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Please Allow Me My Selfish Desires This Once

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Cesare was a selfish being, something he knew well. As a child he had given up much by no choice of his own. First his mother, then her image. He gave up his childhood as he spent all hours of the day and night being taught in the ways of a Cardinal and aristocrat. On how to rule a people and playing the political field, instead of the games or nursery rhymes of children his age.

 

While his father made sure he wanted for nothing in terms of food and finery, the things he truly wanted his father would never permit him. There were very few things were given to him that were not taken away in due time in order to further his position or studies. Miguel, so far, was the one exception.

 

Miguel da Corella was much like himself, had his family, childhood, and life taken from him due to a mix of bad luck and the blood he carried in his veins. Though some dark part of Cesare was grateful to God for making this so, because it brought Miguel to him. He was his only companion in childhood, suffering through hours of constant study in a language he was still struggling to understand. Weathered Guilla’s harsh tutoring, lectures, or scoldings even when he hadn’t been the one at fault. Invented what games they could in the very little time they had to themselves, vanquishing imaginary monsters in the courtyard practicing what new sword techniques they had learned in class hours before

 

They grew up together, nothing was kept secret from the other and everything that could be was shared. While to the outside world they were nothing more than Master and Servant, he considered Miguel to be more his brother than those tied to him by blood. He knew Miguel would be loyal to him without question and would sacrifice his life in a heartbeat for him. He had already killed men to protect Cesare, and followed him into the corrupt world of political gain despite Cesare giving him the option to leave him and go to the new world multiple times. He knew that in Roma his father might end up seeing Miguel as expendable or command him to lay down his life for one of his plans. However, Miguel was his alone. Only he would be allowed to give him orders. His father had given Miguel to him to help him in life, and Cesare intended to keep him. He wouldn’t allow Miguel to fall into harm, or at least any he could see or prevent from coming. There were more expendable people for that.

 

Angelo da Canossa was either a gift or a curse sent to him by God, but it was one he would accept willingly even if the man managed to bring him to ruin. He was a bright and pure light in the sickly black taint that was constantly threatening to swallow both he and Miguel whole on his path the Papacy. He saw good in everyone, and was innocent at heart of all the rot of that clung to men seeking to gain status. For awhile Cesare suspected him of being a spy sent to destroy his family’s future, the more time they spent together though it became obvious this was not the case. To say Angelo was naive in the ways of the world was putting it mildly, he was too trusting of people and uncomprehending of the political powers at play. Admittedly he used this to his advantage at times, once having Angelo sneak him out under the noises of his guards, dressed in the clothing of a Florentine, and taking him to the local festival. It was the most enjoyable and enlightening day he could ever remember having. Still while Angelo was ignorante in worldly affairs he was very insightful and ‘revolutionary’ in the ways of philosophy. His mouth however constantly led him into trouble. While Angelo didn’t mean any actual offense by his words, when said they were bluntly honest, causing men to resort to violence in response. If it weren’t for himself and Miguel, he was fairly certain the man would have met his end already. In the end it was these factors that relieved Cesare of his suspicions. The man was wise, not cunning, and no more capable of being a spy than an orange pretending to be an apple.

 

Angelo kept Cesare on his toes, constantly questioning his ability to rule and his ways of doing things. He never reprimanded Cesare, the Florentine was always respectful and sure of his station when they were together, but he’d always remind him that there were consequences to all his actions and that in a fight amongst kings and lords, it was the common people who suffered the most.

 

His time at University was quickly coming to an end. He had his degree and soon he would be sent to Rome to take his seat as a cardinal and help his father ascend to the papacy. The little freedoms he had gained from being so far out from under his father’s thumb would be at and end. He and Miguel would remain together, bound as close as brothers, but there was someone they would be leaving behind. Someone he didn’t want to leave behind. Angelo. It may have been selfish of him to want to keep the man close. He was one of the few people who didn’t want anything from him, who Cesare could let his mask down around. He was certain Miguel felt the same way, after all he had killed a man to protect Angelo’s life against Cesare’s own orders. He’d also seen and heard about the two walking and talking together quite often around Pisa. He wouldn’t be surprised if Miguel needed Angelo’s light just as much as he. It was a selfish desire that led him to request Angelo be Giovanni Medici’s aid as he was sent off to Roma. Angelo was more happy working among his fellow craftsmen and living among the people of his status. He would be better off staying in Firenze far away from Cesare and the suffocating political rot in Roma. Cesare however was allowed to keep very few things in his life, and he considered Angelo to be his as much as Miguel. The two kept him human, kept him grounded, and come what may, he would keep the two of them close to him for as long as God would allow.