This is it, guys. Thanks. :) I was going to wait a couple weeks but decided, "Eh... Why not?"
Song Rec: Between the Raindrops – Lifehouse ft. Natasha Bedingfield. (Main Theme. The Entire Fiction Was Based Off This Song.) Enjoy!
Ready to Fall
The morning sun crept through the halls - an orange glow cascading through the house as I stalked tiredly down the staircase. My stomach grumbled with early morning hunger and I made my way to the kitchen with a mind to search for the leftover rusks from last night's dinner. And after successfully raiding the larder, I grabbed a handful of biscuits, bread pieces, and a jar of fruit spread before heading back for the stairs. But by the time my foot made contact with the first step, I froze and turned slightly to listen, angling my head towards Achilles' old bedroom, which had been turned into a den after his passing...
A very recognizable, faint voice sounded and I found myself treading back down the hallway to investigate. Slowly and quietly, I peered around the corner and looked into the den. I nearly dropped the food in my hands after unsuccessfully stifling my laughter…
Patriot sat in the middle of the rug, flicking his tail wildly from side to side in sharp, agitated movements. He was wearing a pink dress, clearly too small for him, that was intended for a child's doll. Booties had been unevenly shoved onto all four of his paws. But the bonnet… The small, white bonnet covering the ears he never really grew in to, somehow completed the outfit.
I stepped away from the wall and entered the den, receiving a hateful glare from the now full-sized tom as my daughter scooped him up and shoved him into a basket to tuck him in for his nap.
"Good morning, Clair." I said softly as I sat on the floor next to her while smirking at Patriot.
"Daddy!" She beamed happily, tossing her arms around my waste.
I smiled and lifted her into my lap to give her a proper hug. "Why are you up so early?"
She twisted her curly head to the basket and pointed to the angry cat. "Patriot wanted to play with me." She explained.
"So it seems." I replied with a smirk, watching him as he quietly growled to himself. Then, I cleared my throat and looked away, trying in vain not to embarrass him anymore than he already was before asking, "Is Jared up yet?"
Clair nodded. "He went to Hunter's house."
My brow puckered. "Without telling us?"
Clair suddenly appeared very sad and looked up at me with large eyes. "He didn't want me to go with him."
I smirked… That seemed understandable. Clair was only three and I doubted her older brother wanted to haul her all over the homestead just to make her feel like he enjoyed playing with her. "What if I take you outside later to play with me instead? How does that sound?"
She nodded, flashing her brightest smile and scuttled off of my lap to force Patriot back into the basket after he tossed the bonnet off his head and made a break for the cracked window on the other side of the room. With the dress slowing him down, Clair caught up with him easily, especially after he hesitated and attempted to kick the booties from his feet. She picked him up and carried him back to his makeshift bed, trying to make him understand how much he needed his nap.
With her being completely absorbed in her game, I took up my breakfast and slipped a piece of rusk into my mouth while watching her battle with Patriot. He fidgeted and kicked his way out of her arms until finally, he was able to escape. And just as I about to grab him and force him to play with Clair a little longer, there was a very timid knock coming from the front door. It was so faint, that I was not even sure I had heard it in the first place.
Stationing my hand flat against the floor, I leaned back enough for my head to pop out of the archway, and stared at the door as if intently watching it was going to give me positive sign that someone was on the other side. After a short bout of silence, the knock came again, this time firmer, and with more confidence.
Within seconds I had crossed the foyer and landed at the door. One more series of knocks, and I opened it. Standing on my front step was a small boy. He was skinny, wearing tattered clothes, and had bruises lining his jaw and temple. He even had a black eye. My brow furrowed as I stared down at him. He couldn't have been much older than ten but looked as if he had been through hell. Running a hand through his scruffy, blonde hair, he kept his eyes fixated to something on the ground.
"Um…" He started quietly, finally braving through his timidity and forcing his gaze to mine. "Does Connor Kenway live here?"
"That's me." I tried to sound kind, considering the boy's appearance and demeanor. He looked as if he could use a friend.
"I-I… Uh…" He stuttered. "I was told you could train me."
My eyes widened. The phrase somehow sounded very familiar… I knew exactly what he wanted.
"Look, I…" Now it was my turn to stumble over my words. Biting the inside of my cheek, I turned around to look behind me and make sure Clair was still out of earshot before stepping out onto the porch and pitching a bit to whisper, "I don't do that anymore."
The boy's expression fell and his head dropped forward before shuffling his foot over the stoop. There was knot growing in my stomach over his reaction. Where did he even come from?
"Listen," I started. "I have money. I can put you up in the Inn until-"
"Connor?" Aveline's voice came from behind moments before wrapping her hand around the door and yanking it from my grip. "Is someone here?"
Her eyes fell to the young blonde and immediately, by the look on her face, it was plain to see that she wanted to keep him.
"He was just leaving." I offered quickly.
"Are you Aveline?" He asked with a shy smile.
"I am." She said courteously, "And you are…?"
"Noah Bennet, Ma'am."
"Oh, he's so polite!" She beamed, reaching out to hook a finger under his chin and inspect his face. "Who blackened your eye?"
