh. He pulled the truck, with its long trailer, off the road and pulled her close into his arms. She gave a soft gasp, as she put her chin on his shoulder and leaned her head against his. He rubbed her back soothingly, while making soft noises that would comfort an infant.

After a minute, she pulled back and looked up at him gratefully. He squeezed her hand, his eyes promising all the support she would need. And there it was: the guide Elizabeth sought. In the warmth of his gaze, she knew she would be all right. Without a word spoken between them, they pulled back on the road to finish their journey to Pemberley.

William did not think any less of Elizabeth for her anxiety. If anything, he was further impressed by her courage. This morning she had left her life behind. All her worldly possessions were packed in the back of the trailer behind them. Earlier in the week, in a scene not unlike the reading of a will, Elizabeth and Jane had given away much of their belongings to their family. Neither would need them now. Their furniture, their dishes, their plants, even Elizabeth's beloved Volvo had been given away. William had encouraged her to keep the car, but Elizabeth refused. She did not need it, she declared, and Kitty did. William suspected Elizabeth simply did not want to make the drive to Pemberley in separate vehicles, but he did not contradict her. It was true she had a new car waiting for her in her new home, and perhaps he was glad that they were making this trip together as well.

As they drove up Pemberley's long driveway to the separate garage, he saw Georgianna and Mrs. Reynolds waiting for them by the rear entrance to the grand house. William touched her hand and indicated the welcoming committee with a nod. Elizabeth smiled warmly, instantly relieving William's heart.

They dropped out of the tall truck and before Elizabeth could take three steps, she was tightly embraced by her newest sister. Mrs. Reynolds, in a natural display of affection, kissed William on the cheek, while both of them excitedly welcomed the couple.

"Lunch is ready for you, dears," Mrs. Reynolds informed them, briskly leading the way to the kitchen entrance. Elizabeth's homecoming to Pemberley was certainly different from her first visit. She preferred the simple door with a window that led to the large kitchen, to the imposing black dual doors at the front of the mansion. It was easier to think of the massive, old building as her home when she used it.

William's hand never left Elizabeth's, as he led her to the nearest bathroom, and left her alone to freshen up. He was waiting for her when she emerged a few minutes later. With a warm smile, he took her to the family dining room and sat with her at the table at which they had shared a meal a lifetime ago.

Mrs. Reynolds served the quiche and salad while explaining that the movers would be arriving after lunch to unpack Elizabeth's things. William had planned on hiring a truck for his wife's belongings, but when all was said and done, the pile she was keeping, consisting mostly of her clothes, books and sewing equipment, was small enough to be packed into the trailer, especially after Charles' possessions had been removed.

"Have all the changes I requested been made, Mrs. R.?" William asked pleasantly.

"Yes, William. Just as you asked," Mrs. Reynolds replied with a look and a smile at Elizabeth, who was eating her delicious lunch.

Georgianna spoke up, "I invited Richard to come to dinner," she said easily.

William scowled. "Georgie!" he snapped. "The last thing I want is to share tonight with a bunch of guests."

Sister, wife and mother-figure all waited silently. They knew, from past experience, that this was merely an involuntary response, a reflex reaction. If it had been necessary, any of the three would have taken him to task, but they waited for his true reaction first.

"Still," he said, considering, "I suppose this is a special night, and we should celebrate it." He smiled warmly at Elizabeth. "Would that be acceptable to you, my love?"

Elizabeth answered his smile with one of her own. "It would be nice to see your cousin again."

"Good!" Georgianna enthused, "because I invited Michael, too." She looked quite pleased with herself.

William took a deep breath as he regarded his sister. "Anyone else?" he asked dryly.

"I could invite more if you would like," she said with a teasing voice. "I know Aunt Cat-"

"Georgie!" His interrupted her with a warning tone, "that will be quite enough." He turned to his housekeeper. "Do you think we could have dinner in the main dining room?"

"That was what I was planning," she smiled.

He nodded. William was used to Mrs. Reynolds being a step ahead of him. He counted on it, truthfully. "Well, then Mrs. Darcy," William said to Elizabeth, "After lunch, how would you feel about taking the special homeowners tour, while your belongings are carried upstairs by strong, well-paid burly men?" he asked with a grin.

