sábado, 16 de maio de 2015

The Prince of Pemberley - Book 2 - Chapter 1

Hello, 

I'm very thrilled to say that the paperback has arrived and it looks sooo cute! Ab Fab!


Also my Franklin Mint figurine! Elizabeth's surprise is lovely!

Here, Darcy and Lizzy are dealing with this new status in their lives and well, read on!

As always, if you haven't already, read the story's front page before diving in. Tks.


pride and prejudice fanfic


BOOK 2
LOVERS

BOOK 2 intro

CHAPTER 1


Stiff upper lip

It was worst when she was alone.


When alone and upset it was almost unbearable.

With the kids around her, pets and household, Elizabeth managed to deal with the secret urge of being loved by someone she couldn't have. She distracted herself with PhD chores and her research, trying to add activities to her already busy work schedule so she actually didn’t have time to talk to Darcy when he called.

Her guilt of getting involved with someone she shouldn’t crippled her - especially because Darcy didn’t show any; it seemed she was guilty for both of them.

Three weeks since she had willingly entered the world of cheating and Darcy had called or texted her almost every day. He was too uptight to sext but the subliminal message was there. Did she feel fine, any soreness, he had enjoyed his birthday tremendously, the statue was over his bedroom’s dresser in front of his bed where it belonged, he wished he had more birthdays each year; it was delightful to confirm that Brazilian fruit tasted exquisitely.

That sexy voice saying those words made is so difficult to dodge the excitement of being in his mind. It gave her a thrill every time she considered he was erotically fantasizing about her, that he craved her body as much as she craved his… He needed some more exercising; his belly was positive and slightly jelly-like. “Exquisite hips and family jewels though. Butt was not bad either. Great legs; strong, toned, long, hairy. Brawny arms and chest... He rowed a lot, God bless that rowing machine of his. Can such a thing be used as sex chair?...” Elizabeth groaned and shook her head to clean her horny mind, Darcy crawled into her thoughts the whole time.

As difficult as it was, she dodged his attempts to get even closer, she ignored his flirts and slowly was becoming unavailable to him – although it was a struggle for her, especially during the Holidays.

His answer at the airport worried her. It would have been neater to let it go, it had been only their curiosity after all. Darcy wouldn't accept that... He insisted by phone and texted and tormented her mind. That was potentially dangerous, everyone could lose that way. Lies piling up, deception building and ultimately, the cheater, the mistress, her husband and his wife may all end up with nasty emotional scars.

“May not. Will not.” She recited her new mantra.

They had simply and thoroughly enjoyed each other, there should be no unfolding, it had only been an irresponsible adventure... a fantasy. Long and excessive reasoning careened exponentially in her head, migraine after migraine hit her.

It had been morally reproachable, an indulgence that she selfishly gave herself leave to try. It had been worthwhile, very very pleasurable, as memorable as a hookup could be. It happened once and would never happen again.

Even so, a week after she arrived home and hating herself for making up stories, Elizabeth had visited her gyno for frugal explanations and check on the morning-after pill’s side effects, bit around the bush and accepted when the doctor prescribed birth control pills. The two women came from way back, since they were both fresh out of the same university and had mutual friends; had kids around the same age and after Cassandra, when discussing birth control, they agreed it would be easier if their husbands had a vasectomy. Her gyno didn’t probe and it made Elizabeth even more self-conscious.

She managed to act normally with Wickham but their sex now had a different dimension. She bit her lip not to ask for what Darcy had done to her; how he licked, the way he held her against the bathroom vanity or the rhythm of his thrusts. Wickham was hot, good body, nice tool and took his time but... He was not Darcy.

Darcy had those hands, strong fingers that explored her body making every inch respond as an erogenous zone. Oh, she had tried to duplicate the feeling in her dreams, concentrating hard, masturbating... It was impossible, he had imprinted his power on her skin cells.

Elizabeth had entered the adulterous encounter for the thrill, the challenge and the assurance that being the man - her Fitz - unavailable; it would be a one-night stand. Despite his wife and her husband, she had loved to be with him, their passionate encounter had given her a huge confidence boost. She felt empowered, more beautiful and sexy. Desired.

Her husband desired her, but he also admired hot women in general. For Darcy, she was the hot woman coveted and admired. And in itself, it was so effing exciting.

It was worst when she was alone, upset and in pain.

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Elizabeth hated her obsessiveness but a freaky migraine combined with a throbbing knee destroyed her self-control. She had fallen when running at the beach a few days before and the pain made her consider cancelling New Year’s at her mother-in-law’s, in spite of Wickham's insistence on keeping their plans.

Lost in her inner turmoil of not wanting to be crazy in lust for the friend she adored, Elizabeth was surprised when her daughter entered the room running and flopped down on the bed.

'Mom, you should have gone with us! Dad took me ice-skating! I loved it!' Cassandra said and started skating in bed, Elizabeth's head and knee hurting so much she could hardly speak.

'Mom?' Tom asked entering the room carrying a bag of truffles, his mother’s favorite candy. 'Does your leg- Dad!’ The boy yelled. ‘Mom is not ok...'

'Babe?' Wickham asked from the hall.

The effort of not dampening her baby daughter’s enthusiasm while the bed shook made Elizabeth's eyes water. When her husband entered his mother's spare room with the older woman in his heels, they both saw she was in trouble. He expelled the kids from the room in a fierce shout while his mother called her husband, one of Wickham's former professors in college.

'Mother is calling Young, Babe. Hang on.' He said kissing her forehead. 'What did Nanda do?'

Elizabeth tried to breathe. 'Jumped on the bed, really close to my knee.'

He raised the ice pack. 'Maybe coming to São Paulo was a good thing after all.'

She pursed her lips.

'I know you wanted to stay at home, but here Young can help you.' Wickham put the ice pack on her knee again. 'I’ll take you for a few more tests with Deny.'

The mentioning of the guy who ditched Jane pregnant and alone irked Elizabeth. 'In hell I will.' She mumbled.

'Babe, no more grudges.' He sighed impatiently. 'He has a good clinic here.' Wickham took his phone and made a call before bringing her another painkiller.

When the medicines kicked in and she was a little groggy, Elizabeth’s phone beeped with a text from Darcy.

'Boarding. Talk to you when I get back.'

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Elizabeth considered ignoring the text. Darcy was about to spend three weeks in Israel on business even though they were in the middle of a particular war there. He had predicted he would be busy in business that would require secrecy, giving them both time to wane.

But what if he found other weed for his garden of love?

'You are one crazy headstrong man.'

She wrote, repeating her several advices for him not to go and send one of his hotshot minions as an expensive webcam.

'I’ll miss you too, Lizzy.'

His answer was his usual irony but it brought a speck of doubt to her head like a fat drop of black ink in a glass of water: was she a common weed rather than a rose?

'Bring me a bomb as souvenir?'

'Anything for you, March.'

---

'I'm glad you're better. Next week is your last with crutches.' In floral shorts, Dr. Young buried his thumb’s tip in Elizabeth's knee.

'Great!' She breathed seeing stars.

‘Let’s try the cane for just a few days. People tend to force shoulder and wrist using a cane.’ He said forcibly flexing her foot with the palm of his hand.

