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The Gem of Ireland's Crown

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November 11th, 1919

WWI had ended a year prior. A lot of damage had been done, some lives that were once fighting bravely, now lost. Lydia Frye was fortunate to have her husband, Sam Crowder, return to her after the war. And here they were, a year later, in Lydia’s grandfather’s and her grandaunt’s house. It was a decent-sized house, two stories tall and very well furnished. Every room in the house felt incredibly warm and inviting. Especially one special room that filled Lydia’s senses with such wonderment and curiosity.

The room in question was the backroom, located on the second floor. Lydia’s grandfather, Jacob, had made it in homage to the allies they had acquired over the years. Trinkets, weapons, and other sorts of memorabilia lined the walls of the room, but one item always caught Lydia’s eyes. It was a shillelagh, encrusted with a gold ring near the knob, and the damn thing was heavy. Lydia never asked before who it belonged to… until today.

Lydia was in the room, looking about the items strewn about and as her eyes laid upon the shillelagh, Jacob walked in, cane tapping on the wooden floor. The scar on his right brow and left jaw could almost not be seen by the dark grey beard growing there. His hazel eyes locked with the hazel eyes of his granddaughter and then fell upon the stick.

“Grandfather, I’ve meaning to ask you for some years now…” Lydia gingerly picked up the blackthorn stick and walked over to Jacob. “Who did this stick belong to? Every other item in this room has a name attached to it. Why not this one?”

Jacob walked over to Lydia slowly, a stern look upon his face. “This stick belonged to your grandmother. And the reason behind not having a name attached to it is something that only your grandmother, your great-aunt and I know and cannot share. There are a lot of memories forged in that shillelagh. It would be wise to leave it be.” During the conversation, Jacob’s twin sister, Evie, had come up and witness the conversation. She wanted to say more, but as her brother went to walk by, Lydia stepped forward.

“Tell me about her then, Grandfather!! You have spoken about how I remind you of her in so many ways, but yet, I know nothing of her. What was she like?” Lydia looked desperate that Evie held onto Jacob’s upper arm, and he heaved a sigh. He then turned around to look at Lydia and then cocked his head, motioning to the door.

“Come to the sitting room. I’ll tell you all about her there. And don’t forget that cane of hers.” With that, Jacob and Evie were the first to go down, going much slower in their old age, but still having fluid movements, as fluid as a 72 year old could be. Jacob sat in his large chair, Evie sat in the chair next to him, and the the rest of the family gathered around and waited as Lydia came in, clutching the shillelagh. She then sat down on an ottoman in front of her grandfather, and he leant forward and held out his hand, Lydia passed the shillelagh to her grandfather, who then examined it carefully. All the while, a devilish grin appeared on his face, growing wider as the memories filled his mind.

“Well then, family… let me tell you the tale of Rachael O’Sullivan…”

Chapter Text

November 11th, 1869 – 50 years prior

The months after Starrick’s defeat were filled with reparations, cleaning up and making sure that everything ran smoothly. Evie and Jacob Frye were having a bit of hard time trying to pick up the pieces, but in the end, they knew it was all worth it. The Rooks were now the main claimants of the territories of London, however, it came to their attention that there were four territories that were off-limits.

“There are four Irish clans who have taken over Islington, Richmond upon Thames, Waltham Forest and Southwark. They were able to successfully take these territories from the Blighters with ease.” Henry pointed to a map in his curio shop as Evie and Jacob looked on. Well, mostly, Evie looking on, as Jacob was looking out the window of the shop, making sure no remain Blighters were hanging about.

“Tristam Davies, Seth Humphries, Gwayne Kendrick and Rachael O’Sullivan. Well, it seems we have our hands full with these four then, won’t we?” Evie turned to Henry, and before Henry could speak, Jacob came sauntering over.

“I don’t think they will be a problem at all, sweet sister. We just take over them like the Blighters and cripple their control. Easy as minced pies.” Jacob chuckled, and Evie smiled slightly, but Henry had to interrupt their momentary giddiness.

“The Irish Gangs are far more advanced than the Blighters, Jacob. If we want to cripple the control of the REAL threat, the remaining Templars… my best bet would be to ally ourselves with them. But it won’t be easy. Especially with the one Rachael O’Sullivan. I heard she’s the most dangerous of them all.”

Henry directed Jacob to the picture of the female Gang Leader and Jacob walked over to the board and stared at it. So this was Rachael O’Sullivan, huh? She didn’t like too much of a threat. She was too cute to be a gang leader. But then again, Evie was quite pretty as well and she was a Master Assassin.

“Well, then let’s shine these Irish Gangs up then. I wouldn’t mind having a go at this.” Jacob looked over to Evie and Henry, who both nodded and they all headed out the door.


 

The day had gone smoothly enough for the Frye Twins and Henry Green and bargaining with the first three Irish Leaders. They also all realized that the Londoners all gave the Irish Gangs names that went with their Clan names. Tristam Davies, the leader of the Bear Cave; Seth Humphries was the leader of the Fox Skulk, and Gwayne Kendrick was leading the Bull Pen. And their final destination, Rachael O’Sullivan, was the leader of the Wolf Pack. Upon speaking to the eldest of the leaders, Tristam; the Frye twins and Henry learned that each clan had its own “personality” of sorts: The Bear Cave was slow, but meticulous, and they occupied Islington; The Fox Skulk was cunning and used deception to get what they wanted and they occupied Waltham Forest; The Bull Pen was pretty much the phrase “Brawn, no brains” and they occupied Richmond upon Thames. And then came the Wolf Pack, the smallest of the Irish Gangs, was also the stealthiest and with its pack mentality, could bring justice to London, and they were located in Southward; which was where the trio was headed now. But it was the matter of getting the cagey Rachael O’Sullivan on their side, and even Tristam told them that it could be near impossible to get her to trust them. Rachael was a good person, they would soon find out, but she wasn’t quite trustworthy of many people, for reasons she’d rather not get into.

As the trio walked into Southwark, they couldn’t help but feel that they were being watched. Evie tried to keep a sharp eye out without trying to seem on the defensive. Listening to all three of the other leaders, Rachael was someone to not be messed with, and it seemed that what they said was true: Rachael had eyes and ears all over her territory.

“I think it best if we seem as non-threatening as can be. Gwayne stated that Rachael probably has already found out about us coming here. We don’t want to miss this chance to have her join us.” Henry stated, and Evie and Jacob both nodded. Jacob was a bunch of nerves, though. Not of fear, but excitement. They were finally going to pull control from the Templars, and they had the help. Or so they hoped.

Rounding a corner, the sight of the pub that Tristam told them that was Rachael’s place of “business” came into view. Evie could already hear the clamoring of voices from within the tavern and as they got closer, the voices were dying down. And it was only after they walked into the tavern, did the noise completely dissipate. They were frozen. So this was the Wolf Pack? The stories were true. Evie, Jacob and Henry felt that if looks could kill, they’d be a pile of ash right now. But a feminine voice rang through the crowd and the trio stood their ground. The crowd separated and in the middle of the room stood a small woman with strawberry blonde locks, held in a braid. She was wearing a brown ruffled shirt, black pants and black leather vest, with a gold plate with a wolf embellished on it. She walked up to the trio. She might have been tiny, but the energy that radiated from her said anything but.

“Please to make your acquaintance, Assassins. I, Rachael O’Sullivan, welcome you to Southwark!! Now what is this I hear you needing allies?”

Chapter Text

The twins looked at each other and then to Rachael, who then waved them over to a secluded booth in the back of the tavern. Evie looked around, a little nervous. Dealing with the Blighters was no big deal. They would fight them and then take over their territory. But this wasn’t that. They were bargaining for alliance. And of course, she thought to herself, they had to save the most difficult for last.

“My Wolf Pack has eyes and ears all around London, so I’ve been knowin’ ye already went to the other three. So what say them, eh?” Rachael placed her shillelagh by the wall and sat down in the booth, being followed by her right-hand man, Benjamen Graham. Evie and Jacob sat down across from the Alpha and Beta of the Wolf Pack, with Evie in front of Rachael and Jacob in front of Ben, and as they sat down, two young gang members came over with three tankards and a glass filled with blue liquid. The three tankards were set in front of Evie, Jacob and Ben, and the glass was handed gingerly over to Rachael. “Off you two go, then, sprats. So… before we got interrupted, what did the other three have to say?”

Evie took a sip of the dark draft and had to hold herself down as it was bitter and very strong. But she soldiered on and answered Rachael.

“They actually agreed to our terms. We need the help to take down the remaining Templars running London. We are Assassins, as you know, and-“

“You live by the Creed and die by the Creed and ‘nothing is true, everything is permitted…’ Yes, I know of you all. Your father was Ethan Frye and after his death, you two were trained by one George Westhouse, am I correct?” Rachael took a swig of her drink and arched a brow at the shocked faces of the Frye Twins.

“Y-y-es.. How do you know this, though?” Evie stuttered and had to lower her tankard as her hands were shaking. NO ONE ELSE but her, her brother, Henry Green and the council knew about there being Assassins and who they were exactly. Who WAS this girl?

Rachael chuckled and downed her drink, waving it in the air for another.

“I’m not gonna beat around the bush, Evie. Some of my Wolf Pack are friends with some of your Rooks, and word gets around. Also, when you two went about gallivanting on those carriages last year, your voices weren’t too quiet.” As another glass was being handed to Rachael, she nodded up to the young boy. “Robert, go get Ms. Frye a Witch’s Brew; I think she might like that better than the Bitter.” The boy, Robert, nodded and Rachael turned back to Evie. “I might as well let you get settled as well, since your brother as already settled in with the Wolf Pack.”

Evie had to turn her head and saw her brother and the male members of the Wolf Pack all grappling but all laughing and pretty much having a grand old time.

“Oh, Jacob, really?” Evie rubbed the bridge of her nose and was slightly startled when Robert came by with the blue liquid.

