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La Firenze

a topic in Gundam Wing: Continuing Legend, a part of the RPG forum.

Original GWing Storyline, now AC 202.

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Tue Apr 25, 2006 2:12 pm

Grim watched the exchange between the red haired man and Svetlana. After his outburst as the two entered the shuttle it was as if the pair were flirting with each other. What went on between them was no business of Grimbold's until it effected the job.

The young man's temper had flared instantly to rage if the look in his eyes was anything to go by, that sort of temper was dangerous to everyone around him. Grimbold said a silent prayer to any god that was listening that the man would control his temper better when, if things got bad out there. The last thing they needed was someone reacting in rage.

Grimbold relaxed back into the seat his coat creaking against the leather. There was no reason to worry now so he was going to relax as much as he could on the journey to the colonies.

It occured to him suddenly that he had no idea where they were going, or rather to which colony. Not that it was relevant as such, just a matter of curiosity.

He tightened the belt and laid back closing his eyes quite happy to sleep all the way.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:49 am

No one spoke on the trip back to Earth, each person was lost to their own thoughts and feelings. Seraphina awoke at re-entry as the shuttle was violently shaking. She did not relax until they landed in her beloved Florence.

She heaved and audible heavy sigh of relief, as she unbuckled her seat belt. One by one they stood and unloaded their bags. On instinct Sera stood to take her bag down out of the overhead compartment, As she pulled it forward her whole upper body quaked from the pain that shot through her. She sat back down and waited until Zeke and Svetlana had exitted the shuttle before trying agin. As she stretched her arm upwards Grimbold came up next to her and pulled it down.


"Thank you"

She whispered her voice quaking with pain she sought desperately to control.

She extended her hand to take the bag from him but he shook his head a solemn expression on his face.

She placed her hand on his shoulder and looked up into his face
.

"I am truly sorry for what I said, and I appreciate your willingness to help me despite it all."

She searched his face for a response but there was none.

The pilots came out of the cockpit and shot them a look that said get off.

Sera turned and exited the shuttle. Zeke was no where to be found, Svetlana was sitting by the doors playing solitaire. Grimbold followed Seraphina walked away from the shuttle but stopped out of earshot of Svetlana
.

"I am sorry to hear about your wife, I truly am."

Her brown eyes echoed his pain and his loss.

"I wish I could do more for you, but......"

Her eyes spoke of her fears unspoken.
In Exile

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:03 am

Grimbold carried the Ambassador's bag off the shuttle and accompanied her stopping behind her when she stopped. He could see the pain and loss in her own eyes when she spoke to him but he kept his own face carefully blank.
"I wish I could do more for you, but......"
He watched the fear, of what he didn't know spread in her eyes, it was like a pool spreading out to engulf her.
"I think there may be something that you can do. Earlier you said I should do something about my desire for peace, well I have decided there is something I can do. I am not a diplomat, I am not likely to be taken seriously by the governments of Earth and I couldn't call up General Sin and expect him to see me. I am not a stupid man I am educated and I have some experience of how things are done in diplomatic circles and I can handle most of the physical threats that are likely to be directed at you. I would be honoured if you would allow me to remain as your bodyguard and advisor until there is a peace treaty signed between Earth and the Colonies. I will not ask for any money I am not doing this because it is easy money but because I want to see it succeed. I would like to think that I could become your friend, I know we didn't make a good start on that score but we have suffered similarly and have come through differently perhaps there are things that we could do for each other in that way."
Grimbold subsided into silence he had said more than he had intended, well it was done there was nothing more he could do, none of that showed on his face he held that carefully neutral.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:40 am

She looked up into his eyes searching for any alterior motive, searching for anything that did not coincide with is words, but found nothing behind them. She sighed and rubbed her forehead. After Her attack she was still afraid largely because she could have stopped Dante's death and the Nuvellos had been known to be a murderous lot. IT would be nice to have a bodyguard on hand to go with her where ever her next meeting should take her, one she didn't have to hire, one she already knew. There was a benefit to this, for him and she.

She cocked her head to one side letting the bangs fall away from her forehead and display the corner of the gash that was still slightly red and irritated from the stitches
.

"I already have Svetlana as my personal secretary and guard, but to have to is not a bad thing."

she sighed deeply, hoping this was the last piece of business she had to deal with before getting home.

"I will help you find a hotel in the same quarter of town as my apartment, Mr Theoman, that way if I need you, you will be close by."

She extended her hand towards him and shook his hand as firmly as she could.

"Thank you, for everything."

A young man came up and picked up her bag and carried towards a private vehicle, the same one that she and Svetlana had arrived in earlier. She followed the young man, after signaling Grimbold to follow her. She walked slowly and with an air of dignity though her body ached and her spirit was spent if not close to broken. She stopped at the car and turned to the west to catch the late afternoon sun. As the golden light filtered down and across her face she began to breath a bit easier. The strange scent of Florence filled her senses, I am home she thought to herself. The warmth of the sun that kissed her cheeks seemed to burn away the flesh's memories of the tears she had shed. A great comfort filled her. This is my home and this is where I belong, not in the sterility of a false world. As she walked beneath the canopy of the Tuscan she felt her heart swell with love and pride for home. She imagined a life here where she and Gabriel could wander the streets. She thought only of his kisses, and his caresses, of his body laying next to hers. Dante seemed a far away nightmare.....for now.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:53 am

Grim bowed slightly to the Ambassador, he was not sure if he was being taken on or brushed off there was no clue in how she had spoken all he could sense in her expression was a joy, that of being home, something he could understand the city was spectacular and even for him a native of far off Ireland there was an air that made the place feel home-like. Well he picked up his own bags and followed as she indicated and they walked to her car.

He would be ready when and if she called on him again.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:05 am

She sat down in the front Seat and waited for Scvetlana. The hop held the trunk for Grimbold and gestured for him to hop in. Once seated she turned around as best she could without sending socks of pain through and spoke.

