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The Ambrosia Apartments

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The sound of tape ripping off cardboard filled your new apartment. You opened up yet another box and began sorting through it. You weren't a fan of moving at all - who is really? Yet, you knew that once everything was done, this move would pay off.

Your apartment was gorgeous - even if a little bit old. As you walked inside, the kitchen sat to the right, and the living area to the left. Ahead, down a small hallway, was a large window, letting sunlight pour into the room, and it opened up to a small balcony. The bathroom was closest to the kitchen, and the two bedrooms were on either side of the big window.

Your roommate and best friend, Elisabeth, was unpacking another box, looking as tired as you felt. Letting out a small sigh, you paused, standing up straighter.

"Let's take a break," you suggested. "I'll make something to eat."

Elisabeth let out her own sigh of relief, moving her hair away from her face.

"That's the best idea I've heard all day," was her reply.


 

"Olga, are you home?"

Ezio knocked lightly on the apartment door. Olga was an elderly Russian woman living on the bottom floor of his apartment block. She was almost like a grandmother to him and the other Assassins living in the building. They felt protective over her and wouldn't hesitate to step in if they thought she needed help of any kind.

He heard shuffling behind the door, and then it slowly opened to reveal the older woman.

"Ezio," she greeted in her thick accent.

"Ciao, Olga," he returned.

She moved aside to let him in, gently pushing him into a chair at her dining table.

"I wanted to know if you have any flour I can use?" He asked.

"Flour?" She repeated and he nodded in confirmation.

"I'm making Lasagna," he explained.

"Trying to impress a girl?" She teased, eyes sparkling.

"No, nonna," he shook his head with a small smile.

"You boys are all so handsome," she commented, moving over to her pantry. "It's time you got girlfriends."

Ezio said nothing, watching as she grabbed the flour for him.

"There's two lovely young ladies who just moved in," she continued. "They're on the same floor as you all."

His eyebrow rose at that. How had two young women moved in and managed to escape his notice?

"Really?" He asked, intrigued.

"Yes," she said, handing the flour to him. "You should introduce yourself."

"Si," he agreed, standing up. "Grazie, Olga."

"It's no trouble, Ezio,"

He smiled, placing a quick kiss to her cheek and then left. Making his way over to the elevator, he let his mind wander, thinking about what the new girls might be like. He didn't need to guess which apartment they had moved into. There was only one on their floor that was not occupied by Assassins.


 

You let yourself sink into a chair and take a break. There were still a lot of boxes to unpack, but you'd gotten a fair bit done. You reached over to pick up one of your cases of make up, checking it over to make sure it hadn't been damaged during the move. As a make up artist, it was important that your equipment stayed intact.

A knock on your front door stopped your examination of the box and you looked up. Curious as to who it might be, you walked over to open it.

You were greeted by a very handsome man. He was tall and toned; defined muscles evident underneath his cotton shirt. He looked you over with golden eyes and you noticed a thin scar running over his lips, on the left side of his mouth. His hair was dark, and his skin lightly tanned. You could smell the fragrances of neroli oil and basil surrounding him, and it was very pleasant.

"Buona Sera," he greeted you in a rich, deep baritone.

So he was Italian. Interesting.

"Hello," you replied, giving him a small smile.

He grinned in return, leaning slightly closer.

"I heard that we had new neighbours, and wanted to make you feel welcome," he said smoothly.

He held out a baking dish, and inside was what looked to be freshly made Lasagna.

"Did you make this for us?" You asked, overcome with gratitude for the kind gesture.

"Of course," he replied.

"Thank you so much," you said, giving him a heartwarming smile. "Why don't you come in for a bit?"

He nodded, quickly taking the opportunity to enter your apartment. You called out to Elisabeth, wanting her to meet your new neighbour, whilst the man placed the Lasagna onto the kitchen bench. She quickly appeared from her bedroom, long brown hair falling messily over her shoulders. She was dressed only in a baggy tracksuit. Clearly not prepared for your present company.

Elizabeth's eyes instantly widened when she saw the Italian man in your apartment. Honestly, he could have put Adonis himself to shame. You felt bad for calling your roommate out though, as she was clearly uncomfortable with the way she was dressed in front of him.

"Ciao, bella," he greeted, looking at her with interest.

Elisabeth visibly blushed at his words.

"Elisabeth, this is..." you trail off. "I'm sorry, I never asked for your name."

You let out an awkward laugh, but he only smiled at you.

"No, no, it was rude of me not to introduce myself first," he replied, his deep voice effortlessly smooth. "I'm Ezio Auditore."

He reached out for your hand, lifting it up to place a kiss over the back, his alluring gaze never leaving your own. Heart fluttering in your chest, you gave him your name in return.

"Bellissima," he praised, liking your name. "Olga, the older lady from downstairs told me you moved in."

"Oh," you nodded, remembering the old Russian woman. "Yes, she's lovely. Do you know her well?"

"Si," he nodded. "My friends and I are close to her. Those who tried to take advantage of her in the past... lets just say we took care of them."

There was something about the way he said those words that made you freeze. He was undeniably handsome, and had been warm with you so far, but there was an aura of danger around him that you couldn't ignore. You wouldn't want to cross this man and get on his bad side.

"We're very protective of her now," Ezio continued. "She's like family."

"That's sweet," you replied, trying to ignore any feelings of uneasiness.

"She seems to know everything that happens in this building," Elisabeth piped up, walking over to join the two of you.

"Si," Ezio agreed, giving her his attention once again. "But I have a keen eye myself. You are the first women to escape my radar."

You had to bite down a laugh at his words, but Elisabeth smiled flirtatiously at him, quirking a brow.

"And where is this 'radar' actually located?" She questioned, looking pointedly downwards.

You watched as Ezio leaned forwards, coming closer to her. His voice lowered, taking on a seductive lilt.

"Would you like to find out?" He purred. "You won't be disappointed."

Elisabeth bit her lip and he winked at her, his own lips lifting up into a suggestive smirk. He was undressing her with his eyes, taking in every inch of her body.

You cleared your throat awkwardly, uncomfortable with the atmosphere in the room. Instantly, Ezio's gaze flickered over to you, the lust in his eyes becoming even more prominent.

"Don't worry, mia bella," he teased. "I haven't forgotten you."

He looked you over, just as he had with Elisabeth, yet his eyes were darker, observing you like a man starved. You blushed under his heated gaze, and cleared your throat yet again.

"Thank you for the warm welcome, Ezio," you said. "But we have a lot of unpacking to do, so..."

He took the hint, his eyes meeting yours. He placed a kiss to Elisabeth's hand this time and she looked as though she would melt on the spot. She was clearly taken with the charming Italian, but you realised that it was hard not to be.

He turned back to you, sending you a wink.

"I have to say, I'm very happy you've moved in," he said, addressing you both. "A presto."

And then he was walking out the door, closing it behind him and disappearing from your sight.

You turned to Elisabeth, exchanging a knowing look with her.

"Well, living here is definitely going to be... interesting," she observed.

"Yeah," you breathed out, looking over to the door where Ezio had been moments before. "That's putting it lightly."


 

"She's moving around, she's lost her way back... She'd rather stay high, stay high, bitch is tryna hunt..."

You sang out loudly with Elisabeth, the two of you getting hyped up for a night of clubbing. With you being a make up artist, and your roommate being a hair stylist, there was no way you both couldn't look absolutely stunning.

You were wearing sheer black pantyhose with black stiletto ankle boots that had silver studs on the back. Your denim short-shorts were high waisted with a black belt. Tucked into them was a loose cream top, hung low at the front to reveal a studded bra. Over that you wore a tight fitting leather jacket.

Elizabeth had opted for something a little more simple and chic. She wore a knee length dress, the skirt black and flaring out from the waist down. The bust was a black and white pattern, while the belt was red. On her feet were a pair of black stiletto heels.

With the music and your singing so loud, it was almost a miracle that you heard someone knocking on the front door. You turned the music down, checking if you'd heard correctly and heard the knocking again.

"I'll get it," Elisabeth offered, moving out of the bathroom.

You nodded in thanks and then did the finishing touches to your eyeliner. Once done, you looked down only to find your lipstick missing. You moved out to find Elisabeth just as she opened the front door.

"Would you mind keeping it down?" A male voice asked, sounding tired and a little frustrated.

You couldn't see him, as Elisabeth was obscuring your view, but his voice definitely sounded attractive.

"Sorry, we didn't realise how loud we were being," Elisabeth replied sheepishly.

"No, it's fine," he said, suddenly sounding alert, and a little bit... flirtatious. "I'm just in the middle of a business call."

You stepped forward, curious about the man and wanting to know what he looked like. Approaching Elisabeth from behind, you slung an arm around her shoulder, peering over to see the man.

You weren't disappointed.

He was tall with golden-brown skin and golden blonde hair that was tied back. His eyes were blue, like the ocean and he had light stubble. He was shirtless - something you definitely appreciated - and this enabled you to see all of the different tattoos on his muscular chest and arms. His faded jeans sat low over his hips, teasing what lay downwards, underneath the denim. He looked like a surfer, and he definitely had body of one.

His enticing blue eyes shot up to meet your own, and he straightened, a smirk forming on his lips. He shifted, moving to lean against the doorframe, one of his thumbs hooking into the waistband of his jeans, pulling it lower, teasing you, but not as low as you would have liked.

He grinned as he saw you appraising him, and you bit your bottom lip at the sight.

"On second thoughts," he continued, voice silky and seductive. "Don't worry about the noise. You can sing as loud as you want."

You pulled away from Elisabeth, moving to stand beside her instead. Now that he could see you better, he gave you an appreciative once over. You picked up the distinct smells of salt water and rum as you got closer to him.

"I'm Edward by the way," he introduced himself.

You and Elisabeth both introduced yourselves in return, and he grinned at the two of you. Your roommate practically swooned at the attention from the man, and you looked away, a little embarrassed by her behaviour. Your eyes widened when they caught sight of the clock on your kitchen wall.

"Elisabeth," you said, trying to get your roommate's attention. "Move your booty, or we're going to be late!"

She nudged you lightly, blushing. At this, Edward's grin only widened.

"It's been a while since I've seen a booty as gorgeous as yours lass," he commented, giving Elisabeth another appraising look. "Well I'd better get back to my call. Bishop hates it when I leave her hanging. 'Til next time."

You began to pull Elisabeth back into the apartment as he walked away, but then he threw you one last look. You paused, watching as he gave Elisabeth a wink, and she actually shuddered at the action. Her eyes were fixed upon his tattooed back with her mouth slightly agape.

He disappeared into his apartment - the one right next to yours. Honestly, you couldn't blame your roommate for acting like a blushing schoolgirl. As you both entered your own flat, thoughts of Edward, the man next door, still lingered in your mind.


 

Not too long after that, you and Elisabeth were back out in the hall. You stood beside your roommate as she struggled with the old lock on your apartment door. You were about to offer that you could have a go at trying to lock the door, but something else captured your attention.

"Elisabeth, can you smell that?" You asked. "It smells like... rich dark chocolate and...espresso..."

You breathed out the words, lost in the delicious smell. But Elisabeth only huffed as she continued to struggle with the lock.

"You must be hallucinating," she replied. "And you haven't even had a sip of alcohol yet. I can't smell anything."

"No, I can definitely smell it..." you mumbled, mostly to yourself.

The smell was becoming more and more distinct, and you turned around to face the hallway, only to come face to face with a man instead.

The first thing you noticed were his irresistible lips, which were parted slightly as he stared at you. His brown hair fell slightly into his warm chocolate eyes, which reminded you of his intoxicating scent. Dark stubble lined his jaw, and you noticed that there was something red spattered across his nose and cheeks.

He seemed too stunned to notice though, as he was openly staring at you, his eyes showing intrigue. You felt your cheeks darken as his gaze seemed to burn into your very soul, dark and heated. God... The men on this floor were going to drive you crazy. The three you'd encountered so far were all gorgeous and alluring.

Elizabeth turned around from the door, to see what you were staring at, only to cry out in shock.

"Oh my god!" She exclaimed. "You've got blood on your face! Why do you have blood on your face!?"

The man startled, his eyes unfortunately breaking their gaze with yours. He turned to your roommate, letting out a quiet chuckle. She had her hand over her mouth in shock, and this caused him to falter slightly. He paused for a few moments, almost as though he was trying to think of an excuse.

"Paintball," he said quickly. "I was... playing paintball..."

Elisabeth frowned, placing her hands on her hips. She was clearly not convinced, but didn't push the topic either. You looked back at the man, still not quite over the trance he'd had you in moments before. His eyes immediately met yours, almost like there was a magnetic pull between the two of you.

You offered him a smile, and he returned it tenfold. His smile made your knees weak, and you looked away, not sure if you could handle the intensity any longer. He didn't seem to like that, however, as he reached out for your hand, lifting it to his lips and leaving you with no choice but to meet his gaze again.

"I was wondering when I'd meet our new neighbours," he said, his voice rich and velvety. "I'm Arno Dorian."

Trying to compose yourself, you told him your name, and then Elisabeth did the same, bringing his attention back to her. He stepped away from you, also raising her hand to kiss it.

"Enchanté," he said, turning back to you.

You nearly melted on the spot right then and there. He was French!

"You both look lovely," he praised, looking over Elisabeth, and then you. His eyes seemed to linger on you though, taking you in more slowly. "Are you going out?"

You nodded, and Elisabeth took the opportunity to cut in.

"Yes," she said hurriedly. "We really should be going."

"I won't keep you then," he told her with a charming smile.

He moved away from you, and you appraised him from behind. He was tall and lean, but what really caught your attention were his strong, muscular thighs. And that ass - oh, you had to look away before your thoughts became too obviously inappropriate.

He stopped at the apartment you'd seen Edward enter earlier and you realised they must be roommates. He paused at the door, looking up to meet eyes with you once again.

"Have a nice night," he told you both. "À un de ces jours."

You let out a long breath of air when he disappeared from your view. Something about that meeting had been very intense.

"Come on," Elisabeth said, pulling you from your thoughts. "Let's get going."

You nodded, forcing yourself to tear your eyes away from last place you'd seen him.


 

Days later, you were down in the foyer, collecting the mail from your letterbox. You sifted through the envelopes, looking for anything but bills. But then the letters fell suddenly from your hands as you were tackled to the ground by something large and furry, knocking the wind out of you. Once you'd caught your breath, you looked up and into the face of a gorgeous Alaskan Malamute.

The dog quickly leant forward and began licking all over your face. You squirmed underneath the large animal, letting out a laugh at its antics. You tried to get out from under it, when something caught your eye.

Instead of an ordinary tag hanging from it's collar, there was a strange symbol. It kind of looked like an A, but without the horizontal line. And there were elaborate designs around it. But before you could dwell too much on the dog's collar, you suddenly felt more weight on top of you.

Oh god, you thought to yourself. Is it another one of these bear-like dogs?

But then you saw warm brown eyes peering down at you, and they definitely didn't belong to a dog. No, they belonged to a very attractive man. He was tall, with a muscular build. A bear of a man.

Yet, as imposing as his physique was, his eyes were soft and concerned. He tore his gaze away from you and pulled the dog off of your body.

"Nikita," he chastised the Malamute. "Bad girl. Sit."

His voice was quiet, but firm all the same. You sat up and watched as Nikita obeyed the man's command, and he pat her, praising the action. He then turned to you, offering you his hand.

You accepted, allowing him to help you up. Once you were standing, you noticed that he smelt of pine. You looked him over, fully taking in his appearance. His brown hair fell to his jaw, and the top half was tied back, only allowing a small section of hair, with a few beads over it, to fall forward.

He looked like the type who rarely smiled, and you couldn't help but desire to make him do so. He was wearing a flannelette shirt, with the first few buttons undone, and a pair of regular denim jeans. He really was very largely built - especially his torso and arms. You briefly wondered what it would be like to receive a hug from him. It would likely be a big, crushing bear hug. His arms strong as they wrapped around you.

"Are you okay?" The man asked quietly, pulling you from your thoughts.

You noticed that he looked a bit uneasy. Probably because you'd just been openly ogling him.

"Uh, yes, sorry," you replied, giving him a bashful smile.

"Sorry about Nikita," he apologised, running his hand over the dog's head.

"It's no problem, um..."

"Connor," he supplied.

You told him your own name in return, and he nodded.

"I know," he said. "Ezio told me..."

"Ah, Ezio, of course," you laughed softly. "He seems to know everyone in this building."

"We're all his friends," Connor replied. "We work together."

You wanted to ask what sort of work they did, but also didn't want to pry into their business when you barely knew them. Instead, you simply nodded.

"I'd better get going," he said.

"Of course," you smiled at him. "See you around, Connor,"

"You too," he returned, already walking out. "Nikita, heel."

You watched as he left the building, the dog dutifully trailing behind him. As you bent down to pick up the letters you'd dropped, you found your mind wondering about the strange, stoic man, and his equally odd friends.


 

It was a warm, sunny day, and you'd wanted to get out of the apartment. It was the perfect weather to go to the beach. You put on a light dress over your bikini, packed the essentials and were good to go. Walking down the hallway, you reached the elevator, pressed the button and waited.

An odd, boisterous laugh interrupted the silence of the hall. You looked up, wondering where it had come from. A man sprinted around the corner, crashing into you and catching you off balance.

Strong, lean arms were quick to catch you, and you found yourself staring into vibrant blue eyes. The smell of incense was suddenly very strong, and there was also a hint of something else. Something you couldn't quite place.

A man was holding you securely, and your eyes widened almost comically. He was very attractive. Long, dark hair that fell just above his shoulders, a strong aquiline nose, and a protruding bottom lip that looked very kissable. Those lips were smirking at you, and his eyes held a playful spark.

"Where are you, Yusuf?" A low, angry voice called out.

You couldn't see who it was, held by the man as you were. However, his smirk quickly formed into a grin, as the elevator dinged, and the doors opened. His hold on you loosened, and instead he grabbed your hand, dragging you into the lift.

"Come on!" The man, evidently called Yusuf, said.

You staggered a little at the force he used to pull you in with him, but his hands quickly steadied you. Looking up at him, you saw his gaze fixed out onto the hallway, as he pressed the button to make the elevator go to the ground floor.

Just as the doors closed, a soaking wet, clearly furious man came into view. He glared at Yusuf, but the man holding you only grinned mischievously in return.

"Yusuf," the man growled, stalking towards the elevator. "Don't you dare -"

But then the doors closed in his face and the lift was moving downwards. You pulled away from the strange man, moving to the opposite side of the elevator. Handsome as he was, he was still a little bit intimidating.

"What did you do to him?" You asked, both curious and shocked.

At your words, he let out a bark of a laugh.

"Altaïr can't take a joke," he shrugged nonchalantly.

"He was soaking wet," you reasoned.

"It's a custom from my country," he revealed.

"To make people drenched with water?" You raised an eyebrow, stifling a laugh.

"I may have... elaborated a little," he grinned cheekily at you.

The elevator reached the ground floor and you stepped out first, watching as he followed.

"You're the new girl," he commented, staying close as you both walked outside. "The one Ezio was talking about."

"You know him?" You asked, and he nodded. "Of course you do..."

They were both very strange. It sort of made sense that they would know each other. In fact, all of the men on your floor seemed to be very odd. The ones you'd met so far, at least.

"He was right," Yusuf continued.

"About what?" You asked, perplexed.

"You're definitely interesting," was his reply as he began to walk away. "Görüşürüz."

He gave you a small wave and you watched him leave.

You have no idea, Yusuf, you thought to yourself. Yet.


 

You walked quickly to the laundry. Your washing had only been due to finish 10 minutes ago. Surely no one would be wanting to use the dryer yet. You opened the doors to the laundry, convinced that you were right. But as soon as the room came into your view, you froze at what you saw.

A man with an amused smirk was standing by the open dryer, facing you. He was average height, with broad shoulders and strong arms. His hazel eyes were filled with mischief, and his tongue darted out to wet his slightly dry lips, almost teasingly.

His hair was brown and pushed back by the hat on top of his head. He had dark stubble, only interrupted by a scar on his left cheek. Another scar ran through his right eyebrow, which was quirked up in amusement as he in turn appraised you.

But none of these things could hold your attention for long, as your eyes were immediately drawn to what he was holding onto. He held up a hand, a pair of lacy black panties, dangling from his index finger.

"Yours?" He asked, eyes alight with mirth.

"Yes!" Your eyes were wide with embarrassment. "Oh my God!"

You were absolutely humiliated that this man had not only gone through your washing, but that he had also found your underwear, and was now holding them as if he had every right to do so.

In a few quick strides you crossed the room, reaching out so that you could grab the panties back out of his grasp. No such luck though, as he held them high above your head, taunting you.

"I have to say," he murmured, his voice deep and husky. "This is a nice pair of knickers."

"Cut it out you...you panty thief!"

"Panty thief?" He asked, amused. "I've been called many things, love. Sir Jacob Frye, vagrant, handsome devil, but never 'panty thief'. I like it."

"Sir?" You repeated. "What are you, royalty?"

"I'm the bloody king of this building, love. I assure you."

"Oh my god," you scoffed. "Just give them back!"

"Ah, ah," Jacob tutted, leaning down slightly so that he could speak lowly into your ear. "Nothing comes without a price. What will you give me in return?"

"What do you want?" You asked, leaning back to look at him with suspicion.

"I can think of lots of things," he replied suggestively. "These naughty lace panties have given me a lot of ideas."

Your breath hitched a little as you imagined some of the things he might be thinking. Gazing upwards, to his arm held high above his head, you saw that his fingers were lightly caressing the flimsy fabric.

"Feels good," he commented. "But I bet they'd feel even better on you. My fingers touching, caressing, teasing you through this thin, black lace..."

Your breath hitched at his words, his silky smooth voice alone was enough to arouse you. He laughed at your reaction, pulling back and breaking the spell he had over you.

"Didn't think that'd be enough to turn you on, love," he commented, his smirk only wider.

"Just give me my clothing back, and you can have the dryer," you tried to reason with him.

You were annoyed that he'd elicited such a reaction from you and then teased you about it. How could he talk dirty to you one minute, and then act completely at ease the next?

"I don't think so," he replied, tucking the lingerie into his inner coat pocket. "I think I'll keep these. You can have them back later. When you've earned it."

He pat down his hand on the outside of his coat, directly over where your panties now lay.

"When I've earned it?" You scoffed. "You want me to sleep with you, just so that I can have my panties back?"

He grinned devilishly, reaching out and pulling you flush against him. The scent of his leather coat was suddenly very prominent, and you also picked up the fragrance of mint.

"Oh you'll do more than just 'sleep with me', love," he promised, his voice low and seductive. "When I'm done with you, these panties will be the last thing on your mind. All you'll want is me. All of me."

Your breath was shaky, and your eyes hooded as they became cloudy with desire.

"See you again soon, love," he chuckled, moving away from you. "I look forward to it."

You watched in a daze as he left the laundry, giving a light slap to your ass when he passed you. He'd left you feeling more turned on than ever.

After a few moments, when you'd slowly come back to reality, you noticed that he'd not left with any laundry of his own. Looking around the room, you realised that the only basket of clothing was yours.

"Bastard was snooping around on purpose!" You exclaimed, shocked at his audacity.

Yet, despite being taken aback by his actions, his boldness had elicited a desire within you that seemed almost insatiable.


 

"I can't believe this," you mumbled under your breath.

Water was trickling down from the ceiling, the speed increasing the longer it was left with nothing being done about it. Neither you or Elisabeth could use the bathroom, and something needed to be done now.

"I'm going to get the landlord," you said to Elisabeth. "He can deal with it."

"I'll come with you," she said, getting up to leave.

Once you'd reached the landlord's apartment, which was two floors above yours, you knocked quickly on the door. Elisabeth was fidgeting beside you, clearly anxious for a solution. She needed the bathroom because she was going out that night. She'd already spoken to the tenant above you, asking him to fix the pipes that were overflowing with water, but he hadn't listened.

Several moments passed, but there was no answer.

"He must be out," you sighed in defeat.

Elisabeth let out an annoyed huff, and you both turned to leave, only to pause when you saw a man approaching you.

"Here to see the landlord?" You asked, and he nodded. "He's out, unfortunately."

The man looked you both over, taking in your tired and frustrated appearances.

"Do you have an emergency?" He asked quietly.

You were going to tell him no, because it wasn't his problem to deal with, but Elisabeth cut in before you had the chance.

"Yes!" She exclaimed, latching onto the opportunity. "The pipes are leaking in the apartment above us. The water is eating into the roof of our bathroom, but the tenant won't do anything about it."

The man paused, considering her words for a moment.

"Which apartment? He asked.

"702," Elisabeth replied.

"I'll see what I can do," he offered.

"Thank you!" Your roommate smiled happily.

"It's fine..." his eyes flickered back to you but then quickly glanced away again.

The three of you walked back over to the elevator and you took the opportunity to observe the man who'd so generously offered to help you both. He was tall and lean, wearing a long, fitted coat, but strangely opted to keep the hood up. Even through the fabric of the coat, you could tell that well-defined muscle laid underneath. Despite his hood being raised, you could see that he had brown hair with reddish hues, due to his shortly trimmed beard.

His eyes were dark and mysterious, and he had a tattoo running vertically from the bottom of his right eyelid and down over his cheek. He walked with confidence, but there was also something about his stance that told you he was alert to everything going on around him.

As you all walked into the lift, he turned to look at you once again, his own gaze curious. You decided to introduce yourself to him, and then motioned to Elisabeth and introduced her as well.

"I'm Aguilar," he replied, sticking to his short responses.

"Nice to meet you," you offered, thinking maybe he was just a bit reserved and needed to warm up to you.

He simply nodded, but it didn't deter you, as his eyes burned into you, clearly holding interest in whatever they saw. He was very handsome, and so you were flattered by the attention. The elevator stopped on the seventh floor. Aguilar moved to get out, and it was only then that his eyes left you.

"I will come down to your apartment when I'm finished," he said, and then walked out into the hallway.

You nodded, giving him a small smile.

"Thank you, Aguilar,"

He nodded in return before walking away to find the man in apartment 702, leaving your sight.

When you and Elisabeth arrived back at your apartment, you strained your ears to see if you could hear what was going on upstairs, but couldn't discern anything. Then, as you opened the front door you heard a distinct yelp from upstairs. Elisabeth didn't seem to hear it, quickly disappearing into your apartment, but you paused, wondering what Aguilar had done or said. Shrugging, you walked inside, trusting that he had everything under control.

Elisabeth had gone straight into her bedroom, preparing to get ready for the evening, once the bathroom fiasco had been sorted out. You lingered in the living area, waiting for Aguilar to come down as he'd promised.

Sure enough, after a few moments you heard a knock on the front door and moved to answer it.

"Any luck?" You asked once you saw him.

"I need to look from down here," he replied.

"Sure," you said with a smile, stepping aside to let him in.

You led him to the bathroom and he stepped into the bathtub, trying to get in the best spot to assess the damage. You stepped in after him, feeling curious yourself. A few droplets of water dripped down from the ceiling - and fell right onto your chest. Aguilar chose that exact moment to turn around and face you. His eyes seemed to instantly drop downwards, landing on the drops of water. His gaze followed as the water moved downwards, and the look in his eyes was dark, almost like he was a hunter stalking his prey.

His tongue darted out to wet his bottom lip, and he stepped closer to you. You caught the distinct smell of oranges and a hint of frankincense as well. He lifted one of his hands, his fingers reaching out to remove the water from your skin, just as it began to slide down in between your breasts.

"Joder!" He breathed out, his fingers still teasing your skin, even though the water was now gone.

"What's the verdict?" Elisabeth's voice came from the doorway.

Instantly, Aguilar recoiled his hand away from you, turning to face your roommate.

"You'll need a plumber," he concluded.

"Seriously?" She sighed to herself, realising that she would have to work around the leak if she wanted to go out that night.

Aguilar stepped out of the tub, but then turned around, offering you his hand to help you out as well. You took it gratefully and then led him back to the door.

"Thank you for all of your help," you smiled up at him.

"It's nothing," he replied.

His eyes were so intense as they looked at you, not lingering on your face, but moving down and taking in every inch of your body. Suddenly, his gaze snapped up to meet yours again, and his lips quirked into a barely recognisable smile.

"Let me know if there's anything else you ever need help with," he offered.

"I will," you replied with a nod, wondering if his words held any hidden meaning. You wouldn't be complaining if they did.

His smile widened ever so slightly and then he walked out of the apartment, leaving you to cool off from the slight state of arousal he'd evoked in you.


 

Your pace quickened as you walked down the hallway, ignoring the masculine voice that called out to you. Likely, it was one of the strange men living on your floor. Whatever it was, they could tell you later. You were running late to work and couldn't stop for a chat.

You inwardly cursed Elisabeth for leaving without you. So, you'd forgotten to set your alarm... couldn't she have woken you? You were almost to the elevator when the voice called out again, closer this time. Hopefully you'd make it into the lift before he caught up.

You let out a started yelp as you were suddenly stopped in your tracks and pushed against the wall, though not harshly enough to hurt you.

Annoyed, golden eyes stared into your own, and your senses were suddenly flooded by the smell of sandalwood. You recognised this man from before, with Yusuf. What had he called him...?

Altaïr, you suddenly recalled.

His golden orbs burned into you, and you couldn't help but be reminded of someone else. Ezio had golden eyes too. And that wasn't the only thing they had in common; Altaïr had a scar running over his lips that was identical to the Italian's.

Weird.

The look in his eyes was dangerous, intimidating, but you couldn't help but feel excited by his close proximity to you. What was wrong with you? He was forcing you against the wall, yet you were attracted to him?

"Why are you running away from me?" He asked, clearly frustrated.

His voice pulled you from your thoughts.

"I'm not," you denied. "I'm late for work. Whatever it is, can't it wait?"

He moved closer, his body effectively trapping yours, and you became suddenly nervous. Like all the other men on this floor, he was insanely good looking, but with an underlying hint of danger.

"No," he stated shortly. "Where's Yusuf?"

"W-what?" You sputtered. "How would I know? I've only met him once."

His eyes narrowed, untrusting of you and your words.

"I can't find him," he said. "I look everywhere, but he evades me. The only place I haven't looked is your apartment."

"My apartment?" You repeated.

"Yes," he replied, tone impatient.

"Why would he be there? I don't even really know him!"

"If he's not there, then prove it," he challenged.

You weighed up your options. You could continue to stand here arguing with him, and effectively arrive even later to work. Or, alternatively, you could relent and get to work quicker.

"Fine," you agreed.

He pulled away from you, but kept close, as though distrustful. It seemed he thought you'd try to run away from him again. You walked in silence until finally arriving at your apartment door. You swung it open, allowing him to step inside.

"See?" You asked pointedly. "There's no one here."

His eyes checked every inch of the room, before turning to face you again.

"Tell me if you see him," was his curt reply.

And then he left. Just like that. You were surprised that he didn't check the other rooms of your apartment, finding that strange. But more than that, it irked you that he didn't apologise for pushing you against that wall, or ordering you to prove that you weren't hiding the impish Turk. He seemed unwilling to admit that he'd been wrong.

Yet, as stubborn and arrogant as he seemed to be, you couldn't help but be intrigued by him. Just like all the other men on your floor. They were all a little bit bizarre, but they had definitely piqued your interest.

 

 

Chapter Text

You let out a big yawn before rubbing at your tired eyes. For some reason, sleep evaded you, despite the fact that you were so tired. You moved over to the big window near your bedroom door, a cup of tea in your hands. The moon shone brightly in the sky, lighting up your view considerably and your eyes widened in shock as you caught sight of figures moving along the rooftops.

Eight men ran from different directions towards your building and you gasped when you caught sight of one of their faces. It was Edward from next door and it quickly dawned on you that the other men must have been your other neighbours. You’d known from the start that there was something strange about them all, but this was just downright weird.

Moving away from the window, you resolved to find answers during the day. There were too many strange occurrences like these to ignore now. They’d be exhausted if they were out this late and you could use that to your advantage. You’d gotten closer to them the longer you’d been living in the Ambrosia Apartments building.

You would even consider them to be your friends now and it didn’t sit well with you that they were so clearly hiding something. Even Elisabeth sensed the strange aura of danger surrounding them. You were going to find out what they were hiding, no matter what.


 “You’re going to invite them over,” Elisabeth repeated. “Just to interrogate them?”

“I’ll be subtle about it, don’t worry,” you assured her. “But stay quiet and let me do the talking.”

“I don’t know…”

You shot her a look and she instantly quietened.

“I’ll go to Jacob’s place first,” you continued. “He’ll instantly agree and help persuade the others.”

“I think he’d more likely prefer us all to himself,” Elisabeth snickered.

“Just trust me,” you let out a small laugh of your own. “They’ll come. All of them.”

She gave a small nod and you left, heading for Jacob and Yusuf’s apartment. You knocked softly on the door at first, but received no answer. Straining your ears, you tried to hear anything on the other side of the door but there was only silence. You raised your hand to ring the doorbell and as soon as it rang out, you heard Yusuf curse from inside.

You couldn’t help but smile at the sound of his voice and felt a little bad for possibly disturbing him. Your thoughts were interrupted as you heard a loud thud and hoped that they were okay. A yell came from Jacob and then, after a few moments, he opened the door and you almost dropped dead. He was wearing nothing but his underwear – a pair of Y-front briefs to be exact.

You couldn’t help it; your eyes ran down over his form appreciatively. The thin hair on his chest that trailed downwards before disappearing under his briefs was particularly alluring. He had a tattoo on the left side of his chest, between his heart and shoulder. It was of a bird – possibly a rook. You also caught sight of a second tattoo on his left bicep that seemed to be of a cross. 

He didn’t seem fully awake, his eyes sleepy and his hair mussed up, but when he saw that it was you in front of him, he seemed to become more alert. He propped one hand on the doorframe, leaning against it and watching you with smouldering eyes. He looked incredibly fuckable and you couldn’t help but bite your bottom lip.

“Morning, love,” he said with a smirk, his voice still husky from sleep.

“It’s two in the afternoon,” you replied with a small laugh.

He was undeterred.

“It’s still too early for the world to be graced with my presence.”

Allahiiiiim,” you heard Yusuf exclaim from inside the apartment. “You vain bastard.”

“What is it you wanted?” Jacob asked, ignoring his roommate. “Cup of sugar? Flour? No, wait…”

Suddenly he gave you a devilish grin.

“If you wanted to see me naked, love, all you had to do was ask.”

You almost choked at his words, your eyes widening in disbelief. Sometimes you wondered if you’d ever handle being around Jacob Frye without blushing like crazy. Probably not. You quickly composed yourself, bringing your mind back to the reason you were there. 

“We want to invite you over for brunch,” you told him.

“Will you strip?” He asked instantly, his eyes roving over you.

You opened your mouth to retort, but Yusuf chose that moment to appear and drag Jacob back into the apartment. Your breath hitched at the sight of him as he stood in front of you. While he had more clothing on than Jacob, you couldn’t help but feel even more turned on by the sight of the impish Turk. He was shirtless, with only a pair of sweats on. They hung low, his V was prominent and you couldn’t help but imagine what lay lower, underneath the material. You quickly lifted your gaze back up to his face, your cheeks flushed. He was smiling warmly at you and your heart fluttered. 

“Thank you for the invitation,” he said. “We’ll be there. Let me tell the others, save you the trouble. Altaïr and Aguilar sleep naked…”

With that he winked and then gently shut the door, leaving you to gape in shock. These men would be the death of you.


You walked back to your apartment, closing the door slowly behind you and leaning against it. You were breathing like you’d just run a marathon and Elisabeth emerged from the kitchen, observing you carefully.

“What’s wrong?” She asked.

“Oh, trust me. You don’t want to know.”

“He was half naked, wasn’t he?” She gave you a knowing grin.

“How did you –”

“I just know, babe,” she replied. “Men like him aren’t eye candy for nothing.”


 

Everything seemed to be ready. You’d both cooked up a storm and the result was a mini buffet of sorts, with all different types of food choices for men you’d invited over. You’d borrowed some chairs from Olga who had a bigger dining table than you and Elisabeth.

They started arriving, one by one, your apartment smelling like a mixture of their different, gorgeous scents. They all seemed really sleepy, which you attributed to their late night you’d accidentally witnessed the end of that morning. Their voices, deep and rough from lack of sleep, were even sexier than usual.

You noticed with amusement that Elisabeth was trying to coax Edward into sitting next to her. You made coffee and tea for everyone and caught your roommate’s eye. She tried to subtly gesture for you to look at the faces of the men. You obliged, noticing for the first time that some of them were injured.

Altaïr had cuts on his cheek, Aguilar’s right hand was bandaged and Arno’s lower lip was swollen. Only Edward, Jacob and Yusuf seemed to be unharmed. Connor chose that moment to arrive, Nikita dutifully following at his heels.

“I’ve already fed her,” Connor told you and you gave him a small smile.

He didn’t appear to be hurt either and you wondered what had happened to the other three. Ezio was the last to arrive, looking worse than any of the others. Some of the men wolf-whistled as he entered.

“Ezio always takes the longest to apply his make up,” Arno joked with a small laugh.

“You’re lucky you’re sandwiched between Altaïr and Aguilar,” Ezio commented in his deep, alluring voice. “Otherwise, I would’ve given you five across the eyes.”

Elisabeth’s eyes were wide, like saucers, but you prevented her from saying anything with one stern look. Ezio walked over to you, pressing a kiss to your cheek before walking over to Elisabeth and doing the same. He sat down with the others and you passed out the drinks. You all spoke about simple things, idle chitchat, settling into an easy conversation. Then you decided to ease into the topic you really wanted to discuss. 

“So,” you began casually. “Did you all have a good night last night? We had a wild night clubbing and weren’t back until dawn.”

“Neither were –” Arno began, but he was cut off, as Altaïr not so subtly kicked him under the table.

You observed all of them carefully, taking in all of their appearances before settling on one of your neighbours in particular.

“My god,” you exclaimed. “What happened to your hand, Aguilar?’

He shifted uncomfortably before giving a small shrug.

“Jacob has a thick skull,” was his response.

Jacob snickered and you couldn’t help but let out a small laugh of your own. Yet, still you pressed on.

“What about Ezio’s beaten face?” You continued. “And those cuts on Altaïr’s cheeks? Arno’s bruised lip…” 

“We do a lot of martial arts,” Yusuf cut into explain. “In the gym, we spar with each other. That’s how we resolve our conflict. You girls tear your hair out and we kick the shit out of each other. Difference is, we still talk after that. You… I’m not so sure.”

“Oh, if only I could kick her ass,” Elisabeth teased.

They all laughed at her comment but you were starting to get annoyed. You were getting nowhere. There was something off about Yusuf’s excuse. Maybe it could justify most of the men’s injuries, but Ezio…? No, he was too badly beaten. You didn’t believe for a second that they would do that to their friend. Besides, you could tell that Ezio knew how to handle himself. It was obvious that Yusuf was lying and you didn’t like that. Not at all.

You let it go for the time being, letting the conversation carry on without you. When everyone had eaten, Aguilar and Connor insisted on washing the dishes and you were grateful after the hard work you and Elisabeth had put in to preparing the large meal.

Jacob quickly settled himself between you and Elisabeth on the couch, laying his head on your lap and swinging his legs to rest over your roommate’s. You could tell Elisabeth wasn’t happy with this arrangement but settled for it anyway. Jacob looked up at you pleadingly.

“Will you run your fingers through my hair?” He asked, pouting a little.

You laughed at his antics and began to slowly massage his scalp. You could have sworn that you heard him let out a small moan, but it was so quiet that you couldn’t really be sure. His eyes fell shut as he relaxed under your touch. 

“If you were a cat, you’d be purring,” Arno commented with amusement.

Nikita raised her head at the word ‘cat’. She was snoozing in the corner, a short distance away from the rest of you. Edward’s phone suddenly rang and he excused himself before walking out to the balcony to answer it. Your eyes followed his every move; his stance was anxious and he was pacing as he spoke. Your gaze then shifted, landing on Yusuf, who was sitting on the ground across from you with his legs crossed.

Your breath hitched at the intensity of his gaze. Initially you’d been taken by all of your neighbours in a way, but recently Yusuf seemed to illicit different feeling within you compared to the others. He seemed to be taking advantage of this as it was almost like he was purposefully averting your attention from Edward, as though he knew that you were onto them.

“God, love, you're so kinky,” Jacob said, pulling your attention away from Yusuf. “People are watching!”

You looked over to Elisabeth only to see her turning beet red. You wondered what she’d been doing to him as she began to tickle him as punishment for embarrassing her.

“Nice try, love,” he grinned at her. “I’m not ticklish.”

Elisabeth huffed and turned her attention away from him. He looked up at you with another pout.

“Why did you stop?” He asked.

You realised that you’d stopped running your fingers through his hair and laughed at his behaviour. You continued your ministrations and he let out a sigh of content. Aguilar and Connor finished with the dishes and came to join the rest of you. Nikita instantly jumped at her owner as he came near, almost tackling Aguilar as well, in the process. 

“If she was a human, Connor,” Altaïr piped up. “You’d both have twenty children by now.” 

Ezio almost choked on his coffee as his roommate’s ears turned red in embarrassment.

“Nah,” Edward joined in. “She’d be too busy warding off the other bitches from him.”

Everyone let out a laugh and you couldn't help but join them.

“He may not be much of a talker, but he is a looker,” Edward continued proudly. “He’s a Kenway, after all.” 

“And you’re the opposite,” Connor said to his cousin.

“He owned you with this one,” Arno said to Edward, patting him on the back.

Jacob clapped his hands at this, startling Elisabeth, yet you continued massaging his head.

“Kenway dog fight!” Jacob exclaimed.

“Nah, I’m too full to fight,” Edward said. “But later, in the gym, I’ll retaliate.”

“Oh, I’m so watching that,” Jacob grinned.

Aguilar’s phone suddenly chimed and you watched the atmosphere instantly shift between the men. Ezio stood up a little too quickly.

Grazie, donne,” he said to you and Elisabeth. “But I’d better be going. I’ll be sure to repay the gesture sometime.”

You simply nodded but still felt suspicious of the strange way they all behaved at times. Soon, the others began to leave, one by one, until only Connor, Yusuf and Jacob remained – along with Nikita, of course. With joint effort, Connor and Yusuf were trying to get Jacob up from your lap, but he refused.

“No,” he objected. “I’m gonna leave my bones on this couch.”

“Stop being such a drama queen,” Connor sighed.

Nikita whined and began to tug on Jacob’s leg.

“Connor, get your bitch off me,” Jacob complained. “What is it with you women today, trying to take my clothes off? I know I’m irresistible, but damn… have some self control…”

You laughed but Yusuf seemed fed up with Jacob’s antics.

“Okay, it’s time for the Evie method,” he said.

You startled when Yusuf grabbed Jacob by the ear and dragged him off yours and Elisabeth’s laps. Jacob had previously been enjoying your ministrations with his eyes closed, but they snapped open when Yusuf dragged him away. He was instantly alert and Yusuf scrambled to get outside and away from his annoyed roommate. Jacob immediately chased after him as Elisabeth bent down to pat Nikita. Connor shook his head at his friends’ behaviour. 

“Yusuf!” You heard Jacob yell from the hallway. “I will string you up, I swear!” 

Yusuf’s laughter echoed through the hall and you couldn’t help but grin at the sound. You loved his laugh; it made you feel warm and content. Connor let out a quiet chuckle as he took notice of your reaction. 

“Come on, Nikita,” he said. “Let’s go.”

“Bye, Connor,” Elisabeth said flirtatiously. “You’re welcome anytime.”

She winked at him but he remained oblivious, giving her a warm and friendly smile.

“You’re welcome anytime too,” he said, completely immune to her charms.

He left with Nikita following him closely and once the door shut you laughed at her.

“Oh, shut up,” she said. “At least I tried. Besides, I noticed some deep gazes passing between you and a certain Turk.”

You instantly blushed, remembering your earlier exchange with Yusuf.

“You could’ve started a fire with the heat building up between the two of you. Thank god there’s a fire extinguisher in the hallway.”

You threw a cushion at her playfully, embarrassed that she’d noticed. She just laughed, walking into the kitchen and leaving you to your thoughts.


“What do you think of the toning of her eye shadow?” You asked Elisabeth several weeks later.

“I like it,” Elisabeth replied. “But I think it would look better if it was a bit more subtle.”

“Yeah,” you agreed with a small nod. 

You were both curled up on the couch, enjoying movie night and getting inspiration for your portfolios.

“What about her hairstyle?” Elisabeth asked, referring to a different actress on the screen. “A good combination?” 

“Yeah, definitely,” you approved. “It would suit Hotaru.”

You were referring to a Japanese model, one of the many girls you and Elisabeth worked with daily.

“Yes, she can pull that look off,” Elisabeth replied with a nod.

“I can’t believe Charlotte today,” you stated, thinking of the disrespectful model.  

“I know!” Elisabeth agreed. “She was driving me crazy! I wanted to slap her!” 

“She’s one of the worst,” you complained. “But it’s not all bad… at least we got to see Matt.” 

“Oh, god yeah…” Elisabeth let out a dreamy sigh.

There wasn’t a single woman at work who didn't find Matt, a male model, attractive. He was very good-looking.

“But, you know,” you continued. “He’s got nothing on the men here.”

“Oh, I know right?” Elisabeth turned to you, eyes bright. “Especially Edward. He’s so gorgeous!”

You let out a small laugh at the look in your roommate’s eyes as she spoke about him. She noticed though, and suddenly the look became teasing.

“What about you?” She pressed. 

“What about me?” You asked, suddenly uncomfortable under her scrutinising gaze.

“Which one of those irresistible men do you prefer?” She elaborated.

“Honestly?” You gave her a small smile. “None of them. There’s just something… strange about them all. Like they’re hiding something.” 

“Oh, come on!” She laughed. “I know for a fact that one of those men has your interest.”

“Really?” You challenged. “Why ask then?”

“I wanted to see whether you’d be willing to admit it or not.”

“Well I’m not admitting anything,” you let out a small huff. “Because there’s nothing to admit.” 

“Suit yourself,” she said with a shrug.

You went to argue further, but a loud banging on the front door startled you. You exchanged a confused look with Elisabeth as she moved to turn off the forgotten movie on the TV and you stood up to answer. Thankfully, you hadn’t gotten into your pyjamas yet, and were relatively presentable. You answered the door hesitantly, wondering who would be knocking so loudly at this hour. 

Honestly, you’d expected it to be one of the men from your floor, and found yourself disappointed and a little nervous as you came face to face with your landlord, Gary Brown. He was the exact opposite of your attractive neighbours. He had greasy hair; a large beer gut and his shirt always seemed to be drenched in sweat. He had a particular smell to him, which seemed to bother you more than Elisabeth. You’d always had a very keen sense of smell and this was one of those moments where you inwardly cursed such an attribute. He smelt disgusting and you couldn’t help but wrinkle up your nose in protest at being assaulted with such a stench.

“Your rent’s overdue,” he said gruffly.

You heard Elisabeth come up behind you but your eyes were fixed on Gary’s, noticing how they were glazed over. He was clearly drunk. You decided to approach the situation tentatively. Maybe that would get rid of him faster.

“Mr Brown,” you gently said. “We’ve paid the rent, we’re up to date.”

“Don’t you get smart with me, you little bitch!” He yelled suddenly.

You jumped slightly, frightened by the abrupt change in his behaviour.

“Mr Brown, maybe it’s better if you get some rest,” you tried again. “We can discuss it tomorrow…”

You trailed off as he suddenly stepped closer to you and the smell got worse.

“I can think of another payment,” he said lowly, his eyes becoming suggestive as they trailed down your body slowly. “You can pay your way with something other than money.”

You wanted to vomit, utterly repulsed by the man. He grabbed hold of you, pulling you towards him so quickly that you had no chance to resist.

“Get off her!” Elisabeth shrieked.

“Please!” You begged. “Mr Brown, you’re drunk.”

You vaguely heard the sound of a door slamming shut, but you were too preoccupied to pay it much attention. You were terrified and repulsed by your landlord’s behaviour. 

“Thank god…” You heard Elisabeth whisper from behind you, and suddenly Gary was pulled away from you. 

It took a moment for it all to register. One moment you were being held by the slimy landlord, and in the next Elisabeth was by your side, asking if you were okay. You looked over to see Yusuf slamming Gary into the wall. His head crashed into the wall from the force of the push, but Yusuf didn’t seem to care. He looked furious; you’d never seen him so angry before.

You felt immense relief at the fact that he had arrived when he did, but you also couldn’t help but feel a little frightened by him at the same time. The good outweighed the bad though, as he had just saved you from something you didn’t even want to imagine. His hold on Gary tightened as he towered over him threateningly.

“Don’t you dare touch her, you piç,” he warned.

Gary resisted against him, squirming and managed to get one arm free. Your eyes widened in fear as you saw him try to punch Yusuf in the jaw, but your neighbour had sharp reflexes. In what felt like mere seconds, he had Gary turned around, pinned against the wall with his arms behind his back.

“Don’t push me, iğrenç sin,” Yusuf growled out. “Don’t come near either of them. You’ll have my friends and I to deal with if you do.”

Gary seemed to come to his senses, nodding stupidly as he quickly became frightened of the imposing Turk. Yusuf may have been light-hearted and humorous by nature, but you didn’t ever want to make him angry like this. He was terrifying. 

He looked reluctant to let Gary go, but relented anyway, watching his every move until he disappeared around the corner. Slowly, he turned to look at you and his gaze softened. He was in front of you in an instant, gently pulling you away from Elisabeth and into his own arms. You let out a sigh of relief as the smell of incense enveloped you, as well as that hint of something else unrecognisable. His hands were gentle on your arms, as his eyes checked you over.

“Did he hurt you, aşk?” He asked, concerned.

“No,” you replied, still overwhelmed. “I’m fine, Yusuf. Thank you.”

He visibly sighed with relief, before leading you back into your apartment. Elisabeth followed closely, watching with concern as he sat you down onto the couch.

“Do you have any tea?” He asked your roommate and she nodded, moving to make you a cup.

He knelt down in front of you, taking your hands in his and rubbing small circles with his thumb.

“It’s okay,” he soothed. “He won’t hurt you. I promise.” 

“I’m really glad you came when you did,” you told him quietly.

“So am I,” he agreed with a small smile.

But then suddenly a thought occurred to you.

“How did you react so quickly?” You asked. “He tried to punch you, but you were so fast. It’s like you were trained to fight.”

“I am,” his smile became a grin and you were glad to see the humour return in his eyes.

“That’s right…” You recalled him telling you before.

Evet,” he nodded. “So don't worry. I’ll protect you.”

The humour was still present in his gaze, but his words seemed to be said with sincerity. Despite this, you let out a small chuckle.

“My hero,” you teased.

He laughed; that odd, boisterous laugh that you were quickly coming to love. He was about to say something in return, but Elisabeth interrupted, handing you the cup of tea.

“It’s late,” Yusuf said, standing. “I’ll get going.”

You nodded, getting up as well. You followed him to the door and he turned back around to face you, smiling that beautiful smile of his. You didn’t really think it through as your hand went up to his cheek, feeling the coarse hair of his beard. You leant closer, pressing a kiss to his other cheek and breathing in his intoxicating scent. His eyes were wide when you pulled away, and his mouth slightly agape, but it only took a few seconds for his lips to curve upwards into a smirk.

“Thank you again, Yusuf,” you said softly.

He moved closer to you, pressing a kiss to your own cheek, his lips soft but his beard rough and you felt yourself blush.

“Anytime,” he replied. “Good night.”

He winked at you and then walked down the hall, disappearing into his own apartment. You stared after him in a daze, trying to process the events of the night. It was only when you heard Elisabeth giggling from behind you that you snapped back to reality. Turning around, you saw her smiling widely.

“That was really sweet,” she laughed.

“Shut up,” you grumbled, embarrassed that she’d seen your exchange with Yusuf.

“He swooped in and saved you,” she continued teasing. “And you thanked him with a kiss!”

“Well, I was grateful,” you reasoned. “That pig scared me. I’m glad Yusuf came when he did.”

Elisabeth quickly stopped laughing, remembering Gary’s behaviour with you. 

“Are you sure you’re alright?” She asked.

“I’m fine,” you nodded.

“But really…” Elisabeth continued. “You can’t tell me now that you don’t like him.”

“Who?” You queried, confused. “Mr Brown? Yuck!”

“No,” she laughed, rolling her eyes. “Mr Tazim.”

“Are you serious?” You looked at her with wide eyes. “Elisabeth, just because I’m grateful for what he did, that doesn’t mean I’m not still uneasy around him. All of them, actually.”

“You’re being silly,” she chided. 

“There’s just something about them…”

“Oh, I know that,” she said playfully. “They’re all gorgeous!”

“That’s not what I meant,” you argued. “They’re hiding something… I can just tell.”

Sighing, Elisabeth sat down on the couch, motioning for you to join her. Once you did, she looked at you seriously.

“Get to know him,” she reasoned. “Whatever it is, he probably needs to trust you before he can reveal it.”

You mulled over her words for a few moments. You did feel pulled to Yusuf – to all of them in a way. It wouldn’t hurt to get to know him a bit better, because despite everything, he had proven that he’d never want to see you hurt.

“Okay,” you softly agreed.

“Good,” Elisabeth offered you a happy smile. “Get to know him better. Actually, he’s really good at self-defence…”

“Yeah…” you nodded slowly, not understanding where she was going.

“That’s perfect!” She exclaimed. “Ask him to teach you!" 

“What?” You asked, brow furrowed. “Why that?”

“It’s a good excuse to get to know him,” she replied with a nonchalant shrug.

You narrowed your eyes, instinctively knowing that there was more to it than that, but decided to let it go for the time being.

“Okay, I will…” You agreed. “But, why are you so interested anyway?”

She laughed, giving you an incredulous look.

“Are you serious?” She asked. “Have you seen the way he looks at you?”

“What?” You didn’t really understand her meaning. “Of course I have…”

“No,” she shook her head with a small smile. “No, I don’t think you have. Not really.”

“Whatever,” you replied, standing up. “I’m going to bed.”

“Okay,” she smiled. “Good night.”

“Night,” you said in turn. “I’m sorry movie night didn’t go to plan." 

“It’s fine,” she laughed. “Watching the two of you was entertainment enough.”

“Oh, shut up,” despite your words, you had to bite down a smile. 

You walked to your bedroom as she laughed and laughed. 


 It was a few days before you saw Yusuf again. The sun was setting and you were just walking into the Ambrosia after work as you saw him leaving. He greeted you with a warm smile and you noticed a gym bag slung over his shoulder.

“Are you going off to train?” You asked him and he nodded. “What’s the deal with the gym anyway? It’s always locked.”

“It’s private,” he replied. “We own it and are the only ones with keys.”

“Oh,” you nodded. “That explains it then.”

He laughed, moving closer.

“I can make an exception for you,” he said quietly.

This was the perfect opportunity to do what Elisabeth had suggested, but for some reason you couldn’t form any words. His close proximity left you feeling a little dazed, and without your roommate there to encourage you, the doubts came back.

“I’d better get going,” he said when you didn’t speak for several moments. “But the offer’s still there.”

He began to walk away, pulling you from your thoughts.

“Wait,” you called out after him.

He paused, turning to look at you again. His eyes, so vibrantly blue, bore into your own.

“I actually wanted to ask you something,” you continued, and he waited patiently. “I was wondering if… if you could teach me self-defence?” 

He didn't do anything for a few moments and you worried that Elisabeth’s suggestion wasn’t a good one. But then he moved to face you properly and you saw that his brow was furrowed and his eyes were a mixture of anger and concern.

“Why do you want to learn?” He asked lowly. “Did he do something else?”

It took you a moment to realise what he was really asking, but then you remembered your last encounter and how angry he’d been at your landlord and his behaviour towards you.

“No, he hasn’t done anything else,” you quickly reassured him. “But it can’t hurt to learn, right?”

You hoped that the answer was believable, and it seemed it was, as he relaxed. He nodded and smiled at you again.

“Of course I’ll teach you,” he agreed. “We can start tomorrow, when you finish work.” 

“Okay, that sounds good,” you smiled back at him. “See you then.”

He winked at you before turning to leave and you couldn’t help but feel a little anxious about being alone with him the next day. It was more than likely that you would be in close proximity as he taught you, and suddenly you realised that was why Elisabeth had suggested it in the first place. It was too late to back out now though, and you prayed that you could keep your cool around him. 


 

Honestly, you were pretty excited to begin your lessons with Yusuf. You’d be spending a lot more time with him, but also, the idea of learning self-defence was pretty cool in and of itself. Yet, when you arrived you were a little thrown off. He was nowhere to be seen.

You walked further into the gym, eyes searching for him. Suddenly, you smelt incense and that other fragrance you could never pinpoint and you knew that he was behind you. Before you could turn, his arm shot out from behind you and his hand gently grasped your throat. 

“You’re late,” he spoke into your ear, a slight hint of teasing in his voice.

“I… I’m sorry,” you replied, distracted by his body being so close to your own.

He let go and walked in front of you, his face uncharacteristically serious. He almost looked authoritative, something you’d never expected to see.

“From now on, you’ll be here on time,” he continued, his eyes betraying a playful spark.

“Okay,” you nodded, agreeing. 

“In this room I’m not your friend,” he told you. “I’m your teacher and I won’t go easy on you.”

You nodded, showing that you understood.

“You knew that I was behind you?” He questioned.

“Yes,” you answered. 

“That’s good,” he praised. “Your senses are sharp.”

Hardly, you thought to yourself. I just have a good sense of smell.

“But your reflexes are slow,” he continued. “That can put you in danger.”

He moved to the other side of the room before motioning for you to turn around. 

“I’ll make an attack on you,” he explained. “I want you to react and prevent me from doing so.”

“Okay,” you nodded, turning your back to him.

He was silent; there was absolutely no way for you to hear his approach. You did smell him, however, that scent that was quickly becoming so familiar. When you thought he was close enough, you ducked to the side, successfully dodging him. He was expecting this, and quickly reached out to grab you, pulling you to him.

“As I said, your reflexes are slow.”

“That’s not fair,” you argued. “You only told me to dodge you!”

He pulled away, turning you to face him.

“Lesson one,” he began. “Always be alert. Always be ready to spring into action. Your enemy will not tell you his next move. You need to be prepared for anything.”

