“Guy’s Rose”, Ch. 23: Sir Guy & Lady Roseanna Ferret out Intrigues at Dinner, 1/16/12 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #105)
Author’s Scheduling Note: “Guy’s Rose” will continue being serialized here on my blog on Mondays and Fridays until the story line is completed. Links to earlier chapters are found after the image references.
With everyone’s mid day supper being delayed on account of Prince John’s delayed breakfast, the cooks at Prince John’s behest skip lunch/supper and go on to have an early dinner instead this late afternoon around 5:00pm. So, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna return to their Apartments in the palace and change into evening attire–his burgundy attire borrowed from Lady Roseanna’s brother Lord George, and her pink velvet dress again [(2) right]. And though they are a newly wedded couple this afternoon–and they would have liked to consummate their newly wedded status after being married in secret–the changed dinner schedule precluded their desires. Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna must give no hint or arouse suspicion in Prince John or the sycophantic courtiers that they are more than merely a betrothed couple–for fear that they and Fr. Bale would lose their heads. Besides, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna still have palace intrigues to uncover–Sir Guy’s wedding present to his Lady Rose.
As Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna glide serenely into the Great Dining Hall in the Palace, the room is ablaze with the light of hundreds of candles–even though they are not yet needed since the sun has not set. But no matter, there is no such thing as ‘waste’ in the palace where Prince John is concerned. He will just raise the required tribute monies he expects from his nobles. In fact, Prince John is bleeding his nobles dry of their own coffers and stores and the harvest has not yet come. So, there is some mighty grumbling that Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna notice as they spy clumps of nobles stationed around the room in deep conversation with one another until Prince John arrives.
Lady Roseanna: “Plotting already, my husband?” She asks in whispered glee. Lady Roseanna has never felt so alive as she does with her strong and handsome Sir Guy [(3) right]–and that is even before he takes her to his bed again.
Lord Talkington is the first Noble to catch their eye–mostly because he has his wife with him, and Sir Guy astutely feels that noble couples might be more amenable to preserving their estates and vassels than unconnected or unmarried nobles might be. And strategically, Lord Talkington’s estate lands and villages border Leicester, where Lady Roseanna’s estate is located. So Talkington will be a valuable ally for Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna because he flanks their border.
Lord T: “Gisborne! Lady Roseanna! How is the happy betrothal couple this evening?” He says this a bit effusively since Lady Roseanna is a member of the extended Royal Family–and he wants to stay in Prince John’s good graces.
Lady Roseanna: Feeling a bit emboldened by her secret status as a wife–because courtesy dictates that she let her fiancé/husband speak first–she says minxishly and ‘out of turn’. “We will let you know when it is evening, Lord Talkington.”
Sir Guy: Smiling bemusedly at his beautiful secret wife, he pats her arm on his and says “I believe time is relative to my dear betrothed. It is good to see you, Talkington.” Now Sir Guy is emboldened by addressing Lord Talkington by only his last name as he was just addressed. Again, courtesy would dictate for Sir Guy to defer to Lord Talkington who is higher in rank than he. But Sir Guy will also be formally aligned with the extended Royal Family once his and Lady Roseanna’s wedding officially takes place. Then Sir Guy will out rank Lord Talkington–though Sir Guy is usurping that privilege now.
Lady Talkington: “Roseanna, my dear, you are positively glowing. So this is a true love match. I am glad for you and know that your parents would be also.” She says sincerely.
Lady Roseanna: Tearing up at the mention of her parents–but grateful for her friend’s kind words and trying to maintain her composure–she says. “Thank you, Eliza. That means a great deal to me.” Then, not so inexplicably, Lady Roseanna’s tears bubble over and she begins to weep.
Sir Guy: “Rose, my love.” Sir Guy tenderly puts his arm around her as she cries into his chest and he strokes her back. “There there, my dear. I know you miss your parents.” He thinks especially because she is so young–not yet 21 years. “But you said yourself that they would want you to live your life fully.”
Lady Roseanna: “I … I know. But I miss them so terribly.” She says sobbing as she bobs her head up and down. Lady Talkington also pats Lady Roseanna’s back to comfort her.
