Title: Know Your Enemy
Author: Unsentimental Fool
Fandom: BBC Robin Hood
Pairing: Guy/Marian, a little Robin/Marian
Rating: NC 17.
Word Count: 8,000
Summary: Guy takes merciless advantage of a captured foe
Notes/Warnings: Many thanks to hulamoth
for their help and comments. Very dark in places, non consensual explicit sex and swearing.
Once you started looking, the truth wasn't difficult to discern. Guy had been looking for weeks now. It was keeping him occupied, in between trying to deal with the Sheriff (frustrating and unpleasant) and trying to deal with Marian (equally frustrating, considerably more pleasant).
He'd got people keeping their eyes open, got it known that he'd pay well for seeming insignificant snippets of information. It was making a hole in his budget, but it was also making an unmistakeable picture. The Night Watchman wasn't just in league with the outlaws, he was in bed with them. One of them at least. Hood, the insufferable, cocky ex-lord of Locksley, was in love. With a man.
Guy was amused. Disgusted. Relieved. He wasn't stupid; he knew Marian wasn't as innocent of association with the outlaws, with her ex-fiancee, as she pretended. He minded; of course he minded. He wanted to scream at her sometimes, get her to confess. But it was no more than her soft heart, driving her to sympathise with the do-gooders. Nothing between her and Robin. He knew that for certain, had all the proof he needed, now.
What he didn't know, still, after all this time, was the identity of the man behind the mask. And not enough physical attributes to let him recognise the man unmasked. Slight, certainly. Not tall. Young. A low voice, almost a croak- Guy was willing to wager the man disguised that. Everything else hidden under the green clothes and leather mask. Though no doubt Hood got those off fast enough, out there in the forest. He was keeping that one quiet; Guy suspected his popular support would soon vanish if the people's hero was reported as a sodomite. Guy would be sure to have it included in the charges when the man was finally hanged.
His most usually reliable source of information was strangely reluctant to comment. Guy was sure that Allan knew the identity of the Night Watchman, but the man denied it, repeatedly. Guy had thought about getting the information out of him in a more forcible manner, but Allan was useful. And, to be honest with himself, Guy was rather enjoying the puzzle. More satisfying to solve it himself. He had no doubt that he'd find the answer, and sooner rather than later. Then he'd have all the leverage he needed over Hood. He was looking forward to that.
One early summer evening he was finishing up a mug of ale after dinner. The Sheriff had finally tired of needling Guy and announced that he was retiring for the night. Vaizey had walked round behind Marian, murmured something in her ear that made her whiten. She and Guy had both watched the man until he was out of the room. Then she'd sighed.
“That man. He...” She'd tailed off.
Guy had moved up to sit closer to her.
“He frightens you." He had smiled at the automatic shake of her head. "No need to deny it, Lady Marian. The world knows how brave you are. Still, I'm here. You really have no need to fear him.”
She had looked up at him, blue eyes guileless, had slid a hand forward momentarily to rest on the hilt of his sword. Blood had pulsed through his groin. “Fortunate that I need not fear you, Sir Guy.”
He hadn't been sure that her absolute confidence was entirely flattering. He was after all a man, and a formidable one. Would it hurt her to tremble a little? Still, he had smiled down at her. “No,” he had agreed. “You will always be safe with me.” His mind had thrown up a couple of distinctly unsafe images, put aside for later contemplation, when he was alone.
Instead he had set to work to charm her. And, predictably enough, Marian had soon retired to her room with, she said, a headache. Guy didn't believe a word of it, but he knew the rules of her game by now. God forbid she should spend any more than half an hour in his company. Even if she was enjoying it, and she damn well had been, tonight. He'd made her laugh, better still, made her blush. For a few minutes there her eyes had sparkled at him, until she'd controlled herself, announced her ailment. Retreated to her room. Leaving him cursing in frustration and wondering yet again why the woman was so determined to keep him at a distance.
Now he was sitting in the Great Hall, nursing his ale, wondering whether he really wanted to sweet talk one of the serving girls into dealing with the consequences of the conversation just gone and deciding, as he usually did these days, that, no, it would be poor consolation. He'd get on with some work instead. One of his men made his way past the tables towards him and said something quietly. Guy was on his feet, grabbing his cloak. “Down by the river?” The man nodded.
The Night Watchman. Alone. Delivering something. Guy thought about bringing some men, decided against it. The man was his private project, after all. He'd not had any trouble half killing the Night Watchman before. Close enough to go on foot; he ran, hand on his sword hilt to stop it tangling between his legs.
He stopped for breath close to the river, pulled back into the shadows and waited. There, coming out of a house. Cloaked against the night, but unmistakeable. The figure stopped at the next door and knocked. Guy crept closer. When the door opened he rushed both figures, knocking the Night Watchman to the ground. The woman who'd opened the door shrieked.
