Not This Time...
A/N: Well here it is! The next chappie will include Altair and Ezio only :D Let me know what you think!
Monica leaned back against the stable doors as her trainer rushed about trying to get her horse ready. She paused for a moment to hear the music coming from the radio that she had a few feet away from her.
She smiled at the classical music that she hadn't heard in ages, Moonlight Sonata, she recalled the name.
"Watch the other riders, don't get boxed in near the rail," her trainer told her in the background as she continued to listen to the melancholy piano.
Five years, it had been five years since the incident. She had nearly forgotten all about it, it seemed like a distant memory now. The piano continued to play in the background as she neared the horse and placed a hand on its mane.
She stared at it with a blank expression; the very same horse had put her brother in the hospital a few hours ago during a practice run. The black mare stared back at her before neighing slightly. Monica pulled her hand back and walked away from the horse once more with a slight frown.
"Whatever you do, don't fall off like your brother did, hold on to the reins no matter what," her trainer warned her as she nodded slightly not really paying attention as she pulled her hair back into a ponytail and looked outside.
Other jockeys passed by with sneers directed at her, she had been called in to ride the horse when her brother went down and was unable to ride it. Naturally being the only woman there they seemed to either be distracted by her or direct their anger at her.
"How long is the race?" she asked in a monotone voice. She had changed over time; she wasn't the happy girl who viewed the world as an adventure anymore. She had finally come to realize that life was cruel, unforgiving, and cold.
"One turn, it's nothing you can't handle," her trainer replied as she nodded once more and frowned again when she turned her head towards the sky. It had started to rain, water started to pour down as the other jockeys grimaced and headed towards the stables as well to meet the horses they would be riding.
"What happened to the imbecile?" Monica asked, referring to her brother as her trainer stopped his mussing with the horse and turned towards her.
"The horse bumped into the rail and his foot slipped out of the saddle, the mare sent him flying and he crashed onto the ground…he broke several bones, do not make the same mistake," he told her as he stood next to her.
Monica continued to stare at the sky, the water still coming down hard.
She stepped out of the way calmly when a person came to collect the horse in order to show it to the crowd before the race began. Monica observed the other horses as they circled around the paddock with a straight face before stepping out into the rain with her whip and helmet in one hand while the other remained motionless at her side.
"You're gonna get it, babe!" one of the riders called out to her as she ignored the comment. It didn't matter anyway; if any of them tried anything while she was riding she would make sure to take them down with her.
"Riders up!" a voice called as she pulled out of her thoughts and headed towards her horse. The rain that fell around her had drenched her by now as she stepped over to the massive mare and mounted it with the help of her trainer.
"Don't fall off," he whispered to her just before she led the horse towards the tunnel leading to the track. She gripped the reins with one hand and snapped them lightly directing the horse as the animal grunted and moved under her command.
The hooves hitting the ground echoed in the tunnel eerily as she looked ahead. A white figure at the end of the tunnel caused her to look up with a slight sneer before it was gone. It had only been her imagination; she had put his memory to rest a long time ago.
She shook the memory off and directed her horse towards the starting gate as more jockeys joined her each calling out to her. She closed her eyes briefly and shook her drenched hair out of her face before tossing it back with one hand and slipping on her helmet.
She ran a hand over her horse's neck as she guided it into the starting gate, the ground beneath them muddy and unstable. It was a recipe for disaster to race on such a day but the crowd seemed oblivious to it, all they wanted was the rush that gambling brought.
She cleared her mind when the man behind her closed the door after her horse entered and dropped her head once the other riders started to enter the gate.
"I'm gonna screw you over," one of the jockeys commented snapping his whip against the railing in between them as Monica jumped slightly and looked ahead once more. The dark grey sky that greeted her eased her thoughts for a brief moment before the gates flew open and her horse lurched forward.
She gripped the reins close to her and rose her body off of the horse as the mare pounded the ground with everything that it had. The once impeccable black coat soon turned into a muddy mess as it stormed down the track, two other horses beside it running with everything that they had.
The panting that came from the animals stirred memories in her mind as brief flashes of white and gold resurfaced in her mind. She shook her head knowing that now wasn't the time to remember him. The jockey next to her shouted at his horse which startled her as she looked ahead and released the reins slightly giving her black mare more freedom as the horse galloped freely.
Lightning flashed above her stirring her memories even more as she remembered the man she had tried to forget for so long. Golden eyes flashed before her eyes, followed by the trademark scar on his lips. She shook her head once more when her horse neighed in front of her.
"You shouldn't be here, little girl!" the jockey to her right yelled above the storm as he rammed his horse into hers. She slipped slightly and gripped the reins as she regained her balance and glared at him slightly.
She recognized the man next to her; in fact he had been responsible for her brother's accident. He had done the same to her brother and unfortunately he had lost his balance and fallen off of the horse when it rammed into the railing.
"Judas, enough!" another jockey called from the back as he saw the man in question ram his horse into Monica. She tried to keep her attention on the track as the two men that were next to her started to box her in.
