Chapter 1: Red Headed Stranger
London — Southwark
Behind the haystack, a woman pops her head up to expose the copper red curls and frizz—tied in red ribbon with a fountain pen as support. Her eyes glared at the target. Her right eye is green, left eye is blue; both affected by heterochromia—passed down by her great-grandmother. The freckles are laid against her cheeks and the bridge of her nose, noticed by her fair skin. She is known as the redheaded stranger who joins her uncle, traveling the borough of Southwark.
Her uncle Grayson Harlow—is an Assassin. An older man in his late forties, his age not mattering from the way he fights and kills his enemies. Flexible enough to dodge, quick to block a punch, releasing his fury from the keen edge of his blade. His long hair, all shaded with white and gray strands, scars exposing the flesh tone on the bridge of his nose—another on his cheek.
Grayson peeks over the hay to spot the presence of the Templar; his target the Council assigned—Wilfred Griffiths.
"Jacqueline, is he alone?" He questioned his niece, furrowing his brows.
She draws out the fountain pen from her hair "I presume he is waiting for someone based on his inpatient toe-tapping, though I do not expect him to take a stroll in the park."
"Go—signal me once it's clear."
The redhead gives a brisk nod, raising her skirt slightly as she hurries to the nearby wall as it was plastered with advertisements of different products—most were under Crawford Starrick's company. The Grand Master, a man Grayson loathes. He was taught to keep his patience—except if Starrick gets near him and acts like a caged tiger. Which never happened.
Jacqueline huffs as she slid on the wall to sit. She wished she could have her standard yet sufficient attire to fight any incoming attacks—urging to practice her wielding her dagger and hand combat. The redhead shifts out of her journal, opening to a new page as a man approach near Griffiths. Wearing a red uniform—a Blighter. One of the notorious gangs in London, lurking all over the boroughs.
"Any news?" Wilfred asked, uncrossing his arms. The tone of his voice is sincere, not yelling at his men for once as he is after a particular artifact.
"The Piece of Eden exploded in the laboratory of Croydon a few days ago; Miss Thorne was unsure who has done it. Although there is no doubt an Assassin was there that day."
"The laboratory is all destroyed, all covered in debris—the Piece of Eden must have gone with it."
"What about Sir David?"
Jacqueline scribbles the name, attaching a line to an explosion in the laboratory.
"He was killed from the explosion—although I presume an Assassin possibly killed him."
"Was it Harlow? Arsehole is still lurking around." Griffiths pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Green could never leave London—Frye is dead. Harlow may have a chance to kill Brewster."
"I'll consider hunting him down."
"Change of topic, Archie is enlarging his hideout in Whitechapel. He wanted me to inform you, Eleanor and Gladys, to meet him in Raven's Row."
Jacqueline counts the names with her fingers, flipping through her last pages as she recalls listing the Templars names. The three other targets her uncle is searching. Gladys Harris, the woman who has the determination to hunt for the Assassin—no sleep, she desires honor from the Order for killing a deadly man. Archibald "Archie" Dawn, the Templar befriended her uncle when they were younger. He blames Grayson for the death of his sister, killed by a Blighter. Dawn joined the Templars for vengeance. Eleanor Taylor, the arch nemesis for ten years. She is in charge of a few child labor factories in London—having more connections with Starrick's trusted allies such as Lucy Thorne.
Jacqueline lifts her hand to signal Grayson to make his advance. The Assassin pull over his hood, sneaking his way in until dashes of red speed past him. He stops, running back to the hay—listening to the loud brays of the stallions and mares. Men shouting a song from the heart, others greeting Griffiths.
"Uncle?" Jacqueline mouthed as he shakes his head, placing his finger to his lips.
The redhead keeps her journal open, pen yearning to scribble.
Wilfred knitted his brows together, pacing towards the Blighter taking the lead of the multiple carriages.
"What is it now?"
"Mister Griffiths, there's another ambush at Spitalfields—Clinkers are back."
"Oh are they? Alright men, let's get this over with!" He clapped his hands, hopping inside the carriage to take off.
Grayson lowers at the Blighters shooting bullets in the air, echoing through the streets of Southwark. Shouting in a barbaric manner.
Jacqueline sighs, rising at last "That was rather interesting," she arranges the fountain pen back in her hair.
Grayson ran his hands down his face, muffling his groan before slapping his palms against his thighs. "Perfect, this man is always leaving with those men by his side!"
"It's alright uncle, maybe—"
"No, we'll have to be hasty next time Jacqueline… well, at least you had a few notes in your journal."
"Indeed, I'll share you what I got, the man was telling Mister Griffiths a handful of updates. Find it intriguing for his formal speaking."
"An educated Blighter, that's a new one." Grayson chuckles, pulling down his hood. Revealing his whole head of grays, the sun lightening his brown eyes to an amber glow.
"How many of men and women have you met in this city?"
"My dear, I would be rich as the Queen if I told you the exact amount." He encloses his arm around his niece's neck, holding her by his side to nudge his knuckles against her scalp.
"Stop it!" Jacqueline laughed as she frees herself from his grip.
Grayson, relieved to see his niece safe once again. A genuine smile from Jacqueline's uncle has made her delighted to him in a positive mood. The two became close ever since Grayson trained her to become a loyal ally of the Brotherhood. The redhead refuses to become an Assassin, never appreciating the killings nor confrontations of Templars. Worrying if she will cause more danger to her family, especially her aging uncle. He taught her to fight, to dodge, block and gave her a dagger to master her kills. Jacqueline allowed him to kill on his own as she tries to injure her opponent.
A strong woman, but an agile writer and intellectual. She manages to spy on various Templars who have an alliance with the four primary targets. Grayson's goal is to kill Crawford Starrick on his own—after finding the Piece of Eden. Believing he is the last Assassin guarding over London.
London — Whitechapel: Curio Shop
The night emerges as Henry Green shuffles through documents on his desk. An Indian Assassin who's been watching over London all alone, a man Grayson had met when he was a boy. Locating several Templars—recruiting men, women, and children to help him for the sake of the Brotherhood.
All this information he retrieved is now in the hands of the children of Ethan Frye.
Evie Frye, the eldest twin sister—and Jacob Frye, the impetuous twin brother.
"Occupied, Mister Green?" Evie asked, cautious to place the cup of tea in front of the Assassin. A man she finds intriguing after she and her brother arrived in London.
"Very, I'm quite anxious if you haven't noticed," Henry said, unfolding a document to read.
"Anxious? That's new, Greenie." Jacob commented, resting his legs on top of the couch. Holding onto the glass of whiskey he served.
Evie gave a dismissive wave "Ignore him, what distracts you?"
Henry takes a sip of his tea "I've written a letter to another Assassin residing here in London." The twins both exchanged faces. Jacob shrugged as he chugs down his beverage.
"Do we know him?" The twin sister asked, tilting her head.
"Your father had a close bond with him—a man who's a year older than him, he's intrigued to find the artifact as well and follows the tenets of the Creed. He is—"
"Grayson Harlow?" Evie questioned.
"Yes, did your father told you both about him?"
Evie glances at her brother who was not listening "Jacob and I were ten when he visited us, I could recall he had two scars, all smiles when he's around my father. He described Mister Harlow as a responsible man and the follower of the Creed."
"Sounds familiar," Jacob remarked.
"Grayson Harlow moved to London three years ago. From what I remember, he has a niece who is fascinated by the history of the Brotherhood."
"She's an Assassin?" Evie questioned—her brother turning his head to listen.
"No, Mister Harlow sent Ethan a letter declaring she refused to become one due to her fear of getting her family in danger. Although, she has a talent for writing."
"What good will that make?" Jacob swings his legs over the couch. Evie frowned at her brother.
"Well, Mister Frye she is a spy and is told to be trained by her uncle… Which is why I wrote him an invitation for a meeting in Moonrakers Pub."
"Are you certain he will come? After what happened to father?" The fierce twin picks on the leather of her bracer.
"Depends if he's still affected by the news—I do hope he arrives."
Jacob rise from the couch, walking towards the two "What's our plan? Form an alliance?"
Evie crosses her arms "We could, he could help me with the Piece of Eden."
"Or help me kill Templars." The brash twin nudges his elbow against his sister's arm.
Henry places his palms flat on his desk "I wanted to inform about you two—to liberate London from all corruption this city has been through." He stops as he takes a sip of his tea "I believe his niece is helping him to kill his targets."
"Or busy writing a novel." Evie hits her brother on the arm. "When is the meeting?"
"A day from now, I gave him some time to deliberate as I do not want to rush things."
Evie and Jacob interchange expressions, dubious about the small reunion with a man who knew their father for years.
"Get some rest you two, you'll have to meet new people tomorrow." Henry gives a sincere smile, aiming his focus back on his reading.
Jacob scratched under his chin, whispering "What will Mister Harlow reaction be?"
Evie ambles away from Green with her brother "My thought as well—positivity to see us after these long years?"
They head outside from the curio shop, street lamps brightening their way down in the streets of Whitechapel. Taverns roaring with mugs clinking and songs of victory.
Jacob began to climb on the wall of the shop "Or pissed off for disobeying the council." He chuckled, grunting as he pulls himself over the edge of the roof.
Evie tags behind, "We might as well prepare a good argument for tomorrow."
"My sister? Arguing with Grayson Harlow?"
"Don't act innocent now, Jacob."
He smirked, swinging one leg over the border of the rooftop. "I suppose you're right, he has his niece to help him if we do not contribute together."
Evie sat next to him, "While I look for the Piece of Eden on my own."
"And I'll be beating Templars to a pulp."
London — Southwark: Crucifix Lane
Morning came as Jacqueline yawns to awaken herself from her bed. Outreaching her arms above her head, twisting her torso to hear the small cracks in her bones. Growing old, aren't we?
She scratches her full head of red curls—studying herself in the mirror ahead of her. Toying with her locks, extending it as it began to coil back together once she lets go. Jacqueline blows out her cheeks, getting dressed for the day.
Making her way to the kitchen, she ties her hair with the red ribbon Grayson gave to control her amount of curls.
She halts as Grayson is already sipping his tea while reading the name on an envelope.
"Morning Jacqueline," he greeted, facing her with a grin.
"To you as well, is that for you?" She examined, pointing towards the message.
"Ephraim gave it to me—"
"And I receive this letter, I'm out of a job." Announced Ephraim Scott. A man who befriended Jacqueline and her family when he was a boy. A tall man with a slender figure, often called handsome by the redhead's parents. The Scotts and the Harlows became close friends once Ephraim was born a few days after the birth of Jacqueline. Grayson treated him like a son, providing him books for reading more and often tells him stories of his time in India.
"My boy, who sent you that?"
"Nothing important, Mister Harlow—I'll work at the coffeehouse next to my family's home."
"My boss can recruit you at the factory I used to work at, I'm guessing they need more men." Jacqueline scruffs his brown locks as he snickers.
Grayson glides out his blade, opening the envelope:
Brother Grayson, it has been so long since we last met. I hope you are doing well in life and health, but I do wish this news will give you some investment. Ethan Frye's children are here to take down Crawford Starrick and the gangs in each borough of London. I've invited you to the Moonrakers pub in front of Bishopsgate Station in Whitechapel for a meeting. I assume you can make it if you can.
Sincerely, Henry Green
The Assassin's eye twitch, shaking his head as he slams the letter on the table "Here in London? Not in Crawley?"
Jacqueline overheard the startling thud "Who was it from?"
He gave his niece the message—she scans through the writing, Ephraim is peeking over her shoulder.
"Henry Green? Who is that Mister Harlow?" He asked as Jacqueline acknowledges.
"He's an Assassin, raised in India and came here to London. I presume he was dead already."
"Why would you say that?"
"I've known the boy, he's never the type to kill or do extreme missions. He enjoys reading—researching for the artifact as he calls it."
"And the Frye twins… Here in London? That's great news!" Jacqueline beamed, folding the letter by the creases. She hid it inside her leather bag.
"No it's not, they disobeyed George Westhouse, the Council—they need to stay in Crawley." Grayson splays his hands out, soon lowering them as he exhales deeply through his nose.
Jacqueline holds one of his hands "They made the right decision to come here Uncle, expect the outcome. We can make an alliance—quicken our pace to stop the Templars. Help the poor. I could give them my notes!"
An opportunity to work with other Assassins, becoming their associates for the Piece of Eden and other Templars they will have to look out for.
"I only care about the Piece of Eden. Now we’re after Archie Dawn since the artifact exploded in the laboratory." Grayson takes back his hand, slicking back his gray hair. "Can't they see the twins can die in an instant?! I'd have them stay back home and let me do the work."
"They're still young, uncle, Mister Frye did not train them for nothing." The redhead bows her head, pressing her palm against her forehead. "The children in factories are suffering," she raises her head "—families are starving, Starrick has eyes everywhere. Yet you only care about a block of metal."
Grayson grit his teeth, speaking in restraint "Don't you dare say that! We will not focus on the people whether you like it or not!"
Ephraim promptly goes between the arguers, hands on their shoulders "Jacqueline, Mister Harlow, please! Let's not release our tempers to each other. Let the twins and Mister Green have their own business to take care of."
"We need more aid on our side."
"That's enough." Grayson mounts his palm "We're wasting time. Ephraim, arouse Henrietta because last time Jacqueline almost got killed by a bottle."
"That was an accident, uncle." Jacqueline pinched her lips, rubbing onto her temples with one hand. "Mister Griffiths was revealed that Archie may enlarge his hideout in Whitechapel. He is inviting him."
Grayson fixes his collar, "Alright, let's go. Ephraim, we'll return very soon."
"I'll be here all day, I may need to buy more whiskey for Henri."
"Cook, don't buy anything for her." Grayson smacks his back playfully as he departed their home with his niece.
Different ideas, complex methods the two have. Jacqueline has witnessed the sacrifice this city has made to advance their technology. Hell, she observed children offering to help her carry buckets of coals to earn more money. Only earning docked wages.
The two go in the direction of Waterloo Station, not distant from their home. Jacqueline had the urge to know why was her uncle is obsessed with the artifact. Nevertheless, it was obvious she knew the answer already. Ethan has been researching on the Pieces of Eden, leaving them to her uncle once he passed away two months ago. Fearing Starrick will find the object in later years.
"Uncle, I do not want to ask again but how come you haven't found the Piece of Eden?" Jacqueline queried, wincing as she worries her uncle has not loosened his firmness. "You worked with Mister Frye for many years... something stopped you?"
Grayson glances with a raised brow "Many reasons why dear—Ethan and I traveled to India to train with our Indian Brothers. We trained a young Henry Green during our trip."
"Tell more about him." The duo access the station, weaving through the crowds of passengers.
Her uncle closes his eyes briefly "Ethan knew him better than I did—I will tell you what I know."
"Of course, continue."
They entered inside of the train, Jacqueline sits by the window as her uncle sat across from her.
He clears his throat "Henry Green, a gentleman, he was not into killing Templars or brutal missions with his father. He was more interested in books. Ethan has explained to his father and I that he may lack our skills to kill, or we lack something he has."
"He sounds like a humble man, an Assassin who does not kill. And enjoys reading! Maybe Ephraim can get along with him?" Jacqueline joked, smiling that she finds her friend with a pile of books in his bedroom.
"Perhaps if I told him more stories about the Brotherhood, I have no doubt Mister Green, and Ephraim can bond over their love of books." Grayson continued, peering out the window as the train passes by the City of London. Markets are selling fresh fruits and vegetables, families taking their time to pick out the edible foods.
"Have you ever seen him around London?" Jacqueline questioned.
"No, though he might have been all around London and knew where we live—we would never visit each other. I do think there is a reason I cannot explain." Grayson leans his head against the window.
Jacqueline takes out her journal, jotting the information her uncle revealed. Henry Green, an Assassin who does not kill due to his divine nature.
"I do hope I'd meet him soon, uncle."
London — Whitechapel
The train made their stop in Whitechapel, steams piping while the wheels squeak to stop. Gas sizzling as the locomotive stands by.
Jacqueline hurries out, eyes trailing along the architecture of the ceiling, begging herself to climb no matter the clothing she is wearing. Mounting on top of high buildings is a fear her family has for her safety. Her mother would call for Grayson to take down a five-year-old Jacqueline from going to the ledge of the third-floor window.
"We should get going," Her uncle places her hand behind her back "—perhaps you can find Archie Dawn's new location."
Exiting the station, the two stroll pass the cobbled road, down past Moonrakers Pub—the location Grayson should attend.
"Do you see any uncanniness here uncle?" Jacqueline asked, spotting men and women in green uniforms. All standing by walls of merchant shops and taverns, careless about the danger they might face with the Blighters.
"Last time I've been here, there were fights between the Whitechapel Clinkers and the Blighters. I wonder if they have gotten a leader who gave them a knock on their heads." Grayson said, scratching his cheek as his scar is in the way.
"Whoever they are, these Clinkers are safe for now."
"Indeed, but let us get back on finding Dawn."
Jacqueline is questionable if she would feel relieved by the lack of Blighters lurking around, but her mind lingers in curiosity as she speculates who is responsible for the Clinkers successful leadership.
Shaking her head "Do you know if Archie had any relation with Whitechapel?"
Grayson tucked his hands behind his back "Apparently he was raised here with his sister. Your grandmother would take your mother and me to stroll around here with Archie's family. It could have been nostalgia."
"He is hiding in Mildred Graves, Debbie is buried there."
"Yes, his home in Raven's Row could have been an attached memory."
"I reckon he is residing there, where else should he go besides his childhood home?"
Grayson gives a weak smile "Back to Lambeth."
Gunshots repeated in the air, shouts were heard as workers ran and stumbled. Radclyffe Mill, a factory owned by Eleanor Taylor—ordering her men to grab a handful of children. Jacqueline was tugged by her uncle for shelter, witnessing the men in green uniforms scurrying the area.
"Follow me!" Announced a woman taking a child by the hand, leading the other children away from the company. The redhead spots the Clinkers lashing at the last standing Blighters.
"What the devil?" Grayson cursed—marching to the scene.
Jacqueline follows, glimpsing at the quizzical children. Free from the abuse they endured, release from the sweat and tears they have drained. The lack of money owed to comfort their families.
She held onto the leather strap of her bag, reaching the opening of the factory. Glancing at the machines running without any support from the workers. What made the Clinkers unbeatable?
Jacqueline swallows hard, holding onto her neck as she views the carnage surrounding her. Her uncle crouching to display the marks that killed the enemies.
The redhead approach to a man near a body "Excuse me, sir?"
He faces her "Yes?"
"I've noticed you took out this Blighter here—you and your gang."
"Ah yes, thanks to the Frye twins—we managed to free the children. These foes did not know what was coming." He chortled, tucking inside the coins he searched for inside his pocket.
Grayson's jaw twitched "The twins? How did they—"
"Uncle, behind!" Jacqueline warned—he switches directions as an injured Wilfred Griffiths crawling to snatch onto the Assassin's ankles.
Wincing, teeth-baring as he ignores the agony. Grayson kicks him to face front. He crouches to place his hand on top of his chest, scowling at the Templar.
"Who did this?"
Griffiths coughs, chest heaving for air "He's one of yours… why are you acting as if you don't..." He gags on his blood, attempting to speak "—you know him!"
"What are you saying? Stop fooling around!" Grayson fisted his coat, lifting his head.
"He killed me with your blade! You must be so daft as to recognize your own kind."
Grayson widened his eyes, dropping him "Enough of that… tell me more about Archie Dawn's new hideout."
Griffiths pinched his lips, eyelids drooping, his pace of breathing became slower and quieter.
"Tell me, god damn it!" The Assassin shook him vigorously. Wilfred gasped, his hand holding onto his wrist with a tight squeeze. His force disappearing as his eyes completely closed.
Jacqueline walks to her uncle, "We must leave now."
He takes out his handkerchief as he wiped the blood away from his chest. "The brother must have killed him." Grayson shoves the cloth in his pocket.
"Uncle, let's go." The redhead repeated, patient to see him stand and to walk beside her. Making their way out of the factory, both silent as they leave the carnage behind. Clinkers guarding the factory as a few began to store the remains of their fallen enemies.
London — Southwark: Crucifix Lane
Ephraim trudges forward, shouldering the weight of his friend to return back to Crucifix Lane. Henrietta Harlow, the older sister of Jacqueline.
A woman who does not have her sister's copper red hair as she is born with dark but thick brown hair. Little specks of freckles, not a significant amount as Jacqueline is marked with the feature all over her cheeks and the bridge of her nose. Dressed in trousers and a blouse, she has a craving for drinking at the local pub. Visiting the bar with money in her hands, preparing herself to fight any drunken man or woman. Leaving them bruises for days.
"You need to drink more water, Henri." Ephraim heaves her inside their home, dragging her along the rug.
"To hell with that…I need something to end my night, love." She lets out a hiccup—belching after.
"Sleep, you're going to sleep."
He hauls her into the living room, lifting her as he places her on the couch. He wipes the sweat from his brow, heading to the door to close it. He detected Grayson and Jacqueline approaching. The Assassin did not smile nor did his niece spoke a word from their way back on the train.
It was silence, Jacqueline wrote the death of Wilfred Griffiths from the hands of the Frye twins.
"You made it…" He greeted as the redhead gave a faint grin.
"Henrietta invited you again?"
"Like always." Ephraim closes the door, Grayson paces to the kitchen. Ignoring his surroundings.
"What happened?" He whispered to the redhead.
"Griffiths is dead. However, it was one of the Frye twins who killed him. They cleared the factory, I'm assuming they know what they're doing to free London."
"Jacqueline," Grayson called as the redhead perked her head.
"I'll look after Henrietta, go on." Ephraim insisted,
The redhead purse her lips, entering the kitchen as she regarded Grayson massaging his temples.
"Something troubling you?" His niece asked, taking a seat.
"I never knew the twins would quickly get started on their missions. They freed those children and killed Griffiths."
"Let them do what they need to do for this city, I'm sure they're responsible enough. But we could at least give them our gratitude for killing Wilfred."
"Gratitude? They killed my target, the man who knew where Archie would be."
"Uncle, I'm sure Archie is residing in Raven's Row."
Grayson clasps his wrist "We still need to kill Dawn and to find the Piece of Eden, I'm sending you to the meeting to tell them that I won't attend."
Jacqueline broadened her eyes "What? Uncle, they need you! London needs you!"
"The Templars have taken over this damn city far too long! They can manage themselves."
"Why don't you want to see them either way Uncle?! Can't you say that yourself?"
Grayson hurls his hand on the table "Those twins, I met them when they were younger. Ethan told me Cecily died giving birth to them, their son and daughter." He managed to relax the vexation in his tone "Both around your age now. His daughter practiced stealth and is a great spy like you. His son, however, is reckless, but a great fighter. Those scars he received tell his father otherwise."
"But, they are Ethan's children. Wouldn't it be nice to see them again? How much they have grown?"
"He's not there with them, Jacqueline!"
"Mister Frye is resting in a safe—"
"Ethan is dead! You do not have to soften this topic!" Grayson shouted as Jacqueline winced, Ephraim hurries to the kitchen as he raises his palms.
"Mister Harlow, please—"
"No. Stay out of this Ephraim." He turns his head back to the redhead "You're going to Whitechapel, give them my word and tell them to never contact us again. Understood?"
Jacqueline hesitates to speak, wrapping her arms around herself. Her uncle would never yell at her, not even after Ethan's tragic death. However, she often ponders if it's their methods that are causing their arguments.
"Yes. I understand." She rose from her seat, leaving the two behind in the kitchen.
Ephraim furrowed his brows "That wasn't necessary Mister Harlow."
Grayson creased his brows, realizing what he has done. "She. I—"
"She was not attacking you, she wanted you and the Assassins to unite to free this city. No matter the agenda." Ephraim took a deep breath "My pardons for being rude." He leaves as he goes upstairs.
Jacqueline sat on her bed as she takes out her journal, running back her locks firmly.
"Jacqueline?" Ephraim knocked on the doorway.
She did not glance at her friend "I did not mean to make him mad—"
"No, he was in the moment of catharsis. He really misses him."
"A lot. Ever since Mister Frye died, I wonder if Grayson would ever get over his death. Turns out that he can never let go of it. We lost Aunt Beatrice, and he lost Cecily. It's not fair to lose his only friend left."
Ephraim plops on her bed, pulling his knee above to his prop his chin on top "He cannot lose you as well."
"I told him not to worry, although I worry about his optimism."
"He still got it."
"Not like before… I hope the twins may have given him such anticipation."
"He did say they caused Cecily's death."
"But what fault is that?! She held them for nine months, and they came out as healthy and vigorous children."
"I do agree… Mister Harlow has been through so much."
Jacqueline stood to brush out her navy blue skirt "And to make sure he's content enough to find the Piece of Eden." She stares off to read the time on the clock, biting her lip. "I need to rest now."
"Wait." Ephraim stopped her "I'll join your journey to Whitechapel."
"It's quite alright, you don't have to—"
"I rather not have you go alone, especially when Mister Harlow is not accompanying you due to his outburst."
Jacqueline smirked "That be very nice. Thank you."
Ephraim embraces his friend as he planted kisses her head several times "Good night, get some rest!" He chuckled as he closes the door. Jacqueline was left standing alone in her bedroom. She digs through her bag to find the letter Henry Green sent.
"It is nice to meet you three at last."
The morning started off with the newsboy shouting the daily headlines. Claiming murder at the Mill in Whitechapel.
Jacqueline shifts on her maroon coat her mother gave ever since she moved to Southwark. A jacket that kept her warm, length to her knee level. She fixes her collar, staring at her reflection in the mirror. Observing her two different colored irises. Huffing as she leaves her bedroom, wishing no one spots the unusual condition.
Ephraim runs out from his room, fixing his tie "Henri was wondering where I was going." He chuckled, catching his breath "Ready?"
"Mhm, also Grayson is asleep."
"Perfect, come on."
The two friends hurried out from their home, making their way to Waterloo Station. Ephraim was never involved with their missions, he always stayed home to make sure dinner was ready or receive any letters from their family. He's not a fighter, nor have the look of a brute who's looking for a brief brawl.
Grayson does articulate about the Brotherhood at some point. Mostly tales about Edward Kenway and his family. A fascinating story Ephraim enjoys to listen and read. Although, he desires reading fictional stories, especially those of Charles Dickens and George Eliot.
Entering the train, Ephraim rub behind his neck "What do you think will be their reaction?"
"Surprise? I'm not sure if Grayson spoke of me."
"He perhaps did... to Ethan." The two sat down beside each other "Aren't you nervous?"
"Me? No, it's just a meeting with three Assassins." She whispered, scrunching her shoulders as she hopes no one else heard her words.
"Well, that's why! I'm just worried if they'll get mad."
"Ephraim, they never kill the innocents with their blades. If we were Templars, then we would be killed in an instant by Grayson."
Ephraim gives a brisk lopsided grin "I guess you're right… I'm just wondering how come Grayson did not mention this Henry Green fellow? Has he always been here in London?"
"Uncle does not know him personally as Ethan bonded with Green. This is the first time he contacted him for years. An opportunity down in the sewers."
"Perhaps you should help them. Without Grayson's permission."
Jacqueline lifts a brow, a bizarre saying from her friend who would dare not to do a risky task. Not part of his considerate character. "What? Ephraim, I don't consider that's a great idea. It depends on what the twins will do. Kill Templars or find the Piece of Eden. If it's the second option, might as well have them meet my uncle."
"You do have some training from him." He jabs his finger against her shoulder.
"But not like an Assassin. I don't have a blade, I have a dagger and fists. My only way out of a struggle."
Ephraim laughed, managing to convince his clueless friend "I depend on running away or grab a nearby sharp weapon."
"Have you ever done that?"
"No. Henrietta is always fighting at the bars, and I'm always making sure she's okay. Last year a drunk lad punched me in the nose."
"The rum must have got him."
"Or he was just a simple arsehole." His cheeks grew red "Pardon my language!"
"No worries!" She laughs, leaning her head on his shoulder.
The trains rattled through the arrival of Whitechapel, Ephraim leaping out his seat as he peeks out from the entry. Hanging onto the border as if were a sailor on the Aquila. The wind hitting his face, his locks of hair flying back "It's a wonderful sight!"
Jacqueline shakes her head in amusement, convincing herself to take her friend out more often "The sight will be over once we get off," She goes to pinch on his coat, gently tugging him inside the train.
"You said they were here?" He fluffs his hair, from the amount of wind he received.
"Mhm, at the Moonrakers Pub."
"Why a pub? People are always there."
"A drink can distract their patience, my friend." Jacqueline winked as the train hissed to their stop.
Ephraim pokes his head out from the entrance, not expecting for seas of people flooding inside a station. Families and children all waiting for their next stop.
"You're mesmerized again." Jacqueline held his hand, leading him out form the station.
"My, you and Mister Harlow sure love traveling. Look at these new faces!" He beamed at the sight of a kitten on top of a crate. "And a cat!"
The redhead tilts her head at his enthusiasm "I thought you like dogs better?"
"Why not both?" He smirked as she rolls her eyes playfully.
Out from the station, the two stood by to read the name of the bar. Moonrakers, an uncommon name for a tavern. Jacqueline lets go of her companion's arm.
"Do you want to come with me inside?"
"Might as well get to know the three."
Entering the pub, Jacqueline holds onto the cuffs of her blouse. Fingers fidgeting as her nails scratch onto the fabric.
Surprise there is not many people in the reasonably large tavern. A man sitting with his friend with a mug of beer. One having his brunch with a woman who kept on talking about her day at work.
She spotted a man, a different complexion who was thumbing through his book. Hands on the table—one man is sleeping on his forearms—a woman is admiring her hidden blade. An Assassin's blade.
Jacqueline swallows a lump in her throat, chewing on her bottom lip as she assumes the man with the dark complexion is Henry Green. His white robes all decorated with gold trimmings, with red and lavender scarves covering his waist and bounded around his bracer. His dark hair shimmering, unable to break contact with his book.
The redhead advances, clasping her hands in front of her as Ephraim stood behind.
She clears her throat "Pardon me, are you Henry Green?"
Chapter 2: Tenement Funster
London — Whitechapel: Moonrakers Pub
Jacqueline’s heart beats rapidly, nails scratching the back of her left hand. Please tell me it’s him. She fretted about the mistake of talking to a random man with a different complexion—he perks his head up to see the two newcomers.
Arching his brow, he spoke “Yes? Who may you two be?”
“Jacqueline Harlow, sir—and this is my good friend, Ephraim Scott.” She gestures to her companion behind. He gives a swift grin, waving at the Assassin.
The woman beside Henry Green tilts her head, standing from her seat “Grayson Harlow’s niece?”
“You know me?” Jacqueline asked.
“Mister Green has told us about you... Spy? Impressive intellectual?” The corner of her lips curled into a smirk.
“I suppose you could say that, Miss?”
“Evie Frye—delighted to meet you.” She shakes her hand.
Her blue eyes, a gorgeous hue matching the benevolence in her tone. The arch of her brows revealing the formidable figure she is. A spy, her uncle described, practiced stealth as well. Warm colors of freckles splattered on her cheeks. Her dark brown hair braided as a crown, tied in a bun behind her head. Wearing all black and red, fitting her body and evoke her of her uncle's robes.
Ephraim gulps, eyeing the Assassin as he cannot see a frightful woman who kills. Her kind approach made his breath hitched.
“Ephraim Scott, correct?” Evie asked, sticking out her hand. He takes it, stomach fluttering with butterflies.
“Y-Yes, it’s a pleasure, Miss Frye.” He stuttered—cheeks heating with a streak of scarlet. Mesmerized by Whitechapel, now to a woman in front of him. Drawn by the smirk from her lips. Oh god, she’s beautiful!
Ephraim clears his throat, "Who's the sleepy lad?" He bypasses the awkwardness between him and Evie. He never fell for any beautiful woman in London, especially those Grayson mentioned in Westminster.
The twin arouses her brother awake, hearing his groans as he rises from the table. Rubbing his eyes, he muttered, “Is he here?”
Henry shakes his head “Well, it is not Grayson Harlow." He helps the sluggish man to rise. "I would like you to meet his niece Jacqueline Harlow and her friend, Ephraim Scott.”
Jacqueline blinks, reaching out her hand—attempting not to stammer on her words “And you are?”
“Jacob Frye… At your service.”
A gasp released from Jacqueline’s lips, gaping at the charming and handsome appearance of the twin brother. Beautiful like his sister. The lovely look of his hazel eyes, thick brows including a scar blending onto one of them. Another blemish on his jaw, halting the pattern of his scruffy beard. A reckless fighter, she recalls Grayson’s words to describe Jacob. A smirk formed on his plump lips—a damn smile he has.
“Pleasure to meet you, Mister Frye!” Ephraim announced, patting the brash twin’s shoulder. Breaking off Jacqueline’s gaze at the Assassin.
She releases his hand “So you’re the Frye twins my uncle mentioned. Alas, we needed more aid to stop Starrick.”
Evie chuckled, walking towards Jacob’s side “Indeed… Where is your uncle may I ask?”
Jacqueline exchanged faces with Ephraim “I believe you three will want the truth instead. At his request, Grayson will not be attending the meeting due to personal reasons.”
Henry nonchalantly slumps his shoulders “I predicted such an outcome, I apologize if we wasted your time.”
The brash twin sneered, “Might as well reschedule our encounter.” Evie hits her brother’s arm from his harsh banter.
“No it’s fine, the good is, I met you three in advance. However, I do not think my uncle would want to form an alliance due to your safety.”
“What? He does not think we’ll manage to stay alive?” Jacob narrow his eyes. He’s a brawler, he trained to defend himself from any trouble. A few of Ethan's teachings—mostly having the improvement when he's out to evade his father's lessons.
Evie clamps her hand on his shoulder "What my brother is trying to say is why does your uncle worry about our safety?"
“He claims you two should go back to Crawley at once, but I rather have you two to stay and finish off what you have accomplished in Whitechapel,” Jacqueline concluded.
"As much we will like to respect Mister Harlow's wishes, we cannot go back home. London needs all of us." The twin sister shrugged a shoulder.
"Good enough. However, Uncle is busy finding the Piece of Eden—we recently discovered there was an explosion in Croydon that killed Sir David Brewster."
Jacob snorted, covering his mouth as Evie roll her eyes "Miss Harlow, I attempted to retrieve the item—I managed to kill Brewster and escaped the laboratory alive."
Jacqueline cocks her head "Oh? What I'm hearing is you're also searching for the artifact as well?"
"So we have two Assassins on a wild goose chase." The brash twin gives a teasing grin. Evie glowers at her brother—finding the Piece of Eden is part of her father's agenda before he passed away. Realizing her twin does not seem to care about its existence or the so-called "magic."
“Grayson is obsessed with the object, he does not care about the troubles in London.” She blew the strands of her curls away from her nose.
"As much I agree, Mister Green has ordered my brother and me to complete every task to preserve the boroughs. It's our reason to travel to this city."
Henry gesticulate his agreement "Unless Miss Frye could lend him a hand if he's struggling to find the other artifact?"
Jacqueline scrapes the heel of her boot against the floorboards “Kind offer, but my uncle will like to work alone with his research.”
Jacob knitted his brows together "What about you? You sound annoyed when you mentioned the item my sister is searching. Surely you must be passionate about something ."
Without hesitation, she raises her chin "I want to liberate London as well."
Jacob and Evie exchanged faces—Ephraim nods as he knew his friend all about her enthusiasm to free a city. Stop the Blighters, wipe away the Templars, and deliver Grayson the honor he deserves.
"Disobeying your uncle, I see?" The brash twin lifts a brow.
She smiles “You could say that, Mister Frye. I'm also giving him a hand to kill his targets the Council assigned." Jacqueline creased her brows, reviving the death of Griffiths. "One of you killed a Templar back in Radclyffe Mill.”
“The one with the loud mouth?”
“That’s him, Mister Frye.”
“He threatened to kill a child, gun pointed at his head. Jacob came behind to finish him off.” Evie explained, gesturing to her twin.
“Uncle was devastated about it, no matter. Thank you for your work. You two have shown obligation to your missions.”
Ephraim places his hand on the redhead's shoulder “We should be going back to Southwark before Mister Harlow gets suspicious.”
Jacqueline pinched her lips, raising her finger “Wait a minute… Mister Green, I think we should all work together.”
“Without Grayson knowing?” Ephraim gulped—grasping the old man will be enraged.
“How? Greenie told us you’re not an Assassin.” Jacob crosses his arms.
“I may not be one," she slips her notebook out of her bag "—however, I do help my uncle with this.” Waving it, she passes it to Evie before her brother could snatch it.
She opens it, flipping the pages as she saw the lists of names of Templars. Images of their faces—scribbled notes on the side. Some photos were shown an X mark, confirming the associates are dead.
"And these are?" Jacob asked, peering over his sister's shoulder.
"Grayson's targets, some of them are their close associates we must confront soon," Jacqueline described, picking on the cuffs of her blouse.
“You have so many notes… Mister Green look.” Evie goes to present the pages to Henry.
The brash twin smirked “Writing a whole novel, Miss Harlow?”
“Extraordinary, just like your uncle describe to Ethan… We could use your aid, we may require another spy on our side.”
Ephraim taps his friend's shoulder “Perhaps I can lie to Mister Harlow if you do help the twins.”
"You would do that, Mister Scott?" Evie questioned, smiling as she views the young man as an honest and caring gentleman.
"Yes, anything to for all of you to stop the oppression."
“For now on, Mister Scott, we’re freeing Whitechapel. We haven’t got any sight or news about the other Templars Starrick has recruited,” Henry revealed.
“Nor the Templars my uncle is after as well." Jacqueline dug her thumbs onto the rim of her skirt around her waist. "As for now, I'll think about our future endeavors. My friend and I should be going back now as I do not want my uncle’s doubt to become rather skeptical.”
“Or accidentally find us here,” Jacob teased.
“Who knows?” She beamed “Goodbye for now.” She waves as Ephraim saluted at the three. Both returning to the station.
“Nice people, there are?” Jacqueline asked, a wide grin on her face.
Ephraim chuckled, cooling his cheeks with the back of his hand “Yes, Mister Green seems generous, Mister Frye is intriguing. And Miss Frye—” He stops himself.
“Oh, sorry, she’s intelligent and passionate about her work.”
“I agree." Jacqueline patted his back, both heading towards the train standing by. The conductor yelling out the next stop they will reach. Often, she hasn't thought about the fact Ethan's children are her age. Seemingly thinking they were younger than her. Grayson rarely bring up the topic of the Frye twins—nor when they were having their discussions on the Brotherhood. He loves Ethan, perhaps he worried for his family after his death.
“Kind people they are,” Henry closes his book—holding it under his arm.
“I agree, Miss Harlow is very passionate about the Brotherhood,” Evie smirked.
“Some loyalty she has.”
“Jacob, she could help us free London no matter her status as an ally. She has the notes—perhaps help me with the Piece of Eden.”
“Or kill Templars! You heard her tone when she mentioned Mister Harlow’s research on that metal!” Jacob spread his arms out.
“Well if her uncle is after the artifact, she could have some data Henry, and I need.”
Jacob adjusted his cap “We should recruit her as our ally.”
“I rather not have her uncle chase us like mice. Unless Mister Scott is a great actor.” Evie inference.
“The real question is can she defend herself?”
Henry joins their conversation "Miss Harlow may not be a fighter—I could be wrong—but her devotion to the Brotherhood is unbreakable."
“We could train her, we still have time Mister Green." Evie walks out of the pub, "You claimed she had training as well."
"Of course, I doubt she's not a sluggish brawler. We may want to write to Mister Harlow to advance their training with us."
"Doubt it, the old man had his reasons not to see us. Why would he let her train with us?" Jacob paces ahead from the two, reaching to Green's coach.
"Let's not be hasty—Miss Harlow did say she is willing to work with us." Evie raises her palm.
“Overall, you two still need to find Rexford Kaylock and meet with the other associates.” Henry declared, opening the carriage door.
“No more urchins.” Jacob rolls his eyes, leaning against the vehicle as his sister grab the reins.
“No, but this man is a master of disguise—I believe.”
London — Southwark: Crucifix Lane
Jacqueline ties the ends of her boots, sighing as she is willing to risk lying to her uncle by going alone. Grayson is not stupid—he is known to be a dubious man. Cynical about the many locations in London, such as Lambeth Asylum and the decreasing population in the slums.
She grabs her notebook, scribbling down the names: Jacob and Evie Frye, twin Assassins, leading up to their father's legacy. Jacqueline smiled as she is jotting Jacob's character. His appeal brought her into a world of curiosity, a rush of heartbeats.
Jacqueline shakes her head, wincing from her daydream “Don’t even think about it.”
She rises from her bed, heading to the lounge as she carries her journal in her bag. Her breathing went faint, placing her hand on her chest. Anxious for Grayson coming out from the blue.
“Where are you going?” He asked, poking his head out from the kitchen doorway.
He's not stupid Harlow. Jacqueline's lips parted, words dashing through her head “Whitechapel. To find Archie Dawn’s new hideout.”
Her uncle cocks his head, approaching his niece “By yourself? You never favor going alone on missions.”
“I will have to make sure I'm brave enough to face the outside world all on my own." She twiddles her thumbs "Besides, I’m spying on Dawn, not killing him.”
Grayson chuckled under his breath “Well, go ahead. Please come back home at a good hour—I don’t want your mother to kill me.”
“She’s not living with us, uncle. I think you should be worrying about Ephraim.” Jacqueline waves as she left. After closing the door, she pumps her fist in silence but with glee.
Strolling alone in the streets of Southwark without her uncle has brought her stomach churning. The only time she will wander alone is to the factory she used to work at—a five-minute walk from home. Although taking a train to another borough in London? Never in her life. It has always been her fear to be isolated away from her family. Especially Grayson, who has been through trauma on his own.
“It's the best in London!” Yelled a merchant, hands flailing around. Jacqueline furrowed her brow, knowing the man is well known to be a vigorous talker.
"Why are you yelling?! You need some manners!" Said a young girl, holding onto her older sibling's arm.
"You came to me to buy something, not to glance my offers."
The redhead overheard the two buyers, advancing towards the small market. Occupied with crates with names attached. She smirked as she grabs a ripe apple, weighing it in her hands.
"You know what! Sod off!" The older sibling gives a dismissive wave as he leaves with his sister, passing by Jacqueline as she provides a tight-lipped smile.
“Good day, Peyton.” She leans on the counter, throwing the apple and catching it in her palm.
He faces her, slapping his hand against his face to run it down “You again. Where's the old man?”
“Grayson is having a day off. You seem stressed."
“Am I supposed to be jealous?”
“You wanted to know where he is.”
“Listen, Harlow, I know you’re up to something—your uncle is shedding blood every night ain't he?" Peyton frowned.
"How would you know? Are you spying on Grayson?" Jacqueline tilts her head, glaring at the seller.
Peyton attempted to hurl his hand to grab the woman's blouse “Am not! I know he's up to mischief, so are you! You're stealing food to give to the poor, like some Robin Hood.” He groans, taking back his arm.
“Children work hard to eat, people like you should at least stand up for what's right." She saluted the enraged man, tossing the apple once again and catching it in a swift motion—stepping away from the market.
“Oi you little raccoon, get back here!” He shouts, chasing after the redhead as she threw the smoke bomb. Fumes were spreading around in white clouds.
Jacqueline climbs on the nearest carriage, tucking in the other smoke bomb in her bag. Thanks to Grayson, he crafted the weapons to escape from incoming Templars and Blighters.
Taking the reins, she whistles at the horse, commanding her to move forward.
Peyton associated Grayson ever since he moved to Southwark. Jacqueline suspicion grew as he kept asking about him—predicting he is spying on her family. She often asks her uncle; however, Peyton is not a Templar. He's an owner of a market, what could he do wrong?
The redhead avoids any sight of Blighters nearby the pubs, clicking her tongue at the mare or complimenting her. Southwark is loading with red-uniformed men guarding each street. There was a time she had to defend herself when a tall and bulky gang member found her lurking inside a warehouse. Alone.
Jacqueline could not scream, she held her breath. Forehead soaking in sweat, her chest aching as her veins pump blood. The Blighter seizes her shoulders, pinning her against the wall. Hissing from the torment — jaw clenching tight as possible.
Due to his towering height, she kicks him in the knee—hard.
The man frees her, grunting as she strikes him in the jaw—knuckles red from his bones connecting.
“You little bitch!” he shouted, spitting out blood.
Jacqueline wastes no time to wield out her dagger, piercing the blade against his side of his torso.
The Blighter yelped as Jacqueline covered his mouth, having the upper hand to hurl him to the wall. Deepening the wound — palm putting more pressure on his muffled screams. His hands grab onto her wrist to pull it away—the redhead yanks out the dagger.
Listening to his screams, Jacqueline slits his throat, shutting him up as she steps back from the unbalanced man. Dropping to his knees, collapsing face first on the concrete.
Her chest heaved for air, covering her mouth as glances at her dagger she used to kill a man.
Wiping the blood off of his trousers as she rubs her tears away. Jacqueline needed to spew, but instead, she ran out of the warehouse. Hoping the notes could impress her uncle waiting outside for her.
Whitechapel approach, remembering the small details of the boroughs. The jacked up cobble roads, the smoke from a sawmill. The many families dressed in gray and dull tints.
She passes by the slums of the residential area. Regarding the poor begging for coins. A reason she pursues her uncle to aim his focus on the people first. Poor souls, she described every time. The privilege of her wealthy family supporting her, the perquisite she wishes to give to every needy folk. Ephraim frequently wanted to lend a hand as well.
“Whoa, girl.” Jacqueline draws back the reins, leaping off her seat as she witnessed a few Blighters crowding in front of a shop. A couple of the Clinkers were not too far ahead.
She shrugged as she leads towards an alley, spotting a ladder attached to a home. Clutching onto the bars, mounting up as she ignores her skirt disadvantaging her movement. Reaching to the rooftop, she walks towards the edge to take a seat. Brushing out the fabric of her dress, observing the small borough. The start of the liberation.
Jacqueline takes out her dagger to slice pieces of the apple to eat. Chewing on the nourishment, legs swinging over the edge doing so. She studies the structure of every tenement, same architecture. The noise level is soothing to her ears, quieter than factory-loved Southwark.
"I could find them again." She murmured.
“Having fun there?” Said a voice.
Jacqueline squeaked as she faces the man—Jacob. Pacing to her to sit, with the teasing grin.
“Mister Frye, you gave me a fright back there.” She widened her eyes for a second “Wait, where did you come from?”
“I was born in Crawley, but that’s another topic we’ll discuss.”
“No, I mean how did you find me? What are you doing here?”
Jacob laughed, allowing one leg swing over the ledge “I was beating up some Blighters until I noticed you were climbing up here.” He noticed her skirt “With a restricted attire.”
Jacqueline grasps the thick fabric “My uncle does not want me to ascend buildings any longer if I have this on. He wants me to keep myself on low ground.”
“Can’t you say anything? You are old enough to share your views.”
She takes another apple slice to munch “Well, after losing close people in his life, he frets for my safety. I rather not put more strain in him.”
“One of his reasons he could not come?” Jacob furrowed his brow, attentive to her words.
“I doubt it… it's debatable” Jacqueline rubs her thumb on the soft edge of the dagger “Grayson simply misses your father.”
Jacob huffs out his cheeks “Greenie supposed.”
“Henry knew your uncle would not attend due to the death of my father. Evie discussed Mister Harlow was having such positivity when he’s around him.”
“Where were you when he was around?”
“Out with the lads, always running off with triumph.”
“They chase after you, did they?”
“I suppose, most of them can’t even climb.”
Jacqueline chuckled “Benefits of being an Assassin, correct Mister Frye?”
“Indeed, it seems like you already grew into it. All the mischief and the fun of challenging opponents. You perhaps stole that apple.”
Jacqueline blushes—glimpsing away in shame. Instead, she cuts a slice for the ally "Treat?"
"Of course—tell me," he shoves the slice, talking while chewing "Are you willing to become an Assassin in the future?"
“Oh, well I don’t want to become an Assassin. I rather not put my family in danger.”
"Yet you're helping your uncle, perhaps known by Starrick for a long time."
"I'm assuming he's after my uncle and I. Not the rest of my family or Mister Scott's."
Jacob leans forward to rest his elbows on his thighs "How long was your training?"
"Of course, unless you want to describe your experience as a writer." He teased.
Jacqueline shakes her head in amusement, cocky I see. "Learned since I was thirteen. Running through obstacles, leaping from roof to roof. Uncle taught me how to fight with my fists and this dagger." She wiggles the weapon in front "I don't kill Templars as it's my uncle job to do so. Unless I have to fend them off. I become guilty of killing people.”
“Guilty killing Templars? Slaughtering innocents in the streets?” Jacob glared, adjusting his cap.
“Mister Frye you know I don’t—”
“You did! I heard you!”
Jacqueline blew her cheeks out “Killing is not my thing. It’s more of Grayson’s talent to kill five at a time. I’ll do the spying and stealth instead.”
Jacob stands, “Just a dagger then?”
“Only a dagger—Grayson has his cane sword."
The Assassin snorted “I upgraded.” He reveals the hidden blade, glimmering on the sharp edges.
“Don’t boast, Mister Frye!” Jacqueline grinned, viewing the massive blade.
“I’ll see you around, Miss Harlow.” Jacob runs off, leaping off the roof—landing on another home.
She discerns how arrogant this man is. She's captivated by his attitude. Showing his loyalty as a young Assassin.
Jacqueline shrugged, staying on the rooftops as she eats the rest of her apple.
London — Southwark: Crucifix Lane
Ephraim fixes the table top with the kettle on the wooden support. Setting on the bread and pastries, organizing the creams puffs from Jacqueline's mother's recipe. Taking one to chew as he brought himself back to Evie Frye's features. The beauty of her figure, the way she introduced herself to him. Disputing he will see her again.
“Has Jacqueline return?” Grayson asked, peeking out the window. The night sky is clearing out the pinks and oranges of the sunset.
Ephraim clears his throat “Not yet, she could be returning.”
“I hope none of Dawn’s allies attacked her… Oh my, maybe they—”
“Mister Harlow, I doubt she'll be their prisoner. She can manage to leave the site immediately. A situation never happened has it?”
“I suppose. Jacqueline never told me any rough incident. Except for the one time she killed a Blighter on her own.”
"Just one?" Ephraim queried, taking his seat.
"Mhm, you know how delicate she is." Grayson ran back his gray hair, exhaling deeply through his nose.
"She's not soft, you trained her to become tough."
The door opens, Jacqueline rubs her head as she loathes her hair tied up. Grayson despises her curls flowing all around on a windy down, or become frizzy on a foggy night—as if the red ribbon will help soothe her curls.
“Evening gentlemen.” She greeted, setting her bag on top of her taken seat.
“Where did you go?! Don’t scare me like that” Grayson embraces his niece, running back her hair. Hands are trembling as he worries for her. As much he concerned about Ethan's declining health.
“Uncle relax… I managed to go around safely in the borough, so far Dawn is nowhere found.” Jacqueline lied as she massages his tensed back. She mouths the words "does he know?" He shakes his head.
“I worry what might have happened… Sit and have some coffee, you must be exhausted.”
“Let me get changed into my night clothes, Ephraim I’ll serve myself once I return.”
“Of course.” He smiled as he pours two cups for Grayson and him.
The elder Assassin plops on his chair, spreading out the three books he had by his side for a while.
“More Brotherhood knowledge, Mister Harlow?” Ephraim asked while stirring his spoon, mixing the black coffee with the sweetened cream.
“Yes. For you.”
Ephraim stops, raising a brow “I’m sorry?”
“I ponder the idea of having you to read more about the history. The grand story of the war between the Templars and the Assassins. Which is why I have given you these books about The Kenways.”
“Yes. I’ve noticed you are intrigued by Edward's life and his grandson's story as well. Your birthday has passed already—well, this is my gift to you.”
Ephraim smiles “Thank you. What made you think about lending these to me?”
