Returning to Mr. Darcy – Sheena Austin

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a man with a good fortune must be satisfied and fulfilled. However, this was not the case for Elizabeth Bennet. Unlike Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth did not have a Mr. Darcy. She did, however, possess a man with a good fortune, but Charles Davenport was a workaholic and had commitment issues. Like she had done for countless nights, she waited for him in bed with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate. The vibration of her phone brought Elizabeth out of her reverie. She put down the worn-out copy of Pride and Prejudice that her Aunt Jane had given to her on her sixteenth birthday. Her friend Jo was calling. She hit ‘ignore’ because she knew Jo was trying to drag her out. Taking another sip of her hot chocolate, she closed her eyes, visualizing Mr. Darcy proposing to her, and herself accepting at once. Lost in her daydream, she plays out the scene, where she believes Lizzie went wrong in denying poor Darcy. Instead of denying him, she wraps her arms around Mr. Darcy’s neck, showering him in kisses.

She pins him to the floor and he is compliant. She stares into his dark chocolate eyes and before she could carry out her fantasy, the sound of a door creaking open caused her heart pound against her rib cage. Great, I’m going to be assaulted by an intruder right in the middle of a damn good moment. My obituary will read Elizabeth Bennet killed while daydream of Mr. Darcy. When she opened her eyes, she jumped out of bed as she saw Jo standing at the foot of her bed, all dolled up in a black eighties sweater dress, heels, and fishnet stockings. Jo was a knockout compared to Elizabeth in her Cookie Monster pajamas and bunny slippers. Her reflexes kicked in and she threw the book at Jo. “Are you trying to book me to death?” Jo laughed. “That’s what you get for scaring the shit out of me.

” “Well, I’m thankful it wasn’t something more lethal like your phone.” Elizabeth couldn’t help but laugh. “Why are you barging into my house anyway?” “That’s what you get for giving me a spare key. I can invade your privacy anytime I want.” Elizabeth shook her head. “Okay, hand them over. You obviously are abusing your key powers.” Jo shook her head. “No way, Jose.” “Fine.

I will just change the locks. Anyway, why are you here again?” “When you started to ignore my texts and calls, I made the executive decision to drag your ass out of bed.” “What part of ‘I want to stay home’ do you not understand?” “I took it for a silent plea for help. You can’t sit around and wait for Charles to come home. It’s bad for your complexion.” Elizabeth pinched the bridge of her nose. I hate when she is right. I can’t wait around for Charles forever. He is probably out gallivanting around with his clients, while I sit here like a hopeless sap. For four years, Elizabeth had been waiting for him to settle down and propose.

She was a hopeless romantic and lived by the adage that after being with a man for a year, he should know if he wanted to marry her or not. Jo pushed her aside. “Stop gawking and let’s get you all clean and pretty for our night out! We’re going to see a Queen cover band.” Elizabeth groaned. “Fine, only if you promise to be on your best behavior.” Jo smiled. “Scout’s honor.” Jo started going through Elizabeth’s wardrobe to find something. “Oh my God, Lizzie, your wardrobe is booooring!” Elizabeth shook her head. “I’m sorry it pales compared to yours.

” Jo clicked her tongue in disapproval of everything until she pulled out a pair of black skinny jeans and a stretchy, sparkly purple top. “Here you go.” She threw them at Elizabeth. Elizabeth went into the bathroom to fix her hair, put on some makeup, and get dressed. **** Jo pulled Elizabeth through the sea of people that blocked the bar. Elizabeth dragged her feet in defeat; she really did not want to be there. She would rather have stayed home and finished reading Pride and Prejudice. “You stay right here,” Jo said, placing her hand on Elizabeth’s shoulders. Jo tucked Elizabeth in a small booth in the corner. Elizabeth grumbled, “Not like I have anywhere else to go.

” Watching Jo walk off to get their drinks, she did a quick survey of the bar to find an escape route. But to no avail. She sat next to the men’s room, and she was not going to jump out of that window. Blowing out a small sigh of defeat, Elizabeth began to people-watch and noticed the band was just setting up. The bar patrons consisted of young and old, and a lot were dressed up like Freddie Mercury, since the band playing was a Queen cover band. Noticing a guy in a yellow Freddie Mercury outfit attempting to chat up Jo at the bar, she laughed, and mumbled, “Karma.” Hearing exaggerated laughter, Elizabeth turned to see Jo and the man she was chatting with giving Elizabeth the once-over. He grinned in approval and elbowed the man beside him. His friend turned slightly to face the guy in yellow. Elizabeth was unable to see his face, but could see his lips moving.

If only she could read lips from where she sat. Her heart pounded wildly in her chest when the man quickly glanced at her and turned back around. Elizabeth huffed and turned quickly away in embarrassment. Damn, just one look and he looked bored! How fucking rude! She was deep in her thoughts when Jo interrupted her. “Why are you looking so miserable, Lizzie?” Elizabeth looked up to see Jo grinning from ear-to-ear as she placed two Long Island Iced Teas on the table. Elizabeth groaned at how ridiculous she was acting. She did not want to admit that she felt rejected by some douche at the bar. “Thanks,” Elizabeth said as she took the drink from Jo. “What did you tell that guy?” “I only told him that you are totally single, looking to live out your Freddie Mercury fantasy.” Elizabeth spat out her drink and glared at Jo.