“Get out!” Guy was sitting atop of the man he'd come for, pinning limbs down under the green cloak. He hissed again at the house owner. “Out!' The woman ran, slamming the door behind her.
Guy's knife was at the figure's throat, under the wrapped scarf. “Put your hands over your head. Slowly.”
Blue eyes reflecting the slanting evening sun watched him. Fine hands moved upwards, rested, palms up, on the wooden floor. No daily labour there; the palms were clean and callus free. Who was this man? Guy reached down, removed the knife from its scabbard, tossed it behind him. He'd somehow expected a lean and wiry fighter, but the body underneath him was soft. He thought of Hood doing things to it, shuddered. He twitched the scarf downwards, to see a full mouth, an unexpected smile.
“What are you smiling at?” Guy asked, genuinely interested.
The man shook his head slightly. “Guy,” he murmured. “Would you mind shifting back a little?”
Guy caught himself too late; he'd done it. He was astride over the man's hips.
“Thank you. That's better.” That voice was disguising another, higher- God, the man's voice had not yet broken. That young. The boy underneath him wriggled- no better word, loosening the cloak that had pulled tight across his body. The stimulation of Guy's balls was a – presumably- unanticipated side effect. Guy took a breath, still susceptible after thoughts of Marian earlier, wondered for a second how to get the boy to do it again. Caught himself.
“You,” he said precisely, “are a filthy catamite.”
The smile twitched. There was a complete absence of denials. That threw Guy slightly; he'd not imagined that anyone could not be ashamed of it. He shook his head,
“When I think of what Hood does to you...”
Thinking of it was a mistake. It still disgusted him, but here, astride the soft, slightly perfumed body (that just wriggled again, with the same result as last time) he found himself increasingly, inexplicably aroused. The Night Watchman lifted his head, careful of the knife, looked down the length of his body at Guy's groin, looked back at Guy's face, smile wider.
Cheeky sod. Time to assert himself. “I think we'll have this off, now.”
Guy reached forward for the mask. The boy's hands flew down over his face, disregarding the knife at his throat. “No. Please.” His voice was throaty, desperate.
The knife twitched. “Take it off.”
“No.” The young man's voice was surprisingly firm. “I'll do anything you want. But not that,”
“Anything?” Guy grinned. “What sort of anything.”
“I'll....let you kiss me.”
Guy laughed out loud. “Kiss you? You're no woman, and I'll not be treating you like one.” Still, it had given him an urge that didn't seem to want to go away. And after all, why not? It was a common enough way of humiliating one's prisoners, even if he'd never done it himself. And this was Hood's catamite, not some innocent. He stood up, stepped back.
“You want that mask to stay on, you can co-operate by standing up, turning round and dropping your breeches.”The Night Watchman realises that he has pushed too far. Because this is only Guy, who has vowed himself harmless. Because it had been so tempting to tease him. But now Guy is looking at him in a way that he's never seen and the Night Watchman realises that he doesn't know this man at all.
Safety is a mere word away but it comes with discovery, and consequences. He imagines that the games men like Guy play must be tolerable to other men. There is a choice; he makes it.
Eyelids closed in what might have been despair or resignation, opened again, slowly. The lad turned to the wall, untied laces, revealed a white, rounded arse that Guy had no difficulty staying hard for.
He'd done this to women, any number of times. Generally the wellborn ones, most nervous of pregnancies and most likely to have their wishes regarded. He'd no wish to injure the boy, particularly, just a considerable desire to make him know he'd been thoroughly screwed. Guy licked his fingers, regretted it; he'd had his hands on the none-too-clean floor. He felt the boy gasp then deliberately relax around his fingers. Hood's lover must be used to this, after all. Co-operation was earning the boy a much easier ride.
There was no rush. Guy was slow and thorough, exploring the strange sensation of screwing a man, finding the differences...subtle. A hand slid under the shirt, rested on the long scar that he'd made. He reached no further round; he wasn't pretending this was a woman, but he had no desire to touch another man's cock. The boy was unresisting; not good enough. Guy murmured in his ear.
“Is this what Hood does to you? Out there in the forest? Does he do...that?” He could hear the boy's breathing speeding up. Guy tightened his hands around the Night Watchman's fleshy hips, still soft with puppy fat. So this was Hood's weakness. The boy moved a hand from its position on the wall; Guy froze, but the hand wasn't going for a weapon, but to the lad's own groin. The Night Watchman's head tipped back, resting on Guy's shoulder. Guy buried his face in the green hood, breathing in the oddly familiar scent, feeling the long shuddering breaths as the masked man pleasured himself in time with Guy's accelerating thrusts. He murmured into the ear hidden under the fabric.
“I am twice the man he is. And by the time I've finished with you you'll know it. You'll be begging me to do this again. Little whore. Little catamite.” His own breathing was faster. “Think I want a boy in my bed? You're unnatural, both of you. Christ, does he screw you this hard? Does he?”
