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


7. Chapter 7

The cold months of winter had finally passed. It was still wet and mud still covered the streets, but once that was gone I would leave Boston. I felt my heart leap with joy each day that passed, for it meant I was closer to leaving this horrible place. I had escaped my father's wrath for at least two weeks, and no new bruises or cuts adorned my body; though it was still scarred from years of abuse, none were visible unless I was undressed. Ruth had been my pillar of strength through all this, and I thought of her as my true mother.

I dressed myself in a green skirt and dark blue shirt, with a dark blue hooded cloak over the top. I did not wear a corset, and it felt good to be able to move about without restriction. I put my hair in a French braid that extended to my ribcage. I walked outside, pulling up the blue hood as I stepped out into the rain. My hunting pants were worn underneath my skirt, and my pack was stashed away in my bedroom. I knew my parents would never find it.

As always, when the thought of my parents entered my head it brought on several emotions; hate, rage, fear. But the strongest one of all was sadness. All my life I had never wanted much. Just food and shelter. But my parents deprived me of one thing every child should have; love.

I looked up at the sky and once again thought of Connor. I was not even sure he was real. Maybe he was a dream, or a hallucination brought on by one of Father's bashings? The thought that he was not real scared me; it meant I was crazy. That my own mind, my last retreat, was not safe. I was sure he was not real, he couldn't be real, because he had been kind to me. Even when I had threatened to kill him, he had taken me to Boston. No one was ever kind to me, therefore he was not real.

This broke my heart into millions of tiny, painful pieces.

Someone shouted my name, and I saw Ruth dashing through the rain. She puffed and panted, the dear old thing, so I ran to meet her.

"Ruth, what's the matter?" I asked, concerned for her.

"Clara," She panted. "You must go! I know I said you have to wait until the weather is right, but someone told the guards you had-" Ruth said.

"What? What did I do, Ruth?" I ask, getting worried.

"They are coming!" Exclaimed Ruth, looking over my shoulder. From down the street a platoon of guards looked up and down, looking angry and intimidating. They scanned the street, looking supposedly for me, and I made my way to an alleyway.

That was a good thing that had come from years of sneaking around. I knew how to stick to the shadows, and I was very good at it too.

I pulled off my skirt, unbelievably grateful that I was wearing my hunting pants underneath. I ran up the side of the wall, slipping a bit on the wet tiles. My hood had fallen off my head, but I didn't care if my hair got wet. I ran home, over the rooftops, and knocked on the front door. Mother opened it.

"Did you get the vegetables?" She barked.

I shoved past her, not caring about what anyone thought anymore. I only knew I had to get out of there. My mother gasped in shock. I ran up to my room and pulled out my pack from its hiding place. I put on the black waistcoat I had stolen several years ago. It was trimmed with gold thread but I loved it because of the pockets that were perfect for two knives to be stashed in. I checked and they were still in there.

I checked everything was in my pack. Blankets, bow and arrows, quiver, and a small amount of food left over from yesterday when I went hunting. It would not be enough. I pulled my pack on and ran down the stairs when a banging came from the door. I did not open it, and Mother approached me. I did not even wait to hear what she had to say, I simply slammed my palm as hard as I could into her nose. It sprayed blood satisfyingly enough.

I sprinted past my father and into the kitchen as my mother screamed in pain. Father ran over to her and looked at her nose, while I stuffed my pack with food and closed it tight. I pulled it onto my back once again and ran out the back door, into the garden and freedom.

There was no going back. I smiled with a fierce joy.

I ran up a building and made my way by rooftop to the edge of the city. I became startled, paranoid of every rat, every sound, every shadow I encountered. Thunder and lightning lit up the sky. I jumped down into the streets and kept on running until I hit an empty alleyway.

Well, when I say empty I mean empty except for the bastard, Robert.

"Well, Clara, we are in trouble." He laughed.

I tried to dash past him but the alleyway was thin and he caught me. Two of his cronies appeared from doorways and held me firmly by the arms, making escape impossible.

"Clara, I could make all of this go away. I was the one who told the guards you murdered their commander. His body is floating down by the docks." Robert said mockingly.

I gasped angrily. He had framed me, and I had a horrible suspicion that he had some sort of proposition to make.

