Pride and Publicists Pride and Prejudice Fanfiction by liaoqinmei

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                         Pride and Publicists
                                  By Lucinda

                            Jump to new as of August 6, 2001
                           Jump to new as of August 14, 2001
                          Jump to new as of September 2, 2001



                                 Chapter 1
                             Posted on Friday, 27 July 2001
   Meryton was by no means a mecca of business, arts, or politics. However in its own
charming way it held its own in the cruel world known as Michigan. A small progressive
town nestled within the confines of the lower peninsula, somewhere a couple of hundred
  miles away from the bustle of Detroit and plunked down around patches of Michigan's
  famous cherry orchards, it sprawled slowly and sleepily like a lazy, growing teenager
deciding that noon was a good time to wake up and finally think about the future. It was a
 nice place to grow up, but the general consensus was that it was also a good place to get
                                        out of, too.
Elizabeth Bennet was one of those who needed to get out of town. She was at her mother
  and father's house today, a comfortable house that screamed middle-class from each
  green and white awning to each overgrown peony bush in the front yard that drooped
                             heavily with dew and rainwater.
"Mr. Bennet!" trilled her mother's voice from the kitchen. Elizabeth sat in the living room
    in front of the large bay window that showed two of your high-school aged sisters
 scrambling out of a rusty white Honda. Their shrill giggles wafted, or rather punctuated
  the air with sound as a fleet of air force pilots on speed would if doing practice flights
through their neighborhood. "MR. BENNET!" came her mother's voice again. "I have the
            most amazing discovery! Where are you hiding yourself, my dear?"
 Mrs. Bennet came tumbling into the room where Elizabeth sat meditating over a pencil
   and paper. She panted, eyes bright, and complexion heightened with a pinkness that
disturbed to Elizabeth. But the ping of fear she felt soon gave way as she realized that her
 mother was in one of her "moods" again where her condition resembled what bad actors
would consider having a heart attack would be like. She returned to staring at the piece of
         paper. She kicked at a pile of books and magazines at her feet irritably.
 "Lizzy, do you know where your father is?" A blue magazine flapped excitedly in her
 mother's hand, the pages trembling. Elizabeth wondered if it was doing so in time with
the raptures of her mother, or if they trembled so in fear. If she had to empathize with the
                           magazine, she would pick the latter.
                     "He is in the study, Mama, but he's working..."
The blue magazine was thrust into Elizabeth's face, a page coming precariously close to
scratching one particularly fine, brown eye. Elizabeth jerked sideways and crashed into
 the wall as her sisters Lydia and Kitty burst into the house, a flurry of excitement to be
  out of school and even greater excitement because of the homecoming football game
being held tonight that pitted the Meryton Militia Men against the Rosings Park Royals.
"Look!" cried Mrs. Bennet, the magazine advancing on Elizabeth again. "Do you not see?
  Oh, isn't he handsome?" There was some more blubbering and fawning that Elizabeth
           missed as more noise continued to assault her formerly quiet domain.
"Lizzy!" cried Lydia, flying into the room. "You're home, though I don't know what for."
She laughed explosively as if she had just told the best joke of all time, and flopped down
           into the sofa. "Are you coming to the homecoming game tonight?"
"Yes, are you?" added Kitty who was a little calmer than her younger sister. "It is sort of
  the point that former graduates come back. And you were on homecoming court your
 senior year." A twinge of jealousy touched Kitty's voice. She was a senior this year and
   had no such distinction as her two eldest sisters had previously held, especially Jane
                     whom had been elected as queen by a landslide.
  "Thanks, but no thanks," Elizabeth answered good naturedly. "Although I'll be sad to
miss the Michigan Militia in action." Her eyes twinkled at this, but no one else caught her
   allusion. She sighed and returned her attention to her mother who was getting more
                                agitated at being ignored.
                            "Yes, Mother?" she asked tiredly.
  An extremely exasperated sigh came from her mother's lips. "Well you of all people
should know this, but I doubt you do." Elizabeth quirked an eyebrow but let her mother
continue on without interruption. The magazine came very close again, but Mrs. Bennet
 held it at enough of a distance to avoid injury to Elizabeth, and close enough for her to
                                   get a discerning look.
 There was a picture of a very tall, lean man, his silhouette dripping dark brooding and
   intensity. Most of his face was shadowed, which as a shame because he gave the
  impression of being handsome, and he was in profile at that. He was staring out the
window, and Elizabeth could not help thinking that this was not a happy man. The room
he stood in was obviously an office, but one without clutter; without adornment. There
  was a menacing sexiness to its Spartan nature, and Elizabeth would have sworn her