“Jacqueline already read of all these… I trust you that you will be able to know our commitment to the Brotherhood. No matter if you’re considering to become an Assassin. Or read their life stories on pages.”
Ephraim chuckles, sipping his drink “She is an excellent spy. Great with stealth and you have trained her well. Still the same sweet woman I know.”
“True, although you can read and analyze, conclude what my past brothers have been through their times. I've read your essays on Mister Dickens bizarre tales and George Eliot's. I trust you.” Grayson smiled, his scar on his cheek crinkling.
"Thank you, Mister Harlow." Ephraim slides the books over to him, fingers tracing along the aged leather.
“My boy, you have grown taller.”
"Is it my arms that seized your attention?" The young man laughs as Grayson shakes his head in amusement.
Ephraim opens to the first page, thumb flicking against the soft corners, text revealing the very words of Edward Kenway.
Attending to hear more about the Brotherhood grants him stress due to all the missions Grayson has done among Jacqueline. He stays home, reading crime tales and listening to Henrietta murmuring in her naps. After visiting Whitechapel, he envies the travels and diversion the Harlows have experienced. Traveling throughout the rest of England or the United States of America.
Chapter 3: The Show Must Go On
It's been a busy month due to exams and a lot of work. I will be going back to a weekly update (hopefully, no promises).
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
London — Southwark: Crucifix Lane
The faint sound of the pubs' music, the noise of men yelling in enthusiasm while their mugs crash together in glory. Jacqueline snuggles her blanket for warmth, her ears were not bothered by any disturbance by the tavern her sister would go. A few feet away from their home, her uncle always calls it the “dog house” due to the loud commotions every night.
Shuffles are heard—footsteps slamming against the floorboards in her home. Jacqueline squirms in her sleep, tossing herself in different positions. A door made a frightening din, Jacqueline open her eyes in laziness as she saw the light sparkling in sight. Ignoring the noise as she predicted it could have been Henrietta coming back from the pub.
She sat up immediately when the sound of gunshots vibrated it’s way to her room. Jacqueline leaves her bed, taking her dagger out from her bag and opens the door. Breath trembling, gulping her saliva hard as she slides her fingers upon the wall. A scream echoes through the hallway of her home, recalling the voice in an instant.
“Henri!” Hurrying down to her sister’s bedroom—no one on her bed. Her bedsheets were all in ruffles, many objects were thrown onto the floor.
“No. No!” She cried, scurrying inside as she opens the closet door. Henrietta was not inside. Straightaway, she ran to Ephraim’s bedroom—he was gone. Jacqueline grew pale, terror overtook her face. Ephraim had no fault—she bit her tongue as she worries for his safety. A young man who cannot defend himself due to his gentle manners.
“Uncle Grayson,” her heart racing as sweat builds up on her forehead. She reaches to the ajar door, pushing it wide open to see her uncle lying on his desk. He manages to stand on his feet while putting pressure on his wound. Teeth baring as he collapses on the ground.
“Uncle!” The redhead gasped as she helps the elder Assassin by wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Grunts were heard, nearing to his bed as she lies him on top. A few bodies were piled on his floor, all wearing red uniforms. His cane sword is pierced against one corpse, one had several gunshot wounds. Blood staining the tan hue of the wood.
“Save Henrietta and Eph—” He winced from the pain on his torso.
“They’re gone... I have to fix you up!” Jacqueline made her way back to her bedroom to collect the supplies she needed. Her mother used to be a nurse back in Spain, she was taught how to stitch and clean an injured person with discretion.
“Jacqueline, I’m fine!” He called. She heads back to Grayson—opening the bottle of peroxide and pours it on a rag.
“Deep breaths,” she pressed the cloth in contact with his gash where he flinches from the slight sting. His eyelids squeezed together, his fingers clawing onto his trousers as Jacqueline pats the rag to stop his bleeding.
“They’re after me, Jacqueline.” Grayson gasped, feeling the pinch of the needle in the opening of his wound. “They were looking for your journal... Under Starrick’s orders.”
She widened her eyes for a few seconds, then tears the white thread with her teeth and grab the bandages to wrap his laceration. It was no surprise Starrick would want her notebook, yet never expected an ambush.
“I’ll do it,” he insisted, taking the strips of cloth.
“What about Henrietta and Ephraim? We have to rescue them!” Jacqueline panicked but kept her breathing intact. Her uncle rises to sit properly—turning his head to view the documents on his desk.
“My work stays here, locked somewhere secured. You should bring your journal.”
“I have to leave, I need you to see Henry Green.”
“Jacqueline, our family are at risk! Send a letter to your mother and the Scotts, so they all go back to Kent!”
“UNCLE! Please calm down!” Jacqueline shouted Grayson stares at her with broadening eyes from her change of tone.
“I’m so sorry for shouting, but why are you leaving so soon? What about London?” Her eyes well up with tears. “The boroughs, your research...”
“The men reveal I’m their main target, if I do not retreat, they will go after our relatives. Ever since Ethan died, I knew I’ll be next.” Her uncle rubbed his eyes “Jacqueline—you are a young woman with the strength of our training. You must join Mister Green to settle this together.”
“Uncle. I was planning to confirm our alliance with Green without you knowing.”
Grayson pinched his lips, breathing deeply through his nose “I’m not daft, I know you, my dear. I knew you were not looking for Archie Dawn, you wanted to find those twins.”
“How did you—?”
“Jacqueline. I know how much you want to liberate this city and meet the other Assassins. I sent you alone because I wanted you to make your own decisions. You’re ready.”
“What? To work all by myself?”
“You’ll have aid from the twins. Help you train I hope. I put in my trust in you ever since you began reading all about Ezio Auditore.” He swung his legs over the bed with heed “You were only six.” Grayson spoke as he was cautious to open his drawers. Jacqueline helps him—his hands grasping onto the corners of his cabinet as support.
She bit her tongue to stop herself from breaking down. “Are you going to Kent as well?” She asks, taking out a couple of his clothing on his bed.
“Yes, although not with our family. To my old childhood home where your grandmother lives.” He points below his bed “Mind if you grab the portmanteau?”
Jacqueline slides out his large suitcase, picking it up and place it down on his bed near his clothing. “You have to promise me you will finish our work, make sure your emotions do not get involved and end Starrick. Please.” He held her hands as she shook her head.
“I’m not an Assassin—how can I kill the rest of the Templars we’re after? Everything we have accomplished!”
“You may not be one, even so, you are welcome in the Brotherhood my dear.” Grayson smiled—his hand reaches towards his open drawers as he passes her a handkerchief. “When you kill our targets—wipe this on their wounds to prove your kill. Will you do that?”
Jacqueline gesticulate her agreement, taking the soft cloth in her hand.
“You’ll require my cane as well.” He pointed to the impaled weapon on the body.
His niece trudges over to grab the handle, placing her foot on the body to yank it out. Wincing from the blood splattering—she hauls out the other half. Wiping the blades clean on the Blighter’s jacket.
“Be prepared, we’ll leave tomorrow at noon.” He pats her shoulder—she made her way back to her bedroom.
She writes the urgent message for the Harlows and Scotts. Jacqueline rubs her temples as it cause discomfort, her heart clenching on her chest. The churning in her stomach intensifies. She goes to the chest next to her window to pick out new logbooks in case if she runs out of pages. Including the diary she kept, writing about her weekly missions. Jacqueline takes out a crate she took from a market once with a pile of carrots and peppers. She sets in clothing, her journals, money, and her medical kit. Her anxiety is leaving her beloved home vacant forever.
Jacqueline rests her arms on the edges of the crate, putting her head down while being aware her skin is growing hot. Tears flow down her cheeks—her hands clutch clumps of her hair, managing to silence her sorrow.
London — Whitechapel: Bishopsgate Station
The cane sword was below Jacqueline’s legs. The train rattles on the tracks—steam pumping, machines from the factories roaring as the soft metal gave a loud sizzle. The train pulls to the stop as wheels screeched against the rails.
Grayson sighs, hand patting his wounds. “Did you sent the letter to your mother? The Scotts?”
Jacqueline nods, holding back tears as she was not a crier. Her uncle held her face gently, tears were held back as well. “Please be careful… I don’t want you to get hurt.” Grayson kisses her forehead. Jacqueline hugs her uncle tight, sniffling onto his shoulder as he clutches her hard.
“Stay away from danger Uncle. Please.”
“I will. Goodbye, my dear.” Grayson ran back her red curls, earning a smile from his niece.
She picks up her crate—balancing the cane sword under her arm. Jacqueline exhales sharply as she moves out from the train.
Grayson urges himself to stand and run, embrace his niece once more before he disappears. He held himself back on his seat, resting his elbow on the sill. Leaving a city, he once loved with Ethan—both of them running free and becoming closer than before. I have to live without my niece and you, my friend.
Jacqueline exits the station, chewing her bottom lip due to distress. Beginning her search for the twins once again, realizing the difficulty to spot them. She needed Grayson, his aid, and his comfort. Alone made her nerves go out of control, her thoughts clouded with distress.
Jacob balanced himself onto the brink of the roof. Quickening his pace while sneering at his courage—his sister chuckles as she was walking on the flat top.
“You’re always teasing death,” she exclaimed.
“He’s scared of me,” Jacob replied as he leaps onto another rooftop. “Dare me to do a cartwheel?”
Evie opens her mouth to speak; however, she noticed a familiar figure. Narrowing her eyes at the specific redhead. The only woman she met with wild frizz and curls. She whistled at her brother who caught her attention. She gestures her head at Jacqueline pacing through the streets.
Jacob snickered, sitting on the ledge as he peers at the quizzical look on her face, her brows furrowing as she was seemingly finding a location. “Why does she have a ridiculous crate?”
“No no… She has her personal items inside. A weapon under her arm—did something happened between her and Mister Harlow?”
“Kicked her out?”
“No, too extreme. We’ll have to reach up to Jacqueline.” Evie said as she leaps off the building.
Her brother huffs, running to jump onto the bars of shop signs. Leaping as his hands grab onto a sign and swings over to another. He lands safely on the pavement.
“Miss Harlow!” Jacob called.
Jacqueline gasped, turning around “Mister Frye, you’re going to kill me with your surprises!”
Evie jogs to the two “Apologies Miss Harlow. We wanted to know if you were alright. You seem lost.”
She pursed her lips, glancing at the twins with creased brows “I have unfortunate news… I believe Mister Green should hear this as well. Will you two take me to him?"
“Of course, follow us.”
Jacob adjusted his cap “So what happened? Did we troubled him?”
“No, Mister Frye. He left London.”
The twin furrowed his brow “He what?”
“Jacob wait. Let us save this information once we get back to the shop.” Evie declared, she sets her hand on the redhead’s back “I'm sorry for what has happened.”
“No need, my apologies if I’m not in the mood to smile or speak.”
“That does not matter, Miss Harlow. Mister Green can give you some tea.”
“Nice of you, Miss Frye.”
"What about that cane? You never wield it have you?" Jacob comment, his sister, having a small smirk on her lips. As she fights well with the weapon, appreciating the different mechanisms it has. It is always Grayson's preference to fight.
"Grayson's cane—he lent over for me to use. Though I do not know how to use it, unfortunately." Jacqueline glimpse at the golden eagle head on the tip of the cane, recalling memories of her caressing the details when she was younger. Most of the times, she called it the eagle.
The three entered the curio shop where Henry was facing away from the entrance. Jacqueline's eyes scan around the different artifacts, raising her chin at a towering bear.
"Mister Green," Evie called.
He faces the three “Ah there you are... With Miss Harlow? How do you do?”
“Somewhat fine… I never knew you had all of these items.” Jacqueline lays her crate on the floor with the cane.
"You can put it right here on the counter." Henry offered, patting on the wooden surface.
“Very sorry to interrupt, Jacqueline has unfavorable news to tell.” Evie helps the redhead to place the cane on the counter.
Henry tilts his head, “And that is?”
Jacqueline gulps harshly “Last night, a couple of Blighters invaded my home and injured my uncle. They kidnapped my older sister and Mister Scott. Grayson has sent me to you three to form our alliance—mandatory now. He put me in charge to kill his last remaining targets and to save the hostages. My uncle left on the train to go back to Kent.”
The three Assassins exchange faces, speechless from what they heard.
Henry clears his throat “I’m very sorry, you should go through a time like this. I’m assuming you must find some shelter soon.”
“She could live with us, you are planning to find residence?” Evie clamps her hand on the redhead's shoulder.
“Yes, there could be a possibility that we'll have neighbors. We will have four rooms, I presume?” Henry explained.
“What about my sister and Ephraim? They’ll have to stay with us for their safety.”
Jacob rests his arms on the counter, squeezing in the discussion “Let’s not fuss about that, we're still searching for Kaylock. Bastard is still lurking around.”
“Kaylock? Is he a Templar?” Jacqueline asked.
"The gang leader of the Whitechapel Blighters, Miss Frye and her brother are still searching for him as they are almost done liberating the borough." Henry explained, "Perhaps you'll like to join their task?"
Jacqueline slips out her journal, blowing out her cheeks. "Well, if he knows Starrick, then he should know where my sister and friend are hiding. I'll have to make an exchange."
“You’re willing to give up your whole effort to him? You must be joking.” Jacob firm his jaw, having the slight annoyance from her plan. Killing Kaylock is a better option, rather than giving Starrick victory for a day.
“I’m not. If I want my family to be alive, I should lend them this. Making peace is better than violence.”
“Peace with the most dangerous gang in London?” Jacob scowled at the redhead.
Evie moves in between the two, arms out “We’ll have to compress our agenda to find the hostages and Kaylock. If possible, I’m sure they are hiding them in one of the strongholds.”
“There’s one more left, the lads told me one of our new recruits is there.”
“Then the two must be there as well.” Jacqueline said “We’ll have to get going… Fascinating, I can’t believe me mince pies! I'm finally working with the both of you!”
Henry grins at the redhead's enthusiasm “You must be careful Miss Harlow, I will give you the luck to find the hostages and Kaylock.”
“We’ll try our best.” Jacqueline pats her crate "I hope you don't mind looking after this?"
“So you won't be needing a weapon?” The brash twin smirked.
“Jacob.” Evie frowned as he snickered. "Follow me, Miss Harlow, we cannot waste time."
The three left the shop—Jacqueline kept an eye out for any sight of her sister or Ephraim. Her stomach churns as it was different to work with two Assassins she recently met. A reckless twin brother and an intriguing twin sister. Subjects cluttered, she was an urge to ask questions.
She gives a soft tug on Evie’s sleeve “What is Mister Green like?"
“She fancies the bloke!” Jacob barges in.
“Oh shut up!” Evie glared as her brother sticks out his tongue.
Jacqueline held back a chortle as she enjoys their bickering. Never she had a small banter with her older sister—Ephraim was the only man she would have a good nature wrangle about the weather or the temperature of the kettle.
“Do you provoke Miss Frye most of the times?” The redhead cocked a brow.
“She teased me as well, she’s not innocent.” Jacob chuckled. “So tell me, your uncle left everything he has done to your responsibility?”
“Unfortunately, I manage to seek some training on my own to stop the rest of the targets. Which is why the cane sword is in need.”
“He forced you to do them?”
“I promised him to do so.”
“Some coward he is to leave.”
"Jacob!" Evie yelled, knitting her brows together.
Jacqueline widened her eyes, stopping as her heart drops “What? What did you call him?”
“A coward. All because of an ambush and yet an Assassin is leaving you in charge.” He spread his arms out "Sure, he could've been injured, but he still has days and weeks to recover."
“Mister Frye, I assure you he did it for the safety of my friends and family! I couldn’t bear to see him suffer any longer.”
“Of course he did! After all, you told me he wanted you to be safe. Yet you promised to do these dangerous missions.”
“That’s enough!” Evie shouted.
Her voice began to choke up “Mister Frye... That’s not true.” She did not speak any further. She wipes away her tears quickly with her sleeves, the presence of her older sister appeared as she ignored the words towards her rare eye condition. Her freckles and the number of times she's been hit. Her ears block the dispute between the siblings, Evie gesturing the redhead as Jacob roll his eyes.
"Get up!" Henrietta kicked her sister in the rib, having her to choke onto the blood in her mouth. She crawls away, attempting to reach to the door of their home in Kent.
"I said get up!" She grabs the redhead by the hair, throwing her aside, far from the door this time. Jacqueline heaves for air, wiping her tears as she kept listening to her screams. Her harsh commands, the tint of crimson covering Henrietta's face. She shakes her head, eyes widening as she worried about her sister's lack of patience. She did not want her to receive a punishment from their mother again.
"Stop... Yelling. Please."
“Miss Harlow? Are you alright?” Evie whispered, hands planting on her tensed shoulders.
Jacqueline flicked her eyelids back to reality. Jacob faced away from the girls, implying his arms are crossed, toe-tapping impatiently. She gazes through the vibrant blue eyes of the twin sister “I am—apologies Miss Frye.”
“No. My brother needs to understand what you're dealing with at the moment. Do you still want to continue?"
Jacqueline sniffs “Yes, I don't take a grudge.” She gives a weak smile.
No grudges held against Jacob, she attempts to forgive and continue her day. Her nails scratched the back of her hand, unable to speak nor ask questions. The brash twin was silent as well, jutting his chin. He loathes his sister treating him as he were a child. A man who cannot realize the limit he's breaking, the barriers he ignores for someone's grief.
As Evie was far ahead from the two, Jacqueline muttered: "I'm sorry."
Jacob turns his head to the redhead, quizzical "For what? What did you do?"
"I'm sorry if I uproared some tension between you and your sister. It was not my intention."
"Intention? My god, I always bicker with my sister daily. You—" he swallows a lump in his throat "You have no fault here." He pinched his lips.
Jacqueline was concerned if that was his way of apologizing. His cheeks heating up, not daring to say another word.
The twins and Jacqueline made their way to the perimeter of the stronghold. Evie goes to a wonky plank of the fence, moving aside to take a better view of the inside.
“This is it?” Jacqueline asked, grabbing a clump of her skirt to crouch.
Jacob exhales deeply through his nose “Mhm, one of the Rooks is trapped there.”
“Rooks? I thought they were Clinkers?”
“It's a long story, Miss Harlow, I’m sure you already know who gave the name from the gang leader himself.” Evie scowled at her brother.
“Hilarious dear sister.” Jacob rolls his eyes.
The three spotted a man guarding the hostage, two snipers keeping their watch on the rooftops. Jacqueline peeks through the opening to examine men pacing back and forth, repeatedly. Barrels were at each corner of each building, piles of hay near the middle of the setting. Grayson has seen these hideouts before, describing the strongholds were filled with the strongest and filthiest Blighter they recruited. She holds a smoke bomb, weighing in her hands.
“I have a plan. I’ll go inside, give you a signal and throw this to distract the men.”
“You certain it will work?” Jacob asked.
“We’ll make it work—be careful Miss Harlow,” Evie said.
Jacqueline approaches the small entrance of the fence. Crawling under carefully, not considering for the dirt on her skirt. She huffs, hurrying over to an empty building. Her palm press harder on the metal sphere, praying the method will work. One of the snipers caught the sight of the frizzy redhead, preparing her firearm. She squints one eye, finger on the trigger—with a knife thrown onto her head.
Jacqueline listens to the thud as the other yelped in agony. She hides behind the barrels, breathe Harlow, breathe. The two deceased women caught the attention of Blighters rushing towards them, confused from their fate.
Jacqueline takes a deep breath, running where the Rook is kneeling. Ignoring the shouts, the clicks of triggers going off and the whistles for recruitments. Give the signal, don't stop now. She gives a sharp cry, throwing the bomb into the ground as the fumes surround her.
“Impressive, for a rookie,” Jacob smirked as Evie gives a dismissive wave, vaulting over the fence to attack the enemies.
Jacqueline readies her dagger as she runs to the Blighter guarding the prisoner. Puncturing his back—forming a deep wound. She gasps as blood stained her hands. Wincing as she retrieves her dagger, facing the Rook.
“Don't be afraid, I'm here to help.” Jacqueline gives a sincere smile as she wriggles the weapon to cut off his restrainments.
“Behind you!” He warned.
Jacqueline shifts as the Blighter is shot three times in the back. Plunging below her feet, she rose her chin to recognize Jacob—lowering his firearm. Smoke still fuming from the barrel.
He gives a teasing grin “You’re welcome.”
She tilts her head—unsure to react to his good deed. An arrogant man who claimed her uncle is a coward saved her from getting into combat. Jacqueline had a lopsided grin, turning to the hostage. She helps him stand, brushing off the dirt from his olive green uniform.
“Jacqueline Harlow, a new ally to the Frye twins.”
“I’m sure it’s obvious.” Jacob teased as she shakes her head in amusement.
Evie comes by as she wipes the blood away from her cheeks “You’re the only prisoner?”
“For now, before there were two others. One poor lad bruised up for entertainment, another loudmouth lady with a strong Yorkshire accent. Spitting at all the men in her way.”
“Ephraim and Henrietta—" Jacqueline broadened her eyes "—where did they go, sir?”
“Kaylock ordered his men to take them to Whitechapel Station. Bastard is expecting a visit from you two.” The Rook sticks out his two fingers to indicate the twins.
Jacob smirked, tucking up the collar of his jacket “I’ll bring in a welcoming gift while we’re at it.”
“We best hurry, I am not sure if Mister Scott could keep up with this-this anguish. My sister, also, could be in serious barney rubble.” Jacqueline fiddles with her red curls.
“Let’s not hasten our pace, Miss Harlow… Send the others to the station, we’ll be there to encounter Kaylock.” Evie ordered.
"On it, Miss Frye." The recruit speeds off, leaving the three surrounded by the corpses of fallen Blighters.
"Well let's not critique our work, we should get going." Jacob flings his arm forward.
"You know I don't like leaving without cleaning up our mess." Evie turns to Jacqueline who held back a chuckle.
"It's not Crawley anymore, Evie."
London — Whitechapel: Whitechapel Station
Outside from the station, Blighters all gathered in front of the train. Scowling at the Rooks ahead, some spitting onto the floor, making obscene gestures. A crowd form on the sidelines, all cheering for either syndicate. The trio made it in time before chaos breaks out. Jacqueline brush back her hair behind her ear, listening to the crowd spatting at the Blighters.
One of the men from the Rooks recognized the twins “Ah, the Frye twins! Good to see you two.”
Jacob smirked, grabbing his hand for a firm shake “The fun is starting soon, where’s Kaylock?”
“He’s hiding, though I’m not quite sure where he is. He does have hostages.”
“Where are they now?” Evie asked—Jacqueline approach closer to listen.
“Unfortunate answer, I do not know.”
“Oi! Both of you!” Roared a Blighter, coming nearer in the middle. Jacob places his hand on the man’s chest to push him out of the way. The Rooks made the path for the Assassin, making his way up front.
“Mister Kaylock is looking for you… The same man who killed Wilfred Griffiths?”
"You're looking at him." Jacob spread out his arms, a teasing grin form on his lips. “My sister and I are here now, he should come out at any moment!”
The Blighter signaled to bring out a ragged Ephraim, coughing as he was propelled onto the ground. Blood streaming from his lips and the side of his head.
“Ephraim!” Jacqueline screamed as Evie held her back.
“Miss Harlow, you’ll get killed if you go near him!”
“But—no! Please…” Jacqueline gasped, not daring to fight against the assassin. She bows her head, not daring to see the outcome of her friend.
“The redhead. Take the bastard with that whore, I’m sure Kaylock is proud to see you three together.” A large and bulky man lifts Ephraim onto his shoulder, escorting him to the back with a couple of recruits.
“What’s the plan?” Jacob looks over his shoulder.
“Jacob, have fun with the Rooks. I’ll look for Mister Scott.” Evie explained.
“What about me?” Jacqueline held her arm.
“Best to stay away from the fight, that way Kaylock can approach once we outnumber them,” Jacob wields out a kukri.
A weapon Grayson used to describe during their discussions. The keen edge can cut through the bone, perfect for Jacob's attitude. She steps back, witnessing the impetuous brother leading his gang to the middle. Seas of red and green colliding, shedding blood everywhere. Jacob slashes one of the Blighter’s thigh, hitting him in the face. He ducks from an advancing swipe and points the kukri onto the Blighter's head against the wall. Causing Jacqueline to grimace from the brutal result.
Evie sneaks to the back, peeking her head from the side to witness Ephraim lying on the ground. Hands tied behind, the bulky placed his foot upon the young man.
"Your whore of a friend told us a lot about you, Scott." He snorted, Ephraim furrowed his brows. Yearning to spit his blood on his polished boot.
Evie shakes her head "Sad to hurt an innocent man," she throws her knife at one of the Blighters, advancing to slide below to trip another gang member on the pavement. Stabbing his back with her blade, gaining the full awareness of the large Blighter mocking Ephraim.
The man arouses his hostage, wrapping an arm around his neck. Evie glowers with her blade out, waiting for the moment to kill him without injuring Ephraim in process.
“You either give up, or I'll call the rest of the lads.” The Blighter commanded, Ephraim groans as he slams his heel against the man's boot. He yelped as he shoves the hostage back, losing his balance as he attempts to scramble.
“I’ll kill you!” A bullet aims through his head, eyes becoming blank as he falls face first.
Ephraim gasps as he never views a kill up close. He has seen dead bodies in Southwark, never the combat between a killer and a victim. The Blighter is no victim, however.
“Mister Scott, thank goodness I made it in time.” Evie cuts the ropes as he massages his wrists.
“Thank you, Miss Frye.” His cheeks had a hue of scarlet, she saved me?
A whistle broke through the noisy crowd of the battle “There you are!” Kaylock shouted.
Jacqueline furrowed her brow, seeing the display of her older sister dragged by her collar. Struggling herself to leave his grasp.
“Henrietta!” Jacqueline shouted, making her way through.
Jacob, however, stops her. “You’re doing this again?”
“That’s my sister, Mister Frye!” Jacqueline cried, viewing the torture she experienced.
“Rumors are true, Miss Harlow? Niece of that old man Grayson.” Kaylock simpered, white-knuckled as he kept grabbing the elder sister.
“Let her go! She has no fault here.”
“Is that so? After spitting in my face countless times?! My men taught her respect while I was having fun with Scottie.”
“You gave me a bruise, you son of a bitch!” Henrietta snarled as she kept straining herself.
“Shut up! Miss Harlow, I know what you have, and you best give it to me before I give you Scottie’s head first.”
“Not for long, Kaylock.” Evie arrives at the scene to her brother and ally, Ephraim by her side—grimacing at the man who kidnapped him.
“The twins, of course, one of you would save him.”
“It’s over, hand over the lady!” Jacob demanded.
Jacqueline shakes her head, yanking out her journal from her bag.
“Miss Harlow?” Evie asked, the redhead near the Templar with her book visible in her hands. Kaylock plunges from the train car, Henrietta yelping as she collapses on her knees. Trembling, she did not dare to resist.
“My friends must be protected as well.” He chortled, snatching the journal away as the redhead kept her stance. Narrowing at the Templar passing the notebook to one of his men.
"Burn it." The Blighter lit his match, arranging the fire on the corner of the book. Flames lighting to a bright orange, rising to the top as the rest burnt to black.
“Now let her go,” Jacqueline commanded.
“Ah ah, not until I take you to see Mister Star—AGH!” The Templar received a knife on his shoulder from Evie. Jacob runs to the Templar, piercing his hidden blade onto his chest. Jerking it out in a brisk, stepping aside as Kaylock grabs onto his wound, freeing Henrietta.
“Henri.” Jacqueline sprints to embrace her sister—only to earn a shove. “YOU! How dare you and Uncle—”
“Miss Harlow, please take her inside of the train with Mister Scott,” Evie directed as Jacqueline obeyed, leading her sister and Ephraim in the car. Avoiding the aftermath of the death of the Templar.
"Jacqueline, thank god you made it in time." Ephraim embraces the redhead, having her to stand on her toes to rest her head on his shoulder.
"I'm glad you're still here, although the punishment must have been harsh." She wipes away the blood from his cheek.
“Nothing bad, dear—where's Mister Harlow? I sure would like to thank him as well.”
“Yeah, where is he? I swear I will not hesitate to break his fucking face!” Henrietta seizes onto her sister’s blouse.
“Grayson... He left London this morning.”
“What?!” Ephraim and Henrietta shouted in unison.
“We’ll discuss more that, but for now on, I’m in charge of his uncompleted work. I'll make sure that you two are in under my protection. Hopefully the twins and Mister Green don’t mind.”
“Where should we go? I left my books at home.” Ephraim scratches his head.
“It’s alright, I’m sure we’ll buy new ones. Perhaps Henry can lend you some.”
“I don’t fucking read.” Henrietta snarled.
“I mean Mister Henry Green, Henri.”
The twins both entered inside of the train “Least we have a train now.” Jacob smirked as he carried a familiar device in his hand.
Jacqueline progress to the twins, clasping her palms together “Thank you for your help, I couldn’t have done it without your courage and skills.”
“Pfft, you lead us to Kaylock.” The brash twin teased.
“What my brother is trying to say is thank you as well. Worked fine for our first mission together.” Evie pats her shoulder. "It's a shame you lost your journal."
"No worries, the real ones here." She reveals the real notebook with the golden crest in front.
"What? Then what did Kaylock burned?"
"My diary, I did not expect him to be fooled by my arrangement." She smirked, tucking the journal under her arm.
"A very cunning move, Harlow." Jacob complimented.
“Thank you. Oh! By the way, this is my older sister—” Henrietta shoved her aside with force, fists ready to direct.
“You wagtails! You two caused this!” Jacob and Evie exchanged faces, both moving back until the redhead spread her arms out.
“No! This is the Frye twins—Uncle Grayson knew their father.”
“Where is he? Leaving you with these two blokes. One whore and a little ragdoll.”
Jacob glares at the hothead “Now hang on, we’re here because of your sister’s task to save you!”
“Shut the hell up you dirty—!"
“Henri! That’s enough!” Ephraim calms her down with his arms wrapped around her. Her chest heaves for air, her baby hairs were all standing as if she did not brush her hair for days.
“Hey! What’s with the screaming?” Said a woman with a thick Scottish accent. She frowns at the sight of the argument, planting her hands on her hips.
“Ma’am I apologized for what’s happening,” Evie said, approaching her. Jacqueline signaled Ephraim to wait with Henrietta as she joined the introduction.
“And who may you three be?” She asked.
“I’m Evie Frye, my brother Jacob Frye, and Jacqueline Harlow.” She commences themselves— Jacqueline waves at the new lady, smiling with her eyes squinting in politeness.
“Pleased to meet ye. I’m Agnes MacBean.” She introduced herself.
“A delight,” Jacob commented.
“I thought I was gettin’ a promotion. I suppose I’m outta of work now.”
“Come work with us instead.” Evie insisted, Jacqueline agree—observing the construction of the train. The amount of space to pace around, it’s perfect. Perhaps an ideal area to reside for a while working on her plans and organizing her notes. Running her palm on the nearby wall.
“Awa a bile yer heid!” She said in her native language, although she reverses back to them “You pay better than scraps?”
Jacob raises his hand “I’m sure we can at least match that,” Evie, however, hits her brother on the arm.
“Then may I present to you, Agnes and Bertha. Lady and locomotive at your service, I’ll be in the next car.” She gives a bow to the three, smiles and escorts herself to her car.
“That was rather interesting?” Jacqueline comment, arching a brow from their new ally.
“Interesting? Are we all living here now?!” Henrietta shouted as her younger sister bow her hands to lighten her tone.
“I’m sorry, but I’m glad you’re okay!” She grinned—her older sister restrains her arm.
“There’s no way I’m living with those blokes around! Those are Grayson's people, remember!” She gritted her teeth.
“Henri we’ll find a room for us,” Ephraim faces the twins "Thank you both for your help, I give you my gratitude." He accompanies his friend to the next passenger car.
"A new way to say thank you?" Jacob chided.
"A misunderstood person." Jacqueline defended, understanding Henrietta has a short fuse and have been through troubling events.
“A hideout on the rails, what an excellent idea!” Henry exclaimed, carrying his books to settle inside.
Jacqueline cocked her head “You manage to find us, Mister Green?”
“Yes, but I think you would need a car of your own. Or we may stay in a home I've found.”
"Don't tell me we're officially living with neighbors." The brash twin scoffed, outreaching his arm to place the grappling hook on his bracer.
“We'll worry about that later. Mister Green, I do want a lead up on—” Evie stopped when she remarks Jacob closing one eye to study the mechanisms.
“Jacob?” She calls for his attention “This is serious.”
He shifts to her “I’m not doing anything until this gets fixed.”
“I believe I know someone who can help with that.” Henry offered, effecting Jacob to stop and glance over his shoulder with a leer.
“I know you would Greenie.” He said in a gravel voice, turning away to have his focus back on the device.
“Shall we discuss the plan?” Asked Evie, Henry gesticulates to agree and follow behind, leaving Jacqueline and Jacob alone.
“He knows so many people, correct?” She crosses her arms while eyeing the device in the twin's hands. “Yes, which is why Evie is always head over heels for him.” He rolls his eyes.
Jacqueline giggles, lifting her hand to give a swift pat on his back “I’ll have to check up on my sister to see if her temper cooled down. You have fun with your prize.” She walks away.
Jacob pinch his lips together, lowering his device “Jacqueline!” He called, attracting her attention.
“I mean Miss Harlow—I apologized for what I said about your uncle, I hope it does not ruin our alliance?” He said, with a stroke of heat across his cheeks. He was not used to apologizing to others, even his own sister—Jacob did felt sympathy due to the confidential relationship with her uncle. His bond with his father was not the best, he sees the concern from her choked up responses while walking to the strongholds. The lack of attitude she had after freeing the Rook.
Jacqueline smiles from Jacob's kind words “I forgive you... Thank you, Mister Frye.”
He was left alone, glancing back at his device and held it with his two hands. Not expecting for someone so benevolent to forgive him without trouble.
Jacqueline is born in Kent but she’s always listening to the cockney accents at factories and her neighborhood. Once she moved to London, she is very used to the cockney rhyming slang. Which is definitely my favorite part of writing her dialogue. :)
Mince Pies = Eyes
Barney Rubble = Trouble
Chapter 4: House of Memories
London — Train Hideout
Morning came as the train is making their way back to Whitechapel, by Henry’s request. Yesterday was successful due to the twins finally freeing the borough, as Jacqueline lead them to Kaylock. However, last night was a rough hour of blames.
Jacqueline opens her eyes, adjusting her sight as she sees the ceiling of the train car. Concerned about lying on the floor, she manages to rest on her forearms. By the side, views Ephraim and Henrietta sleeping inside the booth—both seemingly comfortable. She felt a sharp pain in her arms, sitting up immediately. Jacqueline rolls up her sleeves, glancing at the dark purple marks. More on her right, a few spots on her left.
“He left London? He left you with all of his work?” Ephraim asked, holding onto Jacqueline’s hand.
She blows out her cheeks, nodding “Yes. That is why Grayson allowed me to form my alliance with the Frye twins and Mister Green. You two must live with us once this is over.”
Henrietta furrowed her brow “You fucking idiot...”
“Watch your tone.” Ephraim scowled.
“Shut up! You made a bad choice to encounter with those arseholes! I don’t trust them one bit.”
Jacqueline shakes her head “Perhaps it does not matter if the three of us do not click, but we have to depend on each other. For our determination to liberate London.”
Henrietta seizes her arm “Shut up, or I’ll belt you!”
“Henri. All I want is to protect you. You may not like them, but I have to do this for Grayson.” Her elder sister bares her teeth, yanking her away from the booth and slams her against the wall.
“No! Stop!” Ephraim runs towards the hothead, receiving a forceful shove.
“I’m teaching her a lesson!” Henrietta throws a punch, Jacqueline receives the aim across the face. Reacting, she blocks her incoming hits with her forearms. Unable to defend herself, unable to anger her more.
Henrietta grabs a clump of her red hair, throwing her onto the floor. “Stop covering your face!” She kicks her stomach, having Jacqueline to press her arms further on her head.
“You’re hurting her! Stop!” Ephraim pushes the elder sister away.
She slaps him from the action he committed “Fuck away from me! Should I give you a beating as well?!”
Ephraim received another jab on his cheek, hissing as it felt like iron hitting against bones. He did not stop as he wraps his arms around Henrietta, dragging her away.
“I’m not done with her!”
“You're killing her!”
Jacqueline slowly pries her arms away from her face, peeking through the gap as she observes the two friends arguing. Henrietta is prodding her finger against Ephraim’s chest, spitting out insults as he was defending the redhead.
“Oh right,” Jacqueline recalls, covering her arms. Making an effort to rise while grabbing onto the table from the booth. She lunges for her leather bag and advances to the next train car to see if Jacob and Evie are somewhere found. Instead, she finds Henry and Agnes speaking to each other.
“Morning Miss MacBean, Mister Green” She greeted with a grin.
“Oh hallo, Miss Harlow—how was your rest?” She questioned.
Jacqueline fondles her bruises with her fingers “It was fine, I’m glad that I have shelter for the night.” She clears her throat “I was wondering if there’s any money earned to buy another carriage, I don’t expect my sister and friend will enjoy sleeping in the booth for a long time.”
“Well, it’s been a while since I last updated Bertha. However, I believe Mister Green have some news for you and the Frye twins.”
Jacqueline tilts her head “Oh, and that is?”
Henry chuckles “I’ve told you and the twins I’ve found a home. A family of six owned it, they recently moved out and made their way to Westminster. I managed to own it myself while you three were finding the hostages.”
“That’s amazing Mister Green! I’m sure this will be good news for the twins.” Jacqueline’s smile grew faint “What of my belongings?”
“Ah, I manage to take them back to the residence home. It’s on top of the kitchen table, including your uncle’s cane.”
“As long it’s there, I have no problem. Are the twins awake yet?”
“You called?” Jacob peeked inside as his sister followed behind. The twin brother kept the grappling hook in his hand as Jacqueline snickered. Implying he’s been observing it all morning.
“Still trying to fix it?” She gestures to the device.
“Oh yes, after all, Greenie knows a man.” Jacob jerked his thumb behind to gesture the Assassin.
“We’ll have to put a pause on our trip to see that man, for now, I have to lead all of you to a flat I’ve found.” Henry declared, earning a smile from Evie.
“Wonderful news, where's Mister Scott and his friend?” She asked.
“I’ll rouse them up, hang on.” Jacqueline hurries back to the pub car, leaving Jacob to recall Henrietta’s attitude yesterday.
“Should we even live with her sister?” He whispered—Evie shrugged. She’s civil and patient; however, the hothead’s manners brought her mixed emotions.
“What seems to be the problem?” Henry questioned.
“Yesterday, Henrietta Harlow caused a scene and blamed the both of us for her kidnapping,” Evie explained, crossing her arms. “Jacqueline is quite the opposite.”
“Not every sibling has the same personality, that depends how she treats Miss Harlow,” Henry explained—unsure of the sisters’ bond.
The redhead returns with her coat in her arms, Ephraim escorting his sober friend as she kept murmuring words. He shushes her quietly, rubbing her shoulder.
“Morning everyone… Miss Frye.” Ephraim greeted, smiling at the twin sister.
“Did you rest well, Mister Scott?” Evie asked.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Henrietta snarls as if the Assassin were to steal her liquor.
Jacob nudges his elbow against Henry, who acknowledges as he saw the ill-mannered attitude from the elder sister.
The mentor Assassin clears his throat “Anyways, I do have something to discuss once we go inside of our home. I do hope you will agree to this, Miss Harlow.”
“Depends on what it is, you have my word,” Jacqueline smirked.
The train pulls to a stop in Whitechapel Station, everyone but Henrietta greeted Agnes a farewell as they exit. Jacqueline remembers the last time she and Grayson departed. Leading her journey as he goes back to Kent. Her old home, a rather peaceful environment with many well-known neighbors, who knew their family due to Jacqueline’s caring hand. Including Henrietta’s insults and temper tantrums before moving to Northern England for five years.
“So where is this place, Greenie?” Jacob asked—Jacqueline, listening to their words.
“Chamber’s Court, a block away from the curio shop.”
“Never been to that street I believe,” The redhead commented.
“Never? Oh right, you lived in Southwark.” The brash twin gave a teasing grin.
“How did you know?”
“Greenie knew where your uncle lived, he knows everyone.”
“Don’t mind him, Miss Harlow.” Evie rolls her eyes at her brother’s wittiness.
“It’s fine. I traveled throughout London in the past three years. We never went to Whitechapel most of the times due to our target’s sights in Lambeth and Southwark.” Jacqueline revealed.
“Tell me, who are Mister Harlow’s targets?” The brash twin queried, glancing at his ally.
Jacqueline hums, enthusiastic to tell “Well you did kill Wilfred Griffiths, the rest are Gladys Harris, Archie Dawn, and Eleanor Taylor.”
“Just three of them left? You seem to have such an easy task.” Evie smiled.
“Not particularly… those three are hard to find. I need to find their close acquaintances first.” Jacqueline patted her bag “My journal have their names listed down, although some of them have guards most of the times.”
“Here we are.” Henry halts the group from walking further, all standing in front of the home he claimed.
Jacqueline gazes at the door, all the way to the roof where she sees the chips of terra cotta pieces. All covered in brown stacked bricks, windows tinted in coffee like stains. Nostalgic, the home was a call back to her childhood as she once lives in a two floor home with a room to share with her sister. A small kitchen, and lounge where Grayson and his wife Beatrice would visit for tea. The redhead anticipates seeing the inside.
“Here? In this dirty thing?” Henrietta scowled at the grubby appearance. The home was rather well constructed, sturdy to keep them warm on colder days and guarded against any Blighters.
“Henri.” Ephraim hushed her, having to admire the flat as he too lived in a traditional home back in Kent.
“It was the best I could do, the benefit is we’ll camouflage with the rest of the residence here in this street,” Henry explained while leading the group to the door, plastered with the numbers forty-seven. Green escort them inside, walking up the stairs as dim lights slapped onto the side. A few were off, only one bulb is brighter than the others.
Jacqueline steps foot on the first floor, wandering around as she spots her crate on the kitchen table. She goes to check on her belongings, sighing in relief as she glances at the cane sword next to it.
“Those are the bedrooms?” Jacob asked, waving his finger to point at the four doors were aligned in the curve of the home.
“Yes and right through that doorway will lead you up to the bathing rooms. One for the gentleman, one for the ladies.” Henry described.
“Seems fair,” Evie smirked as Jacqueline nods for her approvement. “Convenient to have a kitchen right outside from the rooms.”
“I believe the family either left their kettle on the stove… No matter, I’ll make use of it.” The redhead approach to the pot, peeping inside.
Ephraim clears his throat, raising his palm “Um Mister Green, do one of us have to share a bedroom?”
“Ah thank you for reminding me, two of these rooms have two beds. Which means two of you have to live with another.” Henry said.
“Henrietta and I can share a room. We lived in one ever since we were little.” Jacqueline offered, smiling at reviving her memories. Ignoring the ill treatment she received from her elder sibling.
Henrietta groans, demanding “Absolutely not! I want my own!”
“I can room with Miss Harlow.” Evie rushes in, “Miss Henrietta can have her own.” Her lips form into a smirk as the elder sister grimace at the twin.
“Excellent, and you Mister Scott?” Green proceeded to ask.
Ephraim glances at the hothead, pinching his lips as he glimpses at Jacob instead. “I’m guessing I’ll share with the lad. If you don’t mind, Mister Frye.”
The brash twin gives teasing grin “Oh of course, as long you keep your mess on your side.”
“Good luck with him, Mister Scott.” Evie chuckled, her brother raised his brows from her overstatement.
Henrietta marches to the room near the doorway, tossing the door shut as it gave a loud noise.
Henry lifts a brow, soon turning back at the four left “Well, now that’s aside, we should discuss our future tasks now that you’re here Miss Harlow.”
“I should leave this to you four.” Ephraim saluted, heading towards the bedroom. Closing his door with a small click, having Jacob to whistle in surprise.
“I’m sure I’ll be sane for a while.” He chuckled “You sure he’s a clean man?”
“Ephraim is responsible for his mess. You don’t have to worry Mister Frye.” Jacqueline grinned as she takes a chair, sliding her crate to her side of the table.
Henry sits, placing his hands on top of the wood “Now then, I will like to give you our warmest welcome to our alliance once again. It has come to my thought that we may need to put aside our missions for a while.”
“For how long?” Evie raised a brow.
“Depends on how much skills Jacqueline has.”
“Wait, you’re implying that…”
“We’re training her?” Jacob finishes her sentence, both of them staring at each other.
“Correct. From what I remember from Ethan, Mister Harlow trained you ever since you were young. Although he takes care of the killing, you spied for him.” Henry described, having Jacqueline to nod slowly. “Jacob and Evie will both help you. Stealth may be your biggest accomplishment, but we must train you in combat.”
The redhead gulps, hesitant of whether to practice how to defend herself. “Meaning I have to handle a couple of thugs on my own? Not just my targets.”
“You’ll enjoy it, besides, it’s never an easy task. I assume you have seen your uncle kill Blighters.” Jacob plops his arms on top of the cresting rail of the chair.
“You may not be an Assassin, or not thinking to become one, but it is important to have the skills your uncle had. He was rather brutal, handling many enemies at once. Quiet, so no one could tell where he went.” Henry emphasized, recalling a time where Grayson saved him from the Templars going after him. The use of his cane sword impressed Green, no delay for mercy.
Jacqueline releases her hair from the ribbon, rubbing the slight pain on her roots. “I don’t think I’ll be able to do so. All of this is nice, but I worry too much.”
Evie looks at Jacob who could only shrug. She speaks “There’s no need to be afraid, trust me, my father has met shy people like you. All you need is to build up courage and be determined. You do want to complete Mister Harlow’s tasks, correct?”
“Yes. My first opportunity.”
“Then you should seek in training, becoming an advanced fighter? I could show you how to splinter and break some bones.” Jacob simpers, flipping his chair around to sit.
Jacqueline laughs under her breath, unsure of accepting their training. Grayson lost his close friends and his wife; she was the only close family member left. He cares for her safety, not allowing a man or woman lay a hand on her. If she dies from one of their targets, her uncle would highly blame himself. Jacqueline did not want to kill in a quick struggle, and she promised Grayson. Young and healthy, yet rational.
“Alright,” the redhead perks up her head with pride “I’m in.”
Jacob reaches over to give a quick pat on her back, startling her. “Welcome to our side then.”
Evie let out a nose exhale from the favorable outcome “I need to know if Lucy Thorne is still looking for the Piece of Eden.”
“I do believe she is not, ever since Brewster died, there was no sign of any artifact. I may need to get back finding out who are Starrick’s associates for Jacob.” Henry scratched his neck.
“Sound fun, what of your targets, Miss Harlow?” The brash twin asked.
“Like before, I did say they are hard to find due to their protection and hideouts. Except for Mister Dawn.”
Curiosity fulfilled Evie “Tell us more if you insist?”
“Of course,” she takes out her journal, standing from her seat to lean over the table. “Gladys Harris is the next target I suppose. She’s all in for the honor of the Templars if she kills Grayson. Archie Dawn is a man who mourns for his sister, blaming my uncle.”
“An awaiting bloke to encounter, hm?” Jacob tilts his head “Seems that he’ll be waiting for a clean fight.”
“Yes, he’s been on our last nerves. Lastly Eleanor Taylor, the puppetmaster of this group. She’s Starrick’s close alliances and Lucy Thorne’s partners. Grayson believes she knows about the Piece of Eden, claiming she is a tough fighter with amazing skills.” She trained with Starrick, her use of knives was terrific in combat.
“A challenge, all of them seem dangerous for you. Don’t worry, my brother and I will help you improve.” Evie declared as her brother gesticulate his agreement.
"We could start with the brass knuckles?" He offered, which the redhead gives a partial shrug. Never has she used a bulky accessory.
“I will state that Jacqueline will learn how to use her hands if she has no access to her weapons. If she improves, you two will move on teaching her weapon combat. Perhaps have a couple of Rooks to volunteer."
“When should we start, Mister Green?” The redhead arched her brow.
"Tomorrow, I advise you three to have a good night sleep. I'm sure you could get along with Mister Scott, Jacob." Henry said, pointing towards the bedroom Ephraim claimed. The brash twin pursed his lips, doubting they will speak to each other.
"Bright and early tomorrow, Frye." Jacqueline bantered as she goes inside of the bedroom, stopping her pace as she gapes at the simple but spacious room for the both of them. She goes to the window, moving the pale rose curtains aside to see the sun setting as a couple of Whitechapel residents were passing by their sight.
"It almost feels like Southwark once again." Jacqueline beamed, going to her bed as she lies on top of the white sheets.
Evie sits on her bed across from the redhead, running her hand along the soft but cool coverings. "It is quite big, not too tight. We could share the drawers over there." The twin stated, scratching her head as she needed a desk to organize her written work. "I’m sure my brother and I can find some pounds for some upgrades. Perhaps a mirror to braid my hair.”
Jacqueline raises her head to glance at the Assassin "I could help? Perhaps I should get a job at the factory here in Whitechapel."
Evie shakes her head “That won't be necessary Miss Harlow, we'll need to teach you how to earn them our way. Unless Jacob is willing to teach you how to steal." Crawley was a memorable time to see her brother getting into mischief with the gangs. Cheating in card games or stealing back his money if he ever loses.
“You Assassin's are masters of pickpocketing hm?”
"Has Grayson told you about it?"
Jacqueline ran back her hair. It was apparent her uncle does collect coins and shillings from his fallen targets. Often he'll try to steal from harsh factory owners to see their business drop. Money did not matter to her; she was already raised in a wealthy family thanks to her parents. She did not want to live in royalty, as her mother would describe, yet live to become someone who could help those in need.
"You enjoy helping them, don't you Jacqueline?"
"It's an honor to see children's faces bright up if I give them apples from arrogant sellers. What about you, uncle?"
"He does. But never from the innocent." Jacqueline sits up, exhaling through her nose "We should store in some books."
"Oh, of course, I could ask Mister Green to borrow some. For my entertainment." Evie begins to unravel her braids from her hair.
"Aha, a reader? Ephraim does enjoy reading as well."
“I could tell, he seems to have quite the vocabulary,” Evie chuckles. “Very generous as well.”
Ephraim fluffs his pillow, resting his head on top as he manages to find the comfort in his home. He misses the library of books he collected and received, right by his side. Books were hiding under his bed if he was tired of placing them back in alphabetical order.
Jacob enters, removing his cap and fling it onto his bed. “You look comfortable.” He teased, jumping onto his bed.
Ephraim held back a chortle, remarking his childish mannerisms “Ah yes, I found a blanket in the drawers. It was getting a bit chilly.”
“You need to buy new clothes after the beating.” Jacob tug onto his collar “Tell me more about yourself, Mister Scott? What’s your favorite drink?”
The tall man tugs onto his blanket, “Rum, not too much, however. I tend to stay away from the drunkness.”
“Seems like we're different then. Mine is whiskey.” The twin lies on his bed, head hanging from the edge as he sees Ephraim upside down.
“Henrietta's ideal as well, that until she devours it in three nights.”
“Would love to hear about that.” Jacob flips himself onto his stomach, "Is she your friend?"
Ephraim gulps, rubbing his neck “Yes. Although she is six years older than me, she seems to enjoy my presence. I always communicate with Jacqueline due to the Brotherhood and the same age.”
Jacob hums, taking off his jacket as he hangs it on the corner of the headboard. “You're an ally to the Assassins?"
“Oh well, I don’t know the right word to say. I don’t fight, but I read the Assassin's history. Mister Harlow lend me books about a few of them, more of Ezio Auditore, but I'm more curious on the Colonial Brotherhood when Achilles Davenport was still in better shape.”
Jacob smirks in amusement, having the urge to quiz him on his knowledge. “Tell me what you know about the American Brotherhood.”
