Seeing her enter Tuck stood up. He then went to Aurora. Taking her by the hand he led her to Robin. At first she resisted his pull. But when she saw her son awake. She finally succumbed to his insistence. When Tuck had her close enough to Robin he then introduced her.
"Robert of Locksley meet your mother, Aurora."
Aurora came closer to Robin. Taking off her veil Robin saw a young beautiful woman. She looked not much older than Robin. He stared hard at her. There was no way this woman could possibly be his mother.
Than Robin saw her eyes. He had seen those eyes many times before. In the pond where he bathed, in the mirror where he shaved. They were his eyes. Robin shook his head. "You can’t be my mother. She would be much older than you."
Aurora hung her head as she explained her youthful look to her son. "That is the gift we are given by our heart. "
"You mean all the priestess’ never age?" Tuck asked. Aurora shook her head.
"No we are given the appearance of youth."
"Then you really are old enough to be Robins Mother?" Aurora looked embarrassed.
"Well the others have the illusion of youth. As for me, my Heart has given me the gift of youth, for being her High Priestess."
Tuck was surprised. "You’re the high priestess of Morigan?" Aurora nodded.
She came up to Robin. Kneeling down in front of him she reached out and held his hand. Robin at first wanted to pull it away. But when he saw the loving look in her eyes he allowed her to hold his hand.
"Why?" Robin bluntly asked.
"Why did your father tell you I was dead?" She asked in return.
"No! Why did you leave us? Why didn’t you stay? I was without a mother for many years." Robin’s voice broke. "I didn’t know what it was like to have a mother for so many years. Why did you leave?"
Aurora clutched at the heart shaped locket on her neck. She looked lovingly into Robin’s eyes.
"For my heart." she softly said. "Your heart." Robin said in disgust.
He roughly pulled his hand away. Aurora slowly drew her hands back and placed them in her lap.
"You don’t know the circumstances to your birth." She softly pleaded. Robin sarcastically replied "Then why don’t you tell me." Aurora smiled. Tuck saw that this too was Robins smile.
"You see I was born here, fated to be the High Priestess. I have lived here all of my life. In the order when we reach a certain age, we are to have a child. If it is a girl she joins the order. If it is a boy, he is to be sacrificed to our goddess Morigan. When it was near time for me to have my child, I met a man." She smiled to herself remembering Robin’s father. "He was so kind and gentle." Looking at Robin she saw that he was listening. Some of the hate was gone from his face.
"Go on." Robin said.
"Well, as you know now, that man was your father. We fell in love. I became with his child. The order was ecstatic. A female child from a high priestess would be very strong." Aurora shifted her position. Tuck noticed that she seemed to be upset about recalling this.
Thinking back she smiled. "Imagine my joy when you were born. A boy! For a high priestess that is unheard of, fortunately I was alone with your father when you were born."
"Why is it unheard of?" Tuck asked.
"Because it is foretold that there would come a time when a male child would be born of a High priestess. This would be a time only when he is needed to destroy any born of a god. Robin has already fulfilled the legend by killing the son of Morigan and King Kadwon."
Robin remembered the horror that he had to kill. He had thought that Olwyn had helped him. Now he knew it was because of his mother.
"If Robins birth was so special why did you hide it?" Tuck asked. Aurora whispered in fear.
"If my heart knew of Robins birth she would have wanted him for herself."
"What do you mean?" Robin asked.
"You have my blood. The blood of a High Priestess of Morigan." She said hushed. "You have within you a power that can be used for good or evil. Morigan would have wanted to make you her vassal, or perhaps worse. I could not allow that to happen. Your father was such a good and kind man. I could not let his son to be taken away from him. When I saw the love in his eyes for you." In a shamed tone she said. "When I saw your beautiful face. I couldn’t give you to Morigan. I had to hide your birth. "
Robin tried to sit up higher. Tuck and Aurora went to him and helped him. Thanking them he asked. "How did you hide me?" Aurora shifted her position on the floor.
" You exchanged Robin for a baby girl?" Tuck asked.
"Yes. One of the local villagers recently had a girl. I knew of this. I paid her mother gold for the child. I brought her into the order. Telling the others that she was mine. As to your father, I told him to take you away. As far as he could from this order."
Robin interrupted her. "Why didn’t you go with him. Why didn’t you leave the order and live with my father."
Aurora sadly smiled. "I cannot leave my heart. I promised to give my life for her. I could never leave her. Some day I will be with her. That would be a day of joy for me." She glowed at the thought. A frown marred Robin’s handsome face.
"After all you did to hide my birth. The love you said you had for my father. Why did you stay?" Aurora couldn’t think of a way to explain it to Robin. Looking at Tuck she pleaded. "Tell him friar. Why you left your life to devote yourself to a god, you above all would understand what I feel."
Tuck dropped his eyes, avoiding her look. He knew why before. Now, he wasn’t sure.
"What’s the name of the girl?" Robin asked. Aurora looked puzzled. "What girl?"
"The one you exchanged for me." Robin questioned.
"Her name is Susanna." Robin was surprised by this answer.
