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Nov 30 2016, 11:30 AM
466 AD, September
Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Others;
The Affair – Chapter 8, Part 1:
Life could not have been more pleasurable with Guinevere. She was pleasant to be around, serviant to Arthur in most ways, excellent in bed, and commanding at Court, as the Governess… But the Saxon bandits began to sack northern Briton villages again. Arthur and his Knights had begun to spend more time at the Round Table planning and devising the downfall of Saxon aggression; whilst Guinevere spent her time, not doing womanly duties about their quarters, but managing the overall affairs of the castle.One evening… nay early morn… whilst the pair enjoyed some light pillowtalk, Arthur smiles, his hand caresses her face and speaks softly… “M’Love, is the Xiomara still active, or have the women all married and having babies?”As wife, Guinevere was finding herself falling into a pattern where she pleased her husband well and learned how to be happy. Her training with the Xiomara had become limited as well as her natural spirit for rebellious freedom. Yet, this devotion to court and city life would only last for so long before that other side of her reappeared. When it came to dealing with the populous, she was somewhat viewed as young, arrogant and naive. Somehow, this wasn't what she'd been expecting. To be looked upon as a constant symbol of peace, unity and security. For a time it boosted her ego but as of late she was inwardly feeling a bit uncomfortable and yes, insecure. But she did her best to hide it from her ever loving husband.
Now lain at his side her legs curled forward underneath the tangled bedding so that she was staring up at him from a near upside down angle. His question drew a small smile at the mere thought. "I'm more than certain that the Xiomara is. Some may have married… It is natural to wish for a family in time." Solid shoulders rolled up into a casual shrug. Honestly, she didn't know what the Xiomara had been up to. As unlikely as it sounded, some may might have wed and carried weight of a child by now. Yet this made her wonder; made her regret that she was so ignorant to her own people's lives.Arthur rolled to his back. “I know not the Xiomara…” then his head rolled to the side looking at her. “My beloved Guinevere… would you, as the governess of this new land, go to Segedunum… Lancelot is stationed there… Try to convince the people, and the Xiomara, in the area it would be wise to support his efforts there.” He shakes his head a bit. “I know they trust not the Romans that support Lancelot cavalry, but we need our infantry strengthened… and they do not consider themselves Romans any longer, as they have remained when they could have left, and have sworn their allegiance to Briton…”
Arthur smiled and looked to Guinevere… He loved her… she was good for him… and he trusted Lancelot with his life… How could life be so cruel as to what would occur in the near future…, though none would ever dream such an atrocity COULD occur??
Nov 30 2016, 11:12 AM
The Marriage of Guinevere and Arthur – Chapter 7
466 A.D, Martius ~ Stonehenge, Beyond Hadrian’s Wall
Arthur, Guinevere, Alison, Merlin and Others;
Upon the 3rd day of Martius, All Roman governmental influence has vanished from Britannia and the people shall be united as one nation under a Council, with Arthur named Governor of Briton… and soon he would be married to Guinevere.
The winter snows had gone, melted away… The birds and animals come from their hibernation to welcome the next cycle of life, now taking its turn. From the dark skies, now come the rains… once more cleansing the land of last fall’s bloodshed. And in the land of Arthur, Guinevere, Merlin, Alison, Lancelot, and the Knights, peace reigns… Arthur and Guinevere have formed a relationship that would appear steadfast and true… and the two of them, along with Merlin, Alison, Gawain, and Lancelot, have been instrumental in talks of accord, attempting to unite the people.…
And now the agreements and concessions had been agreed to in order to move forward, Merlin, the shaman and designated representative, was atop the Stone and was speaking to his people about the accomplishments in solidarity of the Picts, Caledonians, and western tribes into one nation against their enemy… and now, upon the accomplishments of Arthur forming one nation of the Briton against the Saxon invaders…
Merlin’s speech to the Pict Nation was powerful, though Arthur and his knights not fully understanding the language, could only imagine what Merlin spoke of. Until Merlin, surprisingly, began to articulate the same speech in the language of the Briton, leaving them in dismay, and looking at one another. Once more, Arthur would scan the crowd, and with only a slight turn of his head he could see Picts and other indigenous tribes, Britons, Romans, Sarmatians, all gathered in one place where the erect stones formed a circle to hear an odd looking man… There were familiar faces, and faces of unknowns… men and women, and children intermingled within… all listening to Merlin.
