Chapter 1:

Miss Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth smiled and motioned for Jane to keep walking, "You're doing great, just keep coming this way. Remember, you're young, you have a great job, a luxury apartment, and the guy of your dreams just asked you out for a date. You're today's woman you can handle anything," She said as she continued snapping photos. The wind had picked up some, but Elizabeth found that it only added to the shots.

Jane laughed, "Oh Lizzy if only that was my life." she said as she moved forward.

Elizabeth got some great shots, but the sun was moving behind the buildings and they were losing daylight. "Alright, Jane that is it for today." she called out to her, "You did a great job. I got some really good pictures. I think we are all done."

"Good, because I'm exhausted," Jane told her as she headed off to change out of the outfit she was modeling. A few minutes later she caught up with her sister, who was already packing up her camera equipment. "Did you get what we needed, or will I have to come back again tomorrow at sunrise?" she asked her, hoping that wouldn't be the case.

Elizabeth laughed, "No we got some great stuff, so you're free to sleep in tomorrow morning." she told her.

Jane hugged her, "That is exactly why I asked the agency that you do the shoot. The last photographer they got took four days and still not one decent picture." she told her.

"I think our beloved mother may have had something to do with that, don't you?" Elizabeth asked arching her eyebrow.

Jane shook her head, "Yes, unfortunately when you are not the photographer mother insists on coming along with me." she said, "Which inevitably means hours and hours of her critiquing everyone and no real work getting done. When you come she doesn't interfere as much."

"I don't think I hold any special place in her heart. She is equally critical of my work. I promise you Jane as soon as I get home she will be reminding me that she must go over each shot that I intend to submit to the client. She always insists on seeing the proofs and she always criticizes them endlessly." Elizabeth told her. "I just ignore her comments and do what I want with the photos."

Jane laughed, "Yes she does have a difficult time bullying you. The other photographers always do what ever she tells them just to placate her." Jane told her.

"I have learned from years of practice to block out her constant criticisms. When she goes off I pretend that I can not hear her and after a while I am able to tune her out completely." Elizabeth laughed as she put the last of her gear away.

"Lizzy, you did remember that Charles is coming to the party the Lucas's are having tonight?" Jane asked changing the subject, "Do you think you will be able to come?"

Elizabeth looked down at her watch it was already past 2:30 in the afternoon, "Oh Jane is that tonight?"

"Yes I am afraid it is, it was the only night Charles could get his friend to come out from the city." Jane told her. "He really wants me to meet his friend, and I really want Charles to meet you." she told her as she wrapped her arm around her younger sisters.

Elizabeth let out a small sigh, "I do want to meet Charles, but couldn't his friend come another time. Does it have to be tonight?" she asked already knowing the answer.

"Mr. Darcy has a very busy schedule and only has time this evening. He and Charles are very close and I really want to make a good impression. Charles is bringing his sisters along as well." she explained. "So I really need you there, please?"

Elizabeth looked at her sister. She could see she was truly nervous about this meeting. She glanced down at her watch again and let out a small sigh, "Alright, I will come for your sake Jane, but I already do not like this Mr. Darcy. I bet he is one of these very rich men who thinks the world revolves around him!" Elizabeth told her.

"Well if he is, then mother will love him, and she will spend much of the evening trying to set one of you up with him." Jane teased her.

Elizabeth laughed, "On second thought perhaps I should feel sorry for Mr. Darcy." she told her knowing how her mother could be when it came to match making attempts.

"I am so glad your going to get to meet Charles." Jane told her, then added, "This is just so important to me. I really do like him and I am afraid that after he meets our mother, and the rest of the family that..." She didn't finish her sentence, but Elizabeth knew what she was thinking. Jane took in a deep breath, "Oh Lizzy, I just hope that he likes me as much as I do him."

Elizabeth laughed, "Jane, you are the only fashion model that I know who doesn't know she is gorgeous, smart, witty, charming, the list just keeps on going. Of course he likes you, probably even more than you know." she assured her sister.

Jane shrugged her shoulders, "I wonder how he will feel about me once he meets the rest of the Bennet family." she mumbled thinking about how some of her past boyfriends reacted to her mother, "Most guys don't stay interested for long once mom starts talking about marriage and money." she laughed nervously.

Elizabeth smiled and tried to reassure her, "I promise to keep mother busy and away from the two of you as much as possible." she said hoping to encourage her.

"Lizzy that would be perfect!" she said feeling somewhat relieved. "You really are the best sister ever!" Jane hugged her before she headed off to her car. "See you later tonight."

