domingo, 27 de março de 2016

Regency love fairy tale - Part 2

hello,
happy Easter!
May The Lord bring us joy in new beginnings. Amen.

For this Darcy and Lizzy, life is full of possibilities and blue skies ahead.

The lovely love story continues.

Enjoy!



Love in acts

2nd act

ECLIPSE OF THE HEART

angst, rated M, short, P&P, Alternate Universe
Part 1


Part 2 -

Meet her again, the idea was always looping in his head. He wanted to meet her again.

A night at the theater seemed to be a perfect occasion to casually meet those fine eyes again, also the privacy of their box might persuade Georgiana to let her curiosity guide her. Although she was in London with him, she refused to leave Darcy house even for a stroll at the park. Her being still a recluse killed him inside for in truth, he would forever blame himself for not arriving at Ramsgate in time to prevent her falling.

Georgiana needed years to somewhat recompose after the disastrous events of her Ramsgate stay and since that awful summer Darcy had been partial to a quiet life at Pemberley among few and close friends. Bingley did include in those, but he was frequently surrounded by his social climber sisters and that society was what Darcy avoided more than everything. He continuously refused his friend’s invitation but Bingley still made an effort to include Darcy in social events. Now Darcy had a good reason to comply.

 ‘Are you sure, sister?’

‘Yes. You go and enjoy your night.’

‘You could meet her…’

Georgiana Darcy smiled sadly; he really was the best brother one could have. ‘I know merely you want to cheer me, for you have no real inclination towards Mr. Bingley’s spinster sister, brother. You could not have, be serious.’

‘Why is that, pray tell me, miss?’ He frowned.

‘You can marry the most eligible debutante of the season if you so wish, in spite of my evil.’ She raised a hand so he would let her finish. ‘Your money can overcome my past, and any young lady would pick you once the Dukes and Earls of the season are taken. I’m to be easily ignored in Pemberley dowager’s house. Maybe you’d raise more interest than a Viscount.’ She shrugged. ‘Why would you waste time with an old woman of little consequence?’

Why indeed? He twisted his mouth to a side. ‘Those reasons so eloquently exposed explain why I am not wedded.’

Although grateful for her brother’s choice in life, Georgiana shook her head.

‘I bid you good night, then.’ He leaned forward and kissed the top of her head as she kept seated in the parlor.


Only during the first intermission Elizabeth could leave their box and walk the theater. They had been caught in the long line of carriages and entered the theater in the nick of time. Eager for refreshments, she took Bingley’s offered arm as Ben offered his to Jane. Sharing Bingley with his blood sister Caroline Foxton was a nuisance for the woman was snotty and a big gossip but once in society one had to endure such tasks.

By the refreshment table, she was surprised by Vaughn Clarence, the Third Earl of Brakenbury crossing the room to offer her a glass of Limoncello, the liqueur of the pre-season. She smiled shaking her head and blushed.

‘Allow me, fair lady, to offer you the refreshment come from Heavens.’

‘My Lord.’ She curtsied and when she raised her head, he was bowing low. She immediately curtsied lower and he bowed as if she were the Queen and Elizabeth lowered as if he were the King. Aside from their chuckles, only his wife’s were heard for the rest of the surrounding crowd was in surprised silence.

‘Madam, take the liqueur before I spill it all, please.’

She took it and sipped very gingerly. ‘Perfect! Only you could have discovered such a delicacy, my Lord.’

‘We brought from home.’ He confided in Elizabeth and nodded to his wife who was busy conversing with a dashing gentleman of their party. ‘It’s only for our most dear friends.’

‘Clarence, do you think your love for attention will someday lead you to the stage?’ She raised one eyebrow at him.

‘No.’ He sighed. ‘But I’d love to play auctioneer for Ben. Did you talk to him?’

‘Yes, he is still adamant that he’d rather have your money from the audience.’

‘Devil take that lad.’

‘Hey!’

‘Here he is. Ben!’ The Earl called out catching not only the young Bennett’s attention, but also another gentleman’s who was discreetly searching for Elizabeth. ‘Bennett!’ He smiled, Elizabeth groaned. ‘Ben, how do you like this amazing play, my lad?’

‘Good evening, my Lord. I had the most peaceful slumber just now.’ The men chuckled, Elizabeth shook her head.

‘I was just asking your lovely sister if she talked to you about my deepest desire of hosting one of your auctions.’

‘It would be an honor to sell your treasures, sir.’ Ben sidestepped the question.

‘One day, when I decide to renovate my family’s ancient house, I’ll be sure to call you, Ben. But I meant…’

Elizabeth let her eyes wander in the crowded room and noticed the handsome gentleman from almost two weeks earlier, Mr. Darcy, standing awkwardly at a corner holding a glass of port and looking very grim. She frowned and wondered why one would come to a theater to feel that way when suddenly she realized Caroline near him joining heads with other spiteful women.

Impetuously, she walked their way and had a frightful chill run down her spine when she heard them speak of the silly girl who gave in to a cad. ‘A landed gentleman’s daughter falling for a handsome man’s sweet words, how silly! Every girl is warned against low life cads from the cradle, only the stupid ones are prey.’ 

Elizabeth swallowed trying to keep her face blank and the smile on her lips.

