Rowne 23

Chapter One

Rowne laid on his bedroom floor with his tattered heart. He had held on to hope ever since the day he was forced to leave Drea that they could be together again in adulthood. He should have known that was a foolish thought. Drea was far too perfect and Paul had swooped right in. He wasted no time in proposing aswell. Paul waited to take his coming of age journey so he could go on it with her. It was a luxury they only got because they were only months apart in age. Rowne had planned to take the journey with her but hadn’t counted on Paul waiting to go on his.

Now all hope was lost, Drea was engaged to be married. Their wedding would be in only a few weeks since most of Dreas family lived in the village and for whatever reason Pauls family never came to anything. Two men in hoods often came but they weren’t social. That wasn’t shocking to Rowne though. Paul was such an ass he couldn’t imagine he had come from any warm and friendly blood line. His parents were surprisingly nice, especially Penelope.

Tears fell down Rownes face. He still loved Drea every bit as much as he had when they were together. No matter how other women tried he could fall for no other. Most of it he knew was his fault because he had clung to hope that she would be single when she became a woman. Most of him knew that wasn’t possible but he had to hope. Now his heart just lay in pieces inside of his body. Rowne had been asked to help with the wedding but couldn’t bring himself to.

He loved her and was glad she was happy but he wasn’t capable of helping put together a wedding for Drea and another man. It was going to be hard enough to attend, to watch her vow her life to a man that wasn’t him. He knew he had to move on with his life now and try to put his heart back together. He decided to take his brothers offer of help. He came to visit with his fiance and was staying a few more weeks. When Noah came back he always stayed atleast a month. When Noah came home to news Rowne was still pineing after Drea he had become cross with Rowne and told him to get out of their parents house and build one of his own, to woo another women and have babies like a man ought to. He told Rowne it was shameful for him to still be living with their parents at twenty three, that he must have traded his penis for a vagina.

Rowne pulled himself off the floor and went into the living room where his family was all talking. “Noah, I want to build my own house. Would you help me since you’re here?” Noah smiled, glad his angry words were getting Rowne out of his depression. “sure, it can be a bonding experience. We haven’t done anything together in forever little brother”

“when can we start?”

“Why not now? Lets find you a nice peace of land.”

“I already know the spot I want.”

“Wonderful, show me and then we’ll talk supplies.” Noah kissed his wife and mothers cheek before leaving with Rowne. Rowne knew the spot he wanted because Paul and Maximus had already completed Pauls and Dreas home. Rowne was going to put his house only a few houses away from theirs so he could be close to her. Rowne just hoped his brother didn’t realize that was the reason for his choice in spot.

When they arrived at the piece of land Noah nodded in approval “good eye little brother”

“You aren’t that much older than me”

“Your point?”

“I gues I don’t have one. How soon can we get thigns done?”

“Eh, you and I can definitely finish it before I leave. I’d rather just do it with you if that’s ok.”

“I’d like that” Noah put his hands on the back of his head “sorry for being a dick but love isn’t what you needed. Sombody had to go in there and kick your ass. It wasn’t going to be mom and I know mom would never let dad do it so I knew I had to be the one. I love you little brother, it wasn’t right you still being at home. Women do that frequently but us men should set out our own path as soon as we have proved we’re men. You’d shame our father staying in that house unmarried. It also isn’t right for a man to be alone. We need women just as much as they need us. I know how much you love Drea but as far as she’s concerned she thinks you dumped her for no reason and don’t love her anymore so she moved on with her life. Now that her door is completely closed you need to move on too.”

“I know Noah” Noah gave a hard smack to Rownes shoulder “good man, I’m glad we’re cool. I hated doing that first thing but” Rowne interrupted Noah “I understand, stop being a sissy” Noah laughed “lets go cut down some wood little brother and build this house like real men.” Rowne nodded as they returned home for axs. Rowne worked with his brother until sunset. They went back home and Rowne could tell how happy his dad was that he was finally doing somthing to move forward with his life. Part of him wanted to run to Drea and proclaim his love now that she wasn’t under her fathers thumb. He felt that would make him a selfish ass and cause her grief. She loved Paul and he would be a rotten person if he ruined things for her by confessing what happened and his undying love.

