Never has there been this much blood.
Connor stumbled and slumped against the wall near him, trying to stay conscious. He shook his head, trying to shake out the faint whispers that kept repeating again and again.
Still, I'm proud of you in a way… I should have killed you long ago.
I should have killed you long ago.
Pressing his hand to his side, he forced himself to move forward. The bitter feeling of defeat and sorrow somehow made him temporarily forget the pain. Not only did Lee escape once again, Connor was forced to kill Haytham as well.
Connor shook his head and grit his teeth as a hiss of pain escaped from his lips. He needed to press forward. He could not afford to die here. His whole side felt as if it was burning off with every step he took. The many nicks he received from his father's sword did not help his present situation either.
He needed to get back to the Johnston's safe house, but that task seemed impossible at the moment.
The rush from the attack on the fort and the fight was starting to wear off and Connor could suddenly feel every wound he received from them tenfold. He managed to pull himself through a broken part of the fort's wall and limped his way toward the tunnel entrance nearby. Opening the hatch was not supposed to be this hard, but Connor suddenly felt as if his limbs were made of the heaviest cast iron.
He stepped down the first step and groaned when the first wave of dizziness blurred his vision. No, this could not be happening now. He had to get back to Ellie and tell her what happened. He had to see her again. He refused to die here.
Using every ounce of willpower he possessed, he pressed forward; refusing to think about anything else.
The trek through the tunnel seemed even longer and Connor found himself having to stop and catch his breath multiple times. The sun was just breaking over the horizon when he crawled out of the tunnel. Connor let out a sigh of relief when he saw the Johnston's cellar door nearby.
Connor managed to throw it open before stumbling down the steps. His vision blurred again and the last thing he remembered was collapsing heavily against the door.
A heavy thud caused Ellie to look up from the letter she was reading. It was too muffled to come from the front door and she knew it wasn't from upstairs. She set the letter down on the chaise and stood up, hurrying toward the stairs to the cellar.
Connor was supposed to immediately come here after Lee was assassinated. Could he have come through the cellar door?
Lighting a candle, Ellie tentatively made her way down the stairs. Surprisingly, no one was in the main room. Ellie shrugged and walked toward the door leading to the outside stairway. She opened the door and gasped when Connor's limp form fell backwards with it.
"Oh no," she breathed, quickly kneeling down and checking for a pulse. Her heart rate started to reach an impossible speed and her throat seemed to close up when she didn't feel one right way. She finally gulped in air when she barely felt a faint flutter.
He was alive, thank God.
"James!" Ellie called, frantically looking for any major wounds.
"Come down here quick! I need your help." As she waited for James, she tried to keep herself from shaking as she started to unbuckle all of the weapon holsters running across Connor's chest and hips.
James raced down the stairs and his eyes widened when he saw what was before him. "Where do you want him?" he immediately asked, stepping forward and hooking his arms underneath Connor's armpits.
"Guest room," Ellie quickly ordered, basically running up the stairs.
She prayed to God that she could save Connor in time.
Connor felt as if his whole body was made of lead when he awoke. He slowly blinked when he felt the faint glow of sunlight on his clammy skin. He instantly recognized the room; he had stayed in it multiple times before. A light rustling to his left caught his attention. Using the little energy he had, he slowly turned his head toward the noise. The cold feeling that set in his heart at Fort George slowly melted away when he saw Ellie sewing away at his robes.
Her thin brows were pinched in determination as she tried to mend a particularly large cut on the right side of the coat. Her tongue darted out as she focused on the task at hand.
It was strange. Connor never thought he could receive peace from watching the woman he cared about sew, but he did. Watching Ellie do a normal, tedious task was the most relaxing thing to him at the moment and he never wished it to end.
Ellie's green eyes suddenly looked up at him and they widened with worry. "How are you feeling?" she asked, gently setting his robe to the side before scooting the chair closer to the bed.
Connor tried to shift to his side so he could be closer to her, but a stinging, irritating pain stopped him from doing so. A small hiss escaped his teeth and he instantly stopped moving.
"There was some shrapnel in your side. Luckily, it was small enough to remove without any trouble. I bandaged or stitched the rest of your wounds. You had many cuts…" she trailed off, giving him an expectant stare.
The cold feeling instantly returned and Connor suddenly felt as if he fell into an icy river. "I did something horrible," he whispered in his native language.
Ellie moved closer to the bed and reached forward, twining her slender fingers between his strong ones. "What did you do?" she replied, speaking his language as well.
"Charles Lee was not at the fort…my father was."
The grip on his fingers instantly tightened and Connor's stomach twisted when he saw tears pooling in her eyes. "Ratonhnhaké:ton, what happened?" she asked, voice quivering.
"I killed him."
