Guinevère opened her eyes and stretched for a moment, before laying there to slowly awaken. The morning was slowly creeping into the windows, but she knew it was still early. Turning her head over, she look at her husband. Her smile slipped over her lips. Turning toward him, she draped her arm over his bare chest, while her face nuzzled into his shoulder.
It had been two years since they married, and she loved this part of the day. The slow morning where they woke up together. He'd have to be a king soon, but for these moments he was a husband. Only a husband. Her fingers drew patterns over his skin, and her lips placed a kiss there.
Their journey had not been easy, but they were married now. These last two years were the best of her life. She was in love with a good man, who honestly and only loved her back. Arthur Pendragon was the man she'd loved for years now, and she knew she'd love him forever!
Arthur once was woken up with Merlin's voice, or actions of opening the curtains, or pulling him out of bed -- literally. But ever since he had married Guinevère, he greeted the day in a far more peaceful way than he could have ever imagined. Waking up never seemed like such a daunting task when he knew the first sight he would lay his eyes upon, was his beautiful wife. So when he felt her arm draped around him, her fingers drawing patterns over his skin, and a light kiss on his chest . . . Arthur couldn't help the way his lips curled into a smile. He had been planning to pretend to be asleep for a little while longer, but he couldn't resist the reaction.
"Good morning," he greeted before taking in a slow breath and opening his eyes, resting them upon his wife. His heavily lidded gaze and smile a frequent way to greet the day, together. "How is it, you grow more and more beautiful each day?" He asked her teasingly, though, his words held truth. His own arm moved to wrap around her, taking a loose lock of her hair as he casually twirled it around his finger while enjoying these quiet -- and private -- moments they had together before the kingdom would need them.
Guinevère had no skills in drawing, but her finger tip drew the dragon that was his seal over his heart while he awoke, her smile only for him in this moment. Her love only for him, no matter what her past might have suggested. His words no longer made her blush after so many years, but they never failed to make her glow with love and joy. A new expression for their growing and evolving love. "Perhaps it's the well loved look, that you enjoy?" she teased, knowing that she was NOT growing more beautiful, but she loved that he thought so.
Leaning up on her elbow, Guinevère leaned down to kiss his lips, and to let her free hand move up to brush his hair from his face. "And I cannot fault you with that, for it is a look that I love on my husband as well." Though she loved him in anything he wore, she loved it when he wore nothing (and had no guards up) in their bed. Bending close, she took his lips again, and let the kiss linger, without deepening it. It was a good morning kiss, since she knew they had to get up soon. "One I shall put on your face again tonight."
Arthur's smile grew at her answer. "Well loved look," he repeated thoughtfully. "I quite like the sound of that," he added, moving an arm behind his head. He closed his eyes, breathing into the kiss, enjoying the sensation of her touch, and the soothing way she brushed his hair back. How he had survived so long without these sensations, he would never know. Nor, ever wish to look back upon. "Well, you certainly do a good job of ensuring it is there," he told her playfully, though with the utmost truth as well.
Another kiss, another moment of pure peace and serenity. His hand playing with her hand, slid to the back of her head, gently pressing her closer to him, and when she began to draw back, he lifted his head a little to prolong the embrace before it was broken and she spoke of putting it on his face again. Tonight. "Is that a promise?" He asked with a continued smile. "It may perhaps be the only thing that will get me out of bed." From this seemingly perfect position of laying next to his wife. Having these stolen moments where they could just be two people in love; a husband and wife.
She laughed softly at his words, loving the feeling of just being here with him. She loved his fingers in her hair, and it was one of the reasons she didn't cut it. It made her feel as beautiful as he claimed she was. While Guinevère knew she was pretty, Arthur made her feel so much more then such a simple word. And she loved him all the more for it.
"Then you should get out of bed," she teased, without moving. "For if we stay then I fear Merlin will not have such a pleasant morning." He tended to not knock, and while she loved him like a younger brother, she wasn't going to let him catch her with her legs wrapped around her husband (his hips or his head)! Pushing to sit up, Guinevère didn't leave the bed until he did. His schedule was more demanding then her own, and she made sure never to be the first to leave--if he had free time, she would take every second of it!
