Welcome back to Austen Promises!
Remember, this story is way off canon. Bingley never rented Netherfield, so never met Jane. Lizzy and Darcy never met …. until now. Lizzy is fifty years of age and Darcy is fifty-seven or fifty-eight. Neville is not Mary’s oldest child. <3
This is the last post from my first 3,000 or so words. Now I have to write more. <3
Post two is here.
Post three is here.
Post four is here.
Post five is here.
Post six is here.
Post seven is here.
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Darcy smiled. “My sister has three children, the viscount, a younger son, and a girl.”
Elizabeth tilted her head. “You have no brothers?”
“I am afraid not. I have only one sibling, and that is Georgiana. She is more than ten years my junior.”
“She is a countess?” Darcy nodded. “Yes. Her first season, she fell in love with Lord Lucas Frary, who was then Viscount Hucknall. His father died when Bertram was an infant. His seat is Ashfield.”
“Earl Ashfield … I have read of him in the papers. He has done much good for the country.”
“Yes, he is a very good sort of fellow. I grilled him when he came to ask for Georgiana’s hand, but he stood up to every test I put him through, and he has been an excellent husband to my sister.”
“If your father died when you were just coming of age and your mother was gone when your sister was a baby, you must have raised her.”
“I did. I made many mistakes, but in the end, she became a lovely and accomplished young lady with a heart of gold. She is very happy and it delights me to see my shy little sister become a leader in the ton.” Darcy lifted his chin, his eyes shining with pride.”
Elizabeth smiled. “I am certain she is every bit as proud of you as you are of her.”
The last notes of the music faded away and Darcy and Elizabeth stood across from each other, their gazes locked. He bowed and she curtseyed, then he approached. “May I call on you tomorrow? My nephew has rented a nearby estate, Netherfield. I understand it is not far from Meryton?”
“It is not.” Elizabeth’s smile grew wide. “It is even closer to Longbourn. Netherfield is our next door neighbor. I would be delighted if you called on me.”
Darcy’s grin lighted his face. He held out his elbow to her. “Thank you. I look forward to tomorrow. In the meantime, perhaps we could get some refreshments together.”
Elizabeth tucked her hand in his elbow once more. “I would like that, very much.”
Early the next morning, after Neville had returned Elizabeth to Longbourn and she had checked on her father, she left Bennet and his grandson in the book room and ascended the stairs to her bed chamber. Her maid, Hannah, was waiting for her and soon Elizabeth was in bed, her hair brushed and braided and her ball gown and underthings exchanged for a night shift. She blew out the candle by her bed and settled down under the covers, her mind filled with Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Elizabeth recalled every feature of his face, from the dark eyes and noble mien to the grey at his temples. His hair and body are that of a young man, still, she thought. Other than the lighter color at the temples, his hair is a rich black. And his form! So strong. His arm was quite muscular under my fingers. He was graceful, as well. She sighed and turned over. I have not been this excited about a gentleman in decades. I shall have to write Jane about him on the morrow.
Soon, Elizabeth was asleep, and for the first time in many years, she had a recurrence of a specific dream she had dreamt frequently in her youth; a dream of a handsome young man and a tender kiss.
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment below, if you like.