Two weeks later...
"Trust me, Jestro; you're going to love this."
Jestro wanted to give Clay a suspicious glare, but he was blindfolded and could not see a thing. It had been two whole weeks since Clay lifted the curse and returned Jestro and his family to human form. Despite how rocky their relationship was when they first met a few days prior, they really hit it off. For a long time, Jestro did not think love was real while he was under the curses' influence. But he quickly changed his opinion when he got to know Clay. Even the knight admitted that the feelings he had for Jestro were surprising for him; but he did not care. His heart wanted what it wanted. He kissed the jester without thinking, so it must be for real.
Earlier that day, Clay told Jestro to put on some clothes that he could go out in. Nothing fancy, just anything that he felt comfortable in. Jestro decided to wear a pair of clothes that Whiparella made for him after the curse was lifted. It was a light blue and purple striped outfit with a hood that resembled a jesters' hat; similar to the one he wore when he was younger. Jestro asked Clay were they were going, but the knight said it was a surprise. He wasn't sure, but his family looked like they were in on it as well. Then Clay asked him to put a blindfold on. Jestro knew they going somewhere far because Clay put him into what he suspected was a carriage.
Jestro could hear the quiet giggles of Lavaria and Whiparella, and the snickering of Moltor and Flama and Book Keepers' mischievous laughter.
"I haven't been outside in a long time." Jestro spoke nervously.
"We all haven't, master." He heard Magmars' voice.
"But this will be fun." He heard Lavaria speak to him with a smile in her voice.
"Cause your boyfriend is taking you ou-"
Jestro heard Moltor being silenced.
"Don't ruin it for him!" He heard Flama whisper in an angry tone.
Jestro had no idea what his peers were talking about, but he felt someone gently grab his hand.
"I can't tell you what the surprise is, Jestro. But I guarantee that you'll love it." He heard Clays voice reassuring him.
Jestro quietly sighed to himself; knowing he would just have to wait for this surprise that Clay had planned.
After what seemed like forever, Jestro felt the carriage come to a gentle stop.
"We're here!" He heard a robotic voice announce.
"Thank you, Kyle." Clay spoke in a happy tone.
Jestro felt the carriage shaking as everyone got off. He felt Clay taking his hand and slowly lead him out of the carriage. The jesters ears perked up as he heard music and joyful laughter, and the smell of different kinds of food hit him.
"I'm going to take the blindfold off now. You ready for the surprise, Jestro?" Clay spoke in anticipation.
Jestro nodded. Sight returned to him as Clay took off the black blindfold. Jestro covered his mouth as he gasped at the sight in front of him. Groups of people were walking and running around with smiles on their faces. Different stands were selling food and putting on games like ring toss and test your strength. He could even see a Farris wheel in the distance. Everyone watched as Jestro took his hands away to reveal an excited smile.
"What is this?" The jester asked excitedly.
"Remember that festival I told you about the other day?" Clay asked with a smile.
"Clay wanted to show you how great and fun it is." Burnzie said as he jumped off the top of the carriage.
Jestro looked at Clay and raised an eyebrow at him.
"Was everyone in on this?" He asked with a laugh.
All of Jestros' family nodded. Magmar stepped and asked for everyones' attention.
"Alright, I know how excited you all are to participate; but let's just go over some-"
Everyone ignored Magmar and ran past him to the festival. Whiparella and Lavaria smiled as they walked past hand in hand.
"Just go with it and have fun, Magmar." The former snake woman spoke with a smile.
Magmar watched his colleagues walk away and sighed in tired frustration before following them. Clay took Jestros' hand as he smiled at him. Jestro returned a smile at Clay as they started walking together. Clay noticed that Jestro was looking at everything around him with a big grin on his face.
"If you think this is great, wait until you see the big fireworks show." The knight said with a smile.
"I could always hear them from the castle every year." Jestro remembered as he looked around. "I'll finally be able see them up close."
Clay felt his heart warm up as Jestro looked around like a child going to a carnival for the first time.
Clay looked forward to see the Knights waving at him and coming towards him. Robin and Ava were with them too.
"You all made it!" Clay greeted back with a smile.
"Well there's no way we could miss the fireworks." Aaron said as he came up and hugged his friend.
Macy looked at Jestro with a friendly smile.
"How are you Jestro? Feeling great to be human again?" The princess knight asked kindly.
"Yes. It's wonderful." Jestro spoke shyly as his cheeks turned pink.
