“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 20 (R Rated)–Homecoming, February 24, 2013 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #368)
(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, Clive Standen as Lord Archer, Emma Watson as Lady Rose, and James McAvoy as Lord George, etc.] [Story Logo 1ab]
Author’s Mature Content Note: “Sir Guy’s Dilemma” 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 (R rated) and some passages involving highly dramatic moments. 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: Lord Archer and Sir Guy are surprised by a visit by Sir Jasper as Prince John’s representative. Though they do not give him a tour of the Nottingham Castle construction zone–due to unstable and unsafe conditions–they are wary that his real reason is to poke about for the Nottingham treasure. But it turns out that Sir Jasper delivers the legitimacy decree for Seth Gisborne–which stuns his father, Sir Guy. Given this new development, Lord Archer and Sir Guy cut short their two week Nottingham visit and return home to Middleton Manor in Leicester the next day.
“Sir Guy’s Dilemma”, Ch. 20 (R rated)–Homecoming
The journey back to Leicester from Nottingham the following day–Tuesday–is uneventful for Sir Guy and Lord Archer. They are each riding their horses while their retinue of guards also bring a wagon load of the healer woman Althea’s and her children’s belongings that were packed up for her in absentia since she is relocating to the Middleton Estates permanently. Finally reaching the borders of home at the top of the hill giving the unparalleled view of Middleton Manor in the valley below, Sir Guy stills his steed Pegasus and Lord Archer pulls to a stop as well. The verdant fields and grazing paddocks in the vista in front of them bespeak the lush fecundity of the estates–nurtured and thriving by Sir Guy’s careful management. And in return, Sir Guy feels nurtured by their home and his family and thrives here.
Sir Guy: “Whoa, Pegasus. We are home.” Sir Guy sighs gratefully.
Lord Archer: “Not quite, brother. We still have two miles to traverse. Will dear Rose be surprised to see us, do you think?” He winks at his besotted brother.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy smiles contentedly. “My lady wife knows well my desire to return to her side swiftly and never to leave it. I daresay that her surprise at our earlier arrival–five days in advance of when we are expected–will be replaced with pleasure.” His eyes gleam, for their pleasure will be mutual. They continue their horses trotting toward the manor. “But I would ask a favor of you, Archer.”
Lord Archer: “You only have to name it, brother.” He smiles.
Sir Guy: “Let us not reveal Seth’s changed status as now being legitimized as a noble and my heir when we arrive.”
Lord Archer: “But why? This is a joyous thing.” He looks at his brother quizzically.
Sir Guy: “Yes, it is.” Then he measures his words carefully. “But with Seth now my legitimate heir and first born son, he has the right of first inheritance…” [(2) primogeniture] “… over any children that my Lady Rose and I have.” He winces.
Lord Archer: “I see.” He nods
Sir Guy: “And since Lady Rose’s wealth and our estate surrounding Middleton Manor became my legal property upon our marriage, I almost feel that we are thwarting what would be the natural inheritance of the children that Rose and I create together.”
Lord Archer: “Tricky that. Being happy for Seth, but then knowing that he will be once more set apart from his brothers and sisters. Now above them, when before he was below them.”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy nods his head in acknowledgement. Then he smiles. “You speak in pluralities, when at present Seth has one sister and one sibling yet to be born. Are you not presupposing the growth of our family a bit hastily?” He smirks.
Lord Archer: “Not at all. You and Rose are in love and in one year will have produced two children. If this rate of births continues, you are well on your way to populating a small village before you are done. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha! Archer, though I find you amusing–children being a blessing that I dared not hope for but five years ago–please refrain from contemplating the size of our family in front of Rose. She is quite embarrassed to be with child again so soon.”
Lord Archer: “Very well. I will keep my own counsel–on both matters. Ah! Here is Seth now!” He gestures to Seth [(3) right] playing croquet on the lawn with his Uncle George, and the Ladies Saline and Mary not 200 yards away from them as they round a curve in the road as they ride a little ahead of the wagon and their armed escort.
Seth: “Papa! Papa!” He drops his mallet and races toward his father–with his English Bull Mastiff dog Prince [(4) right] loping awkwardly beside him. All eyes follow him as the croquet game is halted.