Elizabeth smiled back. During the packing yesterday, William had complained loudly and frequently, which Elizabeth had taken great pleasure in teasing him over. "That would be lovely," she agreed between bites.

When Elizabeth had finished her meal, William gave Mrs. Reynolds a sign and the elderly lady brought forth a small tray. On it was a keychain and an envelope. William picked up the keys first. "These are yours," he said simply to Elizabeth. He then identified the keys for the house, the garage, the truck and his Porsche.

Elizabeth examined the keys. "Isn't one missing?" she asked archly.

William grinned. "The keys for your Porsche are with said car, awaiting the arrival of its mistress."

"I was referring to the key to the master bedroom," she said slowly, "Or don't I get the key to that room." Her eyes were dancing with mirth.

"My lady," William replied formally, "The lock to that door has been removed." He took her hand and leaned closer. "It was no longer needed." His eyes burned as he bent his neck, bringing his lips towards hers.

Georgianna's giggle froze them both, bringing awareness of their company back to the newlyweds. William looked down, while Elizabeth looked up to see the pair of women smiling happily at them.

William cleared his throat. "This is for you, as well," he said, handing Elizabeth the envelope. She opened it to find three credit cards and a checkbook, all belonging to 'Elizabeth Darcy'. She looked to William for an explanation.

"They are yours. Unlimited line of credit." He said somewhat unnecessarily. Then he shrugged. "On another day, we will review our accounts." He could tell by the set of her mouth that Elizabeth wasn't delighted, but she seemed to be accepting it. With an expression of resignation, she opened her purse and secured the items.

Offering his hand, William rose and asked her, "Shall we go?" The tour she received this time was exhaustive in its detail. Elizabeth was shown everything, and she gained a much better understanding of exactly how large Pemberley was. William was patient in showing her every aspect in a manner that expressed to her that it was all hers, to do with as she pleased. Finally, William took her into an office.

"My parents always shared this office; they used it for managing the estate and their properties." His eyes were uncertain. "I'd like to continue that arrangement, if it is acceptable to you."

Elizabeth examined the large room. It was well lit by large windows, from which daylight flowed in. A pair of desks faced each other, one was plainly in use, the other was empty. The room was decorated in tasteful paintings and a collection of Asian vases was displayed in a large glass cabinet along one wall. Comfortable wingback chairs were scattered about the room.

"It's lovely," Elizabeth said, her satisfaction evident.

"Do you want your computer here or up in your studio?" William asked, his expression one of pleasure at her reaction.

"Oh." She frowned. "I don't know." Then she looked at him. "Don't you have a computer upstairs as well?" She asked as she observed the expensive looking monitor sitting on his desk.

William put his arms around her. "My 'play' computer is upstairs; I use that one for surfing and for SCA research. This," he indicated the desk, "is my work computer." He spoke softly into her ear, unable to resist the call of her body any longer.

Elizabeth tilted her head, exposing her neck to him absently as she thought. "Can I have two computers, too?" she asked, frowning slightly.

William chuckled against her throat as his lips slid down to her delicious collarbone. "You can have a dozen, my heart. I just need to know if you want your old computer upstairs or down. Your new computer will go wherever you wish it." He nibbled on her flesh, "Besides, they are all networked together. It doesn't really matter what goes where."

"Oh," she replied, turning in his arms to face him. "Then," she paused to kiss his soft lips. "I suppose I'll have my old computer upstairs and the new one down." She kissed him again, opening herself to him and losing herself in his embrace.

William responded hungrily to her kisses, his passion rising. Words he was going to say about what Elizabeth would be using the office for became suddenly unimportant. His carefully made plans deserted him once again, as he moved with Elizabeth to the empty desktop. His sensibilities objected to the idea of taking his wife for the first time in his home on a desk, but the rest of his body overruled the objection and threatened to have the sensibilities removed for contempt of Elizabeth's luscious body.

