The start of my new beginning in this story. Totally rewritten so if you have read it before you will want to reread it because you might miss something important. Thank you for taking the time to read this I hope you enjoy :D
Chapter 1: The Rescue
Ezio perched himself on a beam overlooking the marketplace. The Venetian sun was high in the sky, beaming unto his robes, creating an uncomfortable sweat that stuck his bronze hair to his forehead. The stench from rotting fish caught in the dawn hours was overwhelming when he first arrived, but he had gotten used to it. Blacksmiths tailors and fishermen shouted eagerly to the crowds, desperately trying to sell their wares. Ezio scanned the area for anything or anyone suspicious but then immediately diverted his attention back to her. Rosa, a feisty little thief whose life he saved just a few days earlier was visiting the marketplace not to pick pockets but to gather supplies for the guild. She was hardly able to walk without those crutches but she insisted on doing something productive for the guild. Typical Rosa he thought. He snickered to himself as she balanced on one crutch while trying to examine some fresh fruits in the other hand. It took a lot to tie her down, something he really admired about her personality. Although he's only known her for a week he took it upon himself to ensure her safety, even if she didn't know he was stalking her.
After making her purchases, Rosa began hobbling back to the guild. The streets were crowded and it was hard for Ezio to keep track of her movements without her seeing him. A brunette with lofty curves leaning against an alleyway took Ezio's eyes away for a moment until he was interrupted by cries from below. People were being shoved out of the way scraping the streets as a group of mercenaries that Ezio had never seen in Venice before, made their way through the crowd. Grunting obscenities, the mercenaries shoved all in their path down to the pavement. Ezio thought nothing of it until he saw various fruits and a pair of crutches sprawled across the pavement. He frantically scanned the streets looking for Rosa.
Merda! Where did she go?
Ezio heard a woman's cry from an alleyway ahead. Racing towards the sound, it only took but a few seconds for him to arrive above the source. Below, the mercenaries were huddled around Rosa, all trying to rip a piece of clothing off of her. Rosa, however, was making this increasingly difficult. Her leg was injured but that didn't keep her from flailing and punching arms wildly about.
"Mettere le mani di me ti maiale!" Rosa yelled
Ezio descended upon the men who stopped their actions upon his arrival. They immediately rose, and stood side by side, blocking Rosa from his view. Ezio counted five of them, average sized although there was one who looked only to be in his teenage years and very timid. Their clothing was stained from dirt sweat and God knows what. Most of them had hair that was greasy and kept up by a strip of cloth they had no doubly torn from their trousers. Their appearance only lead Ezio to conclude that they weren't the high end muscle the Doge would hire, but they certainly had the means to get the job done no matter the cost.
The largest mercenary stepped forward. His face was plagued by divots and scars gained from many battles. "Go away bastardo this does not concern you." The mercenary spat towards Ezio.
Rosa was lying on the ground buttoning her shirt back up not quite aware of what was happening.
"Quite the contrary gentlemen, I'm going to give you the opportunity to leave now or there will be hell to pay." Ezio threatened.
Ezio heard the approaching footsteps of the thieves on the rooftops nearby.
"What are you going to do ragazzo?" The largest mercenary lifted his cape to reveal the hilt of his sword.
With a coy smile beneath his hood, Ezio held up his hand and motioned for the mercenaries to come in his direction. Infuriated by his blatant challenge, the mercenaries rushed at him carelessly with their swords drawn. Ezio drew his hidden blades he had filled with poison earlier today. As two of them charged, the sound of clashing metal filled the alley. Ezio graciously blocked their swords with his bracers, effortlessly flicking his wrist, sending the blades that had been filled with poison into their bodies. He did not keep the blades in long enough to administer a dose that would kill, but only render them unconscious. The other three were too busy with the gang of thieves that had arrived as Ezio was battling the first two to notice their comrades had fallen. Ezio took what was left of an abandoned wooden crate in the alley and bashed one of the mercenaries over the head, sending him to the floor. The last two were finished off by the thieves, who used the hilt of their own daggers to punish the mercenaries.
"Take these scumbags to the guild and restrain them in the basement. Now!" Ezio commanded, authoritatively pointing at the thieves.
Ezio quickly went to Rosa who was still sitting on the pavement, somewhat out of the daze she was in. He examined her body closely, searching for any open wounds that would require immediate attention. There were a few minor cuts but, assuming she was ok, he tried to lift her as he had done a few days prior. She immediately clutched her arm, which caused Ezio to place her back on the ground.
