This story is a work of fiction based on the story and characters that are the property of the creators and producers of "Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World" syndicated television series.
I want to thank all of my beta readers Sarah, Lora and Julia and to my sister Maru. Without them this wouldn't have been possible.
It was a day like any other day, the sun was beating down on the luscious jungle floor. Roxton with beads of sweat slowly dripping down his well-toned muscles exhaled in frustration. He was exhausted, he had been cleaning the guns for half an hour but the heat was so intense that he grew tire by the minute. He thought of Marguerite the women he had grown to love. But he didn't dare declare his feelings for her. Challenger on the other hand was at the time tidying up the laboratory, he thought about the situation in which they were all in, stuck in this lost world, he wondered if they ever would find their way home.
Veronica and Malone were trying to return the kitchen to its normal state, as it had been Marguerite turn to cook the night before and she had left the kitchen in a complete mess. Malone still couldn't get the taste of last night meal out of his mouth. The meat had been so burnt that it had been impossible to eat.
" Ah but today was different," Ned though. Today, was Veronica' s turn to cook. She was quite the chef, all those lesson from Assai had paid off. Just thinking about that delicious berry pie Veronica had learned to make made his mouth water.
Veronica had a smile on her face, she couldn't believe how lucky she was, she remembered how a few years ago she had lost her family but she had gain a new one. The thoughts of her parents made her sad. How many nights had she spent crying? She had lost count. There were so many questions on her mind. Her thoughts were diverted when Malone splashed her with some water and now she was returning the favour.
Marguerite was at the other end of the treehouse, pretending to dust. How am I going to get away from this mundane task? She though. She still was a furious with them, after all it hadn't been her fault that she had forgotten to take the meat out of the fire. Last night she had forgotten completely about the meat she had put to cook, as she had gone to her room to read for a while and only did she remember when the treehouse was filled with smoke. Everyone was mad at her as that was the last piece of meat and they had been forced to eat it. They had share a couple of insults over the matter, she did her best to show she wasn't affected by them but in reality they had hurt her more than they could ever imagine. I really had tried, she though as she wipe a stray tear from her face.
They had been avoiding her all morning. And God, Help her. Earlier on she had been ready to murder them, as they had wanted her to clean up the kitchen, as it wasn't enough that she had cooked the night before, and as she had told them earlier on " It's the though that counts. " She walked over to the kitchen, only to see Veronica and Malone playfully doing their chores, like two bored children trying to make the best out of the situation, at the moment she entered, Malone had trapped Veronica onto a corner, Marguerite cleared her throat to attract attention.
" I'm not interrupting anything, am I? " Marguerite said mischievously.
Veronica blushed deep red, while Malone look like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
" No we were just…" Marguerite interrupted Malone. " How about if I go and pick some berries and then later Veronica can treat us all to some of her delicious pie. I'm sure you'll like that Malone." Said Marguerite giving them one of her winning smiles.
Veronica smiled one of those I know what you're up to Marguerite smiles and whispered to Malone. " That women would do anything to get out of cleaning." Malone's reply was a little shocking, but yet it interested her " Let her be, at least will get time to ourselves." Veronica looked at him, and at seeing his mischievous expression, she looked at Marguerite and stated firmly "Fine, go, but remember you're helping me make that DELICIOUS pie."
" Anything you say Miss Layton." Marguerite said mockingly as she gave Veronica a curtsy with a curtly smile. Marguerite grabbed the fruit basket from the kitchen and headed strait to the gun racket, where she got her gun and her hat.
" Ha, help with the pie, she's got another thing coming!" Marguerite exclaimed as soon as she was out of earshot.
Marguerite got out of the lift and started walking towards the jungle when she heard Roxton.
" Where do you think you're going?" Roxton asked with a hint of concern.
Marguerite turned around and stated quite firmly " I don't think that's any of your business."
Roxton dried his sweaty forehead as he made his way to where Marguerite was standing. He came face to face with her and as he look at her up down he said " But it is my dear. What if some animal decides to make you his dinner," a smile crept onto his face "and quite frankly someone as tasty as you doesn't stand a chance."
Marguerite fell chills up her spine " Flattery will get you nowhere, Lord John Roxton." God sometimes she felt the urge to kiss this man, and she felt that if she didn't get out of there at that moment she might not be able to restrain herself.
" Now if you'll excuse me. I better be going," Marguerite said with a tone of indignity. " Besides I'm not going very far. If I'll need any help I fire this baby two times." She held out her gun trying to reassure Roxton that she was quite capable of taking care of herself.
Marguerite made her way through the jungle, when she finally caught sight of the place she was looking for. She had seen it before in one of her daily walks. Today it appeared more inviting than the last time she had seen it. There were several shrubs of berries, which lined the path to a shimmering lake.
Marguerite began to collect the juicy berries, one by one they went into her basket, staining her fingers, Marguerite placed one of the berries in her mouth. The taste was unlike any other she had experienced before, a taste so sweet and rare that it took all her power to prevent herself from eating a handful more. She moved towards an area covered by fairly large trees; the temperature was so high that she really needed cover from it.
As she sat underneath the biggest tree, she notice how the water in the lake nearby look so clear and cool, so inviting, almost tempted her to go in, but she remembered Roxton's advice on how you never knew what kind of creature could be lurking.
Roxton, she though, the kind of man you would like to share a day like this with. At the corner of her eye she caught something sparkling in the water, curiosity got the better of her and she decided to have a look. At closer inspection she notice that the sparkling indeed was light coming from a cave. She stood there for a while weighting the consequences of taking a closer look. She decided it was safe enough, so she dived right in.
Marguerite made her way to where the cave entrance was, she peered through the cave and without a moment of thought she dived right in. She found a way out of the cave almost immediately, as she emerged from the water, she let out a huge gasp for air, it took her a while to gain her strength to swam to shore. Marguerite came out of the water, she was soaked to the bone, but the water had been very warm and so was the cave, so she didn't think it was necessary for her to start a fire to dry off.
She stood there inspecting the place. The first thing she saw was the temple, it was exquisite although it was quite small, but it made all up, on the architecture as it was magnificent. She stood there gazing at the building she had found. A smile crept onto her face. She started walking towards it admiring every detail. As she made her way to the Temple, she felt as if someone was watching her. She immediately stopped to a halt and as she drew her rifle, she heard a single pair of footsteps approaching.
" Who's there?" Marguerite shouted, as she frantically scanned the room.
Just then a tall blond man appeared, Marguerite stood her ground firmly as she aimed her rifle.
" I mean you no harm." The man said, as he raised his arms, as to show he had no weapons.
" That's what they all say" she replied as she moved closer to check him for any concealed weapon.
" I'm Gabriel, guardian of the Temple of Ludlow." The man said as Marguerite finished searching him for weapons.
Seeing as he had no weapons Marguerite introduced herself.
" Marguerite Krux. " said Marguerite as she extended her hand to Gabriel. Gabriel took Marguerite's hand and instead of shaking it, he brought it up to his lips where he kissed it. For the first time Marguerite noticed how handsome Gabriel was, he was almost of an angelic nature.
