Chapter I – Fates Just Sucks.

A/N: I just re-wrote this and will probably be writing out more chapters during the winter break. Enjoy.

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Alexandra Nicole Taylor sighed softly in impatience as she paced her bedroom. She lifted the skirt of the silky black dress that she was wearing and wrinkled her nose. The young girl had always disliked dresses, and here she was in one.

"It's my birthday and instead of getting to do what I want, I'm stuck here… Wearing a dress and attending all this frou frou crap." She grumbled as she stared at the full body mirror and observed the design of the dress. It was a deep v-neckline, floor length gown that gathered and what looked like knotted at the middle. It was embroidered with rain beading, the countless beads shimmering every time she moved. In truth, the dress was very beautiful but it wasn't her kind of thing to wear gowns and dresses… She preferred to wear clothes that were comfortable and her style was ultimately very different.

"Ugh. I'm still killing whoever made this dress." She muttered just as the door opened to reveal her best friend, Bianca Klein, the designer of the said dress. Bianca was elegantly dressed in her own creation, a crimson colored tea-length mermaid dress with a halter neckline that tied at the back. The hem was accentuated with ruffles. Her hair was parted on the side and put into a messy bun with a large crimson tea rose in her black and silver hair.

She put her hand to her heart and struck a dramatic pose. "You're really going to kill me Alex? That hurts! That hurts right here!" motioning to her heart. "Where's the friendship in that huh? I slave day and night to make you a masterpiece of a gown and you want to kill me for it?" Bianca was already smiling and Alex shook her head and snickered.

"Shut up Bee. You know that you could have made the dress nice and simple like I would have liked, but instead you made it something … something that Izzy would like." Alex made a face and Bianca laughed softly as she stepped forward and motioned for Alex to sit in a chair so that she could touch up her make up and fix her hair.

"We can ditch the party later and paintball. Monica had a place ready for us." She murmured as she applied eyeliner and thick mascara to Alex's green expressive eyes. Alex made a face and Bianca snorted in an unlady-like manner.

"Hold still. You may dislike it, but trust me. You look amazing." She pulled back checking if Alex's hair was okay and smiled. Alex turned slightly to look at the chopsticks that held half of her hair in a bun. They were black and silver like her dress with ornaments hanging from the tip.

The younger Taylor looked at her best friend and smiled in a sarcastic manner, truly appreciating the fact that the two were opposites at almost everything.

While Alex's black hair was tipped with crimson, and her eyes a bright green, Bianca's long black hair was streaked with silver. Her beautiful almond shaped eyes were purple and they glittered when she was amused.

Alex was a bit tomboyish, preferring to wear comfortable clothing and hanging out with their guy friends. She disliked shopping unless it was for music, books and food and though she was a fairly good dancer, avoided slow dances and ballroom dancing when she could. She could always be found with a book in her hands or her iPod when she wasn't out paintballing. But Bianca was girly. She was a fashion designer and loved shopping and dancing. She was artistic and not only designed dresses, but drew, painted and sculpted.

Her daydreaming was disturbed when Bianca's voice rang out in the room.

"What time do you want to leave?" Alex smirked.

"How about now?" Bianca scoffed and playfully glared at the girl.

"Okay, okay… Maybe 10 or 11-ish? I mean, hey! Maybe Gale won't suck so much this time and Nestor won't get kicked in the nuts." She cackled evilly while Bianca shook her head. The two friends' attentions were caught instantly by the opening of the door. It revealed Alex's older brother, Dimitri Taylor who looked dashing in a tuxedo.

"Hey Dim." Alex said as she stood up. He chuckled and twirled her once.

"Wow… Doesn't my little sister look beautiful, Bianca?" Bianca blushed lightly and nodded. Dimitri carefully twirled Alex once more, ending with her back facing him. He took out a velvet box and opened it slowly, revealing a black velvet choker with one brilliant cut diamond in the middle. He put it around her neck and tied it gently enough to not hurt her. Alex touched it and gasped softly, turning slightly to smile at her brother.

"You're growing up little sister… You look beautiful, and the choker matches, don't you think?" she hugged him and he kissed the top of her head in brotherly affection.

