Book SIX: AVALON Part 1 Preview


~ Chapter 1 ~

“YOU GUYS FLANKED ME!!!?”

With lightning speed George whipped out a sword and hurled it at Sara, sticking the ground just inches away. “I have two more just like it. Speak again without permission and next time I won’t miss.”

With her eyes wide, Sara gulped and nodded.

“Who are you and why did you attack my men?”

Just as Sara was about to answer, Arthur reached over and touched George on the arm. “May I?”

“Certainly, your Majesty.”

Sara was surprised to see Arthur roll his eyes at George’s comment, followed by a slight teasing smile on her face.

Arthur then looked intently at Sara, who found her heart aching at his resemblance to her father. “I will trade questions.”Arthur said. “Will you accept?”

Still with eyes wide, Sara nodded.

“Then you may go first.” Arthur said.

“Huh!?” said Sara.

Arthur looked at George. “That one does not count.”

George was biting her lip, trying to keep a straight face.

Arthur looked again at Sara and gestured towards her. “The lady should proceed first.”

“Okay. Uh … can I ask again, where you all just come from?”

“A most unusual first question, considering the circumstances. Very well, I shall give answer, as you do not have the appearance of an invasion force threatening my lands.” Arthur smiled. “We came from behind you as you engaged my men.”

“WHAT!?”

“We heard a loud thunder … some of my men saw lightning … yet the sky shows no sign of rain. We came to investigate. When we saw strangers from a distance, my Weapons Master … suggested … as she has been known to do on occasion…”

“Arthur …” George warned out of the side of her mouth.

Arthur grinned. “She CAN be rather … insistent.”

“Arthur …” George warned a second time.

“After all, as I am rarely allowed to approach anyone these days without proper escort…”

George rolled her eyes.

“So … we sent thirty to the side to distract you as we approached from behind.”

“YOU DID!! YOU FLANKED ME!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE I FELL FOR THAT!”

Both Arthur and George raised their eyebrows.

“Oh. Sorry. I didn’t mean to yell. Your Majesty, sir.”

Arthur smiled at her. “You are a most … unusual … female.”

Sara grinned sheepishly.

Then Arthur looked once again at George. “Although not entirely uncommon.”

George gave him the look.

Arthur turned back towards Sara. “The turn is now mine. Why have you attacked my men? Two of them are wounded; though I can see they are merely flesh wounds. Why would you do this? Have we caused you offense in some way?”

Sara started to answer when Arthur suddenly held up his hand. “Ah, but wait … what have I done!? Please forgive my thoughtlessness! First allow my aged friend to help you to your feet.”

Bors snorted as he reached out his giant hand out to Sara. As she placed her tiny hand in his, Sara had never before felt so small.

“Thank you.” she said, after she stood. Just as Sara was about to answer Arthur’s question, she heard shouts from the next hill over. Turning her head, she wasn’t at all surprised to see four riders accompanying three prisoners on foot, walking in between the horses.

The look on the faces of the soldiers, however, was one of great consternation. They seemed to be having a very difficult struggle with whether or not to be pointing their spears at Daniel, Jenny and Adrien.

When Sara saw that everyone was okay, she turned back to Arthur and George, noting the stunned looks on their faces. For there was no mistaking the resemblances between Adrien and Sir Julian, Daniel and King Arthur, and especially Jenny with their Queen Guinevere.

“I wish a brought a camera with me.” Sara grinned. “Those looks on your faces…”

Arthur and George turned back towards Sara, still stunned.

“I see your resemblance is more than mere coincidence.” Arthur marveled at Sara.

“Susan!?” Julian exclaimed. “Is … is that you!?”

“OH!” Sara gasped and she turned around. “I’m so sorry, Julian! Here, let me help you up.”

“No, no!” Julian chuckled as he raised his hand. “I can manage myself.” he said, standing to his feet. “I think I’ve suffered enough indignity for one day.”

George snorted.

“I’m never going to hear the end of this one.” Julian sighed.

