& Moira Bianchi: 9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 7 _ PART II

domingo, 4 de março de 2018

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 7 _ PART II

hey, hello.

Here in Brasil we're all about a Jane Austen mashup soap opera about to start at the end of the month. 

Usually these shows last for six to seven months, so we'll be filled with a whole hour, 6 days a week of (hopefully) delicious adventure of Benedito sisters searching for love. The family is composed by Lizzy, Jane and Lydia Bennet plus Catherine Morland and Marianne Dashwood - yeah, these are the 5 daughters of a matchmaking mamma. Their close friend? Emma, of course. Enemy? Susan!
Oh, dear... I'm praying to Saint Jane of Austen ´cos this mélange is so risky!... 

Anyway, here in this risqué mashup of my own, Darcy and Lizzy are bathed in Bath's love season...

Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 7- part I

IV-Oldies but goldies _ PART II

       ‘Let me make amends escorting you out on your morning walks tomorrow.’

‘I don’t have a chaperone here.’ She frowned, pursed her lips.

The musicians hit the final chords, she curtsied and he bowed.

‘Lizzy!’ Charlotte smiled skipping a step beside her. ‘Mr. Tilney and Miss Tilney, his sister, always take morning walks through the park. You said you like these adventures, Isabella hates exercises.’ The girl smiled. ‘Would you like to come with me?’ She looked at the smiling gentleman. ‘Please?’

‘Fine.’ Lizzy grumbled.

‘If the lady let me know her address, I can offer to get her in my phaeton.’ Darcy smiled sideways.

‘That would be just fine, Darce.’ Tilney smiled. ‘For me and my sister Eleanor could then escort Miss Charlotte and we could meet at the park.’


Lizzy shook her head. ‘I don’t know…’

‘Please…’ Charlotte held her new friend’s elbow.

‘We were just now talking about books, were we not?’ Lizzy tried to communicate with the girl through her eyes.


‘Maybe we could meet earlier and then, if Miss Tilney likes to read too, she could meet us at the bookstore tomorrow.’ Lizzy forced a smile. ‘Just the ladies, reading does improve the mind…’

‘Oh, I see.’ Charlotte nodded.

‘I’ll convey this idea to my sister, Miss Lizzy.’ Tilney smiled tilting his head in a funny expression.

Darcy pressed his eyes. ‘I like to read a good deal. As I recall from Cambridge, you do as well, Tilney.’

The other gentleman changed his smile from sad to bright. ‘Very much so.’

‘Then we have a novel pastime here for Bath, I’d say!’ Charlotte gushed. ‘What do you fancy reading, Mr. Tilney? I told Miss Lizzy that she should read Udolpho.’

‘Ah, you should read gothic novels, Miss Lizzy.’ Darcy offered his arm, Lizzy was obliged to take it or they would make a scene in the middle of the crowded Assembly room. ‘Would you be afraid of the horrors it tells?’

‘You are full of mischief, Mr. Darcy.’

‘I beg your pardon?’

‘I shall uncover your secrets.’

He laughed, that’d be delightful.


Lizzy barely slept after the excitement of meeting Darcy again. 

Their last meeting had been of the most violent nature, he had offered his hand and she refused in the worst manner possible; he accused her of being uncivil, she accused him of cruelty, he wrote her a heartfelt humbling letter and left. 

And he was so handsome… Tall, dark, pristine cravat with a jewel pin, a charming smile… All that man with ten thousand a year, very polite and proper, she refused him because her mind was filled with vile gossip… Oh, how could one find sleep?

Her maid arrived to open her chamber’s blinds at dawn and was surprised the young lady was in the big chair near the window keeping the day under watch. How could she meet the man face to face again, in private? She felt her face warm up just thinking about it.

Before she even finished her simple breakfast teacup, Charlotte arrived with a book and a smile. ‘Are you not ready yet?’

‘Just about.’

‘Isabella do not want to come with us, as I thought she’d refuse.’ A pout. ‘She said that it is too early for her complexion.’

‘I see.’ Lizzy nodded. ‘Is she engaged to you brother?’

‘Yes! Is it not very romantic?’

‘I considered if she was not flirting like my sisters last night.’

‘No, she is like that, very amicable.’


‘You consider her a bad influence?’ Charlotte asked, Lizzy shook her head. ‘Mr. Tilney seems to have Mr. Darcy in high esteem and Mr. Darcy has you high esteem as I am beginning to have too. Maybe I should spend time with you instead.’ 

Lizzy had to blink to make her sleepy mind work after the complicated reasoning. 

‘Here.’ Charlotte put the book on the table. ‘The mysteries of Udolpho.’

