“Robyn!” Adelaide ran to greet her not-so-little sister, a grin spread across her face. She’d had to dodge some people, and the scowls of unapproving grannies, but it was worth it to run to Robs side.
“Hey, Addy!” Robyn laughed, hugging her sister back in delight. It felt an age since they’d seen each other.
“How was the trip?” Addy knew it hadn’t been for a holiday, although it had still been Robyn’s greatest pleasure, and she was still so excited to hear all about it.
“Oh, Ads, it was great. He really is the cutest baby, and Sebastian really took to him straight away. I can’t believe he’s going to be our son.” The news of their adoption was long awaited and Addy felt tears stream in her eyes at the thought of finally meeting her nephew.
“How’s Lady, huh?” Xavier smiled, nudging his youngest granddaughter. Christy’s eyes lit up at the mention of her dog.
“She’s really, really pregnant! The vet said she could have up to 10 puppies! Imagine that!” Christy laughed.
“If I know your mother, I think she’d probably prefer less. They’re gonna be a real handful!” Xavier chuckled.
“Don’t you worry, grandpa! I’m gonna take great care of them, I promise.”
In her dressing room, Brooke sighed in to the mirror. She didn’t know how she was going to do this without…
“Andrina?” Brooke thought she was dreaming, but there was her best friend, at the dressing room door.
“Hey.” Andy smiled sheepishly, feeling slightly embarrassed. She knew how sorry Brooke felt and after a talk with her mom she’d found herself to be in the wrong, not poor Brooke.
Brooke rushed to hug her bestie in relief. She must have called her 200 times… Brooke had thought that Andy would never, ever forgive her.
“I’m so sorry.” They both sobbed in unison, before giggling. They’d always been able to do that – they’d always pretended they were the twins when they were little, and Casper and Brooke had been switched.
“Brooke, no. I let my jealousy for Casper get in the way of our friendship and I should have put you first.”
“But I should have put you first!”
“No.” Andy shook her head firmly. “I can tell you love my brother. I should be happy for him.” Now that’s a big word.
Brooke peeked her head around the corner of the dressing room, watching everyone file into the theatre, and gulped. There were a lot of people out there, and she was used to a big audience but not this big. Jen had really gone all out for the arrival of the scouts.
“C’mon girl, you can do this. I know you can.” Andy smiled, placing a hand on Brooke.
“I love you.” Brooke sighed.
“I love you too. You’ll always be a sister to me, Brooke. Knock ’em dead!”
“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”
Brooke shone on the stage, perfecting the part of Juliet. She captured the audience’s attention unlike any other.
“Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” Casper’s voice hummed smoothly from the side of the stage.
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy:
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot..”
Brooke spoke softly, never taking her eyes off the audience. If she dared to look at Casper herself, she knew she’d melt. She’d blamed him for what happened with Andy… but he’d been right, really. She couldn’t stay away from him.
As Casper leapt over the balcony, Brooke gasped and looked around to make sure no one was coming, staying perfectly in character.
“How cam’st thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?
The orchard walls are high and hard to climb,
And the place death, considering who thou art,
If any of my kinsmen find thee here.”
“With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls,
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do, that dares love attempt:
Therefore thy kinsmen are no stop to me.” Whispering the next lines, Casper felt them resonate within him, and he knew what he had to do.
Seconds later they were intertwined, no longer performers on a stage but lovers in private. The entire theatre seemed to fade away in that moment.
“Is that supposed to happen?” Cameron grumbled, hating the sight of a teenage boy with his hands all over his daughter.
“Casper and Brookie kissing in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” Christy giggled, only to be hushed by her mother ( and a mean old lady in the row behind)
From the balcony above, a stranger watched in awe of Brooke and all her grace..
Dancing on the stage, filled with a rush of adrenaline from the kiss they’d just shared, Brooke and Casper’s steps fell perfectly in time with one another.
“I am so proud of the three of you.” Jennifer grinned, standing on stage with her gorgeous children and star of the night. Brooke seemed to radiate beauty as she continued to catch loving glimpses at Casper. Jen could see her squeezing his hand every now and again, to see if all this was real.
“I’m sorry, Andy. For everything.” Casper sighed, pulling his sister into a huge hug. She’d always felt like the little one in their relationship even though she was 4 minutes older.
“I think I’ve been a bit unfair too, bro. I love you.” Andrina agreed, cuddling into him.
“Brooke, I’ve got someone I’d like you to meet…” Smirking, Jen pulled Brooke to the side and up the stairs to the balcony level of the theatre.
“Hi, sir. Ms. Hodge said you’d like to speak to me?” Brooke smiled, politely. Her heart beat rapidly at the notion that this man could be the person that holds her future, as Jen had promised. The scout.
“Brooke! It’s a pleasure to meet you.” He grinned, shaking her hand.
“My name is Mr. Archello. I am the vice principal of the National School of Ballet, and I’d like to invite you to train with us once you finish your senior year, if you’d be interested.”
“I-I- I couldn’t thank you enough!” Barely able to speak, Brooke beamed at the teacher, tears gleaming in her eyes.
“I recognise talent when I see it, Ms. Asteria. You have a bright future in the industry. Not only for your incredible dance skills, but your artistic performance as an actress.”
Resisting the urge to hug him, Brooke held back the tears and swallowed. “I can’t..I can’t believe this. You’re making my life long dream come true!”
“Congratulations, Miss. Asteria. I hope to see you in the fall.” He said, leaving swiftly with a bow of his head.
Oh, you will sir, you will.