Featuring beloved characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, this collection includes two novella-length stories and a novel.
What happens when Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are alone in the library at Netherfield Park and they decide to talk instead of ignore each other? In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, the half hour passes without either our hero or our heroine speaking one word to each other. This sweet variation has them breaking their silence. What follows is a conversation filled with confrontation, clarification, and love.
Fitzwilliam Darcy needs a wife! Elizabeth Bennet needs a husband!
What results when two strong-minded, kind-hearted strangers unite in this most sacred state? Will love grow? In this full-length novel, Darcy and Elizabeth are faced with frustrations and blossoming feelings of tenderness. Our favorite couple finally reach their happily ever after. Or, do they?
When Miss Georgiana Darcy stumbles upon her beloved George Wickham willingly wrapped in a passionate embrace with someone else, the elopement is off. Running to her new friend, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, she involves her in a plan to get help from her brother, Fitzwilliam Darcy, and bring Wickham to justice.
In this novella length story, does Darcy marry Elizabeth? Does Colonel Fitzwilliam find the woman of his dreams? And what happens to the nefarious Mr. Wickham? Enjoy this alternate path to our favorite couple’s happily ever after.
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Chapter One – Caught
He had been sitting across from her for almost twenty minutes in silence; listening to the pendulum’s movement in the aged walnut mantle clock while watching her. He could feel the heat radiating from the stone fireplace, taking the edge off the chill of the late September day. It was his favorite room, his own personal refuge, in Netherfield Park.
They were each reading the same tome by Shakespeare — Hamlet. She was bewitching as she sat at the corner of the settee, periodically using the fingers on her right hand to twist a curly lock of hair around her index finger; round and around. The curl, the color of dark mahogany, had escaped the careful confines of her hairpins. He longed to run his hands through the rich thickness of her hair and he wondered how long it would be if it were all let loose. Would it reach to her waist or to what lingered below? He desired to help her put the curls back or to remove the rest of the pins.
Her small slippered foot occasionally tapped a few beats on the library floor in an intermittent rhythm. He had long since lost interest in the story and rested his book on his lap, not taking his eyes off her. As she read, her face reflected the emotions she was feeling; vacillating between anger, anticipation, and keen delight. It was Hamlet after all.
She chuckled. The tone of her voice was pleasing; playful. He was irresistibly drawn to the sound. He had read the book several times and never had he felt the need to chuckle. What had she discovered that I had not?
As enticing as he found her physical form, it was her intelligence — her wit that had permeated his heart like the London fog creeping through the neighborhoods until they were covered in a blanket of grey. She had bested him several times as they challenged each other in conversation. He wondered where she had learned the finer points of debate. His skills were developed with his father and honed as President of the debate team at Cambridge. Though she seemed unaware that this elevated her above the others gathered in the household, he knew. His heart bore witness, pounding so loudly that he feared she would be startled by the noise.
Over the past spring and summer, he had examined the offerings of the season and had found London society’s debutantes wanting. Their quickness to adjust their opinions to suit what they thought he desired was disgusting to him. Their inability to comment on something other than the weather, the gathering, the fashions, or the roads, frustrated him beyond measure. Each social occasion was cloaked in the sameness as the last. He had left London to assist his closest friend, Charles Bingley, in the leasing of an estate to escape that boring sameness. It was there that he had met her; in Hertfordshire.
He had not been kind to her that first night. His frustration with society, his disappointment that he had failed to prevent harm to his only sibling, Georgiana, and his irritation with the sister of his host, made him short-tempered and not the best of company at the local assembly. He had lashed out, saying unkind words that he quickly wished unspoken. Had she heard? He sincerely hoped that she had not. She had never spoken of such and had not treated him with unkindness, so he assumed she was unaware that he had proclaimed her “tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt him.” He was tempted! In fact, he had never before felt the intense pull of attraction that he felt for her. He could not sleep at night for thinking of her. His days were filled with wondering how she would react to the events of his life. The words he had spoken to Bingley during the assembly at Meryton had been a lie. Disguise of every sort was abhorrent to him. He felt the weight of shame for how he had spoken of someone so lovely.
He again focused all of his attention on her. Sunlight from the tall library window allowed sunbeams to move slowly across the floor, waking dust particles and inviting them to join in the dance. It placed the side of her face in shadow; the side where she twirled the curl.
The small hand holding the heavy book was strong, like the legs that carried her on her long walks about the countryside. His estate, Pemberley, would open a world of new trails and paths to her that she would delight to discover. His imagination easily placed her there, enjoying the end of summer and the early days of autumn. They would have the time to watch the colors of the leaves turn from verdant to rust from season to season – if she were there.
She was a small woman, petite in form, yet strength resonated from her; strength of character, strength of will, and strength of form. Her waist was so small that his large hands would easily circle it, should he ever have the opportunity. Her breasts were… he closed his eyes, trying to block the vision. I am a gentleman!
He inhaled deeply and resolved to clear his vision and calm his treacherous body. He knew that he had no right to examine her so closely. There was no arrangement, no courtship, and no engagement to allow him that type of freedom. With his elevated position in society there was little likelihood that there ever would be. Even though she was a gentleman’s daughter and he was a gentleman, where they should have been equals, their circles would never merge. He mourned that thought.
Opening his eyes, he focused on her lovely face. Her countenance was peaceful and serene, yet her face was alive with emotion. Her lips were full and red where she had tucked her bottom lip under her straight, white teeth; biting softly. He almost groaned aloud! Her nose was small and slightly turned up at the end, and her eyes… were looking right at him.