It was late. The last candle was burning on the table next to the master’s bed. He lay alone on it, twisting and turning. His forehead dripping in sweat, feeling extremely warm. He grabbed hard into the mattress and let out a long breath, still in a world far away; his eyes closed.
“Murderers! I will kill you! Do not move! You left him in the woods. You said he would be safe. You left him to die, our son, our baby!
They say the peal of an apple can predict who a woman will marry. The curl of the peel represents the first letter in his name…
You need a husband. This place is not safe for a woman alone. Outlaws.
I thought we were friends. I thought in time… you would consider…Marriage…
There are other people who would like to be kind to you. If you just let them.
It’s always the girl. I’ve told you. Women are lepers.
All the time she was smiling at you but really she was laughing at you. Betraying, despising you, humiliating you.
I will marry you. I will marry you the day King Richard returns to England.
She will know you are a traitor. I will tell her.
Marian, be with me.
Can you not see what you do to me? My passion for you…
Tell me you believe me. – I believe you.
I have done wrong. But you will wash away my sins.
Her heart belongs to another!
We can catch her for you, Sir.
No. Let her go…”
He gasped for air and sat up. Putting a hand over his forehead; brushed his hair away with his fingers. “No… No…” He rose from the bed, grabbed the bedpost and supported himself to stand. His legs, his hands, everything was shaking. He still breathed hard. He could feel burning tears; just waiting to fall.
He slid down on the floor, looking over to the other side of the room. Then put his hands over his face; letting his tears come.
As the last candle burned out; Guy of Gisborne cried himself to sleep on the floor.
The cold wind whistled and the raindrops echoed through the manor early the next morning. The stable boys and the young maids were already up and had begun with their duties.
As the servant quarters began to wake up; the youngest maid, Sarah, walked up the stairs with a food tray. She carefully put the tray on one hand and knocked on Sir Guy’s door softly with the other. She then opened the door, quietly.
The first thing she noticed was that the bed was empty. She put the tray down beside her on the small table. Then she heard something. Breathing.
“Sir?” she said with a low voice and started to walk into the room.
Sir Guy lay on the floor right in front of the bed. He had his right hand beneath his chin and breathed softly.
Sarah saw him and quickly went towards him and bent down.
“Sir? Are you alright?” she asked and put a hand on his shoulder.
Guy jerked his shoulder away and stared at the maid. That look on his face. That face was full of emotions; Sadness, anger.
She backed away a few steps.
“Please, go,” he said very quietly; his voice breaking at the last word.
Sarah looked at him. “But, Sir…” she started.
“Go!” Guy roared.
And Sarah ran out of the room and the door slammed shut.
Guy rubbed his tired eyes and sat up against the wooded bedpost.
His memory was back. He was sure of that.
Marian was in her room, still sleeping deeply. And dreaming. She was smiling in her sleep.
“You really have faith in me, don’t you?”
“I think I do”
She opened her eyes, still smiling. Last night was wonderful. And I think this day is going to be even better.
Guy dressed. There was silence in the room. He was not hungry; he just wanted to get out of the house. Get some fresh air.
He opened the door to his room and went down the stairs. He did not notice Thornton and some of the other servants were calling after him.
He exited the manor. It did not rain as much now as before, but the ground was still very damp. He sat down on a bench, not very far away from the house. The sound of small quick footsteps reached Guy’s ears and he turned around. “Ellie?” Hi eyes narrowed when he saw her. “Ellie!” He stood up and ran towards the little girl.
Ellie almost fell to the ground, her legs were shaking. Her knees were dirty and bloody, as was her face. Tears were flowing as she tried to run towards Guy.
He came to her, bent down to his knees, touched her sore face. “Ellie, what has happened? Where is your father?”
She grabbed his shirt and tried to speak through her tears. “…A fire…in our house… my father… and my brother. You got to help them…!” she said. Her voice was weak, but Guy could hear her clearly.
He was terrified, barely able to say a word. He quickly lifted the girl up in his arms and ran towards the manor. When he came through the door he handed Ellie over to one of the servants.
“Sir Guy, what is going on?” Thornton asked; a bit confused.
“Take care of her!” the master said with a strong voice to both Thornton and the servants. Then he disappeared through the door.
“You three, come with me!” he yelled to the stable boys and they started to run after him.
Ellie’s house did not lie very far away, just a little bit outside Locksley. He could see the black smoke on the sky, and soon they all could see the enormous flames.
People had already started trying to put out the fire. The young and strong stable boys knew what they were supposed to do, and they quickly started to fill buckets with water from the small river.
It was hot. Very hot.
Guy stood outside the burning house; covering his eyes, turning his head away from the flames. He did not have much choice.
He kicked the burning door open and went inside. The smoke and flames reached his nostrils, mouth and eyes quickly upon entering the house. He tried not to cough.
He could hear William’s voice. Guy moved some furniture and then he could see William in the corner of the room, holding his dead son’s body in his arms. The man was coughing, crying and speaking to his boy, all at the same time as he was rocking his son back and forth in his arms.
Guy latched onto Williams arm and tried to lift him onto his feet. “You need to leave him. He is no longer with us!” Guy said loud to overpower the sound of the burning walls and furniture.
“No… I want my son…!” William’s weak voice said.
Guy lifted up Peter’s body in his arms and tried to drag William with him. The roof started to fall in and the flames got bigger and bigger.
Luckily, Guy found a window. He tried to help William out first and then he came after him with the boy.
As the burning house fell apart, they were finally out.
Guy carefully put Peter down against the nearest tree. The boy’s father started to cough; a very big dose of blood came along with it, slowly fell down to the ground.
“William!” he called and ran to him. He went down beside him and put a hand on his chest.
“Everything is going to be alright. I will get some help. Just hold on,” Guy said stressed. His face was black and dirty. He looked down at the man. William put his hand over Guy’s hand and looked him in the eyes.
“T…Take care of my little girl… S-she needs you…” he said quietly and coughed again.
“She needs you too. Do not leave us. Just keep your strength. I will get some h – ”
William slowly covered Guy’s mouth with one hand; he stopped talking.
He had some tears in his eyes as he looked down at William.
“Her grandmother… and her aunt live in York… You can take her there…” William squeezed his hand. “Promise me you will take care of her…”
“I promise…” Guy said.
“You have a heart of gold… Thank you…” and after those words; William’s heart stopped beating and his hand slowly fell out of Guy’s down to the ground.
Additional note: So, this is the fourth chapter of my fanfic One Last Try. I publish a new chapter every Monday for the next couple of months. I really hope you all will enjoy this story. I wrote this one many years ago, if you have comments about grammar, spelling or things like that – please, save it. I know. English is not my native tongue, I don’t need to have it thrown in my face. LOL! Besides, I wrote this when I was very young. And even though I’ve been editing the story I can still miss things. I’ve tried NOT to edit too much, because I want to save the story. I mean I can start changing LOTS of things in this story but it wouldn’t be the same. But yes, read, enjoy, leave comments, whatever you want!