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Helping the Poor

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Disclaimer: I do not own or profit from Assassin’s Creed or any relevant characters, which remain the property of Ubisoft.

Walking around Acre's Poor District was always difficult for Altaïr. Around every corner, there was another wild-eyed, ranting madman, another hungry orphan child dying in the heat, another old, poverty-stricken shadow of humanity, desperately clinging to life. Worst of all; the young women running up to him, tugging desperately at his robes, pleading him for coins. More often than not, he would have nothing to give them, and he felt so bad about having to ignore them, as their pleas would grow louder, filled more and more with desperation. Once or twice, such young women had even turned to violence, throwing rocks at him in temper, and another had tried to push him into a fountain, a move that would have cost her life, had she not been a woman, an innocent. Altaïr hated getting wet without reason.

Today, as usual, he had no money to appease the pleading masses, having spent all his gold on stable and horse rental, and he felt like an even bigger bastard than everybody else already thought he was. He sighed as he noticed a young girl, about his age, perhaps younger, dressed in rags. He pulled his cowl down, desperate not to make eye contact with her, but it was too late; she had already singled him out, and came dashing awkwardly towards him. No, please, Altaïr thought to himself. Leave me alone... I have nothing for you...

"Please, sir," she implored him, "please help me. My family is sick... my husband is dead... killed in the Crusades... I can no longer stay in the barracks, I am living on the streets, sir, I have lost everything..."

Altaïr put his head down, hoping she would go and pester someone else, however she persisted. "Please sir, anything would help." He felt a gentle hand on his shoulder, so he felt there was no option but to turn and face the girl. She had big, wide, almond-shaped, chocolate brown eyes, though they were brimming with tears, a small, cute, upturned nose, soft pink lips quivering through emotion, and sun-kissed skin that Altaïr supposed was soft to the touch. Although her clothes were old, torn and dirty, her long, black, plaited hair was neat and clean. She still cared very much about her appearance, so there must be some hope for her yet. Her obvious beauty made it even harder for Altaïr to say what he had to:

"I am sorry, Miss, I don't have anything to give you."

Her pretty face darkened, and her sad eyes narrowed. "You're lying," she hissed. "Look at you, in your smart, clean smock, expensive sword..." Altaïr guiltily covered the gilded hilt, "...and I bet those leather boots cost a fair lot of coin, too!" Angrily, she stamped on his right foot.

"Argh!" Altaïr screamed out in pain, unintentionally clenching his fist around the sword handle.

The young woman gasped in horror, completely misunderstanding Altaïr's reaction. "And now you intend to attack me, just because I asked you for some help, which you're refusing to give?" she screamed at him. "You're the lowest." With that, she kicked him sharply in the shin, turned, and ran away. As she went, she hollered, "Guards, he's trying to kill me!"

Altaïr shook his head and headed away at a trot in the opposite direction to the girl, trying to ignore the pain in his leg, and the distant yells of the soldiers trying to seek him out for daring to threaten a helpless young maiden. What annoyed him the most was that he never even set out to hurt the girl. If he'd had so much as a brass coin, he would have let her have that. How he hated not having any money; he hoped he would be paid handsomely for dispatching his next target...

He sat on a bench between two well-dressed gentlemen, where he put his head in his hands and sighed. He couldn't get the pretty girl out of his mind, regardless of how nastily she had reacted to him. If only he'd had a few coins spare, it would have saved him a lot of grief. He reached for his water bottle and took a long draught, letting some splash on his face. Quite forgetting about his well-to-do neighbours, he shook his head rapidly to get rid of the excess water, accidentally splashing the bench's other occupants. Both of them rose from their seats, one of them clucking his tongue in disgust. Altaïr was certain he heard the word 'peasant' muttered as well. Rolling his eyes, he stood up as well. Acre was not a very friendly place at all.

Wandering by the harbour, trying to get rid of his bad temper, Altaïr's ears pricked up as he heard an altercation. The friendly neighbourhood guards were probably picking on a random citizen again. He sighed and followed the shouts of the guards, and the urgent, somehow familiar, pleas of a female.

"How dare you steal right under my nose?" one of the guards snarled.

"You'll pay for this with your life!" another snapped.

"Or your virginity," came the vulgar suggestion of a third.