Sir Guy: “Seth!” Sir Guy stops his horse, lifts his leg over the saddle, slides off and stands upon solid ground. Sir Guy quickly strides toward his son and falls to his knees with open arms as Seth tumbles into his embrace. “My son! How I have missed you!” He kisses Seth’s forehead and rocks him in his arms. For his part, Seth squeezes his Papa’s neck. It is a loving and tender father and son reunion.
Lord George: Watching the heartfelt reunion of father and son, Lord George is deeply touched. Then motioning to a nearby footman, he orders. “Please inform Lady Roseanna that Sir Guy has returned home unexpectedly early.
Footman: “My lord.” He bows and walks into the house to tell Lady Roseanna’s ladies maid, who will then inform their mistress.
Lord Archer’s mount comes to a stop in front of the Ladies Saline and Mary who look up at him amiably. Though Lady Saline is a tad frosty in glaring at him, since he did not even say goodbye to her before he left. And Lady Mary–who knows that she must act with decorum in greeting her intended–still steals secret glances at Lord George, trying to gauge his reaction to the return of her betrothed. As of yet, Lady Mary is as much in the dark as Lord Archer is about the understanding between Lord George and Lady Saline.
Lord Archer: Sliding off his own horse, Lord Archer [(5) right] tosses an off handed sarcastic greeting to Lord George. “Still playing games, I see, George.” Lord George rolls his eyes. Then Lord Archer greets his betrothed. “Lady Mary, you are enchanting as always my dear.” He raises her hand to his lips and kisses it with as much chivalry and politesse that he can muster. The Lady Mary is his future wife and she will be the mother of his children–and he must remember that and give her his respect and attention above all others.
Lady Mary: “My Lord Archer.” She curtsies while she blushes.
Lord Archer: But, Lord Archer cannot completely ignore the siren allure to his heart of the Lady Saline. He bows, keeping his hands clasped behind his back–because he does not trust himself to touch her. “And my Lady Saline, the afternoon sun has already kissed your fair countenance, making the flowers blush their inadequacy by comparison.” Lady Saline rolls her eyes at Lord Archer’s attempt at poetic flattery.
Lady Saline: “Lord Archer. The flowers are not wanting in my presence.” Lady Saline [(6) right] states a tad cooly. But of course, Lord Archer is found wanting in her eyes, since he kissed her in the garden but he has not followed up with any remotely chivalrous behavior–let alone more kisses. She pouts.
Seth: Squirming in his Papa Sir Guy’s firm embrace, he pats his face. “Oh Papa, I cannot breathe when you squeeze me like that.”
Sir Guy: Instantly contrite, Sir Guy loosens his tight grip on Seth and looks at his son through tear filled eyes. “I am sorry, Seth. I am just so very glad to see you, son.” His son whom now all the world will know as his, his son who may take his place in the world as a gentleman and noble. Sir Guy [(7) right] gazes down upon his son and he cannot help the tears that brim in his eyes to know that Seth’s future is secure.
Seth: “Me too, Papa! Did you have fun with Uncle Archer? What did you bring me?” He asks gleefully.
Sir Guy: “Well I …” Sir Guy realizes that he was so distracted by receiving Seth’s legitimacy decree, that he quite forgot to bring Seth a gift.
Lord Archer: “Now Seth, your father and I have been traveling all day long. Let us take our baths and unpack. Then you will receive your gifts.” Sir Guy shakes his head at Lord Archer, indicating that he doesn’t have a gift. “Ah! Seth, your father had me pack your gift from him in my cases–I had more room. So you will just have to wait for it until after our baths.” He tilts his head at Sir Guy to indicate that he has an extra gift for Sir Guy to give Seth.
Sir Guy: “Thank you …” He smiles at his brother for helping him save face in front of his son. “… for reminding me Archer.” Though Seth’s royal decree of legitimacy is the far greater gift, little ones prefer something tangible that they can hold in their hands.
Then Lady Roseanna appears upon the terrace having been alerted to her husband’s return and she finished nursing baby Lady Helen. Lady Roseanna [(8) right] is still very young in spirit at only 22 years of age. So she eschews decorum and breaks into an excited run at seeing her husband come home to her early. Sir Guy strides purposefully toward her–running still out of the question for him due to his old wounds.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy!” She falls into his arms as he lifts her into the air and twirls her around as they feverishly kiss each other.
Sir Guy: “Beloved!” He cries and deepens their kissing even as he dips her back into his arms–regardless of who is watching them.
