Thanks for your reviews, guys! I hope you like this chapter. It gives you a little more on Perry, because a few people were curious about him, and I think it's pretty important to know more about him anyway so… yeah. Lol.

Fate Steps In

Eight

Of Dining and The Dark

Some people are just born to be stars. Maybe not in terms of fame, or athletics, but there's a certain quality to people when they are that way. Perry was like that. The County family was a very upstanding one, full of wealth, power, and overachievers. The Counties were on good terms with the Capels, which meant that they were on good terms with the Montys, but they hadn't always been. Fortunately for all the family businesses, Percival County had fallen completely and totally in love with Juliet Capel. A possible joining of two super-families was in the air, and everyone in town could smell it…

His arm slung around Juliet's shoulders as they ate in the dining room, he carried on and on, telling a story. He was very animated, and the entire table was nearly doubled over with laughter. Everyone except for Juliet, who laughed politely, but her thoughts were far from the table.

Perry was very handsome. He really was. And he was intelligent, and noble, and valiant, and proper, and very well-mannered. So what if he was a little pompous? Yes, Perry was pretty wonderful. Juliet dimly acknowledged that she might appreciate him more if she wasn't stabbing herself in the hand with her fork repeatedly.

"So, where will you be going after this, honey?" Gloria Capel asked her daughter, wiping tears of mirth from her eyes. Gloria adored Perry; she really did, but not nearly as much as she adored Juliet. Their relationship had never been a particularly close one, but she treasured her child, and she could read her better than she thought she could. She could tell when her baby was unhappy.

"Oh! Um…" Juliet stuttered, caught off-guard by the question directed at her. For most of the dinner, Perry had been doing the talking and she and everyone else had been doing the laughing. This sudden swapping of the roles derailed her act. Then the most absurd thought occurred to her.

She didn't know where they were going.

Shooting a glance at her boyfriend, the message from her eyes said 'Okay, now you can jump in.' He immediately began to speak, and Juliet wondered if it was because he was saving her or because he just loved to hear himself speak. One to romanticize things, Juliet opted to think it was the first one.

"We were hoping to attend a party being held by one of my friends at his parent's home. I assure you, he's a very upstanding gentleman, a member of Student Council, the Honors Society, and the varsity basketball team."

Fulgencio Capel bit his lip to keep from grinning and exchanged a look with his daughter over the table to see that she was doing the same thing. Although he was very fond of Mr. County too, he had always thought that his tendency to name-drop and boast on other people was very amusing. The Capel patriarch was too good-humored to find it anything else.

Juliet pondered silently when they had become a 'we'. It seemed like so long ago when she and Perry had first begun dating. She felt as if during that time, her individuality has started falling away. In the end, she thought with a sickening pang of realization, she would be left with nothing. No creativity, no particular beauty, no sharp wit or sparkling intellect. Just a trophy wife for a business man. Not even a she or a me. Just part of we.

"The basketball team, did you say? Is he a friend of Romeo's?" Gloria inquired. His name sliced through the dimness of Juliet's thoughts, snapping her attention back to the table. Gloria's innocent inquiry elicited attentiveness from Juliet, a knowing smirk from Fulgencio, and an awkward sort of anger from Perry.

"Not really a friend, per say. But I do expect that Romeo shall be there," Perry said with a sniff. Juliet and Fulgencio both rolled their eyes at his condescending tone. Gloria's wide green eyes narrowed for the first time that night, darkening as she processed this. When it came down to it, Gloria loved Romeo like he was her own child. Being best friends with his mother Caroline, she was present for almost all of his childhood, and watched him grow up to become the charming young man he is. You just couldn't help but adore him. While she liked Perry very much, no boy Juliet would ever bring home could upstage Romeo, and it seemed that everyone at the table was aware of that… except, of course, for Perry.

Juliet's gaze fell upon the large windows that lined the outside wall of her exquisite dining room. She let out a wry little smile when she realized that where else would she be looking but directly at the Monty household. A light had just gone out and with a split-second estimate, Juliet determined that it was Romeo himself's room that had just been cast into darkness.

"Excuse me," she said promptly, dropping her cloth napkin onto her chair and walking briskly out the door, ignoring the curious glances behind her. Her long reddish-brown hair swished behind her as she walked as fast as she possibly could. She didn't know why she was doing this. It came down to a simple principle. Like a moth to a flame, Juliet couldn't stay away from Romeo. She never could. No matter how much trouble or drama or heartache he caused her, she would always care, never able to really wash her hands of him. All she knew was that she had to see him right now.

Of course, girls say that all the time. Romeo was an interesting paradox where you didn't want to really look at him, or else get sucked in. His intense blue gaze, flawless skin, strong jaw line and perfectly tousled blonde hair made him something that you could spend many hours taking in. Then again, if you did look at him, he was an almost painfully beautiful sight. You never really knew what to do around him.

Running down the long hall way, her heels slapping against the Italian marble of the floor, she literally slid to a stop centimeters from the doors. Flinging it open, she took a deep breath of fresh air. The atmosphere inside had been far too stifling. Looking up, she almost completely lost track of her mission. Juliet had never seen a night with such a perfect shade of dark blue. However, the beautiful shade of blue triggered her thoughts back to Romeo and his eyes that could pierce your soul. Maintaining careful composure, she glided silently across her yard, the property line, his yard, until finally she was standing in his driveway, face to face with the boy she's always known.

"Hey Jules," he offered simply, a smile tugging at the corner of his full pink lips.

"Hey," she said quietly.

"So… not that I'm not happy to see you and everything, but what brings you here?" he shifted, stuffing his hands into the front pockets of his jeans.

"I don't know," she admitted. They stood in a silence that wasn't really awkward, exchanging a few glances that seemed to say so much more.

"Are you going to the party?" Juliet asked.

"Yeah, I was planning on it."

"Okay," she nodded, smiling.

He opened his mouth to say something, but light music filled the silence instead.

How do I live without you

I want to know

How do I breathe without you

If you ever go

How do I ever, ever survive

How do I

How do I

Oh, how do I live

Juliet stifled her laughter when she realized that this ballad was coming from Romeo's cell phone. She really couldn't hold it in anymore when she saw the look of repulsion he was glaring at it with.

"Somebody's going soft," she choked out between laughs.

He let out a little half-smile that didn't quite erase the disgust in his eyes. "Melody keeps changing it. Hold on a second, Julie."

Her smile totally vanished. She no longer had any urge to laugh, so her biting her lip now was to contain a totally different emotion. Of course, the sappy love ballads, the right to play with his cell phone, hang out with him, hug him any time she pleased… that all belonged to Melody. And that left Juliet with what?

She heard him wrapping up a mumbled conversation.

"Yeah, I'll be there in a few minutes. Uh huh. Yeah… me too. Bye Mel."

They stood in silence again, but unlike before, it was a very awkward one. Finally, he broke it.

"Uh… well, I have to go. But I'll see you at the party, right?" he asked, looking slightly uncomfortable, running a hand through his hand.

"Yeah. I'll see you later," she whispered. She didn't know why it killed her that he was leaving her to pick up Melody. After all, she would've left him in a few minutes to be with Perry. Maybe it was because she had left Perry first to see Romeo, and she knew that she would do it all over again if she had to, but he was leaving her now for his flavor of the week.

"Okay. I'll see you there, Jules," he called out to her as his car pulled out from the driveway. Leaving Juliet in the dark, a place she was becoming more and more familiar with.

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Ermm.. what did you guys think? Lol please review and let me know. Thanks for reading!

xo Sam