[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: Aftera charming and restful Gisborne-Middleton-Oxbridge family picnic upon the pastures of the Gisborne-Middleton Manor Estate, Lady Roseanna awakens her napping cousin Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester that his wife Lady Rebecca and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton have returned and Lord John must confront them. And very soon Baron Guy, Seth, Lord Archer and his family, and their cousin King John will return as well. Baron Guy wants a happy future for Lady Anne/Marian–he is simply uncertain as to how to facilitate it. If, indeed, he has any say in the matter. And then there is King John. What will he do about the marriages? It is anyone’s guess. King John might be their sovereign, but he is first and foremost their cousin by marriage–or as Lady Roseanna likes to affectionately refer to him as, the weasel.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement”, Ch. 42: Reunited
Lady Roseanna stands up, patiently waiting for the news to sink into her cousin Lord John Oxbridge’s mind. Then standing up from lying upon the grass while napping after their picnic–him still cradling his sleeping three year old son Lord Graham in his arms–Lord John Oxbridge asks his cousin in bewilderment.
Lord John: “Rose! Why have they come back so soon? I do not know what to say to my wife about the events of the last several months. Let alone, what might be done about our marriage and our children.” Lord John’s [(2) right] mind is racing.
Lady Roseanna: “I do not know why they returned a spare few days after they left us , John. But for the children’s sake. I am glad. They greatly miss their mother. ” Kneeling down beside Lady Anne, Lady Roseanna whispers. “You must come, Lady Anne. Let us take the children to their bedchambers–using the servant’s stairs.” She adds cryptically. For Lady Anne/Marian was still asleep when Lady Roseanna revealed that Lord John’s wife and new husband have returned and wish to speak to him.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Of course.” She nods sleepily as she stands still cradling Lord John’s sleeping two year old daughter in her arms.
Lord John: “Anne, they have returned, it’s my …” But he finds that he cannot say the words wife in Lady Anne/Marian’s presence–when it is she that he wishes held that title.
Informing her so that Lady Anne is not startled, Lady Roseanna explains portentously..
Lady Roseanna: “Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick have returned.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Oh!”
Lady Anne/Marian is astonished to possibly meet the woman who is Lord John’s wife. He has described her in general terms to her, but never for Lady Anne/Marian to picture Lady Rebecca in her mind. Will this Lady Rebecca be dark or light? Tall or short? Fair or plain? And Lady Anne/Marian wonders, will Lord John want his wife back?
So the six of them quickly gather up the picnic things and walk inside the manor to lay the napping children in their beds–with each of them with a child on their hip, since Lady Roseanna also has her baby Lady Diana with her.
Meanwhile, a fretful Lady Rebecca paces the small drawing room of Gisborne-Middleton Manor while her anguished husband Sir Roderick Merton looks on not knowing how to console her.
Lady Rebecca: “Roddy, I must be allowed to see my children! They need me!”
Sir Roderick: “I know, Becca. But we must try to present a calm façade to your … to Lord John. If we are to win him over, we cannot show how vulnerable we feel.” He almost slips in referring to Lady Rebecca’s first husband as her husband–because Sir Roderick is her husband, now.
Lady Rebecca: “But we are vulnerable!” She wails while still in her traveling cloak [(3) right] . “Women are chattel. And were my first husband to prevent me from seeing my children, I will have no one to aid me. The law is on his side.”
Going to his wife and enfolding her in his loving embrace, Sir Roderick says soothingly in a hushed voice.
Sir Roderick: “Perhaps Lord John’s injuries have caused him to reflect upon the situation and relent in our favor?”
Lady Rebecca: “Do you think that might be possible?”
Sir Roderick: “Afterall, he travels with a nurse. So his health might not be that keen.” He bluffs, anything to get he calmed down.
Just then, the door opens as Lady Roseanna, Lord John Oxbridge, and Lady Anne enter to face the two newlyweds, Lady Rebecca and her husband Sir Roderick. The adults look at each other with uncertain expressions. Lady Roseanna quietly leaves the four of them alone and she walks into the hallway.
Silence. It is said to be golden, but when much needs to be said–and decided upon–silence can only serve to inflame the situation. Each adult gazes at each other curiously. Lord John had forgotten how beautiful his wife Lady Rebecca is–though she is not as lovely as his Lady Anne/Marian. For her part, Lady Rebecca is stunned to see her seemingly vigorous looking first husband with a very beautiful nurse. Lady Anne/Marian wonders what price Lord John’s wife and husband will extract from him–if it is his children, she fears that the price will be too dear. And Sir Roderick scowlingly notes how healthy Lord John looks–except for his eye patch reminding everyone of his injuries. And Lord John notes suspiciously how territorial the man whom he presumes to be Sir Roderick Merton is by keeping his wife, Lady Rebecca, by his side. But Lady Anne/Marian feels most uncomfortable. And she leans over and whispers to Lord John.
Lady Anne/Marian: “I feel that I should go. My presence is not required here, and I can only serve as a distraction.”
Lord John furrows his brow and his lip protrudes in a pout as he pleadingly whispers back to her.
Lord John: “Nay My Lady Anne. Please stay with me.”
Sir Roderick: “Kkkkh!” He coughs loudly. “Perhaps, Lord John, we should start with introductions. I am Sir Roderick Merton–My Lady Rebecca’s husband.”
Sir Roderick: “Well, I am your husband.” Sir Roderick [(4) right] emphasizes for Lord John’s benefit. Sir Roderick is purposely wearing his ceremonial armour–the better to seem even more impressive
Lord John: “And yet, so am I, Sir Roderick. It is quite the predicament that we find ourselves in.” Lord Join says with a a mildly forced yet sanguine smile–one might even refer the ever so slight curl of his lips to be bordering on mirthful–or Machiavellian. Lord John is not jealous, per se. He is simply mindful about what is his–or was his, in this case.
