By Virginia Cavazos

Part 13

Robin had secretly exercised his leg every day. The leg was healing quickly now. With Will sneaking in some food for him. Robin was able to keep up his strength. He played the starving man to any that visited him. Looking weak and feeble. While after they left he would stretch his leg. Trying to work its strength back. It was four days before the planned wedding, when Robin decided that he was going to do a little exploring.

Elsies visits have become few and far between now. With Robin refusing to eat. It was useless for her to watch after a dying man. Robin waited until she left for the night, before he would take his little walk. She had just left when Robin bolted from the bed. He searched around for something to wear. His suede pants had been cut when the Physician treated Robins broken leg. Robin pulled them over the splint. Robin then checked on the splints strength. Making sure it was secured tight for his clandestine stroll. Walking around the room, he tested the binding, making sure it would hold. He found that there was a small amount of pain, but nothing that he couldn’t cope with. He was sure the splint would do its job. Robin then went to the door, slowly opening it, he stuck his head out, Robin glanced from side to side. No one was in the corridor. Robin stepped out of the room. Using the corridors walls as a crutch. Robin searched for Marion’s room. He had to find her. Tell her what Guy had told him.

Every time Marion was with Robin Elsie was always there. To listen in on there conversation. Robin was never able to warn Marion. As Robin neared a corner he heard footsteps. Opening the nearest door Robin backed up into it. Turning, he found that he was in a large sitting room. Robin searched around for a place to hide. He found one behind a tapestry. Hiding behind the tapestry, Robin waited silently.

Robin held his breath when he heard the door to the room open. He heard two men enter the room. The sound of someone sitting told Robin that whoever was in the room with him. Was going to be there for a while.

"So what do you have for me Ika?" Guy asked.

Robin had to hold back his anger. Ika and Guy were in the same room as him.

"I have much tax money collected Sir Guy. There will be more tomorrow."

"And what of Robin Hood? Have you been sure to let the people know that he was the one stealing the money?" Guy chuckled as he made this statement. Robin clenched his fists. His nails digging into his palms at the intense pressure.

"All have been told that it was Robin Hood that stole the money for himself."

"Excellent Ika. You are a good man. I will be sure to double the money I’m paying you for doing such a wonderful job."

"And when will I be seeing this money?" Ika returned.

"After my marriage to Lady Marion of course."

Robins rage grew when he heard Guy talk of marrying Marion. His fingers now dug deeper into his palms drawing blood.

"And when will that be Lord?" Ika asked curious to know when he would get paid for his work.

"Why by the end of this week. You will be paid in full. I will be married to my true love. And my most hated enemy will be in the hands of Prince John. All in all I think a most wonderful week. Don’t you?’ Guy asked Ika.

"Yes Sir Guy. I will return now to my work. I will expect my money by the end of the week."

"Don’t worry my man. You have more than earned it."

Robin listened carefully as he heard Guy standing from the chair. Then retreating footsteps. The door opening and closing. Sighing Robin pushed the tapestry away. To find Guy standing near it. A smile encompassing his face.
"Well now Fitzsooth. Hiding in my tapestries again? I had thought you’d grown out of that." Guy laughed.

"You will never get away with it." was Robin’s only reply.

"Oh but I already have Fitzsooth. Marion has agreed to marry me. Our wedding is at the end of this week. Of course you would be invited, if Prince John had not been."

Robin started backing away from the tapestry. He had spied a pair of swords hanging on a far wall.

"Now Guy. I would have thought you would have invited me." Robin continued to walk to the wall. "After all. We have known each other since we were children."

Robin walked closer to the swords. Guy, so engrossed in taunting Robin failed to notice Robin was heading toward the swords.

"Really Robin. I would invite you. But I think it would get a little messy with Prince John there. After all you’re really not his favorite person."

"Really?" Robin laughed. "But I’m on the top of his ten most wanted list. That in itself shows how much he likes me."

Reaching for the swords Robin quickly turned and pulled them down. Throwing one on the floor in front of Guy. Robin took his in hand.

Guys laughed heartily. "Oh really Fitzsooth. You expect me to fight you with that. You’re in no condi......." Guy’s words were brought up short when Robin slashed the sharp sword across Guys middle. The buttons on his velvet vest flew off.

"Touché?" Robin laughed, winking at Guy.

Furious, Guy picked up the sword. With a flourish Guy went into the attack. Guy was good with a sword. But Robin had always been better. Even with a broken leg, Robin was able to fend off any attack from Guy. Guy became enraged. His style became more broader as his anger grew. The finesse of sword fighting gone. Guy was forced into defending himself against Robin’s attack. And attack Robin did. He now swore to himself, that he would stop Guy here and now. The Swords rung out with each hit. The exercising Robin secretly did in his room paid off. He was able to push Guy back. Pushing Guy towards a table, Guy fell back. Robin plunged the sword into Guy. Guy rolled off the table, with Robin just missing him. The sword dug into the table. Robin was unable to pull it out. Reaching for a chair, Robin threw it at Guy. Guy ducked, as the chair exploded behind him.

Robin had a look of desperation on him. "I will never allow you to marry Marion Guy. Not as long as I have a breath within me."

"Marion will be mine." Guy gasped out. He was out of breath from the nearness of his death at Robin’s hands. "And you will not stop me."

