[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, Sam Troughton as Much, and Gordon Kennedy as Little John, 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: Seth Gisborne’s singular sojourn to Nottingham meant that he became privy to the heretofore hidden nature of his father’s nefarious past by the talkative Nottingham villagers. Yet, Seth’s Uncle Lord Archer helped Seth put his father’s actions in perspective–as did Much and Little John to touted Baron Guy’s eventual turning to the cause of England and his right life the past seven years. There will be much discussions and fatherly talks between Baron Guy of Gisborne and his son Seth in the days and weeks ahead after they return home tomorrow. But for now, father and son are growing in understanding for one another as they enjoy the gracious hospitality of Lord Archer and Lady Saline for the night at Locksley Manor–a first for Seth, being in his cousin’s home. For Baron Guy, he realizes that his son becoming a young man of eleven next month means that Seth should be told the truth in all matters–and not just be told the good parts. And Seth realizes that he has as much to learn from his father Baron Guy’s past sins and mistakes, as well as from his father’s good and honorable life now, in order for him to become a man–that is, for Seth to become the better man that his father Baron Guy of Gisborne envisions and hopes for him.
But there is another this day whose path in life is not so certain–and she is in need of guidance and comfort.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3) , Ch. 38 (PG-13) Soothing and Wooing
While Baron Guy’s loyalties and focus remained resolute in finding his son Seth in Nottingham and unharmed this day of Thursday, the 10th of July, anno domini 1199, it also betokened a subtle shift in his emphasis from the burden of his past–now that he knows that he no longer is the murderer of Lady Marian. She lives.
Yet what of that lady? Still reeling from the revelations by her host at the Gisborne-Middleton estate Baron Guy of Gisborne about her past and her injury at his hands, Lady Anne/Marian is comforted by her good friend, Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester. And though they had been informed of Seth Gisborne’s hasty unknown whereabouts as the search parties left–and it concerned them with regard to Seth’s safety as a child alone–they purposely separated themselves from the Gisborne family at the midday meal to give Lady Anne/Marian some much needed calm that was lacking in the household due to the frantic search for Seth. Their repast in Lord Oxbridge’s bedchamber is simple fair of bread and wine, cold chicken, fruit, and cheese.
Lord Oxbridge: “Come and sit with me, Lady Anne.” He caresses her cheek to tenderly console her–her melancholy gaze reflecting her uncertain emotions [(2) right]. Then he opens his arm, beckoning her to sit with him upon the window seat in order to gaze upon the lovely garden below as they eat. “We have our midday meal to enjoy.” Lord John smiles at Lady Anne/Marian tenderly, delighting in the light from the window that illumines her beauty for his eyes alone. He is resisting twining one of her hair’s natural curls around his index finger—but only just.
Lady Anne/Marian–her eyes are still somewhat red and puffy from crying the past hour in Lord John’s embrace–is worn out, mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. So much so, her wimple had slipped off her hair again and she does not care. She had spoken to Lord John about her worries and fears about her past and her future until she had no more tears to shed. And it seems that their conversation has only served to stoke Lord John’s appetite. Lady Anne/Marian looks up at Lord John as if not comprehending his meaning.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Food?” Food. Such a concern as fulfilling her basic necessities seems surreal given what she now knows about herself and her past. Or perhaps more accurately, what she now has been told about herself and her past.
Lord John: “You must eat, My Lady. Starving yourself will not accomplish anything.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Eschewing one meal is hardly starving myself, Lord John.” She states logically and with a bit of petulance that Lord John is glad to notice.
Lord John: “My Anne, on this point I will not budge–no matter what your protestations to the contrary. I must eat and so shall you.” He admonishes with a twinkle in his good left eye [(3) right]. He is a man of inestimable patience, if not a strong constitution due to his injuries in the Holy Land. But their flirty banter always enlivens him–she enlivens him, and he will not part from her ever, if he can help it.
