& Moira Bianchi: 9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 12_ PART I

quinta-feira, 18 de julho de 2019

9 ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously - chapter 12_ PART I

hi, there.
I'm making preparations to lauch this story in Portuguese version here in Brazil with minor changes... No, several changes. It'll come out in print and ebook version, as cheap as a subway ticket. 
Don't know if anyone would be interested in having this one here (in English, revised and extended) in print. Would you?
On line it'll always be available here.

I do have a new project coming on, very cute and funny and mysterious and lovely. It'll be available on ebook and paperback before the end of the year. Hopefully.

So, after Williams' dream, we arrive at a very, very special point... Can you guess where?

I am very excited to show this chapter. Not only it is my firt time toying with this Austen classic, but for Bertha and Williams is such a romantic moment!... Hope you like it! *fingers crossed*

Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 11 _PART 2

VIII- Lonely Hearts - part 1

Bertha was having a busy morning; the coffee place was alive with students buzzing in because of a lecture about to start at the community college down the street.

Even though she wasn’t needed at the cashier, she managed the long lines and the special requests to get things moving as quickly as possible.

When someone touched her shoulder, she turned ready to answer where to find an outlet to charge a cellphone.



She knitted her brows. The guy was two days late for the weirdest date of her life and, oh dear, he brooded. ‘Is everything ok?’

‘I didn’t show up.’

She nodded pressing her lips together.

‘Do you want to know why I couldn’t?’

She shrugged. ‘Changed your mind?’
beans to ground

He took the small bag from his pocket.

‘My belladama!’

‘Belladama, you say.’

‘I’ve been insane trying to find this.’

‘You forgot in my car.’

She blinked, puzzled. Why was the guy in such a funny mood- ‘You drank it?’ Bertha hid her mouth in her hands. ‘Lottie is going to kill me.’

‘I smoked it.’

‘What?’ She shouted.

‘And slept for two days.’

A laugh escaped her. ‘How was it? Did you like it? Why are you so mad?’

‘You were with me the whole time, maybe you can tell me what happened.’

Words left her, heart stopped, eyes dried out. The man standing there in front of her with a frown, stubble in his face, eyes set on her, mouth slightly opened… ‘It’s you…’ She whispered and felt her face redden as tomatoes in spring. ‘Oh my God, now I recognize.’

‘Bertha?’ Someone called her from the counter. ‘Can you help here with this order?’

Both having difficulty breathing, they needed a moment to think straight.

Williams was the first to react. ‘I’ll be there.’ He pointed to a corner. ‘At the last table, I’ll seat there and will wait for you.’

‘I can call you later.’ She swallowed. ‘I have your office’s card.’
He shook his head. ‘I’ll be here. Waiting.’


He had to wait for her for more than half an hour.
‘Ancient wild belladama, very strong, hybrid, uncommon. Gold in leaves.’ Bertha was finishing her explanation. ‘Good to find… Happiness. Not magic per se but when we wake up, we’re the same only different. The hybrid belladama brightens the best side of things.’

‘Still you feel the need to take some time away.’

A shrug. ‘I’m new to this thing. Still identifying the strength, I don't know I have. Maybe I’m just confused.’

Williams was as skeptical as Bertha when she was first introduced to the magical tea. ‘So, we choose a mug; add boiling water, wait, sip, sleep.’

A giggle. ‘There should be some preparation.’ She bit her lip. ‘Anticipation.’ 

‘Prepare anything you want today, tonight we sleep together.’
‘You're mad!’ Bertha laughed. ‘I barely know you, how can I sleep with you?’

‘I have your tea; we'll buy a special mug together and drink. Then we lay down and wait the dream reach us.’

‘At the same time?’

‘Why not?’

‘I don't even know if it can be done this way! And you just woke up from a trip, you shouldn't take another.’

‘Call your friend, ask her.’

‘Oh, no!’ Eyes wide, mouth in an ‘o’, Bertha even heard Lottie's arguing. ‘No way. Maybe she didn't realize I took the bag, if I tell her we'll ride together, she’ll have a fit.’

‘What you mean, take the bag?’

‘My belladama was almost gone; I visited her house back home and saw this bag forgotten... so I took it.’

‘Stole it?’

A frown. ‘I'll tell her.’

‘It's still taking without her knowledge, Bertha.’

She twisted her lips. 

‘So you refuse me today.’

‘Why shouldn't I? You invited yourself to my bed, accused me of stealing, said that I drugged you.’