" Where are my manners, you must be freezing. "
" No, I'm quite alright." Marguerite tried to reassure him.
" Nonsense, you still could catch a cold, if you're not careful. " Gabriel said as he gestures for Marguerite to follow him.
As they made their way inside the temple, Marguerite notice that the inside of the temple was even more magnificent than the outside, the walls were covered with inscriptions and jewels were embedded on the stone walls Marguerite eyes sparkle with pure delight, " This was a great find indeed." She thought.
Gabriel quickened his pace and Marguerite pushed herself to follow, even though she was enraptured by the beauty of it all.
" Come along Marguerite, the room I am about to show you surpasses even all this," said Gabriel, motioning with his hand at the magnificent hall.
At last Gabriel stopped behind a huge door encrusted with emeralds, he placed his hand close to the door and it slowly opened to reveal a large room. This room Marguerite noticed was unlike the greatly decorated hall the had just passed by, the room was solely decorated by a stone altar, which lay at the centre of the room, while the walls surrounding them were made of white marble. Marguerite was disappointed; she had expected the room to surpass the beauty of the halls.
" Really, Gabriel by the way that you were talking about this room, I expected something…" as Marguerite was saying this, Gabriel motioned with his hands for her to look at the ceiling. Marguerite with a quick motion, placed her head in a position to see what Gabriel had pointed at, but nothing had prepared her for what she was now looking at. The ceilings were covered in the most exquisite drawings she had ever seen.
" So was this magnificent temple doing in the middle of the plateau." Asked Marguerite as she looked in awe at the magnificent drawing that adorned the ceiling.
" Our people had been living here since the dawn of time, about a hundred years ago there was a terrible war in which most our people died. The people that survived left the city as it was in ruins, but I stayed as it was my duty to protect the temple."
" If you were there at the time of the war, that would make you…"
Gabriel cuts in " 200 years old to be exact. We age quite differently. The first twenty years of our life is like any other normal people but by the time we are twenty our metabolism slows down and after that every hundred year is 10 of your years. "
" That would make you 30 " said Marguerite as she considered the possibilities of living that long.
Gabriel approached Marguerite and offered her a glass of wine.
" Thank you. " Marguerite said as she took the glass. She brought the glass to her lips and took a slight sip of it. The wine was very fruity; she could taste the grapes, apples and something she didn't quite recognise.
" Aren't a you lonely here all by yourself."
" Not any more." said Gabriel clearly flirting with Marguerite.
Marguerite laughed, now that she knew what kind of situation she was in, she let herself concentrate on Gabriel, he had clean cut features, his eyes, electric blue, under darkish blond hair, and a disarming lazy grin.
" I've better be going, as my friends must be getting worried"
" I understand." Said Gabriel.
" It was a pleasure meeting you. "
" The pleasure was all mine."
" Is there any other way out? " Marguerite asked hoping she didn't have to get herself wet all over again.
" No, I'm afraid that's the only way." Gabriel said.
Back at the treehouse, Veronica is sketching Ned who doesn't appear to be enjoying himself as he is fidgeting around.
Veronica who had quite enough of Ned's sudden movements shouted, " Will you sit still. "
Veronica scared the hell off Malone and he nearly fell of his chair. " Easy for you to say you're not the one who has had to sit still for the last half an hour." Malone said as he tried to regain his composure.
Challenger, who was reading a book, had been startled out this sudden outburst. But instead he chose to ignore it and continue his reading.
" Now, Now kids let's play nice" Roxton said as he was coming into the room. Everyone looked up at Roxton not really interested in what he had to say.
" I see Marguerite has done her job a usual." Roxton said as he ran his finger against a table covered with dust.
Veronica was about to say something when Roxton interrupted her.
" Speaking of the devil." Roxton said as he heard the lift coming up.
Just then Marguerite came out of the lift, she was a mess, she was still wet, parts of her clothes was covered with dirt and it seemed like she had attracted every kind of living insect in the plateau. Everyone just stared at her, Roxton was the one who burst into laughter and the rest couldn't help but to join in.
"Ha, Ha" Marguerite mumble as she pushed Roxton out of the way and made her way into the kitchen. Veronica joined Marguerite in the kitchen.
" Are you alright?" Veronica asked trying to suppress her laughter.
" Yeah, just dandy" Marguerite replied. " I just decided to take a swim and it is my fault that this infernal flies took a liking to me." She was going to tell them about the place she had found but this little scene had infuriated her too much and she had this terrible headache. "Besides it could be my own little haven" She though. She couldn't remember what had happen one minute she was picking berries, next she was in the water. She tried to remember what she had done for the pass 2 hours but she didn't quite remember. She came to the conclusion that she must had fallen asleep.
" With your clothes on?" Roxton asked.
" Yeah, You never know who might just be watching." Marguerite responded as she gave Roxton a quick glance. Which prompted everyone to question Roxton.
" Well, don't look at me" Roxton stated.
" Marguerite, where are those berries?"
" Here" said Marguerite as she slammed the basket on the table. " Here are your blasted berries."
" Now if you'll excuse me…" Marguerite was cut short by Veronica who was now looking at the basket clearly noticing that there were hardly any berries.
" Not so fast, Marguerite" Veronica shrieked.
" You were gone for nearly two hours. And you only came back with this." Said Veronica tipping the basket slightly to show Marguerite.
Marguerite let her temper flare " Why you ungrateful little bitch." At that outburst Roxton and Malone came between them, knowing that if they didn't they would surely kill each other. Challenger on the other hand, thought best not to get involved. He walked away, quietly, he had quiet enough. If it wasn't Marguerite or Roxton it was Marguerite and Veronica or Malone. Usually their bickering was quite harmless but this pass few days it had gotten quite serious. Sooner or later he had to have a talk with them.
" I only offered to go, because you two lovebirds wanted to be alone" Marguerite retorted.
Veronica had quite enough " Marguerite Krux, leave." Veronica had tried to say this as calmly as she could muster but the words that she had just muttered stilled echoed the anger that was flowing through her at that very moment. She couldn't help herself, if Marguerite did not leave soon she would do something that she would regret.
Roxton and Malone were speechless.
Marguerite stared at Veronica in disbelief, and in order to cover up her feelings she immediately responded "Well if you don't mind, I'm going to take a bath." With that she left.
Veronica also left, heading out of the treehouse, as she couldn't stay in the same room as Roxton and Malone, she was in the verge of tears.
Roxton and Malone stared at each other, blank looks plastered across each of their faces, neither of them knew what they should do, but each felt that distinctive feeling of wanting to crawl underneath a rock and die.
After a few minutes they had time recover, Malone had the urge to run after Veronica and comfort her, though he still felt that what Veronica had said was out of line. Roxton was going through the same feelings, but could not muster the courage of going into Marguerites room, especially after all the mixed feeling between him and her.
Roxton turned to Malone and whispered " What are we going to do?" Malone's cringed at the though of talking to Veronica or Marguerite, Though having been to the war, this situation was even less appealing.
