Little John was the first to awake. He sat up slowly, remembering what had happened when he got up too quickly last night. If it hadn't been for Robin, Tuck, and Jacobi, he would have fallen flat on his face. The three men had balanced him, then set him in a chair. The monster headache that went with the darts had overwhelmed the blond man.
He looked around. Kemal was on his right, Robin, and Tuck on his left. He looked to his right to see if Marion was awake. She wasn't. He slowly got to his feet, looking over at Jacobi and Elizabeth. Jacobi had his arms wrapped protectively around his wife. Their faces, even in sleep, looked grief-stricken. This tore at the gentle giants heart. He made his way outside, determined to find the tracks of those who took Jacob and Ellie.
He came back a couple of hours later to find everyone was up and eating. Elizabeth handed him a plate, but John just shook his head.
" No thank you. I’m not very hungry."
Elizabeth gave him a disapproving look, then said jokingly " I never thought I would see the day when Little John, then human eating machine, would pass up a meal."
The others just grinned at him. He gave her an apologetic look and sat down a the table, where she sat the plate.
" I know your upset, Little John, but you have to eat. We have a long journey a head and I don't want you passing out on us half way there. "
With that, she gave him a kiss and told him to eat. He smiled at her and started to gobble his food. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was till he started to eat. Everyone watched him eat in wonder. In no more then two minutes, he had his plate empty. He looked at it wondering where all the food went, when Elizabeth started to fill it up again. He gave her a thank you grin and went on eating.
Elizabeth excuse herself and went to get changed in a room she used as storage. She walked over to the back of the room where an unusually long trunk was and opened it. Jacobi didn’t even know about this trunk and if he had ever seen it, never asked her about it. Looking at the contents, she couldn't believe she was about to put on things she hadn't worn in 10 years.
Little John was just finishing up his third plate, when he looked up. His jaw dropped at the delight of Elizabeth. Standing before him and the others, was not the healer they all knew and loved, but a full-fledged Amazon Warrior.
Elisabeth was dress all in brown and blue leather. Her ornamental top was a V-neck, halter style that came to about her midriff. The leather pants, which had blue and brown colored fringes going all the way down her legs, looked like a second skin. The leather boots she wore came to about mid-calf and in the side of each, was a dagger. She carried with her a sword, bow and a quiver filled with blue feathered arrows, gauntlets and a jacket. Wrapped around her head was a piece of ornate leather, with strands, in blue and brown that extended down to her waist. Those strands were braided in with her hair.
To all in the room, she looked impressive and dangerous at the same time.
" THAT'S IT!!" Yelled Kemal.
Everyone looked over at him in shock.
" The think I couldn't remember. I saw an Amazon before I blacked out. The little red head that was at the palace."
"Caroline?" Jacobi offered.
" That’s her....how could I have forgotten."
" Mother." was followed by language that made Little John blush.
" I'm sorry." she apologized " I should have know. If she couldn't have me, she would have my children. How could she do this to me! "
She shoved her gauntlets on and asked Marion to tie them for her. She had to think. Where would they take her children and why did they take Jacob. Ellie she could under stand, but not Jacob. Was her mother really that angry with her, that she would do something so vile as to steal both of her children?
When Marion was finished, Elizabeth started to give orders for the trip.
" Tuck, there are two satchels in the back room that I filled up with food and stuff, would you go back and get them? Can you also check to make sure I remembered everything?"
" Yes. Little John, you want to come and help?" asked Tuck.
Little John still couldn't stop staring at Elizabeth, as he nodded at Tuck and followed him into the storeroom.
" Robin....Kemal, will you go out and saddle up the horses?"
They both shook their heads and headed out the door.
" Marion will you help me clean up? " she asked.
" Sure. " Marion said gratefully.
Elizabeth then looked at her shocked husband. She went over to him and kissed him.
" When were you going to tell me? " he asked, looking hurt.
" I was hoping I would never have to tell you. It’s a part of my life that wasn't all that pleasant."
She gave him a wide grin.
" What were you expecting. I am an amazon. " With that he gave her a smile and a hug.
" I love you." he told her.
