Disclaimer: I am not Jane Austen so please do not confuse me with her.
A/N: I know a lot of time has passed between the prolog and the first chapter but you will get to see what has happened between that in flashbacks or expiations by the character.
Anything that is between two of this: ~ in italics are thought and there for are not spoken out loud
Thank you To my Beta Dixi Cross!
Elizabeth Rose Bennett had been looking forward to the Meryton assembly for a few weeks now. Especially since the announcement of Mr. Bingley's attendance, the new tenant from Netherfield. She had a feeling something was going to happen, what that something was she did not know, but something was going to take place at the assembly that would change her life; of that she was certain.
When the day of the ball arrived she dressed with care, making sure that she looked extremely nice. In her eyes she would never be beautiful but nice she could do. Her mother was in an uproar about to the Nerthefield party being at the assembly and wanted Jane to look her best.
"Jane," said Mrs. Bennett, "you are the most beautiful of the ladies in the entire neighborhood. I believe that if you set your mind and heart to it you will find a husband tonight."
Mrs. Bennett was a match making mama, but what mother of five daughters would not be? Fortunately for her at this assembly she would only have to worry for three daughters: Jane, Lizzy and Mary, since the other two were still too young to be out in society. So Catherine, also known as Kitty, Lydia, and Tom were to stay at Longbourn with Mr. Bennett
Before leaving for the assembly Mrs. Bennett and her three eldest daughters met in the foyer; she wanted to approve of their apparel before they arrived in public.
"Jane you look beautiful as always! Lizzy, my, my Lizzy you are looking beautiful as well, are you trying to catch some one's eye tonight?" this she said with a smile and a wink at her second eldest daughter, which caused Lizzy to blush and shake her head in the negative. "Mary, I know you would rather stay at home and read but you also need to socialize. It will be good for you so do not make that face; you look much prettier when you smile. Other than that you look gorgeous." Mary blushed at her mother's compliment, it was not the first time her mother had complimented her but still she blushed every time.
After the approval was given all the ladies bid the rest of their family farewell and climbed into carriage. They arrived in good time before the dancing started. Waiting for their arrival was most of the male population of Meryton and the surrounding area, for the Bennett ladies were well known for their beauty and amiability. Although it was also well known that they had almost no dowry, but who needs a dowry for dancing? So it was that as soon as the ladies arrived they were secured for the first and second sets.
When the dancing commenced they lined up opposite of each other. Jane was to dance the first set with Mr. Edwards, and the second with Mr. Fitzpatrick. Lizzy was to sand up with Mr. Fitzpatrick for the first set and Mr. Wier for the second, Mary's first set was with Mr. Wier and the second with Mr. Edwards. Since there was a shortage of gentlemen they were to sit out their third set. All were enjoying the dancing until the first song of the second set when Lizzy's stocking started to slip. She continued as best she could but when the song ended she told her partner, Mr. Wier, that she could not continue with this set, however if he desired she would gladly stand up with him during a different set. Mr. Wier agreed and escorted her to her mother.
"Lizzy why have you stopped dancing?" asked Mrs. Bennett.
"I think my garter broke, Mama. I can feel my stocking slipping down my leg, as we speak, I could not continue like that." Lizzy whispered into Mrs. Bennett's ear.
A look of understanding crossed Mrs. Bennett's face and she nodded.
"I think I'm going to go refresh myself and see if I can fix it. If I am not able to correct it I will probably have to return to Longbourn or send a note to get a replacement."
With a nod Mrs. Bennett agreed and Lizzy was off to the wash room. Thankfully the washroom was empty so she got started trying to fix the garter. Unfortunately it had to be replaced, so a note was sent to Longborn with a servant for a replacement. During the time in between sending the note and receiving the replacement garter she had to stay out of the auditorium, in which the assembly was taking place.
