|Help Search Members Calendar Shoutbox|
|Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )||Resend Validation Email|
Posted: Dec 5 2016, 09:54 AM
((The Affair – Chapter 8, ~ Part 1: The Betrayal ~ ))
466 AD, late October
Guinevere, Lancelot, and Others;
Hadrian’s Wall - Vercovicium
The Affair – Chapter 8, Part 2:
To the Fort
The meeting with Alison had been... to say the least, strained. Sisters, by half… same father, different mothers... and vastly different lives. The elder Alison now headed the Xiomara... and the younger Guinevere, the wife of the Commander, the Leader of the Briton. The gulf between sisters was wider than ever, as Guinevere had sought out Alison... bringing with her Arthur’s wish for the Xiomara, to join with Lancelot’s men against the Saxon incursions into the land... for Britain...
Of course, the Picts, the ones who were always of this land... not only native, but tied to the land in spiritual ways that only they understood, were wary, skeptical of the new leader, Arthur... even though he had bound himself to Britain by honor and marriage... and none more so perhaps than Alison of her brother-in-law. Yet, Merlin believed in Arthur... and now so did Guinevere. Alison had agreed to give aid to the Soldiers at Segedunum Fort on the Wall... and Guinevere had left her sister with a look back into the mist... for it seemed the warrioress faded into it.
Now Guinevere rode thru the forest unaccompanied… dressed not as Arthur’s lady and wife... but as herself, as she had been before Arthur... dressed in fighting leathers. The day was chilled, but with no need of a cloak, and she enjoyed the ride to Segedunum to inform Lancelot of the aid that would be joining his patrols in the coming days... the fall leaves blowing about brought mind of snowy days not so far away when Arthur and his knights had rescued her... their trek south to Hadrian’s Wall and Baden Hill. How brightly her husband had shown his honor, his strength, his will. She was captivated by him... he was strength personified. It was a good marriage... and he was a good man... she smiled to herself thinking how only 6 months ago she would have balked at the very idea of belonging to a man... but now she could say she was content.
Two days after leaving Alison and the Xiomara, she came to Segedunum... her horse prancing in annoyance at being held outside the gates until the one in charge could verify the woman’s need to enter... "Tell Sir Lancelot... to come... and invite me in…" she challenged when the sentry would know her name... "Tell him the Archer has arrived…" The joke between them, since she had bested him more than once at that weapon…
So she waited... astride the roan stallion dressed as times of old; her brown leathers hugging her lean body, her hair loose and wild about her shoulders... a crossbow and quiver slung across her back. How surprised would the Dark Knight be to find his healing angel here... in the wilds... away from her husband?
As it were, Lancelot now commanded the soldiers at Segedunum Fort on the Wall...
Roused from bed, Lancelot, slowly rubbed his eyes, and yawn. Reluctantly pulling on his leather boots, then slipping the grayish wool sweater over his head. And lastly, the black leather jacket with silver studlets. His nightly patrol beginning to take its toll. Looking at the Sergeant of the Guard, he snarls… “Who is at the gate this damned early?” Though it was a few hours after sunrise, Lancelot’s timing was a bit off due to his patrol schedule.
“M’Lord… tis a Pict warrioress… she said to tell you the Archer has arrived… and you are to invite her in…”
“Lady Guinevere? Here? What the hell is she doing out here…?” Lancelot responded…his sleepy eyes now opened with vigor.
“THAT was Lady Guinevere? The Governor’s wife?” and the Sergeant swallowed hard, thinking he had made a dire mistake. How could he not known who Lady Guinevere was??? The military man had seen the Lady, when she dressed like a Lady… He knew her not as the warrioress Pict, or daughter of the Great Merlin in her current attire. “My apologies MiLord.”
Lancelot now hurried to better present himself. He could not help but chuckle at the Sergeant. “Yes, she has her ways, Sergeant.” Then he laughed… “Apologize not to me, but to her…” and he offered the man a familiar smirk. “Now on your way… Tell the Commander to open the gate, I am on my way…” And before the man could exit, Lancelot teased him. “Oh yes Amareis, apologize to the Lady when Gaius opens the gate.” He laughed when the man sighed and departed.
Amareis, the Sergeant of the Guard ran back to the gate… only to find that Gaius had already authorized entry for the Lady Guinevere and the pair were talking. In rapid-fire breaths, he informed both the Commander of the Guard and Lady Guinevere that Lancelot was on his way. And in a chuckle, Gaius dismissed the Sergeant… and Amareis apologized quickly and profusely.
