The air was crisp and cold when he stepped out of their hideout.

Looking about to check for anything uncommon, Desmond surveyed the premises with eagle vision before he began his brisk run towards the stairs, literally jumping them by fours as he darted through the illuminated streets. He ran past the usual structures sans wariness: the cars, fresco buildings, bicycles—things that were never thought of six hundred years ago, back when Ezio Auditore controlled a dominion that encompassed the whole of Italia, even before the Apple came into the hands of the most revered Grand Master in history. Everything was modernized, and the assassin found the untainted originality seen through the last prophet's eyes to be real: not the supporting beams that attempted to preserve the monument of a town, not the familiar broken ledges and corners, not the hallucinations of men and women laughing and talking as they strolled past.

Nor the need to relieve an ache.

The alleyway he soon discovered was barren and dimly lighted—no one could see anyone or anything, unless movement was happening at a very grand scale; it was this secluded area he decided to keep to as his breaths came a bit deeper, a bit harder, enough to force him to curl his hands into fists to match the awkward stride. Rapidly, he made sure of his surroundings once more, not after he pushed himself against the rough mortar on the wall and wrenched off his hoodie.

The zipper of his jeans was too loud.

But Desmond didn't give a flying fuck.

And then, he grabbed his cock all too violently, depraved, his heart hammering in his chest, desperately aware of how his hand was waging war against the infinitesimal bit of sanity in his mind. Damn, damn, damn was the entirety of his broken expression: It had been far too long since he had the opportunity to rid himself of the annoying ache, to have a privacy he had taken for granted ante-ordeal—the shit between some crazyass Templars and a brotherhood that called themselves the assassins. There was only the temporary sanctuary, with all four of them attempting to give each other personal space, and obviously, there was no way in hell he could have ever beat off in there. He couldn't take care of this matter, like this, the tempo accelerating as his head was purged, grinding his teeth together, thinking of nothing else but the need to get this shit over with en mediares of automatic pleasure. All he wanted was the end to all things, the end to many things, the end to every thing

Suddenly: "Desmond."

Static.

"Come."

A hitch.

"Now."

The order coerced him to do so.

And Desmond tasted blood as he came.

However, his earpiece seemed to ignore his state, blazing the statement that wasn't meant to be taken in a literal way, Lucy's voice all too loud, all to selfish, all too ignorant; he could perceive the agitation furrowing her brow as she spoke, probably typing away a long report, or whatever she seemed to do, the Animus shadowing the length of her profile. He hated the semen on his hands as much as he craved to expel it before, and Lucy was definitely the one to make him drop his forehead onto the wall and grit his teeth.

"Hurry up—you're way past your limit." An irritated pause. "I sent Shaun out there to look for you. Don't make us go through the security measures again, Desmond."

The silence was as obnoxious as the zipper being pulled up.

But he pushed himself off of the rough surface and let the light splash its skepticism onto the front of his Vans.

Nothing was true.

Everything was permitted.

Desmond preferred to keep it that way.