Aurora felt the passion overwhelming her as well. As the Queen of Darkness she found it necessary to take a mate every year. With new blood she had seen her share come and go as she saw fit. But never had her body reacted to the ritual as Robin's had caused her to react.
Robin slowly opened his eyes, the deep pools of brown reflecting the same bright flames that burned inside of her eyes. He knew what was happening was wrong...very wrong yet could not pull himself away. Yearned for it as if being addicted to a habit forming drug. He reached up and wrapped his hands around the back of her neck pulling her down on him, finding her lips with his and claiming them again for his own. He felt as if his blood was on fire with a desire that took possession of his very soul.
Count DeMarco slowly regained consciousness and as he raised his head was taken back by the intense glow emanating over Robins bed. He could feel the burning in his own veins as he felt the deep passion flow from them, even though he was just a few feet away. He rose to see actual flames engulfing the couple. They were so enamored, they were unaware of his presence. Never had the Count seen such fire and venom in her, when he had made love to the Queen. At first he was angry, then afraid remembering the Queens reaction when he interfered before and seeing the power exchanged between the two of them, he felt it better to just slip away with his life.
William entered the room to see Antoinette lying on the bed moaning and squirming around. He ran to her side as she opened her eyes and gasped in horror at what he saw. Flames burned deep in her eyes as well and she reached up and grabbed his hair pulling him towards her. Her touch was hot as fire.
She held onto him, he struggled to release her grip, but it was to strong. Suddenly she released him, exhausted, she fell on the bed. She slipped into a deep sleep almost immediately. William rose up on one elbow also exhausted, he felt weakened. It was as if, she drained all of his strength. He sat there wondering what had just transpired.
"Antoinette, wake up" he called
She turned her head and opened her eyes for a moment and whispered to her husband, "My name is not Antoinette, it is Aurora" then fell back into a deep sleep.
"Aurora"? But William knew by the fire in her eyes that something was very wrong and that what he had just witnessed at Count DeMarco's had a lot to do with it. "My God" he whispered backing away from his wife, "Not you too".
The sun rose the next morning and Robin awoke feeling more tired then when he had went to bed last night. Every muscle ached and he felt the kind of hunger one experiences after putting in a full days work. He stood up and stretched looking pleased to see the tub full of warm water and knew that would help his muscles immensely. As he sunk into the warm waters he thought back over last nights events and mid-motion realized that he remembered walking into the castle with Count DeMarco and thinking of how he would investigate who was behind the problems with his Great-grandparents, then that was all he remembered. Next thing he was waking up in bed. "Am I ill"? he wondered? He didn’t remember passing out, yet here he was.
"I will have to inquire of the Count what happened" he thought sliding back down in the water when the door opened and a serving wench walked in with a tray of food.
Robin quickly covered himself with a piece of linen and inquired of the Counts whereabouts.
"He be in the garden milord, but he requests you finish your breakfast and leave the castle immediately" she said with a stiff but polite curtsey. "Leave? I thought I was here for a years servitude?" he said talking more to himself "What happened last night"?
And he hurriedly finished washing and dressed
and headed down to the garden to try to piece together what had actually
transpired the evening before.
The end of Part 61
By Shelly Quinn
Robin searched the garden and found Count DeMarco by the fountain. "My lord," Robin offered in greeting.
The Count stepped away from the younger man, fearing glimmering in his eyes and shuddering through his body. A body that had aged over night. For the count knew that Aurora was no longer his Queen. And so his mortality was creeping up on him. And with it came fear. Fear of Robin, who's powers were far greater than anything the Count had ever know. Greater even, he sensed, than Aurora's. "You may go, Robin Hood," he whispered. "You are free of servitude."
"Count!" Robin gasped, as he gazed at the other man. DeMarco now looked to be a hundred years old, his skin creased with lines and sagging, eyes faded, hair pure white. "What has happened to you?" Robin beseeched, feeling pity for the man who had been his enemy just hours ago.
"LEAVE ME!" the count roared, then he choked on his own fury. "You have destroyed me, Robin Hood.." he wheezed. "Now leave me in peace. I shall not bother William or Antoinette. Now go....please."
Robin was more confused than ever, but did
as the Count bid him. He knew the other man was dying and so posed no more
threat to William. That thought in mind, Robin ran to the stables and mounted
his horse. A moment later he was riding back to Loxley. Back home.
Antoinette was waiting for Robin, her hair flowing loose and dressed in a white gown. Her eyes glowed with hunger as she approached him. "I've been waiting for you," she whispered, her hands gliding over Robin then sliding into his hair. Her fingers tightened in his sable locks, drawing his head down to claim a kiss.
