My Work in Process ‘Darcy vs Bingley’

My Work in Process ‘Darcy vs Bingley’

Well, I am finding that my best ideas either come before I go to bed or just when I wake up. The middle of January I woke up with a wild idea, wrote it down, and published it on FanFiction.net as a one-shot. The first thing that happened is reviewers not only loved it but they decided I needed to expand it into a story. I agreed and began to see where it would go. So far, I’m very pleased with how it’s coming together.

This book will be a stand-alone, no sequels, and it will be a novella rather than a full-length novel.

‘Elizabeth’s Choice’ will be the sequel to ‘Darcy Chooses’ and should publish sometime in April. However, I’m working hard on ‘Darcy vs Bingley’ with plans to at least have it on pre-order the latter part of March if not sooner.

And, yes, I’m giving away two e-book copies of ‘Darcy vs Bingley’ to two individuals who comment below. Also, included in this post is Chapter 1 that I hope you will enjoy.

Summary: Instead of insulting Elizabeth at the Meryton Assembly, Darcy has found himself attracted to the young lady, enough so that he might be willing to go against his family’s expectations and pursue a courtship. And Caroline has attempted a compromise that failed miserably. Will it cause future problems?

Chapter 1

Fitzwilliam Darcy had traveled from London that day and was informed on his arrival that Charles Bingley expected him to attend the assembly in Meryton that evening. Having spent the last few days in completing all his affairs before coming to Netherfield Park in Hertfordshire, Darcy had planned on relaxing for the rest of the day and retiring early as he was rather fatigued. Instead, he indulged his friend and attended the assembly where he was introduced to a family with five daughters.

Wincing at the comments as he, Bingley, Bingley’s two sisters, and his brother-in-law arrived, Darcy expected to despise the evening. He was surprised to find that congenial atmosphere and especially the ‘fine eyes’ of the second eldest daughter caught his attention, enough so that he asked her to dance. Bingley’s raised eyebrows indicated his shock that his friend readily joined the country dance with Miss Elizabeth Bennet when he usually had to be coerced into doing so.

Caroline Bingley, Charles’ younger unwed sister, glared at the couple as they went through the moves of the lively dance. Unknown to Bingley or Mr. Darcy, Miss Bingley was determined to wed Darcy by hook or crook. Compromising him did not deter her one bit. When she saw the smile on his face as he danced with Elizabeth, she was determined that a compromise it would be, and she planned it for the middle of the night.

“Thank you, Mr. Darcy. I enjoyed having you as my partner.”

“Miss Elizabeth, it was all my pleasure. Ordinarily, I don’t enjoy dancing with someone with whom I’m unacquainted. However, this evening I’m delighted to have had this dance with you and wondered if I might have the last one as well.”

Elizabeth paused. Her first impression of Darcy when he and his friends arrived was that he disdained being there and was haughty and proud. However, she discovered on accepting his request to dance with her that he was not only extremely handsome, he was charming, intelligent and had a most engaging smile. For him to ask for a second dance left her speechless, but not for long.

“I would like that very much, Mr. Darcy.” She curtseyed, and he bowed, and they separated until the last dance after he accompanied her back to her sister, Jane.

“Lizzy, what did you do to attract Mr. Darcy?”

“I don’t know, Jane, but I’m not displeased. He’s not like anyone I’ve met before.”

“And you like him, don’t you?”

“Yes, I find I do like him very much. He’s also asked for the last dance.”

Jane reached over with a smile and squeezed her sister’s hand. She also liked the time she spent with Mr. Bingley finding him very amiable and likable. Being the eldest child in her family, she wanted the best for her siblings as well. I wonder if Mr. Darcy will be the one for Lizzy? I’ve never seen her as interested in a young man as she seems to be with him.

Glancing at Lizzy, Jane watched as her sister gazed around the room until she spotted Mr. Darcy who was looking back at her. Her younger sister blushed and looked away as Mr. Darcy grinned.