“I’m so sorry, Julian!” Sara exclaimed. “I didn’t mean to knock you off your horse! Well I did … but…”

“Actually … you’re not Susan, are you?” Julian smiled.

“No, I’m … Sara.”

Sara heard George gasp.

“Susan is … she’s my mom. Oh, and coming up behind you … are Daniel, my brother…”

Julian spun around and looked at Daniel in surprise.

“Hi.” Daniel smiled with a wave. Then he looked at Arthur. “You look just like my dad! With a beard! I have a beard, too! Just like you!”

Arthur looked stunned.

Sara grinned and continued with the introductions. “And this is Jenny. And I think you can all probably guess who her mom is.”

Jenny gave them a bashful smile and waved.

Arthur’s eyes were now as wide as saucers. “She looks just as Gwen!” Arthur gasped. “As when we first met!”

“And of course, Adrien.” Sara then grinned at both George and Julian. “He’s yours.”

“WHAT!!?”

“I think. We’re not sure on that one, yet. It’s a long story.”

Bors grinned at Julian. “This Adrien of yours does bear likeliness to our Sir Julian. And even Sir George, around the eyes. A descendant, perhaps?”

Sara smiled. “Okay, maybe not that long a story.”

“Forgive me, my Lady.” Bors offered in a bowing apology in a deep voice. “Had I but known…”

“Yeah, that really hurt!” Sara said rubbing her shoulder. “But … I guess I probably deserved it, huh?”

“Yes, you did.” said George. “You attacked us, remember?”

“I thought you were the bad guys! I didn’t recognize the clothes and I didn’t see any knights. I didn’t know you were sneaking up behind me TO FLANK ME!!!”

George grinned at Sara. “Wow, that’s really got you bugged, doesn’t’ it?”

“DUH! You never told me you that you do that!! That’s not fair!”

George raised her eyebrow. “Excuse me?”

Then suddenly in a flashy display, Sara spun Excalibur around in her fingertips and popped it back into the sheath at her back.

“WHERE DID YOU LEARN TO DO THAT!?” George exclaimed.

Sara crossed her arms and gave George a smirk. “You taught me.”

“WHAT!!?”

“I REALLY wish I brought a camera. ” Sara grinned. “I would give anything.”

It was then that the other knights had finally noticed the detail of Sara’s sword.

Especially Arthur. “THAT’S MY SWORD!!!”

Sara looked Arthur with a sad smile. “I’m really, really, sorry, your Majesty. But I’m afraid that I kinda need to borrow this for awhile. You can have it back when I’m done, I promise. And … I’ll tell you … what I can about it; in private. Family private, I mean.”

With great surprise, Arthur looked at George. “She has my sword!”

George smiled at him. “This looks to be a very interesting story.”

“Excuse me…” interrupted Julian. “Weapons Master? May I be so bold as to make a petition?

“And what, pray tell, would be the request – of the Knight who has been bested by a small girl in a dress.” grinned George.

Julian smiled and bowed towards Sara. “I would humbly request of my king, that I be permitted to greet our visitors – in such a manner that would likely involve many hugs and perhaps even kisses from two fair and beautiful maidens.”

Sara giggled.

Smiling, George dismounted from her horse and bowed. “Sara, Daughter of Susan. Welcome to Camelot.”

“Thank you, Sir George.” Sara laughed as the tearful hugs and handshakes and greetings and even kisses began.

All except for Arthur, who was still sitting on his horse, stunned. “She has my sword! I left it in the closet! She has my sword!”

*** *** ***

“Wow, Sara.” smiled George after the third hug. “I’m not so sure if I want to hear your story or not.”

“Sorry, George.” Sara said, wiping her eyes. “I’m just so happy to see all of you. You have no idea.” Then Sara turned and hugged a surprised Julian for a fourth time.

“I … I am overwhelmed!” Julian exclaimed. “Especially since I haven’t even met you before!”

Arthur frowned at George. “She is so happy that she cannot stop crying. This does not seem to bode well.”

