CHAPTER 3: ALTAIR, ALIVE
It had been four days and the wounded girl was still unconsious. I hadn't left her side since I took her to the infirmary. I helped the doctor clean her up. I didn't want another assassin to day courtesy to the frenchman, Robert de Sable, attacking the village. There was a knock on the door.
"Come in." I said. The door opened. I turned. It was Kalila. The girl's mother.
"How's Amala?" She asked. He eyes were red and puffy. Her cheeks stained with tears.
"She has a tempreture." I answered, "Apart from that, nothing."
"Anyway, Al Mualim wants to talk to you. He's in his study."
I slowly stood from the chair I was sat in. I left the room and made my way outside. The training area was busy with new recruits training how to protect themselves in a fight. I entered the main part of the keep and climbed up the stairs. Al Mualim was reading a book in the library.
"Has there been any change in Amala's condition?" Al Mualim asked.
"She has a tempreture," I said, "And she barely has a pulse."
"Have you told her mother this?"
"Just the temperature. But there is hope." I said, "She's clinged on to her life for the last three days. If she's anything like her dad she will keep on going. She won't go down without a fight."
Al Mualim sighed, "Sometimes I wonder if you're still sane. You've haven't left her side in four days Altair." I felt my cheeks flush, "So I want you to go to Jerusalem and speak to Malik in the morning. He'll need your help in the search. Abbas might tag along as well."
"Fine. I'll be there. But let Abbas know that I'll meet him there."
"Of course my boy." Al Mualim nodded, "You may now leave."
I bowed with my left arm crossing my chest. The I returned to Amala's side. Her mother was still there. She was changing the dressing on Amala's wound.
"She was six when the girls lost their father. He died on the battlefield. The last thing he said was, "I'll keep them safe. By any means, no matter the cost." Now it's happening all over again. They're strong together. Amala and Crystal. When they're apart, I don't know."
"I'm sorry to hear that." I said. I knew what it was like to lose someone close to me at a young age. "He and my father were good friends."
"Yes they were. Always talking. "She smiled as she stood up and turned to face me, "I've changed her bedding and bandages. I've also-" Tears started to well up in her eyes.
"It's okay Kalilia." I hugged her, "She'll be okay."
"Thank you Altair. If she awakes, take her with you to Jerusalem."
"Of course." She left the room and I sat back in the chair. I took Amala's hand. Her skin was soft and her hand warm. A few moments later, there was enough movement in her hand for me to know something was happening. I looked at her face. Her eyes slowly opened. They were a mesmerizing sapphire blue and her raven black hair was natuarly curly and it had a dazzling shine. Something Sparked inside of me. My heart raced. I felt different, complete if you will. She was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.
"Crystal. Where's my sister?!" Amala cried, "Where is my sister?"
"She was taken by Robert de Sable. Remember." I said.
"I remember her screams and cries. I'm going to kill Robert and crudh him like a bug!" She sat up, oblivious to the pain.
"Not like this you're not." I put my hand on her shoulder and she led back down, "But I'll see what I can do to 'bend the rules.' "
"First, who are you? Who do I owe with my gratitude and appreciation under that hood?"
"I am Altair Ibn La Ahad."
"Thank you...Altair."She said my name slowly, "For everything."
Later that day
For someone who was at death's door step with a fatal injury and unconcious for four days, Amala was still on top form. She was speedy, strong, a quick climber and certainly someone who you didn't want to be on the wrong side of the blade with. It was oonly now when I realized just how tall she was. She looked 5"8. Two inches less than me. She was funny. But when she's angry, she's angry. She talked about Crystal and their childhood a lot. She never bought up her father. I wondered why but then it also made sense. I didn't push it on her. But I knew that she was a brilliant Assassin from her training.
The next day
Amala and myself had left Masyaf before any of the Assassin's were up and about. I kept my promise to Kalila and I feared that Al Mualim would say no. No, I KNEW he would say no. So I 'smuggled' her out the village. She was so desperate. I could tell by her eyes, her body language, and the way she talked about her sister.
All was quiet until she asked me a question.
"How hold are you Altair?"
"24 in January." I said.
"The eleventh. How old are you?"
"I'm going to be 21 three days before you're 24." She smiled," You're probably wondering why I asked."
"As a matter of fact I am wondering why."
"Truth be told, I don't actually know. I guess I was just wondering." she paused, "Any ladies in your life?"
"Nope." I hid a smirk.
"Really? Come on Altair. There's bound to be a lucky lady. Who would NOT want to be with you on those long, cold stormy nights?"
"Pretty much all the ladies."
"I would." There was a moments silence. Then we burst out laughing. The horses just continued walking along. "Forget I said that."
"Already have.What about you. Do you have someone back home?"
"Nah. I had 3. I dumped the first one after 2 years. I broke the seconds one arm because he cheated on me with ten different people, and I killed the last one the day after he tried to drown me and 2 hours after he killed my best friend. I almost went to the dungeons in Jerusalem." She said, "I guess that's why I've ignored having a relationship with someone for eight years."
It was late when we reached Jerusalem. We left our horses in the stables. The guards on gate duty were drunk. We walked straight in and they were none the wiser. The buraeu was a few minutes away. We climbed onto a roof, jumped from roof to roof, swung on beams and assassinated the odd guard here and there. Eventually, we reached the buraeu and jumped in from the roof. Malik, a fellow assassin, was already there. He gave us some pillows.
"I'll let you know what you need to do in the morning. You're going to need your beauty sleep." Malik said. Then he went into the next room.
The air was humid. I took of my armour, weapons, belt, robes and shirt. I organized my pillows and led down, resting my head on the soft pillows. The floor was cool. I looked over at Amala. She was facing me. She had taken off her robes and most of her weapons. She kept on her hidden blade and she had her dagger under her pillow. She fell asleep.
I could hear sobbing. I turned onto my side to face Amala.
"Amala," I whispered, "What's wrong?"
"Everything. I just want my sister." She sobbed.
"We'll find her. I promise." She turned to face me. Her eyes were red. She came closer to me. She started to cry again and she wrapperd her right arm around my shoulder. I hugged her back. Hushing her. I closed my eyes again and fell asleep. Her arm still around my shoulder.