"Didn't catch his name." He murmured darkly with a frown.
Releasing his face, Aveline pushed through the door, sidestepping me in the process – which was no easy task seeing as how she was six months into her third pregnancy – and wrapped her arm around his shoulders.
"You look hungry." She stated honestly.
Without thinking, my hand shot out to wrap tightly around her arm. I didn't want this boy in our home. We didn't know him – where he came from. Whoever took upon themselves to pound in a child's face, was probably out looking for him. A person like that had no business here.
Aveline stopped in her tracks and shot me a glare with enough merit to scare me senseless. "Let go of my arm, darling." She drawled thick and slow, causing my hand to snap away at if she were a venomous snake. There was an underlying threat in her tone. I had been married to the woman for ten years and she still had enough fire in her to make me duck and run.
Still pinning me with a heated gaze she placed her hand possessively on the boy's back and walked into the house.
"Hellcat." I grumbled.
"He shouldn't be here." I snarled quietly.
I stood in the kitchen with my arms crossed, staring across the hall and glaring into the den as Noah sat on the floor, sheepishly playing with Clair. It was more of a show-and-tell session then it was play. She paraded her dolls by him, informing him of their names, which ones were her favorites, and explaining why one of them was missing an arm… Something about dropping the poor toy from the upstairs banister.
"Oh, please!" Aveline huffed, rolling her eyes and pulling a pot from the top of the wood-burning stove. "He is harmless."
"He," I began. "Is not the problem. I do not trust his situation."
"You don't know his situation."
"Exactly!" I bit a little too loud, causing the boy to glance towards the kitchen. Lowering my voice I continued, "How did he know our names? Or how to find us? How did he know that I could train him?"
"The same way you knew about Achilles!" She bit. With her foot tapping against the ground, she scoffed and grabbed a stack of plates before shoving them into my arms and pushing me towards the dining room. "Make yourself useful and set the table. Dinner will be ready soon."
"That's another thing!" I snapped, gripping the tableware. "It was one thing to give him breakfast. But then lunch? And now dinner?" I shook my head furiously at her. "Why don't you just make up the bed in the guest room and be done with it?!"
She smirked. "I'm glad you feel that way because I've already lent him one of your old shirts to sleep in."
Aveline nodded her head towards the plates in my arms, "Go. The table needs set."
Every instinct in my body screamed to kick Noah out of my house but I had promised Aveline that I would be civil… At least until morning. After all, she did control my sex life and if I wanted to remain in her good graces, I was going to have to get over my insecurities about the boy. That, or spend the night in the den for the next week.
I shifted the food around on my plate, listening to the sharp screeching the silver made against the dish, and trying to ignore the conversation until Aveline kicked me from underneath the table. I jumped and looked to her with confusion before she nodded towards our guest.
His eyes were on the plate before him, his hands in his lap, and his hair hung over his eyes. I turned back to my wife to see her glaring at me. Then, finally she leaned in and whispered, "He was talking to you."
"O-Oh." I cleared my throat. "Sorry, did you say something."
"Well it was just about my mother." He repeated, bringing his head up to look at me. "She used to talk about you a lot."
I blinked. "Did I know her?"
"She said you used to be friends."
"I see. And where is she now?"
"Dead." Noah dropped his head once more.
"Oh… I'm sorry." I offered. I wanted to inquire about his father but I knew if he were around, Noah wouldn't have shown up on my doorstep in the first place. "When I was young, I too lost my mother."
"That's why I'm here. Before she died, she said you could help me."
At that, Aveline leaned forward suspiciously, placing one hand under her chin. "How exactly did she know him?"
"She used to live on the Homestead. I think it was really close to the Manor."
My eyes narrowed as my scrutinizing gaze pulled over the boy. He had defined blonde hair and through his swollen eye, was a deep brown iris. How could I have missed it? He was all too recognizable. "Hannah King was your mother?" I asked in shock.
He nodded and took a bite off his plate.
"How did she die?"
"She was murdered."
"Wow!" Boomed Jared from the other side of the table, causing both his mother and I to shoot him a disapproving look. "That has got to be the most exciting thing I've heard in weeks! You've got to tell me the whole story!"
"Jared!" Aveline snipped. "His pain is not your entertainment!"
He ducked a bit after being scolded and muttered a half-hearted apology. From the look in his eye, it was obvious he intended to corner Noah at the most opportune time and drill him about Hannah's death. Being a former Templar, I'm sure her Order had something to do with it…
To hide my shame, my head dropped to my hand over my son's behavior. Although polite, for the most part, he had a tendency to randomly blurt out his thoughts. I wished that the trait was inherited from his mother… But it wasn't. I was only glad Clair had already been put to bed for the evening. The conversation about the boy's murdered mother was not exactly something she needed to hear.
Standing outside the guest bedroom, I rapped lightly against the door. Noah shuffled about on the other side for a short time before finally pulling the barrier open. The way he looked up at me made me feel like some kind of awkward giant. His eyes were so wide, it appeared as if he thought I might devour him.
"I was wondering if I could ask you a question." I started heavily.
He blinked up at me and warily nodded.
