“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 45 (PG-13, S): Courtship and Marriage, July 06, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #780)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Historical Fiction Fan adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]
(All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince/King John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little John, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: With Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick’s marriage solidified with the arranged annulment of her first marriage to Lord John Oxbridge–and then Lord John being made legally alive again–that cleared the way for Lord John to marry his nurse, caretaker, companion, and love, the Lady Anne/Marian. And Baron Guy of Gisborne has brokered a betrothal agreement between his almost eleven year old son and heir Seth Gisborne and the twelve year old Lady Caroline Havorford. So, on the morrow, Baron Guy and Lady Roseanna will share the news with Seth about his formal betrothal to the lady he has chosen, Lady Caroline Havorford. And their family will move forward unfettered, released from the past, and with the promise of a bright future.

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 45 (PG-13, S) Courtship and Marriage

These past five years since the events in July 1199 that catapulted Seth Gisborne’s family into distress with the Oxbridge marriages difficulties–and Seth’s own father’s past sins staring him in the face in the person of Lady Anne, nee Lady Marian Knighton–have been surprisingly uneventful and peaceful, blessedly so. Baron Guy of Gisborne was relieved that Lady Anne/Marian found happiness in love and family as she delightedly co-parented Lord John’s two young children with he and his former wife Lady Rebecca. Seth’s Mama Lady Roseanna almost immediately–well, seven months later–graced them with another brother named Crispin Guy Stephen Gisborn whom they call Stephen. The baby’s Papa Baron Guy of Gisborne allowing no abhorrent diminuative nicknames such as Stevie–boy nicknames being prevalent amongst the Middleton-Oxbridge extended family. So the Gisborne-Middleton Manor family is once again balanced with four males and four females among the two parents Baron Guy and his wife Lady Roseanna and their six children.

Yet when you are young, time drags slowly–never more so than when you are trying to reach a goal. And for Seth Gisborne, his goal was to reach his sixteenth birthday in August 1204. And that he has done these three months past now that it is November of 1204. As a sixteen year old, Seth is a man in the eyes of God and society–and Seth may now woo and wed his chosen bride and betrothed, the Lady Caroline Havorford. But it is a delicate matter still yet to be finally resolved.

However with the young couple in Seth and Lady Caroline being already acquainted by strong family connections–with her sister Lady Mary being Seth’s Aunt as the wife of his Mother Lady Roseanna’s brother Lord George Middleton–Seth and Lady Caroline have naturally come into contact with each other at family gatherings and holidays. Though these past two years, Seth has been too busy with his knighthood training with his Uncle Lord Archer’s garrison at Nottingham Castle and he has not been home since before last Christmas in December of 1203.

And as naturally happens with young men who are well into their teen years, Seth has grown in maturity mentally, emotionally, and physically. Indeed, Seth has had another growth spurt this past year that puts him well above six feet four inches tall–even taller than his Seth-at16-isRichardArmitage-pix5-date-unknownJun0313ranet--Gratiana-dkrn-shrp-Sepia-bluebackground-Clr-bleyes-smlr-shrp2Papa Baron Guy–so much so that Seth will tower over the petite and winsome Lady Caroline when next they meet. And Seth’s rigorous physical training for the knighthood has molded his body into a fine muscularity that suits his tall and broad shouldered frame well and the chiseled jaw of his now quite handsome face [(2) right]. Baron Guy feels that he is staring at a younger reflection of himself when he looks at his son–so keen is the resemblance between them.

And Seth finds that him crossing his arms in front of himself accentuates his broad shoulders since several Nottingham Castle noble ladies have flirted with him on occasion. But Seth only slightly blushes and might dance with them, but that is all. Seth’s father Baron Guy had had a general manly talk with him long ago about love and marriage and young men’s needs. Baron Guy wants a more noble path for his son than what his own introduction to and early treatment of women had been. So Seth has heeded his father’s advice–helped in part by the promise of his wedding to Lady Caroline after he turns sixteen–so not too long a wait for Seth to enter into full manhood as a married man.

And yet, the now maturing Seth is as he ever was, a loved and loving eldest son to two doting parents–Baron Guy of Gisborne and his Baroness Lady Roseanna–and the brother whom his siblings all look up to. None but his Papa Baron Guy who has ventured to Nottingham regularly to check on Seth’s progress with his knighthood training, have seen the recently mature and much taller Seth. Nor has his intended Lady Caroline–six months his senior and already a blossoming seventeen year old maid–seen her betrothed since he has matured this past year.

Seth wonders if Lady Caroline will recognize him–or think him too tall and gangly a figure for her notice. And he mischievously decides to put his question to the test when Seth begs to accompany his father Baron Guy on a short trip to the Havorford estate east of Nottingham to discuss finalizing the union between himself and Lady Caroline. The betrothal was settled long ago, but the precise nature of their period of formal courtship leading up to Seth’s and Lady Caroline’s marriage is open for debate. Will they be wed by Christmastide before the new year–with snow pillowing the ground? Or will the nuptials be celebrated in the verdant Spring?

The wedding date will depend, in part, upon the wishes of the fair maid, Lady Caroline. She and Seth have not seen each other since last Christmastide–when Seth was still a bit gangly and awkward–and much shorter. And though he had awkwardly attempted to kiss her under an obliging sprig of mistletoe, she had maneuvered herself out of the way. And all Seth kissed was the air. At that time, Lady Caroline fancied herself to be a mature maid–who had several knights dancing attendance upon her. Her being slightly older gave her the advantage on Seth in terms of maturity. But Lady Caroline will soon discover that Seth has closed the distance in the disparity of their maturity levels.

After arriving at the spacious, but by no means overly large, Havorford Manor estate with his father this early November 1204, Baron Guy and Lord Havorford are instantly sequestered in Lord Havorford’s study to discuss courtship and wedding logistics scenarios. This leaves Seth to roam the halls of what he hopes will become a frequent site for he and Lady Caroline’s family gatherings with her family when they are married.

Seth wonders where Lady Caroline is, and why she was not among the party that greeted his and his Papa Baron Guy’s arrival. But Lady Havorford suggested that Lady Caroline was at prayers and could not be disturbed.   Trying not to roll his eyes at that obvious prevarication, Seth interpreted Lady Havorford to mean that they wanted to present Lady Caroline to him with much pomp and show at this evening’s formal dinner with guests already arriving from the nearby town for the feast. So Seth bathes to remove the dust of the road and he dresses in his one of his day dress tunics of dove grey coloring with matching breeches. He will change later into his evening finery for the feast.

Later as Seth wanders the vast halls of the Havorford manor to release his nervous energy at the prospect of seeing his betrothed Lady Caroline again, Seth rounds a smooth grey stone corner of the Havorford manor, he comes upon a scene of a lovely lady in a muted pine green silk gown reading her bible near a plastered gallery wall of portraits and landscap scenes.  Seth thinks that all she needs to fit comfortably among the portraits would be a gilt frame surrounding her form.   And though her hair has darkened over the years since maintaining her fair complexion does not lead her to be out of doors all day in the sun as she was playing as a child–which had sun kissed her hair then with streaks of flaxengold–Lady Caroline still has her charming blue eyes that Seth remembers so fondly.LadyCaroline-age16-isDakotaFanning-DiarioTwilight_9_Jan2815twilightish-sized-bkgrnd-manip

Startled by the noise of footsteps, Lady Caroline turns [(3) right] to see a tall and handsome but unfamiliar man before her.

Lady Caroline: “Oh! Good Sir, you startled me.” She lowers her lashes as her face pinkens in a charming blush as she admires the virile looking young man before her.

Seth recognizes her interested gaze and stands taller–if that is possible.   And realizing that Lady Caroline does not know who he is–even though he instantly recognized her–Seth dissembles with a courtly bow.

Seth: “My apologies, My Lady. I have come for the feast. And almost as soon as I arrived, I became separated from my father and lost my way in this lovely manor home. Might you be able to direct me to one of the family members or their servants?” He asks earnestly–feigning that he does not know who she is–and hiding the smile threatening to curl upon his lips.

Lady Caroline: “I am Lady Caroline Havorford.”

Seth: “Oh! Then your family is our host for tonight’s feast. Pray tell me what it is we are celebrating? I fear that my father rushed to make ready our way here and had not informed me of the particulars.” Seth smiles pleasantly, secure in his ruse. Then he almost gets caught in a lie.

Lady Caroline: Her having listened politely, she now says pointedly. “Might you not share your name with me, Sir? If I am to be your hostess, I should at least know your name.”

Seth: “Indeed you should! My abject apologies, My Lady! I have a tendency to become forgetful of my manners whenever I behold such beauty as yours.” He smiles warmly and still does not tell her his name.

Lady Caroline: “Thank you! But you should know that though I welcome your kind remarks, I am not at liberty to accept your addresses. I am betrothed.” She says the last phrase in a sighing way.

Seth: Seth wonders why she is so glum. “Betrothed? Forgive me, but you do not seem happy about it.” He observes cautiously.

Lady Caroline:   “Well, our betrothal was decided long ago–when we were children. But I have not seen my intended for almost a year. And he was still rather boyishly awkward then.” She pouts.

Seth: “And do you not think that a year might have improved him?” Seth asks with a deep voice similar to his Papa’s.

Lady Caroline: “Perhaps. Or he might have decided against me but cannot extricate himself from our contract.”

Seth: “I cannot imagine any man wanting to extricate himself, as you say, from such a lovely and charming person as yourself. What makes you speculate so?”

Lady Caroline: “He has not written to me, you see. Nor has he tried to visit me while he is in training at Nottingham Castle–only a day’s journey away.”

Seth: “Perhaps he is busy, My Lady. Training for the knighthood involves much focus on our principles, war tactics, and physical exertion to condition our bodies for battle.” Yet Seth silently chides himself for not sending Lady Caroline at least one written missive. And he resolves to rectify that omission before the feast tonight.

Then a manor servant interrupts them.

Footman: Bowing, he says. “My Lady, your mother Lady Havorford entreats you to join her in her private sitting room before the feast.”

Lady Caroline: “Yes, thank you.” The Footman bows again and leaves. “I must go, Sir. I hope you will enjoy the feast.” She states politely.

Lifting her hand to his lips and kissing it in farewell, Seth smiles.

Seth: “I believe I shall, My Lady. And if I may be so bold, might I claim a dance with you after the feast?” Seth smiles mischievously. He hasn’t meant to deceive her about who he is, but an opportunity to correct her mistaken impression has not arisen.

Lady Caroline: “You may.” She smiles shyly, her thinking that he is quite handsome.

It is only when Lady Caroline relates the tale of the tall and handsome noble whom she met to her Mama Lady Havorford that Lady Caroline realizes that he did not tell her his name. But no matter, she will meet him at the feast and rectify that deficit. And it is a short time later sitting quietly in her boudoir when a maid delivers a small bundle of flowers and a note to Lady Caroline from Seth stating that he looks forward to seeing her this evening at the feast, that she is even made aware that her betrothed Seth arrived with his Papa Baron Guy of Gisborne. Though she is excited to receive a note and the flowers from Seth, Lady Caroline nervously wonders how she might manage her expected obligation to dance with her betrothed Seth tonight with the more pleasing offer from this new knight in training she became acquainted with this afternoon.

***

The Havorford banquet room is ablaze with light from so many candles that Seth believes Seth-at16-is-a-youngRichardArmitage-asRichardPlanatagenet-manip_Aug2113byGratianaLovelace-Jul0215crop-sizedthat the nearby village must be dark. With Seth [(4) top right] in a teal blue velvet colored tunic and his sword standing next to his Papa Baron Guy in his navy velvet tunic and his sword, the two men make a formidable vision of manly perfection.

One man a distinguished yet still quite handsome fifty year old man [(5) lower Guy-inIndigoTunicManip-isRichardArmitagesHead-inRH3epi5pix108_masked-toBanquetHallManipFeb2115GratianaLovelaceright] , and the other man his sire’s younger and handsome counterpart. However when they are introduced by the announcer, there are so many people milling about that the petite Lady Caroline can only see the tops of their heads as she darts her eyes trying to sneak a peek at what her betrothed Seth looks like now.

Baron Guy of Gisborne moves swiftly through the mass of feasters to greet their Havorford hosts.

Lord Havorford: “Welcome again, Baron Gisborne! My wife, Lady Havorford, you know.” She smiles and nods at their distinguished guest and soon to be father-in-law of their daughter Lady Caroline.

