Il mostro è qui-The monster is here
il mio bambino-my child
Mio Dio-Dear God
Egli non è il nostro nemico-He is not our enemy
Ti ho detto di non lasciare il suo mi segue-I told you not to let her follow me
Drums gently sounded off in the distance, pulling Ezio from the deep darkness of slumber. He shivered from the chill that sank deep into his bones that ached. But his dry throat outweighed his chill and pain. He turned to his side, and slowly rose despite his aching limbs. As he sluggishly got to his feet, and used a wooden post for support; he was hit by the intense smell of fish, human waist, the chilly musty dampness of wet wood, and the strong coppery smell of blood. The smells were so intense, he fought the strong urge to puke.
Ezio looked about the wharf; past the dangling chains and ropes stood the woman that bit him. She changed gowns, and now wore a dress of a noble woman with a peril neckless draped around her throat. Her blazing hair cascaded to her back from the high bun. And the scent of blood radiated from her like a sort of perfume, and once more her red gaze held him.
"Thee are strong," She purred with a gentler voice; totally unlike the night before when it was hard, and callous as nails on stone. "Many parish from my venom. Blood, the single miracle of Father. It surpasses time, binds strangers, and is the only reason thy heart beats."
She slowly strolled toward him, not making a sound; save for the ruffling of her dress that was louder than it should sound.
"Blood will be thy only sustenance henceforth," she purred, snaking a hand across his chest to his back. "You are my child, my hunter, and my mate once thy has drank the life of a mortal."
"What have you done to me?" Ezio murmured weakly, growing even more thirsty, and sick with her being near.
"I have liberated thee from the drab life of mortals," She replied, and looked him in the eyes. "Where does Eve hid?"
The mention of Elinana jolted power back into him, making his heart beat faster than the distant drums. He reached for her neck in a single heartbeat, and activated his hidden blade so that it slid into her white skin. The string of the necklace was cut, and perils fell like stars to the ground.
Again, she showed no sign of pain, then griped his arm in bone snapping strength and flung him across the wharf. Ezio hit the ground hard. Shaking his head that swam with dizziness, he rose to his feet, and looked back up at her.
"Insolent fool." she growled. Her eyes burning like embers, and fangs glinted white over her red lips.
Ezio reached for a slender knife on his belt then threw it for her heart, but she ran in nearly a complete blur, and the knife hit the post. Following her blurry form, he threw another knife. She made a terrible, bloodcurdling, animal like screech as she gripped her arm that had the knife buried into her flesh.
Instead of continuing to face her, and potentially die, or fall completely under her influence; Ezio ran for the door in a blur with her still howling her eerie cry, and bulleted out into the shipyard. Running with the wind on his heels, Ezio flew down the streets at a speed he never ran at before. Drums beat all around him, and he could smell the pungent perfume off a woman that stood yards away from him as he ran by. It was only when hearing his own fast heartbeat did he realize that the drums where the heartbeats of people.
Ezio found himself still extremely parched, and slowed near a well to draw up icy water. Too thirsty to fear about getting sick from drinking straight out of the bucket; he placed the bucket on the stone rime, and plunged his face into the icy water and drank. Ezio accidently inhaling some water from the shook of the chill, but he drank till his lungs screamed for air. He tore his face from the water, gasping for air as he felt the hot touch of the sun on his face.
Though the bucket was nearly empty his throat still felt dry. But at least he was no longer in vary much pain. The smell of blood reached his nose, and he turned to the source. Expecting to see the nameless woman from hell standing behind him, instead he looked down to see a little girl in rags. She looked up at his dripping wet face with curiosity, and it was then that he saw a small cut on her arm. The gentle beating of her heart sounded like the fluttering of dove wings. His throat scream with pain from thirst. Thirst that begged and demanded him to bite the little girl. Fighting the terrible urge to descend on her he dove his head back into the bucket.
"What has she done to me?" he thought, drinking the chilly water, and smelling only the dampness of the cold wood. With his head in the bucket, he discovered that not only was the water draying out all smells, but it muffled the sounds as well, and the chill helped distract him from his thirst.
"I need to know who—what—that woman is," Ezio thought. "I can only hope I can find something at Basilica di San Marco before I do something I'll regret."