By the time Lizzy returned to the assembly room the fourth set had just begun. She walked to her mother and informed her that she had returned. "I am glad you have returned Lizzy. You know while you were out repairing your... Um… problem. The Nethefield party arrived. The party is made up by Mr. Bingley and his sisters and brother, Miss Bingley and Mr. & Mrs. Hurst, and a gentleman who was not introduced to anyone. When they arrived he bowed to Sir William Lucas and walked away without even a good evening! Since then he keeps to himself and only speaks to those of party with which he arrived. The odd thing is that he looks very familiar, I have seen him before I am just not able to recall where. Everyone seems to think he is very disagreeable since he is just standing around with a haughty and aloof expression and he has not requested an introduction to anyone much less danced. To me, though, he has the appearance of searching for some one. I have observed him scan the room more than once, but what or whom he is looking for, I could not say. Everyone is calling him the "mystery man."
~ "Hmmm, that is interesting." ~
"I'm going to get something to drink, mama"
~ "I wonder why anyone would come to an assembly and stand around in an aloof manner, not bothering to be introduced to anybody. He must be a snob. Or maybe he thinks he is above everyone's company and only those in his party are his equals… stop this Elizabeth you should not judge without knowledge." ~
While these thoughts were going through her mind Lizzy was making her way toward the refreshment table. She took a cup of lemonade and took a seat nearby to wait for the current set to finish. She was hoping to catch a glimpse of "the mystery man" to assess him herself. What she did not know was the impact this "mystery man was going to have in her life. Lizzy scanned the room searching for her sisters; finally she found Jane on the dance floor with a gentleman she had never met before.
~ "That must be Mr. Bingley, of course he would want to dance with Jane she is the most beautiful lady in the whole of Hertfordshire, now to find Mary. Oh! There she is. She is dancing with Mr. Fitzpatrick." ~
At this Lizzy smiled, she understood the effort it took for her middle sister to dance more than a couple of sets. Mary was a very shy person, she believed herself to be the plainest of the Bennett girls when in reality she was just as beautiful as the other four Bennett ladies. Once satisfied with her sister's enjoyment Lizzy searched for the "mystery man." She was determined to puzzle out his identity since her mother was sure she had seen him before, so once more Lizzy scanned the room. Her gaze stopped on a group of three, two ladies and a gentleman. The two women had similar features, if not coloring; both were wearing an expression of barely concealed disdain. The taller of the two wore a dress of bright red silk dripping in lace and ribbons; her hair was done in an elaborate updo with orange and yellow feathers intertwined. She was wearing gold necklaces with a ruby the size of an apricot surrounded by tiny diamonds. She also wore many rings with different precious stones over her gloved hands.
The second lady was a little less overdressed for the occasion. Her dress was a deep hunter green silk with a significant amount of lace. On her head she wore a matching turban with a gold broach in the shape of a rumba. In the middle of the rumbas was a medium-sized emerald surrounded by small pearls, and a small diamond on each corner. Around her neck she wore three strands of pearls in different lengths, and several gold bracelets over her gloved hands and arms. The gentleman on the left of the ladies was of medium height, a little on the plump side. He was wearing a grey coat and breaches with a vest of the same hunter green as the lady to his right. He had mousey brown hair; he was neither handsome nor plain.
~ "That must be Mr. and Mrs. Hurst in the green and the ridiculously over dressed lady MUST be Miss Bingley. She is dressed to stand out. The expression on her face makes her look as if she believes herself above the company…. No I should not have thoughts like those. Jane will probably find something positive in them. Still I see why people are dubbing them 'the superior sisters'. At least Mrs. Hurst hides it better…. Now I wonder where the 'mystery man' is!" ~
At that moment the song ended and Lizzy was spotted by Jane.
" I would very much like to introduce my sister to you Mr. Bingley, if that is agreeable to you, she was not present when the others in my party were introduced."
"I would very much enjoy meeting your other sister Miss Bennett. Perhaps I may ask her to dance the sixth set with me since I am positive I already asked my sister, Caroline, to dance the next with me."
Mr. Bingley escorted Jane to Lizzy.
"Lizzy may I introduce Mr. Charles Bingley?"
Mr. Bingley bowed and Elizabeth curtsied, "Mr. Bingley meet my sister Miss Elizabeth Rose Bennett."
