A Gift or a Curse
By Sandy Neumann
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Chapter Four

A young man came out of the bushes, a big smile on his face. Robin lowered his weapon as he saw who it was.

"Well, 'ave a look 'oo we 'ave 'ere! I were beginnin' ter think we'd never find you, Robin 'ood. And 'oo is this gorgeous creature wit you, then, eh?" Robin smiled as Will was already putting on his charm.

Angel still stood with the sword in her hand. "Angel, this is my very good friend, Will Scarlet. He's harmless, well sort of," Robin chuckled as he shook Will's hand.

" 'ey, I resemble that remark," Will laughed. Angel put the sword down when she could see that he was a friend of Robin's. His eyes were big and brown, like Robin's but filled with laughter and joy at finding his friend. Will came up to Angel and kissed her hand.

"I'm right pleased ter meet you," he smiled at her showing two deep dimples. She blushed as he raised his head back up and winked at her.

"Will, you are always up to no good," Robin laughed. "How did you find us?"

"Well, I's was sick of 'earing Marion getting upset 'bout you, so I's decided to come after you m'self. And 'ook 'oo I stumbled upon," he grinned. Angel liked this Will already. He had such spirit and wasn't hard on the eyes either.

"Well, we were just about to get back onto the horse and get out of here. Are you ready," Robin asked both of them. "Yes, before Marion sends out anuvver search party after yer." Will continued looking at Angel. She was really unique, but he could see the pain in her eyes, too. It was always so evident.

"Where's tis beautiful Angel's horse," Will asked. "She can't ride, so he rode on mine with me." "Oh, well we'll 'ust 'ave to fix that problem when she gets to camp," Will continued smiling at her.

Robin helped her up onto his horse and then got on it himself. "Whys do you's get the pretty woman to ride 'ith," Will asked. Robin gave Will a glance telling him to leave it alone. Will just shrugged his shoulders and took off after the black horse.

On the way home, Robin explained to Will about Lord Langton taking him prisoner and trying to torture him. He left out, for now the part about Angel and her power. He knew that Angel was feeling uncomfortable at the time anyways, going to a new place and meeting new people. He just said that she was one of Langton's servants who fed him and helped him escape. So, Robin offered her a new home with them. Will could see that there was more to Robin's story than he let on, but kept it to himself. Will could see Angel almost shielding herself from Will's glances. She felt so strange having these two men, who could have been brothers, treat her so kindly.

As they approached camp, the tree gate opened and they led the horses in. Angel was amazed to see almost a small village within this hidden area. Children where running around playing and adults were working on projects. Just as Robin had let her see in his head. It was all-true.

Marion came running out as she heard visitors approaching. When she saw Robin come riding in with Will, she jumped in excitement. Robin dismounted from the horse and helped Angel down. Marion came running into Robin's arms and hugged him like never before.

"Ouch! Not so hard, Marion. I'm injured here," Robin chuckled.

Marion pulled away from him and asked, "Where? Let me help you." She was just so glad to see him, she didn't even notice his passenger. "I'm all right, really, just don't hug so hard!" Marion gave Robin a look of concern. "I was so worried about you. What happened to you," she asked.

"Well, first let me introduce the person who helped me get back to you," he motioned towards Angel. "This is Angel!"

She had been standing off to the side, feeling out of place. She watched the love that Robin and Marion obviously had for each other. She wondered if she could ever feel that way. Will had stood behind her the whole time, wishing she would acknowledge him. Angel stepped forward as Marion held her hand out.

"I am Marion Fitzwalter. So Robin says you helped him get back to me.

Well, you are a fine person in my book already," she said with a pleasant smile.

Angel just smiled back at Marion and said, "Well, Robin has helped me in many ways already. I felt that I couldn't let him suffer anymore."

"Suffer," Marion said turning back to Robin. "Are you sure that you are okay?"

"Marion, I'm fine. All I need is a good nights sleep and I'll be ready for anything." Marion didn't quite believe him. She could tell he was hiding something from her.

"Robin Hood, is there something your not telling me," Marion questioned. Angel looked at Robin, her eyes pleading with him.

" 'ook Marion, whys don't yer just lets them rest fers the rest of the day, eh," Will finally spoke up. He had also seen Angel's pleading look. He was wondering what was being covered up.

"Ok, Robin, I'll let you get some rest, but you will tell me what happened later on," Marion insisted. "Yes, I will, later!" Angel lowered her eyes, knowing that he would eventually have to tell them about her power.

A few hours had passed before Robin decided it was time to have a discussion with Angel. Will had taken Angel to his tent to allow her some rest. Will left her there alone but would occasionally peek in on her. She seemed to be sleeping most of the time he checked. Robin had also caught up on some sleep before he woke up and decided to go to her. Both had become so exhausted with the past days events that each slept without nightmares.

Robin walked up to Will's tent. He could see Angel inside, sitting up on the cot looking at a carving Will had sitting on a table. The carving was of a man holding a shield in one hand and a sword in the other.

