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Grey Skies Prelude By Tiffany Warren Yarbrough Our story begins with Nicolae Vasilescu; a Romanian Lord who was nephew to Gabriel Bethlen; Prince of Transylvania c. 1613-1629. Nicolae ruled over the small town of Brasov. Nicolae spent much of his time visiting the village, as well as consorting with the gypsies that resided outside the village as well. He lived alone with his servants well into his thirties until he met Nadya Marinescu. Nadya was a part of the gypsy community and had expressed her interest in the young attractive noble for quite a long time. The two of them began a long-term tryst but neither discussed wanting anything more from the other. Their affair continued for sometime until Nicolae’s uncle came to him asking him to prepare for the title of Transylvania’s Prince. Nicolae went to Nadya with a proposal and she eagerly accepted. More than a year went by and Nicolae had not received word or further instruction regarding taking the throne. Nicolae and Nadya continued to live their lives happily until they gave birth to their first child. While Nicolae was away on business Nadya gave birth to a girl, Ileana. Fearing that Nicolae would have her killed since she wasn’t a male heir, Nadya sent her to live with her gypsy family. Upon his return Nadya told Nicolae that a boy had been born, but died shortly after. This sent him into a deep depression. Nearly three years later they gave birth to a second child, this one actually a boy, named Dominic. Dominic grew up a happy child, completely unaware of the sister born before him. Much like his father Dominic would travel to the village, however avoided the gypsies. Something about them made him rather uncomfortable. His mother would make frequent trips with him as a child back to visit her family and he was never comfortable, even then. Dominic grew to be a find man, very shy and reserved, but still a good man. His parents hadn’t forced marriage on him, and he never felt the need for a companion, that is until he met a gypsy girl in the village. He and the girl would visit for hours each day. Taking walks through town and the countryside. She even managed to convince him to visit with her family at the camp. Dominic had never felt this way for anyone before. He was deeply in love with her. Having met her family, he felt it was only appropriate for her to meet his. Knowing his mother was a gypsy, and his father himself enjoyed their culture, Dominic felt not concern bringing the girl home. On this fateful night that he bought her home all the camp had celebrated this moment. Dominic had a carriage go to the camp and bring her to the castle. Upon entering the doorway she was graciously welcomed by Nicolae and Nadya since this was the first young woman that Dominic had displayed affections for. It was until he had introduced them and Nadya took a good look into the young woman’s eyes. The woman who held Dominic’s heart, the one who they were sure he would want to marry was none other than his sister, Ileana. Nadya’s face grew pale and her heart faint. She didn’t know where to begin with ending this sinful love affair. Not knowing what else to do, she began shrieking and asked for the guards to send her away. Ileana ran crying from the castle and back to the gypsy camp. Dominic demanded an explanation; Nicolae required one as well. Nadya drew in a deep breath and tried to explain to the both of them who Ileana truly was and why she had done what she had done. She had explained that she feared Nicolae would be like other nobles and kill Ileana for not being a potential heir to the throne, and that she sent her to live with her parents back at the gypsy camp where they had raised her as their own daughter and no one knew who she really was. Nadya had gone to see her nearly everyday until her parents died shortly before Ileana’s 10th birthday. Another couple in the camp took care of her, and as not to raise suspicions, she had stopped visiting all together. Meanwhile, Dominic lay in his chamber; crushed, confused, and distraught. He wasn’t sure how to deal with what just happened, but he knew that he would no longer see Ileana. Months had gone by and Dominic had not ventured out of the castle. He barely ate and refused to speak to his mother. She finally broke the silence and approached him in his chamber. After he vented his frustrations he finally understood why she did what she did, however he was unsure if he forgave her for it. That night Ileana came to him and asked him to run away with her but he refused. Confused she asked him why; he had explained that she was his sister abandoned by their mother. This sent her into a rage. Ileana vowed that she would destroy him and his entire family. As time went by Dominic’s fears of her final words to him subsided. He went on with no sign of her existence. He even went so far to visit the gypsy camp searching for her. Many of them have disappeared or died of illness so the populous was dwindling.