“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 6 (PG-13): Before the Feast, February 13, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #702)
[An Original Fan Fiction 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)
[(1)story logo, top right]
[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 John, Dakota Fanning as Lady Caroline Havorford, Chris Hemsworth as Sir Roderick Merton, 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 little six year old Lady Helen Gisborne lunging over the five story high castle keep tower parapet to try to save her cat Cloud from falling–only to become in danger of falling herself and entangling her brother Seth as one of her rescuers who also almost plunges to the ground–their rescuer is a young and strong knight named Sir Roderick Merton of Staffordshire. Unfortunately, Sir Roderick suffers an agonizingly painful dislocated shoulder in the rescue of the Gisborne children that Lord Archer has to reset for him since the physician was away. Grateful beyond words that daughter Lady Helen and son Seth were saved by this noble knight, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna welcome Sir Roderick into the hospitality of their large guest suite apartments in Gordon Castle and they also invite him to dine with them tonight at the feast this Friday night of March 29th, 1199.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 6 (PG-13)–Before the Feast
By the time Lady Roseanna Gisborne and her children’s nursemaid had put the younger Gisborne children–two year old Lady Sarah and six month old Lady Diana–to bed before tonight’s celebratory feast at Gordon Castle to honor Sir Guy of Gisborne’s soon to be elevation to a Barony, it is almost time for the feast. And Lady Roseanna with the aid of her ladies maid swiftly finishes dressing herself, her six year old daughter Lady Helen, and her four year old son Louis for the feast tonight. So even before the feast is set to begin, Lady Roseanna is quite fatigued.
And as a concerned mother, Lady Roseanna was uncertain if her daughter Lady Helen would be in good enough spirits to attend the feast after her ordeal of dangling over the keep tower this afternoon. However, Lady Roseanna muses now as she sees her daughter twirl excitedly in her new pale blue silk and lace gown, that if Lady Helen’s powers of recuperation are so swift as a six year old, she shudders to think how arrestingly at turns either mercurial or sanguine that Lady Helen will be as a maid contemplating a bevy of suitors in a few years time. But then, Lady Roseanna, herself, was quite formidable. It took the power and presence of her esteemed and beloved husband Sir Guy to tame her headstrong ways. Well, they tamed each other and are an enviable love match in temperament and wishes.
Still a young and beautiful woman of twenty seven, Sir Guy’s Lady Rose is a vision of loveliness as her husband Sir Guy smoulders upon seeing her wearing her pink velvet gown [(2) right] this night that he so admires her in. And Lady Roseanna is particularly proud of herself because after giving birth to four children, she can still wear her gown due to the natural fullness of the gown’s styling.
Her husband, Sir Guy looks quite handsome in his deep navy and gold brocaded tunic over his dress leather trousers and boots. Lady Roseanna smiles as she thinks about the inevitable envious stares of other women when they behold her husband, Sir Guy, tonight. For Lady Rose admires her husband and thinks that he is regal, tall, broadly muscular, and handsome. Of course from her perspective, her Guy could wear sack cloth and still look stunningly handsome. Lady Rose gazes upon her husband’s smiling face [(3) right] as he turns to her again–bringing her untold joy. He is magnificent! A lion among men–in their bed and out of it, she blushes in fond remembrance of their loving evening last night.
Sir Guy: “My Rose, were I not the guest of honor at Lady Leicester’s feast tonight, I would gladly entertain a quiet evening with you and the children after our hectic day.” Sir Guy smoulders as he whispers into his wife’s charming ear, that he then kisses.
Lady Roseanna: Smiling knowingly, she replies seductively. “I have never known you to be quiet, my love–in the evening or otherwise.”
Sir Guy: “Well, perhaps the rescue of Helen–and Seth–by our esteemed guest Sir Roderick, requires a bit of celebration on our parts. Hmmm?”
Lady Roseanna: “Promise?” She smiles coquettishly.
Sir Guy: “Were you to bid me to stay from my purpose, I will not relent.” He pulls her flush to him as he leans down and kisses her tenderly. Lady Roseanna joins her mouth with his in eager communion.
Lady Helen: “Hhhhh!” Lady Helen sighs with seeing her parents kiss sweetly in her presence. She turns to her brother Seth. “Mama and Papa love each other so nicely.” She smiles sweetly.