“No, Arthur, I agree.” George agreed, eyeing Sara warily. “It really doesn’t.”

“Let us return to the castle.” Arthur suddenly announced to all. “It would not be right to speak further of your story until we sit in our Queen’s presence.” Arthur then smiled at the companions in their dirty tunics and Sara in her torn and dirty dress. “That is, after they have had time to refresh and … perhaps been offered an exchange of clothes?” he grinned. “Gwen is most particular about dirt.”

Daniel, Jenny and Adrien look at him, smiling appreciatively. Sara looked sadly at her ruined dress.

“Sir Bors, can you send word on ahead to the Queen? I believe she shall be most delighted to learn of our very special guests.”

Bors clapped his fist to his chest and bowed.

Then Arthur smiled at Sara. “Oh, and Sir Bors? Also alert the master tailor that we have a most urgent situation that shall require his most immediate attention.”

Sara was surprised when Bors smiled and bent down to whisper in her ear. “Fear not, young pup; it shall be better than new.”

Sara grinned at him. “Thank you, Sir Bors. Then she turned and curtseyed towards Arthur. “Thank you most kindly, your Majesty.”

Arthur bowed. “You are most welcome, Lady Sara.”

Sara giggled.

After Bors had ridden off on his horse towards the castle, George began giving orders. “Okay, now listen up. Kids, you’re going to need to double up on horseback. Adrien, why don’t you ride with … ‘Uncle’ Julian, here.”

Julian laughed.

“Daniel, you’re with gramps.”

“Gramps!?” exclaimed Arthur.

“Sara, you’re with me.”

“Okay, George.”

“Uh, Jenny? I had planned on you going with Bors, but …well … I guess he’s gone, so …” George paused for a moment, looking at Jenny.”

“What is it?” Jenny asked, nervously. Of the four companions, Jenny had remained the shyest and most quiet.

“I’m sorry, Jenny.” George smiled tenderly. “You must be a bit overwhelmed by all this. Still … I just can’t get over how much you look like your mother. I really miss Alana. Not to mention that you’re the splitting image of Gwen.”

“I am!?”

“Down to every detail. She is sure going to be surprised to meet you.”

“Do you think she’ll like me?” Jenny asked, timidly.

George sighed and gave Jenny another hug. “First your mother … then Gwen … and now you. I just seem to have a soft spot for Alana’s family. Yes, Jenny. She will love you, I guarantee it.”

“Really!?”

“Yes, really. In fact, I can assure you, you have already won over her husband’s heart.”

Arthur grinned and winked at Jenny.

“Thank you … your Majesty.” Jenny replied, turning red.

Arthur laughed. “This shall be the first order of business upon our return. My name … is Arthur.”

Jenny smiled at him and nodded.

“Now…” George grinned, looking at her many riders. “So many dashing knights for you to choose from. Who should it be?” George teased, tapping her chin. “Who should it be?”

Jenny giggled.

Daniel coughed.

“If it’s okay, I like the black Arabian horse over there.” Jenny replied. “He reminds me of my own horse. Except mine is a mare.”

“Well, then … the black Arabian steed it is. Sir Knight, would you mind sharing your mount with…”

“But of course!” the knight interrupted, suddenly dismounting. He then quickly stepped towards Jenny with his hand outstretched. “I was praying you would choose me, fair lady.”

George arched her eyebrow. “She chose the horse, you idiot; not you.”

“I am most honored to serve such enchanting beauty.” The knight smiled.

Jenny’s eyes widened.

For the knight was by far the most extraordinarily handsome man that Jenny had ever before seen in her life. He had long brown hair with a light brown complexion; his dark brown eyes were bright and laughing. A dimple on his chin, full lips and a slightly crooked nose; he was beyond handsome. If it was possible for a man to be ‘beautiful’, this knight certainly fit the description.

George frowned at the way that the knight was looking at Jenny, and was immediately reluctant at making this introduction. Unfortunately, he had not yet committed a felony offense, so she had no choice but to follow it through. “Jenny, may I introduce to you … Sir Lancelot.”


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