To those wondering why I reposted this fic, after enduring Barac Obama's disgusting posts, I was hit with another spammer, Condoleezza Rice. As Fanfiction refuses to do anything, I decided to remove my fic and repost it, free from the perverse, disgusting comments. True, I had almost 250 reviews and I enjoyed reading them, the disgusting ones were too offensive for me to keep on my page. If you haven't blocked the two spammers I mentioned, do so quickly. All we can do is complain to Fanfiction for the right to be able to reviews. If enough of us complain and protest, something will have to be done.
I own nothing. And if I did, Guy would be married to Meg!
This fic is dedicated to Aviatress, a good person to have on your side when you're in a pinch or being bullied.
To PrincessSYS and saramagician, two faithful reviewers, who's reviews never fail to make you smile. Your enthusiasm is contagious.
And Lady Gisbourne 15: A fellow fan and writer who's support I could not do without.
Chapter one: Girl talk
He should have seen her, but he hadn't. He and his men had been chasing after Hood, but to their dismay, they lost the trail and Hood and his outlaws escaped again. Deciding to check out another trail, he'd cantered down and he'd run into a woman riding her horse alone. His horse had startled hers and her horse had thrown her to the ground. He dismounted hastily, securing her horse before hopping down and examining her. Her eyes were open and she was moaning. He expected her to be unconscious.
"Easy." He murmured as he cradled her head in his lap. "You took quite a fall."
"What the Hell is the matter with you?" Guy's eyes almost popped out of his head at her words. She sat up, her head full of brown curls in her face; she shook then, revealing blazing green eyes. "Can't you look where you're going?"
"Sorry." He said tightly as he looked her over. Her clothes were of a lady, but her mouth certainly wasn't. "I was pursuing outlaws."
"Well," she demands as she sits up. "where were you when I needed you five minutes ago? I was robbed!" He glances at her as she stands up, swaying slightly. "Or I would have been, if I had anything of value that they could see."
He frowns. "Well, were you robbed or not?"
"I was stopped and demanded to hand over all of my coins or jewels I had on me. Fortunately, I make it a habit of putting all jewels and coins in pockets in my petticoats. So, they got a necklace and a few bracelets off of me. But I punched Robin, whatever his last name is in the nose. He won't be flirting with anyone for a while." Against his will, Guy decides that in spite of everything, he does like her. Well, at least for this particular moment; probably won't last long. It took quite a woman to punch Robin Hood in the nose. He takes a hold of her arm, which she yanks free of instantly. "And then you, startle my horse and knock me off!"
"It was an accident." He says tightly, his patience wearing thin with the woman. "I apologized."
"So you did." She glances around, her hands on her hips in her deep, purple, velvet riding dress. "Now, which way to Locksley, I believe it is? I'm lost. I'm looking for Marian Fitzwater." Guy could barely keep his mouth from hitting the floor of the forest. He could only stare at her as she shoved her hair back from her eyes, attempting to tame those crazy curls. "Her father is the sheriff of Locksley, she's expecting me."
Guy closes his mouth before speaking, his voice coming out hoarse. "I'll take you to her."
"You know her. Good. You know," she says as she follows him towards her horse, her skirt in her fists. "I don't know who you are and under these circumstances, we should have introduced ourselves by now. I'm meg."
"Sir Guy of Gisbourne."
Later, in Locksley,
"Marian!" Meg hopped off her horse, throwing the reins at sir Guy of Gisbourne, who caught them neatly. She grabbed her heavy skirts and ran at Marian. She caught her in a hug and both women laughed. "Oh! It's so good to see you!"
"How long has it been?" Marian asked as she pulled back and studied Meg closely. Marian hadn't changed. She was still a raven-haired beauty; her eyes were a captivating blue. Her figure was good and her smile was enchanting. Looking at Guy, it wasn't a surprise that he'd lost his heart to her. True, they made a very good couple. "Five, six years?"
"I guess, but why count them? You always were prettier than me." She smiled brightly. "I know that they say that brides tend to favor plainer bridesmaids on their wedding day."
Marian laughed and rolled her eyes. "You held your own. In fact, you were able to get quite a few boys away from me."
"That was only Tommy and he was a fool, even if all the girls in the school fancied him! I shall have a lot to tell you about what has happened." Meg laughed and turned back to Guy. "Oh, sorry," she took her horses reins. "I'm afraid we met under unfortunate circumstances a while back. Some person named Robin and his gang robbed me of a few bracelets and a necklace."
Marian blinked. "What? How horrid."
"Well," Meg grinned brightly. "you know that I prefer to keep all my jewels on my person when I'm traveling. So, they missed them all." She cleared her throat. "I shall take my horse to the stables, let you two have some privacy. After all, you are getting married the day after tomorrow."
Marian's features stiffened just slightly. "Don't worry; after all, it's really not proper for the groom to see the bride alone when it's so close to the wedding."
She frowned. "I thought it was the day before the wedding. However, I've been in Ireland and Spain for so long, their customs are quite different. Well, regardless, I'll let you two have a few private moments." She smiled at Guy. "Congratulations. You're a lucky man. Marian wouldn't give her heart to just anyone unless he was worthy of it."
