Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Guy and Cassia... :)

 Again, this isn't edited. Still, enjoy it. :)


“Your fellows will be quite pleased with you.”

She smiled up at him. In the soft glow of candlelight, she was always beautiful. But after the act of love, there was a luminescence about her that was indescribable. He leaned down and kissed her shoulder, not wanting to think about anything else.

“I have no desire to please them, or anyone else. I please only myself. And you, of course. Always you.”

“I must away by morning.”

No, no, no, He thought. Surely she was in jest. But he could see in her eyes that she was entirely serious.

“Why must you?” he demanded.

“Because I came unannounced. I cannot appear before the household and guests without causing offense. They will think it too bold of me.”

She could not go if he did not allow it. Moving so that his head was on her shoulder, he put his arms under and around her, firmly and possessively.

“You are my wife. Only my opinion matters.”

He felt her nails gently stroking his back. She was soothing him. He knew her touch well enough to sense it.

“That is all very well here, when the door is bolted and we are alone. But you know matters to be otherwise.”

Against her shoulder, he grumbled his frustration. “I must maintain the pretense of a proper nobleman. I am permitted to find pleasure in war and gaming, and the occasional tumble with a kitchen-maid or mistress. That is acceptable to my fellow noblemen. But to have the great pleasure and privilege of lying with my own wife? That is frowned upon.”

A sigh escaped her. “We live in an unforgiving world, my dearest husband. One in which you are permitted to indulge in vice and pleasure, but not in something so pure as love. And I am permitted even less. I must be obedient. I must be quiet and matronly. I must not enjoy my husband’s attentions, but according to the church I must endure them as best I can – merely for the sake of creating heirs.”

There was a note of sadness in her voice that he rarely heard. At times, he forgot that she suffered much the same restraints of society as he did – the same frustrations, and in truth, more so because she was a woman. She was merely better at disguising her troubles. Still holding to her, he moved so that he was leaning back against the pillows, and she was resting against him. He touched his hand to her face, smiling at her. He wanted her to smile back at him – not to linger in sadness.

“Is it wrong that I sometimes look forward to the hope of heaven with you? Where we will know only peace and joy?”

The pleasure, the sunshine, came back to her eyes and lips. The corner of her mouth turned up. “I share your longing for that marvelous world to come. But right now, we are bound to earthly customs. And we must cherish what joys we are permitted.” Leaning in, she softly kissed his lips, and he spoke as he kissed her back, repeatedly.

“So you must depart before the sun rises.”

She replied with a nod – and made a little noise, rather like a sound of frustration. “Feign an illness, Guy, if you must. That will bring you home to us.”

How he adored the little rebel in her! One moment following the rules, and urging him to do the same, and the next moment she was plotting something mischievous. But he knew what he had to do, whether or not either of them liked it.

“It is a tempting diversion. But no. I have a duty to my child – to see that nothing jeopardizes her future. I must be loyal to my host, and remain.”

As she kissed him again, there was a familiar change in her eyes and manner. It was the devil coming out in her, and his body and soul reacted instantly as he watched her sit up, her thighs tightening against his sides.

“Then let us not waste the night talking. Let us make memories that will console you while you tend to your duties. And when your friends ask about the little smirk that will be on your face, you can tell them the complete truth.”

He grinned up at her. “And what is that?” he asked, placing his hands on her hips and pressing her down against him, creating a pressure that set him on fire.

 “Tell them that you spent the night rutting with a beautiful woman, and that they should be mad with jealousy…”


The fortnight had at last ended, and the guests had all gone their separate ways. Cresting the top of the hill, Guy brought his horse to a stop. A grin lit up his face. Home – just a short ride away. It was a glorious thing to see. But even more glorious was the sight of the little party advancing towards him. A dark-haired woman, two dark-haired children, and a pair of Mastiff dogs. The beast must have caught his scent, for they started to bay and run, and the children followed quickly. Thea was the first to reach him just as he slid down from his horse, and she flew at him, wrapping herself around his leg.

“Pappa, you have been away so long!”

Scooping her up in his arms, he kissed her cheek. “Yes, I have. But I am home now.”