“Here ya go, Ms. Frye. One Witches Brew. I-i-I hope y-y-you like it.” Robert then darted away and went to join the men in the middle of the tavern.

“That boy is good, but Janey Mack!! He gets so nervous talking to women.” Rachael took a swig of her drink and then heard Evie chuckle. “What?”

Evie couldn’t help but let out another giggle and then looked at Rachael. “Maybe it’s because he’s got one fierce queen as his leader, hmm?”

Rachael took in what the Assassin had said, and nodded in acknowledgement. “Aye, that could be it… Or he’s just scared shitless!!” With that, Rachael let out a loud laugh and her laugh was quite infectious that Evie followed right along.

This had gone for about two hours, the two women exchanging stories, and each finding out more about the other. Evie realized, in this moment, what it felt like to finally have a female best friend. Yes, talking to Jacob and Henry was nice, but there were certain things that couldn't be told to them because they were men and wouldn’t get it. However, with Rachael, Evie felt a bit more relaxed and she brought out a sense of humor in Evie that the Assassin never knew she had.

“I’ve never laughed so hard in my life, Ms. O’Sullivan.” Evie took a drink of her fourth Witches Brew and slumped into the booth. Rachael chuckled and down her last one as well.

“Ye can call me Rachael. I consider those, as my friends, are allowed to call me by my given name.” Hearing that, Evie looked up and her eyes widened.

“So, you will help us, then?” Rachael laughed and slammed her hand on the table.

“Aye, I will help you. But, I need a favor from you.” Evie nodded and leaned up close, near to where Rachael was.

“Of course, anything.” Rachael leaned in a little closer and then started to laugh, her words not able to come out as the drunken stupor taken over her, and soon after, Evie joined in and within minutes, the two women were busting out laughing, neither of them able to get a word in edgewise. However, a short time later, the high died down and Rachael was laying across the table and looking up at Evie.

“I need to hang out more, Evie. Being around these people has made me lose sight of myself. And I have a feeling you were thinking the same thing.” Evie laughed and nodded and the two women stood up and somehow made it to the middle of the room. Although drunk, Rachael was still sober enough to climb the bar and get the attention of the Wolf Pack.

“Pack, we’re joining ranks with the Rooks. Be prepared for a fight. Their enemy is now our enemy, and they’re strong as hell. But we’ll reef them if they try anything dodgy!!” The Wolf Pack hollered, which eerily sounded like a pack of wolves howling and Evie and Jacob exchanged looks of excitement.

“How did you get to her so easily?” Jacob looked at her, in genuine awe. Evie just smiled and shrugged.

“It’s something shared amongst friends, dearest brother. I’d recommend you getting on her good side as well.” Evie bopped her brother’s nose and took Henry by the hand, and they left the tavern and headed back to the train, leaving behind Jacob, who took one last glance at Rachael, who had also locked eyes with him. He gave her a nod and devilish smile, and she winked and it was with that that Jacob Frye took his leave. Tomorrow was gonna be good, he thought.

 

Chapter Text

A few weeks had passed by and Evie, Henry and Jacob kept playing liaisons between the other three gangs, and parried with them about the Blighters. One morning, though, was going to be the mark of a crucial piece of the plan to bring the Templars down for good in London. Evie and Henry decided to have all of the leaders, including Jacob, have a meeting together and come up with plans on how to dismantle the Blighters, and then finally, the Templars.

However, Evie forgot to realize that she wasn’t just dealing with Jacob now. She was dealing with three other leaders, one of whom she became fast friends with and actually took to being with on a daily basis, leaving Jacob to go about his business. Evie and Henry were a little wary of Tristam, Seth and Gwayne, but Rachael assured them that those three wouldn’t be too much trouble. They all had their moments of passion with wanting to make London a better place.

So, during the couple of weeks before the big meet, Evie, Henry and Jacob had been invited by Rachael and the Wolf Pack to go on “hunts” with them.

“Just need to make sure that some of the factories don’t have kids in there, still.” Rachael would tell them. The twins came to understand in the few short days that they became acquainted with the feisty Irish lass, there was much more to her than met the eye. But only because she laid it all on the able for them. If she was going to be working closely with two Assassins, Rachael wasn’t gonna keep anything in hiding.

So, they found out that Rachael was born to Irish immigrants, who came over to try and live a better life, but couldn’t afford to keep their children, so Rachael and her siblings were sold off to the Templars and sent to different boroughs. For 15 years, Rachael had never seen her siblings or parents again. Rachael had worked, within a year, about 4 jobs, and then was sent to live in Emmanuel Orphanage. It was then she was fostered by a slew of upper class people, all who taught different school subjects and Rachael took everything in like a sponge. Unfortunately, Rachael was never adopted by any of these kind people, due to her heritage. Even though they were becoming more and more tolerated, the Irish were seen as sore thumbs in London society. Nevertheless, times were changing, and London knew this as well.

And as times were changing, so were the views of the Frye twins. Evie was becoming a bit more adventurous and roguish like her brother, and Jacob was becoming a little more aloof, like Evie. Their personalities intertwined even more, but still remained the same. And it was Rachael whom Evie had to give a small ‘thank you’ too. However, despite being friends with Rachael, Evie couldn’t help what her brother’s feelings were for the gang leader.

Evie pondered about this while she and Rachael sat in a restaurant over biscuits and tea. She knew about Jacob’s relationships, with both women and men, and felt compelled to protect Rachael at all costs from heartbreak. Jacob was a major flirt, and Rachael, as of what Evie could gather, was an “all or nothing” type of person. But, Evie couldn’t help but imagine her brother and Rachael together. They did fit, in some sort of weird way. So she considered her friend that morning, but she knew she had to tread lightly.

“Rachael, forgive me for asking, but have you ever been with anyone in a romantic sort of way before?” Evie leaned forward to Rachael, who was in the middle of biting down on a biscuit. She slowly lowered her hand and looked at Evie with wide eyes.

“Huh?” Rachael dumbly said.

“Were you ever with anyone before? I mean you don’t have to answer, I was just curio—“

“No, no, it’s fine. That question just came at me like a carriage. But, em… No. To answer your question. I have not. Never really had time to. And… no one has ever looked at me in a way to be considered for it.” Rachael looked down at her biscuit, which she placed on the saucer with her teacup. Evie couldn’t help but reach out and grasp her hand and grip it in an affectionate manner. Rachael smiled and looked up at Evie. “Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason…” Evie cheekily giggled and Rachael scowled at her friend before shoving the rest of the biscuit in her mouth. But it couldn’t have been worse timing as Jacob had walked in, followed by Henry, Tristam, Seth and Gwayne. Evie gulped as she saw the five men enter and she stood shook hands with the other three leaders. Rachael just waved, but when she caught sight of Jacob, she pursed her lips and smiled while still having a mouthful of biscuits.

“What’s the matter, Rach? Cat got your tongue?” Jacob chuckled and took a seat next to her. Rachael glared at the male Frye twin but had to take a drink of her now cold tea to wash down the dryness of the biscuit.

“No, you all just came sauntering in while I was still eating.” Rachael placed the cup down and went to get another fill. She motioned to Jacob, asking silently if he wanted any but he politely declined.

“Oh were you now? I could’ve sworn that my dastardly handsome features rendered you speechless.” Jacob gave a laugh as Rachael stared at him in a deadpan fashion. He really thought he was all that and a bag of bones, did he? Rachael had to admit though; Jacob WAS one handsome fellow. Of course, she wouldn’t say that out loud. She had a reputation to uphold. But, there was little nagging little voice in the back of her mind that would say ‘Do it. Give him a reaction.’ And usually, during the weeks she got to know the Frye twins, Rachael was able to squash that little voice. But today; the voice won out.

“Oh yes, Mr. Frye. Every time. And I’m quite sure the many women you bed would do the same thing.” Rachael took a sip of her tea and arched her brow at Jacob, who looked absolutely cowed.

“Rachael!! Now that was uncalled for.” Jacob sat back and crossed his legs, the hint of a smirk still playing at his lips. He absolutely adored the banters he had with Rachael. Although it was common knowledge that Jacob was a bit of a playboy among the women of London, his heart really only sights for one person. Even though it was a few short weeks, Jacob knew his feelings for Rachael were growing extreme. He only hoped she held the same feelings as he did, and he also yearned that Father’s phrase ‘don’t allow personal feelings jeopardize the mission’ didn’t ring true. Even if Rachael didn’t reciprocate his feelings, he would not let her down and allow harm to come to her.

“Why? Because it was the truth? Oh Jacob, come on now… you know I love you.” Jacob’s eyes brightened, but he knew she only meant it in a friendly manner. ‘I wish I did…’ He thought to himself. Their playful banter was halted when Tristam and Seth turned their attention to Rachael and honed in on what her thoughts were of the plans. Jacob was both relieved and annoyed at the same time. But, he knew this was business.

“So, Rachael… The plan is pretty much the same strategy as what Mr. and Ms. Frye have been doing the past year, but seeing as though their numbers are becoming greater, we need an even more vigilant eye on our territories. I will send over a few of my best members to aid your meek crew and—“

“Meek?! Tristam, do not call my group meek. We are small but we are strong and don’t forget that.” Rachael growled at the older man, but he just simply smiled and looked back to her.

“Of course, Rachael. But lest we forget… when you are in a tight spot, who comes to YOUR aid, hmm?” With that, Rachael’s anger ebbed. Evie and Jacob looked at each with an understanding of what was going on. Tristam was the oldest leader here and the one with the most experience. He also taught Rachael everything there was to become a gang leader. But the twins also knew where Rachael was coming from. Being a leader made you have a sense of pride that you do get miffed when someone, even a mentor, dismisses your ability as a leader.

Tristam turned his attention back to Seth, Gwayne, Henry and Evie and between those five, the plans were being set. Jacob looked over to Rachael, who was just staring blankly at the table.

