Hello everyone! I'm glad you're enjoying this story. I know I am! I'm going to try and keep up with this back and forth POV thing, but it may not work out, I'm not sure.
Disclaimer: All characters and aspects of The Mysterious Benedict Society belong to Trenton Lee Stewart. I only own Kassi and her mother.
Onward! (Four days left of school. So close, so close…)
Mr. Benedict put the telephone in its cradle and sighed. One of his closest friends and her daughter were in danger, and all because he was her friend. He stood from his desk and ran a hand through his hair because old habits die hard. He may not suffer from narcolepsy any longer, but he still sat with his back against his desk sometimes, just like he still wore his green suit sometimes, and he felt a bit off when one of his adopted daughters wasn't hovering over him sometimes. But he treasured every moment he was free of his condition. Mr. Benedict left his office and passed by the bell at the top of the staircase, rapping his knuckles against it lightly, sending a clear ring throughout the house.
A door on his left opened to reveal a sleepy looking six year old. Constance's wispy hair was flattened on one side and poufy on the other. He smiled and scooped her into his arms, ignoring her startled squawk of protest. He smoothed her hair on the way down the steps.
"You turned in awfully early, Constance. Did today's activities tucker you out?" He asked with a twitch of a smile.
Constance shrugged and nodded. The aforementioned activities included difficult mind exercises along with physical play with Kate, Reynie and Sticky. She was dreadfully tired and had tried to go to bed early, only to be woken up by the man holding her. She still was probably half-asleep, so she let her head drop onto his shoulder. This evoked a chuckle from Mr. Benedict, who thought Constance's sleepy state was frankly adorable. He would never admit this, however, because Constance still didn't take very well to compliments. Which he thought personally needed to change soon, but he knew that the art of accepting and relaying praise was not on the priority list. So when he got down to the dining room first, he brushed Constance's hair from her face and a thumb over her cheek. Because he wouldn't get a chance later he pressed a brief kiss to the top of her head before setting her down in the chair next to his usual seat. Her sleepy limbs shuffled as she looked up at him.
Constance had changed a lot since he first met her at three years old; her originally short blond hair was now just past her shoulders, and her still-stunning blue eyes were highlighted with a charming smattering of freckles above her button nose. She looked up at him tiredly with a questioning look on her face. "Did you just...?"
"Yes, I did." He answered, glancing away and smiling sidelong at her. He looked back at her and saw her with a small smile gracing her face. His own smile grew and she ducked her head and giggled, and they laughed together for a moment until footsteps came echoing down the stairs. Then Constance clammed up, her face suddenly tired again as Kate came bounding down the stairs with her father on her heels. Without stopping Kate walked towards the front door.
"I'll go across the street. Be back in a minute!" She called as she breezed out the front to go get the Washington's. A second later Reynie and Miss Perumal wandered in, claiming Mrs. Perumal was already fast asleep. Kate and Sticky dashed in a moment after, the latter slightly out of breath. Within three minutes the entire extended family had seated around the table and were waiting for Mr. Benedict to give the news. They all knew that a few weeks ago that Mr. Benedict's friend had been targeted by the remainder of Mr. Curtain's henchmen.
"I won't beat around the bush; Elizabeth's daughter Kassi has also been targeted by my brother. They've left their home on my advice and are currently fleeing their area. Kassi has convinced her mother to come here, and I assume they'll be here within the end of this week. We must make preparations for their arrival and make accommodations."
"We've got extra room. They can stay at our house." Mrs. Washington immediately volunteered, and Mr. Benedict smiled gratefully.
"Thank you, Mrs. Washington, that makes things much simpler. I will be calling in enforcements to provide extra security, and I also will suggest that my brother be watched more closely at this time. This uprising of his followers doesn't bode well."
With a few more discussed details the gathering dispersed, except for the children and Mr. Benedict, for they had their own questions, as usual.
"You said Kassi convinced her mom to come here," Reynie said. "Why would Kassi want to come here, without knowing us at all?"
"Kassi knows our adventures and stories. She knows who she wishes to side with and believes it better to come assist."
"So she's read the books." Kate confirmed and swung around in her chair.
"Have you met her before, Mr. Benedict?" Sticky asked to change the subject.
"I have not, Sticky, but I'm confident she'll become a valuable ally and friend. We shall know by Friday afternoon. I only hope they'll get here without incident."