‘Oh, Eliza. You come from a small society, pray tell me how many silly girls have you heard of falling for a cad.’

‘None.’

The gossiping women changed the sneers on their faces to curiosity. ‘Of course you must have, Eliza.’ Caroline snorted feeling her cheeks warm. ‘It happens all the time.’

‘Has it happened to you?’

‘No!’ Caroline was appalled.

‘You were not landed, I apologize.’ Elizabeth blinked almost losing the battle against her panic. ‘But we’re bound to be romantic when young, don’t we?  I saw naïve girls in love, also men taken away by business and broken hearts.’

Darcy held his breath keeping his eyes on the other side of the room. He knew Bingley’s sisters were among the social climbers who took pleasure in the falling of the ones above them, either one or the other had already carelessly let him overhear them speaking of Georgiana. Masochistically he heard the gossiping telling himself it was better to know what was still said about his sister’s mishap over twelve years before and while he stood paralyzed hearing the ugly rude women talk about his fall as if it had happened the previous season, an unknown woman came to his rescue.

‘You cannot be so naïve, Eliza!’ One of the women chuckled.

‘Why not? It happens, I can almost bet something of the like happened to you too…’ She raised one eyebrow smiling sideways. ‘Have you never been infatuated? How sad!’

The women blushed and sputtered. ‘That’s not what I meant; I was talking about a grand-daughter of an Earl falling prey of-’

‘Pray, Caroline, the Earl is right there!’ The relief made her heart thump close to her ears, Elizabeth even felt a little dizzy realizing she wasn’t defending herself but someone else. ‘Don’t let him overhear you talking evil about any grand-daughter he might have! His daughter is but twelve!’

Caroline and her friends turned their heads sharply towards the Earl who was still trying to convince Ben to hire his services and the motion called his attention. He raised one eyebrow to Elizabeth, she sighed and averted her eyes to the women shaking her head almost imperceptibly, a funny little smile on her lips and he understood she was making fun of them. Ben also realized her intention and both men walked to her side. The women sucked in their breaths with the imminent proximity of the Earl of Brakenbury himself and as Elizabeth stifled her mirth, her eyes wandered around the room because once Clarence arrived close, she knew it would be virtually impossible to keep a straight face around her old friend.

Her fine dark eyes met Darcy’s and she was surprised by the intensity of his expression. Was it gratitude she found in his penetrating gaze? Sympathy? Awareness? Did he know anything about her past? To this day, thirteen years after Jane’s marriage, she wasn’t even sure Bingley suspected Ben wasn’t really their brother…

Their silent communication lasted for innumerable seconds, enough for her to feel heat behind her ears, her breath caught and she parted her lips, he looked down before raising his gaze to the end of the hall. Not one second later he was gone.

During the second act of the play, she discreetly searched the seats but didn’t find him. If asked; she wouldn’t be able to tell many details of what the actors said or did. As they rose to leave the theater at the end of the play, she found herself face to face with him.  He had a box, as Bingley had, directly in front of them; hidden in the dark, he was not seen but could see directly into theirs.

Again her ears heated.

---

‘Come on, Ashton.’ Elizabeth smiled. ‘It will not kill you to take a stroll in the Park!’

‘Oh, miss Elizabeth…’ The maid whined miserably. ‘I was not made for strolling.’

Laughing, Elizabeth swung her arms about her and raised her face to the sun happily, satisfied with the good safe life she had built. The business she had with Ben empowered her, the search of precious items to auction was a delight, an activity she undoubtedly liked so much because the need to hide their real connection was not the most important aspect.

‘Ma’am?’ The maid frowned but Elizabeth didn’t see because her eyes were kept closed.

‘Yes?...’

‘Good morning, Miss Bennett.’

She halted blinking as her eyes tried to adapt to the light, the imposing figure of a big man in front of them. ‘Good morning…’

‘Darcy.’ He pressed an apologetic smile bowing slightly and holding the brim of his hat, he had hoped she remembered him. ‘The name is Fitzwilliam Darcy.’

‘Oh, I know, Mr. Darcy. My brother’s school friend.’ She curtsied, her stomach burned. It had been years when she last heard the name: Fitzwilliam.

He nodded, a bit relieved. ‘May I accompany you on your stroll?’

The maid sighed happily.

‘No need, sir. Ashton loves the exercise, don’t you, dear?’ Elizabeth asked mischievously and the maid whined miserably.

He chuckled. ‘I see.’ Her eyes were indeed bewitching, especially with her cheeks flushed from the sun and mirth adorning her face. ‘Well, if she prefers to sit and rest for-’

‘I do, sir.’ Ashton hurried to say. ‘I can wait for Madam here.’ She pointed at a shaded spot near them.

Elizabeth shook her head but took his arm when he offered it fighting the silly notion that she needed to keep distant from him simply because of his given name. The lane was packed of morning strollers, fashionable ladies guiding or being pulled by their small dogs, children with their nannies, flowers coloring the park. After a few moments walking in silence, she looked at up at him and found him looking down at her. ‘You shouldn’t have indulged my maid, sir.’

He smiled, not sure why, just because the mirth in her eyes and expression was so enjoyable. ‘Did I, miss?’ Her bonnet could be a little smaller, he thought; he’d like to see more of her face when she was not looking directly at him.