Sir Guy: Lifting Lady Roseanna’s chin up so he can gaze into her eyes, Sir Guy says soothingly as he gently strokes her cheek. “Milady Rose, though I know you would wish your parents to be at our wedding, we will remember and honor them in our hearts.” Sir Guy softly kisses Lady Roseanna’s forehead–even this small intimacy and familiarity is a slight breech of etiquette on Sir Guy’s part, but he feels tenderly toward his Lady Rose and he wishes to comfort her, his wife. “I hope that they would be happy for you, for us, my love. So we should honor their memories by accepting that our joy is the continuation of their joy. Will you try to think that way about it for me?” He smiles at her tenderly as her tears abate. “There now. Let me see you smile, Rose my love.” Sir Guy briefly touches the corner of Lady Roseanna’s mouth with his thumb and she smiles. “That’s My Lady.” He smiles at her lovingly [(4) right] and she smiles her gratefulness back to him. It is a sweetly tender moment between them.
Then Sir Guy takes Lady Roseanna’s hand and tenderly and lingeringly kisses the back of it. By court protocol, he can not kiss her on the mouth until they are wed–and then, never in a large public gathering such as a court dinner as this is. Though embracing and kissing Lady Roseanna is what Sir Guy wants to do at this moment–to comfort her.
Lady Roseanna: “Thank you Guy, I feel better now.” They smile lovingly at each other and then continue in pleasant conversation with the Lord and Lady Talkington.
Unbeknownst to this small gathering of four–Lord and Lady Talkington and Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna–Lady Roseanna’s emotional display and the tender and caring way Sir Guy soothed her, riveted the attention of the nobles in the room. This is a new side to Sir Guy the warrior noble, the henchman lieutenant to Sheriff Vasey, and the killer of Lady Marian than they had seen before. And they do not know quite what to make of Sir Guy’s gentlemanly and compassionate behavior.
However, there is one man in the room for whom Sir Guy is his mortal enemy–Jasper, Prince John’s assistant and liaison to the nobles. The supercilious and self important Jasper had once thought that he might win Lady Roseanna’s hand as a favor from Prince John. And Sir Guy remembers Jasper as the man too willing to see Nottingham Castle, village, and villages destroyed when Vasey had gone missing for 24 hours last year. You see, Jasper’s family is in the building trade and they get the commission to rebuild any towns or castles that Prince John destroys–with a kick back to Prince John, of course. So, Sir Guy has no good opinion of Jasper. But that opinion would be lessened even further were he to know of Jasper’s continuing interest in Lady Roseanna.
As it is, when Prince John arrives to the Great Dining Hall–to applause as always because people need their head if they are to enjoy their dinner–he and Jasper make way over to Lady Roseanna and Sir Guy now sitting off to one side of the great dining hall on a bench talking by themselves. Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna stand out of courtesy and protocol when Prince John approaches them.
Prince John: Seeing Lady Roseanna’s red eyes and pale tear stained face, Prince John asks in concern as he looks back and forth between she and Sir Guy. “What is wrong, cousin Roseanna? Is everything alright?” Prince John is not all bad–he is merely mostly bad. He doesn’t want to see his cousin hurt, necessarily, he just wants her money.
Lady Roseanna: Wiping her residual tears away from her cheek, Lady Roseanna [(5) right] nods saying. “I’m fine Johnny. I was just remembering my parents and wishing they were here. That’s all.”
Sir Guy: Looking at Lady Roseanna tenderly as he holds her other hand in his, while saying to Prince John. “Milady Rose is just a little melancholy tonight. But, the morn will soon bring her to rights again. Sir Guy squeezes his Lady Rose’s hand gently and they smile at each other.
Prince John: “Well alright. Jasper here thought you were in distress.” He says waving at Jasper. “No doubt hoping to claim you as his prize were you and Sir Guy to dissolve your betrothal.” Jasper raises his eye brow in disdain for Sir Guy.
There, Prince John has made clear his intention. He will try to break the betrothal and both Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna look at each other in dread.
Sir Guy: “Sire, I would do anything to make myself worthy of My Lady Roseanna.” You see, the fact that Sir Guy’s wealth that he had saved has by now been stolen by Vasey–leaving Sir Guy with nothing to bring to his marriage, weighs on him heavily.
Prince John: “Anything, Gisborne?” Prince John’s [(6) right] ears perk up at an opportunity for a little sport. Or is it spite?
Sir Guy: Focusing a laser like gaze upon his prince, Sir Guy intones. “Anything, My Prince.”
