Money Can.doc - Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction - gaspwill - http

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                            Money Can't Buy Everything

                                        Dear Readers,
 I am taking the plunge, watch out big splash. I am very grateful to Ellen and Alison. They
  are the best betas a I could have. I would also like to thank the ladies and gentlemen of
 chat. The encourage and listen to every struggling writer with such kindness and I am so

                                          Chapter 1

  Lizzy was a debt collector and bill processor for a prestigious group of psychiatrists. Her
days were filled with negotiations of bills for people whose lives had been wrecked by drugs,
   alcohol, tragedy or abuse. Control was her main function in life. She dealt with people
 whose lives had no control in it, so she had to be strong for them. Weakness of any kind
 was not acceptable. Weakness meant failure to Lizzy, and that was not in her vocabulary.
Addicts knew how to try and manipulate people, so the doctors encouraged the patients to
  face their bills as part of the healing process. Dr. Lucas had trained her well in knowing
which patients to push and when to let them go. Lizzy was an excellent communicator, and
            she strived to please the doctors and help the clients along the way.

Dr. Lucas had been a friend of her father’s, and she had known him all her life. His daughter
Charlotte was Lizzy's best friend. Dr. Lucas saw Lizzy as a capable young girl, so as soon as
    she graduated from college he offered her a job. She had worked her way up from
 receptionist, and she was grateful for the opportunity. Lizzy did not come from a wealthy
   home - her family was a typical middle class suburban family in North Dallas. She had
  always loved acting, and ended up with a degree in Theatre from University of Texas at
Dallas. It was a state school, but it was very demanding. Upon graduation she saw no need
to leave Dallas. It was her home, and she started doing regional theatre in Dallas. She was
   being cast in roles as often as she wanted a part. Her job paid her bills nicely, and the
                      theatre gave her the creative release she needed.

 Lizzy loved a challenge, and the clients and the group of seventeen psychiatrists gave her
    that. The inpatients came to see her as a part of their process of discharge from the
   hospital. In severe cases, she did not have to meet with the patients if they were still
 considered unstable. The outpatient clinic was run by the doctors, and most got payments
 up front. Most outpatients never saw Lizzy. Once a week she did all of billing and charges
 for both clinics. That was her fun day - no clients, just bill and run the program. It was on
   Friday, and she could wear jeans, because the paper would go wild at times, and you
  usually found her in a sea of bills. The rest of the week was filled up with meetings with
patients (and their families, if necessary), and calls to and from patients already discharged.
     It was a stressful job. She impressed the doctors with her care of patients and her
   dedication to her job. She saw each patient as an individual, and she knew his or her
 diagnosis. She was bound to the confidentiality of each patient. There was a distance from
              them - there had to be, or else control could not be maintained.

     As is customary, celebrities and their families came to the facility for inpatient and
    outpatient treatment. The staff was informed that no patient would receive "special"
 treatment, no matter what their position or celebrity status. It was forbidden for any staff
 member to fraternize with any patient or any member of the patient's family. Lizzy was so
 driven that it had never occurred to her to think of seeing someone outside the clinic. She
 had her job, and her true passion was acting. Everything else was a lost cause. There was
  no time for dating, and she could not imagine letting anyone close to her. She spent her
  days with sick, helpless people, and her nights enjoying her passion. There was nothing
                            missing in her life - or so she thought.


 William Darcy was a successful business owner of a consulting firm that helped to provide
 corporate clients with computer training and maintenance. He was wealthy, and he came
                 from what was commonly known in Dallas as old money.

