Chapter 8

Glancing over to Altaïr, she noticed that his hand was still on his sword, she once more cursed the fact that she did not have a weapon to defend herself with. Maybe she could steal one? Only a small knife or something would do her fine. If anything it would make her feel more at ease.

A heavy silence lay over the pair, for neither wanted to be the first that spoke. Then Altaïr turned from her and moved away towards the camp to start packing up, rolling up the rugs she had slept on. She observed him as he worked when the sound of horses moving closer broke the silence, making them freeze up.

Saga sent a quick glance towards Altaïr, taking in his stiff posture, before returning her attention to where sounds emerged from. For a couple of tense seconds, she actually thought that the Templars had found them, but she relaxed when Malik, with two horses, came into her sight.

Relief came over her. He had not left her with Altaïr and for that, she was thankful because he frightened her. He was proud, arrogant and completely lethal and would stop at nothing to attain his goals.

She cast a glance at Malik; she doubted that he was much different from Altaïr in that sense, though he was better at hiding it.

Saga turned her attention at the two horses whose reigns Malik held in his hand.

One was big and black, graced with fine lines and emitted a pure, masculine beauty that only a stallion could, and even an untrained eye could tell that he was built for speed and endurance.

The other horse was smaller and it did not have the same presence as the black one. Its energy was gentler and it had a chestnut brown coloring. A mare then, Saga thought as she studied it, letting her eyes travel over its fine lines. When her eyes meet the mare's, her breath stopped in her throat and she felt a dull ache in her heart.

The mare had the same eyes filled with knowledge as her first own horse Sot. Saga quickly moved her gaze away from the horse and into the distance.

It was best not to think of the past. It would only bring pain, she thought as she closed her eyes, only to see a clear image of Sot and her childhood home. Taking a deep breath she gathered her thoughts and opened her eyes again.

Altaïr advanced towards the horse, going to the mare and strapping the bag behind the saddle and then taking the black one from Malik and swinging gracefully himself up onto it. Go figure that Altaïr had the masculine horse, Saga thought with a frown Maybe he was compensating for something? Her lips twisted in amusement.

While she had been looking at Altaïr, Malik had gotten up on his horse as well, leaving her alone on the ground.

Then she relished, she would be riding with one of them and she knew which one she preferred. As she began to inch closer to Malik, Altaïr's horse began to trot towards her and she felt her stomach drop.

There was no chance in hell that she was going on that horse with him after all he had done to her and as he could read her displeasure (which he probably could); Saga could almost hear the smirk on his lips.

Malik's voice broke the silence, "Saga, you will travel with Altaïr." And with that, he sealed her fate. Damn him. She opened her mouth to protest but before she could, her feet left the ground and she was lifted up to a well-defined chest. A small squeak of surprise left her lips as the ground disappeared from under her feet before the anger came. What was it with the manhandling?

"Let me go, you sorry excuse for a man!" She hissed through clenched teeth, thrashing against Altaïr's iron hard grip. She stilled when she felt cold metal against her throat.

"Woman, I suggest you get on the horse and be quiet before we are discovered, else I will make you do so myself." Altaïr's voice was low and deadly and Saga did not doubt for a second that he was speaking the truth and had no problem in setting his threats into motion.

Slowly she got on the horse; seated in front of Altaïr, she took a hold of the saddle before her. She could feel him; he was far too close to her for her to feel any comfort at all. Heat radiated off of his body and his smell enfolded her senses and did little to calm her down. She trembled in the cool morning air. Was it so cold before? She could not recall.

The stallion began to move forward and Saga willed her body to relax. She tried to concentrate on the familiar movement the horse made, when a strong arm came around her slim waist and she let out a startled gasp and tensed up. "Relax" Altaïr breathed out in her ear as he drew her closer towards himself.

Saga could literally feel Altaïr smirk behind her and she huffed under her breath, feeling her cheeks heat up, and for once she was thankful that the hood that hid her face.

Not wanting to give him any more satisfaction over her discomfort, Saga relaxed further into Altaïr's chest making her body grow heavy against him. She could easily feel his well-toned stomach against her back as she pressed into him, letting his scent and warmth wrap around her. A smirk graced Saga's lips as she felt Altaïr tense up at her closer proximity. Served him right, she thought as she snuggled even closer into his chest.

Malik took the lead as they made their way up a small pathway up the mountain. When the road began to lean upwards Saga was quite thankful for Altaïr's arm around her, holding her steady and securely against himself.

They traveled over the barren land for a couple of hours before stopping for a quick break by a stream where the horses could drink some water. They ate a small meal before mounting again, and picking up their speed as they moved over the land.

Saga enjoyed the way the wind blew on her face as they moved fast over the land, giving her some sort of way of cooling down in the harsh temperature.

In a way, it fascinated her how different the weather and landscape was from her own land, which was covered in snow for at least six months of the year and had big forests covering the land. With the fading light they slowed down and when the sun disappeared behind the horizon, it thankfully took the heat with it.

When they finally stopped for the night, Saga was more than sore all over and quite happy to get of the horse. Altaïr dismounted before her and before she could comprehend what he was doing he had already reached up for her and pulled her down without any effort.