Ephraim claps his hand together “We’ll start off in 1746, Mister Frye.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Waking up in the morning, Jacqueline ran through her soft hair as she took a bath yesterday. A somewhat clean one as she did not expect the excellent condition of the bathroom as hers was preferably larger in Southwark. Besides she had to pump water outside to fill up the tub.
She folds her old blue skirt and blouse in the drawers as she will not need them anymore. Jacqueline snaps on the last few buttons on her shirt with voluminous sleeves. Hooking the securement of her brown trousers. Tying the laces of her muddy brown boots. Her attire to fight and climb, it was her preference until Grayson had her wear more formal attire.
Evie was already outside in the kitchen as she left her room, stunned by her new appearance. “You seem prepared.”
“It's been my favorite look, but Grayson had me to wear a skirt so I won’t have the urge to climb.”
“Interesting. Also, I’ve told Jacob to be awake, and he should be right at the moment.”
“Your brother hates the morning does he?”
“Oh yes. Jacob has been discussing with your friend about the Brotherhood.”
Jacqueline blinks in surprise, expecting an awkward outcome “Ah, so they are getting along. Glad to hear.” She smiles, hoping to have Ephraim to get along with a brash brother.
Jacob walks out, speaking of the devil, as he slips on his blotchy yet messy jacket. Holding onto his cap with his hand. “Can’t we do this at noon?”
“Well, I’m sure we have all day. After all, you look like a night owl to me.” Jacqueline slips on her coat, tugging onto the fray edges.
“Don’t blame me. Your friend was narrating about Connor Kenway.”
“He is a historian.”
“Let’s be off, we'll see if my brother did listen to Mister Scott,” Evie slaps his shoulder playfully.
"Oh I did, you'll be surprised, sweet sister."
The three left home as Jacqueline follows behind the twins, twiddling her thumbs as she predicts for the upcoming days. Fighting two Assassins and see progress in her abilities. “Mister Frye, you said you were anticipating on the revealment of your targets.”
“Yes, although you seem to be lucky.” Jacob glimpses at the redhead over his shoulder.
“Not really. The Templars my uncle are after are lethal. I have to kill them no matter what.”
“Confidence Harlow. Remember that." The brash twin sneered, walking with a swagger as Jacqueline was amused by his cocky attitude. Perhaps she needed to stop doubting herself. I promised Grayson.
“This is an area here, seems exceptional.” Evie enters through the opening of the fence, pacing around the empty courtyard surrounded by the homes and slums. The borough is rather quiet, hummings of music are nearby—horses knocking their hooves against the pavement.
“Do you know how to fight?” The twin brother asked, startling Jacqueline as she turns to face him.
“My uncle taught me the basics,” She fiddles with the cuffs of her blouse. “I fought Blighters, one or two of them while my uncle takes out the rest.”
“Did you won those fights?” Evie questioned.
“Most, although I thanked my job at the factory for brawning me up after carrying loads of coal and running back and forth to each station.”
Jacob’s brows lift up in amusement “You worked at a factory before?”
“Southwark is filled with them, nothing wrong to earn a little money.” Jacqueline removes her coat, hooking onto the broken piece of the fence. “Boss fired me two months ago after getting into a brawl with the man who kept pushing the children around.”
Evie let out a laugh under her breath, “It appears your fighting may have been improving, let’s go further than the basics. You may not be an Assassin. However, you are after your uncle’s targets. Stealth is always the key, but at times—you need to be confronting.” She clasped her hands together.
Jacqueline chews on her cheeks, avoiding the anxiety of doubts. Having the courage to face a whole group of Blighters and taking them all out at once.
"Seems fair, so who's my first target?" She asked, pacing forward.
Jacob grabs her arm “Hang on, we haven’t warmed up yet.”
“And what would that be?”
“Climbing that wall,” Evie directs her finger towards the home in front. "When's the last time you climbed?"
Jacqueline raises her chin, stepping back to check the height. "Ever since I moved here to London, I haven't climbed since." Her uncle would let her ascend on buildings and trees until he decided to have her always on the lower ground.
“Race you to the top!” Jacob bantered as he ran, leaping onto the support of the walls.
She blew the hair away from her face, tagging along and lift herself on the dent of the home with her foot. Gasping as her hands were secured on the small ledges of the window.
“Go on,” Evie commanded as Jacqueline kept ascending. Hands are reaching different holes and dents, feet making friction until they manage to find support.
“You’re almost there Harlow!” Jacob called, she glimpses at the twin who hurried to the top before her. Biting her lip, she kept on climbing, reminding herself of the joy to go high. The edge of the home caught her eye as she clutches onto it—hauling herself as Jacob steps aside.
She looks around Whitechapel with pride. Gazing at the railroads of the train, the many rooftops, the streets with crowds of the poor and the rich.
“I did it.” Jacqueline glances over her shoulder.
“I still beat you.”
“I'll climb better next time."
“Alright come down, we got work to do!” Evie called below.
Jacqueline gives a thumbs up, her hands on the ledge. Arms aching, she straightaway tries to leap down with caution to quicken her landing. Jacob jumps from an altitude only her uncle would’ve done—she cares for her ankles if she ever drops from a far distance.
“Now that’s out of the way, let’s get started,” Evie said as Jacqueline beamed with a grin. Her head recalls the methods her uncle taught, dodge and block—jabs and always aim at the torso. The time when she beat the owner at the factory, she struck him in the nose, whack his stomach, even hitting him on the spine with her elbow.
“We’ll determine what we have to work on.” Evie said, “You’re going to show us what you got.”
“I have to fight you two?”
“It’s training, Jackie. We’ll go easy on you.” Jacob said as she blew out her cheeks. Twin Assassins who could hide a strategy under their sleeve.
“You go first?”
“A good way to start.”
Evie hurried across from her. Jacqueline studies her preparing stance—fists ready. She examines her hands, fingers curling inside her palm.
“Ready?” She asked Jacqueline nods for her approval.
The twin advances, her fist aiming. The redhead dodges from drawing near and crouch to roll behind her.
Her uncle taught her how to move away from the enemy, her unease mind disappearing. She strikes her elbow behind her back—though Evie’s arm extends behind to seize her wrist. Changing directions to face her, the assassin drags her forward, thrash her knee against her torso and threw her on the ground. Jacqueline rests her hand on her side, shaking her head. Harshly sucking in the air from the blow.
Evie smirks while hoisting her up “You got the agility to dodge, but don’t go behind them yet. Once they're weakened enough—proceed.” Cordially, her finger connects to Jacqueline’s shoulder.
"Let's do it again." The twin sister declared, the redhead rubs her forehead as she faces her. Jacob sitting by the side observing her movement.
There was no cue, Evie attacked as the redhead moves away. Heart pounding, Jacqueline kept telling herself to block her punches with her forearms. Sensing the slight discomfort from the bruises, she received from her sister. She crouches, having Evie to swing and miss. Jacqueline stands again, pouncing onto the Assassin.
Jacob let his jaw drop to view the strength she had to knock down his sister.
Evie grunts as she uses her knee to flip Jacqueline onto her back. Landing with a thud, clenching her jaw. The twin sister proceeds to mimic stabbing her with the hidden blade, rolling away from her advances. Rising immediately, to give a blow against the side of Evie's head.
Amused, the Assassin stumbles back. Shaking her head from the sudden strike. "Impressive, better than the first try." She massages her head. "However, you should try aiming more jabs at the enemy. Blocking and dodging could weaken your stamina and make it easier to lose."
Jacqueline agrees, smiling from her quick punch to an Assassin. Although guilty to hurt Evie.
"I'm sorry if that hurt."
"Pfft, I received worst." The twin laughs. “Jacob, you’re next.”
Oh bollocks, She swallowed multiple lumps in her throat. Fingers fidgeting—Jacob's sister is strong, assuming a distinct fighting style.
“All set,” Jacob said with a teasing grin, circling around her. Jacqueline follows by having her clenched hands ready. What will he do, pick her up and break her back?
She proceeds to direct her fist towards his face. He leans back, smacking her wrist aside. Jacqueline crouches from incoming punches, leaning far back as he runs nears up. She raises her forearms, listen to Evie, and felt the shock of his knuckles hitting against her bruised arms. Shoving them out from the way, having the chance to snatch him by the coat. Proceeding to throw him against the nearby wall.
Evie crosses her arms, approving of her excellent advice.
With pride, Jacqueline did not realize the hand on her collar. Hauling her forward and earned a head bash from Jacob.
Blurry vision, she grinds her jaw as she steps back. Wincing from the seeping pain, foreseeing an arm pinning her to the ground. Jacob laid his hand upon her chest, her eyes widening momentarily from his rough effort.
“What the?” She heaves for air, stunned by his sly move.
“You did well,” Jacob complimented “Bet you didn’t see that coming.” He tugs her to stand.
Jacqueline brushes off the dirt from her clothing, a streak of scarlet ran across her face. “You gave me a surprise there,” Her hand rub onto her temples, softly groaning from the strain. She was not shocked she’ll be beaten by a trained Assassin’s who's more confronting.
“Are you fine by the way?” He asked she looks up with a fixed gaze.
“Yes... Don’t worry, it's training after all.” She beamed—his apology was unexpected.
“You almost got the upper hand, I believe we should teach you new methods to adjust your style,” Evie advised.
“Might as well take her to a fight club.”
“I have all day Frye, let’s go.” Jacqueline wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, smirking at the twins.
Chapter 5: Come Together
London — Whitechapel
Two weeks, Jacqueline wipes off the sweat from her brow as she rolls up her sleeves. Preparing herself for another tussle with Jacob, who was reasonably enthusiastic to train the redhead. Calling her a "rookie" each time she misses a beat.
Jacob reminded her of Grayson's style of training—without the scowls or frustration. The brash twin would have her to repeat her actions again, without a flaw. She would listen, no matter how many times she was knocked down by his sneaky methods.
"Right and then left..." He raises his fist, showing off his gold brass knuckles she admires whenever they're training. "Got it?"
"I believe so." Jacqueline scratches her head.
Jacob chuckled "Don't believe, you do it. Don't get distracted this time." He presses his finger against her shoulder.
She shakes away the anxiety, having the insight of actually fighting without holding back. No hesitation, just like Grayson. He fought as if there were an army after him, the slaughter she has observed from his blade. The cane he hurls many times, the weapons he would snatch away from his targets and kill them with it. She calls him a raging bull, surrounded by Templars and Blighters, all after him.
Jacqueline leans on her left, avoiding Jacob's fists. She mimics her strike across his face. Instead, he tries to use his head again by grabbing her collar. A click went off. She presses her palm against his face, using her knee to bash his stomach and pinning him down.
"Jesus." Jacob gasped, catching his breath as Jacqueline swallows a lump. Not assuming to knock down a man taller than her, shortening his breath.
"Why are you apologizing? You finally got the upper hand." He smirked.
Jacqueline grins, helping him up onto his feet, having the sense of accomplishment. She ponders about her the reaction Grayson would have if he ever sees his niece pinning down an Assassin. Clap for her or give a silent nod for his favor.
"You're a quick learner you know that?" He takes off his cap, brushing off the dirt.
Jacqueline shakes her head "Well, I cannot stop you and your sister from your tricks."
"You did stop me from being stunned, finally getting the hang of it?"
The redhead fix her gaze, lips forming into a smile "Perhaps I have to react; instead, thinking may have slow down my tempo."
Ephraim witnesses the exercise, his book opened to a chapter he began reading. He missed these genres of mystery and chaos, two weeks explaining what he knows about the Brotherhood to Jacob, who's intrigued with his storytelling.
He glances aside to see his bag of pounds and shillings, given by his father once he made it back to Kent with the Harlows. No word from Grayson however, Ephraim had a favorable impression he made it back safely as well. Henry found the rest of the pounds from their old mailbox in Southwark, having sure to tell Ephraim's father their new address, the Train Hideout.
He carries the bags in his palm, one hanging on his two fingers, walking towards Evie observing the fight between her brother and Jacqueline.
The twin sister glimpse at Jacqueline's stance, having her to stop being stiff to avoid any unwanted hits. Teaching her to use her knees and legs to knock the wind out of her targets. Impressed with the redhead's use of her knee to defeat her confronting twin.
Ephraim sits beside Evie, letting out a nose exhale while watching his roommate teaching his friend a couple of his tactics.
"Should we take a break?" The twin sister asked.
“An hour?” Jacob raised a finger.
"Thirty minutes, we will lose our focus in an hour," Evie concluded as her brother blew out his cheeks. Jacqueline places her hands on her waist, bowing her head as her hair drapes over her shoulders.
“Still training her, I see,” Ephraim glances at Evie.
“She's a brisk learner, I'm proud of her not complaining.”
"Jacqueline was never the type to stop and let her negative thoughts overthrow herself. She's patient like her father, strong like her mother, and an intellectual like her uncle."
"You seem to know her very well." She smiles, having Ephraim to giggle.
"Yes, her family and mine got along, and we knew each other since. Born on the same month, she's an incredible woman."
"Are you two together?"
"No, we grew up like siblings. I would look out for her, as she does the same for me."
"That's a generous response, Mister Scott... What about her older sister?"
The tall man furrowed his brows, events clouding his mind from her past treatment towards Jacqueline and him. The abuse he witnessed, earning himself a bruise lasting for a week. The panic attacks he faces, over this woman who he tries to make a better person.
“She's misunderstood, Jacqueline and I would attempt to have her control her temper.” Ephraim gulps, not expecting to reveal the past towards Evie. A woman he has still yet to know.
“I'd leave it to you two... But for now, you might as well stay home and be safe.”
“Fair enough. However, I may go have a look around to find a shop, perhaps more books.”
“I advise you to buy more clothes, Ephraim, we may be living in our home for a while."
A while, she says, a long time is what Ephraim thinks. He missed his home in Southwark, but would not risk his life. The consequences Jacqueline and Grayson would face if he ever ends up gutted in Southwark. Understanding the Templars know who Ephraim is due to the late Kaylock and his men.
“I should be off then, we shall meet back home."
Evie brush away the strand of hair away from her face, "Stay away from danger."
He flushes from her natural features, the small smirk on her pink lips. He exits out from the alley that leads them to the perimeter of their training. Taking a deep breath, he was all alone in this borough he has yet to explore. Southwark was the only district he examined as Grayson did not allow him to go out further to Lambeth or the City of London.
Ephraim passes by many shops, weaving through the citizens of London. A couple of woman gazing at the tall man, considering his blue eyes, the way he walks. Ironic, the past two weeks, Jacob and Ephraim were both discussing women and who they had crushes on when they were younger. The twin had none due to his training but does have his appeal while crossing by women back in Crawley. Ephraim was a shy man, often gets red when he speaks to a pretty lady. Most of the times scared... for what they might do to him. Especially for what happened when he was fifteen, not daring to recall his past as he deals with flashbacks and anxiety attacks. Often losing himself away from reality. He copes with whiskey Jacob bought. The two of them going back to the Colonial Brotherhood stories to stay away from darker topics.
Ephraim peer through the glass window—clothing for both men and women. He enters the shop, roaming around the store as the merchant spotted him.
"Ah, new guy aren't ya?"
He cocked a brow "Pardon?"
"You don't look like you're around here, son. Seem to have a Westminster fashion up in your sleeve." He gestures to Ephraim's coat and trousers.
"I'm originally from Southwark, sir."
"Ha, then why come here in Whitechapel? Famous for their slums and crime rates. A nice fine man like you would get robbed in minutes."
Ephraim goes to the brown trousers, letting his fingers caress the fabric. "I moved here with a friend of mine... Living in a home of six."
The merchant let his jaw drop "That's lunacy! Are you all from Southwark?"
Ephraim chuckles, pacing to the mirror decorated with a golden border. Crested with carves of curls and valleys. He turns his body to the side, imagining himself wearing the pants. "Been living there for three years with my friend. Two of them recently came from Crawley. It's quite the story I must say."
He goes to the counter, checking behind. "Have any waistcoats?"
The merchant searches through his piles of orange and patterned vests, taking five of them out for Ephraim.
"Put them on if you want, I like you already." He laughs.
Ephraim shakes his head in amusement "customers drive you wild here?"
"Oh yes! Some of these thieves really love messin' with me! Yesterday I almost got duped for almost promising a man to pay back the next week."
He places the vest on, buttoning up the as it fits comfortably on him. Listening to the merchant ranting about the few men and women attempting to rob his store. Ephraim removes the clothing, taking the warm colored vests, his trousers, and white shirts on the counter.
"... Insanity, these people should all live in Lambeth Asylum."
"I'm sure you have a new story every night for your family, lad." He plops the bag of pounds on the counter.
The merchant raised his brows, weighing the bag "You're wealthy!"
“All the hard work from my family.”
“Like I said, a man like you should be living in homes in Westminster or the Strand.”
"At this point, I'm thankful for having a shelter here due to the chaos happening."
The merchant folds the clothing, passing it back to the Ephraim who gives a sincere smile "You're a generous man, maybe I should be grateful as well."
Ephraim saluted him, exiting the shop as he carries his new attire. Generous. A word he keeps hearing from others, a word plastered inside his head. The only child in his family, who will help his mother paint and assist his father's business at a mill. Though he often reads books during his breaks during his shift, amusing his family for his knowledge.
Ephraim moves to the corners of Whitechapel’s narrow streets where carriages could barely squeeze in.
“Miss Thorne expects shipment.”
“Yeah? What about it?”
“Heard she got something from that pirate Assassin. Remember she bought the Kenway mansion a day ago?”
Ephraim stops, Kenway , he listened. Peeking over his shoulder, one of the Templars spotted him with a glare. Immediately, he hurries off before the situation becomes worst.
“What do they know about Kenway?” He asked himself, squeezing his clothing against his chest “Making a fool out of him, perhaps.” He rolled his eyes. His respect for Kenway has grown since Grayson shared with him the history of the Golden Age of Piracy. Ephraim shakes his head, wondering if it’s better to bring Jacqueline or Jacob along.
London — Whitechapel
Jacqueline strike against Evie's torso, taking her arm behind her back and letting go.
“Well done.” She complimented her, rubbing her side.
Jacob snickers, rising to his feet “You taught her how to break arms?”
“Have to weaken the enemy, can we?” Jacqueline grinned, fanning herself with her blouse. "Mister Green, how I do now that you're here."
Henry spoke, tucking his book under his arm “You're doing well, not sluggish nor stiff anymore. I'm sure we'll get to combat training in the next week.”
“From her skills with Grayson, it seems to be coming back to her,” Evie claimed. "We would have to squeeze in our schedule. Starrick is still after the Piece of Eden"
“Don’t fret, so far there are no threats against us. Though, I agree that we should get started on killing out targets.” Jacob shrugged as Henry gesticulate his agreement.
“Let’s end it here, I have someone to introduce tomorrow morning, a man who is willing to fix the grappling hook.” Henry declared.
“Finally, it’s been a wait, Greenie.” The brash twin bantered.
"Patience Mister Frye, I’m sure it be worth it at the end." She smiled, pacing behind Henry and Evie—exiting the perimeter.
Jacob glances at the rooftops, raising a brow at the stars glimmering in the night sky “I should be going to bed, but I rather run around this damn borough for a while. Join me, Jackie?”
Jacqueline turns around, tilting her head at the name. Jackie? A name she despises, Henrietta was the only one to call her that due to a beating she received from telling her to stop calling her by the name. Much better than Jacques, I suppose.
“Come on, I’m sure we’ll see some good action nearby.” The brash twin beckoned, walking backward discreetly.
Jacqueline part her lips, shrugging “As you wish.”
The streets of Whitechapel at night brought her back memories when Grayson was exploring with her. Showing her where he would have a stroll with Archie and his mother, both friends at the time. Revealed the location Debbie Dawn was killed. A memory she kept in mind about Dawn’s goals, inferring that he does not care about the Templars—vengeance against Grayson despite the fact he was with Ethan at the time of the murder.
“Greenie told me you almost fought like your uncle,” Jacob said, pulling himself onto the ledge of the window.
“He taught me the way he attacked. I fought him twice to see what I learned in that first year as an ally. He beat me once, then he I defeated him.” Jacqueline followed the Assassin, grunting as she kept climbing to reach to the edge of the roof.
“Was he at least proud of you?”
“He was, at least for that day of training. I was only thirteen, back in Kent managing how to stop this brutal fighter from beating me.”
Jacob approaches the edge, sitting down as he listens to the pub music echoing. Waiting for the redhead to plop next to him. Hearing the relationship that brought Grayson and Jacqueline close. At a young age where he disregarded his father's teachings. Out following his own creed.
“At least you had fun.”
“Fun. Yes, you're correct," She ran back her red curls "we had our fun until we moved to Southwark.” She glimpses at Jacob “Ever since your father passed away, he was a different man.”
He clenches his jaw, having to watch his father coughing every night in bed. Evie was more concerned, he believed Ethan will feel better eventually. He did not blame the redhead for bringing him up. His sister considered their father every day, being his faithful disciple. He was an outcast.
“What was your uncle’s reaction towards my father’s passing?”
“Miserable. I never seen him this broken, my aunt Beatrice’s death traumatized him. Ethan’s was worst for him.” She rub her hands down her face “He helped him you know? Your father tried his best to get my uncle back in his prime.” The redhead pinched her lips together—she was often there for her uncle whenever he’s mourning over her aunt and Mister Frye. They were the ones who kept him going.
“Grayson loved him didn’t he?” Jacob muttered, leaning back on his palms as his legs swing over the edge of the roof.
“As much he loved Beatrice… I wish she would have stayed for a bit longer.” Jacqueline asked, bending her knee to plop her chin on top.
The brash twin glances at her, “What happened to her?”
A rather poignant question—she was only twelve at the time when Grayson ran after her from an incoming enemy. Beatrice Harlow-Averett was a spy, a loyal ally of Ethan and Cecily Frye. She was there at the time when she last saw her young niece and husband.
“Grayson and I were running away from some men that were after him. Ethan was nowhere to be found… The last words from my aunt were— Save Jacqueline! Hide her away from them! ” Her heart beats rapidly “I could only remember my uncle holding onto me, he was sick. Fragile and could not fight. My father found me and took me back home as my mother was there with my grandfather. Comforting my uncle crying over Beatrice’s corpse.”
Jacob widened his eyes, “The Templars killed her, didn’t they?”
The pub music was growing louder, the sounds of violins and heels stomping onto the floor had Jacqueline almost lose in touch with the brash twin. “That’s what I believe. Grayson never told me who the real killer is until I reach to a certain age. I thought he would have told me already.” She smacked her palms against her thighs “Sorry for this emotional talk.”
Jacob sits up straight, “It’s alright with me, Harlow. It’s a shame… Well, I apologized for what happened to your aunt.”
“Thank you.” She grins weakly “Whatever happens, I’m just thankful that my uncle is alive.”
Jacob chuckled, “Will you be okay with all these future missions coming up?”
“Of course… after all, we’re both killing Templars.”
“Now we’re talking.” Jacob pats her back in a rough but playful manner.
The two stayed quiet for a minute, staring out the rooftops of Whitechapel. The pub music becoming much quieter, the moonlight shimmering its aura. The drunkards began exiting from the pub, one seemingly insulting another man. The gruff tone of their cockney accent, Jacqueline chuckled as she has raised with the emphasis her whole life. Besides the Harlow's wealthy status.
“We should go, this is the time men and women go wild in the streets.” Jacqueline laughed, rising as the brash twin gazed at her.
"These two men are about to fight, don't you want to watch?" He pointed to the sluggish drinkers directing their fists.
"Well you don’t want to be late for your meeting with the new fellow, do ya?"
"Alright seems fair" He put on his teasing grin, distracting the ally as she was amused by his features. “Race you back home?”
“What? Mister Frye!” Jacqueline runs after him, damn his smile! She chases him, watching how he leaps onto the other buildings, rolling onto his back.
“Better quicken your pace Miss Harlow!” Jacob called, echoing to her ears. She did. Her legs hurried as jumps forward, grabbing onto the ledge without a slip. Pulling herself up to keep going. Crossing by the chimneys, balancing her herself as she hops from three dormers, huffing as she nears the Assassin. Jacob stops, planting his hands on his waist as the redhead jogs to him. Catching her breath from the sudden exercise.
“You had a head start.”
“There’s never a cue, you have to pay better attention.” He smirked as she climbs down. Perhaps he was right. From now on, she's quite enthusiastic about the partnership in the upcoming weeks. On her mind at the moment, she needs a cold bath from all that fighting and sprinting.
Chapter 6: Dazed and Confused
Well, everyone, I decided to go back to the old ITLOTG route, I'll be editing more of my written chapters and hopefully, we'll continue off with J&J's missions in Sequence 5. Apologies for this hiatus, but I promised myself that I'll finish this story no matter what. :)
London — Train Hideout
The train ran through the tracks of The Strand—Henrietta slams her empty cup against the table in the booth, giving out a belch. Her little sister skims through her notes, organizing the photographs of Grayson’s targets. Tapping her fountain pen on her head, figuring whether to confront their close associates.
Henrietta clears her throat “You’re still on that bullshit?”
Jacqueline perks her head up “Important information to stop Uncle’s targets. I haven’t heard from him which worries me.”
“Cut it out," The elder sister groaned "you would think of leaving London with him, but no—Jacqueline Faith Harlow wants to stay with the Frye twins!” She slides the cup towards the redhead “Now pour me more whiskey, I’ve been craving it this afternoon.”
The redhead sighs, opening the bottle to pour the liquor. She promised Grayson, she swore to join their alliance. She wished her sister to learn more of the Brotherhood and their duties.
“I’ll be right back.” Jacqueline gives a weak grin, picking up her items and heading towards Jacob’s claimed car. She sits on his couch across the empty wall. The vacancy urging herself to plaster the notes and images of Grayson’s targets. Tilting her head, she stands to slide her hand across the smooth surface.
“You could use that dearie.” Said Agnes, eyes on her book.
“Are you sure, Miss MacBean?”
“Oh yes, it’s nice to have some decoration on Bertha.” She giggled, flipping her page as she left the redhead chuckling under her breath.
Henry Green enters with a pile of documents and photographs in his hands. He catches a sight of Jacqueline slipping out the three shots of her targets.
“Miss Harlow? Are you reserving the wall?” He asked, positioning his records on the ground.
She glances at his papers “Yes Mister Green, though it seems like you’ll need more room for your archives.” She picks up the photographs “Allow me to help?”
“Thank you, Jacqueline,” Henry grinned, taking out the thumbtacks and passes one to her. She takes a glimpse of the photograph of Crawford Starrick, standing out her arms to have a far view of him. Dressed in his dark suit with a pop of purple. A grimace on his features, making her stomach churn—acknowledging the Grand Master knows Grayson. She attaches it against the center of the wall—pinning a sketch of Lucy Thorne next to him. Henry unravels the red thread he has in his hand and attempts to cut it to smaller strings.
“Any sight on Thorne lately?” Jacqueline mentioned.
“Evie did want to speak with me about her plan. Seems like she found another clue leading to the precursor artifact.” Henry secures a tack on seven red threads in the middle of Starrick’s photograph.
“Exciting news for her.” And for Grayson as well.
“Indeed—mind if you mark an X on those two images?” He requested while passing a bottle of red liquid. She takes out the top, stroking an X in front of Rupert Ferris: a Templar who owned an ironworks—and Sir David Brewster. Jacqueline finish smearing the X’s on the deceased men and closes the bottle.
“I believe I have more to add,” Henry said—moving back to contemplate the photos on the wall.
Jacqueline raised a brow from the next image she held “Lambeth Asylum? Grayson was concerned for their treatment towards the ill.”
“Ah. So I’ve been told by Ethan, not a good memory your uncle had.”
“Correct.” She pins the image below Starrick’s photograph. “I’m assuming these unknown targets are connected to these locations?”
“Yes. When I first got here, I knew the most powerful businesses and locations must be under Starrick’s control. Such as the transportation, the bank, and Parliament.”
“I’m sure Jacob will have fun finding them.” She shakes her head in amusement.
A thud was heard on top of the train car, following up with another noise. Running towards the entrance of the vehicle, Jacob swung inside and admired his bracer. A new mechanism was attached, the device he tried to fix since they killed Kaylock.
“Alec is a genius, correct? Next stop is to climb Big Ben.” He smirked in pride, Evie rolled her eyes playfully as she climbed the iconic building first.
Jacqueline held back a chortle “I see you two had fun.” She continues to place the tacks on Henry’s documents, connecting the thread with each target’s information.
“Not particularly, my sister was the one doing the errands. I stayed with the inventor at his workshop.” Jacob plays with the tip of the rope launcher, still cherishing its use to travel around the city.
“However, now that we finished with that distraction,” Evie claimed, resting her arm on the top of the chair.
A stranger enters inside of the train, Jacqueline saw him studying the structure—Agnes stood to greet him. Her hand was still on image against the wall, tilting her head at the new man. A handsome young man, no sign of trouble. Though his features looked a bit feminine.
Jacob points at the stranger “Who is that?” he glimpses back at Henry, shrugging as a response.
“Oh you mean... you don’t know?” The brash twin raises his arms slightly to his waist level, leaning back as he is dumbfounded by Henry’s silence.
“Beautiful train you’ve got here, Miss MacBean was just telling me all about her.” The man approached, eyeing the train with the amount of affection in his voice for Bertha. His accent was not cockney, nor any sound of Northern or Southern England. He sounded ‘American’ from what she heard from travelers.
“Name’s Ned.” The young man sticks out his hand to greet Henry.
“How do you do.”
“I won’t take up more of your time. If you want to learn a thing or two about the finest transit systems in the world, you can find me at this address.” Ned slipped out a card and gave it to Evie, tipping his hat forward as he exit. Jacqueline took a peek of the paper while Jacob tries to snatch it away, earning a small shove from his twin.
“Let us return to locating the Piece of Eden,” she declared.
Her brother frowns “We need to reclaim London from Starrick. Who are my targets?”
Jacqueline adjusts her wall, glancing at the bickering twins. Henry running back and forth from his desk to grab an advertisement for Starrick’s Soothing Syrup. She manages to stay on task, thrusting the pin with force.
“It’s not time for that yet.” Evie furrowed her brow.
“I didn’t come to London to hunt curios!”
Evie made a brisk interruption, raising her voice “ First understand the dance, only then become the dancer! ”
“Oh! So you’re taking over what father left off?”
“Someone has to!”
“Maybe we should talk about this?” The redhead whispered to Henry, he lifts his hand in a gentle motion. Gesturing to deal with the siblings.
“Evie, finding the precursor artifact will give us insight into what the Templars intend.” he explained, “Jacob, I have information about Starrick’s associates that should be used to you.” Henry indicated to the assassination wall. “Here.”
Jacob turns around, observing the information all organized on the wall. Eyes darting left and right, realizing he has five targets left to kill. He noticed Jacqueline attaching a red thread from an image of Eleanor Taylor to Crawford Starrick.
“Eleanor Taylor?” Jacob pointed, glancing at the redhead.
“Correct. One of the Grand Master’s best allies, close to Lucy Thorne’s position.”
“Archie Dawn—Gladys Harris… And the rest of these unknown Templars.” He glances at her “You still intend to kill them?”
“Well, what are we training for?” She laughs, already in the mood for banter. "Grayson's gone—now I'm in charge of his work."
He shrugs a shoulder “Perhaps we can propose something… how about we work together?” He smirked, his mischievous countenance brought to her attention. Jacqueline blinks at a rapid pace, sure to be awake to apprehend what he said. His smile tells it all, that damn smile!
“Together? With two different agendas?”
“I see no difference—we’re both killing Templars.” Jacob slides out his hidden blade, glistening under the lights of the train. She recalls when Grayson showed her the knife for the first time, claiming every Assassin has one. Except for those who were not in the Brotherhood—she learned about two Templars who kept their blades on them.
Jacqueline chuckles “Is that a date you’re confirming, Frye?” Recalling the same words when they spoke on the rooftop.
“I’m simply asking for company, Harlow.” He teased, planting his forearm on the wall—his head resting against it.
“You’re not going with him!” Yelled Henrietta, appearing out from the blue. She marches over to her little sister.
“What? Henri—” A hand appeared on her sleeve with a solid clutch.
“Shut up! What happens if you’ll get into huge trouble!” Yanking her shirt, boring through the different colored irises of her sister’s eyes.
Jacob steps in their confrontation “She’s only trying to finish where your uncle left off.”
Jacqueline looked at him with wide eyes. Shaking her head, her heart racing with pain adjacent to her chest. Jacob don’t do this, she will go raving mad! She witnessed her anger every day when she was little—her parents despised her character for having a short temper.
“I’m protecting her from getting killed. You and your stupid sister are making things worse!” Henrietta faces Jacob, her scowl did not make him lean back. Instead, he maintains still with a blank expression. Evie looks over her shoulder, crossing her arms as her back was aligned to the nearby chair. Henry stood by to watch the outburst, stiff from Henrietta’s actions.
“Don’t ever call my sister stupid—maybe you should do her work and see how difficult it is!” Jacob shouted, however, Jacqueline held his arm in a quick but considerate advance. He proceeds back, brows furrowing at Henrietta for her lack of manners.
“Miss Harlow, I perhaps advise you to go back to the pub car.” Evie takes action, moving away from her position. Jacqueline's heart stops once again—she did not want the twins to experience her meltdown again. Blood boiling, Henrietta’s face darkens in crimson. Her first trembling, her jaw grinding in displeasure.
“I will, Miss Frye!” She mocked Evie’s name. She made her way back to the train car. The older twin exhales, shaking her head.
“I’m sorry you three had to see that.” Jacqueline apologized, rubbing her arms.
“Oh, we’ve seen worse!” Jacob patted her back playfully “Back at Crawley, Evie beat up this man who tried to flirt with her and caused a scene!”
“Jacob—he was flirting with you.” Evie raised a brow, smiling as his cheeks flushed in red.
“I’m sure he learned his lesson!” Jacqueline laughed, brushing back her hair.
“Let us get back on task, Evie what do you intend to do now?” Henry queried, having the three face him.
She sighs, “I’ve managed to find out where Thorne is waiting for her shipment. The City of London.”
Jacqueline tilts her head “For the Piece of Eden, correct?”
“Hm, what else? That’s all she’s been looking for.” Jacob snickered, earning a glare from his sister.
Henry clears his throat “I should be heading back to check on Mister Scott, I’ll leave you three here to plan for the next remaining weeks.”
“Well, I’ll be in my car if you need me.” Evie smiled as she paces away from the three.
Green turns to Jacqueline “And before I forget—here.” He passes her an envelope with her name written in a delicate cursive.
Jacqueline blinked rapidly, caressing the corners and folds, “A letter, from my uncle?”
Green nods with a smile “Yes. I’m sure it be good news after your long departure.”
“Thank you, Henry.”
“You’re welcome, I shall see you three back home.” Henry left the train—Jacqueline hugs the letter against her chest.
Jacob peeks over, raising a brow “I presumed something might have happened to him.”
She chuckled “No, Grayson is safe where he is.” She looks up “Have faith, Frye.”
The brash twin smirked “Glad you’re content—I’ll go bother Evie.”
“Good luck.” Jacqueline smiled, opening the envelope to take out the message she received.
I haven’t even considered about writing to you to avoid my worries. You’re still too young, you’re still too scared in my eyes. I wish I was there to protect you… But your family has faith in you. Your mother, your father, the Scotts, and your grandparents. When you were little, you were determined to train non-stop until you can successfully leap from one rooftop to another. Willing to beat me one time. I believe you will liberate London—your only goal for now.
I miss you so much. I wish you and Ethan’s children luck to stop Starrick. I know you can do it.
Love, your Uncle Grayson
The redhead folds a crease, biting her tongue as she wishes to go back to Kent to embrace Grayson. She loves her family, all of them—but Grayson was always there to listen and took care of her. As if she was the daughter he never had.
“They’re dangerous objects, Jacob. Especially in Templar's hands.”
“You sound exactly like father.”
Jacqueline follows their voices, knowing the twins bantering when they mention their father or the Templars. She enters, knocking quietly on the side of the doorway.
“Come in Jacqueline—I’m nearly certain she is receiving the Piece of Eden Sir David Brewster mentioned,” Evie said.
The redhead advances to the desk, behind Jacob’s chair as she inspects the picture of Lucy Thorne. Pondering if Eleanor Taylor would accompany her at the location.
Jacob glances at Jacqueline, smirking as he says “Sounds like fun. Mind if I join you?”
His sister bows her head, hands against the desk “Promise you’ll stick to the mission.”
“I swear.” He crosses his heart, still with the sly expression. Evie is used to his familiar smirk, primarily when it comes to risky missions. Not wanting to take her brother… After all, she is in need of assistance.
Jacqueline let out a nose exhale due to amusement, “You two have fun, I’ll be overlooking my notes on Lambeth.”
“So you’re not joining us?” Jacob teased, leaning back his head against the rail of the chair.
“I have no connection with the artifact, this is your sister’s chance to retrieve more information.” Her cheeks heated up with a streak of scarlet “Starrick is up to no good and Lambeth has reminded me of the decreasing population..”
“Don’t worry, once we solve whatever is causing this—there shall be no victims left.” Evie smiled, pulling up her hood while approaching the exit of the train—Jacob trailing behind.
“Be careful you two.”
“We won’t back late!” Jacob banters, leaving with his sister.
Jacqueline crosses her arms, progressing back to the brash twin’s car. Taking another view of the completed wall—tilting her head at Gladys Harris’ image. However, her eyes scan to the Lambeth Asylum. What is Starrick up to now?
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Ephraim sits at home as the night advances, no more walks alone. Not daring to buy his clothes in the pub hours. He ran his fingers along the linings of the table, having the urge to write whatever in mind.
The door opens, Henry enters inside and smiles at Ephraim who perks his head up.
“Ah, tired Mister Scott?”
He shakes his head “No, a bit bored, Mister Green.” He picks on the cuffs of his sleeves "Perhaps a book might help."
“Reading is a good way to cope with boredom, what books grab your interest?” The elder Assassin approach to the chair, placing his hands on top.
He tilts his head at the Assassin “Detective and crime stories. I believe more authors should write more about the genre.”
Henry chuckled “They are intriguing tales, good taste you have Ephraim.”
“What about you? Long romantic novels?"
"Oh no, right now I'm studying more about the precursor artifact to help Miss Frye. Those novels can be saved if I have spare time on my hands.
“Oh, are you helping her with her missions?” He asked—his cheeks flushed, with a hint of jealousy.
“Ah yes, I am willing to help her retrieve the artifact in time. After all, I recently found out the Templars have bought the Kenway mansion.” Henry explained.
“What?! You told her?” He places a hand on his chest, unwinding his nerves. Not only he wanted to tell Evie about witnessing the Templars—but Green beat him to say to her about the purchase.
"We found out together, Mister Scott? Did I frightened you?" Henry asked with regard in his tone.
Ephraim covered his eyes with his hands, shaking his head. "No, it's nothing I remembered I had to do... something." He stands from his seat, running back to his room. No good nights, nor an apology.
Henry shrugged, exiting the kitchen as his departure left no solicitude. Perhaps it was something urgent.
Chapter 7: You Really Got Me
How great to read from you again. I did worried about my safety and your departure—but I gave you my vow. I will finish what has to be done. The twins have given me their review of training, I managed to impress them from what I learned from you. Also—Jacob and I formed our partnership. He’ll help me find our targets, I’ll join him to find Starrick’s associates. I promised you, and I’ll make sure you come back to London without a sweat.
- Lots of love, Jacqueline
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Ephraim wakes up as he heard Jacob shuffling positions on his bed. He rose to sit, placing the heels of his palms against his sheets, smelling the odor of cooked food. Sizzles from grease, the sounds of pans scraping and dishes making ‘ clang ’ noises.
The brash murmurs as he shifts his position, placing the pillow on top of his head.
Ephraim gives out a chuckle, leaving his bed and walks out of his bedroom—facing Jacqueline who is serving a pan of eggs on a plate. Evie is sitting by the table, not wearing her usual robes. Her hair is down—thick dark waves from her braided crown. Reading a book in her hands.
“Morning Jacqueline, Miss Frye.” Ephraim greeted, outreaching his arms above his head.
“Morning Ephraim, hungry?” She asked, letting go of her red hair from her ribbon as she takes the kettle to pour in her tea.
“Very, thank you.” Jacqueline passed by and pulls out a chair—planting her hands on his shoulders and plopping him on his seat.
“Slept well, Mister Scott?” Evie asked, setting her book down.
He grins “I did—is that a new book you bought?”
“Here you go, dear.” Jacqueline passes him a plate full of food. Toast and butter, ham slices, and eggs. With an apple by his dish.
Evie chuckled, taking a sip of her tea “I’m reading about the Ancient Origins of the Brotherhood. Starting with Bayek of Siwa.”
Ephraim swallows a bite of his ham, tilting his head “I never read anything about him. The farthest I read is Altair and the Crusades.”
“Altair? I presume Mister Harlow have spoken to you about him.” Evie smiled.
“Yes he has and I thank him for that.” He continues to eat.
Jacqueline opens her notebook, flipping through her pages “Grayson and I found these fellows years ago...” She said as she writes a note next to the names she spied on “I’m inferring Starrick has ordered them to control every borough.” She rubs her eyes from her early awakening. She was unsure if the twins are after a few of her targets.
Evie scratches her head “Henry has a list as well, we could go over it sometimes if you like?”
“That would be nice—what will you do at the moment, might I ask?”
“Jacob and I have to visit Lambeth—by the way, is my brother asleep?” Evie placed her hand on his arm.
“Oh yes, like an infant.” Ephraim laughed, patting the twin’s hand.
Evie lets go of him “Heavy sleeper he is, but I do have to wake him soon—We both have to see Mister Bell again.”
“Mister Bell?” The redhead questioned, plopping her arms on top of the table.
“Alexander Graham Bell—quite an enthusiastic man, although a gifted one.”
“What seems to be the problem, may I ask?” Ephraim intervenes, lifting a brow while wiping his mouth with his handkerchief.
“Crawford Starrick has been transmitting lies and propaganda from his Telegraph Company. Mister Bell did order the cable lines to continue his work.” Evie explained, running back her waves of hair away from her face. “Perhaps you will like to join us, Jacqueline?” She proposed.
“Of course!” She beamed, closing her journal with a single hand.
“Great—now to rouse Jacob.” Evie rolled her eyes, advancing to her brother’s room without a knock. Hearing her voice as she tries to shake her drowsy twin, listening to his little groans from annoyance. The redheaded ally shakes her head with a chuckle, seizing her leather bag nearby. She glances at Ephraim—resting his chin on top of his palm.
“What are you staring at?” She joked, mimicking his posture.
He blinks rapidly “Nothing!—um I’m just curious about Bayek of Siwa.” He takes the book in a brisk second—Jacqueline raises her brow.
“More reading I see?”
Jacqueline came to mind when she saw Ephraim’s reaction in relation to Evie. The way his eyes show the warmth and devotion of his soft blue irises. His actions were considerate, his eyes still glued onto her charm and elegance. He was fiddling with his brown curls when he spoke to her, a sly grin forming on his lips.
Puppy love, I do not blame him.
London — Lambeth
“So your uncle never met Mister Bell?” Jacob inquired—the three of them all weaving past the people of Lambeth. Making their way to see the inventor again, but a new face Jacqueline will encounter.
“He did not, I’m surprised—guess I’m the first.”
“Mm, I think Greenie beat you there, Harlow.” The brash twin joked, receiving a small and playful nudge against his rib.
Evie enters the workshop first, Jacqueline follows behind to observe the surroundings, from the ceiling—then to a man pouring a drop of liquid inside a flask. Dark hair, pale but yet he does seem to fit with Evie’s description of Mister Bell: an enthusiastic man but a gifted one.
He looks over his shoulder “Ah Jacob, Miss Frye! How good to see you!” He grinned, soon noticing Jacqueline’s appearance.
“Oh, I see you two brought a friend along!” He approaches her, his shy mannerisms made her giggle.
“Jacqueline Harlow, a pleasure to meet you.” She shook his hand.
“Alexander Graham Bell, a delight! Oh—” He heads back to grab a newspaper off from his table, exposing the headline in a huge font. “Have you seen Starrick’s latest lies?”
“Lies in a newspaper?” Jacob uttered in satire, exchanging faces with his twin and Jacqueline. Newspapers are not once her favorite to read, nor Ephraim’s—they both prefer pure fiction. However, she lifts a brow by realizing the articles may be riddled with fabricated events.
“What transpired from the new line you were establishing?” Evie questioned.
“The cables we ordered never arrived. And then, we intercepted this!” Bell shook another article, scowling at it once he places it down. “A message mentioning cargo seized at College Wharf.”
“Then let’s unseize it,” Evie smirked, almost pacing away with her brother as Jacqueline stood in her position.
“Oh, wait!” Bell calls them back “Another intercepted wire contained the recipe for a powerful hallucinogenic serum, I’ve adapted this dart mechanism to work with your bracers.” He passes a tube full of poison to Jacob, taking it in his hands.
“Aleck, you’re a genius.”
“Well, that patently is untrue. Although… I’ve also discovered that the serum adopts the form of a gas when subjected to heat.” Aleck smiled in amusement, Jacqueline peer over his shoulder to have a glimpse at the new gadget.
“Just when I think you can’t surpass yourself.” Jacob sways his finger towards the inventor.
“What should I do while you two are gone?” Jacqueline remarked, crossing her arms.
“Keep an eye out for Aleck, we’ll be back Miss Harlow, come on.” Evie gave a quick pat on her brother’s shoulder, both running out of the workshop. The redheaded ally turns to study the tools and appliances Bell has—gazing at the transmitter device. She glances back at Aleck who appears to show a gesture of glee. She smiles, this man is charming I must say.
“I don’t think Mister Green has ever mentioned you before?” Aleck asked, advancing back to his workspace. He took another empty dart, filling it with a batch of serum.
“We formed an alliance weeks ago. I’m still new to these risky missions.” Jacqueline said, resting her lower back against the table. "I'm just curious if you met a man named Grayson Harlow?"
“Yes—did Mister Green mentioned him?”
“Ah yes, I did recall a time when Mister Green had to write a letter to Mister Harlow.” Aleck acknowledged, fixing the transmitter device nearby. Crouching, he took a better view of the appliances. "Are you his daughter?"
“Oh no, I'm his niece.” She smiled, arms reaching behind her neck. Although Grayson does treat her as a child of his own.
“Interesting, usually it's always the parents that train their children to become Assassins.”
“Ally in my case, Mister Bell.” Jacqueline scrutinized the machine Aleck was fixing, listening to the ‘clicks’ and pauses from the messages he is receiving.
“You seem occupied,” She said, he gapes at the redhead.
“Mhm, Starrick can be up to no good at this hour!”
“When isn’t he?” She smirked “—so what do you intend to use the cable lines for?” Jacqueline takes out her notebook, flipping to a vacant page where she began writing his name.
“My intent is to create the Free Press Association, but I explained to the twins I would rather create a machine that will hear our voices. My accomplishment is to use electricity to transmit sound!” Aleck rose both of his hands in keenness—Jacqueline laughs as she records the last of his sayings.
“A terrific idea, sir—I can finally stop sending letters and hear my uncle’s voice.”
He rises, grabbing her upper arms “I knew this would be a good plan!” He cheered, exposing his commitments. Suddenly, the two heard a tiny ‘tick’. They both look back at the transmitter, Aleck runs to open his journal and manage to decode the message on his own.
Jacqueline cocked her head in confusion “What’s happening?” Unsure of the codes he was receiving.
Aleck read his writing, tapping his pencil on top of the table “The cargo is still on its way—sure enough the twins should be there by now.” The redhead and the inventor exchange faces, both giving a brisk nod.
“Do you think the serum will work?” The redhead asked.
“It should, it could help them quicken their mission.”
Jacqueline let out a deep exhale, her hands clasped together as she became aware the twins will deal with their missions hastily. Both have advanced weapons and tools, her uncle never had a rope launcher to climb—nor serum to poison his enemies.
“Mister Bell, what lead you to join forces with the Assassins?”
The inventor lay his palms flat on the table “Starrick has been stirring too much trouble, especially with the public. Mister Green and I created an alliance so I could help him stop the Templars and their gangs to prevent anymore lies.”
“It’s always Starrick.” Jacqueline sighs, leaning against the wall. "At least we have you on our side—you seem to enjoy your job without fearing the Grand Master."
"No my dear, I enjoy inventing new mechanisms for the twins and to help the deaf... Unfortunately, that has to wait since I'm on his wanted list."
Jacqueline creased her brows, her hand reaching behind his back. Giving him a gentle pat—unfortunate is a word she despised. Bell is young, rational, a gifted man who can't do anything but hide from danger.
"I'm so sorry, I wish I could anything to have you continue your work." She takes her hand back, exhaling deeply through her nose.
"Ah, it's nothing, Miss Harlow. I'm very happy that I met the London Assassins, doing a cause for good." Aleck beamed, shutting his journal. “I'm presuming you're also liberating the city.”
Jacqueline agrees “It's been my goal since I was a little girl. My uncle, however, was busy locating an artifact with his close friend.”
“Your uncle sounds like an important figure to you—is he still here in London?"
The redhead shakes her head, lifting herself off the wall “No. He left due to the Blighters attacking our home. But I made a promise to proceed with his work while he's gone. When everything is over, he'll return.”
“A lovely reunion and possibly for the rest of the Assassin’s.” Aleck smiled, planting his hands on her shoulders. “I would love to meet him! He seems like a wonderful gentleman.”
Jacqueline grinned “I’ll introduce him to you!" She bit her lip, holding onto her lower arm. "Although can I ask you for a favor?"
"Yes of course, what will it be?"
"I would appreciate if the two of us could make a brand new bracer as a gift for him. Once he returns to London."
Aleck nods “Absolutely, that's very thoughtful of you Miss Harlow! We should get started while the twins are still catching the cargo.”
Jacqueline opens her journal once more “Of course, I’ll start sketching.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Ephraim organized the cabinets with the clean plates stacked on top of each other. He closes the doors, brushing his hands off from his trousers.
“Ephraim,” Henrietta called, he looks over his shoulder. “We need to talk.”
“About what?” He queried, raising a brow.
“This whole hiding and protecting ourselves—Jacqueline isn’t doing any better but to fool around with those Assassins.” Henrietta crossed her arms against her chest.
“I can’t do anything about it. Be glad we have shelter and no enemy has found us yet.” He attempts to walk away, only having a hand grasping onto his arm.
“You think I care about the enemy? I am not apart of this mess, this is all of my family’s fault!” She hissed, her grip grew stronger and sharp.
Ephraim tries jerking himself away, “So am I, but do I blame them for our kidnapping? Invading our home? No, this is their fight, not ours.” He successfully takes his arm back. Henrietta briskly steps in front of him, preventing him from leaving.
“You’ve gone too daft. Whatever happened to our times to the pub? Our time alone in my room?”
“Enough. Those times are over and don't ever recall that past.” He pinched his lips “My parents never approved of me going out with you. They believe you were a bad influence from what happened.”
“Is that my fault? I was stuck in Northern England for seven years! They messed me up, my parents ruined me!” She shouted, gripping onto her hair. “I depended on you cause you made me happy!” She choked up on her words.
"Henrietta." Ephraim felt her wrap her arms around his waist, crying on his shoulder. His heart raced, hands trembling as he ran down his hands on her back—attempting to comfort her.
Don’t fall for it. He told himself, instead, he couldn’t. He embraced her back as he shushed her with his calm tone.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” She apologized, gripping onto his back.
London — Lambeth: Bell’s Workshop
Jacqueline drew out her sketch for Grayson’s new bracer, scribbling notes for the details on the gadgets he will have. The rope launcher, the darts, and a new hidden blade. She regarded Aleck reading through the message from his telegraph device.
"Any news lately?" She questioned.
“A success, the shipment arrived without harm,” He smiled “Unfortunately, the poison—” the click noises did not appear to make a peep. Abrupted, he slowly pressed his finger against the transmitter. Jacqueline’s stomach churn—she covers her eyes with her hand, letting two fingers give an opening to peek. An electric shock came through, an immediate reaction—he waved his hand from the sharp pain.
