Upon his arrival to Donwell, Mr. Knightley kicked off his boots and trudged his way into his study. Collapsing in his leather armchair he covered his face with his hands and let out a frustrated moan. What a horrid evening! He had hoped that Emma would be more responsive to his suggestion of a one Mrs. Knightley yet she retained her steadfast retention of their relationship remaining that of friendship. He was beginning to think that they might never grow past that. While he maintained his sentiments, they would always be friends, he was deeply distressed at the notion of them never being moreso.
He found himself picking up and rifling through a box of their old correspondence. Most of them letters of invitation or intention of Mr. Knightley’s visits to Hartfield. His favorite however were the ones received upon his visits to London. He picked up the one from when their niece had been born a little over a year ago.
Dear Mr. Knightley,
Thank you for your letter, though I daresay I gave father quite a fright upon reading it. My enthusiasm could not be matched. A niece! Finally! Though you know I dote upon our wonderful selection of nephews you cannot disavowal me of the excitement this news has brought.
I so wish I could have been present for her arrival. I appreciate your accounts of her beauty and delicacy. I shall however make my own judgements upon making her acquaintance in person, but for now your recommendations will have to suit me.
Please find attached a blanket and bonnet for her presentation. These shall be the first of many packages in the weeks to come and you must relay to me her use of them all.
Though he was inclined to sometimes think her silly, she always had the ability to make him laugh. They shared the same dry sarcastic humor that required a certain degree of cleverness to understand. He found himself rather missing those moments in their friendship. Ever since he had admitted the degree of his feelings towards her he had found it much more difficult to tease her without a degree of trepidation and, he thought, she had also appeared more reserved as of late. She must be in tune to the nature of his affections and was meaning to put him at bay.
Reading through the letter again he vowed to himself that he would find a way back to their easy and effortless exchanges. He missed his friend who he could tease and expect just treatment in return. It would not be easy to repress his endearments but he would do anything to keep her happy. Retiring to his chambers that night he tried to forget the emptiness of the house around him and pushed the images of her sharing his bed out of his head.