[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: With Seth and Lady Caroline married in 1204, other Gisborne children’s marriages followed in successive years. And their family moved forward unfettered, released from the past, and with the promise of a bright and loving future.
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3) , Ch. 46 End (PG-13, D, S): Eternity
In his seventy fifth year, Crispin Roger Baron Guy de Gisborne feels truly blessed–him having long ago adopted the French spelling of his ancestors in his title. These past twenty five years of life with his beloved wife, Lady Roseanna–thirty seven years together counting the entirety of their marriage–have given him a joy that he had much longed for when he was a young man, but never dared hope to achieve when he was shackeled and nearly a broken man as Sheriff Vasey’s henchman in Nottingham. And now with his children having children, and some of his grandchildren beginning to bless him with great grandchildren, Sir Guy feels the press of time upon him.
And though he is loathe to proclaim his bodily ills as so many of his contemporaries seem to do, Baron Guy realizes that he has slowed down in the past year or two. He rides for shorter periods, naps more, and he has pain in his joints and chest. He is not the picture of manly vigor that he once was. And so he leaves any strenuous labor to his servants, sons and grandsons. Though Baron Guy’s wife Lady Rose takes delight in goading him to test his limitations–to their mutual pleasure.
Yet Baron Guy knows that he has long lived past many–the visage staring back at him in the glass when he shaves each morning is now more distinguished looking than handsome. Though there is one who would take issue with that assessment. What had once been a mane of silken tousled dark brown locks framing a muscular face and neck when he was in his early thirties when he first met his Lady Roseanna [(2) right], became streaked with grey over the years, and now is almost completely white. But Baron Guy’s hair on his head remains long and full–his one consolation of vanity, and the envy of many a balding younger man. Though the propensity for hair to also grow in the oddest of places–such as on his ears–require more grooming at his age than he would care to admit. And though Baron Guy is despairing of his hands now more frail and bent with age and arthritis, he still has his now lustrous silver streaked white locks on his head.
Baron Guy believes that he owes all of his good fortune of a life well lived and enjoyed to his beloved wife, Lady Roseanna. Her youthfulness in her fifty seventh year is still a beautiful sight to behold in her husband Baron Guy’s eyes. With grey only beginning to streak Lady Rose’s chestnut hair and laugh lines forming around her dear mouth, she has only become more lovely to her husband Baron Guy. And though their lovemaking is not as frequent, nor as athletic as it once might have been, they still find great joy in each others’ loving arms.
It is just one such early Autumn morning in late August of 1229, when the leaves have not yet begun to turn colors that Baron Guy and his Lady Roseanna awaken after one lovely romance filled night. Their bare shoulders peeking above the bed sheets serve as testament to their heated lovemaking the night before. And since the room is a bit chilly this morn, the now fifty seven year old Lady Roseanna snuggles contentedly next to her husband, who unconsciously wraps his arms around her.
Lady Roseanna: “So you are not still asleep, my husband?” She smiles coquettishly.
Baron Guy: “No. Though I should well be still asleep–for the night we shared has completely exhausted me.” He smiles pridefully. He had loved her well, very well.
Lady Roseanna: Blushing, she demures. “Hush, My Love.” Then her eyes sparkle. “Exhaustion would not be an apt description of you last night.”
Baron Guy: “No? Well, I will admit that I do have my moments.” I still have it, he smirks.
Lady Roseanna: “As do I.” Lady Roseanna caresses her husband’s shoulders as she kisses him on his lips, then his chest.
Baron Guy joins her in their kissing, pulling her to lie on top of him–loving the womanly curves that adorn her rounded hips, made so by bearing him five children in addition to their eldest son Seth. Their kisses are tender and adoring, sweet and loving. But Lady Roseanna is feeling amorous as her caresses of her husband become more seductive.
Baron Guy: “I fear that you will be disappointed, My Love.” He pouts teasingly.
Lady Roseanna: “Oh?” She smiles as his body delightfully counters his prediction.
Baron Guy: “My Love, I will admit that you have roused my passions again–though it is a mere eight hours from last we loved.”
Lady Roseanna: “Yes?” She asks hopefully.
Baron Guy: “But you are really asking for a miracle.” Sir Guy looks at her sheepishly. He feels that the days of him being the attentive lover more than once a day are behind him.
Lady Roseanna: “Have you not said, Guy? That your life with me has been a continuous miracle?”
Lady Roseanna sits back upon her husband’s abdomen and their bed sheet falls away–revealing their mutual nakedness. Baron Guy gazes upon his wife’s loveliness with adoring appreciation.