Another sniggered. "You think this one's a virgin?" A pause. "She has the smell of the brothels about her."

"Hmm, that'll make it easier," the third guard said hungrily.

"This is not the issue!" the first voice barked. "This woman clearly stole something from a local merchant, and she must be punished somehow." The voices were loud, and Altaïr anticipated they were right around the corner. Leaning on a wall next to the archway he had just come through, Altaïr spotted the four guards, surrounding the girl, one of them holding her hands firmly behind her back, so she couldn't get away without risking a broken arm.

"You should lie with her then, in that case," a soldier piped up, slapping his taller comrade on the back. "I heard from your wife you are so awful; that would be punishment enough..." He roared with laughter at his own joke. He was the only one who did.

The taller guard, evidently the third voice that Altaïr had heard, started shaking with rage. "What did you say?" he snarled, drawing his sword. He poked the point straight at the fourth soldier's throat. "Take that back, now!"

The first soldier, obviously the leader, grabbed the tall soldier's sword hand, lowering it roughly. "We are not here to debate who is going to take this woman!" he raged. "She has been seen stealing fruit from a merchant's stand, and she must be punished.” He turned to the prisoner, who was being held firmly by the severe-looking second soldier. "Give me your right hand, woman!" he demanded.

The prisoner screamed. "No! Leave me alone! I've done nothing wrong!" She struggled feebly against the soldier's death grip.

"Shut up and give me your hand!" yelled the captain, drawing his sword.

Altaïr could waste no more time. Deploying his hidden blade, he lunged at the side of the soldier's neck. The last the unaware guard knew was a sharp pain in his jugular, blood coursing down his chest.

The guard who was holding the woman prisoner brutally tossed her aside, knocking her to the ground, coming at Altaïr with a heavy mace. Swiftly, the Assassin ducked, driving his sword into the second-in-command's gut, then kicking the corpse free, watching as it tumbled to the ground in a heap of black visceral blood. The mace flew clumsily away, landing with a crunch on the fourth guard's foot. He whimpered, fell to the ground, and began to crawl away.

Altaïr pointed his scarlet sword at the shaking, bleeding guard who pleaded for his life to be spared. Never one to listen, Altaïr brought his sword crashing down onto the guard's skull, putting the pathetic, snivelling soul out of its misery.

Finally, he turned to face the tallest guard, who overshadowed even Altaïr's impressive six-foot height. "So," he hissed at the soldier, "you think it's clever to treat women as sex objects, do you?"

The guard snarled. "So what? The harlot over there committed a crime, and she must be punished somehow. And if I can get something out of it, what's the harm?" He gave a nasty laugh.

Altaïr was disgusted. "You would rape a woman for trying to survive?" he hissed back. "Trying to feed herself and her starving family? What amazes me is that you would rape a woman at all!" Almost silently, he deployed the blade that had felled his captain. "You sicken me!" He lunged at the tall soldier with his left arm, and was promptly pushed away. He staggered backwards, and gripped his sword, still dripping with the blood of the tall guard's comrades.

"You wish to meet the same fate as your brothers-in-arms? So be it," Altaïr growled, swinging his sword towards the evil, sex-crazed soldier, but he heard the crash of steel on steel as the guard blocked the attack.

With frustration, Altaïr swung his sword over his head, and although he knew he was leaving himself open to attack, aimed for the guard's exposed neck. This time his aim was true, and he turned his head away, feeling a spurt of scarlet sully his white hood. The fatally wounded guard dropped to his knees, grunting, gasping for breath. In a final act of rage, Altaïr pushed the stricken guard backwards, and stomped hard on the guard's genitals, feeling a satisfying pop beneath his foot. That would teach him not to treat a woman the way he had just done; not that he would ever know the touch of a woman again.

Sheathing his sword, he ran for the helpless, cowering woman in rags. "I'm sorry you had to witness that," he said gently. He touched the vaguely familiar black hair as he knelt down next to the prostrate, sobbing girl.

Soothingly, he hushed her. "It's okay," he said, reassuringly. "The danger has passed. It's over now."

She turned her face towards him, and although her eyes were red and streaming, he recognised her as the girl who had assaulted and slandered him earlier. His eyes widened in surprise.

