[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, 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: After Lady Roseanna is surprised with a late night visit of her recently returned from the Crusades in the Holy Land cousin Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, she breaks the news to him of his wife’s remarriage and her subsequently finding herself with child. Lord John is incensed–which perturbs Lady Anne/Marian. Then reassuringly Lady Roseanna begins to take her distressed and anguished cousin Lord John to his children sleeping in the nursery.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 30: Two Fathers
So, Lady Roseanna and her guests–Brother Tuck, her cousin Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester, and his postulant nun nurse Lady Anne– walk down the family bed chamber corridor until they come to the nursery–while Lady Roseanna’s now nine month old baby Lady Diana lies sleeping in her Mama’s quiet bed chamber with her nurse attendant until her mama returns. Lady Roseanna listens at the nursery bed chamber door for the hushed sounds of sleeping children. But the children have other ideas, as shrieks and thuds seem to emanate from the room. Lady Roseanna throws open the nursery bed chamber door to find a pillow fight of toddler to ten year old proportions wreaking havoc in the room.
Seth: “Got you!” Almost eleven year old Seth squeals to three and a half year old Lord Graham Oxbridge just as Seth’s Mama opens the nursery bed chamber door. “Uh oh!” Seth freezes in chagrin his lips in a pout, much as they did when he was a toddler [(2) right]- –him guessing that he will be punished for keeping the younger children up so late.
The adults filter into the room and Lord John is helped to a chair because his injuries have left him in a chronic state of fatigue. There is a mixture of amusement and laughter on the adults’ faces, save one. Lady Roseanna’s face is studiedly stern looking. The children scramble for their beds–Seth, his brother Louis, and Lord Graham to one side of the large room in side by side beds and Lady Helen, Lady Sarah, and Lady Rachel to side by side beds on the other side of the room.
Lady Roseanna: “What is the meaning of this? You should have been asleep hours ago?” Lady Roseanna fumes in mock anger. For at twenty seven years old, Lady Roseanna still has a youthful spirit.
Seth: “Sorry Mama.” He hangs his head remorsefully.
Lady Helen: Six year old Lady Helen jumps out of bed and runs to her Mama’s legs. “We are sorry, Mama.” Lady Helen pouts contritely as she looks up at her Mama. Two year old Lady Sarah stays in her bed, but quickly nods her head up and down several times in agreement. “But we were having too much fun to go to sleep.” She reasons.
Lord Graham and Lady Rachel merely wave from their beds. They are guests of Lady Roseanna, and guests are usually afforded some leeway in the rules.
The adults stifle the grins threatening to erupt upon their faces.
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna picks up a pillow lying at her feet and looks at the children solemnly. “Children, you must promise me something.” The children all nod their heads up and down several times in eager agreement. Lady Roseanna lightly throws the pillow at her son Seth. Then she smiles slightly [(3) right] and makes a face at them. “Please wait for me to join in the next time you have a pillow fight. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Children: “Ha ha ha ha ha!” The children giggle uncontrollably and bound out of their beds toward Lady Roseanna–landing in a heap at her feet.
Lady Roseanna: She turns to the other adults and smiles with a shrug. “We have one rule in our home–never go to sleep without mending a quarrel or conflict.”
Lord John: Assessing the happy mayhem in the nursery bed chamber, Lord John muses wearily appreciatively. “Lady Rose, it looks like you were born to be a mother.”
And though Lord John spoke with no intent to harm, Lady Anne lowers her eyes and winces–her despairing of never knowing the joys of motherhood.
Little three and a half year old Lord Graham Oxbridge stands up and walks over to the sitting man and touches his arm. Then seeing the man’s eye patch, Lord Graham [(4) right] shyly asks.
Lord Graham: “Are you a pirate?”
Lord John: “Ha ha ha! No little one, my eye was hurt and I cannot see out of it.”
Lady Roseanna lifts Lady Rachel into her arms and walks up behind Lord Graham.
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna kneels down and whispers in Graham’s ear, loud enough for all to hear. “Graham, this is your Papa Lord John come home to you.”
Lord John smiles hopefully and holds out his arms to his son. Little Lord Graham is the image of his Papa with blondish red wavy hair and gray blue eyes.
