& Moira Bianchi: março 2015

quarta-feira, 25 de março de 2015

The Prince of Pemberley - Book 1 - Chapter 4

This week I found out my first crush is back!... AUS will continue!
It was my first P&P fanfic crush, the one I couldn't put down. Curious? Check my post on fave JAFF!

As always, if you haven't already, read the story's front page before diving in. Tks.

pride and prejudice fanfic


Previous chapter



For the rest of that Monday they exchanged texts.

Tuesday morning for Elizabeth, early afternoon for Darcy, he missed the beginning of an important meeting in his conference room to call her and check on her traffic jam.

Wednesday she sent him a playlist with pop songs from the eighties. He replied saying he abhorred torture of any kind but actually downloaded the songs, uploaded on his phone and listened on his way home.

Thursday he spent a good part of his morning putting together a makeshift playlist with his favorite songs to send her in time for her morning traffic jam.

Friday Elizabeth sent him a couple of texts asking his plans for the weekend and saying how she longed for a leisure traffic-free time with her kids. Beach, sun and fun, those were her plans for the weekend. Darcy didn’t answer.

She reasoned he was a busy guy and they had been talking daily since Monday – it should be enough for her. It was silly to expect he would devote more of his time to her.

Saturday morning the kids woke her up early eager for the beach. Before going, they called their father according to their usual Saturday morning routine. As Wickham worked at least twenty days a month in a hospital boat floating along the Amazon River, they scheduled Saturday conference calls in advance so they could stretch the conversation for long minutes.

After the kids shouted on the phone excitedly about their week to a delighted father, Elizabeth took the phone from the speaker and talked to her husband about her week including the unexpected pleasure of finding Darcy. In return, Wickham told her about the sad experiences he had had curing a vast array of nasty sufferings. After they exchanged quick endearments, she got the kids ready for the beach.

A few hours later, they returned exhausted and famished but thankfully Reynalda, their housekeeper, had the kid’s lunch ready. Amidst the frenetic bath-lunch-cartoons on TV sequence, the doorbell rang but Elizabeth was too busy explaining to her daughter why some cartoons were not meant for children.

The doorbell rang again and she walked to get it since Reynalda didn’t. Down her bedrooms' corridor, Elizabeth regretted postponing her bath in favor of the kids’ cartoon hunt. She was still sticky from seawater and her bikini top felt a little uncomfortable; even her adorable dog’s barking irritated her. She adjusted the canga wrapped as a short skirt around her waist and held the doorknob.

In her small hall shared by only two apartments, Darcy felt ashamed of his forwardness. During the week, he had thought about inviting her to London or offering to make things right seventeen years later by going to Rio de Janeiro, the World Cup was only a few months away after all. But the words died in his throat and fingers (as he typed). He didn’t want to give her the wrong impression, he was just very happy about meeting his old friend again.

The week had been brutal, the only thing making his days brighter were her texts and voice on the phone. Another fight with his wife, his daughters busy with their little lives where he didn’t fit, a stall in his new business venture… everything was very frustrating. Except the pretty woman and the remembrance of his youth.

Suddenly the door opened: Elizabeth was certain it was her next-door neighbor, Darcy wasn’t certain of anything any longer.

Seeing him, Elizabeth’s heart stopped, her vision blurred and her legs wobbled.

Darcy’s air escaped his chest. He didn’t expect to get this welcome, he had only planned to meet his friend in person and share a few good laughs travelling back in time.

He hadn’t planned to feel this aroused by seeing her. True, he already knew Elizabeth had a pretty face but in fact she was a gorgeous woman. How could he have predicted she had that body? In a bikini and a skirt, barefoot with tattoos showing on her insteps, smelling like the sea…

Elizabeth needed almost a minute to make her mind work.

‘Fitz?’ She whispered.

His answer was a closed lips half smile. “Behave down there, man.”

‘Fitzwilliam Darcy?’ She insisted raising her brows. ‘His royal Highness, the Prince of Pemberley?’

‘King now.’ He said impudently. ‘Yes, me.’

Elizabeth blinked trying to drink him in. Several times in the past she had fantasized about this moment. They had been close friends in letters, but unfortunately never met in person. He told her his height, she could guess how he carried himself and his shape from his pictures but a little older and in person…

This story's release is close... Check the book's page for info.

“… Her warm heart, would never gonna leave me
She’s turned me round…”

A new flame – Simply red

domingo, 22 de março de 2015

45 dias na Europa com Mr Darcy

45 dias na Europa com Mr. Darcy 
está finalmente saindo do campo das ideias. 

O livro é dividido em 4 partes - 
4 lugares incríveis que Elizabeth Bennett (com dois Ts mesmo) visita em um ano conturbado quando o amor fala tão alto que ela não consegue mais negar.

Para cada capítulo, tem uma música. 
A primeira parte, já revisada, se passa em Amsterdam, capital da Holanda. (tem um pedacinho aqui e aqui) E as músicas já estão no ar. 

