Disclaimer: Stravaganza belongs to Mary Hoffman and since I'm not her everything you recognise from the books is not mine.


Sandro was happy, truly happy.

The little monastery in the middle of Giglia was quickly becoming his home and he felt right at place. His life as a novice was sheltered and for the very first time he knew what it was to be loved, cherished and protected. He felt save from the outside world and everything in it.

This feelings were partly because of the comradery of the other novices and the gentle lessons of the senior monks, but the main reason was and would always be Sulien.

Had Sulien been lighter of skin, than Sandro would have happily believed that Sulien was his real father and that they by accident had been separated by birth.

But no, Sandro couldn't really believe that. He knew Sulien to be one of the most honest and loving human beings on this earth. Sulien would never break the vows he made to God.

Still sometimes he longed for it to be so and to truly feel like he belonged. It irked him that the bond of novice and abbot was the only bond with Sulien he could claim. Every novice in the monastery could do so and that felt wrong to him.

Sulien was just so much more to him than just his abbot. Sulien was his, his… well just his.

The sharp snap of a ruler being brought down on his desk woke him from his revery.

The novice master was frowning down at him and sternly told him to pay more attention.

Sandro sighed, sometimes his lessons were taxing on his concentration and he had developed the habit of daydreaming much to the displeasure of his teachers. If only were all his lessons as fascinating as those of Sulien, then it would be piece of cake to pay attention.

He lifted his head obediently to appear as if he was listening and participating with the class and felt his gaze being drawn by the crucifix that was to be found in every room of the monastery.

From the start Sandro had felt sympathy for the figure of Jesus hanging on the cross.

Sandro understood suffering; he knew what it was like to be in pain, to be cold and all alone in the dark. And now he also knew what it was to be rescued. To be relieved from his burdens and his sins and to finally feel free and happy. Like Jesus had saved everybody, so had Sulien saved him from a dark, lonely and sinful life.

That moment Sandro realized what Sulien was to him.

His saviour

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