Hello lovelies! I have recently become obsessed with the recently released Assassin's Creed 3 game. Connor is by far my favorite assassin yet, so I thought I'd write a story about him. I do not own AC3, but I would give a hell of a lot of money to own Connor.
Chapter 1: Unexpected Stranger
I listened carefully for the sound of my father's sleeping in the next room over. A snoring so loud it could wake the dead resounded throughout the house and I smiled. Once that man went to sleep, especially after he's had a nice drink of ale as he did tonight, the only way to wake him is to put a steaming warm plate of food somewhere that he could smell it. Which wasn't likely to happen anytime soon, as it was currently four o'clock in the morning.
I silently got out of bed and shed my white nightgown, pulling on the green hunting gear (things I took great care in hiding from my father), that I had borrowed from my mischievous friend Finley. He'd do anything if it meant getting a good laugh out of it, and that included giving me a spare set of his old clothes just to see "such a prim and pretty looking little miss strutting around in men's clothes". Anyone who knew me at all though, including Finley, knew that my public image and my real self were two very different things.
To the common eye, I was the sole daughter of the town's best blacksmith. I knew how to cook, clean, sew, and care for children as I often looked after my neighbors toddlers. I was also well mannered to those I deemed it necessary to be. Which is pretty much everyone that doesn't know me well or I don't have a particular disliking for. My mother, when she was still alive, had instilled in me all the things I would need to be the perfect lady, wife, and mother. So that is what others saw me as.
I pulled my long curly blond hair up away from my face, braiding it down my back and tying it off with a leather string. I tended to keep these secret expeditions to myself, though Finley sometime came with me, as didn't want anyone to impede on my personal time. These trips were the only times when I truly had peace and privacy. Around town, I couldn't conduct myself in any other way than a perfect young lady. And I found it incredibly suffocating.
I retrieved the blade I had taken years ago from my father's workshop that I kept hidden in a false floor board and placed it in my belt. It was a nice dagger, a tad bit longer than normal, but thin and easy to conceal in the folds of my skirts, as I often did. I took a quick look out the window, determining I had a good two or three hours before sunrise. I grabbed my pack and silently made my way down the stairs to the front door of my home, remembering at the last moment to flip the hood of my cloak up to conceal my face. It would be a disaster if people knew anything about these secret outings at night. Not to mention it would ruin my father's business and reputation. The only reason I even kept up this charade was for my father's happiness and well being.
I stealthily crept around my house to the alley in the back, careful to keep to the shadows. It wouldn't be good if the guards saw me and thought I was up to something more than I was. I'd heard stories of what those Redcoats do to patriot women... I shuddered and shook the thought from my head. Those King's dogs wouldn't get their hands on me.
I expertly traversed the back alleys and occasionally the roof tops when it was necessary until I came to the stone wall bordering the city. There were guards posted at the main entrance so that was out. There were also guards patrolling along the base of the wall so that was out also. From my hiding spot on the roof of the butcher's shop, I searched for another way over the wall. I found it maybe 20 yards away. There was a large branch overhanging the wall from a tree just outside the city lines. The tip of it was maybe a meter from the eaves of the building closest to it. If the timing was right, I was sure to make the jump unnoticed.
I quickly scaled the side of the building and perched on the very edge of the eaves, waiting for an opening. Once the guard below me had finally rounded the corner and was out of my line of sight I quickly leaped across the small distance to the nearby tree branch. I used the momentum from the jump to swing my body up and into the foliage, out of sight. The green of my cloak made for excellent camouflage.
I froze for awhile, listening to make sure no one had noticed me. When everything was silent I quickly scurried across the tree limb to the trunk, safely hidden in the shadows. Another successful "escape", though in reality I wasn't actually escaping to anywhere as I would return in a couple hours to make my father breakfast and go about my fake life.
I slipped down the trunk of the tree, ever grateful for my rambunctious childhood with Finley and "being a boy". We were troublemakers, he and I. We used to get into all kinds of mischief, playing pranks on the guards, tricking the less than educated baker into giving us some free bread, and of course, playing all sorts of games that girls really shouldn't have been playing. One of which was climbing trees.
