“Sir Guy’s Atonement,” (Book 3), Prologue – Ch. 1: Family Blessings, January 23, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #693)
[An Original Fan Fiction adaptation of the characters from the BBC’s Robin Hood; & a Sequel to “Sir Guy’s Dilemma”(Book 2) and “Guy’s Rose” (Book 1) 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, James McAvoy as Lord George Middleton, Toby Stephens as Prince John, and Lucy Griffiths as the spectre of Lady Marian, etc.] [(1) story logo]
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.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 0: The Past is Prologue
If we could go back and change one thing in our lives–a careless thought, a hurtful remark, a devastating action–who would not wish to undo a wrong, or a mistake, or a regret? And yet, the past cannot be undone, wrongs cannot always be righted, and regrets must be lived with. And Sir Guy of Gisborne must somehow find a way to live with his pain and guilt of killing Lady Marian Knighton and harming others–if not for his own sake, then for his growing family’s sake. Sir Guy’s loving family is his greatest blessing. But Sir Guy’s happiness will be challenged in a way that he never thought possible, when an old spectre from his past misdeeds returns to haunt him. And Sir Guy will finally have to atone for what he has done.
When we left our story situated four years ago in 1195 at the end of “Sir Guy’s Dilemma, Book 2”, a then forty year old Sir Guy of Gisborne had begun to make amends and reparations to the people of Nottingham whom he had injured or terrorized when he was Master at Arms under Sheriff Vasey. Yet there was and is one for whom Sir Guy can never make amends or reparations–the Lady Marian Knighton whom Sir Guy killed in the Holy Land. Sir Guy was a lost and tortured soul because he had killed the person he loved most–the Lady Marian. His despair was unending, his torment unceasing, his life a misery. But from the ashes of his life, Sir Guy found a purpose and served the common good, and not only thought of himself with the love and support of his wife Lady Rose. Though he resigns himself to acknowledging that total forgiveness might not be possible, all Sir Guy can do is to move forward and to live a right and just life, in order to honor the better man that the memory of Lady Marian–and the love of his wife Lady Rose–inspire him to be.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 1: Family Blessings
Sir Guy of Gisborne revels in the joys of family life–with him now as a loving husband, doting father, and respected brother these past five years since he married his young wife Lady Rose in 1194. Sir Guy considers himself very blessed and he strives to continue his own path of atonement with making more reparations to the people of Nottingham–truly believing the bible verse in Luke [(2) below]:
“To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.”
Sir Guy of Gisborne feels extremely grateful to have a second chance at life and at love. Though not destined to bask in the rewards of becoming a champion of the people– his joining the side of King Richard and the people of England came rather late during his time at Nottingham–Sir Guy has found a fractured peace with his life with his wife Lady Rose and their five children in their home at Middleton-Gisborne Manor [(3) right] situated idyllically on 1,000 acres to the South of the sprawling 5,000 acre Middleton Hall and Estate of her brother Lord George Middleton.
And it is through Sir Guy’s dear wife Lady Roseanna Middleton Gisborne and their five children and extended family living near Leicester and Nottingham–far away from the London Court–that Sir Guy finds some measure of peace and happiness. And the happiness extends to his brother Lord Archer of Locksley, Earl of Huntington, wed to his wife’s lifelong best friend Lady Saline Talkington now Locksley–and to Lady Rose’s brother Lord George Middleton married to the still rather young Lady Mary Havorford now Middleton. These three couples form a strong bond of sympathy and support for one another–with Sir Guy’s brother Lord Archer and his brother-in-law Lord George having forged a close knit bond of respect and masculine camaraderie.
Yet every Spring that passes from the time when Sir Guy’s world changed forever, has not made his life easier–just more complicated. A spare five years after Sir Guy fatefully killing Lady Marian in the Holy Land in May 1194–and the despair and self recrimination that followed him in its wake–Sir Guy of Gisborne could not have imagined that his life would be so blessed, as it is now in the Spring of 1199. He has many reasons to live for the others who depend upon him–for those who love him as their husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, lord, and friend.
