Welcome back to Austen Promises!
This is a very different variation. Darcy and Lizzy never met as per canon. Bingley never leased Netherfield. Wickham never came to Hertfordshire. Lydia eloped, for real, but with someone else. Please pay close attention to the date at the beginning, so you can figure out the ages of the characters. Details about the canon characters will emerge slowly over time, so again, pay attention from week to week.
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Bennet chuckled. “Indeed.” He patted Elizabeth’s hand, where it rested on his shoulder. “I am happy she did. Even a nephew is better than none. You enjoy yourself tonight. Do not sit there worrying about me. I have the Cowers if I need anything.”
“Promise me you will not give that sweet woman a hard time.”
With a wink and a grin, Bennet replied. “Would I do that?” When Elizabeth rolled her eyes, he patted her hand again. “I will do my best. Go, now, and tell young Neville I expect him to pay his respects when he drops you off in the morning.”
“I will.” Elizabeth kissed Bennet’s cheek again, then took a moment to straighten the blanket over his shoulders. “I will see you later. I love you.” With another sweeping, sharp-eyed glance over the contents of the room, she walked to the door and out, closing it behind her.
Neville must have heard the book room door shut, because Elizabeth was only halfway across the entry hall when he popped his head out of the drawing room. “There you are, Aunt Lizzy. Is Grandpapa well?”
Elizabeth accepted a kiss to the cheek from her sister’s youngest child. “He is. He said to tell you he expects a visit when you drop me off after the ball.”
“I knew I could not sneak in here and back out without him noticing. Sharp as a tack he is, despite his age. He likely intends to demand the shilling I owe him.”
“You and your grandfather are gambling again?” Elizabeth’s left brow rose.
Neville blushed. “He bet me I couldn’t recite a section of Virgil’s Aeneid in Latin. I couldn’t.”
Elizabeth grinned and rolled her eyes. “I am surprised you allowed him to goad you into that.”
With a sheepish grin and a laugh, Neville agreed. He took Elizabeth’s shawl and draped it over her shoulders. “Shall we go? Mama will wonder what is taking so long.”
The story continues here.
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