"There is a hotel not far from my house, I will put you up there, it is the least I can do for such a gracious offer."

She looked him over and saw the vaguest sense of confusion on his face. She fixed her eyes on his. The clear blue was somewhat unnerving to her it was as though they could see through her. She took a deep breath before going on.

"I am going to keep you because I need all the help I can get."

Her voice sounded a bit distant to her as though the facade of the Ambassador was fading the more time she spent in Florence. She took another deep breath. I am still the Ambassador until I finish with Sophia. A stab went through her heart again as she though of Dante, but she acknowledge it and let it go. Now is not the time for tears, she thought to herself, I have shed to many already.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:18 am

Grimbold sat back and let the city drift past the windows of the car. He had a job to do, a purpose that he had not felt for a long time. Perhaps now he could lay Sara to rest in his own head. He breathed a silent thank you to the Ambassador, and realised that he would have to ask her what her name was he couldn't go on thinking of her as Ambassador Alighieri. Which brought up an interesting problem, should he tell her of his real name?

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zeke on Thu Jun 15, 2006 2:17 pm

As soon as Zeke got off the shuttle he wandered over to where Svetlana sat down. He walked up to her and kissed her gently upon the cheek. Zeke reached into his long black coat and removed a folded black piece of cardpaper. He took her hand into his and slipped it inside. It was a folded up ace of hearts with Svetlana scribbled above the heart in sloppy red pen. She looked down at the folded card but didn't open it just yet. When she looked back up Zeke was gone.

He had wandered into the main building and around a corner to avoid the metal detectors again. He slipped quietly passed security and out the front. As he got inside and pulled out a smoke and lit it up. He inhaled deeply and looked around. As a car drove by he started walking in the direction of Seraphina's appartment. His job was not yet done.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Svetlana_Popova on Thu Jun 15, 2006 9:15 pm

With a small smile to herself, she looks back down at the card from Zeke and then puts it in her coat pocket. Better to wait until I'm alone to open it. She watches the city pass by through the window and wonders what will happen next.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:50 am

Seraphina asked the driver to drop her off at her apartment. As she pulled out she gave the driver instructions to take Grimbold to t he same hotel that Svetlana was in. She quickly called the Hotel and made a reservation for him under her name.

"I will pay for the accommodations, Mr Theoman. Enjoy your stay in Florence I do not know for sure where we will going next but I will let you know when I do. I am sure I will be seeing you again around La Firenze."

With that she shut the door, the driver hopped out and grabbed her bag from the he trunk and carried into her apartment. As she walked up the stairs she began to visibly shake, the physical sensation of waking up in a pool of her blood revisited her body. The stickiness on her heard the smell. Her stomach performed a back flip as she slid her key into the lock. The New deadbolt was a little stiff and made an audible click as the tumblers pulled the bolt back. Furtively she pushed the door open and looked around the apartment.

She swallowed hard pushing all fear into the pit of her stomach as she took her first steps back into her place. As she walked through into the living room the driver set her bag down by the door, and silently left. Her eyes searched her place as intensely as she had searched the lobby for any sign of Dante's murder. There was no indication of her beating anywhere in the living room. Slowly she began to walk towards the kitchen, with each step her heart began to beat faster until she could hear it in her ears, and it made her chest throb with agony both real and remembered. She stopped in the doorway and placed a pale shaking hand on the door frame, as her eyes wandered around the room as though they had a will of their own. She looked to the floor where she had woken up, she looked to wall where she had hidden, the sink where he had bashed her head, to the place where he cracked her ribs. Despite the trauma it all came back clearly; she had forgotten nothing. She squeezed the door frame tightly as the sense of fainting washed across her. She fought the blackness until she could see again. Still gripping the frame she took a step into the kitchen, as though that chunk of wood was her anchor. Slowly her other foot followed. With each step she faced the trauma head on. This time she did not break under its weight. Her hand still shaking she reached up into the cupboard and pulled out a wine glass, exactly like the one Dante had shattered against the wall above her head. She placed it on the counter and reached up int he back of the same cupboard and pulled out a dusty bottle of red wine. With her thumb she wiped away the dust. Nuvello Vineyards, was exposed. The lettering was a sweeping calligraphy done in gold. She set the bottle down and pulled out a corkscrew. The loud pop of the cork made her jump. She poured the thick blood red liquid into the glass and picked it up. Carrying both the bottle and the glass into her living room she sat down on the Settee. With each step out of the kitchen she began to shake less.

She lifted the glass to her lips and whispered, the sorrow in heart making her voice shake
,

"To you, my beloved Cousin, my sweet Dante."

She took a swallow of the wine. the dry flavor worked its way into her tongue. It was exquisite the best wine in all of Italy. It worked its way down her throat and into her veins. She took another swallow and tears formed in her eyes. I was saving this bottle for my wedding not his Funeral.

She set the glass down on the in-table and walked over to her computer she turned it on and waited for it to load. Once it had loaded she selected music for mood. Mozart's requiem came blaring out of her surround sound speakers. She returned to her wine and the Settee. She finished the first glass quickly and poured another. Leaning her head back she let the emotion come through her waves. Her love and Hatred of Dante, her desire for peace and dislike of the colonies, her love for Gabriel and her fear. It was a Maelstrom of passion mush like the second circle of Hell. She poured it all out and dried her eyes before finishing the second glass, in one swallow.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Fri Jun 16, 2006 5:16 pm

The driver took Grimbold and Sveltlana the short distance to the hotel in which they were to stay, he took their bags from the boot and escorted them into the hotel. Svetlana took her bag and with a brief nod to Grim went on to her room while he registered at the desk. He went up to his room and started to unpack his things. He got out his computer and set it up on the desk in the corner of the room.