He'd taught me a lot actually, all of my street savvy, my efficiency at lying, my tricks for bartering, my knack for eavesdropping and information gathering, and most importantly, my skills at fighting. Anything and everything that would disgrace another woman was taught to me by Finley, and I took great pride in it. Him being older than me by two years and of lower class than me made him knowledgable in these things.
We had met when I was very young, maybe five or six. I'd gotten lost in the market place. He found me and brought me back to my home, and we'd grown to be close friends ever since. Sometimes he'd joke about me being his protégée. Even though I don't see him as often now that he is married to his wonderful wife Tabitha, we still get into trouble like we did as children.
I smiled at the memories as I ran through the forest, one particular destination in mind. It was someplace Finley and I had discovered when I was ten during one of our many secret adventures in the forest. My smile brightened into a grin as a small meadow came into view with a clear river running through it, a single enormous maple tree standing in the very center. I rarely got to see its beauty in the daylight, now that I was older and had no choice but to come at night. Even then it's beauty was breathtaking, lit in soft shades by the moonlight.
This was my favorite place in all of Boston. I could be myself here, act as unladylike and improper as I wanted, without fear of judgement. Some of my fondest childhood memories were here, like when me and Finley would catch fish in the river as he made fun of me for showing my ankles in a man's presence, to which I had firmly responded that there was no man there. We had similar teasing bouts often, which eventually led him to teach me to fight.
With the colonists stirring for change and the threat of war hanging over our heads, he'd decided when I was twelve that it was best I learned to defend myself. Being no stranger to the streets or brawls, he was a capable teacher. He had taught me basic hand to hand fighting and also how to use my knife.
It had originally been crafted for a British officer, a picky and meticulous man by the name of William Johnson, who had specially ordered a dagger to his exact specifications. However, on the day he came to pick it up, he had decided he wanted to change the length, and forced my father to make a new one.
It was an unusual dagger, if you could call it that, with blades on each end, one 13 inches and the other 7 inches, with a handle in the middle. My father had decided that no one would buy such a dagger and threw in the back trunk with the rest of the spares. I had liked the weapon, odd and uncommon like me. So I had taken it from the trunk and started practicing with it. My father probably would have forgotten it by now.
I took the knife from its place on my belt and spun it around my index finger, a trick I had learned from Finley. It had been awhile since I'd played around with it. I flipped the dagger up into the air and caught it expertly with my other hand. I felt so free like this. A joyful laugh escaped my lips as I twirled the weapon like a baton. I looked over to the river, admiring the late spring flowers that bloomed in the grasses by the bank.
Near the water, a beautiful yellow flower caught my eye. I stopped my twirling and took out my mortar and pestle, my jars, and the alcohol I save for occasions such as this. After I'd started learning the apothecary trade from my neighbor whose children I often look after, I had taken to gathering the many medicinal herbs I found in this meadow and making tinctures that I would otherwise have to buy. From what I could see now, there were dandelions, yarrow, dock, and plantain ready to harvest.
I gathered the dandelions first, good for healthy organ function and many other things, and placed them in one of the jars. I gathered the yarrow next, excellent cold and flu medicine as well as bug repellent. Next was the dock, which would be for only me, as it was excellent for my monthly womanly issues. And the last was the plantain, as it was good for open wounds, stopping bleeding, extracting poison, cooling burns, etc... Whenever my father would burn his hands during his work, I would use this to help him. It's also more effective if prepared fresh, which is why I brought along the mortar and pestle so I could do it here.
I gathered an armful of the plentiful plants and started grinding them into the mortar, adding a bit of alcohol every now and again. It was hard but enjoyable work, and I found myself singing as I did it, a lullaby my mother used to sing to me when she was alive. It took maybe an hour, but finally, what had once been a large pile of greens was now reduced to a handful of green pungent paste. I sat back, satisfied with myself, before looking to the east. I had maybe an hour left before I would have to head back.
Suddenly, a crack resounded through the meadow from somewhere nearby. I jumped to my feet, pulling out my dagger in case it was a pack of wolves. But after keeping that ready position for a few minutes, I dropped my guard. Surely a pack of wolves would have attacked me by now had it really been that. Perhaps a tree branch had fell somewhere...