Arthur chuckled at Guinevère's tease. "When does he ever have a pleasant morning?" He asked jokingly, though he knew he could not avoid the inevitable. With another deep kiss against her lips, Arthur then eventually got out of bed and started to ready himself for the day. They made plans for lunch in the gardens, which would be a welcome break from the tasks he had to get done. Tasks that had once been made easy with the aid of his uncle, only now realizing the additional weight they carried when discovering what his true intentions were. Eventually, he departed from his wife's company, and it did not take long for the busyness of the day to unfold. Between training, council meetings, and a list of audiences that people sought out, Arthur felt as if there was not a single second in the day to breathe. So much needed to get done, yet he also enjoyed the peace of it. No overarching dark and looming threats -- for now at least. And at least, Arthur would enjoy it until she struck again. Everyone knowing who she was.
One such audience was a servant who had found a bracelet in the dungeons. It was made of real silver and Arthur appreciated their honesty. It was a rather beautiful, fine piece of jewellery, and Arthur assured them that he would find out who it belonged to -- while also rewarding the servant for turning it in and not pocketing it. Arthur tucked it in his pocket and continued with the day, the hours going by rather quickly until he realized it was lunch time. He was already running late so had no time to change or put things away, and went straight to the gardens instead. Where he saw Guinevère was already waiting for her. "Sorry I'm late," he immediately apologized, greeting her with a kiss on her cheek. He nodded to the servant to leave them be, preferring alone time with Guinevère. As he sat down he felt something poke at her, only remembering what it was when he pulled it out and casually set it out in front of them next to the tray of food. "How was your day?" He asked.
Guinevère was well used to him running late, and knew better then to wait on him. Tilting her cheek toward him, she let him kiss her before going to his seat. "That is alright, I didn't wait on you," she teased, knowing that she had only ate some fruit, but saved the meat and the bulk of the meal for them to enjoy together. Guinevère had spent the morning helping Gaius plan for the colder seasons coming and making sure there would be enough herbs stocked up in case they became hard to find and he needed medicine being made--she was famished!
Arthur sat something on the table, and naturally her eyes went to it--and stayed there. She'd forgotten it, but in this moment, the moment he said it between them on the table she wondered how she ever could. How was her day? He didn't sound angry. Guinevère felt frozen, and flushed, and desperate all in the same moment. Her skin crawled and burned. Standing she stook a step backwards and her eyes slowly moved from it to him. "Where did you get that?!"
Lancelot had given it too her, and shed worn it with . . . . something. It was hard to call it love, but at the time she loved it. Now it made her feel anything but.
Arthur was glad that she hadn't. He knew that she was well used to his schedule by now, and with how busy her own days could be, well, he was glad that she was not waiting for him to come before getting started. However, before they actually could . . . she suddenly stood up and began to walk. It was not only her actions, but the expression on her face that caused Arthur to pause, and immediate concern take over.
"Guinevère?" He asked, rising to his feet as well as he followed her line of sight. It rested upon the bracelet. He looked back at her, stepping around whatever was between them so he could move closer to her. "A servant found it in the dungeons. Turned it in so we could find it's rightful owner." But there was something about it that was clearly causing his wife distress. "What's wrong?" He asked, reaching out to take her hand in his own in attempt to comfort her from whatever . . . caused the expression that she now held. He couldn't quite describe it either. Fear? No. He wasn't entirely certain what it was.
He didn't know. Arthur too stood and moved closer, but she looked back at IT and tried to think of what to say. He didn't know. If she'd ignored it then he might never know, but it wasn't in her heart to lie. She wouldn't--couldn't--hold this inflammation back. No matter if it would hurt their perfect life right now. She'd done this. She made her choice. She'd hurt him. She'd have to pay the price--and apparently, she was still paying that prince.
She inhaled a loud, shaken breath, before speaking while still looking at IT; because she couldn't look at him. "It was . . . " She didn't want to tell him. She didn't want to say his name here, and ruin YEARS of what they worked to build. Not that Arthur would leave it, but they were happy, and she didn't want to bring this back between them. "Lancelot gave it to me." She explained, and only after saying it was she able to look at him, looking for his reaction. For how he felt about this, and what he would do. She'd left it in that cell; the one he'd locked her in before summing her to the throne room. She wished she hadn't and instead thrown it into to river so she'd never see it again.
