Timeless: A Pride and Prejudice Variation
Elizabeth eagerly awaits her sister Jane's letter while visiting Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle Gardiner. But circumstances cause the letter to be delayed by two additional days. The extra time with Darcy changes the course of both of their lives, in ways no one could have predicted... or even thought possible. In a plot twist, you won't see coming, Darcy and Elizabeth find out if their love is truly timeless...
(This book has a sci-fi element which brings the couple into the present. It's written to be believably scientific.)
Read an excerpt from the book
Lizzy had been a good deal disappointed in not finding a letter from her sister, Jane, on their first arrival at Lambton, and this disappointment had been renewed on each of the mornings that had now been spent there. Today was now the third morning and still no post arrived. She became slightly worried over this, but she directly abandoned the thought and shifted her focus to something entirely different. A variety of thoughts were vying for her attention; she made a frantic emotional effort to sift them as they flowed in. The manner in which Mr. Darcy continued to behave since first seeing him at Pemberly was at the forefront of her mind.
“Lizzy dear, good morning,” aunt Gardiner said as her niece entered the breakfast room.
“Good morning, Aunt.” They engaged in tête-à-tête for a few minutes before her aunt informed her that the family would spend the morning taking a walking tour around the town. Lizzy quickly agreed to the prospect of getting to know a few of the modern shops and other interesting sights in the small town of Lambton.
The Gardiners and their niece were preparing to take their leave when the housemaid at the Lambton Inn, where they were staying, opened the door to announce Mr. Darcy.
Lizzy was not expecting to see him today. She was filled with a heightened sense of every feeling when he entered the room. She could not help but notice how very handsome he looked in his black wool suit and black hat. He had come alone on horseback that morning. On seeing the ladies with their hats on already and Mr. Gardiner with his walking stick, he quickly surmised they were on their way out and apologised for his intrusion.
“Think nothing of it,” Mr. Gardiner replied. “We had no fixed appointments. We were merely planning on a walk around the town together. We will postpone our outing. Please have a seat, Mr. Darcy.”
“Thank you, Mr. Gardiner, but I expect the ladies are ready to do a bit of shopping. Perhaps I might join you. You may find my company useful, as having a young woman for a sister has taught me which shops have the best wares.”
The street leading to the lower town was a very broad one. The town had a certain historic charm about it that Meryton lacked. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Gardiner were walking side by side. The duo had been engaging in conversation, leaving Lizzy and her aunt walking leisurely from behind.
The improvement of shipping services had impacted the arrangement of commercial activities in England. Now it was not only major cities like London which carried some of the foreign items in the market. They had increased the sales of more products such as gloves, silks, and cosmetics for the females.
After a short distance, Mrs. Gardiners called her husband over to see a display advertising various ornate bows for archery. Mr. Darcy moved to Lizzy’s side. They walked in silence for a time, the gentleman only speaking when pointing out something he thought might interest the lady. While they were standing in front a shop that sold tea, two men came to them to greet him.
The men could never be mistaken for gentlemen. Lizzy quickly ascertained that they were father and son farmers. Those men shook hands vigorously with Mr. Darcy and thanked him for helping them to make it through when they had a bad crop. All three of the men conversed with ease, and Elizabeth was surprised to see the gentleman of the group smile several times as they spoke of the bumper crop they were now enjoying. Mr. Darcy asked about their families and laughed softly when the younger man told an amusing story about his active toddler’s antics.
As they continued down the street, Elizabeth was surprised to see how many shopkeepers came out to greet the gentleman walking with her. Even more surprising was that he in turn inquired about each of their families, sometimes even asking after their children by name. At one point, an older woman across the street dropped a package she was carrying, and Mr. Darcy was quick to retrieve it for her. So this is who you are when you are comfortable in your surroundings, Elizabeth observed silently. He looked at her and smiled as he pointed out an outrageous dress in the latest Paris fashion that was displayed in a shop’s window. She found she was smiling in return and enjoying her outing, especially the company of her escort.
They had taken a tour round the market, and at Mr. Darcy’s recommendation, stopped at a local establishment to have their lunch. The chefs displayed dexterity in preparing them a sumptuous meal and an exotic hot tea neither the Gardiners nor their niece had ever tasted before.
The experience of that day added to Elizabeth’s already forming new opinion about Mr. Darcy. On their way back home, the Gardiners left the duo behind while they walked ahead by a little distance.
“Are you are enjoying yourself today?”
Elizabeth nodded her head in response to his question as the walk progressed. “Yes, very much, indeed,” she replied. They were taking almost the same steps.
“Miss Bennet, I hope you do not mind my taking this opportunity to ask…” Mr. Darcy cleared his throat. “How is your eldest sister?”
He could have said few things at this moment that would have surprised her more. She had not expected to ever hear this inquiry coming from his mouth.
“My sister, Jane, was well when last I saw her. I have unfortunately not received any letter from her since our arrival, contrary to my expectations. However, she is a favorite amongst her Gardiner cousins and devotes herself to their care when they visit. I have no doubt they are taking up all her free time.”
“I am glad to hear that she is well. Her welfare has been on my mind much as of late. Would it be too much for me to ask… Is she well in every respect?”
Elizabeth could not answer his question immediately. Her mind was reeling from all that his inquiry implied. After some time she managed to reply, “My sister is as good as might be expected of one who has suffered disappointment.”
They continued in silence for another minute, each deep in their own individual thoughts. “I would like to express my sincere apology for my part in Miss Bennet’s current situation. I have deemed it best to take the opportunity of admitting to Bingley both my misinterpretation of Miss Bennet’s feelings and my interference in his concerns. I shall speak to him directly when his sisters return to London early next week. I believe it likely he will return to Netherfield before long.”
Relief swept over her on hearing this information. Her beloved Jane would get a second chance at happiness she so deserved. “Thank you, Mr. Darcy. If you will allow me, I will use this opportunity to admit my regrets on actions which I have long since realized I had misinterpreted as well. I can assure you that the information you entrusted to me was not read without affect. I shared the particulars of Mr. Wickham’s actions with Jane. It pained her to hear it, as it is not in her nature to think ill of anyone. She tried suggesting there must be a misunderstanding between the two parties. But, even her kind heart could not reconcile the two accounts.” Elizabeth paused for a moment before adding, “I felt it best not to share any other part of the letter with her.”
She was too overcome by emotion to say anything further, but she had said all he needed to hear. Her words gave him hope where for months there had been none.
About the author
Denise O'Hara loves her simple life. Her family, friends, Jane Austen, and the Bee Gees have all brought her so much happiness and times of joy and fun! She has written short stories over the years and been involved in a number of art projects.
She married the only boyfriend she ever had almost 28 years ago and he remains the love of her life and her partner in everything. A real-life Mr. Darcy! : )
They have two kind and loving children who are unbelievably talented.
She started writing JAFF with her Life After the Wedding Series. She has 3 adaptations of Pride and Prejudice out as well: Disdain and Deception, Yours Truly, Mr. Darcy, and her latest, Darcy and Elizabeth: Timeless.
She is thankful for all her readers who have enjoyed her work and encouraged her to continue writing.