He had no breath left to talk, and the boy had convulsed in a half scream, then was pushing backwards, onto him, desperately eager, making him go so deep that Guy came, quite suddenly.
“Ohhh.” Guy slowly came to a halt. Felt the lad wince as he pulled out, disregarded it. He stepped back to lace up his breeches and the Night Watchman twisted past him and out of the door, still half undressed. Guy cursed, pulled his clothes up, but when he reached the door the boy was gone.
Damn. Still. He'd had what Hood no doubt considered his private property, and made Hood's boy come screaming in pleasure. That was a good evening. Guy thought he might do it again, given the opportunity, just to spite Hood, of course. Screwing an enemy didn't make one a lover of men.
He strolled back to the castle, languid and satisfied. Glanced up at Marian's window, wondered what she'd say if she knew what he'd been doing.
The next evening Marian's headache seemed to be gone. Guy thought she looked positively invigorated. Had she been out riding, to put such colour in her cheeks?
She smiled at him, and he thought for no reason of the face under the mask. “Riding, yes. A little exercise turned out to be just what I needed.”
For the next couple of weeks there were no reports of the Night Watchman, and not many of the outlaws. Then chance, and Guy's quick thinking, delivered Hood to his feet and, shortly afterwards, bruised, bleeding and semi-conscious, to the cells under Nottingham Castle.
Guy tripled the guard, fought down his jubilation and waited for something to go wrong. The man would hang tomorrow at dawn , but they'd been there before. The Sheriff was all nerves and vague threats. Marian congratulated Guy, coolly. Still, he thought she was impressed, underneath. Hood might be her natural ally but she knew a lost cause when she saw one. Guy hoped, with Hood out of the way, he might get a little further.
“Aren't you worried about his men rescuing him?” She was no more than curious. Guy raised an eyebrow. “They won't get far, not this time. Nor will his other allies.”
“Other allies?” Blue eyes regarded him, under raised brows. “What other allies?”
Guy had been keeping his researches to himself, but it was hardly going to be relevant any more. “Hood's in league with the Night Watchman.” He paused, wondering whether he should go further, decided, reluctantly, that while letting Marian know of Hood's predilections would do Hood no good in her eyes, being the one who talked about it would damage his standing too.
“Do you think the Night Watchman will try to rescue Robin?” Marian sounded positively excited at the prospect. Guy remembered the soft, slight body, the feel of the hips under his hands. “I don't think the Night Watchman is capable of storming the dungeons, somehow.” He grinned. “I'd like to see what he could come up with as a rescue plan.”
Marian raised an eyebrow, moved away.
Guy wasn't sleeping. It was late. So far, nothing from the outlaws, or anyone else. He thought the attack was most likely to come at the hanging itself, but he also knew that assumptions could be deadly. So he was lying awake in the dark, trying to work out if there was anything more that he could do, short of walking down to the dungeon and slitting Hood's throat right now. Depriving the Sheriff of his hanging; now that wasn't wise. Nor was the other thing he wanted to do now, which involved Marian's room and the removal of a lot of clothes. Being on edge always made him horny as hell.
Guy slid his hand down inside the breeches that were all that he was wearing. That dress today had left half her bosom bare. He'd wanted to kiss her neck, see her arch her head back, rest it on his shoulder, bury his face in her hair. Like... something. He made a quiet sound, squeezed, closed his eyes. A few minutes off from worry would do no harm.
The knock at his bedroom door startled him. He pulled his hand free, sat up. Something must have had happened, with Hood. “Come in.” He used the single candle behind him to light the lamp.
Not the guard. Guy laughed, reaching out for the sword that always lay a hand's reach away. “I might have expected you. Come to threaten me, boy?”
The Night Watchman stepped into the room, closed the door carefully behind him. “No. I've come to beg.”
Guy shook his head. “For his life? That's a price too high for you or anyone else. Save your breath.”
“Will you let me see him, at least?”
“I might,” Guy looked at the boy, laughed again. The timing was perfect. “If you're begging me for it, you'll want to be on your knees.”
The Night Watchman dropped lightly to one knee then, at Guy's gesture, the other. Guy unlaced his breeches, dropped them to the floor. The boy jumped.The Night Watchman does not surge to his feet and back away, screaming. As a man he is doubtless used to sights like these. His plan to gain access to Robin needed to play on Guy's baser instincts. It seems to be working; he turns his head slightly, away from the hot pink flesh in Guy's tanned hand, feels it rub against his cheek, below the leather, leave a trail of wetness. He doesn't shudder; a man wouldn't. This is, he imagines, what a plan in the process of succeeding feels like. Then he suddenly realises that the thing in Guy's hand is what has been inside him and he quite desperately wants a bath.
He takes a breath, looks up at Guy's face. Speaks.
“What do you want me to do?”
The boy didn't know? No, the Night Watchman was being cautious, desperate not to offend, Guy took pleasure in explaining exactly what he required, in language straight from the barracks. The boy was clearly well-born; Guy would see how easily he could be shocked.