It had occured to him that life for the Ambassador and her party would be made easier if they had perhaps a small private jet available at their disposal. It would mean doing something that he had never done before. He had ever since he started at university maintained two identities it was made easy by the very large annonimous payment that he had received after the crash that killed his parents, in fact that had made one of his lives very easy indeed. It had enabled him to live a playboy lifestyle, to indulge wims that most just dreamed of, he had a Gulfstream, a private pilots license and the money to finance it. But Grimbold couldn't fly! He would need to get himself here, it wouldn't be difficult there were people who he could rely upon to bring his jet over to Florence along with the appropriate papers, that was the easy bit, the difficult part would be telling everybody his real name.

He sat and stared at the screen, his email client open, what to do. If he did what he felt was right it would mean threatening his whole life even his liberty, but they were talking about the possibility of peace it would mean no more mercenary, Grimbold would have to go into permanent retirement but if the result was .... it could be worth it.

He wrote a few emails, one each to his contacts in London and Dublin that would get his alter ego, the jet, and a large amount of cash and credit to Florence, the other one was writen to Ambassador Alighieri

"Dear Ambassador Alighieri

When you have a moment I have some news that may be of interest to you, also I need to tell you a secret it is connected to the news and is important that you know.

Regards GT"

Well that was it the damage was done for good or ill. Having made the choice and committed himself he may as well do things properly. It was getting on a bit but not too late for money to talk, and he needed a couple of new suits. There was no chance of getting anything tailored but he could always get a couple of good quality designer suits off the peg after all this was Italy.

It took him a couple of hours and he was ready to face the world as someone else. The guns could be a problem he had a licence to carry them under his real identity but not this particular pair, oh well it was a small risk compared to everything else. He found a good restaurant and made enough fuss with enough money to get a seat. He ate an exquisite meal and paid over the odds for it to make up for his fuss earlier. He returned to the hotel provided by Ambassador Alighieri, and waited for whatever happened next.
Last edited by Grimbold Theoman on Tue Jun 27, 2006 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Sun Jun 18, 2006 2:06 pm

OCC: Assume all conversation is in Italian


With two glasses of liquid courage in her and the very, must subtle beginnings of a buzz, she reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. She ran her fingers along the side, her mind in absolute turmoil about how to tell Sophia about Dante. She licked her lips as she flipped the phone open. She stared long and hard at the button to bring up her phone book. She set the phone down and poured another glass of wine. She focused on the wine as is splashed into the glass, trying to tap into a spent rage to give herself the strength of mind to deliver her morbid message, but the rage was gone. She set the bottle down and sucked down her third glass of wine, before picking up the phone and bringing up Sophia's number.

As the phone dialed the number her heart began to race again. She flipped the phone shut. She ran a hand through her hair, before standing up and going out onto the balcony outside her room. As she passed her bed she let her finger brush the mussed sheets, and smiled.

She emerged from her apartment into the honey colored Tuscan sun. She closed her eyes and let its genuine warmth surround her. The smell of the air despite the pollution was comforting. The low lying buildings brought her comfort. She took a deep breath and cleared her mind, slowly she opened the phone. IT was as though she were entirely outside of herself as the the phone beeped that it was dialing her aunts number.


"Si, Sophia."

The cold and dry voice brought Seraphina back to herself and her mission.

"Sophia, it is Seraphina."

She tried to make her voice flat and even as emotionless as the woman she was speaking to.

"Sera, our little angel, how are you, how did things go?"

As she spoke it seemed to Seraphina that the affection was forced.

"I am fine, I have returned to Florence."

"So how is your fiance'
?"

The rage that Sophia felt began to break through the forced geniality.

"I do not know, such is the lot of a military wife, you should know that."

There was no way to mask the irritation she felt at the probing.

"Of course, of course."

The older woman backed off but was by means defeated.

Seraphina sighed before sh began to speak again, trying to push the vehement dislike that she had for her aunt out of her mind, and have compassion for the old woman
.

"Aunt, I have some bad news for you."

Her voice belied her true feelings for Dante's death.

"What dear? Are you alright?"

"No not really but that isn't why I am calling
,"

She took a deep breath and tried to steady herself, pushing the sorrow for Dante and her own loss of self to the back of her mind. She must be the Ambassador now, not the waif.

"Dante is dead."

She was answered with only silence for several breaths. With each one that passed she could only feel pity and sorrow for the woman she so despised.

"My son is dead? How, where when?"

Seraphina's mouth went dry and her eloquence fled as she desperately tried to form an answer, fighting tears she fought for the words, Should I tell her about what he did?

"He died on Lagrange one, he was killed by one of my bodyguards after attacking me, here in my own apartment, the day before I left."

"Your bodyguards! How could you
!"

"Frankly it wasn't hard, Sophia, he attacked me, broke three of my ribs, my nose, and gave me a concussion, I have 21 stitches in my head, all after asking me to marry him."

She stopped abruptly, Damn, she thought to herself.

"My Dante, would never lay a hand on you, he loves you."

"No Sophia, like the rest of you he loved my station, my name
."

The wrath she had felt since the attack broke through as her voice went cold, all compassion that she had been trying to summon was fading.

"I am sorry Sophia, but it is politics after all. There was no body he was incinerated."

"Blasphemy! You know that how could you let that happen?"

"I had no control. I asked for a body to bring back to bury, there wasn't one."

"BITCH
!"

Sophia shouted.

"He said the exact thing to me, Sophia."

her voice was flat, and cold each word calculated.

"You murdered my son! YOU let him die!"

"No, Sophia, you did. The sweet child I knew was corrupted by your ambition, your politics, not mine. He would have died terribly anyway and you know that. At least it was family
."

She slammed the phone shut. The tears that had built up in her eyes fell hot down her face. Quickly she wiped her eyes and composed herself. She turned sharply and walked back into her apartment. She threw her phone on the bed after turning it off. She plopped down on the Settee and poured another glass of wine.