While Jane was making the introductions Lizzy was examining Mr. Bingley. His facial features were similar to those of his sisters except for on his they were truly handsome. He had strawberry blond hair and pleasant hazel eyes that were smiling along with the rest of his face; his smile conveyed the impression of him being someone who was delighted in the company he was surrounded with and took joy in dancing. Lizzy was pleased to see that Mr. Bingley did not appear to be anything like his sisters. She did not want to judge anyone before she was acquainted with them but they were making it extremely difficult for her.
"Miss Elizabeth," Mr. Bingley said breaking into her thoughts, "I am obliged to dance the next set with my sister, however, may I request the honor of the following set?"
"I would be honored Mr. Bingley."
"If you'll excuse me I will be here to claim your hand when our set begins meanwhile I am going to go check on my sisters and friend." With that Mr. Bingley bowed and moved towards his family.
Immediately after Mr. Bingley had left the two eldest Bennett sisters, Jane said, "Oh Lizzy he is such an amiable man, however we will discuss this when we get home. Meanwhile I am going to check on mama and Mary."
As she walked away Charlotte Lucas, who was one of Lizzy's and Jane's best friends, and the daughter of Sir William and Lady Lucas, arrived at Lizzy's side. Charlotte was six and twenty and considered on the shelf. She believed that she would never marry and that she was plain. Yet to Lizzy her friend was beautiful because of her kind heart and loyalty. Lizzy believed that anyone who did not see it was blind.
"Lizzy, where did you disappear to after your dance with Mr. Weir?"
"Oh that," Lizzy waved her hand in a way to let her know it was nothing important, "I had a wardrobe malfunction that needed to be repaired before I was able to return to the enjoyment of the night."
"Well I am glad you were able to return. Now tell me did you hear about the 'mystery man?" He is tall with curly hair and very, very handsome, though he appears unapproachable."
"Well I would like to puzzle him out if I can find him. My mother told me all about him when I returned from repairing my wardrobe. She also said that he looks familiar but she does not remember where from." Lizzy said while scanning the assembly room once more. During a second pass she caught sight of Mr. Bingley walking away from his sisters and remembered that he was also going to inquire about his friend as well so she allowed her gaze to follow him until he reached his destination, which was in fact only a few feet away from where she had been sitting the whole time.
Mr. Bingley walked up to a gentleman who had his back to Lizzy. He was, as Charlotte had stated, tall with dark chocolate curls. What Lizzy could not verify was how handsome he was since she could not catch glimpse of his profile from the spot were she sat and the position of his body which he held in a stiff posture. He conveyed the impression of being uncomfortable and moved his head from side to side as if searching for some one.
~ "It seems mama was correct he does seem to be searching for someone or something"~
Lizzy lightly elbowed Charlotte to let her know that she had found the "Mystery Man." Lizzy noticed Mr. Bingley beginning to speak in a voice barely above a whisper, but low enough that she could not hear his first word, but as he continued his voice grew to normal levels.
During the conversation between the two men, Elizabeth sat behind them and naturally heard most of the exchange. She thought his voice sounded familiar.
~ "I know I have heard it before."~
"She is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me…"
~ "Ugh! That is a very rude thing to say. How can he be so insulting when he has not even looked at me? I bet that he is not so handsome himself and that is why he stands around like that."~
She smiled as that thought came, and stood up to walk towards Jane who was now standing with her mother and Mary, but came to an abrupt stop when she heard him say in a slight panicked tone, "That is Miss Bennett? Miss Jane Bennett?"
~ "How is it that he knows Jane's name? His reaction is one of recognition. This is strange!"
"Yes that is Miss Jane Bennett and here comes one of her sisters Miss…" Bingley said while indicating behind Darcy, who instantly turned and came face to face with…
A/N: Well what do y'all think? I will continue writing this story and Posting as soon as possible, but as I stated before I am a mom of three and my kids come first. I hope you guys like my story. Reviews are always welcome as long as they are positive or constructive but please do not be mean just because you can. Please think about what you write and if it is something yu would not like to be said to yu then don't say.
Thank You very much XOXOXO