Lady Rebecca: Subconciously covering her not quite showing pregnant belly, Lady Rebecca sighs. “Lord John, I wish to be reunited with our children, even as I bear my husband’s child in seven months time. What is to be done?”
Lord John gazes upon his wife with uncertainty.
Lord John: “I do not have that answer, My Lady.”
Then the four of them are joined by their host Baron Guy and their cousin King John–them having been told as soon as they arrived moments ago of the nature of the conversation in the small drawing room, and the parties involve. Baron Guy instantly looks for Lady Anne/Marian in order to assess her state of well being.
Baron Guy: “My Lords and Ladies.” He bows slightly. “Is all well here?” Baron Guy asks in a constrained voice.The two other men in the room–Lord John and Sir Roderick–look exceedingly displeased. Whereas, the ladies–Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian–look woeful.
King John: “How could they be? They are both married to the same woman.” Lady Rebecca flinches, but remains standing stoically.
Baron Guy: Turning to King John, Baron Guy states pointedly. “And if you recall, Sire, it was you that impelled Lady Rebecca to remarry so you could reap a marriage tax. That she has chosen a childhood friend and love over a total stranger is to her credit.
Lady Anne/Marian gazes questioningly [(5) right] at this Baron Guy who had nearly killed her with his sword, yet he now defends this lady’s honor.
King John: “Yes, well, a good lot that did me. I have yet to receive my tribute. Ergo, I might just dissolve the marriage to Sir Roderick.”
Both Sir Roderick and Lady Rebecca look stricken. and Lady Anne/Marian is none to happy either.
Baron Guy: “You cannot do that?”
King John: “No? I am King, anointed by God.”
Baron Guy: “And that God wants you to follow His teachings.” Baron Guy suggests cheekily.
Lady Anne/Marian: “As one who is contemplating taking holy orders, if I might interject?”
Baron Guy: “Please, My Lady.” Baron Guy gestures to her.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Perhaps we should pray upon it?” The nuns have taught her that prayer can provide guidance, as well as, solace.
King John rolls his eyes.
Baron Guy: “Thank you, My Lady. Your devotion does you credit.” And Baron Guy thinks that maybe Lord John might not win lady Anne/Marian’s hand in marriage.
Lady Rebecca: “But what of our children? They are my first priority.” She states boldly.
Lord John: “Of course, they are sleeping after our picnic. Lady Anne and I will take you to them.” He suggests chivalrously. Lady Rebecca nods in agreement.
So Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian and Lady Rebecca depart to see the Oxbridge children, little Lord Graham and Lady Rachel. The three men left standing regard each other suspiciously.
Sir Roderick: “Becca is my wife! I will not give her up!”
King John: “Then you had better produce the Staffordshire Ruby and hand it over to me in payment.”
Baron Guy: “Not so fast, Sire. Until all is settled to everyone’s satisfaction, I would urge Sir Roderick to delay the transfer of the Staffordshire Ruby to you.”
Sir Roderick raises his eyebrows in astonishment. King John has a more visceral reaction.
King John: “Traitor! You are one of my barons and family by marriage. Your loyalty is to me.”
Baron Guy: “And you have it, Sire. But you will make people wary of any marriage you propose–and balk even more about your marriage tax levies. What you do with the Oxbridge’s and Mertons will have a ripple effect amongst the nobility.”
King John: “So what do you suggest, Guy?” He addresses him familiarly, as a family member.
Baron Guy: “Our kinsman, Lord George Middleton, mentioned a possible solution in passing. The one way to make the Merton marriage legal is to produce a document annulling the marriage between Lord John Oxbridge and Lady Rebecca–and dated before the new marriage took place. The Oxbridge children will still be Lord Oxbridge’s legitmate heirs.”
King John: “Hmm. That thought has some merit. But on what grounds might the annulment be granted?”
Baron Guy: “There are several choices.” He states soberly.
As Lord John, his wife Lady Rebecca, and his Love Lady Anne/Marian, slip into the children’s nursery to see the sleeping Oxbridge children, Lady Rebecca is overcome with seeing he children again and rushes to them, caressing each of their faces.
Lady Rebecca: “Oh my sweethearts.”
And the commotion wakes up the children.
Lord Graham: “Mama, you are back!” He delightedly hugs her. Little Lady Rachel toddles over and doe the same.
Lady Rachel: “Mama! Missed you!” Little Lady Rachel clings to her Mama as she rocks her in her arms.
Lady Rebecca: “I am here.” She sheds tears of joy at being reunited with her children.
And seeing this happy reunion, Lord John wonders what can be done to keep Lady Rebecca connected with their children–even if he and she are not together.
To be continued with Chapter 43
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 42 References, June 26, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #774)
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) 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
3) Image representing Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Lady Leicester is that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in Camelot and was found at http://www.pathe.nl/gfx_content/allocine/medias/nmedia/18/79/21/tamsin-egerton_121324.jpg
4) Sir Roderick Merton is Chris Hemsworth in a still from Thor the Dark World that was found at http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/thor.jpg ; for more information, visit http://www.audienceseverywhere.net/happy-birthday-thor-5-roles-id-like-see-chris-hemsworth-occupy/
5) The image of Lady Anne/Marian is a composite image:
a) that of 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 the modified wimple was masked from http://www.aveleyman.com/ActorCredit.aspx?ActorID=4524; for more about wimples, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimple;
c) and a Photoshop Elements teakwood or gold background
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 41 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #722)