" I love you too. Now. " She said, breaking off the embrace, " Go and fill our pouches with everything you can, while I help Marion. Ok?"
Jacobi nodded and went to the shelves that housed their herbs and potions and started to fill their healing pouches.
Little John and Tuck came out of the storeroom with the satchels and took them out to Kemal and Robin to put on the horses. Jacobi finished up the pouches and put them on the table, then went to help Marion and Elizabeth finish up.
When done, Elizabeth belted the healers pouch around her waist, the strapped on her sword, the quiver of arrows and the bow. She looked around the home that had been the cause of joy for the last three years. It was empty and quiet. She would rectify that problem if it took her the rest of her life to do it.
She reached for Jacobi's ever-present hand and looked up at him.
" Let’s go get our children shall we?" she asked him.
" Yes dear." and they walked out the door.
The others were already mounted on their horses, when the two came out the door.
" Well, where are we going?" Asked Robin.
" The tracks head south...." began Little John.
" No Little John " Elizabeth interrupted him, " they are not heading south. As good as a tracker you are, the amazons are better." she said mounting her horse, " I know exactly where they are headed. Were off to London."
" Makes sense. " Said Kemal.
" Yes, it would, wouldn't it. It's not that simple Kemal. If the Amazons have Jacob and Ellie, they will take them there first, then somewhere else. We have to find out where they are taking them and where mother is."
She rode up to Little John and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder.
" Don’t worry Little John. If the Amazons don't want to be found, they won't be. We have been trained that way and we know ways of hiding our tracks that you don't."
He nodded and urged his mount forward.
They were on their way. To where.......That was the big question.
They rode into London 4 days later in, and headed to the palace. The guards would not let them in, so Elizabeth did what she had to. She back handed one guard and took her staff, then hit the other with it. The first guard then drew her sword and tired to hit her, but Elizabeth just fended off the blow with the staff, spun around and hit the first guard with it, knocking the guard unconscious.
" Follow me." she said to the others as the stared in shock.
They followed her in to the palace, none helping her as she fought her way through the guard, using only the staff. Most stepped aside, veterans that knew her, and let her and the others pass. When they got to the thrown room, several amazons were standing ready for her. A tall blond warrior standing at the lead.
" Move out of the way, Virginia. I don't want to hurt you or the others. You know what I can do. We trained together. Be sensible."
Elizabeth really didn't want to hurt anyone, but would if she had to.
" I can't Elizabeth." said Virginia, drawing her sword at the same time. " I have to protect the queen in anyway I can. Even against you."
With that she lunged for her. Elizabeth paired the blow with the staff and she hit Virginia in the back with it. The others stayed out of the way, making sure that the two had plenty of le-way. Virginia attacked again, the blow of the sword taking off one end of the staff and her fist getting contact with Elizabeth’s chin. Elizabeth spun around and backhanded Virginia, causing her to fly against the wall.
Virginia shook her head, her ears ringing from Elizabeth’s blow. She then lunged again. Elizabeth had no choice, and drew her sword. The two locked swords and began a wrestling match. They where moving past the others, when Elizabeth kneed Virginia in the stomach and unlocked the swords.
Little John all of a sudden asked" Well are we going to let them fight or stop them?", when he felt a stinging in his backside. Elizabeth had hit him in the backside with her sword.
" You just going to stand there or are you going to get the door? " She asked, taking a hit on the cheek for it.
The blow had flung her in to the wall and she hit it hard, loosing her breath and scraping her elbow. Virginia wouldn't give up as she kept going after Elizabeth. The others went to the thrown room doors and quickly unarmed the guard. They stood and watched as Elizabeth took a knee to the stomach. Jacobi tried to help, but was restrained by Robin and Kemal.
" She has to do this. Not us." Marion said. " Its part of the Amazon way. They will respect her and do as she says when she defeats Virginia. They will know not to mess with her."
Jacobi shook his head as he watched his wife get hit again, knocking her to the floor. They all started to get worried when they didn't see her get up right away. Virginia, confident that she had won, moved over to her unconscious form. She bent over Elizabeth to make sure she was still breathing, when Elizabeth had shot out and grabbed Virginia by the throat. Virginia surprised by the attack, dropped her sword, and grabbed Elizabeth’s arm, trying to remove her hand from around her neck.