The woman sat bolt upright, and eased herself to her feet. "Oh, it's you," she spat. "I'm beginning to wish I hadn't been rescued."

"You rather you lost a hand than be saved," Altaïr questioned indignantly. "Just because I couldn't help you earlier?"

The girl shook at that suggestion, her dark complexion going pale, as if considering the alternative. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm grateful, I really am." She fell towards Altaïr, steadying herself on his muscular frame, her arms entwining him voluntarily. Her lips found his ear. "And I will repay you in any way I can."

Altaïr embraced the woman in return, stroking her soft hair to comfort her. "There is no need," he replied quietly. "You have nothing to offer me."

The girl bravely pushed back Altaïr's hood, the better to see him. "Oh, but I do," she breathed, reaching up and stroking Altaïr's face. "I have to thank you for saving my life, Sir..." She paused, and gave him a questioning look with her big brown eyes.

"Altaïr," He told the girl his name. It was only courtesy. She would want to know the name of the man who had saved her hand, possibly her life.

"Kalla," she whispered.

Altaïr smiled. "Kalla," he repeated. "A beautiful name for a beautiful lady." He took her hand, and kissed it.

Kalla squeezed his hand in return. "So you will accept my offer?" she said hopefully.

Altaïr was fairly sure what 'offer' Kalla had in mind, but he didn't want to take advantage of the poor girl. She had been through enough today, surely sexual congress would be the furthest thing from her mind, especially considering what those brutal soldiers, now lying motionless in a mingling pool of blood, had been threatening to do to her.

"First, answer me this," Altaïr said. "Did you really do what those soldiers said you did?"

Kalla cast her eyes downward. "I... must admit my guilt," she murmured, ashamed of her actions. "I cannot lie to you, Sir Altaïr."

The Assassin had thought as much. However, he understood why she did it; she had to survive. "Tell me more about your family. I heard your husband was killed in the Crusades." He hoped to God that he hadn't been responsible for his demise.

Kalla nodded. "Yes," she replied sadly. "He was killed in battle with the Saracen troops."

"I'm sorry," Altaïr cradled her head, holding her to his chest. She seemed awfully young to have a husband. "Any children?"

"No," she said, sadly, "but I live with his mother, and mine." She looked up at Altaïr, tears once again glazing her pretty brown eyes. "They are both very ill. I cannot afford much food, or what the local healers charge for medicine, and in any case... I think they're dying..." Kalla sniffed, burying her face in Altaïr's shoulder. "Oh, Sir Altaïr," she sighed, "what am I going to do...?"

"It's going to be all right," he reassured the sobbing girl, who was holding onto his dirtied, bloody robes for all she was worth. He resolved to do everything within his means to help her and her little family. "I'll protec..."

His words were interrupted by a shout. "It's the assassin! He's killed four of them! Get him! And the girl as well!"

"Oh, no..." Altaïr sighed, quickly sweeping Kalla off the ground and into his arms. "Hold onto me," he whispered as he started running with her.

Kalla clutched him tightly around his chest, the terror beginning to hit her again. Eyes scrunched closed, she felt Altaïr rush her at speed along the pavements, occasionally barging into the odd unfortunate person who was in the way. She heard the screams of bystanders as Altaïr deftly moved in between the masses, and the shouts of the district's guards, which seemed, she hoped, to get fainter and fainter. After what seemed like an age, she felt herself be hurled into what felt like a haystack, Altaïr diving in straight behind. Within the half light of the bale, she felt Altaïr's strong arms around her. He was motionless against her, and stopped her attempts to kiss him by putting a finger to her lips. "Shush," he mumbled into her ear. "Stay still. Stay quiet. There may yet be guards around."

Kalla wanted to nod, but daren't for fear of attracting unwanted attention. She trusted Altaïr's judgement completely. She would have been shaking with fear, had it not been for the assassin's warm embrace. Listening out for any footsteps, there were some that were dangerously close. She held her breath, squeezing Altaïr firmly around the middle.

"Damn it! We lost 'em!" she heard an angry voice. "Keep your eyes open, men, they could be anywhere!" The footsteps died away, and Kalla felt she could breathe once again.

