"My good sir, why is it that civil brawls are not of past?" The prince laugh, a short, rueful laugh, but Mercutio answered it with a mighty chuckle. Serafina raised her eyebrows, and let out a long, low whistle. Outside, she heard the horses whinny and nay, and Mercutio glared at her.

"Don't do that, for it upsets them to hear but not see thee." She shrugged, and whistled again, but it did not sound boyish, it just sounded rather melodic, so the Prince said nothing.

"It upsets me to see but not know about the feud." The Prince sighed. Almost thrice a day these two quarrelled, but they loved each other like brother and sister, in fact, even more so, for they did not constantly live together to grate at each other. Mercutio shrugged back, answering with an evasive "Ask Ferdinand." Serafina looked hopefully at the Prince, Prince Ferdinand Escales, who waved her off.

"Tis not the time to be talking of feuds. I have my hands full with uncivil conduct." Mercutio sat on the ground, leaning on his hands.

"Your collar is untied."

"My choler? Why, many say I have none, and tis you with such a problem."Serafina muttered, glaring at her cousins.

"Nay, for I am a thorough bred sanguine, and you have always ranged between everything 'part the choleric. However, my collar," he said, with a dandy tug at it, "is perfectly neat."

The prince gave another weary sigh.

"For two aristocrats, thou in rather odd banter doth engage. Come, stop with the word play, and help me decide on the tedious details of this ball. Thou hath said many a time thou is an expert in this area."

Serafina shut up with silly comments on temperate and settled down ordering flowers. This was a prolific ball; all the lords and ladies of Verona were invited. Only Mercutio, his brother Valentine and Serafina knew the real reason behind the party; the Prince wanted a wife. And it was her (and according to Mercutio, his too, but no one wanted to spoil his mood) job to find him the perfect one. Someone sweet, pretty, learned enough for a decent conversation, which was in itself a jewel in one lucky lady's tiara, and respectable. Serafina decided to ignore that most of the girls being considered were younger than her.

She knew she ought to get married; her blonde hair that curled into ringlets could not be untied much longer without others thinking she was a common hussy. Only unmarried maidens left their hair untied, and most were around thirteen, and Serafina was reaching her seventeenth year in October. Many ladies pitied her, though she could not understand why. She only wanted to stay with Papa for as long as she could, and the serious man could not stand the separation from his only daughter, the remnants of his long dead wife.

However, her father had thought long and hard about this. He sent her on a trip all over Italy, with no one but a few servants, knowing his enigmatic child would come back a marriageable little woman. None were privy to this little plan, for it hurt to tell himself of the secret, let alone to tell another.

"There is to be a ball." Lady Capulet was not one for silly pleasantries.

"Marvellous." Neither was Tybalt.

"We are invited."

"As befitting a noble Italian family."

"You are to go."

Tybalt wanted to go, but he did not like to be told to.

"The Montagues are going too, so don't make a fuss." Before he could though, she had sashayed out of the room. Suddenly he heard the low chuckle of his uncle.

"What ho, boy?" Boy. That was to be his name.

"I shan't go! Where Montague is should be over my death bed, or else theirs. The prince may drag me there, but go I shall not!" Tybalt knew himself he was talking rubbish, and he would go anyway, and try to behave himself. He often didn't. But it was the Prince's ball.

"Drop thy petulance, boy, for the years might be young, but thou art no child." Why do you call me boy then?

"We are all to go, and it would be a shame if thou is too busy kindling the furnace. Thou art as predictable as one, no? One poke and you shalt flame. Perhaps thou shalt burn out with time, or a good splash of water. " And chuckling to himself at his witty analogy, he left too.

So, this is basically a short chapter to tell you a bit about the characters, and to show you that I'm still alive! So R&R, because the whole point of being here is to improve my writing, so anything is welcome!

Angie x.