Lancelot made his way to the gate, his quarters situated in the rear of the post. The two-room quarters once was a feed storage area, but he had it converted when he gave the old roman officer’s quarters to the Captains of the Fort… a gesture to his men. Thru alleys, and shortcuts past buildings, he finally emerged at the far end of the gate’s open yard. Seeing her, he smiled brightly… and the pair met half-way.
First he stopped a fair distance from her… bowed deeply, and respectfully as a First Knight to the Governess; then took 2 steps forward as they both fell into a friendly embrace. “My Lady… tis grand to see you My Lady… How long have I yearned for the sight of thee.!!” Memories of yesteryear flooded his mind. “You are looking well, My Lady…” He had so many questions…
She had dismounted in the meantime, her horse trailing behind her as she spoke with Gaius, the roan stallion gleamed copper in the sunlight; her smile, however, was even more radiant than the midday sun as her gaze fell on Lancelot… and when he stopped before her she laughed, and ran to him flinging herself into his arms, circling his neck with the enthusiasm of youth… her hands cradling his face as she settled two chaste kisses, one on either side of his face… "There is my dear friend…" she hadn’t realized how much she had missed his warmth, his smile… and his company... "You look so well…" her hands pinched his cheeks tenderly… "I have missed you so…" there was an enthusiasm that was contagious... in her smile and the quiet laugh that tumbled from her lips… "You looked shocked to see me here?" her brows wafted upward in a teasing motion… "I bring you glad tidings…"
None there would flinch, nor remark, nor offer any expression at the pair’s enthusiastic greeting… for it was well-known that Lancelot and Guinevere had become close during his lengthy and arduous recovery after Baden Hill. And since that day both men rescued her, Arthur and Guinevere had fallen in love, and Lancelot being Arthur’s most loyal friend, befriended the Lady Guinevere as well. Assuredly, had it not been Arthur selecting Guinevere to be his choice, Lancelot would charmed the lady toward his persuasion, especially after witnessing her bath in the wagon days after the rescue… witnessing her radiant beauty sans clothing… a sight that burned in his mind still.
“Thank you My Lady… I stay well…” The innocent kisses upon his cheek burned deep. Outwardly, the platonic relationship was stalwart… inwardly, turmoil beset his soul, as he desired Guinevere beyond reason, but alas the loyalty to Arthur was greater. “And I you, My Lady… much more than you know.” … speaking softly regarding them missing one another.
“If I looked a bit shocked, tis good reason, for I never expected you this far north…” he chuckled think about what he would say next… “At least not so soon…” He knew she yearned excitement… And he incorrectly assumed it was the some ten years or so younger than Arthur, that caused the yearning. Still the Dark Knight kept his silence, and his thoughts, to himself.
"You should know well I am never what is expected…" she grinned charmingly up at him, what change had come over her, since leaving the walls of Camelot, walls that held her bound to the ways of a Lady, and not any Lady but Arthur’s Lady... the Governor’s wife... she had no real identity of her own... she belonged to Camelot, to Britain and to Arthur... but what of herself… her dreams and passions...? She had not realized how much she chafed at the containment... until she was free of it… free to be at one with herself, the land.. the forest... free from Camelot... and Arthur. The thought caused a blush to fall over her cheeks, a feeling of guilt just at the thought… He was her husband and she loved him... she reminded herself, inwardly chastising herself for feeling free... sans his presence... She fell quiet until Lancelot extended his arm for her...
He extended his elbow toward her, for her to take his arm. “I shall have quarters prepared for you…” and with the other hand, motions to a squire… “You, Squire, ensure the preparation of the visitor quarters for My Lady Guinevere…” As he walked toward the tavern, a quiet place during the day where the officers can relax before the men invaded the night. “We shall be in the tavern until the room will be ready…” and the squire nodded, bowed, “Yes MiLord…” and departed quickly.
She took the proffered arm, with a smile banishing her earlier thoughts, she would be back in Camelot soon enough… no need to find the mood that accompanied her while she was there... here on this beautiful day. "So gallant and bossy…" she quirked a grin up at him... as they moved toward the Tavern... "But right on track as I am famished... hard tack and jerked meat are no longer my usual fare, I fear I have been spoiled by the kitchens at Camelot." she jested lightly, she seemed uninhibited… free and childlike in her enjoyment of the autumn day and the company. How it was she felt so comfortable with the dark knight that most thought of as surly and sullen… hard... and yet the days of nursing him back to health had given her a rare insight into the man… his unusual sense of dry humor, and the honor and loyalty that he cloaked himself in… not only that... but the grief and loss of his family, his sister… and the brethren lost to a war not their own... they held so much in common.
