Really fantastic. Your style, your writing is better and better.
And yes, just what evil WILL Wickham do with that ring?
Please give us the next part soon!
What a fantastic chapter. Almost worth the long wait. I say almost because I am a very selfish reader and always want more, longer and immediately. But this was a most satisfying chapter being long and action packed. Please have James follow her back soon, in one piece and with little heartache. I am very worried about that ring being missing. And I have a feeling Mal is going to be great with child by the time she delivers her message to Elizabeth. Please Tanya, keep writing. Love this story --and your writing is so lush, seductive and pure.
Thanks for the divine chapter, Tanya! Wickham is bad. He doesn't care who he hurts. I hope that Elizabeth gets the message and stops recommending him to others. I am glad Charles was good to Malvina but that she feels something very different with Jamie. So glad for the update...thanks!!
Can we get back to Elizabeth and Darcy please?
Tanya what a chapter, in my heart I always want more D&E. You have written James,Malvine and Ruth so well I can't help wondering what is next.
As for Icky Wicky why do I feel his missing days had something to do with the missing map and missing belongings? Why do I think he sold them all out to the highest bidder? Or was he caught with a young boy and force either way he is pond scum.
Why hasn't James written and told Lizzy how revolting Wicky is? At least maybe Mal will give her the truth and may be Lizzy will actually Listen.
So at this point in the story how long have Darcy and Lizzy been estranged?
Thank you thank you thank you for this new post and I'm looking forward to the next.
How soon before you finish this? Any idea?
It's a great tale, and you are an exceptional writer. But reading an unfinished story like this is nails across a blackboard--painful--so you can ease my agony by offering some kind of end-in-sight. If possible. . .I realize that it can be hard to say.
Always glad for the update
Mal isn't really barren right?
I hope James returns to England soon.
Is Wickham dead yet? I guess that would be too wishful of me, after all you're going to have him havocking in E&D again. Or at least to confirm Darcy's story, if he will tell - he will eventually tell the truth right?
What is the ring about? I hope to read something of E&D in the next chapter. Let pary that this journey back to England is pleasant and smooth sailing for Mal.
I love this story, please update again soon.
Tanya -- This is a glorious chapter (ch. 29), rich and full of vivid detail and emotion -- I love your writing style which seems to have become even more compelling since you began this wonderful story. My family had to wait for me to read this chapter before I began preparations for Thanksgiving dinner -- this was my special treat for the day. I am eager to read the next, but can see why this type of crafting can't be rushed.
Oops I meant chapter 28! (or was that just wishful thinking) -- again, thank you, thank you, thank you for such a lush and heartwrenching chapter with the promise that we will soon hear more of our beloved E&D -- but now I must confess I am just as interested in M&J! So many story lines to be woven together -- it will take skilled crafting to weave them all together -- which I trust you can, Tanya. I can understand why this would take time -- as much as I literally ache for more!!!
So happy to have a posting from this story. It has been too long since we spent time with these characters. I'm looking forward to the next installment!
ahh! you updated!
this is one of my absolute favorite stories on this site, and I was soo excited to see a new chapter. Please please please let more follow!??
wonderful, wonderful chapter, but I have to agree with Ellie, can we get back to elizabeth and darcy?
i think their angst might drive me mad. but thank you so much!
great chapter, hoping for more soon! (yes, i am that selfish)
Oh, happy day!
My motherboard went and I have been computer-less for weeks.
I just got a new Mac and, joy of all joys, a new chapter of Strange Bedfellows!
I could hardly believe my eyes!
What a great chapter!
Wickham's got that ring, I just know it! The fiend!
I love Mal and James.
This is my favorite story.
Thank you,thank you, thank you!
What a wonderful story. I must say (and I truly mean this) that this is one of the best stories I have ever read. I love your Elizabeth. You write her in a different manner than most, but I find I have become quite engrossed in her story, in it all actually down to every last character. What an imagination you have! And I am only so pleased that you are sharing it with us.
Does anyone know what is wrong with Hyacinth Gardens?
An absolutely riveting chapter! Poor Malvina suffered another loss and such traumatic experience! I hope James will finish off his business fast and set off to england asap. Hope we don't have to wait too long for your next chapter, Tanya :P
*Sigh* Wonderful!! As usual. :D I'm so thrilled that you're still writing, Tanya! Thanks for such a riveting chapter. Thanks, Renee, for posting it! I can't wait for more!
