Well, here goes my first Robin Hood fic! (Don't worry, Guy and Meg will be in here as well!) As it's my first time writing Robin Hood, it'll be a little tricky, but I think I can do justice to him and his character.
This is the sequel to 'God Gave Me You', which did so well. I decided to continue with Robin, Marian and Isabella's story. Guy and Meg found their happiness, so, it's time for the other's to find their happiness. The first few chapters will evolve a few crucial moments in 'God Gave Me You' but they'll give you a little bit more insight to what was going on 'backstage' during that story.
My friend, Sense 'n' Sensbility has a trailer for 'Girl's of the night' and once she's uploaded the video, I'll share the link!
For Athenais Penelope Clemence! I hope I do Robin justice!
As always, I own nothing!
Chapter one: Coming Home
Isabella let out a grunt as the carriage bounced over a bump. "Sorry Milady." Thomas apologized again, for at least the 30th time since they'd departed the Hell that someone people would foolishly call her 'loving house and loving husband' two days ago. That part of her life would now be gone forever, if she begged Guy hard enough, she'd never see Shropshire or Thornton again.
"It's not your fault." She sat up and peered out of the carriage window. "Hmm, the Locksley estate. I haven't seen it since I was a child."
"Sir Guy lives there now."
"With your mistress, I'm assuming?" she inquired.
"Possibly soon," Thomas grinned. "I've never seen her so happy before. She loves your brother deeply, that is sure."
"Hmm," she mused. "hard to imagine Guy loving anyone, but, I'll take your word for it."
"You'll see." The carriage jerked to a stop. "Your brother has changed since he met my lady, Megan."
Isabella said nothing as Thomas helped her out of the carriage. She looked around; the tedious village looked as it had when she was a child. The air smelled of crisp leaves and smoking fires, just as she remembered. It still looked as drab and worn down as she recalled. The sounds of a man and woman screaming weren't a sound that one would nearly hear.
"Ahh," Thomas grinned. "There they are."
She hesitated. "Are you sure that it's a good idea to-
"Of course!" Thomas stated. "Those two argue like they love. Passionately!"
She smirked as he grabbed her hand and headed to the courtyard. "Has Meg told you that you talk too much?"
"Constantly." He grinned. "But she always finds my advice quite valuable." Isabella and Thomas came around the corner of the building to find Guy passionately kissing a young woman. "Milady!" Thomas called as Isabella jerked free of his hold. The woman who she assumed was Meg, let out a whimper of frustration as she broke the kiss and turned aside to face Thomas. She ducked back so she could listen to them before making her appearance. "So sorry, but, I've brought the Lady Isabella."
"The Lady Isabella?" Guy asked tightly.
"Oh, I'm so sorry." The woman declared. "I meant to tell you yesterday, but I forgot. Honest I did."
"I know," Guy said tightly, but a hint of softness in his voice. "you were unconscious and you hit your head. But what is she….doing here?"
Meg inhaled and spoke softly. "She's come for help and protection."
He blinked in shock. "What?" At least he wasn't shouting at her. Whatever spells this woman had Guy under; hopefully he'll stay under it while she pleads her case.
"She's been hurt Guy." Meg gently.
"Protection?" Guy's voice began to wind up. "She has a husband. I am not her charge anymore!"
At that moment, she decided that it was doing her no good simply hiding from Guy. She had to face him and get it over with. She inhaled deeply and stepped around the corner to meet the two.
Guy, he'd grown into a handsome man. The last time she saw him, he was a somewhat gangly looking youth. At the moment, he was shocked; after all, it had been almost thirteen years since they'd seen each other. However, that shock didn't last long, in turned into a slowly, simmering anger. "Why are you here Isabella?"
"I could not endure another day." She said calmly.
"So what?" Guy's voice rang with sarcasm. "You just walked away!" Guy shouted at Isabella as he shoved his finger in her direction. Meg jumped and took a step towards him, but didn't interfere. "You were joined in holy matrimony!
"I was only a thirteen year old girl!" Isabella protested. "If you have any idea what he has done to me," Isabella's voice died for a moment as her throat threatened to close up. "Guy, I'm your sister. All I ask for is protection."
"Really?" Guy spat bitterly at her. "What if I were to send you back to your husband?"
"Then you would be condemning me to a life of misery for a second time." Isabella didn't even flinch under Guy's dark gaze. Her voice was strong and firm as she stated. "Only this time knowingly."
"I do not wish to add to the lady's misery, but I assure you Sir, that she has made light of the situation." Thomas said firmly. "The man deserves to be beaten, stuffed naked into a barrel full of nails, and dragged around by feral horses until death!" Guy glanced at Thomas with a glare, but Thomas refused to back down. "The physician will attest to the fact of how she's suffered at the hands of her husband. I, Sir, was unfortunate enough to witness her husband's cruelty as allowed two of his own men to perform to force their lust upon her while he looked on and laughed." As Meg and Guy stared at Isabella in shock, she glanced down at the ground, wishing it would swallow her whole. She had no desire for a servant to report such explicit details to her brother and the woman he was courting. "I do not wish to embarrass the lady, but if she will not plead her case in a manner that will allow you to see the danger she is in then I shall do so for her." Thomas explained gently. "I've three sisters and I wouldn't hesitate to kill the man who dared to treat my sister as this man has treated yours. If he were in Ireland, he would have been killed in the town square and the birds allowed to feast on his corpse! Were I his equal, I would eat his heart in the marketplace!"