" How about you go and see what Marguerite is up to and I go and see were Veronica is gone to." said Roxton trying to get out the unpleasant job. Malone didn't fall into his trap " No Let's leave them alone for a while, we should go hunting for tonight's meal."
" I wholeheartedly agree. " said Roxton, and with that they left.
Challenger having heard all the commotion from his bedroom, felt relieved that the boys had come to that conclusion, surely a confrontation could only make thing worse.
Later that evening Veronica was in the kitchen washing the berries. When Marguerite came in.
" Need any help?" Asked Marguerite. Veronica nodded without taking her eyes from what she was doing. Marguerite had felt bad about what she had said. She hadn't meant it.
" Listen, I'm sorry about the way I acted earlier on, I didn't really meant it." Marguerite said with a tone of guilt in her voice.
Veronica couldn't stay mad at Marguerite. " I'm sorry too, I really shouldn't had told you to leave, this is as much your home as it is for me" Marguerite smiled happily and they both hugged each other.
Malone and Roxton made their way through the jungle, Malone is continuously getting hit by the branches that Roxton moves carefully out of the way.
" Ouch, be careful Roxton," said Malone rubbing his chin, " You know Marguerite is patiently waiting for me back in the treehouse," he added knowing that this would get Roxton attention. Roxton snapped his head to see him, a bewildered expression covered his face, for a split second he had believed Ned, but Malone's grin had put a stop to any wild accusations.
Malone laughed at him, happy to have caused a stir in Roxton thoughts.
" Shush, did you hear that. It sounds like it's coming from down there," Roxton said as he pointed down a slope.
Roxton and Malone made their way down the slope carefully as not to make any noise finally the saw what they were looking for, a bird stood there about ten inches were they stood. Malone immediately pointed the rifle at the bird, Roxton seeing how eagerly Malone wanted to catch this bird let him take the shot. Malone had shot the bird and now was standing there with a slight smile on his face feeling quite satisfied.
Roxton patted Malone's back " Well done Malone."
Malone got the bird, he examined it and he quickly wrapped it with some paper.
" We better get going, " said Malone.
Roxton and Malone walked back to the treehouse.
" You know Malone I'll never understand women one minute they're all happy and the next… " Roxton didn't quite finish his sentence. Malone gave Roxton and understanding look
" They are a completely different species." Malone agreed.
With that they laughed and laughed.
Roxton and Malone got out of the lift, Malone was carrying a large bird covered in paper, they spotted Marguerite and Veronica, both of them were in the kitchen floor rolling with laughter. They were covered in flour. They were quite a sight.
As soon as they saw the boys, they got up and they straighten themselves up. Veronica and Marguerite gave each other a look of understanding.
" Thank you," Veronica said as Veronica got the packet of meat from Malone.
" Why don't you boys go and get ready while we get the food ready." Marguerite said as she put an arm behind Malone and Roxton.
" Is she alright?" asked Roxton giving a perplex look to Malone.
Malone just stood there still taking in everything that just had happen.
" Why wouldn't she be? Asked Veronica giving Marguerite a look of solidarity " Now go on and get ready. We'll get dinner ready."
" And don't forget to tell Challenger dinner will be served in half an hour." Marguerite said as they made their way to their bedrooms.
Malone and Roxton left wondering about what had brought this change of attitude.
Half an hour later Challenger, Roxton, Veronica, Malone and Marguerite are all sitting at the table having dinner. Everyone looks like they're enjoying themselves.
" Veronica, this is Delicious." said Roxton as he raised a spoonful of pie to his mouth.
" Mmmm, Mmmm" was all Malone could mutter as he savoured the pie.
" Marguerite help me do it." Veronica said as she gave Marguerite a quick glance. " It was her idea to put honey in it."
Marguerite had a smile of satisfaction on her face.
" My compliments to the Chefs." was all that Challenger could manage between spoonfuls.
" Hear! Hear!" Malone said as he raised his glass ready for a toast.
" I've always said Marguerite was not afraid to get her hands dirty." Roxton said with good humorously
" How about a toast." Challenger said as he too raised his glass.
" To friendship " Malone said.
" Good food." Veronica added
" And good company." Said Roxton as he gave Marguerite a sly look.
Later on that evening everyone was sitting down relaxing after a hard day work. Malone was reading his journal, the rest of the group were listening to Beethoven's " Ode to Joy."
When the piece of music was finish. Marguerite got up from her seat, and as she passed Malone and Roxton she whispered. " Don't get too cosy. You boys are doing the dishes."
" Goodnight Everyone." said Marguerite smiling mischievously as she left the room.
" I knew it was to good to be true." Malone said to Roxton. Veronica smiled at that comment and she too went to bed.
Challenger who had heard what Marguerite had said. Made his excuses and left the room in a hurry.
" I guess is you and me. " Malone said looking up from his journal, only to find out that Roxton wasn't there anymore, Malone rolled his eyes, it was going to be a long night he thought.
Around midnight Marguerite is in her bed asleep, but she seems to be experiencing some sort of a nightmare, as she's tossing and turning all around the bed. Suddenly she sits right up, her eyes are wide open, and she mumbles something that we can't hear or make out. She gets up and starts to get dressed. She makes her way out of the treehouse.
As Marguerite walks through the jungle, she seems to be in a trance, the surroundings seemed familiar. Marguerite stood by the lake almost as if she was waiting for someone or something to appear, just then a light shone through from underneath the lake. As soon as she saw this she dove right in. She made her way through the cave, until she finally emerged on the other side. As she came out of the water, a voice greeted her.
"Welcome back, Marguerite." Gabriel said.
Marguerite took two steps forward, when she suddenly collapsed. Luckily two men managed to grab her before she'd hit the ground.
Next morning Roxton, Challenger and Veronica are eating breakfast while Malone is busy in the kitchen.
" Somebody better go and wake up sleeping beauty, before her breakfast gets cold." Malone said as he finished frying the last two eggs.
Challenger looked at Veronica, Veronica who knew well enough that the heiress had a temper when it came to waking up early looked up at Roxton.
" Why is it always me?" Roxton asked as he finished his cup of tea.
Roxton stood outside Marguerite's room ready to go in, but he though of it twice and instead he decided to knock on the doorframe.
" Marguerite, breakfast is ready." Roxton said. He waited for an answer but as he got none Roxton called her again. "Marguerite?"
Roxton started to get worried as he had called her twice and he still hadn't gotten an answer.
" Right, I'm coming in." Roxton warned Marguerite.
Roxton went inside the room expecting Marguerite to throw some kind of insult at him. Instead he was greeted by silence. He looked around the room but obviously it was empty. The bed has been slept on but there was no sign of her.
Roxton came out of the room " Has anyone seen Marguerite since last night?"
Malone who had now joined the other at the table look up at Roxton and asked " Is something the matter?"
" Marguerite is not in her room." Veronica informed Malone.
" Maybe she went out for a walk." Challenger reasoned.
Roxton tried not to panic, Challenger was probably right, after all it's not the first time she had gone out of the treehouse unnoticed for an early bath or a walk.
