sexta-feira, 5 de maio de 2017

Regency love alternative - part 1

Hello!
I've been very busy with the release and promoting of my first series of books - Princesas Possíveis (6 modern fairytales in Portuguese), so Love in three acts has been a bit neglected. Bad Moira!...
But, these stories are always on my mind, they mean a lot in my budding writer carreer. So, to amend my manners, I'll post a bit of act 3 here. They are available on kindle and googleplay, btw.
Let me know what you think?

Love in acts

3rd act

LOVE INSIDE AND OUT

sweet loving, humor, rated M, short, P&P alternative from Hunsford on

Chapter 1

‘I don’t understand you, Lizzy.’

Eye roll.

‘You used to fight back when someone cornered you.’

Elizabeth looked up from Charlotte to the door that opened.

‘Mrs. Collins.’

Charlotte raised a hand pressing Elizabeth in her defiant stare.

‘Miss Bingley has not got me cornered.’

‘She has and unbelievably you, of all people, accepted her blackmail.’

At the smallish foyer, two pairs of similar green eyes regarded each other in disbelief.

‘Pray, Charlotte, don’t blame me. It would be my ruin if she decided to babble…’ Elizabeth’s shoulders sagged. ‘It was most unfortunate to have been discovered by her.’

The green eyes were wide now, brows raised.

‘Mrs. Collins, I-’

‘Hanna, just a moment.’ Charlotte asked impatiently. ‘Look, she proved she meant it when she took her brother away after you refused her scheme. I thought you’d fight back when she said you were better than Jane for Mr. Bingley…’ Disappointment latent on her tone of voice.

One pair of green eyes had now a flash of jealous contempt.

‘Ma’am?’ The maid tried again impatiently.

‘Wait Hanna.’ Charlotte pressed Elizabeth and turned her head slightly to look at the maid.

‘Well…’ Elizabeth felt her stomach churn and repented from having eaten anything at all for breakfast. ‘If Ms. Bingley decides to make my life more difficult, I can spend a sojourn at Scot with your cousins, Charlotte.’

‘My cousin seemed partial to you last time he visited Meryton...’ She smiled sideways, the owner of the upset green eyes squirmed, the maid shifted form foot to foot. ‘But would you run?’ Charlotte asked incredulously.

‘It may solve a few problems.’ Elizabeth shrugged and waved her brows at the maid.

‘Yes, Hanna.’ Charlotte sighed.

‘You have callers, ma’am.’ The maid said stifling a small grin of satisfaction. ‘Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mr. Darcy.’

Elizabeth’s face paled and her eyes widened, Charlotte was instantly on her feet. ‘Send them in, Hanna, please.’

‘If they heard us, Charlotte, prepare to die before you even become with child.’ Elizabeth whispered fiercely.

Charlotte shook a hand at her friend and put a smile on her face when the tall dashing gentlemen appeared all too soon in her morning parlor’s door. ‘Mr. Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam.’ 

Darcy eyed Elizabeth the moment he stepped through the doorframe. She looked lovely in a light blue morning gown, her hair piled up on top of her head, cheeks rosy probably from long walks under the spring sun… How could ugly and boring Caroline Bingley ruin such an adorable vixen? What big secret this minx had?

‘What a surprise, sir!’ Charlotte curtsied. ‘My friend Miss Elizabeth Bennett.’

Both men bowed. ‘Mrs. Collins. Pardon for this impromptu visit but as we arrived at our Aunt’s estate but an hour ago, we were in dear need of amiable sensible conversation.’ Colonel Fitzwilliam said good-humored and was pleased to see one lady chuckle and the other laugh.

Elizabeth raised her hand to her lips a second after she saw Darcy’s eyebrow shot upwards with her reaction to his cousin’s tease. Her eyes continued to laugh though, for she considered the poor soldier was indeed bored to death of spending time with the brooding snob cousin of his.

‘Miss Elizabeth, may I enquire after your family?’ Darcy asked hoping her laughter would still come out and in his head he saw her dance towards him, hold his gloved hands and seat with him on a couch to tell a silly anecdote of one of her silly sisters. Instead, her face hardened and he barely heard her answer they were all in good health.

