I feel uncomfortable with the mask covering my face. I know that it couldn't possibly hide my identity, but it was the fashion and I was expected to uphold it. I look around. The night was dark, but the Capulet terrace was covered in candles, which made the vines covering the walls glow. I managed to smuggle Adagio in, and he had run off with a pretty African woman. Ladies were laughing, men were joking. I was attending the party of the year. I see many pretty women, but I wonder which is my Juliet.
"Ah! Paris!" Capulet's low voice booms from behind me. I whirl to see the heavyset man approach with his lady, tall and thin in comparison, on his arm.
"Sir! It is a pleasure. And his lady." I bow quickly, and kiss Lady Capulet's outstretched hand. It is important to I do my duty and prove myself a worthy husband for their daughter. I am speaking to the wealthy, venerated Capulet and his wife, after all. I do have a reputation to uphold. I smile my most stunning smile, the one I use for business. I see I have won their approval.
"Paris, I wish to introduce you to my daughter, Juliet." He says, and gestures to a girl by his side, one that I hadn't noticed. I am stunned – beautiful was nothing compared to her.
She has soft features, with mahogany hair and a petite frame. But I am more shocked at her eyes: wide, and a striking shade of blue, watching me incredulously, like I was the most disgusting insect she'd ever seen. I'm surprised – it's much more normal for a girl to oggle. Maybe it is the curl in my hair, which was being troublesome the morning before. It is dim on the terrace; maybe she couldn't see my fine features well enough. Again, duty calls. I needed to win the approval of those doting eyes that seem to stare right past me now…
"How do you do?" Her voice is disorienting. There has an annoyed note stuck there, out of place in the symphony of her words. The soft eyes turn bitter again as she turns her attention back to me.
"Well, my fair lady. How do you do?" I bow and kiss her soft hand as well. Capulet and his wife look on excitedly. She murmurs something that I cannot understand. I let it pass. I flash her my dazzling grin once more, and ask her to dance.
"It's an honor, sir." She mumbles, again looking right through me. I am angered by her lack of interest, but I remain silent. I put my hands around her waist and we move in time to the small orchestra.
"Tis a lovely night." I purr. She bites her lip.
"I suppose. I'm not quite fond of parties." This is a shock – the house of Capulet hosts many parties, in all of which I hear they showed off their daughter like a trophy. I would think she enjoyed them.
"Neither am I." I admit, taken aback by the similarity. The girl had such an arrogant flavor to her before, she seems like she is warming up to me. I was thrilled. Of course, she didn't make eye contact, those gorgeous sapphire eyes criticizing all the fluff and flair of the party decorations. I became even more irritated at this; I craved her attention. After all, we were betrothed.
We continue to dance like this, stiffly and awkwardly. Juliet could dance well; there was no point in denying it. Alas, she seems hardly interested in me, her eyes continuing to roam about, every so often looking down at our feet. I tried to coax more information out of her with no avail. I obviously bored her.
The song ended, and she stepped back, releasing herself from my hold, and making eye contact with me for the first time all evening. The cerulean pupils held my gaze for a short moment before she quickly strode away. I was stunned. I tried to breathe, but I just couldn't seem to draw in a breath. My throat shrunk to an infinitesimal size and my lips froze.
I have never been so sure that I am in love.