You can read other Friday Features here: Mr. Darcy’s Compassion / How Darcy Saved Christmas / Treasured / Reunited / Pledged / The Secrets of Pemberley / Mr. Darcy’s Miracle at Longbourn / The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter Second Edition / Sufficient Encouragement/ Mr. Darcy’s Kindness / Once Upon a December / Love Lasts Longest / A Sense of Obligation / No Cause to Repine / Undone Business / Letters from the Heart / The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter
What if someone talked some sense into Darcy before his proposal?
This was actually the very first JAFF I ever began writing. Before I ever even discovered the forums, I had this idea of Darcy rehearsing all or part of his proposal to Colonel Fitzwilliam, who enlightened him about his rudeness and Elizabeth’s dislike. Then, Darcy would make amends and he and Elizabeth would have a much smoother route to their happily ever after. The problem was that it was too smooth. There was absolutely no conflict and I had no idea what to do after Richard’s big revelation.
So it sat in my Google drive folder for years. I would look at it from time to time and then toss it away in disgust. I have no real idea why the idea held onto me in 2019, but this time I decided I could do something with it. I wanted a romantic Darcy who knew he had to woo Elizabeth. It’s far fluffier than things that I normally write, but we all need stress relief now and then! And, there is some tension and conflict after all!
She faced her companion with tears clouding her vision. “Pray, forgive me. I was most wrong about you. I blush in remembrance of my arguments against you last night.”
“Miss Bennet, your confusion about my character is understandable. I do not wish for you to censure yourself. There is no need for apologies.”
“There most certainly is! If you knew what I said to others, then you would hate me forever.”
Darcy stayed their movements and searched her face before meeting her eyes. “I could never hate you, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth stumbled backward, and a surprised gasp left her lips. It was as if she had never seen him before. He truly loved her! She had supposed he simply grew bored with the tedium of Rosings and fancied himself afflicted with love. After another moment of scrutiny, she blushed and lowered her eyes.
“That is very kind of you, Mr. Darcy. However, I know I have done wrong and wish to ask for forgiveness, although I can scarcely hope you will grant it.”
Darcy cocked his head to one side. “It is no trouble to forgive you. There was no malice in your words or actions.”
“There was.” Elizabeth wiped at her eyes. “I wanted to hate you. I wanted to believe the worst about you. I wanted my dislike to be justified.”
“Why did you dislike me so much?”
A throaty chuckle erupted, and soon her body shook with laughter. “I can see so clearly now how vain and proud I have been. I only disliked you because I thought you disliked me!”
Shaking his head, Darcy laughed. “We have both been blinded by pride and insecurities. I did not want to like you, I will admit. I came to Hertfordshire with the expectation of finding nothing worthy of my presence. My sole intention was to help Bingley, and although I was loath to go, I desired to assist my friend. It was not many meetings before I realised how impossible it was to ignore you. You tore up my quiet and orderly life, and I craved more.”
“You liked me for my impertinence?” Elizabeth’s eyes flew to his.
“I admired your lively mind.”
“Oh! This proves more than anything how dreadfully wrong I have been about you. If you were truly so proud and of such a hateful nature, then you would never admire that quality in me. I am sure I never spoke to you without the intention to wound.”
“And how would you speak to me if that had not been your aim?”
Elizabeth’s pulse quickened. They had cleared the air between them. Now that her prejudice did not blind her, where did it leave them?
Elizabeth blushed. “I am unsure. I have never been the recipient of attention from a gentleman of your stature.”
“Would you quake in fear of my esteemed personage?”
Laughing, she smiled up at him. She felt something settle in her heart. Darcy had fascinated her for months, but this moment lit a flame. How had she misunderstood her attraction to him? They had quarrelled, but they were making amends. He had earned her respect and esteem and now had her laughing. This was the beginning of intimacy. These were the moments which made a life together.
“Certainly not!” Elizabeth managed to say between giggles. “I suppose I would always have viewed you with suspicion. Perhaps I would have imagined you to be a rake. Why else would you take a fancy to a country gentleman’s daughter with no money or connections?”
