Marian woke with a start as the door to her chambers creaked open. Not for the first time she finds herself cursing her new found "home" in the castle. It terrifies her to be so close to so much evil. She lives in fear of Guisborne and what retaliation he may have for their would be wedding. Finding her voice she says, "Sir Guy, it is a very inappropriate hour. Should I call for the guards?"
A soft masculine voice came from the darkness, "If you are expecting Sir Guy at this hour I have more problems then I was aware of."
She sighed with relief, "Robin! What are you doing here? You selfish fool. If they find you here you are condemning me and my father. Do you ever think before you act?" Immediately she regretted her harsh words, knowing that Robin would not willingly endanger them.
He finally stepped close enough to the bed that she could make out his figure; shoulders slumped and head hanging in defeat. "I am sorry… Marian… I… am lost," and for the first time in her life he looked lost too.
His voice cracking made her eyes sting with unshed tears, "Robin, what is it? Let me help you."
He looked up at her with hurt, hopeless eyes that she had not seen since Guisborne's proposal to her. She remembered looking out her window and seeing utter despair on his face. That was an image that she would never forget, and she would never forgive herself for hurting him that way. Though it was not until that moment that she realized he still loved her. She was no fool by any means. She new that Robin still wanted her, that he even still cared for her, but she never dreamed that after all this time, after leaving her for the war, that he still loved her.
"Marian, they are my family. I loved them all as brothers," pausing and thinking of Djaq he added, "and a little sister." Raising his voice he added, "I have given them everything. I have sacrificed everything!"
Marian could not keep up with him. "Robin, slow down. I do not understand you."
Anger started to cloud his eyes along with the tears, "Marian, I think I have a spy in my gang." He finally said it out loud. Something he had been suspecting for too long now. Somehow as long as he did not say the words he could just pretend that it was not happening.
Her eyes grew wide with shock at the understanding of his statement. If this is true not only has Robin been betrayed, but possibly her and her father as well. "Robin," she whispered, "be careful what you say. Your men love you, are you sure one of them could do this?"
"I do not know what I am sure of these days. All I know is there are too many coincidences. The sheriff and Guisborne know too much. They knew to remove the diamonds from Will's box. They new of my message to the King, and I am terrified of what else they may know."
The look on his face broke her heart, but it was all the reassurance she needed. "Do you know who it is?"
"I know it could not be John or Djaq, they did not know of the message." What he did not say hung in the atmosphere like a heavy storm.
"Robbin, you think Much could do this? Much, of all people. He loves you almost as much as I do." She could not hide the shock from her voice, "No, I cannot believe it, and you should not either." She said reassuringly. She began to think harder on the subject, when finally it all made since to her. "Robin, it is not Will either."
Robin only stared up at her, "I agree, now, that it cannot be Much, but what makes you so sure that it is not Will?"
She slowly pulled him onto the bed so he could sit next to her. He visibly relaxed as she began to rub slow, soft circles onto the back of his hand. "It just does not make sense. The Sheriff killed his father. He tried to murder the Sheriff. No, Will did not do this. Why would he give secrets to the man he hates? Also, Will would not jeopardize his chance at love."
He was finding it hard to listen to her. Did she have any idea how beautiful she was to him? The affects she had on him? He couldn't stop himself from looking at the thin, white night gown she wore. It looked almost sheer in the candle light. Hinting at soft curves that he could only dream about.
He was woken from his thoughts by a single word. Love. This caught Robin's attention. Will was in love? No, it could not be. Robin spent almost every hour of everyday with his men. He would know if Will had a lady somewhere. "I followed you until that last bit. Will does not have a love."
Marian could not help but laugh at Robin, "Oh, you always were so dense. Do not feel wounded; I do not expect you to notice the subtle, stolen glances. These are things that women see. Will is in love with Djaq. He would not betray you or risk hurting her."
Robin still had a hard time seeing what Marian was speaking of. Sure the young man was quite protective of their Saracen, but that was Will. He protected those around him. He certainly did not behave as a person who was smitten. Robin shook his head and focused on the name that had not been mentioned. "And then there was one." Robin let out a shaky breath and looked up with the eyes of a small child, "I do not know what to do."
Marian took a deep breath and kissed Robin softly on the lips. It was a gentle, nurturing touch meant to take all of his pain away. She finally broke off the kiss only to pull him down to lie beside her in bed. "Tonight you rest. Tomorrow we will find out what Allan has told our little friends."
She had no idea how tempting she was; how beautiful she looked in the candle light with her soft flowing curls resting against her cheek and down her back. She had a way of looking so innocent and yet so enticing. He was not sure if he could lay with her without trying to be too bold. "Marian I should go." He tried to get up, but underestimated Marian's strength as she held him down. He always underestimated her, she was after all the Nightwatchman not some weak little girl, "but you said earlier that if they find me here you will be punished. I cannot allow that."
She looked deep into his eyes, their faces mere centimeters apart, "then we must make sure that they do not find you." She said simply, "Robin, you always take care of me. For one night let me protect you. Let me give you this one thing."
His eyes were wide with shock. He could not believe what she was saying. Was his Marian, his rose, offering herself to him. How should he respond? Should he be a gentleman and refuse? How could he refuse her? God, she was beautiful.
Marian started to giggle and said mockingly, "Is the Great Robin Hood speechless? I promise not to let any harm come to you. Now, sleep."
"Sleep. Right." He sighed, of course, sleep was what she had in mind. He almost felt disappointed, but he was far too exhausted to even think about it.