Tag Archives: robin hood bbc

Feeling ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ : Thoughts on Sir Guy & Francis Dolarhyde

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The viewing options for early morning TV, even with 150 satellite channels, isn’t all that great. Infomercials reign. If you want to watch “Breaking Bald” or “Fish Oil Benefits Examined,” you’re good. If not . . .

So I sometimes find myself awake in the early morning hours watching reruns of “Charmed,” a cheesy production about three cute witch sisters from San Francisco whose names all start with “P.” “Charmed” features laughably bad special effects and copious amounts of scenery chewing by the Guest Supernatural Villain of the Week. The costumes and makeup at the local haunted house looks more professional.

Yet, who am I to question all this?  After all, the show stayed on for eight years, so it obviously had its devoted fans.

And I suppose “Robin Hood” was pretty cheese-tastic, too, but at least we had the glories of Sir Guy to make up for flimsy castle walls, anachronisms run rampant (Hang gliding? Casinos? Bustles? In the 12th century?) and groan-worthy scripts.  And he and the odious Vasey were such fun to watch together.

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With Richard as Sir Guy, we got the visual enjoyment of six feet, two inches of a trim, toned athletic physique (those long lean horseman’s thighs! Those PEACHES!) clad in sleek black leather–and later, his memorable medieval couture featuring the Sexy Pirate Shirt and the Marvel of Engineering Trousers with Ties and Laces in All the Right Places.  Add in seductive kohl-rimmed azure eyes, tempting stubble, raven black rock star tresses, a rumbling baritone and hey! presto . . . the World’s Most Smouldering Sidekick was born. Wait . . . who is the star of this show again?!  ‘Cause for this chick, it ain’t Arrow Boy.

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But the thing about Richard as Guy of Gisborne is that he was so much more than another pretty face in another lightweight, rather silly television show. So much more than the standard-issue cardboard cut-out of an evil henchman.

You watched not just because you visually enjoyed him and got a kick out of the general campiness of the show. You watched because he was that character, that damaged soul, proud and arrogant, naïve and gullible, a passionate man desperate for love and a home, a mercurial creature capable of both great violence and great tenderness. A beautiful disaster.  You hated some of his actions, yet–you couldn’t hate him. Richard made you care. And cry. And wonder what might have been for Sir Guy.

Which brings me to Francis Dolarhyde, a character with even darker and more terrifying corners in his soul than Sir Guy. Dolarhyde is cripplingly shy, emotionally stunted and deeply lonely. He feels impotent, unloved, a nonentity. He longs to make a real connection, to become something, someone different–stronger, more powerful, better than he is.  His self-improvement course of action, alas, will ultimately bring death, grief and misery.

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Dolarhyde, clearly uncomfortable with the thought of Reba touching him–touching the hated scar on his face?

Sir Guy sought to raise himself by accumulating wealth, power and status, hoping to restore respect for the name of Gisborne. He sought to cleanse his blackened soul by marrying a good, pure woman (who, of course, clocked him and then left him at the altar).

Sir Guy ends up burning down Marian’s house in retaliation, but that’s nothing compared to what Francis does. He murders two entire families and he doesn’t have a wicked boss who orders him to take the lives of perfectly innocent people, or else.

Francis is a serial killer, an odious monster. A dangerous man.

And yet.

As much as I despise the heinous actions of Francis Dolarhyde, I can no more hate him or look away from him than I could from Sir Guy.

FD’s intensity is heartbreaking as he watches so carefully Reba stroking the sleeping tiger, imagining that those caresses are being given to him. This is a middle-aged man who has experienced pitifully little in the way of physical affection.  It’s a staggering experience for both Reba and Francis.

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And after their lovemaking, there is his gentleness towards a sleeping Reba.

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It is an astonishing performance and I am glad I am able to see it. I am still not a “Hannibal” convert, but I am so, so impressed with Richard’s complex and nuanced interpretation of this role and of the amazing way he is fleshing out Francis Dolarhyde for us.

Call it sympathy for the devil–and kudos to the actor taking us on the journey.

All Hannibal stills and GIFs found on Pinterest; RH stills from Richard Armitage Net

It really *is* all in the perspective.

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Recently, this photo taken last year in London of RA with that bottle of champagne (one that was ultimately auctioned off for charity) popped up and pretty much everybody agreed it just looked–odd. Servetus blogged about it over at Me + Richard Armitage as commenters chimed on what made it such a funny-looking photo of Mr. A.