‘Yes.’ She smiled bigger. ‘She is a bit lazy, I fear. Excellent lady’s maid, but anything outside the house tires her excessively! Even a visit to a modiste.’

‘I can imagine she was not fooled by this, even a man uninterested in fashion as I know there aren’t many modistes in Hyde Park.’

She laughed. ‘A stroll here is my reward for a morning of pinching and prodding.’ He chuckled. ‘I usually have long walks every morning when we’re staying at Longborn.’

‘Your brother’s estate?’

She nodded tilting her face up to the sun.

‘Your maid acts as your guide as you walk with your eyes closed?’

‘No!’ She giggled. ‘I go alone most of the time, and there are spots I like best so that’s where I stop to let the sun warm me. I’m counting on your protection to keep my eyes closed here.’ She twisted her face to him and half opened one eye.

‘By all means, madam, you are completely safe.’

‘That’s what I hoped.’ She pressed a sassy smile.

He returned the smile and they walked in silence for a while. Darcy took diligent care of her guiding, shielding her from small dogs escaping their owners or children and their toys. ‘I believe I have to thank you for your protection, actually.’ She frowned, he raised his brows. ‘At the theater, two nights ago.’

She tilted her head still frowning. ‘Ah, Caroline Foxton and her friends?’ He nodded, she tried to understand what he meant and slowly a faded memory came to her. Some years before she had been visiting Jane’s new home when a juicy gossip of a fallen girl filled the rooms. She had paid little attention because it made her terribly upset. Could he be related to any fallen lady? ‘Why, sir?’

‘I believe she was trying to hurt me.’

‘Sour grapes?’ She raised a corner of her lips while pouting. He loved the sassy expression of disdain and defiance at the same time. ‘You slighted her in the past and Caroline resents you? Or maybe she overheard you calling her a spinster… I know she married well past her five and twenty.’

He closed his eyes, his cheeks coloring. ‘I apologize completely, madam. You know Bingley; he can be very irritating when he tries to be lively.’

She chuckled. ‘He does!’

‘And you really don’t look one day older than four and twenty.’

‘You are so very kind.’ She pressed the crook of his arm where she held him. ‘It’s plain to see I’m seven and twenty.’

He chuckled. ‘You are the most handsome seven and twenty I have ever seen.’

‘Oh!’ She blushed. ‘I thank you; I suppose this was a compliment.’

‘The most sincere I can bestow without uttering any other silliness.’

She smiled and again was caught in the depth of his stare. ‘Why such a kind gentleman is alone at the Park? There should be a lady adorning your arm, sir.’

‘There is.’

Without any reaction witty enough to let out, she looked away as they walked slowly.

‘My sister was supposed to meet me at the gate, but she changed her mind.’ He finally said. ‘I had business with my solicitor before coming here; when I arrived I found her maid with a note.’ He reached his waistcoat’s pocket and handed Elizabeth a small note. ‘I saw you entering soon after.’

‘I’m sorry. I can’t do it, brother.’

‘Such a handsome penmanship.’ Elizabeth said returning him the note.

‘It fits her.’

‘A handsome young lady? Shy?’

‘A handsome lady of nine and twenty, unmarried.’ He said hoping his slight indiscretion would give her enough information.

She bit her lip and thought that it must be her, then, the fallen grand-daughter of an Earl. ‘There’s too much sun today. She is probably fearing freckles.’

He smiled at her kindness. ‘You don’t.’

She shrugged. ‘Already have enough, and my bonnet hides me well. I like the sun too much to miss an opportunity to enjoy it.’ Then she bit her lip. It hadn’t been her intention, but she believed she had given him subtle hints of her own sad past. ‘Maybe we should return. Ashton will worry.’

‘Of course.’ He took the first lane to their right and started to return.

Unease with her supposed admittance of guilt, she searched her mind for any conversation that could distract him. ‘Fitzwilliam is not a common name. Is it?’

‘It came from mother’s side, her maiden name.’

‘Ah.’ She nodded and looked the other way.

Silence fell heavily yet comfortably around them.

Wings


‘Did you get all the boxes?’

‘Yes, Miss.’

‘The larger one with the new bonnet? I don’t see it here.’

‘Under the smaller ones, miss, attached to the handle.’ The coachman pointed lazily.

Ashton nodded. ‘Good. Very well.’ She looked around them. ‘I wish Miss Elizabeth didn’t care so much for exposing her skin to the sun. She’ll have rosy cheeks for days!’

‘I reckon the lady looks fetching with her cheeks rosy.’

Ashton turned sharply to the coachman and frowned shaking her head. Of course he had an opinion, he usually drove Miss Elizabeth and helped her in and out of the carriage countless times, have been close enough to smell her perfume and admire her figure.

Miss Elizabeth was indeed a handsome lady; her age didn’t add a thing to her figure. Ashton knew, had seen her undressed countless times since she had started to work for the lady three years prior. She had an elegant slender air, strong legs from daily walks, toned arms from not shying from work around the house claiming to hate to be idle, a lovely shade of dark blonde hair she liked to braid herself at night, thin body almost devoid of belly, round breasts and a modest gap right at the junction of her tights. Ashton lusted for the male body, but she actually felt a little envious of her mistress’ fine figure.

