After thorough deliberation Elizabeth had concluded that her fiancé was unbearably handsome.
Her appreciation of his physical features she had found had undergone a dynamic and continuous development throughout their acquaintance, and a real appreciation had been somewhat belated.
In the beginning her perception of his appearance had been, as we are all well aware of, rather affected.
The first moment she had seen him, as he had walked into the Meryton ball, she had conceded that he was a handsome man. She perhaps had smirked and commented on the wonders a great fortune does to a face, but none the less, she had agreed that he had many good physical attributes. Tall, with broad shoulders and pronounced cheekbones, all combined into a striking image of refined masculinity, and Elizabeth had not pretend to not have been part of a quietly admiring crowd as he walked in (contrary to her sister and mother, who did not seem to possess the word quiet in their vocabulary).
Unfortunately the man had had the ill idea to open his mouth, thereby ruining any form of admiration that Elizabeth could feel, and set in motion the series of events that we are all well acquainted with.
Elizabeth’s judgement of his appearance had been, perhaps a bit childishly in hindsight, in direct correlation with her perception of his moral character. At her greatest dislike of him she had found him not remotely handsome, his tall figure awkwardly looming, his hair stupid and his face so haughty and severe that she could perceive no beauty in it, and humored herself in thinking the only reason anyone would say such a thing was purely inspired by the knowledge of his fortune.
After the disaster in Kent, this changed. Her own vanity betrayed her and was a testament to this, for she had felt secretly pleased that not only a man of such consequence, but also a man so… so… handsome… so elegant should have admired her so intensely. It made her feel her beauty more keenly than ever.
During her visit to Pemberly, with her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, she had admired his portrait with a combination of wonder and slight irritation. So this was the man that she had refused, she had thought to herself. She had to begrudgingly concede that the man was remarkably, uncommonly, undeniably handsome (just as his character was remarkably, uncommonly and undeniably good). It was all terribly embarrassing to notice now of all moments, particularly when the man himself appeared and these observations were made in person.
During this short visit to Pemberly, in those few meetings when she had seen Mr. Darcy so at ease, she had been struck by a new aspect of his face entirely, namely his eyes. There was a softness and earnestness communicated in them that she had never noticed before. It set his features in an entirely new light, emphasizing the slight tilt to his mouth, the curve of his chin, the softness of his hair. In general, recontextualizing his features so entirely that she felt as if there was two different Mr. Darcys, one inside her head, and the actual Mr. Darcy before her.
Even with this revelation, Elizabeth felt that a true appreciation was not gained until they were engaged, and she was free to look and admire. Now she continuously found new aspects of him to admire. It was wonderful for her vanity, feeling a most unworthy triumph and pride at how handsome and impressive he was, and only her great sense and intellect prevented her from parading him around to everyone in her acquaintance, in a striking parody of her mother.
A recent addition to her findings had been to see him flushed with exercise after riding. She did not know why, but the sight of his reddened skin, and his chest moving with his rapid breath made her… There was something about the sight of his chest expanding and then deflating in a rhythmical fashion that she found… appealing? Surely, there was something about how large his chest seemed… What an absurd thing to enjoy.
She thought about these things every night as she went to bed. Since entering her engagement, her head had been full of nothing but Mr. Darcy, making her feel quite as silly as Lydia with a regiment in town. Often she would think of what they had discussed that day, and what she wished to say to him the next. She would think about the coming wedding, all the preparations, the dress, the vows, her family, his family, her future home, everything to make her so brimful of excitement that it was impossible to fall asleep.
But of course, most of all she just thought of him. As she lay there now, she thought of being near him. How difficult it was to keep an appropriate distance. It was as if they were pulled towards each other by a great gravitational force. As they sat beside each other, or walked, or just stood conversing, they always ended up so very close to each other without having noticed until a sudden cough or sound made them aware of the world around them, and they would blush and move apart, and her skin would tingle where he had been closest.
Today she had experienced a very strange sensation. She had felt a great need to touch Mr. Darcy (or Fitzwilliam, as she felt a thrill of referring to him as, even in her own mind). It was while he’d sat writing a letter, his brow slightly furrowed, and she had observed a little curl of his hair slipping forward, completely unnoticed by him. This little detail had made her feel a strong wish to smooth his hair back, to run her fingers through those dark tresses.
(She had already admired his hair, and how surprisingly soft it looked. That was perhaps the interesting thing about Mr. Darcy-Fitzwilliam. He seemed all hard lines and tough material, but when you look closer he also has this softness to him. Like his aforementioned hair… and his eyes, and his hands, and- dear, she was hopeless indeed…)
She still felt it now as she lay in bed. This itch in her fingers to run them through his hair. It made her feel so strange to think of, and her cheeks warmed. She wished to run her fingers over his features, smoothing a thumb over his furrowed brow, stroking a palm over his jaw. It felt almost illegal to think this way about Mr. Darcy. It was Mr. Darcy after all. Proud, noble, admirable, 10,000 a year, do-gooder extraordinaire, etc… But in that moment, truly in general when he was with her, he had not been proud Mr. Darcy. No, Elizabeth suspected that the man who appeared before her in such intimate moments was truly Fitzwilliam. Her Fitzwilliam. The thought made such a powerful surge of tender feelings run through her chest it was almost painful.