Elizabeth groaned audibly with the fleeting pain. ‘How about some exercise? The treadmill?’ She grimaced.

He shook his head. ‘Swimming or hydrogym.’

She twisted her nose. ‘Acupuncture?’

‘If you feel all right, maybe even some Pilates.’ Dr. Young said squeezing her calf.

'Fine. I need to start working out again… In another three weeks’ time and I'll have another module of classes in Paris.'

'Hmmm...' The white haired man frowned.

'George said you shouldn't go.' Mrs. Young twisted her nose.

'Your son is a beautician, Evelyn. I'm the ortho here.' Dr. Young answered his wife who clicked her tongue, turned on her heels and entered Elizabeth's apartment leaving patient and physician at the balcony enjoying the weak sea breeze on that stuffed summer afternoon. 'Consider not going, Elizabeth.'

She shook her head. 'If I miss this set of classes, I'll be in trouble.' She said feeling her heart sink with the possibility of missing a chance to meet her heartthrob.

'I’ll take another look at you when time comes.' He said and she nodded. ‘For now, you’re doing fine. Behave or you’ll see carnival only from this balcony!’ He chuckled as she pouted while he closed his black medical bag.

A second later her phone buzzed and Darcy's face flashed on its screen. It felt like she had hammered a finger. She waited Dr. Young go inside to store his medical bag and took a deep breath before answering the phone.

"Hey!"

"Bart!"

"Shalom!"

He chuckled. "Say ‘mazel tov’!"

"Why?"

"Congratulate me, Lizzy.” Darcy said happy for hearing her melodic voice again after three weeks. He had wanted to call her a couple of times but had been busy and when he did find time to place the call, she didn’t answer. He sent texts she answered with some delay but no text could rival to hearing her. “My business was a success, the trip was great.”

“And you’re alive!” She teased. “In one piece?”

“Play nice, Bart.” Darcy asked. “You know I stayed far from the conflict. Israel is not so dangerous.”

Elizabeth sighed. Her leg was sore and she was grumpy for being kept mostly in bed rest for the last weeks. “Mazel tov!”

“You sound different.” Darcy entered his car at the airport’s parking lot and rested against the back seat. ‘Let’s go directly home, Jones.’ He ordered his driver.

“A hard day at the office, King?” She asked trying to disguise the pang of realizing he had better things to do than call her.

“No, just landed.” He ruffled his hair. The seven hours’ flight hadn’t been the sole cause of his exhaustion, but added to the days working diligently and the tension caused by the belligerent situation of the area, he was worn out. “All I want is a bath and my bed.” He said. “Got plans?” He added in a throaty voice.

Elizabeth’s insides made a flip-flop but she kept the facade, snorting. “I’ve been having a few problems here. Things are a bit messy for me.”

Darcy snapped back into attention. “Do you need money? Give me your bank account and I’ll send someone to deal with the international money wiring immediately.” He said already searching his pockets for paper and pen to write.

“No!” She hurried horrified with the idea of him lending her money (that she didn’t need) as well as him finding out her mishap. She hated to be treated like an invalid. Her husband, mother and father-in-law were already on duty. “Not everything is about money, you know?’”

“What is it, then?” He considered if she was talking about her husband’s affairs. Maybe she had found out he had several schemes when he was away from her. “Tell me so I can help you, Lizzy.”

“It’s nothing, just… life.” She sighed and tried to change positions fearing her butt was squaring up. She winced silently. “It’ll be ok in a few days. Tell me about your trip?”

He told her briefly about his successful business ventures and proudly announced he had conquered his goal of doubling his fortune before turning fifty. She congratulated him as best as she could despite her discomfort and he chatted as much as his fatigue let him, but the call didn’t last long.

Darcy was intrigued by her low spirits; it was very unusual. If his hadn’t lowered considerably after he called home and talked to his wife to discover she was had been consumed with her mother as uaual, he could have considered insisting to make Elizabeth tell him what was going on.

---

Lately Darcy had been high on dopamine as good developments were synched both in his professional and emotional life. Miraculously his business hadn’t been bringing him problems impossible to solve and someone he had desired only from a distance for a long time was a lot closer to him. As close as he secretly fantasized about.

He got to know Elizabeth in the sidelines, slowly and irresistibly. Her outgoing nature, alluring body and exciting form of dealing with him seduced Darcy completely.

In bed, she was a hurricane. Curious, adventurer, funny and horny. So horny it made him hard thinking she had been his for those dreamy hours. He had done all he could, all she let him but in hindsight, he felt he lacked so much. Next time he would do better, longer; thoroughly love that body that took away his peace.

He knew he caused infidelity between Elizabeth and her husband, it made his blood boil to think that she only did it with him (aside from her husband who could not love her properly and was chronically unfaithful). Darcy could love her, she had told him his was the best sex she ever had.

Haughtily he considered himself very different from her husband, a type of man who sought other women simply to have something new, a restless player. Darcy was unsatisfied and bored in his stable relationship but he knew that if Elizabeth hasn’t reentered his life, he would continue to put up with his bland marriage, occasionally searching easy emotionless physical gratification.

Compared to Elizabeth, that didn’t feel excusable anymore.

She saw in him more than the women he used to meet, more even than what Anne saw. Her fine eyes shone, that delicious mouth caught in parenthesis smiled big, that waist, those small tan lines on that golden skin, the way she moved those shapely legs around him, lost her breath when he touched that delicious little thing… ah, that pussy.

He didn’t say and probably would never do, but having her was one of the best fucks he had ever had.

Since she was married as he was, the tangled web of irreparable mess was formed.

Elizabeth made him want to be the type of man she desired to be with - charming, smart and sexy and for her he would be however she wanted.

Darcy got back to work Monday morning after a weekend resting from his trip, determined to optimize his time to be free when she arrived back in the continent. Three weeks, that was more than enough to make things work so he could stay with her in Paris.

Leaving the elevator at his floor’s lobby, he met his head of security by chance. Darcy invited Hurst to his office and they exchanged pleasantries celebrating the excellent work accomplished in Israel.

Between gourmet coffee cups, the man told Darcy about the company’s dealings and casually asked about Elizabeth’s health.

‘What do you mean by ‘is Mrs. Wickham in good health’?’ Darcy asked frowning; one ankle rested on the other leg’s knee as they occupied opposing sofas at his office’s seating area. Defensive, Darcy was surprised to remember that he was watched constantly. In the thrill of having Elizabeth, he had forgotten reality in several levels.

The man raised both hands to him. ‘Relax, Darcy. You know it is my job to take care of you in order to keep the company safe.’

Darcy nodded, the frown turning into a scowl.

‘I’m just asking if your lady friend is feeling better after the surgery, if it went well.’ Hurst said calmly.

‘Surgery?’ Darcy sat up uncrossing his legs.

‘Didn’t you know?’ 

‘Speak.’ 

‘She had a minor knee procedure performed by her father-in-law.’ Hurst ditched the informal conversation and judiciously recited the report’s information he had been gathering. ‘Two days’ hospitalization in São Paulo then she was sent home.’

‘What else?’ Darcy barked. “Things are messy.” She said and he kicked himself for not pressing her for more explanation.

‘Not much more.’ The man said.