Será que dá para sacar o que está acontecendo pelas músicas?

sábado, 14 de março de 2015

The Prince of Pemberley - Book 1 - Chapter 3

After so many weeks revising, chopping and complementing this story, I feel kinda sad for letting this people go... at least for now.  Anyway, this is just the 3rd chappy, a lot more to go.  This chapter was partially posted here, but now I give you the whole thing...

As always, if you haven't already, read the story's front page before diving in. Tks.

pride and prejudice fanfic


Previous chapter


Royal affairs

"*Eight o'clock in the morning and things don't look good from up here, folks. A minor accident near Ville Mall is taking two of the four lanes and a kilometer ahead, there’s the usual traffic jam caused by the Olympic Stadium’s construction site. My advice is do not take the Yellow Expressway today. If you did, relax and stay with us here at the Radio City Station. You're looking into two hours jammed. At least!*"

pride and prejudice fanfictionElizabeth sighed and looked up through her windshield to watch the radio station’s helicopter noisily pass her by. Another morning stuck in traffic... Each day she had to leave the house earlier just to continue arriving late at work.

She could see the Federal Health Institute’s Palace seating majestically up on the mountain ahead, in the distance, the Concrete Christ to its right, and calculated fifteen-twenty minutes to reach its gates. But if the radio station’s traffic report was right – and it always was - she would be facing at least an hour of traffic jam; scorching December sun over the roof of her car. She sighed again.

Olympics and World Cup couldn't arrive soon enough. Rio needed to get rid of all these construction sites or life would be unbearable. Elizabeth took her phone, loaded Google maps and tried to find an alternative route crossing neighborhoods. Before the Olympics’ road works there was an exit and she could take a long ride around the mountain and-

Her phone rang cutting the map’s image on her screen.

‘Unknown caller’

She twisted her lips. Jane and her weird little things. Why did her older sister need to block her cell phone number? It drove Elizabeth crazy.


"Please hold for His Royal Highness, the King of Pemberley." Came a rich sexy deep male voice and it struck a chord in her.

hot rio chick"What?" Elizabeth answered surprised by the greeting in English. Without noticing, she had switched from Portuguese, the strong British accent making her turn off the radio to concentrate and understand.

"Please hold for His Royal Highness, the King of Pemberley." The rich voice insisted.

Elizabeth frowned deeply, her mind rolling in high speed. What kind of silly joke is- then it hit her.

It could not be!

She was speechless.

Two seconds.



Could it be?

She finally laughed aloud.

The rich male voice at the other end of the call chuckled.

Elizabeth felt her cheeks blaze, her heart speed, her skin tingle.

“Oh my God!” She said laughing. “Is this a royal phone call?”

hot rio chick“Yes, ma’am!” Darcy said ditching his long forgotten radio DJ voice, his smile clearly audible in his tone of voice. His heart was threatening to escape his body through his mouth and it surprised him. He excitedly anticipated this call but not this involuntary reaction from his body.

He had arrived early at the office and went straight to his Security Department’s floor. Hurst was already having his second cup of strong tea and extended him a thin paper folder and a reassuring nod of his fat head.

Darcy nodded back and ran to his office to reacquaint himself to his longtime friend. Married, kids, address, employment, social networks accounts, phone number, a small photo… Phone number! Of course, instead of replying her e-mail, he would call her!

But time zones killed him! He had to wait five hours in which he stared at the small photo of a smiling woman with long dark hair and two small children. By eight in the morning she must be up … right?

“I can’t believe it!” Elizabeth was still laughing. “The Little Prince is broke! He can't even afford a secretary!”

Darcy laughed loud and she marveled at its richness.

“Have you wasted your fortune in polo matches and expensive horses?” Elizabeth asked, a smile so stretched on her face that it hurt.
hot rio chick
“Your namesake doesn’t like competition. She has been ruthless with taxes here!” Darcy answered.

“I cannot believe it!...” Elizabeth said.

“I couldn’t believe when I got your e-mail.” Darcy answered.

“Is it really you, friend?” She insisted.

“Your Little Prince of Pemberley, the most presumptuous guy in all England. That’s me!” He said. “King now, actually.”

“The one who didn’t show up for my graduation, didn’t send a word, cut me off rudely?” Elizabeth raised one eyebrow.

“Errr… About that… I’m sorry, Lizzy. Close to your graduation, things got really messy here. I understood when you didn’t answer my last letters, although it hurt me.”

pride and prejudice fanfictionElizabeth’s ears were ringing very low, lost in a time travel so fierce that she could almost feel it physically, like a Star Wars’ hyperspace jump. She hadn’t heard anything he said after ‘Lizzy’. Since her father had died no one had used that nickname anymore. Lizzy…

Overwhelmed, she took the phone off her ear to look at its screen. The video call icon was alight so she clicked impetuously. The screen went blank for a second and she could see a blackened image.

“Let me see you.” She half whispered.


“Look at your phone.” She ordered.

He took his phone from his ear to frown at it and…

“Hi!” She said blinking and smiling.

“I wasn’t expecting that!” He ran his free hand on his hair. “Bloody hell!”

“Hi, friend!” Elizabeth repeated.
hot rio chick
Darcy smiled back at her and they stared at each other’s face for long seconds.