Seth: “Kkkkhhh! Yes, well, their felicity in marriage is fortunate, given that nobles often have arranged marriages.” Seth’s mind wanders to his own future matrimonial state–him wondering if he will get to choose his wife. If he does, he would suggest a particular candidate in the person of Lady Caroline Havorford.
With their children’s whispered discussion reminding them that their evening has only just begun, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna withdraw from their kissing. Then Sir Guy turns toward his sons.
As Sir Guy beckons their sons forward for inspection of their persons before they are allowed to go to the feast, Lady Roseanna cannot help but observe her husband with love for the wonderful father that he is also. Their ten year old Seth [(4) right]–wearing a complementary navy blue tunic to his father’s richly brocaded navy tunic–idolizes his father, striving to be like him in every way–strong, decisive, noble, and compassionate. And Seth is of an age when his maturity is growing apace and he comports himself well as he stands proudly by his father’s side. Alternatively there is their little four year old son Louis who is fidgeting as usual. This will be Louis’ first time at a large ceremonial function–outside of their family home. So neither parent is altogether certain of his demeanor. But if children are to learn how to behave, then they must observe and practice is Lady Roseanna and Sir Guy’s thinking. And Seth will be his little brother Louis’ keeper this evening.
The Gisborne-Locksley-Middleton extended family meet in the family guest bed chamber corridor and walk together to the Great Hall of Gordon Castle where the banquet is to be held. The seven months pregnant Lady Mary leans heavily upon her husband Lord George Middleton’s good arm as she walks–her formerly slight form now being overburdened with her third child. She has followed everyone’s urgings and rested ever since they arrived–and she has now had enough of that. As still a young woman of 20, Lady Mary eagerly looks forward to the banquet–her outings of late having been curtailed due to her with child condition. And Lord George indulges his dear wife Lady Mary in the hope that the feast will give her some respite from her fatigue and poor health during this pregnancy. Their four year old son Edward Middleton walks skippingly behind them with eleven year old Lady Caroline–Lady Mary’s younger sister–tasked tonight with keeping him from mischief. And Lady Mary being eager to sit down, Lord George and Lady Mary and their family group hastens to the banquet hall.
Similarly, the elegant Lady Saline and her worldly husband Lord Archer walk proudly side by side a little bit ahead of the Gisbornes, with their dainty four year old daughter Lady Margaret [(5) right]–her twin three year old brothers and one year old baby brother being already asleep in their beds. And with little Lady Margaret having her mother’s sweet countenance and both of her parents’ dark haired coloring, she is a true Talkington and Locksley blending of bloodlines. Her four year old cousin by marriage–but not by blood–Edward Middleton thinks that Lady Margaret looks very pretty. Perhaps a Talkington descendant might eventually marry a Middleton were Lady Margaret and Edward Middleton to become betrothed–and actually wed. So heading to this banquet feast so far, there are three four year olds, a six year old, a ten year old and an eleven year old among the younger members of the family in attendance this night–as well as various and sundry courtiers and nobles.
And unbeknownst to Lady Rose and the other Gisborne-Locksley-Middleton extended family wives in attendance at the feast this night, Sir Guy and the other husbands have placed trusted guards disguised as footmen at their guest bed chamber suite doors to guard their littlest and their most vulnerable family members while the older children and parents are at the feast tonight. The worry about the plot against Sir Guy’s life extends to their children as well–should they get caught in the cross bow fire. Though the mothers–especially the nursing Lady Roseanna–will check on their youngest children midway through the feast, the babies and toddlers will be lovingly supervised by their watchful nurses.
So five Gisbornes and a guest–Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna, ten year old Seth, six year old Lady Helen, four year old Louis, and Sir Roderick Merton enter the large and Great Banquet Hall of Gordon Castle magnificently ablaze [(6) right] with hundreds of candles, where long trestle tables in rows seating 100 guests around the perimeter of a clear space for dancing fill up the large space before the head table where Prince John, Lady Rebecca, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna, Father Bale, and the Earl and Countess of Huntington (Sir Guy’s brother, Lord Archer and his wife Lady Saline) will sit to dine.