‘Thank you.’ The food pushed aside, Lizzy immediately started to browse the big book. ‘If we already have what to read and talk about, do we need to go out?’

‘Yes, we have an appointment with the Tilneys and Mr. Darcy!’

‘I’d rather we didn’t go…’

‘Oh, but you will go.’ Mrs. Phillips ordered entering the room. ‘I asked around and confirmed these Tilneys are a very wealthy family.’

‘They have been to Cambridge together.’ Charlotte said choosing a biscuit from the tray. ‘Darcy and Tilney.’

‘Really?’ Mrs. Phillips tilted her head.

‘He said last night.’

‘The maid shall accompany you to the library, she’ll chaperone you.’

‘Miss Tilney will be there.’

‘Good, make sure you befriend her as well, girls.’

Oh, dear. Lizzy thought. Away from her mother, too close to her aunt. ‘Wouldn’t you rather I kept you company, aunt?’ You´re always so adamant of me keeping close, insisted on my company here.’

‘I can spare you if the cause is so just.’

Urgh. ‘Let us go, Charlotte.’ Lizzy stood from the breakfast table.

Walking the busy Bath streets, careful not to get ran over by fast carriages, the two girls exchanged confidences of the previous night when they had almost undivided attention of handsome gentlemen.

‘So, your Mr. Tilney is Mr. Darcy’s longtime friend.’ Lizzy smiled sideways angling her head to see Charlotte’s face in spite of their bonnets.

‘Don’t say my Mr. Tilney, Lizzy…’ The girl bit her lip. ‘Why would you imply so?’

‘To me his intentions were clear.’

‘Intentions towards me?’ She seemed stunned. ‘Do you think so?’

A smile and a nod.

‘And so Mr. Darcy was also interested in you?’

Pursed lips.

‘Mr. Tilney said the most agreeable things to me…’

‘He did?’ Lizzy was glad the subject had drifted from Darcy as soon as it arrived close.

‘Mhum!’ Charlotte nodded. ‘He knows a great deal of muslim and lady gowns.’

Lizzy laughed. ‘How peculiar!’

‘And he dances very well.’

‘I noticed.’

‘I’m looking forward to meeting him today.’

Lizzy thought how awkward it could be meeting Darcy again. Maybe he had given up the idea…

He hadn’t.

The girls arrived at the book shop to find the gentlemen waiting at the door with a handsome lady by their side.

Lizzy wanted, but couldn’t shake the feeling of jealousy nagging on her when she noticed Darcy talking animatedly with the woman wearing a the most beautiful spencer she’d seen.

‘Ah, Miss Moreland.’ Tilney bowed. ‘Miss Bennett.’

‘Good morning, sir.’ Charlotte smiled. ‘Sir.’ She curtsied to Darcy as well.

‘Miss Moreland.’ Darcy bowed. ‘Miss Lizzy.’ He bowed again, this time keeping his eyes on hers as she curtsied.

‘Allow me to introduce my sister.’ Tilney smiled. ‘Eleanor.’

‘I am very pleased to finally meet you, Miss Lizzy.’ Miss Tilney curtsied. ‘And you, Miss Moreland.’

‘Charlotte, please.’ The girl said as they entered the lovely shop before the gentlemen. ‘Why you say finally? Have you heard much of Lizzy? I just met her, but my friend Isabella said her mother who is friends with her aunt said Lizzy is very accomplished.’

‘No, I am not…’ Lizzy blushed.

‘Yes, you are!’ Charlotte tapped her new friend’s hand. ‘She said you are the most intelligent girl of Hertfordshire.’ 

‘Huh, huh.’

‘And she is a local beauty.’

‘I can attest to both statements.’ Darcy said as they passed by the ladies.

Eleanor laughed. ‘William is such an eavesdropper since he was a young boy.’

‘And you were always our preceptor.’ Tilney pulled on his sister’s bonnet’s pretty ribbon. ‘Not even that much older than us.’

‘Two babies.’ Eleanor rolled her eyes. ‘Which books do you girls would like to read?’

For several moments, lost in the new friendship with Eleanor and Charlotte among books talking about novels and romances, Lizzy forgot about Darcy. 

Between the three of them, they had an older more centered lady in Eleanor, an intelligent headstrong in Lizzy and a dreamy naïve in Charlotte making a perfect trio intimate enough to use their first names. 

‘My dad will be out of town this week; he can be a trifle too…’ Eleanor wriggled her hands. ‘Too moody sometimes. Would you two care for spending this time at Northanger Abbey with us?’

‘At an Abbey?’ Charlotte repeated.

‘You home estate?’ Lizzy blinked.

‘Yes.’ Eleanor nodded. ‘It’s not far, barely two changes. One if in a hurry. We can all go together, even. Darcy has his coach here in Bath, and we have ours.’ She said, but the girls were still stunned and kept silent. ‘Henry?’ She called out.