William's hand traveled down her side to her thigh, bared by the shorts she was wearing. Elizabeth's hands were under his shirt and wreaking havoc on his ability to stand by the way she was pinching and teasing his nipples. William had no idea what was going on, he just felt the blind need to rut overpowering him again. Pheromones? An emotional response to exposing his private living space to her? Who knew what had provoked this powerful reaction? Who cared? Elizabeth certainly didn't. She was unfastening his shorts, as caught up in the hunger as he was.

"Oh, Elizabeth," he moaned as he pulled down her shorts and underwear. He lifted her bare bottom onto the desk and spread her legs apart as he lowed himself to his knees.

"No!" Elizabeth exclaimed, stopping his descent. "I need you, please!" she licked her lips, breathless, "Inside of me, please." Her eyes were soft and pleading.

It was unnecessary. William was prepared to oblige her in any way she wished. He rose back to a standing position and his hands stroked her inner thighs until she was quivering. Then he took her ankles and placed them on his shoulders. A soft cry escaped her mouth as he grabbed her hips and pulled them towards him and the edge of the desk.

Looking deeply into her eyes, he entered her, thrusting home in a single push. Elizabeth's mouth fell open as he overwhelmed her. Silently, her lips formed the words "Oh God!" again and again as he ravished her. Both remained silent, only the sounds of flesh slapping against flesh revealed their activities.

Elizabeth's hands reached up and found his. He released his grasp on her shapely calves to intertwine his fingers with her. The softest moans signaled her readiness. Tighter, faster, harder, they pounded against each other, both seeking the bliss that was only found in the other. William dropped her hands and grasped her hips once more, holding her tight as her whole body lifted up off the desk in a violent spasm of pleasure as she found her release. William hammered his last needed strokes into her writhing core, following her into ecstasy.

Panting, he opened his eyes to survey his wife. She smiled back at him, well pleased. Her lips were swollen. Her tee shirt had been shoved up along with her bra to reveal a breast. Her lower body was completely bare as she rested her heels on the desk, unashamedly exposing herself to him. She was sweating and rumpled and he was sure he had never seen anything so sexy in his life.

With a purr, she stretched her arms over her head. "Well, I feel better now," she observed languidly. Then she noticed that William was giving her that look. The look that said that once again, she had surprised him. "What?"

William smiled self deprecatingly. "I was just thinking of all the hours I sat in that chair," he indicated the chair at his desk with his head, "imagining being with you." He stroked her knee absently, "I'm afraid it is going to take a few days for me to adjust to the fact that you are actually here, and not just a fantasy."

"And do I live up to your expectations?" she asked, not teasingly, but with a soft sincerity.

"More than I could have ever dreamed," he said softly, his lips tight with emotion. "So much more, my love."

Elizabeth sat up and took him into her arms, giving to him and receiving the closeness they both needed. They nuzzled their faces together, until the moment passed, then William gallantly helped her off the desk, and they dressed and left to oversee the unpacking.


Elizabeth sighed as the hot water poured over her body. Why was moving such a dirty job? It was not like her apartment had been a den of filth, and Pemberley was immaculate, so why did she feel grimy?

She washed the question from her mind along with the sweat and dirt from her body. She wondered if William would join her in the shower, but it seemed unlikely. She was disappointed, but at the same time, realized it was for the best. Dinner would be served in less than an hour, and it wouldn't do to be fucking (again) while her guests were waiting downstairs.

Then there was the question of where they would be fucking. Elizabeth could see in her mind through the walls of her bathroom to the bedroom and the huge Darcy bed in there. It stood like a huge mountain she needed to climb and conquer, before she would feel comfortable there.

She had been surprised when William had brought her into their room for the first time today. The bedding had been changed from the dark, masculine bedspread to a down comforter, with a white cover, embellished with delicate embroidery all over it. An abundance of lace trimmed pillows completed the look.

"Do you like it?" he asked softly into her ear. "I had Mrs. Reynolds pick it out for you."

Elizabeth nodded, touched by his thoughtfulness. She noticed other changes to the room as well: A large vanity table with a mirror and chair had been added since the last time she was there. It clearly matched the furnishings, both in style and age. A bookcase also stood empty, ready to receive her as well.

