They had left their horses down in the stables of Locksley Castle, and went towards an open door to go inside the castle. Marion could tell that nobody had been there for a long time. The door led them directly into the kitchen. This must have been the servant's entrance. Pans, a copper, pots, knives, forks, and spoons lay all over the floor.
Robin went behind Marion. She could only hear his steps and even sometimes a silent sob. She would have loved to comfort him, to tell him anything that could make him feel better, but she didn't know what to say at all. Suddenly she stopped and let Robin pass her to lead her through the castle.
The last time she had been there was over thirteen years ago and she didn't remember all of the castle. But she was sure, that Robin did. He had spent most of his life there. It used to be his home. It used to be the place where he was happy, where he spent holidays with his father and all his beloved. Now everything was gone and all that was left, was the memory.Robin went through his castle. He opened every door, that he passed. The big hall, where they used to have their meals, the study, the small chambers of the servants. When he came to another door, he stopped. Something seemed to hold him back from opening it. He breathed heavily.
"Robin, is everything alright with you?" Marion asked him concerned.
"This was the bedroom of my father," he said quietly.
"You don't have to enter, you know that."
"I need to."
"Then you should." Marion reached her hand out and grabbed him softly by his wrist. She could feel his hand slightly shaking. Robin took a step forward and opened the door. The soldiers had done their work very well. The furniture laid broken in a thousand pieces on the floor. The curtains and carpets were torn. Robin sighed out.
"Robin, I'm so sorry," Marion said.
"What for? You didn't have to do anything with all this. It is me, who should be sorry about all that. I'm the one who's responsible for the Earl of Locksley's death."
"Robin, don't say this! You are not responsible for your father's death at all."
"Of course I am!" he yelled. "I ran away when he needed me the most. When I was a boy there was nothing I wanted more than to become a knight. Master MacGregor was the best teacher I could think of. He showed me how to use a sword, how to shoot an arrow. He was the best. He taught me a lot. But running away from your father, to save your own life was definitely not one of his lessons. I didn't act as a knight would have done. Shame one me. I disappointed MacGregor and worse of all, I disappointed my father and killed him."
"Robin, stop this!" Marion cried. "Your father told you to run away because he knew that you had no chance to survive if you had stayed at the castle and fought by his side.
He wanted you to live! Never forget that! Maybe this all had to happen. You became a part of the big picture by fighting for the people of
England rights. You are a knight, and possibly the most important one -justice's knight. The king and the people of England are grateful to you and they love you." She paused. "And so do I." She gazed deeply in his brown eyes. He kept quiet for some time.
"Do you really think so?" he asked her.
"Absolutely. Robin, listen to me and listen to your heart. It tells you that it is not true, what you've said." Again she paused. "Let's get out of here." She grabbed him by his wrist and pushed him out if his father's bedroom. Robin wanted to see more of his home. He headed towards his own bedroom. Slowly he opened the door and was surprised that the soldiers hadn't done as much damage as they had done in his father's room, though most of the furniture was broken.
But his old bed was still in one piece. It almost looked the same as when he had last been in it. He went over to his bed and lifted the blanket, so that he could look under his bed. The soldiers hadn't discovered his most important treasure.
The old longbow of his grandfather and a small golden locket. He brought both things out from under the bed. Softly he caressed the golden surface of the locket. He opened it. The only thing he still had from his mother was still in it. Softly his fingertips touched the small brown curl of her hair. Marion watched him from the door. He laid the things down on his bed and went over to the window. Leaning against the wall he gazed out and watched the sun set.
"Robin, we should eat something. I have some of Friar Tuck's cheese and bread with me." Marion said.
"I'm not hungry, thanks," Robin said quietly.
"Robin you have to eat. You're not back to your full strength yet."
"I know. That's why I only want to sleep. You can sleep in my bed and I'll go down to the hall and sleep there," he said.
"No, sleep in your bed yourself. I'll go to one of the servants chambers."
He turned around and faced her, but didn't say a word.
"Good night, Robin," she smiled at him.
Robin nodded his head and breathed a soft good night in her direction. Marion smiled again at him and then turned around and left the Robin alone in his room.
When Robin let himself fall down on his bed, he was surrounded by a cloud of dust. He didn't care at that moment. He was glad to be finally back home.
Marion walked back down into the kitchen where she had left her saddlebags. She took the cheese and the bread out of them and cut it in pieces with her knife. While she chewed, she thought about Robin. Her concern for him just didn't want to leave. She thought about things she could do to comfort him, when suddenly a smile appeared on her lips. "Sounds like a good idea," she told herself.
Robin didn't notice anything around him anymore. He was too tired and fell immediately asleep as soon as he was laying in his bed. He draw the blanket up to his chin and closed his eyes. Soon he began to dream. He dreamed about the two specific times, when he was about to lose someone he loved. Robert of
Locksley ran away out into the forests. Soldiers of Prince John were hunting him. He ran as fast as he could, as far, as his feet could carry him away. But the soldiers came closer. The had horses he had not. He knew that he couldn't escape from them. The small wound on his arm was aching and felt hot. He couldn't think anymore, just run. And then, suddenly he found himself in a huge eagle nest, high above the ground. The soldiers were gone, he was alone. And he was tired he fell asleep again and began to dream. "Robin," the voice of his father was calling him. "Father, where are you?" he could hear himself cry.