“You wouldn’t dare.” “Oh, but I did. If it doesn’t work out with you two, there is always his hot friend. Maybe a threesome?” Jo laughed. “Anyway, I invited them to sit with us. He is trying to convince his friend to join us. They’re apparently with some bigwig guy, but he’s ignoring them and paying more attention to a chick.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes. “Oh my God, Jo. Bad enough you drag me out while I could be on a hot date with Mr.

Darcy.” Jo snickered. “While I’m all for having a hot date, maybe try it with a real human being.” “Hush your mouth, he’ll hear you.” Elizabeth laughed. Before Elizabeth could chastise Jo any further, she saw a blur of yellow out of the corner of her eye. She let out a low groan, took a huge gulp of her drink, and plastered a fake smile on her face. When she looked up, the breath was knocked out of her lungs as she gawked at the man standing behind the wannabe Freddie Mercury. Her face went white as if she had seen a ghost. Words choked in her throat; her eyes glazed over.

Freddie’s friend’s face was etched with concern. “Miss, are you okay?” Elizabeth felt like a fish out of water, gasping for air. Jo nudged her and leaned in. “Elizabeth, what is wrong, are you sick?” Elizabeth swallowed hard and stumbled on her words. “I’m . sorry.” She pushed past Jo and rushed to the ladies’ room. Jo ran after Elizabeth; she only heard Jo apologize to the guys. Elizabeth slammed a stall closed and retched the contents of her dinner. Jo pushed the stall door open.

“What the fuck was that?” Elizabeth pathetically looked up at Jo. “That man . who is he?” “Girl, he introduced himself before you freaked out. His name is William Darcy.” Elizabeth threw up again. “Impossible.” “What are you talking about?” “He is the, Mr. Darcy from my dreams!” After blurting that out she turned crimson. Great now Jo’s gonna think I’m a lunatic, talking about a man who doesn’t exist. “Great! Now you can have that hot date with him.

Elizabeth gawked at her friend. I can’t believe she’s not making fun of me and my weird fantasies. She grew frustrated at Jo’s nonchalant approach. “Not funny, Jo.” “Girl, don’t freak out, it’s just a coincidence. You just happened to imagine Mr. Darcy as a hot piece of British . ” Elizabeth glared at Jo. “Don’t get all vulgar on me right now. Get your lady hormones together and take me home.

” “Uh, no and no. I’m not driving, I’ve been drinking too, remember.” “Great, call me a cab then.” A deep voice interrupted them. “Excuse me, is everything all right?” “That’s no woman asking,” Jo said, and she popped her head of out the stall. “Don’t look now, Elizabeth, but it’s your hot date.” “What’s he doing in the ladies’ room?” Elizabeth nearly shouted. “I’m in here because I’m concerned about you.” Elizabeth turned red. Fuck.

Stalker much? Jo left the stall and Elizabeth heard her speak to Darcy. “Dude, thanks for being chivalrous and all, but my girl just had too much to drink. We’re going to call a cab and get her to bed.” “I can take you both home if you like,” he answered. Elizabeth ambled out of the stall, and slurred, “No, that’s quite all right. My mother always told me not to accept rides from strangers.” “But isn’t taking a cab ride still considered riding with a stranger?” “Touché, but I’ll call my boyfriend.” She pulled out her cell phone, and squinted her eyes to make the numbers stop moving. She dialed him but got his voice mail. “Fuck, typical Charles.

” Darcy shook his head. “Seems like your boyfriend is too busy to come to your aid.” “He’s out with a client, who obviously is more important than me.” The alcohol made her tongue loose. Jo chimed in. “He’s a real ass, you’re more caring than he is and hotter.” Elizabeth turned red as Darcy laughed. “It would seem so, but your friend here is too stubborn to trust me.” “That’s my Elizabeth Bennet for you.” “Ahh, so this lovely creature does have a name, and a beautiful name it is.

I do love Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. I do believe our meeting was fate.” Elizabeth felt as if the heat was suddenly turned up a thousand degrees. She gasped and grew faint. Now he’s fucking calling me lovely? When he took one look at me and turned around? “Call an Uber now, Jo, please. I need to go home.” She stormed out past Darcy without another word. She knew she was being rude, but he stirred something inside of her that she couldn’t explain. She pushed through the fogginess of the drink and the crowd of people to get outside. The air was cold and cut through her as she shivered.

She felt a hand on her shoulder, and she jumped. “Girl, what was that all about? A hot man who didn’t have to give two shits about you offered us a ride home and you run out.” “For all we know he could be some psycho murderer. I’d take my chances with Uber.” Jo rolled her eyes. “Well, we’ll find out if our driver is a psycho murderer in a couple of minutes.” Elizabeth stood there willing herself to warm up and willing the Uber to hurry up. Once inside the car, Jo gave their addresses, and Elizabeth closed her eyes to catch her breath. Elizabeth was dropped off first. Jo hugged her, and whispered, “We live to tell the tale, we won’t be on the front-page tomorrow, thank God.

