Bonus Material: Web Exclusive Extra from The Troven:
Garin groaned and rolled over slowly in his bed. In his foggy sleepiness he wasn’t entirely sure what was happening, but his enhanced hearing told him someone was standing in his room, and he knew exactly who it was. He tried to act asleep so his twin would leave him alone, but with another poke in the ribs he was quickly learning that there was no putting him off. “What do you want?” Garin asked in a low whisper as he turned over to look at his brother.
Farin was dressed in dark brown pants and an equally dark shirt and he had a coil of rope around his arm. “Get dressed,” he urged. “We don’t have much time!”
Garin shook his head slowly. He knew it wasn’t a good idea, and he was surprised that Farin was actually going to do this on the night before their Troven, but of all the crazy things his brother dragged him into, this was one he was actually very okay with doing. He tried to be as quiet as possible as he slipped into some clothing. Farin attached the rope to his bed and they lowered themselves out the window with the other end making sure to be completely silent. Their mother had enhanced hearing and they knew that even the slightest sound would rouse her.
Once on the ground, they crouched low and quietly as possible dashed through the garden and down the path towards the village. It wasn’t a long walk, but traveling at night always seemed to take longer. “Farin, I can’t believe you’re actually doing this.”
“I had to,” Farin replied with a mischievous smile. “You’re my favorite twin brother, how could I live with myself if I didn’t help you out?”
“Help me out?” Garin said incredulously. “You’re dragging me out of the house on the night before we are exiled from the village. The one way you could really help is to let me sleep.”
“Sleep is for grandmothers,” Farin argued. “We’re young, and your love awaits.”
“She’s probably asleep,” Garin argued. He hadn’t seen Fenn since their small argument the previous day so he wasn’t sure how happy she would be to see him, especially dressed in dark clothing, sneaking to her house at night. “What are you expecting to happen?”
Farin stood dramatically on the road with his hands raise to the sky. “You’ll look up to her window,” he began in a voice that was trying to be romantic. “As you are watching the window will crack slightly and you’ll know that she has been waiting for you too, willingly sacrificing her sleep in expectation of your visit.”
“Now I know you’re being ridiculous,” Garin said interrupting his brother.
Farin playfully punched his brother in the gut, “Don’t interrupt,” he chided. “You climb up onto the porch roof, helped by your strong and faithful brother I might add, and then the window opens and you see her there.”
Although Garin was against the idea of sneaking out at night to see Fenn, the story Farin was making up actually sounded pretty great. In his mind he was picturing what it would be like to see her beautiful face, and he hoped she would be happy to see him one more time before he left. What he really wanted, was to finally share their first kiss and hear her make a vow to wait for him until his Troven was finished.
“Then,” Farin continued his dramatic tale, “she will reach out and take your hand and tell you, “I’m sorry Garin, I’ve been in love with your superior-in-every-way-brother for all these years.” That’s pretty much what will happen,” Farin concluded as he dodged Garin’s attempt to give him a kick in the pants.
“I really don’t know why I let you get me into these things,” Garin admitted.
“Shhh!” Farin cautioned as they approached Fenn’s house. It was one of the larger houses in the village of Dungan, so he would need to quietly climb up onto the porch roof to get to Fenn’s window as Farin had described, but Garin wasn’t sure how that would work with Fenn’s mother having the gift of enhanced hearing. “There,” Farin said pointing at the back corner of the house.
Garin followed his brother to the spot he had pointed and found a small barrel they would use to give them the extra height they would need to boost Garin up onto the porch roof. Farin stood up on the barrel and cupped his hands expectantly. Garin stood for a moment in hesitation. Was he actually doing this? It was one of the more crazy things his brother had convinced him to do and he wasn’t entirely sure it would work. Farin shook his hands and looked urgently at his brother as if to say, “Come on! What are you waiting for?”
Without waiting another moment, he climbed up on the barrel and placed his foot into his brother’s cupped hands. He reached up and grabbed the edge of the roof then with a boost from below he was quickly up onto the roof. He silently moved across the roof towards Fenn’s window, not sure how she would react to him being there, but having gone too far at this point to turn back.
As he inched closer her window opened a crack, then some slender fingers appeared and pushed it the rest of the way open. Garin’s eyes just about bulged out of his head when he found himself face to face with Fenn’s mother. “Hello young man,” she said in a stern voice. “How may I help you tonight?”
Behind her mother, Fenn stood looking down at her feet as if she was also caught doing something wrong. She looked up to meet Garin’s eyes and smiled before she looked back down again. He had no idea what to say. He was caught. “I guess I could use a rope if you’ve got one,” he said. “It would help me get down off this roof.” He was pleased that his response made Fenn smirk, but her mother only scowled even deeper.
“Young man, tomorrow I will have a very serious talk with your parents. I don’t care that you are leaving on your Troven, this behavior is completely unacceptable.”
From the corner of his eye Garin saw Fenn step up next to her mother and tap her on the shoulder, then she looked at Garin with a stern look that matched her mothers. “Yes, Farin Segris,” she said in agreement emphasizing his brother’s name. “I can’t believe you would do this. Get down off this roof immediately!” She pulled the window closed and shut the curtains behind them.
Garin chuckled as he moved to the edge of the roof and jumped down. He rolled when he hit the ground and stood up to see an angry glare from his brother. “Have I mentioned how much I hate having you for an identical twin?” Farin asked.