"Reader, I Married Him"

Beta: Many thanks, and , for making the story better!
Notes: For the 2006. Neither the fandom nor the story I had planned to write initially, but then there was the new BBC mini-series, and who am I to argue with inspiration? Despite this, however, it's bookverse.

mama always told me not to look into the eyes of the sun
but mama, that's where the fun is

- manfred mann's earth band, blinded by the light (original by bruce springsteen)

Many people would say that my life might have been easier, had I not accepted the position in Thornfield that led to my meeting Edward and ultimately becoming Mrs. Rochester.

I could have lived a quiet life as a governess somewhere in the country, moving from household to household as my charges outgrew my care. At some point a good, solid man - perhaps a widower with young children - might have asked me to marry him and be his helpmete, in a much less self-sacrificing fashion than dear St. John Rivers had meant it. However, I doubt that I would have accepted, even without having experienced the completion I have found with my Edward. I would have become an old maid, perhaps ending my days in a position like Mrs. Fairfax, respected but invisible in the way the best old servants are. It could have been a contented life, far removed from the abuse of my childhood and youth, and free from the turmoil and pain my entanglement with Mr. Rochester brought me for so long a time.

But oh, how dull it would have been, how lacking in life and love and meaning!

Whenever I look at my Edward, it brings me so much joy still, after all these years, that there is no room for doubt. There is no one else who smiles at me like that, whose thoughts are so close to mine, whose touch can make my heart beat like a wild animal in my chest.

I knew it would be like that the first time he held me, kissed me, before that ill-fated first proposal. Even in the midst of the most violent inner turmoil I felt it in my bones. And when we were finally married, I was not afraid of what awaited me in the grand bed in the master bedroom, which he insisted I now call my own. If I trembled, it was in anticipation, because there was no doubt in me that I could trust him with everything I had, everything, indeed, that I was. We met each other in that most sacred place just as we met elsewhere – as equals, hand in hand.

The moon was hidden behind thick clouds the night we first came together, bound now by the laws of God and man alike, and with all our secrets laid bare and put behind us. The room was very dark, and I as blind as he still was at that time, unable to guide him the way I did by day. Not that he needed guidance to find his path, his hands leading where his lips soon followed, leaving me breathless and laughing with the sheer joy of finally being as close to him physically as we had been in our minds for so long. It was overwhelming to be able to touch him wherever I wanted, to feel him respond to my every touch. But it was not enough.

Mr. Rochester laughed out loud when I asked him to stop for just one moment, because I wanted to see him, wanted to see us together, to impress every moment of this night in my memory as vividly as possible. I wanted to be able to describe it all to him later, even if it made me blush. I lit a candle, and in its warm flickering light we finally joined, moving together, his strong body never too heavy nor too violent, but exactly right, as if it had been made for me. It was the first time in my life that I felt my own body was without flaw, to fit his so well. The look on my Edward's face, the sound of his voice as he called me his own, his love, his life, they all melted together as I experienced the highest pleasure imaginable.

Afterwards he told me that this had been like nothing he had ever felt, which came as no surprise to me. After all, I told him, there could be no perfection without the Lord's blessing - and the perfect mate. His laughter stopped when I leaned over his resting body, to kiss him where I had never kissed him before. Still, we laughed many more times that night, and made many more memories.

And this was only the first time we lay as husband and wife. Since then many nights have passed, in addition to the joy of our days together, sharing our lives completely as very few others may. Would I not be a fool to wish for an easier life, yet one lacking such a reward?

Reader, I married him. And I have no regrets.