#TidbitTuesday is from my current work in progress ~ The Wager
What if... Mr. Darcy insults our intrepid heroine Elizabeth and the tables were turned on the taciturn gentleman?
First, the image above is of Trenton Hamilton, the Earl of Tiverton, and his sisters, Lady Jane Hamilton and Lady Elizabeth Hamilton.
First, the insult:
Elizabeth Hamilton followed her Aunt Sarah, Lady Courtland, into the crowded ballroom. Fascinated by the sheer number of candles used to illuminate the room, she was not paying attention and bumped into the back of a tall, broad-shouldered gentleman. About to apologize when he half-turned and stared her down, the words stuck in her throat for two reasons, the first being he was absolutely the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on. The second was because the look he bestowed upon her could have frozen over the Thames River in the middle of July.
"Must I now expect every brash young woman to throw herself at me before the dancing has even begun?" he asked his equally tall companion, disdain dripping from every syllable.
The other gentleman looked at Elizabeth and said, "You could not ask for a prettier trap to be caught in, Darcy. Shall I seek an introduction?"
The man, Darcy, gave her a hard, sideways glance.
"She is tolerable I suppose, if one has a preference for ordinary garden flowers, but she is not handsome enough to warrant an introduction."
"I say, that is most unkind. You have no idea who this young lady is."
"And I have no desire to learn her name or antecedents. Let us remove ourselves from this crush. I have already had more than I can stand of this company."
And now, the fallout. Enjoy
Uncle John half turned and held his hand out to Elizabeth. She took it and allowed herself to be brought forward. "Have you met our niece, Elizabeth?"
"No, I have not had the pleasure…"
A flicker of disgust first crossed his face upon seeing her, then he paled when he realized she was the niece of Lord and Lady Courtland, not some lowborn girl he could dismiss.
"Fitzwilliam Darcy, I present to you, Lady Elizabeth Hamilton."
Mr. Darcy quickly recovered and gave her a polite half-bow.
She waited for him to straighten and look her in the eye. When she was certain she had his undivided attention, she turned her back on the gentleman. Upon hearing the soft gasp from her aunt, she almost relented and turned to greet him properly, but then his words, 'she is not handsome enough to warrant an introduction,' echoed in her memory and her courage rose.
"Elizabeth, what is the meaning of this?"
Uncle John demanded an explanation.
"Your horticulturally minded acquaintance does not believe us poor garden variety flowers warrant introductions."
Before any of them could utter another word, she turned on her heel and quit the room.
"Fitzwilliam Darcy, what have you done?!"
He has a very big trench to climb out of once he removes his foot from his mouth.
This work in progress will not be available until early Autumn.