Caroline Bingley, however, scowled as she noticed the object of Darcy’s interest. Definitely, I need to compromise him tonight before that country chit gets her hooks into him. That will not happen!

***

After the last dance with Miss Elizabeth, Darcy asked if he could call on her the next day. “Yes, you may, Mr. Darcy. I look forward to it.” The light flush on her face made her look almost beautiful, and Darcy was pleased. If he continued to find pleasure in her company, he would consider asking for a courtship. But for the moment, he would just continue pursuing her acquaintance.

Taking her hand, he brushed his lips across the back of it as her blush deepened. “The morrow cannot come too soon, Miss Elizabeth.”

As they parted company, both looked forward to meeting again and learning more about the other.

Jane and Elizabeth were quiet on the way back to Longbourn as their mother exclaimed how pleased she was that both young women had danced twice with the men from Netherfield.

“Just think, girls, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are such eligible young men. Mr. Bingley has £5,000, and Mr. Darcy has £10,000 per annum. Oh, the carriages and the pin money you both will have. I couldn’t ask for more for my daughters. We won’t starve in the hedgerows after your father dies.”

“Mama, don’t even say that. Papa is very healthy and should live for many more years. Jane and I don’t have to marry this instant or any time soon.”

“Lizzy, you set your cap for Mr. Darcy. A man in his position and with his wealth will never take you seriously if you don’t. Jane, you too, need to be very amiable toward Mr. Bingley. He had his eye on you all evening. I think he would have danced more than two with you if propriety would have allowed it.”

“Oh, Mama,” Jane exclaimed in embarrassment.

“Mama, Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley said they would call on the morrow. Please give Jane and I time to get acquainted with them before you push us to the altar. She and I both would like to have love matches and not marry for wealth alone.”

“You listen to me, Lizzy. You might want a love match, but money is important as well. It’s just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as with a poor man. You mark my words, Lizzy.”

All this time, Kitty and Lydia were giggling and whispering about the militia that would come in the next fortnight. They were also amused by their mother’s comments to their older sisters. Mary just shook her head at her younger siblings for their silly and hoydenish ways. Nobody noticed when she rolled her eyes at them as well.

Arriving at Longbourn, the young women disembarked the coach and headed upstairs after giving their outer garments to Mr. Hill. Nobody wanted to listen to Mrs. Bennet rant about them marrying and saving everyone from starving in the hedgerows. And they were exhausted after a lively evening at the assembly.

Jane and Lizzy stayed up for a while and discussed the merits of the two men from Netherfield. And when they finally slept, both dreamed pleasant dreams of the morrow.

***

Darcy was pleased. Instead of experiencing a horrible evening with those beneath him, he found the company more than tolerable especially Miss Elizabeth. He was dazzled by the twinkle in her eye as she teased him, and she made him laugh for the first time in a long while even since before Ramsgate and the devastating event of his sister’s near elopement with George Wickham. The dastard had convinced her she was in love with him. His poor sister had still not recovered from Wickham’s declaration that he was only after her £30,000 dowry.

Then he smiled when he thought of Miss Elizabeth. Her liveliness was such that if they did marry, she would be good for Georgiana, and he might get his sister back.

Exhausted from his travels that day and the assembly that night, Darcy stripped and fell into bed and immediately succumbed to sleep unaware that he would have an early morning visitor.

***

Caroline Bingley quietly tip-toed down the corridor to the guest wing, and soon arrived at Darcy’s door. Turning the knob that she had oiled earlier, she silently moved to the opposite side of the bed from where she surmised Darcy slept. Stripping off her nightgown, she slid under the covers and touched Darcy’s bare back.

For a moment, nothing happened except for Darcy’s continued light snores. Then they stopped, and he catapulted out of the bed. “Who’s there?” Half asleep, he staggered toward the chair with his banyan knowing he was as naked as the day he was born. In the process, he banged his knee on the chair which made him swear profusely as he covered himself.

“Mr. Darcy. Come back to bed,” Caroline crooned.

“Miss Bingley?”

