Chapter 2

Miss Bingley was furious. Once again, they had to stop due to the constant rain that did not allow them to continue traveling. She had planned to arrive the following day in Pemberley and was so excited to visit what would be her future home. Pemberley was the largest and most prosperous estate in all of Derbyshire, and it was everything she needed to be happy.

Unfortunately, to be near Mr. Darcy, she had to feign interest in the silly Georgiana Darcy, a girl who could barely express her opinion, so shy and withdrawn. The good thing was that once she was Mrs. Darcy, she did not intend to be around her anymore. She knew Georgiana would not be a problem, and she would ask her husband to set up a house for her future sister-in-law to live there with her companion.

But since she had not yet achieved her goal, she had no choice but to be friendly with the girl. "My dear Georgiana, how good we can spend this time together. The wait would have been much more exhausting if it were not for your company."

"Thank you, Caroline," replied Georgiana with a timid smile.

They had been detained all day by the rain. Because of that, the trip was delayed by a full day. Georgiana was grateful for Mrs. Annesley's company, and fortunately, Caroline had not traveled with them in the Darcy carriage. Without Mr. Darcy, Caroline preferred to travel in Mr. Bingley's carriage with her family.

Charles Bingley tried to read a book to entertain himself while waiting for the rain to stop. But he had never been a great reader, so he quickly got bored. As always, when he was alone and without much to do, his mind longed for those beautiful days he had spent in Netherfield. In Hertfordshire, he had met many friendly people and one of the most beautiful and remarkable women in all his acquaintance. But, sadly, she did not love him, and he did not want to marry a lady looking just for financial stability. He was wealthy and wanted a woman to appreciate him for who he was and not for his money. Furthermore, neither his family nor his best friend approved his relationship with her because she had no dowry or connections.

Unfortunately, when it stopped raining, it was too late to continue traveling, so they all resigned themselves to the fact that only the next day they would be able to continue the journey. Georgiana retired to her room early, and Mr. Bingley, his sisters, and Mr. Hurst played cards and discussed the lives of others for a few more hours until they finally retired to rest, praying that the next day the weather would allow them to continue traveling.


Mr. Darcy had closed his eyes, feeling the thousands of sensations Elizabeth's kiss provoked in him. He had never felt such great emotion and felt like he was in paradise. For her part, Elizabeth was just as lost as him in the kiss. Her head hurt slightly more than when she opened her eyes, but she was still confused. She did not know if what was happening was real or just a dream. But it was all so exciting that it could not be real. She could never be in the middle of nowhere, in Mr. Darcy's arms, kissing him so outrageously. Therefore, she decided that she would take advantage of every second of her dream to get an idea of what it would have been like to be the wife of the most handsome but arrogant and conceited man she had ever met.

Mr. Darcy finally realized what he was doing and reluctantly ended the kiss. They were soaked in the middle of the road, and it had stopped raining. "My sweet love," said Mr. Darcy, whispering on the lips of his beloved Elizabeth, "I shall take you to my house, which will soon be yours. Also, I shall call a doctor to examine you. Do you think you can walk?"

Elizabeth was even more perplexed than before. As soon as Mr. Darcy stopped kissing her, the headache became more intense, and she began to shiver with cold. "I am freezing, Mr. Darcy." She could not continue speaking because she began to shiver so hard that it took away the energy she required to express her thoughts coherently.

Mr. Darcy was immediately concerned. "Do not worry, my dear Elizabeth; we are very close to home. Let me help you to walk. I shall take you on my horse, so we can get there faster. Besides, I am not sure you can walk much." Mr. Darcy immediately stood up and helped Elizabeth to do so. At that moment, he realized that the handkerchief, with which he had wiped Elizabeth's face, had some blood on it. He looked more closely at her face and realized she had a small cut on the right side of her forehead and an incipient bump.

Elizabeth tried to stand up but could not, so Mr. Darcy took her in his arms and carried her to where the horse was. He mounted quickly and grabbed her by the waist to finally seat her next to him in the saddle. "My love, hold me tight so that I can go fast. In less than two minutes, we will be in Pemberley." After saying that, Mr. Darcy ordered his horse to start galloping.

Elizabeth's headache was even stronger from the movement of the horse. So she hugged Mr. Darcy as tightly as she could and rested her head on his shoulder. It had already cleared entirely, and the mid-afternoon sunlight illuminated the path. She could not help but think about what she had discovered while hugging him. First, Mr. Darcy had a solid body, but also, his face was even more appealing when seen from so close. She could not help but notice he had not shaved and had stubble, which made him look so handsome.

That was, without a doubt, the weirdest dream she had ever had, and she planned to make the most of it. Once she woke up, everything would return to how it was before. She would be alone, and Mr. Darcy would be in his own life, surrounded by wealthy and influential people like him.

