Evie ran as fast as her legs could carry her. The cumbersome dress catching at her heels with every step, only adding to her growing anxiety.
The young assassin had been mingling with London society at a grand soiree in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. It had been a means to an end, a ruse in order to acquire access to the vault which was said to contain the Shroud. The plan had gone awry. Evie had abandoned her position leaving Jacob to go it alone. She couldn't withstand the burden of her own thoughts. She could not deny the truth any longer. A truth that had hit her so forcefully only moments before....
The mirrored walls of the palace entrance revealed to Evie Frye something that she had been trying to ignore for so long that the mere thought of it had been buried deep down in her subconscious mind. As she stood looking upon the reflection of herself which stared back at her, she felt as though she was looking at a stranger. The attire that she wore felt alien enough but it was much more than that. Evie fought to breathe, feeling as if the walls would come tumbling down on her. The assassin felt as though every pair of eyes in the vast room were boring into her. With her chest feeling heavy, she turned and ran, without giving another thought to anyone or anything. She knew that she had to get out of there.
She didn't stop running until she reached the relative serenity of the train.
Evie practically fell head first into her carriage as the vast layers of dress material caught yet again in her shoes.
"Damn it!" Evie shouted, removing the offending footwear and lobbing them across the carriage. One of the shoes collided with the stack of papers which had been neatly placed on the corner of the desk, causing them to fly into the air.
The now bare footed Evie held on to the vanity unit as she fought to regain her balance and her composure. Looking at her reflection in the mirror, Evie felt the anger begin to rage within her as stinging tears filled her eyes. Then, as if talking to her reflection, she said,
"I can't do this anymore."
Evie knew that she had a choice. The one was too extreme and it would be conceding defeat, she was too proud to take the easy way out. The other would release her from the darkness that she felt in her heart.
"It's time," Evie said to herself, "No more hiding."
Evie dragged herself through the train, the material of her dress catching on objects and furniture as she tried to maneuver herself in the unwelcome garment. She arrived in her Brother's carriage, rolling her eyes as she gazed upon the untidy surroundings.
Evie scoured through a pile of clothing, picking out garments that she felt her brother wouldn't miss and probably didn't even realise he even had. Gathering the heap of clothes under one arm, the assassin made her way back to her own carriage, collecting a box of medical supplies as she went.
Locking the carriage door, Evie set about her task.
Evie unceremoniously ripped the dress from her body, throwing it to the floor with a look of disgust. She turned her attention to the box of medical supplies and pulled out a sharp pair of scissors and some long lengths of bandages. Setting them down on the table, she stood back in front of the mirror,
"Here goes nothing. Goodbye... Evie."
Untangling her braids, she let her hair hang loose before reaching for the scissors. Grabbing the lengths of hair between her fingers, Evie placed the scissors around the long locks. She heard the 'snip' as the snakes of brown hair fell to her feet. She kept on cutting....
Next came the bandages. Evie stood stripped completely to the waist, wearing nothing more than her lower undergarments. Grasping the bandages in both hands she began to wind them around her chest, pulling them as hard as she could without restricting her breathing.
Evie took another look at herself in the mirror. Her hair now boyishly short, her chest bound flat. She started to feel a lump in her throat, she couldn't stop now.
The clothing came next. Although Evie had always been accustomed to wearing attire that many women would have considered to be masculine, Evie had always felt uncomfortable. It wasn't enough. Her clothes had always been tailored, showing off her feminine curves. Making the assassin feel sick to her stomach.
She grabbed the men's undergarments from the bed, removing her own and replacing them with the male equivalent in one swift movement. A crisp white linen shirt and grey trousers followed.
"It's lucky that Jacob and I are about the same height," Evie thought.
Although the clothes didn't fit as snuggly as they would her Brother.
Throwing on a matching grey jacket and one of Jacob's flat caps, Evie went back over to the mirror. As she gradually looked up and caught a glimpse of the reflection looking back at her, a wide smile spread across the assassin's face,
"Hello.. Evan," he said.
