That afternoon, Jarin found Kain out by the corrals. The shorter man had been working with his horse all morning, even while the others were eating breakfast. He seemed to be bothered by something, and Jarin felt like he had a part in it. That was the reason he wanted to speak with him now.
Jarin climbed onto the fence, watching Kain work with his horse. The animal seemed to be very stubborn, but was beginning to respond. Jarin could not help but notice how gentle Kain was with the gelding, guiding him, instead of forcing. It was a good quality, and Jarin was beginning to see that it was the way he acted with everyone. That was why he was here.
Kain finally dismounted and led to horse out of the pen. He paused when he saw Jarin on the fence, but did not look at him. Leading the horse over to the others, he let him go. Watching the horses, he continued to ignore Jarin. He heard the other man walk over, but did not move.
"Hi," Jarin smiled at him, though Kain was still turned away from him. "I missed you at breakfast. You were not hungry?"
Kain shook his head. "Not really. I had some food in my saddle bags, so I ate that. My horse needed work. He's a pain."
Jarin smiled. "Yeah, I know those. Mine is completely trained, and she's still a pain."
Kain laughed softly. "She has expensive bloodlines, so she will always be hot. That's just how they are, but she's a good horse."
Jarin nodded. "Yeah, I like her," he studied the other man carefully. "Hey, about last night…"
Kain shook his head. "Don't. It doesn't matter, and I should have known. He looks like a good man. Last night shouldn't have happened." He looked back at the horses, biting his lip.
Jarin stayed silent for a moment, then touched him lightly on the arm. Kain tensed up instantly, but did not pull away. "Kain…Rodney is just a friend. He is attracted to me, and wishes there was something there, but there isn't. I did that last night, because I wanted to, not just because I was horny."
Kain turned to look at him, then shook his head, looking back at the horses. "I can't offer you anything…I'm nothing. I'm messed up in the head, and you don't want to get into that. That's why you should stay away."
Jarin shook his head. "No, I won't, because you were the one who said you wanted to get to know me. You can't go back on it now."
"I have to," Kain's blue eyes glistened as he spoke, and he looked down at the ground. "I thought I could handle it, but I can't. I'm not strong enough to be with you."
Jarin smiled at him. "I'm not asking you to be strong, because I'm not, either. I want to get to know you, and show you that you can trust me."
Kain took a shaky breath, letting it out slowly. "I don't trust very well, and there's something about you that I can't stay away from that scares the hell out of me. I can't deal with that."
"Well, whatever it is, I can help you with it, or at least try," Jarin spoke softly.
"No, you can't, because I am the one who will be used by the sorcerer, and you can't remove the orb. That darkness is inside of me, and I don't want to subject you to whatever I may be able do with it," Kain looked bitter when he turned to Jarin, anger flashing in his eyes. "I don't want to hurt you, but I feel a strong attraction to you that I need to ignore. Please just forget that I said anything. You're better off that way."
Jarin shook his head. "Fine, I'll back off, but I still want to get to know you, as a friend."
Kain studied him, then nodded. "We'll see."
Jarin smiled at him. "Alright, that sounds good to me."
"Good," Kain smiled at him softly, turning to the other horses. "Would you like to help me brush them?"
"Sure," Jarin grinned at him. It was a start, at least.