Caught in the hustle and bustle of market day, Vincent found it hard to focus on his task. He squeezed his eyes shut and closed out the scent of fresh-baked loaves of bread; the sound of the vendors attempting to entice the passer-bys into purchasing their products. A new determination settled over him and he cleared his mind of all else but his creation forming before him. His hands swept over the cool, damp clay, and he began to work at the lip of the forming vase. Apprentice to a master craftsmen, everybody marveled at Vincent's ability to carve an exquisitely fragile vase out of a simple lump of clay; his methodic meditation astounded any onlooker. Once he had gathered a rhythm, it was just a matter of time until he had finished his work. Stepping back, Vincent admired the trinket that would surely sell within moments of being set on the shelf. He wiped the remnants of clay from his hands and proceeded to make yet another sale at the counter. "Eighty drachma for the candle-stick holder you requested," he provided. It wasn't until the prescribed money was offered that he looked upon the face of his customer, and when he did his face lit up.
"Hello, Vinny," she greeted him. Vincent smiled at the unfamiliar use of his childhood nickname. His playmates bestowed it upon him when they were little, and he resented it from then on. Now fifteen, he took solace in knowing that only she still called him by that name and only out of a fondness for her did he allow her this privilege.
Celestia, two years his junior, was by far the closest of his playmates, as a tight friendship had formed between his parents and hers. But as their parents' friendship grew apart, so did theirs. He had not had a chance to speak with her or view her closely since their families had their last get-together four years past. Much earlier than many of the other girls in their age group, Celestia flourished in her womanhood upon her twelfth birthday. Her deep-set, dark brown eyes contained tiny flecks of gold that sparkled when she smiled. Her skin was beautifully fair, and absolutely flawless. Her long, wavy brown hair was worn in a braid as it always had been, and although she was wearing a modest tunic, it failed to hid the blossoming woman underneath. He noticed with an incurable fancy that she was most definitely not the twig-like girl he had once frolicked with, but a young lady with undeniably flattering curves most would envy.
Noticing her discomfort at his gaze, he reluctantly retreated and snapped out of his trance. “Celestia.” Her name danced across his tongue.