  The rich in Dallas were of two classes: old money and new money. The new money was
   easy to spot. They drove red Porsches and had bleached blonde girlfriends with short
 dresses and cosmetically enhanced parts of their body. They all looked like cookie cutter
images of each other. The new money women usually had beautiful tans, stiletto high heels,
 and make-up you could see a mile a way. The middle class of Dallas could always tell if a
person was new money or old money by their cars and style of clothing. New money people
had become rich by scheming or dumb luck - most of them had little intelligence, and even
 less common sense. With internet companies, product inventions and other get-rich-quick
 schemes, new money wreaked havoc on society. The middle class resented them, and old
money did also. The only way to advance to old money was to marry into it, so the chases

Old money does not flaunt its wealth - the wealth is slowly revealed. Old money girls wore
 Ralph Polo, sweaters tied around their shoulders, and sleek A-line khaki skirts. Their hair
 was usually long and held back with a simple ponytail or black velvet headband. The only
acceptable colors of cars were ones that blended in black, green, blue and white. Old money
girls were slightly tan from the pool and the polo games, but a dark tan is bad for the skin,
  and every girl was taught to take care of their ivory complexions. The cosmetic parts of
  their bodies were sometimes enhanced, but only a professional could tell. Good doctors
  reserved their clientele for the old money, because it never stopped coming. Old money
   girls wore very little make-up, but they had weekly facials, so their skin was flawless.

 Old money in Dallas hated the new money set. They gave rich a bad name - they were a
  flash in the pan. They had no manners or composure, and, believe it or not, old money
  would rather be around the middle class than new money. At least the middle class was
 raised in suburban North Dallas and had good schooling and manners. New money was a
necessary evil for old money, so there were all smiles at charity events, but everyone knew
                                          the truth.

William reeked of old money. He drove a green Jaguar XJ6. His bachelor's degree was from
Rice University, a private university that was academically above all the rest in the state. He
  was trust fund rich. He didn't need to work, but he was a restless soul and needed to be
useful to people. After he started his business, he decided that he needed a master's degree
from Southern Methodist University. Life had been hard on him. When he was younger, his
parents had both been killed in a private plane crash. He had recovered from that tragedy,
                   and kept his sister and his business his first priorities.

 Georgiana Darcy was sweet and shy. When her parents had been killed, she had taken it
 hard. She had always been doted on as the only daughter of a prestigious family in Turtle
 Creek. It had been her senior year. William was old enough to become her guardian, and
   their family attorney had made it possible for William and Georgiana to stay as safe as
 possible. William felt Georgiana should go to Southern Methodist University for college - it
  was about ten miles away from the Italian marble style home they shared. It was great
 school, and most of all, to William, she was safe there. Only the richest and the smartest
could attend, and as long as she lived at home she was not exposed to boys with unsavory

One day, while preparing a special dinner for William, she ran into George Wickham. He had
    been their servant's son. Wickham's father had died tragically from cancer while still
     employed by Darcy's parents. In William's father's will, he was given $100,000 to
   compensate for George having no family. Wickham had taken the money with elation.
William had hoped he would use it to attend college or put it in a trust fund, but George had
   better plans. The Dallas night scene was wild, and a man with money had no problem
  spending all of it on liquor, clothing, food and, most especially, women. Women were a
magnet to a guy with money to burn. Every checkbook has a limit though, and in the space
 of less than a year, his well was completely dry. He still wanted to be in Highland Park, so
he took a job at Simon David's - an exclusive grocery store where caviar was abundant. He
 could brush up against the rich and their young daughters. He was living in a poor man's
                                   heaven, and he knew it.

 Lizzy was having a typical day at work. There had been a drug addict who said he wasn't
   selling drugs anymore, so money was hard to come by. The doctor that specialized in
 addiction was tough. Paying your treatment cost was part of accepting your responsibility
for your addiction. It was part of the healing process every addict went through. The client
knew Lizzy and Dr. Finch - he knew he had ten days to get Lizzy a payment of some kind.
He would, because he didn’t want to lie to her again. She would not give up on him, and he
knew it. She loved dealing with patients, and really, they considered her their confidant at

 At 11:00 she took her turn at relief switchboard. Someone had to be there during lunch,
 primarily to screen for suicidal cases, but it was usually a quiet time at the switchboard,
 mostly patients asking for their doctor's voice mail. The receptionist told Lizzy a favorite
client had died today, because he had gone on a drinking binge and could not recover. With
   sadness, Lizzy recalled her last phone call with him - he said he was clean and sober.
                             Addiction can be so hard to treat.

