A Forever Kind of Love

The best-laid plans of mice and men did NOT have a wife!

In this sweet Regency variation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s eldest son sets out to seek a bride. Alexander Fitzwilliam Darcy is the spitting image of his father—in looks, temperament, and his inability to impress a woman not particularly wanting to be impressed.

Darcy, against the loving advice of his intelligent wife, decides to help his son along. In the process, the forever kind of love our dear couple has for each other is displayed as tenderness meets stubbornness and affection meets determination.
Come along for the bumpy ride between Darcy & Elizabeth as love blooms at Pemberley—or does it?

A Forever Kind of Love is appropriate for all readers. This story can be read in about an hour and is just over 100 pages in length.

 

 

Available for purchase at:

Amazon.com

Paperback

Amazon Global

Barnes & Noble

Audible

Chapter One

10 April 1835

Mr. Alexander F. Darcy

Darcy House, Grosvenor Square

London

Dear Father,

I hope this finds you and the family well. With the twins heading to Eton this year, I suspect you and Mama are wondering how you will stand the lack of noise at Pemberley. For the first time since my birth, the hallways will be quiet. What will you do with yourselves?

How could I forget? You are soon to be the proud grandparents of Rebekah’s little one and are undoubtedly in constant attendance upon her as you await the joyful occasion. I plan to gather gifts for the child and for my sister as soon as the babe arrives and am in expectation of setting off from town immediately after. Can it truly be possible that the hoyden who constantly escaped the nursery to invade my studies will have a babe of her own instead of that horrid doll she called Maude (and we called maudlin—much to her ire)? I shall have to bear witness in person to this shocking occurrence before I can make sense of this blessed event.

I already have in my possession enough toys, books, and sweets to keep my youngest brothers occupied and out from under your feet for months, I believe. Can James and Gerald truly be almost three and ten years of age? My, but how time is flying quickly by.

Father, I have done as you requested though it has not been to my comfort. Like you, I find it a challenge to put myself forward when I am unacquainted with the company I am in. The young ladies of the ton…well, they are forward in their approach, and I often feel like prey surrounded by female safari hunters. Would I but meet a woman like mother, I would live my life as happily as my sire. Vague memories of the story of your courtship and marriage flit through my mind. There is no doubt I would benefit greatly by following your example.

Harry, yes, cousin Bingley no longer wants to be called Harrison, has proceeded down a path of frivolity and has plunged himself into the fray. He dances only with those left out and has quickly become a favorite with the less attractive young ladies. The loveliest of the debutantes try just as hard to catch his eye as they do mine. He is a clever lad, my cousin. By ignoring those most desirable, they flock to him like bees to honey. This game he plays is dangerous, but he is impervious to warnings. I am not his master. Nor am I his parent.   

I shall close this missive knowing Mother is undoubtedly poised behind you, peeking over your shoulder, reading each word. I hold you both in deep love and affection. As always,

Alex

“Dearest,” Elizabeth spoke softly, her words drifting the short distance to her husband’s ear. “Our eldest is lonely.”

Darcy looked back at his wife who was, indeed, hovering behind him reading the letter. “Why do you say thus, Elizabeth? He has the company of both his Bingley and his Fitzwilliam cousins. He has friends from Cambridge who are also establishing themselves now they are released from university.” Lifting the parchment closer to see if he missed something, he shook his head and then looked back at his spouse, his brow arched.

“Can you not see it? He speaks of others’ lives as having wonderful events taking place. Of his sister, he is looking to have joy at anticipating her become a mother. Harrison sounds as if he is happily navigating the season. However, our son? My dear man, he writes of responsibility. Oh, most definitely, he is lonely.” Elizabeth pointed to the section of the letter where his opinion of attending balls was “not to my comfort.” She patted her heart. “Darling boy, he is much like his father and growing more so with each day.”

“Harrumph!”  Darcy snorted. “You say it like this is a bad occurrence, Elizabeth. Are you, after these almost five and twenty years, wishing the father of our four children were someone else or had a different character to pass on to our progeny?”

Her kiss was swift and felt good on his cheek. He would wear it with grace throughout the day. “You are a silly, pensive man this morning, William. For a certainty, I adore you more than the day we wed, and I remember thinking at the time how blessed I was to be held in your affection.” She kissed him again. “Do not think I have not noticed that your spectacles are missing, Fitzwilliam Darcy. You are holding our son’s letter so closely I barely find it necessary to lean in to read his fine hand. I cannot believe you have forgotten how the doctor believes your headaches are derived from not using them when you read. Have you misplaced them again?”

He scoffed. “I am not an old man that I need to wear eye glasses. I read perfectly fine without them.”

“Of course you do, dearest.” Giving his shoulder one last caress, she moved to the small reading area in his study in front of the roaring fire. Finding her “prize” on the small table piled with books between the heavy leather chairs, she held them up with pride. “I insist you will still be the handsomest man of my acquaintance when you are wearing them, William. Truly, you appear even wiser than usual, I believe. And there is something about them you probably are unaware of that makes you particularly appealing when you have them on…I do not know if I should share that tidbit of information quite yet, husband, for it would stir your pride in a way I have long found unappealing.”