Altaïr breathed a sigh of relief. "My God, that was close," he gasped. He caught sight of Kalla's beautiful face, and felt so guilty. He had got her involved in some dangerous stunts, which a sweet, young woman like her should never have to experience. Stroking her face, he considered her; wide-eyed and innocent, only trying to help and protect what was left of her family. "I'm so sorry," he said to her. "I never meant to get you involved in..."

Kalla pulled him closer, and kissed him gently on the lips to silence him. She said nothing, but smiled back, and kissed him again, harder, deeper, sliding her tongue into his mouth.

Altaïr sighed, kissing her in return. He knew this moment had been coming since before he had saved her, since their eyes had met when she had first approached him, begging for money. He really had wanted to aid her, and was glad he had been able to help, by saving her life. He tugged at her hairbands, unbraiding her soft, ebony hair with his fingers. She looked even more gorgeous with her flowing tresses around her shoulders. He wanted her, he was sure that she wanted him, too. He wanted to kiss her pretty lips again, and again. It was too dark, damp and smelly in this haystack, though.

"Come, beautiful," Altaïr whispered. "We should go somewhere more... comfortable." He smiled and kissed her soft cheek. He pulled her to a standing position out of the haystack, lifted her gently, and jumped out of the cart, with her in his arms.

For a moment they stood facing each other. Kalla stared beyond Altaïr's hood, into his dark, mysterious eyes, whilst he picked strands of hay from her hair.

"Where can we go?" Kalla asked, desperation in her voice. She was eager to be alone with her saviour, away from the prying eyes of the guards and general public of Acre.

"I know a place," Altaïr said seductively. There were a few abandoned buildings, old barracks, he supposed, down by the docks. Places that had not yet been occupied by the local whores. Not the most pleasant of places, not the height of romance, but they provided a nice bit of privacy for frisky couples. "Follow me, my darling." He took Kalla's hand.

When they reached the abandoned barracks, they stood in the doorway of the first, deserted block. Altaïr took Kalla into his arms, and resumed his deep kissing of her. She sighed delicately, as he allowed his lips to trail to her throat. She threw her head back, enjoying the intense sensation, his wetted lips kissing the soft, sensitive skin underneath her chin. "Oh, Sir Altaïr," she whispered, "take me inside, please. I... I want you."

Altaïr smiled. He liked the way she called him "Sir", it made him feel powerful. Like he was in control of this cute little waif. "I must ask you, my sweet," he said, tenderly, "and I want you to be honest." He tried to resist kissing her lips, but allowed himself a little peck. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-two, my darling," Kalla whispered. She giggled. "Don't worry, I'm old enough." Smiling wickedly, she tickled his chin. "Old enough to know better, too..."

Altaïr felt himself get hard. It wouldn't be long before he could have the beautiful girl, and relieve this uncomfortable ache within him. He had not felt this strongly about a woman since... Adha... the love of his life. He tried not to think of her, it was too painful, and he didn't want anything to put him off. The girl in his arms right now, was what mattered. "Let's go inside," he said, feverishly, urgently. Pushing the wooden door, he felt relief when it gave way to his shove. "Come on..."

Wondering if she was as aroused as he was, he took her into a dark corner, giving her a kiss, reaching down to feel her breasts. They were small, but soft and perky. He longed to see them, natural and bare.

Kalla sighed as she felt Altaïr's rough hands on her chest. "Sir Altaïr," she said, questioningly. "I heard the soldiers calling you Assassin." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "Is that true?" She had heard of the Order of Assassins; they were, by all accounts, a brutal lot, not letting anyone get in the way of their ultimate goals, whatever they were, slaughtering all who stood in their way. No wonder he had dispatched of the guards as quickly as he had. Was he really one of the trained, killing machines she had heard such fearful stories about?

Altaïr smirked underneath his hood. "If I said I was," he murmured, "would that turn you on?"

Kalla relaxed against the stone wall, her eyes half-closed. "Yes," she admitted. Despite the horrific stories of corruption and murder she had associated with the Assassins, she liked the idea of being overpowered by one. "Yes it would. Very much so!"

Altaïr grinned, raising a hand to his forehead, pulling his cowl off, so he could properly see the beautiful girl before him. "In that case," he whispered, "of course I am." He gave Kalla a broad grin. "I think it's time you took that dress off."