He smiles slightly and dips his head at her. "Thank you."
Meg smiles and takes her horse towards the stable. She glances back at Guy and Marian, she can't hear them, but she observes Marian's body language. It's stiff, as if she can't wait to get away from him. He touches her cheek, but she shies slightly away from his touch. As she hands the horse over to the servant, she studies them for a moment. It becomes clear to her that Guy is very, very much in love with Marian.
Marian though, either her passion doesn't match his, or he frightens her, which would be possible. After all, Guy was a very handsome man, tall, dark, devilish looks. Yes, that could be it. What woman wouldn't be so frightened by him standing so close to her? She herself had felt her heart chill in her chest for a moment at the sight of him bending over her.
Guy leaned forward and kissed Marian gently on her cheek. Her expression was somewhat guarded, for what reason, she didn't know. She approached them as Guy mounted his horse. She smiled at him and he returned the gesture. He didn't really smile though; his smile was more of a smirk, or rather, a smolder.
"An honor to meet you Miss Bennett." He said cordially. "I trust the rest of your day would be peaceful, considering your rather rough arrival into Locksley."
Marian spoke up. "Don't worry too much about Meg; she always had a knack for trouble."
"And you're the one who hung our headmistress upside down!" Marian laughed as she remembered. "She still never found out who did it."
Marian threw an arm around her shoulder. "Come on. We've got a lot of catching up to do." Marian guided her into the house, without giving Guy a second glance. "Guy is going to be gone tomorrow, so it's going to be just us girls."
She smiles. "Yes!"
"So, what about you?" Marian asked as she closed the door behind her. "Are you engaged yet?"
Meg shook her head. "No, I've had dozens of proposals. I just haven't met any man worth giving up flirting for." Marian laughed along with Meg. "But seriously, I just haven't met the right one yet. I doubt I'm going to get married, I don't think I'm made for it."
Marian laughed. "I don't doubt that Meg."
"So," Meg said as they moved to sit down at the table. "you and Guy. Tell me how the two of you met. I'm dying to hear all the details." She removed her cloak. "And don't leave anything out."
Marian eyed her. "Wouldn't you want to change first?"
"Yes, but I want to hear the details about how the two of you met. Come on Marian, tell me everything."
Marian shook her head. "It was hardly romantic; we met when he took over managing Robin's estate."
Meg made a face. "I hope that your Robin, who you were engaged to a while ago, and the Robin who robbed me, weren't the same man." Marian made no comment and Meg exhaled. "I guess I should apologize, for punching him in the nose." Marian frowned at her. "But…I'm not going to."
"Things are different since you've been here in Locksley." Marian said gently. "You need to be careful."
"Well, I can't into too much trouble. After all, my best friend is marrying Guy of Gisbourne." Marian laughs, but her laugh seems forced. Meg exhales and blows a curl back from her face. "All right Marian, spill it, what's wrong here?"
Marian frowns. "What do you mean?"
"I'm a woman, we grew up together and I'm not stupid." She leans forward and crosses her arms. "What is it? You don't look like a happy bride."
"I am." Marian said slowly. "It's just that….I wonder if….I'm making the right choice."
"Marian," Meg said firmly. "that man worships the ground you walk on and I'm certainly he only breathes the air you breathe. He loves you so much. It's obvious, even to my eyes. You're so lucky Marian. Most women can only pray for a love like that."
Marian smiles a little uneasily. "You are the romantic aren't you?"
She shakes her head. "Me? Romantic? Don't be ridiculous. I only state the obvious." She softens her tone. "Come on, can't you tell me?"
Marian shook her head. "You couldn't understand."
"I can't. Meg, you'll only be here for a few days, you won't be here forever." Marian exhales and brushes her forehead. "I am, rather, upset that my mother isn't going to be here."
Meg nods. "Of course, how thoughtless of me. Your mother isn't here on your wedding day. You're lucky to have your father though." She clears her throat. "My parents perished on a ship, going to Spain the week after you left."
"Oh Meg," Marian gives her hand a comforting squeeze. "I am so sorry."
"I am resigned to it now. I'm glad they died together. I doubt I could bear the grief of seeing one of them separated. My uncle took me in. But as I grew older, he arranged it for me to live in Spain with my aunt, Elena for a while. She's a lady of society and I believe he hoped her manners would rub off on me. She's a mistress of the Spanish court, she taught me…quite a few things."
Marian laughed. "I can imagine!"
"It's actually not what you're thinking. Fashion, hair, and all sorts of beauty techniques, which I will gladly share with you tomorrow. Where's your father?"
"He's in Nottingham, doing some final arrangements for the wedding."
She nods. "Of course." At the sound of horse's hooves, she stands up. "That's sounds like my wagon; I hope your Robin didn't rob that as well. I had a wedding gift for you, a mirror and I should hate for it to be stolen. Otherwise I'll chase that man down and get it back myself."
Marian laughed. "You'd never find him."
"You've seen me when I'm cross Marian. I can find a needle in a haystack if I set my mind to it!"