She was also lively and good humored, clever and smart. Of course men admired her, the old man from the previous year even offered to bribe Ashton to pass information on Miss Elizabeth’s routine. At the time, fearing some kind of ill-intentioned act, Ashton had declined the offer and was really relieved when Mr. Bennett refused the man’s courtship to his sister.

A giggle escaped Ashton’s throat and the coachman looked at her sideways. ‘Wait right here, sir. I’ll go wait for her inside the park.’

It was too warm to be outside, it would be so much nicer to be in their quarters enjoying marmalade jam with scones, but oh, why did Miss Bennett want to walk from the modiste all the way to the park and more! Stroll with a gentleman who thought she didn’t remember him… Oh, good Lord.

‘Ah!’ Ashton smiled and walked briskly to the shaded spot she was supposed to be waiting at. ‘There comes the mistress with the gentleman… My, my, what a handsome couple they make, I’ll say!...’

---
‘Maybe-’ Elizabeth tried and stopped.

‘Yes?’ Darcy asked distractedly, content.

She nervously fidgeted with the sewing on the end of her gloves’ fingers trying to understand why playing with fire seemed so beguiling. He blinked and waited. She looked the other way for a few instants. ‘Maybe your sister could be persuaded to attend the Venetian garden ball, next week.’ Elizabeth said, her voice faltering. ‘Lord Brakenbury is an old friend; I’ve been to enough of his events to know discretion is the utmost of his qualities. The garden will be poorly lit yet proper enough for his guests to enjoy the summer night.’ She bit her lip, he nodded with eyes hooded and again she couldn’t identify the expression they communicated: kindness, perhaps gratitude. ‘And his fireworks are a famous spectacle of grandeur.’

‘Yes, I know.’

‘Have you received an invitation? I could-’

‘I have.’

She nodded and looked away to the shaded spot where Ashton waited fanning her face. ‘I hope you didn’t refuse it just yet, I mean-’

‘I didn’t.’

‘Would you consider talking to your sister?...’

‘Georgiana.’

‘Miss Georgiana?’

‘Yes.’ He stopped close to her maid and taking her hand from his arm, bent to place a kiss on her gloved knuckles. ‘Can I offer you ladies a ride home?’

‘The curricle is waiting for us at the gate; I’ve been there but a moment ago, ma’am.’ Ashton pointed to where they could see a set of carriages waiting their masters, not fifty steps away.

He nodded, his eyes focused on Elizabeth’s face. ‘I will see you in a few days, madam.’ He bowed to her maid and took his leave.

tumblr

Love, love, love, love: love

Different  FONT sizes, I know. 
Who doesn't hate when that happens?
*sigh*

continue

update:

a revised & unabridged version of this story will be available in Kindle, ebook and brochure from Jan 25th, 17.

sexta-feira, 18 de março de 2016

Regency love fairy tale - Part 1

hello,
Perfect storm hitting Brazil these days, no sign of sunny skies for us. Shitty government, Nixon-like scandals, threatens of Bolivarian revolutions... Not easy to be Brazilian lately.

I can only find shelter in Darcy and Lizzy. Shall we?

So, from the prologue you know their fates have played with their hearts and this story is about their reactions to life. Settle down and accept or fight? It properly starts here.

Enjoy!



Love in acts

2nd act

ECLIPSE OF THE HEART

angst, rated M, short, P&P, Alternate Universe
Prologue

Part 1 -

‘This one is going to be a huge success, Lesley.’

‘The devil, Lizzy! Don’t call me Lesley!’

She turned from the half opened door sharply and stared at the beautiful young man with a quizzical expression. He gave her a deep frown. She sighed and nodded. ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Bennett, sir.’

‘Ma-’ He pressed the bridge of his nose and straightened his spine. ‘My Lizzy.’ He looked around him but they were alone. ‘Mama, please, call me ‘Ben’, ‘Ben’.’

‘And you call me Lizzy.’ She raised her delicate index finger. ‘Careful is our middle name, lad.’

‘Urgh.’ He groaned. ‘Lad.’

‘Mr. Bennett, sir, we can start.’ The auctioneer said quietly arriving close to them.

‘Very well. Let’s do it.’

Elizabeth admired his broad shoulders, his perfect posture, adjusted his cravat so well tied by his fancy valet and raised on her toes to whisper ‘Good luck, dear’ in his ear. He pressed a tense half smile and his fine eyes asked her if she would stay in the audience as she always did, since the first auction he conducted two years before. She would, always and forever.

He had so much of her late father, a little of his own and a lot from the dashing Duke he was named after. For her, he had attitude and courage, a regal air only very deeply loved children could grow on their backs. And ‘Lesley’ Bennett, or Ben as he much preferred, had been deeply loved by his grandparents he called mama and papa, his mother he called ‘my Lizzy’ because ‘mama’ threatened to escape his lips so very often and by his four aunts he called sisters.

He escorted Elizabeth to the seating room where a good part of the rich and influent members of the ton who were already in London for the season occupied the several settees and card tables enjoying the refreshments and the excitement an auction presented.

