"Paul. I’ve been looking everywhere for you,” Simon called.
David’s spine stiffened. “Glad to see you. Tomorrow morning we’re meeting to gather supplies.”
Simon glared. “I’ll do my own.”
“Your choice. Anyone who isn’t ready will be left behind.”
“Won’t be me.” Simon faced David. “I go with my father’s blessing. We don’t need you unless you’re going as a servant. You’re nothing.”
Simon’s words were like blows pounding David’s chest. “I will be with you and I will watch you.” He stepped closer until his boots touched Simon’s. “No one will stop me.”
“My father could. The Chief Elder can do anything.”
Paul pulled David away. “Father will stop no one. If you’re afraid, stay here.”
Simon scowled. “I’m going to protect Father’s interests. You tricked him. Why didn’t you give the talk I helped him write? Once again, there was no call. The time to be fruitful and multiply is not now. There will be no weddings for ten years. Father has decreed that a new rule.”
“Lies," David said. "Does he plan to neuter all the herds and flocks?”
“Shut up.” Simon raised his fists. “When we return I will be tested again. I will be an Elder.”
David laughed. “And I will become a Teacher.”
“You failed.” Simon turned toward his brother.
“So you say,” David said.
Paul grasped David’s arm. “Your friends know your worth. Don’t fight him.”
“I won’t.” David walked away. “Tomorrow at the storehouse.”
“I’ll pack for myself,” Simon shouted.