Excerpt - Mr. Darcy's Pledge
It was a warm, sticky night, one of those summer nights when, even with the windows open, it was difficult to breathe. When Darcy finally managed to drift off, after what seemed like hours of waiting in vain for sleep to overcome him, a thunderclap roused him. He trudged to the windows to close them. The rain provided no relief from the heat; quite the opposite. With the windows closed, the room grew even more oppressive. His brief periods of slumber were flooded with torrid dreams that ended in disappointment. In one particularly vivid dream, he thought Elizabeth was running towards him, but as he reached out to embrace her, he realized she was looking behind him at Wickham. In the dream, he was compelled to look on as Wickham came forward to seize her and plant his lips on hers.
Darcy sat up in his bed and ran his hands over his face in despair. Now both Wickham and Elizabeth were invading his dreams. Even if he was able to control his thoughts in the daytime, he could not control them at night.
It simply would not do. Something had to be done about it before long or he feared for his sanity.
The only way he would be able to forget Elizabeth was to replace her with a real-life bride. The problem was he did not wish to be hasty in his choice. He could not allow himself to be ruled either by passion or desperation. He wanted to choose calmly and rationally.
What then was he waiting for?
The sooner he decided what an ideal bride for Pemberley should be like, the sooner he could begin his search.
Full of determination, he rose and dressed without the assistance of his valet. Sequestering himself in the library, he sat at his desk, sharpened a quill, and began to write.
List of Requirements for a Wife: