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Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

December 28, 2019 10:45PM
I apologize in advance if there are any mistakes or if it’s incoherent in places. I have been writing this almost a paragraph at a time all month and it’s not beta’d.





“Brother, are you upset with me for accepting the invitation to Mr. Bingley’s leased estate?” Miss Georgianna Darcy asked timidly.

“No, my dear, I am merely surprised. I do not want you to take my following statement wrong, I am not judging you in any way. Will you promise me?” Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy asked his sister. At her hesitant nod he continued, “I was under the impression you were not... fond of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley.”

Seeing his sister flush a dark umber made him grin. “I see I was not too far off the mark,” he stated dryly. He saw shock, embarrassment, and finally amusement cross his sisters face before she started giggling.

“They intimidate me brother. Miss Bingley is so nice it is disconcerting. I am not certain she is genuine,” Georgiana said before gasping and clasping her hand over her mouth in surprise.

“Georgiana, now it is your turn to not worry about offending me. That is a very astute observation dear sister. What else have you noticed?”

“She is very rude to other ladies when they ask me about you, like she thinks you belong to her,” Georgiana paused and looked at him nervously. “Doyouhaveanunderstandingwithher?” she asked quickly.

“NEVER! Of course not! Definitely not! Not even if she succeeded in compromising me in front of the Ladies of Almanack!” Darcy responded vehemently.

“That would be a no then?” his sister asked with a smirk.

“Whatever gave you that idea?” Darcy asked his sister uneasily.

“The possessive way she acts around you and comments she has made about when she starts decorating Pemberley and Darcy House,” Georgiana answered. “She speaks as if it is a foregone conclusion she will one day be your wife.”

Darcy stared out the window thinking for a few moments. Have I let things go too far? I thought ignoring her would solve the problem, but if Georgiana thinks we may one day get married, who else thinks so?

What can I do? I will have to have another discussion with Bingley. I know he understands it will never happen, but maybe it is time to actively do something.

Darcy indicated to the driver he wanted to stop.

“Mr. Darcy, is everything well?” his footman, Roberts, asked.

“Yes, Roberts. We are almost at Netherfield, correct? Please tell Smythe to enter from the back drive and approach the servants entrance.”

“Right away, sir.”

“Brother, is that proper?” his sister asked.

“No, however Bingley will understand.” When the carriage came to a halt, Darcy turned to his sister, “Georgie dear, you are looking a bit tired. It believe you must immediately rest for an hour.”

When Darcy turned towards the house with his sister on his arm, he noticed the housekeeper walking towards them looking apprehensive.

“Mrs. Nicholls, it is nice to see you again. Allow me to introduce my sister, Miss Georgiana Darcy.”

Mrs. Nicholls curtsied before responding, “Sir, Miss, the family is expecting you. If you would allow me to guide you through the house.”

“I regret we must decline Mrs. Nicholls. My sister is quite fatigued from the ride and would like to retire immediately.”

“Is the miss well? Should I call Mr. Jones the apothecary?”

“I am well Mrs. Nicholls, thank you for asking. I was told I looked tired and I am missing my companion, Mrs. Annseley. When I accepted Mr. Bingley’s invitation, my brother allowed Mrs. Annesley to meet her new niece and help her sister who had a difficult lying in.”

“That was very kind of you, sir.”

“Oh, he is the best brother and master,” his sister responded. “He takes such good care of me.”

On seeing Mrs. Nicholls looking at his sister with a thoughtful look on her face, Darcy asked, “Is something troubling you?”

“No sir, not troubling. I am simply thinking that Miss Darcy might miss her companion being able to intervene with difficult... situations,” she responded picking her word carefully.

“Yes, she finds certain situations intimidating,” he answered just as discreetly and grinned when he saw his sister blush. “Do you have a suggestion?”

“Perhaps sir. Merytons doctor passed away a year ago and his wife resides in their house. Do you play the pianoforte Miss Darcy?”

“Oh yes, I practice as often as I am able.”

Mrs. Nicholls nodded to herself. “Mrs. Miller was an amazing performer, unfortunately her fingers ache so much that she can rarely play. I am convinced she would love to meet you. She does not need the funds but might accept the unofficial role of companion during your stay to discuss music and listen to you play.” With a quick meaningful glance at Darcy she finished, “When children refused to take the medicine her husband recommended, Mrs. Miller was asked to visit. They all adored her but quickly learned she was not to be trifled with.”

