Part 55 & 56 / Part 57 & 58 / Part 59 & 60
"Antoinette...are you alright"? She could hear the distant voice plea. Slowly she opened her eyes feeling a strong hand holding hers, gently patting the back of it.
"Robin" she whispered.
"He hasn't returned yet from the hunt my darling. But it is you I am concerned about. Are you ill" concern emanating from William's eyes.
They were still in the rose garden but William had managed to get her to a nearby bench under a rose covered trellis. He rubbed her small hand watching her facial expressions intently.
"I am fine William, but Robin..." she paused thinking in confusion about what she had just witnessed. She sat upright with Williams assistance rubbing her forehead.
"You had another vision didn't you"? William asked seeing the look in her eyes.
The strain to remember every detail that he had seen so many times before. Without directly answering his question, she began to recount what she had seen "I saw Robin shot directly in the chest with an arrow William. It was buried halfway up the shaft" she whispered.
Williams eyes dropped to the ground. He knew his wife's visions were never wrong. "They have yet to return the body" he said softly.
"No...William...he lives" she exclaimed looking directly into her husband's eyes, confusion apparent. "I saw him pull the arrow from his chest and return it to his quiver. He remounted his horse and rode away"!
"Darling...that’s not possible" William said, a gentle smile slowly curving his lips "Perhaps you misinterpreted what you saw".
"Don’t patronize me William"! and with that she leapt to her feet eyes glaring at the man who was seated next to her. She stomped out of the garden heading for her sitting parlor where she went every time she wished to be left alone. William sighed leaning back on the bench. It was going to be a long day.
Robin remained on one knee awaiting Count DeMarco's response to Robin's pledge.
"Fine...fine" the Count exclaimed laughing loudly. The other hunters gasped with surprise most of them aware that this was William's relative and that there was no love loss between William and the Count.
"So many reasons to celebrate today. I have acquired a large stag and a new servant" he said deliberately listing the stag first. "Arise Robin, let us return to my castle and begin the celebration".
As Robin rose to his feet, Count DeMarco noticed the blood stain on the front of his tunic and at the whole in the fabric. "But wait-you are injured"
Robin was shocked to see the genuine surprise on the older mans face. It was then that he realized his plan was a sound one. There was at least one other party involved in this consipracy against his Great-grandparents and he had to find out who. He would have to keep up this cherade long enough to discover the force behind this figure head.
Robin smiled at the Count and shook his head. "Just a scratch Milord" brushing away the remark.
"Excellent! Then let the festivities begin" the count remarked obviously in very good spirits.
As the hunting party headed towards the Counts castle, Robin felt confident that after all concerned had had their fill of food and wine and dozed off into an alcohol induced slumber. He would have his opportunity to search the castle and procure a clue revealing the identity to the master mind.
By the time they arrived at the castle, the sun had set and the air had a damp chill. The Count had sent some of his servants ahead to notify his staff to set up for his party and begin to prepare the venison. It was to be a fine evening for certain and the Count had every intention of making the most of it.
He was determined to test Robin's skills to see just how powerful he was. More powerful then himself indeed. Surely Aurora was mistaken.
Robin was very impressed with the size and grandeur of the Counts residence.
Colorful flags and banners hung from every turret, the inner keep beautifully maintained. Not at al what one would associate with black magic. But Robin could feel the darkness, the negative energy vibrating off of every castle wall. Despite the Counts efforts to mask his intent, the vibrations were strong and Robin shuddered as the cold waves passed over him. DeMarco noticed this and how pale Robin had grown since their arrival.
"Are you sure you are well Robin"? he repeated.
"A bit tired perhaps" the outlaw conceded with a forced smile.
"I will have my servants show you to your quarters. Perhaps after you have rested and bathed you will better be able to enjoy the evenings festivities," he smiled at Robin but it was an evil smile and again Robin shuddered.
"I will also have my servant bring you a fresh tunic" he said again eyeing the stain in bewilderment.
"Thank you milord" and as they rode up to the front door Robin was escorted inside and up the stairs by an older woman who talked a blue streak as she hurried him along. As they entered the spacious chamber, Robin couldn’t help but notice the rich beauty of the room. The brocade rug, the beautiful tapestry hanging over the warm fireplace. But despite the warm coziness of his surroundings, the darkness began closing in on Robin. The pureness of evil fighting its way in leaving him light headed. Robin grabbed the mantle over the fireplace as the room began to spin and he closed his eyes against the cold waves of dizziness.
