A/N: It's been a while. Lots have changed in my life but I always wanted to continue writing this story, enjoy and review. Thank you.
The wood carved bird necklace hung around her neck as she worked her hair so it was pinned down and secure. Standing up from her desk and exited her room, walking down the steps she could see Leo, Mac and Tom in conversation. Once they disbanded she glanced over to check her father was busy before heading over, his back was turned to hers as she smiled and cleared her throat.
"I told you Tom not to worry about Piero" he said without turning around.
"What about Piero?" she asked as he straightened up and looked over his shoulder at her worried expression.
"Uh, nothing" he smiled back and coughed quickly.
"Leo, what's wrong?" she asked and walked forward.
"Nothing's wrong, I swear" he was clearly lying as she folded her arms. Glancing over at her father who had his back to them she sighed.
"Come out the back, please" she said. He sighed and dropped what he was holding. She turned and made her way out the back where she waited for him to finally sneak away. As soon as he entered the alleyway she walked forward and pushed him gently against the wall with her hand, her eyes serious.
"Crystal!" he said shocked.
"What's happened, Leo?" she asked. "Please tell me" she pleaded.
"Fine... Piero sent one of his men in the middle of the night" Crystal's eyes went wide as she gasped.
"What... you mean to the workshop?" she asked as he nodded.
"Yes, but he didn't do anything but threaten us. Lisa... I mean Tom woke to find him hovering over us in the middle of the night, he left soon after" Crystal shook her head as she sighed.
"It's starting, isn't it?" she asked.
"What is?" Leo was confused.
"What Piero said the last time we saw him, he said he would gain revenge on all of us, this is the start of it, right?" she asked. Leo shook his head as he stepped forward and pulled her softly into a hug as she wrapped her arms around his neck and sighed deeply.
"Of course not, he won't do anything. Trust me" he smiled down at her.
"You can never be so sure about everything Leo" she leaned up and pressed her lips to his as he cupped her cheek. Time passed slowly as they felt themselves completely alone and peaceful in their embrace.
"Oh" their eyes snapped open, turning at the same time their eyes landed upon Mac who was stood in the entrance to the alley. "Sorry" he said and looked to the ground as they pulled apart.
"It's ok" Crystal said, her cheeks were bright red as she moved quickly past him and walked back inside.
Leo looked at Mac who had a grin pressed onto his face. "What you smiling at?" he asked.
"Nothing just um... you two" he said with a laugh. "I mean I knew you liked each other and you had that one kiss a while back but I never knew it was still going on" Leo rubbed the back of his neck.
"Well we are trying to keep it a secret, we don't want Verroichio finding out at the moment" Mac nodded.
"Well you know me, I will keep it a secret too" Leo smiled.
"Thank you" Leo replied.
Crystal hummed to herself as her basket swung slightly in her hand. She was returning from the market place with supplies for her father and the apprentices when she heard shouting down the way.
"What now?" she groaned to herself but when she caught sight of her father marching towards Costa, a client of his, her eyes went wide. Rushing over she saw Leo, Tom and Mac alongside her father.
"Papa?" she asked but he ignored her through his rage. "What happened?" she asked the others.
"He's refusing to pay. Said your father work isn't good enough, but it's perfect if you ask me" Tom replied.
Screams erupted when Verrocchio lunged at Costa, knocking him back with anger.
"Maestro!" Leonardo shouted as he and Mac ran forward to pull him off Costa who as well was being pulled back by two other men.
"Get off me!" Verrocchio shouted at them and shoved them back.
"Did you see that, he attacked me!" Costa shouted to the crowd which had gathered to watch. Turning he marched off, still shouting the events which had just unravelled.
"Papa, are you alright?" Crystal asked but he simply grunted and looked at her.
"I'm going to the tavern" he barked and marched off as well, leaving the others alone as the crowd began to break up and people carried on as they had done before the fight had broken out.
"So what exactly are you doing?" Crystal asked as she chewed on some bread.
"It's if Piero sends anymore of his men during the night, the bucket which will be filled with water will give them a shockig and cold surprise, resulting in us waking up before they can do any harm" he smiled down at her as she nodded.
"I see, the food is ready" he nodded and tipped the bucket to test it before pulling it off and stepping down.
She had layed out a few plates for herself, Tom, Leo and Mac. They had eaten a bit ago and the other apprentices were off to bed but she felt the need to speak to the three of them about what had happened earlier.
"Should we wait for your father to come back?" Tom asked but Crystal shook her head.