OMG! such riveting andheart-wrentching update.I love Malvina such a strong & wise person. I cannot wait for her to set foot in England I miss Darcy and E. and whatever happens to them while Capt. Bennet & Malvina took the stage.Thank you so much for this update will never forget this story.
Just checking to see if Santa left me the present I really want--an update in this story.
Also, while I very much like the Malvina and James chapters, I am eager to see the story reunite and integrate all the characters in an update.
As for what Wickham is holding over Darcy, I would guess that during the public school years, Darcy saw Wickham rape another boy, probably someone younger. Darcy was outraged but wished to protect the victim's identity and kept the secret. This explanation would also coincide with Darcy being so adamant to his father that Wickham had to go, and yet unforthcoming about exactly why. I also think that if Wickham had touched Darcy, Darcy would have killed Wickham--probably on the spot. That is why I think it unlikely Darcy is the direct victim.
Protecting someone else's secret also explains why Darcy does not want to tell Elizabeth--and if this or something like this is the secret, then Darcy is also protecting Elizabeth from learning something he probably believes too horrible for her to know. She is still quite young and innocent, and so far, Darcy's protectiveness has prevented him from taking her virginity despite ample opportunity during heavy petting sessions--and despite his fervid desire. I think he has held back because he has not thought she was ready even if she consented.
Of course, taking her virginity would also destroy their fragile claim to annuling their marriage, should either of them ever really want that. Tanya, please post and relieve me of my suffering suppositions and speculations!
Wow. This is such a well written and exciting story. I can hardly guess what will happen next and I just can wait to keep reading. Thanks for taking the time to write this story.
oh. Can I cry now? please?
poor mal! it is cruel, you know that tanya, to separate her from james? ok, ok, I know you have something in store for us for the next chapter... so I won't complain any more (but you will better write of james going back to her really soon... )
what I'm hoping for is that Mal becomes friends with Elizabeth and makes hr understand that stupid Wickham is a *#§£%&$! so that she will begin to understand why Darcy acted that way?
(Lacy, your theory about the secret is pure genius! why haven't I thought of it myself ...)
and I want a grand finale... I want Wickham back to england after james and I want a big fight and I want that james and darcy to finally kick his ass! so they will be friends again? *__* )
Oh, please finish this story! It's absolutely amazeing!! I began to read it at HG, but it wasn't finished
I love your writing
This is hands down one of the best stories I have ever read. I am just as captivated by Mal and James as I am Darcy and Elizabeth. I eagerly await any words you have written about any characters you choose to share with us. I was literally holding my breath during the attack on the fort. Poor Mal, to lose her husband and her father in one year. Please don't let anything happen to James. Mal deserves her happily ever after.
Contessa, thank you for saying you think my theory of why Darcy despises Wickham (from my earlier post)is correct. It's one possibility. However, if it turns out that Darcy and Wickham were strange bedfellows while at public school, and that Darcy hates Wickham for it--well, I understand that, too.
Perhaps Wickham tricked Darcy at a vulnerable moment and Darcy awakened to find to his horror that he was in a compromising sexual position with Wickham. Waking up in the middle of the night and finding himself clutching Wickham or feeling pleasure at Wickham's touch--although it is understandable that young boys might experiment--I think it would also be enough for Wickham to earn Darcy's unending enmity if Wickham somehow entrapped Darcy. Perhaps he even sought to blackmail him, and Wickham found that Darcy don't play that.
Darcy would feel great anger at Wickham--and perhaps some shame at his own behavior, although he did not indulge fully knowing. This would also not be something Darcy would want to disclose to his father or his wife. Instead, Darcy saw to it that Wickham was removed from his life and his privileges curtailed. Understandable and fitting.
If this is the case, I hope Darcy learns to forgive himself and to share his secret, if not with his father than certainly with his wife.
OMG Lacy you've got it. Darcy couldn't hurt Elizabeth with what he know's it would kill her. But who could he be protecting? James, her father? Oh me oh my Please Tanya relieve our suffering and soon.
I'll add my voice to the pleas! This is an amazing story, and I just can't wait to read more! I hope RL is going well, Tanya, and good luck!
It has been a while since I begged for more of this story, but here I am again. Please post soon!!!! I have given up on trying to solve the mystery. I get too involved and it drives me crazy.
I read your story so far, and I thought it was wonderful. If you are able I'd really like to see this finished. Because with such a great story it can be a bit frustrating not knowing what will happen next and thinking it might be a while before we will find out.
i still dont think there was anything sexually between darcy and wickham. yes i have read it again all the way through. i like the last posting with malvina and james. now i hope you update the darcy/lizzy part of the story. i'm trying to paitently wait, but it's really hard.
