BLUE MOON REUNION
BLUE MOON REUNION first appeared in the BLUE MOON ENCHANTMENT anthology.
This is the expanded version of the story. If you read AUDREY’S LOVE, you will recognize some names from that story. Sir Robin is grandson of Vincent of the Great Mustache.
Escewiche Castle is under siege, and Lady Piper is now accused of murder. Sir Robin of Escewiche, her first and only love, is long since dead and she wishes him to the devil for abandoning her and getting himself killed. Sir Robin is prisoner, and thoughts of avenging himself is what keeps him from despair. Avenging himself on the perfidious, greedy woman responsible for his imprisonment—Lady Piper of Auban.
Robin saw Piper’s lips part as she stared at him. Saw her draw back her golden hair from her face. Bitch. He kept reminding himself she was a perfidious bitch. So her joy at seeing her brothers appeared unfeigned. Haps she was gladdened to see them. She had been under siege, after all. But what in God’s name had she done to his bailey?
He straightened and raised his hands to remove his helmet. Voices grew quieter. Slowly he removed his helmet, lifted it off and flung it away. His gaze swooped onto her face. He saw her eyes widen. Her face blanched. Her lips moved soundlessly. Ah! She was shocked to see him! Yet the satisfaction he expected to feel wasn’t there. Her words, when they came, were whispered.
“You’re supposed to be dead.”
The wish had brought him back to life.
That was her first thought. Her wish had brought him back to life! But nay, she could see he was alive, was real. His dark hair and blue eyes were just as she remembered. She heard the murmurings grow to a swell as all in the bailey saw their master return to them alive. It was as if someone else had stepped forward and slapped their palm against his cheek. And uttered the words, unfeeling bastard. Yet the second time her unruly hand made to swing itself at his face, her wrist was caught. That was when Piper knew she’d been the one to slap him. And then the twins descended.
“Robin! You’ve come to save us!”
Piper turned and glared at the two ungrateful brats. They ignored her and flung themselves onto their brother.
“Look at what she’s done to us!” Emma cried.
“And we’ve been hidden with the goats!” Alice sniveled.
Disgusted, Piper rolled her eyes. So she’d cut their hair—it would regrow. She’d made them dress as boys—easily changed. And, she’d decreed their skin be rubbed with dirt and dung to disguise their beauty—now they could bathe. None had ever discerned their true identity, had they? She’d kept the twins safe and untouched as Lady Elizabeth, their mother, had requested, hadn’t she?
Piper looked at Robin and stepped back from the look on his face. “I—”
“Say not a word, Lady Piper.” He looked at the people gathered ’round. “It is I, Robin of Escewiche, returned to you. I am come to resume my rightful place. To see wrongs are righted. To punish those who have done wrong to mine own.”
Piper allowed a small smile to play on her lips. Ah, she’d like to see Robin have a go at Sir Geoffrey. Her eyes widened slightly when she heard his last pronouncement. She was to what?
Peter and Dunstan protested loudly, but Robin had expected such. “You knew from the beginning I was aware of her treachery. Why now protest when I place her under guard?”
“You have no—” Peter began.
“You haven’t heard—” Dunstan said.
“She is evil, Robin!” Alice said.
“She wants Sir Geoffrey for herself. And you know he was promised to me!” Emma whimpered, her lips quivering.
Robin held his sisters to his chest and stared narrow-eyed at Piper. You’re supposed to be dead. Her first words had condemned her. “She will answer for each and every offense.”