Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Caught by a Bull (Catarina)

“Are you sure about this? If your brother sees---“

“Perio, how many times must I tell you, that he is not my brother!” Catarina said coming out of the shadows and into the moonlight to face her lover.

“He is your brother by blood---“

“He is my half brother and only just.”

“Catarina, what if his spies---“ Catarina glared darkly at Perio’s dark eyes.

“I don’t give a damn if his spies find me. Let them all burn in hell for all I care. Let me burn in hell for spying on them and reporting their doings to the Po---“

Before she could say another word, Perio put his hand over her mouth, and shoved Catarina up against a wall. Just as a young man, much near Catarina’s own age walked lazily by. He pretended to be drunk. But Catarina was certain he was not. She looked desperately into Perio’s eyes, as he lifted out a dagger of his robes. He turned, but the man was gone. As soon, as he was certain everything was safe, he lifted his hand from Catarina’s mouth.

“You were saying?” he asked brushing off his robes. Catarina glared at him, turned around and climbed up a vine along a wall without another word to Perio.

Perio simply sighed, and followed suit. “Do you even know if this is Rodrigo’s apartment?” He whispered up to her. Catarina shrugged.

“One of these windows is his--- Oh, here it is!” She said and suddenly tumbled into the room. She heard a scream, and a clattering of something, and then she was roughly pulled up by none other than Rodrigo himself. He sighed, and let her go as soon as Peiro came into view.

“You stupid girl, I nearly killed you!” Rodrigo said, righted her up again and gently smoothing out her cloak and dress.

“Did you think I was here to kill you?” Catarina asked a bit shaken. Perio rolled his eyes.

“She didn’t mean to frighten you. She’s simply…” Rodrigo held up his hand and cut Perio off before he could finish explaining whatever he thought Catarina was.

“Enough, Perio, we can forgive her this time. I believe you have something to tell me?” Rodrigo said coming down to Catarina’s eye level.

Never having been so close to the Pope before, Catarina gulped. She looked over into the corner of the room where two equally beautiful women sat, playing chess. One, of the women with fiery red hair much like Catarina’s own, nodded encouraging her. She swallowed and looked back towards Rodrigo.

“Only that with my sister’s wedding the Medici have now become allied with Giuliano della Rovere one of your enemies. He has been to the house frequently of late. I believe there may be a plot going on.” Catarina finally all but blurted out. She did could feel Perio smirking behind her because she had called Cecilia her sister. But he said nothing of this in the presence of the Pope.

The woman with the red hair in the corner playing chess, stared at her for a moment, then, lowered her eyes, and continued the game. Catarina herself felt like she was one of those figures being moved around on the chess board. She looked back up at Rodrigo.

“Are you sure?” He asked seeming a bit taken back. She nodded. “Then, this is what I ask of you little Medici. To spy on your family for me. I wish for you to keep an eye on these visits from Della Rovere. Keep track of what is said and what goes on. Report everything to me, and I shall reward you, dear child.” He said gently touching her cheek. For a moment, Catarina was reminded of her papa and she felt tears sting her eyes. She blinked them back. It wouldn’t do to cry in front of the pope.

“Now then,” Rodrigo said standing up. “We cannot have the two of you wandering back to the Medici household in the dark. Who knows what could happen.” Rodrigo said this while eying Perio who nodded and Catarina had a distant feeling that the Pope knew of the man outside the Vatican. “So, one of the maids will show the two of you to a room for the night.”

“Thank you sir. We greatly appreciate it.” Perio said, as he gently took Catarina’s hand.

*****


Written with the help of Cecilia Gallerani

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