JA quotes and intro

"I should infinitely prefer a book." -- Chapter 39, Pride and Prejudice
"...I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit..." -- Chapter 8, Pride and Prejudice
"I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be." -- Chapter 20, Pride and Prejudice

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Note: Some stories include direct quotes from Austen's works, and there is the occasional nod to one or other of the adaptations.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Most Fortunate Man

"Love's First Kiss"
Emma and Mr. Knightley take a walk during their engagement.

Hartfield was abounding with good cheer. Mr. Woodhouse had consented at last to his youngest daughter's marriage to Mr. Knightley, and Emma was now able to fix her wedding day. Once the first flush of relief was over, the happy couple celebrated the occasion by walking along one of the lonelier paths behind the house.

"May I take your shawl?" Mr. Knightley tugged gently at the thick fabric draped over Emma's shoulders. Mr. Woodhouse had looked up from his grandchildren's antics long enough to recommend the garment to Emma, despite the mild weather. Understandably, Emma had been only too pleased to comply with any request of her father's at that moment.

"What?" She turned to him. "Oh, this thing. Never mind; I will hold it myself. Dear Papa! How he frets! Thank you. I had forgotten it, but I would have felt uncomfortable soon enough." She lowered the shawl and tugged back until he released his hold on it. Then she reached out her hand and hesitated before running her fingers down the front of his coat. "Are you quite comfortable?" she asked, her touch and voice equally tentative and not at all Emma-like.

"Quite." He felt a strange sensation, as if he were blushing. He had experienced all sorts of strangeness since he had discovered his feelings for Emma, but he knew one thing for certain: Mr. George Knightley of Donwell Abbey did not blush. What a ridiculous notion.

They turned off the path by mutual, silent consent. Twice Knightley began to speak, but no words came. He felt his good fortune acutely. He was wildly, gloriously happy, happier than he could ever remember being in his thirty-eight years of life. He gave up trying to express his sentiments and simply stared at the reason for his ecstatic mood.

Emma appeared skittish, barely meeting his gaze before glancing everywhere else. She had more success than he with the power of speech, however. Her tongue suddenly loosed and would not be still, although her monologue flitted about without settling on any one thing, just as her eyes did.

"This is senseless," Knightley eventually managed during a pause in Emma's energetic admiration of the beauty of the autumn leaves. "I am sixteen years your senior. Why on earth do I feel like a schoolboy right now?"

She laughed, still not looking at him. "Ah! Am I so intimidating? So you finally admit that I am your equal."

"I admit no such thing."

She looked directly at him then. "You are the most arrogant man in Surrey."

"Who is marrying the most arrogant woman in Surrey."

"What a pair we are." Her mouth turned up in that delightful, confident manner he knew and loved so well. "Perfectly matched."

He stared at the perfectly matched lips that teased him and, without announcing his intentions, covered them with his own hungry ones.

They fit together perfectly, as he had expected, and as he prolonged the experience, he was more and more convinced of it. Despite his eagerness, he remembered to be gentle; to give, not just to take. Vague recollections surfaced of his teasing John so many years ago over the latter's fascination with Isabella. In the forefront of his mind, there was no room for blushing feelings or awkwardness now, only boldness and assurance and joy. Were John to walk out and happen upon them, he would be loath to cease his current activity and allow the interruption, no matter how dearly it might cost him later in brotherly taunts and gibes. Besides, he was not yet finished. George Knightley was a thorough man who believed in doing things well. Should not the same diligence he brought to bear in every other situation be applied to this one, this delicate matter of love's first kiss?

When he felt he had tasted Emma's lips to the satisfaction of both, he broke the connection, breathing heavily and marvelling at the treasure in his arms. "You are not my equal, never my equal," he murmured. She pulled back, her passion-drugged eyes straining to focus and attempting to glare at him. He did not allow her to mar her pretty features beyond the shadow of a frown. "You are my better, my darling Emma," he kissed the tip of her nose, "and better than I ever could have imagined." He was indeed a most fortunate man. He scattered kisses across her beautiful face until her sigh of pleasure lured his mouth to hers once again.

~The End~


  1. *Sigh!!* That was beautiful! I'm so glad I had the chance to read this story. There is hardly any Emma fanfiction on the period between their engagement and their wedding! How lovely!

    Thank you Sandy W!


  2. Thanks for your comment, Alison.