Darcy felt people pressing against him on all sides in the tube. With his height, he could look down at them, and he discovered to his usual exasperation that they were mostly women.
He cursed his cousin Richard for coming up with this month’s team challenge: “Save the planet, take the tube.” Darcy had been dutifully taking the underground for the past four days. He didn’t know whether women recognised him or just liked his body so much that they took every chance to press against him, inside the underground.
However, when he felt a caress on his butt, he decided that enough was enough. Forcefully, he shoved his way toward a different part of the carriage.
A sudden lunge of the train sent him staggering forward, causing him to accidentally press a person hard against the door.
It turned out to be a woman with excessive curves. “Sorry,” Darcy mumbled.
The woman looked up at him and, surprisingly, turned her body sideways so that they were not pressed against each other front to front. Instead of snarling at him, she simply acknowledged his apology with a nod of her head.
He breathed a sigh of relief. At least there was one woman who wasn’t intent on taking advantage of him in the crowded underground. She wasn’t extremely pretty but she smelled refreshingly of lavender, and her rich chestnut curls looked great. He was tired of women who dyed their hair blonde and copied celebrity styles. This woman, by contrast, was wearing a frilly, exotic dress with a matching shoulder bag, like an ethnic minority from Asia.
While he felt the accidental bumping and caresses at his back again, the woman at his front turned slightly, produced a mobile phone from her shoulder bag, and answered it.
“You don’t want to know,” she said, lowering her voice. She had a sweet voice. “Okay, you asked for it. Mom has set me up with a blind date… Yeah, I know… No, I tried to get out of it, but… Yes, I told her I had a group of Sri Lankans visiting, but you know my mother… He’s called William…” She burst out laughing, causing a subtle wave of contact against his body.
“Told me his mom named him after William the Conqueror but he had no clue about his namesake…Oh, but he bragged about having a ₤50,000 chimney…and a ₤30,000 stainless kitchen…and a ₤10,000 four-poster bed…Yeah I know…failed miserably on my rating scale.”
She indulged in another lovely round of genuine laughter. Most women he knew only pretended to smile seductively. They didn’t seem to know how to laugh anymore. He found himself regretting that another man with the same first name as his had made such a bad impression on her.
“He wasn’t bad looking. I’d give him a six on looks, but a two on ego, and barely a one on intelligence… Yeah… I know…you measure men’s handsomeness by their wallet and I measure it by their IQ.”
Darcy was sorry to see that the train had reached Knightsbridge. He would have been interested in hearing more about how she rated men. As the door opened, he walked out…but felt a certain pull on his body.
“Urgh!” The woman raised her voice, still pressed against him.
More people rushed out of the train, and Darcy and this woman were pushed forward.
“Hey, it’s not my station yet!” she protested.
He didn’t understand why she felt the need to tell him that. It wasn’t as if he was making her leave the train. He started to walk on, and again she yelled out “Urgh!”, her body still pressed against him.
His surprise edged toward annoyance. Did she just lie to her friend about not judging a man by his wallet? Does she know who I am? “What do you think you’re doing, miss?” he demanded in a low growl. “I’ve had quite enough of being fondled by women on a train. Get away from me now!”
She looked up at him, revealing a pair of amazingly sparkling green eyes. What a pity she’s another fawning female!
“Me?” she snapped. “Fondling you? Your ego is larger than the whole of England! See here!” She pointed to her chest.
What a pair of gorgeous breasts – creamy skin, bouncy, and pushing tight against the modest bodice of that frilly dress. What a pity she’s such a desperate woman that she’d try to preposition me right here in public!
“Stop ogling and look where I’m pointing! Your shirt button is caught on my dress!”
“Oh!” As he diverted his glance from her lovely breasts and finally understood her point, his face turned bright red. “My word. I’m sorry!”
She put the mobile phone back into her shoulder bag and used her tiny hand to try to untangle the snag. She turned slightly, left and then right, moving her body up and down a bit, but it was no use.
