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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15. Chapter 15

I walk outside, into the cold rain. Achilles stands at the edge of the cliff, looking grim. As I approach him, he turns around and walks to the graves of his wife and son. I notice a third grave next to them, freshly dug.

"Whose grave is that?" I ask loudly over the sound of the rain.

Achilles turns to me, his face streaked with tears. I look at the grave.

HERE LIES

Connor Kenway.

A loyal Assassin, may he rest in peace.

"My heart belongs to you, my dearest love. Clara."

I turn to Achilles, my face horror-struck. Tears well up in my eyes, and Achilles suddenly glares at me.

"This is your fault." He growls. Suddenly he pulls out Connor's tomahawk and runs at me with impossible speed. As he reaches me and just as the blade hits my skull a white light fills my vision.

"Clara!" I hear a voice shout. It's deep, comforting.

I realize someone is pinning my wrists down on the bed. I open my eyes, which are wet with tears, and I see Connor's face.

"Oh, Connor!" I gasp, suddenly overcome with a strange emotion. I sit up quickly, ignoring the pain from my chest, and I hug Connor around his neck. He is completely bewildered by my strange action, but hesitantly hugs me back. I cry into his neck.

"Clara, what is wrong?" He asks.

I continue to cry for a few moments before I get a hold on myself.

"I'm sorry." I say, ashamed that Connor's seen me cry. "I'm being childish. I had a dream, that's all."

"What was the dream about?"

"You died. Achilles tried to kill me." I reply. I look into Connor's brown eyes, staring deep into them, not really sure of what I'm trying to accomplish.

He stares back before leaning forward, hugging me again.

"Do not worry. I will never leave." He says softly.

We lean backwards and stare at each other. I can feel something, deep inside my heart, like a beast is stirring from a long sleep.

The beast rubs it's eyes a few times. It's not so much a beast as a flame, something that has been long dead inside me. The flame grows, feeding on my complex emotions, until it feels as if my whole chest is alight with it. It continues to grow, larger and larger until It's not a single flame but a ravenous fire, threatening to consume me.

Then I hear a knock at my bedroom door, and Achilles walks in. He sees Connor and I sitting on the bed and chuckles before leaving the room. I sigh, and sit back, resting against the headboard. The fire dulls back into a single flame. Still just as bright, but it has been contained.

For now.

A month passes. I am restrained to my bed for the first week, but as the days pass I am allowed further out from my prison. I long to run, to leap through the air, to hunt, but I know I would only worsen my injury.

So I wait. Not very patiently, but I wait all the same.

Connor and I talk whenever he isn't training. I thought I knew him, after our many months of training with him, but this is a different side. Before, I knew his personality. Now I know his emotions. I make him laugh. As we grow closer he reveals his emotions more until we are almost completely open to each other. He laughs regularly, as do I, and on the few times when we mention parents or other such depressing topics, Connor suddenly turns sad. He had told me about his mother's horrible death long ago, but he had said it with a stone face.

Then one day, Achilles finally lets me train again. My chest is healed almost completely, though there is a large scar where the bullet had entered. I can hear Connor training near the stables, so I don my Assassin robes and weapons. I run down the stairs and out to the stables to surprise Connor. As I reach him he turns to me and a happy, surprised look lights up his face.

"Clara! Why are you out?" He asks.

"Achilles said I've healed!" I reply happily. I flick out my hidden blades and smile at Connor, challenging him. He flicks out his blades as well, and I approach him, impatient for the fight to start. As I take the first strike, I can feel Connor going easy on me, but I still find it hard to even come close to his strength. He strikes and I whip up my arm to stop him, but I barely slow him. If it weren't for Connor's quick reflexes, my head would be rolling on the ground right now. I am quite disappointed, but I suppose it was bound to happen. I haven't used any muscle for a month.

"You need to help me regain my strength." I demand, looking at Connor sternly.

"Very well. Follow me." He says.

He leads me to the barn and lifts me up to I can grab hold of a wooden beam.

"Pull yourself up." He commands.

I try, but I can only get halfway up. I keep pushing myself, letting myself shout out in frustration. I grunt and finally heave myself up, balancing easily. At least I haven't lost my co-ordination; just my power. I make a noise of frustration. I look down at Connor, who is looking sympathetic but amused.

"What?" I snap.

"You make the most curious noises." He replies.

I give Connor my most powerful, chilling glare, and he laughs once before lifting his arms up for me to jump into. My pride gets in the way, though, so I decide to jump down just next to him.

It doesn't work like that.

Connor moves to just below me, and catches me before I hit the ground. I would have broken something if he hadn't caught me, but I am still slightly irritated.

Then I notice Connor still hasn't put me down.

I look at him, the irritation draining out of me in seconds, and my heart beats faster. We stare at each other, and then Connor clears his throat and puts me down, stepping back. His face has the same emotionless mask as before, and I blush, embarrassed.

If he doesn't make a move soon I'll have to take matters into my own hands.

We continue as before but then I hear a knock at the door of the main house. I walk out of the barn and see who it is.

A man, dressed in settler's clothes, is knocking at our door. I run over to him.

"Excuse me." I say as I approach, pushing my hood down as I go.

He turns around and smiles broadly.

"Hello, madam. I am looking for a man called Achilles. I'm supposed to deliver some supplies to him." The man says. "I'm George." He adds, holding out his hand. I take it, and he kisses the back of my hand. I roll my eyes when he isn't looking.

"I'm Clara. Achilles is inside the house, I'll take the supplies inside." I tell him. I walk over to the box and pick it up, pleased that I can lift it fairly easily.

"Do you want some help?" Asks George.

"No, I'm fine." I reply. George looks impressed.

I open the door and walk inside, placing the box on the kitchen table before walking back outside. George is waiting for me.

"Thank you." I say, hinting for George to leave. He gets it.

"It was a delight to meet you, Clara." He says, taking my hand once again. I hear Connor appear behind me, and George looks up. He jumps slightly but keeps his composure. He kisses my hand again.

George leaves and I turn around.

"Why was he kissing you?" Asks Connor, annoyed.

"I don't know, it's polite." I reply calmly.

"He should learn to respect when he can and cannot kiss a woman!" Connor mumbles angrily.

I turn to him, amused. "Why are you so annoyed?" I ask with a smile.

Connor raises an eyebrow at me and walks inside. We enter the kitchen. I place the box of supplies on the table and then I head back out to the barn.

Time passes again, and over the next few weeks I work hard at regaining my strength. I make sure to stretch thoroughly before and after each session, because I don't want to be weighed down by muscle. I want to be strong, but not bulky. It's useful for deception; I look like an innocent young lady but in reality I'm deadly. Connor keeps his distance from me, which makes me a bit sad. We train together, but we don't have any more good conversations. I'm going to get sick of waiting for him soon.

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