Hey everybody! 1 semester of college down, 7 to go...not sure how I'm gonna survive. Back to the story now, I kinda expected a little more feedback about those FREAKING AWESOME fight scenes that my brother wrote for me- er, I mean for you guys- or at least a couple more opinions about who should take over as sheriff. Oh well. At least I have AMAZING readers like Watership's Nightwish Rat and HPuni101 who never ever hesitate to review my chapters! Love you guys! Anyway, let's get this ending started...hmm, that sounded better in my head.
Disclaimer: this movie was 6 BLGW (6 years before littlegirlwarrior) so unless I could have bought the rights to this movie way before I was even conceived, it's definitely not mine
For what felt like the thousandth time since Kiara left, Wulf stood in Sherwood Forest, staring at the snow dripping from the trees and the red outline of the setting sun. Kiara had promised that as soon as she returned from France, she would meet him at dusk in the clearing where they first met. That deal had been made five months ago and Kiara had not given any indication of how long she would be gone in her letters. So much had happened in that span of time.
After years of hiding in the forest, all of the villagers were finally able to leave the forest of Sherwood for the village of Nottingham, which now had a wise and courageous ruler looking out for the people. King Richard even took care of the relocation himself as a way to apologize for his nephew's dictatorship. Will Scarlet became the new Lord of Locksley and now lived in his late father's home with his wife and their baby, Lily (as a tribute to Kiara's real name). Robin and his family, on the other hand, moved into another castle where Robin currently led the Merry Men and many others as the new Sheriff of Nottingham.
Wulf ran his hand through his hair and paced around the clearing, the frozen leaves crunching underneath his boots. As for him, after his wounds healed, Wulf turned down a position in King Richard's royal army just so he would be around when Kiara finally returned. Luckily, Robin offered Wulf a position as an advisor, which not only provided the young man with a source of income, but also enough spare time to visit Sherwood every sunset. Wulf exhaled loudly, crossed his arms over his chest, and locked his eyes to the ground as he kicked a clump of ice behind him.
The ice chunk scuttled across the snow until it stopped in front of a dainty black slipper.
"Must you always scare off the prey with your stomping? I have not caught a single animal since I entered this part of the forest," a familiar French accent teased.
Wulf whipped around to see a woman step out from behind the trees. She lowered the hood of her white furry cloak to reveal a beaming woman with sparkling green eyes. She was wearing a long royal blue dress with white bell sleeves (AN picture the dress worn by Odette in The Swan Princess only in different colors). She looked better-dressed and cleaner than when she left but carried herself with the same beautiful confidence that Wulf loved so much.
"Bonjour, mon amour," she greeted with a smile, her breath forming little clouds around her lips.
"Kiara!" Wulf breathed out.
Wulf raced toward Kiara, who flung her quiver and bow to the side, and kissed her like it had been five decades rather than five months. Suddenly, Wulf pulled away with a bashful expression.
"I mean, uh, Princess Liliane," Wulf mumbled as he bowed in front of the blonde girl.
Kiara chuckled softly, put her hand under the brunette boy's chin, and tilted it up so their eyes met.
"I will always be your Kiara, Wulf. Always."
Wulf gazed into those hypnotic emerald eyes and realized that as long as he lived, he could never spend another day without seeing those eyes.
"I love you, Kiara," Wulf finally said.
Kiara's eyes began to tear up in joy. "I love you, too," she replied breathily.
Wulf smiled dazedly before straightening up. "I know this may seem sudden and out-of-nowhere, but..."
The brunette got down on one knee and took the young woman's left hand in his own. Kiara gasped as she flung her other hand over her mouth.
"Kiara, will you marry me?"
"Oui," Kiara whispered as she beamed down at her beloved.
"Oui?" Wulf repeated.
"Oui!" Kiara nodded excitedly.
"OUI!" Wulf exclaimed. He shot up from the ground, picked Kiara up off her feet, and swung her around in the air as he kissed her.
Eventually, the two young lovers got dizzy and fell in the snow, laughing joyously.
