02 - Many Meetings I

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July 5, 1476

Florence, Italy

Sometimes, when it was a long drive and she had her music, Catherine would imagine herself going on long adventure to all kinds of places. They could be magical or futuristic or even in the past. Whatever the case, she would gain some magical artifact and comrades of all kinds to complete the journey. They would slay a beast or villain and save the world—make things right. Some might die, some might survive and live happily, some would find love, and sometimes she was forced back home or got to be with her lover. It was always a fantastic adventure, and it was a horrid thing when the drive was finally over. At the same time, though, it also meant she could go on another adventure on the way back.

As such, the irony was strong for Catherine; here she was, living one of her dreams... and it was awful. Everything had gone wrong in less than an hour, and she was certain she wouldn't be going home—ever. There were no allies or lover or anything for her, either. She was alone even if this Assassin Brotherhood would be "keeping her safe". The worst part was that this ride never ended.

"If that is all, shall we?" Giovanni spoke up, pulling her from her thoughts. She met his eyes for a moment, wishing there was something more there for her—that he would suddenly change his mind and help her, but it was not to be. She sighed mentally as he nodded, preparing herself for what more might come. Although, she supposed it couldn't get any worse.

For a moment, she thought it would.

Just as the older man reached for the door, there was a knock on it. She jumped a little—a flash of embarrassment went through her—and looked to the exit. Giovanni was less surprised; in fact, he seemed a bit amused by her reaction, and opened the door to reveal a young man. He looked maybe her age, or a bit younger. He was taller than her by a few inches, though, and he had a strong jaw that made him appear older than the might be. He had some of Giovanni's features with a somewhat long, broad nose, and dark locks that reached his ears, so she figured he was his son. He wore a dark vest over a poofy white shirt, with dark pants and boots to match. Most striking, though, was how fast his surprised look became a cheesy smirk, and the rather unusual way his dark-colored irises focused on her.

That was not something she expected—the way he stared... She'd rather not think about it, to be honest, and was glad when Giovanni cleared his throat to get the young man's attention. Said young man shifted, as if caught doing something naughty, and bowed his head respectfully before removing a bundle of letters from his pocket which he gave to the older man.

"I have the letters you requested, father," he smiled, and Catherine's assumption was confirmed. She wondered if the young man was an Assassin. He did feel familiar—like she'd seen him before, but where?

The Clock warmed, and the words came to her head: Ezio Auditore. She was relieved there was no ache this time, but she did feel weird again. She didn't particular like it, and wished the Clock wouldn't do things without her asking, but she was pretty sure she had no control. That, she definitely didn't like, and if she saw that man again... well, first she would beg to be brought back home and then maybe demand a way to have some control in her life right now.

"Ah, thank you, Ezio, and what excellent timing," Giovanni smiled back as he took the letters and then motioned to Catherine. "This is Catherine Wolfe, all the way from England. She will be staying with us for a little while until her father can conclude his business."

The young man smiled, taking her hand and kissing it gently, "A pleasure, my Lady. I guarantee your stay will be most pleasant."

"Uh... t-thank-you?" Catherine replied, stuck between being flustered or severely confused. The way he said it and looked at her and kissed her hand... was he... flirting? That—just—really? Was he seriously flirting? She didn't know what to think. First this crazy time travel, everything going down the drain, and now being flirted with? Was this compensation or something or what was going on here? Whatever the case, she was glad he let her go—although he was grinning like he was pleased with himself and up to something—and he stepped aside to let them through. He kept his eyes on her quite a bit, though, and she wasn't sure she liked it.

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