Kalla smiled back at him, shaking with anticipation, leaning against the wall to steady herself. Sir Altaïr was the most handsome man she had ever seen, even surpassing the dark, good looks of her deceased husband. Black hair, soft tan skin, and strong features, he was even more handsome without his hood. Willingly, she slipped her shoulders out of her dress, tugging it down to her hips, revealing her naked breasts.

Altaïr smiled in appreciation. "Mmm, no undershirt," he murmured hungrily, reaching to touch her dark nipples.

"It was too hot to wear it," Kalla explained, allowing her dress to fall to the ground. Now she was totally naked, completely within the power of the man before her. She gazed at him, as he gently nipped her chin, his eager tongue sliding to her ears, greedy teeth nibbling her earlobes. With each passing moment, every fibre of her being wanted him more and more. She moaned as he slipped his tongue down her body, gnawing gently on her collarbones, laying soft kisses on her breasts.

"Oh, that's nice," Kalla sighed, ready to give herself fully to the beautiful Assassin. He trailed his kisses slowly down her stomach, licking her navel, making her shudder. "Ohh... Sir Altaïr..."

Slowly, Altaïr trailed the tip of his tongue lower and lower down her stomach, until, kneeling in front of her, and wrapping his hands around her hips, squeezing her firm little buttocks, he began lapping gently at the opening between her legs.

"Aahh," Kalla sighed, her hands reaching for Altaïr's head. She began running her fingers through his soft hair. She tried not to pull at it as she fondled his neck and cheekbones, pushing him closer to her. The pleasant friction of his tongue within her was amazing, making her tingle and sweat. "That feels so good, Sir Altaïr..."

He stroked at her bottom, his fingers skimming the parting in between her cheeks. Hearing her giggle, he darted his tongue deeper into her sex. This made her lean even heavier on the cold stone wall, her legs shaking. She groaned even louder, not caring if anyone should hear them. She wondered how many women he had pleasured this way, because he was obviously well practised. She felt his hands slip from her buttocks onto her thighs. He gently kissed her clit, which was hard and wet against his lips. Rubbing his tongue against it, Kalla squealed in ecstasy. "Ahh! So good!" she cried, scratching her fingernails on the walls, enjoying the beautiful, intense feeling. If he kept going like this she might come.

Altaïr withdrew his lips and quickly stood up to kiss Kalla to silence her. Not that he thought she was making too much noise, he merely wanted to tease her, make her wait for her pleasure. She was his to control, and he wanted, in this half-lit, abandoned hall, to have her for as long as possible.

Enjoying Altaïr's kisses, Kalla wished he was still orally pleasuring her. She had never felt anything like it. She wanted him every night for the rest of her life, making sweet, gentle love on a sandy beach, far away from the poverty and struggle of Acre. She knew though, that was impossible. He was an Assassin, and he must go where his deadly work took him. If only she could come with him; she felt like she was falling in love with him. No, she reminded herself, feeling his fingertips caress her ribcage as he smooched her. He will only leave me. She had only had one other love in her life, and that was her husband; a good, kind, sweet, caring man, taken away in the blink of an eye, ironically enough, with an arrow to the chest. She knew it had gone through his heart, his good, wonderful heart. She didn't want her rescuer to suffer the same fate.

"Lie down," Altaïr whispered. "Lie down so I can take you."

Kalla willingly eased herself onto the wooden floor, opening her thighs wide. Altaïr smiled at her naïvety. "No, no," he coaxed. "On your front. Please." He put his hands on her sides, helping her roll onto her stomach. "This way," he coaxed, hands on her skinny hips. "Kneel up... bottom in the air..." He licked his lips in anticipation. "Head down, that's right," he whispered as Kalla rested her right cheek on the ground. "Perfect." He took a couple of fingers and slid them into the wet, waiting hole in beneath her thighs. He started rapidly shoving them inside of her. "Is that okay?" he said.

Kalla sighed. It was more than okay. "That's nice," she told him, "that's so nice..." She grunted in pleasure. "Keep doing that... please!"

Altaïr grinned. "Do you want me inside of you?" he asked, unfastening his weapons holsters with his free hand. "Do you want me to make love to you?"

"Yes..." Kalla sighed in pleasure, awaiting Altaïr's next action almost impatiently. "Yes... please... I want you so badly, Sir Altaïr."

"How badly do you want me?" he asked, teasingly, starting to pull off his tunic.

"So badly..." Kalla breathed. "So badly it hurts... it feels like I might burst!"

Altaïr laughed out loud, he couldn't help it. Kalla sounded so melodramatic. "Oh, you're so funny," he said, taking his fingers from her. "So funny, I can't resist you." He leaned over and kissed the back of her neck. "Stay there, and be patient. I have to get myself naked." He threw his robes aside, sat down and pulled off his soft leather boots, before tugging off his trousers and shorts, freeing his uncomfortable, pulsating hardness. Crawling over to Kalla's inviting thighs, he readied himself behind her. He grinned, running the tip of his ready manhood along her wet opening a few times, before pushing himself into her. "Aaaahhhh..." Kalla couldn't help but cry out in pleasure. "Thank you, Sir Altaïr!" He was big, very big, and he knew how to use every inch of it.

Altaïr paused to pull his under-shirt off, the better to enjoy the feeling of Kalla's skin against his. He leant down as he rubbed up against her, kissing her neck, squeezing her little tits. "You're so cute," he whispered to her, his cheek brushing against her soft hair. He moved his hips faster against her, listening to her screams of ecstasy. "You like that?" he asked, almost rhetorically. It was evident that she was enjoying herself. Perhaps I should go a bit faster, he thought, pushing himself against her harder, slipping in and out more quickly. In his excitement, once when he slipped out of her, he accidentally entered the tighter, higher, forbidden hole. Kalla screamed out in pain, and surprise.

Altaïr bit his lip and covered his mouth with his hand. "I'm sorry!" he gasped, carefully withdrawing. "So sorry, baby. I got carried away." He put his stubbly cheek on her shoulder, and noticed her body was shaking rhythmically. "Oh, baby," he said, kissing her skin, "did I hurt you?"

Kalla turned to face him, tears streaming down her face. However, there was a big grin on her lips. She was laughing! "Oops!" she commented, casually. "Never mind, we can try again." She got back on her knees. "Come on, darling."

Altaïr smiled and raised his eyebrows. What a game girl! He resolved to be more careful as he re-entered her. Or maybe, he should be a little daring. He allowed his fingers to play about her arse, letting one slip casually inside her...

Kalla stiffened up. "Don't even think about it, Assassin," she said with confidence, looking darkly at him over her shoulder with her smouldering almond eyes. "I know your type!" In all truth, she knew nothing about what men wanted, having only ever shared her bed, and thus her virginity, with her husband. Now he was gone, she had a lot to learn.

Altaïr smiled. This was more like it. He was bringing the girl out of her shell already. "I'm sorry, my darling," he said, pulling his finger out of her bottom. He returned to gently making love to Kalla, on her terms. He playfully tickled her stomach, making her shudder. "You like this?" he asked, sliding completely out of her and stabbing himself roughly back in. "Nice and rough?"

"Yes..." Kalla reached up to her private parts and stroked herself as Altaïr took her, animal-like from behind. She closed her eyes, enjoying both sensations, sighing breathlessly.

Altaïr, noticing Kalla was fingering herself, pulled her hand away. "Abstain from that, my darling," he whispered, leaning down towards her ear. "Deny yourself for now... and you will be rewarded later." He pinned both of her hands to the cold, hard floor as he shoved himself deeper and harder into her.

Kalla was frustrated, but she quite liked being dominated like this. Feeling Altaïr inside of her, and hearing his heavy breathing, knowing that she was letting him gain such physical excitement from her petite, beautiful naked body was pleasurable enough for now, she convinced herself. Still, she couldn't wait for the reward for her patience. She listened to him panting fast, and starting to moan and mutter under his breath, something she couldn't quite make out.

Altaïr sucked in his breath, knowing that climax was imminent. He quickly pulled himself out of her, allowing his seed to spill onto the ground. The last thing Kalla needed in her predicament was another mouth to feed. He doubted her situation would have improved within forty weeks, either. He breathed out heavily through parted lips, and rested his cheek on Kalla's silky back. "That was nice," he growled, seductively. "Consider your offer accepted, and taken."