She said the words that caused his throat to dry. That caused his expression to sober, to turn into . . . well, he didn't even know what it held. Neither of them had dared speak the name that only reminded them of an incident that had nearly destroyed them. Arthur had never spoken of it, and neither had Guinevère. It brought up too many questions, for Arthur still didn't understand it. Understand why. The surprise of her answer caused his hand to lower, slowly letting go of hers as his gaze fell. Fighting back the emotions from the memories that that name inevitably forced him to remember. A horrible time. A time where Arthur had truly felt, that they would never be together.
His jaw clenched, trying to let it pass yet . . . he knew now. It either must have fallen off or she had taken it off after she'd gotten caught with him. Or, had it been before that? "When?" Arthur asked quietly, his voice catching while asking the one worded question. Was it, something she had worn all the time? Had he just failed to notice it as he did so many other things? Was it a sentimental piece that she wore to hold onto his memory? Arthur didn't voice any such questions. Perhaps, the insecurities would always linger deep within him. They were happy, he knew that. She loved him, he knew that too. But still. The past seemed now back to haunt them and while it could not destroy them . . . it certainly was no easy memory to think back on. And brought up emotions that Arthur had tried to lay to rest long ago.
He removed his touch. That alone wa telling, and she already felt the burning in her eyes to know that tears were pooling there; though thankfully they didn't fall. He had physically pulled from her by letting her go and it hurt. She wanted to beg him--again--to forgive her but she knew that it hadn't swayed him last time. It wouldn't this time. She'd done this. Hurt him with her foolish emotions; and she couldn't ask him for anything he wasn't ready to give.
When? He knew the answer. She didn't need to give it. Her face bent, and the look she gave him would answer it. She wouldn't speak the words. "Arthur," she spoke, wanting his touch but he'd pulled away. Being in love with your best friend was wonderful, until you broke their heart--The one person who comforted her the most, was the one person who she didn't deserve it from. "Get rid of it," she asked of him, not wanting him to keep it here--or worse, give it back to her!
She didn't verbally answer his question and yet she had answered it all the same. It had been when he returned, undoubtedly. Had Lancelot given it to her the night they were caught? The thought of them having met multiple times had indeed crossed Arthur's mind at that time. Having wondered how many times they'd met. How far this had gotten? What would have happened had he not walked in when he did. How long it would have continued. So many questions and yet . . . Arthur dare not voice them now. He wasn't even sure he wanted to hear the answers. She told him to get rid of it, and that alone saved any uncertainty as to whether she wished to keep it.
He hated to think she would, and yet . . . he knew that it had once been Lancelot in Guinevère's life. He just have a slow, short nod, eyes turning to look at the silver piece on the table. He suddenly, didn't want to touch it. Didn't want anything to do with it. Guinevère was the love of his life and Lancelot had been a brother to him. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, before turning to walk towards it. The past was consumed with too much betrayal. He swallowed, reaching out for it and yet couldn't bring himself to touch it. This should not matter anymore. They were married. They loved each other. They were happy. So why, after all these years, did it still hurt? He quickly reached for it, gripping it in his hand.
"I should . . . " His voice continued to be quiet, as he just looked at the bracelet. "Get rid of it then." But what did he even do with it? He didn't know. He just wanted to dispose of it immediately, especially now knowing it was what Guinevère wished for as well. "I'm sorry." But for what, he didn't know. For letting this still effect him the way it did? For bringing it here and placing it in front of her? Or, for turning and leaving their lunch date so that he could get rid of this damn thing. Whatever the apology was for, it was sincere and he knew he would have to get his emotions in check. But for right now, they were too fresh, and he found himself making his way down the hall, running into Merlin and handing off the bracelet to him, telling him to get rid of it without so much as an explanation.
Guinevère watched him pick IT up and she hated herself. "Arthur," she said his name again, and she knew she was begging him with it. Again. PLEASE forgive her. PLEASE don't let this hurt them. PLEASE know she loved him, and only him and that HE was the love of her life--always had been. Always would be. Yet she knew he was hurting, and pulling away from her. He apologized, and she shook her head. There was nothing he needed to apologize for. This was her misdeed. This was her fault.
And he left her there.
Guinevère watched her husband walk away, and she felt the tears fall. She wanted to call after him, and run after him. She wanted to beg him and promise him everything; but instead she stood there, one hand on her belly as she tears seemed to pull from somewhere deep inside her. "I'm sorry," she whispered, and wished that the damned bracelet had never been found. They were this morning! They were happy these years! Now it was back between them.