“Rachael? If it’s any consolation… I think your gang is great.” Jacob leaned forward and placed a hand on her shoulder. Rachael turned to him and smiled softly.

“Thank you, Jake.” Jake. No one really gave him that nickname, but about six days prior to this meeting, Jacob was off to visit Rachael at her pub and found she was drinking and wasn’t able to really speak, and got “Jake” out instead of “Jacob”, and it just stuck, because although she was drunk, Rachael was still aware. Jacob found it endearing though, since he called her “Rach.” It was only proper to give your friends nicknames, he thought.

“Hey, how about this? After this meeting, we go to St. Bart’s and go talk to that Elder of yours, uhhh, what his name?”

“Hezekiah?”

“Yeah, him. We can talk to him and see about what ELSE we can do with our own gangs. And then… head over to the Thistle and Crown?” Jacob arched his brow and smiled smugly. Rachael LOVED the Thistle and Crown. That bar was her favorite, second to her own pub. But this one, it was close to the waterfront. Rachael considered him for a moment before nodding and smiled widely.

“Yes. Let’s do that.” She raised her teacup to Jacob, who then tipped his hat. They smiled at each other and kept an eye on each for a moment longer, before returning their focus to the other five. What they didn’t know was that Jacob’s intrepid sister witness their exchange and was wearing a soft smile. She hoped these plans that they were coming up with would be able to be fruitful so she would be able to see her brother and friend finally be truly happy.

 

Chapter Text

The journey to St. Bartholomew the Great was a pretty quiet one, indeed. Jacob and Rachael would comment on the people of London and would jest with each other, but a comfortable silence usually fell between the two, and Jacob was okay with it. He was generally all for loud and boisterous times at the pubs and being the brothel was the same way; but with Rachael, it was nice to just have that trust and intimacy between them and not have to say anything to show for it.

“I don’t know why you insist on walking to the church, Jacob Frye. We could’ve very much ridden a coach.” Rachael crossed her arms as they neared the church. Jacob chuckled darkly and walked alongside Rachael.

“Well, you know what happened the last time we were in a coach, right?” Jacob raised his eyebrows smartly to her, and she just stared at him with a blank stare. Oh, she knew what happened. And she would be wise to forget about it and not mention it anymore. Not that anything naughty happened, oh no. Jacob just almost killed them because of those damn Blighters, and her anger went into rage incarnate and she nearly killed Jacob for nearly killing them both. It was not a good time, and she did not want a repeat of what happened. But this was Jacob. Not anyone else. Not that that was an issue, though. Despite her anger, a thrill went through her that she never felt before. And she liked it.

“Yes, I remember and the fact that the carriage went full-long into the bay makes you arguably one of the worst drivers in London. I’m telling you, driving a carriage with you is like waiting for the heavens to open up and just take your soul.”

“I’m not that bad of a driver, Rachael.” Jacob commented and sulked.

“You suck, Jacob. You have 0 navigational skills. One thing I will give you is that you are good with animals; which makes me believe that you are the one behind the orphans acquiring all of those animals.” Rachael turned to Jacob, glaring at him. Jacob laughed weakly and rubbed the back of his head. They’ve only known each other for about three months, but so much has happened between them all. Change was inevitable, Rachael had to remind herself. But was it for the greater good? That, she didn’t know. And thus why, as they got to the ancient church, they were going to go and ask her Elder of her gang some questions that he might be able to answer.

“It’s still amazing to me how long this church has stood.” As they walked into the church, Jacob looked up at the turrets and the stone and the chairs that lined alongside the aisle leading up to the altar. This was no Westminster Abbey, but St. Bart’s was like a second home to Rachael, and she was lucky to have been able to partake in its glory. As Jacob and Rachael walked around, an old priest stood in one of the cloisters of the second floor, and looked down at them.

“Why is that when you need to speak to me, dearest one… that you bring your boyfriend along?” The old man, Father Hezekiah Thompkins, looked down at a now very flustered Rachael and an embarrassed Jacob. She looked up at the old man and pointed at him.

“Firstly, he’s not my boyfriend, and secondly… we always need your guidance. It’s one of the things you best at.” With that, Hezekiah laughed and made his way downstairs. He met the two halfway, and greeted them as he always did: a bear hug to Rachael and strong handshake to Jacob.

“So, what is the knowledge that you seek, children?” Hezekiah sat upon one of the chairs and looked down at the young couple. Rachael just sat on the ground and Jacob leaned against the railing.

“Has any people, bearing red crosses on the person, come across here and tried talking to you? We are fearful that the Templars are trying to get back into power and they are coming at us hard.” Jacob looked up at the old man, and he scratched his white beard and hummed.

“No one of that nature has stopped here. And if they did, I was never told. I realize times are changing, and now with a big threat like this coming down on England… we must be diligent to know who our friends and allies truly are.” The priest looked down at Rachael, who let out a long sigh. She knew what he was talking about. Rachael had a habit of putting faith in the hands of wrong people. And it almost cost the lives of her entire gang once. She vowed it would never again. Even if she died, she would make sure her crew were safe and sound. That’s what you did as Alpha: protect the pack and assure them to safety.

The three of them chatted for a few more hours, and when it got a bit later, Jacob was going to head to Thistle and Crown and wait for Rachael. She had to talk to Hezekiah for just a bit longer, but nothing about business.

“You like that boy, Rachael. I can tell, and don’t tell me you don’t.” Hezekiah and Rachael began lighting the candles for evening mass, and Rachael just turned to him and huff indignantly.

“Maybe I do, but not that it would matter. I’m not his type.” Rachael walked over to retrieve one of the chairs to stand on to be able to light the tallest candles. “He’s more into those buxom, curvaceous women at the brothel. He would never be into someone like me. Also, I don’t know if it is allowed for rival gang leaders to be romantically involved.” She blew out the matches and climbed down the chair and turned to the priest.

“And who said any of this? You? You are a smart girl, Rachael. A stubborn ass, but smart. I saw the way he looked at you when you spoke of helping the orphanage. You know, he is the one who helped the children bring in those animals into the orphanage.” Rachael was about to put the chair back but turned quickly to the priest, wide-eyed.

“He WHAT?! Oh, I’m gonna kill him…” Her knuckles went white as she clutched the chair, but the old man chuckled and came down the stairs, took the chair from Rachael, and placed it back in its spot.

“He told me he knew you would object to him letting them in, but not the children. You have a good heart, Rachael. You are a good woman, and he is a good man. I think he knows a lot more about you than you think he does.”

“Why? Because you told him about all of my secrets?” The old man said nothing but just turned and went to walk to the back. Rachael’s mouth hung open and as much as she wanted to follow him, she knew better. But what a sneak!! Hopefully he didn’t say too much about her. Like her ability to scarf down a plate of pancakes in seconds. Or that she hated wearing dresses. Or worst yet; she was a virgin.

Shaking herself out of her reverie, Rachael looked outside and noticed it was already twilight. The witching hour, she thought to herself. Not wanting to walk all the way to the Thistle and Crown and deal with people, but knowing she had to, Rachael trudged her way to the bar. As she got there, she could hear clamoring and howling from inside. It was never this loud at this time, and it made Rachael feel a bit uneasy. But, she continued on, and as she opened the doors, she saw in the middle of the room, the cause of commotion. Jacob was sitting there, drinking his ale and “loving” on two very busty wenches. All of a sudden, she didn’t feel too good, but she walked in quietly, ordered a drink and went into the corner of the pub by the window, where she could see the bay. At least this wouldn’t make her so sad.

But her thoughts were interrupted when Jacob came over and sat down in front of her, hair and clothes all disheveled, and the smell of cheap perfume permeating from his person.

“You finally got here!! I thought you were gonna just stay there and go home.” Jacob had a tankard and swigged it down. Didn’t she tell him she was joining him? Or did he hope she would just go home. Hiding her thoughts expertly, she snorted and looked up at him over the brim of her cup.

“No, I came like I said I would. Besides, why go to bed when I have so much entertainment to look forward to tonight.” She said bitingly as she arched a brow at him, and it seemed with that statement, it clicked with Jacob. She saw him with those two girls. He took in a deep breath and went to apologize, but she hand finished her drink and left money on the table. “But, then again, I don’t want to keep you from enjoying yourself with my boring presence… I’ll be heading home now. I’ll see you tomorrow and we can go over more of the plans on how to deal with the Blighters. Goodnight, Mr. Frye.”

“Rachael, you don’t have to-“ Jacob went to follow her, but she turned and stared at him with glassy eyes. The look on her face said everything. And he felt more ashamed because of it.

“Goodnight, Mr. Frye…” Rachael walked briskly past and was out of sight before Jacob could think of anything else to say. He had told Hezekiah over the course of the three or so months after he met Rachael that he did, indeed, have feelings for the girl. He fell for her hard. But Hezekiah had warned him that Rachael had concerns with trust and abandonment issues because of her past. They weren’t even together, and he broke her heart. He had to do something and he had to do it quick. Or else, whatever would become of them would never last, or even not happen.

Chapter Text

The next couple of days after the incident at the Thistle and Crown made Jacob feel almost hopeless that he was going to be able to patch up anything between him and Rachael. Even with his sister. Hell, he went to Evie the night after Rachael walked out, and seeing as though Evie and Rachael were now best friends, Jacob should’ve known better than to go to his sister. Deep down, he knew he was wrong. He was more aware of things as the days pressed on. So, what would he do when something was not going his way? Go to the pub. The only problem at the moment was that he was in Southwark at the moment, standing in front of Rachael’s pub. God, he hoped she wasn’t there.

As Jacob walked in, he scanned to see if he could spot the small Irish woman, and didn’t see a trace of her. So, sensing the cost was clear, he ordered a pint and sat in the same booth Rachael would occupy. Time passed by, and just as he was about to leave, Rachael came walking in and, to Jacob’s dismay, stared in his direction. He was standing as she came over to him, gripping her cane tightly. She was still mad, but he knew not to start talking until she did.

