quinta-feira, 11 de julho de 2019

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 11_ PART II

hi, there.
So, Williams is tripping belladama and we have P&p in reverse. How does it feel? Darcy is vulnerable, and still haughty. Lizzy here has the secret to hide, so she's a little less smiley - do we want to discover what is it?

Yeah, right?!


Here's the last part of HIS SIDE OF THE STORY... Enjoy.



Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 11 _PART 1
or START from CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 11
VII- Head over heels - part 2


The next week, at Charlotte and Collin’s engagement luncheon, Lizzy arrived a bit late ready to spend as little time as necessary. The bride was her longtime friend and worked at Longbourn for years, she had to be there. But knowing the groom’s family, she imagined the menu and imagined it would be a mine field.

As she entered the old farmhouse, the sweet smell of vegetable soup engulfed her. At the first table she found a tall glass with her name pyrocrafted on a charm of rustic wood slice tied to the stem. Cute and highly appropriate to the place. She smiled.

But as she was about to serve herself of the available beer tap, she heard a rich voice advise against it.

‘Better not, Miss Bennett.’

‘I’m sorry, what?’

‘My dad brewed that, this is our brewery.’ The young man gestured widely around them. ‘I’ll fetch you the right drinks.’

She united her brows. One of the brothers, of course, the youngest, what was his name?...

‘Here.’ He filled her a glass with golden beer and showed a paper wrist tag. ‘May I?’

‘What is this?’

‘An identification for everyone who needs special service.’

She nodded. ‘You’re a Mr. Darcy, am I right?’

‘I’m Burgess Darcy.’ He tied the bracelet. ‘Hope you enjoy the party.’

Well impressed, she found her friend to congratulate her and was amused to find Charlotte already a bit drunk.

‘I want to talk to you, Lizzy!’ A tight hug. ‘You and Jane and all our friends!’ Charlotte laughed.

‘I can hear you!’ Lizzy smiled sideways and while waiting for Charlotte to gather the other girls in shouts and giggles, she saw the Warlord looking at her from afar. Handsome, he was, no doubt. A violent tug distracted her and soon she was in a cozy living room with the other women.

‘I brought you here for an invitation!’ Charlotte laughed. ‘A very important one!’

‘Bridesmaids!’ One of the girls laughed as well.

‘Yes!’ They hugged and jumped on the spot together.

‘Why did you wait so long, Char?’

‘Collin didn’t know if he’d invite all his brothers to the altar, and there was this who lives abroad cousin too. Now we know all five men stand with him and I want the five of you with me!’

There was another happy collective hug and the bride took a champagne bottle from the hidden ice bucket.

‘Will you be my maid of honor, Lizzy?’ She asked offering a small mini bottle.

‘Oh, how sweet!’ They hugged. ‘Of course!’

‘Why does she get a special booze?’ One of the girls whined.

‘My future husband’s best man thinks she is a vegan.’ Charlotte shrugged. ‘He took care of special food for her.’

‘The hot chef?’

‘William.’

Lizzy blushed. ‘Thank him for me.’

‘You do it! Show him appreciation by eating what he cooks.’

‘He is an excellent cook!’

‘Oh, my, he is so talented!...’

‘Anyone can see the size of his talent!’

They all giggled like school girls.

‘What are you talking about? The man’s cookery or beauty?’ Lizzy laughed. ‘There is something in the tone of his voice, his address… I don’t know.’

‘She knows! That’s why she hated his food last week!’ Jane giggled.

the vegan company
‘It wasn’t like this. They presented a lousy job, we need to care for our standards.’

‘Blah, blah, blah, the guy moved her.’

Lizzy blushed, sipped her mini vegan champagne bottle and chose not to answer.


During the party, tempted by the friends’ teasing, Lizzy decided to give the finger food a chance. Everything seemed delicious but as she had already eaten, she chose fruits from the side table as appetizers.

‘Hello.’

She jumped, took a napkin and pressed to her lips. ‘Hi!’

‘Fruits have seduced women since the birth of times.’

A moment was necessary for her to understand. ‘The Bible, you mean? Eve and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.’ She asked, the chef nodded beside her. Why would that man bring that up, of all things he could talk to her about?

‘I do not trust my own partiality, but I’ve been told figs are risky for vegans.’ 

She looked at the fruit in her hand, then back at his face, and suddenly the aggravated look made sense. He had overheard her talk to Jane. ‘As delicious as this fruit is, a pity isn’t it? Do you like it?’

‘With prosciutto.’ He said sourly.

