“How can I help you?” His voice trembled. She was more beautiful than before, even though she was wearing an old t-shirt and a pair of jeans, without any jewellery. She looked out of place in his grand sombre office. When she stood in front of his massive desk, he could see that she looked thinner and there was shadow under her eyes. It didn’t make her less attractive. In fact the vulnerability stirred his protective instinct. He wanted to hold her and promised her eternity. No, he wouldn’t think in those terms. She accepted his father’s money.
She bit her lips and then took out a photograph from the envelop she was holding and slammed it onto his desk. Not so vulnerable after all.
“What’s it?” His eyes focussed on her, not bothering to look at the photograph.
“Look at it!” She barked. Her eyes flamed with fire.
He leaned forward and had a quick glance. Then his heart skipped. He grabbed it and looked closer. It was a very old photo, of a handsome man hugging a gorgeous woman on a street.
“But that was Alan Bingley…” His voice trailed, before he added, “…with your mother?”
She nodded. Taking another document out of the envelop, she pushed it to him. It was an investigation report from a private detective company. He didn’t need to read through it. Understanding dawned on him. Bingley’s late father was a playboy. “He had an affair with your mother.”
She nodded again and then took a piece of paper out and threw it on the table. “Here is the remaining of your father’s money. I only took enough to hire a private detective. You can cancel the rest of the instalments. I don’t know why your father left me the money. Perhaps he was helping Alan Bingley to do so. But I don’t want any of that. This Alan Bingley was never my father. I’ve everything I need in Longbourn.” She spoke coldly and then turned to leave.
Darcy jumped out his chair and chased after her. Stopping her by the door, a sense of relief ran through his body. She was not his father mistress! “I’m sorry, Elizabeth.”
“Are you?” She spat out the words. Her eyes widened with anger.
“Yes.” He couldn’t explain more, of the pain brought on by the sudden death of his father, of seeing his mother on life support and of the immense pressure of stepping into his father’s shoes. Raising his hand, he caressed her cheek, trying to convey every emotion through his intense gaze.
Elizabeth was panting. The flame in her eyes dimmed slightly before tears welled up. “You thought I was a whore!” Her voice cracked.
“I was angry…” He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his jaw on her head. “…with Dad dying. He was only in his late 50s. We could have so many years together. How could he leave my mother, Georgiana and I alone in this world? How could his last thought be of someone else, of providing a faceless woman with money? Caroline, I mean Caroline Bingley. She is Charles’s little sister my father let her work here. She tried to seduce me. She was shameless, only after my money. I was so angry. I broke something in the office and discovered your photo. You look so full of life, so blissful. I became furious with you too. Your happiness fuels my anger.” His confusing words of explanation tumbled out. He didn’t know if he made sense or not. He was just happy that he could hold Elizabeth tight.
“You crush me,” She murmured.
Darcy thought she meant physically. So he loosened his embrace reluctantly and stepped backward. Gazing into her expressive eyes, he understood that she meant emotionally. “I’m so sorry.” His voice was full of remorse.
“You’re the most intelligent man I’ve ever met. You had this intent gaze on me, the first two days we met. I thought you were interested in me, romantically. My heart was in cloud nine. But then on the beach, all your contempt poured out. It was enough to drown me. I was crushed to the ground. I was just a slut in your eyes. You thought I sold my body to your father. My five years of hard work to turnaround Longbourn and all my proud achievements were torn to pieces.” A single tear slid down her face.
He used his thumb to wipe it away. He was utterly ashamed of himself. This wonderful, diligent and beautiful woman had wanted to open her heart to him. And what did he do? His rage turned him into a beast and he stomped her heart, repeatedly. He accused her of whoring her way to success and offered her the most degrading offer. The ‘mistress’ contract was still locked in his safe. “Will you ever forgive me?” Darcy cried in despair.
Dropping his hands, he walked like a defeated man. Slumping onto the sofa, he rested his head on his hands. “Dad, I mess up the only good thing that came my way after you died. You must be disgusted with me!” Darcy swore as tears overcame him, for the first time since his father’s death. More words of torment came out. “I was worthless. With all the money in the world, I couldn’t save you. Mom is still in a coma. Georgiana is quiet and sad. The company is doing ok but why didn’t I use the money to investigate the matter, before accusing Elizabeth? I’m not your son, Dad! I’m an ugly beast.” Darcy berated himself with his conversation to his father.
Then he felt her soft hand, pushing the hair back from his forehead. Elizabeth was kneeling in front of him, kissing the tears away from his face. “No, you’re a good man.” She whispered. “You love your parents and sister. You do a great job with the company.”
