What If: After six months had passed from the first proposal/letter and Elizabeth received another proposal from a gentleman of modest means, one she knew from childhood, and she said yes?
Summary: Elizabeth accepts a childhood friend’s proposal, knowing she was fond of him, but not in love. She accepted for mercenary reasons, knowing she could no longer hope for Jane to make a good match when she was still so obviously in love with Mr. Bingley. If only she had known Darcy and Bingley were right around the corner! But how was she to know they would show up at Longbourn looking to court the ladies who stole their hearts?
- That Darcy worms his way into Longbourn as Bingley’s companion and doesn’t give up even though Lizzy is very off the market.
- Darcy’s possessive, jealous side. It’s hot. Like burn your sheets up, hot. Favorite quote coming up.
- That Lizzy learns her own heart and is willing to risk all for her own liberty and happiness.
- That Lizzy has a deeply valid concern for refusing Darcy when he proposes again (pg 147 for those who care to know)... and that Darcy figures out how to get around Lizzy. (Love how Mr. Bennet uses Mrs. Bennet to advantage, bwuahaha!)
- That Darcy has a rival!
On the Other Hand:
- Of course Mr Covingon is not much of a rival. He’s a valid choice for marriage with a comfortable home, quazi gentry, a land owner, a farmer, good to his mother, interested in Lizzy, etc. But he lacks passion, depth, and his interest can’t stand up to reputation breaking scandal. He may have Lizzy’s hand but her heart is not such a sure thing.
- The awful petnames. “Best beloved?” What’s wrong with a simple “Darling” or just plain Elizabeth or Lizzy?
Darcy was silent as he wrestled with his own demons. He had never intended it to go so far; he knew full well that he would have taken her if she had not asked him to stop. His toying with her responses at the end, provoking her and demanding verbal submission to replace the physical one he craved, revealed an uncontrolled part of himself he had always harshly repress. But, by God, it had been gratifying to hear her say she wanted him, and to see her helplessly entangled in the pleasure he was giving her. There was, he thought, less of the gentleman and more of the predatory tiger in him than he cared to admit... (page 208)
The bolded part is my doing - it's also my favorite part of the quote. Seriously hot, and I do mean hot! Love it!