I froze as I felt cold, sharp metal press against the delicate skin of my neck. My eyes widened and my breathing hitched in shock. I hadn't even heard him behind me! There was no precursor to his presence, no signal of his approach. Only silence. I stood there, scared stiff for a couple of moments before a deep, almost forced voice spoke from close behind me.
"Drop your weapon," he demanded. His voice sounded strained and stiff. I immediately released the dagger that was at my side, it's longest blade sticking upright in the ground. I knew I had no chance against this man when his knife was poised at my throat. I would have to talk my way out of this. That is, if my voice would even work through the nerves.
"Who are you?" He asked gruffly. I shivered as his warm breath brushed across the back of my exposed neck. I opened my mouth but no sound came out. An absolutely enormous hand clamped around my bicep and squeezed painfully. An odd wheezing sound escaped my throat in terror, prompting me to speak.
"M-My name is Neela Briar. I'm the d-daughter of the town b-blacksmith." I stuttered nervously in a quiet voice. The tension on my arm loosened a little at the sound of my voice, but the blade at my neck remained steady. I resisted the urge to gulp, as I would probably slit my own throat if I did.
"Why are you here?" The man asked. He began to move slowly around me, always keeping his knife in place, unwavering. This time I was less hesitant to answer, and my voice came out a bit louder.
"I sometimes come here to practice using my knife or to collect medicinal herbs." I glanced down to my supplies, which were still strewn at the side of the bank. I sucked in a breath when the man moved in front of me. He was huge. He towered over me by a good two or three heads. Granted I was not the tallest girl ever, in fact, I was a bit an the petite side, but he was just ridiculous.
He had broad shoulders and thick muscles, the type that made you feel breakable just by looking at them. He was dressed in well worn clothes, though they looked incredibly well made, odd as they were, with weapons of every kind strapped to his person. His face remained unknown though, hidden in the dark shadows cast by the white hood of his jacket. The descending moon lit his figure from behind, making him look considerably more formidable than he already was.
"Why so early in the morning?" He questioned, knife still at my neck. I was sure there was something wrong with him now. Either he was really angry with me or he was in serious pain. I let my eyes wonder carefully as I answered his question.
"I couldn't let anyone see me coming out here all by myself, and dressed like this no less. Especially not those guards. I've heard stories about what happens to young women if they're not careful with who they run into. They might decide that a girl walking alone in the woods is too good an opportunity to pass up." I shuddered involuntarily at the thought. My friend Abigail had been one of those unfortunate victims, caught in an alleyway late in the night on her way home from the physician's. She hasn't been the same since.
Something in my expression must have convinced him to believe me, because the blade pointed at my neck suddenly and unexpectedly retreated into what appeared to be leather wrist guards. As his arm dropped to his side I finally caught a glimpse of a large dark spot on the side of his stomach.
"Oh my god, you're bleeding!" I exclaimed, pointing at the steadily growing red stain on his clothes. He looked startled by my sudden outburst and placed a hand on his wound, putting pressure on it. I could feel my caretaker instincts taking over, completely disregarding the fact that this man had held me at knife point not moments before.
"Here, I'll help you. Go sit down over by that tree." I commanded, gathering my pack and supplies, careful not to spill any of the paste that I had not been expecting to use so soon. I removed my hood from my face so it wouldn't hinder my work. When I turned around he was still standing in the exact same place, staring at me. My face scrunched up in annoyance."Didn't you hear me? I said go sit over by that tree! I'm going to fix up that wound for you. If the bleeding doesn't stop soon you'll die, and it's not going to stop by itself judging by the placement."
I sighed when he still didn't move or speak. He just continued to stare at me. I took a risk and grabbed the sleeve of his odd jacket, knowing he could probably kill me in a split second if he wanted to. He didn't though, and with a bit of reluctance, followed me to the great maple tree. I sat him down, a bit forcefully, at the base, and began the process I'd seen my neighbor do countless times. I could feel myself dropping into the efficiency that came with tending to wounds. I had seen it done so many times, and done it myself once or twice, that the movements became automatic.
