Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree of Freedom .


If we all take on classic myths as part of our own relationship dynamics, what’s yours? I know mine.

When Mark suggested I was playing out my own adventures of Robin Hood and that I was Maid Marian in my self-imposed chastity belt, I quickly spotted my Brunhilde and a few of the Merry Men. Prince John was easy. Little John made sense, too. Robin Hood himself wasn’t too hard to find, once I followed the clues of who had lost his own fortune, is a little bit of an outlaw, and believes in honor and giving to the poor—and who would probably look damned good in tights.

I’ve even come to discover, to my dismay, the person who plays Will Scarlett in this scenario. I’d thought for a while that I didn’t have one.

And then there’s this former student of mine, my Sheriff of Nottingham. Always after Robin for his gold and his nobility, not to mention his tights. Always after Maid Marian for her relationship to the power behind the throne. She wanted me to teach her, but she didn’t want to learn. She wanted fast love spells and quick vengeance and all the money and power she could gain with a snap of her fingers or a well-timed prayer. And I would not give the power of that liaison to her.

When I met her last Winter, I didn’t quite know how I was to deal with her. We seemed to be on the same side, but something was wrong. So I went to two people who knew my Sheriff much better than I could have hoped: my Robin Hood and my Will Scarlett.

Separately, I asked them both for their advice on how to handle my Sheriff. I phrased the question in the same way and was satisfied with both of their insights. I asked in confidence because I’d hit a brick wall in figuring out how to help my Sheriff and I certainly didn’t want her to know she had me flustered.

Flying By Night novel

Literally moments after using their insights in a teaching session the next week, my Sheriff stunned me by repeating back the question I’d asked Robin and Will. She did not reveal her source and I answered her truthfully why I had asked the question, but I was most uncomfortable, particularly since she was angry that I still would not give her the information she wanted as quickly as she wanted.

Later that very night, I asked my Robin Hood if he’d betrayed my confidence. He’d been insulted by my question, and I hadn’t meant to. I’d thought maybe he’d slipped, misunderstood. I didn’t think so, but I had to ask.

The next day, I posed the same question to my Will Scarlett, telling her I’d asked only her and Robin and it was okay if one had misunderstood and mentioned my concerns to my Sheriff. Will Scarlett was adamant that she would never discuss my queries with my Sheriff but that the Sheriff had divulged to her that Robin had betrayed my confidence by accident.

I knew one of them had slipped, and it didn’t matter, really. I liked them both and forgave them both. It just wasn’t that important at the time, and I overlooked it.

Time passed and I quickly forgot about the question at all. Until recently when I discovered how indicative that one little lie was of so many others unheard and unseen.

I know now that my Robin Hood honored that conversation to the extreme. I always thought so, but I’m very sorry that I ever had even a moment of doubt. After all these months, I still kick myself for ever feeling that I had to ask him for the truth.


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