Bird Of The Sea

41 When The Past Catches Up

"So..." The Master Assassin paced up and down his office, studying various documents that he picked up off his desk.

Thomas stood still, hands behind his back as he waited for the Mentor to finish his sentence.

"So, it appears that young William Hunt has withdrawn his request to be tutored by you, Thomas." He said, looking up.

"I can imagine so, he took what I said very seriously." Thomas said, bowing his head.

"Yes, he seemed quite distressed by your choice of words. However, I've been informed that it was in fact his impatience that led you to this... Outburst."

"That's true, sir. He was following the Templar too closely and he was detected. I had no choice but to kill the man before he killed William."

"Ah, yes." The Master Assassin nodded as he sat back down at his desk. "Now, here's my dilemma. While you are an exceptionally skilled assassin-"

"Thank you, sir."

"Don't interrupt." He held up a hand. "While you are an exceptionally skilled assassin, maybe you aren't ready to take on students of your own. I understand that you were angry and well within your right to reprimand him for it, but to tell him that his mother, who was also a very talented assassin, was a whore and deserved to die is quite-"

"Wait, he told you I said that?" Thomas stepped forward, brow furrowed as he tried to make sense of the situation.

"I said, don't interrupt. And yes, he told me you said that, and might I had how insensitive it was. It hasn't been long since her passing, you know."

"I never said that." Thomas said. "I told him I didn't care, but I never said that."

The Master Assassin gave a puzzled look.

"Can you confirm this?"

"On my life, I swear I never told him that."

Thomas stood with his hand on his heart and the Master Assassin shook his head, sighing.

"Ah, young boys, how they love to twist the truth to suit themselves."

"Sir, does that change anything?"

"Yes, I should say it does." The Master Assassin didn't look up as he scrawled down something on his documents. "You will continue to assist William in his training, as punishment for his untruth. Any requests?"

"Yes, sir." Thomas nodded. "That any field missions are to be completed by myself alone to avoid any possible risk that William could cause."

"Agreed. Thank you, Thomas."

"Thank you, sir."

Thomas left the Mentor's office and headed down to the training room. As he walked, he felt his footsteps grow heavier, his pace quicken. That damned kid! He lied to the Master Assassin, just because he'd been yelled at and all to stop being taught be Thomas. He growled curses under his breath as he stormed up to the training room.

'No,' he thought, shaking his head, 'being angry is what got you into this place.'

He slowed his pace and relaxed his shoulders. When he sighted the boy, sitting at the table, eating a lunch prepared by the house staff, he nearly grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and threw him to the ground, but he calmed himself enough to restrain his actions.

"William."

At his voice, the boy turned, the food nearly falling out of his mouth as the sight of him.

"It's not right to lie you know." Thomas said, stepping towards the boy.

"It's in our creed!" He protested, standing, trying to get away from him. "Nothing is true, right?"

Thomas continued to walk towards the boy, backing him against the wall. William, wide eyed, gasped as he felt the stone wall against his back, all hope of escape, gone. Thomas raised his wrist blade, holding it to the boy's neck.

"And everything is permitted." He grinned. "Oh my, William. It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks."

It had been two months since Thomas's arrival in England and not one day had passed when he hadn't thought about the Bahamas, his adventures and Jemima. He continued to train William, despite his reluctance, teaching him power, agility and patience. The boy learned to respect his teacher, his authority being made very clear, and soon listened to every word and heeded every command. Thomas left William to go on Templar hunts, much to the boy's annoyance, but he claimed he still hadn't learned the necessary behaviour to join him.

Thomas set about tracking his findings, pieces of paper full of descriptions, locations and brief sketches of suspected Templars scattering the bedroom he shared with Elizabeth. She said she didn't mind but he often caught her attempting to tidy the mess, despite his assurance that it was meant to be laid out that way. In her attempt of tidying, various papers went missing, probably pieces of various information that she found unimportant, and binned it. Thomas tried not to mind, but he often found himself grumbling under his breath as he drew out a second, third or fourth copy.

And so, as the weeks trailed by, he lay there, in the middle of the night, staring at the ceiling as Elizabeth slept beside him. He tried to keep his mind on the task, focusing on the images of the Templar men but nothing kept him from drifting back to the people he left behind.

"Thomas?"

He jolted at her voice, his eyes snapping to the ghostly figure at the foot of his bed.

"Jemima?" He murmured, his eyes widening.

The young woman stood, still, dressed in her usual attire but with the addition of a red ribbon around her neck.

"Thomas," she whispered, her hand reaching for him. "Come back. I need you."

"No, you don't. Elizabeth needs me and I need her."

"Please."

"This is my home."

"Is it?"

Thomas paused. What was she saying? Of course it was! This was just his stupid imagination, nothing more.

"Thomas." She begged. "Please."

As the red ribbon began to bleed, Thomas gripped the mattress, his mouth open, trying to find his voice. The blood dripped down her neck as she cried for him, turning her head to the ceiling.

"Jemima!" He screamed as she disappeared, her cries fading away into the night.

"Thomas?" Elizabeth shook his shoulder, her face lined with concern. "Thomas, what's the matter?"

"Nothing. Just a nightmare. Go back to sleep." He breathed heavily, still focusing on the place where Jemima stood.

She frowned, but said no more and rolled back over.

Once he was sure Elizabeth was asleep, Thomas climbed out of bed and stepped over the papers and towards the window. He looked out into the London night and tried to remember what the moon looked like when it fell across the sea. But his eyes caught something else and leaning down, he picked up a sketch of what he thought was a Templar woman, but Jemima's face smiled back. His heart leapt at the sight of her and he couldn't work out if he had drawn it absent mindedly, or if he was still dreaming.

In the silence, Thomas put his hands to his face, letting the paper fall back to the floor.

"I'm sorry, Jemima." He wept. "I'm so sorry..."

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