Their kissing goes on for several minutes. Sir Guy has had such a trying week, what with almost being killed a few times and facing those whom he had wronged–and not always being forgiven. But in Lady Roseanna’s arms and with their family, Sir Guy finds a refuge of forgiveness and hope that is a healing balm to his beleaguered soul.
Lady Saline and Lady Mary look longingly at such a romantic display of affection between Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna. Then they look upon their intended bridegrooms with uncertainty–Lord Archer for Lady Mary and Lord George for Lady Saline. Their polite nods to each other mostly due to the presence of both sets of bridal parents–the Havorfords and the Talkingtons. But neither couple has ever had their affections turn in the proper direction. And now, there will be much to surmount if they are to be happy with their betrothal partners.
Lord Archer: “Kkhhh!” He coughs to get his brother’s attention. But it doesn’t work as Sir Guy hungrily kisses his lady wife Roseanna. “Guy!”
Sir Guy: He pulls back from kissing his wife on her lips as their foreheads press against each other in breathless love and desire. “What is it, Archer? We don’t like having our greeting interrupted.” Sir Guy says benignly as he pants in desire for his lovely wife.
Lady Roseanna: “Hhhh!” She does not even notice her brother-in-law. She only focuses on her husband, Sir Guy.
Lord George: “Speak for yourself, Lord Archer.” He raises his eye brow. Then Lord George [(9) right] surreptitiously glances at Lady Mary, remembering their kisses–as she seems to be doing judging by the creeping blush upon her cheeks as she quickly glances away from him.
Sir Guy: Turning to look at Lord Archer and Lord George, he admonishes “Well hop to it, gentleman. Your in-laws will doubtless understand.”
Lady Roseanna: Caressing her husband’s cheek, she turns him to look back at her. “Nay, Guy. If the Havorfords are anything like the Talkingtons–and I am becoming better acquainted with them with each passing day–restraint by the betrothal couples is best.” She smiles sweetly while correcting him.
Sir Guy: “So no shared betrothal bed for them, my love?” He smiles mischievously.
Lady Roseanna: Playfully swatting Sir Guy’s arm–because that element of their courtship is not widely known, at least not by the Havorfords–she admonishes him. “My dear husband, I am sure that Archer needs no encouragement for greater familiarities with the sweet Lady Mary. And George has already slept with Lady Saline.” She adds minxishly.
Lord George: Lord George holds out his hands in protest. “Now Rosie, I swear, on my honor that Lady Saline and I have never slumbered together–even chastely.
Lady Saline: Lady Saline looks mortified. “I have never lain with anyone!” She blushes crimson while she steals glances at Lord Archer–even as his wide eyed betrothed Lady Mary looks at Lord George doubtfully.
Lady Roseanna: “Then Georgie, you do not remember the fiercesome thunderstorm that shook the manor when you were ten and Lady Saline was five when the Talkingtons were here on a visit. You found her cowering in her bedchamber and you comforted her as the storm raged. After some time, you both fell asleep in each others’ arms until I found you together the next morning.”
Lord George: “I would hardly call the two of us as children a romantic situation. Why, that was more than three years before our parents’ contracted our betrothal.” He throws up his hands in consternation, while also making the point to Lady Mary that his betrothal with Lady Saline was not his choice.
Lady Mary: “But George, it is very nice that you were so kind to Lady Saline when she was young–helping her to not be afraid of the storm.” She smiles sweetly at him. And she does not realize that her first informality of using a man’s Christian name in mixed company was not given to her betrothed Lord Archer, but to Lady Saline’s betrothed Lord George.
Lord George: “Thank you, Mary.” He smiles warmly at her–also forgetting protocol by addressing her by her Christian name. They have had to be so proper in front of the parents that they have not had any private time together since their kisses at Middleton Hall last week. But their guard is down for the moment being amongst the younger set of couples at the manor.
Lord Archer: Noticing a seeming familiarity between Lady Mary and Lord George, he looks back and forth between them. Then he looks a bit longingly over at Lady Saline and says. “My lady?” Lady Saline shakes her head, rolls her eyes and stomps off toward the maze garden–partially in frustration, but also hoping that Lord Archer will follow her again. But Lord Archer remembers what happened the last time he followed Lady Saline into the maze garden–their passionate kisses erupting from their deep feelings for each other–and he uses all of his willpower to stave off following her, because he sadly thinks that they are not meant to be. “I think I will head to my bed chamber and take a bath to get the dust of the road off of me. I will see you all at dinner.” Then he stalks off toward the manor.