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Holding that oversized bottle (is it a magnum or a jeroboam?) in his hands makes our strapping six-foot two (or three) inch tall actor look positively diminutive, doesn’t it? The lighting doesn’t help, casting shadows that somehow make his slender yet solid neck look downright skinny.

We are accustomed to others looking petite in RA’s majestic presence. Below, a still of Dexter Fletcher as the German “boobie” on the set of Robin Hood with RA as Sir Guy. At 5’6″ Dexter is my height (and the same height as Lucy Griffiths, who played Marian), yet from this angle he appears even shorter, doesn’t he?

 

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Now, take a look at this photo of pro basketball player turned commercial pitchman and occasional actor, Shaquille O’Neal.  I should point out that is a normal 12 oz. soft drink can he is holding.  Shaq is 7’1″ with a weight of 325 lbs. and wears a size 23 shoe. I am guessing he has them custom-made . . . he can certainly afford it.

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It really IS all in the perspective, isn’t it? Next to Shaq, almost all of us are shrimps! 😉

 

 

Dodgy ear, Doctor Who and–Robin Hood? (Where’s Sir GUY??)

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Ever had an outer ear infection, also known as swimmer’s ear?

If not, count your blessings.  Boys and girls, it ain’t no fun.

Thank goodness for the Saturday morning clinic hours in town. After two miserable nights and a never-ending day, I was actually looking forward to another medical appointment. Considering I’ve seen four different doctors in two cities plus all the dratted tests and bloody co-pays that accompany them over the last few weeks, I was obviously desperate.

I got to see a doc, who took one good look inside my swollen left ear with the otoscope and prescribed some antibiotic drops. The doctor appeared to be all of 14, but I was charmed by his lilting accent (Caribbean, I think) and lovely manners. And the drops have already given me a little relief. Hooray!

Because the pain and swelling extend down into my jaw and teeth,  eating isn’t easy. Banana for breakfast, cheese puffs (cheese-flavored air) for lunch, and grits and soft scrambled eggs for supper, courtesy of my lovely husband.  He really IS lovely, with his tousled curls (in need of a haircut again) and those kind blue eyes. I am a sucker for a tall man with kind eyes, a deep voice and a great head of hair.

I’ve slept a little, off and on, perused Pinterest (so many intriguing images and helpful hints, and it doesn’t overtax my addled brain) and now I am watching Doctor Who, with Clara and the Doctor in–well, what do you know?–Sherwood Forest!

It’s all quite good fun. Love it when the Doctor ends up in a highly competitive archery contest with Robin and finally (“Oh, this is getting SILLY!”) blasts the target with his sonic screwdriver and blows it to Kingdom Come.  And later DW says, “Oh SHUT it, Hoodie.” How many times did I not want to tell the one in the BBC 2006 version to do the same . . . *evil little laugh*

If only this chap would make an appearance. *sigh*

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Yes, Sir Guy, you certainly DO. (Would love to see RA make a guest appearance on Doctor Who . . . if I can’t have him as the Doctor himself, of course.)

Sir Guy, RA and I and our Seven-Year AnniveRsAry. Not itching yet.

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It was seven years ago this summer when it all began. One sticky south Alabama Saturday night I flipped on the TV and tuned into BBC America to catch their latest version of the Robin Hood legend.

I have to be perfectly honest. I found the rebooted “legend” less than–legendary. Hoodie with his boyish bangs, constipated expressions and cocky strut did not exactly make me forget Errol Flynn.

I did think his cohorts had their charms, Marian was pretty (and pretty feisty), and the sheriff, the sort of amusing panto-ish villain one loved to hate.  But the one who ultimately kept my attention and piqued my interest was the tall, scowling, smirking man in black.

 

He was the one always hovering near the sheriff, arms folded across his broad chest, trying to be impassive. The master of arms’ body language and facial expressions, however, told so much about the “evil henchman.” Oh, he was a handsome devil, no doubt about it, and he knew it.  “A right smarmy bastard,” I said to myself.  In spite of some reservations about the show, I kept watching . . . the chief attraction being the bad guy, Guy.

 

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I abhorred some of Sir Guy’s choices and actions; still, the more I watched, the more complex this potentially one-note cardboard cutout of a character became.  I’m not bein’ funny — the baddie turned out to have a heart and soul, folks. Robin Hood 2006 had its cheese-tastic appeal, but the raison d’etre of it all for me was Gisborne.  By the end of the first season, when Marian slugged him and left him at the altar, I was fully Team Leather all the way.