"Robin," the voice started again. "Don't blame yourself for my death.
It was right what you have done. Something huge, something important is
waiting for you." The voice had become more quiet while it was speaking.
"Robin, do what you have to do. And fight, if necessary." Robin looked around
but couldn't see anybody. "Father? Father!" "Robin, I've got to go now.
Make me a proud father.
"No father, don't go!" Robin woke up and looked disorientated around. He was in his castle, sitting high up in his bed. He let our a sigh of relieve. "I was only dreaming," he told himself. He laid back down in his pillows and fell asleep again.
From his hiding place he could hear the bomb explode over his very head. He had to grow crooked in that little hole in the ground. The heat came through the small trapdoor above his head. It was hard for him to breathe. His last thought, before he fell unconscious was Marion. Hours later he woke up again.
The place had cooled down some and he knew that he could leave it without being injured by any flames. He lifted the trapdoor above his head and left the burnt out place. His way led him to Sir Guy of Gisborne's castle, where he expected Marion to find. He held his hand again his chest, not because it was hurting, but there was something hidden, he didn't want to lose. A small piece of paper.
Robin entered the castle in secret. He didn't want anyone to know that he had survived. He knew that they thought he was dead. And besides he didn't want to see anyone, except Marion. Robin couldn't be sure, if he would survive while he was down in that little hole in the ground. And the only one he could think of all the time through, was Marion. A decision was made. He wanted to tell her something.
Robin was strong enough to climb up the walls to Marion's window. She was standing at the window, gazing out into the dark night. Robin could tell that she had cried. When he crawled through her window, she shouted his name in excitement. But Robin laid his finger on her lips to sign her not to say anything more. He smiled widely at her, before he started to tell her a poem:
"All other love is like the moon, which comes and goes like flowers on a plain. A bud that blooms and withers soon, a passing day, that ends in rain. All other love...." Marion closed her eyes and continued. "I flee for this, to find myself within your heart. To you I promise my first kiss and swear with it, we'll never part." Robin gazed deeply in her eyes. And so did Marion. Their faces came closer to each other......
Robin woke up. It was early in the morning and the sun had just begun to rise behind the trees of Sherwood Forest. Robin got up and went over to the window. Suddenly a certain kind of peace laid itself down over him, that kind of peace that told him, that everything was over now and he could rest. A smile curved his lips. Robin turned around and went towards the chair where he had laid down his tunic. But then he saw his old wardrobe. With a dimpled smile he went over to it and opened the doors.
His old clothes were still there and since it was pretty cold in the castle, he decided to take one of his old shirts with long sleeves. As soon as he had dressed, he went down to look for Marion. He found her sleeping in Clara's, one of their former servants, chamber. Robin went over to her and kissed her on her cheek. Marion stirred and opened her eyes in surprise. When she saw Robin's face, she smiled back at him. "Good morning," she said through a big yawn. "Good morning. Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, but too short." Her eyes suddenly opened wide in amazement. She jumped out if the bed and grabbed Robin by his arm. "Come on, I've got a surprise for you."
Robin watched her puzzled. "Whatever," he said, since he had absolutely no clue what Marion was up to. She led him down into the kitchen, but she stopped him short before they entered. "Close your eyes," she ordered. Robin obeyed her, though he still had no idea what was going on. Marion led him finally through the door.
"Okay, you may open your eyes now," she told him. Robin opened his eyes and saw a completely cleaned kitchen. Every pot, and every pan, the knifes, forks, and spoons, everything was back where it belonged.
"Marion, when have you done all this??" he asked her in pure amazement.
"Last night!" she smiled. "But come, there's more waiting for you."
She had cleaned up almost the whole castle over night! It was truly amazing. Robin was stunned. "Marion, I can't believe that!" he said, as he gave her a big hug. "You can believe it. I've been working like a dog the whole night through. Just ask my bones and muscles," she grinned. Robin gazed into her eyes." Marion, there was always something I wanted to tell you. Actually I can't believe it that I haven't told you before." He paused. "Marion, I love you. I know, this words are not very creative, but it's the truth."
"I know," Marion said. Their lips locked. It was the very first time since their kiss at the abbey, years ago. Robin was unconscious that day anyway. It didn't count. But this one was a promise.
"We'll build the castle up again together, right?" Robin nodded his head.
"And we'll have many children, right?"
Robin blushed. "If you want to," he chuckled. Again their lips locked.
"Promised?" she asked him, as they managed to unlock their kiss for a moment.
"Promised!" Robin smiled. "I love thee, Robert of Locksley."
They kept on staying embraced for some time more. Robin of Locksley and Lady
Marion Fitzwalter were finally at that point of their lives, they had yearned to be for so many years of fighting for justice and their love.
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