By Virginia Cavazos
Leaning against Little John, Will could feel a weakness in him. Opening his eyes, he looked with concern at his large friend.
"’Ow are you doin’ Little John?" He brought his hand up, touching his forehead, he felt cold to the touch. Little John let out a heavy sigh, "I have to say…I’ve been better." Shaking his head, he let out a small snarl. "I don’t know what’s wrong with me Will."
"I do," Will patted Little John on the back, "You were a victim of Love."
"Whaaat?" a puzzled look washed across his face.
"I know Little John," Will chuckled, "I’m puzzled too. I don’t know why ‘e never gave me the stuff?"
"Will Scarlet, I don’t know what you are talking about!"
"Keep it that way big guy," Will winked up at him, "It’ll keep you sane."
Will looked up at a small window in the room, he could just barely make out the sky. It seemed to be brightening, they said that the Prince was coming that morning. Hopefully Will would be able to think of a way to get him and Little John out of here. Gazing around the room, he knew it was not going to be an easy task. The room was full of the Princes men, most were disguised with cape and hood. To hide the Princes Guards Uniform that they wore underneath.
Will noticed that Sir Henry was speaking to the man that humiliated Chauncy. After speaking at length to Sir Henry, he slowly walked towards the cell that held the outlaws of Sherwood. Will let out a jolly chuckle, as he spied a torn cape and eye patch. This was the same man, that he battled with in the alley, earlier. "’Ow’s your neck?" Will snickered.
The guard ignored Will’s remark, he turned his back to him, as he assumed the position of guarding the prisoners. From the way this man easily handled Chauncy, Will knew this was a man that would not tolerate his teasing ways. Knowing that this never stopped him before, he let out a jolly chuckled as he said, "I enjoyed our dance last night."
The one-eyed Guard whirled around, hissing out, "What part of Will Scarlet didn’t you understand?"
Will nearly choked, as the guard slowly lifted up the patch. To reveal a familiar pair of brown eyes staring back at him. "Robin!" he whispered.
Robin was about to scold him for mentioning his name, when he heard Sir Henry shout out, "Don’t get to close to him, he bites!"
Robin kept his back to Sir Henry, standing up straight, he snarled back. "I ain’t afraid of this Sherwood pond scum."
Will leapt up at the bars, Robin pulled out a small club, shoving it through the bars, he aimed it at Wills head. He missed him by a hairs-breath, but to the Princes Guards, it looked as if he laid a wicked blow on Will’s head. They even heard a clunk, as Robin brought the club around, hitting the bars. Will fell on the bars, he let out a moan of pain.
"I’ll teach you to go against Good Prince John you outlaw trash!" Robin brought his club up, as if to strike Will.
"Don’t hit him to hard," Sir Henry called out. "The Prince will want him conscious for his hanging."
"DAMN YOU," Will shouted, as he jumped from the ground, spit and fire in his eyes. "I remember you, I saw you kill one of me best friends. You didn’t ‘ave to stab ‘im that many times"
Will lunged towards the bars, Robin plunged his hands through the bars. Grabbing Will by the neck, he snarled, "I enjoy feeling my blade in a mans’ belly. Give me any more trouble, and I’ll give you a chance to see your friend again."
"I won’t let them take you and Little John," Robin whispered to Will, as he held him close.
"Don’t risk yourself fo’ us," Will whispered back, he then pulled himself out of Robin’s grip, shouting out. "You’ll be the one meetin’ me friend!"
Robin let out an evil chuckle, "Big words, considering what side of the bars you’re standing in - Forest Slime."
Will stepped back, he stood next to Little John, a large grin parted his lips, as he laughed out, "I don’t regret wot I’ve done with me life. If I dies now, I’ll be a ‘appy man."
"Well I guess you’re going to be ecstatic, because you’re invited to a neck stretching party once the Prince gets here." Robin said, in a deadly voice. Will allowed a loud gulp to make its way down his throat. Feigning fear at Robin’s words, he sat down hard next to Little John.
"I like the way you treat a prisoner soldier." Sir Henry praised him. "If you feel you can handle this Sherwood slime, I want you to guard these men until the Prince arrives."
Robin clipped his heels, saluting Sir Henry. "I’ll tries me best Sir Henry."
"When the Prince arrives," Sir Henry sniffed. "I’ll make sure to give him a good word."
"Thank you sir, I’ll be sure to do a good job."
"See Chauncy," Sir Henry shouted out, "Stern, and polite, I like that in my men."
Robin could practically see steam rising above Chauncy’s head. Adding kindling to the fire, Robin said, "Any job you want done Sir Henry, I’m your man, even if it means steppin’ on a mans neck." Will could practically see Chauncy’s blood boil. ‘Robin,’ Will silently thought, ‘Don’t push it to far.’
"Are you ready, my Lord?" Robin heard a seductive voice call out.
