Thursday’s 300: A MUCH Later Meeting, Part 11

Welcome back to Austen Promises!

Today, Darcy meets Mr. Bennet. This is the last of what I had written, and I must now write more. 😀

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.

Post nine is here.

Post ten is here.

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With a grin, Elizabeth began walking, leading Darcy across the entry hall and just past the staircase. She knocked on a closed door and waited. “Papa?”

“Enter.” Darcy could barely hear the response from inside the room, but Elizabeth clearly did, immediately pressing the latch and pushing the door open.

“Papa, I have someone I wish you to meet.” Elizabeth looked over her shoulder and gestured to Darcy to enter behind her. When he was standing at her side, she looked at Bennet. “Papa, this is Mr. Darcy. He expressed a desire to be introduced to you. I met him at the assembly last night.”

Bennet lowered the book in his hand to the desk in front of him. “Did he now? Well, bring him in. Is this the gentleman young Neville was telling me about? The stranger that danced with you?”

“He is, and I will have to speak to Neville about gossiping, for that is all it is when he speaks to you about my business, you know.” Elizabeth led Darcy to stand before the desk.

“Will you take away all my fun, then?” Bennet clucked his tongue. “First you want me to stop teasing the housekeeper and now you accuse me of teaching my grandson to gossip. Soon there will be nothing left for me to entertain myself with.” He laughed when Elizabeth’s fists landed on her hips. “I will stop vexing you, for now.” He winked, then turned his attention to his guest. “Forgive me for not standing, young man. At my age, I find I must limit the times I do, lest I become permanently bruised.” He rubbed his arm. “The floor is quite hard.”

Darcy bowed, his lips quirking up on one side. “Think nothing of it, sir.”

“Papa, this is Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire.” Elizabeth turned to Darcy. “Mr. Darcy, this is my father, Mr. Thomas Bennet.”

Bennet extended a hand to the younger man. “Welcome to Longbourn. I am pleased to meet you.”

“Likewise. You have a lovely home.” “And a lovely daughter, as well, I suspect.” Bennet chuckled when both Darcy and Elizabeth blushed.

“Papa!” Elizabeth rolled her eyes and shook her head. “Please forgive him, Mr. Darcy. He has become incorrigible in his old age.”

Darcy laughed. “I am not offended. I have every intention of being just as mischievous when I am his age.”

Bennet joined in Darcy’s laughter. “I like your young man, Lizzy.” He addressed Darcy. “Have you time to visit a while?”

“Unfortunately, I do not. I was just going to take a walk in the gardens with Miss Bennet before I leave.” Darcy’s words were tinged with regret.

“Consider yourself invited back to Longbourn. If Lizzy has no wish to see you, you can sit in here with me and discuss manly things instead of lace and finery.” Bennet winked.

“Thank you. I look forward to the next time.” Darcy grinned and bowed.

“Good, good.” Bennet waved a hand toward the door. “Get on with you, then, and walk with my girl. She has not had a decent suitor in years. She needs the practice.”

Elizabeth rolled her eyes again but said nothing. Instead, she straightened her father’s bed, poured him a fresh glass of port, and wrapped an extra blanket around him. “I will be back shortly. I love you.” She kissed his head before strolling around the desk and taking Darcy’s offered arm.

The story continues here.

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