They continued to meet every night at midnight, in the garden. Every night they would swap stories and give accounts of their lives. Every night Robin would beg Fiona to believe his words. Every night she would shake her head no.
But it didn't seem to bother him too much.
\"You'll believe me one day. Soon, I hope. Or else bad things will happen to me.\" He had said, somewhat sadly.
Fiona would listen to him repeat the story over again -
\"My family and I ran an Antique Shop - Gibson Antique Emporium. We had customers from all over the world. We were pretty successful. One particular Saturday, me, pa and Rory were working the shop and a strange fellow came in. Egyptian by the look of him. He was jabbering on and on to my papa about something he had wrapped up in a bag. I couldn't understand a word of it, but when my father tried to take a peek, the man ran out of the shop. He left the thing. Out of curiosity, we looked. It was a marble, about the size of my fist. Nothing too unusual, except for the fact that it changed colors. When I held it, it glowed blue. When Rory, my brother came stomping in, it got hot and turned red. I dropped it, and The next thing I knew we were here, in the middle of nowhere. I can't explain it any more than you can understand it.\"
Fiona COULDN'T understand it. Time travel was impossible.
\"I think how it works is this,\" he went on, \"there are these orbs that send people to 'checkpoints' in time. Whether forward or backward it's not known. But when activated, it sends these individuals or groups to places like this. They stay for years, watching the land be developed and populated. Take us, for example. We've been here for 110 years now. We've watched your town evolve. We go in and visit every once in a while. But then there's, for example, Pontus Maximus. He's an ancient Roman. There's no telling how long he's waited to go home. But there is a way out - Rory and I found a door that Leads into a chamber containing a clone of the Orb. It's in a booby-trapped cellar right below our Camp. We've just been waiting for our key out. The thing is locked up in some enchanted storage room. We can see it, but cant get in. It's a queer situation, and it doesn't make much sense, but I've been thinking it over for a century now.\"
She got up off of the stone bench and started pacing in front of him. \"And this key i have opens it?\"
He nodded, hope forming in his eyes.
\"How would you know?\"
That seemed to strike him like lightning. Robin looked like he had gotten caught with his hand in a cookie jar. \"That's... ANOTHER... Queer situation.... Erm...\"
Fiona stood there and waited for him to explain.
After seeing she wasn't going to take no for an answer, Robin divulged a tale of Uncle Glover and Mr. Gibson.
\"You see, the orb has to charge. Every time someone is sent here, it drains it's power for about 90 years, from what my father has calculated. We believe that one huge teleportation of all of us will drain it completely. Your uncle, he has his own plans. The only reason he bought that house is because he found out about the portal and how near it was. He's been trying to access it for years now. He and my father became fast friends when they met - working together to try to get in. We lost a few men doing so. But then we found out we needed a key. Glover knew it immediately - that key your mother had. He looked for you for two years... When he found you, he revealed his purpose of getting it - to stop his long dead love from reaching the grave so soon. He would rather bring back a lost memory than help many friends in need. So they went separate ways. That's why we need you. That's why he's forbidden you to even enter the woods, and has such a close eye on you. It won't be long before he asks about it -or even steals the thing. That's all he wants from you Fiona.\"
She shook her head. This was NOT the Uncle she had come to know over the past month. \"I'm sorry Robin, but that is crossing the line. I know my uncle misses Valentia, but he is not a conniving liar. He loves me. Despite what you believe he really does. He brought me and my brother back together for God's sake! Nobody would go through that much trouble just to get something he could have stolen. I need time to think about this. I will speak with him. If what you say is true, I cannot simply join a side. Give me until tomorrow, and you shall have your answer. At Noon. I swear it. If you find the key hanging from my window sill by a sowing thread, then take it. If not... Then I am sorry for my unbelieving heart. I really must be going.\"
Robin jumped up and took Fiona by the hand. \"I can prove it.\"
She stared at him unsure. \"How so?\"
\"I'll show you our camp! When we came here, it teleported the whole lot with us. The shop is sitting out there in the middle of the woods. I'll show you. Come on.\" Robin laced his fingers between hers and pulled Fiona towards the forest.
\"Robin, I don't know-\"
He smiled reassuringly. \"Don't worry. I'll keep you safe.\"
They exited the garden. The couple trotted across the lawn and disappeared into the line of trees.
A shaded figure took it's leave of the shrubbery in the garden and snuck back into the mansion, with nobody to see it but the stars and full moon.
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