To be sure, Sir Guy is blessed with the riches of family that he once hoped to share with Lady Marian. Sir Guy of Gisborne has his loving wife, Lady Roseanna Middleton Gisborne and their five children: his now legitimized heir 10 year old Crispin Guy Seth Gisborne from a previous relationship with a kitchen maid; and the children born of Sir Guy’s and Lady Roseanna’s marriage, the now 6 year old Lady Helen Rose Gisborne; a second son, the 4 year old Crispin Guy Louis Gisborne; the two year old Lady Sarah Elizabeth Gisborne, named after Lady Rose’s lifelong friend Lady Saline Talkington Locksley; and a 6 month old baby named Lady Diana Ghislaine Gisborne after Sir Guy’s late mother, the Lady Ghislaine. Oh yes, Lord Gisborne, Sir Guy of Gisborne, has much to smile about [(4) right].
It is now a warmer Spring of late March 1199 that finds the Gisborne family picnicking upon the grounds of their manor home near Leicester with their children in tow. Or perhaps, thinks Sir Guy bemusedly while burping their fifth child, the six month old baby Lady Diana as his wife Lady Rose ties up her loose fitting daytime informal gown after nursing their baby, it is their children who have he and his beloved wife Lady Roseanna in tow as the children gleefully play their running chasing game in the tall grass. The children had quickly doffed their shoes after their picnic and now they run pell mell over the expansive grounds. Seth’s mastiff dog Prince bounds after them.
Seth: “Catch me if you can!” Seth yells over his shoulders to his brother and sisters chasing after him in motley fashion. Being the oldest and with the longest legs, he always wins their chasing game.
Louis: “Wait for me, Seth!” Louis shrieks after his elder brother and waves his arms about.
However, little two year old Lady Sarah Gisborne is more concerned with how the blades of cool grass feel between her toes [(5) right]. She is just at that age when her wonder and curiosity are boundless.
Lady Helen tugs and encourages as her two year old sister little Lady Sarah toddles after her–Lady Sarah being too young to understand what they are doing, just that they are playing.
Lady Roseanna: Ever mindful of her children’s play antics, Lady Rose admonishes her eldest daughter. “Careful Helen! Sarah is still too little for the chasing game. Please bring her back to me.”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy Smirks. “Urchins! Anyone would think that they were children from the village the way they play about like little hellions.” Sir Guy scoffs with a wry indulgent smile. They may be hellions, but they are his hellions–and he adores them.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh now, Guy!” Lady Rose swats at her husband playfully. “They are just having fun, My Love. And you taught them this chasing game!” She looks at her husband pointedly with a cheeky smile.
The young and lovely Lady Rose is perhaps best situated nestled in nature as she is now [(6) right]. Her wheat colored hair glistens in the midday sun as it cascades over her shoulders. Sir Guy gazes at his beloved wife and they share a knowing smile, a promise of love that they will delay until much later–when all children are abed, then they will do so also.
As Lady Helen sees her brother Seth run further away from her, she steers her little sister back to her parents. Lady Sarah unceremoniously plops down into her Mama’s lap and claps her hands.
Helen: “Here is Sarah, Mama!” Then Lady Helen jolts back toward her brothers and chases after them. “Wait for me!” She yells.
Sir Guy: “Lady Helen is almost as bad as the boys in her demeanor. And you let her run around in the boy’s trousers!” Sir Guy gesticulates toward his daughter with some dismay.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy!” Lady Rose sighs, then argues practically. “Trousers are better for Helen when she plays. She is too likely to fall and injure herself in a dress. And trousers are far easier to clean than a dress–and less likely to tear.” Then Lady Rose becomes seductive at bats her eyelashes at her husband. “And you did not seem to mind trousers on me when we courted so long ago.”
Sir Guy: Sir Guy blushes and growls in heated remembrance of their loving courtship and earlier married months. “Hmmm. Well, you were riding your horse Wildfire. You had an excuse.”