"Damn,"

she whispered as she realized the bottle was near empty. She slammed it back down on the in-table, and downed the glass, and laid down. Again the tears came. She cried until she fell asleep. She dreamt of Gabriel, and her own damnation.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zeke on Mon Jun 19, 2006 12:50 am

Thunder cracked in the distance as the rain began to drizzle. Zeke continued on his path as the taxi carrying Svet, Seraphina and Grim passed. His eyes narrowed seeing Grim in the vehicle. He did his job, he should have gone home. His mind couldn't help but wandered to thoughts of him and Seraphina together. A violent shiver shook him.
"If that's the case, then I'll skin him alive before I feed him his heart."
Zeke couldn't help but be ruthless. Gabe was his friend and he couldn't let anyone do that to someone who has spent three years fighting in the trenches, or so to speak, for the good fight. The good of the Earth.

When Zeke snapped back to reality he realized that the rain had gotten heavier. It was pounding on his shoulders and sticking his bangs to his face. He sighed in relief as he saw Seraphina get out of the taxi alone and Svet and Grim drive off.

As he approached Seraphina's residence he watch the cab stop at a hotel down the road. It was good to know they were both close by.

Zeke didn't trust many people including Seraphina, Alan and Grim. He especially didn't trust General Sin or any of his lackeys. He knew he should keep an eye on Seraphina until Gabe showed up. He hoped it would be soon.

Before Zeke knew it he was one balcony above Seraphina's. He swung himself over the balcony after hanging his long coat over the railing. He lodged his feet in between two bars and let go. The rain continued to smack onto his clothes as he hung. He lit up a cigarette upside down and watched Seraphina pick up the phone inside. She started to get really upset as Zeke realized the difficulties of smoking upside down.

As Seraphina slammed down the phone Zeke realized how frightening it might be if she decided to come outside. The rain began to clear up as her crying started, it was as if Mother Nature was mocking her. Then she fell asleep and Zeke just hung there, but his feet, smoking his black cigarette.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Tue Jun 20, 2006 8:11 am

Grimbold woke early with a slight headache, where that came from he had no idea. He felt stress from somewhere some source other than himself. He shrugged it off and it faded as he had a quick breakfast delivered by room service, before showering and dressing in one of his new suits.

He packed his guns away with the holsters in a briefcase and went out in search of a rather good tailor he had heard about. He needed a few specially made suits of the best quality and at least one in the next day or so at most. Grim called for a taxi and went into the city centre.

It took him a couple of hours to negotiate for four suits and arranged for a fitting the next morning. Again it amazed him what a name and money can do. Oh yes he did pay for them with credit cards in another name, one he rarely used, but one he was more entitled to use than Grimbold Theoman. He wandered the city for a while stopping for lunch in a street cafe. He caught a taxi and returned to the hotel to check on his email.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:23 am

OCC: Assume all dialog is in Italian


[b]Seraphina's eyes shot open and Dante's voice was still ringing in her ears. Lay still her eyes wandered over what she could see of the room, seeking out Dante's ghost in her half aware state, chasing down her own demons. Her heart was pounding the nightmares had been terrible but were beginning to fade as she blinked herself awake. She started to rollover onto her back but the electrical shocks of pain that ran down her torso and her arms rendered her incapable to do so. No more sleeping on the settee for a while, she thought to herself. She laid their still as death and waited for the pain to subside. As the last tendril faded away she slowly began the process again. A monstrous growl erupted from her as the pain engulfed her. Once on her back she lay still, breathing shallowly. Slowly her breathing returned to normal and she pushed herself up to a sitting position. The simple action left her seething both in pain and at her own weakness. Slowly she stood up and walked into her Mast bath. She took off the suit she had worn home and let it fall to the floor, then slowly removed the brace around her ribs. She looked into the mirror and took the cast off of her nose that the medic had placed on it in the colonies. The black eyes were turning more green and so was the bruising on her forehead and ribs. Black were fading to purple, and blues to greens.

She walked over to the sunken tub that looked out of the city of Florence and drew herself a bath. She poured in her favorite bath salts and the air began to smell of sandalwood and cedar. She slipped into the tub and let the hot water engulf her as she laid her head back. The lapping of the water against her and the edge of the tub soothed her tired mind and slowly brought peace to it. Everything that had happened since Gabriel left began to fade into space and time. Her mind eventually went black, the only thing that mattered anymore was the heat that was wrapped around her body. She stayed in the tub until the water grew cold.

Slowly she stood up and using the towel rack for support stepped out of the tub. She pulled the black towel from the rack and wrapped around her self. The cool Air brought her back to some kind of reality. She knew what she had to do, she had the courage to do it, but no answers as to how. She stopped at the door to the master bath and pulled one her black silk robe before stepping into her room and on to the walk in closet. As she passed the bed she glared at her phone knowing the voice-mail would be full.

She stood int the entrance to her closet and stared at the clothes hanging there on the rack. She selected a pair of simple sandals, a black gauze skirt that was layered, to create a flowing look but was opaque enough....and a blood red poets shirt. The big sleeves and loose fit would hide the brace well. She laid those out on the bed, and proceeded to dry off. She slipped into her clothes and sat down on the bed. She picked up her cell phone and checked the box that recorded missed calls. Sophia, Bianca, Francesca, a couple of cousins, the Maestro, a couple of cousins, but not the one person she most wanted to hear from.

She hit the button to dial Francesca Princippe's number the phone only rang once.


"Seraphina! What is going on? Sophia called me she said Dante is dead, and you murdered him."

"Tia, slow down. Yes Dante is dead but I didn't kill him
."

Francesca sighed audibly.

"I should have know she was lying, but what happened? Where have you been."

It was Sera's turn to sigh. Her voice was heavy with emotion, as she spoke.

" I was on a diplomatic mission to the Colonies, but the story starts before then, tia."

Her voice trembled as she prepared to launch herself into the story of the attack. The images had not gotten any less vivid as she retold the tale.

"Sera, my little angel, what is it?"

"It was one of my bodyguards the killed him."

"Did you try and stop him
?"

Francesca voice was thin
.

"No, but before you pass judgment let me tell you why."