Many of the items offered that afternoon were precious pieces brought from the Continent, from the New World, the Indies and even farther. Ben himself ordered his brother-in-law’s ships bring items from the intriguing China, pieces that would take the breath away from the ostentatious ladies of society.

Ben took Elizabeth to where their elder sister stood with her husband and aunt, kissed their dainty hands, shook hands with his brother before greeting all the other patrons.

‘He looks quite dashing, does he not?’

‘Oh, yes. So young and already so well in life!...’

‘Ben is such a catch.’

‘You helped him build all he has so far, either working on Longbourn or the auctions, Lizzy.’

Elizabeth smiled. He was, Ben was a man of business conducting both Longbourn and his hobby of auctioning expensive and exclusive items to rich snobs. ‘If he only had a title…’ She smirked at the old tease.

Jane chuckled. ‘It is a wonder how you turned down excellent offers...’

Elizabeth tilted her head to a side and raised her brows.

‘She is stubborn as a mule, that’s why!’ Eliza Gardiner, their aunt, said chuckling and the sisters joined in the mirth. ‘She’ll care for this brother of yours until he grows a white beard!’

Overhearing them, Bingley chuckled and elbowed his friend. ‘There, Darce.’ He tilted his head indicating the ladies a few steps aside. ‘That is Lizzy, my other sister. I believe you never met this one as she spends most of her time at Longborn.’

Darcy raised his eyes over his friend’s shoulder, glanced at Bingley’s pudgy wife and he once more thought how different she looked when he met her right after their wedding. The very fetching blonde was really the angel her groom described her, but after four children, the woman looked tired, fatty and in her words she frequently resembled the Bingley sisters. His eyes then found an older woman, slender and smiling but not at all handsome. ‘The spinster?’ He asked derisively.

Bingley clicked his tongue. ‘Lizzy refused to marry more than once. Spinster seems inappropriate.’

‘Any unmarried woman over five and twenty is a spinster.’ He said not carrying who overheard them.

‘Oh, I’m hopeless, brother!’ Came an amused lady’s voice behind him and he tensed up. ‘I’m a handful of springs over five and twenty already…’

Bingley almost chocked on the tea he was sipping. ‘Not that you look a day over-’ She raised a finger and an eyebrow at him, he grinned. ‘Seven and twenty!’ She pressed her lips and shook her head. ‘Eight and twenty.’ She still shook her head and his grin turned into a chuckle. ‘Nine and-’

‘No, brother!’ She faked despair and laughed with Bingley.

Darcy was mesmerized by the laughter in the finest pair of eyes he had ever seen. The lady who carried them on her handsome face was obviously over thirty years of age, her disposition and figure though denoted she was on her late twenties. Her finest feature were her eyes, by far; dark and big with thick lashes and an amused expression, beautifully framed by dark blond hair coiffed in a fashionable manner as to give her a fetching air. ‘Four and twenty.’ He said.

‘Ah!’ Elizabeth tried to contain her laughter. ‘See, brother? This gentleman has better sight than you.’

‘He does!’ Bingley patted his old friend’s back. ‘A lady of four and twenty is obviously out of his strict rules of spinsterhood.’

‘Bingley.’ Darcy admonished his friend who laughed even more.

‘This is my good sister, Elizabeth Bennett. Lizzy, this is Darcy, my friend from Cambridge. I told you about him and his estate, Pemberley, near mine.’

She curtsied and he bowed. ‘Madam.’

‘Brother, you vex me saying I’m the good sister… Are all your other five very bad?’ She teased and Bingley laughed again. ‘Pray, sir, what is called a handsome gentleman of… nine and thirty?’ She asked and Darcy blushed.

‘Three and forty.’ He mumbled.

‘If unmarried like my friend here, we call him a survivor.’ Bingley was still amused. ‘He escaped the matchmaking mamas for so long he can sense them coming in his old bones.’

‘Well…’ Elizabeth pressed her eyes, the delicate thin lines marking her expression and quickly studied Darcy’s face. ‘I say, sir, if I may find any such evil-doers, I am sure to stir them away from you.’

Darcy was abashed and mesmerized at the same time. ‘I can only thank you, madam.’

She nodded.

‘Oh, Ben is taking the dais.’ Eliza Gardiner said excitedly. ‘Do you think I have any chance to keep those lovely figurines?’

‘Only if you are ready to fight Ben, he hates when we outbid the patrons. If you want my opinion, it’s worth the fight, in a few years it’ll be a lot more valuable than what it may reach now. You see, the monks in China …’

As she explained the value of the figurines, Darcy caught himself enraptured by what she said, by how she explained the pieces, their value and how they moved her. To him, it was clear she knew as much as the lad curator of the auctions that put the pre-season in an uproar – possibly she was the one who chose most of the lot.

Once the crowd was handed bid paddles, conducted to the salon and settled on the seats disposed for the bidders, Darcy decided to stay close to the doors by the right side of the room from where he could observe the Bennetts while the auction took place. The lad seemed curiously engaging, Darcy thought. Very dashing in his dark coat and fashionably tied cravat stood at the side of the dais, his eyes perusing the crowd and nodding when a piece was sold. He occasionally searched his sister too; the beauty of dark blond hair and bewitching eyes and Darcy wondered what they communicated silently. Profits? Probably.