Oh how difficult to harbor such emotions deep in the heart when she was around. He truly wished to allow them freedom. But she was destined to Arthur. At times, he wished he had died that day at Baden Hill… But fate sought a purpose for him; one which he knew not… nor she. “Oh really my dearest Guinevere… What glad tidings? Did the Saxon sail home? Had the Romans finally given up all holds against Britain?” To him, was her presence not enough glad tidings? Or pure torture? Why does anyone think he persuaded Arthur for the Pass and Segedunum Fort as his responsibility to protect in the Governor’s plan for Britain? Why not ask Arthur to remain at Camelot…? Guinevere !!
If her presence alone was a task to his control, certainly the Pict leathers would hold sway on his imagination as well... they seemed to have been painted on her lower half, her willowy long legs and pert backside seemed to bounce as she jaunted along beside him, the heelless leather boots giving her a certain spring in her step that delicate satin slippers would never abide… “Wish that I could offer those tidings to you, but no…" she grinned up at him with her impossibly large eyes, framed with dark lashes that fluttered like fans... and that mouth... grinning up at him, imperfect, too thin on the top, and too full on the bottom... her teeth too prominent, and yet somehow it was charmingly original to her and her alone… making her beauty all the more accessible… "I have been on a mission for Arthur on your behalf... to gain you allies and aid..." her dark brow widened up, trying to intrigue him, like a child trying to gain and co-conspirator...
"Care to guess whom?" she laughed and stepped into the tavern as he ordered them mead... "And a bowl of whatever is hanging over the fire…" she added as she settled at a table near the fire... tossing off her gloves and laying aside her weapons that hung non-challantly from her delicate form.. Straddling a bench she faced him so that they were face-to-face as they awaited their mead and meal... "I went as emissary to the Xiomara... and they have agreed to align themselves… with you and your men against the Saxons... in so far as repelling the incursions into these lands... do not expect much fraternization, they are still wary of Arthur’s Legions as they call you and yours…" she grinned at him... it was a wonderful boon... the beleaguered and thinly stretched manpower of Arthur’s Knights.
His feelings for the Lady could not be spoken… for it would appear treasonous to his best friend, and brother-in-arms. Treasonous to the new land… He simply smiled and opened the tavern door for her… “Mead, Tender… two.” And they moved to a table. “How is Arthur?” He inquired as they sat.
When he asked of Arthur... her smile seemed to dim... a bit... but she was relieved when the tender interrupted setting their drinks on the table along with two bowls of stew... and a loaf of crusty bread. She busied herself with tearing off a chunk of bread and dipping it into the bowl... "Arthur is well... exceedingly so... Each day brings new villages and people to his court, joining the birth of a new nation... he's often busy with new trade proposals and matters of law…" her mouth was filled for a moment and she chewed thoughtfully... "He misses you... his First... and best... misses your company and advice but he knows you chafe at the walls and the business side of diplomacy... that you need the wilds…" Was she speaking of him or her... or both...?
Oh yes, he knew she was never what any would, or could, expect… maybe that was what he loved about her… She had always been that being full of energy. And as she took his arm, he smirked. “Yes, I am bossy… tis mine to command…” he smirked. “And I am sure the kitchens of Camelot have been good to thee My Lady, I see it…” he chuckles as he looks to her buttocks… and as he is chastised for his comment, he laughs. “Our kitchens are not like those of Camelot, but tis good cooks here.”
"Wish that I could offer those tidings to you, but no…"
Oddly enough, he canted his head at her as he paused and sat down at the table. He only acknowledged the tavern keep with a nod, his attention focused on her. “Xiomara?” And his head swiveled to a mirrored cant. He knew the Xiomara, a bunch of half-breed Sarmatian-Briton-Pict women who refused to conform to a womanly nature. “Has Arthur lost his mind? Does he know what these women are like?” He shook his head. “You talk about bossy and demanding… To have these women roaming free with a bunch of men? Men who see only the whores and scourge of profiteers for months?” Maybe Lancelot was exaggerating a bit… or was he? In his mind, he wasn’t.
