His answer, spoken in the tone she loved so well, made her heart flutter. "Have I ever been too tired?" And her muscles in her belly, and lower, tighten from an anticipation she'd not felt in so very long. His voice alone had that much power over her, even after him being gone for so long. It was comforting, and edgy in the way that her body knew his voice. Responded to his timber without a touch--but he did touch her.
Slowly, almost too slowly for she wanted to feel him, he lowered his head. Guinevère would not rush this moment, even as her blood moved quicker. She wanted to savor it. The light kiss, the taste of him on her lips. Her hands left their work, letting it fall to the ground as her hands lifted to cup his jawline--which was still as dramatic as ever--and frame his face as the kiss deepened.
She wanted to feel him, to smell him, and taste him. Yet she didn't want to break this moment for anything. She tasted him, and he tasted as she knew, and yet better then before. His lips were still firm and soft all in the same moment, tasting her and kissing her. Arthur always did know how to kiss her, and knowing that memory was true made her smile slightly int he kiss. She was happy. So very happy in this moment! The kind of happy that she was afraid to loss.
"And I with you," He pulled back and Guinevère looked up at him, HIM, her husband. She had been in so much shock this day she wasn't sure that she'd even fully realized all the remifcations of Arthur being back. And he was back. The rest could be dealt with on the morrow. Tonight he wasn't a king. He was her husband--and her husband was back. After so many night alone. After looking at his empty pillow and feeling so overwhelmed, and as if apart of her was missing--he was before her. . . . . in chainmail.
"I have been in this chainmail for far too long." He he worn it all this time? Did he remember what death was like? They'd said so little, and she wanted to say so much. Wanted to ask so many things, but wanted to forget them too. "And I seem to remember, rules against wearing it in the bedroom." The words left her, and a smile touched her lips in the same moment a tear rolled down her cheek from all the emotion his light jest had brought on. Her rule. The one she'd playfully given him but enforced none the less. Chainmail didn't belong int he bed room. She liked his skin. "I thought it bad form to scold you so soon." She teased him, though her voice was breathless, a she was still adjusting.
Yet, a smile still lingered on her lips. Reaching up to his shoulder she unfastened the breast plate, and then her hands lowered to his belt, getting him remove the plate as she did the belt. "If you are tired," she began, knowing he came from .. . . . knowing he had just returned from the after life only to see a war ranging in his childhood home. The end up fighting for his kingdom, as if the last war that he fought in hadn't been enough. The words went unfinished, but she knew that if he was then she'd hold him. If he wasn't . . . she needed to feel more. Wanted to feel his kiss. Wanted to feel his touch. Wanted to feel that he was alive.
She was just walking out of Morgana's when she heard her name. She knew the voice that said it too, for she'd heard it before. The prince. Pausing quickly, she smiled friendly and gave a small bow. "My lord," she greeted in return, assuming he was not just saying hello. She looked at him to find out what he wanted. While she was Morgana's maid it was not uncommon for other nobles to ask for things. Besides, Morgana often had nightmares, and it was common of the king to ask about them.
When they'd first addressed her year ago, she'd been nervous and a little intimidated. Yet over time she had learned not to fear their daily presence. At least before Uther began his mad hunt. Before the kingdom had gone from a place of wonder--to a place where any could be killed without much prove. She thought again of the black knight, and had to fight not to smile. People like him made such a difference. She thought of the prince. He sometimes spoke to his father with reason, but always followed orders. Did he believe in this? Would anything be different if it was he who was king? She didn't know him well enough to assume either way, and she would NEVER be so bold as to ask.
Definitely a man. His voice proved it. Guinevère felt a slow smile touch her lips when he spoke, and she nodded her head. Yes, she needed to go. Yet she stood there for another moment watching him. The knight! The black knight! The man who was trying to save the people of Camelot from the king. "Good night," she said, more to be polite rather then to linger another moment. The sounds of marching in the distance, not even close made her look away and then back at him. With a another smile she turned and hurried home!
Apart of her wanted to tell everyone, but a larger part--the part that was louder--wanted to tell no one! She made it home without meeting anyone else and hurried to bed! That morning, her mood was brighter. She carried flowers into the castle, and smile at everyone. Not unlike her normal self, but today she had this feeling in her chest. As if the world was so lost from hope. There were still good men in the world.
Pausing to pick up Morgana's breakfast, Guinevère carried the try up to the royal floor. Her flowers were balanced on the tray, and she couldn't wait to give them to her friend.