“What are you doing at my pub?” Rachael stared up at Jacob, who dwarfed her. Jacob gulped but steadied himself. His Assassin skills would have to put to use now, in a very much different situation.

“I was only here for a short time, and I’m taking my leave. Good day, Ms. O’Sullivan…” As Jacob went to walk past her, he felt a small hand wrap around his gloved wrist and as he turned, Rachael’s head was lowered, but he could tell she was trying to scream out at him.

“I want you to stay, actually. I have news that could help you an Evie.” Rachael finally looked up at Jacob, and he tried to read what she was trying to convey silently, but to no avail. Nodding, he sat back down in the booth, and Rachael made her way in. She looked to the two girls that escorted her in the pub before commencing her conversation with Jacob.

“Christena? Bella? I need you two to go get Scouts and checkup in Whitechapel, per Evie’s request.” The two young women nodded their heads and made their exit. Jacob looked a bit startled and started tapping his fingers on the table.

“Please do tell me that the news you have is good news?” Jacob looked pleadingly at her, but her stare gave him the answer.

“The Blighters are getting stronger and are actually recruiting members from the Rooks, Bull Pen, Bear Den and Fox Skulk.”

“But none from you, hmm?” Jacob glared slightly at Rachael. He knew he had no reason to be mad at her, or upset even, but hearing that he was losing his crew was getting his blood boiled.

“They tried, but my crew wouldn’t budge. I lost 5 members yesterday. All of them ambushed by the Blighters, and when they refused to go turncoat, Christena told me they were all killed execution style. I should’ve been there, but I was too busy skulking around, wondering about frivolous things. I was supposed to protect them.” Rachael slammed her mug down, and shook the contents on the table, and startled Jacob out of his brutish haze. Unshed tears stained her eyes, but she refused to let them fall. “I can’t keep on losing people, Jacob.”

Jacob sighed and reached for Rachael’s hand, but a loud crash sounded in the street where the pub was, and both the Assassin and gang leader bolted outside, to see Blighters running amuck. Some of them were unleashing hell on the buildings and some were unleashing hell on citizens. Rachael, filled with a rage, charged forward and clocked one of the Blighters upside his head with her cane. Upon seeing their Alpha lead the charge, the Wolf Pack set up their stations and went to work on the Blighters. Jacob, not one wanting to be left out of a fight, joined the fray, but every so often would look over to see how Rachael was doing. And he had to admit… she had it handled.

Jumping on one of the cement walls, Rachael ran parallel with a Blighter, until the wall ended, and she jumped, closing her legs around his head and shoulders, and slamming him into the ground, his skull cracking. Two more Blighters came barreling towards her, and she leapt up, unveiling two daggers and effectively slicing one at the knees and the other in the stomach, then the throat.

Jacob had run a few with his Hidden Blade and kukri, and he witnessed firsthand the legend of the Wolf Pack’s prowess and utter viciousness when it came to gang fights. But soon there were only a handful of Blighters that remained and Jacob and the Wolf Pack saw Rachael coming from the shadows, and just as the Blighters was about to take off, she took out her pistol and one of the daggers she used to slice open a man’s belly. Shelling out three rounds, killing three of the Blighters, and then throwing her dagger, catching the remaining Blighter in the calf, and making her fall onto the ground. Once on the ground, the Blighter begged for mercy as Rachael stalked towards her. She lifted the woman by her shirt, yanked the knife from her leg and placed against her throat.

“You go tell your boss you were the only survivor. Tell them what happened here. TELL THEM EVERYTHING.” With that, she let the woman go and as the woman ran to go to her leader, Christena and Belle were perched on a roof, scanning the woman’s movements. When the woman went to relay the message to someone the snipers could tell was not their leader, Belle aimed her rifle and with one clean shot and before words could escape the woman’s lips, she fired into the Blighter’s head, and then a second shot rang out, and killed the other informant.

Upon hearing the shot, Rachael turned to her group, and made sure they were all accounted for. And they were. Gods be praised, Rachael thought to herself.

“This is what happens when you go along and tag with the wrong crowd. I do hope I have no traitors amongst any of you, or you all shall receive the same fate as them!!” Rachael pointed to the corpses of the fallen Blighters. The Wolf Pack all hummed in unison and called out their motto, raising their weapons in the air. Rachael nodded to all of them and then looked to Jacob, who just smiled at her, and with an air of renewed hope, she smiled back.

The journey back to the train was gonna to be a long one. Jacob hadn’t really been in a gang fight like that one, and he was sure that he had some cuts and bruises that would attending to. Sensing his slight distress, Rachael walked over to him.

“Come to my place and I’ll get you patched up, Jacob.” Jacob looked at her, wide eyed and chuckled nervously.

“Oh, I’m fine, Rach; I can manage—“

“It wasn’t a question, Jacob. The station is about 45 minutes from here, and my flat is about 15 minutes. 5 with a carriage, but I will be driving. Let’s go.” Rachael turned around and walked over to a carriage with two grey mares. As he followed her, he took in her features a bit more closely. She was short; very short, actually. About 5’1” or so. Her hair was strawberry blonde, with a more reddish tint to it than blonde. Her eyes; her beautiful jade green eyes looked like the grass that grew in Crawley. He hadn’t realized he had stopped midway until an agitated Rachael called out to him.

“Let’s go, slowpoke!! You’re not the only one who needs patching up.” Jacob nodded and climbed up the carriage and sat alongside Rachael and noticed she wasn’t wrong. She looked a mess. A hot mess, if you would. Her hair was disheveled, and her pants were ripped at the knees and blood had coagulated on her knees where they scraped against the cobblestone as Rachael dismantled three Blighters in a fury. Her fighting was exquisite. Nothing like how Evie fought, or even how he fought. She fought hard and rough, but she was graceful and lithe all at the same time. His thoughts were interrupted as they reached Rachael’s flat.

Silence fell between them as they made their way into Rachael’s home, and once inside, Jacob couldn’t help but feel a warm feeling inside, despite how cold it was. But, Rachael lit up the fireplace and within minutes, true warmth spread throughout the place. Jacob looked around and took in the small, but comfortable home. There were furnishings and furniture and essentials for the kitchen, but no pictures, or trinkets. It was scarce, but it was enough. He sat upon the couch and was amazed at how comfortable it was. More so than the one in the train. As he adjusted himself, he could hear Rachael rooting around in the other room; the bedroom.

“I apologize if it’s too dingy for your liking. It was given to me for free by the priests at St. Bart’s after I helped them get back some stolen items.” Rachael entered the living room with medical supplies and walked over to Jacob, and sat next to him. “Take off your shirt. I can tell one of them got you on the chest.”

Jacob was going to come up with a witty remark, but Rachael’s silence told him to not even try it. Today was rough. She lost 5 members of her gang a day prior and today, was hell in the street. Even so, while undoing his vest and then his shirt, he could feel her tense slightly.

“If you want me to do it myself, Rach, I’d be more than happy to do that.” He held out his hand for the supplies but Rachael did not budge. She shook her head and urged him on. But, she couldn’t help but stare at him. And once he was shirtless completely, it was then she stood up and allowed him to fix himself up. She walked into the washroom and looked into the mirror, and saw she was getting a bit pale. But she knew why. And it wasn’t because of the new cut on her right eyebrow that matched Jacob’s. It was a long day, and here she had the man that had her heart in his hands, nearly squeezing it every chance he had, whether on purpose or not, and she didn’t know how to deal with it, in her home. She should be hospitable but not overly so. Life was much simpler before meeting the Frye twins. Evie was no problem, but Jacob... Jacob made her feel something she thought she had given up on long ago. And she was scared.

Her thoughts were interrupted when Jacob appeared behind her and was all bandaged up, but still with no shirt on.

“Now, it’s your turn, Rachael. But I’m gonna fix that one on your brow.” Rachael arched that said brow at him, and it began bleeding again. Jacob rushed forward and pressed a cloth against her brow, and he stepped closer to her, just to allow the pressure to stop the bleeding. The space was becoming both claustrophobic and inviting, and Rachael was stuck with how to deal with the situation. She had to choose between pushing him off and doing it herself, or allowing herself one time for someone to take care of her. The latter won out, and she allowed Jacob to fix her eyebrow.

After all of that was settled, Jacob and Rachael were in the living room, sitting in a comfortable yet awkward silence. Jacob went to say good night, but was stopped, again, by Rachael. Just like this afternoon. She had him by the wrist, and looking down.

“Stay… Go home in the morning. You need to rest.” She looked up at him again, and her jade green eyes lit up from the flames of the fireplace. And it was in that moment, Jacob knew he had lost the battle of ever wanting to say no to her. He nodded and sat on the couch next to her. But Rachael never went to bed that night. No. She stayed in the living room with the Assassin, and as sleep took over them, the She-wolf somehow became nestled in the arms of the Rook. But she would deal with that issue in the morning. Right now, it felt right and it felt… good. Times were changing, she kept reminding herself. Maybe today was supposed to happen how it did. She would find out the next morning for sure.

 

Chapter Text

That morning went a bit differently for Rachael. First of all, she had a man in her home. Secondly, that man was Jacob Frye. And lastly, she was in the arms of the man named Jacob Frye on the couch in her flat. Quite uncomfortable and comfortable at the same time. When she realized her dilemma, she attempted to free herself from Jacob’s grip, but he held onto her tighter, and Rachael, always the fighter, quit fighting it for once. She let out an exasperated sigh and unconsciously shuffled herself closer to Jacob’s body despite herself. Her head laid against his chest and she could hear the gentle thumping of his heartbeat, and feel the gentle prickle of his chest hairs against her cheeks. As of what she had seen of Jacob, he was a fairly built man, with a toned chest and soft abdomen, and a muscular back and strong arms. Arms that were wrapped tight around her currently and made her feel at ease for some strange reason. But her ease was short-lived as Jacob roused from his sleep and Rachael scrambled out of his hold as quickly as she could and went into her bedroom. She sat upon her bed and placed her face in her hands, letting out another deep sigh.