He barely managed to finish his words before she blurted out with excitement…

“Guess what, Pappa? Mamma will have another child soon!”

Cassia had approached, but stopped just short of them when she heard the exclamation.


Another child, Guy thought – stunned by the news. But in a moment, entirely delighted. He found it most difficult to contain his joy, but seeing the look of displeasure on Cassia’s face, he kept his true feelings in check. Clearly, this happy news had been meant as a surprise for him, and their daughter had just ruined it. Not intentionally, perhaps, but the secret had been spilled all the same. Thea tried to explain herself.

“But it is true, Mamma! I heard you say it to Auntie Matilda!”

Reaching up, Cassia gave her daughter’s ear a strong tweak.

“What is spoken between adults is not to be repeated by children!”

Thea’s face fell, her smile replaced by a frown. “I am sorry, Mama.”

He knew she was not a heartless or malevolent child. She was merely impulsive – a trait he admitted to giving her, so it was not entirely her fault. And it was difficult to be stern with her. He was blissful at the thought of another child soon to come – the wonderful prospect of his family growing. And his daughter was delightful looking at that moment, with her round cheeks growing pink with shame, and her head tilted down in a guilty fashion. Still, he had to remember his place as her lord and father. Her head was lowered, and Guy reached out to grasp her chin, making her look at him.

“You were merely excited. Am I correct?”

She blinked and nodded. “Yes, Pappa.”

“But you did not consider the consequences of your actions, daughter. You were thoughtless, and such behavior is deserving of a sound thrashing.”

He saw the flash of fear in her eyes. But knew her well enough. She was not one to give in until there was no other option. She would try to use her charms – attempt to ease her way out of the predicament. He was not surprised when she leaned her head on his shoulder, talking very softly.

“I do not want a thrashing, Pappa. Please forgive me.”

Such a clever little thing! He said to himself, almost breaking into a smile. She was not even three years old yet, but she already knew how to manage what she wanted. Both she and William could already talk in full sentences, and he delighted in their intelligence. But for the subject at hand, he kept his face like stone.

“You will not do it again? You will not listen to the conversations of others and then speak of them without invitation?”

“No, Pappa. I will not do it again.”

For a moment, he considered punishing her just to be certain she would keep her word in future. But he decided against it. His heart was too light for such weighty matters. But he kept his voice stern as he spoke to her.

“Consider yourself fortunate that this secret you tell pleases me. Otherwise, I would not spare you the rod.” Putting her down, he gave her a solid smack on the bottom. “Now run along, naughty imp.”

As she hurried away to play with the dogs, he tuned to look at William, who was leaning against Cassia’s side. His son was so very different from his daughter. They looked the same, as far as their features went, but they were entire opposites. Well-behaved, calm and kindly – that was William of Gisborne. Guy looked at him, raising his eyebrow in a show of mock inquisition.

“Well, my son? Did you know of this as well?”

William shook his head, righting himself to stand tall in his father’s presence. “No, Pappa. But I…”

The pause was intriguing. One always wondered what he would think to say. Quiet he certainly was, but he had a way of speaking that showed wisdom beyond his years.

“But what?” Guy asked.

“Is it cruel to hope for a brother this time? A male child might be far less troublesome.”

Guy saw the beaming smile of amusement on Cassia’s face. He saw her hand press to her belly. And he did not care at that moment who might be watching or judging, or listening. Laughing heartily, he picked William up and placed him on the back of his horse. He gave him a gentle pat on the back.

“All women are troublesome, my son. Never forget that.”

He felt her eyes changing, even without looking at her. Turning, he saw the look on her face that he had known would be there. Her head was tilted slightly, her hand resting on her hip.

“Except for your mother,” he said, grinning at her as she came to stand beside him – and she gave him a hard slap on the backside. He heard William giggle, and Guy let his full smile show. As he led his horse with one hand, his other hand held Cassia’s as they walked along. She smiled lovingly as she looked at him.

“It is marvelous to see you this way. One of the greatest things I long for in this world is your happiness.”

