All the while Tuck found that they were ignoring him. He knew that there was no way of stopping them. He had to find some way of helping Robin. Seeing that Susanna was in charge he boldly said to her.
"I am going with you!" Susanna coldly looked at Tuck. "Our battle is not with you. You are free to go. But if you wish to see the death of your friend. Then we will not try stop you."
Susanna told two of the sisters to begin pulling the small cart. The sisters groaned as they pulled the small cart containing the incapacitated Robin. It slowly made its way into the forest. The other sisters surrounded the cart. Susanna walked behind, staring at Robin with a curious look. Tuck followed close behind. It took most of the day to reach the priory. The sisters never once said anything to Tuck. He could practically feel their hatred for Robin.
It was near dusk when they finally reached the priory. Tuck was able to make out the priory at least an hour’s walk from it. Even from that distance it looked ominous. As they approached it Tuck could see it was ancient. It looked as if it was carved right out of the hillside. He noticed that there were no windows anywhere on the large building. Walking up to what Tuck had guessed was the front, they came upon two large, solid, metal doors.
Susanna ordered the sisters to halt. She tapped on the door with her spear. A small peephole opened up.
"We have come with Robin Hood sister. Open up!"
The peephole closed up with a click. Tuck could hear a scraping sound, as the doors were unlocked. With a groaning the doors slowly opened up. Two large sisters’ walked out, each wore the black veil. Susanna brought the sisters to Robin.
"Take him down into the holding cell until he is prepared." She ordered.
She then turned and went into the prior. The two sisters pulled Robins limp form up from out of the cart. Each one grabbing an arm and draping them on their shoulders. Robin’s feet barely dragged on the floor as they carried him into the convent. Tuck followed them in.
As they entered the Prior the sisters removed their veils. The illumination in the convent was very little. Tuck had to wait for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. As he walked on he noticed the other sisters’ staring at Robin as he passed by them.
They had heard of the small group of sisters’ that were chosen to go after the man that killed their goddess’s son. They were happy to see that their sisters succeeded.
Each gave a cold hard look at this evil man. Tuck felt very alone now, he was in the midst of a very hostile environment. For Robin, as well as himself. Still he would never even think of leaving Robins side. He would stay with him until the end. He knew that somehow they would find a way to help Robin escape from this priory. God always provided.
Each sister crossed their hearts as the small group walked past them. Tuck quickly noticed that all the sisters looked the same age. He thought that was very odd for an old priory. Surely there were older sisters in the order. He noticed that each was dressed in the same long black dress. Some had a heart shaped gold locket hanging around there neck. Like the one Susanna wore. These must be the priestess’ Tuck surmised.
As he followed Robin Tuck noticed that they were making there way deeper, and farther down into the prior. It took some time for them to reach their destination. They came upon a small door. Two sisters were waiting for them. They pulled on a large bolt that held the door shut, placing the bolt on the floor they pulled on the door and opened it.
Tuck face scrunched up in disgust as a sour smell emerged from the dark room. The two large sisters’ carried Robin into the dark room. Roughly dropping him on the floor. Robin was now grateful for being paralyzed. He was unable to feel the floor as he was callously dropped.
Tuck hesitated going into the room. Looking at one of the sisters he humbly asked.
"Can we at least have some light?"
The sister gave him a revolted look. Pulling her hand back she made to slap Tuck, when he heard from behind.
"Give the friar a torch." Tuck saw that is was Susanna that gave the order. The sister gave Susanna an angry look. But Susanna stood her ground. The sister backed down and went to fetch a torch.
"I am sorry friar, as I have told you our battle is not with you but with Robin Hood. I will try to make your stay here as comfortable as possible."
Tuck glanced back into the dark room. He swallowed hard.
"You still want to stay with your friend Friar?"
The other sister came with a torch. Tuck grabbed the torch and went into the room. As he entered the room the door was closed behind him. He heard the bolt click as it was locked.
