She ran down the hall and crept into her brother's room, shaking his shoulder until he sat up in confusion.

"Fitzwilliam! Wickham is down in the garden. He threw pebbles at my window until I heard him, and he wants me to let him in so he can talk to me."

"What? That bounder has the nerve to assail you at my house?"

Georgiana nodded silently, irrationally frightened by the rush of feelings that threatened to overwhelm her. Darcy quickly donned his dressing gown and slippers and took her hand. Putting his lips to her ear he whispered,

"Be very quiet now. We don't want to rouse the entire house."

She nodded again and followed him. They crept down the front stairs and stole through the baize door which separated the servants' areas from theirs. There was a door from the kitchen into the garden that was not far from Georgiana's room above. Darcy stopped and spoke again.

"Georgie I want you to open the door to him. Once he is in we will go to the library where we may be private."

"All right, Fitzwilliam."

She unlatched the door and opened it and within a second Wickham was in the door. She was surprised when he embraced her and tried to find her mouth to kiss her.

"I knew that you loved me, my darling Georgiana! Let us…"

His passionate declaration was abruptly ended when Darcy grabbed the back of his shirt collar and pulled him away from Georgiana. "Well, Wickham, you certainly have no equal for nerve. Did you think my sister was in the habit of letting men sneak into her bedroom?"

Wickham was sputtering and protesting, but another shake from Darcy and he closed his lips with a sullen expression. "Now," Darcy said, "we will all go into the library and have a little talk."

Wickham allowed himself to be shuffled off to the library and they sat down. Darcy did not offer his unwanted guest a glass of wine, Wickham noted with disgust.

"Wickham, Georgiana has told me all and there is no force on earth that will cause me to allow her to marry a profligate like you. I have already dismissed Mrs. Younge without a reference, so she is no longer here to assist your schemes. Do you have anything to say before I throw you out into the street?"

Wickham quailed before the deadly gleam in Darcy's eyes, but smiled at Georgiana. "I guess that your happiness is of less import than the social standing of your husband, Georgiana, my dear."

Georgiana felt anger swelling in her breast at Wickham's oily manner. How could she have ever thought that he was handsome and dashing? "Mr. Wickham. I find that my eyes are now open to your despicable schemes, so do not bother to try and pull the wool over my eyes again."

Wickham stood up, watching both Darcys as he did so, then bowed and walked to the back door and disappeared. THE END

Click here to see what would have happened if she had let Wickham in the back door!

Written by Rebecca M. Fleming & C. Allyn Pierson

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