Leaning over, he kissed her temple. “You are my happiness. You and this family. And today, I care not who knows it. Damn the world! I may smile for many days yet, whatever the judgement to come.”

When Thea came running up to him, he snatched her up and put her upon his shoulders. It was entirely unseemly, and not at all elegant for a girl to be carried so. But for once, he had not a care in the world, and all those around him would share in his happiness – the consequences be damned.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Another Guy Snippet

Nothing edited here, really. Just some romantic nonsense off the top of my head. Enjoy! :D


The gathering at the Dormer house was a boisterous affair. The wine and ale were flowing freely and the food was plentiful - as were the wenches.

Fucking whores, Guy thought.

His eyes narrowed - his mouth turning down in a frown. This was not the kind of celebration he had accepted an invitation for. It was meant to be a small get-together of only a few neighbors, during which they would spend their days hunting and their nights discussing politics and enjoying some light festivities. His main objective in coming had been to discuss Thea’s marriage contract, which had thankfully been negotiated with success before the small party had erupted into a wild and crowded debacle. One of the women came to his side – slowly, it seemed. He refused to look at her at that moment, but he had seen her looking at him earlier in the evening. Her manner of dress was suited to an elegant lady. She was young and beautiful, to be sure - with neatly curled black tresses that fell to her slender waist, alabaster skin, and bright green eyes. But the look in those eyes, and the way she carried herself, was blatantly unrefined. With a soft and sultry tone, she made her intentions known.

“You have a most pensive look, my lord. Is there something I might do to raise your spirits?”

Her hand was purposefully slow as she reached out to touch his arm, her fingers traveling down to his wrist and the top of his hand – and suddenly he seized her wrist, gripping it tightly.

“You can do nothing for me, trollop. Find another man to service and infect, and tell your friends to do the same.”

He felt no shame at the disgruntled look on her face, and he was glad to see her depart. Reaching for his cup, he downed the contents quickly, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand as he put the goblet down with some force. If there was one consolation, it was that his gaming had brought him a good deal of money. But at that moment he had no more desire to play, even with the promise of profit.

“I am retiring for the night,” he said to his companions. Gathering up his winnings, he ignored their grumblings and their drunken pleas to remain.

“We have hardly begun to celebrate, Gisborne. Stay and play another round.”

“I am done, gentleman. Carry on with your rabblerousing. I shall do well enough on my own.”

Despite their continued protests, he left them all to their own devices and made his way upstairs.

He wanted to depart right then and there – to sneak down the back stairway and go home. But such an abrupt departure would be an insult to his host, and in turn, could jeopardize important plans that had been set in motion. He had agreed to remain for a fortnight, and by God, he would hold himself to his promise. But Lord above, he hated wearing such shackles of duty. It would have been easy to lose himself in drink and the warmth of a willing female. But if Cassia knew of such behavior, she would be furious, and rightfully so. And what sort of father would he be if he had no ability to temper himself?

No, he would not get completely drunk on honey-meade. But he would have enough of it to dull his senses and find rest. He reached for the flagon – and found it empty. With a disgruntled sigh, he called for his valet.

“Frances, I need more wine!”

Even with the aid of wine, his sleep would not go unbroken. How could it not be broken? The room given to him was a comfortable one – warm, well-appointed, and quiet. But therin was the small but significant cause of his restlessness. He found it impossible to truly sleep unless he heard the sound of gentle breathing near his ear, or the occasional murmur uttered during a dream. And where was the sensation of a head upon his shoulder, or the feeling of a soft roundness pressed back against his thighs? Thinking of it, he felt a stirring in his loins. God in heaven, he missed the smell and silkiness of her hair, either against his cheek or his lips, depending on how he had settled his head against hers. His blissful thoughts were quickly shattered by the disappointment of reality, becoming a grumble of frustration and anger.

“Frances, where the devil are you, man?” He waited a few moments, and shouted this time. 


Good God, where is that useless servant?

“Temper, temper, my lord Gisborne.”

He turned instantly, not believing the sound of her voice. But there she stood in the doorway, looking at him with a smile – a small but radiant smile, and her dark eyes were shining with a familiar mischief that set his heart to beating madly.

