Work Header

Exuberance and Steadiness

Chapter Text

Charlotte Jennings puts him in mind of a fussy little dog. A pug perhaps, with her penchant for bouncing across rooms, panting excitedly in little gasps of uncontainable happiness.

She's not handsome. Granted, she has a full, proportioned figure and her face, though tending towards plain, is far from ugly, but really there are far finer ladies in his immediate circle and quite a few real beauties in his larger acquaintance. Most of them even come with a perfectly respectable dowry attached. Not that he needs the extra income, but one must allow for society's expectations.

Many of her quirks baffle him, and her manner irritates him. Her propensity for giggling is inappropriate, she loves gossip to a degree far too great for someone with her upbringing.

Still, in a room full of gorgeous, charming women, however polished and refined and elegant, her high pitched voice keeps his attention for more reasons than mere irritation. He's helpless to follow her progress on the dance floor, his gaze snagged by the liveliness of her steps, the bounce of her curls, the sheer joy of such a simple act as dancing embodied with a lightness that is mostly absent from her peers, so conscious of the eyes on them.

And yet she is not improper, she keeps her head when it is most needed. Her memory for names and details is enough to put any scholar to shame, and she has a knack for using it to her advantage (though never to damage others).

She is too much in such a small frame, positively vibrating with excitement, so that she seems in constant danger of bursting at the seams. Her exuberance irritates him as much as it endears her to him.

Yes, a pug is quite the apt comparison: he's always had a soft spot for the little buggers.