  mother was showing her a supermarket celebrity magazine if she had not caught the
words, "CEO of Pemberly Publishing Inc. and subsidiaries." Before she could read on
       the periodical was ripped away from her site with accompanying squeals.
                                      "Let me see!"
                           "I had it first, Lydia! Give it back!"
    Elizabeth rolled her eyes and wondered how fast she could get out of the Bennet
household and back to her apartment, or even to Jane's apartment which was much closer.
   Much too close for Elizabeth's own comfort, that was for sure. Her mother's excited
       laughter brought her once again, and most unpleasantly, back to reality.
                          "And he is coming here, to Meryton!"
                                          "What?"
   "And you call yourself a reporter. I don't know why you didn't go into business like I
said, or fashion design. That's where the real money is, Lizzy girl. Like I told your father,
  'What is that girl going to do with an English major? She'll write herself into poverty!'
  That's what I said. And now Mary is off at college studying British history and music.
    What will I ever do with you girls? Well, at least Jane had the providence to go into
    something practical like education, and look at how successful she is now with her
   daycare center. The best in the area, I've heard everyone declare. But English, Lizzy?
    How will you ever support yourself, if not me and your father when we are old and
                        crippled and sick from the cruelties of life?"
 "Mom. You forget father was an English major, and he owns the Longbourne Gazette,
which has kept this family fed and clothed all these years. And you forget too, that I work
                                         there."
Mrs. Bennet sniffed disdainfully. "It's certainly no Meryton Daily Register. Why, it only
     comes out once a week. How are we supposed to live on that sort of income?"
   "Well enough! We are hardly what you called impoverished, and," Elizabeth added
    acidly in a hiss, "I would sooner marry our cousin, Mr. Collins than work for that
 conservative piece of fluff! I mean, it might as well declare with foot-tall headlines that
  women belong in the kitchen and men, as the hunter and gatherers of the human tribe
 should be out killing our endangered species for burgers and barbecue ribs on Saturday
                           nights! It's preposterous what that...."
"What is this racket?" came an oddly calm voice into the hubbub. Mr. Bennet came into
the doorway. "Have I missed something important? Are pigs running amuck in the yard,
or has Lydia just put in one of her horrendous pop music CDs? Oh, Lizzy," he remarked
 upon seeing her. "Why are you still here? Did you not manage to escape your mother's
    clutches in time? Or did your sisters detain you with some of their empty-headed
                                         gossip?"
    "Originally, neither." Elizabeth shot a glance at her female relatives who were too
absorbed with themselves to pay attention to the father-daughter exchange going on. She
gestured to her work table. "I was struck by an idea after I finished speaking to you about
  next week's featured article and I figured it would be best to write it down right away
before I forget." She sighed unhappily. "But it seems all for naught. Total writer's block."
    Mr. Bennet had now fully entered the room and had made his way over to his two
 youngest daughters who were paging through the previously offending blue magazine.
   Lydia and Kitty were giggling madly over it, pointing and covering their mouths in
   scandalous delight, but put up no fight when Mr. Bennet confiscated the magazine,
  examined it briefly with an enigmatic smile, and moved to where Elizabeth sat at the
 writing table. He dropped the magazine in front of her and paged quickly to the section
                  where her mother had previously been forcing on her.
                   "What is this? Mother was just showing this to me."
 "This, Lizzy, is a gentleman soon to be taking Meryton by storm, and this is whom you
  are currently experiencing writer's block about. You see, he is the owner of Pemberly
Publishing which is coming to set up a smaller branch of its offices here in Meryton very
                                          soon."
  Indeed, Elizabeth was writing the feature article this week about the affect such a big
                    company would have on their modest little city.
 "He looks very handsome," Kitty remarked in a half-hearted kind of way, more used to
         the conventional beauties of boy bands and pre-teen movie superstars.
  "And he is disgustingly rich!" exclaimed Lydia who received a glare from her father.
                     Mrs. Bennet shook with spasms of happiness.
 "Mayor Lucas tells me that there is to be a welcoming assembly for him next Saturday. I
   hear that this was all set up in advance by Bingley and Company, apparently a very
 prestigious publicist firm in New York. You and I will be attending for purely academic
   reasons. " He gave his wife and youngest daughters an appraising look, then sighed
resignedly. "Others though, I can vouch will not be doing so. Rather, I think the opposite.
 But what is a party without a scene? I'm sure it will give this Mr. William Darcy quite a
                                colorful impression of us all."
 "No doubt," Elizabeth murmured, her eyes darting to the picture of the mostly obscured
 man, staring so far away in that picture, and suddenly coming so near in so soon a time.



