Mr. Darcy’s Secret Baby– Chapter Three

How are you feeling about this story? I’d love to hear more reactions about it. Do you find it difficult to believe that Darcy and Elizabeth have found themselves in this position or do you think it is possible…at least as possible as so many of the other JAFFs out there? I admit, I’ve written many that would be highly improbable. Do you think one person is more to blame than the other?

I know there were some guesses about when Darcy and Elizabeth would meet again. How would they communicate about if she is pregnant or not? How would a future meeting go for them? There are some answers to those questions in this chapter.

Previous Chapters: Chapter One / Chapter Two

Chapter Three

The following week passed in reflection and melancholy for Elizabeth. The night before she left Kent, the Hunsford party was invited to dine at Rosings again. Elizabeth blushed as memories assaulted her. She wondered, too, what Lady Catherine would say if Elizabeth were now sitting before her as a future niece. 

At last, the day came to leave Kent behind. Elizabeth hoped with a change of environment, she could more easily forget about her encounter with Darcy and her regrets. Upon arriving in London, she realised such a thing was not possible. Jane had the most exciting news.

“Mr. Bingley has called on you?” Elizabeth asked in disbelief.

“Yes, he was here yesterday and promises to call again.”

“What reason did he have for not visiting earlier?”

“He said he had not known I was in Town.” A small frown puckered Jane’s mouth. “I suppose his sister did not inform him. Was I a fool for believing she valued my friendship?”

“No more than I was.” Elizabeth squeezed her sister’s hand. “I had thought she genuinely liked you. How did Mr. Bingley learn of your presence?”

“Apparently, Mr. Darcy told him.”

“Mr. Darcy!”

“Mr. Bingley did not go into detail, but it seems Darcy knew of me being here but did not inform him right away.” Concern flitted across Jane’s face. “Before you say anything, I do not blame him. I am sure he thought he was acting in his friend’s best interest. Pray, do not let me hear you slander Bingley’s dearest friend.”

“I was not going to say anything against Mr. Darcy,” Elizabeth said with her eyes cast down. “Seeing him more regularly in Kent has allowed me to understand his character better. I believe you are correct; he thought he was serving his friend.”

“I am pleased to hear you say so.” Jane smiled. “I know you think it unjust, but the world we live in values connections and money, and we have neither. Of course, a sensible gentleman ought to think seriously before entering into a marriage with one of us.”

Elizabeth sighed to herself. Why must Jane make so much sense? It must be her calmness of mind that allowed her to see past the emotion, which too often clouded Elizabeth’s thoughts. 

Soon the conversation turned to plans for outings in London. Mr. Bingley had offered the use of his box at the theatre before the ladies were to leave for Hertfordshire. Maria Lucas let out a squeal of delight at the news, for she had never been to the theatre.

The news brought alarm and anticipation for Elizabeth. The possibility of seeing Darcy again seemed high. Or would he shun the chance for her society? She hardly knew which she preferred. 

By the time the evening in question arrived, Elizabeth knew which she had preferred. She attempted to beg off going, but her aunt pressed her to come. Macbeth was her favourite play, and it was rumoured Sarah Siddons was soon to retire. As there had been no confirmation that Darcy would be attending as well, Elizabeth decided she could bear the possibility of seeing him.

Elizabeth gathered with her relatives, Mr. Bingley, and Miss Bingley, in the main hall before the performance began. The others talked, but Elizabeth could not attend the conversation. Suddenly, a frisson of awareness trailed up her spine. She knew without even looking about that Mr. Darcy had arrived and must have seen her. She always had known when he had been observing her. Slowly, she glanced around the room. When she saw him, her breath caught. He was more handsome than she remembered. His eyes met hers, and then he whispered something to a very young lady who smiled at him with excitement and adoration. 

Mr. Darcy approached, his presence heralded by Miss Bingley. 

“Good evening,” he said. “I know the Miss Bennets and Miss Lucas, but I shall allow you to perform the introductions, Bingley. Might you also introduce me and my sister to your new friends?”

Bingley grinned before doing as requested. Elizabeth watched for any sign of regret on Darcy’s face at meeting the Gardiners, but he only seemed pleasantly surprised. He must have expected people closer to the Phillipses. Upon hearing that Mrs. Gardiner had lived in Lambton, the Darcy siblings seemed more at ease. 

Elizabeth quickly observed that Miss Darcy was excessively shy. However, Elizabeth had supposed her brother to still be afflicted with pride. Seeing him relax as he found a topic of conversation about a common interest with people he had just met, made Elizabeth think differently. Perhaps, like he had told her at Rosings, he found it difficult to make conversation with strangers. 

“Are you well?” Darcy whispered to her, starting her from her woolgathering. She had not noticed when the discussion turned to other things which required less input from Darcy.

“Yes, so far as I know,” Elizabeth blushed.

“Everything is…normal?”

“It is too early to know.” Her face felt on fire.

“When do you leave for Longbourn?”

