Emerson Drive. “That Kind of Beautiful.” YouTube. 29 June 2010.
First, I must say I adore this song, and this group is (another) one of my favourites! Now, on to the story excerpt portion of this post. Lord Rycroft is having a “something you just can’t explain” moment and has come to Darcy for advice.
From No Other Choice:
Darcy’s brows rose, and his smile grew. He was definitely enjoying this. “Then, we have an impasse for I shall not be parted from my wife today.”
Rycroft blew out a breath. “Very well, if you insist.” He shifted again in his chair. “There is a lady of my acquaintance who seems to have a very peculiar and disturbing effect on me.” From the corner of his eye, he saw Elizabeth motion toward the door with her head, but Darcy shook his, and she remained seated. “I find myself seeking out opportunities to be In her presence, even when I know she is going to disagree with me or wish me to leave. And today, when we were out riding, I wished to run off a friend because she seemed to favour his attentions. And,” he swallowed and spoke softly, “her beauty…” He raised his eyebrows but did not finish. “Why? What is wrong with me, and how do I fix it?”
Darcy’s smile had grown quite wide. “And if someone were to threaten her?” Darcy chuckled. “You do not need to tell me. I can tell by your look of horror that you would do whatever you needed to protect her. Correct?”
Rycroft nodded. “What do I do?”
Darcy looked at Elizabeth. “You marry her.”
Rycroft was sure his heart had stopped beating at the statement. “Marry her?”
Darcy nodded. “It sounds to me as if you are in love with the lady, and I find myself a great proponent of marriage these days.”
Rycroft had risen and was pacing the room. “In love?”
“Yes, cousin, in love. It is not such a horrible place to be.”
Rycroft shook his head. “No, I have simply been out of town for too long.”
Darcy laughed. “There were no ladies in the country?”
Rycroft shot him a look of displeasure. “None to my liking. Very grasping.”
“Ah, unlike the ladies of the ton.”
Rycroft did not miss the note of sarcasm in Darcy’s voice. “I cannot marry her.”
“And why is that? Inferior standing?”
Rycroft rolled his eyes. “She is not titled, but she is a gentleman’s daughter, not that standing is of great importance to me, as you well know. She would make a fine countess.”
“Is she married?”
“Has she been so tainted by scandal that your standing would suffer?”
“Then, I really do not see a reason why you cannot marry her,” said Darcy.
Rycroft huffed and folded his arms across his chest. “I cannot marry her because she does not like me.”