“Careful there, Mister Bell,” Evie announced, coming inside with Jacob by her side.
“Welcome back, the unstoppable Frye twins triumph once again!” Jacqueline haul up her arm in victory—which had Jacob raising a brow in uncertainty.
“How do you know?” He asked.
Aleck place his hand on Jacqueline’s shoulder “We have entered the age of communication, remember? We’ve already received word from Greenwich that the shipment has arrived safely. Thanks to you.”
“Have you discovered what else is in that shipment?” Evie queried—Jacqueline thumb through to the page, showing Aleck from what she remembers from the message they discussed about. He gesticulates his endorsement.
“I'm afraid Miss Harlow and I discovered that Starrick’s poison has reached its way to the open market.” He pinches his lips together, his hand slipping from her shoulder.
“If he believes that will stop us, he is mistaken,” Evie remarked, frowning for the forlorn news.
“Agree, we’ll have to look further into his scheme.” Jacqueline shook her head, her finger fondling the sheets of her journal—tearing off her sketch.
“Here’s what I have in mind—” she hands over the paper “I’ll come back soon Mister Bell, thank you again!” She beamed and leaves his workshop with the twins right behind.
“What did you gave him?” Jacob asked.
“A little welcoming gift for my uncle, once this is all over.” She smirked.
"Very early of you to think of that, positive thinking Jacqueline," Evie stated.
"I try my best." She claimed, knowing herself to become optimistic no matter what happens to Grayson. He's alive, stable—that's all it matters.
London — Residence Home
The three enter their home, all spotting Ephraim in his seat as he was still reading the book Evie left behind. Helping him to forget about Henrietta’s emotional breakdown.
“You’re all back, how was… How was the mission?” He stuttered, gulping a lump in his throat.
“Effective as always, Ephraim.” Jacqueline slumps on a nearby seat—her neck slinging back against the cresting rail.
Jacob held back a chortle over her dramatic position “Already tired, Jackie?”
She pouts “Well after all the stress and anxiety with Mister Bell, indeed.” She takes out her journal, laying it flat where she jots down the data for the poison she was told about.
“We have to stop this immediately, it was obvious Starrick was causing this catastrophe in Lambeth.” She explained, slapping the back of her hand against the sheet. Jacob sat next to her, leaning back in his chair.
“Relax, we will get to the bottom of this.” He soothed.
“Jacob is right—for once—you two can continue the investigation. I’ll continue my search for the Piece of Eden.” Evie spoked, her twin glaring for her sarcastic comment.
“Are you sure you two will get to the bottom of this?” Ephraim questioned.
“Pfft, Jackie and I both agree to kill Templars together.” Jacob places his legs on top of the table. “It’s way important than looking for a block of metal.” He sneered, his sister rolling her eyes.
Jacqueline’s hands plummet on top of her thighs “I would have to agree with Jacob, I’m more of a liberator for the people of London. No offense, Evie.” She apologizes.
“We may not have the same mindset, but I do not want our enemies to have their hands on this powerful creation. Although, are you willing to do these risky missions with my brother?” The brighter twin asked, tilting her head.
“O’course, I helped Grayson by distracting the guards. My family said I’m a terrific actress, or so am I told. My sister has always told me my eyes were distracting—if that’s a compliment.” She bantered.
“How about dressing as a corrupt politician? There’s plenty of secrets inside Parliament I believe!” Jacob joined her jest.
Ephraim and Evie both interchange their expressions, shrugging at the developing bond they’re both witnessing.
“Perhaps I’ll show you around if you’re interested.”
“If there’s fun involved—” Jacqueline slams her hand on the table “—I will join along!” She grins widely, the brash twin shook her with a firm shake from his hand. Revealing his good-natured self. Her stomach churned once again, cheeks flushing in red— no he’s my partner! Allies!
“Alright, we’ll start tomorrow?”
With a simple nod, her heart raced at an intense pace.
Chapter 8: Silent Lucidity
London — Residence Home
Jacqueline hurries to the stove to take out a pan full of food—serving it on the plates. Catching her breath, she takes a seat, wondering if Jacob would be up and ready for today’s mission. Their first task together. Brushing her hands, she opens her journal—concerned about the asylum Henry spoke of. Squinting at her writing, a name Richard Owen appeared.
This man, she thought, did I met him before?
A door opens, Jacob walks out with his fist rubbing hard on his eyes. His other hand dragging his coat and cap, sleeves brushing against the floor.
She laughs at his laziness, closing her journal “You’re up for once.”
“Perfect time to be awake, the day is commencing.” He pulls out a chair and twirls it around, the back seat faces the table. Jacob slumps on his chair, resting his forearms on the cresting rail, his chin planted on top.
Jacqueline takes a full plate “You always sit like that?” she asked, passing to him with a utensil.
Jacob stares at the redhead, brows raised “Comfortable position.”
“What about eating with family?”
“My father didn’t mind, nor Evie. But I would sit normally when I’m eating.”
Jacqueline pinches her lips together, she hands over his tea, managing not to splash it against him. He turns his chair once again to eat.
“I never asked but I realized the different colored eyes you got.” Jacob gestured towards his eyes while his cheeks were visible from chewing. “What is it?”
Jacqueline exhales, plopping on her chair “Heterochromia—My great grandmother had the same condition. My mother was stunned to see such a rare sight when I first opened my eyes. Henrietta teased my condition a lot when we were little.”
“Rude to say.”
“She’s my sister, what can I do?” Jacqueline said, taking a bite of the cut potatoes from her dish. Eating without a hurry, unsure about her relationship with Henrietta. She loves her, always expecting a scowl or a physical action towards her. That means she loves me, right? Straightaway, she shakes her head and aims her focus back on Jacob.
“How was the last mission with Evie?” Jacqueline questioned, playing with her food with her fork.
“A success, Evie and I managed to escape from the Templars after I snuck up on Miss Thorne.” The twin chuckled, taking another bite of his breakfast.
“What? What did you do?”
“I hung upside down from a railing, frightening her and her bulky ally.” He covered his mouth from laughing “You should have seen their faces! I then took the reins on our wild goose chase.”
Jacqueline shakes her head in amusement “My god you’re insane.”
He raised his palms up “Aren’t we all, Harlow?”
Fiddling with her loose curls, she held back a chortle. Her partner, a troublemaker who may be given Evie a headache due to his outcomes. Although she is delighted by his enthusiasm, not complaining about the long hours to find a Templar.
“Moving on from last night, I do believe there has to be some sort of establishment to create the syrup. Don’t you anticipate?” Jacqueline shrugged, watching Jacob’s wipe his mouth with his sleeve.
“Yes, specifically where did they manufacture the product?”
She rose from her seat “Let's find out, shall we?” grabbing her bag and organized the dishes on each side on the table.
“They won’t bother about tidiness,” Jacob joked while slipping on his coat and positioning his cap on—the two heading out as Jacqueline shoved her ribbon in her pocket. Her curly red hair down to her shoulders, her roots had enough suffering.
Walking in Whitechapel besides Jacob made her stomach churn with intensity—recalling when Grayson is always by her side. It was a new feeling for her to get used—an Assassin who’s the same age as her, eager to go by her agenda. Her way to stop the corruption in London rather than finding the Piece of Eden.
“I figured something may have been happening to Lambeth for the past three years,” Jacqueline said, glancing at the twin.
“And what was that?” Jacob asked.
“Poor health, medicine sales are rising, more children suffering without a care of their mothers. Grayson and I would argue it could have been the Templars—he believed Lambeth Asylum is apart of the catastrophe.”
“You don’t believe him? Not the slightest?”
“I doubted him, I claim the asylum helps victims not abuse them.”
The duo saw a young girl far ahead, dressed in a green dress with braided pigtails, she was peering over a wall from a factory—balancing on her toes due to her height.
“Clara?” Jacob asked, she turns and places her hands behind her back. Like a soldier in position, with a smile on her face.
“Evening Mister Frye, I see you’re out doing operations once again.”
“Well, we had company over—what brings you here?”
“Waiting for the lads, we discovered Miss Frye just freed a factory in Southwark.”
She's fast, the redhead thought. Perhaps Evie was completing missions earlier than the two.
“Now tell me, who’s the lady?” Clara asked, narrowing her eyes.
“This is Jackie Harlow, a friend” Jacob gestured to her.
She crosses her arms “ Jacqueline Harlow,” arching her brow at him, soon broke a laugh from her stern moment. However, she enjoys how the name was said from Jacob. In a smooth manner, it fits with his voice rather than her sister. She found it—appealing.
“Pleasure to meet you,” Clara shook the redhead’s hand “If you have time—you can help Mister Frye by ending the child labor here in London.”
“It is an honor to help you and the other working children around here. No one should suffer through little pay in a number of hours.”
“Remarkable, I like her attitude, Mister Frye!” Clara smiled—recognizing her friends approaching.
“Have to go, we’ll meet again!” Clara said as she runs off with the other young kids.
Jacob groans “Urchins,” He gestured towards them. Traveling to London for the first time was not a great experience due to a child robbing him on the first day. Skeptical to work with children after his meeting with Clara and the rest of Babylon Alley.
Jacqueline lets out a chuckle “Kind kids they are—onward to Lambeth!”
“Might as well take a carriage!” The brash twin ran to the nearby vehicle, taking the reins “Oh come on, the fun is starting!” He beckoned
Jacqueline sucks in her teeth, never riding a carriage with her uncle as they prefer to go on foot or train to another borough. She hopped on, sitting next to her partner. Jacob smacked the leather on the horse, calling her ‘girl’ with a click from his tongue.
“I never prefer to use a carriage. Grayson and I worry if we ever got into havoc with Blighters—causing danger in the streets.” Jacqueline said as a light breeze hits her face.
“Shame,” He teased “—Tell me, what else do you know about Lambeth?” Jacob asked.
“I would visit to check on medicine sales, suspicious about the people and their illness taking over,” Jacqueline said. “Especially in the slums as children were crying in pain.”
“Now Starrick is selling his own syrup.”
“The real question is what are the ingredients? No way he has the heart to help the poor.”
London — Lambeth
In the middle of a market, a man raises his voice to promote Starrick’s soothing syrup to the public. Jacqueline and Jacob waited by the side to witness his slanders. A woman with a frown marches to him, pointing at a man behind her.
“It’s all he drinks! Your syrup is liquefying him, it’s turning him simple headed!”
“Maybe we should have a little chat with the man?” Jacqueline insisted—her crossed arms pressing more against her chest.
“Right on track huh? Come on.” He motions her to follow, arriving at the bickering people in front.
“... You little gutterling!”
“What’s all this, then?” Jacob asked, placing his hand up for the lady to step aside.
The man unsheathes his knife “Sod off!” He shouted, Jacob reacts by slapping his hand away, the knife flying off.
The man panics as he hurtles away—Jacqueline shakes her head, running after the merchant. Putting her skills in action, recalling Grayson’s instructions when she was a child. Remember the twin’s training, having the moment of freedom to run and climb again.
“If you’ll excuse us, madam!” Jacob said with a sly grin and ran after his partner. She manages to climb the top of boxes in front, adrenaline increasing. She reaches to the roof of a stand, leaping off to land on the salesman. Her knee resting against his chest, holding him down with her palms.
“Get off me!” He sticks his hand to Jacqueline’s face which she jerks away, yanking his collar to hoist him up to his feet.
Jacob runs towards the two “Nice work Jackie.” He patted her back.
“Good thing I got used to the trousers now,” She chuckles “—tell us where the syrup originates?” She asked, deepening her tone while glaring at the man.
“All I know is they make a run each day, between the gasometers and the asylum.” His breath trembles as he finished.
“Thank you,” she smirked and walks away with Jacob. Both returning back to the carriage, sitting beside each other.
“Asylum he said, oh well Grayson could be right on this one” Jacqueline takes out her fountain pen and wrote it on her journal from her bag.
“You do enjoy writing everything, don’t you?” He asked, snickering at her organized mannerism.
“It’s what I do, in a case to connect any evidence along.” She wags her pen towards the brash twin.
He shakes his head in amusement “Riiight, onward to the distributor.” Jacob smacks the reins on the horse to proceed with their mission. The redhead was still shocked for chasing a man. Climbing and catching him before he goes further. Jacqueline always witnessed Grayson seizing the escaping Templars, astonished by his speed and determination.
“We’ll have to go deeper in this, I don’t believe he’s telling us the truth, Jacob.” She said, her arm accidentally brushing against his as he kept control of the mare.
Arriving at a secured area, guarded by two men. Both watching over a carriage in front. Behind the walls, there are two targets inside—both discussing with their hands.
Jacob tugs on the leather reins for a stop “Let’s find out where that syrup is made, shall we?” Jacqueline puffs out her cheeks “We’ll need a plan,” she hits his arm lightly while exiting out from the ride.
The duo advances away where the guards are standing, both leaning against the wall around the corner. She slants her head on the surface, he pulls himself to peek over the wall. Eyes examining at the man, with careful emphasis from his observation.
“There he is, but we’ll have to be discreet,” Jacob said while landing on his feet.
“How’d ya figure?”
“Your uncle didn’t tell you about his sixth sense?”
“... Eagle vision?” She asked—then slaps her forehead. How could I have forgotten?! Jacqueline rose her hands, bowing in motion “Alright, I’ll distract the guards, don’t make it obvious.” She leaves him alone.
“Pfft, I’m the obvious one.” Jacob jested, once again ascending over the wall.
Jacqueline walks towards the men, her hands to her chest. Her worried demeanor caught the eye from the guard.
“You lost love?” He questioned, his companion spot her as well and drew near. The man who faced Jacqueline shoves him away, gesturing him back to the carriage. The redhead perceives the twin piercing his blade on the target’s neck. In a brisk but silent action by lying him down with caution.
“Oh oh yes, I am searching for my husband. Have you seen a tall man wearing all black? He has a small white patch on the left side of his face.” She described, gesturing towards the small area of her jaw.
The guard scratches his chin “I don’t think he was around, are you sure you weren’t lookin’ for me darlin’?” He drew close—Jacqueline’s hand ache to rise it’s way to her hip. Stepping back from the presence of his breath.
She taps her hip, widening her eyes. I have nothing to defend myself with! She did not have Grayson’s cane. Jacqueline gulps, fists clutching hard, eyes closing. Unsure if the man would have stabbed her if she gives him a blow across the face.
“Mate, stop flirting with the lady and let's go!” The main target clutches onto his collar—jerking him away from Jacqueline. She opens her eyes, witnessing the men taking off from their carriage. Her chest lets out the air she held in, noting Jacob coming in her direction.
“Did you find it?” She asked, intertwining her fingers.
He nods, raising the document “It says the man in charge of the syrup distribution owns a fighting club at the foundry…” Jacob said. “We’ll have to find the location, haven’t been to a fight club for a long time.”
Jacqueline reveals a small smile, neglecting from her petrifying moment with the guard “I’m in for a little brawl, challenge accepted Frye…”
Making their way back on the streets, Jacqueline’s places her hand where her heart was placed. The sense of the beats racing, having used to not taking a weapon whenever she’s with Grayson. She’ll depend on him whenever she’s in danger, although it was never her liking to wait for help. Jacqueline will have to kill the enemy herself. The anxiety still lurks inside, having the fear to die without her uncle finding out. Often times, she tells herself she is better than before.
“I have a question I do hope it does not offend you.” He spoke, interrupting her thoughts.
“How do you keep up with your sister’s outbursts? If someone were to yell at me, they’ll end up with a bloody nose.”
Jacqueline twiddled her thumbs “I’ve had a lot of patience. Whenever she’s enraged or when she’s having an emotional meltdown. Henrietta has been through a lot as my family sent her away to Northern England when she was fourteen.”
“Really? For how long?”
“Almost seven years, they would think her behavior would have changed if she were discipline at the academy.” She chews on her cheeks “My sister returned, a whole new different person. I was fifteen at the time when she redeemed herself. Instead, she told stories how she would beat the students who would poke fun at her. Injure the teachers, she was known as a madwoman and wanted to send her to Bedlam Asylum.”
Jacob raised his brow in confusion “And you saw that as redeeming?!”
“Look, I knew she what she’s done was very wrong and I tried to ask her if she learned from her actions. Turns out the bruise on my arm was her response. Either way, my parents were sick of taking care of her, furious as she caused an immoral act against someone in our neighborhood. She was twenty-one at the time.” The redhead rubbed her arm, reminding herself of the beating. “Henri’s last words to them is to hell with you and the rest of the family. I’ve known her to say such vulgar language, I tried loving her but I guess she wanted something more. So I invited her to live with me in Southwark.”
The brash twin jutted his chin, exhaling through his nose “Did she even looked back at what she’s done to you?”
“I don’t know. A few times, she’s this loving sister, until she’ll infuriate and punish me for herself. I’m still trying to help her till this day, Jacob.”
He bit his lip, his eyes back on the road. He’s concerned over his ally’s love to a sister who does not care. The abusive treatment, the horrors from her seven years in Northern England—he did not believe she has regretted her past. From what he concludes, Jacqueline is too forgiving. Not only to her but towards him as well since he called out Grayson for his departure.
But I apologized didn’t I? He swallowed a lump in his throat. Is she even sorry for hurting her?
Reaching to the foundry, Jacqueline and Jacob stay put. The entrance is guarded by two Blighters, both feet away—not too watchful to their surroundings.
“I’ll take the high level, you’ll go low?” Jacob asked—Jacqueline gesticulate her agreement. They both left the carriage behind, leading themselves to the warehouse.
Passing by two distracted Blighters—she gazes at the crowd ahead of her. All watching the match between two men, throwing fists and spitting out blood. Jacqueline gulps, her instinct hastily warns her to hide through the crowd of spectators watching the brawl. She made sure no other sights of Blighters were near, leaving her site and hurrying behind a set of cargo. Listening to the sizzling sounds of melting metal close by.
Jacob whistles—Jacqueline detects the bold twin raising his hand from the second level of the building. Pointing towards the direction of a man in black leather uniform, wearing a visible red cross on his shoulder paddings. Jacqueline assumes it was the owner of the foundry who they’re looking for, however his path was secured by two guards.
Damn it. The redhead dug through her purse, finding the dagger she still kept from Grayson. Pinching her lips, she perks her head up to reveal her weapon to Jacob.
Quickly, he aimed a knife at one of the watchmen, the man beside him turns—Jacqueline sprints to him. Knocking him down, attempting to pin him down. The guard, however, got the upper hand, placing a hand on her neck as she was slammed down.
“Harlow!” Jacob shouted.
“Frye, grab the founder! I got this!” She gasped, stabbing the guard’s neck with her dagger. Don’t hesitate, complete the mission!
Jacqueline uses her foot to kick him off of her, catching her breath. From her attack, the man is already losing a lot of blood. His eyes, growing pale as his pupils decreased its size. She retrieves her dagger, realizing how many years she has been keeping this weapon.
The witnesses all exit from the foundry—she did not bother to apologize. Grayson has given her tough advice to not give mercy, no stopping at all. However, she tears up at the end of the day to release her bottled emotions.
Jacqueline blinks back to her reality, finding herself in front of Jacob who carefully set the man down. He wipes the sweat off his brow, planting his hands on his waist.
“Jackie, I know where it is.” Jacob said, peering over his shoulder “It’s in the distillery, besides the brewery.” He said—she bit her lip as she remembers what she’s done.
“What’s wrong? Aren’t you happy we found new clues?” He asked with a teasing grin.
“No, I mean yes!” Jacqueline said, “Let’s go and find the area.” Exiting out from the setting, she rubs her upper arms in shame. Jacob has no fault—but she did wish her uncle is here to distinguish she is never in fond of killing their enemies.
London — Residence Home
Ephraim fluffs his pillows and placing them on top on his new quilted covers. Thankful for his mother and father for lending him a hand for important needs once again. He heard voices outside of his bedroom, opening the door to see Evie with a new book in her hands. Marked with the Assassin insignia, he was curious what was that about.
“Evie?” He called.
“Ah afternoon Ephraim.” The twin greeted, closing her book in her hand.
“You as well, I was actually wondering if you need your book back? I was quite intrigued but felt bad for not asking you first to keep it.” He chuckled.
“Don’t worry about it, Bayek is an interesting man. You can return it once you’re finished with it.” Evie smiled at the blue-eyed man. “Although, I have this to keep my focus on the Piece of Eden.”
Ephraim raised his brows, “And are you sure that book will lead you to it?”
“Not quite—it’s filled with many notes and journal entries from Edward Kenway. He must have kept something hidden here.”
“Kenway?” He remembered the Templars, Lucy Thorne purchasing the mansion. However, Henry already spoke to her about it. “Did you find out about—”
“Evie,” Henry called for her attention “I left my research on Kenway back on the train. We can look further into more clues.”
“I’ll give you company.” The twin nods “Very sorry Ephraim, you can tell me once I return!” She grinned, hurrying out as Henry already left.
Ephraim blew out his cheeks, tracing his fingers along the edge of the table. He often figures Henry does like Evie as well, more affectionate and gentle. He’s an Assassin as well, always trading paperwork and exchanging missions to each other.
Henry Green. His name kept repeating in his head. He’s a gentleman, a man who was concern over Ephraim a nights ago. An urge of jealousy clouded his thoughts, shaking his head as he manages to stay positive. Hoping he was just needing Evie’s help for the Piece of Eden.
But the way his eyes stayed intact with the twin. Soft, yet admirable.
He could not scream, he could not cry. All he could do is to walk back to his room, slamming the door shut with a din.
London — Lambeth
Lambeth is crowded with carriages passing by, many horse snorting and hooves creating rhythm. On their carriage, Jacob was concerned about his partner’s change of behavior. Jacqueline seal her lips shut, hunching over. She did not ask any questions, her usual habit, or write new data.
He exhales deeply “Alright Harlow, what’s wrong?”
She shook her head, sitting in her normal posture. She’s aware of lying to herself when she claimed she was ready to begin their mission.
“Do you ever feel any guilt when you were young?”
“A few times,” Jacob commented—the redhead stares at him in a brisk. “Other than that, my father’s teachings about the war between the Templars and Assassins made me who I am today. I do what’s right for this city, taking back London from the Grand Master.”
“What about the time when you killed your first target?”
“It took me a while, I was still a child at the time. Evie killed the abusive man at the mill, I was finding the associate. When I killed him, all I saw was an impression in my father’s face. I felt nothing but pride and willingness. No shame for my actions.”
Jacqueline gnaws on her cheeks “I should do the same as well. I made a promise.”
“Agree… Jackie, did your uncle ever forced you to kill Templars?”
Her brows furrowed, aiming her focus away from the twin “One time a sniper approached behind and I’ve gained the upper hand by stunning her for a good minute. Grayson kept shouting to kill her with my dagger—instead, I received a jab on the nose.” She ran back her curls “It was the only time he was disappointed in me. So I push myself to kill an attacker for my well being. Without him observing what I have done.”
Jacob slump his shoulders “Sounds like a time when father scowled at me for losing the associate.” He tugged on the reins to stop in front of the gate—leading to the brewery. “Although I’ll tell you this, there are never good people in this world. The Templars caused pain to others and deserve to be punished for their actions. I believe your uncle should have told you already.”
Jacqueline gives a weak smile. Besides his cockiness and reckless behavior, she did see compassion in him. Perhaps a better understanding of his humanity.
The two made their way to the entrance, hiding behind the wall “There it is,” Jacob said.
The redhead peers over the wall, studying a man running to hide in the shack from going further to the brewery.
“It’s locked, we’ll have to find a way.” She whispered as Jacob narrow his eyes at a Blighter coming in sight. He seizes her from the wall’s opening—hiding her behind him.
“Impressed?” He said with a teasing grin. She rolled her eyes playfully, looking away as her cheeks burn with a scarlet tint.
He goes back to watch where the Blighters are positioned, swaying back his shoulders “Let’s get the fun going, shall we?” Jacob smirked and without reasoning, runs inside the area. Throwing a smoke bomb in the middle, releasing its fumes.
“This should give me time” She muttered, later proceeds to go as the Blighters were focused on Jacob. He threw his kukri towards a tall man, sliding below one and grabs it back briskly. Jacqueline takes her dagger out to open the lock. No luck as the tip did not budge. “Damn it, I should sharpen this again.” She cursed, wiggling the point inside.
Jacob uses his revolver and aims at the last two standing, smoke leaving the barrel, observing his surroundings to confirm if no one is advancing.
He walks towards Jacqueline “Well, is it unsecured?”
She blew out her cheeks “Progress perhaps?” flipping her dagger in the air and catching it. Jacob held the lock in his hand.
A stranger with a full, long white beard marches forward. His hands in fists and wrinkling his brows.
Jacob lets go the lock—directing his hidden blade at the man. Jacqueline did not interfere, eyes widening from her ally’s impulsive reaction.
The stranger pushes his arm away “You should not go about frightening respectable gentlemen, young man!”
“I didn’t realize snooping around was considered gentlemanly,” Jacob snarled.
“Snooping? Sir, I assure you—” The bearded man continues as the brash twin detects more Blighters ahead. He ignores the stranger’s rants as he breaks open the lock, sliding the door open.
“Quick, inside!” Jacob commanded as the man went in and Jacqueline was the last to enter.
The newcomer huffs “That was too close a call!” Making Jacqueline and Jacob exchanged faces.
The brewery is occupied with the hissing sounds of machines and contractions all connected to the top of the building. The redhead gapes up, standing on her toes to catch every angle of the construction.
“You two gave me quite a fright! I thought you were one of them, but I realize now why you two are here. Same reason I am, I imagine…” The bearded man explained as the duo follows him—both confused.
“I imagine?” Jacob asked, peering at Jacqueline who inclined her head in a quizzical manner.
“You’re a scientist?” She asked, arching her brow.
“Correct young lady, are you with this man?”
“We’re partners,” she crosses her arms, glancing at the brash twin as he had on a teasing grin.
The old man pace forwards to a table supplied with glass jugs, unique colors of fluids with a journal in front. The man presses his hand against the notes. Jacqueline peers over his side.
“Datura stramonium. Or Devil’s snare as they call it.” He acknowledged—she snatches the notebook nearby, thumbing through the sheets until she reaches to the page explaining the process to create the syrup.
She presses her finger on the writing “It also says opium.”
He takes the journal from her “How revolting!” He scowled, slapping the back of his hand against the info in frustration. He gives it back to Jacqueline—skimming more of the written data.
Jacob follows the odd gentleman to the valves of the machine, taking a hold of it.
“A favorable way to proceed, wouldn’t you agree?” He asked, using his strength to turn the valve. Jacqueline stuffs the journal inside her bag—the squeaky sound startles her, overhearing a puff of smoke leaving the tanks.
“Oh dear.” The man steps back, toxins fuming.
Jacob steps away from the gas “Find a way out of here. Quickly!” He demanded.
“What about the other valves?”
“Take a wild guess.”
“Very well young man.” The scientist obeys and runs to the supposed exit of the brewery.
Jacqueline hurries to Jacob “Wait! What are you doing?”
“The machines have to be destroyed, go with him.”
Jacqueline glimpses at the exit, turning her head back to her ally. “This is insane, especially for our first mission!”
“Go, I’ll see you two once I’m done.”
She firms her jaw, nodding to accept his demand. She takes out three smoke bombs and passes to him. “Here, in case if there are any Blighters around.”
“Aw, so you do care!” He lay hold on the gadgets with a grin.
She shook her head in amusement “You’re impossible to deal with.”
He laughs, giving her a knife from his belt secure on his thigh “Take this, your dagger is getting rusty anyways.”
“Charmed,” she gave a dismissive wave with the weapon, heading towards the man. She pricks her finger against the point to test its sharpness.
“Allow me,” she said as she wriggles the knife in the lock, managing to open. Lethal fumes emitted—accidentally exhaling it. Jacqueline coughs as she pushes opens the door, having the man to exit and close it shut. She pressed her hand against her mouth, throat drying as she felt the urge to vomit.
“Are you alright young lady?” He asked, patting her back gently.
She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand “Yes, what kind of brewery is this?” Jacqueline furrowed her brow, looking over her shoulder at the building.
The odd man chuckles “I’m afraid I haven’t got your name.”
“Jackie—er I mean Jacqueline Harlow, sir.” She smiles as her cheeks burn in scarlet. Damn it, Jacob!
“Charles Darwin pleased to work with you.” He introduced, only viewing his gray beard covering the overline of his grin.
“Glad to have a new associate, what brings you to interest about the syrup?” She asked, planting her hands on her hips.
“I have done research on medicine and poison here in Lambeth.” He explained as he ambles with Jacqueline “—many families were dying, they all claimed it could’ve been the syrup! Pure agony.” He raised his voice.
“I’ve noticed too when I visited here, but I did manage to find more details from the journal we read.” Jacqueline searched through her bag, revealing the book.
“It’s sent to the asylum, according to here.”
“Aha good eye you have Miss Harlow! Well done!” He pats her upper arm as she smiles in appreciation.
“I had suspicions—my uncle loathes it’s surroundings and panics every time he’s there.” Jacqueline hands him the journal, reading the given data.
The cracking of broken windows is heard, she observes the brewery and realizes it is beginning to burn. The fire assembles to clumps of reds and oranges, heating turning into black smoke.
Jacob had to come out soon.
Darwin looks over as he views the burning brewery. “My that young man better come out there alive.”
A window broke open at the top of the factory, Jacob hastily climbs out and jumps. Landing safe on the hay cart, his head popping out and sneering at his ‘work’. He runs off to find his allies, having the old man to approach him first.
“Well done dear boy, well done! Charles Darwin—” he sticks out his hand “—delighted to make your acquaintance!”
The twin takes his hand “Jacob Frye, the pleasure’s all mine.” He jerked his thumb towards himself.
“While you were gone wreaking havoc, your good friend found this.” He showed him the journal “Miss Harlow has read that every batch of syrup is sent to Lambeth Asylum.” He explained as Jacob glances at him in confusion.
“I wonder it’s visiting hours,” he joked.
“Don’t be so hasty, Mister Frye. Many people work at Lambeth, you wouldn’t want to attract unwanted attention.”
Jacob and Jacqueline interchange expressions, she crosses her arms from his random saying: unwanted attention.
“Hmm, where’s the fun in that?” The brash twin said as his friend gesticulate her agreement.
“Not every problem can be solved by blowing things sky high. Sometimes a little discretion is in order.” He said, peering over the two in a sarcastic tone.
“It’s getting late,” he pats Jacob’s arm swiftly, walking away from his new allies “I will meet you two at the asylum to continue our investigation!” He pointed and marches away, arms swaying in an exaggerated movement.
Jacqueline tilts her head in merriment “Are we meeting more enthusiastic people like him, Frye? I encountered another Charles in this city years ago.”
“Pfft, you’re one of them, Harlow!” He jams his finger against her shoulder. She makes a dismissive wave, leaving him.
“Come on, I’m already bored by your appearance.” Jacqueline turns to spread her arms out, walking backward as Jacob stuck out his tongue in a childish manner. Laughing at him, but proud of his work for today. A success, without the presence of her uncle.
London — Residence Home
Jacqueline dries out her hair from her bath, relieved to wear the nightgown after the lengthy mission with Jacob. Evie was taking her bath at the moment, hoping to tell her about her completed task. A knock startled her—she stands to open to see Ephraim in front of her.
“Oh, I thought you were Henri.” She chuckled.
“Sorry if I gave you fright” he held back a chortle. “I wanted to know if you have a spare journal I could keep?” Ephraim asked, placing his hands on the edge of the doorway.
Jacqueline narrowed her eyes, tilting her head “Ran out of paper to write your letters?”
“Well, it’s not for my mother and father… Someone in particular.”
She beams “It's alright with me.” The redhead goes to her drawers, picking out a fresh and maroon covered journal. “Make sure you keep it safe.”
Ephraim takes it in his hands “Great! Thank you!” He pecks a kiss on her head and sprints to his bedroom. She let out a small snicker, closing the door.
“And I know who’s the particular someone.”
The Next Morning
The redhead buckles her belt and fixes her cuffs from her blouse. She fluffs her hair by bouncing it with her hands. Evie chuckles as she tucks her braids behind her head. Forming into her usual crown.
“Easy hair routine.” She commented, having the redhead to grin.
“Ready for the day—hungry?” Jacqueline asked.
“Yes, I’ll give you a hand.”
Exiting out of their bedroom, the redhead goes to the kitchen and crouches to find the potatoes and ham from the cooling box, placing them all on the table top.
“Back at Crawley, Jacob and I would take turns to cook our meals,” Evie said as she grabs a knife from the counter.
“Let me guess, Jacob burns the food?” The redhead jokes, stretching her arms in front because of her drowsiness.
“Sometimes, but I helped him.” She explained, cutting the other potato.
“Ephraim loves to cook, he’s always nice enough to cook for Grayson and me when we come back from our missions..”
“Very considerate of him to do so.”
Jacqueline laughs “Indeed Evie—are you doing anything with Jacob or Henry?” she asked as she hurries to the pan and pours a small amount of oil.
“Most likely, Jacob told us you may need a new weapon to keep.” She said—Jacqueline looks over her shoulder.
“Did he told you about—never mind I’m sure he already discussed it.”
“The dagger incident? Yes.” The wiser twin chuckles, staring at the potato slices.
Jacob appears, awake with his bed hair—not wearing his usual outfit.
“Speak of the devil,” Jacqueline smirked and takes out the kettle to for the tea.
“A little gossip about me?” He teased.
“You asked Mister Green to present her a kukri.” Evie jumped in, hitting the back of her hand against his stomach lightly.
“I did, although it’s too early for Assassin’s Christmas.” Jacob scratched the side of his scruffy beard, tilting his head to scratch under his jaw. His sister blew her loose hairs away from her face.
“How do you deal with him?” She flung her hand, Jacqueline stops cooking to respond.
“Similar ideals and methods?”
Jacob grinned, pointing at the redhead in a form of a gun.
Evie shrugs, standing from her seat. “Well, we might as well hurry to visit Mister Abberline.” She acknowledged, crossing her arms.
“You two are assisting Frederick Abberline? My uncle declined his offer to help—how uncanny.” Jacqueline switch off the stove. “Piece of Eden was always his number one priority.”
“I do not blame him—however, I believe the Assassin’s should focus on the people as their main goal. No backlash.” Evie turns her head towards her brother, nodding in agreement.
“Templars, am I right?” Jacqueline chuckles while shaking her head “You two should get ready before Abberline becomes impatient, I suppose.”
“Freddy can wait.” Jacob teased.
“You always piss him off.” Evie taunted back at her younger twin, leaving the kitchen to return to their bedrooms.
Jacqueline plants her hand on her waist “Ah, he calls everyone by their shorten name—it all makes sense now.” Jackie Harlow, I wonder how Abberline feels about ‘Freddy’.
Chapter 9: Trouble
Apologies for the hiatus, I will try to post regularly once again. I have some college applications to complete and a portfolio to finish, so thank you all for still sticking around! :)
London – Whitechapel: Residence Home
The kitchen is silent from the patience of Jacob and Evie. Patience is a word he despised, his sister could agree with no doubt. Waiting for Henry to return from his curio shop—the brash twin places his arm on the table. Toying with the tip of his rope launcher as he spread his fingers out to view the fine work of leather and metal.
“You’re too in love with that.” His sister taunted.
“Same with you—with your cane,” he joked as she gives a dismissive wave.
Jacqueline relaxed her posture as the sense of tranquility filled inside. She rose to gaze out her window, predicting the time of the day due to the warm sun rays shining east of Whitechapel. Grayson would have loved to go out to the park with her aunt Beatrice. Recalling the sweet memories when he would carry her and take naps in Beatrice’s lap. In a brisk, she leaves her bedroom.
“Any news?” Jacqueline announced while closing her door behind.
“None at the moment. Are you still anticipating for Grayson’s response?” Evie asked with a benevolent tone.
Jacob jumps in “You just wrote back to him, didn't you?”
“Well, when we visited Mister Bell. Guess I needed patience.” The redhead chuckled as she takes a seat.
The front door opens as Henry comes in handling a box. “Ah, all three of you are here.” He greeted as he sets the package “Jacqueline, I have something for you from Jacob’s request.”
She arches her brow at the twin “Charming.”
“The urchins found supplies to make a new belt to hold your revolver and devices.” He said, gesturing to her new satchel.
Jacqueline rises to peer over the box, laying her fingers on the burnt umber brown leather—running them along to her gun. The cold barrel made her shudder, it’s been a while since she last used a firearm. She observes a large knife with a crested handle aside.
“Your kukri, used by our Indian Brothers. This could injure your enemy in a second—it rips through their flesh.” Henry explained further as Jacqueline smiles from his description. She grabs the unique weapon in her hand. Scrutinizing the shape and rubbing her thumb on the keen edge with caution.
“It’s gorgeous.” She places the kukri back in the crate. “Thank you, though I’m not sure if I will find myself using this. I’m still rusty on Grayson’s cane.”
“Have faith, Harlow.” Jacob teased, she shakes her head in amusement. Well, he’s right?
“It’s like a dagger, far more bigger, however.” Evie said, “When’s the last time you used a weapon to fight?”
“Three months ago.”
“Figure,” Jacob uttered as his sister hit his arm.
“Mister Green, would we have time to teach Jacqueline for a while? We should definitely get started on advanced combat.” Evie asked. The redhead widened her eyes momentarily, chewing on her bottom lip.
Henry nods “Certainly, however, I was informed by Aleck to see you back at his workshop.” He faces the twins “Mister Dickens has invited you two to a pub for a discussion.”
“We have enough time.” Jacqueline beamed, collecting the box off the table. “Shall we?”
The twins interchange expressions, following her out the door.
Chamber’s Court, the street they live, is mostly withdrawn of noise. This time, there was more commotion than ever. The three made their way past the scurrying children, detecting shouts between arguing couples, and bells from fire engines.
“You cheating little bastard!” A woman stomped past Jacqueline, having a man follow behind shouting at her to return.
Jacob snickers under his breath, concerning the redhead. “Imagine being in a relationship?”
Her cheeks grew a tint of rose, “Oh yes, I’ll be growing gray strands at twenty-one.”
“Indeed, I don’t think a woman can handle me,” Jacob tucked up his collar, gazing at the redhead.
“Neither could a man…” She shrugged, bantering along with him.
Evie rolls her eyes in a playful manner “We can’t put our emotions first when we have a madman controlling a city.”
“Don’t you fancy anyone?” Jacqueline tugged on her sleeve “Not even a little infatuation?”
“Of course not!”
“That’s what they all say,” Jacob whispered, earning a slight hit on his arm by his sister.
“Nothing wrong with a little secret.” Jacqueline joked, patting Evie’s back with care.
Voices were heard in the perimeter of the training area, concerning the trio as they all entered inside. Spotting a group of Blighters, all surrounding an injured Rook. One of the men had his heel against the ally’s chest, grunting as he dare not move.
“Oliver,” Evie whispered, “They got him.”
“So you two came back for more?” Said a Blighter, reaching to the Rook’s collar as he lifts him up to his feet. “You think after Kaylock’s death, your gang can continue to thrive?”
Jacqueline stood stiff, her fists clenching as she managed to stay visible. Not daring to go behind either the twins.
“Hang on, they got Harlow’s niece as well!”
Shit, her heart sank in a brisk—immediately, Jacob places his arm in front of his partner. She glimpses at him—fearless than ever. His brows furrowing as his other hand was planted on his hip.
“Give us the lady, Miss Taylor would appreciate the help to find the old man.”
“You take one half?” Evie whispered.
“Fair enough.” He looks over his shoulder at Jacqueline “Watch and learn.”
In an instant, he unsheathes his kukri and threw aimlessly at the bulky Blighter. Listening to his scream as Jacqueline winced at the sight of the blade piercing his flesh. Evie did not wait to fight, using her kukri as well to advance towards the enemy. Puncturing the blade into the Blighter’s chest—her hidden blade towards the man who was taunting the Rook.
“Ollie, go!” Jacob shouted while pinning a Blighter on the ground—hard.
Oliver sprints away as the brash twin senses a man clutching around his body— promptly flipping him over his shoulder and directs his blade at his neck.
Jacqueline broadens her eyes to watch the amount of blood on Jacob’s hand. Not intimidated due to her witnessing Grayson’s brutal executions.
“Learn anything so far, Harlow?” Jacob called, wiping the blood from a spare handkerchief.
Jacqueline tilts her head, always astonished by their style. The twins gave a satisfying end to the Blighters.
Evie rubs the blood off the kukri on the Blighter’s clothing, rising to her feet. “Well, there’s your only demonstration—unless they want to bring more back in this location.”
The redhead shakes her head, returning back to reality “Well I’m sure they’ll regret that thanks to you two.”
Jacob cleans the blood off his cheek “Their fault.”
Evie grins “Either way, this weapon may fit with your style of fighting. It all takes practice and the amount of skill you have from your hand combat.” She clamps a shoulder on the redhead. “You think you can do that?”
Jacqueline beams, nodding in agreement as looks through her crate of items. Perhaps she should stop doubting herself. If the only way to finish Grayson work is killing her targets, then she must do so.
In the kitchen, Ephraim searches through the fruit basket as he finds a peach, weighing it in his hand. He goes to the table as he had his journal Jacqueline gave him. Also, the book Evie lend for a bit. Quite more engaged in Bayek’s past.
Opening his journal, he begins writing Dearest Evie—jotting down his thoughts and impact on the whole hiding. Whether he should mention Henrietta’s past and how it affected him. All the things that happened between the two.
“Where the hell did she go?” Henrietta asked as she exited her sister’s room, scratching behind her neck.
“What the?” Ephraim closed his notebook in a second “What were you doing in Jacqueline and Evie’s room?!”
“I need her to buy me more clothes and a drink for the night. You know I need my daily alcohol.”
“Do it yourself.”
Henrietta lets her jaw drop, not once hearing him with an attitude. “Oh, I see. Just because you’re falling for that whore, you think you can talk to me that way?” She chuckled.
Ephraim stands from his seat “Here we go, always blaming other people that have no connection to our conflicts. I can’t even write in peace with you around!”
Henrietta slams her palm against the table “Don’t make me do this. I want you to tell me when Jackie comes back cause she and I need to talk.”
Ephraim raises his brow “No, not talk—you’re giving her a beatin’, right?” He clenches his jaw “It's always your pleasure to see your sister cry in pain.”
“She’s disobedient, I’m teaching her a damn lesson!”
“Is that hypocrisy I’m listening too?” He glares at the elder sister “What about the time when you spit in your mother’s face? When you got kicked out from school for injuring a classmate? Yet you call her disobedient?”
“That all happened in the past!” Henrietta shoved her finger against his chest. “Look at you, living with a bloke of a twin made you believe you can be rude to me!”
He jutted his chin “Is that so, Henrietta Thornton?!”
“Enough! I tried so hard to keep my patience with your abusive self! I try redeeming you but you always hurt Jacqueline and me!” He came to mind about the past beatings she gave. The toxic relationship, the love her little sister would still have after an outburst.
“It was not, it was love! You’re a man, you should enjoy what I have given to you!”
Ephraim raises his voice “I hated it and I hated YOU!”
Henrietta widened her eyes, heart racing. She stares at her trembling hands, not with fear but with anger. Blood boiling to the top of her head, grinding her jaw hard.
“Have it your own way then, you little bitch.” She shoved him aside—stomping to her bedroom and slams the door.
Ephraim flinches from the loud noise. I’m surprised she didn’t beat me. Exhaling deeply through his lips, he heads. Making his way back to his bedroom, expecting to find some sort of peace in the tranquil environment. He flips open his journal to a new entry—Dearest Evie, I do not know who boils my blood more… Henry or Henrietta? Ironically, they both have the same names.
“Like this, remember?” Evie held Jacqueline’s shoulders to demonstrate “Strike them in the rib with your knee.” She gestures by soaring her knee to her torso gently “do an uppercut—and then thrust your blade in their torso.”
“What happens if they keep going?”
“Kick them in the sack!” Jacob called as he was lying on a box, his cap covering his eyes.
Evie rolled her eyes playfully “I do have to agree with him if they do stand up for more.”
Jacqueline nods “Kick them there, okay.” She lifts her knee to mimic her display, an air uppercut and finally thrust the air with her weapon. “Hm, not bad.”
“It depends how much effort you put,” Evie explained, fixing her posture by straightening her back.
“These Blighters regret fighting an Assassin,” Jacob called, placing his arms behind his head.
Jacqueline giggles as she slid down her sleeves. “I’m not sure if they’ll regret fighting an ally, who knows they’ll send more recruits after us?”
“It happens—that’s why you have to be ready for serious situations.” The older twin punches her arm playfully. “We’ll have to continue tomorrow—Jacob and I have to meet with Charles Dickens. You have a meeting with Aleck.”
“The odd man? Oh great.” Her brother groaned. “I have an eerie feeling about that bloke.”
“Mister Dickens is a kind man, he just has an imaginative mind.” Jacqueline slipped her kukri in her sheath, fancying her new satchel already.
“ Very imaginative, I see.” Jacob takes off his cap from his eyes.
“You two have fun, we’ll meet again at home!” Jacqueline backs away, making her way to leap over the fence.
“She’s like you when we were little.” The brash twin uttered as he sat up, his sister tilts her head.
“You think so?” Evie plants her hand on her hip. “I see you when she’s fighting.”
Jacob blushes, covering his face “That’s an unusual comparison.”
Heading to the streets of Whitechapel, the redhead weaves through the crowds of pedestrians.
“Those eyes, one is different…” Said one, covering his mouth as Jacqueline manages to stare away. Focusing on the distance ahead—gnawing her bottom lip. Walking in crowded streets we’re not her favorite thing in the world—back in Southwark, many avoided her if her uncle is around. The two large scars on his face intimidated those who lived by her home. Though she wonders if anyone else heard about the Brotherhood or the Order.
Without being aware, she bumps into a woman “Watch where you’re going!” She yelled at the redhead.
“My apologies miss, I was—”
“I don’t need to hear your excuse, bugger off!” She pushes her aside.
Cheeks heating, she observes her surroundings. A few glimpses away from the outburst, some kept their eyes locked on her.
She bows her head, crossing her arms close to her chest.
“The people the twins and I are trying to free—need to check their attitude,” Jacqueline muttered to herself. She figured the woman may have a bad day or overall grouchy.
The redhead glances in front of an unused carriage, walking to pet the horse. Listening to the mare’s snorts. Enjoying Jacqueline’s pets on her cheek and brushing back the thick, raven black hair.
“How are you doing darling?” She bantered, scratching her neck gently. Her legs were exhausted from her training—she climbs on the seat and seizes the reins. Clicking her tongue at the mare.
“You know where the Lambeth is, girl?”
“Oi! Get off my property!” Called the same woman, running towards the redhead.
“I believe we should go.” She whipped the reins, the horse neighed as it ran past the other drivers. Listening to their curses, attempting to keep the mare in control.
Jacqueline steadies the horse as she peeks behind, “I think you should find a new keeper, dear.”
London — Lambeth
Jacqueline pulls back the reins, in front of Bell’s workshop. She sighs as she hops off the carriage, giving it a carrot she had in her coat pocket, wrapped in a bag. Forgetting she bought fresh vegetables last time.
The redhead made her way inside the workshop—Aleck is seen crouching to fix his transmitter device with his tools. Humming song, a familiar song her aunt Beatrice used to sing.
“Yes!” He stood to turn, sighing in relief while placing his hand on his chest. “Miss Harlow, you gave me a fright there.”
“My apologies,” she reaches her hand to pat his arm in comfort “I was informed by Mister Green you asked for me?”
“Oh right,” The inventor clears his throat “I managed to take my time off by working on your uncle’s gift.” He reveals the leather base, all black with a metal plate on top to place the serum. “I positioned the hidden blade as well—Mister Green was kind enough to hand me this steel blade.”
She glimpses below where the hidden blade is planted, raising her brows in amusement. “Quite large and dangerous looking—it’s perfect!”
Aleck beam in pride, cheeks red “I also built more of the darts—but I’m in need of a gauntlet to remove the mechanism.” He hurried to his desk and scramble through his documents. Picking up the sheet he needed.
“Here’s the sketch, go to the merchant a few minutes away from here—it’s next to the corner market. Will you do that?” Aleck asked, giving her a bag of coins with the sketch attached.
“Absolutely, I won’t be gone for too long.” Jacqueline smiled, leaving the premise. She scans through the sketch, weighing the bag.
Her stomach churned suddenly, she was unsure about the surroundings in Lambeth. The asylum and the poor dying, she can comprehend why Grayson loathes the borough. She frets she’ll be skeptical like her uncle—something he has to improve on whenever they work together.
Passing by the alleys and the scurrying children, a couple of Rooks spots her and gave her a greeting with their caps. She smiles at their generous welcome—having to find the corner market Aleck mentioned.
Entering inside the store, a man ogled her appearance. Jacqueline progresses to the counter and places her hands on top.
“What can I help with you?” Asked the merchant wiping his hands on his trousers.
“One of these, if you have any?” Jacqueline slides him the sketch across the surface.
“Ah sure—wait you’re not part of that Blighter gang?”
“Oh no sir, this is for a friend. It’s a gift he’s making for someone.”
“Hmm,” he narrowed his eyes at the redhead. She tucked her curls behind her ears, studying the man’s stiff movement. Jacqueline drummed her fingers against the counter, listening to a bell ringing through her ears. A customer approached, she ignores his presence as he stands beside her. Suspicious, he did not say anything, not even a hello to the merchant. Jacqueline swallows a lump in her throat, praying there will be no trouble. Her fingers tap faster, louder.
“Will you be patient? I’m grabbing it for you.” Declared the merchant.
The redhead frowns at his attitude. Urging herself to stay until he finds the product Bell required.
The customer kept still until he moves away to observe the items behind the counter. Chin propped on top of his hand. Come on Harlow, don’t assume.
“Here you go, 320 pounds.” He demanded.
Jacqueline plops the bag in his palm, retrieving the rope launcher in her hand. Caressing the object in her hands as it is a bit heavy weighted. Questioning that was the reason why Aleck took off the main mechanism.
“Have a nice day sir,” she simpered, exiting to avoid his ill-mannered tone. Making her way back, she looks over her shoulder—the same customer was against the wall.
Jacqueline was certain the man is following her, having to quicken her pace. Telling herself to run or hide to confront the man. Facing him could end badly, however, she was curious why was he after her. She goes to an alley. Clenching her jaw, she hurries behind the curtained shack.
She silenced her heavy breathing, her right eye peeking through the slit of the fabric. The man treads without a hurry, head turning left and right—quizzical for the redhead’s disappearance. Without any second thoughts, she leaves the shack and takes a hold of his collar—slamming him against the nearby wall. Her arm against his chest.
“Let me go!”
“Why were you following me?” She asked, brows knotting together, jaw tensing.
He kept his lips sealed, struggling from her grip.
“Tell me. Now.” She gritted through her teeth. Attempting to sound threatening like Grayson.
“Alright alright, I was sent by Gladys Harris to find your uncle. It seems like he’s not here with you!”
Jacqueline kept her stance, releasing him from her grasp.
“Leave, don’t you ever go after my uncle.” She warned.
The man scurries away, leaving her alone in the alley. She ran back her red hair, walking away in frustration—Grayson’s targets are not giving up their hunt yet.
Aleck connects the dart on Grayson’s bracer, leaning back to scrutinize the position. Jacqueline knocks on the edge of the doorway, huffing as she progresses to the inventor.
“Ah you made it back,” He said, taking the rope launcher from her.
“Oh yes, after being followed—it’s all worth it.” She chuckled, resting her hip against the table.
“Followed? Is it one of Starrick’s men?”
“No, well not particularly. It was Gladys Harris—She’s one of my uncle’s targets. I’m assuming they’re still searching for him after being attacked weeks ago.”
