"Will, Will, wake up."
It had been a whole day and Djaq saw no change in Elenora. Will had his arms on Elenora's bed, gently on her arm, fast asleep. He had not moved the whole time and Marian thought it best to wake him and force-feed him if necessary. Marian shook him slightly and he rose groggily from his sleep.
A small smile crept across face but quickly vanished when he saw her lying still as stone. He turned to Marian who gestured towards a tray of bread, cheese and water.
"I thought you might be hungry. You haven't eaten in a while."
He shook his head and clutched Elenora's white hand. Marian frowned and knelt beside him.
"Will, when she wakes up she'll want you to stay with her, you need to eat now to keep your strength up."
"She won't. She'll want me far away so she can move on with her life. I need to stay with her now, because I'm finding the strength to walk away."
"You are just going to abandon her? After all she did for you? You are a coward Will Scarlett."
Will stood facing a very angry Marian.
"What else would you have me do? This is the best thing I can do for her."
"No this is the best thing you can do for yourself. Why won't you fight for her? Is it true what she said, that you love Djaq instead?"
"It's not about—"
Alan came rushing through the door.
"You're not going to believe who's here."
"Your majesty, I beg you, what are you doing here?"
Marian, Will and Alan rushed into the great hall to find the gang assembled along with many of the Aquitaine guards. A figure in a long hooded cloak turned around.
"I may ask you the same question Robin of Locksley."
The entire room fell to their knees. There in all her glory stood Eleanor, Queen of Aquitaine. Her garb far superior, dark brown hair tightly pulled under her crown in a bun. She shed her cloak and walked towards Robin, gesturing for him to rise.
"It was my understanding that you were a man of the forest, not one to be in possession of Nottingham castle."
"A recent development your majesty, I assure you. Your men were a great help when we ran the Sherriff out."
"Ran him out? Do you mean to say the serpent is still free?"
"Yes your majesty. We have yet to pursue him. We have been dealing with a more pressing matter."
Before Robin could explain Eleanor spotted Djaq among the group.
"You, young Saracean woman. I owe you and apology for being so rude when you came to my castle. I did not mean to treat you so stubbornly, however my son John had me under watch and I could not give you the help you sought until I was free."
Djaq bowed lowly and stepped back next to Alan. Eleanor's face brightened.
"Speaking of help. Where is my granddaughter, I thought to see her amongst your company."
Robin gulped and stepped forward wearing a morbid expression. Eleanor's lip tightened.
"Why are you looking at me like that Robin? Where is she?"
"The matter more pressing your majesty."
Robin led a flustered Queen to Elenora's room where Mary and June were attending to her wound. Eleanor's firm facial expression broke as she knelt down next to her granddaughter.
"What happened?" she growled.
"The Prince of France your highness. He came here a week ago. Somehow it was decided with your son's consent that the two would marry here in Nottingham. The Sherriff tried to kill some of my men and she saved them and Philippe kidnapped her. The wounds are the Prince's doing."
Robin hated seeing the princess like this. If it weren't for him asking for Richard's help, then she would have never come here. Marian wrapped her arm around his waist, stroking his back soothingly.
"Where is the scoundrel?"
Will stepped forward.
"He is dead your majesty. He went to finish off Elenora when she was trying to capture the Sherriff and I killed him."
The Queen nodded, still staring at her granddaughter.
"Sir Derek. Make ready my carriage. Make sure it is fit for the princess's journey. We must leave immediately. Send word to my physician to tell him we are coming."
Sir Derek left the room immediately. Will couldn't breathe. Leave? Wasn't this what he wanted? For her to be with her family and safe from the destruction that came to her in his care? Why did it hurt this much?
All eyes turned to Will. The Queen rose.
"What did you say?"
"With all due respect your majesty, no. She cannot be moved. You cannot take her."
"Robin, what is the meaning of this? Have your men no respect for authority?"
Robin put his hand on Will's shoulder. Not in comfort, but in allegiance.
"Your majesty, Will is the most loyal of my men. He speaks only because he cares. He is also right. She needs to remain here until she is well. The journey would only make her condition worse."
"She needs a physician."
Djaq stepped forward and the Queen eyed her cautiously.
"Your majesty, I have done all that can be done for her. Another physician will tell you that the best thing for her now is rest."
The Queen looked flustered and eyed the room. She straightened her shoulders.
"My son Richard seems to trust you with his life Robin of Locksley. I trust you with my granddaughter's. Now seeing as I am to stay here I shall unpack. You, big bear."
She looked pointedly at John who turned a beetroot red.
"You may help me with the heavy lifting."
She smiled a defeated smile and swept out of the room with John in tow. The rest filed out of the room leaving Will and Marian once again.
"You are a man of few words Will Scarlett, but the few you speak contradict. You say you want Elenora gone; yet you fight the Queen of England for her to stay. I hope you know what you're fighting for."
Marian left the room and Will moved towards the princess's bed. He placed his hand on her cheek and stroked it with his thumb.
Much and Mary had retreated to a small corridor at the other end of the castle. Mary stood next to the window watching a flag flap in the window.
"Mary? You've been sort of quiet since we told you."
Mary breathed out.
"Not everyone has to express every emotion as it comes into their head Much."
Much stepped back. Mary turned and her face softened.
"Oh I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be so rude to you. I just don't know what to do."
Much moved towards her slowly and placed his arms round her waist pulling her towards him gently. Mary leant her head against his chest and wrapped her arms around him. Much kissed the top of her head nervously and she giggled.
"You always know how to make me feel better."
Much clung to her tighter.
"I'm sorry if I'm a goof sometimes, I just never know what to say."
"I think you do it perfectly."
Much smiled and rocked her slowly.
Big thankyou to Gaia (btw very amazing. I was thinking of leaving Philippe til later but your review made me think he needed an end. ) Alex Joleta ( yay I'm so happy you're enjoying my story I love hearing that haha)
To all those who read a big thankyou
Again thoughts and comments on how much more of the story you'd like?