Marion was just so glad, that she was finally together with her Robin. She had a hard time looking at him, without feeling that terrible fear inside of her, that he would die. He had gone through so much in his yet short life, and she wondered if it would ever come to an end. He was so pale, his shaken form so vulnerable, his entire body at a lack of life. Soon Marion was interrupted in her thoughts, by the sound of an opening door. Curvenal came, and brought her some food.
"You must be Curvenal," Marion queried. The man nodded. "This name sounds quite strange," she said. "Where do you come from?"
"I’m from Ireland. Such names aren’t that strange there," he smiled at her.
"Sorry, didn’t want to offend you. Tell me, are you a vampire too?"
"Yes. Truth to tell, Curvenal is not a popular name in Ireland anymore. I’m more than 500 years old, but still 200 years younger than Sarianna. She is the oldest of us. I used to be a druid, until one day one of our enemies came and killed me. I was dying when Sarianna appeared and saved my life by making me, what I am today."
"I thought Sarianna hates what she is. So why did she turn you into a vampire?"
"I was kind of a holy man for the druids. I was the Guardian of Wisdom, the most important druid, so to say. They needed me alive, no matter it be as a human or vampire. I kept on fulfilling my destiny for further 250 years, until another man came and killed all of the other guardians. And so the druids disappeared from the surface of Ireland."
"What would happen, if you became a human again?" Marion asked him.
"You want to know, if I would die?"
Marion nodded. "No, I wouldn’t. I’m healed and besides I am immortal. But in a special way. I can never die in a natural way or because of a disease. I’ll only die, if somebody kills me. And the guy had almost managed." Curvenal noticed, that Marion wasn’t in the right mood the hear more of his story. He smiled at her.
"I’ll get something for you to sleep on," he said and left the room. Marion wanted to protest, wanted to tell him, that she couldn’t sleep anyway, but Curvenal was already gone. A heavy sigh filled with sorrow and frustration left her throat. Then she turned her head to look at Robin, when her eyes went wide in horror, disbelief and shock. Robin was laying in a pool of his own blood. Marion turned pale and hot tears welled up in her pale eyes. She jumped from her seat and ran to the door. When she had opened it, she ran out into the corridor and yelled Sarianna’s name, just as loud as she could. Immediately Sarianna appeared in a bright shine of a black light.
"What’s wrong Marion? Why are you so afraid?" she asked her, slowly becoming horrified herself.
"It’s Robin. He ... he ... he started bleeding again!" she stuttered, her face now even more pale, than before.
Sarianna ran quickly into the huge room, towards Robin’s bed. Her white face turned into a very bright white, a single tear rolling down her left cheek. She threw the blanket aside and turned Robin around onto his stomach. Even before she had cut off Robin’s shirt completely, she knew very well what had happened. Sarianna told Marion to stand next to her. Then she took Marion’s fist and pressed it into the bleeding hole in Robin’s back.
"Marion, listen very carefully," she said, looking deeply into her eyes. "You keep on pressing your fist against the wound. Don’t stop. I’ll be back immediately," she yelled, when she ran out of the room.
"Where are you going?" Marion cried out in horror. She knew that Robin would die without Sarianna’s help.
"I need Emilia. I’ll go and get her." Marion nodded and allowed her to go. She just felt so helpless. Of course she was used to handling herbs and treating a cough, but she couldn’t heal wounds. To her relief, Sarianna returned with Emilia almost immediately, using her special gift.
"Marion, go!" she yelled, storming toward Robin, holding Emilia by her hand.
"I won’t go, Sarianna," Marion yelled back at her. "I can’t leave him alone now!" Marion protested.
"Curvenal, Curvenal!!!" Sarianna and Emilia shouted in unison. The ancient vampire came into the room almost immediately.
"Curvenal, get Marion out of here --- NOW!" Sarianna ordered. "We have no time."
Curvenal grabbed Marion by her arm and pulled her out of the room. Marion tried to fight Curvenal, but her attempts to free herself were hopeless and suddenly sweet darkness washed over her.