He would take Guinevere’s hand and smile… their days of hiding their relationship, now revealed to all…
The befallen rain was perhaps an omen to the days of tribulation that was still yet upon the horizon for them all. Upon this particular occasion there within the heartland of the rocky terrain of towering relic, Arthur prepared to dedicate himself onto the young Guinevere. They listened carefully as Merlin spoke his motivating speech... Empowering the charge that would convince their kind to honor and respect this relationship…
Standing before Merlin, Arthur held Guinevere’s hand as the shaman spoke words for the coming future of the land… and focusing on what Merlin was saying, did not stop Arthur from noticing the looks upon the people’s faces. He smiled, then refocused on Merlin.
Intermingled in the crowd were Arthur's great knights… Lancelot, Gawain, Galahad, Bors, Dagonet, Tristan, and Hector… Seven men, those remaining of Arthur’s 200 original Sarmatian knights, men who had already proven themselves to him... And this new nation, new army, new soldiers to battle the invaders. Now came the hour where others were called to the test of loyalty. Who would fail? Who would remain just?
Time would be the verdict. Guinevere’s hand in his, Arthur looked to the crowd… everyone knew they all would be traveling down a new path… but none truly knew the trials upon that path they would be taking. Arthur now remembered the men who could not see this day… and those, seven of them that remained… he smiled, knowing they were true of heart… Then he looked to Lancelot… then to Alison, the reason unknown; and his jaw shifted a bit.Merlin, a revered man among all the people, now held attention of all present in representing them with two intent upon marriage. A marriage sealing the fate of Britannia. The Shaman waved the odd item in his hand, as if to bless the goblet, and then handed it to Guinevere.Guinevere felt the warmth of Arthur's calloused hand upon the smaller surface of her own and, with a soft breath, her dark eyes reluctantly pulled from the protection of her father to observe Arthur, the man she loved. Much smaller in height in comparison to the others she reared up her face and forced a light smile at the corners of her mouth. However the beckoning capture of her sister, rolled confidence directly out of her. Studying the other woman with hint of uncertainty, a small part of her truly was envious of her half-sister. Alison was more like their father, commanding, unyielding and steadfast. What was she?
Heavy lashes fluttered while snapping herself out of the trance... accepting the cup representing life she would gently take a sip and then offer it up to Arthur. "With my life I vow to thee." Her words were soft and kind… Arthur had refocused on Guinevere as she drank from the cup… then with calloused hands, he gently took the cup from her… his fingers caressing hers as he withdrew the cup from her… and with that charming smile, he took the cup to lips and drank deep. Then looking to her… “With my life, I vow to thee…” And he meant it by showing her in a kiss.Then Merlin took the cup from the man… and spoke loudly, so all could hear. And it was the erect stones that seemed to echo the man’s words, so even all in the back could hear. “Arthur… For years, knights had fought and died for a land not their own. The world we all have known and fought for is ended. Now we must make a new world.”
Merlin paused and looked directly at Arthur, pointing. “That sword you carry, Excalibur, is made of iron from this earth, forged in the fires of Britain. And on that day at Mons Badonicus, all who fought put our lives in service of a greater cause… Freedom…”
He walked past Arthur and Guinevere, looking to Alison then the crowd… “Let every man, woman, child bear witness that from this day all Britons will be united in one common cause.” Then he looked to Arthur… then his daughter. “Arthur… Guinevere... Our people are one. As you are.” Then he stepped to the side and presented the newly married couple to the crowd who began cheering. Arthur held his new bride’s hand… and with his right, he drew the sword the people deemed a symbol, Excalibur, and held it high… and the people cheered. A new Nation was born… a man and woman was chosen to lead it… Soon he and his bride would leave Stonehenge and go to Camelot, their home.