“I would ask after your well-being, but I have seen already what a miserable creature you are without me.”

He could not wait a moment longer, closing the distance between them in a few short strides. At last she was in his arms, which twined around her in a fierce embrace of love that he could hardly suppress. She seemed not to mind in the slightest, holding him just as tightly. Their kisses were many and potent, ceasing only when they managed words. He buried his nose in the lovely softness of her hair.

“I have indeed been a miserable cretin. You cannot begin to know how vile.”

“I think I can harbor a guess,” she replied, the sound of her voice oddly strained, until the explanation came with a little sound of amusement, and she declared, “Guy, I can scarcely draw my breath.”

He sometimes forgot his own strength – the volatility of his feelings often being so strong. Loosening his hold, his clasped her hand in both his own, kissing it with reverence.

“Why are you here?” he inquired, but in the next moment he shook his head. “Never mind. I care not the reason.” Drawing her back into his arms, he was more gentle than before – the shock of her appearance easing now, allowing him to better maintain his emotions. He sighed with pleasure at the feeling of her head against his chest.

 “Matilda told me I should come. She said you would be pining for me, so it was my duty as a wife to look after you.”

He chuckled, and for the first time in many days, he smiled a genuine smile.

“The old harridan. I must remember to reward her for her wisdom.” Kissing the top of her head, he reveled in the feeling of her – the reality of her being here, and not some momentary imagining. But with the realness came some concerns. Looking down at her, gently turning her face up to look at her, his smile lessened. “Tis’ such a long journey from home. And surely you did not come alone?”

“Stephen escorted me. And then promptly found company with his mistress.”

The mention of the word filled him with a quickly passing but strong sense of guilt. His voice became low, and he averted his eyes for a moment.

“You can hardly blame him for seeking such comfort. Loneliness is a painful condition. At times, an intolerable ache that can only be soothed with drink, or the warmth of a willing partner.” He glanced up at her, knowing that she was studying him. He saw a little smile growing in the corner of her mouth.

“And have you indulged in such healing practices?”

She knew him well enough to know the truth. So this was her habit of teasing him, and it was utterly delightful and tantalizing. God, how he had missed it, and her. He grinned.

“Drink?” he said, “Yes. I freely admit to emptying many flagons. But women…”


The suddenness of the response was a dare. He knew it to be so, and he was tempted to mention the wench that had propositioned him, just to toy with her. But he found himself uninterested in playing games at that moment.

“I have but one mistress. And I thank the maker for having her returned to me.”

Her smile was such a joy, and he expressed his thankfulness with many kisses. The closeness of her stirred his senses, igniting a desire to feel her entirely against him. But her riding cloak was covering most of her. It was in the way, and he intended to be rid of it quickly, pulling at the clasp at her neck. But he paused at the weary sound of her voice.

“My love, this is all very well. But rushing to your side has made me quite tired and hungry. You will indulge me, dear husband.”

A momentary feeling of displeasure crossed his mind. He wanted so badly to be with her. For a moment he was tempted to have the pleasure of her and damn all other concerns, and he knew that if he was persistent enough, she would comply. But he loved her too well to be a complete brute. She would soon reward him if he showed tenderness – that he knew from experience. And she deserved every ounce of devotion he was capable of.

“Come,” he said. “You will sit and rest.”

She nodded, unfastening her cloak and draping it over a chair – and all the while he watched her, taking in every graceful and feminine movement. The way her hands arched in a delicate fashion. The way she reached up to lift the thickness of her hair from her neck. Lord, she was such a temptation, even in her sober black traveling gown. Despite his better intentions, he was sorely tempted to pounce on her like a hungry wolf – so strong was his desire for her at that moment. But relying on a soldier’s sense of self-command, he held back the wild impulse, and was satisfied instead – for the moment - with sweeping her off her feet, much to her surprise. She gave a soft cry of shock, but laughed.

“Guy, what are you doing?”

Carrying her to the window seat, he smiled. “I am indulging you, as requested.”

Just as he sat her down – stealing a soft kiss as he rose to a standing position – the door opened. He turned and saw Frances, who was carrying a tray and a wine jug.

