Ok kids, this has been a long time coming, and I'm SORRY!! I've been super busy lately, what with my high school graduation only a week away!! Yes!! Anyway, be patient, now that summer is coming, I will have more time to write. This chapter is a little awkward, but I like it anyway. Pardon my creative liberties.

Ellie watched with disdain as Nick stumbled through the door of the museum that evening with an armload of books. "A little light reading Nick?" she asked. He laughed and shook his head, placing the pile on the front desk.

"These are for you," he replied. Her mouth dropped open.

"I hope you don't expect me to read all of those."

"Well...not all of them. Just the parts I've marked." The stack had small slips of paper and post-its sticking out of the pages every which way in a myriad of colors.

"And why exactly am I doing this?"

"It will probably help you to do this job better if you know more about everyone and everything in it. I had to do it, and so did Dad." She nodded.

"You're right." Nick was surprised at her complacency, but suspected she was probably still rattled from last night. She grabbed the first book off of the stack. "I'll get started here. You get everyone squared away for the night." He grinned as he watched her settle down into an uncomfortable chair with a book about ancient Egypt. As the sun set, Nick was greeted by his friends with much enthusiasm. Dexter jumped to his back and chittered happily. Dexter had always liked Nick, never causing him problems like he did his father. He handed Dexter a small pair of keys he pulled from his pocket, tiny exact replicas of the museum keys. They couldn't unlock anything, but they made the equally tiny capuchin happy. He skittered away. Teddy received him with a hearty clap on the back, Atilla with a mighty hug, and Akmenrah with thankfully only a handshake. Nick and the king began walking the halls together as the musuems inahbitants began their nightly routines. Over the years they had become great friends. For Nick, Akmenrah was like the brother he'd never had. After all, with Rebecca, his Dad had only given him a gaggle of sisters. "How is Ellie getting along tonight?" Akmenrah asked.

"Just fine," Nick replied, "I put her to work brushing up on her history."

"Good idea. I must admit I was a little worried last night at how she would react to everything in the morning." Nick proceeded to tell him of the breakfast/lunch endeavor and the king roared with laughter. "I would have loved to see that! But in all seriousness, I think you have a little crush on this girl Nick." He playfully elbowed Nick, as an older brother would.

Nick blushed. "I do not."

Ellie sighed and laid down the book she had been working on. She had never liked history. She'd had to move to a cross-legged position just to get comfortable in the chair. Suddenly she heard a voice call to her from the floor.

"Good evening my lady!" She looked down to the floor to find Octavius staring up at her, saluting and smiling. She returned it.

"Where's Jedidiah?"

"I believe he had his sights set on a pretty, young cowgirl. Do you mind if I join you?" She reached down, plucked him from the floor, and set him on top of the book stack. The general seemed slightly miffed by the abandonment by his friend. "Why all the literature?"

"Nick thinks it will be good for me if I learn about all of you. You know, 'the mystery behind the history'." Octavius laughed.

"You could just ask us." He walked over to stand on a book about Roman war strategy."This," he tapped his foot on top of the book, "is not difficult to learn."

"Maybe not for you. Besides, I'd like to spend some more time with N..I mean everyone here. I can't have met everyone last night," she covered quickly. Octavius raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"With whom?"

"You know, all of you!" She spread her hands above her head. Just then, another small voice called up to her from the floor.

"Evenin' giganta!"

"Jed!" Ellie reached down to bring the tiny cowboy into their conversation. She set him down on her knee. "What happened to that pretty cowgirl I heard about?" She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. Looking closer, she noticed a red mark on Jed's face about the size of a miniature palm. She and Octavius began to laugh.

"What are y'all laughin' at?" he asked moodily. He crawled off of Ellie's knee and sat down on a book about Sacagewea.

"Couldn't get the girl to succumb to your wily charms Jedidiah?" Octavius asked slyly. He sat down next to his friend and patted his shoulder. "It's ok, man. You'll get another chance." Jed merely shrugged, but did not remove the hand. Ellie watched the exchange happily. The floor began to shake slightly with the approach of something massive. A book fell to the tiles with a crash. The three jumped in surprise, Ellie's reaction knocking the other two from their perches. She caught them just before they reached the hard floor. "Whew!"

"Thanks giganta!" Jed and Octavius stood up oh her palm and brushed themselves off. "Whoa, look out!" Rexy peered over Ellie's shoulder and nuzzled her face. She laughed and patted his nose with her free hand. Suddenly she had an idea. "You guys wanna go for a ride?" The pair replied with a mischievious smile.

Again, sorry it is so short, but I couldn't leave you hanging any longer! Love you!

P.S. Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and support in the difficult time I was having. It is getting better everyday :)