Elizabeth had to keep her arms tight around Mr. Darcy's torso to not fall off the horse. That is why she could not touch his growing beard with her hands but could not resist the urge to touch it. So she began to kiss his cheek to feel her with her lips. Then, suddenly, while she continued kissing him in that intimate manner, she asked him. "What do you think I should call you, my husband? Because Mr. Darcy is very formal." As she said that, she kept kissing his face, hypnotized by the sensation of the rough beard on her soft lips. She had assumed that in her dream, they were husband and wife.

Mr. Darcy was so excited and delighted with the situation that he did not know how to answer her question for several seconds. Elizabeth's playful little kisses on his face had brought him a series of inexplicable giggles, but her question astonished him. She had not only dreamed of him all this time, but she had also dreamed of being his wife. "My beloved wife Elizabeth, you can call me Fitzwilliam or William, as my mother called me," said him trying to control his emotions. He just wanted to stop the horse and kiss his Elizabeth as he had done minutes ago.

"MMMMMM," Elizabeth said as she continued to kiss Mr. Darcy on his cheek.

"What does that mean?" He asked, laughing.

"I think in dreams like this, and if I have a dream like this again, I shall call you William, especially when you have a beard as tempting as this one. You know, it makes you look so handsome. But when I wake up and remember you with that haughty and arrogant attitude, I shall think about how lucky I am not to have married Fitzwilliam." Elizabeth started laughing but immediately stopped because it caused an intense headache, and she could not keep talking or reasoning clearly. Then, without realizing it, she fell asleep again.

Mr. Darcy did not quite understand what Elizabeth had said, but when he went to ask her what she meant, they had already arrived in front of the house, and one of the footmen had come out to greet him. So he dismounted his horse and took Elizabeth into his arms, who was unconscious again.

"Taylor, call Mrs. Reynolds and Wilson immediately," Mr. Darcy said in a commanding voice.

Mrs. Reynolds and the butler came immediately. "Mrs. Reynolds, I found Miss Bennet injured on the north path. Please get her a room, a hot bath, and clean clothes as quickly as possible. Wilson, go immediately to find Dr. Evans and tell him to come immediately."

The butler promptly went in search of the doctor. Mrs. Reynolds, on the other hand, called two maids to help her prepare the room and the hot bath. "Rose, Sarah, prepare the blue room in the guest wing..."

"No, Mrs. Reynolds, Miss Bennet will be staying in the family wing," ordered Mr. Darcy. "You should take her to the room Lady Margaret uses when she visits us."

Mrs. Reynolds was stunned, but as a good housekeeper, she said nothing. She only followed her master's directions. He was carrying the unconscious lady in his arms toward the family rooms.

Once they entered the room, Mrs. Reynolds asked Mr. Darcy to wait outside so that she could take care of the lady. One of the maids had gone to Georgiana's room in search of a nightgown so that after bathing the stranger, they could dress her in something clean and dry.

Mrs. Reynolds undressed Elizabeth and put her in the warm water. Elizabeth regained consciousness but was too exhausted and in pain to say anything. She just thought her dream was getting weirder and more absurd every minute. Once the two maids had bathed her, fixed her hair, and put her nightgown on, Mrs. Reynolds could recognize the girl. She was the same young lady who had been touring the house with her family during the morning.

The doctor who lived close to Pemberley arrived in a few minutes. He went straight to Elizabeth's room and examined her in the presence of Mrs. Reynolds. After that, Elizabeth woke up again and could answer a few questions that the doctor asked. Finally, Dr. Evans and Mrs. Reynolds left Elizabeth's room to speak with Mr. Darcy.

He was waiting outside, very nervous and incessantly pacing from one place to another. Finally, when he saw the doctor at once, he asked, "Doctor, how is my betrothed?"

Years of training to be a discreet servant helped Mrs. Reynolds not to faint because she had no idea that her dear Master was engaged. She corresponded closely with her cousin Mr. Jones, who was Darcy House butler in London. He had told her that Mr. Darcy had been very ill for several months, sad, melancholy, and with bad habits; he ate little and drank too much. She panicked at the thought that her dear Master had made a hasty decision or that the unconscious lady had done something to compromise him. She would have to find out with her cousin. Unfortunately, the London housekeeper was new, and she did not know her well.

"The lady is well but a little confused about where she is and what happened to her, but that is natural, considering the blow she had on the head. With some days of rest, she should fully recover. But she must stay in bed and rest. I shall return in three days, and if I assess that she has recovered, she can slowly return to her usual routine."

"Thank you, doctor. You do not know the relief I feel to know that this little accident has not been serious. My betrothed likes to walk very much and sometimes takes more risks than necessary." Mr. Darcy thanked the doctor again and tried to enter Elizabeth's room, but Mrs. Reynolds did not allow him to do it.

