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My Brother's Keeper (4)

Writers: Heather
Date Posted: 28th October 2018

Characters: Zathris, Arion
Description: Zathris pays a visit to Arion after finding out about him and Benamil
Location: Vintner Hall
Date: month 5, day 20 of Turn 9
Notes: References the events that happened in "My Brother's Keeper 1-3"

A rumbling knock at his door roused Arion from the nap he'd been taking on his couch. He'd been waiting up for Benamil, hoping that the beastcrafter would be coming by that evening. It had been a couple of days since he'd last heard from Ben and that was unusual. Arion had been contemplating an excuse that would take him to the Hold so he could try to seek out the son of Benaroy and see what had been keeping him away.

**His new wife probably,** he'd thought testily when the thought had first occurred to him.

The knock rumbled at his door again.

"I'm coming," he called out, freeing his legs from the tangle of blankets he'd been wrapped in. Stumbling over to the door, he raked a hurried hand through his hair and then swung the door open.

"Lord Zathris!" he practically squeaked in surprise.

"Keep your voice down," Zathris looked both directions down the hall. "Can I come in?"

"Of-of course," Arion stammered hastily retreating from the doorway so the Lord of Amber Hills could enter. **The Lord of Amber Hills is in _my_ quarters.** Arion cast about, wishing now that he'd straightened up earlier rather than napping. There were old cups stacked on his table, the wad of blankets he'd been napping in were crumpled on the floor, and the only light was that coming from the fireplace.

"Thank you," Zathris shut the door behind himself. His hope was to make this visit as inconspicuous as possible.

**Pinch yourself, Arion, make sure you're not dreaming.** The blonde thought, his hands clenching into fists as other thoughts quickly began to connect in his brain. **Benamil's absence... Zathris showing up at my door... We've been found out.** He felt the blood drain from his face. Arion pictured being kicked out of the Hold with nothing but a sack of his things to carry.

"I apologize for barging in like this, but I needed to speak with you privately," Zathris said, getting to the heart of his visit. He'd never been one to beat around the bush anyway.

Arion didn't answer, he simply nodded, looking at Zathris with wide eyes, waiting for the scathing, contemptuous remark he was sure he would receive.

**"We don't want people _like you_ in our Hold,"** he imagined Zathris saying. **"We can't afford to have people find out about you and Benamil, it would be best if you left."** Imaginary Zathris said.

Zathris cleared his throat when he realized that the vintner wasn't going to say anything about his unusual appearance at his door, "Anyway, I wanted to talk with you about Benamil."

"Oh," Arion had the presence of mind to say, although he was finding it incredibly difficult to breathe at the moment.

"Yes, I, uh," this was a harder topic to broach than Zathris had anticipated, "I understand the two of you are... involved."

Involved? A hysterical giggle threatened to escape Arion's lips. Yes, involved, that was a "nice" way of putting it.

"We are," he said, his voice trembling. There was no point in denying it, was there?

"A woman from the tavern came to the Hold, you see," Zathris said, realizing that he might need to explain how he knew, "and she threatened to tell the entire Hold about you and Benamil. And well, to save everyone the heartache and gossip, I've decided that-"

"That I should leave?" Arion finished his sentence for him.

"Well, yes, actually, I-"

"It will take me a bit to pack my things, and I need to give the Hallmaster notice," Arion said feeling numb.

"No, I think you've misunderstood what I had to say." Zathris was getting agitated as he realized he was making a mess out of the entire situation.

"You want me to leave the Hall, right? What else is there to understand?" Hot tears were scalding the backs of Arion's eyes.

Zathris's lips twisted into a sympathetic smile, "I do want you to leave the Hall, you're right about that. I want you to come and live at the Hold. I can request that Master Capwick station you at Amber Hills to oversee our personal supplies and such. I think it would be best if you lived in the Hold so that Benamil doesn't have to try and sneak all the way down here to see you."

Arion's brow bunched in confusion, "Wait... Why? Why would you do that?"

The Lord Holder raised his hands and lifted his shoulders a bit, "I'm not the bigoted, hide-bound Holder that people think I am, apparently. Benamil is my brother-by-marriage, and he cares enough about you to have risked everything to see you. If he were to continue coming down here people would inevitably begin to wonder why a son of Benaroy is frequenting the Hall so often. They would want to know who he is seeing down here. If you live in the Hold it would be much easier to arrange seeing each other without raising attention. You'll have to be incredibly careful, obviously," here Zathris pinned Arion with his blue-green eyes. "Much more careful than the two of you have been here."

"Y-yes, sir," Arion stammered.

"Is this what you want to do? If you still want to see Benamil I can arrange the move, if you've decided differently and want to remain here, that's your decision as well." Zathris knew he could sometimes barrel right over others wants and wishes with his decision making.

Arion looked around his room, the first place that had ever really been is own. The only way to keep seeing Benamil was if he moved into the Hold. Lord Zathris knew about him, and he wasn't kicking him out.

"Yes, I'll move to the Hold," he said finally. "Does Benamil know?"

"Benamil knows that I know, of course, but I haven't spoken with him about moving you to the Hold. I wanted to make sure you would do that before I told him."

"Can I ask you a favor? Another one?" Arion asked.

"Yes," Zathris said, albeit slowly.

"Don't tell Benamil. I want to tell him." The vintner smiled.

"Far be it from me to stand in the way of a surprise," Zathris returned Arion's smile. "Well, I had better be getting back to the Hold or more eyebrows will be raised. Have a good evening, Arion."

"You as well," Arion walked Zathris to the door. "And Lord Zathris?"

"Yes?" Zathris turned.

"Thank you."

"Don't thank me, thank Benamil, he was quite adamant that nothing would keep him from seeing you." The Lord Holder smiled before turning and disappearing down the hallway.

Last updated on the December 5th 2018

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