Natanael Renato Medina

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    Sighing because he knew that no matter what he said Lucrezia would either get upset, offended or delusional about it, he avoided the topic of children. All that mattered was her being safe and with him finding the perfect spouse that would please both father and sister and the rest of the Maker-damned Medina family. At times like this he was actually rather grateful that he was not a known member of the family, outside of the immediate family to the Prince of course. It also meant he could fuck and likely marry whomever he wanted. Still, Natanael was renowned for his poor taste in women! In terms of picking partners he and Lucrezia had that in common. "Shall I be getting on with my task then?" He asked, and indicated to the door. Truthfully he had other duties to be getting on with but since his sister was healed and well he felt like he could leave her alone.
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    "None of my friends would suit. They are all lower born or disfigured from fighting our enemies." Natanael could hardly heal everyone especially when he was supposed to be reserved for the Prince. If he was low on mana and the Prince needed healing he was sure that, despite being his son, Ignacio would have him killed. And if not Ignacio (because he was dead) then his wife. Lucrezia's mother needed less than that to have an excuse to execute the bastard. "So someone like you who's not ugly and is taller and muscled?" He asked, in summary. He figured that they'd have to be like her to have anything in common to speak about!
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    There was no way in the Void that Natanael was doing anything but sleep in her father's room, but that did not mean he could not snuggle with her. So, exhausted as he was, so much had happened that night after all, he sat on the bed with his boots off and his shirt on the chair. "Are you alright?" He asked her, and he beckoned for her to join him. Pulling back the blankets he then removed his trousers so he was naked (even if it was her father's bed Natanael was not sleeping with clothes on! Not ever! Not in Antiva!) then settled in the bed waiting for Serafina to join him.
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    "What in the world are you sorry for?" He asked, utterly perplexed! Laughing he hugged her with one, strong arm, almost companionably and then kissed her temple more lovingly. "They are exactly as I imagined them." He spoke with confidence, nodding his head firmly. "They are the best parts of you. The wonderful parts that make me laugh and smile." At that he pulled her into a full embrace, glad that she was home safely, especially after what she had learned that night. "Where shall we sleep tonight?" He asked, Natanael fully expecting to spend the night with her - he was not leaving her alone, no way, no how!
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    He knew the Morelli's and he thought he could help, but he said nothing about it, not until he knew he could actually do something to assist Serafina's family. So he sat next to her father and retold the story of how they met, omitting the things he knew he did not want anyone else to know - more specifically about his magic and him being the son of the Merchant Prince of House Medina! "We need to go back to that tavern for old times sake." Natanael joked. Even being out right now without guards was something his father would be angry at him for, but he hated going to his mother's with such a retinue. To the outside it seemed like he was an important lieutenant of the Prince, so he was often targeted by enemies. To those who served the Medici he was a captain, and to the family and close and trusted friends he was the Prince's healer, a mage. Then of course to the family, and now Serafina too, he was the bastard son of the Prince.
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    Natanael watched the chaotic household in silence, but with a smile, trying not to be in the way but also not seem "above" them. He was just a bastard after all but a lucky one. His father had provided for him for his entire life. He wondered if Serafina would let him help her with money? Or he could ask his father to give her a raise? Then it would not be so direct. Why he had not thought of it before was a little disconcerting, he had known of her poverty, but apparently needed to see it for it to sink in. "Who is the young man you are courting?" Natanael asked Serri. He wondered if he knew the boy and could perhaps aid in her endeavour.
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    It was not often that Natanael heard the native tongue of the Anders so he listened intently, truly fascinated by the harsh tongue! It was certainly not as elegant as Antivan but when Serafina spoke it the language sounded beautiful. Maker, you really -are- in love if you think that! He told himself and he smiled broadly at the thought. It was that moment that he was pulled into a crushing hug and he just about managed to pat the man on the back before he was released. "Hi?! Was all he managed, having had the wind squashed out of him! When he had recovered he told her father it was a pleasure to meet him, finally. Handing him the food his mother had packed, having looked around to see the cupboards bare, he said, "My mother's cooking is delicious." Making it seem like they had come to bring it would hopefully mean it would not be seen as charity, but as a gift from one parent to the other.
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    It was a first for Natanael too, in regards to meeting the parents! He'd never met another family member of a lover, let alone a parent! This was Serafina though, and he knew how important they were to her. What he had never really known, mostly because he had not grown up poor (his father had always provided for his mother), was how stretched her family truly was. Their home was not just simple, it was borderline slums and Natanael suddenly felt very guilty. Before they entered her house he said, "Are you sure about this? I don't want to push you..." He wanted to give her an out if she truly needed it, but did not realise it could be coming across as him chickening out at the last moment!
