Chapter Sixty-Five: Until Someone Gets Hurt
"Did you kiss her?"
"Did she kiss you?"
"Was there any kissing at all?"
"Second date then?"
"It WASN'T a date!"
"Pretty sure it was a date."
"Then why are you going red?"
"Will you lot quit it already!" Daniel groaned as his fellow Knights of the Last Order grilled him about his lunch with the Councillor Judith Jofrey.
"She looked like she was really enjoying herself." Sam volunteered.
"Yeah, she was smiling and looked really interested in what you were saying!" Petunia agreed.
"Just…drop it, okay?" Daniel frowned at them. "Besides, you guys ran off half way through lunch, what would you know?"
"We got back in time to see you escort her out." Sunny pointed out.
"Thanks for ditching us by the way, oh-fearless-leader." TJ deadpanned.
The group were sitting at the tip again, on a bright and clear Saturday morning. They were waiting for Belle and Charlie, and then they were all going to go fishing together.
"Speaking of Judy…I kind of invited her to come out with us today." Daniel finally admitted.
Dead silence. Then:
"WE'RE GOING OUT WITH THE MASTERS CLAN AND YOU INVITE HER?"
"Daniel Lightheart, what WERE you thinking?!"
"Are you INSANE?"
"There's going to be arguments!"
"And she's not fond of the Begly Clan either!"
"It will be FINE!" Daniel tried to calm his friends down. "She's promised she won't say a thing about work."
"It still won't end well." Sunny warned.
If there was ever any doubt that Belle was Peters daughter, they were instantly put to rest that day. Both of them wore identical scowls and twitching right eyes.
The little girls Melody and Madeliene were splashing by the shore under the watchful eyes of Ozzie and their mothers. TJ and Petunia were diving for mussels, which they were handing to Thomas who was putting them in a bucket. Lizzy and Tammy were trying to badger Sam into getting into the water (which he was still scared of) and Daniel was gently trying to teach Judith how to fish.
"I can NOT believe he thought this was a good idea." Belle glowered.
"Tell me about it. It's just sucked the fun right out of today." Peter also glowered.
"LOOK OUT BELOW!" Charlie swung past them on the rope swing, flying into the creek with a splash. "Will you two sad sacks cheer up and join in the fun?" He poked his head out of the water.
"No!" Was the sullen reply.
"It's only because he thinks she's hot." Charlie tried to explain.
"Bloody idiot." Peter shook his head and sat down on one of the picnic rugs. "This is like working on the weekend, an absolute travesty."
"Tell me about it." Belle sat down next to her father and started pulling the grass out of the ground.
"It's all in the wrist action." Daniel was demonstrating how to cast the fishing line. "A quick flick-," His line expertly flew across the air into the creek. "And then you sit back and wait."
"You make it look so easy." Judith admitted. "I've never been fishing before."
"Are you serious?" Daniel looked surprised. "Why not?"
"Too busy studying." Judith admitted. "Also my parents never had much time for me as the second-born." she silently added.
"We go fishing all the time together. You should come with us more often." Daniel smiled at her.
"Really?" Judiths cheeks went pale pink.
"NO!" Was the loud objection from the Masters clan.
Just then, Peters phone began to ring. "Hey Bill. You're kidding me…the truck yard? I'll tell Judith."
He couldn't help but smirk slightly. This meant that annoying Councillor would have to leave! On the down side it meant that the others would have to go to, but if it got rid of Judith, it was worth it.
"JUDITH! Your truck yard is under fire from the Crusaders!" Peter yelled.
"What?!" Judith dropped her fishing line and bolted towards her bag. She grabbed out her phone and made a quick call, which involved a lot of language unfit for print.
"I'm sorry guys, but I have to go sort out this mess. I'll see you later!" Judith grabbed her things and ran off, much to the satisfaction of the Masters Clan.
Daniel ran over to the others as soon as she was gone. "I have to go and get the scythe from the timber mill, I'll see you guys at the truck yard?"
"Absolutely." TJ nodded. "Let's go Knights!"
Daniel got into his beat-up old ute and drove to the timber mill, cursing his poor planning. If only he'd known…
Daniel tiptoed through the timber mill, feeling like he wasn't alone. He tried to shake it off, thinking it was adrenaline from being prepared for another battle.
He opened up his locker and pulled on his old "armour", which was nothing more than old bits of steel salvaged from the tip and fashioned by Tammy. It was badly worn by time and repeated blows from the Lucky Seven Gun and the Lions Claw Blade when they were in the hands of Master Revolver and Mobster Marion.
It was definitely time for an upgrade.
He was about to pull on his helmet when something crashed in the office upstairs.
He pulled on his helmet and crept up the stairs, trying his best to be quiet. If the March Hill Crusaders were here, he was doomed. There was no way he would survive long enough for the rest of the Knights to arrive.
He made up to the top of the stairs and was about to open the door to Judiths office, when it was flung open from the inside and the Dragons Scale Scythe held at his throat.
"SIDEWINDER!" Sir Lionheart groaned. He tightened his grip on the replica scythe. "What are YOU doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing Bucket-Head." Sidewinder snarled. She lurched back to slash the Knights throat, giving Sir Lionheart time to get his scythe up to block the blow. He forced Sidewinder back into the office with his brute strength, hoping to get her off-balance.
"Why were you in Councillor Jofreys office?!" Sir Lionheart demanded.
"None of your business, peasant." Sidewinder pulled out the Mystic Eight Gun and fired, clipping Sir Lionhearts bucket-helmet. He was able to dodge, but the distraction enabled Sidewinder to stab him with an Emerald Shard in the chest.
Gagging, Sir Lionheart stumbled back. Sidewinder tried to shoot him again, but Sir Lionheart was able to recover fast enough to knock the gun from her hand.
He prepared to strike her chest core, when he saw it.
The one her sister had given her.
He looked into those violent blue eyes. There was no doubt.
Sidewinder was Judith Jofrey. He had no idea how she fixed her hair to make it short and brown, but he knew that he had to get out of there.
He bolted out of the office and ran down the stairs. Bullets from the Mystic Eight Gun riccocheted around him, and he dodged them all before making it out of the building.
At least Sidewinder couldn't fly without the help of the Ruby Suit, Sir Lionheart thought bitterly. He felt betrayed and angry and confused.
No wonder Judith didn't want to talk about her family. Her father had been Mobster Marcus, killed when he'd tried to overrun a bank. Of course she'd been there for the battle of Silent Lake. Between her family and the Death Valley Gang, they'd brutally slaughtered the last of the Silent Lake Gang before turning on each other.
Sir Lionheart looked to the sky as he headed out to the other battle, which he now had no desire to join. What a mess.
What a complete and total mess.