Re Lacy's theory: Then why would Darcy wake up in a sweat for years and feel shame? If he saved someone, he would feel only pride. It was he who was compromised I think. He also wonders if he should warn James, but "James is no longer a 14 year old," so Wickham probably preys on young boys and weak, vulnerable girls, not grown men and women. Coward that he is. His crimes seem more about sadism and power than about lust and sex. See my earlier comments about homoeroticism in the work.
Maybe he feels guilt and has anxiety because he seen Wickam take advantage of somebody else and didn't do anything about it. This would be something the prim and proper Darcy would feel guilty about and ashamed.
Then why would he have paid off Wickham for years? If he knew something that Wickham had done to another, Darcy could have made Wickham pay (not that he would) rather than the other way around.
But you did make an interesting point. There are so many ways this story can go. I wonder if Tanya has it all worked out in her mind already.
Since Elizabeth and Darcy are still 8 years apart (17 and 25), I have a feeling that we have to wait until she's 20, and he's 28 to see the marriage really take off!
"Since Elizabeth and Darcy are still 8 years apart (17 and 25), I have a feeling that we have to wait until she's 20, and he's 28 to see the marriage really take off"
I went back to the first comment on this story, and ironically, it's BEEN three years since Tanya began posting this story here! LOL!
I have a lot to say about this fantastic story! You know a story is good by the way it affects you: I really dislike Elizabeth. The picture you paint of her brings out exasperation like no other "Lizzy" I have ever encountered. I hate this word but she is a pure bonified shrew and it has nothing to do with her age.
Now I know the couple does have a history starting at a very early age, much of it unpleasant. Although Darcy still mispeaks (actually even when he tries not to, Lizzy lights into him like a torch sometimes for no reason) and Elizabeth remains terribly angry because of the loss of her father, an arranged marriage and a strong desire to see her brother, all of this making her feel deserted and alone. I guess it fuels her resentments toward Darcy so they fight all the time. My problem is that they come to know each other better such that she begins to see his good qualities. Affection begins to grow and the physical aspect of their union also begins to develop.
Then BOOM! Wickham appears and just that quickly it's all over because Darcy is not prepared to satisfy Elizabeth's misplaced curiousity about his and Wickham's past issues right away (especially the part about Georgiana). She accepts Wickham's word, a total stranger and refuses to give her husband the benefit of the doubt as if their learning to care for one another means absolutely nothing. Oh, this goes much deeper that just a mistake because she has experienced the positive strengths in Darcy's character yet chooses to take the word of a someone with whom she has no history and no proof of his allegations and leave her husband. It's as if there is nothing Darcy can do to convince her that that he's a worthy human being.
I think I can safely say that this is a flaw in Lizzy's character in that she doesn't seem to understand the concept of loyalty in reference to Darcy. So what is his parting shot? He sends Elizabeth's maid to see after her with her wages paid up in advance and she isn't even affected enough to see something other than full separation. I just don't get it!
Your almost painfully slow development of their relationship is masterfully done. Your descriptions of every encounter, every emotion and every incident along the way are amazingly detailed, engendering feelings that are hard for me to control as I am reading. I would call them excruciatingly enthralling! I think I would give my right arm just to be able to have the completed version of your tale in fron of me at this very moment!!
ok. I had to go back and read it again to make sure I wasn't being too harsh. I wasn't! However, I did make an error or two; one being the involvement of Georgiana, another about the fact that they had agreed to separate when Darcy's father passed and the other about Darcy's extremely angry reaction to Elizabeth's query. There were points made on both sides in the ensuing argument. I don't know, perhaps Darcy could have calmly emphasized that this "secret" was one that was just to difficult for him to discuss as that time. Maybe she would have understood that she did not automatically have the right to demand it of him, something that she saw was turning him inside-out.
Sorry for worrying this subject so. I can't help it, your story is way to fascinating!
Where is Chapter 29??? Please, don't keep us waiting much longer! One of the best P&P fanfic's ever!
I can't wait for another installment. This is riveting and I know I'm going to be dreaming about them now.
Your story is awesome! I've been reading for three years...
Please, update soon! The waiting is killing us.
Thank you so much Nozipo Wobogo for your comment. I too have been frustrated/disgusted by Elizabeth's stupidity to the extent that I don't even care if she and Darcy make up - she doesn't deserve him! I think she needs to suffer a great deal before there can be any sense of justice in a reconcilliation.
I feel I must write in defence of Elizabeth!