“What am I doing? I shouldn’t be getting my hopes up. This will be just a onetime thing, and I shouldn’t dwell too much on it.” Rachael resigned herself to this thought process. But it felt right, and you felt home, Rachael, a voice inside her head called to her. Rachael shook her head to rid of the voice and stood up and looked at the mirror. She rubbed her face and tried to rub the tiredness away. As she did this, the door to her room opened.

“Rachael, I think we better- whoa, is this your room?” Jacob, still shirtless, walked in and looked around. Rachael gave him a deadpan stare and snorted.

“No, it’s the Bishop of Canterbury’s room. Of course it’s mine, you twit. We’re in my home...”

“No need to be rude, Rach. I’m just surprised you have a bed this big when you’re so little.”

Rachael looked up and she could see in the mirror, Jacob still looking around, but he had that devilish smirk plastered on that gorgeous mouth of his. For some reason, at this moment, she felt so… submissive, with him... in her home. On the outside, she had to be fierce and vicious and stake her claim. But within her home, it was end game. Jacob looked towards where she was and caught her staring. He was about five feet away from her and look down at himself and back up to her.

“Like what you see?” There it was again. That smirk. Rachael felt her icy heart melt, but she had to keep her composure.

“I’m sure that’s what you ask all of the girls that stare at you.” Rachael turned and went about to try and distract herself from looking at the man in her room, but she felt a hand on her shoulder and as she stood up, Jacob was pressed up against her and she made an audible gulp as he leaned towards her.

“Yes, I do… but their opinion doesn’t matter as much as it does yours, love.” Jacob’s face was incredibly close to her, his lips a hair breadth away from hers, and she found herself fighting an internal battle of either just wanting him to kiss her already or to push past him and leave the room. The latter won out as she slinked away from him and walked towards the door.

“Come on, Jacob… Evie’s gonna be worried.”

Jacob hung his head and sighed. He was so damn close, and yet so far. Shaking his head, he went about and got ready as Rachael did the same, and soon they were heading off to the train, where they were met by a pretty irate Evie.

“Where have you two been?” Evie crossed her arms, and noticed that Jacob and Rachael were sporting new scars and cuts and bruises. “Oh, well… never mind then. Blighters?” Evie looked to Rachael, as the shorter woman climbed into the train and sat down on the couch. Jacob went to get cleaned up and came back looking a bit better, much better in fact; top hat, black coat and all. Rachael watched as he left the train, probably to go to the Rooks, or to the brothel. She prayed it wasn't the brothel, but years of training herself to not show emotion made her seem like she wasn't fighting an internal war at the moment.

“Yeah… happened last night and I brought Jacob to my place because it would be too far to get here in the state he was in. Thankfully, the cut on his chest was not bad at all. But, this morning was a little bit weird.” Rachael sat back further into the couch and crossed her legs. Evie sat down on a newly acquired chair for a new desk put in front of where the map of London used to be.

“Weird? How?” Evie stared expectantly at Rachael, and the Irish lass bit her bottom lip before continuing on.

“Well, I slept with him—No, not that way, Evie!! Get your mind out of the gutter!!” Rachael went to throw a pillow at Evie when the Frye sister wiggled her eyebrows at her. “No, but he did try to advance on me. And I almost allowed it, but Evie… I’m not good for him.”

“And how do you know that, Rachael? I mean… I know my brother is a bit a whore with the ladies, but… I will say… he does have feelings for you.”

“So you and Father Hezekiah both say. And I do believe it as well. I just don’t want anything to go sour between us if Jacob and I don’t work out. I’ve never been so conflicted, Evie.” Rachael sighed deeply and bent her head back, reclining on the couch. Evie just chuckled lightly and went over to Rachael to sit next to her, lifting Rachael’s short legs and placing them on her lap.

“I can assure you, Ms. O’Sullivan, that that will NOT be the case. I would still be friends with you because I became friends with you first. But, I would try for it. It took me a long time to just figure out my own emotions, and I knew I couldn’t stray away from the feelings I had for Henry. We can’t choose the people we love. It’s beyond our control.”

Rachael looked at her friend and smiled. She was grateful for this friendship, as she was beginning to figure out more about herself and what her needs and wants were. What she wanted was order, control and dominance. What she needed was security, love and trust. And what she found herself in now was a pickle. How was she going to be able to prove her worth to the Master Assassin Jacob Frye? This was something she had to plan, and plan carefully. But she had an inkling of what to do first, but she would need the help of Evie to pull it off. Hopefully, it would work.

Chapter Text

Evie and Rachael remained on the train for some time, discussing matters about the Blighters and the Templars, and then the conversation swiftly went into personal matters. Evie wanted to know what Rachael really thought of Jacob, and all she received was blushes and the clearing of her throat.

“I really would never have thought you to really be interested in my doltish brother, Rachael. What are you planning to do, to try and show how you feel for him?” Evie adjusted herself so she was looking at Rachael, and without missing a beat, Rachael turned to her best friend, donning a wicked grin.

“Well, it does involve that one place he likes to frequent. I don’t want to seem like the jealous type, but if he means what he says and values my opinion over those other girls, than he should be okay with me trying to close down that brothel.”

“Closing down the brothel will only give the Templars more push for control, Rachael. And it would seem a bit petty… and jealous of you.” Evie had to smile though. Here was Rachael O’Sullivan: pretty much the thorns on a rose, getting all riled up because of her brother. It was sweet, in a way though. Rachael had mentioned that he had never “been” with anyone before because all of her relationships ended very badly, so Evie could understand Rachael’s aloofness.

“Perhaps you’re right,” Rachael took out her dagger and examined it, twirling it in her fingers, “Well, perhaps I will have them teach me their trade. What’s the worst that could happen with that?” Evie had taken a sip of a drink and spit it out, coughing violently as she choke on the liquid.

“Rachael, you can’t just saunter into a brothel and demand them to teach you to do sex!!”

“I’ll haggle with them. They teach me and I will guarantee them protection from the Blighters. Easy as cake.” Rachael smirked and leaned back, but her smirk soon faded when Evie still stared at her. “What?”

“You’re really thinking that sex is the one thing that will get you Jacob’s pure attention?”

Rachael’s heart dropped and she sat back and thought about it. It was hard to talk about, but it needed to be said.

“He has seen me fight. He has seen me lead my gang. Hell, he’s seen me do domestic things these past few months!! I want to be able to give him something that he will say ‘Hey, maybe going to the brothel is a bad idea. I have someone much better at home.’ Evie, you have Henry. He knows all about you and what you have to offer. But… maybe you are right. Perhaps there can be a different route I can take.”

Rachael exhaled and turned inward to the couch. This was all confusing to her and new. Jacob seemed to really have a genuine interest in her, and it was validated even by Evie. And Evie was right. Using sex as a way to get what she wanted was never what she stood for. And truth be told, she had never had problems with prostitutes. They were just trying to survive like she was. But, she still wanted to learn a few tricks. Evie could see the war playing out in Rachael’s mind and held her hand.

“If you want to go to the brothel that bad, I’ll… go with you. Maybe they can teach me a few things, too.” Rachael let out a laughed and sat up straight.

“Evie Frye wanting to get down and dirty with Henry Green. Always thought you too prudish…” Evie rolled her eyes and gently nudged Rachael.

“Hey, I’m a woman, as well, and I have needs that need to be fulfilled.” It was Rachael’s turn to roll her eyes as she kicked Evie off of the couch, receiving a glare and Evie then pulled her off of the couch. Both girls were on the floor laughing hysterically, and as a short time passed by, they finally composed themselves and were about to head out when Rachael went frozen.

“Rachael, come on… What’s the matter? You nervous?” Evie walked over to her and Rachael looked up from the spot she been staring at on the floor, and she nodded slightly. “Don’t be nervous, Rachael. What’s the worst that could happen?”

“My reputation could be ruined, I get decommissioned as gang leader, and I lose a chance with your brother. AND the Templars could seize control of London. And it’s all riding on the fact that I have the hots for your brother. Damn this bloody fucking love business I tell you.” With that, Rachael stalked past Evie, with the female Frye twin walking closely behind her. Rachael knew deep down, that, as much as an easy task this seemed to other people, there was so much riding on it. If she failed this, she would lose everything. She wanted to make sure that ties that were bound months ago, stay bound. She had to insure that lives would not be lost because of a lover’s quarrel. Damn her bleeding heart. Damn her broken, bleeding heart that yearned to be loved again. But there was no turning back. She was in this deep now.

As the two women got closer to the brothel, Rachael’s heart pounded even more furiously. If her gang could see her now, they would probably decommission her right then and there. To think that the most vicious gang leader was now being seen as a love-struck fool and there was nothing she could say to deny it. She was in love with Jacob Frye. As hard-stoned she was, she loved that man. What people didn’t realize was that once she thought you as family, she would protect you with her life. And she would kill and die for Jacob, if it would come to it; just like she would kill and die for the Wolf Pack. Right now though, she had no idea what she was getting into, but she wasn’t one to back down.

“Well here we are, Rachael. Have you come up with a plan on how you will deal with this situation?” Evie turned to Rachael as they stood in front of the door leading to the house of ill-repute. Rachael just turned and snorted.

“Not a fuckin’ clue. Here we go!!” Before Evie could stop her, Rachael went barreling towards the doors, busted on through and was met with a lot of terrified gasps and curious glances. She had to admit that the place was nice and well kept. But, it was now down to business.

“Alright, any of you know who I need to talk to about making an offer you can’t refuse?” Rachael walked to the sitting room, where stood a few of the prostitutes and sitting at a desk was what looked like the Madame. “I guess it’s you then. Rachael O’Sullivan, at your service.”