William had shown her all her things: her dresser, her half of their closet, (which was the size of her old bedroom) and her bathroom. Then he had left her to clean up for dinner.

Elizabeth, if the truth were to be known, was grateful for the solitude. She took a few minutes to breathe and to just 'feel' the space around her. She pointedly ignored the Darcy bed. She just wasn't ready to deal with that alone. But the rest of the room: The sofa, the vanity, the chairs, the balcony, she was content to explore and to absorb their vibrations. The room was so old. It had layers of forgotten memories covering it like the wallpaper on the walls.

When Elizabeth emerged from her shower, she quickly found the summer dress she planned on wearing and dressed. William emerged from his bathroom, already changed. He was wearing a dark red dress shirt, the color of wine, with his sleeves rolled up, and dark grey trousers. His hair was still damp from his shower and Elizabeth felt her mouth go dry at the sight of him. He was the Master of Pemberley: Handsome, confident, elegant, rich, cultured. Elizabeth had a moment of difficulty recalling that this remarkable man was also her husband. She felt simple and plain before him.

Elizabeth worried if she should change into something more formal, when William growled, "Don't you dare."

"Dare what?"

"Change," he stalked towards her. "I like that dress." His eyes traveled up and down her, mentally counting the buttons that held the front of the dress closed. "I like thinking about how I'm going to take it off of you." He reached her and took her into his arms. "I insist you wear it."

Elizabeth could see the teasing in his eyes that accompanied his last statement. It saved his ass. Smiling coyly, she whispered into his ear, "I would not suspend any pleasure of yours, my love."

He grinned back wickedly and kissed her, and then he released her. She sat at the vanity and he took up her comb. "Thank you for this, it's lovely."

"I can remember my mother sitting here, and watching her get ready for fancy dinner parties." He combed her hair expertly. "When she died, my father had it put in storage." His face expressed a sorrow he had stored as well. "It is nice to see it in use again," he said, coming out of his grief, "and by such a beautiful Mrs. Darcy as well." He leaned down and kissed her.

He put her hair up in an elegant chignon. It bugged her slightly that he was better at styling her hair than she was. He examined her appearance in the mirror. "You are beautiful," he breathed, kissing her jaw. "But I think you need something else."

Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out a small jeweler's box and handed it to her. "This is just for you."

Elizabeth closed her eyes and bit her lip, amazed. How did he do it? How did he sense her feelings and needs, even before she felt them? How did he know that she would be needing something that was new, and her own, and not part of the Darcy legacy right now?

She opened the box to find a tiny butterfly, worked in gold wire and tiny flashing stones, which Elizabeth refused to believe were diamonds. (Although they were.) It was small and perfectly detailed. A gold chain extended from either wing. She gasped in awe of the delicate loveliness of it. "Oh William," she breathed.

He smiled, his warm, private smile that was hers alone. "I'm glad you like it. I saw it when I was getting the wedding rings, and thought it was perfect for you."

Elizabeth watched in the mirror as he put it on her. It fell to just below her throat. William gently pulled her to her feet and took her into his arms. Elizabeth stared. She didn't recognize the couple in the mirror. She looked elegant, sophisticated and a perfect match to the man beside her. She didn't understand the change she saw, but the mirror didn't lie. It was clear, she belonged right there, at his side.

The dinner was a lovely party. Elizabeth was charmed by not only the splendid meal that had been served in her honor, but also by the company. The dining room itself gleamed with fine silver and china. William had overseen the arrangements himself while Elizabeth was bathing. Richard, Georgianna and Michael all delighted her with intelligent conversation and easy laughter. When the wine was finished, Georgianna politely signaled her guests that it was time to leave. She announced to William and Elizabeth that she was going to Michael's for the night, daring them to challenge her.

Michael, for his part, looked like he could have skipped the announcement. However, Georgianna stood firm and William deferred judgment to Elizabeth, who merely held up her hand in a wave and said, "Have fun."

Once the guests had departed, Elizabeth stood quietly, studying the floor. "Love, what's the matter?" William asked quietly, taking her hand. "You aren't nervous, are you?"

