As a child, growing up behind the looming convent walls of ivy-covered stone, Cosette dreamed of a handsome knight who would, someday, fall madly in love with her at first sight and sweep her off to his splendid manor on the back of a snow-white horse.
There were no volumes of faerie tales and certainly no novels, romantic or otherwise, in the convent library, and Papa's legends were wholly bereft of dashing heroes, but the stories the older girls would tell the younger ones behind the Mother Superior's back as they readied themselves for bed abounded with them. Cosette soon formed the childish but firm opinion that knights in shining armor were a dime a dozen, but made agreeable husbands when they weren't off fighting dragons and such.
When Cosette was liberated from the confines of the convent- not, alas, by a cavalier on a white steed, but her own dear Papa- she soon discovered reality was much less romantic then she had been led to believe. Still, Cosette was a girl not easily discouraged, and her daydreams of life as the much-adored wife of a gallant knight remained, though dreams they were and not ambitions.
Still, she lived, and laughed, and was mollycoddled more than any princess that had ever lived, and her days were spent in the happy haze of a young child, unaware of the happenings beyond their comfortable, abet small, world.
Then, one day, a stranger entered her kingdom built of reveries and daydreams.
To Cosette, her father had always been like the sun- a warm, bright light, chasing away the shadows, filling her days with happiness, giving her life- but then she met Marius, and a second sun appeared in her life, brighter than the first.
She loved him- loved his shy smile, loved the way his dark curls constantly fell into his puppyish eyes, loved the eager, reverent tone he used when speaking of Napoleon or his father, loved the stories he'd tell her of his childhood, loved the way he treated her like a queen. Simply sitting at his side made her giddy with happiness.
True, he was a lawyer, not a knight-errant- a baron, not a prince, but close enough- and he had admitted to a childhood fear of horses, but as Cosette rested her chin on his shoulder, smiling at the way the moonlight reflected off his long-lashed brown eyes as he gazed down at her, twisting a curl of her chestnut hair around his finger, she loved him so much she felt her soul might burst.
Knights are overrated, anyway.