In their heads, it played a fast forward movie showing the images of old photos, dreams and hopes long lost or forgotten, all passing through their eyes in a quick succession while they studied the other’s aged face.

“You are gorgeous, Lizzy.” Darcy whispered.

“Thanks.” She felt her cheeks warm up. “I can’t believe it! It’s the first time we see each other live!”

“It is.” He nodded smiling with closed lips, both his cheekbones protruding in his charming face.

“I missed our friendship.” Elizabeth poured her heart out.

“Me too.” He smiled and frowned back when she suddenly united her designed brows. “What is it?”

“I’m sure I didn’t send you my phone number on the note…” She squinted. “How did you find it?”

Darcy tilted his head to the side awkwardly holding his phone in front of him, self-conscious of his image in the tiny square under Elizabeth’s beautiful face in his screen. “A King has his ways…”

“Mmm.” She made a non-committal sound.

“Secret service worked over the weekend.” He admitted in a half smile.

“Excuse me?” She raised her brows.

“Last year we had an incident here at the company. A hacker got into our system and caused a lot of damage. After some investigation, we discovered one of our own employees had sold us out. Since then, our IT people have been doubling the security protocols.” He smiled incapable of resisting. It was absolutely fantastic to see his longtime friend face to face like this, this easy, this simple. “When your note reached me, my Head of Security checked you out to make sure you weren’t a threat to the company.”

“Mmm.” She twisted her lips. “I’m a little disappointed for not posing any threats…”

He chuckled.

“Are you allowed to invade my privacy like this?” Elizabeth asked.

hot rio chick“I’m sure we didn’t do anything illegal. Social network profiles, cybernetic tracks…” He shrugged. “You left me a trail of breadcrumbs, Lizzy.”

“I did?” She asked worried.

He nodded. “I can only thank you. It’s great to have finally found you again.”

“Not that you had been looking for me… After all, you disappeared twenty years ago.” She accused him.

“I’m to blame, I have no excuse. But can I explain myself?” He asked.

“Please do. Not that I have anything better to do than hear whatever story you have for having broken my heart…”

Darcy touched his fist to his heart and sighed. Elizabeth giggled and attached her phone to the dashboard holder.

“Where are you? In a car?” Darcy squinted.

She nodded. “Traffic jam. Another… Rio is impossible these days. Between World Cup and Olympics, what we have left of the city is either a huge traffic jam or a work site.” She took the phone from the stand and showed him her windshield.

Darcy winced seeing how many cars packed ahead.

“See? I’m expecting at least one hour. Maybe more…” She shrugged. “Got time, friend?”

“Seventeen years, give or take.” He smiled.

“Good, keep me company.” She smiled back, but it was a toothy grin to answer his closed lips genuine smile.

“My pleasure.”

“And you better send me your phone number. It’s only fair.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“So… I had a Xerox copy of your flight ticket, and then you didn’t answer my last letters, didn’t show up at the airport…”

“Were you there waiting for me?” Darcy twisted his lips.
Elizabeth shrugged. “I knew which was your flight and I went there just to make sure you were not coming. I knew you wouldn’t…”

“You knew?” He raised his brows.

“At first you were very excited, but when you started talking about bringing your fiancé… Our dates were always jealous of our friendship, remember? I could only imagine what kind of snobbish, pretentious woman would agree to marry you!” She teased him.

“Ha!” He answered, refusing to fall for her tease. “I was very excited to go. I wanted to meet you in person and spend time with you. But things happened here.”

“Tell me.” Elizabeth asked sensing from his tone and facial expression that it was going to be a sad story.

He told her about his mother’s accident, how he wanted to escape, Anne’s pregnancy, the car accident, his father’s death, marriage. Then the pressure to impregnate his borderline depressive wife, young children and sister, life. If he had thought things over or even missed her less, he would never have used so many words or let out so many of his emotions, but seeing his adored friend live and receptive, Darcy felt compelled to break from his excessive aloofness.

hot rio chickElizabeth commiserated with his tale; blinked several times fighting tears that didn’t belong to the happy moment of meeting a friend she thought was lost.

“I lost my father too. Ten years ago.” Elizabeth told him. “Heart attack. I wasn’t living at Merytonia for years-“

“You left for college, right?” He asked.

“Yes.” She nodded. “Never returned. I built a life here.”

“Married, two kids…” Darcy said betraying himself. With his face lowered to leaf through her file, he didn’t notice Elizabeth’s frown. When he raised his head, he blushed seeing her glare.

“And how this is not a breach in my privacy?”

“Must be in your Facebook?...” He asked.

“Info only available to friends I allow…” She raised her brows.

Darcy balanced his phone in his pencil bucket. “Guilty.” He showed her both palms.

“Tell me what your rats found out.” She crossed her arms under her breasts.

Darcy smiled. How adorable, fierce Lizzy. He had read fierce Lizzy before, but seeing it, hearing it… lovely.

He raised some of the pages for her to see and read. “Married to a doctor. Maxillofacial surgeon. George Wickham.” In the back of his mind, when he spoke the name out loud, something sounded familiar but he was too caught up on Elizabeth’s fine eyes to waste time on anything else.

