Later that afternoon, Jarin was approached by a young man with wavy, auburn hair.
"Hi, you must be Jarin," the man smiled at him. "I'm Fletcher," he leaned his lanky frame against a tree, studying Jarin.
Jarin glanced at him, then returned the smile. "It's nice to meet you," he was drawn in by Fletcher's easy manner. "How long have you been here?" he asked the question straight out.
"About six years. Devin found me in the woods, beaten up. He brought me back here, and this is my life now."
"He's a good man, isn't he?" Jarin observed. "He seems to take care of this place."
"Yeah, he does," Fletcher smiled again. "Hey do you want me to show you around?"
"Sure, I would appreciate that very much," Jarin stood up from the log he had been sitting on and followed him.
Early there next morning, Kain was called into Devin's tent. When he got there, Devin asked him to have a seat. He was counting money, so Kain waited quietly, until he had finished. His leader finally turned to him, putting the bag of money away.
"Good morning, Kain," Devin smiled at him. "I called you here, because I have a favor to ask of you."
Kain nodded. "Okay. What do you need?"
"That man we found yesterday is the son of Lord Nathaniel," he studied Kain's face for a reaction.
The younger man glared. "Is he, now? Does he do the same things his father does?"
Devin shook his head. "I'm not sure. That is exactly what I wanted you for. I need you to keep an eye on him, along with you friends. I believe he is already comfortable with Fletcher, so it shouldn't be very difficult to get to know him."
"Isn't he going back home soon?" Kain asked, almost hoping.
"Yes, he is. That is why I need you to do this. If he is working with his father, he could go back and tell him everything about us," Devin stood up, offering a hand to Kain. The young man took it, pulling himself up. "So, will you do this for me?"
"Yes, Sir. However, why did you ask me, instead of Fletcher of Emery? He seems to like them more than he likes me."
Devin smiled. "I'm not so sure about that. I think you will work better. Just be yourself around him."
Kain sighed. "I don't know if I can do that. If I get to know him, and he is not trustworthy, it'll be that much more difficult to be around him."
"I know, but we have to take that chance," Devin smiled at him. "Personally, I don't think he knows anything."
"Okay, I guess I'll go find him, then," Kain smiled back at his leader.
"Thank you, Kain," Devin gathered the money bag again, handing it to him. "As a great start, why don't you see if he will go into town with you? I need you to take this to the officials. Just tell them you found it," he grinned to himself. "I have also compiled a list of supplies I need you to get for us."
Kain found Fletcher and pulled him aside. "Devin needs us to go into town to get some supplies. He wants us to take Jarin with us."
Fletcher grinned at him. "Sounds good. That way, he can get to know you better. You have been avoiding him like a plague."
Kain rolled his eyes. "You should ask Em if he wants to go with us."
"Of course I would ask him to go," Fletcher grinned at him again. "I'll go find Emery, if you could get Jarin. He should be with his horse. I think he has a love affair with her, or something."
Kain snorted. "That's just creepy," he patted his friend on the back before leaving.
Kain found Jarin in the corrals, feeding his horse some grain. The young man had his auburn hair pulled up off his neck, which looked quite nice. He turned when he heard Kain approach. Setting the bucket down, Jarin smiled at him.
"Hello," he said, running his hand down Shadow's side, examining a cut.
"Uh...hi," Kain found himself very nervous now. "Devin wants us to go into town, and I was wondering...I would like you to go with us." Kain wanted to stab himself for stumbling over his words like he was.
Jarin smiled at him. "Sure." He turned to the shorter man. "Just let me put some ointment on this cut, and I will be ready to go. Could you hold her for me? She's not going to like this very much."
Kain sighed, talking the grey mare's rope. He watched silently as Jarin put a generous amount of the green paste on her side. Jarin was very gentle with her, murmuring inaudibly to Shadow as he rubbed it in. Kain began to wonder if he was like that to people, or uncaring, like his father. He was beginning to think that would be impossible.
Jarin straightened up, cursing softly. "I will not be able to ride her home with that injury, unless I do not use a saddle," he grinned at Kain.
"She isn't a horse to ride bareback."
Kain smiled back. "I'll bet. She's a beauty, though."
"Thank you," Jarin reached up to take the halter off of Shadow, his hand brushing against Kain's in the process. He shivered, pulling his hand away, along with the halter. Walking toward the gate, he opened it, motioning for Kain to go before him.
The four young men rode into town, Fletcher and Emery talking to Jarin the entire time. Kain, on the other hand, stayed silent, feeling awkward around the young noble. He knew Devin had wanted him to talk to Jarin, but he was finding it difficult to just be around him. He decided it would be better to just watch him and learn from his actions. He didn't care that he was taking the coward's way out.
They got to the city treasury, where Kain went in alone. After handing over the money, he returned to the others. They headed to the market next, where they were quite certain Jarin would not be recognized very quickly. Kain continued to watch him quietly, but every time Jarin spoke to him, he gave him as vague answers as possible. This seemed to bother Jarin, but Kain couldn't help it. He didn't want to get to know someone who might turn on him.
They finished their shopping and made their way back to camp.
When they got back, Jarin took Fletcher aside. "What is Kain's deal? He doesn't seem to want to be around me," Jarin frowned. "I just want to know what I did wrong. He has acted odd the entire time I have been here."
Fletcher smiled at him. "It's nothing you did. He just isn't very trusting of anyone. It usually takes a lot of effort to get through to him, but once you do, it's worth it. Just keep trying."
Jarin frowned. "I'm afraid I won't be here long enough. I'm leaving as soon as my horse is better."
Fletcher shrugged. "Your time is what you make of it, if you know what I mean. Just like your life."