You bit your lip and he seemed to falter, the stern look in his eyes softening as they travelled down to look at your lips. He quickly snapped out of it, returning his gaze to yours.

“Do you understand?” He asked.

“Yes,” you confirmed.

“Good. Let’s try it again.”

You both spent a good amount of time practicing as he continued to catch you off guard. Truthfully, it was hard for you to concentrate. His behaviour left you feeling confused. Yes, you were supposed to be learning from him, but you missed the way he normally was towards you. You missed his attentions and playful (sometimes affectionate) behaviour. You had to berate yourself more than once. You shouldn’t be thinking such things - not when you didn’t really know him well enough yet.

By the time he decided to end the lesson, you were tired out. His movements and reflexes were quick – much better than your own. As soon as he ended the lesson, he warmed towards you again. He grinned at you, his fingers reaching out to smooth your hair away from your face and he praised you for your efforts. Your heart fluttered when he resumed calling you ‘aşk’ and you realised that you had missed hearing it, even in such a short space of time. The immense relief you felt at this behaviour left you both puzzled and worried. You couldn’t let yourself fall for him. Not until you knew you could definitely trust him.


 

Days later, you and Elisabeth were in Edward and Arno’s apartment next door. Yusuf was also there, playing a game of cards with Jacob, while Edward and Arno sat on the windowsill, the window wide open and letting in a gentle breeze. You and your roommate sat on the couch, quietly observing the game of cards. Jacob cheated but it wasn’t subtle and he and Yusuf started to quietly bicker. 

“Yoo hoo,” a melodic female voice called out from the hallway, followed by a knock.

Jacob and Yusuf ceased their bickering and Elisabeth stood up to find the source of the voice. She opened the front door to reveal two young girls, one blonde and the other with auburn hair. The blonde looked behind your roommate, spotting Arno.

Hi, Arno!” She cried out excitedly.

He gave her a small wave and you had to bite back a laugh as the other girl adjusted her breasts, trying to make them push up more.

“Just how many women are there?” Elisabeth mumbled under her breath.

Jacob stood up, moving over to the door. When he reached the doorway, they acted as though a rock star was before them, squealing like fangirls.

Hi, Jacob!” They cried out in unison.

“We missed you at Hex last week,” the auburn haired girl pouted.

“Hello Samantha, Robin,” Jacob replied. “I don't go to Hex anymore, and I’m pretty sure I told the two of you not to go there either.”

You looked at him with curiosity; you’d never seen him act so seriously around women before, without a hint of flirtatiousness. You stood up, walking over to get a closer look and your jaw dropped open in shock.

They were only teenagers; probably still in high school, and definitely too young to be going to clubs. They pouted but it had no affect on Jacob. 

“Take care of yourselves,” he said, deeming the conversation to be over. “Oh and… I’m taken.”

They both gasped audibly and you had to admit that you were also shocked. His poor girlfriend… dating someone who constantly hit on other women.

“You have a girlfriend?” The blonde asked.

“Yes,” he said. “She’s right here.”

Your eyes became impossibly wide as Jacob’s arm reached out to wrap around your waist and pulling you into his side. You were too stunned to protest and instead stood by his side as the two girls looked at you with envy. Because of all these factors, you failed to notice Yusuf flare up in anger until he spoke.

“You just can’t keep it in your pants, can you?” He asked. “You English dog!”

Jacob snickered, ducking when Yusuf threw a piece of candy at him and walked back inside the apartment, leaving you by the door. Arno walked over, trying to ward off the teenage girls.

“No, no, I’m taken too,” he was saying. “We’re all taken!”

Elisabeth laughed at this and it seemed like the timing was too perfect when Ezio appeared in the hall.

“Speak for yourself, Arno,” he said in his deep voice.

“Simmer down, Ezio,” Arno sniggered. “You’re old enough to be their father.”

The teenagers turned to face the Italian and it was almost comical to see the way he cringed. 

“Oh, I thought you were talking about someone else...” he amended quietly.

You were trying not to laugh as you watched the exchange but the distinguishable smell of incense and something else unknown alerted you to Yusuf’s presence behind you. You felt his arms wrap around your waist and subconsciously leant into his embrace, the majority of your attention still on the exchange at the door. 

“Back off, Jacob,” Yusuf said, his mouth close to your ear and his voice threateningly low.

You tuned into their conversation, wondering what the problem was.

“You have no claim on her, Yusuf,” Jacob shot back, relentless.

Yet,” Yusuf emphasised.

You were stunned. They were fighting over you? Reluctantly, you untangled yourself from Yusuf’s grip around your waist. Ideally, you would’ve liked to stay with him like that, but you also didn’t want a full-blown argument to erupt between them. Yusuf didn’t even seem to notice though, nor did Jacob. They just continued to bicker quietly. 

“Okay,” you said, turning to your roommate. “Elisabeth, it’s time to go.”

Yet, she paid you no heed. She was to busy with her own argument, telling off the teenage girls.

“Get a boyfriend your own age, you little sluts!” She said fiercely and you were shocked. “Zip up that shirt! He could be your father!”

“Hey, I’ve dated older men,” one of the teenagers said.

“Yeah, you old hag,” the other added.

Elisabeth let out an outraged gasp and you weren’t sure if you should laugh or roll your eyes at their childish behaviour. You moved over to your friend, grabbing her hand and pulling her away.

“Thanks guys,” you called out. “See you later.”

Arno and Edward let out a laugh, but Jacob and Yusuf were still quarrelling with each other. You turned to glance back at Yusuf one last time and his eyes seemed to instantly meet your own. Elisabeth pulled against you, bringing your attention back to her. She wanted to continue telling off the teenagers, but you quickly pulled her into your own apartment. Once inside, Elisabeth turned to you with a knowing smirk.

“Girl, you are whipped.”

She turned on her heel, dramatically flipped her hair and disappeared into her room, leaving you to stare after her in shock.


 

Pink, like cotton candy, melded into a pale lilac before settling into a soft, light blue. This was the canvas of the sky after the sun had set. The full moon had risen only a short while ago, a silver orb amongst the other colours as it peaked through the palm trees. The waves on the beach below moved gently towards the shore, before slowly creeping back into the vast ocean.

This was your view as you sat on the rooftop of Ambrosia, comfortably nestled amongst several large cushions. They were a variety of different colours, the material silky and the designs elaborate. The smell of incense was prominent, as it burned and the smoke spread through the air. Candles lay around you, their glowing light adding to the romantic atmosphere.

The soft strumming of an acoustic guitar could be heard from your left, where Yusuf sat beside you. He’d invited you up here, asking you to join him for the afternoon. You’d accepted, wanting to spend time with him outside of your lessons. Yes, you were learning a lot, but you found yourself craving time with him in a more relaxed atmosphere. That, and you wanted to be with him when he wasn’t behaving like your teacher. You wanted to be with him when he was sweet and affectionate.

You hadn’t said much to each other so far, simply enjoying each other’s company. He’d offered you Turkish tea – çay, he’d called it – and you’d instantly recognised the smell. It was the scent that you’d never been able to place when he was near and you found comfort in it as you held the cup in your hands. He sat close to you, his fingers moving effortlessly over the tabs as he played a simple melody.

You turned to face him slightly when he began to sing under his breath in Turkish, wondering what the words might mean. His eyes seemed to instantly meet yours, and suddenly you didn’t need a translation. The look in his eyes said more than any words could. You shifted slightly, feeling a little overwhelmed by the intensity of his gaze. You knew exactly what his eyes were conveying, but you weren’t sure if you could reciprocate what he was feeling.

You looked away, knowing you could easily become lost in those effervescent blue eyes, but he reached out for your hand, ceasing his playing. His fingers entwined with yours as his other hand placed the guitar away from you both. Yusuf leaned closer, his gaze burning into yours and although you tried to resist the pull he had on you, it was becoming more and more difficult.

“Stop thinking so hard,” he softly chastised, lips curving up into a smirk. “Just relax, aşk.”

You couldn’t look away, couldn’t deny him as he leant forward and pressed his lips against yours. You found yourself obeying his request as your eyes fluttered shut and you relaxed into the kiss. His lips moved slowly against yours, almost as though he was committing the feel of them to memory. One hand reached up to gently take hold of your hair, while the other pressed against your waist, pulling you to him.

Your arms were wrapped around his neck, fingers playing with the ends of the dark, thick strands of his own hair. You loved the feeling of it, the feeling of him pressed against you. You loved the way he kissed you so tenderly but also with an underlying hint of passion. You gasped as the hand on your waist moved downwards, squeezing your ass before pulling you into his lap. He used the opportunity to thrust his tongue into your mouth and you moaned.

You were quickly becoming breathless, dazed by the rapid progression in your relationship, but welcoming it at the same time. It felt good to give into your feelings for him for just a little while. From your close proximity to his body, you could feel all of the hard, toned muscles underneath his clothing. His scent was all around you, but you loved it, and his kisses were better than any you’d ever experienced.

“Yusuf…” you breathed out, pulling away slightly to catch your breath.

He chuckled, reaching up to gently place your head down onto his chest. His fingers traced teasing patterns along your back, slowly creeping lower and lower. Your brain started catching up with what had transpired between you two and you found yourself panicking. You weren’t ready for this kind of intimacy. You needed to get rid of your doubts before you could even consider behaving like this with him.

“Yusuf,” you tried again, pulling back to look into his eyes.

You found understanding in his gaze as he smiled at you.

“I won’t rush you,” he assured you. “But Allah knows I can’t stand not being able to touch you. I’ll go crazy if I have to keep restraining myself.”

You flushed at his words as you considered them. He wasn’t asking you to rush into things, and honestly, you didn’t mind the idea of some physical intimacy with him. Looking into his eyes, you gave a small nod, an unspoken agreement passing between the two of you. You leant forward again, as did he, and your lips met in another kiss.

It was instantly deep and passionate, his arms wrapping around you and pressing your body as close to his as was possible. Your hands tangled themselves in his hair as your lips moved together with his in a sensual rhythm. You’d worry about things later. For now, you just wanted to enjoy the present moment with Yusuf so close to you, finally getting a taste of the intimacy you’d so desperately craved with him for so long.


It was insanely hard to concentrate. Yusuf was standing in front of you, his eyes watching you darkly and his breathing coming out in short, quiet pants. You’d been sparring for some time, and he was acting differently compared to usual. Briefly, you wondered if he was as distracted as you were. This was your first lesson together since you’d first kissed, and to you the difference was very noticeable. He moved forward quickly, making his attack. You weren’t quick enough and before you knew it, you were pinned underneath him on the ground.

“Not quick enough,” he said lowly. “How would you get out of this situation?” 

Okay, so maybe you were the only one distracted right now.

His hands were pinning yours down to the ground, above your head, and his legs were straddling over your hips. This was easy, a basic move he’d taught you early on. Your left leg lifted up, followed by your right, giving your body momentum to turn over, effectively pinning him underneath you instead. Instead of jumping up, as you were supposed to, you leant down closer to him.

“I could do that,” you whispered, your lips inches from his own. “Or I could do this.”

You closed the distance, kissing him roughly. His hands instantly settled onto your hips, squeezing firmly. You pulled away, biting down upon his bottom lip as you did so and dragging it within your teeth. His eyes had become impossibly darker, the vibrant blue burning into your very soul.

“Wrong,” he said huskily, rolling over to pin you back down underneath him.

“Wrong?” You repeated. “I had you distracted.”

He stood up, putting himself in stance to attack.

“Wrong again,” he grinned. “Come on, we’re training right now.”

You narrowed your eyes at him in a silent challenge, quickly getting up from the ground. You’d definitely had him distracted and you were going to make him admit it.

He made the first move, but you were ready for it. You easily dodged him and the two of you danced around each other, eyeing one another intently. The tension between the two of you was undeniable. He moved again, but you countered him, pushing him against the wall with your body pressed against him.

“So, I’m not distracting?” You asked teasingly.

He took control, moving swiftly so that your positions were reversed again.

“No,” he spoke deeply into your ear. “But clearly I am.”

He nipped lightly at your earlobe before pulling away from you completely. 

“Focus,” he reprimanded.

You allowed him to believe that you were properly chastised, but in reality you were still determined to prove him wrong. You continued sparring for several moments until you had him pinned to the ground again. You wasted no time, rolling your hips against him and feeling immense satisfaction at both the friction and the way his breath hitched and his pupils dilated.

Aşkım…” he breathed out. 

You leant down, murmuring into his ear.

“You can’t deny it this time, Yusuf,” you let out a small laugh. “I don’t want to spar. At least not in this context.”

He rolled you over again, asserting control over you.

“I hope you don’t intend to be like this with a potential attacker,” he commented.

“Jealous?” You countered.

“Would it upset you if I was?” He asked.

He bent down to press a trail of kisses along your jaw, inching ever closer to your lips.

“Right now, there’s only one thing upsetting me,” you evaded the question. “Just admit that I distracted you.”

“Why is it so important to you?” He questioned.

“Because I know it’s true,” you insisted. “But you won’t admit it.”

You reached up, running your hand down his chest and he bit his bottom lip. You reached the waistband of his sweatpants and continued lower.

“What’s this?” You asked, amused.

He let out a low moan, squeezing his eyes shut as your hand came into contact with his prominent erection.

Bok…” he breathed out.

“Admit it,” you persisted.

His eyes shot open and he grinned cheekily down at you.

“No,” he refused.

You grasped down more firmly and his breath hitched.

“How can you deny it?” You asked, frustrated.

“Because it’s not true,” he retorted. “I’m completely turned on by you, I won’t deny that. But I’d say you’re the one who’s distracted. I have the advantage here.”

You realised that he was right. You were pinned underneath him, meaning that he was the one in control of the situation. You quickly swapped your positions and straddled his waist. You rotated your hips, teasing him and smirking when he let out a long moan.

“And now?” You asked.

He relaxed, giving in with a short nod.

“Sparring is the last thing on my mind,” he admitted. “Come closer." 

He beckoned you, wanting to feel more of your body against his. You obliged, leaning down slowly, until your breasts were pushing against his chest and your lips were right by his ear.

“I knew it,” you whispered victoriously.

You pressed a quick kiss to his cheek before standing up. He stared up at you, bewildered.

“That was fun,” you said with a teasing grin. “See you next lesson.”

You felt his eyes burning into you as you gathered your things and left the gym, hearing a quiet bok leave his lips before you closed the door behind you.


 

You tried not to sigh as Jacob and Yusuf bickered in front of you. You and Elisabeth had come over to their apartment to play a game of darts with everyone. The first team was Aguilar and Altaïr, while Edward and Arno were the second, with Connor and Ezio as the third. Elisabeth had opted not to play, leaving you, Jacob and Yusuf. And thus, they now argued over who would get to be your partner for the game.

You didn’t understand it, to be honest. You’d attempted to throw a few darts beforehand; proving only that you had terrible aim. Yet, still they argued over you in the middle of their living room, with the others all watching on.

“I’m not going to tell you again, Jacob,” Yusuf gritted out, subtly inching closer to you. “Back. Off.”

“No way, mate,” Jacob retorted. “I saw her first!”

You buried your face into your hands. In actuality, Yusuf was the one you met first out of the two of them. You weren’t going to cut in and supply this information though. It would be like putting out the fire with gasoline. You looked up again, hesitantly, and saw that Yusuf was seething at Jacob.

“I’m older than you,” Yusuf argued. “And better.”

You sighed again, wishing that they’d just cut it out.

“Age is no match for experience,” Jacob countered. “I’m more experienced than you.”

That’s not always a good thing, you thought to yourself.

Edward decided to intervene, rising from his spot on the floor and picking up a notepad and pen.

“Place your bets everyone,” he said in his best imitation of a sports commentator.

“I hate his guts sometimes,” Altaïr piped up. “But he is my bro. I bet on Yusuf.”

The others joined in, Aguilar and Connor betting on Jacob while Arno and Ezio bet on Yusuf. Edward also contributed, deciding on Jacob. They then all collectively turned to Elisabeth, waiting to hear her choice. 

“I bet on Nikita,” she told them. “She’s sitting next to her.”

“She has a point,” Aguilar nodded with a faint smile.

“Oh my god, Edward,” you bit back a laugh. “You’re crazy!”

“Nah, lass, you’re the crazy one,” he argued softly. “You need to choose.”

You turned to look at Jacob and Yusuf who were both completely oblivious of what was happening around them. They were still bickering with each other and you realised that Edward was right. You needed to interfere before the argument escalated. You walked over and stepped between the two men, holding out both arms to separate them.

“I’ll be with both of you,” was your solution. “My aim is horrible, so we won’t have any unfair advantage over the other teams. Just stop fighting, please.”

There was a short pause before they both reluctantly agreed. You turned to face Yusuf and his eyes were like fire, burning into you and making your heart hammer in your chest. An unspoken agreement seemed to pass between you both and you subtly inched closer to him.

The game finally began, but you weren’t really keeping score or paying too much attention. Every time it was your turn, Yusuf would step behind you, his arms wrapping around you as he corrected your aim. His close proximity, his intoxicating smell and his gentle touches all caused you to become completely absorbed in him. Jacob, not being one to give up easily, still tried to charm you in his own way, but it wasn’t the same. He didn’t evoke the same feelings within you that Yusuf did.

The only thing that pulled your mind away from Yusuf was the raised voice of Connor. You turned to look at him, seeing that he was arguing with Aguilar and Altaïr. It seemed that they were winning, with him close behind them and he was arguing about the score.

Yusuf quickly pulled your attention back onto him as he inched dangerously closer to you. His gaze was fixed on your lips as the space between your bodies got smaller and smaller. It was like the world around you faded into a haze and there was nothing but him. You could hear the thumping of your own heartbeat. You were so captivated by him that you didn’t even hear Elisabeth speak.

“Guys, pay up,” she said, gesturing to the two of you.

You didn’t see as Jacob turned towards the two of you, instantly regretting it.

“It’s alright,” Edward consoled him with a pat on the back. “I’m getting the money. I made the bets.”

You were oblivious as another fight erupted. You could only focus on Yusuf as his hand reached up to gently stroke your cheek and a fire lit up in your lower belly. You leaned into his touch, your eyes fluttering closed as he pulled you closer. He pressed a small kiss to the top of your head. You opened your eyes again but didn’t pull away, enjoying his embrace. You saw as Elisabeth smirked at the two of you.

“I love it when I’m right,” she said, turning to Nikita as she gently pat the malamute.

You turned away from her, raising your head to look at Yusuf.

“Let’s get out of here?” You suggested.

His smile was both warm and impish as he nodded in agreement. You ignored all the eyes watching as you both left the apartment, hand in hand.


You felt like you’d only just relaxed onto the couch after a long day at work, when you heard a knock at the front door. You pulled it open, grinning when you saw that it was Yusuf. Your smile faltered a little as you noticed his serious and almost sad expression.

“Yusuf,” you greeted softly. “Is everything okay?”

“Can I talk to you?” He asked, looking into the apartment where Elisabeth could clearly be seen. “Alone?”

“Of course,” you nodded, stepping out of the apartment and closing the door behind you. 

He led you upstairs, to the rooftop. There was a gentle breeze as you stepped outside, causing your hair to gently billow around you. Yusuf moved to stand in front of you, but stayed close, his hands reaching out to tuck your hair behind your ears. You both stared at one another for several moments, neither of you saying a single word. He looked conflicted and you waited patiently until he was ready to speak.

“I have to go away,” he revealed quickly.

“What?” You asked in shock. “For how long?”

“I don’t know,” he responded vaguely.

You took a moment to register this, before pressing further.

“Where are you going?” You asked. “And why?”

He hesitated and you became suspicious. You knew he was hiding something from you, but did he still not trust you?

“I need to tell you something,” he said quietly.

Your heart raced. This was it. He was going to tell you. You didn’t want there to be any secrets between the two of you anymore. 

“I don’t want to leave without you knowing,” he continued.

“What do you want me to know?” You asked, eager to hear his answer.

“I really care about you,” he admitted, reaching out to grasp your hands in his. “That’s an understatement, really. I want to be with you, aşkım. I want you to be mine alone.”

Your heart burst at his words, but they hadn’t been what you wanted to hear – at least not yet. He wasn’t being completely honest with you; you knew he was hiding something. How could he expect you to be in a relationship with him if he was hiding things from you? He faltered at your prolonged silence, hurt evident in his features.

“Please say something,” he requested softly.

But you couldn’t think of anything to say. He’d put you on the spot; you didn’t want to hurt him, but you also wanted him to be completely honest with you. You watched as he became clearly frustrated with you.

“Why are you holding back?” He asked you. “Just be honest with me. I was honest with you!”

“Oh really?” You shot back, breaking your silence as anger bubbled up within you. “Then tell me where you’re going and why. If you want me to be honest with you, then be honest with me. You’ve been hiding things from the start!”

“I can’t tell you,” he stated softly, his eyes pleading with you. “It’s not as simple as that.”

“Then how can you expect me to trust you?” You asked. “You’re not being completely honest with me!”

“I’m being honest about my feelings for you!” He argued. “Have a little faith in me. I can’t tell you now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t in the future.”

“I’m sorry, Yusuf,” you sighed. “But that’s not good enough for me. If I can’t fully trust you, then I could never be in a relationship with you.”

“So what then?” He asked. “Is this it?”

“Will you tell me why you have to go away?” You pressed.

He was silent, his beautiful blue eyes betraying the hurt he felt. You sighed, looking away from him.

“Then I’m sorry,” you said softly. “But yeah, I think it is.”

“Fine,” he said through gritted teeth.

“Fine..." you agreed with a nod, biting on your bottom lip.

He left quickly, moving past you and shutting the door loudly behind him. You looked up, out at the sunset as the town became bathed in the warm light. You didn’t find it beautiful though, as it was obscured by the tears that welled in your eyes and streamed down your cheeks.


It felt like an eternity had passed since Yusuf left, but in reality it was only about a fortnight. Still, you missed him terribly and regretted the last conversation you’d shared. Things just weren’t the same without him and you realised how silly you had been. He’d been right; he would have told you in time, if you'd just had a little faith in him. He could have lied to you, but he didn’t – and you’d thrown it in his face.

Clearly, something was stopping him from telling you everything, but he’d been as honest with you as he could. You wished you’d been honest with him in return. Your feelings for him were undeniable, but now there was no way for you to tell him so. 

A knock on the door broke you from your reverie and you moved to answer it. You were greeted by a smirking Jacob Frye and gave him a small smile in return. You suddenly regretted wearing such a low cut top as his eyes roved over your form appreciatively. Thankfully your bottom half was covered in jeans, rather than something more revealing. 

“Afternoon, love,” he said. “We were wondering if you’d join us for coffee. Or tea. Personally I prefer tea, but… with you looking so delicious, I think I’d actually prefer you right now.”

You couldn’t help but blush at his words, which only made his smirk become more pronounced.

“I’d love to join you,” you answered politely.

You moved out into the hallway, locking the door behind you. 

“Why are you locking it?” He asked from behind you. “You think someone would break in? With us mere meters away?”

“You’re not obligated to guard our apartment,” you told him with a small laugh. “That’s what locks and keys are for.”

“Oh, but we are obligated,” he replied, letting out a chuckle of his own. “You and your roommate are very important to look after.”

You blushed again, averting your gaze from him as you followed him down the hallway. When you entered, you saw that all of the other men were filling up the living room. You couldn’t help but feel the noticeable difference with Yusuf absent. Especially since this was also his apartment.

Connor was lying on the ground with Nikita, using a ball to play with her. Aguilar was sitting in an armchair, while Ezio and Altaïr shared the couch, all three of them watching sports on the TV. Edward was sitting at the dining table, with Arno standing next to him, one arm leaning on the table. They were both looking at something on a laptop in front of them.

Nikita looked up as you entered, slowly walking over to you and seeming a lot calmer than your previous encounters with her. Connor looked up as she moved away from him and when he noticed you, he quickly stood up. This caught the attention of the other men in the room as they all turned to look at you and several moments of silence passed. You let out a quiet chuckle and gave them a small wave.

“Wow,” you said. “To be honest, I haven’t felt this awkward since my first day in high school…" 

“Oh, I’d like to see you in a school girl outfit,” Edward flirted.

Arno hit him on the shoulder, causing Edward to start laughing.

“I’m so glad you could join us, bella,” Ezio cut in. “Come, sit.” 

He motioned next to him but you shook your head while resisting the urge to grin. 

“Thanks, but I’m fine,” you replied. “I’d rather sit with Nikita, if that’s alright.”

Connor chuckled at your words, watching as Ezio’s smile faltered. He remained composed though and shrugged it off.

You sat down on the floor, pulling Nikita closer to you and running your fingers through her soft fur. Arno and Edward moved away from the laptop, shutting the lid, and sat down on the other couch. 

“Well now,” Jacob said, clapping his hands together. “Who’s going to be the bartender?”

“It’s your apartment,” Arno said. “You invited her… I think it’s obvious.”

“But I don’t know how to make coffee!” Jacob pouted.

“That trick won’t work on me,” Arno rolled his eyes. “I’m not some bimbo with a nice ass.”

“True…” Jacob grinned. “Your ass is much better than ‘nice’. Puts all others to shame, really.”

Arno’s eyes widened at his words and Jacob ducked with a laugh as a cushion was thrown at him. Nikita whined beside you and you moved your hand up to scratch her head. The malamute lay her head down on your lap and you smiled softly down at her. You looked back up as Jacob sighed, defeated and moved to the kitchen to make tea and coffee. 

“I’ll help you, Jacob,” you offered.

He grinned devilishly at you and Aguilar quickly cut in.

“Don’t do that,” he warned. “Don’t give him an excuse to be alone with you.”

You thought on his words, realising he was right. The memories of Yusuf’s behaviour around Jacob came back to you and you decided that you didn’t want to do anything that might upset him, even if he wasn’t there at that moment. 

“Aguilar,” Jacob groaned out in annoyance. “I really respect you, mate, but sometimes you need to learn to shut your trap!”

Aguilar only shook his head, sending a small smirk to Jacob, but also challenging him with his eyes, daring him to argue. Sensing the palpable tension, you decided to interfere.

“Okay, okay,” you said loudly, standing up from the floor. “You boys play nicely now and Nikita and I will make the drinks.”

“No way,” Arno immediately protested. “You’re a guest." 

In an instant, the men began to bicker amongst themselves. You let out a sigh at their antics but Altaïr took the opportunity to get up from the couch, moving swiftly and yet with elegance. He walked over to you, gently grasping your hand and leading you to the kitchen. The others continued arguing but it became like white noise in the background as Altaïr set to work making the drinks.

You wordlessly helped him, you making the tea and him making the coffee. You realised that he was no longer rough with you, like he was during your first encounter. He had definitely turned out differently to how you’d expected after your first impression of him.

“Are you okay?” You asked him quietly, wondering about how quiet he was.

He nodded but still didn’t say a word. You decided to let it go and the two of you carried the drinks out to the table. Suddenly, the bickering stopped and the men all moved to get their drinks, thanking you and Altaïr in the process.

“I swear you’re all worse than toddlers,” he said, shaking his head.

“Now you sound like Charles Lee,” Jacob snickered and Connor bristled.

“Who is he anyway?” You asked. “I’ve seen him lurking by the stairs.”

“Did he do something to you or Elisabeth?” Connor asked, flaring up with an anger you’d never expected from him.

“No,” you replied gently, trying to calm him. “He was just creepy looking and I was wondering if you knew him." 

“Charlie is Connor’s lifelong favourite topic,” Edward laughed.

“Yes,” Arno cut in. “But please limit him to five minutes of talking about this topic. He gets quite into it and it’s very annoying.”

“Oh,” you said as realisation dawned on you. “Is he your crush?”

At your words, everyone in the room except for Connor roared with laughter. You looked at them, bewildered. What was so funny?

“Oh my god,” Ezio grinned. “She is amazing!” 

You looked at Connor and guilt flooded you. His ears were red with what you could only assume was a mixture of embarrassment and repressed anger. You lifted your hand to cover your mouth, regretting your words.

“Oh my god…” you breathed out. “I’m so sorry! You’ve had issues with him?”

“Still has,” Altaïr revealed. “Charles made a lot of trouble for Connor. Flooded his bathroom, similar to the way yours almost was. He attempted to poison Nikita, threw garbage from his balcony to Connor’s… things like that." 

“Why would he do that?” You asked. “What reasons would he have?”

“None whatsoever,” Aguilar explained. “The old man is sick. Mentally sick. We’ve tried to remove him from the building, but with no luck. He’s filthy rich and bribes the police each time they get a complaint about him. However, if he attempts similar things with you or Elisabeth, you tell us.”

“No,” Connor cut in. “Tell me.”

You nodded, looking around at the seven men. Yet, none of the gazes that you met were the one you longed to see. You missed Yusuf more than you’d ever imagined to be possible. His guitar was leaning against the wall beside one of the couches and your mind drifted to happier times when he’d played it for you on the rooftop.

“Where did Yusuf go?” You asked quietly. “I mean really. Please don’t tell me any lies.”

There was a short moment of silence as they all exchanged glances. Finally, Altaïr spoke up.

“He went on a business trip,” was all he offered.

You looked at him scrutinisingly but found no trace of a lie within his eyes. Truthfully, that seemed very plausible. You had no idea about what he or any of the others did for a living. You gave them all a small smile, accepting Altaïr’s answer. But your mind and heart were far away from that room. Instead, they were with Yusuf and would remain that way until he returned.


 

You looked down at your hands, which were holding your phone. Elisabeth had insisted that you do this and you knew that she was right. That didn't make it any easier to actually swallow your pride and make the call. Sucking in a deep breath you pressed the call button and pressed the phone against your ear. You waited and waited as it rang but then it cut to voicemail. You couldn’t help but feel a mixture of relief and disappointment. You were relieved because the call was delayed, but disappointed for the same reason.

Part of you wanted to talk to him so badly, but another part wanted to avoid the conversation like the plague. You sat there for several moments in silence in the quiet night. You were on the rooftop again, the moon shining brightly above you and a gentle breeze blowing around you. You stayed there for what must have been at least an hour, enjoying the time to yourself. You startled when, after all that time sitting alone your phone lit up. You looked down and your heart skipped a beat when you saw who was calling you. Quickly, you answered, pressing the phone to you ear.

“Yusuf…” you breathed out.

He whispered your name in return and you almost cried at hearing his voice again.

“I miss you,” you admitted, to excited to care about what repercussions those words might bring.

“I miss you too,” he said after a short pause, his voice sounding tired.

“Are you okay?” You asked.

“I’m fine, aşkım,” he replied.

You let out an audible sigh of relief at hearing that word come from him.

“Are you okay?” He asked, the concern evident through his voice.

“Yes,” you reassured him. “I just miss you, that’s all.”

“I’ll be home soon,” he told you. “I don’t think this will take too much longer.”

“Really?” You asked, happy with the news.

Evet,” he confirmed.

Silence settled over the two of you for several moments as you gathered up the courage to say what you felt was necessary.

“Yusuf, I’m sorry,” you finally whispered.

You heard him let out a long sigh and you weren’t sure if it was good or bad.

“It’s in the past now,” he eventually replied.

“You’re right,” you agreed. “I can’t change what happened, but I don’t want that to be how things end between us.”

He paused again and you waited with bated breath to see how he would respond.

“What are you saying?” He asked, his voice sounding almost hesitant to hear your answer. 

“I want to talk to you in person,” you replied. “When you get back, can we please talk? I’m not willing to let you go like this.”

“Of course, aşkım,” he agreed and you could practically hear the smile in his voice.

“Thank you,” you breathed out in a sigh of relief.

“I’ll tell you when I’m returning once I know myself,” he continued. “We can meet each other then.”

“Okay,” you grinned before realising how much you’d missed just simply talking to him. “God, I wish I could see you right now.”

“We could do a video call,” he suggested softly.

“No, no,” you said. “When I see you again, I want it to be in person.”

He chuckled at your words and your breath hitched.

“I really miss you, Yusuf,” you told him.

“I know,” he laughed and you realised how much you missed that sound. “You’ve said it three times now.”

“I can’t help it,” you said. “I haven't seen you in over a month.”

He paused, leaving you to wait in anticipation for his response.

“I miss you too, aşkım,” he admitted, causing your heart to burst with happiness.

You heard a voice in the background and Yusuf’s muffled reply before he returned to your conversation.

“I have to go,” he said, sounding regretful.

“It’s okay, I understand,” you replied, just happy that you got to hear his voice. 

“I’ll see you soon,” he continued. “I promise.”

“I can’t wait,” your tone was light as you said the words.

“Me neither,” he agreed. “Good night, aşkım.”

“Good night,” you returned softly.

As you hung up the phone, you noticed that you felt like a weight had been lifted from your shoulders. Finally you felt like things could be resolved between the two of you. As you moved to leave the rooftop and return downstairs, you couldn’t help but feel excited at the prospect of his return.


 

You glanced at the clock on your phone for what must have been the millionth time and let out a sigh. He was late. Really late. You’d agreed to meet Yusuf on the rooftop, as today was the day he was set to return. It had been over an hour and there was still no sign of him. Sighing, you decided to let it go and headed for the door, but paused when someone else opened it.

You couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when it was Aguilar who appeared, rather than the man you’d been hoping for. He greeted you calmly, not looking at all surprised to find you there and you wondered if he’d purposefully sought you out.

“Where’s Yusuf?” You cut to the chase.

“He can’t make it,” he replied. 

“Why?” You began to panic. “Is he okay?” 

He observed you for a few moments, taking in your reaction.

“He was hurt on the way back,” Aguilar explained. “But he’ll be fine.” 

“What!?” You exclaimed. “How did he get hurt?”

“It doesn’t matter,” he tried to deter you.

“No, Aguilar,” you argued. “It does matter! Why won’t any of you just be honest with me?” 

“It’s Yusuf’s place to tell you,” he retorted. “Not mine.” 

“Yusuf’s hurt,” you argued. “He’s not in a condition to tell me, and even if he was, he still wouldn’t. Please, Aguilar! I’m not stupid! I’ve noticed all of the strange little things. The arrivals at dawn, the running on the rooftops – I mean what’s with that? You can’t walk through the front door?

“And that’s not all! The cuts, the bruises, the severe facial and body injuries… What are you? Ninja turtles? Spiderman cosplayers? Super spies? What? I can't go on like this, nor can Elisabeth. We care about you. Please, Aguilar, just tell me what’s going on.” 

Tears were welling in your eyes from frustration. If Yusuf was going to be running off into danger on a regular basis, didn’t you at least deserve to know the circumstances? Aguilar stepped forward, taking your hands in his and looking deeply into your eyes.

“Some secrets are better left buried,” he said. “But you’re right, you both deserve the truth. Let’s go inside and I’ll tell you everything.”

You nodded, stepping forward to hug him tightly.

“Thank you,” you whispered.

He nodded as you pulled away and led you back to the stairs. Elisabeth looked up from her laptop when you entered the apartment hand in hand with Aguilar and took in your tear-stained cheeks.

“What happened?” She asked with concern, standing up.

You gestured for her to sit again, moving to sit beside her. Aguilar settled across from you and you turned to Elisabeth.

“He’s going to tell us,” you informed her.

“Tell us what?” She asked, confused.

“Everything.”

“Oh…” she trailed off, turning to look at Aguilar.

He paused for a few moments, waiting until you were both ready before he told you his story.

“For centuries, two secret societies have been battling for power,” he began. “One of these groups, the Assassins, fights for freedom. The other, the Templars, fight for control over every living thing. Generation after generation has dealt with this conflict and it is still happening today. We are all Assassins; our words are ‘nothing is true, everything is permitted’. We fight for the liberty of the people. Even today, society is slaves to the elite and our struggle continues. The people believe they are free, but it’s an illusion.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” Elisabeth argued, stunned. “This is the 21st century… slavery is mostly gone from the world. Templars haven’t existed since the middle ages!”

“Okay,” Aguilar sighed, looking around him. “Let’s take a different approach… can you pass me that?" 

He pointed to a can of hairspray that was sitting next to you and you obliged, handing to him.

“This has to pass numerous safety tests before it can be sold. The bottle says it’s not tested on animals.”

“What’s your point?” Elisabeth interrupted, not understanding and becoming frustrated.

“Look closely at the bottom,” he said calmly, handing it back to her. “It says: tested and approved by Abstergo. They are the primary front for the activities of the modern Templars. They conduct various tests on humans, namely captured Assassins. These are sick experiments, usually done against a person’s will. Our numbers are dwindling. Abstergo’s power reaches almost every corner of the world, every branch of society. This is their logo.”

He leant forward and showed you a symbol on the bottom of the bottle and your eyes widened while Elisabeth gasped, lifting her hand to cover her mouth. You both recognised that symbol – it was literally everywhere. You sat in silence for a moment as Aguilar’s words sank in.

“Yusuf’s task was to eliminate a CEO of the Turkish branch of Abstergo,” he continued.

You looked at him, giving him your full attention once again.

“That’s why he was gone for so long. He took a risk but didn’t properly think it through and suffered the consequences. That’s how he was injured.”

You bit your lip, mulling over his words.

“It isn’t easy to love an Assassin,” Aguilar said to you. “Keep that in mind. We don’t work from 9-5, we don’t commute via the motorway, and we don’t come home with sweat stains on our shirts, demanding an ice-cold bear and sex. Love is our greatest weakness – for both Templars and Assassins. We live each moment like it’s our last.”

You understood. Finally, you understood the complexity of the situation. You shouldn’t have pushed Yusuf so hard. He’d never actually done anything directly to cause you to doubt him.

“Thank you, Aguilar,” you said, giving him a small smile. “Thank you for telling me.”

“I just hope you understand now,” he said. “The decisions Yusuf made weren’t made lightly." 

“I understand,” you nodded. “Can you take me to see him?”

“Okay,” he agreed, standing up. 

“Will you be okay?” Elisabeth asked you. “Do you want me to come with you?”

“No,” you replied. “It’s fine. I need to do this on my own.”

She nodded and you stood up to join Aguilar, leaving the apartment with him.


 

The trip passed in relative silence and you were anxious to see Yusuf again. Aguilar pulled up in front of a small building, explaining that it was a private hospital for the Assassins. He led you inside, passing through a maze of corridors before you finally stopped in front of one of the rooms.

“He’s in there,” Aguilar told you. “He should be alone. Go on in.” 

You nodded, giving him a grateful smile and then gently opened the door. Peeking inside, you saw Yusuf inside, lying on a hospital bed with his eyes closed. You shut the door behind you and walked over to him quietly. 

“Nurse already gave me my meds,” he murmured, still not opening his eyes.

“Yusuf…” you whispered and his eyes shot open.

He looked up at you in shock and tried to sit up. You gently pushed him back down, not wanting him to exert himself. You sat down in the chair beside his bed, pulling it closer. You reached out with one hand to stroke his hair away from his eyes, while the other took hold of his, entwining your fingers together. 

“How do you feel?” You asked.

“I’m fine…” he said, still bewildered by your presence. “How did you…?”

“Aguilar told me,” you explained.

“He did?”

“He told me everything, Yusuf.”

“Everything?” He seemed nervous at this revelation.

“Yes,” you offered him a sweet smile. “Everything.”

“…And?”

“It doesn’t make any difference to me,” you assured him.

“Really?”

“It doesn’t change who you are,” you said. “Not really. I’m just glad you’re safe.”

His hand squeezed yours as he returned your smile. You leant forward, gently brushing your lips against his. You would have loved to kiss him passionately, after being away from him for so long, but he needed to recover first.

“Get some rest,” you said. “We can talk when you’re better.”

“Will you stay here?” He asked quietly. 

“Yes,” you agreed, smiling brightly at him.

Tamam...” he mumbled, letting his eyes drift shut.

His hand was still grasping yours and you waited until you were sure that he was asleep.

“I want to be with you too, Yusuf,” you whispered, remembering your argument before he left. “If you’ll still have me…”

You watched as his lips curved up into a small smile and wondered what he was dreaming about.


You walked quickly into the Ambrosia, wanting to dump all of your work stuff at home, get changed and visit Yusuf. It had only been a few days, but you wanted to spend whatever time with him that you could. As you approached the elevator, you noticed the familiar scent of incense and çay and paused. Suddenly, arms wrapped around your waist from behind, pulling you into a warm, muscular body.

“Where are you going in such a hurry, aşkım?" 

You relaxed into his hold, turning your head slightly.

“I wanted to come and visit you,” you said. “They discharged you?”

Evet,” Yusuf replied, turning you to face him properly. 

You wrapped your arms around his neck, pulling your body closer to his.

“Let’s go upstairs,” he suggested, pressing a quick kiss to your cheek.

You nodded and he took your hand, leading you to the elevator. When you reached his apartment you quickly scanned for any sight of Jacob, letting out a sigh of relief when you saw that he wasn’t home. You wanted to have this conversation with Yusuf in private. He led you to the couch and you settled down beside him, taking his hands in yours as you turned to face him properly.

“When we spoke on the phone, I said I wanted to speak to you about some things.”

He nodded, gesturing for you to continue.

“And before you left, you said that you wanted to be with me.” 

He nodded again, smiling this time. His eyes, so dazzlingly blue, bore into your own as he decided to speak.

“I heard you in the hospital,” he admitted. “When you said that you want to be with me too, if I’d still have you.”

“You heard that?” You asked, eyes widening in embarrassment. “I thought you were asleep!”

“Of course I’ll still have you,” he continued, as though you hadn’t spoken. “My feelings haven’t changed.”

“Yusuf…” you said, softening. “I’m sorry for everything that I said. I should have trusted you. I’ve wanted to be with you for a long time, but I let my own fears get in the way.”

“You’re here now,” he replied. “That’s what matters. If you want to be with me, then I’m yours.”

You shuffled closer to him, your gaze searching his.

“I want this,” you assured him. “I don’t want anyone but you.”

His reaction was instant; he leant forward and closed the distance between you. His lips were more demanding than they’d ever been and you eagerly responded. He quickly pulled you into his lap, so that you were straddling him. Your lips moved over his sensually as his tongue slipped into your mouth. Your hands became entangled in his long hair, while his own gripped your waist, pulling you as close as possible to him. 

The coarse hair of his beard scratched against your soft skin, but you didn’t mind. The scent of incense and çay surrounded you and you felt completely enveloped by his presence. You shared kiss after kiss, not caring about how breathless you were becoming. The only thing you cared about was being close to him. You slowed the pace of the kiss, dragging it out and teasing him as your hands moved down over his chest, feeling the defined muscles beneath his clothing. 

You shifted, your core rubbing against him and he let out a moan, breaking away from the kiss. His hands moved down to squeeze your ass, while his kisses moved along your jaw. You arched your back as his fingers kneaded into your flesh and his kisses moved lower, down your neck, exploring every inch of skin he could find. As his lips came closer to your breasts, his hands also moved up to fondle them and you let out another long, breathy moan.

“I want you,” he said breathlessly as he pulled away to look into your eyes.

Those vibrant blue eyes had a certain hold over you and you couldn’t have denied him, even if you wanted to. Slowly, you nodded, your eyes hooded with desire for him and he smiled softly at you. He picked you up in his arms, lifting you both off the couch and led you into his bedroom. 

You didn’t take the time to observe the room, too focused on the man holding you so carefully in his arms. He laid you gently down onto his bed, his eyes never leaving yours as he hovered over you. He leant down and pressed a gentle kiss to your forehead before moving down to kiss each temple. Your eyes fluttered closed and he kissed your eyelids too. His lips pressed against your nose, your cheeks and the corner of your mouth. You tried to capture his own lips in a kiss but he stopped you, leaning up to speak in your ear.

“Not yet, aşkım,” he gently said.

He pressed a kiss to your neck moving down slowly. It felt as though he left no inch of your skin untouched, leaving a trail of fire in his wake. When he reached your dress he pulled away and began to undress you as though you were a delicate present for him to unwrap. He worked on each button on the front of your dress slowly, and once he’d unbuttoned them all, he slowly peeled the fabric away from you.

He let out a shaky breath as your form was revealed to him. His eyes flickered up to meet yours and you felt like you might melt under his gaze. His hand reached up to cup your left breast, giving it a gentle squeeze.

“May I?” He asked, referring to your bra.

You nodded, biting your bottom lip and sat up. He pulled the dress off your shoulders before making quick work of your bra. Once those items of clothing were out of the way, he gently laid you back down. He gazed down at your exposed chest with a tender appreciation before leaning down to place a trail of kisses along one of your breasts. His hand came up to fondle the other, his thumb teasing your nipple. 

When his tongue flicked against the other, you let out a loud moan. With one hand focusing on your breast, his other moved down to the waistband of your panties. He moved his fingers over the material slowly before beginning to peel them off. His mouth left your breast and you let out a groan of disappointment.

He pulled your panties completely away from you, sliding them down your legs and throwing them behind him. He was still fully clothed as he looked over your completely naked form underneath him with an affectionate gaze. He was driving you crazy with lust and you wanted to touch him too. You reached up to his chest, wanting to remove his shirt, but he gently swatted your hands away.

“Let me love you the way you deserve to be loved,” he said to you intently.

You relented, stunned by his loving words. He leant back down; pressing kisses from the bottom of your breasts and all along your stomach. His fingers were caressing your waist and you thought you might burst from the way he was so attentive with you. He was literally worshipping you.

Just when you thought that his mouth would finally would come into contact with the place you wanted it most, he pulled away again. You let out a groan of frustration, to which he responded with a chuckle. He took hold of your right ankle, bringing it up over his shoulder. You waited in anticipation as his eyes trailed up over your body until they met your own. His gaze never wavered as he turned slightly to place a kiss upon your calf.

“God, Yusuf,” you breathed out.

He grinned and his beard tickled your soft skin. He continued to leave kisses all up along your leg and when he reached your inner thigh you began to squirm. The higher up he went, the more turned on you became. You whimpered when he pressed a lingering kiss to the place where your upper thigh came dangerously close to your core. But yet again, he never touched the place you desperately needed him to.

Instead, he pulled back and gently lifted your left leg and repeated the same process, his tongue flicking out occasionally to tease you. Your breathing was becoming noticeably louder as you became more and more aroused. His hands were caressing your hips, while his tongue and lips devoted their attention to your inner thigh. As he got higher, your hips lifted off the bed and he used the opportunity to bring his hands lower, gently caressing your ass and pulling your body closer to his attentive mouth.

This time, when he reached your pelvic crest, he continued his ascent and you cried out his name in ecstasy when his lips finally wrapped around your clit. He sucked at the little bud as his hands moved to spread your legs further, allowing him better access. The hair of his beard teased your sensitive skin and you writhed underneath him. He placed a hand to your hip, stilling you as his tongue flicked out in languid stokes.

You ran your fingers through his hair and he looked up as he continued his ministrations on you. His eyes continued watching you as he licked and sucked and you moaned, your head falling back onto his pillows unable to handle the intimate gaze. His tongue began to speed up, adding more friction, and his lips sucked more forcefully on your clit until you came hard. He pulled away slightly, smacking his lips together as his fingers moved to your entrance. He gathered some of your cum, spreading it up to your clit and rubbing circles over it with his fingers.

You squirmed underneath him as he continued rubbing slowly and sensuously. You were still recovering from your first orgasm and he was already teasing you mercilessly. His movements gradually sped up as you felt your desire building up once again. You placed a hand over his wrist, trying to get him to go faster and he obliged, quickening the pace until there no longer was one. You gripped tightly to his wrist as he watched you coming undone. He leant down again, using his thumb and forefinger to gently squeeze either side of your clit, causing it to rise up and then his tongue was on it again, moving rapidly.

You moaned out his name as you came again and he didn’t stop until your body had stopped squirming as you were panting for breath. His hands moved to your hips, gently caressing your skin and he shifted the rest of his body upwards, pressing his mouth against yours in a heated kiss. You tasted yourself on his tongue and lips and moaned when his hands moved up to squeeze your breasts.

He pulled away, leaning back and running his hands down your body. He quickly began to undress himself, pushing your hands away gently whenever you tried to help him. Inch by inch, his naked body was revealed to you. Your gaze honed in on the defined muscles of his chest and arms, before venturing lower as he pulled down his pants. His gaze never left you, watching how you reacted to his body.

Once he was rid of his pants he barely gave you any time to look him over, instantly moving towards you again. He spread your legs, wrapping them around his waist and you looked downwards, your mouth falling open in appreciation. Well, he was definitely big. He entered you gently and your eyes squeezed shut at the sensation of him filling you. You breathed out a long sigh, loving the feeling of him within you and he slowly began to thrust in and out.

Aşkım,” he gently coaxed. “Look at me.”

You did as he asked, looking into his striking blue eyes as he made love to you. He reached out to take your hands in one of his, while the other gripped tightly onto your hip. He lifted your hands to his lips, kissing your fingers before he brought them into his mouth, licking and sucking. He continued thrusting into you, the strokes long and deep and creating a wave of ecstasy within you every time he went fully in.

His eyes never left yours; burning into you with desire and love and admiration as he continued to place kisses along your fingers. His grip on your hip tightened as his thrusts became a little more pronounced. But in the end it was the way he was watching you, never looking away, and staring at you intently as he fucked you that made you come undone. 

“Yusuf,” you moaned, his name drawn out as you became lost in ecstasy.

Your eyes squeezed shut and you felt him pick up his pace. After a few more, slightly rougher thrusts he followed, his release pouring into you and filling you with a different kind of warmth. You both stayed like that for a moment, watching each other intensely. Eventually, he collapsed down beside you, immediately drawing you into his arms. He pressed a few gentle kisses to your forehead before finally lifting your chin up and capturing your lips in his. You snuggled into him as his arms became tighter around you, his kiss gentle and loving. You let out a content sigh as he pulled away and looked at you with love. 

Seni seviyorum,” he murmured, his eyes never leaving yours.

You’d never heard the words before and yet you understood them. Your heart fluttered at the realisation of what he was saying, and you responded in turn. 

“I love you too,” you replied, smiling at him. 

He leant forward to kiss you again and you melted into his embrace, completely content to be in his arms.

Chapter Text

“What about this?” You asked Elisabeth, holding up a tight fitting miniskirt.

 

“Oh, yeah,” she nodded. “Definitely.”

 

The two of you were out shopping for new clothes together at the mall and you both desperately needed some new outfits to go clubbing in.

 

“Do you like this?” Elisabeth asked, showing you a low cut top.

 

“Yeah, you’d look amazing in that,” you smiled at her.

 

“Do you think Edward would like it?” She asked with a cheeky grin in return.

 

“Girl, you are smitten,” you laughed.

 

“Oh, shush!” She said, not at all deterred.

 

Your thoughts drifted towards your neighbours before settling on one in particular. You were still shaken from your encounter with Altaïr. Something about meeting him stood out to you more than the others. The way he’d had you trapped against the wall, his body so close to yours and his presence so dominating… it had turned you on in a way you’d never thought possible.

 

You felt uncomfortable with your own feelings. Surely it was wrong to feel such desire from those actions. Sometimes, you couldn’t help but fantasise about him. You imagined his actions escalating, him being dominant and possessive and fucking you roughly – you had to stop yourself. It couldn’t be healthy to think those things.

 

“Elisabeth…” you said uncertainly.

 

“Yeah?”

 

She turned to look at you and frowned when she saw how anxious you looked.

 

“Are you okay?” She asked.

 

“Can I ask you something?” You asked.

 

“Of course,” she nodded. “What is it?”

 

You quietly told her about the first time you met Altaïr; the way he’d rough handled you and the desire those actions had evoked within you. By the time you were finished, Elisabeth was laughing and you were feeling both embarrassed and annoyed.

 

“Stop it,” you said, upset. “It’s not that funny.”

 

“Stop worrying,” she chastised. “Every woman would find that erotic. Especially if the man was like Altaïr.”

 

“That’s crazy,” you retorted. “How can any woman find that erotic? Slammed against a wall and then ordered to open up their apartment to a complete stranger, having their privacy invaded?”

 

“Oh, babe,” Elisabeth grinned. “You have so much to learn.”

 

“Or maybe you just have some questionable kinks.”

 

“I’m not the one who was turned on by rough play with an unknown man.”

 

You frowned in annoyance, not having anything to rebuke her statement with. Instead, you opted to change the focus of the conversation a little.

 

“Well, whatever,” you sighed. “Clearly I’m the only one affected.”

 

“What do you mean?” She asked less teasingly.

 

“You’ve seen how he is around me,” you pointed out. “That first meeting left me hot and bothered, but he never even spares me a second glance. He’s always so cold and stoic.”

 

“You never know,” Elisabeth said encouragingly. “He might be all hot and bothered underneath that cold exterior.”

 

“I doubt it…” you said. “Come on, let’s go to the cosmetics.”

 

Elisabeth rolled her eyes but didn't say anything else. Instead, she followed you and the topic of Altaïr was dropped – at least for the moment.

 


 

Outwardly, Altaïr was as composed as ever, yet inwardly he felt an insatiable fire rising within him. He was in Jacob and Yusuf’s apartment along with Edward, Ezio, Elisabeth and you. His eyes were fixed on you, never wavering. Previously, you had tried to engage him in conversation, but he hadn’t been too receptive.

 

You’d eventually given up, moving to sit across the room near Ezio. At first, Altaïr wasn’t bothered, but that had quickly changed. He watched as you spoke with Ezio and the Italian leant forward. His smile was flirtatious and his gaze seductive. Altaïr clenched his fists when he saw his friend reach out and begin to play with your hair. His blood was boiling and he sent Ezio a commanding glare, but it went unnoticed.

 

Altaïr gritted his teeth when Ezio went further, touching your arm and stroking it gently. As he did this, his gaze wandered, finally coming into contact with his friend’s enraged, possessive glare. Immediately, Ezio faltered, pulling away from you completely as though he’d just been burned. From the way he was looking at Altaïr, it was as though he truly believed he would be burned alive for touching you. Ezio shot his angry friend an apologetic smile but Altaïr was too irritated to return it.

 

Do not touch her,” Ezio warned as he leant over to Jacob, Edward and Yusuf.

 

“Why?” Edward fired back. “Is she gonna bite my hand off?”

 

Jacob and Yusuf laughed, but Ezio sighed, still eyeing Altaïr warily.

 

She won’t,” Ezio told them seriously. “But he will.”

 

Ezio motioned to Altaïr and the other three looked over to him. The glare he was sending was not one to be questioned or challenged. The message was clear: stay away. He would fight all four of them at once if he had to and they knew that he would hand them their asses on a plate. Especially if he was this angry. Even Jacob backed off, not willing to go against him.

 

You looked around the room in bewilderment. The atmosphere had so quickly shifted and suddenly all of the men were keeping their distance from you. You allowed your gaze to settle on Altaïr and were a little taken aback to see that he was already staring right at you. His gaze was so intense, it set a flame alight within you and you couldn’t look away.

 

It was almost a miracle that you noticed him beckon you over to him, so lost in your trance as you were. You stood up mindlessly, moving to sit next to him. He reached out and pulled you closer to him and you noticed that he moved his hand down your arm, exactly where Ezio had touched you before.

 

He began to engage you in conversation and you were honestly very baffled by his sudden attention, but happy nonetheless. He kept you close to him the entire time and you enjoyed the contact. His attention was solely fixed on you as was yours on him. It was as though the others in the room ceased to exist. There was only the two of you in your own private little world.

 


 

Something was definitely strange. Out of nowhere, Altaïr had started spending a lot of time with you. It was almost like he purposely sought you out, taking every opportunity to be with you. You were a little confused by the abrupt change, but you were drawn to him in an indescribable way, so you weren’t complaining. He never came into physical contact with you, but he did stay close, never moving too far away.

 

Your thoughts were utterly consumed by him when you walked up to the rooftop of the Ambrosia one afternoon. You came to a sudden halt when you saw that he was there, moving over the rooftop, leaping over different objects with effortless ease. He was almost gliding along and you realised that he was doing parkour. He quickly noticed your presence and came to a halt.

 

“I…I’m sorry,” you apologised. “I didn't know you were up here.”

 

“It’s fine,” he said lowly, his gaze burning into you.

 

“I never knew that you did parkour,” you continued, stepping a little closer to him. “How long have you been doing it for?”

 

“Practically my entire life,” he answered.

 

“Wow,” you breathed out, impressed. “Do you mind if I watch?”

 

“No,” he said simply.

 

You sat down, content to observe the way his body moved so fluently. He was like water, twisting and turning through the air as he leapt over small gaps and obstacles. He worked with his environment, utilising everything that he could to hone his skills. The muscles in his defined chest rippled with his movements and you were entranced. He had a song playing softly in the background and it only enhanced the already wonderful atmosphere. He came to a stop in front of you, gazing down heatedly into your eyes.

 

“You’re amazing!” You praised with a wide smile.

 

He gave you a small smile of his own before sitting down across from you.

 

“Would you like to learn?” He asked.

 

“Oh, no,” you laughed a little. “I could never be as good as you.”

 

“How do you know if you don’t try?” He queried. “Everyone has to start somewhere.”

 

“I’m not as strong as you are,” you pointed out to him.

 

“It’s about focusing your energy correctly,” he revealed. “And working with your environment.”

 

“What do you mean?” You asked. “About focusing your energy?”

 

He thought over it for a few moments before asking you to lie down.

 

“W-why?” You stammered awkwardly.

 

“Just trust me,” he chuckled.


Slowly, you lay down onto the cool concrete. You shivered when his hands came into contact with your legs, lifting them up so that your knees were bent with your feet placed on the ground. You startled when he held onto your knees, slowly lifting himself up and you made sure that you were absolutely still, not wanting him to fall.

 

“Relax,” he laughed softly at you. “I know what I’m doing.”

 

“How is this proving your point?” You asked quietly.

 

He moved into position, his hands on your knees with his arms lifting his body up. His legs were extended behind him and you wondered how his arms were holding his weight. He didn’t look like he was even slightly straining and you didn’t feel any great pressure upon your legs.

 

“The trick is to have balance and focus,” he told you. “It takes time, but I can teach you.”

 

He was looking so intently down at you and something about your positions felt strangely intimate. You couldn’t say a word, too caught up in his presence. He chuckled again, acting like he could see right through you. Maybe he could. He shifted his position, allowing his feet to touch the ground. He slowly lowered your legs back down before settling over you, his body caging yours underneath him.

 

“Did you like what you saw?” He asked lowly.