‘I didn't.’

‘Pretty much. Insulted me in several manners. Only missing is for you to say that I'm the waitress you want to date but your family think is bellow you.’

‘You know it is you and you also know my mother misunderstood what my sister may have told her.’

‘I don't know anything.’

‘I like you. That’s the only reason I can think for having dreamt of you last night and I suspect it’s been so for a while.’ He leaned on the table to get closer to her. ‘Do you dream of me?’

Bertha bit her lip.

‘My sister says that when we think about someone, the person is thinking about us.’

Her ears burned. It was him, she knew it. He was her Mr. Darcy, Mr. Perfect. In times past, in other situations, in breeches, suit, undressed, fighting with her, dancing, making business deals. ‘Maybe.’ She conceded. 

‘Say when, Bertha. And where. Your house, a hotel. Or come to my place, my bed. But I insist on having this tea with you.’

‘I can't miss work after these days away because of the storm, you just had a hell of a ride… how about Friday night?’

‘Fine, Friday.’ Williams nodded. ‘Today we'll go shopping for mugs. Then have dinner.’

‘A date?’

‘Yes. Is it a problem?’

‘Let's not! Please?...’

‘Why, Bertha?’

‘Let's keep almost strangers and get acquainted in the Belladama haze?’ She invited and in her agitation, Bertha reached out to hold his hand over the table. ‘If we do find each other in the dream, I mean. We don't know if we'll meet there…’

‘I'm sure we will.’

‘We can buy a mug Friday afternoon; I leave at five. Maybe I can take one from the shop.’ She pointed the shelves.

‘No, we'll buy it somewhere else.’ He smiled shyly. ‘I'll be here Friday, 4:30pm.’

For days she served him his latte every morning, they exchanged kisses on the cheeks and he left without any other word. 

Friday arrived. Very anxious, Bertha left earlier. Texted him saying she’d be at home and took a good long run to prepare her body for what was to come. To be true to herself, Bertha did think about spending time with him in more ways than just sleeping. 

Even though she felt silly, she prepared a small backpack with a silky black demure pjs with matching sleeping mask. Also, a big toiletry bag with perfume and shampoo, one could never know…

He was at her building's sidewalk a little early, also too anxious to wait in his place until it was time to get her. Williams had had many dates in his life, but never one to drink tea and sleep. 

Embarrassed, they shared a kiss on the cheek that hovered perilously close to the lips; she entered his car - this time waiting for him to open the door for her. She was surprised to hear rock when the radio came to life; the sound had been considerably gentler than the last time she had been there. However, she didn’t comment as they drove to the mall.

perfect set
There was a long time spent choosing a mug. It needed to be the right size and print. After agreeing on not agreeing, they chose a simple white tea for one set. The pot fitted the mug perfectly, the two items made a perfect pair. 

'That'll do.' Bertha said.

'Are you sure?' Williams twisted his head to a side like a puppy.


'The cheapest.'

'The best choice.'

Best choice also had been his place, which she supposed to be bigger and less crowded than her small flat; also less impersonal than a hotel.

There, they brewed the belladama tea together sharing nervous laughs and giggles. As it cooled, they discussed where to take it.

‘My bed.’ He said.

She bit her lip. ‘Never been this forward, Williams.’

‘Say Darrygh, Bertha.’ He proposed.  ‘I'd like to call you Bee.’

‘Cute.’ She thought.  

‘You’re always so busy at the coffeeshop.’

She liked that she payed attention. ‘Dar, then, to match.’

‘My bed, it's more comfortable.’ He pulled the covers he had changed moments before leaving to get her. ‘Pillows for both of us, a fluffy duvet.’ He stopped. ‘Will you change? Should I?’

‘Not sure… both of us in pjs?’ A giggle.

‘You can use this bathroom; I’ll use the one in the hallway.’

Both incredibly embarrassed and deeply excited with the possibility of spending a dream together, Bertha and Williams found themselves in pjs facing the bed and the teapot.

‘We're really doing this?’

‘We are!’

‘Ok.’ She took a deep breath. ‘Here we go.’ And sipped first.

‘Are you sure you want to leave my bed?’ 

His rich voice caressed her ear. ‘Oh, please, stop that, love.’

‘It would be incredibly insensitive of you to leave my bed when I’m here naked wanting to have more of your company.’ He insisted. ‘My fiancée.’

