terça-feira, 16 de maio de 2017

Regency love alternative - part 3

And then, there's curiosity...

Love in acts

3rd act

LOVE INSIDE AND OUT

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


Chapter 3
He had barely slept and his humor was as sour as it could get. Rosings had the worst beds in all England; dusty, too soft to hold his big frame, drapes too thin that let the first sunrays wake him too early, too big washing room that made his bath water cool too soon.  Aside from all the impracticalities of his Aunt’s estate, he kept wondering what it was that damned Caroline Bingley had on the fetching Elizabeth Bennett to blackmail her.

And to top it all, he had been wandering the grounds for three quarters of an hour and still the fetching vixen was nowhere to be found. His valet said she walked every morning after breakfast and that she received a letter sealed with a coat of arms. That kept him on his toes. Caroline Bingley wanting to tie his vixen to her brother – former friend of Darcy if Bingley thought he could steal her from under his nose. Coat of arms, letter, hot weather, sweat running down his back, sun shining on his eyes and making it difficult to look ahead, a morning dress that let her light figure’s silhouette show him all the loveliness inside-

‘Mr. Darcy!’

‘Oh, Miss Elizabeth.’ He bowed and tipped his hat. ‘How are you doing this morning, miss?’

‘Fine.’ She curtsied. ‘Taking a stroll to survey the park, sir?’ He nodded still with the unnerving pressed smile on his face. She sighed to herself. ‘Let me not disturb you. Good day, sir.’

‘Miss, may I accompany you?’ He immediately started to walk alongside her when she passed him by.

‘I thank you, but there is no need.’ She pressed her hands together behind her back so he would understand she didn’t want his arm in any form.

‘A lady alone in the park is not safe, may someone come upon you I could defend your honor.’

She stopped short, he raised his brows and she frowned at him. ‘Pray, sir, this should not happen here for the great Lady Catherine de Bourgh would not have cads wandering her park!’

‘Indeed!’ He laughed openly unable to curb his amusement.

Elizabeth blushed violently, realizing too late she had repeated a silly joke she had been using to mock Charlotte’s husband. ‘I beg you forgiveness, sir, I didn’t mean to offend-’

‘You didn’t, miss!’ He was still chuckling and offered his arm to her. ‘If I may be so bold, I would like to ask your permission to tell my sister of this new law our Aunt has decreed. You see, we have a list of all the orders she has ever set upon her estate and family.’

Vanquished, Elizabeth giggled and took the crook of his arm. ‘You may.’ She gave him one of those devilishly fetching side looks with her fine eyes smiling. ‘But only if you tell me some of them.’

‘Let me see…’ He took the path leading up the hill towards the lake. ‘There was a time when the swans couldn’t swim around the lake. She used to say they made the view from the dining room too white.’ Satisfied with her giggle, he decided to try his hand. ‘I believe in reciprocating, Miss Elizabeth.’

‘Oh, dear! What the evil swans did to vindicate their denied area?’

He chuckled shaking his head. ‘I meant us, Miss.’ He said and she twisted her head to him so her bonnet would let her look at his eyes. ‘An information for an information. May you trust me?’

She frowned prettily. ‘But I already did, sir, and you paid with information of more value than mine. I am grateful.’

‘Touché.’ He smiled, she smiled back and they walked in silence for a few minutes.

‘Have you seen Mr. Bingley lately, sir?’ She asked after curbing her curiosity for as long as she could and saw the question took him by surprise. ‘My sister is in London, she wrote saying she called on Miss Bingley but he was not in town.’

‘Are you interested in Bingley, Miss Elizabeth?’

‘Well, yes. He seemed to be very partial to my sister when you visited…’

‘His sister knows more than me, I am afraid. Perhaps she sent word to him speaking of your sister.’

She snorted. ‘Perhaps not.’ Elizabeth mumbled.

They arrived at the top of the hill; gallantly he extended his handkerchief over a flat rock and smiled. ‘So you can rest, madam.’ She nodded her gratitude and sat with his help. ‘There.’ He pointed. ‘The lake where the swans only could occupy the hear.’

As she smiled craning her neck to look, he lost his sight on her loveliness, face and bosom flushed from the exertion, the few tendrils of hair escaping the bonnet, the small hands, small feet inside boots, the clasped knees. Could all this belong to a man out of wedding lock? How else could damned Caroline Bingley ruin her?