Sir Guy smiles mischievously as he runs his right index finger down his wife’s left cheek as he rocks their sleeping baby Lady Diana in his other arm. Then Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna lean in and kiss each other tenderly.
Sarah: “Kiss! Kiss!” Little Lady Sarah claps her hands together and wants some love, too, as she bounces upon her mother’s lap.
Sir Guy and Lady Rose: “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Sir Guy and Lady Rose laugh joyously, then they kiss their toddler daughter Lady Sarah and then their sleeping baby daughter Lady Diana. Then they switch children and Lady Rose cradles the sleeping baby Lady Diana in her arms again, while little Lady Sarah stands on her father’s sitting thighs as he steadies her with his hands around her chubby waist and she pats his face–and pulls on his nose now and again. Well his nose is such a long and noble roman nose that one can forgive little Lady Sarah for being intrigued with it. Sir Guy does not mind, but merely laughs and smiles–delighting in his little daughter’s glee.
Sir Guy: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” Then Lady Sarah sits in her papa’s lap and she swishes a daisy around in the air. Sir Guy fingers the ribbon in his daughter Lady Sarah’s hair–ribbons are always falling out of Lady Helen’s hair and getting lost. “At least Lady Sarah seems a bit ladylike.” Sir Guy admits, then he lifts his two year old daughter Sarah up in the air to her squeals of delight
Lady Sarah: “Papa! Eeee! Papa! Ha ha ha!” Lady Sarah loves her tall Papa Sir Guy so. He is her gentle giant, a loving harbor of safety and joy. Whereas her Mama Lady Rose is all cuddles and love–enveloping her in a cocoon of happiness.
Lady Roseanna: “Now, now. Lady Helen’s alphabet embroidery is improving.” She nods proudly. “And she eats with her mouth closed–most of the time–unlike the boys. Please have a word with Seth and Louis about that, Guy. I fear that my entreaties are soon forgotten. And I feel that a firmer hander will set them on the proper path to becoming young gentlemen.” Lady Rose artfully flatters her husband.
Sir Guy: “Noted.” Sir Guy nods firmly. “I will correct the boys’ behavior at table tonight.” Sir Guy nods and he smilingly bounces Lady Sarah upon his knees to her delight.
Lady Rose smiles, enjoying her husband lavishing his playful attentions upon their middle daughter Lady Sarah. Lady Rose thinks that her husband Sir Guy is so unburdened and happy at times such as these, that it makes her heart glad with joy. After several more minutes, Lady Rose scans the open meadow before them, looking for their older children.
Lady Roseanna: “Now where did the other three get to? We must put our two littlest ones down for their naps.”
Sir Guy: “Naps! Such a blessed thing!” Sir Guy’s eyebrows raise up and down wickedly as his wife blushes with his implication. “Let us see if the boys and Lady Helen have also tired themselves out yet.”
Sir Guy smiles knowingly–for the chasing game was devised by Sir Guy years ago as a means of tiring his children out so they would nap–as they should–and leave he and his wife Lady Rose some private time for themselves mid day. And this day they have their wish with all children napping tiredly after their picnic outing–a blessed thing, indeed!
And at the family dining table that evening–since no guests are expected which would preclude the children from being present–Sir Guy admonishes his two sons Seth and Louis and their eldest daughter Lady Helen before the meal to behave as a young lady and gentlemen, as Lady Rose smiles encouragingly. Lady Sarah at age two is still exempt from proper behavior. And she is mostly kept out of public view anyway, not the least of which is that she still wears a wrapper, her not being completely chamber pot trained as of yet.
Sir Guy states to his three elder children–Seth, Lady Helen, and Louis–that there are five rules of etiquette that the children are to follow at table: to place their linen dining cloth in their laps and wipe their mouth and hands with it, rather than to wipe on their clothes; to take smaller bites of their food, and to not shovel it into their mouths in haste; to chew their food quietly and slowly, with their mouths closed; to not speak with food in their mouth, they must swallow first; and to taste everything upon their plate at least once, including the vegetables.
