Chapter 1

Fitzwilliam Darcy gazed absently out of the carriage window. Beside him, his beloved sister silently, trying to pay attention to what Caroline Bingley was saying. It was the second day of the trip, and Caroline had managed to get into their carriage and accompany them until they reached the next inn where they would spend the night. In a day and a half more, they would finally arrive at Pemberley.

Mr. Darcy had been different since his fateful proposal to Elizabeth Bennet. He had been so sure that she would accept him, that their attraction was mutual, and that she loved him as much as he loved her. But it had all been nothing more than an illusion of his treacherous heart. She did not love him because she thought he was the worst man in the world, and she hated him with the same intensity that he loved her.

Looking back, he admitted he had done nothing to win her affection and admiration. Ever since he met Elizabeth Bennet, he had treated her with contempt and indifference. When he met her, he felt immediately drawn to her, and to mask his attraction, he said a loud insult in the middle of a crowded assembly. Later, and in each of their interactions, he had hidden his admiration and disguised it as indifference.

Today he knew he had missed the opportunity to have a wonderful life with the only woman he could love. But his damned pride had not allowed him to see that a woman like Elizabeth Bennet would never accept an arrogant man who did not respect her, no matter how wealthy and powerful he was.

Mr. Darcy had spent months pondering everything that had happened between them. In the first few weeks, he had bought new clothes and dressed more elegantly than ever to attend all the social events he was invited to. He wanted to find a refined, beautiful, and elegant woman from an influential family to marry and publish in all the newspapers their engagement. He desired Elizabeth could see that he did not need her and that her rejection had not affected him. After several evenings navigating between drawing rooms and ballrooms, he realized that no woman could be compared with the one he had lost.

After that, he was plunged into deep despair. It was common for Mr. Darcy to stay awake and drink excessively to forget everything and everyone. He only reacted when he saw how worried Georgiana was seeing him so lost.

Finally, he could understand better what he had done and realized how wrong he was. When he analyzed every one of his interactions with Elizabeth, he could feel nothing but shame for his behavior. Also, he remembered the letter he wrote with arrogance and disdain in reaction to her rejection. However, he did not blame her for believing in George Wickham's lies because his nemesis was an expert in captivating innocent ladies. After how he behaved in Hertfordshire, it was not difficult to believe he was a ruthless man.

Today, he considered himself a better person, and all thanks to Elizabeth Bennet. From now on, he would try to be a more humble man and, above all, less severe when relating to others. Sadly, Elizabeth would never have the chance to meet this new Mr. Darcy, but he believed she would not care either. Elizabeth would always be in his memory because he still loved her, even more than before. But he knew very well that he should marry to produce the heir his legacy and estate need. If he could not love another woman, he would find one he could at least respect. That was no easy task because he would inevitably, and for a long time, compare all women to Elizabeth Bennet.

"Mr. Darcy, you do not know how happy I am to realize we will spend two weeks in Pemberley. I know I have told you this repeatedly during our trip, but I am so excited. In addition, we will have the possibility of strengthening our friendship even more, my dear Miss Darcy," said Caroline. At the same time, she looked flirtatiously at the most handsome and wealthiest man in her acquaintance. She hoped that on this visit to Pemberley, Mr. Darcy would finally realize that she was the perfect woman to be the new Mrs. Darcy and the new Mistress of Pemberley.

"Yes, Miss Bingley," was all Georgiana could say. She did not like Caroline very much. It was too evident that she had no interest in her and only used her friendship to be close to her brother. Georgiana had not dared to say anything to his brother, but when she learned that Mr. Bingley and his sisters would spend a few weeks in Pemberley, she had planned to visit her Aunt, the Countess of Matlock.

But after seeing how sad and dejected her brother had been, she decided not to leave him alone. Georgiana knew that Mr. Bingley, with his sympathy and good humor, would help her brother feel better. She did not know what had happened to him, but she sensed that there was a woman behind everything. Indeed, a very silly woman because who in her right mind would not want to be loved by an honorable, wealthy, and handsome man like her brother?

"Georgiana, Miss Bingley, I think we are approaching the penultimate stop on our journey." In two more days, and before dusk, we should be reaching Pemberley," explained Mr. Darcy, seeing how uncomfortable his sister was after listening to Miss Bingley's flattery and frivolous conversations for more than three hours.

"It has been so wonderful traveling with you that I beg you to allow me to accompany you both tomorrow," Caroline said, smiling at Mr. Darcy. She was sure he was just as excited as she was. Finally, they would have the opportunity to spend more time together and formalize their relationship.