‘I’m a vegetarian; and follow a much less rigid diet. The natural enzymes of the plant that consume the insect are a vital process to me. But I prefer to enjoy it without a corpse.’ She raised her shoulders, he didn’t answer. ‘Perhaps you thought I were a vegan because I defended Longbourn’s good name. We can’t always care about arts in my business, Mr. Darcy, at times we need to let go of poetry and focus on mundane concerns.’ She bit into the fig.

‘So ends the emotions.’ William felt a little impatient by her side. ‘There are many form of arts in mundane business, I fancy. In mine, it’s said that poetry is the food of love.’

‘Some say it drives love away.’

‘In any case, poetry is always connected to love.’ He defied her.
‘Poetry is not my business. Since I started working on my father’s legacy I learned that business, more often than not, can’t be always connected to emotions.’

‘I say potato; you say potahto.’

The old song surprised her. ‘You like this and the other, while I go for this and that…’ 

They shared a funny little smile that she considered confirmation of his understanding of her explanations and apology; he, on the other hand, thought it meant she acknowledged her rudeness and the grudge he carried for the disrespect suffered.

‘Maid-oh-honor and Best man together, perfect!’ Charlotte called out. ‘Saves us a lot of time, right, Collin?’

‘Yeah, honey.’

‘You two need to give us a speech!’

‘What?’ Lizzy looked from one person to another. ‘Without preparing anything?’

‘That can’t be so difficult.’ Darcy answered before the bride and groom. ‘I’ll start with a few stories about our childhood and then, in your turn to say something pleasant, you ought to make some sort of remark on the size of the Pemberley estate that inspires our catering business, or the number of people we fed today. Quite a venue it is.’

She nodded. Her polite manners would never allow her to respond to this nitpicking. 

Someone caught his eye attention and William reluctantly averted his gaze from the appealing figure of the rich woman, so pretty with those fine eyes blinking to him in a most unreadable manner. But his cousin was waving, pointing at the very woman, mouthing ‘It’s her!’ . He furrowed his brows. 

In few steps he was close to the distant relative. ‘Lizzy Bennett is who, Wilker?’

‘Lizzy Bennett is the girl who broke my heart in college, remember? I was even jailed because of her, she used me while I kept her amused and when she was through with the poor dude, she kicked me in the head.’

William looked at Lizzy from another perspective, she seemed sexier, prettier, more instigating. ‘You never mentioned her name before.’

‘Bennett from the Longbourn Trust fund who’s here in this paradise of homemade beer and heavenly food without even tasting anything.’

‘I see… She vetoed our catering, for the Institute she runs.’
‘She doesn’t run anything, she only gavottes around in her designer clothes and shoes-’ Wilker sniggered. ‘She must be famished enough, look. She’s eating your excellent food.’

William turned fast enough to see her bite into the tiny Portobello and avocado taco. She was graceful, was having fun with the food and the napkin until… She winced, covered her mouth with a hand, wrapped the taco in the napkin, tossing it in the bin half hidden behind the table and moving to the bar to get a bottle of water out of the ice bucket.

‘Not good enough for her, it seems.’ Wilker snorted. ‘Still the snob beauty I knew. The taco is great, lots of lemon, cousin. Pepper and salt. Perfect for beer.’

Pepper, lemon, salt! William walked directly to side of the table from where she had chosen the taco, took one and atr in one single bite. The deepest shame consumed him, he wanted to disappear. It was inedible.

During the speech, he had no chance to apologize; after it he did try, but a mere glance at his cousin made Lizzy lose the color on his face. In a second he watched her make a phone call and in the other she was gone.
---
Lizzy needed a few weeks to make peace to the visit of her past. A haunting image she wished to never see again took her over. Work distracted her enough to calm her heart.

She was surprised with the request to host an impromptu fashion show with very little advance. Regularly the Longbourn Institute would deny such situations, but both Lizzy and Jane were costumers of the renowned brand, the event would bring them great positive media coverage.

The after party should be of their producing and caught unawares, her regular caterer wasn’t available. Her sister and friend suggested, she accepted the idea of paying what the Darcys from Pemberley asked for the job.

‘They are here, Lizzy.’ Jane said smiling. Standing at the door of her sister’s office, she admired the image. ‘You look so amazing… I wish mom could see you from Heaven.’

A pressed smile. ‘I’ll be right there.’ Lizzy waved her sister off. To herself she chuckled remembering the last time she met the Warlord chef. ‘My father loved to listen Louis Armstrong sing this song about potatos and tomatos, you know which one?’ She asked and the designer’s assistants nodded.