What I think moonspinner and nozipo have forgotten is that Elizabeth in this story is very young. She was only 16 when she married Darcy - nearly still a child.
Darcy, on the other hand, is an adult and didn't always act like one in his dealings with Elizabeth.
Yes Elizabeth is willful, young and a bit gullible, and should have trusted Darcy in their row over sordid Wickham and his sordid tale.
But she had every reason to despise and mistrust him for years before they married, even when Darcy began his wooing of her. He didn't make it easy for her to trust him.
I do not think they will, or should, get together for a few years yet, they both need to mature a bit.
Elizabeth has had a lot to cope with in her young life and probably falling in love with Darcy was at the top of that. Something she wasn't expecting.
So ladies, be easy on her!
I absolutely love this story and hope and hope that the next chapter is not long away.
WOW! You've been writing this story for three years????!! When I read that I was amazed! I only started reading it a week ago, and I'm already impatient (:
One of the best fanfics I've read!
Because of my position on Lizzy's attitude, I was expecting some serious "hate mail"! I'm glad someone understands my point of view and you are correct, she doesn't deserve him.
Point taken. The idea overrunning my thoughts is that in spite of her age and their history, there were multiple reasons for her to see him in a different light than the average man. One example would be him not pressuring her to consummate their marriage. The position of women being what it was at that time would make this show of consideration highly unusual. This one fact alone should have been worth millions to one as young as she. The other is her overblown sense of justice in favor of one whom she does not know. Even a child would chose the known over the unknown in spite of past events and especially where the kindness shown to her by both men was equal then. This is gullibility on steroids.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that breaking up her family was a severe step that even one so young would hesitate to take. She could be angry, she could continue to try to convince him to tell her, she could ask him to give her something of what emotion was overtaking him when he thought about it or any number of alternatives. Instead she chose the break-up which was, on it's face, shrewish, mean spirited and vindictive. In Darcy's words, "If ever I was unkind to you, You have since repaid me with interest!" and even Lizzy could "...not deny it." Thoughts?
Given all the tender moments Elizabeth and Darcy have shared, it does stretch credibility that her concern for Wickham could ALONE be the reason she is putting up walls. Yes, she is principled and cares for the underdog, but--remember how hot it was in the study when Darcy gave her her first big O. And when he took her to the Liars' Club and disclosed that he does, indeed, love her. How does a girl walk away from that?
I suspect that Elizabeth wants Darcy so much she is afraid. They came together only to please his father. She may be acting shrewish for a woman of twenty-one who has lived in the world and knows something--but SHE is a teenager who really knows nothing and whose strong sexual feelings must be very confusing to her. Sure, she's being silly and she is wrong--but she has no way of knowing that. Even her Aunt and Uncle Gardiner, who think she should go back to her husband, are understandably reluctant to order her to do so, and what other support system has she to discuss her feelings?
Yes, we all want her to go running to Darcy. Personally, I want it so much that I almost forget why she might not--the fear that once she does, the man who so disdained her when they first met again at Pemberley and who before that had fought a duel to avoid marrying her--that man may come back. Wickham's tale just plays into all her fears of not being able to trust Darcy, and the more mightily Darcy turns her on, the scarier is the prospect of surrendering to him.
I think she suspects on some level that he will be waiting when she makes up her mind, and she is finding it easier to wait than to take the leap of faith and just trust him. In other words, she trusts him enough to think he will wait but not enough to just go ahead and say yes. It's like that kiss. She wanted him to do it but didn't know she wanted it--and was even a little angry that he did not just go ahead and do it. Except in this case--more is at stake and she will not let him forcibly drag her home.
Loving (kissing and hugging) is easy, especially when the object is the delicious Darcy. But trust is hard, especially when the object is the cold and proud Darcy. And for this Elizabeth, once she gives in to him, he will be her world. What if she steps into the breach and finds not his warm open arms but abyss? Wickham's whispers have reminded her that she always thought Darcy was capable of cruelty and harshness.
Can she put her life in Darcy's hands--the question is not whether he wants to stay married but whether she should tender him her heart and soul. IMO. Now we must wait for the author to tell if I have come close in my theory of how our dear girl's mind is working.
Just a few more thoughts on Elizabeth.
As regards the non consummation of the marriage - this was the main agreement of their 'marriage' and Darcy gave her his word! He kept his word.
They married for Mr Darcy Snr's sake not Elizabeth's.
Darcy wooed Elizabeth for his sake, to make life easier for him, to make her smile at him, not for Elizabeth's pleasure, at first. That came later!
