"She was like the moon," I say dreamily, "loving and inviting, yet cold and distant. Lunessa is such a fitting name for her. It was derived from a word meaning 'moon.' No one could have picked a better name." I look at my acquaintance. "I love her so very much."

"Love is such a strong word," she replies, with underlying humor in her voice. I am unable to decipher her expression, however, because her dark hood is currently masking her face.

I counter, "That's why I used it." I pause. "I am similar to my namesake, I suppose."

The woman turns her face closer to me. I can see her smooth olive skin and her bright gray eyes reflecting the lantern's light like the moon. She seems so familiar…

I was slightly suspicious of this strange woman before me. I was ordered to wait at the table in the corner of a shabby tavern to receive my new assignment. I had imagined a tough man with large muscles, but I was only met with a lithe-limbed girl.

"Hello, I am Lunessa," she greeted me, smiling without any rationalization.

"My name is Romeo. I am the new envoy," I informed her in all seriousness.

"Romeo. Are you a lover?" she asked playfully. Her argentine eyes sparkled.

I shook my head. "No. I am a businessman." I shook my head not only to answer her, but to rid myself of all of these foreign thoughts. I didn't care if her eyes sparkled.

"I suppose we get right down to business, then." The girl stood and motioned to the bartender that she was leaving.

As I followed her outside, I demanded, "What is my mission?"

She gave me a lopsided grin and began to stroll down the street. "If you are not aware of your surroundings, this great country of Avistia is having some political issues with Djyarar. You are one of the four hand-picked agents sent to discuss the war threats coming from Djyarar's new elected king." She halted her walk and turned to face a small building. "Here we are."

"Where's here?" I asked, noticing the way she pushed back her white tresses.

"Welcome to your new dwelling place, Romeo," she replied. "Hope you enjoy it."

"Who is your namesake?" she replies. Her steely eyes study the flickering candle.

I laugh bitterly. "My name is Romeo." Her eyes are exquisitely beautiful.

The woman smirks. Her red lips are hauntingly similar to Lunessa's. "Such a fitting name, dear Romeo. You do act like a star-crossed lover."

I chuckle with amusement now. "Yes, I suppose I am." I sip my beverage, letting my mind wander briefly. I exhale, softly and sadly. "But I don't believe Lunessa felt the same for me."

"How do you know?" my companion ask. A more melancholy smirk tugs at her lips this time. I briefly wonder why, but shake it off quickly.

I shrug, unsure of how to explain myself. "Well, she was very distant, as I mentioned earlier. Besides, Lunessa seemed to enjoy the company of the others more."

The lady leans forward, curious. "Who are the others you speak of?"

"Isaac was a levelheaded envoy. Peridot was the reckless bull," I reply.

I followed her into the apartment, not believing that the government would actually force me to live here. I'd heard stories of grand mansions owned by famous envoys; I'd never guessed I'd live in such a cramped space! Rumors aren't always true, I suppose.

"Who is this?" a young boy asked, swiftly dashing down the rickety staircase.

She answered, "This is Romeo. He's the new envoy come to help us with Djyarar."

With a defiant glare, he retorted, "Who said we needed help? This skinny old bag of bones doesn't look like he has what it takes to negotiate with an old man!"

"Oh, you're one to talk, Peridot!" a voice called from down the hall. A man in his late twenties emerged from another room. "When you first arrived, you couldn't handle that pushover from Wallou! He only wanted to return our battleships, but he left with-"

Peridot interrupted, "I don't care, Isaac! That's all in the past, all right?"

"Some way to welcome your new colleague," I muttered.

"Colleague?" Peridot repeated, turning his head to look at me. "What? Will you treat us like strangers? You'll be a new addition to our family, you know!"

I blinked. "Family?" I responded in askance. Was he crazy?

"Excuse Peridot," Isaac replied. "He may not act like it, but he gets attached rather quickly. You'll be staying with us long enough that we'll feel like one small family. That's all he meant to say, Romeo." The man smiled apologetically as he explained.

She laughed. I loved her laugh; it sounded like someone was softly playing on the piano. It was beautiful. "You are all so funny," she giggled, hugging Peridot.

"Ahem." I quickly cleared my throat, feeling rather nauseous because of the hug. "If you could just show me to my room, I'll make myself at home."

"Well, isn't someone taking the initiative?" she teased lightly.

"Yeah, whatever," I replied roughly, shouldering past Peridot onto the staircase.

"Last door on your left!" she called out after me, laughing at something the young brat had muttered under his breath.

"Reckless bull, eh?" she retorts playfully, tracing the cracks in the old table.

I shrug, ashamed. "He also charged into situations head first. Like a bull."

A familiar sort of laughter escapes her lips. Someone softly playing on the piano. The thought instinctively crosses my mind. "I like that. You are most definitely a poet." She winks.

Author's Note:

That was the first chapter of a two part story. It's just a little experiment. I actually wrote this for a writing contest, but I kinda decided to finish it at the last minute, and thus, this was never submitted. It seems that I... Well, I suppose this is in some sort of other universe. I'm not really sure, seeing as how the story deviated from the original plot, which was just two people talking at night about stuff.

So yeah. I know it's not my best, but it's definitely not my worst. Hoped you liked that first part! I already have the second and last chapter, but I'm not really planning on posting it until next week... Well, maybe tomorrow if I have the chance. Anyway, I love you all!

So… I'm wondering if I should add to this story. A couple of readers on NovelJoy seem to enjoy it… I kind of already am. I'm going to try to adjust it to fit this imaginary universe that I've been playing with, but I don't think updates will come for a while because I want to finish the entire story first so I know where it's going. Yup. That's all I have to say for now.

Keep believing (in whatever you believe in)!

~Sapphire Faith