|photo credit: Cheryl Ruffing|
"What's his problem?" Will asked, stepping quickly out of the way as Adam swept icily past and slammed the door to his hut.
"It's none of your business." Robin replied sulkily, looking into the blaze. Will rolled his eyes and took up Adam's vacant seat.
"Come on, what did he say?" He crooned. He was one of the few people in the world who could get Robin, Lord of Loxley, Merry and Avenging Outlaw Vigilante, to talk about his feelings.
"I simply brought to light the idea that his lover might not be very happy with him for leaving so long, and consenting to die here in England without even attempting to send her word of it." Robin stated, his voice low and annoyed.
Will sighed and looked his cousin in the face. "This is about Marion, isn't it?" Receiving no reply, he guessed that he was correct and continued with a mischievous glint in his eye, "I see no reason why you don't just go to her and apologize. It's obvious she still loves you, or she would be married by now. You know a woman like that has no shortage of suitors, so why wouldn't she pick one of them? The only logical explanation is that she's still holding out for you to come and make things right again."
Robin knew Will was right, a situation that occurred more often than he would ever point out. But what if he apologized wrong somehow? What if she never took him back? "It's more... complicated than that. Besides Will, even if she did accept me, what do I have to offer her? A stolen plot of trees surrounded by strange men that lies farther from civilization than she would ever agree to live."
Will groaned. How many times would they have to go over this? "Well, you made her wait four years, what's a couple more? When the king returns he will overthrow Prince John, fire the sheriff and absolve you from your crimes. You'll get your land back and you can be married. "
"And what if the king is killed in combat and doesn't return? What if he doesn't take away the consequences of the things I've done?" Robin asked. "And I still don't think she will even forgive me if I do say sorry. You know what happened last time. I came back from the Holy Land, I told her we could get married, she slammed a door in my face and threw a bucket of water over my head." Robin winced, recalling how cold that particular morning was and how icy the surface of the water.
"After she told you she was upset and for good reason, considering you told her you would be gone six months at the latest, and after you called her a melodramatic, spoiled brat." Will reminded him, coolly finishing off his stew. Robin covered his head in his hands and tried to ignore him. "Robin, I hate to say this, but you are being childish. Either go and apologize or forget her and move on."
For a long time Robin sat in the same state while Will stared expectantly at him. "Fine." He said at last, gazing glumly into the fire. "When we go to Loxley tomorrow I will visit Marion. There, are you happy now?" Robin groaned, rubbing his temples and knowing he would regret his decision later.
"More or less, but there's still one thing that's been bothering me."
"The girl? Will, we talked about this."
"But why would she run away? We were the only protection she had." Will replied with ill-supressed passion, the pain of seeing her leave without even saying goodbye still fresh in his heart. "I still don't see why we can't go after her. Who knows what could have happened to her by now? What if she got arrested?"
"She made her choice. We offered her our services and she decided she didn't want them. I would bet money that she knows we suspect her and her guilty conscience couldn't take it." Robin answered flatly. He too was concerned for the girl, but he suspected there was a good reason she left. Obviously, her secrets were the most important things she possessed and would do anything to protect them. Robin took one look at Will's face and knew this answer was not going to satisfy him, so reluctantly he added, "We will ask around tomorrow if anyone's seen her, alright?"
"Thank you." Will said, standing up with a wide grin on his face.