>The thin veneer of confidence and grace was quickly falling apart for her, as it was with everyone surrounding her.
>Applejack looked up into the wide balcony that Coloratura was waxing in rhythm on.
>Even as flawless as Coloratura was, it still left Applejack with a sour stomach at the thought.
>Final rehearsals were just a week away, and their opening night only a little after.
>Despite her worrying, Coloratura continued to strike the rhythmic and flowing poetry, like a painter swiping at a canvas.
>Poised and precise, with every note and syllable falling after the other in a neat tempo.
>The clipboard in Applejack's grip groaned feebly under her white-knuckled stranglehold.
>Lights slowly dimmed and faded and Coloratura’s voice grew almost dusky, as she waited for the actor to begin the scene.
>Romeo -or, rather, the actor that portrayed him- stood from the floor and sent a dazzling, charming smile as he recited his lines.
>”But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief.”
>Applejack stood mesmerized, hidden from view by the curtains from the looming theatre, yet plainly visible to Rara.
>The man- though he was attractive- did not catch her attention, not the way he held himself, nor that garish smile that lingered a little too long in Rara’s direction.
>It was Coloratura who held her gaze and entranced her mind with a precise, elegant pronouncement of her love for the actor.
>Coloratura’s smoldering look, too, seemed to stray from the actor and land square on Applejack’s shoulders for a split second before she turned back.
>That simple glance made Applejack’s heart flutter and her stomach flop.
>She glanced side to side to see if any of the other backstage crewmen saw the brief exchange, but it seemed she was in the clear.