Elizabeth smiled weakly. William knew she was nervous, and he knew why. Part of his mind observed distantly that Elizabeth was the last woman he ever thought would be playing the role of the nervous bride. But he kept that observation far from her, and looked at her tenderly. "Come on, my love. It has been a busy day, let's go to bed." He put an arm around her shoulder and she slipped hers around his waist. Together they climbed the long formal staircase to the second floor.

They were walking towards their room, when William stopped them and made a great show of thinking, counting on his fingers and muttering to himself.

"What?" she giggled, knowing this display was her benefit.

William shrugged and said, "Better late than never," and picked Elizabeth up into his arms.

"WHAT are you doing?" she asked, her voice filled with outraged laughter.

"Carrying my bride over the threshold." He replied with a smug smile. "Good luck, and all that."

Elizabeth laughed out loud, and kissed him, grateful for his timely distraction. Perhaps that was the point of that old myth: To make the bride forget to be terrified? Whether or not it was intended, the action did distract Elizabeth and made her relax.

When William placed her down on the lush carpet, she kept her arms around his neck and pulled him down to a kiss. William found this idea appealing and wrapped his long arms around her, a hand reaching up to stroke the nape of her neck.

"I love the skin right here," he said between kisses. "It is very erotic to me." Elizabeth turned her head away, and he kissed her neck, causing her to shiver. His other hand had skimmed down her side and was cupping her breast, squeezing it gently. Her eyes closed and her breathing deepened. William began unbuttoning the long row of buttons that had been taunting him all evening, all the while tasting every part of her neck and shoulders he could reach.

With a moan, Elizabeth seemed to come back to herself. Her eyes popped open and she stopped his hand. "Wait!"

"What?" he asked confused.

She kissed him lightly as she pulled away. "I'll be right back."

"Elizabeth!" he protested.

"I have something special for you." She smiled and disappeared into her bathroom.

He frowned, but his curiosity quickly got the better of him and his mien softened. Getting ready for bed was a good idea, he conceded and besides, a sneaky wife was better than an anxious one any day. He retired to his bath, emerging in his typical nightwear a few minutes later.

He puzzled. Normally he didn't bother with a robe for simply going from his bathroom to his bed, but with Elizabeth.... not that she hadn't seen him naked, he shrugged. Nightclothes had been completely abandoned by both of them since that first night at Pennsic. But still ... He was still dithering in the middle of the vast bedchamber when Elizabeth's door opened and she walked out. All the air rushed out of his lungs.

She was a vision. A white satin gown covered her body to drape on the floor, but it hid nothing. The shine of the fabric highlighted her every curve. She smiled sexily at him as she pushed the sheer robe off her shoulders, and slowly turned around, giving him a view of the deep v-neck in the back of the gown. Her hair was loose, hanging around her shoulders and William was suddenly afraid.

"Elizabeth," he whispered, "Please, say something. Tell me this isn't a dream." It was too close to his fantasies for comfort.

Elizabeth slowly walked closer to him, her smile deepening. "This is no dream, William." She breathed as she took his hands and placed them on her hips. "Do you like my gown?" she eased her hands up his chest and into his hair as she spoke seductively in to his ear. "I got it just for you."

William nodded. His brain was shutting down quickly from a lack of blood. His body was fully alert, however, and was keenly aware of the soft, smooth silk satin that was being pressed against him. It was very stimulating. His hands were moving as well, cupping her ass and discovering she was wearing nothing beneath it. He could take no more and pulled her to him, crushing her lips to his. He kissed her long and hard, expressing a desire for her that would never fade and that had only built as they had grown closer.

William's brain suddenly came back online (although, only a certain section of it) and he had a mandate: Must bed wife! (It was admittedly not the most verbose part of his brain.) Not breaking their kiss, he reached down and slid an arm behind her knees, picking her up and carrying her towards his goal. Gently he lowered her on the bed, then stood up to regard her. Her face was flushed and her chest was heaving. The skirt of her gown had risen up past her knees, exposing her beautiful tan legs.

