[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: Upon returning home to Gisborne-Middleton Manor West of Leicester this Saturday, July 11, 1199–after retrieving Seth who had runaway to his Uncle Lord Archer Nottingham–Baron Guy of Gisborne finds that there are new concerns of family to be unraveled with regard to the Oxbridge and Merton marriages. The return of Lady Rebecca Oxbridge Merton and her new husband Sir Roderick Merton involved a tense confrontation with Lady Rebecca’s first husband Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester. And King John was quite put out about him not yet receiving the Staffordshire Ruby as payment for the Merton marriage–which Baron Guy reminded him and Sir Roderick would be payment for a permanent marriage, when all is settled legally. But ultimately, it was Lady Rebecca’s appeal to think of the children’s welfare above all that causes her first husband Lord John Oxbridge to relent and invite her to see them again with him as he ponders what to do about their situation.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 43 (PG-13): Reconciliation
As Lord John, his first wife Lady Rebecca, and his Love Lady Anne/Marian, slip into the children’s nursery in Gisborne-Middleton Manor to see the sleeping Oxbridge children, Lady Rebecca is overcome with seeing her children again and rushes to them, caressing each of their faces.
Lady Rebecca: “Oh my sweethearts.” Lady Rebecca cannot help but exclaim with radiant joy [(2) right]. And the commotion wakes up the children.
Lord Graham: “Mama, you have returned!” The three year old little Lord Graham delightedly hugs his Mama. Little Lady Rachel also wakes up and she toddles over and hugs her Mama, too.
Lady Rachel: “Mama! Missed you!” Smooching her lips kissing her Mama, little Lady Rachel clings to her Mama as her Mama rocks her in her arms.
Lady Rebecca: “I am here! I am here, my sweethearts!” Lady Rebecca soothingly calms her children. “I came back to be with you.” She sheds tears of joy at being reunited with her children. She has only been a few days apart from her children, but it is their first separation ever.
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 as husband and wife.
Lady Anne/Marian hangs back, her not knowing if she belongs in this family scene. And then the littlest member of the group, two year old little Lady Rachel, invites her in.
Lady Rachel: Leaning back from kissing her Mama, Lady Rachel asks. “Mama, See? Lady Anne?” Lady Rachel waves at Lady Anne/Marian, who waves back at the child with a small caring smile.
Looking over at Lady Anne/Marian [(3) right] who is still wearing her postulant robe and a wimple that covers most of her luxuriant auburn tresses, Lady Rebecca smiles and nods in acknowledgement to Lady Anne/Marian.
Lady Rebecca: “Yes, Rachel. I see her. We met earlier.” Lady Rebecca replies noncommittally. As of yet, Lady Rebecca does not know if this Lady Anne/Marian is a rival for her children’s affections, or will she be a partner in nurturing them.
Lady Rachel: “She is Papa’s nurse. I like her.” Lady Rachel smiles hard at her Mama Lady Rebecca. Then she wiggles out of her Mama’s embrace and walks over to Lady Anne and takes her hand, bringing her back to her Mama, Lady Rebecca–to proudly present her Mama to Lady Anne/Marian. “This is my Mama.” Little Lady Rachel drops Lady Anne’s hand and leans into her Mama’s embrace again.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Lady Rebecca.” Lady Anne/Marian bows her head and curtsies to Lady Rebecca, Countess of Leicester. “My compliments. You have lovely and charming children.”
Lady Rebecca: “Thank you, Lady Anne.” She smiles at the postulant. “You are my husband’s nurse?” Lady Rebecca asks curiously after noticing how her first husband was closely watching their interaction.
Lady Anne/Marian: “I am, My Lady.” Lady Rebecca replies somewhat haltingly. Her relationship with Lord John is complicated. But then at the moment, every relationship in this room is complicated.
Lord John stands with his son little Lord Graham in his arms and slowly walks over to the ladies. Lord John still has to pace himself physically. But the weight of his son in his arms is more a boost to his psyche than a burden to his still weakened frame. Lord John nods with a small bow to his first wife Lady Rebecca. Then Lord John gazes lovingly at Lady Anne/Marian.
Lord John: “Lady Anne has nursed me back to my improved health. She has seen me at my worst and never flinched in her care of me.” Lord John smiles [(4) right] at Lady Anne/Marian with love and gratefulness.
Lady Anne/Marian: “It was my honor to care for you, My Lord.” Lady Anne/Marian smiles at him caringly before she curtsies with a faint pink blush forming upon he cheeks–her being slightly embarrassed to be so openly praised by him, to his first wife.