“Would you send an introduction note and extend an offer to meet with us? If I may be so bold, with the help of a stable lad to direct them, my carriage driver and footman will deliver the message and if she is able, bring her back in an hour. If she is agreeable, she could stay in the room that was prepared for Mrs. Annesley.”

“Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Miller does appreciate bold people. Miss Lizzy is one of her favorite people and a bolder young lady you might never meet,” Mrs. Nicholls said fondly.

“Does Miss Lizzy live nearby,” his sister asked.

“Yes miss, her father owns the nearest estate, Longbourn is three miles away. Of the five Bennet ladies, the youngest is but fifteen.”

“Why, I am fifteen,” his sister said excitedly. “Oh brother, can you imagine! Five sisters! Oh how I wish to meet them.”

“It is not my place to say so, but Mr. Bingley accepted an invitation to the assembly tonight. You may not be officially out, however there will be a few other ladies your age and it would be acceptable for you to dance with your brother and host,” Mrs. Nicholls suggested.

“Oh, I do not know...”

“Georgiana, we should go to our rooms and rest. If Mrs. Miller is able to meet with us and agrees to become your particular friend while we are here, maybe she would introduce you to the ladies of the community tonight,” Darcy encouraged. “Mrs. Nicholls, please have someone escort us to our room and do not tell the Bingley’s we are here until we come down.”

With a mischievous twinkle in her eyes Mrs. Nicholls walked away to write a note.

~*~


“Lady Agnes! Why are you here? We are supposed to meet Mrs. Miller,” Darcy exclaimed.

“Aunt Agnes!” Georgiana exclaimed before bursting into tears and running into the ladies embrace.

“Lady Agnes?” Mrs. Nicholls inquired looking confused. “I am sorry Mr. Darcy, but you are mistaken. This is Mrs. Miller.”

“That will be all Hattie,” Lady Agnes told the confused housekeeper. “I expect you to keep this intelligence to yourself.”

“Yes ma’am.”

“Now William, explain the state of your sister!”

“This summer I sent Georgiana to Ramsgate...”

~*~


“Mr. Darcy, Mrs. Miller, and Miss Darcy,” Netherfields butler announced to the drawing room occupants.

“Darcy, I am glad to see you,” his friend Charles Bingley said.

“Oh Mr. Darcy, we feared your carriage was overtaken by bandits or lost a wheel on these back country roads,” his friends sister, Miss Caroline Bingley, whined. “Charles, I told you we must replace the staff. They were told to let me know when Mr. Darcy’s carriage was spotted so we could meet them on the drive.”

“Please introduce us to your friends,” Lady Agnes asked darkly.

“Bingley, it is good to see you. Allow me to introduce L... my sisters particular friend Mrs. Miller,” Darcy stumbled.

“Nice to meet you Mrs. Miller,” Bingley said. “What happened to Mrs. Annesley?”

“She is visiting her sister, Mr. Bingley,” responded Lady Agnes who looked at Miss Bingley waiting to be offered a seat. “William,” she said sweetly.

“Yes, Agnes.” Darcy was barely holding his mask in place. Lady Agnes’ was his mothers best friend. Her father owned an estate in Derbyshire and she was his godmother. If you didn’t know her age, she would be mistaken for a much younger woman. He knew she took Miss Bingley’s measure right away and was baiting her.

“Georgie mentioned she might be coming down with a cold. We are going to sit in the chairs next to the fire.”

His sister was biting her lip and looking down. She did have a cold, over a month ago. “Of course Agnes, thank you for taking such prodigious care of her.”

“Georgie! William! Agnes! Who do you think...”

“Caroline! My sister out of sorts this evening,” Bingley said uncomfortably.

“Before we sit down, Mr. Bingley, have you explained the terms of your lease with your sister?” Lady Agnes asked.

“Yes Mrs. Miller,” answered he.

“Then she knows that you have no ability to replace the senior servants.”

“Cannot replace them? Of course I can, I am to keep house for my brother,” Miss Bingley stated emphatically. “Just because you do not know how to run a household does not mean I cannot!”

“Is it common practice in London to berate servants in front guests for following their request? Or to make your guests feel uncomfortable with outlandish flattery? To pursue them until they make their valet sleep in their room on a cot?”

Darcy was inwardly grinning. Poor Bingley.

