56 - Shadowplay I

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September 14, 1485

Venice, Italy

"Uff... I think... I think I partied too much," Catherine groaned, sticking out her tongue as her belly churned unhappily, and her head ached some. That, of course, was due to the copious amounts of wine she'd imbibed over the last two days—along with all the other Thieves and her companion. It was all to celebrate their victory, and it would have been a lie to say they hadn't possibly—make that definitely—taken it too far. She was certainly feeling it now, although at the time it had been incredibly fun, and she vaguely recalled there being non-stop laughter and merriment. She also had the memory of herself and Ezio waking up mostly naked—she still had a shirt on, and his pants had only been pulled halfway down—in one of the many bedrooms. Needless to say, they'd had a lovely night.

Ezio sighed softly, holding back his own groan, "Agreed... which means we're getting old."

"Oh my God, don't say that. I'm older than you. Do you know what that means if you say you're old?" she huffed, reaching up to rub her temple.

"Forgive me, my love—the agony is making me delusional... Or something like that," he chuckled, although his eyes were closed as he, too, rubbed at his face. He sighed again after a few moments, "Do you see anything yet?"

"Nope. We're sure this is the right spot and day, right? I'm not too worried about location, but the day? We kinda lost track of time during our 'celebrations'," she replied with a low hum as she shifted position. It didn't really help her stomach to be crouched on the rooftop, shaded by a canopy on the balcony. The house was, thankfully, unoccupied—why they chose the spot in the first place—so they could remain there to keep watch of things. The shadows kept them hidden, too, as they lounged together, leaning against the pillars of the structure. She stretched herself on the box she was on, and leaned back against Ezio a little. He let his arm drape over her shoulder, playing with a stray lock of hair.

"It was worth it," her lover snickered. When she looked up she found a wicked smirk on his face, to which she rolled her eyes.

A moment later, she chuckled, too, "Yeah, it was. Antonio sure knows how to break in his new house. It's definitely an upgrade. Pretty sure he can fit all the Guild in there."

"Well, not all of them. But at least he was kind enough to give us a room to use whenever we like."

"Pfft. More like no one wants to be in it after we fucked everywhere and on everything in it."

"That, too," Ezio laughed, reaching down to playfully grope her breast. She laughed, too, as she slapped his hand and leaned on the balcony rail again. She roved the crowd quickly, searching for any signs of the men they were after. One was Carlo Grimaldi. She didn't remember exactly what he looked like thanks to it being dark, but it was someone who would be dressed more like a noble politician, and despite the high-end fashion, there was a difference between merchant who made coin and a man who made laws. It would also, potentially, be a small group of men, if there was to be a meeting. The redhead huffed a little, "Wish we knew when they would show up... you think Rodrigo will show for sure?"

"Carlo said the 'Master' called them for this meeting. It's Rodrigo. Emilio's death may make him stay away... but perhaps not. If this meeting is important enough, he'll show."

"Think we'll be able to take any of them out?" she asked, gaze flicking towards various figures of interest.

Ezio shook his head, "No... this will be strictly scouting. We may not need Antonio's permission to kill them... but we should still seek his advice. This is his home, after all. He'll want to know and take part in keeping it safe."

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