Love wasn’t supposed to be selfish so he would keep his mouth shut and let her marry the brute. Rowne had no clue what she saw in Paul. Rowne hated his guts even before the break up and him swooping in. Paul didn’t treat Drea how she deserved to be treated but she was marrying him anyway. All he knew is that Paul better never get violent with her. Rowne had sacrificed too much to let Paul get away with hurting her even once. Rowne and Noah went to bed shortly after dinner so they could get back to work early. Noah didn’t want to leave the house unfinished even though he knew Rowne could find men to help him in the village.

Drea couldn’t sleep as she laid in Pauls arms. Rowne had barely spoken to her since the wedding was announced and it was really bugging her. She wondered if he was going to flip on her again and tell her that they weren’t even friends. If he said that it would probably be just as painful as when he left her. At this point sh ehad given up all notion that she could show Rowne that she could be better and he would ask for her back. Seven years later and he still hadn’t asked which is why she agreed to marry Paul. She had grown to love him. It was an intense love like she had with Rowne but she had managed love all the same. Drea knew when they went on that journey that he planned to propose. It was as obvious as the sky is blue. She had struggled with it the first few days but then came to terms. Living with Paul would be much easier than living with her father. She also felt that if she tried hard enough that maybe the love she felt would consume her like it had when she was with Rowne.

As if Paul could hear her busy mind he lifted his head “go to sleep Drea”

“My minds too busy” Paul leaned down and gave her a long, slow kiss then pulled away “calm that little mind of yours and rest. Don’t let the wedding wind you up/ I don’t care how it turns out. Just say yes to me and all will be fine” Drea nodded and shut her eyes. It took a few more hours but she finally fell asleep. While Drea ate breakfast with Paul in the morning she said “I want to go on a walk. Want to go?”

“No, I worked too much yesterday. You cans till go though. Enjoy the nice day”

“alright” Drea said softly. Drea walked along the houses and stopped, confused when she saw Rowne and Noah building. Noah wiped some sweat off his head and yelled “hey Drea! Long time no see!”

“Hey!” That sing song voice nearly making Rowne slam the hammer into his hand. It missed by merely an inch. They ran over to Drea “how’re you” Rowne asked. “Fine, didn’t sleep well last night” Noah chuckled “My wife was the same way before our wedding. Don’t let it worry you.”

“I’m trying. I’m walking to clear my head. I’ll probably go out into the lands between.”

“By yourself?”

“My fiance wouldn’t come with me”

“Rowne should go” Noah said nudging his brother. Rowne said “I would love to escort you Drea”

“Then please come” Ronwe set his hammer down “You going home Noah?”

“No, I’ll keep working baby brother”

“Its my home”

“and I’m your brother, go on”

“Thanks” Rowne said as he started to walk away with Drea. Noah smiled, hoping that Drea wouldn’t get married and his brother would confess why he left her seven years ago. He worried Rowne may be too noble for that. Rowne had always been too noble for his own good. Drea and Rowne made small talk as they walked along. Drea caught herself almost reaching for his hand but kept herself from it.

“So, um..that’s your house you’re building?”

“Yep, it’s such a good spot” Drea smiled “I’m glad you’ll be so close. Our children can play together easily if you ever stop being so picky…I see how the girls flirt with you.” Rowne shrugged and they changed the subject. Rowne felt a disturbance in the earth and pushed Drea behind him, unsheathing his sword. Rowne was glad he sharpened it yesterday. A colossal snake dove down from the sky. It had snow white angel wings near its head, mid section and tail. Rowne swung at it, flaying some scales but not much else. This snake had scales almost equivalent to a dragon which had his heart thumping. Rowne was concentrated on it as the snake came back at him. Next thing Rowne knew the snake was covered in fire. It flailed and made loud, horrible noises. The snakes wings were too burnt to allow him to fly.

Rowne ran over to Drea as the snake quit moving. He pulled her into his arms and held her tight “are you alright? Did you get hurt atall?” Drea was left speechless by how concerned his voice and eyes were. They seemed to have just as much concern as when they were in love but she knew that wasn’t possible. Rowne had made himself clear that he didn’t love her anymore. “I’m perfectly fine Rowne, Don’t fret”

“we should go back now. I’m too on edge to be out. I can’t let anything hurt you” Rowne surprised at his own words said “you know…because you’re my best friend..”