"Excuse me, Mr. Darcy, but it is inappropriate for you to enter a lady's room. Besides, you are still wearing those wet clothes, and a hot bath is waiting for you in your room. Please, change your clothes, and I shall send you something to eat. Another thing, do Miss Bennet's relatives know she is here?" Mrs. Reynolds was curious to know what was happening and how it had turned out that the young lady who toured the house in the morning had practically ended up being her future Mistress. She recognized that she was quite pretty, but since Mr. Darcy had inherited Pemberley and the Darcy fortune, he had been chased by lots of beautiful women, and he had never behaved like an immature adolescent as he was doing now.

On his part, Mr. Darcy reacted from all the excitement that had not allowed him to think clearly. No doubt Elizabeth was traveling with family, and he should be in charge of informing them and obtaining formal consent to announce their engagement. After everything that had happened between them that afternoon, marriage was inevitable. Furthermore, after kissing and holding her in his arms, he felt he could not live without her anymore. "I am sorry, Mrs. Reynolds, but did you say Miss Bennet was with her family?"

"Yes, sir, she and her uncle and aunt visited Pemberley this morning. They are from London, the gentleman is Mr. Gardiner, and they are staying at the Lambton Inn. If you wish, I can send one of the footmen to inform Miss Bennet's relatives what has happened and that she is safe here."

From the information Mrs. Reynolds provided, he concluded that Elizabeth was traveling with her uncle, a tradesman who lived near Cheapside. Although he did not like the idea of talking to that gentleman and much less inviting Mrs. Bennet's male version to his house, he knew he had no choice. He was willing to do anything to make the woman he loved happy. "It is not necessary, Mrs. Reynolds. I shall go personally to inform them about everything that has happened. Please prepare two more rooms because I shall invite them to spend Miss Bennet's recovering days with us."

"Yes, sir." That was all Mrs. Reynolds said. She did not like the idea that his Master had no time to rest. But she knew he was stubborn, and it was almost impossible to make him change his mind.


Archibald Denny was a man of nearly twenty-six. He was the son of a very prosperous tradesman. His grandfather and father had been poor, but they worked hard all their lives and managed to consolidate a solid financial position. Denny had decided to enlist in the army so that he could experience a different life and be able to interact with people from other social classes. His father and grandfather could barely read and write and did not talk about anything besides business and money. Also, his mother was a good, hardworking woman and was very proud of him.

He had risen to the rank of captain quickly and very soon planned to become a colonel. His idea was to stay in the army until he was thirty-five, after achieving honor and some medals. After that, he would work in the family business. He planned to use all of his experience and knowledge acquired in military life to grow the business and make it more profitable than it already was.

Archibald was a practical man. He was not handsome, and more than one woman had told him to his face that he was pretty ugly. Also, he was not inexperienced because he had lived the typical life of a young military man. Throughout his life, he had had more than one affair with a barmaid and married women in search of a romance with a young man. But he never fell in love until he met Lydia Bennet.

Lydia was the daughter of a gentleman of not much fortune but with a long family history. She was also young and beautiful, in his opinion, the most beautiful of all the Bennet sisters. Women this gorgeous had never even looked at him, yet his beloved Lydia had not only noticed him, but she had flirted with him, and one day she had briefly kissed him on the lips. That day she showed him she loved him as much as he loved her.

That is why he was so excited. That evening there was a social gathering at the Forsters' house, and he would see and spend time with Lydia. He only prayed that they could go out to the garden for a moment to have a chance to steal a kiss from her again.


Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner returned to the inn a little after five in the afternoon, and they did not find Elizabeth in their rooms. The innkeeper informed them that she had left more than three hours ago and had not returned. Elizabeth's Aunt and Uncle were not uneasy initially, but they began to worry when it was past seven. Luckily, it was the middle of summer, meaning the sunlight lasted until after nine at night.

"I shall wait just another half hour, Madeline, and go looking for her," said Mr. Gardiner, very concerned.

"And I shall accompany you. I am afraid Lizzy is lost in the woods or trapped somewhere because of the rain." Mrs. Gardiner knew the surroundings well and had an idea where she would start looking.

The innkeeper was going through some accounts when she saw the wealthiest and most powerful man in the entire area enter, none other than Fitzwilliam Darcy himself. "Mr. Darcy, I am delighted to see you. Please tell me, how can I help you?"

"I wish to speak to Mr. Gardiner," he said.

"It is your lucky day, sir! Mr. Gardiner and his wife are here in the room," said the innkeeper, indicating a couple near the fireplace talking.

"Thank you very much," said Mr. Darcy and went where the Gardiners were. He took a deep breath and told himself to be patient. He was willing to make this sacrifice and much more for the only woman he had ever loved.


This story is now available in KU, In a dream, Miranda Flan. By mistake, this book was not enrolled in KU, but we fixed it, and you can read it for free if you have KU.

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