04 - Florence Tarantella

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July 6, 1476

Florence, Italy

Catherine cursed when her hat started to fly away after a jump, but managed to snag it in mid-air and secure it back on her head over the make-shift bun she'd created out of her ponytail. It wasn't as set as she would like, but she could only assume this was how Renaissance hats were and it was all Annetta could find on short notice. It did well enough to hide her hair when it didn't fly off, although if someone came too close they'd see the feminine features of her face. She could potentially pull off being a man with girlish looks, but she'd rather not try. Thankfully, that wasn't any issue right now; there was practically nobody on the rooftops of the city. Oh, there were a few guards, but they didn't seem to care much unless you got too close.

"I told you it would fall off," the second born Auditore son smirked as she came up beside him and his older brother. She rolled her eyes while she adjusted her apparel.

"Congratulations, Ezio, you know how wind created from running affects a hat," she snorted back, one of the many retorts she'd made to him in the few hours they'd been prancing about. He had started the first second he could and hadn't stopped. It was a game to him, she knew, but she hadn't agreed to play. However, that didn't mean she didn't know how to compete.

He was hardly fazed, grinning more, "I only meant you should let that pretty hair of yours flow freely."

"And I meant you can cut out the sweet talk—it's not working."

"Now, now, no fighting you two. We are here to learn and have fun," Federico laughed as he walked towards them, having been scouting out the area ahead beforehand. "And I do not mean that kind of fun, Ezio."

"Must you always ruin my good time?" the younger brother smirked, folding his arms. Again, Catherine rolled her eyes and set her hands on her hips. A line of sweat had formed on her brow after their latest jog, but she wasn't tired yet. Federico mostly had them go fast a short while and then walk other parts, helping them—or rather her—get the layout of things and work on jumping. It really wasn't that bad, although she still shied away from more difficult leaps. He didn't complain, nor did Ezio, although the little jerk did love to tease her relentlessly about it. He couldn't cut her slack, even when it was just her second day.

"If you wanted fun, you should not have agreed to come with us. Before you say anything else, go set things up while I explain our game to Catherine," Federico chuckled as Ezio groaned, shoulders slumping. The younger brother did not protest more than that, though, and, with a wink to the redhead, spun on his heels and trotted off. Catherine sighed with relief once he was gone, finally getting a moment away from his constant pestering. Oh, sure, it had been flattering—at first—for a guy to show her such attention, but she was actually trying to work and do what Giovanni wanted. She wanted to get stronger, too—it meant she could maybe go home faster.

"Forgive my baby brother. He is helpless when it comes to women, although sometimes that works in his favor."

"Well, it doesn't here. Any tips on how to get him to stop besides shoving him off a roof?" she inquired, brow raised.

He chuckled, "Just let him run his course; when he sees you are truly not interested, he will stop. And if worse comes to worse... I can always have father speak with him. For now, though, don't worry about that; we have other things to focus on, no?"

"Right. So. I'm assuming Giovanni told you everything?"

"That you are potentially in danger and require training to better protect yourself—in part at your father's request?" he replied, and she managed to nod without pause. "Then, yes. He told me as such. An odd request, but he has accepted it. He also asked I help train you in his stead. I am hardly the best teacher, but I will do what I can. And although it may be your only second day here, we need to begin. We do not know how much time you have with us."

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