July 16, 1476
"What are you drawing now?"
Catherine paused in her chalk sketch to look at Petruccio, the young boy practically glued to her right side. He had paper and chalk in his lap, too, working on his own piece of art. He'd never drawn before, so mostly he was making poor attempts at a face or an object in the room, but they were adorable in their own way. It was also an activity he could do that didn't strain his health, and it pleased his mother—the woman was actually in the room with them, sowing silently at her table. She glanced up every now and then, smiling at them or at her other sons, who were playing at chess, and at Claudia, too, who sat in the chair across from the redhead and the youngest Auditore. The only missing member, unfortunately, couldn't join them today—off on business apparently.
"Well, mostly I've been doodling, but I thought I might try at drawing your sister—she's sitting in a good pose," Catherine chuckled, tilting the outline of Claudia's face she'd made so Petruccio could see. The subject of her piece looked up, surprised.
"You are drawing me?" she gasped and stood up so she could charge over. "Let me see! You better not be doing so poorly!"
The redhead rolled her eyes playfully, showing her the parchment, "I've only just started, Claudia. There's not much to see. I won't draw you if you don't want me to. I could draw Maria or one of the boys."
"I think not—the last time you did you drew a ridiculous nose on my face!" Ezio barked, though he didn't look their way; too focused on the chess game with his brother, who snickered.
"I thought it suited you perfectly, baby brother," he hummed as he moved his piece and then smirked. "Also: check mate."
"Wha—oh! Come on, Federico!" the young man groaned, slumping dramatically for a few moments before he pouted and waved at his opponent. "Let us go again. I will beat you this time!"
Catherine grinned at their antics before looking to Claudia again, who had been keeping her eye on the parchment, biting her lip a little. She was probably taking account of the doodles she'd made on the edges—fun little drawings of random characters of her own making or creatures she'd thought up, or some were of her dogs. No doubt the young woman worried she might draw her the same.
"You should let her draw you! She is very good! Did I not show you the one she did of me?" Petruccio piped up, smiling brightly. He held up his own parchment, "She is even teaching me! Oh! I could draw you if you would like!"
His sister huffed, "I suppose Catherine may draw me, but do so properly! I will not be made fun of with a picture!"
"I won't—I promise. Really. Now, go sit back down how you were, and I'll see how far I get," the redhead hummed teasingly, to which the other girl rolled her eyes, but ultimately did as told. She returned to her previous pose, settled back properly against her chair with book in hand, and head held high. When asked if it was right, Catherine nodded and got back to her sketch.
Normally, she would use pencil for drawing on paper, and be able to erase as much as she liked, or she would do it on her laptop, but she had neither of those things. Maria and Giovanni had been kind enough to give her material to draw, but it was on old, thicker paper and she had chalks or ink and quills for her medium. She hadn't tried the ink yet, but she did know how to use chalk—it was like charcoal, and she'd always liked that, although she was much better with a pencil. She would make do with what she had, although it was also very messy. Thankfully, she'd gotten her own towel set, which she kept on her lap so the dark smudges only ever strayed to her pants. Thus far neither parent had come to regret allowing it, and she dared to say Maria was pleased—if only because art was something a lady could learn and she was actually decent at it compared to everything else.
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