Mr. Darcy was horrified at the very thought of spending another day locked in a carriage with Miss Bingley. "I am sorry, Miss Bingley, but I must get up at dawn tomorrow. My steward told me that he needed to discuss urgent matters with me. So I will ride my horse for the rest of the trip. If I arrive a day before at Pemberley, I shall be able to solve everything I have pending and have more time to spend with my guests." It was true that he had things to do, but he had used it as an excuse to flee from Caroline. He was sorry for Georgiana and Mrs. Annesley, but he could not bear another hour locked in a carriage with that woman so close to him. But he was also sad to think that if things had been different at that moment, he would have Elizabeth by his side and be the happiest man in the world.

The following day Mr. Darcy got up early in the morning; he had something to eat and set off on his horse for Pemberley.


In the morning, Elizabeth visited Pemberley because one of the inn maids told them the previous night that the family was not home. When she knew that, she agreed to accompany her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner to visit Mr. Darcy's estate the following day. So, after breakfast, they set out for Pemberley. It was a five-mile journey from Lambton, where they were staying.

Elizabeth was impressed with the beauty of the landscape and the elegant mansion. She knew Mr. Darcy was a wealthy gentleman but never thought he was that rich.

Once the first impression had passed, her uncle requested permission to see the house, and the housekeeper agreed to give them a tour and show them the rooms that were open to the public. Mrs. Reynolds told them about the house's history, the family, Mr. Darcy, and his sister. She spoke wonders of her Master, especially highlighting his kindness, intelligence, and, above all, how responsible he was, and diligently he took care of the estate and all the tenants.

"Is the library open to the public?" Elizabeth asked.

"I am sorry, Miss. But the library is not part of the rooms open to the public. Mr. Darcy is very cautious with his personal space. Since he was very little, the library has been one of his favorite places in the house. Only his closest family and friends have access to it." Mrs. Reynolds knew well that Mr. Darcy did not desire intrusive eyes in his most private rooms.

"I understand." Elizabeth was a little disappointed but understood that the housewife had to follow her master's orders. But she was pleased with everything she had seen. Also, the gardens and the adjacent park looked beautiful, and after touring all the gardens, they returned to the inn at lunchtime.

After luncheon, her uncle and Aunt asked Elizabeth if she would like to accompany them to visit an old friend of Mrs. Gardiner's, who had invited them for tea. Elizabeth excused herself by saying that she would take the time to write to Jane and her father to tell them about all the beautiful places she had toured. "Enjoy the time with your friend, and please do not worry about me, my dear Aunt. You know that I can entertain myself doing many different activities," said Elizabeth merrily.

"Alright, Lizzy, but do not stray too far if you go for a walk. These forests are enormous, and it is easy to get lost in them," explained Mrs. Gardiner.

Elizabeth kissed her Uncle and Aunt, and they left. She tried writing a letter to Jane but could not because she was exhausted. The night before, she had slept very little, thinking about her visit to Pemberley and Mr. Darcy.

Elizabeth did not regret rejecting Mr. Darcy, or at least that was what she kept telling herself. The truth was that from the first moment Elizabeth saw him, she felt attracted to him. He was the most handsome man she knew, and he was also intelligent and honorable. However, Elizabeth regretted accusing him of the worst based on Mr. Wickham's lies. That despicable man had used her, and she had blindly believed everything he told her, motivated by the anger that Mr. Darcy's contempt provoked in her.

After trying for a few minutes to write, she decided to lie on her bed to rest for some minutes and did not notice how she fell asleep soundly for almost two hours. Once again, she dreamed of Mr. Darcy declaring his fervent love and utter admiration. But this time, he said nothing about her family or connections and limited himself to telling her he loved her. In her dream, she accepted his proposal, and they married. Later, they were at Pemberley, and he showed her the library and told her that she could read all the books she wanted. Also, they walked around the garden together, and he cut a few flowers and gave them to her. He finally kissed her, and just then she woke up.

"I do not know what I shall do with these absurd dreams. Why do I keep dreaming of this? I cannot believe my bad luck; now, I shall dream of him and Pemberley. Luckily, I could not see the library, or I would be dreaming about that too." Elizabeth said resignedly. By then, she was used to dreaming about Mr. Darcy.

She decided to go for a walk to clear her mind. After washing her face and combing her hair, she left her room. Inadvertently, and after walking for a little over an hour, she found herself on the path bordering the forest encircling Pemberley.

