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A Different Path

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Evie was searching through her brother’s personal belongings at his lodgings in Whitechapel.

The female assassin was trying to make sense of Jacob’s disappearance, sifting through piles of correspondence which appeared to have no semblance of order to them.

“Some things never change.” said Evie to herself, allowing a small smile to creep onto her lips.

It was the first time in weeks that she had found herself able to find amusement in anything and for once it came as a welcome diversion.

Evie suddenly frowned when she came across a scrap of paper which had been written in Jacob’s hand, it simply read ‘Kali.’

“Kali?” said Evie aloud.

The female assassin quickly got to her feet and looked around the room. Her line of sight suddenly fell to the small statue which adorned the fireplace.

“I gave this to Jacob the last time that he visited me in India.” said Evie, picking up the ornament. Evie then noticed a letter which had been hidden behind the statue. Taking the paper in her grasp, she began to read aloud.

Dear Evie

There is a woman who can help. Unfortunately, she will remind you of our childhood neighbour.

Evie looked puzzled. “What does he mean, 'unfortunately?’ We loved old Nellie….I wonder if Jacob is referring to an 'unfortunate woman?” she pondered.

P.S. You will know her as soon as you see her. She bears a more than passing resemblance to someone you once crossed paths with. I will leave it at that.

“Oh my God, Nellie? It can’t be.” thought Evie, as she checked her weapons and ran out of the door.

——————————————————————————

Evie was heading for the Kenway Mansion. She had received word that Nellie had been taken captive and was being held against her will. As the grand manor came into view, the assassin felt a shiver run down her spine. The memories of twenty years ago began to flood her mind. Memories that she had tried so hard to forget but even almost two decades in India couldn’t erase them. Now it seemed that her past was about to come back to haunt her.

The brunette crept in through an open upstairs window and proceeded to quietly make her way towards the grand staircase. A massed gathering were occupied listening to a rousing speech and Evie didn’t want to run the risk of causing a disturbance. She knew that Nellie was here somewhere and she couldn’t jeopardise the woman’s life. She had to reach her without arousing suspicion.

Going past the open front door, Evie signalled to two young women who were lingering outside.

“Could you distract that group over there for a moment?” asked Evie.

“Yes, of course, Miss.” replied the one woman.

As the women went ahead of her, Evie moved further into the room. It was then that Evie Frye felt as if she had seen a ghost.

“…….She bears a more than passing resemblance to someone you once crossed paths with. I will leave it at that.”

Evie remembered Jacob’s words as she stood frozen for a moment.

The young woman couldn’t have been older than twenty-five, thought Evie. She had dark hair but when the light caught it, she could make out a subtle tone of red… and her eyes….her eyes were like…

“Lucy.” Evie gasped, as she closed her eyes and shook her head to compose herself.

Evie discreetly walked towards the young woman.

“Nellie.” Evie whispered.

Nellie slowly turned around and saw the assassin standing behind her.

“You’re..you’re Mr Jacob’s sister, aren’t you?…Miss Evie?” whispered Nellie.

“Yes, my brother sent me.” replied Evie. “I need to get you to a place of safe-ty.”

Evie’s words suddenly trailed off as she noticed a broken pendant which hung from the choker around Nellie’s neck. It was part of an assassin pendant. It was part of her pendant!

There was no doubt about the identity of this young woman now but questions would have to wait. “Follow me.” said Evie, softly.

“What if Lady O catches me, she’ll kill us.” said Nellie, with concern.

“Don’t worry, Nellie. I have enlisted the help of some of your fellow ladies. They should be able to give us enough cover to get out of here.” said Evie, reassuringly.

Evie led Nellie out of the Kenway Mansion and down an alleyway towards a tavern.

“I have organised a room here. You’ll be safe.” said Evie.

Nellie looked at Evie and smiled. “Thank you, Miss Evie.” she replied.

Once Nellie had had chance to settle into her surroundings, Evie finally broached a question.

“Nellie, how is it that you came into this way of life?” asked Evie, clearly agitated.

“No choice really.” replied Nellie, as she sat and stared at her hands in her lap. “I was an orphan and once the orphanage were done with me, I had no other way of keeping me self.”

Evie didn’t want to push Nellie but she needed to know the truth.

“Do you know what happened to your parents?” asked Evie, hesitately.

“Don’t know about me father.” said Nellie. “….and all I have of me mother is this.”

Nellie put her fingers to the broken assassin pendant around her neck.

