"Come now, no need to be so shy, little brother; just a little kiss, si?"

Ezio wryly scoffed, flattening his palm on the other man's chin and peeling his face away from his own, his disbelief increasing a tad more when the idiot refused to acknowledge the outright rejection. Less than happy, he unsuccessfully ignored Federico's insistent touches on his cheek before yelping in surprise—a venturous hand snaking down the curve of his buttocks to the sound of breathy laughter and the trail of blunt nails. It only took another quirk of amused lips to forcefully push the older male away and smooth away the creases on the back of his breeches in a subconscious manner: never mind the fact that said figure looked as happy as a smitten dog at the small action.

A hand over the heart. "You wound me so! Such nonsensical pain! Aye!"

"Silenzio, you dirty bastardo—you drool like a dumb mutt when it comes to words." Wary, he shot a dark glare at the adventurous appendage that reached out once more to his waist. "Do not even try."

"Ah, but was it not you who wanted this? This …" His eyes seemed to glow in mischievous purpose. "experience?"

Dry snort. "I tried; but a certain idiota wrenched me from another man's bed before I could do anything—and you are lucky that I will not question how in God's name you managed to break into that poor fool's villa."

"Because I can," he suddenly stated, surprising Ezio and his self at the alacrity interlocked with proud jurisdiction. "Because I can."

" … because you can?"

Hard it was to comprehend a strange urge tugging at the bottom of his stomach—something primal and domineering. "Si—because I can."

Because he can—because he could grab onto that hand, stroke that face, that neck, that back; because he can look dead-on into those eyes so molten as honey and speak to those lips, the laughter, the inquiry; because he can, he wondered, channeling those thoughts into the tangible air as he leaned further back onto the bed, and it would be impossible to see a different man take that mouth for his own—and, oh, Dio, he wanted him to see that better than he ever would, his breath hitching in excitement at the creaking of the mattress, and he swore he would get him to, just by the younger being's movements. There was too much anticipation that he wanted to bare, yet cover, perhaps greater than the most selfish of misers, as Ezio's warm breath ghosted upon his nape.

"You," he bluntly stated, "are a buffoon—a big one; so big that I feel as if I am one myself."

A tick.

Until he leaned down.

And kissed him.

Federico smiled. "Because I can."

Lord, what else could he say?

"Because you can."