“Fraternization? I hope not… I would prefer they not enter my fort…” And who was one of the biggest offenders of fraternization? And in order to change the tone of things he inquired about his best friend and husband of the woman he cared about most.
“Each day brings new villages and people to his court, joining the birth of a new nation... he's often busy with new trade proposals and matters of law…"
“Tis nay wonder, he enjoys such tasks…” Lancelot smiled.
“He misses you…”
“And I him My Lady…”
The lands of the Pass, and Segedunum Fort, had been his to command and protect… and was his sanctuary away from what he desired, but could not have… And he looked at her now at his table. Soon she would sleep here… and he would have to fight the demons that would betray him. Demons of desire that could, and would destroy a new nation… or destroy him if nay acted upon. He so much wanted to say how much he missed her as well… and he loved them both. Could love and life be so cruel? His moniker of Dark Knight was well deserved, but none knew by what depths. Twas best he get her to quarters and be rid of her… as distance between them minimal was cause for demons to stir.
He sucked down the mead, dangerously close to one gulp… and he ordered another…
"And one for me as well…" she waved to the tender, seemingly not affected by his desires and futile thoughts, indeed she seemed more lively, more everything than she had since he had known her… had her marriage afforded her such happiness and wrought the change… she laughed amusingly. "Ohhh I do not know if you were to meet some of the women, I wager your thoughts on fraternization would change… some are breathtakingly beautiful, yet deadly with weapon of choice... but in a gown you would think them a princess, incapable of anything but sweetness and light... I dare say more suited to life at Court than I." she smiled in a self-deprecating way, she had an awkwardness that could be charming, all elbows and knees... and delicate limbs...
He was half though his second ale as the man brought the third tankard for the pair. Handing the tender sufficient coin for all, Lancelot, peered at her over the rim of the now tilted container. Assuredly, some of the women in the Xiomara seemed interesting, but his desires were elsewhere. But Guinevere did sound like she was downplaying her own shortcomings, by highlighting the Xiomara finer points. Albeit fact, mead, should be ingested slowly, and enjoyed… but drinking it fast tends to dull the senses all too quickly. And both of them, for reasons unknown decidedly drank the inebriating liquid too quickly to be enjoyed.
She seemed lost in thought for a while, her movements occupied with finishing off her stew, swiping the bowl with a hunk of bread, then licking the tips of her fingers when she was done... "I will be in the debt of your cook for this meal... it was wonderful…" she turned up her tankard and drank it down with a grin. "I have missed the life outside Camelot… the simpler way of things..." she looked at the table… "I prefer to eat with one utensil not a dozen... I never know which one to use first."
“I shall pass along your compliments to the cook. Almateise has been with us as a cook for almost five years now.” He smiled a bit thinking about the crabby old man who cooks better than most women. “Aye m'lady, to me, the life outside Camelot is simpler…” reiterating her own words… “I am glad Arthur gave me the Pass and Segedunum Fort…” And he chuckled at her comment regarding utensils.
Now she laughed again, obviously the two tankards of strong ale had addled her wits a bit as she leaned toward him. "And I've missed you…" those soft doe eyes widened as she leaned forward, clasping his face between her hands lightly... her thumbs making circles over the prominent bones of his cheeks... so impossibly close... barely a breath between them… her eyes locked with his... "Say you've missed me too..." it was a whispered plea… that charged the air between them with electricity.
Both of them laughed, the third tankard now taking its toll. And her words was like a siren’s song, luring the seamen to their deaths… Those eyes... His heart began to pound inside his chest. His dark eyes seemed to sparkle… She, the center of his desire, and his best friend’s wife, now was only a breath away. Her hands lightly clasping his face, her thumbs stirring his desire to dangerous heights. His chest began to rise and fall… and his dark eyes watered, his voice stuttered in a whisper…
“The Gods know I have missed you… and surely you know that… why else do you think I came here Guinevere…” he stood up quickly. “Come, let me get you to your quarters.” He had to change the subject… They were in public and he must now succumb to his desires that have been bottled up since the day he saw her bathe, and she saw him watching her that night in the wagon days after the rescue. He swallowed and held his hand out to her to rise.
Her eyes widened suddenly as he said 'why else do you think I came here’ She inhaled the air between them… a sudden awareness washing over her face... she had though it only her that had felt such things... on what havoc this mead was reeking on her… and then before she could reply he was up… speaking of seeing her to her quarters... she sat there like a wooden practice dummy.