Baron Guy: Lifting her hand to his lips, Baron Guy cordially greets his hostess. “My Lady, it is a pleasure to be welcomed into your home for such a much anticipated event–our two children’s formal betrothal announcement.”

Lady Havorford: “It is our pleasure as well. I would introduce you to Lady Caroline, but I believe that she is still at her evening prayers.”

Seth wonders if Lady Havorford always uses this excuse to explain Lady Caroline’s absences. But in looking about the room, he spots Lady Caroline amongst a bevy of admirers. Seth bristles and straightens his stance and then makes his apologies to his father and the Havorfords.

Seth: “Excuse me. But I see Lady Caroline standing next to the tapestry. I will go greet her.” Seth’s expression is rather steely for one so young, but his jealousy at seeing his intended so admired by other men has overwhelmed his sense of decorum. Seth bows and leaves.

Baron Guy: Smiling graciously to cover his son’s unexpected removal, Baron Guy remarks. “Besotted! After five years of waiting, Seth and Lady Caroline may now look forward to their marriage.”

As the tall and commanding looking Seth strides toward Lady Caroline across the banquet room, the other guests part to let him pass. Then Lady Caroline spots him and her eyes widen. And the other men and knights surrounding her wonder who this interloper is.

Seth: “My Lady.” Seth bows and lifts Lady Caroline’s hand for a kiss. “Might I have a private word with you before the feast begins?” Seth narrows his beady gaze at the other men–with his hand laid upon his sword hilt–and the men wisely disperse. Lady Caroline is his betrothed, not theirs. Seth just needs to let her know who he is–preferably in a private location should she rightly be upset with him for not revealing himself earlier to her.

Lady Caroline: Anxiously looking around the room, she shakes her head. “I cannot, Sir. My betrothed has arrived. Though I have not seen him yet, I am certain to at any moment.” Then Lady Caroline notices the embroidered crest upon Seth’s velvet tunic and she looks up at his face in alarm.

Seth: “I agree with you. That is why I wish to speak to you.”

Seth holds his arm out in a firm manner, waiting for her acquiescence. After a long moment, Lady Caroline softly places her arm around his and Seth leads her out of the banquet hall. The two sets of parents see them leave and smile at each other knowingly. Once in the outer hallway, Seth takes Lady Caroline to a quiet corner.

Lady Caroline: “What is it you wish to say to me … Seth?” Lady Caroline looks at him wide eyed. She is angry with him for misleading her earlier. But she could hardly have thought that the man before her then was the boy Seth as she last knew him.

Seth: “Oh! So now you know who I am? Yet you still allow other men to pay their addresses to you when you are my betrothed?” His fury is evident in his voice as he makes his charge.   “And here I thought to apologize to you for my not telling you who I was when we met earlier.”

Lady Caroline: “I accept your apology, Sir.” She replies crisply, but stands her ground in the face of his rising anger. “It was most wrong of you to pretend to be another.”

Seth: “That was not my original intent!” He hisses.

Lady Caroline: “Yet you played false with me and elicited my private thoughts on the matter of our betrothal.” She accuses.

Seth: “On that point, My Lady, I found your candor refreshing. And if you still feel now as you did then, I will gladly release you from our betrothal promise if you wish to be married to another.”

Seth’s words are hasty and he wishes that he could rescind them almost as soon as they leave his lips. But they are out now, and he must stand behind them. Though he cannot tell from her frozen expression if Lady Caroline wishes to end their betrothal.

Lady Caroline: “My Lord Gisborne, if you wish to end our betrothal, I will gladly release you.” Her steely gaze meets his as these two young people.

Seth: “Fine!” Seth blurts out in frustration for having muddled it and lost his betrothal to Lady Caroline.

Lady Caroline: “Fine!” She hisses in hurt and anger.

Lady Caroline trembles with her own fury and takes a step back, stumbling upon a floor candle pedestal’s splayed foot, knocking it backward into a small tapestry wall hanging and setting the tapestry afire. Lady Caroline would have fallen backward toward the growing flames were it not for Seth’s quick action in reaching out for her and pulling her to him. Then realizing that a small flame had already been transferred to the skirting on the back hip of Lady Caroline’s dress, Seth pats it out with his bare hand, singing his left palm in the process. Lady Caroline whimpers in distress.

Seth: “Are you alright, Caroline?”

Lady Caroline: “Oh Seth!” She crumples in shock and relief, but finds support in his firm embrace.

Seth: “Shhh!   Shhh! You’re alright, Caroline My Love.” He soothes and kisses the top of her head as he moves her further away from the fire.

Then still holding Lady Caroline in his strong arms, her clinging to him in relief, Seth yells to bring aid to put out the small blaze.

Seth: “Fire! Fire!”

Indeed, the servants come and the fire is snuffed out quite quickly with a servant using one of the many soup tureens’ contents to do the deed after the small tapestery is pulled off the wall. And then the large manor dogs eagerly make short work of the soup clean up on the stone floor.

By now, the guests and their Havorford hosts in the banquet hall have emptied out into the outer hallway to see what all the commotion is about. Lady Caroline’s parents see their daughter cradled in her betrothed Seth’s arm, while he gingerly holds his burnt hand up and away from touching anything. He is in a lot of pain as the palm of his left hand reddens and blisters–happily, it is not his sword hand. Their parents rush toward them.

Baron Guy: “What happened here?” Baron Guy looks worriedly from Seth to Lady Caroline, still nestled into Seth’s arms.

Lord Havorford: “Yes, tell us!”

Seth: “Lady Caroline stumbled over the candle pedestal foot as she stepped backward and the candle toppled into the tapestry and was set ablaze.” Then he continues sheepishly, for his ministrations caused him to touch his intended’s velvet covered backside. “Then I saw that her skirt had caught on fire and I patted it out.” Seth wincingly holds up his reddened and blistering left palm.

Lady Havorford walks around to her daughter’s back and sees that the dress was indeed damaged by the fire.

Lady Havorford: “Oh Seth! We are in your debt for saving our daughter’s life!” Then she turns to her daughter. “Dearest, we must get you changed into another gown. Yours is ruined until it can be repaired.”

Lady Caroline: Finding her voice, she says shyly. “No Mama.   We must first tend to Seth’s injuries. He must be in great pain.” Lady Caroline gazes up into Seth’s face and sees the truth of her statement written across his face.

Baron Guy:   Having surveyed his son’s palm, he waves others way. “No need, I will bandage it for him.”

Slightly detaching herself from Seth’s embrace, but still with her left hand in Seth’s uninjured right hand, Lady Caroline counters her future father-in-law’s command.

Lady Caroline: “With respect, Baron Gisborne, with myself as Seth’s betrothed–and in his debt for his service in saving me from great injury just now–it is I who must care for his wound.” Then without waiting for a response from the bemusedly astonished Baron Guy, Lady Caroline tugs on Seth’s uninjured right hand. “I have some some healing ointment in my bed chamber to ease your pain. And I will then bandage your hand.”

Lady Havorford: “My Dear! Seth may not enter your bed chamber until you are married!” Their guests chuckle.

Lady Caroline: “Seth is injured, Mama. Come with us as chaperone. Then when Seth returns to await the feast, you may help me change into a different gown.” Lady Caroline states reasonably.

Lord Havorford: “Go on my dears.” Lord Havorford shakes his head.

Then watching their children walk up the stairs to the bed chambers, Baron Guy leans over to Lord Havorford and asks sotto voce .

Baron Guy: “Shall we make it a Christmastide wedding then?” Baron Guy smirks.

Lord Havorford: Nodding in resignation, Lord Havorford responds. “We look forward to it! Five weeks should give us enough time to plan the fete.”

***

Once inside Lady Caroline’s bed chamber–which to Seth, looks very much like any of his sisters’ bed chambers at Gisborne-Middleton Manor with an abundance of pinks and flowers–Lady Caroline motions for Seth to sit upon the cushioned bench at the end of her bed and she tends to him. Her Mama Lady Havorford hovers nearby for the sake of propriety. And Lady Caroline had asked her servants for water and such with which to clean his wound before applying an ointment and bandages on her way up the stairs. So after the disagreeable necessity of cleaning Seth’s burned palm is past–the pain causing him to gasp and groan several times–Seth finally relaxes a bit as Lady Caroline applies her ointment to his palm as she cuts a plant leave and squeezes its sap out onto Seth’s palm.

Seth: “Ahhh!   This feels cool and soothing. What is the plant again?”

Lady Caroline: “It is an aloe vera plant. The leaves harbor medicinal properties for both healing and pain relief. My Papa received a plant from an acquaintance who returned from the Holy Land years ago and we have propagated it in our greenhouse.” [(6)]   Lady Caroline smiles tenderly to Seth. “Is that better?” She asks after letting more of the plant’s sap drip onto Seth’s burn blistered palm.

Seth: “Yes! Thank you!” He sighs.

Lady Caroline takes a clean strip of linen cloth and gently wraps Seth’s hand to encase the soothing ointment within to promote healing. Seth and Lady Caroline smile sweetly at each other as she does this. Earlier, he had patronized her and she had lashed back for his censure. But with Seth saving her from injury and calming her with his embrace and soothing words after the fire, Lady Caroline has softened toward him, and forgiven him for his discourteous behavior. Also neither of them wishes to set aside their betrothal. But they have not had time to clarify that with each other.

Lady Havorford: “Caroline, let Seth go downstairs and return to his father. We will be down shortly.”

Seth stands and looks soulfully at Lady Caroline.

Lady Caroline: “Wait, Mama. I wish a moment alone for Seth and I, if you please.”

Lady Havorford: “That is not proper.” She fidgets

Lady Caroline: “Mama, Seth and I will be wed soon. Please stand at the door and allow us a private parting.”

Her mother reluctantly nods in acquiescence and moves to the door to the corridor.

Taking Lady Caroline’s right hand in his uninjured right hand, Seth smiles cheekily.

Seth: “So our betrothal stands and our marriage will take place, My Love?” He kisses her hand as he did earlier today.

Lady Caroline shivers with hearing Seth’s endearing appellation for her again, My Love.

Lady Caroline: Shyly looking up into his eyes, she smiles lovingly at him. “Yes, if you wish it so, My Lord.”

Seth: His deep voice as soft as a caress, Seth gently chides her or her formality. “Caroline, I am Seth, your Seth. And you are My Caroline.” His voice smoulders with desire as he places her hand upon his heart. “My heart beats only for you Caroline–it always has. Well, once I saw sense when I entered my tenth year.” He smiles impishly. Then he becomes serious again. “But now I am a man of sixteen years–and soon to be a knight. Pray, do not have me wait much longer for us to be wed, My Beloved.” Bending down Seth whispers in her ear.   “I wish to love and to cherish you as no woman has ever been. And I will give you sons and daughters as we build our family legacy. And I will honor you all of my days.”

Lady Caroline tilts her head up to gaze into Seth’s eyes filled with her love for him, mirroring his eyes filled with love for her. Then Seth slowly lowers his lips to hers and tenderly adores Lady Caroline with their first kisses, petal soft–mindful of her Mama not ten feet away from them. And Lady Havorford, discreetly monitoring the young couple smiles–her thinking that Christmastide might be a beautiful time for a wedding.

***

And so it is a pristinely beautiful snowy day with snow drifts pillowing bushes and roads when Seth and Caroline are wed in December 1204. With various Gisborne-Middleton-Locksley-Oxbridge-Merton cousins–as well as aunts and uncles and extended family and friends–in attendance, it is a joyful and playful event. But the wedding fete also has its serious side with Baron Guy of Gisborne and his wife Lady Roseanna beginning to field offers of betrothal for their now twelve year old daughter Lady Helen Gisborne. As of yet, Lady Helen’s interest has not been captured. Nor has her parents. So they will bide their time as Lady Helen is introduced into a wider acquaintance of noble families.

After the wedding feast at Havorford castle, Seth spirits his new wife Lady Caroline away to a small one bedroom cottage provided to them by her parents upon the property. The cottage is stocked with simple provisions for their comfort and sustenance should they not wish to venture beyond its walls for a day or two. It is the perfect sanctuary for them to begin their wedded life together.