He saw a beautiful woman standing in the doorway. Her hair was golden blonde. She wore a very tight maroon bodice, showing off a figure that managed to catch her man. She slowly walked up to Sir Henry. Her hand coming up to gently touch his shoulder. "Is this the men you spoke of, my Husband?"
"Yes, Lady Elena," Sir Henry almost hissed. Robin could feel the tension between the two. It seemed that this marriage was not a happy one.
"Oh, what have we here?" Sir Henry’s wife stepped up to Robin. Her hand reached up, a wicked glint in her eyes, as she stroked the patch, that covered Robin’s eye. Her other hand roved around his chest.
"My, my you are a handsome one," she sighed. "And very well built, I like that in my men." Robin glared at Sir Henry, he ignored his stares. "I wonder what you look like under this?" She asked, as her long nails began to lift the patch. Robin’s hand shot up, grabbing her wrist.
"Don’t!" he hissed, as he whirled her around, pushing her towards Sir Henry. She let out a playful giggle.
Robin saw the sparks fly between the two, as she strolled back to him. Leaning on him, winking her blue eyes, she threw a kiss towards Robin.
"I know we agreed to do anything that will help me rise in the eyes of the Prince, My Lady." Sir Henry said through clenched teeth.
"But that did not mean, giving special attention to my men!"
"’Ow about outlaws?" Will called out.
"I’m far more woman than you can handle," the Lady Elena deeply sighed. "But, I have to say, I wouldn’t mind having a go with the tall one."
Gazing up at the Sir Henry, she whispered, "I love a man with blue eyes."
"We need to go now," He scolded her with a look. Robin had never heard of this Sir Henry and his amorous wife. He would be sure to ask around about them, once he freed Little John and Will.
"The Prince should be arriving soon." Sir Henry stepped up to the bars of the cell. "Once the Prince finds out that I captured the Great Little John and Will Scarlet. Surely he’ll give me higher status in his court."
"Yes my dear, and I’ll," blushing she corrected herself, "We’ll be living in the castle."
"Come my love," The Lady Elena took his arm. "We must properly dress for the occasion."
As they stepped out, the Lady Elena glanced back, throwing Robin another kiss. Robin stepped to the side. Will feigned catching the kiss, "Thanks, me darlin’" He chuckled, as he held it to his heart. She made a sour face, as she stepped out with her husband.
Grinning from ear to ear, Robin realized that he was now in charge of the prisoners. Patting his sword that hung on his side, he gave Chauncy a warning glance - that he was to stay back.
As the other guards backed off, Robin turned to face his charges.
"Wot now?" Will mouthed to Robin.
He saw a familiar glint in Robin’s eye, he knew that look all to well. Robin had no idea what he was going to do to help them. Will gave a sly wink to Robin, this was when he was at his best!
The sun had risen, it was only a matter of time for Prince John to arrive. Will was becoming worried, Robin still had not come up with a plan for their escape.
All in the room was startled, as the door was pushed open. Will was shocked to see Sally, and her son walking in the room. Sally had her arm draped on Chauncy’s shoulder. She stood on tiptoe, giving him a passionate kiss. Eric walked past them, hefting a wooden keg on his back.
"Oh Chauncy," Sally giggled, as they broke off the kiss. "You do know how to make a woman’s head swoon,"
Two of the guards rushed over, to help Eric with the Keg.
"Careful gentlemen," Sally warned them. "That is some of me best Bitters."
"Since we managed to catch both of the forest fodder," Chauncy laughed. "Sir Henry said it were all right for us to have a little celebration."
"I’ll drink to that!" Will yelled out.
"Oh, look at that," Sally gasped out, as she ran towards the cell. "Are they truly Sherwood outlaws?" She skidded to a stop, as Robin blocked her way.
"Chauncy!" Sally whined, whirling around, she stamped her foot in a snit. "He won’t let me get by."
"No one gets near these men until Prince John arrives." Robin stated, as he crossed his arms on his chest in defiance.
"Sorry luv, he does have his orders." Chauncy sung out.
Sally’s bottom lip pouted. Pulling her blouse lower, to reveal her assets, her hips took a life of their own, as she slowly walked up to Robin. Leaning on him, her fingers walked up his arm.
"Can’t you find it in your heart to let little ol’ Sally talk to the condemned men?" she seductively sighed.
Robin’s exposed eye stared ahead, he tried to ignore her, as her other hand roved around his body. He nearly jumped out of his skin, as she wrapped her arms around his neck, planting a VERY passionate kiss on his lips.
Grabbing her by the shoulders, Robin pushed her back, he gasped out. "Orders are orders." He cleared his throat, as he pulled his shirt down. Marveling at how quickly she was able to pull it out of his pants.
"I can’t imagine a handsome man like you not wanting another taste of Sally’s wares." She sighed, her hand reaching up for a second try. Robin whirled around, facing Will, he mouthed, "Help me."