 

His golden eyes were almost teasing, as though they knew your innermost secrets. You knew that he wasn’t talking so much about his talents, but rather he was referring to the way you had been openly staring at his muscular body. You said nothing but nodded, biting down on your bottom lip. His gaze darkened and he leant down closely to you. His lips were inches from yours and you waited with bated breath. The door to the balcony suddenly swung open, startling you and distracting your thoughts from Altaïr.

 

“I found a bottle of Rosé… oh!” It was Elisabeth and you mentally cursed yourself.

 

You’d come up here first and she’d agreed to follow once she’d found a good bottle of wine. You’d both wanted to spend the afternoon outside, having a little R&R after work. Altaïr lifted himself away from you, but his eyes still bore into your own.

 

“Clearly I interrupted something,” your roommate giggled. “I’ll just go…”

 

“No, it’s fine,” Altaïr said, looking at her and not bothering to conceal his annoyance.

 

He picked up his things and walked to the door. He turned to you one last time, his golden eyes dark and heated and a small smirk forming on his lips.

 

“Have fun,” he said in a deep tone.

 

And then he was gone, disappearing down the stairs and leaving you both surprised and sexually frustrated.

 

Wow,” Elisabeth laughed, pulling you from your thoughts.

 

“Shut up,” you grumbled.

 

“No, no, no,” she persisted. “You are telling me everything.”

 

She settled down beside you, handing you a wine glass before pouring some of the Rosé into it.

 

“Spill!”

 


 

It was nearly 4 AM when you and Elisabeth returned to the Ambrosia after a night of clubbing. Your roommate giggled as you stumbled out of the elevator and you couldn’t help but join her. You were both wearing heels and they clicked loudly, echoing in the empty hallway.

 

“Oh my god, did you see his face?” Elisabeth laughed loudly. “What a moron, I swear!”

 

“Shhhh!” You scolded her, holding a finger up to your lips. “You’re gonna wake the boys.”

 

“As if,” she countered. “I bet my sweet ass that is sprinkled with Victoria’s Secret perfume, that they never freaking sleep! Did you know that I saw Connor entering his apartment at 6 AM? Where the fuck does he go?”

 

She paused to let out a hiccup, before continuing whilst you struggled to unlock your apartment door.

 

“I mean, with a body and face like that… he’d be drowning in pussy.”

 

You shook your head at her words. You weren’t drunk, just a little tipsy. Elisabeth, on the other hand…

 

As you continued to struggle with the lock, you suddenly sensed him. You paused, taking in a shaky breath of anticipation before slowly turning around.

 

Altaïr,” Elisabeth slurred, dragging his name out. “My man… Dude! You’re so scary!”

 

He wasn’t paying attention to your roommate – no, his attention was solely fixed upon you. Your breath hitched; his gaze was terrifyingly furious, making you want to crawl into a hole.

 

“Where were you?” He asked you lowly.

 

You stumbled a little when Elisabeth wrapped her arm around your shoulder, hanging off you.

 

“At the club…” She told him, as though the answer was obvious. “Getting pissed. What the fuck does it look like?”

 

Altaïr sent her a single glare full of his bottled up anger, immediately shutting her up. She frowned, but took the hint and entered the apartment, deciding to throw you to the wolves. Once the two of you were alone in the chilly hallway, he stepped closer to you.

 

“I’m going to ask you again,” he growled out. “Where were you?”

 

Suddenly, realisation came over you. What right did he have to ask you such a thing? What right did he have to make you feel like a little child, being scolded by their parents? He was acting just like he did when you first met. He didn’t have any dominance over you. Even though you would always feel insanely attracted to him, his behaviour at that moment was getting on your nerves. Straightening your spine, you looked up into his eyes unwaveringly.

 

“You heard Elisabeth,” you said. “We were out clubbing, like every Saturday night. What’s the problem?”

 

The anger in his gaze never once faltered, and he stepped closer still.

 

“You should have told me,” his voice was still low and threatening. “It’s not safe where you’re going.”

 

“Hex is perfectly safe,” you countered. “We go there all the time. And how the hell do you know where we go? No, actually, scratch that. Why ask, if you already know?”

 

Altaïr ignored your questions, his attention becoming captivated as he properly took in the sight of you. He loved your gorgeous, curvy figure and the way that your tight, black cocktail dress showed it off. At the same time, he hated that you’d been clubbing and so many other men had been allowed to ogle at you. You stood taller than usual due to the Louboutins on your feet, but his height was still greater than yours. You smelt of something that drove him wild and all he wanted was to grab hold of you and fuck you against the wall. He didn’t care if anyone else saw, all he wanted was you. All of you.

 

You watched him, stunned by his sudden silence, as he seemed to fuck you with his eyes. The way he was staring at you made you feel overcome with desire, yet you felt crazy for having such a reaction. You clicked your fingers in front of his face, snapping him back to reality.

 

“Are you okay?” You asked him.

 

He reached out, grabbing your arm and pulling you close to him. Immediately the smell of sandalwood surrounded you and immediately you relaxed, instinctually loving that he was so close to you. Your lips were close to his, almost touching and he breathed in deeply, his gaze never leaving yours.

 

“Next time I won’t let you go without me,” he said lowly.

 

You simply stared back at him for a few moments, his voice putting you under a spell, but then you fully processed what he had just said.

 

“Okay…” you dragged the word out. “We need to set some rules. If you want to come with us, that’s fine, but you don’t let me do anything. I’m not your possession and you don’t have a say in what I do or don’t do. What are you, my father?”

 

His only reaction was to smirk at your words and let his eyes wander over your body one more time before letting you go. He stepped back slowly, the smug smile never fading.

 

“Gorgeous legs,” he complimented. “Killer heels…”

 

And then he turned around and disappeared into his apartment, leaving you to blush hotly at his words. When you turned to enter your own flat a voice stopped you in your tracks.

 

“Oh, I totally agree.”

 

You looked to your right and saw Arno standing in his doorway next door.

 

“Don’t let him boss you around,” he continued before giving you a wink and closing the door.

 

You walked inside your own home, your body fiery as though Altaïr had burnt his very presence onto your skin. You thought over Arno’s words with a feeling of defeat.

 

But I like the way he bosses me around… you thought to yourself, wondering what was wrong with you.

 


 

A week later, you opened up your laptop and quickly brought up Google. You were becoming increasingly worried by your reactions to Altaïr’s behaviour. Surely it wasn’t healthy or normal. You typed ‘attracted to possessive men’ and clicked on the first link. It was an advice website and the woman asking the question had the same dilemma as you but the answers varied. Some were saying that it was okay as long as the behaviour wasn’t borderline abuse; others believed that it was indefinitely wrong, whilst the rest believed that it was perfectly normal and fine. The varying answers didn’t really help with your predicament at all and you found yourself just as confused as ever.

 

“Are you still freaking out over that?”

 

You jumped, turning to see Elisabeth reading over your shoulder with an amused smile on her face.

 

“Hey!” You cried out. “How long have you been there?”

 

“Long enough,” she smirked. “Seriously, stop stressing over it. If a man as sexy as Altaïr is taking an interest in you, enjoy it!”

 

You closed your laptop and turned to face her properly.

 

“Let’s just forget about it,” you stood up. “I’m gonna start getting ready.”

 

She dropped it and let you disappear into you room without further comment.

 

Several hours later you were both at Hex like every Saturday night having a great time as you danced together. The two of you were so caught up in the atmosphere of the club that neither of you noticed the sinister eyes watching you and the way that two young men walked towards you with such intent purpose.

 

You only became alert when you felt a male body press up against you from behind, hands immediately taking hold of your waist and pulling you closer. You could feel the defined muscles of his chest and looked over to see another man with Elisabeth. He was very attractive and smiling at your roommate alluringly, his turquoise eyes fixed upon her. She was obviously very attracted to the man and looked like she was about to start making out with him. The pace of the song began to slow and the man behind you started to grind suggestively against you, guiding your hips to move whichever way he pleased.

 

A-yo, A-yo

I heard you ridin' with the same tall, tall tale

Tall tell tellin' em you made some

Sayin' you grindin' but you ain't goin' no where

 

Your instincts began to set in and you sensed danger. Something was off and things were getting more intense by the second, making you uncomfortable. The pace of the song was picking up again, just like your own fear.

 

Why you procrastinating girl?

You got a lot, but you just waste all yours and

They'll forget your name soon

And won't nobody be to blame but yourself, yeah

 

The urge to flee became too prominent to ignore and you quickly removed yourself from the stranger’s iron tight embrace, turning to face him. Just as you did, the song playing in the club turned aggressive. It seemed almost too perfect as that was the precise moment when your emotions went haywire.

 

What you gon' do when I appear?

W-W-when I premiere?

Bitch the end of your lives are near

This shit been mine, mine

 

It happened so quickly that it was difficult to process it all. As soon as the stranger was in your view, you saw hands wrap around his neck from behind. Blood began to spurt everywhere – from his neck, dripping through the attackers fingers and down his hands, coming from the man’s mouth as he choked and sputtered. Soon, he was falling down onto the ground like an autumn leaf in the wind.

 

And then you saw Altaïr.

 

He had just killed this man, the blood was still on his hands and he looked so enraged – more than you’d ever seen him being before. He was shaking from the extent of his own wrath, like all he could see was red. Your gaze was only pulled away from him when you heard gunshots outside and you turned to see Yusuf standing over the dead body of the man who’d been dancing with Elisabeth.

 

What the fuck was going on?

 

All hell broke loose, people screaming and running for the exit. There were other body’s littering the ground, their blood staining the floor. Yusuf threw something down onto the ground and then smoke was surrounding you. Just as you heard security enter, Yusuf grabbed Elisabeth who seemed to still be processing what had just happened. You felt Altaïr take your hand in a firm grip, pulling you close to him as he literally dragged you outside.

 

You caught sight of Arno’s black Audi Q7, which they must have borrowed. Altaïr rode a motorbike, while Yusuf didn’t drive at all. Altaïr opened the back door and was a little less rough with you as he helped you inside. He didn’t say a word though, didn’t even look at you as he closed the door again and got into the driver’s seat in front. Yusuf did the same with Elisabeth, ensuring that she wasn’t too panicked before sitting in the passenger seat beside Altaïr.

 

He started the engine and with a screech of tires you all left the scene. The car ride was silent as you tried to come to terms with what you’d just seen and make sense of it all. Beside you, Elisabeth was shaking like a leaf and you reached out, pushing down your own anxiety to comfort your friend. Your arms wrapped around her and you rubbed soothingly over her arms. She hugged you tightly and the ride continued on awkwardly until Altaïr stopped at a red light.

 

“Are you two alright?” Yusuf asked, turning to look at you with concern.

 

“What the hell just happened?” You asked, on edge.

 

You looked to Altaïr, seeing that he was gripping the steering wheel so tightly that his knuckles turned white. Yusuf seemed hesitant to answer, but did so anyway.

 

“You two almost got sold as prostitutes…” he told you, trying to be as gentle with the revelation as possible.

 

What?” You and Elisabeth asked in unison, your roommate looking up in shock.

 

Altaïr had finally composed himself a little and decided to cut in.

 

“The two men that were dancing oh so elegantly with you were hunters,” he spoke with heavy sarcasm when mentioning the dancing. “They were hunting for young and fresh meat to sell.”

 

“Sex trafficking?” You asked incredulously.

 

“We’ll explain once we’re back at the Ambrosia,” Yusuf said. “You’re not sleeping in your apartment tonight.”

 

“What? Why?”

 

Altaïr growled at your questions. “You’re going to listen this time.”

 

“My ass I’m going to listen!” You argued. “You’re so weird! I’m not sleeping in anyone’s apartment but my own!”

“Hell yeah, girl!” Elisabeth backed you up.

 

Yusuf and Altaïr remained silent, seemingly deciding that it was pointless to argue with the two of you. Soon, you reached the underground carpark of the Ambrosia and you and Elisabeth didn’t even bother to wait until the car was turned off before you made a hasty exit from the backseat.

 

“Come on, Elisabeth,” you said. “Next time I’m not drinking, so I can drive.”

 

She followed you like a puppy but neither of you made it to the elevator because you felt a familiar presence behind you accompanied with the unmistakable smell of sandalwood. You turned and Altaïr stepped closer his eyes intense and almost demanding you to submit to his will. You rolled your eyes at his behaviour.

 

“Seriously…”

 

He didn't say a single word, instead reaching out to take your hand more gently than the previous time. You looked over to Yusuf, seeing that he was keeping a respectable distance from Elisabeth, yet he also looked concerned that she might collapse. She was dead drunk, swaying on the spot and humming to herself. You allowed Altaïr to hold your hand, but didn’t look at him as he led you into the elevator. The other two followed, your roommate still humming to herself.

 

“Hey, I know this song,” Yusuf commented with a smile.

 

“Yusuf, please…” Elisabeth begged, suddenly clinging onto him. “Take me to Edward.”

 

“He’s not here,” Yusuf replied, his smile turning sympathetic.

 

He pat her gently on the back as she continued leaning against him. Your attention was diverted away from them as you felt Altaïr stroking your hand with his thumb, making circles on your skin. You looked at him, his gaze so intense and immediately pulling you in. You didn’t know how to react; he was always so hot and cold with you. The elevator doors opened up onto your floor, giving you an excuse to shift your eyes away from him.

 

“I’m taking her to my apartment,” Yusuf said, gesturing to Elisabeth.

 

Altaïr nodded and before Elisabeth could protest, Jacob opened the door to his shared apartment with Yusuf.

 

“Wow, look at you, love,” Jacob praised, looking Elisabeth up and down. “You know I like you better without clothes… why did you dress up?”

 

Elisabeth giggled loudly and then practically shoved herself into his arms. How could she be so relaxed after what had just happened? Yusuf shook his head with an amused smile.


“She’s drunk, Jacob,” he said.

 

“No worries,” Jacob grinned, his eyes never leaving the woman in his embrace. “So am I.”

 

He kissed her cheek before scooping her up into his arms. Yusuf sighed, knowing fully well that Jacob was not in fact drunk. He followed his friend into his apartment anyway, but not before giving you a friendly smile and saying goodbye. Once they were gone, Altaïr led you to his own apartment, unlocking the door and bringing you inside.

 

“Where’s Aguilar?” You asked, looking around at the seemingly empty flat.

 

“He’s away in Spain,” was Altaïr’s stoic reply.

 

He gestured for you to sit at the dining table and you did, moving slowly. Everything that happened at the club came rushing back to you. You’d seen him and Yusuf kill and it had been so precise. They’d known exactly what they were doing, like they were trained killers. You began to bombard him with questions but he stared back at you without betraying a hint of what was going on inside his head.

 

“Calm down,” he said lowly. “And then I’ll tell you.”

 

He pulled one of his dining chairs directly in front of you and sat down. You composed yourself as he’d requested and he took one of your hands in his, rubbing over your skin soothingly as he’d done in the elevator.

 

He began to tell you everything – the life he’d been born into, growing up as an Assassin, the order that he and the other men on your floor belonged to, the war between his order and the Templars… everything. You payed attention to every single word, trying to absorb what he was revealing and understand it.

 

“Those men dancing with you tonight,” he continued. “They were Templars. You don’t want to know what would have happened if Yusuf and I never intervened. It’s a good thing I know where you go clubbing.”

 

“Psh,” you murmured. “I bet that’s not the only thing you know about me.”

 

“That may be true…” he said, leaning closer to you. “Would you let me know?”

 

Silence fell over the two of you as his golden eyes watched you intently. You briefly wondered what those eyes would look like while he was fucking you. Instantly your face became heated at the thought but his gaze was so intense you couldn’t look away. The tension between the two of you was so palpable that you almost feared that the windows would shatter into a million tiny pieces.

 

And then he was leaning forward, his eyes breaking away from yours and focusing on your lips. The moment that he kissed you, he changed completely; he grabbed hold of you, bringing you to his lap and holding onto you. His lips were firm and dominating against your own and his hold on your waist was nothing less than possessive. He demanded control, commanding for you to yield to him and you were too shocked to disobey.

 

It felt so good to finally be kissing him, feeling his body pressed against yours and the way he was so dominant over you. Yet he wasn’t too rough; you were finally seeing a softer side to him. As his lips moved over yours it was like he was pouring all of his passion into you, showing you that he really did care. It was almost as though he sensed that he was inadvertently revealing his emotions to you and it seemed like he panicked, quickly breaking the kiss and leaning back slightly. You stared at him with wide eyes and he gently moved you off his lap, allowing himself to stand up.

 

“Aguilar’s room is just there,” he said, pointing to one of the bedrooms.

 

You didn’t get a chance to speak as he swiftly disappeared into his own room, shutting the door loudly behind him. You gaped after him in shock – one minute he was passionately kissing you and the next he is running away from you as though you had an infectious, deadly disease. Walking to Aguilar’s room, you sat down on his bed and tried to calmly process the night’s events.

 

It was all too much. You’d seen people get killed by one of your friends and the man you couldn’t help but feel you were falling for. He’d told you about his secret order and the work that he truly did. He’d kissed you and then turned cold and run away from you. Your emotions were in disarray.

 

Honestly, you could accept the life he led. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t scary, but it was who he was and it didn’t change your feelings for him. What you couldn’t accept was his blasé behaviour towards you. All you really wanted was to be close to him. You wanted to be able to kiss him whenever you liked and of course you also wanted more than that. Yet, he was always so hot and cold with you. How were you supposed to know what he wanted?

 

You lay down on the bed, the scent of oranges and frankincense becoming prominent. But what you really wanted was to be in a different bed, surrounded by the smell of sandalwood and with him by your side.

 


 

The smell of pancakes and freshly brewed coffee woke you the next morning. Elisabeth must have been cooking and you smiled to yourself, eyes still closed.

 

“Mmm,” you mumbled. “She must’ve used my mascara again.”

 

You were very personal about your makeup and Elisabeth knew that cooking for you would generally soften your annoyance towards her. Yet, as you breathed in the delicious smell of breakfast, the smell of Aguilar seemed to override it. Shifting slightly, you realised that the texture of the bed sheets seemed unfamiliar and you quickly shot up, suddenly wide awake.

 

Looking around the room, the events of the night before came rushing back to you. The murders, the smoke that filled the club, Altaïr telling you about his life and finally… the kiss you had shared. Just the thought of it caused you to shiver and you couldn’t help but want more. You quickly left the bed, walking out into the dining room.

 

It was empty, but the food was waiting for you on the table, along with a note. His bedroom door was open and you knew that he was no longer in the apartment. You walked slowly over to the table and picked up the note.

 

I have some errands to run. I will be back soon. You can leave whenever you’re ready. – A

 

You huffed; disappointed with how the note was straight to the point and also with the fact that he’d left. Despite this, you were grateful for the breakfast and sat down to eat. It was delicious and you ate slowly, savouring the flavour and sipping the coffee slowly. You’d hardly eaten anything when you heard Elisabeth yelling from outside.

 

“Oh my god, Jacob!” She cried out. “Be careful!”

 

Her words were followed by a crash and maniacal laughter.

 

“Arno!” This time it was Edward who spoke. “Give me the phone! Quickly!”

 

You stood up and left the apartment, wanting to see what was going on. Just as you emerged you saw Connor leaving his own flat with Nikita. His eyes widened when he saw you in your short, tight fitting dress and his face became a deep red as he blushed.

 

“Oh…” he said quietly. “You were in there?”

 

You quickly understood that he thought you were having the walk of shame and blushed a little yourself.

 

“Yes,” you nodded. “But it’s not what you think.”

 

Your words came too late as you heard a whistle. Turning, you saw that it had come from Arno as he smirked at the sight of you leaving Altaïr’s apartment. That undeniable pull you always felt towards him made itself known once again and you quickly looked away. His action had caught the attention of Edward and Jacob and you openly gaped at the latter. He was covered in what looked to be dust, yet still managed to look sinfully attractive.

 

“Well, well, well,” Edward grinned. “Who said that Altaïr can’t get any?”

 

“Maybe it was Aguilar,” Arno suggested with a cheeky grin of his own.

 

“Aguilar’s in Spain, Arno,” Connor corrected him.

 

“Oh,” Arno drew out the word. “Right, right,”

 

Yusuf appeared in his doorway, annoyed.

 

“You’re all in the hallway,” he said. “Get inside. There’s no need for everyone to know what’s going on. This isn’t the news.”

 

“Oh, it’s news alright,” Edward said, his eyes never leaving you.

 

Elisabeth suddenly pushed past Yusuf, joining you in the hallway.

 

Baby!” She cried out, moving over to Jacob. “You’re alive!”

 

You cringed at her behaviour but were also a little shocked when Jacob wrapped an arm around her waist nonchalantly. She suddenly looked around, sniffing the air.

 

“Is that food I smell?” Her eyes landed on you. “He did you and fed you?”

 

She quickly broke away from Jacob, running past you and into Altaïr’s apartment.

 

“Elisabeth, love,” Jacob called after her. “You ate ten pancakes as well as a fruit salad…”

 

Elisabeth poked her head back out into the hall.

 

“Well,” she countered. “Let me see you last five rounds and not eat ten pancakes and a fruit salad. You’re an insatiable beast baby!”

 

Allahiiiiiim!” Yusuf groaned, shaking his head.

 

Connor covered Nikita’s ears, leading her away from you all while snickering. Meanwhile, Arno and Edward were applauding Jacob and you rolled your eyes.

 

“Okay, everyone come here,” you said. “Inside, quick. This is inappropriate conversation for the hallway.”

 

Jacob was smirking like he’d just won a presidential mandate, despite still being covered in dust. When they’d all settled in Altaïr’s apartment, Elisabeth rushed to the table.

 

“Damn girl,” she said, looking at you. “You haven’t eaten a thing! Is he really that bad in bed?”

 

“Elisabeth, you slut!” You blushed. “I didn't sleep with him!”

 

They all seemed shocked by your words and you felt uncomfortable.

 

“It’s not like it’s any of your business,” you told them before trying to shift the conversation in a new direction. “Jacob, why are you covered in dust?”

 

“Ah, you’re so clever,” he smirked. “Evading the topic. I was taking out the waffle maker from the top of the refrigerator. Your gorgeous roommate demanded that I make them and you know me, I live to please.”

 

You thought the topic had been successfully dropped, but then he continued.

 

“Now tell us, did you fuck or not?”

 

They all looked at you, expecting an answer and you inwardly cursed Jacob Frye.

 

“No, we didn’t,” you reiterated. “But we did kiss.”

 

“Wet or dry?” Arno asked.

 

“Wet,” you replied. “But he acted very strangely.”

 

“What do you mean?” Yusuf asked.

 

You were standing in front of the coffee table, while the four men were sitting on the couch, Elisabeth in Jacob’s lap. All eyes were on you and you felt like you were on a stage and they were your audience.

 

“He kissed me and it was really passionate,” you elaborated. “He told me everything, about what you all do… but then after the kiss he just left. He didn’t really say anything and he acted very cold towards me.”

 

They were all quiet and Arno shifted slightly, accidentally turning the TV on by pressing against the remote. The news came on and you couldn’t resist turning around when you heard what the anchorwoman was saying.

 

“Yet another incident occurred last night,” she said. “At one of the most popular nightclubs in the city, Hex. Several young men were killed, with the media already dubbing it a ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’. Yet, this is no joking matter. We have Carl Jones reporting live at the scene.”

 

The screen split, showing both the anchorwoman and a male reporter.

 

“This is Carl Jones reporting live from Hex. Just a few hours ago, a fun night of clubbing turned into a tragedy when several men were murdered by two hooded figures. Witnesses described the killers to their best ability when being questioned by the police, but weren’t able to give an exact description of their faces. The motive is still unclear, but police are still investigating. That’s all the information we have right now. Back to you Amanda.”

 

“Good luck finding us,” Yusuf scoffed, turning off the TV. “Bishop covered our tracks so well, I can’t even find them myself.”

 

“Okay, that aside,” Jacob cut in. “What do you mean he ran off after the kiss?”

 

You were taken aback by the fact that he was still focused on that topic.

 

“Babe,” Elisabeth bit back a laugh. “I told you to always have a mint with you…”

 

Yusuf shot her a look before directing his attention back onto you.


“It’s not that,” he assured you. “I know Altaïr. He backs away whenever he’s confronted with intense situations and emotions are displayed. From the look on your face, I can tell that this was the atmosphere.”

 

You nodded. “I just… I just don’t know how to feel around him. He’s so confusing. Hot and cold… all the time.”

 

“He has a tough character,” Arno said. “You just need to be patient with him.”

 

“But still, lass,” Edward piped up. “He has feelings for you. He barged into our apartment last night, demanding that Arno give him the keys to his car.”

 

“And he dragged me out of bed like I was some kind of ragdoll,” Yusuf said, pouting a little.

 

“From what I know,” Jacob supplied. “He never does this.”

 

Elisabeth was silent, her head resting on Jacob’s chest and it looked like she was going to fall asleep again. You thought on the men’s words and sighed, yet you would be happy if there words were true and he did have feelings for you. But only he could confirm that.

 


 

At that exact moment, Altaïr was standing on the rooftop of the Ambrosia. He had two eagles in a cage, one male and one female. He took the female out, letting her perch on his arm, which was covered with a handling glove. Her name was Azam and the male was Ali, both of them named after his childhood friend. He stroked the head of Azam gently and she leant into his touch. He extended his arm forward and she took flight, spreading her wings and soaring through the air.

 

He was staring out at the horizon, where Azam had disappeared to, when Ezio joined him. The Italian coughed slightly, knowing that his friend was in deep thought and Altaïr gave him a sidelong glance, acknowledging him. Ezio placed his hand on his shoulder.

 

“What’s bothering you?” He asked in his deep voice.

 

She is,” Altaïr replied.

 

“Ah, women,” Ezio said with a small smile, knowing instantly that his friend was trouble by you. “Can’t live without them.”

 

“So far, I’ve survived fine, Ezio,” he replied with a snort.

 

“Well, Azam was the only woman who actually got close to you,” Ezio pointed out. “And you’ve been doing poorly on an emotional lever without her.”

 

Altaïr was silent, knowing that Ezio was right. He was lost without his best friend and didn’t make new friends easily. Yet, in you he saw the potential for that and so much more. He’d never felt the way he did about you before.

 

“I know it’s something you never do,” Ezio continued. “I know it’s not your style, but… tell her. It will be better for you. You’ll feel better.”

 

“What if she doesn’t feel that way?” Altaïr retorted. “What if I am left high and dry? I don’t want to feel like a complete ass!”

 

“That’s the problem with you,” Ezio countered. “You’re scared when it comes to emotions. You need to overcome that. Take a leap of faith, brother.”

 

Ezio squeezed his shoulder before leaving him to be alone. Altaïr stood there for several moments before taking Ali out of the cage. The beautiful eagle immediately spread its wings and left in the same direction Azam had disappeared to earlier. After watching for several moments, Altaïr turned and went back down the stairs, his decision already made.

 


 

A few days later, you and Elisabeth were visiting Olga. The three of you were drinking coffee and having a smoke on the Russian woman’s balcony. You and your roommate were laughing loudly at the stories of Olga’s youth and none of you heard the knocks on the door, or the doorbell ringing.

 

“I was an actress in the theatre in Moscow,” Olga was saying. “I had many male admirers in those days.”

 

“You still do,” you smiled warmly at the older woman. “I see those boys hanging around here all the time!”

 

“That may be so,” Olga grinned. “However, it’s the two of you who are capturing their attention.”

 

You and Elisabeth laughed again but your own giggles died down when you felt a breeze, carrying his scent. Instantly you knew that he was close, and the only logical place for him to be was in the apartment. Soon enough, he emerged out onto the balcony and Olga almost dropped her cup of coffee in shock.

 

“Oh, goodness!” She cried out. “I can never get used to this!”

 

“Oh my god, Altaïr!” Elisabeth exclaimed, holding her hand over her chest.

 

You weren’t at all surprised by his entrance, having already sense his presence.

 

“I’m so sorry, Madame Olga,” he apologised with a hint of sarcasm. “But you were so clearly focused on your little conversation that you didn’t hear the doorbell or my knocks.”

 

“It's fine, dear,” Olga brushed it off. “Have a seat. I haven’t seen you in ages.”

 

“Thank you,” he said with a slight shake of his head. “But I came looking for her.”


He came to stand beside you, lifting your hand up and grasping it in his own.

 

“Is it a bad time?” He asked lowly, looking at the other two women.

 

“Oh, she’s not busy at all,” Elisabeth said, quickly catching on. “She was just leaving, actually.”

 

Olga was carefully studying Altaïr’s behaviour around you and didn’t fail to notice the heated way he looked at you.

 

“Oh, yes, indeed!” She backed Elisabeth up. “I was just about to show Elisabeth my old photo album. You don’t want to see pictures of a fallen star, do you dear?”

 

The older woman winked at you and you smiled at her in return before turning to look up at Altaïr.

“Yes, you’re right, Olga…” you said quietly, entranced by his golden eyes.

 

Altaïr wasn’t fooled but he didn’t say anything and appreciated that you’d not rejected his request to speak with you alone. His hand tightened around yours and although it always felt a little strange, due to his missing finger, it never bothered you. There wasn’t a single thing about his body that you didn’t like – besides, he’d explained the reason behind it.

 

Elisabeth, on the other hand, blatantly cringed when she caught sight of it as he helped you stand up. Olga was watching the two of you with a wide grin as he pulled you close to him and led you out of the apartment. Once the two of you were gone, the older woman lowered her voice and leaned closer to Elisabeth conspiratorially.

 

“You know,” she said. “He’s always been the quiet one. Cold even. Distant. He was polite, but always aloof towards me. He never once brought a woman here, never had women running after him in herds like some mindless sheep. He has changed. Drastically. I am so happy he has! Your friend is like a breath of fresh air.”

 

“She has this… aura floating around her,” Elisabeth said with a nod, looking at the door where the two of you had left. “It’s like a perfume. She is beautiful, yes, and I’m not just saying that because I’m her best friend. But still… she can wrap men around her little finger without even trying.”

 

“Yes, that’s true,” Olga agreed. “She is very charming. The fact that Altaïr has fallen for her proves it. But you, my dear, are also very lovable. I swear, I feel like you’re my niece. Only you don’t have bad posture like she does. I always tell her that posture is very important, but the brat never listens!”

 

She shook her head and Elisabeth laughed.

 

“More coffee, dear?” The older woman asked and Elisabeth handed her cup over.

 


 

Altaïr led you to the rooftop in silence and for some reason the ascent made you feel like you were being led to the top of the highest tower in some faraway castle. His hand was holding yours so gently; you almost wondered if this could possibly be real because he wasn’t dragging you along. The sun was setting and you wondered why he’d brought you up here. You were only in a thin sweater and the cold was seeping into your skin as the breeze ruffled your hair. You hugged yourself, trying no to shiver and he immediately took notice.

 

He wrapped one arm around you, enveloping you in his warmth and you relaxed a little, feeling grateful for the gesture. He led you over to a large metal cage and you saw too big birds inside, sitting on a perch and looking at the man beside you. He greeted them softly before turning to look at you, taking in the look of awe on your face.

 

“Oh, god, Altaïr,” you breathed out. “They’re so beautiful! What are they? Eagles, right?”

 

You peeled your gaze away from them and looked to him as he nodded in affirmation. You looked down, seeing two leather gloves in his hand that he must have picked up while you were looking at the birds.

 

“Let’s introduce you properly,” he said quietly, handing you one of the gloves.

 

You accepted it tentatively, putting it on whilst still feeling amazed by the elegant creatures in front of you. Once the door of the cage was open, Altaïr held out his arm and one of the eagles immediately flew onto his arm. He told you to do the same, but you vacillated.

 

“Oh no,” you protested. “I’ve never done this before! I’m happy just to observe.”

 

“Are you scared?” He asked with a small, amused smile. “They won’t harm you. They’re used to other people.”

 

You bit your lip, looking at the other eagle with hesitance before holding out your arm. You almost squealed when the powerful beast flew out and landed on your arm. Instead, you gasped softly, remaining composed as you tried to slow your rapidly beating heart. Altaïr chuckled quietly from beside you as he gently stroked the head of his own eagle.

 

“It’s like she knew you were a girl,” he observed. “She usually comes to me.”

 

“Really?” You asked. “I suppose us girls recognise each other, regardless of our species.”

 

You slowly lifted your free hand and pet her head, becoming surprised when you saw her eyes close, enjoying your touch. The two of you stood in silence for several moments, enjoying each other’s company and caressing the bird’s feathers.

 

“What are their names?” You finally asked.

 

“The girl is Azam,” he told you. “And this guy here is called Ali. They’re a couple.”

 

“That’s so adorable,” you smiled sweetly at the two birds.

 

“He was afraid of her, actually, when I first got him.” Altaïr continued. “I got her first, from my friend Malik. Later, I found him in Israel when I was chasing a target. He was badly injured by other eagles and was marked for death. I saved him and he has never left my side. Neither has she. I didn’t believe in love until I had these two in my life. They give me hope.”

 

You listened to him attentively, while occasionally patting Azam’s feathers. His voice was so soothing when it wasn’t strained or filled with anger and he looked so calm as he spoke. You wanted to be with him like this always, loving this new side to him. Yet, you could sense an underlying sadness within him and intuitively you knew that he had lost something or rather someone.

 

“Who have you lost, Altaïr?” You asked without thinking the question through.

 

He looked at you in silence for a few moments and you inwardly cursed yourself for saying what you had.

 

“It’s in the past,” he said eventually and you were relieved that he didn’t sound annoyed or angry. “I have to let it go. Just like we need to let go of these two.”

 

He looked at the eagles and you welcomed the way he changed the subject.

 

“How?” You asked softly.

 

He motioned for you to follow him and you obeyed, the two of you walking over to the wide ledge that was raised up from the ground of the rooftop.

 

“Follow me,” he said and you nodded.

 

He moved his arm, almost shrugging it in a way and Ali spread his wings, lifting himself up into the air. You stared at him in awe before doing the same with your own arm, Azam instantly joining her partner in the sky. They circled each other for a while before flying off towards the horizon. You stared after them in wanderlust.

 

Wow,” you sighed. “I wish I could fly and just escape to any part of the world that I wanted.”

 

You turned to look at him and suddenly any feeling of content left you as you became panicked.

 

“Oh my god! What are you doing? Get down!”

 

He laughed and you couldn’t help but feel happy at the sound. You’d never heard him laugh before, but you already loved it. It was as precious as a rare diamond in your eyes. Yet, you forced yourself to focus on the situation at hand. He was standing on the ledge and you were fearful that he might fall.

 

“Come on,” he gently coaxed you. “It’s not scary. I’ll hold you. I won’t let you fall.”


He extended his arms out to you and you couldn’t resist. Slowly, you stepped up onto the ledge and he placed you before him, his arms wrapping securely around your waist. You placed your hands over his and leant back into him, fearful of the steep descent that was right below of you. You weren’t afraid of heights, but this felt like you were dancing with death.

 

“Look in front of you,” he said lowly into your ear, using the power of his alluring voice to calm you. “Don’t look down. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and focus on the sounds around you.”

 

You did as he asked and as your breathing slowed, different distinctive noises made themselves known to you. There was the gentle breeze, the traffic down below, pigeons cooing, trees rustling and in the distance you could hear waves crashing against the shore. Honestly, he could be a meditation therapist.

 

“Altaïr,” you murmured, opening your eyes. “This is so good!”

 

“We do this before every big mission,” he told you, letting out a quiet chuckle. “It helps us to focus, especially when making big decisions. It’s also helpful if you don’t have friends that pour water all over you straight after.”

 

“You were leaving for a mission?” You asked with a small laugh of your own. “Why did he do that anyway?”

 

“It’s some ridiculous Turkish custom,” Altaïr grumbled. “To throw water on someone when they go away somewhere. As usual, Yusuf took it too far.”

 

You grinned in amusement before turning around to face him. Although the ledge was wide enough, he kept his arms tightly wound around your waist, holding you close to him. You wrapped your own around his neck, gazing up into his captivating golden eyes. His head was lowered slightly as he returned your gaze with what felt like double the intensity.

 

The wind blew around the two of you gently, as you stayed like that for some time. You memorised every single aspect of his handsome face, reaching down with one hand and slowly traced one finger over his bottom lip. When you reached the corner of his mouth he leant forward and captured your lips in a passionate kiss. You quickly returned the kiss with equal fervour and his hands moved to your lower back, pushing you closer to him. He wasn’t as dominating as the first time and he seemed to be taking in everything about the way your lips felt against his own. You opened your mouth a little wider, deepening the kiss and his tongue thrust into your mouth, coming into contact with your own.

 

His fingers left enticing patterns along your lower back, lighting a fire within you. You reached up and ran your fingers through his short hair, loving the fact that you were so close to him again. When you broke apart for air, you pressed a gentle kiss to the scar than ran over his lips. His gaze burned into you until he looked away, smiling as the eagles flew back into their cage.

 

He gently squeezed you before helping you down off the ledge. After climbing down himself, he locked the cage, taking note of the way the birds snuggled together on their perch. You waited behind him; hearing your own heart beating wildly and feeling your swollen lips burn from his kiss.

 

The sun had long since set, and without Altaïr close to you, you felt the cold surrounding you again. He turned to face you, taking hold of your hand once more and rubbing soothing circles over it. You knew without a doubt that this was an intimate gesture from him, and almost as though to confirm this, he leant forward to kiss you again softly.

 

When he led you back downstairs, you knew without him having to say the words, that you were now his.

 


 

You were sitting in Ezio and Connor’s apartment with Elisabeth, Altaïr and some of the other Assassins. Altaïr was sitting nearby, but not too close. Suddenly, your phone rang and when you who it was a smile lit up on your face and you quickly answered it.

 

“Matt! Hi!” You exclaimed happily. “Haven’t heard your voice in ages!”

 

You were unaware as Altaïr’s gaze darkened in anger and his hands clenched up into tight fists. First, there was the fact that you were talking to another man and then to top it off, you sounded happy to hear his voice. Jealousy and possessiveness blinded him and he saw red in an instant. Yet, he remained composed enough to hear what you had to say to the man on the phone. Unlike you, the other people in the room clearly saw the change in Altaïr and shared a nervous glance.

 

You chatted with Matt cheerfully, twirling a lock of hair around your finger and smiled at what he had to say. You got up from the couch and moved to the kitchen for a little privacy. Altaïr liked this even less, watching your every move as you paced around the kitchen, his eyes following you like a Ping-Pong ball – left and right. Elisabeth sensed the storm that was inevitably brewing, yet she didn’t intervene, loving the drama far too much.

 

You finished your conversation and sat back down next to Altaïr without even glancing at him. That was definitely a mistake. You were sitting next to a ticking time bomb.

 

“Who was that?” He asked lowly, dangerously.

 

You turned to look at him, becoming a little shocked when you saw the fury in his eyes.

 

“That was Matt,” you told him carefully. “He’s a friend of mine. We used to work together.”

 

You gave him a small smile before turning your attention to the board game the others were playing and hoping that he would drop it. Yet, Altaïr wasn’t deterred in the slightest.

 

“You seem to have a lot of male friends,” he continued, his voice betraying his anger.

 

You turned slowly to face him and Elisabeth smiled at the other Assassins.

 

“Shit is about to get real,” she murmured to them, enjoying the show.

 

“And… I’m not allowed to?” You asked Altaïr, ignoring the others.

 

“No,” he growled out. “Not really.”

 

“I’m sorry,” you huffed out in annoyance. “But who are you to tell me who I can or can’t be friends with?”

 

“I’m everything you want,” he said so lowly that only you could hear. “And everything you need.”

 

“Okay,” you scoffed. “It’s becoming clear that you have major issues with your ego and arrogance.”

 

Elisabeth watched you excitedly, completely enthralled by the quiet argument.

 

“I don’t like that you have this much attention from men,” Altaïr continued.

 

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” you retorted with heavy sarcasm. “I’ll just lock myself up in my apartment and only come out when you give me permission to, will I?”

 

He moved dangerously close to you, quick as a viper striking to kill. His mere presence demanded for you to submit to him, but you refused to waver. He looked intently into your eyes, his golden gaze heated with rage.

 

“That’s the best idea you’ve had since I first met you.”

 

You gasped in disbelief at his words, but deep down you were enjoying this. What was wrong with you? How could it possibly be sane for you to feel so turned on by his dominating and possessive behaviour? Clearly, he was out of line with the things he was demanding from you, yet you wanted him to fuck you right then and there, showing the world who you belonged to. At the same time, he’d never actually admitted his feelings for you and suddenly that fact got on your nerves. What right did he have to be possessive of you when he had no claim to you? He’d never even said that he wanted you to be his. You were sick of his mind games.

 

“I’m not yours,” you told him bitterly. “You have no right to tell me to do anything.”

 

He recoiled slightly, backing away from you as though you’d burned him with your words.

 

“What do you mean?” He growled out.

 

“You know what I mean,” you refused to back down. “So what the hell is your problem?”

 

“Right now, you’re my problem,” he said through gritted teeth.

 

“Obviously,” you muttered, looking away from him.

 

He didn’t move for a few seconds and you felt the angry glare he was giving you. Then, he quickly stood up and stormed out of the apartment. You were a little affronted when Elisabeth got up and moved to follow him.

 

“Hey, wait up!” She called out after him. “You were just getting to the good part!”

 

Ezio’s hand quickly shot out, pulling her back down to the couch as you stared at her in a mixture of disbelief and annoyance.


“Do you want to die?” Ezio asked your roommate lowly. “Because if you follow him, I can promise you a swift death.”

 

You were breathing heavily after the exchange with Altaïr, not believing the nerve of him or the behaviour of your best friend. You hadn’t done anything wrong. You’d only been having a chat with an old co-worker. There was no harm in that. If he wanted you to himself, maybe he should be open about his feelings first.

 

Connor moved to sit beside you, wrapping an arm around you comfortingly. His touch calmed you and you leant slightly against him.

 

“Connor is the safest bet you have,” Ezio sighed. “He won’t flare up if that big bear is near you. He’s the only one who doesn’t provoke Altaïr’s wrath. Keep that in mind for the future. You still have a long way to go with him.”

 

You nodded, taking in Ezio’s words. Maybe you just needed a few days away from Altaïr in order to think things through. Could you really be with him if this was how he was going to react? You mulled over these thoughts in silence, already missing his presence.

 

 

You were packing up your make up for the day when Yasmia, one of the models, came up to you. She was a half Egyptian half Moroccan beauty with golden-brown skin and wild, curly hair. She gave you a wide smile and you returned it with a smaller, less enthusiastic one.

 

“I know what you’re going to say…” you began, but she cut you off.

 

“You and Elisabeth aren’t getting away this time,” she said, full of energy. “You both promised!”

 

You groaned, knowing that you couldn’t run away forever. Yasmia was a talented belly dancer and had convinced you and Elisabeth in agreeing to attend a lesson. The idea made you nervous, as you didn’t want to make an idiot of yourself in a room full of talented, trained dancers. But the sooner you got it over and done with, the sooner you could put it behind you.

 

“Okay,” you agreed with a sigh. “I’ll go.”

 

“Go where?” Elisabeth asked, approaching the two of you.

 

“Looks like we’re having that belly dancing lesson,” you told her.

 

“Oh…” she sounded even less enthused than you were.

 

“Come on!” Yasmia tried to cheer you both up. “It’ll be fun. Trust me!”

 

With a nod, you and Elisabeth followed her, trying to mentally prepare yourselves for the lesson.

 


 

Yasmia’s belly dancing teacher was a strict woman who commanded respect the moment you entered her studio. Her name was Debbie and you guessed that she was in her mid-late thirties. She was tall and thin, with the physique of a ballerina and she held a long wooden staff in one hand. You shuffled nervously as the class began and you and Elisabeth instantly struggled to keep up.

 

Neither of you were bad dancers by any means, yet the complex moves that were required for this type of dancing left you feeling overwhelmed. What made it even worse was that you felt inadequate when you could so easily compare your inadequacy with the other, more experienced dancers.

 

Yasmia beamed encouragingly at the two of you as she swayed her hips sensuously and seemingly without much effort. She was born to dance, that girl, and she looked brilliant when she did. By the end of the class, you and Elisabeth both felt defeated and embarrassed by your poor displays. Yasmia was quick to try and boost up your confidence.

 

“Honey, you can’t become an expert overnight,” she consoled you. “Everything has to be worked at. You did great for a first timer!”

 

“I’m just glad it’s over,” you whined, dabbing your face with a towel.

 

“You shouldn’t give up just because you don’t do fantastically on the first try.”

 

You sighed, knowing that she was right.

 

“Come on,” she continued. “Why don’t we go back to your apartment and I’ll give you both a private lesson?”

 

“Yasmia, we’re both exhausted,” you protested.

 

“You won’t regret it,” she promised with a smile that exuded energy and excitement.

 

You wanted to say no and ask to do it another time, but she was nothing if not relentless. Sighing, you reluctantly agreed and she beamed impossibly wider.

 

“Perfect!” She exclaimed and you wondered just what exactly you had gotten yourself into.

 


 

It was stiflingly hot in your apartment and even though you and Elisabeth were wearing small, tight Lycra shorts and crop tops, the heat still bothered you. Your apartment was fairly old and there was no air conditioning. The weak and aged ceiling fan did little to ventilate the room and there wasn’t much of a breeze coming from the open windows.

 

“This is fucking pointless,” Elisabeth swore in frustration. “Can we just open the door to circulate the air a bit?”

 

Yasmia looked a little taken aback by Elisabeth’s language but shrugged.

 

“That’s fine with me,” she said.

 

You nodded as well, too hot to care about who might see and the music wasn’t too loud anyway.

 

Yasmia moved to open the door before returning to you and continuing with her instructions. She placed her hands over your hips and guided you to perform a specific move.

 

“You’re doing so well,” she praised before moving over to Elisabeth.

 

Meanwhile, the Assassins were coming back from a training session at the gym, most of them laughing at something Jacob had said. Altaïr remained stoic but became alert when he heard the unmistakable sound of his best friend’s voice. Obviously it wasn’t coming from his own apartment, so he was confused about the source.

 

“Hey, Altaïr,” Yusuf piped up. “Isn’t this Azam?”

 

Altaïr nodded, his gaze finally settling on the place where the music was coming from – your apartment. He couldn’t believe that you were listening to one of his best friend’s songs. Jacob quickly walked ahead, coming to a stop at the door of your apartment. His mouth opened, his jaw dropping in awe. The others rushed to his side, knowing that whatever he was looking at, it must be good. Only Altaïr and Connor approached slowly.

 

When he finally made it to the doorway and pushed past the others, his eyes almost bulged out of their sockets. You and Elisabeth were both oblivious as you focused on Yasmia’s complex body movements, but the model was quick to notice them all gawking and immediately stopped. You and your roommate followed her gaze and when you saw the men watching you a gasp escaped your lips. You felt uncomfortable under their gaze, almost like you’d been caught doing something shameful.

 

An awkward silence settled over all of you until Jacob decided to say something.

 

“Well,” he said, his voice as sultry as ever. “Don’t stop on our account. I was enjoying the show. We could stand barefoot on shards of glass if it meant watching you dance like that.”

 

“Amen, amen,” Arno murmured from towards the back of the group standing in your doorway.

 

“Okay,” Connor spoke up, sounding as composed as ever. “You guys, leave them in peace. I can’t see a thing from here but I know it’s something suggestive from the tone of Jacob’s voice.”

 

“Shhh!” Jacob said, his eyes glued to Elisabeth, as though in a trance. “Go to sleep, Connor. It’s been a long day for you.”

 

Aguilar and Ezio were stunned beyond words, Yusuf had a shit-eating grin on his face as he openly appraised Yasmia, while Edward wasn’t too amazed by the dance but rather was captivated by the exposed skin in front of him.

 

Altaïr on the other hand… his eyes spoke volumes. Slowly, ever so slowly, he took in your body, lingering on the exposed skin he’d never seen before. When his eyes finally met yours, you felt as though you might melt from the heat and intensity in his gaze.

 

“Sorry,” Yasmia spoke up, allowing you to tear your gaze away from Altaïr. “How rude of me not to introduce myself.”

 

“Yes, please do,” Yusuf said, still grinning widely as he stepped further into the room.

 

“I’m Yasmia,” she said, returning his smile. “I work with these two as a model and I’ve been teaching them how to belly dance.”

 

Yusuf never once looked away from the stunning woman in front of him and she became a little coy under his gaze but never broke eye contact with him.

 

“Who are you?” She asked with genuine curiosity.

 

Jacob opened his mouth to respond but you quickly cut in. It was bad enough with him all over Elisabeth, and by the looks of it, Yusuf had already taken an interest in Yasmia.

 

“These are our lovely neighbours,” you said and the Assassins all grinned like schoolboys.

 

Yusuf quickly stepped in front of Jacob, ensuring that the Brit didn’t capture the attention of the beautiful model. Yet, it seemed to be unnecessary, as she appeared to have eyes only for the handsome Turk. Jacob elbowed his friend in the ribs, almost knocking the wind out of him, yet Yasmia’s smile never wavered as she gazed up at Yusuf with obvious interest.

 

“Your timing couldn’t be more perfect, actually,” she said. “These girls are seriously lacking in confidence, despite how many times I tell them that they’re doing wonderfully for beginners. Would you all like to watch and give them your feedback?”

 

Your eyes widened and you inwardly cursed the confident model for suggesting such a thing. She may have been confident in your abilities, but that didn’t mean you were. Especially not enough to dance in front of the eight Assassins – Altaïr in particular. You looked to Elisabeth for help but she seemed dead set on doing what Yasmia had suggested. It seemed that she didn’t like Jacob’s attention being focused on the half Moroccan half Egyptian beauty, and not on her.

 

You gave up, resigning yourself to the fact that you would have to dance for them all. Besides, Yasmia hadn’t even finished speaking when they’d all quickly scrambled into the room, eager to watch. Now they were spread out, some of them sitting on the couch, some propped up on the kitchen counter and others seated on your dining chairs. Connor had been the last to sit down, having been too caught up in the sight of you and the other two girls once he finally got a glimpse.

 

You were mortified but had no decent excuse for getting out of the dance without bringing everyone’s attention onto you. Elisabeth winked at Jacob, but deep down you knew that she was hoping for another Assassin’s attention. Yet, Edward was watching you, despite the glare Altaïr was sending him.

 

“I’ll play the last song we practiced to,” Yasmia said.

 

You gathered up your courage and decided to just focus on the music and the movements, ignoring your audience and how nervous they all made you feel. You began to move your hips the way that Yasmia had taught you, dancing in sync with Elisabeth. Honestly, you were surprised by how well the two of you were doing and your confidence picked up a little. You remembered the tips Yasmia had given you both, telling you to let go and not focus too much on who was or wasn’t watching you. Your lower body elegantly twisted and turned in harmony with the music, shifting in sync with the melody.

 

You let go completely, allowing yourself to enjoy the experience rather than stress over it. Elisabeth seemed to follow your lead and the Assassin’s watched in reverence. It was like you weren’t beginners at all and Yasmia watched you both proudly. Yusuf shifted a little closer to her, tearing his eyes away from you and Elisabeth and focusing on the beautiful woman next to him. He was particularly captivated by her wild hair and felt an urge to run his fingers through it.

 

“I must say…” he murmured, causing her to look at him with a small smile. “You’re an excellent teacher.”

 

“Thank you,” she replied with a wink. “You never actually told me your name…”

 

“Yusuf,” he grinned at her. “Yusuf Tazim.”

 

“Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking?”

 

“Turkey,” he told her. “And you?”

 

“Morocco,” she answered. “But my mother is Egyptian.”

 

He shifted ever closer and continued to quietly converse with her, wanting to know everything he could about this woman who had so easily captivated him.

 

The other Assassin’s watched you and Elisabeth with a mixture of emotions. Jacob’s eyes were wide, watching both of you appreciatively. Arno was mesmerised by the hip swaying, his gaze more focused on you than Elisabeth. Edward ogled both of you openly while Aguilar sat back with a small smirk, taking everything in. Ezio had a certain look on his face, as though he was watching the greatest masterpiece he’d ever seen. Connor displayed a complex array of emotions: lust, confusion and amazement.

 

Altaïr… he watched you with pure, unbridled lust. His gaze never wavered from you, as though you were the only thing he could see. It made you feel like there was only the two of you in the room and you focused on him as you continued to dance, not paying the others any mind.

 

His eyes burned like fire and he felt insanely turned on by the way you moved. His gaze was fixed upon you like a lion stalking a beautiful, elegant gazelle. The way he watched you… it made you feel like someone had poured molten lava over you. He was literally eating you up with his gaze.

 

The song finally came to an end but you never once looked away from Altaïr. An unspoken understanding seemed to pass between you. Once again he was asking you to submit to him and you yielded. Just the way he looked at you made you weak and it had been so long since your argument. You’d missed him more than words could accurately express.

 

Yasmia clapped loudly from beside Yusuf and he joined her, looking a little guilty that he’d been more taken with her than with your dance. The others applauded also, but they were in more of a trance-like state. There was a bit of silence before Ezio spoke up.

 

“I’m going down to visit Nonna…” he quietly said.

 

What?” Jacob sputtered. “That’s what you think about after a dance like that? Mate, I knew you were a kinky bastard, but… this is a bit much.”

 

“No, you idiota,” Ezio whacked him over the head. “I’m going to get some heart medication. Don’t you ever talk like that about Nonna again.”

 

“Right behind ya mate,” Jacob said with a loud laugh. “I need some of her nerve meds.”

 

“I need to go too…” Aguilar said quietly, a little flushed after watching the sensual dance.

 

Arno and Edward jumped after him; murmuring about cold showers and pictures of naked grandma’s to simmer down their arousal, since they’d been turned on by Altaïr’s girl and knew they were dead meat. Connor said nothing but left very quickly as well.

 

Run!” Yusuf cackled madly. “Run little chickens! Run for your lives! You’re all dead meat!”

 

“Hey, Altaïr,” Edward called out from the hallway. “There’s no way I’m training with you tomorrow, mate.”

 

“Me neither,” Arno added.

 

“Guys, guys,” Yusuf said, moving over to the doorway to properly talk to them. “Connor’s never going to train with him again. That’s worse.”

 

Ezio and Jacob returned with some herbal tea concoctions for frazzled nerves that Olga had given them. Apparently she hadn’t been too keen on giving them her medication. Yasmia was confused by the banter going on around her but Elisabeth looked unperturbed, already used to it. You and Altaïr continued to stare at one another, never once having looked away. He finally spoke up and his words shook you to the core.

 

“Elisabeth,” he said lowly, never taking his eyes of you. “Can you and the others please leave us alone for a bit?”

 

Although his words seemed polite enough, the command was clear; he never once had to raise his voice and spoke calmly. He didn’t need to ask twice as Elisabeth almost scrambled to leave the apartment.

 

“And close the door behind you,” Altaïr added.

 

Jacob followed after Elisabeth and you heard him teasing her.

 

“Want to go for round 69?” He asked her.

 

“Shut up, you pervert!” You heard her reply and then it went silent until his apartment door shut loudly behind them.

 

Yusuf helped Yasmia grab her stuff and left with her in silence and finally Ezio left too, shutting the door behind him.

 

It was dead silent as Altaïr’s gaze continued to burn into you. You had goosebumps all over your body and your flimsy, revealing clothing did nothing to help you. He leant back in his seat slightly, spreading his legs just a little more widely and continued to appraise you openly. You felt like you were under a microscope and shifted a little. After a few moments he slowly stood up, walking over to the music player and taking it in his hands. He scrolled through the songs before selecting one, which was called Dandini.

 

“Let’s see how good you are,” he said.

You shivered at his words but didn’t want to let him bring you down. You knew that he wanted to intimidate you, backing you into a corner. You decided to play the hot and cold game he always played with you – the one he used just for you. You began to dance to the music, relaxing more quickly this time. Your hips shifted more intensely than before and you twisted like a snake.

After a while, you decided to move closer to him but he never lost his composure. In fact, he didn’t react at all, but his eyes never left your figure. Finally, when you were close enough, he pulled you right up against him. It happened so fast that you hadn’t been expecting it at all. The final words of the song drifted through the otherwise silent room as you continued to stare at each other heatedly.

Dandini, Dandini Dastana

Dandini, Dandini Dastana

Danalar girmi bostana

Kov bostanc danay

Yemesin lahanay

 

Your hands were gently cradling his face and your legs were on either side of his hips, meaning that you were basically sitting in his lap. He was fucking you with his eyes and it was like you knew all the things he was imagining that he could do to you. Another song came on but you barely paid it any mind. You leant closer to him and he slowly slid his hands along your thighs, leaving a trail of fire in his wake before they came up to squeeze your ass and pull you closer to him.

 

My longing lingers…

My tresses twist…

 

He moved to place a kiss so light against your neck that you almost thought you’d imagined it. The act seemed so gentle and intimate because he was usually so rough, demanding and passionate with you. You instinctually pulled his head closer to the desired spot and you felt him smile against your skin.

 

…And to all the things that tempt me…

 

Then, in the light of reason, where truth is empty

 

The alchemy of sin would be revealed

 

He lay you down onto the couch as he continued to place long, torturous kisses along your neck that had you trembling like a leaf in an autumn breeze. You ran your fingers through his short hair and tried not to moan like an inexperienced teenage girl. He was only kissing your neck, but you felt like you’d lost any semblance of control over your own body. You had completely and utterly submitted to him.

 

Despite your best efforts, a moan did escape you when he sucked on the crook of your neck and then bit down so hard you knew the skin would bruise. His tongue darted out to soothe your abused flesh before he pressed a few more gentle kisses to it and pulled back to look down at you with an amused smirk.

 

“What, are we in high school?” You asked him in disbelief. “How am I supposed to cover that up at work?”

 

He leant back down to growl into your ear.

 

“I’ll leave as many of those on you as I have to in order to show every other man that you belong only to me.”

 

You shivered at his words and he pulled back again to look down at you raptly. You bit down on your bottom lip, instantly pulling his gaze there, his eyes darkening. Your eyes widened when he flicked his wrist and you saw a hidden blade extend out. He was going to kill you!