Sir Guy: “An excellent notion! Come my Lady Rose. I need a bath myself.” And they walk toward the manor as well.
This leaves Lord George, Lady Mary, Seth, and Prince the dog on the croquet field. Lady Mary is clasping and unclasping her hands in an attempt to maintain her composure.
Seth: “But what about my present?” He pouts.
Lord George: Patting Seth’s shoulder, he says. “All in good time. All in good time. So! Seth, do you want to continue beating us at croquet? Or would you like to lie down for a nap?”
Seth: “Both! But I think Prince needs a nap.” He shrugs his shoulders. Seth has taken to attributing his own wishes and needs to his dog Prince–since at five years old, Seth thinks of himself as a big boy who doesn’t need naps anymore. As he starts to sleepily walk toward the manor for his nap, he turns back to Lord George and Lady Mary. “Uncle George?”
Lord George: “Yes Seth.” He smiles.
Lord George: “Kkhh!” He coughs in embarrassment to have to answer that question in front of a forlorn looking Lady Mary [(10) right]. “Yes, my wife will be your Aunt. And your Uncle Archer’s wife will also be your aunt.” He half heartedly gestures to Lady Mary.
Seth: He looks at them both quizzically. Then he has a bright idea. “Oh! So when Lady Mary marries you and is your wife, she will still be my Aunt?” Lord George is thunderstruck–as is Lady Mary. “So that means that Lady Saline will have to marry Uncle Archer so she can still be my Aunt, too.” He claps his hands together at understanding the intricacies of familial relationships–far better than anyone would have thought a five year old could. Then Seth turns back to the manor and heads inside for his nap–with Prince trailing behind him
Little Seth has grasped more than what most of the adults have–the true nature of the feelings of the four individuals who are betrothed. Lady Mary blushes crimson and begins to cry regarding the mixed up betrothals and her thwarted hopes and dreams as she runs into the manor to find a quiet corner to have a good cry out. Lord George is left standing nonplussed all by himself on the croquet field–his betrothed off in the maze garden, and his love in the manor.
Lord George looks over toward the stables and sees Althea the healer woman taking charge of the wagon load of her possessions and is helped onto the wagon seat by the grooms who will help her unpack as they head toward the cottage Sir Guy promised her. Little Sally and Tommy are already fast asleep for their naps. Lord George decides that a good ride on his horse will help clear his head as he walks toward the stables.
Sir Guy leans forward in his bath once more as his valet Trent pours warm water over his head and body to rinse the shampoo and soap off of him. Then he lies back for a good warm soak. Sir Guy has much to do and tell his wife Lady Rose between Seth’s legitimacy decree, Prince John having Jasper spy upon the Nottingham rebuilding–in case there might be treasure lurking about–his atonements so far, and what his role will be within their family now that Lord George is the titular head of it and displaced him as Estates manager.
Having changed into her thin linen lounging chemise and robe, Lady Roseanna quietly dismisses Sir Guy’s valet before walking into Sir Guy’s dressing room where he lies soaking in the tub.
Sir Guy: Hearing footsteps behind him, he says with his eyes closed. “Trent, the hot water is so soothing after my long journey. I think that I will soak a while. Just leave the towel next to the tub for me and I can fend for myself.”
Lady Roseanna: Affecting a deep voice, she says unconvincingly. “Yes, milord.” Then she wraps her arms around her husband’s neck and giggles. “Ha ha ha haha! It’s only me. I thought that I would massage your neck for you.” She tenderly kisses his cheek, glad to have her love home with her again.
Sir Guy: Playfully clasping her hands in his around his neck, he smiles. “Did you now? I am a most fortunate man to have you as my understanding wife, my love.” He smiles contentedly.
Lady Roseanna: “You are, indeed, my love.” She kneels on a pillow behind his head and massages his neck and shoulders. “You are so tense! Was your journey that bad? Or was the Nottingham rebuilding project vexing?” She asks knowingly.
Sir Guy: “Hhhh! A bit of both.” He says cryptically.
Lady Roseanna: “Knowing of his intent to make amends in Nottingham, she asks. “Were you able to make reparations to those whom you had …” She can’t bring herself to voice it.
Sir Guy: “To those whom I had wronged?” He says benignly but with a steely gaze at the other end of the tub where the water laps with his every movement.