Guinevère took a small half step toward him as he watched her. Even in the darkness she felt exposed. While she knew he was the same, someone had just seen her betray the king. Yet, she didn't regret helping--what little she did help. It had felt good. Right in a way not much had in the last year. He pointed for her to go back into the city, and she took another step. She didn't know what she hesitated, but she did. Finally she took a few more, and few more after that until slowly she approached him.
Her eyes dropped to the guard on the ground and then back to him. She almost walked past him, staying close to the shadows so no one would see her. Yet just as she pasted him, without thinking about her actions she paused and looked back at him. "Thank you," She told him, her voice almost a whisper in the chilly night. As if she didn't want others to hear. Or maybe she was still afraid. "Not just for tonight. For . . . for all the nights." That sounded a little . . . she had just thanked a man for the nights.
"For your help with the good people. The man you helped tonight. He fled the city a long time ago, but he came back for his daughter. You made sure they get to live." For some reason it felt important to tell him that. That he had helped a father, and a daughter. As a girl who only had her father, she could imagine what would have happened if they'd been caught. "You're an honorable man. Thank you." She turned to leave but then turned back, "Or an honorable woman!" She joked, her voice whispering slightly louder. Morgana was a skilled fighter, but there was a difference. She'd watched Elyan train. Seen the knights fight. This was a man. He was skilled in a way that said he trained hard, every day for this. "Not that I think you're a woman. I just didn't want to assume." She spoke a little faster, trying to explain her poor jest. It was leading into a slight ramble. "Not that there is anything wrong with being a woman! If you are. But my father's a blacksmith . . . so I think you're not." Closing her eyes she cringed. STOP. TALKING. GWEN!
For a moment in that dark street, Guinevère feared life as she knew it would be over. Even outside the gates they were be chased, hunted. She might never see her father again. Knowing this was the fear that so many lived in now was devastating, and she knew she only had but a taste of it.
Then, like she'd dreamed so many times before, he showed up! He gave a bag to Aryn, but Guinevère could only stand and stare at him. Aryn whispered to her, words she didn't quite catch--A plea to leave? a thank you?--before he ran off. Guinevère could only stand in the darkness and watch as the knight stood his ground. She should be afraid. Moments ago she had been, and yet . . . he was here.
Her heart beat wildly, and her eyes were wide as she watched them engage! She realized she was still afraid but not int he same moment. They fought, and it was clear that the knight was both more skilled them they were; and making sure not to kill. For a moment, she thought one of the guards were bout to deal a lucky blow and stab the knight! The breath caught her lungs as she almost cried out a warning . . . only it was unneeded. As if he knew, or expected it, the knight was able to prevent it.
And then, finally, all was still. She stood there in the chilly night, watching him. After a long silent moment, she stepped closer, but wasn't sure what to say. "Thank you," seemed the more important one.
Guinevère bid Lady Morgana good night, and began to walk home. The walk through the castle was always one filled with a few pauses to wish other's a good night and see how their day was. It was always dark when Guinevère headed home. So her night began as any other would. Leaving the castle she tightened her clock against the slight chill chill in hte air, and quickened her step.
When she arrived in the lower towns her eyes were alert for any one near by. While safe as the kingdom was, there was always a risk of danger wherever you went. Thankfully she's never been bothered, but that wasn't the only reason she looked out. There was always the change--no matter how small--that it would not be danger int he darkness, but THE knight. She'd never seen him before, but she always looked.
Tonight however, she came across another in the darkness. "Aryn?" She asked softly, as a man she'd not seen in many months stood there. He looked scared. She paused there, watching him as he hugged a small child to him. She knew he left the city shortly after the king began, and she'd always wondered why. Now she began to see. He had magic. 'Please, Gwen.' he begged, 'Say nothing that you saw us.' She had heard he left his wife behind; just as she heard sickness had taken her life. He was clearly only here to take his daughter away. She she would not be an orphan.
Guinevère shook her head, in a silent promise to say nothing. He hugged the girl closer to him, and she looked down the way. Guards. They seemed to be walking away. She looked back at Aryn and shook her head slowly again. Don't come out of the darkness, she hoped he could understand. He nodded and hugged back into the wall.
Guinevère reached up for her red cloak and pulled it from her. Slowly, keeping her eyes on the guards who were (VERY SLOWLY) walking away she approached. Handing the girl her clock, Guinevère looked up at the father. "I wish it were more." It would help keep the girl warm. 'Thank you, Gwen.'
Before she could say anything more, a voice rose up! THEY WERE SEEN! The guards were not running toward them! "RUN!" She called, knowing that if they got close enough to make her out face she would be put to death for aiding them. Guinevère turned and ran as well!
