Original material © 2016 Nia Farrell
Length 91,133 words/344 6×9 pages
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Released June 1, 2016 (e-book, print, and large print editions)
PRIDE AND PUNISHMENT is an erotic retelling of a Jane Austen classic. Characters that you thought you knew…well, they’re ready to reveal their secret selves. Mr. Darcy is a Dominant. Miss Elizabeth Bennet is submissive. Jane Bennet might be the only “handsome” woman in Meryton, but puppy-like Charles Bingley needs a Mistress. Mr. Darcy doesn’t think Jane has what it takes and separates the couple.
His growing lust leads Mr. Darcy to confess his desire to dominate Miss Elizabeth – a proposition that she mistakes for a proposal. Already accused of less-than-gentlemanlike behavior, Darcy must find a way to win the submissive heart of a woman who abhors him.
Excerpt from PRIDE AND PUNISHMENT by Nia Farrell © 2016 Nia Farrell:
I find myself watching Miss Elizabeth, with her chestnut hair caught up in a style that compliments her face and figure. Neither her countenance nor her form are perfect by modern standards of beauty; however, her throaty laugh, her graceful dancing…her enthusiasm…more than make up for her deficiencies. For the second time in as many minutes, I find myself entranced, watching her with her partner, those striking dark eyes aglow with delight as she perfectly executes the most intricate of steps. I may one day regret that I shall never know how she moves in bed with her ankles around my neck. If asking her to dance would not invite speculation as to my particular tastes and give rise to unreasonable expectations, either towards Miss Bennet or any other female with a half-full dance card, I believe that I could be persuaded to lead her in a contredanse or the Boulanger.
As it is, I am expected to dance with the host’s wife and daughter. Seeing that Mrs. Lucas is engaged, I search the crowd and find Miss Charlotte Lucas speaking with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Hmm. A quandary. I cannot ask Miss Lucas to dance without extending a second invitation to her friend. Then again, it provides the perfect opportunity to ask Miss Bennet to dance without appearing to single her out.
Squaring my shoulders and softening my face, I approach the two women. Miss Lucas is nearly my contemporary, far past the age when most young women marry. Miss Elizabeth is of that age and, as such, should greet me with a welcoming smile, if not promises of pleasure, yet I sense a satirical lift to her eyebrow, and those midnight eyes of hers – so dark a blue as to be almost black – sparkle with a hint of mischief. I do not have long to learn what she is about.
“Do you not think, Mr. Darcy, that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now, when I was teasing Colonel Forster to give us a ball at Meryton?”
When she was baiting the bull and ignored every red flag that I was throwing? “Yes,” I say a bit tightly. “But then most women wax eloquent on subjects dear to their hearts.” Seizing the opportunity when Miss Lucas is momentarily distracted, I lean and whisper, for her ears only, “You were clever, Miss Bennet, but unwise. Some men should not be teased.”
She stiffens imperceptibly and drops her gaze to her folded fan. “Sir, you are severe on us.”
Sir. One word to fall from those full, expressive lips, and suddenly I want more.
Jesus God. I must be mad. Or desperate. Or both.
Her bosom heaves with a small sigh. I swallow, my mouth gone painfully dry. She has deliciously small breasts, barely large enough to fit my hand, no doubt sensitive, as small-breasted women tend to be. With the layers of clothing, I would only be guessing that her nipples were hard, but the riot of gooseflesh that dimples her skin tells me that she is not unaffected.
Miss Lucas follows the line of my gaze and rushes to rescue her friend from my scrutiny. “It is your turn to be teased, Eliza. I am going to open the instrument, and you know what follows.”
What follows is a performance that will inspire fantasies for nights to come. Miss Elizabeth’s soft white hands and dexterous fingers playing the pianoforte. Her honeyed voice is like liquid gold, a rich contralto, turning the most innocent of tunes into a decadent delight. I cannot help noticing that her white throat and swan’s neck are perfect for wrapping fingers around. And those luscious lips of hers, which are so very, very expressive….
I imagine them parted. Imagine her panting, sweet moans escaping, then vibrating against my length as she swallows me to the root.
By the time that she finishes her performance, I am ready to ask her to dance…until the chilling sound of her mother’s voice acts like ice water thrown on my libido. My sanity restored, I dance instead with Miss Lucas, as daughter of our host, with Sir William’s wife, and with Charles’s two sisters.
My obligations met, I am a free man once more.
Sir William notices that I am unencumbered and offers to introduce me to Miss Mary King. I demur, striving to keep my tone civil despite his meddling. Just then Miss Elizabeth Bennet approaches us.
“My dear Miss Eliza,” Sir William snares her with his hand and voice as she passes by, interrupting whatever mission that she is on. I follow the line of her anxious gaze across the room, to where her youngest sister is laughing with Colonel Forster. “Why are you not dancing?” our clueless host inquires. “Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner.”