A sob escaped Ellie's lips and he wondered why she was upset about this. He knew she did not truly care for his father. His question was answered when she reached up and wiped at his cheek. Only then did he feel the warm tears escaping from his eyes.
"I'm sorry," she whispered.
Connor did not reply, instead, he forced himself to shift back toward the wall behind him, making room for her on the bed. "Please?" he pleaded. He just needed to hold her. The last thing he wanted to do was talk about it.
She nodded and kicked off her shoes and climbed into the bed. Her arm gingerly draped over his waist as he pulled the blanket up. Once they were settled, he wearily wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer, burying his nose into her sweet smelling hair.
Having her closer made the cold feeling go away a little, and that was enough for him at the moment.
Ellie didn't know what to think as she stared at Connor's chest many hours later. He had fallen asleep again and the steady rise and fall of his chest was the only thing moving in the room.
In all honesty, Ellie really did feel sympathy for Haytham Kenway. The last conversation he had with her kept echoing in her head.
"I know how it feels to lose your father to Templars."
She slowly turned and glanced at the small, leather book sitting on the nightstand. It was hidden in one of Connor's pockets and while she was fixing Connor's robes, she took a peek at it and found that it was Kenway's journal. What could he have possibly meant?
Deciding to not worry about it now, she turned and snuggled closer to Connor's chest. Thankfully, his skin was no longer clammy and was slowly becoming warmer. She knew he should be back on his feet and back to his duties in no time.
The thought instantly died as she remembered his expression when he told her what happened. He looked betrayed and…tired. Her heart clenched at the thought. She knew Connor has been through more pain and suffering than the average person, and it hurt her every time he had to feel that way.
Ellie did not understand why someone who was so genuinely humble and selfless could go through that much pain and still be caring toward others.
A soft sigh cut off her musing and she looked up to see him staring down at her. Scooting up in the bed, she finally reached where she was face to face with him and pecked his nose. "Are you feeling better?" It was a silly question, but she knew he wasn't ready to talk about Fort George yet.
"A little," he shifted and winced a little as he reached forward and tightened his hold around her, "It's better than before."
Ellie leaned forward and pecked in him on the lips. "Good. Are you hungry?"
He shook his head and moved closer to where their noses were touching. "I just…do not want to move."
Ellie thought about chiding him and making him eat something, but she decided against it and held onto him as tight as his wounds would allow. He didn't need a doctor or a nag right now, and she honestly didn't feel like moving either.
It didn't take long for both of them to fall asleep.
"I did not want to do it."
It was many hours later and Ellie had just finished removing the bandage from the shrapnel wound on his side. She set the dirty bandage aside, worrying her lip as she wondered what to say. He was sitting in front of her on the bed, while she sat behind him. She gently rested her hand on his broad back as she reached for the medicine.
"Why?" she finally asked. She felt that she knew the answer, but she needed to hear him actually say it.
His shoulders heaved as he let out another sigh. "I had the foolish hope of thinking that he and I could work together to help bring peace after Lee was dead. It was extinguished when I fought him."
Ellie let out a sigh herself. "Ratonhnhaké:ton, I believe every single one of us wishes for the Templars and the Assassins to set aside their differences," she rested a hand on his back when she saw his shoulders drop, "but it is just not possible, love."
She sat up straight again and started to dab medicine on the various cuts and wounds on his back and sides. Surprisingly, most of his front side was unscathed. Ellie's hand froze in midair when she studied all of the scars that marked Connor's skin. She saw the wound he received from the Boston Brawlers and various others scattered across the broad expanse of his back.
Sadly, Ellie remembered helping most of those scars heal. There was one, though, that she did not recognize. Deciding to change the topic, she tapped the ragged scar near the base of his back. "Where did this one come from?"
Connor flinched as he twisted around to stare at the scar. Ellie tried to ignore how the muscles in his back moved as he studied it. Now was not the time to admire them.
"A bull elk decided I was too close. I did not want to bother you with it."
Ellie chuckled and pinched near the base of his back. "Ratonhnhaké:ton, when will you learn that I do not mind tending to you?"
She let out a soft laugh and reached for the clean bandages. She tapped his arm before unraveling them. Connor obediently raised his arms and Ellie was easily able to wrap the bandages around his waist. After she finished tying it, she gently wrapped her arms around him and rested her cheek on his back. "You get hurt too much," she grumbled, letting out a soft sigh.
She felt one of his large hands settle on her own. "It is something I cannot avoid."
"I wish you could."
Ellie honestly hated it every time he was hurt. To see him in pain caused her pain and she wished she could take it away every time she treated him. She started to trace patterns on his skin and she heard him sigh and his shoulders sagged as she felt him relax under her touch.
