Title Story: Haunted by the past.

By
Whiteminx

Table of contents

PROLOQUE                                    2

CHAPTER 1 THE PLAN                  3

CHAPTER 2 LADY VERONA          5

CHAPTER 3 TRAPPED                    7

CHAPTER 4 THE MESSENGER     10

CHAPTER 5 HAMMINGTON         12

CHAPTER 6 CONFRONTATION    15

CHAPTER 7 THE MEETING           18

CHAPTER 8 FREEDOM                  20


 

 
Chapter 5 Hammington

It was late in the afternoon when they arrived at Hammington. It was a horrible scene. Bodies were scattered everywhere. Voices could be heard from the town’s squire.

“Well peasant,” a dark heavy male voice said,” be happy that you die knowing that you serve as a sacrifice for this beautiful but headstrong woman.”

“Vincent let the children be,” a female voice answered.

The voice sounded very familiar. Tuck, Robin and Little John had all approached the scene close enough to see what was going on. Roger had left them after they reached the village to return to Cansby castle.

A large handsome man stood in the middle of the squire surrounded by soldiers. He held a dagger to a little boy’s throat. Apparently the boy was the last survivor. The woman who had spoken stood to the side. To Robin’s horror he realized it was Marian. Robin was about to take action when lord Cansby spoke again.

“My lady prove to me how willing you are to avoid becoming my wife by taking this child’s life.”

Marian stepped in front of the child while holding the dagger that Vincent had handed to her rested in her hand. She hesitated.

“Well is there a problem my dear,” Vincent taunted.

On the side of one of the houses Robin prayed that Marian would spare the boy’s life. Just as Vincent was about to announce that he had won and Marian would become his wife the child slumped to the ground as if a cord was snapped. A soldier reached down to check the child’s breathing, he wasn’t.

“He’s dead my lord,” the soldier announced.

Behind the wall Robin could not believe it Marian had murdered an innocent boy!

Robin heard Marian as she said:” As you were saying Vincent?”

Vincent turned around furiously and said:” We head back to the castle, I’m not finished with you yet my dear. We’ll finish this later. With that he mounted his horse and left the scene. As soon as he and his soldiers had left the scene, Marian bend over the child. Seconds later Robin heard the child gasp for air as it tried to sit up, while being aided by Marian. Robin could not believe his eyes, the child was alive.
Suddenly he saw that Marian motioned Him to come to her. He cautiously walked up to her while motioning Tuck and Little John to stay behind. The child still lay in Marian’s arms when Robin approached her.
Robin can you please look after this child? He needs food and medicine but I can’t give it to him,” Marian said.

“Tuck, come here. Take this child to safety,” Robin called.

Tuck came out of hiding and took the child from Marian to bring it to safety.

Of course I will look after him Marian, but what about you? You should come with us now before something worse happens.”

“I can’t leave Robin don’t you see, he started this because of me. If I leave now he will never stop with his attack on the villages. I have to go back there is no other way. Just trust me on this.”

“I do trust you Marian, but why does he want you out of all those women in England?”

“We share a history. He was once my intended, Robin.”

“I see, how did you do that with the child?”

“Old Amazon trick Robin, an old Amazon trick,” Marian said with a smile.

“Now go Robin, I must return.”

“I’m not leaving you behind Marian, I can’t.

The words have barely left his mouth more then two seconds when riders could be heard approaching. Within seconds Robin and Marian were surrounded by Vincent and his men.

“I was wondering what kept you my dear. Where’s the child’s body?”

“Buried,’ Marian replies harshly.

“Ah, and who’s this, my dear? Wait don’t tell me, it’s Robin Hood. Well you’re out of luck for this lady Robin, she’s taken.”

“No she’s not,” Marian replied furiously.

“And you my dear, why are you in the company of this outlaw?”

“Because he so happens to be here. For your information he was about to leave. I have no quarrel with Saxons nor have I love for Prince John so excuse me if I talked to him. I only told him there’s nothing more he can do here and that he should return home.”

With that Marian got up turned her back on both men and walked to her horse.

“Well it seems the lady has made her wishes clear. But I warn you outlaw don’t bother me again or my lady or else I make sure you hang on my gallows the reward be damned.”

Vincent turned his horse around to join Marian and together they headed back to the castle.

It was late in the evening when Vincent joined Marian by the fireplace of the study. At Marian’s feet lay two large dogs while she was reading a book that she had found in the study.

“Found something interesting to read my dear?”

“As a matter of fact yes, why?”

“Well I want to talk to you about that outlaw.”

“What outlaw?”

“Don’t play dumb Marian, you know who I mean, Robin Hood. I can’t seem to figure out what relation there can be between the two of you.”

“And why is that my lord?”