Seth has brought inside more wood  from the outside pile to increase the warmth of the fireplace in the eating and sitting area, as well as in the bedchamber. They will be cozy, just the two of them.   His and Lady Caroline’s trunks of clothes and other necessities had been brought over earlier in the day by servants. All was made ready for their wedding night.

And now as the sun sets, Seth has allowed a suddenly and uncharacteristically shy Lady Caroline Gisborne to repair to the bed chamber alone to collect herself in private as she acquaints herself with where her things have been put away. Her Mama had tried unsuccessfully to explain to Lady Caroline about her new wifely role–her need to submit to her husband’s requests of her person that would be of an intimate nature.   Ultimately, Lady Caroline’s long married sister Lady Mary eased her mind by saying that Seth and Lady Caroline’s loving as husband and wife will be a pleasant and joyful aspect to the marriage. No details were proferred, but Lady Caroline having lived in the country has a slight inkling of it.

Seth relaxes in a chair by the sitting room hearth after building up the fire, him wondering what could be taking his new wife so long in their bed chamber. He had his valet pack only his modest necessities of clothing and grooming–leaving his larger trunk of clothing in his bed chamber up at the Havorford manor house for him to return to later in the week. Seth had been urged by his Papa Baron Guy to be patient and considerate of his new wife Lady Caroline for the first days of his marriage to her. And Baron Guy had begun to rue what he presumed was Seth’s ignorance about carnal matters, as he began to explain what was required of Seth on his wedding night. While Seth thanked his Papa for his general recommendations, he waved off any telling of more. That Seth has never lain with a woman is not a hindrance in Seth’s own mind. He has loved only one woman, Lady Caroline. And his heart would not stand fulfilling his body’s needs with someone else as some of his fellow knights in training would boast about their conquests.

Hearing the bed chamber door creak slightly as it opens, Seth looks up to see Lady Caroline standing in the doorway, already in her night dress of linen and lace, her hair splayed about her shoulders in beautiful soft curls, her bare feet peeking out from beneath the lace hem of her night dress. Seth’s heart begins to pound as he unsteadily stands up from the chair.

Seth: “Caroline, My Love. You are so beautiful.” His deep voice lifts with loving awe.   Seth is wearing just a simple loose blousy shirt over his trousers, after removing his tunic and boots.

Lady Caroline: “Thank you, Seth. You look handsome, too.” She pauses, uncertain as to what will happen next. Then she shivers from the chill of her bare arms in the cooler bed chamber.

Seth: “You are cold. Let me stoke up the fire in our bed chamber.” Seth moves quickly forward, smiling at realizing he said our bed chamber.

As Seth carries several logs into their bed chamber, he notices that the fire had died down from the servants earlier tending of it. So he sets about increasing it with stacking two logs in the rack and then using a bellows to fan the flame. Lady Caroline watches him intently. She notices that his forearms are quite muscular with his long sleeves rolled back so they don’t catch fire. He looks over his shoulder at her standing there expectantly. He smiles warmly to her.

Lady Caroline: “How is your hand, Seth?” She had noticed that he used a glove on his almost healed left hand when he lifted the logs and carried them in here.

Seth: “It is fine–just a little tender.” He stands up. “Why don’t you get into bed under the covers to stay warm?” He suggests practically. Then Seth blanches, thinking about the implications of his suggestion–and wondering if his new wife thinks that he is over eager to claim his husbandly prerogative.

Lady Caroline: “I tried that earlier. But the sheets are freezing.” She sheepishly shrugs her shoulders. And she wonders if all new brides have such issues as freezing cottages to contend with–on top of relinquishing their virginity to their husbands on their wedding night.

Seth: “I can fix that!” He smiles jauntily and leaves the room taking an object near the hearth with him. But he returns quickly, now holding the metal object in front of him. “Bed warmer! I made sure that the manor house supplied us with one since it is freezing outside.”

Lady Caroline smiles and nods. She watches as Seth goes to the bed and he peels back the coverlets and then the top sheet.   Then he slides the metal bed warmer with a warming coal inside in between the sheets–first on one side of the bed, and then the other. Lady Caroline places her hand on the sheet where the warmer had been and smiles.

Lady Caroline: “That’s much better.”

By now, the fire in the bed chamber fireplace hearth is growing and emitting some cozy heat into the small room. Seth removes the bedwarmer and sets it near the fireplace–lifting the hot coal out of it with tongs and putting it into the fireplace.

Seth: “There, do you feel warm enough now.” He asks hopefully as he stands and walks over to the bed again.

Lady Caroline: “I do.” She nods.

Seth: Standing across the bed from her, gazing lovingly at his new wife, Seth asks. “Would you like to …” Seth stops. He has never entreated a lady to join him in bed before. And she is his wife–the lady who will share his life and give him children. He wonders if there should be a more polite protocol as fitting her honored place in his heart.

Lady Caroline: “Yes.” Sensing her new husband’s quandary, Lady Caroline lifts up the coverlets and sheets on her side of the bed and sits down, then she pivots into lifting her legs onto the feather mattress and she lies down, covering herself to keep warm.

Seth: Feeling anxious for a passing moment, Seth delays by thinking of a practicality. “Let me just put up the fireplace screens here and in the sitting room.”

Lady Caroline: “Alright.” She nods, snuggling under the covers as Seth does that.

Soon Seth rejoins Lady Caroline in their bed chamber–him still wearing his blousy shirt and trousers. There is not a standing screen where he might change–or at least remove his shirt and trousers in relative privacy. This intimacy of a shared bed chamber is all new to him–and to her.

Seth: “Caroline? Might you please close your eyes whilst I undress? Then I will join you in the bed.” He almost gulps in nervousness.

Lady Caroline: “Of course.” She agrees in a small trembling voice.

Lady Caroline complies and closes her eyes with her hands clasped lightly over her coverlet and her nightdress covered breasts. Or at least, she lowers her eyelids approximating her eyes being closed as she wickedly watches through her lowered lashes as her new husband disrobes. Seth turns his back to the bed and then he unfastens and lowers his trousers–leaving just his drawers on. After a moment of hesitation, Seth also removes his drawers. He is now naked below his waist. But she cannot see his bare form because Seth’s blousy shirt is long and covers his thighs. Seth sits upon the bed with his back to her–him slightly pulling up his blousy shirt out of the way in the back. Then he pulls his shirt over his head, revealing his bare back and hips to his new wife–who gasps in appreciation for his fine form.

Lady Caroline: “Hhhh!”

Seth quickly pulls the coverlets and sheet over himself as he lies down in the bed in one fluid motion.

Seth: “You may open your eyes now …” He smirks. “Unless they are already open.”

Lady Caroline’s eyes fly open at being caught admiring her husband.

Lady Caroline: “I wasn’t looking.” She tries to pretend to him. But her blushing face gives her away.

Seth rolls toward her in their cozy bed and perches himself up onto his side, with his head propped up on his left arm, as he smiles lovingly at her and with his bare chest revealed to her. Her eyes widen.

Seth: “Are you looking now, My Love?” He asks a tad cheekily. She looks shyly away. However with his right hand he guides her face to look back at him. Then Seth says tenderly. “You are allowed to look, My love…and to touch.”

His right hand moves to her left hand nearest him. He lifts it up and kisses her fingers before bringing them to touch his bare chest.   Then he leans down and kisses her with sweetness that soon becomes passionate as she responds to his kisses. Seth pulls her to him under the covers as they lay flush together–only the flimsy linen covering of her nightdress separates their bodies. Seth can feel Caroline’s soft curves molding to his own hard sinews–and his body is excited beyond anything he has experienced before. And Caroline feels her husband’s muscular form covering hers, warming her in ways that requires no fire, but that burns from within.

Caroline: “Oh Seth!” She gazes up at him with love and trust as he hovers over her. He is her husband, this is his right. And she will soon know the depths of his love for her.

Then Seth renews the promise that he made her when their formal betrothal was announced at the feast not quite two months ago.

Seth: “My beautiful Caroline,I will honor you all the days of my life, love you as no woman has ever been loved, and cherish you beyond blissful imaginings.”

And then as Seth deepens his kisses and tenderly caresses his new wife–delighting in the wonder of her womanly beauty that is for him alone to know, and to take and give pleasure in as her husband–Lady Caroline is swept away in an awakening of her womanhood as they join their lives and their bodies as one.   And Seth and Caroline well and truly begin their married lives together.

To be continued with Chapter 46 (End)

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 45 References, July 06, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #780)

1) My story cover for “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite image of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from 2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) Seth at 16 years of age is a Richard Armitage-pix5 (manipped to sepia tone) date unknown saved Jun0313 and courtesy of RANet—(Gratiana-dkrn-shrp-Sepia-bluebackground-Clr-bleyes-smlr-shrp2)

3) Lady Caroline Haverford age 16 image is that of Dakota Fanning and was found at http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JeZDF5a0e1Y/TwzxrAcQg_I/AAAAAAAAAjo/o03JTh8Haog/s1600/DiarioTwilight_9.jpg

4) Seth at 16 years in dress tunic is a manip of:
a) Richard Armitage (head only) in his twenties maybe image (hi-res, contrast, darken, sepia); original image was found at RANet, pix 5, date unknonw; and
b) The body of Richard, Duke of Gloucester played by Anuerin Barnard image (cropped to body only, hi-res, sharpened) The three sons of York image was from The White Queen FB page

5) Sir Guy in indigo tunic against Banquet Hall manip (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood series 3, episode 5 (pix 108) (2009) was found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_108

6) For more information about the medicinal properties of the aloe vera plant and its varieties, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloe

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 44 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #778)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-44-pg-13-resolution-july-3-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-778/

 

 

Posted in "Sir Guy's Atonement" (Book 3), Creative Writing, Drama, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Romance, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Celebrating the 4th of July by Honoring the Legacy of Ruby Bridges, “A Mighty Girl”, July 4, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #779)

For me, celebrating the birth of this nation of the United States on July 4th Independence USFlagIllustration_Jul0415MSOfcClipArtDay means recognizing all of our peoples–some of whose independence and freedoms did not come until long after 1776.  And some who are still working on it.

So today, I want to celebrate the courage of a little girl named Ruby Bridges.  At 6 years old in 1960, she became one of the faces of  school integration in the South–as was an earlier group of high school students in 1957, called the Little Rock Nine.

I had heard the story about Ruby before, but not in such detail as the Facebook post shared by “A Mighty Girl” (that they originally posted on September 6, 2014).

So I wanted to share Ruby’s story with you, and with myself, as a reminder that freedoms and liberties are often hard won, at great cost, and only earned through the courage of sometimes the seemingly smallest and certainly the most vulnerable among us–in this case, a little girl named Ruby Bridges, “A Mighty Girl”:

RubyBridges-6yrsold-in1960_Sept0814AMightyGirl_repostedJul0415

 

“A Mighty Girl

Happy 60th birthday to Ruby Bridges! As a six-year-old, Ruby Bridges famously became the first African American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in the South. When the 1st grader walked to William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960 surrounded by a team of U.S. Marshals, she was met by a vicious mob shouting and throwing objects at her.

One of the federal marshals, Charles Burks, who served on her escort team, recalls Bridges’ courage in the face of such hatred: “For a little girl six years old going into a strange school with four strange deputy marshals, a place she had never been before, she showed a lot of courage. She never cried. She didn’t whimper. She just marched along like a little soldier. We were all very proud of her.”

Once Ruby entered the school, she discovered that it was devoid of children because they had all been removed by their parents due to her presence. The only teacher willing to have Ruby as a student was Barbara Henry, who had recently moved from Boston. Ruby was taught by herself for her first year at the school due to the white parents’ refusal to have their children share a classroom with a black child.

