So far Lord Skylark and Brandon had run through several applications for the position of apprenticeship with Lord Skylark, my father had turned them all down.
Brandon tapped his finger on bulky nose as they stopped at door number 15. It was half open and Lord Skylark could peek inside to see a single 6’2 tall young man in a standard uniform brown of slacks, a clean white shirt sitting at a finally made table in sturdy head down over a book. One of several books scattered around the room.
Lord Skylark knocked on the door. The young man looked up with sharp silver blue eyes, a thin long nose and handsomely set expression on his face. He study Lord Skylark in mild interest.
“Please. Enter my Lord.” He said in a cultured speech and confidence that belayed his surroundings and dress.
My father liked the young man right away and found him interesting and a right fit. His mind had been made up on him. “The name’s Lord Ethan Skylark. What’s your name lad?” He said walking in offering his hand to the young man.
Brandon was silent but Lord Skylark could tell by his friend straightening up and grinning that he approved of his interest in the young man as a apprentice. The young man rose to his feet standing two inches taller then my father and took his hand.
“Luke Carter. It is a pleasure to meet you, Sir. I’m looking forward to serving as your apprentice.”
Lord Skylark studied Mr. Carter closely. He smelled it on the young man. A scent of lavender and smoke.”Rabbits don’t jump. They spring don’t you think?”
Luke Carter blinked. “What?”
“Rabbits. They don’t jump. They spring around and move with a lightness to their feet.” Lord Skylark said.
Luke frowned. “Ah. I don’t follow you. Are you playing a game? Is this a test?” He said.
“I have money to give or a game of whits and challenge. Danger. Life at risk. A gamble. Do you want the money or the risk of your life for elders of mystery.”
“I want sponsorship. I’ll take my own risks.” Luke said quickly and squeezed my father’s hand.
Lord Skylark smiled. “I like you. I like you a lot. I’ll give you twenty-five pounds of gold a month. It’s an investment not a sponsorship. I want you to look after my boy when he comes on his own. I’ll tell him not to fuck with you for his entire career. What you say?”
Mr. Carter smiled. “It doesn’t work on you? But your willing to deal with me still. Why? I’m a nobody.” He said and let go of my father’s hand.
My father laughed. “You’ll do well lad. Trust me. I would rather not have you as an enemy against me or my boy. I have too many enemies now. I could always use a friend or two or someone to invest in. My word is my bond in business.” He said and withdrew a purse of gold and handed to Mr. Carter.
Mr. Carter nodded. “Thank you Sir. If you keep your word then I will honor my word.”
Lord Skylark nodded. “Indeed. Your word will be valuable in your business. Oh. Could you be a good chap and release my brother from your charms?”
Mr. Carter snapped his fingers and Brandon came awake smiling looking between them. “Are you two getting on well?”
My father smiled nodding. “Yep. I like Mr. Carter. I’ll be sponsoring him. No. No. He’s to smart for our profession big brother. He’s going to be a business man. I’ll see to that. Let’s get on. Show me to the next young Lad. I really want see who else is on the list. You have a lot of interesting people here?” He said turning Brandon around and leaving out the door.
Brandon frowned at Lord Skylark. “What’s all this about? The Lad is a smart one. Best Lad here.”
Lord Skylark shrugged. “I didn’t deny it. But, young Carter is not fit for the small time like us. He’s got high promise. I’m sponsoring him. You should be happy.”
Brandon grimanced but nodded. “Alright. Alright. We have one last person on the list. A Mr. John Smith. A young Shade.”
My father grimanced. “A black. Ugh. I didn’t know we we’re taking them into the spy order now.”
Brandon rolled his eyes. “Snark your fucking jokes. It’s not like you can judge. Your a half elf blood. Stop your bullshitting and take a look at this boy.”