Lord Graham: “Really? My Papa is a pirate?” He looks at the pirate man in excited wonder. Though Lord John had tried to disabuse his son of that notion–of him being a pirate–little ones tend to latch onto an idea and it is hard to turn them from it. Then Graham climbs up onto his Papa’s lap and pats his face. “I am glad that you are home, Papa.” Lord John tenderly hugs his son–taking care not to crush him in his zeal.
Br. Tuck and Lady Anne smile at the tender scene.
Lady Roseanna: With little Lady Rachel almost asleep as she leans into Lady Roseanna’s neck, Lady Roseanna kisses her forehead before transferring her to her father’s waiting arms. “And this is your daughter, Lady Rachel.”
Lord John embraces little Lady Rachel gently and gathers her into the crook of his arm as she falls asleep. Then he pushes her night cap up with his nose and he kisses her forehead, while fingering her long blond braid tied with a pink ribbon at the end. She looks so like his wife Rebecca, he thinks.
Lady Anne’s heart tugs because she will never know what it is like to hold a child of her own in her arms.
Lord Graham: Speaking up helpfully, Graham pats his sister’s arm as he sleepily leans into his father’s neck. “Rachel is only two years old. I am more than three years.” He says proudly. “Hhhhh!” He yawns. Lord John smiles. “Sorry Papa. I am sleepy. May we play together on the morrow?
Lord John: “Yes, both of you sleep now. I will see you in the morning.” Lord John [(5) right]. bids them goodnight.
Little Lord Graham nods sleepily. Then he climbs down from his Papa’s lap and trudges over to his bed and climbs into it–falling fast asleep. Lady Roseanna lifts the sleeping Lady Rachel from Lord John’s arms and lays her in her bed and tucks her in. Then she does a round of kissing all the children’s foreheads and more of tucking them in before heading out of the door with the other adults. She nods and the two nanny nurses reenter to stay the night with the children–for the children are always under watchful caring eyes.
Lord John: “Whispering in the hallway as they walk back to their guest bed chambers, he asks. “Rose, my children seem unfazed that I am home after being absent for three years. How can that be so? ” He queries.
Lady Roseanna: “John, they are children, and children adapt well when they are little.”
Lord John: “But what of their, mother? Her leaving must have been hard on them.”
Lady Roseanna: Lady Roseanna stops and turns to face Lord John. “Hhhhhh! It was. But John, I confess that I kept hoping that Lady Rebecca would change her mind and return to them. So I told them that their mother went away on a little visit–not that she has left them. I even pretended to read a good bye note to the children to buoy their spirits. I wondered if I did the right thing or not in doing so.”
Br.Tuck: “You could be right and Lady Rebecca will return.”
Lord John nods, now feeling much more calm about the situation of his wife remarrying and bearing that man’s child. To be sure, he is not happy about it, but he recognizes his own culpability with his long sojourn with the Crusades in the Holy Land. And as of yet, Lord John has no idea how to extricate themselves from this predicament.
Lord John: “Yes. So there is no need to distress little ones unnecessarily.” He nods his head in agreement with Lady Roseanna’s actions.
Lord John slightly raises his eyebrows. For if his children’s mother does not return, it will be up to him to explain her continued and permanent absence from them. And with her shame–and her shaming him–he does not know if he wants her to return.
Lady Roseanna: “Thank you for that, Br. Tuck. Well, and here we are. John, you can have the room on the right and Lady Anne, the room on the left.” She nods
Lady Anne: “Thank you. But I will attend to Lord John first, to insure his rest.” She holds up a small bag that contains her medicines.
Lady Roseanna: “Of course, I will leave you to it.” And Lady Anne and Lord John walk into his bed chamber. Then Lady Roseanna turns to Br. Tuck. “Br. Tuck, the footman here will show you to your usual room down the hall and attend to your needs.” She smiles warmly at him.
Br. Tuck: “Thank you. We have been on a long journey.” He nods and leaves.
Then Lady Roseanna tiredly heads back to her own bed chamber for her nightly rest, after lovely kissing baby Lady Diana in her cradle.
Meanwhile in Lord John’s bed chamber, Lady Anne sets out her medicines on a table, while Lord John goes behind a screen and removes his clothes above his waist and he washes his face in the basin. Walking round the screen holding a towel to his bare chest, he sees Lady Anne waiting patiently for him. He blushes. Though she has seen him in this state of undress–and more when he was first injured–now that he is not confined to his sick bed, he feels embarrassed to be thus exposed to her view.
If Lady Anne feels a similar embarrassment, she does not speak it. Though a delicate blush forming on her cheeks and neck is the tell tale sign of her reaction to Lord John’s near nakedness.