As for breaking up the family - well they weren't really her family. They were like a substitute family. Her family were Jamie and the Gardiners.
Yes by not going back to Pemberley with Darcy she hurt Georgina but Mr Darcy Snr actually understood why she did it, sort of!
Wickham did a number on her that's for sure. He used her youth and vulnerability and, gullibility, to play mind games with her, at Darcy's expense.
She wasn't life experienced enough to see it.
And now we come to my major grump with Darcy.............Valerie.
I can understand him visiting a courtesan for his'needs' as a single man and I do think he actually had an emotional attachment to Valerie. He needed her.
I have rarely experienced a gut wrenching feeling while reading a story - but when Darcy raced off with Valerie after Vauxhall Gardens, acting like a letcherous school boy, it was almost like real life!
I was so disappointed in him and desperately sad for Elizabeth!
I know nothing happened but, to me, he is as guilty as if he had got it together with Valerie that night.
And of course he was seen --stupid stupid Darcy.
And now Elizabeth knows and this caused her even more distress.
He has got a lot of explaining and growing up to do, before he is worthy of Elizbeth's love, I feel.
Can I also add that I agree with Lacy's last post.
Elizabeth's trust in Darcy has gone - thanks to Wickham and his lies, and she can only see that the cold distaining Darcy of old has come back and she hated him!
Hi Nozipo Wobogo
Anyone who sends you hate email because of your opinion about a fan fictional character is not worth getting upset about!
I think your interpretation of events is very insightful and it satisfies a lot of the problems with Elizabeth's character:
I suspect that Elizabeth wants Darcy so much she is afraid. .... What if she steps into the breach and finds not his warm open arms but abyss? Wickham's whispers have reminded her that she always thought Darcy was capable of cruelty and harshness.
As upsetting as it was for Darcy to approach Valerie, please don't forget that he didn't sleep with her even though Elizabeth had given him every course to do so. It's a strange sense of justice that considers Darcy "as guilty as if he had got it together with Valerie that night" but thinks that Elizabeth is righteous for actually placing her faith in Wickham above her husband. Darcy almost cheated on Elizabeth physically. But Elizabeth has certainly cheated on Darcy spiritually.
Also, you missed the point of Lacy's post. Elizabeth's trust in Darcy is not gone becauseof Wickham's lies. Elizabeth's trust in Darcy is gone because she is afraid to trust Darcy with her heart and she is using Wickham as an excuse to shield herself from him.
Thanks Deirdra, Moonspinner and Lacy for this stimulating discussion! Although I already agree with Moonspinner's thoughts, I would like to consider some of the ideas expressed by Lacy and Deirdra about Lizzy's youth and frame of mind before I respond, OK?
I have enjoy the recent comments and speculations on this thread.
As much as I like Lizzy brother and mistress I can not wait for Tanya to give us some new insite on the happenings with Lizzy and Darcy.
Please post again soon
My dears, I'm thrilled to announce that chapter 29 has just been posted on Tanya's pages. Enjoy!
Unfortunately I cannot figure out at the moment why the direct link to the chapter doesn't work, so you'll have to scroll down first to get there.
an excellent chapter, it was worth the wait
although, I wish Darcy or at least Lord Gregory would approach Jamie, if not Elizabeth. E&D marriage is stranded, but the gentlemen are old friends.
I wonder if Jamie and Darcy are going to stay away from each other as well.
Oh, Renee, thank you SO much for posting this today. I have been having such a rough week and this really has cheered me up!
Tanya, this chapter was so worth the wait, and gosh was a lot resolved in it! I am so happy for Mal and Jamie and the baby! And for Captain Cranford and his love! It's so lovely to have those storylines take a positive turn.
I was really pleased that Elizabeth finally found out the true story behind Wickham and that she is starting to come to terms with things; I hoped and hoped that we would see Darcy by the end, and although it was brief, am so glad we did.
I am hoping that Lord Gregory will fill Darcy in on how low Elizabeth was after her brother's wedding, perhaps sow a seed of doubt that she's unhappy which might encourage him to approach her? He might even be able to seek Elizabeth out - he may know the location of Mal's family home in Mayfair from when Bingley used to call there, but if not, Miss Bingly certainly will (not that she would be likely to divulge the information!)
You see? You have totally distracted me and trust me, that is a very good thing!
I love this story, Tanya; I adore your writing and am in awe at its quality when English is not your first language. You are amazing!
Thank you so much for continuing this wonderful saga - it's long been a favourite of mine and becomes more so with every chapter.