"Come on… The guests will be asking for you soon." She nodded and allowed Bianca to find her own escort, promising to be close.

"I'll see you in a bit Alex. Good luck!"

-In Veith Manor –

Nicole Daniels grumbled under her breath as she fixed her best friend's tie. She huffed as she playfully glared at him, backing away to inspect her work.

"Why couldn't Sophie just go with you to this thing? I had to ditch our weekly movie marathon with the other guys because of this thing." Joseph looked at her and raised a finely arched brow, his blue eyes twinkling in amusement.

"And you think I'm not missing it either?" Nicole blushed and smoothed out her dress. It was a midnight blue, on the shoulder, backless dress; the sleeves were designed to look like roses. Her hair was put up into a messy bun with a tiny clip holding all of her auburn hair. She raised a brow at Joseph when she saw the confused look on his face, his usually clear blue eyes, a slate-like color.

"What's wrong with you?" she queried as she poked his shoulder. Joseph looked at her and smiled.

"Nothing." Joseph Veith: one of the most popular students in their school. He was respected as a senior, and was swooned over by almost all of the girls. His shiny black hair covered his amazing blue eyes. Eyes that were as calm as a lake, but when provoked could be as violent as a storm. His body was strong and hard from all the activities that he did, but it wasn't bulky or disgusting to look at; for he looked like a calm sea, stoic and serene, with hidden power deep within.

Nicole had been thinking all these things and had not realized that she had been staring. Joseph smiled slightly and snapped his fingers; doing this snapped her out of her reverie and she looked at Joseph with a confused look.

"Huh?" He just chuckled and shook his head.

"You were staring." Nicole scowled at him but turned her head lightly when she heard Joseph's parents call them.

"So… Are you ready for this Ms. Nicole Daniels?" he raised a brow and smirked as he offered her his arm. She took it and scoffed with an air of confidence.

"I'm always ready Veith."

-Back at the Taylor Estate –

Alex and Dimitri made their way down to the large ballroom full of people. Dimitri escorted Alex into the sea of guests, via the grand staircase, allowing everyone to gasp and coo at her beauty… At how much she had grown, and how she would become a lovely wife (Alex had to stifle a snort when she heard this).

Just as Alex descended the staircase, the Veiths, accompanied by Nicole, walked into the ballroom. Andrea Veith smiled pleasantly at Alex's smiling face.

"Look how grown up she is… Isn't she just beautiful darling?" she motioned to her husband who smiled and nodded in agreement. Joseph looked at the girl and dropped his jaw slightly. It had been a while since he had seen Alex in evening wear… A very long time. He was already used to seeing her in boyish, baggy clothes and had never realized that her body had filled out in all the right places. She moved with grace and poise and was seemingly the bell of the ball. Nicole smiled at Joseph in amusement as she closed his jaw, allowing him to come out of his reverie.

"She certainly does clean up well, doesn't she Joseph?" she asked as they walked away from his parents, grabbing two flutes of champagne from a passing waiter. He grunted a reply as she offered him the champagne which he took with a nod of thanks. Joseph kept his eyes on her for a while as she mingled with the guests who warmly greeted her and spoke to her. She reciprocated in kind and would talk to them, her eyes full of warmth and happiness… He sighed.

"I wish the guys were here." Nicole smiled over her flute of champagne, knowing that he would say that sooner or later.

"We can leave early if you want, catch the ending of whatever movie they're watching." He nodded in agreement and calmly sipped at the bubbly.

Nicole suddenly smiled and walked away from him. Joseph raised a brow and followed her with his eyes and saw her wrap her arms around a guy that he could not identify.

He seemed young, about their age; his black-brown hair was spiked in different directions. Suddenly Nicole turned and he could finally get a clear view of his face and when he did, Joseph grinned. It was none other than Matthew Williams, one of his best friends.

The two walked over to Joseph who was leaning against a wall, shaking his head in amusement. Matthew grinned.

"Why Mr. Veith! I would have never expected you to be invited to Ms. Taylor's coming of age party! It's so good to see you!" Joseph chuckled and looked at him.

"What are you doing here? Isn't it your turn to host the movie marathon?" Matthew shook his head and sat in a chair near the wall that Joseph was leaning against.

