That's right folks! Another Romeo and Juliet story! You didn't think I was done with R&J, did you?

But in all seriousness, here's a quick background...

Over a year ago, my summer theatre group was doing a production of Romeo and Juliet. I was casted as a Capulet Fighter and Masker, meaning I'd dance at the parties and kick butt half the time lol. But seriously, I was really looking forward to this one because I absolutely LOVE stage combat. Even if its just a slap in the face, I love doing it. So when I found out we were fighting with rapiers, I couldn't say no. Anyway, a friend of mine was also in the show and he was casted as Balthasar (y'know, the guy who breaks the news to Romeo that his new wife just died). We ended up bieng paired up for the dance where Romeo and Juliet first speak to each other. A soft piano version of U2's "With or Without You" played through the speakers and while our *ahem* "cousins" were chatting it up, we made it look like we were slowly falling for each other. In fact, he tried kissing my hand before Mercutio's guardsman shoved him offstage. We did this every night, three times a week.

And that became the inspiration for this story. This one has been sitting in the story incubator for too darn long. I think it's time the story of Tessa and Balthasar was told. Or as I like to call it, "The Romeo and Juliet that should've happened." ;)

So ladies and gents...Enjoy.

If my father were here, he wouldn't have let the man die. But that fact that my father is not here or anywhere in this world is the reason that Bartholomew Montague would hang.

I watched as his dark figure solemnly walked towards the rope. The King's executioner placed the rope around his meaty neck. The executioner asked if he had any last words. He had none; all had been said through his actions, through his punishment. All was silent as the executioner walked over to the switch. After a brief gust of wind, the executioner pulled.

And I, Tessa Ileana Capulet, at only eleven years of age, watched his body swing.

I heard the soft cry of the girl standing next to me. I glanced at her golden hair, pulled up for the first time I had seen, its strands floating with the wind. Her hands covered her thinly-built face and dark eyes. My best friend throughout my youth was shedding tears. I tried to console her only to be suddenly jerked away.

"Ben!" I screamed as she was also being pulled away.

"Tessy!" Her tears became waterfalls, making her face red. Her uncle and mine pulled us farther away from each other.

"Let me go, Uncle!" I struggled to be free from his firm grasp, but with no such luck. He was too strong for me and my then-frail body. I would not escape. My uncle, Lord Cuthburt Capulet, made sure of that. After a short amount of time had passed, he had enough of my behavior.

"Enough foolish child!" He stopped abruptly as I met eyes with him. He continued more calmly, but with pure anger in his tone, "You will learn in time what your father did not. The Montagues are not to be trusted, Tessa. It would be best that you do not associate with any of them."

I almost broke into tears. Not only had I lost my father, but now my best friend as well.

To continue or not to continue...? That is the question I ask of you. Please review! I love to here what you all think and it helps me decide on things for stories :)

Hope to hear from you soon!