Baron Guy: “You are so beautiful, My Rose.” Baron Guy smoulders in his deep voice as he his hands rest caressingly upon her rounded hips.
Lady Roseanna: Admiring her husband’s still muscled torso with his chest of silver white hair, and his loving gaze, she whispers passionately. “And you are my handsome and noble knight.”
Their lovemaking is slow and tender and joyous–them having discovered over the almost thirty eight years of their marriage that desire and pleasure are best savored and cherished.
The following weeks are filled with Baron Guy and Lady Roseanna rediscovering each other all over again as lovers. And though Baron Guy feels pains in his chest more acutely these days, he does not burden his wife with this complaint. The pain fades over time and resting seems to help it. So successful is Baron Guy at masking his ailment, that only their now forty year old son Lord Seth Gisborne now as Master of Gisborne-Middleton Major has noticed his father weakening. And Baron Guy has blithely dismissed Seth’s concerns with a smile as he tousels his son’s hair like when he was a boy, and then sends him back to tend to his children and grandchildren. Baron Guy feels such joy with his wife Lady Roseanna, that nothing will mar this precious time in their lives–he vows not to dwell on what might be, but to live each cherished moment fully, until his last.
For Baron Guy and Lady Roseanna their life now is once again like their early married months–before children and responsibilities entered their lives. They spend their days enjoying whatever activity they wish together–be it strolling their gardens, minding their grandchildren when they wish to and giving them back to their parents after, or making love and such.
After lunch upon the terrace of Gisborne-Middleton Manor this mid week September day, they decide to nap in side by side recliners in the shade of a tent–holding hands. They are always touching in someway, which Baron Guy finds immensely comforting–his wife, Lady Roseanna being a balm for whatever ailment might perturb him.
Baron Guy has been napping for a while when a sudden and sharp renewal of his chest pain jolts him into consciousness. His breathing is shallow. This time, the pain feels different to him as he turns his head to his right and he now feels that his neck and left shoulder and arm are also quite painful. Baron Guy realizes that his heart is beating erratically and he tries to speak, to say the words, I love you to his beloved wife napping at his side. But the pain prevents him from communicating. With great effort, his right hand holding her left hand bends at his elbow and brings her hand to his lips.
The movement startles Lady Roseanna awake. And she drowsily smiles at her husband and squeezes his hand. Baron Guy opens his mouth, but he still cannot speak. All he can do is mouth the words, I love you to her. Lady Roseanna instantly fears that her husband is unwell and she pulls herself to hover over him, gazing lovingly into his eyes.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy! I love you! What is wrong!” She sees the intense pain he is experiencing as he flinches with another wave of pain. “Guy! Do not leave me! I love you.” She cries in despair as she peppers his lips and face with her kisses.
Tears are streaming down Baron Guy’s face as he tries to nod back to her, his breathing now shallow panting, punctuated by long pauses. Lady Roseanna cups his face in her hands and she continues to gaze into her husband’s eyes, as he gazes into her eyes, for the last time. And Baron Guy Baron of Gisborne’s breathing stops with a short exhale, and he closes his eyes in peaceful death.
Lady Roseanna: “Guy! Beloved! I love you! I will love you always!” Lady Roseanna weeps prostate across her husband’s chest.
Crispin Roger Baron Guy de Gisborne is dead.
Leicester Cathedral–the sight of his elevation to his Barony so many years ago–now becomes the site of Baron Guy’s funeral. And the large cathedral church is filled to capacity–with towns’ people standing respectfully at the sides of the road as the horse drawn carriage with his coffin passes by and they cross themselves and say a prayer for the good man to be buried this day. Baron Guy de Gisborne is mourned by many more people than he could have ever imagined as a young and reckless knight working as Sir Vasey’s henchman lieutenant at Nottingham.
Baron Guy de Gisborne was a natural leader who found his purpose as he worked for England’s causes as a noble baron sitting on government councils. He was a benevolent landowner, helping the Gisborne-Middledton and the Middleton Estates to prosper and thrive–as did the people who worked on them and in the surrounding villages. He was the architect of the Notthingham Castle rebuilding and refortification. And he was a much loved and admired husband, father, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend. He had become the man that his mother the Lady Ghislaine Gisborne had always hoped he would be–the man that his beloved wife Lady Rose knew he could be and encouraged him to be.
And yet, Baron Guy de Gisborne was just a man–with flaws like any other, and with sins that he must atone for at the day of judgement. Though he had made amends to all as he was able during his corporeal life– including to Lady Anne/Marian. And with his passing out of life and his burial, Baron Guy de Gisborne’s eternal judgement is at hand.
