An excessively big hi and hello to all fanfictioners out there (is that a word?). so slight confession, ive been totally MIA on ffn for a while, ive been perusig other sites and reading non pride and prejudice books (ikr!).

A big thank you to everyone who is still reading and reviewing my other stories, i do keep popping back and try to read all of them. so thanks! you guys are amazing!

next comes an apology. I am working on a witches sequel, but ive kinda lost my muse. I promise i'll keep trying to find it (her?). In the mean time this was a short story that i just couldnt get out of my head.

loosely based on sophie kinsellas idea. IT TURNS OUT that there was a previously published story with the same name. Therefore i have changed the name to my original one (which is the heading of my notes.) I DID NOT COPY THIS STORY, I HAVE NOT READ THE OTHER VERSION. after general advice i am going to continue posting until someone tells me not to. i dont intend to publish. please do not review or share on good reads or other JA sites.

Chapter 1, "a plan to woo in haste"

Darcy woke with a jolt, the elusive dream not quite remembered, and looked around. The carriage was a fine one, nicely sprung and recently purchased. The occupants comfortable even though there were five of them. Mr and Mrs Hurst and Caroline Bingley sat across from him, possibly less comfortably seated, as compared to himself, due to Mr Hurst's girth. After all he did enjoy fine food and wine and rarely thought beyond his next meal and the result was inevitable.

Mr Hust was, as expected, asleep. His snores surprisingly soft and consistent. His bulk taking up almost half the opposite seat. The two women were, luckily, petite and were sat without complaint. Although Louisa, sat in the middle, seemed the least comfortable of them all.

His gaze rested on Caroline Bingley. Her tall frame was gracefully seated, head leant to the side, arch of her neck was on display. He thought she was asleep also, her eyes were closed, but her body was not relaxed so he could not be sure. He studied her. The younger sister of his best friend, he spent a significant anoint of time in her company. She was sharp, knew how to handle the ton and her wit matched his in many ways. Their opinions about people often matched and he usually found himself enjoying her sharp comments.

In short, he was seriously considering a match with her.

Six months ago he likely would not have thought of it, but the summer with Georgiana and her... folly, weighed heavily on his mind. Georgiana needed a woman's presence and guidance. Caroline had attended one of the finest seminaries and comported herself with dignity and grace. She was not afraid of society, despite her origins, and Georgiana could use some confidence in her own life. If he could persuade Bingley to purchase, she would be the sister of two landed gentlemen, both relatively wealthy, which would go a long way to masking her father's profession.

She was also beautiful, in the conventional way, her skin was smooth and pale, her hair almost blonde with a few hints of her brother's red hair. An unusual colour but not unattractive. She was healthy and would likely bear children without problems. She also played and sang well, and her other accomplishments were as one would hope for in a wife.

Darcy turned his gaze to the scenery. Hertfordshire passed by the window and he could not help but compare the flat landscape to the wild and untamed beauty of the peaks. He sighed, thinking of his reasons for coming hither with his friend Bingley. He had promised, long ago, to aid Bingley in his foray in to the world of the landed gentry. So he could not, in good conscience, say no to the plea. He also was considering offering for Caroline and needed to witness for himself if she could handle being mistress of a country estate. He knew that Netherfield was nothing to Pemberley, Bingley had said so himself, but to be mistress of an estate was an essential quality in his future bride and Miss Bingley had yet to prove herself. He would have to endure the savage society for a time.

He felt no guilt at his disingenuous thoughts about the local society, or his potential bride's background. 'Twas nothing more than how most of the ton thought of those on the fringes of high society, it didn't occur to him that he might come to think differently in the future.


The morning after a soirée at Lucas lodge found Darcy, once again, in self reflection. Miss Bingley had proved herself able to run a household, in so far as he could see, but a pair of fine eyes found themselves intruding on his thoughts.

He was riding Mars, his latest purchase from tattersall, there was a fresh breeze and the smell of an upcoming storm. It was just past dawn, his favourite time of day, the air was fresh but there were few people about and none that would presume to speak to him. The young stallion was spirited and Darcy enjoyed the challenge of the mount.

He was riding out early, as breakfast would not yet be served, and was using the time to think through his plans. His expectations of the local society had not been far wrong, all excepting Miss Elizabeth Bennet, who was beguiling in her intelligence and witty conversation. He had spent most of last evening attempting to know more of her and had not been disappointed with the breadth and depth of her conversations. Her performance on the piano-forte, whilst not technically without fault, was enticing and sung with such spirit that he found himself stirred in a most ungentleman-like manner.