"Apologies for ruining your royal clothing," Wulf added with a grin.
Kiara dismissed any blame with a wave of her hand. "There is no need to apologize, mon chéri. I was never very fond of such impractical clothing."
"Then why wear it?"
"My cousins insisted," Kiara replied flatly as she reached up to undo her intricate hairstyle. "Even though I renounced my title as queen, I am still a member of the royal court and must keep up appearances at all times..." Kiara pulled out one last pin and her blonde hair tumbled over her shoulders and down her back in loose waves, "at least when I am in the presence of nobility."
Wulf chuckled playfully. "You sneaky little minx."
Kiara leaned in close to the young man with a mischievous grin. "Do not deny you love it."
Wulf smirked. "I would never do that."
Once again, Wulf and Kiara began kissing passionately.
"Eew!" a young boy whined.
The teenagers pulled their lips apart and scanned the clearing for the intruder. Suddenly, the sound of a slap emanated from the trees.
"OW!" the boy exclaimed.
"Shh!" a girl hissed.
Wulf sighed in exasperation. "Griffith, Archer, Rinah, come on out from there!"
Three little heads popped out from behind the high branches of the trees.
"This is all your fault, Rinah!" Archer snapped stubbornly.
"My fault?!" the painted girl argued. "You were the one who just had to interrupt their moment!"
Archer scowled as he climbed down the tree, muttering something under his breath about not pointing fingers.
"How long have you three been hiding up there?" Wulf asked, his arm still wrapped around Kiara's waist.
"Long enough to know that Kiara was not exaggerating about you scaring off all the prey," Griffith replied as he and Archer helped Rinah down from the branches.
Kiara giggled and patted Wulf's cheek sympathetically as he rolled his eyes in annoyance.
"Speaking of Kiara," Rinah spoke up, "should we return to the village and tell everybody the good news?"
"Right as always, Rinah," Wulf responded.
Suddenly, Kiara smirked as her eyes twinkled dangerously. "But first..."
Kiara dropped to the ground, picked up a handful of snow, and chucked it at a certain seven-year-old brunette boy. Archer sputtered in surprise as the cold powder splattered all over his face.
"I believe that is, comment vous dire, a snowball fight."
While Archer wiped the frozen water from his face, Rinah laughed joyfully and the Little brothers grinned playfully.
"ATTACK!" Griffith hollered as he and his two best friends began arming themselves with snowballs.
And as the moon rose over the trees of Sherwood Forest, fluffy white snowballs soared across the sky amongst the five silhouettes.
"Azeem? Azeem?" Marian called out, her voice echoing off the stone walls.
"Yes, Lady Marian?" the Moor questioned as he appeared from one of the corridors.
Marian gasped in surprise as she bumped into one of the tapestries and flung her hand over her heart.
"Good heavens, Azeem!" the noble woman exclaimed. "Must you always sneak up on people like that?!"
Azeem chuckled in amusement. "My deepest apologies, my dear, but I was merely looking for my niece."
"What a coincidence. I just so happened to be looking for my son."
"Do you think-"
"Oh I most certainly do," Marian interrupted with a knowing smile. "And if I were to hazard a guess, I would say that Griffith is probably missing, as well."
The laughter of children sounded from the town square.
Azeem smirked. "Not missing anymore, it would appear."
Marian rolled her eyes, but she could not hold back her grin as she strolled down the hallway to the stairs leading to the front entrance.
"That was so much fun!"
"I cannot believe we got attacked by a princess!"
"We are definitely doing that again tomorrow!"
The three children chattered excitedly as they raced through the village gates, feeling chilled to the bone but smiling brightly despite their numb fingers and ruddy red cheeks.
"Ahem!" Marian coughed sternly as she stood at the castle steps.
Griffith, Archer, and Rinah froze mid-step, their grins dropping from their cold faces. They looked up to see Marian, Robin, Azeem, Fanny, and John sternly glaring down at the children.
"Children! What do you think you are doing, waltzing back so long after dark?!" Robin scolded.