Lady Anne/Marian: “I see.” She half heartedly rolls her eyes at him. “Now we can discern your true purpose. You are hungry and wish to eat. But etiquette demands that you refrain from doing so unless those in your presence are also partaking of food. I will not eat merely to assuage your refusal to be discourteous. Nay, I would say that your insistence that I eat constitutes an intrusion to my person on your part–and thus is also a discourtesy.”
Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! Oh Anne!” Lord John claps his hands together. “I have missed your tart tongue.” He smiles broadly at her. “Were I to live a thousand years with you at my side, I would always want your feisty nature to rule your actions.”
Lady Anne/ Marian: ‘”Then you are a most unusual man. Most noble men want women to be docile and compliant. And those are not descriptors that I aspire to.” Lady Anne/Marian states rather boldly. She might not remember her past, but Lady Anne/Marian is as she ever was–a feisty, proud, determined, forthright, beautiful obstinate woman.
Lord John: “True, they are not! But might I still entreat you to join me in sitting near the food. You need not think of it as your being compliant. But rather, that you are deigning to humor me. Then whether you choose to nibble on the food or not is your own affair. I will give you one Hail Mary and then I am starting to eat.” Lord John strides to the window seat and sits.
Lay Anne/Marian: “Lord John! You should not blaspheme so.”
Lord John: “Then pray do not try my patience, woman! You know that I am in ill humor when my belly is empty. Let me fill it and then I will set myself the task of cheering you up.” He bites into a drumstick with gusto. “Hmmm. This is gooood!” Lord John suggests teasingly.
Lady Anne/Marian: “You are incorrigible!” She stares at him a long moment–before sticking her tongue out at him.
Lord John: “Careful, Anne. You would not wish to incite lascivious thoughts on my part by attempting to impel me to answer your tongue with my own?” He chastises her saucily.
Lady Anne/ Marian: Widening her eyes in incredulity, she states rather primly. “My tongue is none of your business.”
Lord John: “Then you had best keep it to yourself.” He smirks at her.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Or what will happen, pray tell?” Lady Marian asks him indignantly.
Lord John: “This!”
Setting his plate on the table before and then wiping off his mouth with his napkin, Lord John leans toward a shocked Lady Marian and pulls her into his embrace, covering her mouth with his own in a long delayed and needful kiss. His lips are rough in their texture over her soft and pliant lips, though his kisses are tender and sweet as her ardent love. However, Lady Anne/Marian regains her senses when his tongue seeks out hers and she pushes against him in protest. Regretfully, he relinquishes her mouth, but not the rest of her.
Lady Anne/Marian: Looking up into his eyes, she asks in a daze of confusion. “Why did you do that? I did not give you permission to kiss me.”
Lord John: “Anne, were I to wait for your concession, I would be ice skating in hell before you would grant me such a boon as a kiss.” Lord John replies cheekily [(4)].
Lady Anne/Marian: “John! We cannot kiss! I am almost a nun and you are married!”
Lord John: “Almost only counts in trebuchet tosses. And technically, I am still dead–so therefore, I am not married. Further, my wife has remarried and is now with child by her new husband.” [(5)] He states with aplomb, but the actual facts still quite astound him.
Lady Anne/Marian: “You are very sanguine about so tangled a situation.”
Lord John: “Nay! I am a realist. I do not wish to be entangled with a wife not of my own choosing anymore. My Lady wife Rebecca fulfilled the contract of our arranged marriage by providing me with my son in Lord Graham and my daughter in Lady Rachel. If it up to me, I would release her to her new marriage and her new child and wish her well–inviting her to see our children from time to time as she wishes. Just as I wish to pursue a new marriage with a wife of my choosing this time.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh! Of course.” Startled that her good friend John wants a new wife, Lady Anne/Marian looks down at her hands and pouts. Since she cannot–nay should not–bear children, she feels that no man will want her for his wife.
Lord John: Crooking his finger under her chin, he guides her face to look up at him. “I wish to marry you, My Anne.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Me? But I do not remember who I am …and I cannot bear children.” She says sorrowfully.
