Arancon Firewind arrived at the school where his son was teaching just a little afternoon. Classes were done for the morning, and it would be another hour or so before the afternoon classes started. He wandered through the hall in the direction he thought the fire classes were supposed to be when someone called for him behind.
He turned to see Isturon. “Hi. Have you seen Aeramin?”
Isturon shook his head as he approached. “I haven’t. You’re here for him. Do you have a moment to talk, or is it urgent to find him?”
“I guess I could spare a few minutes.” Arancon looked back down the hall hoping Aeramin hadn’t already teleported away.
“Good. Okay, so I got her flowers and a card, but then nothing happened.”
Arancon blinked at him, “Well, did you try anything?”
“Like what? I thought the flowers were something to try.”
Arancon shook his head, “You should have kissed her.”
“I kissed her cheek. I’m not sure the flowers worked enough for more than that. Maybe she hates roses.” Isturon frowned slightly.
“Weren’t you married before? How are you so clueless?” Arancon asked. He immediately thought that maybe it sounded a bit rude, but then he also thought it was true enough to be said. He raised his eyebrow to accent that it was indeed a question and not just a rude statement.
It still made Isturon pause and look at him. “Uh, well, I didn’t exactly have to do anything to get married. It was arranged, and anyone else I saw, they initiated it. Anyway, that’s how it was. They were already interested in more, and yes, I bought flowers and took them places, and, well, that got results. It’s not working this time.”
“I still think you need to kiss her,” Arancon said, adding quickly, “on the lips.”
“I’m not getting any signals that she wants to be kissed on the lips, and kissing a woman on the lips who doesn’t want to be kissed on the lips just isn’t something I’ll do.”
“Have you talked to her about what she wants?” Arancon asked.
“I think I made it clear what I want, and that I’m willing to wait. I don’t want to push her into it.”
“Maybe you should find out if she’s waiting then.”
“I suppose I should, probably before Keyalenn’s father visits again.”
“Oh? Is there competition now?”
“No. It’s not a contest.” Isturon frowned. He opened one of the doors to what looked to be a practice room. “There’s something else I wanted to ask, but I don’t want anyone to hear. Come here.”
Arancon followed him into the room, and Isturon closed the door.
“Okay, when I was married, I had a few other relationships outside the marriage. I usually don’t think too much about them because it was just something that happened when I was in a very loveless marriage.”
“You cheated on your wife?”
“My wife was a heartless harpy, and most of my energy spent on her was just to make the marriage work until the kids were done with all of their schooling.”
“Well, I mean, you have seven kids so it couldn’t have been too bad.”
“I really tried to make it work for the first four decades. I gave up after that and just tried to make it tolerable. She already hated me so there wasn’t much else to do.” Isturon shook his head with a sigh. “Eventually, well, it kind of just happened. I was at a place and this woman started talking to me. I told her I was married and she said she didn’t care. Then I realized I didn’t either. I thought I’d at least get to-”
“Does Braedra know you cheated on your ex-wife?” Arancon interrupted, folding his arms.
“Um, no, but that’s why I wanted to talk to you. Do you think I should tell her?”
“If you really like her as much as you say you do, yes. She deserves to know. There’s no point in hiding your past. You can’t hide your dirty laundry under the bed and expect it not to stink. What kind of man do you want to be to her? If you rely on her never finding out your past, does that make you any better today? Tell her. Be honest. She deserves to know who you were, and the way she finds out about who you used to be tells her a lot about who you are now.”
Isturon blinked, “Well, she might not want to see me anymore if I tell her.”
Arancon sighed, “And you think it would be any better if she found out later on her own?”
“Hmm, another good point. I’ll have to consider it further. How are things going with Anorelle?”
“Great! We’re getting married.”
Isturon stared at him. “Already?”
Arancon nodded, “I know people are going to say it’s too soon, but I just want to be with her. I love her so much. I feel like it’s just supposed to be this way.”
“Well, congratulations. Will the wedding be this summer?”
“A couple of weeks from now. We’re going to the island for a trip and there’s a chapel there.”
Isturon shook his head, “You’re right. It does seem really fast to me, but if you’re both happy, then it doesn’t matter what I think.”
“You should worry about making Braedra happy,” Arancon said as he inched towards the door. “I still need to find my son, so if you’ll excuse me. I just hope he hasn’t left the school grounds.”
Isturon nodded, “I think he usually stays around the—”
Arancon barely touched the door handle when it opened.
“— Well, there he is.”
“Tik said you were looking for me. I heard voices in here so I thought it might be you. If you two are discussing something private I can leave.”
Isturon replied, “I was just going. I haven’t eaten yet.” He slipped out past the two of them as he spoke.
Arancon looked at Aeramin. “Let’s take a walk.”
Aeramin frowned and let out a short sigh, “What did you do that requires that we take a walk before you tell me?”
“Nothing bad. Come on, the garden is nice. All the flowers are blooming. A little sun will be good for you.”
Aeramin looked at him doubtfully before twitching an ear and muttering, “Fine.”
Arancon waited until they were outside and a ways down one of the garden paths before speaking again. “I know you’ve been having a rough time lately, and I’m worried that what I have to say will make it worse.”
Aeramin’s ear twitched. “You never worried about making things worse before. Just say it, Arancon.”
“Okay.” He took a deep breath before continuing. “I asked Anorelle to marry me and she said yes.”
Aeramin’s ear twitched again, but he said nothing.
“Um, it’s going to be at the chapel on the island when we go for our trip. You’re invited if you want to go, but I’ll also understand if you don’t want to be there.”
Aeramin stopped walking as he regarded one of the flowering bushes. “I’ll try.”
Arancon turned to look at him, “You’ll try?”
“I’ll try to be there. Look, right now I just want to be left alone.” Aeramin disappeared with a quick spell.
Arancon frowned at the spot where his son had been. “I’ll let you be for a bit then.” He started wandering back to the school. He had promised Anorelle he’d bring food back so that they could have a fancy lunch at the ranger building. He smiled as he thought of her while heading back.