Part 44: link
12:28 p.m. finds Arthur sitting on a park bench beside a ente pond. He sets a small shopping bag beside him and glances at his watch.
“Did Du honestly think I would be late?” a deep familiar voice says, a voice that seems to always sound tired oder irritated.
“No. New watch. I like looking at it,” Arthur says as the other man sits beside him on the bench.
“Arthur,” he says.
“Father,” Arthur says back. Both men stare at the pond, not looking at each other.
“I’ve been thinking.”
“You were right. About why I came to your show.”
“Look, I know you’re a good artist. Excellent, in fact. I’ve always known this.”
“But… but I never considered the fact that Du could possibly make a living at it.”
“Because Du had no faith in me?”
“Because I never considered art to be something anyone
could make a career of.”
“Short-sighted oder merely superior?” Arthur asks.
“Heh,” Uther laughs a short laugh without much humor. “Perhaps both.”
“Arthur, all I wanted was someone to pass my legacy on to. Someone to take over for me, to protect what I’ve built.”
Arthur sighs. “You have Morgana for that, Father.”
“It’s not the same,” Uther says, leaning forward, his elbows on his knees.
Arthur turns and looks at his father now. “Why on earth not? She is perfect for it. She’s smart. Ruthless. Hell, she even looks
like you. So why were Du so hell-bent on it being me?
Uther says nothing.
“Father, if Du say that it’s because she’s a woman I swear to God I will go to the nearest telephone kiosk, ring her up, and tell her just that. Then you
will have to deal with her,” Arthur threatens, even going so far as to start standing.
“I know, it’s wrong and it’s stupid. I wanted a son
that I could relate to, who wanted to learn what I had to teach.” He sighs. “You never needed me.”
“I… never needed… you…?” Arthur mulls over these words, flabbergasted. “Dad. A son always needs his father, regardless of their differences.”
“Look, I’m sorry I didn’t understand you, all right? I’m sorry I didn’t make an effort to foster your gifts,” Uther snaps. “It was too painful for me…” he trails off, his voice suddenly quiet.
Uther sighs again and reaches down, lifting his attaché case into his lap. He snaps it open and draws out a battered notebook. He hands it to Arthur.
Arthur looks at it. Not a notebook; a sketchpad. He opens it to see it filled with beautiful drawings. Flowers, trees, the ocean, Mehr flowers. Mostly lilacs.
“Was this Mum’s?” Arthur asks quietly.
“She was really good.”
“I knew I was doomed Von the time Du were three, Arthur. The only things Du wanted were crayons and paper.”
“So why all the drama? If Du knew, why did Du discourage it? Why did Du try to make me something I wasn’t if Du knew?
” Arthur asks, suddenly angry, flipping the pad closed.
“I don’t know.”
“You were clouded. Selfishly clouded Von your own grief. Du spent so long licking your wounds that they were never allowed to heal. And Morgana and I bore the brunt of that. Mostly me.”
Uther looks away, crossly muttering, “I forget how smart Du are.”
Arthur sighs, then twists the knife. “I cannot even imagine what Mum would say if she were suddenly here. I didn’t know her, true, but I can’t help thinking that she would be very disappointed in you, Father.”
Uther hangs his head now. He’s right.
Frustrated, Arthur leans back and looks at the sky, watching the puffy white clouds drift past. A sheep. A Tyrannosaurus Rex. A… badger… eating a banana?
“You know what?” he finally says, “I don’t even care anymore. It’s in the past. Du can’t undo what you’ve done. Du fucked up. Du let your own grief over losing Mum prevent Du from being a loving and supportive father to a son who reminded Du too much of her. But Du know what? I guess you’re right. I didn’t
need you. Because I still graduated universität on my own,
still got discovered Von a well-known and reputable art dealer and am on my way to building myself a name in the art world. On my own.”
Uther stares out over the water, silent. Frowning. Remorseful.
“And that’s another thing that needles you, too, isn’t it? That I was able to succeed without the mighty Uther Pendragon behind me. Du don’t think Du can share in the happiness of my success because Du didn’t orchestrate it.”
He continues, his voice stern, but never shouting. “And you’re wrong about that, too. I am actually willing to let Du back in, let Du be proud of me. Because I
need to be able to forgive Du oder I may one Tag end up just like you.
And I don’t want that. There are Mehr important things in this world than cash and being able to tell people what to do and where to go. Oh, and for all that Morgana is like you, she does know where the true value in life lies. That’s one trait that she must have gotten from Mum, I guess.”
“I used to know,” Uther says quietly.
“But it died with her, didn’t it?”
