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

sexta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2019

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

hello, there.
Darcy and Lizzy dressed in Persuasion's color was something very challenging. Lizzy is almost the opposite of Anne Elliot, but in the middle there is Bertha who is discovering herself - her new self.

Darcy and Wentworth have a few traits in common. The stares and broodness, the hidden feelings and secret loves. But, would it be degrading for a rich first son to take position in the Navy? Wasn't it a job for second or third sons?

Honored men, of course. Brandon, oh, dear! Brandon...

And how about 'meeting' your crush in a dream? Awckward? Sexy? A revelation? 
Here they are, Bertha and Williams, Lizzy and Darcy.

Sorry for the delay, btw. With all the Sanditon joy and Book fair preparations, I got caught up.

Nine ways to live Pride and Prejudiciously
WIP, modern (mostly), adult (you know me...), fun, fluff, heart healing stuff.
read chapter 12 _PART 2

VIII- Lonely Hearts - part 3 - final

That same night the sisters decided to cut short their Orlando stay and return earlier to Miami. The cousins could have whined asking to stay, but Louisa was actually injured. As the pain built up, the girl called her mother who called the family physician who suspected a bone bruise. The order was to undergo several tests and procedures in the big city to confirm the diagnosis, and could only be done in Miami.

The five women and two unhappy children left early the next morning.

The next day, Darcy met Fitzwilliam and Charlotte as he entered the hotel lobby. They were heading for the pool, he planned on a shower before going out again. But changed plans after mere 20 seconds.

‘They are all gone?’

‘Yes, even the sweet Louisa.’ Charlotte pursed her lips.

‘I'm sorry, dude. Maybe you can meet her in Miami if you accept my invitation and come stay with me during our leave.’

‘Who, Louisa? Are you crazy, she's just a girl!’

‘Much more than a girl, Darcy, 19 is a young and flirtatious woman.  You two got a good thing going, dude.’



‘Absolutely not. Were did you get this absurd idea?’ Darcy was adamant. ‘Was I too attentive to her?’

‘Yes!’ Both Charlotte and Fitzwilliam answered at the same time.

‘Maybe I need to apologize, then.’

‘Let it rest.’ Charlotte waved. ‘Those girls are too lively, spoiled as Lizzy says. There's a good chance she won't remember you in a few days.’

'Lizzy' among those words made him antsy. 

‘So, Miami is still out of the question, huh? Charlotte can get us tickets to a VIP party, freeload.’

She chuckled. ‘In two weeks only. It'll be the after party of the rock festival, for crew and bands. Usually the famous stars make a quick stop, even perform a song or two.’

‘Sounds fun. All crew goes to this party?’

‘Pretty much. Lizzy can name who ditches, she keeps track of everybody, manages to record great chats during the party. Her savvy interviews keep everyone on their toes.’

‘She's very pretty, but prettier on screen.’ Fitzwilliam said casually as he arranged towels over lounge chairs for them.
sun fun luv

‘Huh.’ Darcy grunted his disapproval but Fitzwilliam didn’t understand the reason.

‘She lights up on camera, has presence of mind. She has a way to make people open up, speak up. No one can do better interviews simply because she doesn’t want to attract attention to herself, she always wants to give space to others. No wonder she manages to secure exclusives.’ Charlotte smiled sideways. ‘Did you notice how Lizzy is jumpy at open spaces?’

‘Never met her before.’ Fitzwilliam shrugged.

‘She is shy! Terrified people will recognize her… Silly! Louisa has some resemblance to Lizzy, come to think of it, hasn't she?’ Charlotte thought for a while. ‘Maybe cheek bones or eyes-’

‘No, not her eyes.’ Darcy betrayed himself. Her fine eyes were a feature of hers that never faded in his memory. ‘They both have long face and dark hair, as their aunt Gardenia. It's a family trait.’

‘And you know that because…’

‘I met Lizzy years ago, when she started college and I was at Officer Training School.’

‘Dude.’ Fitzwilliam choked. ‘Dude!’ He held Darcy's shoulder. ‘She's that Elizabeth!’

Darcy nodded.


‘Elizabeth who?’ Charlotte was intrigued and a little displeased.  