Hours later she woke up again to find herself laying protected in Curvenal’s strong arms.
"How’s Robin?" she asked him, with fear for Robin’s life in her beautiful eyes.
"I don’t know. Sarianna and Emilia haven’t show up ever since," he replied. "Marion, I’m afraid your friend is going to die," he said, his voice filled with concern and pity for both Marion and Robin.
Marion stood up and watched the beautiful night sky. Stars sparkled brightly on the velvet sky and her mind drifted away to a moment in the past, when Robin had confessed his love for her the very first time as a grown up man. She remembered herself thinking, Robin was dead and then suddenly appeared at one of the windows of Sir Guy of Gisborne’s castle. Marion could even now feel the sweet tender caress of Robin’s finger on her lips. She could see the loving gaze in his eyes and the love she felt for him. She knew that love was stronger than everything, that love could break any dark spell, and that love lasted – even after death. She remembered the poem, she had written for him so long time ago, when they had still been children.
"You love him very much, don’t you?" Curvenal interrupted her in her memories. Marion turned around to face him.
"Yes I do. But I’ve never had the chance to really tell him." She sighed out.
"I’ve never loved a man as I love him and I’ll never do. You know, today is his birthday, and I’m afraid, that it’ll become his day of death."
"It’s his birthday? Well, I’m sure you’d like to celebrate it with him," Curvenal muttered. "I’ll go and see, if Sarianna and Emilia are finished. It’s about time," he said and left Marion back alone.
Sarianna looked at Emilia with sad eyes. The *young* vampire knew very well, what this look meant. Robin was going to die.
"He won’t make it through the night, will he," Emilia asked her mother.
"I hope he will, but I’m sure he won’t. Truth to tell, I think there was poison on the arrow-head. It’s not the wound that kills him. It is a poison. I’ve run tests with him, to find out if there was any poison, but I couldn’t find anything. There must be something else, but I just don’t know what. In case he’ll die, our last chance to become human again, is gone."
"Do you really think, this is so important now? I don’t mind if I will be a vampire forever! The only thing that matters is Robin! And I think I know very well, which medication could heal him. You know, he’s awake, but just doesn’t recognize what happens. He’s asleep with open eyes."
"Go, get her." Sarianna knew that Emilia was right. Just as Emilia opened the door, Curvenal came in.
"She wants to see him," he simply said.
"And we want her to see him. Go and bring her quickly, Curvenal," Emilia ordered. Curvenal nodded and was on his way. Soon he came back with a very pale Marion. Curvenal hadn’t told her anything about Robin’s state and so she feared the worst. Sarianna looked at Emilia, then at Curvenal and her eyes told them, that it was time for them to go. After a very short moment, Marion found herself left alone with poor Robin. She kept on staring at the now closed door, afraid to turn around only to see her only love laying in a cold bed, fighting against death.
Eventually she had to turn around. Robin was laying there still, he didn’t move at all, his beautiful closed eyes never moved. Slowly, very slowly Marion made her steps towards the bed, one after the other. At last she was standing in front of her beloved and could not believe that it was really him. For her, Robin had always symbolized grace, power, and first of all strength. But now all of this was gone. He was laying so weak in front of her, his power gone, and yet some of his great grace left. The paleness of his face didn’t curtail his beauty.
"My love," she whispered into his deaf ears, a huge tear silently running down her white cheek.
"Listen, don’t you dare leave me like this. You know, honey, I need you more than anything on this world. I really wonder why you always get in such difficulties. You know, sometimes I hate you for being the way you are. I mean, why do you get hurt so often? Why? I guess you don’t know yourself, do you. .... Oh Robin, don’t leave me," she pleaded with him.
Marion was really exhausted, her voice trembled when she spoke, one tear followed by another.
"You, Robin Hood, are the best, that ever happened to me and at the same time, you are the most terrible man, a woman could think of. But on the other hand, I just have to love you. I guess we are supposed to love each other. And don’t think, that I wouldn’t know, that you love me. I know you do, though you deny it always, when we are among others. But your eyes tell me truth. Yes, Robin Hood, they are your weak point. Your beautiful, tender, soft brown eyes. I only wish, I could see them now." Marion’s fingers played with Robin’s long thick brown hair.