He forced his thoughts from her eyes. Even if he did chose to like her, she could not be a match for him. Her family were intolerable, their manners uncouth and their language coarse. Mrs Bennet was clearly out to trap a gentleman of wealth for any of her daughters. He thanked god she had set her sights on Bingley and Miss Bennet, the eldest, and had yet to turn her gaze to him. He frowned at that thought and filed away the idea of warning Bingley against such a match should his friend show signs of falling for her.

He thought again of Miss Bingley. He had not made up his mind, yet, but he was leaning toward the idea. He had heard from his sister recently and she had specifically written of her regard for Miss Bingley, which he thought was likely a form of permission from his young sister.

Not that he needed such.

Lord Matlcok would likely be unhappy, given her background, but he had given up trying to match Darcy after he rejected his uncles last suggestion over a year ago. Darcy thought he would probably be relieved to see Darcy married to anyone and the connections to Bingley and Hurst were acceptable if not excellent.

He was resolved, he would continue to observe, but if Miss Bingley continued to comport herself with grace, he would offer for her before he returned to London. He thought to himself that a bit of time and attention, courting unofficially, would likely decide the matter. He would not offer an open courtship for he knew where such a thing would end, however he would spend time with her, walk with her, and then he would know if they would suit.

He knew, once decided, it would take a lot to sway him from his path. In point of fact, and in his mind, the deal was as good as done.

With that decided he pushed thoughts of fine eyes out of his head and kicked his horse in to a gallop across the field. The fence in his path was not high and he urged Mars to jump. It should have been easy but a pheasant startled at the last second and Mars shied in the air. Only Darcy's excellent horsemanship allowed him to keep his seat as the horse landed but the buck that followed was too much and Darcy found himself considering how long it had been since a horse had thrown him, as he fell out of the saddle and before everything went to black.



That was the first sensation, a deep throbbing, all consuming pain in his head.

He groaned and lifted a hand to touch the back of it. Considering how he fell he would not be surprised to find a cut to the back of his head. There was no wetness there and he was relieved. He then thought on the peculiarity of not feeling any dampness. Hadn't he fallen off his horse in a field? A field that had been rained on the night before? His eyes were still closed. This he noted with almost surprise.

It was then that other senses began to intrude upon his waking thoughts. He was not only dry, but comfortable and warm and most certainly not in riding attire. The smells that surrounded him were of indoors and fire and wood, a smell he recognised. But there was also a lighter, feminine scent, which he did not.

He tried to move his head and groaned again, at which point he heard a lovely voice hushing him and placing a wet cloth to his forehead. That startled him enough for his eyes to fly open. His confusion grew as he looked up at the canopy of his own four poster bed at Pemberley. The dark wood twisting in strong columns to a dark canopy. The curtains were not his but we're obviously of a good quality. One side was drawn and the other open and from that direction he saw movement as another cloth was pressed against his forehead. The motion was soothing and he closed his eyes, embarrassed as another groan escaped him, this one one of pleasure.

Once again the soothing female voice said calming words and once again the feeling of wrongness overcame him. The voice did not belong to his sister, nor a servant that he recognised and there were few he would allow to tend his sick bed, as that was where he likely was. His fall must have been worse than he thought.

His eyes opened again and he looked in to the relieved eyes of ... Who? The eyes were familiar, sparkling and intelligent and yet the name eluded him.

"There now" she said, her voice melodic and kind "Welcome back Mr Darcy. Did I not tell everyone that you would not lie a bed long, but I am all the more glad to have been right on this occasion"

Darcy just stared at the woman, what was she doing in his room? How had she come to be here?

"Miss Bennet" his voice was dry and cracked from disuse "I know not what your game is but I will not be trapped in this manner. I must ask you to leave my bed chamber at once"

With that declared he slumped back and his eyes closed once more, in doing such he missed the look of shock and concern that flashed across the woman's face.


A/N - oh, i likely should warn about ODB here. you can probably gather from this first chapter that he likes miss bingley. in fairness there was no reason to suppose he didnt (i know we all hate her and i do like a story with some good caroline bashing in it) so fair warning, odb likes c in this, please dont hate me too much for writing it!