‘I just invited the ladies to the Abbey for the week.’

‘What a marvelous idea, sister!’ He opened a big smile that contaminated Charlotte. ‘Darce?’


Lizzy jumped when Darcy’s voice sounded right behind her.

‘What do you say about having these lovely guests at the Abbey with us?’

‘If Miss Lizzy would care to spend the weekend at the Abbey, she’d be enchanted with the property.’ He smiled at her who blushed. ‘And Miss Charlotte, the library is quite extensive.’

‘Not quite as Pemberley’s.’ Tilney teased.

‘No.’ Darcy chuckled. ‘But almost.’

‘Where is Pemberley, sir?’

‘His estate, Miss Charlotte, in Derbyshire.’ Tilney smiled sideways.

‘It is settled, then.’ Eleanor gushed, hands held over her chest. ‘When can we go?’ She turned to her brother. ‘When will father leave town?’


‘If the day is agreeable, we can ride the phaetons.’ Eleanor planned. ‘We can drive Charlotte and Darcy can arrange for Lizzy.’

In a deep blush, not sure how to escape such a trap, Lizzy shook her head. ‘Let me talk to my aunt first, make sure she can spare me for a week.’

‘Of course.’ Eleanor nodded, saddened. ‘Of course you should ask her first. You too, Charlotte, should ask your grandmother.’

‘I’m sure she won’t oppose… As Mrs. Phillips won’t.’

‘If necessary, I can intercede.’ Darcy offered.

‘Please don’t.’ Lizzy asked.



A moment passed when they stared at each other in silent communication, the other’s forgotten until he pointed an ungloved hand over his shoulder. ‘I think I may have found a shelf that might interest you, Miss Lizzy, there at the back of the shop. Would you care to visit?’

‘Books on regimentals, sir?’

He pressed a smile and nodded.

Walking behind her, eyes on the crown of her bonnet, Darcy could hardly believe his luck in being this close to her again. So engrossed in the simple pleasure, he barely noticed when they reached the last shelves of books.

‘Sir.’ She whispered. ‘Whatever do you mean?’


‘I believed you wanted, with that letter, to cease all contact with me.’ She raised a hand as he shook his head vehemently. ‘I was very ashamed of the accusations I made on that afternoon-’

‘Please, do not trouble yourself with those words anymore.’


‘Would you call me by my first name and, in return, allow me the pleasure to use ‘Lizzy’?’

She blushed.

‘It was a big surprise to again meet you by coincidence as last Easter, it brought me great joy.’ In a rampant of emotion, he caught her small hand to place a chaste kiss. Her response was a tremble and a soft sigh when his face, ducked to reach her dainty fingers, was close to feel the air leave her lips. Unable to refrain himself, Darcy leaned in and touched his mouth to hers ever so softly.

A simple touch delicate as a butterfly wing’s flap.

She didn’t pull away, so he touched again, this time with a little more pressure and his arms wrapped her in a hug to bring her closer. Her hands on his chest kept space between them, her face turned upwards offered her lips, eyes closed in abandon, heart beating wildly made her breathing show him she felt as he did.

The third time, she did pull back.


‘I’m sorry, Lizzy.’ He breathed, eyes on her. ‘No, I’m completely unrepentant for I wanted to do that for a longtime.’

She remembered the offer of marriage and what the kiss could mean. ‘Were we seen?’ She whispered taking a step behind still in his arms. ‘Do you think, sir?’

‘No sir when we’re alone, please.’ He asked allowing her to gain space but keeping contact by holding her hands in his. ‘And no, we have privacy.’

She blushed even more. Compromised by a man she refused before she knew how honorable he was... ‘If someone sees me now, anyone will know what we did.’

He smiled. ‘What was that?’



‘I didn’t grant you permission!’

‘Will you, please?’

He asked in such a charming manner she had to nod. ‘Yes.’ And twisted her lips to a side. ‘Fitzwilliam.’ She raised her eyes and saw his smile. ‘We just-’ Lizzy lowered her voice even more. ‘Shared a kiss!’ She hissed.

‘No sin in that.’

‘Yes, it is a sin!’ She blinked desperately. ‘Oh, my! You are a rogue after all!’ She tried to take her hands off his, but he held firmly laughing. ‘My aunt said so.’

‘I am not!’

‘We should not have engaged in the act!’

‘I hoped we would.’ He ducked his face to whisper. ‘And hope we will repeat when spending the week at the Abbey.’

So offended and surprised, she did take her hand away and walked in fast little strides close to her friends again.


