RAIN

I am a simple girl. I don't care about dresses or delicacies. I hate the guards and the cruelties they encourage. Then I met Connor. He saved my life and so I have devoted myself to the Assassins and all they stand for. My parents are strongly opposed to it, but they'd never cared about me. Until now. My name is Clara, and this is my story

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12. Chapter 12

"Clara! Over there!" Shouts Connor. He points to the other side of the ships, where a platoon of redcoats has just arrived. I leap from the boat onto the pier, flicking out my hidden blades as I go. The guards surround me and one attacks. I dodge his sword and, nimble as a cat, I kick it aside and jump on the guard, stabbing him in the throat. He dies quickly, his blood staining my uniform. The night sky looms above me.

The guards attack again, two at a time. I duck under their swords and dispatch of them as well. I'm completely focused on my targets, each sword that comes is just a stick in the way. Soon, all the guards lie at my feet, and I'm barely out of breath. The same cannot be said for Connor.

He's on the other side of the ship. He's obviously tired, and has a much bigger group of redcoats to deal with. I run across the first boat and leap onto the second, swinging from a rope. I continue running like I didn't stop, and I reach Connor within seconds. We eventually kill all the guards, tired, but we can't stop, because there is still tea to be dumped, along with defending Stephane and William, and killing all the guards that try to stop us. I can see another, smaller group coming towards me.

"Connor, go!" I exclaim. He runs onto the boat and starts tossing crates, knowing I can take care of these redcoats. They see me, a woman in their way, and they start laughing, so I sprint towards them and kill who seems to be the leader. They stop laughing, and another fight begins. I dodge one guard's attack, but another attacks me from behind and makes a deep gash on my upper arm. I gasp in pain as hot blood trickles down my arm, onto my uniform, but I don't stop. As soon as all the redcoats are dead I run onto the ship again and keep dumping crates, my arm burning.

"This is the last of them!" Someone shouts.

Thank god. I think. I don't think I can remain standing for much longer, and my arm feels numb. Blood loss. Connor dumps one of the last crates overboard, and everyone cheers, except for Connor and I. We head back onto the pier, Connor holding a crate, when I see a group of three men standing away from us. I recognize one of them as Charles Lee, and I nearly run after him when I realize that would get both Connor and me killed. Connor makes a show of dropping his crate into the water, so they can all see, and then he walks off. I follow him, and we reach an inn where we can sleep tonight. Connor pays the owner, and as soon as we reach our room I let out a big, tired sigh. My arm suddenly twinges, and I gasp, clamping a hand over the wound. It's bled all over my uniform. Connor sees it.

"Clara!" He exclaims. I take off the top of my uniform, leaving the white shirt underneath on my body. Connor gets the sheet from the bed and rips two strips of fabric off it. He ties them around my arm, and then I realize something.

"There's only one bed." I say.

"You take it." Connor replies.

I'm not in the mood to argue, so I simply grab the pillow off it and place it on the floor next to the bed.

"Clara, get on the bed. You're injured." He says.

"No, you take the bed. I'm actually quite comfortable." I reply.

"Clara…"

"Fine. We'll share." I say, thinking this would make him uncomfortable. Surprisingly, he stays silent for a few seconds before nodding and sitting down on the bed. I get up, putting the pillow back on the bed, and we both lie down. It's not uncomfortable, or awkward, or even romantic. We're just two friends sharing a bed.

In the morning I wake up to a loud tapping on my window. There's a man there, and I know it's time. I quietly get out of the bed, leaving Connor sleeping peacefully. I open the window, climbing out into the night. I shut the window and follow the man to one of the many back gardens that are located around Boston. I look down from the roof, scanning the scene.

There are around ten people, standing in a group in the center of the garden. I recognize two of them as my parents, and a third as Charles Lee. I never really liked Charles, but now I look at him with hate and disgust.
I should be able to escape this fairly easily, if need be. I climb down from the roof and approach the group.

"What do you want?" I ask as I approach them.

"Oh, my darling. How are you?" Asks my mother. "Where have you been?"