‘I want the whole report, Hurst.’ Darcy ordered. ‘Take Mrs. Wickham off surveillance. I don’t want a random security tech keeping tabs on her. If anything major occurs, I’ll let you know so you’ll deal with it personally. Understood?’ Darcy ordered getting up to fetch his phone from his desk.

‘As your single close lady friend, she is black listed.’ Hurst said boldly and rose as well, ready to leave. ‘What about her husband?’

Darcy’s nose flared. ‘Keep him but take her off surveillance.’ He repeated. ‘Completely.’

The man nodded and headed for the door. ‘Except her personal security.’

‘Hurst?’ Darcy asked and the guy turned to look at his boss. ‘Her e-mail accounts should be classified as well.’

The man nodded and left.

Darcy freaked out. It was barely nine in the morning, too early to call Elizabeth. He calculated time zones and despaired thinking he would need to wait at least three hours before calling her. Surgery?

He thought about those legs of hers, so soft and warm; her long thin feet inside high heels all the time; about his Lizzy in pain and scared. Darcy got his phone and loaded her contacts considering waking her up in the middle of night, but before he made such mistake his secretary called to let him know his first meeting was about to start.

Four hours later, Darcy was anxious to finish the meeting with his vice presidents. He joked about lunchtime and dismissed his staff saying he would meet them at their favorite restaurant after a few important calls. On the way to his office he fired his phone and loaded Elizabeth’s contacts, so by the time he locked his door behind him, he heard her sleepy voice.

“Fitz?”

“You are impossible!” He said exasperated. “You’ve been quiet for days and now I find out you had surgery?”

“Errr… Morning?” Elizabeth answered groggily.

“How are you doing?” He asked. “Why didn’t you tell me anything?” He demanded.

“Wait. You called me at five to eight in the morning to pick up a fight?” She was incredulous. “Give me a break!”

“Lizzy, I’m not kidding.” Darcy roared.

She sighed. “How did you find out?”

“Why didn’t you tell me?” He insisted.

“Because I’m fine and it’s no big deal.” She said wanly, a hand over her eyes as she laid in bed feeling depressed, afraid to move her leg and find out the night didn’t magically heal her enough to make her knee stop hurting. “It was only bad luck.”

“Bart, I’m half thinking of flying to Rio.” Darcy fisted his hand in frustration. “Do you need anything?” He asked. “Do you need me?”

Since he had melted, Elizabeth pounced. “How did you find out, Fitz?”

“It’s not important, you are.” He sidestepped.

“Speak.” She ordered but he kept silent. “Look here, jerk. It is illegal to spy on people. I don’t like it. Keep your rats in their cages, I feel violated.”

“Violated?” He snorted. “I feel betrayed! I had to find out about your health by my chief of security! When did this happen? Why didn’t you call me right away?”

“Why? What could the almighty King do?” She asked sarcastically. “I was running at the beach, tripped and fell twisting my ankle and knee. It hurt like hell, my father-in-law is an ortho and decided to operate, I’m stuck in bed for the last four weeks getting fat, bored and impatient. If this is not in your ‘Lizzy files’, here’s an info for you: I hate being patronized!” She ended in a roar.

Darcy chuckled despite himself. There was the passionate Lizzy he adored. “Calm down, Bart. I’m worried sick, I’d like to have helped. Are you still in pain?”

She sighed. “It’s been three days since my last daytime painkiller and it seems I’ll survive. I’ll ditch the crutches this week and finally I’ll be cleared to wander around. I hate staying in bed and seated all the time, even my physiotherapist comes here to treat me. I’m locked inside! The kids are in vacations and-“

“Four weeks?” Darcy barked. “You said this happened to you four weeks ago?” He repeated. As always, her voice had engulfed him and he got distracted, but suddenly he realized what she had said. “This happened before my trip to Israel and you didn’t say anything?”

“Oh, fuck. I don’t have patience for this.” Elizabeth groaned. “Talk to you some other time, your Highness.”

“Don’t you dare hang-“ Darcy took his phone from his year to stare at her smiling face in a tank top at her balcony in Rio. ‘Bloody hell, this woman is impossible!’

---

After a few heated discussions on the phone that week and calmer ones the following two; Darcy and Elizabeth finally met again when she arrived in Paris for another PhD program’s module. She gathered her mileage points and upgraded her ticket to Executive class to be able to endure the twelve-hour’s straight flight. Her leg still hurt but she didn’t say anything, Wickham would have insisted on her not going, Darcy might have rented a private ICU jet.

She expected to meet him in the following week as always; only her last days in Europe were shared with him, but to her surprise he arrived in Paris right after her. Although he was not present at the airport when she landed, he had sent her a car and requested the hotel’s concierge service take better care of her. That meant the same woman concierge from a few months before. At least she didn’t have to explain this to any of her friends because by this module, each one had a different schedule.

After a heavyhearted hug and a lingering kiss on her cheek, Darcy was disappointed to notice Elizabeth was awkward around him. He wanted to have her around his neck sharing kisses like teenagers, sunny and funny as always. After their last Paris’ days, he decided his defense mechanism of only allowing himself time with her when she was about to leave useless, he felt he faulted her for not helping when she needed support and also for not taking time off work to go straight to Rio when he heard about her surgery.

With their minds swimming, they wandered the idyllic streets of Cartier Latin until they reached the riverbank, not touching each other but craving to. The only material thing uniting them was the occasional cigarette they shared.

'Bad luck, that's what it was.' Elizabeth shrugged. 'I was distracted and didn’t see the fucking hole those devilish kids had dig. It was too hot and I was running by the sea sore-' She turned to Darcy who nodded. As they walked side by side along the Seine, he kept looking slightly down at her beside him. 'Barefoot, to cool off a bit. Holidays here are icy but in Rio it's too stuffed. When it rains it's even worse…’ She trailed off. ‘Wet sand is a good exercise… You and I had indulged in too much alcohol and food (“And sex.” both thought) so I was trying to run a bit longer and harder. Silly me, I should have paid attention to where I was going...'

Elizabeth had been outrunning her guilt and Darcy felt responsible for her injury, it crushed him. The least he could do was take care of her and fearing she may be tired, he pointed at a small lush cafe a few steps ahead of them.  

‘Tired of walking, old man?’ She sniggered.

‘Ha. You’re with bad joints!’ He answered. ‘Let’s seat for a while.’

For both of them it felt very difficult to be apart. They craved skin contact, to be physically close and not just geographically.

She passed under his extended arm as he held the door for her. 'Thanks.’ She smiled taking off her gloves, stuffing them in her coat’s pocket as he helped her out of it. Darcy put her coat on an empty hanger by the door and carefully put his on top. 'Is it ok here? I was locked inside for too long, I have to see people.' She said pointing at high stools by the window.

Darcy nodded. 'Anything you want.' He ordered a cappuccino for her and a Darjeeling for him. 'I hope ‘see people’ includes me.'

She poked him.

'I’m still disappointed at you, Bart.' He said looking at her intently. 'Why didn’t you call me?'

She raised an eyebrow. 'What could you do from miles away?' Then shrugged again. 'It hurt a lot, King. Jeez, I never took a bullet but I can imagine it must be similar!' Elizabeth shook her head and sighed miserably.

Darcy cringed at her comparison.

