"Cazzo!" Ezio strongly cursed, gritting his teeth tightly together at the flashing pain that radiated from his collar bone. "Are you fucking mad, old man? I could've fallen down from this godforsaken ledge!"

The firm grips on his waist and wrist tightened even further as a hungry mouth proceeded to explore the base and arch of his throat. "Which is what we're exactly here for, no?"

Gulping a tad nervously as one of the rickety boards he braced his back on gave way, the uncomfortable assassin anxiously eyed the shady place the two of them were in and feebly mustered up some resistance to the obscene play. "Are you for real?" he worriedly hissed, futilely attempting to buck the smirking Grand Master off of him. "We're on some ghetto tower, high above the city, and now we're a-ah!"

A breathy chuckle ghosted intensely over his overheated ear. "Ah, little bird, they say that those who wait get the prize; besides, I find this arrangement … "Altair noticeably swept his amused gaze over the clandestine area. "exhilarating, don't you think?"

The youngest Auditore deeply groaned when each word of the last phrase was punctuated with a heavy grope to his nether regions. "We're gonna fall … "

It was clearly dangerous enough that they were situated on the highest point in all of Jerusalem, but what made it all the more maddening was the fact that he was coerced here to jump this stupid "leap of faith", an initiation of sorts—a very odd one, indeed. He didn't quite rejoice at said idea, but he was to be a brother of the Creed, and thus, he followed his "wise" teacher out to the testing zone to prove his allegiance and bravery: His father expected him to come home with the crimson sash as a marking of his success, and that, he swore he'd never fail. In a way, he had anticipated his calling—something that went against the protocol—and dismissed it as pure excitement.

In retrospect, he wished he'd listened.

Now, flailing unsuccessfully on the edge of the highest mosque he had ever laid eyes on, the younger male ineffectively fought to have purchase on something firm amidst a savage attack to his sore clavicle. How he had been pinned resolutely to a rotting pile of lumber was beyond his knowledge and speed; the last thing he knew, he was peering uncertainly over the waist-high border at the expansive kingdom, rambling on and on about how he was considering this again because mio dio that is not possible to survive gods I hate heights what n-no I didn't say a-anything, and then, without even an innuendo of a stealthy assault, he was whipped around rapidly and slammed hard against an abandoned construction spot. If that wasn't cynical enough, the harsh bite that rang through his oxygen-deprived mind automatically initiated his fight-or-flight response and had him mechanically reaching out to take down the aggressor.

Which, again, much to his frustration, was as fruitless as his awkward stunts.

"Eagles don't fall," the taller man whispered calmly while he confidently scraped his teeth across an abused lobe. "They descend, only to swoop back up."

"Wh-what's with you and eagles? Your f-favorite an-ani—Porca vacca! I think I'm bleedi—mmph!"

Powerfully ramming his tongue inside his apprentice's mouth, Altair snaked his agile hands across a robe-covered back and dug them into the irritated Italian's bottom, grinning into the kiss when a startled yelp was emanated. He carried on the personal exchange, turning his head in every direction the protesting brunette did so that their lips would remain sealed without the slightest hint of escape—not that Ezio would willfully crave to flee any time soon, judging by the way he finally gave up trying to bite off his appendage and began to initiate his own style of the current embrace. Hands that were formerly deviating their way to a sharpened stiletto were now fastened desperately to his own back, clinging onto the sheathes of his swords, and a warm torso was pressed solidly to his.

He had solely meant for his input to be brief, but the earnest boy's contribution was, if not, as hot as the eastern sun, and it was not a startling revelation that he too wished to just spend the rest of his ticking seconds merely doing this: perhaps even go so far as to pound into the lithe teen from behind to the smell of Moroccan spices and the daily call of prayer. Yet, time was passing quickly, considering that the late noon's rays were splayed on the hood of his cloak, and after a few more passionate moments into the engagement, the highly ranked swordsman knew that the evaluation had to proceed as planned.

