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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8. Chapter 8

The pain seared through Clara's whole body, and she let out an awful scream. There was a screeching noise, metallic. Her vision flickered and behind her eyes she could see fire. Two people talked above her. They said something about a Temple... or Templar. Clara simply could not concentrate on their words; she was in too much pain. She opened her eyes and saw her mother's face looking down at her.

I am lying on something soft. Something warm. It's comforting. My eyes open slowly, drowsily, to find myself lying on a bed tangled in the sheets. My side burns as if it is on fire, and my heart is heavy.

Robert had done something to me. Violated me. I am glad I had killed him; I only feel a vicious rage that he hadn't suffered like I did before he died.

Birds chirp outside. From the look of the sun that is streaming in through the window, it is around midday. I have no idea where I am, but I think I am safe. I can hear waves somewhere nearby. I roll over in the sheets, warm and mostly comfortable; except from my side.

The door handle rotates and I sit up, ignoring the pain. Connor steps into the room, his hood off. He glances at the bed and sees me sitting up.

"Clara, are you alright?" He asks, standing in the doorway awkwardly. I notice his hood is down.

"Yes." I say. He doesn't need to worry about me.

Connor is looking away from me, and I wonder what the matter is. I look down, and I see the problem.

I am wearing a nightgown, white and almost see-through. Not my style at all, and my breasts are quite visible through it. I blush slightly, and pull the blankets up to my shoulders. Connor seems to relax slightly.

"Where am I?" I ask.

"My home. I brought you here from Boston." Connor replies.

"Thank you." I say.

I hear an old man's voice coming from somewhere outside the room.

"Connor, is she awake yet?" He asks. His voice is gruff and stern, yet there is something comforting about it.

"Yes." Connor replies.

An old man enters the room. He has dark brown skin and white hair, and uses a cane to walk. His face is kind but stern looking.

"Clara, this is Achilles Davenport. Achilles, this is Clara Butterfield." Introduces Connor.

"Well, Clara, there are some clothes in the dresser. Come downstairs when you're ready." Achilles says. He hobbles out of the room with Connor following behind him. I laugh quietly; Connor seems quite put in his place around Achilles, like an arrogant puppy being barked at by a large dog. I get up off the bed and my side hurts, but I ignore it. The dresser is large, brown wood, a mirror above it. My face is clean and free of blood, and my cheek has a nasty gash across it. My hair is free of the braid I put it in, and it looks clean. Someone must have bathed me while I was unconscious, and I hope to god it was a woman. I open the dresser.

It's stocked with women's hunting clothes. My clothes are on the top, clean and washed. I pull them on and see my pack lying against the bed. I open it and everything is in there, with my knives from my waistcoat on top. I pick them up and put them in the pockets of my waistcoat. I close the pack and head downstairs. The pain in my side is starting to fade. When I reach the bottom of the stairs I see Connor and Achilles sitting in front of a fire, Achilles reading a book. I walk into the room.

"Ah, Clara." Says Achilles, looking up from his book. "How do you feel? Connor told me what happened." Achilles says with empathy.

I glare at Connor, then address Achilles. "I'm fine. That bastard got what he deserved and as far as I'm concerned his death has caused no sorrow."

Achilles chuckles. "I like this one. First girl you bring home and she's about as innocent as you." Achilles says to Connor. Connor glares at him and blushes, while I let show a small smile.

"Well, after a few days your side should be better, and you can go where you want." Achilles says.

"Thank you, Mr Davenport. But I do not want to impose, and I am no stranger to pain. If I could just take a small amount of food I could leave tonight." I say.

"You are no imposition, and I admire your hardiness. However, I must insist you stay the night so I can be sure your side will heal. And call me Achilles."

"Very well." I say with a small smile. I exit the room and walk out the door. The breeze feels nice on my skin, and the sun is warm on my face. The homestead is isolated, that much is obvious. There is a mill and stables, along with a barn out to my left, and the area is surrounded by forest. Just behind the stables is a cliff, and below that is a small bay. I can hear the waves crashing against the rock face. I walk over to the cliff, wanting to see more of the beauty.

It is a very long way down. The waves crash against the cliff face, spraying water up the rock. There is a boat docked at a port on the other side of the bay. I can see the name of the boat, The Aquilla, painted on the hull. It is a beautiful ship.

