Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I’m so excited to have written more on this story!! Some of you may know that a bakery opened in my town and I’ve been going there a few days each week, and it’s been incredibly helpful. I’m getting back into a good routine after getting Darcy’s Caution published and my productivity has improved, which was my goal. <3
Anyway, this post is a few hundred words from Chapter 8. Remember that I’m only sharing excerpts of this story.
Did you know that for a monthly pledge of as little as $1 at Patreon, you can have early access to all my blog posts, including my Thursday ones? Patrons also get a free copy of each of my books once it is complete. AND, I’m writing a Patreon-exclusive Christmas story right now, as well.
Despite her promise, Elizabeth was denied her dance with Darcy.
“Lizzy, come here.” Mrs. Bennet grabbed her daughter’s arm and pulled her away from Jane. “That awful man is coming this way. He will ask you to dance and I will not allow it.”
“I do not wish to hear whatever it is you have to say.” Mrs. Bennet stopped and gripped Elizabeth’s arm more firmly. “He is accustomed to a far higher society than our own. We can be nothing to him and I intend it to stay that way.” She stepped forward again, tugging her daughter along with her. Seeing a local gentleman standing alone, she approached, Elizabeth in tow. “Good evening, Mr. ___. Delightful ball, is it not? Miss Bingley decorated with such splendor. We are honored to have such a one as she living in our little neighborhood.”
“Indeed, we are.” Mr. ___ sketched a bow as Mrs. Bennet and Elizabeth both curtseyed. “You Bennet ladies have grown even lovelier, you know. You, as well, Mrs. Bennet. I spotted Miss Bennet and Miss Mary when I arrived, but have not seen the others.”
“They are around somewhere. I gave them explicit instructions to stay with their father, but knowing him, he went off to the card room and left them alone. I might need to go hunt them down.” Mrs. Bennet smiled at ____. “Why are you not dancing, when so much beauty is before you?” She waved her hand toward the double line of dancers.
“I had promised this first dance to my sister, but someone else asked her, so I stepped back.” ___ eyed Elizabeth. “I could, however, be persuaded to dance this set if Miss Elizabeth were to grace me with her hand for it.”
“Why, she would be delighted! How kind of you!” Mrs. Bennet pushed Elizabeth toward ___, a gleeful smile on her face.
Elizabeth grunted as she attempted to regain her balance. She threw a wide-eyed look over her shoulder at her mother, but the lady pointedly ignored her, smiling widely at ___ before spinning around and hastening away. She turned and, knowing she could not be rude, decided to make the best of it. “Thank you. I would love to dance.”
On the other side of the room, Darcy was becoming increasingly frustrated. He had been waylaid by Miss Bingley early in the ball and had, out of a sense of obligation to his host, asked her to dance. He had spent the entire half-hour or so of the set listening to her complaining about the neighbours.
When the dances were over and Darcy returned Miss Bingley to her sister’s side, his progress toward Elizabeth’s location had been thwarted by several of Bingley’s friends from town, most of whom were joint acquaintances of his own. Finally extricating himself from those gentlemen, he located his betrothed and headed her direction … only for her mother to pull her away. When Darcy found her again, she was dancing with a local gentleman.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment for me! <3