"Of course, Sera. What happened?"

"You got my message about being engaged?"

"Yes, oh I almost forgot, Congratulations."

"thank you, but I told Sophia and she called Dante, who must have hopped the first flight to Florence. He showed up at my apartment. I let him in and poured him a glass of wine...
"

Sera's voice took on a trance like tone.

"He Proposed to me, tia, he had the balls to ask me to marry him. I slapped him, I called him and his entire house degenerate. He pushed me into a wall, and threw a wine glass at me, it shattered above my head. I tried to get away but he grabbed me and slammed my head against the counter."

Her voice trailed off into silence. She could here Francesca weeping on the other end.

"Seraphina, are you alright?"

The question snapped her back into the present.

"Now, but I have three broken ribs, a broken nose, 21 stitches in my forehead and I did have a concussion. After I woke up I called my personal Secretary and she took me to the hospital, she told my guards what he had done. He then followed me to Lagrange one, I don't know why. He died there."

"My poor Sera, what are you going to do the entire Nuvello house is up in arms, Sophia said you killed him."

"I didn't, and this is what I need you to do
,"

Her voice had the sound and confidence of the Ambassador again she schemed to potentially save her own life[/b].

"Call all of my allies in all of the houses, and tell them exactly what I told you. Remind them of Dante's violent temper. Emphasize his idea of an incestuous marriage. You know this will spread. Make Sophia out as being mad with grief, I know she is, show her compassion, and love, do not be cruel but portray her as mad."

"Of course Seraphina, I should have thought of that. This is why you are the ambassador not me
."

She chuckled but is was obvious it was forced. Sera did not like having to have Francesca do this but she was the one they would listen to.

"Start with Bianca Umbaldi, that gives it a credibility that no one can ignore."

"Si, Si. My poor Angel are you going to be alright?"

"Yes, Tia, I am. I love you, and call me when you find out when Dante's memorial will be. I will be there."

"Oh, of course I will. Take care child."

"I will Tia, you take care of yourself, and I love you."

"Love you to Seraphina, my little seraph."

"I have to go I have other things I need to attend to
."

Francesca steadied her voice before speaking again.

"Of course you do, take care and bye."

"Bye, Tia and thank you
."

Seraphina hung up and flipped the phone shut. She carried it with her to the front room and sat down on the settee, to contemplate her next move. What would Dante do, she thought to herself unsure of which Dante she was thinking of. She had grown tired of the Requiem and turned it off. She then selected Wolfsheim "the Sparrows and the Nightingales" before drifting deep into Contemplation.

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Seraphina Alighieri
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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Seraphina Alighieri on Thu Jun 22, 2006 1:30 am

OCC: Assume all dialog is in Italian


Seraphina sat in contemplation of her next move for quite some time. The song ended and she sat up still not knowing for sure what to do other than to call The Maestro. She flipped open her phone and quickly dialed the direct number to his office.

"Maestro Renaldo Cavilli,"

His deep bass voice brought a warmth to her heart that only Gabriel and the Tuscan sun could.

"Maestro, it is Seraphina."

Her voice wavered.

"Sera, child where have you been your family has been calling non-stop for a day."

She sighed, the entire burden of her guilt and her games was carried into reality with that sigh.'

"I know Maestro, it is a very long story that I can't go into right now."

His deep voice was filled with a deep fatherly concern.

"Sera, what ever it is you can tell me."

"Maestro, not without going to confession first. What I have done is truly terrible."

"Sera, meet me in an hour for coffee, skip the confessional for now."

It was an order not a request.

"Maestro, I can't there is so much to do, so much damage control."

"Sera, it can wait. Meet me and Signora Donati's bistro, please. I know you something is very wrong
."

She sighed again.

"Si, maestro. I will be there."

"Good meet me in hour. Dear Sera whatever it is I am there, you know that. You are so much like my own daughter.
"

His voice grew thin as he mentioned his daughter.

"I will be there, I promise."

"Bye, my child."

"Bye maestro.
"

She hung up the phone. She hid her face behind her hands, just as she had done at the hotel. Her heavy mind and burdened soul forced her shoulders down as far as the brace would allow. She wanted nothing more than to forget everything, to have had enough trauma done to not remember a thing.

She took a few deep breaths then stood up. She walked to the bathroom and dug her red hair sticks out of a drawer, and put her hair up into a bun. She turned on the curling iron and quickly curled her bangs under. They barely his the scar. Damn, I wish Svetlana was here. She went to the front room and rummaged through her bags until she found her make up. She walked back to the Master bath pulled the foundation out of her bag. She had just twisted off the lid when a thought entered her mind. I am probably going to be followed by the Nuvello's, if I am seen in public beat to hell that lends credence to me story. They all already think me weak, if I can play it up it will make Dante look bad, and justify my actions. She closed the cap and smiled wryly. There might be a way out of all of this yet.

Turning she left the bathroom and waled to the front room. She looked around the apartment to make sure that everything was in order, before grabbing her keys off of the table by the door. She stepped outside and and locked the door, checking it twice to make sure that it was locked. Holding onto the handrail as though it were the only thing between her and death she navigated the stairs down to the street.

Standing outside she looked up to the sky, the clouds were gray and high, the remnants of the previous nights storm. A cool breeze came off of the coast and wrapped itself around her, catching her skirts and making them billow out. The breeze felt good against her beaten face. As it moved around her body it pressed the shirt to her frame showing her curves and the brace. She called for a cab. As she stood there waiting people walked by staring at her, some shaking their heads, other trying desperately to not look at the battered woman who stood there with such cinematographic dignity despite the trauma.

The cab pulled up and she slowly climbed. The drivers eye grew wide int he review mirror as he looked at her. She waved a hand in front of her face to indicate that it was no big deal.
The driver looked straight ahead, though she couldn't help but catch concerned looks from the reflection
.

"Donati's Bistro, por favore'."