Tuck brought the torch up to try to view the entire room. Searching around Tuck noticed there really wasn’t much to see. The room had no windows. Even the door was solid. There was no possible way to escape from this cell. Other than the door they entered from. Softly letting out a frustrated sigh Tuck placed the torch in a holder on the wall.
He then went to Robin to check on how he was. Gently he turned Robin over to see if he might have been hurt during transit. Examining him carefully he noticed that except for a few scratches he seemed all right.
Tuck saw Robin’s expressive eyes looking concerned at his friend. Tuck whispered softly to him.
"Well, you didn’t think I was going to stay there while they carried you away did you?" Robin looked sadly at Tuck.
"I had to go with. You would have done the same for me." Robin’s eyes slowly closed. He agreed with Tuck. If it had been the other way around. He would have also gone with his friend.
Robin hoarsely whispered "Yes.’ Tuck smiled as he saw the paralysis was starting to wearing off. He was worried that perhaps it would have been permanent.
Tuck stayed with Robin, holding him in his arms. Waiting for the Paralysis to leave. Slowly he saw Robin move his fingers, then his hands, he moved his arms as he tried to sit up. "Are you sure?" Tuck asked. Robin slowly nodded his head. Tuck propped Robin up against the wall.
He flexed his hand as he was finally getting some feeling back into it. He reached down and massaged his legs. The feeling was distant but it was there. Robin noticed Tuck looking concerned at him. He gave Tuck a reassuring smile.
"Don’t worry Tuck. The feelings almost completely back." As Robin said this Tuck turned quickly as he heard a bolt being lifted from the door.
It took several seconds for the door to open. Three sisters’ rushed in. They shoved Tuck aside, holding him away from Robin. One sister had a cup in her hands. She squatted in front of Robin. The other sister grabbed Robin’s long sable hair pulling his head back. The sister with the cup held Robin’s mouth open as she poured the cups contents into Robin’s mouth.
Robin still weak from the paralysis coughed and gagged as he vainly tried to fight them off. After the cup was emptied, the sisters quickly closed Robin’s mouth. They made sure that Robin swallowed what they gave him. His throat burned as he felt the foul liquid make its way into his stomach. Satisfied he had swallowed enough they then left the room. The door closed and Tuck could hear the bolt brought back into place.
Tuck ran to Robin, as he was clutching his stomach and groaning out in pain.
"Tuck, I don’t know what they gave me, but it feels like my insides is trying to get outside."
Kneeling down, Tuck grabbed Robin and held him in his arms. Robin started shaking violently. Tuck held on harder.
"Don’t’ worry.’ He whispered. "I’ll be here for you."
"That is not enough." A voice softly said.
Tuck searched around the cell, he hadn’t heard the door open. He then saw a woman emerge from the darkness in the far corner of the cell. She wore a black veil over her head.
Quickly coming up to Robin she handed Tuck a small vial.
"You must give this to him now!" She sternly said. Tuck eyed her and the vial suspiciously.
"Why should I trust you. All of your order want to kill him." The woman softly laughed. "I could never kill this man."
She pulled down her veil. Her long dark brown hair tumbled out. She wore the now familiar heart locket. Tuck gazed into the face of the mysterious priestess. She somehow looked familiar. The curve of her face, the shape of her mouth. Then Tuck noticed her eyes. The same soulful deep brown eyes of...... "You look like you could be Robins..."
"Mother." she whispered to him. Tuck shook his head. "No his sister. You’re too young to be his mother."
The priestess looked deeply into Tucks eyes. Tuck saw something there. They were Robin’s eyes, but there was something else. They looked older, but then younger. Tuck was more confused now then ever.
"How can I trust you?" Tuck suspiciously asked. Her eyes filled with tears seeing her son in the condition he was in.
"Please believe me." She pleaded. "I could never hurt my son. Please give him the vial." Tuck still didn’t know if he could believe her or not.