Veronica tried to reassure Roxton that she probably went out for an early bath. Challenger was a bit worried but after last time, he would have though she should have learnt her lesson. " Veronica why don't you go down the lake and have a look." Challenger said.
Veronica left immediately.
Half an hour later Roxton who was sitting near the balcony heard footsteps approaching, he immediately got up and ran out to the balcony only to see Veronica coming back alone. Veronica saw Roxton worried look and she feared the worst " I take it, she hasn't come back" Veronica shouted to Roxton in order to be heard from such height.
Roxton immediately went to check Marguerite's room as to find any clues of to where she could have gone. He found Marguerite pistol that's when he knew Marguerite was in trouble.
Malone, Challenger, Veronica and Roxton where all in the living room.
" When was the last time any of you saw Marguerite" Challenger inquired.
" The last time I saw her was last night." Veronica said quite worried.
" As you two left me no choice. I went to sleep about 11.00 and no one came out or went in." Malone said.
" Did anyone of you heard anything last night? Anything to most minor detail could help. Did anyone upset her as to the point that she might had run away?" Challenger questioned.
" Challenger now it's not the time to play detective. We should be out there looking for her. " Roxton pleaded.
" There's no sign of any struggle. Wherever she went to, she went voluntary." Veronica concluded.
Marguerite woke up with a throbbing pain in her head. She tried to inspect her new surroundings, but she failed, as her eyesight was blurry. She didn't know what had happen, she remembered waking up and getting out of the treehouse but she had no idea what had possessed her to do such thing. She tried to get out of bed but as she soon as she did, she felt dizzy and once again she fell unconscious.
Roxton, Veronica, Challenger and Malone followed Marguerite's trail. Nobody said a word during their trek.
Malone and Challenger where a few steps behind Roxton and Veronica, who where busy exploring their surroundings for any sign of where Marguerite could have gone to. They had begun following Marguerite footsteps for at least half an hour.
Roxton came to a stop right in front of the lake. He was crouching down inspecting the footprints that seemed to stop. There was no sign of a struggle.
Challenger and Malone where now standing behind Roxton.
Malone seeing Roxton puzzled look asked, " Is something the matter?"
" Yes, look her tracks, they stop here by the lake." Roxton pointed for Malone to see.
" Where the hell is she? " Malone exclaimed.
" There seems to be no sign of her." Challenger said.
" She was definitely here, look berries shrubs she must have come here to pick the berries. But why she would come back here of all places." Veronica stated.
" Let's say she did ran into some trouble. Where is she?" Malone inquired.
" Maybe she went for a swim and she ran on some kind of trouble. " Veronica regretted that she was the one to point this out but it had to be said. She just couldn't have disappeared into thin air.
Roxton did not want to hear it. But he knew that could be a possibility.
He motioned for Malone to follow him into the water.
Roxton and Malone submerged into the water, the water was warm and it was so clear that it made the job easier for them if there was a body to be found, they would certainly see it.
Roxton search the water, hoping that they wouldn't find her there, he knew that she was alive. If anything she was, was a survivor.
Malone emerged from the water for a gasp of air. He knew how Roxton must be feeling, if it was Veronica, he wouldn't know what to do. But one thing for sure he wouldn't give up on the woman he loved.
Marguerite regained conscious once more. Just then two woman in white robes appeared, one of them offered Marguerite a drink while the other disappear out of sight. Marguerite drank greedily, she was quite thirsty, it was a she hadn't had a drink for days. As soon as she finish her drink, she though of questioning the girl of her whereabouts. But she was interrupted, by two figures, which had now entered the room, her vision was still a bit blurry, but it was getting better. By the sounds of it, it was a man and a woman. The man seemed to be ordering the girl to do something. The voice of the man sounded familiar.
She heard the footsteps approaching towards her, instead of fear she felt very tranquil. As soon as she saw his face, her memories came back.
" Gabriel?" Marguerite said as she observed the man before her.
Gabriel smiled " How are you feeling, Marguerite?
" I've been better" Marguerite responded sarcastically as she tried to sit up, but yet again she felt light-headed.
Gabriel observed this and he immediately helped Marguerite to sit back against the headboard. Marguerite rested her head. She felt quite sick.
" I see you're still experiencing the side effects." Said Gabriel.
" Where am I? Marguerite asked.
Gabriel was about to respond when the young girl appeared again this time she brought some kind of tea with her. Gabriel took it from the girl's hand and offered it to Marguerite.
" Here drink this, this should help you with any pains you might be experiencing. "
" I don't want your bloody tea. " Marguerite spited out.
" Marguerite drink the tea and I will tell you everything you need to know. " Gabriel said.
Marguerite did as she was told as the pounding in her head was getting worst.
" You are in the city of Ludlow. " Gabriel said.
" I thought your city was destroyed."
" Oh no far from it, you see I had to tell you a little lie. Here in Ludlow we don't like stranger coming to our city that's why I had to tell you that the city was destroyed, in case when you went back and told any one about this place. We try to keep the city a secret, that's why I gave you the serum and I see it worked quite well."
" So that's why I couldn't remember what I done most of the morning."
" Well yes I gave you the serum with the wine, it only takes a few minutes to take effect." He told her.
" Listen Matey, I'm not in the mood for your drivel, would you care to explain what the hell you want with me?"
" Our King needs a wife."
" Not again" she thought. Did she have 'Wife' tattooed across her forehead? " So what's that got to do with me."
" As I'm the guardian and priest I'm the one who gets to choose who our king marries."
" Now don't tell me you chosen me, cause quite frankly I'm tired of these little games"
" What if I don't want to Marry this King of yours? " Marguerite asked defiantly.
Just as she spoke those words, a tall man appears at the door, he's as tall as Gabriel, has brown hair, but he's not as handsome as Gabriel.
" Your Majesty", Gabriel vowed as he said this.
" Gabriel?" said the King, hinting Gabriel to introduce him to his future wife.
" Sorry, Your Majesty this is Marguerite Krux, Marguerite, this is our king, Xavier Ludlow.
" In a different circumstance I would have said I was pleased to meet you, but since I am being held here against my will, I'll pass."
Xavier smiled in acknowledgement and turned to Gabriel once more.
" Come we have preparations to attend to"
" Yes, your Majesty."
Xavier turned to Marguerite and said, " I will speak with you later"
" Oh I doubt that, Sooner or later my friends are bound to find me."
Xavier left the room, only Gabriel and Marguerite remained, after a minutes silence, Marguerite asked Gabriel " You must have hundreds of available women here, why did you pick me?"
" Why? First, those hundreds of women are peasants, our king cannot marry a simple peasant girl, lets say the nobility here is scarce, and the King has specific requirements for a wife. I saw in you something I never seen before, you have spirit"
Back at the lake:
"You'd better come out or you'll catch your deaths." Veronica shouted at Malone and Roxton.
Roxton ignored Veronica and continued searching. Malone did as he was told, it had been about two hour since they had began searching the lake. Veronica had already started a fire; she handed Malone a change of clothes, which she had gone back to the treehouse for.
