I was just nine years old; I wasn't old enough to take care of myself. I was in the car with my parents, staring out the window at the snow covered buildings. The roads were icy and the car lost control. We spun out of control and hit another car causing our car to roll. I remember my mom screaming and my dad yelling in Italian. My mom reached back searching for me calling out my name. I grabbed her hand crying, I was scared. I don't remember a lot of what happened next but the car finally quit rolling, we landed on the roof, upside down. Mom's hand had gone limp in my own, her screams silenced. Dad wasn't talking either. I started tugging on my mother's hand, begging her to talk to me. I fumbled with my seat belt and fell down onto the roof of the car. I slinked between the front seats to look at mom. Her eyes had a lifeless dull look in them and her face was torn up and her head was bleeding profusely. I looked over at daddy with tears in my eyes, his head was bleeding too. I cried and crawled slowly out of the car window. I got out looking around to find someone to help me and save my mom and dad. I was running towards a building when I felt a wave of heat and heard an explosion. I turned around and I saw that the car was on fire now. I crumbled to my knee's bawling my eyes out. Mom and dad were dead, I was all alone. I had sat there for maybe five minutes crying before I heard the wail of the sirens. I wiped away my tears and ran into an alley way. I hid behind the dumpster and watched as the firemen out the fire and then pried open the car. They took mom and dad's bodies away and I whimpered. They didn't know I was in the car too so they didn't come looking for me. No came looking for me.

I walked around aimlessly down dark alley ways avoiding anyone. I didn't want to be found, I had no one now. I didn't know what to do, I had no one but I couldn't survive long on the streets. I finally curled up in a doorway and cried. Suddenly the door opened and I looked up to see a tall man, mostly a shadow. I scrambled back into the alley way with a gasp. He was taller than me and he intimidated me. His voice came out in a low growl.

"Who are you?"

"Alessia." I stood there looking at him, trying to see his face which was still hidden in shadow.

"What's your last name Alessia?"

"DeLuca. Who are you?" I heard him swear softly in Italian, daddy used to swear in Italian when he was really frustrated.

"Your parents are the one who died in that car accident aren't they?"

"Yes, I was in the car with them but I got away before the car blew up."

"Merda. How old are you Alessia?"

"I'm 9. My birthday's next month though."

"Do you have any family to go to?"

"No. They're all gone, now mom and daddy can join them." I started crying again.

"Please don't cry Alessia. Come here." He walked over to me and picked me up in his arms, cradling me. I threw my arms around his neck, sobbing into his shirt. He walked back into the house with me in his arms stroking my hair and soothing me.

"You can stay here with me and my mentor if you'd like Alessia."

"Thank you mister."

"Think nothing of it; it's just Oscura by the way. My mentors name is Antonio. He'll take you in under his wing until you're old enough to live on your own. Now go to sleep; you seem exhausted."

I nodded and snuggled into his chest; he just looked down at me and smiled. He wrapped his arms tighter around me, more protective. He got comfy in a rocking chair and threw a blanket over us. He started to sing softly to me. I fell asleep wrapped around him, breathing him in, feeling completely comfortable even though I just met Oscura a few minutes ago.

The large church bell down the street tolled out 7 times; telling everyone it's time to get up and start your day. I slowly opened my eyes and looked out the window. It was a beautiful day here in Venice and the sun was streaming in through my window warming my skin. I heard Oscura get up in the room next to me and I smiled at the dream I had last night. That was when I came here ten long years ago. I still wept some nights for my parents, I wept for the life I lost and the family I lost. I wept for the loss of our mentor Antonio. He was growing old and thankfully he passed away peacefully. I lay in bed listening to the sounds of my beautiful city. The vendors in the market yelling about their fresh produce, children running and laughing, mothers calling after them to stay close, the sound of someone playing their guitar and the familiar sounds of Oscura. He was walking into the kitchen getting ready to start breakfast. He did this every morning for ten years. When I met him, he was eleven. I'm now nineteen and he's twenty one, not that big of a difference really.

Oscura is my best friend, my brother, my mentor, my sparring partner. When Antonio died, he taught me everything he knew, everything that Antonio had taught him. He became my mentor, teaching me the art of being an assassin. We started training shortly after my tenth birthday. Antonio said I had great potential and a natural skill, saying that I was most comfortable and most efficient when using a long blade. It didn't bother me that they were training me to become a killer. After the accident with my parents, I thought about death completely different. Death would be served one way or another and sometimes, people would deliver it to those who make bad decisions. I would train every day, learning new techniques with Antonio and practicing them with Oscura. When we would spar, we always used real blades. We never practiced with fencing blades because it was completely different than a real blade and it didn't train you properly. We were always careful not to hurt each other though.

