Disclaimer: I don't own Assassin's Creed, the only thing I take credit for is my OC's.
Author's Note:I would say sorry for the late update, but then I would start sounding like a broken record ;) My only excuse is that it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to find the inspiration to write for this story, but, I made a promise to myself not to become one of those people who give up on a story 'cause that's annoying ;p The updates...they're obviously not quick as you already can tell, but I am trying. I'm not someone who can write without the desire to do so.
Anyway, I said responses this chapter but meh... usually I respond when I feel questions need to be answered or something needs clearing up, I don't really see any of that from the last reviews so I will just say, as usual, Thanks for the feedback! And also to those who've put the story on their favorites and alerts. Your feedback does put a smile on my face guys and does let me know that the story is worth continuing, if not for myself, but for the readers as well. So please, don't hesitate to review if you feel there is something to say. They really help.
I'm combining the reviewers from the last two chapters since I hadn't done responses last chapter. So, thank you so much for the feedback: iluvmycorgi22 :: kyuubecky :: Walker in the Rain :: Jess :: xxz0eyxx :: xVentressx :: DanAlaya :: darklucifer23 :: Shadowwolf1618 :: nerdmafia101 :: Jenbuscus :: The Azure Heart :: daphii :: ElKookoi :: Lachmalerin :: Nax :: Wildheart21 :: Guest :: Asuka Saruwatari ::
Hope I got everyone. Anyway, Thank you!
Taming a Huntress
She rubbed her wrists together, wincing at the rawness caused by chaffing. She glanced around the dim campsite, her sight landing on the figure across from the fire, resting back against a rock. Baroshe stood, tied to a tree a few paces to her left, head lowered and sleeping. Aside from the pops and cracks from the fire, stone sliding along metal kept the site from being too quiet. He sat, running a sharpening stone along the curved edge of the dagger that lay resting against his knee. Her dagger.
He'd look up, catching her staring, and smirk, exaggerating his motions just to get her to glare. And glare she would.
It had been three days since her departure from Jerusalem. Like before, the roads were avoided, though she suspected it was because Zaim didn't trust her not to call out for help to the travelers. They hadn't spoke much, she found Zaim to be a silent person, despite his heavy attitude he'd had while chasing her. She supposed it was to set her on edge, but she didn't doubt he was still someone who had no issue with holding malice in his person. The times he did speak were when he woke her in the morning, ordered her to sleep at night, or slight jabs throughout the day if she were to express her anger. He seemed much more...languid from what she could tell. As if, now that he had caught her, he could relax.
Zaim had tied her wrists the first day, and at night he bound her feet so she couldn't escape while he slept. To make sure, he kept the end of the rope by a loop in his hand, to ensure he would wake when the rope pulled should she try and get up. Though, each morning he'd unbind her feet, telling her to keep close. By close he meant only a few feet from him, and if she were to stray further he'd go for her hair first and harshly yank her back.
She was sore, and tired. Her arms begged to be released so she could stretch. Her stomach grumbled constantly, after going back to just dried meats and stale bread. Zaim seemed not to mind. She had mentioned once, the day previous, that if he were to untie her, and allow her, her bow...
He had laughed a gruff, hearty laugh.
Savra mostly kept silent anyway. Talking to him, in hopes of swaying his mind proved fruitless. She knew this was not so much about her, but about him, and his desire to earn his place again within the higher brotherhood ranks. He had even said so, that he truly hadn't a care for what was to happen to her, nor did he care for her tie to Altair. As long as he was tasked to bring her in, he'd do everything to do so. She was his means to gaining more respect from Al Mualim. A dog who desired to please his master. And it angered her, that these men would be so devoted to someone that they'd overlook their morals to please their master. Blind faith in someone who was equally blind with power.
She hated him, Al Mualim. She hated that her father was associated with him. She hated that her brother looked to him for orders. Al Mualim was undeserving of having devotion from a man like her brother, her father, Kymal...Malik...Altair...
Savra blinked harshly and turned her face away from Zaim when he caught her unfocused gaze on his person.
"Are you going to weep, Savra?" he jabbed boredly after noting the furrow in her brow.
She shot a glare his way. "Why? Concerned?"
Zaim snorted, running the stone along the curve twice before responding, "Not in the slightest. I only wonder when it will be that you weep to me, begging for me to release you. You've been uncharacteristically quiet as of late, I imagine it is because you are trying to figure out a way to convince me." He smirked and added, "You won't."
