It was a normal day in Masyaf the hot midday summer sun was shining down on the mountain city. men were hard at work, woman shopping at the bustling market, kids playing tag in the streets, guards dressed in white robes and hoods observing all of this keeping an eye out for anything that would disturb the harmony of this small city, assassin scholars in black robes milling about with the people taking a break from the library to enjoy the pleasant summer day.

Much higher up from the city perched on the top of the mountain lay a castle. It's walls meshed perfectly with the rocky terrain of the mountain and its gray stone towers scraping the sky even further up than the peak reached. Within the walls of this sacred place young men were training endlessly. practicing until the day when they too would earn the title of assassin and go out into the world to help support peace throughout the holy land.

An eagle circled overhead dipping it's wings as it flew passed the fighting ring. The noise of men grunting, metal clashing, and the occasional yelled instruction drifting up from the ground to its sensitive ears. Aiming to avoid the din the bird gained altitude as soared over the cliff face that outlined a perilous drop to the lake below. Then circling back over to the tower gaining height all the time. when it reached the safety of the tower roof it slowed down flapping its wings sideways before hooking it's claws into the lip of the roof, folding it's wingspan, and settling down on the perch.

From this high height it was able to see almost all of the town but of all the places the bird could have looked it decided to observe the spot directly below its viewpoint. Oddly thare were two humans standing on one of the wood platforms jutting from the tower. The bird cocked its head to the side settling into its perch as it watched the two silently.

***

"Altair..."

The stoic assassin didn't answer him. Kadar gulped taking another look off the wood platform to the frightening drop down to the lake below. Before he was ready for it a hand on his back pushed him forward guiding him to the edge. Oh-so-slowly Kadar followed the movement stepping forward till his toes were lined up with the edge of the platform.

A powerful breeze wisped passed causing his robes to flutter. Unsettled by the sudden and uncontrolled movement he reached back and gripped the arm of the man standing behind him. The hold was allowed for a few moments till the gust passed then the others hand moved to his wrist prying his hand off.

"Relax" the elder instructed, trying his best to sound reassuring.

Kadar nodded he forced his breathing to become more regular and his heart beat to quite. After a moment he had regained himself slightly. Then after a few more deep breaths he straitened his back and held his arms out mimicking a bird.

To his surprise he felt his arms joined by a second stronger pair holding his wrists firmly keeping his arms strait. Then he felt the torso of the master assassin against his back lining up with him to correct his posture.

Kadar's cheeks tinged a light pink but it was luckily hidden from view under his hood. Embarrassed he looked away unfortunately the direction he ended up looking in was down. Another wave of panic rose over the trainee as he caught sight of the pile of hay that was supposed to cushion his landing. Which was now looking pathetically small from this height.

Once again his heart rate jumped and he could hear the pounding of his pulse echoing in his ears although he was unsure if it was because of his fear of the drop or the warm body of the master assassin pressed into his back. Maybe it was both…

Kadar felt a pang of regret and guilt. Altair had been training him for months in preparation for this day. He had learned the proper technique and after practicing it tirelessly day-in and day-out Kadar knew the move off by heart. However at the same time he knew that the hardest part would come now. Learning the move was one thing, applying it to the real situation was another...

He felt like he was letting Altair down by being so scared but at the same time Kadar couldn't help thinking of the assassins who had failed performing a leap of faith. If they were lucky they broke a leg, but as for the unlucky ones... Kadar decided rather late that he didn't want to think about that.

"Are you scared Kadar?" A voice asked from behind him startling the younger. He had been so lost in his worries that he had almost forgotten about Altair.

"Yes..." he answered truthfully hanging his head in shame. Altair was so brave, Kadar would have bet that he didn't have this much trouble on his first leap of faith.

"You know the way, as long as you have faith you will not be harmed. If you let doubt enter you mind even once you will fail." Altair reminded him.

Kadar nodded he had heard that many times over the last few month's but he had yet to see how just thinking you weren't going to get hurt would prevent the damage from leaping headfirst from a tower.

Altair shifted a little but he still held Kadar in the ready position keeping him rooted to the spot till he was prepared to jump. Another long moment passed as Kadar tried to work himself into the proper mind set but despite the pause Altair concluded that he was not relaxing at all. He decided that Kadar would need more encouragement.

He leaned close to the other's ear so that only he could hear his words "I believe in you Kadar, all I need you to do is believe in yourself. I know you have what it takes or I would never have brought you out here."

Kadar felt his heart skip a beat. Altair thought he could do it... and you know what? Kadar wouldn't prove him wrong. He took three deep breaths letting confidence flow through his body. Without waiting another second just in case the fear returned Kadar threw himself forward into the open sky. The sudden movement startled the eagle perched above them and with a screeching caw it flew off the tower.

As Kadar jumped he almost seemed to hang in the air for a long imperceptible second then as he looked down he caught a glimpse of his shadow on the ledge below. To him it looked remarkable similar to that of an eagle. That was when he knew that he was going to be successful.