 

He saw your fear but only chuckled darkly. You were too frightened to move and he seemed to enjoy the fact that he’d elicited such a reaction from you. Yet it wasn’t too prominent and he was gentle when he dragged the blade tantalisingly across your naked abdomen. With a lightening fast speed, he moved it upwards, tearing your crop top in half. Your fear left you as you understood his true purpose, but your breath was still coming out in heavy pants, your chest rising and falling at a rapid speed.

 

He threw the material away and you were very literally shivering, your nipples already erect due to the affect he had on you. He took his own shirt off, along with his hidden blades, leaving the two of you with only your lower halves covered. You looked over his body unashamedly, convinced that he was created by a deity. There was no other plausible explanation for such perfection. You were absolutely mesmerised as you dragged your nails along his abdomen and his breath quickened.

 

But he didn’t let you marvel too long at his toned chest as he flipped you over quickly, immediately setting out to remove your tight Lycra shorts. He lifted your ass up so that it was presented to him like a trophy. He pressed a kiss to each cheek with great care and caressed your flesh.

 

“You weren’t using this much while you were dancing,” he commented in a low voice, never once raising his tone. “That was a mistake.”

 

You whimpered as he began to stoke you through your thong, feeling how wet you already were. He kept this up until you began to beg him.

“Please, Altaïr…” you breathed out. “I need you… fuck me hard… into the couch…”

 

He laughed quietly at your pleas but didn’t do as you asked.

 

“You wanted to play the game,” he said. “Really, it’s cute. Do you think you can win?”

 

You enjoyed his ministrations too much to be bothered with giving him a proper answer. The cushion was muffing your moans and he bent down close to you.

 

“Hmmm?” He asked. “What was that?”

 

You didn’t respond, but Altaïr was never one to give up. He added more pressure, his fingers pressing down over your clit through the material of your thong and you cried out in ecstasy. He smirked at that before taking off your panties in one swift move. You heard him stripping his own pants off behind you but you didn’t dare move. Instead, you lifted your ass a little higher, presenting yourself to his cock. He dragged it beneath your ass cheeks and you heard him hiss at the stimulation.

 

You straightened up and he immediately pulled you against his chiselled chest. He was palming your breasts and bent his head down to gently bite your neck, causing you to arch back into his touch.

 

“I’m going to ask you again,” his voice was deep and commanding. “Do you really think you can win against me?”

 

“No…” you whined. “No, I can’t…”

 

He smirked against your neck. “Just as I thought.”

 

You moaned loudly, uncontrollably when he swiftly entered your pussy from behind. You arched back even further and it didn’t take long for him to set a deep, punishing pace. With each deep thrust he growled possessively into your ear.

 

You. Are. Mine.” He said. “Only mine.”

 

His hands on your breasts were squeezing them as he bit, licked and sucked on your neck. You were marked for good. He thrust continuously into you, in and out, deep and powerful. You cried out continuously, having never felt so much pleasure as you did in that moment.

 

You could sense how close he was and your own climax was fast approaching. He moved one of his hands down from your breast in order to rub rapidly against your clit. You cried out, your walls clenching around his cock as your orgasm washed over you. He knew he couldn’t hold back any longer and quickly pulled out of you. You lay down, ass high in the air and he came hard all over it.

 

You were thoroughly fucked and marked by him when he scooped you up into his arms. Your head rested against one of his shoulders while your legs dangled over the opposite arm. He looked down at you, his gaze more soft and gentle than you’d ever seen it before. Taking you to your bedroom, he carefully lay you down onto your bed, his touch so different in contrast to moments before when he’d been fucking you mercilessly into the couch. You were still catching your breath when he lay down beside you and pulled you closely into his arms. Those enthralling golden eyes of his stared into your very soul.

 

And it was in that moment that you realised you’d never loved another as you loved him.

 


 

Jacob and Arno were walking down the hallway, exchanging friendly banter when they caught sight of you. You were covered by a robe and Jacob immediately began to undress you with his eyes.

 

“What’s your hurry, love?” He asked. “Where are you going in that robe?”

 

“Oh, Jacob, thank god,” you breathed out. “I need your opinion. What do you think of this?”

 

You opened the robe to reveal a very skimpy, deep purple belly dancing outfit. Jacob and Arno both gaped at you, their eyes running over your form in appreciation. You giggled lightly, causing Arno to look back up at you before his gaze settled on something behind you. He instantly paled and began to back away.

 

“Shit,” he cursed, grabbing hold of the other Assassin. “Run, Jacob! Run!”

 

Jacob was still staring at you with his mouth agape, but Arno was already dragging him away and towards his apartment. You turned to see Altaïr behind you, his eyes heated. You grinned cheekily at him and his gaze darkened.

 

“Come here,” he commanded. “Now.”

 

You obeyed without protest and he grabbed hold of you as soon as you were close enough, pulling you tightly against him. His apartment door slammed shut behind the two of you as he set out to deal you your punishment that you would so willingly receive.

Chapter Text

The lighting in the room was dim and you sipped your wine, only half paying attention to what was happening on the screen in front of you. Elisabeth had become obsessed with this TV show, but you didn’t really understand the fuss. It was called Borgia and was a historical drama set in Renaissance Italy, focusing on the titular Borgia family. They weren’t exactly the kinds of heroes who inspired sympathy.

 

The current scene was between Pietro Bembo and Lucrezia Borgia and they seemed to have a rather sweet relationship. Elisabeth was gushing over the Italian cardinal, but personally you preferred a different Italian man – one living right down the hall.

 

“Italian men have such an irresistible charm,” Elisabeth suddenly whined. “It’s not fair! I want an Italian man! All the men I’ve met have been complete douchebags, never taking care in their approach!”

 

She continued on and you listened attentively. Yet, you were grateful when the doorbell rang, interrupting her.

 

“Stop whining,” you laughed. “And go answer the door.”

 

Elisabeth paid no heed, however. She got up to open the door, but continued to face you, ranting about the topic.

 

“I’m making a declaration,” she exclaimed. “I will no longer go for any man who isn’t Italian!”

 

You stifled a laugh when she opened the door and you saw who was there.

 

“It seems I’ve come at the perfect time,” Ezio said smoothly.

 

Elisabeth turned to face him, her eyes wide as saucers. He smirked at her, his gaze burning with amusement.

 

“Come on in, Ezio,” you called from the couch.

 

His eyes immediately met yours and you thought that you would melt on the spot. He quickly moved past a still dazed Elisabeth and sat beside you. He briefly glanced at the paused TV screen, eyeing it warily before giving you his full attention.

 

“I wanted to ask you something,” he said in that rich, deep baritone.

 

Your heart began to beat wildly in your chest. He had a certain affect on you, instantly charming you whenever he walked into a room.

 

“What is it?” You asked, smiling sweetly at him.

 

“Do you have any plans this Sunday?” He asked.

 

“No,” you replied, heart fluttering.

 

“I have surprise for you,” he revealed. “If you’ll let me take you out that day?”

 

His golden eyes were gazing at you expectantly, anticipating your answer. You beamed, not able to believe that he had something planned for just the two of you. You tried not to think too much of the invitation, but it was hard. It felt like a date, and the idea of being alone with him in such a setting made your heart flutter.

 

“I would love that!” You exclaimed happily.

 

His smirk softened and he gazed at you with a certain amount of affection. He gently took hold of your hand, raising it up to his lips and pressing a soft kiss upon your skin. Your heart skipped a beat and he seemed reluctant to let go of you.

 

“I’ll come around at noon,” he said. “Does that work for you?”

 

You nodded, slightly dazed and he leant forward.

 

Ciao, bella,” he murmured, pressing a kiss to your cheek.

 

He stood up and your eyes never once left his figure until the door closed behind him. Your eyes drifted, resting on Elisabeth who let out a squeal.

 

“Oh my god!” She cried out. “He totally has a thing for you!”

 

“You think so?” You asked.

 

“I know so,” she corrected. “Looks like at least one of us gets an Italian stud.”

 

You rolled your eyes and she came back over to the couch.

 

“For now,” she sighed. “I’ll just have to settle for Pietro.”

 

You barely paid her or the TV any mind as the show started up again. Instead, your mind was focused on Ezio and you wondered what would happen on Sunday.

 


 

All of the Assassin’s were at Ezio and Connor’s apartment, but the Italian had locked himself in the bathroom, getting himself ready for his date that afternoon. Jacob and Edward had decided to have an arm wrestling match and were sitting at the dining table, facing each other. Arno was rooting for Edward, while Jacob was begging Yusuf to do the same for him.

 

“No,” Yusuf said for the thousandth time. “I still haven’t forgotten that you snagged that brunette from me last week at the bar.”

 

“Come on, mate,” Jacob scoffed. “You can’t still be mad about that. She probably just wanted someone younger and closer to her age.”

 

The Brit laughed but then realised he’d just killed any chance of Yusuf rooting for him now. His eyes widened and the Turk was glaring at him angrily whilst Arno laughed.

 

“I’ll root for you, Jacob,” Connor said quietly.

 

“Thanks, mate,” Jacob grinned.

 

“You’d root for anyone but me,” Edward complained to his cousin.

 

“True,” Connor agreed nonchalantly. “You always piss me off.”

 

“Okay, okay, señors,” Aguilar cut in. “Shall we begin? I’m eager to watch these two liquor fuelled kids.”

 

At the Spaniard’s words, Edward took a swig from his rum bottle and Jacob from his pint of beer. They joined hands and began. Arno cheered Edward on, while Connor warned Jacob that if he didn’t win, he would have a really rough sparring session with him. Jacob knew that meant he would kick his ass. Aguilar and Altaïr watched with mild interest, the activity not involving quite enough action to really captivate them. Yusuf was silent, but no longer seemed to be annoyed by Jacob’s earlier words. When Ezio emerged from the bathroom, only Nikita noticed him at first. Her ears perked up and she jumped off the couch, walking over to him.

 

“Good,” Ezio murmured, leaning down to pat her. “At least she likes my cologne.”

 

The others still hadn’t noticed him and only looked away from the game when the front door suddenly burst open, revealing an annoyed Elisabeth. Her hair was slightly dishevelled and she had an eye-mask resting on her forehead. She wore a short red nightgown and robe, both made of satin and lace. When Jacob saw her, he completely forgot about the match and quickly lost. Yet, when Edward turned and saw her, he also became entranced. Elisabeth seemed to be too drowsy to realise that she was finally getting the attention she wanted from him.

 

“Will you animals simmer the fuck down?” She yelled instead. “I’m trying to sleep!”

 

“Rough night, love?” Jacob smirked. “It’s nearly midday.”

 

Elisabeth shot him a glare before noticing Ezio and let out a low whistle.

 

“Oh wow,” she said, suddenly more alert. “Give me 10 and I’ll be ready.”

 

“I’m flattered,” he said smoothly, letting out a low chuckle. “But you know it’s your roommate I have plans with. Is she ready? I was about to come to your apartment.”

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Jacob interrupted, noticing Ezio. “How long were we wrestling? When did you get all dolled up, mate?”

 

“I’m off to a very special date,” Ezio smirked at the younger man. “Unlike you, I don’t steal women.”

 

Yusuf grinned, knowing his oldest friend would back him up. The others continued to stare, some shaking their heads at how Ezio always seemed to have a way with the ladies. He hadn’t wasted any time with you. Yet, Ezio’s attention moved to the doorway again when he saw you appear. You’d come in search of Elisabeth and were shocked at how she could stand there, dressed so revealingly.

 

“Elisabeth,” you gasped. “Why are you out of bed? You said only Edward can wake you and no one else.”

 

“Oh, I’d love waking up to that in the mornings,” Edward said, looking Elisabeth up and down appraisingly.

 

Elisabeth blushed, but Ezio ignored everything in the room but you. You were dressed in a simple Azure dress with a short leather jacket over it. The bodice of the dress was lacy, while the skirt was chiffon. Ezio wore black jeans, a simple grey t-shirt and a leather jacket as well. He was ogling you, taking in your appearance with a small, affectionate smile. When his golden eyes met your own you felt your heart flutter.

 

“Where are you guys going?” Arno asked.

 

“You don’t need to know,” Ezio replied in his deep, alluring voice.

 

“That’s not creepy at all,” Jacob snickered. “Not saying where you’re taking her.”

 

You rolled your eyes but then Ezio moved over to you and took hold of your hand, entwining your fingers together. You were captivated by his scent of neroli oil and basil and followed in a slight daze as he led you out of the apartment, not bothering to say goodbye to the others. After you’d left, Elisabeth turned to the men in the room.

 

“Fuck sleep,” she declared. “Whose lap is open for business?”

 

Edward immediately offered for her to sit on his lap and she leapt at the opportunity, over the moon because he’d done so.

 


 

“Wow, Ezio,” You breathed out when you arrived.

 

He parked the car and once the engine was off he quickly got out and moved to open your door for you. You took his hand with a grateful smile and looked around at your beautiful surroundings with awe. You didn’t realise that he had such an eye for detail. He’d brought you to a rose garden. Your apartment was always filled with roses, as they were your favourite flower, but for him to make this gesture… you found it to be incredibly sweet.

 

“The greenhouse has the best selection,” he said lowly into your ear.

 

You looked up at him, your eyes filled with excitement. He smiled affectionately down at you in return and gave a slight nod. You immediately rushed off in front of him, moving over to enter the greenhouse, his laugh following you. You stopped in the doorway, letting out a gasp of awe. They must have housed every single type of rose in there. You even caught sight of ones you’d never known existed.

 

He soon caught up to you, trailing behind as you walked through the rows of flowers, bending down to smell a few of the more fragrant ones, a content smile plastered onto your face. His eyes never left you and his smile was soft as he observed your happiness. He was glad that you enjoyed it so much and he felt satisfied to simply watch you. He was about to say something to you when something else caught his eye.

 

One of the male gardeners was watching you with a large smile of recognition. Ezio deducted that the other man must be a friend, but he quickly changed his mind when you noticed the extra company. Your face showed only horror at seeing the gardener and Ezio quickly sprung into action, pulling you behind him protectively. The other man was undeterred, however, and pushed Ezio away, using a little more force that the Italian had been expecting. He grabbed your hands, pulling you to him and away from your date.

 

“My dear!” He cried out. “Finally, you’re here! I’ve been wanting to see you for so long!”

 

You couldn’t even get a word in as he was shaking you like a ragdoll. Then, suddenly, he stopped and you battled with dizziness. You saw that Ezio was behind him and the gardener’s eyes were wide with fear. Ezio was fuming, not at all liking the way the other man had touched you. He’d lost his cool and pressed his hidden blade against the other man’s spine.

 

“Get your hands off her,” Ezio said in his deep, commanding voice. “And slowly move away. Now.”

 

The gardener raised his hands in surrender and slowly moved away from you. You were too dazed to see the blade that Ezio quickly sheathed. You felt absolutely disgusted at having that creeps hands on you. You’d never thought that you’d see him again, having believed that you’d successfully gotten rid of him. A female horticulturalist approached, wondering what all the fuss was about.

 

“Alexander,” she said to the creep. “What did you do?”

 

Ezio moved to your side, seeing that you were shaking, and wrapped his arm around you.

 

“If you don’t fire him,” the Italian said in his deep voice. “I will personally make sure that this greenhouse is shut down for good.”

 

The woman was confused but didn’t protest, obviously not wanting to lose the business.

 

“You’ve been warned so many times, Alexander,” she said. “In my office. Now.”

 

You let out a sigh of relief when he followed her and you were alone with Ezio again. He turned you to face him, his hands cradling your face gently.

 

“Are you alright, dolcezza?” He asked.

 

You leant into his touch and gave a small nod. He pulled you into his arms, wrapping you up in his warm, comforting embrace. You relaxed into him, breathing in his scent of basil and neroli oil. He pressed a kiss to your forehead before gently pulling away and taking your hand in his. You let him lead you to the car in silence and once you were seated, he raised your hand to his lips, pressing a sweet kiss to your knuckles.

 

“I will buy you roses from somewhere else,” he told you. “I’m sorry. This wasn’t what I planned at all.”

 

“It’s alright, Ezio,” you said softly. “There’s no way you could have known…”

 

“You knew that man?” He said, more as a statement than a question.

 

“Yes,” you nodded, looking down. “I met him once, very briefly, but he was relentless. He practically stalked me, leaving me flowers and notes… I got really scared of how it might escalate, so Elisabeth and I moved. I thought I’d gotten rid of him.”

 

Your story angered Ezio in a way he didn’t really understand. He felt an overwhelming amount of protectiveness towards you and refused to let you ever feel frightened.

 

“I’d never let anyone do you any harm, mia bella,” he assured you. “Don’t worry.”

 

You nodded, offering him a small smile. He didn’t return it, yet his eyes spoke volumes.

 

“Should we go home?” You asked.

 

Si,” he replied. “But I’ll make this up to you. It’s a promise.”

 

“I’m counting on it,” your smile widened.

 

He turned on the engine and you left the garden far behind. At the beginning of the drive, he reached out to place his hand on your thigh and it sat there idly for a long time. Then, suddenly, he began to make slow strokes along your skin, creeping upwards ever so slightly. A certain tension fell over the two of you and your breath hitched. Ezio, on the other hand, had his eyes fixed pointedly on the road, looking completely at ease.

 

As the drive continued, his touches became more daring and he began to caress your inner thigh, still creeping upwards. When his fingers came into contact with your slightly damp panties you couldn’t help but let out a gasp and moan his name. He immediately pulled his hand away from you, acting surprised.

 

“Are you feeling well, mia bella?” He asked, sounding concerned.

 

Yet, his amused smirk gave away his game and you bit your lip.

 

“F-fine,” you stammered.

 

His smirk widened and the rest of the drive consisted only of the sexual tension between you heightening. When you arrived in the underground carpark of the Ambrosia, you waited until he’d parked and turned off the engine before making your move. You unbuckled your seat belt in a few seconds and climbed over to straddle him.

 

“That wasn’t very nice,” You breathed out, leaning close to him. “You’re a bit of a tease, Ezio.”

 

His hands immediately settled on your waist, his grip firm. He didn't bother with further conversation and leant forward, pressing his lips against yours. He thrust his tongue into your mouth without hesitation and you moaned when it came into contact with yours. He kissed you passionately, his lips demanding against your own. The coarseness of his stubble rubbed against your cheeks, but you didn’t mind, fully captivated by his very presence.

 

His hands began to wander, tugging at the bottom of your dress and pulling it upwards. He let out a content sigh when he felt the naked skin of your thighs again. The sensation of his calloused fingers running over your soft flesh sent shivers down your spine. He moved his hands upwards, underneath your dress, running his fingers teasingly over your stomach. You squirmed and he pulled away from the kiss with a low chuckle.

 

He bent his head down, kissing along your neck and pulled his hands out from underneath your dress. Instead, he palmed your breasts through the material, as his kisses became licks and sucks. You gasped when he squeezed your breasts, massaging them in an enticing way.

 

“You’re so beautiful, mia cara,” he murmured against your skin. “Ti voglio un mondo di bene.”

 

You had no idea what he said, but hearing him speak in Italian turned you on insanely. You moaned when he bit down onto your skin and couldn’t help but to tug on his thick, dark hair. You felt him smirk and then he was kissing your abused skin and flicking out his tongue to soothe it. You pulled a little harder on his hair, lifting his head back up to yours. He captured your lips in another kiss, his hands moving back down to your hips.

 

The air in the car was becoming stiflingly hot as the two of you continued to kiss passionately. It could only last for a short time before you both pulled away, gasping for air. He shifted his hold on you, squeezing your ass and pulling you closer. You both let out a moan when you felt his cock rub against you. He was already becoming hard and you bit down onto your bottom lip.

 

“We should stop,” he said lowly, his golden eyes burning into yours. “We haven’t even had a proper date yet.”

 

His fingers glided up and down your waist as he regarded you with affection. You didn’t really want to stop, but knew he had a point and nodded in agreement. You climbed off his lap and smoothed out your dress as best you could. Once out of the car, he kept you close until you’d reached your apartment door. You didn’t open it, preferring to say goodbye in the empty hallway. He leant forward, brushing his lips against yours one last time.

 

“I’ll see you again soon, mia bella,” he promised.

 

You gave his hand a gentle squeeze before he let go and your eyes followed him until he’d disappeared into his own flat. You were in a daze and took a moment to collect yourself. You raised your fingers to your lips, feeling how swollen they were. Eyes widening, you then felt your hair, finding that the elaborate bun Elisabeth had styled for you was now dishevelled and barely held together. You were a literal mess after being with him for just a little while. He already had you wrapped around his finger.

 


 

It was early on a Saturday morning and you were nestling a cup of coffee in your hands, reading through a makeup book when you heard a commotion out in the hallway. Curious, you got up to see what it was all about. When you popped your head out into the hallway, your eyes widened in surprise. Ezio was storming through the hall, annoyance rolling off of him in waves. He had a very attractive blonde woman beside him, and another brunette following closely at his heels. When he reached the door of his apartment, he whirled around to face her.

 

“For the last time,” he gritted out. “The answer is no!”

 

“I want to learn,” the brunette insisted. “I want to learn from the great mentor, Ezio Auditore.”

 

Your brows rose in surprise at the woman’s words, and looking at the blonde you saw that she was thoroughly amused. Ezio, however, looked like he was becoming increasingly pissed off.

 

“Jun,” he sighed. “Aguilar has offered to train you. Why are you still bugging me?”

 

“You are renowned master and mentor,” the woman, apparently Jun, persisted. “I want to learn from you.”

 

Suddenly a shiver ran down your spine and you got the feeling that someone was watching you. You looked back at the blonde and saw her icy blue eyes staring back at you. She was unreadable, but her thin lips were pressed into a frown.

 

“Another friend of yours?” She asked Ezio in a thick cockney accent.

 

He looked at her in confusion before finally catching sight of you. His eyes widened and he quickly pushed past Jun and made his way over to you.

 

“It’s early, dolcezza,” he said in his deep, silky voice. “Did we wake you?”

 

“No,” you smiled sweetly up at him. “I was just curious about the noise.”

 

He faltered, looking back over at the two women.

 

“I never knew you had women wanting you to train them,” you let out a small laugh. “You must be very popular.”

 

“What?” He asked, hesitant.

 

“In the gym, right?” You asked, now feeling confused yourself.

 

“Oh!” He said, returning your smile as he relaxed. “Si, si. She is very eager.”

 

“Why don’t you train her?” You asked.

 

“It’s time I would rather spend with you, mia cara.”

 

He leant forward, nuzzling his nose against your own and you blushed at the intimate gesture. He was always intimate with you now, ever since he’d taken you to that rose garden. Yet, he still hadn’t taken you on another date.

 

“Will you come over tonight?” He murmured into your ear. “Connor won’t be home. It will just be the two of us.”

 

It was like he’d heard your thoughts and you nodded, happy with the idea of being alone with him again.

 

“Good,” he said lowly, his hand on your waist as he backed you up against the doorway. “Come by at 6pm.”

 

He pressed his lips against yours in a chaste kiss. It was like he was teasing you, wanting you to anticipate what would come that evening. It was unnecessary though, as you were already burning with desire for him. He pulled away, giving one last kiss to your cheek and walking back over to his door. He sighed when he saw Jun, but gestured for her to come inside, nonetheless.

 

“You might as well come in,” he said.

 

She followed quietly, but the blonde continued to stare at you.

 

“Are you coming, Lilith?” Ezio asked her.

 

“No,” she said lowly. “I’ll see you later.”

 

Va bene,” he shrugged, giving you one last look before he shut the door.

 

You were about to move back into your own apartment but saw that the woman named Lilith was moving purposefully over to you. Your eyes widened and you backed away a little, watching as she strode into your apartment like she owned the place.

 

“You must be the girl he’s told me about.”

 

Lilith sat at your dining room table, making herself at home as you gaped at her in shock. You were glad that Elisabeth was still asleep, as you didn’t think you could handle two women like this so early in the morning. You sat down across from her, fidgeting slightly.

 

“Ezio spoke about me?” You asked hesitantly.

 

“Yeah,” she replied, looking around the room with mild interest. “But you’re not the first.”

 

Finally her icy blue eyes met with yours and you bit your nip nervously.

 

“He’s a bit of a player, then?” You asked, trying to clarify.

 

“Maybe,” she shrugged. “Or maybe he just hasn’t found the right woman.”

 

She was watching you calculatingly, scrutinising your every move. She seemed to be protective of Ezio and was judging whether or not you were worthy of him. You decided not to let her words get to you and to prove that you were serious about him.

 

“You got any tea?” She asked, tapping her fingers on the table.

 

“Uh, yeah, sure…” you said, getting up. “Which kind?”

 

“English breakfast?” She asked and you nodded.

 

You boiled the kettle and Lilith began to ask you questions. They started off simple, but eventually she came back around to Ezio.

 

“How did you two meet?” She asked, seeming a little more relaxed as she sipped her tea.

 

“We were still unpacking,” you smiled at the memory. “He came around with a dish of lasagne to welcome us after he’d heard that two young women moved in.”

 

She let slip a wry smile and looked down at her steaming mug for a few moments.

 

“I realise that he’s a real charmer,” you continued. “But I’m serious about him and I think he’s serious about me too. The last thing I’d want is for either of us to get hurt.”

 

She looked back up at you with those cold blue eyes, yet they seemed a little softer than before.

 

“I never thought he’d be one to settle down,” she admitted. “But just seeing him with you for a short moment… that proved me wrong. He’s already fallen for you.”

 

You sat back a little in your chair, letting her words sink in.

 

“I’ve known Ezio for a long time,” she went on. “The people he loves… he loves them fiercely and he will do anything for them. I just hope that you can do the same for him in return.”

 

“He means a lot to me,” you assured her. “Even after only a short time… I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.”

 

“As long as you’re serious about him,” she said. “That's all I’m concerned about.”

 

“I am,” you affirmed. “I’m not going anywhere.”

 

She smiled and stood up. You followed, wondering if that was it. Had you proven yourself to her already?

 

“Thanks for the tea, love,” she said, walking to the door. “I’ll see you around.”

 

You watched in a daze as she let herself out. What a strange woman…

 


 

Ezio pressed a lingering kiss on your cheek when you arrived at his place that night. You’d dressed in a simple red summer dress and he looked you over admiringly. When he led you inside by the hand, you saw that he had laid several different ingredients out on the kitchen bench.

 

“What are you up to?” You asked with a raised brow.

 

“I intend to spoil you, dolcezza,” he said with a smirk. “I’m going to make you an Italian dessert.”

 

His smooth, deep voice was already sending shivers up your spine, but you willed yourself to stay calm. You looked over the ingredients to distract yourself and noted a bowl of strawberries. They were your favourite fruit and instantly you knew that this dish would be delicious.

 

“Let me help,” you requested with a smile.

 

His smirk only widened; internally he was happy that you’d fallen right into his trap. Ezio realised with satisfaction that he already knew you like the back of his hand. You walked over to the kitchen bench with him following close behind. You picked up the recipe book and began to read through the ingredients.

 

“1 ½ cups flour…” you murmured.

 

You startled when you felt him gently grasp your waist from behind. You couldn’t help the way you shivered at his simple touch, but willed yourself to focus on the recipe instead.

 

“1 ½ teaspoons baking powder…” you continued.

 

His ran his fingers up and down your arms while pressing another kiss to your cheek

 

“1 teaspoon cinnamon.”

 

He moved your hair to the side and began to kiss along the column of your neck. Your breath hitched, but still you continued on.

 

“¾ cup sugar.”

 

His moved his hands to your stomach and you faltered. He bit down gently, right in the crook of your neck and your eyes fluttered shut. It was only when you felt him slowly lifting the skirt of your dress that they opened again.

 

“Ezio!” You gasped. “We’re supposed to be making dessert.”

 

You playfully swatted his hand away but he only chuckled, pressing you further into the bench. His mouth was right by your ear and he spoke huskily to you in that deep voice of his.

 

“Why make dessert when I already have you in front of me?”

 

You turned bright red. He’d barely done anything to you and you were already unravelling.

 

Mia bella,” he said lowly. “You’re the only dessert I want right now.”

 

His hands were on your waist again and he turned you to face him properly. His golden eyes burned like the sun as he gazed at you heatedly. He wasted no time, pulling you flush against his chest and pressing his lips against yours. His kiss was hard and passionate and you melted in his embrace.

 

You felt him lifting up your dress again, and you moved away to pull it off completely. As soon as the material had been flung across the room, Ezio was kissing you senseless once again. You unbuttoned his shirt at an impossibly fast pace and pulled it off him, never once breaking the kiss. You ran your fingers down his hard, muscular chest and let out a moan.

 

He quickly unclasped your bra and then pulled away, his breath coming out in short pants. He bent down and hooked his fingers in the waistband of your panties and slowly slid them down your legs. Once you’d stepped away from them, he kissed up your legs, over your stomach and paused at the bottom of your breasts. You wanted him to pay them attention too, yet he ignored them completely.

 

“Ezio…” you whined.

 

He straightened, looking deeply into your eyes and placed a finger over your lips.

 

“Don't speak, mia bella,” he murmured. “Just enjoy.”

 

He scooped you up into his arms and then gently lay you down on the dining table. You gasped lightly at the sensation of the cool wood against your naked back but he was soon caging your body with his own, providing warmth. He kissed you again, his tongue caressing your own – firm and soft. His lips were smooth but his stubble was rough and the contrasting sensations were tantalising.

 

You let out a groan of protest when he pulled away again but he only smirked, his eyes silently commanding you not to move an inch. You watched in silence as he walked back over to the bench and picked up the bowl of strawberries. Your eyes widened, wondering what he was planning. He set the bowl down on the table beside you, settling in between your legs again.

 

Your eyes were glued to his, unable to look away as he reached out to gently grasp your chin. He lifted your head up slightly and then moved his fingers slowly down your neck, teasing you. He didn’t stop until he reached the tops of your breasts and moved his fingers from side to side. You felt goosebumps rise along your skin. He bent his head down, kissing slowly across your neck until he reached your ear.

 

“Close your eyes,” he commanded, his voice deep and silky.

 

How could you possibly resist him? Your eyes fluttered closed and you tilted your head further back. He pulled back slightly and you frowned, but kept your eyes shut. You heard him moving for a second or two but then suddenly everything went quiet.

 

Until you let out a gasp of shock and your body jolted.

 

He placed a hand on your hip, steadying you. You bit down on your bottom lip, trying to stay calm. He had picked up a strawberry and was slowly circling your nipple with the tip of it. The sensitive bud quickly became erect and soon you felt an ache, desperate for more of his touch. However, he simply switched to your other nipple, paying it the same attention.

 

You were moaning consistently and your back was arching off the table. You needed more, but he was torturously slow. Your nipples were hard and almost sore due to his teasing and you couldn’t control yourself anymore.

 

“Ezio…” you panted. “I… I can’t…”

 

He took note of the state you were in and pulled the strawberry away. You waited with bated breath for a few seconds before you felt the texture of the strawberry against your mouth, teasing your lips. Suddenly you couldn’t resist and opened your eyes. You let out a throaty moan when you saw that the strawberry was between his teeth and his lips were mere inches from yours.

 

He bit down harder and you watched the juices seeping out until they dropped onto your waiting lips. You darted out your tongue to taste them and relished in the sweet taste. He ate the strawberry completely before kissing you and you instantly noticed the clash of flavours. His naturally sweet taste, mixed with the strawberry. You were in heaven.

 

His lips moved sensuously against yours, soft and wet. His stubble rubbed against your cheeks, yet you didn’t mind. You rested your hands on his shoulder blades, pulling him close and his fingers teased your inner thighs. Eventually, he pulled away, pressing one last, tiny kiss to the tip of your nose. He pulled another strawberry from the bowl and leant back to get a better view of your naked body. His free hand traced down from your neck, over your breasts and stomach and down to your thighs, taking everything in.

 

Bellissima, mia cara,” he said lowly.

 

You shivered at his voice alone, but gasped at what he did next.

 

He spread your thighs wide and pressed the tip of the strawberry against your clit. He rubbed small circles around it with the fruit and your hands gripped his forearms, as you were unable to bear the friction. He moved the strawberry downwards, to your entrance and let out a hum of amusement.

 

“You’re already so wet, mia bella,” he observed.

 

You couldn’t say a word, too desperate for release. He was relentless in his teasing but you didn’t think you could take much more. You watched as he squeezed the strawberry and the juices leaked out again – this time, all over your dripping pussy and down your thighs. He immediately bent down, in between your legs, and began lapping it all up from your thighs.

 

“Mmm,” he groaned out, clearly appreciating the taste.

 

Now, both your pussy and nipples were aching and it was too much. He licked all the way up your thighs and you let out a cry of relief when his tongue flicked out to lick your entrance. Your hands reached out to grip his dark hair and you tugged lightly on it, needing something to hang on to.

 

His tongue licked up the side of your folds before swirling in a circle around your clit. You thought you would die if he didn’t pay attention to your swollen nub soon, but thankfully he did. He sucked down hard and you cried out his name. Then, he was licking rapidly, his skilled tongue flicking over your clit swiftly. Your hips bucked and he sucked again, hard, drawing it out and pushing you over the edge.

 

Your came hard, but he continued to lap up your juices, his tongue teasing your overly stimulated pussy. Your body quivered until the orgasm had passed and you slumped down onto the now warm table. He pulled away, licking his lips and looking up at you, eyes clouded with lust.

 

Delizioso,” he praised, settling his body over yours again.

 

You pulled him to you instantly, tasting yourself and the sweet flavour of strawberries upon his lips and tongue. Your breasts pressed against his naked chest, and the dark hair there teased your still aching nipples. As his lips moved over yours heatedly, you heard him unzip his pants and knew what was coming. Finally. You were more than ready.

 

He pulled away as he positioned his aching cock at your entrance, looking into your eyes as though asking for permission. You were sick of waiting though and hooked your legs around his waist, digging you heels into his ass and pulling him forward.

 

He groaned as he entered you and you bit down onto your lip, eyes squeezing shut. Your inner walls were tight around his large shaft and he pushed in slowly. He squeezed your thighs once he’d buried himself in to the hilt and took a moment to appreciate the feeling. You took hold of his hand, entwining your fingers together and finally he began to thrust in and out.

 

He started off with small, shallow movements but then they became deeper and rougher. His grip on your hand was tight and he moved the other to your hip. You were having none of that though; he’d mercilessly teased your breasts earlier and you needed release. You pulled him forwards and he quickly caught sight of your aching nipples and caught on to what you wanted.

 

You whined when his lips encased one of them and his tongue darted out to give you some much needed friction. You let out a sigh of content when his fingers began to play with the other, slowly soothing away the ache of your need. He sucked and licked at your nipple, whilst his cock still pumped into you. Eventually he swapped, moving his mouth to the other and allowing you to finally feel the ache dulling. He got a little rougher, his hand squeezing and massaging, while his mouth worked magic on your sensitive nubs.

 

He pulled his other hand away from yours and moved it downwards, to start teasing your clit and your back arched. You screamed out his name when his tongue flicked over your nipple, his thumb pressed down on your clit and he thrust his hips sharply all at once. You came hard, your pussy clenching down onto his cock and he hissed out a curse. You clung to him, keeping him close as your orgasm washed over you.

 

He soon followed, pouring his seed deep inside of you and you quivered at the warm feeling. He pressed loving kisses all over your face as his fingers lightly caressed your waist and stomach. He gave himself a few moments before pulling out and straightening himself up. He reached out for your hands, pulling you up to stand in front of him.

 

Your legs were shaky, so he scooped you up into his arms. He bent down, nuzzling his nose affectionately against yours, before pressing a kiss to your cheek. Then, he carried you into his bedroom, laying you gently down onto his bed. He quickly moved over you and pulled you into another deep kiss. Perhaps your tryst in the kitchen was not in fact dessert, but rather only an appetiser.

 


 

You entered the Ambrosia slowly after a long day at work. You were biting down worriedly on your bottom lip, lost in your thoughts. Everything had been so perfect – too perfect – but suddenly that had all changed. You’d barely seen Ezio in over a week. And when you did see him, he was cold and distant. You wanted to confront him, but without knowing the cause of his behaviour, this might be a bad idea. You stumbled a little when you walked into something. Looking up, you saw the amused blue eyes of Yusuf staring back down at you. He reached up and lightly ruffled your hair.

 

“What are you thinking about?” He asked. “You look so serious.”

 

“Oh, Yusuf,” you said. “Hello…”

 

His brow furrowed as he looked at you with concern.

 

“Did something happen?” He asked.

 

“It’s nothing important…” you tried to deter him, but with one look you relented. “Fine… do you know why Ezio has been acting so distant?”

 

Yusuf’s gaze softened and he looked almost sympathetic. You knew he would have the answer. Ezio was closest to him, out of all the men on your floor.

 

“You should sit down first,” he said. “Can we talk in your apartment?”

 

You nodded and the two of you went upstairs in silence. Once inside your apartment, he sat down with you on the couch and began.

 

“Ezio comes from a big Italian family,” Yusuf said. “They are very generous and welcoming. Ezio’s father, Giovanni took in the son of his friend when he was just a child. He and Ezio grew up together and they were like brothers.”

 

You nodded, silently telling Yusuf to continue.

 

“He passed away,” he said gently. “Ezio is really broken up about it.”

 

“Oh my god…” you breathed out.

 

“So don’t take it personally,” he reached out to grab hold of your hand in a comforting gesture. “He just needs some time.”

 

“Do you think he’ll let me see him?” You asked. “I don’t want him to go through this alone.”

 

“I think he needs you now more than ever.”

 

He offered you a small smile and you returned it. He got up and you followed, not wanting to waste any time. If there was any moment when Ezio needed you, it was now. You didn’t want him to feel alone. You wanted him to know that you were always there for him. When Yusuf reached his apartment door you stopped him, having one last question.

 

“The man who died,” you said lowly. “What was his name?”

 

“Desmond,” Yusuf said with a sad smile. “His name was Desmond Miles.”

 

You nodded in thanks and he left you alone in the hallway. You didn’t waste any time, making your way over to Ezio’s apartment. When you knocked you heard his broken voice and your heart shattered.

 

“The door’s unlocked,” was all he said.

 

You opened the door and peered inside. He was sitting on the couch, his head in his hands. You approached him slowly, but when you were close to him he looked up. He was weary and his eyes were bloodshot. He reached out for you almost instantly and you sat down close to him, wrapping him up in your arms. He buried his head into your shoulder and you tried your best to soothe him.

 

He clung to you tightly and you felt your heart break. Even the most confident, independent people had times where they needed comfort. Eventually, he lifted his head and stared deeply into your eyes and it seemed like he could read you so easily. He instantly understood that you now knew and wrapped his arms around you a little tighter.

 

“Who told you?” He asked.

 

“Yusuf,” you said.

 

He simply nodded and buried his head in the crook of your neck, breathing in your scent.

 

“What else did he tell you?” He mumbled against your skin.

 

“He said that you grew up together. That you were like brothers.”

 

He sighed, pulling away again to look at you. It was like he was trying to convey a certain message to you, yet you were absolutely clueless. He reached out, gently stroking your cheek. You let him, realising that he needed reassurance that you were there and that he hadn’t lost you too.

 

“There’s more,” he said softly.

 

“You don’t have to tell me,” you gently assured him. “Not if you don’t want to.”

 

“I have to,” he insisted. “Now is the time you’ll most likely understand.”

 

You nodded and he gently shifted you, so that you were sitting beside him on the couch. He took hold of your hands, gripping onto them like a lifeline.

 

“There is a lot you don’t know about me, dolcezza,” he said with regret.

 

You listened attentively as he began to tell you about his family and the legacy they’d passed down through the generations. He told you about the fact that they were Assassin’s and what exactly that entailed. He told you of the never-ending war between his order and the Templars and how it constantly put him in danger. Finally, he told you about how Desmond had died to save all of them – all of humanity. He’d sacrificed himself for the greater good. Your heart felt heavy as you realised that he’d died so selflessly and you felt great sadness and pain for Ezio’s loss.

 

“The life of an Assassin…” Ezio continued. “It’s is always with loss. We cannot escape it. Death follows us always, like a constant shadow, a constant companion. We represent it, we encompass it… it’s a part of who we are. Do you really think you can accept that?”

 

You were in shock; there was no doubt about that. Yet, his words seemed like a challenge. This is who I am. Can you accept it? You leant forward, cupping his face in your hands and looked intently into his golden eyes.

 

“Ezio…” you whispered. “I won’t lie and say that it’s not a shock. But I care about you so deeply… I’m ready to accept any part of you, no matter how frightening. I want to be with you. No matter what.”

 

He smiled sadly, but leant forward nonetheless. He pressed his forehead against your own and let out a long sigh. You wrapped your arms around his neck and he held you close to him, seeking comfort.

 

“You say this so easily,” he murmured. “It could be me. Tomorrow it could just as easily be me.”

 

“I don’t want to spend the rest of my life worrying about what could be. I want to enjoy the time I have with you, even if it ends up being cut short. You’re what I want, Ezio. I won’t give up on you so easily.”

 

His hands gripped your waist tightly and he pressed his lips against yours desperately. He needed you – needed to feel you and be reminded of what he still had. Desmond’s death had shaken him and he needed the comfort of your presence in that moment more than anything. You stayed with him for the rest of the night, wrapped up in each other’s arms and just letting him be reassured by your body next to his.

 


 

You’d not had any time to really enjoy Florence. Ezio’s family had warmly welcomed you, but naturally they were caught up in organising Desmond’s funeral. You helped out wherever you could, wanting to ease the load off from them. They were the one’s who had lost him and so you took it upon yourself to assist them whenever they needed it. The other Assassins from the Ambrosia had also flown out, wanting to properly say goodbye to their friend. You were sitting with all of them, Ezio by your side, tightly holding onto your hand.

 

“I can’t go,” Ezio was saying. “I can’t watch it.”

 

“Ezio, mate,” Edward cut in. “I know it’s hard for you. But he knew what he was doing. He sacrificed himself for the safety of the brotherhood. You owe him your presence there.”

 

“He’s right,” Arno agreed. “Desmond was your brother. He would want you there.”

 

“We are always aware of the risk,” Yusuf added. “And the losses… but we’re never truly prepared when they come.”

 

“Every Assassin will be there,” Altaïr said. “It wouldn’t be right if you weren’t amongst us.”

 

Ezio turned to you, his eyes pleading.

 

“You have to come with me,” he requested. “I can’t do this without you.”

 

You were surprised by his words. You’d previously been informed that only Assassins were attending the funeral. You were okay with the idea. It wasn’t about you. You were there to support Ezio. Yet, he was looking at you so imploringly that you couldn’t deny him.

 

“Of course I will,” you assured him.

 

He smiled, squeezing your hand in thanks. Altaïr went to protest but Aguilar raised a hand to silence him. You looked around the room, taking in the sad and despondent faces of your neighbours and it truly sunk in that the lives they led were full of loss. Happiness must have felt like a gamble to them. Were you all just ghosts to them? People that would one day eventually fade away, leaving them to carry on and pick up the pieces? It was a truly depressing thought.

 


 

It was as though the Gods themselves mourned Desmond Miles, as the sky was grey and dismal. The funeral was taking place in the large, grassy courtyard of the Certosa del Galluzzo. You were amazed by the number of people in attendance, knowing that they were all Assassins. Ezio kept you close to him, his hand gripping yours tightly. Your other hand was held by sweet little Petruccio, who had tears streaming down his face as his mother soothingly ran her fingers through his hair. You’d previously spotted a solemn Shao Jun and also met the icy blue eyes of Lilith, who regarded you with approval when she saw that you were there to comfort Ezio.

 

Most of the people around you were wearing black robes with the hood raised, you being one of the few exceptions. They all held a candle, Ezio included, and they burned brightly, almost as though they represented Desmond’s lux aeterna. You saw a woman standing close to Connor with golden-brown skin and watched as Jacob spoke quietly with another woman, who matched his height. Her vibrant blue eyes met yours and you looked at each other for a few moments. It was only when you saw the body being carried out that you looked away. Ezio’s held your hand in an iron tight grip and you moved closer, offering him comfort.  

 

You noticed the very evident shift in atmosphere as a new group of people showed up. You looked over to Ezio, only to see that his jaw was clenched in anger. Aguilar, from beside him, told you everything you needed to know.

 

“Templars,” he muttered under his breath.

 

You wondered what they were doing there and watched as an Assassin approached the newcomers cautiously. Many words were exchanged before they seemed to reach an agreement. Whispers moved quickly throughout the courtyard until word reached you that they were here to pay respect to Desmond. He had died for everyone after all.

 

You leant up to press a soft kiss to Ezio’s cheek and saw the way he instantly relaxed a little. He turned to look at you, his eyes pained. But there was a softness there as he regarded you. He was grateful for your support. There was a very visible divide between the Templars and Assassins, but they kept things civil out of respect for Desmond’s memory.

 

You watched as four hooded men made their way to the pyre, where Desmond’s body lay. They each had black cloth across their mouths and carried burning torches in their hands. A woman also appeared; she wore a black hood like the others and her face was covered by a veil. She moved to stand before the pyre and began to sing. You had no idea about the words, but you did realise that she was a professional mourner. Something about it was so sad that you felt your heart break, despite never knowing the deceased.

 

Ezio let go of your hand, instead wrapping his arm around your waist so that your body was closer to his. He was struggling and you wrapped your arm around him in return, holding him to you. As the woman sang in her hypnotising, angelic voice, the hooded men reached the body and lowered their torches. The cloth covering Desmond’s body instantly caught alight and you watched with wide eyes as it began to flutter slightly in the wind.

 

Suddenly it hit you.

 

From the moment you are born, Death follows you. It is a silent, patient stalker. Ever watchful, ever looming in the darkness. You could run as fast as you liked, but nobody can run forever. It would surge onwards, never hurrying and one day it would find you. One day Ezio would no longer be able to run. He danced with death all the time, but one day it would best him. One day you would lose him and you would stand, as you did today. Yet, it would be his body you watched burn. Could you truly handle such a thing?

 

Some time later, the guests all conversed grimly, remembering Desmond in their own ways. The Templars kept to themselves, but still lingered. Ezio eyed them warily and pulled you away from the crowd, wanting some time alone with you to sort out his own emotions. He led you out of the monastery and into the woods surrounding it. He stopped, leaning you against a tree, cupping your face in his hands.

 

“I know what you’re thinking,” he said gently.

 

“Ezio,” you whispered. “What will I do if I lose you? How do you deal with knowing that tomorrow you could lose the ones you love most?”

 

Dolcezza,” he murmured, pressing a quick kiss to your lips. “Everyone experience’s loss. Everyone has something that they fear. It’s how we handle these emotions that defines us. Fear need not be your enemy. It can be the force that drives you home, if you use it to your own advantage. When you’re scared you’re also stronger and more powerful. Your adrenaline is pumping through your veins, screaming at you to survive.

 

“And pain… pain and loss can define us as much as anything else. You should never forget the pain you’ve experienced. You should hold it close; reminding yourself that others should never have to feel it. I do this work for the greater good, not just for myself. This is about more than me. You once told me that you’d rather live and experience joy now – even if you lose it tomorrow – rather than never experience it at all. I believe strongly in that. I want you by my side, even if it’s only for a short time. I can only hope that you want the same.”

 

You had tears in your eyes after listening to his words. He was right; fear, pain, loss… these were things that no one could truly escape. You would always feel these things, no matter what you did. You couldn’t run from it, but you could accept it. You had never felt so strongly about someone as you did with him. You would never forgive yourself if you ran away from the connection you had with him, and that realisation spurred you on.

 

“I want to be with you,” you told him earnestly. “Ezio… I want you more than anything. I… I love you.”

 

He smiled, a bright, genuine smile. His fingers gently caressed your cheeks, treating you as though you were the most precious thing in his world. His eyelids fluttered shut, hiding those beautiful golden orbs from you as he closed the distance between your mouths.

 

He kissed you slowly, savouring your taste and the feel of your lips against his own. It was sweet and affectionate as his fingers moved down to gently tease your neck. You grasped onto his shirt tightly, needing only his presence. There was nothing heated or sexual about this kiss; it was sweet and loving, proving only that you cared very deeply about one another.

 

Moments later, he pulled his lips away from yours, his forehead still resting against your own. His breath was warm as it fanned out across your face and you let out a content sigh.

 

Ti amo, dolcezza,” he murmured, nuzzling his nose against yours. “I’m yours forever.”

 

You wrapped your arms around his neck, kissing him again. Alone in the woods, with only the trees and the sounds of birds for company, you both could forget for a short while. Pain and loss would always be present in your lives, but you would be okay as long as you had each other.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

You were alone in your bedroom, staring down at your phone with your face devoid of any expression. Those five simple words still managed to cut deep into your soul. I can’t do this anymore. A whole year had passed since then and it shouldn’t have still affected you, but it did. You’d given so much of yourself, yet you’d never received that in return. You continued to dwell in your own melancholic thoughts until Elisabeth’s laugh brought you out of it.

 

“You wish, Frenchie!” Your roommate said loudly. “I may suck at cards, but paintball is my shit!”

 

Your apartment door was closed, but you assumed that Edward’s wasn’t, since that’s where Elisabeth was. It was a Saturday and your best friend had invited herself over for a game of cards with Edward, Arno and Aguilar. You’d elected not to go, not wanting to face anyone that day. It was exactly one year since you’d received that text message. One year to the day since your whole world had crumbled.

 

You sighed and decided to get up and go out for a walk. There was a park nearby and the fresh air would do you good. It was a bright, sunny day and you decided that locking yourself up in the apartment all day wasn’t a good idea. The heartbreak you felt from your five year long one-sided relationship couldn’t justify wasting the day away.

 

You were in a simple pair of black leggings, with a black singlet. You put on your socks and black Nike SB Check’s as well as a long, oversized grey hoodie. After placing your phone and keys in the pocket of the hoodie, you headed for the apartment door. You decided not to let Elisabeth know you were going out, since she was with Edward and you knew she’d be too wrapped up in him to really listen anyway. Besides, you’d probably be back before her anyway.

 

You struggled with the old lock on your door, as was quickly becoming habit, when you felt a presence behind you. You didn’t have to look in order to see who it was, but you did anyway. Immediately, your eyes met with Arno’s warm brown ones. He was looking at you with curiosity and you felt your heart beat a little faster just at the sight of him.

 

“Where are you going, ma beauté?” He asked, smiling slightly at you.

 

His French confused you slightly, but whenever he spoke in his mother tongue it gave you butterflies in your stomach. Besides, he was so good-natured that you knew he hadn’t said anything bad. Ever since you’d first laid eyes on him, there had been an undeniable magnetic pull between the two of you. It radiated through the air, surrounding the two of you and making everything else fade into the background until all you could focus on was each other.

 

You suddenly realised you hadn’t yet answered his question and shook your head slightly, willing yourself to focus and not fall under his spell. His presence never failed to pull you into a daze and for a brief moment you forgot why you were going out in the first place.

 

“Oh, um…” you faltered. “I was going for a walk. I need to clear my head a bit.”

 

He didn’t press the subject; instead, he smiled softly at you, his gaze warm and caring.

 

“I can come with you,” he offered. “If you want, that is.”

 

He was still looking directly into your eyes and the affect it had on you was daunting. Although you’d always been at ease with other men, feeling fully confident, - even with your ex, who could disarm you with a single look – with Arno it was different. You couldn’t handle meeting his gaze for a long period of time. He made you nervous and elicited certain things within you that left you feeling unsure. His presence made you uneasy.

 

You hated feeling that way. Especially with a man you’d only met a handful of times. You barely even knew him, so how could you be feeling such things? The connection had been there from the very first moment you’d laid eyes upon one another – and it scared you.

 

“Thank you, Arno,” you said apologetically. “But I just need some time alone. I hope you understand.”

 

“Alright…” he said, smiling sadly. “Come over later. I doubt your roommate will leave. I think she’s planning to stay the night.”

 

He chuckled softly and you allowed yourself to give the smallest smile at the sound.

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t put it past her,” you let out a light laugh. “She’s crazy about your roommate.”

 

You pressed the button for the elevator and he opened his mouth to speak, but the doors opened almost immediately. Whatever he was going to say was forgotten as he looked at the gorgeous blonde woman who exited the lift.

 

The blonde’s eyes seemed to cut through your figure and you raised your brow at her. She was dressed like she was going clubbing, with her short and tight dress, stiletto heels and small clutch. Your keen eyes noted that her hair and make-up were done to perfection. She was stunning, but something about her was off.

 

The woman shoved past you when she saw Arno.

 

Mon Chér!” She exclaimed, throwing herself at him.

 

You quirked your brows at her behaviour; she was a fair bit shorter than Arno, despite her heels, and you watched as he quickly pushed her away. Yet, he was still gentle, not touching her too roughly. He said something to her in French and she lowered her head but was quick to recover.

 

“You’re such a party pooper,” she pouted. “I have the shit you wanted. You owe me big time.”

 

You watched as she suddenly became more seductive, her voice taking on a sultry tone as she ran her hand lightly up and down his chest as she leant into him again.

 

“So… cash? Or something more valuable?”

 

You couldn’t believe what you were seeing. Was she a drug dealer or something?

 

“Go inside, Céleste,” he gestured towards his apartment.

 

His voice was cold, lacking in emotion. It surprised you, because you’d never seen him like that before. The blonde woman smirked at him but obeyed. He turned to look at you and suddenly that burning fire was in his eyes once again.

 

“I hope I’ll see you later,” he said apologetically.

 

You smiled and gave him a nod. He returned your smile tenfold, grinning widely and then went back into his apartment. You pushed the elevator button again, but before you entered it you heard Elisabeth exclaim from inside Edward and Arno’s apartment.

 

“Who the fuck are you?”

 

You laughed genuinely for the first time that day.

 


 

It had been a long week – countless photo-shoots as well as one hectic wedding with a very difficult, picky bride. The photo-shoots hadn’t drained you as much as the bride did, but still, you were left feeling exhausted. It was late on Sunday afternoon and Elisabeth was bouncing up and down enthusiastically in your living room, like a Ping-Pong ball.

 

“Elisabeth…” you said in annoyance. “Get away from the door. He said he’d come over when he’s ready.”

 

You had a killer headache and her frantic pacing and rabbit bounces didn’t help in easing the pain you were experiencing. Edward – the second of the gorgeous men you’d met living on your floor – had invited you both over for a horror movie marathon. He’d said that it was a Sunday night tradition that they would love to include you and Elisabeth in. He’d then added that they also wanted someone to prank, since none of them were jumpy.

 

“Looking for new victims, huh?” You had asked him.

 

“Not necessarily,” Edward had smiled with a shake of his head. “We just make up excuses to have you around us.”

 

“Should we bring anything?” Elisabeth had cut in.

 

Edward then scanned her whole body appreciatively.

 

“Just your fine booties,” he’d said.

 

“Oh, no problem,” Elisabeth had replied with a smirk.

 

You had lightly smacked her arm and she’d shot you a glare.

 

“Okay, Edward,” you’d said. “I’m sorry, but I’m going to join you guys later…”

 

Elisabeth was still staring at Edward, biting down onto her bottom lip.

 

“Girl, don’t go at all…” she’d muttered.

 

“Alright lass,” Edward said to you. “We’ll wait for you. Just don’t leave us hanging, okay?”

 

“Okay,” you said quietly. “I just need some time to get ready.”

 

He’d nodded, sending you a small smile before he turned and left, with Elisabeth still ogling him.

 

The truth was that you were afraid of watching horror films – especially ones with little girls and exorcisms. You couldn’t watch those and then get a good, calm night of sleep. Additionally, the fact that Edward had said they liked to prank each other frequently during the film… that made you even less keen to go.

 

Elisabeth was long gone by the time you plucked up the courage to go. You were just turning off the last light in the apartment before you opened the front door. When you did, you walked out and straight into someone. Looking up, you saw the warm brown eyes of Arno regarding you softly. Dark chocolate and espresso enveloped you and you were helpless, succumbing to him as you looked into his gorgeous eyes.

 

“Finally,” he said huskily. “We thought you weren’t going to show, ma bichette.”

 

You were unable to utter a single word, having fallen completely under his spell. That magnetic pull was there, as always, and you found it hard to resist.

 

“Edward wanted to check up on you,” Arno continued. “But I was quicker. He was going to scare you.”

 

“Elisabeth told you?” You asked with a frown. “That I’m scared of horror movies?”

 

Arno was taken aback by your sudden change in behaviour. You’d been stunned only a moment before, but now he sensed your anger.

                                                                                           

“Oui…” he confirmed, smiling at you.

 

His close proximity, paired with his soft smile, calmed your rising anger. Elisabeth had Arno to thank for not being skinned alive once you arrived in the apartment. Yet, you still glared daggers at her once you entered the living room. She was sitting on Edward’s lap, who was comfortably sitting back in an armchair. Your roommate looked like she’d just won the lottery and didn't even spare you a glance.

 

Ezio, Altaïr and Aguilar occupied the large couch in front of the huge, plasma TV, while Connor and Jacob sat on the floor by the coffee table. Yusuf sat on the other armchair, looking completely at ease with a milky white drink in his hand. You were surprised to find Nikita was absent, but when you asked Connor he told you that she was staying with his mother, Ziio.

 

You heard Elisabeth giggle at something Edward said and you narrowed your eyes at her. You couldn't believe she’d spilled your secret. You considered it embarrassing that you were afraid and it was humiliating for you that she’d so carelessly told them all. She could be incredibly selfish when she wanted to be. You were ready to confront her about it, but you never actually got the chance.

 

The lights flickered, and darkness fell across the room. You screamed, while Elisabeth squealed. Your nerves were already on end, so the sudden lack of lighting made you terrified.

 

“Okay, Jacob…” You heard Arno say. “Okay… You won the prank contest. Now turn on the lights. And if your hands are near my ass again, I will kick the shit out of you.”

“I didn’t do anything, you croissant,” Jacob drawled. “Do you see a light switch near me? Besides, do you really think that I’d switch off the lights if I wanted to grope your ass?”

 

“You’re unbelievable Jacob,” Ezio sighed.

 

“It’s that bastard Charles,” Aguilar spoke up. “I bet anything that it’s him.”

 

“I’ll kill him,” Connor grumbled. “He’s really asking for it now.”

 

“As if you need a reason to kill him,” Yusuf laughed.

 

“You guys really think I’m buying this?” You asked, annoyed. “Elisabeth, I’m so angry with you, it’s not even funny.”

 

“It’s not a big deal, Jesus Christ!” Elisabeth scoffed. “Plus, they really didn’t do this.”