“Mr. Darcy. Can I help with anything?” Darcy’s valet came out of the dressing room where his cot was placed. The light of his candle illuminated part of the room, and when Caroline saw him, she screamed.

Bingley—who couldn’t sleep—and was heading down to his study for a nightcap when he heard his sister’s scream. Running to Darcy’s door, he threw it open and demanded to know what was going on.

“I believe, Bingley, that Caroline has tried to compromise me.” Turning to Higgins, he said, “I don’t want one word mentioned about this, do you understand?”

“Mr. Darcy, I never saw a thing.”

“Good man. I knew I could rely on you.”

“Caroline, what’s the meaning of this.” Bingley’s eyes grew wide. Shocked, he demanded, “Are you naked?”

His sister pulled the sheet up higher as she blushed a fiery red.

By this time, Darcy’s fury had risen to the point that he would put a stop to Caroline’s machinations forever. Glaring at her until she dropped her eyes, he moved until his knees touched the bed. He remained silent until he felt like he could refrain from throttling her if she opened her mouth. Then he opened his mouth.

“Miss Bingley. Is it your desire to marry me?”

“Oh, yes, Fitzwilliam. I have long wanted to marry you and become the mistress of Pemberley.”

“Why?” Darcy ignored her using his Christian name, but only for the moment.

“I love you, of course.”

Darcy laughed and continued to laugh until Caroline got the point he thought she was ridiculous.

“If you truly did, I would handle this differently. But since the only things you love are my money, my status, my home, and yourself, I will say what will happen to you if we did marry.”

“Oh, Mr. Darcy, I know you would make me an excellent husband.”

“You think that, do you?”

“Oh, yes.” Smiling and fluttering her eyelashes at him, she tried to make the best of a situation that was going awry rapidly.

“Well, let me apprise you of how it would actually be should we marry. First of all, there would only be a small wedding before a parson with a special license. I have no interest in bragging about marrying you.”

Bingley’s sister gasped at the sarcastic note in Darcy’s voice.

“Second, I will own you, and you would stay at Pemberley. No trips to London, no seasons, no fancy dresses, nor anything connected with the ton. If I have business in London, I will go alone.”

“Now, Darcy…”

“Silence, Bingley.”

And Bingley shut up. In a moment, he began to realize what Darcy was doing.

“Third, your dowry of £30,000 will go into Pemberley’s account for the benefit of the estate and the tenants and servants connected with it. You’ll not see another farthing of it.”

Caroline was livid and yelled at him, “You can’t do that.”

“Oh, yes, I can. I will be your husband, and I will tell you what you may do.”

By this time, tears began to flow down Caroline’s cheeks, and she was beginning to understand that what she started, Darcy was going to finish.

“Fourth, you will receive only £100 pin money.”

“A quarter?” Miss Bingley asked.

“Per annum.”

Caroline’s mouth dropped open as she just stared at him.

“Fifth, you will not be allowed to make any changes at Pemberley. The running of Pemberley is set in stone as far as you are concerned. Mrs. Reynolds does a marvelous job of handling the affairs of my house. You will not be allowed to redecorate, change the furniture or anything in my house except for your own quarters which I will never enter. And you will not be allowed in my rooms either.”

“But, Fitzwilliam…”

“I did not give you permission to use my Christian name, Miss Bingley,” Darcy roared.

Even though she quailed at his shout, Caroline stiffened her spine. “But you will need an heir for Pemberley.”

“But I don’t need you or a male heir,” Darcy spat. “Pemberley is not entailed, and I will leave everything to Georgiana should anything happen to me. Should the worst happen, you will have to move back with Bingley or the Hursts.”

“But, but…”

“No buts. Sixth, if you ever create a problem for Georgiana, I will divorce you. I will survive it, but I’m not sure your reputation will.”

“Divorce? You would divorce me?” she squeaked.

“In a heartbeat.” Darcy’s scowl left nothing to Caroline’s imagination. She knew he meant it.