                                Chapter 2
                            Posted on Saturday, 28 July 2001
 He should have been used to things like this by now-he certainly had enough practice at
  it--but he wasn't. However perfunctory and practiced the press junkets or "welcoming
  parties," as Charles called them, were, William Darcy still felt strangely nervous, or at
least mildly anxious whenever he had to attend an event where his company was the main
 focus, or "featured presentation" as he'd like to call it. Ever since taking over Pemberley
  Publishing five years ago when his father had passed away leaving him the reigns, the
  whirlwind of activity had only increased. Some people enjoyed these lavish parties and
  get-togethers where the powerful and beautiful mingled, made deals, and stabbed each
     other in the back with the friendliest of smiles. For instance, Charles and Caroline
  Bingley, although for reasons that could not be more polar opposite than they already
                                             were.
Charles loved the people and their company. He loved everything, it seemed, in general,
and everyone loved him right back for his genuine sincerity and amiability. It was hardly
   a wonder that he was head of one of the top publicity agencies in New York. If one
  wanted to be adored, or at least tolerated, Bingley and Company was the place to call.
   Will, not precisely known for his affability and openness in large groups, knew how
 lucky he was not only to have Charles Bingley representing him, but having him as his
                               closest friend, and visa versa.
 Then there was Caroline, a wunderkind at PR in her own right. Most people whispered
   that she only had such a high position at Bingley and Company because she was the
  president's sister, but secretly they knew, (but would run into oncoming traffic before
    they would admit), that she could spin the spin better than most people in the same
business. She relished the power--dishing it, getting it, and taking it all away with a snap
of her fingers. Caroline flattered and preened, airbrushing the images of her clients like a
master bored with how easy it was. If trouble arose she was the Doberman in the corner,
   snarling and foaming at the mouth, ready to bite the heads off anyone who dared to
further sully the image of those who paid her the big bucks. And when the cloud passed
     she could become Miss Mary Sunshine again, and all would be well in the world.
   Will strode around the large ballroom where the "welcoming party" was enduring the
finishing touches. Caroline, barking at the caterers, stopped for a moment to smile at him.
  He returned the smile with reluctance and turned away so he could let out the grimace
    that came naturally with encounters with her flirtatious side. It confounded him that
  someone who excelled at making others look good had absolutely no inkling of how to
work the same magic on herself. She could be more or less tolerable, but he knew that he
      only put up with her for Charles's sake. Lately though, he noticed her increasing
      preoccupation with himself and the state of matrimony, and it made him shudder
             involuntary, sometimes at the most awkward or random moments.
                                 "Darcy! Isn't this grand?"
                                          Charles.
"As always, Bingley, you do a remarkable job, although, do you think," he said gesturing
to the elaborate ice sculpture and gourmet buffet, "this is a little extravagant for Meryton,
Michigan? Or should I mention, this entire press junket? It's not like we're bulldozing half
        the town to build a skyscraper. I'm simply opening a Midwestern branch. "
   "Nonsense! These people may not be sophisticated as the lot we're used to, but that
                doesn't mean they don't deserve the same treatment."
"But it hardly means that they'll know how to act in such an environment. I would hardly
               be surprised if they mistaken the garnish for the appetizer."
   Charles simply laughed and slapped his friend soundly on the shoulder. Will's face
                                      tightened.
    Turning to find somewhere to sit, Will heard a tremendous noise coming from the
                               hallway. What the . . . ?
                "Charles!" he shouted, distress coloring his tone of voice.
 "Didn't I tell you we were getting a live band, Darce?" his friend said grinning broadly.
  He had come jogging up to him as soon as the noise had begun. "This should be a real
party. I think the Meryton populace will be a lot more apt to dance. The lot in New York
and Boston are rather too stuffed-shirt for my taste. They're far too disdainful of actually
                        having a good time, wouldn't you agree? "
"I think that's what I like about them," Will muttered. Charles didn't hear him and almost
 clapped in jubilation at the fun to be had later on in the evening. His blue eyes danced,
    and it seemed every golden ringlet of hair on his head bounced along with him in
                                      anticipation.
Will's eyes darted around the room in the meanwhile, wondering where there was a coat
         room or similar, where he could run to and hide until this was all over.