They stare at each other for a moment.
Lady Anne: “John, if you wish to get into bed, I will bring you the medicine to drink. It works very quickly and it should help you sleep.”
Lord John nods and walks toward the bed. He stops, then sits on the bed and removes his boots. Then he hesitates. Normally, he would remove his trousers as well. But she is in the room with him.
Lord John: “My Lady Anne, might you turn around while I remove my trousers and get into bed?” Though he wears undergarments, he feels so tenderly for Lady Anne that she would surely notice his arousal due to her close proximity.
Lady Anne: Her blush deepens in mortification for her staring at him. “Oh! Of course! Please forgive me.” She winces and turns around. She can hear him untying his breeches’ laces, then sliding the trousers down his legs and off of his body. Lady Anne has heard Lord John removing his clothes dozens of times before when she attended him. But somehow now, in England, what happens between and with she and Lord John seems so very different. He slides into bed.
Lord John: “I am covered. You may turn around.” He blushes while clutching the sheets over his bare chest, covering himself up to his neck.
Lady Anne: Lady Anne turns to face him, showing him what she hopes is a benign smile on her face. “This powder dissolved in water will help you to rest tonight.” She holds the glass up to his lips and he sips it–his eyes never leaving her eyes. “You should fall asleep very soon.”
Lord John: He smiles as his eyes begin to droop. “My children are charming, are they not?”
Lady Anne: “Yes. You are very blessed.” She nods her head sincerely.
Lord John: “Indeed!” Then his brow furrows, even has his eyelids become heavy and almost close. “But my wife’s unfaithfulness will make my children a social pariah.” The bitterness in his voice is palpable.
Lady Anne: “Now now.” She gently pats his shoulder. “Children cannot be blamed for their parents’ actions.” Or, inactions she thinks. Then she wonders where that thought came from? Did she have a parent who failed to act?
Lord John: Drowsily slipping into unconsciousness, his guard down, Lord John suddenly clasps Lady Anne’s hand in his hand. “Would that you could be my children’s mother and my wife. That is my dearest wish, My Love, My Anne.” Lord John brings Lady Anne’s hand to his lips for a kiss, then he clasps her hand to his bare chest, startling her. “Never leave me, my Anne. You have my heart and you must tend it or I will surely whither away without your love.”
Lady Anne: Shocked at his declaration of love for her, she realizes that it is merely the sleeping medicine causing him to speak so out of character for him. But she answers him truthfully. “And you have my heart, John.” As Lord John drifts off to sleep smiling, his hold on Lady Anne loosens, and she extricates herself from his embrace. But one last time, Lady Anne leans further forward and kisses Lord John’s forehead. “My love.” She whispers to his sleeping countenance.
Then Lady Anne quietly leaves Lord John’s bed chamber for her own bed chamber and she lies down to sleep. Though their time together is waning, Lady Anne and Lord John will have a little more time together before they must part. And for that, Lady Anne is grateful. For Lady Anne feels that whatever she may or may not uncover about her past while she is in England, if her future will not include Lord John, then she must return to the convent in the Holy Land and take her final vows as a nun.
Earlier in the day, a day’s ride away in Nottingham–actually at his brother Lord Archer’s manor in Locksley–Baron Guy of Gisborne walks into Locksley village’s St. Matthew’s Church [(6) right] .
This visit to Nottingham to rededicate the rebuilt and expanded Nottingham Castle fortifications has been a success–everyone said so. Baron Guy’s brother Lord Archer Earl of Huntington–known for his effusive ebullience–outdid himself in his praise of Baron Guy’s vision and strategic design. Baron Guy was rather embarrassed.
And being esteemed as he is now, is something that Baron Guy is having to become accustomed to as he is no longer the dead Sheriff Vasey’s lackey–nor anyone else’s. Baron Guy of Gisborne is his own man, Lord over his Gisborne-Middleton Estates, advisor to his brother-in-law Lord George Middleton, and above all, a loving and beloved husband and father.
And yet, the unsettled nature of Baron Guy’s heart with respect to the death of Lady Marian and Baron Guy’s role in that sorrow is why he finds himself once again drawn to the the statue of the Madonna that bears the countenance of Lady Marian [(7) right]. In the stillness of the chapel, Baron Guy converses with Lady Marian which gives him some solace.