As he moved toward the door... a dark flush of shame coloring her cheeks, and disappearing beneath her collar… "Of Course you must have things to see to…" she nodded and stood... a bit wobbly... and followed him out into the crisp air... hoping it would clear her senses...
Oddly, late October was always finicky when it regarded weather in the higher elevations... and outside it began to snow... light floating big flakes that decorated the sky falling softly... by midnight the beauty would turn into a deadly blizzard... sealing all inside the fort... for days...
Lancelot downed the remaining mead and set the tankard down. “The open air, the freedom away from Camelot pomp and ceremony…” and he leaned to her a bit and spoke softly. “And to dim my desires of those unreachable.” He stood up, swayed a bit, then held out his elbow for her. “Your quarters My Lady… await you…” The First Knight had imbibed much more than he intended, and now his senses would suffer for it. But those present would see Arthur’s wife in best company, for none knew how much the First Knight cared for the woman. “Yes My Lady, many things to do…” And the pair staggered and swayed their way from the tavern to her quarters on the far side of Segedunum Fort.
She stood for a moment in the drifting snow... the lacy flakes swirling about her as she turned her face upward to the grey sky... for the briefest of times, he might be tempted to recall a snowy night... long ago... She abruptly turned and moved to him taking his elbow... and weaving their way toward the quarters he had made ready for her... once there he opened the door and she slipped beneath his arm and into the room… a snug spartan room… "Is this yours?" she turned questioning him as he stood framed in the doorway.
The door was opened and the frame used as a drunkard’s support as Lancelot invited Lady Guinevere into her temporary quarters. Dark eyes surveyed her, the woman’s frame was highlighted by the dim light of the street fire. Behind her was a darkness to where imagination would wander, and he would shake his head. “No My Lady… my quarters are there across the way…” and he would look over his shoulder to a set of rooms behind him, directly across from hers.
As the flakes flitted about them, memories long-stored in the back of the mind rushed forth. Urges suppressed for years now reckoned with common sense as the mood shifted. And it would be him turning around only to find themselves within a breath’s distance apart. Her scent inhaled by his nostrils… her beauty engulfed by his dark eyes… and he took a deep breath and slowly allowed to exhale. “My Lady, I fear your First Knight may have incapacitated himself with over-indulgence.” He paused, “I beg your leave...” And with that, Lancelot needed to remove himself from a place that could be the ruin of him, her, and a new nation, lest he remain stalwart. And as strong as he was… he was not so with her so near. And reluctantly, he turned and staggered to his own quarters, a desire for something more hopefully remaining in the new snow.
Posted: Dec 7 2016, 05:06 AM
After slipping past Lancelot and releasing herself from the hold she had about the Knight’s arm, Guinevere stooped inside the room. Her eyes darting about the furnishings- nothing as glamorous as Camelot, but fancy all the same. She struggled with focusing on the objects that created the decor- and felt if she should look upon them long enough, she might stumble and fall.
”Oh, well that is a shame…” she giggled… only to stop suddenly and have her lips peel apart ever so slightly. Her dark eyes looked back at Lancelot, whom leant against the door pillar. His eyes stuck on her. His posture not as grand as when she had first leapt into his arms by the gates. Instead now, it was slumped.
She stumbled slightly, as she took a step towards him. Peering in the direction he had gestured, was his rooms, ”Oh, but that is so far away Lancelot,”she complained. She came to stand by him near the door to the room. Her eyes looked past him and to the snow that softly dropped around them. Decorating the ground in a sleek white blanket.
Her mind flicked through memories of the snow, right from her childhood and through to now. She stumbled past Lancelot, slipping her lean body against his- as she reached for the snow. It fell upon her outstretched palm, quickly followed by rain, ”Lancelot… didn’t you once say snow and rain was a bad omen?”
She watched the flakes of snow melt in her palm and mix with the drops of rain. A coldness reaching her limbs now, and she tracked back to under the doorway- protected from weather. A small gap lingering between them. The last time they had shared such a proximity- she had tended to him, her healing hands working powers on his warrior wounds.
Guinevere crossed her arms across her chest, her hands still carried light scarring from a time long ago- when Lancelot had pulled her out of a dungeon where she had been tortured by machines. They had long since healed, but still carried the story with them. She wondered whether Lancelot remembered their very first meeting and the state in which he had found her.