The Madame looked warily at Rachael but shook her hand anyway. The talk went quickly, as Rachael had hoped. Once the Madame realized that Rachael really didn’t mean harm, her stillness melted and she agreed to the terms Rachael and Evie set forth. The plan had worked and Rachael was beaming, but her smiled was wiped off as she saw Jacob walking down the spiral staircase and was walking towards them. He apparently didn’t really see them until he got closer and his haughty steps faltered as his eyes locked with Rachael’s. He was caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar and as he went to say something, Rachael just nonchalantly walked up to him, patted him on the shoulder and walked outside and waited for Evie. Jacob just looked up at Evie helplessly.

“Evie, I can explain…” Evie just shook her head and smiled lightly.

“Jacob, she knew about your ventures already. But I will say this: if your feelings about my best friend are genuine and what you said about her is true, then you should cease your extracurricular activities and focus on the task at hand.”

“Evie, it’s the one of the only ways I can let loose without getting drunk. I—“

“She likes you, Jacob. She’s afraid to tell you herself, but the feeling is mutual. She’s suffered enough heartbreak in her lifetime and you know this as well. Don’t ruin this for her OR yourself.” With that, Evie took her leave and left behind a confused and now insecure brother behind in her midst.

Jacob paid the Madame, and told her to cancel any upcoming appointments he had. Evie was right. He had to keep his head in the game. With both bringing down the Templars and wanting to actually get into a serious relationship, he had to be willing to make a change for himself and those around him who were important. What he didn’t know was that the object of his affection was going through the same dilemma. And it was only a matter of time before things came to a head.

Chapter Text

Evie and Rachael made their way down to the brothel for their first day of “sex ed.” Neither of them knew what to expect and both were nervous and excited. Evie more so excited and Rachael more so nervous. As they went into the brothel, the Madame escorted the two young women into a backroom that looked like the inside of a schoolhouse. There they were met with glances of other young women, and a teacher, who looked as bored as the rest of them.

“You two must be Evie Frye and Rachael O’Sullivan. My name is Georgette Thatcher. Here is the book we are reading and will be learning about.” Evie and Rachael took the books and took their seats; Evie in the front and Rachael near the back. The moment Rachael opened the book and began reading, she let out an audible groan. She had heard of this book called “The book of nature: containing information for young people who think of getting married: on the philosophy of procreation and sexual intercourse, showing how to prevent conception and to avoid child-bearing: also, rules for management during labor and child-birth.” Even the title of the book showed its own disinterest and add to the fact that the Mrs. Thatcher’s voice was as bland as potatoes, Rachael was already losing her mind.

About 20 minutes in the lecture, Rachael leaned to one of the girls next to her. Liz, she believe her name to be.

“Are we ever gonna learn about the good stuff?” Rachael opened and closed her book several times and Liz snickered and shook her head. “I taught sex was supposed to be fun and enjoyable. This shit is boring.”

“Ms. O’Sullivan, is there a problem back there?” Mrs. Thatcher stopped her lesson and all of the girls, save for Evie turned towards Rachael, but the attention did nothing to her. She was used to it, so she pressed forward.

“Yeah, um, when are we gonna learn anything exciting? I mean… some of us girls ain’t interested in getting married and havin’ kids. We just want pleasure.” Rachael pursed her lips and clicked her tongue.

“Well, Ms. O’Sullivan… these are important in Victorian society since young ladies are supposed uphold a pure—“

“We’re having this class in a whorehouse, lady. I highly doubt that talking about having an orgasm is as bad as you make it seem.” With her statement, murmuring was heard throughout the room and Mrs. Thatcher was getting so flustered. Rachael took this as even more initiative. “I mean, really Mrs. Thatcher… When was the last time your husband got you off? Perhaps if we had lessons with the ladies here in this wonderful establishment, we would all be in a better place.”

That was it. Laughter erupted in the room and discouraged, Mrs. Thatcher took her leave, clutching the book in her hands and walked out the door. Rachael snorted and looked up to see Evie giving her a “thank god you said something” type of look. Rachael then got up and walked out to the Madame and explained the situation to her. Rachael and Evie didn’t have anything against the prostitutes, and to think it was “unladylike” to want to seek pleasure. Well, Rachael had other plans. The next few days were going to be very interesting, indeed.

“I’m gonna have one of the prostitutes actually teach me what to do.” Rachael told Evie as they opposite of each other in Evie’s carriage. Evie spit out the tea she was drinking and looked at Rachael curiously.

“What?!”

“You heard me. Unless you got some of those Karma Satra books with you.” Rachael crossed her legs in the armchair and folded her hands in her lap.

“It’s Kama Sutra, and I don’t have any, and when did you think of doing this?” Evie wiped off the tea from her jacket and pants and eyed Rachael.

“Ummmm…. Just right now?” Rachael giggled nervously and rubbed the back of her head. “I mean, I have to know what to do, and seeing as though they KNOW what to do and I don’t…” Rachael trailed off and just sucked in her lips and stared at Evie. “I don’t want to act like I don’t know what I’m doin’, that’s all.”

“Well, Rachael, if that’s what you want, just be careful. I mean, some of those pointers in those books did say that being pure didn’t just mean not having sex, but ACTUALLY being clean.” Evie retorted and took another sip from her tea.

“Oh yeah, I know. I’m just gonna watch them do it.” Rachael adjusted herself and as she was just about to put the cup to her lips, Evie let it fall again and looked back at Rachael. All of this information was something else. Did Rachael not even READ that book?

“Come again?” Evie arched a brow at Rachael and Rachael squirmed nervously. “You can’t just watch people, Rachael… It’s an intimate affair, even if it’s with a prostitute and a cheating husband.” That statement caught Rachael surprised and she had to sit back and think about it. This was all very new to her. Yeah, the boys of her gang would talk about it, but she never really paid attention since she had more important things to worry about. How she wished she was involved in one conversation, though. Now since she had her sights set on the one Jacob Frye. She rubbed her temples and let out a groan.

“Dammit, you’re right, Evie. Seeing as though I wouldn’t want other people watching me do it with Jacob. Seeing him just lay his muscular body on me and take me to heaven.” Rachael was lost within herself she didn’t see the look on Evie’s face but she did hear the laughter and Rachael kicked her gently. “Hey, you shush!! You have no room to laugh!!” Evie continued to laugh and Rachael just pouted and turned to look at the door. It was in that moment she saw Henry’s head and she then took this opportunity to get back at Evie. As stealthy as she could be as Evie was still in a fit of laughter, Rachael went to the door and opened it.

“Hello Henry!! Long time no see!! Evie needs your help with something!!” With that and ignoring Evie’s protests, Rachael pushed Henry into the room and peeked through the window, sticking her tongue out at Evie and then bolting it out of the train and headed towards the Thistle and Crown. She really needed a drink and a Bitter might hit the spot. But as she neared the tavern, she noticed Jacob walking out and he spotted her. As she was about to turn around, he had caught up to her and took hold of her wrist gently.

“Hey, Rachael. Can I talk to you?” Rachael looked up at Jacob, and the look in his eyes told her to not run. This wasn’t a trick. This wasn’t a joke. He needed something from her. What exactly, she would have to go with him to find out. She only nodded and allowed Jacob to lead her up staircase outside the tavern and go up onto the roof.

“So, that day I saw you in the brothel… I wanted to apologize to you. I know I kind of let you know what my feelings for you were that morning, and being there was a mark of distrust. And I don’t want you to not trust me because I know—“ Rachael covered Jacob’s mouth with her two fingers and chuckled.

“Jacob, what you do in your spare time is none of my business. If you need to get off, and you need someone else to do it for you, who am I to deny you that?” Rachael looked up at the sky and could’ve sworn she saw a shooting star. Her secret wish was granted with what Jacob said next.

“But I don’t want it to be just anyone anymore, Rachael. I just want it to be you.” Jacob looked at Rachael and as she slowly turned her head and locked eyes with him, she could see the glimmer of hope shining in those hazel orbs.

“Jacob… I would want that, too. But are you sure I’m what you want?” Rachael turned slightly, staring straight at Jacob. Jacob reached out and took her hand, kissing the pointer finger only. A mark of affection that would stay with them.

“No… but I know that’s what I need. You have what no other woman has that I’ve been with, Rachael.” Rachael arched her brow at Jacob. What could she possibly have that those other girls didn’t?

“And that is?” Jacob scooted a bit closer to Rachael, and instinct told Rachael to move back, but her heart had her stuck. She gulped as Jacob leaned closer.

“You have my heart, Ms. O’Sullivan.” Before Rachael could utter a word, Jacob closed the distance between them and cupped her chin gently. She did not reciprocate right away, but when she felt Jacob pull away, she pulled him back in, deepening the kiss, putting all of her emotion into it. They stayed that way on the rooftop for a few more moments, only parting for air. But soon, they heard a clamor going on below them. Jacob reluctantly parted with her and looked down at the mess in the alley.

“Well, it seems we will have to continue this another time, love.” With one last peck on her lips, Jacob jumped down to the brawl happening, and all Rachael could do was sit there on the rooftop, pressing her fingers to her lips and just sigh in relief and happiness. Yes, they would most definitely indeed have to continue that. She hoped that this would last though She needed it and so did Jacob, it seemed.

Looking at the moon, Rachael didn’t realize a pair of eyes staring at her from a balcony of a nearby flat. Her weakness was now found and taking down the Wolf Pack was now gonna be a piece of cake.

 

Chapter Text

The time following the kiss went relatively smoothly for Jacob and Rachael. The two made sure to keep their personal lives and professional lives separate from each other, as to not talk amongst their gangs about how “well” they were working together. It was common knowledge to the gangs of London that Jacob and Rachael were a force to be reckoned with when apart, but together, the Blighters never knew what hit them. With the Rooks’ hard striking and the Wolf Pack’s quick mindedness, Jacob was positive that the Templar reign would end sooner than he thought.