Meg cleared her throat. "Nothing….quite so dramatic nor gory was necessary in your description Thomas. But I thank you for making these points clear to us." Meg reached for Guy's arm and he glowered down at her. She leaned close to him, speaking to him softly and gently. "Guy, I know that you regret selling her since she was only thirteen." To Isabella's amazement, Guy's eyes softened and his anger receded slowly as he listened to her. "Now is your chance to help her, she deserves…to know what we were only allowed to know for a short time period." She placed her hand on his chest; Guy reached for her hand and squeezed it. Meg tilted her head to the side as she gazed into his face. The tenderness and caring between them caused her heart to ache for a moment. "She hasn't known it with this man. You know the ache we feel in our hearts because it was deemed not possible for us. Help her," she pleaded. "help her out of the loveless cage she's been imprisoned in for all those years."
Guy was silent for a moment before pressing a kiss to Meg's hand. He released her hand then turned to address Isabella. Isabella held her breath as Guy studied her closely before speaking. "You shall have my protection Isabella." She exhaled deeply, almost collapsing to the ground in relief. "I will talk with the Squire and I will arrange for your divorce." He approached her. "Should he refuse…. I will kill him for you." her mouth dropped open. She wasn't expecting Guy to make such an offer. What spell did this woman have upon her brother? "Furthermore, you will live in my protection until you find yourself another husband. This time…the husband shall be of your choosing, I swear it." Isabella let out a cry before throwing her arms around her brother's shoulders. Tears threatened to spill down her cheeks as he returned her hug. For one moment, she allowed herself to feel hope. Maybe, just maybe, things could be better. "Meg." Guy called softly. "Don't go far. I do have something more I'd like to say to you."
"Oh no." the despair in Meg's voice, caused her to break their embrace. "Not now." She pleaded aloud to the heavens above. "Not yet."
"Meg?" Guy asked in concern, tension rising in his body. "What is it?"
"Whatever is it Guy," panic rose in Isabella's chest as Meg turned towards them, her eyes slowly filling with tears. "you better say it now." She inhaled raggedly. "They're coming for me."
Isabella frowned as Guy released her and stepped towards her quickly. "What is this?"
"Thomas," Meg said as Guy reached for her and pulled her into his arms. "stall the soldiers as long as possible please. I beg you!"
"Yes! I will!" Thomas dashed around the corner. "At once."
Isabella frowned. "I shall assist him." she hurried after Thomas. "What's going on?"
"I've no idea." He cleared his throats and smiled at the approaching soldiers. "Hello? How may I assist you all?"
They all passed by, heading straight for the courtyard ignoring them. Isabella stepped in front of them. "Hold! You were questioned and I demand a response!"
"Lady Megan," one of the soldiers's said firmly, an Irish lilt in his voice. She rounded the corner to see Guy and Meg, again, breaking out of a tight embrace. "you are to come with us, as ordained by your uncle, immediately."
Meg and Guy didn't pull apart right away, they both exchanged words quietly together. Isabella had no clue what was going on, but from the look on Meg's face as she approached the soldiers, told her that something was going on that affected them both very deeply. Thomas reached for Meg's arm, which she took as she followed the soldiers out of the courtyard. The whole scene played out as if Meg were a condemned woman.
"Who was that woman?" Isabella asked gently, loathe to admit it, that woman had an effect on her brother. She should feel hate for him, but if she was going to get all she planned, she needed someone to help keep him on her side. "What's going on?"
Guy just watched Megan walk out of his sight. "She's someone, I could never have and…I've just lost her." He sighed and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Come. There's a room for you to use for the night. Tomorrow, I'll set about making sure that the guest cottage is cleaned and ready for you. I'll also make sure that you're settled with enough clothes, shoes and whatever it is a lady needs."
She stared at him. "Thank you, but, I'm not expecting you to go through such luxury at my expense."
"You're my sister Isabella." He stopped and sighed. "Forgive me God, but you're my only living family relative and I owe you so much, far more than I can ever make up you, but I will try." He exhaled. "You're all I have now."
"But, Meg," she questioned. "she seems-
"Her uncle disapproves and is taking her back to Ireland," he inhaled. "that was the last time I'll ever see of her." He exhaled and attempted to smile. "But, no worries Isabella, you're back home and regardless of how things turn out, you're my family and you're back home."
A bitter and dark word to be sure. Home meant nothing to her now. She'd never know what 'home' was and would she ever understand all that it fore held. To have a true concept of home, one had to love, but Isabella didn't love and nor would she ever be inclined to love again.