“You have to be vigilant when you’re alone. Starrick has eyes everywhere.” He mentioned, removing the mechanism as he measures against the bracer. “I’m glad that you were not hurt during your trip back here.”
“I’m surprised the man was afraid of my threatening tone,” Jacqueline tilts her head—always seeing herself as the negotiator whenever Grayson goes too far with his confrontation.
“Maybe it’s an Assassin trait from your uncle.” Aleck bantered, having the redhead to chuckle.
The inventor pops off the gear from the rope launcher. He arranges the mechanism next to the blade and hears a small ‘click’. Sighing in contentment, he elevates the finished product to Jacqueline.
“It’s beautiful.” She observes the new fine work for Grayson. “He’ll love this once he returns, thank you.” She fixed her gaze to the inventor, her eyes twinkling.
“You’re welcome, Miss Harlow—um here.” He takes out a coffer under the table, opening the cover and put the bracer inside. Jacqueline receives the gift and caresses the cover, covering her mouth in awe from his dedicated work.
“Thank you once again,” She takes his hand and gave a firm squeeze “I’m sure Grayson will thank you for your time as well. We’ll meet again Mister Bell!” She lets go, leaving his workshop.
“Oh um anytime!” He waved, tugging his collar from his bashful interaction.
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Jacqueline returns to the front of her home. Hopping down from her carriage as she gave a final pet to the mare. She tucks her coffer under her arm as she enters inside. Hurrying to the kitchen as the redhead lifts the cover, again gaping at her uncle’s new bracer. Beaming in joy, figuring out whether she should send Aleck’s gift to Kent or wait until London is free.
The pot of stew interrupted her decision-making, approaching as she understands Ephraim must have been cooking. Smelling it, Jacqueline sighs in relief as she was a bit hungry after the training. Especially from all of those rough encounters in Lambeth. Shaking her head away from those thoughts, she believes tomorrow will be better with Jacob.
“Jackie.” She turned and spotted her older sister standing by her door. She hid the coffer behind her.
“Where have you been?” Henrietta glowered.
“With the Frye twins—after I visited Mister Bell.” She stammered, her hand clinging onto the edge of the counter. Not now, please.
“Those arseholes? What were you doing with them?” Slowly, the older sister marched forward. Frightening the redhead as she knew what’s yet to happen.
“Training how to f-fight. I needed to learn a bit more to stop Grayson’s targets.”
Henrietta pinches her lips together “Who’s Mister Bell? What was your reason to see him?”
“An inventor and friend. He needed a favor.” Jacqueline breath trembles. “Really Henri, that’s all!”
“Is that so? Going over there by yourself?!” She seized wrist in a brisk.
Ephraim rose his head, catching the voice of Henrietta. He stops writing, rushing out from his bedroom.
“He needed help!”
“So now you’re his pet?! Whatya do—bend over for him!?”
Jacqueline shakes her head, attempting to tug away her arm “No! Nothing happened between us!”
“Henri stop!” Ephraim shouted, taking a hold of her sleeve.
“Fuck off!” She slaps him, turning back to her sister “Give me the box you have.” She commanded, her sister sliding the coffer far behind the table top.
“Give me—” Henrietta snatches it away “—the box!”
“No! It’s not yours!” Jacqueline reaches her hand, instead, a spark of light flickered in her sight. Discomfort in her eye—maintaining her balance.
“Henri! No!” Ephraim wraps his arms around her.
“Fuck away from me!” She jostled him.
“You’re mad! Don’t you realize that?!”
Jacqueline tries to adjust her vision, eyes twitching—tears rolling down her cheek. Her quivering hand outreach to retrieve Grayson’s bracer. Her heart races, her vision playing tricks on her. She can see her fingers nearing the box but couldn’t feel it. Until she touches one of its corners.
“Let go!” Henrietta gave another whack against her eye. Jacqueline stumbles on her back, head pummels against the floor. Her eye pumping in agony, her chest heaving for air. Eternal torment, condemned in this hell.
“JACQUELINE!” Ephraim shouted, running to the redhead as he held her face gently.
“Oh my god… Look what YOU did!” He shouted, voice cracking as he tries to hold back tears. He brushes back her red curls, attempting to keep her awake.
Her older sister leers over her. “She learned her lesson, aren’t you glad this didn’t happen to you?”
“Shut up! I had enough of you hurting her!”
Henrietta juts her chin, ramming the box against Ephraim as she leaves her helpless sibling.
“Jacqueline?” He welled up, fingers quivering on her cheek. She resembles a lifeless corpse, eyes closed with her lips slightly parted.
“I’m sorry, please forgive me.” He picks her up, taking her back to her room and rest her on her bed. He kept the coffer aside.
Ephraim bows his head, departing her room as his hand wipes away his tears.
Chapter 10: Maybe I'm Amazed
I’m glad you’re still willing to stay and continue my work for my absence. I know London may need more aid, but at least the Frye twins are there to help. I’m rather curious to see how you and Ethan’s son will work together. Quite scared honestly. However, it will recall my pride days with my good friend and your Aunt Beatrice. My old Frye who will have to carry me back home whenever I get injured in a fight. I hope you or Jacob could do the same by caring for each other. As partners. Liberate your city, our London.
- Love, your uncle Grayson
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
She places her palm against her swelling left eye, not putting pressure. Jacqueline blames herself for her older sister’s tantrum. Her head turns to her right side of the bed, noticing her crate of items were still secured. Yet, she wonders if Evie had her concerns when she returned.
“We managed to find the masked lunatic in the sewers!” She overhears Jacob, the door muffling his voice.
“It was an interesting find, I never knew we’ll have paranormal adventures,” Evie replied.
Jacqueline ties her hair with her ribbon, soon folding her letter from Grayson—placing it inside her drawers. Leaving her room, she is aware Ephraim is cooking—inferring he must have awakened earlier than her.
Closing the door, her allies look towards the redhead—silent from her new feature.
“Miss Harlow?” Henry asked, slowly rising from his seat.
She stood stiffly “Yes? Something wrong?”
Jacob gestured to his eye “Your eye, it’s purple.”
Jacqueline gasp, touching it as it stings from her fingertips. She takes the nearest utensil off the table, reflecting the bruise. Fingers stretching down her cheek, brows creasing from the colors she earned.
“Oh shit.” She dropped the spoon.
“Have her to sit please,” Ephraim said, grabbing a cloth to run to the pump outside from their home.
Evie helps her sit “Did something happened while we’re gone? I found you fast asleep, I didn’t know—!”
“No, it’s alright! I’m guessing I ate something rotten.” She explained, leg shaking vigorously.
“Looks like someone hit you.” Jacob furrowed his brow. “You would be spewing out food if you digested a rotten apple.”
Jacqueline swallowed a lump, shaking her head. She did not want to say any more random excuses—nor put her sister on the spot.
Ephraim returns with his damped rag, placing the cool cloth on her eye.
“This will numb the pain and get the blood flowing—does it hurt when you move your eye?”
“Keep it on.”
Evie observes Ephraim’s tenderness to his injured friend. The corner of her lips almost curling into a small smile.
“Oh Jacqueline, I knew I should—” He stopped as Henrietta walks out with an empty bottle. Limping forward, frowning at the household’s presence.
“The fuck ya staring at?” She slurred, letting out a belch.
“We’re about to say good morning,” The younger twin sneered.
“Jacob, please.” Jacqueline tugs onto the sleeve of his coat.
“Oh little sister, what happened there?” She held her close to her chest, stroking back her red hair.
Ephraim curled his lip “You know what happened.”
“Fuck off, my little sister has gotten into a fight with one of these blokes. Isn’t that right Jackie?”
“What? No! The twins and I were training, I visited Mister Bell afterward!” She jerked herself away from her, pressing the cloth firmer on her shiner.
“Miss Harlow, I advise you to discuss—” Henry is interrupted.
“Shut it! How about you teach these children some respect!”
“Now hang on, you’re the immature one here!” Jacob approached as Ephraim managed to reach his arm out—blocking him from drawing near.
“Enough Henrietta, before you’ll regret what happens next.” He warned, keeping his arm still on Jacob’s chest.
“One day Frye.” She snarled, marching away from the group. Ephraim gulps, glancing at his friend who furrows his brow.
The brash twin gnaws on his cheeks “She did it, right?”
“She did not!” The redhead defended.
She bows her head, chewing her bottom lip—glimpsing back at Jacob.
“Let’s move on, I rather not listen to another word from that hothead,” Evie commented, lifting Jacqueline’s chin to check on her bruise.
“Right now? Darwin is expecting both of us.” Her brother gestured to his partner.
“I can go—ow.” Jacqueline winced, placing back the soaked rag on her eye.
“Stay seated, please.” Ephraim held her shoulders, noticing how tense she is.
“You’ll have to stay here and make sure your bruise is treated. Jacob will have to go on his own.” Henry interfered.
“We’ll check back on you soon,” Evie left with her distracted brother, sympathetic for his partner.
“You deserve rest,” Green mentioned. “You’ve been training well with the twins, you earned it.”
“Thank you, Henry.”
He left the kitchen as the redhead stays alone with her friend. She sighs as Ephraim takes a seat in front of her.
“You best tell the truth,” he clasped his hands together.
“I didn’t want to say it in front of the twins or Mister Green.”
“But why? Jacqueline… You know she is an issue here.”
“Ephraim,” She takes off the cloth—he reacted by lifting her hand back against her swollen eye.
“I’m serious. A woman six year older than us can’t be acting like a child anymore. She should be protecting you, not the other way around.” Ephraim held her hand, exhaling through his nose “I stayed because I want to protect you from her.”
Jacqueline creased her brows “I’m trying to redeem her…”
Ephraim stands, kissing the top of her head “And I want you to know better.” He paces away from the redhead, leaving her alone in the kitchen.
An empty feeling filled her up, Jacqueline shakes her head. Why do I still love her? Why do I keep on trying if she keeps hurting me?! Maybe Jacob and Ephraim are right. She makes her way back to her bedroom and closes the door. Slumping to her bed.
Her hand held onto her journal nearby, opening to her data on Lambeth Asylum. Her finger skimming through her writing—arching her brow at the doctors she listed.
“Here we go, I have suspicions for these few doctors I’ve found.” Grayson passed her the photographs of the men on the table.
“Frith… Monro… Elliotson…” Jacqueline muttered, sliding the images to have a better glimpse of their faces. “They’re doctors uncle, they help people.”
“Maybe you’re right, but the madness from the asylum can’t be avoided. I know something’s not right.” Grayson rubs his temples, knowing he has to trust his instincts.
“Have you visited there once?” His niece asked.
“Yes. Starrick must have someone with blood on their hands.”
Ephraim taps the tip of the pen on his paper, unreliable to write after I care…
Henrietta enters inside of his bedroom, clearing her throat “Still crying over that bitch of a sister?”
“Oh, aren’t you a talker?” He glared. “Once your mother slaps you across the face, you cry your eyes out for mercy.”
Henrietta pinches her lips shut “I had enough Ephraim.” She locks the door of the bedroom “I had enough of that bloke sleeping with you. Defending that redhead and worst of all, the little whore you’re ogling at!”
He shuts his journal, hiding it under his pillow. “Is that an issue? You act so innocently yet you know what you have done!” His voice trembled, she steps closer.
“Now that he’s not here, I’ll tell you what you have to do now!” She strikes his jaw, pinning him down on his bed. Putting all of her weight on top.
“Get off!” Instead, he received a hand under his jaw, squeezing tight. Shut up Scott, don’t make this worst.
“I know why you stayed all these years, just for my sister! You don’t want to protect me?!”
“That’s enough!” Ephraim spoke in his restrained jaw. Weak to even struggle.
Henrietta sighs, having to examine his features. His dark blue eyes, his plump lips—she urges herself to go closer. Hang on.
“Alright, you know what? I’m sorry.” She gets off of him and stands by his bed again. “I notice how much you care about Evie.”
“You’re joking, what’s your game, Henrietta?” Ephraim massages his jaw, frowning at the elder sister.
“Can you hear me out first?” She spoke in a soothing tone, pinching the bridge of her nose. “I realized this woman, you like her. But, you’re going nowhere with this relationship. Perhaps I can provide some advice?”
Ephraim roll his eyes “What advice? You never got along with a man.”
“Oh I know, but I know one who loved me for my wild nights in the streets. She’s an Assassin, you’re a bookworm who’s staying at home for his own safety. Perhaps you should help her do missions as well, like Jacqueline and Jacob.”
Ephraim raises a brow “You know I can’t do these dangerous missions. I don’t think that she’ll appreciate my help.”
“You have to man up!” Henrietta poked his chest “Tell her that you can fight and protect her? That way Green won’t be by her side.”
Dumbfounded, the blue-eyed man recalls his talk with Henry. Jealous for his close friendship with the twin.
“Perhaps doing missions with Evie could give me a chance with her. She did discover about the Kenway mansion purchase—after Green told her.”
Henrietta smirks, “There you go, you can ask her for some company.” She began to walk out from her bedroom, forgetting all about their commotion as Ephraim started concentrating on working with Evie. Jacqueline and Jacob got along instantly with their tasks. Both of them are willing to risk their lives in London. He wonders if he could as well with the twin. Sharing their knowledge and perhaps their love for random novels.
London — Lambeth
“I just have a few questions for you, sir!” Jacob hollered, jerking the reins to crash the vehicle against the other drivers. Shouts were distinguished, insulting the brash twin and demanding him to steady the mare.
“Never! Do your worst!” said Richard Owen, a worker at Lambeth Asylum. Hands clutching onto support whenever Jacob made a sharp turn.
“Next stop, the River Thames! Better speak now old man!” He gave his final chance to him, whipping the reins to speed the pace—directing towards Westminster Bridge.
“Stop! For pity’s sake! Stop and I will tell you everything I know!”
Jacob pulled back the restraints, hooves scratching against the pavement.
“Doctor John Elliotson! He formulated the elixir! He’s the man you want, not me!” He cried—the assassin got off the carriage, patting his hand on the splintered and wrecked door.
“I beg you, good sir, stop this madness!”
“Now…was that so hard?”
Jacob simpers, leaving the man as he raised his wrist above. His rope launcher lifting him to the rooftops.
“Jackie would like to hear about this,” He uttered to himself, making his way past the chimneys and pipes—attempting to locate his sister. She proposed to free a stronghold and protect one of their captured Rooks. Lambeth has yet to be liberated, however, the borough’s gang leader is nowhere to be found.
Jacob lands on the roof of the Blighters territory, watching his sister aiming her cane to the lookout’s head.
“Evie!” He shouted, leaping on top of the nearest Blighter below. His blade piercing on his back.
“Glad you made it!” She said—punching the man with the butt of her cane, knocking him on his knee and aiming her revolver close to his head. The trigger going off as the last man went behind, grasping her as she struggles.
“Let her go!” Jacob called, throwing his kukri at the brute behind his sister. Advancing and yanking it off its head. His limp arms set her free, backing away from the corpse.
Evie pulls back her hood, wrapping her arm around her brother—he embraces her.
“Thanks.” She slips her hand under his cap, ruffling his hair.
“It’s all secured now.” She called—a Rook poke out his head behind the boxes.
“Call the other lads, this area is now Rook territory.” Jacob directed, adjusting his hat from Evie’s playful nudge.
“On it Mister Frye!” Said the man—running off to call the other recruits.
“Lambeth is almost free—I should be getting back to find whatever Edward Kenway had in his journal.” Evie rubs her brother’s cheek from the blood splatter.
“Just found out who’s behind the syrup,” Jacob smirked, “—let’s check on Jackie, I’m sure she’ll enjoy the news.”
“You care about her, don’t you?”
“No! Wait yes—she’s my partner!” His cheeks burned. “I’m making sure she’s safe because God knows if her uncle is the unremorseful type.”
“Father did say he was intense with his kills.” Evie chuckled, walking by her brother’s side.
“Precisely, dear sister.” He poked her cheek.
She rolls her eyes “Come on, let's get back on the train.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Jacqueline slip on a navy blue blouse, securing the cuffs of her shirt and observes her baggy sleeves. She fixes her collar, fluffing her red curls after an extended bath.
Finding a mirror in her drawers, she saw the dark marks around her eye. Red with a mix of violet, her lower eyelid swelling. She compresses more of the cold water attaching her eye, regarding the green iris. With caution, she removes the rag as she gazes at herself. The heterochromia, ruined by the hints of purple around her blue eye.
Exhaling through her nose, she kept the cloth back on and exits her room. The front door opens as the twins return, all three of them stopping in their place.
“Oh Jacqueline, Jacob was—”
“I was wondering if you’re okay!” He covered his sister’s mouth who slapped his hand away.
Jacqueline kept patting her black eye “Oh yes, the cold water helps.” She grins weakly. “How was your mission with Darwin?”
“I had a nice chat with Richard Owen, he told me who’s behind the syrup.” Jacob plops down on his seat, the back of the chair facing forwards.
“Mister Owen? That name sounds familiar—I presume he was one of my uncle’s suspicions.” Jacqueline glance sideways.
“Well it’s not him, it’s actually Doctor John Elliotson.”
“Elliotson? Another man he suspected.”
“Why was he skeptical about him?” Evie questioned, tilting her head.
“He loathes the asylum—I recall a story that traumatized him ever since. His cousin was deemed insane and he snuck inside to check on her. Disturbing I’ll have to say, ever since I always told him it could’ve been one terrible doctor. But I realize that may not be the case anymore.” Jacqueline removes the cloth away, leaning back on her chair. “If he was here, he would’ve killed him already!”
“That’s why we’re in charge,” Jacob punched her arm in a playful manner, she smiles from his bantering.
Slapping her hands on her thighs “Afterwards, I need to find Gladys Harris.”
Evie propped her palm on her hip “Your first target, I presume?”
“Yes,” The redhead beamed. “The woman who pursue on finding Grayson once again.” She pursed her lips. “Recently she sent one of her men to find my uncle until I confronted and scared him away.”
“Impressive of you do that. We’ll have to continue training again to get you prepared.” Evie mentioned, crossing her arms.
“After your healing,” Jacob stated.
Ephraim walks out from his bedroom, his journal tucked under his arm.
“Afternoon Mister Scott,” Evie greeted, he gaped at her and grin widely.
“Afternoon… I see you’re all discussing over future killing sprees” He uttered.
“If you put it that way!” She chuckled—her brother and Jacqueline both arched a brow in unison.
“Miss Frye? I was told by someone about the Kenway mansion. The Templars purchased it, didn’t they?” Ephraim queried, stammering his words.
Jacqueline nudged her elbow against her partner, his eyes narrowing. He had the impression of his own sister falling for Henry— So now he’s after her!
“They did, unfortunately, however, Henry and I are digging to find out if Kenway kept secrets in his home. It seems like we might discover a shroud,” Evie explained.
“You better run to avoid a six-hour conference!” Jacob teased, his sister hitting his shoulder.
“Why are you so inquisitive about it, Ephraim?” Jacqueline asked, resting her chin on top of her palm.
He tugged on his collar, slipping off his coat from the warmth in the kitchen “Curiosity, I identify the name Kenway from Mister Harlow. Excuse me.” He cleared his throat as he passes by Evie, accidentally brushing his arm touching hers. Exiting from their home.
“The Kenways… Oh right! Grayson has read more about Edward’s grandson, Connor—reading a lot about his fighting strategies and methods.” Jacqueline indicated as Jacob whistles to recalling what his sister told him about Grayson’s intense killings.
“Have your father discussed any of the past assassins?”
“Oh great, another history lesson.” Jacob sighed, changing his chair’s position by placing his feet on top of the table. Leaning back on his chair.
“Ignore him, I’m sure he never heard of Arno Dorian or Achilles Davenport,” Evie smirked, her brother roll his eyes in boredom.
“I have thanks to Ephraim!”
“Achilles, the old man has been through a lot. From what I read, Connor gave him the hope he earned to rebuild the American Brotherhood. I would say I cried a bit.”
“So passionate aren’t you?”
“Shut up, Jacob.” Evie snarled.
“None taken, I find history quite interesting. Even though I’m not apart of the Brotherhood.”
“You’re always welcome as our ally.” Evie declared.
She beams from her remarks “You know, let’s chat about the American Brotherhood.”
Evie shrugs “Before or after the Civil War? They have been through too much.”
A week later….
It’s been an active week for me, well I do enjoy every bit of it. I’m advancing my skills with the kukri Henry gave as a gift. Gladys Harris sent one of her men to follow me as they were looking for you. I’m sure she’ll be ready once I face her. I promise you, Jacob and I will center our attention on the Templars. No more fooling around, I’ll do it for this city. Also, I’m worrying more about Henrietta as she had another fit. Do you think I should send her back to Kent? Or keep redeeming her actions?
Reply soon, I miss you.
- Love, Jacqueline
It has been a week since the twins and she discussed over the Brotherhood and began her training again. The nostalgia of her discussions with Grayson came back, the sense of being home in Southwark. Her eye stopped swelling, the purple turned into a light yellow-blue.
“Jacqueline?” Ephraim called, knocking against the edge of her doorway. She turns to face him.
“Are you going somewhere?” He asked clutching onto his journal.
“To the train hideout, however, I’m sending my letter to the post office.” She slips on her wool coat she kept.
“Can I come?”
“Give company, avoid the dangers in the streets.” He toyed with the curls of his blonde hair.
She simpers over his flushed face, the past week Ephraim had his ways to gain Evie's attention. Such as cooking and asking questions about Edward Kenway. Also noting he was more intrigued by fighting Templars or how he can beat them to a pulp. Unsure whether he’s joking or not—Jacob is the only joker she knows.
“You have something for Miss Frye, don’t you?”
Ephraim scoffed “Of course not! I see her more as an independent woman!”
“Hm, are you sure?”
“Jacqueline she—you know—forget it can we just go?”
She raises her palms “Okay okay, I’m sorry—let’s go.” She laughs, beckoning him to follow her out from the residence home.
Jacqueline assume his behavior from the way his eyes gape upon Evie’s appearance—always having the first word to reply to anything she said. He’s in love with her, is it obvious to Jacob?
“Is she—I mean are they both inside?” Ephraim asked.
“Mhm, they’re both separated in their own cars.” She remarked while approaching the red post box, inserting the letter.
“No, Agnes is always on and a couple of the Rooks.” Jacqueline wagged her finger to him, smirking as he lifts a brow.
The train stops, they both enter inside as Agnes turns her head to her allies.
“To you as well Agnes, how’s your day?”
Ephraim turns his head to the first train car, catching the voice of Evie. He left his friend alone and walked into her discussion with Henry.
“Surely father would’ve known…” Evie said, detecting his appearance.
“Oh good morning Mister Scott, did you came with Jacqueline?” Henry asked.
“I wanted to accompany her to the train, Mister Green.”
Jacqueline plastered the picture of Elliotson with a tack, near the documents of Lambeth and next to Sir David’s photo. She kept the images her uncle gave to recollect their appearance. She crumples the silhouette picture and threw it across Jacob.
He arises, removing his cap away from his eyes.
“Morning!” Jacqueline jestered.
“Oh the marvelous niece of Grayson Harlow, back again!” He joked, his partner rolling her eyes.
Evie places her hand on the page in the journal, brows knitting together. Her eyes scanning along the text, revealing the blue aura in her sight.
“These are like directions!” She beamed, taking the sheet.
“What? I only see words.” Ephraim mentioned, peeking over to read Kenway’s handwriting.
“Eagle vision, an extraordinary trait for an assassin.” Henry interfered.
“Right. Mind if I join you?” He asked, facing the twin.
Evie lifts her brows “Oh, I assume Henry is coming with me—”
“I know how to fight, Evie. I can drive you over to whatever you were examining!”
Evie blinked in confusion, turning her head to Green.
“It’s fine with me, I’m sure Mister Scott would love to go on an adventure.”
The blue-eyed man smirks in approval, however, the twin shakes her head.
“But we might find another artifact, doesn’t that concern you?”
Henry smiled “Well I’ll go.”
Heart sinking, Ephraim managed to keep his cool. Fists clenching as he noticed Evie grinning for him joining their mission.
“Let’s get going.” She pats his shoulder. “I believe it’s nice to have another ally to join us.”
His lips form into a smile as he tags along. He sees in the next car Jacob is scanning through the images while Jacqueline kept her eyes on the wall.
The three managed to leave the station. A mission with her, this is my chance!
“Miss Frye? What exactly are you searching for?” He asked while poking her shoulder with care.
“Inside the Kenway mansion, there has to be something we can find.” She explained.
A carriage is nearby, Ephraim takes the reins—glancing over his shoulder to witness Henry entering inside the vehicle with Evie. Blowing out his cheeks, he clicks his tongue at the mare to stroll forward.
“I’ll tell you where to stop Mister Scott!” Evie called.
“Whatever you say!” He grinned, fading away when he listened to Henry’s voice. Prick.
London — Train Hideout
“Your uncle kept Elliotson’s image for a long time?” Jacob asked, taking a sip from his drink.
“Suspicions—it’s all in his documents,” Jacqueline answered, running down her hands on her face.
“A stalker, isn’t he?”
“That’s what every Assassin’s do, Frye.”
“A comeback—nicely done, Harlow.” He replied with a teasing grin, flipping through more of her pages from her journal.
“Have you been inside the asylum?”
“Pfft, I lived in Crawley all my life—I’m guessing my father did with your uncle.”
“They did travel together from what he told me, I’m sure both of them saw the horrors of the inside.” Jacqueline crosses her legs together as she sits, lying her back against the wall. “What would Ethan and Grayson do if they were still here?”
“Well—what can we do? The two of us are going inside that asylum no matter what. You have your strategies, I have my confrontations.”
Jacqueline pinched her lips together, twiddling her thumbs. “You’re right. We would both find Elliotson. Grayson would have found clues that lead to the Piece of Eden.”
The brash twin snorted “Like Evie, which by the way she mentioned that she’ll go back on her search.”
“And she took Ephraim along. I love him dearly but he has no knowledge on the artifact!” Jacqueline toyed with the frayed collar of her wool coat.
“You could be right—I believe he’s after my sister.”
“Ha! So you noticed?”
“Of course! Both Scott and Greenie!”
London — City of London: Kenway Mansion
“Slow down!” Ephraim pulls back the reins, brushing back his curls away from his face.
“I think this is it.” Evie declared.
“I think you’re right, look.” Henry pointed towards the Jackdaw sculpture, both of them exiting the carriage.
“Mister Scott,” She beckoned, he quickly leaves the vehicle behind and joins them to the park nearby. He studies the guarded mansion, cocking his head after being told it was an Assassin’s home.
“There she is,” Evie glared, witnessing Lucy Thorne pacing towards the entrance of the home—arms behind her back with her chin up.
“Is that?” Ephraim asked.
“Lucy Thorne, also after the Piece of Eden’s secrets.”
“You still intend to enter?” Henry asked, crossing his arms.
“If this is a Templar stronghold, it won’t get any easier. But don’t worry, we’ll stay well away from Miss Lucy.” She simpered, mocking the Templar’s name. “Shall we?”
Ephraim held her arm, softening his grip when she gazes back as a quick reaction.
“What about me?”
“It will be a challenge to go inside, I fear for your safety—Jacqueline needs you back alive.”
“Well, your brother needs you back alive as well!”
“Henry will help me, Mister Scott—please stay by the carriage and keep yourself hidden. We’ll come back soon.” She gave a small smile, leaving with her partner by her side.
Ephraim nods Henry will help me, Mister Scott —huffing the locks of his curls away from his face. He trudges forwards, hands in his coat pockets—having himself hunch over the driver’s seat. Matter of fact, he smirked for asking the twin to join them. Instead of stammering his words and telling her to go with caution.
“At least you’re keeping me company.” He joked with the mare, receiving a small snort.
Chapter 11: Almost Like Praying
Did anyone notice I always write a rock song as a title of my chapters? Except for this one, Almost Like Praying is a song by Lin-Manuel Miranda who I really love because of his creative songwriting and he's just amazing. It was written for the victims of Puerto Rico who were affected by the hurricanes. I was listening to this song while writing this and you know, it kept me writing and writing. When I hear a nice beat, I always write more and then end up with a good draft. I may end up putting a lyric of a song that goes related to the story. Most of the time, it's rock songs and especially Queen or Led Zeppelin. :)
London — City of London: Kenway Mansion
Eyelids drooping—head hitting the back of the carriage. Ephraim shot up, shaking his head from his drowsiness. Looking around, he noticed the reins were around his palms—clutching the leather. Evie and Henry were inside of the mansion for a while, questioning for their lengthy disappearance.
Hopping off the vehicle, Ephraim approach to the fence as he was curious himself of the interior of Kenway’s beloved home. Intrigued by Evie’s research about the pirate assassin.
Ephraim leads himself to the open window, hands clutched onto the sill to heave himself. Leg draping over to enter.
He lands on the floor, rising slowly as he contemplates the room. He glances at the random opening below.
“This belongs to the Assassins,” uttered a voice. Ephraim draws near to the access, lifting his chin to peer inside the passage.
“Evie?” He called, gulping harshly.
The twin assassin widens her eyes briefly, running to the stairs as she sees him above. “Ephraim! I told you to stay by the carriage!” She whispered harshly.
“I was bored and I did not want to wait any longer!”
“We’re surrounded by Templars! You have to go back!”
“Miss Thorne! There’s some disturbance over here!”
Ephraim suck in his teeth “Find a way out, I’ll distract them!”
“Mister Scott, no!” She hissed, creasing her brows as she spot Henry pulling down the latch. The boards securing back to its position.
Ephraim goes to the window to sit on the ledge, hand clinging onto the border. Lucy Thorne marches to the room, eyes glaring at the intruder.
“Who are you?!” She spat. He freezes, the Templar he saw far away is right in front. Nose scrunching as her lips were pinched together.
At last, Ephraim salutes the Templar and made his escape—scurrying to the fence.
“Find him! Quickly!” Thorne demanded as Ephraim got on his carriage, slapping the reins against the mare. Racing down the streets, breathing heavily. Thoughts of his death flooded his head. His mind cluttering the fact he may not see Evie if Thorne gets to him.
“Damn it, what would Jacqueline do?!” He panicked.
Keeping the reins under his control, he swerves into different corners of the borough, avoiding the passersby. Having the thought of letting the horse run without its driver, heart beating rapidly.
Without a conclusion, he lets go of the leather and jumps out. Rolling onto his back. He manages to stand and take off.
“He could be here!” Yelled Thorne’s associates. He hurries inside the alley, weaving through the construction workers. His legs ache with a burn, sliding under a fence. His chest heaved for air, back planted against the wooden barricade. Gulping his saliva hard.
“No, seek over there.”
Ephraim bit onto his tongue, squeezing his eyes shut. Not here. Not here.
“Stupid cat—come on he could have gone this way.”
He releases the oxygen he held in, loosening his tensed body. Not daring to peep over his shoulder, he trudges forward. Passing by the working men, sweat dripping from his forehead. His hand sticks out to clear his way, bowing his head.
Instantly, he bumps against Evie.
“Ephraim!” She held his arms, grinning wide to see him escape safely. Henry stands behind as he smiles as well.
He fixes his posture “What the? How did you—?”
“Edward Kenway’s secret passage, the sewers lead us here.” Her lips form a teasing smirk.
He smiled, blinking a few times from her distracting pink, plump lips. Her blue eyes gazing back at him. “Glad you made it out alive,” He stammered “shall we go back on the train?”
“Yes—I’m sure Jacqueline would like to hear about your escape.” Evie joked, slapping her hand against Ephraim’s back in a playful manner.
London — Train Hideout
“Shh, they’re coming back!” Jacqueline whispers, heading back to the floor sitting next to Jacob.
The three enter inside the train, Ephraim cooled himself by tugging in and forward with his shirt. He observes the duo both whispering to each other in the next car; Jacqueline covers her mouth to hold back a chortle.
“Keeping secrets now?” He asked, leaning against the entry.
“I’ve been keeping Templar’s secrets for a long time.” She waggles her journal.
Ephraim drew his brows together—gaping over his shoulder and beams from Evie’s aspect. She was leaning over her desk, hands reaching in her coat to pull out a circular object. Remarkable he described, so remarkable.
“Oh Evie, I can help you!” Jacqueline mocked, leaning against Jacob.
“Ephraim darling,” He held her hands “please do come along in front of Greenie!” Fixing his gaze, she tries managing to keep a straight face. But a smile sneaked through.
Ephraim pinched the bridge of his nose, letting out an exasperated sigh “Such a pair—you two deserve each other!”
The redhead and the brash twin both exchanged faces—breaking into laughter as he walks away.
“Hysterical my dear!” Jacqueline called, fanning herself.
“Alright, let’s go to Lambeth.” Jacob rose, little giggles are heard under his breath.
“Oh finally, I’ve been waiting for years.” Jacqueline stands to secure her new satchel around her belt loops.
“Hopefully this comes in hand.” She pays the kukri tucked in her sheath.
“Remember some of our training.” Jacob reminded she recalls Evie and her practicing how to wield the weapon. It’s heavier than her usual dagger.
“Darwin should be at the asylum now.”
London — Lambeth
The borough is crowded by the incoming rain and the navy blue clouds. Street lamps brightening the streets as the cobblestones had streams of waters between. Shimmering from the lights.
“Jesus this is great!” Jacqueline exclaimed as Jacob snickers—amused by her little comments.
“At least it’s not snowing.”
Charles Darwin stood by the gate of the asylum, maintaining to hold his umbrella as the wind kept blowing in his way. He detects the approaching duo.
“Mister Frye and Miss Harlow, you returned!” He greeted, freeing the parasol.
“Delighted to come back.” She grinned, rubbing where her eye was bruised.
“Good! Mister Frye, I trust you had a productive meeting with Mister Owen?”
“Oh yes, we had the most wonderful chat.” He said in a sarcastic tone “I’ve found that the man behind Starrick’s Soothing Syrup is John Elliotson.”
“Doctor Elliotson? I haven’t heard that name in a long while.” Darwin paced away from the two, furrowing his brows. “He was a brilliant heart specialist until he became obsessed with phrenology and mesmerism. It ruined his career.”
Jacqueline raised her chin—her uncle suspected the right man.
“Well, how shall we proceed?” Darwin beamed, leaning towards.
“Oh, with all respect Mister Darwin, I believe I should proceed alone with Jackie. After all, we wouldn’t want to attract any unwanted attention .” Jacob declared, reusing Darwin’s phrase from the first time they met. Jacqueline gestures her agreement.
“Sounds very wise.” Darwin concurs “Good luck you two!” He gives Jacob a hasty pat on his arm, advancing away.
“Oh, Mister Frye and Miss Harlow—should you find yourself with any free time, please do call on me.” The scientist said while reaching his hand out and turns away. Listening to the sound of his whistles on a rainy night.
The two exchanged faces, both progressing inside the gate.
“Should we go low?” Jacqueline asked, shifting away from a dead rat below her.
Jacob scrutinized the building, the clock tower had an access behind—allowing them to sneak inside.
“We’ll climb our way in,” Jacob said, closing into the wall. He peers over his shoulder, “Get on my back.”
“What?” Her cheeks flushed.
“Rope launcher, it’s faster.” He smirked.
“Won’t that double our weight?”
“There’s a thing call trying, Jackie.”
Jacqueline shakes her head in amusement, wrapping her arms around his neck, legs tucked in.
She nods rapidly, uncertain for the attempt.
Jacob raises his arm, the tip of the gauntlet directing towards the ledge of the roof. Jacqueline’s stomach flutters, burying her face onto his shoulder as he settles to the flat top of the asylum. She withdraws his back, placing her hand on her chest.
“Alright there, Jackie?”
“Gave me a huge fright Jacob!” She chuckled, following him behind the tower. Vacant, they climbed downward as she saw a bed with a desk nearby.
“Poor soul,” she commented.
Jacob jumps down, leading him to the balcony of the main part of the building. Walking towards the rail, under were a few men near the fireplace—one by his desk.
“Where to find him?” Jacob asked as Jacqueline furrow her brows, gesturing towards the corridor ahead.
“It’s quiet, I expected screams and echoes.” She tucked her curls behind her ears.
Drops of water leak from the broken pipes, Jacqueline treads without a hurry. The two find their way inside the room, occupied with posters of the human anatomy. Cabinets and drawers crowded with flasks and bottles.
“There.” Jacob head to the window with a red handprint. Jacqueline gasps from the sight until she witnesses the presentation from their view.
A man with a full-grown beard with a patient lying on a stretcher. He had an instrument in his hand, drilling inside the man’s head.
The patient squirms, legs vibrating violently, his whimpers growing louder as the doctor kept drilling. A few audience members refrain from the display. The doctor jerks out the tool, blood staining his sleeve and pale hand.
Jacqueline’s jaw drops, stomach churning as a bad taste fill in her mouth.
“As you just witnessed, the application of too much pressure can sometimes result in… Unexpected outcomes.” He glances back to the corpse “Unfortunately it appears I’ve ruined the organ.”
“Oh, that sick monster!” Jacqueline hissed, her eyes welling with tears.
“We’ll have to be quick before he takes another victim in, I think I know just the way,” Jacob said, beckoning his partner to follow.
“Interrupt his little freak show?”
“Can somebody help me?!” Called a woman, Jacob and Jacqueline hurry towards the balcony where they first came in.
“We need to help her.”
“What about Elliotson?”
She slumps her head forward, her hands run back her curls “We’ll split up.”
“What? Are you sure about this?”
“I’m serious. Go, I’ll find you in this god awful place.”
“Be careful… I mean don’t die!” Jacob chuckled, taking off as Jacqueline simpers. She hurries down the staircase, avoiding the detection from the men on the first floor. Her hands slide against the wall, peeking over.
A nurse tugs onto the handles of the door. Her palm slamming against the glass.
“Madam, are you alright?” Jacqueline questioned, walking towards.
“Oh miss, I must leave in order to find Ms. Nightingale—one the brutes stole my key.” She exclaimed.
“Where did he go?”
“Could be in his office near the balcony.”
“I’ll try to retrieve it, wait here.”
Jacqueline paces away, raising her chin to spot the three men still in their area.
The guard nearby his desk spots her “Miss! What are—?”
She covers his mouth, piercing the blade of the kukri in his stomach. Dragging his body behind his desk. Jacqueline continues, heading to the balcony where a man returns back inside a small office.
Heart beating, her jaw clenches as she drew near. He was listening to Elliotson’s words from a small transmitter device, discussing what goes through the human mind to spark their violent behavior.
“Anger is involved…” Jacqueline grabs the man behind the head.
“They will hurt anybody…” She slams his face against the table, throwing him on the floor. The brute reaches his hip, grabbing the handle of his baton. Jacqueline snatches it away, hitting him across the face.
Dropping it, she crouches to retrieve the key, storing inside her coat. Making her way back down to the first level corridors, a sense of ease to not be detected once more. Jacqueline returns to the nurse—revealing the key as she unlocks the door.
“You have my gratitude! Thank you miss!” The nurse shakes her hand, leaving as Jacqueline smiles. She studies the key in her hand, pursing her lips whether to keep it in further missions.
“You caught that, right?” Asked a man far ahead.
The redhead rolls her eyes, slowly rotating to face the incoming guards.
“Wait, she's not supposed to be here!”
“Oh, quite the snitch you are!” Jacqueline whispered harshly, taking out her kukri, stabbing him in the stomach as his partner advances. She aims her fist in his rib, grabbing his shoulders to slam her knee against him. Lastly, giving him an uppercut where he backs away, shaking his head.
“I’m not letting a woman hit me!” He gritted through his teeth, his fist directing to her. Jacqueline seizes his wrist—bashing her head against his. She wraps an arm around his neck—grunting as she snaps the vertebrae in a swift movement.
Releasing him, she plods forward to redeem her kukri, wiping the blood against the man’s white coat.
Rubbing her forehead—satisfied with learning the method from Jacob. For the first time, no remorse clouded her thoughts.
“He should be here,” Jacqueline asked, opening the door with the stolen key. She set foot inside a large room. A gathering with the patients, a few on the floor securing themselves with their arms. A couple gazes at her appearance.
The redhead gulps, pacing around the area. A man gasped as she attempts to find another door. Until she spotted one open entrance—guarded by the workers.
“Jacob might have—”
“Miss? Are you lost?” Asked a man with a long dark coat—standing in her way. She assumes he is a doctor from the stethoscope around his neck. The way his glasses are gingerly places on the bridge of his nose. Grays hair surrounding his sideburns. Lighter than Grayson’s gray strands.
“Oh yes, I’m trying to find my way out. It was my first day here.” Jacqueline studies his features, his height intimidated her.
“Doctor Elliotson has ordered every nurse and newcomer to the auditorium, come quick—he should be experimenting with another one soon.”
“Sir, I rather not witness another slaughter.”
“Don’t worry, it’s part of his curriculum!” The doctor took her hand, leading her to the auditorium. She muttered um’s under her breath, deciding to go along with him.
“I never got your name, since you’re new!”
“Jackie,” she used her nickname—the name she loathed. Although, hearing Jacob calling her ‘Jackie’ countless times, it’s her alias now.
“Ah Miss Jackie, you do look quite unique with the curly red hair.”
“Father’s genes,” she joked. Surprised he hasn’t mentioned her eyes and rare condition.
He opens the door inside the arena, swallowing a jarring lump. John Elliotson faces the newcomers. Narrowing his eyes at the redhead.
“Doctor Frith, who is she?” He asked, cleaning his bloodied hands with a dove white towel.
“Nurse Jackie, her first day here.” He explained, she lowers her chin. Avoiding eye contact with the Templar.
“You look familiar…” He closes near her, she held her breath. The Templars already knew Grayson and the fact she his niece. Unsure if they know her exact features.
“Well nevermind, sit dear.” He gestures to the seating. The doctor escorts her in the small aisle, plopping down next to a nurse wiping her mouth with a rag. Coughing out her remains.
“We will begin our experiment shortly.”
Jacqueline hunch over, chewing on her knuckles. What did they do to uncle’s cousin? She ponders. The terror she witnessed… until she remembers Jacob.
“Damn it.” She stands up immediately. Doctor Frith, however, clutches her wrist.
“Miss Jackie wait, the lesson will be proceeding soon!” He whispered.
“No please, I have to find my friend!”
“Your friend is safe, don’t worry!”
Jacqueline’s eyes began to well up, anxious over Jacob’s protection. Elliotson is about to kill another patient and he’s nowhere in sight.
“Please sit down,” Frith demanded in a gentle tone.
The redhead hesitated but did not want to cause a scene. She sits, hand nearing up to her hip. In case if Jacob is not present, she has her weapon to slay the Templar.
Another stretcher is rolled in by a doctor, arranging in front of Elliotson. He gestures to the covered body, earning a small bow from the target.
“Jacob where are you?” She whispered anxiously.
“Everything alright, Miss Jackie?”
“I’m fine—thank you.”
“In a moment, we will compare the brains of our two specimens. And since both specimens had a propensity towards violent behavior…” Elliotson pace forward “—we should see similar protrusions in specific parts of their brains…” he stopped as he witnesses an uncanny image.
“Corpses do not have boots…”
Jacob removes the large sheet from him, piercing his hidden blade against Elliotson’s neck. Blood splatters, his eyes rolled up. The brash twin gritted his teeth, extracting his blade away from the doctor as he collapses.
“Jacob…” Jacqueline sighs in relief, weaving past the petrified doctors and nurses. She hurries to her partner, regarding the dead Templar below. Lips parting, crouching without a hurry.
“... The blood of visionaries.” Elliotson spoke, his breath hitch as the pain seeps through.
“All I see is the blood of a lunatic.” Jacob snarled, Jacqueline squeezed his shoulder. Grayson would kill his targets and force them to speak by fisting the fabric of their shirts, listening to his targets choking with a mouthful of blood. Answer me, goddammit! He would yell if they refuse to confess.
“You truly believe murdering an old man will stop humanity’s great architect? Crawford Starrick has a glorious design for mankind!”
“Designs are meant to be broken.”
“You are a child… A child who believes he can solve all the world’s woes with a flick of his blade?” Elliotson taunted “Have you ever pondered the consequences of your actions, Jacob Frye? Or did your father teach you nothing?”
His eyes aimed at Jacqueline. Sealing his lips shut, the last of his breath coming to his end.
“Jacob?” She gulped.
He glances away, avoiding eye contact. Instead, he takes out his handkerchief and wipes the blood away from the doctor’s neck. What her uncle would always do—collecting stains of every Templar he killed.
“Miss Jackie! Get away from that man!”
Jacqueline jutted her chin, yanking out a bomb from her satchel and threw it across. Creating the cloud of smoke as the two disappeared from the scene. The doctors and nurses all panic—exiting the chamber. Elliotson’s lifeless body left behind—an end to his gruesome experiments.
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
The two made it back home, shutting the door. Jacqueline and Jacob both slump on their chairs, catching their breaths from their narrow escape.
“I’d say that was a successful mission,” He declared with a teasing grin.
“Right,” Jacqueline’s intertwined her fingers together on her lap, recalling Elliotson’s last words to the twin. Referring to his father and ridiculing him by calling him a ‘child’.
“I’m surprised you didn’t give him a punch across the face when he derided you.” She stated, twiddling her thumbs.
Jacob leans heavily on his arms on the table, “I would have proved his point.”
“Point? He mocked you.”
“You don’t know how many times I’ve been called a child all my life, Jackie.”
Henrietta arrives with cuts and bruises on her knuckles. She spits on the floor, swabbing her bloody nose with her coat sleeve.
“What happened?” Her little sister inquired.
“I didn’t have enough coins for the two drinks I ordered. I gave a bitch a beatin’, passed out for a long time.” She laughed, stumbling to her bedroom. Slamming her door hard.
Evie peeks her head out, frowning at Henrietta’s immature behavior.
“This home will collapse if she keeps doing that,” she bantered. “How was your mission with my brother?”
“Fascinating, Lambeth Asylum is an awful place to go.”
“Did you kill him, Jacob?”
“Of course dear sister.” He leans back on his chair, resting his legs on top of the table.
“Now that’s over, I have to kill Grayson’s Templars.” Jacqueline smacked her palms against her thighs.
“Well, we should at least go back on our training.” Jacob discussed.
“Agree, we could practice a little more with the kukri and your hand combat,” Evie said.
“Whatever it is, teach me—Gladys Harris is my next target to confront.”
“Perfect, I believe the Rooks would enjoy volunteering with the Jackie Harlow.” Jacob teased, his partner cocking a brow.
“Let’s start tomorrow, I’m jaded.” She ran her hands down her face.
“The fun doesn’t stop there, Harlow.”
I'm writing to you once again to tell you that Jacob and I visited Lambeth Asylum. Horrific place to go, I realize what you mean now by the horrors you experienced. He killed Doctor John Elliotson, the man behind Starrick's Soothing Syrup. I wouldn't imagine a doctor to poison the people of Lambeth. Your skepticism is correct this time. Now, I have to make sure Gladys Harris is no more as well. I'm training with the Rooks, the gang Jacob and Evie started when they first got here. He's taught me more on the pressure of splintering a bone, how remarkble. Evie is helping me improve more on the kukri, though I do hope we can get started on the cane sword as well.
I miss you
Morning came as Jacqueline wraps the gauzes over her knuckles. Tightening the cloth for her training against the Rooks today. Hoping to get a few good rounds to see how much she advanced.
“Fighting again?” Ephraim asked while leaving his room.
“Need to advance my skills, we have plenty of time in our hands.” She chuckles, rolling up her sleeves. “Is Jacob awake?”
Ephraim pace towards the chair, hands on the cresting rail “Yes he’s taking a bath. I’ve noticed you only work with him instead of Evie.”
“Same ideologies—we’re both killing Templars.”
“You’re falling for him, aren’t you?”
Jacqueline’s cheek blushes in a bright red “Jacob is a friend! We both agree to work together. Don’t get me started on you and Miss Frye!”
“You were flirting with him!”
“You try to impress her with your cooking!”
Henry set foot in the kitchen, arching his brow at the bickering friends.
“Morning?” He greeted, quizzical over their little argument.
Jacqueline turns her head “Oh morning Mister Green, my apologies for our yelling.”
“No worries, I was actually wondering about your enthusiasm to train with the Rooks. I see that you’re prepared.”
“She’s prepared for anything, Mister Green.” Ephraim nudges his elbow against the redhead’s arm “—she is the niece of Mister Harlow.” He sits, propping his chin on his palm.
“Oh, by the way, have you told Jacqueline about our mission yesterday?” Henry asked, taking his seat.
Jacqueline serves the meals, sliding them across the table. “No, he hasn’t, what happened Ephraim?”
“I saw Lucy Thorne. I escaped from her and her men while letting Evie escape in the secret passageway. It was chaos, Jacqueline!”
Henry chuckles under his breath “He’s becoming a good ally, Miss Harlow. Perhaps we can have you learn to fight with Jacqueline.”
“Oh I can fight Henry, you just never saw me beat a man!” Ephraim smirked.
The redhead tilts her head, pouring herself tea as she ignores her friend’s new attitude.
“Really? Maybe you can work by Evie’s side instead. She does tend to get into risky missions at the child labor factories.”
“I agree, I could help her if she’s in a struggle.” He stabbed the cut potatoes with his fork.
“Evie is an outstanding fighter as well as her brother. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it, but she can handle a group of Blighters.”
“Yes, but what happens if she’s in real danger, frankly I could beat a couple of thugs.”
“Coffee or tea, Henry?” Jacqueline asked, grinding her jaw, irritated by Ephraim’s change of tone.
“Tea please—Mister Scott what are you inferring?”
“Maybe you should learn how to fight, then she can work better with you!” Ephraim prodded the air, cheek stuffed with his food.
“Ephraim.” She warned, maintaining her awareness with the hot liquid. She leaves the cup in front of the assassin.
“Mister Scott, you’re sounding like this is a rivalry?”
“Why would you think that? I know your game and you’re not fooling anyone!”
“I don’t like your tone, we should discuss this later as allies!”
“Cut the peacemaking and let's get some fun going! How ‘bout it Green?!” Ephraim slams his hands on the table, both men standing onto their feet as Jacqueline stretch her arms across.
“I thought I woke up late,” Jacob commented, drying off his wet hair from his bath.
Henry loosens his tensed shoulders “Mister Frye, you and your sister are introducing Jacqueline to the Rooks?”
“Like we promised.”
“Perhaps you’ll have a new student.”
“Henry, Ephraim is just bantering—there’s no need for this.” The redhead tugs on his sleeve.
“Mister Scott has a structure of a fighter, it's a quick hour. Besides I just need to make sure he’s able to help without getting injured.” Henry pats her hand, a smile forming on his lips.
Jacqueline nods, releasing a sigh “Alright, Ephraim eat your breakfast—we have a long day ahead of us.”
London — Whitechapel: Spitalfields
The twins and Jacqueline both worried about their new ally. Ephraim. The redhead knew her friend is never a fighter but a bookworm and a generous man. Her mind clouded with thoughts of his change of character. His tone when he spoke to Henry was very… harsh.
He rolls his eyes whenever Green spoke, Jacqueline did not want to assume it was apart of his jealousy. She takes a look at Evie who was standing next to her, a quizzical look overtook her features.
Entering inside the Rooks stronghold, Spitalfields, Jacob whistles to grab a couple of their attention. They all ran to greet their leaders and Green, all smiles and firm handshakes. Some came in for an embrace as well.
A man weaved past his peers, throwing himself onto the twins for a hug. Jacqueline tilts her head with a lopsided grin. Amused by his friendly encounter and remembers him when he was circled by a group of Blighters.
“Ollie, how're your wounds?” Jacob asked, patting the Rook’s back.
“Oh nothing harmful, I got it all stitched up thanks to my wife.” He laughed, then noticing the redhead standing behind the brash twin. “Ah, Miss Harlow!”
“Thaxter, Oliver Thaxter. He’s been recruited ever since we started the gang. One of our best and strongest leaders.” Evie explained, earning a small smirk from the young man.