Taking the fervent activity to a more elevated level, the cunning instructor used said action as a major diversion and sneakily withdrew one of his arms from around a defined hip—a bit relieved when the distracted European did not take any notice. Suddenly, much to Ezio's surprise, a deafening sound of cracking wood and rushing air greeted his ears, forcing him to snap his eyes open to identify the upsetting noise.

-and see that his vulnerable back was bracing itself against thin air.

"Merda! Che cazzo fai, stronzo?" he angrily growled against a deep laugh. "Do you want to get us both killed? You fucking destroyed the wood!"

Altair skimmed his eyes over the shadowed features and looked beyond to the golden-tinged city, drinking in the vivid sights and the rush of cool air that was only present at such a sky-scraping point; punching the deteriorating plywood off of its hinges certainly added a bit more zest to his regime. It was quite a funny thing to see the mundanely charming, suave noble clutch greatly at his clothing as if he was a wary babe about to take his first step and refused to let go of his mother's hand. He could practically feel the destructive glare narrowed at his head as he gingerly pressed his student's head his sternum, and it took a sliver of effort on his behalf to stifle a chortle—which inevitably could not be held in.

"Wait 'till I drag you to the villa's pool," the younger assassin mumbled grumpily. "Friggin' geezer … "

The latter snorted lightly and playfully began to rock back and forth on the lofty ledge, feeling satisfaction when a string of maledictions came hurling his way. "Oh? Do you really wish to do that, kind sir?"

"Vaffanculo! W-What the hell are you—okay, okay, I get it!"

"Hm—not listening."

Altair took a diminutive step forward.

Ezio looked ill to the bone.

"Mi dispiace, my dispiace, signore! There, I said I'm sorry! So just get ba—Aye, maron!"

And another.

"Christo! Forget about what I said about the pool—"

And another.

The chaos continued for two more painstaking steps until Ezio's back was arched treacherously into the wide open, the wicked Grand Master supporting the small of his back with one hand and using the other to bat away his own hands that were losing their hold on white robes; when he ultimately lost his grip, he embarrassingly let out an astonished cry as his arms swooshed down vertically and jerked him downwards even further, hot blood rushing to his head faster than the air that was knocked out of his lungs. Bile rose to his throat as the golden city was now a blur of mahogany and beige that sent his wits reeling back and over him.

"O-Old man! A-Are y-you—"

"Do you trust me?" the middle-eastern male coolly inquired.

"What?"

"Do you trust me?" he asked once more, letting his hold slacken mischievously.

"What does th-that have to do w-with anything—"

"All of this has everything to do with it."

The bemused brunet gnashed his teeth in a panicking manner, his struggles in vain at the potent arm that blocked his safety. " … I … I-I trust you."

For a second, the vision of immaculate honey accentuating the olive complexion of the content assassin almost made him seem as if he was a seraph—it was obvious that the holy sight stole more of his resistance and breath than the deviant winds and the fear of heights; it was here and now that he realized that he made the right decision to strive to be, respect, and follow this figure who invariably put him in dire situations.

But then …

"Are you ready, boy?"

He kind of wished he had a sense of vigilance …

-because Altair fucking jumped.

The wise ones have said that the human mind will always think, even more during slumber or a wordless state of mind; however, he was pretty sure that none of them leapt off of the tallest building in the Mediterranean while holding onto a cynical loon who would do some random fits of melodramatic sequences before taking his victim with him: Because now, too shocked to even emit a single scream, he was falling from the heavens with blinding gold piercing his eyes to the sound of two thumping hearts beating madly—and he was drowning: to the smell of summer and winds and the sun and the weight of refuge; he was descending faster than a blade, and oh gods merda sanctus oh gods merda sanctus oh merda I'm falling I'm dying I need I mio dio cazzo

Falling, falling, falling …

Faster than his impulsiveness …

And he was fucking loving it—

—the buzz of knowing that it was mandatory to completely surrender his fate to some other factor other than his own self: no wariness, no contemplations, no powers, no principalities: no cursed fulfilling of any sort—just anticipating, for once. Fire raged barbarically in his sensitive state of being, fire that was wilder than the harsh billows of wind threading through his strands and the stinging zaps of shock therapy that came too close to normality …

And the end had come sooner than the clarity of comprehension.

