Hi everyone! I started writing a new P&P variation this summer. Yes, it’s all about Darcy and Elizabeth, and it is set in canon! I hope you’ll read this excerpt and let me know what you think!!!
The premise to this story is simple: after Bingley’s defection, Jane gives up not just on Bingley, but on ever marrying at all. Elizabeth realizes it will be up to her to save the family from the hedgerows, and Darcy chooses this auspicious moment to propose. Elizabeth accepts, but she has deeply conflicting feelings about marrying a man for his money. I hope you like angst, because this story is going to have plenty!!!
The scene below takes place during their engagement.
A pattern was set in the first few days after Elizabeth’s engagement to Darcy was confirmed. Elizabeth and Mrs. Bennet went over wedding plans in the mornings, writing out invitations, meeting with vendors, and generally arranging everything that must be arranged when a wedding will be held in only a month’s time. Mrs. Bennet blessed herself multiple times each day and had to call for the smelling salts more than once, but the preparations went steadily forward. Elizabeth was grateful that Darcy was not present to hear most of her mother’s exclamations during this time.
Darcy did not make an appearance until after noon each day, when Mrs. Bennet was more likely to be out calling on her neighbors and Mary, Kitty and Lydia could probably be found in Meryton. Whenever Elizabeth heard his firm step in the entry, she put her chores aside to give him as much attention as she could. It occurred to her that one way to convince Darcy that she was eager to marry him was to show excitement by including him in the planning as much as possible, so she shared details of the attendants, the announcements, and even the flowers. Darcy did not say much in response but she could tell that he was satisfied with the progress being made, and that he was looking forward to the day when he could call her his wife.
Darcy had his own way of showing his feelings about their upcoming union. Elizabeth wondered how many messengers he kept coming and going from the inn at Meryton, where he was staying until their wedding, for nearly every afternoon he had new gifts for her: books, a new set of pens and stationery, ornate fans that could only be purchased in town, and various small items. Other items were not so small. One afternoon he presented her with an amethyst brooch in a setting of gold, a piece of jewelry so fine and so costly that it nearly took her breath away. He insisted on fastening it around her neck himself and then stood her in front of the mirror in the sitting room so that she could see herself in it.
Darcy’s fingers lingered on her neck as she stood staring and wondering at the bright gem, amazed and a little overwhelmed by the expensive gift. “You did not have to do this, Fitzwilliam,” she finally said. Darcy had begun to insist that she address him by his given name when they were alone together.
“I wanted to. I gave my jeweler in town strict instructions for exactly what I wanted even before you accepted my hand. I told you that your ring is only the first of many items you can expect, and I am a man of my word. You will please me if you wear it as often as possible.”
“But it is too much! What if I damage it, or lose it?” She traced the links of gold against her skin, dismayed at the thought of being responsible for such an expensive item.
“Then we will replace it.” Darcy put his hands on her shoulders, smiling at her in the mirror. “Fear not, Elizabeth; though you are marrying a rich man, I know you did not accept me for my wealth. If money was your desire, you would have pursued me when we first met. But now I intend to spoil you with every luxury and finery you have ever wanted in life. I want everyone to see how beautiful and lovely you are for themselves.”
The guilt that had been a distant sensation now took on a distinct weight. She sought to deflect it with humor, saying, half-jokingly, “Your wealth may have made it difficult to turn you down, you know.”
“Few women can marry without some attention to money.” Darcy shrugged off her comment, his eyes in the mirror still shining brilliantly. “As happy as you are now, my dearest Elizabeth, it is only a taste of how happy I intend to make you as my wife.”
Of course, Darcy will eventually discover her true motives, and Elizabeth will eventually discover that she is not as indifferent as she thinks. Hang on, this is going to be a bumpy ride! Look for it to start being posted online in December! In the meantime I hope you will leave comments below. Thank you!