Kalla giggled, as she felt Altaïr reach to kiss her. "So," she asked huskily, "how about my reward?"

A wicked grin slipped across Altaïr's face. "Of course, my darling," he said. "A promise is a promise." He touched her left breast, stroking the raised, hyper-sensitive spot, clamping it gently between his index and middle finger. "Turn over," he whispered feverishly. "I want to see your face." Easing her onto her back, he reached down and kissed her other breast.

Kalla wrapped her skinny arms around his shoulders. "Sir Altaïr," she whispered. "Thank you for saving me earlier. I...” She swallowed, her throat becoming dry. "I can't thank you enough."

"You don't have to," whispered Altaïr, letting himself slide down her body. Kalla hoped she knew what was coming to her.

Sure enough, Altaïr let his cold tongue curiously dive back into her warm, wet chasm, lapping gently at her crotch, his fingers still reaching up to fondle her warm chest.

Kalla sighed in pleasure as his tongue flicked up and down, gently poking inside. "Sir... Altaïr..." she wheezed breathlessly. "Don't stop... that's... so good..." She reached for his head, as if to try and attempt to push him further into her.

Altaïr wiggled his tongue faster, then paused to catch his breath and gauge the results. Kalla was sitting up now, watching exactly what he was doing. It turned her on more, seeing Altaïr pleasure her, and made her orgasm begin to build slowly. He looked up at her, his nose and lips dripping with moisture, gazing at her straight in the eyes. He knew just by the look on her face that it wouldn't be long now, gave her a naughty grin, and licked her slowly and carefully.

The sensation alone was enough to make Kalla's breath come hard, she found it difficult to describe how good he was making her feel. There was a tingling sensation building in her buttocks, a warmth spreading up her body. She felt her chest and face flushing with passion, and she couldn't stop herself from wriggling her hips, and grunting primally. The warmth turned into pulsating waves of pleasure, her heart raced and her breath came even shorter. "Sir Altaïr!" she yelled, unable to control herself. "That's it, that's amazing," She gave a throaty sigh, and gently pushed Altaïr's head away. She lay back, exhausted, on the wood floor, now damp with sweat. "Thank you, Sir Altaïr," she sighed, exhausted. She really wanted his keen tongue to play with her a bit more, but now her sex was at the peak of its arousal, it was a little too sensitive, too uncomfortable, to be touched, even by her own fingers, as she found with an experimental stroke. She sucked in her breath and withdrew her hand. "That was... amazing."

Altaïr found his way up to the beautiful girl. "I aim to please," he said, kissing her cheek. He snuggled up to her, wishing he had somewhere even more private, more personal, to take her. He could take her back to Masayaf and make her his wife, but what of the two-day horse ride? Would she appreciate, even survive, the harsh conditions of the journey. And what of her mother and mother-in-law? She couldn't just leave them to fend for themselves; poor, sick and hungry as they were. Oh, how he wished things were different! A beautiful young thing like Kalla deserved better, but finding that something 'better' was the worst, and hardest part, Was it really 'better' taking up residence with an Assassin, whom she may lose at any point, and be back at zero, stuck in a strange town with no family, no friends? The concept of it brought tears to his eyes. He embraced Kalla, burying his head in her shoulder, not wanting her to see him like this, see him crying for her. She deserved far more than his pity.

Kalla was far too clever to be fooled by his façade. Now it was her turn to comfort him. "Sir Altaïr," she asked, sadly. "Dear, sweet Assassin, what's wrong?" She gently stroked his head, spiking his sweat-dripping hair.

Altaïr sniffed, holding back tears. He tilted his head and looked at her earnestly. "I want to give you everything," he said, trying to keep the shaky, tearful tone out of his voice, "yet I am a man of simple means. I have nothing to offer you, dear Kalla," he went on. "You deserve so much. Better than a life of poverty in Acre, or anywhere else. Better than this Godforsaken, so-called Holy Land." He paused and swallowed, kissing Kalla softly on the lips. "Better... better than me." He embraced her, lying his head on her chest.

"I don't ask for much," Kalla answered quietly. "All I want is a better life for my mother. And my mother-in-law. Why should they spend their final years suffering?" She bit her lip to keep from crying. "It's so unfair!"