If he was, the mask hid it damn well. Guy thought about removing it, decided to wait. He could do with the boy compliant, for the next few minutes at least. And, frustrating as the mask was, it was also quite erotic. No hurry to unmask him; make it the end of a pleasurable night. After he'd marched the boy to the gallows steps at dawn to see his lover kick the air.
He looked down at the Night Watchman's half obscured face. “Get started,” he directed roughly and the boy bent forward, charmingly obedient.
Some time later Guy's hands tightened around the boy's cloaked shoulders as he closed his eyes for a few thumping heartbeats. That was better. Much better. He looked in some amusement at the lad choking and spluttering on the floor. The Night Watchman seemed to have been taken rather by surprise by the end result of his actions.
“You've not done that before.” That explained a certain heavyhandedness. Guy vaguely wondered if the lad handled his own cock that awkwardly. Still, he'd had far worse and far less willing from many of the women he'd lain with.
The Night Watchman looked up. “I'd like to see Robin now.” Even with the mask hiding half his face Guy could tell that he was desperately fighting to retain what dignity an unexpected throatful of come had left him with.
“So. Does he not like it or do you refuse? I thought men like you were never happier than with someone else's cock in their mouth.”
The Night Watchman rose gracefully to his feet. “You know nothing about men like me. Take me to him.”
Guy shrugged, opened the door.
The second best moment of the night was seeing the expression on Hood's bloody face when Guy opened the cell door and ushered his lover in.
“Gisborne! You bastard! Let...let him go!”
Guy raised an eyebrow. “Just a visitor. He's paid for his entrance, and, if I'm feeling obliging, he might get to pay to leave.”
“Paid?” Hood was on his feet. Guy was glad of the chains, for all that his sword was at his side. “What do you mean?”
“I'll let him explain. I'm sure you two have a lot to talk about. I'd love to give you some privacy, but he didn't pay that much. I'll be over there.” He gestured to the other side of the cell bars. They'd be able to talk privately, but he'd see every move, every gesture. Let Hood spend his last night in frustration.
There wasn't much to see. The men argued, about how the Night Watchman got there, no doubt. Given the lack of outrage pouring out in his direction, Guy guessed that Hood had not been told the precise nature of the bargain struck. Pity. He'd like the man to know that Guy had been screwing his precious lover. Something to tell him tomorrow, on the gallows steps.
Then their voices dropped and they conspired. Badly; there were far too many glances in his direction. This was what the Night Watchman had been after, not a last farewell to his lover. Guy didn't care; he'd got both of them in his control. Nothing they could do. They were merely providing entertainment, of several different kinds, to while away this tense night. It would be dawn soon.
Then they argued again. Guy had no idea what that was about. He was getting the impression that they argued rather a lot.
Hood really was quite unprepossessing to look at. What the Night Watchman looked like it was impossible to tell under cloak and scarves, but the man had a well shaped mouth (shaped well for at least one purpose) and those startling blue eyes. And a nice arse. Even a sodomite could do better than Hood, surely.
Maybe, after Hood was hung by the neck until he was quite dead, the Night Watchman would come back. Looking for Guy. And he'd say...he'd spurn the man, of course. Have him arrested, have him flogged, at the least. Guy wasn't a pervert. Still, nice arse.
They were done talking. The masked man stood up to the cell door, waiting. Guy quirked an eyebrow at him, didn't move from his seat. Both of them locked in a cell; it was almost too convenient. Two nooses tomorrow, and the Sheriff would be pleased.
“What's your price, Guy?” Calm voice. Behind him Hood was protesting.
“Shut up, Hood.” Guy said, casually. He walked up to the bars, looked down at the smaller man.
“Two hours till dawn. Can you stay entertaining for that long?”
“Undoubtedly. Can you?”
Guy laughed, unlocked the door, hand on his sword. “Out.” The boy walked out carefully, didn't look back at the man in chains.
Back in his quarters Guy sat down on his bed. “Time to pay up.” He frowned at the lad. “Too late to back out now.” The boy had a white hand against the wall, was shaking.
“I'm not backing out. I'll pay. But...could I have a drink of water first? Please?”
Guy wasn't playing servant for anyone. “There's wine and two glasses on the table. You can pour that out, bring me a glass.”
It was good wine. He drank it with pleasure, watching the boy sipping at his. Not that long since last time, but he was already starting to get hard in anticipation.
“Take off....” he stopped in momentary confusion, his head spinning. “Take...” and he sank unexpectedly into darkness.
Guy woke to discomfort. His limbs ached, his head hurt. He was lying on something hard and cold. He opened his eyes to near darkness, gulped down nausea, forced aching muscles to lift his head and the movement brought on more sickness. He managed to turn his head, threw up on the stone next to him.
“Hey! Who's in here?” The noise was painfully loud. Guy screwed up his eyes against the piercing torchlight. Someone brought it close to him, swore in disbelief.
