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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16. Chapter 16

I hear a ring at the door. I get up off the couch, where Achilles and I were sitting, reading books. As I open the door I internally groan; George is back.

He hasn't visited since he dropped off Achilles' supplies, but he irritated me then, and the feeling hasn't since faded.

"Hello, George." I say unenthusiastically.

"Good afternoon, Clara." He replies cheerfully. Does anyone have to right to be so constantly, sickeningly happy?

"What do you want?" I ask. I may sound slightly cold, but to be honest I'd rather continue reading my book than anything else, and George is nauseating.

"I was wondering if you'd like to come and take a walk with me." Requests George.

I hear Achilles approach from behind me.

"Oh, um, I'd love to, George, but I have…" I look at Achilles. "jobs to do. You know, cleaning." I lie wildly.

"Oh, Clara, I think I can let you off this once. Connor can clean." Achilles says, and I can hear his internal laughter. I shoot him a vicious glare, and Connor appears at the top of the stairs. He sees the three of us standing at the door and approaches us, glaring at George.

"What are you doing here?" He asks George rudely.

"was about to ask this lady out for a walk." He replies, equally as rude. They approach each other, and I can tell this is about to get violent.

"Clara, why don't you and George take that walk?" Asks Achilles. I appreciate him trying to break up Connor and George, but he's throwing me to the wolves! I glare at him before pushing George out the door and closing it.

I walk along with George, trying to seem polite.

"So, Clara, why are you living with those two?" George asks, obviously inquiring about Connor's Native blood and Achilles' appearance.

"Those two have saved my life. They are just like you or I." I say to George, glaring at him and dropping the Innocent Boston Girl act.

George looks puzzled at my defensive comment, but shrugs it off. "Where did you grow up?" He asks.

"Boston." I reply, my patience gone.

"And do you have anyone back in Boston?" He asks. I roll my eyes.

"No." I say. George can tell from my tone that I'm not available, but he mistakes the reason.

"Ah, I see. You and the savage-"

"Connor is not a savage." I growl.

"Fine, Connor." George corrects. "Are you…"

"No." I reply curtly. What puzzles me is that a part of me wishes that I could say yes.

I steer us back to the house. I pick up our pace a bit, so that I don't have to spend any more time with George. When we reach the front door I open it and walk inside, where Connor and Achilles are in the living room. Connor stands up and walks over to George at the door.

"Hello, savage." George says snidely.

Connor doesn't react, and I'm proud of him.

"Clara is not interested in you." Connor says calmly.

"And how do you know that? She told me there was nothing going on between you two." George retorts.

I see Connor's face fall slightly, and then George approaches him.

"You'd better leave us alone." George growls. He is around the same height as Connor, which is quite a feat; Connor is unusually tall. George shoves Connor in the chest, and when Connor still refuses to react he throws a punch.

A fight breaks out. I roll my eyes.

Idiots. I think as they roll around.

"Hey!" I shout as they nearly bowl me over. Neither of them listen to me, and I wonder how in the world I'm going to separate them.

Then I have an idea.

I run into the kitchen, into the pantry. I grab the jar of cinnamon off the shelf and run back into the hallway, where Connor and George continue to beat each other up. I take a big handful of the cinnamon and I throw it onto Connor and George; hoping it will make them sneeze.

It doesn't work, so I take another handful of cinnamon, then another until I finally grab the whole jar and pour it on top of them.

It works, and Connor and George are overcome by a fit of sneezing, coughing and choking. Achilles makes a sound of amusement, mixed with irritation. As soon as George stops coughing I take him by the collar and heave him out the door. He looks back at me, his eyes red and his face bruised and battered.

"Don't come back here! I am not interested in a suitor!" I yell at him. I slam the door and turn to Connor, who is still coughing and sneezing. He soon stops, and I help him to his feet. I pull him into the kitchen, where I grab a rag and wet it in the water bucket, returning with it to Connor.

He was smart enough to close his eyes once I threw the cinnamon, so his eyes aren't red. He has a black eye, a split lip and a huge bruise on one cheek. I put the rag down on the table and fill a teacup with water. I give it to Connor, who drinks it gratefully and coughs once he's finished.

"You are a fool." I say, annoyed.