Savra rotated her thumb on her right hand, as she had been doing for the past two days. It hurt to do and the digit was sore from the constant motion, but she ignored the feeling and kept at it.
She remained quiet for a while, staring at the fire as he continued his sharpening.
"I don't hope to convince you," she said then, and he glanced up. "I know my words would fall on deaf ears." She looked to him then, noting his impassive stare. "I've already told you my story before, and you chose to ignore it. Why would it make any difference now?"
Zaim kept her gaze for a long moment, before sliding it over to the fire. "It wouldn't," he said.
Silence overtook the camp after that and Savra leaned back against the tree behind her, her thumb in constant motion.
"You must think me cold and uncaring."
Savra's eyes snapped up to his form across the camp as he settled more comfortably against the rock. Her expression that of surprise and uncertainty.
"I hear your words, girl." Zaim continued, keeping his sights at the flames. "And I think you are foolish. Foolish for allowing emotion to take over your mind and actions so much so that you have found yourself in this mess.
"But...I do hold sympathy for what has happened to you and Haydar. I have since the beginning, and I still do. Nasir was a man I respected, and...and I would prefer that I didn't have to treat you the way that I do."
He glanced at her then, and she swallowed thickly, her breath stilling in her chest at his words.
"But, you have brought this upon yourself. Your actions have put the brotherhood at great risk. You have defied Al Mualim, you've turned his most precious pet against him using your wiles. Al Mualim has asked that I bring you to him, and I have no qualms about doing just that."
Savra turned her face from him, her jaw tightening as his words sunk in.
"I haven't turned him against your master."
Zaim chuckled. "You have. His once most devoted, now his least, ever since you showed up."
She swallowed again, and her nails dug into her palms. "It isn't my doing that he's opened his eyes to who your master really is. You live in Al Mualim's haze, he has become free of it, on his own."
"With some persuasion by your whoring, no doubt."
Savra kept her face turned, her chin touching her shoulder, her chest filling quickly with a heavy emptiness. How he could be one way, and snap to another was tiring on her emotions. She couldn't pin his personality, she couldn't guess at his words or meanings. This was the most he spoke to her since they set out from the city. And she was unsure of what to make of it.
"You criticize me for action on my emotions. Is that not what you're doing yourself Zaim?"
His eyes narrowed.
"Is desire not an emotion?"
"What are you speaking about? I am performing a task asked of me, nothing more."
Savra glanced his way. "Why do you perform this task though? Why do you choose to overlook the injustice of it?" He frowned and she added, "Because you desire praise. You desire for your work to be recognized. You desire to be back in the good graces of your master. You are doing this out of desire, Zaim." Her voice became more forceful and his brows continued to narrow as he clenched his jaw. "Don't berate me for acting on my emotions when you gain pleasure for chasing me, hurting me even. Revenge is an emotional response, jealousy is an emo—"
"Jealousy!" he roared, pushing his feet and stomping over to tower over her. "You believe I'm jealous of you? You, a pathetic excuse for a woman. What delusions reside in your head, girl!"
"You are," she said unfazed, and his mouth opened to yell again, cut off by her next words. "Not of me, but of Altair."
He blinked and then chuckled amused, crouching in front of her and grinned a dark grin.
"Why? Because I haven't been gifted a place between your legs, Savra? You think I need ask?"
She spat at his face in rage and he reeled back in shock. After wiping the back of his hand across his face, his eyes slowly rose to her and her ired features.
His other hand came quick, his knuckles smacking painfully against her cheek as he backhanded her. She closed her watering eyes at the ringing in her ears, and then even tighter at the pain blooming across her face.
Her chin was grasped roughly, forced to face him again.
"Will you weep yet, Savra?" Zaim whispered.
The morning brought the multiple chirps of birds calling to each other amongst the trees above. Savra was already awake, had been since the forest was only just lightening up. She lay on her side curled into herself as it was the only comfortable position when her feet were bound. Zaim's presence was close at her back, not intimately, but close enough that she could feel and hear his deep breathing. She was buried under her cloak, but the chill penetrated as if she weren't covered at all.
Zaim stirred behind her, sitting up slowly and popping his back. His hand came to her shoulder a few moments later, shaking it.
"Up," he said, his voice rough from sleep. He pulled the cloak off and she curled even tighter into herself at the cold. His hand curled around her arm and pulled her up until she sat.