Ezio pulled his head from the bucket and ran for the nearest water channel. Diving into the icy waters he followed the way back toward the Cathedral.
For what seemed like an eternity Elinana laid beneath the blankets. Dante laid on the blankets behind her, and held her to him. Countless times she tried to escape him to go after Ezio, but Dante was stubborn, and stronger then she thought. Though she had argued and even yelled at him, Dante kept her confined to the room.
After a long restless night dawn finally approached. Though Elinana had her back to the window, and no light streamed into the chamber—do to it being on the west side of the Palazzo—her internal clock told her it was early morning. She was more aware of the smallest sounds, and less afraid of the withdrawing darkness.
Dante started to snore softly into the blankets near her neck, and his arm laid limp over her. The desire to go after Ezio rekindled within Elinana. She then formed a plan, and started to slowly pull herself toward the edge of the bed inch by inch. After she got a few inches away he groaned. Stopping in her tracks, Dante turned onto his stomach, groaned pleasantly, then continued his snoring.
Continuing her snail paced escape, Elinana slinked bit by bit closer to the edge of the bed. After what seemed like an hour she finally slid silently, and slowly out from under the blankets onto the icy floor. She sneaked to her luggage bag, and dug out her white and dusty blue robes, and her gear. Elinana held her robes and gear to her chest, as if they contained Ezio's life force. With robes and gear pressed to her chest, she crept to the door, and silently slipped out.
Snow drifted down through the opening high above, riding on the breath of the north breeze. A light dusting of snow coated the floor, making Elinana's feet scream from the chill. Quickly darting down the hall to Dante's chamber, she silently slipped in, and quickly dressed.
Once cladded in the robes and weapons of the Brotherhood; she stuffed her hair that was pulled back in a ponytail, under her hood, and went to the window. Pushing it open, Elinana leaped through to hang out of the window. She climbed down a yard before leaping, and turning to land with a roll onto the fluffy blanket of snow. She kicked off running with her cape danced behind her shoulder. Making the Auditore coat of arms dance and bend.
Elinana took to the snow coated rooftops, and gazed about the city. Gazing about, she shortly realized that she didn't know the location of where her vision took place. Let alone where Ezio could be now.
"Darn Dante's and Ezio's stubbornness'!" Elinana's thoughts snapped. "Now I have no way to find him—!"
She then slapped her palm to her forehead.
"Of course!" she exclaimed. "Boy I'm stupid."
Elinana then closed her eyes and breathed in the chilly air. The sounds of the crowds below faded away. Opening her eyes to the darkened world, she saw the blue ghost like form of Ezio run past her on a neighboring roof, following a blue string trail in the direction of the cathedral off in the distance. Kicking up the snow in her wake, Elinana ran after Ezio's ghost.
Merged in the crowds, Elinana examined the closed door that Ezio's blue ghost lead her to, then disappeared through. Not wanting to be seen going into the Cathedral, she gazed about the area. Not far away was full cart that sat near scaffolding. Seeing a way up, she remembered Ezio telling her of a secret entrance into a Cathedral that matched the description to the one that towered over her. Though she would be clearly seen climbing the structure, no one could stop her; so long as she was fast, and no guards caught her doing it.
Elinana glanced around, but saw no red, glowing guards traipsing through the snow. She darted for the cart. Running over the creates, she leaped for the scaffolding ledge then heaved herself up with a grunt. She ignored the calling voices below. Stepping back, she darted for the red brick wall to the left of the platform. She leaped and gripped the protruding decorative rim, and shimmied over to another platform. Heaving herself up, she ran and leaped up for another platform. Rising to her feet, she ran and clambered up onto the roof of the Cathedral.
Towering mounds of the polyhedral domes of the roof stood over Elinana. They made her feel small, and unwelcome under their shadow. She walked over the gentle slopes of the roof to the far side. And came upon tall ebony, iron fencing that walled out the way to a great courtyard, and was topped by sharp points.
Following the ebony fence, Elinana came upon a balcony below the roof. Climbing down the ladder, she was meet by an upside down skull rimmed by the symbol of the Brotherhood. It sat and stared at her with its white jawless, toothy grin. Stepping closer she saw clean lines in the skull. She placed her fingers into the eyes and pulled. A metallic click sounded behind the skull, and it parted and shifted till it clicked into an upright position.
