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Here Be Dragons

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Darcy seizes her around the middle as soon as the little red light on the camera winks off. She tumbles into his lap laughing and kissing him. He has to remind himself that this is actually happening in real life. Happening outside his head. Her weight and warmth are real. Her mouth--he'd write a villanelle about her mouth, if he had any facility with words.

It'll have to be enough to say that her lips are soft and sweet and that everything he gives, she gives right back. He's not surprised. Pleased, ecstatic, and incredulous, yes. All those.

She's caressing his tie again. It's wildly arousing, but if he's being honest, she arouses him just by existing. He once watched her peel and eat an orange at Netherfield's kitchen table. The memory of her fingers piercing and peeling back the rind, juice on her fingertips, which she licked off, it haunted him for days and at inopportune moments. Since then he's ruled nothing out where she's concerned. Lizzie Bennet doing her taxes would probably get him going. She had no clue the effect she had on him then. She does now, but it's tempered by the effect he seems to have on her in return.

They can't stop kissing. She's running her fingers everywhere, trying to find his sensitive spots. He's not dumb enough to tell her that she could probably touch him anywhere and get the same reaction. Still, when she nibbles at his ear lobe he can't help the way his fingers curl into the hair at the base of her neck. He knows she won't forget his reaction and it's only a matter of time before she knows his body and all its tricks. It's a price he's more than happy to pay because he'll get hers in return.

He tries to shift her closer, but the bench she uses for filming is awkward for this. Through some magic, that probably breaks the laws of physics, he manages to move her to the couch, still kissing her and without falling over. The coffee table is not so lucky. Neither of them cares.

She playfully shoves him down onto the sofa and stands over him. She's flushed, breathing a little rapidly, but the thing that makes his breath catch is the hot spark of her eyes. She knows exactly what she wants and he still can't quite believe that what she wants--is him. She straddles his hips, but remains up on her knees, and cups his face in her hands.

"Just so we're clear, I adore you."

She hadn't said it before. The words sink into him like the warmth of a roaring fire after a lifetime spent out in the cold. It feels good and yet so foreign and intense it's close to pain.

When she kisses him, she sinks down into his lap, flush against him. He's never been all that vocal, but he can't help it when she circles her hips. He gasps. His fingers map the sweep of her jaw, the column of her neck, the curve of her shoulder and hip. He wants to touch her everywhere at once, and since that's not possible he has to keep moving, exploring. Hopefully there will be time for lingering later. There will be. There has to be.

She sits back for a moment and runs her index finger up his tie before picking open the knot and slowly dragging the silk out through one side of his collar. It's worse than the orange. He drops his hands to her knees. They're bare and it's the first time he's really touched her skin with his fingers and palms and let himself feel it. It's too much. It's not enough. Her skirt is narrow gray wool and it's bunched up around her thighs. She's fighting with the buttons on his shirt to get at his neck, nipping at his collarbone. This time when she comes back against him, his hands ruck her skirt up to her hips.

He pulls her against him hard, grinds against her. It makes him feel like a teenager with barely controlled urges. Her hands are hot and dry on his back.

She leaves his neck to return to his mouth, attacking him with her tongue and teeth. He's vaguely aware that they are in the den in her parents' house. The door probably isn't locked. But she nips at his lower lip and worries it between her teeth and he can barely recall his own name.

He traces the flowers in the lace of her shirt up her abdomen until his fingertips meet the underside of her right breast. Her hands are inside his unbuttoned shirt, curled up around his shoulders. He considers slowing down, but she pushes herself into his hands, breaking down the last of his control. He doesn't want to hold back and neither does she.

She tilts her head back and gasps when his thumb swipes across her nipple. She is so fucking beautiful it scares him. He has her now, but if it doesn’t last… He's known grief and pain, but that would be a new level of hell. It sobers him enough to push her back a few inches.

She looks adorably puzzled, rosy-cheeked, hair tangled. Her underwear is pale pink covered in tiny rosebuds. They're oddly and unexpectedly sweet. He has to look away. He stares at the flat white of the wall for a moment.

His voice sounds much too loud. "Lizzie. The door. Anyone could walk in and I didn't expect this. I didn't come prepared."

She lifts one shoulder and for a second he thinks she's just going to plow ahead and the consequences be damned. So he's a little disappointed when she stands up and tugs her skirt down, though he knows that's best and thinking otherwise makes him feel a little ashamed.

