Glad you could join us for the next progressive episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
Clifton’s eyes went wide. “The Assassin?”
He cringed and chewed his lip while Vernon told his harrowing tale of escape and endurance. Sunset shadows crept into the bower while they listened.
“Aunt Lilian— the Queen and King Arnie need to hear about this,” Clifton said. “Somebody should help those people.”
Elliot beamed at Cassandra. “The Princess here proposed the Freelands wasp community convince their neighbors to form a joint Freelands Council to help defend their homeland together.”
“Yes, and they’ve chosen the perfect person to lead the effort.” Cassandra told Vernon and Clifton about Arturo.
“Do you think Aunt Lil would let me work with Arturo? I mean, it’s a chance to do something really important and maybe become a valuable member of the Hive.”
Vernon placed a hand on Clifton’s shoulder. “You’re already a valuable member of the Hive, Clifton, and you saved my life.” Only his bandages prevented him from bowing.
“She’d better let you go,” Elliot laughed, “or I’ll never have a moment alone with the Princess,” He cocked his head. “You should suggest we meet to discuss it,” Elliot encouraged him, knowing what lay ahead. “Show the Queen what sort of leader you are.”
Even in the early glow of the bower’s mushrooms, Clifton’s blush showed. “You’re right. I’ll suggest we meet right after the banquet.
“Banquet?” Vernon asked.
“Yes!” Clifton smacked his lips. “It starts at moonrise.”
Cassandra blushed, “To celebrate the victory and…”
“…and the Queen is going to tell him about you and your mother, isn’t she?” Vernon finished.
Her forehead wrinkled as she nodded. “But now that the time is here, I’m not sure it’s a good idea.” Cassandra glanced from the doorway to Vernon to Elliot. “I should probably stay with Vernon in case he needs something.”
Vernon shook his head. “Then you’ll have to go to the party because my place is at my Queen’s elbow.”
Moving to the doorway as the first moonlight peeked over the top of the woods, Cassandra wrung her feelers.“I’ve never been afraid of anything,” she whispered. “Why am I so scared to face the King?”
Elliot moved to her side. “You’re worried he doesn’t like surprises. You’re worried he won’t accept you as his daughter. But even if he turns out to be a great fool, and not the great friend we believe he is, you and I will still be together, and we will create the family we want. Besides, King Arnie’s no fool and he already loves you. He’s going to be thrilled.”
The tenderness in his eyes erased her tension. “I love you, Elliot. You’re right. I guess the worst that can happen tonight is that we leave with exactly what we have.”
Joining them, Vernon the Queen’s Liaison lifted his face to the rising moon and donned his official manner. “I believe it’s time to greet the visitors and make our presence known.”
Clifton was ready. “If that’s your fancy way of saying, ‘Let’s go to the party,’ I’ll lead the way!”
To be continued. . .