Categories > Books > Jane Austen

Driving Rain

by friendsaregolden11 0 reviews

A different version of what happened when Lizzie runs from the church through the pouring rain and Mr. Darcy catches up.

Category: Jane Austen - Rating: R - Genres: Erotica - Warnings: [X] - Published: 2014-07-07 - Updated: 2014-07-07 - 2081 words

0Unrated
Elizabeth Bennett sat in Hunsford church next to Colonel Fitzwilliam, as they listened to her cousin, and preacher, Mr. Collins drone on with his message. The weather outside was miserable, water coming down in torrents, causing everyone to conjecture whether it would let up by the time the sermon was over, or if they would have to endure it as they headed back to their carriages. Mr. Collins's wife, and Lizzie's best friend, Charlotte was seated in the front row listening to her husband with gratification, and a few rows behind Lizzie, sat Lady Catherine, her daughter Anne, and the grave Mr. Darcy.
Lizzie could not help but to think of him and the incredulity that struck her upon seeing him at Rosing's. Had his presence truly been a coincidence? She hadn't known whether it was a pleasant surprise or not, for all she had experienced were mixed emotions and a twisting in her gut. The last few times they met hadn't exactly been pleasant or even cordial. She often wondered what truly went through that enigmatic mind of his, what secrets were held behind such stern countenance. Anyone who didn't know him well would say he was inflexible of mind, seemingly severe and easily irritated; at least that is how Lizzie knew him so far. Yet, she felt there was some kind of obscurity behind such manners. She had yet to figure it out.
Pulling her mind from Darcy, she ventured to start a suttle conversation with the colonel, over her cousin's dull voice.

"How long do you plan to stay in Kent?" she asked.

"As long as Darcy chooses," Fitzwilliam answered, "I am at his disposal."

"Everyone appears to be," Lizzie commented, "I wonder he does not marry and secure a lasting convenience of that kind."

"She would be a lucky woman."

"Really?"

"Darcy is a most loyal companion. From what I heard, on our journey here, he recently came to the rescue of one of his friends just in time."

"What happened?"

"He saved the man from an imprudent marriage."

Lizzie's stomach all of a sudden felt like it had dropped lower. Could it be?

"...Who was the man?"

"His closest friend, Charles Bingley," the colonel whispered.

A lump instantly filled Miss Bennett's throat, as her worst suspicions were confirmed.

"Did Mr. Darcy give you his reason for his interference?" she managed to voice out.

"There were apparently strong objections to the lady."

"What kind of objections? Her lack of fortune?"

"I think it was her family that was considered unsuitable..."

"So he separated them?" she desperately tried to cover her distress.

"I believe so...I know nothing else."

Feeling the blood drain from her face, Lizzie dared to glance back at where Mr. Darcy was seated. Realizing he was already looking at her, she quickly turned back to face the front of the church.

"Could you excuse me please Colonel?" she asked, her voice almost faltered as she stood to leave the pew.

"Is something the matter, Miss Bennett?" he inquired."

"I suddenly feel feverish...I believe I shall step outside. Perhaps some fresh air will do me better."

"Would you like me to accompany you?" Concern was now etched in Fitzwilliam's face as he shifted to let the young lady out.

"Oh no. I will be fine by myself. I wouldn't want to dislodge you from the sermon."

"Very well. If you insist, Miss Bennett." The Colonel resumed his seat in the pew, and in reluctance, turned his head to carry on listening to Mr. Collins.

Lizzie, quickly and quietly strode from the church aisle and out into the lobby. She had forgotten the rain until she opened the door and saw it pounding down. Too angry and hurt to care, she took a deep breath, wrapped her shawl tighter about her, and plunged into the blinding sheet of water. She knew her distress may have been evident by her leaving, but she didn't care. She had to get away from the church, away from that awful man! Somewhere she could think and ventilate in peace. She kept running, starting to feel the rain soak through her muslin dress. She crossed a narrow bridge that ran over a small river, crossed a field, her boots sloshing through the mud, until she saw a small Grecian summer house, surrounded by pretty trees , overlooking a lake. She took cover under the columns, catching her breath and leaning heavily with her back against the cold stone.
How could Mr. Darcy do such a thing? Did he not know her sister was the dearest most important thing to her on earth? Did he not realize how much Jane was in love with Mr. Bingley, and how much she looked upon a proposal? How dare he separate two people who deeply loved one another! How cruel! All for the inferiority of her family, all for insecurity, low rank and poor breeding! If Darcy cared at all for his friend, wouldn't he have stood for Mr. Bingley's choice instead of tearing it down? Now Lizzie knew, this man did not believe in love. In his eyes, a marriage was clearly all about fortune. His nature was as stormy as the tempest that now rumbled from the dark swirling clouds.
Never would Lizzie be able to convey this information to Jane. Her poor, dear, heartsick sister! How she had felt her misery within those past months. How she tried in vain to comfort her, to reassure her that Mr. Bingley was surely on a short holiday, and perhaps was using that time to think about his offer, behaving mysteriously as any of his sex would behave in being overwrought over such a proposal. She wondered at Mr. Darcy's power over his friend. Mr. Bingley must have a high regard for him to choose his advice over his lover!
On continuance of Lizzie's pondering, a sound broke her musings. It happened to be footsteps, sloshing on the sopping ground. Who would be out walking in this weather, other than herself? Remembering Fitzwilliam's concern and thinking it might be himself come to check on her, she quickly checked herself, whiping her eyes, and smoothing out her dress which was abundantly damp. After stooping to pick up her soaked shawl which she had thrown down upon reaching the summer house, she was immensely startled to see Mr. Darcy himself, towering over her like a black pillar. His stern brow dripped with rain as well as his dark hair. He seemed slightly winded as if he himself had made a mad dash through the storm.
Elizabeth remained rooted to her spot, unsure of what to say and all the while wanting nothing more than to go home and lie down. Mr. Darcy appeared equally puzzled, but as he continued to look at her, his countenance suddenly softened. Had he somehow overheard her conversation with the Colonel? Was he come to plead forgiveness and deny his accusations? Had Fitzwilliam's information been a falsehood? I mere rumor? Lizzie did not know why, but she suddenly wished it were. Darcy's softened features brought on a capturing pleasantness just now and she saw him in a new and agreeable orientation. She almost wanted to discard her anger, but she could not until she had found out the truth of the Colonel's provided speculation. Finally, the man spoke.

