Welcome back to Austen Promises!
I have skipped the proposal this week (it’s in the manuscript, but I’m not sharing the whole book this time, just parts of it.) Here you will read Darcy’s interview with Mr. Bennet. This is short, and is a rough draft. No editing has been completed as of yet, so please forgive errors. I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave me a comment! 😀
Darcy cleared his throat. “Sir, I met your lovely daughter, Miss Elizabeth, and the rest of your family several weeks ago. In the intervening time, I have discovered that she is the most delightful woman of my acquaintance. She told me that she informed you that I called on her?” Seeing Mr. Bennet nod, he continued. “Miss Elizabeth and I have discovered an affinity for each other. We enjoy many of the same activities, and have engaged in debates almost every time we have seen each other. I have fallen in love with her, and so I asked her to marry me. She has accepted me, so I am come to ask you for her hand.”
Bennet was impressed with the gentleman’s confidence, though it did border on arrogance. “Happily for you, Elizabeth has written of you frequently, and I am prepared for this.” He paused for a heartbeat, looking at his hands clasped on his belly, then breathed in and looked up. “You have my permission and my blessing. My brother has written of your circumstances and your affection for my daughter; I know you will take good care of her.”
“The best I can, sir. Thank you.” Rising, Darcy shook hands with his betrothed’s father. They spent the next hour discussing the settlement.
Upon leaving Longbourn, Darcy and Bingley rode to Netherfield, where Mr. Philips escorted them all through the house and the park. They examined the home from roof to basement, and finding nothing to alarm them and no visible problems outside, Bingley declared himself delighted with it. After a further hour in Meryton so that Bingley could sign the lease, they were back on the road to London.
Two days passed before Darcy was able to see Elizabeth again, though he did send her a note upon his arrival back in town from his trip to Meryton. In it, he assured her that they had received her father’s permission to marry, and that he had business to attend the following day but would arrive at the Gardiner’s in time to break his fast with her the day after that. While his betrothed was disappointed to have to wait to see him, she bore it philosophically; he was a gentleman, and often, gentlemen had business to which they must attend.
The morning of the second day brought Darcy to the Gardiner’s doorstep, just as he had promised. Elizabeth happily received both him and the information he shared that Mr. Bingley had signed a lease for Netherfield. Darcy’s friend would move into Netherfield in a fortnight, and Darcy was coming with him.
Two weeks later, the Darcy carriage came to a stop outside the Gardiner’s door. Darcy and Bingley, who had been riding behind on their favorite horses, dismounted, handing the reins to one of the grooms and knocking on the door. Within a quarter hour, the gentlemen were remounting, having handed Elizabeth and Jane into the luxurious coach. The ladies waved goodbye to their family as the equipage pulled away.
That afternoon, the group pulled into Longbourn’s driveway, stopping at the entrance to the large, well-kept home. Darcy was at the side of the carriage before the groom could descend, handing out his betrothed. Moving out of the way so his friend could assist Jane, Darcy tucked Elizabeth’s hand under his arm. Looking down at her, he smiled. “Are you ready?”
“To face my mother’s effusions? I am as ready for that as I possibly can be. Are you certain you will be able to face her with equanimity?”
“With you by my side, I can do anything.” Darcy winked at her before turning his attention to Longbourn’s front door, which had opened just then, allowing the Bennet sisters’ family to pour forth out of the house.
Copyright 2017 by the author
As always, I eagerly await your thoughts! Love it? Hate it?