Imperative: Volume 2, A Tale of Pride and Prejudice

Free Imperative: Volume 2, A Tale of Pride and Prejudice by Linda Wells

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Authors: Linda Wells
had the same at Pemberley if we had been there any longer.  When we return we will have to host a ball or something to meet them all and be done with it.” 
    “This is not entirely unfamiliar, Elizabeth.  He is used to the tenants coming to him with their problems.”
    “Oh, it is not that I think him incapable of meeting people, I just know that he is very shy.”  Seeing Georgiana’s brow crease, she laughed.  “You did not know?”
    They heard Parker greeting the visitors at the door and the sound of their footfalls trouping across the wooden floor.  The deep rumble of male voices en masse was a different note in the house.  Elizabeth cocked her head as she tried to catch the conversation and noticing Georgiana watching her, shrugged a little.  “I keep expecting to hear girls giggling when there is a great deal of noise downstairs.”  Glancing at the clock, she sighed and returned to her sewing.
    “The wedding should be underway now?”  Georgiana asked softly.
    “I believe so, if Mama has not gone faint or Mr. Bingley has not lost his new determination.”   She smiled a little and sitting straighter, tried to ignore the tears that pricked her eyes.  “I am sure that Jane is lovely.”
    “If she is wearing the lace you bought for her, I am certain that she is.”
    “Thank you.”  Elizabeth smiled a little.  “Do not mind me.”
    “I would be missing my family, too.”  She stopped her work.  “I am ashamed that I did not think of them when I ran away.” 
    “Well . . .” Considering her words carefully, Elizabeth studied her sister.  “While I am not excusing your behaviour in any way, I can understand some of the emotion you felt.  You fancied yourself in love, and when one is that way, one tends to think only of that person, and how to spend every moment with him.  It does not mean that you love your family less, only that you would prefer someone else’s company more.  Someday when you are truly in love, you will feel that again.”
    “Oh, I hope so!”  She whispered, “I was mad that I had to take time to eat!”
    Elizabeth put her hand to her chest.  “My goodness!  And how long did this obsession carry on before you woke up to your surroundings?”
    “I guess that if we had not been sightseeing so much it would not have taken so long . . . but when I did start missing Fitzwilliam, I was too ashamed to contact him.” 
    “That is the first time I have heard you admit to shame while you were away.”  Elizabeth took her hand.  “You have been fighting accepting the truth of everything for so long.  Was it Mr. Wickham’s letters that finally lifted the veil from your eyes?”
    “Yes, and those people staring at me and talking behind their hands while we travelled, and seeing you and Fitzwilliam working so hard to distract them from me just . . .”  She shook her head.  “I have known for a long time that I was wrong and . . . looking back to last summer . . . even when George first started calling on me, I knew then that I should rebuff him.  But I . . . Have you ever done something that you knew was wrong?”
    “Certainly.”
    “Nothing to compare with what I did.” 
    “I am sure that there are those who would say that allowing your brother’s kiss was terrible.”  Georgiana shook her head and Elizabeth smiled.  “I am curious.  Was it Mr. Wickham who was successful, or would any handsome man have won your attention?  Were you more receptive to him because you believed him to be a friend and therefore safe?”
    “I have thought about that, too.”  Georgiana bit her lip.  “He knew me by name and he surely knew things to ask that made me comfortable . . . but really, I am not so different from any other girl of our circle.  What do we do?  We play music, and paint and sew . . . I am too young to be out, but he could talk of dancing lessons or riding . . . any gentleman could have done it, I think.  I just wanted the attention.  But I

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