I cried buckets when the character died at the end of the third and final season. Even though I knew in advance it was going to happen and tried to prepare myself for The Moment, I was still so distraught when it came.  I shed more tears over this fictional character than I have some flesh-and-blood relations. He was–and is–that real to me.  And I still simply cannot bear to re-watch THAT Moment.

And so there was nothing to do but to declare him “loved into being” a la The Velveteen Rabbit, back with us to enjoy more adventures, and serve as the catalyst for my popular “Sloth Fiction” stories.  Sir Guy is SO Not Dead.

 

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We each have our own story about the character that lured us into Armitage Mania. Guy was my particular “gateway drug” into the Armitage fandom. But I didn’t stop there.  I went on to investigate more online about this very attractive actor with the rich, honeyed baritone and beautiful way of moving, a performer who could also speak volumes without saying a word, giving a mere flicker of those long, darkened lashes, a sidelong glance, or a twist of his mouth. I watched fanvids and visited a few Armitage sites.

 

When I had the cash, I ordered the DVDs of RA’s I could find stateside at that time: North and South, Vicar of Dibley and a used copy of Sparkhouse.

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After viewing those three productions in quick succession, call me officially blown away. The man was clearly no one- trick pony in the world of acting. How could the man who inhabited cripplingly shy, awkward sheep farmer John Standring also bring to life sunny, cheeky accountant Harry, sober Victorian mill owner Thornton and the smoulderingly seductive presence that was Gisborne?  And yet, he did, looking and moving and sounding differently in each and every role.  Richard made me believe and care every single time.

And he’s done it again and again–as Lucas, as Porter, Ricky, Mulligan, Kruger, Thorin . . . and now he’s wowing London theatre audiences as gruff, work-hardened farmer John Proctor in Miller’s The Crucible.  And will no doubt perform admirably as Gary the widowed dad and teacher in Into the Storm and in whatever future roles he undertakes.  And then of course I’ve also discovered how kind, thoughtful, funny, bright, humble and simply extremely likeable the real man appears to be.

He’s not perfect, but he is a pretty special human being.  I really do believe in the power of The Armitage.

In long-term relationships, in marriages, there is a phenomenon referred to as the “Seven-Year Itch” in which the partners begin to feel an urge to–stray, to move on to pastures with, say, Bahia grass versus Fescue (I am a farmer’s daughter, remember).

And yet, not only do I not feel an urge to move on to a different actor on which to have a big ol’ crush, I also don’t plan to ever abandon my first RA love.

Sir Guy of Gisborne, you will always be my very favorite.  I wrote my first novel-length fanfic about you. I’ve made more Guy photo edits, fan art and fan vids than I have of any other ChaRActer. Of course, there is more of you, in 37 episodes, although never enough even then.

You continue to inspire me, and to endear yourself to me with that special blend of thrilling alpha male dominance (I will forgive you things I would never forgive anyone else) with an awkward sweetness, aching vulnerability and at times, heartbreaking gullibility.

 

And frankly, nobody, but nobody, rocks the Guyliner, stubble, leather and long locks the way YOU do. You’ll always be THE one.

I’m not bein’ funny . . .  no seven year itch for me!

 

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Guyday Friday: Ladywriter gets some TLC from the Dark Knight

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“It’s a hard day, Sir Guy. A high pain day. Even my hair hurts.”

He tilted his dark head, brow furrowing. “I am sorry to hear that, my lady.” His kohl-rimmed eyes softened as his mouth curled into an affectionate smirk. “Such shiny, lovely hair it is, too.”

LW grunted and tossed a pillow in the dark knight’s direction. “NOW you sound like Mr. Ladywriter, you tease.”

Sir Guy adroitly caught the pillow with one hand and swept her a gallant bow. Flicking back his raven mane, he flashed her one of those dazzling grins.

“We are both here to serve you, my dear LW . . . now may I get you a cold drink and a compress  . . . perhaps a gentle foot and hand massage?” He purred.

*Gulp*

Well, who am I to tell Sir Guy “no”?!?

Happy Guyday Friday

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Once you go black (knight) . . . Happy Guyday Friday!

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Happy Guyday Friday to you all! Still having considerable trouble with my left wrist, so I am continuing to limit my online time in terms of responding to comments, etc. anything that requires me to utilize my entire hand. I promise I will try to catch up. And thanks for all your comments of late. 😀 And now without further ado, more sexy Sir Guy!

 

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Guyday Friday: Trouble looks good on him.

