Sweeter Than Fiction

Author's Note: This is an entry for A Drop of Romeo's Star-Crossed Round VIII writing contest. This round was a one shot. I am not really that much of a romance writer, so I am afraid that it is rather, um, cliché (I think . . . If not, go me.) So, enjoy.

Oh, I did "The Balloons."

Here's the rules:

Star-Cross'd Awards is the bi-annual writing contest of ADoR. There will be one from January to June, then another from July to December.

For each round, there is a set of prompts. You may choose from any prompt. For each prompt, there is one winner. Honourable mention will be awarded when there are sufficient submissions.

The requirements are:

Must be the specified story type (either multi-chaptered or one-shot)

Reference to Romeo and Juliet (this does not have to be a MAJOR reference. For example, your narrator could walk past a poster advertising a nearby showing of R&J) Italicized quote in this story.

Must have been written after the contest begun

The purpose of Star-Cross'd is to give you enough time to start and finish something you can edit until you're satisfied. I know that when I try writing for a prompt, I tend to not have enough time to finish my response. One month goes by like that. Star-Cross'd gives you five to six months to complete your entry.

All authors who submit their work shall receive a review from me AS LONG AS YOU FULFILL THE REQUIREMENTS! The winner of each round will receive a banner.

She felt him put his hands over her eyes. "Where are you taking me?" she asked.

Alec laughed slowly in her ear. "What have I said about trusting me?"

Emma closed her eyes. They had been over this many times. He had promised that their relationship would not be like her parents. Her father had walked out on the family when Emma was a young girl and never looked back. Her mother treated the event like it had been an early Christmas present.

Alec led her forward. "That's what I thought."
"But really, Alec, where are you taking me?" Emma asked. She hated not knowing what was going on, not being in control.

Alec didn't answer as he walked her forward.

Alec and Emma had been dating for nearly three years now. Emma had never been in a romantic relationship before him. She had promised to herself that she would never fall in love and end up in a miserable marriage like her parents. Whenever she and Alec had started seeing each other, she had to tell herself: "You are a lover. Borrow Cupid's wingsand soar with them above a common bound."

Emma blinked her eyes. "Alec, can you uncover my eyes?"
Alec chuckled. "You just need to learn to trust."
"You always say that," Emma whispered.

"Well, you do," Alec murmured. "I wouldn't let anything happen to you."
Emma sighed. "I know." She really did mean that.

Alec just kept walking. A few minutes later, he stopped. "Okay, I'm going to uncover your eyes for just a moment."
Emma looked around as her world became light. They were standing in front of Alec's beat up car. She looked back at the small cottage. They had done so much work on the cottage over the past couple of years. She did have to admit it looked pretty cute.

Alec was rummaging through his pockets. "Darn it! I forgot it in the house. I'll be right back and don't you think about going anywhere!"
"Okay," Emma said as Alec darted back into the cottage.

Emma put her hands into her pockets and stared at the ground. She really wasn't the type of person who enjoyed surprises. Surely, after all this time Alec would remember that.

A few minutes later Alec emerged from the cottage. He jogged quickly down the path to Emma. "I got it!" He proudly waved a medium sized piece of fabric in Emma's face.

Emma frowned. "What is that?"
Alec just smiled at Emma. "We can't have you see where I'm taking you, now, can we?"
Emma frowned. Alec was really going all out on this. She sighed. "I'm not going to win this one am I?"
Alec shook his head as he moved behind her. "Nope." He brushed her hair to the side and doubled the fabric. Soon Emma's world was back into the darkness.

"Can you see anything?" Alec asked.

Emma shook her head. It was a dark as her childhood home.

"Good," Alec said as he grabbed Emma's arm and lead her to the car. "You can relax. I won't let anything bad happen to you."
Emma put one foot in front of the other. She heard Alec open the car door.

"Watch your head," Alec said as he held Emma's head down as she crawled into the car. He handed her the seat belt and helped her settle in.

Emma knew that many girls would appreciate Alec's famed southern gentleman manners. When they had first starting going out, Alec's manners had made her feel special and she had expected it to end as the relationship went on, but it didn't. It made her feel like she was his Juliet and he was Romeo. She just hoped that they didn't have Romeo and Juliet's ending. She closed her eyes. No, Emma and Alec were sweeter than fiction.

Emma jumped as she heard Alec open his door. She had almost forgotten that he wasn't in the car yet. She heard him moving around and then the car started up. She felt the car move forward.

"So, how far until we get there?" Emma asked.

Alec chuckled under his breath. "You are just full of questions today."

"Being successful is about asking the right kind of questions," Emma said.

"I haven't heard that one before." Alec paused. Emma could picture him looking at her. "Who said that?"
"I did."