"I have pursued you for months. You have beauty, your parents are highly regarded amongst the Order, you seemed the perfect wife. You were always so proper in public, and you were very polite the first time we met. Then something changed, and the more you said no, the more I wanted you. But I shall have no more. Say you shall be mine, and the guards will call off any charges against you. Decline, and the guards shall find you in this alleyway." Robert said.

"You... you..." I was so overcome by fury that I couldn't speak. I said the only thing I could say. "I would never marry you in this or any lifetime. I would rather die than be your wife." I hissed.

"Wrong answer." Whispered Robert. He stepped forward so that he was quite close to me, but instead of calling for the guards he rose a hand to my breasts, then to the top button of my shirt. Fear and anger rose up in me, and as I was about to shout out for help, one of the cronies laughed evilly and covered my mouth.

Robert slowly undid my shirt, leaving me exposed and shaking. Tears of anger and fear ran down my cheeks. I would not beg them to stop, though. It would only bring them satisfaction and possibly a knife to my throat. Robert stepped back and looked at me as one would look at a painting in an art gallery.

"Something's still not right. Maybe if we lose the pants..." He trailed off. He stepped forward and stripped my pants off my legs, leaving me trembling and naked. The tears that had been angry turned to grief, and I knew there was no escape. I began to scream and shout, desperate to stop Robert from doing this awful, awful thing to me. I called out for Ruth, for anyone who could help.

"Ah, ah." Said Robert, clasping his hand over my mouth. "We wouldn't want anyone to hear us." He said.

I screamed through his hands and bit into his wrist until I tasted blood. He stepped back, shocked, and I spat his blood into his face.

"You bitch. You'll pay for that!" He screamed. He pulled out a knife and approached me, holding it out to his side. My heart drummed in my ears and in a moment of pure fear my strength spiked. I wrenched my arms out of the two men's grips and spun around to face Robert. The knife did not strike my heart, and it did not kill me.

But it did hit me.

It made a long cut along the side of my body. It was not life-threatening yet, but it would be if I couldn't stop the bleeding. Robert slashed at the air in front of me and I dived for my vest on the ground, ignoring the pain in my side. Blood dribbled out from the cut. I pulled out the knives from my vest. Robert's cronies leaped on me, but I dodged and they went flying. As I was distracted, Robert tried to attack my head, but I partly dodged and it made a deep cut along my cheekbone. I was distracted again by the cronies as they dived on me, and held me down to the ground. I kicked and screamed but no help came. Mud seeped through my hair and the back of my clothes, but I didn't care. Robert approached me with the knife and I struggled even harder. He crouched down beside me and raised the knife high above his head.

And then he was gone.

The two cronies looked up, just as confused as I was, and as I looked over I saw Robert lying still on the ground.

And standing next to him was a man in a white uniform. His hood was drawn up around his face, so that you could only see his mouth. He was very tall, and extremely muscled. He was intimidating to those who didn't know him.

He was Connor Kenway.

I gasped and inside I jumped for joy. On the outside of my mind, I leapt up, ignoring the fact that my shirt was completely open. My knives were lying next to me, so I swooped down and picked them up. The two cronies were fighting Connor, and I leapt onto one of their backs and plunged both knives directly through his chest, into his heart, a vicious, violent anger seethed through me and a rage swept through me like a tidal wave. I killed the other man and then walked over to Robert. He was still breathing, just unconscious. His eyes fluttered open.

"You don't deserve to live." I whispered to him. "You don't deserve anything, yet you had it all. You chose to pursue me, even though I said no a thousand times. You forced yourself on me when I was afraid." I leaned in closer to him, so that my lips almost touched his ears. "And because of that, you die."
And with that I leaned back, seeing the fear in his eyes. His eyes teared up, and before he could beg for his own life I plunged the knives deep into his chest. He gasped and looked down at his chest, blood red, and I did not feel anything. Not sorrow, not joy. Maybe a little bit of satisfaction. My side twinged and as I looked down at it I saw my shirt was still open, stained with blood. My side had bled too much, and I was weak.

I fell to the ground, tired and fuzzy. My last blurred vision was Connor crouching over me, looking at my side and trying to stop the bleeding. He picked me up, and then there was nothing.

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