"I love you Robin. I only hope, you know that."
Prince John’s Castle
I already had him. I was so close!" the prince thundered. Three weeks had passed since, Lady Sarianna had deprived him from his prey, which already had been his own. Inside of him, he was burning with hatred and anger – against Lady Sarianna. He knew, that he had no chance to fight her, but he was still looking for a possibility to get rid of her.
"Jesse, come over here!" he shouted out. Immediately the small form of a man appeared, no, no man, a boy indeed. Certainly not older than thirteen years. His hair was of a deep dark black, the darkness underlined by the paleness of his face. His eyes were lakes of clear, bright blue, the small lines of his lips colored with a deep, bloody red.
"Milord, I’m at your service," he coughed. A big evil smile curved the prince’s lips.
"Okay, my small vampire friend. I need you to do something for me."
"Milord, I’d do everything for you."
"That’s good to know. You have to kill someone for me. And you are the only one, who can do this."
"Milord?" the young vampire asked.
"Kill the Lady Sarianna of Devonshire. You are the only one who can do that and she simply has to die. Kill her!!!" Prince John yelled loudly. A small evil smile seemed to kiss Jesse’s lips.
"Of course, Milord" Jesse said and with it, he was gone.
Sherwood Forest - The Outlaws Compound
Friar! ...... FRIAR!!!!!!!!" Little John yelled through the still sleepy compound, very early in the morning. Running towards Friar Tuck’s hut, he kept on screaming out his name. Trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes, the friar came out of his hut.
"What’s wrong, Little John," he said, his words followed by a real huge yawn.
"Friar!!!! Marion is gone!"
"What?" Suddenly all his tiredness was gone. "Where is she?"
"I don’t know! Her horse is still in the stable with all the others and besides she has taken nothing with her. I tried to find any tracks, but couldn’t find any. Friar, it’s horrible! It’s as if she would have been swallowed by the ground." Little John was short before despair.
"Now better calm down, John. I think I know where she is."
"And where Friar???" The strong man John Little was short before crying.
"She’s with Robin."
"She’s with Robin. I’m sure that Emilia, the girl who told us about Robin’s whereabouts, has taken her to Devonshire Castle."
"How do you know that?" Little John asked confusedly.
"I don’t know, but I’ve heard that Emilia of Devonshire thinks with her heart. And in case this is the truth, I’m sure that she has taken Marion to Robin. She could sense, how much Marion loves Robin - and of course, how much Robin loves her."
"Who told you that?" A wide grin parted the friar’s lips.
"Olwyn," he said, yawned and returned to his hut to go back to sleep.
Marion had fallen asleep next to Robin on his bed. She dreamt hunted dreams. Robin died many deaths in the few hours of her restless sleep. When she woke up, she threw her legs over the edge of the bed and tried to steady them on the obviously shaking ground. Eventually she managed to get up and her next thought led her to Robin. She turned around and saw the still form of Robin still laying on the bed, but something had changed, while she had been asleep. Marion went towards Robin and kneeled down by his bedside. Softly her hand caressed the hot skin of Robin’s face and only a moment later, her eyes met his. First she couldn’t believe it, but she started to realize.
"Robin, you woke up," she stuttered, a small sound of disbelief making itself heard in her weak voice. Robin replied her welcome with a deep moan coming out of his throat, filled with terrible pain. His head was short before exploding, his back felt, as if it would be braking in the very next moment. He moaned out again and Marion was so frightened, that she wanted to run and get Sarianna and Emilia. But Robin held her back by grabbing her weakly by her arm.
"Marion, don’t leave me," he whispered, pleading with her. She smiled down at him.
"I won’t my love. Never," she said with a soothing voice. Robin nodded, closing his eyes again.
"What happened?" he asked, his voice never rose above a whisper. Marion smiled and kissed him on his sensual pale lips.
"Don’t care about that now, Robin. Rest, you just need it now more than anything else."