"Milord...are ye alright"? the chambermaid asked rushing to his side.
"Fine" Robin mumbled, "Just a bit tired and cold"
But as the older woman assisted him to the bed it became more and more intense as if every wall was closing in on him until it became almost unbearable. As Robin closed his eyes he could distinctly hear a voice call to him, echoing in his mind.
"Welcome to the dark side Robin Hood"
And he knew he had found what he was searching for.
End of Part 57
By Shelly Quinn
"Who are you?" Robin asked, as he struggled to sit up.
The chamber maid was surprised by the question. "Hilda, my lord," she replied. She could see that the handsome young man was distraught. Hilda tried to press him down to the mattress but he shoved her aside.
Robin was not aware of rising to his feet. In his mind he was dreaming, lost in black mists. But there was the voice, the one that welcomed him. "Who are you?" Robin asked again.
"I am Aurora," whispered the voice. "Your new mistress, Robin Hood."
"No!" he shouted, then Robin covered his eyes as there was a flash of blinding light.
Hilda screamed and ran from the room to fetch her master.
Robin opened his eyes and gasped. Before him stood a beautiful woman. Coal black hair fell to her knees and her skin was pale as alabaster. Her eyes were dark as well, black as night. There was not whites to her eyes, yet within them danced a flame. "What are you?" Robin questioned, as he fought against a wave of dizziness that made his knees buckle.
"I am the darkness within the light, Robin," Aurora replied. She glided across the room and caught his arm, supporting Robin's weight, effortlessly.
"Why have you shown yourself to me?" Robin countered, as he tried to pull away from Aurora's touch. It was like ice. Yet, suddenly it warmed and white-fire flooded Robin's veins.
Aurora let one hand lift and her fingers tangled in Robin's silky hair. "You have pledged yourself to me, Robin Hood," she whispered. "I have come to welcome you."
Robin tried to push Aurora's hand from his hair but her fingers were tangled in the thick strands. "I have pledged myself Count DeMarco's servant," he declared. "And only because I lost the wager we made. I swear no allegiance to you."
"Ah...but the Count is my servant," Aurora drawled. "Since he belongs to me and you belong to him, then you are mine Robin."
"I serve the light," Robin insisted, but his words were soft as a whisper. He felt Aurora's body press against him, felt her chest against his, then her lips brushed his cheek. A heart beat later she claimed his mouth, and Robin was helpless against her passion, for it merged to become his own. He desired her as he had no other woman before her. Robin moaned deep in his throat. When her hands brushed over his body and he realized he was content. Then Aurora was beside him, he found himself lying on the bed. He felt her bare skin against his.
Aurora smiled as she slid over Robin, joining their bodies, uniting their passion and their spirit. She cried out in ecstasy as they exploded as one and the echo of their pleasure lingered in the air. "You belong to me now, Robin," Aurora whispered, as she kissed his sweet lips.
Robin tried to answer, but the words wouldn't
come. He wanted to deny Aurora's claim, but his body had betrayed him,
and his heart soon followed. So his answer was the heat of his kiss as
he claimed union with Aurora once more.
Count DeMarfco was not pleased when the chambermaid, Hilda, came screaming into the great hall. She fell to her knees before him, fingers clutching at his ankles. "What is it, woman?" the Count spat, shaking her off his leg.
"Spirits...master..." Hilda replied. "Demons. The young lord is possessed."
"What?" DeMarco was on his feet, fingers curling around Hilda's arm as he yanked her up with him. "What are you talking about?" he demanded. "What demons?" But in that moment he heard the echo of a cry in his head and understood. Flinging Hilda aside, DeMarco ran for the stairs. He entered Robin's bedchamber, letting the door crash into the wall. The Count searched the room and he saw Robin's breeches and tunic lying on the floor. Turning towards the bed, DeMarco caught his breath. Robin lay in the center with only a sheet draped over his lower body. His skin was sheened with sweat, his dark hair tumbled over the white pillows, and his eyes were closed. A shimmer of light seemed to emanate from him. A softly glowing luminescence of silverblack flames.
DeMarco knew the look of a sated man. There was no woman in the bed now, but he knew who had been there. He fell to his knees then screamed,
End of part 58
Part 55 & 56 / Part 57 & 58 / Part 59 & 60
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