However, there was a catch, as with everything in life. Talks were going around, saying there was a traitor in the Gangs, and information was being passed on to the Templars. Jacob and Rachael went to go and discuss this at the Thistle and Crown.

“It can’t be any of my Rooks. All of the HATE the Templars… At least, I think they all do.”

“You have to remember, dearest Jacob, that most of your Rooks were once Blighters. If the Templars are gonna go after any group, it might be yours.” Jacob glared at Rachael, but he had to admit; she was right. His Rooks were once Blighters. But, then a thought hit him.

“You don’t think the other three could have anything to do with this, do you? I mean, I haven’t really see them defending their territories as much as we have been.”

Rachael leaned back in her booth and just stared off into the distance. The other three leaders hadn’t been really active as they once were. Rachael took it as though the Blighters hadn’t really wanted to take over their territories as much as they wanted Jacob’s and her own. But, she remembered going to Islington, and seeing a slew of Blighters hanging about. It unnerved her, to say the least, but at the time, she said nothing. Sensing her distress, Jacob reached forward, took her hand and kissed the back of it. It was the only public sign of affection she would allow from him when they were discussing professional matters.

“Hey… if anything does happen, Rachael, you got my Rooks.” He kissed her hand again and went to suck on her pointer finger, when she abruptly took her hand away, glaring at him.

“Need I remind you to not mix business with pleasure, Jacob?”

“Oh, come on, Rach!! You’re being a prude…” Jacob stopped talking when he noticed the look he was receiving from the Irish woman. She had mentioned, unintentionally though, that she was still a virgin; so talks about sex were a sensitive subject for her. It was the one thing, Jacob knew off, that Rachael had NO clue about. Before he could apologize, she continued with their previous discussion.

“Well, if that is the case with the other three, I guess we’ll have one fuck of a time trying to get them convinced otherwise.”

“You can’t be too sure about that, Rachael…”

“Um, actually, I do. I know those three very well. And their number one goal from the beginning of their empire has been to make money and take control of London. Whether together or apart, it doesn’t matter now. The Templars most likely have their claws dug into Tristam, Seth and Gwayne’s groins. So the talks were true, then…”

Rachael trailed off, and looked over to Jacob. The man had a determined look on his face, one of veracity and tact. He was thinking. And thinking deeply. Evie had always said that Jacob was never interested into anything that required deep thought, UNLESS it was something that was worthwhile. A smile crept to her lips at that. Something worthwhile. Saving her gang from complete and utter destruction was apparently something worthwhile.

Pushing her doubts aside, she got up from her seat and went to go sit next to Jacob, and placed a gentle kiss on his cheek. Jacob’s thoughts were interrupted and he turned to Rachael. Now would be the most inopportune moment for them to even TRY anything romantic, but fuck it. They were young and most assuredly, in love… at least to Jacob they were. But as soon as he went to lean in to kiss her, the doors to the tavern slammed open, and in walked a few Rooks and Christina Mills, and Belle Langhorne, two of the Wolf Pack’s Sentinels.

“Boss!! We, uh--- Are we interrupting somethin’?” One of the Rooks walked over to the booth and both Jacob and Rachael shrugged and sighed. They would never be able to have a moment to themselves during this war.

“Don’t worry about it, Henley… What’s the skinny?” Rachael went to get up and walked to the group. The others all looked at each other and hesitated. It only took Rachael to raise her eyebrow for the group to come forward.

“We found out who’s been selling information… and it seems they are closer to home than you think.”

Chapter Text

Rachael didn’t know what to do. She furrowed her brows and scoffed; a typical reaction, Jacob had noticed, when Rachael was stuck in her mind. But this was pretty serious. Taking a deep breath, she turned back to the young man named Henley.

“You are certain? You aren’t rattling my chains, now, are ya?”

Jacob could hear the shake in her voice and as he reached to grasp her hand, she recoiled sharply and turned to look at him. Somewhat affronted, she furrowed her brows again and shook her head. She then got up and walked out the pub, closely followed by a few members. Henley was about to leave when Jacob grabbed his wrist and yanked him down into the booth.

“What, Sir Jacob, sir!! I have to go back!!” Jacob held up a finger and the younger man was silenced immediately. Jacob had worked alongside the Wolf Pack long enough to establish some sort of dominance over the members, especially the recruits.

“Now, you are going to tell me how you figured out this information, Henley. Clearly, your leader is in no shape to be hearing this. So you will tell me.” Jacob was now glaring daggers at the young man, not caring if people were giving him looks. This was Rachael O’Sullivan’s livelihood on the line, and he would damned if someone among them was going to screw her over. Jacob really wanted to think that this young man was lying, and just playing a horrific joke, but the way he was looking, he knew it was not to be.

“I-I-I uh… umm…” Henley was wringing a napkin in his hands, nervously jittering all over the place. Jacob rolled his eyes and slammed her hand on the table.

“Spit it out, Henley… I’m running out of patience.” Jacob stared at the young man, who jumped and nearly sent Jacob’s pint flying. Henley, out of either fear or nervousness, spilled his findings to Jacob. While he and a few other recruits were traversing through London, they saw an older man in front of St. Bart’s, talking to a few other people. The people the man was talking to all sported the distinctive red cross of the Templars. St. Bart’s? Old man? No… it couldn’t be. Father Hezekiah would never…

“Wolf Pack!! With me!!” Jacob was pulled from his thoughts as he heard the voice of the leader, his lover... He looked up to see people all clamoring outside and got up as well and made his too Rachael, who was already starting to lead the pack to St. Bart’s.

“I take it you found out, Rach?” Jacob looked down at her. Rachael said nothing, but slipped her hand within Jacob’s and squeezed tightly. That was answer enough for him right now. He just still hoped that it wasn’t the old man who gave them the slip and with both the Wolf Pack, and now the Rooks, in tow… the old man would never make it out alive if he did indeed betray Rachael O’Sullivan.

“I’m with you, Rachael. Every step of the way, okay?” Jacob sighed and as they got closer to the church, they saw that there were cops all over. Something was definitely wrong here and as they got closer, Jacob spotted Frederick Abberline and he and Rachael sped up to him.

 “Freddy!! What’s going on here? Why are the fuzz all here?” Jacob stepped up to the Sergeant and Rachael slipped through the guards and entered the church. She went noticed, but Freddy didn’t have the heart to stop her.

“She isn’t going to like what she sees…”

“What do you—“ Jacob’s question was cut off when a shrill scream was heard from within the walls of the church. Jacob left Freddy standing there and hurried inside the church, and was met with a horrifying sight. Father Hezekiah Thompkins, killed in cold blood. His throat slashed and the blood pooling around him. Rachael was crouched by his head, sobbing uncontrollably as the fact that everyone around her was now going to die. Even as Jacob crouched down and held her close, her cries would not stop.

“I can’t lose you, Jacob. Promise me to be by my side. We have to find out who did this…” Jacob only nodded and looked at the corpse once again. Ever since knowing Rachael, she and he would visit Father Hezekiah every weekend. The man was stern and proud, but calm and understanding. And he loved Rachael like a daughter. Jacob remembered Rachael saying that Father Hezekiah was the one who convinced the other leaders that she would make a fine edition to the London underground. But something bothered him immensely.  If what Henley said was correct, and Father Hezekiah was talking to the Templars, then what were they after? However, it didn’t make sense. The priest had always made it clear that Rachael’s gang was like his family, and family never betrayed each other. But, he pushed those thoughts behind him as he attempted to calm an inconsolable Rachael.

Attempting to get Rachael out of the church was a task in and of itself, but with the help of Evie {who had been notified by one of the Rooks}, Rachael was now in the safe confines of the hideout. Evie deemed it unsafe for Rachael to stay in her apartment, and although Rachael argued, it was done. Rachael and her gang needed to be safe, and out of the clutches of whoever was relaying information to the Templars.

“I think the best idea right now is to just split them up and have each pack member in the other gangs.” Evie sat across the couch that Rachael was laying on. She looked at the younger woman and couldn’t help but frown. The once proud Irish lass was broken. Rachael O’Sullivan was no longer looking like the fierce leader Evie had met. A broken doll, looking as listless and lifeless as could be. And it shocked Evie when all Rachael did was nod at Evie’s idea.

“What else can I do? The Wolf Pack is all up in arms anyway, with our mentor killed. I lost several members the other day, as well. What was I doing, thinking I could lead a gang in London? Me, an Irish woman? No wonder people want my head. Well, they can have it… I don’t care.”

“Rachael, you cannot think like that. I know it’s hard, but you have to think about-“ Rachael sprang up and leaned towards Evie. Her jade eyes burned with a fire and a growl formed in her throat.

“Think about what, exactly Evie Frye? How bad I am as a leader? How people are trying to get rid of me? Huh? How I was never meant to exist?!” Rachael began crying again and fell upon the floor, covering her face and getting into a fetal position.

Evie was speechless. She had never seen her react this way. Of course, she had seen Jacob do it, maybe once, but she always left him to his own devices. But here was her best friend. Thinking so little of herself. Evie shook her head and went down to the floor and just hugged Rachael. She didn’t speak, didn’t move. But with her body, she would let Rachael know that she was definitely needed and wanted. After a couple of minutes, Rachael began to move and Evie went to get up, but was caught by Rachael in a tight hug. Evie held on to her and rubbed the back of her head. She then looked up to see Jacob in the doorway.

“Jacob?” Rachael, upon hearing Jacob’s name, let go of Evie and turned to the man in the doorway. Jacob only walked towards her, and sat down on the floor next to her. Evie took this as her cue to leave the two alone, and went to the back car.

“We will find out who killed Father Hezekiah, Rachael. I promise you. But we need you. I need you. Don’t think so lowly of yourself.”