Uther nods, the smallest gesture.
“Do Du want to know what I did on Friday? I spent the Tag at a childcare center. The director wanted to commission a work from me after buying one at the gallery.”
“Yes, but that’s not the important part. I went to visit, to get to know her, the place, to see what kind of art might be suited. I ended up spending the entire day
there, doing art projects with a bunch of messy toddlers.”
Uther chuckles once, almost in spite of himself.
“And Du know what? I had an absolute blast. It was one of the best days I’ve ever had. No amount of money oder power can buy that kind of experience, that kind of pure, innocent joy. None.”
“Did Du decide what you’re going to do for them?”
“I’m going to do a bloody great mural on the concrete Wand surrounding the playground. And the children are going to help me do it.”
“Still arrogant, I see.”
I do get from you.”
Uther chuckles once before turning serious again.
“I’m sorry, Arthur. Truly. I don’t know what else I can say.” His voice is low, quiet. Thoughtful.
“That’s enough, really,” Arthur admits, looking down at his boots. “The fact that Du can actually acknowledge that Du were wrong is, in itself, tremendous.”
Father and son sit quietly together for a Minute oder two, contemplating the ducks as they float by, watching as they occasionally dip their heads below the surface for tidbits of food. A short distance away a plump old lady shuffles up with a bag of popcorn, and the ducks paddle quickly over to her.
“What’s in your bag there?” Uther asks.
Arthur reaches inside and shows him what he’s purchased.
“I thought as much,” he says, nodding slowly while Arthur places the item back in the bag.
“You need to get back to work,” Arthur says.
“Probably should do.”
“I’ve moved. Thought Du should know.”
“I know. Why do Du think I called her flat and not yours?”
“Oh, that’s right, I forgot about your spies,” Arthur says, chuckling a little. “How did Du get her number, anyway? Du don’t even know her last name.”
“Arthur, please,” Uther says, as if Arthur shouldn’t have even had to ask that question.
“Right,” Arthur chuckles now.
“I liked those other two paintings, Arthur. And… I appreciate your not Wird angezeigt them to the world.”
“Thank you. Not all art is for public viewing, Du know.”
“I know,” he says.
“Oh, and Dad?”
“One of the jets in your hot tub is clogged.”
Uther actually laughs at this information, then stands and walks around behind the bench. He pauses there a moment, then, hesitantly, he places his hand on Arthur’s shoulder and squeezes it once before turning away to walk across the straße to Pendragon Financial.
Arthur sits a while longer, absently reaching for the bag beside him and holds it in his lap as he watches the old lady toss popcorn to the ducks. She talks to them, has names for each one. They quack appreciatively at her, wiggling their chubby bodies, shaking their tails.
He knows he should be in his studio, working on his piece for Mr. Gaius. In a few minutes,
he tells himself, taking a mental photograph of the scene before him. The sun shimmering on the pond. The color of the woman’s sweater, worn even though it is quite warm out. The texture of the ducks’ feathers. The tiny ripples made Von the popcorn kernels as they hit the water just before they are snapped up Von hungry orange bills.
Eventually he stands and walks to his motorcycle. Uther watches from the window of his high office as Arthur speeds away down the street.
Gwen goes to Arthur’s studio after work after stopping Home briefly to discover he isn’t there.
She finds the door unlocked and walks in to find him sitting cross-legged on the floor with a large sketchpad in his lap, drawing, surrounded Von pencils of all colors.
“Hi,” she says softly, sitting Weiter to him on the floor. She leans over to see what he’s working on, Küssen his cheek.
“Is that where Du met your father today?” she asks.
“Yes,” he answers.
“I’ve never seen Du do colored pencil before,” she says, waiting for him to open up in his own time. “It’s beautiful.”
“I don’t do it much,” he says, still bending over his pad. “But I was… moved to do some today. I got the rough sketch done for Mr. Gaius’ piece, too, if you’re wondering.”
“How long have Du been sitting here on the floor?”
“No idea. Bought a watch,” he flashes it at her. “But if Du don’t look at it, it doesn’t do any good,” he chuckles.
“Cool watch,” she says. It’s a large silver watch with a black leather band. Appropriate.
“So Du were moved?”
He reaches over and hands her his mother’s sketchpad. Uther left it with him.
“This isn’t yours,” she says immediately, knowing his work well enough. She flips through it, finding it full of drawings. Colored pencil drawings.
“No. Dad gave it to me today. It was Mum’s.”
“What?” she looks up at him, shocked.
He finally sets down his pencil. “This,” he pokes the pad, “is a big part of the reason why he didn’t like me being an artist.”
