- - -August 25th, 1869
early morning- - -
It wasn't as if Jeanine was really aiming to torture the poor sheriff with her taunting words and teasing antics, it was simply ingrained in her personality to be playful and flirtatious, borderline seductive at all times. He'd never really seemed to mind it before - granted, when they'd first met he had certainly been shocked by the way she seemed to unabashedly flaunt herself, but after two years of knowing and loving one another he was undoubtedly used to her behavior by now. And all those matters aside, normally her so-called provocations weren't a problem because he could silence her with a heated kiss or...well, something else. But it had been his idea to abstain from anu activities of the sort until they were husband and wife, so she didn't feel much remorse in unleashing the full power of her sultriness and feminine wiles upon him. She'd felt his silent tremor and sensed his resolve about a single stalk away from shattering altogether, so she'd backed down just for the moment, because the very public mercantile was not a place to be trading all their pent-up frustrations.
Now content in the comforting cocoon of his arms, the tall brunette coiled her arms around his middle and snuggled all the more closer to his warm and strong chest, a long and happy sigh leaving her full pink mouth. Upturning her gaze to meet his, Jeanine smirked slightly at her future husband's accurate assessment that they likely wouldn't need the help of blanket to make magic happen in the bed that would consummate their marriage. "Mmm, I suspect you're right,"
she murmured in response, a touch of throatiness to her tone. A soft giggle escaped her own lips as his brushed the tip of her nose, a light and ticklish touch. Her bright emerald orbs softened as he returned her earlier sentiment, those sacred three words that they had taken so long to say to one another, but the wait had surely been worth it. It wasn't something to be throwing around to just anyone, and because they both treasured it so dearly, she never doubted the sincerity of the statement when it came from him. Other men had tried to woo her into bed with such honeyed words and a facade of deep, passionate feelings, but there was none of that fake beguilement in their relationship.
The sound of his laughter brought a smile to her lips, and she gave an animated little wiggle at his response to her 'proposal.' Truthfully, Jeanine was quite grateful that she had not been the one to have to extend the offer of marriage, she was most certainly not the prim or proper type but she really did not fancy the idea of having to get down on one knee herself. She'd made all the other big first moves, it was his turn to grow a pair and take the initiative, so luckily he had. But before she could respond at all to his words, a boisterous older gentleman appeared and began spouting off congratulations while pumping Nathan's hand like he was trying to churn butter out of it. The young musician was shocked only briefly before amusement clouded her charismatic features, and she tilted her head in acknowledgment of his condolences, blinking with a slight smirk as her dainty piano-playing hand received a light pat, as if it would shatter like glass at anything more firm. She gently bit her lower lip to keep from laughing as her fiancé spluttered and stuttered, evidently trying to express that she had not actually just proposed to him, knowing that she could chip in and help him out but much too entertained by his efforts to do so. The old man, who she strongly suspected was going to try to sell them something, cut him off and continued on anyhow. He mentioned something about a...dog? his slur was a bit difficult for her to understand...and then proceeded to question the sheriff about their living arrangements.
Once Nathan had answered the man's inquiry, a masculine slap on the shoulder was exchanged and the singer was once again slightly shocked as her soon-to-be husband was suddenly being dragged away from her toward the door of the mercantile. Without hesitation she followed them, brushing her cascading auburn waves over one shoulder and squinting slightly as she endeavored to understand the old man through his garbled grammar. Her emerald orbs immediately widened and illuminated with excitement as he mentioned a basket of pups in his wagon, and she speedily caught up to them at that, resting her hands on Nathan's shoulders and nodding enthusiastically at the sly salesman. She was probably playing right into his hand, a woman going all gooey at the sight of cute little dogs, but she couldn't help herself. Meeting her fiancé's gaze for a moment, she gave an enthusiastic yet sheepish smile as she said, "Oh, let's just look. What's the harm in that?"
She loosely held onto Nathan's hand while following the man to his wagon, intrigued by this unexpected but welcome surprise. It had been a long while since she'd had the chance to play with a puppy, most of the dogs in town were older as they were used for hunting or herding, not many folk had the time or patience to care for something so small and troublesome.
Of course, as soon as the leggy songstress laid eyes on the little hounds, she gasped and all but melted at the sight of the tiny furballs yelping and yapping and scrambling for attention. They nearly tumbled over one another as she leaned over the basket, their big brown eyes begging to be held and cuddled and loved
. "How adorable! May I...?"
Jeanine reached out toward the small bundles of joy, then thought better of it and turned to the older man with a questioning look, and he replied with an enthusiastic nod and wave of his hand. Without any further hesitation, she put a hand in the basket and was immediately mauled by eager puppy paws and mouthes, grinning like a child before picking up one of the particularly vocal little pups
who had quite nearly clung to her arm the moment she'd extended it. The tiny thing wriggled and squealed with excitement as she repositioned it in her arms and cradled it against her chest, a delighted smile illuminating her features at the feeling of a small, warm weight against her and soft fur brushing her skin. "Hi baby,"
she cooed to the little tan and white fuzzball, who squeaked and wormed its way up Jeanine's chest until it could press its tiny, cold and wet pink nose to her cheek before it immediately began licking her in earnest. "Ooh, you wanna give me some kissies? Well, you're just sweeter than sugar, huh? Yes you are..."
Her voice was bright and dripping with honey, the same way one would talk to a giggling toddler, and it appeared to have the same effect on the puppy because it was now attempting to climb onto her shoulder and licking her like its life depended upon it. "Thet one thar's a girl, runt o'the litter."
The old man piped up, to which she replied conversationally, "I thought she seemed smaller than the rest. You're just a wee little lover, hmm baby?"
She laughed gleefully as the tiny pup squealed louder than ever, now thoroughly amused with using her oversized paws to bat at Jeanine's hair, nibbling on it like a chew toy with harmless little teeth. Turning to face Nathan, she moved closer to him until the puppy was gently sandwiched between their chests. "Look, Nathan, isn't she sweet?"
Her dancing green eyes were brighter than ever as she used her free hand to grasp his and pull it towards the puppy, who was distracted from her enthralling new discovery of hair by the looming hand, latching onto his finger with little paws and suckling, nibbling at the tip with an equally tiny mouth. Jeanine giggled at the sight, cooing to the blissful bundle of fur her against her chest, "Say 'hello' to mister sheriff, he may look real tough and scary but he's a softy, a big cuddly and lovable teddy bear, just like you."
Gently tickling the pup's tummy with her index finger, she glanced up at Nathan and smiled innocently, knowing that he likely wouldn't be too fond of her words to describe him.