She nodded. “Match the info.” Elizabeth ordered.


“You snooped around my life without my consent…” She pointed a finger at him. “It’s only fair if you give me the info you stole.”

“Fair enough.” He nodded. “As I said, I married Anne-“

“Your… cousin, right?” She asked.

“Yes.” He nodded. “Mmmm… She has an English literature degree but never worked on the field, devoted to Georgiana first and then our daughters.”

“Daughters?” Elizabeth smiled.

Darcy smiled back. “Diana is fifteen and Sarah is twelve.”

“Wow! Grown-ups!” She covered her mouth with a hand. “You are way too young to have women for daughters!”

He cringed. “Not women. Girls.”

She laughed. “Problems with boyfriends?”

“I don’t even want to know anything on that matter.” He waved a hand in front of his face.

“Tell me about them.” She asked smiling brightly.

Darcy told Elizabeth how his older daughter always kept to herself and for the last years he felt his presence annoyed her somehow. He was closer to the youngest who reminded him of Georgiana.

“And how is she?” Elizabeth asked.

“Fine. Works for the UN in New York, almost five years now.” He said and closed his lips in a thin line.

“Wow! I love New York.” She gushed. “But the King doesn’t approve because… Let me guess.” She teased and he raised his brows waiting what she would come up with. “Living at the colony she has escaped your ruling.”

“Lizzy…” He rested back on his chair. She laughed and he had to smile. “I miss my sister; she’s the only family left.”


Darcy tried to fight against the pull of her charms but couldn’t. “And she is too far away, alone. I don’t know if she needs my help.” He said and Elizabeth laughed. “Your turn.”

“My children.” She smiled brightly. “Tom and Nanda, as you probably already know.” He nodded. “Thomas is a sweet boy, calm and affectionate. Cassandra is spirited, a little too spirited really.” She shook her head. “Sometimes she’s petulant. She’ll give me the nuisance Tom didn’t. They go the Catholic American School here and almost every day I get a note from her teacher.”

“She’s a mini-Lizzy then?” Darcy smiled making his cheekbones jump.

Elizabeth blushed and shrugged. “What else is there?” She asked.

They exchanged professional careers’ developments, compared what they had planned to what they achieved. She told him about her impending PhD program that she was hoping to get accepted.

“London? Will you come often?” His face brightened.
hot rio chick

“I hope so!...” She chuckled. “London is great!”

“You’ve been there?”

“Yes, once. I daydreamed of meeting you on the street by chance!...” She giggled. “Silly me, right?”

He shook his head thinking that would have been absolutely brilliant. “I don’t live in London, but visit often for work.”

“I owe my career to you, really.” She said.

“You’re welcomed, my friend.” He joked.

She chuckled and reminded him he had told her to find an internship and see what the profession ‘looked like in real life’ before dropping biomedicine, to search different fields in the area. It had been a useful and clever advice she had discussed with a professor – a kind of counselor – who offered her a post in his pandemics immunization research project. Elizabeth had taken the offer, discovered how interesting that field could be and specialized in it. When the Brazilian Federal Health Institute had an opening she tried for a post and now was a federal employee, part of the top notch research team in the country.

Darcy told her that he had taken over the family business when his father died unexpectedly. Amid his emotional whirlwind, he had to gear up his self-control and work. With the help of a competent and strong board, he managed to expand horizons and transform his father’s legacy in a Holding that overlooked several investments in many fields.

“So you multiplied the crown jewels?” She teased.

“Different business. This way I have more expansion possibilities but I’m not directly responsible for each company’s development-“ He stopped suddenly surprised by her ecstatic expression.

“I’m moving, I’m moving!” She celebrated and her image trembled slightly. “Fifty meters, at least!” Elizabeth said and then groaned. 
“It’ll take me ages to get to work today…” She checked her watch. “Mmm… ‘Pemberley Farmhouse, Lambton, Greater Manchester – England’.”

He nodded, smiled and felt a little sad. If she had wanted, she could have sent him a letter. His address was the same, it never changed.
“Then… ‘Cambridge Oaks Housing’… right?” She asked.
“Yes.” He said.
She stared at his slanted eyes that were once so beguiling to her and for the first time realized they were green. Not bright green but a greenish kind of brown. And there were small wrinkles around it. His hair had receded and his forehead had gotten even bigger but he was very charming, age had made him a lot of good.  

It was hard to read his emotions, it was the first time she saw him in person and the last time she saw his face was in a picture over fifteen years back. But he seemed to be a little less happy than a few minutes before.

Elizabeth tilted her head to the side and squinted. “What, handsome?”

“Huh.” He waggled his eyebrows once.

“What’s ‘huh’?” She repeated his single waggle.


hot rio chick“This is not your normal face, is it?” She asked. “A kind of I-licked-a-lemon face.”

He shook his head.

“Say it.” She asked and averted her eyes to her dashboard, geared and moved another fifty meters or so.

He shrugged. “You didn’t want to write me. Nor answer my last letters. I would have loved to hear from you.”

