45 - Chase of the Highway

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March 2, 1481

Florence, Italy

The air was a little cool, but the sun helped keep the two assassins warm as they ventured through the city, hoods up, although not for any real caution. The city was safe and they were no longer wanted with the enemy blight rid of entirely. It was more so out of habit, and just in case—despite their safety, one could never be too careful and show their face. They moved freely, though, and were able to enjoy a small detour through the grandiose city, which was bustling with life. They visited the Auditore's Palazzo, which looked better than it had before, though still remained empty. None had come to occupy it, and perhaps it was better that way. From there they ventured through various shops and monuments, but didn't dally too long; they had a meeting with Lorenzo de Medici, after all.

"Here," Ezio hummed aloud as they turned down an alleyway that brought them before a palatial mansion befitting the ruler of a city such as Firenze. She had seen it a few times before already, but she was always awed by its structure and design. She especially loved the gardens in the back, which was to where they made their way. A tall fence surrounded it, with a small archway serving as a door. A pair of guards blocked it, and barred their path with narrowed eyes.

"This is not open to the public. Leave," the man grunted, puffing his chest out slightly. Catherine noted he gave her an odd look, and did not doubt his suspicion was growing.

"We are here to speak with Lord Medici. Ezio Auditore and Catherine Wolfe—tell him; he will know," Ezio smiled pleasantly, with just a touch of humor. The guard made a face as he hesitated, but then ventured into the vernal garden. His partner kept a close eye on them, no doubt wondering what business two people like them could have with their leader. Unfortunately for the two, that was not theirs to know.

The guard returned moments later and motioned them in, "Very well. Lord Medici awaits you."

"Thank-you," the redhead smiled, bowing her head slightly, and slipped in through the gate. Ezio followed right behind, and they spotted the older man instantly near the garden fountain. He spoke with a nobleman, but as soon as he spotted him, he bade the man good-bye. His guest ventured inside while the humble leader greeted them with open arms.

"Welcome, welcome... I trust you are both faring well? You look as much," he smiled, and the two of them chuckled.

"Well, we have finally finished things up, so... yes. We're been doing very well," Catherine grinned, setting her hands on her hips. The man's eyes widened slightly, and his smile did the same.

"So, it is done then? All of it?"

Ezio nodded, "Yes. All the Pazzi and their allies are dead. All of them."

Lorenzo nodded, though his head fell, "I must admit... I have never before believed I could desire the death of others so badly."

"Nor I," Ezio rumbled, looking down as well. Briefly, Catherine nudged him with her elbow as a show of comfort, and he gave her a small smile in return. Lorenzo did his part as well, reaching out to grasp the young man's shoulder warmly, and passed his gaze between them both.

"Ezio. Catherine... thank-you for the role you have played in keeping this dream of mine alive a little longer."

"It has been our honor, my Lord," the young man replied with a bow, which Catherine quickly followed.

"What will you both do now?" the ruler inquired.

Catherine frowned slightly, "We leave for Venezia."

"What? You do not mean—!"

"Sadly, yes—the Templars who escaped us have plans for the city. We can only assume they've already begun their plans, and it's time for us to head there," the redhead went on, eyes narrowing.

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