Lizzy turned from the mirror where she dressed to share a big smile with sparkling eyes. ‘No ring, Lieutenant Junior.’ 

‘Jewels are a symbol of status; a new one could never say how much you mean to me. My love.’

‘Still.’ She showed him the finger.

‘Wrong finger, wife.’ Darcy threw a pillow at her.

‘Hey, that’s abuse!’

‘That was you pretending you don’t care for my mother’s ring waiting for you at my sister’s ranch.’ He was serious and could see from her face that she quit the joke. ‘As soon as I get a leave, we’ll visit her to get you the ring, the one my dad gave my mom and she left it for me to give to the right woman one day.’

She kneeled on the bed to kiss his lips. ‘And that one is me.’ 

‘No one other could make me this happy.’ He held her face with both hands. ‘Please, don’t let your parents’ crazy ideas about a big white wedding get to you.’

‘I won’t.’

‘We agreed on something small and intimate.’

‘The beach, sunset, very romantic.’

‘No Hawaii, Thailand, Martha’s Vineyard.’

Lizzy giggled. ‘Chill out, love. My parents are not as crazy as they seem.’

He groaned. ‘Do you really have to go?’ His right hand took her left one towards his abs.

She recoiled as a spring. ‘William!’ In a moment she was on her feet, but her eyes were directed to his very alert sword. She bit her lip. He smiled sideways resting strong arms behind his head. ‘My aunt arrived this morning; she is waiting for me…’ Eyes closed, ears burning, heart racing. ‘Damn you, fiancé.’ A shudder and she left, eyes still closed, hips bumping on his dresser, chair, desk. ‘Ouch, ouch, ouch!’

‘Careful!’ He chuckled. ‘I’ll be there to get you for dinner!’ Darcy yelled, but she was already close to the front door.

Lizzy arrived home still smiling from the incredibly unexpected morning she had had. 
vintage cap

Earlier when she chose what to wear for a breakfast date with her boyfriend, the very handsome navy officer William Darcy, she hadn’t expected the news he’d have for her. ‘Deployment, Lizzy. In a month.’ He had said in his rich voice holding her hand and she felt that was the only warrant her heart had for not breaking at the spot. ‘Marry me, I ardently love and admire you.’ He continued. ‘Allow me the happiness of leaving with the knowledge that your love is mine.’ She had tears in her eyes, heart in a twist, and the certainty that, without a doubt, he was the man she would ever want for herself.

Parking at the driveway behind her family’s cars, she calculated who would be at home. Sisters Jane and Mary, Aunt Phillipa, mother, her shop’s manager, father, his secretary parked on the curb, a brand new SUV… A busy party to receive her news. ‘Wow!’ She thought. Lizzy waved for the security men posted outside the doors, they waved back and she entered.

As predicted, the house was full and the noise made it impossible for anyone to talk to anyone. She heard her father say something about a dinner party, her mother yell at the lady who helped manage her beauty products’ shop, cousins passed by her dripping the hall floor and her youngest sister Mary hot on pursue. The pool, she understood.

There she found her older sister Jane having drinks with their aunts Phillipa and Gardenia, the dear relative she had been anxious to meet. 

‘Ah, here she is, finally!’ Gardenia stood to hug Lizzy really tight. ‘So pretty! And so long missed! Why haven’t you visited me in Miami, girl?’

‘Because she has a boyfriend that keeps her leash tight.’ Jane sneered.

‘Oh, shut it!’ Lizzy poked her sister and kissed her other aunt.
‘Who is that?’

‘The same, you know him…’

‘A man of the navy, very handsome.’ Phillipa waved her eyebrows. ‘The kind we used to like to date when we were this young, sister. Quite a catch, I’ll say!’

Lizzy smiled. ‘William is just perfect.’ She paused. ‘He just…’
‘Brother doesn’t think much of him, though.’ Phillipa continued.
‘Why is that?’ Gardenia moved her smiling eyes from her favorite niece to her sister.

‘A navy man, really? What is the boy thinking? Wants to be a monk or something?’ She rolled her eyes. ‘His month’s payment wouldn’t cover Lizzy’s tote.’ And pointed to the bag left on the table.

When Gardenia looked back at Lizzy, she found a troubled expression instead of the dreamy enrapture of a moment earlier. ‘Mmm…’ She pointed at the garden. ‘I have something in the car for you, honey. Come with me.’ 