Camelot had once been a home that welcomed all. When Gwen was a girl, magic was welcomed and embarrassed by many. It was also feared, but not so much that people didn't often turn to it for help. While most used it to help make their lives easier, or to get something they wanted; there were the few that used it for darkness. Still, it was welcomed. The king and Queen of Camelot, along with the son, had built the kingdom into the riches kingdom in Albion. People came from places Gwen had never heard of before to sell and trade. Merchants, black smiths, bakers, farmers, traders, and magic users all came to this golden city to seek what their hearts wanted.
But nothing lasted forever. The beloved Queen was killed, and magic was to blame. Gwen, who was the handmaiden of the king'd beloved ward, wasn't sure what had went wrong. One morning the golden kingdom was a pillar of hope for young men and women seeking their futures; either in love or coin or fame. The following day the Queen was dead, and by nightfall . . .
By night fall the king was hunting down any who used magic. He didn't stop to question who used it, or why they were used it. He declared magic illegal and punishable by death. If the king and his men even thought you were using magic, hiding someone who used magic, or were a Druid then they were killed. It had been just over a year since the purge started, and many lived in fear.
Yet, there was hope. As the anniversary had approached to the date the purge began, a hero for the people came. Protecting the innocent. Helping some escape when needed. Fighting the guard when needed. They called him the Black Knight, because his armor was all black. None had seen this before. The colored helped him hide in the darkness. Even when he came in the daylight, he was more skilled then any of the king's nights.
Guinevère, the personal handmaiden to the woman that many assumed would be the next Queen of Camelot, was fascinated by this dark hero. She knew that if he was caught then he would be killed, and she always prayed he'd live. Morgana enjoyed the stories as well, but both were wise enough to keep it to themselves. If Uther Pendragon, or his son Arthur Pendragon ever found out, it could cause them both un-needed trouble. Instead, Guinevère often walked home at night with her eyes wide. She didn't believe in the mad hunting of so many. She wished she had more power to help.
Arthur took her hands when she reached for his, and Guinevère was captivated by his words. He spoke of this being a second chance for them, and she felt an emotion that had been dormant for so long begin to warm her. Hope. She felt hope, and like a fire she begin to feel it spread in her. It was just how it had happened with the people outside tonight. One moment they had their backs to a wall, fighting only to live long enough to give others a chance to escape--and suddenly . . . they fought for something more. Arthur had long since fought for the people, even as a prince he had. The people had looked to Arthur for so long, and for his candor, grace under fire, and a fair justice that didn't hold Uther's fear and hate; or Morgana's blindness and bitterness. Seeing him there that given the people hope--just as he as a husband now gave her hope as a wife.
He spoke of growing old, and . . . and? And a baby. Guinevère closed her eyes, too over come to keep them open as he spoke of a baby. Something she still feared she'd never be able to give him. Opening them, she blinked back the slight sting of tears, as she smiled up at him. "I want nothing more, then a life time as your wife!" She told him, stepping in to hug him (and hating that she still could not feel his body under the chainmail).
She could not say that she always saw him as something more then a prince, but she had always seen him as more then a king. Since Eldor, since that day she held his hand when she feared the prince she should not care for was dying, since he first kissed her. She had seen him as a man before a royal. When she spoke now, it was to a man--a husband--more then a king. "It's what I have always wanted, to be by your side. I was grateful for the time we had . . . but loosing you . . . I am still afraid that isn't . . . " He would understand. Her voice broke over the words, but Arthur had always known her. Reaching up to her toes, she rested her face against his. "But I will cherish every moment you are here, and I plan to waste not one of them. Be it tonight, or a life time. I want to be with you." As a wife. In a wife way.
He lifted her, and her thin clothes did nothing to hide the heat or hardness from her. They could ill afford to undress, since there was a growing chance of being found the longer they were here. She knew they would need to be creative. His strength was holding her up, and she hated that she liked that. That it made her wetter. She'd not lied when she said that she'd never done this. Her fingers went to his trousers, as she unlaced them.
She had once been the girl who brought flowers to others. Now she was the girl who let someone other then her husband take her in a dimly lit hall, because she wanted to feel something. It should brother her that a killer made her feel this. Perhaps it was a sign that she was becoming more like this place? That thought, the thought that maybe after being here for many years that she was becoming more like this place was frightening---almost as frightening as the idea that it wasn't her becoming more like this place. That it was him.
He kissed her, and Guinevère embraced the kiss. She had been honest when she said hat she'd never done this before, because she never wanted too. She'd never wanted to be with anyone either, and yet with Arthur things were different. They shouldn't be, and she shouldn't want them to be, but they were. She wanted his touch, and his kiss. Yes, she wanted freedom--and she would still try for it, but she wanted these memories of passion. She wanted to know there was more tot he world then Helios.