"Si, Signorina.
"

There was no small talk as he drover her to the Bistro. When he stopped her turned around and looked at her.

"Are you alright, Signorina?"

"Si, signore', thank you for asking though."


She paid the fair and climbed out of the cab with slightly greater difficulty than getting in. With the door still open she leaned in.

"Ciao."

He nodded and replied.

As she walked to the front door a sense of dread filled her. Standing to the side of the door she peaked in to see if Signora Donati was there. Her mouth went dry when she saw the familiar figure of the old woman moving behind the counter. She was about 30 minute early, and contemplated waiting until the Maestro came, before going in but the pain was too much to continue standing. She swallowed hard before walking into the bistro.

Signora Donati looked up as the little silver bells rang out her arrival. When she first looked up there was a smile on her face, but once her eyes fell on Seraphina she dropped the try in her hand. The plump little woman turned and shouted into the back as she came around the counter. Her plump hands gentle cupped Seraphina's face. Sera tried to pull away but the older woman wouldn't have it
.

"Little Alighieri, what has happened to you?"

Her voice sounded as though she were about to weep.

"Who did this to your beautiful face?"

"It is alright Signora Donati, it doesn't hurt too much and it is getting better everyday."

Sera tried to smile, to shrug off the pain and the trauma
.

"Don't lie to me, Seraphina Alighieri, I can see it hurts you. Your young man didn't do this to you did he?"

Her voice was hard as the stone that the Duomo was made of.

Sera's brown knit in response, her face showed the insult that she felt for Gabriel, but her voice was soft and respectful.

"No, Signora he didn't, he is away on business right now."

Signora Donati's face was the very image of skepticism.

"Signora, I swear to you on Dante's tomb, that it was not my Gabriel. He isn't even here in Florence right now."

Signora Donati raised her eyebrows, and her face returned to its gentle concern.

"As you say, my seraphim. Come sit down you should not be standing let me bring you some tea, and a tart."

"Grazie, Signora
."

The old woman tottered off behind the counter. Quickly she returned with a steaming cup of tea and a raspberry tart.

"You had better drink all of that child, it will give you back your strength."

Her brown eyes were stern and loving at the same time.

"Of course I will,"

She said before raising the steaming cup to her lips. Signora Donati returned to her post in the kitchen and began barking orders to the staff.

Seraphina was about half way through her cup of tea when the Maestro walked in. She immediately rose to her feet. With one languid gesture of his hand he told her to sit back down. He took the chair opposite her. His eyes took her in one bruise at a time. They wandered over the gash on her head and the green eyes as though he were going to paint every last detail of her battered frame. His blue eyes showed only love and compassion for the young woman sitting across the table from him. He stretched out a hand and took one of hers on the table. The red around his eyes was indicative of his all consuming grief for the loss of his daughter
.

"My sweet child, what has happened to you?"

His voice was soft.

She fought for control, she did not want to answer him. This is a family matter she told herself. But looking at the man that had been like a father to her she could not lie and the tears welled up again. There were soft tears not the hot tears of her rage and grief. They were cool against her cheeks as they fell.


"Maestro, my cousin attacked me before I left, because he doesn't like the fact that I am getting married to a Frenchman from a noble house instead of an Italian one,"

She opted to keep it simple,

"This was the day before I left planet to negotiate peace. I have broken ribs and, well you can see the rest."

She stopped and wiped the tears from her eyes. The entire Bistro was silent. Sera looked over at the counter to catch Signora Donati eavesdropping. Bless the old woman's heart she thought to herself.

The Maestro's brows knit and his entire posture softened.

"Poor child. I hope you changed the locks."

"Si, but it goes on. Maestro....Renaldo, I have lost my humanity
."

To hear the words out loud sent such a chill through her that she took her hand from the Maestro and wept into them both. He reached across the small table and laid a hand on her forearm.

"Sera, it can't be that bad. What do you mean?"

She choked back sobs. Signora Donati seeing her distress quickly brought her another cup of tea and patted her on the back. She nodded the Maestro, and smiled. Slowly Sera lifted her head and put her hands back on the table.

"Renaldo, it is that bad. He followed me to L-1, I don't know how he knew that was where I was going, but he showed up. I had already hired bodyguards and I let one of them kill him."

She looked to the Maestro expecting his face to be riddled with disgust, but there was only the love that had been there before. Slowly she turned to look at Signora Donati. She was standing still with a dish rag in her hand, her eyes wide with shock, or was it horror. Sera took a sip of the tea to brace herself for whatever came next.

The Maestro swallowed hard before speaking
.

"Sera, I have no words of comfort for you other than at least you know he can't hurt you again, or your lover. I know you have seen too much atrocity for one so young, and had more pain than most people can live with, this too will pass. You are not an inhuman monster for what happened, you have simply proved how human you are."

He squeezed her hands tightly in his and looked her straight in the eye.

"Grieve, Sera, for him and yourself. Take some time off of work and your diplomacy. It is alright."

He stood up and came around the table to her and kissed her cheek. His smooth skin brought her comfort, the smell of his cologne and the texture of his suit made her feel safe.

"Let me drop you off at him, and you rest Sweet child."

He pulled her chair back and helped her up, he opened the door of the bistro for her and lead her to his car. She was like broken hearted child walking beside him. Staring at the ground trying to hide from the world. He opened the car door and helped her get in before closing it. He got in and and started the car.

The first few blocks were spent in silence. She turned to him and looked at his face. It was obvious to her that he was hurting for her, and for himself.

"I am sorry, Maestro."

She whispered.

"Sera, child you have done nothing wrong. You're mission is too important to allow it to be threatened by anyone, even your own familiy."

She immediately thought back to her argument with Grimbold at the hotel. I should e-mail him and make sure he is alright, she thought to herself.

"Thank you, Maestro."

He glanced at her briefly,

"For what?"

"The absolution,
"

she sighed and crossed herself.

Again the car fell silent. At a stoplight the Maestro turned to her and spoke. His voice thin as it had been earlier when he mentioned his daughter
.