Elinana stood in silence, waiting for an effect but nothing happened. She started to think that this way was no longer accessible, and could only be used once. But she was determined to get inside, so she pulled out the upper part again, and again it clicked and shifted into its upside-down position. Heavy stone scrape against stone, and a rectangular opening slid into darkness. Elinana stepped through into the dark hall. Tentatively walking deeper into the shadows, she heard the stone slab move back, and plunged her into darkness.
Elinana's heart began to beat fast against her rib cage. Her imagination creating the form of the woman from her vision in her mind's eye: red eyes gazing into her soul, blood dripping from the woman's crimson painted mouth, long clawed hands reaching out of the darkness to dig into her flesh, before plunging her fangs into Elinana's neck, and then drinking her dry.
Elinana shoved her fearful imagination aside, and turned her focus back to the search for Ezio. Placing both hands to the walls she felt her way through the dark. After a yard or so she kicked a bit of stone. She reached a hand out and felt a wall just on her finger tips. Coming to the conclusion that she had found a step, she wondered why a wall would be just beyond a step.
Elinana stepped up onto the stone, then the stone sank under her, and a click sounded into the darkness. She then felt the stone move, as if she were on a playground's merry-go-round, and the stone growl as it scraped against stone.
Light streamed through the growing crack as Elinana rode the stone. She turned around to face a walkway beneath a large arched window that illuminated the gold walls with a pale gray and yellow light. Elinana tentatively stepped off the stone platform, and crept to the gaping mouth into the large Cathedral. The painful echoes of the secret passage turning back in place behind her, made her cringe. And she hopped no one noticed the sound.
Elinana crept low, just away from the stone railing, and gazed out over the large hall of the cathedral. Monks in red and dark brown crowded around on the far side in clusters; and all murmured in Italian. Fearing that it was Ezio's corpse that they were crowded to, Elinana swiftly crept along the walkway to the other side. Followed it till, she came to the end if the walkway.
At the center of one cluster of monks was a dark hole gapping into the dark depths that concealed the cage that had imprisoned the creature. At the center of the other cluster where the decrepit, shriveled bodies of the monk and thieves from her vision. But Ezio's body wasn't among them.
Sighing with relief, Elinana breathed deeply as if she had been holding her breath. Eyes closing, she cleared her mind. Opening them back up she saw Ezio's ghost among the dark forms of the monks, but to her surprise one of the monks glowed blue. Ignoring the monk, she watched Ezio's past actions. From him holding aloft the lantern to him facing the falling body, and the unseen threat that didn't appear through her sense, even if it was very evident that he had been hunted. Elinana watched Ezio's ghost try to fight the invisible monster in vain, and then was pinned to the ground. She saw his defiance, and soundless words then pain as if bitten.
Once more Elinana's breath was caught in her throat, and barely drew breath as she watched Ezio's ghost drive his hidden blades into the invisible foe. He then rose to his feet before bolting for the mouth of the exit.
"Ezio!" Elinana's thoughts sobbed.
"Lilith!" called a man behind her.
Whipping around, she saw a monk hold up a shaking crucifix toward her, slowly backing away.
"Il mostro è qui!" he called with terror in his voice.
Elinana whipped her head back down below to the sound of clanking armor. Large men covered in armor from head to toe held up their long glinting weapons. The guards shouted at her as other monks pulled out their crosses, and started muttering quickly in prayer as they retreated.
"Dang!" she hissed under her breath then turned to run back to the secret entrance, hoping that she could escape the way she came. Suddenly a voice boomed out in command below, and all were silenced; including the noisy guards. Elinana kept running, even when the booming voice was clearly ordering her to stop.
"Apprentice of Ezio Auditore!" called the voice.
Elinana slid to a stop beneath the large window with the outline symbol of the cross standing tall. She turned to the hall to see an old monk in red and white robes marched toward her with guards at his flank. Beneath his crimson cap was a wrinkly face with a beard as white as snow hanging from his jaw.
"Come hither child," the monk's voice was powerful and fruity; giving Elinana a sort of impression of a skinny, Italian Santa disguised as a monk. "You have nothing to fear!"