"That is why I chose her bring you here my son." Aurora smiled widely calling Robin her so. She sat up, her grin growing, it felt good to say that. "I knew she would do as I asked. I told her you were not to be harmed. Others would have killed you as you were brought here. I knew Susanna would bring you back here alive."
Aurora’s head jerked as she heard the bolt lift from the door. Quickly she stood up and ran into the darkness. As the door opened, Tuck heard the scraping of Auroras’ exit.
Susanna walked in. Her face was stern and cold as usual.
"You are to be taken to our high priestess. She will decide what is to be done with you."
She then ordered two sisters to help Robin to stand up. As they went to Robin he waved them off and slowly stood on his own. He wavered a little as he stood. Tuck quickly went to help.
"I’m all right." Robin said.
"After you Susanna." Robin bowed grinning. Susanna sniffed. She whirled around and started walking out the door. Robin went out after her. Tuck followed. The two sisters’ came up from behind.
Robin slowly walked through the dark hallways. The only light visible came from torches set upon the walls. In the darkness he saw many women staring at him. He could almost feel their hatred, it was so intense. A man was rare enough in the prior. But this man was one that had murdered their goddess’ son. The sisters’ around Robin now his bodyguards. They had to keep some of the more devoted sisters away from him.
As they walked on Robin felt a weakness in his legs. He still wasn’t fully recovered from the effects of the potion he was given yesterday. He hoped it wasn’t much farther. They finally came upon a large ornate doorway. Here all the women were priestess’. Each wore the heart locket. The large doors opened and Robin was brought in. In this room, as were all others, it was dark. The light here came from two large torches burning on each side of a throne that stood in the center of the room. Sitting on the throne was Aurora.
She watched as her son was brought into the room. He came in on his own power. She had to hide her smile of pride as she saw he had no fear. He was a proud and strong man, like his father. The small procession stopped in the middle of the room. Tuck saw two priestess’ standing on either side of Aurora. One turned to Aurora leaning over she whispered "He doesn’t look very special to me." Aurora gave her an angry look. "Hush Selena." Selena stood up and gave Aurora a hurt look.
Robin quickly glanced at his mother. She sat like a queen on a throne.
"I have brought the man Robin Hood as you asked my mother." Susanna said. She bowed low in front of Aurora.
"You have done well my daughter." Aurora said. Turning to address Robin Aurora said, "Let me look at this man that killed our goddess’ son."
The other priestess’ laid their hand on their hearts and bowed their heads when Aurora rose from her throne slowly she walked to Robin. She wore a thin black veil over her head. Tuck smiled to himself. He knew she did this to hide her face. If Tuck noticed the similarity between Robin and Aurora perhaps others might also.
She slowly walked around Robin, appearing to examine him for the first time. Robin stood his ground. He tried to stand up straight and tall. Aurora’s pride grew ever deeper. How strong he looked, how noble. She remembered her love for his father when she saw his son here now. The look of defiance was his. Aurora smiled and went back to her throne. She sat down.
"Robin Hood, do you know why you have been brought here?" Aurora asked.
Her voice was loud and firm. Robin cleared his throat looking at the other Priestess’ he loudly exclaimed
" I am not sorry for what I have done." Angry voices were heard from the attending sisters.
"You killed our Goddess’ son." Selena said. "You feel no remorse for that?"
Robin impatiently sighed. "I could not allow him to escape into the world. It would have meant the end of many lives."
Selena went up to Robin. Looking deep into his eyes she asked, "Did you ever think that perhaps that would have been a good thing?"
Robin said defiantly back at her. "Is it a good thing to have many innocent lives slaughtered?" Selena walked around the room, addressing her sisters now. "This man thinks he knows what is better for us. He thinks he is smarter than our heart." The other Priestess’ voices of protest rose higher.
"I don’t think I’m smarter than anyone. "Robin answered back. "I just knew in MY heart that it was wrong." Selena smiled.
"So you thought it was wrong for our hearts son to live, and you killed him. Perhaps you think she should die also?"
At this statement the other priestess’ again threatened Robin. His guards tried to keep them at bay, as they started pushing there way towards Robin. When it seemed that the guards could no longer hold them back Aurora hissed out. "Silence!"
The Sisters quickly listened to there high priestess. Robin stood his ground. "I will not apologize for anything that I have done."
Selena started to say something when Aurora silenced her with a look.
"Robin Hood, you admit to killing our hearts son."
Robin rubbed his forehead in frustration. Tuck mistaking it for weakness whispered to him.
"Are you all right?"
Robin gave him a reassuring smile. Looking back at Aurora he said. "As I have said before. I will not apologize for anything that I knew was right."
Aurora motioned for Susanna to come to her. Susanna stood before Aurora, laying her hand on her heart, she bowed her head.
"Susanna, Morigan has said that she wants to see this man soon. Take him back, until our heart is ready to receive him."
Susanna made a low bow. Backing up she maintained the bow. Standing she motioned Robin to leave.
All the while Selena was staring at Robin. Aurora then rose and proceeded to leave the room. As she reached the other side, she took off her veil. Turning she gave one more backwards look to Robin. As she turned Robin also turned to look at her. Selena stared at the two. A large smile creased her face. Quickly she left the room!
End of Chapter Three