Too tired to point out that she could have gotten off the horse by herself, Saga flipped her hood down and let her hair out and as she moved her fingers through her hair, she let out a pleased sigh. Completely ignoring the man behind her, she turned her attention to the stallion. After a whole day of running, he looked like he could do it all over again and then some.

Saga's heart went out to the proud animal. Wanting to show her gratitude to him for carrying her all day, she made a soft sound and held her hands out. The horse's ears moved and the stallion turned his head towards the sound. He eyed Saga carefully for a moment before lowering his head down to her hands.

A small genuine smile broke out on Saga lips when her hands touched the soft hide on the muzzle, and she let out a chuckle when he snorted and begun to rub himself into her hands.

Saga was completely oblivious to the fact that she held the full attention of the two assassins, who were watching her every movement. Both were unable to tear their eyes away from the stunning picture created by the female and the black stallion.

Her long blond hair was spilling over her back in small waves, almost glowing in the early night, full soft looking lips speaking in a gentle tone, in a foreign language and she was smiling in a way that made her eyes shine as she stroked the black beauty that was clearly enjoying the attention she provided.

The magic broke when the mare decided she'd had enough of waiting to being tended, so she rubbed her head against her master and made a soft whine.

Malik jumped at the sound when his horse made contact with him. He was startled for a second before his lips tugged slightly upwards.

Women. Such dangerous creatures they were, he thought with amusement, watching Altaïr snap back to reality as well. Here they were, in the middle of nowhere, with Templar soldiers after them and God knew what else was out there and all they could focus on was a girl petting a horse.

Malik caught Altaïr's gaze and sent him a meaningful look before smirking at him then turned to tend to his horse, but he could literally feel the glare from the former master assassin burning into his back.

Saga felt a shiver go down her spine; she could not understand why suddenly the peaceful atmosphere had changed into a tense one. Looking between the two men, there was a notable tension among them that hadn't been there before.

Frowning, she tried to think of something that could have caused it, but she could not think of anything, too tired to try and figure out the male logic between the two. Saga rubbed her tired eyes and moved away from the stallion so Altaïr could do his job.

She found a fairly flat rock which she sat down on, looking at the men who were again speaking in their own language as they worked. Saga moved so she could rest her head on top of her knees while she waited for them to finish up.

Closing her eyes, she listened to the wind, feeling her eyes growing heavy. She was just so tired… Maybe she could rest until the assassins finished with their work… Slowly, she drifted into a much-needed sleep.

Saga became vaguely aware that she was feeling cold, but she was too tired to comprehend why. Her head felt like a big, warm, fuzzy chunk and her body felt too heavy for her to even try and move. Then the world shifted and a jolt of pain ran through her body and she let out a small groan in protest.

Carefully she was placed down onto something rather hard, but at the same time very warm. Letting out a pleased sigh, she snuggled closer into the warmth, feeling it wrap itself around her.

Inhaling deeply, a familiar scent entered her nose, making her feel somewhat safe and secure. It took her a while to place the scent, making her walk down memory-scent lane before she finally could place it - Altaïr.

Her body tensed up at the resolution. She frowned and lifted her head up, starting to move into an upright position, but before she could get anywhere, she was almost crushed against a well-defined chest.

"Go back to sleep. You are safe here." Altaïr's deep voice rumbled in his chest as he tightened his hold on the girl and moved a hand into her soft blond locks, stroking her head in a soothing manner.

Saga immediately relaxed and went back into her sleep-like state. Feeling that something was missing, she thought about it before voicing her question, "W-where is Malik?" she asked drowsily, as she snuggled closer into Altaïr's chest. How could he possible radiate so much heat? She was freezing her ass off, even though she was the one who was raised in a cold and harsh environment.

The hand in her hair stopped for a moment, and just as Saga thought Altaïr was not going to answer her question, the hand picked up its movement again and his deep voice traveled down to her. "He is surveying the area and should be back soon. Now go back to sleep." But his words barely registered in Saga's mind as she slowly drifted back into a deep sleep.

Altaïr studied the sleeping girl in his arms, he could not comprehend why he felt a need to care for the girl or protect her but he did… He did not like that. Emotions were not something for an assassin such as himself and he knew they would only hinder him on his quest to regain his former status and respect.

But even as he thought that, he could not bring himself to remove the arm he had wrapped around her body or his hand he had buried in her soft hair.

Sighing, he looked up at the night sky. He couldn't shake off the feeling that something bad was going to happen to her soon, something very bad. And generally these feelings of his proved to be true. For her sake, he hoped such was not the case.

AN: So I'm finally back with a new chapter! It took me awhile and I'm sorry for that but things have been crazy right now.

A big thank you to my beta janit3443, who is just awesome! And I want to thank x-Roach-x who took the time to send me a PM asking if I was still writing.

Which if I have to be honest I not really doing anymore, I mean last chapter only got 3 reviews so I just made the assumption that my story was not that good to continue writing on…

But maybe it will get some more response this time, so please take the time do a review it means a lot to me.

/ kyskhet