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Pride, Prejudice & New Adventures Vol.  3

Desire & Destiny:
A Pride & Prejudice Reimagining


by Ney Mitch

Desire & Destiny by Ney Mitch

It’s a truth, amongst Jane Austen lovers,
that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet are one of the greatest couples in literature.
However, where one couple is brought forth,
they can always lead to creating another one.

Following the events that took place in Philadelphia, the Darcys, Bennets and Bingleys return to England to start another chapter of their lives. Yet while many incidents are occurring back in Hampshire, war is still being waged on the Peninsula and Colonel Fitzwilliam is allowed to return home, on leave, while the conflict temporarily ceases.

He journeys to Pemberly, in hopes of seeing Elizabeth and welcoming her to the family. Yet while there, he meets a new acquaintance: Kitty Bennet. Upon first meeting her, Colonel Fitzwilliam finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her and thus begins a new road of mishaps, misadventures, complications, intrigue… and perhaps love.

Follow this new adventure of the Bennet girls in the third chapter of the ‘Pride, Prejudice & New Adventures’ Series.


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Release Date: March 3, 2020
Genre: Historical | Regency


Excerpt

Chapter One

Homeward

 

It's a word, forever used, when describing such a unique sensation, a marked emotion: surprise. Yet surprise is all that can be said when describing my life and the events that had occurred so recently.

Darcy, my sisters Kitty, Jane, Georgiana, Mr. Bingley and I had booked passage back to England with another addition to our company: Mrs. Miriam Bingley.

Our preparations to leave for home were swiftly done and a quiet departure, for while we announced in our letter to the American Darcys that we were leaving along the Delaware River back for Britain, we knew that they would not offer to meet us along the riverfront to bid us farewell.

Therefore, when packed to leave and arrived by carriage to the riverfront, we were surprised to find that there was an unexpected family member awaiting us.

“Deborah!” Kitty cried out. We all turned and there, amidst the crowd, was Deborah Darcy, formally known as Sister Mary Ignatius.

“Oh,” Deborah called out, approaching us, “remember that it is Sister Mary Ignatius amongst the outside world.”

“Oh, forgive me.”

She laughed her quiet laugh. “I am not reprimanding you. I simply am holding to standards and structure.”

“Sister Ignatius!” I cried. We all approached her and Georgiana, Jane, Kitty and I could embrace her without shame or shyness.

“It is wonderful to see you all once more,” she said, then turned to Mrs. Bingley. “And as for this one, well, I do believe that we have seen each other often, yet we have never fully met. Is this Mrs. Bingley then?”

“Yes,” Mr. Bingley began. “Sister Mary Ignatius, I would like to introduce you to my wonderful new wife, Mrs. Miriam Bingley.”

“It is a great pleasure to meet you,” Miriam said demurely.

“And it is a great pleasure to meet you as well,” Sister Ignatius replied. “And I dare say that you have made Mr. Bingley happy, for though he loves to smile often, now he is laughing!”

We all laughed at her words.

“Sister Mary,” I said, “you must not misinterpret my words, for they are simply worries, but will you not be in trouble for leaving your convent?”

“Oh, here in some parts of America, we nuns can leave our convents with more freedom than you would assume. Besides, my mission in coming is a noble enough one that even if it weren't permitted, I would still have sojourned here.”

“Your presence here is most welcome,” Jane said. “It is nice to see you once more, and to know that you bid us a kind farewell.”

“I can see what you are feeling,” Sister Ignatius added. “You are happy to see me, in hopes that my presence here is a sign to offer the olive branch of peace between both parts of our family. You are worried that my family does still harbor resentment for your refusing my brother's hand in marriage, do you not?”

“We confess that to be true,” Kitty said, answering for Jane. “Yet just as Jane is not responsible for any breach in familial bonds, so we do not desire to lose the love that has been gained through such a connection.”

“Eloquently spoken,” Darcy said. “Dear god, Kitty, you truly were right to reject Mr. Collins, for that would have been quite a waste.”

“I shall enjoy that compliment,” Kitty replied.

“You have rejected an offer of marriage as well?” Sister Ignatius said, turning to Kitty. “My goodness, while it seems to be the priority for a family of women to find happiness in matrimony, are you Bennet women resolved on rejecting proposals, for that is quite amusing?”

“I confess myself amazed at our stubbornness,” Kitty added. “However, where Jane and I have been staunch, Elizabeth and our sister Lydia have made up for our rigidity.”

“It is not rigidity to have preferences,” I said. “I would have rejected Mr. Collins and Henry Darcy as well. Oh, forgive me for any offense I might have said against your brother, Sister Mary.”

“And I have taken none. I know my brother, and he can be quite stubborn and hard of the head. Stubborn enough not to even see that it is not the obligation of every woman to accept the hand of any man simply because he has offered.

“I am sorry for it, Miss Bennet, for I know how he must've taken the rejection, and it does not do any credit to my family in how they cornered you afterwards. We did not show our best sides, only our passionate one. Passion can be necessary, yet in such moments, it was not prudent, and I am sorry for it.”

“Thank you for coming to apologize, Sister,” Jane said, “yet you need not do so. I feel sorry for having caused any disquiet or disharmony between both families, for it was not my intent or my desire. And now I seek nothing but peace between the Darcys.”

“Unfortunately,” Sister Ignatius said, “this is the Darcys, and rejecting one on a romantic level is a clear indication that disquiet will follow. Tis’ the way of our family. Henry will pine, then feel resentment, implacable resentment, and then, if all goes well, he will be the better man for it.”

“Surely my opinion will not be so high in estimation after this?” Jane said. “He will not think happy thoughts toward me.”

