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Chapter Nine in a few words

Just a snippet before I get into more important matters (but poor Andro):

Afterward, they were promptly escorted outside where the party crowd wondered what had transpired. Sarah was happy to explain the situation with Rogan rolling his eyes when she said something a little too trite. Andro found an opportunity to duck aside, and with scroll tucked in his pocket made way for the road. He was prepared to head home when he was called from behind.
“Andro, are you leaving so soon?” Randa’s question stopped him in his tracks. She was alone.
“Umm, well, I don’t like keeping such a valued letter outside to get ale spilled on it,” he replied, unsure how to respond.
“But you usually say goodbye.”
“Sorry Randa, I seldom feel myself these days. I must have forgotten.”
She got no closer, but at least her eyes shone slight compassion. “You keep to yourself more and more. Now with Rogan and Sarah’s engagement, well…”
“You seem lonely.”
Andro blushed at being exposed by one he held so close to heart. “Is it that noticeable?”
“Sometimes you appear sad.”
Andro laughed. “Mainly around you, Randa.”
She did not appreciate the jest
“Look, I came out here because I feel bad. I’m not going to be made into a joke,” she said.
“I apologize, Randa, no fun intended,” replied Andro. “I don’t need to explain how I feel. And I know how you feel about me – from the docks…”
Randa’s eyes lowered, but she was determined to hold her stance. “You know how things are, Andro. Why do you let yourself hurt over my life? I like being friends with you. Can’t we just stay friends?
Andro felt his back hit the grass from a great blow, but it was only his heart that fell. He reacted quickly and clumsily, as most hasty words do:
“It…it is fine, Randa. Everything is…good,” he stammered. “I understand how you feel. I am seldom in one place these days. Next week we leave for Thalon to meet with my northern friends. But even then I could even take you with me, if you asked…”
“No, Andro...I cannot.”
Nervously, she glanced back to the party where Darius held a suspicious eye upon the two. When Randa turned around she found Andro had already started away. She said nothing.

Andro never turned back, nor did she perceive the effort it took to hold his feet upon the road. He could have walked to Thalon that night. Andro swallowed his tears and went to home and bed. In the morning comes a new day, and by week’s end, the Kingdom of Nordhiem and a new age for all Turra Arrither.


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