"I was only-"

"You were only being childish." I say, cutting him off.

Connor opens his mouth to say something, but closes it quickly. I pick up the rag and start to clean his lip. I press harder than I usually would, because I'm annoyed, and Connor winces. I soften.
When I'm done with Connor's lip, I search around for Achilles' medicines. I eventually find some, and I return to Connor, smearing some onto his cheek and gently rubbing it in. When I'm done, I sigh and rub my eyes a bit. I open them, and Connor is looking at me in a very strange way. We lean closer to each other, and my heart beats faster. Connor hesitates. He looks like he's about to pull away, but doesn't want to.

"For god's sake…" I mumble. I lean forward quickly and so does Connor.

And we kiss.

I smile, as does Connor. My heart gains speed until it feels like it might fly out of my chest. Connor raises his hand and places it on my cheek, and I pull away, out of breath. Connor groans. I laugh softly.

He looks deep into my eyes, like he's wanting to know what I'm thinking. I lean forwards again, and we kiss once more. Connor wraps his arms around my waist, and I snake my arms around his neck. I let out a soft, contented noise. Eventually, Connor speaks.

"What does this mean?" He asks.

"It means we care for each other. You, Mr Kenway, are a suitor." I joke.

Connor leans his forehead against mine. "I am glad." He says simply.

I close my eyes and breathe in deeply. Connor smells of pine needles, and I smile once again.

Then I hear a knock at the door. I groan, and then I separate myself from Connor and walk to the front door. I open it to see Kanen'tó:kon standing there.

"Hello." I greet him, smiling. "Is everything alright?" I ask, suddenly concerned.

"Please, Clara, I must speak to Ratonhnhaké:ton. It is urgent." He replies.

"Of course." I say, turning around.

"Connor! Come quickly!" I exclaim, turning back to the native in front of me. Connor appears behind me and rushes forward.

"Kanen'tó:kon? Why are you here? Has something happened?" He asks frantically.

"William Johnson has returned- with all the money required to buy our land. He meets with the elders as we speak. I have begged them to resist but I fear he shall have his way unless you intervene."

"How did this happen? We destroyed the tea." I say, joining the conversation.

"The Templars are nothing if not resourceful." Achilles says, appearing in the door frame. "You should have heeded my warning."

"Please, you have to stop him." Kanen'tó:kon pleads.

"Of course, where are they meeting?" Connor asks, and he and Kanen'tó:kon begin to talk in their own language.

"Make sure Johnson is dead this time, Clara." Achilles says to me.

"Of course." I reply, glancing at Connor. He seems deep enough in conversation, so I decide to ask. "Achilles?"

"Yes?"

"Has Connor ever… been in a relationship? Has he ever courted?" I ask, blushing.

Achilles smiles knowingly and also glances at Connor. "No, Clara. He has never courted. He's been too focused on training; before now, that is."

I narrow my eyes at Achilles, at what he's implying, but I suppose he's right.

I turn to Connor, who has finished talking with Kanen'tó:kon. We run down to the stables and mount our horses, galloping off.

We arrive at Johnson Hall while the sun is still up. There are guards at the bottom of the cliff, so Connor and I sneak around them, up the hill and towards Johnson Hall. We climb up into the trees and make our way from there; it's stealthier to use the trees in this situation.

We soon perch on the edge of the rooftop at Johnson Hall, where Johnson is talking with several Native elders. Connor and I leap in and a fight breaks out, and when Connor kills Johnson I have his back while they talk. Connor soon stands up.

"We have to go!" I exclaim. Connor nods, so we sprint towards the cliff. With my heart drumming a million miles an hour, we leap into the water and sink deep down. I kick hard and just as my lungs begin to scream I burst out of the water and gulp in several huge breaths of air. I search around for Connor, who bursts up near me after a few seconds.

"Are you ok?" I ask.

Connor nods, and we swim up to the shore. From there we run into the forest, even though we're exhausted. Once we're a good distance away, I sink down onto my hands and knees and cough a few times, completely out of breath. Connor leans against a tree and sinks down so he's sitting, and we wait a while until we regain our breath. We walk back to the homestead in silence, holding hands, simply because we're too tired to talk. When we reach the front door I walk inside, up to my room and collapse onto the bed, falling asleep almost instantly.

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