I got cleaned up at the house and changed into my nice clothing. Well, technically it was my mother's nice clothing. A white shirt that fell off my shoulders, a black underbust corset vest and a blue skirt were the nices things my family owned. 'I wonder if Mother married in this' I caught myself thinking. I ran my fingers through my loose hair. The festivals were the only time I didn't wear my bonnets and it was still an odd feeling. It was times like that when I wished we had a mirrored glass. Defeated, I just let my curls fall and hoped for the best.

The best must have happened because Firmino was silent for a moment once he saw me. At least, I hoped that'd been why. "You clean up nicely." He pointed out.

I simply smiled and asked, "Are you attempting to be nice to me?"

"Attempting." he laughed back. He caught me suprise when he put his hand out, asking for mine. I looked back at the house, knowing Father was asleep. "He can't see us." Firmino promised. 'I'm going to enjoy today, I am.' I thought as I took his hand. He smiled at me and we walked to the town square, where the fun began.

Firmino and I partook in many of the games and were able to watch the final rounds of the torniment before a friend stopped us. It was A

rduina the "perky" tavern girl. We had only really talked a few times since childhood but she loved to talk and at times, I was the closest ear. "Fia!" she yelled a few inches from my face.

"Yes!" I yelled back, attempting playfulness.

"Rumor has it that the lord Maligno Eugenio plans to attend tonights events." she chirped.

"Lovely, any other news?" I asked disinterestedly. 'Why would I care what the lord did?'

"Well, since you asked," she began. 'Oh God what have I done?' I thought. "Spavaldo Eufemia, you know, Bello's son who went to the medical university. People are saying he's looking all around for you."

"Great," I smiled. 'Great...' I thought.

"Stay right here! I was talking to him just a minute ago!" She chimed and headed off before I could tell her no.

"I say we head out before they get back." Firmino offered.

I bit my lip, tempted by the offer. "No" I finally said. "Spavaldo may be a haughty bastard but, he is still a friend... accuantence... person I've know for a while.... person I've known of for a while."

"Of course. I always feel obligated to speak to haughty bastards I've 'known of''." Firmino taunted. I managed to hit him before Arduina and Spavaldo came. Firmino instantly took a possesive stance and placed his hand behind my back. Spavaldo smiled as if he was seeing a long lost friend and seemed to be going for an embrace when I stuck my hand out, treating this more of an introduction than a reunion. He looked at my hand for a second, then took it and kissed my knuckles. I could feel Firmino draw in a breath.

"Long time, no see Fiammetta. Too long I say!" he said as I basically yanked my hand away from his. "May I ask, who are you?" he asked Firmino. 'This could be fun.'

"Firmino Adalgisa, a dear, dear friend of Fia's."

"'Fia'?" he laughed. "Nicknames are such a disgrace to one's birth name. Especially, when the name is as pretty as 'Fiammetta Airiana'. Names carry meaning and power. And I ask you, Farmono, or whatever your name is, that in my presence you shall only call her Fiammetta."

Both me and Firmino faught the urge to smack him in that second. Sadly, a woman was walking by with a drink at the wrong time. Within two seconds an empty gotlet was in my hand and Spavaldo had ale all over his robes and face. With a smile, I returned the woman's gotlet, a long with a few pace to replace the ale, and lead Firmino off. Leaving poor Spavaldo in shock and cleaning his clothes.

The End

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