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A Mistake

Two billiard balls careened around the table as Darcy executed a finely-tuned shot.   His yellow ball slowly revolved towards the corner pocket and sank lightly into the awaiting hole.  While he lined up his next shot he chanced a look across the finely adorned billiards room at Netherfield towards a frowning Charles Bingley.   It wasn’t often that Bingley frowned, given his affable nature, but playing billiards with Darcy seemed to bring out an under-compensating guise upon his face.  Darcy quickly sank two additional shots before pausing to take a sip of cognac.

“Bingley, I do believe that we should all retire to Town for a few months,” Darcy finally voicing the troubles that had been swirling around in his head.   “I daresay, haven’t you had enough of this simpleton country life for awhile?  Doesn’t your mind ache for some increased stimulation and proper society?”  Darcy watched the frown deepen on the other man’s face as he began to state his case. 

“I have so enjoyed myself here that I may never wish to leave,” Bingley stated.  His face lit up in his usual merriment as his mind likely wandered to all the raucous balls and other sordid affairs that they had attended recently.  “Darcy, the society here may be lesser than what is to be found in Town, but I find myself infinitely pleased at the simply pleasantries I have experienced at these ‘country balls’ as you deem them.”

“Bingley, I do know that your sisters seriously desire to retire back to Town as soon as possible and are both infinitely bored and at odds with society here.   You sir may be enjoying yourself, but I assure you the rest of us are not.  Think of your sisters’ happiness sir, and how that compares to the qualities of the society in Meryton.”   Darcy himself thought that departing for Town was infinitely necessary.  He desired to escape the fine eyes of Miss Elizabeth Bennett before he found himself considering a rash, inexplicable course of action.

“Darcy, I know that my sisters are not overly fond of society here, but I daresay that it will grow on them in time,” Bingley paused and wielded his cue stick in a half hearted attempt to sink his next billiard ball.  Missing of course as the inner turmoil welled within him, he continued, “And there is the matter of my growing feelings for Miss Jane Bennet,” Bingley cast out.   “I so enjoy her company and she is the most lovely dancer in all of Meryton.  She has a most pleasing countenance and I look forward to seeing her smile whenever possible.”

“Ah, Miss Bennet,” Darcy began with some hesitation, gathering his thoughts.  “I do concur that Miss Bennet is a lovely lady.   However, I have severe reservations of her character, not to mention her family relations.   My astute observation is that she is indifferent and pleasing to all.   I cannot wager that if another gentleman asked her to dance that she would turn her smile upon him, much as she has to you.”  Darcy watched the frown return to Bingley’s face and sought to clarify his position.   He sorely needed to escape Meryton and Miss Elizabeth Bennet and needed to make his friend see reason.  

“Jane Bennet is most likely not interested in you dear sir.  I doubt that she has any intentions at all upon you, as she just appears to go through life with a naïve smile upon her face.   Anything and everything appears to please her.  I fear that she has no real emotions connected to you my friend.”

Bingley looked quite crestfallen as he assimilated this information.  He started to speak but closed his mouth, gathering his thoughts.   “Pray tell, do you truly believe that she has no feelings for me?   I do actually see what you mean Darcy, in that she smiles at anything and everything.”   He paused again, walking around the billiard table in deep contemplation. 

“With other people that Miss Bennet interacts with, do you generally see a smile upon her face?  Much like the one that she wears when dancing with you?” Darcy inquired.  “I do not want you to be taken in just because she smiles all the time.  It is if she has no real emotions or feelings and simply smiles at everything and everyone.”

“Indeed sir, now that you bring this to my attention, I do recall seeing her smile upon other gentlemen during dancing much like she smiles at me.   Could it really simply be her everyday countenance?   I suppose that you are right.  I fear that I may have been caught up too mightily where regard was not truly offered.”

Darcy smiled inwardly, pleased at his friends realization.  Moving in to firm up the issue he added, “And that is without even taking into account her dreadfully improper family.   Her mother alone would make any true gentleman run back to Town.  Her shrill words give me nightmares even to this day.  God be with me if I ever found her as my mother-in-law.”  Darcy shuddered visibly at the thought, sure that Bingley noticing the quiver. 

“It is settled then.  Let us retire to Town the very next day,” Bingley announced, his normal smile gracing his face in pleased countenance.  “My sisters will indeed be so pleased.   My apologies Darcy for dragging you here and subjecting you to this society, I appreciate your intelligent counsel.”  Bingley seemed a little shaken at the moment, perhaps realizing that he might have been about to make a huge mistake in a pursuit of Miss Bennet.  He shook his head as if to clear it of a momentary distasteful thought and looked back at Darcy.

Darcy resumed the game with a staid nod of his head.   Thankfully, he would soon be free of the allure of Miss Bennet’s fine eyes in the near future.

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A Dance

Often times in the past, Darcy had looked upon dancing with barely veiled disgust.   His pride and contempt were evident in his staid composure as he watched his affable friend, Mr. Bingley sail across the floor with many a curly, blond-haired lady upon his arm.   Darcy stood in the corner, observing, but not partaking in the forays.   To him, dances were one borne of elegance and proper composure, and the less refined instances that he found himself attending with his friend Bingley were certainly not up his proper sense of par within society. 

His hawk like stare observed many a fault upon decorum throughout the room as steps were missed, and awkward moments abounded.   The ladies were all coiffed in their finest gowns, but in the country setting of Meryton, none of the adornments could be considered worthy of those to be beheld in Town.  A few of the women in attendance were certainly lovely in their own simple way, but Darcy did not desire to entertain the pose of dancing with lesser instructed partners. 

