“I love you, Elizabeth Bennet...” After stepping away from her, he continued. “I actually never thought I would fall in love for reasons I shall shortly explain. However, I am in love—deeply and profoundly in love—and if after I share my secret you have not run back to Pemberley, I shall have a question to ask you.”
“Mr. Darcy, what secret could you possibly have that would cause me to run away from you?”
“That is a good question, and my answer begins with an event that happened fourteen years ago when my father and I were traveling in the Black Forest in Germany. Our carriage became mired in mud, and while the men tried to dig it out, I went into the woods. Not very deep, but Nature called... At that moment, a wolf walked by. She had not seen me, and because I had startled her, she scratched me with her fang. I know it was an accident because she began to cower and whimper.”
“Mr. Darcy,” Lizzy said, interrupting, “are you saying that you were bitten by a wolf in the forest and this wild animal was trying to apologize for biting you?
“That is close to what I am saying, but I need to add one other detail. It was not a wolf who bit me, but a werewolf.”
Lizzy now burst out laughing. “Shame on you, Mr. Darcy, for going on in such a way. Is this what I have to look forward to? Scary stories on the night of a full moon?” Lizzy waited for Mr. Darcy to break out into his wonderful smile—to let her know that he had been teasing her—but he did not. “Mr. Darcy, please tell me you are in jest.”
“I wish I could, but that would be a lie, and I promise I shall never lie to you,” he said, and Lizzy could hear the tension in his voice. “Elizabeth, as a result of that bite, I became a werewolf...”
Lizzy, horrified by his story, started to walk backwards, moving in the direction of Pemberley, but Mr. Darcy reached out to stop her.
“That is the reason I had to leave Hertfordshire so often, the reason I must leave you now. This is where I need to be during my transformation, and tonight is a full moon. At dusk, the change will begin. I am sure, at this moment, you are thinking about how quickly you can leave Pemberley, but I would ask that you stay. While I am gone, Georgiana and Anne will be with you to explain everything. We have arranged a signal. If you want to see me as a werewolf, they will light the candle in the window in a front bedroom, and I will come and introduce myself. If, however, there is no candle, I will remain in the woods, and I promise I will never see you again. You can go on with your life acting as if none of this happened. Whether or not we are together is now in your hands.”
Mr. Darcy extended his arm, but as the pair walked to the manor house, not a word was exchanged between them.
I hope you will let me know what you think of my story. If you leave a comment and an e-mail address, you will be entered in a giveaway of an ARC (advanced reader's copy) of Mr. Darcy's Bite. Thanks for stopping by.
Mr. Darcy's Bite is worldwide.
Mr. Darcy's Bite is worldwide.