Here’s a snippet from something I’ve been working on. Coming soon!
It was unlikely I would ever see Mr. Darcy again, and I was certain of nothing more than the belief that he would not seek me out. I was doing well in my plan to forget him and our tumultuous past, until my aunt suggested we visit Pemberley.
Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley. Perfect Pemberley. The estate I-might-have-been-mistress-of Pemberley. I realized she would not be dissuaded and so I came along, if not entirely willingly, at least civilly. At least he was from home. It would be mortifying to be caught touring his estate four months after I spurned him so furiously.
“I never had a cross word from him, and I’ve known him since he was four years old.” Mrs. Reynolds was speaking about her master again, and I tried to cover my surprise. I believe I was successful, for she continued on without remarking on my incredulity.
But incredulous I was. Mr. Darcy, a pleasant man! Mr. Darcy, kind and generous? The best brother, the best master, the best landlord. Could it be true?
Mrs. Reynolds was intelligent, observant, and competent. I could not discount her word without proving myself to be without those qualities.
I thought about what she said, about what I knew of the dark man from Derbyshire. He was intelligent. In fact, he made most men seem silly by comparison. Much like my father. As I considered our interactions in Hertfordshire, without the lens of prejudice I had so gleefully donned last autumn, I began to think he was not always bad. He had made witty comments (admire us better from his seat by the fire, indeed!) and argued intelligently. Had he been arguing? Or had he been debating, as my father was wont to do when in need of mental stimulation? I have often thought my father would have done better as a professor at Cambridge or Oxford, but his lot was to be born first and inherit an estate, as was Mr. Darcy’s.
Was it possible Mr. Darcy had not been arguing with me but had in fact been seeking intelligent discourse? Mr. Bingley did not like disputes; he would certainly never willingly argue with his friend. Mr. Hurst seemed as unlikely a candidate as his wife and her many bracelets. Caroline Bingley had the necessary intelligence, but with her constant agreement with everything any rich gentleman said, she would not make a willing debate partner, nor an exciting one.
I stopped in the middle of the room in shock. Did Mr. Darcy admire my mind? Is that why he was constantly engaging me in arguments? And why he believed himself in love with me? I felt my skin heat and tingle as the blood rushed up my neck. I do believe I was rather flattered. Oh, dear.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sneak peek! Expect an announcement soon. 😉