"Well, I guess that makes you a smart lady," Alec commented.

Emma nodded. "Yeah, it does." She paused and turned in his direction. "What do you mean by you guess?"

"Oh, nothing."

Emma reached out and gently hit what she hoped was his arm.

"Hey, I'm driving here!" Alec exclaimed.

Emma snorted. "You guess that I'm smart."
Alec just laughed. "Lighten up a little, Emma."
Emma sighed. He had been telling her to lighten up for years. She just simply could not allow herself to lighten up. Lightening up would mean that she was letting her guard down. Granted she did let it down a little when she was around Alec, but to let her guard down completely was unthinkable.

"I take that silence as meaning I'm right," Alec said.

"You take it however you want too."
She heard Alec put on his blinker. "Well, just so you know, we are almost there."

Emma nodded. She almost had forgotten about the surprise. Now that her attention was back on it, she couldn't help but feel a little concerned. Alec's surprises tended to make her a little on edge. Last Christmas came to mind. Alec had forced her under the mistletoe and kissed her in front of everyone. Some girls had really enjoyed that, but not Emma. She was not one for public displays of affection.

Alec was slowing down. "I think you will really like this."
"Oh, I hope so," Emma muttered.

"It won't be that bad." Emma could picture Alec smiling over at her, his blue eyes dancing.
"I just hope it's not as bad as your waiter skills." Emma winced at that the memory. The first time she had met Alec had been at a local diner and he was the waiter. Let's just say he wasn't very good at it.
"They are not that bad! You just aren't remembering it correctly!"
"Oh, so you weren't rude," Emma commented. "That was probably your evil twin."

"Funny," was all Alec said.

"Then, you stalked me!" Emma exclaimed.

"I did no such thing," Alec replied.

"Sure you didn't."
"It doesn't matter." Alec slowed to a stop. "We are here."
"Where's here?" Emma asked.

Alec kissed her lips. "Nice try, but I'm not going to tell you yet."
Emma groaned. She had hoped that he would have broken done by now.

"Stay here. I'm coming around to get you."
Emma nodded.

A few seconds later, she heard him open his door and, then, close it. The next thing she knew her door was open and he was helping her out of the car.

Emma really wanted to see where she was. "Can I take this thing off now?" she asked.

"Nope," Alec said, popping the "p."
Emma let Alec walk her forward. "You are really going all out on this."

"I'm still not telling you," Alec said. "Watch your step. There's a hole here."
Emma took a few careful steps forward. "You know, if you would just let me take this thing off, then I could see where I'm going."

"Not happening."

"I could fall and break something."

"Still not happening."

"Are you even one bit concerned about my safely?"

"Can't you just trust me enough?"
Emma didn't answer. Alec did have a good point with that one.
Alec kept walking her forward. "There are steps coming up, about three of them."

Emma nodded. "Okay."

"I'm not going to let you fall," Alec whispered.

"I know." Emma did mean that. She knew he would hold her up, just as she would do for him.

"Okay, steps are right in front of you."
Emma put one foot up and climbed onto the step. "How many did you say there was again?"

"Three," Alec answered. "They are close together, so get ready for the next one."
Emma did so. Alec never let go of her the entire time. Together they made their way to the top just like they had done so for the past three years.

"You know it's been a whole five minutes since you've asked me," Alec pointed out.

"Asked you what?" Emma asked.

"If you could take the blindfold off," Alec replied. "You were asking about doing that every thirty seconds."
"I did no such thing!" Emma exclaimed as she heard a door open.

"Sure you didn't," was all Alec said.

"Well, I didn't!"
"Come on." Alec took her arm and lead her through what she thought was a doorway.

Emma didn't say anything as she heard the door close behind them. "What we doing?"
Alec pulled her to the right. "You will see."
"Alexander-"
"Please, just trust me on this one, Emma," Alec pleaded.

Emma sighed. Why didn't he just give up on this game? He was probably wondering why she just didn't go along with it.

"Emma, guess what?" Alec asked.

"What?" Emma asked. She wasn't also one for guessing games.

"It's time for you to take that off."
Emma hadn't even been aware that they had stopped moving. "What?"
"You heard me."
Emma reached up and pulled the blindfold off. She blinked and looked around. They were in a large, empty room that was filled with different coloured balloons. There were neon and dull balloons hanging from the ceiling, the walls, and on the floor. She blinked, taking it on in.

"You said you never had balloons at your birthday parties," Alec said he came over to stand to her.

Emma kissed his cheek. "It's not even my birthday."
Alec put his arm around her waist. "I know."

Emma looked around. "Whose house is this anyway?"
Alec tossed a balloon at her. "What do you think about it?"
Emma batted the balloon away. "You didn't answer my question."