Despite daily harassment, which required the federal marshals to continue escorting her to school for months; threats towards her family; and her father’s job loss due to his family’s role in school integration, Ruby persisted in attending school. The following year, when she returned for second grade, the mobs were gone and more African American students joined her at the school. The pioneering school integration effort was a success due to Ruby Bridges’ inspiring courage, perseverance, and resilience.   …”

 

For more information, please follow this link, here:

https://www.facebook.com/amightygirl/photos/a.360833590619627.72897.316489315054055/733247560044893/?type=1&fref=nf&pnref=story

 

So my heartfelt thanks to Ruby and others for their courage!  Wishing everyone a Happy 4th of July!   Holiday Cheers!   Grati ;->

P.S. And for our enjoyment, another lady who made history, contralto Marian Anderson, singing a favorite patriotic song:

Posted in #BlackLivesMatter, African American, Beauty, Black, Civil Rights, Courage, Freedom, Holiday, Independence, Integration, Legacy, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Video, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 44 (PG-13): Resolution, July 3, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #778)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Historical Fiction Fan adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]
(All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince/King John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little John, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: The return of Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton involved a tense confrontation with Lady Rebecca’s first husband Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester. And King John was quite put out about him not yet receiving the Staffordshire Ruby as payment for the Merton marriage–which Baron Guy reminded him and Sir Roderick would be payment for a permanent marriage, when all is settled legally. Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester wonders about the legal maneuverings that will have to take place for him to be able to marry Lady Anne/Marian and to have her be his Countess of Leicester–when his first wife yet lives, but with Lady Rebecca now married to another. The marriages, plural, will be a delicate matter to finesse for all concerned. And perhaps the most important detail of these machinations for Lord John, is to have himself declared alive so that he may legally reclaim his family and his earldom.

And Lord John Oxbridge will find an unlikely ally in Baron Guy of Gisborne, who hopes to help facilitate Lord John’s new family vision –in order for Baron Guy to insure the future happiness of Lady Anne/Marian, as a measure of Baron Guy hoping to atone for what Lady Anne/Marian has endured these past seven years due to his fault. Until Lady Anne/Marian’s future happiness is secured, Baron Guy cannot focus upon his own life and family. But of course, Baron Guy’s family might have something to say about his singular focus.

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 44 (PG-13): Resolution

A quarter hour after Lady Rebecca and her children had left her first husband Lord John Oxbridge alone to propose to Lady Anne/Marian Knighton–on Saturday July 11th, 1199–the couple soon joins the extended Gisborne-Oxbridge family in the small Drawing Room of Gisborne-Middleton Manor. By this time, King John’s caravan has arrived–with LadyAnne-smiling-isLucyGriffiths-asLadyMarian-inBBCsRobinHood_Jul0315fanpopcom-sized-hairmanipFather Bale in it who now converses off to the side with Br. Tuck. Everyone halts their conversations, or play in the case of the children, and turns toward the opening the small Drawing Room door to see a smiling Lady Anne/Marian [(2) right] with her arm coupled around her love and betrothed Lord John Oxbridge’s arm. Her wimple gone and her curling locks unfurl femininely about her shoulders.

The three year old little Lord Graham 0xbridge and his two year old sister Lady Rachel drop their Mama Lady Rebecca’s hands and rush over to their father Lord John to hear the news.

Lord Graham: “Are you getting married to Lady Anne, Papa?”

Lady Rachel: “Will there be a party?” She asks eagerly as she claps her little hands together. Little Lady Rachel likes parties with dancing and special treats. Though at two years old, none might call Lady Rachel’s movements dancing–more like hopping around, with her arms flailing about enthusiastically.LordOxbridge-imageis-KevinMcKidd76376-Sep2213KevinMcKiddonline-May2115compbyGratiRev

Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Graham, Rachel.” Lord John gently cups his children’s upturned angelic faces in his hands. “All in good time, children, all in good time.” He smiles joyously [(3) right] as he then gazes upon his betrothed, Lady Anne/Marian. This news satisfies the children only somewhat.

And the Oxbridge children are, as of yet, too young to understand the complications that yet must be faced and resolved before their father’s marriage to Lady Anne/Marian might take place.   Then Lord John returns his arm to a shyly smiling Lady Anne/Marian and they both look at their extended family and friends.

Baron Guy is riveted to hear the news–hoping that it will finally bring Lady Anne/Marian happiness. Lady Roseanna senses the tension in her husband with his clenched fists and jaw and comments to him in a hushed whisper.

Lady Roseanna: “Guy, what is wrong? Is this not what you hoped for? That Lady Anne/Marian would find happiness in love and marriage?”

Baron Guy: “Yes, … and no.”  He admits begrudgingly.

Baron Guy is happy for Lady Anne/Marian, yes. But there is also a small part of him that is LadyRoseanna-isEmmaWatson_Jul0315realbollywoodcom-flipnot happy–perhaps a nagging remnant of feeling to be yet again dismissed as the object of Lady Anne/Marian’s heart. Though he knows that it is quite churlish of him to begrudge her love and happiness in marriage to another when he is so happily situated–and the father of five and soon to be six children with his beloved Lady Rose. And the still young and lovely Lady Roseanna [(4) right] perceives the source of her husband’s equivocal feelings as she gazes with tempered charity upon the beautifully Lady Anne/Marian.  For Lady Rose knows that Lady Anne/Marian had toyed with her husband’s affections in the long ago past.

Lord John: “My Lords and Ladies, and Sire…” Lord John begins triumphantly smiling at everyone–and he bows to his sovereign and cousin King John. “It is with great joy that I share the news that Lady Anne and I are betrothed and hope to marry very soon.”

Both Lady Anne/Marian and Baron Guy flinch at the very soon part. Others smile and offer up their congratulations to the happy couple. And King John rubs his hands together at the thought of another marriage tax tribute coming his way. However Seth standing with Lady Caroline and his Uncle Lord George and Aunt Lady Mary who have also arrived with their family, wonders aloud–him not guarding his thought before they became speech.

Seth: “But isn’t Lord John still married to Lady Rebecca?” Seth looks at his cousin Lord John and then his first wife Lady Rebecca standing next to her second husband and soon to be the father of her third child, Sir Roderick Merton.

Lord Graham: “No, my Mama is married to Papa Roddy.” Little Lord Graham states naively.

Lord John: “Hhhhhh! We hope that King John might help us resolve the situation amicably.” He smiles hopefully and pointedly at his cousin the King. And Lady Rebecca smiles up to her husband Sir Roderick.PrinceJohn-frowning-isTobyStephens-inRobinhood-series3-epi6-pix0095_Jan3115ranet-crop-sized-crop2

King John: “Me? I am no lawyer nor ecclesiastical court judge.” King John recoils [(5) right] as he swishes his hands in front of himself as if to disavow his role in the tangled marriage situation between and among Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick and Lord Johns.

Stepping forward, even while his wife Lady Roseanna hangs on his arm tugging him backward, Baron Guy charges King John.

Baron Guy: “Nay my King. You are the maker of the marital quagmire currently surrounding Lady Rebecca, Sir Roderick, and Lord John.” Baron Guy still feels that he owes a debt to Sir Roderick for saving his children’s lives. “Had you not forced Lady Rebecca to marry someone, she might yet be Lord John’s wife, and not remarried and soon to welcome a child with her new husband.” The lady in question blushes crimson, for technically, she is married to two men at the moment–though Lord John, her first husband his still legally dead. “You have caused this mess. And you must resolve it!” Baron Guy admonishes forcefully.

King John throws up his hands in confusion as to what to do. Fr. Bale and Br. Tuck exchange knowing glances, but make no suggestions at this point. Their role as clerics–and his role as officiant at the marriage of Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca  in the case of Fr. Bale–are consultative in nature.

Lord George: Lord George Middleton, Lady Roseanna’s elder brother, now steps forward. “If I may?”

Baron Guy: “Please.” He gestures to his brother-in-law giving him the floor.

Lord George:   “There are two matters at hand–Lady Rebecca’s marriage to Sir Roderick while her first husband Lord John yet lives–though he was declared dead and she remarried in good faith thinking herself to be a widow; and the legal question of Lord John’s death status with regard to that marriage and to his own position as Earl of Leicester, which is held in trust by little Lord Graham in his father’s absence.”

Lord Graham: “Papa, you may be the Earl again if you like.” Little Lord Graham offers graciously.

Lord John: “Thank you, Graham.” He pats his son’s shoulders.

Sighing in frustration for the matter that is keeping him from a hot bath after their long journey, Baron Guy’s brother Lord Archer of Locksley speaks up.

Lord Archer: “Alright George, I will grant that you have succinctly articulated the aspects of the situation. But have you any solutions?” He chides,

Lord George: “As a matter of fact, yes.” Lord George smiles smugly.

King John: “Well tell us, Georgie!” King John petulantly urges his cousin. King John also wants a hot bath after his long journey.

Lord George portentously looks around the room at everyone. The Gisborne, Middleton, and Locksley children are mostly playing off to the side of the adults standing in a circle.   However, the Oxbridge children are standing with their father and mother, respectively–with little Lady Rachel sleepily leaning in to her mamas skirts and having her mama rub her back caringly–and the almost eleven year old Seth and the now twelve year old Lady Caroline are also with the adults.

Lord George: “John, for the moment, you have to remain dead.” Lord George states impishly.

Lord John: “What?” He asks incredulous–an expression of half confusion and half amusement upon his face.

Baron Guy: “What is this solution you promise?”  Baron Guy urges.

Lord George: “I am getting there, Guy. We must first deal with making Lady Rebecca’s marriage to Sir Roderick Merton a legal transaction in both civil and ecclesiastical courts.”

Sir Roderick: Eager to hear how he might remain his wife’s husband, Sir Roderick asserts. “My Lady Rebecca and I wed in good faith.”

King John: “And I have yet to see the Staffordshire Ruby I was promised.”

Lord Archer: “That is why you are here? For a bauble?” Lord Archer rolls his eyes at King John. In his days of thieving he might have been tempted by such a valuable object, but his beloved wife Lady Saline and their children are his treasures now.

Lord George: “That ruby was a marriage tax, cousin John. And if the marriage dissolves, you do not get it. So you had best aid in this enterprise.”

King John: “What enterprise? You have yet to state it.” King John stamps his tooled leather clad foot in frustration. And Seth thinks that King John still has pretty shoes.

Baron Guy: “George! You are trying all of our collective patience. Please just lay out your plan.” And Baron Guy’s patience is the least flexible among the gathered adults present.

Lord George: “Very well. I have studied the legal matter. And to insure that the Merton marriage is true in the eyes of God and the law of man, Lady Rebecca must have an annulment from her first marriage to Lord John issued by the church and dated for before she wed Sir Roderick.”

Fr. Bale: “But we do not have such a document. Nor are we like to obtain one from Rome.”

Lord George: “Yet, Fr. Bale, it is through your marrying Lady Rebecca to Sir Roderick that they are in this mess. So you are culpable, too.”

Fr. Bale: “I? Culpable? They wed with the presumption–that we now know is false–that Lord John had succumbed to his injuries and died. So she remarried in good faith as a widow.”

Lady Rebecca nods her head up and down. Not only is her marriage to Sir Roderick at stake, but her reputation and the fate of the child that she carries.

Lord George: “Yes, in good faith. And so it behooves you King John and you Father Bale to rectify the situation by formalizing an annulment of the Oxbridge marriage–dated before Lady Rebecca wed Sir Roderick. The children Lord Graham and Lady Rachel remain Lord John’s  heirs as his legitimate children from the marriage. Once the annullment is accomplished, the Merton marriage is secure. And then we may set about returning Lord John to living legal status so that he may resume his earldom and marry Lady Anne.”

Baron Guy: “That sounds reasonable.” He nods his head. For once, his much younger brother-in-law is talking sense.

Lord John: “It does. But will you do it?” Lord John looks at the balking faces of King John and Father Bale.”

Baron Guy: “Come now gentleman.” Baron Guy addresses the recalcitrant cleric and his cousin-in-law King John. “The basics of your believing the Oxbridge marriage to be null and void before the Merton marriage took place is not in question. Am I right?”

Fr. Bale and King John hesitantly nod in agreement with Baron Guy’s assertion.

Br. Tuck: “And I am willing to affix my signature to such a document as well–since two members of the clergy must sign the annulment document.” He rubs his hands together. Br. Tuck is never more glad to be a man of the cloth than when he can actually do some good for his flock–as in this case, for the Oxbridge’s and the Mertons.

Lord George: “Excellent! Well?” He gazes upon King John and Fr. Bale.

King John: “Well, if it is the only way.” He pouts. For all his machinations for self gain when he was a Prince, King John seems to have developed a few scruples now that he is King of England.  However, he still wants that ruby for his new crown.

Fr. Bale: “But what grounds exist for the annulment?” He asks portentously.

Lord George: Lord George thinks for a moment. “John and Lady Rebecca were not cousins when they wed, so that cannot be the reason.” King John perks up at that notion, tucking away that little detail–of cousins marrying being able to annull their marriage–for possible future use. “And there was no cruelty by Lord John to Lady Rebecca.” The two almost former spouses shake their heads no in agreement.