Elizabeth slowly got up and in a move that no one had seen before, brought Virginia toward her, while at the same time, punching Virginia in the chin. The force of the move, knocked her out cold and sent her about four feet down the corridor.
Elizabeth put her back on the wall and bent over with her hands on her knees, trying to regain her breath. Jacobi went to his wife, retrieving her sword at the same time and sheathing it for her. She had blood on her elbow and chin.
Giving her husband a tired grin, " I’m all right. I’m gonna be sore for a few days, but I'm alright." then grimacing, said, " Now I remember why I became a healer! "
" We should tend to your wounds....." he started.
" Not yet. I can wait. First we deal with mother, then me." She said.
She stood up and moved towards the door.
" What are we gonna do with her?" asked Robin, indicating the unconscious form of Virginia.
" Tie her up. I have a feeling that mother isn't here and she may know where she went."
Robin nodded, then went to tie Virginia's hands in the front, and left her lying there. Tuck stayed to made sure that Virginia was all right and guard her.
Elizabeth walked into the thrown room, with Jacobi at her side. She wasn't surprised to see that Caroline was sitting on the thrown.
" Where’s mother. "
" I can't tell you that. " said Caroline.
" Do we have to do this? " Elizabeth asked in an exasperated tone.
" I don't know what your talking about. " said Caroline, defiantly, crossing her arms over her chest.
Leveling a gaze at her, " Well if you’re going to act like a two year old, you’re going to be treated like one. Kemal, will you please get Caroline and tie her up?"
" Yes ma’am." he said with a smile on his face, rubbing his hands together.
Caroline looked like she was going to fight, but the look on Kemals face made her think otherwise. He tied her hands, then took her by the elbow, and led her down towards the others.
Robin looked out at of the windows and noticed that it was getting dark.
" Well, its getting dark out there. Why don't we wait and get something to eat and get some rest. " Looking at Elizabeth, " and you need to have that elbow looked at."
" Your right. Kemal? Little John? Lock Virginia and Caroline up in one of the rooms. The Amazons will follow my orders now, so they will stand guard."
" Are you sure? I mean, you’re not really the queen or the leader or the captain of the guard. Why would they listen to you?" asked Little John.
" By me beating Virginia and capturing Caroline, I have established my right as the Amazon Leader." Everyone looked at her confused, except Marion.
" When a Amazon challenges another Amazon it is usually for a position. If you want to become Leader, you must challenge the leaders champion. Virginia was Caroline's champion. Elizabeth win over Virginia made her Leader." Marion explained.
" Even tho she really doesn't want the position?" Asked Robin.
" Even If I don't want the position, its mine now and I plan on taking full advantage of it" Elizabeth said.
They were all led to rooms, Jacobi and Elizabeth getting the queens own rooms. Food was brought up and left with them. Jacobi cleaned his wife up and fed her.
"Elizabeth? Why didn't you use pressure points on Virginia? " He asked.
She looked up at her husband and laid her hand on his cheek. " In a fight, such as this, any knowledge that Virginia didn't have would have been deemed cheating." She said, giving him a kiss. " It wouldn't have been a fair fight if I had used any of my healer's knowledge. "
" Your right, as usual." he said with a smile, then laid her on the bed where she fell fast asleep. He looked lovingly at his sleeping wife, brushing away a stray hair. The bruises were starting to show up on her cheek and chin now.
He got up off the bed and decided to take a look around the ornate room. In all his life, he only dreamed of seeing and stealing some of these riches. Stealing. That thought brought a chuckle out of him. That part of his life was over and he was grateful to Elizabeth for that.
He was looking at the contents of the dresser, when he noticed a large carved box. He opened it and inside found a bone necklace. Why or what would a queen want with a bone necklace? He put it back and shut the lid. All of a sudden, he was tired. Very tired.
He didn't realize how tired until, he wrapped his wife in his arms and fell fast asleep.
End of Chapter Two
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Three / Chapter Four
Chapter Five / Chapter Six / Chapter Seven / Chapter Eight
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