A clap of thunder startled the horses up front as they rounded towards the home stretch causing one of them to completely lose its balance and collapse onto the ground along with its jockey as the other riders who were behind him panicked and gripped on to their own horses.
"Shit, we're all going down," a jockey shouted from behind them as Monica's mind went blank upon seeing the collapsed horse in front of her. There was no way in heaven or hell that she could possibly stop the animal that she was riding in time to prevent the fall that awaited her. The jockeys beside her seemed to grasp that as well as they held on to the reins tighter and waited for the inevitable.
Time seemed to stop as another clap of thunder marked their fall; one by one the horses went down in a crescendo of neighing and yells. Monica flew off of her saddle as her horse went down and crashed on the muddy ground before skidding as the horses that had been behind her trampled over her own horse and stumbled on her body before going down as well.
The crowd went silent as cracks and gasps reached the fallen jockeys ears. More than half lay on the ground beside their horses unable to move. Monica found herself crying unable to even pick her arm up as she struggled to breathe. She was sure that at least half of her ribs were broken; it was a miracle how she was still breathing after horses of that magnitude stumbled over her body.
She couldn't move her own body and that alone horrified her, her horse lay besides her struggling to breathe as its chest heaved and its legs kicked hopelessly.
Monica closed her eyes and tried to think of anything that could distract her from the pain that she was feeling as a hand rested on her mud stained shoulder. She opened her eyes in confusion once she saw white robes beside her. She looked up in shock to see the assassin that she had tried to forget kneeling beside her with a concerned look on his face.
She didn't know what was going on but the moment she blinked he was gone. She could hear the ambulance rushing over to them followed by the assistants on the side of the track as she closed her eyes once more.
Her trainer rushed over to her body that lay sprawled on the ground next to other jockeys as he knelt down beside her and tried to comfort her. He brushed away a strand of drenched hair from her face as the rain continued to fall even harder.
"I'm sorry I didn't win," she whispered as she coughed up blood. Her trainer looked away only to find the other jockeys in similar or worse conditions with several paramedics crowded around each one. Monica was soon surrounded by them as well as they carried her body over to one of the ambulances and rushed her over to the hospital.
Her trainer stood up after they had rushed her towards the hospital and walked over to the once magnificent animal that lay on the ground suffering. He crouched beside the animal as its breathing started to get slower and slower.
He closed the animal's eyes once he noticed that it was no longer breathing, he knew that racing in the rain was a bad idea, several other trainers had agreed with him and had even suggested that they should just cancel the races for the rest of the day. Their suggestions however had fallen on deaf ears.
He remained by the horse that he had trained since it was a colt, and bowed his head once he heard that a jockey was dead. He knew it had been a bad idea to let her race when the conditions were this bad, but he hadn't realized the risks behind allowing her to mount her horse.
He stood and started to walk away before looking back at his horse once more and smiling bitterly.
"A little fall of rain…can hardly hurt you now."
Annalise leaned back on her chair as she stared at the painting that she had been working on for over a month. The paint beside her comforted her with its bright colors, the;y clashed with the grey sky outside which brought a light smile to her face.
The radio that played in the background only seemed to brighten her mood even more.
"Moonlight Sonata," she whispered to herself setting her brush down for a moment as she looked around her apartment. Scattered paintings rested against every wall and lay upon every surface.
Over the past five years she had become a known painter; her abstract art had caught several eyes and had led her to fame in a short period of time.
She stretched and stood up from her current seat and left her canvas for a brief moment as she walked over to her kitchen to grab a glass of red wine. She pulled out a glass and poured the dark crimson liquid into it as she took a sip before walking over to her painting once more.
She sat down and reached for her brush once more as she worked on it with more determination than ever. The particular painting she was working on was for herself, she had no intention of selling it or even displaying it in a gallery.
She recalled the assassin that she had met over five years ago; despite the time that had passed she hadn't forgotten what he looked like. She didn't think she would ever forget him, how could she?
Her brush seemed to ghost over the canvas as she got more and more into her piece of art. The lighting that flashed occasionally through her window didn't seem to startle her in the least.
She stepped back slightly and frowned. The brown was completely off, she closed her eyes and tried to picture the Italian in her mind…she tried to remember the tone of his eyes.
It had been so long since she had last seen him…
She picked up her brush once more and applied a darker shade of brown over the lighter one. She pulled back again and analyzed it. She nodded to herself completely satisfied with the finished product.
She got up once more and allowed the painting to dry as she walked out of her studio and settled down on her leather couch before turning on the news. She watched with an uninterested look before directing her gaze towards her large window.
It was pouring outside, memories started to resurface before she blocked them out. She wouldn't remember them, she refused to. She had promised herself that she would forget him and everything related to him, it had proven more difficult than she had first thought.
It had been five years, but she hadn't been able to completely forget.
She often woke in the middle of the night holding nothing but the air before she realized that it had all been a dream. He would never be there, she doubted he remembered her. He was a womanizer after all; he probably already had another woman in his life. He would make her feel like she was his world before abandoning her and moving on to the next woman that caught his eye.