"Merda!"She yelped in agony. "I think those bastardos broke my arm! Rosa's eyes writhed in pain. Ezio was no doctor, but his little brother, Petruccio, had once broken his arm in an attempt to imitate a jump Ezio did between two houses. He remembered when his father came with the doctor who immediately immobilized the arm with a cast.
Not having one of those handy, Ezio took another piece from the crate he used to bash the mercenary and broke it into two pieces. He placed a board on either side of Rosa's broken arm. Ezio cut a bit of excess off of his sash and used that to bond the two boards together. Rosa bit her lip in pain as he pulled the strands tight. Instinctively she tried to lift herself up to walk on her own, but her other arm only gave way under her weight sending her plopping back onto the pavement.
"Be still." Ezio whispered reassuringly as he lifted her carefully, avoiding moving her arm, and began sprinting lightly back towards the guild.
A crowd who had witnessed the event had gathered outside the alleyway. They began applauding when the thieves carried out the unconscious bodies of the mercenaries as well as when Ezio carried Rosa away. This only made Rosa more infuriated. She felt helpless enough in her situation already, and these people had the audacity to applaud it?
Rosa cut her eyes. "How did you get to me so fast?"
Looking around as if he was going to find an answer in the scenery Ezio tried to make up an excuse. "Uhmm lets not worry about that now we need to get you ho-"
"Were you stalking me?" Rosa exclaimed "What? You don't think I can handle myself? Idiota! I'm just fine on my own!" Rosa scoffed, clearly insulted by Ezio's gesture of kindness
"I was only looking out for you!"
Rosa could feel anger welling up in her chest. No one went toe to toe with her and won. "Well I told you I am just fine on my own!" Rosa grumbled. "I don't need you or anyone else to help me."
Ezio sighed heavily. When he rescued someone they tended to not be this angry with him. Clearly the pain was getting to her so he picked up the pace to a sprint.
The guild was in sight now. It was no grand palazzo. It was an inconspicuous set of buildings interconnected on the banks of the canal. The walls were made of stone that had been battered by relentless rains for many years. Eroded in appearance, the walls still held strong to the touch. Here the odor of fish was washed away by the costal breeze. Certainly not what one of nobility would expect live in, but to Rosa this was the home she had known for many years.
The one who recruited her here, Antonio, was the leader of the thieves, and a father to her in everything but blood. He had taken her in and taught her the ways of a thief. He was also the one to save her from her arrow injury earlier this week. The two now could only hope that he was home to help now.
When the pair arrived, Antonio was nowhere to be found and the guild looked deserted so Ezio carried Rosa up the stairs to her quarters.
Ezio had never been in her room before, and he wasn't sure any man had been before him. The room was cold and damp. Paint that was once vibrant green was long past faded and now cracking along the walls. Patches where the paint had already been peeled off revealed a gray undertone that was an odd compliment to the green. There was a desk that sat on the wall directly across from the bed that sat next to the window. The wood floors creaked with his every step. He laid her down gently on the bed; it too creaked when he set her down. He hurriedly walked into the connecting bathroom to retrieve warm water and a rag.
When Ezio returned, Rosa's eyes were closed and she was breathing heavily through her nose. He placed the bucket beside the bed and rung out the rag. Ezio lightly doused it along her forehead. The warmth brought a slight smile to Rosa, even though her eyes were still closed. He wiped away the dirt and sweat from her forehead to her cheekbones, and then traced the rim of her lips, where blood had spilled from it being cut open. She murmured softly as he finished wiping her neck, down to her chest.
Soon, a grimace replaced the smile that occupied her face. Ezio could tell the pain was getting worse. Where the hell was Antonio? Trying to make her as comfortable as possible, Ezio removed the makeshift splint from her arm, which revealed even more blood from a cut he hadn't initially seen on her bicep. Quickly he realized he would have to remove her shirt to clean it.
"Do I have permission to remove you shirt? I assure you this is in no way sexual." Ezio added the last bit with a sly grin on his face. He didn't usually ask to remove a woman's clothing.
Rosa was past the point of caring about pride or anything else for that matter. The pain in her arm had become reminiscent of the sharp pain she felt in her thigh when it had been pierced by an arrow. "Fine." She cried still in agony. "Just get the pain to stop please."