Bingley just stood on the sideline and tried not to smile. He had a small twinge of conscience, but he knew his sister deserved this. For several years, Darcy had been his best friend and treated the Bingley family well. For his sister to do his friend this way was abominable. So, he appreciated what Darcy was saying.

“Lastly, married or not, if you ever mention any of this to your sister or her husband or anyone else, I will be apprised of it. My aunt, Lady Matlock, knows everything that goes on in London. She will find out, and she will apprise me as well. And I will inform all the ton of everything you did this night, every single detail.”

Caroline blanched at this as she knew details of this night’s debacle would definitely ruin her as far as society was concerned. She also knew she had lost the battle as well as the war for mistress of Pemberley. It would never be no matter what she did.

“So, if you insist on marrying me, I will make your life miserable.”

“No,” she said with a sigh. “No, I will not insist, and Charles will not either. I didn’t realize you disliked me so much.”

Softening his tone, Darcy said, “I didn’t intend to dislike you, Miss Bingley. But I do dislike your cattiness and disdain for others. I do hate your selfish attitude and your bullying of Charles and your sister. And I despise the fact that you will act in an unloving manner to get what you want no matter how badly you must act or whom you must hurt. I had known you not even a month before I realized that you were the last person on earth I would ever marry.”

Bingley and Darcy both hoped when all was said and done that Caroline would learn a powerful lesson and become a better person. Only time would tell.

Pulling herself together, Miss Bingley asked that the men give her some privacy so she could dress and return to her bedchamber. And they complied.

After she left, Bingley turned to his friend. “Darcy, you did what you had to do. I hope my sister takes this to heart.”

Darcy just nodded then closed and locked the door when Bingley left the room. Going to the dressing room, he started to thank Higgins when the man instead said, “Do you wish for me to sleep in front of the servant’s door in case she comes back?”

“Perhaps, that would be best.” Darcy sighed. He was not a cruel man, and he wished this night hadn’t been necessary. However, Bingley’s sibling had surprised him, and he wouldn’t allow that to happen again.

The more he thought about Elizabeth Bennet, the more he wanted to know about her, and he could picture her at Pemberley as well.

Darcy took off his banyan and crawled wearily under the covers wearing nothing but a smile and had the most pleasant dreams he could ever remember about a pretty lady and her very fine eyes.

Reference: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12322798/1/Darcy-vs-Bingley

54 Responses to My Work in Process ‘Darcy vs Bingley’

  1. I always like variations where Caroline is involved, and I am sure she is not done yet! Thank you for the fabulous excerpt and giveaway!

    • You’re quite welcome. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the excerpt. And I’m not done with her yet. Two more chapters on FanFic will wrap it up. Pre-order should be available toward the end of March. 🙂

  2. Loved reading this! What a wonderful way to “take care of” Caroline and her manipulations. Wonder if she’s learned her lesson?

  3. I’ve been keeping up with your progress on the fan fiction page and have reread your completed chapters three times in the past week. Can’t wait for the next chapter to be released and hope to win a copy of you new book. Glad you’re felling better after your chair accident but don’t push yourself too hard and give yourself time to mend.

    • Thank you. I’m feeling much better, Katie. And I’m delighted you’re enjoying ‘Darcy vs Bingley.’ My other books have been fun to write but also a lot of work. This one is much more fun. Should have two or more chapters this week. I wish you well in the drawing.

  4. Now that you have done this masterful put-down, the rest of us will either have to write Caroline out of our work (seriously, I cannot find a way to set the universe aright. You have done it.) or have her become an arch-criminal (Professor Moriarty, watch out!). Well done. Oh, my ideas often arrive in the twilight time between wakefulness and sleep and vice versa, although “Maid and Footman” popped up as I was driving across the I=90 Bridge over Lake Washington. My mother-in-law said “Ideas are in the wind.” I think we have to be tuned into the energies we unleash as we write. Look forward to the full work!