"What do you know of Ezio?" Elinana called down, keeping her guard up even if he was the one that had glowed blue.
"Maestro Auditore is one of my consolers, and a friend," Softly replied the monk, looking up at her. "He wrote to me of one of his pupils being unwaveringly loyal, and to whom he gave the garb of his family's crest."
Elinana's hand gripped her cape on its own accord, and held it tight.
"Will you let me leave?" she inquired. "I have to go, now."
"And where is it we are in a hurry to go?" he inquired.
"Ezio is in danger, I have to find him." She replied pleadingly.
"We all are, I'm afraid," he replied, and motioned for her to come.
Elinana warily obeyed, and vaulting over railing. She leapt to a protruding pole, then to the floor with her boots clap against the marble that echoed through the grand hall. She rose to her feet and eyed the guards that sized her up.
Elinana was an average tall for a woman: being five-foot six. However, she nearly towered over most women, and a number of men—the monk before her being one of them. And the old monk looked up at her as if she where an Amazonian.
"Who are you, if I may ask." Inquired Elinana, still eyeing the guards, and still acknowledging the monk.
"Pope Julius the second, il mio bambino." Replied the Pope with a pleasant smile and blinked at her as if he where part owl.
"Elinana Doricent," she introduced herself with a quick curtsy. "As pleasant as it is to meet you, I really must go."
"As talented and gifted as you may be, Doricent. You would die swiftly trying to fight her." he stated.
"Who?" she asked. "What is she?"
"The Mother of Night, and of Monsters. Lilith, the first demon."
"There's no such thing." Elinana murmured, but her fear told her otherwise.
"I wish your words proved true, Doricent. Tell me what brings you here."
"Ezio—," no sooner did she say these words, that a monk on the fare side of the grand hall called out in fright. All the monks took up the call, as if they were a flock of frightened birds. The Pope's guards turned toward the direction of the sound, and raised their glinting weapons. And while others ran away from the cause of the commotion, Elinana ran toward it.
Pouching her way through the crowd, Elinana saw Ezio's form laying on the ground in the threshold she had saw his blue ghost vanish through. Darting to his side she fell to her knees, and struggled to pull his cold, wet form onto his back. Once on his back, she saw that his face was deathly pale, and he had dark rings around his closed eyes. Elinana pulled her glove off then touched the aria on his neck just beneath his jaw. His skin was clammy and his body barely shivered, but his pulse beat against her finger.
"Ezio…" Elinana whispered, holding back grief and fear. She looked out to the frightened monks, murmuring just as they had not too long ago.
"Help him!" she yelled at them, hoping they would stop their ridiculousness murmuring and do something helpful. "Pleas!"
To her slight relief Julius pushed his way toward them then kneeled on Ezio's other side.
"We have to get him to a fire, and get him out of these wet clothes. Now." She stated, voice slightly quivering.
The Pope snapped his fingers, and the two guards stepped forward. He rose and ordered to them quickly in Italian. They nodded their clanking helmets then laid down their weapons. Both took potation at either end of Ezio, then scoped down to pick him up, and began to swiftly carry him down the grand hall as the crowd of monks parted like the Red Sea.
Elinana followed after them with Julius keeping up at her side. She undid her cape, and laid it over Ezio in attempt to shield him from farther chill. They hurried through the Cathedral out into the snowy courtyard she had seen beyond the fence on the roof. Racing up the stairs, Elinana and Julius followed the guards up to a chamber where a fire burned. The guards gently laid Ezio on a sofa, then moved it closer to the fireplace to Julius's order.
Elinana at once set to removing Ezio's gear and robes. She struggled do to Ezio's weight, but she managed to strip him down to his pants. Knowing well that she couldn't leave his wet pants on him, and that he wore no underwire; she closed her eyes and struggled to yank off his pants. Julius placed a blanket over him to Elinana's relief, and she started to remove her gear.
"What are you doing child?" Julius asked after throwing another blanket over Ezio.
"Blankets and a fire aren't enough to warm him up before his heart gives out." She replied. "As stubborn as he is, it's not enough."
Elinana then slipped under the blankets—save for one to part her from his naked form—and placed herself over his icy body that shivered faintly under her.