Baron Guy: “Abandonment!” Baron Guy raises his hand in triumph.

Lord John: “I did not abandon my Lady wife Rebecca.” Lord John counters loudly. He is shaking with rage and Lady Anne/Marian leans over and whispers soothing words to him.

Lady Anne/Marian: “Of course not, Lord John. This is just a legal maneuver so that you and I may wed.”

Lady Saline: Quiet up til now, not her strong suit, Lord Archer’s wife Lady Saline sneers. “And what might Lady Rebecca say to that, Lord John? You marry her without her willing participation, get her pregnant and have a son and heir, then you dash off to the Holy Land leaving her alone, pregnant with your second child that you are not even aware of, and for her to have the burden of managing Gordon Castle and the earldom in your absence? Oh yes, you abandoned her–and took advantage of her being a women who did not get to choose whom she could marry.” Lady Saline ends with a flourish. She has always been forthright in her manner and in her speech.

Lord John: “You speak generally of private matters of which you do not know.” Lord John hisses tersely, for she has succinctly described the matter.

Lady Rebecca:   Silent up to now as well, Lady Rebecca  finds her voice and states calmly with no rancor. “Yet My Lord, the Lady Saline has described the circumstances accurately.” Lord John pouts.

Sir Roderick: “Come, man. Does it matter what the reason for the annulment is as long as we obtain our goals of being married to the women we love?”

Baron Guy: “So Lord John, will you agree to the annulment based upon grounds that you abandoned your wife and family? And then you may look forward to the future with Lady … Anne?” Her new name still feels foreign to Baron Guy’s lips. But Lady Anne/Marian has elected to remain Lady Anne, since she still cannot remember her past as Lady Marian Knighton.

The moments tick by as the adults look questioningly at each other. Lord John’s face begins to relax as he acknowledges the sense of what they propose.

Br. Tuck: “In addition to King John’s signature,mine, and that of Fr. Bale, we will need the signatures of two nobles not related by blood to the respondents, Lady Rebecca and Lord John.”

Lord Archer: “I guess that would be me.” Lord Archer Earl of Huntington waves cheerfully.

Baron Guy: “And me!” Baron Guy smiles broadly. But then his hopes of truly facilitating Lady Anne/Marian’s happiness are dashed.

Lord George: “Unfortunately Baron Guy, your marriage to my sister Lady Roseanna makes you a cousin-in-law to Lord John, not related by blood, but we do not want any challenges to arise.” Then he turns to his sister-in-law. “Lady Caroline, do you think that your father Lord Havorford would entertain signing the document as the second noble? He is resting at my home at Middleton Hall.” He explains to those assembled.

Lady Caroline: “Papa? I do not see why he would refuse so reasonable a request.” She smiles sweetly.

Seth: Patting her hand on his arm, Seth whispers in jest to Lady Caroline. “At least he does not have to relinquish a pony this time. Ha ha ha!”

Lady Caroline: She swats playfully at Seth. “Oh you! Ha ha ha!”

Baron Guy gives a stern look to his son and his son’s hoped for betrothed Lady Caroline, admonishing them to behave properly–no jesting should take place when such a serious matter is being discussed. Seth nods, feeling duly chastened.

With all parties agreeing, the matter is resolved the following day after four copies of the annulment document are prepared–one copy for each former spouses, one copy for the church, and one copy for the state. And then the next day after that–to insure a separate date apart from the annulment document so that no one might question the order of the documents–a second set of documents are signed that formalize the not dead and very much alive status of Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester.

***

A few weeks later, Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester and Lady Anne/Marian wed with an abundance of dancing and sweet treats for a very fun party as little Lady Rachel pronounces it. The extended family all stay at Gordon Castle in Leicester for the wedding fete and the following days’ after parties–Lord John feeling that he has been away from his duties for too long to take a wedding trip just now with his new bride Lady Anne/Marian.

And Lord John has brokered an amicable arrangement with his former wife Lady Rebecca such that she will retain physical custody of their daughter Lady Rachel and that he would have his son and heir Lord Graham live with him–but that there would be liberal visits back and forth so that the children Lord Graham and Lady Rachel may remain as true siblings and so that their parents may also maintain a strong relationship with the child who does not live with them permanently. The children’s agreement is also obtained so that this new living arrangement is not thrust upon them in surprise, and to prevent them from thinking that the parent whom they do not live with most of the time does not love them.

Lying in their guest bed chambers the night of the Oxbridge wedding, Baron Guy stares aimlessly at the canopy of his bed with his beloved wife Lady Rose. Baron Guy’s piercing blue eyes are the window to his still conflicted soul. Sensing her husband’s contemplative mood, she asks.

Lady Rose: “A shilling?”

Baron Guy: “What?” He turns his head on the pillow to gaze at his beloved wife Lady Rose.

Lady Rose: “You are positively distracted, My Love. What is the matter?”

Baron Guy still wrestles with an inner turmoil with regard to Lady Anne/Marian, who was wed this day to Lord John Oxbridge–and who is in her wedding marriage chamber with her new husband at this very moment. Baron Guy still feels a bit of jealously in that regard–whether or not he will admit that to himself.

Baron Guy: “It is nothing.” He dissembles. But his wife knows him too well, and she gets right to the heart of the matter.

Lady Rose: “Do you wish it were you bedding Lady Anne at this moment?”

Baron Guy: “No!” He says forcefully, but tinged with regret and with embarrassment.

Lady Roseanna: “Guy, I have lived with the ghost of Lady Marian in our lives for seven years–as you struggled with your guilt for thinking that you had killed her. Can we not lay her to rest now that we know that she lives–and be glad that she has found love and happiness with my cousin Lord John?” She asks pleadingly.

Baron Guy: “I am sorry, My Love. I do not begin to understand why I feel this way. And I do feel glad that she will finally know happiness.”

Lady Roseanna: “And yet, a tiny part of you wishes that she had been able to find love and happiness with you all those years ago?”

Baron Guy: Looking away from his wife in shame and embarrassment, he nods and admits in a hushed voice.   “Yes.” Lady Roseanna says nothing and he turns back to look at her quizzically. “Are you not going to admonish me for my foolishness, when I have found such love and happiness with you–more joy in my life than I could have ever dreamed of or hoped for?”

Lady Roseanna: “No, My Husband.” She replies softly with great resolution. “We all have feelings that we wish we didn’t have, or we have regrets about the past.” She is thinking of her stubborn instance to go and be presented at court when she was sixteen, during a disease outbreak–and then she fell ill and was nursed back to health by her parents, only to have them fall ill and die from the disease.

Baron Guy: “You are thinking about your parents?”

Lady Roseanna: “Yes.” She replies solemnly. “But whatever is in the past has made me the woman I am today–and brought me to this place of love and happiness with you and our children, My Love. I would not wish it altered.”

Baron Guy: “Nor would I wish my life altered. I am truly blessed to have you and the children fill my life with love and joy. You are wise for one so young, My Rose.” He kisses her tenderly. “I will get past my past, in time. It was just that with Lady Marian being found to be alive and that I didn’t kill her–and now with her as a part of our extended family with her marriage to our cousin Lord John Oxbridge this day–it has brought up so much that I had tried to forget.” Baron Guy closes his eyes in remorse as a single tear escapes his left eye.

Lady Roseanna: “I know, My love, I know.”

Lady Roseanna lays her head onto her husband Baron Guy’s shoulder–embraGuy-embracing-sonSeth-isRichardArmitage-inTheGoldenHour-epi4-26_Jun0715ranet-sized-drncing him and he embracing her for a long while [(6) right]. Their holding each other, with little soft kisses of comfort now and again, serve as a balm to Baron Guy’s wounded pride.

Then finally, Baron Guy lets out a long sigh, which Lady Roseanna knows is a sign of her husband’s easing tensions.

Baron Guy:   “Hhhhhh!”

So Lady Roseanna changes the subject to give her husband something else to focus upon.

Lady Roseanna: “So! With the wedding festivities today, I had not had the chance to ask you if Lord Havorford has consented to the formal betrothal of his daughter Lady Caroline to our son Seth?” She asks eagerly.

A small smile curls up at the corner of one side of Baron Guy’s mouth–giving his face its characteristic smirk that she loves so well.

Baron Guy: “He has, My Love. Lady Caroline will come to the marriage with a 5,000 pound dowry–not a huge sum, but not a small one since Seth is my heir and need not buy a manor since our manor will become his upon my death.”

Lady Roseanna: She crosses herself then she swats at him. “You! Do not speak of your death. You are healthy and stubborn and will outlive us all. Ha ha ha!”

Baron Guy: “Ha ha ha! I hope that you are right, My Love. For I could not bear an existence without you.”

Lady Roseanna: “So? What are the particulars? When will they be wed?”

Baron Guy: “In about five years time, after Seth turns sixteen as we have hoped. Seth will not have finished his knighthood training then, but he will be well on his way. And we will grant them living space in our home at Gisborne-Middleton Manor, or build a small cottage for them on the grounds for them to begin their life as a married couple.”

Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy! Seth and Lady Caroline will be so happy!” She hugs and kisses her husband joyously. And then Baron Guy and his Lady Rose enjoy a very happy wedding night of love and tenderness as well.

On the morrow, Baron Guy and Lady Roseanna will share the news with Seth about his formal betrothal to the lady he has chosen, Lady Caroline Havorford. And their family will move forward unfettered, released from the past, and with the promise of a bright future

To be continued with Chapter 45

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 44 References, July 03,2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #778)

1) My story cover for “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite image of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from 2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) The image of Lady Anne/Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at http://images2.fanpop.com/images/polls/197000/197196_1236105246163_full.jpg

3) Lord John Oxbridge image is a composite of two Kevin McKidd images :
a) body and background found at http://www.kevinmckiddonline.com/uploads/2/0/2/4/202457/76376.jpg;
b) head found at http://i2.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article925860.ece/BINARY/kevin-mckidd-image-6-748739633.jpg

4) Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne is that of actress Emma Watson (cropped) and was found at   http://www.realbollywood.com/up_images/emma-watson96867.jpg

5) Prince John frowning image (crop) is Toby Stephens in the BBC’s Robinhood (2009) season 3, epi 6, pix 95 that was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0095.jpg

6) Baron Guy embracing his wife Lady Roseanna is Richard Armitage in The Golden Hour epi4-26_Jun0715ranet-sized-drkn found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/TGH/album/TGH4/slides/TGH4-26.html

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 43 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #776)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/06/29/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-43-pg-13-reconciliation-june-29-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-776

 

Posted in "Sir Guy's Atonement" (Book 3), Creative Writing, Family, Fan Fiction, Fathers, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Middle Ages, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Romance, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Social Justice, Society, Something About Love, Storytelling, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

WCW: Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield is our Reigning King, July 01, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #777)

Forget Jack Dawson with arms spread wide shouting “I am king of the world!” Jack who you ask? See! And I’m not going to hyperlink it for you. Ha!

The exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage who portrayed Thorin Oakenshield, the King Under the Mountain, is now the King of the World with his recent prestigious acting award, and yet Richard Armitage is still also the King of our Hearts!

Richard Armitage’s win for Best Supporting Actor–at last Thursday’s 41st Annual Saturn Awards –for his searingly epic portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in the finale of the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, is still being celebrated several days later by his world wide fans–including me!

So below are a few more celebratory musings and graphics congratulations the exquisitely talented Richard Armitage for his artistic achievement:

1) The Hobbit Movie (finally) tweeted their congrats to Richard Armitage with an image of him portraying Thorin Oakenshield leading the Dwarves out of the fortress of Erebor to fight their enemies in a charging chevron shaped column of brute strength and brave hearts.

Oh and congrats also to THBOTFA filmmakers for the film’s Saturn Award win as Best Fantasy Film Release.

2)  Terri on Twitter shared an extreme closeup of Thorin and a restrained but jubilant award winner Richard Armitage

3) But I think the Thorin of Erebor designed “King Under the Mountain” wallpaper at right 2014--BOFA-Thorin-isKingUndertheMountain-RichardArmitage_Jun3015byThorinofEreboris the most stirringly poetic fan made Thorin art that I have seen so far–with its juxtaposition of ethereal mountains and a contemplative Thorin gazing backward at them, denoting a lack of future for himself. Symbolically, this artwork speaks to me of a great king, a lost kingdom, and a lost future that was regained for others, but not for him.