Alone in the front of the house, protected by the watchful eyes of the security men, aunt and niece could talk more freely. ‘You are the daughter I couldn’t have, honey, always said that. When you were born, I threatened your mom to steal you for me.’ The older woman said knowing this tale would make the 19-year-old smile. ‘I know you’re not ok.’

‘Do you know I’m engaged?’ Lizzy raised one eyebrow.


‘Shsh!’ A giggle. ‘He proposed just now, I can hardly believe it.’

‘This navy man?’

‘Lieutenant Junior William Darcy.’

‘One that has been proposed to brings home her fiancé so he speaks to her father while she starts making plans with the women of her family.

‘Sure, that was what happened in 1845.’

‘Lizzy.’ A glare.

A sigh. ‘He’ll be here tonight, everything will be done properly, milady.’ A well-mannered curtsey.

Gardenia shook her head. ‘Why he didn’t come with you? Why are you so… Gloomy? This is not how it’s supposed to happen, honey. When Edgar proposed to me, I was over the moon, danced and laughed; we celebrated, talked to my parents, and started making plans.’ She raised her shoulders. ‘Of course we didn’t know we wouldn’t be able to have children, but we were in love.’ And suddenly a thought occurred to Gardenia. ‘Do you love this man or is he forcing you in some way?’

‘Force me to love a perfect man?’ Lizzy laughed. ‘No need!’


‘But he is to be deployed to Middle East in a month.’

‘Oh, dear!’ Gardenia covered her mouth with her hands. ‘No, no, no…’

‘Can’t something be done, aunt? Some acquaintance of yours? Someone you can call?’

‘Edgar is gone almost ten years already, dear. His friends are still powerful, but I’m not a politician as he was. Your dad could ask around.’

Lizzy bit her lip. ‘Don’t think dad would go to all the trouble, he doesn’t like William.’

‘I can understand my brother…’

‘Aunt Gardenia!’

‘Look at where you come from, honey.’ She waved the big house, manicured lawns, the lush neighborhood, fancy cars. ‘Imagine living in a military base counting on his salary? How much does he make a year? How would you finish school?’

‘He’ll be far for a while, I could keep going…’

‘As a single woman?’ The aunt had sad eyes. ‘What if the worst happens? You’d be a young widow like me.’

‘Oh, dear Lord!’

‘Or learning to handle a handicap. PTSD.’

Lizzy crossed her arms under her breasts. ‘Stop, aunt, please. This is too much insensibility.’

‘It’s practicality, honey. Think straight. There’s no ring on your finger, no one knows of this proposal or they’d tell me the minute I stepped out of the plane and called to say I rented a car.’ Gardenia pointed at the house. ‘There’s time to get out of this.’

‘I love him.’

‘But he is not for you.’

‘I’ll never love another, I love William.’

‘You’re too young, life will teach you. Just don’t choose the hardest lessons.’


‘Another promotion, huh?’ The guy sneered. ‘How lucky.’

‘No luck for the enemies on Darcy’s way!’ Another answered.

‘I earned it.’ Darcy said to himself on the mirror contemplating his uniform’s insignias. 

‘Of course you did!’ 

He received collective pats on the back, some more forceful than the others.

‘Whole countries cower in fear of the mighty Lieutenant Commander.’

‘You take too many risks, man.’

‘He’s insane, that’s what he is.’

‘Fucked up.’

‘I am almost ready…’ He whispered to himself.

‘What did you say?’

‘Nothing, forget it.’


‘Navy seal?’ Lizzy gasped and held her late mother’s scapular around her neck. ‘But that is too dangerous!’

‘That is damned hot!’ Charlotte, her friend and college at the cable TV station laughed. ‘I met him at a bar last week, we’ve been seeing each other since. Great guy, very handsome, easy to talk to… Has a friend!’

‘Oh, no…’ Lizzy shook her finger. ‘Thanks, but no, thanks.’

‘Come on, there must be cobwebs down there!’

‘You think!’

‘I bet!’

They giggled.

‘I’m single, but not alone.’

‘You are lonely, friend. Everyone can see.’ Charlotte tapped the end of her pencil on the table. ‘The girls are all enthused about this rock festival, want to meet the rock stars, already choosing which ones to pursue and you?’

‘I’m sane.’ Lizzy showed the tongue. ‘My family is here in Miami; dad, sisters, nieces, cousins. I could never take time out for dating…’

‘Ah, so you do want to meet my guy’s friend!’

A groan. ‘Fine. Let’s set up a date.’