“Do you truly think so meanly of yourself?”
Elizabeth shrugged. “I do not know that I would persist in that way of thinking. Only it would be one thought which crossed my mind. I would not likely believe you admired me at all. Charlotte has argued the very thing, and I never saw it.”
“Perhaps if I had not attempted to hide it.”
“And what would your open admiration look like?” She arched one brow, a playful smile on her lips.
Darcy assessed her before replying. “I can be a very determined man, Elizabeth. If I openly courted you, then I would not stop until you were mine.”
Elizabeth beamed. “It is too bad you never had the opportunity. Something tells me that would have been a sight to behold.”
“May I begin again?”
“You are leaving for London tomorrow.”
“Yes, and you will be there in a few weeks.”
“I will be staying at Gracechurch Street.” Elizabeth lifted her chin and squared her shoulders. “I know you find my relations unworthy of your notice.”
“I would be pleased to meet them.”
“Would you really?”
“If it would secure your hand, then I would go through any matter of things.”
“I cannot be bought.” Elizabeth pulled away and began to walk off.
Darcy quickly caught up with her. “I do not mean that you can.”
“When I marry, it will be for great love. I will respect my husband. I will not be indebted to him or constantly reminded of the condescension he has shown me by rescuing me from my supposedly low and inferior state.”
Darcy caught Elizabeth’s hand. “Elizabeth, wait. I would be happy to meet them because they are your family, and you love them. I wish to please you. I desire to show you that I am not so mean as you first believed and am correcting the faults in my character, which you did justly assess. How else could I show you that?”
Elizabeth remained unconvinced and crossed her arms over her chest.
“If you would rather I wait to court you until you return to Longbourn, then I will. If you had hated the idea of my courtship, you would have said so. That can only mean that you are not set against me. I will not quit the field now.”
“And manipulating me into loving you is part of your design?”
“No. I wish to share a life with you and everything that means—all of your relations. You should meet mine as well. Together, we would form a family of equal parts yours and mine.”
“And your relations would approve of this match?”
“I really do not care.”
They were now in view of the parsonage, and Elizabeth saw the curtain of the front sitting room flutter. Discreetly gathering her hand in his, he squeezed it whilst staring into her dark eyes.
“I am yours to command. If you do not wish for me to court you, then tell me so at once. If, however, your feelings have changed, only tell me where and when I may next see you.”
Elizabeth took a long moment before replying. All the while, her heart hammered, and her head pounded. She felt as if she were about to jump off a cliff. “Very well, Mr. Darcy. I accept your offer of courtship. I will see you in a fortnight in London.” She turned and walked to the parsonage without a backward glance.
A man truly in love is a sight to behold.
Despite Fitzwilliam Darcy’s better judgment, he asks Elizabeth Bennet to marry him. Instead of retreating upon learning her heart, he decides to use everything in his power to woo her.
In Elizabeth’s mind, Darcy has always been haughty and arrogant. When he approaches her with humility and an apology on his lips, she can barely contain her astonishment. When he expresses his love, she is nearly incredulous. Realizing she has misunderstood the man, it only seems right to give their acquaintance another chance—even if that means accepting a courtship.
Of course, it would take a miracle to change Darcy from the last man in the world she would be willing to marry to the conqueror of her heart. Luckily, the Master of Pemberley can be quite the romantic. However, when Darcy goes missing, it will take more than Darcy’s charm to see these two finally united.
Courtship at Rosings is another delightful novella from the author of Mr. Darcy’s Compassion. If you have ever wanted to see Mr. Darcy romance Elizabeth, this book is for you!
7 thoughts on “Friday Feature– Courtship at Rosings”
Amazon said it is not currently available. Plus I use KU so would not buy at this time. I am reading Meet Me at Pemberley.
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I’ll have to see what that’s about! It should be available via KU.
Thank you for checking into that.
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It should be available now!
OK, I will check it out. Thanks.