 Lizzy answered the telephone. There was a voice that commanded attention, and did not
  stumble or stutter. He proceeded to request her to put him through immediately to Dr.
               Lucas. Lizzy asked if he was a current patient of Dr. Lucas’s.

                               Darcy replied," Certainly not."

With the death of her favorite client still in mind, Lizzy wanted to be careful, so she asked,
                             "Well, sir, is this an emergency?"

 Darcy thought, What kind of person does she think I am? "No, I need to talk to Dr. Lucas
                           immediately about a family member."

      "Oh, I am sorry. So is this family member seeing Dr. Lucas?” Lizzy responded.

      "Really, just put me through to Dr. Lucas, and what is your name may I ask?"
                                    Darcy snapped back.
 Lizzy knew this guy was having a bad day, but she knew it wasn't an emergency, so she
   followed her procedures. "Sir, my name is Elizabeth Bennet. I can transfer you to Dr.
Lucas's voice mail immediately. He will return your call as soon as possible. Can I transfer
                                         you, sir?"

Darcy by this time was very angry and raised his voice. "Ms. Bennet, I am William Darcy of
         Highland Park. I own Darcy and Associates. Surely you know who I am?"

 Lizzy inwardly giggled, I know exactly who you are, a client on the phone being rude, but
  answered, "Mr. Darcy, Dr. Lucas requests all patients to leave a message for him on his
                    voice mail. Can I transfer your call now, Mr. Darcy?”

     Darcy replied, "Ms. Bennet, you may transfer me now, but this will not be our last

 Those words rung clear as a bell. Darcy was not finished with Elizabeth, though she was
 sure Dr. Lucas would never agree to see Mr. Darcy's family member. Dr. Lucas was very
 particular about his clients - he wanted patients that did not expect special treatment. In
the psychiatrist’s situation, there was no time for patients or family members with big egos.
 Lizzy was confidant that Dr. Lucas would meet Mr. Darcy and suggest another clinic. She
                    was sure she would never speak to Mr. Darcy again.


     Georgiana was a broken spirit after her ordeal with Wickham. She had seen so much
   tragedy that it did not take much for George to push her over the edge. Her parents had
  always protected her in a cocoon, then William took over. She was clueless about life and
love. Wickham had pursued her. At first she thought he was just being nice. One day, when
 she stopped by the store to pick up some Brie, George grabbed her arm and begged her to
 meet him on campus, away from her brother. She knew William would be furious, but she
  remembered George as a happy childhood memory, and she was strangely drawn to him.
                    She was playing with fire, and she was the last to know.

  Wickham tried to elope with Georgiana to Las Vegas. By the time they were waiting their
turn at the chapel, Wickham had found out that Georgiana's money was in a trust fund until
 she was thirty. William had figured if someone tried to marry her for money at age thirty,
 she would be grounded and truly understand love. He was right. Wickham ran right out of
   the chapel, grabbed a taxi and went straight to the airport for parts unknown. He had
   changed flights so often, he was untraceable as far as William knew. Georgiana called
 William, crying and begging him to come and get her. William thought once she was back
                                home she would be all right.

By the time William Darcy had called Dr. Lucas, Georgiana was deep into depression. When
  Darcy left his voice mail for Dr. Lucas, he was clear. "I want your private number. Ms.
              Bennet was rude, and I must not deal with such incompetence."

  Dr. Lucas returned his call. "Mr. Darcy, no patient gets a private number at my clinic or
  hospital. Patients must have to face their problems, and, Mr. Darcy, Ms. Bennet is a fine
employee and understands psychiatric protocol. She has never had a problem with a patient
before, and she does as the doctors here request. Now Georgiana's first appointment will be
                                February 12th at 10:00 a.m.”

