Disclaimer:

I do not own Leonardo of any of the characters in it. They belong to the BBC, or CBBC, whichever one takes ownership.

Chapter Seven

Smiling, Miss Loretta Antoinette leant back in her chair, holding a glass of red wine loosely in her left hand and watching the expression of her chief spy with a careful interest. The only name he had ever given her was Frederic, apart from that she knew nothing about him, but when it came to information there was no one else quite his equal.

He shifted nervously, uncomfortable standing in Loretta's study with the owner herself simply watching him without a word. The room itself was situated in the catacombs beneath Florence, a large circular room with drapes covering the bare walls and thick carpets spread across the floor. Lit by numerous wrought iron lanterns which hung from the ceiling on long chains, the room was by no means unwelcoming. In fact, even the desk that Loretta sat behind was carved out of rich mahogany, the colour warm and subtle, and the style smooth and flowing. It was the woman herself who gave the room the feel of an executioner's block.

"That horrible man is dead I presume." Loretta asked, glancing down at her wine but not bothering to drink any. "It makes my skin crawl to even consider having to involve him in my affairs, there is nothing more disgusting than someone who allows himself to drop to such base levels of revenge. A beating! Really! Anyone would think such action barbaric in this era."

Frederic nodded mutely.

"He did serve as a wonderful gift for darling Piero though." She mused, lifting her glass to rest against her bottom lip. Grinning wickedly over the rim she fixed Frederic with a mischievous stare. "Did he squeal?" she asked.

"No." Frederic responded dully. "He didn't have chance to."

Loretta pouted, disappointed at what she viewed as a rather under dramatic death. Just because she believed beating someone to a bloody pulp was barbaric, didn't mean that death should be so swift and clean that there was no entertainment in the act.

"The boy?" she sighed, placing her glass on the desk. "Young Leonardo Da Vinci, what about him?"

"Alive." Frederic said, in much the same manner as his previous comment.

"I know that much!" Loretta snapped, "I meant, is he within the Medici residence? Does he have their protection?"

Frederic blinked once before responding. "Yes milady." he said.

Loretta's eyes narrowed. "Are your skills of communication so poor that you only know a few words, or do you simply wish to try my patience on a daily basis?" she asked.

Frederic remained silent.

"If you were not so good at your job I would have you killed." Loretta sighed.

"If there was someone who could kill me, you would have hired them instead." Frederic told her, earning an amused expression before he showed himself out.

Once he'd left Loretta turned her attention back to her wine, draining the glass before snapping her fingers and summoning a servant from somewhere behind the drapes.

Her plans were moving along wonderfully, all she had to do was wait for young Leo to come running to her, looking for an ally against big bad Medici. Her poor darling Piero would just have to fall with the rest of them. Marrying that wife of his assured that much.

No, this is not a long chapter, but it does do what I want it to do and I should be able to get the story going again. Anyone who is glad to see me updating should thank my reviews, if they didn't keep filling my inbox with all those flipping reviews asking me to update. Guilt is such an effective motivator. Stop using it!