Alexis struggled and kicked behind her, heart pounding, adrenaline flowing, doing everything in her power to get away, to fight, to survive. "Enough!" Gisborne roared as she nailed him in the shin. "It's over, girl, give it up." He twisted her arm behind her back until she screamed. She was being dragged further and further into the crowd, towards the castle. Will, as he stood atop the gallows fighting off two guards beside his cousin, was the last thing she saw before the door to the dungeon slammed shut behind her. She desperately called out his name, but no one could hear her.
Surrounded by darkness and the sharp echoes of metal chains and the low moaning of tortured prisoners, Alexis realized there was nothing she could do, and relaxed in Gisborne's arms. All the energy she had was gone.
Gisborne called out something to the jailer, a fat, disfigured man with rotten teeth and a malicious glint in his eye. In a moment, a cell door was open and Alexis was thrown against the hard stone wall, left in a crying, shaking heap. "My arm..." She sobbed. "I can't feel my arm."
"Well, I guess you won't be needing these, then." With a laugh, Gisborne strode to her and yanked the knives from her shoulder, tearing the strap and causing her to cry out again. "It really is unfortunate for you that the arrow missed it's mark. Death is pleasant compared to what I'm going to do to you." The man replied with a forceful kick to her ribs that took her breath away. "I'll be back in the morning. The sheriff is looking forward to meeting you."
The men laughed and cheered heartily over their successful rescue, striding through the forest on secret paths that had thrown the soldiers off their scent. The sun above them was bright and glorious, and the air stirred about them in a way that was unusually warm for autumn. In front of them the prisoner stumbled confusedly, shoved along by Robin, protesting loudly from beneath the blindfold across his face and struggling against the rope binding his hands.
"Sorry, mate, but this is for your own good. But mostly for our amusement. Just trust us." Robin chuckled, putting a reassuring hand on the man's shoulder.
"Well, 'mate'," the prisoner puffed, whipping away, "I'm sorry to seem rude, but I don't naturally take to trusting people that openly flaunt the Sheriff and then leave me completely defenseless. What you did was incredibly stupid. Now I'll have to run away again, and I just got back. I had a girl back in Loxley and I never even got to say goodbye..."
"Well, if it was such an unwise act, perhaps we should have let you die there and spared us all your whining." Robin rolled his eyes, veering the prisoner away from the tree he was about to collide with.
"Maybe you should have. Now the sheriff is on my tail and yours, and you have yourselves to thank for it."
"You know, most people are grateful when they are rescued from the clutches of a slow, painful, humiliating death. And don't worry, we're not new to the gallows. The sheriff doesn't bother us, right lads?" Robin turned to grin at his men who answered with a loud cheer.
"I hate to be the exception, but I'm going back there to turn myself in. Just let me go!" The man shouted, tugging all the more forcefully, but his time in jail had made him weak and his energy was running out fast.
"Don't be an idiot! That's giving him exactly what he wants. If no one stands up to him, his greed and power will only increase. Listen, Mr..."
"Adam." The prisoner replied gruffly, trying to catch his breath and come up with an escape plan.
"Adam. You said you had a girl here, right? We help the people that we rescue by relocating them. We know of places out of the sheriff's reach looking for workers. We can send you there, you can make a home, and if you give me your lady's name, we can find her and bring her to you there. Alright?"
Adam thought about this. "Fine. But you promise she'll be safe?"
"Upon my life."
"Alexis. Her name is Alexis and she lives in Loxley with her brother."
As the cell door clanged shut behind him and Alexis was left in the corner, gasping in short breaths of the rank, foul air. It was thick and smelled of blood and decay. The walls around her were cold and damp, and rats scurried unseen in the dark. Her whole body was racked with pain, her arm hung limp at her side and blood gathered at the corner of her mouth where her lip had hit a jagged brick in the wall.
"He didn't see me. He didn't hear me..." she whispered, remembering how she had screamed Will's name with everything she had, every ounce of desperation, and he hadn't even turned his head. "What did you expect? You left him, you left all of them for their own safety. It would be pointless for them to try and save you again. Why would they? You lied to their faces. You don't deserve to be rescued."