I laugh. "Really? You call me "darling" after seventeen years of abuse? And I like how you were so subtle about the whole wanting to know where I've been thing." I say sarcastically. "Drop the act, and just tell me what you want, you bitch."

My father looks as if he's about to murder me, but Mother puts a restraining arm on his hand and he steps back.

"Very well, then." Charles says as he steps forward. "When you joined the Templars, you swore to uphold our principles, our secrets. Now you're an Assassin."

"I didn't join." I say. "You forced me to. Don't make it seem like it was my decision."

"When you joined the Assassins, you broke your word. Now, if you want to live, you're going to have to do something for us." Charles says.

I don't like where this is going, but I have to ask. "What do you want?"

"It's very simple. All you have to do is kill the savage." Charles smiles.

I gasp. "No." I say firmly.

Charles laughs mockingly. "Do you really think you have a choice? If you don't kill him, you die."

"Then kill me." I say. I'm prepared to die for him.

"Oh, we have a brave one here." Charles says. "Well, you appear to value other's lives more than your own, so maybe this will help; bring her out!" Charles calls.

From behind a fence, two men emerge, forcing a thin, unhealthy looking woman forwards as well. She is skin and bones, and her hair hangs in dirty strands around her face. Her face looks like a ghost's, but there is something familiar about her. Then my mouth drops.

It's Ruth.

"You bastards!" I scream. "What have you done?" I try to run forwards to Ruth, but two of the Templars stop me.

"Ruth is one of four lives at stake. Your brother, James, and his wife just had a child. A baby boy, named Theodore. You visited them in New York a while ago. If you don't kill Connor, the three of them, and Ruth, will be killed." Charles says.

I stare at Ruth desperately, wanting to run to her and comfort her, but I can't.

"No." I say weakly.

"Maybe a demonstration is in order." Charles says, walking towards Ruth, knife in hand.

"Stop!" I shout. Charles keeps walking. I try to run and catch him, but two of the Templars grab me and hold my shoulders, preventing me from moving. Charles continues onwards to Ruth and crouches in front of her. He holds up the knife and I begin to scream nonsense, begging for him to stop.

He doesn't listen, and his knife is plunged deep into Ruth's chest.

"NO!" I scream, tears streaming down my face. The Templars let go of me, and I sprint towards Ruth. Charles stands just as I reach Ruth.

"You have one week." He says.

The Templars exit the garden, leaving me alone with Ruth, who still breathes her last shuddering breaths.

"Ruth?" I ask quietly, tears dropping onto her chest.

"Oh, dear child." She says, gazing into my eyes.

"Ruth. I love you." I whisper, wiping my eyes.

"I love you too. Be strong, Clara." She says. I can barely hear her speak.

"Don't go." I beg.

"I love you, child." She says.

And with that her eyes take on a strange emptiness.

"Ruth?" I ask, pleading for her not to be dead. "Ruth, wake up." I cry. The tears flow down my cheeks, onto Ruth's face, and I sit back, onto the grass. I put my head between my knees and wrap my arms around my legs, crying until my eyes feel dry and I'm exhausted from the emotions I've felt tonight.

I feel the strongest sense of hate. At the Templars. At myself. At no one coming to help, even when they heard my screams.

And at Connor.

Because if it wasn't for him, Ruth would still be alive. James and his family wouldn't be in danger, and I wouldn't have to feel this way. Charles said I have a week to kill him.

I'll do it in a day.

Because it's all Connor's fault. He is the reason Ruth is dead.

And he will pay.

Connor ran along the rooftops, back to the inn where he and Clara were staying. He had left after Charles said Clara was a Templar; he hadn't heard anything else. Usually he would listen in on the whole meeting but he couldn't bring himself to do it. He had trusted Clara, called her a friend, but she had betrayed him. She was a Templar, and was most likely feeding information about him to the Templars. She was a traitor to the Assassins. Connor knew, deep in his heart, what he had to do. Even though Clara had betrayed him, he still felt a deep guilt and sadness about what he was going to do.

Clara had to die.

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