"I highly advise you to remove yourself from Maestro Ezio, child!" Julius ordered, with his wide owl eyes.
"If I do that he's more likely to die," She replied, placing one arm under Ezio's neck, and laying her head onto his shoulder. "Besides, it's not like I'm doing anything what a Courtesan does, I'm trying to save him by giving him my warmth."
"It is not you doing something sinful to him, so much as him doing something to you."
"He would never do anything like that to me!" she growled over her shoulder. "He may like the comfort of women, but he never has, nor will rise a hand to me that way!"
"It was not sex that I was referring to. I fear him drinking you dry."
"What?" she snapped. "You said Lilith was a demon! And last time I checked, demons and Vampires are two totally different things!"
Julius marched around to the head of the sofa, and knelt to look eye to eye at Elinana.
"If Lilith bites a man or woman when the moon is nearly black, that person is cursed with Vampirism. Albeit, if the moon was nearly full, circumstances would be much different. But the fact still remains that he has been bitten—,"
"He's sick, and has stage three hypothermia!" she growled, trying to fight her growing fear of the truth. A truth that the stuff of nightmares where tangible. But she was more afraid of the truth that Ezio was a Vampire, and that it was her fault that he was like this. Much as it was her fault that the mad man Gasparo, had poisoned Ezio just months ago.
"He can't be…" she murmured with a tight throat.
"Do not lose heart, child," Julius stated. And layed a gentle, wrinkly hand on her shoulder. "All is not completely lost. The fact that he is suffering from hypothermia means that he has not drank Human blood yet. Which means he has not yet reached the second, and final phase of the curse."
"So, are you saying that he's half Vampire or something?" she asked, trying to wrap her head around it all.
"Sì, you could say something of the sort."
Elinana looked down to Ezio's deathly pale face. Taking her free hand from his chilly hand that ounce was as warm as the touch of the sun. She cupped his icy cheek, and fought the burn of tears behind her eyes. Julius rose to his feet without word, and strolled across the crimson and golden yellow carpet to the doorway. He gently called out in Italian, and she heard the quick shuffling of footsteps of a servant or monk coming to his call.
Elinana dismissed Julius and the servant, turning her attention completely to Ezio who started to shiver violently under her. Though she still feared for him about his Vampirism; she was somewhat comforted by the fact that his shivering meant that his body was fighting to get warm. Once more she found herself thankful for his stubborn heart, but not so much for his stubborn mind. But like the time she struggled to tend to him, and make an antidote for Gasparo's poison; she felt the same fear when she would watch helplessly when his body would convulse from the poison that fought to stop his heart.
"I'm sorry…" Elinana whispered, taking her hand from his face, and gripped his shacking arm. Resting her head back on his shoulder, she listened to the beat of his defiant heart through the cloth of her hood. Unable to hold back her pain any more, hot tears flowed from her closed eyes. Her shoulders trembled from the sobs as she breathed into Ezio's chest. Julius returned her side and gently gripped her shoulder, but he failed to comfort her.
"It's my fault he's like this," she murmured with her voice being clawed up by grief. "It's all my fault."
"Poppycock," Julius replied. "You did not bite him, and you did not make him swim in the canals."
Elinana dismissed his attempt to comfort her, and continued to silently weep as Ezio shivered. She ignored the servant that returned, and Julius who quickly marched to him. He sent the servant away then returned to her and Ezio's side. The sound of a cork being popped made her ears twitch. Then she felt Ezio's head being raised up. She whipped her head up, and she quickly grasped Julius's hand that held the dark whine battel over Ezio's ajar mouth.
"What are you doing?" she demanded with a hint of anger. "He can't drink alcohol in this state!"
"You still see him as a human," he stated. "Your loyalty blinds you to your danger, as well as his! In this bottle is the blood of a lamb mixed with wine. Both of which will not only save you, but your Master as well."
"Are you nuts!" she exclaimed. "You said blood would start the second phase!"
"I said Human blood would," he nearly snarled back at her with his growing annoyance to her. "Lambs blood, and wine is said to satisfy the thirst of a man that has not yet drank from a fellow man. And that it will not trigger the last phase."
