Isabella screamed for the guards to close the gates as she saw a man holding her old friend in a firemans lift. The men successfully got away when the gates closed. Most of them followed Victoria's saviour into the woods Much and John went on to deliver the livestock.
When Victoria regained consciousness and saw her hero, he was smiling at her. Robin and Guy were sat either side of him. Robin looked so angry but when he saw her eyes open he couldn't help but smile. She studied the three men, both Guy and Robin looked like the man but not like each other. "Hi, I'm Archer. You were lucky there Victoria." He grinned at her.
"Thank you, cousin." Was all she could say. He put his hand on hers and she looked at Robin, "Do not be angry Robin, they knew you were there and attacked you. It was not your fault."
Robin grunted and said "If it hadn't been for Archer you would have… It's not even worth thinking about."
"Where is Allan?" She sat up straight.
"We sent him on an errand. He was pacing and annoying us. Everyone is OK we all got out. Much and John have gone to give the people back their livestock." Answered Guy.
They heard noises and Will's voice. "Robin, I think there is something wrong with Will." She said it in such a caring way that Robin smiled and nodded.
They then heard Kate's voice. She burst through the trees and grasped Victoria, "I thought we'd lost you."
"It takes more than that to get rid of me." She smiled but spluttered as she spoke.
Will smiled at her and Robin asked whether he could speak with him.
After a long while they heard the booming tones of John's voice joined by Tuck's and Much's. They walked towards the gathering group and smiled. Much ran up to Victoria and hugged her. "I'm so sorry." He whispered, "I realised while you were hanging how much you really mean to all of us, to me." She stroked his face and hugged him.
John placed his hand on her head and said "You gave us a mighty scare, lass."
Allan's voice could be heard meters away from their group. "Is she OK? Is she-" He cut his own sentence when he saw her. Wide awake with only a red mark around her neck to show what had happened to her. He fell to his knees by her side, grabbed her arms and pulled her towards his face. He let go of her arms and stroked her hair while she held his back their lips locked together. They stayed this way for enough time to make it uncomfortable for everyone else. When they let go of each other they both gasped for breath. "I love you." Was the only thing Allan said in his next breath. She smiled and said "Not as much as I love you." She laughed and they had another long kiss.
Will and Robin walked together away from the long reuniun. "What is wrong Will? Why are you here?"
"I came to warn you. That there have been rumours that the Sheriff isn't dead."
"Is that it? We already heard about these from Victoria."
"I also came to warn you. Do not turn on your own men. They live only for you and the people."
"What do you mean Will?"
He turned to look at Robin. "You will know when the time comes. I was told to warn you by an old man wearing a hood. I was worried so I came to see what the situation was like here. It looks like you have it all under control. Even Victoria, who I wad most worried about. Now I have to return to my wife. I'll say "hello" for you. Goodbye Robin Hood and good luck."
Robin smiled and shock his old friends hand, "Goodbye Will."
Robin watched his old friend swagger away. He walked back to the group and moved Victoria back to the camp. Archer had already left when Robin returned giving a feeble excuse to why. Allan stayed by her side all night. When Victoria woke up it was so early in the morning the dew was still fresh on the grass. She walked up the hill towards Will's tribute to his father. She could hardly walk up the hill, her near death experience had hurt her more than she could imagine.
Someone behind her hugged her back. "Why didn't you wake me up?" whispered Allan, he smelled of dirt and grease but she loved it. "You were fast asleep I didn't want to wake you." She turned to look at him and he stared at her neck. "Allan." She sat him down and murmured, "I can't do this anymore. I'm so sorry. I almost died yesterday. I cannot live the rest of my life being paranoid, it would only bring you all down." He held her and whispered "No, not yet." she answered, "I'm so sorry. I love you but I can love you from a quiet village somewhere were nobody knows my name. I can't stay here and hurt you anymore. Please forgive me."
He sighed and said, "You have no reaon to apologise, but you have to promise to keep in touch." She nodded.
That day she packed her things and they let her go. "Where will you go?" Asked Guy.
"I know people. People who will look after me. I will miss you all." She hugged each man and woman in turn and whispered a thanks or a good luck. She then sighed tears choking her throat and let Allan put her on a horse before kissing him and saying goodbye.
They watched her ride away and felt the same feeling that one gets when they have lost a family member.
Thank you for all your reviews I do take them on board. I hope you will read the sequal "Illegal Love". Thank you! Splish xxx