“What ‘last letters’? You never showed up to attend my graduation, in fact you went missing a few weeks before. I thought you had cut me off. Why would I insist to talk to someone who didn’t want to talk to me?” She pursed her lips.

“I wrote you when things calmed down.” He said. “More than once.”

Elizabeth shook her head. “Never got any other letter from you. Did you send it to Rio?”

“And Merytônia.”

“My parents moved two or three times after Jane and I – remember Jane, my older sister?” She asked and he nodded. “My mother always dreamt of a big house with a big yard and they tried two neighborhoods before settling down. Here in Rio, Jane and I moved a few times too. Maybe your letters got lost.”

He pierced her in his gaze, squinting at his phone, lost in the image of the beautiful woman with long dark hair and smiling eyes locked inside the four inches screen. He had thought she was hot twenty years ago, now she seemed to be more than that…

“I was hurt.” She said after a while. “What could I think? You went M.I.A., never showed up here… I felt rejected.” He shook his head and she showed him a palm asking him to let her finish. “Maybe your fiancé had convinced you that it was stupid to fly all the way here to meet a silly pen friend. Honestly, I didn’t let your snub ruin my graduation. I had a lot of fun at the events planned to celebrate such an important moment and by chance, I met George at the prom. We had dated briefly when he lived in Merytônia for a while with his father. He had graduated by the same college and had a friend in my class. We exchanged phone numbers and started dating again. Two years later we got married.”

“I didn’t reject you.” Darcy said. “You were never forgotten.”

Elizabeth shrugged. “Just put aside, right? That’s what I did.”
They stared at each other’s eyes through a satellite for long moments trying to narrow the gap between them.

“I learned some Portuguese, minha cara.” He said.

Elizabeth smiled fondly holding back her laughter. “How cute is that accent?”


“No, really. Portuguese from Portugal, right?”

“Yes. I have some business there.”

She nodded. “Well, agora eu te achei.” Elizabeth finally said.

“I’m very glad you did.” He smiled.

She heard a whistle and two traffic guards appeared walking between the stopped cars a few meters ahead.

“It looks like this traffic jam is finally going to dissolve…”

“What is it about?” He asked.

They chatted about traffic jams in Rio de Janeiro as she slowly moved through the accident site until she finally arrived at her office ten minutes later.
hot rio chick
“I thank you for your company, sir.” She said.

“My pleasure, ma’am.”

“Do you have plans for tomorrow morning?” She winked and he laughed.

“…Cherish the strength
You’ve got the power to make me feel good…”

Cherish – Madonna

quinta-feira, 5 de março de 2015

The Prince of Pemberley - Book 1 - Chapter 2

I don't feel like talking too much today, besides, there are 3.800 words here...

As always, if you haven't already, read the story's front page before diving in. Tks.

pride and prejudice fanfic


Previous chapter


Poste restante

‘William!’ A familiar female voice shouted. ‘William, where are you?’ The voice shouted louder and tad angrier.

‘Mom, why are you shouting like this?’ A younger familiar female voice asked disapprovingly.

‘Your father is missing! Have you seen him?’ The older woman asked.

‘Not since breakfast. Isn’t he in the library?’

‘No… Your grandma is there. She wants to talk to him.’


‘William, are you hiding from my mother? Your own aunt?’

‘Really, mother! Do you think my father would do such a thing?’

‘William, where are you? Come to the library!’

‘Really... Do you have to shout?’

‘Diana, your father is capable of making me so angry…’

The voices trailed off as the women probably went down the stairs and Darcy sighed. Where he was? He was safe.

Alone in the attic where his wife Anne had exiled the Darcy family memorabilia, his old gun trunk opened on the floor at his feet, his father’s old office chair feeling unsettlingly cozy to him. He remembered seeing his father seat his heavy body in this chair and stay there for hours at an end reading the newspaper or escaping his own mother-in-law. Had he finally become his father?

He surely felt heavier and rounder around the middle…

He lowered his body, rested his elbows on his knees and rummaged a little more in his gun trunk. He used to be so proud of this old thing; his dear grandfather’s gift for his tenth birthday. He remembered perfectly how ecstatic he was to get his own gun – an old thing that needed a lot of maintenance – and how afraid to lose this treasure he was while watching his parents argue with his grandfather. At the end it was agreed that the gun was not be used – it was only decoration – and his grandfather bought buy him a safer brand new air gun.

Darcy caressed the old gun, the old leather padding where it was attached to and let his eyes yield to her handwriting. Lizzy’s letters were bound with twine in stacks of ten or so envelopes. The first packs had small round handwriting, almost childlike, sometimes in pink or green ink; and then it changed to inclined lettering, clearly written in a fast hand.

‘To: HRH Fitzwilliam Darcy, Prince of Pemberley’

‘To: My dear friend, Fitz D.’

‘To: The most presumptuous, insufferable guy in all England – Fitz Darcy’

She always surprised him when addressing the envelopes and the way she did gave him a clue of what was inside. Usually she teased him, but occasionally she accused him of being obnoxious, snob, insufferable. Darcy smiled to himself remembering how much he anticipated each letter, each answer to his previous one. And how he never minded her calling him ‘Fitz’ even though he told her how much he hated his name. He continued signing ‘William’, but she insisted with ‘Fitz’.

