So, this is my very first story written on ! I've written for other sites before but never this one, so I thought I'd give it a go! Please let me know what you think, I love reviews! I'm not really fond of the first few chapters, but I promise it'll get better! Enjoy!

Chapter 1

"There is no way in HELL I'm wearing that, Carrie!" I exclaimed to my best friend. "Oh, Em you will look so gorgeous in it, though!" she wined. I rolled my eyes. "No." I folded my arms across my chest stubbornly. She put on her best puppy dog look. "Please?" she asked sweetly, looking at me from underneath her long eyelashes. I rolled my eyes again and huffed. "Fine!" I said, throwing my hands up. She clapped her hands excitedly. "Yay! Now, we must get you dressed!" I groaned, but she looked so happy that I couldn't bear to hurt her feelings, and grudgingly decided to go along with her plans.

45 minutes later, I've suffered hair and makeup treatment and now I'm being stuffed into a very renaissance type dress. "Is this really necessary?" I huff again for the millionth time. Carrie rolled her eyes at me through the mirror. "Yes it is!" I scowled. "There was nothing wrong with the dress I had," I retorted. "Except that it is winter, and it was a summer dress, and is not nearly dressy enough for a Masquerade Ball!" she snapped back. I folded my arms over my chest and looked away from her. "Ah, don't do that, I'm trying to lace your corset!" I giggled slightly at her frustration and how, living in the modern times, she was trying to put me in a corset. I let my arms hang limply by my sides. "Fine, then, have it your way," I said sweetly. She glanced at me through the mirror. "I know you're being a sarcastic arse right now, but thank you anyway," she said, a small smirk on her lips.

We were silent for a few moments as she continued to fiddle with my dress. "Carrie?" I asked timidly. "Mhmm?" I hesitated. "How am I going to pay you back for this dress? You know I can't afford it…" my voice trailed off as the tears I'd been holding in threated to ruin my perfect makeup. She stopped fiddling and turned me around to look at her properly. "Is that what all this has been about?" she asked softly. I nodded, not able to look her in the eyes. "Oh, Emma, you should know better! I would never let you pay me back!" I started to protest but she continued over my voice. "Besides, I got it in the costume department at the shop, so no worries." She winked at me. "I should've known!" I gasped (the corset was now completely laced and took my breath away a moment). "Well, I did ask this time, and Lisa said it was perfectly alright. I borrowed the one I'm wearing as well. They used them for the production of Phantom a couple years ago, and they were in perfect condition still."

Carrie worked for a theatre company, and often borrowed their amazing clothes and costumes (but she usually didn't tell anyone). She had invited me to go to a party with her and her brother. I was still slightly nervous. I absolutely adored Tom, but in all of the years that I had known the Fletchers, I'd never met or even seen Tom's band mates. Carrie had invited me loads of times to their shows, but I was always either out of money, or it was too far away, or my parents wouldn't let me, etc. etc. Even when they had come to us, I was always gone or some other thing was happening. It never seemed that I could ever be at the same place as them at the same time. Tonight was the first time I'd get to meet them, and Carrie had told me that they were all extremely fit. I only had eyes for Tom, though, unbeknownst to Carrie. I never wanted her to get offended or anything that I had a crush on him. Plus, she was my flat mate, and the best friend anyone could ever have. We had been girlies for years, and I wouldn't dream of ruining that over her brother, who had no feelings for me anyway.

"Ok!" she said excitedly, breaking into my silent reverie. "Time to look at yourself Don't peek yet!" She grabbed my shoulders and slowly pulled me over to where her gigantic full length mirror was. "Ok, open your eyes now!" I hesitated, then slowly opened my eyes to look at myself.

All I could do was gape.

The dress was a gorgeous, deep burgundy color with cascading ruffles. It had off the shoulder sleeves with a sweetheart (slightly more plunging than I would like) neckline. The bodice wrapped seductively around me, the dropped waist enhancing my curves. That is where everything got interesting. The very front of the dress cut off a few inches before my knees, the satin ruffles of the skirt going longer into the back. It was complicated looking. All of the trim and the embroidery was black with gold etched into it, and taffeta pieces were everywhere, all in black. There was a small black and gold brooch in the middle of the sweetheart neckline. It was a beautiful dress, and I'd never seen anything like it.

I finally took my eyes off of the dress to look at the rest of myself. My unruly, wavy dark hair was elegantly swept up to the right side of my head in a half up, half down creation of Carrie's. It was entwined with fake bits of dark red and gold hair pieces. I loved it.

"Oh Carrie!" I gushed. "It's gorgeous! Thank you!" She hugged my shoulders with one arm so she wouldn't ruin her hard work. "No problem! And by the way, you're what makes this dress so beautiful. Nobody will be able to keep their eyes off of you!" My stomach flipped, and all I could think about was what Tom would think when he saw me. I was no wallflower tonight. I appraised myself in the mirror again, really looking at myself. I was a beautiful, dark haired, tanned skin beauty. Nobody could deny that tonight.

"One more thing!" she said, practically singing with joy. "Your mask!" I went to take it from her hand but she stopped me. "Uh, no. I will put it on or else it will be messed up." I scowled. "Now don't do that! You're making your beauty fade away!" I swatted her arm as she giggled. "Ok, seriously, sit still, or your hair will come apart." I stood as still as I could as she fastened the mask on. She gasped. "Oh, you are perfect now, Emma. Come look." I once again turned and was once again stunned. The mask was all burgundy with black lace covering and trimming it. The right side of the mask had various satin and lace bows together with gold and black beads hanging from it. A single black feather streaked with gold shot up from it. I couldn't even recognize myself behind it. Carrie had fixed my hair to go perfectly with the mask. How she does this stuff I'll never know.

She clapped her hands. "Yay! You are perfect! I'll be ready in a jiffy! Tom will be here in about 20 minutes!"