“Get the doctor! Get the Sheriff! Gisborne's alive!”
The Sheriff arrived first. Wrinkled his nose against the vomit. Guy still hadn't mustered the strength to move.
“We thought you were dead.” The tone was accusing. “You were dead. The doctor checked. You and...” He stopped. Screamed at the guard trying to help Guy to a sitting position. “Never mind him. Get Hood's body back in a cell. Run!”
Guy snorted. He might have a hell of a headache but he wasn't slow. “It won't be there. Wherever you put it. He'll be back in Sherwood by now.” He heaved again, narrowly missing the Sheriff's boots. “I just hope he feels as bad as I do.”
The body was, of course, gone. Men had come to bury it, men with documents bearing Gisborne's own seal. The seal kept locked in his desk, in his quarters. Guy was unamused. He'd been carried up to bed at this point, prodded by the doctor who was distinctly unimpressed at having his terminal diagnosis overturned. The Sheriff finally left, finding Guy far too sick to pay attention to his for once entirely justified tirades. Guy dismissed the remaining servants, closed his eyes. God, he felt like death. He didn't even want to start thinking about his part in this bloody fiasco.
A quiet knock on the door. Just like the one the previous night. If the Night Watchman came to visit again he'd kill the bastard. Slowly.
The door pushed open. “Guy?”
Guy managed a smile. “Marian. What are you doing here?”
“I came to see how you were.” She'd brought a covered tray. “Just bread and water, on the doctor's orders, but the bread is fresh.”
He could smell it; he almost felt like eating. Not quite. “Thank you.”
She came to stand next to the bed. “You look...”
“Like death? Yes, that's how I feel. Someone is going to die for this. I swear it.”
Marian blinked at him “They could have killed you. They didn't.”
“They poisoned me, Marian. That bloody Night Watchman did. I should have guessed he wouldn't use a man's weapon. It's a womanish trick, poison. I'll see the flesh flogged from his back before I hang him.”
He was sorry for his vehemence; she had quailed. “This is not your concern, Marian. You have come to visit me and I talk of nothing but death. It is nothing; I am recovering. I will be fine again in no time.”
She nodded, reassured. “I was wondering, Guy. Just how did the Night Watchman come to be in your bedroom?” Nothing but innocent curiosity. Guy allowed himself a wry smile.
“I was interrogating him. Well away from his associate.”
“Ah. I didn't know that you interrogated people in your bedroom. Are there any particular techniques for that?” Guy frowned at her but she was perfectly serious. “No. Just the usual.”
“Oh. Well, it seems to be a very dangerous practice. I hope you don't need to do too much of it.”
He was always warmed at these hints that she cared for his wellbeing. Still, he had his pride. “Don't worry, Marian. The Night Watchman will be going nowhere in this castle but the dungeon and the gallows.”
“What's he like? The Night Watchman?”
Guy blinked. “Young. Short.” What else did he know? A soft arse, hot and tight and welcoming? He could hardly tell Lady Marian that. “He's got blue eyes.”
Marian laughed, delighted. “You noticed his eyes!”
Guy flushed slightly. “The mask.. draws the attention there.”
Guy had no intention of waxing eloquent about the man's mouth either. Which had been equally welcoming, if a little... “He's clumsy.”
Marian frowned. “What do you mean, clumsy.”
Guy shrugged. “Clumsy. He handles...things...clumsily. Sometimes.”
Marian's voice was chill. “He tricked you easily enough.”
“I didn't say stupid. Just...never mind. I don't know what the man's like. He hides behind that disguise. I know I'm going to hang him, though.”
Guy's recovery from the poison was slow and frustrating. His only consolation was that the reports of the outlaws were notable for the absence of Robin Hood. Alive, undoubtedly, but surely as white faced and sick and weak as Guy himself. It became a matter of pride, to drive himself back on his feet so that he would be riding out with his men before Hood started to appear with his.
Marian had been a frequent and welcome visitor at Guy's sickbed, but as he recovered she retreated into her distant civility. When he challenged her in frustration she merely smiled, as she always did, and denied all knowledge of what he was talking about.
Guy won the race. Just. Reports of Hood started to come in two days after he resumed his normal rounds. How Hood spent his evenings wasn't reported; Guy's were all too often spent prostrate in his darkened room. Still, he loudly declared himself fully recovered. It was however another couple of weeks before the effort of his normal duties left him any time or energy to go hunting for the man who'd done this to him, and a week after that before he had any success.
Better than he'd hoped. Late afternoon and the green cloaked figure was making his way into the forest. He'd get both the Watchman and the location of the outlaws' base. Guy quietly followed, confident that he was unobserved.
After a while the man stopped, whistled twice. Guy smiled. All clear, no doubt. He followed the figure further along the path. A few minutes later the Night Watchman whistled again, and something hit Guy hard in the back. Cursing and struggling got him nowhere; he was on his knees, trussed up hand and foot by the time the outlaw leader arrived.