     Georgiana and William showed up for the appointment, and she met with Dr. Lucas.
 Georgiana needed Dr. Lucas, and he wanted to help her. He knew his problem was William
   Darcy. Afterward, when he met with William, Dr. Lucas agreed to see Georgiana on an
  outpatient basis. He warned William he would need to give Georgiana time to heal, and to
    trust him as a doctor. William acknowledged Dr. Lucas was right. Then Dr. Lucas gave
      William the news he dreaded: if Georgiana did not respond to outpatient treatment,
 inpatient treatment was a possibility. William hung his head and fought back the tears. His
baby sister had lost so much. Wickham had ruined Georgiana's life. She was in such pain - if
                                      only he could fix it.

                                         Chapter 2
                                         April 20th

 Mr. Darcy was coming to pick up Georgiana after her admission for severe depression. He
   knew her struggle wasn't over but after six weeks of treatment of inpatient, William felt
    happy to bring her home. William's intention this day was to have everything positive
  happen, his primary goal was to keep Georgiana stress free until she was safely at home.
     He walked into the reception area of the clinic administration offices and asked the
     receptionist who he needed to see in order to complete Georgiana's discharge. The
receptionist said someone would see Mr. Darcy shortly. Lizzy opened the door and called, "
 William Darcy". He looked up the voice was vaguely familiar but where? He rose up out of
   his chair and walked toward the beautiful vision before him. Lizzy was five feet and six
 inches with soft brown hair that was simple and framed her face. She was wearing an Ann
   Taylor suit in bronze and her eyes seemed to glow. He awkwardly reached his hand out
  without speaking, she said, "Mr. Darcy, I am Elizabeth Bennet." That was when he knew
this glorious vision of professionalism was the woman two months earlier that made him so

     Darcy had recovered his composure and said, " I am William Darcy, Ms. Bennet."

         Lizzy shook his hand and said, " Mr. Darcy please follow me to my office."

All the anger from their phone conversation two months ago suddenly reared its ugly head.
He followed her and took his seat in the chair across from her desk. She sat down gingerly,
                            making sure not to wrinkle her skirt.
         "Mr. Darcy you are here regarding your sister's bill, I believe" Lizzy stated.

         "Yes, yes and I would like to pay this bill in full today," Mr. Darcy replied.

  Elizabeth did not remember his face so she answered him as any client, "Mr. Darcy as I
  would like to accept your check for full payment. That is not possible today. Our billing
 system runs on Friday, I will mail your bill in full then. You may pay the remainder of the
                         balance, when you receive your final bill.

Darcy took in breath and exhaled as he spoke, "Surely, Ms. Bennet you are capable of doing
   a manual bill. If not why would Dr. Lucas give this office and title? It could not be that
 difficult, I want my sister to be able to walk out of here and have no memory of this place
               after today. Do you understand the importance of this small favor?

  She stared at him, she had been insulted before and dealt with demanding patients and
    their families, but this rich snob took the cake. Mr. Darcy had never heard one very
  important word in his life and she was thrilled she was one who got to inform him of the
                                        word's existence.

 "Mr. Darcy, No, I can not do you a favor. Your sister stayed here six weeks and she cannot
leave here with no memory of it. She could have charges that the nurses will post on her bill
   this afternoon. My title means that I am responsible for correctly billing each and every
           account accurately. On Friday I will complete your sister's bill accurately.”

       Darcy sneered back at her, "Ms. Bennet do you know you are infuriating me?"

    Lizzy sneered back just as hard, "Yes, sir I am fully aware you are angry with me."

  Darcy hated losing a battle but Lizzy would not budge and he had never seen a woman
more determined so he retreated. " Well Ms. Bennet since you are not willing to help tell me
 my sister's balance and I will write you a check. I am requesting that you hold her Friday
               bill until I personally call you. Do you understand my request?

   "Yes, sir here is her balance as of last Friday and I will wait for your call," Lizzy calmly
           answered even though she wanted to be rid of him as soon as possible.

                     "Well, Ms. Bennet Good Day," and with that he left.

    Lizzy began to relax, she grabbed a coke out of the kitchen refrigerator and told the
 receptionist she needed fifteen minutes for a quick walk. She flew thru the back door and
sashayed down the hall full speed, her aim was to calm down. Mr. Darcy had made her livid
that he insulted her intelligence, she had a college degree and she knew how to do her job.
  How dare he, what an ungrateful man as she shook her head she turned the corner and
                                literally bumped into his chest.