Gravity kicked in and he began falling. The ground rushed up and the wind began to whistle in his ears. Kadar rolled into his dive performing a slow summersault in the air till he was facing toward the sky he reclined his body almost as if he were sitting in a chair and waited for the impact.

Back up on the tower the remaining eagle watched the dive. Altair smiled as his student performed the dive perfectly landing in the hay below with a soft "thump". Then another long moment passed as he watched waiting for the younger to step out of the landing place. As the minutes ticked by he suddenly began to feel much less confident. Altair jumped from one of the wooden platforms jutting out of the tower's side to the next before free running forward and swan diving off the platform.

He landed in a pile of hay right next to the one Kadar disappeared into. He stepped out quickly making his way over to the other haystack. He noted with some relief that he didn't see any blood among the hay at least that was a good sign.

"Kadar?" he asked leaning close to the hay.

Then faster than he could blink the hay shifted and the body of the assassin-in-training was flying toward him. Altair just had time to steady himself before the others body hit him infolding him in a tight hug.

"I did it!" Kadar yelled ecstatically.

"Yes, you did" Altair observed grunting slightly from the other's firm hold around his chest.

Kadar came back to his senses and let go of the elder taking a step back.

"I'm sorry Master..." he apologised.

"No... Not at all Kadar" Altair smiled one of his leather gauntlet covered hands reached up to the other's cheek "I'm very proud of you. I have seen many students fail on their first dive…" Altair paused as a memory flooded to the front of his mind. "In fact, you should ask your brother about his sometime it's a very interesting story."

Kadar nodded but he wasn't really listening he was focused on the strong hand cupping his cheek. The light tinge of pink returning to his cheeks at how close the elder was.

Then without warning Altair was leaning down. Kadar saw what he was doing but he didn't quite believe it till the firm lips of the master assassin were pressed to his. The novice blinked but a few seconds later his eyes were shut tight.

Kadar was so consumed by the warm feeling and taste of the others lips moving over his own, so enraptured with the strong male scent of Altair that he didn't feel the deliberate guiding movements... but he did notice when his back bumped against the hard stone of the tower wall.

Kadar squirmed a little as he found himself hemmed in. pinned to the wall by the powerful body of Altair, so much stronger than his own. The force on his lips growing as Altair kissed him more intently.

Something warm and wet glided over on his lips. Surprised Kadar parted them instantly unconsciously giving permission to let the thing that Kadar soon learned was Altair's tongue slip into his mouth. A feeling of panic rose in Kadar's chest but quickly dulled and overshadowed by the rush of pleasant warmth as Altair's tongue mingled and toyed with his.

As they kissed Altair leaned even deeper intent on exploring all of the other's mouth. He brushed against a sensitive spot in the others mouth drawing a lavish noise from his student's throat. He could have kept on kissing Kadar forever but as he placed a hand lazily on the trainee's front he noticed a tightness in the others chest and regretfully pulled back to allow the younger to regain his breath.

He drew Kadar into his arms holding him close as his student gasped heavily. In return Kadar nestled into the ivory robes of the master assassin. After a few more moments of clinging to the elder Kadar was breathing regularly again.

Gradually the hand that was resting on his back traveled up following Kadar's spine to the back of his head till his fingers intertwined into the short black hair. Meanwhile Altair's other hand slipped down his back callusing Kadar to blush wildly as he felt the other's nimble hand groping his ass playfully. Altair looked down at Kadar somehow managing to smirk and smile kindly at the same time.

The hand that had been feeling his ass worked its way up and began to undo the leather brace around Kadar's stomach. Once it was free he let it fall to land soundlessly on the grass. Then he started messing with the red sash and white robes pushing them aside to allow him access to what lay beneath.

"Kadar!" the jarring voice of the younger's older brother made Altair jump.

"Shit" he growled. With unnaturally fast reflexes Altair fixed the other's robes and retrieved the brace just managing to do it back up around Kadar's waist before Malik appeared around the corner of the tower.

He stopped in his tracks as he caught sight of the two. He looked from the flushed and confused face of his younger brother to the stoic one of Altair who he vary well noticed was standing a little too close to his beloved kin. Sensing this Altair took a step backward.

"I was helping Kadar with his belt" he excused folding his arms over his chest. Malik raised an eyebrow looking back at his brother as if to ask if this was true. Kadar nodded slowly in response but he seemed to be distracted with something.

In an attempt to alleviate the awkwardness of the moment Altair changed the subject. "You should be very proud of your brother Malik, he just perfected the leap of faith on his first try."

"He did?" Malik echoed his mouth hanging open in surprise.

Suddenly coming back to life Kadar smiled at his brother "yep, it was a lot easier than I thought!"

Altair took a deep breath grateful that Malik's attention had been distracted. The passive look on his face twisted a little as his panic over getting caught with his hand down Kadar's pants was replaced by the annoyance of being interrupted.

As he watched his student walking away with his brother gushing to him about his leap of faith he begin to silently make plans to ambush the younger. The best time was more than likely when he returned from evening prayer. Altair grinned evilly, this time Malik would not around to save him.