'When I tripped, I twisted my knee and fell over my leg. I stayed there letting the waves wash over me until I could breathe again. There was no way I could walk the four blocks home, that was clear. The couple responsible for those little devils helped me to the sidewalk and called me a cab.’

‘Were you alone?’ He asked.

‘Mhum.’ She nodded. ‘I run early in the morning, I often leave when everyone’s still asleep.’

He shook his head frowning. Everything was so wrong he couldn’t decide what was worse. ‘Who helped you at home?’

Merci.’ She thanked the waiter and sipped the warm cappuccino. ‘Reynalda.’

Darcy frowned deeper. ‘Wickham?’

‘Although we were all in holidays' break, he had left early for the Naval hospital.’ She said. ‘We had plans for that afternoon, so I put ice on my knee hoping to feel better soon. One hour later my knee was the size of a football!’ She raised her left leg and with her hands showed him the size, he pressed his eyes. ‘I called George and told him to get a cab home – that he hates, but what could I do?’ She raised her shoulders. Darcy felt his blood boil. ‘When he arrived home, my knee was all bluish, nasty.’ She sipped her drink while Darcy kept silent. ‘This feels good, doesn’t it?’ She pointed at their warm beverages. ‘We were supposed to visit his mother in São Paulo the next day but I wanted to cancel. Especially when I woke up with a purple knee … He insisted and we ended up going, even though I had to take several painkillers to endure the smallish airplane seat for one hour. At least Dr. Young is a good ortho and helped me.’

Darcy clenched his jaw so forcefully that his bones could be seen through his skin. He sipped his tea watching her sip her coffee. In his chest, there were several emotions running wild, contrasting ways to react to the ordeal his adored friend had gone through without his support, without any support it seemed. ‘I want to take you to a specialist in Manchester.’ He said after long minutes of silence.

‘What?’ Elizabeth frowned.

‘I know a great specialist in orthopedics; he has an office in Manchester.’ Darcy repeated. ‘He also can see you in London, in his Harley Street clinic.’

‘I don’t need to see another doctor. I’m fine.’

‘Is that why you’re using flats?’ He pointed at her feet clad in a pretty high-leg boots with a smallish heel.

‘It’s precaution. I can’t risk twisting my leg and Paris has all this cobblestones…’ She blushed. ‘…And it protects my ankle. Do you think it’s hideous?’

He shook his head vehemently. ‘I think you are stunning in high heels, in that amazing black dress, barefoot, naked; always.’ He almost reached out to touch her hair but refrained because she was obviously distant from him. ‘Let me take care of you.’

‘No need, King. I’m ok.’ Elizabeth smiled wanly. ‘My in-laws went to Rio e-ve-ry weekend after the surgery, and when George is not at home it’s even more awkward to have them there… George’s mother is… urgh, too critical. Anyway, they made sure I was properly cared for. My father-in-law didn’t want me to travel so soon after the surgery but I feel great. Really.’

Darcy raised his brows. He was already suspicious of Wickham’s stepfather’s medical skills, now he hated the guy as much as he hated Elizabeth’s husband. ‘You’ll fly with me Friday morning to see the doctor, I’ll take you personally. Tomorrow morning my secretary will confirm your appointment.’

Elizabeth snorted. ‘Don’t you work anymore? Are you that rich after Israel?’ She teased him. ‘I can’t afford such an expensive babysitter!’

‘Allow me, Bart…’ He sighed.

She felt a bit ridiculous to have entangled herself freely in such an absurd situation of having a forbidden love in her forties! How did this happen? She was a married woman – until a few months ago, she believed to be a happily married one – mother, professor, researcher.

They stared at each other for long minutes, gazes locked thinking similarly but in different perspectives.

Finally she nodded, he nodded back and she averted her eyes to the window.

‘Why do happily married people cheat?’ She asked her best friend breaking the barely comfortable silence.

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He shrugged. ‘I couldn’t say.’ He turned his eyes to a Bateau-mouche sluggishly passing down the river.

She nodded and looked down at her feet, letting her sight get lost on her beautiful toe-capped dark-tan boots.

‘I guess these people didn’t realize they were unsatisfied in the first place. Maybe not only physically but emotionally as well.’ He said a few minutes later. ‘That’s why they cheat.’

‘So you say truly happy people don’t cheat?’ She asked in a pained expression.

He shook his head. ‘If I were happily married, I don’t think I would.’ He said piercing her in his powerful stare. ‘Neither would you.’ He pressed his slanted green eyes. ‘Am I right?’

She swallowed forcefully and tried to find something to answer but no words came to her mind.

‘What’s your point, Lizzy?’ He asked still staring, the tension between them almost palpable.

‘I’m just… never mind.’ She said. ‘This is a mess. We are a mess.’

Instead of offering her some comfort, telling her that everything was going to be all right or that he would give her up, Darcy waited. He didn’t want to comfort or push her away; he wanted to have her for himself. The problem was that they were really in a big mess and even his formidably logical mind couldn’t find an easy way to navigate around both of their marriages.

‘I had a lot of free time so I have been thinking -‘ She started saying and he shook his head. Her reasoning was often unnecessarily complicated to him. ‘No, wait, let me tell you…’ Elizabeth said and distracted, touched the crook of his arm. There it was: the touch they had been avoiding the whole afternoon.

Darcy immediately put a hand on top of hers as one cradles the skin when boiling water splashes accidentally.

Elizabeth bit her lip. ‘I’ve been thinking about why happy people cheat…’ She babbled, dazed by his touch.

‘You already said that.’

She flickered her eyes from their hands to his face and back. ‘And how do we realize that fate has given us a second chance in happiness.’ As soon as the words left her mouth, she cringed inwardly. It sounded like she was proposing to the guy and that was the opposite of what she meant. ‘No! If someone is in a good marriage, would he or she give the universe a slot to push someone else into their lives?’ She explained gesticulating and freed her hand from his touch. ‘If there is no space, another significant one doesn’t find-‘

‘Bullshit.’ He cut her a bit annoyed. ‘We finding each other many years after we lost contact is not some kind of witchcraft.’

‘You think?’ She asked.

‘Lizzy, the universe didn’t conspire against us.’ Darcy crossed his arms over his chest and his ankles in front of him.

She rearranged herself on the tall stool beside him, shifting her weigh from one butt cheek to another. ‘I didn’t say conspire…’ She pouted. ‘And I hate when you patronize me.’
Darcy shook his head. ‘When you waste your time overthinking, it usually brings you more pain than comfort.’ He raised a hand to her so she would let him finish. ‘I’m not the one who got away. I’m the one.’

Surprised, Elizabeth gasped and widened her eyes. Three seconds later, she burst in laughs. ‘You are so cocky!’

He chuckled. ‘Relax, Bart. It’s just us.’ Darcy touched her face gingerly, ready to take his hand away if she moved out of his reach – which she didn’t. Instead, she closed her eyes still smiling and let him caress her face. ‘I’m addicted to you skin.’ He said in a low voice leaning towards her.

She nodded. ‘Me too.’ She touched his hand on her face and opened her eyes. ‘Do you think we can behave?’

‘Always.’ He said entwining their fingers as he lowered his hand.