Jacqueline reaches over to shake his hand, smiling at his kindness. Tall and toned, dirty blonde hair, blue eyes that reveal a twinkle. He could be younger than the twins and Jacqueline. But is rather attractive and charming.
“How old are you, lad?” Ephraim asked, crossing his arms as he approach towards him.
“Just turned nineteen, Mister?”
“Ephraim Scott.” Henry interfered. The tall man glared at the mentor assassin, before forcing a smile at Oliver.
“Now, what are we doing today? Going for another drinking match Mister Frye?” Oliver jokes, slapping his back.
“Not today, we wanted to give Jackie more proper training. She’s helping us to kill our targets as well.” Jacob explained.
Oliver nods, “Excellent—shall we get started?”
“I think we should start with Ephraim. He’s very enthusiastic to begin.” Henry claimed, gesturing to the bookworm.
The Rook tilts his head “Oh, I thought it was Miss Harlow only?”
“I want to learn a little bit. Perhaps show someone how a real fighter can brawl.” Ephraim rolls up his sleeves.
Jacob raised his brows “I don’t think you should go against Ollie. He’s advanced as the rest here.”
“Trust me, lad, it will get harder if I don’t know the boy’s strategy.”
Jacqueline pinched the bridge of her nose “Henry.”
“Let’s get started, leave Ephraim and Mister Thaxter some space please.”
The Rooks and the rest step back to form a circle. Big enough for the two fighters to move around easily. Oliver fixes the gauzes on his knuckles as he kept on glancing at Ephraim’s posture. A rather formal pose, he would say, not a fighter’s stance.
Jacqueline and Jacob sat on the nearby boxes, Henry was right beside them.
“Are you sure about this, Mister Green?” The redhead asked.
“I presume it’s perfect to have another ally to work with us. Don’t worry, Mister Scott does look like he’s determined.”
Ephraim stops as he claps his hands together, “So Green, are we having a little tussle after?"
“No—I’ll observe and give you some advice. Oliver, are you ready?”
”Of course! Ready Mister Scott?” He prepares his stance.
“Yes, I won’t hurt you lad,” Ephraim claimed, rolling back his shoulders—bending his knees to prepare himself.
Jacqueline smacks her palm against her forehead, expecting an embarrassing loss. Never once he acted this way—his love for Evie has gotten out of hand.
Ephraim commenced by aiming a fist to Oliver—the Rook leans back, striking his rib and thrash his cheek. The bookworm groans, as he earns another punch to the face.
Annoyed, Ephraim wrapped his arm around Oliver’s neck. Keeping his head tucked in as the young man trying to struggle his way out.
“Come on lad we’re just starting!” He kept him secured
"Don't hold him for long, Ephraim!" Evie called, recalling what the Rook is capable of.
Oliver stops struggling as he elbows his opponent in the stomach, having Ephraim to yelp and loosen his grip. He hits him with the back of his head, giving him the freedom to move away from the tall man.
Ephraim hurries to attack once more, snatching onto Oliver’s shirt who did not hesitate to bash his head against his.
Blurry vision, the Rook threw an uppercut to end the fight. His opponent plummets on his back, grunting in frustration.
"You cheated!" Ephraim advances to Oliver.
Jacqueline stops him from going further “Relax! This is just training!” She reminded.
Oliver sighs as he brushes off the dirt from his clothes, then massaging his neck from the strong tuck.
“Nice work Ollie” Jacob complimented the Rook. He smiles as he walks towards Ephraim, a hand sticking out for him.
“Great brawl, you’re really strong Mister Scott.”
Ephraim stares at his hand, looking over his shoulder to see Evie creasing her brows. Worrying for his sudden change of behavior.
“Thanks.” He muttered, turning away from the young brawler. Leaving Oliver to take back his hand awkwardly, cheeks flushing in embarrassment.
“Ephraim!” Jacqueline called. He ignored her as he kept walking away, no hesitation.
“I’ll talk to him,” Jacob said, catching up towards his roommate. “Hey, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, leave me be.”
The brash twin huff out his cheeks “I’m trying to help.” He held his arm. "You didn't have to act like a rude bloke."
Ephraim reacts suddenly, snatching his hand off from his sleeve. “Don’t touch me!”
Jacob jerks his hand away, never once he heard him this irritated. The only times he was angry was when he was recalling Jacob about his past. Not towards him but to the person who has caused his trauma.
The tall man widens his eyes, chest heaving heavily “I’m sorry— I’m.” He ran. Leaving Jacob speechless. He could only feel pity for his friend. Unsure if he was in a moment of catharsis.
The twin goes back to his sister and partner, seeing Oliver and Henry talking, noting the comfort he’s giving the young man. The Rook never takes a grudge even after a fight, he’s there to support others and make sure they’re content.
“Is he alright? I’ve never seen him this angry.” Evie reflected.
“Or becoming a boaster,” Jacob sighs “No. He’s probably having another fit. I didn’t interfere more when he raised his voice at me.”
“Ephraim would rarely blow up, I find that bizarre.” The redhead slips her thumbs in her pants pocket. “I just hope it was a one-time thing.”
“What do you think is wrong with him?” The brash twin queried.
“Something we’ve been discussing yesterday.”
Chapter 12: Disposable Heroes
More a man, more stripes you wear, glory seeker trends
Bodies fill the fields I see, the slaughter never ends
- Disposable Heroes by Metallica
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
One question, I have no idea why you would still let that woman hit you after all these years. Don’t you understand that she will never redeem herself? Nor after her years in Northern England. Jacqueline, I love you but you are very forgiving. One day you will realize that forgiveness and kindness will not save you. Nor make things any better.
You’ve frightened me, no joke. Entering inside that hospital is petrifying and I’m pleased you made it out alive with Jacob. You always had courage, ever since you were five you love to climb while your mother panics every time you go higher than a tree. I could tell your bond with the twins has gotten closer over these months, especially with Ethan’s son. Now I want you to know Gladys is switching from many churches as her sanctuary — find her and kill her.
- Yours truly, your uncle Grayson
It’s been a whole week of training, advancing by taking the final blow and confront volunteering Rooks. Oliver was a terrific teacher who helped her do pull-ups and pushups, gaining a little more muscle. She was knocked down a couple of times but managed to defeat the young man after. Jacob cheered for her surpassing his best men and women. Giving in the adrenaline she needed, impressing her two allies. Evie gave her a couple of knives to keep as her reward for enhancement. She began practicing on the use of her cane-sword, amused by the design and the style in order to fight with it.
Jacqueline has pondered about Gladys Harris—ending her for the sake of her uncle’s honor. Folding her letter, she kept it tucked inside her coat, heading out to leave.
“Jacqueline,” Ephraim called while approaching.
Sighing, she turns around “You’re joining me?” She asked with a small simper.
“I was curious to ask Evie about the Kenways and perhaps more about the French Revolution.”
“Curiosity hm? Come along then.” She smiles as she opens the door for him, trailing behind.
A week, Ephraim was isolated by his own bedroom. The only time he leaves is at night to visit any of the nearby pubs with Henrietta. Each recurrence, Jacqueline listened to his slurred speech. Mocking Henry due to the small hint of the rivalry last week. No doubt, her older sister would agree with him.
“How’s your night?” Jacqueline asked.
He fiddles with his brown curls “Fun? I drank a whole bottle of gin and threw up an hour ago.”
“Are you alright?”
“Of course! Just a little mess I made.” He sneered, earning a shrug from his friend as a response.
On the train, Jacob checked on the assassination wall, lifting pages to read Gladys Harris’ associates. Skimming the writing, the name Jerome Persephone caught his eye. Quickly, he yanks the page and scrutinizes the last time he was seen.
“What?” He muttered.
“Stick with rum.”
“Whiskey!” Ephraim pokes his friend’s shoulder. She gave a dismissive wave as she sees Jacob turning around—paper in hand.
“You know Persephone?”
“Jerome Persephone or the goddess?”
“You know what I’m talking about.” Jacob narrowed his eyes, Jacqueline snickers as she takes her page.
“What made you eager to know about him?”
The brash twin spread his arms out “Well he is a Templar and Freddy is still searching for him for months before we arrived in London.”
Ephraim knocks on the border of the wall, grabbing Evie’s attention. Glimpsing with a small grin, she beckons him to enter. Sitting on the floor while pages layout out in front of her.
“It’s been a while, how you’ve been?” She taps her gloved hands against her notebook.
“Good, healed after the beating Thaxter gave me.” He chuckled, resting his back against the nearby desk.
“Ollie told me you were strong, something you should take credit for.”
“I used to help Jacqueline at the factory she worked at—though she took care most of the dirty work.” Ephraim intertwined his fingers together against his leg. Hoping to have a reaction from Evie.
Jacqueline’s lips parted “How long?”
“Four months he said, guarded near a church. He wanted my sister and me to wait until we felt ready.” Jacob explained, pinning the page back on the wall.
“Aren’t you two always ready?”
“My point exactly.” He said with a teasing grin. Abberline expects the twins to use stealth in order to arrest the criminals. Jacob was displayed reckless in his eyes, anticipating his sister to do the job.
“Shall we?” The twin asked.
“You’re joining me?”
“Obvious answer, Harlow.”
Jacqueline stares down, laughing under her breath. Gazing back at him “Lead the way, the fun is just starting.”
London — City of London
Jerome Persephone—a man who has the closest alliance with Miss Harris. A couple would prefer to call them lovers, due to their flirtatious meetups. Last time Jacqueline and Grayson spied on them was back in Lambeth. The two Templars faced each other, discussing over the end of the Assassin’s—way before the twins arrived.
The duo made their way to the marketplace—Jacob trying to spot the policeman.
“Are you sure he’s around here?” She asked.
“He’s always in crowded places, in disguise or not.” Jacob drew his brows together—standing stiff as Jacqueline stands on her toes. Attempting to find at least a wandering man in a blue uniform or a patent costume.
A bearded man pace the area with his arms tucked behind his back, walking to an empty bench to sit. Jacob smirks, advancing the lone man. The redhead shakes her head in amusement, following as she witnesses her partner sliding over to the stranger.
“Ah! God sakes Frye, don’t do that!” He wagged his finger to the twin, acting as if he was a child.
“How else am I supposed to get your attention?” Jacob teased.
“You could at least give a small tap on his shoulder.” Jacqueline plants her hands against her hips. She faces the quizzical policeman “Jacqueline Harlow, sir.” She sticks out her hand.
“... Frederick Abberline—are you two working together?” He asked while rising from his seat, shaking the new ally’s hand.
“Correct, we were wondering about your information on Jerome Persephone’s location.” She whispered—Abberline turns his head both ways, hunching to speak.
“He’s wanted for killing his family, located in the City of London every time. However, he is last seen behind Temple Church. Guarded with many men, armed as well. Still willing to do it?”
“You’re talking to a deadly duo. We accept.” Jacob nudges his elbow against the redhead—repeating his gesture back to him.
“Bring him back alive, but quickly,” Abberline demanded, stepping back to leave the two in the crowded setting.
“Kill his family? That’s new.” Jacqueline scratched behind her neck.
“I thought you knew everything?”
“You’re so cocky,” She walked ahead. Jacob scoffs—offended by the use of her words to him.
“Riiight, says the smug one herself!” He called, the redhead peering over her shoulder. The damned smile he always had.
“I guess we’re the same then.” Jacqueline gestures towards herself and the twin.
“That’s it? No arguing?” He asked, spreading his arms out.
“If you want an argument, join Parliament.” She joked, receiving a playful eye roll from Jacob.
Arguing was never a favorite of her, with the exception to defend herself if needed. Smug was always a word men and women would call her once she finished her day at the factory. Jacqueline wanted to go home early, have the stations organized and made sure everyone is motivated to complete their shifts. It ended with jealousy and leading her to become an outsider. The man who abused the children kept calling her smug for her efforts. It has become a word Jacqueline gotten used to because of her intelligence and attempts—there’s no meaning to her.
London — Train Hideout
Ephraim flips through Kenway’s journal, squinting at his writing to endeavor another hidden map or image.
“I can’t seem to find anything here, Evie.” He said, running down his hand on his face.
“You need to possess Eagle Vision in order to do that.” She laughs, passing another book to him.
“What do you see when you use it?”
“A blue aura, the environment glows in my sight. I could find my targets, track them down, it’s quite a gift.”
“Can I have such a gift?” Ephraim asked, opening the book he received.
“Jacob and I inherit it from our parents—both assassins—however, anyone could train in order to achieve the skill. Much like Adéwalé, Edward’s quartermaster.”
Ephraim pursed his lips, fondling the soft edges on the pages—he did not want to be instructed again after his humiliation. Blaming Henry for his chaos.
“Mind telling me about Haytham? Uncanny how he became a Templar, raised by an Assassin father.” He asked, switching topics to avoid any impressions of discomfort.
“A lot happened throughout history. Especially between the Templars and the Assassins, they could unite as lovers or family—in the end, they will always have different views.”
Ephraim flicked the corner of the stained sheet “Has anyone betrayed your family?”
“Not that I know of—My brother knows better and so do I.”
“Jacob seems suspicious at times, I must say.”
“No. Even if my brother causes some mishap, there’s no suspicion that he’ll turn against us. His serve his loyalty to the Brotherhood.”
Henry enters inside, beaming “Miss Frye, I see you’re working with Ephraim.”
He looks away from his ‘rival’, fingers wrinkling the page.
“A short history lesson.” Evie grinned, collecting the scattered papers in her lap.
“Mister Scott should read all about Ezio Auditore, the man has done so much for the Brotherhood.”
Ephraim rose upright “I don’t need your recommendations.” He snarls, facing the Assassin with a glare.
“Mister Scott.” Evie stands to hold his arm, “There’s no need for that.”
“My apologies, I did not—”
“Cause an embarrassment? I thought so!” He shoved him aside, the twin frowns—following him near the exit.
“Ephraim!” She called. He did not respond to her, leaving the train as it made its stop at a station. Henry collects the books in his hands, saddened by the change of behavior his ally has revealed. Ephraim was shown to be benevolent in regard to his friends and allies.
Evie returns, lips seal as she sits on her armchair. “What’s wrong with him?”
“I rather not interfere—it’s almost as if he’s evolving into someone new.” He placed his hands on his hips “I didn’t mean to cause anything between us.”
“Henry. You and he should speak about it in a civilized conversation.”
“You think he will?”
“That’s on him, if not, forget it.”
London — City of London: Temple Church
Behind the church—few guards in their positions. Yawning over their long hours to protect their superior. Jacqueline peeks over the carriage, glimpsing at the visible Templar.
“I find it funny that he’ll need so many Blighters to protect him,” Jacqueline commented.
“Miss Harris’ gift for him?”
Persephone is spotted with two men behind him, he soon approaches to another man in a black leather uniform. Giving him a firm handshake.
“What’s the plan?” Jacqueline asked.
“I was thinking we can intrude their property.” Jacob insisted, adjusting his bracer.
“Alright, I’ll handle the thugs and you’ll catch Persephone.”
The two of them made their way to the front of the wall securing the area, the redhead preparing herself as she clutches on the ledge. Pulling herself up in a brisk, leaping onto the unaware lookout, piercing his back with her kukri. Shouts were heard, Jacob hops over the wall and threw a knife to a guard’s head—detecting Persephone who panics in his place.
He ran after the frightened Templar, stabbing both of his blades to his protectors. Jacob marches towards him, brows drew together as Jerome raises his palms up. The assassin grips onto his white collar.
“Evening Jerome!” He simpered, dragging him where he witnesses Jacqueline pouncing on the last of the defenders, thrashing her fists against the woman’s face. Until another advancing guard made its way to surprise his distracted partner.
“Jackie!” Jacob shouted.
She glances over her shoulder. Wrapping her arm around the man’s neck, flipping him over her shoulder and pierce the knife on his chest. Breathing heavily, she hurries to Jacob who slams Persephone against a nearby wall.
“Let go you bastard! Better save your sweetheart or else.”
“Now now Mister Persephone, no need to assume—we have a couple of questions for you.” He growled, hidden blade narrow to the Templar’s neck.
“Where’s Gladys Harris?”
Persephone gulps down his saliva hard, exhaling through his nose with force. “Tracking Grayson Harlow—is that all?”
Jacob slid back his blade, a teasing grin appear on his features. “Miss Harlow?”
Jacqueline frowns, aiming the barrel of her revolver below Persephone’s chin. “Her location, now!”
“You believe this is easy, don’t you darling?”
She shoves the barrel deeper, the cold metal earning him goosebumps. “I’m not playing any games, you’re going to jail anyway. Or else my partner can take care of you instead!” She yelled, reliving her uncle’s shoes. Shouting at men or women who won’t confess.
“In Saint Michael’s church— a few minutes away from ‘ere… but you won’t kill her. No, you’ll let her escape. You’re a coward, like your uncle.” Jerome wheezes a laugh as the redhead gritted her jaw. She directs her fist across his face. Jacob held him, forcing him to walk.
“Fascinating hideout,” He rolled his eyes, going to the front of the church where Abberline waited by his vehicle.
“Ah, you got him.” He acknowledged. Jacob shoves the Templar inside, listening to the curses he shouted.
“Made it in time, Mister Abberline.” Jacqueline wiped away the blood away from her cheeks.
“I had no doubts you two will manage to catch him, you have my thanks, Miss Harlow.”
“One question before you leave—Persephone is associated with a Templar who’s after my uncle. Know by the names of Eleanor Taylor, Archie Dawn, or Gladys Harris?”
“I never knew their presence, maybe I could keep an eye out if you will help me with the Frye twins to arrest more criminals in London. I’ll give you my gratitude.” He smiled, shaking her hand.
He rode off, Jacob pats his partner’s back “You did well.”
“It’s a good workout… thanks for the awareness, Frye.” She punches his arm playfully.
“Pfft, just a heads up Harlow.”
The redhead beams, cheeks tinted in a hue of scarlet. Hm, so he does care about me? “Now off to mass.”
Jacob arches a brow “To repent our sins I see?”
Religion was a rough discussion Jacqueline have with the workers at the factory. She was never the peaceful woman who would go to church to repent her sins—believing the Creed matters more. She commits illegal actions, presuming no man would lead her to the heavens. Grayson would despite having the talk of God in his home, leaving to his room instead.
The duo made it to St. Michaels—the sanctuary Harris have to protect her life.
“Any guards?” She asked, knowing the twin can use his ability to look through the danger inside.
“A few patrolling the aisles. Two are right beside her.” Jacob narrowed his eyes while lifting his chin. “There’s an entrance there,” He gestures to the hollow windows “—we’ll have to hide behind the balcony near the organ.”
“Haven’t been in a sacred building for ages,” Jacqueline chuckled, propping herself on Jacob’s back. The rope launcher lifting them both to the access. She withdraws from his back as she hung onto the holes where the bricks have fallen off. The brash twin enters, holding out his hand to pull in the redhead. Silent, the two sneak over the rail—to witness Harris’ next move.
“Religious, Jackie?” He whispered, resting his forearms on the barrier. The stained glass sparkling colors, shining to where Christ is placed. Dying on the cross—while colors were pigmenting the marble figured of the son of God.
“I’m afraid not—I have other views, my focus is the Brotherhood,” Jacqueline muttered, recalling the studies about the Italian Brotherhood and their fight against the Roman Catholic Church.
“Harsh subject, I’d say.”
“Agree—although my uncle always said the phrase in the lap of the gods.”
“He depends on luck?”
“Mhm, how ironic for the use of God, though I always use the wording whenever I’m with him.”
Jacob gazes at the redhead “Especially during this point of your life?”
Jacqueline glimpses back at her partner, gesturing her agreement “Yes. I always depend on luck, hoping some good news comes in my way. The only thing that matters is my uncle’s safety and…” She stops herself, cheeks growing scarlet hot. Looking away from the brash twin.
“And what? The rest of your family?” Jacob concluded.
“Um yes, if they’re safe as well with Ephraim’s parents, I have nothing to lose.”
He nods, turning back to peer over Harris’ movement. Jacqueline bit onto her knuckles, hoping to admit that she does care about the twin after all. Wanting to admit if something were to happen to Jacob, she could never forgive herself.
“Miss Harris—They got Jerome!”
The two peek over the rail, glancing at a man darting in the middle of the asiles—leading himself to the altar where Harris is located. Brows furrowing, the strands of hair falling on her forehead as she whips her head around.
“What? How?” The Templar inquired.
“One of the lads saw two people arresting him with Abberline—one of them is a redheaded woman.”
“Grayson Harlow’s niece… Who’s the other man?”
“Jacob Frye, an Assassin who came to London with his twin sister. They killed Kaylock and Elliotson.”
“I presume Harlow must have done that—put them on my list, now!” Harris demanded, bashing her fists against the altar. Echoing the slam, making Jacqueline shudder due to the silence they all had before her associate barged in.
“Oh great, now she knows my sister and me.” Jacob groaned.
Jacqueline slips out her knives “Not for long. I’ll go after Harris?”
“I’ll beat up the watchmen.” He smirked, jumping to land on top of the guards. Blades piercing on their backs.
“Assassin!” Harris shouted, directing her finger towards the twin.
“I’ll need some assistance, Jackie!” Jacob called.
Jacqueline attempts to leap below the balcony, rolling over to prevent an injury and runs to Harris. Throwing a knife to her defender, kicking the second man after with a bullet in the chest.
“This is what Grayson taught you?” She shouted, pulling out her dagger.
Jacqueline leans back from the quick swipe. Blocking her wrists with her revolver, trying to aim her bullets to injure Harris.
The Templar kicks the firearm out from her hand, swiping her dagger against the redhead’s arm. Ignoring the pain, she had a hold of her neck from behind, wrapping her legs around.
“Get off me!” Gladys shouted as she threw herself back. Hurting Jacqueline as her lower back hits against the hard flooring. Hissing in pain, she could see Harris grabbing a handful of her shirt.
Jacqueline reacts by kicking her in the torso, standing up to her feet, taking out her kukri.
“A weapon? Oh no that’s not your uncle’s weapon––” She earns a knife to the shoulder.
“Stop talking about my uncle, you’re fighting against me! Not him!” Jacqueline runs to Gladys who attempts to swing her fists at the redhead. However, she grabs her arm, twisting it behind her back and thrusts her kukri near the spine.
Harris shrieks, the blade deepening her flesh, the point exposing out her stomach. Jacqueline squeezes her lids shut, using her foot to push her down—jerking out the kukri.
Harris collapses onto her knees as the redhead lay her on her back forcibly.
Jacob catches his breath, wiping away the blood from his nose after a brawl. He trudges to his partner, peering over the corpse of Grayson’s enemy.
“The courage you finally have to end me.” Gladys snarled.
“For Grayson and the Brotherhood, your Grand Master will fall eventually.” Jacqueline furrowed her brows.
“That’s what you assume after uniting with those Frye twins?” She bares her teeth, chest expanding rapidly from every last of oxygen.
“No. I knew Starrick’s empire will be destroyed one day. This year he will die. As long the twins and I kill every one of his associates, the Assassin’s will take back London.”
“Naive and idiotic… like your uncle…”
“Enough, Grayson is safe away from lunatics like you!” She whispered harshly through her teeth, Jacob held her shoulder.
“Your uncle is insane as all of us. Look at what he has done in the past… look what he has done to Archie!”
The redhead clenched her jaw, grabbing her collar “Dawn made that decision to join the Order! Grayson was at no fault for Debbie’s death!”
“That's what you think… but Archie will have a surprise for him. Just wait….” Gladys took the last of her breath, head slinging back.
Jacqueline pinches her lips to refrain herself from hitting the now dead Templar. Jacob passes her a newly clean handkerchief, taking it in her hands.
She wipes the blood from her wound, tucking the cloth in her coat pocket. Fulfillment, more than despair. Her remorse for killing others has disappeared—she grasps the reality of Grayson’s teachings.
“Let’s go,” Jacob uttered as Jacqueline exhales through her nose deeply, standing with the twin and walks with him. Her hand was covering her cut on her arm from Harris’ attempt. Taking a step forward in the aisle of the church.
“Maybe he is a coward.” She muttered, aiming her focus at Jacob.
“What? Jackie, you said—”
“I know.” She stated sternly “—maybe they are right. He’s growing old, he deserves his break. At least for my defense.”
“Letting you take care of his work? Killing all his targets?”
“Yes. He’s tired of everything especially when… Ethan…” Jacqueline could not speak as she gapes at Jacob.
“Died, I know.” He sighed, opening the door to exit.
“He told me before he did not want to meet you and Evie because of your parent's deaths. I don’t think I know how he actually felt when he’s with your father.”
“And joy, if only I pursued him to stay after Starrick is finished.” She climbed on the nearby carriage, blowing out her cheeks. “Let’s face it, we can’t bring them back or have my uncle to return! At least we’re completing where they left off. We’re on the right path to liberation.”
“Jackie Harlow speaking facts.” Jacob held the reins, directing the mare to stroll.
“Charming.” She smiled.
London — Whitechapel: Garden’s Pub
Ephraim had his head on top of the table, Henrietta rubbing down his back. Hiccups hitching his throat, releasing a belch after.
“That’s enough for you tonight.” She cooed, tangling her fingers in his curls.
“Henry ruined everything… I didn't look back when she called me.”
Henrietta takes his mug away, listening to his slurred words as she pours the liquor on the floor.
An intoxicated man bumps against Ephraim, he laughs it off as he kept dancing with his other sober friends. Ephraim leaves his seat, pushing him back.
“Rum!” Henrietta cried out his nickname. He punches the man, pinning him down by giving more sluggish jabs. She hauls him off, the man did not react to fight Ephraim—he kept himself on the ground.
“You think you’re so tough, boy?” Said another man, pacing to him.
Ephraim jerks himself away from Henrietta and runs to him, shoving him on the wall by pummeling him. Kicking him in the stomach and slapping him aside. The man wheeze, sprawling on the floor as the guests were terrified by his actions. He views his red knuckles, satisfied for his two victories.
Henrietta takes his arm “Let’s go!”
“Rum! Come on!” She drags him out, escorting him back to the residence home close by.
“He was provoking me!”
“It was an accident!”
“You know you wouldn’t react like that if someone did that to you!”
Henrietta shakes her head “Maybe I would have, but I realize I’ve hurt so many this past month.”
“Now you’ve noticed?”
“Yes—I cannot get you and Jackie killed.” She sighs, lowering her chin. “Rum, you have to be careful with these people in this city. It’s not Kent.” She said, opening the door to lead her drunk friend in.
Jacqueline tightens the bandages around her wall—Jacob fell asleep in his room, no commotions while she’s working as well. She regarded her sister and friend’s entrance.
“How’s the pub?” She asked.
“Great. I had a nice batch of rum mixed with gin.” Ephraim said, limping to his room. Henrietta chortles as she sat down by her sister.
“Tough man he’s getting.” She described.
Jacqueline dare not to disagree “He is, a bit scary. He fought Mister Thaxter last week.”
“Oh I know, he told me—Ephraim would have given him a nice whooping. Like the men at the pub.”
“He fought someone?”
“Two. He’s learning Jackie. Don’t worry.” Henrietta smiles fade away, wrapping her arm around her sister’s shoulder “I’m sorry for my behavior. I was too isolated for moving and having to meet new people.”
Jacqueline beams, eyes twinkling as she heard the first time in years: an apology.
“I mean it.”
Not questioning more for her change of conduct, she knew Grayson was wrong. Forgiveness can bring good to her situations.
“I forgive you—I’m sorry to have you join along. I have to protect you and Ephraim.”
“I understand… when will this be over?”
Jacqueline sucks in her teeth, rising from her chair “Put it in the lap of the gods, Henri—I promise this will end soon.”
Chapter 13: Paradise City
Take me down to the paradise city
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Oh won't you please take me home
- Paradise City by Guns N' Roses
London — Train Hideout
Gladys Harris is no more. Thanks to Jacob’s assistance, we arrested her associate, Jerome Persephone, and found her in St. Michaels. We both spoke about your favorite phrase, in the lap of the gods. I guess it really depends on luck after all? I’ve noticed Ephraim has been acting bizarre… I do not see the sympathetic man we have known for years. I believe his heart is beating for Miss Frye — but I’m sure she would rather not interfere with love during this time. Henrietta has apologized to me after these months, I’m satisfied for her kindness, what do you think uncle?
Postscript: Jackie has become one of my aliases now, use it whenever you like!
Evie ties the end of her braid in a bun, securing with a ribbon as she did not have enough time to ready herself at home. The sounds of the train creating a rhythm from the tracks.
The twin is aware Jacob and Jacqueline were not talking, as usual, no bickering or any harsh jokes were thrown. She approaches the car, glancing at Jacqueline: sitting on the floor with her journal, documents and images scattered. Her brother is sleeping without a snore, she did not interfere to wake him up.
“Jacqueline,” Evie called, the redhead placing her finger above her lips, using her head to gesture Jacob sleeping.
“Ah don’t worry about him, he can’t hear a thing.” She drew near her brother, clapping her hands near his ear. He shifted his position, still asleep like an infant.
“I’m mistaken,” Jacqueline covers her mouth for her laugh. She inserts her letter in the envelope.
“Would you like me to send that to the post office?” The twin insisted.
“Oh thank you, Evie,” she hands her the letter, seeing a smile on her lips as she read Grayson’s name. “Are you doing anything today?”
“I will have to check up on the asylum—it’s closing.”
The redhead glimpse at her sleeping partner “Because of Elliotson?”
“I suppose—you look glum I must say. Quiet as well.”
“Pfft, don’t worry about me… I mean it has been a long time since I’ve last seen my uncle’s face.” She admits, recalling his height—towering over her. His scars blended his cheeks in a pink flesh tone. One of them crinkles as he smiled, the last of his expression when he left her at Whitechapel. The grays in his once dark hair, all dressed in tones of grays and blacks with a hint of red.
Evie sits next to her friend, incling her head below the assassination wall “I don’t blame you if you miss him.”
“Vastly—I want him to come back and we can forget about our differences in the Creed. I want him to know I’m not the person who was afraid to kill one man. To meet you and your brother—though he did not want to. I wonder if he actually wanted me to do his own work so I can learn on my own.”
“What made you have those impressions?” Evie held her hand, blue eyes gazing at her.
“Harris and Persephone, the Templars Jacob and I went after last time.” Jacqueline squeezes her hand momentarily “They called him a coward—third time I’ve been told that word. It changed my views about Grayson, perhaps he wanted a break.” Jacqueline bows her head, red curls falling over. “If your father… is still here, he would’ve stayed no matter what happened in the ambush!”
Evie creased her brows, placing her other hand on her ally’s trembling palm. “Perhaps—I do not know Grayson well. Father did have a huge impact on his life, losing someone close can cause anyone to be broken.”
“It broke him. I’ve seen his eyes, listened to his sobs—Evie it was the day I knew he was not the same radiant man anymore. Grayson became sadistic, enjoying the pain from the Templars he killed.” Jacqueline chewed her bottom lip, pondering about the benefits for his disappearance. No frets, safe from the violence in London. “Maybe it’s for the best… He was after the Piece of Eden, perhaps it’s better for him to be out of this madness.”
“You do not want him to suffer more, correct?”
“Exactly, I told Jacob I cannot bring him back to London. Grayson wanted ME to do this on my own—look at me now.”
Evie clasps her hand to reveal the affection she has for Jacqueline, gesticulating her agreement. “You’re a fighter, improving so much in our training. My brother is even impressed for someone else to fight as lethal as him.”
A small grin appears on the redhead’s lips “Kind of you to say, Evie… However, I don’t fight like you Assassins.”
“You will soon, you’re a quick learner. The Rooks did not expect someone to beat them in a few seconds. Oliver always compliments your style.”
Jacqueline’s grin grew, blue and green irises staring back at her friend.
“Thank you.” She lunged forward to wrap her arms around Evie’s neck, snuggling against her neck with her hair in the way. The twin chuckles, patting her back with care.
“Evie!” Ephraim shouts, running inside the train car. The girls pull away from their embrace, viewing the romantic standing in front.
“I apologize for causing a scene with Green… will you forgive me?” He asked, tucking his hands behind his back.
She rises, pacing towards him “Before I do that… Henry was trying to get you more involved with the history of the Brotherhood. He was acting rather polite with his recommendation .”
Jacqueline swallowed a lump in her throat, apprehending Ephraim had gone berserk to Green once again.
“My apologies once again—I promised not to do it once more.” Ephraim intertwined his fingers, placing his hands near his lips.
Evie rests her features “I forgive you Mister Scott—we need your kindness in this journey.” She expressed with her delight. “I best go to Lambeth now.”
“Oh wait! Ephraim can join along if he wants? Maybe to make up his past actions?” Jacqueline raised a shoulder.
“Stick by the mission, that’s all I have to say.” The twin smirked. Ephraim glance to his redheaded friend, earning an instant wink from her.
His heart began to race “Yes, shall we?”
She beckons him to follow as he hides his enthusiasm behind those scarlet tinted cheeks.
After the two left, Jacob lets out a loud snore—coughing as his cap drops from his chest. Jacqueline took it in her hands, observing what he always wears during their missions. Dusting off the hat and placing it on her clump of curls.
“Nice sense of fashion you got, Frye,” she chuckles, passing it back to the sluggish twin.
“Is that a compliment?” he groans, managing to sit up, swinging his legs off the couch. “You’re always wearing that buttoned up shirt and maroon coat.”
“We’re not impressing the Queen,” She joked “Well, what’s next? It’s been a while since we haven’t killed another target.”
“Aren’t you the brains here?” Jacob teased, receiving an eye roll from the ally.
“Jackie!” Henrietta called while closing into the car, clutching on the ledge from the movement of the train. “Is there more whiskey? I think I accidentally smelled peroxide.” She asked, holding the neck of a small bottle.
Her little sister shakes her head in amusement, rising to walk to her “Below the bottles of beer, next to the large bottle of gin. Oh, let me take that, in case of future injuries.” She smiled, holding the small bottle fitting in her two palms.
“Oh thank you! By the way, where’s Rum?”
“Out for his honeymoon.” Jacob joked, avoiding eye contact.
“He’s with Evie,” Jacqueline corrected, watching her sister nod and leaves to the pub car.
The redhead turns to face Jacob, cocking a brow “What?” She asked.
“She’s acting nice now?”
“She apologized to me yesterday for her misconduct.”
The twin pursed his lips, slapping his palms on his thighs “Tell me, is she always kind before?”
Jacqueline’s lips parted, stepping forward without a hurry. “Henrietta was always someone you should not mess with, I’ve learned when I was little.” She spoke, “She always took care of me and would play rough.”
“How? She hit you?”
“She wrestled me, but I was a little girl who enjoys wearing dresses. I would argue no, instead she’ll push me in the mud as my mother and father would become enraged.” Jacqueline fiddles with her curls “She loves pushing people’s buttons—fought them to feel some sort of power. I always thought she’s just messing around! Suppose I’m wrong.”
Jacob drew his brows together “What did your parents do to her?”
“They punished her… So much. I remember my mother gave her a beating I’ll never forget, Henrietta still made her angry and that’s why my father sent her to Nothern England. I told them she will change—they always doubted me.”
“Your parents hated her… Don’t they?”
“I can tell from their stress and vexation. I knew they were tired of caring for her and I needed to take her in under my care. I didn’t want to leave her back at Kent without hope.”
Jacob exhales through his nose “She’s your older sister, she should be taking care of you.”
“I should be making sure she’s stable enough to keep on living. One day she’ll learn.”
“You did too much for her, where’s her gratitude?”
“I don’t need gradi—”
“No! She’s a bully, I don’t trust her at the slightest from what I saw in her.”
Jacqueline frowns “I can’t do anything about it—you sound like my uncle. Not once he had a good bond with her.”
“Maybe he has a reason why, don’t you realize?” Jacob narrowed his eyes “Evie and I would get into arguments but not to the point of killing each other… I care about her a lot.” He admitted, cheeks heating as he was uncomfortable exposing his affection towards his sister. The only family he has left.
“I love Henrietta as much as you love your sister. I can’t leave her out in the curb, you wouldn’t do that to Evie?”
“No. She never gave me a black eye nor abused me.”
Jacqueline sucked in her teeth, shaking her head in a brisk “I forgave her anyway! She’s still learning to become a better person.”
Jacob grinds his clenched jaw, speaking “You love her—I don’t see that coming back to you. You deserve better!”
Jacqueline boggles as her lips parted—words stuck in her throat. Jacob is an arrogant and cocky man, however, she observes he can be altruistic. He cares about me… damn it, Harlow.
“Perhaps I’m wrong? But I won’t let anyone lay a hand on my partner.” He smirked as he reaches over to tap her shoulder in a gentle manner.
She smiles, patting his hand “How did we end up in this discussion?”
“Our boredom of course!” Jacob laughed, leaning back on his couch. “We’re looking out for each other aren’t we?”
Without hesitation “Yes we are.” She smirked at the Assassin.
Jacob slaps his palms against his thighs “Since we have nothing to do, let’s take a stroll around London.”
“To a pub? Blighter’s stronghold?”
“Change of plans, we’re going to a prizefighting ring!”
“What? You really want to get yourself into a brawl?”
“To win prizes, Jackie.” He waves his hand slowly across her face.
She chuckles, shoving the bottle of peroxide inside her leather bag she missed taking “I’ll take this in case. Gauzes…” She muttered the list of items she kept.
“Shall we?” Jacob asked, rising upright.
“Let’s get a move on.” Jacqueline's heart beats again, clutching against her chest. Recalling the words Jacob said towards her. She used the back of her hand to cool down her cheeks, wondering if she’s, in fact, falling for the assassin.
London — Lambeth: Lambeth Asylum
Ephraim and Evie made their way in the path to the asylum. Goosebumps travel on his skin chills going through his spine.
“It’s so quiet.” He commented, listening to a small chuckle behind Evie’s smirk.
“It is night time. I thought you would go to pubs at this hour?”
“Not used of going to a hospital with an Assassin.” He shrugged.
Clara was near the entrance, forearm against the wall. Harking the approaching footsteps, fixing her posture as the two were in front of her.
“Miss Frye and um…?”
“Ephraim Scott, nice to meet you.” He sticks out his hand, the child places her hand by her side.
“I’m sorry, but what a pleasant surprise to see you.” she stares away from the two.
“We wanted to check up on the asylum, what brings you here?” Evie raised a brow, watching the girl’s maintaining balance.
“The children in my care have been falling ill. Our usual tonics aren't working. I came to—” A cough interrupted her.
“Are you feeling alright?” Ephraim crouch to her height level, brows creasing.
“Of course, Mister…”
“Clara!” Evie catches the young girl in her in her arms.
Ephraim placed a hand on her forehead “My god, she’s burning.”
“Is there a doctor nearby?” The twin called, the two expecting a sense of tranquility.
The doors open, a woman with a small smile appears “Bring her inside.”
Evie hurries to place Clara on the cot with caution, Ephraim helps by adjusting the pillow below her head. He remembers a time when a cousin of his fallen ill at the age of five—it lasted for so many months. No updates were heard after those weeks of silence.
“She simply collapsed?” The woman asked, holding onto Clara’s hand.
“Yes, she said the others took tonic, but it didn't work,” Evie replied.
“I should think not! Ever since Elliotson was murdered, the district has been overrun with counterfeit tonics.”
“Elliotson? Didn’t—” Evie shushed Ephraim, slightly shaking her head as the nurse places her hand on Clara’s forehead. He reminds himself the image of Elliotson on the wall whenever he passes by Jacob’s car.
“This one needs proper care, but without the appropriate medication, she and the others will quickly decline.” The woman declared.
“What do you need?” Evie asked.
“I need supplies, plenty of them. And medicine. Some of the less common ingredients are being stolen and sold at auction.”
“We’d be happy to help.” The twin gestures to her ally.
The lady passes a sheet of paper, saying “Here’s the list, Miss?”
“Frye, Evie Frye and this is Ephraim Scott.”
The blue-eyed man gives a slight bow, feeling rather respected. Pondering if the twins and the Assassin’s are always gaining their admiration.
“I’m Miss Nightingale, how do you do? Please hurry we don’t have enough time.”
The duo nodded as they left the asylum, hurrying down the stairs.
“I thought Elliotson was a Templar?” Ephraim asked, unbuttoning his jacket in order to run freely.
“Jacob and Jacqueline may not know the consequences of his death, damn it. We’ll have to ignore that and save Clara.”
“Will this involve any killing, Evie?” The ally jumped on the carriage, while Evie sat by him.
“Of course not… Just stay behind if we end up seeking trouble.”
London — Southwark
The train jerks forward as it made its stop in Waterloo Station. Pulling back, Jacqueline stood from the floor and smiles as she glances at the familiar station she will go every time with her uncle.
“Waterloo Station… Southwark! Oh how missed this place.” She beams as Jacob tilts his head in confusion.
“A bunch of wandering people I see.”
“Cute.” She sneered.
The two exit the station—the sense of peace fulfill the redhead. Her home borough, missing the streets and seeing the familiar faces around.
“My uncle and I know most of these fellows,” Jacqueline said as she weaves by a woman with children.
“A few—most know me as that redhead! ”
Jacob snickers “Hm, I thought they’ll call you based on your heterochromia, or whatever you have.” He gestures to his own eyes.
“You’re close enough to see my eye color—I mean look at this clump of curls and frizz.” She bounces her hair with her hands.
“Cute.” He mocked, she punches his arm as he did it back. The two repeating their frisky actions as a man scoffs in front of them.
“Enough! What are you two? Children?”
Jacqueline and Jacob exchanged faces “You tell us, old man.” The brash twin smirked, shrugging from his cocky response.
The man marches away, both holding back their chortles as they reach to the factory. A sign hanging above the two, Foundry Steel Production Area. Jacqueline peers the fight ahead, the crowd circled around the ring. The noise of machines and melted metal did not affect the viewers at all. Their eyes are all on the brawlers.
Sweat dripping, blood-shedding, the two men did not stop until they knock one of them out. Women were shouting insults at the opponents, a couple of children sat by the stair railings to have a better view. Spectators cheering if one of the fighters pull off a sneaky move.
A man dressed in vivid clothing turns around, he shoves the men in front to run towards Jacob.
“M’Lord! Good to have you back!” He tipped his top hat to the twin—however, he laid eyes on Jacqueline.
“I believe we never met M’Lady?” He holds her hand.
“Jacqueline Harlow, please to meet you.” She giggles as he kisses her hand.
“Name’s Robert Topping, I see you’re friends with one of the best fighters in London.”
“Best fighters?” She turns to his partner who gives a sly smirk.
“Oh yes!” He wraps an arm around the redhead “That man always give a spectacular show! I was hoping you arrive, it was getting a bit boring." His finger coils around one of Jacqueline's red curls "Perhaps you could get some recognition, M’Lady.”
“Enough flirting—lead me to the ring.” Jacob takes off his cap, tugging Robert away from his partner.
“On it, these men are hungry for another challenger!” The bookie pointed, directing the twin to the ring as he took off his coat.
“Want me to hold it?” The Jacqueline asked.
“Certainly.” He hands over his jacket, soon unbuttoning his vest and shirt as Jacqueline observes his bareback. Face tinting in scarlet, covering her mouth as she sees the small scars and scratches. The small number of freckles were shown, muscles sculpted so gracefully.
“Are you distracted?” Jacob asked, wrapping the gauzes around his knuckles and palms.
“What?” She shakes her head “No! Go on and have fun.” She snatches his shirt.
“Who wants to take on this fine gentleman?” Topping announced, Jacob enters inside—listening to the shouts of the spectators waiting for their next round of entertainment.
A brave opponent joins, aiming a swing at the twin. Jacob easily dodges the attempt as he grabs his arm and bashes his head, hit his knee against his torso and directing his knee against his face. More challengers advance once they saw his brutal finale.
Jacqueline hugs onto his clothing, witnessing every hit he laid on the bruisers.
“M’Lady, he is astonishing in the ring!” Topping propped his chin on his palm, releasing a breathy sigh.
“I will have to agree, Mister Topping.”
“Mhm, although his twin sister breaks so many arms!” Topping wrapped his arm around the redhead, “You’re lucky to view such talent on the streets of London.”
Jacob grunts as he flips his opponent behind his back, stomping on his chest to keep him down.
“You’re doing great, Frye!” The redhead called.
A man with a shirt and suspenders hops in, cracking his knuckles as Jacob wipe away the blood from his nose. Jacqueline scrutinizes one of his hand reach behind his pocket. Immediately, she widened her eyes, screaming “Jacob watch out!”
The twin leans back, the knife swiping left and right. He grabs his armed wrist, receiving a thrash across his face. Jacob grunts as the man lash out the weapon, slitting on his rib area.
“No!” Jacqueline attempts to jump while Topping holds her back in a brisk.
“He knows what he’s doing.”
“That man has a knife!”
“M’Lady look!” Topping directed as Jacqueline breathes heavily, squeezing his coat in her arms.
“That’s all you got, boy?!” The man mocked as Jacob’s hisses from the cut, hunching slightly.
The man thrust the knife forward, Jacob seizes his wrist once more—twisting his arm behind his back to the point the man lets go of his blade. The noise of bones splintering had the audience cheer louder than usual.
The opponent drops to his knee, not expecting a kick to the face. The redhead swore she heard more bones shattering from his jolt.
Topping lets go of Jacqueline, running towards the twin.
“Ladies and Gentleman, our new champion!” He announced, hoisting Jacob’s arm in pride. The redhead could only sigh in relief, beaming as Jacob put on his teasing grin. Glad to see that damn smile.
“How’s that cut, M’lord?” Topping questioned.
“Oh, wonderful! At least for the crowd.” Jacob sneered, placing his hand on top, trudging to his partner.
“You’re bleeding,” She places her fingers on his jaw to cheek on the small wound on his cheek, his bloody nose.
“Sit, let me take look at your cut,” Jacqueline muttered, having to crouch as Jacob had the walls of the ring as his support for his back.
“How bad is it doctor?”
“Hilarious.” She raises his arm for a better view, “You won’t be needing stitches, fortunately, just quick clean up.” Her hand grabs the peroxide and rag from her bag, pouring a small amount.
“Deep breaths,” Jacqueline reminded, patting the substance on his wound. To the slit on his cheek, his bloody nose did not continue its trail.
“How I do by the way?” Jacob barely flinches when she pressed the soaked rag against his body.
The redhead reveals the bandages she had in her bag “Well, you were about to disappoint everyone but you sure did a comeback.” She wraps the gauzes around his chest to secure his wound.
“You were worried about me huh?”
“O’course I was! We can’t save London without you—or your sister will kill me no doubt.” She stops as she made sure the strips of cloth were tight.
“Besides, I always worry when I see my uncle fighting with many at once. Even Henrietta would like a brawl with men and women at the pub. She gave one a scrape from the pavement, wherever that woman is now—that’s how she remembers my sister by.”
Jacob whistles “That’s rough Jackie.”
“You were breaking arms, Jacob. I think you can relate to her.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
“He stabbed him there?”
“Makes them weaker, ugh.” Jacqueline shudders as they made their way to their home, both seeing Ephraim and Evie sitting at the table.
“Jacob, Jacqueline—we both visited the asylum and realize the consequences you have caused to the sick in London. Clara was ill and we had to run and save the stolen supplies.”
The two exchanged faces, the redhead places her hand up to speak “Evie—Elliotson was behind the Soothing Syrup and we both stopped it for a good cause.”
“The consequences Jacqueline.” Ephraim uttered “The outcome! The chaos you two have caused, Mister Harlow taught you better than this!” He frowned, earning a quizzical expression from his friend.
“Listen, Scott, he was killing many with his poisonous medicine. We were not the cause for the stolen supplies.” Jacob explained, crossing his arms.
“We know, but you two should think twice once you kill your targets, it could bring a reckless result to the people. Not for our benefits.” Evie concluded.
Jacqueline pinched her lips together, her uncle taught her to think twice, but never knew Elliotson’s death would make it… worse. For the people of London, the problem has gone overboard with disadvantages.
Jacob pursed his lips, avoiding an argument as he faces his partner “I’ll see you tomorrow Jackie.” He pats her shoulder and heads to his room.
“Goodnight,” she puts on a fake smile for Ephraim and Evie, leaving the kitchen and goes to her bedroom. Plopping on her bed, the sheets muffling her groans. Ephraim is trying to impress Evie by thinking he knows what’s better for this city.
Her goal with Jacob is to save London from Starrick’s hands… She inquires more deep impressions for future encounters.
London — Train Hideout
The day after, Jacqueline had trouble falling asleep—the outcome Elliotson’s death has caused was intriguing. Where did we go wrong?!
“A letter, for me?” Jacob asked—the redhead blink her way back to reality. He opens the message, reading the handwriting.
“What does it say?”
“Pearl Attaway is Starrick’s competitor… I think we should get into business with her.” He smirked, folding the letter.
“That’s ridiculous… Count me in.”
“There we go!” Jacob grasps onto her forearm as she corresponds to his gesture.
“Both of you have to be careful,” Evie takes the letter from her brother’s hand.
“O’course, what will you be your plans?” He questioned.
“I was hoping to go to a monument from what I found last time in Kenway’s secret room.”
“More fun for us then.” Jacob gestures to his partner.
“Wait did you took off the bandages?”
“Obvious answer, I got a new clean scar.”
“And you’re proud of it?” They glared at each other for a brisk second—both breaking into laughter. Evie regards their humor, rolling her eyes playfully.
“Psst! Evie, can we talk?” Ephraim whispered.
The twin nods as she approaches the blue-eyed man, crossing her arms “Yes?”
“Do you really trust your brother to work with Jacqueline?”
“Besides his relentless behavior, I’m sure she has no problem working with him. She knows how to fight and is improving each day.”
“You know we can both take care of these missions… You’re wise and I’m mature about these types of situations.”
Evie laughs, leaning against the edge of the wall “Ephraim, you got yourself in a goose chase by Thorne’s men.”
“I still outrun them." He chuckled "I think we should at least leave this Piece of Eden aside and have Jacob and Jacqueline at home doing nothing.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree—Jacob will learn eventually, he follows the Creed. Jacqueline has all the knowledge she needs from her uncle and her journal. After all, they agree to kill Starrick's associates.”
Ephraim blew out his cheeks, pinching the bridge of his nose “Right… What now for our adventure?”
“Find out what the monument has for us.”
Chapter 14: Lounge Act
London – Train Hideout
“Jacqueline’s training must be taken care of first, we’ll have to put the monument aside.” Evie declared, earning a clutch on her arm. Ephraim bites his lip—fail to recall his words. The urge to complete another mission with her—without the presence of Henry.
“What?” Evie asked, tilting her head.
He shakes his head “Nothing, I dozed off.”
She raises a brow, snickering under her breath as they walk back to Jacqueline and Jacob, skimming through Archie Dawn’s notes.
“Dawn is always at Lambeth, due to his sister’s resting place. He should be at Whitechapel—Grayson told me he was raised there.”
“Francis Reid, another man Freddy is looking for. Maybe he knows the exact location?”
“You’re right! Come on.” The redhead sprint as Evie held her back by grabbing her blouse.
She tugs her gently to face her “Hang on, we still have to train you on the cane.”
“Hm—change of plans Jacob.”
“Oh goodie, Evie’s favorite part of training—the cane sword.” Jacob sneered, pulling his weapon off his couch. He hauls it apart, exposing the hidden knife and reveals the scythe blade.
Jacqueline plants her hands on her hips “It’s a lovely design—I would not blame Evie for using such beauty and lethality.” She picks up Grayson’s cane sword below the assassination wall, caressing the texture.
“You’re very mesmerized in every weapon”
“I thank Grayson, of course.”
Evie steps in “We should get going, our stop is nearing up.” She peers over her shoulder “Are you coming, Ephraim?”
“Yes, to observe how Jacqueline improves.” He goes to wrap an arm around his friend, scraping his knuckles onto her red curls.
“Oh, we know why you’re really coming.” Jacob leans over, his teasing grin appearing.
Ephraim lets go of Jackie—narrowing his eyes at the twin. “I’m simply accompanying the three of you.”