"Did I ever tell you what happened to my daughter?"

"No, you didn't.
"

He inhaled and exhaled very slowly and very deeply.

"She was with her mother on a shuttle headed towards the colonies, when they came under attack from a rogue group. The unarmed shuttle never had a chance. That was six years ago, the same year your Paulo died."

He fell silent and withdrew into himself, driving her the rest of the way home in silence. She stared out her window and watched as Florence flew past. Why is he telling me this? Why did Grimbold tell me about Sara? What am I supposed to do I am only one woman.

The car lurched to halt in front of her building
.

"Rest Sera,"

The maestro said as she got out of the car.

"Thank you, Renaldo."

He looked at her with tears brimming in his blue eyes.

"Anything for you my child."

She closed the door and he sped off.

Sera walked back into her apartment. She had been so emotional she had forgotten about the pain. She Stopped at her luggage and rummaged through it until she found her pills. She took one and sat down on her bed. She kicked off her shoes and laid down. She tried to absorb what the Maestro had told her about his daughter, what Grimbold had told her about his wife, Paulo's death and her fears for Gabriel. These thoughts chased each other about her mind as the pill slowly took affect. The pain began to ebb away, and sleep threatened to come. She didn't fight it. There was something she had to learn, before she could continue.

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Seraphina Alighieri
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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zeke on Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:02 am

Zeke spent the rest of the night upside down watching Seraphina sleep. He couldn't help but desire rest himself, he was just that bored. At least when Svetlana was here I could have some fun... He thought thinking of their spar on the balcony. He sighed deeply as he lit a cigarette still hanging by his feet. He took a large drag before pulling it out of his mouth. He watched the smoke trail glide upwards.
"If this keeps up I'm going to be clinically insane by the end of the week."
He slipped the cigarette back between his lips before kicking his feet out of the bars and grabbing his coat as he flipped to land on his feet with his knees bent. He took a seat in the chair and shook his head to keep him awake.
"Fucking baby sitting gig."
When Seraphina left the next day he decided that he didn't want to follow her. He deserved some time off.

Naturally Zeke did the only thing he could in Florence, walked to the building where Svet was staying. The trained mercenary easily slipped through a hotel's security and found her room before they could even think someone was there.

So there he stood with one gloved hand in his fiery hair, and the other positioned to knock. Zeke nodded to himself and sighed as he gave the door two sturdy knocks.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Svetlana_Popova on Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:46 pm

After bidding farewell to Grim, Svet closed the door to her room and frowned at seeing the absolute disarray of her room. Apparently maid service isn't up to par here. She sets down her luggage and carefully examines the room. The table off to one side of the room was knocked over, the contents on top of it, spilled and shattered across the carpet. The bed was ripped to shreds, and the feathers from the pillows decorated the room in white. She glances over at the dresser, and sees the drawers scattered across the floor, her clothes were thrown everywhere. She looked over towards the bathroom and freezes as she sees a shadow of a person move across the wall. Silently as possible, she pulls a dagger from her boot, and crouches down. She moves one foot at a time, and stealthly moves towards the bathroom. As she gets closer, she presses her body up against the wall, and grabbing a compact from her pocket, she opens it and uses the mirror to peek around the wall into the bathroom. With a glint in her eye, she closes the compact and puts it back in her pocket. She idly flips the dagger around in her left hand. With a low growl, she whips around the door jam, and palm strikes a big brute of a man trying to hide in the shower. He slams against the wall, gasping for air, he sinks to the floor his eyes huge in disbelief. Keeping a careful eye on him, she searches him and finds a revolver. She unholsters it, empties the chamber and pulls out the clip. She then stares menacingly down at the stranger. In total coldness, Svet speaks in Italian with a Russian accent.

"Who sent you?"

The man stares up at her blankly with dark liquid brown eyes. His chest still heaving as he tries to regain his breath.

With a flare of anger in her eyes at his inability to comprehend what she is saying, she switches to Russian.

"Who sent you?"

The man just stares at her with no sign of comprehension.

"You have got to be fucking kidding me?"

Svetlana continues to swear in Russian over the mans idiocy and then switches to english.

"Who the hell sent you?"

The man swallows nervously.

"I can't tell you miss."

"This is the last time I will ask you. If you don't answer the question, I'll kill you. Who the fuck sent you?"

The man just stares up at her, beads of sweat start to form on his forehead. He swallows again nervously.

"I honestly don't know miss. I received a letter by post stating that I needed to search this room for the..."He clears his throat."...I imagine you already know what it is I am suppossed to find. Anyway, there was no name or nothing on the letter. It just said that I will find payment in a weeks time somewhere in my house."

"Do you have this letter on you?"

"No ma'am. I destroyed it like the instructions said.'

"Well at least you know how to follow instructions. I suggest you leave now, before I change mind in letting you live."

With a nod, he stands up, brushes himself off and walks out of the hotel room.

Svet walks back into the living area, and flips open one of her suitcases. She opens a secret compartment, and pulls out a wig, some makeup and a change of clothes. She quickly gets dressed in a bright red dress, and puts in some brown contacts. She pulls on the blonde wig, and applies some light makeup to add to the change. She puts on a pair of heels, and grabbing her laptop, and the one suitcase, she turns and walks out of the door. She stops briefly at the threshold, and turns back. Glancing a piece of black paper on the ground, with a small smile, she picks it up, and leaves the hotel.

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Svetlana_Popova
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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Zeke on Mon Jun 26, 2006 12:40 pm

The knocks fall hallow and no one comes to the door. He breaths a sigh of relief and slowly makes his way down the stair as his heart stops pounding.

The bright Tuscan sun beamed upon him as he stepped out of the front door to the building he rose a hand to shield himself as he lit a smoke and walked back over to Seraphina's building.

