Leonardo de Brentzio awoke as the last rays of sunlight were fading from the day. One of Lady Veldana's servants waited patiently near the door, offering from a small platter a hot towel and a glass of thick, dark liquid. Leonardo accepted both cheerfully, washed his face and quickly gulped down his breakfast. It was a strange life to acclimate to, this undeath, and he often longed to return home to his native Venice, but he found a dark pride in the speed of his adjustment. His sire, Lady Veldana Deschaine, had Embraced him only weeks before, and there was much she had yet to teach him. But she was often quick to praise him for his progress, and he wasted little time in learning all he could about his new condition.
As Leonardo dressed for the evening, a knock at the door heralded a visit from the Lady of the house. He was quickly shedding his mortal propensity for modesty, but despite his lessons he still lost to the urge to cover his knickers before she entered. The habits of a lifetime, he was all too aware, were not so easily broken. He had barely managed to wrap himself in one of the blankets when Lady Veldana walked in. She could not help but laugh at the sight of him, his hair tousled from sleep, a droplet of blood still lingering at his lips, and clutching at the blanket as though he were a naughty child caught by his governess. He was certain he would have blushed, had he still been capable of it, and found himself laughing along with her. His fingers relinquished their grip on the smooth satin, and he forced himself at ease in her presence despite his state of undress. With a wave she signaled him to continue dressing as she went to the windows, opening the shutters and letting in the first glimmers of the evening moon.
When he was dressed, she motioned him to follow her and led him downstairs into her private library. He groaned inwardly, anticipating yet another night of reading. In his mortal life, he could never have imagined himself growing sick of study, but after almost a month of nothing but sleeping and reading, he was feeling quite restless.
"Theory first, my Childe. Then practice," Lady Veldana had told him each time he expressed his desire to leave the manor. Leonardo knew she was right, of course; it was a deeply complex, dangerous world she had brought him into, and he would have been a fool to try and navigate it on his own. He was still merely a fledgling, but he had attended enough courts with his sire to know that his situation was quite fortunate. Many young Kindred were never so thoroughly educated in the ways of their Clans, and were forced to learn through trial and error. And as he knew even from his mortal life, mistakes could prove fatal far too easily.
So the night passed, as so many before it and countless after, in quiet study and contemplation. Every few hours a servant or maid would appear in the library with a chalice of fresh vitae, allowing him to focus his full attention on the books and scrolls before him. And oh, such wondrous tomes there were to explore! Detailed histories of each of the Clans and their bloodlines, accountings of wars and treaties and coup d'etats that he had never imagined or suspected as a mortal, memoirs and biographies that shed new light on tales of history that he'd once taken at face value. Textbooks from scholars and philosophers both renowned and unknown, detailing fascinating new branches of science and mathematics. Entire volumes of poetry, plays, and prose from some of the most celebrated authors in existence, some presumed lost or completely unknown to the world at large. Leonardo burned through them all voraciously, committing so much to memory that at times he felt his head would simply burst.
And then there were the texts of his own Clan, the House of Tremere. The legends of the primogenitor Tremere and the beginnings of his namesaked bloodline, the treacheries committed against the Salubri and the Tzimisce, the creation and refinement of the Clan's blood magic, Thaumaturgy, and its rise to prominence within the folds of the Camarilla. All of it fascinated Leonardo, but at the same time, it filled him with a deep sense of distrust of his own Clan and with Kindred politics in general. He once mentioned his feelings on the matter to Lady Veldana, and she had merely smiled and nodded slyly. "Your distrust merely proves what I already knew, my Childe: that your wisdom is well beyond your experience, and your potential is beyond my scope..."
~New York, Present Day~
Leon was jarred awake by the slamming of the front door. He craned his hearing throughout the apartment and confirmed what he suspected: that Neko had gone out again. He shrugged, shifted in his chair and licked his chapped lips, and drifted back to sleep.