She sat up when he slowly started to turn around and her body started to tremble when their gazes met. Never, has he looked at her the way he was looking at her now. His hooded, warm gaze caused her heart to flutter like a caged bird in her chest. Her gaze moved down to his lips and her mouth suddenly went dry.
Before she could comprehend it, his lips were on hers and she felt his warm, calloused hands cup her face. Her eyes widened when his tilted his head and increased the pressure of the kiss.
Ellie would have been lying if she said they never kissed like this before, but this kiss was different than any other they shared. Her hands slowly ran up his chest and she gasped between each kiss. She wondered why he was doing this, he never truly initiated their intimate moments.. Soon, they found themselves lying on the bed and Ellie was tracing her fingers over the skin of his chest. She gasped when he gently buried his fingers in her hair and tilted her head back, allowing him to trail kisses down her neck. Ellie's chest was heaving by the time he pressed an open mouthed kiss to the base of her neck. She felt as if she was drowning in him and she didn't want the feeling to stop.
But, there was a nagging feeling in her stomach that told her this was wrong.
She finally realized what was going on when his weight started to gently settle on her as he kissed her again. Reluctantly, she pushed against his chest and pulled away from the kiss, breathing heavily.
Her suspicions were confirmed when their gazes met again. The pain was there, and she knew he was trying to distract himself. Instead of saying anything, she gently pushed him back to where they were lying side by side on the bed again. She pecked his lips and whispered, "Not now, love."
She knew that if she let them continue with what they were doing, they weren't going to stop. She also knew that it was not was Connor needed right now and, in all honesty, she didn't want to be that intimate just yet.
Connor's eyes widened and her heart dropped when she saw guilt start to fill his eyes. "I am sorry, I should not have-"
Ellie quickly pressed a finger to his lips before he could continue. "Do not be sorry. You and I both know that is not what we need right now." She paused and pulled her finger away, giving him a soft look, hoping he would understand.
He exhaled deeply through his nose and he pressed his forehead against hers. "I am sorry, Norónhkhwa."
Deciding to bring a little light to the situation, Ellie smirked and moved to where she was leaning over him a little. "Keep in mind that being intimate with you is not a bad idea, love."
The blush she got in return was worth it.
After many months of searching, Charles Lee finally revealed himself.
Connor planned meticulously. He refused to let the Templar escape from his grasp again. Ellie had finally managed to find his location and where he was going to be and he did not want her system's hard work to go to waste.
"It seems they finally found Kenway's body when they cleared the wreckage at Fort George. My contact says there is going to be guards at every corner. If you are going to take care of Lee at the funeral, you need to be careful," Ellie was saying, studying one of her many letters at the desk as he sharpened his knife.
Connor faced the mirror and stared at the knife before bringing it up to his hair. Dark locks fell past his shoulders as he began his work.
"What in God's name are you doing?" Ellie huffed.
Connor momentarily looked at her before getting back to work. "In battle, the men of the village cut their hair to frighten their enemies."
Ellie barked out a laugh. "Believe me, Ratonhnhaké:ton, you don't need to cut your hair a certain way to scare that man."
A smirk came to Connor's lips as he gently dragged the knife across his skin, trying to cut his hair as close as he could.
He finally set the knife down and reached for the bowl of paint he prepared earlier.
A gentle hand on his shoulder caused him to pause and look at Ellie. A small pout was on her lips and her eyes narrowed at the dark locks of hair that fell on the table. "It's such a shame, I like your hair," she mumbled, reaching up and touching the little ponytail that remained.
Connor turned and reached up to twirl some of her hair between his own fingers. He wondered how it always managed to feel like the softest silk. "Hair grows back," he stated, studying her face as she looked up at him.
A soft smile graced her lips as their gazes met. "That it does, and you better grow it back when all of this is over."
A sudden wave of intense emotion suddenly overcame Connor. It was almost over. Charles Lee was the final threat and he was almost in reach.
Everything he, Ellie, and all of the other Assassins have done to reach this point was not going to be for nothing.
Connor wrapped his arms around her waist and held her close. "Yes, when all of this is over."
Ellie couldn't stop herself from pacing as she waited anxiously for word from New York. Dobby was supposed to send word as soon as Connor faced Charles Lee.
It had been two weeks since Connor set out from Davenport and Ellie was scared for him the moment he stepped out the door.
The front door suddenly burst open and Ellie gasped with a jump before she saw that it was Dobby. "What news?" she asked, hurrying toward her friend.
"It's bad. Connor sent word from Monmouth and he said he needs you, now."
Ellie didn't hesitate to run up the stairs and quickly pack. It felt as if someone had dropped a boulder in her stomach and it seemed to weigh down every move she made.
As she rushed back downstairs, she hoped she wasn't too late.