Finally Agnes broke the stunned silence. “Miss Bingley, according to the terms of the lease your brother signed, you may not release the senior servants. They are employed by the estate and ultimately answer to the owner. There is also a clause in the contract that states if the senior servants all threaten to quit based on the behavior of the occupants, the lease is void and the owner does not have to refund the prepaid rent.”

“How do you know this Agnes,” Darcy asked.

“In the time I have been living in Meryton, two occupants have been forced to vacate the house. Once a gentleman tried to force an attachment with Miss Lizzy and the other had a sister who tried to compromise a guest. As it is wont to do, their behavior reached London’s ears and both families were forced to withdraw from society for a few years and still have trouble finding good servants,” Lady Agnes finished with a glare at Miss Bingley. “Georgie dear, let us take our seats and warm you up.”

Darcy guided Bingley to the chaise nearest his sister. “What do you think of Netherfield and Meryton so far, Bingley?”

“It is a mighty fine estate and town,” Bingley responded. “The men I have met are so friendly.”

Lady Agnes cut into the conversation, “William, I hope you do not mind, Maggie had Barton help her prepare the room next to you for me. She felt the color scheme matched my wardrobe better. I am afraid your room will be in between me and Georgie.”

“That is fine Agnes, he would not have done so unless he had the time to spare,” Darcy answered while noting Bingley’s look of incredulity and hearing Miss Bingley’s affronted cry. “Agnes is my god mother,” Darcy whispered quietly and started laughing at the bewildered look on Bingley’s face.

“Mrs. Miller...” Bingley started with a confused look at Darcy, “I believe we have met at Darcy House when Darcy and I were first acquainted. I apologize for not recognizing you.”

“It was many years ago, Mr. Bingley. You are forgiven,” that lady answered. “Speaking of the first time we met, Georgie tells me you were continuing the discussion we had that night in the carriage.”

“Yes,” Darcy said. He noticed Bingley was starting to take a drink and continued, “We were discussing my future wife.” While waiting for Bingley to stop coughing, he noticed Miss Bingley looked shocked and then excited.

Agnes must have noticed the same thing, because she continued before Darcy could.

“Are you well Mr. Bingley?”

“Yes, Mrs. Miller, thank you for asking.”

“That was bad form William, you have been resisting marriage for years and then drop a bomb like that while poor Mr. Bingley was taking a drink. For shame,” Agnes finished with a twinkle in her eye.

“I am particular, that is all,” Darcy defended. “I will know when I have met my future wife. Most ladies are dismissed before they finish speaking a single sentence. Rarely does it take a full conversation.”

Hearing Caroline gasp and start whispering furiously to Louisa, Bingley said, “Rarely? Darcy, we have been friends for five years and I have NEVER seen you consider anyone past the first sentence.” With a dark look at his sister, “And some never make it to speak a single word. How many times have we discussed that you would never be forced to marry? You would rather weather the storm at Pemberley than marry because you had to.”

“Did you know he has plans in place, Mr. Bingley?” Agnes asked with a grin on her face. “He has a plan written down for every situation we could think of. Before my husband passed, god rest his soul, we were at Pemberley for Christmas and were snowed in for almost a week. I doubt you would ever have to enact your plan of action if a witch puts a spell on you.”

“What about the plan for a female centaur?” Georgiana giggled.

“A centaur?” Bingley asked.

“We were taking turns reading Shakespeare to pass the time,” Darcy answered depreciatingly. “There are also plans for spirits, fairies, ghosts, and I could continue.”

“I would love to read the plans,” Bingley stated.

“Not on your life,” Darcy answered. “They are under lock and key at Pemberley. I may let my wife read them, when I meet her that is.”

“Meeting her may not be the problem William,” Agnes said.

“What do you mean?”

“Really William,” Lady Agnes shook her head. “What do you think will happen? You meet a woman who catches your interest based on looks and you will either insult her or say something dreadful. I doubt ‘My name is William, I have ten thousand a year and a house in town. You may fall in love with me now.’ will work with a worthy woman.”

“No,” Bingley said through his chuckles, “He will say ‘Remember Me? Sorry, I have only met you in my dreams!’ and sweep them off their feet.”

“Brother could say ‘Do you believe in love at first sight? If not, I will walk past you again.’”

Bingley added, “He could try to be suave and ask ‘Do you have an extra heart? Mine was just stolen.’”

