The Kitty Bennet Adventure Series #2

Forms & Fashions

by Ney Mitch

Forms & Fashions by Ney Mitch Will wonders ever cease? Not only has Kitty suffered being the first Bennet sister to reject a marriage proposal, but she finally has gotten her sister, Mary, to come to terms with her secret adoration for a man that is beyond her reach. However, this only leads to sisterly tension between them, where both sisters lead to saying things that wound the other.

Meanwhile, Jane has visited Netherfield Park and fallen ill. Elizabeth goes to be with her, and they both return to Longbourn after undergoing a few trials. During all this, Kitty must face the man she rejected, face Mary, who she is avoiding, watch Jane fall in love with a man she once fancied, meet Mr. Collins, the dreaded cousin, and all the while Lieutenant Finlay is in the background, who is still a bit of a mystery to her. And all while this occurs, there is the other question: what of Longbourn?

Here comes Book II of Pride and Prejudice, from Kitty Bennet’s perspective!

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Release Date: November 21, 2023
Genre: Historical | Regency

~ A Pink Satin Romance ~


Chapter One
Sibling Suffering

Oh spite, oh hell indeed!

The truth was out and hung in the air like a dense fog that wrapped around us both.

For there I was, internally very disturbed from the disastrous marriage proposal that I had just received from Mr. Dixon a few hours ago, and now I was out here—on our lawn—forcing Mary to confront the fact that she felt a romantic attachment to Mr. Darcy.

After Mary had confessed to this, her body stiffened, and she looked horrified.

“I did not mean it,” she uttered, her voice hoarse from the shock of her confession.

“Yes, you did,” I countered.

“No, I did not. I was simply overexcited from your proclamations, and now I have been quite disturbed. You confused me, that was all, and I confessed to things that were not true. My confession lacks any veracity.”

“And now you lie again and call it moral and prudent.”

I released her arm, sickened by the sight of her.

“Coward,” I spat.

Her brow furrowed and her expression changed to indignation.

“What? What did you call me?”

“I called you a coward,” I reiterated. “Because you are one.”

“I am not.”

She turned and began to walk away, toward the trees and away from the house. Like a phantasmic Fury, I pursued her.

“Yes, you are,” I insisted. “You have one moment of truth, one moment of baring your soul, but it was too much for you. It was too much exposure, too much of sensibility and not enough sense. It was you having to admit that you are pathetically human, like the rest of us. But Mary cannot have that, can she? Mary Bennet cannot be anything else but her extracts, quotes she jots down, wisdom from other people’s voices because she fears her own passions and pains.”

“Leave me alone,” she cried.

“I won’t!” I proclaimed, grabbing her arm, and spinning her around again. I wanted her to face me. I wanted to remove her from the plateau that she placed herself on. It was time for her to walk in the sordid mess that the rest of us humans had to endure. It would not be until later that I realized that I was actually looking for a means to alleviate my pain—and one more thing. I was looking for revenge. “You say you are not a coward. Then why can’t you face me? Why can’t you see your own sister and confide in her?”

“There is nothing to confide in. I was in error. I do not like him.”

“But you do. I’ve seen it. It was always subtle, but I know your expressions, Mary. I can tell when your heart is astir, and when you feel ashamed of it. And I suppose that you are wondering how I figured it all out, but it is simple. You were not as good at leaving everyone in the dark as you seemed. You were quick to defend Mr. Darcy. You always found excuses for his cold behavior. And you could not help but admire him out of the corner of your eye. All of this you did under the cloak of concealment. You made a fine attempt at hiding it. I would applaud you for your discretion if I prided such a habit. But I do not in this circumstance.”

Of course she feigned ignorance. “Why are you talking about this?”

“Because, when a woman’s heart is so unsettled, she has a right to talk about it. But not every one of us is given that right. But you were. You had a chance; you could have confided in Jane, Lizzy, or me especially. But you didn’t. Because heaven forbid that you remembered how to be a sister. You stopped learning how to be that long ago.”

And with that, I was finished. I moved away from her, but I had said too much. Now that the conversation had shifted from her affected heart to familial matters, she had found her voice.

