Rel:~ When a strange girl in stranger clothes appeared mid battle, what were your first thoughts?
Marcello:~ I was startled; it was almost as if I was a sailor, hoisting sail, and she rose from the depths of the sea, a mermaid. She seemed so out of place. But I saw that Lord Paratore had his eye upon her, and knew she’d be far better off in my keep. I didn’t think about it much, other than I needed to protect her.
She continues to surprise me. She is unlike any woman I’ve yet to meet—she’s clever, and has more courage and strength than any other. She’s uncommonly tall, and decent with the sword. [Laughs] Have you ever heard of such a woman? Willing to wade into a fight with men? It’s strange, but also arresting. And then there’s her beauty…I remember several moments that are almost like an artist’s fresco upon my wall, so vivid are they. Her eyes…[shakes head]. From the start, she captured me, even when there were yet obstacles between us. I knew at last what the bards spoke of when they spoke of love.
Family is of utmost importance to you and yet, more than once, you have gone against their wishes to protect Gabi and Lia. Were they easy decisions?
There was no decision to be made, truly. When you love a woman, you do everything you can to aid and protect her. I love and respect my family, but once it was clear that I loved Gabriella, she became my priority, as she forever will be.
You live under threat of attack by the Fiorentini, sickness and more. How does that affect your choices in life?
[stares blankly at me, shrugs] Have you not described everyone’s life, far and wide?
Well, no. It’s a bit different, here. In our own time.
Ahh, I see. Life is life. You make the best choices you can, day by day, and thank God for every day he’s granted you. No more. No less.
You and Luca are cousins and the best of friends. Can you share a story about some of the mischief you got up to as young boys?
[Smiling to himself, raises one eyebrow] I confess that since Fortino was eldest, my father tended toward leniency with me. Luca and I were free to roam the countryside, and we would race through the woods. We were not supposed to get anywhere near the Forelli-Paratore border, but of course we dared each other to do so, every chance we had. One day, we were walking the river and saw that Cosmo Paratore and his friends were swimming. We crept close to them, using the brush as cover, and stole their piles of clothes. [grinning] I would have paid a gold coin to watch them return to their castle in nought but their underclothes.
Luca is always quick to make a joke but what depth of character lies behind that smile?
There isn’t a finer man than my cousin. I never doubt that he will do anything I ask of him. He is loyal, strong, true. I tend to the serious side of things; Luca allows me to discover the joy he seems to see in everything and everyone. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without Luca by my side.
Putting your life at risk for those you love seems simple for you. Why is that?[shrugs, peers at me with quizzical look] You Normans are a strange lot, aren’t you? What sort of question is that? If you love someone, you would do anything for them, would you not? [sits back in chair, considering me] Mayhap that’s a key difference between us, due to era. Here, we cannot survive without one another. It binds us together. In your own time, you all tend to want to make it on your own. True or false?
Very true, Marcello. I think my era could learn much from you and your sense of community and the care and responsibility you feel for those around you. Thanks for answering my questions, especially the ones that seemed strange to you :)
Relz Reviewz Extras
Character interview with Gabriella
Review of Waterfall
Character spotlight on Gabi, Marcello, Luca & Lia
View the trailer for Cascade
Visit Lisa's author website and her travel website
Buy Lisa's books at Amazon or Koorong