He kept seated at a corner of the smallish parlor observing both ladies – mostly Elizabeth – and it was clear they were holding their reactions. Yes, they were overheard and yes, oh how much he wanted to discover what evil Bingley’s sneering sister was doing to this lovely lady who still bewitched him so. Towards him, she was polite indifference; towards his cousin, she was smiles and teases.

Before the parlor’s door opened again, Darcy arrived to a few good conclusions. One: he would find out what this secret was; two: he would solve whatever problem Elizabeth had to render her free of any blackmail; three: if it was something he wouldn’t be able to solve, he would at least keep her safe as the fourth and last conclusion was obvious: he would not be without her.

And the door opened to allow a sweaty and giddy Mr. Collins enter with alacrity saying the great Lady Catherine de Bourgh had her two nephews visiting and invited the parsonage occupants for tea. As the great visitors were already visiting the parsonage, the gentlemen waited the ladies change their attire so the five of them could walk together the length of the small park from Hunsford to Rosings Park.

Wings

CollinsParsonage

‘This letter just arrived, that is why he didn’t receive it before he left Rosings. Go, take it to him!’ Rodgers urged the scullery boy.

‘Hanna doesn’t like when we wander around the house.’ The boy scratched his head but was saved from his doubt by said maid who took the note and returned to the front of the house.

‘Pray, sir, is it the greatest house you’ve seen, Rosings?’ Ashton, Elizabeth’s lady’s maid asked, eyes wide.

‘No, it is as grand as Pemberley.’

‘Oh, I’ve heard of that at Meryton.’

He nodded. ‘I remember you there, miss. Tell me, is Agatha still employed at Lucas Lodge?’

‘No.’ Ashton shook her head popping a cherry in her mouth. ‘She’s here!’

As if on cue, the lively girl appeared flushed in the kitchen. ‘Ashton, come quickly because they are to…’ She stopped short seeing in the parsonage’s kitchen the man with whom she had danced at the inn a few months before. ‘…have tea at Rosings. Oh, hello, hello, Rodgers.’

He smiled at her. ‘Agatha.’

‘Come, Ashton!’ She took the other girl by the arm wanting to escape the man as soon as possible and started babbling as soon as they climbed two steps of the servants’ stairs. ‘Can you believe this? The man dances with half of Meryton, then takes that silly girl Ronda behind the barn and all of a sudden is here in our kitchen! And Hannah is also on fire because Mrs. Collins made her wait to say something again but she was somewhat revenged because by making her wait, the men heard what the ladies were saying.’

Ashton winced. ‘They keep talking about the same thing; Miss Elizabeth’s secret, wasn’t it?’ She bit her lip as Hannah walked by them with a sassy smile.

‘It is done, lad.’ She said hen she entered the kitchen. ‘Your master has received the letter.’

‘Thank you, ma’am.’ Rodgers said. ‘You are housekeeper, if I understood.’

‘Sort of, certainly don’t have the respect a housekeeper deserves.’

‘Mmmm…’ Rodgers pressed his lips. ‘Because I heard the maids saying something about a secret the lady from Hertfordshire keeps talking about, I mean, a secret should be kept a secret.’

‘Save your breath, lad. I wouldn’t tell you anything even if I knew what it was. Both ladies here come from Hertfordshire and aside from receiving two letters from London that put both of them in quite an uproar, nothing else to report.’ Hannah eyed him sideways. ‘You come here once a year and never had any interest in the parsonage. Why now?’

Rodgers shrugged. ‘Now my master leaves his aunt talking by herself and comes here before I had a chance to deliver him the mail.’

‘He is always in a haste to leave Rosings as soon as he arrives. I have seen it all the years I worked at the big house.’ Hannah snorted. ‘What ‘s the difference?’

‘I believe the difference has come from Hertfordshire.’

‘Ah!...’ She raised her brows and both of them nodded. ‘Then I could tell you that this difference-’ She gave him a funny look and he nodded understanding. ‘…she has received a letter with a coat of arms on the seal.’

‘Which coat of arms?’

‘Ha! How am I to know, lad?’ She chuckled.

‘Get it so I can take a look?’ Rodgers asked. ‘I can tell master will want to know and he can be generous…’ He winked, Hannah chuckled.

‘What I can do is tell you that the difference is rather fond of long walks every morning after breakfast. How is that for generosity?


Hmm... secrets.
What's not to love in them?

chapter 2