Lady Roseanna: “Well, yes.” She blanches. She is so proud of him for doing this, yet her heart nags its worry about his reception by the villagers.
Sir Guy: “I was able to meet with some. But since we only stayed a week, there will be more villagers to talk to on future visits.”
Lady Roseanna: She notices the healing nicks on his neck and wonders if he was careless shaving. Or if … “What are you not telling me? We have no secrets from each other, beloved.” She places her chin on his shoulder and lays her cheek against his cheek.
Sir Guy: “That is a long conversation–long past when this water will be warm. Let me arise from the bath and dry myself. Then we will talk.” He says portentously.
After drying his body and toweling his hair to mere dampness, he dons a rarely used night shirt and joins his Lady Rose in their bed.
Lady Roseanna: “I have been patient my love. What do you have to tell me?” She caresses his cheek with loving sweetness.
Sir Guy: “Hhhh! Where to begin?”
Lady Roseanna: “Start with the worst, and get it over with.” She suggests with trepidation.
Sir Guy: “Though you find me returned to you alive, I was not altogether certain last week whether or not I would be returning to you in a shroud.” He says in all seriousness as he clasps her hand over his heart.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy! What happened?” She asks in great alarm.
Sir Guy: “Kate, whose brother Matthew I killed–without cause two years ago–broken in to Locksley Manor one night with the intent to cut my throat.”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh no!” She fingers the healing cuts on his neck–now knowing their true origin.
Sir Guy: “It was only the quick thinking and actions of Archer and Brother Tuck that saved me from that fate.”
Lady Roseanna: “Was she executed for attempting to kill you, a noble?”
Sir Guy: “No. I asked Archer to spare her life.”
Lady Roseanna: “But why? It was she who tried to kill you? And she might attempt that crime again.” She is in great distress at the thought of almost losing her husband.
Sir Guy: “The crime is mine–for having killed her brother. And until I receive God’s judgment for my sin, I cannot begrudge Kate nor her mother their wish for retribution.” He also thinks sadly of his killing Lady Marian.
Lady Roseanna: “Her mother?”
Sir Guy: “I will not receive forgiveness from either of them. Nor should I.”
Lady Roseanna: “Did all of your attempts to make amends turnout this way?” She asks softly, caringly.
Sir Guy: He smiles. “No. The little girl named Mary whom I dangled over the cliff had been having nightmares about me. But I submitted to her punishment on my knees–ten whacks upon the backs of my hands …” He holds one up one hand to show her a mark that was left there. “… which she said was her mother’s way. Then her father pointed out to her that I was not so scary now and she brightened at that. I lead her on my horse into the village for Market Day–walking alongside as a further punishment–and she gave me a hug after I helped her dismount. Her father even shook hands with me, thanking me for helping his daughter to dispel her demon man nightmares.” He smiles ruefully.
Lady Roseanna: “That sounds so sweet!”
Sir Guy: “She was.” Then he gets very quiet. “And then … then later, still during Market Day when Kate’s mother was going to finish what her daughter Kate had started–in recompense for her son dying at my hands–and stab me through the heart …”
Lady Roseanna: “Guy, no!”
Sir Guy: “I had submitted myself to her justice, my love.” He nods his head with lowered eyes, tearing up. He almost whispers. “Then, little Mary broke out from the crowd and threw herself around my neck to shield me–claiming she had healed me and that she would suffer nightmares again if I were killed if she could not save me.” The tears are streaming down Sir Guy’s face now. “Even Kate grudgingly came forward to stop her mother from killing me. But it was little Mary who saved me. She saved me.” He repeats incredulously–humbled by this little one’s kindness.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy! How you have suffered! Will you never be able to leave the past behind you?” She kisses his eyes, his cheeks and his lips.
Sir Guy: Gazing up into her eyes, he says sorrowfully. “Some things are beyond forgiving and forgetting, my love. All I can do is endeavor to be the man you wish me to be, the man my mother hoped I would become. I will fail, but I will still try.”
Lady Roseanna: “You will not fail. You have not failed, my love. You are already the man I hope you to be–in every way. I could not ask for a better husband, nor a better father.” Her hands caress both sides of his face and she kisses him tenderly. “Now! I want no more talk of you submitting yourself to others trying to kill you. You have a responsibility to us, your family, that outweighs their demands. Do you not think that so, my love?” She pouts.