With some hesitation, Ezio began unbuttoning her shirt. His hands trembled unnaturally. She pulled the first arm out of the shirt herself, but did not even attempt to move the second one. When Ezio tried to touch it, she jerked away. Left with no choice, Ezio drew his stiletto, and placed the sharp side facing up at the cuff of her shirt. The knife slid through the shirt effortlessly and revealed where her skin had been slashed open. Blood still seeped from the opening. He quickly wiped it away and turned the remnants of her shirt into a makeshift bandage. Ezio pulled the rest of the shirt from under her, revealing her entire midsection to his wide eyes.
Ezio noted that her skin had lost the olive complexion he once remembered to a paler pasty one. During her recovery from the arrow, she had stayed indoors most of the time. Not by her own choice, but by Antonio's choosing.
He brought the rag back to her chest, and slowly wiped down her breast and rib areas. Many scars broke the evenness of her midsection, the price of a life of thievery and running rooftops. Some were small and insignificant, while there was a few the size of a dagger or arrow tip. Ezio absentmindedly traced them with his finger as he continued to wipe down her stomach. His hand passed over her bellybutton; he could feel the bumps where her abdominal muscles protruded under her skin. As he bent over to place the rag back into the bucket, a long and unnatural line below her ribcage caught his eye. Without thinking, he ran his finger along it, feeling the difference in texture it had in relation to the rest of her skin.
"Like what you see pervertito? She teased, in her usual flirtatious manner.
Broken from his daze, Ezio smiled charmingly. "This scar," his hand still laid on her midsection "Where did you get it?"
Rosa pursed her lips "That is a long story." She covered his hand with her free one. "That I wish not to speak of right now." Her eyes and voice had softened considerably. Just then Antonio burst into the room.
"I heard what had happened from Cristiano and I-" Ezio quickly broke their touch and stood with his hands behind his back.
"What the hell is going on? And why is your shirt off?" Antonio shifted his eyes from Ezio to Rosa, not sure who to chastise at first. Seeing the bloodied shirt, he hurried to Rosa's side. Gently he ran his fingers along her arm.
"Cazzo it's broken." He placed his hand on Rosa's good shoulder. "I'm going to have to snap it back into place."
Rosa grit her teeth, imagining just how pleasant this was going to feel. "Do it quickly" She turned her head away from the injured arm and squeezed her eyes shut.
Seeing her fear, Ezio grabbed her hand without thinking. Antonio put a hand on either side of the broken arm.
"One…Two…" Rosa's body tensed and her grip tightened on Ezio's hand. Antonio quickly pushed one hand upward so that it was level with the other. A sickening snap ensued.
"Cazzo! Rosa cried loud enough to wake the dead. "What the hell happened to three?"
"Mi dispace piccola, I did not want you to flinch." Antonio wrapped her arm in a strand of cloth he had brought with him. Being in a thieves guild, broken bones were a weekly occurrence. Rosa usually laughed when a new thief would break their arms while running the rooftops. Now, she was just glad Antonio had the experience to help her.
"Try to stay in bed this time until you are healed ok?" Antonio stood and began to walk towards the door. "That should do for now, I am going get Bianca so she can make a more permanent cast for you. Ezio, behave yourself while I am gone." Closing the door behind him, the two were left alone again.
Ezio peered down at his hand which was still in Rosa's grasp.
"You can let go of my hand now" Ezio flashed a smile. The gesture was returned by Rosa.
Ezio noticed she was shivering so he fetched a dingy white blanket off the desk and placed it over Rosa's still exposed body.
She brushed the loose hairs from her eyes. "Thank you Ezio, for everything. I suppose you not a complete idiota."
"You're welcome" he grinned and bent over and kissed her forehead. "buonanotte singora" Ezio whispered and walked out of the room.
She didn't want him to leave but before she got the chance to say anything he was out the window. She had to admit she was puzzled by the attention she was receiving from Ezio. Then again this was Ezio Auditore, charming, and clever with only one goal in mind. Women melted at his touch, and as soon as he screwed them he left. She wasn't going to be another name to his list, if he wanted her affection she was going to have to work for it.
Mettere le mani di me ti maiale-get your hands off of me
Mi dispace- I'm sorry
Buonanotte singora- Goodnight
So hopefully this chapter was better than the original. I'm in the process of re-revising the entire story to make it hopefully better. I always appreciate criticism of any kind so hit me with anything you like dislike or hate in the review section. Thank you J