“right” Drea said softly and they started heading back to Tresnia. Chthon sat with Abraxas in a tree. They had seen the whole spectacle. Chthon sighed, once again questioning his choices. Rowne walked Drea to her front door then went back to find his brother. Noah was still hard at work. “Have fun?”

“Somthing attacked us but besides that it was nice.”

“well get your lazy butt to work now” Rowne laughed “you suggested I go”

“I know” They once again worked through the day and went to bed right after diner so they could do it all over the next day. Rowne laid, looking at his ceiling. He was glad he started his own house. It was the perfect way to keep his mind off the fact Drea was getting married to Paul. He wondered if his heart would ever move on from her. He knew he had to start trying, his parents would be greatly disappointed if he never gave them a new daughter in law or grandchildren. It would also look poorly on his father. Villagers would blame the father if boys didn’t turn out right, just as they would blame the mother if young girls didn’t turn out properly. Rowne took solace in the fact that Noah had done everything a man of his age ought to so the village could plainly see it wasn’t in his fathers raising.

Rowne quieted his mind and went to sleep for the morning. Rowne opened his door just as Noah was about to knock the next morning. Noah laughed “lets eat and get to work” Rowne nodded and they walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where Courtney was cooking. She finished moments later and gave the two men their breakfast. “You two be careful today” She said as she kissed her husbands head “we will, don’t worry.” They finished their food and both thanked Courtney before leaving to work on Rownes home. To their surprise it took them only a week to have the structure of the house done. Now they just needed to install toilets, the sink, a shower and things of that nature.

The day they finished was too late to head out shopping so Noah went home while Rowne went and laid down outside.He wasn’t even sure if he was going home tonight. Installing things didn’t take too much effort so he ddin’t really need sleep. Rowne watched the sun set then enjoyed the beautiful stars that filled the night sky. He heard footsteps and a young woman with dark brown, mid section length hair came to focus. If Rowne had to guess he would say she was nineteen. “Hey there” she said in a soft voice. “hello, are you here for the wedding?”

“No, I moved here two weeks ago from another village. My dad had a fight with his family and wanted to get away from them so we took an empty house here.” Her hazel eyes looking directly into Rownes. “what’s a young women doing out so late?”

“My dad doesn’t mind as long as I stay out of trouble” Kyra said as she sat down beside Rowne. “My name is Rowne, what’s yours?”

“Kyra”

“How old are you Kyra?”

“Seventeen”

“I thought you were nineteen by how you look?” Kyra smiled “How old are you?”

“Twenty three”

“I thought you looked mature” Rowne laughed which she thought was the most amazing sound she had ever heard. It was a perfect match to that dark hair and intensly green eyes. They talked until she said ‘I have to return home, may I see you tomorrow?”

“I’ll walk you but I have to continue work on ym house tomorrow”

“I coudl watch you”

“You’d enjoy that”

“yes” She said simply but in her head she said¬†“I’m dying to see you with your shirt off”¬†since her father always worked without a shirt. Rowne took Kyra to her door and she tip toed to kiss his cheek. Rowne didn’t know how to react and she giggled then went inside. Kyra went quietly to her room since her parents were sleeping and laid in her bed excitedly. She had been so angry about moving but now she had met an incredibly cute boy.

Rowne went home conflicted. Kyra was very beautiful but also a child and shouldn’t be kissing him. She wasn’t his type atall from their conversation. Kyra was about as girly as they come. She was the type to cry if her nails got messed up or her would panic if her make up ran. He sighed wondering if maybe that’s what he needed to love again. Maybe he needed to be with a woman who reminded him nothing of Drea. She was from a whole other village, They didn’t look similar atall, Drea was precisely what he wanted while Kyra wasn’t in the slightest. Kyra was obviously interested in him and not bad atall to look at so maybe if she expressed her interest again he would tell her they could date when she became a woman. It was perfect they would have to wait four years because that would give Rowne time to get himself to love her.

When they were out of the house the next morning Rowne was suddenly embaressed he was bringing Kyra. “Um Noah”

“Yeah?”

“Last night I laid under the stars for awhile and this girl came up. Well we got to talking and well…she wants to watch us work on the house.”

