Pride, Prejudice & New Adventures Vol. 6

Hope & Hopelessness:
A Pride & Prejudice Reimagining

by Ney Mitch

Hope & Hopelessness by Ney Mitch

It is a hidden feeling, generally experienced by the recipient of whoever undergoes it, that when asking a question and not receiving an answer, one begins to fear.

That is what Mr. Jason Whitfield is feeling when he has asked Georgiana to be his wife and waits eagerly for her response. Yet that is not the only anxiety that rules over the circles of the Bennets, Darcys, Fitzwilliams, de Bourghs…and even the Lucases. For there is trouble at Hunsford Parsonage, and a great tragedy strikes over the Collins household. Thus, Charlotte and Elizabeth, who have had a strained relationship after Charlotte married parson Mr. Collins, now soon find themselves bound to each other.

Elizabeth must come to the aid of her friend, yet it is not so simple, for a secret becomes revealed. Charlotte has a ghost from her past that has returned to her present and has shown her the errors of her history, that leaves her altogether unsettled. Therefore, it makes her question all that she had done and if she could undo the mistakes from her past and start anew. Follow the next part of the journey of the beloved characters of Pride and Prejudice, as they embark on Book Six of this varied tale.

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Release Date: November 15, 2022
Genre: Historical | Regency


Chapter One
The Answer


It is a hidden feeling, generally experienced by the recipient of whomever undergoes it, that when asking a question and not receiving an answer, one begins to worry—to fear.

And therefore, as Georgiana stood there, looking on Jason Whitfield after he just asked for her hand in marriage, every moment she did not respond stung.

The lot of us stood there in wonderment. It was certain that we knew Georgiana adored Jason, however it counted for little if she did not respond in the affirmative.

Looking around at the rest of those in our party, I only wondered at their internal thoughts and considerations.

I knew that Kitty would be wondering at Georgiana's hesitancy.

Colonel Fitzwilliam and my husband would be angry that Jason had proposed without getting their consent, for they were her legal guardians.

Henry and Lydia would look on it in curiosity and little more. Henry had very publicly spoken of his proposal to Jane; thus, he was no stranger to not-so-private matters when it came to an engagement.

Jane would be apprehensive as well at Jason's very public proposal, and very well could have been remembering her own past experiences.

And I...well, to be in earnest, I did not know what to feel.

Yet, at last, the silence broke, and Georgiana smiled.

“Of course, Jason. I love you without reserve, and I consent to being your wife.”

* * *

“You do?” he asked eagerly.

“Yes, of course I do,” she said with a smile. “Oh Jason, I have been resolved to being bound to you for so long now, how could you have ever doubted it?”

“I just... I cannot believe I found you!” He turned to Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, his expression resolute. “I do not ask for your forgiveness, future brother and cousin, for it is not your happiness that I consider in this case.”

Jason closed the space between him and Georgiana and kissed her passionately.

“Oh, dear lord, I am going to be sick,” Mr. Darcy moaned under his breath.

“Fitzwilliam,” I hissed, “be quiet.”

“She's my little sister. Have you not the slightest idea how repulsive this is to me?”

“And I said quiet yourself. Do not make me count to three.”

“You wouldn't...”

“One. Two. Three.”

“Oh, very well.”

All became quiet as we all left them alone in the yard and entered the house. It was prohibited to give them any privacy, yet the rules felt as if they were of little consequence and while the rest went to the sitting room, Darcy and I watched the newly engaged couple from the glass of the windows.

“I suppose I should be happy,” Darcy said with a sigh.

“Of course, you should be,” I replied archly. “Are you not?”

“I cannot be truly. You know what I have confessed. A part of me did deeply desire to have her just be with us at Pemberley for the rest of our days, with nothing changing—you know I hate change—even though it be a natural thing.”

“No one likes change, even if it is for the better sometimes. It is in our nature to easily allow ourselves to get stuck in our ways.”

He nodded. “And I do. It should have been us at Pemberley, along with Jane teaching students in our east wing, and Georgiana looking after the tenants and our sons having two of their aunts under the same roof as their mother. Three mothers they could have had, and who would want more?”

The mention of our twins brought an ache to my heart. How I missed them! And how easy I thought it would be to leave them. I was a fool. “You wanted our sons to be spoiled?”