Lancelot was proud to stand near his best friend and Arthur’s beloved bride… and Fate was upon his side to survive such brutal attack upon his body… and though it still pained him, he raised his sword high with the others, maybe even first after Arthur’s. And he looked to Dagonet, Tristan, Gawain, Galahad, and Bors… and he was glad to have the 7 of over 200 knights left to honor Arthur. But as First Knight, he knew it would befall him to train new knights… whether they be Briton, left-over Roman, or remaining Sarmatian… old heritage need not be discussed… and forward would they move as Knights of the Round Table. And last but not least, he would look to Arthur and smile… then to Guinevere, with eyes that yearned for days of old.Standing there alongside her new husband, her right arm instinctively raised by the powerful urge of Arthur as together they raised the mighty sword into the sky. Merlin's words inspired her and actually coaxed thin lips to shift into a slow smile. The gesture almost shy compared to what all knew she was capable of.
|'Let from this day forth all Briton is united in one common cause…'|
When Arthur curled down she lifted upon her toes to softly return his kiss... nuzzling her cheek against the bridge of his nose but, upon rearing back those dark depths simply couldn't resist landing upon Lancelot who stood there at the foreground. Though her facial expression appeared indifferent, the stare she gave was curious and sententious.
"Look at all that you have already achieved, my love" She whispered and then lifted the silk of her gown to step over the stones and follow Arthur toward their new home... To begin her lesson as wife to this great man... He was focused on here for moment… and the crowd the next… He knew beside him was his beloved new bride… the other, his most trusted knight, Lancelot… and together, they would ensure the safety of the new Nation… And at Guinevere’s words, he looked to her once more… “Tis nay I, m’love… tis all of us… and we shall go forth and the land will prosper…” and he guided them to the carriage, for their return to Camelot.While passing Lancelot, she whispered up at her… "I love him…" As if she felt the need to justify herself and her dedication to Arthur. Were the words meant for his ears, or his subconscious mind?? Regardless, Lancelot heard them… and it was painful to the heart… but his brother-in-arms had chosen Guinevere above all others… Did Arthur not know he loved her as well…?? But alas, he was First Knight… and Arthur’s best and most trusted friend… How could he not know… moreso, he would not allow Arthur to be hurt, nor cast doubt upon the land’s new leader. He loved Arthur… and Guinevere… and friends they would remain.
Oct 28 2016, 06:26 PM
Vercovicium, Upon Hadrian’s Wall
Mainly Alison and Arthur; secondly, Guinevere and many others
As time passed, Tristan still walks with a slight limp, and his arm pains him most of the time… And he remains sullen, though the feelings of uselessness have passed… In order to combat the uselessness, Arthur had ordered Tristan to begin instructing new recruits in tracking, scouting, and use of the bow… Not only to replenish his depleted forces, but to keep the Sarmatian scout occupied. And now that tactic had paid off. Tristan was chief of scouts with 10 to lead and train, seven men and three women.
Now, there had been a Council summoned at Hadrian’s Wall between Arthur, his healing knights, Merlin, Guinevere, the Xiomara, and the remaining Pict ruling members. And at this council, Merlin spoke of beginnings, new beginnings that benefited all… Agreements and concessions that would need to be managed, and required uniformity amongst the united peoples of Britannia… And lastly, he would introduce some of the representatives from the Pict Nation… and Arthur would re-introduce his knights, and introduce new members who would represent the Briton… to include former Romans, who pledged loyalty to the new Britannia.
Arthur’s mystic green eyes would look at those present, all had focused in on Merlin as he spoke again…
Alison knew well what was going to happen, that she was to finally going lock eyes with a man born for great destiny and promise. Nervous as she might have been she plastered on a strong and brave mask against the porcelain silk of her visage. Piercing pale green depths leveled upon the towering wall and, as the gates open it was in that single moment her entire world came to a crashing halt. Perhaps Merlin was right in his decision to trust Artorius Castus. Swallowing down a dry lump that manifested itself within the pit of her throat she stood there all and proud. However, her chosen attire was not that of a Woad warrior but that of a fair maid in purple and silver lacing. Black tendrils whipped against the slender curvature of her swan neck and shoulders to frame her image deep within.
The Xiomara stood directly at her father's left while the men lowly spoke. Then, when it was her turn to step into focus she dipped into curtsey and offered Arthur a gentile smile. Regal and poised it seemed almost shocking that she could also be a trained killer. Arthur was quite alluring and she shamelessly maintained her gaze on him.
