"Oh?" Altair amusedly questioned, a small smirk tugging on the corner of his lips as the younger man froze. "Not upholding the part of our bargain, are we?"

Without a chance to reply, Ezio was tugged back against the older male's chest in record time, wincing at the steel grip on his arm that voiced a perfect leer along with his caught expression. "I have to relieve myself."

A grin.

He should've really known this by now.

"Of what, I wonder?"


"You're leaving."

Altair stands in the doorway, his wrinkled sirwal hanging low on his hips, with nothing but the creeping dawn clothing the contours of his torso, a mixture of rich reds and oranges accentuating the darkness of his eyes and the wise grace of his stance, no matter how lax—it's the way he likes it, most definitely, yes, but all of that is skewered, somehow, marred by a subtle frown stretching the scar of those lips, and he finds that the entirety of those attributes tug a different chord in his being, as if those earthen shadows were telling him of something else: Something bothered, but of no desire to be bared as vulnerable.

He speaks, tentativeness in his tone. "Si—for Firenze."

Shift, pull, lift, still, tense.

It's not how he likes it.

"For your wife."

Slowly, he buckles his knife-belt over his abdomen and stands, facing the other in silent inquiry, not long before he answers in truth more than hesitation. "My child: My heir will be born in a fortnight."

Three minutes. "You're leaving."

Confusion. "I will be back soon. I promise … "

But then, the revelation sinks in much faster than his smile—laughter flutters in, all complete with the warbles of birds on their windowsill. "Maestro," he calls, striding over to the flushed man, who turned his head to the side in great obstinacy. "God, maestro." There's that same chuckle in his grin, the same shake, the same endearments, the same need to cup those cheeks in his hands and plant a kiss on top of his nose. "You reduce me to a fool."

And, of course, the answer is always parallel. "Then, you do not know me as well as you think."


All the assassins openly gaped at the audacious youth.

"Well, the rafiq will have to get his own toy," Ezio protectively declared, much to the amusement of a very smug Grand Master, relentless in boring his predatory eyes at every one of the astonished brothers. "'Cause this geezer here—" A guttural tone overriding his control. "is my bitch."

Oh, if only Malik was here …


"Zarba! What in God's name are you doing, little one?"

And Ezio reflexively cringes, tightening his grip on Altair's forearms as he stills, dark intimidation a factor in the dilation of his eyes. "M-Maestro … "

If it weren't for the younger man buried deeply inside him, the older man would've snapped and reversed their roles in an instant. "Are you going to move, or what?" he huskily rasped, scraping his teeth across his clavicle when the shifting of his hips failed in getting the response he demanded. "Auditore."

"Th-Th-They're … " A burdening gulp. "They're watching ... !"

The Grand master groaned. Damn it, not this again! He knew he shouldn't have left the windows open. "No one's here, so get to work." Harshly, he tugged on sepia strands, gyrating and twisting about, anything to relieve the great pressure that welled within the confines of his lower half. "Now."

Again. Again. Again. "I-I-I c-can't! They're o-over there! Staring at m-my ass!" Plain hysteria. "Th-Th-They're mo-mocking me!"

It was without a doubt that a gleeful coo answered a ruffle of feathers.