“How can you say that, Jacob? Of all the women in London, you had to choose me.” Rachael sniffled and looked down at her hands. She couldn’t bring herself to look at the proud Assassin. But she had no choice when he tilted her chin towards him.

“Because, out of all of the women in London, you are the only who has truly stolen my heart.” Jacob reached out and rubbed his palm against her cheek and leaned forward and gave her a chaste kiss on her lips. The kiss was light, and fast, but it was needed.

“I love you, Rachael O’Sullivan. I always had.” Rachael’s eyes widened at Jacob’s admission and couldn’t help the tears that began to stream down. But this time, these were tears of joy.

“I love you too Jacob Frye.” She then climbed into his lap and he held her close to his chest. Rocking her back and forth, he just looked up at the window, and saw the two stars next to each other. He sighed and began to sing a ballad Rachael would sing to the children in the orphanage.

" As she onward sped I shook my head

And I gazed with a feeling rare

And I said, says I, to a passerby

"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"

He smiled at me, and with pride says he,

"That's the gem of Ireland's crown.

She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann

She's the star of the County Down."

He continued the sung, until all it was a hum, and then silence. Leaned up against the couch lay the She-wolf and the Rook, at peace. But the peace would not last for long since there was work to be done. But for now, rest was in order and tomorrow would bring either compliance or destruction. If Jacob had anything to say about it, he would raise London on his feet to make sure his gem was safe. But right now, she was, and that’s all that mattered.

Chapter Text

The days following Father Hezekiah’s death were full of grief, torment, and revenge. Rachael was bound and determined to find out who exactly was behind the old man’s gruesome murder. However, preparing for his funeral was top priority in the eyes of the Wolf Pack. Rachael wanted all hands on deck for the march, and no expense would be left behind. To the pack, Father Hezekiah was just that; a father figure many of them never had. Now that he was gone, they were all left with a piece of their hearts taken and an empty void lay there. But none suffered more than Rachael. Even Jacob wasn’t able to cheer her up.

The funeral march wasn’t grand, but all of London had attended to pay their respects to a beloved member of the Church. Even the other clans had come to pay their respects. And after all was said and done, they all headed to the Thistle and Crown for drinks. However, Rachael had other plans.

“I’m going back to the church.” Rachael said to Evie, as Evie was just about the hop on a coach.

“You’re not serious? Rachael, the police are still there, trying to figure out who did this? You cannot show yourself there. They’ll think you are the one who did it.” Evie bit her lip after she said those last words, and Rachael rounded and her, shillelagh in hand and eyes burning with rage.

“They best be knowin’ it wasn’t me who did this to him. I don’t care what they have to say to me. I will raise HELLFIRE to London to find out who took him away from me!!!” And with that, Rachael turned and fled to St. Bart’s, which was still swarmed by police and reporters. But, not caring if she were to be caught, Rachael rushed passed them all and went into the church and headed over to the altar. She was going to do her own investigation. Surely the cops weren’t going to help, even though Freddy was a good friend and all. It wasn’t in their nature to look at the rabble and say ‘Hey, you’re worth saving.’ Especially when the rabble was an Irish lass with strawberry blonde hair, green eyes, and no family. An Irish lass who could lead a gang like how Queen Victoria lead her nations. People feared her, and at one point of her life, she wasn’t quite sure she wanted that. But now… Now it was all about the factor of fear being set in fire and blood.

“Fancy meeting you here, ceannaire? Didn’t know you want to be back here so soon after the old man was gutted like he was…”

Rachael turned quickly to the sound of the voice and looked around to find its source. She knew who it was, though. It was her right hand man, Benjaman. But her efforts were short-lived when he appeared behind her and gripped her wrist and with a tug, she released her weapon and let out a harsh gasp.

“Ben, what are you doing here? You should be with the rest of the pack.” Rachael snarled at him, but her blood ran cold when he gave a simple, yet sinister chuckle.

“I don’t work for you, anymore, ceannaire. You see, a certain group has promised me a spot at their table if I was able to dismantle the gangs of London. You, of course, were my easiest target. But don’t worry, Rachael… I’ll make sure not tear you apart too much.”

Benjaman growled as he unsheathed a hidden knife from his belt, but miscalculated his timing when he was clocked aside the head with Rachael’s boot. Staggering back a bit, Benjamen rubbed his head and looked up at his former leader. She bore those jade green eyes into his soul, and even though she frightened him, he wasn’t going to back down. Rachael wasn’t going to either and without missing a beat, she charged him and tackled him to the ground. Benjamen was able to catch Rachael in the thigh with his knife. It was a shallow cut, and the pain was enough for Rachael to roll away. Benjaman went to stand up and run, but Rachael caught him by the ankle and yanked him, sending him careening to the ground with a loud thud. The cut on her leg now forgotten, rage fueled her as she climbed on top of Benjamen, turned him around and forced him to look at her.

“How dare you turn your back on me!! After everything I had done for you!!!” Rachael punched him right square in the jaw and continued on, until the police, Jacob, Evie, and the other leaders came into the church to separate the two.

“Get her off of me!! She’s mad!!!”

“He killed Father Hezekiah!! He deserves to die!!!!”

This new information made all of them look at Benjamen, but instead of answering outright, Benjamen let out a deranged laugh of sorts. After it subsided, he looked directly at Rachael.

“May the father of understanding guide me to heaven’s gate. I know it will be a long process since I will hanged, but—“

“The police are not going to deal with you, traitor. I am. And the father of understanding will be watching and he will leave after witnessing such a despicable coward like you die by my hand.”

Jacob and Evie looked at each other, fearful that something else was going to happen. But, Rachael went and picked up her shillelagh and calmly proceeded out of the church, where she was met with her Wolf Pack, the Rooks, The Bear Cave, the Bull Pen and Fox Skulk. All gang members looked up at her in reverence, and without saying a word, she walked through the crowd and all followed her towards the Tower of London. With the police and Benjamen close by, she made it to the scaffold where late queens and kings and lords and ladies were all beheaded for treason. Rachael was no Queen, but she was a leader. And she had to enact justice for her crew. She turned to the gangs and lifted her chin, staring intently at Benjamen, who was now at the point of crying and shivering; fearing for his life, but somehow knowing his tears meant nothing. He was shuffled over to the scaffold and put up a fight, but was held still when Rachael placed her foot on the side of his head.

“Benjamen Graham!! You are sentenced to death for treason to the Wolf Pack, and to all other respectable gangs of London. Do you have any final words?”

“Please… Have mercy, ceannaire. I didn’t mean to do it!! I swear!!!” Rachael looked down at him and let out a laugh.

All the while the jeering was happening Jacob looked closer at Rachael and noticed her jade green eyes were different. Alight with something more sinister and vile. His mind told him to not do anything, yet his heart told him differently. Listening more and more to his heart, Jacob walked over to Rachael, face stern and eyes glossed over.

“Rachael...”

Rachael took in a deep breath and looked up to the one who called her name. She was surprised and a bit ashamed to see Jacob near her.

“Jacob…”

“Rachael… he does deserve to die. But no more jeering. Father Hezekiah would not be too happy if he knew you were like this.”

“But he---“ Jacob lifted a hand and Rachael fell silent. The members of the gang were all whispering amongst themselves, amazed that Jacob Frye was able to silence the ever fiery Rachael O’Sullivan. It wasn’t a sign of weakness, but of respect. And of love.

“I know, Rachael. Mark your strike and hit your mark.” Jacob then backed up slightly as Rachael took in a deep breath and glanced down once again at her former 2nd in command. Silence filled the air as the whoosh of the shillelagh and the thud of Benjamen’s head being caved in. The mess was going to be dealt with by the authorities, and as a sudden chill filled the air, Rachael couldn’t keep down the fiery rage within her. It was only when Jacob came and held onto her hand and led her away from the group. They walked and walked and walked until they got to the Emmanuel’s Orphanage.

“You need to cool down, and you need to cool down now. I will take reign over the Wolf Pack and Rooks until you get your head together, Rachael.” Jacob spoke sternly to her, but his voice died in his throat when he turned to see his Rachael crying.

“Rachael? I didn’t mean to be so gruff. Ugh, I know Evie says I’m so good with words, but I didn’t know I was that bad… Oh Rachael, I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not you, Jacob. Not at all. I never had to do that before.”

“Had to do what?”

“Kill a family member. Benjamen was like a brother to me. Now I lost both him and Father Hezekiah. I am such a fool.” Rachael fell into the fence of the orphanage, looking down at her hands. Hands that saw many battles, but never tasted the blood of her family until that day.

Jacob kneeled down in front of her and grasped her hands tightly. Rachael gasped and looked up at Jacob and what she saw brought a new wave of tears. He was smiling. How could he smile at her like that? Like she was the most beautiful creature after she had to kill her brother for treason? Perhaps that was why. She had to make a decision and acted upon it. She protected her own, in more ways than one.

“Rachael O’Sullivan. You are no fool. If anyone is, it’s me. But I’m a fool in love with you. Someone who charges into battle, desperate to protect what you deem worthy. It’s about damn time I do the same thing.” With that, Jacob leaned in and gave her a chaste kiss. But things started to heat up and soon. Hands roving all over each other’s bodies, and it wasn’t until a cough separated them. Rachael turned to see the orphans all staring at the couple.

“Ummm…”

“Are you two gonna get married and have kids?” One of the kids yelled out and the rest followed suit.

Rachael and Jacob just looked at each other, and Jacob chuckled and held Rachael close to his body, radiating warmth, protection and love.

“Maybe one day. The She-Wolf and the Rook. How does that sound to you, my dear?” Jacob said and then turned to Rachael, who was just shaking her head and laughed. Oh, today was such a long day. And she knew that tomorrow was going to be much, much longer. But, for now, arm in arm with the man she respected and loved, they walked into the orphanage and rested. There was much work to be done, and only a short time to do it.