[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: Lord John Oxbridge soothed and wooed his beloved Lady Anne/Marian after she learned about part of her past from Baron Guy of Gisborne–and his role in her injuries seven years ago. But though the soothing helps, the wooing highlights an impediment–apart from him still being the legally dead Earl of Leiscester, which might be of service in the matter. 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.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 39 (PG-13) A Mother’s Love
The aftermath of Baron Guy revealing he had stabbed Lady Anne/Marian and what she meant to him and now that it is known that Lord John Oxbridge is alive have rippling repercussions in the extended Gisborne-Oxbridge-Middleton-Merton family. And though not heard from for less than a week–and knowing of Lord John Oxbridge’s living status but not of his return to Leicester–the recently two months married Sir Roderick and his pregnant wife Lady Rebecca Merton had decamped to his home at Canert Castle in Staffordshire, England [(2) right] just a spare few days ago on July 7th, 1199 to protect Lady Rebecca from her husband’s supposed wrath at her being remarried and with child. But even well meaning husbands like Sir Roderick cannot break the loving bond between mother and child.
Three days, no four days–not even a full four days it has been–and Lady Rebecca Merton is beside herself with grief for being parted from her two children by her first husband, Lord John Oxbridge,three year old Lord Graham and two year old Lady Rachel. She cannot sleep nor rest and she eats little. Her husband Sir Roderick is deeply worried to see her so distressed. He lost his first wife and child because of birthing complications eighteen months ago. His heart cannot also stand the loss of his Lady Rebecca and their child were she to continue on this path of self destruction.
Walking into their master bed chamber at their castle home on afternoon of Thursday, July 10th, 1199, Sir Roderick finds his wife Lady Rebecca looking despondent [(3) right] with her eyes cast down–certain that she has been crying again for her children.
Sir Roderick: “Beloved, I have brought you something to eat since you missed your mid day meal today.” As she also missed yesterday and the day before. “You must eat more than just the morning meal to keep up your health and strength.”
Chastened, Lady Rebecca demurely replies without looking up at her strong and handsome husband–not wanting to show that her eyes brim with tears. He has been so patient with her. But even a patient man’s indulgence can be taxed, she fears.
Lady Rebecca: “Thank you, Roddy. I know that I must eat. But I do not feel hungry.”
She is being truthful. The combination of her distress at being parted from her children and the morning sickness that is upon her due to her being two months pregnant–they believe that she conceived their child on their wedding night–has left her without an appetite.
Sir Roderick: “Of course. But if you might nibble a little on each item I brought to tempt you, I will at least satisfy myself that I am being of aid and comfort to you in some small way.” He asks pleadingly as he sets the tray down on a nearby table within reach of her arm.
Looking quickly into her husband’s eyes, she sees his pain just beneath the surface–and she knows from whence it comes.
Lady Rebecca: “Roddy, I am of good health in all other respects. My appetite will return soon when the morning sickness abates. It did with my first two babies.” But that memory reminds her yet again that her babies–little Lord Graham, and even littler Lady Rachel–are not with her. “How can I eat when I do not know if my children are being cared for as I would care for them?” She wails as her tears fall.
Sir Roderick: “Becca!” He takes two steps and joins her on the edge of the bed, drawing her into his arms and rocking her back and forth.
Lady Rebecca: “But Graham and Rachel must miss me, as I miss them. And they must wonder why I am gone. Perhaps they think that I do not love them any more. But I do! I should not have left them behind! They are my babies!” She cries out stridently, even as she sobs in her Roddy’s arms.
Sir Roderick: “Of course you love them and they love you. Now Becca, we told them of our need to travel home for a bit–and that we thought that they would enjoy staying with their cousins to play.” He reminds her encouragingly of their subterfuge in his spiriting his Becca to safety–away from her returning first husband’s wrath.
Lady Rebecca: “But still …” She frets.
Sir Roderick: “No objections, My Love. Your children are well cared for by your cousin Lady Roseanna. And Graham and Rachel enjoy playing with her children, their cousins.” Then he laughs mirthfully [(4) right], hoping that a fond memory will help ease her mind. “Ha ha ha! And Seth now has two adherents following him around like puppy dogs–his brother Louis and now Graham. And I over heard Seth mentioning to his Mama Lady Roseanna that he very much appreciated having more men in the house–and if she could please make certain that the baby she is carrying is another brother for him. Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Lady Rebecca: A small smile curls upon her lips as she stifles a laught. “Hmm. Dear Seth, he is quite a wonderful older brother with all of his four siblings in tow.”
Sir Roderick: “And he has able help with them in his hoped for intended Lady Caroline Havorford.”
Lady Rebecca: “Yes. I hope that their pairing will be a love match–and less frought with disappointment than my own first marriage had been.” She mopes.
Sir Roderick: “Now, now. Your parents wished great things for you and thought that your being elevated to a Countess upon marrying Lord Oxbridge would be suitable.” He says through slightly clenched teeth and does not finish his thought. Because though he tries to make his Becca see the positive side of the events of five years ago that separated Becca from him, he still harbors ill will toward her parents because of it.
Lady Rebecca: “Still. I cannot be apart from my children, no matter what my first husband will do with me.”
Sir Roderick: Finally losing his patience, he asks in a plaintive hurt tone. “And what of us and of our child to come? Do not your loyalties lie with us now, with me?”
Lady Rebecca: “Oh Roddy, do not make me choose between my children and you. I cannot. My first thought has to be for my children. They need me.”
Sir Roderick: “I need you.” Sir Roderick whispers in a hushed tone. “And if Lord John wants you back, even though you carry my child? What then?”