Each time this woman would look at him, he would smile back. And at one point, Guinevere nudged him, whispering… “Tis my half-sister, Alison…” and she briefly closed her eyes in silent acknowledgement.
She never once questioned nor doubted the cryptic mind that belonged to her father as they had made their way toward Hadrian's Wall. The moment their eyes met something inside of her burned vibrant to life. As if something foreign was born from the ash of despair and uncertainty. Arthur... She had heard his name throughout Briton as if he were a God. Now to find herself directly in his line of view she actually did feel... Small. As if she were inside a dream. His eyes were of steel. Steady and unwavering just as she imagined them to be however it was the hint of equality that beset his features when regarding Merlin that did surprise her. From everything she'd ever known, Roman Commanders were haughty and above the rest... But not him... So then, did he consider himself truly Briton? Never in her lifetime did she believe a man like him existed. But, then again Arthur wasn't just any man. He was to be the unity and the force that would unite them all.
Arthur seemed to veer away from Lancelot and Guinevere to shake hands with Merlin… The negotiations may have seemed seamless and fairly easy, but agreeing on certain things and conceding on others was never easy. And all offered and counter-offered until agreements were formalized. And as the men shook hands, Merlin introduced his daughter… Guinevere’s half-sister… to Arthur.
The man bowed slightly, his green eyes never leaving her… “Well met M’Lady… My sincerest thanks to thy efforts in battle, and in peace…” he stood and faced her and Merlin… “I have dreamed of this the day after the battle… a nation as one, in peace. A home for all who desire peace and freedom…” And Merlin placed a firm hand upon Arthur’s shoulder. “Authur…” he said in his usual manner… “I leave you in good hands…” and the elder man moved away.
"I am very pleased that we finally get to meet, Arthur. Perhaps one day your dream of peace will be observed by all." Rather or not she truly believed such a thing could ever happen her voice was magic… soft and smooth.
Arthur looked back to Guinevere, Lancelot, and the rest of the knights; who gave their approving nods… “M’Lady, Trust in my words when I say I shall make every attempt to secure peace… but alas, the first step has been taken…” he chuckled… “Now tis only to tell the people…” Oddly, it seemed that the pair had started walking and chatting… and soon found themselves away from the Council area.
Haunting pale green depths steadily took note of her half-sister as Guinevere reluctantly allowed Arthur to withdraw himself from her… Council assembled and now she was left to her own defenses in front of the approaching commander. Arthur and his knights had suffered much and it was incredible that they had all survived their injuries. Badon Hill wasn't just like any other battlefield. It was the pledge of new beginnings and promise.
She watched Gawain, Galahad, Bors, Hector, and Tristan for a half-second and then pivoted upon a heel to allow Arthur the rightful claim of her whole attention. "You know you do not need to thank me." she side stepped, tilted her head to the side and began following him along the twisted path; away from the rest of the council. The sway silk of her cloak draped just across the skim of the blades of grass beneath each of their tall forms. "We fight and live for these lands and to secure it from tyranny. Your plight, Arthur is our own" There was command in her gentle voice. She looked up at his side profile. Curiosity dancing itself across her features. "So yes... I do trust you... But more importantly my father believes in you. And..." She chuckled lightly… "So too does my sister."
“M’Lady, there are many to thank… and I shall start with you…” and he offered her a charming smile that tended to smirk a bit. They walked together, the usual thud of his boots softened by the grass… and as she spoke, he twisted his head a bit to get a better look at her. “Yes, I know m’Lady… and I pray that we do not oust one tyrant for another…” he shook his head a bit. “I know not who will lead us as we join together Briton, Pict, and the rest of the Woad Consortium into a new nation… but whomever that person shall be, needs to realize, some of my men are Roman, Briton, and some Sarmatian… all who now vow and affirm their loyalty, and trust, to me, in the hopes of me providing a freedom they could not hope to get should they travel the breadth of the Roman Empire to return to a land they know not.” He chuckled a bit… “Ahhh, trust… such a thing that leadth one to such fates as in the dark corridors of man…”
There was a mysticism about Merlin… and that mysticism intrigued Arthur. It seemed the man knew him far more than realized. And the same air surrounded this woman as well… but she and Guinevere were so different… and so much the same… even to be half-sisters. Arthur thought the Pict ways were odd… particularly regarding family. Family was family, nothing was disregarded… He looked to Alison and smiled… his thoughts were his own.
