Status: Complete

Robbin' the Rich


Mapperley Castle, England, 1196. September the 17th

“My Lord! My Lord!” Robin’s head snapped up at the pageboy’s shout. The messenger was bent over double in an attempt to regain his breath.

Robin had been called away on urgent business at Arborlea. And the very second he had finished, he’d had ridden hell-for-leather to return home before the day was over. With Marian due to give birth to their first child almost any day now, Robin had been reluctant in the extreme to leave her. Now his face lost all color.

“Aye? Speak, lad!” Robin was off his exhausted mount in an instant, barely pulling it to a halt before he flung himself from the saddle.

“Lady…Marian…” That was all that the boy had panted before his master shoved the beast’s reins into his hands and dashed inside, shouting a word of thanks over his shoulder. Dodging maids and manservants, Robin bolted up three flights of stairs and down a corridor, skidding to a halt outside his bedchamber. Much stared at him in shock from where he paced the hall outside the solar .

“Robin! I didn’t expect—”

“Marian—” The Scot demanded, his question unfinished.

“—is fine. Really. The midwife’s in there now, and she’s only just started—”

A scream cut Much off, leaving Robin even paler. He lunged at the door, and tried to open it.
It was locked! What right did it have to be locked? It his damn bedroom—they couldn’t lock him out of his own bedroom when his wife was giving birth to his child inside!

A female voice from inside denied his entrance, saying that men had no place in the birth chamber.

“Open the damn door, or Ah’ll break it daown!” The Earl roared over his wife’s scream, hurling himself against it. It opened before he could react, and he tumbled in inelegantly.

Maud grinned at him blindly, chuckling, while another woman—the mid-wife, he learned later—chided him. Robin ignored the scolding, stationing himself firmly at Marian’s side, while she walked and sat and cursed him. She grasped his hand hard as another contraction ripped through her, her nails digging into his skin hard enough to draw blood. He never felt the pain.

“You’re never touching me again, you bloody bastard! Not ever, do you hear me, Robin Loxley? I swear to you, I’ll castrate you before you touch me again!”

“Ah know, love. Anathing ye want, love,” he murmured back, terror for her and the babe making him compliant.

Hours later, he was still there, still frantically apprehensive about his wife, though by now she had moved to the bed, and was straining to bring their child into the world. His hand bled, though he took no notice as he murmured words of encouragement and love to Marian when she was finally allowed to push. Threats of torture that would have made Guy of Gisbourne whimper just hearing where blithely acknowledged as he stroked her and worried.

“Push, dear, you’re nearly there,” the mid-wife crooned.

Marian cried out again, clenching once again on Robin’s hand. His other hand smoothed sweat-damp hair away from her face. “Come on, love, ye kin do it. Oh, ye brave lass, yer so beautiful. Push, love, aye tha’s it—Marian, love, yer nearly there—”

“This is your fault, Robin—Aaahhh—it hurts, you bastard—”

“One more good push, m’Lady…Ah! There we go!” Marian went lax as the baby slid out, and onto the blanket that the midwife held. She rubbed the child vigorously as it sent up a hearty wail, and tied off the cord with the ease of long practice before trimming it. The older woman presented the Lady of Mapperley with her child. Marian, exhausted but exhilarated, took the child eagerly. The mid-wife turned to the Scot beside her Lady.

“You have a son, milord. Congratulations.” The congratulations fell on deaf ears as the man cradled his wife and child, his hard face alight with joy. The woman shook her head at the man’s odd behavior and left the room with Maud, to inform the other members of the household of the newest arrival and give the new parents time with their infant son.

“Wot’ll we name ‘im?”

“Can we name him Thomas?” Marian asked her husband tiredly, tilting her head back for Robin’s kiss. She loved the awe on his face, loved him more than ever, and knew he felt the same.

“Aye. An’ ‘is short-name kin be Tam. Ah’ve a cousin—somewhere—we call Tam, an’ ‘is given name be Thomas. Marian, ‘e’s so beautiful.”

Marian smiled. “I like Tam. I think it’ll suit him.” Then her eyes went hard. “But you’re still never touching me again.”

He proved her wrong three times in the years following Tam’s birth, with Lisabeth, Daniel, and the twins, Rosalin and Mae.
♠ ♠ ♠
Solar: the master of the house (in this case, Robin)’s personal bedchamber

THANKS VERY MUCH to PeanutTree, Kat, Anon(ymous), Amy, BP, and any others who have read and commented. Your comments were very inspiring! Well done especially to any and all who understood the myriad references to other, far more famous Robin Hood stories than my meager attempt. ^_^
and MANY APPOLOGIES for how long it took to get it here... TT_TT I am useless when it comes to posting...