She looked down at Ezio's violently shivering form, unsure of Julius's words.
"I promise he will not turn," Julius continued, sensing her uncertainty. "It will help him. You have my word as a man of God; if you believe in the Holly Spirit."
Elinana thought for a moment while gazing up at his pale hazel eyes. She hesitantly loosened her gripe on his arm, and gazed hard at him in warning.
"Fine," she murmured in a small growl. "But from a Christion to a Catholic, and as God as my witness; if anything happens to him, it won't be Lilith people will have to worry about."
"Duly notated." He replied.
With Julius's hand free, he lowered the bottle to Ezio's mouth. He gently tipped it so a small trickle of the crimson liquid of wine, and lambs blood flowed into Ezio's ajar mouth. Elinana could smell the pungent coppery aroma of blood and alcohol. It was a strung combination, so strong it twisted her stomach. She pitied Ezio. Knowing that he would not like to know that he drank the blood of an animal—or any blood for that matter.
"Forgive me…" Elinana's thoughts whispered as she watched Ezio automatically swallow the concoction, and felt him shiver violently.
After a long hour of Ezio shivering violently, and of Julius purring small amounts of wine and lambs blood into Ezio's mouth every now and then; Ezio's shivering steady grew gentler as she felt warmth slowly return to him. But little color returned to his face. Elinana had her cheek on his shoulder, feeling slightly chilly herself from being leeched off for warmth for so long. But she stayed cuddled over him, and listened to the comforting thump-thump of Ezio's heart.
A cry of agony rang off in the distance, followed by the clanging of metal. Elinana raised her head as Julius rose to his feet and quickly strode to the window. She carefully slipped out of the blankets, and tugged them up to Ezio's chin. Darting to Julius's side, she looked down into the courtyard to see the guards fighting mercenaries that moved in a bluer. They ripped armor off of the feebly fighting guards, and bit into their necks as they flailed helplessly.
"Mio Dio." Julius murmured.
Elinana darted to her belt, and quickly flung it on. She also grabbed Ezio belt and crossbow before sprinting for the door.
"Stay with Ezio!" she yelled back at Julius.
A handful of guards managed to stay alive, and kill two of the vampire mercenaries by lopping off their heads. As Elinana ran down the snow sprinkled marble stairs, a mercenary that was drinking the blood of a dying, limp guard looked up at her. Blood bathed his lower face crimson, making his already pale skin look just as white as the snow. But it was his unnatural red eyes that stopped Elinana in her tracks. He smiled a crimson grin, showing his glinting fangs.
The mercenary let the body fall, then ran for her in a bluer. Elinana quickly raised the crossbow and pulled the trigger. No sooner than the small arrow was leased, that the mercenary halted before her just steps away with the arrow in his heart. He fell limp, but his eyes still looked about as if he were paralyzed.
Elinana tried to pull the string back to reload the weapon, but a form abruptly fell beside her. Jumping with a yelp, she looked down to see that it was a mercenary with a blade in his head. Looking up she saw Dante running toward her. Turning back to the crossbow, Elinana pulled the string and loaded an arrow. Just as soon as she had loaded the crossbow, she took aim for a mercenary holding a guard, and fired at the heart. And the vampire fall paralyzed to the ground.
Elinana was suddenly thrusted to the ground with cold hands turning her onto her back. Dante looked down and raised his blade, to killed the vampire. But he was pushed over the railing by the vampire. She activated her hidden blades and attempted to plunge them into his heart. But he painfully gripped her wrist, and pinned her arms over her head. She feebly struggled as her thoughts, and heart screamed Ezio's name.
"Struggle little worm," the mercenary smiled with fresh blood gripping onto the base of Elinana's thought. "It will help the blood flow."
Shortly after she saw a blur at the corner of her eye, an arm wrapped around the vampire's neck and ripped him off of her. The other arm griped the head of the vampire, then ripped it's head off with a terrible snap of bone.
Ezio threw the head way as Dante rushed to Elinana's side, and wrapped an arm around her as Ezio ran past them in a blur. Dante and Elinana looked down at the courtyard and watched Ezio's pale form blur from one vampire to another. Fighting and killing each till he stood amongst the fallen bodies of guards and vampires. Only two guards survived the onslaught. And they aimed their weapons at Ezio.