“At last! I have been calling for you! Lady Cassia is here, and she requires nourishment…”

“Yes, my lord. I have brought something already.”

Placing the tray on a table, Frances removed the linen cover to reveal a rind of cheese and a bowl of fruit. He began filling the two goblets on the tray, much to Guy’s surprise. Cassia reached out and took his hand. Looking down at her, he saw her smile.

“I encountered Frances on the stairs and asked him to bring up a tray.”

Always a step ahead – that was his beloved. His mood was more blissful than it had been in a very long time. She had made it so. He was not required to be generous to a servant, and his servant was not expected to hope for generosity from his master. But as he dismissed Frances for the night, he put several gold coins in his palm and ordered him to enjoy himself until morning in any way he pleased. After the delighted valet left, Guy turned back to Cassia with a certain smile of his own. The corner of his mouth crinkled up in a grin.

“Alone at last,” he said, his words full of obvious meaning. But she just looked at him with a teasing expression.

“Yes, and I am famished. Before you have your way, I will have mine. Please bring the tray and sit with me. We will eat and talk. Get these important matters out of the way.”

“What matters more than you and I?” he asked, carrying the tray over and placing it on a side-table that was within reach. Taking her by the hand, he made her stand so he could sit down – and placed her on his knee. It felt glorious to have her this way, and he kissed her forehead and cheek.

“The children are well again,” she said, her tone becoming more serious. And at the mention of Thea and William, the mood became more sober. He cursed himself for having put them from his mind, even for just a short time.

“Thank God for that,” was his true reply. He sighed, resting his cheek against her hair. “Damn the measles, and all sicknesses of any sort. I have feared for them so, and not being at home…”

“Do not feel guilty, my love. This journey of yours took you away, but fear no longer. Matilda and I kept vigil over them during their recovery, and by the grace of heaven, they are healthy once more.”

Her reassurances were welcome, but still he felt the sting of guilt. He had wanted to stay home, knowing how terrified she had been at the dreadful illness their children suffered from. It was known to ravage even the healthiest body, causing blindness or paralysis – and death. Especially in ones so young. He shuddered at the thought of it. But damn his required duties as a nobleman, he had been expected to leave his family despite his concerns. It was more important, according to society, that he see to his business and leave the worrying up to his wife.

“Damn all expectations,” he muttered, not intending for her to hear – but she did. Sharp-eared thing that she was. Lifting her head, she looked into his eyes, studying him. He brushed his fingertips over her cheek. “Forgive me for not being at your side.”

She pressed a finger to his lips. “Hush, my lord husband. Put it from your mind. You had important business to attend to. Which begs the question – were your negotiations successful?”

As she ate an apple from the tray, his mood changed again. Thinking of the business that had brought him here in the first place, he grumbled his reply.

“Regrettably so.”

On her face, he saw the beginning of a smile. “Why regrettably?”

She knew very well the reason why. She was just waiting for him to say it, which he did with surliness.

“I have found our daughter a husband, and I am not ashamed to say it was a most unpleasant business for me. I would prefer it if Thea would grow and become a spinster.”

Her giggle was a merry sound. “This nonsense again,” she said, placing her free hand on his face, and she kissed him sweetly. “Oh, Guy. You are so delightful when you are fatherly.”

He truly did hate the matter of marriage contracts – and his grumblings about them were genuine. But in them, he found a measure of deep contentment in knowing that they always led to attention from her. Her kisses and smiles were such joys to him. He could not remain disagreeable in her presence – especially when her kisses tasted sweeter than usual, bettered by the apple. But she wanted so much more than a few gentle brushes of her lips against his. Being a father was one thing – being a husband was something else entirely. Gathering her closer, his arms tight around her waist, he brushed his nose and chin against her neck, feeling her give a little shiver. His words were playfully harsh.

“Troublesome witch, never allowing your husband to utter his complaints.”

His lips pressed against the hollow of her throat, and he felt her hand against the back of his head, holding him in place. The urgency in her voice was clear, even as she scolded him.

“You DO utter your complaints – frequently! And then I must force myself on you in order to find peace in our household. My duties as a wife are an endless burden.”

