The next morning, Jarin woke up early. Sitting up, he moved carefully, not wanting to wake Adriel. Getting dressed, he stepped out into the quiet morning air. He noticed a few men standing around, eating and talking. Kain was with them, did not acknowledge Jarin as he approached.
Smiling at the men, Jarin glanced at Kain. Several of them returned the smile, but Kain remained still. He stopped talking as soon as Jain had joined them. Jarin dismissed the act, greeting the other men. After a moment, Kain stood up and stretched. Walking over to the tent Jarin had seen the young woman enter the night before, he spoke to her softly through the light fabric. Seconds later, the tent opened, and he disappeared.
Jarin frowned, knowing he was being avoided. He had a mission now, and he was not going to let Kain mess it up.
"Am I hearing things, or is there someone else knocking on my tent?" the young woman's happy voice came through the tent, loud and clear.
Jarin laughed softly. "I think you are just hearing things, my lady."
The woman laughed, opening the tent. "Come in, Lord Jarin. Would you care to join us for some breakfast?"
Jarin noticed Kain glance at her, but she ignored him.
"Thank you. That would be appreciated," Jarin smiled at the woman, seating himself.
"You are most welcome, sir," she poured him some tea from a steaming pot, offering a platter of meat and potatoes. There was also a bowel full of fruit.
Jarin took a generous amount, taking a sip of the tea. It had a spicy taste, with a hint of apple. "So, I didn't catch your name last night," he stated bluntly, still smiling.
"Anna," she extended a hand, which he shook firmly.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, miss Anna. As you know, my name is Jarin. You can drop off the lord title, since I don't think I will be needing it anymore." He felt better about saying that than he thought he would have.
Kain glanced at him, but remained silent, concentrating on his food.
"So, what do you like to do, Jarin?" Anna picked up a piece of pineapple. "I will admit there isn't a lot to do around here, but it can get exciting with jobs," she grinned. "My uncle didn't raise me as a prissy girl, and I do not intend to become like them."
Jarin laughed. "That's good to know. The women I am used to are so difficult to talk to, since they are so proper and easily offended."
She snorted. "Is that why you don't like women?"
Jarin shook his head. "No, not at all. I just am not attracted to you, no offense."
She glanced at Kain, who was still quietly watching them. "None taken, even though you are very good looking."
Jarin grinned. "Thank you. As are you, in a completely platonic sense."
"So, now that we have that all cleared up, back to my original question. What do you like to do, because if it's sitting around looking pretty, you are in the wrong place," Anna took a bite of her meat and potatoes.
"I love to ride horses, spar, and read," Jarin grinned at her, then Kain. The other man offered him a small smile, still eating in silence.
Anna smiled. "I think I will get along with you very nicely, since we have the same interests," she glanced at Kain. "Mainly."
"So, what about you, Kain? What do you like to do?" Jarin asked, glancing at the blond man.
"A lot of the same things the two of you do, but I don't have a lot of time," Kain picked up his plate. "Speaking of which, I have some things I need to attend to." Glancing at Jarin, he smiled at Anna. "Thank you for getting breakfast." Before she could respond, he gathered up the other dishes and left.
Once he was gone, Anna grinned at Jarin. "He's like that to everyone, at first. He'll lighten up, once he gets to know you better. Just keep trying, and he'll come around. He's kind of shy, at first."
"So, there was something Devin mentioned the last time we were here about a stone being placed in Kain when he was a child. How did that affect him?" Jarin was curious, especially since he had agreed to help them.
Anna smiled. "Are you sure you want to know right now? It may change the way you look at him."
"That's alright," Jarin frowned. "That's not getting me anywhere, anyway."
Anna smiled at him. "Like I said, he's shy, not opposed to you," she was quiet for a moment, then continued. "The stone was absorbed into his bloodstream, so it would be impossible to remove it. Your father's intentions were to use him to unleash demon power, therefore becoming more powerful than any sorcerer or wizard. Kain feels this power all the time, but especially when he is around magical people or objects," she paused, looking at Jarin necklace. "That is a beautiful necklace. Where did you get it?"
Jarin glanced down at the jewel, which was encased in glass. "It was given to me as a birthday present, from someone very special. He's gone now," he said the last part quietly.
Anna nodded, pushing back her wavy hair. "Like I said, it's beautiful, and it looks like it has strong magic."
"It has some," Jarin smiled at her. "So, he has sensitivity to magic. Does that mean he can use it?"
She shook her head. "No one really knows. As he gets older, the dreams he has about them get stronger. He can feel when there are magic users around, especially dark magic. We have been trying to find something to dispel it so he can lead a normal life, but it's as if his body accepted the magic, so it is fused with him."
Jarin looked worried. "Can it hurt him?"
"We're not sure. All my uncle can do is keep an eye on him, and try to find the sorcerer who has the objects that will unleash the magic and destroy it, before the sorcerer finds Kain," she smiled grimly. "Devin seems to think you father knows where the sorcerers are. He just has to have Kain. That was his original plan."
Jarin nodded. "Because my father cannot use strong magic like that himself. He needs assistance."
"Right," she answered softly. "How do you feel about that?"
"I'm willing to stop my father and the sorcerers, not matter what I have to go through to do it," Jarin swallowed a lump in his throat. "He has already shown himself untrustworthy."
She sighed. "Well, I hope that helped to answer some of your questions. If you have any more, just asks my uncle, Devin," she smiled at him. "I need to go into town with some of the men, but you should find Kain and try to talk to him. It was nice to meet you," she said, gathering up her things.
Jarin smiled at her. "It was nice meeting you, also."
As soon as Jarin left her tent, he looked around for Kain. Finding him down by the stream, he sat down next to him. When Kain ignored him, Jain smiled. Scooting closer to him, he turned to Kain.
"It's beautiful, isn't it," he said, looking out at the green grass and clear stream. The sound of the water seemed to have a calming effect, making Jarin feel at ease. When Kain didn't answer him, Jarin continued. "There isn't a lot of open space on the manor that hasn't been messed with in some way."
Kain finally looked at him. "Yeah, I'll bet all the imperfect trees have been removed, and something else put in their place. I prefer nature staying how it is."
Jarin nodded. "I agree. It's so much nicer when it's left alone."
Kain lay back on the grass, closing his eyes. Jarin glanced at him, then joined him in the grass. He would save his chasing for later. Right now, he just wanted to be near Kain.