"And soaking wet?!" Fanny added as she noticed the dark water stains on her son's clothes.
"We were escorting an old friend home," Rinah answered with a smile.
The adults simultaneously raised their eyebrows in confusion.
Once again, a young couple strolled into town with looks of pure adoration for each other in their eyes. The man had his arm draped over the woman's shoulder as she gave him a peck on the cheek.
"Does this mean what I think it means?!" Fanny practically squealed.
"I think it does," Marian chirped back.
"Everybody, Kiara and I have an announcement to make," Wulf said in a loud voice before glancing down at his beautiful fiancée.
And so, as the melting snow dripped from the branches and the flower buds just started to bloom, the youngest of the original Merry Men and the runaway princess of France married under a canopy of new leaves on the first day of spring. Wulf and Kiara originally wanted a winter wedding, but Felipe insisted on being present for his dear cousin's wedding. However, Kiara refused to drag all the Sherwoodians to Paris or London for an extravagant royal wedding that would simply make them feel out of place. In fact, it took a long speech about the importance of Sherwood Forest in her relationship with Wulf for Kiara to convince Felipe and Richard to allow her to forgo the traditional ceremony and follow in Robin and Marian's footsteps. Fortunately, the two kings put the wishes of Kiara ahead of the expectations of the nobility, permitting her to marry her commoner in the forest where they first met.
Wulf stood at the end of the aisle beside Friar Tuck, dressed in his finest clothes.
"I cannot believe this day has come," Wulf breathed out.
"I know, my boy. God has truly blessed us on this day," Friar Tuck agreed before turning his head to look directly at Wulf. "You really have grown up. I could not be prouder of the man you have become."
Wulf smiled at the priest and looked at the guests. Other than a few new children, the people in attendance were the same as those from Robin and Marian's wedding. Suddenly, the musicians snapped to attention and all the guests looked back to see the blushing bride with one arm around King Richard's and the other around King Felipe's.
Kiara was wearing a white lace dress from Paris, a place known for its exquisite lace, with billowing off-the-shoulder sleeves, a decorative corset, and a mermaid-style skirt. Her hair was left in loose golden waves underneath a crown of blossoms and a long gossamer veil, which apparently had been worn in every French royal wedding for generations, meaning it had also been worn by Kiara's mother. She carried a bouquet of freshly picked flowers, but in Wulf's opinion, nothing could compare to the beauty of his fleur de lys.
As soon as Kiara reached the makeshift altar, she turned to her closest living relative, Felipe, who gave her a kiss on each cheek before he joined his wife and children. Then, Kiara turned to her father figure, Richard, who kissed her gently on the forehead and then passed her off to Wulf with a smile of approval.
And so, the two former fugitives made each other a vow of everlasting love on that day. They walked back down the aisle under a tunnel of outstretched arrows, smiling at all their family and friends. But to Kiara, the best part of the day was not the ceremony or the ensuing festivities. For the newly crowned "princess of thieves", nothing could be better than looking into Wulf's deep brown eyes and seeing a beautiful future for the two of them.
~14 years later~
Kiara took a deep breath as she stood at the doorway. She self-consciously fiddled with the embroidery on her sleeve.
"Hey," Wulf spoke up.
Kiara looked up at her husband beside her. He was dressed in fine noble garb, but his eyes were still those of a humble man raised in a humbler village.
"Calm down. Everything is going to be fine," Wulf promised. "You taught them everything you know. They are ready."
Kiara sighed. "But will it be enough?"
"You just have to trust them."
"I trust them," Kiara insisted. "These stiff, judgmental, douleur dans le cul nobles are the ones I do not trust. They will be scrutinizing us, just waiting for the opportunity to criticize the Sherwood-inspired parenting style."
"All we have to do is not provide them with that opportunity," Wulf replied plainly.
Kiara huffed in irritation. "If only it were that simple."
Wulf placed his hand underneath his wife's chin and tilted it upward. His brown eyes locked with her green ones.
"It is that simple," Wulf stated with a smile.
Kiara wrapped her arms around the back of Wulf's neck.