“Because the man starred at you like a man who’s starving. I’m glad you didn’t notice though, otherwise I would have to kill him..”

“That would be a shame of your skills Vincent. He’s not worth the attention.”

“You’re right my dear. Well I have to bid you goodnight Marian, I’ve got some business to take care of.”

“Goodnight Vincent,” Marian replies as Vincent kisses her forehead. As he has left she picks up the book and continues reading.

When Vincent is out of the hearing range of Marian’s ears he turns to one of his guards.

“Keep a close eye on her. I don’t trust the change of attitude from her. She’s up to something.”

With that he leaves to take care of some things.
 
Chapter 6 Confrontation

Two weeks had passed since Marian had entered the castle. Robin’s patience was wearing thin after receiving another simple note from Marian saying that she was fine and that he should be patience. He wanted to confront Vincent and demand the release of Marian. In short he wanted to do something and wanted to do it fast. Tuck and Little John noticed the growing tension in their friend. They also agreed that it was time to take some action. So a plan was forged. Tuck and Little John would wait near the servant’s entrance with three horses so that they could escape. Robin would infiltrate into the castle while posing as a servant so that he could get near Marian’s room and get her out.

Everything happened according to plan and Robin got into at nightfall the castle. But just as everything looked to go smoothly Lord Cansby took notice of the strange behavior of the servant. He chose to take action and confront the servant.

“Peasant have I seen you before?”

“No my lord, I’m the new kitchen help,” Robin replied in a raspy voice.

“That’s funny, I can’t remember the cook asking for a new helper, unless there is an outlaw under all these robes with a death wish!”

With that Vincent tore the disguise from Robin and pulled his sword.

“Are you sure Marian is worth a scar on that handsome face of yours,” Robin taunted.

“If you think her unworthy you should have yourself checked, outlaw. I would die for her if that would please her.”

The two men circled around each other.

“Ah the eternal love proclamation. I’ve got a newsflash for you, she doesn’t want you. You can see it in her eyes Vincent.”

With that Robin pulled his own sword and flew into the attack that was parried by Vincent. As the fight dragged on both contestants crew tired. Unfortunately for Robin he started to realize this was a fight he could not win. Not only was Vincent more skilled, he had also more stamina.

“You should have realized Robin Hood that I’m as skilled in combat as Marian. That’s why we are a perfect match. You’re nothing more then a weakling.”

With that Vincent kicked Robin’s sword out of his hands and swept Robin of his feet. Robin landed hard on his back and the wind got knocked out of him. Just as Vincent prepared himself to plunge the sword in Robin’s heard a scream could be heard upstairs.

Vincent pulled back and immediately started running up the stairs. As soon as Vincent was out of sight Robin got up and ran to the exit. Normally he wouldn’t flee but right now it seemed like the best possible option so that he would live and fight another day. As soon as he got to the servant’s entrance he saw his friends waiting for him.

“How did it go, did you get to kick the basterd's butt” Little John asked.

“Robin, where’s Marian,” Tuck asked softly.

“Hold it guys. It went down bad. He’s to strong to beat in combat and I haven’t been able to get close to Marian or slip her a message. So she’s still in there without any kind of hope, but I’ve got another idea. I overheard a maid asking a guard where Marian’s room was. It’s the room with bars on the North side of the castle. Just wait a few minutes for me. I’ve got a message to send.”

“But Robin,” Tuck interjected only to see his friend running to the north side of the castle.

“Never mind,” he sighed.

After a few minutes Robin appeared again.

“Let’s go before we rouse any suspicion,” Robin said.

So they rode quickly back to the village where they were staying.

Inside her room Marian was getting ready to go to bed when she heard someone knocking on her door.

“Come in,” she called out.

A guard appeared in the doorframe carrying a bowl and a jug of water. While he sat them down on a table he said:” I’m assigned to take care of your needs milady, if you want anything just call and I’ll be here as soon as I can.”

“Thank you, now could you leave, please?”

“Of course milady, remember just call,” the guard pressed her as he retreated to the door.

“I’ll remember, now go!”

After the guard had left Marian was about to go to bed when she heard swords clashing downstairs. The first thought that entered her mind was that Robin had lost his patience and had confronted Vincent. Marian grabbed her robe and was about to make her way downstairs when a drunken soldier approached her.

“Ay little lady let’s have some fun you and I,” he said while his eyes were roving over her body.

“No thank you, find yourself some wench, I’m not interested.”

“Hmm but I am”, with that he pulled her to him while he roughly kissed her.

He was about to touch her breast when he screamed like a little girl. Marian had kneed him in his groin hard. The sword clashing downstairs had stopped and someone could be heard running up the stairs. In the meantime the drunken soldier had recovered a little and pressed his dagger against Marian’s throat.