Her hand lifted to grab his ribs, and pull him toward her as she kissed his mouth. She tasted him, and used her tongue to explore his taste. The feeling of being int he hall, even at night, made everything seem stronger. Every sound she heard seemed echo in her brain, every gasp for air between kissing was so loud she was surprised the whole army didn't arise and come up to see! Her hand lifted to tangle in his hair, and glanced behind him before getting lost in his kiss.
Did she favor such things? Guinevère looked into his eyes, and for some reason only not noticed how bright they were. Even here in the darken hall she could see it. Did she favor such things. "I would not know," she admitted, only since he admitted that had been his first bath. "I have never done such a thing." In a hallway, in the middle of the night. She knew this had been part of her escape, but as she thought moments ago . . . . staying was going to kill her and she would take her pleasures were she could before then.
She knew admitting to it gave him a power over her, but he had admitted to never been in a bath before. She saw it as fair play in a way. What did she want? Freedom. Though wanting him was in her too. Her eyes drifted to his lips, and she waited to see if he would kiss her, or drag her back to the room. "What do you want?" she turned his question to him, "Or does that matter little too?" His words back at him. The slightest hint that she was still sore for his lack of an answer. One she didn't even realize she'd given him.
He wanted to go back to the room. Guinevère knew that was the safer place, but at the same time she was out of that room and wouldn't go back right away. If he pressed, she would follow, but the idea of freedom was heavy and she rather linger out side int he halls for a while. Her time with Helios meant she could only go to places he allowed. She could leave the room when he was with her, and go to allowed places. She didn't have free reign. It was why she didn't often meet his men.
As far as going out of the walls here, she'd not been in three years. The garden, yes, but not on a journey. Not since the the baby. His hands held her's still and she tucked her fingers in his trousers and pulled him toward her knowing he had to let her since he was stronger. Her back touched the wall behind her. "Not here?" Her fingers toyed with the ties there.
He knocked the sword away and she lifted it back, falling into form. "I have no fear of hurting myself." She knew how to handle the sword, if she hurt was injured it would be from the fighting. Yet, fighting him wasn't what she wanted so she instead stepped closer, letting the sword fall to her side. "Do you not like the sight of me in your clothes?" She asked, trying to keep his attention on her.
Dropping the sword, since she had no need of it here, she reached up to slide her hands up under his shirt. She could feel this was different. Could feel the tense feeling coming off him. She feared he would not lower his guard enough for there to be another attempt. Her fingers moved up over his belly, before falling back down to toy with the top of his trousers. "Your clothes cover me far more then mine did . . . Do perher me in only that?" Like Helios, who kept her on display for him.
He didn't enagage in her play, and she knew that he was warry of her. This would make things harder, but more pressing was that she NEEDED him not to tell this to Heios! She knew it would be her life if she did! Yet, she could not just ask it of him. It would give him too much power. He pulled his dagger, and she knew he wouldn't harm her--yet she wondered why that was there. Would he harm her? Should she be worried?
"If you want your sword," she told him, drawing it out and 'playfully' pointing it at him. "Come and take it." She couldn't best him. He was too used to killing, and she'd never taken a life--yet she wasn't the girl who knew nothing. She was the daughter of a blacksmith, and her brother had been obsessed with the sword. She knew enough to surprise him.
"Or yield to me, and come and take me." Yes, something to distract him and . . . prove her lie was true. Yet, also . . . not something un wanted. She was trapped in this place now. She'd take her pleasure were she could.
Yeess! It was working! She would be walking out of here soon! She dared not let her hopes get up, for there were many men down below! Men who would love to earn favor by bring her back. She had to stay hidden and safe! She needed to stay away from the others. Did she hear the fat thud of boots behind her? Her heart started beating harder, as she hurried toward the door to what once might have been a garden, but was not a tangled web of dried and unkempt plants. She could disappear there. She was there, with in grasp of the door when her cloak tightened on her neck and jerked her back slightly!
Noooo! For a second, she thought it caught but even before she could look she hear the voice. His voice. Jailer. Her eyes stayed ahead on the door for a moment, her escape so close she could touch it. A single tear fell over her cheek as the hope faded. "I wondered if you'd follow me," she said, still looking at the door. Her escape. The cause that was lost to her right now. She had to pretend this was a game. She had to make him think she was trying to do nothing more then toy with him. "Your job was to guard me and I find you sleeping." As she told him too.