Challenger was standing up next to the fire deep in though. When he was startle by Veronica who was now standing behind him and had put a hand on his shoulder.
" Ah Veronica," Challenger said as he spun around, " You startled me." Challenger noticed how Veronica had change dramatically she was so pale, this had indeed affected her deeply.
Veronica gave Challenger a faint smile " You think I should get him?"
" No child, let him be, besides the water is not cold. He'll be alright." Challenger gave her a reassuring smile.
Veronica left Challenger to join Ned who was now sitting by the fire.
" Do you think she's in there? " Veronica asked Malone as she pointed towards the lake.
Malone who was sitting by the fire hadn't notice that Veronica was now sitting next to him and was taken by surprise at this question. He didn't really know, everything pointed towards it, but so far there hadn't been any signs.
" No," Malone said as he studied Veronica's complexions. " You know Marguerite she's probably back at the treehouse wondering where we gone to. You did leave the note did you?" Malone said trying to reassured her that everything was going to be alright.
In fact she had left several notes. " Yes." Veronica said wanting to believe that indeed they had made a big deal out of nothing and perhaps the heiress had taken a wrong turn somewhere along the path and was now indeed waiting for them back at the treehouse.
Just then Roxton came out of the water, his eyes were cast down.
Veronica got up as soon as she saw him and handed him a towel to dry off. Roxton thanked Veronica and proceeded to dry off. Malone got up and handed Roxton his change of clothes, which he accepted. As soon as Roxton change clothes the group headed silently back to the treehouse.
It had been three weeks since Marguerite had disappeared. Roxton mostly had kept to himself, while Malone had spent most of his time working on his journal. Challenger had begun working on different projects which not one of them had he been able to finish. Veronica on the other hand had gone to stay with Assai. Not that they had given up hope of finding Marguerite. In fact they still looked for her.
Veronica had been staying with Assai for two weeks she had try staying at the treehouse but that only brought back painful memories. First she had lost her parents then Summerlee and now Marguerite. She didn't know what the future held for her. Was she to loose Ned too? And what about her parents, was she ever going to find them? She had considered Marguerite almost like a sister, not that they didn't have their differences but the again who didn't? Veronica had looked for Marguerite with the help of the Zanga tribe but they had found nothing. Veronica was about to go for a walk, when she heard Assai calling her.
" Veronica, Mind if I join you?" Assai asked.
" Not at all. " she replied.
They walked around the Village for about half an hour not one of them saying a word. The silence was broken by Assai.
" Veronica are you alright? I noticed that you hardly touched your food?" Assai was worried, she had only seen Veronica like this when her parents had disappeared. She knew how much this was affecting her.
Veronica sighted " I wonder if we're ever going to find her? " she asked herself.
" Listen Veronica, I really shouldn't be talking about this, but I'd heard my people talking about this witch, who lives not far from here, they say that she's a healer, that she can tell the future and the past. Maybe she can help you find Marguerite, there's one problem though my people prohibit anyone from going there. But I'll be willing to show you the way." Assai told Veronica in a hush tone.
Veronica was clearly excited at this news and could not wait to tell the men.
Veronica and Assai made their way to the treehouse. Veronica's pace was fast, she couldn't wait to tell the others that they made had a chance of finding Marguerite. Assai followed Veronica closely behind looking for any signs of trouble, as it was obvious that her young friend had other things in her mind and she was being too careless.
As they came in front of the treehouse, Veronica hesitated for a moment before they went inside the lift.
The lift door open Assai and Veronica stepped out of the lift to find the treehouse empty and in a complete mess, there were dishes every where.
" Where is everybody?" Veronica asked to herself.
Just then she heard someone approaching. It was Ned who was so engrossed in his book that he almost bump into Assai.
" Veronica." was all that Ned could manage to say as he hug the women like he hadn't seen her in years. Ned turned to Assai and gave her the same hearty hug he had given seconds ago to Veronica.
Challenger, who had heard them, appeared almost immediately. " My dear girls, it's so good to see you." Challenger said as he hugged both girls. Veronica felt the same, it had been too long weeks since they had seen each other.
" If we had known you were coming we would have done something about this mess." Challenger said this apologetic.
" So have you come back for good?" Challenger asked.
Veronica tried to avoid the question. " I got some great news concerning Marguerite. "
Another glorious morning for Marguerite, at the time she was sitting down at the park reading a book she had borrow from Gabriel, it was a history book about the people of Ludlow. She had read numerous books hoping to find some way out of her situation. But so far she had found nothing. The past few weeks had gone quickly, the wedding was almost there she thought and her friends nowhere to be seen. Had they already forgotten about her? She hoped no. Out of the corner of her eye she saw two men looking at her, she smiled at them. "God!" she though there isn't one minute where I can be alone. She recalled one week ago where she was able to do whatever she pleased, she had gain their trust, that is until she was caught trying to escape, a very futile attempt. Since then they hadn't let her out of their sight, she had grown quite fond of Gabriel she could not deny that she felt an attraction between them, but she didn't love him not like Roxton she thought. Here I go again, get that man of your head Marguerite Krux, she told herself. Marguerite had another look to see if they were still watching her. But there was no one in sight except for a few people. " Finally," she thought out loud. Marguerite got up from where she was sitting, she felt every muscle in her body ache, she began to stretch out, she let out a few moans as every muscle in her body ache as she had been sitting down for the last 2 hours. She started walking towards the palace.
On her way she was greeted by village people, she smile graciously as she greeted them back, Marguerite still remember her first weeks she had been considered and outsider and nobody had wanted to talk to her but that soon changed. She had befriended a few of the elders, as she needed as much information, she recently had found out about the crystal, which opened the cave, which Gabriel was the guardian of. As far as she knew that was the only way out. Now that she had gained Gabriel's trust once more she can put her plan into action, now the only thing she had to get rid off are those pesky guards that follow her everywhere she went.
As she came to the front of the palace, she stopped for a moment and though about her friends, Her thoughts where abruptly interrupted by Xavier, who was now standing before her grinning like a Cheshire cat. Marguerite tried to disguise her distaste by giving him one of her most seductive smile.
" Marguerite." He said.
" Yes, My Lord" Marguerite replied. God why that this man made her so mad, he was so arrogant, so pretentious, he thinks everyone is beneath him, she though. On her time there she had found out a few things about him, which would explain why he acted the way he, did she had try to talk to him but he didn't trust her enough to open up.
Gabriel snapped at her, " Were have you been? You were meant to be at the dress fitting."
She told him she had forgotten. Fitting yeah right if she had to put that dress once more she was going to rip it into little pieces. Marguerite gave him one of her most gracious smiles. " Now if you'll excuse me my Lord, I'm going to have a bath."
Xavier nodded his approval, and with that Marguerite left.
After Veronica finished telling them about the witch. Everyone had been just as excited as she had. Although Challenger was a bit sceptical at first, he could see how in the plateau there could be such a thing as a witch; after all the others had met a gypsy that could tell the future, or so he had been told. And if there was a small chance of finding her, they would take it.
