Anita fastened her trusty dagger to her hip. The anticipation of her next kill made her fingers twitch and the process took longer than necessary. She reached to put on her leather bracer s, but stopped. According to her father, she wouldn't need them. It still felt odd. Not to mention the dress and powder, courtesy of her mother. This wasn't exactly the way she imagined she would be joining ranks, but she was eager to please. She doubled herself over and took a deep breath. She stepped out, forcing the anxiety to hide behind a mask for her parents inspection.
"Oh Anita! Look at you. You look so beautiful... but perhaps you should wear your hair up." Anita's mother moved forward already reaching for her daughter's hair.
"Mother, please." she side stepped out of range casually, stopping next to her father. She felt her back straighten almost immediately and quickly brushed her brown hair out of her face. He looked her up and down with a careful eye. the way his brows furrowed together let her know he was in business mode.
"It would have to do," he stated simply. She nodded once and followed him out to their porch. "Our sources have spotted him entering the city not long ago. He should be at or around the general store. Are you ready?"
Anita took another deep breath, stomping down the anxiety trying to break through. "Yeah. I have a plan I intend to follow." She turned to leave, but her fathers strong hand griped her arm. She looked up to find his expression soften.
"You don't have to do this."
"I know." She looked him right in the eye. "I want to."
A sad smile broke his usual hard features. "Do us proud." He patted her shoulder, sending her off. He watched her untie her horse and slip into the saddle. When she returned, perhaps there will finally be talk of her joining. She flicked the reins once, leading the horse at a casual trot. He followed the chestnut mare until they vanished around the street corner, heading deeper into Boston. He had faith she could do this.
Anita sat on a bench just outside the general store, her feet planted on the ground and her head in her hands. How in Gods' name was she supposed to this? As she was riding, her confidence reached an all time high, but the second she saw the general store come in view, reality had hit her like a punch in the face. She felt guilt when she stepped on a snail goddammit. Everything she had striven for her entire life was quickly slipping through her fingers because she couldn't let them wrap around the hilt of her dagger. It sounds so easy in training though. People even praised her for her style and being a quick learner. She could disarm or parry just about any spar partner they set her up against. She felt so prepared. She was going to bring honor to her family's name and climb the ranks to be alongside her father. At least, that's what she had thought. How do they handle this?
A single thought swirled into her head, He is the reason Johnson is dead.
It's his fault her father was so angry that day. With that death he threatened everyone else. He threatens her father and everyone she knows and loves. He is a threat to herself. She had to rid him before it was too late.
"Are you alright?" It was a male voice that spoke to her. A strong and deep one at that.
She waved them off, "I'm fine."
"You don't look all that fine." She picked up on an unfamiliar accent.
"What does it matter to you?" She shot back, then sighed. "I'm sorry. I-I just have a lot on mind." She felt the weight in on the bench change beside her, letting her know he had sat down.
"If there's anything I can do, you just have to ask."
She let out a laugh at his words, turning her head slightly to look at him. She blinked in surprise. Most of his face was covered by a white hood, an eagle embroidered on the lip. From what she could see, everything about his features seemed as if they had been carved from stone, except for his eyes. There was a certain gentleness one wouldn't expect in them. A sincere concern for her, a perfect stranger. His skin was darker than hers, showing his native heritage, but it was still paler than she would have expected. Yet, there was still a feeling of familiarity in his face. She had seen him before... "Have we met already?"
He thought for a moment, studying her face. He shook his head. "No. I believe we haven't. What is your name?"
"Anita. Why would you even want to help me, though? We know nothing of each other." She wasn't pleased with his answer. He looked too familiar. She debated in her mind for a second on whether to press the matter or not.
A half-smile played at his mouth, "I know your name." He paused for a moment before continuing. "You seemed upset and I simply wanted to help. My name is Connor."
The name sent bells ringing in her head. She finally took in his whole appearance, piecing together the hood, robes, weapons and the symbol she had been forced to remember on his belt. "You're Connor?" She asked in half disbelief even though the evidence was all too clear. Her hand moved to rest on the hilt of her dagger. He saw the movement immediately, his own hand moving fast to grip his weapon, his eyes darting for any other sign of danger.
"Why do you ask?" He questioned carefully. Sitting right beside her was the enemy. Someone so dangerous he threatened everything her family was working towards. She wasn't sure how, to be honest, but she knew it was important he was gone. He had killed Johnson. He would kill more of the ones she called family. In time, she was positive he would even kill her. Yet she hesitated.
All she had to do was unsheathed the dagger at her hip. One swift motion would end it all now. If she were lucky, she would catch him before he reacted. One well placed stab right through his chest and the red liquid would stain his white robes. Even if he did have time to react, or move, she was still close enough to manage some hit. His arm or leg perhaps? She saw herself do it. She left him to bleed as she returned to her father and be welcomed to the Order with open arms. Everything she wanted since she had been a child, was mere inches away from her. Seventeen years leading up to this. Still, she hesitated.
The man before her was not the hell-bent monster her parents had told her he would be. Before her was a man with a real concern for her in his eyes. Who came to help a stranger who seemed upset. He had shown her more kindness in his few words than people she had known through her entire life have. .How could he be like someone so obsessed with killing, they did it for sport. The Assassins would kill anyone who got in their way or disapproved of their own methods. One would not hesitate to kill you, they had told her, and so neither should you. Yet, she did.
