(Dear Reader, I have worked to update this story and after much editing, I am reposting my story. As always I appreciate the comments left for me. Kindest regards Janie)
Miss Elizabeth Bennet
Elizabeth smiled and motioned for Jane to keep walking, "You're doing great, just keep coming this way. Remember, you're a young beautiful woman, you have a great job, a luxury apartment and the guy of your dreams just asked you out, you are 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 real life." she said as she moved forward.
Elizabeth was getting some great shots but the sun was beginning to move behind the buildings and they were losing daylight. "Alright, Jane that is it for today. Great job, we got some great shots and I think we are all done."
"Good, because I am exhausted," Jane told her as she headed off to change out of the outfit that she was modeling. A few minutes later she caught up to her sister who was already packing up her camera equipment. "So, do have all the shot that we need, or do I have to be here again tomorrow at sunrise?" she asked hoping not to have to get up so early.
Elizabeth laughed, "No we are all done." She told her sister, "we got some great stuff so you are free to sleep in."
Jane hugged her, "That is exactly why I asked the agency that you do the photo shoot. The last photographer they got took four days and still not one decent shot." she told her.
"I think mother may have had something to do with that, don't you?" Elizabeth asked arching her eyebrow.
Jane shook her head, "Yes unfortunately whenever you are not the photography mother insists on coming along." she said then sighed heavily, "which inevitably means hours and hours of her critiquing everyone and no real work getting done. However, when you come along Lizzy she does not interfere so very much."
"I don't think she holds my work in any high regard, Jane." Elizabeth told her, "Mother is equally critical of my work. I promise you 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." She told her. "I just tend to ignore her comments and do what I want with the photos, which makes her crazy."
Jane laughed, "Yes she does have a difficult time bullying you, the other photographers seem to do whatever she says to placate her." Jane told her.
"I have learned from years of practice to block her out. When she goes off on one of her fits I pretend that I cannot hear her and after I while I am able to tune her out completely." Elizabeth laughed as she put the last of her gear away.
"Lizzy, you do remember that Charles is coming to the party that the Lucas's are having. Do you think you will be able to come?" Jane asked changing the subject.
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 sister.
Elizabeth sighed, "I want to meet Charles as well 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." Jane pleaded with her, "Lizzy he and Charles are very close friends and I really want to make a good impression. Plus, Charles is going to bring his sisters with him, so I really need you there" Jane explained then asked, "Please Lizzy, this is really very important to me?"
Elizabeth looked at her sister, she could see she was truly nervous about this meeting. She glanced down at her watch again. She took in a deep breath and bit her bottom lip, "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, our mother will love him and 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 matchmaking attempts.
"I am so glad you're finally going to get to meet Charles." Jane told her then added, "This is just really 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. She took in a deep breath, "I just hope that he likes me as much as I like him."
Elizabeth laughed, "Jane you are the only fashion model that I know who doesn't realize how gorgeous, smart, witty, charming, intelligent and amazing she is." She told her, "Of course he likes you. I bet he likes you even more than you know." she assured her.
Jane shrugged her shoulders, "Yes, well I wonder how he will feel about me once he meets the rest of the Bennet family." she mumbled thinking about some of her past boyfriends, "Most guys don't stay interested for too long once mother 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, how does that sound?" she said hoping to make her feel better.
"Lizzy that would be amazing. You really are the best sister ever!" Jane hugged her before she turned and headed off to her car. "See you tonight."
Elizabeth watched her sister as she drove off, of all her four sisters Jane was certainly the most beautiful with her brilliant blue eyes, long curly blond hair, and the perfect figure. It was no surprise really 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. She was so easy going, she never really found the heart to resist their mother's schemes. By the time, Jane turned thirteen it was no surprise that their mother got her an agent and her career in modeling began.
Elizabeth, on the other hand, was more like her father and had very little patience for her mother's constant outburst and emotional ploys. Manipulation was her mother's middle name and she often used emotional outburst to get her way. Her mother was every bit the spoiled child who had never grown up, she demanded her own way and when she did not get it she resorted to emotional antics until she did. Unlike Jane, Elizabeth did not tolerate her mother's behavior, that was probably why she was her mother's least favorite daughter. "Oh well," she thought to herself, "With Kitty, Mary and Lydia to deal with, my dear mama 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 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 sadden him greatly 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 come to an end.
Elizabeth thoughts went back to her mother, she was a selfish woman but she did truly 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 mother's 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 Jane and herself 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 mother that they would all be fine and do well in life she just carried on about how important it was to marry wealthy and to have nice things. She told them 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 that 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 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. Thus, 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 sisters, 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. 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 turned out to be a very large corporation with holdings in computer security software, communications, computer technologies, real estate, shipping, and manufacturing. She was shocked to find that he was worth millions of dollars. After his father's untimely death, William Darcy inherited his father's business and was made the guardian of his younger sister. He was only 21 years old at the time. In the year after he took over the family business and grossed 152 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, she found out that he had one sister who was 9 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 Hillcrest Manor in London, and Pemberley Estates, in Derbyshire. After several more searches, she finally found a picture of the man. The photo was recent and was taken a few short months ago, at an opening of a new art gallery. He was dressed in formal attire and looked a bit uncomfortable. Elizabeth had to admit that he was 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.