Marian was livid. Before Vincent had reached them, Marian grabbed the hand that held the dagger and twisted it behind his back so hard that the arm broke. The drunken soldier screamed out of pure agony. Marian then plunged the dagger deep into his heart and allowed him to drop dead on to the cold stone floor.

At that moment Vincent came running down the corridor while shouting:” What’s going on here!”

 
Chapter 7 The meeting

As he came upon Marian and the soldier he stopped dead in his tracks. Marian stood near a wall with her hands covered in blood . Behind her on the ground lay the body of the soldier who had tried to assault her.

“My dear, what happened? Are you alright?”

“I’m fine Vincent. This slime ball tried to assault me. Thankfully he failed so that I could finish him of. What were you doing downstairs anyway? Why did I hear a swordfight,” Marian asked while looking as innocent as possible, because she had a good idea what had happened downstairs, but wanted to give Robin more time to get away.

“Nothing that should concern you my dear. Now why don’t you go and clean yourself up. You are a mess my dear. I will take care of the body.”

“Sure.”

“ Good I will sent a maiden up to help you.”

With that he left to take care of everything.

Sometime later a clean Marian walked around inside her bedchamber after taking a long and relaxing bath. She was about to go to bed when she noticed a small arrow lodged in the headboard of the bed. She pulled it out and unwrapped the piece of paper that was tied to it. The note said the following:

Please meet me at sunrise on the edge of the forest near the small creak.
I need to speak with you.
The thief of the royal forest.

Marian walked to the fireplace and threw the note and the arrow in it. She watched as the fire slowly destroyed both items. One could never be too careful around Vincent.

The next morning Robin rode out before down to the place he was meeting Marian. He wanted to make sure the place was safe before Marian arrived. The sun was just going up when he saw a rider appear on the horizon. He was about to approach the rider when the rider pulled its hood back. It was Marian. Relief washed over Robin’s face as he took hold of the horses reigns while Marian dismounted. When she stood on the ground he led the horse to a nearby tree and tied it to it.

“Marian are you alright,” Robin asked concerned.

“I’m fine Robin but what about you?”

“I’m doing alright, but I miss you. Can’t you leave him to his own business and come home with me?”

“You know I can’t. He won’t stop until I’m his. By the gods He’s worse then Guy. He has to be stopped.”

“I know, but I had to ask. I don’t like it when you’re the one who’s taking such risks.”

“Listen to me Robin. I can take care of myself. Besides I have a plan that will safe us a lot of time.”

“Well let’s hear it,” Robin says enthusiastic.

“I’m going to challenge him to a swordfight. If he wins I’ll say that I’ll marry him and if I win I get my freedom back,” Marian says full of confidence.

“Marian those stakes are too high. Besides he’ll beat you easily. Even I can’t handle him.

“Hey don’t doubt my skills in combat and besides who says a man can’t die on his wedding day,” Marian says with a smirk on her face.

“Alright but please be careful, I don’t want to lose you,” Robin replies while his left hand gently caresses her face.

“Don’t worry Robin I will be. You just have to make sure to be in the courtyard when I send you the message,“ Marian says softly while Robin continued to caress her face

“I will be, you can always count on me.”

They stared into each others eyes as if they were hypnotized. Slowly Robin’s hand crept towards the back of Marian’s neck while his right arm circled her waist and pulled her slowly closer. Marian’s arms hugged his waist while their faces came slowly together. Their lips met in a soft but passionate kiss. At Robin’s coaxing Marian opened her mouth to grand him entrance. Their tongues met in a passionate embrace. Their kiss lasted for a long moment until they had to break it because of their need for air.

“You need to go Marian before he gets suspicious,” Robin whispered and then pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“You’re right. It will be over soon Robin you can count on it!”

“I have faith in you Marian now go!”

Robin watched as Marian took of on her horse. After she was out of sight Robin mounted his own horse and headed back to Pithbury.
 
Chapter 8 Freedom

When Marian arrived at the castle the sun was already up. Marian took her horse to the stables where she handed the animal to one of the stable boys. After having that done she left the stables and headed to the dining room. When she entered the dining room she saw Vincent sitting there eating breakfast.

“Please sit down my dear, you look absolutely stunning this morning. Please join me in breakfast,” Vincent said.

“Thank you Vincent,” Marian replied as she sat down in a chair opposite of his. A servant left the room to fetch some food for Marian.

“Now my dear, could you please tell me where you’ve been this morning,” Vincent inquired.

“I went for a mornings ride to clear my mind. If you’ve got a problem with that you should tell me. I just figured that it would be alright.”

No I haven’t got any problems with a mornings ride but I would like to know where you’re headed when you do. I don’t want you harmed in any way, do I make myself clear?”