Knowing that there was not much time the priestess opened the vial and swallowed some of its contents, proving that it was not poison. "You see it will not kill him. It will help him. Please believe me you must give this to him now." Her voice pleaded with him.
Tuck gazed down at Robin. He saw his friend looking very ill. He had to do something soon. "I pray to god that you are telling me the truth."
Tuck snatched the vial from the woman’s hands. He opened Robin’s mouth and attempted to give him the vials contents. Robin shook so hard that he was only able to get half of the vial into him. Robins Mother breathed a sigh of relief. "That should be enough to fight off the potion that he was given."
She then went to Robin and kneeled down next to him. Touching Robin’s hair, she gently stroked her long fingers though his hair. A sad smile came to her face as she tucked a stray strand away. Tuck could see that there was a look of a mother’s love on her face.
"What is your name?" Tuck asked. "Aurora." She whispered back.
She knew that she could not stay long. It just made her heart glad to finally see her son. After all these years, he grew up to be a very handsome man. She was so proud of him.
"You have to take care of him. What I gave you will counteract what was just given to him. He will still be very sick. Please take care of him." Tuck nodded. "That is why I am here."
Aurora gently touched Robin’s face, she held his chin in her hand. Her smile grew as she tried to memorized the face of her son. Gently kissing him on the cheek she slowly rose.
"You say you are Robins Mother. Yet you look almost as young as him." The priestess calmly looked at Tuck.
"Have you not noticed that all the priestess’ look the same age?" Tuck nodded "Yes I did notice that."
The priestess smiled "This is the gift we are given for our devotion to the goddess Morigan." "Then you really are his mother." Tuck said amazed. "Yes I am Robert of Locksley’s mother." Tuck was shocked to hear this.
"What happened? Robin thought you were dead. " Tuck asked.
"Another time friar, I have to leave for prayers. I will be back to check on him soon." She then walked to the corner, disappearing into the darkness. Tuck heard a soft scraping sound, seconds after she left. Looking down at Robin Tuck noticed that he did seem to be resting easier. Sighing he said out loud.
"Now that was the last person I expected to see in here."
The night was hard for Robin. Tuck tried to make it as comfortable for him as possible. At times he was violent, thrashing back and forth. A wicked fever had come to him. Tuck held tightly onto him. He clutched his rosary. Chanting a prayer over and over for Robin to be well.
"Please heavenly father. Help this man. He is a good man." He whispered. Hoping he was heard in this ungodly place.
Tuck kept up his vigil until his body no longer allowed him. He finally succumbed to sleep. It was many hours later when Tuck awoke to find himself lying on the floor. He faintly heard someone humming. Sitting up he saw Aurora, sitting on the cold stone floor. She had Robin’s head in her lap. He was curled up in a ball on the floor.
She was stroking Robin’s face. Softly humming to him. Tuck sat up. Aurora turned her head as she heard him moving.
"How long have you been here?" Tuck asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. Aurora smiled widely, turning her attention back to Robin. "Only for a few hours. I found you asleep and didn’t wish to disturb you."
Tuck leaned over her and placed his hand on Robin’s forehead. Aurora beamed as she declared. "His fever broke an hour ago. I think he’ll be all right." Tuck nodded his approval. "I believe he will."
Aurora gently stroked Robin’s hair. "You see the termojo was given to him to weaken his body. A weakened body also weakens the spirit."
Leaning over she gently kissed Robin on the cheek. "He’s a very strong man." Looking at Tuck she asked. "Is he a good man Friar?" Tuck practically beamed at Aurora.
"I have never known a more caring and unselfish man than Robin Hood."
She smiled at this, her pride in him could be seen in her face. Sighing to herself she gently took Robin’s head off of her lap and placed in on a small pillow that was made from some scraps of material left in the cell.
She stood up brushing herself off.