Her eyes fell to his lips, as she moistened her own. Taking a deep breath, she giggled again-quickly covering her mouth with her hand to stop herself. Obviously his comment was not quite as comical as it appeared to her, especially after three of four tankards. She had lost count how many she had, not to mention the time in which she had consumed everything.
No longer in the presence and prying eyes of the nobility that laced Camleot- Guinevere once again served herself a taste of what her life before marriage had been like. She felt guilty for enjoying the moment of freedom and general concord of being her own person- without wondering how Arthur might react.
Feeling as though she had accomplished much, especially convincing her older half-sister and Xiomara to join forces with Lancelot’s forces. She knew and had always known that Lancelot would not receive this news easily- but it had not been as hard as she feared. Perhaps she had actually gotten through to the First Knight and he realised the importance of them aligning forces.
She did not rush after him, instead leant against the pillar and watched him step out into the snow, instead her voice followed, ”You already took your leave- when you came here!” she shouted after him.
Posted: Dec 7 2016, 11:15 AM
The trek across the breadth of the fort from the tavern to the quarters took only a few minutes; some 30 or 40 meters; but these two would take longer, for whatever reason their minds could facilitate. The door was unlocked, and the servant was gone; and when Lancelot opened the door for her, Guinevere went right past him.
And he swallowed hard, his dark eyes gazed upon her, his bearded face emotionless. And she moved to the door nearer him when she spoke. Surely his breathing was noticeable. Could she hear his heart beating wildly within? If she had been anyone else, he would have pushed her to the bed, and closed the door… but she was Arthur’s wife !! “Tis nay far away at all, My Lady.”
And when she passed him, he could smell the heather and jasmine that mixed with the horse and leather. Oh what a woman ! Arthur was so lucky. And he watched her step into the snow, allowing it to gracefully fall into her palm, only to dissipate with the mixed raindrops. Swallowing hard, for when she tracked back to the door, she was ever so close, and his eyes closed briefly. And when he opened them, she was standing before him, her arms crossed at her chest… and she licked her lips. Oh damn… his mind must be playing tricks upon his dimmed senses… but her giggle, drew him to reality.
He excused himself… and stepped from her presence… but was stopped dead in his tracks at her words. As if insulted, he stormed back before her, almost in her face. Lancelot had always been known as a man with the explosive temperament; always speaking his mind, never fearful of any man. Now, he stood over her as she was but a few inches shorter than he. “I asked for the Wall BECAUSE of you.” He huffed. “I had fallen in love with you… back long ago, before the lake… just after I… we rescued you.” His voice trailed from frustration to a soft tone. His emotional fire simmer to an ember. “I saw you… the Honorus Magnus’ wife was assisting you in the wagon, with a bath … In your nakedness, I looked away, but found myself drawn to you… and I gazed upon beauty like I had never seen before.”
His hand shook, but reached out and caressed her long hair. Had the alcohol dimmed his senses, or torn down the wall he had erected for protection. And he felt no regret when he fingered the silkiness of her locks. Those dark eyes glistened. “I fell in love with you that night… and have loved you since… but you married another…. And to make it worse, he is my best friend and Commander. If it had been another man, I would have fought for you… but he loved you, I could see it.”
He wanted to kiss her, alas his hands shook; his breathing short and rapid. Never before had he been reluctant to do, or say, anything; to anyone. But she was Guinevere, wife of his best friend and Commander… AND the woman his heart had been given to.
Posted: Dec 8 2016, 05:58 AM
Guinevere was overcome by the magic that was alcohol. Words slipped from her mouth before she had even thought them through.
She had always been outspoken, she had grown up in a matriarchal society- in which she had been a leader in her own right. She had learnt from her father- Merlin, and was a political powerhouse. She was an influential being amongst her people, even now people looked to her constantly for guidance. Even sometimes she felt, that Arthur needed her influence as he was led astray by his own heart.
He stormed towards her. A show that would have any woman falling to her knees, trembling. But not a Pict. Guinevere was a beautiful woman and many forgot that she was fierce and was trained in the art of war. Before him, she was not dressed in her usual attire- a gentle flowing dress. But the leather straps of her lineage. Bare flesh exposed. Beneath his intimidating glance- she did not buckle.
Her warm eyes just stared back at him, as he defended his actions.
”Do not blame me for your actions.”