"Where is your grandfather?"
Aveline and I searched months for the infamous Robert King but he had mastered the art of staying underground. We never found him. Even after Aveline became pregnant with Jared, I still searched passionately, not wanting him to rear his head and show up on my front lawn. It was only a few years after Jared was born that I decided to just let him go. If he ever came back, I wouldn't hesitate to kill him.
"I have never met him. My mother told me I didn't need someone like that in my life." He shrugged. "I guess he wasn't a very nice guy."
I scoffed and crossed my arms, refraining from the phrase; Before You Were Born, The Man Nearly Tore My Tongue Out…
Instead I cleared my throat and said, "I have given it some thought and I just wanted to let you know that you can stay here for as long as you like."
His face brightened and he grinned up at me.
"Tomorrow we can talk about your training and if it's something you really want to do. Whether or not you decide you want to go through with it, you're welcome here. I want you to consider the Manor your new home."
I watched him, half expecting him to thank me or at least ask questions but instead, he rushed forward and threw his slight arms around my waste. At first I backed away but he caught me easily enough, locking his arms around my torso.
"Get some rest." I said, finally pulling away while holding him back by the shoulders. "We'll talk tomorrow."
He smiled again and disappeared behind the door. With a sigh of relief, I turned and headed back for my own bedroom. Throwing open the door, I crossed the space between the entry and the bed before dropping down on the pallet. Aveline was sitting up against the headboard with an open book in her hands, staring at me.
"I told him he could stay."
"It's obvious he has nowhere to go."
"What about Jared?" She asked. "Won't he be upset to learn how lethal you were ten years ago and that you've decided to train someone other than him?"
I shrugged, "He is welcome to join."
"I thought you said you wanted to keep him away from all that - after everything we went through."
I smiled at her. I never told her that she had once died – about Juno – the real reason I let Hannah go. This was probably just as confusing to her as it would be to Jared.
"He was bound to discover the training pitch in the cellar anyway." I joked, pulling down the comforter and taking my place in bed beside her.
"I'm proud of you." Aveline closed her book and placed it on the nightstand before leaning down and dotting a trail of kisses along my temple.
"Look, the last thing I want to do is endanger our children's lives by sending them after Templars. If you have any doubts about this, then I won't-"
"I think they are smart enough to make the decision on their own and I trust your judgment."
I was still so unsure. What had I gotten in to? "Aveline, I-"
"If I wanted to negotiate this any further then I would have worn knickers." She quipped.
I blinked, watching the smirk crawl over her mouth before saying, "I love you."
"I love you too." She purred, reaching for the buttons on my fly. "Now, take off your pants."
A/N: Whoo Hoo! We made it! ( ⌒o⌒)人(⌒-⌒ )v
Btw, the unborn baby is a boy. They name him John-Luke. Jared is 8. And Noah is technically 9. Fun Facts… I'm sure you guys were curious. And it looks like Connor and Aveline are fostering Hannah's orphaned child and getting back into the Assassination games!
SEQUEL: I've had a few people Private Message me, asking about a sequel. I wasn't planning on doing one, but if you really want, I would do it. So depending on popular demand, if I get enough people asking for one, then sure. Just Private Message me and let me know, OR put your response in your Review. Again, I hadn't planned on it, but I sort of left it open ended for the sake of the reader's imagination. I would be more than happy to do a continuation for anyone who preferred. :)
Anyway… Guys, Thanks so much! You all were awesome for hanging in there even after I killed Aveline! That's Dedication. I would like to say, you all are fantastic! I loved hearing from every single one of you guys! You've been perfect readers! I sincerely hoped you enjoyed every single minute you spent reading Ready to Fall… I know I enjoyed writing it and enjoyed your feedback!
See you at the beginning of the year!
(っ◕‿◕)っ Don't forget to review! It's your last chance!
Replies: Look For Your Name
UltraMickey: I'm glad you are happy again. Unlike your last review where you said the "F-Word" like 5 times. Thanks for reading and reviewing! I appreciate your feedback! :]
Legionary Prime: I'm glad you have enjoyed this so much and stuck with it until the end. =) Thank you so much for your support! I hope you will read and enjoy my upcoming fiction A Shot in the Dark. I'd love to hear from you in the future :P
Sivan IXXX: Hug received! I'm glad you liked it! And I certainly WISH Ubisoft had gone in this direction! It would have made Connorline fans everywhere very happy. Thanks for reading and for all your help during my writers block! You were a life saver! :D
Wags14: Apology accepted. Although I'm not sure why you apologized :P All the same, I'm glad to have made you happy again. :)
desmoneBOMB: Thanks for reading! XD
GUEST: If I get enough readers demanding a sequel, I will most certainly do one. :)
Sup234: I'm glad you liked it! I was afraid it was a little too far out there. I had thought to have the bullet graze her skull but decided it would come off as unrealistic and cheesy. Not that my way was any less unrealistic. Haha thanks so much for reading!
Jill Sabaku no Nara: Thanks for following me and sticking with the story! And gosh, it must have taken HOURS to read this in one single day. Thanks so much for the support! See you January! P.S. Bear hug received ;)