"And that is why you are the best husband in the whole world. You always know just what to say."
"And do you know why you are the best wife in the whole world?" Wulf responded.
Kiara furrowed her brow in curiosity.
"Because of this..."
Wulf leaned in and pressed his lips up against Kiara's. Even after fourteen years of marriage, Kiara and Wulf had the passion and adoration seen in a newlywed couple.
"Don't you shush me!"
"Then stop interrupting!"
Kiara and Wulf surrendered and pulled apart.
"I think this is the very definition of déjà vu," Kiara spoke up.
"I think you are right," Wulf agreed. "Alright, come on out, children."
Four little heads popped out from behind a nearby suit of armor.
"Must you two start smooching every time you think nobody is watching?" one of the two girls asked obnoxiously.
"When you grow up, you will understand," Wulf replied as he wrapped his arm around Kiara's torso, which was still slim but had gotten curvier after bearing four children.
The boisterous girl scowled. "I hope not."
The other girl gasped. "How can you say that, Fox?! I cannot wait until I meet my true love like Mother and Father!"
The first girl rolled her eyes.
Kiara chuckled in amusement. How was it that her two daughters could be polar opposites even though they were only three years apart?
"As fascinating as this conversation is, how about you four step out from behind Sir Steel so your mother can inspect you before our names are called," Wulf requested.
Two boys and two girls shuffled around the hollow knight and lined up in the hallway from oldest to youngest.
At the tall end of the line was River, a natural athlete and the most mature of his siblings. With his brown hair, brown eyes, and talent for hunting, River was a spitting image of Wulf at the age of thirteen, both in physical appearance and personality. He was born within a year of Kiara and Wulf's wedding and he was his grandfather John's pride and joy.
River looked very dashing in his formal clothes. The red tunic, the black leggings, and brown boots gave River a very warm look. Kiara could just tell that her eldest child would attract the attention of all the young ladies in attendance.
Next was Sparrow. He was only a year younger than his brother but the two of them were so very different. Sparrow had Kiara's green eyes and sleek hair that started off blonde when he was a toddler but darkened to a light brown shade as he grew older. He may have been smaller than the average twelve-year-old, but he had more passion for his art than any adult out there. Someday people would come from far and wide just to see his paintings.
Much like his mother, Sparrow looked captivating in emerald tones. Therefore, when Kiara looked upon her son in his green tunic, brown leggings, and black boots, she could not help but tear up at how handsome and grown up Sparrow looked.
As for the more brash girl, all of her looks (except for her slim athletic body) came from Fanny. In fact, the girl's messy red hair and mischievous hazel eyes were the reason her nickname, Fox. A true tomboy at heart, Fox never hesitated to voice her dream to become the first female knight despite the expectations of society (AN technically Saint Joan of Arc could fall under that category, but unfortunately being a young woman meant she was never really considered a knight, only a soldier).
After several hours of wheedling, untangling, and arguing, Kiara managed to get her spirited daughter to look presentable. Fox's long red locks were brushed into a tight French braid and Fox was wearing a simple gold dress with white embroidery to complement her hazel eyes. However, Kiara's eyes widened when she noticed muddy brown leather poking out from underneath the dress.
"Fox, are you wearing your hunting boots?" Kiara questioned with an arched eyebrow.
"Yep," the redhead chirped shamelessly.
"What happened to the slippers I left with your dress?" Kiara challenged.
Fox shrugged. "Didn't like 'em."
Kiara sighed as she rubbed the bridge of her nose. Clearly Fox had been spending too much time with Bull's children. Ten years old and already Fox had gone beyond merely living up to her nickname. She was proving to be as challenging as Archer. Unlike Fox, though, Archer now had a spouse who was patient and thoughtful enough to talk him out of misbehaving. In fact, during Archer's teenage years, the most common saying in Nottingham was "thank the Lord for Rinah." The reason for such graciousness came from Archer growing out of his girls-are-gross phase and Rinah growing more successful in talking her companion out of his more careless pursuits...but they did not necessarily mean they cut out all troublemaking activities. However, Robin Hood and Maid Marian's son and Azeem's niece finally made the shift from best friends to lovers last year (after Archer admitted his love for Rinah in a fit of jealousy after seeing all the potential suitors seeking to court the exotic beauty). Archer and Rinah got married a few months ago in Nottingham's church under the guidance of Bishop Tuck and Azeem. Rinah's kind spirit balanced out Archer's recklessness.