“Yes Vincent you made yourself clear.”

“Oh and there’s one more thing don’t lie to me, I hate people who are lying…”

“Oh really Vincent I’m surprised. The way I see it you’re the greatest liar of them all. You promises my freedom if I kill a child only to take it away seconds later. So what gives you the right to call me a liar?”

“Don’t go to far my dear Marian! I know that you visited the outlaw this morning. I can see it in your eyes. Besides you have no other reason to leave this castle in secret. “

“Sol what if I did. You can’t keep me locked up forever. There will be a point when you have to let go of me, even if it is on your or my deathbed.”

“Oh yes I can, I will not let go of you Marian and I won’t settle for second choice. If you can’t love me I will kill you. I won’t let him have you!”

“So this is how it ends Vincent. Alright I challenge you to a dual. The first one to bleed will lose the battle. If you win I’ll marry you and fate forbid love you, but if I win I want my freedom back and that also means that I never want to see you again. Sounds fair to you?”

“Sounds fair enough for me. We will battle in hand to hand combat. I don’t want to accidentally kill you or mare you for life. Let’s say at noon in the courtyard?”
“Fine by me,” Marian replies patiently.

“Deal. Now if you would excuse me?”

At Marians nod he stood up and left the room. As soon as Vincent was out of sight Marian headed to the stables to find Roger. Roger was brushing her horse when she found him.

“Roger, could you please deliver another message from me to Robin Hood?”

“Of course my lady, what do you want to have delivered?”

“Deliver this note. Make sure no one but Robin sees it. Take my horse the message needs to be delivered fast.”

“I will make sure that it is delivered on time. You can count on me.”

“Good boy, now go!”

With that Marian left the stables and went back to her room to get ready for the fight. Exactly at noon Marian walked into the courtyard. She wore black leather pants and a simple green blouse. The clothing would make the fighting easier for her. Vincent was already waiting for her in the middle of the courtyard.

“Are you ready to lose my dear?”

“Not in your dreams, now let’s get this over with.”

Enraged Vincent flew into the attack, Marian followed close behind him. While Vincent made a move to throw Marian of balance she hit him squire in the face. Though he was slightly dazed he went into another attack and this time he hit Marian squire in the stomach. Marian doubled over in pain. As Vincent tried to sweep her legs from underneath her with his own leg Marian jumped into the air to avoid him. As a reward for his attempt she did a roundhouse kick to his head. Stunned he fell to the ground but quickly got up again. As she attempted another roundhouse kick he caught her leg. Marian allowed herself to drop onto the ground so that he would have to let go of her leg in order to prevent himself from falling. She pushed herself up from the ground and delivered a powerful kick to his groin. As he collapsed to his knees she took hold of his head and drew with her nail a thin line of blood. By doing this she had won. Vincent had been the first to bleed. But before she had time to move Vincent grabbed her by the throat and held a dagger to it.

“Vincent, I demand you to release me at once, I won the fight deal with it,” Marian said enraged.

“I’m sorry but I can’t. Guards take her back to her room and make sure it is locked. I have a wedding to plan.”

Seconds after he had given the order an arrow whizzed past his head and lodged itself into his hand that also had held the dagger, which now lay useless on the ground. Vincent gave a cry of disbelief and agony.

“Release the Lady, Lord Cansby,” Robin demanded as he appeared on the outer wall of the castle with another arrow aimed at Vincent’s heart.

“Guards let go of her, she’s free to go,” Vincent said.

“Thank you,” Marian replied and made her way to Robin’s side where Tuck and Little John were waiting to help her inside the wagon.

“I can’t say it was a pleasure meeting you lord Cansby. Leave Marian and the villagers alone and we won’t bother you again and you can keep your life,” Robin said as he prepared to leave.

“Never, my dear do you hear me never will I let go of you!”

“To bad Vincent, because you’re not even second choice your more like a snowballs change in hell,” Marian replied.

And with that they left the defeated lord and headed back to Sherwood. When they arrived at the compound the people greeted them happily. Adam Carpenter stepped forward out of the crowd.

“I trust everything went well, Robin?”

“Everything is well my friend the threat is taken care of.” With knowing eyes he glanced at Marian who was being given flowers by one of the children.

Where is Kevin Beak Adam?”

“He left a while a go, we’ve got no idea where he went, Robin.”

“Well let’s not worry about that. Let’s enjoy being back home.”

With that Robin and Adam joined the crowd. The compound was the entire evening filled with merriment for the return of it’s most notorious inhabitants.

At Castle Cansby a scream could be heard inside the bedchamber of the lord. The mayor of Oakwood had gotten his revenge

The end

Chapters One to Four
 Chapters Five to Eight

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