Darcy shook his head dismissively.  ‘I'll be at my sister's ranch, Fitzwilliam.  You know where to reach me before I arrive in Miami in a few days.’ If it was the city where she lived, then it'd be.

‘Do you believe it'll take much longer, Mary?’ Lizzy asked her sister.  ‘I still have so much to do today…’

‘It's early. And it’s my first great job as costume designer, hang on.’ She fit the small tube in her nose for a powerful spray and inhaled deeply. 'You are come at last, after days of me calling you to try outfits for the concert transmissions! I began to think I should never see you. I am so busy I got ill, so ill I can hardly speak.' She inhaled again. 

‘You’ll get and addiction to nasal sprays, Mary.’

‘I wish. I have a serious condition, rhinitis that sparks my migraines. Sprays shrink congested blood vessels, open my clogged passages.’ A cough, two sneezes and a sigh. ‘Quick relief that lasts so little, let me look at you.’ She pressed her eyes. ‘Not pants, maybe skirts. Try this animal print denim skirt.’

‘Kind of short, isn't it?’

‘Ankle boots.’ The designer said absent minded.  ‘You've got nice legs.’

‘Ah, here you are.’ Charlotte entered the office without knocking.

‘Naked people here! Mary waved her arms. ‘I get no respect here! And I’ve been working so hard, I don’t know how you do it for so long, Lizzy!’

‘You’ll get used to it, sister.’

‘Chill, Mary, it's just me. Your assistant was not at the desk, so I thought-’

‘I have not seen him for hours. He would go out though I told him how ill I was. He said he should not stay out long; but he has never come back. I assure you, I have not seen a soul this whole long morning and I get more ill and busier by the minute.’

‘You're hypochondriac.’ Charlotte found a chair, moved clothes aside and sat. ‘Pull yourself together, we’re just starting.’

‘I am not!’ Mary bristled. ‘What are you doing here anyway? We're a week away from the concert, Lizzy has to start taping the teasers and visit the stadium… she has nothing to wear on camera simply because she refused to come here earlier.’ 

‘She asked me to come here. We have to go over the scripts and-’

‘Not here!’ Mary shook a finger.

‘Please, girls.’ Lizzy returned from the dressing room inside the outfit (minus a top). ‘Help me please, I have go home earlier. Family emergency.’ 

‘Someone is sick?’ Mary gasped. ‘No one told me.’

‘Dad didn’t want to tell you because of your condition.’ She pointed her own nose. ‘He sold the house, he is inconsolable.’ Lizzy sighed. ‘What do you want to wear with this, Mary?’ She pointed the skirt.

‘But he should have told me…’

‘He will. And you’ll both whine that the boys won’t be able to swim in the pool, learn to play golf, he’ll be more depressed… give him a break.’ She pressed her sister’s hand. ‘A top?’

‘I have a few options here…’ A bit lost, she chose several tops for Lizzy to try. ‘Why do you keep fingering your collarbone?’ Mary leaned closer and moved the bra strap to a side. ‘Something I need to hide?’

‘No.’ Lizzy waved the designer's hand away. ‘I lost mom’s scapular, that's all.’

‘The Italian one, very delicate?’ Mary took the nose spray tube from her pocket. Lizzy nodded.

‘She's got this nervous tic. Give her a necklace, something big.’ Charlotte suggested.  ‘If she does that on camera, at least it'll have a reason.’

‘Right.’ The designer opened a huge bijoux drawer. 

‘So, the old man Bennett is now a catch, huh? Loaded with the profit from the house…’

‘Dad has a few debts to pay, has to divide the money with us, so what will be left will hardly make him attractive. He's in low spirits.’ Lizzy fingered the missing necklace again. ‘At least now I'll have means to start my documentary production company, it'll be mom's last gift. Parting from her house is hard on him… all of us.’

‘Who bought it?’ Mary bit her lip.

‘The huge castle in the burbs?’

Lizzy sniggered. ‘He said something about government, his lawyer took care of details. To him, there wouldn't be a perfect buyer because my dad would rather not sell.’

‘I understand but how much does it cost to keep that estate?’ Charlotte rolled her eyes. ‘He'll be much happier at the big Brickell Avenue apartment.  Tell me again why only Jane will live there.’