"Well its morning and I must get ready for morning prayers." Tuck looked around. "Really. How can you tell what time of day it is in this dark place?" Aurora smiled. Pointing her finger up she said. "Listen!" Tuck listened. He heard a pealing of bells in the distance.
"They ring in the new day. We go to say our prayers now. And thank Morigan for giving us the new day."
She then headed to the dark corner. "Wait." Tuck called out. "Can you tell me why Robin was lied to all these years of your existence."
Aurora looked sadly at Robin. "I will wait until Robin is well before I say anything. I’ll be back." She started to leave, stopping she turned. Looking at Tuck she said.
"I forgot to ask. What is your name Friar?" "Tuck." He answered. Aurora shook her head. "No, what is you name?" Tuck gently said. "Michael." "Michael." she said softy. "Well Michael, I thank you for being a good friend to my son." She then turned around and disappeared into the darkness.
As he heard a soft scraping sound Tuck gently answered "Your welcome."
He then went to Robin to see how he was doing. He did seem to be breathing easier. He thanked the lord for Aurora coming with the vial. Tuck grinned widely as Robin’s eyes slowly began to open.
"How are you feeling?" Robin weakly asked Tuck, as he let out a quiet laugh. "I think a lot better than you."
Robin softly sighed. "I hope so." Letting out a laugh and soon regretting it. His body ached from fighting off the poison in the night. Tuck smiled seeing his friend finally getting some color in his cheeks.
Tuck went to fetch some water and food that had been left from the night before. He gave some to Robin, he slowly ate and drank. At first his stomach lurched as the food entered it. But after a while he was able to keep it down with no ill effects. Slowly he could feel his strength returning.
Tuck watched his friend eat. His heart felt good seeing Robin starting to look his old self. Robin took his time eating. It was at least an hour later before he was finished. Tuck smiled widely at him.
"Hope that made you feel better."
"It did a little." Robin smiled back.
Tuck then stood up, stretching his legs. They were cramping from staying on the cold floor caring for Robin. His head turned as he heard the bolt slide on the door. He waited for it to open. Susanna came through the doors. She walked to Robin and examined him. A look of shock crossed her face.
"What is wrong Susanna?" one of the sisters’ asked. "He is well." She cried out.
Turning on the other sister she asked. "Didn’t you give him the Termojo?" The priestess nodded, fear evident in her face. "Yes Susanna. I gave it all to him yesterday." Susanna pointed to Robin. "Well look at him. He should be as weak as a newborn, yet he looks well. Something is wrong here."
Susanna grabbed Tucks arm. "What have you done Friar? What did you do to make him well?"
Tuck pulled his arm back. "Just a little praying to MY god!" Tuck bravely answered.
Susanna looked at Robin. His color was good. He didn’t look ill at all. "Something is wrong here." Looking sternly at Tuck she said. "I will find out what you did." Turning she quickly walked out of the cell. The others followed.
Tuck breathed out a sigh of relief.
"Thanks for taking care of me." Robin said. His voice was faint but strong. Tuck went to Robin. Kneeling down he sat next to him.
"I have something to tell you." Tuck said. Robin tried to sit up. Tuck helped him. Robins head felt light, but he was able to stay up on his own. Swallowing hard Robin asked. "What is it?"
Tuck hesitated, how was he going to say it? "Robin, there was nothing I could do to help you last night. You would have been deathly ill if not for your..."
Robin looked puzzled at Tuck. "If not for my what Tuck?" He asked.
Tuck wearily sighed. "Robin we had a visitor last night. One of the priestess’, she said she was your mother Robin."
Robins look turned to disbelief. "My step-Mother is here?" Now Robin was worried. If his stepmother was here she was in danger.
"No!" Tuck said strongly shaking his head. "Your real mother!"
This time Robin shook his head. "Tuck your mistaken. My mother died when I was born. That’s what my father told me." Robin was startled as he heard a voice come from the darkness. "That is what I asked him to say."
Out of the darkness Aurora came. Her black veil covered her face.
End of Chapter Two