Knightley wasn’t sure why his boss was so determined to think ill of this woman. “As far as records show, no. She manages the family hotel Longbourn in Ramsgate. But if you want me to make sure, I can go there to do a bit of snooping around.” He was intrigued and wanted to know more of her relationship with his boss.
“It’s ok. Just leave it for the time being. Thanks.” Darcy said quickly. If there was going to be a scandal, he preferred to discover it himself. He decided to go to Ramsgate alone. But on second thought, he wasn’t easy among strangers. He called his friend Charles Bingley instead. Although he had fired his sister Caroline, Darcy knew Charles and Caroline didn’t get on and Charles would still be his best friends.
“Fancy a holiday by the sea?” He said on the phone.
“Trying to get away from my shameless sister?” Bingley asked joyfully. “I’m all for ogling some sexy blond bikini girls in France.”
Darcy rolled his eyes and said. “I’m thinking of home grown beauties this time. Have you been to Ramsgate before?”
A week later, Darcy and Bingley were at the doorstep of Longbourn Hotel. Usually Darcy would stay in luxuriant hotel. So he had to tell a lie and said his personal assistant had messed up the booking. “Some times, we need to stay in pig pens to learn how the other half of the world live.” He joked to Bingley.
“Welcome to Longbourn, Mr. Piggy.” The teasing voice of a woman startled Darcy. He turned and faced the woman who had haunted his dreams these past few weeks. The photo didn’t capture half of her vitality. Her eyes sparkled with anger and cynic laughter at the same time. Her lush lips curled up in an unconscious pout. She was wearing a bikini, but yellow in colour. Her hair and skin were still wet. She had darker tan, fuller breasts, narrower waist and wider hips than in the photo. Darcy felt heat rushed to his face and a stab in the stomach again. This time, he wanted to throw her over his shoulders, take her to his cave and possess her for the rest of the day.
“Lizzy, stop it!” Another gentle voice broke Darcy’s gaze and thoughts. “I’m sorry sir. My sister always likes to tease. Did you have a booking?” A taller woman with long blond hair said.
Bingley’s eyes lit up. “Yes, William Darcy and Charles Bingley.” He said with a grin, solely for the gentle angel.
“Yes, I remember. For two weeks in two of our best rooms. Thank you sir for staying in our family hotel. I’m Jane Bennet and this is my sister Elizabeth.” She said gently while her eyes fixed at Bingley. “I’ll prepare for your check in.” As she moved round the counter, Bingley followed her.
Darcy returned his stare to Elizabeth. She arched her eye brows and walked toward the back of the hotel, but not before leaving a teasing departing song. “Little piggy bit his tongue. Little piggy sealed his lips...”
He suppressed the smile and forced down his arousal. His eyes followed her skipping steps. She didn’t sway her hips like most models would when they walked in front of him. But her bouncing form made her pert bottom shook with a tantalising rhythm. He needed a cold shower, fast! No, he wanted the truth, quick!
Luckily he had the foresight to bring Bingley along. Charles “accidentally” knew about Jane and Elizabeth’s day off the next day. He happened to invite Darcy and himself to join them on the beach.
While Bingley was getting to know Jane, Darcy laid down on the towel at a safe but hearing distance. Elizabeth had no time for the arrogant man. She was making sand castle near the edge of the water.
Darcy’s hope of knowing more about Elizabeth from her sister was rewarded. He listened to Bingley and Jane’s conversation with keen interest.
“So you have five sisters?” Charles said.
“Yes. Father died when I was twenty two and Lizzy took over the running of the hotel since she studied accounting and management.” Jane chatted.
“I’m sorry to hear about your lost.”
“It’s fine. It was five years ago and father wasn’t high on sadness. Lizzy’s great. She and father were really close but she picked up herself immediately when the bank wanted to call in the loan earlier.”
“It must be a tough time for the whole family.”
“Mama was crying most of the time and Mary, Kitty and Lydia they were still in school. I was lost. But Lizzy talked to the bank. She changed her course from full time to part-time. She also got some marketing and the website going. The business turned around in a few months.”