Evan Frye stood proudly examining his reflection in the mirror and for the first time in his life he finally felt at peace with himself.
However, Evan knew that the hardest part was yet to come. He needed to confront his Brother. Evan had to tell Jacob that Evie Frye was dead.
Another hour passed before Jacob and Henry arrived back at the train. Evan had spent the time productively, clearing out any remnants of Evie from his carriage. Having thrown all the belongings into a large hessian sack, Evan was making his way to the storage car as Jacob and Henry were boarding the train. Their arrival took Evan by surprise, he still wasn't prepared for this.
He was just leaving the storage car when he heard Jacob call for his Sister,
"Evie! Where the devil are you?"
Evan swallowed hard as he followed the sound of his Brother's voice. He came across Jacob slumped in his usual armchair, dried blood marks still on his face from his confrontation with Crawford Starrick. Jacob didn't look up as Evan entered the carriage.
"Jacob? Oh, thank God you are alright!"
Jacob heard his Sister's voice but the vision he saw when he looked up wasn't Evie, it was a young man. Then he saw the greenish blue eyes and the freckles on the young man's face. Jacob fell silent, this was Evie.
Evan ran over to his Brother and embraced him,
"I'm so sorry I have let you down, Jacob," Evan began, "I..."
Jacob could see that his 'Sister' was desperately trying to tell him something but could not find the words, his reply was something that Evan wasn't ready for and couldn't have imagined.
"I always knew this would happen someday,....Evan," Jacob said, trying to smile through his wounds.
"What?" Evan said in surprise.
"Do you remember when we were playing as children and you always wanted to play the part of a boy? I always called you Evan. I always suspected that it was much more than just make believe" Jacob said, giving his Brother a playful nudge. "Of course, I'll miss Evie but then you have always been Evan not Evie, haven't you? I only wish that you could have told me sooner."
Evan sat teary eyed with his head on Jacob's lap,
"I was terrified that you would reject me," said Evan, looking up at his Brother.
Jacob took Evan up in his arms,
"We are family and you are my Brother, my twin Brother. I would never desert you," said Jacob, on the verge of tears himself.
"Not like I deserted you today," Evan mumbled under his breath.
"You had your reasons," said Jacob. "Anyway it doesn't matter now, it's all over. Starrick is dead."
"Are you..alright, Evan?" Jacob asked, as he saw a look of dread fall over this Brother's face.
"It's just Henry," Evan replied, with a melancholy tone.
Jacob rested a reassuring hand on Evan's shoulder, squeezing it lightly.
"Don't worry, I'll speak to Henry. I wouldn't want to put you through this anguish again," Jacob said smiling.
Evan let out a relieved sigh. Finally he felt that the heavy weight that had burdened him for all those years had been lifted from his shoulders. For the first time in his life, Evan Frye was free to be himself.
Chapter 2: Could You Still Love Me? (Lucy's Reaction)
This is written in line with 'A Room With a View of You.'
Lucy surprises Evan with her reaction.
Evie had been missing for days.
Lucy Thorne paced around her study, her fingers caressing the material of one of her lover's shirts. The Templar had hardly let go of the garment since Evie's departure. She held the white linen to her face and could feel the tears coming to her eyes as she inhaled a lungful of the Frye girl's scent.
"Where are you, my darling?" sobbed Lucy, her composure was completely gone.
She could never forgive herself for the argument that had driven Evie away.
The young brunette had seemed distant in the days before she left. Every time that Lucy had tried to touch her, Evie had backed away. She hadn't been able to get through to her, no matter what she said or did, Lucy couldn't get Evie to open up....
"Why won't you tell me what's troubling you, Evie?" Lucy had asked.
"Because it's none of your concern!" Evie shouted.
"Of course it's my concern, you are the woman I love and I'm worried about you!" exclaimed Lucy.
The redhead reached out to hold Evie but she only pushed her away.