"Miss Elizabeth. I have struggled in vain and I can bear it no longer. These past months have been a torment. I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you… I had to see you. I have fought against my better judgment, my family’s expectations, the inferiority of your birth by rank and circumstance. These things I am willing to put aside and ask you to end my agony!"

Lizzie did not think her stomach could possibly wrench any more, but it did.

"I don’t understand..." she said.

"I love you! Most ardently....Please do me the honor of accepting my hand.

Elizabeth paused, awestruck at this sudden and eager proposal.

"Sir, I appreciate the struggle you have been through, and I am very sorry to have caused you pain. Believe me, it was unconsciously done."

"...Is this your reply?" His stern brow resumed his features.

"Yes, sir."

"Are you… are you laughing at me?"

"No."

"Are you rejecting me?"

"I’m sure that the feelings which, as you’ve told me have hindered your regard, will help you in overcoming it."

Elizabeth could hardly hold in her venom. Her anger was slowly rising. Mr. Darcy, looking confused went on to say,

"Might I ask why, with so little endeavor at civility, I am thus repulsed?"

"And I might as well inquire why, with so evident a design of insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your better judgment!"

"No! believe me, I…"

"If I was uncivil, then that is some excuse. But I have other reasons, you know I have!"

"What reasons?"

Here it came, and with bitterness, the public disputation.

"Do you think anything might tempt me to accept the man who has ruined, perhaps forever, the happiness of a most beloved sister? Do you deny it, Mr. Darcy? That you separated a young couple who loved each other, exposing your friend to the censure of the world for caprice and my sister to its derision for disappointed hopes, involving them both in misery of the acutest kind?

"....I do not deny it."

"How could you do it?"

"Because I believed your sister indifferent."

"Indifferent?"

"I watched them most carefully and realized his attachment was deeper than hers."

"That’s because she’s shy!"

"Bingley too is modest and was persuaded she didn’t feel strongly."

"Because you suggested it!"

"I did it for his own good!"

"My sister hardly shows her true feelings to me!"

A moment of silence commenced and during this time, Mr. Darcy seemed to register this thought. Lizzie could not help continuing.

"I suppose you suspect that his… his fortune had some bearing…"

"No, believe me I wouldn’t do your sister the dishonour, though it was suggested…"

"What was?"

Darcy paused. "...It was made perfectly clear an advantageous marriage…"

Lizzie's face burned with rage. "Did my sister give that impression?"

"No, no! No, there was, however, I have to admit, the matter of your family…"

"Our want of connection? Mr. Bingley didn’t seem to vex himself about that…"

"No, it was more than that."

"How, sir!?"

"It was the lack of propriety shown by your mother, your three younger sisters, and even, on occasion, your father."

He looked at Lizzie, immediately becoming aware of her wounded feelings. He then softened.

"Forgive me. You and your sister I must exclude from this."

Since such forwardness was being applied in this now open situation, Lizzie supposed she should bring up another matter.

"...And what about Mr. Wickham?"

Mr. Darcy started, moved slightly closer to her with an expression more severe than ever. "Mr. Wickham?"

"What excuse can you give your… your behavior towards him?"

"You take an eager interest in that gentleman’s affairs."

"He told of his misfortunes…"

"Oh yes, his misfortunes have been very great indeed."

"You ruined his chances and then you treat him with sarcasm."

"So...this is your opinion of me? Thank you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offences might have been overlooked had not your pride been hurt…"

"My pride?!"

Mr. Darcy ran on in interruption. "…by my honesty in admitting scruples about our relationship. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?

Lizzie's eyes could no longer conceal her tears.

"And those are the words of a gentleman....From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry!"

Mr. Darcy leaned in, looking at Lizzie for a long time. He gathered he felt as equally wounded as he had just made her. He was sorry. Profoundly. He wanted to go on. Wanted to say and expound more information, wanted to prove that he was not what she gathered him to be, but he thought it best to refrain. He stood for long painful seconds, trying to decide what to do. His mind was made up. He would simply leave her without a word. The damage was done.
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