Guy of Gisborne–there are no titles of distinction where he is now–sits upon what he thinks is a wooden chair in the dark, leaning forward with his head in his hands to rest. At first, he is confused. This is not as it was before when he had died–after being stabbed by his sister Isabella and Sheriff Vasey in the final battle at Nottingham Castle decades ago–when he had merely fainted. For around him now is a dark nothingness. He believes himself to be in purgatory–the place where all souls go to be judged for their sins, before passing into heaven or into hell. And Guy’s sins were many the first thirty eight years of his long life–before he met and married his wife Lady Roseanna.
Guy wonders how long he will be required to stay here in this oblivion, this purgatory? Then he thinks that he should be grateful that he was not sent directly to hell–the place true sinners who committed mortal sins [(3)] are sent without possibility of forgiveness. Guy knows that hell is where he is to go, eventually, where he must go. Guy had reconciled himself to his fate as his twilight years dawned. And yet, to spend eternity without his Lady Rose–who will surely go to heaven–is a crushing punishment for him.
He does not know how long he has been sitting here. Is it minutes? Hours? Days? Years? He cannot tell. But after ruminating about that for a while, the darkness surrounding him becomes more hazy–not bright, but not as dark. And then Guy of Gisborne notices the faint sounds of rushing wind or of tidal waters, perhaps even voices–though he cannot make them out. Guy wonders if he is to be taken to hell quickly afterall? He stands. If hell is to be his fate, then he will meet it without flinching. If this is God’s will for Guy of Gisborne’s atonement for his sins, then he will meet it with the noble bearing that has been the hallmark of his life since his beloved Lady Rose came into his life.
His Lady Rose. How he misses her so. She was the light of his life. Through her faith in him and her encouragement, Guy became a better man, a good man, a noble man worthy of her and their family. Their dynasty lives on through their children and grandchildren. So though he is dead, Guy knows that small pieces of him are carried in the memories of his loved ones–his legacies–and they will be in heaven one day. So he takes comfort in that.
Guy shakes his head–his mind hearing her faintly calling to him.
If this memory of her be all that he is allowed, then Guy will count himself lucky to have even that. To remember that he loved and that he was loved in return is the greatest gift to his life–and now to his death.
The mists around Guy of Gisborne are not so dark now, becoming more grey. Guy wonders if oblivion in hell is an erasure of ones soul–the torment being their existence eradicated, rather than torture for eternity. Will his form also fade into nothingness?
Guy looks down at his hands and notices something odd–his somewhat gnarled and aged hands as a seventy five year old man at the time of his death, look … less so. He reasons that his eyes have worsened, for his hands could not be healing, for lack of a better word for him to explain it. And then in looking down, Guy sees that his booted feet are standing upon something–rather than the seeming nothingness that earlier surrounded him. In fact, he is standing upon sand–and now his feet are unshod, him now seeing his favorite leather boots set neatly two feet away from him. He does not remember taking his boots off. This puzzles him.
And the rushing noise he heard earlier becomes louder and he turns to see the beginnings of the edge of a lake with water lapping at the sandy shore. He turns to face the lake. Guy is not certain what is going on. Is he to walk into the water? Is that how it will be?
Then Guy hears children’s voices more clearly now–laughing, playing, teasing, cooing as babies–the sound seems to be all around him, but he does not see them. He then hears the children and they seem to be playing in the sand, building sand castles and fighting about it, then laughing with glee. It is such a lovely sound, the sound of children’s laughter–just like when his children were young, a lovely memory comes to his mind of a day spent thusly with a picnic by the lake on their estate.
And then Guy hears an even lovelier sound, much louder than before.
Roseanna: “Guy, My Love!”
Guy of Gisborne turns his head sharply to the sound of his name and he spies a willowy figure walking toward him. The shape has no form as of yet, but a rising clamor beats in his chest. As the shape approaches, its form becomes more clear. And he sees the vision across the vast space of his beautiful Lady Rose as she looked when he died–age could never mar her sweetness nor her beauty.
Guy: “Rose!” Guy races along the sandy lake shore toward the willowy figure, hoping that this apparition of his Lady Rose is not God’s cruel trick to torment him. Well then, Guy thinks, he will fool God and take what joy he can from seeing his beloved Rose again.
And as Guy runs, the vision of his Rose comes into greater clarity–and she grows ever younger as he approaches, as does he grow younger.
Then stopping a few feet before he reaches her, Guy looks upon his lovely and young wife [(4) right] with awe and wonder. She is young, wearing a burgundy and pink summer gown with lace netting on the bodice for modesty. She is young and comely–as he remembers her when he first met her, so long ago.
