It was the perfect day for sitting in the park for both reading and people watching. Lizzie smiled as she watched a little boy argue with his mother about ice cream, laughed as the two boys playing soccer lost control of their ball and slammed into a pack of horrified girls, and admired a man sitting further down the path on a bench. Lizzie closed her eyes for a moment and lifted her face to the sun. Feeling its warmth, she sighed happily and returned to her book, Spells and Sleeping Bags. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched as a tall blond man sat down and greeted the man on the bench. Lizzie lowered her book just a little and leaned closer to eavesdrop on their conversation.
"Darcy, sorry I'm a little late. Got tied up in a meeting."
"Hello Charlie, so good of you to make it." Darcy raised his eyebrows. "So where is the famous angel?"
At that moment, Lizzie abandoned eavesdropping as she spied her sister walking briskly towards the men. She gave Charlie a quick kiss and Lizzie's head nodded ever so slightly. "Ah, so this was the man my sister has been ditching me for lately. Not bad! I guess this means I'll have to forgive her." As soon as Jane entangled herself from Charlie, she shook hands with Will Darcy and led both men in Lizzie's direction.
Lizzie slipped her book in her bag and met the trio halfway. She hugged Jane first and then spoke to Charlie " So you're the reason I hardly ever see my sister anymore. And when she is home, she's talking to you on the phone or talking about you."
Charlie paled at these words and swallowed nervously. Lizzie smiled hoping to make him relax, "It's nice to see her so happy. I'm just glad we finally got the chance to meet, but I can see why she's been hogging all your attention. She's just afraid I'll try to steal you away." And she laughed as she reached forward to hug him.
"Well if anyone could, I think you'd be just about the only one to give her a run for her money. I've heard nothing but Lizzie this, Lizzie that. It's almost if she wanted me to fall for you instead of her."
Jane watched their easy banter smiling and then stepped between the two of them. Charlie immediately wrapped his arms around her drawing her close. "As you can see Lizzie, I win this round." Jane grinned mischievously, "But maybe Will will be so happy as to take you off my hands."
"Ah yes Will, come meet Lizzie." Charlie commanded.
Will glanced at Lizzie as she watched him thinking she would only be too glad to have his hands on her. Will simply smiled hello and asked where they were going to eat. They made their way to a small deli. Lizzie and Jane ordered their usual: Roast beef with Cheddar cheese and sautéed mushroom for Lizzie and a Turkey Club for Jane. Both decided on Diet Cokes and Cheetos. While Jane took their tray to a table, Lizzie went to get the napkins, straws, and salt. As she was gathering up their condiments, she heard the boys talking.
"Charlie, I can't believe you want to set us up. I've told you time and time again, no more blind dates especially after that last one."
"But Will, Lizzie would be great for you."
"Charles I do not need a girlfriend who sits in the park all day and reads children's books. I will find myself a beautiful intelligent girlfriend, but on my own. Just leave me be."
Lizzie had heard enough, she turned to quickly walk back to their table, but in moving so quickly, she hit her leg on a table crying out in pain. She grimaced and made her way over to Jane.
"Tomorrow when I ask where I got that bruise from, now you'll know."
Jane laughed and asked if she was in pain. "No, I'm good."
They started eating and soon the boys joined them. Lizzie kept up appearances while quietly seething inside. But she wasn't here to make trouble, she was here to meet Charles. She asked how Charlie and Jane met and basically kept the conversation going. As soon as she was done with her sandwich, she started gathering up her things.
"Oh Lizzie, are you leaving so soon?"
"Yes Jane, I'm sorry but I need to get back to work"
"Oh, I thought you didn't have to rush back today"
"I thought that too, but Steve called a staff meeting this morning and I need to do a few things to prepare."
"Jane mentioned that you work in a library, right?"
"Yes, Charlie I do. I love it there, although some days I wish that I had the luxury of sitting the in the park all day reading children's books. That sounds so peaceful." She glanced at Darcy when she said this, smiled at him sweetly as she watched him blush slightly. "It was so nice meeting you Will. And of course you Charlie. I'm sure I'll see you often. Jane, will you be home for dinner?"
Jane grinned sheepishly, "No, Charlie and I are going to have dinner and catch a movie."
"Ah, well in that case I look forward to making a delicious pizza for one."
Jane's eyes widened, "You wouldn't dare!" Lizzie raised an eyebrow and headed for the door.
Jane watched her sister leave and turned to Charles, "Lizzie makes the best pizza ever. Do you mind terribly if we do dinner and a movie tomorrow night? You've got to taste her pizza." Charles smiled with acceptance. "Oh, and Will, if you're not doing anything you're welcome for dinner too."
Will looked startled, but neither Jane nor Charles noticed. "Well, I was going to have dinner with my sister"
"You have a sister? I didn't know that. Of course she's welcome to come too. Are you two close? How old is she? Does she look anything like you? Does she…" Jane breaks off at the sound of Charles's laughter.
"Give the poor guy a chance to answer your questions before you come bombarding him with more…"
With wide eyes, Jane turned back to Will, "Sorry Will, I got carried away. Sisters are just very important to me. I was just excited hearing that you had one too. Please bring her along tonight. I'd love to meet her. And I'm sure Lizzie would too."
Will acquiesced, but was sure that Lizzie would not be happy to see him, especially with her parting crack. He really needed to think sometimes before he spoke. He sighed; it could be rough night. Or maybe it really would be fun; Georgiana would like meeting the two sisters. And really, that was all that mattered after what she had been through.