Welcome to our tour stop for The Best Part of Love by A. D’Orazio
We want to welcome you to a cut scene from the novel in which Darcy, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and Wickham are in coversation, but first check out the book’s blurb below:
Avoiding the truth does not change the truth
When Fitzwilliam Darcy meets Miss Elizabeth Bennet he has no idea that she — that indeed, the entire town of Meryton — harbors a secret. Miss Elizabeth, a simply country girl from a humble estate, manages to capture first his fascination and then his heart without him ever knowing the truth of her past.
When she meets Darcy, Elizabeth had spent the two years prior hiding from the men who killed her beloved first husband. Feeling herself destroyed by love, Elizabeth has no intention of loving again, certainly not with the haughty man who could do nothing but offend her in Hertfordshire.
In London, Elizabeth surprises herself by finding in Darcy a friend; even greater is her surprise to find herself gradually coming to love him and even accepting an offer of marriage from him. Newly married, they are just beginning to settle into their happily ever after when a condemned man on his way to the gallows divulges a shattering truth, a secret that contradicts everything. Elizabeth thought she knew about the tragic circumstances of her first marriage. Against the advice of everyone who loves her, including Darcy, Elizabeth begins to ask questions. But will what they learn destroy them both?
And now for the conversation:
For those of you who have a copy of the book already, this interview might have come somewhere in the middle of chapter 20.
By silent agreement, it was Colonel Fitzwilliam who conducted the interview. Darcy knew that his anger, a deep anger fed by his growing fears, prohibited him from being a disinterested inquisitor and as such, he ceded the office to his cousin.
Wickham had acted stupidly brave for a time, but when at last it appeared the other two men would leave him to his fate, he relented. At length, he realised candour was in his best interests, as well as Darcy’s, and he promised to tell them the truth as he best remembered it.
“Very well,” said Colonel Fitzwilliam. “Perhaps it might do to begin with how came your involvement in this dreadful business.”
Wickham sighed heavily. “Does that honestly matter?”
After a moment’s pause, Wickham spat out, “I was cheated but then again, when is it that life does not present to me its very hindquarters? All is well and good for those of you who sit, high and mighty, who know not the deprivations of—”
Darcy waved his hand tiredly. “Yes, yes, we know your song, you have sung it many times over to any who will hear you. Do go on with something we do not know.”
“It was a design from the beginning, to see me a part of it. I hardly remember the night, ’twas such a bosky sort of evening but the long and short of it was that I ended with empty pockets and then some.”
Fitzwilliam snorted. “This is hardly anything we did not know or at least might have imagined. Who did you owe?”
“I knew them not but could easily discern they were high, very high. They were not the sorts to be easily put off. They wanted their due, immediately.” Wickham swallowed hard.
“But you did not have it.”
Wickham shook his head. “It was an amount not easily laid by for such a man as myself. Ah but if only I could have had the living your father promised, Darcy. Then I think I should have been—” Darcy stopped him with a glare and a word. “Enough.”
“I was given a day to come up with it.”
“Knowing you as I do, I would suppose you used that reprieve to try to escape,” said Darcy.
“I did,” Wickham admitted. “But they anticipated me. I was moments away from boarding a coach when one of the men appeared, and looking none too pleased to see me. A veritable brute he was, and quite undignified in the manner that he took me to see his friend.”
Wickham nodded. “A friend called only Smith. He sat with another man in a brothel where we met several times. He was there with another man. He did not speak — Smith spoke for him but I had no doubt it was he who called the tune.”
“And what did Smith talk to you about?” Fitzwilliam asked.
“He spoke to me about helping them out a bit. Said my expenses — including my debt from the table — would be taken care of and I would receive payment besides.”
“Naturally the money spoke to you, and never mind what you had to do to earn it.” Darcy shook his head.
“Your father was a good man, I cannot bear to think of his feelings if he knew what you were.”
“I had no choice,” Wickham replied defensively. “Make no mistake of it, the payment was for my silence. If I had refused my task, I should not have left the room under my own power — of this I can assure you.”
“So you took the money, that much we know.” Fitzwilliam leant forward, fixing Wickham in a steely blue gaze. “But my question is: did you do what they asked?”
Amy D’Orazio is a former breast cancer researcher and current stay at home mom who is addicted to Austen and Starbucks in about equal measures. While she adores Mr. Darcy, she is married to Mr. Bingley and their Pemberley is in Pittsburgh, Pa.
She has two daughters who are devoted to sports which require long practices and began writing her own stories as a way to pass the time she spent sitting in the lobbies of various gyms and studios. She is a firm believer that all stories should have long looks, stolen kisses and happily ever afters. Like her favorite heroine, she dearly loves a laugh and considers herself an excellent walker. Join her on GoodReads, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook.
Blog Tour Schedule:
- Jan. 6 My Jane Austen Book Club
- Jan. 7 Just Jane 1813
- Jan. 8 Babblings of a Bookworm
- Jan. 9 Every Savage Can Dance
- Jan. 10 Tomorrow is Another Day
- Jan. 11 Savvy Verse & Wit; Character Interview, Giveaway
- Jan. 12 Half Agony, Half Hope
- Jan. 13 Austenesque Reviews
- Jan. 14 Darcyholic Diversions
- Jan. 15 Delighted Reader; Review
- Jan. 16 From Pemberley to Milton
- Jan. 17 A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide to Life
- Jan. 18 Obsessed with Mr. Darcy
- Jan. 19 My Kids Led Me Back to Pride & Prejudice
- Jan. 20 Diary of an Eccentric
- Jan. 21 More Agreeably Engaged