Thanx for the reviews guys:) I really appreciate it. Sorry for the really long delay in chapters. Ill try to be quicker next time.
When Anne woke the next morning, she was surprised to see a servant in her room opening up the blinds and asking her about her sleep.
Im still here! She thought.
She got dressed and went down stairs to have breakfast. Sir William, his wife and Mariah were already seated.
"Charlotte, my dear, your opinion is needed," Sir William said as he gestured for Anne to take the seat on his right, "What do you say to a party here at Lucas Lodge tomorrow evening?"
"Indeed that is an excellent idea... father," Anne answered with a laugh. She was really being to like this life. She had not used the word father for a very long time. She tried not to think too much about her actual father and said "May I go to Longbourne after breakfast and invite the Bennets?"
"Of course. I will send Roger to invite Mr Bingley and his party directly." Sir William said.
"Will Mr Darcy be coming do you think, father?" Mariah asked between mouthfuls of bread and jam.
"I do not see why he should not come."
"He was not very nice to Lizzy at the dance," Mariah remarked looking at Anne.
"What did Lizzy say about it Charlotte?" Lady Lucas asked.
"She did not tell me anything," Anne said to herself realising that she shouldve had a conversation about it with Lizzy on the night of the dance.
"That is to say," She stuttered when she realised everyone was looking at her, "he said that she was not handsome enough to tempt him into dancing with her. I daresay he is a very proud."
"Indeed he is," Mariah shouted, "Lydia told me that he did not care to dance with any woman at the dance because they were not as rich as he is."
Sir William got into the discussion as well and Anne could see that it would be a useless conversation, so she excused herself and headed to the Bennets.
She got there a little earlier than she was supposed to. She knew this because she could see Jane and Elizabeth picking flowers in the garden and talking. The steward directed her to them and she came upon them as Elizabeth was saying "I do not like them at all." When she saw Anne, she greeted her with a kiss and a hug. Jane did the same.
"Who do you not like, Lizzy?" Anne asked smiling.
Elizabeth linked arms with her sister and her friend. "I was speaking about Mr Bingleys sisters"
"Be careful Lizzy," Anne smiled at Jane, "They may one day be part of your family"
"I see what you mean Charlotte and I daresay youre wrong," Jane said blushing.
They all laughed
Anne stopped as they turned towards the entrance of the house. "Lizzy, what is it that Mr Darcy told you yesterday. You did not tell me," she said trying to make up for what she had missed the night of the party.
Elizabeth proceeded to tell Anne the conversation she had heard between Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy. They laughed again.
"Do not be so harsh in your judgement of him, Lizzy," Anne said "for you do not know how events will unfold in the future."
"Charlotte I do not care about that. The only thing I can say about the future is that I will never dance with him. I promised my mother after the dance"
"Yeah right," Anne said under her breath
"I beg your pardon?" Jane asked
"I forgot that I had come to invite your family to a party at Lucus lodge tomorrow evening"
Anne passed the next day helping the Lucuses prepare for the party. The thrill of being part of a family, being asked her opinions and giving orders was such that she longed to scream from excitement.
That night when the guests arrived, she waited til the Bennets entered and when Mary walked in, Anne had enough time to pull her aside and apply some eye liner, mascara and lip gloss on her. She looked a lot less nerdy and a little more feminine.
She greeted her guests one by one including Mr Bingley and his party. She was debating within herself whether or not she should befriend Mr Darcy. It would definitely be the perfect crime. After she greeted him, she decided it would make more sense to befriend Louisa and Caroline than Mr Darcy. So she payed them every attention throughout the night.
She spend a while talking to them, preventing Sir Lucas from talking to them about introducing them to court. They seemed to like her when she hung onto their every word and discussed in great detail all the different fashion and clothing she knew they liked. They got along so well that by the end of the conversation, Caroline invited her for dinner. Yes! I got my foot in the door! she thought.
Anne then excused herself to go and speak to Lizzy who was conversing with Colonel and Mrs Forster. On her way, she remembered Mary just as she heard Lydia in her loud voice declaring how she longed for a ball.
"Mary, my dear," Anne said, "would you like to play a dancing song?"
"But there is still two movements," she said seeming a little distressed
"I know my dear but I would very much like my guests to dance and be jolly. You know there is no one else here who plays as well as you do!" she said, handing the sheets to Mary.
Before Lydia could say another word, Anne said aloud "Let us have a dance now, shall we? Lydia, would you like to lead?"
This seemed to make everyone happy and avoid the Bennets embarrassing themselves. For a brief second, Anne thought about the impact this will have on Mr Darcy and Elizabeth's relationship.
As she approached Lizzy, she could see Mr Darcy looking at her. Smiling to herself, she pointed it out to Lizzy.
"I cannot think why, unless he means to frighten me with his contempt!"
"Im sure you are wrong"
"And what makes you so sure?" Elizabeth said suspiciously
"Because I am an excellent judge of character" she said teasingly. Anne looked over at the piano forte seeing Mary glowing. "Doesn't Mary look pretty this evening?"
"Indeed she does" Elizabeth said surprised, "I hardly noticed before but she definitely seems to have blossomed"
Pleased with herself Anne asked "Do you think Mr Bingley is in love with Jane?"
"It is obvious that he likes her very much"
"You may not like my advice Lizzy, but I really think Jane should show some enthusiasm towards Mr Bingley. Perhaps more than she feels"
"Before she is certain of his character and her own regard for him?"
"Well, you and I both know Jane well enough but he does not. He may get the wrong impression and think she has no interest in him"
"That is not sound, Charlotte. You would not act like that yourself," Elizabeth said.
Just as she spoke, Lydia let out a roar of laughter.
"I better speak to my sister before she exposes us all to ridicule," she said looking worried.
Anne walked over to Caroline and Louisa to speak to them whilst keeping her eye on Mr Darcy and Elizabeth talking to Sir William. Despite his embarrassing and annoying ways, Anne realised that Sir William was actually a good natured simple man. A lot like her own father.
"Please excuse me," Caroline said curtsying and walking over to Mr Darcy.
I wasnt the only one watching, she thought, looking at Mr Darcy talking to Caroline.
Soon after, the night ended and the guests left.
That was a job well done, she said to herself as she closed her bedroom door, changed and went to sleep.