We always had bruises but never did we have cuts or wounds. Oscura has scars all over his chest from something that happened when he was a child but he's yet to tell me yet. He keeps promising he'll tell me one of these days but I don't know when he will. I don't pry because I'm respectful of him and I don't want to ruin that. I have many scars too, all over my body. Whether they're from battles with other people, a clumsiness I've grown out of, or battles with my targets. I don't mind if they show but I don't tell the story behind them often. Most are on my arms and stomach, a few on my back and legs.

I get out of bed slowly and I stretch, pulling all 5 feet 10 inches of my body up towards the ceiling. My muscles are especially stiff this morning because I fell asleep curled up against Oscura reading a book again. I do that a lot though so I'm used to the stiffness. I'll work the aches out of my body in a little while when I spar with Oscura. I pull a ponytail holder off my wrist and tie up my long fiery red hair. When it's down it usually falls to the middle of my back, maybe a little lower. I put it up in a high bun so it's out of the way. My bangs sweep over my right eye, hiding one of my dark chocolate colored eyes. I slip on some skinny jeans and a cami top. I look in a mirror and make sure I look semi decent before I walk out into the hallway. I shut the door gently behind me and walk into the kitchen to the smell of omelets. Oscura is the best cook I know and his omelets are to die for! I step lightly into the kitchen careful not to make any sound. I study the back of Oscura admiring him.

He has shaggy black hair that constantly covers his left eye. His eyes are a deep brown almost black. He has a strong chiseled face that leads down to a long neck and broad strong shoulders. He's only wearing boxers so you can see all the scars on his back. On his right shoulder blade he has a tattoo of a white Siberian tiger. It's his favorite animal and he has tiger traits. He stalks silently, pounces lightly and his attacks are deadly. His arms and legs are long and muscular and I think about how much time he spends working out. He doesn't go for body builder muscles; he works for sleek muscles just like a tiger. I slowly creep up behind him, slowly sliding a kitchen knife from the stand on the counter next to me. Careful not to make a sound, I stalk up until I'm right behind him. I grab his right arm and pull it behind him pinning him against the stove and I press the knife against his throat.

"Morning."

We do this at random times, spar just for the hell of it. We're both used to being snuck up on and having various weapons pressed against our bodies. He just chuckles and spins so fast I momentarily get confused. He spins out of my grip and grabs the arm that's holding the knife pulling it behind my own body. He pulls me to his body, pressing against my backside and presses his own knife to my throat.

"Morning, yield?" That's what he'll ask when he wants me to give up.

"Never."

I quickly kick out my left leg knocking his left leg out of his stance causing him to lose his balance. His grip loosens ever so slightly and I spin out of it. He quickly regains his stance and we stand facing each other, each of us with a knife in our hands. We grin at each other and we begin fighting again. He lunges towards me and I dart to the side avoiding the knife by a few centimeters. I spin around and throw up my leg delivering a round house kick to his jaw. He catches my calf in his hand easily and he squeezes just right and my calf freezes up. I have a trick nerve in my right calf and when I hit it right, I get muscle cramps from hell. Sometimes they hurt enough to make me cry and it takes a lot of physical pain to make me cry. Only Oscura knows about my trick nerve and he grins mischievously at me, still holding my calf in his hand.

"I give!"

He nods and let's go of my leg letting it drop. I lean down and grimace in pain.

"You asshole, you never fight fair in the mornings."

"It's not my fault you have a trick nerve and I just happen to know where it is Alessia. Here, sit down and lean your back against the cabinet."

I did as I was told and he sat down across from me mirroring my actions perfectly. He pulled my calf into his lap and slowly started massaging it. His fingers knew exactly where to rub and how much pressure to use. It felt like heaven and each time he did it, I found myself melting in his hands. Whenever he'd set of my nerve I would give in immediately, the pain to unbearable. He'd always massage it out for me causing the cramps to stop. He didn't play the nerve card on me often but when he did, he played it perfectly. Right when I wasn't expecting it and always when he knew I had a chance of winning. I would wake up in the middle of the nights sometimes crying out in pain it hurt so bad, I hated when I got them in the night. It would interrupt my sleep and it took me an hour or so to work the cramp out myself and fall back asleep. Oscura though would come in no matter how late it was and he'd massage it out for me and that would help in two ways. One getting rid of my muscle cramp, and two it would make me fall asleep faster.