The group immediately began to make preparations for their journey. Veronica and Assai began by cleaning the kitchen, as it was a complete mess. Malone was making sure they had enough ammunition in case of trouble. While Challenger went to make sure their tents were in good condition.
Roxton made his way up the treehouse. On his way he had caught a small bird, which he though would make a fine dinner. As he exited the lift, he was greeted by Veronica who gave him a big hug.
" Veronica " was all he could say, as he didn't quite expect her to be back so soon. Roxton caught a glimpse of Assai long dark hair, " Marguerite" he though to himself. His face was full of hope, but it all came shattering down when she came round to greet him.
Just then Malone came in; he had a big smile on his face. He was clearly excited about something. " Have you told him the good news." Malone inquired.
Veronica proceeded to tell him about what she had found out. Roxton couldn't believe the good news. The explorers continued making preparations.
All the while Assai had been busy in the kitchen, as she had taken Roxton catch from his hands and had taking the laborious task of making dinner.
A while later Assai came out of the kitchen and told them dinner was ready. Veronica helped Assai serve dinner. Everyone ate in silence. After dinner everyone thanked Assai for the wonderful meal. Assai told them she would see them tomorrow morning, as she had to go. As soon as Assai left everyone went to bed as they had a long day tomorrow and they needed as much rest as possible.
Outside of the treehouse Roxton, Malone, Veronica and Challenger were waiting impatiently for Assai to arrive. As soon as she did they made their way through the jungle only stopping when was necessary.
So far they hadn't encountered any dinosaurs and at the rate they were going Assai had said they would be there by tomorrow afternoon.
As the night came they found the perfect spot to camp. Everyone helped with the tents Assai had said that they were only a few hours from the witch.
Roxton stood watch, as everyone else was asleep. He had offered to take first watch, as he hadn't been able to sleep. Somehow he knew that by the help of the witch, they would find Marguerite. " Witch, " he thought such an impolite word to call a person. Looking at the moon reminded him of how Marguerite's eyes shine, he had spent the past few week looking for her and when he didn't he had spend hours sitting by the lake where she disappeared.
Early next morning Marguerite made her way out of the palace when she was stopped by one of the servants.
" What do you want?" asked Marguerite
" The king wants to see you. " The boy servant informed her.
" Tell him I'm on my way to my dress fitting and I'll see him after I'm done. " Marguerite told the servant who couldn't have been more than twelve years old.
The servant left in a hurry.
Yesterday she had decided to ask the elders which were weary of talking about it. But somehow she had found out that Xavier had been engaged to marry this girl, who he was madly in love with. But it happens that the girl disappeared before the wedding, no one knows what happened to her, and rumours were that he killed her after he caught her with another man.
As she entered the room where she was going to try the dress she though about the plan that tomorrow night she was going to put in action she couldn't wait to put it into action, she had plan it so carefully that it had to work.
That morning the explorers were up early, already they had made so much progress. Assai had informed them that the cave was at the end of the path.
As they approach the cave they saw the witch, she had brown hair like Marguerite, her hair wasn't curly as Marguerite, it was wavy. She wasn't as beautiful as Marguerite but she had this glow that it was hard to describe.
" Not again," she thought she was tired of this people, not that she was tired of helping them. But when were they going to stop calling her a witch? This group of people seemed different from the rest she thought.
Challenger was the first to speak." Excuse me miss we heard that you could help us we our troubles. "
" And what may that might be? She asked.
" We are looking for our friend, she disappeared about three weeks ago and we where told you might be able to find her." Challenger said.
" I'm afraid that I can't help you with that most of the thing they say about me are just tales, if your friend was sick I would be able to help you, but as far as a missing person goes is out of my league. " she told them.
Something about this group of people told her that there was more than meets the eye.
" But maybe perhaps if you tell me what happen I'll be able to help you." She told them.
She invited them in. The cave was very cosy, as she had made a home out of it. There was bed a table a couple of chair and there was a space where she had all kinds of plants and herbs.
She introduces herself. " I'm Adele."
Challenger took it upon his duty to introduce everybody else, " That's Lord John Roxton," said Challenger pointing at Roxton. " Ned Malone, Veronica (who raised her hand as to show who she was), Assai, and I'm Professor George Challenger. "
" Do you care for a drink? " Adele asked the explorers.
" No thanks" Everybody said in unison.
Five minutes later Challenger and the group finish telling her the story.
" So she disappeared by this lake and you say that there's no chance that she might have been abducted." Adele said as she pace the room." I'm afraid I won't be able to help you, now this is a times when I wish I was a witch, I'm sorry to have wasted your time." She said.
" No, thank you for listening to us." Challenger told her. " Now we must really get to the treehouse. Veronica, Assai, Roxton, Malone is time we leave. "
" Ah, yes thank you, " said Malone who had been distracted.
Roxton didn't even said a word he just left the cave with the other following closely behind.
" Did you see her face when we mention the lake she knows something" Roxton told Challenger.
" She's hiding something and one way or another I'm going to find what it is." Roxton told them.
Roxton went inside the cave with the rest of the group following him.
" I know you're hiding something " Roxton told her.
" I don't know what you're talking about, please leave." She told them with tears in her eyes.
" We obviously have upset her, maybe it's time we leave." Challenger told the explorers.
The group left the cave. Assai told them how sorry she was that she had brought them all the way out here for nothing. The explorers assured Assai that she had meant well.
Halfway back to the treehouse Roxton heard a noise, he motioned for the other to be quite while he scan the area. Just then a couple of bushes moved to make way for Adele who had been following them for last few hours. Roxton aimed his rifle at the figure who was making its way to them.
Adele appear before them and spoke," You were right I was not telling you the truth you see about a hundred years ago I escape from my city, the city of Ludlow. The lake of which you spoke it's the lake that leads to my city, it's possible Marguerite may have found the cave, which leads into the city, and once she's there she won't be allowed to leave. But I don't see how that's possible as the only way in is with the crystal. " Adele said as she took the crystal out.
" What's so especial about the crystal? " Asked Challenger.
" It opens the cave entrance, which leads to the city." Said Adele.
" What are we waiting for." Said Roxton clearly eager to begin their search, he knew Marguerite had to be there, that would be the logical explanation.
Nigh time was approaching, the explorers hadn't had any rest since they set out to the lake.
" How much further," asked Challenger as he was obviously was tired.
" Just ten more minutes, old boy. " Roxton assured Challenger. Once they were there they would rest a while before going in.
Assai stopped and told the explorers that it was time for her to leave, as Jarl must be getting worried about her as he had expected her to be back that afternoon.
The explorers said their thank you to Assai and the young women made her way back to her tribe.
Marguerite sat down in from of the mirror getting ready, tonight was the night where she was going to make a run for it. Marguerite stood up to reveal the most revealing dress. The dress was white, long and flowing, at the sides of the dress there were two long slits, Marguerite made her way to the dining room. Not before checking herself on one of the various mirrors that adorned the hallways. As she entered the room, a man dressed in a bright coloured robe showed her to her seat, which was besides Xavier. As she walked towards her seat, the entire room turned to admire her.