 "You know, Jane, this may be fun after all." Elizabeth fumbled around with an earring.
 She winced as it found the right spot, the pointy back practically repiercing a hole that
                        had partially re-healed from lack of use.
Her sister smiled sweetly as she readjusted her skirt. "What did I tell you, Lizzy? I don't
know why you were so pessimistic about this to begin with. It seems it will be a pleasant
                  evening, and you must admit, it is something to do."
"Yes, that is true. There are only so many times one can go to the movies or go out to eat
without either going broke or gaining the weight equivalent to a third leg. I just can't help
                            at wondering at all of this, though."
                                        "At what?"
"Well, opening a publishing house hardly merits a big party that makes the effort to invite
 the press. It just seems suspicious, and makes me wonder at what ulterior motives might
                                         be at work."
 Jane laughed. "Always the reporter. And I always thought you wanted to write novels.
                Father's influence has certainly made its mark on you."
"Well don't you think it's strange that of all places a powerhouse company like Pemberly
   Publishing would pick Meryton over say, Chicago, Detroit, or Milwaukee for a
Midwestern office? Perhaps they're hiding from something, and they think that they can
                   run away from their problems from a small town."
 "That seems hardly the case, Lizzy." Jane walked over to her jewelry box and began to
pick through her baubles, finally deciding on a simple, pearl drop pendant that went with
  the silver-blue dress she wore. "I'm sure the people at Pemberly Publishing have read
enough books to know that if anything, all a small town has to do is talk and gossip. They
     could hardly escape from such a thing no matter where they went, no less here."
 "But why the publicists? The supposed entourage of body guards, make-up artists, and
                                 personal masseuse? "
"Perhaps that's just gossip. The group might prove to be smaller than first reported. But
you'll have a chance to ask Mr. Darcy himself about all of this, won't you, Lizzy? Didn't
                  you set up an interview with him for later this week?"
 Elizabeth acknowledged that she had, via a Mr. Bingley. "I just want to know the facts,
                         though. Be ready for it, you know?"
  "Well, unless you start getting dressed," Jane said, indicating the simple, but elegant
cream blouse and black skirt Elizabeth had placed on her bed, "you'll never be ready for
                                        the party."
Will Darcy stalked the perimeter of the room as per usual. People had begun pouring into
the assembly room. 'And in all manner of dress!' Caroline had remarked snottily to him
as she eyed people decked out in clothing ranging from jeans and sweater vests to what,
 according to her, looked like off-the-rack prom dresses. He had just escaped her witty
comments, but the impression had left its mark. He could not help noticing now the silly
dress and behavior of the people around here. Nerves had turned into annoyance and he
 continued to brood as he paced, hoping that either he would shake the mood or that he
                     could escape notice by staying out of the fray.
  However, if he only knew how much this was drawing attention to himself, he would
have stopped immediately and made a run for that coat room he had been thinking about
earlier. Amongst a room full of people thoroughly enjoying themselves and mingling, he
 stood as the only person grumping around and looking displeased. As word spread that
