Proposal revealed-part 1
I smile at Elizabeth in response to her statement about punctuality, even though I am generally punctual. I bow to her and kiss her hand before exiting the house to write to my sister to come to Netherfield. As I walk back to Netherfield, I think about how things have changed since I woke up this morning. I could not imagine a better start to the day.
When I finally reach Netherfield, I see Bingley standing at the door anxiously. I hasten to set his mind at ease as soon as I possibly can.
"Darcy, where have you been?"
"I went to Longbourne soon after my aunt left here." I reply calmly to his anxious interrogation.
"What were you doing there? You know Miss Elizabeth does not love you, so you had no right to go there at all." Bingley admonishes, which causes me to smile.
"Bingley, calm down. I am newly engaged to Elizabeth." I reveal, with a wider smile than before.
"Can it be true? We are to be brothers?" Bingley looks stunned, and I cannot say that I blame him.
"Yes, it is true."
"Come, we must tell Jane. She will be just as shocked as me, I am sure."
I allow Bingley to lead me into the house and into the sitting room where Jane sits.
"Mr Darcy, forgive me for I did not see you enter." Jane apologises.
"Mrs Bingley, I am sorry for causing undue stress on your part." I return.
"Please, sit down. My husband stands next to you looking secretive. Charles, is there something you wish to tell me?"
"My dear Jane, it is Mr Darcy who has news for you."
"Mrs Bingley, I am to wed you dear sister Elizabeth." I tell her.
"Really? But I thought she hated you?" Jane looks somewhat confusedly at me.
"So did I." I say ruefully.
"Mr Darcy, could you please call me by my Christian name?" Jane asks.
"Jane, then, you may talk to Elizabeth if you would prefer. I have an idea that she told you much about our acquaintance, and anything she could tell you about our engagement would surely make your mind easier." I reply, trying to reassure Jane.
"Charles, I shall visit my sister now then. " Jane announces, looking to her husband for permission, even though he will willingly give it.
"I shall be in my study with Darcy. Tell Elizabeth that I wished I could visit, but have guests." Charles says.
I smile. I wish I could visit Elizabeth again, but reassure myself that she will be near me again in less than five hours. The hours are going to float slowly by.
Bingley and I walk to his study to talk about masculine pursuits, but also about the fact that I have invited Georgiana to come to visit me at Netherfield to become reacquainted with Elizabeth.
After some conversation, I ask to retire to my room in order to compose a letter to Georgiana to tell her the joyous news.
"Alright Darce, tell her it will be a pleasure to host her during her visit." Bingley replies.
I hurry up to my room to begin to compose the letter. As I sit at my desk, I think about how she will take the news, as she had some idea of the despair I was in when I visited Pemberley before Bingley's wedding.
I quickly pull out a sheaf of paper and an inkwell and begin to write.
I have such joyous news to convey that it can hardly wait! I am to bring home a sister for you- Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She has consented to be my wife just this morning, and I am so happy.
Bingley wishes to convey his pleasure at hosting you during your visit to Netherfield. It would be preferable if you could come soon, but it will not matter. Please bring Richard, as you know how I hate for you to travel alone these days.
Your affectionate brother,
I re-read the letter, seal it with wax and put it in the pile of post to be delivered soon.
Later that evening, I sit in the library, waiting until it is an acceptable time to arrive at Longbourne. I wonder what Elizabeth will be wearing, and if I can somehow invite Charles to come with me, as I am as nervous as I was when I proposed.
Bingley walks in. "Are you not meant to be at Longbourne by now?" he asks.
"No, there is still some time. Charles?" I say, anxious to be put at ease.
"Darcy, what is it?"
"Nothing of import, it is just that I am nervous but cannot say why." I say, somewhat shakily, guilty for thinking this way.
"Darcy, this is your family now. It will be fine." Charles says, trying to make me feel at ease again. I turn and grin at him, as I stand up.
Jane suddenly comes into the library. She sees Charles and I and begins to walk out.
"Jane, darling. You have returned."
"Charles, we are to dine at Longbourne. Mama insists upon it." Jane says with a smile.
"What? I barely have enough time to change into something appropriate for attending dinner." Charles says in a state of disorder.
"Charles, make yourself easy. Mama will not mind waiting."
"Bingley, I shall be late to dinner if I stay any longer." I say, then bow to both Jane and Bingley before leaving.
I walk impatiently outside of my family home, in the hopes of escaping my mama's joyful exclamations for at least five minutes. I dearly wish for Jane to be here.
As I pace, I notice a man riding on his horse. I smile as the rider comes close enough for me to identify him as my fiancé Fitzwilliam.
He sees me watching him and rides towards me.
"Mr Darcy, how nice it is of you to join us!" I tease.
"Miss Elizabeth, I was not aware that I was in any way late." He replies and smiles.
"My sister is to join us."
"Yes, Bingley was in a state when he was told not five minutes ago." Fitzwilliam smiles again.
His smile is so nice; it opens his countenance and makes him not appear to be so serious as everyone thinks. I think.
Fitzwilliam sees me smiling at him, and teases "what has captured your attention so?"
"Nothing." I reply, blushing slightly.
"Oh, really?" he raises an eyebrow in question.
"Shall we go inside so that you may greet the rest of my family?" I invite.
He offers his arm and escorts me into the house.