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Her Aphrodite

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The Capulet ballroom was a riot of red and gold, filled to brim with the wealthy of Verona as they danced and drank long into the night.

Juliet stood on the arm of Paris in their center, feeling lost as she watched the noble whirl around each other, bringing with them centuries old baggage of feuds and alliances, petty disagreements they had prolonged to hundred year affairs. She was tired, Juliet realized as the song began to end, and the clamor of conversations she'd heard a thousand times swelled, tired of living her ancestors' lives.

A new tune had barely been struck up before Juliet was snatched up by a new partner. As he inexpertly waltzed her across the ballroom, Juliet’s eyes began to wander from him, finally resting on a woman standing against a far wall.

She was tall, that was what Juliet first registered, tall and solemn. She stood with the straight-backed dignity of a queen. And she was beautiful, more beautiful than any other woman Juliet had seen. Her hair was long and dark, her skin smooth, her eyes punishingly blue. She must be some pagan goddess, Juliet thought, half-serious.  Perhaps Aphrodite, leaving Mount Olympus to partake in the revels of her worshippers.

The man she was dancing with (and who was he, Juliet wondered for the briefest of instances), had been speaking to her as she studied the woman. Juliet focused her attention back to him, and spoke interrupting some tangent about pilgrims and saints.

"Do you know who that woman is?”

Confused, the man glanced around the ballroom. “Who?”

“That woman, against the wall, the tall one.” Juliet replied, trying and failing, to keep the irritation out of her voice. The man craned his neck to glance behind him, finally catching sight of her. A look of disgust was present on his features as he turned back to Juliet.

“That’s Rosaline, but surely we’ve more interesting-” Juliet’s attention was already gone.

“Rosaline,” she muttered, and the name tasted like honey on her tongue.