Rudolph did not turn around when he heard light footsteps on the stairs behind him. He ate his bread and butter in silence, letting Arin chatter away. He had thought he'd be talking until his lips turned blue when he'd first gotten out of the cave and back into the world, but he did not want to share his thoughts of the present with Arin, nor stories of his past.
A hand touched his shoulder and a voice said, "Good morning, Rudolph." It was Alisen, as he'd expected. He's known her for a few months now, and he could easily recognize the sound of her walk. He bit into his bread, hard, without responding to his friend. "Rudolph." Alisen grabbed his arm, frustrated with his lack of response. He could tell she was trying not to lose her temper. "Come on," she said. "We need to talk."
He jerked his arm away and nearly shouted, far louder than he'd meant, "No, Alisen! We do not need to talk." Everyone fell silent. Rudolph blushed, but did not back down. Alisen recoiled at his violent tone, and stepped backward.
"I don't know what's wrong with you, Rudolph, but I am going to find out. I won't let you just dismiss me like that." She turned on her heel and strode out of the room.
Rudolph threw his bit of bread back on the table. "Great," he muttered. "Just wonderful." He thanked Arin for breakfast, pushed back his chair, and followed Alisen out.
The door had scarcely closed behind him when a hand reached out a grabbed his shirtfront. He yelped, then relaxed when he realized it was just Alisen. She dragged him around the corner, and said in a fierce whisper, "Rudolph, you are going to tell me what is going on, and you are going to tell me right now."