“In a fortnight. I should know by then.” Throughout the exchange, she had not looked at him. 

“Will you allow me to call at Gracechurch Street before you leave? I think it is the least conspicuous way to communicate with me.”

“I did not think you would be willing to go to Cheapside, sir.”

“I am willing to do far more than that.”

Elizabeth chanced a peek at him. His earlier ease was gone, and he seemed almost pained to be having this conversation. His first proposal had dwelled entirely on how he owed it to his family to marry better than Elizabeth. His second was out of guilt and duty. He might be willing to do more, meaning marry her, but Elizabeth had not seen any proof that he truly desired it. How he must regret their encounter! The quicker they could put the whole thing behind them, the better.

“You have not answered,” Darcy pressed.

Glancing at him again, Elizabeth saw concern in his eyes and the furrow of his brow. Perhaps she had things all wrong again. He was asking for permission to see her rather than stating that he would come. Maybe he was attempting to listen to her reproofs. 

“Yes,” she said, and she could see his relief immediately.

“Thank you. I promise to not stay long.” He flicked his eyes to Bingley. “Bingley intends to return to Netherfield. He has requested I accompany him again.” He continued to speak without looking at her. “Fear not,” he said hastily. “I must attend other business for a time and cannot go with him. However, in the future, I do intend to accept his invitation.”

Did he mean to put her on her guard? 

“I apologise if that is unfavourable news to you,” he said even softer. 

“Mr. Darcy,” Elizabeth began slowly. Her heart pounded loudly in her chest. Her tongue clambered to find the words, but her brain moved too sluggishly. She did want to see him again. There was much they needed to say to one another, but she continued to think if only they could sit and speak, things might be resolved favourably. “I do not—”

“Excuse me,” he said and suddenly left as someone else had hailed him from across the room.

Darcy returned to their group only to collect his sister before the play began. Throughout the play, Elizabeth thought of what Darcy had said. She would see him, eventually, at Netherfield. Did he go unhappily out of service for his friend, hoping to avoid her? Or did he, like she, hope that they could overcome their misunderstandings? Amid all the unanswered questions, hung the difficulty of the liberties they took. If Elizabeth were with child, all of this would matter naught. Darcy would insist on marrying her, whether or not he wanted to do so. Did he even wish to speak with her again, or was it only to know if there were consequences to their intimacy? 

Elizabeth’s attention was drawn to the play in Lady Macbeth’s final scene. As Sarah Siddons dramatically enacted the lady’s descent into madness and her desperation to wash the blood from her hands, Elizabeth felt a growing dread in the pit of her stomach. She, like Lady Macbeth, had done something which would not wash off with water. Whether there was a child or not, Elizabeth could not pretend that her life could be the same. How did she intend to deal with this longing to be with Darcy while not knowing his true feelings without descending into madness? 

As she climbed into bed that evening, Elizabeth decided that what she needed most was time. Time would tell if there was to be a child. Time would tell if Darcy’s admiration was as superficial as she feared. And only time would tell Elizabeth if the feelings she was now experiencing toward the most exasperating gentleman of her acquaintance could grow into love—or even if they should. 

34 thoughts on “Mr. Darcy’s Secret Baby– Chapter Three

  1. Well it’s obvious that Darcy is concerned so I wish that Elizabeth could have let him know she would welcome his visit to Hertfordshire, even if she wasn’t totally sure of her feelings – or his!
    I don’t have a problem with this storyline Rose as I’m certain it happened many times then as now! I also know that there has to be a happy ending at some point? I’m just not certain of how they will both suffer until we get there?
    More please.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Darcy is supposed to call at the Gardiners’ so hopefully Elizabeth will get a chance to tell Darcy he’s welcome at Longbourn then.

      There’s so many ways this story could go and I admit that I don’t have everything 100% plotted. My goal is to make it more realistic. From the title you can guess that Darcy won’t know about the baby for some time. And yet, he has made it abundantly clear he wants to do the right thing and even Elizabeth admits it would be necessary. Therefore, somehow, information does not get passed along. I do have that part planned. 🙂 I could create some super-villain that is out to destroy them, but I have decided to keep the conflict centered on themselves and how they’ve made this problem themselves. So, I think that means in some ways they will suffer more than in other books with this trope and in other ways it may be less torturing.

      Oh, and of course, there will be a happy ending!

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      1. Oh, yes. I do try to draw on Canon for all my variations–even when they’re so very far from Canon. In the original, they are both very hesitant to speak about their feelings after the Lydia fiasco. Once they DO talk and start to clear the air, what is the reason behind their mutual “shyness?” EMBARRASSMENT! Yep. That’s definitely going on here.

