Welcome back to Austen Promises!
This 400 words or so is the very beginning (for now, anyway) of a Christmas-themed novella. I will likely post in excerpts again, like I did for Caroline’s Censure. I’d love to hear what you think, so feel free to leave comments!
“Darcy, what are you doing here?” Charles Bingley was shocked to see his friend enter Netherfield’s front door, brushing snow off his sleeves.
“I came to celebrate the Christmas holiday with you. You said I was welcome at any time.” Fitzwilliam Darcy’s surprise was clear in his face and voice.
“You are! I was not expecting you, is all. Come in, come in!” Bingley waited impatiently for Darcy to hand his greatcoat, hat, and gloves to the housekeeper. “How were the roads?”
“Not bad for most of the trip. Once it started snowing, though, they quickly became treacherous. I am glad we were so close to our destination when it began; we might have become stranded had we been required to travel much further.”
“Yes, it has steadily gotten worse out there. Come into the drawing room and warm up. Jane ordered tea a little bit ago; it ought to be served by now.”
Darcy followed his friend down the hall and into a brightly lit room radiating warmth. Chilled to the bone, he was relieved that his friend was not stingy with the fire. He greatly desired to stand near it and warm himself, but his ingrained manners forced him to greet Bingley’s wife. He bowed to her as she curtseyed.
“Mrs. Bingley, I hope you are well?”
Jane Bingley smiled gently. “I am, thank you. And you?”
“Very well. I am happy to be here with my friends.”
“We are glad to have you. Your sister did not come?”
“No, Georgiana is visiting a friend from school. She will return to town after Twelfth Night. She is growing up and becoming independent.”
Bingley noticed Darcy’s slight melancholy. “That must be difficult for you. You have been her father figure for so long, and it has been just the two of you.”
Darcy nodded at the truth of the words. His emotions had suddenly risen and, not wishing to expose them for all to see, did not trust his voice to speak.
“Ah, Jane, here is the tea. Darcy, sit in the chair closest to the fire. I will bring your cup to you.”
Darcy did as Bingley bid. As he observed the couple, he reflected on his friend’s good fortune in finding an elegant and graceful wife. They had been married just a month, after a brief courtship. Mrs. Bingley did not have much of a fortune, but Darcy could see the love in her eyes for his friend.
Darcy had attended the wedding, meeting Jane’s parents and most of her sisters. He remembered there being one sister that was missing. He did not remember the reason, though he was sure it had been explained to him.
Suddenly the door opened, and Darcy rose to his feet.
I’d love to hear what you think! Please consider leaving me a comment! 🙂