"Jarin," the man looked up at him, speaking softly. Jarin eased off of the man, allowing him to sit up. "I'm sorry I startled you." The young man was not a stranger, but Rodney. Jarin was baffled as to how the other man had managed to find him, but was glad to see him.
"It's okay," Jarin spoke softly. "How did you find me, and what are you doing here?" He smiled. "It's not that I did not want to see you, but..."
Rodney did not smile back, as Jarin would have expected. He only sighed, hugging his friend. Jarin could tell something was not right, and just held him quietly. Stroking the soft, blond curls, he tried to offer comfort for whatever Rodney was going through. He knew the young man would speak when he felt like he was ready.
Finally, Rodney raised his head, pain clouding his eyes. "Jarin, your father really is a monster. He found out about me, and locked me up. I didn't think that was possible, but it was. He has spies in the ranks that I did not know about until now..." he paused, closing his eyes.
Jarin pulled him close again, not surprised by the news of spies. "What is it. I can tell something else is bothering you."
Rodney nodded, settling down against Jarin's chest. "Jarin...Alec was one of his spies," he paused again. "I didn't know, and he was the soldier I had spoken to the most. He helped me escape.I don't know why he was doing all of this, but...Jarin, he paid for it."
Jarin closed his eyes, gasping. "You mean, my father had him..."
Rodney nodded, more tears spilling from his eyes. "Like I said, I don't think he was meaning to betray us. He was only following orders."
Jarin uttered a small sound of anguish, biting his lower lip. His tears were falling freely now, and he could feel a cold chill beginning to run through his body. "Alec has always been tied to loyalty, not matter who it was to," he was silent for a moment. "How did you get out?"
"Alec left a pin on the floor, near my cell, and I used it to escape," Rodney pulled away from Jarin, wiping his eyes. "I escaped after I heard about his disappearace. I just knew your father had him killed, and that is why I left. I probably would have been next."
Jarin shook his head. "I am so sorry this happened to you, but I am glad you found me," he paused. "Do you think you are ready to go inside, or would you rather go somewhere else? You don't have to stay with us, but I am certain you would be welcome."
Rodney studied him thoughtfully. "If you are sure it would be alright, I would like to stay for a few days."
Jarin nodded, helping his friend up. "Alright. Let's go inside. I believe Devin is still awake, so we can speak with him about this. Come on."
"Thank you," Rodney smiled at Jarin. "I didn't know where else to go."
Jarin smiled at him. "You came to the right place. I am just glad you are safe."
They made their way in, and Jarin spoke softly to the man guarding the door. The man glanced at Rodney, motioning toward a study. Jarin thanked him, approaching the door and knocking softly. He heard Devin's quiet reply from the other side of the door, and they entered.
The older man was sitting at a desk, studying maps. He smiled when he saw Jarin, and his eyes shifted to Rodney. "I see your friend has decided to join us," Devin offered them both seats, which they accepted. "So, what changed your mind?"
Rodney opened his mouth, but Jarin shook his head, placing his hand on the other man's arm.
"Please, let me explain. You have already been through enough..." he began the story, telling Devin everything Rodney had already told him.
Devin shook his head sadly when he had finished. "Well, you are safe here, and may help us find the sorcerer and spell books, if you wish. With your knowledge, you could be very helpful, as well. If you would like, I can show the two of you the map I have here now, or I can wait until I explain it to everyone else, also."
Jarin smiled at him. "I think it would be better to let Rodney get some rest, since he has already been through a lot. Thank you for your help, and we will see you in the morning."
"Good night to the both of you," Devin smiled back at Jarin.
"Good night, sir," Rodney spoke quietly. "Thank you very much for offering me refuge."
"Of course," Devin said, turning back to the maps.
Jarin returned to the room he was sleeping in, noticing that Kain had already put clean sheets on. The young man woke up when the door opened, instantly alert. When he saw Rodney, he was confused, but did not ask any questions. Instead, he took one of the blankets and curled up on the floor.
Jarin opened his mouth to object, but Kain shook his head. "You should stay there with your friend," he glanced at Jarin's face, then looked down. "I think I may be more comfortable down here, anyway." He tucked his head into the blanket, his back turned to them.
"Well...thank you," Jarin had a feeling that Kain was uncomfortable around him, and it bothered him, but he could understand. He would deal with that later.