A/N: Heyy guys, I wrote this about a year ago for an English assignment that I had to recreate the first part of Romeo and Juliet -- including a prologue, how they meet, how they fall in love, and how they find out they are each other's nemesis -- using my own characters and setting. I was really into the Gemma Doyle series at the time, so I borrowed Gemma and Kartik for this lol. I'm posting this for the Gemma and Kartik fans who can't get enough from the books and want more xD. Comments and constructive critique are welcome :). **I would like to clarify that I do NOT own any of these characters. All rights belong to Libba Bray. I merely used the characters for some fan fiction.**
The Order and the Rakshana. Once allies, now sworn enemies. The priestesses of the Order govern and control the Realms. The men of the Rakshana, who had once protected it, now want the magic for themselves. Two star-crossed lovers are caught between loyalty and love. Yet they face a second dilemma: in London, England in the year 1895, it is not acceptable for a respectable Englishwoman to romance with an Indian.
The night is still, lit by the gas lamps on the side of the street. A slight breeze blows around Kartik. It brings about an eerie feeling in the pit of his stomach that is mixed with a hint of nervousness for tonight's events. He is on a mission for the Rakshana and must succeed in order to officially become a brother of the organization. It isn't his mission that troubles his mind, though. It is the dream he had the night before -- a dream that forewarned his impending death.
In front of him, Fowlson is driving the sleek, black carriage pulled by majestic black stallions. He and Kartik aren't exactly friends. Their relationship is strained, but the Rakshana ordered Fowlson to monitor Kartik's mission. They are headed towards Spence Academy for Young Ladies, where a masked ball is hosted. This is where Kartik is to carry out this mission; he must stop a powerful priestess of the Order from entering the Realms.
As soon as Fowlson pulls into the queue of carriages leading to the grounds of Spence, he grunts and turns to face Kartik. "You know what you have to do, right?"
"Relax, Fowlson," Kartik replies. "I'll e finished before you know it." He gives Fowlson a smirk and then lets himself out of the carriage. He chose no specific costume for the occasion; he wears a black shirt with black trousers, knee-high black boots, and a black mask for the "masked" part of the ball. He has a small dagger hidden in his boot and a larger dagger sheathed at his waist. To complete the attire, he wears a black hooded cape with a pin of a skull and two crossed swords -- the symbol of the Rakshana. He is let in without trouble. Kartik immediately searches for the girl.
Gemma stands at the edge of the room, escaping the watchful eye of her chaperone. Her friends had abandoned her. Felicity is humoring some unfortunate chap who is determined to woo her, and even Ann is enjoying herself, dancing with a handsome young fellow. Gemma sighs; she misses India. She wishes she could return to her old home, enjoy the hot sun, and walk to the market with her mother. She yearns for the time when she and her family were happy. But it will never be that way again, and it's her fault. Her thoughts were interrupted by someone clearing his throat.
"This ball isn't quite as exciting as I thought it'd be."
Gemma turns to a mysterious young Indian man completely dressed in black; the hilt of a dagger peeks out of his cape. He has long, dark curly hair, and a black mask frames his dark brown eyes. Gemma checks if he is just a creation of her magic, but the magic is settled inside her; it hasn't been summoned. The man's lips twitch at the slightest hint of a smile, and Gemma realizes she's been staring without answering him. She wonders how a proper lady should reply, but something about him makes her think he doesn't care about such formalities. "Balls shouldn't be too exciting. We ladies are far too delicate and frail to handle much excitement," she responds sarcastically.