Jestro looked over to see something that caught his interest. With a child-like stare, he let go of Clays hand wondered over to get a closer look.
"I'll be right here, Jess!" The knight called out to his love.
Axl took a bite out of some cotton candy he had.
"You too are really hitting it off." The large knight spoke with a mouthful of cotton candy.
Clay nodded in agreement. For the past two weeks, he had been helping Jestro get his life back on track along with his family. On some days and nights, Clay would stay over at castle when he wasn't on duty and hang out with him; even staying overnight on some days. But this was the first time Jestro and his family went outside the castle since the curse. Lance looked at Clay with a mischievous looking smile.
"What?" Clay questioned in confusion.
"So, how close are you and jester man?" The rich knight asked with a raised eyebrow and gave Clay a grin.
"C'mon, Lance; leave him alone." Axl said before eating more cotton candy.
"If you must know, we're going to take things slow for now." Clay crossed his arms. "But... I'm thinking of asking if Jestro and his family want to come live in Knighton."
"You're gonna ask him to move in with you?" Robin asked with a smile.
"If he wants to." Clay answered back.
"That's sounds a bit difficult. With him having a big family, where would they live?" Axl pondered as he finished his cotton candy.
"We can help them build a house and Jestro can live with Clay." Ava suggested.
Clay thought about it.
"Maybe. But I'm not going to ask him just yet." The blue knight answered back.
Before anyone could talk again, a familiar voice came up from behind.
"Why hello there, everyone."
Everyone turned and smiled as Merlok came over. Clay ran up and hugged the wizard.
"It's good to see you, Merlok." Clay greeted as he broke away.
"Glad to see you could make it, Clay." The wizard greeted back. "What is everyone talking about?"
"We were just listening to Clay talk about his boyfriend." Lance teased; making Clay glare at him.
"C'mon man, don't be like that. They're serious about each other." Aaron defended the blue knight.
Merlok lightly chuckled as the Knights spoke to each other.
"I was actually hoping I could talk to you for a minute, Clay." The wizard answered back.
The Knights got the message and walked off to enjoy the festival.
"I'm gonna win a stuffed animal for you, Ava!" Robin exclaimed excitedly as he and his friend walked.
"You really don't have to, Robin." Ava replied with small smile.
When everyone wondered away, Clay listened as Merlok began talking to him.
"I must say, Clay; I'm very proud of you." The wizard smiled under his long beard. "You did a very brave and good for Jestro."
Clay blinked and looked over in Jestros' direction he saw the jester playing one of the carnival games that involved throwing darts and popping balloons.
"Even though I wasn't sure what it was, I could sense his pain and sorrow." Merlok continued. "You really helped him."
Clay turned to face Merlok, but his expression saddened a bit.
"Clay, what's wrong?" The wizard asked in concern.
Clay hesitated a bit before he answered.
"I know what happened to my parents."
Merlok went silent and still as Clay explained.
"Jestro took me to their house. We saw a doctors' mask on the floor."
Clay looked up at the wizard.
"I think I know how they died. But, will you please tell me what happened?"
Merlok looked down at the grass beneath him as he tried to answer.
"Your parents were good people, Clay." He began. "They didn't deserve to die the way they did. Not a day goes by where I don't think about how they begged me to take you somewhere safe and away from the sickness that took them."
Clay looked down at the ground as Merlok continued to explain.
"I know how hard this is for you, Clay. But, I'm certain that your parents would be very proud of you and what you are now."
Clay looked up from the ground and stared at Merlok with sad eyes. But the Knight lightly sighed and gave the wizard a small smile.
"I'm grateful for everything you've done for me, Merlok." Clay spoke softly; tearing up a bit.
Clay pulled the wizard into a hug. Merlok hugged back as Clay spoke some more.
"That's alright, Clay." Merlok answered back.
Clay broke away from the wizard and wiped his eyes dry. Merlok smiled under his beard.
"The fireworks will start in a few minutes. You should take Jestro and find a good place to watch." He advised the knight.
Clay smiled a bit.
"Guess we should. I'll see you later."
"Enjoy the show." Merlok waved goodbye as he walked off.
Clay waved goodbye before turning to Jestros' direction
"Hey, Jestro! The fireworks are going to start soon!" The knight called out.
Jestro turned around with a big polar bear toy that he won in his arms. The jester smiled at his love.
"Coming!" He called out.
Jestro quickly made his way over to Clay. But he accidently ran into someone. Jestro stopped and looked to see an elderly looking person standing there with a cloak on; covering their face.