Thorin gave his life–literally and figuratively–in service to his people. The sacrifice and the burden of legacy weighed heavily upon Thorin’s broad shoulders.
And Richard Armitage is the only actor, and the only man, who could have portrayed Thorin with such unflinching honesty about Thorin’s flaws and weaknesses, yet rally us to believe in his cause to “reclaim our homeland”, and for us to hope for Thorin’s victory. Yet as with most victories, Thorin’s victory was bittersweet. The future of the Dwarves of Durin and of Erebor–and for the peoples of Middle Earth–would be secure, purchased by Thorin’s sweat, by his toil, and by his blood with his sacrificial death in killing Azog. And when the extended version of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies comes out, I will be the be spellbound to watch Thorin’s valorizing funeral–to see the Arkenstone placed over his heart in the center of the mountain of Erebor–which should have been the ending to the film. IMHO.

Richard Armitage’s searingly epic portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield has brought this legendary character to vivid life for generations to come. Dignity, “loyalty, honor, and a willing heart” are more than mere words–they are the touchstones of greatness to strive for.  And now, Mr. Armitage has finally and momentously been honored and recognized for his artistic achievement with a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor.   Bravo Mr. Armitage! Bravo!

P.S. And just to remind us of the greatness of Thorin Oakenshield, Richard Armitage, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, here is that video trailer again for us from The Hobbit movie site:

Posted in Awards, Battle of the Five Armies, Drama, Graphic, Honor, Middle Earth, movies, Period Drama, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit, Thorin, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 43 (PG-13): Reconciliation, June 29, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #776)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Historical Fiction Fan adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood;  & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]
(All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince/King John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little John, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Upon returning home to Gisborne-Middleton Manor West of Leicester this Saturday, July 11, 1199–after retrieving Seth who had runaway to his Uncle Lord Archer Nottingham–Baron Guy of Gisborne finds that there are new concerns of family to be unraveled with regard to the Oxbridge and Merton marriages. The return of Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton involved a tense confrontation with Lady Rebecca’s first husband Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester. And King John was quite put out about him not yet receiving the Staffordshire Ruby as payment for the Merton marriage–which Baron Guy reminded him and Sir Roderick would be payment for a permanent marriage, when all is settled legally. But ultimately, it was Lady Rebecca’s appeal to think of the children’s welfare above all that causes her first husband Lord John Oxbridge to relent and invite her to see them again with him as he ponders what to do about their situation.

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 43 (PG-13): Reconciliation

As Lord John, his first wife Lady Rebecca, and his Love Lady Anne/Marian, slip into the children’s nursery in Gisborne-Middleton Manor to see the sleeping Oxbridge children, Lady Rebecca is overcome with seeing her children again and rushes to them, cLadyRebeccaSmiling-isTamsinEgerton-asGuinevere-in2011Camelot_May0315fanpopcom-sized-bkgrndmanip2aressing each of their faces.

Lady Rebecca: “Oh my sweethearts.” Lady Rebecca cannot help but exclaim with radiant joy [(2) right]. And the commotion wakes up the children.

Lord Graham: “Mama, you have returned!” The three year old little Lord Graham delightedly hugs his Mama. Little Lady Rachel also wakes up and she toddles over and hugs her Mama, too.

Lady Rachel: “Mama! Missed you!” Smooching her lips kissing her Mama, little Lady Rachel clings to her Mama as her Mama rocks her in her arms.

Lady Rebecca: “I am here! I am here, my sweethearts!” Lady Rebecca soothingly calms her children. “I came back to be with you.” She sheds tears of joy at being reunited with her children. She has only been a few days apart from her children, but it is their first separation ever.

And seeing this happy reunion, Lord John wonders what can be done to keep Lady Rebecca connected with their children–even if he and she are not together as husband and wife.

Lady Anne/Marian hangs back, her not knowing if she belongs in this family scene. And then the littlest member of the group, two year old little Lady Rachel, invites her in.
Lady Rachel: Leaning back from kissing her Mama, Lady Rachel asks. “Mama, See? Lady Anne?” Lady Rachel waves at Lady Anne/Marian, who waves back at the child witLadyAnne-imageis-Lucy-GriffithsSep1713celebheightslistscom--manipwithveil-hires-oval-bw_teakwoodbkgrndh a small caring smile.

Looking over at Lady Anne/Marian [(3) right] who is still wearing her postulant robe and a wimple that covers most of her luxuriant auburn tresses, Lady Rebecca smiles and nods in acknowledgement to Lady Anne/Marian.

Lady Rebecca: “Yes, Rachel. I see her. We met earlier.” Lady Rebecca replies noncommittally. As of yet, Lady Rebecca does not know if this Lady Anne/Marian is a rival for her children’s affections, or will she be a partner in nurturing them.

Lady Rachel: “She is Papa’s nurse. I like her.” Lady Rachel smiles hard at her Mama Lady Rebecca. Then she wiggles out of her Mama’s embrace and walks over to Lady Anne and takes her hand, bringing her back to her Mama, Lady Rebecca–to proudly present her Mama to Lady Anne/Marian. “This is my Mama.”   Little Lady Rachel drops Lady Anne’s hand and leans into her Mama’s embrace again.

Lady Anne/Marian: “Lady Rebecca.” Lady Anne/Marian bows her head and curtsies to Lady Rebecca, Countess of Leicester. “My compliments. You have lovely and charming children.”

Lady Rebecca: “Thank you, Lady Anne.” She smiles at the postulant. “You are my husband’s nurse?” Lady Rebecca asks curiously after noticing how her first husband was closely watching their interaction.

Lady Anne/Marian: “I am, My Lady.” Lady Rebecca replies somewhat haltingly. Her relationship with Lord John is complicated. But then at the moment, every relationship in this room is complicated.

Lord John stands with his son little Lord Graham in his arms and slowly walks over to the ladies. Lord John still has to pace himself physically. But the weight of his son in his arms is more a boost to his psyche than a burden to his still weakened frame. Lord John nods with a small bow to his first wife Lady Rebecca. Then Lord John gazes lovingly at Lady LordOxbridge-imageis-KevinMcKidd76376-Sep2213KevinMcKiddonline-May2115compbyGratiRevAnne/Marian.

Lord John:   “Lady Anne has nursed me back to my improved health. She has seen me at my worst and never flinched in her care of me.” Lord John smiles [(4) right] at Lady Anne/Marian with love and gratefulness.

Lady Anne/Marian:   “It was my honor to care for you, My Lord.” Lady Anne/Marian smiles at him caringly before she curtsies with a faint pink blush forming upon he cheeks–her being slightly embarrassed to be so openly praised by him, to his first wife.

Lord Graham: “Thank you, Lady Anne!   I am glad to have my Papa home again.” At three yeas old, Lord Graham is old enough to grasp that his father had been injured and that is what kept him away from him. Little Lord Graham pats his Papa’s eye patch. “Mama? I thought Papa was a pirate! Ha ha ha!” Then Lord Graham pouts. “But he says he is not.”

Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian smile. Lady Rachel nods her head up and down. She would agree with her brother–that is, if she knew what a pirate was [(4b)].

Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! My apologies, son. But we can still pretend now and again that I am a pirate, if you like.”

Lord Graham: “Really? Papa Roddy says that you are a great and fierce knight for England. And that you wanted to come home to us, but that King Richard needed you.” Lord Graham gazes at his father with love.

Lord John: “Roddy?” He asks, him not making the connection at first.

Lady Rebecca: “My …” She hesitates to refer to Sir Roderick as her husband in front of her first husband. “Graham is referring to Sir Roderick. Roddy is a childhood nickname I gave him because I could not pronounce his full name of Roderick when we were little.”

Lord John: “Oh!” Lord John realizes that his wife’s new husband spoke well of him to his son Lord Graham–though he did not have to.

Lord Graham: “Rachel could not say Rodick, but I could.” Lttle Lord Graham states proudly–while unintentionally humorously mangling Sir Roderick’s name.

Lady Rachel: “Yes, and Papa Roddy made a picture of you for us, Papa.” Lady Rachel disengages from her Mama again and goes to her bedside table to bring a adult palm sized painting of Lord John to show her Papa Lord John.

Lord Graham: “That is just the small picture that fits in our traveling trunks, Papa. We have a big picture of you on the wall in our bed chamber at home in Gordon Castle.” The little boy smiles cheerfully at his Papa.

Lord John: Lord John looks at Lady Rebecca with tears in his eyes for her keeping his memory alive with their children. “Thank you.” He sighs.

Lady Rebecca: With tears in her own eyes, she replies softly. “My Lord, we always hoped that you would return to us. So I would tell our children stories about you–from our short time together, and of what you had told me about your childhood. And Roddy also helped tell the children stories about your bravery as a knight after he and I … after we married.” She finishes in hushed tones.

Lady Anne/Marian has physically drifted a few steps back from this family scene, her feeling not a part of it–but wishing that she was a part of it.

Lord Graham: “Papa?” His papa Lord John looks at him again and tilts his head, waiting for his son’s question. Then Lord Graham asks without guile or being prompted. He just wants to know. “Will we have two castle homes now? Gordon Castle and Papa Roddy’s Cranert Castle?   Mama and Papa Roddy have lots of fields for playing in at their home. I like Papa Roddy’s castle better than his Papa Grandpa Lord Gilead’s and his Mama Grandma Lady Sharon’ castle. But I like our home at Gordon Castle, too. All the soldiers bow to me when I walk past.” He says gleefully–but not understanding that until his father returned, Lord Graham was the titular earl as his father’s heir apparent.

Lady Rebecca holds her breath, wondering what her first husband Lord John will say to their son about their living arrangements..

Lord John: “Well … Your Mama and I will have to discuss it.” Lord John looks charitably at Lady Rebecca, and then with great meaning at Lady Anne/Marian. “And Lady Anne and I will also have to discuss it.”

Lady Anne/Marian’s eyes widen at Lord John including her in his arrangements for his children–especially since they have not formally pledged themselves to each other. They have not pledged themselves informally, either. But their closeness and shared bond of sympathy is undeniable.

Little Lady Rachel walks over to Lady Anne/Marian again and takes her hand. Lady Anne/Marian instinctively bends down and then kneels so that she does not tower over the little girl.

Lady Rachel: “Mama and Papa Roddy’s wedding party was fun! Will you and my Papa have a fun wedding party, too?”

Lord John’s and Lady Rebecca’s eyes dart to the surprised look on Lady Anne/Marian’s face. And then Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian look questioningly at Lord John’s blushing face. Lord John sits again in a chair with his son on one knee and he invites his daughter to climb up and sit upon his other knee.

Lord John: “Children, I think Lady Anne and I would have a fun wedding party.” Then he whispers to his children, but loud enough for the adults to hear. “But I have not had the courage to ask Lady Anne to marry me, yet.”

A feeling of relief flows through Lady Rebecca–not so much that her first husband does not want her back as her wife, but that he has found happiness with someone else, and therefore he might not begrudge her finding happiness with her new husband Sir Roderick.

Lord Graham: “Well, ask her now. She is looking at you and smiling. That is a good sign. Is it not?”

Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! I hope so.” Lord John turns his attention to Lady Anne/Marian. Then he carefully sets his children down before he stands up and walks two strides over to where an astonished Lady Anne stands frozen.

Lord Graham and Lady Rachel: The children giggle, as children often do. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”

Lady Rebecca watches spellbound as the romantic scene unfolds before her.

Lord John takes Lady Anne/Marian’s hands in his.

Lord John: “Lady Anne … My Anne. You have tenderly cared for me as no other would–bringing me back from the brink of death. We have become great friends–and so much more. Yours is the counsel I seek, and the heart that I wish to share with mine. I have grown to love you, and I believe that you love me.   I know that I am not as fully recovered yet as I someday hope to be, but I cannot envision my life without you as my wife.” Then Lord John gets down upon one knee and looks up at Lady Anne/Marian. “Please say that you will marry me, My Love?”

Speechless–not a common trait of Lady Anne/Marian’s–the lady gazes upon Lord John with aching tenderness. Lord John stands and gazes back at Lady Anne/Marian with a hopeful love.

Lord Graham and Lady Rachel dance around their transfixed Papa and Lady Anne/Marian: “Say yes!   Say yes! Say yes!”

