The Dreamer
By Joan Woodcock
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Drawing by Lisa Prusok

She is so beautiful. All he could ever want in a woman. All he did want.

Hidden by the cover of the trees, Robin watches Marion as a child watches his mother serve a favorite dessert . . . hungry, hopeful, eager, excited . . . only with a decidedly more "adult" flavor.

Unaware of his perusal, Marion continues practicing the sword techniques Robin recently taught her. Her movements are grace personified, her gentle yet firm musculature a lure to any man with eyes. And Robin’s hungry brown eyes follow every movement, every play of muscle under milky, smooth skin, every spin and lift of her short skirt, every grimace when she makes a mistake, every smile when she executes with precision.

Thoughts of companionship, children, waking up beside that special someone - beside Marion - every morning have invaded Robin’s waking hours recently, no longer content to just haunt his dreams at night when he tosses and turns on his cold, lonely pallet.

What children he and Marion would make!

Robin closes his eyes as he rests his head on his arm propped against the tree trunk. Should he propose? Is it time? God knows he wants to, so much. He loves Marion more than life itself.

He smiles as his dream unfolds in his imagination. Marion as a blushing bride. She would never admit that she blushed, though. Robin chuckles to himself at that thought. Marion on their wedding night. How beautiful she looks as she holds her arms out to him, inviting him to share her bed, her body, her love. The vision shifts to another Marion, her complexion positively glowing, her hand resting protectively over the mounded swelling under her breasts where the result of their love is cradled. Another image flashes through his mind’s eye - a dark-haired little girl, a miniature of her mother, running towards Robin, arms outstretched, a wide smile on her cherubic little face. Robin bends and spreads his arms to embrace his precious daughter. He can smell her child-clean scent as she frames his face with her chubby hands and plants a wet kiss on the tip of his nose with a loud smack.

Robin laughs out loud, startling both himself and Marion.

She turns toward him and the expression of delighted surprise on her beautiful face takes Robin’s breath away. Yes. This woman is his destiny, his life. And today is the day to make it so.

Robin moves forward and with each step he takes, he can feel his smile broaden. This is it! Marion will finally be his.

They stand face-to-face, their breath mingling, their eyes locked. Robin takes Marion’s hands in his own trembling ones.

"Robin, what is it? You’re looking at me differently."

Robin takes a deep, fortifying breath, his Adam’s apple bobbing so endearingly. Marion smiles.

"Marion, I know we’ve never really discussed . . . that is, we’ve always avoided talking about . . ." He stutters to a halt, suddenly feeling shy and tongue-tied.

Sensing his nervousness and inner struggle, Marion gently cups his cheek. "What is it, Robin? Tell me."

Robin leans into her hand. Nothing could feel better than her touch. "Marion, I lo --"

"Robin!" Sean bursts into the clearing. "Derbyshire is under attack by soldiers. Little John and Tuck are gathering the men. It’s bad."

Robin’s hands drop, as does his heart when he sees the light fade from Marion’s eyes. "Marion, I’m sorry. I --"

"Robin. You have nothing to be sorry about. You have your duty." She lightly kisses him on the lips, caressing his cheek one more time as she steps away to follow Sean.

Robin watches her departing back in dismay. He touches his lips. "I have my duty. But it’s you that I want."

He runs to catch up to them and the dreamer once again becomes the warrior.

The End

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