Disclaimer: All the genius (until the Season 2 finale) behind Robin Hood belongs to the incredible legend, BBC, and Tiger Aspect. I have nothing but my new flatscreen tv and a bowl of peanut M&M's so there's no need to sue.

Robin Hood propped himself against the doorframe surveying the lovely yet stubborn woman in front of him. Not wanting to startle Marian he let the toe of his boot connect with a dull thump against the wooden floor and spoke in an amused voice, "You know not once have I stepped foot inside your bedchamber. My only privileged view has been from the window."

"Perhaps you understand the sensitive nature of a woman's private space, which is reason for your non-action," Marian quickly remarked as she stood gazing out into the starry night, not turning to meet his blazing stare.

"Or maybe I have never been invited." Robin paused just a brief second, long enough to realize that he was unable to stop himself from saying his next words. "Unlike Gisbourn," he bit out acidly.

Marian whipped around eyes flashing to face him fully and he immediately regretted bringing up his most hated enemy. When he left his gang downstairs Robin had every intention of making light, somewhat flirty, conversation with Marian, not antagonizing her. But once he saw her beautiful figure wrapped in a silky gauze that he supposed was a dressing gown, jealously spread inside him like wildfire.

"I most certainly did not invite him; he came on his own accord. I highly doubt I have to remind you of the circumstances of his visit that day." Marian retorted forcefully.

"Oh, I remember that day quite well, etched in my memory, that is. Sitting on your window ledge hearing you curse my name to him...you accepted his hand in marriage!" he bellowed. Before he knew it, Robin was one stride away from Marian's post near the window. He registered a look of relief and sadness in her eyes before turning quickly and taking a step or two back toward the doorway.

Pulling his hands frustratingly through his hair he stopped pacing after a minute and looked back helplessly at the raven-haired beauty that was once his. Marian sighed and sat gingerly on the plush stool under the window. At last she spoke softly, "I told you once before that decision was made under duress and I had...have no other choice."

"Please tell me you are not actually entertaining the idea of marrying him, are you? Marian, once King Richard returns we will be all safe to return to our normal lives and Gisbourn's hold over you will be nothing."

She gazed down to her small hands, hands he would give anything to touch and hold him like was once promised. As if reading his mind Marian lifted her eyes to his and said plainly, "I made a promise, Robin. He can protect me from the sheriff."

"I can protect you!" he pleaded taking another step closer.

Marian stood suddenly and raised her hands in question. "By what means? How could you possibly protect me? By running off to the woods and living with your gang?" she lightly laughed.

"If I recall properly, you were not so opposed to the idea a fortnight ago." Robin stated, taken aback.

She grimaced slightly remembering the sour words exchanged between the two that night in the forest. "You said it yourself, the forest is no place for a lady of royal nobility. Ironic how your own words can turn to hurt you, Robin. You would not have me then, what has changed? Because I am now betrothed to someone else? Are you bothered by this?" Marian demanded slipping closer to his rigid form.

"This is maddening! Of course it bothers me! Can you not see?" At her silence he paused to recollect his thoughts and began to pace in front of her once more, "Rightfully you are still mine. The sheriff may have stripped me of my title..."

"Rightfully still yours?" she interrupted heatedly. "I am no man's possession, Locksley. How
dare you speak this way! Our former betrothal, one our fathers made, mind you, was broken the day you left for the Crusades. You had me but you didn't want me, and now I am not available to have and that kills you. You are a selfish and spoiled little boy, Robin."

"It has never been a case of not wanting you," Robin said quietly.

It hurt Marian to hear these words coming from his mouth. The very same mouth that had always eluded and mocked her love. "Do you ever stop to think about the consequences of your decisions?"

"My whole existence is based on consequences. I have to think about the consequences of my actions everyday. This is why I am so reluctant to be near you. What if the sheriff finds out? I cannot let him harm you to get to me. He would use you as bait to lure me out of the woods, and it would work. Marian, you are my greatest weakness and yet my greatest strength. How could you not know? I could have left this place and not lived as an outlaw- an outcast- yet I stay only to be close to you."

Marian turned to face the window to hide the tears now clouding her vision and surprised herself by speaking in an even voice, "You should not be saying such things to a woman engaged."

"You have no ties to Gisbourn, not in my mind and most certainly not in my heart," he spoke softly.

A spark of energy coursed through her body as he laid his hands affectionately on her shoulders, gathering a strand of hair and gently running his fingers down the length. Against her good judgment Marian sank into his touch and silently willed her heart to slow the rapid drumming in her chest. "You are so beautiful, Marian."

Being this close and hearing the sweet words of her secret love was a new kind of torture for Marian. The feelings of absence and longing she long ago mastered, but for him to be so near was heartbreaking on a whole new level. Here they were again, so close yet so far away.

Please review. This is my first posted fic so be easy on me.