Lord John: “Ah! Progress!” Lady Anne/Marian looks at him quizzically. “You have not rejected me outright. And as you are well aware, I have two children already. My legacy is secure. And I have no need for more–unless you wish us to parent a baby together.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “How? I dearly want children, but I cannot have them.” Her lip trembles and Lord John kisses it softly.
Lord John: “There are many children without parents who need to be adopted by a family.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh! I had not thought of that. The sisters of my convent were much older and were not interested in children.”
Lord John: “And that is another reason why you are not suitable to take holy orders with your convent–you would easily become bored.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “I would not!” Lady Anne counters defiantly. “I was with the sisters for seven years–and I considered pledging my life to them in possibly taking my final vows to become a nun.”
Lord John: “And yet, beginning with the early days of my recovery and continuing to when we left the Holy Land, you rarely left my side–not even for prayers. Mother Superior must have admonished you not to neglect your religious duties.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “She did.” She winces. “But she was also kind and benevolent toward me.”
Lord John: “I can be kind and benevolent toward you, Anne.” He whispers huskily into her ear, then he gently kisses her ear’s graceful curve.
Lady Anne/Marian: She gives a little sigh. “Hhhhh!” Then she finds another obstacle. “But my past is still so uncertain. What if more comes out about me that casts me in ill favor? I would not wish to dishonor you by being a wife who is gossiped about.”
Lord John: “Anne, your past is done. But your future, our future, is what we create for ourselves!” He cuddles her closer to him. “Besides, the fact that you will be marrying the formerly declared dead Earl of Leicester, is a juicy indignity difficult to exceed on your part.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “I will grant you that. But why do you wish to marry me? You need not feel an obligation due to my care of you, nor out of friendship.”
Lord John: “Good Lord, woman! You talk too much! No wonder Gisborne ran you through! I love you with all of my heart! And you love me. Admit it! Please?” He pleads like a little boy.
And then to Lady Anne/Marian’s startled expression, Lord John crushes her to him once more as he tenderly, sweetly, lovingly, and adoringly kisses and embraces her to him. And this time, she does not protest.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes.” She shyly admits her love for him. “But what about your wife?” Lady Anne/Marian makes one last attempt to allow him to escape from his proposal of marriage to her. Well he has not actually proposed, she thinks.
Lord John: “Details, details.”
Lord John returns to kissing his Lady Love, and she finally begins to respond to him, ever so slightly and delicately. Lady Anne/Marian has kissed and been kissed before–but never by one whom she has tender feelings for, as he also feels for her–she guesses. And so far, he has not taken any liberties–apart from the kissing–so she is allowing that. Lady Anne/Marian might not become a nun, but she is still a lady of the nobility. And she deserves the respect due to her station. And Lord John is well aware of Lady Anne/Marian’s fierce self possession–it is one of the attributes that he so admires about her. Similar to his spitfire of a cousin Lady Roseanna Baroness Gisborne, Lady Anne/Marian is a woman to be reckoned with–and he would not have her any other way.
Then eager to wed and to bed his lovely Lady Anne/Marian it occurs to Lord John that he need not be the one to come up with a solution to their predicament–since he did not create the situation in the first place. Hmmmm.
To be continued with Chapter 39
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 38 References, June 12, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #765)
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) Lady Anne/Marian image is Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasontwo/Episode3/slides/rh203_135.jpg
3) Lord John Oxbridge image is a composite of two Kevin McKidd images :
a) body and background found at http://www.kevinmckiddonline.com/uploads/2/0/2/4/202457/76376.jpg;
b) head found at http://i2.dailyrecord.co.uk/incoming/article925860.ece/BINARY/kevin-mckidd-image-6-748739633.jpg
4) Ice skating dates back to before the common era in what is now Finland. For more information, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_skating
5) A trebuchet is a catapult like device, for more information please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trebuchet
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 37 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #762)