“I was hoping I could clean the slate of any past misgivings, Amanda,” Berg said, as he resumed to give Amanda a tour of the Abstergo compound. They walked side by side, Amanda keeping apace with Berg's long strides.
“You tried to drug me,” Amanda said, stressing each word, “I'm never going to forgive you for that and I'm certainly not going to forget it. That was no misgiving, it was definitely intended.”
Berg sighed, “And I'm sorry! I didn't exactly know what to tell you.”
“How about 'Hi, hello, don't be alarmed, there's no drugs in this drink!'?” Amanda said in a goofy voice, “Honestly, people named the Assassins had more decency.”
“In my defence, your ex-boyfriend wasn't exactly the diplomatic type either.”
“We aren't talking about Daniel, and from what I've heard about you - you barely knew him. All he did was chip you.”
Berg scowled, “How would you know?”
“Oh, I don't know, maybe it's got to do with the obvious fact that I'm no idiot,” Amanda said, “And Daniel was - and still is - my favourite person in the world, so watch what you say.”
Berg stopped walking and gestured to her left, “Here's his room, no-one's taken it yet,” he opened the door marked '04' and said, “Would you like to spend the night here?”
Amanda peered inside the dark room. It was very basic - one wardrobe, a full-length mirror, a single bed with plain sheets and an adjoining bathroom.
Her mood turned from snarky to sorrowful and she nodded, “Of course.”
“I'm afraid our agents might have left all your personal possessions back in Canada. But they will be fully compensated for, that's a guarantee. First thing in the morning. But I'm sure you can manage for the night?”
“I'm a little hungry...” Amanda murmured.
“I will send someone. What would you like?”
“Anything but pizza, Mr Berg.”
Berg laughed, “Naturally,” he touched her shoulder and said, “Have a restful night. An agent will come around in the morning to escort you to the doctor's office, just to check-up on your general health. And then you will proceed to train as a Templar initiate.”
“You say that like you're the instructor.”
Amanda paused, “I've had enough training through the Animus, thank you.”
“No offence to you or your ancestors, Amanda, but have either of you ever learned to shoot a gun?”
Amanda didn't reply.
“I didn't think so,” Berg chuckled, “the daily sessions aren't mandatory, mind. But the weekly progress check is, so I'd advise that you attend all the sessions. It seems as though you'll be needing them,” he walked away, hands behind his back.
Amanda stepped into Room 04 and shut the door behind her. She flicked on the light and looked around the place.
She hadn't felt so comfortable and free in the last six months.
Amanda went up to and sat on the bed and took off her shoes, then peeled off Daniel's hoodie and her shirt underneath. She felt grubby and disgusting, so she decided to take a shower - despite the time. Amanda stripped off all her clothes and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror.
Amanda had become so thin, she could easily count her ribs and her hip-bones stuck out. She looked like a skeleton wrapped up in skin. She suddenly received a disturbing image of Gollum run across her mind.
“We mussst have a big breakfassst in the morning, preciousss,” she rasped and then laughed, “Become big and round like Bagginsesss. Yesss. Gollum! Gollum!”
Then she took a shower, humming as she scrubbed herself off. When she was done, Amanda stepped out, still dripping wet, and opened the wardrobe to find a towel. She found one sitting folded on the upper shelf and took it down. She dried her hair slowly - like she had all the time in the world - noticing that the towel still had the scent of Daniel's aftershave. Amanda buried her face in the towel, drinking the smell in. His smell. She loved it.
She smiled to herself, putting the towel down and observing the contents of his wardrobe.
Lots of T-shirts and loose combats. One brown leather coat. A few hoodies. A stack of pornographic magazines sat in one corner at the bottom, while there were tapes and DVDs - some of a similar nature, others labelled 'Evidence' - and unopened condoms littered across the bottom. Amanda laughed to herself, out loud and true.
What would Daniel say if he knew she was looking through his stuff?
She could just about imagine the blushing denial on his face.
Amanda looked to at the upper shelf and noticed a briefcase there. She pulled it down and - hoping that the combination was set on the right one - clicked the locks open. She lifted the lid of the briefcase and found a number of files stamped with the word 'Confidential' in a bold red, a single pistol with a silencer attachment, spare bullets and... and a photograph.
Amanda picked it up with a shaking hand and bit her lip. She didn't know Daniel kept a picture of her. She didn't even remember taking one with him - though the one she was holding now appeared to be an image of her asleep. Huh. She didn't have a single picture of him, but he had kept one in his confidential briefcase?
Amanda turned it over and read the words: “Sleeping Beauty”.
Amanda put the picture down and closed her eyes. She thought of all the things that could have been... She remember the blank patches in his hair, the curve of his brows, the endearing appeal of his scowl...
God, she missed him.
Her eyes watered. She sniffed and put the picture back in the briefcase. She put everything away and took out one of Daniel's t-shirts, a pair of his smallest shorts, and put them on. She gathered up her clothes and decided she would launder them in the morning. A knock came at the door, Amanda dropped her load and skipped her way over to open it.
“Food?” she said, spilling over with eagerness.
The man gave her a look and then nodded before handing over the package.
“Thanks,” Amanda said, “I'd tip you, but I have no money on me at the moment.”
He touched his cap, pressed his lips into a thin line and walked away.
“This is going to take some getting used to,” Amanda muttered and shut the door.
She placed the package on the cabinet next to the bed and picked up her clothes. Daniel's Hidden Blade dropping from the load, bouncing off the floor and rolling into a corner of the room. Amanda looked at it for a moment. She put her clothes in the bathroom and then picked up the Hidden Blade. She pulled the trigger and watched the blade slid out and glint in the light. She sighed, her thought grasping at Shaun and Rebecca and John for a second before she slid the blade back in and placed the Hidden Blade on the upper shelf of Daniel's wardrobe.
“I'm sorry,” she murmured, before shutting the doors of the wardrobe.
She then sat on the bed, opened up the food package and ate.