"No need. He said he was going to the tavern which means he will probably spend the night passed out there, it's not uncommon for him to do so when he is in one of his moods" she explained.
"Signor Costa was out of line today" Mac said.
"It all happened so quickly. The portrait looked fine to me" Tom added.
"I just hate when he gets angry, I hate to see him upset" Crystal sighed as Leo placed a hand on her's as she looked up and gave him a small smile.
"He will be back in the morning" she nodded and gave a small yawn behind her hand.
"Well that means it time for bed. I'll see you all in the morning" she smiled as Mac stood up.
"I'll be off, see you all tomorrow" he said. Leo closed the door behind him, making sure to lock it after. Tom ascended the stairs whilst Crystal cleaned the table quickly.
"Goodnight" he said as she nodded. Leaning in he pressed his lips to her as she wrapped her arms around his neck.
"How did I ever get so lucky?" she asked.
"What do you mean?" Leo looked confused.
"I mean how did I get so lucky for you to love me" he smiled and brushed a strand of hair from her face.
"That was not luck, that was all you. Goodnight my Angelo" kissing her one last time she walked up the stairs and closed her bedroom door as he made his way to his own bed.
"LEONARDO!" Verrocchio voice bellowed throughout the workshop as Crystal's face was frozen in shock as she looked to her father who stood in the doorway to the workshop dripping wet from the bucket of water hanging above the door. Leonardo had forgotten to remove it that morning after the doors were unlocked. Running footsteps could be heard coming down the steps as Leonardo looked to see Verrocchio in his damp state as he was unsure on what to say.
"Uh, Maestro... I um..." but the words wouldn't come out.
"I don't care" Verrocchio replied with frustration and exhaustion as Cosimo rushed forward with a towel to help dry him. Grabbing the towel he patted his wet face dry. "I'm too tired right now to hear the stupid explanation from you, I'm going to get changed and then need a coffee, Cosimo" he shouted as he walked towards the steps.
He barely put his foot on the first step before guards appeared at the open workshop door.
"Search the place, leave no stone unturned" the man dressed completely in black ordered as the guards nodded and began to search the workshop.
"Hey, get off that" Leo shouted as one of the guards picked up his notebook, he snatched it back and was sharply pushed back with anger.
"What is the meaning of this?" Verrocchio snapped as he marched into the centre of the room and glared at the men.
"Andrea del Verrocchio, I'm arresting you for the murder of Signor Costa" he explained as everyone eyes went wide.
"What?" Verrocchio gasped back.
"He was found dead this morning. Witnesses said you and him had a fight yesterday, is that right?" he asked.
"Uh... yes but it was over business. I would never kill him for it" but the man put up his hand.
"Witnesses also said you stayed at the local Tavern last night, his body was found nearby" the man went on to explain. Crystal walked forward.
"This is ridiculous" she said but Verrocchio put his hand on her arm to stop her.
"Your wet. Attempting to wash the blood off I presume?" the man asked with a smug smile.
"No, it was a contraption set up by..." Verrocchio tried to explain as did Leo.
"There was a bucket of water above the door and well..." but they were both cut short by the man.
"Enough excuses" he said as a guard walked up to him and handed him a pouch. He took it and exaimed it before holding it up.
"Look familiar?" he asked. It was Signor Costa's money pouch.
"I..." Verrocchio was speechless.
"The evidence is clear, seize him!" the man instructed as two guards stepped forward and grabbed Verrocchio.
"What!" Crystal shouted as her father was seized either side by guards and shoved towards the door as she stepped forward to stop them. "You can't do this. My father hasn't done anything" but the announced shook his head.
"The evidence is clear and he will have a trial and then be sentenced to death by hanging" Crystal eyes went wide as she shook her head.
"You can't... Papa" she said but Leo pulled her back before she could do any harm to the guards. Leo knew she could easily take them all out but right now she needed to stay calm.
"It's alright Cristiana, a mistake surely" he said as he was shoved out the door and out of sight. The guards soon left as Crystal pushed herself free from Leonardo's hold as the entire workshop was silent, everyone was unsure on what to do next. She felt a lump in her throat rising and soon the tears spilled down her cheeks as she began to shake, sobs escaping her.
Crystal rarely cried as she felt her knees give way and her body began to sink towards the ground but lucky Leo was quick enough to catch her before she hurt herself.
"It's alright" he soothed her but deep down he knew his calming words were useless right now. She continued to sob, working herself into a bother before her body finally gave out and she passed out in her arms.
A/N: Sorry it's been so long again. Hope you like this chapter, more to come soon.
From Vicky x