By the end of the night I'll have him eating out of my hand, She thought. Marguerite spent most of the night trying to gain Xavier attention, but he did not appear interested. Though Gabriel beside her appeared jealous of her attention to the king.
Marguerite though she could use this to her advantage, after all it was Gabriel that possessed the crystal that would get out of here and to her friends.
" Gabriel," Marguerite said in her most seductive voice." I am very tired, would you mind escorting me back to my chambers, after all tomorrow is a big day, I want to look my best, a girl only has this opportunity once in her life"
" It will be my pleasure Marguerite." Gabriel replied, pleased to know that she had not forgotten about him, as she had barely said a word to him all evening.
As soon as they reached Marguerites door, she put her plan into action, she hoped that Gabriel would understand what she had to do.
" Gabriel, you wouldn't mind coming in for a while, I have a terrible headache and I am sure that tea you make will help me sleep soundly." Marguerite said with as much sincerity as she could. She knew that Gabriel had been trained to notice any subtle changes in ones voice and could easily spot deception, but if she was right and his affection for her had increased since their first meeting, he could be easily deceived.
" Of course." Gabriel replied, with his face lightening up, being pleased that she had chosen him to help her and not one of the many servants in the palace.
Gabriel set to work, putting various herbs and leaves to boil, while Marguerite mused around him, smiling and showing great interest in his works, In truth Marguerite was very interested in Gabriel abilities as healer, he was always happy to help others. It was one of his best qualities, for a minute Marguerite felt a pang of remorse, she didn't want toy with his feelings for her, but it couldn't be helped, she needed to get back to her friends, back to Roxton.
After a few minutes Gabriel faced her with the cup in his hand, he handed it to her, their hands touched, Marguerite let her hands linger on his, and noticed the slight blush in Gabriel's cheek.
She drank the strange liquid slowly and then placed it at the small table were it had been made, she faced Gabriel once more, and feeling confident that he had been fooled, brought her hand to his face and leaned in for a kiss.
Gabriel could taste the tea he had given her on her lips, and he deepened the kiss. Marguerite ended the kiss, hoping that in Gabriel's confusion she could put her plan into action, but as she reached for the vase, she felt an explosion in her head, and her body weakened. She glanced at Gabriel once more; he now had a sad expression on his face.
" I'm sorry Marguerite." he whispered
Marguerite closed her eyes and dropped to the ground.
Adele and the explorers finally arrived at the lake, the explorers finally had a chance to rest and eat. An hour later the explorers where ready to begin their search.
" The cave can only be opened with the power of the Crystabium crystal," said Adele as she took the crystal out of her pouch, she submerged in the cold water and opened the cave's entrance. She came out of the lake and she signalled the others to come in. Soon they were all making their way inside the cave.
Seconds later they were all standing at the other side of the cave.
" That's the holy temple of Ludlow" Adele said pointing to a small building, The city is further away, you shouldn't have any problems entering the temple, only the Guardian, seer of the people of Ludlow guards it, If anyone knows were Marguerite is, he is the one"
" You are not coming with us?" challenger pointed out.
" No, it's best that I stay here," said Adele, obviously unwilling to tell them her reasons.
Roxton though it was best to split up. He and Veronica will go and explore the village to see how secure it was. While Challenger and Malone will go inside the temple and see what they would find out.
Both of the groups headed in different directions. Ned and Challenger made their way to the temple. As soon as they were in they started looking for anything of importance as far as they could see the place was empty. Challenger and Malone made their way inside a room. As soon as they were in Malone heard footsteps he signal Challenger to stay put, two men made their way down the corridor.
Malone hid himself behind the door while Challenger hid himself behind a curtain.
" The wedding must go on without a hitch." Gabriel told the guards as he entered the room.
Both of the guards nodded in agreement.
" And one more thing, I want you to double security around the palace. And let me make myself clear once more, No one is allowed to go into Marguerite's room without my permission." Gabriel told them with the sternest voice he had.
Gabriel and both of the guards left the room.
As soon as it was safe Challenger and Malone came out of their hiding. They were shocked by the news, but relieved to find out that Marguerite was alive.
The minute the stepped out of the temple's entrance, Malone and Challenger were caught by two guards, each of them with spear pointed at their throats, Malone and Challenger could do nothing but surrender.
Roxton and Veronica where waiting for Malone and Challenger at the end of the cave. They had just returned from surveying the city, there wasn't many people around so it was easy for them to have a look.
" Where did you get these?" Roxton said as he pointed to the clothes that Veronica was now holding.
" I borrowed them from someone's washing line." Veronica said handing him some clothes. " Now will be able to fit right in." Veronica said as she headed down to some nearby bushes to change herself.
" Where are they?" Roxton asked as he came out of the bush, dress in a long sleeved light blue shirt and some khaki coloured trousers.
" About time. We were beginning to worry," said Roxton as he saw a glimpse of Malone.
" So what did you find out?" Roxton asked.
" Malone?" Veronica yelled when Malone did not answer." Challenger?" She immediately fell something was wrong.
Roxton drew his rifle while Veronica took out one of her knives.
" I wouldn't do that if I were you." A voice warned them.
Malone and Challenger finally came into view their hands were tied, behind each man stood a man with spears pointing at their throats. Gabriel walked behind them, follow by three more guards.
" Drop your weapon if you want your friends to live." Gabriel warned them.
Roxton and Veronica had no choice so they did as they were told.
Gabriel told them he was sorry to do this but the wedding must go to plan.
" What wedding?" Roxton asked.
" Why the wedding of our King Xavier, he is to marry Miss Marguerite Krux." Said Gabriel.
Roxton had a look of utter shock. Veronica was equally perplexed.
Soon they were walking along the city; there was hardly anyone around the street except a couple drunks. Roxton and Veronica explored their surroundings in case they needed to make a quick getaway. Just then they came in front of a palace. That must be were Marguerite was staying Roxton made a note to himself.
They walked a while more and soon they made their way inside a building where they were escorted to their cells.
" Don't worry after the wedding is over you will be allowed to leave." Gabriel said to them. Not that anyone was allowed to leave but he was willing to make an exception, as these were Marguerite's friends.
Meanwhile Adele had seen everything when they had capture the men, she hadn't been able to help them by now the other must had been capture. She decided to go into the city to see what she could do to help them. She cautiously made her way to the city. She thanked God it was dark and no one could recognise her. She came to a stop at the prison that was heavily guarded. Seeing as she had no chance of helping them, she thought she would try her luck, she would find Marguerite, herself.
She had to enter the palace but that was near as impossible as entering the prison, she had an idea she would entered the palace as a maid.
She gathered all her courage and she approached the guards at the gate.
" Where do you think you are going?" asked the guard.
" I work here, my mother been sick and I've been tending to her all week. Now that she's better I'm to work "
The guards had some compassion and decide to let her in.