‘I have my own place. Mary lives with her family.’

‘Now we all live close to aunt Gardenia, that is nice enough.’

‘But there is so much space left in 8000 square feet… even the closet has a floor to ceiling window! Oh, quite a view!’

‘Yeah, it is a good place. Dad liked it a lot.’

‘Red top, a long chain with a cross and a vintage beret!’ Mary smiled extending the items to Lizzy. ‘Try these on, please.’

Lizzy nodded.

‘I love this beret, please bring it back. It belongs to the network's collection.’ Mary observed sniffing as Lizzy dressed. ‘One can almost smell the salty air, it has this Navy thing, sea battles heroes.’
a beret with pearls!

‘Oh, no! Charlotte shook her head. I grew so weary of navy men.’
Lizzy groaned. ‘Do I need a beret? Really?’

‘No one needs a beret, Mary. Come on!’ Charlotte took the hat from Lizzy's head ruffling her hair.

‘Prada had berets in 2017's collection.’ Mary rescued the item, arranged it perfectly sideways, slightly pushed back. ‘Lovely.’ She said and sprayed her nose.

‘Urgh…’ Lizzy twisted her lips.

‘I could have gotten concert tickets as well as party credentials if not for you, fucker.’ Fitzwilliam playfully kicked Darcy's leg handing his friend a beer before seating on the couch. ‘Now we have to watch the concert on TV instead of being there!’

‘You can afford the ticket.’

‘Not the same. My girlfriend works at the network responsible for the live transmission, she has complimentary tickets. But she hated that you used her to get closer to her best friend. Thinks I knew about it and helped you.’

‘You're a fool, of course you wouldn't realize anything.’


They both chuckled. 

‘I didn't use Charlotte.’ Darcy shrugged. ‘It was a surprise to hear you were dating a woman from the same network where my ex works. Then you invited me to an unbelievable weekend cruising theme parks with-’

‘My girlfriend's single friend, a Lizzy!’ Fitzwilliam laughed.

‘Of course I had to make sure it wasn't her.’

‘But it was.’

Darcy nodded, sipped his beer, pointed at the TV. ‘There she is.’
Lizzy appeared smiling, microphone near her lips, three handsome men on each side, all towering over her.

‘Hello, rockers! Backstage patrol again!’ She almost shouted. ‘I'm here with the Bath & Lyme guys, just before they start their magic, we can hear the final chords from the sponsors' warming up show. I guess every girl would like to be in my shoes, am I right?’ She bended a knee to show her cute ankle boot. ‘Say something to your fans!’

Something! They said together joining heads with her to reach her microphone. 

There was laughter.

‘What can we expect of tonight's concert?’ 

‘We prepared new songs from the upcoming album, our fans will be surprised.’ 

‘Spoilers, Elliot?’ She blinked to the camera.

‘The band leader smiled. Inside information just for you, Lizzy.’

‘Ah!’ She blushed.  ‘You'll put me in danger. Your groupies will be too jealous of me!…’

‘They know I welcome their love, we talk on social media all the time.’ He said to the camera. ‘When I sing Good Company tonight, everyone will know who I have in mind.’ He directed an intent look at Lizzy.

She opened a funny smile. ‘My idea of good company, Elliot, is clever, well-informed people. I've read you discuss the Js at length on Twitter. Janis Joplin, Jimmi Hendrix, Jim Morrison.  But to me, to be called a great conversation, it lacked Clapton. That is what I call good company.’

He exchanged amused looks with his band mates. ‘You are mistaken.’ Said he gently. ‘That is not good company; that is the best.’

The great sweet smile shared was long enough for Charlotte, the producer, sign the end of the interview.  

Lizzy nodded. ‘Our time is up and I don't know about you rockers at home watching me, but I'll be in the wings hoping for Old Love.’ She grinned for the camera. ‘Break a leg, guys!’ She lowered the mic to greet them with cheek kisses and chaste hugs.

Darcy was frozen watching his friend's TV. 

‘Did the guy flirt with your ex, dude?’

A grunt.

‘I can ask Charlotte if you want, to find out if there's something going on there.’

Another grunt.

‘Say something, dude. You look like you could explode. ‘

Old Love is a message. He told himself. I can only be.