‘Miss Bingley can be a trifle too opinionated sometimes.’ He said following his line of thought but for her it didn’t make much sense. ‘I know so, Bingley has been my friend since Cambridge and we have discussed our siblings occasionally.’

She blinked looking up at him and raised her hand to shade her eyes. ‘Pray, sir, come closer.’

He smiled gladly walking towards her, chuckled when she directed him a little more to the side so he’d stand between her and the sun. ‘Opinionated how?’

‘She seems to believe her views are good enough to direct people’s lives.’

Elizabeth considered that for a few moments. ‘You imply she is directing her brother’s life?’

He eyed her carefully. ‘Miss, you can trust me. I can solve a problem you feel to be trapping you.’

‘Sir?’

‘Miss Bennett.’ He leaned and caught one of her hands for a tender squeeze. ‘Let me help you.’

Her face reddened, her ears burned. ‘You overheard me and Charlotte…’ She bit her lip.

‘Please, let me help you.’

She withdrew her hand from his and shook her head. ‘It is nothing, sir.’

‘Miss Elizabeth, I won’t let Caroline Bingley or anyone ruin you.’

‘Ruin me?’ Her face and bosom grew impossibly more crimson, it was the second time that morning he implied her virtue was at risk. ‘Whatever do you mean, Mr. Darcy?’

‘If Miss Bingley has proof a gentleman engaged you in any sort of activities, I can vouch to save-’

She stood in a jump. ‘Stop, sir. Miss Bingley is a silly little spiteful woman who thinks she can profit from me, but I can handle her. It is nothing, really.’

‘Your friend seems to think you need help.’

‘Charlotte- Mrs. Collins is of the idea I used to be as spiteful as Miss Bingley.’ She huffed. ‘I am not.’ She raised her small nose petulantly and he smiled wishing with all his bones he could place a kiss on its tip. ‘You need not waste your time with it.’ She brushed her dress thinking Charlotte did manage to make things worse.

‘I am obliged to comply, Miss.’ He collected his handkerchief and stored it in his pocket. ‘But I want to make it clear my offer stands. Whenever you consider it time, I am ready to aid you.’

She sighed. ‘Shall we return?’

Silent for the time it took for him to walk her until the Parsonage came into view, both brooded the situation trying to find a solution. Unfortunately for Elizabeth, fortunately for Darcy, Mr. Collins was hurrying back home to tell his wife they had been invited to dine at Rosings that night.

Wings

Maidsgossips

‘Good Lord, the ladies are arguing like pussycats!’ Agatha giggled carrying a bucket of water downstairs while Ashton had Elizabeth’s dress over her arm. ‘Do you know why?’ Ashton shook her head. ‘Come on, girl, you can talk. It wasn’t me going through Miss Elizabeth’s letters!’


‘It was so low of you two, I know you tried to distract me so Hannah could open Miss Elizabeth’s trunk. What letter did she want?’

Agatha looked around her and stopped in the middle of the stairs to lean forward and whisper. ‘Rodgers, the handsome valet of the pompous rich gentleman who was at Meryton, remember?’ Ashton nodded. ‘He was very interested in Miss Elizabeth. He asked all kinds of questions and wanted to see the crested seal of the letter she got last week.’

‘Why?’

‘Why?’ Agatha sneered. ‘His master wants to know, that is why!’

‘He can’t have any design on Miss Elizabeth, can he?’

‘She is a gentleman’s daughter, handsome, lively… He would be a fool not to. Except that he has an understanding with Miss Anne…’

‘So his intentions to Miss Elizabeth are not proper, you think?’

‘Hannah said she is sure he heard Mrs. Collins say Miss Elizabeth is ruined-’ Ashton gasped, Agatha nodded. ‘And so he can be thinking to hire her as his mistress.’

‘Dear Lord!’

‘He may say something to her tonight at dinner.’

Ashton’s legs wobbled. ‘Miss Elizabeth is not ruined. She is proper and virtuous. I know she is.’


Agatha shrugged, got a hold of the bucket and continued down the narrow servants’ stairs.

Didn't it?

chapter 4