"Please Marion, I need to know," he once again tried to convince her to tell him what happened, but if she had started telling him, he wouldn’t have heard her anyway. He quickly had fallen asleep. Marion was still smiling down on her only true love. She was just so glad that he finally had woken up. His sleep had been like the terrible sleep of death. But now, a hazy glimmer of life had returned into his eyes and Marion was just relieved.
Soon Sarianna and Emilia returned to Marion and Robin. When they heard, that Robin had opened his eyes for a short moment, they both stared at each other.
"My daughter has a stronger medicine, than I do," Sarianna said in surprise.
"You never believed me," Emilia smiled.
"Now, what did he say?" Sarianna asked Marion.
"Not much. He only didn’t want me to leave and he wanted to know what happened. Then he fell asleep again."
"That’s not much," Curvenal said, who had just joined them.
"But it’s still better than nothing." For some reason, Sarianna gave him the evil eye. Curvenal understood and left the room.
"Marion, now that he’s woken up, he has a chance to survive," Emilia told her. "But you have his life in your hands."
"Why?" Marion asked.
"Be there for him, the way he wants you to be there for him. Care for him, as you would not care for anyone else. Give him the things, he will need and be there for him in every way he needs you to be there for him."
"I promise, I will." Marion said honestly.
"Good, then we’ll be on our way and you take care of him. You will find everything you need to serve him. There’s an herbal tea, in case he would run a fever and there are also new dressing, in case you have to change them. You’ll be alone with him in the castle for a couple of days. We have some business to do away from here," Sarianna told her, showing her, where Marion would find the things, she’d need. Marion nodded and wished them all the best for their tasks. Then Sarianna, Emilia, and Curvenal disappeared into a black shimmer of light. With them gone, it had become very silent in the castle.
"We’re alone now," Marion whispered smiling to sleeping Robin. She was glad that they finally had some time for themselves, time they would need to come together even closer, than they already were. When she had whispered those words, Robin opened his eyes again. The smile on her lips, just refused to go, and so she went smiling towards Robin.
"Hey, how are you doing?" she asked him. Robin forced a smile of his own to kiss his lips and looked through pale eyes at her.
"Never felt better," he kidded.
"Liar," she scolded him and caressed his pale, soft cheek.
"Caught," he grinned and soon regretted it. The pain in his back had become worse.
"Now, would you tell me, what brought me into this awfully embarrassing situation."
"Why embarrassing? You are not to blame for this. If you would have done this to yourself, then it would be really embarrassing," she grinned. Softly Marion laid her hand down on his forehead. His fever was gone. But her touch on his skin told her, that he was still very weak.
"I want to get up," he told her. "My body aches from laying in bed all the time."
"You don’t dare and get up. You need to rest," Marion ordered.
"Marion, how could I rest, if pain wouldn’t allow me to fall asleep?" he asked her, weakly lifting his right eyebrow.
"Okay, but you promise me, to sit down in the chair over there," she pointed to a chair, sitting in another corner of the room.
"As you wish, Milady," Robin obeyed. Marion helped him to get up from bed and held him tight to her, as he waited for the dizziness to disappear, that had washed over him. When Robin tried to stand on his feet, Marion had to help him to stand, until he had steadied himself on his feet. Then, they started the first attempt to walk to the chair. They failed in a terrible way. Robin landed hard with a sickening thud on the floor, but immediately tried to stand up again - with success. Marion was heavily concerned and already wanted to send him back to bed, but one look of Robin’s deep, soulful brown eyes, made her silent. Their second attempt was graced with more success. Without any more difficulties or hard landings on the ground, Robin and Marion reached the chair and she helped him to sit down. When his body hit the seat, a silent moan of pain escaped his throat, which caused Marion’s eyes to open wide in concern.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"As far as possible," he muttered. "Marion where are we?" he suddenly wanted to know. Obviously, he had only realized by now, that they were not at home in their compound in Sherwood. And so Marion started to tell the story of General Cole, Sarianna’s help, Emilia’s kind of medicine, and Curvenal, who had become sort of a friend for Marion.
End of Chapter Two
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