Zeke let himself back up to the balcony where he dropped his trench coat and his guns. He decided it was time for a coffee, what the hell else was there to do in Italy, besides no mercenary would try something in day light, that was crazy and he was the only crazy assassin he knew.

When he got back to the ground he started on in towards the main city. He lit another smoke as he walked by the many cathedrals and other beautiful buildings of architecture in the city. He decided it was time for a coffee so he wandered into a quaint looking cafe and took a seat on the gorgeous patio. He could feet the warm sun beaming down on his arms. Maybe he needed a tan.

As he took his seat a pretty waitress came out with his green tea. A small smile cracked his as he sniffed the wondrous liquid. It had been so long since he had time, or the desire to relax.

As Zeke leaned back into his chair he took a sip and smiled. He took another sip as he saw the most amazing sight. A blue headed, red back bird landed in the coffee shop on the ground near him. Zeke shot up and spit out the tea. Everyone in the shop started to become nervous as it stared at him. Zeke set down his coffee and rose slowly to his feet as the few other people in the shop began to back off.

As Zeke approached it the Lesser Kestrel turned it's head to the shop, Zeke followed it to see the cook come running out with the broom. As he wound up to take a swing at the large bird Zeke dove at him and knocked him to the ground. The broom flew out of the chefs hand and before Zeke could think about it the angel blade was out of his boot and against the cook's neck. He spoke in a calm collected voice to the extremely nervous chef.

"That bird you almost took a swing at, it's called a Lesser Kestrel. Indigenous to the desert areas, which makes it a natural oddity that it is here. On top of that, it is the most endangered falcon in the world, therefore killing it would not only be a crime but a grief to the ecosystem and Mother Nature herself on top of the bad Karma."
Zeke paused to let this kick in before retracting the blade of the knife and climbing to his feet and helping the poor cook up. Zeke reached over to his table and picked up his green tea. He took a sip of it and looked at the cook the whole time.
"Now, you and your customers have witnessed not only an indigenous endangered bird, but the good karma of having such a unique bird to begin with staying here as you tried to attack it."
He turned back around and looked the Lesser Kestrel in the eyes and knew exactly what this sign meant. Gabriel was coming back. He bowed to the bird to thank it. It took off when Zeke's head was bowed.
He brought himself back up straight and sipped the green tea again before turning back to the still quaking chef.

"What a beautiful and noble bird, don't you agree?"
Zeke asked as he set down the empty cup and dropped a twenty on the table for a three dollar tea and patted the chef on the chest as he walked past him to leave.

The whole event had inspired Zeke to ink his body again, so he made his way to the nearest tattoo shop and took a seat in the big leather chair with his shirt off and his back ready. He decided to get the Wisdom Eyes of Buddha. When that was all said and done, he decided that he wanted another. He got the Tomoe upon his left hand. And finally he got a Pa Kua upon his left bicep.

Zeke couldn't help but smile at the pain and his new found symbols as he left the parlor. He had always been a practicing Buddhist and this would always remind him of that. Another thought crossed his mind as he was walking back to Seraphina's balcony, maybe it was time for him to give up the life of a mercenary and just be content. Perhaps find happiness at the center of the universe and balance within himself.

The decision raged the whole way back, and it was still undecided. He still had time to think about it, he didn't need to know until Gabriel was home at the very earliest, he still had to protect Seraphina until then.

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Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Grimbold Theoman on Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:59 pm

Grimbold arrived back at the hotel and looked at his email, there was no reply from the Ambassador yet, it was probably too soon to expect anything anyway. So he logged off and since he knew there would be other things that needed attention he restarted the computer and logged on with another username and password. Again the email had to be checked, only 5 days since this was checked and yet there were over three hundred unread mails. Ok so almost fifty were junk but that was still a lot of business to attend to. Before looking in depth a scan through the newest ones found him the one that he had been looking for. His Gulfstream was parked at Peretola airport and landing fees had to be paid. He would take care of that this afternoon.

Most of the other mail delt with business some needed attention but most were simply information keeping track of investments and money. He wrote a few replies and sent instructions for some new investments, two new business start-ups that were looking promising and in need of some capital. It was a hell of a way to make a living sometimes you lost but far more often the return was far more than was put in. Nothing grew money like money, and the more you had the better it worked. He now employed a number of people who could mostly look after things while he was away living another life.

Dealing with the work took an hour or so, having finished he left the hotel again and headed out to the airport. He arrived and soon found the official who dealt with the landing and parking fees. The cost always seemed far more than it should be but that was the dissadvantage of having your own transport. Grim also arranged to have the plane refueled although the hop from London was not long enough to have used more than a fraction of the capacity it was worth having it full and ready in case it was needed at short notice.

Having paid the fees he went and checked over the aircraft, giving it a full pre-flight check, checking the supplies in the small galley, there were a few shortages. Someone would have to be reprimanded for that. The Jet belonged to him but was used by his company and it's executives when he wasn't using it, the bar and galley were supposed to be restocked. He made a mental note to find out who last used the jet.

Having done the checks he wanted to and supervised the refueling he relaxed in the comfortable leather seats in the back and put a CD on the sound system. Even in flight it sounded good the noise cancelling system was the same as used in millitary jets and meant that while the entertainment system was on it was almost silent in the cabin. The opening chords of "Le nozze di Figaro" filled the cabin and for a long time the mercenary sat there reveling in the beauty of the music.

He woke with a start an hour later, unaware that he had even fallen asleep. The plane was sorted out the immediate bills paid for so he locked up and left, walking back towards the town. It would soon be time for dinner, and he decided to have something in the hotel restaurant for a change. On the way to his hotel he walked past the building the Ambassador had her appartment, he wondered briefly how she was getting on as he passed, if he had known which her appartment was he would have called in but as he didn't he carried on to the hotel. He was shown to a single table in the restaurant where he ordered mostaccioli quatro formaggio, which was supposed to be one of the chef's specialities. When it came it was certainly very good, not the best he had had but very nearly. He returned to his room and took a book out of his luggage. He settled down to read.

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