When it started, he was in school and inspired by a teacher had joined the school’s Youth Group two years before. His seriousness had propelled him into a post at the International board and being boring enough to take care of paperwork he gathered data to produce the international achievements’ reports to be presented on tri-annual conventions. His pride was stroked by this high post, how he was seen as a serious young man during that single week when students from all over the world united to exchange experiences of how they were changing their little corner of the world. He looked forward to the next one.

Basically, it was a boring task that none of the cool guys wanted. He was aloof enough to take it and put up with the correspondence coming from the different countries his school – the Royal British School - had branches. His grandfather helped him organize a form and he mailed it worldwide receiving fairly good answers until he got the one from Brazil. It was not in his format, it was handwritten and added several information he hadn’t asked for. Same happened the next trimester. The third time, he sent the report back with a personal note saying he would be forced to disregard Brazil’s data if it wasn’t sent in his unified form.

Her answer was priceless and to this day Darcy was sorry he had tossed away the note. In a few lines, an Elizabeth Bennett properly humbled him saying his form was nearsighted since it didn’t cover half of what was interesting and suggested him to rethink it. He was furious for days, barely spoke a word to people around him, considered several angry comebacks but before he sent her anything else, another letter arrived with a new form. Based on his, her form was indeed much better and easier to fill; it made the Youth Group’s efforts interesting to read.

The note that came attached to the improved form he kept. It was faded and crumpled but he could read her childish handwriting perfectly.

‘Dear Mr. Darcy,
I know you consider us inferior to your standards since we are a Third World country of uneducated people. I’m almost sorry to contradict you.
Although our country lacks many things, intelligence is not one of those. Especially not in our Groups.
I’m sending you an improved version of your form perfected in a joint effort of our five groups from the schools in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Santa Catarina and Goiás. Actually, this is the form we’ll use from now on.
The way the Brazilian board sees our work, the Youth Groups are composed of friends who help each other and I’m sorry to know that our data won’t be considered in the International reports. On our next National convention we’ll discuss the best way to present it ourselves during the next International convention in Peru.
I shall not consider the inferiority of your form as degradation. In vain I have tried to conquer the need to send you our form but ultimately such a spiteful action goes against the nature of our youth group.
Certain of the reward of your understanding,
Lizzy Bennett.’

It stayed in his desk during all summer, every other day he would read it trying to find some underlying message he might have overseen but it was always there – the bordering derisiveness even if in the same courteous addressing he had used.

Finally when it was time to return to school, he gave in and adopted her form, but not without adding some changes. He didn’t remember his actual words but he thanked her almost grudgingly and communicated her the Brazilian form was now international.
Her answer was again, priceless.

‘Dear Mr. Darcy,
We are profoundly humbled by your acknowledging of our weak contribution to the improvement of our institution’s data collecting.
Next time you consider it interesting to rule over your kingdom, allow me to suggest consulting your subjects.
L Bennett.’

Unsure of the reason for such a passionate response to his impersonal note, Darcy chose to keep these notes private. This Elizabeth – Lizzy - must be really a fiery girl and that was irresistible. Also impudent, almost impolite and she consistently hurt his pride.

Not once he considered he may have hurt hers first.

He did write back and also very grudgingly, Elizabeth answered in unmerciful teasing, relentlessly making fun of the ‘rich boy who didn’t know anything outside his little corner of the world’. Not long after they moved from adding notes to documents to exchanging letters purely for the fun of it forming a pen-friendship.

Derisively she started calling him Little Prince referring Saint Exupery’s book, only he was the heir of the magnificent country-estate of Pemberley and not a planet. In spite of her intentions, it endeared her to Darcy. He started to also refer to himself as Prince of Pemberley – at least when talking to her.

She was good humored and authentic. She sent her photos and reciprocating, he sent her as many photos he could.

“Seeing how overwhelmingly big Pemberley is made me realize how important you must be, some kind of royalty for the people around you. Really a Prince. How many do you employ? Do you provide health care and schools for this small nation you rule?
You have humbled me… In your world, I would be a gentlewoman at most. Not even a Fidalga.”

‘My Baroness!’ Darcy whispered to himself and covered his smile with a hand, lost in his memories of how he used to call her, an affectionate nickname. ‘Bart!...’

 Her letters were very different from anything he was used to. She always sent him some token, a dried flower, an insect wing (that she said reminded him of how grossly he behaved), newspaper clippings, a cassette tape with music and a recorded message from her, chocolate coins.

And that first photo she sent him… he felt his insides churn. It was faded now. Her sweet smile in parentheses, her eyes sparkling under a thick bang of dark hair, the tanned skin. Gorgeous. Nothing like the girls he knew. Authentic, original, pretty as hell. Lizzy.

Feeling dumb, Darcy kept his hand hiding his mouth as he looked at that photo. He kept her photos together and not inside the letter it came in because he always wanted to see her. He perused them after wasting an awful amount of time on that first one. With anticipation he arrived at his favorite: the smiling older Lizzy was half turned, the setting sun and the sea behind her, wind playing with her hair – long and straight, free of the heavy bangs. He turned it and read the inscription marveling at how her words popped into his head a few nanoseconds before his eyes read them.