“I’m sure you helped your sister a lot as well.”
“We’re very close. She liked to run her ideas with me. She always joked that she represents a bad customer and I represent the nice one. But really she hasn’t a mean bone in her body. She even went to take a cooking course, so she can fill in when the chef takes leave suddenly.”
Darcy listened to the information with disbelief. His eyes continued to stare at Elizabeth from afar. She covered her track well, not even letting her sister know about the sordid affairs. Did she become his father’s mistress for her family? Could he forget about this and make her his?
The object of his contempt had gone into the water for a dip. He decided to confront her. With decided strides, he walked down the beach and dived into the water. It was cold and yet refreshing. With a few strokes, he reached her side, close enough to breathe in her invigorating lavender scent. He stared at the mane of curly hair which framed her lovely face, the water lapping at the creamy flesh of her shoulders and breasts. The bewitching sight made him forget about his anger. Darcy uttered his thoughts without thinking. “You look lovely.”
Elizabeth looked at him strangely, with an unbelievable expression. Then her face turned crimson. “Thank you.” She whispered.
He raised his hand and brushed the wet unruly curls away from her forehead. His fingers caressed her cheek and traced its way down her jaw. His eyes focussed on her tempting lips. “May I?” He asked softly, before raising his eyes to look at her.
Her sparkling eyes returned his intense gaze for a long minute. Then she leaned toward him, ever so slightly, with her luscious lips slightly opened.
He was mesmerised. His body drifted toward her and his mouth sought her welcoming one. Her lips were thick and tasted of chocolate and mint. He was addicted, instantly. Deepening the kiss, he enjoyed her passionate response. By the time he let go of her delectable mouth to draw in the essential breath, his hands had travelled from her waist to cup her pert bottom. And he could feel her hands pushed into the waistband of his swimming trunks, grabbing his buttocks.
“Oh, Mr. Darcy!” She said breathlessly.
The three words were like a fierce lightning that slashed through a pitch black night. They torn through the clouds of desire loomed over him. He was sick of himself suddenly, of wanting her.
He had to crack open her disguise, to expose her shortcomings before taking her as his, on his term, openly. “Where did you get the money to turn away the bank?”
She blinked her eyes twice. “What do you mean?”
“Did my father give you the money?”
“Your father?” Her face turned into a puzzle.
“Yes, George Darcy of Pemberley Holding. Don’t pretend you don’t know him. His dying words were about you,” He spit out the words with a vengeance, remembering the pain the day his father died. “How did you suck the old man in?”
Elizabeth gasped and drew in short breathes, pushing her lovely chest up and down against the lapping water. “Bastard! What are you accusing me of? Did you kiss me to spite me? I don’t even know your father.”
She tried to pull away from him. But he wrapped his arms around her tighter. Her struggling form rubbed against his body, stirring his arousal. “He paid you money to hold off the bank, didn’t he?” He barked the words out, inches from her face. “He left you 10 million pounds, his dying wish, for service render. How long did you serve him?”
She blinked a few more times. “I don’t know your father. Let go of me or I’ll scream.”
“Scream for what? Bingley and your sister have gone off. The beach looks deserted.”
She glanced back at the beach.
“I’ll make you scream for ecstasy.” He swore and mashed his mouth against her. After a few moments of struggle, she returned his kiss with ardour. Her hands palmed and squeezed his butt cheeks with vigour.
His fingers slipped inside her bikini top and captured her hardened nipple. He thrust his tongue into her mouth when his thumb rubbed her cherry tip.
Her hands were busy as well, pushing his swimming trousers down. He shivered in anticipation, for her to caress his length. Instead, he suddenly felt a searing pain in his groin. He let go of her mouth and cried in pain.
“Rot in hell!” She grinded out the words, pushed him away and quickly swam back to the beach. But she grabbed his floating trousers with her.
Darcy could do nothing. He had to let the pain to subside. Finally reality sank in. He gritted his teeth. This bloody Elizabeth Bennet had left him in the deserted beach, naked!
To be continued...