‘Do you really like Clapton?’ Elliot, the bandleader asked Lizzy as she moved to a side allowing the crew more space to work.

‘Very much, yes. Do you?’

‘I can even play Old Love.’ 

‘Me too!’ Lizzy chuckled.  ‘I love the song.’

‘What do you play? Or do you sing?’

‘Piano, fairly well. But I'm not really a songbird!’

‘Good to know!’ He smiled sideways.

He was handsome, she thought. ‘Don't like competition, huh?’

With a thumb over his shoulder, he pointed where he was needed and left.

On stage, their music was ok, Darcy thought. Average pop music, one could dance to those tunes, sing along driving or overseas missing home while in inhospitable war zones. But Darcy mostly saw the guy drooling over Lizzy. Maybe it had been better to be there at the audience, he wouldn't have watched the interview, wouldn't understand why, as the band took a break to tune instruments, the guy walked off stage and returned pulling her by the hand.

‘Hey, folks! Do you know who this lovely girl is?’ Elliot spoke on the stage’s central microphone. ‘Lizzy Bennett who catch us in interviews on TV? I just learned she is a fairly proficient on the piano.’ He grinned. ‘And we have the most wicked digital keyboard!’

The crowd answered in cheers.

Lizzy answered shaking her head. ‘No, no, no!’

‘Musgrove needs a break, right?’

‘I'm ready for a break, yeah!’ The other guy said on his microphone making the crowd react again.

‘And I always wanted to perform Eric Clapton live.’

The crowd erupted in so much noise that nothing else was heard.
‘I can't!’ Lizzy waved in panic.

‘Will you let me sing a capella?’ He whispered in her ear. 

She trembled, licked her lips, blinked. But sat behind the amazing keyboard and tried a few keys. The crowd cheered. Elliot took his water bottle, walked to stand close to her while communicating with the crowd and hummed the first verses on the microphone.  There was a loud roar.

‘Forget about them.’ He said softly very near Lizzy’s face, microphone hidden behind his back. ‘This is just you and me now.’

She nodded, eyes wide. Concentrating, Lizzy arranged the beret over her hair, took a deep breath and looked down at her hands.

The only exception was that the TV camera was close and they were absolutely not alone. 

'…And it makes me so angry
To know that the flame still burns
Why can't I get over?
When will I ever learn?
Old love, leave me alone
Old love, go on home…'

Darcy stood. ‘Let's go.’

‘Where dude?’ Fitzwilliam didn't take his eyes off screen. ‘I'm enjoying the concert, this intimate moment is great.’

‘I want to be at this damn party when she arrives.’

‘Lizzy, your Lizzy?’

‘Yes, my ex Lizzy.’

‘Hello, fellow rockers! What can you say about this year's festival, huh?’ Benwick, the show's host grinned. ‘Great bands, amazing music and our own Lizzy B hurting the keyboard!’

She bounced on her feet. ‘It was awesome!’

‘Girl, you rocked!’

‘Yeah! I couldn't believe when Elliot called me on stage, and Musgrove's keyboard is the best ever, so much responsibility, I was so frightened, I mean, I love the song, thanks Eric Clapton, by the way, but to play it for a crowd without rehearsing!…’

‘As you can see, my girl Lizzy B is still keyed up!’ Benwick chuckled. ‘You can expect the best party interviews, am I right?’

‘I'm on my way!’ Lizzy stepped off camera.

‘You rockers at home can keep with us on social media. We'll have lives, Lizzy's interviews, party insiders and more. Hope you liked this year's concert. See you soon!’

‘Cut!’ The director yelled. ‘We're off. No more live transmissions today.’

‘Aside from social media lives at the party.’ Charlotte said taking off her earphones. ‘Let's go.’

Lizzy arrived at the party still hyped in adrenaline. A big surprise for her, the participation on Bath & Lyme's gig was actually arranged with her crew, she was informed during the ride from the stadium to the party venue. The bandleader, Elliot, had an eye on her, asked about her and when he learned she played the piano, made plans.

Even a bit aggravated, she realized that if they had told her, she'd refuse the awesome experience.  The only chance she'd do it was by surprise, so they did. She appreciated the booby-trap of sorts. 