It wasn’t as if Elizabeth was completely blind to everything that two married people could do (though she was not greatly knowledgeable either). She knew of touch at least. Her closeness to the barn had made her aware of some form of coupling being necessary for the creation of children although how all this were to function (and feel, oh dear!) Was very vague to her.
But she did know of touch. She was sure wouldn’t have had to read or see or hear of any such thing. It felt like at fundamental urge within her. She wanted to touch Mr. Darcy (Fitzwilliam!). She wanted to be near him.
Dear she felt she must be wrong in the head…
She wanted to remove his cravat and touch his neck. Kiss it. Kiss his neck. She could remember sisterly kisses, where Jane had given a little kiss to her neck, completely innocent affection. Truly. Nothing significant to be so worked up about.
She wondered now what that would be like if she gave him a kiss like that, if he kissed her like that. How different it would feel. How… not innocent. How sensitive. She though of his mouth, kissing her neck. Moving slowly over the sensitive skin. And she thought of being allowed to do the same. To kiss the soft hidden skin there. Bury her nose in his neck, and smell him. Would he like it? She thought of his face relaxing, his mouth going slack, his eyes closing, his chin tilting upwards.
She felt an ache between her legs, her stomach tight with excitement. There was a wet sensation between her legs, and she reached a hand down to touch herself. She hoped he would like it.
How she wanted to please Mr. Darcy! To unwrap and unwind him, see his features lay themselves in pleasure and contentment, and knowing it was all her doing.
Her fingers ran through the wetness that had spread over her.
She thought of kissing him, and his hands holding her, embracing her, squeezing her close to him, and gasped as her fingers continued rubbing over herself.
What if he was here now? And his hands were rubbing her, his arm holding her? A jolt went through her, her breath quick and gasping.
She ached terribly, yearning for a release, and imagined his fingers rubbing over her. How much bigger they would be than her own? She had now had the opportunity to touch them during their engagement, holding them in short private moments where they were alone. How warm… How large… She imagined his finger slipping inside of her, pressing his palm flat against her sex, and his voice urging her to rub herself against him.
O, how desperately she would have loved his warm, large hands right now! Squeezing and pressing and rubbing her deliciously. She bucked against her hand, aching and frustrating.
Her eyes closed as she imagined him slipping in another finger, holding her tight, and kissing her neck, and as she curled her fingers she felt a great release within her, stars appearing behind her eyelids.
Exhausted and spent, she lay in bed as her breath slowed, and before she had time to feel ashamed of her fantasies, she fell into a deep sleep.
The next day Elizabeth felt a great embarrassment when Mr. Darcy (Fitzwilliam!) visited. She struggled to like him in the eye, made even worse as her redirected her gaze to his hands, which made her blush a violent shade of red. Thankfully Mr. Darcy himself seemed also a bit distracted, his eyes seeming to glaze over when she blushed a deep red, and in general seeming either shy or distracted (it was still a bit difficult to tell with the man).
The whole visit was therefore spent with them barely speaking a single word, and only covertly glancing at each other, until it was suggested that they take a walk outside on such a beautiful autumn day as this, to feel a bit refreshed from the stuffy indoors.
As refreshing as one would believe this walk to be it only served to make Elizabeth more bashful as they now walked even closer together, and her hand could now rest on Mr. Darcy’s previously so greatly admired physique, all of this very much unchaperoned.
Eventually Mr. Darcy (Fitzwilliam!) had stopped and asked her if something was the matter, where Elizabeth had truly looked up at him for only a moment, and quite without preamble he had put his unoccupied hand around her waist, pulled her towards him and kissed her. She had only started to respond after the great surprise of this spontaneous outburst of affection, so uncharacteristic of the man before her, before he just as abruptly had pulled himself away from her, apologizing profusely for his sudden reaction.
After he had worked his way through a little tirade of how very sorry he was, and how he meant certainly no disrespect towards her, that this misstep was to purely befall representing his character, and his ill manners and so on and so forth, she gently lay a hand on his arm, and looked at him again, which made him go very quite indeed. And then she took a step towards him and they were kissing once again.
It was not until much later, as they were very much married, and were reminiscing on the memory of their first kiss, that Elizabeth revealed to her husband her previous nights activities and fantasies. And Mr. Darcy in kind, explained that her blush from the memories of these fantasies coincidentally greatly resembled memories of his own late night fantasies that remarkably enough he too had experienced the night before.