“Thats wonderful! O my god you’re talking to a woman!”

“Don’t get excited yet…I swear I will wait until she’s a woman but currently she’s seventeen.” Noah laughed boisterously. “Only you baby brother, most men would be bragging that caught the attention of a seventeen year old. You’re embarrassed” Noah hugged Rowne “invite her along, we’re just going to wait for now because dad and a few of his friends are bringing the tub and sinks and stuff.” Rowne walked with his brother to Kyras. She was staning on her porch. Noah whispered “she’s sexy, good catch Rowne” Kyra hugged Rowne then he cleared his throat “we’re going to just hangout in front of my home while my dad and his friends bring stuff.”

“sounds wonderful, who have you brought with you?”

“My brother Noah.”

“Have any more siblings?” She asked as they started to walk and Rowne said no. “I have four but they were all married so stayed in the village.”

“No brothers” Noah asked and she shook her head. Noah then teased “Your father must have a lot of gray hair raising five girls.” Kyra laughed “He’s so laid back that he’s never been stressed. As long as you don’t do anything bad you can do whatever you want with him.”

“I guess thats how a young lady was out at night” Kyra nodded. They sat down in front of Rownes house until a appliances began coming. Rowne with the help of his fathers friends got everything put in place. Much to Kyras disappointment Rowne never removed his shirt. When they had everything in and working all the men were exhausted. It was nearing sunset and Courtney offered to walk Kyra home. Courtney had been coming throughout the day to offer the men drinks. Rowne thanked her since he was much too tired. Kyra frowned, wishing he would take her home. “so you have a crush on Rowne?” Courtney asked once they were away from the men. “Yes, he’s so handsome” Courtney smiled “that he is. I’m not trying to be hateful but aren’t you a bit young for him?”

“Well now but I’ll be a woman in four years” Courtney smiled. “I thought you were still a child. I’m personally just happy he’s allowing you to be around him atall. Rowne tends to stay away from girls” Kyra smiled “Really?”

“Yes, try not to break my brother in laws heart now that he’s starting to open it again”

“I wont, I really like him”

“Just keep your age difference in mind, it would look bad on you both if anything inappropriate for a man and a child happened.”

“I’m seventeen, not a kid”

“No you’re not a kid but technically you are. Like I said, I’m not trying to be mean but you and Rowne are in a delicate situation. He’s a good man and I would hate for his name to be sullied. You seem like a nice young lady” Kyra smiled, realizing that she really wasn’t being ugly, just concerned. “Thanks for the talk. I’ll keep our age difference in mind”

“Thank you sweetheart, I really do hope you understand I’m not being negative”

“I do” Courtney turned to go home and Kyra went inside. She decided to bake brownies for Rowne. She started mixing ingridients and hummed happily. Her father walked in smiling “what’s got my little girl so happy?”

“I met a man, he’s so handsome and sweet. I’m making him brownies for tomorrow.”

“I’m glad to hear it. When I up and moved you I was worried about you finding a husband since you’d be among men you hadn’t grown up with. All your sisters had their partner before they became women, I’m happy you are the same”

“I may or may not be..I think he likes me too but he seems catuious and I know it’s because of our age difference.”

“How old is this man?”

“Twenty three” Her father seemed to think a minute then said “That’s not really bad. I’m fine with it, let me meet him tomorrow. I’ll help you out by assuring him he has my blessing if he likes you” Kyra hugged her father “thanks daddy”

“Well, you aren’t a little girl and he’s barely a man. We’ll talk and see how things are here. In our village its ok for a man to date a young girl if the father says its ok but if he seems tense about it that might not be ok here. We’ll have a man to man talk and I’ll tell you what came of it later.”

“I already know that isn’t ok here. Rownes sister in law talked to me about it. The other villagers would think less of him if we dated before I became a woman.”

“I’ll still chat with him. I want to get to know him and make sure he knows he has my blessing if he makes you happy.”

“I don’t know where he lives, I’ve seen the house they just finished today but since he doesn’t have a bed there yet I’m sure he returned to his parents house. If he comes by here tomorrow I’ll send you both off with my brownies and the two of you can talk.”

