Now that things were settled, Kaylora shifted Robin back into the cradle of her arm and sat down on her haunches. John and Cat sat down as well. There was an awkward moment of silence.
Then Cat yelled out, "Hey!"
John jumped, "Hey what!?"
"Hey, how did you find us? For that matter, how did you get up here?"
"Oh, I had a dream and in the dream I was shown the way here. As for the cliff, there is a walk-able path if you look really hard for it."
"Where are Marion and Friar Tuck?"
John frowned, "They are waiting back at camp. They were positive that you would be showing up with Robin only a short time after you both were flown away by that monster dragon thing. I didn’t believe it, no offense Cat. I had a bad feeling and I was not going to sit and wait for something I knew was not going to happen," John paused. "So Cat, what did happen? Why didn’t you take Robin home?"
"I am very glad that you followed your feelings John and no offense taken. Once I set foot in this cave, almost all of my magic was taken away by Kaylor, the bad selazor that hurt and took Robin. I only had enough to heal the wound on Robin’s side. It kept him alive until Kaylora was able to heal him completely."
"What happened to Kaylor?" John asked.
Cat blushed and looked down at her hands, "I killed him," she said in a small voice.
John was shocked, "You killed him!?"
"Yes." Cat was taken aback when John pulled her into a big bear hug, his specialty.
"I’m so proud of you!" he cried out as he hugged her. Once he released her, "We’ll make an outlaw out of you yet!" he beamed.
Cat laughed hard and John laughed right along with her.
Kaylora had been silent while they talked. She had been looking at Robin the whole time. Now that she had seen another man and woman, she realized just how really beautiful Robin’s outer body was. He was flawless! As John and Cat laughed, Kaylora saw Robin move his head, he was waking up.
Robin heard the wonderful sound of laughter. He thought he heard Little John’s voice, but that wasn’t possible. The soft warm fur still surrounded him as he opened his eyes. This time he was greeted with Kaylora’s smiling face looking down at him.
Robin yawned, stretched and breathed in the scent of lavender, "Hello."
"Hello yourself." she chirped.
"Robin!" John yelled in joy as he ran up to Kaylora.
Robin turned his head, "Little John, I thought I heard your voice. How in the world did you get here?"
"I was afraid for you Robin. So, I lit out on my own to find you. I had a dream that led me here. You were pretty much safe by the time I arrived."
Robin smiled gently at him, "Thank you my friend."
"You would have done the same for me," John said as he blushed slightly.
"Kaylora, please put me down."
"Here we go," Cat said knowing what was to come.
John looked at her and nodded.
Robin glanced over at the two, confused. Then he shrugged it off. When Kaylora made no move, "Please, I’d like to be put down now," Robin told her more forcefully.
Kaylora looked down at him and smiled, "No."
Robin pushed himself up to sit as best he could in her arm, "No. What do you mean no?"
"I don’t want to and I don’t have to," she said still smiling.
Robin started to struggle. He had his full strength back now, "Release me NOW!" he yelled angrily.
"No Robin!" she scolded him and held him tighter.
Robin relaxed back and when he felt her hold loosen, he threw his arms and legs up slipping right between her arm and chest. Robin did a flip and landed gracefully on the ground. Before he got two inches Kaylora had snatched him up once again. His struggles increased. He kicked his legs and tried to push her fingers away from him so he could escape.
As he wrestled, he looked down at John and Cat, "Aren’t you two even going to try to help me?" he gasped.
In unison they said, "No."
Robin’s mouth dropped open and he stopped dead. He could not believe what he just heard, "Did you both just say no?"
Neither of them could look him in the eye. Their heads dropped as they nodded a silent ‘yes’.
Robin didn’t understand at all. But even if they weren’t going to help him, that wasn’t going to stop him. He would just keep trying himself. When he had stopped, Kaylora’s grip relaxed. This gave Robin the chance he was looking for. Only this time he brought a leg up and braced a foot against her thumb. With all his might he pushed up and slipped up and over her hand. Doing several somersaults in the air, he headed for the ground only to land in her other hand.
