I am currently endeavoring to add more depth and significance to Rome and Labriella’s childhood.
No, sorry, Rome’s life before he met Labriella will still remain much of a mystery, to be revealed sporadically at later times throughout the book. Such revelations will appear largely in the form of flashbacks, as relevant events arise. Rome is meant to be a mystery; it is the nature of his character. He is very private, and while Labriella is by far the closest person to him, after their first parting he endeavors to keep her a minimum distance from him at all times–something that he will have to make a valiant effort toward in later chapters, and which will eventually come back to bite him.
Rome will not be a very talkative character as a child, as he is still recovering from his rather sobering and tragic past, and recognizes even as a child that he is not the same now as he was before. Labriella will be doing a lot of the talking as far as initiating conversations with Rome, and in her childhood accent which she picked up from the villagers. While his speech is proper and measured, Rome’s responses are better understood through his body language (this goes for later chapters as well). Since Labriella has only just restored him to passable human sanity, he is still adjusting to the apparent need for speech in order to communicate. (He was on his own for several years, living in a rather basic animalistic fashion, and therefore has not spoken in quite some time.)
Most of Rome’s actions outside of his conversations with Labriella will be irrelavent, so I won’t waste much time on that; he simply hangs out in the forest, as he has for several years, and sleeps in trees (kind of like Tarzan, as one of my readers put it, though minus the “friendly talking animals” Disney mentality). Labriella, on the other hand, has an entirely separate life, which will be addressed. Interactions with Pandora are especially important, and you will get to see more of Mistress Healer as well. Other characters will be introduced as well, and they will pop up later in various different ways and times.
You may also wish to note that some of Rome and Labriella’s conversations may appear to be 3-way conversations instead of 2-way. Rome has a voice in his head, although it is not prevalent; it is more of a whisper, and he accepts it as part of his normal thought process (much as we might listen to our conscience). Labriella is not aware of this third party.
After childhood is adequately addressed, I WILL be adding more to the teenage years; one chapter was hardly enough. Part of the reason why I will be redressing this is because Rome has undergone important character changes by this point. He was a reclusive child, but being around the exuberant Labriella on a daily basis has caused him to open up drastically over a number of years, until the reader could almost pin him as outgoing. While he still keeps his own counsel on important matters, he has no problem mercilessly teasing Labriella–in fact, he enjoys it. With both of their teenage hormones going overdrive, there is a great contrast between their teenage and childhood relationships. Rome still avoids the town, and Labriella is still seriously lacking in the “friends” department, but they have each other, with the result that they are practically joined at the hip. Their personalities compliment each other nicely, and they both secretly begin to wonder where their relationship is going
Meanwhile, Pandora is learning the temple arts, and Mistress Healer is continuing her secret effort to school Labriella as she sees fit. The two butt heads, but to what extent will remain to be seen.
This should provide a nice lead-in to the present Chapter 4, which begins with Labriella measuring Rome for a new set of clothes, and ends with Rome and Labriella’s first parting in about 10 years.