"Not yet," Altair lowly instructed as one of his hot hands slid across the curve of his spine. "The guards are still in their posts; after the monks move, we should be fine."

Straining his jaw as a result from the high of the maniacal feat, the tense brunette inadequately pushed himself to still irregular gulps of air and hone in on his disoriented senses. Not yet, not yet—not goddamn yet … "I … y-yeah … "

Not yet …

Merely hiding out in what seemed to be a monstrous pile of hay stacked on top of wagon did not carry as much kick as the suicidal plunge, but it did not disappoint in continuously supplying him copious doses of epinephrine; he could subtly perceive the various shouts that alerted him that they had been spotted en mediares of their hazardous endeavor, and once again, the recognizable taste of expectancy and apprehension mingled sluggishly on the back of his tongue—they could be caught at any given time—minute, second, or hour, and then they'd have no choice but to unsheathe their weapons and partake in—

"Poise and rationality, little one," the hidden blade-wielder murmured, aware of the small bloodlust coursing through his pupil's veins. "We are not here to slaughter the citizens."

"I'm notgoing to … what made you think of that idiotic idea?"

The incredulous mentor finely snorted and rolled his amber-colored orbs. "Proceed to wait until the clearing—it should be in about twenty to thirty seconds post-confessional."

Che! Like hell I'll be a sitting duck …

He should've done what he was told—he was invariably told to do so by the Council and his peers, mainly his concerned father.

But …

Maybe it was the diabolical adrenaline, or the sheer fact a provocative hand was smoothing its way down to the curve of his buttocks, but an ignited burn for childish resistance swelled up within him."Well, would you look at that—the almighty Altair Ibn-something is cowering behind a mound of thatch, reciting po—"

And a sharp hand slammed itself near his shoulder.

Oh.

Fucking.

Shit.

"You know," the roguish swordsman began with an eerily tranquil voice, raking his observant eyes over the ignorant teenager, "I've constantly done the leap of faith, starting from when I was a child."

The fearful assassin chomped down onto his bottom lip.

What scared him the most was the notion that Altair could bore a hole into his forehead, even while in the claustrophobic darkness. "Head high, back straight, accurate initial velocity …"

It was starting to get exceedingly uncomfortable in here.

"Mastering this art was no problem for me," his husky voice included, a scorching breath now searing the length of his nape. "After all, eagles do fly, right?"

Nodding clumsier than a dumb cow felt like the smartest thing in the world.

"And, as you notice, there's always been this haystack conveniently waiting down at the bottom—regardless of dawn or dusk; and … "

Breaths erratically hitching, Ezio silently swore to himself when an unyielding arm flattened him down onto his back and leisurely moved itself up under his chin; the itching pressure on his tightened throat made him all the more aware of a sizzling caress on the outer side of his bent thigh, the sanguine flush of his cheeks meeting the corner of his clouded eyes. "I've never stopped imagining what it's here for."

A hearty grown tore from his bothered lips at the feel of coarse stubble attacking his Adam's pple; it was just too impossible to process anything at the hectic moment. What happened to the idea of testing and completing the mission? What happened to the thought of the high probability of being uncovered, especially out in the middle of society?

Why the hell was he being molested in a heap of horse feed?

"To hold a tryst? A nighttime fuck in the middle of the road?"

"A-ah!"

"Oh? So you do agree, little bird?" he impishly questioned, the spicy tone off-putting the bustle of the populated streets and the prickly straw that poked at him from every angle. "You've been touching yourself to the thought of this?"

"A—ngh … "

At the sound of his dazed victim's next moan, Altair naughtily licked at the side of his abused neckline and grinned.

"Wanna see how strong this thing is?"