“Dear Miss Bennet, you don’t know how happy I’m to make your acquaintance. It’s my greatest pleasure to have you here at our humble Granny Smith Apple Festival. Your company’s generous and timely sponsorship has made it a tremendous success…,” Mr. Collins said
Elizabeth sat on a chair on stage, tuning out the babbling man’s monologue. Her attention was distracted by the ABBA imitators dancing on the side of her. They were loud, quirky but surprisingly very good.
Three of them looked extremely young, perhaps in their early 20s. But the Bjorn impersonator, who stood nearest to her, looked to be in his 30s, too serious and mature to be in sync with his other band members. The orange dress shirt and silver-white overall casual jean looked ridiculously tight on him.
As her eyes scanned him from head to toe, the man glared at her with a scowl while singing “Waterloo”. Under his intent stare, she felt hot and uncomfortable. That’s ridiculous! You’re a 38-year-old successful businesswoman. He could be a young man wet behind his ear!
Finally the song ended. The band bowed. Confetti sprung from the ceiling. The entertainment of the day concluded.
She stood and came forward to greet the entertainers.
“You sing well, Georgiana” Elizabeth spoke to the Agnetha-imitator first whom she had been introduced before, avoiding the tall dark Bjorn.
“Thanks, Miss Bennet. This is my cousin Anne de Bourgh. My friend Colin Flint and my brother William.”
“Your brother...ah…no wonder.”
“No wonder?” Georgiana was puzzled by Elizabeth’s remark.
“Mr. Darcy looks a bit…more mature, than his attire implies.” She arched her eyes at William. His face turned crimson and his lips tightened.
“Yes, our Bjorn is sick and we’ve to blackmail Darcy to help us,” Flint said.
“But William is older than you, Miss Bennet, I’m sure. You look like you’re in your 20s. How did you become DPP’s Marketing Director so young?” Anne laughed.
“Thanks for the compliment,” Elizabeth was intrigued. Mr. Darcy seemed to have lost his voice. “I’m 36 already, old enough to know my mind, very decidedly.” She surprised herself and eyed Darcy tight jeans again. Seldom would she feel like a cougar looking at younger men as her preys. But the silent brooding Mr. Darcy made her do things she didn’t want to do.
“You look so young, unbelievable,” Anne chatted on. “Darcy is 28 but he scowls too often. He has his mid life crisis every day!”
“Anne!” Georgiana tried to defend her brother as his face turned like a red tomato. “You know William don’t like to be made fun of.”
“What a pity,” Elizabeth shrugged. “I dearly love to laugh. Anyway, I’ll leave you young ones to enjoy yourselves.”
She then wandered around the oval, stopping at different stalls, buying souvenirs and snacks. When she stopped in front of a soft toy stall, she suddenly felt hair on her neck stood up.
“Miss Bennet,” the deep baritone voice whispered to her ears startled her. She turned to meet the deep blue eyes of Mr. Darcy.
“Mr. Darcy!” She was surprised. He had changed into black leather jacket, white shirt and black jeans. Loose jeans, what a pity! He looked like an Adonis, without a trace of ABBA in him.
“It’s good on you to help your sister and cousin.” Drawing in a deep breath, she could smell his musky scent.
“The only high point of the day is,” He said quietly, but with a smile. “if you have time to grab a cup of coffee with me.”
“Where has the silent glowering Bjorn gone?”
“Back to Sweden. You’ve to satisfy yourself with William Darcy.”
Elizabeth’s eyes twinkled. She accepted his coffee and more. The night entertainment of the festival was very satisfying indeed for Darcy and Elizabeth, which had nothing to do with apples or grannies.