61 - Young Blood III

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February 14, 1486

Venezia, Italy

Catherine didn't ease her pace until the brothel was in view. Only then did she slow to a walk and clear some sweat from her brow. She touched at the newly acquired golden mask on her hip, making sure it was still firmly attached, and smiled with satisfaction. The missions had gone well despite the small hiccup—that is, the Templars cheating their way to victory at the very end. Regardless of how it all went down, the point remained that they—the Assassins—now had the mask and could gain entry into the party. She didn't doubt the enemy would catch on soon enough, so they needed to get moving. As such, she trotted to the entryway of the brothel. There she slipped inside and couldn't help hearing a choir of voices. Three, to be exact, and they seemed to be having a somewhat heated discussion. Sort of. Antonio—and Ezio, she noted, seemed to have an edge to their voice, while Sister Teodora was trying to keep the peace.

Evidently it was up to her to enforce it, and what better way than with a victory?

"Did someone ask for a Golden Mask?" she spoke up, pulling the adornment from her hip and waggling it up in the air. Ezio spun around, and she could tell instantly he'd been worrying. However, it vanished the moment he saw her, and he embraced her quickly.

"You are alright? He didn't hurt you?" he inquired, looking her over fervently.

She huffed as she waved him off, "Yes, yes, I'm fine. Like I told you I would. It went perfect. And as much as I'd love to tell you about it, you have a party to attend, remember?"

"How on Earth did you get it from him? He did not follow you, did he?" Antonio inquired as he approached, suspicious look about him.

"No; I used some of your girls, Teodora," the redhead replied, glancing to the Sister. "They let me get close; I... danced a bit to get him distracted, and I snagged it. The girls helped me get away from him. There's no way he knows where I went."

"If it was my girls, then you can rest assured, Antonio. He will not find this place. But that means you must go now, Ezio—when he cannot find Catherine, he will go to the party to do so. You cannot lose this chance, my son."

"You're right... and now that you are safe... I am content. I'm ready. Catherine, you—."

She held up a finger, "I'm coming with you. I can distract others, and even if Dante spots me... well, that will keep him from you, and I can outrun him. He's big and slow, you know that."

Ezio scowled at first, but saw her "I'm-getting-my-way" look and sighed. She smirked and gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

"Don't worry; I'm just there to provide distraction and an escape route. You have the kill to make," she hummed, adjusting his outfit some.

"You will not have very long, either, Ezio. Marco will make a speech, and that will most likely be the only chance you may get to him. Guards will be everywhere patrolling, so you must be wary. Stay hidden. Use my girls as well," Sister Teodora added, looking between them both.

"Unfortunately, my thieves cannot be of much use here. I will do what I can to give you aid... but... best of luck to you both. The fate of Venezia is in your hands."

"I understand," Ezio nodded, and then looked to Catherine. She nodded, and with one final glance to their companions, they skirted out the door.

The mask was kept off at first—not wanting to track unnecessary attention—as they traversed the streets. They were still packed despite the waning hour, although to be expected. The Doge's party would let off the big show of fireworks, so many wanted to stay up to see it. That, or they were too busy caught in the revelry and would end up only ending their festivities when they collapsed or the drinks put them out. Unfortunately, their fun would only come to an end when their target did, but for now they kept on a happy face. For now, they were simply a handsome, young man escorting a lovely lady that was most certainly just a courtesan and not his wife to the party. Of course they kept a close eye on their surroundings; made sure no one noticed them. Thankfully, only their allies did, and there were plenty of them around as Teodora said they would be. They would have plenty of help tonight, which was going to be needed.

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