For him two things bestowed pleasure upon his countenance and were second to none during a turn about the floor, if executed properly.  The mere feel of a woman’s hand upon his was a very pleasurable contentment in the joined nature of a dance.  Pressing one’s hand against the dainty hand of an equaled partner always pleased him to no end.   It was a simple gesture, but true.  Additionally, the observance of a highly-held, curved neck when a woman of fine posture framed her gaze aloft while reciting the steps properly was likewise an enticing sight.  As Darcy rolled his eyes across the assembly, his thinly veiled contempt showed upon his face.   He did concede that his friend, Mr. Bingley had chosen one of the most beautiful women at the dance.   Darcy knew that Miss Bennett’s younger sister was also finely composed, but he still held no desire to enter into a dance with her in such a raucous environment.

Darcy chanced a look across the room to the chestnut haired Miss Elizabeth Bennett and observed her as she gaily chatted with those that surrounded her station.   Darcy noted that her posture was erect, and she certainly did hold herself slightly above the silly escapades that her younger sisters engaged in.  She appeared to even attempt to rein her offending sisters in slightly whenever propriety demanded intervention.

Darcy imagined within his mind of how a dance with Miss Bennett would unfold.  Her graceful arms would likely sweep through the air in an elegant manner, and she certainly demonstrated fine posture, but Darcy focused anew upon her alabaster skin and deep, brown eyes.   He would certainly enjoy staring across the floor into her smiling visage.  Although, he knew she held no desire to dance with him, as she had made herself clear on the subject earlier.   Still, he mused on the prospect, a small inkling of curiosity building within him, even amidst the loud, torturous rambling that continued throughout the room.

Indeed he posed that a dance with the lovely Miss Bennett would certainly not be all that difficult to undertake.  He wondered if she would whirl about the room quietly, or whether she would interject affable banter when she was close to her partner.   One can never tell in advance of these things…

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A Look

Reposed on a couch, with his back straight in the air, Darcy gazed across the room at a beautiful sight.  With a hand resting against his firm chin, his piercing eyes found the object of his respect and desire.   Miss Elizabeth Bennett stood behind the pianoforte, attending to Darcy’s young sister Georgiana.   Darcy’s bold eyes locked upon Elizabeth’s chestnut brown colored ones.  Losing himself deep within the dark pools of inner strength and beauty as their eyes held one another Darcy felt an extraordinary respect for this woman.   Moments ago, the spiteful Miss Bingley had brought up a devilish topic, one of Mr. Wickham.  The very air had been sucked out of the room as silence greeted Miss Bingley’s proffered evil spite.  Miss Bennett had simply not taken the bait, but instead had strode over to Georgiana to assist her in turning the pages of music held aloft atop the pianoforte.   The posture and ladylike demeanor that had been exuded by Elizabeth heralded a truly genteel upbringing that her father would be proud of Darcy was sure.

Darcy felt an immense pride growing within him as he continued to stare into Miss Bennett’s eyes across the room.   He had already held her in high regard, but she was proving herself even loftier in her poise and manner than he had previously known.   Her lack of prejudice back upon Miss Bingley had saved Darcy’s sister from a tenuous conversation.   The look of this woman now returned back to him, filled him with a mixture of thoughts.  Every fiber of his being was attuned to her at this moment.   She graced him was such a caring glance, as her eyes held his.  A man feels full when embraced fully under the gaze of just such a woman.

Miss Bennett’s gentle look held Darcy’s as a shared countenance flowed between them, charged with palpable feeling.  A mutual respect, a shared thankfulness, and a growing love for one another.   Caring about other people’s feelings and putting them ahead of one’s own is a difficult quality to master.   Darcy knew this from experience as his own posture was often tested.  He mused inwardly as to how it could be that this country borne lady could exude such grace and ladylike demeanor?

The rest of the inhabitants in the room simply ceased to exist.   The shared look that passed between the two figures existed in a world all its own unstressed by outside interference.   Darcy could hear the music that his sister played, but his entire mind and soul were captured in the gaze returned to him from across the room.   His heart pattered quicker within his chest as his mind raced, full of feelings for this extraordinary woman.   She proceeded to enrapture him more so with every day that passed.  He found that his mind journeyed to thoughts of her when she was not within his sight.   He knew deep within that his future years would be dim and boring without her affable laughter to accompany him.  His body of course, desired to know her more fully; the depths of which were not to even be entertained at this moment.  But her twinkling eyes captured his very soul, and he felt as if he could look upon her for hours and never tire of her beautiful face.   Deeming her inner strength also extremely endearing, he knew that she could banter easily upon any subject, while maintaining some form of propriety.   She possessed thoughts and opinions, to which he placed a high value.   He sought daily to increase her opinions of him, within her eyes.

Her sparkling eyes continued to hold his, as a slight smile graced her lips.  He wondered what was going on behind those eyes, deep within her thoughts.   Musing on whether or not she could be caught up in the same inner strife that he struggled with did not enter lightly into his mind.   Darcy knew what she thought of him, as she told him quite often.   He sought to expand upon their relationship and would do anything within his power to fulfill a life in which those brilliant, loving eyes would turn his way every day.  If ever such was to be the case, he would consider himself the luckiest man in all of Derbyshire.

All this, contained within a simple look, across a crowded room.

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