                    this was William Darcy, the inevitable talk began.
Elizabeth and Jane Bennet had arrived before the rest of their family having gotten ready
together at Jane's apartment. Both lovely and well-liked, friends and acquaintances came
          in a steady stream to welcome them, and of course, spread the gossip.
 Mrs. Lucas, the mayor's wife began her conversation with them not by greeting, but by
 pointing out the lean and handsome man making himself disagreeable over by the pate.
"He's very handsome. I hear that back in New York he was voted most eligible bachelor,
but he hasn't said a word to anyone so far, from what I hear. I have to say I'm a bit miffed
      he hasn't introduced himself to me. I am the first lady of this town, after all."
                            "So that is Mr. Darcy?" Jane said.
             "Very lean and smoldering," Elizabeth said with a wicked grin.
"Do you think we should introduce ourselves?" Jane asked as Mrs. Lucas disappeared to
 greet the next round of people entering the room. However Jane never had the chance
because at that moment the tornado that was Charles Bingley interrupted what Elizabeth
                           was to say and introduced himself.
  "So you are Ms. Bennet!" He shook her hand vigorously. "It's absolutely delightful to
           finally meet you. I hope you'll have a pleasant time this evening!"
  "You just want me to do a good write-up on your client," Elizabeth said teasingly, but
Charles, not understanding her humor broke into earnest apologizes that that was not his
 intention at all, and it took Elizabeth a minute or two before he was sufficiently calmed
and satisfied that she had not mistaken him. Near the end of these apologies, however, he
was suddenly struck dumb. Elizabeth looked and saw that his attention had finally fallen
            on Jane who had remained demure and quiet during their exchange.
                                     "Mr. Bingley ..."
                                    "Charles, please."
          "Then please call me Elizabeth. This is my elder sister, Jane Bennet."
      Jane, shyer than usual managed to say, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Charles."
"Do you like to dance?" he suddenly blurted out, but to Jane and not Elizabeth. "Because
  if you do," he continued haphazardly, cheeks rosy with embarrassment, "I would be
   honored if you would dance the first dance with me. That is, if the band ever plays
                          anything besides this dull stuff."
   Jane consented and the two simply stared at each other for a moment longer before
                       Elizabeth felt the need to clear her throat.
     "Oh! How rude of me! May I introduce you ladies to some friends of mine? My
colleague, err, well actually my sister, Caroline is here too, and of course my friend and
client, William Darcy." He pointed to the perimeter man, and Elizabeth smiled to herself
   that she had been correct in her assumption as to who William Darcy was. "I'm sure
  Darcy will like you very much," he added to Elizabeth. Elizabeth noticed how he had
only addressed her and not Jane. She smiled and thought, in love with my sister so soon?
Men. How territorial! But this was an endearing trait in Charles Bingley, and Jane hadn't
   noticed it, or at least hadn't taken the comment as a slight, so Elizabeth did likewise.
  Charles offered his arm to both of them, and they made their way through the crowd.
  William Darcy was still prowling around and looking very unhappy. He didn't notice
                                      their approach.
 Perhaps he may like me, Elizabeth thought as she noted his sour look, but I don't know
                              how much I may like him.