Lady Rebecca: “Then I will have our baby and reluctantly give him or her to you to raise–so you will not be lonely for me.” Lady Rebecca suggests mournfully–her not wanting to be parted from this baby either.
Sir Roderick: “I will be lonely for you always, Becca! The situation is untenable! We must make Lord John see sense. You are my wife now. And you also wish to remain in your children Lord Graham’s and Lady Rachel’s lives.”
Lady Rebecca: “But the church and other nobles may see it in a different light. And how can I be with and raise my children as I would wish if we live in Staffordshire? My children live in Leicester. Their father will never let them come to me here.”
Sir Roderick: “Are you certain about that?” He asks pointedly.
Lady Rebecca: “I am not certain about anything anymore.” She shakes her head woefully.
Sir Roderick: “Then be certain of this. I love you, My Becca. And I love our child growing within you. We belong together after the separation we had to endure. Nothing will keep me from you and our child. Nothing. I will write to King John to request his intercession. He bade you to marry again–under what we now know was false information about your husband’s death. And thank the gods that I was present to claim you! But King John is culpable in this mess and must fix it.”
Lady Rebecca: “I doubt that he will see it that way. King John has what he wanted as the tribute tax for our marriage–the Staffordshire Ruby.” She gazes at her husband forlornly.
But Sir Roderick’s face brightens with each passing moment as a new and bold thought enters his mind. His eyes twinkle with strategic glee.
Sir Roderick: “King John does not have everything that he wants. So perhaps we can leverage the King’s greedy disposition to aid in our cause. One returned from the dead and weakened husband in the person of Lord John begets King John nothing. However our marriage gives King John a stronghold in the Northwest–as my garrison staves off Scottish attacks. And … he does not have the Staffordshire Ruby, yet.”
Lady Rebecca: “He does not?” She looks at her husband quizzically. She had thought that in the intervening two and a half months that there would have been time for the transfer of the Ruby to King John. There was time, but strategically, Sir Roderick did not avail himself of it.
Sir Roderick: “He does not.” He intones with finality. “The Ruby was promised to him, but still has yet to be removed from the family vault. So I say again, I will write to King John of the present circumstances regarding whom is your lawful husband and put forth our case for his support.”
Lady Rebecca: “But what of my children? Graham and Rachel? I have not seen them for three days–and I cannot bear another day apart from them.” She asks with feverish hope.
Sir Roderick: “Be at ease, Becca My Love.” He soothes. “We will make plans to return to the Gisborne-Middleton Estate upon the morrow. And if your husband the Earl has returned, may the Lord help him. Because I am stronger than he could ever be–even before he was injured. And will not be vanquished in my pursuit of your and my happy life together as husband and wife.” The hulking knight of six foot six inches in height towers over everyone–even Baron Guy of Gisborne.
Lady Rebecca: “Roddy, do not fight each other over me.” She dreads. “I cannot bear to think of either of you being injured or killed. He is the father of my first two children–and they want to know him. And you are the father of this little one.” She places her hands upon her pregnant belly that will not show for two more months. “He or she deserves a father–and I want you for my husband.”
Sir Roderick: “Very well. I will abide by your request. On one condition–that we honour our marriage and hold fast to it.” Holding out his hand to her, he asks. “So we are agreed? You and I will stay married and raise our child together, no matter what?”
Lady Rebecca gently places her small delicate hand in his large muscular hand–wondering anew how tenderly her fierce warrior husband behavies with her.
Lady Rebecca: “No matter what!”
She smiles up at her brave, handsome, and loving husband and they lovingly kiss one another. Her Roddy is everything she had hoped that he would be as a husband when she was a young girl so many years ago. And though she consented to her first husband Lord John’s attentions, it was not with the zeal and loving tenderness with which she and her present husband, Sir Roderick, bestow their love and affection upon one another.
And then Sir Roderick finally coaxes His Becca to eat a little–her appetite being much improved with the prospect of seeing her children again. Later, Sir Roderick dispatches a courier to King John in London about their proposal. However, the courier will discover in transit that the King is not at the courier’s initially commanded destination. So the courier will have to reroute if he and the King are to converge upon the same destination.
And so there is to be rather a convergence that will occur at Gisborne-Middleton Manor the following day on Friday, July 11th, 1199: with Baron Guy of Gisborne and his son Seth returning home to continue to mend their relationship brought about with Seth becoming aware of his father’s past; the standoff that will inevitably occur with the lovingly protective Lord John Oxbridge for his love Lady Anne/Marian, with regard to her prior association with their host Baron Guy; and, Lord John’s absent wife Lady Rebecca and her new husband sir Roderick Merton making a reappearance to reclaim her children by Lord John. The only wild card is King John. Where is he? And what will he do? It is anyone’s guess.
To be continued with Chapter 40
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 39 References, June 15, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #767)
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 Sir Roderick’s seat and home Cranert Castle bought with his first wife’s dowry money is part of the Vindolando trust in Northumberland_May0115byMatthewWard and was found at https://twitter.com/HistoryNeedsYou/status/594043520828190720; the flowers are commonly known in Northumberland as Bloody Crane’s Bill (or bloody geranium) as found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geranium_sanguineum;for more about the Vindolando Trust, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vindolanda
3) Image representing Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Lady Leicester is that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in Camelot and was found at https://img.charahub.com/c116529_dd684dc156ff28b65cfce17e4acddf77.jpg
4) Sir Roderick Merton image (crop) is Chris Hemsworth (in a still with Natalie Portman) from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://mrpopat.in/admin/upload/wallpaper/201310301383113308920383985.jpg
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 38 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #765)