With that thought she stood from her couch and stormed into her studio before glancing at her most recent painting. A clap of thunder made her lose control as she threw her glass of wine at the canvas. It shattered upon contact and stained the painting as the wine soaked into the canvas and distorted the paint.
She closed her eyes before she walked over and cleaned up the shattered glass and tossed it out but not before she cut herself accidentally. She cursed and walked over to her large bathroom before looking around for a first aid kit.
She found it with a triumphant look on her face as she disinfected the large cut and started to bandage her hand as she headed back to her living room upon hearing the news anchor go on and on about a story.
"Three dead, five injured…one of the worst tragedies in racing history…" the voice said as she rushed into the room. She stood in front of the large television as they played back the race and the fall that had taken three lives.
Her face went pale when she recognized one of the riders.
She held her wounded hand as she rushed over to her coffee table and picked up her phone before dialing several numbers. Each of her friends only confirmed her worst fear; she hung up after the third call and dropped her phone on the couch before collapsing on it herself.
She had often argued with Monica over her hobby, she tattooed people for a living but she rode horses professionally when time permitted her to. Annalise had always argued with her telling her it wasn't worth the risk.
She got up off the couch and gathered her things before heading out of her apartment in a rush. She descended the stairs rapidly and headed towards her car wanting to get out of the rain as soon as possible. None of the people that she had called had been able to confirm if Monica had been one of the three dead jockeys, Annalise merely hoped that she hadn't been one of them.
She had seen Monica go down and get trampled by the horses, she had seen her body refusing to move, she wasn't going to go through that again. It had been hard enough five years ago seeing her go first when they were hanged by the creed.
She drove through the streets rapidly heading towards the hospital that they had told her to go to. She hoped that she was wrong, but deep down she knew not to hope for the best.
The world had shown her that not everything was sugar coated, things went wrong and there was nothing you could do about it. It was completely out of your hands, that alone frustrated her.
She hated not being able to control her life more, to forget what she wanted to forget and to start over again. Several men had already approached her and she had denied every single one of them. In her mind she couldn't find it in herself to forget the Italian that still haunted her thoughts.
She knew she had to start over, things would never be the same, they were never going to see the pair of assassins again. But something told her to hold on to the little bits of memories that she had of them, she couldn't explain it.
She would see flashes of white out of the corner of her eye from time to time when she was working in her studio, she would follow the figures but they would disappear as soon as she reached out to touch them. She wondered if they were there to haunt her or to remind her of the past, to reassure her that it wasn't over just yet…that things still had to be fixed.
Countless times she would see the Italian in her sleep, she would call out to him, she would ask him questions that she knew he would never answer. When she woke everything was back to normal and she was missing a piece of her soul once more.
She questioned herself endlessly, why was she still hung up on him…why couldn't she let him go?
She knew Monica had forgotten about Altair or at least tried her hardest to avoid talking about their brief time with the pair of assassins, so why couldn't she follow her lead and ignore the past?
She turned a corner sharply with the car as it skid slightly with the wet pavement as the radio in the background played 'A Little Fall of Rain,' from the musical, 'Les Miserables'. Annalise frowned as she turned the haunting music off with a sneer and gripped the steering wheel. Her knuckles turned white as she drove through the streets recklessly.
Night had already fallen upon the city; she cursed herself for living so far away from her partner and then proceeded to curse the hospital for being so far as well. She knew damning them to hell wouldn't make the matters any better but it was all she could do to ease her nerves.
She finally arrived as she parked her car and ran towards the entrance of the hospital as she caught her breath at the reception desk and informed the assistant about the person she was looking for.
"I'm sorry, but she is not available for any visits right now," the woman told her before she laughed lightly, "that was some fall she had…you'd expect someone with her experience to be less stupid and hold on to the horse better," the woman added as Annalise snapped and reached over the desk in a burst of pure fury.
"I don't know who you think you are, I'd wipe that smile off of your face if I was you unless you want me to do it for you," Annalise snarled pulling the woman towards her by gripping her collar. The woman immediately dropped her smile and called for security as two guards walked over and started to escort Annalise out of the hospital.
She growled when they shoved her outside as she straightened her jacket and walked over to her car as she slipped in and pulled out her phone once more as she dialed another number.
She waited impatiently for the person she had called to arrive as she stared at the hospital doors grimly, if anything happened to her partner in crime there would be hell to pay.
She fell back on her chair and closed her eyes before turning on the radio once more as she tried to ease her muscles from their tense state. She clenched and unclenched her hand in an attempt to calm her nerves as she stared up at the grey sky and then at her windshield as rain continued to pour down.
The constant thud of the water hitting the glass calmed her as she slipped into a troubled sleep. She waited for her friend to arrive and go into the hospital for her and find out how Monica was.
Five years had gone by, five years since she had seen her partner die in front of her, she wouldn't lose her again.
Review! Ifs there's anything you guys would like to see happen, let me know in your reviews!