by Lara Wilson

The first year of their marriage she was careful not to anger him in their bedchamber. He was a violent man--she'd always known that--and she didn't want to have that aspect of him enter into their marital relations. While she was never overly enthusiastic in their bed, she never denied him and learned even to welcome his kisses and caresses. And if there was never a grand passion or the pleasure the maids whispered about, her skin bore no bruises and her husband seemed content with her.

Children would come soon, she hoped, and they would provide her with a comfort she never seemed to find with her husband.

Until that one night when he was angered by something Robin had done and she blindly defended the outlaw. They found themselves in their bedchamber, half undressed for bed, and Guy shoved her down onto her stomach and held her down as he took her.

And Marion liked it.

In the morning he apologized, even more so when he saw the bruising around her wrists, and Marion demurely accepted his apologies and wondered why there was this strange tingle between her legs when she remembered how his big hands had felt forming those marks and how helpless she'd felt pinned beneath his heavy body.

How she'd squirmed and he'd given her no consideration, simply plunging hard and fast into her.

It hadn't hurt.

Guy had always been careful with her and even then sometimes she'd ached from the discomfort.

This time she'd been wet and, embarrassed by it, had buried her flaming cheeks in the bedding and wondered at it.

Guy didn't touch her for a week, a week during which she wondered at the strange feelings she'd experienced. When he returned to her bed, he was gentle with her, stroking her softly, kissing her almost chastely. Marion felt nothing and as she slid her hands down his back, she wondered if he held her down again, if that tingle would return.

Two nights later as they readied for bed, Marion took a deep breath, turned cool eyes on him and began an argument. She went so far as to push him, her fists pressing into his nude chest, and when she looked up at him she saw the heat in his eyes.

She almost smiled when Guy grabbed her wrists and growled a warning.

She called him a bastard.

He threw her onto her back and slammed her hands over her head, pinning them tightly in one hand as he rucked up her shift with the other and freed himself from his breeches. When he entered her they both seemed surprised that she was wet and hot and this time Marion couldn't hide her embarrassment.

Guy stared down at her for a moment, then his eyes narrowed and he tightened his grip on her wrists and thrust hard into her.

Marion gasped and bucked her hips up to meet him. It felt...She had no words for what she felt.

When he reached his completion, she was trembling from head to toe, her body perspiring, needing something she didn't know how to attain. As he panted over her, Guy lowered his head and growled into her ear, "Shall I tie you down next time, wife?" and twisted his hips as he softened inside her, grinding their pelvises together.

A strangled cry burst from her and she broke apart.

As she lay shuddering beneath him, eyes wide and shocked, she felt his thumb caress the rapid pulse in one of her wrists, and could only whisper, "Yes."


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