"You are a slippery little thing," Kaylora laughed.
One more time Robin fought to get free, "Release me!" he ordered breathlessly.
Kaylora pulled his body up and held him against her chest, over her heart.
Robin pushed against her furry body, "Please! I need a little help here guys!"
"Robin we can’t. We gave our word that she could keep you," John agonized as he told him.
Robin stopped once more. This time his heart and brain felt as if they had been hit with a sledge hammer. He could not believe what he had just heard. Robin craned his neck to try to look at them. Kaylora noticed this and turned him around. This time she maintained a snug grasp on his body.
Robin rested his arms on her finger, "John, I don’t understand. Did you just say that you told her she could keep me?"
"Yes Robin I did. I’m sorry but we had to give our word of honor."
Robin’s heart sank. His word of honor was a bond that Robin could not break, "Why John, why?"
"She was not going to let you go at all Robin, ever. Cat and I had to agree to let her keep you until we find her a mate."
"Please tell me you’re kidding," Robin begged.
"He isn’t Robin. We didn’t have any alternative. It was the only way to try to get her to let you go," Cat explained with a heavy heart.
Robin tilted his head back to look up at Kaylora. She held him away from her so he could talk to all of them without straining.
"I don’t understand why you would even want to...keep me," Robin choked out as the words stuck in his throat.
Kaylora could see that Robin was in distress so she started to purr so that only he could hear her. She recalled what happened to Catrina when she purred louder.
Her voice became sweet and melodious, "I want to keep you because you feel good in my arms. I don’t mean just the way your beautiful body feels either. I mean the way your spirit feels. You feed me the strength that I need to thrive and be happy."
Robin listened to her voice. It was so calming. Her purring was relaxing him to the point that he wanted to sleep. As his eyes began to close he realized what she was doing.
"Kaylora, STOP IT!" he reprimanded her.
"What’s wrong Robin?" John asked concerned.
Robin forced his eyes open again, "She’s purring and putting me to sleep again. Now stop it! I don’t...want...to...sleeeeeep." his voice trailed off as his eyes closed and his body went limp.
"I gave you my word that he would not suffer while in my care," Kaylora said as she tenderly moved Robin’s body into the crook of her arm. She started stroking Robin’s bare chest with the tips of her fingers.
"But he wasn’t suffering. Are you going to keep him unconscious until we find your mate?" Cat asked stepping up.
"Yes he was. He was distressed and he could have hurt himself trying to get away from me."
"Kaylora, you must understand something about Robin. He is a very strong willed, passionate man. He is also very stubborn. Putting him to sleep every time he shows some spark of life is not the way. We will need his help to help you. If he is unconscious, he can’t do that," John explained.
Kaylora looked down at Robin. He was so innocent and sweet looking when he slept. It made her heartache. "I understand Little John. I cannot bring him back now. He must sleep until the affects wear off. When next he awakens, please try to make him understand. I warn you, if he becomes distressed again, I will put him back to sleep."
"I understand. Cat and I will do everything we can to convince him," John told her.
Cat nodded her agreement.
"Can we at least put his tunic back on him?" John asked.
"Why? I like the way his skin feels. It is soft and smooth yet very strong and solid," Kaylora admired.
Cat nodded her agreement again.
"Yes but that would be one less thing that would distress Robin when he awakens. I know that he would prefer to be completely dressed," John argued.
Kaylora sighed relenting, "All right. I will hold him while you dress him."
"Thank you," John smiled.
Cat got Robin’s tunic and belt while Kaylora lowered Robin to the ground.
John reached for Robin’s things and Cat pulled them away, "Aw John, let me do it, pleeeeease," Cat begged.
John gave her a stern look, "No. I think it would be best if I did it. I know Robin would prefer it that way."