She shook her head. ‘You know what I mean.’ She held his hand between hers over her lap, her ten fingers entwined with his five.

His slanted eyes locked hers and she knew it would be a lost battle, especially because it was one she didn’t want to fight - although she knew she should fight it with all her power.

Darcy rose from the stool, brought her hands to his lips for a quick kiss in each and with a terribly sexy little smile pulled her on her feet so they could resume their walk back to the hotel.

Little was said, no more than ‘watch out’ when crossing a street, or ‘look’ at a cat that passed them by. Without the need for words, they entered the hotel lobby, headed for the lifts and inside pressed just one floor – his. Hands still clasped, gloves and opened coats still on, they walked to his door and there she had one moment of insecurity.

Elizabeth could either bring her family and duties to the front of her mind letting reason explode in her face or quench this thirst for this man that consumed her heart and body.

Darcy could only hope she would get in and give him one more night. He knew she was about to end these encounters soon, he could read in his friend’s face. At the moment, he wanted to be in her heart but not in the common friends’ corner – he wanted the same spot she had in his. In reality, he didn’t know exactly what he wanted to live with Elizabeth; he only knew he wanted her in his life. When she suggested they act as if nothing big happened after the first time they slept together, he was hurt. But above all he was gentleman – the kind that cheats on his failed marriage, but a gentleman nevertheless.

Elizabeth was sure she didn’t want to be a lover, neither have one. But when he opened the door and took a step aside for her to enter, she did.

Inside, she rested her purse on the table, took away her gloves and furry circle scarf, shrugged out of her coat and in an instant; he was there to help her. Darcy carefully arranged her coat and accessories on one the small dinning table’s chairs and with the same care arranged his on another one.

Elizabeth walked to the plush sofa in his suite, turned on the floor lamp and took a seat. ‘Here.’ She patted the cushion beside her and he smiled.

In tight denim pants with a matching denim shirt, a caramel belt and the almost knee high boots, she looked casual and sexy. He usually saw her in black and white, always in pants and high heels, but the faded blue look enhanced her summer tan. And looking closely he noticed a black tank under her shirts’ first opened buttons. Beautiful, but tense.

As he walked towards her slowly, Elizabeth thought he looked a little thinner and brawnier. Was it the grey washed denim with the black turtleneck? When they met at the university’s lobby, he had already stolen her breath away looking so casual, with a mustard scarf hanging from his neck under his black coat. Now, up-close, he had a lot more power over her instinctive reactions than was safe.

When he sat beside her, she half turned his way to hold both his hands. ‘Fitz, I can’t deny you rock my world. Since I first listened to you on the radio, this voice of yours…’ She sighed and he squeezed her hands. ‘And last time we met…’ Elizabeth lost her words.

‘It was incredible.’ He said in an intense low voice that made her tremble.

‘Yes…’ She smiled shaking her head and closing her eyes.

‘I’ve been counting days, Lizzy.’ He said.

‘We can’t.’ She shook her head again.

‘That’s why you’re here in my room?’ Darcy gave her a patronizing half smile.

‘I’m here because you make me feel weak.’ Exasperated, she released his hands. ‘And because I think I owe you more than a ‘sorry pal, no more hiding your bone in my garden’.’ She said and widened her eyes for an instant before hiding them in her hands.
‘That’s not what I wanted to say!’ She chuckled at herself and heard him chuckle in return.

‘Bart, relax.’ He said holding her wrists to pull her hands from her eyes. ‘It’s just us.’

When a still smiling Elizabeth opened her eyes, she was surprised to find his face close to hers and the kiss was inevitable.

They had been holding back for hours, really.

It was such a good kiss, a kiss that lifted the spirit to where it belonged. She had been daydreaming about his kiss. Even if she had successfully convinced herself that a teenage crush should be kept where it was buried – in the past - this man in the present… older and mature, so sexy and such a good kisser kept her equivocating.

Darcy had been anticipating this encounter for so long that he feared an intoxication if he took her in too fast. And of course, there was the risk of scaring her away. He slowly tasted her mouth inhaling her perfume, feeling the skin of her neck on the tips of his fingers, sweet kissing her until she relaxed.

Aside from their necks and her shirt’s first buttons Elizabeth kept undone to soften the grip of her fur collar, the early March weather’s clothes didn’t allow much more skin visible. He had some of her incredible cleavage, but she had to run her small hands inside his sleeves to touch him, giving him goosebumps.

To allow Elizabeth to explore his skin, Darcy lifted his turtleneck over his head letting go of her mouth for just a moment and continuing the slow gentle French kisses immediately. As she reached his now muscular arm, he grabbed her left leg under her knee to bring her closer.

She winced on his lips. ‘No, Fitz…’

He lovingly caressed the side of her knee with his thumb. ‘I know, I know, I’m sorry …’ He said soothingly before kissing her again.

From tips, Elizabeth caressed his throat with the back of her fingers, his chest over the simple white t-shirt Darcy had on, passed her fingers quickly over one nipple before reaching his ribs and the surprisingly toned abs. There, she palmed him; his skin felt firm, warm, inviting. Irresistible.

As if reading her mind and seduced by the sight of her cleavage, he reached her shirt’s buttons. ‘Just want some skin, Bart.’ He whispered kissing under her ear when she tensed slightly.

How could she say ‘no’ to that? Elizabeth could have stopped him but she wanted his touch as much as he wanted to touch her.

The thick black tank top was glued to her chest rendering Darcy incapable of any thought unrelated to the lovely woman in his arms. Her breathing was a little quickened making her chest move and his loins respond in the same intensity.

When he was a young man reading silly flirts on a letter sent by an exciting girl from the other side of world, he used to feel this response in his loins. Now it was sweeter because his eyes could lock on the prize.

With the back of his fingers, he caressed her boobs spending some time teasing a nipple as his lips found hers again. He liked to have her locked in a kiss when she needed a deep breath to deal with what he was doing on her boobs. His tongue didn’t leave her mouth although his lips stretched in a cocky smile as he twisted his fingers to gently tweak her nipple.

When he was a young man sending subliminal flirtatious messages over hijacked radio waves to this woman, he never thought the fine-tuning of his homemade transmitter could resemble this.

Finally content with her deep moan, he grabbed the whole boob and squeezed once before moving to her ribs and bringing her chest closer to his.

‘I’m addicted to your skin.’ He said in a low voice again, giving her very short notice before he sneaked a hand inside her top. He had been saying this to himself for a long time and when the urge to touch her got unbearable, he tricked his mind into believing the feel of his hands was somewhat similar to her luscious loins. ‘I am addicted to you.’

‘You hooked me up too…’ She answered running her hand on his lower back. “I’m here for a fix.”

Taking that as the invitation he needed, Darcy took off his t-shirt and tentatively moved his body forward making her lay down.

Elizabeth shifted to the side so he wouldn’t trap her because she knew that if he did, she wouldn’t find strength to get away. His weight over her was too delicious to resist. And boy, did he look good. Brawny, buffer, manly, virile.

“Good enough” he thought when she shifted. Her legs were still crossed and he moved not to trap her like he knew she disliked. In the process, he took the opportunity to kiss her cleavage, the scented warm valley between those devilishly sexy boobs, the small bulges her nipples formed on the tank, her ribs, her navel, and the low waist of her denim. One hand held her waist in place and the other traveled up her back bringing the tank top until it reached the bra hooks. There he stopped and raised his eyes to her face to find her teeth biting a constrained smile and her eyes shut. ‘Can I?’ He asked.