“For a special someone,” He pinched his cheek, Ephraim immediately grabs his wrist.
“Touch me again, I’ll fight you.” He snarled in a whisper—blue eyes boring through Jacob’s hazel irises. The twin cocks a brow, no fear clouded his impressions—however, the bewilderment grew.
Last night the two haven’t spoken to each other as Jacob wanted to sleep. He expected another nightly chat, but instead, it was silent.
Feisty over my sister, hm? Jacob thought as his wrist was released from Ephraim, leaving the train as it stops.
London — Lambeth
The four approach inside the Rook’s new hangout—Echo Street Alley, an old Blighter’s stronghold. Most of them turn their heads to the incomers, greeting the twins and giving a tip of their hats to Jacqueline.
“Miss Harlow and the Frye twins! Glad to see you fellows again!”
“You as well, Mister Thaxter.” She grinned, pulling Oliver into an embrace.
“Jacob, I’ll take care of the training for the first hour and a half,” Evie said, tugging her cane out.
The twin gesticulates his agreement “What should I do while you two are busy?” He asked his partner.
“Here’s my journal, I trust you can keep it safe away from danger.” She passes the notebook to her partner.
Jacob cocks a brow, without a hurry, grabbing her book with discretion. His thumb brushes against the leather, recalling the information of Templars were all in his hands.
“I want you to find Francis Reid, get some information about Dawn.” Jacqueline explained, “If possible, see if he can confess anything about Eleanor Taylor.”
“I’ll see what I can do—go, my sister’s waiting for you.” Jacob gave a quick tap on her shoulder, running off as a few of the Rooks stood to watch him leave their territory.
Jacqueline sighs, a risk to give her own data to someone else but her uncle. Jacob knew better not to lose a valuable item, a possession Starrick cannot keep.
“He probably dropped it by now,” Ephraim said, plopping next to the Rooks sitting on the crates.
“False, he protects anything and anyone.” Jacqueline simpers, facing away from her friend.
The brash twin weaves through the men and women of Lambeth—earning stares as he smirks from their attraction. He opens the journal, reading through the organized notes.
Thumbing the pages as he managed to spot the many targets Grayson was after. Most of them were on Henry’s bounty hunt list—some were Frederick’s.
He made his way to a wall of a store, leaning his back against as he peruses Francis Reid’s information. The picture of his squared jaw head, bags under his eyes and the vast cuts on his features. He owns a business in Lambeth, Jackie wrote, The Magdala Tavern—Archie would go there to have a free drink and informed Reid to join the Templars to expand his business.
“I always wanted a free drink.” He muttered, pressing the open notebook against his chest.
Reid was a man Grayson met before, anticipating a moment to defend himself from Archie’s false accusations for not saving Debbie. Francis did not negotiate, his business was the only thing in mind. Without Dawn, he was out of luck.
He should be in his pub most of the time, my uncle claims to hear his loud laughter five feet away from his establishment. If we’re lucky, Archie should be there. Unless he’s hiding in the bedrooms of his inn.
Jacob finds his way to the Magdala Tavern, opening the doors and entering inside without a concern. He detects the bartender behind the bar cleaning a mug—a smile appear on his face as the twin approach.
“Ah, a new face around here! Beer?”
“Of course,” Jacob smirked, taking his seat. Turning his head both ways, he deposits the journal on his lap. Reading through Jacqueline’s words about Dawn’s alliance with the Creed.
Debbie needed him more, she was alone as a Blighter shot her. No remorse, no justice. My uncle would have given his life to find the man that killed Debbie, he was his close friend. Way before he met Ethan. I wish I had the stomach to tell him Grayson is not a hero nor a vigilante. Idiotic for a man to join the Order who are associated with the gang who killed his sister.
“What a rat.” Jacob clenched his jaw, flipping more pages to read Jacqueline’s entries about Dawn.
Whispers were heard, harking to heavy but slow footsteps inching his way. A large and bulky man, hair slicked back as a stubble shows the grays of his face. Clean scars reveal, almost resembling aging leather. He sat next to the twin, forearms slammed on top of the bar.
“Here you go young man,” the bartender slides the pint of beer to Jacob.
The man beside him gave a raspy chuckle “You’re not allowed here, boy.”
Jacob takes his beverage “I don’t see a do not enter sign.” He gulps down the beer, tilting the pint.
The man curled his lip, raising his finger at the bartender “Cocky, I never seen such arrogance from a young fellow. Usually, I would beat the shit out of a boy whoever disrespects me.”
“Have you?” Jacob holds back a belch “Do tell me a story about your mistreatment towards children. How about the one when you went in a brothel and beat up a lady in 1866?”
He slams his hand on the surface, the twin did not react in fear “How D'ya know?!”
“Let’s say I know someone.”
The man scrutinized at the journal lying on Jacob’s lap, furrowing his brows.
“I’ve seen that notebook before.” Reid snarls, receiving his drink as the bartender takes back his hand quickly.
He stays silent, chugging the last of his beer “Nosy aren’t you?”
“Listen!” He grabs Jacob’s arm—he slid out his hidden blade in a brisk second.
A couple of the Blighters noticed, Reid raised his palm to signal them to stay back.
“I know whose book is that!”
“Grayson Harlow’s niece! The one with the green and blue eyes, she has large clumps of red curly hair. Always by her uncle’s side.” He releases the assassin’s arm, spotting Jacob hiding the journal inside his coat.
“Francis Reid, I presume?”
“She sent you, didn’t she? Too scared to face me?”
“Oh, she’s not afraid, just training to kill Templars with my sister.”
“I thought she grew out from her cowardly phase—you're protecting your little lover?” Reid taunted.
Jacob chew onto his cheeks “None of your—”
“You’re falling for her, eh? I wouldn’t blame you to have such a striking lady every night.”
“Tell me where’s Archie Dawn!” He ignores his question, standing from his seat.
“Touched a nerve? That’s right, you won’t admit that you do fancy her. Not wanting to die young by her uncle’s blade.”
“Leave her out of this, if you don’t tell me where Dawn is—I’ll handle you myself.”
“I’ll tell ya, only if you give the lady over for one night!” Francis cackled, slapping the table as their cups vibrate.
Jacob rolls his eyes revolting bastard. Fists trembling, he lashes out by punching Reid—the presence of another man seizing him. He thrashes him with his elbow, yanking out the kukri and stabbing Reid’s blouse against the table top.
“Get em!” He shouted, struggling to haul the blade off his shirt.
Jacob threw his chair on top of a Blighter’s back, walking towards to another advancing man who swipes a piece of glass in his hand.
He blocks the hit with his arm, bashing his head against his. Reid widened his eyes as Jacob grabs the enemy’s coat—lifting him to collide his body against the table. Attentive to the splintered wood, the Blighter writhing below the assassin.
“Don’t stand there! Kill him!” Francis shouted.
The Blighters back away, a few shaking their heads as Jacob glared at the men. He marches to retrieve his kukri, dragging Reid to the exit.
“Some other time gentleman?” The twin joked, heaving the Templar outside with his arm behind his back.
“Let go, I’ll tell you!”
Jacob narrows his grip, advancing towards a nearby carriage—slamming him against the door.
Fingers clinging on his shirt “Tell me.” He snarled, aware of the beads of sweat on Reid’s forehead.
“Archie’s main hideout is in Lambeth. But he’s back in Whitechapel—remaking his old childhood home as a stronghold!” His voice trembles “Don’t tell him I said this, please! He’ll kill me!”
Jacob glances away—blowing out his cheeks harshly.
“You won’t see him in jail.” He hissed, tugging him aside from the door and throwing him in the vehicle. Shaking his head as he hops on the carriage, smacking the reins.
“Jackie may know where Dawn resided.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Visiting Frederick was a relief for Jacob—teasing the policeman with his humor and calling him Freddy instead of Sergeant Abberline. However, he yearns himself to return back to Whitechapel to see Jacqueline. Revealing the new information he received from Reid.
You’re falling for her, eh? He rethought of Francis’ words—the mocking tone in his voice. Jackie displayed her concern about him ever since they met, besides their rocky start about Grayson. Planting his hand on his rib area—remembering the wound she cleaned and her past expression. Petrified.
Jacob set foot in the residence home, ambling to the vacant kitchen. He yanks out the journal from his coat, sighing in relief. “I would end up dead instead of Archie.”
He places the book on the table, aware he can hear the sounds of floor creaking. No voices. “Jackie? Evie?” The girls would have been back by now unless his sister wanted to show his partner other strategies.
The door opens as Henrietta pokes her head out, gasping as she saw Jacob ahead of her. Quizzical, she rose upright while leaving her room.
“You’re looking for my sister too?”
“Yes?” The twin slurred his word, lifting a brow from her gentle advance.
Henrietta laid her eyes on the journal, taking it in her hands. Jacob’s fingers clasp together as he urges himself to seize it away.
“She’s a genius—my uncle trusted her…” She flips through the pages, a small grin appears as she caresses her fingers on the beige sheets. “Know more about the Brotherhood stuff than him.”
Jacob avoids a glimpse from her “I’ve been told.”
Henrietta passes back the notebook, with a smile reminding him of Jackie. A rare feature from her elder sister, wrinkled with frowns. Uncanny, he could not help but stare at the hothead with a solid gaze. Jacob suspected she’s not right in the head what’s her game?
“What have you been up to all day? Thought you and my sister would have another night out.”
“Finding more men associated with the Order… Nothing new.” Jacob picks on the leather of his bracer.
“As always.” She chuckled “Well Mister Frye, inform me if Jackie comes back.” Henrietta said, returning to her bedroom. Day one, she called him a bloke and an arsehole. She poked fun of Evie—his sister is practical enough to not knock her out with a kick. Jacob shakes his head from his hostile impressions, sitting with the back of the chair facing forward.
The front door opens, slumping his forearms on the cresting rail “Your sister was asking for you.”
“What sister?” Ephraim asked, carrying Grayson’s cane on his shoulder.
“Right here.” She called, entering with the baskets of food as his sister follows behind. Positioning the grocery on the table as Ephraim's hands over the cane to the brash twin.
“After training?” Jacob set the cane on the table, finger grazing along the eagle’s detailed head.
“What do you think?”
“Settle down Scott. It was a question, not a threat.” The brash twin laughed, instead no laughter was thrown upon his banter. Smirk fading away.
“And you had an obvious answer, Frye.” Ephraim slips off his coat, slinging on top of a chair.
“Um, Jacob? We saw Aleck at the market and he was wondering if you can join him for tea tomorrow?” Jacqueline asked, laying the wrapped beef on the counter. Her stomach churning as she expected an argument almost breaking out.
“Of course. He should bake some pastries while he’s at it.”
“So tell me about your day with this Templar? How was he?” Ephraim hurls out his chair, placing his foot on top.
“The details I’ve received is towards Jackie, not you.”
“Don’t be daft, I’m apart of this now—correct?”
Jacqueline raises her brow, quizzical about his change of behavior. “Not really, Grayson never told you to go after his targets. It was my responsibility in the first place to find them and keep you away from danger.”
“Yet he still assigned you, a non-assassin!”
“Watch it,” Jacob rose from his chair. Evie peers over her shoulder, her focus on her brother.
“What? I’m being truthful here—have you listened to yourself disrespecting others? Why did Evie bring you here in London?”
Jacob frowns, the heat of vexation thriving “What’s gotten into you?! We both agree to go! If we stayed back in Crawley, we wouldn’t have saved you from Kaylock!”
“Mister Harlow would! Besides, I’m sure Henry would have done a better job.” Ephraim spatted, arranging back the fallen curls as he finished his sentence.
“Boys, stop it.” Evie gritted through her teeth. Jacqueline chews onto her knuckles, heart racing.
“Tell that to him! We know the true reason why you decided to work with us.” The brash twin glances at his roommate, whispering “I thought you were better than this Ephraim. What’s going on, why are you acting like this suddenly?”
Ephraim flings his chair aside, directing to the kitchen’s counter “I’m here to teach you and Jacqueline how a real duo should take responsibility for the mess in London!”
The redhead goes between the two “Boys please, we can talk about this another day!”
“Stay out of this!” Ephraim raised his tone at his friend, who flinches from his shouts, stepping back.
“Don’t you dare yell at her! You don’t have the understanding of how the Brotherhood works! You never had the honor or training. Jackie is the only one who has our knowledge because of her uncle—until your little heart eyes on my sister got involved with our missions!”
Ephraim shoves the twin “Oh shut up! Because of Elliotson, you and your partner caused more catastrophe. Ethan Frye would have—”
“Don’t you—” Jacob lashes a fist onto his nose“—say his name!”
“Jacob!” Evie shouted.
Ephraim grunts, hissing from the pain as he pinches the bridge of his nose. Blood pumping, he squeezes as the drops of blood stain his palm. Panting—he reaches out his hand to view more of the red fluid tinting his skin.
“How dare you.” He muttered.
“Don’t victimize yourself.”
“Mister Frye! Stay away from him!” Henrietta shouted, running to her friend as spread her arms apart, protecting him as if the twin were to kill him.
“Take him to his room,” Jacqueline ordered.
“I’m not rooming with him anymore!” Ephraim choked up.
“Unbelievable, you don’t strain about Rum’s safety and here you are defending this—this child!” She flings out her arm, panting heavily.
“Enough, either one of you stays here or sleep in the train for the rest of the night.” Evie stepped in.
“I’m boarding the train, I rather not see you again!” Ephraim spatted as Henrietta drags her injured friend, the brash twin walking past his partner as she goes after him.
“Jacqueline, stay here.”
Jacob threw the door with a rasping slam, having the girls flinch from the sudden sound.
“I’ll talk to him,” The redhead pleaded.
“Let him breathe. I think it’s best to keep the two away from each other.” Evie concluded, planting the heels of her palms on the table top. Bowing her head, releasing a deep sigh.
Jacqueline dare not to say anything back—she lost Ephraim. Why would you do this? What’s going on?
A day after…
Jacqueline rubs her hands down on her face, groaning as she ponders about Ephraim’s misconduct. His love for Evie, she presumes, has become a tragedy. She rises, approaching Jacob’s bedroom door.
He was still sleeping, arms spread apart as his pillow gave him the comfort he needed. Rest is what he desired. Dozing longer than his sister, his father hated his long naps. Checking on his son to focus on his instructions.
A thump interrupted the white noise, groaning as he ignores it. Switching positions, the knock continues—repeating the reverberation of knuckles against wood.
“Jacob… It’s me, Jackie.” She said, stopping her taps.
He withdraws from his bed, trudging forward and opening the door. Ignoring his appearance by having no shirt at all—his brown hair untamed.
“Morning.” He said in a raspy voice as he rubbed his eyes.
“Hungry?” She asked, twiddling her thumbs.
“Not really, but charmed.”
“I’m—I’m sorry about him. I knew it wasn’t your fault—”
Jacob rests his forearm against the doorway “Sod it—he’s becoming worse than your sister.”
“Can’t really say.” Jacqueline toys with the cuffs of her blouse “Evie is with Aleck now, she’s told me to stay until you wake up.
Jacob gave a teasing grin “ You woke me up.”
“Oh shut up.” She laughs, placing her palm against his shoulder by giving him a playful nudge. “Get ready, I’ll wait out here.” She beamed, vacating his doorway.
Months later, she thought of, her trust grew within the twin. Her grief for her uncle has slowly departed as she became conscious of the company she has to replace her sorrow. Their benevolence and durability, alongside Ephraim’s and Henrietta’s madness in their household.
“Jackie! Reid confessed about Dawn’s location!” Jacob called from his bedroom.
Jacqueline opens her journal “Where?”
She wrote down the home next to his name—smirking as she bears in mind of Archie’s old residence. Grayson had his days to visit outside of Dawn’s home. Manifesting his views from the diversion the two had. Young kids, not displaying any sign of misery.
Jacob walks out, putting on his coat and placing his cap “How do I look?”
“The same as always Frye.” She chuckled.
London — Lambeth
Her opinion on Lambeth has changed once Elliotson was wiped away. Grayson would have agreed if he had joined the two, presuming he would be impressed by Jacob’s rational plan. Although Ephraim has conveyed his annoyance from their lack of intentions, it did not change the fact the Soothing Syrup stopped producing because of one deranged Templar.
“What does Aleck want this time?” Jacob asked.
“A serious topic we’ll have to consider.”
“What did you do?”
“Nothing, this should be about Starrick.”
Drawing near, the duo access inside the inventor’s workshop “Aleck?”
Clutters were heard, footsteps hurrying down the stairs. He greeted with open arms “Ah Jacqueline and Jacob! You made it!” He embraces the two.
“Couldn’t cancel our meeting last minute.” Jacqueline smiled, eyes squinting in glee.
“Ah yes, come—I’ve told Miss Frye a little bit from what I discovered from Starrick.” He led them upstairs, all going inside of his living room. Evie was sitting on the red armchair, legs crossed as her palm supported her chin.
“You look comfortable,” Jacob commented.
“Not as comfortable as the chair back on the train—no offense Aleck.”
“Oh, none taken Evie, sit you two.” The inventor beams as they plop on the couch. Jacqueline having herself to sink on the cushions, not bothering her as she did not enjoy any of the hardened couches she owned at Southwark.
“What did Starrick done this time? Recruit more Templars?” Jacqueline bantered.
Evie sighs, lowering her head “No, about your uncle.”
Her smile fades away, glancing at both the inventor and the fierce twin “What?” She uttered.
“Nothing happened to him. Grayson Harlow is accused of four murders, it seems like the Grand Master was discussing the issue with other men. I would say it’s all a misunderstanding.”
The redhead glimpse at Jacob, cocking his brow “Well we know it’s a scam, not all that bad?”
“No, Frederick Abberline and the policemen are searching for him as a suspect. They are after you as well, Jacqueline. Hoping to reveal his exact location, which is what the Templars want I presume.” Aleck explained further.
Her fingers reaching to her cheek as she scrapes her nails against it. Upper lip quivering “No, he must not return to such slander!”
“He won’t, not under our watch.” Evie declared.
“Whatever Starrick wants, you three have to stop it soon enough. However, there is evidence of dead bodies in Lambeth, a witness has claimed to see an older man with gray hair—wearing shades of reds and blacks. A hood on in the process.”
“That’s his description… No, someone must have dressed up like him.” Jacqueline scraped her fingers on her thigh, grasping onto her pants.
“Agree, bastard must reveal himself soon,” Jacob said. "Whoever he is, he must be under the protection of the Order."
“It's a possibility since he matches Grayson’s account. We’ll see what we can do.” Evie concluded, rising from her seat.
Jacqueline gesticulate her agreement, “Yes, but we cannot let that stop from our upcoming tasks…” She exhales through her nose, making her way to Aleck and hugs him tightly. He responds with an embrace and with a grin.
“Awful news, but thank you for telling us.” She leans back from his shoulder, balancing onto her toes and gives a quick peck on the cheek.
Jacob felt a nudge against his rib, the corner of Evie’s lips forming into a sly smirk.
“Alright let’s go.” He leaves as he pats Aleck on the back “We’ll meet again soon, Mister Bell.”
“Anytime! Good luck to all of you.” He said his farewell, rubbing onto his rosy cheek.
Departing his home, Jacob grits his jaw—unexpected of Jacqueline’s affection towards the young inventor. “Such a flirt aren’t you?”
Jacqueline flushes, shaking her head “It was merely a friendly kiss and hug. What were you thinking?”
“Oh, I saw that pleased expression he had and how you squeezed him.”
“More accusations from Mister Jacob Frye! Detective of London!” Jacqueline bantered, spreading her arms out.
“You sound jealous brother.” Evie joins in their witty exchange.
“Oh shut up.” He punches his sister’s arm as they break into laughter. Prodding her elbow onto her flustered brother.
Chapter 15: Prime Mover
London — City of London
Gladys Harris is gone I see? You have done well, perhaps you do work better with Ethan’s son. I’m proud of you and your courage. Ephraim… that boy better straighten himself up before I come over there. As for your sister… I can’t say much about her. I do want you to focus on your missions with the twins, don’t let your family get inside of your head. This is for the people of London and the honor I fail to preserve for the Brotherhood.
Sincerely, your Uncle Grayson.
Jacqueline tucks the letter inside her coat pocket. Aleck uncovering the accusations made her worry about Grayson, the anxiety growing inside of her. Fingers running through her hair, clutching onto the roots as she had the urge to pull.
“Jackie?” Jacob asked, finish loading his revolver.
She lets go of her hair, beaming at the twin “Hm?”
“You seem stressed.”
Jacqueline shakes her head “Could have been the lack of sleep I had last night.”
“Are you sure?”
She pursed her lips, astounded by her partner’s fret. Well, tell him? “Very. I see you got a new present from Abberline.” She gestures to his gun. Or not.
“Freddy’s a charmer.” He chuckled, closing one eye as he peers through the inside of the firearm.
“I’m not the only one who’s mesmerized by a weapon!” Jacqueline poked his arm, he rolls his eyes playfully.
“So what did your uncle say? Vacating in America?”
“If only, he wrote about his pride towards our success for Harris’ death. I should write about Ephraim and his outburst.”
Jacob takes off his cap, brushing it off “Grayson would have punched him in the nose if he used my father’s name against him.”
“Agree. But I don’t think a punch in the nose will satisfy my uncle. He’ll do worse, trust me.”
“Stabbing them where it hurts?”
“Or hang em from the gallows.” She shuddered, recalling what Grayson has done to torture some of the Templars to speak. “Now where’s Miss Pearl Attaway?”
“Here, where else?” Jacob laughs as she clasps his hand to haul him upright from his seat.
“I’m sure she’s nearby, I don’t know an exact location Harlow.”
The two head down together through the alleys as Jacqueline kept an eye out, remembering she does not know the woman’s appearance “How does she look like Jacob?”
“About your height, dark hair and is seen with a purple gown.” He described, scratching his beard as he spoke. Weaving past a drunken couple, then climbing over a brick wall.
“She could be anywhere with that color.” Jacqueline followed, hopping down as they find themselves smelling smoke.
A few people scurried past the duo, some holding onto their children. A couple of them mentioned a fire, Jacob witnessed the smoke fuming in the sky. They followed until they reached to the destination of the burning omnibus, flames flickering as a few orange glints flew around. A woman dressed in royal violet, arms crossed as her brows were drawn together. Cursing to herself, not ignoring the scorched vehicle.
“Miss Attaway,” Jacob called, Jacqueline assume it is the woman they are searching for. Her same height—a gown in a vibrant color no one else in London can afford.
“Yes, may I—?” She faces the two, pausing as the twin gave a slight grin “Oh, splendid, you're here to murder me.”
“I what?” Jacob asked, exchanging expressions to the redhead.
“No matter, everyone has a price.” She digs through the pocket of her dress, revealing a coin “Is this enough?”
The twin held her wrist, lowering it “I’m not here to kill you.”
“Then what’s your game?”
“Mister Starrick and the Millner Company have blocked your ambitions long enough. We have a business proposition for you.” Jacob explained as Jacqueline gesticulate her agreement.
Pearl relaxed her features, the corner of her lips turning into a smile “Wonderful! Come with me, we have much to discuss, Mister…”
“Jacob Frye, at your service.” He grabbed her hand.
“Truer words were never spoken!” She smirked.
The redhead extend her arm “Jacqueline Harlow, delighted to meet you, Miss Attaway!”
“It is great to have two of you to help, come along now we have work to do.” She ignores Jackie’s advance, retrieving her hand in shame.
“If you'd be so kind as to take the reins?” Pearl asked as she manages to climb on top of the bus. Jacqueline followed as she settles on her seat, twiddling her thumbs. Bewilderment growing to the extent of Attaway’s encounter.
The vehicle begins to move, the redhead has never been on an omnibus, although she did enjoy the higher view of the roads.
“You must understand, I've received threats against my life. Malcolm Millner has all but waged war on me since Mr. Starrick bought out his company. And, no offense, I hope, but you do look the killing type.” Pearl rest her arms on the rails, lips turn into a sly simper.
“I doubt I shall ever recover from such a slight.” Jacob joked.
“He gets that a lot,” Jacqueline interfered.
“What, then, is your interest in my redemption, Mister Frye?”
“Jacob and I sense an opportunity that will benefit us all.” The redhead concluded.
“Do you?” She props her chin on her palm, not glimpsing at Jackie but at her partner—who was not peering at the businesswoman.
“Is that so hard to believe?”
“Whatever your intentions, it will be quite the tonic to strike back against Millner and Starrick. I have worked like a trooper to make Attaway Transport what it is today. I will not allow anyone to bring me to ruin.” She ogles the twin with a seductive stare.
Jackie interrupts the two “Miss Attaway? I would like to say you have a beautiful necklace.”
“Why thank you, other women seem to be… jealous of my appeals.”
Jealous, oh I’m not… “It is beautiful to their eyes.” She puts on a fake grin, fists gripping as she did not enjoy her new ally having an inviting attitude to Jacob. Oh, come on maybe that’s her personality… correct?
A horse neighs in the distance, a carriage striking between vehicles as it speeds its way to an omnibus ahead.
“That’s one of Millners!” Pearl shouted, grabbing onto the bars.
“Hang on Miss Attaway, Jacob keep on driving while I get this man!” Jacqueline tugs out her revolver, slipping bullets in the rest of the sockets as she furrowed her brows at the destructive driver.
“I can’t lose another bus!” The businesswoman exclaimed.
“You won’t.” Jacqueline reaches out her arm, pulling the trigger as the bullet made its way across. Hitting the man in the head—collapsing as the mare kept sprinting.
“One there!” Jacob shouted, smacking the reins repeatedly.
Jacqueline closes one eye, keeping her balance as she threw a shot. Hitting the target’s shoulder—another darting on the side of his cheek.
She heeds to the ‘thud’ from the distance, grinning in satisfaction.
“Good work Jackie!” Jacob high fives his companion, both laughing as he hauls back the reins near Millner’s storage yard.
Pearl widened her eyes, rising on her feet to view the two executed men “You killed them, with three bullets?”
Jackie thrust her revolver back in her holster “All taught by the best in London.”
“Charmed.” Jacob sneered as she nudges her elbow against his arm.
“Well done, you have quite the skill.”
“Kind of you to say, my uncle taught me the basics when I was younger. I guess it runs in our family.” She joked, leaping from the bus as she joins Jacob glancing at Millner shouting at his men. All carrying boxes of explosives, a few were clumsy.
“Malcolm Millner, Starrick's puppet himself.” Pearl glared “He thinks he can burn my buses? Let's give him a taste of his own medicine.”
“Let's give him the whole damn bottle. We'll turn Millner's Parkesine against him. But I'll need help from my gang.”
“Such entrepreneurial instinct, Mr. Frye! I shall leave you to it.”
“Don’t worry, we both—” Jackie was hushed by the businesswoman.
“Mister Frye should take care of this alone, he’s quite the fit to do such a dangerous job. Stay safe Miss Harlow.” Pearl smiles as she walks away with a sway of her hips.
She tilts her head, lips parting as she had no words. Attaway is a quizzical woman, more fascinated by Jacob than her.
“Pfft, come on. We’ll do this together.” Jacob held out his hand. Jacqueline stares at it, biting her lip.
She held it with a smirk on “Let’s. So what’s the plan?”
“Take care of those guards together?”
“Let’s see what Evie’s teachings can lead me through.”
London — Train Hideout
Ephraim enters the train as he approaches Evie’s car “Afternoon.”
Evie glances, giving a small and sincere grin. Not forgetting the occurrence he had with her brother, using her father’s name against him. She maintains focus on her reading, not wanting to discuss with the blue-eyed man.
Henry perks up his head, lowering the book in his hand “Mister Scott, what a pleasant surprise.” His voice was soft, not wanting to cause a disturbance between them.
“Yes, you appear to be interested in that book.” He walks to the assassin, having Henry to let go of his breath. Release his tensed shoulders.
“I’m collecting flowers, Jacob and Evie are helping me to find each one that has their own meaning. Look, this is the Poppy— fantastic extravagance .” He pointed to the page.
“Interesting, that should be for Jacqueline.”
“I think she’s more of an Amaryllis.”
Ephraim shook his head, gazing at the twin “That’s Evie’s description.”
She felt her cheeks rushing with heat, described from a flower’s description.
“What else you got, Mister Green?” Ephraim asked as he leans forward.
“More of the flowers the twins collected so far… But I do have this book by Ezio Auditore, his memoirs and letters in one place.” Henry dug through the piles of documents and journals.
“Do tell me more.”
“Oh?” Henry picks up the book "Are you sure, Mister Scott?"
“Well yes! I’m sorry if my outburst frightened you… Let’s make it up—tell me what you know about Enzio.”
“You get the point.” Ephraim slapped his back playfully as Henry chuckles at his banters.
Evie smiled as she shakes her head in delight, pride fulfilling her as the two are in good terms.
London — City of London
Jacqueline yanks out the blade of the cane, flipping it up as it lands safely in the insert. She turns to see Jacob collecting the ammunition the guards have.
“Evie taught you that?” He asked, wiping his mouth with his sleeve from the blood.
“Took a few tries, end up cutting my hand once. Not a vast one but it’s there.” She exposed the cut on the back of her hand, pink flesh curing the wound.
Jacob chuckled, “At least it’s not permanent… Come on, help me with the cargo.”
The two went ahead to the cart, Jackie plants her back against it to use her legs to scrape against the dirt.
“Heave ho, Jackie.” She listened, rolling her eyes in amusement. The two shoves forward the solid cart, not once she had to push a heavy object. I thought the coals were worse than this!
“And stop,” Jacob halted, standing upright as he wipes the sweat off his forehead.
The twin lights scrape the match against the explosives, flicking it to the inside of the cargo. “Now we’ll find Miss Attaway.” He beckoned her to tag along, running towards the wall and leaps over. Jacqueline flinches as she heard the explosion, regarding the flames erupting sky high. Eyes glistening from the sight of oranges mixed with yellows.
“How’s that for a taste?” Jacob spread out his arms, the redhead realized Attaway was nearby.
“I can see Millner's stock price plummeting already! You're hired!” She pointed at the twin, walking away as the duo exchanged faces.
“A job? Just for that?” Jackie questioned, arching her brow at the twin.
“Didn’t you listen? Or do you not know what hired means?” Pearl pinches Jacqueline’s cheek who did not react by jerking herself away. She blinks in confusion.
“I have more business plans for us both. Drop a note to my secretary to make an appointment and I shall reveal the next step in our scheme.” She enters inside of her coach.
Jacob stretches out his arm “I don’t actually work…” The driver closes the door in front of him “... Like that?” He kept his arm up, Jacqueline lowering it down to his side.
“She likes you more.” She pursed her lips, pondering if Attaway appreciates her company or even acknowledged her work with Jacob.
“Miss Attaway? She was just pinching your cheek!” He laughed.
“No, I mean when I try greeting her—she ignored. Helping you with the explosions—she thought I may not get the job done.”
“Jackie, you’re thinking negative. Besides, it’s not like she sees you as a Templar.”
“You’re right, I’m hungry, you?”
“Of course, you think Ephraim will be home?”
“Could be on the train with Evie. But that’s none of our business now.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Ephraim has not changed a bit, he provoked Jacob into receiving a bloody nose. I at first was disappointed in Jacob for doing such a response, but Ephraim made him. He used Ethan’s name against him. He’s fine now, but I rather not go interact with that man for while. However, a friend of mine, Aleck, had told the twins and I that you are accused of murder and theft. Starrick is trying to make you return. Don’t. Whatever they do, I will find the real culprit. Also, there’s this Miss Attaway woman Jacob and I met. I don’t think she likes me.
Attaway Transport has been receiving recognition, the news claimed Millner is grieving over his destroyed omnibuses. Entering inside the bakery, Jackie goes to the counter and place the pounds to collect bread.
“More?” The baker asked, untying the apron from his neck.
“For the family.” She chuckled—though Henrietta was her only sibling living with her. Henry has been a gentle older figure to her, Evie was more of a benevolent sister while Jacob was someone she calls a close friend. Not a brother, nor Grayson’s replacement—a man she connects with easily.
“Hungry aren’t they?”
“Well four of us are the same age, we definitely starve after our activities.”
“No, twin siblings, my friend, and I.” She described, gulping to call Ephraim her friend for now.
“I don’t blame ya, you four are rather young. Go on and have a nice day.”
“Rather young… thank you, sir.” She beamed, exiting the shop.
She goes to the red postbox nearby, slipping inside her letter for Grayson. Sighing as the huge weight on her chest bothers her. Blowing out her cheeks, she heads back home.
Pearl Attaway has been stuck in her thoughts for a while, suspicious for her behavior. The simpers towards Jacob, her goals to ruin Millner. The way she was dressed in royal purple, similar hues from Starrick’s tucked in scarf.
Don’t be jealous—wait don’t be skeptical like uncle.
Rolling her eyes, she opens the door. Falling for the assassin has been affecting her. Her care for Jacob became love. Grayson told her before to keep her feelings to herself. Don’t fall in love, it will ruin your concentration. Yet she saw hints from the twin, many clues of his devotion back to her.
Entering inside, Evie pours tea for herself while Jacob ate.
“Bread’s here.” She announced, setting it on the table.
“Oh good, but I forgot to tell you to buy onions. My apologies.” Evie shrugged as Jackie join the table. The brash twin passes a plate and the cup of coffee with cream.
“I presume you don’t like the bitter flavor.” He smirked.
“Thank you.” She takes her cup “Um Evie? Did you found the monument?”
“Not yet, I had to check on Clara and the others to make sure they were in stable condition.”
“How are they?” She plays with her food with the utensil, eyes gaping at Jacob in a quick second.
“Fine, I doubt the Templars will be after the supplies now it’s back in Lambeth. It will be closing next month.”
“Good riddance, from what we saw was chaos. No wonder your uncle hates it.” Jacob chewed more of his food.
“Hates what?” Henrietta asked as she closes her door. No drink in her hand, sober for once in the morning.
“Lambeth Asylum, I don’t think he told you,” Jacqueline replied.
“Course not, he’s always telling you.” She laughed as she takes a seat “You cooked this?”
“Evie did most of the cooking, I bought more bread at the store.” She winks at Evie, who noticed and put on a sly smug. She wanted her sister to appreciate someone else’s cooking.
“What happened with you two? Went to find more people to kill?” The twin asked, gesturing to her brother with her fork.
“We met Pearl Attaway—Starrick’s business competitor,” Jacqueline replied, sipping her coffee.
Evie glances at Jacob, brow raised “Attaway?”
“Mhm?” He murmured, swallowing his food “Business partner for the transport system.”
“Jackie, the potatoes?” Henrietta asked.
She lay a hold of the plate “We’ll see how that will benefits us.” She passes the dish to her sister, snatching it as she kept it by her side.
“Not related to our topic, but I really hate my hair tied up.” She tugs off the ribbon, running back her fingers through her red curls.
“Might as well throw the ribbon away?” Jacob simpered.
She shakes her head, clutching it “Grayson gave this to me when I first worked with him. He never enjoyed how my hair was all over and frizzy, saying it will attract any of the target’s attention.”
“That won’t solve anything,” Evie laughed.
“Exactly what I said! Starrick is after me anyway, right Frye?” She slaps her partner’s arm who shakes his head in amusement.
“How about using it as a bow? It seems long enough to go around the collar of your blouse.” Jacob gestures to her shirt.
“Here just…” He takes the ribbon, tucking it around her white collar.
Jacqueline blushes, taking the ends of the ribbon and tying it into a bow. She smiles, glancing at the twin who up close had scarlet cheeks growing hot.
“We should get going,” Jacob stood from his seat, adjusting his cap “I’m sure Mister Dickens is enthusiastic to tell us about his fantasies.”
“Ghosts are real Jacob, many claim to hear things that are not even there,” Evie recalled.
“If I see one, I’ll believe you.” He poked her nose—she presses her palm against her brother’s face and shoves him away.
“Come back safely.” Jackie reminded, toying with the coils of her red hair.
Jacob smirks, opening the door as he let his sister out “We promise.”
Henrietta sighs, fleeing from the kitchen as her sister is all alone. Jacqueline tugged onto the end of her red ribbon. A couple strands of hair fall onto her face and she blew them out of her way.
“Maybe Pearl would like a visit?”
London — City of London
Visiting Attaway could have been a mistake for Jackie. Alone without Jacob—she expects to become bad company due to her presence from the last time they met.
Hopping off her carriage, squinted from the distance as she spots Pearl standing by her carriage. Arms crossed, the driver kept brushing his mare with caution.
“We don’t have enough time, he’s waiting for me.” She scoffed.
“Miss Attaway?” Jacqueline called.
The woman in purple turns around, her eyebrows loosen as she displays a smile “Miss Harlow, what brings you here?”
“I was wondering if I can ask some questions for our future missions together?” The redhead asked, tucking her thumbs on her belt loops. “We can also get along—it’s what I do with a lot of people I’ve met. Like Jacob and his twin sister.”
“Compassionate but deadly—she also trained me with the revolver.” She yanks hers out, opening to check on the bullets inside.
Pearl tilts her head, smirking at the redhead’s enthusiasm “Why don’t you join me? You don’t want anyone hearing us… Do you Miss Harlow?”
“Certainly, Blighters here are a bit nosy.” She whispered.
The driver opens the door as the two ladies settle themselves. Jacqueline bounced on her seat, patting the cushions below her as she pays attention to the hooves of the mare trollops forward.
Pearl takes out a bottle of wine, the darken glass tinting the beverage. Pouring the red velvet drink in a stemware. “Would you like a drink?”
“Oh I don’t drink, water, coffee, or tea is my only preference.” Jacqueline waves her hand—the taste of alcohol was never her favorite taste in the world. The only time she drank was with her parents who encouraged her because of her birthday. Nausea, no satisfaction after finishing the cup of beer.
“Oh come now, this is one of the best in London and I’m sure Mister Frye would die to have his hands on it!” She raised the glass.
Jacqueline shrugged, urging herself to go along with their alliance “Of course.” She held it in her hand, the dark surface reflecting the freckles on her cheeks. The blue on her left eye, the green on her right. A wavy mirror to view her features.
“So is there anything you would like to ask me?” Pearl queried, bringing the redhead back to her attention.
“What do you know about Crawford Starrick? Since you two are competing against each other.”
She spoke in a brisk “I’m afraid I don’t know anything about him.”
“Really? There’s never communication?” She takes a sip from her glass.
“I prefer to stay away from men like him. He can be a bit… intimidating—if I ever face him. Do drink more.” She gestured to the glass.
Jacqueline takes a gulp, smacking her lips softly “I don’t blame you if I ever met a man like him—I would have run. He’s been after my uncle for quite a while now, even caused such slander.”
Pearl smirks, tangling her fingers together “Who’s your uncle, may I ask?”
Jacqueline finishes her glass, wiping her mouth “Grayson…” She lets out a small belch, covering her mouth “Grayson Harlow.”
“He’s your uncle? Ah, he’s the one Mister Abberline is searching for—I apologized to apprehend such a lie.”
“No matter, I know it cannot be him. My uncle is not the type of person to do such murder to innocent people. The Templars are the ones who could have been responsible.”
“How would you know?”
“I know so, Miss Attaway. Grayson may have lost his friend, but he would never let out his sorrow to the citizens of London.”
“You seem to know your uncle well.”
“I grew up with him since I was a little girl, Grayson taught me his ways to fight and become an advanced spy.”
Pearl nods, placing her intertwined hands on her lap “Then the Frye twins showed you their methods? Becoming an Assassin as well?”
“They are but I don’t consider myself to become an Assassin. I’m just an ally, I want to help them.”
“Would you like more?” Pearl asked, holding the bottle.
“Please… I like the flavor,” She reached out her glass, pouring more of the wine. “It’s great I met Jacob and Evie. They’re by my side to find the true culprit.” Jackie swallows the alcohol. She couldn't help but drink the whole cup, a taste she cannot resist.
“Are you and Mister Frye together?” Pearl questioned, raising a brow.
“We’re simply partners… Allies who care about each other’s safety.”
“Hm, you do strike as a jealous type.”
“I’m sorry?” The carriage began to travel on the cobblestone path, shaking the vehicle as Jackie covers her mouth. Stomach churning intensely.
“Here, have some more, or take the whole bottle.” Pearl hands the bottle to the dizzy redhead, placing her lips against the opening
“Thank you… I didn’t get your last saying?”
“I said you look like an affectionate type. I see why you care for your uncle and Jacob.” She leans over, tilting the bottom of the bottle as Jacqueline drank most of the liquid. Dragging it away from her lips, hunching over. Blurred insight, seeing the blobs of purple and cream skin.
“He lost Ethan, he cannot lose me since I grew up with him. I want him to be content and worry-free. However, my priority now is to help the twins and make sure they’re safe as well. I won’t forgive myself if Jacob is injured badly.” She rubbed her eyes “I really care about him.”
“The twins will be alright… Mister Frye is a strong man. Though, where is Mister Harlow?”
Jackie’s stomach bubbled grasping onto the handle of the door, retching as tears began to fall.
“Hang on, where is he?” Pearl held her hand, brows drawing together.
“Grayson?” She winced, clutching onto her belly hard. “He’s at… Oh god…” She kicks open the door, hurling the liquid and food.
“Stop the coach!” Pearl shouted as the driver jerked back the mare, neighing in the process.
Jacqueline coughs as she spews more, panting as she caught Pearl groaning at her mess.
“Leave, I think you had enough.”
Jacqueline senses a hand on her back, stumbling out, managing to stand on her “Miss Attaway, I'm sorry."
"Go home, Miss Harlow. I think I should inform Mister Frye about this."
"No, wait… Where am I?” She rubs off the staining tears.
“Charing Cross, go home now,” Attaway commanded, closing the door harshly.
Jackie spits the left of the wretched taste in her mouth, ignoring the glances from each passerby. Trudging forward to the station, cleaning her lips with her sleeve.
The train hideout came as soon she got near to the edge of the railways, thank god . She staggers inside Jacob’s car, whimpering collapses on her knees.
Agnes noticed her presence, gasping “Jackie! Dearie are you alright?”
“A little stomach ache… I just need to lie down.”
Agnes helps her up, arms wrap around the redhead’s waist to assist her. Lying on the couch with caution, snuggling onto the pillow.
“I should inform Jacob or Evie… Oh, maybe Henry—“
“Agnes it’s alright, I just need to sleep. Thank you.”
She gives a weak smile, patting her stomach gently as she goes up back to her desk.
I hope Jacob does not mind .
Chapter 16: Irresistible
London — Train Hideout
Her eyes focus on her uncle ahead. Knees collapsing on the floor, head bowing as he crinkles the paper he received. Our good ally, our friend and loyal companion Ethan Frye is no longer here with us. His sobs echoes—wiping away the tears as she trudges forwards. Fingers grasping on his hair, repeating the word why multiple times.
“JACKIE!” He roared, breath trembling as his head reach to the floor.
“She’s still sick… I’m sure.” Her aunt Beatrice said by her side.
Her eyes broadened, sick? What do you mean? She tries speaking but nothing came out but gasps. Grayson did not sound like himself, it was a different voice. Her arms clenching its muscles, alone without any pressure of her fingers.
“Jackie, wake up!”
She shot open her eyes, panting as her vision clears. Jacob grips on her upper arms, peering over her. Agnes was by the end of the couch as she covers her mouth.
Her eyes stay broadened as she squeezes her partner’s wrists, rubbing her thumbs on his sleeve.
“I thought I was losing my mind…” She whispered, freeing his wrists.
The brash twin loosens his hold “Don’t scare me like that… Everyone at home was searching for you in the morning.”
Evie set foot in Jacob’s car, sighing in relief while approaching the redhead. “You’re okay, thank goodness. Do you remember what happened?” She crouched to the couch's level.
Jackie rubs her stomach, tasting her lips “I don’t recall, all I know I was with Pearl Attaway.”
Agnes interferes “She came in all drowsy, poor lass had to lie down for the whole night. I think she got the flu.”
Jacob digs the note from his coat, shaking his head “This might help. One of Attaway’s associates saw the two of us coming inside the station, he gave me a note—Pearl wrote you vomited in her carriage? Drinking too much wine?”
“Wine? No, I don’t…” Her voice fades away, looking back on yesterday as she drank half of the wine bottle. Spewing out from the carriage. “...Drink… Oh shit…” She groans as she manages to sit, rubbing her temples. Agnes rubs her back, relieving her tenseness.
“I didn’t hurl in her carriage, I kicked open the door in time.” The redhead pouted.
“Question is why were you with her?” Evie inquired, exchanging expressions with her brother.
“I intended we could get along. We both had a nice chat about Grayson, who she was more interested in.” She scratches her head.
“Well he is wanted by the police and you are his niece.” Evie pursed her lips, as her brother gesticulate his agreement.
“You do look like shit after your day with her,” Jacob snickered.
“Jacob.” His sister hit his arm, frowning as he shrugged in response.
Jacqueline rolls her eyes “Charming, Frye.”
“Well, I have an appointment with her this afternoon.” He claps his hands together.
She clutches onto his wrist “Wait, we’re not going together?”
“You vomited in front of Attaway, she also wrote to keep you home as you recover.”
Jacqueline shakes her head “I’m not sick, I can—”
“Jackie.” He stops her with a stern tone. Evoking Grayson’s character. “I don’t want to put you at risk. You definitely need to rest after these months.” Jacob slumps his shoulder “Promise?”
Evie interferes “I would have to agree with him.”
She hesitates to speak “I promise.” She gives a weak smile but fades away as the twins made their way back to the first car. Jacqueline slumps her head forward, curls falling in front. She stands from the couch in order to go towards the exit.
“Ah don’t worry about Jackie, a nice vacation doesn’t sound too bad,” Agnes said while walking back to her desk.
“I just want to help. But perhaps you’re right. I’ll see you soon.”
Whitechapel station approach, she holds onto the edge of the doorway. Pearl intimidated Jackie, her stomach churns whenever she tries to speak to Jacob. Jealous of my appeals —her nails dug on her cheek. Having to be the brash twin’s partner had her to become closer to him.
Jacqueline hurries to the front of the residence home, leaning her forehead against the wall. No, I’m not jealous. She can admit—Pearl is a woman she trusts. Reminding herself what Ephraim has caused between him and Henry. For the sake of his love towards Evie.
Entering inside, she goes to the kitchen table and plants her forearms on top. Head slamming against it, closing her eyes. Trace along the wood lining of the table, cheek squishing firmer on her arm. Remembering when Grayson left her at home as they both needed to find one of Griffith’s men.
“Uncle I can go…” A cough stops her, she covers her mouth. Wincing from her sore throat.
“You’re ill, you’re also shivering Jacqueline!” Grayson ran back her red curls.
“But Gregory and —”
“No, stay in bed — I’ll return soon.” He embraces his niece, soon tugging the covers to give Jacqueline warmth.
She gnaws on her sheet, expecting danger coming in his way without her help. She closes her eyes, attempting to go back to sleep.
“Pearl asked me a lot about you, uncle,” Jackie whispered to herself. She gazes at the wood once more, brows furrowing as she rose her head off the table. “Why was she intrigued about your location?”
Pearl placed her hand on the door, not allowing her to leave for her aching stomach—until she tells her where he’s residing.
Henrietta left her door ajar, spotting her sister in the kitchen.
“Yet she did not stop me from drinking, or was it the taste of the alcohol that kept me going?”
“Who are you talking to?” Her older sister asked, opening the door wide.
“Myself, once again.”
“You’re not with Johnny?”
“You know who I’m talking about.” Henrietta smacks her sister’s back as she sat next to her.
Jacqueline blew out her cheeks “Starrick’s business competitor was too worried about my health after giving me a whole bottle of wine.” Her fingers run through her curls, pouting as if she were a child.
“You drank wine?”
“I considered it was rude to say no, I was trying to create a friendship. I believe she hates me, she likes Jacob.”
Henrietta creased her brow “You’re sounding like uncle.”
“Maybe I am—something’s not right. She was asking a lot about Grayson, almost as if they both knew each other before.”
“What do you presume? She’s one of those Templars?”
Jackie’s clenches her jaw “No, I’m sure she’s not. It’s confusing she told Jacob he was there to kill her when we first encounter.”
Her sister rise from her seat, walking towards the cabinets “The scars and the bracer he has? His oh so charming attitude.” She grabs the bottle of whiskey, heading back to the table.
“Well, I did not find the twins intimidating when I first met them.”
Henrietta pinches the bridge of her nose “You worked with uncle and got used to the many men and women who kill just like those twins. Let’s forget about that, she’s not impressed with you, right?”
“You’re known to be a good spy, which is why uncle takes care of the killings on his own. Show this woman you can do better than Jacob, give her satisfaction.”
“Better than him? Henri, he’s an Assassin!”
“So is Grayson but you surpass him!”
“No, I’m here to help the Brotherhood. I’m not advanced as Jacob and Evie.”
Henrietta grabs her wrist “The twins and uncle are advanced, you’re right but this is a competition to show off your skills. You gotta be stern, tough, don’t be the soft redhead we all know. Jacob is the one who’s causing you stress, he’s taking advantage of you!” She takes a drink from the bottle. “You’re too forgiving, I don’t even trust him anymore after what happened to Rum.”
Jacqueline bit her lip, viewing her wrist held hostage by her sister’s hand. Advantage, she ponders about Ephraim—his change of attitude and behavior. Receiving that bloody nose.
She shakes her head “No, I can’t, Jacob is my partner and we work together. We make sure we’re both safe and complete every task. Never have I once see him betray my trust, I let him take my journal for god sake.”
“This is not about your partnership, this is about you! Do you want to impress the lady? Get rid of Frye and fix yourself.” Henrietta raised her tone, squeezing the neck of her bottle.
“I want her to know I’m not fragile and I can help tear down Starrick’s company! I’m not changing my behavior nor getting rid of Jacob!” Jacqueline yanked her hand away.
“You’re already showing how weak you are if I made Ephraim do it, so can you!” She slams the bottle on the table, making her little sister flinch. Gasping at the words she said, what she has done to Ephraim.
“What did you do?” The redhead’s upper lip quivering as she grieved losing the man she called a friend. “What have you done to Ephraim?!”
“He wants that bitch he’s been drooling over. I gave him advice. I always made sure there’s a little boost in his alcohol. Beat him if he doesn’t obey my directions.”
“By acting like a rude and arrogant person? He was urging Henry for trouble and provoked Jacob! Ephraim grew up with us, he was the sweetest man I knew… Why did you manipulate him?” She gritted her teeth, glowering at her older sister. She never argued with her—it always ends with a bruise.
“I did not!” Henrietta strikes her hand across, Jackie dodges and backs away from her. “People like Evie wants a man who’s strong and does not joke around unlike your little lover! I helped him!”
“No, Evie would not marry a man who’s insolent to her friends, allies, and especially her own brother… You don’t seem to understand.” Jacqueline steadily made her way back to her room.
“You’re soft as a pup if only uncle can see you now!” Henrietta swings the bottle across the kitchen, hitting the wall. Splashes of whiskey staining the wood, glass shattering across. “You’re a disappointment like always!”
“You hurt Ephraim! You drugged him and I wouldn’t even want to know what happened whenever I’m out with the twins!”
“I loved him, Jacqueline!”
Her younger sister grabs on the knob “Have a nice afternoon Henri. I hope you find yourself some moral values.” She muttered as she enters inside.
“JACKIE! DON’T YOU FUCK—” The door is slammed shut with the lock. The muffled curses her older sister has let out to frightened the redhead, listening to the palms slapping against the wood.
Wide-eyed, she grabs her notebook and weapons off her bed. Jacqueline slips on her jacket, heading to the window and shoves it open.
She peeks below, panting as the banging grew harsh.
“You better open this fucking door!” Henrietta shouted. “OPEN THE DOOR!”
Clutching onto the ledge, she jumps out from the casement. Rolling over, standing immediately.
Jacqueline raises her chin to look above her open window, walking backward as she brushes the dirt off her coat and trousers. Soon facing forward to quicken her pace.