He had gone to the auction to please Bingley, the man gushed about his brother as if the lad was the finest young man in all England. Darcy understood he was a savior of sorts, the last hope of a family full of girls whose estate was entailed to the male side. Out of the five sisters, two were left to care for the mother and young brother and as he proved to be a promising lad, the whole family jumped to his assistance. Darcy was not strange to family devotion.

The handsome lady turned and whispered something to the older woman he had thought was the spinster – who she called aunt, he overheard later – and her eyes perused the room until they met his. It was probably nothing, but he did feel something pleasant flash through him the few seconds they crossed eyes. Soon after, the loveliest set of figurines was offered and her aunt started the bidding.

Georgiana might like something so delicate as the paramours dressed for a ball, he thought and made an offer that was quickly outbid by a lady at the other side of the room. Unreasonably as it felt, he was taken over by a yearning for the piece, to own something so carefully chosen by that lady and he raised his paddle offering a staggering amount, several bids over the current.

Both the Bennett lad and the Bennett seasoned beauty turned to him – as much as a good part of the salon – he blushed and nodded solemnly when the auctioneer called the piece sold.

Yes, he now possessed ‘Moonlight ball lovers’, and her fine eyes smiled at him.

 

Wings – Darcy house


‘Here it is, Rodgers. Hand it carefully.’

‘Heavy, isn’t it?’

‘And expensive.’ Adams sighed. ‘I couldn’t believe the amount he ordered me to pay for this figurine, but a secretary rarely questions his master.’

‘Same as a valet.’ Rodgers nodded. ‘Is it worth it?’

Adams shrugged. ‘The auctioneer said he paid above the expected, but it is an exclusive item.’ He sipped his ale at the servants’ quarters. ‘Mr. Darcy said it should be left in his chambers, put it over his writing desk. He wants to see it before he gives to Miss Georgiana.’

‘I’ll do it right away. Anything else?’

‘Mmmm…’ The secretary pressed his eyes and considered the valet. When the master arrived from his men’s club, Adams would be long gone for the day and the master seemed really keen on the lady sister of the curator. ‘Tell him that-’

‘What?’ Rodgers asked impatiently. ‘Tell him what?’

Adams looked around him and found not only Miss Georgiana’s maid, but her companion and a scullery maid observing them stealthily. He sighed. ‘Wait, I’ll pen a quick note.’

In the note, he wrote all he could muster. She was a spinster devoted to her only brother while her youngest sister was devoted to her mother. The sister was quite wild even though not fallen, but rarely left Meryton. The other sisters were married to Mr. Bingley (the eldest), to a pastor (the third eldest) and to a local solicitor (the forth), all had families and fairly respectable lives of modicum income; Bingley was by far the most advantageous connection the Bennetts had. Miss Elizabeth had more comfort because of the auctioning business she conducted with the lad who took her advice on most anything.

He had a good eye for tapestry and rugs; she had an outstanding eye for figurines, china, glass, delicacies of craftsmanship. The previous year’s last auction – usually held early in the season, in time for the bidders to flaunt the achievements as family heirlooms – they sold a collection of exquisite glass vases smuggled from the island near Venice warranting an income many small states had difficulty to make in a year.

She was discreet, good humored, fashionable but not unreasonably so, liked social events and especially long strolls in the morning. The auctioneer – a big gossip – said Mr. Bennett had refused the courtship of an old gentleman the previous season, he suspected with her consent.

And to celebrate the success of the auction, Mr. Bingley had invited the family for the theater the coming week.

‘That is one long note.’ Rodgers mumbled looking over Adams’ shoulders in his small den near the Butler’s.


‘Not as long as he’d like, I can guarantee you.’ He folded and sealed it. ‘Here, be sure to deliver this to him personally.’

miss honey lemon on tumbler

A night in town coming soon... how very exciting!

continue reading


update:

a revised & unabridged version of this story will be available in Kindle, ebook and brochure from Jan 25th, 17.

quarta-feira, 9 de março de 2016

Regency love fairy tale - Prologue

hello,
Yesterday we celebrated women's day and these days I can only think about 'girl power', at least what I understand of it.

Austen and feminism have been the subject of many heated discussions, I can't say I have a definite opinion even. But the one thing I like in P&P is Lizzy's way of handling life opposed to Elinor's in S&S. It kills me to read how their brother and sister-in-law reduce them to poverty in two pages, and they can't or don't fight.

Regency women were a merchandise 'sold' by their parents to husbands, they weren't allowed college and many other things we take for granted now, I know. I guess that's my biggest obstacle when writing historical, I could never write about undermined women without redemption, about submission or something the like.

So, my second Regency love story can be viewed as a fairy tale since this Lizzy was independent enough to create a fine life out of ashes. I want to believe that might have been possible back then, but I fear it wasn't. At all.

She finds her Darcy when a man was no longer capital to her survivor, when love could be viewed as love purely. Until then, there'll be a long long way... Shall we?

Enjoy!



Love in acts

2nd act

ECLIPSE OF THE HEART

angst, rated M, short, P&P, Alternate Universe
1st Act - LOVE HURTS

Prologue -

The year of 1814 was terribly complicated, not only for nations but for people as well, titled families suffered as much as country gentry.