Elizabeth opened her eyes and nodded but grabbed his ears to bring his face to hers. After a long hot kiss, she whispered ‘Just skin on skin’ to which he nodded back.

The aftermath was better than he first predicted and she had to take off both tank top and bra because they constrained her arms when Darcy freed her boobs. Now she was topless and gorgeous.

The sweet kisses resumed, also his satisfaction in occupying her mouth while she took in deep breaths as he kneaded her breasts. More than once, he locked her mouth in a forced kiss knowing fully well her body was thrumming and imagining what was happening in her sex as he did so.

‘Don’t be mean.’ She gasped when he released her and he chuckled.

Not wanting to scare her, he stole just a few small kisses on each nipple although he wanted to suck hard. Maybe he could do that later if he managed to move her gently enough and she allowed him even more skin.

Her denim was thin and comfortable, the kind one chooses to pack for a long trip and the pantyhose under it didn’t forbid her from feeling how hard he was or measure how much strength she needed to caress him with her thigh. It was the first moan she seized from him that evening.

Darcy reached down and undid his fly buttons. ‘Skin on skin, Lizzy.’ He said and waited her reaction.

Like a moth to a flame she reached inside his boxers to remind her touch how deliciously manly he was. The paper-thin skin sliding over the hard center, the gentle tweak when she held it firmly, the silky tip.

His eyes tightly shut; he pressed his lips together concentrating on the realization of these last months’ daydreaming. Only when the air returned to his lungs he could speak again. ‘I want to give you more skin.’ He offered. ‘Can I?’

‘More skin?’ She asked, lost in the feel of his hard on in her right palm and his palm covering her left boob.

‘All I have.’ He answered and captured her lips to prevent her from saying ‘no’. At this point, his heart was as fragile as his restraint and a refuse from her would shatter him emotionally as fast as the right move of her hand repeated a few times. Regretfully, he had to take her hand away from his dick to half stand and take off his loafers, socks trousers and boxers. Her mouth he awkwardly kept locked in his, as much as he could. Soon he was back half-seating-half-laying on top of her and taking advantage of his position, he ran a hand on her leg to unzip her boots and help her out of them.

‘You are very generous.’ She teased in a sassy smile watching the gorgeous man naked taking off her boots.

'It’s only polite to reciprocate.’ He said but didn’t touch her jeans’ waist where he could see a thin nude silk waistband show. Instead, he brought her hand back to his wood gingerly reminding her how he liked to be caressed.

‘Damn you for being this irresistible.’ She mumbled and he raised his eyes from her hand on him to her face.

‘You are not far.’ He pecked her lips and cupped her sex over her jeans. ‘I want this skin.’ He said and lost in him – his wood secured in her hand, his slanted eyes throwing fire, his lips, his whispered strong voice, his hand – she nodded. He smiled simultaneously ducking to kiss her lips and opened her jeans to insert his hand inside her warm panties.

She tightened her legs shut giving him only access to her clit if he forced his middle finger forward – what he did. It was a knee-jerk reaction and with it she squeezed his dick. He groaned and she apologized for a brief moment before he locked her lips again.

In gentle little turns of the fingertip, he managed to melt her until she opened her legs wide enough for him to try to insert one finger in her. The long moan and big stretch that followed gave him encouragement enough to seat up and ease the pants off her hips.

He looked at her through his lashes to see if she would protest, but she didn’t. Darcy grabbed her pants and pantyhose’s waist and wiggled it down intending on stopping mid-thigh but a bright blue tape distracted him. ‘What is this, Lizzy?’ He asked running a hand on it.
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‘Kinesio tape.’ She pursed her lips.

‘Does it hurt that much?’ Darcy asked concerned and leaned back to take off her pants completely, white small panties threatening to distract him. Her shapely tanned leg had a big strip of tape around her left knee coming from mid-thigh, circling her kneecap and rising back up, plus a horizontal tape across below the knee.

‘It’s mostly precaution…’ She lied. ‘My acupuncturist recommended.”

He ran a finger gingerly over the three tiny bubble-shaped scars around her kneecap. ‘Friday I’ll take you to the doctor.’ He said and leaned to kiss her knee, making her feel a rush of moist run down her.

Darcy kissed her skin around the tape and discretely sniffed near her panties. “Hello, little thing. It’s so good to see you again.” He communicated silently before moving on to her nipple for a lick as his finger returned to her pussy inside her panties. As she moaned and arched her back, he caressed her clit and would have successfully inserted a finger in her to pump a few times if she hadn’t closed her legs shut instinctively.

The sight of his hand inside her panties was almost as sexy as what he was doing. ‘I… you… We…’ Elizabeth tried to speak.

'You moistened my finger.’ Darcy accused and brought her hand back to his dick once more.

Elizabeth was irrevocably and literally in this man’s hands, it was pointless to deny. A goddess vanquished by her hunger, Persephone, that’s what she felt like. Persephone on the brink of tasting Hades’ pomegranate. ‘I…’ She started and he raised his brows urging her to speak, the delicious slow massaging never stopping, his turgid veins throbbing in her hand. ‘Let me moisten this.’ She proposed.

‘You read my mind.’ Darcy smiled devilishly.

The sofa was a little too narrow for them. ‘Bed?’ She suggested and he nodded. Feeling so aroused, Elizabeth’s natural response would be to move and seat astride him but merely using her leg for support in order to seat up straight made her wince.

Darcy stood and leaned down to lift her in his arms making her giggle. ‘That’s why I didn’t want to tell you-‘ He shut her with a kiss.

The bed had several towels artfully arranged and he had to put her down on the floor in order to take them off. Once he did, Elizabeth pushed him backwards and he sat heavily on a chair, his hard on proudly pointing up.

‘That’s better.’ She said smiling at him.

Darcy smiled back. ‘Condom.’ He said hooking his thumbs on her panties to bring them down. Wiggling to help him, she shook her head waving the dark hair around her face, held his shoulders and moved to seat astride him. His lioness was ready to pounce on him, the prey; there was no time to waste. ‘Don’t force your knee.’ He asked running his hands on the sides of her legs as she grabbed a chunk of his hair to pull and upturn his head for a proper kiss.

His hands found her butt cheeks, one of his favorite spots in her sexy body, to direct her and his dick slid snugly inside her pussy. Effortlessly in a perfect fit.

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Elizabeth trembled and let her head loll backwards, felling all hairs on her skin stand on end.

Darcy held her by her thin waist and admired her beauty, her tan lines from a bikini that covered so little skin, only the most beautiful parts that were feasting his eyes now. With a gentle urge he made her move and soon his adored friend was rocking over him, her nipples pointy, her small swollen clit hinting its existence between soft dark curls, her perfume surrounding him.

He ran a hand from her shoulder to her belly, caressing her soft warm skin, her curves, making an effort to imprint them in his memory. ‘Lizzy?...’ He asked and she opened her eyes bringing her head back. Darcy didn’t have anything specific to say, he just wanted to see her eyes as they made love.

