Chapter Forty-Eight – Unstrung
Elizabeth is still pretty broken up about the death of her son. The one place that gives her respite from her grief is her bath. Why? Well, it’s not really explained. In any way. You’d think that there would be a specific reason why she would feel better there, although I will admit that warm water is very soothing. For example, she could maybe feel better if she sits in the nursery holding one of his blankets. Just throwing it out there as an example. But instead it’s the bath.
In a roundabout way we learn that Darcy has been kind’ve leaving her to it. But one time as she sits in the bath, with clothes on, he comes in, and slides in behind her.
The considerable displacement of water his body did disturb, sloshed onto the floor (page 177).
Let’s talk about this sentence. It’s horrid, of course, but it also exemplifies one of the many reasons why Berdoll is a very, very poor writer. She describes everything, in excruciating detail, over and over and over again from the point of view of many different characters. But she also gives unneeded information, like the entire first part of that sentence. Why not simply say ‘water sloshed onto the floor’? Any sensible reader, upon reading that sentence, understands the basics of water displacement and will grasp why when a second person enters the bathtub water would slosh onto the floor.
It’s a simple concept but an important one. There’s no need to use 13 words when 5 would suffice.
Anyway, Elizabeth hears her remaining children making sounds and gets out to go to them. Hannah, her maid, gives her a robe in the adjoining room, and then she and a chambermaid go onto the bathing-room just as Darcy steps, dripping in his Colin Firth-ness, from the bathtub.
In a trice, Hannah clamped a hand over the young chambermaid’s eyes lest the sight of Mr. Darcy in all his naked glory compromise the poor girl’s expectations in any of her future copulatory endeavors (page 178).
Yeah. Not because it’s wildly inappropriate, or immodest, or he’s married, or it’s wildly inappropriate. In that moment, seeing her master’s engorged torch of love, she has the presence of mind to think that it’s best to cover the eyes of her fellow maid in case seeing Darcy’s enormous penis gives her false expectations of any future penises in her life.
I wonder what Berdoll was smoking when she wrote this book.
Darcy puts on a robe and absconds, and the maids get to work. The other maid managed to catch a glimpse and is extremely impressed.
“Such a sword I have never imagined!” (page 178)
Yeah. That Darcy. Hung like a black porn star.
Chapter Forty-Nine – Repair
Elizabeth goes out for a ride on Boots, dressed like a whore. Naturally, being a woman, she loses control and is very close to being thrown to her death when Darcy swoops in and lifts her onto his own horse, saving the day once more. This leads to a bit of a confrontation where he informs her that she’s pushed him away. Elizabeth tries to argue the point but finally has to admit that he’s right. Darcy explains that if she doesn’t want to have any more kids, he’s down with being celibate for the rest of his life. She says that that’s not what she wants. So they head back to Pemberley, extremely horny.
Chapter Fifty – The Laughter of the Gods
Elizabeth says she wants to visit Longbourne. Darcy is horrified. After all, she’s made a lot of progress and all of that will be destroyed by the endless harping of Elizabeth’s mother. Darcy angsts about this for about two pages before realizing that Elizabeth said she wanted to visit Longbourne, not her mother. Because she’s a bit homesick. Whew! Close one! And very clever, Berdoll, there’s another two pages filled with absolutely nothing.
Chapter Fifty-One – Alistair Steps Up
Chapter Fifty-Two – The Great Beyond
There’s a coach-ride to London. It’s actually not a bad chapter, as there’s some nice moments with the Darcys and their children, but nothing actually happens and what I would really like at this point is a plot.
Chapter Fifty-Three – Befouled
Chapter Fifty-Four – No Going Home
Nothing continues to happen. Incidentally, we are now over 200 pages into a 356 page book and I have absolutely no idea what the plot is. But this is really one of Berdoll’s specialties.
Chapter Fifty-Five – Irksome Company
They arrive at Longbourne, and after a short visit, Darcy peaces out for London on business. Elizabeth’s mother is as annoying as ever, and shortly afterward, Lydia shows up and is her usual annoying self, so Elizabeth decides to cut the visit short and leaves. I was really hoping for some scene where Elizabeth gives some indication of why she actually wanted to visit Longbourne in the first place, but sadly, we don’t get one. I guess it was just some more filler.
Chapter Fifty-Six – Vouloir, c’est pouvoir
So, Wickham. He’s been shot in the groin and has been very slowly recovering, under the care of Mrs. Younge. However, he mainly wants to know if the plumbing still works. Or, as Berdoll puts it:
His next undertaking was to determine whether his proud, purple-helmeted warrior of love could still “rise to the occasion” (page 209).
This proves successful, so now he needs to know if he can ejaculate. No, seriously. This is of concern to Wickham:
He liked to leave his lovers well-lathered. It was a matter of aesthetics. When it came to the art of love, the lack of manly cream might compromise a lady’s opinion of his performance. A dry bob was to be avoided – it could be confused with a lack of vigor (page 209).
I swear I’m not making this up.
So, to test things out, he turns to Mrs. Younge. Of course, due to the wound, they can’t actually fuck. So it’s going to be a handjob or a blowjob. Mrs. Younge asks him why he can’t simply…you know, masturbate? Like any reasonable man? But Wickham says that he doesn’t believe in it:
“I look upon committing self-pollution much the same way as two women kissing – it is a misapplication of God’s greatest gifts.” (page 210)
Although with random unmarried women, that’s just fine.
So Mrs. Younge feels that, okay, she’ll just give him a handy, but Wickham insists on fellatio. This takes some doing, but eventually she sort of consents, by which Berdoll means, he grabs her head and slams it into his cock.
As Mrs. Younge diligently worked, perspiration dripped down her forehead and onto his belly. Fear clutched at him, clawing as his very vitals (which, it could be acknowledged, is not the most advantageous manner whereby one is brought to orgasm) as she valiantly, if methodically, brought him to arousal and then – dare he hope – ejaculation? In a near frenzy, he clasped her by the ears lest she escape before his last quiver of satisfaction (page 210).
Worst. Sex. Scene. Ever.
Anyway, she gets up with a “blech” as he eagerly asks her if he actually, you know, came? Speaking as a man who has orgasmed once or twice in my life, I can say with absolute certainly that if you come, you actually can tell. Then again, I’ve never been shot in the family jewels, so maybe he’s a little under-sensitive down there. At any rate, she confirms it and Wickham grabs a mirror, inspects himself, and then collapses back onto the bed, happy as a pig in shit.
At least for awhile. Eventually he starts thinking about how the world has wronged him and how unlucky he is and so he cries like a little bitch and spends the better part of a page angsting. Eventually he calms down and starts to perk up as he has a Realization. I’m guessing this is the start of some really, really poorly conceived plan.