Previously: England awaits the Spanish invasion. Elizabeth orders two of her young heroes to Spain on a mission. Each one has a beautiful but jealous lover.
The Queen turned to smile at Clarence and Rodney. “But you two valiant young men shall be knighted and glorified for your selfless duty to your Monarch!”
Clarence bowed with extreme drama. “Thank you, your Majesty. Your generosity is unparalleled.”
“No thanks is needed.” Rodney bowed without elegance. “We did it for England. This other Eden, demi-paradise, this royal throne of kings, this sculptured isle—“
“Sceptered! Sceptered!” Clarence interrupted with severe irritation.
“Are you sure?” Rodney shot back.
Alice smiled with embarrassment as she approached Maria. “So your lover was a spy for Elizabeth after all.”
“And your fiancé as well,” she replied with a proper English clip.
“So we weren’t in love with the same man,” Alice said.
“We were both mistaken, it seems.”
Alice laughed. “I don’t understand how we could have been so foolish.”
“When you spoke of a valiant warrior, I only thought of Rodney.” A patronizing smile flickered across Maria’s lips. “Clarence is sweet, but he is only a boy.”
“I beg your pardon.” A distinct edge entered Alice’s voice. “Clarence is the hero of many naval battles.”
“Do you want to compare biceps?” Maria glanced over at her lover. “Rodney, put up your arms.”
“Ladies! Ladies!” Elizabeth announced in her most regal manner. “Why the silly bickering? In the eyes of his lover, every man becomes a hero.”
“You are correct, your Majesty.” Maria extended her hand to Alice. “I’m sorry. Clarence is a true hero. And I assure you, he was always a gentleman when he was under my dress.”
“And Rodney was always well behaved as we traveled in cognito as Gypsies.”
“I’m terribly sorry for calling you a twit.”
“And I’m sorry I made those snide comments about your name.”
Maria hugged Alice. “You’re so sweet. I feel so guilty.”
“There, there.” Alice patted her back. “Don’t fret. All is forgiven.”
They pulled apart and held hands.
“I’ve a marvelous idea!” Maria squealed in delight. “Why don’t we have a double wedding!”
The girls jumped up and down and giggled.
“How marvelous!” Alice gasped. “And we could wear matching gowns! I know the most meticulous seamstress!”
“Yes,” Elizabeth said at full volume in an attempt to regain all the attention. “Love will conquer all, even the fleet of King Phillip, which will be approaching soon.”
“Yes! The invasion!” Rodney smacked his forehead with his beefy palm. “There’s no time for weddings while the Spanish fleet is at our door!”
Clarence lifted his epee in salute to Rodney. “We’ll joined our swords to repel the evil that threatens our shores!”
“Well said, young men!” Robin boomed.
“Let this Armada come!” Elizabeth joined in the saber-rattling.
“What’s Armada?” Rodney asked.
“I don’t know,” Robin replied. “What’s Armada with you?”
Elizabeth bonked him again with her scepter. “We are ready! With the ardor and passion of our young people, we shall overcome all obstacles and when the foe is vanquished, there will be time for wedded bliss.”
“Yes.” Clarence took Alice in his arms. “It is a bliss I long for.”
Rodney followed suit with Maria. “I’ll count the hours until I can say I do, and we do.”
Both couples engage in unhinged ardent smooching.
“Ah, young love,” Elizabeth sighed in contentment.
Robin hugged his Queen. “Old love ain’t so bad either, Bessie.”
They hopped back on the throne and resumed their previous session of lovemaking. Steppingstone and Boniface observed at all the preoccupation with romance, then glanced at each other and shrugged.
“To Spain?” Steppingstone asked in a whisper.
“To Spain!” Boniface agreed sotto voce.
They linked arms and tiptoed out.