"That is not good enough!" Guy shrieked as he stabbed his dagger into the wooden door frame. All of his finest men were assembled in the hall to create a plan to get his darling wife back away from those lawless creatures. "I want her here, and I want her now. I have had enough of your mistakes!" He forced the blade into another hole. "You have failed me a thousand times to find Hood, and I should not have ever given you men another chance. But this mission is the most important one your miserable lives will hold. And so help me if that child is harmed…" The lump in his throat had elevated so high that it choked out the rest of his words. He pointed to the latest plan and ordered them to go. Clinks of metal rang through the hall as men dashed to the courtyard to ride into Sherwood Forest.
This was the most vulnerable moment Sir Guy of Gisborne had experienced since his father's exile. He found it impossible to trace in his mind if it ever hurt this badly to want to cry. He wanted nothing more than to turn the entire forest to ash and vaporize any chance of Hood escaping his fate for this. But he was still sane enough to realize that, although he would flush out his nemesis for sure, he ran the risk of burning his wife and child into the smoldering remains of the woods. He would not let his own hands be soiled with the rich red blood of the one he loved ever again.
Robin, Allan, and Lacie finally approached the edge of the woods. The gleam of the sun was just beginning to play over the edges of Nottingham castle which loomed on the horizon. They had left in the very early hours of the morning to arrive in time for sunrise to ensure their safety. The Lady of Locksley was looking so forward to lying in her feather down blankets again, she couldn't wait to wrap herself up in lush warmth and smell her husband as he stroked her hair. It all seemed so close… But she couldn't shake the lecture Robin and the gang gave her. Between the rumors of the people and the bandits' need to vow her child's protection, she found herself on edge about her return. Seeing that her opportunity was sliding away into the past, she piped up.
"What did you mean he has a past with children?" The men stopped and exchanged awkward looks. "You said Guy had a history. Does he arrest them often?" Allan began to clear his throat, but Hood softly touched his chest and shook his head.
"Lace, I know we disagree on some things. Major things. But you know I would never lie to you, don't you?" Minutely the petite girl nodded her head, signaling him to continue.
"A few years ago, we came into possession of a baby. His name was Seth," The air seemed to grow thicker each time Robin drew in a breath to continue. "And he was the son of one of the chambermaids in Nottingham. We found him, gave him proper care, and returned him to his mother." Lacie clung to each Irish flavored word. "We had found him in the woods, cold and hungry. Clearly… clearly he was left there and no one had plans to get him back."
"I don't see what this has to do with my husband." She mumbled, sliding her feet from the dusty road to the cobbled entrance of the capital town. Allan decided to add his veracity to this tragic tale as he placed a hand on her shoulder blade.
"I met Seth's mum when I was in jail, she came to feed me and said she was missing her son… her son that she had had with… with Gisborne." The female of the bunch cocked her head in displeasure; this was the darkest joke she had ever heard.
"He admitted it, Lace," Robin softly cooed, "He abandoned his illegitimate son in the woods and threw off the mother. We aren't saying he will do it to you, but please, don't be a victim to a wolf in sheep's clothing." She refuted it. Denied it a thousand times over in her mind, but looking into her childhood friend's eyes, she saw nothing but remorse. This could only be the remnants of truth.
Guy felt sick to his bones. He lay in his wife's bed, budding with sweat and fuming of frustration. Needless to say, he hadn't closed his eyes once throughout the night. His soul was jaggedly split between whether or not he should have gone into the thickets himself to find his precious Lacie. Every time he kicked his own head in for not going, he just pictured himself finding her lifeless body somewhere, covered in Hood's arrows or being sprawled out before the laughing outlaw's feet. It would come better to him as news than images.
As this thought played on repeat across his brain, the door to the chamber slinked open. Guy moved only his eyes to catch the motion; nothing could come and hurt him more than the heaviness that already pulled his heart through the soles of his feet to the center of the earth. The disheveled shell of a human that appeared in the doorway could not have possibly looked any more beautiful even if it had been dipped in pure gold. There stood Lacie, hair in knots and hanging freely to the middle of her back with the palest and most worn visage imaginable. Guy had seen soldiers in the Holy Land that looked better rested than her. But his breath was still stolen upon her sight.
He jolted to sit upright and found nothing to say besides her name, over and over. With a thin smile she fell onto the bed and placed her head gently on his lap. They remained in peaceful silence for quite some time before Guy pried into the details – where was she, who did what, is a single skin cell out of place. Lady Gisborne shifted to lie comfortably on her pillows and her devoted husband followed suit; his hand lay on her cheek as his fingers twined her fine hair. She explained how it was all a misunderstanding and how they must honor their past relationship with Robin and keep from retaliation. Guy quickly decided that now was not the time to tell her that, on no uncertain terms, would a single one of those outlaws live another day that was not numbered. Now was the time to rejoice in her safe return. Both, of course, were too exhausted from panic and stress to move or say much at all.
"It was a bit peaceful I have to admit," Lacie began to whisper, "to lie in the forest and think of nothing but this beautiful baby." A contagious grin infected Guy's face, surrounded by unshaven stubble. "And I got to thinking about names. If she's a girl, I would love a Scarlett." Gisborne shut his eyes and imagined the young girl laughing with her mother, all of them in the Sheriff's court of Nottingham.
"It's lovely." He sighed.
"For a boy," she took a long pause, "I think I quite like the name Seth." Gisborne's eyes split open into a gape. She saw his jaw tense and thoughts dash across his forehead.
"No. Never." Was his immediate response, but he knew this would be odd if he didn't add an explanation. Of course, it wouldn't be the truthful one about that wretched whiny child and its annoying mother. He could never justify to her, the woman of serenity, that one of his affairs produced a baby that still lived. "We have to remember, this child will have this name all their life. We should make it very special." And with that, he rolled over to face the other direction. It was a miracle that on the other side of the bed he could not hear the shattering of his wife's heart.