” Elizabeth giggled and snorted as she walked up the empty driveway. She fumbled with her keys, and once inside, slammed the door behind her. She stumbled to the couch and lay down. She was exhausted and wished she hadn’t drunk so much. She was pissed that Charles had more important people to deal with than her. Her mixture of alcohol-induced feelings caused her to want to sleep. She tried to fight back sleepiness, but to no avail; she lost that battle. Mr. Darcy’s eyes bored into her very soul as he caressed her face. She stared into his dark chocolate gaze as she ran her fingers through his raven hair.

“You drive me insane, Lizzie, I love you ardently.” A smile etched upon her lips and before she could respond, his lips were pressed against hers. The force of the kiss caused her to fall off the couch, jolting her awake. Disoriented, it took her a few seconds to realize she was home. Fuck, what a dream! She got up to grab her cell phone and saw that she had missed a text from Jo: I’m alive! Elizabeth: Good that would’ve been awkward to explain Jo: Lol, right? Still think we were better off with Darcy Uber driver was so not my type Elizabeth: Thinking with your hormones again I’m glad we played it safe and not with Darcy Jo: He was right tho it’s still Russian roulette with a cab driver total stranger Elizabeth: Darcy was a stranger Jo: No, he wasn’t, a stranger is someone you haven’t met yet we met and talked, and he was harmless Elizabeth: omg whatevs gtg Jo: Charles not home yet Elizabeth: No, typical Jo: Well, Girl when are you dumping his sorry ass Elizabeth pinched the bridge of her nose, gritted her teeth, and replied. Elizabeth: When Mr. Darcy comes in and sweeps me off my feet Jo: He did I miss the old Lizzie, the one who wasn’t a doormat. Elizabeth: Ouch, Jo Jo: Lizzie, the truth will set you freeE Elizabeth: I appreciate it, cya @ work Jo: sweet dreams of Mr. Darcy Elizabeth turned off her ringer. Her phone told her it was two a.

m. and officially Christmas Eve, and he still wasn’t home. She dragged herself off the couch, and like a zombie, she headed toward the stairs. The old oak floor groaned and sounded louder in an empty house. Her heart leaped when an owl hooted near the window. She hated being by herself at night; the shadows looming below seemed darker and menacing, as if someone was lurking outside. The sound of the doorknob turning made her jump. Since he hadn’t answered her call and she had arrived at an empty house, she rehearsed exactly what she would say to him. This time she was determined not to hold her tongue. Since her aunt had died, she’d fallen into a passive-aggressive disposition, not wanting to lose any more people in her life.

But tonight, something snapped inside of her, and the old hotheaded Lizzie wanted to emerge. Charles always had an excuse for coming home late: his clients needed him. She was tired of playing second fiddle. As the owner of a consulting firm, Charles Davenport employed enough staff to assist all their clients, so why did he seem to be the only one who could satisfy their needs into the late hours of the night? When he would return he acted as if nothing had happened. His nonchalance infuriated her, and she would repress her feelings, afraid of the next fight, and that he would leave. She wasn’t sure if it would be permanent, and she did not want to die alone. She padded quietly to the foyer as she heard the heavy front door click shut. By the time she made it to the entryway, she squinted her eyes, thinking she was seeing double, since there were two forms casting menacing shadows on the wall. Elizabeth took a step closer, and the wooden floorboards moaned in one long, low whine. Alerted by the sound, both figures jumped, but it was Charles who slurred, “Elizabeth, you about gave me a heart attack! What are you doing up so late?” Still trying to figure out the second man, who held Charles up, she was slow to answer.

She raised her voice. “I was thinking the same about you.” Even with another person present, Charles let out a snort that whistled through his nostrils, a clear sign that he was annoyed. “Not now, Elizabeth. I don’t have time for your childish games.” Her arms went rigid against her sides as she fought to keep her voice steady, and her eyes flickered quickly back and forth from the man to Charles. “I apologize, but I tried to get Mr. Davenport back home in one piece. He is too intoxicated to have driven home himself, and I apologize for keeping him out late,” the stranger said as he shifted uncomfortably, and she caught some of his features in the street light from outside. She gasped.

Impossible. “If I had known he had someone more important than me waiting for him at home, I would have insisted we end our outing earlier.” Her breathing hitched as Charles addressed him. “Darcy, foolishness, you are important.” Darcy cleared his throat in disapproval. “Clearly, we have a very different definition of what is important.” Her heart banged in her chest; the blood rushing deafened her. She panicked and could not believe what was going down before her. This man was defending her. Charles snorted.

“Elizabeth knows her place and how important my clients are. We have a mutual understanding.” Darcy gripped Charles by the shoulder to keep him up, but she could tell he wanted to drop him and walk out, and the glint in his eyes said, Why are you with this ass? Instead, Darcy calmly asked, “Where would you like him, Elizabeth?” Before Elizabeth could say anything, Charles pushed past them both, stomping up the stairs. She started to follow him, but she felt Darcy’s hand on her arm. His eyes seemed to be pleading with her. She blushed. “Are you going to be all right, Miss Bennet?”


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