Microphone in hand, crew and camera with her, she gavotted the crowd of famous rockers hunting and taking opportunities for spontaneous interviews or few words until her eyes met his. Darcy.

She knew he was supposed to attend the party, but her performance distracted her anxiousness. So many times during the previous 8 years she had fancied she had the ability to discern him at a distance, in a crowd such as that, but he never came. Until two weeks before at the park. Since then she had been seeing Darcy everywhere, anywhere. Facing him for real brought back her insecurities and guilt. ‘Can we take a break?’ She asked, her colleagues nodded. She extended the equipment, they scattered. 

‘Hi.’ She smiled at him, a bit shy. ‘You came. Charlotte said you might.’

He nodded. ‘I watched you on TV today.’

Her smile grew. ‘Could you see how nervous I was?’ A giggle. ‘Terrified!’

‘Also how close you are with the guy.’

She blinked. Lizzy wasn't expecting that tone of voice, there wasn’t enmity between them, neither opened friendship–the past would never ever return, but something must be the matter. She expect him to be sweeter, maybe it was only her memory playing with her head. At the hotel in Orlando, he had been curt, after all. ‘We've met before, I've been following Elliot's career.’

‘Real good friends you are.’ He said gravely. ‘Are you dating him?’

‘No, I'm single at the moment.’

He exhaled slowly. 

‘You?’ Lizzy asked hating the slight shake in her voice. 

‘Single as well.’

They shared a small relieved smile.

‘I'm here in a mission.’ He said, voice clearly more gentle. ‘Can we talk somewhere more quiet?’

‘Sure.’ She pointed the balcony.

On the way, as they walked through the crowd, Lizzy felt a hand on her arm. It was Elliot's with his phone angled on his face broadcasting live on social media so his fans could envy the party. She had to stop and chat for the virtual audience, offered a cheek kiss thanking the song, blushed when he turned his face so they almost shared a lovers' kiss. 

When released, Darcy was again far out of her reach. A few steps brought her to his side, but his presence was no longer hers. ‘The end of the balcony?’ She pointed again. ‘We'll be almost alone.’
He shook his head. ‘I'm leaving.’

‘So soon?’ She asked struck by sheer anxiousness, she needed to be encouraging. ‘Stay. There'll be a few gigs, it'll be worth staying for.’

‘There is nothing worth my staying, Lizzy.’ He eyed her. ‘Is there?’

What was he trying to say? Were there any unpleasant glances? Something turned his intentions… jealousy! Could it be? ‘Yes! The music, the food, good booze.’

He shook his head, made to leave.

She held his hand. ‘Stay, you had something to talk to me.’ And pulled him towards the secluded spot on the balcony.

He let himself get directed, her hand in his was very a very pleasant feeling, one he longed for. 

A few minutes were necessary to calm both their hearts, the cool breeze helped bring them closer. Anxious, she fingered the chain around her neck; he shoved his hands in his pants' pocket.

‘Still missing your lost scapular?’

She smiled, eyes averted to the side. ‘I've lost many important things in my life.’ Lizzy looked back at him. ‘People too.’

‘Some important pillars still stand in your life. Your aunt Gardenia, for example. I understand you live close to her, enough to listen to her advice whenever you need.’

‘I learned that there’s a difference between listening and hearing.’
you pierce my soul
His breast bubbled; there was too much inside for him to keep holding in. ‘I tried to forget you, I believed I had succeeded. My pride made me believe I could be indifferent to you when we met but you…’ He swallowed to gain courage, took a velvet box from his pocket, long and thin, the size to fit a small chain. ‘You pierce my soul, Lizzy. I'm half agony, half hope.’ He opened the jewelry box. ‘Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years ago. I have loved none but you.’ 

Lizzy had no words. Her astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, colored, doubted, and was silent.

The contents of the small box made her eyes mist. This he considered sufficient encouragement.

The avowal of all that he felt, and had long felt for her, in magnificent words and unbelievable actions, touched her heart. ‘How did you manage?’ She whispered. 

‘You move me, love, always have, always will. Selfishly, I wanted your alteration in Orlando to be for me, but it was an heirloom that broke you. I returned to the park, asked for help, remembered the roller coaster's loopings and thought about the safety net to catch flying objects. Your scapular was there. The appreciation to your mom's jewel made me believe again you'd value my mother's ring.’ 