Elizabeth recognized the look in his eyes. It was hunger. That look had never puzzled her. And if it had, his current lack of clothing would make everything apparent. He didn't speak, nor did she expect him too. In this case, she was comfortable with not having to put the effort onto conversation. It wasn't needed in any case. They were way behind words.

He knelt on the bed beside her and started with her legs. Slowly, he stroked her, caressing the muscles and bones under the smooth flesh and silky skin. He pleasured his mouth by tasting her, exploring every inch. The gown was gradually pushed further up, revealing greater delights. Elizabeth would have pulled it off altogether, but he stopped her with a touch and a look. He wished to make this last, and the unwrapping was proving to be exquisite.

When the gown was to the top of her thighs, he abandoned her legs and reached beneath the hem to touch her soft belly. It was smooth and silky like the rest of her skin. Elizabeth bit her lip in disappointment that he had passed over her throbbing sex, but she resolved to remain silent and passive for as long as possible. William was 'driving' and trying to take control at this point could be dangerous.

He had stretched out beside her, his head level with hers on the pillow, as his hand continued to enjoy the pleasing warmth of her tummy. He kissed her lips slowly, teasing them with his tongue, pulling back before she could respond, then kissing her again.

Elizabeth was burning, her body clenching with need as her blood was rushing in her ears. William's teasing was relentless and she needed to be touched so badly. Soft whimpers arose from her chest and quickly changed to moans as he grasped her full hot breast though the cool fabric of her gown.

"So beautiful," he murmured as he lifted himself up and began to suckle her hard nipple. The gown had become something of a belt around her middle and Elizabeth was anxious to be rid of it. William sensed her uneasiness and pulled back, sitting her up and quickly freeing her of the garment.

Then he pushed her back down on the bed and smiled. The gown had been entrancing, but there was nothing like the beauty of his wife completely and gloriously naked. He returned to her breast, his hand sliding between her legs to caress her sex.

His own body was screaming at him, but he was resolved. He would pleasure her first, as many times as he could stand, before taking her. Luckily, Elizabeth seemed to have no difficulty with the plan, as she peaked into an orgasm almost as soon as he touched her. He stilled his hand but kept it at her core while she recovered. He hadn't realized how excited she had been. Clearly he wasn't the only one entranced. This observation pleased him but also took away a significant measure of his self-control.

Self-control that was further damaged by the way her hands gripped his cock tightly. "Let me taste," she begged wantonly, her lips exploring his chest until she found what she sought and latched on to his nipple. William closed his eyes as his senses were assaulted. Her mouth was so wet and hot, sucking so hard on him, while her hands were stroking his phallus with such skill that was stealing all his restraint away.

With a rough growl, he forced her off of him and onto her back. It was time. Neither could stand to be delayed a moment longer. Pushing her legs apart, he entered her drenched tight core. His home; his exclusive place. He touched her in the places only he was allowed to touch. Her tightness brought a sweet agony to him as he forced himself as deeply into her as he could. Elizabeth moaned as she felt him penetrate her, filling her with a delicious pleasure that touched the fire inside of her.

But it was more. It was so much more than the rubbing together of soft tissue. It was greater than the stimulation of nerve bundles. It was the joining. In this place, in this bed, it was the union of two persons, two souls, two lives into one.

Not that either William or Elizabeth was aware of this at the time. They only knew then about pleasure and need, pressure and release. Hands grasping, lungs panting, bodies stretching and moving in chorus, hurting and healing, emptying and filling, again and again. It was only after they had sated each other, their love expressed in the most physical and delightful manner, when they lay exhausted and tangled, that they would feel it.

William was surprised by a sense of accomplishment that filled him unbidden. He had brought her home; he had won his dearest Elizabeth. He had fulfilled his duty as the principal of his line and now the House of Pemberley would continue. Elizabeth, for her part, felt a sense of belonging like she had never known. The mountain had been climbed. She was the lady of the house, the mistress of the estate. Feeling deeply loved and respected, she knew she had found her role and her home, for the rest of her life.

These discoveries were so profound and so unexpected, that the lovers were filled with a euphoric joy that they shared by pleasuring each other for the rest of the night and well into the next morning, setting the tone for their marriage and for their lives.


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