Savra remained silent as he began untying her feet as he did each morning when they woke. Once free of the binds, she rotated her ankles with a wince. She glanced up at him as he stayed crouched in front of her, his eyes were locked below her eye, on her cheek. He reached out, Savra leaned away slightly in alarm. His fingers tapped against her cheek, and her eyes slammed shut as she flinched with a pained gasp.
Zaim grabbed her chin then, holding her still as his fingers prodded her cheekbone under her skin, ignoring her pained protests and attempts to free her face.
Her eyes opened when he stopped, and found him to be staring at her, his own holding uncertainty before becoming impassive once again.
"Watch your mouth, and what you allow to come out of it next time," he said gruffly, holding her chin a few seconds longer, then released her and stood to pack up his supplies.
Savra watched him move about for a moment. She tentatively raised her bound hands and touched her cheek lightly, wincing harshly at just the slighted touch.
Zaim moved back over to where she sat, grabbing her bound wrists and hauling her up to her feet. He looked over her once and said, "I wonder what our Altair would do should he see you now. Would he gut me, once he finds that his pretty girl is missing, and not so pretty anymore?" He moved to touch her bruise again, but Savra ducked from his hand with a glare and moved away.
"I doubt he would notice I'm no longer there," she said quietly as she stared at Baroshe who was already saddled and ready to go.
She could feel his gaze, but kept her sight on the horse whom was playfully tossing his head.
"Hmph..." he grunted, pushing her towards Baroshe. "Let us leave then."
Haydar sat at the table, his fingers drumming idly as he waited for Ru'yah to finish with the morning meal she insisted on cooking. It is what a good wife would do, she had said with a bright smile.
It was...odd for him to think about it. Their marriage only a few weeks old too. He glanced at the other table occupant. An aging man, greying deep brown hair tied at the nape of his neck. His face, somewhat kind with wrinkles lining his face here and there. His eyes, the feature that stuck out most. They were brown, like Ru'yah's but a glazed, dull brown that stared unseeing ahead. Akim was the blind man's name, Ru'yah's father. The man had been tolerant of Haydar and his not so noble intentions with his daughter. Though, he recently insisted they married before Ru'yah began to show. Since they were still new to the city, they weren't acquainted with many people. But he still insisted, and Haydar had no choice.
It was a quiet, small, solemn ceremony. Ru'yah seemed happy about it, Haydar...not so much. He found himself using the castle as an excuse to get away from the hovel in which his now wife lived. The small wedding had affected him deeply, for he had no family there.
Savra had taken their father's death with obvious difficulty, even accusing Haydar of feeling nothing about it since he did not show his feelings as she did. But he felt, he felt his father's death everyday, he only chose not to show it. The wedding hit his heart, remembering talks with his father about the day Haydar would take a wife.
"It will be a happy day for me, Haydar, to see you take on a family of your own." Nasir would say. "And I will be proud to watch you bind yourself to such a responsibility."
He had felt himself age when Savra and he reached Masyaf, and every day since, he had aged quicker than he should. But on that day, the ceremony, he'd never felt so young, so lost, so in need of his father's words and assured nod. And he felt weak. For his father was not there when he should have been, and his sister...his sister was off doing what he could not. Because he feared his master's ire, she'd said to him once.
He felt trapped, and the hovel suffocated him. Ru'yah was overly sensitive these days, especially towards him, and he didn't know how to deal with it. So he spent his days in the castle, training, and some nights in his room there as well. It didn't help the situation, but that didn't stop him from doing it. Ru'yah was hurt by his actions and avoidance, he knew, but she was a meek girl and kept most her thoughts about it to herself.
Today, Haydar had come to check on her, intending the visit to be quick so he could return to the castle and join in the sparring. But she insisted he stayed for a meal, and since her father was already at the table, he couldn't decline.
When the meal was served, they ate in silence. Akim was a quiet man anyway, so that was expected on his part. He mostly stayed in his room, or sat out in the small vegetable garden on the side of the house.
Haydar could feel Ru'yah's glances, but he kept his attention on his food.
A knock at the door caused her to rise, Haydar waved her to sit as he went to the door. Kymal stood on the other side, he gestured for Haydar to come out.
After he closed the door, he spoke, "What is it?"
Kymal shifted on his feet, brow furrowing as he collected his words.