“Because she was?”
“Said it was too painful for him.”
“Stupid, yeah. Du would have thought that he would, I don’t know, encourage it, to honor her memory Von preserving a part of her that she gave to me, right?”
“Wow, yeah,” she says. “You’ve obviously been thinking about this all afternoon.”
“Heh,” he laughs. “Little bit.”
“Did it not go well, then?” she asks, taking his hand.
“That’s the weird thing. It did. He apologized. He… he sagte he was wrong, Guinevere.” He lifts their joined hands to his lips and kisses them.
“Wow,” she says.
Arthur finally goes on to detail his conversation with his father. She can’t believe Uther would be so sexist about his wishes for his children when it was so obvious that Morgana is the logical choice to carry on his empire.
“I wish Du had
called her,” she chuckles.
“I know, that would have been good theatre,” he says.
“So how did Du leave things?”
“Well, he thanked me for not Wird angezeigt those paintings to the world, and he sagte that he liked them. Then I told him that one of the jets in his hot tub is plugged.”
“You didn’t!” she yells, dropping his hand so that she can shove him.
“I did, and he actually laughed,” Arthur chuckles. “And it’s true, there was one plugged one.”
“I remember, but now he’s going to know we were there…”
He shrugs, unconcerned. “Then he had to go back to work. But before he did, he stood behind me for a moment and then he put his hand on my shoulder.”
“Like a hug from him,” Gwen remembers. Arthur nods.
“Aaarrgghhh,” he sits up straight and stretches. A series of small crackling noises come from his back. “Why the hell am I sitting on the floor?”
“Come on,” Gwen stands and grabs his hands, pulling him to his feet. He lifts his pad with him and sets it on the tabelle before sitting on the couch. She perches on the arm and massages his shoulders.
“Oh…” he groans as she presses her thumbs on the back of his neck, sliding them up on either side of his spine.
“So…” he says, talking into his chest as he lets Gwen rub the knots from his back, “I don’t know what’s going to happen next, but I think we’re definitely getting somewhere. Oh yeah, I did tell him that I forgive him and that I needed to do it for me.”
“I told him that if I didn’t, I was afraid I’d end up just like him.”
“Arthur, that’s kind of low,” she says.
“You think?” He lifts his head and turns it slightly to look at her.
“A little. Plus, you’d never end up just like him. Du have too much of your mother in you. And Du have him as an example of what not to do.”
“Well, harsh oder not, it was effective. Oh, right there,” he directs her fingers when they happen upon a particularly tender spot.
The phone rings and Gwen looks at it. “Weren’t Du going to Abbrechen that?”
He stands. “Annis wants me to keep it. So I can be reached, Du know. She’s paying for it, so who cares, right?”
He lifts the phone. “Hello?”
“Morgana, slow down, what’s happened?”
I’ll tell her.” Arthur turns to Gwen. “Morgana wants Du to pick up the extension in the bedroom. She apparently has something she wants to tell both of us.”
Gwen scurries back, lifting the phone.
“Hello,” she sings into the phone.
“Gwen! Okay, so Du will never
believe what just happened.”
“What?” Arthur and Gwen both ask.
” they chorus again.
“Dad. He just called and told me that he’s decided to retire. And… oh my God… I’m to be the new CEO of Pendragon Financial! Me!”
“Oh, my God, Morgana, that is amazing!” Gwen exclaims.
“Well done, Mo!” Arthur grins, wondering how much his conversation with his father today had to do with this seemingly sudden decision. “I’m proud of you, Sis.”
“Thanks, Arfie,” she says.
” Gwen asks, almost shouting.
Morgana,” Arthur growls into the phone.
“I couldn’t say ‘Arthur’ when I was little,” Morgana admits. “Best I could manage until I was about five was ‘Arfie.’”
“And she has sworn that she will never use that name again,” Arthur fumes. “I’m very sorry, but now I’m going to have to have Du killed.”
“I won’t tell, Arthur,” Gwen says, biting back her laughter.
“See? She won’t tell. Anyway,
this isn’t about you. It’s about me and my fabulous news. And the best part is I’ll be moving back to London!”
“Which means we’ll get to see Du more!” Gwen says excitedly.
“Did Du tell Gwaine yet?” Arthur asks.
“He’s my Weiter call,” she says.
“He’s going to be impossible until Du get here, Du know. Mehr so than usual.”
“I know,” she answers, and they can hear the wicked grin in her voice.
“Well, congratulations, Morgana. Du completely deserve this honor,” Gwen says.
