I’ve frightened another one off. That was Orledin’s first thought upon hearing the news as he placed a plate of croissants on the table at breakfast. The others were discussing it. He quickly retreated back to the kitchen. Did they know that he was the last one to speak to the newest recruit? Of course, he wasn’t a recruit now. He was gone, quit after his first day. Orledin frowned. Had the captain received the news yet? Would he investigate and find out that Orledin had been the last to see him? How long would it be before the others found out?
He peeked out of the kitchen to the others eating in the other room. Ty was not with them yet, and he had been the one who had left Orledin alone with the new recruit. That must mean that no one knew yet, or perhaps he was in the Captain’s office, discussing it with him now. When the Captain found out, would he want him to move to a cabin sooner? Except there were no extra cabins right now. He’d have to stay outside, like Hernester, or maybe he’d be asked to stay off the ranger grounds completely. He frowned again, moving away from the door. He didn’t want to stay in the woods. He sliced the bread, which was still warm, but had cooled enough.
He had lied to the elf the night before. He had told him that he felt accepted here. It was the truth in that he had when he first came here, but as time went on, he felt that acceptance lessen. The lack of acceptance came mostly during the past couple of weeks. Things had happened that he couldn’t take back, and that just made things worse. A reminder of what he was stayed in the troll ruins. The animated bones of the raptor obeyed his every word, and he had been just in time to save it from wounding, or possibly killing, Julan.
And of course, that ruined his chance of having a boyfriend, and turned Julan against him. Julan refused to see it as Orledin saving him, and instead continued to claim he had tried to kill him with a ‘bone monster’.
He transferred the bread to another plate, and twitched an ear. He knew what he had to do. Any lingering doubt faded when he took the bread to the table. Julan had barely glanced at him, but scrunched his nose up as he looked away. Nothing needed to be said. He wasn’t wanted here.
He hurried back to the kitchen and quickly penned a note.
Please take care of Pancat. He can’t follow where I’m going.
He paused before signing his name. He wasn’t quite sure where he was going, but it wouldn’t be anywhere around here. It would be unfair of him to make Pancat leave his home. Hopefully the others would take care of the small grey cat for him.
He left it on the counter and headed to the men’s quarters. He didn’t have much, and a lot of what he did have was actually for Pancat. He did have some spare clothes, and he wanted those. He stuffed them into a bag which he tossed on his back before sneaking out the door.