“Grayson would kill me if I told him I’m in love with Jacob. Ethan’s son… Oh, Mister Frye, you were in love but why does it matter? It’s not affecting anyone!”
London — Train Hideout
It didn't take Ephraim long when Jacob left to see Attaway. Waiting by the pub car and having a nice chat with Oliver. The man who beat him in their small brawl, forgiving him after weeks. Finding the young Rook intriguing, he didn't hold a grudge. Oliver was rather mellow, though his deep voice often confuses the tall man from his young age and baby face.
"You're always commanding your gang?" He asked.
"Oh well, I just follow Jacob and Evie's orders. I want to make sure these fellas succeed and come back alive."
"Pretty brave of you to do so, going through hell and back. Don't you worry what will happen to your family?"
Oliver shakes his head, picking onto the cuffs of his sleeves "They're safe in the Strand. My wife is taking care of my mother while my father is traveling in America."
"Courage, I'm impressed."
He knows it was a compliment, but it was envy. Ephraim wished to have Jacqueline's bravery to face against the Blighters and Templars. Oliver's leadership by coming up with plans to defeat the enemy. Instead, his head is clouded with his thoughts of Evie. Finding it better than the flashbacks from his childhood.
After his talk with Oliver, he made it to Evie's car. Not in a hurry to look through the flowers Henry was showing him last time. Reading the definitions in the Language of Flowers on the desk behind him. While doing so, his eyes glance at Evie shuffling through each document in her hands. The corner of his lip curling into a sly grin, admiring her fixation.
“Very. Learned anything from those flowers, Ephraim? Or have Henry taught you more about Ezio Auditore.”
“So far I’ve been observing the flowers you’ve been collecting.” He jabs his finger against the page “Heath. Solitude—a pretty one you fetched.”
“Jacob found that one.”
Slacked jaw, he clicks his tongue “What a shame, we would have two lovely things in the world collide. Unfortunately, something reckless found its way first.”
Evie furrowed her brows, her brother is reckless but she loves him. Lovely things? She tilts her head “Are you implying something?” She set her documents on her lap.
“Oh no… Just a little…” Ephraim stammers, to the point of becoming breathless. Face growing red, scratching the back of his neck. Damn it, damn it. He thought, stretching his collar as it felt tight around his neck.
“Poetry?” Evie finished his supposed sentence.
“Yes! I read them in a frequent time when I was back home in Southwark. Way before all of this.” Ephraim chuckled, wiping the sweat off his neck.
The twin smirks, grasping at his body language—his cheeks glowing scarlet while he smiles widely. Unable to stand still, his eyes always gaping at hers. Jacob was right. It was obvious this whole time.
“What kind of books do you like to read? Maybe Henry can give you recommendations?” Evie questioned, pulling back the loose strands of hair behind her ear.
“Crime tales, I haven’t read one for quite a long time.”
London — City of London
The horses kept snorting as Jacqueline weaves through the cluttered streets of coaches. Her hand grip on the fringe of her coat, near her waist, where her kukri is positioned. Arguing with her older sister never lasted with her taking the last word—shocked to even lock her door.
Peering over her shoulder, looking out for herself if her sister was lurking after her. She hoped she would’ve got tired over the rasping slammings.
Perhaps her family is correct about Henrietta’s behavior, she’s not misunderstood but stubborn.
“They accused him of what?” The redhead overhears, flipping her curls away from her shoulder to move away from her ear.
“Theft, there’s no evidence for it. Poor man.” Said a man, adjusting his hat as his two friends witnessed the policeman communicating in front of the carriage.
“Well, they were seeking for that Wynert fella anyways!”
She drew her brows together, recalling the name—the man she met on the train when she encountered the twins. Approaching the three men in a swift, damn slander in this city!
She grabs one of the man’s shoulder, forcing him to face her “They arrested Ned Wynert? Correct?”
“Yes? Who are you?” He stuttered.
“No time for introductions, where is he now?” She asked, the three men all quizzical from her sudden interruption.
“We all witnessed his arrest, he’s locked inside the carriage.” One of them said.
The redhead made her way towards the vehicle, sneaking behind the policeman as she held her breath, attempting to respire through her nose. Causing her footsteps to not scrape against the concrete. Her fingers reach to the bars, poking her head to find Ned slouching on his seat. Wrists cuffed, he did not move a muscle.
“Psst, Mister Wynert, it’s me—Jacqueline Harlow! We met on the train before!”
“Harlow?” Ned turns his head to face the redhead, arching his brows “Jacob’s lady?”
“What?” She covers her mouth from her change of tone, glancing over her shoulder to see the officer still facing away from the redhead.
“No, I’m his ally!” She whispered, attempting to open the latch from the door. Clenching her jaw, praying the officer does not turn around soon enough.
“Wait, get us out of here first. They’ll see you—” Ned stopped himself as he heard the thud above the carriage. Jackie raises a finger, eyes gazing above. Listening to the punch and jabs, the groans from men. The horses neigh—their hooves striking the concrete.
Their brays caught the police officer’s attention, facing Jacqueline “Miss! Get away from there!”
In a sudden moment—the vehicle speeds away. Jackie hangs onto the bars as she climbs on the roof. Crawling with caution to the front of the driver's seat, broadening her eyes momentarily as she saw Jacob.
She huffs—letting out a whistle to grab his attention.
He peeks over his shoulder “Jackie! What are you doing here?!” He asked frantically.
The redhead sat next to him “Well I was walking around until I saw Ned is held hostage!”
“It’s unsafe after what happened to you!” Jacob smacked the reins to drive further away from the advancing vehicles.
“Oh no, I don’t trust that Attaway woman!”
“Are you insane?! She’s our ally and is against Starrick!”
“Maybe I am, but hear me out please!”
“Will you two get us out of here?!” Ned shouted at the two.
“I believe the word is thank you, you ingrate!” Jacob yelled back at the ally, rolling his eyes as his partner crossed her arms.
“What does Pearl want now?” She frowns, not glimpsing at her partner.
“She needs an important engine, which Millner has.”
“Where? Why do we need Ned for?”
“Millner is expecting the train with the cargo, we need Wynert to help us steal a train in order to retrieve it. Since you’re here, are you up for it?”
She raised a brow “Of course I will. However, I am still suspicious over Pearl.”
The twin pulls back the reins, leaving his seat as he made his way to the back of the carriage. He opens the door wide, Jacqueline follows as she takes out her journal. Writing more in her letter for her uncle rapidly.
“So what do you want Frye?” Ned asked.
“What makes you think I want something? Perhaps a thank you for saving your life.” Jacob bantered as Ned lets out a laugh.
“Come on let me tell about the job.” He said as Wynert made his out from the vehicle, the twin used his blade to wriggle in the lock of the restraints.
“Jacob?” Jackie called for his attention, sliding back her journal inside her bag.
“Hm?” He manages to unlock the bonds, throwing it aside as Ned rub his wrists.
“Don’t you get an uncanny feeling Attaway is up to something? She doesn’t seem quite right in the head.”
“You sound jealous Harlow,” Jacob smirked, pacing towards the redhead.
“What? No, I’m simply stating she could be using you. Remember what she said at first? She thought you were there to kill her.” Her breath hitched, stiffening from his close encounter.
“Perhaps I intimated her—she would not use us to waste our time, this will affect Starrick and Millner.”
“She could be scheming us. I don’t think it’s beneficial for all of us!” Jackie extends her arms.
“Millner was confounded over his burned omnibuses—it was our goal.”
“But we’re not after him, we’re after the Grand Master.”
“Is it about your incident with her yesterday? Are you still upset?”
“Jacob, no. I believe—and I’m sorry if I’m becoming skeptical like Grayson—that she cannot be trusted any longer!”
Ned groans, he grabs the duo’s sleeves “Will you two shut up already? We don’t have all day!” He drags them away, having them to follow to the nearby train station. The two stay silent, Jacqueline could not comprehend whether she is losing her sanity. Or she is losing Jacob to Attaway’s presumable conspires.
London — Southwark
Stealing a train is easy for Ned to find—when he has Jacob and the Rooks by his side. Jacqueline is still distracted by Attaway and her bizarre actions. Her inquiries about Grayson, confusing the redhead.
The train ran through the tracks, Jacqueline sat on the floor where her back is pressed against the wall of the car. She taps her pen against her cheek, finishing signing her name. She harks the footsteps nearing—glancing at Jacob standing in front.
“Ready?” He asked while placing his brass knuckles, outreaching his fingers.
“To find the engine? I’ll try my best Frye.” She laughed, slipping her journal inside of her bag.
The twin sticks out his hand “Come on, we’re nearing up Millner’s train.”
She was helped to rise on her feet “What’s the plan?”
“Collect the cargo, make sure Wynert is safe. Detach the cars to avoid conflict.” Jacob explained, both of them glimpsing at the train ahead. Jacqueline plants her hands on her hips, her elbow accidentally brushing the twin’s arm.
“I’ll try to detach the recruitments cars, I’ll have the snipers be on the lookout for any incoming attack.” She pulls out her firearm, peering through the filled gaps of her revolver. All occupying bullets.
Ned approaches the two “Millner’s pulling a lot of cargo there!”
Jacob steps forward, glancing over his shoulder “Just be sure to make the transfer. Jackie, you’ll protect him?”
“I’ll make sure there’s no mischief here.” She gave a teasing grin to the twin.
“Give em hell,” Ned called as Jacob gave a sly smirk to the both of them.
He prepares his stance, eyes lock on the train as it was drawing near to the last car. Ready, he runs further, jumping across and clasp on the perimeter. Grunting, he pulls himself on the roof and wastes no time to continue the mission. Advancing to pierce his blade on one of the guards.
Jacqueline exhales deeply, approaching to one the snipers with others holding onto their rifles—“You three, help me detach the wagons until Mister Frye finds the engine.”
The three gave their consensus, running to the edge of the car and aiming their weapons. Jacqueline holds out her arm, closing one eye and shooting three bullets. Satisfied to see the metal disconnect the wagons.
“Nice shooting Harlow.” Ned complimented as she smiles. “Now I got a question, I figured you and Frye are together?”
“What made you assume?” Jacqueline raised a brow. Calling her “Jacob’s lady” made her curious, she hasn’t worked with Wynert as the twins were always in charge of the supplies for the Rooks.
“Quick to find out huh?”
“I’m intrigued, Mister Wynert—after all, you believed I’m paired up with him.”
The snipers fire to detach more of the cars—Jacob opening a cargo as he slams it close. Reckoning the engine is not there.
“He talks about you, most of the times when he and his sister comes back with supplies. We have our chats and you’re always in the conversation. Always mentioning how he missed seeing your red hair and freckles. Complimenting how you fight and couldn’t help but stare sometimes when you train. Bores me to death.”
Jacqueline’s lips parted, cocking her head. What?
“I know it’s cruel to share, but I’m letting you know—he seems to have something for you!” Ned chuckles as he nudges his elbow against the redhead.
She grins widely. Baffled to discovered the affection from her partner, the same devotion she has for him. Grayson won’t like this at all! She raises her chin, the assassin stands after pinning down a lookout, drawing near the last of the freights.
Jacob raises the lid, sneering as he shuts it. He lifts his hand to signal Ned and the Rooks, gesturing to the found engine.
“Finally, alright boys and girls you know what to do!” Wynert called.
Jackie shakes her head, clasping on Ned’s arm “Wait… how long?”
“How long what?” Ned questioned.
“Has he’s been talking about me?”
Ned wraps an arm around the redhead’s shoulder, whispering “Ever since you two killed that doctor. His sister knows he’s after you. Haven’t you noticed?”
Jacqueline bit her lip “I… he hasn’t shown…”
“Forget about it, come on—your partner just found a machine!” Ned beckoned her to trail behind, making their way to the halted wagon.
Jacob unsecured the top of the shipment, throwing it aside as he managed to rest his arms on the rim of the crate.
“This is it?” Jackie asked, positioning her hair behind her ears.
“The internal combustion engine. The end of horse-drawn transport.” He flicks his cap upward, having a better view of the mechanism. “It's like gazing into the future.”
“And what is the going rate for the future, do you think?” Ned admired the motor, the twin stood to give the document to the ally.
“Oh, we’re not selling them.” He declared as Jackie took the sheet in her hands. Sharing the information with Wynert as they both exchanged expressions.
“You’re giving them to your contract?”
“You’ll be paid all the same.”
“Who is this Pearl, anyway? How long have you known her?”
Jackie whistles, crossing her arms as she raises a brow at the twin.
“She’s a business partner, that’s all you need to know.” The twin finished—his hand reaching over to let his fingers touch the metal. “She’s putting Millner out of work, huh Jackie?”
“Starrick will be furious, I’m sure.” She concludes, rubbing the back of her neck.
“Which gives us the benefits.” He prodded his finger on his partner’s arm.
“This won’t kill him, however, let’s expect Pearl does more good for our cause.” Jackie props her arms on the edge of the crate.
“I’m presuming she will, I have no doubts.”
“I can already tell I’m becoming dubious like Grayson unfortunately.” She sighs, running back her hair as she listens to the small snickers from the assassin.
“He was right about accusing Elliotson…” His smirk vanishes “You don’t think?”
“No, not at all. God, I hope not.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Ned admitting Jacob’s little conversations about Jacqueline had her concerned about the truth behind his brash attitude. The “damn smile” she enjoys to see while her stomach flutters with butterflies. The way he used humor in their discussions, calling her by Jackie, and his delight to work with her.
Her knife cut through the carrots in cubes, cooking the stew brewing with meats and greens. Evie is on the train with Henry—Ephraim is lost in London. Either drinking or in the pub car with the fierce twin.
“Your uncle suppose his targets know all about the Piece of Eden?” Jacob asked, skimming through the notes in Jackie’s journal.
She shrugged, peering over her shoulder “I doubted him often, he’s a wary man. Lucy Thorne has all the research and is Starrick’s most trusted ally. Why would he trust Archie Dawn?”
“Bloke would expose it to the public.”
“Or burn the research which will hurt us both.”
Jacob simpers as he flips more of the pages for his amusement “Evie and the rest will come back with cold food on the table.”
“The stew is still brewing, however, they can heat up the kettle if needed.” Jacqueline pours in the carrots, stepping away from the drops of hot water.
“Going back to the Piece of Eden, your father was searching for it also. It got your sister’s attention I suppose.” Jacqueline chuckled, brushing her hands as she goes to her seat.
“I believe it’s good for Evie to take care of it herself.” He said while removing his cap and set it aside from him—resting his forearms on the table.
“Do you even care about it, at least?”
“I do if we’re being honest here—the Templars Starrick recruited is out ruining this city. Which is why we have the gangs, the inventors, and everyone else on our side. No one is after the Piece of Eden, they’re after money and power for themselves and the Order.”
“The artifact has power, Jacob… Although Starrick and Thorne are after it, not Dawn, Elliotson or even Harris.”
“Which I tried explaining to my sister.”
Jacqueline props her chin on her palm “It’s good the two of you have different agendas. She’s taking care of the artifact, you’re taking care of the Templars.” She blew out her cheeks “If my training was improved before we met, maybe I would have gone after the Templars while Grayson was after the Piece of Eden.”
“Learned from the best hm?”
“Oh shut up,” she shoves him aside with a laugh.
“Off topic but did your uncle wasn’t a redhead, correct?” Jacob gestures to his head, tugging onto the strands of his brown hair.
The redhead let her fingers flow through her curls, admiring the copper red. “He’s all gray now, but he had dark brown hair before. My father was the only redhead—my mother had the freckles.”
Jacob leans over, scrutinizing the marks on her features as Jackie gasped faintly. Her heart halting itself for a second.
“You have more than Evie. I always wonder if my mother had more than her.”
The redhead exhales deeply, drumming her fingers on the table “You want to meet her, don’t you?”
Jacob scans his surroundings, giving a quick nod “Occasionally, my sister and I discuss her days with father. How much she has done for the Brotherhood.”
“I’m sure she did a lot—you never asked your father about her?”
“We try to bring her up in a casual time, Evie had her attempts but father would keep quiet. He misses her and I don’t blame him.”
“Grayson never told me about Cecily either. He tends to stay quiet about her and Ethan as well.”
Jacob toys with the dart on his bracer “You reckon he misses her as well?”
She gesticulates her acceptance “I’m curious myself as well, but I assume he did. Your mother from what I was told was a good person. She was rather close friends with my Aunt Beatrice. That’s all I know, Jacob.” She twiddles her thumbs, biting her lip as she spoke what came to mind.
“Will Grayson and Ethan appreciate our teamwork?”
“Mister Harlow I could agree with… Not sure about my father, he never endorsed my methods.”
Jacqueline gapes at the twin, hand sneaking it’s way to his. “Do you… miss him?”
“I’m not quite sure.”
Her eyes sting with tears, taking his hand. Clutching onto him as his fingers grasp onto hers. The heat of scarlet rushes through her cheeks, her pulses pumping as her heart raced rapidly.
“I’m sure he’s proud for what you’re doing for this city.” She beamed. “I’m delighted for your responsibility to take over what he could not complete.”
Jacob did not free her hand, lips parting. Words stuck in his throat, gulping a lump.
She gazes at the twin, admiring the eye–appealing charm, even his scars. The care she revealed to him, the love growing from the adrenaline, becoming aware he is a man to rely on. Both of them, speechless as their silence did not stop the tension. Only the consciousness of their hands holding onto each other. She leans forward as Jacob progress to do the same.
The water spits hot drops of water, disrupting the two as the sizzles caught their attention.
“Damn it.” Jacqueline huffs as she releases his hand. Cursing in her head towards the pot, face hot from their outcome.
“I’m not in the mood to eat, to be honest.” Jacob declared, covering his face with his hands.
“Same here Frye.” She giggles, pinching her lips from the awkwardness she witnessed between them. I almost… Did that to him?
Jacqueline slaps her palms on her thighs, searching through the cabinets and tugs out the other bottle of whiskey Ephraim bought way before. She opens and pours an amount for Jacob, sliding it down to him on the table.
“After a long day.” She winked as he gives a teasing grin as his response. She sits near him as she takes back her journal, opening to a page as she wrote a note she would write for Grayson. No courage to send it, but a piece to let go of the cluttered emotions inside of her.
I’m falling in love with him, uncle, I’m sorry.
Chapter 17: See What a Fool I've Been
Well, she's gone, dear, gone this morning
See what a fool I've been
Oh Lord, what a fool I've been
Yes, I did too much
-- See What a Fool I've Been by Queen
London — Train Hideout
Evie prepares herself by sheathing her cane by her side, reaching over to her desk to collect the piece from Kenway’s mansion. Releasing a sigh as her fingers trace along the image. Tucking inside of her coat, she glances around her car as no one was there with her. No page flipping from Henry nor Ephraim’s little chats.
She made her way to Jacob’s car—raising a brow as she heard the voices of her companions.
“His younger sister Claudia took care of the Italian Brotherhood while he was gone on a journey.”
“Quite interesting to read, how old was he to still continue such risky missions?”
“Boys?” Evie called as the two perks up their heads. Ephraim eyeing her, grinning widely as she drew near.
“I’m heading out to find the monument that will lead us closer to the shroud—are you busy Henry?”
“Leading up on more of my work, my apologies Evie.” He places his hand on his chest.
Ephraim gently nudges him aside “Well if you’re busy, I can go!”
“Mister Scott, it involves climbing and stealth, are you sure you’re willing to come?” The twin creased her brows, not only she is fretting over her safety but to bring him back home safe.
“I’ve been interested what you found at the mansion, we’ll find a way to climb whatever you’re looking for!”
Evie and Henry exchanged expressions “Alright, keep an eye out and stay by my side. I can’t bring you back home crippled.” She said. Green chuckled under his breath, shaking his head in amusement.
“I promise if Jackie can do it so can I.”
London — City of London
One thing I would address is what is wrong with him? When I first met Jacob, he was reckless as a thirteen-year-old. Ephraim was a gentleman at that age. How dare he, the nerve to say his father’s name… Either send him to the Scotts or fix him, he cannot keep on going like this. I’m terribly sorry this man is causing everyone stress, especially towards Ethan’s daughter! Now the second thing… I know Starrick’s tricks, he accused Ethan once until Henry got him out from it. Whatever you do, be careful. Don’t stress out about it, try to find Archie Dawn and continue your tasks with the twins.
I miss you dearly, it’s been so long. Love, your uncle Grayson.
Jacqueline hugs the response against her chest, beaming with joy—thrill to hear from her uncle not worrying about the slanders he’s given. He’ll stay in Kent, not falling for any hoaxes.
“Why are you smiling?” Jacob asked, sitting on the edge of the rooftop with his legs swinging in the air.
Jacqueline blinks rapidly back to reality, approaching her partner by plopping next to him “My uncle is not falling for Starrick’s bait…” she folds the letter in her hands. “Also, he was venting towards Ephraim.”
“You were expecting it right?”
“I did, Grayson always trusted him and I believe he felt betrayed because of his actions. The way he provoked you and Henry. Perhaps I should send him to his family.”
The brash twin glimpse below, the carriages and pedestrians under. He exhales through his nose “You don’t want to, correct?”
She bends her knee, propping her chin on top “I don’t. I'm still waiting for him to wake up and be aware of what he is doing is wrong.”
“I hope he does not end up doing any stupid decisions—he’s not the type of man to do that. When you first introduce my sister and me, he was too tolerant when Henrietta had her fits. I knew we would have to worry about her until he joined her lunacy.”
“Did you and Evie felt betrayed as well? His change of behavior?”
“Like your uncle, I did. I’m unsure about my sister—she has her limits. I assume he’s already near the border of her composure. It doesn't make sense to see him change all of a sudden. He and I would drink some nights which leads us to discuss our lives...” He stops as he glares ahead of a building, Evie climbing on top of a home with Ephraim by her side.
“Speak of the devil, Jacob.” Jacqueline rise, hauling her partner to stand. She recalls what has Henrietta caused him to do. Her manipulation, his endorsement, anger, and grief rush inside of her.
“Do they want company? This is also a perfect time to practice your running.” He nudges his elbow against the redhead’s arm.
“Lead the way,” she gestures her arm in front.
Jacob sprints forward, leaping onto the wall and pulling himself to continue his running. Jacqueline tags behind as she jumps from roof to roof. Weaving past the chimneys and the spouts, giving herself the caution when a huge gap advance. Deep breaths, follow him she kept saying, heart racing as she hurdle over and rolls onto her back.
Grayson would always have his runs on the rooftops while Jacqueline meets him at their destination. He would swing from shop signs and manage to keep his stance while landing.
Jackie crouches as she lands safely, hand on the roof, raising her head as she saw her partner spooking his sister behind.
“Jacob!” Evie gasped, shoving him back as he laughs.
“That’s what you get for scaring me at night.”
“Oh please, we were ten at the time.”
Ephraim glares at the brash twin, crossing his arms tight over his chest “You brought him along?”
Jacob gave a teasing grin “I can’t join my dear sister for a task?”
The four stare at the riot in the crowd, in front of the Monument to the Great Fire of London. A woman gave her speech, not finishing her sentence as the crowd kept chanting and hollering curses. Policeman creating a perimeter with signs to prevent other bystanders from entering the event.
“So the hints you found in the Kenway house lead... to the Monument?” Jacob exchanged expressions with Jackie who held back a chortle.
Evie rolls her eyes “What a wonderful use of your time, following me around asking obvious questions.”
“Well, since Henry isn't here, I thought Jackie and I can join you on a double date.” The redhead blush, smiling as she looks down at her boots. Charming.
“I don't require any company. And Mr. Green is following up on some leads of his own.”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Green. That's a fascinating idea. Oh, please, Mr. Green, come and take a look at this book and stand oh-so-close to me, Mr. Green.” Jacob tease as he goes closer to his sister. Mocking her tone of voice.
“I do not—Well, perhaps you have nothing better to do, but I am busy protecting the Assassins.”
“Are you really? What was it Father used to say…”
Ephraim drew his brows together, gritting his teeth as he wanted to give a jab on the brash twin’s nose.
“Don't allow personal feelings to compromise the mission. ” Evie quoted Ethan’s words, avoiding her eye contact with her brother.
“Precisely. Anyway, we’re off. If I find any more wild geese for you to chase, I'll be in touch.”
“Alright leave! Stop provoking her!” Ephraim shouted at his old roommate.
“Ephraim,” Evie whispered his name harshly.
Jacqueline clenches her jaw and grasp onto his collar “That’s enough! You should stop faking who you are and wake up, Scott.”
Eyes broadening, he pinches his lips together “You don’t know… Jacqueline,” He stammered, yanking her wrist away from his shirt. Never once she called him by his last name.
She did not stop frowning “Come on Jacob.” She said as the two climbs down to ground level.
Ephraim’s breathing increased rapidly, does she hates me? He shakes his head vigorously, going back to Evie.
“I’ll to climb on the monument, you keep an eye out and distract any policemen from coming after me. Call the Rooks for aid.” The twin explained, crouching as she kept viewing the spark of riots.
Finding their way out from the alley, Jacob stops as he recalls a meeting with Pearl. “I should be seeing Attaway again.”
“Again?” His partner stops, sighing deeply “Alright, I don’t know what I should do on my own.”
Jacob chuckles “We’re still searching for Dawn, maybe you can find his childhood home once I’m done with the mission?”
Jackie purse her lips, glancing at the twin’s eyes. Ethan worked alone, so did Grayson—presuming the twins may have done endeavors without their help.
She nods “Of course… I’ll see you soon?”
“At home, yes.” He turns to depart away from his partner.
She bit her lip, heart racing “Be careful!” Jackie shouted, beaming once he glimpses over his shoulder.
“Don't die!” He gives his teasing grin, that damn smile I love.
Hands fidgeting, she clasps them together and presses them against her lips. The devotion for the twin grows each day—her uncle may have to stop her from loving a man after months knowing each other. If he was here.
Fifteen years of age, she met a man who worked at the factory before the ironworks in Southwark. A gorgeous man, sharp blue eyes and a lean figure, same age as her at the time. He was polite, often talked to Jackie during their breaks or on their days off.
Although their fun came to an end when Grayson began training his niece the basics, in order to help him search for the Templars and artifact. Weeks turned into months she could not let go of the young man’s face. His gifts and pleasant manners.
“Jacqueline you cannot grieve over this man forever.”
“I know… But what about you and aunt Beatrice?”
Beatrice—a woman who made Grayson happy. Ethan was the only man left to cope with his sorrow.
The man she admires is gone—though he was not like Jacob. The twin has more of a personality and charm, he’s outgoing and has shown his vigilance.
Jacqueline leans against a wall, slipping her journal out from her bag as she flips through the notes she wrote. Most of them were about Jacob, a couple were vents towards Ephraim and her older sister. All aimed towards her uncle who will not read any.
“Jacqueline!” Shouted a familiar voice, not Jacob or Evie. The softness of her voice, she identified who she was. Peeking over her shoulder, Jackie is embraced by her own mother—Naomi Harlow.
The woman with the freckles and the elder sister of Grayson. A woman with sun-kissed skin as she was raised in Spain during her teen years, dark brown hair frizzy, equivalent to her daughter's clumps of red curls.
“Mother? You’re here?” Jacqueline asked, arching a brow.
“Why are you surprised? Are you angry?”
“No! Why are you here? You're supposed to be with Grayson!” She whispered his name, her mother shakes her head.
“Ah your uncle let us go to visit the coffeehouse we’d go weekly, he told us to stay alert.”
Jacqueline grins, pulling away from their embrace. “As long you don’t get into mischief.”
“O’Course, come inside—your father will be happy to see you again!” She takes her hand and leads her into the coffeehouse nearby. The smell of brewed drinks with cooked food and baked pastries on the counters.
“Theo?” Naomi called, her husband raise his head from reading his book. Eyes broadening as he saw his daughter. Her loose red curls, not tied up. Her change of apparel, wearing a coat and trousers. Theodore Thornton-Harlow, approaching his daughter to study the blue iris on her left and the green eye on her right.
“Jacqueline Faith…” he hugs her tight. She embraces her father, sighing in relief to run into her parents and did not change a bit.
“How are you since we departed London with your uncle?” He questioned, messing her curls as she beams.
“Sit love, sit.” Naomi plops her daughter onto her seat and was given a cup of coffee with cream. Her mother’s hand lightly scratching her chin—as if she were a child once again.
“Thank you… Well, father, I did have trouble getting over his decision to protect all of you, now I realize that he will be back soon. Including you two and the Scotts.” She takes a sip, thumbs brushing onto the cup.
“Ah, I begged him not to worry about you when we made it back home. But we were anxious as well. We weren’t sure what to do, keep him out from London or take you back home.” Naomi creased her brows, holding her husband’s hand.
Jacqueline pursed her lips “Focus on Grayson… No matter what happens here, I have a lot of help by my side.”
“This Frye fellow your uncle mentioned?” Theo tilted his head.
“Him, his twin sister and Henry Green.”
Her mother chuckles “How is he? Did he grew up to be handsome as Ethan?”
“Naomi.” Theodore shakes his head in amusement.
“I’m just asking! Surely, this Jacob Frye has made your heart flutter? My god, I should plan for your wedding!”
Jacqueline’s cheeks grew red “Mum." She chuckled under her breath, her stomach tingles as she thought about Jacob. "We're simply partners, that's all."
Naomi chuckles “When Grayson spoke during dinner about his days with Ethan—he mentions how he met his son and how much of an adventurer he was. You were always the climber, the frights you gave us. He could see the similarity between you two.”
“She learned from a young age Naomi, your brother was impressed remember?”
“He is an active man, Theo.” Her parents broke into laughter, Jackie laughing along as she enjoys the humor between her mother and father.
“I did see some connection building up when I first met Jacob. I must admit he has been the most wonderful man I met.”
Theo nods, tapping his cup “I’m sure he is, Jacqueline. I’m sure he’s grateful to meet a benevolent soul like you. My own daughter, still making me proud.”
“Thank you, father.”
Benevolent soul, if Ned revealed Jacob was falling for her, who knew if he was grateful to meet her as well? He was not the type to do so unless he’s hiding it.
“How is Ephraim and Henrietta by the way?” Theo asked, scratching his chin.
Her smile fades away, remembering what Ephraim reaction towards her and Jacob at the sight of the monument.
“You two may not like it—Ephraim is not himself anymore. The man I’ve befriended is not the sweet gentleman we knew—all because of his love towards Ethan’s daughter and manipulation by my sister.”
Naomi frowned, exchanging expressions with her husband “W-What did your sister do?”
“I was unsure—she admitted for spiking Ephraim’s drinks and torturing him if he does follow her orders. I don’t know if she did something else to him.”
Theo and Naomi both gasp faintly in unison. He lowers his chin, covering his mouth as his wife rubbed his back.
“I don’t know what to do anymore… All I know is I have to ignore them and focus on London.”
“Jackie—relax. We know how your sister is towards him. This is not the first time she manipulated him. Did he ever told you… he was…” Her mother stopped, gulping a lump.
“Ephraim was sexually abused by your own sister when she returned from Northern England. He had a breakdown one day and visited us both at night while Henri was out. He claimed she used him for her desires and sometimes forced to steal alcohol at local markets. We asked Henrietta about it and of course, she admitted.”
“This has to be a joke…”
Theo got involved “Unfortunately not. I saw those marks on his neck, guilt in the eyes of a fifteen-year-old boy. He showed us scars on his back! Your sister, twenty-one years of age at the time doing such an offense. We did not want to tell you as you were still young, we both believed he would tell you afterward.”
Her stomach churned, her older sister using her friend for herself. Traumatizing him, hurting him, the fact he roomed with Jacob to avoid her.
“Ephraim… No wonder he had those panic attacks. Books to comfort his anxiety, I didn’t know!” She runs her hands down her face. She perceives she was parallel to her friend, loving her sister but at the moment she was unsure how she felt towards her. “I should have done something.”
Naomi grabs her daughter's hand “We’re sorry we had to mention it… But we had to tell you, Henrietta cannot be around him but he stayed to protect you!”
Jacqueline did not look at her mother, tears stinging as they stream down her cheeks. Hiccuping silently, squeezing Naomi’s hands.
“Jacob and Ephraim, they always told me to wake up from her abuse. I didn’t listen because I loved her.”
“I know you still love your sister, you have patience.” Theo grabs her free hand. “Once this is over, you can back home and we don’t need to go through this again. I could never forgive Henrietta for harming Ephraim and hurting you. I dare not call her my daughter.”
No reaction, she did not care what Henrietta was called anymore.
“We’ll start all over, stay together as a family back in Kent after you complete your missions with the twins.” Theo kisses his daughter’s head, “Alright?”
She smiles weakly, wiping away her tears. However, her heart sank as she ponders of the rest of the missions she still needs to complete. How long till she has to unite with her uncle and family. How long will Ephraim awaken from his arrogance? And Jacob, she did not want to leave Jacob.
“Yes, we’ll go back to the good days. You’ll visit all over England, perhaps start a family of your own!” Naomi agreed with her husband’s words.
Jacqueline smirks “It’s all nice… However, London will still need my help once Starrick is killed. This city may be free from the Templars but it will need time to recover with the help of my friends.”
Theo patted her hand, nodding “I was sure you would say that—I do not blame you.”
“Indeed, Grayson is proud of you and so are we. All these years you’ve grown mature and become braver than ever. You took a great risk and managed to succeed from what we read from your letters.”
“I’ve grown have I?”
“Twenty-one years of age Jackie, you changed a lot since we last saw you.” Theo beamed as his wife laid her head on his shoulder.
Jacqueline sighs “So I did…” she views the clock behind, reading the time.
“Sun’s setting soon, you two should go back home.” She stood, adjusting her coat.
Theo and Naomi did not say a word, both embracing their daughter. She wraps her arms around them, a tight squeeze as minutes passed by. Oh, I’ll miss you both again.
“Don’t forget about your uncle and us. Be alert love.” Naomi sniffled, using the heel of her palm to wipe her tears away.
“I promise, I love you both. Be attentive going back to the station.”
Theo kisses his daughters forehead “If we can walk over here, we can make it back to the station.”
“This city will give you their gratitude, Gray will be proud,” Naomi said as she holds her husband’s hand. “Goodbye.” They both waved as they exit from the coffeehouse.
Jacqueline crosses her arms, grinning from encountering her beloved parents once again. She takes another sip of her coffee and walks out.
She still yet have to find Archie Dawn’s childhood home, huffing out and managing to find an empty coach.
“Stop right here,” said a grating voice.
She perks her head, noticing it was Pearl’s carriage pulling back the reins. Jacqueline remains hidden, witnessing the door opening.
The first who steps out was Crawford Starrick—the Grand Master.
She gasped, covering her mouth as she eavesdrops the two. His hand reaches out to escort Pearl out from the carriage.
No. No. No. Jackie panicked as her heart beats at a brisk pace. Please God no.
“Where’s the Assassin at the moment?” Starrick asked, gesturing his arm forward to have Attaway advance first.
“He should be killing Millner. Quite fascinating for trusting me.”
“What about the niece of Grayson Harlow?”
“Her? Crawford, I prevented the Assassin’s little spaniel away from us. She almost revealed her uncle’s residence before she spewed in my coach.”
Jacqueline hurries to the haystack, lagging behind as they approach the entrance to lead them in a warehouse. Right beside the River Thames. Guarded, many men and women in sight.
“She must be skeptical like Mister Harlow.” Starrick inferences.
“Jealous also, her face when I spoke to her guardian? A spaniel begging for attention, nipping at his sleeves every time.”
“That lying—!” Jacqueline clench her jaw tight as the two enter inside. “... Jacob trusted you… He gave you his confidence.”
Rage rush through, she goes to the nearby wall to enter inside the secured territory. Placing her hand on the bricks, sliding over as she trusted her instincts that no guard was behind. Pulling herself up, no was positioned.
She smirks “Let’s have a chat, Miss Attaway.”
London — City of London: St. Paul’s Cathedral
Evie and Ephraim paced in front of the cathedral, both peering above. The altitude of the architecture, the amount of work to create a massive house of God.
“Where could we find it?” Ephraim gulps hard, the amount of bravery he'll have to suck in.
“You still want to go?”
“Yes. I cannot leave you behind, what if something happens to you?”
“I doubt it… Well, who knows.” She shrugged, beckoning to follow as they made their way to the front of the entrance of the cathedral.
“Promise not to let go?” She stated as Ephraim goes behind to wrap his arms around her shoulders. The only time to have close contact with her. She lifts her arm to aim the launcher to the brink of the cathedral. Hoisting them both up as Ephraim's stomach flutter. He watches beneath from their height as he grasps onto her harder. He was unreliable whether it was the height or his close contact with the twin.
Landing on the top, Evie managed to lift herself with her partner's weight over the surface. Releasing her, he pants heavily as he succeeds to stand on his own. Staring at the assassin making her way to the base of the statue. She takes out the disc.
“What will this do?” He asked, joining her as she opens the lid.
“This has to lead us to the key, fingers crossed Ephraim?”
“Yes.” He crosses them as she commenced to fiddling with the cogwheels. Symbols all scrambled—he waits for her.
He crosses his legs as he relishes the nice view of borough ahead. Reading signs show Starrick's name, a train station remote in the distance.
"This is what you and your brother view every time?"
"Correct, lovely scene?"
Evie chuckles as she heard the last click. The cogwheels occurred to contract each other. She closes the base, heeding the noise at the height of the cathedral.
“It's at the very top!” Ephraim pointed, "Hurry, you don't want to go home empty handed right?"
“Let's be steady, I don't want you to fall." She laughs.
He runs with caution, “Don’t worry… whoa.” He almost slips as he mounts his hands to balance on the roof. Evie furthers him, as he hurries to hang onto her once again.
“You enjoy climbing this high?”
“Since I was two.” She grins as the two ascended to the horizontal top with the rope launcher. Below the dome of the cathedral. He climbs over the little barrier, looking over his shoulder to view the height from where they left off.
"Don't look back, follow me," Evie said as her partner approved. Don't look down, she's here. He grabs onto her again, this time he did not stop by clutching her as the rope managed to hold onto their weight.
"We're almost there, hang on..." She grunts as she pulls herself over the edge of the barrier. Ephraim finally let's go as he catches his breath, leaning over the railing as he only saw how high he was now.
“The key to the vault and the shroud.” She whispered, climbing to the window as he manages to follow. Evie hauls him inside the small room. Stained glass windows in each panel, he looks down as he examined the design of a sun.
The two made their way to the necklace, Evie caress the object—gathering it to take a better view.
“This is it?”
“Yes, now to find the location of the vault.” She slips it on her neck, admiring the key.
Ephraim peers over, raising a brow at the small object.
“Good day Miss Frye.” The two instantly turn around “I’ll take that.”
Lucy Thorne, pacing around the small room with her arms tucked behind. Ephraim grimaces at the sight of the Templar he has encountered before.
"How nice, you brought your old friend to accompany you again. I thought my men might have killed you already."
“I managed to escape,” Evie lifts her hand to prevent Ephraim from going further.
“You want the Shroud to cement your own power - but what if you cannot control it?” The assassin spoke, glaring at Thorne.
“And why do you want the Shroud? Merely to keep the Templars from having it. How like an Assassin - to hold the power of eternal life, and yet be too afraid to use it.”
“Eternal life? Is that what you think the Shroud offers?”
“What I think is no longer your concern.”
“Stand back Ephraim,” Evie said as she unveils her cane.
He avoids Thorne's advance as he spurs to the opposite side, witnessing Evie striking the cane over. Thorne had a weapon of her own, attempting the lash the blade in order to hurt his partner.
"Evie!" He called, alarmed, his heart racing as he did not have a weapon to wound the Templar. Come on find something! Protect her!
His instincts developed as Evie launches a knife across, landing on the wall behind Ephraim. He seizes it, watching the assassin was under Thorne's struggle. He leaps onto her back.
She screams as he attempts to at least cut her.
Evie broadened her eyes, "Ephraim! No!"
“Let go!” Thorne throws him over her shoulder. Landing on his back roughly as she heaved her blade.
Evie promptly thumps her cane across her face—hitting the butt of the cane in her torso as she fell back.
Throne groans as she tosses a bomb as Evie. The two came in contact with a tussle, the twin managed to keep the Templar's blade away from her. She shoves her back, Ephraim scrambling out from the way.
Lucy swings the dagger once again, Evie did not hesitate but to hit her fist on the Templars face once again. Blood gushing out from her nose.
Ephraim clutches onto her free dagger—Thorne stares at the two, yelling as she advances towards Evie—body crashing through the stained glass window.
He hurries to grasp his partner, attempting to pry her away. Arms around her waist, eyes squeezing shut as the assassin holds onto the wall for assistance.
“Coming with me?” Lucy grunts as she endured the necklace.
“I have other plans.” Evie slid out her blade, swiping her arm to cut the necklace off. Ephraim falls onto his back with her still in his arms.
“No!” He shouted, releasing the twin. Evie catches her breath, hurrying to look out the panel as she saw Thorne has disappeared. With the key to the shroud in her hands.
“No no, Evie!” He kept panicking, slamming his palm against the concrete wall.
She huffs, rubbing the back of her neck as she kept ignoring Ephraim’s rants "Damn it." She proceeds to open the latch, leading them out from the small room.
“Let’s move on, I’m sure she won’t find the shroud soon enough.” She says, leaping out to land on the support below.
“Evie!” He catches onto the ledge and landing safely.
“Let’s go.” She told in a stern tone.
The twin opens the door to head down the stairs of the cathedral. Numerous steps, all in a spiral. Walking, Evie did not say a word as distress is in her head.
Ephraim scoffs “You could’ve killed her. I was holding onto you!”
“Ephraim.” She gritted her teeth. Fists clenching hard. Come on Frye, don’t. Do it.
“Now we have to hunt for her! She could be off obtaining the artifact because of your decision to let her live!” He jabs his finger in the air.
Evie did not delay—merely to snatch his coat and hurls him against the wall. The thud startling him as he breathes profoundly.
“Evie? Please, we'll fall!" He dreads as he discerns the two were not close to the bottom of the church yet.
“Quiet. I had enough of your insolence. Your presumption against my brother, my friends, and your surroundings. I lost my patience with you, this is not who you are! I thought you were better than this.”
He wrinkled his brows “Evie, wait I’m sorry—”
“Save it! Our partnership is over, for now on stay home and let Jackie help us instead.” She withdraws from him, marching onward as he was left alone on the steps in St. Paul's. Fingers trembling, resting on the staircase as he runs his hands down.
“Evie, please…” He knew she wouldn’t forgive her. She ran out of forgiveness.
London — City of London
What do you mean they’re family?! Jacob evoked once he killed Millner, hastening through the River Thames with his rope launcher. The amount of confidence he put into Attaway—he doubted Jacqueline for her mistrust.
“Time for Pearl and I to have a real conversation.” He muttered, stopping at the flagpole and strives to slide down. Jacob sneaks his way to find Starrick’s relative, halting himself once two Blighters passed him as he remains hidden behind a wall.
He peeks his head, viewing the glow from his sixth sense, furrowing his brows as he spotted her indoors.
“There you are, what are you up to now, Pearl?”
Jacqueline held her breath as she lies down the man she knocked out, running back her curls as she stood again. She pauses as she saw a figure approaching the warehouse Pearl has entered, she raised a brow. Following him.
“Jacob?” No reply, the figure kept climbing. It has to be him.
“Jacob!” She whispered harshly until she lets out a whistle. Placing her hand on her hip if a guard hearkened the noise.
The twin stops himself from ascending further, looking below “Jackie? You came?”
She pressed her finger to her lips, rising to the roof of the warehouse with him. “We have to talk—”
“I know. And I’m sorry.” He apologized, bowing his head. “I shouldn’t have doubted you, you were right.”
She sighs—unreliable if Jacob is at fault for trusting the businesswoman. Jackie was dubious, she did not know Pearl is Starrick’s cousin and Templar. It made her seem jealous.
“I’m sorry for nagging at you because of my doubts, we should be wary next time who we meet and trust… I forgive you.”
Jacob smirked, “I forgive you as well, shall we?” He gestured to the window.
“Yes.” She progresses to swing inside the opening, silencing herself as Jacob enters. The two made their way down as they heard Pearl and Starrick discussing the engines. The engines Jacob has found for her schemes to maintain their Order.
“I was certain he knew that I belonged to the Order and was there to end me. Imagine my delight when he told me his true purpose. An Assassin helping the Templar cause! Isn't that delicious?” Jacqueline pouts—furious to be called a spaniel before she entered the warehouse.
“It's sickening,” Starrick responded in disgust.
“It's business, cousin. Look at the big picture. With Millner gone, I own the only omnibus company left in London. We already have a monopoly English transportation; the moment your engine's power my buses, we will be legends!”
“That was my plan from the start, with Millner. You forced my hand with your clever little train robbery.”
Jacob and Jackie interchange their features, both shrugging in response. They advance closer down the staircase as their voices became much clearer.
“Crawford, I thought a reconciliation was in order. Do you have no happy memories of our childhood? Summers in Midford? You and I, down by the brook…”
“Did they—” Jacob whispers.
“I think I know what she means…” She shuddered.
“This is a formal meeting, Pearl. Your sentimentality is unbecoming.”
“Unbecoming?! I've had to hear that odious word dribble from men's lips all my life. Refusing to marry is unbecoming. Refusing to allow a man to conduct my affairs is unbecoming.”
Jacqueline rolls her eyes, moving on the last step.
“How unfortunate that I didn't accept your hand in marriage all those years ago. How easy things would be for you now. The omnibuses would be yours by right and I would be at home, acting as hostess to your guests instead of standing here being so... unbecoming!”
“It always ends this way with you, Pearl. I wish it were not so.”
The duo head behind a wall with a hole to view the Grand Master with his cousin. The redhead broadened her eyes, Crawford Starrick in the next room. The man seeking for her journal and her uncle. Jackie draws out her notebook as she writes her entry.
“You glower too much, cousin. You will get your engines back. Our new motorized buses will bring us both a lot of money.” Pearl concluded.
“I'll need to arrange proper transport for the engines to get back to my factory. I want you at Waterloo, personally, to ensure that nothing goes wrong.”
“Of course. May the Father of Understanding guide us.”
“Today and in all of our future endeavors, cousin.” The Templars made their way to the exit, Pearl turns her head as Jacob immediately catches Jackie from being seen. She gasps as her head bumps on his chest. Closing her journal—glancing at him as he heard the faint sounds of the footsteps.
“Waterloo Station.” He whispered. Jacob realizes his closeness to his partner. “Sorry.” He frees her.
She looks away, "It's alright." Jacqueline toys with her hair, cheeks growing hot.
“The door is jam!”
The two hurried upstairs to make their way out. Jacob stabs the man guarding the window, letting Jackie exit first. Jumping beneath, the redhead groans.
“That woman! The nerve to use you!” She huffed, figuring a plan to stop Attaway from transporting the engines.
“Don’t worry, I’m sure to give her visit one last time.”
“Count me in Frye, I would like to have a chat with her.”
London — Whitechapel: Residence Home
Evie paces to the front door of her home, uncertain where Ephraim has left since they parted ways at the cathedral. Guilty of leaving him alone, although she is drained of his misconduct. The discourtesy towards her brother no matter his witty character.
"Even Jacqueline is sick of it." She opens the door.
“Wait for us!” called Jackie.
The assassin turns as the redhead embraces her, "You're in a good mood."
Jacqueline pulls away "Today was an exciting day, until Jacob and I found out who betrayed us."
"You and your uncle are definitely alike." The brash twin pats his partner's back as she smirked.
"At least you two had fun." Evie rubbed her temples.
"You don't look well," Jacob commented.
“Ephraim. I had enough and cut off our partnership. For now on I’m working on my own or with Henry.”
Jacqueline purses her lips "I predicted one day you'll run out of patience. I’m sure he will learn his lesson. If not, I will send him back to Kent with his family.”
“Hope it does not come to that case Jacqueline,” Evie said as all three of them enter inside.
Henrietta tenses her jaw, inspecting the letters in her hands, gulping down a huge amount of whiskey. Panting, she wipes her lips and picks up another letter.
Jacob opens the door to let in the girls first. Henrietta slams her glass on the table—having the three of them to glance at her.
“Telling our uncle about Ephraim and me? Behind our backs?” She growled.
"Henri, you do not have the right—"
"Don’t you understand that she will never redeem herself? What did you write?" Henrietta rose from her chair.
Jacob steps in front of his partner, drawing his brows together.
"What did you say to Grayson?!"
"You gave me a black eye! Everyone knew but I wouldn’t admit it because I was afraid!" Jacqueline raised her tone.
Henrietta approached "Don't raise your fucking voice!"
"Stay away." Evie gritted her teeth, placing her arm in front of the redhead.
“Here, give this your lover… Since she doesn't know who her sister is anymore.” She snarled as Jacob snatches the message, passing it to Jackie.
“Don’t assume.” He growls as she takes another drink.
“Henri. Those are private exchanges with our uncle. You always act if I did something wrong when you did something worse!"
Her older sister stood stiff, glowering "Shut up... I care about you, I care about Ephraim!"
Jacqueline closes her eyes, breathing in and letting it all out "Our parents were back in London, I had a discussion with them. You manipulated Ephraim, you used him for your own desires. You violated this poor soul! Now, look at him!"
Henrietta instead went to lunge after her as Evie held her back, Jacob protected his partner by keeping his arm across.
“Let go of me, you whore!”
“Charming! I advise you to leave or have a civil chat with your younger sister.” The twin stated, grimacing Henrietta.
“Alright, just let go of me.” She raises her voice, Evie frees her. Preparing herself to maintain her back for any other sudden movement.
“You barely worry about me anymore… You only mind about these two arseholes and that Green guy! This is why Ephraim—”
“Ephraim changed because of you!"
Her older sister heaved a hand as Jacob slid out his blade. Directing towards Henrietta without a second thought. She leaps back, gazing at the blade.
“Easy Jacob…” Evie said, in a soothing tone to not frustrate her brother even more.
“Do it. I fucking dare you…"
"If you lay a hand on her, you’ll end up crippled for the rest of your life."
"Really? Jacqueline, are you hearing this?” Henrietta leered.
The redhead held her partner’s arm, lowering it to his side. He’s tensed, glaring at Henrietta as if they were ready to lash onto each other. Like two wolves fighting for leadership.
“Are you even listening?!”
“I am not deaf, Henrietta.” She snarled. “You never knew what true love is, you never knew how much I loved you. I try redeeming your actions, instead, you keep on committing your same mistakes.” Jacqueline hiccuped, brows furrowing.
“I hate our family, I hate you!”
“I know because your heart is filled with pure hatred, you use people to please yourself. Ephraim, Grayson, and I. I should have left you back in Kent.”
“Shut up!” The older sister strikes a fist, Evie hurries but suddenly, Jacqueline blocks her hit.
The elder sister widened her eyes, feeling the tight grip on her knuckles. The strength her little sister kept–the shock of having to see her overcome her blows.
Jacqueline shoves her back, her sister plummets onto the floor. Still, in shock, her eyes were stinging with tears.
Jacqueline’s chest heaves from her fury “I don’t want to hurt you, but that was the last time you’ll ever hit me.”
“I fucking hate you.” Henrietta stands and hurries back inside of her room. Jacqueline flinches from the loud slam.
“Jackie, I didn’t expect that.” The brash twin held her shoulder.
“I’m sorry you saw that.” She gulped “I’m tired of the abuse. You were right, so was Ephraim.” She exhales through her nose.
“Don't feel guilty,” Evie declared "I believed she earned it, let us continue to work without any of their distractions."
The redhead kept looking down at her boots, Evie sighs as she places her hands on her cheeks. Lifting her head up gently.
“Hey. Don’t worry about it.” She said.
“Remember what I said? I won’t let anyone lay a hand on my partner.” Jacob walked towards to face Jacqueline. Smirking at her as she beams. She remembers.
"Thank you both… So just the three of us and Henry again?"
"Yes and I'm glad we are once again." Evie smiled.