Kiara shook her head to snap out of the flashback and focus on the task at hand. She crossed her arms sternly and looked down at Fox.
"Alright, Fox, I will let your attire slide this time...but only because there is not enough time to send you back to your room for your real shoes."
Fox smirked victoriously.
"But," Kiara continued, "the next time we visit the royal court, you will be dressed appropriately, no matter how late it makes us."
Fox pouted stubbornly, but she nodded nonetheless.
Now that Fox was pacified, Kiara moved on to her youngest child: seven-year-old Tansy. Other than the big brown eyes that she inherited from Wulf, Tansy looked just like Kiara as a little girl with her golden wavy hair all the way down to her waist, freckles, and chubby cheeks. However, looks could be deceiving. Tansy dreamed of a life that involved nothing more than sparkly tiaras, exquisite satin gowns, gorgeous castles, and handsome princes. Even though Kiara spent two months a year in France, and of course she always brought her family with her, this was the children's first gala since Kiara wanted to wait until all her children were old enough to present them to the court. Tansy had been chattering about the ball for the past six months and she was practically bouncing in excitement.
Tansy was dressed and ready at the crack of dawn, so Kiara had to make a few adjustments, but other than a slightly lopsided hair bow and a ruffled petticoat, Tansy looked flawless. Her blonde hair was braided along the crown of her head and woven with white ribbons before it was left loose at the back. Tansy was wearing a lavender dress with white embroidery and matching white slippers, looking beautiful enough to bring pride to every member of her royal bloodline.
Kiara kneeled in front of her little girl.
"Are you ready, my little princess?" Kiara asked with a smile.
Tansy grinned as she nodded excitedly, causing her bow to bob off-center again.
Kiara chuckled and fixed her daughter's hair once again. Once she was satisfied with the appearance of her children, Kiara stood up and brushed off her dress. She stood beside Wulf in the middle of their children and nodded at the squires ahead of them. The squires nodded back and then simultaneously opened the gilded double doors.
Tansy could hardly contain her squeal at the sight of the ballroom, filled to the brim with exquisite decorations and people in their finest clothes. It was even better than she dreamed.
Wulf threaded his fingers through Kiara's and straightened his collar. Wulf never felt comfortable at these events, but bringing along his four children stressed him even more. Fortunately, as long as he had Kiara at his side, Wulf knew everything would turn out fine.
The page cleared his throat to gather the guests' attention. "Mesdames et Messieurs, l'Ambassadeur d'Angleterre, Liliane Félicité Dominique Eloise; son mari, uh, Wulf, uh, Little; et leurs enfants, Luc Gabriel Little..."
River stepped forward and bowed, his roguish grin earning him a few waves from nearby teenage girls.
"Philippe Richard Little..."
Sparrow moved up to join his brother and bowed as well.
"Nadia Victoire Little..."
Fox scowled at the use of her real name, but she still stepped up and bobbed a quick and tight curtsy.
"et Adelise Madeleine Little."
Tansy danced forward and curtsied deeply and flawlessly with the brightest smile on her face.
"Bienvenue à la famille Little!"
And that is where The New Princess of Thieves ends. Yes I have left you all with a cliffhanger, but that is because this ball doesn't just end with the introductions. One day, I will continue this story, but at the moment, I need to cross another story off my list so I can move on to the next one. But there will be more. I hope I tied up at least most of the loose ends in the plot. And yes I repeated some of the wording from the Sherwood proposal scene and the pre-ball scene on purpose not out of laziness. Please leave reviews and have a very Merry Christmas (yes I can still say that because technically Christmas lasts until the Epiphany Feast on January 6)!