"Don't touch me!" shouted Evie, tears beginning to well up in her greenish blue eyes.
Lucy felt as if she couldn't breathe as she continued to address her lover.
"What have I done to you to warrant this treatment?" asked Lucy, her dark brown eyes pleading with Evie. "Please, just let me hold you." cried Lucy.
"I- I-" stuttered Evie, as she backed towards the open window. "I'm so sorry. I can't."
Evie turned and in a split second she had deployed her rope launcher and disappeared.
Lucy ran to the window, "EVIE!" she screamed, her voice echoing out into the void.
The redheaded Templar hadn't been able to concentrate all day and as such had decided to retire early. Lucy lay across the bed, stating blankly at the ceiling of the chamber, the room only illuminated by moonlight.
Suddenly a noise made the Templar sit up on the bed. She was convinced that someone was in the room.
"Who's there?" asked Lucy, sternly. "Show yourself!"
Silence was the only reply.
Lucy quickly got up from the bed and moved to retrieve her dagger from the bedside table.
"Please Lucy, don't move." came the sound of a familiar voice.
Lucy felt her heart beat faster. "Evie?" she gasped.
The voice remained shrouded in shadow as they continued to speak.
"I'm so sorry that I left you in the way that I did but I couldn't explain what was wrong. It was too difficult."
"I love you, Evie. You can tell me anything." said Lucy.
"That's just it." The voice continued. "I love you more than you could ever know but I have been deceiving you."
"What ever could you mean, Evie?" asked Lucy, anxiously. "Please show yourself. I need to see you."
"I can't hide anymore." said the voice.
"You are hiding from me right now!" replied Lucy, in frustration.
"You have been in love with a lie." said the voice, as a strangely familiar figure stepped out from the shadows.
What Lucy heard was Evie's voice but what she saw was the moonlit figure of a young man.
"I love you, Lucy Thorne but I cannot deceive you any more than I have tried to deceive myself. It is not fair to you."
Lucy examined the figure in front of her, she could tell that the garments had obviously been borrowed as they were at least two sizes too large and had been padded out to try and give a more masculine appearance.
"Have you cut your hair?" asked Lucy, feeling a lump in her throat.
"Yes, it's something that I have wanted to do for years." he said, taking the cloth cap from his head and ruffling his hair.
A lingering silence filled the air as Lucy closed her eyes and advanced towards the figure in the dim light.
"I've missed you so much." said Lucy, resting her head on the young man's left shoulder.
"You've missed Evie. " he said. "You fell in love with Evie, not me."
He tried to push the Templar away but she stood her ground.
"How long have you felt like this?" asked Lucy.
"For as long as I can remember." he replied, hesitantly.
Lucy looked back up into the young man's greenish blue eyes.
"You are still the person who I fell in love with..." said Lucy, gently caressing the young man's left cheek. "....and you always will be."
"I love you so much, my darling Lucy." he said, as tears ran down his cheeks.
"I will never let you go.... What should I call you?" asked Lucy, as she wiped away the young man's tears.
"Evan." he replied, hesitantly.
"Evan, I just want you to be happy." said Lucy.
"Yes but, what about you?" replied Evan. "Can you ever truly be happy with me?"
"I fell in love with the person that you are." said Lucy. "I was distraught when you left and as soon as I looked into your eyes again I knew that I could never leave you."
Lucy wrapped her arms tightly around her lover and held him close.
"Come to bed, I just want to hold you." said Lucy.
Evan smiled back at her. "Just give me a moment."
When Evan finally lay down beside her, Lucy took in the sight of her lover's boyishly short hair and his bound chest.
"Is that comfortable?" asked Lucy, concerned.
"It could be better." replied Evan. "But it's better than having to notice my chest all the time."
"You are so handsome." said Lucy, reassuringly.
"Thank you for being so understanding, Lucy." replied Evan, as he nuzzled into Lucy's side.
"You don't need to thank me." replied Lucy. "Just never stop loving me. Because I will never stop loving you....Evan Frye."