‘Great. Tomorrow we’ll meet at that new club on South Beach-’

Lizzy laughed. ‘Stop right there. South Beach, no way!’

‘You’re such a rich snob…’

‘Am not.’

‘Is too.’

‘To prove I am not, I’ll be taking my cousins to Seaworld, Disneyworld and Universal this weekend.’

‘What, Orlando?’


‘You’re kidding?’


‘What about Black fish?’ Charlotte defied.

Lizzy sighed. ‘There are many other attractions at Seaworld and my cousins have never visited.’

‘Oh, those cousins of different names of yours… so lively they are.’

‘Lively, huh?’ Lizzy twisted her mouth, her friend pouted. ‘They are spoiled, yes. My aunt always wanted to be their best friend, rarely acts like a mother.’

‘How old are these kids? Aren't they too old for them parks?’

‘The girls are 18 and 19. Never heard of anyone over 15 banned from Disneyworld.’  Lizzy teased.

‘Miami has lots of attractions for teens, why go so far?’

‘They asked, my sisters like the idea, we're going.’

‘Huh… what are their double names again?’

‘You enjoy the follies of others, don't you?’

‘Especially rich folks from the other side of the country!’

Lizzy shook her head with a small smile. ‘Lydia Louisa is 19, Henrietta Katherine is 18.’ As her friend pulled a face to repeat the names, she sighed. ‘Just Louisa and Kitty is fine.’

‘You’re nuts. We’re swamped in work for the festival.’

‘I’m an excellent reporter; my job will be done in time.’

‘You’ll be presenting this year!’ Charlotte despaired.

‘Only backstage. I’ll be prepared.’ Lizzy guaranteed.

‘I hope so, or we’ll all loose our jobs!...’


A scorching day, the family scattered around the busy park, the only connection they had was their phones. Lizzy walked around with her sister Jane while Mary tried to control her two boys, the nieces were lost.

‘I’m tired. Can we go back to the hotel?’ Jane whined.

‘Alone?’ Lizzy asked. 

The Bennetts regarded the small boys running around the man inside the penguin costume. ‘I can’t stand it anymore. My brats need a bath and I need a sitter. Also my migraine tablets, lots of them. I’m calling it the day and am not afraid to use my favorite apps to call for a ride and a nanny.’

‘You should tag along to help, Lizzy.’

‘And leave the girls to you?’

‘Right, you’d better stay…’ Jane answered miserably. ‘Mary, hire two nannies.’ The youngest sister showed thumbs up. ‘If we were staying at the resort, at least we could wait for them at the pool and send a concierge to take care of the girls, but that awful little place has a tub in the garden!’

‘Oh, come on… It’s a good hotel, comfortable, we can afford and what matters is time spent together with the family.’

‘Blah-blah-blah!’ A sigh. ‘Tell me sincerely that you don’t miss the money we had, not worrying about budget, red credit cards or driving brand new cars.’

‘It was more comfortable…’

‘Dad has to find a way to make good investments again. He can’t keep believing the wrong stock market agents anymore.’

‘He spent too much, Jane, we know that. We all did.’

‘We have an upscale way of life, that is all.’ 

‘My uber is coming. See you later.’ Mary kissed Lizzy and Jane before pulling her sons away as best as she could.

They watched the struggle for a while until Jane sighed, shrugged and pointed the timetable sign. ‘The parrots’ show, it’s time.’

‘The dolphins, you mean.’

‘I love the parrots…’

They shared a smile. ‘Let’s move, I don’t want to stand still forever. Will let the others know where to find us.’

In a few minutes, while the tanned sisters were seated side-by-side waiting for the show to start, chatting, laughing and Lizzy got a new message on her phone.

‘Where r u?’

‘Seaworld, Charlotte. Told u.’ *emoji fish*

‘Yeah, where here?’ *shared location Seaworld Miami*

‘U’re here too! G8! Dolphins! Hurry or u’ll miss!’

lovely creature
Until the music started, Lizzy twisted and turned her head from side to side trying to find her friend. But when the very hot man in a black diving suit appeared on stage to ask the audience to stand in honor for the military present, she let her eyes feast on his handsomeness. 

It was a customary thing, paying homage to the men and women who risked their lives defending the country overseas, the speakers and screens played the short movie and everyone looked around at the ones standing and saluting. 

That was when Lizzy saw him. Tall, dark and oh-so-handsome. It felt like she was set on fire.

Darcy knew when she saw him because his body alighted. 

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