" That was easy." she though. She soon was making her way inside the palace, she had changed her clothes to that of the staff, and she was wearing a white robe. Now to find Marguerite's room she though well that should be easy the room with the most guards she thought.
After ten minutes of going in and out of corridors she found it. Sure enough there were two guards by the side of the door. She passed by them both of them were fully awake. Seeing as she had no chance of going in she went back to the kitchen where she would fixed something to knocked them down for a while.
Next Morning: Marguerite's room.
" How I'm going to get dress with these people making a fuss." Marguerite complained.
Gabriel gestured to the servants for them to leave.
Gabriel said as he approach Marguerite " Is that better."
" Much." Marguerite felt uncomfortable as he got nearer.
" Marguerite about last night." Gabriel started.
Marguerite was very nervous as he walked around the room, almost as she was hiding something.
" Is something the matter?" he asked.
" It's getting late and I really don't have much time to get ready." Marguerite said.
" What's brought this change?" Gabriel asked surprised.
" I just had time to think things over." Marguerite said as she held the dress in front of her. " Besides I really have nothing to loose. And now if you'll excuse me I need to get ready."
" If there's anything you need don't hesitate to ask." Gabriel said as he made his way out.
Marguerite gave a sigh of relief.
The ceremony was in the palace gardens; there were hundreds of guests waiting impatiently for the bride to make her entrance.
The King, like the rest waited, each minute to him appeared to lengthen. Gabriel stood next to him, He was dressed in long white robe, and a single gold flower adorned his garments, The gold flower was the symbol, which represented the church and royalty.
" Your Majesty, your bride will be here promptly, do not worry." Gabriel said trying to reassure his King. Yet the simple words he had to utter, hurt him, he could not bear that he was the one that would bound Marguerite and Xavier together for life."
As the minutes passed by slowly, The crowd grew more impatient, just as the King was about to send one of his guards to find Marguerite, Trumpets were heard, clearly announcing the birth of a new royal.
The bride wearing a long laced white dress and a veil, made her way to the altar, soft music played in the background. Most of the guest stood up to see their new queen but to their disappointment she was wearing a very thick veil which prevented them to see he face, the dress was stunning and she looked absolute gorgeous.
As soon as she was standing next to the groom the ceremony began.
The group of explorers had just finished having breakfast, Roxton had hardly said a word since they been capture, most of the night they had been studying the guards, last night there had been about 5 guards walking the prison grounds, but today there only seemed to be two. Must be all the wedding preparations, thought Roxton. He could not imagine Marguerite marrying any man but him, he regretted that he had no time to tell her how he felt about her, how he love her.
Veronica sat down on the opposite cell, she was not alone there were about five women in the cell. These women gave her the creeps, some of them were obviously prostitutes and the rest she didn't even wanted to know what they had done to be in this situation.
Along the prison corridor two guards came into view, the tall one was pushing a woman wearing a dark cloak and a white robe.
" No," a burly guard shouted. " This witch is to be put in solitary confinement."
The two guards did as they were told and soon they disappeared out of view.
" Hey! " Roxton shouted at the guards. " We need helped one of our friends is seriously ill. "
Challenger was on the floor having convulsions, the food he had been eating was splatter all over him and on the floor.
The two guards came immediately but they just stood there doing nothing.
Malone seeing this shouted, " Don't just stand there, do something."
One of the guard took out his keys and as he opened the door Roxton kick the door in his face and he fell unconscious, Challenger who had seconds ago been on the floor was now standing next to Malone ready for some action. Meanwhile Roxton had punched the other guard down and was now tossing the keys to Malone. Malone went to Veronica's cell and started trying keys, Challenger and Roxton were busy dragging the two guards into the cell.
" Malone get me out of here. " Veronica yelled.
" Got it, " Malone said as he found the key. As Veronica came out the other ladies were trying to come out. Malone with the help from Veronica managed to shut the door.
" Sorry Ladies," Malone said.
" Hey what's going on in h-" was all that the burly guard managed to say as Roxton broke a chair on the guard's head.
" I guess we better put him in there with the other. " Malone said
" Right, " Challenger agreed.
Having just collected their guns Malone, Challenger, Veronica and Roxton made their way out of the prison.
" Which way." asked Malone as he stood outside not knowing where to go.
Roxton and Veronica led the group towards the palace. Challenger had a hard time keeping up with his young friends. Soon they were standing in front of the palace gates. Which no one seemed to be guarding. They had no problem going in.
" There." Veronica said as she pointed towards the garden that now was covered by hundreds of guests.
Roxton, Veronica, Challenger and Malone made their way to the wedding. Soon they were standing in front of the ceremony. There were hundreds of guests before them but it was enough for them to hear the priest proclaiming them husband and wife.
" I now pronounce you husband and Wife." Gabriel said.
Roxton stood there not quite believing they hadn't made it in time. He wanted to scream her name. But he chose to stay silent for the sake of the group. He loved her, he had never met a woman quite like her, and here he was unable to do something. How can he let Marguerite down? He didn't know what to do.
Malone, Challenger, Veronica had the same expressions on their faces, the look of utter shock. They stood there not quite believing that they hadn't made it in time.
" I would have looked great in that gown." Marguerite said, as she removed the cloak she was wearing. She had been siting a few meters away from them. She had seen the look of astonishment in everyone's faces and she had though after all this they had still been looking for her. Adele had told her that they had been captured, she had gone to look for them, but the only thing she found where the guards knock out cold in their cell.
Challenger, Malone, Roxton and Veronica turned around abruptly at the sound of Marguerite's voice.
" What the hell?" was all that Roxton could say.
" Why Lord Roxton is that a way to talk to a lady?" Marguerite asked jokingly.
Veronica was the first to react by hugging the woman they had though they had lost. Marguerite returned the hug. Both of the women had tears in their eyes, which Marguerite immediately wiped them away. Marguerite hugged Challenger, Malone and Roxton, who practically squeezed Marguerite life out of her.
" If you're here, then who's that? " Malone asked as he pointed towards the happy couple.
" Oh that's along story, " said Marguerite as she heard the most famous line.
" You may kiss the bride." Gabriel said.
Xavier leans in to take her veil off he slowly remove it to reveal Adele. The crowd was as surprise as he was.
"Adele?" asked a puzzled king.
" Yes, it's me, " Adele said with tears in her eyes.
Xavier who couldn't contain himself any longer kissed Adele, a long hard kiss.
The crowd sheered with excitement.
" I thought you were dead," was all that he could manage to say.
Gabriel who had been watching this in disbelief finally said, " Where's Marguerite?"
Marguerite and the rest of the explorers made their way to the happy couple.
" These are the people who made it all possible," Adele said.
" I want to thank you for bringing Adele and me together again." Xavier said with tears in his eyes.
" You will stay for the banquet? As you will be our honoured guests." Asked
" Since when has Lord Roxton said no to free food. " Marguerite commented giving the group a big smile.
The whole group bursts into laughter, even Roxton couldn't helped himself but smirk at that comment, Yes it was good to have Marguerite back.
Continued in "The Wedding Banquet."