 

“Turn on your phones, everyone,” Yusuf suggested.

 

Within a few moments, everyone had fished out their phones from their pockets and a soft glow illuminated the room, due to the phone screens and flashlights. You felt a hand on your waist and yelped as fear crept up your spine.

 

“Easy ma bichette,” Arno soothed. “It’s me.”

 

You instantly relaxed, taking comfort in his presence. You were incredibly glad that the lights were off and no one could see your blush.

 

“You’re not wasting any time,” Ezio observed. “You’re already calling her pet names. Classy, brother, and so typically French.”

 

“You’re lucky you’re not within my reach,” Arno fired back. “You’re dead meat, Italiano. Just you wait.”

 

“I love it when these two bicker,” Altaïr smirked.

 

Edward laughed at his comment, his hands on Elisabeth’s waist as he watched his friends’ banter.

 

“Come sit next to me, love,” Jacob said you smoothly. “You don’t want to stand there, with him breathing in your neck.”

 

“No, I couldn’t possibly sit next to you, dearest Jacob,” you retorted. “For all I know, you did this.”

 

“Oh, come on!” Jacob defended. “Why am I always the one to blame?”

 

“Because only you could think of this,” Connor intervened. “Besides Charles the bastard, of course.”

 

“Edward,” Elisabeth whined. “This would’ve been more fun if you were naked.”

 

Suddenly, the phones illuminating Edward and Elisabeth were turned off and shuffling could be heard.

 

“Allahiiiiim,” Yusuf groaned. “Don’t you dare take your clothes off! What is wrong with you all?”

 

“Ah, back to our roots,” Jacob smirked. “Before electricity, what did you think they were doing once the sun set? Adding material to the gene pool, of course. They weren’t sitting around doing sums.”

 

“Oh my god, Jacob…” You rolled your eyes. “Can you stop with the sexual stuff for one second?”

 

“Sure,” he replied seductively. “When you sit next to me instead of being glued to the croissant.”

Arno growled from beside you and you were surprised at this reaction.

 

“Instead of bickering like children,” Aguilar cut in. “I’m going to take a look at the circuit breaker. Ezio, check up on Olga instead of just spectating.”

 

“I’ll come with you, Aguilar,” Connor offered, rising from his spot on the floor.

 

Arno took your hand gently in his and you let him lead you to the kitchen counter. He sat down, leaning against it and brought you down with him. You settled in between his legs and he wrapped his arms around your waist, holding you protectively to him. His close proximity made goosebumps rise up on your arms and you couldn’t help but relax into his hold. His presence left you feeling safe and secure, despite how scared you’d been only moments earlier.

 

A part of you felt utterly ridiculous – you were acting like a teenage girl! Yet, with him everything was intensified and the connection was stronger with each second. The lights were still off when you felt his soft lips on the nape of your neck. His lips barely even touched your skin, but you couldn’t supress your shiver. You closed your eyes and bit your lower lip as you let yourself enjoy his presence and his touch.

 

“I’m going to Paris on Thursday,” he murmured into your ear. “Will you come with me?”

 

Your eyes widened and your breath hitched as you processed his words.

 

“HOW ABOUT NOW?” You startled slightly when you heard Aguilar yell from somewhere below.

 

“NOPE!” Yusuf yelled back.

 

You found yourself being briefly distracted by the exchange, but that was soon fixed.

 

“Hmm? Ma bichette? What do you say?”

 

His lips brushed against your ear and you realised how clever he is. Incredibly clever. There was no way you could escape this. You breathed in deeply, trying to get a hold over your emotions.

 

“Okay…” You agreed softly. “I have a week off anyway. I should book a hotel though.”

 

“Don’t be silly,” he chucked. “You’ll be staying in my apartment, of course.”

 

You were surprised by this, and you would have spoken to him further about it, but you became distracted by the lights suddenly turning back on. Altair immediately caught sight of you both, observing your burning cheeks with a small, almost unnoticeable smirk.

 

“Yes!” Yusuf exclaimed, happy that the lights were back on. “Finally!”

 

Elisabeth and Edward were caught red handed, as he had his hands on her thigh and she had hers on his chest. Their faces were extremely close to one another and they looked like they’d been sharing a very passionate kiss. Aguilar returned with Connor, followed by Ezio. Jacob and Yusuf gaped at Edward and Elisabeth, while you let out a light laugh. Arno chuckled from behind you, his breath tickling your ear. Elisabeth gave you a catty look, flipping her long, semi curly hair and flicking Edward’s face with it in the process.

“What?” She asked arrogantly. “You’ve never seen a couple in love?”

 

“Love…” Jacob snickered. “No offense, but you have a long way to go if you want to win over this blonde stud.”

 

“Shut up, Jacob,” Edward laughed. “You’re just jealous cause neither of them took up your offer for groping in the dark.”

 

“It’s not my day, I admit,” Jacob pouted a little. “I fucking hate Sundays.”

 

You moved to get up from your spot on the floor and were surprised to realise that his arms were still around your waist. You’d honestly been so comfortable with his embrace that you’d forgotten he was holding you like that. The way that it already felt so natural left you feeling uneasy. It was way too early for such familiarity.

 

You knew that you were already falling for him, bit by bit, and that scared you. He relaxed his grip on your waist, allowing you to get up, and he immediately followed you. You paused when you saw that the others were all looking at you and the room had fallen silent. The connection between you and Arno had now briefly been seen by the others.

 

“Speaking of couples…” Yusuf said quietly.

 

He’d noticed the fiery exchange of gazes between you and Arno and the chemistry between you was unmistakable. At the word ‘couple’, you were snapped back to reality.

 

“I have to go,” you said quickly. “Elisabeth, are you staying?”

 

She had her head resting on Edward’s chest and was drawing circles on his pectorals with her fingernail.

 

“Yes… It’s nice here…” She trailed off and you rolled your eyes.

 

“Okay, if you say so…” You shrugged. “I have to pack.”

 

“Where are you going?” Connor asked.

 

“To Paris,” Arno cut in. “With me.”

 

“You’re so smooth,” Ezio smirked. “I have to give you credit for this.”

 

Merci, Auditore.”

 

Prego, Dorian.”

 

You failed to notice Jacob looking like everything he’d worked for was lost in a fire. You were blushing deeply as all of the attention was focused on you. But at Arno’s words, Elisabeth jumped up from Edward’s lap.

 

“WHAT?” She screeched. “Paris? You little bitch! I want to go too!”

“Elisabeth…” You sighed. “You were there last week to visit your grandma.”

 

“Wow,” Arno commented. “You’re French?”

 

“Duh,” she scoffed. “My last name is Dubois. I was born in France, but I never lived there. My French is a little rusty, but I understand it.”

 

Arno smiled at her, but she was already dragging you towards your apartment.

 

“I leave you alone for a second while the lights are off and the next thing I know, you’re off to fucking Paris with him. Girl, you have no self-control!”

 

“That’s the pot calling the kettle black. You almost fucked Edward on that armchair!”

 

Elisabeth gasped loudly. “Oh no, you didn’t!”

 

You continued bickering as you jiggled with the damned lock that you never got around to getting fixed and the men laughed. Arno and Edward shared a fist pump as they grinned at one another.

 

Jacob sighed deeply. “I HATE Sundays!”

 


 

You looked around at Arno’s Paris apartment in awe. You’d only just arrived with him and already you were mesmerised by the place. It was elegant and luxurious, with modern, sleek furniture. The interior design itself was more classical and looked to be from the Baroque or Revolutionary period. Everything looked to be incredibly expensive and well placed. You caught a glimpse of the balcony that looked out over Paris and were captivated.

 

“Make yourself comfortable,” Arno told you. “I’m going to go have a shower, but if you want anything, please help yourself.”

 

You smiled softly at him and received one of his gentle gazes in return. It was very intense, but always gentle and affectionate. You relaxed onto the couch while he disappeared into the bathroom. You were deciding on whether or not to turn on the TV when you heard unfamiliar voices. They sounded like they were really close, but they were speaking in French and you couldn't understand a word.

 

You got up from the couch and looked through the big windows, startling when you saw four figures, standing side by side on the rooftop of the next building over. They all wore coats with hoods covering their heads and a strange veil covering most of their face. There were three men and one woman, from what you could tell. You let out an alarmed yelp when you saw the four figures jump and climb onto Arno’s balcony. It was only a short leap, but your eyes were wide at the fact that they’d so casually jumped onto another person’s property.

 

You were stunned, not believing your eyes. The glass doors to the balcony were open and you watched as one by one they leapt down onto the big balcony in front of you. You had no idea about how to react; you’d never seen people so agile, with the exception of Arno and your other neighbours.

 

The woman was the first to lower her hood and you saw that she had long, ash blonde hair. Her blue eyes were cat-like and her lips were naturally pouty. One by one, the men also lowered their hoods. The first one was drop-dead gorgeous, his hair and eyes a dark brown, as well as his stubble. The second had softer features, but he was also dark haired with stubble, yet his eyes were a grassy green in colour. The last one, much like the other two, had brown hair and stubble, but he was noticeably more muscular. He was more classically handsome than the other two.

 

Qui êtes-vous?” The girl asked you.  

 

You couldn’t help but gape at her. She was beautiful – in fact, they were all very attractive.

 

Je ne pense pas qu’elle te comprenne, Lucie,” the especially gorgeous man said.  

 

Ouais, c’est son erreur,” the girl replied, not giving up.  

 

Ne soyez pas une salope,” the green-eyed man cut in.

 

Elle est dans son appartement, elle doit être importante.” 

 

Il a raison,” the more muscular man piped up. “Arno n'amène jamais une fille ici.”  

 

Their conversation was interrupted when Arno emerged from the bathroom, with only a robe covering his modesty. He saw them and frowned in confusion. 

 

“What are you doing here?” He asked. 

 

You were glad that he spoke in English and you could finally understand some of the conversation going on around you. You hadn’t understood a word being said, but you were pretty sure that they had been talking about you. The three guys and the girl looked like naughty schoolkids caught in the act. You noticed how they all look away and you didn’t know if it was from his nudity, or from his authoritative voice. You hadn’t actually been facing him, but when you turned around you almost dropped dead from the sight. His half naked body was a work of art.  

 

“Did you introduce yourselves to her?” Arno asked, walking closer to you.

 

“I’m Thierry,” the man with the bright green eyes stepped forward. “Nice to meet you.”  

 

He smiled at you, offering his hand. You accepted it and returned his smile. The more muscular guy introduced himself as Thomas and the insanely gorgeous man said his name was Nicolas. The girl’s lips were in a thin line when she spoke with a heavy French accent to you. 

 

“I’m Lucie,” she supplied. “I am sorry for acting like a bitch.” 

 

She smiled warmly at you, leaving you confused by her behaviour. One minute she was ready to pounce and the next she was warm and friendly towards you. Without a word, Arno left the room to get dressed and the four young people sat down on the big couch. You were standing beside the empty armchair and they were all scanning you. They seemed to approve of you between themselves, but never voiced it out loud.  Soon, Arno appeared next to you and you immediately felt yourself react to his presence. Your spine straightened and the fine hair on your arms rose. All these little changes were unnoticed by the other four people in the room, but they were noticed by him. Arno shifted slightly closer to you, his hand brushing against yours, causing you to shiver.  

 

“Were there any problems?” He asked the others.  

 

Non, Arno,” Lucie replied. “But there will be if Duchesneau gets to the warehouse first and loots us blind.” 

 

Thierry nodded in agreement and you turned to Arno, seeing him strangely serious and business-like.  

 

“I updated the security,” Nicolas said. “They won’t get near it.”  

 

Arno seemed pleased to hear this, whilst you just felt perplexed. 

 

“She looks confused,” Thomas observed. “Why don’t you explain to her? You brought her here, which is totally out of character for you. She deserves to know.”  

 

Arno turned to face you properly and took your hands in his. You stared at him in confusion, wondering why he suddenly seemed so serious. He never let go of your hands as he sat you down and began to tell you everything about him. He told you about his life as an Assassin and the endless war they waged against the Templars. Lucie observed you both with a smirk, having never seen Arno so smitten. The guys also watched on with wide grins, knowing they could use this to their advantage.  When Arno had told you everything, you had to take several moments to process it all.

 

Never in a million years had you imagined such a thing could be possible. Yet, it still strangely made sense and you were glad that your assumptions about the blonde woman at the Ambrosia weren’t correct. Arno had explained her role and that they often employed escorts like her for certain purposes that would make their jobs easier.  It was scary to think about Arno always being in danger and that as long as you spent time with him, you were in danger too. However, it wasn’t scary enough for you to run away. He’d been honest with you, had put his trust in you and so you were going to do the same - at least where this was concerned.

 

Lucie stood up, clapping her hands together as she regarded you and that effectively pulled you from your thoughts.  

 

“So,” she said. “Now that you’re informed, we can start with introducing you to our associates here.” 

 

“No, no, no Lucie,” Arno was quick to intervene. “We’re not official yet.” 

 

Arno regarded you softly, knowing that you were still not entirely ready to accept the intensity of his feelings. The little taste you’d received so far already threatened to burn you alive. He wanted you to be his more than anything he ever wanted in his dangerous life, but he wasn’t sure if you were ready yet. Therefore, your next words surprised him.  

 

“I’d love to meet your ‘associates’ here,” you smiled at Lucie. 

 

“Excellent!” The French woman beamed. “I hope you packed your party outfit. Tonight is Donatien’s annual spring party. It’s time you saw what the French deem to be a perfect night out.”

 

The guys all laughed at this and you couldn’t help but feel a little bewildered. Attending a French party was like a dream come true. 

 

“Well,” Thierry said to Lucie. “I hope you won’t run away when things heat up like last time.”  

 

She blushed, but was quick to compose herself.   

 

Attend et regarde,” she said to him in reply.

 


 

“So…” You asked Lucie. “Where’s this party taking place?”

 

You were pulling out your makeup case from the suitcase you’d brought to Paris.

 

“Well,” Lucy replied. “The first one is at L’arc and the second is at Le Perchoir in the Marais.”

 

She was perching herself on the big bed in the guest room of Arno’s apartment in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. At her words, you stopped in your tracks.

 

“Wait a minute…” You said slowly. “Two parties? I thought you said only one.”

 

“Change of plans,” Lucie replied with a nonchalant shrug. “One party won’t be enough. We heard you were quite the party girl.”

 

Lucie winked at you.

 

“Two parties in one night?” You asked.

 

Oui chérie. Until dawn”

 

You smiled, liking this city more and more. As you opened up your makeup case, Lucie jumped off the bed, her eyes wide.

 

“Oh mon dieu!” She excitedly clapped her hands. “Are you a makeup artist or something?”

 

“Yes I am...” You replied slowly, surprised at her reaction.

 

“Can you do my makeup?” She pleaded. “Wipe this off my face. I wanna look glam!”

 

“Lucie…” You said with confusion. “I don’t know if you saw yourself in a mirror but you look fucking gorgeous with the minimal stuff you have on.”

 

“I know,” she said. “But I want you to do my makeup! Glam me up! Oh, and I want falsies too!”

 

You stared at her while she lightly bounced on the bed. This girl was unbelievable…

 

“I’ll do your makeup after I get dressed, okay?” You told her. “I don’t need much time for myself”

 

Lucie squealed and gave you a tight hug. You smiled and when she let go you got up to get dressed. You wore a short black dress. The bodice was tight fitting and strapless, while the skirt flared out and was made of tulle. Over the top you wore a short, black leather jacket. Your nails were painted a dark, wine coloured red and you wore a long, elaborate ring that covered your entire forefinger. Your heels were black stilettos with an open toe and bright red soles. Your hair was down and styled in loose curls.

 

Lucie whistled lowly when you emerged and you saw that she was also dressed all in black. She too wore a leather jacket, but hers was studded around the collar and lapels. Underneath that she wore a tight fitting dress that hugged her curves. She wore tan ankle boots and had a large clutch bag that matched the shoes’ colour. Her hair was done up in a high, tight pony tail and she looked fierce, yet beautiful.

 

You laughed at Lucie’s reaction to your outfit and instructed her to sit on the big armchair near the window. The French woman quickly obeyed and you prepared her face, wiping off her present makeup with wet wipes and moisturizing her skin.

 

“You know,” Lucie said quietly. “You don’t look like you know what you’re getting yourself into.”

 

You paused with dabbing moisturizer underneath her eyes.

 

“What do you mean?” You asked.

 

“French guys have a specific way of behaving when they are interested in a girl.”

 

“Go on…” You prompted, continuing with what you’d been doing.

 

“We’ve known about you ever since he first laid eyes on you, that fateful night after he killed Gabriel, that fucking Templar dog. He described you perfectly. Every curve.”

 

You blushed at this, but Lucie continued.

 

“You see… French men move at breathtaking speed. They fall in love quickly, but fall out of it just as swiftly. True, Arno had many conquests but only one was there to stay in his mind.”

 

“Who is she?” You asked, finishing with Lucie’s foundation.

 

“You,” Lucie said, catching you off-guard. “Listen to me carefully. If a French guy kisses you (in this case Arno) that means you’re his. You’ll be a couple the very second after that kiss. Hell, even during the kiss. If you’re not sure you want that - and I kind of got that vibe when I suggested you go partying with us - you should stay away from him tonight.”

 

“How do you know that?”

 

“I’m a girl. We just see these things. He also senses your reluctance. You’re running from him all the time, am I right?”

 

You now put a crème eye-shadow on Lucie’s eyelids and nodded slowly.

 

“Yes,” you sighed. “You’re right.”

 

“He’s not going to give up,” Lucy pointed out. “If French guys are anything, they’re relentless. Arno is no different. If he says ‘je t’aime’ he means it.”

 

You paused to look at her and pondered over her words. Slowly, you applied the false lashes Lucie requested so badly, mulling over everything.

 

“Wow Lucie…” You laughed lightly. “I didn’t expect this. Is there something else? I feel like I’m attending a lecture.”

 

Next, you applied the bright red lipstick onto Lucie’s lips and pulled back a bit to admire your work. Lucie was naturally stunning, but the small touches make her look drop-dead gorgeous.

 

“You kind of are,” Lucie smiled wryly. “I just want to make sure you’re ready for tonight. He’s definitely going to make a move. He won’t plan the dates. There’s no term for dating here. Expect a date anytime. Anywhere. To sum it all up… If you’re not ready to accept the burning intensity we all felt once we saw you in his apartment… Keep your cute ass next to me at all times tonight. If, on the other hand, you are ready… Relax and enjoy the evening.”

 

She winked at you and you wordlessly handed her a hand mirror.

 

MON DIEU!” Lucie exclaimed. “Je suis magnifique! Merci beaucoup chérie!”

 

She kissed you on the cheek and bounced from the room. You were left staring at the door where she left with a thumping heart.

 


 

Merde, elles prennent des heures pour le preparer,” Thierry whined.

 

Nicholas chuckled and Thomas rolled his eyes. Meanwhile, Arno had his back turned to them, a glass of red wine in his hand, looking out at the night sky. The city of light was preparing for a wild Friday night and he was sipping his wine whilst enjoying the feeling of being home. He was dressed all in black, as were his brothers. It seemed to be an unspoken theme between you all. He wore a t-shirt, an unbuttoned dress shirt and a hooded jacket, but the hood was down. He also wore long, skinny jeans and ankle-high boots. The other three were wearing similar outfits – albeit with a few alterations – but their hoods were raised.

 

His attention was caught by Lucie’s approaching voice and the unmistakable sound of high heels on the laminate flooring. Nicholas had been lounging back lazily on the couch, but immediately got up when he heard the sound, while Thomas’ eyes widened and Thierry wolf whistled.

 

Yet, none of their reactions were as great as Arno. He was frozen to the spot, unable to look away from you. He hadn’t even spared Lucie a glance. He couldn’t believe how beautiful you looked. You smiled coyly at him, looking down while tucking a strand of your curly hair behind your ear. Slowly you looked up, meeting his gaze again. The look he gave you was scalding. It shook you to your very core and suddenly all that existed was him. Lucie and the others watched this exchange and the French woman smirked at you knowingly.

 

“The heels?” She said to you under her breath. “Huge bonus, chére.”

 

She nudged you slightly towards him and his glass of red was already forgotten on the small table near the balcony door, as he approached you slowly, like a hunter stalking its prey. For the first time that night, you were unable to break eye contact. In fact, this was the first time since you’d met him that you hadn’t looked away.

 

Tu es magnifique,” he said to you huskily, his eyes roaming all over your figure.

 

You didn’t need a translation for this. You knew it was a compliment.

 

Merci beaucoup, Arno,” you replied with a sweet smile, still blushing.

 

“Awwww her accent is so cute!” Lucie gushed, hooking her arm under Thierry’s. “Allons-y! We’re already missing the first party of the night!”

 

She dragged Thierry out of the apartment, Nicholas and Thomas following while talking in French and laughing at something Lucie threw back at them. You weren’t paying attention though. Their voices were nothing more than white noise.

 

Arno took your hand in his and tangled your fingers together. You exhaled quickly and you both headed to his car that was parked in front of the apartment building. The others were already seated inside a dark grey Audi Q7, with Thierry at the driver’s seat and Lucie in the passenger seat next to him.

 

Arno unlocked his own Audi and opened the door for you. You thanked him, a small smile ever present on your face. You’d never had the door of a car opened for you. He was such a gentleman and you weren’t accustomed to it. He sat down in the driver’s seat and started the engine. As you set off, Thierry and the others followed behind. You relaxed into the black leather seat and took in the lush interior of Arno’s car. He lived in such luxury and it was a little overwhelming for you.

 

Your hands were in your lap and you fiddled with your butterfly clutch. It was designed in a way that allowed you to slip your hand underneath the butterfly and keep the clutch with you, without holding onto it. The butterfly sat on your wrist, looking like an accessory. The only sound that could be heard was the radio, yet it wasn’t an unpleasant silence between you. You were both in anticipation. A particular song came on and Arno commented on it.

 

“Nice song,” he said, eyes still on the road. “I’ve never heard it before.”

 

“Me neither,” you replied. “I’m not really into this slow, sensual stuff.”

 

He laughed and you began to relax more. You accidentally brushed your hand across his that was holding the gear stick, but you were too slow to take it away and he stroked your fingers. The simple touch sent jolts of electricity through you, and although he still kept his eyes on the road, his lips were turned up in a knowing smirk.

 

You finally reached L’arc and Arno parked in a designated spot, with Thierry parking behind him. It was a beautiful, classic building, right near the Arc de Triomphe, that old monument honouring those who had died in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

 

When Arno exited the car you took the opportunity to quickly check your lipstick. Even though you rationally knew that it was unnecessary, you felt nervous and self-conscious for the first time that night. In fact, you hadn’t felt this unsure of yourself in a very long time. You hoped to get some alcohol in your system before long so that it would settle your ever-growing nerves.

 

You went to open the door, but Arno beat you to it, helping you out of the car. He kept you close to him and soon you were joined by Lucie and the other guys. You walked hand in hand with Arno to the entrance of L’arc. You looked back at the actual Arc, taking in the soft, warm lights that were illuminating it. The spring air was buzzing with the promise of an excellent night, and you allowed yourself to get caught up in the atmosphere.

 

A huge line was formed at the entrance of the club and you wondered as to how you would ever get in. However, Arno led you all right to the entrance, countless girls who were waiting in line sending you dirty looks in the process. Whether they envied your gorgeous outfit or the flawless man by your side, you couldn’t be sure, but you could see that they were green with envy. As soon as the bouncers saw him and the others, they wordlessly moved aside, allowing you all into the club. You struggled to stay composed and not gape like a fish at this. You were taken aback by it all, never having entered a club so easily - especially not one as high profile as this one.

 

One inside, you all passed the restaurant and the bar, both areas oozing of sophistication and elegance. The restaurant was a perfect blend of classical and modern styles, with large arch windows that looked out to the beautiful city – particularly the Arc de Triomphe. The bar was much more modern and sleek, with such a wide variety of drinks that there were some you had never heard of or seen before.

Once reaching the club area it was lit up in neon purple, blue, pink and green lights and you heard the bass pounding into your ears. Just like the rest of the building, it was elegant and sophisticated. An older man almost immediately approached you, with two gorgeous young girls on each side. He had an auburn buzz cut and beard and navy blue eyes.

 

One of the women had platinum blonde hair and pale skin, while the other had dark brown hair and golden-brown skin. Both had their hair tied up into tight, high buns. Their make-up was mostly very pale, but they had cat-eyes and thick, long false lashes. The blonde wore a tight white dress with black lining along with black stiletto heels. The brunette wore a cream dress with a plunging neckline and a golden belt over the waist along with nude heels. They both looked absolutely stunning, yet also fierce.

 

The man smiled widely at Arno, who returned it with a much tighter one. He greeted the older man, never once betraying the fact that he was uncomfortable in his presence.

 

Tu as enfin une fille à ton bras!” The man said to him and Arno’s smile wasn’t as tight as before.

 

“This is Alex Donatien François,” Arno said, turning to you.

 

The man shook the girls off his arms and you extended your hand to shake his but instead he kissed it. You heard Lucie snort behind you.

 

“Such a delight to finally meet you!” Alex said. “I’ve heard whispers about you and didn’t believe them… But now that I’ve seen you….”

 

He scanned you, his eyes moving up and down and seemed surprised when you met his gaze without any discomfort.

 

“This is a beautiful club,” you complimented. “I see you’re a man of taste. I love the outfits too.”

 

You regarded the women who were behind him, finding them both to be incredibly beautiful. You smiled at them, but they just stared at you in return and you figured that they didn’t understand or speak a word of English.

 

Merci, chérie…” He replied. “And I see you’re quite the charmer. No wonder he’s so smitten.”

 

He looked at Arno with a smirk, but he didn’t deny any of what Alex had said.

 

“Well, enjoy the party,” Alex continued. “C’est un plaisir de vous rencontrer.”

 

He kissed your hand again and the girls obediently followed after him. Something about that man was off, but you didn’t bother too much with it. Arno didn’t like the second kiss you received on your hand, but smiled politely at Donatien.

 

You finally headed to your own booth in the lavish club. Thierry and Lucie were already making out at the dance floor while dancing and you wondered when they’d left. You took a seat next to Nicholas who already had a beer in hand and Arno sat on your other side. Thomas was nowhere to be seen and you thought to yourself that he was probably with some girl. He had a gorgeous physique.

 

“Do you want anything to drink?” Arno asked, leaning in close to you.

 

The proximity took your breath away and you could feel your heart beating rapidly in your chest.

 

“Could I please have a gin and tonic?” You requested politely.

 

He nodded, giving you a warm smile before leaving to get your drink. While he was gone you took the chance to look around the club. It wasn’t too packed – not like you were used to – but it wasn’t empty either, since it was a private party. You observed the different men and women dancing before your eyes locked with a woman sitting on a high bar stool, her legs crossed and dressed in a short black cocktail dress.

 

She was beautiful and had her long red hair done up elaborately. There was a brunette woman next to her, standing with a drink and talking to her. Yet, when the red haired woman saw you she didn't seem to be listening to her friend anymore. Her friend turned, her tight sparkly dress catching in the light as she did so. When the friend caught sight of you, her mouth fell open slightly.

 

You were confused by their reactions, yet something about the red haired woman seemed familiar – like you had seen her somewhere before. You couldn’t quite figure it out and you wracked your brain, trying to figure it out. Was she a model you’d worked with? An actress? Another bride? You couldn’t remember, but one thing was certain. You had definitely seen her before.

 

The woman continued to stare, her gaze transfixed. You were uncomfortable underneath her scrutinising gaze, but you didn’t look away. Finally, Arno returned, which brought your focus back onto him. He was holding your drink, along with a glass of red wine. Upon his return, the woman on the stool abruptly stood up, giving you a furious glare before she turned and left. Her friend scurried after her and you frowned, but decided to let it go and focused on Arno.

 

He sat down next to you and soon Nicholas was dragged away by a gorgeous brunette and the two of you were finally alone. You sipped your gin and tonic, waiting for the alcohol to relax you and put you in the mood. The club was incredibly gorgeous to look at and so was the man next to you, who you could feel wasn’t taking his eyes off you. But you weren’t the type of girl to sit idly in clubs. Especially not in clubs as sexy as this one.

 

The next song was perfect for you and the alcohol was finally pumping. You got up and turned to Arno, offering your hand. You were actually surprised when he accepted it and he was the one to lead you to the dance floor. You didn’t think he would, as your ex, the one who shattered your heart, never danced with you at clubs – or anywhere, in fact.

 

He was standing behind you, with his arms around your waist and his lips by your ear. You danced together sensually, and he moved your hair aside, giving him space to press his lips against your neck. You lost yourself in the beat, the song intensifying and adding to the pull you’d both felt ever since the you first met. Lucie and Thierry were dancing nearby and she tugged on his sleeve, motioning to you and Arno. Lucie believed that was it, the defining moment. She thought he would turn you around and kiss you. The signs were there, but neither of you made a move.

 

Yet. The night had barely just begun.

 


 

You left L’arc at around 2 AM. Lucie and Thierry joined you, but Nicholas and Thomas elected to stay. You were a little tipsy and that made you much more aware of the palpable tension between you and Arno. You saw the red haired girl and her friend again before making your exit of the club. They were entering a black Mercedes coupe parked behind Thierry’s Audi. You continued to wonder about where you had seen her, but your thoughts were interrupted by Arno’s gorgeous smell enveloping you.

 

It wasn’t dark chocolate and coffee this time - it was something else masking that scent. You guessed it was probably YSL La nuit de l’homme. It was your favourite male perfume. Elisabeth had teased you back when you bought a bottle of it, saying that you needed a man desperately. Oh Elisabeth, you little hoe, you had told her. He smelled so beautiful though, that you completely forgot the familiar girl and her friend.

 

You all arrived at Le Perchoir in the Marais district of Paris. The throng of partygoers were filling the street leading to the club, and music could be heard from the rooftop. You felt amazing and decided that this was definitely the best night of your life. You loved partying, and while you and Elisabeth were no strangers to exclusive clubs, this was majestic for you. You felt like a queen. You had always waited in lines with Elisabeth, and thanks to your roommate’s charm you always got in before the others. But this time you were let in with no questions asked. She’s gonna be so jealous when I tell her, you thought to yourself with a smirk.

 

The rooftop club was amazing and you couldn’t believe your luck. From up there you could see the light emanating from the Eiffel tower in the distance, as well as the gorgeous exterior of the old buildings surrounding the club. The city of lights was glowing and so were you. In the warm spring air, there were many people present, some sitting and others standing. Everything was painted white and there were small trees planted all around.

 

The rest of the night was spent dancing and drinking and just simply enjoying yourselves. The music was very chilled – not like the usual hard-core techno stuff you were used to – and it set the mood perfectly. You were so caught up in the incredible atmosphere that you didn’t notice that the girl from L’arc was also there, but Lucie did. She told Thierry and he nodded. They were alert after they took note, but you were unaware of this exchange and the enraged blue eyes that burned into you.

 

The only eyes you could focus on were the warm brown ones that regarded you with a soft affection and awe. You hadn’t drunk too much and you wanted to remember this night forever – every single tiny detail. Arno never left you alone, his burning gaze never faltered and his touch was just as electrifying as the first. You shivered, but it wasn’t from the cold. His presence was so incredibly overwhelming for you, that it was hard for you to keep a straight head. It would be so easy to succumb to him and simply relish in his company.

 

The defining moment announced itself when the DJ played the last song for the night. Dawn was fast approaching and the party was drawing to a close. You danced with him, his hands wrapped around your waist and your faces close to one another. His grip on your hips was gradually tightening and your lips were slowly but surely getting closer. The song stopped for a second and that’s when it finally happened. His lips met yours and you thought you were going to explode.

 

His lips were so soft and smooth against yours and his stubble teased your skin, the coarse hair tickling you slightly. His kiss was deep and sensual as he explored the feeling for the first time. He held you tightly, as though he never wanted to let you go. He tasted sweet and his tongue explored your own mouth, making you moan slightly.

 

Lucie and Thierry almost applauded and the girl from L’arc dropped her glass, dousing her friend’s Louboutins with vodka. Her friend exclaimed but the girl paid no notice. She was watching him kissing you like you were everything he had in this world. Her eyes filled with tears and she clenched her hands in fists. Her friend stared at her before huffing and leaving her side. Lucie’s eyes saw this and she smirked, feeling satisfied.

 

He was still kissing you – his lips like a drug – when the red dawn was painting the horizon. Eventually, you broke apart for air and locked gazes before he pressed his forehead against your own. His smile was the most beautiful sight you had ever seen.

 


 

After sharing your first kiss with Arno, things definitely began to move at a breathtaking speed. Even though you hadn’t slept with him yet, there was no question that you were now his. You were sitting with him on his balcony one morning, the two of you enjoying breakfast when his phone rang.

 

Bonjour, maman,” he said pleasantly.

 

Your eyes widened in amazement as you realised he was speaking to his mother. You didn’t understand anything else as he began to speak in rapid French. His voice made it so much more beautiful than the language already was and your gaze was focused on his soft smile. Occasionally he looked at you as you drank your coffee and smoked from your cherry flavoured cigarettes.

 

A bientôt,” he said eventually, finishing the call.

 

“Your mother?” You asked with a smile after he hung up.

 

Oui. She invited us for lunch”

 

You coughed loudly at this, completely taken aback. Lucie didn’t mention this! He smiled at you and got up from his chair, walking towards you. He leant in and kissed your cheek. It wasn’t just any kiss though. His lips lingered against your skin and his fingers ran across your jaw and over the opposite cheek. At first the pressure was light, but gradually it became greater and you were left weak. You shivered slightly, completely at his mercy and from such a simple, yet precise touch.

 

“Pack some clothes,” he told you. “They live in Versailles. It’s a half an hour drive from here.”

 

Once he’d left, you got up to go to your room, but you didn’t start packing straight away. Instead you whipped out your phone and texted Lucie.

 

Lucie he’s taking me to his parent’s house for lunch! You didn’t mention this!

 

Quoi ?!? OMD! Okay stay calm… He’s completely serious about you.

 

WTF do you mean??!?

-

Relax chérie! It’s not a freaking marriage proprosal… Or maybe it is...

-

LUCIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-

Ok, ok calm down... Mon dieu… He was away for a while. Marie hates it when he is. She doesn’t get to see him often. Be polite and dress nicely - but not slutty. Use some French words and offer to clean up after the lunch. You won’t be allowed to, but it is polite.

-

She doesn’t expect a curtsy, right?

 

Non… But a kiss on each cheek is expected. Pay attention when they kiss you on the cheek when you leave. The greater the intensity, the more points you’ve won. Relax. You got this.

-

I can’t believe you didn’t tell me…

-

Umm... I did. ‘Breathtaking speed’, I said. So, you were warned. Bonne chance! If Marie likes you… The whole world will.

 


 

On the drive to Versailles, Arno would press affectionate kisses to your hand and fingers every time you were stopped at a red light. You tried to hide your smile at these actions and looked out the window at the breathtakingly beautiful scenery.

 

You were wearing a pair of faded jeans with a white V-necked shirt and a smart black suit jacket with the sleeves slightly rolled up. Paired with this, you wore black stiletto heels and carried a blood red clutch bag. Arno wore all black again – a simple t-shirt and slacks with a long coat and pull on boots.

 

When you passed the palace of Versailles, you were in awe, looking at it with wonder. It was so magnificent and you couldn’t wait to properly explore it.

 

“I’ll take you there tomorrow,” Arno said softly, as though he was reading your thoughts.

 

You beamed at his words, showing him your gratitude. You’d been expecting a simple house, but when you arrived you saw a grandiose chateau instead. He parked near the entrance and you looked up at the impressive structure. It was so elegant and beautiful – you couldn't believe your eyes. Arno opened the car door for you – something you were quickly getting accustomed to – and helped you out. However, instead of leading you toward the house, he gently pinned you up against the car and kissed you passionately.

 

You hadn’t been expecting this at all and your mouth opened in a gasp. He used this to his advantage, deepening the kiss. He had one hand on your hip, while the other was caressing your cheek. His soft lips moved in a sensuous rhythm over yours and his stubble teased your soft skin.

 

“Easy son,” a voice interrupted. “There’s plenty of time for that. We want to meet her.”

 

Arno pulled away from what would have surely escalated into a very heated kiss against the car door. You were so startled from the fact that someone had seen you, that you lightly pushed Arno so that he was completely off you. He laughed at the fact that you were now as red as your clutch bag. The man, who you assumed was Arno’s father, Charles, walked down the stone steps at the entrance of the house and embraced his son tightly.

 

You caught sight of another man with a rugged appearance who looked thoroughly amused.

“Nicely done pisspot,” the rugged man said to Arno. “You’ve always been more romantic than your father.”

 

He also approached and hugged Arno, the two of them patting each other on the back. You approached the three men slowly and Arno took your hand in his.

 

“This is - ” he was interrupted by a melodic female voice.

 

“The girl I’ve longed to meet,” the woman said.

 

You looked up and almost did a double take. It was Marie Dorian, one of the French haute couture designers that use genuine spider silk for their dress designs. You almost fainted – you had always wanted to meet her and now here she was, standing in front of you and looking like a queen. Two maids stood behind her in uniform. She approached her son and kissed both of his cheeks before hugging him. Then, finally she turned to you and you felt like you were going to faint.

 

She wore a simple white spaghetti strapped dress, but the cropped cardigan she wore over the top made the outfit look elegant and beautiful. The material was fairly transparent and made up a delicate floral design. She wore an elaborate diamond necklace, with matching earrings. Her light brown hair fell down in soft waves and the eyeliner she wore made her vivid green eyes stand out even more.

  

“So…” Marie said softly. “You’re the one everyone is talking about.”

 

“Pardon?” You asked, confused.

 

“Everyone in the brotherhood and in this village,” the rugged man explained. “It’s not a custom for every girl to know who we are.”

 

“Thank you Pierre,” Marie said sternly, not looking at the man. “Have you introduced yourself to the girl?”

“Pierre Bellec,” he introduced. “Pleasure to meet you mademoiselle.”

 

He shook your hand and you realised it was the first time you had your hand shaken and not kissed since arriving in France.

 

“Charles...” Marie continued. “You didn’t introduce yourself either did you?”

 

Her husband immediately ran to her side.

 

“You interrupted us Marie I would’ve - ”

 

She interrupted his babble with one look and you extended your hand and introduced yourself.

 

Je suis Marie et c'est mon mari Charles,” Marie introduced herself and her husband in return.  

 

You smiled politely, even though you knew who she was. You tried your hardest to hide your excitement. Arno came back to your side again and took your hand in his.  

 

“Okay mother,” he intervened. “May I take her inside? We won’t stand here all day.” 

 

Certainement,” Marie agreed. “Follow me”  

 

You all headed inside and you marvelled at the incredible interior. Never in your wildest dreams had you imagined being a guest in such a prestigious home. The design emanated the fashion from times past, when the French had influenced the rest of Europe. It was hard not to walk around with your jaw dropped open in awe. Everything was eye-catching and looked to be precious and valuable. If this was Arno’s family home, you knew that the palace would be even more mesmerising. Eventually, you all moved through the living room, where soft classical music played in the background.

 

Arno left you with his mother and the two maids who kept ogling him, joining his father and Bellec in the study. Marie led you through the French doors and out to the enormous garden. A small table and chairs were right outside and you sat down there with Marie, the two maids remaining inside. The classical music could still faintly be heard, drifting through the open doors.

 

“Brigitte, Anne,” Marie called out to the maids. “Bring us - what would you like?”

 

“Um…coffee.” You replied.

 

“Deux cafés.”

 

The maids nodded dutifully, but Brigitte sent you a sour look before leaving. You frowned, wondering just how many girls have given you dirty looks? How many did you have yet to receive?

 

“He never brought a girl here,” Marie revealed. “They never lasted that long. Tell me about yourself.”

 

Marie crossed her legs elegantly and had all of her attention on you. It felt like you were under a microscope.

 

“I’m a makeup artist,” you revealed. “I live at the Ambrosia, where Arno resides currently.”

 

“Ah yes,” Marie nodded. “I’ve never been there to visit him. He’s always moving around the globe. You met there?”

 

“Yes,” you smiled at the memory. “I was preparing to go out with my roommate and I kind of bumped into him.”

 

You almost got caught up in remembering that first encounter and how you’d felt such an instant connection with him. Marie smiled at you and the maids arrived with your coffees. There was something about French coffee that made you want to drink tanks of it. Yet, you reasoned that it could be because Arno always smelt like coffee. Brigitte gave you another sour look, but this time Marie saw her. You startled when she barked something in French and Brigitte jumped like she was burned from something. Marie looked at you apologetically.

 

Je suis vraiment désolé,” she told you. “She’s a very rude girl.” 

 

“It’s alright,” you said politely. “That makes her the second girl to look at me like that.” 

 

“As I said…” Marie smirked. “You’re the first girl to go this far with him. Who was the first girl who looked at you like that?” 

 

You told her about the girl from L’arc and Marie sipped her coffee as she listened. You both lit cigarettes and Marie laughed, seeing that you both smoked the same brand. Cherry flavoured cigarettes. Yet, her eyes narrowed as your description became all too clear to her. 

 

“I know who she is,” Marie said. “She’s the one who wanted to own my son, instead of cherish him. I almost had her killed. After her… he wasn’t the same. But here you are, bringing a smile to his face again.” 

 

You blushed, but were glad that Marie didn’t hate you. Gradually, you relaxed and the two of you continued to chat. Eventually you felt comfortable enough to reveal how much you admired her work and told her how much you’d always wanted to meet her. Marie laughed pleasantly, glad that the two of you had so much in common.  

 

“How come I haven’t seen you work on my runway shows?” 

 

“I’m not that famous Madame Dorian. I’m just a local makeup artist and my roommate is a local hair stylist. We work together on different photo shoots and runway shows and occasionally we do bridal makeup and hairstyles but never for someone as famous as you. It’s been our dream actually to work on one of your runway shows.” 

 

You were speaking dreamily and your eyes sparkled. Marie was then convinced that you were the right girl for her son. The passion you had in your eyes, your etiquette and of course, your excellent dress sense… Marie was thoroughly impressed. 

 

The conversation had turned to a different topic when Arno, his father and Bellec showed up in the garden. Bellec was asking him something but Arno wasn’t listening to him anymore. The only thing he saw was you laughing sweetly at something his mother said.  

 

“Leave him Bellec,” Charles chuckled. “Its pointless to talk to him now.”

 

You soon all had lunch together and Marie continued to bond with you. Remembering Lucie’s advice, you offered to clean up, and that was how you completely won both his parents over. Together, you all drank some wine, and you slowly learned to drink it. You had never liked it much, but the wine offered in the chateau wasn’t so bad.  Eventually you were shown to your room by one of the maids, Anne. Suddenly, you realised that you wouldn’t share a room with Arno, just like you hadn’t shared one in his apartment. As you prepared to enter your room, someone pinned you to the door. Looking up, you saw Arno’s smirk and instantly melted. 

 

“She nagged you all day I can’t believe it.” 

 

“Arno…” You laughed. “Your mother is my idol in fashion design. Why didn’t you tell me?” 

 

You slapped him lightly on the arm and he smiled warmly down at you.  

 

“Cause it’s no big deal.” 

 

“Sorry, but it is for me - and Elisabeth. Oh god… when I tell her where I’ve partied and who I’ve met, she’s going to skin me alive for not bringing her along.” 

 

You chewed your bottom lip worriedly and Arno laughed, reaching out to stroke your cheek. He leant in and kissed you hotly against the bedroom door. It was far more passionate than any previous kiss you’d shared and you found yourself melting in his arms. His hands explored this time, running over your lower stomach and causing a fire to build there.  He ran his fingers tantalisingly up over your arms, leaving a trail of goosebumps in his wake. He then ran them over the top of your breasts, teasing you. His body was pressed closely up to yours and you could feel the hard, defined muscles underneath the layers of clothing. Something about his presence was so comforting as well as alluring. You felt protected and loved when he was with you. You moaned quietly into his mouth and he pulled away.  

 

“Tomorrow, I’m taking you to the palace,” he murmured, running his thumb softly over your now swollen bottom lip. 

 

You grinned excitedly and wrapped your arms around his neck, hugging him. He hugged you to him tightly in return.

 

“I’ve always wanted to go there,” you sighed dreamily. 

 

“Well, looks like it’s your lucky day.” 

 

“Yeah…” you blushed. “I’ve fantasized about kissing there.” 

 

Normally you wouldn’t say such things, but with him every word came out before you could stop it. His smirk was devilish. 

 

“You’ll get more than that ma beauté.” He kissed you again quickly and you were left wondering what he had in mind. 

 


 

 

You couldn’t believe that Arno had arranged for the two of you to have the palace all to yourselves. It was a Monday and he’d not only organised a private tour, but he’d also made sure you’d both be completely alone and left to explore the palace at your leisure. Just how much money and influence did he and his family have? Your head was spinning from it all.

 

You were wearing a striped black and white skirt, with a high waist. Tucked into it was a white button up shirt, with the sleeves rolled up. You wore red flats and also had a long beige coat. Your hair was styled in loose waves and your make-up was simple, yet beautiful. Arno wore an almost identical outfit to the previous day.

 

As you entered the palace, you gazed around you in awe. The interior was such a feast for the eyes. It was impossible to fully take it all in, as even the most miniscule thing was spectacular. One thing was for sure – the French monarchy had certainly lived in style. Gold was used constantly in the interior decoration and the palace was almost like a collection of the greatest, most valuable materials known to man. The hall of mirrors was particularly breathtaking and you gazed around in wonder. It was an architectural masterpiece.

 

When you saw Arno’s hand stretched out in front of you, your full attention was once again focused on him. He was bending down slightly, with his other arm behind his back. His eyes were alight with mischief and his lips were turned up in a soft, playful smile.

 

“May I have this dance, mademoiselle?” He asked.

 

“Arno,” you laughed. “There’s no music.”

 

“Let me guide you, ma bichette,” he said.

 

Gracefully, you accepted his hand and he pulled you flush up against him. His warm brown eyes gazed heatedly into your own and it took your breath away. It never ceased to amaze you that he could affect you just by being in the same room. When he touched you… it was like you lost any sense of self-control. He had you completely under his spell.

 

He twirled you around the hall, mimicking some dance from a time long since passed and hummed a melody under his breath. His eyes never left yours, pulling you in, deeper and deeper. At one point you both stopped dancing all together and just stood, pressed up close to each other and staring into the other’s eyes.

 

The beautiful palace seemed to fade into a blur and all you could see was him. He was more beautiful than all of it. He moved one hand from your waist and brought his fingers to your chin, tilting your head upwards. He ran his thumb over your bottom lip, his gaze a burning fire and then he leant in, closing the distance and capturing your lips with his.

 

There was nothing selfish about his kisses. He worshipped you every time. You melted against him, revelling in the feel of those soft lips and the rough stubble that tickled your cheeks. He held you gently within his arms, cradling you as though you were the most important thing in the entire world.

 

You let out a barely audible whine of protest when he pulled his lips away from yours. He let out an amused chuckle as he pressed his forehead against your own and you could feel his warm breath on your lips. He lightly ran his fingers up and down your waist and you shivered.

 

“Come on, ma bichette,” he softly coaxed. “I still have so much more to show you.”

 

You were reluctant, as you wanted to stay there and kiss him forever. However, you were also curious to see more of the palace and allowed him to lead you onwards. You both explored several rooms, all of them lavish, yet unique. A particular favourite of yours was the Red Velvet Room. You ran your hands over the soft material on the walls, looking them over in amazement.

 

“Did you know that there are 700 rooms in this palace?”

 

You looked at him with wide eyes, blown away by the sheer size of the place.

 

“No,” you shook your head. “I didn’t know that. This is all so incredible...”

 

He smirked and pulled you close to him again, leaning down to speak lowly into your ear.

 

“All those rooms,” he murmured seductively into your ear. “We could have so much fun in those rooms… all 700 of them…”

 

You gasped, holding back a laugh and lightly smacked his arm. He laughed happily, regarding you with affection and you couldn’t help but grin at him in return.

 

“Come with me,” he said gently.

 

He took your hand in his and guided you over to a small balcony. You both stepped outside and you looked down at the view in awe. It looked out over the entrance of the palace and you spotted the renowned black and white marble floor in the courtyard and wondered as to why it was so elaborate.

 

As though reading your thoughts, Arno placed his hands on your waist from behind and pressed up close to you. He moved some of your hair from your neck and placed a kiss there before speaking to you.

 

“They used to have extravagant balls here,” he explained. “That was one of the areas where dancing and mingling would take place.”

 

“It must have been incredible,” you whispered, leaning back against him.

 

He wrapped his arms a little tighter around you and pressed a kiss to your cheek.

 

“Wait until you see the next room,” was all he said.

 

He led you through the corridors until he finally brought you to the room in question. You gasped in awe when you saw inside and jumped with excitement. You quickly entered the large room and looked around with amazement. Golden was the only way you could describe it and the fact that warm sunlight poured in through the windows only enhanced that vision.

 

It was the golden hour and you were standing in a golden room. It was so incredibly beautiful and nothing could have made it any better other than the man standing at the doorway, regarding you with a soft smile. You held out your hand, beckoning for him to come closer. He immediately acquiesced and soon you were in his embrace once again, staring into each other’s eyes as golden light enveloped you both.

 

He led you over to one of the elaborate loveseats and sat down, pulling you onto his lap. He quickly captured your lips in a passionate kiss and his hands were roaming everywhere. His fingers ran up and down your back, sending shivers through your spine. He moved all the way down and squeezed your ass, pulling you closer to him. His fingertips ghosted over your arms, leaving a trail of goosebumps in their wake and he tangled his fingers in your hair, tugging lightly.

 

His kiss was deep, his lips moving slowly over yours in a sensuous motion. His tongue danced with yours before moving tantalisingly over the sensitive roof of your mouth, causing you to moan deeply. Your arms were around his neck and your fingers played with his silky brown hair. Soon, you pulled back, pressing your forehead against his and caught your breath. Your fingers moved down and gently caressed over the scar on his cheek. His eyes fluttered closed and you moved to trace over his lips.

 

“Will you talk to me in French?” You requested softly.

 

“What?” He asked, clearly surprised.

 

“I like hearing you speak in French,” you admitted, looking down.

 

“But you won’t understand me,” he reasoned.

 

“I don’t care,” you replied.

 

He said nothing, continuing to look up at you with a puzzled expression. You became playful and moved off his lap and stifled a laugh at the way he pouted at the loss of contact. You moved across the room, seating yourself on a table with your legs crossed and your arms on either side of you with your back straight. He got up and slowly began to walk towards you.

 

Aimes-tu le son de ma voix ? Est ce que je t’excite ?”

 

Of course, you had no idea about what he was saying. You were simply glad that he was speaking in French as you found his voice irresistible. You simply nodded and grinned widely.

 

Réalises-tu ce que tu me fais ?” He continued.

 

You simply kept nodding and smiling, completely under his spell. Soon enough, he was smirking as he realised the affect this had on you. He was gradually getting closer and closer to you and you were shivering with anticipation. His eyes never left yours and soon enough he was right in front of you, but didn’t touch you at all.

 

Réalises-tu à quel point tes cheveux sont beaux dans la lumière dorée ? À quel point tes yeux sont aguicheurs quand tu me regardes avec tant d’intensité ? Comment tes jambes si sexy m’invitent ?”

 

The words rolled off his tongue and there was no way you could have known what it was he said. Yet, from the tone of his voice and the way he was looking at you, it was clear that his words had a suggestive meaning. He finally reached out to touch you, his fingers running over your thighs.

 

Sais-tu à quel point je veux ces jambes enroulées autour de moi ?”

 

Something about his words seemed very suggestive and you bent down your head, attempting to hide your blush. He immediately reached out and lifted your chin, making you look at him. You could feel yourself relax the moment his gaze met yours.

 

Cela te va-t-il si je t’embrasse maintenant ?”

 

You had no idea what he was saying and just nodded absentmindedly.

 

Oui,” you said softly.

 

Suddenly his lips were on yours and you forgot about everything else. The way he kissed… it was just as good as sex. You were becoming addicted to his kisses that made the rest of the world fade away. He cupped your cheek gently in his hand and slightly tilted your head upwards for a better angle. You ran your hands through his silky hair and he settled in between your legs. You wrapped them around his waist, bringing him closer still and it felt so good to have his body pressed up against your own. He broke the kiss, pressing his forehead against yours and you could feel his warm breath upon your lips.

 

Tu ne sais pas, pas vrai ?” He murmured, making your heart flutter. “Tu n’as aucune idée l’effet que tu as sur moi.”

 

He pressed a kiss to the tip of your nose and then to your cheek, the corner of your mouth and then finally your lips. You pulled him closer, wanting more, but he pulled back before you could kiss him properly.

 

“I want you,” he said huskily.

 

You were too surprised to protest at his use of English.

 

“Here?” You asked with wide eyes.

 

“There’s a bed,” he said with a mischievous grin and a raised brow.

 

“Arno!” You exclaimed. “It’s hundreds of years old! It might collapse! And besides… there’s no way they won’t know…”

 

He stepped closer to you again, his hands on your hips as he stared heatedly into your eyes.

 

“It will be fine, ma bichette,” he assured you. “Trust me.”

 

He had such a pull on you that it was impossible to deny him. Biting down on your bottom lip, you nodded. His smile was soft and then he was leaning forward and taking your lips within his own again. You succumbed to him completely and felt him pick you up in his arms. You were barely aware as he carried you across the room and stepped over the railing.

 

It was only when he laid you down on the elaborate bed that he broke the kiss. You both had swollen lips from his bruising, intense kisses and it made you smile. He reached out, gently smoothing a strand of hair away from your face and then allowed his fingers to softly run down your cheek.

He closed the distance and kissed you slowly, dragging it out and making you squirm underneath him.

 

His lips were firm against yours and they moved in a sensuous rhythm, as though he was pouring his very soul into it. His hands explored every inch of your body and soon he began to remove your clothes as he decided he wanted to feel your naked skin. You startled when he flicked his wrist and his hidden blade was revealed. He looked down, regarding you softly with nothing but adoration and desire in his gaze.

 

“I’ll never hurt you, ma bichette,” he whispered. “Trust me.”

 

You nodded and he traced the blade over the tops of your breasts, teasing your skin with the cold metal. The sensation caused you to shiver with anticipation. In a sudden move, he ran the blade down over your shirt, tearing it open in one quick strike. He pried the fabric open and then placed the blade underneath your bra and sliced that open too.

 

He removed the clothing slowly, as though to tease himself and once your naked chest was revealed to him, he let out a low groan of satisfaction. Suddenly, it was like he couldn’t hold back anymore and he grasped your breasts in his bare hands, enjoying the feeling as he squeezed them.

 

He leant down, peppering kisses down your neck as his fingers teased your nipples. Soon they were erect and as his mouth reached one of your breasts he closed his lips over one of the stimulated buds and sucked down hard. You moaned, tangling your fingers into his hair as he worshipped your breasts – squeezing, sucking, massaging, licking…

 

His fingers alternated between firm movements and soft, feather-light caresses. You were squirming wildly underneath him and when he moved one hand downwards, burying it underneath your skirt and pushing your panties to the side, he groaned again. His fingers began to caress your smooth pussy, expertly stroking your wet folds and clit, bringing you to the edge until you came hard. He continued his languid stokes until you had settled, and then he leant back up, pressing kisses all over your face before finally pressing a quick kiss to your lips. He rested his forehead against your own.

 

“Let me worship you,” he requested, whispering against your lips. “You deserve that and so much more. I want to make this special.”

 

You nodded ever so slightly, your eyes fluttering shut. He pressed another lingering kiss to your cheek before moving back down your body. He quickly got rid of the rest of your clothing, which caused you to shiver slightly as the cold air hit you. He moved back for a short moment, his eyes glazing over as he took the opportunity to fully appreciate your form.

 

Goosebumps rose up all over your body and he quickly pressed his body against yours, offering you his warmth. His hands ran up and down your arms, trying to get rid of the chill while his lips left a burning trail of fire along your skin. He moved down over your stomach and paid special attention there. His fingers caressed your softness and his lips continued to worship you – just as he’d promised.

 

He flicked his tongue out constantly, tasting your skin and you squirmed at the sensation. Yet, still, he continued lower and lower. He pulled back suddenly, gazing heatedly into your eyes. He never broke your gaze as his hands began to slowly spread your thighs open. He never once looked away, those warm chocolate eyes burning into your own as he bent down in between your legs.

 

He only looked away when he focused on your already wet entrance and smirked in approval. He reached out, running a single finger along your slit, spreading your juices.

 

“Mmmm,” he hummed. “It’s like a sweet nectar.”

 

He lifted his finger up to his lips and tasted you, his eyes once again meeting yours.

 

“Tastes even better than I expected,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy this.”

 

You barely had time to register his words when he was using his fingers to spread your juices upwards, rubbing them over your clit. In mere seconds, his mouth was over the swollen little nub, his lips sucking and his tongue slowly caressing as it ran up and down your clit and occasionally swirled around it in circles.

 

Your back arched and you let out a startled cry. You had never felt anything so good. He was being torturously slow and your sensitive body couldn’t handle it. You tugged on his hair, needing something to grasp onto.

 

“Arno!” You cried out. “Please! I need more!”

 

He obeyed instantly, as if he’d been waiting for those words. His tongue began flicking rapidly, at an almost inhumane speed. Your hips bucked and he placed his hands over them to steady you. Suddenly, he sucked down hard, drawing it out and you came with a scream. Your cum seemed to gush out of you and he moved down to your entrance, lapping it up greedily.

 

The new sensation, coupled with his stubble teasing your sensitive flesh caused wave after wave to overcome you. When your body finally calmed, you were panting and sweating slightly. You raised one hand to rest over your eyes, completely overwhelmed by the powerful orgasm. You felt his body move upwards and he gently pulled your hand away.

 

“This is only the beginning, ma bichette,” he told you softly. “Take a short rest, but don’t fall asleep.”

 

You opened your eyes and gazed at him heatedly.

 

“How can I fall asleep after that?” You countered. “God, Arno…”

 

He smirked, leaning down to nuzzle his nose against your own.

 

“I’ve never seen anything so beautiful,” he mumbled. “As you coming undone.”