    • Hahahahahahaha! Thank you, Don. Caroline is definitely a stinker. Arch-criminal? Maybe an idea for another plot? 🙂 And driving across Seattle’s floating bridge proved helpful to you as well. Not been there, but my daughter’s lived in Seattle area off and on for over 20 years. I also agree with your mother-in-law. About half the plots I worked up 2 years ago have shown up in books since then. Can’t dilly dally or someone else gets to write it. LOL

  5. I do like JAFFs where Darcy and Elizabeth are drawn to each other straight away. And the thought of Darcy strutting around in the altogether … be still my heart!! 😉 Plus Caroline gets her comeuppance — the P&P trifecta! Can’t ask for anything more! Another story to add to my Must-Read list. Definitely please enter me in the giveaway. (I don’t like to read serial stories; I lose the thread too easily as I’m usually reading at least one or two books — including at least one JAFF — at a time. So I’ll wait until I can read it all at once.) Looks like another winner, Gianna.

    • Thank you, Janis. I also like to see our dear couple attracted earlier. This book is more along the lines of coup de foudre than even ‘Darcy Chooses.’ And Caroline will receive more than one comeuppance. I can’t wait. 🙂

  6. This is a wonderful first chapter. How to start a story with a bang. Looking forward to reading this book when it is finished.

  7. Hmmmm… I’m deducing from this first chapter that the title will end up referring to CAROLINE Bingley rather than his brother. Great opening salvo, Gianna! Looking forward to reading the entire novella.

  8. OMG! OMG!! OMG!!! I WANT this book. Oh, how we have wanted Darcy to address Caroline like this. Everything he said was so possible for the time period. OMG!! I love this Darcy.., whew! Be still my heart. Oh Lizzy you have no idea what is in store for you…. lawd. Hill! I need my smelling salts. Wait, that’s not my line. See, I’m all aflutter. I need to read this again….

    • Hahahahahahahaha! J.W., you are a hoot. About the time I started this book, I read an article about ‘Training Your Muse’ by Anne Gracie. One of her suggestions was to get up and write about fifteen minutes while you’re still only half awake. Well, I found that I write about two hours like that and I’m more than pleased with the results and writing at least a chapter each time. I’m not sure why it works that well for me, but I’m not complaining. Still more laughs to come but also some romance too very soon. Look forward to your thoughts when it’s done. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Summer. I’m really pleased with the cover also, but it took a number of tries before I arrived at the final one. A lot of tweaking, but it was worth it. And my publisher came up with the green for my name which made it. Covers are hard. 🙂

  9. I’m following this on FanFiction and love it. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve laughed out loud while reading.

  10. This is certainly an interesting premise. I hope the “telling off” Caroline received will be the end of it. Can’t wait to read what happens next! Thanks for the chance to win a copy of your newest book.

  11. Oh my I loved that! Caroline got just what she deserved! And I like the idea of Darcy and Elizabeth liking each other from the beginning. Now hopefully they will get married early and Darcy will deal with Wickham in the same way (although hopefully not involving an attempted compromise!) ?? I really enjoyed Darcy Chooses so look forward to both your new books. Thankyou for the giveaway ?.

    • Delighted that you enjoyed this excerpt and ‘Darcy Chooses.’ This is very different from my first series and the forthcoming sequel. I’m having fun writing this one and love that the readers are enjoying it too. And the giveaway of two copies of ‘Darcy vs Bingley’ is my pleasure. 🙂

  12. Well, that’s told Caroline in no uncertain terms, hasn’t it? I wish I had time to follow the amazing WIPs available online through various sites, but sadly I don’t. I have enough of a job on with my TBR mountain and following the blogs I’m subscribed to. So, I’ll throw my name into the hat for this giveaway, Gianna and keep my fingers crossed! Good luck with the new work and thanks for the giveaway.

    • I’m delighted you are enjoying my story, Melanie.. I’ve had so much fun writing this one and love the comments and reviews. And you’ll certainly be entered in the giveaway as well.

  13. I love it when Carolyn Bingley gets what she deserves! Great first chapter. I cannot wait to read it. I will watch for it to be posted !

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