Act II - 14 Bravado

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 Act II



It's a switch flipped

It's a pill tipped back, it's a moon eclipsed, whoa

And I can tell you that when the lights come on I'll be ready for this

It's in your bloodstream

A collision of atoms that happens before your eyes

It's a marathon run or a mountain you scale without thinking of size

I was frightened of every little thing that I thought was out to get me down

To trip me up and laugh at me

But I learnt not to want

The quiet of the room with no one around to find me out

I want the applause, the approval, the things that make me go

 Oh, oh, oh, oh


December 28, 1476

Monteriggioni, Italy

Catherine's heart raced like the beating drum, perfectly in tune with the staccato of her feet as she moved to avoid her opponent's strikes. She weaved in out, ducking down this way and that as she kept just out of reach. She knew she didn't have the strength to compete against the man hounding after her, but her smaller and more lithe form gave her an advantage in speed, and dodging used far less energy than attacking. Already the man was sweating and puffing, and though she was not free of signs of exhaustion either, she was definitely the more energetic of them both. However, dodging only did one so good; she knew she needed to attack, but the man was at least twice her size and her previous blows had not done much whereas his punch to her cheek and stomach had been jarring. She wasn't one to quit, though, and so she watched carefully for a moment to strike—just a small opening and she could land at least one more punch.

The man lunged forward so she ducked low, leaping past him. She stopped just short, though, and, gripping what grass was left in the ground, she swung, slamming her legs into his. The man had twisted to grab her, throwing him balance off, and so he toppled downward, but rolled up in a heartbeat. She didn't waste time, either; already on her feet, she swung her arm. Knuckle hit flesh, and blood splatter on her hand. The man yelped in agony although his nose was hardly broken. He wasn't fazed enough, though, and with a mighty, enraged bellow, he lowered and ram his head and shoulders into her stomach. She grunted, the air forced from her lungs violently when they hit the ground, and tried to roll out, but the man pinned her on her stomach. She hissed as her arm was harshly bent backwards in a way it shouldn't, and though she resisted, she knew she couldn't win. He was far too strong, but she was just as stubborn and refused to surrender even as the tightness in her arm increased exponentially with each passing second.

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