Chapter 5: Back home
"Roxton, Roxton." Alexia came running into Summerlee's room.
"Shh, not so loud. Summerlee is finally asleep. Tomorrow we can leave this place." Roxton said. "That reminds me, I have to tell Marguerite that we leave first thing tomorrow morning."
"Euhm ... that's what I wanted to tell you."
"That you're happy we can leave this place?" Veronica voice dropped with sarcasm.
Alexia noticed it, but she continued telling what she had to say. "No, it's this." Alexia showed Marguerite's locket to the others.
"That's Marguerite's. Where did you find it?" Roxton asked.
"Outside, in some bushes. I was taking a little walk when I heard a woman scream. I ran to the place where the screaming came from and when I got there I saw a woman lying on the ground, strongly holding a baby. Those beast, they were eating her." Alexia started to cry at the thought of the sight. "I hid myself in some bushes and there I found it." Alexia, still sobbing looked at Roxton. He had become very pale, just like the others. Roxton turned around and walked away. He didn't want to see any one right now.
Meanwhile Marguerite had been taken out of her cell and had been brought to a big room in the top of a castle tower. The guard locked the room carefully, so she wouldn't be able to escape. A young girl introduced herself as her maid but Marguerite paid no attention to the girl. She walked towards the window, sat herself down at the sill and started to cry.
"Come my dear, there is nothing to cry for." She heard Ursula's voice suddenly say. Marguerite
didn't look up, just stared out of the window. "My dear, why aren't you happy? You're still alive, will have a wonderful husband and have a beautiful daughter." Ursula handed Aimée over to Marguerite, who closed Aimée lovingly in her arms. «Oh yes. I'm still alive but Roxton thinks I'm dead and Aimée as well.» She thought.
"I will leave you now. In a week from now the ceremony will take place. Tomorrow there will come someone to start making the dress. She'll be here at nine so be ready." Ursula left the room.
Marguerite looked down at Aimée who was making sweet little sounds of happiness. "Oh Aimée, what do we do now? We're stuck here, forever. We'll never see him again. You will grow up without him, but you will know he is your father, I shall see to that. I will tell you everything about him." Tears started welling up in her eyes again.
"Eloi, do you really think it's a good idea to marry that woman? She'll never love you." Boaz said to his nephew.
"But I love her and I want her to be mine. Thank God Ursula took care of that."
"Yes Eloi, mother took care of it. She's not staying here because she want to, mother and father forced her!" Azalea said. Eloi didn't want to listen anymore to all this and walked away. "Ok. Walk away! That will solve everything!" Boaz put a hand on his wife's arm to calm here. Azalea looked up at him. "Oh Boaz, it's just not fair. The girl ruined everything for her and the man. I really like both of them."
"I know darling, I know. We'll help them. We'll think of something to help them."
"But they're leaving tomorrow morning!"
"Than we have to be fast." Boaz looked lovely at his wife.
«NO! They can't be dead. They just can't be!»Roxton thought. He really had needed some space and had taken a walk. Unconsciously he had walked to the place where Alexia said it all had happened. He stood still. He spotted the area for the rest of the bodies, but he saw nothing. He didn't even saw any raptor's footprints. There was nothing, just nothing. Suddenly he turned around, pointing his gun at Boaz.
"What do you want!" He said sharp.
"A little talk with you Roxton, about Marguerite." Boaz said. Roxton's eyes were being filled with tears.
"What about Marguerite. She's dead as well for my little girl. So I guess there's nothing to talk about."
"I do think there is something to talk about. Let's start with Alexia, will we?" Roxton cocked his eyebrows for he didn't know where this conversation was heading.
"What do you mean?"
"Haven't you noticed that the girl was following you like a puppy dog? That's way Marguerite wanted to stay here in the first place for she saw that Alexia did everything she could just to keep you away from her." Roxton looked at the native man with perplexed eyes. He couldn't believe what he just had heard.
"You mean that she planned all this? That she killed Marguerite?"
Boaz smiled. "No my friend. She didn't kill Marguerite." Roxton really became confused, so Boaz quickly continued. "Yesterday afternoon she has seen you and Marguerite in a cozy embrace and that she finally understood that you would never stop loving Marguerite and that you would do everything to get her back. So she decided it was time for some revenge and she heard the two of you talking about getting away and she knew that my father-in-law would never let he go. She went to him early today and he got furious. He locked her up in one of the tower chambers."
"So you mean ... She's alive?"
"As well for your baby girl." Boaz said. Roxton gave a cry of joy. Then he felt anger burning up inside him. Boaz saw it. "Please don't do anything foolish Roxton. Azalea and I have a plan. Tonight, in Summerlee's room, we'll explain it." Roxton nodded a yes and both men went inside for lunch.
That night, at twelve o'clock, Azalea and Boaz told the other members, except of Alexia, Phoebe and Joseph for they went to bed early, what had happened.
"That little whore!" Veronica spat. "I told you Malone, I told you! Oh, she'll regret the day that she met me!"
"Veronica, calm down. Everything's alright now." Roxton said warmly. Everyone saw how happy he was with the news that Marguerite still was alive, they all were though.
"But what do we have to do now?" Summerlee said with a soft voice for he was still very weak.
"You all leave tomorrow as planned."
"And leave Marguerite here? No way!" Roxton interrupted.
