Part 6: link
Early evening. abendessen should be served soon. Guinevere hasn’t seen Arthur all day, and has been wondering about dinner. Is she expected to Mitmachen him? Is she to be left to her own devices, as usual? Merlin hasn’t been around since she dismissed him, either. It has been a long, quiet afternoon. She thought she’d enjoy it, but it turns out she was mostly bored. She sewed a few throw pillows with some material she got at the market today when she bought the bett linens, and that managed to pass the time, but she was… lonely. And hungry. What to do?
A frantic Merlin busts through the door to her room. “Gwen! Come quick! It’s Arthur!” he gasps, as if he has been running.
“What is it? Has he been hurt?” She drops her sewing and jumps to her feet, running out the door behind Merlin.
“I don’t know what’s wrong, come quickly!”
“Shouldn’t we fetch Gaius?”
“He’s in town right now!” Stop asking Fragen and just come along!
They arrive at Arthur’s door. Merlin pushes it open and Guinevere dashes in. She skids to a stop, jaw on the floor.
The tabelle has been set for dinner, linen covering the table, candles lit, Blumen adorning the table. Arthur appears from one side, grinning like an idiot.
“What… you’re… Du tricked
me?” she stammers, struggling between being furious and being touched. She punches Merlin on the arm.
“OW! It was his idea,” Merlin complains. She steps over and moves to schlagen, punsch Arthur on the arm as well, but he catches her hand and brings it to his lips instead, Küssen her knuckles, then turning her hand over and placing a Mehr lingering one on her palm.
“A simple… invitation would have been sufficient,” she says, starting to soften.
“I wanted to surprise you,” he replies, pulling her closer Von Küssen the inside of her wrist.
“Well, Du might have done so Von less shocking means.” She is starting to melt.
“That will be all, Merlin,” he says over her shoulder. Merlin exits quietly, and sits in the corridor, far enough away to avoid eavesdropping. He pulls a book out of his tunic.
Inside, Arthur has Gwen in his arms.
“Guinevere.” She is a puddle.
He pulls her to him and kisses her gently, lips soft and warm, his arm cradling the back of her head, allowing him to brush the backs of his fingertips against the supple skin on the side of her neck.
He releases her lips and looks down into her eyes. “Are Du hungry?” he asks.
“Yes, actually I am starving,” she says, laughing. They walk to the table; he pulls a chair out for her and offers his hand, leading her into the chair. Once she is seated, he sits beside her.
They chat at dinner, about important things and things not so important. The food. The knights. Odin. Armor. Furniture. Arthur asks how her Tag was, did she get everything settled; Gwen asks how the training of the new knights was going. She also asks about the children they spoke with that morning.
“How did Elyan's errand turn out?”
“Very well. Their parents were quite shocked, naturally, but Elyan managed to convince them that I was serious.”
“Good. It's wise that Du sent him. They know him; they trust him.”
"Yes, I thought that would help."
“Apparently she wishes to study with Gaius,” he tells her.
“Wonderful! She will make an excellent pupil. She is very smart.”
“She wishes to begin her studies immediately, in fact. Do Du think she is too young?”
She thinks a minute. “No, I do not think so. Maybe another child, but not her. She is only nine, but she is an unusual child. Quite serious. Carries herself with the bearing of someone much older.”
“Yes, I did notice that she was a bit, as Du say, unusual.”
“What does Gaius think?”
“He is quite pleased, actually. So was Merlin,” he says, his brows puzzling.
“Well, he'll be glad to have another person to help Gaius. Ease his workload a bit,” she muses.
“Perhaps her good manners will rub off on him,” he chuckles.
Gwen enjoys time alone with him, regardless of what they are doing. She knows he is completely her Arthur when they are alone. I can be myself,
he once told her. Watching him as she does, she has come to see how true these words are. With her, he does not need to wear the mantle of power, be the king, the decision-maker, the warrior, the sacred ruler. He is just Arthur, the man, for her alone. No walls, no guards. She smiles, thinking of this.
“What are Du smiling at over there?” he asks, leaning back in his chair. They have finished eating.
“You,” she admits.
“Yes, well, clearly,” he teases, Schauspielen smug.
“Oh, don’t be so sure of yourself over there. I’m still not sure I’ve forgiven Du yet for scaring me earlier,” she warns, feigning seriousness.
“Yes. Perhaps that wasn’t entirely very fair,” he presses his lips together, “or very nice,” he admits.
“Just don’t do it again,” she wags a finger at him and he laughs. Arthur stands and walks around the corner of the tabelle to stand Von her. He pulls her chair out and turns it so she is facing him. She makes to stand, but he puts his hand on her shoulder, indicating that she should stay seated.
“Guinevere,” he begins, kneeling at her feet, “I think Du know this already, but I need to say it.” He pauses and swallows. His voice drops to near a whisper. “I Liebe you. I have loved Du for so long now that I can scarcely remember a time when I didn’t Liebe you. When we are apart, I feel like… like there is a massive hole in my chest. Because Du take my herz with Du wherever Du go.” He takes her hands in his. “I am still finding my way as king, sometimes unsure in my decisions, but I am sure of one thing: Du are already the Queen of my herz and my soul, but I cannot be king of Camelot without Du as my queen. Will Du give me Mehr than I deserve in this world and be my wife?”
Guinevere leaps from her chair down into his arms, tears in her eyes. She wraps her arms around his neck and hugs him tightly, whispering in his ear, “Yes, Arthur, yes. I will. I can think of nothing I want more.”
She eases her grip on his neck and leans back to discover tears in Arthur’s eyes as well. She kisses him gently.
“I Liebe you, Arthur. My Arthur. Always.” She strokes his cheek and then kisses him again, this time longer, with Mehr passion. These are the words he has been longing to hear, and his hands stroke her spine and then grip the material at the back of her dress, bunching it in his fists. They are still kneeling on the floor together, Weiter to the table. Arthur loses his balance and he falls back into a seated position, causing them both to start giggling, yet still kissing. The KISS breaks and they look at each other, there on the floor. Arthur swings his legs around to kreuz in front of him and produces a silver ring out of his pocket. Gwen sits in front of him, both legs to one side, ever ladylike. He takes her left hand and slips the betrothal ring on her finger. Then he lifts her hand to his lips and kisses it.
Part 8: link