If he truly wished to thank her than she wouldn't thwart him in his efforts nor would she offend him by mockery. Tall, poised and regal the Xiomara tilted her head while gradually steadying her gaze upon the man beside her. When he twisted in front of her that gown gracefully swayed and settled along the length of her athletic body. Standing there but few inches beneath Arthur. "You, my Lord, have little faith in what you already know to be true." She arched a brow. Forcing him to mill over those few words. "The people have already chosen their Commander... Most possibly, their future King. One who has the fortitude, wisdom, and strength to be so uncommonly selfless that he does understand religion, and customs can be meshed underneath one banner. This man will make us believe again in justice." She took a slow breath. The determination splashed against the contrast of her porcelain visage. Just as beautiful as she was she was equally as fierce. That she did share in common with Guinevere.
He shook his head. “I seek no such crown… I obeyed a man in Rome blindly, just as my faith almost blinded me… I killed those that now are my allies…” he shook his head again. “I had neglected the fact that my Mother was Briton… only seeing the past events that killed her… and enacted vengeance against those actions against my own people.”
"Arthur do not question where others affirm their loyalty. It is free will that binds you to them and for that they live and die accomplished that they assisted one they believe in." Perhaps she spoke to far... That Arthur wouldn't welcome the compliments that she delivered so graciously and quickly.
The Commander looked at the woman… his eyes caught hers… and he remembered where and when he first saw her, there upon the field of battle at Mons Badonicus, and he smiled. “I shall question no one’s loyalty who swears it to the new Nation. All I can do is pray that God allows each man… and woman… the graces of open eyes and guide my efforts toward the best for the people…”
A Crown ???
Arthur canted his head and looked at Alison and smiled… “How does M’Lady fare me as King?” and faced her. “Does M’Lady think I could lead a nation equally in Peace as well as War? Of which it may take both… or would the people be bored with me and eventually rebel?”
Though she knew he would deny the claim for the crown, however that was not hers to grant him anyway. Yet his selflessness was appealing and won him the whole of her attention. Searching him with those passionate depths of her eyes. "Leave the past exactly where it's meant to be set, Arthur and have pride that your former enemy ally as friend. That they have proven themselves worthy of your grace." She tilted her head to the side when he smiled. Oddly enough, her hand took his and unintentionally her thumbs affectionately stroked the hard base of his knuckles. Adoring his flesh with a lover's hold. "I fare you very well as King..."
And he looked to their hands, and smiled. He did not pull his hand free, but made no reaction to it.
"I believe you could lead a nation in both war and peace very well. You are a man of equality and the people will love you for it. But... if some ever did get bored... At least you should be confident that you are able to squelch raids without fail and quickly." After it was said she pulled up his right hand and pressed her lips to the back of his hand. "I could never be bored with you... "
He had just met her, yet she made a bold advance… and there, mere meters from them, Lancelot, his best friend and First Knight, stood beside Guinevere before Merlin and the Pict Council. With a glance at them, then back to her; he smiled… “I thank thee M’Lady… your kind words provide me hope, that one day, our new freedom shall become a mainstay for the future…”
"Let us hope that your strength shall be recognized one day to the world." Her words were lighter now as she relinquished his captured hand.
Her blank expression caught him by surprise as he looked back to her. Alison apparently favored her mother more than anyone, as he would not even presumed she and Merlin were related, even as they are. His strength? And with that said he smiled to her, a form of appreciation not often proffered… and she withdrew her hand…
And now she was to rejoin the others… “Yes M’Lady… tis well met between us… I too pray our paths cross again…” And he watched her walk away... He would remain where he was, looking out toward the stars as they became more visible… “Yes, dear God, show me the path I am to take…”
Oct 28 2016, 03:46 PM
There was a fortress centered upon the vast Somerset plains of Britannia, nestled between the two great forests, Ceredrell on the northeast and Avon-on-the-Strafford to the southwest. The great stone structure, built by the Romans between 375 to 410 A.D, was strategically situated upon a hill so they could control the southern lowlands of the Isle.