Guy: Touching her face and caressing her cheek, he asks in wonder. “My Rose, Are you real? Or are you God’s means of tormenting me? If so, it is a beautiful torment!”
Roseanna: “Guy, it is I, Rose. I am here at last!” She rushes into his arms and embraces him.
Guy feels the lovely light weight of his beautiful Rose in his arms–her softness and warmth are a balm to his soul. Without delay, Guy kisses his wife with all the love he has to give, and she responds in kind. They are wrapped in each others’ arms for a long time–Guy not wanting to let this moment end.
But eventually, his curiosity gets the better of him.
Guy: “How can this be that you are with me in purgatory? You are too good to be here. We will find a way for you to reach heaven without delay, My Love.”
Rose: “Guy, Guy! Look around you.” She admonishes him.
Guy does look around him. He suddenly realizes that they are at the lake on their Gisborne-Middleton estate, their private cottage just beyond the sloping grassy hill above the shore.
Guy: “I do not understand.” Guy shakes his head in confusion. “This cannot be. I am to go to hell, to atone for my sins.” He looks quizzically at his wife.
Rose: “Nay Guy. You expiated your sins by making amends to those whom you injured long ago. And then you lead a true and noble life. You are a good and honorable man–and your goodness has been your atonement for your sins. You have since helped and saved far more people than you had ever harmed.”
Guy: “But…” He thinks of Matthew, whom he killed–the guilt and the remorse he feels still overwhelm him at times.
Rose: “You have been forgiven, Guy. You will always carry your burden of guilt for Matthew’s death, but he gave his permission for you to enter heaven with me.” Guy looks upon her with wonder. “I pleaded your case, My Love–telling Matthew of your life’s good works. And Lady Anne joined me in my request.” Guy’s eyes widen. “She had forgiven you also, long ago. And I told God that either you came to heaven with me, or I went to hell with you. So Matthew relented, and forgave you.”
Guy: “My little spitfire. Even God is persuaded?” He asks incredulously. Then in a hushed voice he asks. “I am to go to heaven with you?”
Rose: “My Love, did you not always say that our home was heaven on Earth?” Guy nods slowly. “We are already in heaven, together. And now we have eternity to share together.”
Guy: “This is truly a marvel, My Love. But Rose, how came you to be here in Heaven? You were younger than I and very healthy when I died.”
Rose: “My death was not through misadventure, but through an illness that claimed me ten years after you died.”
Guy: “Ten years! But I do not feel that I have been here in this place ten years! It has only felt like moments.”
Rose: Caressing his face, she says in a hushed tone. “That was my hope, and fervent prayer. After you died, I prayed every day that if God kept me from you for any space of time that you would not know the loneliness of those years–as I knew loneliness without you, even with our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren around me. And God has kept his promise to me.”
Guy: “And now we may be together … forever?” Guy asks hopefully with a smile [(5) right] as bright and as joyous as any he has ever given–him truly hopefully for maybe the first time in his life, or in his death as the case is now.
Rose: “Forever, My Love!” Rose kisses and embraces her husband Guy tenderly. And they stay locked in love’s sweet kisses for many moments–they know not how long. For time in heaven is not spent, but saved and treasured.
And then Guy and his beloved Rose walk back along the sandy shore of the lake to their little cottage home where they will love together for eternity. Guy and Rose will be joined in future times by their family and friends. Yet until then, the music of their hearts will be the joyous laughter of their children and grandchildren from their loving memories of their times shared together.
Thank you for joining me on Sir Guy’s journey of redemption–in life and in death–in my story “Sir Guy’s Atonement”. This final book in the trilogy closes the chapter on this Guy series. I have enjoyed sharing Guy and Rose and their family’s stories with you and hope that you enjoyed them as well. The things that I have learned in writing Guy’s story over the course of this trilogy is that it is never too late to change, it is never too late to become the better person whom you aspire to be, it is never too late to make amends, and it is never too late to love and to be loved.
Love & Hugs! Grati ;->
Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Ch. 46 End References, July 10, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #782)
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) Sir Guy brooding is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi 5 pix 111 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/Episodefive/slides/5_111.jpg
3) A Mortal Sin decribed may be found at:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_sin
4) Lady Roseanna Oxbridge Middleton Gisborne is that of actress Emma Watson and was found at http://www.hollybollyhub.com/emma-watson-hot-image.jpg
5) Sir Guy is Richard Armitage in Robin Hood series 3, epi7 pix 174 found at http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/RobinHood/album/seasonthree/episodeseven/slides/7_174.jpg
“Sir Guy’s Atonement” (Book 3), Previous Ch. 45 Blog Link with embedded illustrations (Post #780)