From there, she could see the small lake surrounding the beautiful mansion. She was far from the place, so there was no danger of anyone discovering her prying. She sat on a rock and contemplated the entire landscape for a few minutes. She could not help but think about what would have happened without so many misunderstandings between them. Perhaps she would be the Mistress of everything she observed from afar. But she knew deep down that they could never have been happy together. She could not live next to such a proud and haughty gentleman, and he could never have wholly accepted her family.

"I think it is better that I forget about all this. Goodbye Pemberley! I will never see you again, Mr. Darcy, and you will be just in my dreams." Elizabeth said with resignation. When she started walking back, she realized that a storm was coming. The weather in Derbyshire was quite unpredictable.

Suddenly, she was surprised by a terrible downpour and a mighty wind. Also, the storm and the grey clouds darkened the road, making it difficult to see the path, so she ran to seek shelter among the trees. Unfortunately, without noticing, her foot got tangled, and she lost her balance and fell hard on the ground. When she fell, she hit her head and was left unconscious in the middle of the road and the rain.


Mr. Darcy had been riding for almost two days and enjoyed the solitude; it helped him reflect and make some decisions. He was determined to finally speak to Bingley and tell him how he hid the information that Jane Bennet had been trying to contact him in London. He would apologize to his friend and support him in everything, no matter his decision. Besides, he had resolved to stay at Pemberley for the rest of the year. He knew Georgiana would be happy with the idea because she did not like London.

He was so engrossed in his thoughts that he did not realize a storm was coming. When the rain and the wind began, he no longer had time to seek refuge at the inn in Lambton, so he decided to continue to Pemberley.

He was riding fast when suddenly his horse got scared and stopped abruptly. A more inexperienced rider would have lost control of the reins and fallen sharply to the ground. After calming his horse, he dismounted to see what had scared the animal. As he approached, he realized a wounded woman was on the side of the road. He took her in his arms and led her to a small shelter formed between the foliage of the trees.

"Miss, wake up. How do you feel? , Do you remember what happened to you? Mr. Darcy asked, concerned and did not know what to do. He could look for help and leave the woman there or stay with her and wait for the rain to stop and get help. The young lady was totally soaked and hurt.

Mr. Darcy removed her bonnet to examine her head and see if she had any injuries. The woman had part of her hair on her face and was a bit muddy. Mr. Darcy decided to wipe her face to see if she was not hurt, took out his handkerchief from his coat, moistened it in the rain, and began wiping the woman's face. After removing all the hair and cleaning her face, he could not believe his eyes.

"MISS BENNET! Elizabeth, please wake up. What are you doing here, Miss Bennet? No, God, please. You cannot punish me like this. Elizabeth, my love, what is wrong with you?" Mr. Darcy was desperate because he did not know what to do or what to say. How did Elizabeth get there? If life had decided to punish him for his arrogance, it was doing it in a very cruel manner.

Elizabeth felt a slight headache; she had tried to open her eyes and had not succeeded. She felt cold, but now she was in someone's arms, and that person was saying her name. Once she managed to regain some consciousness, she realized that she was in Mr. Darcy's arms. He had his head buried in her hair and seemed to be praying.

She woke up believing she was still dreaming and asleep in the inn bed. "Mr. Darcy, I am well. My head hurts a little, but I am alright. Please, do not be concerned; this is just a dream."

"Elizabeth! Thank God." It was the only thing Mr. Darcy managed to say while he hugged the woman he loved tightly. He was so happy that he did not notice that he was breaking more than one social rule.

Elizabeth was very excited, and she decided to respond in kind. In her mind, she was in the middle of a dream, and that would allow her to do and say everything she would not dare to do awake. "Mr. Darcy, I am so happy to be with you and love how you hold me. It feels wonderful! I want to tell you that I do not regret turning you down. But I also want to tell you that I have spent countless hours thinking about and dreaming about you. I have often imagined what it would be like to be in your arms and feel your kisses."

Mr. Darcy thought that this was precisely a dream. However, his dreams had never been so sweet and genuine. He immediately glanced at Elizabeth and saw how she looked at him with equal intensity. "Elizabeth, my sweet and beloved Elizabeth, how I love you."

Without thinking more, he began to kiss her on the lips. At first, he kissed her gently, and feeling she sought his mouth with equal enthusiasm; he continued kissing her in a manner he had never kissed anyone before.


This story is now available in KU, In a dream, Miranda Flan.

Many thanks!