‘Harry Connick Jr. sang that, didn’t he?’ One of the assistants said.
She was still smiling when the door opened again, she heard her cell phone buzz and her table phone rang at the same time. ‘Coming, coming, coming.’ She answered with eyes on her phone to check a last e-mail, stepped into her shoes.

‘Hello.’

The rich voice filled her office and heart. She stumbled to find balance and stood up straight.

‘Funny outfit for a work day!’ William said seriously.

‘Oh.’ Lizzy looked at herself and pointed at the assistants. ‘It’s theirs, I’ll be a model at the fashion show.’

‘Gorgeous.’

‘Thank you.’ Lizzy made a small curtsey making the beige bridal gown that could easily be an evening gown dance around her figure. ‘It’s part of the summer collection.’ Her heart jumped to her throat seeing William’s eyes on her. ‘Hi.’

‘I’m searching the conference room, someone said it was around here.’

‘It is.’ She pointed the door on her left. ‘You can use this door.’ She pointed to the one only for her.

Around the big meeting room table were Collin with Charlotte, Jane sipped fragrant coffee with Brinley by the window waiting William and Lizzy to start discussing business even though they already talked details. The side door opened and they were amused to watch the ones missing walk in together, the pretty girl dressed to be married, the man in jeans and a t-shirt. 

‘Would three Darcys do today?’ Lizzy smiled.

‘For what we came to decide, I think there are too many of us.’ William answered, his brothers shook their heads or coughed.

‘Let’s start then.’ Charlotte tried to call their attention. ‘The luxury brand begged us to host their fashion show, and we accepted for the collateral repercussion. International guests, all the major TV stations and bloggers, beautiful influential people will be here for a night. As it is last minute, our regular crew is not all available. We needed to find a new flower artist, DJ, etc.’

‘And caterer, I suppose.’

‘Of course.’

‘You want my food in your business.’ Williams asked Lizzy directly.

‘If you are up to the task, yes.’

‘Won’t you ask if we are available?’

‘Would you let such an opportunity pass you by?’ She raised an eyebrow. ‘Name your price.’

‘Too valuable to you.’

‘Excuse me?’

‘You can’t afford me.’

Lizzy tilted her head. ‘I don’t want you, Chef Darcy. We need a caterer, so we intent to make business with your firm.’

He shook his head. ‘You can’t afford.’

She looked at Charlotte and Jane with pursed lips, showed her palms and stood. ‘If you excuse me, sirs, I need to tend to urgent calls in my office. This dress being one.’ A nod, a graceful hold of the long skirts and she left.

‘Hi, guys, help me out of your dress, please?’ She said entering her office but before the couturier’s assistants could help, the door behind her opened again. ‘What?’

‘I need to speak to you.’ William said. ‘Alone.’

She could ask him to wait until she got out of the bridal dress, but that would delay whatever silliness he needed to tell her. ‘Would you guys allow me to stay in this divine creation for a few more minutes?’

‘Sure, Lizzy.’ The assistants left.

‘Tell me what’s eating you, Mr. Darcy.’ She smiled sideways.

‘Funny.’

Second times he said that, she counted. ‘Please, I do have several problems to take care.’

‘Excuse me for taking you time, but I need to tell you why Pemberley won’t work with Longbourn Institute.’ He looked her intently, she waited. ‘First, I do owe you apologies for the taco at my brother’s engagement party, maybe it was too seasoned.’

She didn’t know how he knew she had eaten that. ‘It happens.’
‘Mistakes happen; you mean?’

‘Yes…’

‘I noticed you barely tried anything besides fruit and that taco.’

‘Had little appetite, I usually eat before parties because not everyone cares for vegetarian food.’

‘You admit the prejudice. You planned to avoid eating at my brother’s engagement party, he who is partner of a caterer business.’ He endured the humiliation feeling stung. ‘People should apologize, Miss Bennett.’

‘I’m sorry, but I’ve starved in several parties before. You were not obligated to provide special food for me.’

‘Times and times again you imply that I cannot cook to your standards.’

She blinked several times, stood to her height. ‘This is not personal, Mr. Darcy. Your firm offered us vegan food without proof of origins, maybe you thought it necessary to impress me. I can only believe the prejudice is yours believing the choice of veganism is silliness. Correct me if I am wrong.’

He couldn’t.

‘At your brother’s party, my friend’s too by the way, the food I tasted was not tasty to my liking and a caterer has to care for the average of consumers. You can offer seasoning aside; people can choose to use more pepper or lemon or what else but you cannot force me to eat anything.’

‘You didn’t eat.’

She pulled a face. ‘No, heavens!’ Shook her head. ‘And the decisions here are made between me and my sister. It would be enough to impress Jane.’