“sounds perfect angel. I’ll leave you to it.” Her father said then went back upstairs. Kyra kept humming as she prepared the brownies. Once they were in the oven she laid down on the couch. She looked over at her mothers books and wished she could read. Kyra wondered if Rowne knew how and if he would teach her. Neither of her parents could read which was why she couldn’t. She hoped he knew, it would be a good way to spend time together.

Chapter Two

Today Rowne had to buy a mattress and didn’t think it was appropriate to take a seventeen year old girl mattress shopping so he decided to see Kyra after. Noah and Rowne ate breakfast then walked over to the next town which had a mattress and bedding shop. Rowne wasn’t a picky man so it didn’t take him long to pick one. Rowne paid extra for them to deliver it back to Tresnia. Rowne made sure to buy a blanket, sheets and pillow cases since he didn’t have a girlfriend or fiance for that. The shop owner assured them that all their items would arrive safely to Tresnia and told them there was enough room for them to ride too. After their things were loaded Rowne and Noah climbed in too and rode back. Once Rownes bed was in his room Noah hugged his brother and told him he was going back to his wife. Rowne said bye and put his bedding on the new mattress.

Rowne decided the next important thing was the kitchen. He needed to buy dishes, silverware and things of that nature. It wouldn’t feel weird to buy those sorts of things around Kyra so he walked over to her house. Rowne knocked and was surprised when her father answered the door. Rowne grew a little pale with fear “Hello there, you must be Rowne” Preston said with a smile and offered a hand. Rowne shook it “Yes sir”

“Don’t call me sir, I’m Preston.”

“I um…well…I was coming to take your daughter shopping with me” Preston chuckled “she’s explained the whole situation Rowne. I approve of you two”

“we aren’t dating sir, I’m waiting until she’s a woman” Preston laughed again “well with me it doesn’t matter. I want to get to know you though. Could I come with you in my daughters stead?”

“Sure” Rowne said as a little bit of color returned to his face. They walked to Lily shop and were greeted by her kind smile. “Hello Rowne!” She then turned her attention to Preston “I’m sorry, I don’t know your name”

“I haven’t lived here long, I’m Preston”

“I’m Lily, it’s nice to meet you”

“Likewise mam”

“How can I help you two gentlemen?” Rowne answered “I need to buy kitchen supplies for my house”

“You finally got your own home, good for you” Rowne smiled and he began looking around. He found a dish set he liked and bought the silverware sitting beside it. To Rowne silverware was silverware so he didn’t want to waste his time looking through all the sets of that she had. He also purchased hand towels, rags, and oven mitts for his kitchen. Once he paid Lily Preston helped Rowne take his items home. “Thanks for the help” Rowne said as they both put the items on Rownes table. “not a problem, I see you don’t have a couch yet.”

“Nope, I just finished building this yesterday. I have this table because my father built it for me when I was twenty one.”

“why didn’t you move out then”

“really long story” Rowne said not wanting to talk to Kyras father about Drea. He wouldn’t be able to lie to the man and deny that he was still in love with Drea and that his interest in Kyra was because she was the opposite of Drea. “well lets just sit on the floor and get to know eachother.” Rowne nodded and followed Preston into the living room. He could put his kitchen stuff away later. Paul groaned when they sat down “we forgot pots” Preston chuckled “want to go back now?”

“No, I can always eat lunch and dinner at my parents house”

“Nonsense, eat with my wife, daughter and I. Pricilla wants to meet you too”

“alright, thank you” They talked without a pause until both their bellys were growling “I guess it’s lunch” Preston said and stood. Rowne stood and walked with Preston back to his house. Once inside Rowne was almost instantly being hugged by Kyra. “did you and my dad have fun?”

“Yes” She glowed with her happiness from hearing that. As soon as lunch was over Rowne stood “I need to go put the stuff I bought where it belongs”

“Can I help” Kyra asked and Rowne looked at her father “I told you you’re fine.” Rowne smiled “Then yes you can come with me.”

“Come back and have dinner with us” Princton said with a grin. Rowne nodded and he walked out with Kyra who had quickly grabbed a book off the shelf. Once they were outside Rowne asked “why did you bring that book?”

“I was hoping you knew how to read and would teach me”

“I do and I will teach you. Why didn’t your parents teach you?”