I decide to explore the forest. The trees are tall and straight, and the grass is a vibrant green. Spring is truly here. I walk around, listening to the birds and insects, when the recent events catch up with me. Being treated like I was with Robert, seeing Connor again, living somewhere in the wilderness, it's all too much. I sit down on a nearby rock and put my head in my hands, trying to hold myself together. I try to hold back the tears, but I can't. I let them fall, ashamed that I would be so weak that I would cry. The truth is, what Robert did to me changed me. I stand up and walk in a circle, running my hands through my hair. I'm not even sure why I've lost myself, but nothing makes sense right now.

I indulge myself for a while longer, crying until I've run out of tears, and I'm tired from the emotions I've lost control of. The sun is setting; did the time really pass that quickly? I dry my eyes, hoping to conceal the fact that I've just been crying. I'm lucky, because it's usually hard to tell if I've been crying. I learnt to conceal my emotions as soon as I learnt to talk, and my temper has gotten better since I was a child. I used to burst out at my mother and father, and it would only bring more pain. Now I hide it inside, and even though it still flares inside me, it's no longer an open flame. It's contained, and burns brightly within me, giving me power and strength when I need it. I like my flame.

I can see the homestead through the trees, Connor and Achilles standing in the living room. They are obviously having an arguement, and they haven't seen me yet. I don't want to intrude, especially since they've been so kind to me, so I wander around for another few minutes until they stop fighting. I walk inside the house, into the living room. Connor still looks angry and shoots a glare at Achilles every so often.

That night, after dinner, I go to bed. I search around for something to sleep in other than the one I was wearing earlier today. I eventually find one; thick material that is most definitely not see-through, though it is short. It cuts off above my knees, so I'll be sure to avoid any encounters with Achilles or Connor while I'm wearing it. I get into bed and sleep peacefully.

Until I am woken by a scraping noise, like wood against wood. It's not very loud, but I've always been a light sleeper. I get out of bed and pull my pants on underneath the nightgown, and I sneak downstairs. The stairs creak underneath Connor and Achilles, but I'm quite light so they stay silent for me. As I get downstairs, I hear the noise again. I immediately find the source of the noise; a panel of wood behind the stairway is...

Moving?

I run forward before it closes and I just manage to slip in between it and the wall. I stop just before I tumble down the flight of stairs before me. They're old and rickety. Much more creaky than the other staircase. I go halfway down, crouching behind the wall but I can see into this mysterious room. The floor is dirt, and the walls are plastered. There are various pictures dotted sparsely around the room, and in the centre is a wooden mannequin. Connor and Achilles are standing in the center of the room, arguing again. I can't help myself; I have to stay and see what the commotion is.

"Old man, I won't tell her!" Hisses Connor quietly.

"Boy, you're being a fool!" Growls Achilles.

"It will only get her killed!"

"No, leaving her in ignorance will get her killed. Besides, she's proven she can take care of herself."

"I will not put her in danger!"

I shift my position, and the stair creaks loudly. I wince, as I know there's no possibility it went unnoticed. Connor walks to the bottom of the staircase and sees me crouching there like a fool. I stand up and walk down to him.

"Connor, what's the matter?" I ask.

He glares at me, and as he towers over me, looking vicious, I am slightly afraid. I draw myself up, trying to seem bigger and failing, but I give Connor a glare back that's twice as strong. Connor tries to walk past me, but I grab his arm. He throws my hand off and storms upstairs. I hear the door slam.

"Don't worry, child. That boy has a temper to rival a lion's. He'll be angry for a while, but in the morning he'll feel guilty and apologise." Says Achilles with amusement in his eyes. He makes his way upstairs, and I look at the mannequin for a second. I notice on the floor there is some strange symbol, a triangular shape. I remember seeing the same symbol on Connor's armour. I run upstairs to Achilles.

"What did were you and Connor arguing about?" I ask him.

"I think you'd best ask him." Replies Achilles. I groan; this will be difficult. Connor is stubborn.

But I'm more stubborn.

"Goodnight." I say to Achilles. I go back upstairs and get into bed again. I know sleep will be hard to achieve, now that there is a mystery in my mind. I lie back onto the soft covers, and eventually the warmth and comfort lulls me back to sleep.

I wake up to a soft knock on my bedroom door. The sun is up, and it looks like early morning from my view outside. I get up off the bed and open the door. Connor is standing there.

"Connor. What is it?" I ask softly.

"May I come in?" He asks. I nod and open the door wider. He steps inside, standing in front of me awkwardly. I sit down on my bed.

"What is it?" I ask him.

Connor hesitates.

"Connor, tell me. I know you want to say something."

He sighs in a great big huff.

"I am an assassin." He says finally.

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