Disclaimer: Unfortunately, none of the characters belong to me. All OC's and plot pretty much belong to me, however.
Summary: Lady Lilith, an old childhood acquaintance of Robin and Marion, is set to marry Sir Guy. A few misadventures later, she finds herself hiding in the forest from both her betrothed and keeping her true identity from the outlaws. When she is discovered, chaos persues. Will be Allan/Lilith, Robin/Marion, Will/OC, Djaq/OC (and maybe Much/Eve).
Author's Notes: This is an AU Season 2 Robin Hood story of the BBC series. It starts after the events of season 1 but does not follow season 2 at all (for a season 2/Allan-a-traitor story, see my other story Traitorous Hearts!). I should say that I live in America so places in England may be incorrect (sorry!)
Chapter 1: The Betrothal
"What?" The sheriff bellowed as the messenger left the hall. It hadn't been a day since the surviving Nobles had fled after Marion and Gisborne's failed wedding. Needless to say, the young boy was immensely grateful not to have been present when the sheriff read the missive from the steward, Prince John.
"What is the problem now?" Sir Guy asked wondering what could possibly be worse than the botched attempted wedding with Marion.
"We need Locksley to remain in our control. You still wish to attain the Locksley lands, correct?" The sheriff asked. Sir Guy nodded. "Then it seems your attempts at matrimony have been with the wrong lady."
"I fail to understand the problem."
"It seems our dear prince has entailed the lands away, at the bequest of Robin's father, the late Lord of Locksley. If you want any claim than you will have to marry his daughter."
Sir Guy looked as if the Sheriff had made an attempt at making a joke. "This is absurd," he said shaking his head. "What shall we do about Marion and Sir Edward?"
"Let them cower at Knighton Hall. It's not as if we don't know where all those treacherous nobles live. They know we can reach out to them any time we want. Right now, we need those lands."
Sir Guy couldn't agree more. "I am afraid to know who I must now turn my attentions to," he said exasperately. He had no designs on matrimony, he just wanted Marion.
"What?" Lilith asked in stunned disbelief. "I understand the entailment, of course, but this is absurd!"
"I was against the arrangement as well, my dear, but the Prince has approved of the union. In fact, he is expecting it. It seems with the death of Robin and the only apparent heir to the Locksley lands, he wants someone to run it. I have my hands full already with both estates, and we all know how John needs the taxes for our King."
"I understand, I just do not like it," Lilith muttered. "You said his name is Sir Guy? Of Gisborn?"
"With intimate connections to the sheriff of Nottingham, who is favored by our Prince, so I have no worries for your safety once you arrive. Traveling there, however, is a different matter. I hear the forest and roads have become filled with outlaws in recent months. I want you to travel light and quick to arrive there as soon as possible."
"As soon as possible?" she repeated. "How soon am I to leave then?"
"In two days time."
"That is impossible," she said. "I have yet to even appear in court to pretend to be grateful for this opportunity, or make any arrangements. . ."
"The Prince is not expecting you to appear in court. He has already seen to the arrangements personally to allow you to remarry; he only expects it to happen immediately."
"No," she said trying to think quickly. "I have never met Sir Guy. What do I know of him other than he has a title without land? What if. . ." she was trying to stall but her father cut off all protests.
"There is no way around it. Pack lightly, I will send your belongings after you arrive. They will be expecting you to arrive this week."
"How can you marry me off like a mule?" she asked. "This . . ."
"This is how life is, Lilith," he said and his tone was bordering on anger.
"This would not be how life would be if Luke were alive," she said storming off. "I have never wished more than today he or Charles were alive," she fumed as she stormed out. Sarah, her companion, followed closely by as always. "Lord, how could this be happening? I had hoped never to marry again even if it meant living with that stodgy old man I call father for the rest of my life."
"I know, my lady, perhaps if you wait for him to cool off, and closer to the time of your departure, he will reconsider."
"If it was just him, perhaps, but you heard him, the Prince has given his blessing and personally oversaw the arrangements with the Church. How am I to argue with Church or Prince?" she asked shaking her head.
"We both know, my lady, if given the opportunity, you would gladly argue with the Lord himself."
That made Lilith laugh. "You are right. You know my temperament better than anyone," she said. "Any living person now," she clarified thinking of her brother Luke.
"If we are to leave in two days time, perhaps I should oversee the arrangements?" Sarah offered.
Lilith gave an un-lady-like snort. "What arrangements? I am to sneak out of my own home like a bandit and travel light. A man's definition of light is whatever will fit into a saddle bag."
"Let men have their definitions. We shall travel lightly– but with all necessities," Sarah said mischievously.
Lilith looped her arm through Sarah's. "I love how you think."