"Has he returned?" Haydar asked anxiously. Altair had been taking much longer than usual when it came to returning from a contract, much more past the two weeks it usually took. His last words to the assassin were not kind, and Altair's sudden uncaring take on Savra had plagued him. But Haydar still hoped that the assassin's attitude had changed on his travels and still worked to help his sister.
Kymal shook his head. "No...no he's not returned yet..."
Haydar searched the guard's face with growing unease. "Then what is it?"
Kymal sighed, rubbing that back of his neck. "It is...about Savra, Haydar."
"...What about her?"
"A...a note has just been received."
Haydar's heart pumped erratically in his chest, his hands fisted nervously. Kymal seemed uncomfortable and it made his heart pump even faster. "Do not tell me my sister is dead, Kymal...do not..." Haydar whispered desperately.
Kymal shook his head slowly and Haydar let out a shaking breath. "No, she is not dead. The note...the note is from the Bureau in Jerusalem. It is a report of Zaim's progress for Al Mualim."
Kymal remained quiet, Haydar's anxiety grew at the guard's silence.
"He has caught her and on journey back here," he finally said. "So, I'm not sure if that is a better fate than the first..." Haydar stared at the floor, shock working its way into his system. "I am sorry, Haydar."
Kymal stood with him for a few moments before gripping Haydar's shoulder and leaving quietly back toward the castle. Haydar dully heard the door creak open and the slight footsteps of Ru'yah. Her hand came to rest on his forearm, trailing down to slip her hand in his.
"What was it Kymal wanted?" she asked softly, when he gave no answer she added, "Was it about Altair?"
Haydar glanced away, a scowl quickly overtaking his features at the mention of the assassin. He pulled his hand free from hers and started making his way towards the dusty paths that would lead up the the castle grounds.
"Haydar!" Ru'yah called in surprise, he continued walking. When she caught up to him she tugged on his arm. "What is wrong?"
Haydar gently shrugged her from his arm, speaking over his shoulder, "Go back inside, Ru."
"But your food..." He heard her murmur as he walked further away.
He had no appetite anymore.
Night approached and found them at a new camp, this time close to a stream, the same she remembered following when on the trip to Jerusalem. Savra stood by Baroshe where he was tied to a tree. Regardless of her bound hands, her ran her fingers through his black mane, gently tugging out the tangles. Zaim was reclined against his rucksack, his gaze shifting from the sky to Savra, untrusting as she remained by the horse.
She figured he thought she might find a way to untie him and mount, making her escape. While, she could do that, his constant gaze didn't allow her to try.
"Sit, or I will bind your legs sooner."
Savra trailed her fingers through the mane once more before turning to go sit against a tree. The sat silently, watching the sky completely darken until all light came from the fire. Zaim then dug around in his rucksack, pulling out some dried meat. He made a tossing motion to her, to grab her attention before tossing the meat towards her.
She lifted her hands to catch it, her arms freezing when something shifted on her wrist. The meat fell on the dirt near her knee, but she didn't seem to notice.
Zaim snorted, taking a bite from his piece. "I'm not giving you another."
Savra glanced down, her hands slowly moving to grab her piece. She ate it quickly, her eyes darting his way once she was done, noting his inattention. Savra brought her knees up slightly, and carefully rotated her thumb on her right hand. Her heart pumped in excitement when she felt more movement within the bind. Her eyes looked down, extending and maneuvering her thumb, reaching for the first wrap of the rope. Long moments later her finger finally hooked underneath, and she pulled, noting the give that was now there that wasn't before.
Zaim came over then and she shifted her hands. He grabbed her wrists to bring her up, pulling her over towards the rucksacks. Once she was seated again, he bound her feet, keeping the loop from the extended end in his hand. He grabbed her cloak and wordlessly handed it to her before grabbing his own and settling down to sleep. Savra shifted the cloak over herself with some difficulty before she too laid down on her side to sleep. She brought her hands closer to her face, her thumb still hooked under the first wrap of rope, and she pulled and rotated.
A tiny smile curved at the corner of her lips.
Author's Note: Merp...short chapter, short chapter ;) But I think I've spoiled everyone with the over 10k chapters. I find myself leaning toward writing short chapters these days since I'm on Fictionpress a lot, and they don't seem like long chapters over there for some lame reason. Blasphemy...
I think it's the first chapter since chapter 11 that doesn't have an Altair POV. Was interesting...not writing one ;p Anywho, I hope you guys liked it. As usual I would love to hear your thoughts on the chapter, so please, let me know in a REVIEW!
Thanks for Reading!