Before they left the field, Cat suggested that they pick some flowers for the dinner table.
Robin watched as Cat only chose the nicest ones to take back. Then it dawned on him, "So, why were you really asking about Marion?"
Cat stopped in mid-pick and straightened up, "I don’t know what you mean Robin."
"Yes you do. What is it between the two of you?"
Cat turned around and looked at him. He was always just a little bit too smart so she looked down and started fussing with the flowers she held in her hand.
Robin walked up to her, "Yes?" he said drawn out and in a voice that dropped two octaves.
Cat looked up into his eyes. Ah, those dreamy eyes of his. They melted her. Even in the ever darkening light she could see them sparkling, "I...she....we...it’s...I...,"
Robin snickered, "That is a very nice showing of your knowledge of pronouns, now would you mind using some of the other parts of the English language please."
Cat hit him playfully with the bunch of flowers, "Robin, I......don’t exactly know what it is. She can be a little intense sometimes, you know."
Robin pondered this, "Yes, she does have a passion for life and the people around her."
"Yeah right, passion for the people around her. A passion for one people around her most likely. She knows how I feel about you and I know how you and she feel about each other. But, there are just times when feminine jealousy just can’t be stopped. I like her and all, but I think that she is a little jealous of the way the two of us feel about each other. I love you with all my heart and have you for my own," she stopped as Robin opened his mouth to say something. "Let me finish." Robin nodded. "Remember when I told you about my nickname for you and why I call you that?"
"Yes," Robin said as he recalled the tender moment in the castle of King Dirk and Queen Clover.
"That is the way I have you for my own. You are my Robin, my Lover. You mean the world to me and I think that Marion is jealous of that. It’s something that she does not have with you, which is good because you and she are life partners. That is if you ever decide to marry the woman!" she shouted at him as she hit him with the flowers a little harder this time.
"Ow!" he rubbed at the sting the flowers left on his arm. "I’m getting around to it!" Robin shouted back defensively.
"What?, are you going to wait until the next century rolls around you big chicken!"
"Well I....we....it’s.....she...," Robin stuttered.
"Nice use of pronouns Lover..." she smiled as she had finally been able to turn the tables around. Very pleased with herself, "Come on you big palooka, let’s go give these flowers to Marion."
Robin was speechless as he began following Cat back to camp trying to figure out what had just happened; when the setting sun was suddenly blacked out.
Robin looked up and was stunned to see a huge creature flying toward him. It was at least three times larger than him. The body was solid muscle and blood red with an underbelly of the blackest colored onyx. It’s shape reminded him of a dragon, but the legs were larger and the head had pointed ears and horns like the devil. Huge feet and hands were extended unnaturally by sharp talons which matched the rows of yellow teeth. Three rows of scales ran down its back with pointed spikes protruding from the end of the long tail. Enormous black wings flapped with ease as the monster made its way closer to him. As it neared, Robin could see a huge black heart beating within its chest.
Robin turned as he did not want to stay around to find out any more about this strange beast. Breaking into a run, he grabbed Cat’s arm tightly as he passed her. Cat had not seen the flying mass yet and was startled when Robin grabbed her. As he pulled her quickly behind him, it was then that she saw the behemoth in the sky. Sensing the intense evil and recognizing what it was from her studies, she soon almost passed Robin as they ran.
Between breaths she shouted to Robin, "That is a selazor! We must hurry!"
Robin looked back only to see a hand coming down to snatch him up. Before he could do anything, his feet left the ground . Robin felt as if a steel belt was being constricted around his chest as he was lifted higher into the air. Just one of the great beast’s hands held onto him. He could feel the tips of the talons pressing into his flesh as the grip grew tighter. Robin tried to squirm out of the hand, but it was just too solid. So instead he was able to grab the knife from his belt. Getting a firm hold of the handle, he plunged it into the beast’s arm with all his strength.
Kaylor’s screech was deafening as the knife blade cut deep into his arm. The pain caused him to release his grip on the human. But he was also ready and grabbed him in his other hand. Rage and hatred welled up inside him for this man. He would have killed him on the spot, but he wanted him to suffer just as he was made to suffer all of those years. Not wanting to bother too much with this pesky human, Kaylor brought his long tail around and thrust one of his poisoned tail spikes into Robin’s side. If his face would have allowed, he would have smiled when the man screamed. Kaylor was very satisfied as he felt the man go limp in his hand. So engrossed was he with the man that he did not notice the added weight that clung to his hind leg. With the long overdue captive in hand, Kaylor flew back to his lair.