He pulls his shirt together, about to button it, but she shakes her head. "Don't move."

She digs into her purse and comes up with a small blue square. For the first time since she got her hands on him, she looks a little self-conscious. "I always carry some, usually for, uh--other people."

"Do you think I'll be surprised that you've had sex before?" It wasn't precisely his favorite thing to think about, but it didn't bother him. They were both adults.

"No." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "But is there anything we need to, um…" She closed her eyes and waved her hand in place of words she couldn't quite say.


"Talk about? Is there anything I should know? Anything you need to know about me?"

"Oh." He shakes his head. "No. Nothing on my end."

"Then we're good." She tosses the condom onto the couch and locks the door, giving the knob a good twist and pull to be sure. She turns, leaning back against the door, looking positively wicked. She's up to something. She pulls off her boots, quickly strips off a pair of dark gray socks. She's, perhaps, eight steps away, but he can see the impression the elastic has left right below her knees. He can practically feel the little ridges on her skin.

She moves a step closer and pulls the pins out of her hair and drops them on the floor. Takes another step and unhooks her skirt. Takes the third step and lowers the zipper so that the material puddles around her feet. Her fourth step frees her from her skirt entirely. He can see where this is headed. It's a struggle not to leap up and drag her underneath him. But she's running this show. He won't take that from her. Besides he wouldn't miss this for anything.

Her hot gaze never wavers from his face, but he has to keep track of her hands as they reveal the rest of her. Her fifth and sixth steps involve a twist to the side as she reaches around and unzips her shirt. Step seven, she cocks her hips to the side and pulls the green lace over her head. He notices he's crushing the edge of the cushion beneath him with his hands and lets go.

Like her underwear her bra is pale pink with tiny rose buds. She's close enough to reach for, but he presses his knuckles into his thighs, ready to wrap his arms around her again when she gets back on his lap.

But she drops to her knees in front of him. He has to stop her, because if she puts her mouth on him this will end very soon and he's waited too long and wanted too deeply for it to be over in the blink of an eye. And wouldn't there be something a bit off about starting that way? He wants them to begin as they mean to go on—as equals, in it together. (He's not saying never. He's certainly thought about it. He has many thoughts about her mouth.)

Before he can argue or find words she's tugging off his pants and boxers and he's close to naked. She dots kisses on his knee, his thigh, and nips at his right hip. Then she's back in his lap and there is so much skin, his, hers---all exposed and pressed together. She tugs at his shirt cuffs and tosses his button-down over her shoulder.

She's still wearing her underwear and that's unacceptable. He wrestles with the hooks on the back of her bra and tosses it aside. It may have landed on a lampshade, he's really not sure. It's a bit of a blur, both of them desperate to get at one another. The only thing between them now is her underwear. He can feel that she's very wet and hot, even through them. He'd really like to take them off, but he'd need more hands.

Her skin is luminous, fine-grained like porcelain, but warm and silky and soft. She doesn't wear much perfume, but there's something subtle on her skin—like white flowers, or maybe it's just how she smells. He'll ask later, because he wants to know everything and he'll be free to ask, but later. Her nipples are the color of ripe raspberries and when he flicks his tongue against one she gasps and grinds against him.

Giving her pleasure is instantly addictive in the same way that arguing with her is. Her reactions are passionate and gorgeous and they make him want more. He's spent so much time dreaming of how this would be and it's everything he expected, but about eight times as loud and twelve times as intense.

The noise she makes is soft and low when he switches his mouth from one firm nipple to the other. He doesn't know when he did it, but his hand is down the back of her underwear, gripping her ass and encouraging her to keep rocking her hips against him.

He wanted this. He's wanted it anyway he could get it from her willingly, but shouldn't this be more romantic? Will she be disappointed later? Will he? No. He won't be.

She rises up on her knees and yanks off her underwear, a little ungainfully.

"I'm sorry," he says, which makes her freeze and stare at him.

"Lizzie. I know there should probably be a bed, candle light, and flowers, we should take our time—"

"Later. We'll have time for that later." She slides against him and there is nothing between them now. She tilts his chin up and says, "Unless, you'd rather wait."

She's teasing, but he can't do more than make a clicking noise in the back of his throat and shake his head. She glides up and down against him, leaving him slick and throbbing. He reaches blindly for the condom and somehow gets it on though his hands are kind of vibrating. He resists grabbing her by the hips and plunging her down upon him, because she's in charge. Right. He lets his hands rest lightly on her lower back and doesn't push or pull. Her lower lip is red and swollen because he's discovered he likes to suck on it.

