This is a departure from my regular stuff, but I kind of wanted to share it with you.
I have a friend (former student, actually) who loves Jane Austen. I mean loves her. Mind, I’m pretty fond of Pride & Prejudice and the rest myself, so a few years ago I wrote a bit of slightly risqué Austen fanfiction for her as a birthday gift.
For some reason, over the weekend, a follow-up popped into my head, and now I’m trying to decide whether to continue it or not.
Here’s the first part (which includes some dirty words — impeccably used, naturally — and some discussions of conjugal bliss):
August 15, 18–
My dearest Darcy–
I have ruined fully eighteen of these beautiful, creamy linen sheets to get even this far. You will laugh at me, I know, but I am in this my mother’s daughter, and such prodigal waste of paper offends my sense of thrift and of propriety. And for what? Because I wish to write you, but do not know how to call you.
Dearest Husband? Too formal. Dear Fitzwilliam? Too familiar. Beloved lover? Far too familiar, though very true, and I am still close enough to what little maidenly modesty I ever possessed not to wish you to open this letter in public upon such a greeting. (And I do warn you that I cannot promise that pages to come will not venture into territory that might destroy both your modesty and what little remains of mine, and so I hope that you will save the rest of this letter for perusal in some private place; you may take that for a promise or for a threat, as you will!) My own Billy? Well, I think I can imagine the mask of mortification that that salutation would provoke; I will keep that one for special, private moments, I think, when you have become too much the forbidding, proud Mr. Darcy of old and I simply wish to laugh at you.
And so My dearest Darcy it is–not only because it strikes me as particularly euphonious, but because it is true, in whole and in parts. I love your sister–my new sister–dearly, but I can say without any compunction that you are indeed the dearest Darcy to me, dearer even than myself. You are Darcy, first and foremost–I can scarcely think of you by any other name, even though it is now my own. It is the name by which I first knew you, by which I truly came to know you, and by which I have come to love you with all of my foolish, conceited heart.
Too, you are mine. Pride is a sin, as we both know to our misfortune, but I think that this is one of the things of which I am proudest: that you, virtuous, accomplished, intelligent and upright–occasionally to a fault–belong to me. And that I, vain, silly, homely and venal, belong to you, soul, mind and body.
Of your possession of my soul you must trust. Of my mind you have this evidence–that you have been gone from our bed and from our home for but four hours, and I have had scarcely a thought but of you. Kitty and Georgiana have been attempting to engage me in some games–I hope that Kitty will indulge Georgiana’s sense of play even as your sister encourages in mine some heretofore unknown vein of serious-mindedness–but I cannot be distracted from any task but of writing this, my first letter to my husband.
(Here, good my lord, is the point at which I must ask you to remember that I warned you to read this in a private place. If you failed to heed my warning, on your head be it!)
As for my body, sir, you have ample evidence of your possession of that: it has been yours to do with as it has pleased you for these past weeks and, oh, Darcy, I hope it has pleased you to take ownership so completely. It has pleased me, and pleased me again, to the point where now, having felt you within me and against me only this morning, my body weeps at your absence, desiring only to be taken–and to take–again.
I am a good country girl, as you know; husbandry is by no means a strange business to me. And yet I can honestly say that the mystery into which you have initiated me, the rites through which we have passed, seem as far removed from the loud exertions of cattle as any service presided over by my cousin, Mr. Collins. It is blasphemous, perhaps, to say so, but in your body and in the pleasure that it gives me, I see more evidence of God’s divine grace than in any of the sermons or readings that I have witnessed–certainly in cousin’s church.
Hill, our cook, used to speak at length about fucking and tupping and servicing, about cocks and titties and cunts, and we all would stand about, scandalized but fascinated. (Some, like Lydia, far too fascinated, it seems. Jane, of course, pretended not to hear, and Mary proclaimed the whole subject interesting, but only in the most abstract sense, as a reminder of the ways in which the Devil may use God’s greatest gifts for his own devices.) Even so, even after many twittery, late-night whispers with Jane and with my friend Charlotte about just what it would be like to touch a man, to fuck, I can honestly say that fucking you–feeling you fuck me–is without a doubt the most astonishing and wonderful experience I have yet encountered. If there is a more astonishing experience out there over the horizon, I hope perhaps that you will not think me cowardly to say that I hope that I shall not encounter it too soon, for I am not at all certain that I should survive it.
But oh, Darcy, I want to encounter this one again. I want to encounter it soon. I want to encounter it now. Here I sit, writing, and I can still feel the last traces of you within me, and the sweetness of the ache that I feel, the liquid heat of your departure, of your absence, is almost beyond bearing.
But bear it I shall. For you, I could bear anything, knowing that you would do and are doing the same for me.
A queer and awesome thought has just struck me. Given our exertions of the past weeks, perhaps I am bearing something for you. Something that, though I know you would, you could not possible bear for me.
Goodness. I believed that I have silenced both of us with one stroke of the pen.
It is good that I had completed the last lovely sheet of paper with my wifely musings and started on this one when I did. Georgiana and Kitty have burst in with a letter. Alas, it is not yet from you; it is from Lady Croom, who announces that she shall be visiting this afternoon. I shall be playing the mistress of Pemberly for the very first time, it seems, and in your absence. I am determined now to dislike this woman, who I have heard is a great beauty, for I believe she waited until she knew that you had left the county to have a look at me. Let her look all she will; if I can face your aunt, I can face anyone!
Her daughter is to come with her, and your sister, who is always the soul of discretion and generosity, as every Darcy should be–but for me, alas!–tells me that she is quite interesting. Knowing Georgiana as I now do, I assume this to mean that the girl is wildly odd. Her tutor, a Mr. Hodge, completes the party; he I have heard of, a poet and critic. Well, odd girls and poets are much more my fashion. I shall endure the mother for their sakes.
I shall have to sign off now and make preparation for their arrival. Or rather, I shall have to twitter around and stay out of Mrs. Reynolds’s way until they come. Oh, now I wish you were here all the more!
But that were not possible: for to miss somebody more than infinitely cannot be, and so I shall sign off
Sincerely, gratefully, desperately yours,
Elizabeth Anne Bennett Darcy
PS I shall never tire of writing that name, I think. EABD
PPS Lady Croom is very pretty. Do not look upon any ladies while you are gone, for I know that all are fairer than I, and I would not for all of the world lose your admiration so soon after gaining it. I miss you horribly. EABD
PPPS The daughter, Thomasina, is indeed quite interesting. I like her far more than her mother even so. And I like the tutor as well. But I still miss you as a sparrow misses summer warmth in October. I love you, body, mind and soul. EABD
PPPPS I shall send this now before I have second (or fifth) thoughts. My body still weeps for you. Come safely home and soon. I shall make the homecoming worth your while. EABD