                                 Chapter 3
                           Posted on Wednesday, 1 August 2001
"I am so sorry that you have to endure this, Will," Caroline whispered sympathetically in
                                         his ear.
Will nearly catapulted into a large fern. He had not seen her coming, and Caroline, being
 Caroline, had taken the liberty of not simply addressing him without warning, she did it
   by trying to whisper directly into his ear, blowing faintly by means of increasing the
seductive nature of the action (which, in actuality, failed miserably). Will supposed that it
   was better than having her whisper sweet nothings to him, but really, it was of little
                                         consolation.
  He straightened himself but did not turn to meet her eye. He watched those gathered
 before him instead. "You forget, Caroline," he began stiffly, "you were the one that set
                                  this whole thing up."
 "Pish posh," she clicked dismissively. "It was what Charles wanted, and he would not
 have it any other way." She sighed affectedly. "If only I had been given sole control of
                         this account. But you know how he is."
    The truth was, Caroline had only been given permission to work on this particular
account because she had psychologically-beaten Charles into it, lecturing him for months
on why she should be involved. Her brother would have relented right away, his nature so
complying and kind, but he knew Will's disposition regarding Caroline, and he esteemed
  his friend so much that he would never do anything that would displease him. Charles
 had only relented after Will saw his deteriorating mental state in the hands of his sister.
 However there was one condition: That Charles be in primary control and Caroline, due
 to some persuading by Will, would handle the small (but "important") details to give it
her special touch. Her vanity flattered, Charles' sanity saved, Will thought himself a good
  friend and diplomat until now, when he began to question his wisdom in this eleventh
                                           hour.
   "I would have set up the most sophisticated little event, and," she continued with a
 sweeping gesture, "one without the attendance of the dregs of society." She laughed, no
doubt attempting to have it sound like tinkling crystal or coins spilling together. Will had
heard this laugh before, as well as her accompanying commentary on how she thought it
 sounded. He rather thought it sounded horsy, alternately high and then low. He recalled
her real laugh, and it was quite normal. He wished she would've stuck to that, or best yet,
                 simply left him alone. But it was a wish entirely in vain.
She continued to flatter him. He continued to give her "a hint," which she missed. But he
was saved, when, spotting a couple who looked quite rich, or at least moderately upper-
  middle class, she excused herself and buzzed her beeline in their general direction.
 His mood entirely spoiled now, Will lost himself in his own thoughts and paced. If only
  he could be at home right now or on vacation with Georgiana, he thought. Although
  young and still with a lot more maturing to go, his sister was at least sane, and not the
 least grating on the nerves. Thoughts of her inevitably turned his thoughts to her recent
            troubles, and the worry only proved to furrow his forehead further.
                                         "Darce!"
Will looked up, astonished, but not astonished, to see Charles approaching him with two
women on his arms. He rolled his eyes, a well practiced expression of his that although
             subtle, was powerful at showing his contempt. Country tarts.
  "Charles," he answered cordially, inclining his head to the two new strangers. He gave
them a quick once-over, looking them both in the eye. Will generally found that under his
intense scrutiny that a person's true character would come out depending on their reaction
to him. The blonde one, he had to admit, was very pretty, and she smiled complacently at
 him. The brunette, however, was making him nervous. He felt his stomach flip and make
 desperately to claw up his esophagus in order to escape. He tried to suppress the feeling.
  She was looking at him so intently that he found he could not hold eye contact with her
any longer. He turned his attention back to Charles who was eager to make introductions.
"Ladies, this is my good friend, William Darcy. Undoubtedly you've heard of him. Will,
this is Jane Bennet." His smile was large, but it froze there when Charles realized that he
  had little more to add to her description, at least nothing he could say out loud at this
                              juncture in their acquaintance.
"My sister," the other woman offered. "She runs a prominent day care here in Meryton."
          Charles nodded encouragingly, then turned to introduce the brunette.
"And this is Elizabeth Bennet." Will and Elizabeth briefly acknowledged each other. "She
 is a reporter for the Longbourne Gazette. You have an interview together later this week.
                         Maybe you can become acquainted tonight!"
Will was hardly paying attention. Something was causing a stir near the entrance, and his
 attention had been drawn towards the noise. He saw a flighty woman in a lime green
     dress suit enter, her voice carrying over the hum. Behind her came, no doubt, her
daughters. He was shocked at their outfits. They looked like common hookers. He prayed
Georgiana had never even entertained thoughts of purchasing anything like that. Then his
cellular phone began to ring insistently in his pocket. He felt his heart jump. It could only
                        be one person-on this particular phone at least.
  "Uh, excuse me." He immediately moved away from them without another word and
              headed towards the terrace in order to get a clearer signal.
  Elizabeth was absolutely miffed. How abominablely rude! she thought. What kind of
 impression was he trying to give off? This was hardly a way to introduce yourself into
   society, that was for sure. And his actions after hearing that she was a reporter were
 beyond suspicious. However there was little time to think on these matters. The noise,
 Elizabeth soon discovered, was the entrance of the remainder of the Bennet family. She
shot Jane a meaningful glance and excusing herself to Charles, headed over to her family
                         before matters got even more out of hand.