“I am all curiosity, Elizabeth Darcy.” He took the offensive item from her and balanced them on the bridge of his nose. He set the letter aside and stood to welcome her into his embrace, nuzzling the soft skin of her neck as he did so. “Handsomer, you said?”

“Are you a vain man to seek your wife’s words of approval?” She chuckled softly and drew closer.

He bent to kiss her and grinned. “What? You consider my kisses a subject for hilarity? How could you?”

Above all things, he loved the joy his wife brought to his life and his household. He loved her teasing and ready laughter; how she found delight in even the mundane. Catching her off guard, he swooped in and pressed his mouth to hers. She quieted and focused her full attention where it needed to be for the moment.

He could kiss her forever, this woman who held his heart in her small hands. In all their years together, she had argued with him and stomped off in anger on more than one occasion, yet she had never treated him with anything less than respect and tenderness, even when inclined to throw one of his heaviest books at him. He, Fitzwilliam Alexander James Darcy, had learned the true definition of love from this woman, and he prized her above all other humans on the earth.

“Pray, tell me what it is you find particularly appealing about a man wearing spectacles, Lizzy. I am all curiosity.” In actuality, he was not curious. Nonetheless, he knew she desperately wanted to trifle with his sense of humor so awaited her reply with eager expectation. He adored making her laugh. It was his life’s goal.

“I shall tell you, but you must promise me to keep your arrogance in check or the consequences might be severe,” was her ready reply.

“You have my promise.” She had piqued his innate inquisitiveness with her response. Now, he needed to know.

With a giggle, she pulled back from him although his arms remained tightly around her waist. Peering deeply into his eyes, her grin grew from one ear to the other. “My darling, do you not know that the lenses magnify your impressive, dark eyes so those black lashes look as thick as the forests here at Pemberley? They allow me to see the flecks of gold amidst the rich chocolate of your iris? And…” She drew out the word so he knew she was finally coming to the point that intrigued her and moved her to hilarity.

“Yes, dear?” He knew what would happen. She would tease him, then love him. He hungered for her touch, the softness of her smooth hands against his skin. Sure enough, she gently placed her fingers at each temple and pulled him so close the tip of her nose was against his.

“My love. My darling man. The main reason I adore you in your spectacles is…” She brushed her lips over his own. “…is because I can perfectly see my own reflection in them.”

Laughter, which was typically close to the surface in her presence, burst from his chest. She was the best woman alive!

“I see what you are about, Mrs. Darcy.” He tucked his chin on the top of her head where it now rested on his shoulder. “You feared, not that my pride and arrogance would return to the days of my youth, but that they would take a blow that would lay my self-esteem low, did you not?”

“Yes, Will.” Her whisper tickled his skin.

She loved him too. He had no confusion as to where her heart was bound. Elizabeth was an excellent mother of their children and mistress of their household. Nevertheless, he was her priority. They were a team, strong and resilient. They had weathered sorrow and pain, and they had done it together.

“I thank you for your consideration in not damaging my character.”

She snorted in a most unladylike fashion—something she had learned from him.  “What are we to do about our son?”

“Why, nothing at all. If he is as you suggest, lonely, we will leave it for him to obtain the best wife for himself.” He kissed her cheek as she stepped out of his embrace. “After all, I had no help when I found you.”

He knew what her reaction would be to his obnoxiously arrogant claim as clearly as if he was reading it in a book. It was why he said something so outlandish. When she planted her fists on her hips and fire shot from her eyes, he wanted to smile, but had learned early in their marriage that was not the course of wisdom.

“What? You truly believe this of yourself? That you were solely responsible for my heart being attached to your own? Ha!”

He knew what to do. All he needed to do was drop his chin a little and slightly lift his shoulders. He called it his “humble” stance. He had told her of it on or about the tenth anniversary of their union. She had laughed until tears had streamed down her cheeks. She had said it reminded her of her father’s cousin, Mr. Collins, when he was at his most self-effacing, and then told him not to ever do it again.

It worked. She rolled her eyes at his ridiculousness and turned to leave his study. “Use your spectacles, William, or you will feel my ire.”

“Yes, ma’am.” As with all married couples who have spent a multitude of years together, he knew they would review this conversation as they lay together before extinguishing the candle on the table on his side of the bed. His chuckle would mate with her giggle.

He adored his life.

Picking up the parchment from his son, he reread each word (which he had to admit was much easier with the offensive glasses perched on his nose).  Lonely? Ah, he could see it now. His son needed to find a good woman to be his wife.

Darcy ran his hand over his face. How do you go about finding an accomplished young woman in this decade? Surely, it was not much different than when he had courted Elizabeth, was it? Shrugging his shoulders, he realized he had no clue.

What he did comprehend was that his eldest two were no longer children and could not be treated as such. Neither his son, nor his willful daughter would appreciate his interference in their decision-making. Therefore, he vowed to remain in the shadows.

Ha! His wife knew him well. She had planted a seed in his psyche that was already growing. He would find Alexander Darcy a bride.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial