It was a massive relief for Ezio when it seemed that Shaun and Leonardo had settled out their differences. Honestly, Ezio had never known that Leonardo could be such a stubborn ass until he had seen the man testing out his possible assistant/herders like he had.
And herder was the right term to use. Maee(Ezio was not even going to try to butcher the poor woman's real name, even in his head)) was doing well at it, but more often than not, when Leo was deep into a project, the man would not stop to eat. Ezio had stopped by a few times after his day ended to see if Leo would like to join him for dinner, and found the man looking highly confused on where the day had gone. It made him want to shake the older man once or twice.
Not that he wouldn't still bed the man given half a chance. Leo was very creative, a genius in more than just a mad scientist way. On the other hand, it appeared that genius had it's downsides when it came down to keeping track of time and basic necessities such as food and breaks. So his assistant/co-worker also had to be stubborn enough to bully Leo in full evil genius mode into doing things such as eating, moving away from his notes and theories, and remembering what sunlight was.
Sure, that was a bit out of the range for most assistants, but Ezio had faith in people, and Shaun seemed to be settling into it well. Thank god Malik had been able to find him. Ezio had been ready to tear Leo's hair out if the man hadn't stopped driving them off.
Though Shaun had brought up a point that Ezio had also noticed. Partway into the second attempt, he thought that woman was going to make it. Then Leo had turned downright vicious. Not abusive, Ezio would have stepped in and had words over that. He was in charge of HR, and he did not let anyone, not even Altair or himself, pull that sort of shit. But there had been a bit more....
Ezio wasn't sure how to describe it. Leo was acting like a hurt cat Ezio had found once. Retreating into his comfort zone and anyone who tried to pull him out of it was likely to lose a finger. And given that was what the people were supposed to be doing.... It had not gone well.
Thankfully, he seemed to snap out of it a week or two into dealing with Shaun. There was a noticeable lack of true anger or frustration after that, and he had been willing to let it play out.
Still, Ezio was curious on just what had happened. Leo was a professional, through and through. Hell, that was even the reason he wouldn't try going out with Ezio again. Mixing pleasure and business was something not done. And, honestly, Ezio did see his point, as much as he hated to admit it. Even those dinners were just because he honestly liked Leo, and they had interesting conversations. Plus it helped keep him in practice with his Italian.
So when Leo had started bouncing again, Ezio had taken a closer look.
And there might have been a tiny bit of jealousy when he realized that -someone- was leaving marks on Leo's throat. Quite a few, if Ezio was any judge, and he liked to think he was. But whoever it was seemed to make Leo happy.
Happy, and bearable to work with. Which just tickled Ezio's curiosity. That little character trait was part of why he and Leo got along so well.
Which means Ezio wanted to know, and so he was going to try to figure out.
That was why, the next time he dragged Leo out to dinner, Ezio shameless poked at the idea. "So," he asked with a grin. "Who is it?"
Leo blinked at him, having already selected his meal, and set the menu to the side. "Who is what?" he asked, all innocence and confusion. That just got a snort from Ezio.
"The person leaving all those bites. You do not hide them very well."
There was a flicker of complex expression over Leo's face, too fast for Ezio to read, and then the blond started to chuckle. "I believe he likes putting the marks where they are easy for others to see. He's...possessive."
The sheer amount of amusement on Leo's face made Ezio blink. "I'm not sure if I like that smile."
"You probably should not, my friend. I think he might want to make sure that -you- in particular know that I am not longer, er, on the market." That was definitely Leo trying to not laugh. "It seems he knows of your reputation. And wants to make sure I have not been lured back."
Ezio was staring. Just...staring. He knew his mouth was hanging open, and that he probably looked like an idiot, but he had not been expecting that. "And he...does not mind that we work together?"
"Oh, he does," Leo said easily. "Thus the marks." A sigh. "I won't say he was happy to find out about the fact that I had slept with you at one point and time, and I'm sure you noticed when that fight was happening. But we talked it out."
And right there, Ezio felt a massive surge of jealousy. That look right there.... There was a sudden ache as Ezio found himself thinking of Cristina. That was a relationship he missed.
"Ah, it seems he makes you happy. Do I know him?"
There was that complicated look again. "You do, but I do not think that I will be sharing who at this point."
Well, that was just Ezio's cue to harass the living hell out of his friend until the other man gave.
He didn't learn the name during dinner, but that meant Ezio just had time to plan. And from the look on Leo's face, the other man knew just what Ezio was plotting.
Well, what were friends for?