Lady Rebecca: Smiling knowingly, Lady Rebecca cordially suggests.   “Lady Anne, my … our children have exceptional insight into people and their intentions. And they have granted you their highest praise by welcoming you into their life. If my children are so eager for you to wed their Papa after knowing you only a few short days, you must be destined to be their second mother.”

Lady Rachel: Embracing Lady Anne/Marian’s legs, little Lady Rachel looks up at her. “Please?”

Lord John’s son little Lord Graham gives him an encouraging nod and nudges his Papa’s knee with his elbow.

Lord John:   Lord John points to his daughter below.  “What she said. Please?” Lord John smiles impishly. Lady Anne/Marian’s look of love for Lord Johns deepens as she nearly glows with hopefulness and love.

Sensing that Lady Anne/Marian is delaying her response to Lord John because she has an audience, Lady Rebecca and her children quietly quit the room to give Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian their privacy.

Lady Rebecca: “Come children. Let your Papa and Lady Anne have a moment alone. They will share their news with us downstairs in the small drawing room soon.”

Lord John nods at his first wife Lady Rebecca as she leaves the nursery bed chamber with their children. The children look cutely over their shoulders and nod encouragingly to their Papa. They shut the door behind them.

Lord John: “Ah! Alone at last.”

Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes! Ha!” She smiles demurely while peering through the long lashes of her lowered eyes.

Gently pulling Lady Anne/Marian into his loose embrace, Lord John’s body feels alive with possibilities and he asks her pleadingly.

Lord John: “Is that a yes we are alone, or a yes that you will marry me?” He leans in and lingeringly kisses each of her cheeks.

Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes … to both questions.”

Lord John: “Yes!” He fully embraces her now and he caringly rocks her back and forth in Guy-comforting-Marian-isRichardArmitage-andLucyGriffits-inRH2epi7pix81Jan2712ranet-drknhis arms [(5) right]–brushing her wimple off of her head and caressing her silky auburn locks. After a few moments of shared bliss at their newly betrothed status, he feels her softly pushing him away a little bit and he leans back to look at her face. Sensing her hesitation, he is patient–giving her leave to speak when she feels ready.

Lady Anne/Marian: “But John, I can never bear a child. I should never bear a child due to my injuries.” She states fearfully. “Do you not want a wife who can be a wife to you?” She asks fearfully as she looks away from him in uncertainty.

Lord John: He caresses her cheek, then gently guides her to look back at him. “I do want a wife who will be a wife to me. But I want only you for my wife.” Then a thought occurs to him regarding her skittish hesitation about marriage. “You are … a maid?”

Lady Anne/Marian: Lowering her eyes again, she replies in a hushed voice. “I … I believe so. The nuns never said otherwise. And Baron Guy …”

Lord John: “What of Baron Guy!?!” He spits out jealously. Lord John focuses upon her with an unsettling fixed gaze. Lord John knows what Baron Guy was to Lady Anne/Marian seven years ago–that is that Sir Guy had loved her.  Then Baron Guy had stabbed her with his sword–nearly killing her–in an incident that is still unclear to Lord John as to how it came about.

Lady Anne/Marian flinches at Lord John’s sudden anger–and she goes on to explain quickly, wanting Lord John to understand.

Lady Anne/Marian: “He said … The Baron said that I had never been married.” Lady Anne/Marian gazes hopefully up at Lord John. “And I had wanted to be certain. So that is why I had asked him.”

Lord John: “And he attested to your virginity?” He asks her in a much more controlled and softer tone of voice. She nods meekly.

Lady Anne/Marian: “To his knowledge, yes.”

Lord John: “Ah!” Lord John smiles. He less concerned about the status of Lady Anne/Marian’s virginity than that Baron Guy has not been intimate with her. Then he kisses the tip of her nose. “Then, My Love, we may wed and be husband and wife together. I have two children who are my heirs–Graham and Rachel with my first wife Lady Rebecca. So I do not need more heirs.   But as I mentioned to you previously when we were in the Holy Land, I would be willing to welcome a foundling baby or two into our home as our children if you wished to mother and nurture a child or maybe two children from birth. Graham and Rachel will soon welcome another sibling when their mother gives birth to her child with her husband Sir Roderick. And my children seem happy about that. So I believe that the children will be equally welcoming of our child or children.” Lady Anne/Marian smiles adoringly at Lord John for his agreeing to help her to be a mother without her having the danger of being with child, let alone the impossibility of her giving birth. Then he nuzzles her neck, just behind her ear and he whispers heatedly. “And we may yet love each other as a husband and wife do–in loving and pleasurable ways–that will not make you with child. So be at ease, My Love. We will not do anything to cause you harm or that puts you in any danger.”

Lady Anne/Marian trembles with anticipation for the fulfillment of Lord John’s promises of love and tenderness. Yet, she is untutored in love and must trust him about his loving her not getting her with child. Then Lord John kisses Lady Anne/Marian sweetly, tenderly, adoringly, and passionately. They each give themselves up to this moment of pledging themselves to each other. And Lord John’s tender caresses of Lady Anne/Marian’s back and hips as their kissing deepens, let her know that he loves her completely.

And then Lord John has the first stirrings of his manly arousal–something that he had been worried might have been damaged with his injuries in the Holy Land. So he pulls back from their lovely kissing–to refrain from going beyond a point that he could not pull back from loving her.   And Lord John smiles smugly to himself for feeling like a man again–even with his weakened condition due to his healing injuries. So Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian joyfully walk hand in hand out of the children’s nursery to greet their extended family with their betrothal news down stairs in Gisborne-Middleton Manor’s small drawing room.

Lord John feels that he is reconciling with his family and former wife in profound ways–most importantly, with his children. There will have to be considered discussions about where his children Lord Graham and Lady Rachel will live permanently–primarily with him, of course. But Lord John envisions being accepting of their extended visits with their Mama Lady Rebecca and her husband Sir Roderick at their castle home in Staffordshire–as well as, inviting the Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick and their growing family to stay at Gordon Castle for extended periods. Lord John feels that he has been separated from his children and family for too long, and that he does not wish to create any separations within his children’s lives. Nor does he wish to separate his children from their mother, Lady Rebecca.

Of course, Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester wonders about the legal maneuverings that will have to take place for him to be able to marry Lady Anne/Marian and to have her be his Countess of Leicester–when his first wife yet lives, but with Lady Rebecca now married to another. The marriages, plural, will be a delicate matter to finesse for all concerned. And perhaps the most important detail of these machinations for Lord John, is to have himself declared alive so that he may legally reclaim his family and his earldom.

And Lord John Oxbridge will find an unlikely ally in Baron Guy of Gisborne, who hopes to help facilitate Lord John’s new family vision –in order for Baron Guy to insure the future happiness of Lady Anne/Marian, as a measure of Baron Guy hoping to atone for what Lady Anne/Marian has endured these past seven years due to his fault. Until Lady Anne/Marian’s future happiness is secured, Baron Guy cannot focus upon his own life and family. But of course, Baron Guy’s family might have something to say about his singular focus.

To be continued with Chapter 44

 

 

Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 43 References, June 29 ,2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #776)

1) My story cover for “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite image of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from 2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

2) Image representing Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Merton Lady Merton is that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in the tv show Camelot and was found at http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/27400000/guinevere-arthur-camelot-2011-27467787-639-418.jpg

3) The image of Lady Anne/Marian is a composite image:
a) that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm;
b) and of the modified wimple was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
c) and a Photoshop Elements teakwood or gold background

4) Lord John Oxbridge image is a composite of two Kevin McKidd images :
a) body and background found at http://www.kevinmckiddonline.com/uploads/2/0/2/4/202457/76376.jpg;
b) head found at http://i2.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article925860.ece/BINARY/kevin-mckidd-image-6-748739633.jpg

4b) A pirate, or piracy, is a concept that has been in existence since the 14th century BCE; for more information, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy

5) Lord John comforting Lady Anne/Marian image is of Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood, series 2, episode 7, pix 81 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 42 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #774)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/06/26/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-42-pg-13-reunited-june-26-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-774/

 

Posted in "Sir Guy's Atonement" (Book 3), Creative Writing, Drama, Family, Fan Fiction, Fathers, Historical Fiction, Love and Relationships, Middle Ages, Period Drama, Richard Armitage, Robin Hood, Romance, Sir Guy of Gisborne, Something About Love, Storytelling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Happy Saturn-day Celebrating Richard Armitage’s Best Supporting Actor Win, June 27, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #775)

Continuing to be thrilled for the exquisitely talented British Actor Richard Armitage’s win as 2015--SaturnAwards--RichardArmitage-won-BestSuppActor_Jun2515RCATweet-sized-clrBest Supporting Actor at Thursday’s 41st Annual Saturn Awards–for fantasy, science fiction, and horror films–below are my musings and several fan wallpaper responses of congratulations and such!

 

But first!  The man himself, Richard Armitage!  Take a bow, Sir!  Your searing and epic portrayal of Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit Films–and especially in The Battle of the Five Armies–has cemented the legend of Thorin’s quest, honor, and leadership in our hearts for generations to come!  Congratulations for this much deserved honor!

For more Getty images, click here.

 

And Mr. Armitage’s heartfelt thank you tweets:

and here:
RichardArmitage-tweet-saying-he-is-proud-to-represent-BattleoftheFiveArmies_Jun2515grati

Now to some of the fan expressions of congratulations to and celebration of Richard Armitage:

Love this Happy Saturn-Thorin Day wallpaper by   Glady Roland, which inspired me to post this topic today, Satur-n-day, versus on Sunday:
2015--HappySaturn-dayThorin-RichardArmitageAwardWallpaper_Jun2715glady

M Lady Gisborne at her It’s an RA World blog  has collected several of the Saturn Awards party images together in her blog post.

RANet (www.RichardArmitageNet.com) will also have a gallery of pictures soon.  Until then, checkout the RANet Twitter feed for pix and this video of RA accepting his award:

 

And Obscura at her Ancient Armitage blog also explains the present and historical context for those flower crown pix (below). Thanks!

saturn-wreathed-RichardArmitage_Jun2715DeLaurentisCo-viaObscuraThese are just a few of the many fan congratulations and celebrations.  So finally, here was my own contribution (the original Thorin image that I masked out was from a cap by Thorin of Erebor, Thanks!):

 

2015--CongratulationsRichardArmitage-SaturnAwardsBestSupportingActor_Jun2615GratianaLovelace

Congratulations again, Richard!  Hugs!

 

P.S.  For other bloggers, tumblrs, etc., with links of congratulations and celebration for Richard Armitage’s Saturn Award win, please share your links in a comment below.  Thanks!

 

Posted in Awards, Battle of the Five Armies, Fangurling, Fantasy, Middle Earth, Period Drama, Portraits, Richard Armitage, Something About Love, The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hobbit, Thorin, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 42 (PG-13): Reunited, June 26, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #774)

avaSirGuysAtonementStoryCover-image-isRichardArmitage-inRH3epi5_086RanetJan1815GratianaLovelace-256x398[An Original Historical Fiction Fan adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood;  & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” (Book 2) by Gratiana Lovelace]
(All Rights Reserved; No copyright infringement intended)

[From time to time, I will illustrate my story with my dream cast of: Richard Armitage as Sir Guy of Gisborne, Clive Standen as Lord Archer of Locksley, Emma Watson as Lady Roseanna Gisborne, Tommy Bastow as the young Seth Gisborne, Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince/King John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, Tamsin Egerton as Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton, Lee Ross as Sir Jasper, Sir Derek Jacobi as Fr. Bale, Judi Dench as Mother Superior, David Harewood as Brother Tuck, Kevin McKidd as Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and Lucy Griffiths as Lady Anne/Marian, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little John, etc.]

Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a story of romance and intrigue set amidst Medieval times. As such there will be some passages in this story involving heartfelt love scenes (S) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments (D). I will label the maturity rating of those chapters accordingly. Otherwise, the general rating for this story is PG or PG-13 due to some mature situations and topics. If you are unable or unwilling to attend a movie with the ratings that I provide, then please do not read the chapters with those labels. This is my disclaimer.

