Darcy Meets His Match
"Come Darcy I must see you dance. I hate to see you standing about in this stupid manner." Bingley eyed Darcy to determine the effects of his advice, though he didn't know why he bothered; Darcy always did exactly as he pleased regardless. The present instance was no exception.
"I most certainly shall not. At an assembly such as this. It would be insupportable." Darcy spoke from habit, more than observation. He had long since grown bored with the foolish and fawning behavior of society. No one had an opinion of their own unless it was fashionable. But in deference to Bingley he added, "Your sisters are engaged at present. And you know it would be a punishment for me to stand up with any other woman in the room."
Bingley, true to form, objected violently, remarking on the fastidious behavior of his friend. Darcy, unfazed, merely grunted. Bingley was so predictable. So was Miss Bingley for that matter. It pleased him to think he could anticipate the behavior of almost his entire range of acquaintance, even those newly met. That irksome Mrs. Bennet for example....
At that moment Bingley was still occupied spotting a suitable dance partner for his friend. He motioned towards a young brunette sitting alone and remarked that she was very pretty and agreeable.
Darcy glanced at her and found her not all remarkable and as too agreeable, with a mother such as Mrs. Bennet he found that highly unlikely. "She is tolerable I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me," he declared, and then added for good measure, "Bingley I'm in no humor to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men." In fact, Darcy severely doubted he was in humor to give consequence to any young lady. Limited in their understanding and narrow minded in their goals (he could perceive Miss Bingley eyeing him from across the room), he much preferred a book or the solitude of the outdoors.
His meditations were interrupted as he observed Miss Bennet rise from her seat, and smirk knowingly at him before joining her friend Miss Lucas. Both broke into peals of laughter. Darcy realized she must have overheard his criticism and was astonished at her reaction to it. She did not look tearful or sullen as he had expected. In fact, she turned the tables on him. He rallied his pride, which after all he had plenty of, and stalked across the room. His curiosity was piqued: Miss Elizabeth Bennet would warrant further study.
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ns. I am so pleased to see you and your bride in such excellent health. Indeed I am exceedingly impressed with the splendor of your beautiful grounds....."