‘I could present the certificate of origins of all ingredients if only you had asked with civility.’

‘Was I uncivil?’

‘Again, one should apologize for mistakes. That is what we discuss in the family, even outside the firm. My cousin Wilker, you met him at the luncheon, has interesting ideas on that.’ 

She waited. He waited as well.

‘Whatever passed between me and that… person belongs in the past. It is forgotten.’ She said through her teeth.
‘Not for him.’

‘Oh, really?’

‘I see a pattern in you, too squeamish, snob, consider a humble man your servant.’

‘Sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’

‘Wilker was a boyfriend you used in college, Pemberley is a caterer you want to hire when it suits you.’

‘Mr. Darcy, you clearly know nothing about anything. I suggest you leave before any incivility takes place. Please, leave.’ She pointed the door. 


Once freed of the expensive couture dress, breathing still altered, she had her eyes on the computer intent on ordering her printer to work on super speed.

‘Lizzy, let me tell you about the meeting.’ Jane entered the office. ‘We have a problem, but I think I know how to handle-’

‘Not now.’ Lizzy showed her a hand. ‘Stop, go away, don’t want to know.’

‘Wow, why this sweetness?’

‘I am terribly busy, sister. We can talk later.’
She needed just one more print before closing the file and driving all the way to Pemberley Brewery.


William was in his brother’s car when they entered their home and felt a strange pang in his heart when he saw the sleek sports car parked in the driveway. Then she stepped outside, the pretty sexy woman, walked to him, delivered a manila envelope, returned to her car and drove away.

‘What was that?’ Brinley asked.

‘Have no idea.’ William answered opening the envelope.

Next few minutes he wanted to punch a wall.


He had never worked so hard in his life, tried and measured and arranged recipes several times; offered mini dinner parties to friends at home to make sure all the food would be delicious. And then came the fashion show.

William was locked in the kitchen; could only hope she would come to see him. But would Lizzy make the first move? 

When it came to how he felt towards her, vulnerability and insecurity were top of the list, close to much hotter feelings – what proposed an impossible conundrum. His pride hurt, ashamed by what he thought she thought of him, of his shortcomings. It’d be better to be unloved.

But she didn’t visit the kitchen, she wasn’t seen backstage, the gorgeous beige bride’s dress was worn by a model and her pretty face didn’t brighten the party he catered.

When he asked, her sister smiled and avoided answering. His soon-to-be sister-in-law was the one to tell him.

‘She is abroad, William. Lizzy needed to get out of here for a while and there is a Museum in Europe that wants to send us a big exposition. She’s taking care of all negotiations.’

He imagined the real reason for her absence.


During the months until his brother’s wedding, William often returned to the letter Lizzy had included in the envelope with the record of a harassment court case.

‘Mr. Darcy- I believe I can call you William if I am about to give you these documents. I apologize if my extreme care with quality control resonated to you as something personal. It seems to me that you work with emotions more than technic and while it helps me understand your business, it also makes me believe I made the right choice in voting against hiring you.
Had I been insincere and praised your creations, given you a rigid menu to work from, you would have probably made it clear to our upscale customers an inaptitude that would prevent any further jobs. In my opinion, that I gave Charlotte who is to be part of your family, you need to pay attention to formality both in cooking and in management.
But all this could be overseen if the presence of a certain person, Wilker who you just told me is your cousin, hadn’t surprised me at the engagement party. I don’t want to relieve the pain he caused me and tried to inflict on my sister as well, but in case you are misinformed of it – as I suspect you are- Longbourn Institute cannot hire Pemberley Caterers if there is any connection with this man.
This is final.
Certain of your comprehension,
Lizzy Bennett

Sexual Harassment Case Bennett x Wilker
-Complaint harassment
-Testimony of victim Bennett, Lizzy taken at College Campus’ Hospital ER 
-Transcription of electronic communication recognized as threaten to expose intimate content
-Transcription of electronic communication recognized as harassment
-Restraining order against Wilker


 Finally, the wedding arrived. 

debrett's
William was assured Lizzy wouldn’t be present. One of the bridesmaids stood with him during rehearsals, Jane shied from personal comments even though she seemed to be interested in a serious relationship with Brinley, and the bride – turned into bridezilla – had no time to waste.

More interested in guaranteeing the quality of the food he would be serving at the party, William arrived at the church in time with the bride.

‘Where were you?’ She asked in a frown. ‘Go! We’re only waiting for you to start this show.’

‘Wedding is not supposed to be a show, future sister.’ William pulled on his jacket and closed his collar’s button. ‘It’s the beginning of your future life.’