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    "Would it be too much for me to meet your family on the same night?" He asked, but he was quick to reassure her too! "I mean, I am up for it! I'd love to see where you came from." Even though they both had found out that very night about her true father Natanael was adamant that she was not a Medici. She was simply Serafina, a beautiful, common smuggler whom he was falling for, and falling hard. "Your call." He said, putting the decision back on her.
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    If it had not been for the fact that he knew they shared a father Natanael might have doubted it. His sister had the complete opposite approach to him in most things, including the matters of the heart. For Natanael what he liked was the most important, any flaws were to be accepted. Obviously if there was something glaringly opposed to him then he would not consider the woman, but to look for such flaws first, it was incomprehensible for the mage. "How about you tell me both?" He suggested. "What you don't want, and what you want?" That seemed like a fair compromise.
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    Lucrezia was a clever creature and when she was not being petulant or spoiled she showed the intelligence the Medina were known for. Sighing, but with relief, Natanael agreed. "Very well then." And gesturing for her to continue he said, "Give me the parameters and any names of those you would like on the list."
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    "No sister." Natanael sighed, taking a seat. "It is not." Truly, all he wanted for Lucrezia was for her to be happy and being loved was a huge part of that - for he thought it was. As much as she could be annoying and was a spoilt brat most of the time she was also a soft hearted girl, romantic in her own selfish way. "He won't let up though." He cautioned her. "And the more you fight it the harder he;ll push." It was their father's way, he always assumed his family would simply conform and most of the time they did. "So how about you go along with it, let some of these suitors visit and perhaps you'll find one you like? Or at least give you time to fall in love with someone of your choice." If Lucrezia asked him to help her elope Natanael knew he'd risk his father's wrath and do it. Better she have his help then perhaps end up with pirates again!
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    Natanael would not divulge how he'd gotten that necklace, but not because he was ashamed of it. He just preferred not to tell his mother where he got her things from! It spoiled the idea of giving of a gift! It was like telling her how much it had cost! Grasping Serafina's hand he interjected, "Mother knows about the illegitimate side of a Merchant Prince's business." And Gabriela nodded with understanding. "Everyone has to make a living, yours it basically the job of a merchant." She added with a wink. It was not long before Gabriela became tired, thought the real reason she seemed tired was because she as expecting a visitor. Not wanting to shoo them out she give Natanael a look that he knew all too well. It meant "Father is coming" and that meant he was to make himself scarce. "Shall we stay at yours tonight?" He asked while his mother put together some food for them to take with them. A mixture of leftovers and fresh cakes she had baked! Natanael nuzzled Serafina's neck, teasing her and urging her to make a decision.
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    Though Gabriela did not know the truth about Serafina she saw that something had change din her son. His smile seemed harder somehow, his resolve stiffened, and that worried her greatly. This was not the time to broach the subject but she knew she'd have to speak to him sooner rather than later, lest her son do something stupid. Already Natanael had been unwise by continuing to see Serafina even though he knew the truth. It was not her fault, nor his, so he did not see why they should suffer! Did his own father know the truth though? And could he trust his mother to keep that secret from the man he knew she loved (though in Nathaniel's opinion it was wrongfully... he did not approve of his parents relationship even now). The meal was divine, as it always was whenever his mother cooked. He of course insisted on cleaning up and ushered both women to sit by the fire. It was a brisk Antivan night and he closed the shutters to keep out the cold sea breeze. "So, Natanael tells me you work with the Merchant Prince?" At this point Gabriela had no idea that Serafina knew that Natanael was the bastard son and that she was a mistress to Ignacio.
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    He was not sure why it would shock her, but as he led her to the table in the beautiful kitchen he assured her that it was true, as did his mother. "Of course I spoke about you. Not least because you knew I was a mage." As she stirred the pot of food she was preparing Gabriela dispelled any doubts as well. "As for the dress, I think you look beautiful. A little dishevelled perhaps." At that she raised her eyebrow at her son that tutted. Not that Gabriela was judging them, she was a mistress was she not? No, she was used to her sons antics. "I know for a fact none of that fancy food back at that party would have filled you up. As a starter, fine, but please enjoy your main meal here." Gabriela dished up the food, serving them a typical Antivan dish consisting of fish in a spicy broth with sauted vegetables on the side and flat bread. After she opened and poured the white wine she posed a toast. "To Serafina." She said, smiling at the young woman. "And to both of your happiness."