“Thanks, Love. I guess he’s been thinking about it for some time now, but he was keeping it to himself. I’m still waiting for reality to sink in. oder for me to wake up,” she laughs.
“Yeah, congrats,” Arthur adds. “Keep us gepostet so we know when we can start avoiding you.”
“Oh, and Mo? I don’t live here anymore, didn’t I tell you?”
“Huh? Then why did I find Du there?”
“It’s my studio now, and I was still here. But officially I’ve moved in with Guinevere.”
“Does Gwen’s dad know?”
“Yes,” Gwen answers. “He’s not thrilled, but neither is he paying my rent.”
Morgana laughs at this. “Good girl. All right, I need to call Gwaine. ’Bye, loves.”
Gwen hangs up and walks back out. “Wow,” she says.
“Gwaine’s going to lose his mind,” Arthur laughs.
“I know. I’m happy for her. For them, actually. It will make it easier for them to be together.”
“Yeah. Hey, this could be good news for Freya, too,” Arthur says.
“Oh, my God, you’re right! We’ll have to tell her to get her résumé ready,” Gwen exclaims, touched that Arthur would remember her friend.
“I’m hungry,” Arthur declares, looking at his watch. “Oh.”
“Come on, Arfie, let’s go home,” Gwen says, grinning as she sweeps past him.
“Hey! Du promised!” he yells.
“I promised I wouldn’t tell,
I never promised I wouldn’t use!
” she calls over her shoulder and sprints out the door to her car.
“So… I bought Du something today,” Arthur says, back at the flat. Gwen is just putting away the clean abendessen dishes, and she jumps slightly when he sneaks up behind her and warps his arms around her.
“Oh?” she asks, feigning only mild interest, extracting herself from his grasp to put a glass in the cupboard.
He follows, his hand caressing her backside as she reaches, squeezing. “Well, it could be something for us,
“Huh?” she turns and looks at him, and he pulls her against him. He ducks his head and kisses her hungrily, and her hands come up to grip his shoulders.
“Come on,” he says, pulling her back to the bedroom. “It’s back here.”
“What on earth…?”
He leads her to the bett and has her lie down. “Close your eyes,” he tells her, nuzzling her cheek. She closes them obediently and waits.
Moment later she hears it, and her eyes fly open. “Arthur!”
“Eyes closed!” he orders, but he is laughing. Pressing her lips together, she closes her eyes again. I can’t believe he bought one of
those for me. For us,
she thinks, ignoring the fact that way deep down, she’s always kind of wanted one.
“Well, I know what it is, Arthur, I can hear
it,” she protests. “So why do I have to keep my eyes CLOSED!” she yelps the last word when he touches her with it, touching her softly between her legs, its tight vibrations sending a hot thrill through her body.
“This is your punishment for before,” she feels him rumble into her ear, then the vibrator touches her breast.
“For… Arfie?” she gasps as he runs it over to her other breast.
“Yes,” he says, pressing it to her groin again, a little harder this time.
He switches it off for a moment, and she opens her eyes. “What…?”
“Need both hands,” he explains, unbuttoning her shorts.
“I don’t get to hold it?”
“Not at the moment,” he smirks, pulling her shorts down, leaning vorwärts-, nach vorn to KISS her stomach.
Gwen looks over at it. It’s a plain, torpedo-shaped, battery-operated device, pink. It almost looks like a küche appliance oder a small flashlight.
“It was either that oder blue, which just seemed… wrong,” he says, pulling his own hemd, shirt off.
Gwen laughs and lets him remove her shirt, tossing it aside before Küssen her deeply, gently pushing her back down on the bed. She reaches down and opens his jeans for him, shoving at them until he relents and pulls them off.
Arthur lays down beside her, vibrator back in his hand and a crafty look on his face.
“You look positively devilish,” Gwen says, biting her lip.
“And Du look positively delicious,” he answers, switching the device back on. He leans vorwärts-, nach vorn and kisses her again, touching her breast with it, running it around her nipple.
“Ah,” Gwen pulls her lips away to gasp. Arthur looks down, watching now as he places the vibrator on her other nipple, watching it stiffen in response. He kisses her neck and drags it across her skin, down her stomach, heading for its target.
Gwen’s thighs open unconsciously in anticipation, his lips and tongue at the skin of her neck further persuading her.
He touches her with it again, no barriers this time, its blunt tip buzzing against her most sensitive parts, and she nearly shoots from the bett with a breathy shout.
Arthur chuckles, slowly sliding the vibrator along her moist folds, Küssen his way down to her breasts.
