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Austen's Twilight

Summary:
Let's pretend that Jane Austen had the idea for Twilight first... > Balls, dinner parties, and many interesting exchanges between Miss Isabella Swan and Mr. Edward Cullen.


Notes:
Thank you for giving this a try! I am a huge Jane Austen fan and I love writing Twilight fan fiction, so I decided to see what would happen if I combined to two. If you have any suggestions, ideas, comments, etc. please share them with me. I've gotten a lot of great and inspiring feedback on the other sites where I've already posted this story. The ideas I've gotten from readers have often made their way into the story, so please don't hesitate to share yours! I'm finding that adapting Twilight the Jane Austen's time is a great challenge. There are some things that I've had to change to make allowences for the difference, but for the most part, I'm trying to stick to Twilights plot as tightly as possible. I do not own Twilight, Stephenie Meyer does. I do not actually believe I am Jane Austen, nor do I wish to infringe on her works with my quotes and references. All of the chapter quotes belong to Jane Austen. All of the characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infrigment intended.


6. Pride & Prejudice

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1906   Review this Chapter

"I always thought him... impertinent and disagreeable, and now he is grown worse than ever." LADY SUSAN by Jane Austen

~>*<~

Pride & Prejudice

~>*<~

The day was indeed fine, despite the ever-present cover of clouds. Isabella found the roads along the way to Miss Angela Weber's residence to be dreadful. In two places they were almost completely flooded.

As fond as she was of her horse, Darcy, she found fault in him in that he resisted every instance which resulted in his hooves becoming wet. It was an undesirable quality for an animal in his line of employment, residing in this part of the world. Isabella found herself in the disagreeable position of being obliged to dismount and to coax him through the dampest portions of the journey. She was discomfited, and was it not for his gentle nature, and the fact that she came across none of her acquaintances along the way, she would not have condoned such behavior.

Darcy was displaying this manner of his nature when they approached Mason House, so that any hopes Isabella entertained of hurrying past, with perhaps only one or two curious glances, were dashed. The horse simply refused to move forward, and neither encouraging words nor gentle prodding could convince him to carry her on. She dismounted with a resigned sigh.

It was as she was struggling through the dirt, grasping Darcy's bridle tightly, as much for support of herself as to lead him forward, that she sensed his silent observation.

With flushed cheeks she raised her eyes to grandeur of Mason House and was met with the humiliating prospect of being under the scrutiny of Mr. Edward Cullen, who was holding the bridle of his own fine grey animal and coming toward her. His casual stance and the manner in which he watched her vain struggle with apparent amusement infuriated her. Though not as much as the realization that he would make no gentlemanly attempt to assist her, but instead would allow her to struggle in vain as he passed. He departed without a word; without as much as a nod of recognition. Such manners she had never witnessed before. Such arrogance and such pride had, until that moment, been beyond her imagination.

Her sentiments in regard to the disagreeable gentleman (if such an inappropriate label must be applied!) were once again what they were upon her first hearing of him at the Stanley's party. The prejudice that she had recently felt ashamed for during her discussions of Mr. Cullen's history and situation with her father, returned with full force and justification. It was no wonder that he was unpopular in this society, that he was looked upon with general dislike.

So it was that she finally arrived to call upon her friend, with cheeks flushed in anger and embarrassment and a dress that looked little better, having a hem that was six inches deep in mud.

~>*<~

She sat with Miss Weber and her mother for only half of the hour, before taking her leave. Mr. Edward Cullen's behavior caused her much vexation and she felt that she was unfit for company at that moment, and that her afternoon was ruined. Miss Weber was all smiles and politeness, and her mother a very obliging host, but even their warm words and sweet dispositions were not enough to lift Isabella's dreary spirits. All the more so when Mrs. Weber remarked, "How kind of you to call on us today, Miss Swan. We seldom have the pleasure of receiving company when the roads are so disagreeable." The statement brought the afternoons unhappy events to the forefront of Isabella's mind and invited an increase to her ill humor which she took pains to conceal.

Darcy was brought to her, but for the first time since she had acquired him, she was not looking forward to the ride or his silent companionship. She mounted him resentfully. The ride home would not be any more pleasant; the roads, she observed gloomily, were still quite flooded.

Her dignity remained intact until she approached Mason House and Darcy decided that was the distance he was willing to travel voluntarily. Isabella surveyed the surrounding buildings, lingering specifically on the house to her immediate left, and was pleased and relieved that there would be no one around to observe the indignity of her present circumstance. Despite her gentle urgings, Darcy seemed quite determined to linger where he presently abided for the remainder of the evening, and could not be persuaded to move forward.

Isabella, who was patient by nature, had reached her wits end. She earnestly entertained thoughts of walking home alone and leaving the miserable animal where he stood. Deciding that she would miss him, and that her father and his friend Mr. Black would be disappointed, she gave him one last soothing shove and insistent tug on the reins. He whinnied in disagreement, but finally stirred. It was at that moment that Isabella heard the carriage.

The pounding of hooves was coming too swiftly. Isabella whirled around to face the oncoming carriage being drawn forward by a wild-eyed horse that was moving much too speedily toward the place where she stood. There was no time to consider, no time to move, in moments it would be upon her.

