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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6. Chapter 6

Connor woke up from his dream with a start. His eyes were temporarily blinded by the bright sun that was streaming through his window. He rubbed his eyes, unable to forget the dream.

He had dreamed of the day his mother died. He could still remember the fire, the choking smoke, and the man responsible for it all; Charles Lee. Once again, a deep seated rage filled Connor and his hands shook when he remembered the grief and anger. There was a knock on the door, and Connor gave a start.

"Connor, you'd best wake up. The ship leaves in a half hour." Called Clara.

"Thank you." He called back.

He stood up and looked outside. The bright, bustling city helped to calm his nerves. Connor dressed himself in his usual armour, then went downstairs.

Clara was standing at the front door. Robert was back, and Connor was suddenly filled with anger.

"Robert, for the last time, I am not interested!" Exclaimed Clara.

"Why not? I have attempted to woo you for as long as you have been seventeen! When will you come around? What will it take?" Asked Robert angrily.

"You are a selfish man! You manipulate women so you can get what you want! I've seen you beat people because of the colour of their skin, or the way they talk! I never want to be your wife, and I don't see why any other woman would!" Yelled Clara. She had a temper to rival a lion's, and in a moment of irrational anger she pushed Robert out the door. His face turned from a charming smile to a mask of fury, and he grabbed Clara by her wrists, forcing her against the wall. He pressed his lips to hers, forcing himself upon her, and she struggled against him. He pulled back, still grasping her wrists.

"Let me go, you bastard!" Exclaimed Clara, not using very ladylike language at all. She kicked Robert between his legs, and he fell to his knees, crying out. He let go of Clara's wrists, and she grabbed his head and smashed it into the side of the house. His head bled profusely. Clara was just about to continue to attack him, but Connor sprung forward.

"Clara, stop! You'll kill him." He said, holding Clara's shoulders.

"Good!" She growled, breathing hard and struggling futilely against Connor's strong arms. He dragged her inside and shut the door, Robert moving slightly. Clara stopped struggling. She took several deep breaths and seemed to calm down.

"I'm sorry, Connor." She finally said, looking down at her feet. "I have always had a problem with my temper. I'm just so tired of suitors knocking at my door! And my parents encourage them, because they dream of riches and going to expensive parties. They care only for themselves."

"I am sorry." Apologised Connor.

"Why are you sorry?"
"I should have helped."
"Connor, I can fight for myself. It was satisfying." Clara admitted.

Connor glanced at the clock. In 20 minutes he had to be at the harbor, or he would miss the ship.

Connor nodded.

"You are an unusual woman." He said with a small smile. "But you can fight, and I have a feeling you will need that skill. Goodbye, and thank you again." He said honestly.

"Thank you, Connor. I think I might have gone insane if it weren't for you." Clara said. She stepped forward and planted a small kiss on his cheek. It left Connor blushing, but it felt nice. More honest than the one in the barn.

Connor turned, then stopped. He had to ask Clara a question.

"Clara." He began, not quite sure what the right words were.

"Yes?" She asked, curious.

"Why did you help me? You probably would have found your way back to Boston from the barn, and you invited me into your home after knowing me for only three days." Said Connor, his eyes burning with some unrecognisable emotion.

Clara stopped for a moment. She honestly had no idea why she had helped him. She had meant what she said, back in the barn, when she told him she would have killed him. No one had ever helped her; everyone either feigned ignorance or simply didn't care, and here was this strange man who had saved her life after knowing her for only a few days.

"You are a man who helps people. You don't stop, you don't think about yourself, only of others. This world needs more people like you. I couldn't let that go to waste. I fight, like you; I am always fighting in my own way, but one woman can't do everything on her own, just as one man can't. People like us need another to watch our backs." Clara said. She was surprised at how wise she sounded.

Connor nodded. "That was very wise." He glanced at the clock again; 15 minutes.

"Until we meet again, Connor." Said Clara.

"Until we meet again, Miss Butterfield." Said Connor with a small smile. He pushed his hood up, and turned around.

He left the house, closing the door behind him. He made his way to the docks by rooftop, and arrived just in time to board the ship. As he stood on the deck, he stared back at Boston, his thoughts on Clara. She was a unique woman, someone who could hold her own in most situations. Connor had never believed that females were the weaker gender, and his previous experience had strengthened that belief.

Clara looked at the closed door, thinking about the past few days.

Then she remembered that her parents were coming back from New York that night, and her heart filled with dread. She had been raised to be a perfect little British girl, whose only purpose in life was to find a husband and pleasure him, and live the secret life of a T...

No, Clara did not want to even think that word.

"Miss Butterfield, I just received a telegram. Your parents are arriving early. They will be here this afternoon." Ruth said.

Clara turned around and saw the sad, understanding look in Ruth's eyes.

"Oh, Ruth. What can I do?" She asked sadly.

"You are a strong woman. You shall bear this out, and in the end you shall come out stronger than ever."
"But I cannot bear it. I simply can't." Clara cried.

"You must. You shall wait until spring, when the weather is right, and you shall run to another city and start a life there." Ruth advised.

Clara walked into the lady's arms, and Ruth patted her on the back.

"There, there, child. All will be well. Do not fret." She comforted.

Clara gave a big sigh, and stepped back.

"Well, you may as well help me put my corset and dress on." Clara said, resigned.

She walked upstairs to her bedroom, sick of the act. Her parents knew she wasn't a lady; in fact, Clara was far from ever being a lady, but they still tried to stamp out the rouge girl in her. They made her wear corsets that constricted her breathing and made it difficult to sit. They forced her into dresses that took up half her bedroom. They made her cake her face with make-up, for it was believed to be pretty. Clara hated all these things, and could not wait for the summer when she could follow Ruth's advice.

Clara entered her room and walked to her four poster bed. She grabbed one of the posters with dread, as Ruth brought the corset ever closer. She fitted it onto Clara's body and began to pull the strings, so much that when she tied the strings together Clara could hardly breathe. A small tear leaked out of Clara's eye, and she was ashamed of herself for crying.

As Clara put on her dress, it fanned out below her so that she found it very difficult to get through her bedroom door. As soon as she got downstairs the doorbell rang, and she opened it to see her mother and father standing there. Her mother, a thin, pointy and rather ugly woman filled Clara with disgust and hatred and other violent emotions as she stood there. Her father, on the other hand, filled her with only one emotion; fear.

He was the only thing Clara had ever feared. If she put one toe out of line, she would get a thorough beating, and Clara had many scars from that horrible man.

"Why is there blood on my house?" Hissed Clara's father.

Clara couldn't speak.

"Robert approached us as we were coming home. He said you attacked him." Barked her mother.

"Inside. Now." Said Clara's father.

He took Clara by the hair and led her inside. As soon as they were in the house, Clara's mother slammed the door. Her father brought his hand hard and fast across Clara's face. She fell to the floor painfully.

"WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? THAT MAN IS RICH, HE IS HANDSOME! WHY WILL YOU NOT ACCEPT HIM?" Screamed her father.

Clara pressed her hand to her cheek, which was swelling up fast. As she brought it away from her face she saw a small amount of blood.

"Answer your father!" Screeched her mother.

Clara still could not find words. She could only think of Connor for some strange reason. She could only think of how he had risked his life for her. He was so brave. Clara wished he could be here now. She had always tried to resist her parents, to stand up to them, but even though she could leap into a sword fight, fearless, the two people standing before her instilled fear in Clara like nothing could.

And Clara was afraid. Miserable. She could see no hope, and wondered if she could wait until the spring. Eight weeks seemed like an eternity.

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