“They don’t know how” Rowne looked shocked “Oh, I assumed since they had books that they could” Kyra began to flip the pages until she found one of the art pages. “My mom likes the pictures. There’s always three beautifully drawn pictures in each chapter” Rowne grabbed the book “wow, this is a really nice drawing. I can see why your mother likes them. After my kitchen stuff is put away I’ll start teaching you”

“Thank you so much!”

“It’s not a problem.” When they walked in Kyra skipped into the kitchen “I love these Rowne! You picked pretty dishes!”

“Glad you like them. Do you want to decide what cabinets this all goes in?”

“I can?!” She asked excitedly making Rownes chuckle hard to contain “Yes you can, please do” Kyra got to work until it was all put away. “Reading time?”

“You have to learn your letters first.”

“Letters?” Rowne nodded then went upstairs. He came back with paper and a pencil then pulled out a chair for her. Rowne pulled another chair to her side and sat down. He began to write each letter of the alphabet. “The first step is remembering each of these letters name and how they sound.”

“Ok” They practiced together for about an hour before she asked Rowne for a break. “I think these are sunk in anyway. What would you like to do?”

“Cuddle” Rowne got a bit uncomfortable “Thats not appropriate between a man and a child”

“I’m not a child” Kyra said a little frustrated and looked away. He moved her head to look at him “I know you’re not but by village standards you are. I can’t hold you”

“But nobody is here to see Rowne, please” She whined. Rowne sighed again “I can’t” Kyra looked hurt and it pained him but he couldn’t give in. Kyra blushed when he didn’t budge “I’m going home” She said standing up. Rowne grabbed her arm “don’t be like that Kyra” She looked at him with sad eyes. “Kyra I can’t, please don’t look so sad” She jerked away and looked down to his floor. She obliterated Rowne when he saw tears “alright alright, please, just don’t do that. I’ll hold you” She hugged him and wiped her tears on his shirt “thank you” Rowne picked her up and walked into his bedroom to sit on the bed. He held Kyra in his lap while she had her arms wrapped tightly around his neck. He stayed that way for awhile then told her “that’s enough Kyra, this isn’t appropriate” Kyra sighed sadly “alright” She got out of his lap and stood. Rowne got up too and said “lets see how many letters you actually remember”

Kyra followed Rowne downstairs and he gave her the paper. “Say as many as you can and don’t be embarrassed if you forgot any” Kyra nervously cleared her throat and began hesitantly. “A B C D …..”

“E” Rowne said softly, his eyes warm and patient. She looked at them right away hoping not to disappoint him. Now that she saw he wasn’t upset she wasn’t as nervous. “E F G H I J K L” another pause and Rowne said the next letter just as kindly “M”

“M” she repeated with a smile making Rownes smile grow “N O P Q R S T U V W” She looked at Rowne “X” she smiled to tell him she didn’t know the other ones either “Y and Z, that was pretty good Kyra”

“I’m sorry I didn’t know them all”

“I didn’t expect you to Kyra.”

“Can i try again?”

“Of course” This time she flew through it, only hesitating on Z but she had quickly held up a finger so Rowne wouldn’t tell her. “Good, we will work on sounds tomorrow then. I can’t believe you learned all your letters today. you’re such a smart girl” Kyra excitedly ran into Rownes arms. He gave her a tight hug and almost kissed her head but he didn’t want to encourage her pressuring for affection. Once dinner arrived they walked back to Kyras and sat down. Pricilla greeted Rowne with a hug. They ate and talked for a few hours “I have to go hunting tomorrow Kyra but if I get back soon enough I’ll come see you.” Rowne looked at Preston “when is her curfew?”

“She doesn’t have one. Just come say hey when you’re back”

“Thank you sir, do you want to wait up for me Kyra? I’m hunting for the elderly so it’s a pretty big hunt. Somtimes it can take us to past dinner time”

“I wont mind, it’s cool your village hunts for your elders. Ours didn’t do that.”

“In Tresnia we all look out for eachother, especially our elders. Once you turn fifty here you aren’t expected to do anything any longer. The village starts to tend to your needs.” With that Rowne stood and hugged Kyra since she stood too. They said bye then Rowne headed home to rest for the hunt. His heart was already softening a bit for Kyra. He still felt guilty though, he knew even if he did love Kyra that Drea would always be in his heart. He knew she could never find out but it still made him feel a bit jerkish towards Kyra.