"Make haste!" the driver, whom she recognized as Mr. Tyler Crowley, was shouting. "Miss Swan, get out of the way!"

In her panic, she could not find the strength to move her feet, and even if she could have, the mud would have greatly hindered her progress. Time did not slow, though she silently pleaded that it would, and the details of her terrifying situation became clear.

Here was Mr. Crowley's infamous run-way horse, Isabella realized morosely. Her own Darcy had decided in the meantime that he would rather take his chances with damp hooves than to become the object to hinder the progress of the untamed animal that advanced. He apparently decided to leave that particular occupation to his mistress, so he abandoned her and, neighing in distress, fled.

Isabella turned her head aside and just before she pressed her eyes shut, she saw Mr. Edward Cullen watching the horrific scene before him from the entrance of his home. His shocked expression was the last thing she observed before she closed her eyes and waited for either hooves or wheels to be the undignified conclusion of her life.

The abrupt and forceful impact she next felt was not from the direction she had been expecting, but the opposite one entirely. Isabella descended to the ground swiftly and felt her head make painful contact with the road. She was held down by a being that was very hard and cold; she heard a low and un-gentlemanly oath in a voice that was impossible, both not to recognize, and to comprehend. She let her eyes flutter open and found that though she was now out of danger of the wild creature, the wheel of his load was still upon her. Two long white hands became visible and materialized seemingly in an instant before her and the carriage jolted to a stop, the hands fitting providentially into two deep holes where the wood had shattered. The carriage groaned to a rest and there was a brief moment of ringing silence.

"Miss Swan, are you injured?" His voice was tense with concern.

"No," Isabella replied, attempting to regain her composure. "No, I am not injured." She moved to sit upright, but found that Mr. Cullen was holding her tightly.

"Take heed," he advised carefully. "I believe you to have injured your head in the fall."

The truths of his words were confirmed in the next instant when she attempted to shake her head and deny him. She ceased when it ached painfully, a truth which became evident in her expression.

"As I thought." He had the impudence to smile in undisguised satisfaction. He was insufferable.

"Miss Swan!" The frantic voice of Mr. Crowley hindered the continuance of their conversation. "I beg you Miss Swan, please answer me!"

"What is this?" Another voice was heard before Isabella could respond. She recognized the high voice of Mrs. Cope and the rustle of thick skirts. "Mr. Crowley what has happened?" They were blocked from view by the carriage. More voices were heard, but Isabella was distracted from answering by a disturbing realization that was occurring to her.

"Mr. Cullen." She spoke slowly and he released her from his grasp. "How is it that you were able to assist me?"

Mr. Cullen looked bewildered, almost convincingly, and feigned ignorance of her meaning. "I do not understand you."

"How did you get to me so swiftly?" she inquired more directly.

"I was standing quite near you Miss Swan." His expression was one of innocent concern, and he was looking at her with an intensity that for a moment rendered her unable to complete a thought.

By this time, the onlookers and neighbors had been able to draw from Mr. Crowley's frantic explanation that he may have been responsible for Miss Isabella Swan's untimely death, and they frantically circled the carriage to search for and assist her. Conversation with Mr. Edward Cullen, for that moment, was impossible.

Isabella heard Mrs. Cope's order to her nephew, Mr. Eric Yorkie, to fetch Mr. Swan right away. Mr. Weber was asking for Isabella's permission to carry her back to his residence, to be examined by a physician. Her assurances that this was unnecessary were politely ignored, and then they became all the more insistent when Mr. Edward Cullen informed them of a possible injury to her head.

There was another flurry of commotion at this report, and much debate ensued on whether or not it was prudent that she should be moved before the physician, none other that Mr. Edward Cullen's own brother, arrived. He was called to advise them, and the discussion continued on whether she should be moved to the Weber's home immediately, and indeed if any decision should be made before her father's arrival.

Isabella, feeling embarrassed by the unwanted attention, decided to take it upon herself to prove that there was nothing at all wrong with her and attempted to stand. Mr. Cullen laid a restraining hand on her arm.

"Stay still, Miss Swan," he advised, and his voice brought back the memory of their previous argument. She took advantage of the reality that while everyone seemed quite involved in what was best for her well being, her being itself was completely ignored.

"You were just there." She spoke to Mr. Cullen quietly, and nodded her head in the direction of his home where she had last observed him.

"You are mistaken," he replied in an equally hushed, though much more severe, voice.

"I recall it with perfect clarity," Isabella insisted determinedly.

"You are mistaken," he repeated. "You are understandably in a state of shock, Miss Swan, and you have forgotten that I was standing quite near you."

She began to respond with a shake of her head and looked up to find Mr. Cullen looking at her imploringly. "I beg you, Miss Swan."

"Why?" Isabella was becoming increasingly bewildered.

"Now is not the time," he murmured quietly.

"Will you promise to tell me at a later time?" She required an explanation.

"If you insist," he replied with apparent anger and frustration.

"I do." She refused to be intimidated, and harvested a frustration of her own. One way or another, she was determined to make sense of these unsettling circumstances.