               William stammered, " Ms. Bennet, I am sorry I didn't see you."

 She blushed and looked away," I am sorry Mr. Darcy, I was needing some fresh air," she
saw the stairs and made a run for the door. William watched her bolt to the door she was a
pistol but her hips swayed when she walked and her heels clicked and then her back slit in
her skirt was deep enough to catch a glimpse of graceful legs that looked life they went on
 forever. He had been so irritated by her manner he hadn't remembered how beautiful she
was. Yes she was a striking young woman wait Darcy she is an office clerk probably with no
  education why waste your time. No she was not someone he would allow himself to even
                       ponder and with that he got on the elevator.

 She was up twelve flights and if she had her running shoes on she could have gone all the
  way down. So she decided to walk down two and catch the elevator, Mr. Darcy would be
   down on the first level by then. The hospital and the clinic offices were part of an office
 complex, Lizzy walked the perimeter during her breaks, it was a nice distance but not too
far. She usually put on running shoes, but today in her hurry, she forgot them. Lizzy clicked
 her heels down two flight of stairs and out the stair well around the corner to the elevator
and pushed the button. The doors opened she was again staring in the one face she did not
                                  want to see William Darcy.

"Mr. Darcy," she courteously acknowledged. He looked at her quietly for the second time in
        his life. She had eyes that went through his soul,she is a beautiful woman.

   It was obvious to Lizzy by now, she could not run from this man anymore he was around
  every corner. She might as well know where he was, it was only ten more flights and then
  freedom. As she glided past him, he smelled a whiff of sandalwood and freesia. He did not
     know the scent, but was captivated by it anyway. She pushed the first floor button the
  elevator started but suddenly stopped between floors three and four. She looked at Darcy,
  he looked at the control panel area and then like five year olds they both looked up at the
   floor indicator hoping it would move. It didn't happen, they both grabbed for the elevator
   phone, Darcy was fastest and he told the operator they were stuck. Lizzy looked down at
   her shoes, her feet were aching and she had a three hour rehearsal for Pippin tonight she
     reached down took off her heels and wiggled her toes. He watched with a great deal of
 interest she didn't even notice he was in the elevator. She slowly sat down put her legs out
   straight and sipped her Coke. She was finally relaxed, he carefully took off his jacket and
folded it neatly and laid it over his arm. He realized she has softened somehow, she seemed
     content. He looked like a waiter, he sat down and laid his jacket across his lap, oh look
    relaxed. He wasn't relaxed at all. She looked at him and giggled, she couldn't help it she
        had spent her whole break running from him to be stuck in an elevator with him.

             He looked up from his jacket, "Ms. Bennet, do you find this funny?"

  She answered, "Well, yes I do, I think as much as I irritate you there is no exit and I am
                              sure we both would prefer one."

    He flashed a grin and looked into her eyes, "Ms. Bennet I do realize the irony of our
                 situation and I hope we are delayed for a short duration."

   He lied he wanted nothing more than to figure this complicated woman out. He knew he
   shouldn't watch her, but he could not his eyes away. She didn't seem to even notice him
three feet away. This left him with a feeling of a" fly on the wall". He watched her wiggle her
  toes, she seemed to be in another place. She was a very different woman than her office,
he realized under any other circumstance he would want to find out all about her. What was
it that had her someplace else? He had his PDA and should do some work but he succumbed
 to the glorious vision in front of him. Not once had she noticed him staring at her. He finally
   cleared his throat, pulled out his PDA and started going over his schedule for tomorrow.
She had been singing her favorite song, the theme song of Pippin, Rivers belong where they
 can ramble, eagles belong where they can fly, I've got to be where my spirit can run free,
got to find my corner of the sky. It was a beautiful song too bad the lead was a male part all
 she had was back up vocals, but the lyrics resonated in her, she wanted to be free to find
 her corner of the sky. She leaned her head back and went over her monologue for Taming
 Of The Shrew audition. With a fulltime job and a running play there were few moments to
         prepare for an audition. She busied herself with the words she knew so well:

                     No shame but mine: I must, forsooth, be forced
                       To give my hand opposed against my heart
                          Unto a mad-brain rudesby full of spleen;
                     Who woo'd in haste and means to wed at leisure.
                             I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,
                          Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behavior:
                             And, to be noted for a merry man,
                     He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage,
                    Make feasts, invite friends, and proclaim the banns;
                      Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd.
                       Now must the world point at poor Katharina,
                        And say, 'Lo, there is mad Petruchio's wife,
                       If it would please him come and marry her!'