"Please unbutton your shirt." I asked him, already into caretaker mode. His head snapped up to look at me and, though I still couldn't see his eyes as they were still immersed in shadow, I caught his defined jaw twitch. The movement brought my attention to his skin. It was darker than mine, and had a bit of a reddish tint to it. A Native perhaps? That would explain the tomahawk strapped to his waist. I pondered the idea for a moment, all of the rumors I'd heard about the Natives. I shrugged. Oh well.
I looked down after readying my supplies to see that he had not done what I'd asked but was still looking at me. If I hadn't heard him speak perfect English just a minute ago I would have thought he didn't understand me.
"Are you deaf or something? Don't just sit there and look at me! I need you to move your clothing aside so I can get to the wound! So just do it before I do it myself!" I ranted, letting my temper loose. When he didn't move I took a menacing step forward. He huffed and started to loosen the buttons of his shirt before pulling the white fabric away.
For a moment I just stared. He was ripped. His chest and stomach were lined with hard, toned muscle, the kind you can only get from extensive and prolonged physical activity. He also had multiple scars across his midsection, from both blades and burns.
When I realized I had been staring I looked down, hoping he couldn't see the blush spreading across my cheeks. I shook my head and turned back to the matter at hand. I took a few steps over to him, pulling away the side of his shirt to reveal a gruesome wound. Obviously an injury created intentionally by another person's blade. He'd been in a fight.
I grabbed one of the pieces of cloth I used for storing dried plants in and wet it in the river. I brought it back over to him and began cleaning his wound. As I cleared the blood away I sighed in relief.
"Thank goodness. The gash is large but not deep. Here, hold this wet cloth to the cut and put pressure on it while I prepare some bandages." He did as I asked, still not saying a word, still observing me. I took out a roll of white bandages from my pack, always prepared, and grabbed the mortar full of the paste I had made earlier. Just as I was about to spread the paste on the bandage, an enormous hand shot out and grabbed my wrist. I looked over to the hooded man questioningly.
"What is that?" He nodded his head towards the green paste. He sounded guarded and suspicious. Did he think I would poison him or something? I smiled reassuringly.
"This is medicine to help stop the bleeding and remove the pain and any foreign substances from your blood stream like bacteria or poison. It's a paste made from crushed plantain leaves and roots. You may smell it if you wish." I held the bowl out to him and he sniffed cautiously before nodding, obviously recognizing the scent. I smiled and began spreading the paste on the bandage. While I was doing this, I was studying the mystery man from the corner of my eye.
"So how did you end up like this?" I asked casually, well, trying to sound casual and failing because of the curiosity evident in my voice. He didn't answer, as expected, and I sighed. I had finished smearing the bandages with the paste and began wrapping it around his midsection, trying my hardest not to blush as my hands brushed his prominent muscles.
"Alright, let's go with something easier then. What is your name?" I asked him as I was finishing up. I was not expecting an answer from him, so it surprised me when he spoke, just as I was securing the end of his bandage. I looked at him, shocked that he had actually answered me.
"Connor, Connor Kenway." For a split second I glimpsed the most beautiful golden brown eyes I had ever seen gazing back at me, before they disappeared behind his white hood once again. It took me a moment to remember how to breathe. I smiled at him.
"Connor, what a nice name. It suits you." I could have been wrong but I think I might have just witnessed the beginning of a smile on his face. I looked to the eastern sky and swore under my breath. It was already past the time I should have started on my way back. I hurriedly got to me feet and gathered my stuff into my pack. I took one last look at the hooded man and smiled brightly.
"It was a pleasure to meet you, Connor. And thank you for not killing me," I pulled my dagger from where it still stood in the ground, "I hope we'll meet again."
I began walking towards the edge of the clearing in the direction of the town. I stopped when I heard his low voice call quietly behind me.
"Thank you," he said. I whipped around, only to find him not under the tree anymore. He'd disappeared. I shook my head in wonder and looked at the sky again, cursing. I'd have to run if I was going to make it back in time.
So without another thought, I sprinted in the direction of the wall I had crossed earlier that morning.
Good Lord, that was a long chapter. Hope I got this off to a decent start. Fair warning, though, this story will eventually get a little graphic, but I will tell young when those parts are coming up. RxR Please!