Robin fought to break Antoinette's hold on him. She was a married woman, and his great, great grandmother no less. "No!" he hissed. "Don't do this, Antoinette. Please!" But to Robin's surprise her strength was more than a match for his own. Her mouth was over his, touching his lips.
William stood on a balcony, watching the scene below. He could see Robin struggling against his wife and knew that the boy was not the one betraying him. It was Antoinette. She was possessed by evil, an evil that made William's skin crawl. So it was, with tears in his eyes, that William raised a bow and sighted down and arrow. Then he let the arrow fly.
Antoinette screamed as the arrow impacted in her flesh, she stiffened against Robin, then went limp. He caught her in his arms and lowered her to the ground. Antoinette felt blood trickle from between her lips as she stared up at Robin's beautiful face. "Do not believe that history cannot.....cannot be rewritten..." Antoinette whispered. "You can....make your own...history, Robin. I only wish....I could have been....by .....your side."
"No..." Robin hissed, as he supported Antoinette against him. She couldn't die. If she did then history would die with her and he would never be able to see his friends again. Robin heard her words about rewriting history, but they made no sense to him. "Antoinette...don't die," he begged. But even as he spoke, Robin saw the light fade from her eyes and she sagged in his arms.
"It's over," William whispered. He had run down from the balcony to make certain his wife was dead. Now he locked eyes with Robin. "I shall wed upon the morrow," William announced.
Robin was stunned. He lay Antoinette down upon the cold stone and rose to his feet, unmindful of the blood that stained his hands as he lunged forward to grab William's arm when he would have walked away. "You've killed your wife!" Robin hissed, eyes flashing. "And now you speak of marrying another? How could you? You have destroyed my future. My life is gone because of you!" Robin felt anger rush over him like a giant wave, crashing down and drowning him.
William glared at Robin. "I care not about the future!" he snarled. "I live only for today. Tomorrow I wed Antoinette's twin sister, Abigail. She is the one who will give me my heir. She is the mother of your future, Robin." With that William pulled away from the younger mans grasp and walked off.
"Twin sister," Robin whispered to himself, in the moment before oblivion claimed him.
Robin lay gripped in the fever of Aurora's passion. She came to him each night, laying claim to his body and his soul. He could not fight her for he desired her. She absorbed his light..and his will. He was her slave. But weaving through the dark flames, chasing away the shadows, was a soft light. A golden glimmer that was like a cool touch. Robin sought it's comfort, clung to it as if it were a hand reaching out to save him. And so it was he opened his eyes to find himself staring into Jade colored eyes. "Who are you?" Robin whispered, hearing weakness in his voice and hating it.
"I am Abigail," said the young woman, a smile lighting up her face. A pretty face, but not beautiful. Golden brown hair fell to his hips in two, thick braids, and she wore a yellow gown.
"Antoinette's sister..." Robin breathed.
Abigail nodded. "Yes. Her twin." She smiled as Robin's eyes flickered over her, knowing what he was thinking. "We do not look alike," she said softly. "Antoinette was fire and ice. I'm just a soft ember."
Robin felt her hand in his hair and knew that her touch was the one that had saved him from the darkness. "William wishes to marry you," he declared.
"He already did," Abigail replied. "A fortnight ago, young Robin."
"What?" Robin made to rise but his muscles quivered and would not support him. "But...that cannot be..." he hissed.
Abigail soothed him with a damp clothe, brushing it over his fevered skin. "You have been ill Robin. We thought you might die. At least William feared so." She smiled as her fingers stroked through his thick hair. Abigail loved how soft it felt, like warm silk. Her touch was not passionate, however. It was maternal. A mother's love for a child, for she knew who Robin was. Knew it even as her sister had known, for the one thing they shared was the gift of visions. Abigail's powers were even stronger than Antoinette's. "I knew you would live."
Robin closed his eyes only to feel fire burn within him. He knew that Aurora was coming for him. "No more..." Robin whispered.
"You can defeat Aurora," Abigail said softly. She watched Robin's eyes flicker open then she reached out to brush her fingertips across his cheek. "You have the power to defeat the darkness, Robin. You are the light. And when you have claimed the darkness for your own, then you can return home, child."
"Home?" Robin echoed, wondering if she meant what he hoped. "To my time?" he queried, eyes glimmering with hope.
Abigail nodded. "Yes. But first you must make the darkness a part of you, Robin. Only then can you find your way home. Do you understand?"
Robin wanted to say *yes*, but he couldn't. Nothing made sense. "I'm sure," he replied. "But...I wan't to go home."
"Give yourself to Aurora," Abigail beseeched. "Freely...and you will find the light within the darkness, Robin. And you will be home."
"Home..." Robin whispered, as his eyes closed
and darkness claimed him once more.
End of part 62
Part 61 & 62 / Part 63 & 64 / Part 65 & 66
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