Guy looked up at Hood in some shock. Gods, did he look as bad as that? The man had lost far too much weight and there were hollows under his eyes. The infuriating smile hadn't changed though. Guy bared his teeth in a responding grin.
The Night Watchman was at Hood's shoulder.
“What are we going to do with him?”
“'We' aren't going to do anything. You're going to go back to Nottingham before they put his disappearance together with yours and start asking questions.” Hood at his most authoritarian.
The Night Watchman looked at Guy, pulled Hood away by the shoulder to some distance. Guy watched them argue again. It seemed that he'd been right about that. They came at last to some sort of agreement; the boy started back towards Nottingham. Hood came back over, looked down at Guy with sharp dislike, his normal humour gone.
“Blindfold him. We're taking him to the camp tonight. We'll decide what to do with him tomorrow when...when the Night Watchman is back.”
No-one spoke to Guy. He went where he was dragged, without resistance. What he wanted was a confrontation with Hood, not a scrap with his minions.
The camp smelled of roasting meat. No-one took off the blindfold. Firm hands fixed a shackle to his leg, locked it. The key could be absolutely anywhere. Left alone for a few minutes, he traced the chain back awkwardly with his tied hands, found it wrapped around a sizeable tree. Someone laughed. No-one offered him food or drink, and he was too proud to ask. If they were going to kill him, surely they'd have done it by now. He couldn't quite convince himself of that.
It got colder and the camp went quiet. He might be watched; he kept still. Eventually he dozed, his back against the tree.
A hand on his shoulder woke him, and a soft voice in his ear. “Guy?” He nearly said “Marian” before he woke enough to recognise the voice. “You again. What do you want this time?”
A waterskin was held to his lips. “You mustn't tell him. What we did.” The voice was a whisper.
Guy laughed, quietly. “And I owe you a favour for what, exactly? Half a skinful of water? You nearly killed me. I think I'm going to enjoy telling your lover all about what I did to your body, how you reacted, in some detail.”
A sigh of frustration. “Please, Guy.”
“Please doesn't get anything on its own, boy. Are you going to make it worth my while to stay quiet?”
He could hear teeth gritting. “All right. I'll come to your room. Tomorrow night.”
Guy didn't like being tied and helpless. It made him reckless. “Now.”
Intake of breath. “That's not...You're tied up, for a start.”
“So untie my hands. Leave the damn chain if you must. And the blindfold- I've no desire to look at you.”
“We're in the middle of camp, Guy! Robin's sleeping not fifteen yards away.”
“I suggest that you come a little more quietly this time then. Bite your lip; that should do it.”
“I can't do this.”
“Think of it this way. We do this; there's a chance that he wakes up and finds out. We don't do this; I'm definitely going to tell him in the morning. Crap odds but they're the only ones on offer. And this way you get to be screwed by me, and, God, I'm hard tonight.”
The smallest of snorts. A cold blade unexpectedly against his neck. “You wake him deliberately and I'll cut your throat.” The blade moved and he could feel sawing on the ropes round his hands. He bent his head, felt the woollen hood, smelt the slight, familiar perfume. Odd that the boy should adopt such a habit; in other ways he was hardly girlish.
The ropes parted. A sudden impulse and he reached out groping for the boy's face, pulled it up to his. A kiss more intimate than anything they'd done, and the boy was not so much willing as desperate. Guy was the first to pull away.
“So that's how it is, boy?” he murmured. “I'm beginning to think you're playing me. Why feign reluctance?”
“I do this only because you make me.” The reply was hissed fury. “Can I help what you do to me?”
Guy grinned. “Apparently not.” He moved his hands down to the boy's shoulders, swung him roughly round and up against the tree. His left hand reached down, ripped the Night Watchman's breeches down with a satisfying tearing of fabric, while his right pulled his own laces loose.
He spat on his palm, moistened his aching hard cock. For a moment he contemplated removing the blindfold, but there was something undoubtedly arousing about doing all this by feel, with no idea of his surroundings. The entire troupe of outlaws could be standing in a circle watching him and he'd not know. His fingers moved, competent, deliberate, and the boy twitched and quivered. When he finally eased himself inside their two gasps were simultaneous.
Guy bent forward to where the boy's ear must be. “Now. Grab hold of anything you like and hang on, boy. I'm not planning on stopping.”
Nothing slow this time. For all that the danger turned him on, he didn't want to get caught at this. Quick and dirty. His nails dug into the boy's hips, pulling the slight body back onto his impaling cock. God, the noises the boy was making were driving him wild. This was going to be damn quick.
Not quick enough. Guy'd had a blade at his throat too often not to react automatically. He froze and the boy protested loudly, wordlessly, pushing back against him, panting the beginning of orgasm. Sod it. He might as well die happy. He turned his head towards the unseen man at his side, spoke between gasps. “You...can damn well...wait.” The boy's climax underneath him was no quieter than last time, and Guy was over the edge, eyes tight closed under the blindfold, pulling the boy's arse tight against his pulsing groin, not wanting it over. “Christ,” he said aloud to his audience. “Kill me now. I really don't care.”
