With the requirement from Arlen weighing Darren down like an anchor, the student pushes himself to complete his personal challenge. When he’s not in class, eating meals, working with Lia, or sleeping, Darren locks his door and toils away at his creation. Every time a classmate comes to his door to pry him away from his obsession, Darren refuses and sequesters himself with his work. After several weeks without hearing from his friend, Randall comes to the Academy, looking for a favor. Will Darren agree to take a break? Or will Darren dismiss his friend like all his classmates?
“You want me to do what?”
“Contrary to your outrage, my request was extremely straightforward.” Randall sauntered over to the desk and his finger traced one of the metallic chains. With a grin, he plucked it off the table and laid it against his palm. As Randall’s head cocked, he tapped the woven metal with a fingertip. “You’ve told me about Lia. Why couldn’t you ask her to join us?”
“I’m in the middle of a project,” Darren said, stirring the contents of his cauldron. “I don’t have time to deal with your frivolous endeavors.”
“I appreciate your desire to further the understanding of your gifts.” A sigh rushed past Randall’s lips as he tossed the interwoven silver links onto the desktop. While the gentle thuds bounced against the walls, he dragged the second chair over to Darren’s desk and plopped into it. “However, nobody, not even you, can maintain this breakneck pace forever.”
“This is important.”
Randall flicked the cauldron’s edge as his gaze swept from side to side. “And whatever you’re working on, I’m certain you could take a break for a couple of hours, potentially a full day, to enjoy excellent food and exceptional friendship.”
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