“What did you say?” she asked, now pursuing me. “Turn around and say that again.”

I wheeled around, my expression stony. “You heard me. I called you a failure of an older sister.”

Her lips grew tight and thin, her anger stirring.

“Why would you say that? How could you be so cruel to me?”

“You began it.”

“I began it? I have done nothing but attempt to help you better yourself with trying to get you to broaden your mind and you never listen.”

“I never listen? Why would I listen to you when you study about morality, but you know nothing about it? All your words are other people’s words. You stopped having your own a long time ago. And that was right around the time that you abandoned me.”

“I never abandoned you. Kitty, you are being foolish.”

“No, I am simply saying what everyone does not care to talk about, because it is not polite; I am telling you the truth. Mary, you and I used to be attached, in each other’s confidence, and good friends. Then one day, you decided that I was no longer worth your time and attention. You abandoned me for your books, your studies, and your music.”

Mary blinked.

“That is what this is about? You are angry with me because I wanted something better for myself.”

I fisted my hands at my sides. “That is not what I meant.”

“Oh yes, it is. You are blaming me for not wanting to be ignorant and idle. I wanted to be skilled at things and the only way to be a woman of learning is to ‘learn’. And that sort of study requires solitary application. I never told myself ‘Today is the day that I forget about Kitty’.”

“You didn’t have to say it, Mary. You just did it. You used to help me through times where I thought I was invisible. You were my friend, a proper older sister, who was always there to give me attention. I could have told you anything, and you would keep the secret and shield me. Now, I cannot tell you anything because we are almost strangers to each other.”

“I had to work on my studies.”

“You could have done that and still found time for me.”

“How could I when you wanted all of my time?”

This confession startled me. Was that it? Did Mary eventually grow to look at me as a burden?

“Yes,” Mary continued, “that was it. Kitty, you always wanted to be near me, and I grew exhausted over it. I was tired.”

“That’s what it was? You saw my adoration of you as being tiresome?”

“You admired me?” she asked, squinting.

“Yes. You were my older sister who was close to me in age! I wanted to be like you.”

“Then why don’t you ever listen to what I have to say? I try to offer you advice and principles, and you ridicule me.”

“Because you are ridiculous.”

“I am—I am ridiculous?” she questioned, incredulous. “Me? You and Lydia run around, chasing after officers and have no other thought in your heads but balls, parties, and pleasure.”

“What is so very wrong with being happy?”

“You never apply yourself to anything of serious study. And you label it all as unworthy of you.”

“And why would I want to be like that if it means that I have to be like you? Serious, cold, and spiritless. I cannot live like that.”

“And I cannot live like a woman of only flight and fancy, with no serious application at all.”

“I congratulate you,” I declared. “Because now you are just like the rest of us. You admire Mr. Darcy. So, what does it feel like? To know that all your attempts to adhere to those conduct books has placed you in the same place as the rest of us: a creature of sensibility.”

“I will overcome this.”

“You didn’t even have the heart to confide in your family about it.”

“And do you want to know why that is? Because, if I talk about it, if I indulge this feeling, then I worry that I will be like you and Lydia. And I don’t want to be that way.”

I was fighting back tears.

“You were once a good older sister. And then you found cold prudence. And you lost the role you were meant for. I’m sorry if my loving you was so much of a burden.”

“Kitty, I didn’t mean it like that,” she countered, her tone softer and repentant.

“Yes, you did. I came out here to help you confront something that not everyone has the ability to confront in themselves. But you were too scared. You say that you don’t want to be like me, but it’s not because you are wise. It’s because you are afraid to be. You are afraid to live. You were once brave. But the sister that you used to be is gone. Have a delightful time with your pained heart, and your desires for Mr. Darcy. I wash my hands of you.”

With that, I turned on my heel and rushed back into the house. Dashing to my room, I went to my diary and began to write down everything that had happened. When I finished, my hand was cramped.

I refused a marriage proposal from Mr. Dixon, and I had lost a friend.

Mary had revealed her feelings for Mr. Darcy, and I had pushed my sister even further away from me than before.

I was on a downward spiral, and I just didn’t know how far I would let myself fall.


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