"I couldn't just leave the two of you here by your lonesome… What kind of friend do you think I am?" Joseph and Nicole snickered at his over-acting.

"Anyway, Joseph and I were thinking of heading out early so we could still catch the end of the movie or something. Are they sleeping over?" Nicole queried as Matt nodded in affirmation. Matt turned his head upon seeing Alex and Bianca talking to each other at one corner of the room. Suddenly seeing Joseph's mother take Alex's hand and practically dragging her somewhere, he smirked in amusement.

"Uh-oh Veith. Someone's in trouble…" he murmured in a taunting voice. Joseph looked around, not understanding what he meant when suddenly, the kind hostess, Mikhaela Taylor was behind the astonished boy.

"Mrs… Mrs… Taylor! How are you?" he said politely as he kissed his godmother's cheek. She smiled at him and took him by the arm.

"Excellent dear… I was thinking… Why not dance with my daughter? It is her birthday after all… And you two have been such good friends since forever!" she gleefully smiled in a way that clearly stated, 'You will dance with her or else!'. He sighed, resigned to his fate as the two met in the center of the dance floor… Space was suddenly cleared for them and everyone watched them as Joseph offered his hand to the lady who smiled 'bashfully' and graciously accepted. He placed his hand at the small of her bare back while the other held her hand. The two mothers wiped fake tears from their eyes, devious smiles on their painted lips.

"Ahh… Good times." The two toasted to a scheme well done as they watched their children waltz across the room.

"I am killing them." She grumbled. He grunted a reply as a slow dance began to play. Alex faked a smile as they began to dance.

"Only if I don't get to them first. How's your birthday freak?" he smirked at her as he twirled her gracefully. She scoffed at him.

"Going perfect until you arrived and became my cloud covering my ray of fucking sunshine, you jerk." The two continued to smile and everyone in the audience began to coo and chuckle at the two, commenting on how 'sweet' they looked. Matt and Nicole tried as best to stifle their giggles while Dimitri who had found Bianca and her older brother Zyril, downed a flute of champagne nervously.

"Man, Joseph's mom is evil. I can see where he gets it." Matthew whispered to Nicole. She shook her head but smiled in silent agreement.

"Do those two still think that Joseph and Alex are meant for each other or something?" Bianca queried.

"I guess so. I mean, they have been dreaming and planning the wedding since they were toddlers."Zyril replied as he straightened out the red silk shirt of his white tie apparel

"I am so going to kill you." Alex said through smiling teeth as she allowed him to twirl her. He chuckled softly.

"Not if I can kill you first, bitch." He mumbled as he carefully passed his hand from her cheek to her neck in a gentle caress.

"Jackass." She fired right back.

"Freak." Alex couldn't get the last word as the last note of the waltz had been played. She curtsied to him and he pressed a kiss on her cheek whispering a 'happy birthday'.

"Drop dead Taylor." She faked a laugh and whispered, "Right back at you Veith."

They pulled away from each other and Alex feigned embarrassment at all the applause. Matthew and Nicole stifled their giggles as they clapped half-heartedly while Bianca hid her face behind her brother, praying that her best friend didn't have any sharp objects with her.

"Please don't kill him now…Kill him at school, or tomorrow… Just not now… Please…" she begged.

Alex's father suddenly appeared between the two teens and everybody settled down as they waited for him to start speaking.

"As you know, today is my daughter's 18th birthday and we are here to celebrate it. But my family has also another reason for celebration. You see, the Veiths and the Taylors have been good friends since… well, forever! And when Joseph and Alex were born we thought them perfect for each other." Alex raised a brow at Joseph who shrugged in ignorance. Matt looked at Nicole as he took a sip of champagne. Dimitri on the other hand was as pale as a ghost.

"Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no." he began to murmur. Bianca looked at him in concern, touching his shoulder lightly.

"What's wrong Dimitri?"

"And so tonight, we unite two families… Two households with the marriage of Joseph Veith and Alexandra Taylor!" Applause and cheers rang out through the mansion while Joseph and Alex looked at each other in horror, mouths wide open.

Dimitri swore profoundly, Bianca fainted and Matthew spit out his champagne. Nicole on the other hand covered her face with one hand.

"Holy shit."