Rowne laid in the bed, doing his best to pudh Drea out of his head and fill it with Kyra. Kyra was his future and he was really going to give things a shot between them when she blossomed into a woman. Her body was obviously there but her years weren’t. Rowne hoped she woudl stop pressuring though. He hated how weak he was to a womans tears. Rowne fell asleep with a busy mind woke with it still whirling. Rowne almost jumped out of his skin when Preston was standing outside his door. “what’re you doing here?”

“I came to help with the hunt. If I’m going to live in Tresnia I want to help with it’s customs.”

“Not all men are charged to hunt at once. You will be informed when it’s your turn”

“But I want to go see my future son in law fight” Rowne blushed “alright” Princton was very impressed as Rowne slaughtered beast after beast. His skills were very sharp. Princton was especially impressed that he used three different weapons and seemed to have specific moves for each of them. When lunch time came the men ate their meals and chatted. Once all stomachs were full they finished their hunt. Today they finished at three then distributed the food where it needed to go. “I hope your daughter will forgive me Preston but I’m really tired and need rest”

“From what i saw I understand. Go home and I’ll speak with my daughter”

“Thank you sir” Preston nodded and went home. When he got there Kyra excitedly greeted him. “where’s Rowne daddy, you said you’d bring him straight here for me”

“He was tired, why don’t you go tend to him. Good practice for when you’re his wife. He will be a very good protector and providor. You chose well Kyra.” Kyra smiled and ran out the house. When she got to Rownes she didn’t knock. She walked right in like it was already her home and went upstairs. Kyra could hear the shower running so sat down on his bed. Once Rowne was clean he dried off then threw his towel on the ground before walking to his room to sleep. When he saw Kyra he covered himself “what are you doing!”

“Taking in the view…o my god……”

“Shut your eyes so I can cover myself better”

“But I’ve already seen you”

“Cover your eyes Kyra” Rownes voice serious and on the verge of anger. He was angry but trying to keep it out of his tone. Kyra pouted but closed her eyes. Rowne removed his hand from his package and got dressed “Open your eyes” he said in a flat tone. He stood infront of where she sat and said “You can not do that Kyra. I’m very upset. I am a grown man and you are a child, I know you dont want to accept it but thats what you are. You have no business seeing me naked and no business coming into my room without being invited. Go home right now. I’m really angry and dont want to be around you” Kyras bottom lip quivered “But I just came to take care of you…daddy said you were tired and” she began to cry and purposfully made her sobs worse than they really were since crying had worked for her yesterday.

“Go home Kyra” Rowne said trying not to let her tears sway him. She made herself sound even more pitiful and got up and hugged him. “Don’t Rowne…I’m so sorry” Rowne now felt bad instead of angry. He thought that maybe he had been too tough on her. He sighed “fine, you can stay” Kyra wiped her eyes and held back her triumphant smile. “let me go make you somthing yummy to say sorry”

“alright, I’m laying down”

“Thanks for letting me stay”

“Just please never come in uninvited again. You really can’t see me naked Kyra”

“But you look so damn good” Rowne cracked a small smile “Thank you but”

“I know, I know. You’re an adult and I’m not” Kyra interupted then kissed his cheek before running down. Once she was in the kitchen she let her triumphant smile shine. She now knew she could get away with anything if she cried and she was a master at making herself cry on the spot. She would try not to over use it though so it wouldn’t lose it’s power. She found the proper ingridients for a cherry pie and got to work. Rowne was sleeping by the time it was done. She rubbed his chest and whispered his name until his eyes opened. Rowne grabbed her hand and removed it “I made pie”

“Thank you” Rowne got up and walked with Kyra downstairs. “It smells really good” Rowne said as he sat down. Kyra cut them both a slice and they ate. “wow, you’re pretty good”

“Thank Rowne” She said with a wide smile. He ate three slices “I’ll probably have more of that for dinner. That was very sweet of you”

“So I’m forgiven”

“You promise you wont do that again?”

“I promise, I’ll only be in your room if you invite me”

“Then yes you are forgiven.”