‘Looking forward to show you this sunset in person, friend. Can you believe I’ll get to meet you and graduate in the same week? I’ll be free from college, free!’

It was all planned, his visit to Brazil in order to attend her graduation.

She was ecstatic he had accepted her invitation. She planned incessantly sending him almost daily letters detailing what they would do in Rio de Janeiro, how they would spend their time. Since she would start a new job soon, she would spend her last vacation before succumbing to capitalism with him.

He wanted to. He was excited to go, happy to meet her in person after ten years exchanging letters. They had tried once before. At the International convention in Peru he would be stepping down from the Youth Group since he was already in college; Elizabeth was finishing school and about to start college. They exchanged excited letters with expectations for what the future held for them, the most thrilling one was to meet in person. He had wanted to try using the burgeoning internet through his university’s computer lab but she couldn’t access it from anywhere, their only chance to a close contact was in person in Peru.

Darcy arrived in Lima barely containing his heart in his chest. How could a twenty one years old young man not look forward to meet a seventeen years old enchanting girl? They had made plans in letters for sightseeing, eating ceviche, he bought tourist guides and studied the country to impress her with his intelligence. When the convention started the next day, he was locked in a meeting and didn’t see the Brazilian group arrive. He searched the crowd of eager teenagers during lunch in the huge cafeteria until someone pointed the ‘Bennett girl’ and for a second his eyes fogged. Where was the dark haired beauty with bangs?

With a heavy heart he heard his friend Charles Bingley say that the only Bennett girl in Peru was Jane. He wanted to punch Bingley’s chuckling face as he presented the lovely Jane and the girl with Elizabeth’s nose and mouth extended him a thin envelope saying her sister was really sorry.

‘I mean, there’s not much I could do. If father lost his job we should save money and… I don’t have to lie to you: I’m devastated. I wanted to die when mother decided only Jane could go. I still want to die. I may be already dead when you get this.’

Darcy left the convention as soon as his duty with the next International secretary was accomplished. There was nothing in Peru for him if his friend wouldn’t be there. The gifts he had brought for Elizabeth were delivered to Jane with a curt nod. Bingley decided to follow Darcy and it took Jane a few days to understand why the guy she had dated for two days left all of a sudden.

You are lucky I wasn’t there, Fitz! Why would you let my sister date such a jerk? This Charles left without saying goodbye to her! I loved the t-shirt and the chocolate, by the way. But why would you befriend such a jerk? Isn’t Jane adorable enough for him?’

Alone in the attic Darcy chuckled to himself remembering he had actually been afraid of answering that letter. Bitter and jealous, he had been the one who told Bingley to go home. After two weeks gathering courage, he admitted to her he was wrong in his advising although he didn’t force Bingley, who was never constant in his love interests, to go. Elizabeth had given him all kinds of hell over Bingley and he laughed alone rereading those angry letters. She only calmed down when he sent Jane a personal apology note.

Only six years later another opportunity reached them, she was always in a tight budget and he under his father’s thumb. But when she graduated he had already finished his masters and had access to his trust fund. He was starting his adult life, was engaged and his cousin-fiancé was planning their wedding.

Anne de Bourgh twisted her white thin nose at the idea of flying to Brazil but accepted after some cajoling. He would never say anything but deep down Darcy hoped she would leave him in the lurch; Elizabeth was his friend, not hers. What if Lizzy was even more enchanting in person? There was a good chance of that.
He confirmed he would attend Elizabeth’s graduation; he bought the flight tickets and planned to stay for a month. But then he had to disappear for a while.

A week before his trip, his mother was very badly injured after she fell from a horse. Pemberley grounds were vast and it took them a few hours to find her in a deserted area, winter was severe that year, the chilly weather worsened her condition. After almost a month in the hospital, Anne Darcy died.

During this wretched period, Darcy started to write a letter to Elizabeth a few times, even tried to call once but didn’t manage to talk to her. When he told Anne about his idea of spending some time in Brazil to grieve, she didn’t take it well and soon after announced she was pregnant. Darcy was surprised, happy in a confused way, hurt, missing his mother and worried about his father and his little sister who were very happy with the possibility of having a baby in the house.

Devastated and dazed, Darcy accepted when his father forced him to anticipate the marriage, feeling it was his duty to emotionally support the family.

Now, decades later, the suspicion that Anne planned to force their marriage poisoned him. He hadn’t needed that; he wanted to go to Brazil, change sceneries and give fate a chance.

Soon before the wedding, Anne and his father were involved in a car crash that buried Darcy alive: his father died and Anne miscarried. That day burned all remembrance of anything lively or sparkling.

Anne lost her wits and doted on Georgiana who had sixteen at the time. Darcy was sad for a long time and missed Elizabeth, their friendship, her letters and cheering up.

When he thought he could write anything pleasant, he gathered his strength and sent her a long letter but never got an answer. He missed her graduation, didn’t explain why he didn’t show up, she probably was furious with him. What if she had gone to the airport to greet him?