She held the sides of his neck to kiss him, he was more than happy to comply and let her teach him what she liked, the rhythm she wanted him to conduct her.

‘Don’t play rabbit on me, King.’ She teased in his lips.

He snorted. ‘You know I’m not a rabbit.’ He squeezed her ribs making her squirm and giggle.

‘Let’s do slow?’ She asked changing rhythms and rocking gently on his lap.

He sighed and kissed her neck. ‘Like this?’ He held the back of her neck with one hand and guided her hips with his other on her lower back.

‘Yes…’ She moaned. ‘Give me another orgasm?’ She asked in his ear. ‘Like the ones you gave me last time? Do all you need to do…’

Darcy could have argued that an orgasm was a team work and it could only be achieved if she actually let go but he couldn’t do more than lose his own self-control.

From the chair they moved to the bed, over towels and bedspread, for long minutes. She tried to turn him and continue on top but a sharp pain reminded her that seating astride him in bed was forbidden. He took care to keep her comfortable and her left leg always stretched to the side, never under him. They hugged the whole time, anxious to keep skin on skin until the moment between hard pumps when she stretched her neck and moaned releasing the delicious squeeze from her ovaries.

He followed soon after; she was too delicious to hold much longer.

And the faster he finished; the faster he could start loving her again.

Darcy got out of her, raised her leg to pose a soft kiss on her knee and laid down beside her, his chest still heaving. ‘Does it hurt?’

She shook her head smiling and turned on her side to kiss his lips.

‘But you winced a few times.’

Elizabeth rolled back and stretched like a feline. ‘Sometimes you forget your strength.’ She joked.

Darcy pursed his lips.

‘I like it.’ She smiled looking at him. ‘A lot.’

‘You know I meant your knee.’ He said.

She frowned. ‘Why does it bother you so much, King? Everyone who works out has injuries, it’s inevitable.’ She turned again and moved her achy leg over his. ‘You must be working out a lot, look at these arms!...’ She caressed his muscles. ‘Your trainer must have warned you.’

‘It bothers me because it’s you, because I feel responsible.’ He held the side of her knee with care.

‘How are you responsible?’ She frowned.

Darcy was aware that bringing up her guilt right after such a lovely love session was unwise, at least. ‘I wasn’t there when you needed help. Imagine how I felt when I learned about it from someone else.’ He scowled at her.

‘About that…’ She gave him a fierce look. ‘I hate it-‘ He held the index finger she pointed at his face.

‘I have responsibilities to my business and I’m taken care of constantly. Obviously, you needed to be included in that aspect of my life as well. Get over it, Lizzy.’ He said not giving her a chance to complain. ‘I’ll be more comfortable when Dr. Negandi sees you. He was my father’s ortho for many years.’

Elizabeth pouted. She didn’t want to be treated like a sick child any longer, especially by Darcy who was her hot adventure, her sex escapade.

‘What?’ He asked caressing her face with the back of his fingers.

‘Don’t coddle me.’ She asked. ‘It’s not sexy.’

‘Yes it is.’ He argued.

She shook her head. ‘No, it’s not. I hate to feel like a child.’

‘You said I rock your world.’ He gave her a sideways smile and she nodded smiling back at him. ‘And this is who I am. You’ve known me for almost thirty years.’

‘Cocky jerk.’ She groaned.

‘I’ve brought two boxes of condoms.’ He said.

She shook her head. ‘I’m on the pill.’

He nodded. “Good.” Condoms were a bore. ‘Dinner?’ He asked declaring the subject closed.

She swung her legs to the side of the bed gingerly. ‘Yes, I’m hungry.’ She said getting up slowly. “And I need a painkiller.” When she was sure her balance was fine, she turned and found him staring at her, but not at her ass as he usually did when they were naked. ‘Let’s go out, though. Last time we ordered in, we ended up ordering in for days!’ She joked but he didn’t react. Elizabeth sighed and walked to the bathroom.

After a few moments inside, she returned to the bedroom, opened the mini-fridge and took a small bottle of water, walked to the table where her purse was forgotten and took a small blister. Before she could swallow a pill, Darcy was by her side. He took the blister from her hand and examined the drug’s name.

‘Anti-inflammatory.’ He said. ‘Also a precaution?’

She pulled a face at him, took the blister from his hand and swallowed a pill.

He walked to his pants to grab his phone and speed dialed his secretary ordering her to confirm the appointment for the first available time the ortho had.

‘Let’s not freak out.’ Elizabeth grumbled ironically.

He turned his devious stare at her and it took her by surprise. He was actually upset, God knew what with. She took a seat at the sofa, raised her leg (that was actually throbbing) to the coffee table and admired him. Tall and fit, the love handles gone, naturally hairy chest, legs shaped, muscular arms and forearms, belly tamed, exquisite dick, nice butt… Darcy was a spectacle. She squirmed and tried to control her libido.

He finished his call, put down his phone and visited the bathroom. When he returned, he took the hotel room service menu.

‘The same minestrone soup from last time?’ He asked.

Elizabeth raised her brows.

Distracted, he took the phone by the bed looking at the menu. ‘I guess we can’t have wine because of your meds. Sparkling water with lemon?’ He asked. Only when she still hadn’t answered he turned to look at her. ‘What are you doing?’

‘I’ll order from my room, thanks.’ She said fastening her bra, panties already in place.

Darcy put down the phone and came closer to her, arms folded over his chest watching her shrug into her jeans.

‘You can wince, I know it’s hurting.’ He said.

She clenched her teeth to bite back an answer.

‘Will you be able to walk or will I have to carry you to your room where you can watch your knee swell alone?’ He barked.

‘I don’t have to stay here and put up with your bad mood.’ She barked back.

‘There’s nothing wrong in my worry. This doctor your wanker husband found you may have done a lousy job, you’ll need company.’ He said. ‘Something else the wanker couldn’t give you.’ 

He mumbled.

She felt the jab almost physically. ‘I just had surgery; it’s common to have this reaction.’ She said. ‘And yes, it’s wrong to treat me like this!’

‘Like what, Bart?’ He sighed. ‘We had slow sex and you already had to take a pill. I’m afraid to do all I’ve planned and hurt you. Yes, I’m worried. I want you healthy.’

He said and she stopped buttoning her shirt over her bra to smile at him until they both chuckled.

‘What did you plan, King?’ She poked his chest. ‘Your mistress’ health is thwarting your horny plans, huh?’

‘Oh Lizzy, really.’ He shook his head and the mirth was gone.

She sighed, finished buttoning her shirt and walked closer to hug him. ‘Fitz, I’m fine. I swear.’ Elizabeth released him to kiss her crossed fingers. ‘I had an arthroscopy less than two months ago, it’s too recent. I can do sex upside down and eat you alive, what I’m very tempted to do-‘ She smiled coquettishly at him before biting his right pectoral increasing her strength until he complained. ‘You look incredible.’ She smiled looking up at him and he couldn’t resist but reciprocating. ‘All this from rowing?’ She asked.

He shrug. ‘And training…’ He mumbled, kicking himself for letting her melt the fight when he was right.