The sudden noise of his throat brought her back to the elevator, she glanced up to see him
  holding his PDA and she took another sip of her Coke. God he was so boring even in an
                    elevator he is working, does this man ever relax?

 He was through checking his schedule and decided to see what she was doing. He sneeked
 a look and she was again with her eyes closed, somewhere else. He wondered what vision
or place could engross her so. She had seemed all business in the office and now she looked
  like a woman after a day of shopping. In an eerie way he saw a hint of Georgiana in her.
      Georgiana always had that satisfied look after a trip to Neiman Marcus, he did not
comprehend the look, but it was a familiar quiet satisfaction. To his surprise she glanced up
                               and her eyes caught his gaze.

  He finally spoke someone had to," Ms. Bennet are you comfortable? Can I help you with

           This man confounded Lizzy, "Mr. Darcy, I was just thinking about......"

 All of the sudden, the elevator jerked, she jumped up put on her heels and jacket. Darcy
 was competitive and not wanting to be beat any thing he sprang to his feet and put on his

  He said, " Well I guess I will be able to take my sister home. I am sorry Ms. Bennet you
                                         were saying?"

 Lizzy knew he didn't care about her thought, "Mr. Darcy it is no matter, you can see your
 sister in a moment and the patients are probably waiting for me, I will hold your bill, until
                                     you contact me."

   Darcy was amazed she could transform into her professional tone so easily and she did
 remember his request. Perhaps she was college educated probably junior college business
      classes. " Thank you Ms. Bennet I hope you haven't been too uncomfortable."

She always had patient irritations with her job. "Mr. Darcy, it comes with my job, at times I
       am unpopular, but in order for the clinic to succeed, I do what is necessary."

With that the doors that blocked them before opened and both were relieved to be free. He
                               said, " Goodbye Ms. Bennet"

                    "Goodbye Mr. Darcy" and up the stairs she climbed.

With that the doors that blocked them before opened and both were relieved to be free. He
                               said, " Goodbye Ms. Bennet"

                    "Goodbye Mr. Darcy" and up the stairs she climbed.

                                          Chapter 3
   Georgiana was home at last. Six weeks away from home and she had much different
 perspectives. Georgiana had learned a lot about herself. She dreaded what she had to do.

            William knew she was better, but he treated her like a Faberge egg.

   William needed to give her space and allow her the opportunity of making mistakes.
Problems, trials and crises make a person stronger. William had taken every problem, trial
and crisis and put them into beautifully wrapped packages. She had never really struggled.
He had a bubble around her, so when Wickham left, the bubble had burst and she landed on

 William, as part of her therapy, had gone to family counseling, and he had listened to the
therapist. He nodded when he was supposed to, but the therapist and Georgiana knew her
biggest challenge was William. She had to break free and learn to fly. It was past time, she
                                       was nineteen.

 Georgiana took a deep breath. The therapist said sooner rather than later. She needed to
establish their relationship right then. "William, I need to speak to you," Georgiana started.

      "Of course, Georgiana, what is bothering you? Can I help?" William answered.
 "See William, that is the problem. You need to quit helping me. I need to be a person with
    the ability to fix her own problems. You don't let me do that," Georgiana said as she
                                     watched his face.

William was confused. Georgiana couldn't be upset with him. Wickham was the real problem
   here, not him. "Georgiana, I can help, let me help you. What is really bothering you?"

 Georgiana had tried subtle. The therapist had warned her not to back down from William
understanding her needs. "William, you are! There, I said it. I love you and I don't want to
  hurt you, but I need to grow up. I am going to date and meet girlfriends for movies and
             dinner just like everyone else. I need you to let me go, William."