 

He settled beside you as you took a moment to collect yourself. His fingers ran down your body, enjoying the feel of your soft skin. When you looked into his eyes they were full of adoration, but you took note of something else. He was still fully clothed and that had to be amended immediately. You moved to sit up, but he quickly coaxed you back down again.

 

Non,” he said lowly. “I want to worship you tonight. You’re not allowed to move, unless it’s in the throes of pleasure.”

 

“You’re still clothed,” you protested. “It’s only fair…”

 

“I suppose I can make one exception,” he grinned, pressing another quick kiss to your lips.

 

He pulled away, allowing you to sit up and you quickly moved over to him, running your hands down his clothed chest. You wanted to rip the clothes off him, but reasoned with yourself, no matter how hard it was. This was the first time his naked body would be revealed to you. You wanted to savour it.

 

Torturing you both, you began to slowly remove his coat. His eyes never left yours, watching you intently as you undressed him. Soon, he was shirtless and you couldn’t resist. You leant forward, kissing his neck and inhaling his scent of dark chocolate and espresso. His breath hitched and he ran his fingers through your hair as you continued to kiss down his chest.

 

Your lips explored every inch of his chest, worshipping him as he had done to you. The fine brown hair there turned you on in a way you’d never thought possible. You continued your descent until you reached the waistband of his pants. You pulled away, taking in the entirety of his chiselled chest. Your breath hitched at how perfect he was and you began to make quick work of his trousers.

 

You were impatient now, wanting to see all of him. You unbuckled his belt and then unzipped his pants, pulling them down. You palmed your hand over him through his underwear and his hips bucked. You quickly pulled them down too and your heart skipped a beat when you saw how large he was. He was already erect and the sight turned you on like nothing else.

 

You finished your task and soon you were both fully naked. You had never seen such a flawless sight. He was greater than any sculpture – he was a living work of art. His cock was so hard that it looked painful for him and you reached out, but he stopped you by grabbing your wrist.

 

“I made an exception,” he warned. “But this is about you.”

 

“Arno…” you protested. “I want to touch you too.”

 

“Not yet,” was all he said.

 

In mere moments you were trapped underneath him and he was holding your wrists above your head, looking down at you with concern.

 

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he said softly.

 

“You won’t,” you assured him.

 

“Will you tell me if I do?” He requested.

 

“Yes,” you agreed impatiently. “Please, Arno, I need you.”

 

He seemed to need you just as badly, as he instantly positioned his cock at your entrance. Yet, he didn’t enter you. Instead, he slowly moved his cock up and down, gliding over your entrance and your clit, spreading your wetness all over his erection.

 

“Arno!” You moaned. “Please!”

 

He groaned and entered you. It felt so good and you bit down so hard on your lip that you tasted blood. He immediately bent down, taking your lips in his and flicking his tongue over the small wound and licking it clean. He kissed you lovingly and his hands cradled your cheeks as he began to move within you. He was so gentle, as though you were the most precious thing in the world to him.

 

And you were.

 

He began to move at a very precise pace, starting off slow and letting your arousal build naturally. His thrusts were shallow and they felt deliciously good. But then, suddenly it wasn’t enough.

 

“Please…” you whimpered, pulling away from his kiss. “More…”

 

He didn’t need to be told twice. You were so slick that it was easy for him to pull out and then slam right back into you again. Your head fell back onto the pillows and you let out a loud, drawn out moan.

 

“That’s it, ma mie,” he coaxed. “I want to hear everything.”

 

He began to pump in and out of you in a deep, fast pace. You spread your legs impossibly wide and your back arched up. His hands reached out to grab hold of your breasts, massaging them again.

 

“Fuck!” You cursed. “You’re so big!”

 

You loved the way he filled you. He let out a dark chuckle and playfully slapped your thigh.

 

Language,” he chided.

 

You narrowed your eyes at him, but he only smirked in response. You pulled him closer to you and captured his lips in a fierce kiss. He continued thrusting in and out, his balls slapping against your ass. You could hear him moving in and out, due to the sound his cock made as it thrust within your slick walls.

 

Your breasts were pushed up against his chest and he kissed you hotly. His tongue was thrusting wildly inside your mouth, imitating the movements of his cock. He managed to hit that specific spot inside of you and you pulled away with a loud moan. He looked down at you, his gaze dark, heated and full of lust.

 

“I’m close,” you panted breathlessly.

 

He pulled back, one hand taking hold of yours and entwined your fingers together. The other moved down to your pussy, his fingers rubbing furiously over your clit.

 

“Cum, ma mie,” he commanded, looking deeply into your eyes. “Cum all over my cock.”

 

His words pushed you over the edge and your walls tightened around him. Your orgasm was powerful and your back arched up off the bed until you were almost sitting upright. He pulled out of you, already too close himself. He gently pressed you back down and pumped his hand over his cock a few times, until he came all over your breasts and stomach.

 

You were surprised by the amount, as it seemed never ending. His head was thrown back, with his eyes squeezed shut as he found his release. When the last of his hot cum had leaked out, he looked down at you. His eyes were still heated as he saw his seed all over you, marking you as his.

 

Your body twitched as he bent down, licking you clean, never missing a spot. When he was done, he lay down beside you and pulled you into his arms. He traced light patterns over your back as you rested your head on his chest. You could hear the way his heart still beat erratically in his chest, but it gradually slowed until it was a comforting rhythm. The two of you stayed like that for some time, his arms wrapped tightly around you.

 

It was dark by the time you both got dressed, with you wrapping your coat around you, since your shirt and bra were now ruined. He led you outside to the gardens and there wasn’t a single person around. He held your hand in his own and a low mist hung over the famous grounds, creating a beautiful atmosphere.

 

“Did you enjoy yourself?” Arno asked from beside you.

 

“Yes,” you nodded. “But I want you to continue speaking in French now.”

 

“But it’s ridiculous,” he laughed. “I don’t get any responses from you when I speak in French.”

 

“I don’t care, Arno,” you said earnestly. “You sound gorgeous, no matter what you’re saying.”

 

He laughed that beautiful laugh of his and you melted. He pulled you into his arms, his wrapped around your waist, while yours were around his neck.

 

“How about a game, then?” He suggested, looking deeply into your eyes.

 

“What kind of game?” You asked.

 

“I will say a simple sentence,” he explained. “If you can correctly guess what I’ve said, you can be rewarded with a kiss.”

 

“Oh, I’m all for that,” you agreed.

 

Je t’aime,” he said.

 

“I love you,” you smiled, not caring that it was so simple. His words touched your heart.

 

He smiled softly and leant in, kissing you sweetly. It was over all to quickly as he moved on and said the next sentence.

 

Je te veux,” he continued.

 

And suddenly you were stumped. What could that mean? You decided to simply take a shot in the dark.

 

“I… I want you?” You guessed.

 

You were rewarded with another kiss and your confidence grew. This wasn’t hard at all and you were loving his kisses.

 

J’ai besoin de toi.”

 

“I want to kiss you?”

 

He shook his head and you pouted, knowing that you would miss out on one of those heart-stopping kisses.

 

Je te plaquerai contre ce mur,” he went on, leaving no hope for you. “Je ne vais pas encore te toucher. À la place je vais t’observer. Observer ce qui sera miens dans quelques secondes.”

 

“Arno… this is unfair!”

 

Regarde toi…” he smirked. “Je n’ai pas vraiment besoin de faire quoique ce soit.”

 

The look in his eyes was heated and suggestive and suddenly you desired him again. He began to slowly back you up, close to the palace wall. You were entranced by him and nodded dumbly to everything that he said.

 

Tu fais de l’hyperventilation... J’aime voir tes seins se soulever et se baisser aussi fortement…”

 

He was staring down at your breasts and you bit down onto your bottom lip. He placed a hand over your chest and you found yourself completely under his spell.

 

Ton coeur bat vite et tu essaies de reprendre ton soufflé. Tu n’as aucune idée de ce que je dis, mais regarde comment cela t’affecte…”

 

Suddenly he was dragging a finger across your lips and your eyes were hooded with lust.

 

Si jamène mes lèvres sur les tiennes…”

 

His hand squeezed your hip.

 

Si j’appuie un peu plus ici…”

 

You were now pressed against the wall, with his body caging yours. He was pressed right up against you and you thought that you would go mad with desire.

 

Tu m’as déjà succombé. Tu es déjà à moi, n’est ce pas ? Tu l’étais depuis le début, depuise premier moment où nos yeux se sont croisés. Tu as toujours été mienne. N’est-ce pas vrai ?”

 

You couldn’t take it anymore and leant forward to kiss him. You groaned in frustration when he pulled away, a teasing look in his eyes.

 

Non, non, as-tu oublié notre jeu ?”

 

Suddenly you remembered the game and became frustrated. You just wanted to kiss him. You were desperate for it. They were like a drug and you were an addict. They shook you to the core. You huffed and turned your back to him and heard him chuckle before silence surrounded you.

 

“Arno?” You asked, turning around.

 

He wasn’t there and so you looked all around you. Yet, still he was nowhere to be seen. Panic began to creep up on you, as you were alone in this misty garden and didn’t know the area very well. Slowly, you began to try and retrace your steps when the smell of dark chocolate and espresso enveloped itself around you.

 

Arms wrapped themselves around your waist from behind and you were pulled into a hard, muscular chest. You felt his stubble along your neck as he slowly kissed you there. You relaxed against him and relished in the feelings he elicited within you. Eventually, he turned you around and handed you a single red rose, the colour of blood.

 

“You shouldn’t get angry so easily,” he told you.

 

You blushed, realising you’d acted like a brat, but he just captured your lips in a loving kiss.

 

“It’s best if we head back to the chateau,” he murmured.

 

You nodded and he led you back out of the palace grounds. You walked back to the chateau, hand in hand, wandering through the streets of Versailles. It was a beautiful city – like a piece out of history. Darkness enveloped the estate when you arrived and Marie was there to greet you both. She smiled knowingly at you, taking note of your wrinkled clothing, tousled hair and swollen lips. You blushed under her gaze and looked downwards, as Marie’s eyes then drifted to her son. Her lips turned up into a smirk and Arno was confused by his mother’s staring.

 

“What is it, mother?” he asked.

 

“Son,” she chuckled. “When did you start wearing lipstick? I love you and all… but you should’ve told me.”

 

Arno bewilderedly lifted his fingers to his lips, his brow furrowed in confusion. You and Marie burst into laughter and he wasn’t too happy but gently squeezed your ass when his mother wasn’t looking.

 

“There will be repercussions for this laughter,” he growled into your ear.

 

You shuddered and couldn’t wait for him to fulfil that promise. He wiped off the lipstick and you all walked into the dining room, ready to sit down and have dinner together. You were treated to Boeuf Bourguignon for the first time and the rich French stew made with red wine was delectable. You conversed politely throughout the meal, but once it was over Arno was quick to whisk you away.

 

You were expecting him to kiss you before disappearing into his own bedroom, but that wasn’t to be the case. Instead, he opened the door of the guest bedroom, where you were staying, and pulled you inside with him. He pressed you up against the door and kissed you like a man starved. You immediately relaxed within his hold and he moved his hands down to your hips before pressing closer.

 

“I could do anything to you, right now,” he murmured against your lips. “Couldn’t I? You wouldn’t even put up a fight.”

 

You shook your head fervently, silently telling him that he could do whatever he wanted to you. He chuckled and nuzzled his nose against yours.

 

“So ready… so willing… and mine for the taking.”

 

He gently moved you so that you were with your chest pressed up against the door and your back was to him. Slowly, he lifted your skirt up, inch by inch, moving torturously slow.

 

“You look beautiful today,” he complimented. “But I like you even better with all this off.”

 

When your rear was finally revealed to him, he let out a shaky breath. He took a moment to observe you, denying you from the pleasure of feeling his electrifying touch.

 

“Arno…” you moaned out.

 

“So impatient, ma mie.”

 

He reached out and began to caress your upper thighs. His touch was as light as a feather and you groaned in frustration, needing more. He tutted at your behaviour, but you could tell that he was amused. His fingers continued to creep up higher and higher, as your breathing quickened. It felt like an eternity had passed, but finally, finally his fingers came into contact with your dripping wet core. You let out a long moan and could have sworn that his own breathing faltered.

 

“So wet already?” He asked.

 

His voice was steady, but you knew that he was just as turned on as you were. He spread you with his fingers before thrusting them in quickly. He flicked his wrist and you moaned deeply. The action had allowed his thumb to come into contact with your clit, rubbing sensuously over the little button.

 

You bit down on your lip, and thrust your hips trying to create more friction. His free hand quickly grabbed hold of your hip, steadying you and his fingers stopped moving inside you as he leant down. His chest came into contact with your back and he brought his mouth close to your ear, speaking lowly to you.

 

“Don’t you dare move,” he warned. “I’m in control. Let me enjoy this.”

 

You were a little thrown off by his dominating behaviour, but your arousal was clouding your mind. He suddenly nipped at your neck and you startled.

 

“Do you understand?” He asked.

 

You nodded quickly and he pulled back, away from you. You let out a quiet sound of protest when he pulled his fingers out of you, but you didn’t dare moved as you remembered his order. He pulled away completely and you were left to wonder what he was doing. But then his hands came into contact with your hips and he gently turned you around.

 

“Sit on the bed,” he commanded.”

 

You immediately obeyed and he followed after you. Once you were sitting, he spread your legs and settled in between them. His lips came into contact with yours, his mouth instantly taking command, his kiss dominating and possessive. He moved your legs to wrap around his waist and pressed his body against yours.

 

His tongue was moving sensuously within your mouth, battling yours for dominance. His hands tightened their grip on your thighs before moving to your lower back and pressing you impossibly closer to him. You felt his prominent erection and let out a moan as it brushed against your core. You forgot his earlier command and reached out to run your fingers through his silky hair.

 

His reaction was immediate.

 

He pulled away from you, his expression stern, but his eyes alight with playfulness.

 

“I thought I told you to stay still,” he reprimanded.

 

You bit your bottom lip, immensely turned on and nodded, showing that you would obey. His hands moved back down, coming to rest on your inner thighs. He teased you, caressing the soft skin lightly as he inched higher and higher. You moaned, eyes fluttering closed, but his voice broke you out of your euphoria.

 

“You’re not allowed to cum until I tell you to.”

 

Your eyes widened, wondering if that was even possible with him. Yet, you nodded anyway and he leant forward and pressed a quick, affectionate kiss to your lips. Then, he leant down, spreading your legs even wider. You watched with bated breath as he looked at your entrance. His tongue darted out, wetting his lips, and a million thoughts rushed into your mind regarding what you wanted that tongue to do to you.

 

“So, so wet,” he observed. “You’re quite a naughty girl, aren’t you, ma bichette?”

 

You nodded, your eyes hooded with a fiery lust.

 

“Only for you,” you responded breathlessly.

 

“That’s right,” he agreed.

 

He rewarded you by leaning forward, his tongue darting out quickly to flit against your clit, before retreating again. You moaned deeply and loudly at the action, wanting him to just get on with it already.

 

“Remember,” he warned. “You can only cum when I give you permission.”

 

You nodded, barely stopping yourself from giving in. He licked against your clit again and again, alternating between flattening his tongue and flicking it over the bud. You wanted so desperately to run your hands through his hair, but resisted. When his lips moved to suck on your clit you cried out.

 

It was too good… too much. You didn’t think you could resist the urge to come undone. When his fingers entered you again, thrusting in and out at a sinfully fast pace, your resolve failed you. You cried out, your back arching and your eyes squeezing shut.

 

He continued licking, sucking and thrusting, on and on until your body stilled. He looked up at you then, pulling his wet fingers out of you. You whimpered underneath his stern gaze and he moved up until he was looking right down into your eyes, his lips inches from yours. He was gentle, but you didn’t let your guard down. He lifted up the hand that had not been inside of you and brushed your hair away from your face.

 

“If you want to defy me,” he said darkly. “You’ll have to face the consequences.”

 

This dominant side of him was turning you on to no end and suddenly you didn’t care. You closed the distance, pressing your lips against his hungrily. For a short moment he gave in, his hand moving downwards to hold tightly to your waist. He quickly asserted control over you, leaving you breathless.

 

When he pulled away from your lips, his kisses moved down to your neck. Your head fell back, granting him greater access. He licked, sucked and bit against your skin – and you let him. Because it felt so good.

 

“Arno…” you pleaded.

 

“I said you have to face the consequences,” he reiterated.

 

Your eyes never left him as he moved to sit beside you on the bed and pat his lap invitingly.

 

“Come here,” he ordered, eyes hooded as he gave you his undivided attention.

 

You moved over and as soon as you were close enough, he pulled you over his lap so that you were face down. His hand came to rest over your ass, now covered by your skirt again. He pulled it up around your hips and then ripped your panties with his bare hands. You gasped and he began to gently caress your cheeks, causing you to let out another moan.

 

Your eyes widened when his other hand appeared in front of your lips, his fingers still wet from your earlier orgasm. He thrust them into your mouth at the same time as his other hand came into contact with your ass, slapping down hard.

 

You moaned, obediently licking your juices from his fingers as they continued to thrust in and out of your mouth. He delivered several slaps to your ass, but after each one he stopped to briefly soothe the abused flesh before coming down hard again. It wasn’t really all that painful, as the pleasure was too great for you to register anything else. Suddenly, he stopped, and his fingers gently soothed your skin, while the other left your mouth.

 

“Seems this isn’t really a punishment,” he commented.

 

His fingers delved lower, coming into contact with your pussy, seeing how wet you were.

 

“You’re absolutely dripping, ma bichette,” he chuckled darkly. “Are you enjoying this?”

 

“Yes,” you breathed out. “Arno… I need you.”

 

“Hmm,” he considered this. “But have you learnt your lesson?”

 

“Yes!” You nodded quickly.

 

Non,” he said lowly. “I don’t think you have. Get on your knees.”

 

Your legs were shaky as you tried to stand up, but Arno gently assisted you, taking hold of your hips and slowly guiding you downwards. You settled onto your knees in front of him and chanced a glance upwards. His eyes were dark with lust, but your own were fixated on the bulge that was tenting his pants. He was almost fully erect and you licked your lips in anticipation.

 

He had teased you for long enough, so you decided to return the favour a little. Leaning up slightly, your gaze roved over his clothed thighs. Your eyes lingered there, loving the way you could see the defined muscles, even through the material. You ran your hands slowly up and down, teasing both of you. He spread his legs a little wider, invitingly, and you couldn’t wait until his pants were out of the way.

 

When your hands came into contact with his clothed erection, his reaction was instant. His hips bucked forwards, thrusting into your hand. You looked up again, only to find him watching you with his lips slightly parted. His eyes were filled with awe, like he was worshipping your very existence. As though you were his queen, his empress, his goddess… as though he were the earth and you were the sun.

 

You slowly unzipped his trousers and he lifted up his hips to help you pull them off completely. You licked your lips when you saw his erect cock in front of you, but first you wanted to focus on his thighs. You shifted your attention to them, now that there was no clothing in the way.

 

The muscles were even more pronounced and you instantly reached out, running your hands over the smooth skin, feeling one or two scars. He was perfect… as though he was sculpted just for you. The muscles twitched slightly underneath your touch and his breath came out in heavy pants.

 

You moved forward, your mouth dangerously close to his cock, but not actually making contact. You looked up again and he was watching you with anticipation. You grinned, slowly licking from the base to the tip, your eyes never leaving his. When you swirled your tongue teasingly around the tip his eyes squeezed shut.

 

You stifled a laugh at how easily the roles had been reversed. Moving your mouth away from him, you stood up instead. His eyes shot open and he looked at you questioningly. You began to undress, slowly peeling the layers off, as he watched you hungrily. Once you were bare before him, he reached out, wanting to touch you. You stepped back and he looked up at you, his eyes glazed with desire.

 

Ma mie…” he breathed out.

 

You relented, stepping forward again and kissing him passionately. You moved to sit in his lap and positioned his cock at your entrance. You both threw your heads back, collectively moaning when he entered you fully. He reached out to grab hold of your waist and this time you let him touch you. He guided you as you rotated your hips and he thrust up into you at a fast pace.

 

His eyes were hotter than fire – they burned like the centre of the sun. They burned into you with countless emotions and he only broke your gaze to look downwards, watching as he entered you over and over again. Then, his eyes slowly moved upwards over your body until the settled on your breasts. He let out a long, shaky breath and moved forwards to capture one of your nipples with his lips.

 

One of his hands came up to squeeze and caress your other breast. His tongue was flicking out over one nipple while his finger moved over the other. Your movements over his cock quickened as the sensations became overwhelming. His teeth gently scraped over your nipple and you cried out.

 

His thumb rubbed relentlessly over your clit, while his cock thrust into you, losing any semblance of pace. And his mouth… his tongue and lips were worshipping your breasts. He lifted his head up, squeezing one breast and flicking his thumb over your nipple.

 

“Cum,” he commanded, voice deep and husky.

 

And you did. You threw your head back and screamed out his name as your release washed over you. He waited until you had settled and then stood up with himself still buried inside of you. He moved so that you were lying down on the bed and his hands moved back to grasp onto your hips.

 

He thrust into you at such a fast pace, you never would have thought it possible. His eyes squeezed shut briefly, but then he forced himself to open them and look down at you. You could see the moment when his release crept up on him and he suddenly pulled out. He moved closer and thrust his hand up and down over his cock until he spilt himself all over your breasts.

 

He was breathing heavily, his eyes darker than ever as they bore into your own. When he’d recovered, he pulled you up and settled you both down properly on the bed. He kept you within his arms and showered you with affectionate kisses. You fell asleep in his arms, never having felt so loved and protected in all your life.

 


 

The sky was a canvas of warm colours as dusk fell over the land. You were in the large garden of Arno’s parents’ estate. You were sitting in his lap as the two of you kissed and cuddled. Marie, Charles and Bellec were all inside, so the two of you were enjoying some time alone. He caressed your waist as he kissed you passionately and you realised that you’d never felt so content as you were with him.

 

“It will be dark soon,” he murmured. “Let me show you the vineyard first.”

 

“Okay,” you smiled at him sweetly.

 

You got up from his lap and he began to lead you through the grounds. He was wearing all black – a simple t-shirt, cotton pants and slip-on boots. You were wearing black slacks and a matching suit jacket that had the sleeves rolled up. You also wore a white, V-necked shirt that was tucked into your pants. Your shoes were black ballet flats with a white pom-pom on the front.

 

Eventually you reached the vineyard and Arno began to lead you down the path. You looked around in amazement at the incredibly beautiful landscape. It was so tranquil on his parent’s estate. There were pine trees behind you and rows of grapevines before you. As the two of you walked hand in hand, he began to tell you about the vineyard’s origins.

 

“My grand-père…” he began with a small smile. “He was sick of travelling to the tavern for a decent drink and decided to go into vinification himself. He decided to do everything here, starting with growing the grapes. He became quite a skilled vintner in the end and my grand-mère was happy that he was no longer returning at the crack of dawn, drunk out of his mind. He had a bit of a green thumb and was very passionate about wine. It gave him something to do in his retirement. Though he only made red wine, as that’s all he drank.”

 

You smiled as Arno spoke about his family and realised that he only drank red wine – just like his grandfather.

 

“You know…” you said softly. “I never thought I’d like drinking red wine. It’s always been too sour for me. But here… I love it.”

“You haven’t been drinking quality wine, ma bichette,” he replied, kissing your hand that he held in his.

 

“What does ma bichette mean? You keep calling me that and only now I remember to ask.”

 

“Guess,” he smirked.

 

You pouted, tired of playing that French guessing game after visiting the palace.

 

“Ugh!” You moaned. “Not again!”

 

He laughed and pulled you in close, his gaze burning into yours. He kissed you softly, his lips moving affectionately over yours.

 

“It means darling,” he whispered against your lips.

 

“Wow,” you laughed. “I’ve never been called that before.”

 

“It seems like the list just keeps on growing,” he shook his head.

 

He pulled you close to him and pressed his lips firmly against yours. There was passion and desire, but most prominently there was love. He held you tightly, yet protectively. He was dangerous and a trained killer, but somehow you had never felt more safe than you did with him. His soft lips coaxed yours into yielding to him and you didn’t hesitate. You ran your fingers through his silky hair and he squeezed your waist.

 

His tongue battled against your own, massaging it and causing you to shiver. His stubble was coarse and rough against your skin – the complete opposite to those smooth lips. The kiss was deep and languid, pulling you in deeper and deeper, but you didn’t care anymore. It felt right with him. He pulled away eventually and rested his forehead against your own.

 

“What else have I fulfilled on that list?” He asked softly.

 

He was referring to a list you’d told him about. You had written it some time ago, detailing all of the things your ex had failed to do.

 

“Well, lots of things,” you began counting on your fingers. “The sex in the palace, pet names, dancing in clubs… he never did those things with me.”

 

You looked away, remembering the pain your ex caused you.

 

“That’s why you avoided me that day huh? I knew it. Look at me.”

 

He gently took your chin in his hand and you looked at him through your full, thick lashes.

 

“Whatever he did, he did wrong,” Arno assured you. “I intend to erase him from your mind, completely. With every touch, with every kiss, with every thrust… I will make you forget that he existed. I will make you forget the pain he caused you. And I hope that I meet him one day and show him the meaning of hurting a gorgeous girl like you.”

 

His words made your heart beat rapidly and your knees went weak. The intensity of his gaze and his words shook you to the core. But what shook you the most was what he said next.  

 

Je t’aime. Je t'aimais depuis que je t'ai vu.” 

 

“How sweet,” a sharp feminine voice said from behind you. “If only she could understand what you just said.”

 

Arno had no time to react when you were grabbed by a bulky man in black clothes and pointed a gun to your head. You shrieked but the man put his gloved hand to your mouth. Arno flicked out his hidden blade, ready to attack when the girl showed herself. Your eyes widened in disbelief. It was the red haired girl from L’arc.  

 

“Each sudden movement will cost her. Careful, mon bébé.” She smirked and put her hands on his chest.  

 

“Stop calling me that!” He growled, pushing her away.

 

She simply laughed as Arno glared.  

 

“You moved on quite fast. And I must admit I didn’t think you’d choose this.”  She pointed and looked at you in disgust.

 

The brute holding you in his grip laughed.  

 

“Jealous, huh?” Arno asked. “You should be. She’s everything you will never be, no matter how hard you try.”

 

 Your eyes became impossibly wider and the girl looked like he’d slapped her physically, yet his words were worse than any slap.  

 

“You think I can’t kill her?” She challenged.  

 

Arno wasn’t looking at her, though. He’d caught sight of his father, mother and Bellec slowly walking towards her. The brute was paying attention to her and not to his surroundings and that cost him.  

 

“You’d be dead before you even think about it,” Arno retorted. 

 

As he said this to her, the brute fell dead as a bullet went straight through his brain, knocking him dead on the spot. You screamed as his lifeless body fell down behind you. Bellec and Charles immediately shielded you. 

 

“Are you alright?” Charles asked as he held you in his arms. 

 

You nodded vaguely, your eyes on Arno as he grabbed the woman by the throat and threw her onto the ground. All he saw was red, as one moment he’d been terrified of losing you and now all he wanted was to kill her. It was only when Marie stepped in that he relented. The woman got up from the ground and smirked. You couldn’t believe her behaviour. She’d almost been killed by Arno! How could she act smug? 

 

Bonsoir, Marie,” the woman greeted slyly. “Lovely home you’ve got here. Shame I never actually saw it.” 

 

Au contraire,” Marie bit back. “Thank god you didn’t. Stay away from my son and his girlfriend. Next time I will be the one holding the gun to your head. And it’s Madame Dorian for you.” 

 

Marie’s eyes were twinkling dangerously and suddenly she was scarier than Arno. 

 

“I am everything he needs,” the woman retorted. 

 

“The girl who was always the tomboy?” Marie scoffed. “The girl who was constantly pushed aside? My son is responsible for the status you have now. Don’t forget that.” 

 

“You seem to forget your son was also pushed aside,” the woman sneered. “He was way too much of a pussy. I made him a man!” 

 

At this Marie slapped her hard across the face and you covered your mouth with your hand, eyes wide with shock. 

 

“Get out of my sight,” Marie gritted out. 

 

“You haven’t seen the last of me,” she promised Arno before skulking away. 

 

Once she was gone, Arno enveloped you in his arms and repeatedly kissed you. He pressed kisses to your hair, forehead and cheeks, constantly asking if you were alright. You nodded, too shocked to speak, but enjoying his comforting presence. This was a lot to take in.  

 

“What a god fucked lunacy,” Bellec muttered, shaking his head.   

 


 

The events that had transpired in the vineyard made it all too clear for you what Arno meant by danger being a constant presence in his life. You’d lived ordinarily prior to meeting him. Never in your life had you expected to have a gun held to your head and the fact that it had happened left you feeling shaken. That night he hadn’t stopped kissing and holding you. It was clear to you that he was afraid of losing you and needed to be reassured of your safety.  

 

He promised countless times that it would never happen again. He wouldn’t allow any harm to come to you. However, you knew that it was inevitable, but still you were prepared to accept that. You were willing to go through hell if it meant you could be his and his alone. You knew with every fiber of your being that no one else could love you as he did. No words even had to pass between you for there to be an understanding. The connection you had was unique and precious.  

 

After leaving Versailles, you both returned to Paris. Yet, it was only to properly pack and prepare for the trip home. You had received a bone-crushing hug and lingering kisses on the cheek from his parents and that confirmed what you already knew – they both loved and accepted you. Arno had smiled gently as Marie hugged you. 

 

“I’m preparing for the summer fashion show,” she had said. “I’d very much like to collaborate with you. I saw your portfolio and your roommate’s. I want you in Paris in July.” 

 

You had squealed excitedly and thrown yourself in her arms. Marie chuckled and hugged you back.

 

“Thank you, so, so much Madame Dorian,” you gushed. “I don’t know what to say… It’s my life’s dream! We won’t disappoint you!” 

 

You placed your hands on your cheeks, overwhelmed with joy. 

 

“Please, call me Marie,” she smiled warmly. “I look forward to working with you. You’re always welcomed here, chéri.”  

 

After they had embraced their son and you’d given them a final wave, you’d driven off, headed back for Arno’s Parisian apartment.

 

Later that afternoon in Paris you were both all packed and ready to go. You were both sitting on his couch and drinking wine. It was becoming less and less of a big deal for you to drink it now and you both sipped leisurely whilst enjoying each other’s company. He stroked your thigh and you bit your lip, as even the simplest of touches from him drove you wild. You startled slightly when the front door opened and Lucie, Thierry, Thomas and Nicholas entered the apartment. 

 

“Please don’t go!!” Lucie wailed. You set your glass down on the coffee table and went in to hug her.  

 

“I’m sorry Lucie, but I have a job back home.” 

 

“But… this can be your home!” 

 

“Lucie you’re acting like a big baby…” Nicholas said, rolling his eyes. “She will be back.” 

 

Lucie still hugged you while the guys exchanged pats on the back and less intimate hugs. They conversed in French and Thomas laughed at something Arno told them. 

 

“You should’ve seen our HQ,” Lucie huffed. “And the training areas… and met the others! I should’ve just stayed with you instead of targeting Levesque’s harlots…” 

 

“I’m going to be here in July,” you laughed. “I’ll be sure to call you” 

 

Lucie clapped her hands excitedly and hugged you again. 

 

“Sorry I was a bitch to you when I first met you. But from what I heard that happened in Versailles… you know why I acted like I did.” 

 

“It’s alright Lucie,” you assured her. “What worries me are her last words...” 

 

“Don’t worry,” she soothed. “You’re the only one he sees and the most important thing in his world.” 

 


 

You melted into Arno’s embrace as he gave you one of those heart-stopping kisses. You were both finally back at the Ambrosia, standing out in the hallway and reluctant to leave each other. It was only when you heard wolf whistles and a quiet applause that you both pulled away. All of the Assassins were there except for Edward. 

 

“I told you that the Frenchman is smooth,” Ezio said, nudging Connor.  

 

You blushed, while Arno just smirked and kissed your cheek.  

 

“Where’s Edward?” He asked the others. 

 

“In her apartment,” Jacob supplied, pointing at you. “Doing the explicit version of what you just did.” 

 

You gasped and dropped your bags, walking to your apartment. You were surprised to find the door unlocked and saw Elisabeth and Edward having their brunch, acting all enamoured with one another. She was sitting in his lap, feeding him strawberries from a bowl on the coffee table. Just as she was about to give him another strawberry, Elisabeth saw you and squealed. 

 

Shit!” She exclaimed. “You scared me!” 

 

“So, that’s what you’ve been doing?” 

 

They simply smirked and you rolled your eyes with a small smile of your own.  

 

“Welcome back, lass,” Edward smiled lazily at you.  

 

He was stroking Elisabeth’s back and she leant into his touch, making you cringe. You sensed Arno behind you and he whistled lowly once he caught sight of Elisabeth and his roommate.

 

“Well, Elisabeth,” he said with amusement. “I suppose dreams really do come true, don’t they?” 

 

He smirked at her and then wrapped an arm around your waist.  

 

“Ah, Dorian, you have no idea how right you are…” Elisabeth smirked back. “Besides… it looks like your dreams have come true too.” 

 

“You have no idea,” he smiled, pressing a kiss to your neck. 

 

Suddenly Elisabeth seemed to really gauge the change between the two of you.  

 

“Oh my god!” She exclaimed. “You have to tell me everything!”  

 

She jumped off Edward’s lap and turned to speak politely to him.  

 

“Baby…” she said to him. “I’m gonna have to ask you to leave now. Girl code 101: We need a full report if our BFF was off fucking in Paris!” 

 

You threw your purse at her, but she ducked, successfully avoiding it.

 

“It’s all right,” he smiled at her. “I enjoyed our time together.” 

 

Giving her one last kiss, he moved towards the door. Arno turned you around and kissed you as well. 

 

“Have fun, ma mie,” he murmured. “I’ll see you later.” 

 

Both men left and once they were both out in the hallway you heard another applause. 

 

“Here we have the winners of the month,” Aguilar chuckled lowly. 

 

“You mean the winners of the century,” Ezio corrected. 

 

“I’m almost sorry for you Jacob,” Yusuf laughed at him. 

 

“Cut it out, you idiots,” Connor intervened. “They can still hear you.”  

 

“That’s the whole point dear boy,” Ezio told him.

 

“Come on,” Jacob said with impatience. “I want to hear everything.” 

 

They all entered Altair’s apartment, who closed the door with a slam. 

 


 

 

Elisabeth almost died from a stroke when you told her everything. It was late in the evening when you heard a commotion from the hallway. Elisabeth was over with Edward again and so you left your apartment to investigate. The door of Edward’s flat was open and yelling could be heard. You frowned with worry, wondering what was going on.  Jacob and Connor stood outside of the apartment, not even noticing you, as their attention was fixated upon what was happening inside.

 

Then you heard that poisonous voice that was already becoming familiar. You couldn’t believe your eyes when you approached and saw the red haired woman from France, desperately clinging off from Arno. She was holding a framed photograph, sobbing and speaking in rapid French. Arno was pinching the bridge of his nose, looking extremely agitated. Edward and Elisabeth were nowhere to be seen.  

 

“Is that… her?” Connor asked Jacob quietly.

 

“Yeah,” Jacob shook his head. “She won’t give up… damn Templars…”

 

At the mention of this word your spine straightened. He was in a relationship with a Templar? The very kind he hunted and they very kind that hunted him. You watched the scene unfold, as the woman and Arno both remained unaware of your presence. She pointed at the picture in her hands and continued to speak to him in French, but he only stared at her. Using his calm demeanour, she lent in to kiss him and the very moment her lips met his, everything seemed to freeze for you. At that very moment, you felt like someone had stabbed you in the neck, in the exact way that an Assassin would kill their target.

 

It was enough for you – you couldn’t stand to see anymore and you stormed back into your apartment. Neither Jacob nor Connor stopped you, but they both knew that this wasn’t good. Seconds after that, Arno pushed the woman off him and grabbed the picture frame, throwing it harshly at the wall with all his might. The glass frame shattered, slicing the picture along with it. You stopped right in front of your apartment door when you heard the glass shattering, but you didn’t dare go back. You just wanted to curl up and die.

 

The red haired woman gasped at Arno’s action. She’d never seen him like this – so full of confidence around her and standing up for himself. She’d always had him wrapped around her finger and now that she didn’t, she was at a loss. He’d always followed after her, showering her with affection and she’d enjoyed having him do anything she wanted. She didn’t like not having that control over him. She didn’t like it at all. It was only when he said his next words to her that she finally wavered.

 

“Get out,” he growled, his voice low and threatening.

 

Her eyes widened at his dangerous tone and for once he was the one with the control. She couldn’t get out of there fast enough and for the first time in her life she was actually afraid of him.

 

In the meantime, you had entered your apartment, unaware of Arno’s cold behaviour towards the woman. You were fighting tears as you walked over to the window and wrapped your arms around yourself. It was just like before… a very similar scene had played out with your ex and he’d succumbed to his desires. You had no doubt that Arno would do the same.

 

You didn’t want to cry and be miserable. You didn’t want to let something like this affect you again. You wanted to be strong, and so you started to prepare yourself for the inevitable. Yet, you weren’t going to sit idly by this time. You were going to give him a piece of your mind for playing with your heart.

 

Back out in the hall, Arno was trying extremely hard to settle his anger when Connor approached him slowly.

 

“Arno…” the large man said quietly. “She saw everything…”

 

Arno’s head turned quicker than lightening and his gaze settled on your apartment door. He didn’t hesitate. He quickly strode over to your apartment and knocked loudly on the door, calling out your name. Yet, you refused to answer and he quickly grew frustrated. It took hardly any effort for him to open the door himself and he softened when he saw you with your back facing him.

 

Ma bichette…” he began.

 

You swirled around, tears in your eyes and glared at him angrily.

 

“Have you finally found your happiness?” You asked bitterly.

 

“No…” he replied, frowning in confusion.

 

“You should go back to Paris and find it then.”

 

Ma mie… I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

 

You exploded, no longer able to hold yourself back.

 

“I can’t just be your rebound, Arno! I’ve been hurt like this before. I told you that! I’m not just someone you can pass the time with when you already have someone else!”

 

He stared at you with wide eyes but you just continued, unable to stop now that you’d begun.

 

“I can’t believe you! You’re such a hypocrite! Sleeping with your enemy – actually caring about her and having a relationship together! Well, don’t drag me into it. I don’t want this! You can’t just use me like… like some toy that amuses you for a short time and then just gets tossed to the side in the end! Do the others know you’ve been fucking a Templar? God… I wish that man had just killed me in Versailles… then I wouldn’t have had to see this…”

 

“Are you done?” He asked quietly.

 

“Yeah,” you replied. “I really fucking am.”

 

The tears were running freely down your cheeks now and he looked torn.

 

“What you saw,” he said gently. “It’s not what you think.”

 

“Yeah…” you rolled your eyes. “Typical…”

 

“It was never really my choice to be with her. We grew up together and by the time our paths parted ways, she owned me completely. I was too caught up in her to really see how much of a hold she had on me. I thought it was love, but… that wasn’t love. Not even in the slightest. You don’t try to control and own the ones you love. I couldn't escape her or get rid of her. I was completely at her mercy and even when she wasn’t near, she had a hold over me.”

 

“You’re so fucking weird,” you said spitefully. “You can get rid of her in a flash. You know you can. You just didn’t want to, did you?”

 

“STOP SAYING THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE!”

 

He exploded, fury coming off him in waves. You backed away like you’d been burned. The previous tears had dried up, but now fresh ones ran down your cheeks more rapidly than before. As soon as he noticed you crying, he faltered. He took a deep breath, composing himself, and then he turned and left your apartment without another word.

 

It took you a few moments to process this and you wiped the tears away, taking in a shaky breath. Without really thinking about it, you went after him. When you reached his apartment, you were surprised to see the door open and Edward leaving, along with Elisabeth. He gave you a sympathetic look and they wordlessly moved over to your apartment. Sucking in a shaky breath, you slowly entered Arno’s flat. When you saw him sitting out on the balcony, you hesitated. He was slumped over slightly and looked broken and defeated. You’d never seen him like this before, and suddenly it all hit you and became clear.

 

You had both been hurt in your past relationships. You’d both been used by the people who were supposed to love you. Arno couldn’t control the actions of that woman and he himself had never done anything to hurt you. He’d only showed you love and affection and this realisation immediately softened you.

 

You walked over to him and once he saw you he straightened up. No words needed to be said between the two of you. That connection you’d felt from the very first instant was always present. Words weren’t necessary as you shared conversations merely by looking into each other’s eyes. You told him with your gaze that you were regretful and he regarded you affectionately in return. You caressed his cheek slowly and then brought your finger to cover his lips.

 

Without breaking eye contact, you got down onto your knees and his breath hitched as you began to unzip his pants. He helped you pull them down and then you licked your lips as you began palming him through his underwear. It wasn't long before he was becoming increasingly hard and you pulled those off too.

 

His hard cock sprung free, but you first pressed kisses all around his crotch before taking his balls into your mouth and sucking. He tangled his fingers in your hair, tugging on it. Finally, you licked up his shaft and he groaned loudly. You swirled your tongue around the head and he moaned your name. You then began to suck up and down, gradually taking more and more of him in.

 

He was cursing constantly, loving what you were doing to him, but soon he couldn’t handle it any longer. He pulled you up and held your cheek, his thumb running over your bottom lip as he looked longingly into your eyes. There were no more doubts for you. He was yours and you were his. He wouldn’t allow for anyone to get in between you two.

 

Slowly, he guided you down onto his waiting cock and you moaned loudly, arching your back as your fingernails raked lightly down over his chest. He reached up with one hand, placing it at the back of your head and guiding you to his waiting lips. He kissed you heatedly, his lips hard and demanding against your own. You moaned into his mouth as you continued to bounce up and down over his cock.

 

You both set a pace and his fingers reached up, worshipping your breasts. They flicked and rubbed over your hard nipples, adding greatly to your pleasure. He was close, but you were quickly catching up. Just the feeling of him inside you was enough to drive you wild. His cock slammed in and out of your pussy and when he pulled away from your mouth and captured your nipple gently in between his teeth you screamed out his name.

 

Your back arched, offering more of your chest to him and he licked and sucked at your sensitive nubs. He didn’t move inside of you until your orgasm had completely washed over you. He moved you both so that you were lying with your back on the ground and then he began to thrust again, long and deeply into you. You cried out, loving the way he stretched you.

 

It didn’t take long before he was pulling out of you and climbing up your body and then came all over your face and breasts. You pulled him closer, taking him into your mouth and sucking down onto him. He groaned your name, his voice hoarse by this point. Soon enough, he collapsed down next to you and you immediately cuddled up against him. He wrapped his arms around you, pulling you closer, and pressed kisses all over your face, before finally capturing your lips with his. You melted into his embrace and his arms became a little tighter.

 

Je t’aime,” he murmured against your lips.

 

Je t’aime aussi,” you replied.

 

And then you snuggled up against him as he continued to shower you with his heart stopping kisses.

 


 

You were watching as Arno placed his hidden blades onto his forearms, before pulling up his hood. Death couldn’t be more beautiful, you thought to yourself. He leant down, pressing one last, lingering kiss to your lips and then pulled away to stare into your eyes. An unspoken understanding passed between the two of you and you smiled sweetly up at him. He returned it with a soft one of his own and then left.

 

Out in the living room, Elisabeth turned up the radio when she heard her favourite song. Little did she know… that song was now also yours.

 

Chapter Text

It was late on a Friday night, with summer showers pouring down outside. The Assassins were all at Edward and Arno’s apartment enjoying some recreational time. Edward had suggested that they play beer pong to kill the boredom that had settled upon them all, yet Arno protested. So, Jacob suggested playing a new shooter game that had only recently come out. Altaïr was reluctant but agreed to pair up with Ezio nonetheless.

 

Jacob groaned in annoyance, as Yusuf (his usual partner in crime) wasn’t there, so he didn’t have anyone to team up with. Arno and Edward weren’t bothered with playing the game, whilst Aguilar had a video call with some of his colleagues in Spain. Nikita was sleeping peacefully in an armchair, with Connor watching her fondly, completely unaware as Jacob’s gaze came to rest on him.

 

“Well, it’s only you that’s left…” Jacob grumbled in defeat. “Just how much experience have you got with video games?”

 

“I’ve never had the time to play,” Connor replied, looking over at the Brit. “Unlike you, I do my job.”

 

“Are you suggesting I don’t do mine?” Jacob growled, annoyed.

 

Altaïr sighed, sensing that this exchange could very easily escalate and decided to intervene.

 

“Okay you two,” he said authoritatively. “Cut it out. Jacob, just show him the basics. He’ll catch up.”

 

Jacob did as he was told – albeit reluctantly – and before long the two teams were playing. Connor was miserable at getting the hang of it, causing Ezio to die from laughter, and Altaïr also couldn’t hold back a small smirk of amusement.

 

At first, he struggled with the basic controls – moving his character and keeping up with Jacob, resulting in him dying several times. Once he got the hang of that, he struggled with the actual purpose of the game – shooting at his enemies.

 

Ezio almost had tears streaming down his face from the intensity of his laughter as Connor continuously shot at Jacob, who was supposed to be his teammate.

 

“NO, NO, NO!” Jacob yelled in frustration. “I AM YOUR ALLY, YOU TREE HUGGER!!! SHOOT AT THEM!!!”

 

With a furious jab of his finger, Jacob pointed at Altaïr and Ezio.

 

“WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?” Connor raised his voice in return. “WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS GOING IN FRONT OF ME? I CAN’T SHOOT BECAUSE OF YOU!”

 

Nikita woke up from all of the noise, raising her head inquisitively.

 

“It’s okay, girl,” Connor cooed at her, his demeanour completely different. “Go back to sleep.”

 

Arno chuckled at this as he sat like an eager audience member, watching the entertainment of Connor and Jacob’s bickering.

 

“TO PROTECT YOU!” Jacob continued shouting, focused only on the game. “YOU’RE GONNA GET SHOT! WE’RE LOOSING POINTS!”

 

“Okay, okay,” Ezio cut in. “See that guy to your right Connor?”

 

“Yes,” Connor nodded.

 

“That’s one of the guys you need to shoot.”

 

“Don’t –” Jacob tried to intervene, but it was too late.

 

The British Assassin dropped his head into his hands with a groan as Altaïr and Ezio both snickered.

 

“What?” Connor asked clueless.

 

“HE WAS ON OUR TEAM, YOU DIMWIT!” Jacob yelled in annoyance.

 

“Fine!” Connor growled out, throwing his controller to Jacob. “Play on your own!”

 

“No, no, no,” Ezio cut in with an amused grin.

 

Clearly he wanted to see Connor continue playing for his own amusement.

 

“You’re doing great, Connor,” Altaïr chuckled in his low, calm voice. “Keep it up.”

 

Jacob threw an annoyed look at the Syrian who only smirked in response.

 

“Hey now,” Edward cut in. “Take it easy on him. When he gets really into this, you will regret making fun of him. He’s a Kenway, after all.”

 

Edward’s prediction turned out to be right. Connor relented and continued playing, and after half an hour, his performance had changed entirely. Once he began to get used to the controls and understood the aim of the game, he began to play effortlessly, bringing up his and Jacob’s points impressively. As he did this, he also caused Ezio and Altaïr’s points to drop dramatically.

 

“Bastardo!” Ezio cursed under his breath. “Altaïr, what the hell are you doing?”

 

“He’s too quick,” Altaïr grumbled, now much more invested in the game. “I can’t shoot him!”

 

“Suck it, you morons!” Jacob cackled gleefully.

 

Ezio threw his controller to the ground in frustration, indicating the end of the game.

 

Silence filled the room and Nikita used that opportunity to climb off the armchair she was occupying and sat next to Connor on the floor. She nuzzled her head onto his chest and he patted her absentmindedly as Ezio took a sip of wine, shaking his head.

 

“Ah, Connor,” the Italian said in his deep voice. “When will you replace the dog with a girl? Will I live to see that day?”

 

“When that day comes,” Edward joined in. “I’m buying you all three rounds of shots.”

 

“Why don't you both mind your own business?” Connor retorted grumpily.

 

“We can’t, Connor,” Arno piped up. “You are our friend and colleague. We’re worried about your emotional state.”

 

“I’m fine, Arno,” Connor replied more calmly. “Just because I don’t sleep with everything that has a… vagina between it’s legs, doesn’t mean I’m not okay. I’m looking for something more than just sex. And I… well…”

 

“You’re not impotent, are you?” Jacob asked with a mock gasp and a mischievous look in his eyes.

 

“Let the boy speak, Jacob,” Altaïr said. “You became a total woman.”

 

Jacob immediately shut up, but not before shooting a glare towards his Syrian brother. Altaïr was unbothered, as he was used to Jacob’s behaviour. Connor took a deep breath before moving to the armchair Nikita previously occupied, with his Alaskan Malamute faithfully following and sitting herself in his lap once he himself was seated.

 

Despite the obvious problem of the armchair being far too small for them both, he only chuckled and ruffled her fur. Then, he turned to his friends and colleagues who expectantly waited for him to continue.

 

“I… I met someone in the foyer,” he explained.

 

“A girl?” Jacob pressed.

 

“Yeah…” Connor trailed off, his face turning a faint shade of red. “She’s beautiful.”

 

“Ah,” Ezio slapped a hand on his knee. “The two pretty ladies on this floor. Which one did you meet? The bubbly one who has her eyes on your cousin? If it’s her, you have no chances.”

 

Edward smirked at this, but Connor only shook his head.

 

“No, I met the other one. Nikita kind of tackled her.”

 

“You took her for a walk without her leash again?” Arno asked, shaking his head. “Connor, there are people who are afraid of dogs, you know. Besides, you’re not supposed to walk a dog her size without a leash.”

 

“Save me the lecture,” Connor grumbled. “I know. But Nikita always welcomes strangers like that. She did the same to that old lady who lives downstairs.”

 

“Poor Nonna,” Ezio said. “She almost had a heart attack. I can’t imagine how that girl felt. This bitch of yours is huge. You’re lucky I let you keep her. All that dog hair in our apartment…”

 

Nikita barked at Ezio, causing Altaïr to laugh. Edward patted the Malamute’s head with a grin.

 

“Continue with your story,” Edward urged his cousin. “What happened after your dog assaulted her?’

 

“She didn’t assault her,” Connor insisted. “She just licked her.”

 

“Gross…” Arno screwed his face up in an expression of disgust.

 

Nikita growled at the French Assassin.

 

“Careful,” Ezio warned. “She is way too smart. She knows we are talking about her.”

 

Connor continued to scratch behind his dog’s ears.

 

“I asked her if she’s okay,” he continued. “She was, of course. I apologised for Nikita’s behaviour but… she just kind of… ogled me.”

 

“No wonder,” Edward snickered. “You don’t realise the effect you have on women. Which is why we are desperately trying to show you the error of your ways.”

 

“It’s true,” Jacob spoke up. “Cashiers don’t let him pay. Lucky git…”

 

“Do you like this girl, Connor?” Altaïr cut in.

 

“Yes,” Connor answered with another blush. “She is different. I have a feeling she isn’t like Dobby.”

 

“Of course,” Edward grinned. “She isn’t a tomboy.”

 

Connor rose from the armchair and Nikita jumped off his lap and growled.

 

“STOP calling her that!” He exclaimed angrily.

 

“It's over with her now,” Edward rolled his eyes, undeterred. “That woman left you. Stop dwelling on the past. You gave her a chance, just as she requested. It’s time you moved on.”

 

Connor opened his mouth to retort when Aguilar entered the apartment.

 

“I see everything is just as I suspected,” the Spanish Assassin said lowly. “Edward and Connor fight while the others spectate – a true Friday night. What’s the problem now, huh?”

 

He sat on the floor and Altaïr handed him a beer, which he gratefully took.

 

“Connor has a crush,” Jacob explained in a teasing tone.

 

No, I don't!” Connor denied.

 

“What’s your plan of action?” Aguilar inquired.

 

“He has none,” Edward said. “I’m thinking something like a game… to bring him closer to the lass.”

 

“Paintball!” Arno suggested.

 

“No, no,” Jacob said with a roll of his eyes. “That won’t bring them closer if they are on the opposite teams!”

 

“Plus, we are really brutal in that one,” Altaïr added.

 

They all murmured in agreement.

 

“I know!” Ezio grinned. “Twister!”

 

“Okay,” Connor sighed. “I see I have no say in this…”

 

“Of course not,” Edward waved him off. “You don’t know shit about women. But don’t worry, I’ll help you. We all will.”

 

He patted Connor on the back in encouragement.

 

Yusuf was the last to arrive and almost immediately he was told of the plan to get Connor the girl he liked. He took on the news with an amused smile and eventually it was agreed that he would be the one to invite the girls to a twister party on the rooftop of the Ambrosia.

 


 

“Do you two have any idea how lucky you are?”

 

Olga’s niece, Nicoleta, was lounging on the couch in your apartment. She’d just turned 18 and was fast friends with you and Elisabeth. She was gorgeous with a petite figure, long dark brown hair and vivid blue eyes. Her lips were full and she had a septum piercing in her dainty nose.

 

“Lucky how?” You asked.

 

“For living here,” Nicoleta gushed. “At the Ambrosia. It’s quiet, super safe and you are on the floor with the sexiest neighbours ever!”

 

“You can say that again,” Elisabeth agreed with a laugh. “We are the luckiest bitches on the planet!”

 

“God!” You exclaimed. “Is everything about looks to you? A man isn’t just looks!”

 

“They’re all the same,” Nicoleta smiled knowingly. “Sooner or later, you’ll see.”

 

“You are way to young to be talking like this, Nicky,” you retorted.

 

“Makes you sound like a little slut,” Elisabeth agreed. “And you’re not that. Yet.”

 

Nicoleta hit Elisabeth with one of the cushions she was sitting next to and your roommate chuckled as she received it in the face. You sighed, while letting out a small laugh of your own.

 

“So…” Nicoleta pressed on. “Don't tell me you don’t have a crush on one of these hotties on your floor. Come on… out with it!”

 

“Edward,” Elisabeth gushed out dreamily. “The blonde one.”

 

“Ohhh, nice choice!” Nicoleta praised. “And you, darling?”

 

“Well…” you blushed. “Connor. The one with the dog.”

 

“Ugh, the stoic one?” Nicoleta asked, unimpressed. “The quiet one? That one is only good to look at…”

 

“He has a very nice, calm voice, Nicky,” Elisabeth intervened. “Don’t be like that.”

 

“Did you two know that they are cousins?” Nicoleta asked. “Edward and Connor.”

 

“Really?” Elisabeth asked with wide eyes.

 

Nicoleta continued on, explaining how she knew so much about your neighbours.

 

“I was here every Sunday of the month until my aunt had one little mishap that actually brought her closer to them all. That aside, I was younger – 15 or 16 – when I found out bits and pieces about each of them. They were all so secretive, so naturally that encouraged me to snoop. I was asking my aunt questions about them – their names, ages… and soon those questions became deeper. Naturally, I didn’t dare ask her without a little alcoholic advantage.”

 

Nicoleta smirked and your eyes widened at her boldness.

 

“Nicoleta…” you began. “Don’t tell me you were making your aunt drunk just so she can answer your questions!”

 

“Oh, I like this one,” Elisabeth said with a grin, pointing at Nicoleta. “A lot.”

 

“I can’t believe you two,” you sighed, shaking your head.

 

“Shut up,” Elizabeth told you. “Let her finish.”

 

“I needed the info, okay?” Nicoleta defended herself. “Back then I had a huge crush on the Spaniard, Aguilar. I still do, actually–”

 

“And you criticise me for falling for Connor?” You cut her off. “Aguilar is quiet too!”

 

“Yeah, but at least he says something at times,” Nicoleta rebuked you. “Plus… he is way hotter than that dog lover!”

 

“Now, wait just a minute–”

 

“Okay, okay, you two!” Elisabeth cut in. “Don’t battle over personal tastes. Nicoleta, continue speaking or I swear I will slap you.”

 

Nicoleta was looking at you with a challenging glare, but continued on anyway.

 

“Well, she wouldn’t reveal much… Just something about lifelong war – pardon, I mean eternal war – between secret societies. And something about creeds. She was rambling and I said to myself: ‘wow, Nicky, you really don’t know how to dose the absinth.’ But I remember her telling me to stay away from either of them during her ramblings. She said I was banned from forming a lasting bond with them. Of course, nothing says go ahead like ‘don’t go ahead’… so I tried pursuing the hot Spaniard… but he was away most of the time.”

 

Nicoleta sighed heavily, while fidgeting with the edge of one of the couch cushions. You and Elisabeth exchanged a bewildered glace.

 

Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, bringing your attention away from the other two girls in the room. You got up to open it, when you heard male voices on the other side, trying to be quiet and failing miserably.

 

“Yusuf, you don't know how to knock. Gentle, for Christ’s sake! You’re not fucking it!”

 

“Shut up, croissant. I don’t need a lecture about knocking on doors from you.”

 

You heard laughter and then Connor’s calm and soothing voice.

 

“I can’t believe you’re doing this. You’re all crazy.”

 

“Edward,” Ezio’s booming voice called out. “Get the boy out of here, while his uncles work the magic for him.”

 

“You are all a year younger or older than me...”

 

“Not in ‘love’ years, my friend,” Yusuf replied with a chuckle.

 

You didn’t hear anything else from Connor for a while, which made you decide to open the door, only to find three grinning faces staring back at you. Ezio, Yusuf and Arno all looked very charming as they stood there and you had to hold back an amused laugh.

 

Bonsoir.”

 

Buona Sera.”

 

Iyi akşamlar.”

 

Your eyes widened at the diversity of languages you were greeted with, before smiling warmly at the three of them.

 

“To what do I owe the pleasure, gentlemen?” You asked, as Elisabeth peeked out from under your arm.

 

“Hello,” Elisabeth drew out.

 

The three of them grinned at her before Arno nudged Yusuf to remind him of the reason they were there.

 

“Right, well…” Yusuf began. “We were wondering if you two–”

 

He was interrupted as another head popped out from your other side.

 

“Nicky…” Ezio chastised. “Your aunt will kill you. You didn’t tell her you were coming, right?”

