Thursday’s 300: Darcy’s Perfect Present #5

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Here’s another excerpt of my Christmas story! I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me about it!

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Fifteen minutes later, Darcy was waiting at the top of the staircase when Elizabeth appeared. He watched her warily, uncertain of her level of upset, but she seemed to be perfectly at ease. He bowed to her, extending his elbow for her to take.

“Miss Bennet.”

Smiling, Elizabeth curtseyed before tucking her hand in the crook of his elbow. “Thank you for walking with me, Mr. Darcy.”

“It is my pleasure. I am sorry your sister was so adamant about your speed and location.”

Sighing, Elizabeth replied, “Thank you, I am as well. However, she is very important to me, and so to please her, I shall endeavor to rein myself in. I do not know how I am supposed to regain my strength when I am so limited in what I may do, though. It is all rather vexing.”

“I can imagine.” Darcy fell silent as he and Elizabeth paced slowly down the hall and around the corner.

“We must have some conversation, Mr. Darcy. There is no need to dwell on what may or may not have upset me. Tell me, what think you of books?”

Elizabeth’s archly worded question, tilted head, and raised brow elicited a smile from her companion. Really, he thought, it is difficult to keep one’s expression under good regulation in her presence.

“I think very highly of them. The libraries in both my homes are filled almost to capacity; I am forever finding new tomes to add to the collections.”

“Do you have a favorite genre?”

“I enjoy all forms of writing, but my favorite is histories.”

“History is very interesting. I like to say I am nosy, because I love to read about how those who came before me lived. I am more interested in the day-to-day lives of everyday people than I am in wars and things.”

“One could say, then, that you prefer autobiographies?”

“I guess one could.” Elizabeth grinned. “I do enjoy all history, though. If we do not understand what happened in the past, we are doomed to repeat it, do you not agree?”

“I do agree. I try to impress that on my sister, though I fear it is a hopeless case. She dislikes history and prefers novels.” Darcy shuddered. “I insist on choosing them for her. I would not wish her to fill her head with too much nonsense.”

“That is a wise thing to do. My father has never censored my youngest two sisters’ reading; well, he has never censored any of us in our choice of reading material, but the eldest three of us at least have some common sense. Kitty and Lydia, on the other hand, are given to flights of fancy, and though they rarely pick up a book, when they do it is usually a novel. I believe they have read Udolpho three or four times now. Had they been forced towards less sensational tomes, they might be a little less flighty now.”

Not knowing what to say about that subject, Darcy elected to change the subject. “Do you play? I know Mrs. Bingley does not, though I recall that Miss Mary did at the wedding breakfast.”

“I do play, but not very well. I fudge and slur my way through as often as not.”

“Do you practice often?”

“Not as often as I should like, but Mary practices constantly, and it is not easy to find an opportunity to use the instrument. Here, though, I shall endeavor to practice every day, unless I am too tired.”

“Shall I hear you play some evening, then?”

“If you wish.” Elizabeth smiled up at him. He is so handsome, she thought.

“I do.” Darcy found himself becoming lost in her gaze. I want to make her smile every day.

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4 Replies to “Thursday’s 300: Darcy’s Perfect Present #5”

  1. Is Lizzy Darcy’s gift in this story, or it is something else. I have not been able to figure it out from the snippets you let us read. I am enjoying it, but cannot wait to read the whole thing.

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