I have no doubt that she would be, if I were in the habit of seducing virgins, which I am not. That particular kink is George Wickham’s, not mine.
“You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you.”
When he seeks to give Miss Elizabeth’s hand to me, she pulls away, refusing to touch me, anxious to separate her sister from the Colonel. That she listened to my warning pleases me greatly, and softens the effect that her words might otherwise have had.
She says with some discomposure to Sir William, “Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”
I am ready and willing to lend my aid in handling the Forster situation. “Might I offer you my hand?” I say meaningfully, flicking a glance toward Forster.
“No,” she says simply, her voice a bit strained and her nerves starting to fray the longer that our host detains her.
Miss Bennet does not wish to give offense, but Sir William simply will not let it go. “You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour.”
No. No. That will not do.
“Mr. Darcy is all politeness.” This, with a forced smile, just as quickly gone. She catches her plump bottom lip between white, even teeth and worries it.
Would that I could bite it. Would that I could watch her, those fine eyes hooded with desire, breasts heaving with each panting breath, her body stiffening as she climaxes, bathing my hand with her passionate release.
She smells like night-blooming jasmine.
I wonder how she will taste.
“He is, indeed,” our host agrees, “but, considering the inducement, my dear Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance—for who would object to such a partner?”
She looks archly at him and turns away, headed for the youngest chick in the clutch of Bennet sisters.
I keep my gaze fixed upon her, curious to see how she will manage separating her sister from the Colonel. Sighing at opportunity lost, Sir William moves on to his next potential pairing, and Caroline Bingley takes his place.
“You seem preoccupied. By what, I wonder?” She tips her head and looks down her nose at the potential disaster waiting to unfold on the far side of the room. “Do not tell me. Let me guess the subject of your reverie,” she purrs, showing her claws just a bit.
Miss Elizabeth whispers to Miss Lucas, who peels off, leaving the two Miss Bennets with the Colonel and his aide. “You may try.”
“Come now. I know what you must be thinking.”
That Forster is living dangerously. That Miss Elizabeth Bennet is either incredibly reckless or extremely clever.
That I would very much like to see her naked. On her knees. Better yet, across my lap as I spank that arse of hers for what she dares tonight.
“Do you? I should imagine not.”
She affects a sigh and guesses, “You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner—in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise—the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all those people! What I would give to hear your strictures on them!”
“Your conjecture is totally wrong,” I assure her. My mind is more agreeably engaged. “I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.” Especially streaked with tears, pleading for mercy.
Begging for more.
By now there are a number of females on the far side of the room. Miss Bennet, it seems, has rallied her troops with the help of Miss Lucas.
Caroline notices my interest. “Such a covey,” she remarks. “Which plump breasted partridge among them has succeeded in capturing your attention, Mr. Darcy?”
“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.” There. I’ve said it. Confessed it. But I cannot explain it, not when she is so clearly beneath my station. Like my peers, I am expected to marry a virginal bride of impeccable bloodlines and old money, not a solicitor’s granddaughter who shall be rendered essentially homeless the moment that her father is gone.
“Miss Elizabeth?” Caroline is shocked, of course, and not just because Miss Bennet is less well-endowed than my usual choice in partners. Caroline finds my genuine interest in Miss Elizabeth Bennet almost incomprehensible. We have been conspiring to separate Charles from one Bennet, and here I am, fixated upon another.
“I am all astonishment,” she manages. “How long has she been such a favourite? – and pray, when am I to wish you joy?”
I give her a look of silent censure. “Sheath the claws, Caroline. She is a moment’s distraction, nothing more. Do not let your imagination leap from admiration to love, and from love to matrimony. Such conjecture serves no good purpose.”
“I could say the same for your…distraction. Now, if you were serious,” she says tartly, “I would consider the matter absolutely settled, replete with the prospect of your charming mother-in-law, who shall settle into Pemberley and forever be with you.”
Since there is no chance in hell that that will ever happen, I keep my gaze on the wealth of chestnut hair and close my ears to Caroline’s biting diatribe while she rattles on. As soon the youngest Bennet is pulled away by her peers, Miss Elizabeth dares to look at me. She glances at her folded fan and opens it, almost as if she would hide herself from me. Her face, perhaps, but there is no hiding those dark eyes of hers, their spark of vitality, their vast relief, her gratitude for the warning that I gave.
Caroline embarks on a vacuous commentary on the lack of refined society in the county that I easily tune out. I listen instead to the music, but my dancing tonight is done. None of the females here capture my interest save one – the dark-eyed, honeyed voiced, surprisingly clever Miss Elizabeth Bennet.