Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thieves and tresspassers~ Cora KOC

“Thief! This will be the LAST time I’ll save you from the stocks!”

“Shall we show them what the word Thief means?” A man’s voice asked as a blade of sharp steal was drawn up at both Ash’s and Will’s neck. The voice sounded vaguely familiar to Ashling. But she couldn’t remember where she had heard it before. She tried to look up at the man who was pointing his sword at Will, but instead was faced with the pretty face of red haired woman she had never seen before. Well, Will wanted to find the outlaws. And it looked like they had.

“I’d rather show them the taste of steel.” The woman responded. “For trespassing on my land.”

“Ah, Cora, where is the fun of that. We don’t want to be like the Sherriff’s men now do we?”

“The what?”

“Christ’s wounds, FINALLY!” William cried, laughing. The joy of having found the outlaws at last far outweighed his fear of having a cold blade of steel pressed to his throat. “You’d think a couple of fools trying to be robbed in Sherwood would have met their sorry ends sooner!”

The outlaw holding Ashling at sword’s-point looked at him incredulously. His eyes widened. “Master William?” he said, dumbfounded. The edge of his sword pulled away as he bent to look down at the girl below him. “ASHLING?”

“Do you know these two idiots?” The woman named Cora asked the man who had bent down to look at Ashling while pulling her sword away from the girl. Ashling’s eyes grew wide and she leaped into Peter’s arms.

“Peter!” She cried happily. “Peter you should have written. We thought you were lost to the crusades or something worst. Will, look its Peter!” Ashling stated for the first time in a long time she looked like a little girl again. Cora gave an annoyed sigh and put her sword away while glaring at strange man named Will. They were still on her land. But she would let it go for Peter.

“Master William? Am I the only one confused? You never mentioned a Master William who didn’t know how to dress.”

Peter chuckled and held his sister closely. He eyed Will for a second shocked that he had nearly killed the man.

Wresting himself free of the red-haired woman, William stood up. “You’ve been with the outlaws all this time? Your father thought you dead...your harebrained sister has been trained to take your place.” He grinned at Ashling.

“I’ve not been with the outlaws you are thinking Master William. Cora is hardly a Sherwood Forest Outlaw. She’s well, not from Sherwood at all.” Peter said letting Ashling go. “I’ll not have my sister taking my place.” He said firmly as an older brother should.

Cora rolled her eyes. “Why? A woman is just as good as a man, and I dare say, she’s just as annoying as you.” Ashling smirked at this.

“I’ve been trained by the best.” She grinned wickedly toward Will.

“I am confused...” said Will, ignoring Ashling’s last comment. He glanced at Cora “You said we were intruding on your lands...but Peter says you’re not from Sherwood...” he trailed off uncertainly.

“I’m not from Sherwood. My father, Basil is from France, Paris. My mother is, was from Sherwood. I am the only heir to her inheritance.” Cora stated put her gloves back on. “I suppose that makes me a lady.” She added a twinkle in her eyes.

“Aye and a frightening one at that.” Peter grinned kissing her. Ashling blinked at the kiss and looked at Will, wondering what in the world her brother did for a living and unsure if she wanted to know.

“Well then, my fair friends...what brings you to the notorious home of all outlaws, vagabonds and general ne’er-do-wells?” asked Will.

“We’re somewhat in the business of robbery ourselves, y’see,” said Peter unabashedly.

“More thieves. Great. We’ll never make it through next winter with all this stealing and pilfering!”

Cora raised an eyebrow and turned to stare at “Master William.” She bent down to look him in the eyes. “We do not steal from country castles. We steal from bigger fish.” She said unashamed and rather proudly. “I wasn’t raised in the court of thieves to steal from tiny country castles. And why would I steel from you’re manor when I’ve my own?” She asked glaring at him. She wasn’t sure how she liked Peter’s Master.

Ashling rolled her eyes and moved closer to Peter. She still had a hard time believing he was there. “Court of Thieves?” She asked curiously.

“In Paris.” Peter said simply looking over at Will.

“I’ve heard of the likes...a motley band of outcasts and bandits forming their own court in the catacombs of the cities,” said William, resenting the fact that the foolish girl had called Bole a ‘tiny country castle’. He smiled sardonically. “If a tin crown and a lack of principles made a King, then you, my lady are surely a princess!”

“You know nothing of what you speak, you sorry excuse of a man who can’t even find his way through Sherwood Forest.” Ashling cleared her throat at this trying to hide the giggles. Finally, another person who could out best Will. She thought. And he couldn’t do a damn thing about it because this person was a “lady”. “You don’t even know your land well enough to know where you are. At least, I know every last inch of mine, and if my father were standing here, he would slit your throat for trespassing before you could blink.”

“Cora that’s enough!” Peter said gently pushing Ashling aside and taking Cora’s arm.

“No, Peter it’s not, I believe your Master William, needs a good spanking and perhaps a lesson in the principles he so highly speaks of.”

“Pssh! You know nothing about Lord Monkey’s principles!” cried Ashling, in surprising defense of Will. Peter and Cora looked at her confusedly. “Well! Never mind the name. But as a matter of fact, Will’s a certified thief too! Aren’t you, Will?”

William laughed and shrugged. “Well...I don’t call it stealing if I take back my own gold.”

“Well what about the time you took a bag of grain from the storeroom and gave it to the Miller when his wife was sick? Talbot almost went mad trying to find the culprit! And then there was the time...”

He knitted his brows. “Yes...there was that time.”

“Wait, wait a minute. You’re saying that you steal back your own gold?” Cora asked in pure surprise. She had heard that most English Land owners were ruthless and cruel to their subjects. And Peter had never told her anything about his home. Only about his father, sister and brother. So she had assumed they lived on their own land. “And how can you steal it, if it’s your gold? I’m rather confused.” Cora muttered clearly not happy about being confused.

“It’s a long story,” Will commented, kneeling to gather the remnants of their meager lunch. “Ashling and I are looking for Robin of Loxley and his outlaws.”

“And we’re not getting lucky, even with Will dressed like that.”

“Right,” said Cora, grinning at Peter. “How about we show these two a thief’s hospitality?”

(written in full with William de Hauteville)

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