We are sharing entries from our second-annual Literary Lovers Mash-Up Writing Contest — which offered you the chance to combine two romantic heroics from different books. We’ll be featuring all of the qualifying stories over the next few days, so check back periodically for all of these great submissions! Participants will also be receiving a set of Novel Novice bookmarks!
Today we have Alyssa U.’s entry, featuring Grace from Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver series & Mr. Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice:
Darcy thought it was painfully obvious that he was reading, especially considering their current location in the public library. “I’m reading,” he said curtly.
The girl did a strange thing with her eyes that Darcy thought embodied exasperation almost perfectly. “I know that you’re reading. I meant what are you doing standing up right as I walk in?” She pulled a book from the shelf next to her, absently flipping through the pages.
“It is customary where I come from to stand when a lady enters the room.”
She made a noise that could only be described as a chortle. “Who do you think you are, Mr. Darcy?”
He stepped back suddenly against his chair. “Yes,” he breathed.
She glanced up from her book. “Yes, what?”
“Yes,” he began. “I’m Mr. Darcy.” He had not realized before he said those words how he ached to let someone know who he really was. To finally end the masquerade that was his existence, stuck so firmly in modernity when he longed to be free.
She shut the book. Moving to the stack on the other side of the table she said casually, “Are you an actor or something?”
His voice was filled with so much disappointment and anguish that Grace turned to fully face him. His eyes were wide and pleading. She noticed then that he was dressed oddly in a dark cloak, a white flowing shirt and formal pants she thought were called trousers. He certainly looked like Mr. Darcy. She suddenly had an image of him as a poor deranged man, waking up every day as certain as he was of his own beating heart that he was Mr. Darcy. She felt herself tearing up at the thought.
Darcy walked toward her. “Do you believe me?”
She took in the earnestness of his face, so blatantly different than his earlier cold tones. “No,” she said softly.
His dropped his head and ran both hands through his long hair.
“I believe that you believe you are Mr. Darcy.”
Hands behind his neck, he looked up, suddenly serious. At his burning gaze Grace felt a tightening in her chest. There was so much in his eyes, like he’d been waiting hundreds of years for her to come along and tell him that, like he needed to hear those words more than he needed the blood in his veins.
He took another quick step towards her. “May I?”
Grace looked up at him. “Yes.”
He took one last step. Grace stood on her tippy toes and kissed him, gently but fervently. As she moved to wrap her hands around his neck and deepen their kiss her hands met nothing but empty air. She dropped her arms and opened her eyes.
He was gone.