Baron Guy: “Hhhh! You were remembered on Sunday at the rededication, Marian. The people miss you. I miss you, Marian.” Baron Guy smiles knowingly. “Perhaps I should have donned a brown suede and leather kit as you did as the Night Watchmen and helped the people with you back then.” He pauses. “But I felt that I had no options back then, I felt that I had to do Vasey’s bidding.” He looks up at the marble face of the Madonna, of Lady Marian. “No, that is not entirely true. I chose to remain under Vasey’s patronage–such that it was.”
Baron Guy pauses to think about the malevolent cretin that was Sherriff Vasey. He shudders to think what might have happened if Vasey had attained the power that he was scheming for with the Black Knights. And Sir Guy sincerely regrets the reign of terror that he perpetrated upon the populace at Vasey’s command–and Baron Guy has tried to make amends over the years. But sadly, not all sins can be washed away.
Baron Guy: “It is only now with my own family and our new life together that I truly understand and appreciate your perspective of what it means to care for the people. Our estate employs and is home to over 100 people. It is like a small village. And we take care of them. I take care of them. I have learned my lesson about the greater responsibility that I owe to the community, Marian. And you helped me see that I could be a better man. At least, I hope that you think I am a better man now.” The statue is silent, its eyes gazing intently but not seeing. “I will take your silence as agreement, My Lady.” Baron Guy smirks slightly [(8) right]. The statue’s small smile seems to agree with him. “For silence was never your strong suit.”
Baron Guy’s lips curly up at the corners in fondly remembering how thoroughly Lady Marian vexed him at times. Though Baron Guy’s tormenting guilt in having killed Lady Marian is still a palpable force in his life and shapes his character, Baron Guy is slowly coming to terms with it–as evidenced by his slightly irreverent tone with the Madonna/Lady Marian statue.
Baron Guy makes the sign of the cross over his heart, bows at the Madonna statue, he bows to the alter, and then he turns to leave and sees his brother Lord Archer standing at the back of the chapel.
Lord Archer: Interrupting his brother’s reverie, Lord Archer reminds him. “Brother, the afternoon is waning. If you wish to reach home before midnight–and sleep in your own bed this night– you had better be on your way.”
Baron Guy: “Eager to be rid of me, are you?” Baron Guy teases his younger brother.
Lord Archer: “Certainly not! You know well I value spending time with you, Guy. These past two leisurely days without the press of the Nottingham rebuilding to attend to, have been a welcome respite. But I know that you are as much or more a family man than I, and that you are missing your wife and family.”
Baron Guy: Baron Guy smiles wistfully. “I do miss them. They are like the air to my lungs, giving me life.”
Lord Archer: “That is rather poetic, Guy. I detect a classical influence. Homer?” Lord Archer has broadened his interests via the rather extensive library he found at Lockesly Manor when he became the Earl and returned to his father’s house.
Baron Guy: “No.” Archer raises his eyebrow petulantly. “Gisborne.” Sir Guy smirks more broadly now.
Baron Guy and his brother part with a heartfelt manly hug–after Baron Guy says farewell to his various nieces and nephews and the Lady Saline, Lord Archer’s wife. Then Baron Guy just needs to reach home, his sanctuary of happiness with his wife Lady Rose and their children. Then all will be right with his world–or so he thinks.
To be continued with Chapter 31
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 30 References, May 15, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #746)
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
2) Image representing Seth Gisborne as a 3 year old 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 ; Jean-Leon Gerome (11 May 1824 – 10 January 1904) was a French painter and sculptor in the style now known as Academicism. The range of his oeuvre included historical painting, Greek mythology, Orientalism, portraits and other subjects, bringing the Academic painting tradition to an artistic climax.
3) Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne is that of actress Emma Watson and was found at http://www.hollybollyhub.com/emma-watson-hot-image.jpg
4) Little Lord Graham Oxbridge at 3 years old is represented by a painting titled Young Boy Writingby Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun that was found at http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/186363/1/Young-Boy-Writing.jpg ; for more information about this painting, please visit http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Elisabeth-Vigee-Lebrun/Young-Boy-Writing.html
5) 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
6) Baron Guy is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi6, pix 139 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com
7) The image of Lady Marian’s countenance as the Madonna figure of St. Matthew’s Church in Locksley manip is a composite image of:
a) 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 a modified wimple that was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, vist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
8) Sir Guy bowing his head is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi 5 pix 15 found at
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 29Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #744)