Name: Ciano Silvestri
Meaning: He was named for someone the family lore insists was a relative, someone who supposedly saved his family's village from bandits back in the 1600's. But you know how family stories are.
Birthdate: February 25th
Blood type: B
Daunte Silvestri, 58, father.
Daunte, like his father and grandfather before him, owns a vineyard adjacent to the village. He and his wife work the fields and oversee the business. He's slightly portly, with graying black hair, gray-green eyes, and a gray mustache. He laughs often and is well liked in the community, mainly because he'll lend a helping hand to any of the surrounding families and vineyards. He's generally tinkering with the irrigation systems, insisting that he can improve them, and doesn't hold it against his son for following his dreams. He's not sure who's going to take over the vineyard when he retires – it may have to go to Elia.
Josephina Silvestri, 56, mother.
A slight, strong woman with twinkling dark brown eyes, rough hands and light brown hair. She works harder than anyone to keep the vineyard in business and semi-successful, working long hours and overseeing the crew (especially during harvest). She seems hard, but only when she disapproves of you. Most of the time, she'll smother folks with tough love and lots of food.
Renata Silvestri, 16, sister.
She shares Ciano's black-blue hair, but her eyes are a soft gray-green like her father's. Nati is the treasure of the family, doted on by everyone, a good, family-oriented girl that her parents are trying to convince to stay in the village. She helps take care of the land and helps with the family business when she isn't deep in her studies or with her boyfriend, Matias. What her parents don't realize is that she's newly pregnant and trying to figure out what to do with herself and her future. What her brother doesn't realize is that he may soon have a new houseguest, after she confides in him and pleads for his help.
Marina D'Arturo, 21, girlfriend.
He met her in school when he was 20. They are currently in the same program, with the same job aspirations, and hope to end up working closely together. She and her parents are from Venezuela and her parents are very wealthy, and approve highly of Ciano even though he has 'taken their baby away'. She is a bright, vibrant young woman with a wide, often-laughing mouth and large green eyes that complement her bittersweet-chocolate hair, which reaches to the middle of her back in loose ringlets. She has a coffee-and-cream complexion and loves to go running first thing in the morning. She's very possessive of Ciano and will give other women The Eye if they come anywhere near him. She won't make a scene – she's not into being rude, or embarrassing her guy. But she's very forthright. Thank goodness she isn't also controlling, because Ciano is already gaga over her and would probably just do whatever she said. She lets him be himself, he lets her be herself, everybody's happy. When they fight, it's about not having enough time together and the fact that Ciano keeps collecting things he has no room for. They don't live together yet; no one's parents would tolerate it, no matter how old they are. They're going to be married when they're both out of school and settled into their professions. Both want LOTS of kids.
Occupation: An intern of forensic pathology (forensic pathology: the postmortem investigation of sudden and unexpected death). He's currently attending the University of Rome, Università di Roma in his final year of a five-year residency in anatomic and clinical pathology. Then he'll finish his two years of fellowship training at the medical examiner's office (Questura di Roma, Polizia Scientifica), hoping to be hired on. As he's currently in the top 5% of his class, it shouldn't be too hard.
Likes: Water sports; pianos; watching a sunrise; bizarrely strong coffee with a touch of sugar; ghost stories; incredibly stupid movies. His favorites are 'South Park' and 'The Jerky Boys'. He's smart, but I didn't say he was smart about everything. He likes American authors, particularly Jonathan Kellerman.
Dislikes: Vending machines and anything in them; falling asleep in inappropriate places; jokes played on him when he's fallen asleep in inappropriate places; the smell of pencil shavings. Floral perfumes.
Favorite Food: Cornbread
Hated food: Sourdough bread. He can't understand why anyone would eat something with the word 'sour' in it.
Fav subject: 'Morbid Anatomy'. It explains things you probably don't want to know.
Hated subject: Toxicology.