Lord Graham: “Thank you, Lady Anne! I am glad to have my Papa home again.” At three yeas old, Lord Graham is old enough to grasp that his father had been injured and that is what kept him away from him. Little Lord Graham pats his Papa’s eye patch. “Mama? I thought Papa was a pirate! Ha ha ha!” Then Lord Graham pouts. “But he says he is not.”
Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian smile. Lady Rachel nods her head up and down. She would agree with her brother–that is, if she knew what a pirate was [(4b)].
Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! My apologies, son. But we can still pretend now and again that I am a pirate, if you like.”
Lord Graham: “Really? Papa Roddy says that you are a great and fierce knight for England. And that you wanted to come home to us, but that King Richard needed you.” Lord Graham gazes at his father with love.
Lord John: “Roddy?” He asks, him not making the connection at first.
Lady Rebecca: “My …” She hesitates to refer to Sir Roderick as her husband in front of her first husband. “Graham is referring to Sir Roderick. Roddy is a childhood nickname I gave him because I could not pronounce his full name of Roderick when we were little.”
Lord John: “Oh!” Lord John realizes that his wife’s new husband spoke well of him to his son Lord Graham–though he did not have to.
Lord Graham: “Rachel could not say Rodick, but I could.” Lttle Lord Graham states proudly–while unintentionally humorously mangling Sir Roderick’s name.
Lady Rachel: “Yes, and Papa Roddy made a picture of you for us, Papa.” Lady Rachel disengages from her Mama again and goes to her bedside table to bring a adult palm sized painting of Lord John to show her Papa Lord John.
Lord Graham: “That is just the small picture that fits in our traveling trunks, Papa. We have a big picture of you on the wall in our bed chamber at home in Gordon Castle.” The little boy smiles cheerfully at his Papa.
Lord John: Lord John looks at Lady Rebecca with tears in his eyes for her keeping his memory alive with their children. “Thank you.” He sighs.
Lady Rebecca: With tears in her own eyes, she replies softly. “My Lord, we always hoped that you would return to us. So I would tell our children stories about you–from our short time together, and of what you had told me about your childhood. And Roddy also helped tell the children stories about your bravery as a knight after he and I … after we married.” She finishes in hushed tones.
Lady Anne/Marian has physically drifted a few steps back from this family scene, her feeling not a part of it–but wishing that she was a part of it.
Lord Graham: “Papa?” His papa Lord John looks at him again and tilts his head, waiting for his son’s question. Then Lord Graham asks without guile or being prompted. He just wants to know. “Will we have two castle homes now? Gordon Castle and Papa Roddy’s Cranert Castle? Mama and Papa Roddy have lots of fields for playing in at their home. I like Papa Roddy’s castle better than his Papa Grandpa Lord Gilead’s and his Mama Grandma Lady Sharon’ castle. But I like our home at Gordon Castle, too. All the soldiers bow to me when I walk past.” He says gleefully–but not understanding that until his father returned, Lord Graham was the titular earl as his father’s heir apparent.
Lady Rebecca holds her breath, wondering what her first husband Lord John will say to their son about their living arrangements..
Lord John: “Well … Your Mama and I will have to discuss it.” Lord John looks charitably at Lady Rebecca, and then with great meaning at Lady Anne/Marian. “And Lady Anne and I will also have to discuss it.”
Lady Anne/Marian’s eyes widen at Lord John including her in his arrangements for his children–especially since they have not formally pledged themselves to each other. They have not pledged themselves informally, either. But their closeness and shared bond of sympathy is undeniable.
Little Lady Rachel walks over to Lady Anne/Marian again and takes her hand. Lady Anne/Marian instinctively bends down and then kneels so that she does not tower over the little girl.
Lady Rachel: “Mama and Papa Roddy’s wedding party was fun! Will you and my Papa have a fun wedding party, too?”
Lord John’s and Lady Rebecca’s eyes dart to the surprised look on Lady Anne/Marian’s face. And then Lady Rebecca and Lady Anne/Marian look questioningly at Lord John’s blushing face. Lord John sits again in a chair with his son on one knee and he invites his daughter to climb up and sit upon his other knee.
Lord John: “Children, I think Lady Anne and I would have a fun wedding party.” Then he whispers to his children, but loud enough for the adults to hear. “But I have not had the courage to ask Lady Anne to marry me, yet.”
A feeling of relief flows through Lady Rebecca–not so much that her first husband does not want her back as her wife, but that he has found happiness with someone else, and therefore he might not begrudge her finding happiness with her new husband Sir Roderick.