Her hand slipped off the dagger. She looked away from him and took a breath before pushing off the bench. With a heavy sigh she broke into a full sprint into the closest alley way she could find.
The air rushed past her ears, hair flying madly behind her. Everything was a blur as she ran. She ignored other people, just concentrating on keeping one foot ahead of the other. She was going as fast as she could, but apparently that wasn't fast enough. Something large collided with her mid step, knocking her straight to the ground. Her mind didn't even register she had stopped running until she was forced back on her feet and pinned against the wall by whatever had just hit her. She blinked away the confusion, only to find herself staring right into the familiar face of the assassin. Only this time, the gentleness in his eyes was gone, replaced by something else entirely. Was this, in fact, the monster they had warned her about? Maybe she should have killed him.
"Why did you run?" His voice seemed calm, but there was no denying the hint of anger seeping through every word.
"Let me go!" She shouted back at his face, trying desperately to squirm out of his iron grip, but to no avail.
"I asked why did-" A gunshot fired right by their heads cut him off. He didn't even hesitate. Keeping his strong grip, he ran through the alley, dragging Anita along behind him until they stopped behind a brick house. He crouched down, indicating her to do the same and listened.
"I told ya it would've been too easy," Neither of them recognized the voice, but she had a feeling on who it was.
"Boss said if 'he failed to go on an' kill 'em both!" Anita's eyes widened.
"We need to get out of here," she hissed at the assassin, trying to see around him. A man on the rooftop came into view. He spotted the two and a smirk played on his grummy face as he brought up his gun to aim. "Now!" She pulled on his grip desperately.
Seeing the immediate danger, he sprang up and ran out of the alley, bringing Anita behind. "Can you keep up?" He asked while darting through the crowded streets.
"Just run!" She shouted. There wasn't even a second thought. His run turned into a full sprint, now practically dragging Anita along. She stumbled once, but his grip was strong, keeping her up. They slipped through the street crowds, hearing a gunshot behind them too close for comfort only pushing them forward. People began screaming around them, which made her panic even couldn't outrun them. They had to hide, but where?
Apparently, the assassin got the same idea. He led them off the main road and darted into the nearest alley. It opened up to the backyards, filled with gardens and pets of the nearby residents. He released his grip on her to frantically search for a hiding spot. "Over here." He ran over to a hay pile besides someones animal pen.
"The hay?" She asked in disbelief.
"I think they went down here!" A man called as he entered through the alley. She looked back at the voice. The man sounded like one of the mercenaries her family had hired as of late.
"Do you have a better plan?" He challenged.
"No, but-" He cut her off by promptly plunging into the pile of hay. She had to admit, he was well hidden, but...really? The hay? She chewed at her lip, glancing over her shoulder. The mercenary had come into view and she could fully see it was defiantly one her father had hired. Before she fully processed what that meant, a hand grabbed the collar of her dress and pulled her into the hay. She gasped, landing on her back. The same hand was quick to cover her mouth as the assassin held her still. They both froze to listen.
"Check over there. We'll continue on down 'is way." They listened as the mercenary mused to himself. The footsteps slowly got closer and closer, until Anita was sure he was just another step away. "Maybe in here," He muttered. The assassin released her and moved closer to the edge of the pile, clearly knowing something she didn't. Whatever he was about to do was interrupted though, when the mercenary poked through the hay and stabbed her in the arm. She bit her tongue, but still a gasp from the pain escaped. The assassin said something in a language she didn't recognize which sounded a lot like a curse. He stood up, stabbing the man and dragging him into the pile much like he had done with her, only now that man was dead. She stared as the body landed beside her, horrified. She knew him. Her father proudly introduced her, her brother and mother to him when he was first hired. He was going to kill them on her fathers orders, because she couldn't kill someone else? That didn't sound like her loving and caring father. Her mother would never allow it either! Or did the assassins death just mean that much to him, he was willing to sacrifice his daughter? Speaking of which...
The assassin slipped out of the hay, brushing off any loose strands. "It is clear," he confirmed. Anita followed suit, picking off the hay tangled up in her hair. She pulled up her sleeve to inspect her arm. The puncture wasn't as serious as she first thought. She watched for a moment as the blood seeped out of her skin. She glanced over at the assassin, debating in her mind. The blood continued to drip, staining her mothers' dress. She ignored the look he gave her as she pulled out a handkerchief from her blouse. She wiped the blood and wrapped it around, figuring it would have to do for now. He chose wisely to not comment. "Do you know those men?"
"...Yes. " He waited for her to continue. She sighed. It was unnerving how his gaze held strong. "They work for my father." She looked over to see his reaction. To see if there would be any hint before he turned and killed her as well. Instead, he folded his hands in front of him. "I don't understand why he would send them after me though."
He paused and let this information sink in. However he changed the subject. "Earlier. Why did you run?"
She cast a side glance at him. Seeing her expression he took a step forward. "The same reason I'm running now." Without a second thought she broke out into a run once more.
"Wait!" He called after her, but she was gone and this time he didn't bother chasing after her.