‘Yeah, yeah, Lizzy.’ She waved impatiently making her bouquet loose a few petals. ‘Go!’

Hearing her name, he perked up. ‘Why did you say that?’

‘Don’t stall, future brother, go! I’m already a couple short at the altar, had to dismiss a bridesmaid. Nothing more can go wrong.’

He walked thinking she meant Lizzy who was still abroad, then realized it was his cousin and then he saw her in line giggling with the other bridesmaids.

‘Miss Bennett!’

‘Mr. Darcy.’ Lizzy pressed a smile.

‘Hello, Lizzy. It’s good to see you.’

She averted her eyes, fumbled with the bouquet. ‘William, hi. I heard the dinner menu is superb.’ She felt very embarrassed. The story she had told him in documents was a spot in her past she never talked about simply because deep down, in spite of all the post-traumatic treatment, she still felt unreasonable guilt. As most victims of abuse.

‘No one could tell me if you’d make it, but your meal was carefully planned. Red beet tartare with fresh tomato bruschetta, gazpacho, stuffed butternut squash, Mediterranean grilled seitan and caramel banana bread cake donuts with pecans.’

‘Oh, Lord! That sounds wonderful!’

‘I can guarantee everything is perfectly edible, seasoned to please all tastes, cooked with special care.’

‘I appreciate it.’

‘Hope you didn’t have dinner before arriving today.’

She chuckled. ‘No, came straight from the airport.’

‘Look, Lizzy, I’d like to talk to you later. You gave me a lot to think about and I have to thank you. If you hadn’t shared your history with me, my youngest brother might be in trouble now, he was becoming very close to our cousin.’

She shifted from foot to foot. The first accords of the Wedding March filled the air.

He reached out to hold her hand and marveled at how soft it was, small, flawless. ‘As the only son who inherited his talent in the kitchen, I was spoilt by my father. He taught me his ways with food, encouraged me to be inventive, I believed I was better than anyone. I only saw how selfish and overbearing that was when you crossed paths with me. Such I was and might still be if not for you, dearest, loveliest Lizzy!’

She blinked surprised.

‘Hard lessons I had to learn, over and over. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to that first meeting without a doubt of my reception and found the ugly reality of how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.’ William paused to breathe, he had been wanting to say those words to that beautiful woman for a long time. ‘And when I saw you in a wedding dress, I felt deeply greedy because you looked so fine and it was a pity the occasion wasn’t related to me.’

She gasped.

‘I had time to think about what to say to you, there’s more. Please, allow me to explain everything and talk more calmly during the party.’

‘Hey, you two!’ An ugly shout from the bridezilla. ‘You are ruining my wedding!’

William and Lizzy snapped out of their particular haze and realized the wedding procession had already started, the groom was waiting for his best man, all bridesmaids with ushers behind him while the couple talked almost touching faces standing aside.

‘Later?’ He insisted.

‘Yes.’ She smiled sweetly.

‘I’ll be at the altar, waiting for you.’

She blushed.

William walked beside his brother and took his place at the altar. Anxiously he saw his other three brothers walk towards him with bridesmaids on their arms until finally she came, the most perfect, pretty, sexy, appealing woman he had ever met, came walking graciously before the bride.

He had considered their difference in social status, the burden of not being able to be the provider in case they married, but no pressure would prevent him from trying to win her heart.

When she was close enough, he descended one step to offer her his hand, she took it, he brought her to his side and tucked her hand on the crook of his arm. Eye to eye, he could see the promise of a real relationship with a desirable intelligent woman. Being by her side boosted his pride, virility, vanity.

What a vision she was… 

Lizzy raised on her toes to reach his ear. ‘Stop looking at me this way.’

‘A single man of vast talent is certainly in search of a girlfriend.’

‘Me, you mean?’

‘Allow me the chance to win your heart?’


Williams woke up on his living room floor feeling incredibly rested, pleased with himself, contented. As if he had just returned from an extended vacation somewhere very pleasant.

With someone he cared about. 

It was the dream, of course. He remembered it vividly, perfectly. Every detail, sensation, feeling.

cosmic minds
‘Bertha, it was you, my darling… Another name, different hair, an attitude to aggravate me, but you.’ He chuckled holding his chest still laying on the floor.

The morning light filtered directly on the sofa, it must have passed his usual hour. He was late for his date with her!

Williams stood, felt a little groggy as if in a hangover, noticed his friend’s paraphernalia still on his table, his cell phone dead and marched to a shower. When he left minutes later refreshed and famished, his phone already had some power and-

‘Damn it! I slept for two days!’

.
~ continues ~

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