“I think William might say something like ‘Are you religious? Because you are the answer to all of my prayers,’” Lady Agnes said.

“Are you all done amusing yourselves,” Darcy asked. “If we ever get ready to attend the assembly tonight, I might use ‘You are so beautiful you give the sun a reason to shine.’ Now, I assume we are eating before going to the assembly?”

~*~


“William, calm down. You look very nervous,” Georgiana said.

“I know my dear. All kidding aside, Agnes is right. I have no idea how to talk to a woman I am interested in,” William admitted.

“Just be yourself brother. Maybe start with a question? ‘Are you enjoying yourself tonight?’ If she says yes, you could ask what her favorite song was,” Georgiana offered.

“I apologize for eavesdropping, I was hiding from my mother. She wants me to dance the first with the cousin of one of our neighbors.”

William turned to the melodic voice and froze. A beautiful face, mesmerizing eyes, and she could form a coherent sentence? He could be in trouble.

“Mr. and Miss Darcy I presume,” the newcomer curtsied.

“That is correct,” Georgiana said with a surprised look on her face. “How did you guess?”

“You called your brother William and mentioned Agnes,” the sprite explained.

“Lizzy, who are your new friends,” a gentleman asked.

“Papa, this is Mr. and Miss Darcy, although we have yet to be formally introduced.”

“Hiding from your mother, eh? Well Agnes is almost here and she will perform the introductions.”

“Thomas, Lizzy, good,” Agnes said as she arrived. “Allow me to introduce everyone.”

Darcy could not believe what was happening. This little country miss had somehow managed to pique his interest as no other had. By god, she had a brain.

“Agnes, would this Mr. Darcy be your godson by any chance?” Mr. Thomas Bennet asked.

“Yes, Thomas. Can you imagine? Being around him makes me feel very old,” Agnes said with a mock pout.

“Not as old as being around Robbie, I would imagine,” Mr. Bennet joked back.

Who was this country family? Mr. Bennet is calling Agnes and her brother both by their first names?

“You look confused William. You are wondering how Mr. Bennet knows who I really am and who Robbie is?” Agnes asked.

“The thought had crossed my mind,” he responded.

“Mr. Bennet is my cousin. His mother was my fathers sister,” Agnes explained.

“I was not aware you moved here to be near family members, Aunt Agnes,” Georgiana said.

“Thomas and I grew up seeing each other a few times a year, Derbyshire is so far away from Meryton. When Walter wanted a slower pace, we decided Meryton was close enough to his family in London and my only extended family. It has been a pleasure watching his six children grow up for the past ten years. I shudder to think what Lydia would be like if had not taken her in hand.”

“Me too Agnes, you will never fully understand my appreciation for what you did for my entire family. Your arrival brought significant changes to us all, most importantly with Walter here we felt safe to try for another child and had TJ,” Thomas said solemnly.

“Oh Thomas, your children are like the ones I was never able to have. Being here enriched my life,” Agnes said.

William felt the need to redirect the conversation. With a quick glance at his sister, he asked, “Miss Bennet, are you enjoying yourself tonight?” He was confused when she burst into giggles.

“Yes, Mr. Darcy, might I add I hope the band plays a scottish real?”

Darcy blushed and Georgiana giggled. Turncoat, he thought.

“Oh William, is that what you decided upon?” Agnes asked with a tsk.

“My boy, that is almost as bad as asking if she comes here often,” Thomas added with a grateful nod.

“Or asking if her feet are tired from running through his mind all day,” said Agnes with a giggle.

“He could ask me if I want to get some air because I took his breath away,” Elizabeth said with a grin.

“Oh no,” William said while shaking his head. “How about I ask ‘Miss Bennet, would you dance the first with me?’”
SubjectAuthorPosted

Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

LizzySDecember 28, 2019 10:45PM

Please?

LisaYFebruary 17, 2020 01:42AM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

NobukoJanuary 02, 2020 03:54PM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

MichaDecember 31, 2019 10:15AM

One Shot?!?!

Maria VDecember 31, 2019 09:26AM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

EvelynJeanDecember 30, 2019 10:52PM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

BrigidDecember 29, 2019 03:22PM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

LisaYDecember 29, 2019 12:21PM

Re: Lady Agnes - December Short Story - One Shot

Lucy J.January 10, 2020 06:23AM



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