The Middleton and Gisborne’s young twenty one year old cousin and hostess, the Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Countess of Leicester–is resplendant in an off the shoulder scarlet satin gown with delicate gold trim signifying her noble position and their wealth–with her long blond hair hanging in rivulets of curls down her back [(7) right]. She graciously greets each guest as they enter this great hall, admonishing each guest to partake heartily of the food and wine as they enjoy themselves in celebration of Sir Guy of Gisborne’s investiture to a Barony. Lady Leicester’s hand rests on the shoulders of her young three year old son Graham–only allowed here this night to stand in the stead of his absent father and Earl, Lord John Oxbridge. Little Graham Oxbridge dotes on his beloved Mama–as she does of him–and he tries to be a very good boy and little Lord to please her–bowing to each new person he meets
As of yet, Lady Rebecca has not heard who nor does she see that the Gisborne’s have a new acquaintance with them, because Sir Roderick Merton did not join the Gisbornes in the receiving line–him preferring to greet their hostess in private later. However, that is not to say that the Gisborne’s new acquaintance is new to Lady Rebecca.
Lady Rebecca: “Welcome Sir Guy and Lady Rose, and children.” Lady Rebecca greets her family formally because they are in the company of others. “I am so glad that the events of this afternoon have not dimmed Lady Helen’s nor Seth’s spirits and they are able to join us for the feast.”
Sir Guy: Lifting his daughter Lady Helen’s hand to his lips as he bends down to her, he sighs. “Providence was watching over us when God sent that good knight to save our Helen. And Seth also aided in her rescue.” Sir Guy states pridefully and places a hand on his son’s shoulder as they share a look of understanding.
Lady Roseanna: “Indeed! It has been a most eventful day so far.”
Lady Rebecca: “Let us hope that tonight will prove to be less so.” They all laugh in relief. “And as you can see, Lord Archer and Lord George and their wives and older children are already here.” She gestures to the corner where they are situating the children at a table adjacent to the head table.
Sir Guy: “The arrangements look magnificent! Thank you most sincerely for honoring me thus, Lady Rebecca.” Sir Guy marvels at the splendor created on his behalf.
Lady Roseanna: Lady Rose kisses cheeks and embraces her cousin by marriage. “Yes Lady Rebecca! Everything looks splendid! Thank you for your gracious welcome and now this festive gathering of the nobles!”
Seth spies Lady Caroline [(8) right] across the room–finally getting a good look at her this night–and he is stunned by her beauty. Wearing an elegant ivory gown with embroidered ribbon edgings and shear sleeves and a flowing skirt, Seth’s memories of a pushy little girl Lady Caroline are forever banished by the vision in front of him. Though at ten years old, Seth is about five years before his parents might allow him to enter into a proper courtship of currently eleven year old Lady Caroline, he is at just the right age for a betrothal, if all goes well with his parents’ negotiations. Though his parents have not informed Seth of their hope to betroth him to Lady Caroline.
Lady Rebecca: “Seth. Seth? Seth!” Lady Rebecca has to say his name three times for it to penetrate the haze of his transfixed adoring gaze. Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna smile bemusedly at their son’s reverie.
Seth: Seth startles, and blushes embarrassedly. “I beg your pardon, Lady Leicester.” He bows. “I was enraptured by … it all.” He gestures to all the decorations as he glances once again at the lovely Lady Caroline.
Lady Helen: “Oh! So am I!” Lady Helen’s younger four year old brother Louis merely nods his head up and down several times in agreement.
Lord Graham: “We are having a party.” Little Lord Graham explains proudly as he holds his arms out as if to embrace the merriment unfolding before his eyes. He has been so good up until now. But after all, the Gisborne are cousins. So he might be allowed a bit of exuberance.
Of course, three year olds are not privy to the machinations of adults. So he does not notice the clusters of nobles and courtiers about the room–but Sir Guy does. To Sir Guy, everyone is a potential threat–none more so than their kinsman by marriage, the Prince Regent, Prince John.
Lady Rebecca: Then with a flattering and solemn air, Lady Rebecca makes a request. “Seth, might I place my son Graham in your temporary charge and protection tonight as you take him with you over to the children’s table? We have you and Lady Caroline and the children seated next to our table should for ease of communicating, you need something.” She holds out her hand holding her son’s hand. And again, though Seth is with the children, he is viewed as not a child. Seth’s shoulders rise proudly.
