by LindaMarie

Mr. Darcy bowed low as the eldest Miss Bingley retired to bed, finally leaving himself and Mr. Bingley to themselves.

"Your sister was in a beastly mood tonight, I daresay," Mr. Darcy said with a frown. "Why must she prattle on so about marriage? I would find my stay at this estate much more agreeable if she were not here."

Mr. Bingley looked at him appraisingly. "Or rather, Mr. Darcy, do you mean that you would prefer if we were residing alone together in this household, with no one but the servants to bear witness to our scandalousness?"

"That is what I mean precisely, my dear Mr. Bingley. How long do you suppose we will be able to maintain this charade?" He moved a step closer to his seated friend.

"We shall do so until we no longer wish to live. I shall not see you or myself ruined over so easily-veiled a crime."

"Are we to actually take wives, then? Wives who will keep their silence in turn for our wealth, connections, and offspring? Intolerable."

"I do not think it should be so intolerable, Mr. Darcy. It shall keep our moral characters unblemished in the eyes of society, and keep our limbs out of shackles."

Mr. Darcy's eyes lowered a notch, and he stepped still closer. He sighed almost unnoticably. "Agreed. We shall spend what time we have wisely, then."

Mr. Bingley's eyes sparkled and deepened a shade. "Indeed."

Mr. Darcy's dark head bent to Mr. Bingley's, hand grasping the nape of his neck gently. Their lips met softly, at once chaste and feverish. Mr. Darcy went down on one knee, pressing his body close. The sun had set hours ago, but the liveliness of the Bingley manor would perhaps only increase as the hours wore on.


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