But he hadn’t had much of a chance at the time. Even if he had been considering breaking up with Anne when she announced the pregnancy, after the miscarriage he didn’t have the courage to do it. Then came the girls, first Diana e soon after Sarah. Years later he still felt he was sacrificing himself.

That’s why he was in the attic now, dreaming of a ‘never been’. Never was.

Darcy sighed and leafed through Elizabeth’s old letters.

‘It’s easier to say 'I love you' to me than to your girlfriend because you're saying it to a piece of paper and a piece of paper doesn't have fingers for you to feel obliged to put a ring on! Besides, our ‘I love you’s are totally different. Right?
Anyway, I love you too, my piece of paper!
Lizzy, Bt.

PS.: I'm sending you a paper doll with my face, but no ring friendly fingers!’

He laughed to himself remembering he had actually played with that paper doll when he got it. A little ashamed, he had undressed the doll and found little frilly knickers. Lizzy must have used an old paper doll with her smiling face cut and glued with scotch tape, and two sets of clothes.

He found it crumpled in a corner of the old trunk, the neck already creased from the extra weight of the picture glued to the head.

Your good opinion once lost is lost forever... This is something very poetic to say but holding a grudge is toxic. Shouldn't you offer the other cheek? And don’t accuse me of being ‘too catholic’. There isn’t such a thing as ‘too catholic’.’

The boarding school fight!... What was it all about?

Darcy had to concentrate to remember why he had a fistfight when he was almost an adult. Someone said something about a girl he wasn’t even dating… He faintly remembered an ex-boyfriend and sour grapes.

‘I heard you! Lamb Tone rocks! I loved it! Rick Astley is sooooo great! Thanks, Prince! And Madonna… I appreciate your effort on giving me a few moments of pop rock instead of Plant, Page & Jagger all the time. You rock! And… such a sexy voice you have, your Highness!’

It had taken them three letters to arrange dates and schedules to make sure he would hack into Manchester radio station when she would be able to tune in using extra antennas or something and listen to his occasional broadcast.

Darcy spent many minutes smiling to the ceiling remembering how serious he and Graham took their pirate radio. They had shows, a recorded vignette and special features… So much fun.

Broadcast signal intrusion is a felony here. I think Lamb Tone is totally worth it but can hijacking Manchester radio put you in trouble? Oh, and the polo photo? Wow!...’

It was illegal and it brought him a lot of trouble. Manchester W540 radio only needed a few meager enquires to find out who was responsible for hijacking their signal one or two times a month. The Darcys were a traditional family in the area and the radio owner – a personal friend - called his father.

Darcy and Graham were in big trouble for a long time. Darcy winced remembering his father and uncle yelling at them to ‘stop behaving like lads and start being men’.

And the polo photo… Darcy smiled to himself. He had planned to impress Lizzy with all his male exuberance atop his exquisite gelding and the polo team uniform. It worked!

‘So, I guess I had it easy. I mean…
What if this guy turned out to be one of those crazy abusive boyfriends???’

Darcy hated to read her talking about guys who he couldn’t meet in person to see for himself if they were good enough for her.
And guys complained about their pen friendship! The gall!...

My mother is right; being a teacher in Brazil means almost starvation! What was I thinking???
With a degree in Biomedicine I can get a job in health care but the salary… it’s a shame. Don’t worry; I won’t start with the political speech here – even though our health care politics ARE SHAMEFULL  – but no one can live off the two dollars/hour salary.
Of course I could change majors but that would mean I’d have to start college all over again. I’ve been thinking about law school… Do you think I’d be a good lawyer?
Are you still interested in my insecurities or are bored to death?

He remembered how confused she was after the first year in college. He thought that if she changed majors, she would just want to do it again in a year time. She had been so sure of biomedicine the year before…

Reading her letter, Darcy remembered how ardently he had wanted to take her to a pub and let her open her heart to him over a pint until he could give her a wisdom dripping advice.

Instead, he had written her a long, long letter.

‘Engaged?! My friend, congratulations!
Anne will make you really happy, she has known you since you were born, and dealing with your mother-in-law will feel as easy as a dear aunt! Ha!
I don’t see myself getting married anytime soon, you guys are really brave! Isn’t marriage supposed to be the beginning of the rest of one’s life?
I’m really, really happy for you.
Do you think Anne will let you keep writing me?’

At the time he had felt a tiny sting of disappointment. Elizabeth was his friend, his confidant but also a very pretty girl. And being Brazilian gave her an edge… she sounded juicier. When she wrote saying she was happy for his impending marriage, did it mean she didn’t have any romantic designs for him whatsoever?

Darcy fished his phone from his pocket and speed dialed his Head of Security who didn’t answer the phone. Two seconds later came a text.

‘Wait until Monday.’

Soon after came another.

‘Dad, Mom is seething. Have you left the house? Granny Catherine wants to talk to you about one of her very important things…’

“…Someone said: “If you’re not careful,
You’ll have nothing left, nothing to care for”…”

Being boring – Pet Shop Boys


Chapter 3