“I intend to.” Hood's voice was shaking with rage. He dragged Guy off the boy, flung him to the ground, the shackle tearing at his ankle. A boot drove hard into Guy's exposed balls and the world exploded in pain.
When his senses returned, the Night Watchman was speaking.
“Stop using my name, Robin. He doesn't know who I am.” He sounded exasperated, more than upset or angry.
“What does that matter? I'm going to kill the bastard.”
“It matters to me. You know it does. Please, Robin.”
Guy bared his teeth through the agony. Please hadn't worked on him. Maybe Hood was more susceptible.
“Fine. It's only going to be relevant for the next half hour anyway. The son of a bitch raped you. He's going to live just long enough to see me slice off his cock in quarter inches and choke him on it.”
There was a pause. Guy was hardly surprised. Why should the boy deny it when it got him conveniently off the hook? Neither of them had exactly earned any favours from each other. He wasn't looking forward to what Hood would do to him, though, before he died. Maybe the boy would step in, make it fast. Had he earned that much?The Night Watchman has no reason to contradict Robin. If not rape, this and the times before it were undoubtedly coercion, and Guy had been merciless in getting his way. What Robin believes is, moreorless, true. Guy probably deserves the unpleasant death that he is about to suffer.
The Night Watchman sighs, readies himself for an entirely unwelcome conversation. Of all the indignities that Guy has put him through, he is pretty sure that this is going to be the worst.
“He didn't.” The boy's voice was high and clear.
“Look at you.” Hood's voice was gentle. “I know you don't want to think about it, but, I'm sorry. I saw him. I heard you screaming.”
Guy shook his head, spoke up. “Hell, Hood, have you never heard the boy come before?” He suddenly laughed, “You haven't, have you? Poor, pathetic, lovesick bastard. Not enough of a man for him?”
“Shut up, Guy.” The Night Watchman's voice was hot with anger. “Do you want me to save your bloody life or not?”
“Go ahead.” Guy subsided, started to pull his breeches together over his tender groin.
“You did not consent to that!” Outrage in Hood's voice. Silence, in response. Guy wished he could see their faces. He pushed a hand up to the blindfold and someone grabbed it, then his other hand and he was rolled over, his hands retied.
Hood again, anguished. “Why? Why would you do that? Why him and not me?”
You never wanted it.” The Night Watchman's voice was quiet.
“That's madness. You know how I feel about you.”
“Not about the Night Watchman. You never wanted him.”
Exasperation. “Of course not. Don't be ridiculous! It's a stupid mask. It doesn't mean anything.”
“It does to me. It did to him.” Guy could almost feel the boy's eyes on him. He kept his face expressionless.
“That's why you did it? Because he's sick and perverted and I'm not? I don't understand,” Hood whined.
“Neither does he. Nor do I want him to. We'll finish this conversation somewhere else.”
The voices stopped.
Guy lay silent for a long time. There were noises, some way off, and the smell of breakfast frying. Then slow hours passed; it must be close to noon. He wasn't dead yet, but no-one was releasing him, either.
Footsteps; too heavy for the boy, but he hoped nonetheless, until the first blow landed across his back. A stave, and the liberal use of a pair of hard boots. His attacker didn't speak but Guy had no doubts as to who it was. Tied and blindfolded, he couldn't even try to avoid the blows. At first he wondered if the man intended to kill him, but as every blow landed on his body or between his legs he realised that this was punishment, and intended to go unobserved. Not a mark would show past his clothing. No broken bones. Just pain.
Hood continued until Guy's small grunts of pain had merged into what was close to a single muffled scream. Then he stopped. A voice by Guy's ear, angry and bewildered. “You don't even know who he is.”
“I don't care,” Guy hissed through teeth clenched against the agony of the beating. It was true. He didn't want to uncover the squire, the spoilt younger son, or whoever the real lad might be. What had he to do with them? It was the man in the mask he wanted, the boy he'd started to think of as his. If Hood didn't want the Night Watchman, more fool him.
A last, vicious kick in the small of his back and the man was by his side again. “You won't tell him.” It was a statement, not a question. Guy thought he probably wouldn't. The Night Watchman didn't need to know he'd been this helpless and hurt.
Then he was left alone with his pain, face up on the grass, too weak to even roll over, through a long hot afternoon. The last drink he'd had was well before dawn; he'd not eaten since early the previous day. Hood might just leave him here to die of thirst and starvation.
“Guy?” A familiar voice startled him into alertness. “Is that you, boy?”
“It's me.” Soft hands pulled the blindfold off.
“God. Marian!” He'd never been so delighted to see her. “What are you doing here?” His first thought was for her safety, his second that she knew the outlaw camp.