Darcy was extremely uncomfortable. He felt sweaty with her touching his body like this in a public place, and he couldn’t help noticing that some people waiting for the next train had begun to look at them strangely.
“Maybe we should do this at my place,” he murmured.
Her hand froze, and she looked at him again with wide eyes.
“I mean…people are looking. Unless you have a scissor in your bag to cut it...?”
“No way! A Burmese refugee made this dress for me. I don’t want to tear it.”
“All right, you can take it off at my place, instead.” Then his face turned a vivid red again, as he considered the words that he had just uttered.
“Are you a pervert?” she asked sharply.
“No! Not at all. I mean…my sister lives with me. She can lend you something to wear.”
“That’s an idea. But it might be better if we undress you, instead.”
He gasped at her words, flustered and aroused as she tried to unbutton the offending shirt button. More people seemed to have gathered to look at them.
“Let’s get out of here.” He wrapped his arm around her waist and propelled her to walk along with him.
“Damn, it’s no use,” she swore. “Just stop. I can’t do it when you’re moving.”
“I don’t want to provide entertainment for the people here,” he said.
She looked around. “Alright, then, we can do it on the street.” She walked willingly by his side, like two lovers snuggled together for a romantic walk.
“You want to do it on the busy streets of Knightsbridge?”
She burst out laughing. “We sound like we’re talking about having sex in a public place,” She explained, and her face turned a shade of red.
What a lovely surprise. The women he knew had long since forgotten how to blush. And the mention of sex aroused him instantly. “I assure you that I’m a decent fellow,” he said sheepishly, worried that she would feel the change in his body. “I’m William…”
“Oh no! Not another William!”
“I won’t tell you how much my kitchen is worth.”
He smiled and continued, “I’m William Darcy,” then waited to see her response.
“Elizabeth Bennet,” she replied. Good, she doesn’t seem to recognise my name.
She tried again to free herself, but the thread was still tightly wrapped around his shirt button, and so she abandoned the effort.
He breathed out a sigh of relief. At least they could pretend he didn’t have a hard on.
They chatted absently during the ten-minute walk to Darcy’s townhouse, and he found that he liked her sense of humour. But the townhouse, when they arrived, was pitch black. How strange, he thought as he opened the door. Where are Mrs Reynolds and Georgiana?
Darcy frowned, startled and displeased. What is Caroline Bingley doing here?
The lights came on, revealing a crowd made up of Georgiana, his uncle’s family and Bingley’s family. There were balloons, decoration and music. A camera flashed, before the people in the house became aware that Darcy was not alone.
Caroline, wearing a tight orange leopard-print bodysuit and a large orange headband, tried to jump forward to grab Darcy’s arm, but her brother held her back.
“Hey, Darce, it seems you planned a more private celebration. You two started undressing on the street already?” Richard was, in fact, winking broadly at Darcy’s lower body. He gave Richard an angry stare, silently forbidding his cousin to mention his arousal. And, while Darcy might have forgotten his own birthday, he wasn’t going to let go of this special woman, especially if the alternative was to be fawned all over by Caroline for the whole evening.
He wrapped his arm more tightly around Elizabeth and said, “I’m sure you won’t mind starting the party without Elizabeth and me …”
“…Since we’ll be busy upstairs for the whole night,” Elizabeth said, and winked back at Richard as the rest of the guests gaped at them.
I will hold her to this, and have her spend the night here, Darcy vowed to himself. Together, they walked up the stairs at a rapid pace, with the squeaking scream from Caroline ringing in their ears.
Well, did they appear again for Darcy’s birthday party, that night? The author leaves that for you to speculate.
Darcy and Elizabeth tied the knot six months later, after he received almost all 9s from her on every aspect of her rating. And Richard sent them an enlarged photo of their infamous grand entrance to that fateful birthday party as a wedding present.
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