William Darcy wanted to wring the doctor's neck "Is this what the doctor said is needed? We
                              obviously need a new therapist."

 "No, William. I had a lot of time to think and write letters about what put me in George's
arms. I know I need some space. I will live here, but I need a life for myself. You only want
 to work and care for me. I desire one day to marry a man and have children. You need to
concentrate on yourself. William, you may have desires that you haven't realized. When was
                             the last time you went on a date?"

 William took in a deep breath. "Ok, Georgiana, if you want to date that is fine, I suppose,
 but what does my social life have anything to do with this? It's been awhile I guess, but I
                          really don't enjoy meeting new people."

 "William you are certainly aware of attractive women, are you not? Do you want to die an
            old bachelor?" Georgiana smiled she knew she had challenged him.

 "Georgiana, of course I notice a beautiful woman when I see one, but I have no desire to
chase every skirt in Dallas." William was rattled. He couldn't remember his last date. No, it
                               couldn't have been in college.

 She smiled. Yes, she had got to him. He was suddenly engrossed in his own thoughts and
    she was pleased. If William had a girlfriend, she could finally have a life of her own.


 Lizzy knew the role of Kathryn in Taming Of The Shrew. Kathryn had edges and emotions
                     that every actress worth her salt wanted to play.

The theatre had added The Taming Of The Shrew as a lark, Dallas always had Shakespeare
   in the Park during the summer. Those parts were for a traveling troupe who only did

     Lizzy had done her bit parts and even stage crewed. If there wasn't a role she was
 interested in, she ushered, anything to keep her name in the door. She felt like she had a
    chance. She had auditioned in college for Kate, but had lost to an actress with a bad
 temper. It failed in Lizzy's eyes. Kathryn was supposed to end up tamed by her husband.
            That actress in college was great at being a bitch, but never softened.

Lizzy had taken mental notes - she had to be a bitch and then later soften for her husband.
She also had to show chemistry with her husband, or it would not work. The chemistry was
 the hard part. She had hoped someone good would audition with her. Acting can be very
                             difficult if your partner was flat.

She applied her make-up, ate her sandwich and brushed her teeth. She looked in the mirror
  to check her bitchy look and make sure her dress looked fine. She had chosen a red silk
dress to her calves. She had to stand out and still look Elizabethan, and the right color and
    length would set the right atmosphere. Her brown hair was pulled up in a loose bun.

She was ready, and she drove to the theatre. Her reading partner was Dan. He was a large
guy that stood six feet tall. He had a rugged handsomeness. Dan was a kind teddy bear in
real life. Lizzy knew him and was comfortable with him. She had hoped Dan would get the

  She took a couple slow, cleansing breaths and smiled at Dan. She had the hateful part
 down. Dan grabbed her arm and she glanced up, he demanded her attention. She quickly
                    changed and softened in his arms. Yes, she did it.

      She might not get Kate, but she had done her best. Now all she to do was wait.

 She sat down and watched the rest of the auditions. The scene was surreal. Actually, she
smiled and chatted with the others, while each one was dying to get the role. Acting is very
competitive, and Lizzy couldn't stand being beat more than once. When the director called a
        break, she jumped up and got Dan a water bottle. She knew he was thirsty.

   "Here Dan, thanks for being here. It really helped to have you to play off of" she said.

      He replied, "Lizzy, I really hope you get it, you are the only one my wife trusts."
         Lizzy laughed, "She is so wise, now if she would just tell the director that!"

The auditions were over. Lizzy was more confused than ever. What did this director want to
     see? He wasn't showing anything. She kissed Dan goodnight and headed home.

 Lizzy hit her door, took off her shoes and jumped into bed. Sleep was needed. She was a
nervous wreck. If Dan got Petruchio she wanted Kate worse. She knew they had chemistry,
         but did the director see that? She tossed and turned and finally fell asleep.

