Glad you could join us for the next defiant episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Vernon turned to Cassandra. “Princess, you must be strong. Think of Elliot. I swear we will bring you home.”
“That’s so sweet,” Spike gushed, “isn’t it, Cassie? Still, you’ve gotta wonder why old Elli isn’t here himself. Hm. Maybe he’s smarter than he looked.”
“Mr. Spike?” Arturo’s tiny question tinkled like a bell. “May I stay and keep her company till they come?”
Casting a withering glance at their tenderhearted companion, Spike explained, “Arturo must be thinking about his baby sister. We were recruiting in his happy little village when I found her. Sylvie’s gonna be a stunner — runs in the family — and I thought, hey, I need a queen, don’t I? How better than to start her young and train her up a bit? But her brave brother offered his devotion instead if I would let her grow up at home. It’s working out pretty well so far, isn’t it Artie? Even so, eventually I’m gonna need a real queen.”
Arturo’s cheeks burned red, but it didn’t look like embarrassment to Vernon, and a hope took root. “What good will it do you if Cassandra gives up and dies, Spike? If you’re worried he might help her, let your friend Darcy keep an eye on him.”
“Fine. Enough of this. Vernon, come with me.”
He led the way to a tree at the far side of the meadow, and crawled up to the beginnings of a nest. “See? My Queen’s future home! Of course, what with taking over the Kingdom of Bog, this will be just a summer residence — the Freelands Summer Palace, maybe, but you get the idea — we’re getting ready. We’re going legit. First the Freelands, then Bog and Fen.”
“I know you, Spike. It’s hard to believe you’re in charge of anything that big. So, who are you really working for?”
Spike’s lip curled. “I’m not working for anybody. I’m using him to get what I want. That’s why I need my own queen.”
“It’s not going to happen, Spike — for either of you.”
Inspecting the latest construction, Spike sneered, “That was always your problem, Vern, you lack vision. Look, it’s not too late — you can still join me. It’ll be like old times! Way more exciting than life with Lil the Slu—”
Vernon grabbed Spike, ready to plunge his stinger into the rebel’s gut. “The only way I’m joining you is in death.”
To be continued. . .
Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .
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