Lord Graham: “Well, ask her now. She is looking at you and smiling. That is a good sign. Is it not?”
Lord John: “Ha ha ha ha ha! I hope so.” Lord John turns his attention to Lady Anne/Marian. Then he carefully sets his children down before he stands up and walks two strides over to where an astonished Lady Anne stands frozen.
Lord Graham and Lady Rachel: The children giggle, as children often do. “Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Lady Rebecca watches spellbound as the romantic scene unfolds before her.
Lord John takes Lady Anne/Marian’s hands in his.
Lord John: “Lady Anne … My Anne. You have tenderly cared for me as no other would–bringing me back from the brink of death. We have become great friends–and so much more. Yours is the counsel I seek, and the heart that I wish to share with mine. I have grown to love you, and I believe that you love me. I know that I am not as fully recovered yet as I someday hope to be, but I cannot envision my life without you as my wife.” Then Lord John gets down upon one knee and looks up at Lady Anne/Marian. “Please say that you will marry me, My Love?”
Speechless–not a common trait of Lady Anne/Marian’s–the lady gazes upon Lord John with aching tenderness. Lord John stands and gazes back at Lady Anne/Marian with a hopeful love.
Lord Graham and Lady Rachel dance around their transfixed Papa and Lady Anne/Marian: “Say yes! Say yes! Say yes!”
Lady Rebecca: Smiling knowingly, Lady Rebecca cordially suggests. “Lady Anne, my … our children have exceptional insight into people and their intentions. And they have granted you their highest praise by welcoming you into their life. If my children are so eager for you to wed their Papa after knowing you only a few short days, you must be destined to be their second mother.”
Lady Rachel: Embracing Lady Anne/Marian’s legs, little Lady Rachel looks up at her. “Please?”
Lord John’s son little Lord Graham gives him an encouraging nod and nudges his Papa’s knee with his elbow.
Lord John: Lord John points to his daughter below. “What she said. Please?” Lord John smiles impishly. Lady Anne/Marian’s look of love for Lord Johns deepens as she nearly glows with hopefulness and love.
Sensing that Lady Anne/Marian is delaying her response to Lord John because she has an audience, Lady Rebecca and her children quietly quit the room to give Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian their privacy.
Lady Rebecca: “Come children. Let your Papa and Lady Anne have a moment alone. They will share their news with us downstairs in the small drawing room soon.”
Lord John nods at his first wife Lady Rebecca as she leaves the nursery bed chamber with their children. The children look cutely over their shoulders and nod encouragingly to their Papa. They shut the door behind them.
Lord John: “Ah! Alone at last.”
Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes! Ha!” She smiles demurely while peering through the long lashes of her lowered eyes.
Gently pulling Lady Anne/Marian into his loose embrace, Lord John’s body feels alive with possibilities and he asks her pleadingly.
Lord John: “Is that a yes we are alone, or a yes that you will marry me?” He leans in and lingeringly kisses each of her cheeks.
Lady Anne/Marian: “Yes … to both questions.”
Lord John: “Yes!” He fully embraces her now and he caringly rocks her back and forth in his arms [(5) right]–brushing her wimple off of her head and caressing her silky auburn locks. After a few moments of shared bliss at their newly betrothed status, he feels her softly pushing him away a little bit and he leans back to look at her face. Sensing her hesitation, he is patient–giving her leave to speak when she feels ready.
Lady Anne/Marian: “But John, I can never bear a child. I should never bear a child due to my injuries.” She states fearfully. “Do you not want a wife who can be a wife to you?” She asks fearfully as she looks away from him in uncertainty.
Lord John: He caresses her cheek, then gently guides her to look back at him. “I do want a wife who will be a wife to me. But I want only you for my wife.” Then a thought occurs to him regarding her skittish hesitation about marriage. “You are … a maid?”
Lady Anne/Marian: Lowering her eyes again, she replies in a hushed voice. “I … I believe so. The nuns never said otherwise. And Baron Guy …”
Lord John: “What of Baron Guy!?!” He spits out jealously. Lord John focuses upon her with an unsettling fixed gaze. Lord John knows what Baron Guy was to Lady Anne/Marian seven years ago–that is that Sir Guy had loved her. Then Baron Guy had stabbed her with his sword–nearly killing her–in an incident that is still unclear to Lord John as to how it came about.
Lady Anne/Marian flinches at Lord John’s sudden anger–and she goes on to explain quickly, wanting Lord John to understand.