Guy slashed his sword across. Robin pulled in his stomach, jumping back. The sword just missed marking Robin on his chest. Robin searched around for a weapon. Anything! He thought. Guy was taking his time. Slashing the sword back and forth as Robin backed up.

"So sorry Marion, but Robin tried to get away. My men found him. He put up a hearty battle, but....." Guys smile grew as he neared Robin. Robins back was now up against the tapestry. Reaching up, he tore it down. Throwing it at Guy. The tapestry now covered Guy. Robin ran for the door. As he opened it he fell to the ground as he ran into Master Ika.

"So Robin Hood, we meet again." Ika chuckled.

Robin swung his good leg out. Dropping Ika. Standing, Robin jumped over Ika. He tore down the corridors. Ika, quickly recovering, pursued Robin. Guy followed in their wake. Robin tried to run as fast as his leg would allow. He had to find Marion. Let her know of Guys evil intent. Robin flew down the corridors. Using the walls to aid him in his flight. His leg cried out with each step. He had to ignore the pain. Marion’s safety was in the balance now. As Robin came to the end of the corridor. A long staircase loomed ahead of him. There was no way Robin would be able to go down the stairs in the condition his leg was in. So Robin did the only thing he could think of. Sitting on the railing, he slid down. As he came to the bottom Robin ran towards the courtyard. He had been in Guys castle enough to know where it was.

Ika ran down the stairs. He just saw Robin fleeing into the courtyard. Digging into his vest, Ika pulled something from its interiors.

Robin was in the courtyard now. He had to find Marion. As he searched around he ran into Will Scarlet.

"Robin!" Will gasped out.

"Quick!’ Robin cried. "Where’s Marion?"

"She’s in her room Robin. What has happened?" Will asked.

Robin glanced back to see Ika entering the courtyard. Robin threw Will into the bushes.

"Stay there Will. I don’t want you to get into trouble."

Robin then ran the other way. Ika spying Robin, pulled his arm back and threw something in Robins direction. Robin flew into the air, as there was an explosion. He landed hard on the cobblestone path. Will gasped at the force of the explosion. Ika slowly walked to Robins now still body.

Guy entered the courtyard just seconds after the explosion.

"I told you never to use that in my castle. You are only to use it on the tax collector."

Ika bowed to Guy. "I am sorry Sir Guy. He had to be stopped." Ika squatted down. He carefully examined Robin. Guy squatted next to him.

"Is he dead?" Guy whispered.

"Robin Hood is a strong man. He was just knocked out. He will live."

"To bad." Guy said. He had hoped to hear some good news. Guy’s head jerked as he heard Marion screaming.

"Leave Ika. I will talk to you later this week. After you finish stealing the rest of the ransom money."

Ika ran out of the courtyard.

"You be sure to implicate Robin for the robberies!" Guy yelled out to the retreating Ika.

As Ika ran out of sight, Marion came running into the courtyard. She gasped when she saw Robins crumpled form on the path in the garden. She ran to him. Her face was a mask of horror.

"What happened?" She asked Guy, as she dropped to her knees next to Robin.

"I don’t quite know Marion. I had looked in on Robin, and found him gone from his room. Searching around I found him in the courtyard. He was trying to find you Marion. He said he needed to tell you something. As I was about to tell him you were in your room, Master Ika appeared before us. He threw something our way. Robin saved me by pushing me out of the way. He took the brunt of the explosion."

Marion brushed the hair from Robin’s face. He was bruised from the explosion. She gasped as she held his limp form in her arms. The shock of seeing him injured again from an explosion was to much for her to bear. She could not endure it again. Seeing the man she loved so dearly giving his life again for others.

"Guy?’ Marion softly asked.

"Yes Marion?" Guy answered.

"Please take me away from this. No more explosions. No more fear of Robin dying."

She looked at Guy with different eyes now. He was a sanctuary for her. Her eyes pleading with him. "Please, promise me you will take me away from this."

Guy took Marion’s hands into his. "I pledge that I will find Ika and make him pay for this Marion. Then you will have nothing more to fear. For I will protect you for the rest of your life. No more fears. I promise."

Guy gently kissed Marion's hand. Marion closed her eyes as she made the decision that she had agonized over for the last few days. She would marry Guy. And love him. For her heart could not stand to see her Robin hurt again.

Will Scarlet was still hiding in the bushes. He had seen and heard everything that was said. Guy’s servants came out and carried the unconscious Robin back into the castle. Marion followed after, Guy holding her in his arms. Will had never seen him so happy. Guys was ecstatic that Marion was now pushed into his arms by Ika’s brashness. This could not have gone better than if he had planned it.

As they disappeared into the castle, Will came out of his place of hiding.

That by far was the most despicable act that Guy could have done. To take advantage of a woman’s grief, for the man she loved. Now Will was more determined than ever to stop this wedding. But he knew that he needed help. He would not be able to stop Guy on his own. Perhaps Robins men? He had heard enough of them from Robin to know them by sight. Will made the decision to try to find Robin Hoods men. He stole out into the night. Taking a horse from Guys stable, he rode out into the darkness. To find Robins men and try to convince them that Robin and Marion needed there help desperately. He only hoped that they would listen to a former old friend of Sir Guy of Gisborne

End of Part 13

Part Fourteen
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