Cat looked at Robin and knew John was right. She shoved John Robin’s clothes, "Gee whiz Little John, you ruin all my fun," she pouted.
John took the things from her and smiled, "Tough!"
Cat stuck her tongue out at him. John stuck his tongue back at her and laughed. It didn’t take him too long to dress the unconscious Robin. All the while Cat watched with envy. Kaylora raised back up and readjusted Robin in the cradle of her arm.
Then she frowned, "I liked it better the other way."
"I did too," Cat concurred.
John rolled his eyes at the two females, "So, when do we start the search for your mate?"
"I would like to start now," Kaylora said excitedly.
"Okay, how?" he asked.
"I will fly us."
"You can’t carry all of us, " Cat said.
"Yes I can. I will keep Robin in my arms and you two can sit in my pouch."
"Pouch? Where?" John and Cat asked.
Kaylora reached down and pulled open a portion of fur on the midsection of her golden tummy.
John went closer and peeked in, "What’s that for?"
"That is where my babies will live after they are born, until they are old enough to go out on their own."
John looked up with wide eyes, "That is amazing!"
Kaylora looked at John with sad eyes, "I just hope we can find a mate so that I may have babies."
"We will do all that we can to find a mate for you," Cat told her empathizing with her maternal instinct.
"Well then, hop in and let’s be off!" Kaylora said as she opened the pouch wider.
John climbed in first, then helped Cat in. Once settled, they headed out.
"Can we land at the bottom of the cliff before we go?" John asked.
"Why?" Kaylora asked.
"I want to get some things from my horse and send him on his way home. I also want to put a message in his saddle so our friends will know what has happened. They are probably worried sick by now."
Kaylora agreed. She landed and John took care of his horse and sent him
home with a short note for Marion and Friar Tuck. Once back in Kaylora’s
pouch, the four were off on the search of their lives.
Tuck and Marion were heading back to camp.
"Why is it that Olwyn is never any help. He talks in riddles. I don’t think I have ever gotten a straight answer out of that man," Marion yelled.
"Marion, calm down," Tuck advised her.
"Calm down! Tuck, Robin is out there hurt, dying or...dead," she choked back the tears. "We can do nothing to help him. It has been days since Robin was abducted and Little John left. We should have gone with him! We should have listened to his instincts! Why did I ever trust in Cat!? Why did Robin!? she screamed and was on the verge of hysteria.
"Marion! You must calm down. This is not good for you. You have not eaten and have been in a rage for days now," Tuck told her.
"How else should I be Tuck? I feel dread in the pit of my stomach. I also feel so, so stupid at not listening to Little John. He did the right thing. We were wrong! Olwyn didn’t tell us a damn thing that would help. I’m just sitting here while Robin is out there, somewhere. I should be by his side!"
Since we can’t do anything to help Robin directly, it certainly won’t help by you worrying yourself physically sick."
They rode the rest of the way home in silence.
When they got home, Sean came up to them with a piece of bark in hand, "John’s horse came back rider-less while you were gone. We found this note in the saddlebag."
Marion grabbed it from him and read it"
‘Robin alive and well. Going to help selazor find mate. All are well.
Be home soon as find mate. John’
Marion was so relieved at knowing that Robin was alive, she collapsed in a dead faint.
"Sean, help me get her to her hut. All we can do now is wait." Tuck said
The foursome soared through the sky. Kaylora’s tiny golden wings covered ground with miraculous speed. John and Cat peered over the edge of the fur pouch. Her fur kept them very warm and toasty in the high altitude of the sky. Robin was still held in Kaylora’s arms and still unconscious. Kaylora noticed that Robin’s body was shivering. No matter how closely she held him, she could not keep him warm enough. With great reluctance, she placed him in her pouch with the other two.
John grabbed Robin and held him tightly. He pulled Robin down inside her pouch for complete warmth. Cat stayed up to allow some light to get down to them. John held Robin’s back against him and rubbed his arms vigorously to try to warm him up. It was this stimulation that finally brought Robin back to the world of consciousness.
