No, I've never read the novel (yet), yes, I've only seen the BBC version with Anthony Head as the douche-baggy Dad... but I couldn't get the looks in the actors eyes out of my head... Just.. it's whatever. I have to start writing more anyway.
Edit: Oops. POV shifts adjusted. Sowwie...
Standards of Wooing..?
It swelled his pride to see her discomfort during dinner when his barbs about women’s inconstancy and feeblemindedness seemed to strike straight through her. In his room, his cravet half off and sitting on his bed, Frederick knew how childish it had been to say so just to spite her, even if it was how he felt. Saying so in her presence was decidedly ungentlemanly, the opposite of what he aimed to be and the exactness of what Lady Russell had feared in him, those years ago.
When she fell, he felt so strongly the pull to sit beside her and try to fix her… his coldness was simply a means to keep himself distant and as unfeeling toward her as he could. The Musgrove girl was a pretty little distraction; but being entertained by Louisa with Anne so near was like trying to look at stars through the exploding of fireworks. It was difficult and required a vast amount of concentration.
He could not bear to see her hurt and just when he felt particularly uncharitable toward Charles for lending his arm to her, Mrs. Croft appeared at an opportune time to lend a helping hand in the matter. Wentworth led Anne, forcefully, mindful of her ankle but trying not to let her see it. She was arguing – so practical and selfless and worried of taking advantage of others and their troubles when it was obvious she’d not seen to her own needs in years. How infuriating that she could be so forceful in this instance but not when it mattered most.
It would have been so easy to just pull down the step and lend her his hand as she climbed to the wagon herself. It would have been easy to ask Charles to help her up instead – dear Charles, he too had seen what separated her from her sisters and the other girls, and instead had been forced to settle with an inferior specimen – but no. He gave in to temptation, for just a fleeting moment, feeling her shivers when the warmth of her arm on his hand sent matching ones down his spine. He might have been a little short, depositing her unceremoniously in the back of the wagon, but with his hands on her hips, her lightness in his arms again… and too many thoughts, running through his mind, he could not take the risk. Wentworth thanked God for those clamoring thoughts, because with her eyes on his, if he’d not been thinking so hard all at once he knew he might have been lost there - might have done something quite stupid.
It has come to this, he realizes as he turns his back to her and leads the others away to Uppercross… She has successfully split his mind so effectively that at once, he wants to hurt her as she hurt him and yet, so much of him wants to go to her and take her hand and never let go - wants to forget the years of bitterness without her love, when she did not write and his pain and fear and pride got in the way of him doing so.
It is with a particular flash of this bitterness that he comes to another realization. With Louisa talking nonsense beside him, Frederick finally becomes self-aware: He thinks, I am a man of contradictions. I have become a man who cannot make up his own mind.
Louisa’s voice is cacophony to his ears but he let her play on and follows as she leads him away.