Stupid. I was a fool for letting him go on that trip. Now here he lies before me with a bloody arm. "I'm an idiot," I say. "I'm a complete idiot—" Robin cuts me off. "Stop that." He demands. "You couldn't have stopped me from going with the clan anyways." I grit my teeth together in an un-lady like fashion. "I should punch you," I spit at him. "But I can't since your injured…because of me!" Robin rolls his eyes. "It's not your—ah, Maria that hurts." I set the blood-soaked rag down into the water bowl. I watch with interest as red swirls into the clear, cool water.

"What exactly happened?" I question him as I put another rag on his wound. "It was an animal, princess." Robin says to me. "I had to defend the clan." I bite my lip. "Ha! And I suppose you were the only one to volunteer to be killed by some wild beast! Typical you," I then order him to remove his black leather jacket and shirt. "Not a problem," He snickers. "Robin De Noir, do you really think that this is the time to joke with me?" He nods his head innocently. "Well it's not. In fact, it's the complete opposite."

I pour medicine on his wound, making him gasp out in pain. "What was that?" He hisses, clenching his fists together. "To help it heal," I simply reply with a smile. He looks up at me with a grin. "If you don't mind me asking, I need to go to the clan meeting this afternoon—" I put my finger over his soft lips. "This is not the time to ask me that, bird boy." I snap.

"Well, I have to go, princess."

"Oh, no you're not!"

He moves his chestnut curls away from his deep chocolate eyes. "Come here." He says, making me bend down to him. He puts his face close to mine. "You are my best friend, not my body guard. It's my job to worry about you, not vice versa." I stand straight and furrow my eyebrows together. "So you're basically saying that I can't worry about you?" I ask him.

"Pretty much, princess. I'm a grown man." I slap him with his wet rag playfully. "Grown man—I'd beg to differ. You're only seventeen." Robin asks me to tie his bandage. "Let's go to dinner." He says. I grasp his muscled arm to help him up and out of bed. "Don't tear anything," I worry myself to him. "I can't mend that."

Robin covers my eyes with a blindfold as he guides me to the place where we're dining. "I now know how a blind person feels." I say, feeling around. "Don't do that, you'll make me trip." He says. "I swear to God if you trip on me, I will do some nasty things to your pretty boy face." I hiss. "Me-ow, princess. I won't trip on you." He replies to my aggressive tone. "How much longer will we travel? And why are we outside? And why is it windy? And when do I get to see—" Robin shushes me quickly. "No more questions; you might blow yourself up."

I chuckle at this comment. "I'll blow you up if you don't get there in a matter of seconds." He gasps. "Oh, then I must carry you before your drop a grenade upon my hat." Always with the stupid bowler hat of his…I think to myself. "Woah!" I cry as he sweeps me off of my feet. "Put me down!" I yell, laughter taking place of my annoyance. Robin runs quickly and nimbly until he reaches our destination. He removes my blindfold and lets my eyes behold upon the most beautiful sight I would ever hope to see.

It was a valley with a small meadow. But not any ordinary meadow—one with wildflowers as far as the naked eye could see, looming trees casting shadows down on us, and a breeze that carried the scent of fresh honey and dewdrops. Robin takes my hand and leads me to a small weeping willow tree beside a large fishpond. "What do you call this place?" I ask him in amazement. "I call it…Sunset Valley. It's the best place to watch the sun go down in summer."

I gaze at the blazing sun, still far up in the sky. "You didn't have to do this," I say in a light, airy voice. "I wanted to." Robin says with a smile. We set up our picnic under the weeping willow tree. Robin's brought my favorite food; jelly, for me to eat. For himself, he's brought an apple with a jar of Mrs. Heliotrope's homemade peanut butter. We let our feet blissfully rest in the water as we eat and talk.

"When you were in London, did you have any… boys you liked?" Robin asks me with a mischievous grin. "Oh, yes." I reply. "I had many. I went out with one for a bit, then we split when he found I liked someone else." Robin spreads peanut butter onto his apple. "Oh." I look at him and laugh. "I'm just kidding, Robin!" He nods. "I knew." I nudge my elbow into his side. "Did you really?"

He nods again. "It's getting hot." He's right. I can feel the sun frying the skin on my back. "What do we do, then? Go home?" I ask him. "No, no. We swim." He replies. "Swim where?" I ask him. "Right here." Robin says to me. "Right here in the pond."

"You're crazy."

"No, I'm not."

"Yes you are! I don't even have swimwear."

"Who cares? Just swim in that."

"This is brand new!"

"Don't be such a girl."

"How can I not be what I already am?"

Robin shrugs his shoulders. "Please?" He asks me, giving me puppy eyes. "I'm not giving in," I struggle with that attempt and fail. "Oh, alright! But you're taking the blame when Mrs. Heliotrope wonders what happened to the new dress I'd just purchased yesterday." He takes off his shirt, hat and jacket, and then plunges into the water. I see his beautiful face emerge from the water. "Aren't you coming in?" He asks me. "I think I'll sit here." I say.

"No, come in." He says. "Make me." I reply, which wasn't a good response at all. He grabs my wrists and pulls me into the water. I scream and flail my arms in the water, but Robin holds me close. "Stop freaking out," He says with a laugh. "How could I not?" I hiss at him. "There are other beasts in this pond besides you!" This comment makes him laugh. "You amuse me, Maria Merryweather." I give him a confused look. "You amuse me too?"

He laughs again, and then twirls me in the smooth water. "Don't…don't put me down." I say shakily. "I won't." Robin replies, and tightens his grip around my waist. I cautiously rest my head on his broad shoulder. "You feel cold." He points out. "Maybe we should get out." I stop him quickly. "No, no. I'm not cold." I say. That was a lie…I am cold but he…he makes me warm. We stay holding each other for about a minute when I break the tension. "The sun is setting!" I alert and we both climb out the water, dripping wet.

"Ohhh," I say as the sun sinks down slowly, half of it already hidden below the horizon. "It's so beautiful." I look to Robin and gasp softly. "You're bleeding again." I say. I touch the hot, scarlet blood on his arm; it stains my finger. "I don't care." Robin says. "You're all the medicine I need." I gasp at his words, for they touch me.

"That was probably the sweetest thing you've ever said to me, bird boy." I say. "Is that too odd for you?" He asks me. "No, of course not. I like a kind gentlemen." The moment turns awkward when his hand magically appears upon mine. I try to ignore it and watch the sun splatter colors all over the sky like a toddler painting for the first time. My attempt fails; they always seem to. My cheeks flush a wild rose color and my body temperature heats up like a sauna.

I don't want this to end, but it's freaking me out. I think. I need to act.