"Arresto!" demanded the booming voice of Julius, whom descended the stairs with a blanket draped over his arm. "Egli non è il nostro nemico."
Ezio glared hard at Elinana and Dante, then began marching toward them. Elinana everted her eyes to the sky as Dante grew stiff next to her with fear.
"Dante!" Ezio barked angrily. "Ti ho detto di non lasciare il suo mi segue! And you!" he turned his sights to Elinana, still looking up to the heavens.
"Look at me!" he demanded angrily. Painfully griping, and shacking her shoulders. She looked up to see not his deep brown eyes, but icy blue eyes full of anger. "I told you to stay at the Palazzo! Accidenti Elinana, that devil woman could have found and killed you!"
Ezio saw the fear and pain in her eyes, and her heart beat loudly in his ears like the galloping of a horse.
"I left because I was worried about you, you big idjit," she growled, fighting the hot tears that threatened to flow down her face. "I love you; you are the only reason I'm here. And I told you that I couldn't loss you!"
"And what if I were to loss you?" he roared. "Did never give a thought to how I felt when I saw you in danger? I am your Master, I am meant to protect you, and lay my life down for you! Not the other way around!"
Tears flowed unwillingly from Elinana's eyes as Ezio shivered from either anger or chill. She closed her eyes, and turned away. And fought the clawing sob in her throat.
"Look at me." He growled, but Elinana didn't comply. "Look at me!"
She slowly turned back to him with bitter tears flowing from her eyes.
"This time is not like the others," he growled. "This woman is unlike anything I have faced before; she is faster, deadlier, and hell-bent on taking your life."
Silence grew heavier over the courtyard. Only the whistling of the wind, and Julius's foot steppes dared to make a sound. He strolled past the frozen Dante to Ezio's and Elinana's side, and flung the blanket over Ezio.
"I think it wise if we continued on back indoors." he stated then turned to stroll back up the stairs. Ezio released Elinana's shoulders, and looked down at himself before hastily wrapping the blanket around himself. Elinana turned away and marched after Julius, violently pawing her tears away. Dante stood frozen behind, then snapped out of the spell, and followed a bit back from Ezio. Still fearful of his wrath, and vampirism.
"Where are my clothes?" Ezio demanded once they returned to the chamber, looking about for his robes.
"Gone to be washed and dried," replied Julius as Elinana sank onto the sofa. "They should be ready for you at the end of the hour. Till then, warm yourself by the fire; all of you."
Ezio marched to the sofa, and sat a foot away from Elinana. Dante took up potation behind Elinana, and laid a comforting hand on her shoulder.
"You should not be so heard on your apprentice," Julius stated to Ezio. "She worried much for you, and warmed you with her own body."
Ezio whipped his head her direction with images he didn't wish to see running through his mind. But Dante stood in the dark, not knowing enough English to follow.
"If I hadn't cuddled with you," she stated as if she read his mind. "Your heart would have failed, then Lilith's goons would have had Julius and I for dinner, and Dante for desert! Still think I should have stayed behind?"
"Yes, and do not use that tone with me!"
"Or what? she snapped, turning to him. "You'll send me to my room, bend me on our lap and spank me?"
"God knows I want to do both!" he snarled back.
"Silence, both of you!" Julius boomed, silencing the two. He then composed himself, and continued with a calm voice. "Ezio, I must ask you why you had come to Basilica di San Marco?"
"I came because I needed answers to what, and who the woman was." Ezio replied, slowly growing calmer.
"How did you know to come here for your answers?"
"Because it was here she escaped from."
"How did you know this?" Julius pressed.
"Because of me," answered Elinana. "I had a nightmare, or vision—whatever you want to call it. I saw the thieves kill the monk, and watched Lilith rise and kill them. And—." Elinana hesitated.
"She saw her, and called her 'Venenum Solis'." Ezio continued for her. "She was hysteric with fear, believing she had actually saw Lilith. So, I investigated and came here."
"Now you're cursed." she murmured then thought: "I should have tried to go again, even if I dyed in the process."
"What?" Ezio asked in bewilderment, turning to her.
"What do you mean 'what'?"
