Glad you could join us for the next debated episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
“Wait out here, Clifton. Let me talk to her first. And you —” Sam glowered at her half-brother, “you better hope she doesn’t make me stay here, because you aren’t gonna like me if I have to stay here.”
“What makes you think I like you anyway?” Andre retorted, but Clifton saw worry and a hint of doubt in his eyes as he left them at the entrance to the Innermost Chamber.
Queen Madalena let her daughter talk. The Princess’s detailed explanation of the Alliance army training she was receiving became an excited description of her own contribution and her pleased but befuddled reaction to her instructor’s praise and the other trainees’ recognition.
“They treat me like I’m special,” she concluded.
Her mother stroked Sam’s cheek. “My darling, you are special.”
“But not because of my title,” Sam explained, “because of what I can do. Because of me.”
“That’s why you’re going to be an extraordinary Queen of the Hiverarchy of Free Bees someday. And that’s why you need to dedicate your energy to the welfare of your own people.”
“Mother, that’s exactly why I need to do this. I want to lead our people to be a magnificent part of a greater society. Clifton’s right. If we let the enemy take over even one tribe in the Freelands, all of us are in danger. If we stand together against them, we can keep the Freelands free for all of us.”
The Queen’s brow wrinkled. “Who is this Clifton to fill your head with such outrageous ideas?”
“He’s the Queen of Fen’s nephew, and he’s working with the new Alliance.” Sam searched her mother’s face. “He’s right outside. May I ask him in so you can speak to him yourself?”
Queen Madalena fell silent with a far away look in her eyes. Finally, shaking her head and sighing, she said, “I’ve always known this moment would come. Invite him in.”
To be continued. . .