After the Romans left Britain a country divided and invaded by Saxon, Cerdic, and his son Cynric, invaded from the north and sought to own all the land south to the Wall. There, they met with Arthur and his Knights in twelve engagements. Meanwhile, to the south there were conclaves that began to spring up… of Saxon seeking peaceful residence.
The Romans had named their fortress, Ad Vallum, but the Britons had their own name for the hill upon which it stood… which was Camelon, or Camelot, an ancient name because of its very composition, ‘Cam’ being ancient Breton for “crooked”.
The fortress walls rise 250 feet above the surrounding land; the summit fortifications are some 3,600 feet in circumference. It has a number of large buildings, the largest structure, a rectangular hall, some 80 feet long and 40 feet wide. It is considerable in architecture and attractive to behold, especially when the red sunlight strikes the walls.
This impressive fortress was the most strategic in the plains of Britannia, and part of Arthur’s plan was the necessity in Gawain and his forces occupying it as a base and using it as a springboard when they conducted campaigns against neighboring foes.
As time passed, Merlin’s imposition of Arthur as Commander of all forces and Governor of Britain, intent on the Commander becoming King; Gawain and a force of 40 took control of the fortress and re-fortified Camelot in preparation of Arthur occupying it. With 150 workers, the walls were reinforced, quarters finished, and the rectangular hall was soon designated as the feasting hall. There, in a cordoned area of the great hall, sits Arthur's infamous Round Table; the other side of the Great Hall awaits matters of state and merriment, intrigue and excitement.
In Arthur’s name, Gawain was commander of Camelot until his Lord and friend could occupy it.
Oct 28 2016, 03:30 PM
To the HallHe smiled at her as they walked from the infirmary… the reason would be unknown to her… but to him, he would enjoy their time together. Arthur was not shy when it came to the female gender… but this woman… she was different… and he was attracted…
As far as Lancelot was concerned she rolled her eyes as he began his flirtation with the care taker. A little jealousy panged within her mind and she would choose to ignore it. If he wished to flirt with others that-- was none of her concern right? She was perhaps a little knowing of how the First Knight was in all honesty, since her arm would slip into Arthur’s, allowing him to guide the way. Also giving them the opportunity to touch, however brief and light the touch might have been. Giving him the softest of smile as she looked to him.
The walk was slow, calculated, and enjoyable. Their walk was accompanied by small talk… nothing of importance… nothing about themselves… Could these two actually say what, and how, they feel? Was Arthur so blind to the ways of personal life, or was being the Roman Commander of the Sarmatian Cavalry all too consumptive? He smiled at Guinevere as they entered the dining hall… On the far side of the room, stood Bors, who nudged his fellow knights. The whispers between them unheard by Arthur or Guinevere.
"Mayhap you would like to go ridin’ with me in the future. The land has many attributes I'm sure you will find lovely." She said this right before they went into the dining hall. Almost as if she could tease him with the prospect of spending time alone with her. Her eyes would shift to gaze upon the other knights and she offered them one of her gentlest smiles. Indeed for someone who could best most here with her skills in weaponry, she could at least ... look the part of a lady when she so desired it.
In the months since the dungeon, he had seen this woman come and go in the fort, and even since the battle of the Mons, she had tended the wounded, filled water barrels, and emptied human waste cisterns… and yet, she had always offered him a smile when they crossed paths… and this was the first time he had given her even a moment of his time… and guilt seemed to envelope his body and mind… especially when her arm seemed to snake about his… and his automatic manly guidance of their path when his elbow tucked to his side as her hand settled upon his arm.
It was only when they neared the door of the dining hall, that he looked closely at her… to see the dark of her hair and the true glint of her brown eyes… His free hand reaching out to pull open the door… and all the worries of command seem to filter away… and he offered her a proper smile, not one of protocol, but of emotion…
“Riding with you…? That would be grand M’Lady…” as he held open the door for her… and added a slight bow and sweep of the hand… “After you…” He had seen the land… and what he had seen was beautiful… except danger lurked at every valley, open area, and dale… As they walked into the dining hall, all eyes were upon them… but their attention was upon one another… for now.