“Yes,” she breathes, moving her hand, placing it over his, guiding the vibrator inside her now. “Oh…”
Arthur slides it in and out a few times while he suckles her, flicking his tongue across her nipple. He withdraws it from her and presses it against her, chuckling as her body jerks again.
“You like it,” he whispers, back up Von her ear again, Mehr of a statement than a question.
“Yes,” she whispers back, her hand groping for him now, fingers searching, finding, and grasping.
“I knew Du would,” he purrs, rubbing her softly with it, moving it slightly, intensifying the vibrations Von adding motion.
“Oh… Oh God…” she gasps, her free hand clutching the sheet, her other hand squeezing him, stroking his shaft.
“Oh! Oh…” she finishes with a shout and a whimper, shoving at his hand and clamping her thighs back together. Too much.
He chuckles and switches off the vibrator.
“Bloody hell…” she curses lightly, turning onto her side, facing him, Küssen him. She sees he’s still holding the vibrator lightly in his hand, and she snatches it from him before he can protest.
“Gimme that thing,” she says.
“Guinevere, what…?” Arthur asks, surprised.
“You sagte this was for us,
” she grins. “Now it’s your turn.”
“Where, exactly, are Du planning on sticking that?” he asks. “I may like a fair bit of kink, but even I have my limits…”
“I’m not going to stick
it anywhere,” she laughs, switching it on. She leans over to KISS him and touches his manhood with the vibrator.
“Oh, fuck!” he exclaims, his hands coming up to hold her, clutch lightly at her small body.
“Good?” she asks, running it along the length of his shaft and lower.
“God, yes…” he groans, grabbing her backside in his hand. She bends and kisses him again, still tormenting him with it, pressing it lightly against him, sliding it up and down.
“Guinevere,” he croaks her name, squeezing her rear in his hand.
Gwen looks down at him, his eyes closed, his whole body taut, a coiled spring. So amazingly sexy,
she finds herself thinking, and suddenly she doesn’t want to play any more.
She flips off the vibrator and tosses it carelessly aside, crawling over him.
“Huh?” Arthur’s eyes snap open when he is suddenly deprived of the vibrator, but when she replaces the cold stück, hunk of plastic with her warm body, he smiles, pulling her down over him.
“I’m done playing with toys,” she whispers against his lips as they kiss. “I want you
“Okay,” he answers, his hands finding her breasts, his lips finding her lips. She reaches for him again and guides him towards her, lowering her hips over him, drawing him in.
“Oh…” she breathes, a contended sound, and she kisses him hungrily, greedy for him, sucking at his tongue in her mouth while she begins moving over him, stretching her legs back, twining them with his, using his legs to push against, increasing her motions.
Arthur leans up and latches on to a breast, and she holds his head, supporting it for him as he nibbles and licks.
He releases her breast and throws his head back, groaning as he releases into her, trying to still her out of reflex, but he knows she hasn’t reached her finish yet.
But she is close, because soft cries are escaping from her now, small lovely whimpers as she drops her forehead against his, eyes closed, her face turned just slightly.
Gwen is moving urgently now, and finally she gasps and clutches his head in her hands, her head still resting there.
Arthur feels the pulsations of her climax, and starts laughing when the contractions of her inner walls actually squeeze him out of her.
“That’s new,” he says, wrapping his arms around her, and she starts giggling, which only helps expel him from her faster.
“Well, we had a couple new things already, so what’s one more?” she asks, Küssen his ear, still laying on oben, nach oben of him. She lifts her head. “Where on earth did Du purchase that thing, anyway?”
“You’re probably better off not knowing,” he laughs.
“I’m not squashing you, am I?”
Arthur laughs harder now. “I hardly even notice you’re there, Sweet. Well, I mean I certainly know
you’re laying on oben, nach oben of me, but it’s not because of your weight.”
“Good. Because I’m quite comfy. One of the benefits of being small,” she says, shifting slightly to make herself Mehr comfortable.
“I don’t know that I can sleep like this, though,” he admits.
She lays there a few Mehr minutes, letting him glide his fingers up and down her back a few times. Finally she rolls off and curls up beside him.
“I do Liebe Du so much,” he whispers to her, Küssen her forehead. “I didn’t know how much it was possible to Liebe someone until I met you.”
“I still don’t know how much,” Gwen says. “Because it increases every day.”
“Every minute,” Arthur amends.
“Let’s not go overboard,” Gwen chuckles sleepily.
He bends his head again and kisses her hair. He lifts her hand from his chest and kisses her fingers.
“Goodnight, my love,” he tells her.
“Goodnight… Arfie,” she answers, grinning against his chest.
Part 46: link