And I finally bring you to THE turning point. A lot happens, who Lizzy will be is defined here and this was a chapter I re-wrote a couple of times. I particularly like this chapter.
As always, if you haven't already, read the story's front page before diving in. Tks.
The evil plan
Graham was more than happy to escort the two beautiful Bennett sisters from the airport to their hotel. In a long skirt and a floral jacket that complimented her light eyes and hair, Jane seemed more beautiful and angelical to him.
He invited them to a happy hour and as Jane was about to turn down the offer, Elizabeth accepted for both of them saying they needed a few drinks after the lousy flight with two aborted landings. She wasn’t aware of the private detective keeping Darcy under surveillance and was disheartened when he answered her text saying he unfortunately wouldn’t be able to accompany then but would call her later that evening.
Following Darcy’s instructions, Graham took them to the underground pub he used to go with his business partners and when they were laughing their way into the second drink, he arrived astounding Elizabeth.
‘You said you were not coming!’ She whispered delightedly in his ear as he leaned in to kiss her cheek. ‘Happy Birthday!’ She said aloud.
‘I wasn’t sure I’d be able to, Lily Bobtail.’ He whispered in her ear. ‘Congratulations for the outstanding result of your presentation, Lizzy!’ He said and moved to greet Jane the same way as Elizabeth laughed.
‘William!’ Graham clapped happily. ‘Help me: how many times did we watch Highlander?’
‘Before you got a Betamax copy of it?’ Darcy grinned taking a seat beside Graham and in front of the women. Immediately Lizzy touched his leg under the table with hers. He smiled and adjusted in his seat to lock her leg between both of his.
‘Betamax?’ Jane giggled. ‘I had completely forgotten it ever existed! Remember, Bebeh, we wanted one so bad but our dad only got us a videotape player years after it was cool.’
Elizabeth nodded. ‘A VHS he had to take to the local handyman to install a switch so we could choose between-‘
‘Pal-M and NTSC!’ Jane said with Elizabeth and they giggled.
‘Lydia always messed with it and we recorded whole movies without color.’ Jane smiled. ‘Elizabeth almost killed the baby every time it happened.’
‘Remember the Free South Africa concert?’ Elizabeth asked.
‘I do!’ Darcy raised a finger.
‘Oh, shut up!’ Elizabeth leaned in and poked his chest.
Darcy chuckled, held her hand and brought it to his lips for a kiss.
Jane frowned smiling; Graham didn’t need to follow her eyes to see she also had noticed the interaction. ‘We were there.’ He said to Jane. ‘My brothers, William and I.’
Jane nodded averting her eyes from the way the man who controlled her sister’s heart reverently looked at Elizabeth to Graham. ‘I know. We sent you two very bad vibes because of it.’
‘That’s not nice, ladies…’ Graham smiled sideways.
‘We watched that tape – half properly colored and half in greens and pinks – so much that we knew the sequence of the songs by heart.’ Elizabeth said.
Immediately she sat up straight and opened her arms in a wide circle in front of her. The men frowned; Jane giggled and did the same, her right arm over Elizabeth’s left and the two sisters recited. ‘This is my dance space; this is your dance space!’
As they giggled singing ‘The time of my life’ Darcy feasted his eyes watching Elizabeth laugh and smile. He had missed her these last weeks, especially on his birthday’s spiritless dinner. The year before, they had celebrated marvelously in bed, this year he only had a silly stuffed bunny for company.
Graham was enchanted by the sisters once again. When Darcy talked about Elizabeth, he only saw the practical side, rationalizing why a married woman would have an affair with a very wealthy married man. In person, he saw an enchanting beautiful woman enchanted with his cousin and who could be a very positive influence on Darcy, more than she had been so far. Jane, on the other hand, was quiet and skittish, but so beautiful. Her occasional discreet glances at him, her long limbs and slender body suggested delicious naughty moments to him.
They talked animatedly – mostly Elizabeth and Graham, while Jane and Darcy smiled and chuckled offering insights here and there, ordered a light meal and desserts so they could softly sing him ‘happy birthday’ with tiny candles the waiter produced.
When Graham convinced Jane to dance a particularly romantic song the live performer started, Darcy extended his hand over the table to hold Elizabeth’s. ‘We’re all set for Friday afternoon.’ He said in a smile.
‘Where are we going to celebrate your b-day?’ She frowned smiling sideways. ‘I can’t remember what you said about the place...’
“She’s so pretty.” Darcy thought. ‘I didn’t.’
‘Ah!...’ Elizabeth shook her head. ‘I don’t know, Fitz. All this mystery…’
He shook his head at her silly bait. ‘Friday.’
Two days away.
“…And the night through the thick and thin
Gotta fly, gotta see, can't believe…”