Lancelot was a flirt, and while some women might acknowledge his efforts for attention by getting visibly jealous--that first bit of annoyance was all he would be able to claim, and it certainly wasn't enough to prove she had feelings for him. Though it was quite possible that with his flirtations to the other woman he had just pressed her attention closer to Arthur.
"I look forward to it." She said in a soft tone, meant to escape the ears of the others as she looked to him. The lowering of her voice was almost suggestive in a manner, but the expression on her soft features was far from it. She looked rather angelic at times-- as if she had no impure thought in her mind at any time. Perhaps he was just imagining that her voice for those few words had become almost sultry.
She would be the first to admit that this experience had not been the most enjoyable, from being put into that prison to rot, to now feeling at times like nursemaid--she had her fair share of tasks that were less than lady-like. Let us not forget those instances where she fought alongside the men. Indeed she had done her utmost to repay the men for saving her life. While Arthur hadn't paid much attention to her, she still found that on occasion she was attracted to the slivers of emotion he showed. While she hadn't really gained his attention much before this moment, she was eager to learn more about him if time remained on their side.
For now she would play the part of his lady companion. Within the dining hall she was quiet, graceful, and gentle. When she did have to speak. Her laugh was light, and her posture perfect, as was proper for a lady. While she was far from raised in a proper environment, and had a will that was stronger than most men at times, it seemed she rather easily could put on an air of femininity that, without her knowing it, resembled that of a proper lady of Rome.
What she thought polite, others might see as proper. However she was not as frigid as man thought. At one point in the meal her hand reached to touch Arthur’s arm again, as her eyes lifted to find his. Her expression was encouraging in a manner. With that soft smile she told him she was enjoying herself, and with her gentle touch she silently tried to remind that he should be enjoying himself as well. It was all too often he allowed himself to become serious and dark when in the presence of a crowd. She surmised if left to his own thoughts, his mind would surely leave the spirited room and go deep within some unknown cavern of thought.
He had always been jealous of Lancelot… for he was more of a free soul. Though the man was considered a slave by Roman standards, Arthur thought the man was often freer than he. His outlook on life seemed brighter. What he did not know was Lancelot was dark inside… often pushed to the brink of no return.
He escorted Guinevere into the Hall… and all eyes were upon them… and she handled herself much better than he, or anyone else, would have expected. In the mix of Roman and Briton, it was easy for the arrogance to consider her the Cavalry Commander’s wench, instead of his guest. Stride for stride, the pair walked slowly across the floor, to take the place at the table. Servants rushed around placing food strategically on the table… others poured wine in routine, or at the behest of an empty goblet.
With a nod and a smile, he greeted person after person until he helped Guinevere into a chair, then sat beside her. Who knew, in less than 5 years, they would again sit at the very table again… as King and Queen of a new Nation ?? !!
As he sat down, he leaned to her, taking her hand and whispering… “Are you nervous?” Then he smiled and kissed her hand… and leaned back as if nothing had happened.
“Hear ye Hear ye…” as he stood up, banging his dagger to the brass goblet… “Old friends… New friends… Comrades… brothers at arms…” He looked around the room at the people gathered. “We have been thru much together… and as a new neighbors, with the passing of Rome from our midst… we forge ahead on our own legs… under our own standard… No longer bound to the Eagle…”
Again he looked upon those present… especially to Bors and Galahad, his most outspoken ones… “In the days ahead, I shall meet with Merlin… to propose a lifetime accord between our people… then I shall meet with the Saxon King, Cedric, and ask for his treaty…” and he watched the reactions…
Arthur continued to talk about the future… No one wanted to discuss the twelve battles… nor the victory at Mons Badonicus… No one knew the future… But Arthur had a vision for the future… They had land… they had food and water… they had one another… but most of all, they had their freedom… and everyone… even down to the last man, woman, and youth… was ready to die for their freedom. Such a power that is… and Arthur knew it… This was their future…
“M’Lords… M’Ladies… I shant keep thee longer… Eat… Drink…” Then he sat down, taking her hand once more, kissing the back again. He smiled, released her hand, visually bidding her to partake in the meal.