"Your father would never have wished you to try it again! And most certainly not if it meant you perishing in the process!"
Elinana gazed wide eyed at him mouth slightly ajar.
"How di—," she muttered with shock.
"Do not dare blame yourself for my actions," Ezio growled, gripping her shoulders once more. "You tried to stop me from going. Do not lay the blame of what has happened to me, on your shoulders!"
Elinana gazed at him with a spaced out look, then let her head fall heavily forward.
"I can't take much more of this." She murmured with a cracking voice.
"Intriguing," Julius mourned. "Ezio did you just hear her thoughts in your mind?"
Ezio looked up at him with bafflement as Dante tapped her shoulder in assurance; still very much out of the loop.
"Perhaps…" Ezio slowly replied with uncertainty, pulling the wilted Elinana to him as if she where a limp hanging puppet. "It does not mater, what can you tell me of this Lilith?"
"Much is speculated about her origins," Julius began. "But the fact remains that she was the first demon who birthed the monsters of the night; you being among them as it appears."
"That creature is not the woman that birthed me! However, at first she could control me, but shortly after I awoke from being bitten, I could resist her more."
"Is that so?" Julius asked, eyes blinking at Ezio like an owl.
"Sì, do you suppose that I am now immune to her control, and if so; how can I kill her?"
"When precisely did she no longer have control over you?"
"It was when she asked me where Elinana was."
"I find it intriguing that you did not know that Elinana is your child, and that she has the blood of The Lost Daughter."
"What?" Elinana and Ezio both exclaimed in unison, looking up at Julius in disbelief.
"A vampire may command their bitten child to do many heinous things, but not to their own children, or grandchildren. And the children of the lost daughter of Adam and Eve was named Venenum Solis by vampires. For it is said that Cain's blade lined with Eve's blood is only thing that can kill the Night Mother; Lilith. The Venenum Solis are also said to be immune to the bite!"
Elinana gazed down at the fire, leaning heavily into Ezio who look at her then up at Julius.
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"What does your heart tell you?"
"That does not explain why I heard her thoughts."
"Much is still not known about Vampires," Julius replied. "Perhaps it is something simply special between you both."
"What about the curse?" Elinana asked, looking up at the old Pope. "You said Ezio was still half human yet, is there a way to undo what Lilith has done to him?"
Julius took a deep breath in thought, and looked down at her pleading eyes. Dante still was a good deal out of the loop, but still had a hand on her shoulder.
"As I said, much is unknown about vampires. Albeit, it is said that if one drinks the blood of the Vampire that bit them, and kills the Vampire; the curse would be lifted. But, only if they have not drunk Human blood."
Elinana gave a sigh of relief, and turned into Ezio's chest. He wrapped his arms around her, and held her close.
"Would you and Dante excuse Elinana and I?" he softly asked.
"Of course." He replied and strolled around the sofa and tugged Dante toward the door. Dante was hesitant, but obediently followed, and learned all what was said.
Ezio leaned back, and pulled the blankets around Elinana and himself to make a comfortable nest. Elinana nestled tightly against him, her head resting in the curve of his shoulder. He pulled her hood down, and tugged out the loose tie of her ponytail. Laying the white ribbon on the blankets he ran his hand over her silky chestnut tresses.
"What is wrong?" he asked softly.
"I always heated vampires." She murmured.
"I take it you are still angry with me?" he attempted to lighten the mood by jesting. But she only buried her face deeper against him.
"I can't lose my family," she mumbled into his flesh. "Not when I just finally found out that Leo was right."
"I am not going anywhere Poco Colomba." Ezio murmured, realizing that through generations—in more than one way—a child of his flesh and blood lied in his arms. A deeper sense of connection formed between them, one that was deeper than marrow. He tightened his grip on her, refusing to let her go.
"Ohana." her thoughts murmured in his mind.
"What was that?" his thoughts echoed back.
"It's Hawaiian for family." Her thoughts replied. "Man this is weird!"
Ezio chuckled, making Elinana smile.
"Really? I have not noticed." he replied sarcastically, felling her tremble with quiet laughter.
End of chapter II!
This one had a lot going on, but I had to get the lore out of the way. And see? I can save him! Last chapter comes out around Halloween!