 

Nicoleta giggled and Ezio frowned at her in response.

 

“She’s not my boss, Ezio. Now tell me… where is the sexy Español? I took a three week Spanish course just for him.”

 

Nicoleta pushed you away from the door and glanced down the hallway.

 

“He’s in his apartment, Nicky–”

 

Ezio was cut off as Nicoleta began to head straight for said apartment, when she was stopped by Arno’s phone ringing. He took the call and Yusuf gave you a warm smile as you and Elisabeth watched the scene unfold.

 

Oui, madame,” Arno spoke into his phone. “Okay, I will tell her. Thank you for the compliment. A bientôt.”

 

He finished the call before turning to Nicoleta.

 

“Your aunt says you have to go downstairs.”

 

“Arno, dearest, we only have to die.”

 

With that said, Nicoleta headed right for Aguilar’s apartment, knocking eagerly on the door. Aguilar opened it and Ezio slapped a hand to his face in exasperation.

 

“Hello Nicoleta…” He greeted her in that deep sexy voice of his, causing her to shudder.

 

“Hola…” she said in reply.

 

But before she had a chance to say a single word more, Olga’s voice was heard from the stairs leading to the 6th floor.

 

Nicoleta! Подойди сюда сейчас же!”

 

Olga’s voice was sharp and cut through the air. Nicoleta rolled her eyes and turned to Aguilar who was regarding her with an amused expression. Nicoleta was gorgeous, but also far too young for him. Nevertheless, he was flattered by the attention.

 

Yusuf used the moment of silence to fulfil his quest for Connor.

 

“As I said before,” he began, regaining your attention. “We were all wondering if you could join us for a game of twister next week? Drinks and fun and all that… what do you say?”

 

Yusuf was smiling at both you and Elisabeth, but before your roommate had a chance to yell ‘Yes! Of course!’ Connor walked down the hall towards your small group with Nikita trailing dutifully behind him.

 

You felt the air escape your lungs for a moment at the sight of him. In turn, when Connor caught sight of you, his footsteps came to an abrupt halt. Your eyes met with his warm brown ones and time seemed to come to a standstill until his gaze slowly raked down over your body. You felt yourself growing warm at his open appraisal of you.

 

For Connor, everything was new. You were wearing shorts and a tank top, leaving the majority of your body naked for him to see. Connor couldn’t stop the stirrings of arousal within him – a sensation that was fairly alien to him. Dobby had been different, as she hadn’t initiated such feelings within him at first. He’d needed a lot of time with her before arousal made itself present within him. Yet, with you… everything seemed to be instant. There was no way he could deny the attraction he felt towards you.

 

Connor was pulled from his inner musings as Nikita spotted you and the trio of other Assassins. She immediately bounded away from Connor’s side, tackling Arno and Yusuf as she made her way over to tackle you. Everyone exclaimed in shock, but you were ready for the large Malamute this time, greeting her with open arms.

 

Nikita licked you all over and barked softly, expressing her happiness at your warm welcome. You giggled at her antics, giving her a warm smile as you hugged her to you. Connor watched the exchange with a feeling of content happiness settling over him. Something about the image of you and Nikita felt right to him.

 

Elisabeth, however, was not so fond of dogs and quickly moved away from the two of you before turning to face Yusuf.

 

“Yes,” she told him. “We’ll be there. Where is the game taking place?”

 

“The rooftop,” Yusuf grinned at her. “Gotta love the summer, right?”

 

Elisabeth nodded, returning his smile.

 

“Okay, then that’s settled,” Yusuf continued, moving away from the door. “I’m going to have a shower now, so if you ladies will excuse me…”

 

Yusuf trailed off as he opened his apartment door.

 

“JACOB!” He yelled, making you jump slightly at the sudden difference in his tone. “I SWEAR I WILL KICK YOU OUT ONE DAY!”

 

You watched with wide eyes as he closed the door with a slam. Arno also began heading for his own apartment as Ezio tried to lead Nicoleta away from Aguilar’s door. The Spaniard merely chuckled in amusement at the young girl’s antics.

 

“I can come too, right?” She wailed. “I wanna play twister too!”

 

“Okay, Nicky,” Elisabeth laughed. “You can go with us. Just ask your aunty first.”

 

“LIKE HELL I WILL! I’M 18 FOR FUCK’S SAKE!”

 

Ezio gently led her down the stairs, his voice low as he tried to calm her down. In her frustration, Nicoleta almost pushed him down the stairs with her. Elisabeth shook her head at the younger girl’s antics, before glancing over at you. You were now cuddling Nikita on the floor of your apartment, with Connor watching over you both with a gentle, serene gaze.

 

“Ugh,” Elisabeth groaned. “This is way too cheesy. I’m outta here. Nice seeing you, bear dude.”

 

She patted Connor on the shoulder before going into your apartment. Before closing the door, she pushed you (and consequently Nikita) out of the apartment and into the hallway. Unfortunately, the push caused you to go tumbling right into Connor’s large frame. He held out his arms and caught you, allowing you to get your footing.

 

You felt captivated by the sheer size of him as his arms held you carefully within his embrace. You were blushing as you looked up and caught his gaze. His eyes spoke volumes – he was smiling with his gaze, not just his lips. You regretfully felt his arms leave you and soon you were standing on your own again.

 

“Nikita,” he said softly, breaking your gaze to look down at his dog. “Let’s go, girl.”

 

The Malamute reluctantly moved to his side and he gave you a small smile before turning to leave.

 

“You’re coming too right?” You blurted out, stopping him. “To play twister…”

 

He turned slightly to face you again and was forced to play a bit dumb.

 

“What? … Oh, yeah…”

 

He was blushing, as he knew the reason the game was taking place. He could only hope that his friends were right and the plan would work. After exchanging another smile, the two of you parted ways, both anticipating what that night might bring.

 


 

It was yet another late night for the Assassins, and Edward was sitting with Ezio in the latter’s apartment. They were discussing business, exchanging information about their targets and other important details as they worked together. Used beer bottles and cans of Red Bull were scanned around them. They had a long night ahead of them, so Ezio suggested that they take a break. Edward, of course, agreed to the suggestion, rubbing at his weary eyes as a long sigh escaped him.

 

“We should have a plan B for Connor,” Ezio said after a few moments of silence.

 

“What do you mean? The girls accepted the invitation.”

 

“I know, but… There’s no harm in putting him out there on the market. That way, she can see that he is very much wanted by other girls. It can help speed up the process.”

 

“And how exactly are we going to do that?” Edward asked curiously.

 

Ezio just smirked, motioning for Edward to follow him. They entered Connor’s room, as he was out on a mission and wouldn’t be back until dawn. His phone was on charge, as he rarely ever used it – let alone during a mission. Ezio had a disgruntled look on his face as he examined the phone.

 

“It’s an ancient relic,” he chuckled, bemused.

 

Connor’s phone was old and simple – it wasn’t even a smartphone. It was an old Nokia that was at least a decade old. Unlike the phones of modern society, it was one of the old ones that were made to last.

 

“This means we can’t make the plan a reality,” Ezio said to Edward, gesturing to the old phone.

 

“What? Why?’

 

Ezio grabbed a hold of the phone and showed it to Edward.

 

“This phone is older than my grandmother!” Ezio laughed. “We need a smartphone for the plan to work.”

 

“I’ll get him a new one,” Edward shrugged, still wondering what Ezio had in mind. “I didn’t get him a birthday present anyway.”

 


 

A few hours later, Connor entered his and Ezio’s apartment after his mission was completed. Nikita was trailing faithfully at his heels, as she accompanied him on most of his missions. He didn’t notice that his phone was missing as he was too focused on showering and getting something to eat. Nikita whined as she saw food on her master’s plate and he was about to have the first bite of his sandwich when Ezio and Edward entered the apartment.

 

They were talking quietly and looked suspicious, causing Connor to narrow his eyes at them inquisitively. Nikita didn’t pay any attention to the newcomers, as her focus was on Connor’s plate as she tried to steal his food.

 

“And what are you two up to?” Connor asked his cousin and roommate, completely oblivious to his dog’s antics.

 

Ezio and Edward turned around to see him, before grinning like naughty schoolkids caught doing something they shouldn’t be.

 

“Oh, hey, amico mio,” Ezio grinned at his roommate. “We were just shopping for some stuff.”

 

Connor raised an eyebrow at this, unconvinced.

 

“You? Shopping? New fragrances to attract female attention?”

 

“Ezio needed a fresher perspective, and I offered to give it,” Edward supplied with a smirk.

 

With that, they both snuck off to Ezio’s room, intending to make the new phone they’d bought exactly how they wanted it. Connor shrugged at their antics before turning back to his food. He groaned when he finally noticed Nikita licking her lips after consuming the entire sandwich he’d made.

 

“Nikita…” he scolded. “You are way too spoilt.”

 

She whined and gave him that adorable look only dogs can pull off, shuffling closer to him and placing her head on his lap. Unable to resist this behaviour, Connor softened and gave her a pat before getting up with a long sigh to make himself another sandwich. After eating, he stretched out on the big couch, ready for a nap after his long and tiring mission.

 


 

After only an hour or two of rest, Connor was woken again by Nikita nuzzling her nose against his cheek. He smiled drowsily at her, petting her head gently before sitting up and rubbing at his tired eyes. Maniacal laughter caused him to become more alert and he turned his gaze to Ezio’s room, where the sound was coming from. It sounded like he was throwing a party and Edward wasn’t the only guest present.

 

Getting up to check it out, Connor walked close to Ezio’s door before stopping to eavesdrop.

 

“Come on, you guys…” Arno’s voice was heard. “This is getting ridiculous….”

 

“Hush now, Dorian,” Ezio replied. “I need to be focused.”

 

Connor frowned at this, straining his ears to hear more.

 

“Put that one,” Edward said and Arno snickered. “He looks fierce in that one.”

 

“Okay,” Ezio said seriously. “’Hunting for love’, or ‘hunting for pussy’? What’s more likely to attract a bigger audience?”

 

“’Hunting for pussy,’” Edward answered. “He’s not that old.”

 

Silence filled the room and Connor decided to leave the three of them to whatever they were up to. As he settled back onto the sofa, he was unaware of how the conversation progressed further.

 

“Okay, this is what I’ve got,” Ezio said to the other two, showing them Connor’s new phone.

 

Edward and Arno scrolled through the bio on the account they’d made for Connor on Tinder.

 

  • British-American

 

  • Dog lover and owner

 

  • 6’4” – perfect for spooning

 

  • Insane biceps and washboard abs

 

  • Won’t talk much, but will listen

 

  • Hard to piss off

 

  • Owns a black Jeep Liberty (perfect for that first date)

 

The two Assassin’s chuckled, happy with Ezio’s work. Next, they scrolled down to look at the comments they’d also added.

 

“The best roommate anyone can ask for” - Ezio Auditore ★★★★★

 

Second best in the Kenway line” - Edward Kenway ★★★★

 

“Medium-small penis. Extra large personality” - Yusuf Tazim ★★★★★

 

“Free groceries for him, cause he’s so hot” – Katie from Bob’s Groceries

 

Arno died from laughter, with Edward and Ezio snickering as well. Connor heard the laughter from the sofa and got up again, this time to enter the room.

 

“What are you people doing?” He asked, bewildered.

 

The three couldn’t stop laughing, with Arno now red in the face. After he’d calmed down slightly, Ezio handed the new phone to Connor.

 

“Whose phone is this?” He asked.

 

“It’s yours,” Edward replied, pulling himself together.

 

“Happy birthday, Connor,” Arno got out between laughs.

 

“My birthday was in April,” Connor stated with furrowed brows. “It's June…”

 

Edward stood up, giving his cousin a friendly hug.

 

“Happy belated birthday, lad,” Edward snickered.

 

Arno and Ezio left the room, laughing like a pair of maniacs. Connor was confused, having no idea what they might have done or what was so funny. He was a simple guy and never bothered much with modern technology.

 

After a couple of minutes, they were all sitting in the living room together when Jacob entered with a triumphant grin.

 

“CON-MAN!” He yelled. “YOU’RE FINALLY ON TINDER!”

 

He went to hug Connor, who was confused as hell, but allowed the hug to happen anyway.

 

“I didn’t think you knew how to use it,” Jacob continued more calmly. “I mean, it took us ages to persuade you to make a Facebook!”

 

“What are you talking about, Jacob?” Connor asked. “What’s Tinder?”

 

He looked at all of them in confusion and Ezio burst out with laughter, unable to hold it in any longer.

 

“Check your phone,” Arno said to him before throwing a ball at Nikita to catch.

 

Connor took a few moments to get the hang of his new phone, but eventually he opened it and his eyes widened at what he saw. The phone was still open on the Tinder app and he saw a picture of himself during his Archery practice, where he was holding his bow and arrow. There were already several new messages for him on the app.

 

Kylie, 23

 

“I call myself Kylie, but you can call me tonight.”

 

Jennifer, 20

 

“Put a baby in me.”

 

Hannah, 29

 

“If the front door is locked, the back door is always open, if you catch my drift. Call me anytime, handsome.”

 

Rodrigo, 30

 

“Do you have any angel in you? Would you like to?”

 

Connor’s eyes became impossibly wide and upon seeing his reaction, all of the guys burst out laughing. Soon enough, Altaïr and Aguilar also entered the apartment, along with Yusuf, who had his phone out.

 

“Connor, I swear…” Yusuf began, his hands out in front of him in a pacifying gesture. “I had no part in this!”

 

Aguilar was snickering after seeing Connor’s tinder profile. Every single one of them used the app except Altaïr. Connor was ready to pounce on them when his phone chimed again. When he looked down, he almost dropped the phone from disbelief.

 

“Oh my god…” he said under his breath and Jacob rushed to see what he got on his phone.

 

A girl had sent him a series of nudes and Connor felt himself becoming red with embarrassment.

 

“Now, that’s a lady with great tits,” Jacob praised. “You gonna call her?”

 

Connor pushed Jacob away in annoyance, but the Brit only chuckled in amusement. Connor turned to them all, anger radiating off him in waves.

 

“WHAT DID YOU DO???” He yelled at them all.

 

Ezio stood up, whilst Altaïr quietly observed the others who were all laughing uncontrollably.

 

“Easy, Connor,” Ezio tried to placate him. “We just wanted to help…”

 

“Why are you so intent on helping?” Connor shouted in exasperation. “I don’t need any help! Stop it!”

“Get some rest, brother,” Altaïr sighed, deciding to step in. “Leave these idiots to me.”

 

He patted Connor on the shoulder, and he was too tired to yell anymore, but shoved the new phone into Ezio’s hands.

 

“Delete this account,” he told his roommate angrily. “Now.”

 

With that said and done, Connor went towards his room with Nikita following, before shutting the door with a slam behind him.

 

“Damn…” Edward shook his head. “The lad has no sense of fun.”

 

“So much for your plan B, Ezio,” Arno laughed at the Italian.

 

“Hey Ezio…” Jacob cut in. “Before you delete that… can I have those contacts? You know, for research purposes…”

 

He tried to get the phone out of Ezio’s grasp, but the Italian was taller and held it out of his reach.

 

“No way mate,” Edward interjected. “Connor’s my cousin. I should have those contacts first.”

 

“Go away, bastardo,” Ezio grumbled. “I’m copying them first.”

 

Aguilar and Yusuf watched the exchange between the three with amused expressions.

 

Altaïr let out a long sigh.

 


 

The evening air was warm as the sun moved lower in the sky, setting for the day. A casual, friendly atmosphere fell over the rooftop of the Ambrosia as you and Elisabeth arrived. All of your neighbours – as well as Nicoleta – were already there. Connor’s gaze found yours almost immediately and he gave you a small, welcoming smile. Yusuf grinned when he spotted the two of you and he clapped his hands together.

 

“Great,” he said. “You’re here. Let’s get started.”

 

“Hello, lass,” Edward greeted Elisabeth.

 

She smiled dreamily at him in return, prompting a quiet chuckle from him.

 

“We’re going to team up in pairs,” Edward explained to you both. “For the first round I’ll be with Jacob and you’ll be with Connor.”

 

He pointed at you as he said this and you felt yourself blush at the idea of being close to Connor. You noticed that Yusuf was going to be the referee of the games. You moved over to stand beside Connor and opposite the two of you were Edward and Jacob. Yusuf spun the spinner, indicating the start of the game.

 

“Right foot, blue!” The Turk called out.

 

Instantly the four of you did as he said. As the game progressed, the four of you were soon in a tangled mess as you all tried to stay upright, no one wanting to fail the simple game.

 

“Left hand, red!” Yusuf called out again.

 

You looked down, assessing how you could move your left hand to the desired spot, when you felt something brush sensuously across your ass.

 

“Jacob!” You scolded, knowing the Brit was right behind you.

 

“Sorry, love,” he snickered. “Honest mistake.”

 

“Uh huh…” you replied, unconvinced.

 

Looking up at Connor, who was directly in front of you, you saw that he was shooting an annoyed look of warning to Jacob. After a moment, Connor met your gaze and you faltered, as you had your left arm raised to put on one of the red dots.

 

His gaze was so overpowering and you became lost in it. This lack of concentration caused you to lose your footing and the next thing you knew you were falling forwards. Connor’s eyes widened as he saw you falling towards him and his own stance faltered as he attempted to catch you.

 

The next thing you knew, he was on his back and you were on top of him, looking into his eyes with a bewildered expression. For several moments you were in an almost trance-like state. Something about those warm brown eyes left you captivated. They pulled you in and it was hard to resist that tug.

 

“Alright, lass?” Edward’s voice came from behind you.

 

Startled, you came back to your senses and blushed when you realised the close proximity between you and Connor. You were embarrassed at the fact that you’d simply stayed like that, staring dumbly at him for so long.

 

“S-sorry,” you stuttered, embarrassed at being lost in the man beneath you.

 

You went to stand up, but your hands were shaky from the nerves. Connor’s hands shot out to steady you as he leant up to a sitting position. He guided you until you were standing and then quickly got up himself.

 

“Did you injure yourself?” He asked you quietly, his concern evident in his gentle gaze.

 

“N-no,” you stammered. “I’m fine. Thank you.”

 

He watched you carefully as you moved away from the game and Yusuf declared Jacob and Edward as the winners. The next teams were Yusuf and Arno against Aguilar and Nicoleta, with Edward as the referee. Connor sat down close to you, his gaze regularly drifting over in your direction. You allowed your wild heart to settle as you focused your attention onto Nicoleta, who was clearly ecstatic to be teamed up with Aguilar.

 

“Calm down, Nicky,” Jacob teased. “You’re bouncing so much, you look like a rabbit.”

 

Nicoleta shot him a glare, but he only snickered in response.

 

“What?” She asked with an evil glare. “Wish I was bouncing like a rabbit on your lap?”

 

“Maybe,” Jacob smirked, patting his lap invitingly. “The Spaniard may be a brick wall, but I wouldn’t say no, love.”

 

“Too bad,” she scoffed. “I have more class than to go within 5 metres of you.”

 

“Okay, okay,” Edward intervened. “Come on, Nicky. Are you ready to play?”

 

At hearing those words, Nicoleta perked up once again. She bounded over to Edward enthusiastically and leant close to him, speaking in low tones conspiratorially. You watched as Edward shook his head with an amused laugh as Nicoleta appeared to be begging him for something.

 

“Please Edward,” she begged loud enough for you to hear, with her lips in a pout. “He won’t even know. Just pick a position that will make me fall on him. Like that lucky bitch got to do with Connor!”

 

“Uh, lass,” Edward said. “He will know, because you kind of just declared your plan for all of them to hear.”

 

Startled, Nicoleta looked up to see you all chuckling quietly at her antics. She sighed in defeat and Edward gently pushed her towards the game.

 

The rest of the afternoon held a light-hearted atmosphere and you all enjoyed each other’s company. There was a bit of light drinking and Yusuf cooked up some amazing food for you all. After several hours, the games were over and you all just sat on the rooftop, enjoying the late summer days and the warm air surrounding the area.

 

Elisabeth was sitting up close to Edward and the two were dangerously close to having a hot make out session and you stifled a laugh at their behaviour. Connor had moved next to you, but the two of you hadn’t really spoken much to each other. Instead, Jacob was engaging Connor in conversation.

 

Connor was shaking his head in exasperation, an amused smile on his face as Jacob spoke.

 

“Jacob,” Connor interjected. “You’re only good at getting girls in your bed and shooting blighters in the head.”

 

“That’s really poetic, mate,” Jacob mused with a smug smirk. “But there’s more to me than that.”

 

He shot you an arrogant wink and you stifled a laugh at his antics. Yusuf, on the other hand, couldn’t contain his laughter.

 

“You’re delusional,” the Turk chuckled. “If someone actually did bother to write a poem about your life, those would be the only topics in it.”

 

“Hey!” Jacob protested. “That’s a load of bollocks!”

 

“You’re kind of dense, Jacob…” Arno cut in with an amused grin. “You can’t even say Connor’s name.”

 

“Uh, yeah, I can…” the Brit scoffed. “Connor…”

 

“You know what I meant,” Arno continued, shaking his head.

 

Jacob narrowed his eyes at Arno and Yusuf, silently challenging them.

 

“Psh,” the Brit smiled cockily. “That’s easy. Rata – ta – ta – ta…”

 

Jacob clearly struggled with whatever he was trying to say.

 

You looked on in confusion, wondering why he was having difficulty. Edward and the others simply sighed and shook their heads at Jacob’s failed attempt as Connor rolled his eyes before noticing your look of confusion.

 

“Connor is not my real name,” he explained to you. “My real name is Ratonhnhaké:ton. The name Connor was given to me by… an old friend. It’s easier for most people to say.”

 

“Raton…” you attempted, before giving up with an embarrassed smile.

 

“See?” Jacob exclaimed. “It’s a bloody mouthful. As if anyone could get it right!”

 

Ignoring Jacob, Connor attempted to teach you.

 

“Ra – tonhn – ha – ké – ton,” he said again, drawing it out more easily for you this time.

 

“Ratonhnhaké:ton,” you said successfully this time, drawing out the words just as he had.

 

You’d never seen Connor smile so widely – clearly he was happy that you’d gotten his name right. You grinned at him in return, but of course Jacob had to ruin it.

 

“You’ll burn holes into her skull, mate,” the Brit drawled to Connor. “Just kiss her and get it over with. Do we need to hold your hand all the time?”

 

“Leave him be, Jacob,” Ezio cut in. “How is he supposed to woo a lady with you always hovering over him?”

 

With Jacob’s attention on the Italian, he’d failed to notice Connor going red with a mix of embarrassment and anger.

 

“What? And you’re suddenly an expert?” Jacob retorted. “You may have gotten girls 50 years ago, grandpa, but I don’t see you getting any these days.”

 

“What did you just say to me, idiota?” Ezio asked with a challenging look in his eyes.

 

“You heard me!” Jacob grinned cockily at the older man, before turning back to Connor. “Now, listen mate, this bird isn’t gonna sleep with you if –”

 

“I don’t need your help!” Connor flared up at him. “Why can’t you all just stay out of my business?”

 

He got up angrily and proceeded to walk towards the door that led from the rooftop and back down to the building.

 

“Connor –” you stood to go after him, but it was too late and he was gone.

 

With a defeated sigh, you looked back at the others. Jacob and Ezio were sharing a surprised glance but you just shook your head at them. Maybe it was better to leave Connor alone for now…

 


 

It was late in the afternoon and the warm, summer sun poured into the room through the windows, casting a golden glow over everything. You were sitting with Elisabeth and Olga in your living room, drinking iced coffee. The three of you chat amongst yourself, discussing nothing of great importance, but rather enjoying each other’s company in the hot summer weather. It was too hot to give anything too much thought.

 

You startled slightly when you heard loud barking outside the apartment door, but you brushed it off, assuming Connor was just taking Nikita for a walk. Sure enough, the barking quietened down and you settled back into your conversation with the other two women, before it suddenly started up again. However, this time you noticed something off about the barking. It didn’t sound like Nikita, whose barking you’d grown used to. It sounded like another dog altogether.

 

Your attention was diverted to Elisabeth as you saw her stand up from her place on the sofa and walk over to the front door, clearly curious and wanting to investigate. She looked through the peephole and you heard a gasp escape her throat before she beckoned you over to her. You moved over to join your roommate, yet Olga remained right where she was, watching the two of you closely. Elisabeth moved aside so you could look through the peephole and see what was happening.

 

A woman wearing black stood with two men on either side of her. Next to the man on her right was a Doberman dog and across from them all were Edward, Connor and Nikita. They all stared at one another in silence but the air was thick with tension. You could see that Nikita was restless as the other dog growled at her threateningly. Soon enough, Nikita began to growl in return.

 

Elisabeth whined in annoyance, wanting to see for herself why the dogs were growling at each other and tried to push you away from the peephole. You resisted though, attempting to continue spectating the scene in the hall. As you both struggled for dominance, your elbow accidentally pressed down on the door handle, opening it. The three strangers who were eyeing up your neighbours stared wide-eyed at you and your roommate. You were tugging each other’s hair, which had caught their attention immediately.

 

Edward soon caught sight of you both as well and his serious, tense expression morphed into a milder one as he allowed a small laugh to escape his lips.

 

“Elisabeth, lass,” he chuckled. “Go easy on your roommate. I might be able to handle you tugging at my hair like that, but it doesn’t look like she has the same amount of resilience.”

 

He winked at her and she blushed. You ignored the two, your eyes meeting Connor’s gaze, which was full of rage. You startled slightly, scared of him in that moment, as you had never seen him in such a state. From the first time you’d met him, Connor had seemed gentle and sweet, even if a little reserved and quiet. Yet, presently the look in his eyes matched the wild, animalistic fury of the two dogs in the hall. Even though you’d seen him get aggravated at the Twister party, that was nothing compared to this. You looked away from him, unable to maintain eye contact and instead looked at the strangers.

 

You noticed a red cross sewn onto the backs of their black jackets, as well as one hanging from the collar of their aggressive dog. You wondered at who they were. Was it possible they were from a charity organisation, with a red cross for their symbol? Yet, after considering the way Connor and even Edward beforehand were acting to their presence, as well as the evil expression of the woman, the stature of the men and the behaviour of their aggressive dog, you decided that couldn't be the case.

 

During your silent observations, Connor’s gaze hadn’t once left you. His red-hot gaze burned into you still.

 

“Both of you, inside,” Connor ordered lowly, his tone of voice leaving no room for argument. “Now.”

 

You made the mistake of meeting his gaze once again and recoiled slightly. You wasted no time in doing as he said – not wanting to be told twice and face the consequences – and hauled a dreamy Elisabeth inside. Your roommate didn’t protest, as she was too caught up in the gentle gaze Edward gave her.

 

Once inside, you decided not to close the door all the way, leaving it open a tiny bit so that you could hear what transpired in the hallway.

 

“You’ve gone soft,” the woman sneered. “Honestly, I thought you were asexual. The pride and joy of your American brotherhood. But clearly I was mistaken. You’re all pathetic idiots.”

 

You frowned at her words, wondering what she was insinuating. The two men laughed, whilst Edward let out a deep sigh.

 

“Get out of here, Lana,” Edward said. “This isn’t your building.”

 

“It’s not yours either,” the woman – Lana apparently – fired back. “We are here because Mr Lee told us to come.”

 

You heard an animalistic growl, but it didn't come from either of the dogs. No, it had come from Connor, with Nikita following suit moments after.

 

“Get out of our way,” one of the men said. “Before I let Boomer shred you alive.”

 

“Ah, what a typical name for a dog,” a new voice drawled. “An ugly mutt too, by the looks of him.”

 

You frowned at this new development. You’d know that voice anywhere. It was Jacob and unlike his colleagues, he didn’t seem fazed by the situation at all.

 

“Let them pass, Con-man,” he continued, a light, teasing tone to his voice. “Ye shall pass.”

 

He laughed and you stifled your own chuckle of amusement at his antics. Oddly enough, Jacob’s lack of concern caused you to relax a little.

 

“This isn’t over,” Lana gritted out.

 

“It never is,” you heard Connor respond with a deep sigh.

 

Shuffling was heard and the barking quieted down until it stopped completely.

 

“Why do you always have to have the final word, Jacob?” Connor exploded suddenly, causing you to jump. “I had this!”

 

“Easy there, mate,” Jacob replied calmly. “It’s not the time for that now.”

 

You frowned at Jacob’s words, not understanding what was going on.

 

“Let’s go inside…” Edward intervened. “Bugs were planted inside Lee’s apartment. Let’s hear what they’re up to.”

 

A door closed and you leant back against your own, effectively shutting it too. You let out a deep breath before looking towards the living room. Elisabeth was gone, having gone into the kitchen some time ago and Olga was out on the balcony having a smoke.

 

You allowed yourself to go over everything you’d just witnessed, feeling more confused than ever. Yet, despite spending hours mulling over what it could all mean, you still drifted off to sleep later that night, with Connor’s furious gaze engraved into your mind.

 


 

You were having an awful day. Your car was being serviced after the engine died and Elisabeth was away, visiting her grandmother in Paris. You had to walk through the rain to get to your apartment and because you weren’t fully paying attention to your surroundings, you’d accidentally gotten drenched with muddy water from cars passing by.

 

Covered in mud and stinky water, you almost cried out with relief when you saw Connor in front of the Ambrosia, coming back from his walk with Nikita. When he caught sight of you he was immediately worried and asked what had happened to you.

 

“Please,” you said. “Just let me shower in your apartment… Elisabeth is in Paris. The little bitch went without telling me in advance and now I don’t have hot water in the boiler. Plus, she turned off the heating when she left. At least she was kind enough to inform me of that.”

 

You were rambling, venting out the frustrations of your day, but Connor took pity on you. He nodded, agreeing to your request and you both headed for his apartment.

 

“Thank you, Connor,” you said to him once you were inside. “I really appreciate this.”

 

“It’s no problem,” he replied with a soft look in his eyes.

 

He placed fresh towels and one of his huge T-shirts in the bathroom for you. For him the shirt may have been a comfortable fit, but for you it was massive. You closed the door of the bathroom most of the way and began to peel off your drenched clothing. Luckily, your panties were still dry and you placed them with the shirt Connor had given you.

 

In your haste to get under the warm, clean water of the shower, you forgot to close the bathroom door all the way. Blissfully unaware, you began to scrub the grime off your body and out of your hair. Nikita, excited by your presence, decided to be very naughty. She picked up your purse in her mouth and dragged it towards the bathroom.

 

“Nikita!” Connor chased after her. “Bad girl!”

 

Underneath the steady stream of water, you were oblivious to what was going on outside. Nikita nudged the bathroom door open even further and dropped your purse on the bathroom floor. Connor was frozen in the doorway, his gaze unable to leave what he could see of your naked form through the glass shower doors.

 

Nikita left the room and Connor faced an internal debate. He’d never felt like this before – you awakened a beast inside of him and he was startled by his own emotions. There was an animalistic urge that consumed him and all he wanted to do was feel your naked body against his.

 

It was almost like he was under hypnosis as he slowly removed his clothes. He was barely aware that he was doing it, but soon he was completely naked and could feel himself getting hard. You remained blissfully unaware as you rinsed the last of the shampoo from your hair. It was only when you felt large, strong hands wrapping around your waist from behind that you startled out of your peaceful bubble.

 

“C – Connor?” You stuttered, overwhelmed with confusion.

 

Yet, any further words escaped you when one of those large hands moved further upwards to cup one of your breasts. Then, only a satisfied moan left your lips as you arched back into him. Connor let his instincts take over, rather than overthink it. His lips attached themselves to your neck, kissing at your soft, sensitive skin.

 

You could feel the strong, defined muscles of his body pressing up against your own, softer one. He oozed of masculinity and you quickly found your pussy becoming wet from both his presence and his actions. The slippery texture of the water helped him to move his hands more easily along your body.

 

His kisses became hotter and more passionate, but soon you wanted his lips upon yours. You turned around to face him and saw the heated look in his eyes falter slightly. Reaching up, you cupped his face in your hands to reassure him that this was perfectly okay. He visibly relaxed and you stood on the tips of your toes to kiss him. Not satisfied with that, Connor reached down to grab a hold of your thighs and lifted you up.

 

You wrapped your legs around his waist and he pressed you back against the shower wall. The kiss was full of passion and arousal and your wet bodies moved together in blissful unison. His lips were soft and sensuous in their movements against your own but the kiss was deep and slow. His hands were cupping your cheeks, holding you as though you were a precious, delicate treasure he wanted to handle with the utmost care. He didn’t rush at all and you could tell just by the sheer depth of his kisses that he wanted to savour every moment of this experience.

 

It was passionate, yet also loving and the two of you seemed to understand exactly what the other needed. You were in sync and never once did either of you feel rushed or impatient. It flowed between you, with everything happening at the right time. And so, when you began to desire more from him and felt your arousal becoming greater and greater, his hands roamed down your back until they were squeezing your ass and pulling you closer to him.

 

You moaned; loving the way his body felt against yours and delighting in the way he made you feel so incredibly good. You could feel his hard erection against you and it made you even wetter. He was the very image of masculinity and a primal instinct inside of you caused you to want him desperately. As the two of you kissed, you could feel your hardened nipples rubbing against his and it awakened an aching need within you.

 

Connor seemed to sense that you needed more from him and his mouth moved from yours and down to your neck. He left a hot trail of fiery kisses all along the sensitive skin and your head tilted back against the shower wall. His lips – so soft and wet – kissed and sucked, while his teeth and tongue added other tantalising sensations by biting and licking. Your arms were wrapped around his shoulders, clinging to him and your legs also tightened in their hold.

 

When he touched your breasts with his coarse fingers you shivered from the roughness. However, he touched you so gently it made goosebumps appear along your skin. He was both inquisitive and careful not to hurt you. For Connor, everything was new. He’d never been so turned on by a woman before, but now he was like a raging bull and all he wanted to do was fuck you senseless and claim you as his own. It was almost driving him crazy to hold back and try not to hurt you. Therefore, the next words out of your mouth shook him to the core.

 

“Connor,” you begged. “I want you to fuck me hard. It’s okay to be rough with me.”

 

Your words snapped something inside of him and in an instant he had removed your legs from his waist and turned you around to face against the wall. His hand against the small of your back prompted you down onto your hands and knees and caused heat to well in your core as you realised what he was going to do. You’d never imagined him like this – so dominant and forceful – but it was such a turn on.

 

He covered your body with his, enveloping your small, softer frame with his large and muscular one. His warm breath tickled your ear as he spoke lowly and huskily to you.

 

“Don’t hold back,” he commanded. “I want to hear everything.”

 

You instantly moaned from his words alone, but it became louder when he suddenly sheathed himself fully into you. Your eyes were wide and your mouth agape at the sheer size of him – he was huge! He stretched your inner walls deliciously and soon you were moaning like a whore as he pounded in and out of you.

 

Your entire body was shaking from the euphoric bliss he elicited within you. The way that long, thick cock pumped in and out of your dripping wet pussy was just so sinfully good. His own grunts and moans of pleasure only brought you closer to the edge, but it was when one hand snaked down to your pussy and his thumb rubbed against your clit in sensuous circles that you cried out his name and tightened around him.

 

A wave of euphoria washed over you as you came around his cock and Connor hissed, soon pulling out of you and cumming hard all over your ass and lower back. It was so insanely erotic and you panted heavily from it all. Your body was exhausted after the thorough fucking you’d received and you soon slumped down onto the cool tiles of the shower, the water continuing to run over you. Your mind was in a daze as you came down from your high, but soon the long lasting silence caused you some concern. You sat up and turned to face Connor, only to find that he looked both horrified and guilt-ridden over what he’d done.

 

“Connor -” you began but when his eyes met yours, you fell silent.

 

He regretted it. You could see it in his gaze and your heart broke. With a shake of his head, he backed away from the shower and swiftly exited the room. Your mouth was agape in shock and hurt as you watched him leave, feeling defeated. Only moments ago, you had been in absolute bliss and feeling confident that he returned your feelings, but now you felt nothing but doubts.

 

You cleaned yourself up as quickly as you could before getting dried up and dressed. When you left the bathroom you moved through the apartment as quickly as possible, not wanting to face him again. Yet, you needn’t have worried, as he was nowhere to be seen.

 


 

Edward, Connor, Arno and Yusuf were training together in their private gym at the Ambrosia when they received an unexpected visitor. Connor was slightly taken aback by Dobby’s sudden appearance, but he masked it well, with his face showing no real emotion. She walked right over to him, ignoring the others in the room – particularly the glare Edward sent her way.

 

“I need to talk to you,” she said, straight to business.

 

Connor nodded, signalling for her to continue. She told him about her latest mission, which had gone wrong and was requesting his help in the matter. Connor listened attentively, willing to do anything he could to help her.

 

Arno and Yusuf observed the scene with mild interest, but Edward continued to stare at the female Assassin with an angry gaze. He didn't like her at all and didn’t bother hiding it. With the men’s attention all on Dobby, they failed to notice you and Elisabeth approaching curiously.

 

You'd never seen anyone using the gym and it was always locked, so you were both curious after seeing some of your neighbours using it for the first time. Arno, Yusuf and Edward were training, but their attention seemed to be on the only female in the room – a woman you didn’t know.

 

Connor, on the other hand, had all of his attention on her and seemed to be concerned but also a little agitated by whatever she was telling him. Your eyes scanned over the woman from head to toe. She looked like a real tomboy to you. She had a short ponytail, was dressed in gym clothes and wore no make up.

 

“I’ll help you however I can,” you heard Connor tell her. “You know that.”

 

You wanted to talk to him, still feeling hurt and confused by your last encounter with him, however Elisabeth beat you to it.

 

“Who’s this?” Your roommate asked bluntly, alerting the occupants of the room to your presence. “Where did she come from?”

 

Connor’s eyes immediately met yours and you saw both guilt and trepidation in his gaze.

 

“I’m Dobby,” the woman introduced herself.

 

“What?” Elisabeth huffed. “Are you a freaking house elf?”

 

You couldn’t stop the small laugh that escaped you, whereas Edward didn’t bother to contain his amusement as he began howling with laughter. Connor groaned, his head falling forward into his hands to hide his embarrassment. Yusuf and Arno found it hilarious and almost fell onto the floor with their rambunctious laughter. Elisabeth, however, didn’t waver and continued to critically watch the woman named ‘Dobby’.

 

Dobby remained composed and smiled kindly at your roommate, letting out a small chuckle of her own. Clearly she was used to such jokes.

 

“And you’re the new plaything of Edward’s?” The woman fired back.

 

Immediately, Edward stopped laughing and stood up in anger.

 

“Now, wait just a minute here–”

 

Before an argument could blow up, Connor stepped in to rectify the situation. He introduced you and Elisabeth to Dobby, telling her you two were his neighbours and explaining that the fiery woman was a colleague of his. He also made sure to sternly tell Dobby that Elisabeth was not Edward’s plaything.

 

By that stage, Edward had made his way over to Elisabeth and had begun to lead her out of the room, not wanting to be around Dobby any longer.

 

“Even that elf is better looking than her…” Elisabeth muttered under her breath as he pulled her away.

 

A faint chuckle was heard from him and then they were gone. Your gaze met with Connor’s briefly, until Dobby stole his attention once again.

 

“So you’ll help me?” She asked him.

 

“Yes, of course,” he nodded in response.

 

“Thank you for everything, Connor,” she grinned up at him. “I knew I could count on you.”

 

Your breath hitched when she leant up to give him a lingering kiss on the cheek. However, he remained emotionless, seemingly unaffected by the woman’s actions. This made you feel relief, as he didn’t appear to have any feelings for her.

 

Once Dobby had left, Connor’s eyes never left yours. No longer was his face an emotionless mask – no, instead he looked nervous to be faced with you. He knew that he couldn’t run anymore and had to talk with you.


“Connor,” you said softly. “Can we go outside and talk?”

 

He nodded, looking like he wanted to do anything but that. Yet, he still moved towards you with the intention of discussing his earlier actions. The two of you walked out into the hallway, which was devoid of anyone else for the time being. You turned to face him, looking directly into his eyes that held trepidation within their gaze.

 

“Connor –”

 

“Listen, I –”

 

You laughed awkwardly and he had a slight red tinge to his cheeks, but you gestured for him to continue with a small wave of your hand.

 

“I…” he struggled to find the correct words. “I’m not the kind of guy you think I am…”

 

He looked as guilty as ever and you gave him a small smile to encourage him into continuing with what he had to say.

 

“I’m not like my cousin or the others,” he went on. “I’ve never cheated…”

 

“Connor, of course you’re not –”

 

“Please, let me finish,” he requested. “I was afraid. Afraid of my own urges. I’ve never felt that… what I feel with you. You make me feel all these things that are so strange and foreign and I don’t know how to accept them. It was a stupid thing to do – I know that. To leave after… you know…”

 

He trailed off, his blush deepening. You reached up, cupping his face in your hands before leaning up to kiss him softly on the lips. It was so soft – as light as a feather in the way your lips touched – but still, you felt butterflies in your stomach from the thrill of touching him so intimately.

 

“At least you weren’t too prideful and took the time to explain,” you told him. “I know how much you’re worth, Connor.”

 

You smiled up at him gently and he leant forwards for another kiss. He was tentative – not at all like he was that afternoon in the shower. His lips moved slowly and carefully against your own as his large hands rested softly over your waist. His lips were so smooth and felt wonderful against your own. You wrapped your arms around his neck, the height difference making it hard to continue the kiss.

 

He pulled away, one hand reaching up to gently caress your cheek as he looked down at you with a degree of tender affection you weren’t used to. No man had ever looked at you like this and it took you by slight surprise. He murmured your name softly and you gave him a reassuring smile, silently telling him to continue.

 

“I’m not going to run from you again,” he promised. “I don’t want to run. I want this…”

 

You leant up again briefly, showing him with another kiss that he didn’t need to be afraid.

 

“I want the same,” you assured him. “I want you to be mine.”

 

“I already am,” he said quietly, for only you to hear.

 

You grinned up at him and he took your hand, leading you upstairs to somewhere more private for the two of you. The grin never once left your face as you allowed yourself to be blissfully happy at the fact that he was now yours.

 


 

It had been an exhaustingly long day, so you were more than happy when you finally got home and were able to put up your feet and relax. Nothing drained you more than difficult, pretentious customers, but you were glad to free your mind of it and have a nice glass of wine. Elisabeth arrived home shortly after you and you gave her a wide, grateful smile when you saw she’d grabbed food on the way, so neither of you had to cook.

 

“You’re a God send!” You praised, grabbing some plates from the kitchen.

 

“I know,” she beamed, beginning to unpack the food.

 

The two of you chatted happily over wine and dinner, glad that the day was over and you could both relax. When the food was eaten and you moved to wash the dishes, Elisabeth stopped you and offered to do it instead. This was when you began to grow suspicious.

 

“Okay, what’s up with you today?” You asked her. “First the food, now you’re doing the dishes… you want something don’t you?”

 

She grinned sheepishly and you knew you’d caught her out.

 

“Just a small, tiny favour,” she replied, moving to sit down across from you again.

 

“What is it?” You asked hesitantly.

 

“It’s about Edward,” she revealed.

 

“Edward? How could I possibly help you with him?”

 

“You and Connor are a thing now,” she explained. “They’re cousins… I want you to get Connor to convince Edward.”

 

“Convince him about what?”

 

“Convince him to commit.”



“Elisabeth... you can’t be serious!”

 

“What?” She asked defensively. “It’s not even a big deal!”

 

“You can’t force him into something,” you tried to explain. “He’s not the type who likes to be told what to do. If he wants to be with you in a relationship, he will be.”

 

“Oh, because you know him so well, do you?” She accused. “Because you’re the girl every guy falls for.”

 

“Don’t be like that,” you tried to pacify her. “You know that’s not true.”

 

“It is true!” She argued, her voice rising in anger. “Everything always has to be about you! You’re so selfish! I can’t believe you won’t even do this one thing for me.”

 

“Elisabeth,” you tried again. “You’re being irrational. I am trying to help you, but you’re not seeing sense!”

 

“Don’t you dare,” she yelled and you winced, knowing your neighbours would definitely hear. “You’re a selfish bitch who only thinks about herself.”

 

Not letting you get another word in, she stormed off dramatically to her room and slammed the door shut behind her. With a weary sigh, you moved to clean up the dishes, guilt and regret weighing heavily on your mind.

 


 

You, Elisabeth and Nicoleta were returning to the Ambrosia after a girl’s day out. You’d done some shopping, gotten your nails done and gossiped over coffee. Nicoleta had initiated the activity after noticing the tension between you and Elisabeth, since the two of you had fought the previous night. With Nicoleta’s help, you and your roommate had eventually relaxed around each other again, though you could tell that Elisabeth was still upset with your denial of her request.

 

As the three of you passed the gym, Nicoleta paused, giving you and your roommate a mischievous grin.

 

“You girls want some eye candy?” She asked.

 

You exchanged a confused look with Elisabeth, not catching on to what the younger girl meant. Nicoleta rolled her eyes before fishing out a key from her pocket and unlocking the door to the gym.

 

“How did you…?” Elisabeth asked in bewilderment, as you both looked at Nicoleta with your mouths agape.

 

“I’m just very good at snooping,” Nicoleta smirked. “It’s crazy what people in love can do…”

 

You and Elisabeth were speechless – the girl was crazy! Nevertheless, you both followed her into the gym. The last time you’d been there, you’d been distracted by the presence of Dobby. This time, however, you took the time to gaze around at the room. It was large and spacious, with several different areas that appeared to be reserved for a certain type of training. Some of these included shooting, parkour and boxing.

 

You could hear grunts as well as other noises that might indicate a fist fight – bones crunching, fists striking, bodies dodging or colliding… Walking closer to the boxing ring, you saw that Edward and Connor were sparring with each other. Elisabeth’s eyes instantly widened as she looked over Edward in appraisal. His golden skin, the toned muscles of his torso and the numerous tattoos marking his skin… she was mesmerised by the sight of it.

 

Your gaze, however, was fixated solely upon Connor’s own naked torso. The tanned bronze of his skin, his hard muscles and broad shoulders, the sheer size of his biceps… seeing him like that brought back the memories of that rainy day. In that moment it was easy to remember the way that naked, hard body of his had felt against your own under the warm water of the shower.

 

In this situation, you were able to see Connor’s own tattoos more clearly. You weren’t sure if they held any personal significance to him, but you assumed they did, given his personality. On his upper right arm was a tattooed band – almost looking like downturned spikes, spaced slightly apart from one another. On the right side of his ribcage were two horizontal lines – one above the other – also with downturned spikes hanging from them.

 

Looking away from him, you noticed that you and Elisabeth weren’t the only ones aroused. Nicoleta was ogling Aguilar as he sat in the sidelines, observing the sparring session along with Jacob, Ezio and Altaïr. Naturally, Jacob was the first to notice that the three of you had found your way into the gym.

 

“Lads,” he said lowly, alerting the others. “We have company.”

 

He moved away from the ring and a dead silence fell over the room. Connor and Edward ceased their sparring and it was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop.

 

“Nicky,” Ezio confronted the younger girl. “Whose key did you take?”

 

The Italian seemed to be very sharp when it came to the 18-year-old and things rarely seemed to get past him. Nicoleta blushed, but composed herself quickly.

 

“Like I will ever tell you!” She replied with a scoff.

 

“Nicoleta…” Altaïr cut in, clearly not at all amused by her antics. “Why are you so disobedient? You’ve been warned about us.”

 

“So what?” She yelled. “I’m 18! I can make my own choices!”

 

Bickering broke out with Nicoleta arguing against Altaïr and Ezio, but you didn’t hear any of it. Your gaze had met with Connor’s and the two of had begun to subconsciously move towards each other. Once the two of you were close enough – so close you could feel his soft, warm breath fanning across your lips – he reached out to brush a stray hair out of your face and tuck it behind your ear.

 

His eyes never leaving yours, Connor then leant forward slowly and pressed a lingering, affectionate kiss to your cheek. You almost melted and lost your balance at such a sweet action and looked up into his kind brown eyes that were filled with warmth. This man was able to make you forget all of your troubles and was your only reassurance that there was still good in the world.

 

“Are you okay?” He asked you softly. “I heard you fight with Elisabeth last night…”

 

“Yeah…” you sighed, moving closer to him and relaxing into his broad chest when you felt his arms wrap around you. “Sorry if we woke you. We can get into it pretty heavily.”

 

“It’s fine,” Connor assured you in his soft, calm voice. “As if I ever get to sleep at that time. I’m just worried about you – and her too. You’re both very close.”

 

“Well, I wouldn’t know when you sleep…” you replied, moving to look up at him with a sly grin. “Or where.”

 

You winked at him and he blushed lightly but managed to hold your gaze nonetheless. His eyes darkened slightly and his grip on you tightened.

 

“But yeah…” you continued. “We are close.”

 

“What started the war?” He asked.

 

“She wants you to vouch for her,” you explained. “She wants you to make Edward magically fall in love with her. They are already sleeping together but she wants something more. She wants a relationship with him…”

 

“She does?” He asked, seemingly surprised by the information. “Well, it’s not the first time… my cousin has a certain affect on women… I want him to have a real relationship as much as he does, but I don’t think he would listen to me. Still, I could try–”

 

“I really can’t help her,” you cut him off. “You can try, but I wouldn’t bother. I already tried to tell her about men like Edward. He’s not the type to tie himself down. Either the person has to be right for him or it will happen in years from now, when he’s ready to settle down. I know guys like him… she’s going to end up hurt.”

 

Connor frowned at your words, but hugged you close to him. You allowed yourself to enjoy it and forget about Elisabeth for the time being. His hugs were soothing and always made you feel calm and protected. You thought back to when you’d first met him and wondered what it would be like to receive one of his hugs… your imagination had nothing on the real thing.

 


 

It was a rare afternoon of peace and quiet between Connor and Edward as they were the only ones in the gym. The cousins were both cleaning up after a long training session together, wiping away their perspiration with some clean towels.

 

“So, you with a girlfriend, huh?” Edward said, breaking the silence. “Never thought I’d see the day.”

 

Connor turned to look at his cousin inquisitively.

 

“What business is it of yours?” He asked, although it wasn’t defensive.

 

“Don’t be like that,” Edward chuckled. “I’m just saying, I’m happy for you mate.”

 

“Thank you...” Connor replied hesitantly, wondering if there was a catch to his cousin’s good mood. “I really care about her.”

 

“I know, lad,” Edward grinned. “We all do.”

 

“And Elisabeth cares about you,” Connor observed.

 

“I think you’re reading into things, mate,” he laughed.

 

“I’m not,” Connor denied. “She wants to be with you. Why don’t you give it a try?”

 

“Connor,” Edward sighed, slapping his cousin on the shoulder. “Don’t meddle in things you don’t understand.”

 

“She can make you happy. Just give it a shot.”

 

“I’ll think about it,” Edward gave in with a heavy sigh. “God, you nag worse than my mother.”

 

Connor simply smiled in response and a moment of silence fell over the two Kenway men, before Edward brought up another topic.

 

“When will you tell your girl?” He asked. “About us. About what we do.”

 

Connor sighed, looking down at his hands as he considered his answer.

 

“I don’t want to rush that. It’s a lot to process and I don’t want to scare her away.”

 

Edward nodded, conveying his understanding.

 

“Alright, lad. Just don’t take too long or you’ll be digging your own grave.”

 

“I know,” was all Connor said in reply.

 


 

It was a Saturday morning, and you were in the bathroom brushing your teeth when you heard Elisabeth shriek and call for you. Walking out to investigate, you spotted her standing on the balcony.

 

“What’s wrong?” You asked.

 

“Look!” She pointed to the floor of the balcony.

 

As you got closer, you realised what she was freaking out about.

 

Piles of rubbish were littered all across your balcony and you stared on in shock and horror at the scene. It looked like it had been dumped there on purpose, but who would do such a thing?

 

“I can’t believe this!” Elisabeth cried out in annoyance.

 

You chewed on your bottom lip, tyring to think of a solution – and then it hit you.

 

“They might do it again,” you told your roommate. “If we’re quiet and look from inside, maybe we’ll catch the person. That way we’ll know who it is and we can confront them.”

 

“Whatever,” Elisabeth huffed, her mood turned sour from the discovery. “I don’t care as long as we catch them.”

 

After an hour or so, you saw more rubbish pouring down onto your balcony. Quickly, you moved to see who it was and let out a gasp of surprise. It was Charles Lee, an older neighbour living on the top floor of the Ambrosia. Turning to look at Elisabeth, you saw that her eyes were narrowed into slits as she glared at Lee.

 

She grabbed one of the bags of rubbish from the balcony and stormed out of the apartment, with you rushing to catch up with her. She didn’t stop until she reached Lee’s apartment door. She pressed down on the doorbell multiple times, not caring if the sound was annoying to the occupant of the apartment.

 

The door opened, revealing Lee and you cringed at the image of him. The older man was dressed only in a black satin robe, a pipe in one hand and that aggressive Doberman you’d seen that day in the hall, by his side. The dog’s attitude hadn’t improved as it growled at the two of you threateningly.

 

“Calm your dumb dog,” Elisabeth sneered, looking at the Doberman with distaste.

 

Lee looked the two of you up and down appraisingly and you felt sick to the stomach. He reminded you of your slimy landlord, Gary Brown.

 

“Can I help you?” Lee asked with a suggestive gleam in his eyes.

 

“Don’t play dumb,” your roommate spat at him. “Why’d you throw garbage onto our balcony?”

 

She shoved the bag at him, causing his dog to snarl even more at the two of you. Lee remained composed as he eyed Elisabeth with a smug smile.

 

“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” he said simply.

 

“Don’t play dumb!” Elisabeth snapped. “We know it was you!”

 

“Is that so?” Lee asked, leaning towards her. “Can you prove it?”

 

She recoiled from him, completely disgusted by his close proximity to her.

 

“I didn’t think so,” he continued. “Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

 

Before either of you could get another word in, Lee closed the door in your faces, leaving you both to gape in shock.

 

“That disgusting pervert!” Elisabeth hissed under her breath.

 

You sighed in defeat, realising that there was no way to prove what Lee had done and he wasn’t going to confess either. Feeling both upset and aggravated, the two of you walked back down to your apartment in silence.

 


 

 

Later that night, your neighbours all came over for coffee. Elisabeth was all over Edward, typically, but you were glad to see that he paid her equal attention. Your earlier stress was eased slightly when you saw Connor and allowed him to hug you. It was a gesture you took great comfort in and he noticed that you were hugging him for longer than normal.

 

“Are you okay?” He asked, still holding you to him.

 

“Yeah…” you sighed, pulling back. “I’m fine.”

 

His brow furrowed in worry, clearly sensing that you weren’t being truthful, yet he didn’t push it. You took him by the hand and led him to the couch where you sat down together.

 

As conversations started up, the men could all sense that something was amiss with you and Elisabeth. Connor was extra attentive towards you, holding your hand securely in his and keeping the majority of his attention on you. You were distant with him and he didn’t like it at all, thinking he’d done something wrong.

 

“What’s wrong?” He pressed quietly. “Don’t lie to me. Tell me what’s bothering you.”

 

You sighed, but relented, not wanting him to worry.

 

“We had some trouble with Mr. Lee from the top floor this morning. I guess the old guy is bored and dying for some amusement… but that doesn’t excuse dumping piles of his garbage onto our balcony. We tried confronting him about it, but he just denied it and said we had no proof.”

 

You startled when he abruptly stood up and the other men looked at him in bewilderment.

 

“Charles Lee,” Connor spat. “This is the last straw!”

 

He was seething and you watched with wide eyes as he marched furiously towards the door.

 

“Connor!” Edward yelled after him with a laugh.

 

“Get him, Connor!” Yusuf cried out. “Get him! Get the bastard!”

 

Seeing that his friends weren’t worried, you calmed down as well. They all went to go after Connor, with you and Elisabeth following. Clearly they were eager to see what would transpire between Connor and Lee. Soon enough, you saw his large frame as he walked purposefully towards Lee’s door.

 

Connor didn’t bother knocking. He almost broke the door down with his force and determination to get to Lee. Although you’d seen him angry before, you’d never quite seen him like this. Nikita was antsy too and it was only Arno holding her by the collar that stopped her from going completely ballistic at Lee’s dog.

 

Connor stormed into the apartment and the Doberman actually yelped at the man’s rage. Lee was in his living room, sitting on his sofa with confidence, as he believed his dog would protect him.

 

“Where are you, Lee?” Connor roared.

 

He turned the corner, spotting Lee and immediately he came upon the older man, picking him up from his seat and slamming him into the wall. At seeing this, Edward and Ezio stepped in, seeing that Connor had lost any semblance of control.

 

“I’ll kill you!” Connor threatened, his face close to Lee’s. “I swear, I will kill you, Charles Lee!”

 

Lee just laughed in his face, not showing even a hint of fear.

 

“Oh please, you ridiculous savage,” Lee drawled. “I’ll continue… having fun with these girls and there isn’t a god damned thing you can do about it.”

 

You gasped as Lee’s head was suddenly thrown back into the wall from the blow of a punch that had been dealt to him. However, it wasn’t Connor who punched him – no, it was Altaïr. Connor let the older man go, shoving him into the sofa roughly. The man was unconscious from the force of Altaïr’s strike and Connor felt satisfied enough to leave him for the time being.

 

He saw you, standing hesitantly in the doorway and his expression instantly softened. He approached you and gently took your hand, leading you away from the others. It was only when you were alone in your room that he spoke a single word to you.

 

“I’m sorry,” he apologised for his aggressive behaviour. “That man infuriates me.”

 

“Don't be sorry, Connor,” you told him gently. “I’m not upset with you.”

 

He gave you a gentle smile and you leant up to give him a kiss, which he gladly accepted.

 


 

 

You picked up your phone with trepidation after it had just chimed, alerting you to a new message. For the past week, you and Elisabeth had been receiving perverted texts from an unknown number. It wasn’t just the fact that they were perverted that bothered you. No, it was the fact that the sender seemed to know the two of you and hinted that they were also watching you both closely.

 

Connor, who was with you, noticed your hesitance at looking at your own phone. He frowned, showing his concern at your odd behaviour.

 

“Are you okay?” He asked gently.

 

“Huh?” You looked up at him. “Oh… yeah. I’m fine.”