Seth: Seth bows. “Of course, My Lady. It will be my honor.” Seth clasps Graham’s hand in his, and Lady Helen holds her brother Louis’ hand in hers. “Come children, let us greet the lovely Lady Caroline tending to our children cousins.” Seth intones in a grown up way. He hopes that if he acts more grown up that Lady Caroline with think of him as such.
Lady Helen: “Oh Seth.” She teases as they turn.
As the children walk away from her, Lady Rebecca becomes wistful. Her two year old daughter is too young for this esteemed gathering and is tucked safely in her nursery bed with her servant to tend and watch over her. Following Lady Rebecca’s gaze, Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna observe their son Seth anew as he converses with a blushingly demure Lady Caroline.
Sir Guy: Sir Guy smiles and whispers in his wife’s ear. “Rose My Love, I believe that Seth’s views on love and courtship have altered –and that he is now quite smitten with Lady Caroline.”
Lady Roseanna: “Oh Guy. Do not tease him. He is a young man finding his way.” Sir Guy and Lady Roseanna smile and leave Lady Rebecca to attend to her hostess duties.
Lady Rebecca: “Yes.” Lady Rebecca smiles wanly as they depart. “I hope that Seth is allowed to marry whom he wishes.” She says to no one in particular as the Gisborne’s being the guests of honor, arrived last. So there is no one else for her to greet.
Lady Rebecca’s melancholy musings refer to her not too distant past of five years ago. She had loved another as a young girl–from her childhood. But she was betrothed by her family to Lord John Oxbridge as the Earl of Leicester and they married when she turned sixteen. She is twenty one years old now, her life is still ahead of her, but her thinking that without love in it–despite her children whom she adores–that the years ahead will be lonely and bereft.
And yet, this night has only just begun. And as the hours unfold, the night will reveal its secrets to Lady Rebecca and others.
To be continued with Chapter 7
“Guy’s Atonement”(Book 3), Ch. 6 References, Feb. 13 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #702)
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 from 2006-2009 and was found at Hamilton Hodell Talent Management at hamiltonhodell.co.uk/cv/client_lucy-griffiths_id_100044; image found at
2) Lady Roseanna image is that of British actress Emma Watson (head only) and was found at http://images.werdyo.com/2011/01/10/watson/emma-watson-pink-dress-0.jpg composited with Drew Barrymore’s pink gowned body from the film “Ever After” (1998) was found at
3) 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
4) Seth at 10 years image iin the Gordon Castle Library s a manip of:
a) actor Tommy Bastow’s head, the young actor who later portrayed the young Sir Guy in the BBC’s Robinhood, series 3, “Bad Blood” (2009) was found at http://www.listal.com/viewimage/2338634; for more about this actor, visit http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2921012/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1; and
- b) A daytime tunic found at http://pixgood.com/medieval-fashion-men.html and made navy blue;
c) background image of Gordon Castle library is that of Arundel Castle library found at ttp://www.arundelcastle.org
5) Lady Margaret Locksley image (manip to dark brown hair) is that of Renoir’s “Young Girl with Long Hair” circa 1890 found at http://www.art-prints-on-demand.com/kunst/pierre_auguste_renoir/young_girl_long_hair_profile_hi.jpg
6) Medieval Italian Banquet Hall themed image was found on Pinterest at https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/e0/9e/68/e09e68168d3c8bf840a19556ea1552ef.jpg
7) Image representing Lady Rebecca Oxbridge, Lady Leicester was found at http://balletbase.com/wp-content/Publications/Raymonda/Medieval_Lady.jpg
8) Lady Caroline in ivory gown for the feast is a composite of two images:
a) Lady Caroline Haverford age 11 image (head) is that of Dakota Fanning and was found via Google search, but the fansite seemed to have a virus,so I am not providing that link
b) Medieval ivory gown was found at https://31.media.tumblr.com/13bbc0c5701127b237e9082174961213/tumblr_inline_mmkaj8QYwC1qz4rgp.jpg
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 5 Blog Link (Post 700)