‘Mmmm… the rowing machine you bought?’ She asked and he nodded. ‘Can it be used as a sex chair?’ She bit her lip and he raised his brows high. ‘It’s a love machine!... These arms…’ She caressed his upper arms. ‘Those legs…’ She lowered her hand to caress his thigh but bumped into his growing erection. ‘Mmm… maybe I’ll stay for dessert!’

Before she could close her fist around his shaft, he held her by her arms and took a step back leaning forward to align their faces. ‘You know I’ll let you seduce me. That doesn’t change anything.’ He raised a finger to her as she frowned and took air to complain. ‘You don’t want an argument, fine. I don’t want to waste the time we have together but-‘ He glared at her. ‘You’ll let me take care of you.’

Elizabeth could pout and complain if it wasn’t a very pleasant thing he was offering. Overbearing and obnoxious at times, Darcy was very attentive to her, adorable even. His crime was to want to do too much, in opposition to Wickham who was always a bit too late to accomplish too little.

She shook her head smiling. ‘I never said you couldn’t, Fitz. It’s that you won’t listen to me.’

He came closer, unceremoniously unbuttoned and to prove a point, lowered her pants past her knees where it was visible from the sides of the kinesio tapes that she was swallowing.

‘It happens…’ She repeated.

He kneeled to help her step out of her pants. ‘Lay down.’ He ordered and when she frowned, he repeated in a more forceful tone.

Pouting like her daughter, Elizabeth laid down in bed arranging pillows on her back and watched him rummage the mini-fridge still naked. He came to her with a soda can and a towel from the floor where they had thrown it during their lovemaking.

Carefully he arranged a pillow under her knee, the can over it looking at her face so she could show him the best place to ease her discomfort and finally wrapped a face towel to secure the can in place. Then he picked up the phone again to order dinner and an ice pack.

Even though she was heart warmed by his care, Elizabeth kept dreading the moment he would lie beside her, turn on the TV and act like this was a marriage. Last time they were together, they rock and rolled the entire suite and now… old couple having soup in front of the TV while Paris dazzled interesting people outside. She wanted to cry out of frustration.

‘I really have to go, Fitz.’ She said and the look of surprise and sadness in his eyes made her chest ache. ‘I have classes in the morning that I can’t miss. Friday I’ll have morning classes and was planning to spend the afternoon at the library but if you insist in this appointment-‘

‘I do.’ He said.

‘Ok. But I have to go.’ She repeated.

‘No.’ He shook his head, making a big effort to control his speeding heart. Almost three months waiting to spend time with her just to scare her away on the first night. ‘You need me.’

She was going to keep arguing but his phone buzzed and he hurried to take the call. “Ah, Dr. Negandi, good evening. Yes, I appreciate your call. She is fine but her knee swallows when she walks long distances.” Darcy said on the phone and Elizabeth raised her brows holding her laugh. “She uses those colorful tapes around her knee like a spoon, also just took a…” Darcy walked to the table and rummaged her bag to her shriek of complain. “Diclofenac.” Darcy raised his eyes to her. ‘How many have you been taking every day, Lizzy?’ He asked. ‘Don’t lie.’

Elizabeth squinted at him and he raised his brows urging her to speak. ‘Two. Morning and evening.’

“Two, Negandi. Mhum, ok. Five pm is excellent. Until Friday, then. Good evening.” Darcy finished the call, threw the blister back in her purse and walked to her side. ‘Dr. Negandi said you can keep taking this pill if it gives you comfort, but not for long.’ He checked on her knee and then her forehead. ‘He said ice is the best treatment and if you have no fever, you probably can wait until Friday when he’ll be in London.’

‘So basically I was right.’ She gloated.

‘Basically, you’re waiting for a consult.’ He said. The doorbell rang and he moved to answer it completely naked making Elizabeth wonder if he would put on his pants with no underwear like the cliché for handsome men but he was too uptight for that. He put on his boxers and a bathrobe from the bathroom.

Since she was half-naked, Darcy didn’t allow the waiter to enter and balanced the heavy tray from the door to the small round table on his own. ‘Let’s have dinner, Bart?’ He invited.

Nodding, she took away the can and with some difficulty moved to get out of bed. He came closer and held her by the waist helping her to the table, arranged a chair for her leg and placed the ice pack neatly over her knee.

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The evening was anything but a boring couple in front of the TV. They laughed and talked for hours on the small dinner table. She called home to check on her kids before snuggling in bed and they whispered silly funny histories until she fell asleep in his arms.

Before giving in to his fatigue, Darcy made sure to check on her knee and was satisfied to see that it was only reddened from the ice pack contact and the swelling had subsided.

---

Delightedly surprised, Darcy was awakened by Elizabeth’s loving touch on his morning wood.

‘I don’t feel well, Fitz.’ She whispered in his year. ‘I feel hot.’

He blinked not believing his luck. ‘I’m here to help you.’

Elizabeth moved with difficulty and threw the comforter from him.

Bemused, he scratched his eyes. ‘Why this violence?’

I’ve got a fever that’s so hard to bear…’ She turned to trail kisses from his ear to his chest purposefully bypassing his mouth.

Gently, he raised her face for a kiss and maneuvered her slender body to lie on her stomach. ‘You have no idea of how much I dream of this ass, Bart.’ He said caressing her butt until she squirmed and passing a hand around her hips found her clit. She moaned and moaned while he caressed her, his hand pressed between her pubis and the mattress, her legs crossed at the ankles. When she turned and asked him to work his magic on her breasts, he took a pillow to rest her knee first. After he satisfied her, he returned her onto her stomach again. ‘Does your leg ache?’ He asked caressing her inner thigh, very far from her knee.

‘No.’ She whispered.

‘Let me know if I hurt you.’ He kissed her shoulder blades and lifted her left hip to take the impact from her injured side. ‘Your ass makes me insane.’ He whispered reaching his other hand to caress her already drenched pussy and guided his dick inside with a groan, moving slowly and carefully.

Adjusting her position, Elizabeth laid on her right side and opened her legs wider to find balance while turning her head back to watch him half-laid on her back and moving into her. It was nice, she had fun – not as much as he had though, and her climax was average, un-King-like. Spooning was nice but with the awkward leg position… or maybe it had been his exaggerated care.

‘Do you feel better, my adored?’ He asked when he laid by her side, sweaty and smiling.

‘Mhum.’ She answered.

‘But not as good as last night.’ He affirmed and she widened her eyes: he had noticed. ‘Here, let me give you a hot bath.’ He smiled sideways at her.

Thirty minutes later, Elizabeth was cleaned, properly sexed up and ready to go to her own room. Classes started in less than an hour.

---

Darcy’s driver took Elizabeth to and from university making sure she didn’t walk a meter more than was necessary. He checked on her five times during the day and was waiting for her at the hotel lobby when she arrived that evening.

‘Don’t you work?’ She sniggered.

‘I am working. I have a conference call in twenty minutes.’ He said holding her hand as they walked to the elevator and he pressed her floor number. ‘Stop by your room and get whatever you want. I need to return to mine.’

While she took a long bath immersed in warm water in his bathroom, he took the conference call. She wanted to go out for dinner but he didn’t let her tire her leg unnecessarily.

A warm meal, a hot sex night and they went to bed spent.





“… As we break and we bent
We turn it inside out…”

Who we are - Lifehouse

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