 The next morning, the alarm went off so early. Lizzy was a fog of a person. She staggered
  to the shower, hot water would wake her up. This was Friday, she pulled on jeans and a
 lime green shirt. Dallas traffic is fast on Fridays, most people avoid working. She grabbed
her drama/tragedy coffee cup and headed to start billing. There were 60 inpatients today on
  the census. She had to work fast to update all the charges, if the printer messed up she
   would need extra time. Today Lizzy would take no calls from patients or personal, they
 could wait. She was almost ready to start the printer that would pound out the bills, when
they called her for lunch. Dr. Lucas had provided a Chinese food luncheon for the workers in
                                             the office.

              "Ruby, really just let me finish this and I will come," Lizzy says.

  "No Lizzy, Mrs. Gardiner and Dr. Lucas said to make sure you come with everyone else.
 They knew you would try and buy extra time. This is supposed to be a fun day. So we will
        see you in three, or Mrs. Gardiner will come get you." Ruby shook her head.

  The spread was beautiful and filling. Lizzy was glad she came. She didn't get to socialize
   that often with her coworkers. Everyone had staggered lunches and Lizzy was isolated
                             because she had clients so often.

   Ruby was telling her best tale about her famous ex-husband who was a dead beat dad.
Ruby was a free spirit with flaming red hair. She was born in Dallas, then traveled the world
with her husband. She was left alone with two kids to raise while her ex was traveling to sell
 records. He had the reputation of a committed husband and father, but Ruby would gladly
                     show you a stack of bounced child support checks.

 She was very charming and lived life to please herself now. She was past bitterness, and
remembered him as just an idiot from Pleasant Grove. Pleasant Grove is the area in Dallas
     no one claims to be from. It is considered a low rent poor school area, but Ruby
                           acknowledged her roots with gusto.

  "You figure out how to get out of Pleasant Grove or stay poor. Ex and I had no desire to
                              stay white trash," Ruby smiled.

  Lizzy laughed. Ruby was the entertainment at most occasions and she knew the music
 business inside out. Her advice was always, "Stay away from men with big egos. You will
                     get your heart broke, Lizzy." Ruby was not joking.

 Lizzy headed back to the bills. She set up the printer and hoped it would behave. It went
                fast, and with sixty clients, she babysat it for three hours.
Three hours later and a sea of bills, she was stuffing envelopes. Lizzy thought, What is that
 snob's name with the attitude? On her desk was the sticky with the name William Darcy.
How could I forget that name? He is so boring and so full of himself. Oh yes. She pulled his
 perfect bill with the added charges and slipped it into an envelope. She took her pen: Mr.
                     William Darcy. There, now that snob can have his bill.

She hurried to the front. "Ruby, this is a bill for a Mr. William Darcy. Please give to him and
             take his check. I really don't want to see this guy again, please?"

    Ruby was perplexed. Lizzy didn’t run from clients. "Okay, Lizzy. Is he really ugly or

Lizzy was contemplating her answer: his attitude is ugly, but he is quite handsome. "Ruby,
        he is a piece of work, you'll see soon enough. I know you can handle him."

                  Ruby loved unusual people, and now she was intrigued.

Lizzy got a page to come to the front, and she didn't want to go. It was either her Mom or a
                              patient she didn’t want to see.

"Lizzy, Mr. William Darcy called and really wanted to talk to you, I told him you don't accept
                              phone calls on Friday," Ruby said.

Lizzy responded, "Ruby, call him back and tell him he can pick up the envelope or I will mail
                                 it, whichever he prefers."

                              Lizzy's phone rang, "Yes Ruby?"

"Lizzy, Mr. Charming was here and he really wanted to see you, he is quite persuasive. He
 seemed disappointed you were unavailable. What is wrong with Mr. Charming? He is tall
             dark and handsome." Ruby hoped Lizzy would tell her the story.

 "Ruby, thanks, I am thrilled to avoid him. I will see you on Monday." Lizzy cleaned up her
                                     office to go home.

  Lizzy was idle on LBJ Freeway. She was hoping for a message from the director of The
                                  Taming Of The Shrew.

                                       She came into th...

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