Rafe asked him about his trip and was very interested but Dirk was always around and Tobal felt he needed to talk with Ellen first so he told Rafe to wait till circle. Rafe's eyes narrowed a bit eyeing the amber and jade necklace. He didn't say anything more about the trip.
Samhain was a major festival and Tobal was surprised at how many showed up for it. It started as the other celebrations did with proclaiming newbies ready to solo. Nikki and Char both proclaimed their newbies ready to solo. There were several initiations scheduled.
Wayne's newbie wasn't ready yet but was going to be initiated. The Same thing happened with Zee's newbie and Kevin's newbie. They were going to be initiated into the clan but they needed another month of training. With the advent of cold weather the training was taken seriously by all clan members.
Most clansmen had already partnered up for the winter and would not be doing anymore training till next spring or they would partner up at this circle. He thought about Tara and Zee. They had both asked him about partnering up for the winter. Now they both had partners selected even if Zee and Kevin still had one more month of training till their newbies soloed. Soon there would be no one to ask or partner up with unless it was a newbie. Was he really being so different in not partnering up with anyone? Rafe had trained newbies all winter long. He caught Char a bit later and talked with her about it.
"I notice your newbie is soloing this month", he congratulated her. "What are you going to do now?"
"Well, I was going to see if Wayne wanted to partner back up for the winter", she said bitterly. "But he is not speaking to me and in the middle of training his newbie. If he is training her like he trained me, she will probably be spending the winter with him. I hate that man!" She started crying and Tobal put an arm around her shoulder to comfort her. He felt her shoulders shaking against him.
"He's just training newbies like you are Char, what are you mad at him for?"
"He"s not talking to me or looking at me, that's why", she snapped at him. "All he does is spend time with her."
Tobal sighed and wished he were anywhere else. "You sound just like he did last month when I was talking to him. Don't you remember how jealous he was. You were afraid he was going to pick a fight with Rory. Look, this will make one chevron for you and two for him. What are you going to do now? Try training another newbie or wait out the winter? You can't control what he does. You can only control what you do. What is it that you really want to do?"
"Become a citizen and get a real life."
"Ok, so what do you need to do?"
"I guess I'm going to train one more newbie this winter. Thanks Tobal", she told him. "I know that I need to move ahead but it's hard sometimes. These old habits are so hard to break. It's easy to get depressed about things."
"Let me know if you need any help", he told her. "I'm planning on training newbies all winter myself. It's kind of strange but I'm a little afraid of partnering up with anyone for the entire winter."
"Why would you feel that way Tobal?" She asked curiously.
"Well partnering up with a girl for the winter kind of implies a sexual relationship", he flustered.
"What's wrong with a sexual relationship?" She asked. "You do want sex with girls don't you?"
Now he was red and embarassed, " Wanting sex and having sex are two different things Char. At least for me they are. I don't want to hurt anyone and what if it doesn't work out between us. What if she gets pregnant or something."