“I've been looking for you.” She had the key to his shackle. He took his first look at the scruffy camp. It seemed empty.
Marian's knife was at his bound hands; she brushed his torso and he winced. She was looking at his bloodied shirt. “You're hurt.”
“Just Hood's idea of hospitality.” He didn't mind her knowing, she was rather sweet when sympathetic. “The hero of the people has got no qualms about laying into his captives. I'll be bruised for weeks, but I'll survive. How did you get that key?”
“Robin agreed to let you go. The Sheriff is threatening horrible reprisals if you don't turn up.” She frowned at him. “He took a lot of persuading. You've really upset him somehow.”
“The man never liked me.” Guy tried to stand, staggered. “Please, tell me you've brought horses.”
“Yes, but you're in no state to ride. You'll have to go pillion.” Guy felt rough enough to not even protest.
Getting his leg over the horse's back was agony enough that he thought he was going to pass out. Somehow he clung onto the saddle in front of him, swearing under his breath. His groin had borne the brunt of Hood's vindictiveness. Marian mounted in front of him, turned in the saddle. He barely flickered his eyes open.
“Oh, no. Guy. Just hang on. We'll be home soon.” She pried his hands off the saddle, wrapped them around her waist. “Hang on.”
He was sufficiently aware to know that he ought to be making the most of this, even if his body was screaming for nothing but oblivion. At least give him something to remember, in better moments.
He smoothed his palms over her tight waisted dress, let the movement of the horse slide them back until they lay over her hips. Tightened his fingers. And the world turned inside out.
Guy had somehow managed to ignore everything that the rest of his senses had been trying to tell him for weeks. But his hands didn't lie, and they refused to be deceived. For a full ten minutes he hung on, the pain almost forgotten, as his mind shifted every small detail into place. For a further few minutes he was struck motionless by the depths of his own stupidity. Then he leaned forward, ready to whisper revelations into Marian's ear.
His face brushed her hair. The slight, sweet smell that he associated with the green hood hit him and he stopped. Sat back. For the rest of the ride he just concentrated on not falling off.
At the castle Marian helped him up to his room. She fussed over him for a while, helped him off with his bloody shirt, white-faced and tight-lipped at the sight of his battered skin. Guy let her fuss, liking it. She'd go back to the ice queen act, soon enough. You took the moments you could get, with Marian.
He stopped her, as she was about to close the door, off in search of Allan to tend him.
“Yes?” Innocent blue eyes looked back at him.
“Did you see the Night Watchman at the outlaws' camp?”
She thought about it. “No. Does it matter?”
“Everything to do with that man matters. I've not forgotten what he did to me. I intend to hunt him down, Marian. Like a dog.”
“Very zealous of you, Guy.” Her voice was indifferent but he'd seen her eyes widen before she turned away. The door closed and he fell back on the bed, laughing.
God, yes. He closed his eyes, pushing the image of Marian away. He had no intention of giving up on the girl; he wanted her and he'd win her in the end in spite of her reluctance and Hood's damned interference. But right now it was the Night Watchman who filled his thoughts. No 'in the end' there. He'd have the boy as often as he managed to catch up with him. Which, he suspected, he was going to have to work at. The Night Watchman wasn't going to make this easy for him.
Guy grinned. The boy wouldn't make it impossible, either. Hell, he was going to enjoy this. He shifted his bruised body on the bed, pictured a leather mask and a pair of blue eyes, and heaved a long, contented sigh. Alone in her room, Marian slips the mask and hood from under her clothing, sits looking at them for a few minutes.
This can't go on. Not for her, always a twitch of a hand away from discovery. Not for Guy, appallingly bruised and beaten. Not for Robin, driven to a jealous brutality that she's never imagined him capable of.
She stands up, mask in hand, intending to drop it in the middle of the fire. Winces slightly at the soreness, which might have been far more if he hadn't, in his own way, been careful of her. Along with the feel of his hands the memory of his voice comes back to her, commanding, amused, heavy with arousal. Nothing, absolutely nothing, like the careful way that Sir Guy of Gisborne speaks to Lady Marian.
The Night Watchman is still needed in Nottingham. He can still do some good. She smooths the leather mask with her fingers. Robin has taken his revenge and Guy, for a wonder, isn't dead of it, and she knows how unlikely an outcome that was because of the cost to her in hours and tears to make it that way. The Night Watchman only has to stay out of Guy's way and everyone will be safe.
Marian picks up the hood, bundles her costume away in the box kept locked under her bed. She has a patient to look after, appearances to keep up, a long and hopefully not too detailed conversation to have with Allan. She tells herself firmly that she has responsibilities, can't go flitting around the place, as Robin would say, pretending to be a hero, pretending to be a man.
And it isn't safe. Guy will be looking for the Night Watchman. Hunting him down, like a dog, apparently. She smiles, mood suddenly changed. The man wants the Night Watchman that much, let him hunt. Guy of Gisborne isn't going to find it that easy, next time.