Sir Guy: Gently running his index finger along her pursed lips, he smiles wanly. “When you state it thus, I cannot deny it. You and our children have the greater claim upon me now. I will bow to your wishes for me to stay alive.” He nods. They both smile at each other.
Lady Roseanna: Snuggling against his chest, she asks. “Good! Now, husband, do you have any good news to share? Ha ha ha!”
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha! I do. At least, I hope that you will think it fine.”
Lady Roseanna: Turning her head to look up at him, resting her chin on her clasped hands over his chest, she asks with a smile. “Well?”
Sir Guy: “Prince John sent Sir Jasper to spy on us. But he also sent him with a charge having to do with me.”
Lady Roseanna: “Jasper didn’t try to kill you too, did he?” She asks impishly.
Sir Guy: “He did not. Though I have no doubt that Sir Jasper would look favorably upon such a mission.” Sir Guy rolls his eyes. “And squashing that toad of a sycophant to Prince John would not cause my conscience any worry in the least, either.” He says with disdain. She looks at him pleadingly to continue. “It seems that cousin Johnny has taken a shine to Seth–and having Seth’s dog named Prince after him.”
Lady Roseanna: Mimicking Seth, she quotes Seth in a kidlike voice. “Prince John has pretty shoes. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Indeed, my love. And, he has formally recognized Seth as being part of his extended family.”
Lady Roseanna: “How so?” She looks at him quizzically. “Seth is our son, of course he is part of our family.”
Sir Guy: “It is more than that.” Sir Guy reaches over to his bedside table and picks up the scrolled royal decree and unfurls it so she can see the royal seal. “This document grants Seth status as my son and as a noble.”
Lady Roseanna eagerly takes scroll from him and reads it–her having been uncharacteristically schooled as a woman to read Latin.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy! This is wonderful! Have you told Seth?”
Sir Guy: “Not as of yet. I wanted to speak to you first.” He says with slight gravity as he takes her hand in his hands.
Lady Roseanna: “But why tarry? He will have his place in the world now as a true Gisborne–and follow in his father’s footsteps as a knight.” She brushes the still damp hair from Sir Guy’s forehead.
Sir Guy: “But, … this also means that Seth is acknowledged legally as my first born son.”
Lady Roseanna: She smiles as she caresses his face. “And that he is.”
Sir Guy: Placing his hand on her chemise, over her belly, he looks up at her. “Seth is my heir as my first born son.” He pauses to let this sink in to her. “He will inherit Middleton Manor now, instead of a son of ours inheriting it.”
Lady Roseanna: She nods. “It is the way of things. But you are wrong, husband.”
Sir Guy: “Wrong?”
Lady Roseanna: “Seth is a son of ours. And I am happy for him.” She smiles.
Sir Guy: “You are truly a wonder to take this news with such grace and magnanimity.” He gazes upon her with awe and wonder.
Lady Roseanna: “Well, I am never one to turn down a compliment, beloved.” She rolls herself to lie on top of him fully. “Besides, we have plenty of inheritance to share with all of our children what with your wealth now returned to you by Archer … and my Oxbridge estates being inherited via the female line.”
Sir Guy: “The Oxbridge estates? What are those?” He looks at her quizzically.
Lady Roseanna: “They are the 1000 acres of land to the south of our property here–those are not part of George’s estates as you might have thought.” He nods, because that was his thinking. “Did you not wonder how my parents were able to deed Middleton Manor to me when I was a child, if the lands were part of George’s inheritance?”
Sir Guy: “I confess that I had not questioned it at the time you mentioned it.”
Lady Roseanna: “It was because Middleton Manor was formerly Oxbridge Manor and the seat of my mother’s family. As an only child–and with her family monies being inherited by the female line–it was not under the restrictions keeping them to George or male heirs alone. So it and its surrounding lands were given to me–along with the Oxbridge inheritance.” She finishes with a flourish.
Sir Guy: “Ah. So Seth will not inherit Middleton Manor as I thought?” He purses his lips questioningly.
Lady Roseanna: “He might, my love–if you wish it. But we have a long time before we need to figure out all of our children’s inheritance from both of our wealth and land holdings. Our daughters will have dowries to take to their new homes when they marry and our sons will have plenty of land to share amongst them.”
Sir Guy: “Actually, I feel more at ease knowing that Seth is not disinheriting his siblings.” He smiles.