 

You sucked in a deep breath and opened up your phone to see what message you might have received. You let out a very obvious sigh of relief when you saw that it was only Elisabeth.

 

I’ll be home in about half an hour. Picking up dinner on the way.

 

“What’s making you so nervous?” Connor tried again, sensing that you weren’t being completely honest with him.

 

You turned to look at him, giving your boyfriend your full attention.

 

“It’s… it’s nothing really,” you said. “I’m just being silly by letting it get to me.”

 

“Tell me,” he pressed.

 

“I’ve just been getting some disturbing messages lately from an unknown number. Elisabeth’s been getting them too.”

 

“Disturbing how?” He asked, his brow furrowed in concern.

 

“Well… they’re very perverted.”

 

You regretted telling him the moment the words left your mouth. Connor instantly looked upset by what you’d said as you noticed him tense and his eyes narrow in anger.

 

“Show me,” he said shortly, leaving no room for argument.

 

You brought up the messages on your phone and then handed it to him so he could see. Nervously, you observed his reaction as his hands clenched into fists and his jaw clenched. You could easily remember the latest message you had received…

 

Unknown Number:

 

I can hear you using your vibrator every night.

If you ever want an actual person to do the job, I’m never far.

-

excuse me??? wtf are you talking about???

-

The walls are thin. I can hear the buzzing every night.

-

That’s my electric toothbrush you idiot!!!

-

Well, the offer still stands.

 

Connor turned to look at you, his grip on your phone still tight.

 

“I want to check on this number with an associate of mine. She’ll be able to find out who it is.”

 

You nodded, feeling both relief and gratitude flood through you at his words.

 


 

Connor clenched his fists in anger, his eyes narrowing into slits as he looked down at the message from Bishop. She’d tracked the number sending you and Elisabeth inappropriate messages, only to find that they were coming from none other than Charles Lee. Connor turned to his cousin, who was sitting beside him.

 

“Alright,” Edward gritted out, trying to supress his own anger at the situation. “Enough is enough.”

 

For once, the two weren’t bickering with each other and were instead united in their mutual hatred for Charles Lee. You, Elisabeth and the others remained in Connor’s apartment while the two cousins went upstairs. It wasn’t long before they were in front of Lee’s apartment. Connor once again couldn’t contain his temper and kicked the door in, not waiting for a granted entrance. He soon found Lee and immediately sucker punched him. Lee staggered, struggling to maintain his balance from the sheer force of Connor’s blow. However, this time the Templar wasn’t alone, but Edward quickly took care of that dog.

 

The sounds of their punches and the groans and cries of pain from the Templars resounded through the apartment complex, to the point where you, Elisabeth and your other neighbours heard the commotion. You chewed on your bottom lip as you waited for it to be over and hoped no harm came to Connor. Soon enough the sounds died down and you let out a sigh of relief.

 

“Well, they do have a record here,” Jacob commented. “Last time they cooperated it took half an hour.”

 

“Yes,” Aguilar piped up. “But they fought for fifteen minutes with each other.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Jacob agreed with a sigh.

 

Any further conversation was cut short by the return of Edward and Connor. Immediately, you and Elisabeth were up and giving them hugs. You took hold of Connor’s bloodied hands when you pulled back, looking over them with concern.

 

“I’m fine,” he assured you, pressing a tender, loving kiss to your cheek.

 

You looked over to Edward and Elisabeth to find them kissing and instinctively knew that her wish had come true. You smiled, happy for them and glad that Lee was now dealt with. Elisabeth was giddy with happiness, but Jacob let out a heavy sigh.

 

“There goes one fan,” he said wistfully.

 

Yusuf and Arno laughed, while Ezio and Altair patted him on the back and Aguilar simply shook his head.

 

“Don’t worry Jacob,” Connor teased in an uncharacteristic moment. “I’m still your fan.”

 

“Trust me mate,” Jacob responded with a cheeky grin. “You don’t want to be my fan. I’d ruin you.”

 


 

Connor couldn’t sleep – all he could think about was you. His mind was constantly plagued with thoughts of you now. Ever since that first time, where he’d let go of any inhibitions and given into his more primal desires, he couldn’t stop thinking about you. Every touch, every kiss… every moment he shared with you set his soul on fire. He was completely enraptured in you and the feelings you elicited within him.

 

Groaning in defeat and wanting to calm his own mind and body, Connor felt that a distraction was in order. It was late and he didn’t want to disturb you, so he needed to put his focus into something else. Nikita whined, placing her head in his lap and he looked down into her curious eyes. He knew that she could sense something was wrong.

 

Giving her a scratch behind her ears, Connor got up from his bed and pulled on some sweats and a t-shirt. He decided to take Nikita for a walk to get some fresh air and clear his head. He carefully stepped over Ezio, who was passed out on the floor with a girl in his arms – quite an attractive one by the looks of it.

 

Connor shook his head at the Italian’s antics and recalled Jacob’s earlier words to the man. Clearly, Ezio was subtler than their British brother about his sex life. Bottles of wine littered the living room, but Connor and Nikita made it out into the hallway without waking the two lovers.

 

He headed towards the closest park, which was only a block or so away from the Ambrosia. It was a pleasant summer evening and the air was still warm. Nikita ran ahead of him, happy to be outside and free to do as she liked. Connor followed after her at a slower pace, content to just enjoy the evening.

 

He contemplated sitting on a bench as Nikita ran around happily on her own, but then a voice startled him. It was coming from behind a large oak tree nearby and Connor frowned in curiosity until he recognised that it was your voice.

 

“No, I don't know what he does, mother.”

 

He felt guilty for eavesdropping, but it was impossible to ignore considering how close in range he was to you. There was also only the two of you in the park, considering it was almost 3am.

 

“I can’t ask him,” he heard your voice again. “It’s not my business. I just know that he is a sweetheart.”

 

Connor wasn’t sure who you were talking about, never once considering that you may have been talking about him. However, your next sentence left no room for doubt.

 

“His name is Connor,” you told her. “Well, that’s not his actual name. His name is Ratonhnhaké:ton.”

 

Connor’s heart swelled at the way you effortlessly pronounced his name.

 

“Okay, I have to go,” you continued. “You shouldn’t stay up so late either… yeah, yeah. Goodnight.”

 

You hung up the phone and Connor wasn’t sure what to do next after hearing a private conversation, meant only for you and your mother to hear. He was distracted by his inner conflict and didn’t notice Nikita heading right for you. It was too late for him to stop his wild Malamute and the next thing he knew, she had tackled you to the ground.

 

“Nikita!” You exclaimed in shock. “Oh my god!”

 

She barked at you playfully and you smiled gently down at her. You looked up and saw Connor step out from behind the large tree, observing you cautiously. He thought you looked beautiful in a pale blue and white summer dress. Under the soft glow of the lamp above you, he thought you looked angelic. He almost forgot his guilt at eavesdropping for a moment, until you broke the silence.

 

“Connor,” you greeted him with a happy smile. “Couldn’t sleep?”

 

You pat the empty space next to you invitingly and he accepted, quickly moving to sit down beside you, with Nikita curling up on your other side.

 

“No,” he replied a little bashfully. “You couldn’t sleep either?”

 

“Nope,” you let out a tired chuckle. “Edward and Elisabeth aren’t exactly quiet…”

 

“Oh…” his ears turned a little red at your admission. “Well, I’m glad they’re together. I can only hope she will have a good influence on him.”

 

“Hmm,” you smirked. “Time will tell.”

 

You shuffled slightly, moving so that you were cuddled up into his side. Instinctually, Connor moved his arm around you, pulling you even closer to him. His fingers traced soft patterns along your skin and you found yourself relaxing within his embrace. Your eyelids started to grow heavier and soon you lost the battle to keep them open.

 

Connor didn’t mind though, and was perfectly content to have you in his arms. He looked over at Nikita, who was also sleeping soundly and let a small, satisfied smile appear. He had his two girls with him – all was right in his world.

 

You didn’t stir until you felt yourself being lowered down onto something soft. Your eyes fluttered open and you found yourself looking up into Connor’s tender gaze. Taking in your surroundings, you noticed that you were no longer in the park, but rather in his bedroom.

 

“You carried me?” You asked him drowsily.

 

“Yes,” he replied quietly. “I didn’t want to wake you…”

 

He moved to leave the room, but you reached out and grabbed a hold of his arm, stopping him.

 

“Stay,” you requested.

 

He hesitated for a moment, before relenting and climbing into his bed beside you. Instantly, you curled up beside him with your head on his chest. Silence engulfed the two of you for a few moments until you lifted your head up to look at him. His eyes instantly met yours and you smiled happily at him.

 

“Connor?”

 

“Hmm?”

 

“I… I love you.”

 

He stared at you for a moment, clearly not expecting you to say such a thing. Yet, he quickly composed himself and your heart fluttered as he moved to flip you underneath him. His gaze moved down to your lips and then he closed the distance, bringing you into a breathtaking kiss. You wrapped your arms around him, bringing his body closer to yours and let out a content hum.

 

With him, you felt that everything would be alright. You had everything you wanted in the man who was currently showing you just how much he loved you in return.

 


 

The pub was filled with people and the murmur of numerous conversations happening at once. At one table sat all of the Assassins except for Connor. Edward approached with a wide grin and a handful of shots for everyone.

 

“A promise is a promise, lads,” he declared. “Our boy Connor’s finally found himself a real bitch, so the drinks are on me.”

 

His brothers all smiled in approval and Jacob gave a celebratory cheer.

 

“To Connor,” Ezio declared with pride.

 

“To Connor!” The others chorused as they all downed their first drinks of many for the night.

Chapter Text

 

“But I wanted them to be red! We would’ve looked so cute in those matching tracksuits! Gah, Edward, you are so dense sometimes!”

Elisabeth’s cries woke the entire slumbering Ambrosia building. It was late in the evening, at around 10 o’clock. The door of your shared apartment with Elisabeth was open and you could hear everything behind the closed door of Arno and Edward’s apartment.

You were currently there, along with Ezio, Arno and Jacob. The others were somewhere, doing god knows what, while the four of you watched some phone-in quiz TV show. Half of the show was spent lightly napping and the other half, Arno and Ezio abused the phone, calling the show to answer the questions concerning Italy or France.

“No, no, no… YOUR answer is incorrect; MASCARPONE is used for
SWEET AND SAVOURY dishes. ROT IN HELL BASTARDI!”

Ezio yelled into the phone and stared at the TV screen, absolutely triggered by the question, as tiramisu was his specialty. You giggled at that and Jacob snorted. The next question was regarding France and of course, Arno was next to grab the phone.

“First of all I don’t know who wrote the answers but Brittany NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE a part of Britain. Get your facts straight, crétins!”

He practically spat into the phone before hanging up. Jacob laughed at this, finding the quiz show’s questions very amusing since they managed to trigger the Italian and the Frenchman. After a while though, the show ended and the fight from across the hall was much more interesting.

“Elisabeth… we’re a couple, not newborn twins. Why the hell do you want us to have matching outfits!?”

“Because we will look adorable,” Elisabeth was already whining.

Edward sighed deeply.
“I don’t want to look adorable, for fucks sake!”

There was a long pause.

“Edward… baby…” her voice was more sultry then, causing Edward to groan in a very arousing way.

“And cue the baby making ritual!” Jacob chuckled, nudging you. “It was fun while it lasted, lads and… lass.”

“You are terribile, Jacob,” Ezio shook his head.

“What’s that? Terrific? Oh I know.”

Arno slapped a hand to his face in exasperation and you giggled at the banter. Their banter never ceased to amaze.

“Well,” you said to the three relaxed men. “I can’t go back to my apartment for a while now, with them fucking in the goddamn living room. Who will take me in for the night? No funny business of course.”

Hands flew up in the air and then you really started to laugh. Jacob was the first to bend on one knee, making it look like he was about to give a marriage proposal.

“You know you are always welcome in my apartment love… I can be naked and you can be–”

He didn’t get to finish his sentence when a pillow smacked him on the head. The one behind the throw was Arno and Jacob was quick to retaliate. A fight between the two rapidly ensued and Ezio calmly stepped over their fighting bodies and took your hand in his, leading you away from the apartment.

“Now look what you did. You are the epitome of a dumb Brit!”

“Oh I am so kicking your arse now!”

You and Ezio walked out of the apartment, but you could still hear the crashing of objects. Well, as the saying goes… when two are fighting, the third always wins. As it turned out, Ezio was a respectable choice. You got a peaceful night’s sleep, resting in his bed as he slept on the sofa like a perfect gentleman.

Next to having your period having a cold was the worst thing that you had to endure. It was yet another Friday night, but you couldn’t enjoy it like you wanted it to. Elisabeth however, could, and so she arranged to go to Hex, the club you were both very much accustomed to. You were hurt, never did this before, leaving you alone while sick. But things have changed between you two, it has been months actually.
Elisabeth called your mutual friend Sasha, a gorgeous blonde to be her partner in crime for the night. The door opened suddenly, and you got up to see who it was. There was no point in locking the door you were in one of the safest neighborhoods. It was Edward. He gave you a slow, sexy smile, but frowned when he saw you probably looking like hell. “I have a cold don’t worry I am not contagious, you sniffled”. He opened his mouth to say something when the sound of high heels interrupted him. Edward eyed his girlfriend who wore sexy red lingerie, strapless bra, a thong and red heels. He was obviously stunned but not for long. “Elisabeth…why aren’t you dressed, you will be late!”, you said from the couch. She rolled your eyes at you. “I can’t get dressed I need someone to help me in the dress! UGH I shouldn’t have eaten that cupcake…”
You stared at her while Edward was already moving behind her to help with the said dress. She stopped babbling and practically purred when she felt his hands on her skin. His lips were next to touch it, and Elisabeth surrendered to the touch. Edward’s eyes weren’t focused on giving pleasure to Elisabeth. Those ocean blue eyes were focused entirely on taunting you. Your breath hitched and your face grew warmer. His trademark pirate smirk was a clear sign that he achieved the desired effect. It was way too awkward to watch your roommate silent moans and that’s when the doorbell rang. Edward was undeterred so you lifted yourself up to answer it. “Hi! Oh God you really look horrible Elisabeth wasn’t joking” It was Sasha’s pretty face that greeted you. The blonde girl was dressed to kill, in a short tight black dress that complimented her latest boob job. Like all your other friends you hung out with. They had impeccable taste in clubbing outfits like you and Elisabeth had.
Sasha walked in the living room and wolf whistled at Edward and your roommate. By this point, Elisabeth was kissing him, a full blown makeout session, completely ignoring you and Sasha. Your face grew hotter by the second, watching them doing that wasn’t helping your imagination which by this point ran wild. His strong, calloused hands wandered all over Elisabeth’s petite curvy body, squeezing here and there.
It seemed that Edward was intent on making you burn alive by what you were seeing. The tension between you two grew for months now and he only made it stronger with this. Sasha shook her head, seeing that the couple was busy she told you that she will go have a smoke on the balcony.
“Yeah sure go ahead. I would join you but this throat is killing me”, you said.
You sat on the couch and tried so hard to ignore them but you were failing. Your eyes were drifting towards Edward, how he kissed her and touched her, how the slightest touch made Elisabeth melt like butter in his hands. His ocean blue eyes met yours and his pirate smirk adorned his features. The result was achieved. Elisabeth’s dress was zipped and Edward stopped his ministrations as quick as he began. “Have fun”, he told his girlfriend but he didn’t look at her. Elisabeth pouted and tried to grab him for some more loving but he was already walking towards you. He sat next to you and you prayed he went away soon. Not because you despised him or that his company made you uneasy, but because you didn’t want to be caught getting all hot and bothered by his actions. He put his hand on your thigh and with that forced you to look at him. “Do you want me to stay with you tonight? You really don’t look good love”
You looked at Elisabeth briefly, who had her hands on her hips and a very displeased look on her face. Edward followed your gaze but instead of succumbing to his girlfriend’s facial expression he did something else.
“Your friend is waiting for you on the balcony Elisabeth”
It was said like a statement but sounded like a command. She narrowed her eyes at you but went to the balcony. Seconds later, girlish squeals could be heard.
“OMG girl! It’s been so long!”
“I know right! Damn you look great!”
“You too! Although next time tell me to come over later.. I mean I know you have a hot boyfriend and all but that’s no excuse to fuck him in the goddamn living room with people watching!”
“Shut up Sasha and let’s go. I will do whatever I want”
“You know.. That attitude won’t help you keep him..”
Their conversation died out as Edward’s hand cupped your cheek. “You didn’t answer my question lass”
You sighed deeply. “I will be fine Edward thank you. You can go I know you have work to do”
He laughed. “I really don’t. Besides, even if I did.. I would still stay with you”
The care could be clearly heard in his voice and that made you melt. You were going to tell him that you appreciated his concern but that’s when Elisabeth and Sasha entered the living room.
“Okay we are going to go now. You can call Madame Olga if you need anything. I called her earlier, she agreed to watch over you tonight”, Elisabeth said, her voice flat as she put on her dangly earrings. Sasha was already at the door.
“I don’t need a babysitter”, you spat at her, fed up with her cold behavior.
Elisabeth shrugged. “Suit yourself. Bye”
She leaned in to kiss Edward but he moved away from her. “Have fun Elisabeth”, he said and got up too. He didn’t even acknowledge Sasha who kind of swooned when he walked past her. You really couldn’t blame her. He was a walking wet dream.
“Call me if you need anything”
With those last words directed at you Edward left. That’s when Elisabeth’s doubts started to rise.
Loud noises and laughter woke you from your peaceful slumber.

“Ugh!” You groaned. “I can’t have even one weekend in silence!”

You looked at the clock on the nightstand, seeing that it read 10am. 10am on a Sunday…

“Seriously?”

You put on a robe to cover your nightie and walked into the living room to investigate the source of the noise. Elisabeth was sitting in her usual spot – Edward’s lap – she never seemed to be far from it. There were also two men and two women you’d never seen before.

One of the women had red hair, falling down her shoulders and the other had shoulder length brown hair. One of the men was short and kind of chubby, with blonde stubble and a terrified look in his eyes while the other looked like a modern pirate, with a scruffy beard and dark brown hair. He had an aura of malice surrounding him. They seemed to be laughing at the chubby guy.

“Oh my god!” Elisabeth noticed you. “I’m so sorry girl! We didn’t wake you did we?”

You didn’t respond right away, staring at her in frustrated silence.
“No, Elisabeth,” you responded, sarcasm dripping from your voice like honey. “What gave you that idea?”

Elisabeth gave a tight smile in response, knowing she was guilty. Getting up from Edward’s lap, she moved to the kitchen.

“Good morning, lass,” Edward’s sexy voice made the hairs on your arms and neck rise.

You hoped Elisabeth wouldn’t notice and felt glad she’d left the room.

“Here…” she called from the kitchen. “I made you some pancakes.”

You took a seat at the table across from Edward, avoiding eye contact. You couldn’t look at him for longer than a minute without losing your cool, so you turned to the jolly company that had roused you so early.

“And who are these lovely people?” You asked sweetly, smiling at them.

The chubby guy rose from the couch first, acting as if he was being called out in class. It was very amusing.

“Uh… I’m James,” he introduced himself. “At your service.”

He extended his hand to you and you rose from your seat to accept it. He was a very interesting guy, you decided. The redhead approached next and Elisabeth was quick to notice. The redhead never shook her hand and now… she was going to shake yours.

“I’m Anne,” the redhead smiled at you. “It’s very nice to meet you.”

Elisabeth’s eyes narrowed at Anne’s smile. Another reaction she never got.

The brunette shook your hand too, yet she was very neutral in her behaviour towards you as she introduced herself as Mary. The malicious looking man only nodded at you by way of greeting, as he pulled out his phone and dialled a number. He proceeded to get up from the couch and left the apartment. Before he left you got a chance to hear his voice, which was very gravelly and deep.

“Don’t keep us waiting for too long Kenway,” he barked.
You sat down once again at the table and dug into the lovely pancakes your roommate made. Elisabeth tried to cuddle up to Edward, but his attention span was now very short as he gazed at you. You felt those blue eyes watching your every move. It was very unsettling, yet very… nice. You shook your head at such thoughts, he was a taken man, your roommate’s boyfriend. So why did you like the attention you were getting so early on a Sunday?

To get rid of such thoughts you decided to chat with the group.

“So… where are you guys going?”

“Don’t know if you’ve noticed,” Anne said to you. “But we’re surfers. The waves are perfect today; I’m itching to get out into the water.”

Your eyes widened slightly and you felt kind of guilty for not listening to Elisabeth’s ramblings about Edward. Of course… he was a surfer! Elisabeth sent you a very catty glare; she’d caught you now. You were definitely not listening to her, and now it showed. However, it surprised you that she kept quiet and didn’t confront you. You opted for the surprised option.

“You’re all surfers? Wow, who would’ve guessed!?”

“Don’t play dumb babe,” Elisabeth warned.

Edward smirked, but that smirk wasn’t reserved for Elisabeth this time. The tension between the two of you was beginning to show, but it wasn’t heavy.

“Okay now that introductions are out of the way…” Mary said. “You should come to the beach party tonight. James is hosting and although he looks like a slow, fat fuck he makes a decent host. That, and he has a house right on said beach.”

“Hey…” James whined. “Come on now, don’t be mean Mary!”

“Oh shut up, James,” Anne laughed. “Take it like a man for once!”

“A beach party?” You parroted.

“Yep,” Anne replied with a smile. “No fancy dress ups though. Its just the sand and the sea.”

“Can’t remember the last time we attended one Elisabeth.”

You turned to your roommate, who was looking at Edward longingly. Edward was sipping his alcohol-laden coffee and didn’t pay attention to her at all. Something had definitely changed within him.

“Well,” Elisabeth finally replied to you. “I was attending one two days ago.”

Before Edward could say anything, Anne was the one to butt in.

“Ah, yes. You dry humped Edward the entire night. He couldn’t breathe without you knowing.”

At this, Elisabeth suddenly jumped up from Edward’s lap and yelled at the beautiful redhead.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM? Ever since I started dating him you constantly attack me!”

Anne snorted and twirled a strand of her red hair.

“Hah! That should be a clear enough sign for you to fuck off.”

“Anne…” Edward’s voice rang out in the otherwise silent room. “Grab the others and meet me at the beach.”

The authority in his voice was clear and concise. It was your first time hearing him talk in such a tone and it left you stunned. Anne rolled her eyes and got up from her position on the couch, moving over to hug you – another blow for Elisabeth.

“Bye skank,” Anne said to Elisabeth from the doorway.

“Fuck you, whore,” Elisabeth growled in response.

Mary chuckled, clearly used to this.

“It will become the norm for you,” she told you with a wink. “Come on
James... you have my board to wash.”

James was speechless, but snapped out of when he heard Mary.

“What? Mary you can’t be serious! I did that yesterday!”

“Yeah well, you will do it today too,” Mary’s voice could be heard from the hallway. “If you want to surf with us, you have to earn it.”

James whined like a puppy as he went after her.

“See you soon,” he said to you and Elisabeth, before bolting.

The door was still open and Edward got up from the chair he occupied. He turned to you first, much to Elisabeth’s surprise.

“I hope I’ll see you tonight.”

His voice was deep and husky and his icy blue eyes spoke volumes. He shocked you, but you couldn’t let Elisabeth see that. He kissed Elisabeth next and she moaned at the simple touch. He rushed the kiss though; you could plainly see that.

If only you’d known how rapidly things were going to change from that point…

 

Elisabeth was relatively silent while doing your hair. Being the professional hair stylist, she did her job swiftly and with perfect detail. She wore a white boho, chic dress and silver sandals. You were wearing a white, long-sleeved lace romper with a plunging neckline and gold sandals.

As you walked to the beach you tried to chat with her, but she was being distant. It wasn’t far from your apartment, but the walk felt like an eternity with the way she was acting. You desperately needed some booze, wanting to let loose and just enjoy the night.

“Let’s just go,” was all Elisabeth said and you followed after her in annoyed silence.

The party was in full swing when you arrived. A huge bonfire was in the centre of the gathering, men and women laughing and dancing around it. Some tropical house music was being played in the background, adding to the atmosphere. The host, James, immediately greeted you and Elisabeth when he spotted the two of you.

“Good evening ladies! Right this way please.”

He gestured towards the bonfire and you saw that Edward was standing near it, looking like a king. He already has a drink in his hand, of course. He was wearing a striped, long-sleeved shirt, the sleeves rolled up, along with beige chinos and dark brown lace-up boots.

He looked almost ethereal in the warm glow of the fire. You found yourself inexplicably drawn to him, in every way possible. The fact that he was a forbidden fruit – your best friend’s boyfriend – was making him even more irresistible. He caught your gaze and that pirate smirk he always wore was back on his face, urging you to think of all the sinful things you could do with him. He patted the guy he was talking to on the back and tossed him the drink he had in his hand. Elisabeth didn’t wait for him to approach, and instead went off in search of a drink. You tried to stop her, but to no avail.

“I am going to get an earful later,” Edward’s voice was completely laid back as he spoke to you.

“Hi,” you smiled at him, tucking a strand of hair behind your ear.

“You look gorgeous, lass,” he whispered loud enough for you to hear.

He reached out and stroked your cheek, his touch warm and causing you to shudder at the sensation. Next, he leant in and kissed your cheek. Those icy blue eyes of his stood out even more in the night.
He led you around the bonfire, and placed his hand around the small of your back, it subtly inching lower and lower. You could definitely feel that, but you didn’t stop him. You couldn’t. And most of all… you didn’t want to.

You took a seat on one of the logs placed around the bonfire and glanced around. The atmosphere was relaxed, with couples dancing. One couple in particular caught your attention as they dirty danced slowly. The guy’s hands were on the girl’s hips, his mouth on her neck as she grinded slowly against him. Her ass was literally offered to his crotch. They looked so hot doing it; you didn’t realize you were ogling them. The girl noticed you, and with a nod of her head she motioned to the guy. He saw you staring and he smirked and that’s when you snapped out of it.

Edward’s mouth was suddenly at your ear.

“Would you like to dance lass?”

You turned around to face him and he was so sexy, you thought you’d go nuts. A new song began to play and he led you to the improvised, sandy dance floor. His hands immediately found your waist and you put your own on his well-defined chest. You now truly understood Elisabeth’s allure to his pectorals. He was definitely crafted by gods. He smelt of the ocean, liquor and the distinct scent of fresh vetiver oil and amber. You suddenly wished to drown in him.

You buried your face in his gorgeous neck and breathed in deeply. Your eyes opened when you realize you’d never felt this good. It felt amazing to be held by him. He put you at ease; nothing else had ever felt this way. You locked gazes with him soon enough, as the song changed slightly in the tempo. Edward wanted you bad, and his eyes spoke volumes about it.

Inside the house it was chilly and goosebumps appeared on your exposed arms. Was it from the chilly air or the eyes that watched your every move… You didn’t know. The lighting was dim creating the perfect atmosphere for a romantic tryst. You gasped lightly when you felt Edward’s hands on your shoulders.
“I’ve dreamed of this you know…”, he whispered in your ear, his voice raspy and oh so delicious. “Don’t be cheesy now Edward. I know you aren’t into slow, romantic foreplay”, you smirked and turned around. His hands left your shoulders only to immediately grab your waist.
“I’m so glad you understand me. Now… Let me ravish you”, he growled and lifted you up over his shoulders carrying you deeper into the house. You giggled as he pushed you on to the mattress in the bedroom. He took off his shirt and you bit your lip at the sight. The majestic tattoos that only made him look that much irresistible glistened from the slight sweat on his skin. You were sweating too but it wasn’t from the temperature. Anticipation. You licked your bottom lip, it was as dry as Sahara and he followed that movement with those clever blue eyes. You propped yourself on the array of pillows behind you and crossed your legs while twirling one strand of your hair around your finger. “Indulge me a little since you are standing. Strip for me”, you said silkily. He chuckled and started taking off his belt. “I keep getting the strangest requests from women these days..”, he trailed off as he threw the belt across the room. It made a dull thudding sound. You raised your eyebrow at that. “Women huh.. So there were more than one this week?”
He moved closer to the side of the bed. “No… How could I focus on others when only you can make my prick hard?”
You got up then, crawling to the side of the bed where he was standing and sat on your knees. You were chest level with him and you decided you wanted to enjoy those gorgeous sculpted pectorals of his. On his sternum he had an octopus and on one side of the pectorals he had an anchor a helm and a skull drawn into the helm and on the other he had a ship being attacked by a snakelike creature with three heads. Below his nipple he had another smaller tattoo which depicted a heart with a sword stabbed in the middle of it and below his other nipple he had an elaborate swirl with a rose in the middle of it. He truly was a modern pirate. You slightly pointy fingernail trailed the black lines of the inked drawings and your eyes darted to look at his face. He had his eyes closed and was enjoying your actions. However, you knew that this foreplay won’t last long. Just when you thought of that, he emitted a low growl. Your hands travelled lower to the buttons of his pants. You laid down on your stomach, and he took off his pants. His bulge was impressive to say the least, and he moved closer to your face with it. You bit back a moan and stroked his tent that was rapidly becoming harder and harder. His breathing was shallow and his strong hands tangled themselves in your hair. It was a clear sign. You moved closer still so that your chest was hanging off the bed a little and pulled down his underwear making his dick slap you slightly in the face. You lost it and started to laugh and he joined in. Your cheeks were now flushed as you composed yourself from the laughter. There was absolutely no tension and you enjoyed it. His expression changed again, from amusement to lust, as he traced your lips with his calloused finger. Your tongue darted out to lick the trailing digit and he understood your silent taunt. He pushed his finger into your mouth and you sucked on it, closing your eyes briefly. “Impressive… Let’s see how you handle something else”, he purred and you opened your mouth eagerly. He slid into it, and you moaned around his dick. You looked up into his eyes as he fucked your mouth slowly and you gently grabbed his balls, scraping your nails lightly against them. “Fuck, lass… You will make me explode before its time”, he panted. You kept sucking him, like he was a lollypop gradually taking more of him in. Eventually, he couldn’t take it anymore and with an animalistic growl he pushed you back on the bed and immediately straddled you. With his dripping wet cock he made a line in between your breasts that were still covered by your pearly white romper. You were still clothed and he was stark naked, it seemed he was eager to rip it off of you but he composed himself with the last shred of willpower he had in himself. He gently slid it off your shoulders and groaned in pure pleasure when he saw that you only had a pair of underwear underneath. His hot strong body aligned with yours perfectly as you stared into his eyes that seemed bottomless from this angle. He started to kiss and bite at your neck, your moans only encouraging him further. He moved lower and lower until he reached the hem of your white lacey knickers. He took them off with his teeth and threw them across the room. Your breathing was becoming more rapid as the final moment was approaching. He stopped his ministrations for a while and just looked at you, still hovering over your face. You noticed his seashell necklace and wondered why you did that just now. Maybe because his eyes were too distracting for you to look at him anywhere else longer than five seconds. “Fuck, lass… You have no idea how fuckable you look right now”, he said sensually. You smirked at that remark. “Then why don’t you fuck me?”
In one swift move he entered you, without warning, and you cried out grabbing his shoulders. He softly bit your lower lip and you kissed him hard, opening your mouth to start the sensual duel of tongues. It was a feast of senses as he pounded you into the mattress. Edward wasn’t the guy for slow and gentle. You loved it. His balls slapped against your ass as he fucked you missionary style. He parted your legs even more and penetrated into you even deeper and your moans slowly turned into screams. In the heat of the moment you grabbed him by the necklace and pulled him to your lips, desperate to taste the rum that was always present on them. You made out for a while when you felt that euphoric feeling of an orgasm approaching. “Edward… I’m so close”
“Cum for me baby”, he grunted and you did. Luckily you were lying down otherwise you would’ve toppled over. He took out his cock from your dripping pussy and glazed your lips with his cock as if putting a lipstick on them. You kissed the glans of his dick and eagerly opened your mouth. He thrust inside once, twice and exploded in your mouth with a sexy groan. You didn’t swallow it all but kept some of it in your mouth as you held it open. Drops of his cum were now flowing from your mouth and he groaned again. “Fuck… You are going to be the end of me”, he breathed out and kissed you. It was incredibly dirty and erotic at the same time. You never did this with anyone else before. But, with Edward you felt like you could try all dirty things in the bedroom. Cum sharing wasn’t something you particularly liked but you realized that you loved it with him. He collapsed next to you breathing as if he ran a marathon across the globe. You turned to your side and gazed at his magnificent, sweaty muscular body. One drop of sweat was running down his scarred cheek and you caught it with your finger. He turned to look at you as you licked it off. He chuckled and shook his head. “What am I going to do with you…”
You smiled hopefully. “Fuck me again?”
His next action was totally unexpected as he pinned you down again and kissed you deeply, his tongue doing wonders to yours. “Your wish is my command”
You squealed as he turned you over with your ass in the air, presented to him like some pagan sacrifice. Oh you were so ready for another round.

Elisabeth was being chatted up by one of Edward’s friends, but she didn’t listen to the guy.

“Who are you looking for?” The guy asked her, noticing her clear lack of interest and her wandering gaze.

“Edward!” She screamed. “MY boyfriend!”

The guy shrugged and went to spend time with someone more interesting. Elisabeth looked around, hoping to see you but had no such luck. She felt a wave of tears coming up, having never felt so alone and rejected. Finally, she decided to pull out her phone and call the one man who always answered her.

“Jacob… can you please come get me? I’m at the beach… yes, please, I’m not in trouble. Thank you..”

She ended the call and sat on the sand and let her tears fall freely. No one paid her any mind.

Exiting the house, your eyes found Elisabeth. The guilt was hitting you like a baseball bat. Edward laced his hands around your waist, his light stubble tickled the sensitive skin of your neck as he spoke.

“I don’t want anything to do with her anymore.”

You both watched as Jacob Frye entered the party area and Elisabeth stood up. He said something to her and she shook her head. Then, she hugged him and he returned it. He led her away from the party.

“I’ve set my eyes elsewhere,” Edward continued, speaking huskily in your ear.

He turned you around to face him and gave you a long, hot kiss.

“How do I know you won’t toss me aside just like you plan on doing to her?”

You couldn’t stop the words from leaving your mouth. You felt both doubtful and guilty.

“You don’t,” was his reply. “You just have to trust me.”

He stroked your bottom lip with his thumb and you shivered.

“This is wrong…” You bit your lip in worry.

“Then it shouldn’t feel right, like it does,” Edward chuckled. “Let’s enjoy the party. She will live. Give her some credit. Besides, Frye is with her now and if there is one thing he excels at its making ladies move on.”

 

“James…” Charles laughed. “You wouldn’t recognize a good deal if it slapped you in the face. You suck mate.”

It was a nice, relaxing evening at the Whitechapel club and bar, a place you were visiting for the first time. The owner was Robert Topping, a very close associate of Jacob and Edward. You were seated on one of the bar’s high stools, next to James, as Charles teased him endlessly about different things.

Edward and Elisabeth were in a private booth, which you’d learned from James was their own little space. The music was simply background noise, failing to mask Elisabeth’s cries and Edward’s booming voice. You went out with all of them, hoping to have some fun, but the couple were in very bad terms with each other.

Trying not to focus on their fighting and failing miserably (because half of it was your fault), you saw a woman entering the club. She had short brown hair and wore all black. When you thought about it, her outfit was the female version of your neighbours’ outfits, when they sneaked off into the night. Odd…

“Aye Rhona… long time no see!” The barman, Jack, greeted her.

The woman briefly looked at you, Charles and James and you smiled politely. She had freckles and bright eyes.

“Hide me, Jack,” she pleaded with a heavy Scottish accent. “I have no time left…”

Before Jack had the time to react to her plea, three men dressed in all-black leather jackets barged into the club. The dancing couples immediately dispersed and so did the rest of the guests when they saw them. You didn’t understand what was happening, as you watched everyone flee in a panic. Was this normal? They were just three men! However, once they approached closer to the bar you saw why everyone fled the scene. They were holding out guns and their apparent leader had a huge knife too.

James and Charles leaped to their feet and headed to the back exit of the club. Jack, however, calmly got out of his usual place behind the bar and stood before you, shielding you from the men. Before you got the chance to ask what the hell was going on, you noticed that the woman, Rhona, was looking like a deer caught in headlights. Edward hid Elisabeth behind him, watching the scene intensely.

“Rhona, baby… why did you run?” The leader of the two spoke in a very menacing tone, causing goosebumps to appear on your arms.

“You don’t want to do this Flint,” Rhona’s voice shook. “Not here and definitely not now.”

You’d be nervous too if you were her. The guy was obviously a maniac.

“Oh I want to, so bad,” he said, holding out the gun and knife in each of his hands. “Choose. Painful and slow, or fast and relatively painless?”

“I had no choice Hilary,” she said. “I had to take it.”

Her hands were shaking. From fear or from something else… you couldn’t tell.
“You always have a choice. I trusted you. I took a fucking bullet for you!”

“And you know that I would do the same. But the sides we are on don’t allow us to be together like we want to. I had to earn my keep.”

“Oh yeah? Well now I have to earn mine.”

It happened too fast. Elisabeth screamed as the gunshot echoed and so did you. Behind the three men, you saw the door of the club opening and two guys in green jackets and yellow bandanas over their faces crept up behind the two guys accompanying him and snapped their necks. You couldn’t see where Edward had gone, but in the next second you saw him literally coming from the sky, as he trampled the guy and plunged a blade in him.

Elisabeth was hiding behind a booth and Jack still held you behind him. A million questions flew in your head, as you stared into Rhona’s lifeless eyes. The shot in her head was gruesome. The guys in green jackets disappeared and you didn’t notice when that happened. Edward looked scary as hell. You wanted answers.

Your hands shook as you poured some of the herbal tea for frazzled nerves – also known as chamomile. Elisabeth had her face buried in her hands and Edward stood awkwardly in the center of your living room. Jacob was sitting next to Elisabeth, gently rubbing her back to comfort her. She paid him absolutely no mind. At this point you worried about her. Like you, she had no idea about Edward’s true profession. You both thought he was preoccupied with finding the perfect wave and boxing with his friends at their gym.

Both of you were wrong.

“I knew you are dangerous,” you spoke up, sitting down on the armchair.
“But never to this degree… I mean, you just killed a man!”

“Calm down love. He will explain”, Jacob said from his spot on the couch.
“Well, he better start cause I am this close to having a nervous breakdown”, your voice shook and your hands trembled. “Who was that psycho with the knife and what the hell was going on at the club???”
Edward sighed deeply. “I’m an assassin. We all are”
“Elaborate”, you insisted.
“I am a part of a secret brotherhood. There are rules we follow, tenets if you will, so don’t think that we go around killing innocent people. The man with the knife was Hilary Flint, a Templar. Now, you may not know history but I can sum it up for you. Templars are our one true enemy. Rhona is my associate, and she made a mistake falling for him. What you saw tonight was simply the culmination of a few months long relationship between a templar and assassin”
Your head was spinning from the information you were receiving. “Hang on.. Rules?? You and rules?? I’m sorry I’m simply not buying it”

“I joined the brotherhood at first because of the ‘everything is permitted’ part. I thought it was an allowance to do whatever the hell I wanted. Later, Connor, being my cousin, re-educated me on the true meaning and Arno helped. It’s so much more than killing Templars… It’s guarding the free will of all mankind. I made huge mistakes regarding the order: I almost annihilated it. Arno and Connor helped again, making the others build back up their trust in me and I’m grateful for that. Connor may be a pain in my ass for that righteous shite he’s always spewing out, but he’s my blood. Arno is my colleague and he is also responsible for taming that wild side of me.”

Silence filled the room, but of course Jacob broke it.

“He’s right you know. Hey mate, did my boys arrive in time?”

He turned to ask Edward. You looked at one, then the other, like observing a tennis match. They made no sense – neither of them.

“They did. Thanks Jacob.”

“Anytime mate.”

“That’s the nicest thing someone said to me,” you heard Arno’s voice at the door as he wiped a fake tear.

Edward turned around and groaned in annoyance.

“Seriously, Arno…”

“Hey! The door was open!” Arno defended, before taking on a more serious tone. “By they way, I need you to look at something. We may have a problem tonight.”

He sent you a wink before leaving for his own apartment. In that moment, Elisabeth came back to her senses.

“All this time… and you didn’t remember to tell me this?”

Edward sighed and turned to look at her now.

“It was to protect you. There’s a danger to knowing these things. Besides, you said you’d love me no matter what.”

“Correct. That didn’t include you being a secretive fuck!”

“Now, wait just a minute here Elisabeth…”

She didn’t let him finish, leaving the room in a huff and slamming the door on her way out. You got up to follow her, but decided that its better to leave her alone for the time being.

“Okay…” Jacob drawled out. “I’d better be going now…”

Only you and Edward were left in the room then and he touched your cheek gently.

“I should leave too. But I’ll come over later, okay? I don’t know why she got so upset… I told you both at the same time.”

“Its not that Edward… It’s because you didn’t trust her enough to tell her first. She is your girlfriend–”

You were interrupted, and his next words surprised you.

“Not for long.”

He gave you a long and meaningful look. Before you had a chance to react, he was already closing the door behind him.

“You aren’t your usual chipper self when we go out like this… are you sure you’re alright, Elisabeth?”

After the beach party, you and Elisabeth were not as close as before. Something shifted. Of course it did… you had sex with her boyfriend, a boyfriend she could kill for. And you loved it. You lied to her, saying you were dragged by Anne and spent most of the party in her company. When Elisabeth asked about Edward you said you saw with him another girl. You couldn’t tell her the truth. Her reaction was… explosive, to say the least.

They fought for nights and Edward refused to reveal the identity of the mysterious girl he spent the night with. He was hiding you and that left you confused. He’d never seemed the type to be private about those sorts of things. He already admitted he would break up with Elisabeth, but that still didn’t happen. You were restless as the days dragged on and on.

Elisabeth kept raging, making work even more difficult. Finally, one day she told you she quit, at least temporarily. Elisabeth wasn’t stupid. She knew you like the back of her hand and she suspected something. You knew that. You knew it was only a matter of hours until she found out about your betrayal.

However, you didn’t care. You’d felt guilty at first, but her behaviour towards you the past months made your attitude towards her harden. Additionally, Edward had changed you. He changed your level of alertness; he made you feel more relaxed, like you can have the world in your palm.

“Edward is distant these past few weeks…”

“He’s not the usual boyfriend type, honey. You know this… and you fought…”
“Yes but… what is wrong with me? Why doesn’t he want me anymore? Am
I not hot enough? Am I not giving him head? Cause I do that – a lot.”

You wrinkled your nose up in disgust and annoyance.

“Too much information, Elisabeth…”

“Yeah, whatever,” she spat. “Why do you ask anyway? It’s not like you care.”

“That’s not true and you know it,” you replied calmly. “I’ve been observing your behaviour. The flirting with Jacob isn’t helping you. Edward isn’t the type of guy to get jealous over that.”

“And you are the expert on men? Right, I forgot… THEY ALL WANT TO
FUCK YOU!”

She was suddenly screaming, her temper exploding and you sighed.

“Elisabeth…” you began, but it was too late.

She was out of control now and her eyes widened in realisation.

“You have your eye on him, don’t you? That’s why you’re prying this much! Oh god…”

She pressed her hand to her forehead, her eyes wide and raging. You couldn’t let her discover you this soon, although it felt like you were fighting a battle that cannot be won.
“Stop babbling and listen to me,” you told her. “We will go out, have some drinks, and you two will make up afterwards. They’re all at the gym.”

“How the fuck do you know where they all are?” She yelled.

“Connor told me. That’s beside the point… you and Edward need to straighten things out.”

Elisabeth sniffled. You’d watched her cry countless times since the party and now you were about to watch her again. Since when did you become so… emotionless? Deep down, you knew the answer to that. Since you saw the blue-eyed devil at your doorstep, asking you to turn down the music and stop singing.

You two had your drinks, Elisabeth looked absolutely gorgeous and miserable. The worst combination there is. You never thought you would see her like this, and you never dreamed that you would be the reason for her to be like this. It hurt somewhat, to be the grand architect of the downfall of a relationship. But to be fair, Elisabeth wasn’t the one for Edward. She suffocated him and he was desperate for air. Men like him were born to seduce and conquer freely, without the burden of a steady relationship.

The two of you arrived at the gym and were surprised to see it packed. Charles, James, Mary, Anne and the other assassins were there, spectating a sparring match. Edward and Ezio were in the boxing ring and by the looks of things Ezio was kicking his ass.

“Ah, amico mio… I should stop now before you are all black and blue. I haven’t seen you in such a bad shape.”

Ezio was shaking his head in clear disapproval. Edward had a bloodied lip and a huge bruise decorating his chest, along with the tattoos. Ezio looked concerned while the others were silent. No one cheered. The clank of your high heels signalled your arrival and Jacob let out a wolf whistle.

“God help me…”
Connor smacked him. He was right to do so, since it wasn’t the time for Jacob’s teasing. Edward’s eyes roamed your body first and Elisabeth noticed. Her lips tightened and she took a deep breath. Anne was the first to stand up from the bench they all sat on and she approached you both.

“I thought you were extinct.”

“I don’t get easily intimidated by redheaded sluts.”

You decide to intervene.

“Anne, please… she and Edward need to talk. Can we all just go to my apartment and let them smooth things out?”

Anne opened her mouth to reply, but Mary beat her to it.

“Yeah okay, lets go, lass. I need a drink anyway.”

James and Charles got up too, followed by the rest of the guys. Connor had a very grim look on his face and Elisabeth grabbed his bicep, digging her nails into the skin. He didn’t flinch or react like he was in pain, he just watched her sadly. Elisabeth’s eyes welled up.

“Connor… is there something you’re not telling me?”

“I can’t intervene anymore, Elisabeth,” he said and removed her hand from his bicep.

Elisabeth walked up to Edward, entering the ring. He poured water all over himself and drank a bit from the bottle. Even in this hard moment, you shuddered visibly and everyone noticed. The sight was too overwhelming for you to hold back. Elisabeth gulped and that was when his eyes landed on her form. He simply stared.

Meanwhile, you tried to usher everyone out, but no one moved. The tension in the room was high and the sight before them was too interesting. Unwillingly, you watched the scene unfold.

“You have something to tell me?” Edward asked Elisabeth, his voice piercing the silence.
He stared her down, but Elisabeth doesn’t flinch.

“Yes. I want us to be like before.”

His laugh was loud and very unnatural.

“You’ve always asked strange things from me, baby. From bedroom kinks to ice cream cartons that can only be found in specific supermarkets… but now you ask the impossible.”

“Edward, please listen–” Elisabeth tried to continue, but he cut her off.

“Lass, face it. We had something special. You made me feel things and I did the same to you… but it’s in the past now. I’ve already set my eyes elsewhere and I suggest you do the same. Go, knowing that you made me a better man, a man that can actually commit.”

He approached her petite, trembling body and ran one hand through her semi-curly, beautiful brown hair. Arno exhaled, as if he was watching a bunny being skinned alive.

“Mon dieu…”

Edward kissed Elisabeth’s forehead for the last time, before moving away from her as her sobs become audible. He joined the group standing awkwardly at the centre of the gym. You received one very heated look from him and you snapped back to reality. You ran to Elisabeth as she fell to her knees from the strength of her grief.

“I hate her, but this is sad as hell…” you heard Anne comment.

Mary turned to Edward, shaking her head as she did so.

“Did you really have to be this curt with her, Kenway?”

Edward sighed deeply and pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Mary, please. I’m not in the mood for such shite from you right now.”

Connor patted him on the back.
“Well done cousin,” he said sarcastically, turning to leave.

You knelt down next to Elisabeth and attempted to hug her.

“Elisabeth… let me help you up…”

Her bloodshot eyes and her ruined makeup were what you saw next. Her voice sent chills running down your spine.

“You’ve done enough. Go and take him. He’s all yours now. He always was. I hope I don’t ever see you again.”

She got up and picked up her clutch from the ground and walked with what little pride she had left. She shoved Jacob, who was propping himself on the wall near the exit and he stared after her, amazed. Before leaving completely she turned to have one final look at Edward.
“I hope you rot in hell, you mad bastard!”
They say that you don’t know what you have until you lose it. Normally you hated those stupid wisdom quotes you saw on facebook and Instagram but today you realized that those sayings had some wisdom in them after all. You sat on the floor in your shared apartment with Elisabeth as you waited for her to come back from her morning run. She took on running every morning just to get away from you and not for her already slim figure. Things between you two were never this bad, not even when she found out you broke her favorite curling iron. You should’ve known. And, you did, but you didn’t expect to fall for the dashing blonde from across the hall as well. Elisabeth rarely fell for men it was usually the other way around. Her blue eyes, dainty nose and pouty mouth did wonders on any guy that happened to see her. You two got along perfectly, although sometimes you hated her guts. In the end, it was always the two of you. Through thick and thin. A fight in your friendship was always expected, but never for a man.
The door slammed and pulled you away from your thoughts. Elisabeth was finally back. You got up from the floor and turned to greet her.
“I made you some breakfast-“, you began but she cut you off with one look. She glanced at the table and then back at you with disgust. That hurt.
“No thanks. I’d rather starve to death than take anything from you ever again”, she spat. Your eyes narrowed. Yes, you committed a huge sin in the holy bible of friendship but she didn’t have to be that venomous towards you. If she didn’t suffocate him he never would’ve turned to you. Okay, maybe that wasn’t the case but that still didn’t give her the right to treat you like this.
“Elisabeth we are not kids anymore. Let’s discuss this like adults”, you began trying to reason with her but deep down you knew that it was as effective as trying to reason with a raging animal.
“You knew!!! You knew how much I loved him!!! I COOKED FOR HIM!! If nothing else signaled you, THAT would be the most effective sign!”, she screamed tears forming in her eyes.
“Elisabeth of course I knew! But I never expected to fall for him as well”
She suddenly took in a sharp breath. “You.. what?”
You sighed. “I guess I am a horrible person. But the heart wants what it wants”
“Don’t. Don’t you dare justifying your actions with that facebook wisdom quote shit”, she barked and took one step closer to you with her freshly manicured finger pointed at you.
“Elisabeth… I am so sorry it turned out like this. But I told you in the beginning… He is not the usual boyfriend type, he is different, he cannot be tamed,-“
“Oh fuck you. He isn’t some wild animal to be tamed. And even if he was, who the HELL do you think you are huh? A certified tamer? The girl who can make any man succumb to her command?”
“I never said that. I just said that he isn’t any normal guy. He is different. Normal relationship stuff don’t help in keeping him with you”
“And now you are the expert on guy types. Right, I forgot. You are the one that gets their attention no matter what you do”
She was suddenly very close to you and you used that moment. You slapped her. Hard.
Her hand quickly flew to her cheek, holding it and looking shocked as expected. “I guess this is it then”, Elisabeth whispered.
“I guess it is. You don’t want to make peace so it’s best that you leave”, your voice shook but you didn’t care anymore.

“This is a mistake Elisabeth. Stop for a moment and think”
Altair was standing in front of a very enraged Elisabeth. Not a thing even a trained killer should do.
“You are not in a position to tell me what’s right or wrong. Or what I should do. Get out of my way Altair. For all I know you helped in hiding this affair”, Elisabeth spat at the assassin who remained expressionless. “If you gave him time, he would’ve told you about his job as an assassin. You never had patience with him when it came to serious things. That’s why he left you”
“Altair you are not helping”, Aguilar piped up from the couch. The door of your shared apartment was opened which meant the entire building was hearing the conversation.
Elisabeth stopped trying to push Altair out of her way and pushed her suitcases away with such force that you flinched. You were siting on the dining chair, you head in your hands. This was a nightmare.
“You listen to me you stoic moron. I gave him everything he asked for. Even more. I never lied to him and I sure as hell never cheated”, she shouted.
“And the flirting with Jacob?”, Aguilar was desperately trying to mend the situation but was failing. Elisabeth looked at him and snorted. “Jacob and I just joked with each other”
“Edward never lied to you either Elisabeth”, Altair said and took a seat next to Aguilar.
“Oh fuck you. I am so done with all of you!!”
Elisabeth took her fallen suitcases and her bag. She was out in the hallway when you heard a yelp. “Get your bitch out of the way bear dude!”
“Elisabeth! What the- Are you leaving??”, Connor sounded very surprised at the new development. She didn’t answer him. “Elisabeth, stop what are you doing? This is ridiculous..”, Arno’s voice was heard next. “Get out of my way Dorian before I whack you with my purse”
It was silent for a while. You decided it was time to get up from the chair and close the door. It was enough drama for one day. Elisabeth was finally gone.

The waves were calling out to you, along with Edward’s sexy voice. Night swimming was a big no-no for you, but Edward turned it into a big yes please. He had that talent. Making you completely change your beliefs. You never thought you will be skinny dipping at night with this blue eyed devil. Still, facing the dark water was scary for you. And that’s what made it so exciting. Part of you wanted to scream ‘fire!’ and run as far as possible and another part of you wanted to get as close as possible without getting burned. It was funny.. His eyes were the color of the ocean and they always seemed to burn when looking at you. The soothing sound of the waves beckoned you closer and soon enough you were completely submerged in the dark water and the moon was the only one illuminating his handsome features. You felt his hands wrap around your waist under the water and you felt the heat radiating from them, even though the water wasn’t warm. Your blush deepened when he gently took your chin in his finger and made you look at him.
“I never cared who I hurt with my actions. All that mattered was my own satisfaction and gain. It was the same with women. I used Elisabeth as an excuse to see you more. I don’t regret it lass”, he said seriously caressing your arms and you felt goosebumps rise in the wake of his touch.
You finally dared to touch his cheek and lean in closer. His lips were now so close to yours and your breath hitched. No matter how many times you did this with him it was always exhilarating. He smirked and you mirrored it. “You are such a pirate”, you murmured, your lips grazing his.
He didn’t stall anymore and immediately captured your lips with his, His hands began their journey along your body and you moaned when you felt his calloused fingers move lower and lower until they reached their desired destination. Your legs automatically spread and made way for his long digits to delve deep into you. You hissed at the contact and he stopped the kiss. You could feel that he was hard as a rock and the sensation made you even more wet. Wordlessly he wrapped your legs around his waist and from this angle you could feel the tip of his gorgeous cock rubbing lightly against your clit. Edward was all about teasing you with certain looks and words but never like this. This was torture. His light stubble tickled your neck as he bit and kissed it, thoroughly marking you as his. You started rubbing yourself against his hot and hard member, like a bitch in heat. Your nails were now drawing angry red lines on his pectorals, the ones you could never get over with how nice and firm they looked. His tattoos glistened in the moonlight and you decided to return the favor and began marking his neck as well. He threw his head back, offering his neck to you like some virginal sacrifice and you relished in the opportunity. You kissed, licked and bit at the firm flesh and he was slowly becoming more vocal. Deciding that he couldn’t take it anymore, he slowly slid into your warm pussy, the water aiding the penetration. You gasped, he wasn’t small. He began slow but the pace quickened once his peak was nearing.
It felt amazing while he was stretching you in the most delicious ways. His hot breath fanned against your face, the smell of rum and ocean was now even more prominent. Those blue eyes of his reflected the light of the moon as they gazed into yours. With one final thrust he made you see stars as your orgasm washed over you like a tidal wave. He followed a minute after. Seeing him like this, totally orgasmed out, was heavenly. He never looked more beautiful to you before this. You realized that its time to say those three little words that would make it or break this relationship.
“I love you, Edward”, you whispered as he slowly pulled out of your wet heat. His smile was lighting up his face. “I love you too lass”

“You know… Without her its a lot quieter around here”, Jacob said that sunny late afternoon. You were sitting with him on your balcony and sipping cool drinks to beat the warm weather. The rest of the assassins were at the gym and Edward was nowhere to be seen, as he was in Havana, chasing his next target. You were glad he was coming back tonight. He texted you a picture of a beautiful sandy beach with the description “Wish you were here”. Oh how you wished.
You sipped your iced tea and frowned at Jacob’s comment. “Well, I miss her Jacob. As much as she did the wrong thing”
The sexy Brit laughed. He was going to say something when Yusuf barged in the apartment and made a run for the balcony. He hid behind your chair and in the next second a very enraged and drenched Connor was stepping into the living room. “Yusuf I swear I will ban you to use anything that can be filled with water!!!”
Yusuf snickered from behind your chair and you barely had any time to move when Connor literally ran into the balcony and pushed the barrier that was the Turk’s shield. They started to fight, although it seemed like Yusuf was having the time of his life judging by the laughter. Jacob shook his head as he peacefully sipped his drink while his colleagues were pushing each other towards the railing.
Arno’s head popped from behind the glass door that led to the balcony. He glanced at Yusuf and Connor beating each other up and turned to you. “Ah I see everything is in order here. Chérie, hello and goodbye”
He disappeared, and you giggled. These kinds of afternoons were precious to you. You left the balcony and the fighting behind to get ready for tonight’s date with Edward.

Dusk was approaching fast and by the time you were prepped and ready all your neighbors were on the spacious balcony, each of them in a different position. You didn’t hear them all come inside, you only had three men on your balcony when you left. Edward was the only one standing and their unusual quiet chatter died down. Of course, Ezio was the first to comment.
“Bellissima… Amico mio… You are one lucky bastardo”
The slinky dark mauve dress that clung to your form like a second skin did its trick. The men were ogling you like you were a glass of ice water on a very hot day on a deserted island.
You stepped closer to your gorgeous pirate and he pulled you flush against his chest. He smelled of the ocean and rum and something else… You couldn’t quite detect it. A collective murmur of ‘ohhs’ and ‘awwws’ from your neighbors ruined the tender moment you were having and you broke apart. “Lets go love. I am not in the mood to put on a show for these morons”, Edward chuckled as he took your hand in his. You were already at the door when you heard the voice of the self proclaimed king of the building.
“Use protection kids!!”, Jacob yelled after you.
“One more word from your trap Jacob and I will cut off your lips and feed them to ya”, Edward barked at him as he took his jacket that was on the armchair.
The rest of the men laughed at that.
“His most famous phrase. Never gets old”, Connor chortled.
“Don’t worry we will lock up here!”, Ezio said and got up from his seat.
“But you take care not to knock HER up!”, Jacob added.
“Oh my god Jacob stop I’m going to burst”, Arno was out of breath.
“Not here mate, its not your apartment”
“Fuck you man”
“Yeah you wish”