He gasped for air and then turned his mouth to kiss her face. “I love you Elizabeth, almost immediately after I met you. Your sparkling and hard working attitudes are what I’ve craved for in a partner. But I stuffed up throughout our acquaintance. Will you forgive me, Elizabeth?”
She nodded and continued kissing away his tears.
“And give me another, to start over?” His voice was full of vulnerability.
“Yes, a new beginning.” She replied, full of conviction.
Fast forward thirty years, the sky was bright with stars and at the far end of the beach in Ramsgate, an ‘elderly’ couple giggled like teenagers.
“William! We can’t do this,” Elizabeth laughed merrily as she pushed the roving hands of her husband away.
“Why not?” Darcy suppressed his cheers and licked her earlobe.
“We’re parents of the bridegroom. What if anyone from the wedding party comes down for a midnight dip and finds us making out in the water. You’re over 60 years old now. You’ve got to behave like an elderly gentleman should.”
“Elderly? I’m mature!” He scowled and then pushed her bikini bottom aside, sliding two fingers into her folds, aiming for her G-spot. “I’m as fit as I was when we first met. You’ve to pay for that, calling me elderly.” He uttered petulantly, before lowering his mouth to suckle her nipple the way she loved it.
The past 30 years were a joy to the Darcys, except the occasional explosive rows every couple had. They made four wonderful children, three boys and one girl. Pemberley Holding had grown bigger and better. Today, their eldest Andrew, who headed PH now, was getting married in Ramsgate.
Yes, Ramsgate was the place where many of the important things in the Darcy family happened.
After that emotional draining confrontation in Darcy’s office 30 years ago, Elizabeth and he had become an item. He learned more about her parentage. Mrs. Fanny Bennet suffered post natal sickness after Jane was born for almost a year but Mr. Bennet was too busy with the hotel to notice her problem.
Alan Bingley came to Ramsgate for a development project and his charm brought Fanny back to life. When Alan moved on a month later without so much of a goodbye, Fanny found herself pregnant and confessed the affair to Mr. Bennet. Her husband was remorseful of his neglect and forgave her indiscretion. In fact he dotted on Elizabeth when she was born, more so than on Jane. Lizzy was the precious little gift who brought Fanny back to her old self for him. Mrs. Bennet filled in some of the detail after Elizabeth confronted her with the report from the private detective.
As for the involvement of Darcy’s father, Elizabeth and her husband didn’t learn about it until Lady Anne miraculously woke up from coma, a year after the traffic accident. She told them George was entrusted with finding Alan Bingley’s love child when the latter died. Fanny informed Alan of Elizabeth birth’s many years ago but the playboy never felt the need to get in touch with her and had lost contact. Only when he was faced with immortality did he wanted absolution. He had transferred 10 millions pounds secretly from his personal accounts to George Darcy for Elizabeth because Mrs. Bingley was a shark. Alan was afraid that she would try to harm Elizabeth financially and emotionally. Lady Anne didn’t approve of her husband’s involvement and keeping secret from the Bingley’s children. Sadly they argued in the car which led to the traffic accident.
Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage soon afterwards brought joy to the recovering Lady Anne. Darcy had mellowed throughout the years, as he became the target of teasing by his wife. Their marriage was a true partnership. They share their worries, laughter, tears and vision everyday. And their relationship was of the most passionate nature. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other. A certain look, a particular association and a special memory would draw Mr. and Mrs. Darcy hide away from the public and purse their bonding.
This late night swim was just another example. After the wedding of their son, Elizabeth was laughing at Darcy, remembering that she had kept his swimming trousers for months, after she had left him in the beach without it during their first anger encounter. They then ran down the beach on impulse for a midnight dip.
“Just be careful, Mrs. Darcy,” He murmured as he wrapped Elizabeth’s legs around his waist.
“Of…what?” Her words were hardly recognisable as she was moaning in ecstasy. His fingers explored her sex fiercely, driving her near the edge.
“Don’t push off…my swimming trousers,” Darcy breathed out the words with difficult, as he slowly pushed into her hot welcoming core. “I don’t want to wait here naked, for rescue again.” Her muscles gripped his manhood, creating a stimulating friction that shot shivers in his body. Elizabeth’s lustful voice flooded his ears, sending him into a frantic thrusting rhythm. He pounded into her delicious body, on and on, again and again, until she cried out in elation. He reached his climax soon afterwards.
Slowly their breath returned to normal but to Darcy’s consternation, he found that they had jostled off his swimming trousers during the blazing love making. They spent some time to search for the disappearing garment in the water in vain. Luckily, Mrs. Darcy had the foresight to bring along a change of clothes, thus saving Mr. Darcy from any possible man-eating females lurking in the beach for sugar daddy.
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