[Pierre] knew it at that moment as certainly as he would have known it standing at the altar with her. How it would be and when, he did not know; he did not even know whether it would be good (he even felt that it was not good for some reason), but he knew that it would be.
Pierre knew that everyone was only waiting for him finally to say one word. to cross a certain line, and he knew that sooner or later he would cross it; but some incomprehensible terror seized him at the mere thought of that frightful step.
Tension... something is not right... We don't want to "watch the paint dry," we want to see the paint can teetering on the edge of the top of the ladder, the painter (in a three day beard and overalls) gazing out the window, distracted by some wonderful noise...