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Having a flare-up of what I guess is tendonitis in my left wrist–sore, tender, a bit red and swollen. Well, I have been doing a lot of video and still camera work (three graduations, class night, honors day, baccalaureate and whatever I’ve forgotten), NTM all the photo and video editing. One more graduation to go tonight (doing double duty for PRP and playing a stringer for the newspaper) and then taking a little time off from events–next big project (aside from all the editing) comes up June 6 and 7.  My hubby thinks I should just take two aspirin and rest the old wrist today, but somehow, I just couldn’t let another Friday go by without paying homage to my favorite dark knight (and the ORIGINAL one).

My beautiful, complicated, angsty, ambitious, passionate, at times gullible and far too naive, temperamental-yet-tender-and-sexy-as-hell alpha male, Sir Guy. Love you, man.

Happy Guyday Friday, y’all!

 

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Happy Guyday Friday: Ladywriter’s been ill, yet strangely happy

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5_033guybeauty“You have been quite the–what do you call it, in modern parlance?–a nightbird–of late?”

She smiled up into those blue eyes, their lids, lashes and sardonic brows so artfully shaded, blackened and lined, it was enough to make the girl at the Clinique counter green with envy.

 

How can a man indulge in so much cosmetic artifice and still look so danged manly and drop-dead sexy? Oh, well, at least I can always borrow his makeup kit if I misplace mine . . .

Ladywriter pressed a tissue to her mouth as she coughed, then cleared her throat.

“Night–owl, Sir Guy. I’ve been quite the night owl.” Her voice was still scratchy after her recent bout with the Crud, but she wasn’t looking quite as “weak-eyed” (as her mama used to say).  “I think I’m like Sonya, the dance teacher and choreographer for the Ritz show–I often feel most creative and productive after dark. I get on a roll with the video and photo editing for Pecan Ridge and I–go with it.”

Sir Guy raised a single dark brow as his lips twisted into one of those trademark smirks. “I’ve often done some of my best work at night as well . . .”

 

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Ladywriter sat back and folded her arms across her chest. “Mmm-hmmm. I know. I wrote about some of your best–work, remember?”

 

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His mouth twitched, a teasing gleam appearing in his azure eyes. “Indeed . . .” Sir Guy flicked back a stray lock as he tilted his head. “And, I hope–shall write about me and my adventures again?” There was a wistful note in that deep rumble, a question in that sidelong glance.

Oh, dearest Sir Guy–I have rather neglected you of late . . . but it’s sort of now or never for us in Real Life.

She gave him a reassuring smile as she reached out and clasped that big, elegant hand.

“Never say never, my dearest Dark Knight . . .”

Happy Guyday Friday to all!

 

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Sir Guy is reading–‘Urban’?? and Ladywriter tries to get RL Ducks in Row

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Sir Guy was loafing on the blue loveseat in the living room, long legs crossed at the ankles and draped across the back of the furniture. Scarlett was draped across his well-toned tummy while his handsome aquiline nose was tucked into the paperback in his hand. The Bernard Hare book, of all things. Would wonders ever cease?

“So that’s where my book got to!” Ladywriter, her arms folded across her chest, smiled down at the duo. A pair of kohl-rimmed blue eyes (nicely accented by the color of the upholstery) peeped at her above the edge of the book.  Did she detect a hint of sheepishness there? NOT that he would admit it.

“Urhm . . . yes, well . . .” Sir Guy sniffed and gave a nonchalant shrug of his Floppy Pirate Shirt-clad shoulders.  “Thought I might just–take a peek. Since you have not yet read this tome,” he added in a faintly accusatory tone. Standing up for his CReAtor, was he?

Ladywriter sighed. “I told you, my dearest dark knight, my mind has been going in a thousand different directions of late and I’d like to be able to concentrate on the story as it deserves.” Her mouth curled into a smirk. “And some of us have to work at building our business for a living, you know . . . ”

Sir Guy raised a brow. “And some of us had to–perish–in a particularly nasty way to get to enter this Valhalla known as the Land of the So Not Dead.”

Ladywriter bowed her head. “‘Tis true, Sir Guy, and I do not begrudge you one minute of your much-deserved happiness.”

He gave her a gracious nod in return.  “Thank you, my lady.  It was your idea in the first place, the entire SND thing . . .”

 

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“And once the craziness of this weekend and the first part of next week are over, then, perhaps, I can settle down and read the book.  In the meantime, I’ve got interview questions for several people to write for our bonus feature on the POTR video, along with a script for my hippy dippy video jockey from the 70s to do, and Benny will be shooting me in front of the green screen Sunday, I’ve got a Tuesday luncheon date with our yogi we are shooting an instructional vid for, interviews and behind-the-scenes footage to shoot Tuesday night . . .”