Lady Roseanna: “Well now. I think we have set the world to rights and talked quite enough for one napping interlude. Do you not think so, my love?” She smiles at him coquettishly as she lazily plays with his sparse chest hair.
Sir Guy: Raising his eyebrows up and down saucily, he says, “Indeed I do.”
Then Sir Guy and his Lady Rose release themselves from their sleeping attire and kiss each other with loving abandon. Even a week has been too long for these lovers to be apart from each other and their eagerness to be one with each other will not be abated. Their kisses and caresses serve to adore each other with love and tenderness. Sir Guy’s kisses upon Lady Roseanna trail an unbroken line of pleasure from her lips to her toes–and back again. He stops only briefly at her womb to worship the new life that lies sleeping within. And he reminds himself to be extra gentle with his lady wife due to her delicate condition.
But his Lady Rose will not be restrained as she rolls him to his back again and she proceeds to trail her loving kisses from his lips to his toes and back again, before she raises herself up to sit astride him. Sir Guy hungrily kisses her loveliness exposed to his seductive gaze and they both tremble with the pleasures they are giving each other. As their bodies move together in loving harmony, their desires increase with every loving touch–giving and receiving love, one to the other, in total loving abandon. And then, Sir Guy’s final powerful joining with his loving wife culminates in their mutual ecstasy as their bodies shudder their sensual release in joyous loving bliss. Lady Roseanna lies against her husband’s chest [(11) right] as their deep yet quickened breathing slows and their heightened pleasures calm.
Then they lie down next to each other and Sir Guy pulls the bed sheet and blanket around their naked entangled bodies as they sweetly kiss each other once more. Theirs is a deep love of two souls who have known loss, but who have found hope and compassion with each other in building their lives together. Then they turn on their sides with their arms and legs still entwined in their lovers’ embrace–and they sleep, cradled in each others’ loving arms.
Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna’s world is peaceful and calm–for now. But with a double wedding involving their brothers and their fiancés looming in the near future–and Prince John yet to be satisfied about the Nottingham treasure–much is yet to be resolved.
To be continued with Chapter 21 (This conclusion of our story will be posted on Friday, March 1st.)
(1) “Guy’s Dilemma” logo is a composite of three images:
a) Sir Guy (portrayed by Richard Armitage) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3, episode 13 (pix 64).and is found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodethirteen/slides/13_064.html;
b) Image of Lord Archer (portrayed by Clive Standen) http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.html;
c) a sword hilt from MS Office Clip Art was found at http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=sword&ex=1#ai:MP900432917|
3) Image (flipped) representing Seth Gisborne is a “Portrait of a Young Boy” by Jean-Leon Gerome (1924 – 1904) and was found at http://www.paintingall.com/Jean-Leon-Gerome-Portrait-of-a-Young-Boy-Oil-Painting.html
5) Image of Lord Archer of Locksley (portrayed by Clive Standen) in the BBC’s Robin Hood, Series 3, is a composite image of Mr. Standen’s head (cropped) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodetwelve/slides/12_093.jpg ; and a Medieval type man’s formal attire found at http://www.medievalcollectables.com/images/Category/medium/158.png
6) Lady Saline Image (cropped) is a John Williams Waterhouse painting called Windflowers found at animekida.com at http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fnQvuaDvJlM/T5MIiOVRi5I/AAAAAAAAEfo/-ARHkNHxwvc/s640/john+william+waterhouse+phi+stars+painting++windflowers.jpg
7) Sir Guy was portrayed by Richard Armitage in Robin Hood, series 3, episode 5 (pix 98) found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_098.jpg
8) Image representing Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton is that of British actress Emma Watson was found at
9) Lord George image (cropped) is that of James McAvoy portraying Tom LeFroy in the film “Becoming Jane” and was found at http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/1800000/James-in-Becoming-Jane-james-mcavoy-1803967-1024-576.jpg
10) Image (cropped) of Lady Mary is that of Arthur Hughes’ “Ophelia” circa mid 1800’s found at http://preraphaelitesisterhood.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hughes-again.jpg
11) The image (cropped) of Guy (portrayed by Richard Armitage) and the image representing Lady Roseanna (Marian portrayed by Lucy Griffiths)–from the BBC show Robin Hood (2006-2009)–is by Maltysa and is found on her web site with her other beautiful artwork at http://maltysa.livejournal.com/355.html
Previous chapter installments, Ch 19: