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


14. Chapter 14

I run along the rooftops, hoping Connor isn't up yet. I am so angry, and so grief-stricken that nothing makes sense, yet everything is clear. I can't explain it; all I know is that I want Connor to die for what he's done to me.

When I reach the inn, I climb in the window and look at Connor sleeping. I could kill him now, but something isn't right. He should die differently. I'll wait until we're back at the homestead; Achilles should be near when it happens. He doesn't deserve to die, but he did play a role in all of this.

I don't want to share the same bed as the savage, but I know I have to if I want to pull this off. I get into the bed and I lie there for hours. I can't sleep, but eventually I fall into unconsciousness.

I dream of Ruth. She's plump and happy, red cheeked as usual. She walks over to me and hugs me.

"Kill him." She says, handing a knife to me. Suddenly Connor is in a bed next to us, and I take the dagger from Ruth. I stand over Connor with the knife in hand, and as I look over him I laugh.

I hit the floor, hard. I must have rolled out of bed. Connor sleeps on, thankfully, but the dream still flares within my mind. I know I have to kill him now, and I don't feel happy about it. I don't feel sad. It's just another kill.

I take out my old knives from before I was an Assassin. Somehow it seems fitting that they should be the weapons to kill Connor. I stand over him and I raise the knife to my cheek level. They glint in the morning sunlight, which is just beginning to rise. I remember the homestead; how the sun would rise over the cliff, sending streaks of light across the bay. Then something clicks inside my head. A realization.

I can't do it. I can't kill Connor.

I drop the knives to my sides.

Connor has saved my life, multiple times. He's saved so many other people's lives, as well. He is brave and loyal and I realize that this isn't his fault. How could I think it was? He had nothing to do with Ruth's death. It was one man, and one man alone, who killed Ruth. It was Charles Lee.

Tears run down my cheeks again. I drop the knives onto the floor, clattering loudly, and I close my eyes.

Suddenly I'm thrown against the wall.

My eyes snap open and as I land hard on the ground Connor crouches over me, fury bright in his eyes. He holds a hidden blade to my throat.

"Connor!" I yell. "What are you doing?"

"You are a Templar!" He shouts back. "You have betrayed me!"

"Connor, you don't know the whole story! Get off me!"


I stop struggling against him. I lie still and take deep breaths, trying to calm down.

"Ratonhnhaké:ton." I say in a softer voice.

"Don't call me that!" Connor snarls.

"Please, listen. I am a Templar. It was not my choice. I was forced." I say.

He looks taken aback. "By who?" He asks suspiciously.

"Charles Lee. My parents. They killed Ruth." I say, my eyes itching, and I know I'm about to cry. I have to hold out until I can explain to Connor.

"I heard you at the Templar meeting." He says.

"You didn't hear all of it. They ordered me to kill you. I was going to, because I thought it was your fault Ruth was dead, but I know it isn't. Please, you have to believe me. I am not a Templar. I'm an Assassin." I say. "They threatened my brother, his family as well."

Connor lifts the blade off my neck, but keeps me on the floor.

"I believe you. But you have betrayed me. I trusted you, but you betrayed me and now I can't trust you. We will go back to Achilles and he will decide what to do." Connor says.

"Connor…" I say, not sure what to say next.

He gets off me and I stand up. Connor not trusting me… It's almost as bad as losing Ruth.

"Is there any possibility we will be friends again? Will you ever trust me?" I ask, doubtful. But I have to know.

Connor sighs.

"No." He says. He leaves the room and I stand there, shocked. It hurts. My chest hurts with the grief of Ruth's death and now Connor. He has been my only friend, my mentor. And now he's gone too.

I run out of the room. Connor is waiting downstairs, and we exit the inn silently. We walk to where our horses were and we spend the day riding in silence. As night falls, we stop and Connor goes to collect firewood again, but when he returns we don't speak. He builds a fire and we go to sleep almost immediately. I fall asleep a little while after Connor, but I hold my emotions in. As from this moment, my emotions will stay inside.

That is not going to happen.

I wake up to hear a rustling behind me. I stay completely still, and then I hear a gun click. I can see Connor is awake too, but only I can tell.

Suddenly he springs up and I do the same. I can see a platoon of redcoats surrounding us, and as we move chaos erupts. I dodge attacks and take care of some of the redcoats. Connor is in trouble, and I run over to help him. We fight together, but it doesn't have the same feeling of comraderie. Together, we kill the redcoats, and I turn to Connor, not really sure what I'll find. On the ground I see a redcoat who I thought was dead. He raises his gun and points it at Connor. I run towards Connor and just as the redcoat is about to fire I jump on Connor, both of us landing hard on the ground. I hear the gunshot and then Connor jumps up, leaping onto the redcoat and killing him. I stand up and suddenly I feel… odd. I look down to see a bloodstain spreading rapidly across the lower half of my chest. Connor hasn't seen it yet.

"Are you alright?" He asks, still not looking. I can't answer, and he looks over at me to see why I haven't answered. He sees the blood, and I sway. I fall to the ground and Connor catches me just before my head hits the ground.

"Clara?" He asks, fearful and worried.

I struggle to breathe, but for some reason I feel the need to make a joke.

"Friends?" I ask softly, even though it hurts. I gasp as a sudden pain shoots through my chest.

"Friends." He agrees, nodding. He grabs my hands and holds them to his chest, and I think I see his eyes watering. He leans forward and presses his forehead to mine.

Connor picks me up and just as my vision fades my head rests against Connor's chest. His heart is drumming fast, faster than it would beat from a simple fight. He's worried, scared. And it comforts me.

Connor arrived at the homestead with Clara. She was still breathing, just, and unless he could get her to Achilles soon he knew she would die. And that was something Connor couldn't bear to think of.

"Achilles!" Roared Connor as he lifted Clara off the horse. Connor ran up to the house with Clara in his arms and Achilles appeared at the door.

"What happened?" Asked Achilles urgently.

"She was shot by a redcoat." Answered Connor quickly as they rushed into the kitchen. Achilles swept everything off the kitchen table and Connor laid Clara on the table. Achilles opened Clara's uniform and saw the gunshot wound.

"I may be able to save her. I'm not sure yet. Leave me to try, but come immediately if I call." Achilles said urgently.

Connor nodded and walked out of the kitchen. He sat in the living room and stared at the fire that was burning in the fireplace. He sat in the same chair for hours, not knowing what was happening in the kitchen. When the sun was beginning to set, Connor heard Achilles' footsteps approach him from the kitchen. Connor turned around, saw Achilles' face and leapt up from the couch, sprinting into the kitchen and feeling sick. He ran into the kitchen, and as he saw Clara's body, he approached her with his chest feeling tight. She looked like death; pale and still. Connor remembered the night at the inn, where he had intended to kill her. He had been sure she was a Templar, but recent events had changed his mind. Clara would not have sacrificed herself if she was a Templar; she would have let him be killed.

Connor took Clara's hand in his and held it. It was cold. He picked her up gently and took her upstairs, into her room. Achilles had closed Clara's uniform again, and Connor laid her on her bed softly.

As the hours passed, Clara's breathing became less labored. Her eyelids fluttered but never opened. Connor sat himself in a chair beside her bed, unwilling to leave her side.

My chest burns, as if it's on fire. Even though I should be screaming in pain, I can only manage one word.

"Connor!" I exclaim as my chest sends a surge of fire up my spine.

I look to my side and see Connor sitting on a chair, half asleep. Through the pain, I smile, stupidly glad to see him. Connor leans forward, looking into my eyes and as my chest burns again I grab his hand, squeezing it hard as my chest sends more fire upwards.

I wake up, my chest sore. I cough, which hurts a lot, and Connor enters my room, looking worried.

"Clara!" He exclaims softly as he rushes over to my bed. "How are you feeling?"

"Never better." I say weakly, but I manage to pull of the sarcasm. "How long have I been asleep?"

"Three days. You're lucky; your armor deflected most of the damage. Achilles says you should be back to health in a month." Connor says.

He sits down in the chair next to my bed.

"Thank you for coming. When I called you." I say.

"It is nothing." Connor replies.

I sigh, but my chest hurts. "We need to talk. About my being a Templar." I say.

Connor nods.

"I am so sorry. I've betrayed you. But you must believe me. I am an Assassin now. I was forced to become a Templar by my parents, and Charles Lee. I can understand if you won't forgive me, but if we could… someday… regain our friendship, I would like that very much." I tell him.

Connor chuckles. I stare at him for a second, because I've never heard him chuckle before. I love the sound of it.

"Clara, you saved my life. I am in your debt. Of course I forgive you." He says. He leans forward and takes my hand in his. I begin to cry.

"Clara, what's wrong?" Asks Connor, bewildered.

"Ruth is dead." I reply softly.

Connor turns sympathetic. He rubs my hand in his, and lets me cry. After a while, I stop, and he gets up to leave. I hold on to his hand.

"Please, stay." I request. Connor smiles a small smile just for me, and sits down on my bed.

"Thank you." I whisper. I lie my head on his lap, and Connor stiffens up. After a second he relaxes and puts his feet up on the bed, and I lift my head up. Connor wriggles down until our heads are next to each other's, and I rest my head on his chest, listening to the sound of his heartbeat. It's calm, and soon it lulls me into a deep sleep.

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