In the continent, Napoleon was exiled in Elba and perhaps because he was expected to flee, in England troops were still being prepared to fight. One of the areas chosen for training was a small town down South called Meryton, where the young men were received warmly - especially by the unmarried girls. A novelty in such a small society, plenty of balls and dinners, parties and strolls were arranged; several occasions for interaction and for the young girls to fall crossed in love with the soldiers in spite of the Colonel responsible for the militia's care.

The uncertain situation for which they were being trained pulled on their young hearts and even though the Colonel kept a good part of his men sober under duress, some hearts were stolen by very tempting country beauties. A small society such as Meryton lived to make sport of such attachments and they abounded during the seven months’ stay of the Militia.

Tired of the gossip and fearing the exposition, one particular soldier of rank opted to keep his ardent connection private, at least until he returned from war. There were wasted weeks not wanting to give in to the attraction and when it won, the attachment wasn’t long.  Unfortunately the abdicated French Emperor forced his way back into Paris and the brave soldier was sadly sent to fight in possession of the heart of a very young and spirited Elizabeth Bennett. Although his young witty paramour seemed uncertain, he convinced her of two very noble traits of his personality: he had serious intentions towards her and skill in the battlefield.

Elizabeth concealed her heartbreak making jest of the other girls who pined for their lost love interests on their way to battle.  The lack of news didn’t bother her more than the rest of the town’s feminine populace; besides, she knew her paramour was averse to long letters. He had indeed promised to write and her heart fluttered thinking how he would manage to make a letter arrive in her hands without addressing it to her directly. With time, despair started to take over her heart.

Tragically, none of his traits were ever put to test for the dashing soldier didn’t resist the crossing and not even his body reached the continent. When weeks later his family received word of the soldier’s fate, in deep mourning only one person thought it honorable to pass the intelligence on. The soldier was a lot stealthier than imagined and discreetly confessed his country passion and intentions towards the fetching girl to one great gentleman he considered his brother.

Months after the Militia left, many girls already received small letters from their betrothed and paramours arousing the small Meryton with heroic accounts undoubtedly augmented. In the middle of the hubbub, a very handsome young man arrived making subtle inquiries about a certain officer of rank’s connections while in town. Sir Lucas visited the inn to introduce himself the same day one of the girls received a fateful letter containing the recounting of a horrendous mutiny on board and the gruesome result: one third of the Militia had been killed.

Meryton was shocked, especially the fifteen-years-old Elizabeth. Desperate, she withdrew to herself and at first blamed the overwhelming sadness for her weak stomach but deep down feared the rather passionate farewell had left her with child. Once she had confirmation of her predicament, Elizabeth turned to her mama for help.

Amelia Bennett (née Gardiner) was a very loud woman of nine and thirty, sturdy and pudgy, had had five daughters but no son to inherit Longbourn - her husband's estate. To anyone in Meryton society, Amelia was frivolous and silly but when faced with the humongous problem of her second daughter carrying a bastard from a deceased officer fruit of a secret connection, she assumed outstanding lucidity.

‘We will visit my family in Scot.’ She said to her husband Thomas Bennett slumped in his small library’s chair holding his head as his favorite daughter stood at a corner crying, hugging herself against a shelf of books as if the wall could gain life and engulf her. ‘Lizzy has missed monthly courses but not yet felt the stirrings. She is slim and active, no one can tell yet. I will say I’m with child.’

‘What?’ Mr. Bennett raised his head, eyes brimming with tears.

‘I’m taking my older daughters to help me with the confinement. I’m no young girl, I can die of birth, I’d rather use the midwife who attended my mother when she bred my youngest brother, Mrs. McLee is old and cannot travel.’ She counted on her fingers. ‘It’s plausible, far, deserted. Scot it is.’ She wriggled her hands. ‘You hope for an heir, I hope for a quiet confinement and a safe breeding for Lizzy.’

‘I’m so sorry.’ The girl whined. ‘We had an understanding.’ She sobbed. ‘I wrote him a letter and I’m sure that if he had received it-’

‘Where is this letter?’ Her mother interrupted her.

‘In my room.’ Elizabeth blinked surprised. ‘I was waiting to send-’

‘Bring it here at once.’ Mrs. Bennett ordered. ‘Go.’

As her daughter left, she poised a hand on her husband’s shoulder. ‘All will be well; this is the best course of action.’

‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes. He must have been from a wealthy family if it is true what Sir Lucas said about the handsome gentleman who is here asking questions. They may want the baby but Lizzy won’t escape the gossips and wonderings if the father was really him… She will be ruined, the child will be raised as a bastard. I have four daughters to marry off, Lydia is only ten. Oh, my nerves…’ She sighed and paced the library. ‘I have to give the girls a chance to have a normal life… even if there is questioning, it’s not unheard of a woman of nine and thirty to be with child. Lizzy is just a romantic silly girl, the dashing soldier must have made promises to her and-’ She turned suddenly. ‘Ah, Lizzy, is this the letter?’

Elizabeth nodded extending the sealed envelope to her mother.

‘Are you sure?’ The mama took the envelope as the girl nodded. ‘No other notes, no discarded paper lying around? This is very important, Lizzy.’