The next day Lilith walked out of the front of the keep to where the carriage was awaiting. "I am happy to see you are ready early. I have made preparations for you to travel light," her father, Lord Lucius, said. "I have hired a hackney coach for you to travel through the forest of Sherwood though. I have heard of several outlaw bands maraudering through there. I do not want you to travel ostentatiously while you are being driven through the forest, do you understand?" he asked.
"Lilith," he said with a sigh. "I know you are angry with me, and I know you disagree with this. Just do not defy me on this order, promise me? Defy all the orders you want after you are married, just please arrive there safely."
"I will not be ostentatious or draw attention to my party, father. I promise," she said.
"Good. I have two guards traveling with you. They are to stay with you till you reach Nottingham. Have a safe trip," he said and hugged his only living child as she turned to walk to the coach. Sarah took the seat across from her and as soon as the two guards took up the position on the seat in front, they were off. In her last defiant move as a daughter, she refused to wave goodbye to her father.
"A bit cold, don't you think my lady?" Sarah asked.
"It is not for you to criticize me," Lilith reprimanded. Sarah lowered her head in acknowledgment knowing her Lady was angry with the world at the moment. "I apologize. You of all people deserve better, Sarah. I owe you everything."
"Think nothing of it. We are now being cast off– again– hopefully with far better results."
The morning journey was passed with minimal conversation between the two passengers. By noon they stopped to have lunch at a local inn. "If this does not suit you, my lady, we can find another place to gather refreshments," one of the guards named Paul said.
"This is perfectly fine," Lilith said. "I believe I am hungry enough to eat a boar from a spit." Sarah was happy to see Lilith's humor returning. They walked in and found it was much cleaner on the inside than the outside led travelers to believe.
After refreshing themselves and the horses, they continued on their travels. Sarah decided to bravely broach the subject. "Perhaps this Sir Guy is handsome," she said. Lilith, who was looking at the scenery, turned to look at her companion.
"Mayhaps," she said. "Then again, he could have the face of a horse."
"I find some horses rather fetching," Sarah said making them both laugh.
"Well, if you find this horse attractive, you may take my place and marry him."
"Perhaps you will find wedded life appeasing," Sarah ventured. "You seemed . . . happy, with Charles."
"I would not go so far to say happy, Sarah," Lilith said. "Perhaps . . . content. Yes, content. He was kind, but he lacked. . . I don't know, there just didn't seem to be any connection between us beyond my dowry and his title. Grant it, we did not have enough time together to even determine whether we would be content."
"That does not mean all unions are doomed to be so passionless," Sarah said. "My parents found themselves more than content," she said with a grin.
"I have come to the conclusion people of station are doomed to be merely content," Lilith said. "I shall just have to resign myself to be content with this Sir Guy, the horse-man."
They traveled till nightfall and found an inn for the evening. "My lady, do not be upset, but I took measures into my own hands for your safety on the morrow," she said when it was just the two of them in their room.
"Really?" Lilith said raising an eyebrow.
"Yes, my lady. I have heard stories of these maraudering bandits and I wanted to ensure your safety."
"I'm intrigued. What have you concocted?"
"Well, I thought of who would be less likely to be attacked. I know your father wished for us to travel unostentatiously, but I feared even with our understated travel accommodations, we would be attacked."
"What stories have you heard?" Lilith asked curiously.
"That merchants and lords alike have been attacked. Even mothers with babies have fallen prey to these heartless thieves if they think there is anything of value to be attained."
"If they are really as horrible as you make them sound, then we shall have to travel as ghosts."
"That is what I thought, but seeing as how that would entail death, I thought of another way."
"Although, death would solve my matrimonial problems," Lilith said thoughtfully.
"Yes, I thought as well, but I it is my job to keep you alive, my lady–"
"–You have done a miraculous job thus far–" Lilith added
"I thought of the next best thing," Sarah finished
Lilith watched as Sarah took out two nun outfits from her satchel. "I had hoped the fear of God or divine retribution would keep them from attacking us."
"If they are as horrible as you say, I doubt they would stop for any reason, but I do see the sense in your plan," she said. She grabbed the one Sarah handed her. "Yes, I do see the sense. Once we get through the forest, I can change and make myself presentable for Sir Guy... or I could arrive and tell him I have taken orders and I deeply regret our union could not pass," she said with a mischievous grin.
"I had thought of that as well, my lady," Sarah said laughing. "I fear, though, the guards may not follow through with it. I overheard your father order them to remain until you arrived safely and presented as Sir Guy's betrothed."
"Well, we'll have to deal with them, then. Perhaps if you club Paul over the head upon arrival, I can knock Stephen out long enough to make my apologies to Sir Horse and leave."
"It would be an honor," Sarah said sarcastically making them both laugh.
"You never know, I just might be forced to do just that," Lilith said as she climbed into bed.
Author's Notes: Reviews are appreciated! (hint, hint) Any questions (like why they think Robin is dead) will be answered in the following chapters. Stay tuned!