Fandom Category: Pride and Prejudice
Pairing: Elizabeth Bennet/Fitzwilliam Darcy
Fic Title: Some Like It Wild
Author: Beth AM
Rating/Warning(s): PG-13 / none
Genre: Romance, Alternate Universe
Special Rec: 30/30
Why This Must Be Read: In a universe where her family tries to force her to accept Mr. Collins's proposal Elizabeth Bennet does the only thing she feels she can do, she runs. Elizabeth cuts her hair, borrows some men's clothes, and seeks out Mr. Darcy hoping he'll help her leave England, but he has some other ideas in mind. What follows is an amazing piece that is sure to entertain.
He hesitated before announcing, "Mr. Darcy, there is a young man in your library waiting to see you. I tried to turn him away – asking that he leave his card or a note, but he informed me he had no cards, and he preferred not to leave a note... implying I could not be trusted to keep it confidential." Davis' face betrayed his anger with the visitor, but he continued without rancour in his voice. "He assured me his business was urgent and threatened me with your serious disapproval if I did not comply. He is quite brash..." Davis screwed up his face in thought. "And perhaps a bit desperate... there is something about him that makes me think his bravado is false. His clothing is dated and far from the finest quality. He speaks well, though he appears very young. He insisted on waiting in the library as opposed to your study. I hope I made the correct decision to allow him to wait. His name is Elisha Bartlett."
Blast! Darcy could not recall the name. Perhaps as his butler was implying, it was just a pushy imposter. Darcy would have preferred not to have to deal with an unpleasant visitor at this moment. He wanted to focus upon how to preserve his friendship with Charles and make a decision for action soon, perhaps within the next day or so. Should he tell him the truth or continue on with the web of deception he had allowed Miss Bingley to weave?
Darcy saw no one as he opened the library door and entered. A portmanteau was on the floor, and a jacket was thrown across the back of a chair. Davis was right, it was both an old fashioned cut and the fabric was far from elegant. A noise above caused him to look up. A slender young man – more boy than man – stood on the library ladder at the top shelf. Darcy took in the lines of the boy's body and the tilt of his head as his concentration was fully on the row of books whose titles he was reading. The boy had not noticed him yet, and Darcy was happy about that because it gave him time to try to figure out his sudden inexplicable reaction – stirred by a boy.
This was ridiculous. Darcy makes a plan to banish problematic feelings for an inconvenient woman, and the Lord laughs. Why else would God allow the sight of a young man's bottom to produce such thoughts? He had never before been attracted to a boy. At least his inappropriate feelings for Elizabeth Bennet had been within the bounds of propriety... although of course, she was unsuitable... despite being a gentleman's daughter. But the attraction he had just experienced for this boy was hugely mortifying and probably illegal – maybe even a hanging offense. Surely it had been provoked by reading that outrageous Lord Byron she so admired... he had heard the talk of him among the ton... and that poem to the Earl of Clare was rumoured to have a double meaning. Despite isolating a plausible source for his wayward thoughts, he was still unsure how to interpret the surge of warmth shooting through him at the moment. The light from the tall library window touched the boy's unkempt curls. The afternoon sun caused the coppery highlights to blaze. Maybe it was the vision of the young man's profile – his eyes riveted on the volumes and the tip of his tongue protruding slightly with intense concentration. Like a beautiful painting brought to life, he seemed a study in both discipline and passion. Damn, it was time to revisit Milton – if this was what reading Romantic poetry did to one's sensibilities.
Perhaps this was nothing more than a sign from his body that he was soon to be successful in forgetting Elizabeth Bennet. Meeting her had unleashed inconvenient thoughts that had been escalating since that moment. His first impression of Elizabeth – he could not break himself of the habit of thinking of her as Elizabeth – was of how impertinence and mischief mixed in her eyes with an arch sweetness. Teasing, almost laughing at him right in his face as they discussed his distaste of dancing. Jabbing at his pride – and he found himself both affronted and intrigued.
His eyes were riveted on Elisha Bartlett as he thought of Elizabeth Bennet. No stranger to intense and sudden sexual urges, he had been a victim numerous times in his twenty-eight years and had even acted on his lust on more than one occasion. But he had not felt physical attraction for Elizabeth at first sight. Instead, he had found himself hanging on her every word – wondering what she would say next. This led to translating that anticipation into other urges and forced him to notice first the shape and sparkle of her fine eyes – soon to be supplemented by an awareness of her grace and the pleasing contour of her alluring body.
The young man was now leaning precariously toward the right in an attempt to pick a book from the shelf. This position highlighted the curve of his back emptying into a narrow waist atop a round rear. Elisha Bartlett's breeches seemed a bit snug across his hips. Darcy felt a tug in his nether regions. To distract himself, he looked to see the title of the volume that prompted the young man's risky move.
He seemed to be reaching for either Voltaire's Candide or Dr. Johnson's Rasselas – both about young men on a journey – one looking for the philosophical truth of and the other for what constitutes – happiness. Darcy held his breath as he waited. Which would this young man choose? He plucked Rasselas from the shelf, righted his body and began his trip back down the ladder.
Jumping down the last few rungs, he whirled around and greeted Mr. Darcy with a wide grin. If Darcy had been more astute at that particular moment, he would have noticed the merriment was laced with anxiety. Still, his discernment was not entirely wanting. Despite the mop of haphazardly coiffed short curls and a poorly tied neck cloth that hid any hint of décolletage – Darcy saw that Elisha Bartlett was none other than Elizabeth Bennet.