"I'm sorry." Jestro apologised; thinking he hurt the person.
The elderly person turned his head to Jestro.
"It's fine. Enjoy your evening."
Jestro watched as the elderly person walked away. He wasn't sure how, but he felt a chill go up his spine when that man spoke in a deep voice.
Jestro looked up to see Clay standing there; smiling at him and holding his hand out.
"Ready to go?" The knight asked.
Jestro snapped back to reality and nodded. He grabbed Clays hand and followed him so they could watch the fireworks together. On the way, they walked past the king and queen watching Roberto working on some statues. Clay and Jestro stopped and watched as the royal couple spoke to the sculptor.
"You've certainly improved your artistry since we last saw you, Roberto." The queen complimented as the artist continued his work. "We're looking forward to having you back at the castle."
"Oh your kindness makes my heart skip a beat, your majesty." Roberto thanked as he smiled.
The king looked at the statue in front of him with a confused look. It looked a bit like the evil necromancer, but more monstrous, misshapen and surreal.
"Just what do you plan on calling this... art piece?" His majesty asked hesitantly.
Roberto put his tools down and thought for a moment.
"I think I shall call it, oppression." He answered with glare in his tone.
Her majesty smiled in approval while the king gave the artist a rather forced and nervous grin. Clay and Jestro both chuckled a little as they continued their way. After a minute, they found a nice spot in the grass surrounded by other groups of sitting people and sat down.
"Merlok said the fireworks should start any minute now." Clay said as he sat down.
Jestro held his prize tightly as he eagerly waited. Clay stared at Jestro as he thought of that moment where he met him briefly years ago. He found it hard to believe that the nervous and shy boy that dropped his shopping on the ground basically saved the kingdom. But it made his insides turn cold when he remembered that was the reason he got cursed. Clay played with his knuckles as he looked down to the ground.
"You did a very brave thing, Jestro."
Jestro looked away from the spot where the show would be and gave Clay his attention.
"I know what happened after saving the kingdom was hard and terrible. But I think you're brave for standing up to Monstrox." Clay complimented as his cheeks went pink.
The same thing happened to Jestro as he smiled at Clay. But a thought of insecurity made it fade.
"I was scared. I felt so bad about it because everyone I cared about got dragged into it." Jestro remembered the past few years. "I thought I doomed them forever."
"You didn't doom anyone. Monstrox was the one responsible. But he's gone and he'll never hurt you or anyone again." Clay reassured the jester.
Jestro hoped Clay was right. But something else was on his mind.
"Clay? May I ask you something?" He asked rather shyly.
"Of course; go right ahead." Clay gave Jestro a reassuring smile.
Jestro hesitated a bit before asked the question.
"Would you still love me, if I were still a beast?"
Clay blinked in confusion as Jestro fidgeted with the plush he won. The knight gently grabbed his hand before he answered the jesters' question.
"I didn't fall for you because of how you look, Jestro." Clay spoke as sincerely as he could. "I fall for you because of what's in here."
Jestro looked down as Clay pointed at his chest.
"My internal organs?" Jestro questioned in confusion.
"No, no." Clay chuckled slightly. "I just realised that there was more to you then there was outside. And I was right."
Jestro turned away from Clay as his cheeks turned red. Clay gently pulled Jestro into his arms held him tightly as they heard the sound of fireworks rocketing skyward. Clay smiled at sight of exploding colours while Jestro looked up with wide eyes. The knight turned to look at the jester.
"Do you like it?" He asked as the fireworks continued.
Jestro smiled as he watched the explosions of colour in the night sky.
"I love it." He said as he cuddled up next to Clay.
Clay smiled as Jestro sat close to him. The knight was not sure if the moment was right. But he decided to get it out of the way.
Clay hesitated a bit before asking.
"How would you feel if I wanted you and your family to come live in Knighton with me?" He asked.
Jestro thought about it for a moment.
"I'd have to discuss it with them first." The jester answered as honestly as he could.
He gave Clay a small smile.
"But I'd love to."
Clay smiled back as he and Jestro continued to watch the fireworks. Everyone around them cheered at the array of colours. Jestro caught Clay off guard and kissed his knight on the cheek; making Clay laugh and hold his love closer. The both of them finally relaxed and watched the fireworks explode across the night sky. They both knew and felt like this was a moment that they could cherish forever. They thought it could last forever in their heads. They knew everything ahead of them was going to be wonderful.
And that ladies and gentleman is the end. Thank you for reading.