She positions herself and holds his gaze while slowly lowering herself onto his length. When she reaches about half way she pulls up and pauses, looking down at him. He has no idea what his expression might be, but she grins and slams down hard. His eyes want to close, so he can concentrate on the feeling of being inside her, the tight grip of her, but he wants to see her more.

She sits for a moment, becoming used to him, and blinks a little.

"Are you—is everything all right?" Even to his ears he sounds worried, but she is rather small in physical respects.

"All right?" She's puzzled. "You want to know if this is all right?"

He nods.

She steadies herself on his shoulders and the mischievous sparkle is back in her eyes. "I don't know. You tell me."

She circles her hips and he gasps.

"Is that all right?" She tilts her head to the side and waits.

He knows they could enter into some kind of weird stand-off here, where each tries to goad the other into being the first to admit that it's mind-blowing, but he just wants her to move. He wants to thrust into her. Words don't really matter at the moment. Everyone wins.

He pulls her into a kiss and runs his tongue along her lips. He isn't sure who starts them moving again, but it quickly becomes graceless and frantic. He sinks his teeth into her shoulder to keep from shouting or groaning. He doesn't know if anyone else is home, but he's not going to think about that now.

She's trying to be quiet, but is gasping out incoherent phrases and encouragement punctuated by smothered moans. He wonders if later when they have privacy and time, if he can make her scream. It's good to have goals. If she wishes it, he'll take her somewhere later with a bed and privacy and keep her there until she's hoarse, walks crookedly, and winces when trying to sit.

It starts in his toes and rises up like a steep ocean wave. He knows he can't hold on. He barely has time to warn her before he's crashing down into bliss. She rides him, pulling every last drop out of him until she descends one last time, scraping her nails down his arms. She's biting the inside of her cheek, but she moans audibly anyway.

They sit with their foreheads pressed together breathing in each others gasps.

"Well. That was…" She blinks in astonishment.

"Yes. It really was." They're both slightly tacky with sweat.

Orgasmic bliss looks good on her and the ache in his chest is different. It doesn't hurt to look at her now. He's free to look and be looked at in return. They're in it together. He holds her tight against him and kisses her temple.

"I love you, you know," he says. He wants to say it again and again.

She plants her palms on his chest, pushes herself back a few inches, and with an arched brow says, "Why Mr. Darcy. This is so sudden."

It stings a little. He doesn't want her to tease him right now. He wants her to hear him, accept him, and love him back. She must sense that because her expressions shifts, softens.

"Will? I love you too." She smoothes his hair back and she means it. He can feel it. He can see it. She loves him. It's incredible. It feels like a miracle, but it also feels like it was inevitable, like it was meant to be.

He relaxes. He hadn't noticed his muscles had tensed up, but she must have.

She slowly lifts herself off of him and locates a box of tissues on the floor near the coffee table lying on its side. She hands it to him. "So, what now?"

"I have the keys to Netherfield. We'd be alone. But if you want to go elsewhere… Lizzie, I'll take you anywhere you want to go."

"Netherfield is fine. I'll just go pack some things." She hurries back into her shirt and wrinkled skirt, shoves her underthings and her socks into her boots and slips out of the room, but not without glancing back at him. She looks radiantly happy and it's going to take a while for him to really comprehend that he's partly responsible for that. He's become something of an expert in the many faces of Lizzie Bennet, but this happiness is new.

He rights the coffee table and picks up his scattered clothing, remembering that when he was a child he loved a book of old maps in his father's library. He was fascinated by the ones that depicted the flat earth and the monsters you'd find if you sailed over the edge. He liked to lie in the sun coming through the drapes and imagine how elated the first European sailors must have been when they sailed into the Caribbean and found paradise instead of a horrible fall into the jaws of destruction. It's probably similar to the thrill he feels right now. What he once thought would break him beyond repair has turned into the best thing that's ever happened to him.

"Ready?" Lizzie slips back into the room.

He looks down. He's put all his clothes back on, though he wasn't aware of doing so. He quickly slips on his shoes and holds out his hand. He does not say that he's been ready for a very long time because all that matters is that they're in it together now. She takes his hand. Hopefully she'll never let go.