Two days later, in the carriage on the road to Northanger Abbey, Charlotte talked animatedly while Lizzy stared out her window. It hadn’t been easy, but in the end, after much maneuvering and a little help from a gloomy weather, Lizzy had managed to avoid riding alone with Darcy in what would be a romantic trip through the country.

His phaeton was gorgeous; she had seen him pass by her window the day before and couldn’t help but appreciate his figure. Her aunt had also commented on how handsome and rich he was, unfortunately had decided to write to her mother telling the news of his presence and Lizzy’s good fortune of making acquaintance with the also rich Tilneys what conspired to render her spirits rather poor for the much waited trip to Northanger.

Eleanor and Charlotte planned what they’d do once at the place, ride and visit the orchards, read and roast snacks, Lizzy only thought about the bookstore kiss.

Darcy chatted when he was directly asked something, but other than that, he brooded trying to discreetly keep Lizzy in his peripheral vision. She was out of spirits, that was not how he planned to spend the week with her. At least he had her in his coach – not alone – but in his coach nonetheless.

At the first stop to change horses, although he was the first to climb down, he lingered behind to be the one to help Lizzy off the coach. The touch of their hands, as usual, was like fire to gun powder. 

‘Miss Lizzy.’ He smiled when she looked directly at him, she had to.

‘Mr. Darcy.’ She answered curtly.

‘Why are you so quiet?’ He whispered hoping they wouldn’t be overheard by their travelling partners. ‘Does not your disposition agree with the road?’



‘You act like a true rogue! My aunt is right!’

Darcy pressed a smile. ‘You do not believe that, madam.’

‘You and her friend’s son, Mr. Thorpe. You are the same, even drive fast phaetons, I saw it!’

‘I admit I met the man, yes, but I am true friends with Tilney; that’s why I accepted his invitation. And of course, you’d be there.’

‘Don’t underestimate my intelligence, Mr. Darcy, please.’

‘We’re alone.’

‘We are not!’

‘Our friends are a bit far.’ He tilted his head motioning the others walking several steps ahead of them. ‘Lizzy.’

‘Very well, Fitzwilliam.’ She nodded, he did too. ‘You, Fitzwilliam, purposefully ignore the fact that you compromised me.’

He was dumbfounded. ‘I most certainly did not!’

‘And what was the bookstore kiss?’

‘An intimate moment, I agree.’

‘Very intimate! Too intimate even!’

‘Agreed, but not enough to compromise you, Lizzy. We were not seen and you keep your virtue intact.’

A strange kind of disappointment flashed through her, she wanted a fight. ‘But-’

He read her signal right, but misinterpreted the motivation. ‘Would you rather I had compromised you?’ As soon as he said those words, he knew by the look in her eyes that he had made a mistake.

But her friends called her before he could say more.

For the next part of the journey, she either angrily stared out of her window or pretended to sleep while the others chatted and Darcy brooded even more.

They didn’t cross eyes even once.

At the second stop, he already had his mood ruined enough when his coachman called him to discuss a damaged wheel that would delay their departure a few moments. 

He let the ladies know, Tilney decided to help the coachman and Darcy stayed behind to arrange costs with the inn keeper. As he left the saloon to return to the coach in hopes of hurrying the work and once at Northanger his luck might change, he felt a small hand on his arm.

Darcy turned immediately.



‘What you asked me before.’ She said softly, he frowned. ‘I don’t want to be ruined, by you or by any other man.’

‘Allow me to apologize for my harsh words, I didn’t mean what I implied. It doesn’t have to be this way, Lizzy.’ 

‘No, it doesn’t. We are about to start a weeklong stay in a distant estate. Why would we spend it fighting?’

He smiled, he had too. She was too perfect, all loveliness in a single woman of fine lively eyes in front of him. ‘I apologize for miscomprehending you.’

‘You’re not repenting.’ She accused.

‘Of our kiss? Absolutely not. In fact, as I said, I wish we could-’


‘There’s been so much hope filling me since the bookstore...’


‘That your feelings may have changed since Easter.’

She blushed and looked away. One moment before she was ready to fight, now... ‘They have changed.’ Lizzy returned her eyes to him.

Darcy raised his brows. ‘For the best?’

She nodded, cheeks flushed to strawberry red. ‘Completely different.’ She whispered hearing her friends coming closer. 

everything but the house
Although they waited still a quarter hour, only when he handed her in with a splitting smile he felt something pressed in his palm. ‘It doesn’t have to be like that.’ She whispered. 

Inside the cabin, as the coach started rocking, he used his top hat as disguise to inspect the gift: a small golden knot pin. Darcy raised his eyes to her and noticed it must have been holding the scarf over her shoulders. 

They exchanged promising looks over the book she pretended to read with Charlotte.

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