Guinevère spent the rest of the day in their chambers, seeking only her own company. She cleaned it, and arranged flowers, though it gave her no comfort. In the end, she sat before the fire and tried to think of a way to fix this; yet she couldn't think of a way then, and couldn't think of a way now.
Merlin said something about inscriptions on the bracelet but Arthur didn't care. Not did he care that he was going to give it to Gaius. Arthur just . . . never wanted to see that damn thing again. He spent the rest of the day distracted, though trying to get through what was expected of him. His mind went to that night, and he knew . . . that this had just been buried between them. Something that neither of them had spoken of, nor had any intention of speaking of. Until it was practically forced upon them. Arthur was unsure how time had passed, for everything felt like a blur. A haze of events, of conversations, of tasks that consumed his time for the rest of the day. Until night was upon them. He finished his last meeting, yet remained in the council chambers for a few additional moments. Alone. Trying to collect his thoughts. Trying to find the words he knew he had to say to Guinevère.
Though he didn't even know what the right words were. He loved her. Emphatically. Unconditionally. Enough to look past this and . . . he wished he could just leave it there. In the past. Taking a slow breath he finally rose to his feet and made his way to their chambers. Entering and closing the door behind him, he looked around and saw Guinevère in front of the fire place. He paused only for a few moments before stepping deeper into the room, taking off his jacket and setting it on the chair on the way to her. While he hadn't quite worked out what all to say, he knew he had to start with one thing. He crouched down in front of where she sat in the chair, looking directly into her eyes so that she -- he hoped -- would see and hear the sincerity in his words. "I'm sorry, for earlier." For leaving her at lunch. For . . . letting the bracelet come between them.
He was here. Even if he entered silently, she would know. She always knew when he came into the room; but this time she had been waiting for him. Hoping that he would come and not find an excuse to stay out later with work. She didn't get up, as he walked over toward him. He bent down there, and looked at her--and her heart swelled. She knew that look. He was ready to talk! He began by apologizing and she shook her head. No, this time he owed her nothing. She'd hurt him. He needed time. It was fair.
Guinevère wanted to touch him, and she hesitated for only a moment before reaching out and touching his cheek--only to divert in the last second and end up on his shoulder. She prayed he wouldn't pull from her, though she would understand he if was ready to talk but not to touch. "No, you have nothing to apologize for." She didn't blame him. She blamed her heart, and herself. While she knew they would, eventually, find their way past this again she didn't want him doubting her love. Again. She didn't want this between them. "Nothing."
She told him that there was nothing he needed to apologize for, but he knew he did. Walking away was never the solution. They were stronger together. How many times had she told him such? And he knew it was true. She was his everything, and he didn't want to give her any reason to doubt that. Desperately hoping that she didn't now, because the past had returned to haunt them and well . . . he hadn't exactly taken it well.
He felt her hand on his shoulder and her touch would always provide him with a great comfort. A softness. A warmth that coursed through his body, regardless of where his emotions lay. "I love you, Guinevère," he told her, feeling that right now, that was one of the most important things to say. "That will never change." He needed her to know that too. That he did not love her any less, or was uncertain of his feelings when learning of the bracelet; when thinking back to the past. But . . . he also knew he had to ask the question.
A question that was forever on his mind. Since Morgana's betrayal. Since Agravaine's betrayal. Since Guinevère's . . . actions. Surely, he was the one doing something wrong if so many people he cared about, acted in such ways. So he had to ask that question that he had always asked himself, yet never having the answer to it. "Was there anything I could have done differently to prevent what had happened?" All he ever wanted was for her to be happy. He had often had thoughts of whether it had been wrong not to go after Lancelot when rescuing them from Hengist; to not do more to ensure they were together. Perhaps it was selfishness. And that, was certainly wrong. Yet, he had to ask her. He had to know what it was that he did . . . to push others away. For whatever it was, he never wished to be that disappointment to Guinevère, ever again.
He loved her! She knew it, but hearing it when they were like this was a soothing reminder that this wasn't their end. It was just something else that needed to face and overcome. They'd done so much together already. He didn't pull away and he loved her! Though, his next words worried her about what he would say next. It would never change. Something he was about to say would be hard to hear. She knew him well enough to know that.