Hobbies: Studying the religions and rituals of other cultures; particularly interested in the varieties of reincarnation tales that run through most mythology. He also collects things, and has waaaaaay too much stuff. He thinks he'll 'need it' for something. If you ever need a strange thing, he'll probably have it. He's a gadget freak.
Aspirations: To become a renowned forensic pathologist and to have a mess of kids.
Silver grew up in a small village, and his family was relatively poor at the time. The attending midwife was positive he was stillborn at first, because he was blue from having the umbilical cord around his neck and wasn't breathing. She managed to resuscitate the boy, and he thrived.
From his earliest days, Ciano understood the structure of his family and his intended place in the world. He followed his parents around the vineyard, helping with small tasks that grew as he did. He attended a small one-room schoolhouse until he was 9, when his parents had done well enough with the vineyard to send him to school outside the village. He was 6 when Renata was born, and he became her protector and playmate without the slightest bit of jealousy.
Ciano's formative years were a predictable and constant mix of studies, working the vineyard, and attending church. His parents held strong beliefs in the Catholic faith (and still do). He grew up revering the Church and its ideals, disagreeing with some dogma but keeping it to himself – at least with his parents. He felt that resurrection should be available to everyone, not only the faithful, and that it shouldn't be something you had to earn. He believed strongly in heaven and the idea that death was merely a transformation. Outside the home, with his friends, he spoke his mind and caused the usual mischief that boys did. He also collected bugs, especially beetles, trying to keep them alive as long as he could but letting them go if they didn't seem to be healthy. He had no interest in keeping dead bugs. When he was 8 and one of his 'pets' died, he kept it on the windowsill for weeks, waiting for it to 'come back', until his parents made him take it outside. There was no convincing him that his ideas were childish. He was old enough to understand death, and had no trouble accepting it, so they gave up trying to tell him the beetles would never return.
In his early teens, Ciano began falling asleep in his classes and during meals. At first some of his teachers disciplined him, thinking he was staying up too late or not paying attention. His parents thought they were working him too hard, so they allowed him to spend less time working the vineyard, but nothing helped. Finally they worried he was ill, so they took him into the city for medical help, and he was diagnosed with a mild form of narcolepsy. Medication didn't seem to alleviate the symptoms, but occasionally made them worse, so he tried to predict when he would have trouble and avoid certain situations. It took awhile to convince his teachers that his symptoms were severe, but as he had always been a good student, they were eager to help him once they understood the situation. Sometimes he falls asleep for brief periods, and sometimes he just daydreams too hard and no one can get his attention. Essentially, on a small scale, he's constantly 'dying and being reborn' on a daily basis.
He became interested in medicine as a result of his time as a patient, and for a moment his parents thought he might actually be a doctor. Then of course he veered off the path once he realized that healing wasn't what pulled him toward that profession; it was to learn more about the transformation the human body was capable of, and the mysteries involved in deciphering the evidence left behind. Birth and death are equal transformations, but he really had no interest in becoming an OB-GYN. Death was the more profound of the two, so he entered a program for forensic pathology as soon as he was able (read: when he managed to get a scholarship). His parents were not happy with his decision to go away to college, but didn't dream of forcing him to stay home and inherit the vineyard. He goes home every year for harvest, occasionally skipping a quarter of school to do it. He still has an affinity with bugs, and when he's around the vineyard, the pest problem seems to vanish.
He currently lives in student housing on campus, with several (male) roommates.
'Silver' likes to finish everything he starts and generally won't let anything get in the way of that. Even if it takes him years, he'll eventually get back to something and complete it.
He's very curious and likes to investigate even above and beyond what his professors require, which is considerable. If he doesn't like an answer he gets about something, he'll often go searching elsewhere until he thinks he has the whole picture. Things that are incomplete are unsatisfying to him, and he'll pursue things until he IS happy about it. He stops well short of anal-retentive…
[pauses to laugh to self about dung beetles and 'anal-retentiveness']
…because he loves stress about as much as he loves a lack of completeness. Stressing out about things is a waste of time and energy, and he doesn't have enough of either to waste. He can't be hurried through something; he respects authority, but pushing him does nothing but annoy the pusher. Everything has its time and place, and things are either done fast or they're done right. It's one of the things Marina loves about him and one of the things that drives his parents nuts. So he's neither easy-going, nor a type-A personality, just a pretty steady guy.
