38 - The Take Over, The Breaks Over

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April 11, 1479

Toscana, Italy

Slowly, carefully, the hand crept. It was subtle; making sure to avoid notice. The prey was in sight—just inches away. With a few more seconds he would have his prize, and so he couldn't help a tiny grin appearing on his face. The owner of said prey wasn't looking either, which made it all the better. Oh, he would enjoy this little victory, and he already began to savor it as he crossed the stretch and reached.

That is, until a sharp pain shoot through the top of his hand.

"Shit! That hurt!" Ezio huffed, giving Catherine a sincere pout as he nursed his stinging flesh. The redhead held no pity as she took the roll from the basket that was rightfully hers and put it on her plate, well out of his reach.

"Don't try to steal my bread," she mused right back, not even looking at him as she cut the food in half to give room for her slices of meat. "You know you deserved that."

"You could have just said no," he grumbled, setting his elbow on the table so he could press his cheek into his palm. He looked to the wall instead, like the naughty boy he was.

"That wouldn't have stopped you from taking it. I took the exact course of action needed... and what do you know? It worked," the redhead snorted, finally giving him the "look". He glanced at her and huffed some more.

"Just wanted another piece of bread."

She rolled her eyes, "Then go ask Anastasia and Ercole. I'm sure they'll give you more. Go give the wife those... doe eyes of yours or whatever you do. Just make sure the husband doesn't see it. I'd rather not be kicked out like we almost were that one time."

"Hey, I was just being polite. Not my fault her fiancé was the jealous type," Ezio pouted, but didn't move from his spot. He deflated instead, spreading his elbows out to fold his arms and set his head on them. "And I'm not really that hungry. I just wanted your bread."

"Let me guess," she replied, pausing to lean on her elbow and point her cutting knife at him. "You wanted me to give you a kiss to get it back, right?"

He waggled a brow as he grinned, "Maybe."

"Which would have then led to me telling you to just keep it, and then you would tease me by bringing it close and saying it's just a kiss on the cheek and then I'd try to take it from you, and then it would end in a tussle with me on top of your lap and you making some cheeky, perverted comment. How far off am I here?"

"Spot on, actually. How did you know?" he smirked as he leaned back up and then forward some.

She gave him a dull look, "Because that's what happened last time."

"Damn, you're learning."

"Damn straight. You'll have to try it on all those courtesans of yours. I'm sure they won't throw the bread in your face after," she snorted before scarfing down the rest of her meal.

"Aaah, there she is. My favorite little jealous kitty. How I have missed you since yesterday," he purred with a wink. She only rolled her eyes and downed the rest of her wine.

"Not jealous—annoyed. You keep messing around when we're supposed to be working. Keeping an eye out—."

"—for our target, yes I know, but it doesn't mean we can't have fun. I promised I would not get over zealous with it, and I haven't, have I?" he replied, to which she made a thoughtful sound. He hadn't actually been fooling around a lot so he smiled and waved his hand towards her. "See? It's fine if I play a little, and we work all the time. You need to learn to relax, and I don't just mean after we're done for the day. After all, it's been, what—almost half a year since we killed Maffei, and nothing yet. We've scouted essentially the entirety of San Gimignano and know it almost as well as Monteriggioni, and we know the countryside, too. We've already gained allies with the people, which is how we're even staying in this house and made it a new safe one for our comrades. We've helped ease the strain of the Pazzi guards where we can even if they keep coming back—stubborn bastards—and even found a few Codex pages we need to take to Leonardo. I think we've earned some free time, no? And come on—you'd want some if we were in Firenze so you could go see Leonardo. It's not so bad then, right?"

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