The days came and went until it was the day of Dreas wedding. Rowne was wreck as he put on his suit for the big event. He already could barely breath and the ceremony hadn’t begun yet. He paced around his room trying to calm down until he heard a knock on his door. He answered and looked down to see Kyra “We’ll be late if you take much longer” Kyra pouted. “I’m sorry” They walked to the meadow and found seats. Rownes heart beat a sad rhythm as he sat. It was only worsened when the music started playing for the bride to walk down, the bride that should be his, the only woman he ever loved. As hard as he tried he couldn’t hold back the tears any longer when she stood under the trellis with Paul. His tears fell heavy and silent. Kyra thought it was sweet and went for his hand but he jerked it away. Kyra frowned and rested her hands in her lap. His tears didn’t falter until Paul carried Drea off. Everybody stood to get the second part of the wedding day ready and Kyra took the opportunity to hug Rowne. He really needed the comfort so hugged her back tightly. Everyone in attendance that knew Rowne well was aware of precisely why this wedding had brought him to tears. Their hearts also hung heavy for him.

Kyra was still learning how to read so she asked “Could I have more reading lessons until lunch?”

“Sure” Rowne said in a broken voice. They walked back to his house and he pulled out a book. When lunch came Kyra wanted to go back but Rowne shook his head “they wont notice if we don’t attend. I really don’t want to go back. Could the two of us stay here Kyra?” Kyras eyes lit up. She thought he wanted to stay because he wanted to be alone with her. “I’ll make us sandwiches and we can continue lessons.” Rowne nodded “Thanks”

“I want to be alone with you too” Kyra ran to the kitchen and Rowne just sat there on the floor. He wished this day wouldn’t hurt him so badly but he couldn’t help it. Rowne just hoped he didn’t hurt Kyra today. He would do his best for her not to realize why he was so torn up. Luckily for Rowne that wouldn’t be hard. Kyra was happy and excited to be spending the whole day alone with Rowne. She hadn’t even noticed he was still sad because she was so wrapped up in her own world. Drea searched the crows for Rowne, she knew she saw him at the wedding and was hoping for a dance at lunch but he didn’t seem to be anywhere. She did her best not to frown, she couldn’t today. She just sat with Paul since he hated dancing and wouldn’t even do it for their wedding day. One of Pauls friends asked “when you two having babies?”

“I’m putting that off as long as possible. I don’t need some sniveling brat hogging my wife and being a noisy nuisance.” His friend laughed but Drea couldn’t fight her frown. She really wanted kids and hoped he wasn’t going to make her wait too long. She still really wanted a little girl and to name her Sophie. When the day was over and Kyra was safe in her house Rowne went into his closet and took out the box where he kept everything Drea had given him when they were children. He had saved it all and looked at it often. Rowne took the box and walked out of Tresnia. He was going to the spot where he and Drea had their first kiss. They were in the lands between with their parents. A lion lunged at her and Rowne pushed her out of the way and let it pounce on him instead. She grabbed his face and kissed him. A deep blush followed and it was the start to a relationship he knew none would compare to. He couldn’t think of a better place to bury his past with her than where it began.

Rowne dug a deep hole tehn sat down with his box one last time. He read each and every letter and held each and every items one last time before setting the box in the ground. He pushed the dirt back where it belonged and patted it down. In a shakey voice from crying again Rowne said “I need to say bye now. My heart needs to move on. Kyra is falling in love with me and you’ve apparently moved on and fallen in love with another man. I don’t blame you Drea. How could I have ever expected you to wait on me into adulthood not even knowing why I left you. I wish you knew it was to protect you but if I had told you then you would have refused to leave my side. I would rather hurt than see you hurt Drea. I wish you all the happiness you deserve, though I doubt you’ll get that with Paul. I hope he gives you that little girl you wanted and lets you name her Sophie. If anything happens and you don’t have a girl I promise I’ll name my daughter Sophie still. It will be my last testament of love for you. Even when I start to love Kyra I hope you know that my love will forever burn for you deep in my heart. You plunged too deep within me for me to truly let you go completely. Goodbye Drea, I’m going to give what I can of my heart to Kyra and allow myself to love her. May the gods truly bless you, nobody deserves happiness more than you my dearest Drea” With that Rowne stood and walked home. He was walking away from his past and into his future as Kyras love.

~ The End ~

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