Robin felt the grip on him loosen as his knife drew a fetid green blood. But before he began to fall, he was clasped in the creature’s other hand. Robin was about to give him another taste of his blade when he felt a searing pain in his right side. After his screaming subsided, he looked down to see one of the tail spikes protruding through the front of his tunic. It was coated red with his blood. Robin heard himself scream again as the spike was pulled out. But it was as if it was someone else. Vision, hearing and the sensation of touch were all detached from him. Dizziness and nausea washed over him as his sight faded. The last thing he thought he heard was an evil laugh that emanated from the beast’s throat. The world went black as Robin lost consciousness.
Robin’s hand lost it’s grip on the handle of the knife. Before it could fall back to the earth, Cat used another of her new found abilities to will the knife into her hand. Cat had no idea what they were in for. All she knew was that Robin was in trouble and it was her duty to help him. With her heart in her throat, she held onto the selazor’s leg for dear life as it flew away from Robin’s home and his loved ones.
Because it was growing late, Little John decided he would go and fetch Robin. As he emerged from the woods onto the field, he saw Robin and Cat being chased by the biggest flying animal he had ever seen. His mind was so distressed by the sight of the flying whatever, he could not move. It was not until Robin had been grabbed that he found his voice. But it was too late when he screamed, "Robin!" to do anything. Tears began to flow from his eyes as he watched Robin’s limp body being flown away from him.
The fact that Cat had hopped on for a ride gave John very little comfort. All Little John knew was that Robin was helpless and taken away from him. Finally coming to his full senses, John ran back to camp to break the bad news to the others.
Little John ran as fast as he could. He could not move his legs fast enough to suit him. Finally he neared the wooden bridge that led into the common area of the compound. As his hand hit the railing he stopped dead in his tracks.
John took a couple of steps back and rested his hands on his knees as he tried to catch his breath. Reality dawned on him when he looked up to see Marion and Tuck laughing as they talked to two other members of the camp. They looked so happy. How was he going to tell them that Robin had been abducted by some huge red and black flying monster. Not to mention the fact that the last time John saw Robin he was unconscious. John didn’t know how badly Robin had been hurt, but he knew he was from the screams of pain he had heard.
John had finally caught his breath and he steeled himself for what he had to do. Hurrying over the bridge, John approached his friends.
Tuck saw John coming and he was alone, "I thought you were going to get Robin. Did he give you a hard time?" Tuck asked smiling. It did not take but one closer look at John’s face to know that something was horribly wrong. "What is it Little John? Where is Robin?"
Marion also noticed the look on John’s face. He was very easy to read, "It’s Robin, isn’t it?" she asked already knowing the answer as her heart went to her throat.
Little John felt the tears burn his eyes as he tried to keep control, "I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t help him. It is my fault that he is gone!" he sobbed out.
"What are you talking about John? Where is Robin?" Tuck asked him also trying to keep control.
"I was at the edge of the field when I saw a huge red and black flying dragon-thing grab Robin and fly away. Robin was hurt and unconscious as the thing flew out of sight. I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I wasn’t fast enough. Robin is gone because I was not fast enough or strong enough to help him!" he cried as the tears flowed freely down his flushed cheeks.
Tuck and Marion went to Little John’s side to try to comfort the man. They both knew that if this thing had flown away with Robin, there was no way that they could track it. First they had to calm Little John down and help him know that he was not at fault. Even though they had not been there, common sense dictated that it would have been nearly impossible to fight that type of animal with a sword or quarter-staff.
"If you had been closer, how would you have stopped it?" Tuck asked trying to get John to reason it out.
John wiped his face with the back of his hand as he tried to think what he would have done to help poor Robin. Sniffing, "I don’t know. The beast was three times bigger than me. I could have done something instead of just standing there with my mouth open," he chastised himself.
"John," Marion started but was unable to continue. The fear for her beloved was just too great. Any words just caught in her throat when she tried to form them. Marion looked to Tuck to continue as she turned away from the two.
Tuck nodded at Marion and understood. "John, if you had been standing right next to Robin when the dragon-thing attacked, what would have happened?"
John looked at Marion’s back and knew that she was trying to hide her tears from them. He felt so defeated and sick inside. "Tuck, I didn’t have a weapon with me! It was so massive. Robin almost looked like a doll in a child’s hand it was so big. I would have probably done exactly what Cat did," he reasoned out as the anger began to grow in place of his other feelings.