Altaïr felt his heart breaking. "You are a sweet, noble young woman," he said quietly. "I sincerely hope things get better for you, my darling." He planted a quick kiss on her forehead, and stood up. "Come," he said, slipping his shorts back on. "We should get moving. It will be dark soon. I want to see you home safe."

Reluctantly, Kalla stood up, and slipped her dress back on, She tied her hair up in a simple ponytail, too tired and emotional to even attempt to plait it, and dragged some more straw out of it. She watched as the Assassin dressed and re-armed himself. Taking his hand, they left the building into the balmy Acre dusk.

*

One month later, Altaïr was once again bidden to wander Acre, bidden to look for another target, running his shady businesses from there, when, walking through the market, he saw a familiar face. Kalla! She was behind one of the fruit stalls, and had on a new looking dress. Her hair looked glossier, and her face brighter, with a smile. Her eyes met Altaïr's, but she knew she mustn't give any sign of recognition, lest she blow his cover... She was delighted though, when he made a rapid approach through the crowd, his eyes never leaving hers.

"Sir Altaïr!" she whispered excitedly. "It's so good to see you!" She longed to kiss him but she was on duty.

"Kalla," he said, with relief. "I'm so glad you're all right!" He reached into his pocket, pulling out a golden coin. "I take it you won't need this?"

The pretty merchant girl shook her head. "No, Sir Altaïr." She closed his fist with her own hand, giving his fingers a squeeze. "You need it more than I."

Altaïr smiled. "I'm glad you're doing well," he said earnestly, wondering when her fortunes had changed.

Kalla's smile grew wider. "I'll explain what happened. I felt so bad about stealing from this merchant," she began, indicating a busy man chatting animatedly with a customer, "that I went to apologise. He was a kind man, and said he understood why I would do such a thing. Then he mentioned he needed some help running his stall, so he offered me work here." She clasped her hands together in joy. "After a week I could afford some medicine for my ailing mother and mother-in-law, and I sought about getting them shelter in those... houses... you showed me." Her cheeks went a lovely pink colour, and she looked down, smiling guiltily. She looked up. "No-one's said anything, but John..." Again, she indicated the gentleman, who was now sharing a joke with a customer. "He's said if things fall through, he will gladly rent us the back room of his house."

Altaïr smiled, humbled by her story. He was so glad for her, and that everything had worked out.

Kalla gently caught his hand, looked at him with her dark brown eyes, and smiled. "It's all thanks to you," she whispered. "If we haven't met, and talked and..." She smiled, a slightly dirty smile and bit her lip. "I would never have found the courage to apologise." A far cleaner grin appeared on her face. "And I wouldn't be here now, much less have a job."

"What's going on here?" the man called John turned to Kalla. "Is this a social gathering?" His tone was serious, but his folded arms, cocked head, and small smile indicated that he didn't really mind.

"Sorry, sir," Kalla said casually. "Just catching up with an old friend."

John observed that the two were holding hands. "Hmm, okay, an old friend," he said, suspiciously.

Altaïr gulped nervously as John turned his gaze toward him.

"Don't let this one get away, my friend," he said, with a wink, before turning to another shopper. "Hello there, what can I do for you?"

Altaïr breathed a sigh of relief. "I thought he was onto me," he said. "My heart is going that fast!"

Kalla giggled. "Well," she said, "I suppose you're working..."

Altaïr nodded sadly.

Reluctantly, Kalla began to slip her hand away from Altaïr's, but not before he had lain a soft kiss upon it. "I wish I didn't have to let you get away," he told her gently, as his fingertips left hers. He was glad his eyes were mostly hidden by his cowl; they were filling up with tears. What they shared was spontaneous and passionate, and he had strong, unbearable feelings for her. However, he knew that being with her would put her at risk, and he didn't want that.

Kalla noticed the tears, but chose not to say anything. "Be strong," she whispered to him. "May good fortune be yours, Sir Altaïr." She kissed his cheek.

Returning the kiss, but on her lips, Altaïr gently patted her shoulder. "Safety and peace be upon you, my darling," he said gently, before taking his leave.

Within a few seconds, he was, once again, a blade in the crowd.

 

FIN