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


18. Chapter 18

Connor and I ride alongside Benjamin as we enter New York.

"So what is your stake in all this?" Connor asks.

"Same as yours. Peace. Stability. A land in which all might live side by side – free and equal." Benjamin replies.

"Why not join the Brotherhood, then?" I ask.

"My father was an assassin. Quite good at his job, too, as I understand it. But… I hope to have children someday. It's hard to live in two worlds at the same time – so I chose to live in one." Replies Benjamin.

"I understand." I reply. I understand better than anyone, I just chose a different path to Benjamin.

"I still contribute as I can. It's why we're here now." Benjamin says.

We continue to ride through New York. We reach the main streets, and Benjamin speaks again.

"He has been running a counterfeiting ring in the city. Locate the source of his operations, and we can have him arrested. He cannot harm the Commander if he is in prison." He says, talking about Hickey.

"Do you know where he is?" Asks Connor.

"Not exactly. But I have an idea of where we can begin the search." Benjamin replies, leading us to a marketplace. We dismount our horses, walking closer to the street stalls.

"There are rumors of bad bills being circulated here. No doubt they come from Thomas." Benjamin tells us.

Connor and I walk around, listening in to conversations between shopkeepers and customers, and trying to glean as much information as we can. I steal an apple as well; I'm hungry.

I've just about given up, when I hear an interesting conversation. Well, maybe conversation is the wrong word.

"What are you up to? This isn't money! It's colored paper! You've cheated me for the last time! GUARDS!" A shopkeeper roars. Connor and I watch from a distance. The customer stumbles back and walks away quickly. Connor nods to me, and we set off. We tail the counterfeiter for a while, through alleyways, crowded streets, backyards and everything in between. Eventually he stops in a backyard, where there are several other men waiting for him.

"Oi, Daniel. Best put them bills away. The guards is on to us." The counterfeiter says.

"How? What happened?" Daniel asks.

"Damn shopkeep called me out. Brought the guards, but I gave them the slip." The counterfeiter replies.

"Boss is gonna be mad." Warns Daniel.

"Not so mad as if I'd gotten caught. 'Sides, we've got most everything we need for the job now, anyway."

"Best go tell him. I'll warn the others." Daniel replies.

The men depart, and Connor and I continue to tail the counterfeiter through the same crazy network of streets and alleyways. He meets up with another man and they have a conversation as they walk. I catch snippets of their conversation, but Connor hears it all. He has hearing like an eagle's.

Then they stop talking and enter a building. Connor and I wait a few moments.

"Clara, you should not come." Connor warns.

I roll my eyes at him. "Do you really think I'm going to stay away? Don't be a fool, Connor, of course I'm coming."

Connor's mouth raises slightly, a small twitch, before he approaches the door. He is about to pick the lock, but something stops him. He takes several big steps back, and rams himself into the door, bursting into the room. Thomas Hickey and a few other men turn to the door, surprised.

"Wot's this?" Hickey asks.

"Thomas Hickey?" Connor asks angrily.

"Might be. Wot's it to ya?" Hickey replies.

In answer, Connor flicks out his hidden blade and I follow suit.

"Ain't s'pposed to be none of your kind left." Hickey says.

He takes a few steps backwards and two of his henchmen step forward. "Suppose I'd best be rectifying that, then. Get him!" Hickey exclaims. He seizes a pouch of money from the table and runs out the door. The two henchmen come at us, a third appearing from nowhere. Connor kills one, but he needs to get Hickey.

"Go!" I exclaim, stabbing a henchman in the eye. Connor runs to the window and bursts through it, while I turn to face the third man. He pulls out a sword and smiles evilly. He runs at me, probably thinking I'll scream and cry. I dodge his attack, my mind half on Connor.

The henchman attacks again, and because my mind is distracted I barely have time to dodge. The man's sword makes a cut on my upper thigh. Not life threatening, but I certainly won't be able to climb or run with it. Connor will be on his own.

I stare at the henchman, and he runs at me again. I twist to the side and stab him in the gut, and he falls to the ground.

"Where is Hickey going?" I ask the man threateningly. He has a chance at survival; if I let him. He knows this. The man tells me the answer, and I get up, ignoring the pain in my leg. I jog outside, making my way to where the henchman said Hickey would be. I see Connor holding him up against the wall, but then a guard comes and grabs both of them.

"You are both under arrest." The guard says loudly, so that I can just hear him.

Hickey argues back, but Connor silences him. He asks the guard a question, and in response the bag Hickey took with him is held up. Connor points at it and says something in protest, but after a few sentences he is hit by one of the guards and falls to the ground. He doesn't get back up.

I gasp furiously. I almost intervene, but I realize I haven't got a hope against three or four trained guards with my leg. They pick up Connor by his arms and heave him into a wagon.

"Where to?" Calls one of the guards.

"Bridewell Prison." Another replies. They force Hickey into the back of the cart as well and drive off, leaving me helpless. I swear at myself internally. I head back to my horse and meet Benjamin, who is still waiting there.

"Where's Connor?" He asks.

"He was arrested. I didn't hear why." I reply.

"Where have they taken him?"

"Bridewell Prison." Go back to Achilles and tell him what's happened. I'll stay here." I tell Benjamin.

"What happened to your leg?"

"It's fine. Don't worry. Just get back to Achilles."

I swing myself up onto my horse painfully, and ride off in the direction of my brother's house. He knows about the Templars and Assassins, but he doesn't know what I've become. He refused to get involved with the entire situation the last time I spoke with him.

I arrive at his house just as the sun begins to set. It has been a long day. I tie up my horse just outside James' house, and I knock on his door. Sarah answers the door, her blond hair tied back into a bun, Theodore in her arms.

"Why Clara, it's nice to see you!" She exclaims. "Would you like to come in?"

"Thank you." I reply. I enter the house, feeling at home here.

"Clara, what are you wearing?" Sarah asks. "What happened to your leg? Are you in trouble?" She asks, concerned. She's like an older sister.

"I need to speak to James. I'll be fine for now, but please. I must see him." I tell Sarah. She nods and rushes off into the house. A few moments later she returns with James.

"Clara!" He exclaims, happy to see me but looking worried. He's grown a short beard since I last saw him. "What's wrong? Is it our parents?"

"No… In a way. It will take a while to explain." I say.

"Well, you need to sit down. Your leg doesn't look good." James tells me. He leads me into the living room and I sit down, suddenly exhausted.

"Well, tell me everything." He says.

I exhale, then tell him the story, from when I first met Connor right up until just now. James sits patiently and listens. After he's finished, he has several questions.

"Do Mother and Father know?" He asks, obviously inquiring about his whereabouts.

"No, I didn't tell them anything about you. I wouldn't do that." I assure him. He has a family to protect.

"And now this… Connor fellow. He's been taken to prison? What do you expect to do?"

"I… I don't know. I need a place to stay while I figure things out." I reply.

"Well, you're always welcome here. Stay as long as you like, and I'll get some bandages for your leg." Sarah says. She hands Theodore to James.

"May I?" I ask, holding my arms out to Theodore.

"Of course." Replies James, handing him to me.

"He's grown so much!" I exclaim, making a baby face at the child in my arms. I've never really grown attached to children, but when it's my own nephew I can't help myself. Connor looms in the back of my mind, nagging at the back of my head. I feel helpless, and guilty; here I sit, warm and comfortable while Connor lies in prison.

Hey guys, Its me, Sorry I haven't updated in so long, Had a lot of school coursework to do! I will be updating more regular now though! Thankss:)

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