Thursday’s 300: A MUCH Later Meeting, Part 9

Welcome back to Austen Promises!

I’ve written about 1,000 more words on this story and I’m not done yet. 🙂 I’ve given you a few hundred of them.

You’ll find the first post here.

Post two is here.

Post three is here.

Post four is here.

Post five is here.

Post six is here.

Post seven is here.

Post eight is here.

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.

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Darcy woke, as was his wont, shortly after dawn. He stretched, then lay on his back with his fingers laced and his hands under his head. His mind was filled with the remnants of a dream he had not had in years. He grinned. His thoughts wandered to Miss Elizabeth Bennet. “She looks so much like the woman in my dream,” he murmured to himself. He recalled their dances and conversation, reliving every moment and marveling at the feelings of comfort and belonging that filled him in her presence. Finally, hearing his valet moving about in the dressing room, he sighed and rose to begin his day.

A short while later, Darcy wandered down the stairs to the breakfast room, intent on having a cup of coffee and a pastry before going for a ride. He had just settled into a chair at the table when Bertram strolled in, dressed in his riding clothes.

“Good morning, Uncle. Did you sleep well?”

Darcy smiled. “I did. The bed was comfortable and I was very tired.”

Bertram grinned over his shoulder. He began to speak as he looked back at the sideboard, selecting eggs, kippers, and toast for his plate. “The beds here are very nice.” He turned around, allowing his gaze to wander over the space, and then approached the table. Setting his plate next to Darcy’s, he sat, nodding to the footman who offered him coffee.

Darcy shook his head as he watched his nephew make short work of the pile of food. “I see you still have a hollow leg.” His eyes twinkled as he lifted his cup and sipped.

Bertram grinned. “So it seems.” He shrugged. “The amount of food served last night was small and inadequate. I suppose I could have sent down for some meat and cheese when we arrived home last night, but I did not wish to put the cook to any trouble.”

“That was thoughtful of you.” Darcy rose to return to the sideboard and choose something else to eat. “Your mother would be proud of you.”

Bertram grinned. “Be sure to tell her, will you? She needs to hear from more than me that I am well behaved.”

Darcy rolled his eyes. “Scamp,” he muttered, just loud enough for Bertram to hear. With his plate now full of ham and eggs, he turned back and resumed his place. “I thought to go riding after breakfast. Care to join me?”

Bertram swallowed. “I would. Have you plans for the afternoon?” He pushed back his plate and sipped his coffee, his eyes on his uncle.

“As a matter of fact, I do.” Darcy stabbed a piece of ham with his fork and lifted it. “I intend to visit Longbourn today.” He stuffed the meat in his mouth and chewed, watching his nephew’s brows lift.

“Longbourn?”

Darcy swallowed. “Yes, Longbourn. Your friend’s aunt lives there.”

Bertram lowered his cup, his eyes glued to Darcy’s face. “You are calling on Dalrymple’s aunt?” He whistled. “You have never called on a woman before.”

Darcy shrugged, his mouth full of food. He finished chewing, swallowed, and wiped his lips. “I have never met a lady as fascinating as Miss Bennet before.”

Bertram stared at Darcy. He slowly nodded. “Yes, I can see that. Shall I write to Mama about it, or would you rather I wait?”

“How about you not mention it at all, ever?” Darcy frowned and pointed his fork at his nephew. “It is none of my sister’s business, and if there is news, I will tell her.”

Bertram lifted his hands and leaned back. “Very well, I will keep it to myself. You can put away that Darcy glare.”

Darcy glowered at Bertram a little longer, just to make his point clear. Then, stabbing the remainder of his meal, he quickly ate it and washed it down with coffee. He stood. “Are you ready yet?”

The story continues here.

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