And to further entice his children, Sir Guy sets one silver penny each on the table above each of their plates. If they break a rule thrice, they lose their penny. If they have a penny left at the end of dinner, they may keep it for their Sunday church offering. If they accumulate more pennies over the course of several days, they may keep the extras for their next outing in the village. Though the first night of such dinner etiquette enticements, was not a great success–the older children forgetting and each losing their penny–as the days wore on, the children were better and were able to keep a penny or two. Progress! And by the week’s end, Sir Guy realizes that his children are doing so well that he will go broke if their enticements are a nightly occurrence at dinner. So the pennies become a twice a week test/reward at dinner–usually occurring after the children were very well behaved the previous evening. Sir Guy and Lady Rose are pleased that their children are well on their way to becoming well mannered ladies and gentlemen.
However, there is one sticking point at reaching familial perfection in Sir Guy’s mind. Whereas Sir Guy keeps giving his wife Lady Rose daughters–after their son Louis was born–Sir Guy’s brother Lord Archer and brother-in-law Lord George keep having sons, two each to be exact, and a daughter a piece. And though Sir Guy’s eldest child Seth is also a son–and legitimized by Prince John–Sir Guy and Lady Rose have but two sons and three daughters.
Lord and Lady Talkington have a five year old son named Charles–the young brother of Lady Saline. Lord Archer and Lady Saline Huntington of Locksley have a four year old daughter named Margaret, twin three year old boys Andrew and David, and a one year old son named James. So Lord Archer is very pleased with himself. But of course, his wife Lady Saline–despite her sometimes delicate constitution–has gifted him with four children. And Lord George and Lady Mary Middleton’s four year old son Edward is joined by two year old Nigel–with Lady Mary being with child again. Sir Guy thinks that it will probably be a third son for them–which would please Lord George, but his wife Lady Mary dearly wants a daughter this time. And with eleven children and counting among them, fecundity seems to grace the extended Gisborne-Middleton-Huntington families.
Of course, the usual male rivalry and teasing by Lord Archer and Lord George to Sir Guy upon their observation of Sir Guy begetting so many daughters is taken good naturedly by Sir Guy. Though Sir Guy counters to Lord Archer and Lord George that he has five children to their four and two and a half, respectively. But Sir Guy is just a man, and he longs to give his wife Lady Rose another son–and to give his sons Seth and Louis a brother. And as a man of his time, Sir Guy needs sons for his dynasty of redemption. Sir Guy feels that only then will his life and his legacy be complete.
But Sir Guy is getting ahead of himself, as he will soon find out. Sir Guy’s now perfect family life will be turned upside down when an old spectre from his past misdeeds returns to haunt him–and has the potential to put his and his family’s future happiness in jeopardy. Sir Guy’s happiness will be challenged in a way that he never thought possible and he will finally have to atone for what he has done.
To be continued with Chapter 2
“Guy’s Atonement”(Book 3), Ch. 0-1 References, 1/23/15 Gratiana Lovelace
1) Story Logo for Sir Guy’s Atonement” is a composite 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 from2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at http://www.hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044.htm; image found at http://cdn.thedubs-staging.com/images/hamiltonhodell/600x600FFFFFFf/_uploads/userassets/images/griffithslucynewpic11.jpg
2) “To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” is a bible verse from Luke 12 verse 48 that was found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Faithful_Servant
3) Middleton-Gisborne Manor near Leicester England is Ireland Birr Castle (cropped); image is courtesy of Teresa Armitage, who has a great eye for castles; the image is also found with more information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birr_Castle
4) Sir Guy (crop) is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi7 pix 177 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_177.jpg
5) Lady Sarah Gisborne at 2 years old image was a charming painting by Zolan (sized, clr more green) found at http://webneel.com/daily/sites/default/files/images/daily/10-2013/1-kids-oil-painting.jpg; and http://webneel.com/daily/1-kids-oil-painting?size=_original
6) Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne is that of actress Emma Watson and was found at http://www.hollybollyhub.com/emma-watson-hot-image.jpg