Their eyes met, full of fire, as he pressed his forehead against hers.

“Well they are a burden you must endure.”

“Brute!” she cursed him.

He knocked the apple out of her hand. “Harpy!”

A brief moment passed between them as they shared a burning look. Moments later she was lying in bed on her back, pinned down by his weight as they shared an opened-mouth ravishment of a kiss. They paused only for moments, untying laces and buckles. She smiled up at him, a devilish expression.

“Your fellows downstairs are probably wondering about you. By now I am certain they heard that a woman is in your chamber.”

“Damn their souls,” he replied, pulling at the stubborn laces of her dress.

“But we should not disappoint them,” she said in return, her fingers yanking his shirt loose from his breeches. “Let us give them something to talk about…”

Friday, August 14, 2015

Reflecting on "The Tempest: A Gisborne Novel"

Has it really been five and a half years since the publication? It doesn't seem that long.

Original Cover,
2010 Edition
Maybe it's silly to reflect on this little story I began in 2009, when so many of us were in denial about the ending of Robin Hood The Gisborne Show. Like a lot of fans, I took to my keyboard and churned out an alternate story for our Guy, giving him a happy ending. It started out simple enough as I shared it on a few fanfic sites. I didn't expect much to come of it. It was just a way for me to express my thoughts.

But a funny thing happened. I kept getting messages from people who had read it and *GASP!* really, really liked it. They wanted to know if I thought about making it available in print form. I had known a lot of the RA ladies for a few years, so I decided...what the heck? I was already familiar with POD (Print on Demand) publishing, so I made it available on Amazon and let it go from there. I sent out a few requested copies, and started working on another project.

Second Edition, 2014
Who could have guessed that in 2015, this story would still be on my mind? I never imagined this tale would evolve into a REAL book, but evolve it truly did, even taking a turn away from the BBC series to change into a fully-developed story all of its own. Some of this was thanks to reader feedback, both positive and negative. Everyone who has read this book has contributed to its betterment. Even those who didn't like it (As some of us know, it has its passionate haters) have given me the encouragement to improve upon the writing and the development of the characters. But to the loyal fans who have given it such love and praise, know that this writer loves you all from the bottom of my heart.

I think about Guy and Cassia all the time. They pop into my head at the strangest times. Sometimes, I even dream about them. I guess that's why I keep these Gisborne stories going. They just won't be silenced! Not that it's a bad thing...

And who could have guessed it would still have such a loyal fanbase? Not me, that's for sure! But it looks like the Gisbornes are here to stay, at least for a few more years. Just to update the fans on what I hope to accomplish...


Rebel Mine has been on the back-burner for a while, thanks to my 60 - 70 hour work week at my "Real" job. But as summer is coming to an end, so is the grueling work schedule. Starting in September, I'm back to being a normal human again, which makes the Muse very happy. And I have a vacation coming as well, so I hope to get a lot accomplished. Wish me luck! 


My Lady Gisborne is getting a second edition! This book is far and away my most popular novel. So for all of you die-hard fans, don't worry - it's not changing that much. But I do need to make a few adjustments here and there. Since I did the revision of "The Tempest," there are a few story points that need to be tweaked. And I might add a bit more Simon, since he seems to be a favorite with the ladies...

(Coming in Spring 2016)


The Baron's Lady will get a second edition as well, but I'm hoping to vastly improve this book the second time around. It isn't my best effort, I will admit, although it has its fans. When I wrote it, I was going through a very difficult time in my life and the writing clearly suffered. Hopefully, I'll make it a more worthy edition to the series.

(Coming in Fall 2016)


A Gisborne Anthology, Hardcover and Kindle

Once all of the Gisborne novels are complete, I'm hoping to finish off the entire series with a special hardcover edition that covers all four novels, and might also include some bonus material. This is still a ways off, but it's definately in my plans to have the entire saga told from beginning to end. The Kindle/EBook edition will be available to the general public, but I'm thinking that the hardcover will be a limited edition just for fans. 

Want to know more? Just send me a message here or on Facebook/Twitter. I'd be happy to chat about this.