"As I said ... You will all leave tomorrow as planned. You go back to your home and stay there till tomorrow. Tomorrow morning you all try to help those kids back to their own place and after that you'll come back here and Marguerite will be standing by that open field and you all can go back home."
"But way wait till tomorrow afternoon?" Malone and Challenger said in unison.
"It's safer. Besides the wedding won't take place till next week."
"What wedding?" Roxton said. Boaz looked at Roxton, saying nothing. "What wedding?" Roxton said demandingly.
"I didn't tell you? I thought I did. Well, it must have slipped my mind then. Marguerite has been forced to marry my nephew, Eloi. He's got a crush on her."
"I knew it." Malone said satisfied but immediately colored red when Roxton gave him an angry look. "But I also know that she loves you pal." He said quickly.
"Still I think it's safer to get her out of her today." Challenger said. Though Boaz managed to convince the explorers that it was better to wait till tomorrow.
The next morning the eight of them walked through the gates heading back home. Marguerite was forced to watch her five friends leave.
"You see my girl," Ursula said, "They don't give a damn about you. They just took everything that Alexia has said for granted. You much better of here." Marguerite swallowed and fought back her tears. She didn't want all of them to see how much it hurt to see her friends leave. Ursula, Eloi and king Casimir left the room but Azalea and Boaz stayed.
"Why are you still here? Just take a good laugh at me I suppose." Marguerite snapped.
"No." Azalea said softly. "We want to tell you something."
"Yeah, how nice it is that I'm forced to marry Elio or what ever his name is!"
"Will you shut your mouth just once and listen to me!" Azalea flied out. Marguerite, and Boaz as well, looked surprised. Azalea never had raised her voice. "We need to tell you something." She continued softer.
"Marguerite," Boaz filled in, "We know what Alexia has done. And your friends know it as well."
"What do you mean?"
"What I mean is that Roxton knows you're still alive. Tomorrow morning they will help those three youngster to go back to their place and tomorrow afternoon they will come back here to take you and Aimée with them."
Marguerite was speechless. She couldn't believe that Azalea and Boaz were helping her. She whispered an apology. But none of them knew that queen Ursula had heard every word that had been said.
"Casimir, maybe it's better to have the wedding tomorrow afternoon." Queen Ursula said.
"But my dear, why the rush? You said to me we had no fear of her friends anymore." The king replied.
"Well, that has changed. Our daughter and son-in-law are helping her to escape."
"What? Is she nuts? Doesn't she know that she won't see that baby ever again?" The king started walking around in the room. Then he said "You're right my dear. The wedding will be tomorrow afternoon.
The next morning the members and youngsters were having breakfast. Only the youngsters and Summerlee had had a good night rest for Challenger, Malone, Veronica and Roxton had worked all night to fix the plane they had come with.
"I got some news for you." Challenger said. "You'll be able to go home again." Joseph and Phoebe were really happy but Alexia's face was clear what she thought about this news.
"Oh Alexia, isn't it wonderful? We'll go home!"
"Yeah and who's gonna fly the plane? Ever thought of that?" Alexia said with sarcasm.
"Well missy, I thought if I told Joseph what to do you'll be home in no time." Malone said.
"Do you all finished your dinner? Than we can go." Roxton said.
Challenger stayed at the treehouse, as well for Summerlee for he was still a bit weak. The rest headed to the plane. Malone said what Joseph had to do and than it was time to leave. Alexia and Phoebe climbed into the plane. Joseph started the engine and in a few minutes they were in the air. Just as sudden as the first time the bright light was there again and than the plane disappeared.
"Well, time to save Marguerite's ass once again." Roxton said with a big grin on his face. Than he saw a man running towards them. It was Boaz.
"Roxton, you have to come with me this instant. Ursula has planned the wedding for today."
"What?!" Malone, Roxton and Veronica said in unbelieving.
"She heard Azalea and me explain the plane to Marguerite. If we don't hurry were too late."
Quickly they went on their way to the Zulta-village. When they arrived, the wedding had already started.
"If any one objects that these two people are spending the rest of their life together then let him speak now or forever holds his peace." The minister said.
"I object." Everyone looked up in shock. Marguerite sighed of relief. But it was not over yet. Eloi took his knife and put it on Marguerite's throat.
"You will never have her, you hear me! She'll be mine!" Eloi tried to get away, still holding Marguerite. Marguerite, however, didn't like to be hold like this and she punched Eloi with her elbow in his stomach. Eloi collapsed and his grip on Marguerite loosened. Marguerite first ran to Ursula and picked Aimée out of her arms. Than she ran to Roxton with a lot of angry villagers behind her.
"Quickly, to the forest. There you will be all save and you can return home."
Just in time the members had disappeared into the forest. Veronica and Malone kept running, not noticing that Roxton had stopped to close Marguerite and Aimée in his arms.
"I'm so glad you both are alright. You have no idea what it felt like to hear Alexia say that the two of you were eaten by raptors. It broke my heart."
Marguerite put her fingers on his mouth. "Shh, don't think about that. I'm fine and Aimée is fine and everything's alright." She leaned forward and her lips touched Roxton's softly.
"Hey, you to love birds. Can we go back home?" Malone said. A smiling Veronica stood behind him.
"Perfect timing Malone, as always." Roxton said.
"Yeah, I know."
"Well, let's go home. I really think that's a good idea." Marguerite shivered at the thought of being home again. The treehouse was her home now. She loved this place for she had found love here. Love from her friends and a special love from Roxton.