She took her eyes from the box where the thin scapular and a vintage engagement ring rested to focus on his handsome face. ‘There's no one like you.’ Her trembling lips whispered and she jumped to his neck.

They hugged long and tight for several moments.

‘Let's get out of here?’ He murmured and felt her nod. Darcy closed the box, shoved in his pocket again, leaned forward and raised her in his lap.

They didn't notice her crew recording the chivalrous move to post on social media later that night.

‘Once you left my bed and never returned, now I won't leave yours.’ He said sexily kissing her neck where the scapular rested. 
‘From now on, we'll be together the whole time.’ She caressed his hair. ‘Unless…’

‘Unless nothing.’ He rubbed himself over her pretending to adjust their positions.  ‘Lock your feet behind my back, love.’

She giggled, the sensations of their naked bodies together, skin rubbing with such deep feelings, made her burst in happiness. And there was the ring on her finger. She locked her feet behind his back, bringing him closer. ‘The only thing between us is the navy… Could you be deployed again?’

‘Navy is bringing us closer.’ He rose on his elbows, still on top of her, to see her face. ‘I was promoted, will run a veteran center. A new programme to use our own men's expertise in special operations.’ 

She frowned.  ‘A bit vague, isn't it?’

He smiled sideways. ‘Not really…’ They laughed. ‘Just classified.’ 
‘I see… Captain, Mr spy.’

‘Actually, I considered if you'd like to produce a documentary on it.’

‘Really?’ She gasped.

‘You'll feel at home, I'm sure you'd produce a great movie.’

‘Mostly because of you’ She giggled. 

‘Mostly because the Center is to be set in your family's house.’

‘Government people is you!’ Her eyes were wide, heart pumping in high speed.

‘I suggested the place when Louisa said it was on the market, my superiors were searching for a good location. It's close to the academy,  it has the cottages for the crew…’

‘We'd live there, in my house, in one of the small cottages?’

‘Yes.’ He kissed her lips. ‘If you'd like.’

‘Yes!’ She smiled. ‘You, my documentaries, my house. So much happiness, I don't think I can handle. ‘

‘Handle me.’ He kissed her, moved to get closer so she'd feel his intentions on the back of her leg, moaned…

we heart it
Bertha was the first to wake up, maybe because she was already used to the Belladama effects on her body. Her 7th ride was by far more thrilling than all the previous ones combined, so intense and heartfelt. Slowly she opened her eyes to confirm what she remembered: she was in Darrygh Williams’ house, in his bed, with the man himself beside her.

‘Wow!’ She whispered. Asleep, two days’ beard, lashes resting on his cheeks, he was very handsome. ‘He’s still with me there…’ A small smile creeped up on her. She got up carefully, visited the bathroom, brushed her teeth and hair and returned to… hug him.

After loving each other so deeply in the Belladama dream, surely he would welcome an intimate caress. Right?

Williams felt limbs wrap around him and lips touch his skin. Returning to consciousness after living a story in real colors and love tainted with deep hurts was bittersweet, especially when finally; they had found a way to love freely. But it would be infinitely better to love Bertha in real live, outside Belladama.

‘Morning.’ His sleepy voice left his throat.

we heart it
‘Hi.’ She answered. ‘What a ride, huh?’

‘Unbelievable.’ He said in a throaty voice. ‘My parents’ house in Islamorada was a bit different.’

‘The big house? Is it yours?’

‘Similar to it, not quite the same place though.’

‘What do you think it meant, the dream?’

‘The obvious, Bee.’ His arms hugged back bringing her body to his, causing friction, further waking up sensations they lived in the dream. 

To her, it meant they should date because they dreamt well together. But instead of speaking, she considered it better to kiss him when his lips found hers and weirdly it was exactly the same kiss she had been dreaming for weeks. 

The magical tea that came from her friend’s witch grandmother had actually showed her what was in front of her eyes: the regular customer, the coffee late, was such a- oh! 

‘Dar!’ What was that move with his fingers between her legs? So pleasant!

‘We’re just starting, Bee.’

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