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From The Shadows

Budding Friendship

The next morning, Karam found Minho in the living room. "Hey, would you like to help me with the stalls? I know it isn't a very clean job, but someone needs to do, right?" He smiled at the other man.

Minho grinned back. Karam had just brightened his mood. "Sure. I have never done that before, but it is something to learn, huh?"

"Yeah...if you decide to stay, there will be a lot of mucking,"Karam frowned. "Sorry." He put a baseball cap on. "Shall we?"

Minho laughed. "Sure."

They walked out to the barn and Karam showed him where to find the muck rakes and cart. "Here, let's start with this one. It's the worst one." He walked into the sloppy stall, carrying on of the muck rakes.

It did not take long for Minho to get the idea, and they moved from one stall to the next. When they were about halfway through the barn, Karam smiled at him.” So, are you about ready for a break?" He pulled out a bag, unzipping it. Minho thought it was strange to be eating something after cleaning a horse stall, but he was hungry. He grinned and accepted the granola bar Karam handed him.

He studied the other man while Karam was looking for a drink in the bag. He was beautiful. "What do you like to do?" Minho decided to start a conversation with him.

Karam seemed to be immersed in his food, but smiled at Minho again. "I love soccer...Playing or watching. I like to run, sleep, sing, cook..." He thought about it for a moment, then smiled again. "And dance. I love to dance. You?"

Minho laughed. He was cute, like an overgrown puppy, but certainly not a bitch. "I happen to like soccer, too. It's fun..." He lost his train of thought, looking at Karam. "It's fun." He wanted to slap himself, realizing he had just said that. He shook his head. "Cats. I am a huge fan of cats. I also like to run, swim...you would probably pay me NOT to sing, though." He grinned, and Karam laughed. He had a beautiful laugh, too. "These granola bars are pretty good." He changed the subject, so he wouldn't sound like a total loser.

Karam grinned. "Cool. It sounds like we will get along." He glanced at the granola bar in his hand. It was his second one. "Yeah. These are good granola bars, huh?" He finished it, and set his drink on the edge of the stall. "Are you ready to tackle the rest of these?"

"Sure," Minho smiled, now not feeling like such an idiot. "Let's get back to work."

They continued mucking and finished the stalls. Minho decided that he liked being around Karam, as long as he could have a conversation with him without sounding like an idiot. He could like the other man.

When they got back to the compound, Taehee smiled at them. It bothered Karam that the older man did not act as if he had just buried his father. He was hiding his feelings, instead of letting the pain out. Karam shook his head. "Hey, Taehee. What's up? I'm going to go clean up...I smell like a barn."

Taehee nodded. "Okay. Karam, I wanted to introduce Minho to everyone. I also wanted to...um...discuss some work related things."

Minho felt as if he was not in the room, as Taehee was not speaking directly to him. "Um...I think I'm going to go take a shower. There is another restroom, right?”

Taehee smiled at him. "Okay. I need to speak with you, also," he glanced at Karam. "When you have the time. And yes, there is another shower unstairs."

Minho smiled nervously. "Okay, thanks." He smiled at Karam. "I'll see you later. I'm going to go take a shower."

Karam laughed. "Yeah. Me, too. I'll be around for you to speak with me in a while, okay, Taehee?"

Taehee nodded. "Okay. Thanks, guys."

When Karam got out of the shower, Taehee called a meeting with Yooseung, Jihyun, Red, Mika, Seon, Karam and Jaejoong.

"Guys, I think I have decided who needs to be leaders," Taehee looked at the chart he had printed off. "I already decided that Mika would be a leader, if you will accept it." He looked at Mika, who nodded.

"I would be happy to," Mika surprised himself with the agreement. He had not been planning on staying, but it was clear that he was not leaving.

Taehee smiled. "I'm glad. We need your help." He glanced at Red, the man who had doctored Jay. "Red is not a healer. He is just a doctor."

Mika nodded again. "I understand. I would like to stay and help...IF Yooseung isn't going to have a problem with me."

Yooseung rolled his eyes. Mika noticed that he was sitting close to Taehee, which meant that he was going to most likely be his second. "I don't..." Yooseung started over when he received a harsh look from Taehee. "I think it's a good idea for you guys to stay."

Taehee glanced at him, then moved on. "I would like to make Karam your second. He is capable, and knows how to work beside you."

"Okay," Karam smiled at Mika. "I would like that. Thank you."

"You're welcome." Taehee looked back at his paper. He was not in the mood to talk. He was in work mode. "I have already spoken with Seon, and he agreed to be a leader, also. Jaejoong will be his second. I also have set up lieutenants. Mine will be Jihyun, directly under Yooseung. She has shown herself more than worthy of the title over the years." He paused. "Does anyone have anything to add to this?"

Karam raised his hand, feeling like a kid in a classroom. "What about your brother? Is he going to be part of this?"

"If he will join us, then yes," Taehee's face was still not showing much emotion. "I would like it if you could work on that, Karam, since you have been talking to him."

Karam nodded. "Yes, sir. I would gladly do that. I think he will accept this easily. He seems open to things." He frowned at Mika, who had just laughed at him.

Taehee nodded. "That's good. He has it in his veins. Anyway, the teams will be as follows. He held out the chart for everyone to see.

1.Taehee; leader
⦁ Yooseung; second
⦁Jihyun; lieutenant; medic
2.Seongwon; leader
⦁Jaejoong; second
⦁Red; lieutenant; medic
⦁Hyunwoo (T.O)
3.Mika; leader; medic/healer
⦁Karam; second
⦁Jonghyun; lieutenant

Taehee looked at them all. “What do you guys think? Do you think this is a good system? We will go out in teams, and that way, our compound will not be left unattended. We apparently cannot leave it, with the threat we are facing. I just hope my brother will accept this. We need him.”

Mika nodded, thinking about it. “I think that sounds like a good plan.”

Taehee smiled at him. “Good. I actually already spoke with the other leaders about a month ago about this, so only needed to bring you and your friends in, Mika. I am glad you agreed to this, because we need you.” He looked at Karam. “I would appreciate it if you could convince Minho. We need him.”

Karam nodded. “Okay.” He knew that they had been getting along just a while ago, but this would be different. If he got upset about them being hunters, Minho might not join them, and he would never see him again. Karam couldn’t explain why that bothered him so much, but he was going to try and not let that happen.


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