This little excerpt is from the end of Chapter 9. The story has been moving right along the last couple of days, and while I can’t see it being completed tomorrow, there is hope for Saturday. 🙂
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Gardiner’s prediction was correct, and within a few short minutes, Elizabeth was warm and calm and ready to face Darcy’s relatives. Taking her hand and tucking it under his elbow, he escorted Elizabeth to the drawing room, her aunt and uncle following.
Elizabeth quickly took in the group of people rising from their seats at her entrance. There were an older couple in the center, rising from a sofa. To the left of them was a younger gentleman, probably a little older than Darcy. To the right was the familiar form of Colonel Fitzwilliam, and beside him, Mr. Bingley and his sister, and another couple.
Elizabeth listened as the eldest gentleman in the room asked for an introduction, and Darcy presented first the Gardiners and then Elizabeth. She curtseyed when her name was given, and rose from it to see the warm eyes of the elder couple looking at her. She self-consciously blushed and looked down.
Once the introductions were complete, Darcy escorted Elizabeth to a chair near his aunt.
“I am pleased to meet you, Miss Bennet. Darcy has told us so much about you.” Lady Matlock spoke in a cultured and proper voice, but there was a note to it that indicated the truth behind her words. She was indeed happy to meet the young lady who had turned her nephew’s head.
“I am happy to meet you, as well. I hope Mr. Darcy’s words about me were kind.” Elizabeth’s lips twitched as she glanced to her left at the man himself. Hearing Georgiana giggle from the other side of her brother, Elizabeth felt an answering chuckle rise within her and strove valiantly to suppress it. Her lips twitched with the effort.
Lady Matlock lifted her hand to cover her mouth, holding in her own laugh. Darcy was correct about this young woman. She is full of joy. He needs that; he is far too somber. Removing her hand once she had control of herself again, she assured Elizabeth of Darcy’s good opinion. “It was all good things, I assure you.” She paused, noting Elizabeth’s blush with approval. “Tell me about yourself. I have heard what my nephew has to say, but I should like to hear a first-hand account from you.”
“Oh,” Elizabeth cleared her throat. “I am the second of five daughters. My father’s estate was Longbourn in Hertfordshire. My parents and sisters died in a carriage accident, and I came to London to live with my aunt and uncle.”
“I am so sorry. I cannot imagine the pain that must cause you.”
“Thank you, my lady.”
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