”And do not blame me for the actions of your heart…”
Guinevere was very defensive- she always had been. If her lips did not speak, her eyes said it all. Her posture, even when drunk was tall and proud. Her eyes just looked back at him now- having said her defence. Her lips still lingering apart.
There was once a time, she thought herself much alike to Lancelot. They fought for their own freedom- their people. But Lancelot had always had a darker side to him- and something drew her towards it. She wanted to know more about it. Her curiosity had never truly been satisfied. He had never been open with her- but his eyes would speak other words to her… and they would trickle to her heart.
His hand reached out and brushed through her dark trestles of hair. Again, she did not flinch. But her eyes studied him. Not watching the movement of his hands- but his eyes. Her look was passive but almost asked for more.
She had no reply for Lancelot, no words could escape her educated mouth now. But he had not fought for her. What right to loving her, did he have? But, she was caught short of breath. Her mind was foggy. Suddenly her leather attire seemed tight and she struggled to take deep, calming breaths.
Her chest rose and fell quickly, with her short sharp breaths. For a moment she wanted to step away- and in the attempt, she stumbled towards him, and fell onto him. Slowly, she pulled away- but to be only inches away from his face.
She looked up at him again. What did he have, that kept pulling her back to him?
Posted: Dec 9 2016, 09:57 AM
The magic was not the alcohol, the magic for Lancelot was the deep-seeded feelings for her… twas the alcohol that brought to surface what was buried. For he lived with the buried sentiments for her because of his love for Arthur and their friendship; a friendship that had been 15 years in the making. And seeing her daily while in his recovery only fortified his love for her… and when she accepted Arthur’s love, he knew he could not stay… hence is why he left; to love her from afar… thus participating in the guise of the dark knight.
The scar where Cynric’s sword penetrated his chest now burned… or was that the searing pain of her words? He never blamed her for anything; or had the alcohol blurred the reasoning for his divulging the reason he was at Segedunum and not at Camelot beside his Lord and friend. All he could do is to look at her, the odd expression upon his face. and yes, even before Guinevere… his uniform of all black, his eyes a bit receded in his skull, the dark hair and eyebrows… and his mood had always caused people to tag him with the *Dark Knight* moniker… Previously it had been his life that caused the dark mood… dragged from his homeland by those who deemed themselves more powerful, and educated, than he; the loss of his sister, Evaine; forced to fight for a land that was not his own; to watch friends die for something they did not believe in… so why not add the love for Guinevere to the long list of reasons for the dark mood. Maybe it had been better if he had died on that field of battle.
Those dark eyes searched hers as she looked at him. His hand fell away from her face and hair… What he wanted was to push her into her room, to feel her body against his; her lips pressed upon his… and more. His breathing sped up, and his heart hammered against the cavity walls where it resided.
But the alcohol was not magic. The magic was Guinevere. The alcohol was only an excuse. And instead of crushing his mouth against her, he simply leaned forward and kissed her forehead. Then sighed, reassuring her… “Good night M’Lady… I shall sleep off the effects of too much mead…” and he turned, stumbled a bit, then smirked as he gave her a last look. “In the morn…”
Posted: Dec 12 2016, 06:19 AM
His touch disappeared, and suddenly there was no warmth- but a cold chill to the flush of her cheek. Her eyes never left the portrait that was his face, instead she was searching for any sign that might reveal his true feelings to her. But Lancelot, in his true dark fashion was quite the poker face- even in his drunkard state. But his eyes spoke to her on other levels.
In the short pause that existed between them, Guinevere ached for the days when she would sit by him in his healing bed- and they would bicker and talk, in a fashion much different to how she was with her beloved Arthur, almost as though they were siblings.
The connection that she shared with Lancelot did not require her to keep proving herself- but instead, be her own person. There was so much lax and freedom in their chemistry together- but there was also a genuine competitive nature between them. Arthur had not been so competitive- but he was driven and focused. If anything, what separated these two men- was how directed they were. Lancelot was loyal and Arthur determined. Both strong in themselves, no sign of weakness existed. Where Arthur was quiet and less likely to show his emotions, Lancelot had a temper and was just as outspoken as she.
Perhaps it was their similarities that drew Guinevere to him. Perhaps it was also the complexity of their relationship. In the short time she had spent tending to him- she had discovered a different side to Lancelot. He was gentle beneath that tough exterior. Caring, and fiercely true. His smile was brilliant and a trophy to hold- because it did not come regularly.