Marion spun around and grabbed John’s forearm, "What do you mean, exactly what Cat did!? She was with Robin!? What did she do John!?" Marion pleaded with him to tell her as she shook his arm.
"Yes, I saw her running along side Robin, away from the dragon. When it picked up Robin, she jumped onto its hind leg. She was hanging on as it flew away!"
Marion let go of John and turned to Tuck, "Do you know what this means? She can bring Robin back to us like she did before!"
Tuck smiled at Marion and slapped Little John on the back, "This is wonderful news John. Just in case, I will go and get some medicinal supplies together and then we just have to wait for her to return with Robin."
"You mean that Robin will be all right?" John asked still skeptical.
"Yes John, we can count on Catrina. She will do everything in her power and with her powers to help Robin come home to us," Marion told him as she brushed a lingering tear from his cheek.
John looked into her eyes and then into Tuck’s. They both reflected relief. He wanted to believe too, but just could not shake a feeling of dread for Robin.
Tuck saw his hesitation, "It will be all right my friend. Why don’t you come with me to get things ready for Robin’s return?"
John could not and would not just sit by and wait. He was a man of action and deep feelings. Right now his feelings were telling him to not sit back. They told him to act and act quickly!
As Tuck pulled on his arm for him to come, John yanked his arm out of Tuck’s hand, "I don’t understand you, either of you! Robin is hurt. I don’t know how badly. From his screams of pain, it must be a very grave injury! We have to do something! We can’t just sit and wait for him to come to us. We have to go and find him...them!" he spewed out in anger.
Marion walked up to him and started to place her hand gently on his shoulder, but he jerked away from her. "John, please calm down. Everything will be fine. I trust Catrina with Robin’s life. She has saved his life more times than I want to even think about. She has come through every time for him. She loves him too much to not help him in anyway that she can." It didn’t even dawn on Marion exactly what she had admitted. She was too focused on Little John to realize.
"Marion is right. Catrina will come through once again, I know that she will," Tuck added.
John kept backing away from them, "I think that instead of knowing that she will Tuck, you should be praying that she will. I will not ignore my feelings. The fear and dread I feel for Robin is too strong not to try something. You can do what you want to do, but I am going to try to find Robin," he told them firmly.
Marion and Tuck looked at each other. They both saw the determination on John’s face and knew that he was almost as stubborn as Robin.
"All right Little John. I appreciate that you feel so strongly about Robin that you want to do this for him. Tuck and I will wait here. If you feel that you need to do this, then I will not try to stop you," Marion told him softly.
"I think that you will be going on a wild goose chase John. You will be out looking for Robin when he will be here safe with us," Tuck told him frankly.
"I don’t care Tuck! I will do whatever I have to do to find Robin! I will not rest until I know that he is safe and well!" John shouted then turned and started to head to the stable.
"But John, it’s dark. You can’t leave in the dark," Tuck countered.
Little John spun on his heals, "I wouldn’t care if it was freezing cold and there was two feet of snow covering the ground. I’m going!" John ran to the stable.
Tuck started to say something else when Marion stayed him.
"There is nothing that we can say to stop him Tuck. We just have to let him go. When Robin and Catrina return, we will all go out after him to bring him home," Marion offered.
"Well, I’m going to go fix him some food to take with him so at least he won’t have to worry about that," Tuck said as he quickly headed to the cook’s tent.
It was now completely dark out. Marion felt lost without Robin in camp. A shiver ran up her spine as doubt flashed through her mind. She had felt so sure that Robin would be returning home to her soon when John and Tuck were with her. Now that she was alone, she felt afraid and unsure. Shaking her head, she reasoned that it was just the night air. Marion trusted Catrina because Robin did. He was very rarely, if ever, wrong about people. Not really wanting to admit it, but knowing in her heart that Robin dearly loved Catrina. If Robin loved and trusted her, then there should be nothing to worry about. This thought renewed her confidence that Robin would be coming soon as she walked over to sit by the roaring fire.
Tuck threw some food into a bag and ran as fast as his chubby legs would carry him to the stable. Little John was just mounting when Tuck arrived.
"Isn’t there anything that I can say to stop you from going?" Tuck asked.
John shook his head back and forth forcefully, "No!"
"All right John. Here is some food for you. Please be careful and use the common sense that I know you have. We will await your return," Tuck said frustrated.
"Thank you Tuck. I will return with Robin and Cat as soon as I can," he said confidently then rode out.
Tuck shook his head as he watched the large man leave. Closing his eyes,
Tuck said a prayer for John, Robin and Cat. Just in case.
End of Chapter Two
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six
Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve
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