"Now, now me darlin’, wot are you wastin’ your time on that ‘orses dander." His arms shot out through the bars. "Come ‘ere luv, I’ll show you ‘ow a real man kisses."
"Come here Sally, don’t waste your time with them. They’re dead men,’ Chauncy chuckled.
"I got more life in me little finger then in your whole lot." Will angrily shot back!
This angered Chauncy, the only thing that calmed him down, was Eric offering him a cup of bitters. "Try it, it’s me mum’s special recipe. Ain’t no one can make a better bitter than me mum."
Chauncy took the mug, he downed it in one gulp.
"There you go Darling," Sally giggled, as she walked back to the Princes guards. "Drink it right up." Her eyes moved to where Will and Little John was standing. Will was puzzled, as she gave them a sly wink.
"Eric, why don’t you offer some to the one eyed gentleman." Eric ran to Robin, holding a full glass of Bitters he handed it to Robin, "Here you go sir, drink up. Celebrate the capture of these stinking outlaws."
Will shook the bars, snarling, "I tell you, one more remark about me cleaning ‘abits, and you’ll ‘ave to contend with Little John."
"Thanks a lot, Will!" Little John moaned.
Robin suspiciously eyed the bitters. "Eric, is that the same fine brew you gave me?" Little John called out, as the boy nodded his head, a wicked smile on his face, Little John’s long arm shot through the bars, pushing Robin in the back. Stumbling forward, he spilled the mug of Bitters on the floor. Whirling around, he snarled, "Don’t you ever touch me again!"
"That’s for sayin’ we were forest fodder," Will shot back. A taunting grin parted Will’s lips, as he leaned on Little John, who pulled himself up to his full height. He glared a challenge to Robin, Will snickered. "I think me friend is feeling a lot betters." As Robin blocked the outlaws from the guard’s vision, Little John whispered. "Don’t drink the bitters."
Robin blinked his eyes in recognition. Slamming the mug on the table, he said, "I’ll wait until the Prince arrives."
"Suit yourself," Chauncy snickered. "Leaves more for us." He roared, as he downed another mug.
Sally and Eric made sure to keep the mugs filled. It wasn’t long before some of the men began to drop off.
"Ohh, that’s strong stuff Sally," Chauncy stammered, as he tried to sit down. Missing the chair, he landed on the floor. Shaking his head, he rubbed his temple. "I pride myself on holding my liquor, but I ain’t never had a brew as strong as thish," he slurred. Suddenly his head seemed to weigh a ton. Chauncy let it fall forward, he was soon in the same condition as the others, sound asleep on the floor.
Sally and Eric faced Robin, Sally pulled out a very large knife from the confines of her blouse. Eric grabbed one of the guards swords. "D…d…don’t give us any tr…tr...trouble." Sally stuttered, as her hand shakily held the knife.
"Sally me luv," Will chuckled, "You don’t know who you are talkin’ to."
Robin took his patch off, pulling the tie to his hair out. He bowed graciously before her. His long hair fell like a sable curtain, lifting his head up, he whipped his hair back. A large dimpled grin graced his face, as he nobly declared. "Robin Hood, at your service, Mi Lady."
"Oh my goodness," Sally blushed a deep red, "I tried to seduce Robin Hood, himself!"
Robin ran to fetch the key to the cell, "Madam, I assure you, Marion will never know," Robin said, with a raise of his eyebrow. Sally began to swoon as he winked at her. She nearly fell flat on the floor, but was saved, due to the quickness of her son.
"Robin, you ‘ave to stop doin’ that, we lose more fair maidens that way," Will chuckled.
"Sorry," Robin laughed, as he ran to the cell. Opening it, Will and Robin helped Little John out of the cell. "What happened to the men?"
"The bitters had a little extra something in them Robin," Little John explained. "That’s why I had to push you. Otherwise you’d be on the floor with the rest of them."
"That must be potent stuff," Robin chuckled.
"Believe me," Little John said, as he rubbed his head. "It is."
"But I wouldn’t know," Will grumbled, as he glared at Eric, "And you never gave me the stuff…because?"
"Will, let’s talk about it later," Sally cut in, "We have to get you out of here before the Prince arrives."
Eric led the way, opening the door, he peeked out into the ally. He quickly slammed the door shut. "There are five guards in the alley!" he cried.
"Since the back way is out of the question," Robin said. "Then let’s try the front."
Placing his patch back over his eye, Robin tied his hair back. He gave Little John a concerned look. "Think you’ll be able to walk on your own, my friend."
He looked a little green around the eyes, but he was beginning to feel his old self. "Don’t worry about me Robin, I’ll be fine." Robin had to take him by his word.
Will and Little John, borrowed capes from the slumbering guards. Donning them, they boldly walked into the Black Cat Pub.
End of Chapter Four
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