Robin felt cold inside, but warmth enswathed him. He felt a strong body against his back and strong arms and hands holding him. This time his forced sleep gave him a headache and a heavy feeling in his entire body. Robin moaned and moved his head. Slowly he opened his eyes. He had to blink several times to make sure his eyes were open because of the darkness.
"Robin, you awake?" John softly asked.
Robin cleared his throat, "I’m not sure. Am I?"
John chuckled, "Yes my friend. It’s good to have you back with us."
"It’s good to be back. I think I’ve had enough sleep to last me a month. Where are we?"
"We are in a fur pouch on Kaylora’s stomach."
"You’re kidding!" Robin exclaimed as he sat away from John.
"Nope! This is where she said her babies will live after they are born."
Robin let out a single laugh, "And I thought I felt silly cradled in her arm."
"Robin I think the only reason she let you go was because you were cold. I have no doubt you will once again have that experience," John told him truthfully.
"Not if I can help it!" he shouted.
"Robin you must allow her to hold you."
"John have you lost your senses?"
"No Robin. Cat and I gave her our word that she could keep you until we find her a mate. If you don’t cooperate, she has already told us that she will not hesitate to put you back to sleep," John explained with a heavy heart.
"Was there any other way John?"
"No Robin there wasn’t."
Robin let out a deep sigh, "I really don’t like the thought of this. It’s so degrading."
"I know it is Robin, but consider the alternative. We need you awake to help us try to locate a mate."
"Hey guys," Cat called out.
Robin and John stood up to look out at the earth far below them. Robin was once again warm and felt better.
As he saw the view, he took in a sharp breath, "This is incredible. I think to see this, everything has almost been worth it."
"It is beautiful isn’t it." Cat sighed.
"I can’t believe how fast we are flying. I wouldn’t have thought her little wings could go so fast," Robin said not taking his eyes off the view.
"I called you both up for another reason," Cat began.
"What’s up?" Robin asked.
"I’m getting my powers back. I have already been able to tap into enough energy to fill myself up inside," she said playfully nudging Robin.
Robin understood the nudge and smiled back at her warmly.
"I think that after a while, I’ll be back to full power."
"That’s great Cat, we may just need your special skills," Robin told her.
"I will be at your service Lover."
"Hey, we are slowing down and descending," John noticed.
"Is anything wrong Kaylora?" Robin yelled up.
Kaylora looked down, "Hello Robin. I see you are with us again."
"Yes and I’d like to stay that way," he grumbled.
"I will keep it in mind. To answer your question, I’m getting tired. I need to rest for a while."
Robin was relieved that they were going to be on good old mother earth again. But with a heavy sigh, he realized that although they would be back on the ground, his feet probably would never touch it. Kaylora would see to that. He had to find some way to keep their bargain yet have his freedom.
Kaylora came in for a landing in a clearing near a forest. It was not in a populated area so the humans would not be able to recruit any of their kind against her. Although she trusted them, she didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances. John and Cat jumped out of her pouch. As Robin jumped out, his feet never hit the ground. Kaylora grabbed him in mid-air.
It was a reflex reaction that made him struggle against her hold. When he heard her start purring, he tried to get himself to relax. As he opened his mouth to tell her to stop, it was too late. Robin could not keep his eyes open and his mind fell down a deep, dark shaft once again. His body went slack as he lost consciousness. Kaylora placed his body in the crook of her arm and hugged him to her fuzzy chest. She rocked back and forth as she closed her eyes in rapture.
"You didn’t even give him a chance," John protested.
"He was struggling. I told you I would not allow Robin to suffer," Kaylora said softly as she rocked.
"I spoke to Robin and he agreed to let you hold him. Just give him a chance to relax next time. Robin is a born fighter. You must give him a chance." John pleaded.
"All right Little John, I will give Robin a chance next time he awakens."
End of Chapter Five
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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