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Surprise is rarely ever in Haytham’s repertoire of emotions, the sentiment saved for only extra special occasions.

Like an ambush.

You’ve been practicing your technique for months, determined to catch the Grandmaster off guard after the stunt he pulled last week (you and your ripped dress are still bitter about the whole ordeal) because although it’ll be satisfying knowing you’ve done it, the look on his face when you do will be the real icing on the cake.

His footsteps are heavy as he approaches his room, the sound of his boots hitting the wooden floor getting louder and louder until they pause in front of his room. For a brief moment you think he knows that you’re hidden inside and you hold your breath, your stomach lurching in a mixture of excitement and anxious anticipation. Harboring a crush on him doesn’t help stave off the rush you feel when he finally pushes the door open and steps inside.

Blood rushes to your cheeks and for a second all you can hear is the sound of your own heart beating. What were you thinking? You have to restrain yourself, the urge to reach out and touch the soft fabric of his overcoat growing greater the longer he stands with his back towards you, your mind suddenly filled with the thought of how the soft fabric would feel in more sensitive and intimate places. As if you’d said the thought out loud, he turns and in that moment you know you really didn’t think this through.

The second his eyes land on you, you’re in for it. He’d never admit it (and still doesn’t much to your amusement), but you’ve managed to startle him. Well, as much as a man as stoic and calculated as he is. You’re equally just as surprised that he hadn’t tried to pull a weapon on you, instead (and now it’s your turn to look alarmed), he chuckles. Grey eyes gauge you carefully, taking their time as he reads your face. He knows this isn’t the reaction you had been intending to get out of him, and it makes a gratified smirk bloom on his face.

“Well done.”

The praise makes your brain short circuit and for a moment you feel like a fish out of water. He’s approaching you now, every step he takes more predator like than the last, but you’re not afraid, instead thrilled by the idea of being close enough to touch him.

“Although,” he drawls, callused fingertips brushing against the pulse point in your throat, chuckling when it hiccups under his ministrations, “I believe luck had a bigger part in your success than your-” he pauses as if he’s looking for the right word to say, but you know he’s already got one chosen and that he’s just deciding to be dramatict. “prowess.”

Indignant as ever, you narrow your eyes at him.

“Luck?” it’s as if suggesting the very thing was in opposition to your nature, not just a tickled observation made by the Templar. “Nope. Skills.”

You sound so certain that it makes Haytham’s eyebrows shoot to his hairline, but the amused look never leaves his face. He suddenly leans in close enough to have your heart feel like it’s flat lining and your mind briefly wondering if he’d be bothered if you took the ribbon out of his hair.

“If it’s skill, then do it again.”