‘This is it.’ The girl swallowed forcefully. ‘Only our maid, Jane and you know about my courses.’

Mrs. Bennett snorted. ‘If your maid knows, all the girls know, the kitchen help and maybe the village.’

‘Lynn wouldn’t-’

‘Lynn would tell it to a goat if it would hear. I’ll talk to her now. It’s settled, let’s pack.’ Mrs. Bennett tossed the still sealed and unread letter in the fireplace.

As the wax seal melted and the paper cracked, Elizabeth’s eyes watered again and she felt her despair rise.


A few months later, as Napoleon faced General Wellesley at Waterloo, in Scot ‘Mrs. Bennett’ gave birth to a big chubby boy, her sixth child and heir to the Bennett state. Wellesley Bennett, as soon as he opened his eyes, saw his mama and fell in love with her, then he met his other mama and sister.


Seven years later, the Bennett family faced deep sorrow and great happiness together. Jane, the elder Bennett, accepted the hand of Charles Bingley, the only son of a deceased wealthy man of trade and as she prepared her trousseau, Thomas Bennett died unexpectedly when supervising his prospering estate with his smart heir, his ever present company.

Far but not far enough, another gentleman’s son and heir of his family’s estate was in a wretched situation of his own. Fitzwilliam Darcy’s only sister, fourteen years his junior, was found in a compromising situation with a man she had no reason to suspect would have any intention of ruining her.

Darcy, eight-and-twenty-years-old, had barely made peace with his change in life – from being busy escaping the matchmaking mamas of the Ton (when he rarely took part in balls) to being responsible for Pemberley and all the other several investments his father left him. Not only the death of his father made him a respectable serious man guardian of his sister but also it fell on him to solve the situation she caught herself into.

George Wickham, son of Pemberley's former steward, had hoped to be rendered rich with the death of his godfather and when he spent the living he received in a single year, he saw in Georgiana Darcy his golden ticket. The naïve silly girl was easily convinced to elope and when found by family friends at Ramsgate, she was already in his claws. Her brother arrived too late and did all he could to protect his sister from the worst fate she could have: a forced marriage to a fortune hunter.

As his good friend Charles Bingley read his note excusing his absence on his wedding to the beautiful Jane Bennett, Darcy called doctors and apothecaries to treat his sister who had unfortunately miscarried.


If there was such a thing as star crossing, Darcy and Elizabeth’s lives were entwined in several aspects including their resilience to fate’s scheming. Their paths only met several years later.

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Ready for this exciting road to love bigger than life?

Part 1

update: 

a revised & unabridged version of this story will be available on Kindle/ebook from Jan 25th, 17.

terça-feira, 8 de março de 2016

Powerful business



Hey, it's today!
Happy women's day! 
Yay!

It's not different from any other day, really. It's just a time when we speak up and, these days binge-watching Madmen I've been all about 'girl power'. 

Season 3 is a lot more sedated (or I am the one sedated) but still it's hard to see women so abused by society and womanizers in general. 

There are a few great moments like this one, season 2, ep 5 when an older woman gives a great advice, I mean, GREAT STUFF

It's a side character healing from a car accident hidden in Peggy's flat (she has to hide from her husband hired by Draper with whom she was having an affair) and before leaving, Bobbi and Peggy have this conversation:  

I like this particular scene because it's like seeing inside her soul.
She does have power over men, doesn't she? doesn't her jerk of a husband
and Draper super jerk end up doing what she wants?

Peggy's Brooklin flat, morning.
Peggy: 'You can use the mirror in the bedroom.'
Bobbi: 'No. Part of the process of learning to live without your hospitality.'
'It's nothing.'
'Not true. I was curious if you're aware of the value of your service.' (She's referring to the fact that being Peggy Draper's employee, she's doing him a huge favor hiding his mistress.)
'It's what you're supposed to do, isn't it? 

'Wouldn't say that. People will take advantage of you.'
'I know what I'm doing.'
'What do you want? Are you just some busy little bee building a hive out in Brooklyn? 

'Are you still trying to say thank you?' 

Subtitles in Portugues... Netflix is here, everybody.
(Pay attention, this is where it gets bad ass good:)
'You have to start living the life of the person you want to be.'
'Is that what you did?' 

'You're never going to get that corner office until you start treating Don as an equal. And no one will tell you this, but you can't be a man. Don't even try.'


'Be a woman.
It's powerful business when done correctly.
Do you understand what I'm saying, dear?' 


'I think so.' (First time Peggy lowers her walls against the woman.)
'So, how do I get to Grand Central from here, steam ship?' 

'I can walk you to the train. It's two blocks over'
'I'll call a car.'

Season 2 - Episode 5, 35:44

a POWERFUL BUSINESS WHEN DONE CORRECTLY.
Being a strong self-assured woman is bad ass difficult shit!

Thanks Springfieldspringfrield for the script.


And thank you Bobbi Barrett for giving me hope this tv show will live up to all that is about it.

Let's celebrate being women!

Tonight I'll start posting my second Regency lovestory, a tale of a strong woman facing the difficult situation of falling in love with a great man when her life is past the need for him. (kind of a Regency fairy tale if you wish.'

See ya!