Reaching up to untie her cloak, she use them motion to wipe her cheek; and then let it fall. Turning toward him, she kept her voice light; as if this was nothing more then a game. "I am the guard now." She told him, adjusting his vest, and then resting her hand over his weapon that she stole. "And I will show you how it's done properly."
She waited hours. She pretended to sleep, and tried to think; and trying not to think at the same time. Soon she'd make her escape, but . . . what would be the cost to him? She could not let it stall her actions. He'd made his choice when he embraced the killing. Then, it had been his first bath. The what if almost made her second think her plan, but the idea of another month here or another year here was unbearable. She'd die. By giving up or by her own hand. She wouldn't make.
Finally she opened her eyes and just laid there as if waking up. She looked at him for what felt like forever to see if he would twice or wake up. Finally she sat up and walked to the changing screen. After silently dressing int he dark she walked out and looked at him again. Moving over to the wall by the window, she pulled out one of the loose bricks and pulled out the herb. She used a pluming stone to silently crush it, and then mixed it with wine. She glanced over at Arthur and froze. Had he just moved? After a long moment she relaxed. No. Drinking the wine she hid everything once again. She wasn't sure why, since she was leaving--but she knew there was a risk that this wouldn't work. They've not worked before.
Turning she picked up his vest, the one he used as armor. Sliding it on she then reached for his weapon. with one last look at him she walked to the door, eased it open . . . . and then ran out!
Guinevère moved toward the bed, just as Arthur suggested she sleep. Arthur. It had been 'him' until just recently. It had been just a nameless killer. Maybe tomorrow would break this spell--she'd be able to see him for what he was with the miles that was put between them. "You should as well." She told him, as she crawled into bed wearing only the blanket, letting it stay very wrapped around her.
She knew it would be a few hours before he was sleeping but she was ready to wait it out. The knowledge that she was going to escape brought in an strong awareness of everything in the room. Every sound, and every move he made. She needed to take her herb before going as well. If not then she knew the risk was too great that his seed would take, and she couldn't have a child now. One day, yes. One day maybe a man would make her feel what Arthur did, but he would be a man of honor. A man who fought to protect others, not kill them. A man who would protect her. Someone made up in her mind. She pretended sometimes that he was real, but there was no golden prince coming to save her. If she wanted to live, she needed to save herself. She closed her eyes and thought about what needed to be done, and where she needed to go.
"What does it matter?" What did it matter? What could it matter? Yet she still wanted to know. She wanted to know more about him, and it bothered her. Why bother knowing more when shew as leaving? Tonight. Soon! She needed to stop wondering if there was an ounce of something inside him that was . . . what? Savable? "It matters little, I suppose." She whispered almost too soft for him to hear. "I don't think the color suits me," Because there wasn't. She looked down at the blood gift. Taken from a woman he had either killed or taken; meant to make her welcome him when he returned and ease his guilt over their lost child.
Her breathing deepened and quickened over the thought of her son, but thankfully Arthur was moving he would not notice. Pulling the blanket around her she looked back into the flames. No. No one was out there and would save her. If she wanted to live, she'd need to escape. He was still undressed. She needed to act. "That was certainly a good first bath," And quickly. Forcing her voice to be light she spoke without looking at him. "Hang your trousers by the fire and they will dry." She tried, knowing that if he was undressed then it would be easier.
Guinevère stood, and moved deeper into the room and away from the fire and the gift. Let that remove any worry that she'd burn them or something.
Guinevère watched his face and she loved it! She shouldn't but seeing him react to their passions made her feel empowered that his strong man came undone while inside her! Why did he have to me here? Why did he have to be a killer--
Her heart jumped when she realized her thoughts. No. He was always this way. She couldn't pretend he was once a farmer who was trapped in this world like she was. He was someone who liked the killing and was good at it. Pretending and wishing otherwise was foolish. She waned to kiss him, to touch him, and bask in the bath with him. Instead she put her hands on the rim, and pushed up so she could stand. The feeling of him coming out of her made her feel empty. What if he had no experience? A wish. One she could not dwell on.
Cold, and silent she walked quickly away, unsettled. "Enjoy the bath then, since it's your first." She told him, reaching for the blanket. Helios' gift was there. A reminder. Helios would kill them. She needed to leave. Wrapping the blanket around her she turned to walk back to him and toss it in the water; and then moving to sit before the fire. There wasn't much room there, between the fire and the tub, but she could sit to let her hair dry. Her back to him, since she didn't want him to see her face.
Had he ever given a gift to a girl? Is that why he thought she should have it? "You serve the man, but take his wife?" SHe asked without looking at him. "So it is not loyalty that drives you. Is it power then? Or the coin?"
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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