For this week’s selection, I decided to show you something new – my Kindle Vella work. This little ditty is from THE JANE AUSTEN MURDERS, rated a fan favorite for over 32 weeks! Check it out and if you like it, subscribe to Kindle Vella on your phone. It’s free and the first 3 chapters of any story are always free to read.
Lizzy followed her partner into a vacant row and took a seat on the aisle.
From her vantage point, Darcy’s voice was quite clear as he spoke at the front of the room from behind a podium. Her vision of the professor was restricted, though, due to the height and distance she and Frank were. She could see his hair was dark, his skin light. He wore a nondescript pullover, a sports jacket over that. Trousers, not jeans, covered his legs. He could be tall, she thought. He certainly wasn’t short, with most of his upper body showing above the pulpit.
“Guy’s got good pipes,” Frank said, “for a teacher. Makes it hard to fall asleep listening to someone like that.”
Lizzy understood what he meant. The voice was steeped in a calm, controlled timbre that commanded authority. Darcy wasn’t American, and Lizzy was surprised at that. English, born and bred, if she wasn’t mistaking the accent. A small flicker sparked in her stomach as she listened to him deliver his lecture, never once referring to any notes or cards.
He spoke of love. Tortured, unrequited love, and how it could kill a young woman’s very being through its harsh, unrewarded, and unknown existence. To never know what it feels like to have another’s love returned to you in the same vein, at the same measure. A love so strong-willed it could overtake and outstrip a heart and mind of its very desire to live.
A love, so pure, so complete, and so wanting, that it caused nothing but heartache for the one who felt it.
Lizzy blinked a few times. Darcy’s lyrical voice conjured up a daydream where she’d actually seen the picture he was describing.
A young woman, innocent and heartbroken, felled by unrequited love.
She spied her own face atop that imagined female form.
“What?” Frank whispered, turning to her. “What’s wrong?”
A brisk, full shaking of her head almost cleared the fog. “Sorry. I didn’t realize I spoke out loud.”
“You okay? You look a little pasty.”
“Yeah. I think I just need to eat something. I’ll be fine.”
When his eyes narrowed and he continued to stare at her, Lizzy knew he could see more than she liked. She sat forward and heard the bell ring at the same time.
“Good,” she said, rising, hoping he didn’t hear the relief in her sigh. “Let’s go.” She was two rows in front of him by the time he moved to join her.
The students, all female, were gathering up their things and exiting via the bottom amphitheater door. Lizzy watched several make their way to the front of the room to surround their instructor. She slowed, knowing it would be a few moments before the throng thinned. The further she got down the steps, the clearer Darcy’s face became.
She was correct when she took him for tall rather than short. At least six-one, he was a full head above most of the girls swarming around him. On closer inspection, the dark curly hair was flecked with silver at the temples. Unlike Bingley’s, Darcy’s hair was not in need of a trim. Full, perfectly arched brows sat over eyes whose color she had yet to ascertain. His cheeks were etched into two hollows that ended in a square, brick-hard, jaw.
Lizzy stood on the bottom step, hands in her pockets as she and Frank waited for the professor to be free.
“Guy’s got a fan club,” Frank whispered.
“I see that,” she answered, her gaze staying on Darcy, one delicate eyebrow bending upwards in conjunction with the opposite corner of her mouth.
It was at that moment Darcy looked up and their eyes met over the head of one of his students.
His eyes were blue. Solid, deep, and intermingled with shards of silvery gray.
Darcy’s perusal never left her face as the student before him asked a question.
Lizzy realized that neither she nor the professor had blinked once since his gaze found hers. The sting of moisture drying within them, blurry the vision, finally made her lids do their job.
She watched Darcy when her sight cleared and focused again. He shook his head once, blinked a few times, and then turned back towards his student, intent on what was being said to him.
“Crowd’s thinning,” Frank said, moving by her towards the podium. “Let’s go.”
Lizzy found her feet a moment later, after first taking a deep breath and rolling her shoulders.
You can see all my Kindle Vella Stories, here: and a word of warning – these stories are not my typical romance, HEA books. They are all murder mysteries/crime drama/suspense stories.