Lady Roseanna’s heart quickens–worried what her cousin Johnny might do.
Lady Roseanna: Interjecting she says, “Johnny, Sir Guy has already proven himself to me. We are betrothed and nothing can change that.” She says forcefully, hoping that Johnny will ease off on his malicious jabs.
Prince John: “But Sir Guy has not proven himself sufficiently to me cousin Rose.” Then Prince John fixes his stare on Sir Guy. “Gisborne, do you love your prince?”
Sir Guy: “I do, Sire.” What else can Sir Guy say?
Prince John: “Then will you do something for me?”
Sir Guy: “Of course, Sire. You have but to command me.”
No, no, no, thinks Lady Roseanna as she looks fretfully between her secret husband and her cousin. Don’t get caught in Johnny’s trap. But it is too late.
Prince John: “Excellent! You shall prove yourself worthy of my fair cousin’s hand in marriage by training an elite palace guard and then lead them to Nottingham to kill Robin Hood. Will you do that for me, Gisborne?”
Sir Guy: Realizing that he is caught with no way out, he says commandingly. “I will Sire. But pray, I fear I also have a duty to my betrothed Lady Roseanna.” Lady Roseanna holds onto Sir Guy’s arm more tightly.
Prince John: “Yes well, if you train your soldiers over the next several weeks and then repair to Nottingham, you should still be back in time for your wedding. And if not, we always have old Jasper here willing to step in. Eh Jasper?”
Prince John jests and Jasper smiles broadly. Jasper’s clear interest in Lady Roseanna is repugnant to Sir Guy–and to Lady Roseanna.
Sir Guy: Not wanting more blood on his hands, but once again Sir Guy feels backed into a corner and must comply, he says. “Sire, I will be honored to take up this mission.”
Sir Guy: Standing tall and straight, Sir Guy [(7) right] says. “It would be my honor, Sire.” For Sir Guy would then have the means to support his wife Lady Roseanna–rather than the other way round, with her supporting him. ‘Pride goeth before a fall’ as the good book says.
Lady Roseanna exhales loudly, visibly shaken at this turn of events. Prince John smiles one of his cheshire cat grins at her–so like his former 17 year old weasel self, she remembers not so fondly.
To be continued with Chapter 24
(1a) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image–Sir Guy, as portrayed by Richard Armitage in the BBC production of Robin Hood–drawing by Judiang and initially shared at http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/creativity-guy-drawing/
(1b) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image–rose graphic found at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_D8VwTKAphks/TQ5I9nYhgdI/AAAAAAAAN6k/vdOKQ4QsSsU/s1600/pink_rose_petals.jpg
(1c) Guy’s Rose story graphic composite image representing Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton was changed to grayscale and cropped to head only of “A Portrait of a Young Lady” by Eugene de Blaas was found at http://www.paintingall.com/images/P/Italian-Academic-Classic-Painter-Eugene-de-Blaas-A-Portrait-Of-A-Young-Lady-Oil-Painting.jpg
(2) “A Portrait of a Young Lady” (head only) by Eugene de Blaas, Image representing Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton was found at
composited with Drew Barrymore’s pink gowned body from the film “Ever After” (1998) was found at
(3) Cropped image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) from the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 5 (pix 108); photo manip with burgundy collar http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_108.html
(4) Cropped image of Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 7 (pix 2) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_002.html
(5) Head only of “A Portrait of a Young Lady” by Eugene de Blaas was found at http://www.paintingall.com/images/P/Italian-Academic-Classic-Painter-Eugene-de-Blaas-A-Portrait-Of-A-Young-Lady-Oil-Painting.jpg
(6) Cropped image of Prince John (as portrayed by Toby Stephens) in the BBC’s production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 6 (pix 94) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodesix/slides/ep6_0094.html
(7) Cropped image of Prince John (as portrayed by Toby Stephens) and Sir Guy (as portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC production of Robin Hood series 3, episode 7 (pix 166) was found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_166.html
Guy’s Rose Previous Story Links:
Ch. 3: https://gratianads90.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/%E2%80%9Cguy%E2%80%99s-rose%E2%80%9D-wip-chapter-3-sir-guy-sups-with-prince-john-at-monday%E2%80%99s-midday-meal-pg-13-111111-gratiana-lovelace-post-52/