He has a long fuse that allows him to take a lot of hassling before he'll warn someone off. He's not much for aggression, but he has absolutely no trouble doling it out once he's reached his limit. Verbal abuse has little or no effect on him (except that he'll probably laugh), but anyone messing with his family or talking out of turn about his sister will get him going. He'll start by giving you an earful about what an idiot you are in words that are probably too big for you to understand, in a quiet, steely voice. If you're still an idiot after that and haven't gone away, and you persist, you might actually get a chair over your head.
He's very professional in settings that have to do with work and/or school, and very respectful to anyone deserving of it (professors, officials, family, etc). If you're *not* deserving of it, prepare to be taunted until you cry. No one mocks like this boy does, and there's almost always some truthful observation involved. He's a button-pusher, and very good at it. If you start frothing at the mouth because you can't take it, that's YOUR problem, not his. He can take it as well as he dishes it out, so retaliation will do you no good. He'll verbally out-spar almost anyone, and revels in irreverence. It'll really piss a lot of people off during battle, and gain him a few enemies. But if he can get someone to do something dumb, or lose his or her head out of anger, he'll gain a lot of ground. He will get a few folks angry enough to make him an instant target, though. He's not blatantly rude, or cruel, he just has a penchant for harassing people. He's a natural heckler. He'll rarely start it, but he'll always finish it. Most people think he's hysterically funny, but not everyone. He was a terrible smartmouth in school, but his dimples kept him from getting into too much trouble. His friends think he's a scream unless it's one of them he's picking on. Renata and Marina are basically immune at this point, and have learned to ignore him. Usually he'll get himself laughing and won't be able to stop.
Hmm. And he wonders why people wait for him to fall asleep.
He has a thing for not returning to the lifestyle his parents have chosen, but he can't stay away from home. His roots are in that quiet, serene village, and he feels a true sense of belonging, as well as a sense of loyalty to his parents. He understands that they still want him to come home and take over. They do not resent his choices, but they apply a subtle pressure occasionally even as they encourage him. He helps to support his parents, and there are no pride issues as a result – it's a son's duty to help the family prosper. He doesn't like to go very long without visiting home, especially to see his sister. It grounds him to return home, reminds him who he is and what the world is truly about – not just a flurry of information and technology.
Silver has a lot of friends, most casual, and half of those in common with Marina. Very rarely will anyone see one without the other, mainly because neither WANTS to be without the other. They're not officially engaged, but they'll be married as soon as they're out of school. They've joked about eloping many times, but they know they'll never be able to pull it off, and sooner or later they'll have to face the huge, ridiculous wedding Marina's parents will probably insist upon. Marina's mother has already been planning the thing for some time, and the thought of it makes the prospective couple roll their eyes.
He does have a soft side, he just doesn't find much use for it. Usually only Marina and Renata see it, and then on a limited basis. He can get pretty sentimental when he's in the mood and the moment calls for it.
Ciano has silver-gray eyes with flecks of gold, black hair with blue highlights, and a light olive skin tone. His face is sharply contoured but not severe, and he's handsome without being a knockout. He has a scar on the upper part of his right ear from the time a cousin knocked him out of a tree as a child. He has dimples in his cheeks, which are only faintly visible until he grins, and then they take up most of his face. It endears him to a lot of people, especially his girlfriend, who can't seem to yell at him when he's grinning. He wears his hair short (above the collar) in the back but has bangs that tumble into his eyes when he's either not paying attention, or falling asleep, or whatever. He runs his hands through it a lot.
He has a medium-slender build, roughly 5'9, 140 lbs, a marathon runner's build but without the wiriness or lankiness. He likes to dress comfortably but neatly, lounging around in jeans and sweatshirts in his downtime (which he doesn't really have much of).