“Go!” Her father beamed pridefully at the man, standing behind his desk and gesturing to the palace walls, “Relax! Your labour deserves reward!” He looked to her quickly, “See that he has all he desires! I will prepare for celebrations!”
Her eyes shifted from her father’s gaze to the man’s before her,
seeing that twinkle of mischief in his eyes. “I will see him properly attended,” she said, lips tugging in a wider smile.
When they exited the office and large, gaudy doors were closed behind them, her brother was the first to depart down the hall, his slave promptly in tow. “No words from you, Sebastian?” Leonardo called after him.
“I have no words,” Sebastian called back over his shoulder. He did his utmost to separate himself from the situation. The more things turned away from his ideals the more quickly she saw her brother distance himself from their father and, when possible, his responsibilities within the country. He wanted as little to do with them as he wanted to do with Leonardo, knowing that arguing with him would be futile and would only serve to sicken him further.
Leonardo’s thin lips tugged into a smirk, one that chilled her every time, and his golden eyes shifted to her, “And you?”
“I prayed to the Gods that you would not make it back,” she informed him, batting her full eyelashes sweetly. Her disdain for the man was not something dressed up in tender, flowery words as they were when in public. Even then she showed little favour for the man; something that had been able to go unnoticed by many through careful choice of words.
He was not the slightest bit surprised, a small chuckle rattling his firm chest. “My God favours me.”
“Ah, but I have many more,” she added, lips pulled in an all-knowing smile.
“That was not very effective, was it?”
“You are not the only one who believes that things happen for a reason.” Her eyes darkened, hardened and chilled, those blue pools further resembling ice. “You have damned us all by allying us with Rome.”
“I but strengthen our country.”
“Strengthen us?” She scoffed. “Our strength lies in our freedom, in doing things our way, and it always has. You have allied us with tyrants who only seek to take that from us!”
“Do you mean from you?” He asked, taking an imposing step towards her. “You, one of the few heretics left in this city?”
“A heretic compared to you and your beliefs!”
“Beliefs that will be of the rest of the country soon enough.”
She shook her head, breathing heavily, “You have not changed.”