He slid his hands slowly up my calf to my thigh and started needing slowly. I took in a small gasp because it felt so good. I hate to admit this but he was turning me on. He looked me deep in the eyes and I saw that his eyes had gone completely black. I know my own eyes had darkened as well. When he spoke his voice came out deeper and lower, huskier.

"Flip over."

I nodded slightly barely remembering to breath. I flipped over and I lay down on my stomach. His hands ghosted up both my calves and to my thighs. He kneaded my thighs a little longer than necessary but I didn't mind, my breath catching in my throat. He slid his hands up further, resting momentarily on my ass before continuing up. He started working on my lower back, pushing his thumbs into my stiff muscles. He continued rubbing his thumbs and palms into my back all the way to my neck. He stopped for a moment and pulled me up gently until I was sitting against him, my back pressed to his chest. He continued massaging my neck again until all my muscles were relaxed and loose. I snuggled into him a little and he dropped his hands to around my waist, wrapping his arms around me. He pulled me in tight against him and I felt his boner pressing against my back. I blushed a little but closed my eyes and reveled in the feeling of being here with him.

Sometime later, I wasn't really paying attention to the time, he kissed my neck gently. I moaned softly and he nipped at my neck. He slowly pushed me forward and we stood up stretching our muscles.

"Do you want your omelet cold or would you like me to make you a new one?"

"Cold is fine, thanks Oscura."

He just nodded and set my plate on the breakfast nook. I sat on one of the bar stools and dug into my omelet. It was cold on the outside but the cheese in the middle was still warm and melty. It was delicious. I moaned out my approval and continued eating. I looked up and caught Oscura's gaze. He smiled at me and continued eating his own food. When we were done we cleaned up the dishes and he went to his room to change.

"I'll meet you in the gym."

We had a small gym on the next level of the house and that's where we would train. I didn't feel like working out yet so I got out my sai set and started working on my spins. My back was to the door but I heard Oscura walk in. I spun around and threw one of my sai's at him. He caught it easily by the blade and cocked an eyebrow at me. I just shrugged and he walked over to me handing me my sai. I thanked him and put my blades back in their case. I pulled out my long blade and turned towards him, raising an eyebrow. I was silently asking him if he wanted to spar with me. He didn't answer, didn't nod, just pulled out his own long blade. I spun my blade around a bit in a few circles and looked up at him. He nodded to me and I nodded back both of us signaling that we were ready. I lunged at him, aiming for his chest. He quickly darted out of the way and did a back flip landing lightly on his feet behind me. I quickly spun around and ducked, missing his swing by a centimeter. I spun low to the ground and kicked out my left leg knocking him off balance. He quickly regained his balance and lunged towards me. He spun his leg out and hit me behind my knees, knocking me feet from beneath me. I fell to the ground landing on my back letting out an oomph of air. He pinned my arms above my head with one hand and held his sword to my throat with the other.

"Yield."

"Never."

I kneed him in the groin and his automatic response was to clutch himself letting out a moan of pain. I used that instant to slide out from underneath him and flip him onto his back. I pinned him down and put my blade to his throat.

"Give up yet?"

"Not even close."

He rolled us over and I thought I could flip from under him again because he had to weapon. His sword had been lost when I pinned him. I was very wrong though; never suspect an assassin has only one main weapon, especially Oscura. He pulled out a small dagger and held it to my throat. He looked at me and gave me a mischievous grin. I just smiled at him and hit him in the throat sliding out from under him again. He was gasping for breath, I didn't' hit him hard so he regained it quickly. I was standing behind him when he spun around and I meant to catch his arm. Instead his blade sliced through the skin of my arm. I felt the sting and ignored it; I punched Oscura in the gut. He caught my arm and pulled me close to him. He had pulled me with such force when we smacked together you could hear an audible 'thump'.

"Yield."

"Fine, just let me go so I can fix my arm."

"No thanks, I'm good." I raised an eyebrow at him and he just grinned.

"And why's that?"

"I rather like it here." To emphasize his point he bent his head down and kissed my collar bone lightly sucking his way up to my neck; kissing my weak spot. I groaned and tried to pull away from him. It was a useless effort.

"Just let me go. Please. My arm hurts like hell and I want to fix it."

He let go of me and walked over to the closet pulling out a first aid kit. He motioned for me to come over to him and I did. I held out my arm to him and he wrapped my arm up with gauze, cleaning of the blood.

"Thanks."

"Anytime, sorry I cut you."

"It's fine."

A/N what'd you guys think? Hope you like my story!! Please review and tell me what you think!!