"I see you noticed one of Will's carvings. He's really good at them," Robin told her. Angel wasn't surprised to see him. She had felt his presence. "The handwork is really quite beautiful," she commented. "Does he have others," she asked. "Yes, he does and I'm sure if you ask him, he'll show you the whole collection," he smiled. "I would like that very much," she said smiling back at Robin.

"We have to talk about what happe...," he started before he was interrupted. "I know, I know. I was thinking about that before I fell asleep." "Well, I'll only tell them what I need to. You don't have to worry about me telling them about your past history with Langton. That is only yours to tell," Robin assured her. Angel knew that Robin had figured out what happened to her in the past. She had actually wanted him to. She felt better knowing that he knew and still had respect for her. She had always felt so ashamed and lonely. Now that someone else finally knew, she didn't feel like she was alone. Especially after Robin begged her to come home with him.

"I know that your friends must be good people, if they have you as a friend," she told him. Her eyes didn't seem so sad anymore. Robin took her hand and walked her out to the table where Marion, Tuck, Little John, and Will were finishing up dinner.

"Well, you two look rested up," Friar Tuck commented as Robin and Angel took seats at the wooden table. "I think we are better now," Robin said as he winked at Angel. Marion was getting a little concerned at how close Robin seemed to act with this new woman.

"So, are you finally gonna tell us what happened to you," Marion asked

Robin while taking side glances at Angel.

"Yes, I'm going to explain everything!" With that, Robin began his story of how he was captured. He told them of how Lord Langton used an abandoned castle to hold him in. When it came to Angel's part in his torture, he made sure to clarify that Angel was forced to do the mental torture. This made Marion question Angel about why she hadn't tried it on Lord Langton.

"I have tried it on him, but it doesn't affect him. Perhaps because he is so used to causing and seeing pain personally, it doesn't faze him," Angel came to the conclusion.

"That may very well be, Angel," Robin agreed with her.

"Well, didn't you ever try to escape," Marion wanted to know. She didn't trust this woman as much anymore, knowing of her power. "I had tried, but every time I was caught and brought back to him. Then he would abuse me," she sighed out. As she said this, Robin again could picture in his mind the torture she went through. He almost winced at the thought. Angel looked at him, seeing that he was recalling those implanted memories. She didn't like knowing that her pain was causing him pain, too.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize," Marion apologized to Angel.

"That's okay. I wouldn't expect you to." As Robin finished up his story about their escape from the castle, Will was hoping he could find time to talk more with Angel. Her power fascinated him, that along with her beauty.

"Well, Angel since Robin trusts you and you helped him escape from Lord Langton, you are welcome to stay here with us at camp," Marion told her. "This will be your home now," Friar Tuck agreeing with Marion.

"Thank you so much. For the first time in a long time I feel safe. I am actually glad that Langton captured you, Robin. Otherwise I may have died under Langton's hands," Angel said.

"Well, it's nice knowing that once again, Lord Langton has failed at a plan," Robin laughed.

After Robin, Angel, and the others finished their meals, Will offered to take Angel back to his tent.

"Now, Will, don't try anything with Angel. She's been through a lot," Robin warned Will before he took off with her.

"Don't yer worry about 'er, Robin. I'm just givin' 'er a place ter sleep for the night," Will assured him. "Besides I can tells that she's special," he said while looking at her from afar.

"I think your right, my friend," Robin confirmed. Will walked up to where Angel stood, gazing at the evening sky.

" 'tis a beautiful night, isn't it," Will said.

"Yes, it sure is!" She looked up at Will and smiled. He was a handsome devil. His sable hair was thick and wavy. It hung just below his ears. His brown eyes had a curious sparkle to them. She guessed him to be about the same age as herself.

"So, can yer read me mind, then, me lady," Will asked her.

"Uh, yes, I could read your mind," she hesitated.

" Then show me 'ow it's done." Will wanted to see what it felt like.

"Are you sure you want me to do this?" She was feeling a bit uneasy.

"Yes, please!" She looked up at his his smiling face. How could she resist that. "Okay, here goes nothing," she said as she brought her hands up to his head. As Will's thoughts started coming to her, she turned red. She started pulling her hands away from him when he grabbed her wrists.

"Wot don't yer like wot yer read, then," he grinned at her.

"I liked them very much," she said as her face was beet red now.

He let her wrists go and put his hands on her head. " I fink I can read yor mind, right, too," he said with a big smile, showing off his dimples.

"Oh, really! And what am I thinking," she played on with him.

Will lifted his head up in the air, acting as if he was reading her mind.

"Yor finkin' yer'd right like ter get ter know me better, because I'm so darned cute!" They both started laughing.

Angel and Will spent the rest of the evening, sitting by moonlight, talking about Will's wild adventures with Robin.

The End

Chapter One
 Chapter Two
 Chapter Three
 Chapter Four the Conclusion
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