Okay, so I was completely distracted today by a call from a dear friend who thinks that she met Mr. Right. He even kissed her before she boarded her train...heavy sigh.
So, I'm struggling whether or not I should let the readers into Darcy's head, and hence his feelings for Elizabeth. Miss Austen pretty much kept the readers twisting in the wind along with Elizabeth. I know that made things all the more potent and surprising when he proposed, but I also felt that Darcy was never truly fleshed out in the book and only regurgitated through Elizabeth's eyes. Maybe I can wait about halfway through and then let him loose, but would that be inconsistent?? Arrgh.
Well, here's a fun little scene from Chapter 2 of the still unnamed "What if?" novel. Darcy was involved in a riding accident the morning after the Netherfield ball and the sudden move to London to Keep Bingley and Jane apart did not happen.
“Darcy is grumpier than usual,” Mr. Bingley declared as they had tea one day. Bingley glanced over at Elizabeth and back at his tea before he continued. “He is an active man, and only being able to get as far as the garden is taking its toll on the poor fellow. He must have been a bear when you happened upon him, Miss Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth looked up from her tea. All eyes were on her. Not much had been said to her family on the subject of Elizabeth’s assistance, except to Jane. Elizabeth felt that a detailed description of her involvement would only bring unneeded speculation and gossip. If Mr. Darcy had not been so injured, it could have been a very compromising situation. So, she only spoke of her finding him and running for help.
“If you say ‘bear’ meaning unconscious and bleeding profusely—then by all means, Mr. Bingley, he was a great bear.” She smiled innocently and took another sip.
“Good heavens, Lizzy! How shocking! He was bleeding profusely? You didn’t relate that to us,” complained Mrs. Bennet, as she considered that the two who preceded the Good Samaritan most likely had excellent and sound reasons to pass on the opposite side of the road.
“You didn’t ask me anything about it, Mama,” Elizabeth noted calmly.
Lydia snorted. “No, she was too busy with our cousin, Mr. Collins, who was violently in love at the time.” Kitty and Lydia both held back laughter while Aunt Gardiner shot them looks to behave.
“I do have it in my power to tell you how upset I was when I found out you had left on foot in the rain to return to Longbourn, instead of taking shelter in my home, Miss Elizabeth,” Bingley said with sincerity, and Elizabeth felt it fully.
“Please forgive me, Mr. Bingley. You needed only to worry about Mr. Darcy, and I didn’t mind the walk one bit. I did not catch cold, I assure you.” She hesitated. “Please also convey that to Mr. Darcy for me, as I know I broke a promise to him."
“Well, you will have to convey that information yourself, Miss Elizabeth.” She looked up at him in surprise, as did the rest of the room as if he would produce the gentleman out of his trouser pocket that very moment. “I am to extend an invitation to the two eldest Miss Bennets to lunch at Netherfield tomorrow. Miss Darcy is staying with us and longs for more diverse company. May I tell her that you will attend?”
So, that's all. If real romance would stop happening around here, maybe I could get some work done...