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  2. I don’t think Jane Austen would have ever put them in such a situation. However, a book doesn’t always depict real life. Back then, there were many rules as to propriety. And there were reasons for those rules. Staying chaste was important, and when that was lost it affected not only the young lady but her entire family as well. Austen did have them meeting alone but there were servants in the parsonage that could interrupt at any time. In this story, they are really playing with fire. In real life, people are not always careful, so this situation is possible. I do think that they went against their normal habits of behavior and decorum and will suffer for breaking their own rules of conduct. They will rue not staying chaste, and I wonder how detrimental that will be to their own self esteem as well as well as their respect for one another. I assume both were raised in God-fearing households, and violating Bible principles carries its own brand of guilt as well. They will have a lot to deal with, and I look forward to seeing how you have them handle everything.

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    1. JA wouldn’t have put her hero and heroine in this position, largely because she would have been branded a harlot for writing such, and yet other important characters have similar scenarios. It’s quite plain that Lydia and Wickham have sex before marriage, and indeed the marriage itself is doubtful. While Lydia is foolish, I don’t think any sensible character in the book paints her as evil. Colonel Brandon’s first love, Eliza, is depicted in a very sympathetic light for having been an adulteress. So is her daughter. Marianne’s imprudence of her attachment to Willoughby is pretty forgivable because she had thought they were to be married. Even Maria Bertram is painted sympathetically as she was attached to another man before marriage and her husband was an idiot. She was a product of her upbringing which valued status and money. I could go on and on.

      Passions can runaway with us and I think Darcy and Elizabeth are just as capable of having that problem as anyone else. His language in his proposal is rather risque for the time period. There is definitely a great deal of sexual attraction going on for the both of them. I think if they just went by that then they would have wrapped the whole thing up faster. However, they *do* try to be intelligent. Darcy could see prudent reasons to avoid an attachment with Elizabeth. She also thought there were reasons to not let herself fall for Darcy.

      There will be regret and guilt and there has already been. However, they will also have to reconcile that with joy.

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      1. I agree about Darcy and Elizabeth. Not familiar with the others as I have only read P&P as yet. As to our dear couple, I will always want them to find their HEA. 🙂

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  3. Help, I read chapter 1, but when I click the link on this page to read chapter 2, it takes me back to chapter 1. 😦

    After chapter 1, I’m excited to keep reading, please help?

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  4. Personally I enjoy reading all sort of FanFiction variations based on Pride and Prejudice, including ones where they anticipate their wedding vows. If I wanted to read a realistic clean version then I’d just read the original. Now that Darcy is planning to visit Elizabeth at her Aunts home, I wonder what or who will come between them. I hope you continue this latest tale to it’s conclusion.

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    1. I’ve always found it doubtful that they would anticipate their vows as so many things can happen in this era. However, I’ve mostly read stories which make it seem like a very deliberate thing. For example, Lizzy is staying in Darcy townhouse and approaches Darcy’s chamber. Another example After weeks of kissing and heavy petting in the gardens around Longbourn, they finally go all the way. It just seems much easier to avoid that sort of temptation than what I have tried to paint. And yet, Darcy hasn’t knocked down Longbourn’s door with a license and settlement in hand and last he heard, Elizabeth hates him so a marriage seems impossible whereas in the other situations they’re at least engaged. I’m a bit of a hypocrite here, aren’t I? LOL. Author’s prerogative!

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  5. I can easily envisage these two passionate people, both with their spirits high, being so incensed by the other as to fall into a kiss with such intensity that the outcome is exactly this, rule of propriety be damned. Both our beloved characters are usually depicted with a fiery but controlled personality.

    I’m looking forward to some more encounters –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wanted to keep it sweet and not show the actual event so I’m trying to get a gauge on readers and if they’re able to envision how their passions overtook them without me writing it out. It’s worth knowing when it’s time to edit. Thanks for your feedback! I agree they have fiery personalities that are usually kept under pretty good regulation but they do seem to blur the lines of propriety at times and could definitely see this being something that tips them over the edge.

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  6. I am trying to find a way to express my thoughts on this in a PG-way, which is not usually a problem for me, lol! I keep thinking that knowing about ladies’ garments from this time period makes it easier for me to imagine how Elizabeth and Darcy may have been quite suddenly carried away. A long, slow seduction, with time to reflect, would have been out of character for both of them. But a passionate quickie is a different story. Did you ever read Susan Alleyn’s book for writers “Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders”? It has so much useful and entertaining information. What Elizabeth would actually have been wearing – – and not wearing – – does make her quick encounter with Darcy seem more plausible. Sorry if that’s too graphic.

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    1. Yes, Regency women didn’t wear underwear/pantaloons etc. So it’s just a shove up the skirts and unbutton the breeches sort of thing. No hoops or restrictive corsets. Even the gown for Lizzy’s fabric could probably handle a few minutes of being rumpled without any signs that she had been up to no good. I’m an old married lady now, but as a newlywed, my husband was very thankful that I only wore dresses and skirts. He would have been quite happy if I adopted Regency underpinnings as well, but alas, I’m not into cosplay. So, I know from experience that dresses make certain activities easy. 🙂

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  7. Elizabeth should realize that even if there is no baby there are other reasons she should marry Darcy. In those days, the compromise alone would force a marriage. These two never do communicate well. Enjoying this story.

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