"Oh my, isn't this nice?" Mrs. Bennet trilled. Kitty and Lydia came bounding in after their
  mother, faces flushed and already giggly beyond comprehension. Mr. Bennet came in
                                caboose looking amused.
"Oooh!" the younger girls squealed in unison as they spotted a cluster of boys in Meryton
 Militia letter jackets by the buffet table. The boys appeared to see them and straightened
             up immediately, posing in the cockiest manner they could manage.
 Lydia pulled her sister by the hand. "There's Denny and Sandy! Let's go and ask them
 what they think of our new dresses! What do you think they'll say if I ask them if they
 think my skirt is short enough? I'll bet they blush beet red!" They left a trail of giggles
               and silliness in their wake. And they had only just arrived.
  Elizabeth had just reached her family to hear this, but her sisters were off before she
could stop them. Her mother had grabbed her arm and now held her as the hostage of her
                                       disclosure.
      "Oh, Lizzy!" she exulted, "this is some party, isn't it? Look at all the food, and the
     decorations! How elegant! And how well everyone looks." There was a pause, and
  leaning towards her second daughter Mrs. Bennet whispered, "Well, not everyone. Mr.
  and Mrs. Gouldings look as though they just woke up, and what isMary King wearing?
    I've never seen anything so ugly in my life. Does she not know that redheads should
 never wear that shade of pink?" She laughed merrily. "Well, regardless no one compares
 to my girls. Especially Jane . . ." Her words trailed as she saw her eldest across the room
speaking to a handsome young man. "Oh, oh!" Mrs. Bennet was having one of her attacks
   of excitement. They commonly were characterized by some sort of vocal rendition of
                heart palpitations. Elizabeth knew the symptoms all too well.
                                   "What is it, Mama?"
"Who is that handsome man with Jane? He looks so well dressed, and so, well, rich! That
 is Mr. Darcy, I am sure. Oh, I knew Jane was so beautiful for a reason. He looks already
                                    in love with her."
  "That is not Mr. Darcy," Elizabeth said patiently. "That is Mr. Bingley, Mr. Darcy's
 publicist. I've met him. He's a very nice man, although I cannot say the same about Mr.
    Darcy." Her last words were marked with disdain. "He's your typical rich man."
                  "And what, may I ask, Lizzy, is so wrong with that?"
 Elizabeth did not have a chance to explain. Lydia's shriek pierced the room. One of the
boys, Denny or Sandy, were holding high above his head a black garter. Lydia jumped up
    and down in delight. "Give it back!" she pouted, but it was clear it was for show.
     Elizabeth was horrified, but it only got worse as Lydia jumped onto the boy and
  appeared, to try and climb him. She was dumbstruck, and could hardly move until her
                                     mother exclaimed,
 "Do you see that boy Lydia's with, Lizzy? That's Denny Masterson, and he's the captain
   of the Meryton Militia football team. His father owns Masterson's lumber. Also very
rich." Then with a self-satisfied sigh, "My dear Lydia sure knows how to attract the good
                                           ones."
"Excuse me," Elizabeth blurted when she recovered her wits. She immediately made her
way towards her sister. It was enough the reputation Lydia already had, but more talk was
 never welcome, especially in the company of strangers and those who would no doubt
                     talk even more about those "wild Bennet girls."
Elizabeth almost stopped in mid-stride because she felt the weight of someone's gaze on
   her. Out of the corner of her eye she saw William Darcy looking at her intently. She
flinched, then gathering up all her strength, turned away with a hot face to stop her sister
                     for making things worse than they already were.


It had been a false alarm. Georgiana had simply called to see how things were going, and
forgetting about the time difference had caught him before she had wanted. It felt good to
     speak to her, though. She had been so quiet of late, and he had worried about her
 incessantly before the incidents of last spring. She seemed a little more talkative tonight,
                 but the conversation still remained short and un-detailed.
 He slid the phone back into his coat pocket and surveyed the room for Charles. He saw
his friend talking to the blonde that he had introduced earlier. A small, begrudging smile
                    came to his face. In love again so soon, Charles?...

                                   Plik z chomika:

                                       Serenite78

                               Inne pliki z tego folderu:

                            You Sang to Me(1).doc (2540 KB)
                            Twilight of the Abyss.doc (271 KB)
                             To Love Again(1).doc (1746 KB)
                             Through The Fog.doc (35 KB)
                          The Role of a Lifetime(1).doc (522 KB)
Inne foldery tego chomika:

          photki i ikony

								
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