“No, but nor will he think happy thoughts on himself. My brother is proud, stubborn even, but is just and clear-sighted by the end, as well as wise, in his own way. It will take him awhile, yet in time, he shall learn from your rejection of him, and he will also see that it was a love that was not meant to be. Though, if I know him well, and I do because he is my brother, he will need something else to boost him in the right direction. You have other sisters, have you not?”

“Aye, we do,” I said. “Yet between our sister Mary and Lydia, I doubt either of them will ever be to his tastes, touch, or sentiments. Besides, he might never perhaps meet them.”

“I cannot help but wonder,” she said, sounding mysterious. “Life is simple, but the roads we take that cross others make them all complicated.

“Yet I am simply clucking away like a hen,” she said, “and I was wondering, if you would be so kind to give me a service.”

“What service could a Bennet do for a sister of the cloth?” Jane asked. “And how might we assist?”

“When you return to England, will you be journeying back into Hampshire?”

“Yes,” Darcy said, “for we must return Jane and Kitty to Longbourn.”

“Then I offer you no inconvenience,” Sister Mary added, “for you shall be passing by Lucas Lodge. Can you be so kind as to deliver this missive to Samuel Lucas?”

She took a letter from her reticule and handed it to Jane.

“I dare say that it is too late to say such words, but I still wish that he knows my mind nonetheless.”

“Yet,” Jane began. “Forgive me, Sister, I wish that I could help you...”

“However,” Darcy interceded, “it is improper for a lady to send a gentleman a private letter. Most indelicate.”

“Oh, put a sock in it, Fitzwilliam,” Sister Mary chided, making my husband stand even more upright than he usually was, simply out of shock. “Sometimes the bounds of propriety must be breached, for the sake of the truth being revealed, and integrity being found. Believe me, if you were not wed to Mrs. Darcy here, and letting her know your feelings through a letter was the only way that you could achieve your communication, you would toss decorum to the wind as well and give her a letter to tell her your feelings.”

“I would not ever have sent a letter and risk her good name!” Darcy argued stoutly.

“Oh, yes you would have,” I replied archly. “For if you recall, bending the standards is not something that you are averse to when the occasion calls for it.”

“Are you disagreeing with me?”

“Yes. For your not bending under the labor of propriety is something that I always found quite remarkable.”

“Well, if you are to disagree with me one moment because you wish to give me a compliment in the next, then I shall let you win this battle for the moment. Though I see the tactic and strategy that you were trying to utilize.”

“That will never mean that I shall cease to use it.”

“And nor does it mean that I will turn a blind eye.”

“Are you both that much in love?” Sister Mary laughed. “It truly is quite comical.”

“My husband just said that I was not worth a letter,” I added. “I had to rectify the matter.” Then I turned to Darcy and pursed my lips. “If we were not wed, then you had better have sent me a letter to show your feelings, and that shall be the end of that.”

“I shall let you believe you have won for the moment, just so that I might win in the next.”

“And you both are still speaking?” Sister Mary sighed. “Do you both truly realize just how much your perfect happiness is making all around you appear lesser in contentment and domestic tranquility? You really shall make me question my love for my faith over my love for a marital path, and that is hard to do.  Now, of all you sisters, is there one who is strong enough and fearless enough to give my letter to Mr. Lucas?”

“Can I be for the task?” Kitty offered. “I have no qualms with falling from propriety under such circumstances. And I dare say that it will be said of me often.”

“Nay, you shall not,” Jane said. “For I should do so, since I was the first one who was asked, and now I shall make good on that offer by not being such a prude.”

Jane took the letter.

“However,” Jane continued, “you must promise me, Sister Mary, that there is nothing within the contents of these papers that will harm the emotional security of Mr. Lucas in any way.”

“Nay,” Sister Mary said. “There is none, and I take no offense in you wishing to know it. I am not afraid to admit that I simply wish to tell him that I never forgot him. And that I pray he is well. And you must promise to never read my missive.”

“I promise that I shall not. And I am honored that you trust me with this deed.”

“I still have my doubts,” Darcy added, “at your presumption, Sister Mary. Please reconsider, for you are, after all, a lady.”

“You forget, Cousin Fitzwilliam, that I am no lady. I am a nun! And before I was even that, I was Deborah Darcy. And she was a force to be reckoned with.”

I leaned forward and kissed Sister Mary on the cheek.

“Sister Ignatius, thank you very much just for being who you are.”

“I knew that you would understand, Mrs. Darcy. Yes, and Cousin Fitzwilliam?”

“Aye?”

“You are lucky to have snatched up your wife here, for I daresay, that if you had married one of her sisters instead, she might have been the one who my brother Henry would have favored in the end. He only claims to like serenity in a woman, yet he has been raised to secretly admire spirit. And he will remember that in the end.”

“I know that I am lucky, Cousin Deborah. Believe me to be sincere, I know that I am.”

“Well then...” Kitty and Georgiana hugged her as well, and then Jane and I hugged her. She waited on the docks as we boarded our merchant vessel, The Rose. The anchor was raised, and the ship took off. She cried out to us, but at first, we did not hear her.

“What did you say?” Jane asked.

Sister Ignatius then cupped her hands around her mouth and exclaimed.

“And who knows? Who says that we shall never be sisters? I do not know why, but I feel that it will come to pass in some way!”

She waved to us as the ship passed down the river and we left Philadelphia behind.

As she grew smaller in the distance, I turned to Darcy and saw his familiar scowl.

“And what is that look for?” I asked, smiling.

“I would never have sent a letter to you in secret if we were not wed. Believe me, I would never have done so, and that is the last word that I shall say on it.”

“Very well, I can speak, therefore. You very much would have, and you know it.”

“No, I would not have.”

“Oh, you very much would. And you better have.”

And that was the first argument we had as we held passage on The Rose, heading homeward back to England.

 

 

 

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