Sir Guy stroked Scarlett, who proceeded to purr softly as she squinted at the big, handsome fellow she adored.  It was good being Ladywriter’s cat. You got to meet the most interesting ChaRActers . . .

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“And–a doctor’s visit Monday?” He tilted his head. “You KNOW you haven’t been feeling that well of late, either.”

She shrugged. “No, but I was hanging on for that appointment. At long last. WITH my former student, no less.  A very intelligent and very sweet young man. He’s gotten raves from his other patients. So–I have hopes . . .” She crossed her fingers on both hands.

“So–enjoy the book and tell me what you think, and be patient with me, dear Sir Guy. You KNOW you are still my favorite ChaRActer . . .”

And always will be.

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Guy is here and he’s bringin’ the smirks, smoulders, struts and snarls!

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Soooo many “S” words suit our super sexy Sir Guy–smirking, snarling, smouldering, slinking, strutting . . .

He IS the hottest baddie turned goodie. The hottest baddie, or goodie, period.

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Happy Guyday Friday, my darlings!!

Which Guy look trips your trigger? Series 1, 2 or 3?

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Happy Guyday Friday, everyone! Yours truly is feeling a little on the rough side today, but I find Sir Guy is always good for what ails ya.  Whether he’s sporting black leather or a pirate shirt, nape curls or a glorious mane, he’s always a treat for the senses.

I think most of you know my favorite Sir Guy look was in Series 3. From the tortured, tangled-maned boozy Guy in his Floppy Black Pirate Shirt and Marvel of Engineering trousers, to resplendent Glamour Guy, fresh from Prince John’s Red Door Salon and Spa, glossy and brimming with confidence, I found the look sexy, compelling and suitable for the arc of  near-operatic grandeur provided for the ChARActer in the show’s final season.

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1_165dddAs much as I loved his buttery-soft, clingy black leathers (and I do!), I also admired how his “Milanese Fantasy” costume from S3 emphasized his physical attributes– the jacket design playing up the broad shoulders, slim waist and that generous backside, the trousers showcasing the powerful thighs and teasing us with the contrasting laces . . . and all those buckles and straps looked as if they could be–fun. Challenging.

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And while I have a soft spot for the “Guy Mullet” ( I have a soft spot for Richard’s hair, period), he worked those S3 hair extensions like nobody’s business. RA incorporated the extra hair into the character arc, using it in early scenes as a filthy curtain to hide his self loathing and shame, later flicking black the glossy strands with a proud, tempestuous toss of his head. A beautiful black stallion came to mind. *sigh*

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So how about you? What’s your favorite Guy look? Series 1 with the amusing mustard cravat and the fetching nape curls? Series 2 with the rocking all-leather ensemble? Or Series 3? Do tell! Happy Guyday Friday!!

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I Heart My Henchman: Guyday Friday, Valentine Style!

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“What day is it, Ladywriter?”

Oh, yes, he was positively purring. Just as she expected.  He did so love being the center of attention.

“It’s Friday . . .”

An eager rumble. “Yesssss . . .”

“Which would make it–Guyday . . .”

And . . .” His eyes and teeth were gleaming in anticipation.

“Yes . . . it’s ‘I Heart My Henchman’ Day here at TAE, my dearest Dark Knight.”

Sir Guy gave a triumphant toss of his magnificent ebony mane and an equally triumphant sniff. He really did look the very image of a gorgeous black stallion, Ladywriter thought . . .

Happy Guyday Friday, Valentine Style! XOXOXO from the Hot Velvet Henchman and LW and her whole household!

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Winter is still here–but so is Sir Guy! Feeling warmer now?

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“Sir Guy, I feel ancient. And tired of the cold and damp . . .” Ladywriter sighed, then winced as she gingerly rotated her sore right shoulder and flexed her stiff right thumb. After falling two nights in a row, LW was, as her daddy used to say, “stove up.”  Grace was definitely not her middle name, especially not during this Endless Winter.

“But you have your lovely red and black-striped fingerless gloves given to you by your cousin,” said Guy. Tilting his dark head, he smiled, his kohl-rimmed azure eyes gleaming. “And–you have–ME.”

Waggling her fingers, LW nodded and returned his smile. “I appreciate so the kindness of others–and the sweet hotness of you, Dearest Dark Knight.”

A flash of white teeth and a deep, dark, delicious chuckle. “Well–naturally.”

Electric blankets, hot choccie, cuddly cats—and Sir Guy. Great winter warmers!  Happy Guyday Friday!

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