"You didn't answer mine either," Alec fired back.

Emma looked around. "Well, I've only seen this room, so I really can't say."

Alec took her hand. "Well, we will just have to take care of that."

Emma pulled him out of the room. "We will just have to do that." She pulled him out into the hall. "Where first?"
Alec's blue eyes were dancing. "You tell me."

Emma looked around. "Can we go upstairs?"

Alec laughed. "Of course." He paused. "You sound like a little kid on Christmas morning."

Emma danced up the stairs. "I've never been in a house this big before."
Alec followed her up the stairs. "You've been in something like this. It's not actually that big of a house."
Emma didn't answer. She always felt insecure about admitting that she wasn't from the highest society or even the middle class. The only reason she could even go to university was because she had gotten a full ride. Even though Alec didn't look it or act like it, he was from high society. Alec was from a family like Romeo Montague's.

Alec put his hand on Emma's shoulder. "Emma, are you okay?"
Emma nodded. "Yeah, but I'm still confused."
"About what?" Alec asked.

"Why are we in this house?" Emma asked. She walked into a bedroom that was the size of her old house in West Virginia.

"Because I bought it for us," Alec whispered.

Emma turned around and looked at him. "For us?"

Alec nodded. He looked like a little boy who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. "Is it too much?"
"Well, I don't know," Emma started in.

A look of horror crossed Alec's face.

Emma took Alec's hand. "I haven't gotten to see enough of it for me to decide."
"Exploring time?" Alec asked.

Emma nodded. "Oh, baby, is it ever."
They walked through the different rooms of the house; each one was more impressive than the other. Emma felt like she was a princess in a fairytale. She simply could not process the idea of possibly living here. In her old life, she would have called someone crazy if they said she would meet a nice wealthy boy and live in a mansion.

Emma could not hardly remember each room they went into. The rooms looked like something that had come out of an old Victorian literature story. There were brightly coloured walls, large doorways and windows, and beautiful carpets. She wondered if this place had secret passageways.

Emma and Alec walked down the second staircase. (Emma could not get over the fact that this house had two staircases. She had never been in a house with two before.)

They made their way back into the living room.

Alec batted balloon away. "Well, what did you think?"
Emma smiled. "It was amazing, simply the best house I've even been in."
Alec laughed. "Do you really mean that?"
Emma nodded. She threw a pink balloon at Alec. "It's something like something out of a book I've read." She paused. "Only, it's more than that. This is so much sweeter than fiction."
Alec smiled. "Well, I'm to hear that reality is sweeter than something made up."

Emma nodded. "Yeah, I guess that would be a good thing."
Alec nodded. "Fiction can be scary sometimes."
"Yeah."
"Just read fanfiction...The stuff they come up with makes my eyes burn."

"I'm surprised you read fanfiction."

"Yeah, it happens."

Emma smiled over at him. "So, what kind of fanfiction do you read?"
Alec shrugged. "That is classified information."

Emma tapped him on the arm. "Come on, you know you can trust me."
Alec laughed. "That's supposed to be my line."
Emma smiled. "Well, I guess it's not anymore."
"Well, I guess not."
Emma looked over at Alec. Though he was smiling, there seemed to be something off. His blue eyes kept darting nervously around and she could see that his hands were faintly shaking. If she looked close enough, she could see a bead of sweet forming under his hair and running down his cheek.

Emma tossed another at him. "I am really loving these balloons."
Alec tossed a bright pink one at her. "That was the goal."
Emma laughed. She really did feel like a princess out of a fairytale. Alec treated her like she was above the normal treatment of human beings. It just warmed her soul and made her feel all lovely inside.

Alec pulled Emma close to him and kissed her on the lips. "I have something to ask you," he whispered. He walked into the centre of the room.

Emma nodded. Alec never asked her if it was okay to something; he just always did it. Why was he acting so strange? It just didn't make sense to her.

"Alec?" Emma asked as she caught up with him.

Alec turned and looked at her. "I want to ask you something." His voice was shaking.

"Okay," Emma said with a nod, not pointing out that he had already told her that.

Her mouth dropped open as he got down on one knee and pulled out a ring from his back pocket. "Will you marry me?"

Emma blinked and sank down onto the floor next to him. She kissed him as tears of happiness spilled out of her eyes. "Yes, I will marry you!"
Alec kissed her back as balloons began to fall from the air. "I guess I didn't put enough air in them."
Emma laughed as one hit her on the head. "Yeah, I guess not."

So...Emma and Alec are two characters that I used for a SKoW challenge response. I will have that story (Mine) up in spring of 2014. I have also written a small one-shot about them called "Under the Mistletoe" which I will have posted in December of 2013. As always thanks for reading!