Evie could feel her heart pounding. This young woman sitting in front of her was Lucy Thorne’s daughter, a part of the woman she loved was living and breathing and sitting right in front of her. The assassin knew that this was her chance to make things right. She had been mostly to blame for Nellie’s situation, her life would have taken an entirely different path.

“Nellie.” said Evie softly. “I need to tell you about what happened to your mother. It won’t be easy to hear.” Evie grasped Nellie’s hands in her own and the young woman could see tears welling up in Evie’s eyes.

“Miss Evie?” asked Nellie, concerned.

Evie pulled a broken pendant out of her clothing and held it out to Nellie. “I gave the other half of this pendant to your mother. She was wearing it on the day she died. The day that I - killed her.” said Evie, suddenly overcome with emotion.

“What? I don’t understand, Miss." said Nellie.

“Your mother was a Templar. Her name was Lucy Thorne….and I loved her.” said Evie.

The female Frye twin reached into her breast pocket and pulled out a worn piece of paper.

“I have carried this next to my heart for the past twenty years. I have never been able to let her go.” said Evie.

Evie carefully opened the piece of paper to reveal a partially faded drawing and showed it to Nellie.

“You look so much like your mother.” said Evie.

“I can’t believe this!” exclaimed Nellie. “It don’t make any sense.”

“If I could take it all back, I would.” said Evie, getting to her feet and turning away from Nellie. “I’m so sorry.”

The young woman got up from her seat and moved to Evie’s side.

“Your brother told me that you had been living in India with your husband, haven’t you been happy with him?” asked Nellie, trying to work things out in her mind.

“When I married Henry, it was purely a means of escape. I knew that he wanted to go to india.” said Evie. “He doesn’t know about your mother, or my feelings, the truth is, I have only ever loved one person and I love her still.”

Nellie put her arms around Evie and looked into the assassin’s watery greenish blue eyes.

“Damn this creed!” cried Evie. “If I had followed my heart, I would have protected your mother. I would have joined the Templars. I would have done anything to make sure that she had been safe. Now I must endure this torture for the rest of my life!”

“Miss Evie.” whispered Nellie, softly stroking at Evie’s left cheek in an attempt to soothe her pain.

Evie was shaking now. She felt as if she was twenty years old again as she looked through her tears at the young woman in front of her, she could have sworn that it was Lucy looking back at her. But she wasn’t a girl of twenty anymore and this young woman didn’t deserve to be burdened with this emotional pain. Nellie had already been through enough.

“I- I’m sorry, Nellie. I shouldn’t have-” stammered Evie. “I’ll leave you to rest. I’ll see you later.”

The female Frye twin walked with urgency towards the door but Nellie ran to block her path.

“Please, Miss Evie. I don’t want you to go!” exclaimed Nellie. “My mother loved you in return, didn’t she?” asked Nellie, looking into Evie’s pained eyes. “That’s why she was wearing the pendant that day.”

“Your mother knew that I had no choice.” said Evie, as the tears streamed down her face. “It had been drummed into me by my late father, 'don’t let personal feelings compromise the mission,’ I would give anything not to have remembered his words that day. I have let you down, Nellie.”

“How could you have let me down?” asked Nellie, puzzled.

Evie couldn’t look at Nellie at she continued to impart her secret. “I was a coward.” said Evie. “I ran away to India. I couldn’t live with losing your mother by my own blade and….I didn’t follow through on my promise to her.”

Nellie sat in silence, her head spinning. It was too much to take in.

“I swore to your mother that I would protect you, it was her dying wish.” said Evie, staring off into the distance as she recalled the last moments of Lucy Thorne’s life.

“She pressed the pendant into the palm of my right hand and asked me to get it to you.” said Evie……..

“You have a daughter?” asked Evie, in shock.

“I don’t have much time.” said Lucy. “There are two letters on the desk, one is addressed to you and the other is for her.”

“I was so stunned that I just nodded in response.” said Evie. “I remember your mother grabbing me by the arm, her dark eyes still clinging on to life as she spoke her last words. "Tell Nellie that I love her. Until we meet again….. I love you, Evie.”

By this time, Nellie was holding a handkerchief to her lips, trying to catch the tears that were running down her face.

“I didn’t want to leave her. I softly kissed her goodbye and went to retrieve the letters.” said Evie. “I didn’t take the trophy of her blood on my handkerchief, as is assassin custom. I couldn’t do it. I loved her.”