Author’s Recap from the previous installment: Aftera charming and restful Gisborne-Middleton-Oxbridge family picnic upon the pastures of the Gisborne-Middleton Manor Estate, Lady Roseanna awakens her napping cousin Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester that his wife Lady Rebecca and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton have returned and Lord John must confront them.  And very soon Baron Guy, Seth, Lord Archer and his family, and their cousin King John will return as well. Baron Guy wants a happy future for Lady Anne/Marian–he is simply uncertain as to how to facilitate it. If, indeed, he has any say in the matter. And then there is King John. What will he do about the marriages? It is anyone’s guess. King John might be their sovereign, but he is first and foremost their cousin by marriage–or as Lady Roseanna likes to affectionately refer to him as, the weasel.

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement”, Ch. 42: Reunited

Lady Roseanna stands up, patiently waiting for the news to sink into her cousin Lord John Oxbridge’s mind. Then standing up from lying upon the grass while napping after their picnic–him still cradling his sleeping three year old son Lord Graham in his arms–Lord John Oxbridge asks his cousin in bewilderment.
LordJohnOxbridge-imageis-KevinMcKidd-asLuciusVorenus-in2005sKingdomofHeavenSep2213sinemablog-with-eyepatch
Lord John: “Rose! Why have they come back so soon?  I do not know what to say to my wife about the events of the last several months. Let alone, what might be done about our marriage and our children.” Lord John’s [(2) right] mind is racing.

Lady Roseanna: “I do not know why they returned a spare few days after they left us , John. But for the children’s sake. I am glad. They greatly miss their mother. ” Kneeling down beside Lady Anne, Lady Roseanna whispers. “You must come, Lady Anne. Let us take the children to their bedchambers–using the servant’s stairs.” She adds cryptically. For Lady Anne/Marian was still asleep when Lady Roseanna revealed that Lord John’s wife and new husband have returned and wish to speak to him.

Lady Anne/Marian:   “Of course.” She nods sleepily as she stands still cradling Lord John’s sleeping two year old daughter in her arms.

Lord John: “Anne, they have returned, it’s my …” But he finds that he cannot say the words wife in Lady Anne/Marian’s presence–when it is she that he wishes held that title.

Informing her so that Lady Anne is not startled, Lady Roseanna explains portentously..

Lady Roseanna: “Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick have returned.”

Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh!”

Lady Anne/Marian is astonished to possibly meet the woman who is Lord John’s wife. He has described her in general terms to her, but never for Lady Anne/Marian to picture Lady Rebecca  in her mind. Will this Lady Rebecca be dark or light? Tall or short? Fair or plain? And Lady Anne/Marian wonders, will Lord John want his wife back?

So the six of them quickly gather up the picnic things and walk inside the manor to lay the napping children in their beds–with each of them with a child on their hip, since Lady Roseanna also has her baby Lady Diana with her.

***

Meanwhile, a fretful Lady Rebecca paces the small drawing room of Gisborne-Middleton Manor while her anguished husband Sir Roderick Merton looks on not knowing how to console her.

Lady Rebecca: “Roddy, I must be allowed to see my children! They need me!”

Sir Roderick: “I know, Becca. But we must try to present a calm façade to your … to Lord John. If we are to win him over, we cannot show how vulnerable we feel.” He almost slips in referring to Lady Rebecca’s first husband as her husband–because Sir Roderick is LadyRebecca-worried-isTamsinEgerton-asGuinevere-inCamelot_Mar0115pathenl-crop-sizedher husband, now.

Lady Rebecca: “But we are vulnerable!” She wails while still in her traveling cloak [(3) right] . “Women are chattel.  And were my first husband to prevent me from seeing my children, I will have no one to aid me. The law is on his side.”

Going to his wife and enfolding her in his loving embrace, Sir Roderick says soothingly in a hushed voice.

Sir Roderick: “Perhaps Lord John’s injuries have caused him to reflect upon the situation and relent in our favor?”

Lady Rebecca: “Do you think that might be possible?”

Sir Roderick: “Afterall, he travels with a nurse. So his health might not be that keen.” He bluffs, anything to get he calmed down.

Just then, the door opens as Lady Roseanna, Lord John Oxbridge, and Lady Anne enter to face the two newlyweds, Lady Rebecca and her husband Sir Roderick. The adults look at each other with uncertain expressions. Lady Roseanna quietly leaves the four of them alone and she walks into the hallway.

Silence. It is said to be golden, but when much needs to be said–and decided upon–silence can only serve to inflame the situation. Each adult gazes at each other curiously. Lord John had forgotten how beautiful his wife Lady Rebecca is–though she is not as lovely as his Lady Anne/Marian. For her part, Lady Rebecca is stunned to see her seemingly vigorous looking first husband with a very beautiful nurse. Lady Anne/Marian wonders what price Lord John’s wife and husband will extract from him–if it is his children, she fears that the price will be too dear. And Sir Roderick scowlingly notes how healthy Lord John looks–except for his eye patch reminding everyone of his injuries. And Lord John notes suspiciously how territorial the man whom he presumes to be Sir Roderick Merton is by keeping his wife, Lady Rebecca, by his side. But Lady Anne/Marian feels most uncomfortable. And she leans over and whispers to Lord John.

Lady Anne/Marian: “I feel that I should go. My presence is not required here, and I can only serve as a distraction.”

Lord John furrows his brow and his lip protrudes in a pout as he pleadingly whispers back to her.

Lord John: “Nay My Lady Anne. Please stay with me.”

Sir Roderick: “Kkkkh!” He coughs loudly. “Perhaps, Lord John, we should start with introductions. I am Sir Roderick Merton–My Lady Rebecca’s husband.”

Lady Rebecca: “Roddy!” She blanches in admonishing him for being so bold.SirRoderick-isChris-Hemsworth-as-thor-the-dark-world_Feb0515audienceseverywhere-masked-stone-bkgrnd3

Sir Roderick: “Well, I am your husband.” Sir Roderick [(4) right] emphasizes for Lord John’s benefit. Sir Roderick is purposely wearing his ceremonial armour–the better to seem even more impressive

Lord John:  “And yet, so am I, Sir Roderick. It is quite the predicament that we find ourselves in.” Lord Join says with a a mildly forced yet sanguine smile–one might even refer the ever so slight curl of his lips to be bordering on mirthful–or Machiavellian. Lord John is not jealous, per se. He is simply mindful about what is his–or was his, in this case.

Lady Rebecca: Subconciously covering her not quite showing pregnant belly, Lady Rebecca sighs. “Lord John, I wish to be reunited with our children, even as I bear my husband’s child in seven months time. What is to be done?”

Lord John gazes upon his wife with uncertainty.

Lord John: “I do not have that answer, My Lady.”

Then the four of them are joined by their host Baron Guy and their cousin King John–them having been told as soon as they arrived moments ago of the nature of the conversation in the small drawing room, and the parties involve. Baron Guy instantly looks for Lady Anne/Marian in order to assess her state of well being.

Baron Guy:   “My Lords and Ladies.” He bows slightly. “Is all well here?” Baron Guy asks in a constrained voice.The two other men in the room–Lord John and Sir Roderick–look exceedingly displeased. Whereas, the ladies–Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian–look woeful.

King John: “How could they be? They are both married to the same woman.” Lady Rebecca flinches, but remains standing stoically.

Baron Guy: Turning to King John, Baron Guy states pointedly. “And if you recall, Sire, it was you that impelled Lady Rebecca to remarry so you could reap a marriage tax. LadyAnne-imageis-Lucy-GriffithsSep1713celebheightslistscom--manipwithveil-hires-oval-bw_teakwoodbkgrndThat she has chosen a childhood friend and love over a total stranger is to her credit.

Lady Anne/Marian gazes questioningly [(5) right] at this Baron Guy who had nearly killed her with his sword, yet he now defends this lady’s honor.

King John: “Yes, well, a good lot that did me. I have yet to receive my tribute.  Ergo, I might just dissolve the marriage to Sir Roderick.”

Both Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca look stricken. and Lady Anne/Marian is none to happy either.

Baron Guy: “You cannot do that?”

King John: “No? I am King, anointed by God.”

Baron Guy: “And that God wants you to follow His teachings.” Baron Guy suggests cheekily.

Lady Anne/Marian: “As one who is contemplating taking holy orders, if I might interject?”

Baron Guy: “Please, My Lady.” Baron Guy gestures to her.

Lady Anne/Marian: “Perhaps we should pray upon it?” The nuns have taught her that prayer can provide guidance, as well as, solace.

King John rolls his eyes.

Baron Guy: “Thank you, My Lady. Your devotion does you credit.” And Baron Guy thinks that maybe Lord John might not win lady Anne/Marian’s hand in marriage.

Lady Rebecca:   “But what of our children? They are my first priority.” She states boldly.

Lord John: “Of course, they are sleeping after our picnic. Lady Anne and I will take you to them.” He suggests chivalrously. Lady Rebecca nods in agreement.

So Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian and Lady Rebecca depart to see the Oxbridge children, little Lord Graham and Lady Rachel. The three men left standing regard each other suspiciously.

Sir Roderick: “Becca is my wife! I will not give her up!”

King John: “Then you had better produce the Staffordshire Ruby and hand it over to me in payment.”

Baron Guy: “Not so fast, Sire. Until all is settled to everyone’s satisfaction, I would urge Sir Roderick to delay the transfer of the Staffordshire Ruby to you.”

Sir Roderick raises his eyebrows in astonishment. King John has a more visceral reaction.

King John: “Traitor! You are one of my barons and family by marriage. Your loyalty is to me.”

Baron Guy: “And you have it, Sire. But you will make people wary of any marriage you propose–and balk even more about your marriage tax levies. What you do with the Oxbridge’s and Mertons will have a ripple effect amongst the nobility.”

King John: “So what do you suggest, Guy?” He addresses him familiarly, as a family member.

Baron Guy: “Our kinsman, Lord George Middleton, mentioned a possible solution in passing. The one way to make the Merton marriage legal is to produce a document annulling the marriage between Lord John Oxbridge and Lady Rebecca–and dated before the new marriage took place. The Oxbridge children will still be Lord Oxbridge’s legitmate heirs.”

King John: “Hmm. That thought has some merit. But on what grounds might the annulment be granted?”

Baron Guy: “There are several choices.” He states soberly.

***

As Lord John, his wife Lady Rebecca, and his Love Lady Anne/Marian, slip into the children’s nursery to see the sleeping Oxbridge children, Lady Rebecca is overcome with seeing he children again and rushes to them, caressing each of their faces.

Lady Rebecca: “Oh my sweethearts.”

And the commotion wakes up the children.

Lord Graham: “Mama, you are back!” He delightedly hugs her. Little Lady Rachel toddles over and doe the same.

Lady Rachel: “Mama! Missed you!” Little Lady Rachel clings to her Mama as she rocks her in her arms.

Lady Rebecca: “I am here.” She sheds tears of joy at being reunited with her children.

And seeing this happy reunion, Lord John wonders what can be done to keep Lady Rebecca connected with their children–even if he and she are not together.

To be continued with Chapter 43

 

                       “Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 42 References, June 26, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #774)

1) My story cover for “Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite image of:
a) Sir Guy portrayed by Richard Armitage found at richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_086.jpg (crop-hair-manip-hi-res); and
b) The spectre image of Lady Marian is that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from 2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at

thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11

 

2) Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester’s image is of Kevin McKidd as Vorenus in the 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven found at   http://www.sinemablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/lucius-vorenus-played-by-kevin-mckidd.kucukresim.jpg

3) Image representing Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Lady Leicester is that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in Camelot and was found at http://www.pathe.nl/gfx_content/allocine/medias/nmedia/18/79/21/tamsin-egerton_121324.jpg

4) Sir Roderick Merton is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/thor.jpg ; for more information, visit http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/happy-birthday-thor-5-roles-id-like-see-chris-hemsworth-occupy/

5) The image of Lady Anne/Marian is a composite image:
a) that of Lucy Griffiths who portrayed Lady Marian in the BBC series Robin Hood from2006-2009 and was found at

at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm;
b) and of the modified wimple was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
c) and a Photoshop Elements teakwood or gold background

 

“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 41 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #722)

https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/sir-guys-atonement-book-3-ch-41-pg-13-a-day-like-any-other-june-19-2015-gratiana-lovelace-post-772

 

 

Posted in "Sir Guy's Atonement" (Book 3), Creative Writing, Drama, Family, Fan Fiction, Love and Relationships, Period Drama, Robin Hood, Romance, Something About Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment