I played with the white pearls in my hand, struggling to settle on a fabric colour. I looked at the Royal Purple creating a cape with my imagination; I looked to the Blood Red and created the same cape. I brought the two images together, side by side; there they hung in my mind whilst I judge them. I placed them both on the back of Cesare's steel plate armour; I reviewed the capes once more. The purple would show his enemies that he is superior to said person, but the red would strike fear in his enemies. I finally concluded on the colour red, knowing Cesare would be fond of the colour more.

"Hard time selecting, I suggest the red," Leonardo opinionated from behind me.

I rotated to be greeted with a cheerful, freckled face smiling at me. I smile in return before stating, "I chose the red as well, more, how you say it…" My mind trailed off looking for the specific word.


"Yes! Daunting, I wonder how I could forget," I thought aloud.

"Well I have been studying the brain and…" he continued as my mind trailed off to another place, where I was still standing deciding the colour.

"Dona, are you daydreaming?"

His voice extinguished the scenery, causing me to slowly inch back to reality.

"Forgive me Leonardo, you know I can't grasp the facts you are telling me, you're mind is much more superior to mine," I reminded shameful of my thick skull.

He smiled at me once again, "You know I could always teach you! Well I'd be glad to," he addressed.

I picked up the red cloth and rested it on my arm. I stroked the soft fabric thinking to myself what I would accomplish with reading and writing; I am no author, no women that possesses any poetic approach. I would never squander with reading books when I could be earning valuable money.

"I don't necessitate any skills of that sort," I said still stroking the fabric.

"I could teach you to formulate a device!"

I laughed quietly, "why so keen on teaching me new skills when the skills I have now put a rather nice roof over my head."

"Don't you get bored stiff with sowing? I couldn't stand one day of my life if I kept painting."

I raised a brow, questioning the fact he just told me, "So you do not enjoy painting."

"No, I love it, creating something beautiful, but I can't paint everyday never stopping to invent, you can also create something beautiful without oils, like your dresses and the homes you furnish."

I nodded seeing his point of view, "well you have taught me something today."


"That you think my dresses are beautiful."

His cheeks turned a bright pink, "well, they are."

My face burned turning a much lighter colour of the shade I was holding in my arms, "I must get this cape finished for Cesare, you must finish your duties," I said turning around to conceal my pink face.

I heard Leonardo's footsteps walk off; the sound of his leather boots slowly drifting away the distant became larger between us. I bit my lip, as I walked off to my room to finish my assignments.

I let out a large sigh, as images of Leonardo filled my head. His cheerful face haunted my mind, everything I did, anywhere I went; everything would remind me of him. My fondness over him grew into devotion, resulting in my mind to filled with images of him; sitting, standing, smiling. When he spoke to me, even if a single word crawled through my ear my heart would thaw. And when he left without a single word, abandoning me in the hallways of Castle Saint Angelo my heart stayed soft, but with an agonizing pain forcing me to believe that he was angry with me.

My heart ached thinking about how Leonardo saw me. I understood he only saw me as a friend, a companion, someone to share colour swatches with. But somehow I still tried to believe that my feeling were exchanged, seeking out anything he did to reassure myself that he did indeed love me. He looked at me when I wasn't looking at him caused me to believe that he was staring at my figure, but instead he would be thinking of my skeletal structure. Or when he blushed in front of me, but his cheeks were always that colour of pink, deceiving me.

I tried to stop my feelings for him, ignoring his good mornings and being rude to him, which only left him baffled and confused, thinking what exactly had he done wrong to me. But after a week of my 'strategy' I would succumb to my emotions once again, gazing at him through my window as he stands in the courtyard, examining the flowers.

I lifted up the red cape, examining the size. I held the cap in the air, my hands reaching high above my head, to get a full view of the cape I had just created. I attached it to the steel armor hanging in room, I stepped back to admire my creation. A pounding on my door woke me from my mind. I turned the handle to welcome my visitor.

Although Leonardo did not have a fond for me someone else did. Someone I always kept my distance from, his brown eyes burning into me, as I pulled my dress up and my skirt low to hide my bare legs, which he obviously wanted to see.

I smiled at Cesare who was in his tunic and grey boots. He smiled back, he quickly brushed pass me to see my newest creation. He stroked his chin, examining the armour and cape.

"I am fond of the cape colour, but…" his unemotional voice trailed off.

I stood quietly waiting as he judged my work.

"Will it fit me? It doesn't look like my other one, I wanted it you be exact."

"I took my measurements myself, twice it must fit you," I remarked annoyed.

"Well I say it does not fit me, I would know my own size, would I not?" he barked.

Obviously not.

"Well I have to make a dress for Lucrezia, and Rodrigo wants new curtains to be hung in the Chapel, I have no time for measurements."

"Make some time then," he snapped slamming the door shut behind him.

I squeezed my eyes close as my hands clenched into a fist. I grabbed the pillow on my bed and watched as I tore it open, the feathers soaring into the air and gently landing around me. I threw the sheet at the wall, trying to release the pent up anger. I let out an angry sigh as I stared at the armour in my room. I wanted to lift it off the ground and into the courtyard imaging Cesare falling with it.

I stood up examining myself in the mirror across from me. I pulled my light orange hair back into a bun; I straighten my lace dress to free it from any wrinkles. I picked up the measuring tape on my dresser; before leaving my room I looked at myself once more, into my plain brown eyes, telling myself one thing.

Don't do it.