This is my rough draft completely unedited. For a full explanation go to Part I.

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Today – Part XIX – Rough Draft

After listening to Bannon play the flute Kael knew that he had better get Bannon back to the house as soon as possible. As soon as Kael stepped into view the music stopped and the flute disappeared.

“Hey” Kael greeted Bannon. He knew better than to question him about the flute. The first time he had caught him playing. He acted as if I had done no such thing. Kael would ask him where he learned and he would act like he had no idea what I was talking about. The whole thing finally ended in both parties being mad and not talking for a couple weeks. Now Kael knew just to let it go, if he didn’t want people to know he played the flute so be it.

“You’re not here to kill me are yah?” Bannon hopped down from the low branch he was on.

Kael was confused and took a look around to see what he was referring to. Then he remembered the sword on his hip.

“Oh this?” Kael put his hand on the hilt. “No my dad gave me this, for our trip. Thought that I might need it. You should probably think of getting some kind of protection yourself.”
“You mean like this.” Bannon hands were magically filled with two short knifes. He flipped them over to where he held the point of the blade. Then sent them hurtling at the tree. They made a satisfying thud as they sunk into the bark.

“Yeah, something like that… Do you always carry those around?”
“Got to have something to do out here, the cows seem to watch themselves pretty well.”
Kael just nodded, he knew his childhood friend was not the most consistent worker. He could out work anyone, but most the time he chose to sit in a tree playing his flute or as Kael now saw, practicing throwing knives.

“Well anyways I didn’t come for that. My mom wants to talk to you before we go.”

“Why?” Bannon’s response was just a hair too quick, and Kael noticed his dark skin paled just a little.

“Nothing to worry about I’m sure, just wanted to tell you to be careful or some such thing.” Kael reassured Bannon.

“Oh, yeah, well I guess I can go now, the little cows ought to be okay.”
With that they headed back to Kael’s yurt. All the while Kael telling Bannon about how he had gotten his Dad’s sword. The way back seemed to go by quick for Kael. He did notice that Bannon said less and less the closer they got. When Kael led them the long way around the town, to avoid prying eyes, Bannon said nothing, no even a snide remark.

When they arrived Kael’s Dad was still in the shop and Luna invited Bannon inside. Kael started to follow,

“You know Kael, I think you dad is just about to clean up in the shop, could you give him a hand. Bannon and I will finish getting supper ready for you boys.” Luna pointed Kael to the shop in an obvious dismissal.

“Oh okay.” Kael caught Bannon’s eye and gave a shrug.

“I see you wore the sword into town. Drew a few odd glances I am sure. Some of the older might even recognize it.” Robik asked as soon as Kael walked in.

“Nah, I walked around the town, I didn’t want to take too long getting Bannon.”

“Probably for the best.” Robik was not cleaning up but was rather intensely concentrating on a piece in front of him.

“What do you mean they would remember it?” Kael asked.

“Oh well when we first arrived here, your mom and I, I was wearing that sword. I took it off the moment we realized I wouldn’t need it here.” Robik acted like this was run of the mill information that Kael would not be surprised to hear.

“Moved here? I thought you guys had been raised here.” Kael’s voice was going up in pitch as he tried to assimilate what was happening in his mind.

“Heavens no.” Robik barked a laugh. “You weren’t even born here son. We moved he just soon after you were born.”

“How have I not known this?” Kael was dumbfounded.

“Well you have never, asked and before today I never really had occasion to talk about it.”
“We sit in a quiet shop together all day every day for years. How could you not find the occasion to tell me that you have this whole other part of your life, that I have no clue about.” Kael wasn’t mad, but was very curious.

“Just didn’t come up.” Was all Robik would give Kael as an answer.

“Well it’s come up now.” Kael retorted.

“Son, we don’t have a lot of time right at the moment, but I’ll make you a deal. You come home and tell me about your adventure and I’ll tell you about mine.” Robik didn’t seem mad, but he did seem like he was done talking about it for the time being.

“Fine,” Kael answered.

“Fine indeed.” Robik responded. With that he began to clean up whatever he was working on. Kael seeing the signs began to sweep up and get the shop ready for tomorrow morning.

Soon they were done and silently making their way back to Luna and Bannon.

“Poor boy.” Muttered Robik as they got close to the yurt.

The walked in to see Luna in the kitchen and Bannon sitting in the living area. He had a glazed look on his eyes until he heard the door close behind Kael and his father. His head jerked and he put a smile on his face.

Kael didn’t know what his mom had told Bannon, but he decided in that instant that he wouldn’t ask, nor would he even notice the haunted look in Bannon’s eyes.

Supper was a quiet affair. The only one talking was Luna acting as if nothing were out of the ordinary. Kael had much too much on his mind to talk, Bannon looked like he’d seen a ghost, and Robik seemed thoughtful as well.

After some stilted goodbyes, Kael and Bannon headed back to his yurt for the night.

“Well Banny I am just about ready to go myself, when do you think you can be ready?”

“I could’ve left the moment you found me yesterday.” Bannon seemed nonchalant about the whole thing.

“So you’ve got all your supplies you need.” Kael was surprised. He had been collecting up stuff for this adventure for some time. Even before he really thought he would go on it.

“I don’t need much.” Was the only response Bannon gave.

“Okay well I suppose I’ll need one more day to get all my stuff together, then we can head out. Sound good to you.”
“Can’t wait.” The look on Bannon’s face said anything but that.

Kael used all his willpower to not ask what Luna had told him while they were alone in there. He figured that was between the two of them and he didn’t need to know.

After talking a while about all the places they wanted to see Bannon was back to his old self. He acted disinterested in most things, but Kael could tell by the way he leaned forward that he was just as excited as Kael about this.

“So what does your mom think?” Kael was shocked that his mom was okay with this, with so little warning. But to be honest his parents had acted like it was nothing out of the ordinary.

“I don’t need my Ma’s permission, I’m a grown man.” That was true both Kael and Bannon where a couple years past marrying age. A fact that most of the women in the town didn’t seem to forget. It seemed like all these women could think about was getting Kael and Bannon married off. Like life couldn’t start without a proper marriage. Kael didn’t know how Bannon felt, but honestly he wasn’t all that opposed to marriage. In fact he looked forward to it. Another symptom of the books he read. He wanted to find his perfect woman and have adventures together with her. The problem was that the best candidate for a wife in the small town was Jillian, and Kael just knew he couldn’t spend the rest of his life with her. She would probably be shocked at even the thought of leaving the island to go on an adventure.

For know his mate would just have to be Bannon.

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