And they were. He thought he'd done something, and it made the tears return to her eyes, though they didn't fall. "No! Arthur," she began, moving to slide tot he floor to kneel down with him. "You are a good man. The best I have ever known! Please believe me, when tell you that you've done nothing. You did not deserve what I did to you, and I will never forgive myself for it." She told him, hating herself for her weakness--especially now that it made no sense to her that she felt that way for a few days and never again.
She had thought him dead. She had told him to die for Arthur in a way; and he had. She saw him again and feelings just happened. Once she hadn't had for him before when he lived in Camelot. They had . . .taken over her. Owned her in a way. Then, once she saw the hurt she'd done, faded away!
She claimed that he was a good man, yet good men did not get betrayed by those they held most dear. Surely. He knew it must be something in his actions. Something that repulsed others to such an extent. He didn't know what. Perhaps he never would. He just . . . hoped the lies would stop. That no one else he was close to would tell lies. Would do things that made him question their feelings, whatever the nature of them may be. His eyes remained on her when she moved to the floor to kneel with him, taking in her words and saying that she would never forgive herself.
"I have forgiven you," he told her. And it wasn't until this moment, that he realized he had never said those words before. Forgiveness had been implied when he proposed to her for the second time. But he had never actually spoken such words. He had felt them . . . because otherwise, he would never have been able to marry her if he had not forgiven her. So nor did he want her own lack of forgiveness to burden her. "I just . . . " He didn't know what. The feelings that night had drew within him. The doubts it had brought forth. Had it happened more than once? If so, how many times?
He knew it didn't, or shouldn't matter now. But thinking of that night, had him thinking of all the emotions and thoughts that had arisen because of them. He took a slow breath, knowing that this was another question that had forever burned upon him. He had asked her that night that if she had worries, and doubts . . . yet she claimed she had neither. "Guinevère, I wish I knew why." Why she had done it. So that he could fix it. So that he could understand her actions. So that he would know where they . . . where he had went wrong. So that he could make sure to never make her unhappy for even a moment, where as he had in the past to the point where she had felt the need for another man's arms upon her. He had gone wrong, somewhere. And he just . . . desperately wished he knew where and how.
He forgave her! He said he did, and she had known he had. He said the word to her. Yet, she wasn't ready to forgive herself. She never would be. She'd taken something she had wanted more then everything else on this Earth, and hurt it. Hurt him. Made him doubt in their love, and that they should be together; after everything they had over come, his father, his almost marriage, love spells with other women, him once leaving her, and so much more--the greatest thing that stood in their way was her.
"I wish I did too," she admitted to him, having never really explained to him what had happened for her. It was a dream she couldn't explain. It had felt SO REAL and then now looking back--she remembered the feelings but couldn't feel them. She didn't love Lancelot like she loved Arthur. He was the love of her life! Yet, she'd given it all up for . . . . lust? A giddy feeling? Relief? "Please believe me, Arthur," she asked, nearly begged of him, "That I love you. I've never loved anyone even close to how I love you. You are the one I want to be with. Even if . . . even if he was still alive. I'd want to be here."
She didn't know either. He wasn't certain if that was better or worse. He remembered every word she'd said to him that night in the throne room. Telling him that she loved him. That he was everything to her. Yet, telling him that he had been overwhelmed when seeing Lancelot was alive. It wasn't until she spoke of how even if Lancelot was alive . . . she'd still want to be here with him. Was it true? Arthur trusted her, wanted to believe it and if she said it . . . then surely, it must be true. Yet, he could not help but think. Think of all the potential what if scenarios. What if Lancelot had never left. What if he had not taken his own life.
"You would?" He asked softly. He paused for a moment, needing to clarify. "I do not doubt your love for me Guinevère," he began. He knew that much. That she loved him. Such emotions could not be faked. But he had just believed . . . she loved another above him. "But I had found myself thinking . . . what if he never left after escaping Hengist? Or what if . . . when I had banished him, he too left." With her. What would have happened? Would nothing have happened between them? Arthur knew he would have banished Lancelot rather than execute him. He could not kill a friend, no matter what they had done to him. Speaking these questions, made him realize just how strongly he had been carrying them in the time that she was gone. Have set them deep to rest, until now.
My name is Catherine by the way; Call me Kate. *Smiles* You're lucky to have your mother, I ... wish I had at least someone I can talk to, You know? At least i have Arthur. *sits by the window and looks out*
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