Elizabeth watched her sister as she drove off. Out of her four sisters, Jane was certainly the most beautiful, with her brilliant blue eyes, long curly blond hair, and a perfect figure. It was no surprise that their mother got her into modeling as soon as she was old enough. Jane was not as enthused with their mother's career choice for her, but she went along to keep peace in the family. Jane was always easy-going, and accommodating. She never really found the heart to resist their mother's schemes. By the time she turned thirteen, their mother hired an agent and her career in modeling began.

Elizabeth was more like her father and had very little patience for her mother's constant outburst and emotional ploys. Manipulation was her mothers middle name and she often used emotional out burst to get her way. Her mother was every bit the spoiled child who never really grew up. She always demanded her own way, and when she did not get it, she resorted to emotional antics until she did. Unlike Jane, Elizabeth had very little patience for her mother's behavior, consequently, she was her mother's least favorite daughter."Oh well," Elizabeth thought to herself, "With Kitty, Mary and Lydia to deal with, my dear mother will have little time left to interfere in my life." She let out a small sigh as her thoughts turned to her father, she often felt sorry for him. If only he had been able to have a son, then he might have taken more interest in his family. Having a son was very important to her father, he had come from a long line of Bennet men and it broke his heart that his family's name would end with himself. For the past four hundred years a Bennet had owned the estates of Longbourn and it seemed now that would all end.

Elizabeth thoughts went back to her mother. It was true, she was a selfish woman, but she did love her daughters and wanted to see them all married to someone who had lots of money and could provide security. She was always so fearful for them, she worried constantly and talked about them all needing to being taken care of. It was sad that she had no real confidence that they might be able to take care of themselves as they grew from children into adult women. Elizabeth wondered if it might be her mothers own lack of self-confidence that caused her to think her daughters so unable to accomplish much in life. She recalled a time when her mother was very emotional and going through one of her bouts that she told them both that she had always felt such a failure to their father for not being able to give him a son. When they tried to assure her that they would all be fine and do well in life she just went on about how important it was to marry well, to have nice things, and be secure. She wanted them never to have to worry about money, and if they could all find nice rich men to marry she would die a content and happy woman.

For Elizabeth that was not her ideal life at all. She wanted to find love, someone who she could respect and who would respect her. She had made up her mind when she was still very young that she would never marry a man just because he was wealthy or held a position of power. If she married, it would be for the man himself not his name or his income.

Elizabeth's thoughts returned to her sister, she thought about Jane wanting to make a good impression for Charles's sisters and his friend. She wished she could say that Jane's fears were unfounded but sadly that was not the case. Her mother and younger sisters had a way of embarrassing themselves as well as Jane and Elizabeth every time they went out in public and as a result more than one boyfriend had been scared off. Thankfully most people in their neighborhood knew her mother well enough to just ignore most of what she said, but Charles and his sister, not to mention his friend would not. She could tell that Jane really liked Charles and even though they had only been dating for several weeks she already cared very much for him. Elizabeth knew Charles was from a wealthy family and that he was the sole owner of his families shipping business, but she wondered about his friend Mr. Darcy. She decided to check the internet for any information she might be able to find out about him.

It did not take long after she pulled out her Iphone and typed in his name. Several pages of information came back for William Darcy. As she read over his bio she found out that he was a graduate of Oxford and that he held a degree in business. He was the head of Darcy industries, which was one of a number of corporations with holdings in computer security software, communications, computer technologies, real estate, shipping, and manufacturing. She was surprised to find that he was actually worth millions of dollars. After his father's untimely death, William Darcy inherited his father's business and was made guardian of his younger sister. He was only twenty-one years old at the time. In the year after he took over, the family business grossed one hundred-fity-two million dollars. Elizabeth took in a deep breath, "SO what do you look like Mr. Darcy?" she wondered out loud. She searched for more personal information, but found that harder to come by. It seemed he guarded his privacy very closely. As she read on, she found out that he had one sister who was nine years younger than he was and that he worked very diligently at keeping her out of the press. She also found out that he had several homes throughout the country with the two most well-known being Highland Manor in London, and Pemberley Estates, in Derbyshire. After several more searches she finally found a picture of the man. The photo was fairly recent, it was taken a few months ago at the opening of a new art gallery in London. He was dressed in formal attire and looked a bit uncomfortable. Elizabeth had to admit that he was actually very handsome, he was tall, with dark wavy hair, and dark brown eyes. She wondered what his opinion would be of her and her family. She hoped for Jane's sake that he would not be as stuffy as he looked. It was the sound of her alarm going off that reminded her of her meeting. "I am so going to be late." she scolded herself as she tucked her Iphone in her pocket and got on her motorcycle heading toward the coffee-house.