Lady Anne/Marian: “He said … The Baron said that I had never been married.” Lady Anne/Marian gazes hopefully up at Lord John. “And I had wanted to be certain. So that is why I had asked him.”
Lord John: “And he attested to your virginity?” He asks her in a much more controlled and softer tone of voice. She nods meekly.
Lady Anne/Marian: “To his knowledge, yes.”
Lord John: “Ah!” Lord John smiles. He less concerned about the status of Lady Anne/Marian’s virginity than that Baron Guy has not been intimate with her. Then he kisses the tip of her nose. “Then, My Love, we may wed and be husband and wife together. I have two children who are my heirs–Graham and Rachel with my first wife Lady Rebecca. So I do not need more heirs. But as I mentioned to you previously when we were in the Holy Land, I would be willing to welcome a foundling baby or two into our home as our children if you wished to mother and nurture a child or maybe two children from birth. Graham and Rachel will soon welcome another sibling when their mother gives birth to her child with her husband Sir Roderick. And my children seem happy about that. So I believe that the children will be equally welcoming of our child or children.” Lady Anne/Marian smiles adoringly at Lord John for his agreeing to help her to be a mother without her having the danger of being with child, let alone the impossibility of her giving birth. Then he nuzzles her neck, just behind her ear and he whispers heatedly. “And we may yet love each other as a husband and wife do–in loving and pleasurable ways–that will not make you with child. So be at ease, My Love. We will not do anything to cause you harm or that puts you in any danger.”
Lady Anne/Marian trembles with anticipation for the fulfillment of Lord John’s promises of love and tenderness. Yet, she is untutored in love and must trust him about his loving her not getting her with child. Then Lord John kisses Lady Anne/Marian sweetly, tenderly, adoringly, and passionately. They each give themselves up to this moment of pledging themselves to each other. And Lord John’s tender caresses of Lady Anne/Marian’s back and hips as their kissing deepens, let her know that he loves her completely.
And then Lord John has the first stirrings of his manly arousal–something that he had been worried might have been damaged with his injuries in the Holy Land. So he pulls back from their lovely kissing–to refrain from going beyond a point that he could not pull back from loving her. And Lord John smiles smugly to himself for feeling like a man again–even with his weakened condition due to his healing injuries. So Lord John and Lady Anne/Marian joyfully walk hand in hand out of the children’s nursery to greet their extended family with their betrothal news down stairs in Gisborne-Middleton Manor’s small drawing room.
Lord John feels that he is reconciling with his family and former wife in profound ways–most importantly, with his children. There will have to be considered discussions about where his children Lord Graham and Lady Rachel will live permanently–primarily with him, of course. But Lord John envisions being accepting of their extended visits with their Mama Lady Rebecca and her husband Sir Roderick at their castle home in Staffordshire–as well as, inviting the Lady Rebecca and Sir Roderick and their growing family to stay at Gordon Castle for extended periods. Lord John feels that he has been separated from his children and family for too long, and that he does not wish to create any separations within his children’s lives. Nor does he wish to separate his children from their mother, Lady Rebecca.
Of course, Lord John Oxbridge Earl of Leicester wonders about the legal maneuverings that will have to take place for him to be able to marry Lady Anne/Marian and to have her be his Countess of Leicester–when his first wife yet lives, but with Lady Rebecca now married to another. The marriages, plural, will be a delicate matter to finesse for all concerned. And perhaps the most important detail of these machinations for Lord John, is to have himself declared alive so that he may legally reclaim his family and his earldom.
And Lord John Oxbridge will find an unlikely ally in Baron Guy of Gisborne, who hopes to help facilitate Lord John’s new family vision –in order for Baron Guy to insure the future happiness of Lady Anne/Marian, as a measure of Baron Guy hoping to atone for what Lady Anne/Marian has endured these past seven years due to his fault. Until Lady Anne/Marian’s future happiness is secured, Baron Guy cannot focus upon his own life and family. But of course, Baron Guy’s family might have something to say about his singular focus.
To be continued with Chapter 44
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 43 References, June 29 ,2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #776)
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 Lady Rebecca Stafford Oxbridge, Merton Lady Merton is that of Tamsin Egerton portraying Guinevere in the tv show Camelot and was found at http://images5.fanpop.com/image/photos/27400000/guinevere-arthur-camelot-2011-27467787-639-418.jpg
3) 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 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
4) 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
4b) A pirate, or piracy, is a concept that has been in existence since the 14th century BCE; for more information, please visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy
5) Lord John comforting Lady Anne/Marian image is of Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths in Robin Hood, series 2, episode 7, pix 81 found at http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 42 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #774)