“I wanted them to never feel as if they are alone. And I always have and always will want family near me—as long as it is the good kind. However, every time a sister of yours comes to visit, I feel as if that is when another chooses to leave us. Will it ever stop?”

“Jane shall remain, I promise,” I said, brushing my lips across his knuckles.

“Then that is comfort enough. I have lost one sister now, and I do not wish to lose the in-law one any time soon.”

“You are such a contradiction, Fitzwilliam. For one who does not often possess the talent of conversing easily with strangers or making new friends, you are so bound by loyalty to those to whom become close.”

He smiled down at me. “It is not so strange. I simply am different and therefore believe it easiest for me to keep my friends close and my enemies far away from me.”

I chuckled gently, then looked out the window at Jason as he lifted Georgiana up and spun her around.

“She looks happy, though."

“She is,” I confirmed. “Be happy for her, my love. Georgiana has found not only a love, yet she has also found herself along the way.”

* * *

Upon our friends’ return from town, Mr. Bingley, Miriam, and Caroline Bingley entered and we immediately availed them with the news. Miriam was overjoyed, Mr. Bingley was highly amused, and Caroline Bingley attempted a smile to hide her disgust.

However, disgusted, she clearly was.

Though coming from a good family, Mr. Whitfield was still a man of a profession from a long line of men who had professions, and though the occupation of an attorney was respectable enough, it still was not fully respectable enough for her tastes. It was apparent that she believed it below Georgiana to have engaged herself to a man who was anything less than a gentleman of no profession. And the addition that Jason was not only a civil servant, but also a street preacher and the younger son whose brother inherited the Whitfield Estate and lion-share of the wealth also did not escape her notice and keen observation. Thus, it could be said that she could not detach the man from the myth of what he should have been, and therefore thought him too far below our notice. As a result, she did not see that he was still on our level.

And yet, as I every now and again spied her as we all sat there and listened to the happy couple express their joy, I believed that it was more than that. She may have been a very judgmental and offensive woman sometimes, yet she was never a stupid one. She had to have noticed that in every other circumstance, we were all finding ourselves, whereas she went from day to day still not knowing who she was and therefore filling herself with the words and standards of others. She was a woman who appeared happy and yet was not so. Therefore, it left me to conclude that another part of her might be jealous.

Jealous that Georgiana was the one who came to New York and found love and purpose as well.

Jealous that Lydia had come to Philadelphia and won Mr. Henry Darcy, when he was Caroline’s second plan after her first one failed.

Jealous of Jane for being at Pemberley indefinitely and always in the company of high society who must admire her for her benevolence.

Jealous of me for stealing her dream—even though it was never hers to have.

Maybe it was not only spite that ruled Caroline Bingley's life, but envy.

Therefore, as the evening wore on, Caroline offered her congratulations, yet had grown quieter as the night progressed, allowing everyone else to speak without her interruptions.

Yet I was not blind to it.

Georgiana's happiness ate away at her self-assurance and pride. Although both were two traits that I was not sure Caroline Bingley ever earned the right to have.

* * *

“If I may,” Jason said as his carriage rolled up to the house, “might I come tomorrow and join your company for the day?”

“I have no choice of course,” Henry Darcy said, “for if my honeymoon was meant to bring out the joy in another quarter, then who am I to get in the way of it?”

“Then I thank you, Mr. Darcy, for allowing me the right to fall in love with your cousin while you and Mrs. Darcy here are on your honeymoon...and thank you as well, for letting me propose to her!”

We all laughed at that, then Georgiana and Jason held hands briefly before he entered his carriage and it rolled down the lane and onto the road.

“I am getting married,” Georgiana said, turning to us. “It is just...yes, I knew it, yet now that I say it to myself, only now does it feel real.” Georgiana then turned to Jane. “I did not even think that I would marry. I began to just wish to be like you—content with my purpose and no more.”

“Oh, dear Georgiana,” Jane said with a sigh.

“And yet now I have I...” Georgiana's arms began to shake, and then she fell on the ground, holding herself. All the women in our company rushed to her to help her up as she laughed giddily, excited beyond words.

She stopped laughing to say, “He actually was worried that I would say no? The fool! What would possess him to believe that I would deny him? What could he have thought otherwise? He said that he practically fainted when I gave him my answer. For it was the most important answer he would ever receive. Yes...the most important answer that I have ever given. The most important.”


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