Guinevere enjoyed teasing him. He was quite teasable, because he would retaliate in the same way. It was a bosom friendship. But, in the rural community and depths of Winter- it cried to be consolation, and a test.
Lancelot closed the space between them and rather than reach for her lips- his touched her forehead. Leaving a warm imprint. She closed her eyes and inhaled his scent, the warmth of his general proximity. But as quickly as the act had been done, he stepped back and away- and cold rushed into to take the place of the warmth that had left.
Her eyes opened, and fell on him once more. Why did he have to stop? She craved a warm embrace. In this moment, Guin felt completely alone. Without Arthur’s presence, she felt truly alone and naked. She realised in the time that she had been married to Arthur she had become strongly reliant on his constant, dependable presence.
The alcohol burned through her veins, and promised to make a fool of her.
Guinevere let him walk a few steps away from her again. Her eyes watching him, as though calculating. But in this moment, her mind was in a thick battle. It was weighing up proper judgement. Weary from travel, but also from how quickly she had inhaled both food and drink…. Her body struggled with any sort of grasp on reality.
Again words escaped from her lips.
”Please…. Stay with me,” she said after him, ”I don’t want to be alone.”
And that was the truth. She didn’t want to be alone. She didn’t know if she could be alone.
Posted: Dec 14 2016, 01:50 PM
Tis difficult to know the difference between ‘loving someone’ and ‘being in love’ with them. Loving someone can feel just as fierce, passionate, and consuming as being in love, but it is, in the end, different. If one expects magic and butterflies, it’s important to be able to recognize the differences.
Loving someone is a choice, being in love is not. One may choose to love someone, deciding their best qualities, appreciating for who they are, and being a supportive partner to them. One may also choose to stop loving someone, to walk away, and forget about them. But on the other hand, ‘being in love’ is not a personal choice. It is something that can happen without intention or consent, and it is not something that one can walk away from. If one leaves, the feeling of being in love accompanies them upon their life’s journey.
This is the dilemma that Lancelot deals with… and as yet, he knows not the difference. And he may never know the difference, for he sees life differently than most.
In his heart, he loves Guinevere, yet in what capacity, he does not know… and he loves Arthur as a brother and friend… here lies the rift in loyalty. He paused as she spoke… and turned back to her. His heart raced as he neared her… his hand seeking hers as they reentered her quarters.
Tis said that exclusiveness is at the heart of love. But, like other emotions, love is discriminatory and partial… one cannot love everyone. How it then that one is can love two people at the same time? How do they deal with this situation? Sages have stated that humans are capable of loving, and, needless to say, of having sex with more than one person. So where do the stories of desire, passion and guilt evolve?
Society can be unstable… Life can be difficult even without the involvement of the heart. And yet, with society, loving one, rather than two, safeguards paternity to a large extent and creates mutual commitment between the two. Alas, since love requires many resources, such as time and attention, its objects must be limited. One does not have enough time and attention to ‘love’ many people simultaneously. However, various important features of love such as caring, friendship, and attraction are not exclusive and can be directed at several people at the same time.
Did Lancelot love her… or was he in love with Guinevere? Neither could know… or would know, not this night… but in time, surely they would find their path? At whose expense?
He stood in her quarters, facing her, his hands in hers. His breathing was rapid and shallow… he felt like the night he watched her at the wagon. Was he afraid to move, in anticipation of her departing, or escaping the situation? The pair was in new territory now. His hand went to her face. “My Lady… tis not that I do not wish to stay… I do. So much so. But under the influence of mead, to make love to you would be a feat not to withstand time.” He would kiss her first with a light kiss… then one of more passion.
But he was strong willed…. And before she felt succumbed, he would break the kiss, smile in his own familiar manner… and speak low. “My Lady… you shall nay be alone… ever… and I pray you sleep well… for tomorrow, I shall offer the tour of my domain.” And he quickly depart. It was not he wanted to do… for the thought of her burned deep within.
Posted: Dec 20 2016, 05:21 AM
Her doe eyes had ensnared Lancelot and dragged him back into her presence, after he had taken leave. The words that had slipped from her lips demanded his attendance in a way that showed a side of Guin that she had perhaps never shared with Lancelot, or anyone for that matter.
As Arthur’s wife, Guinevere rarely received a moment in which she was allowed to be herself- or even alone. There was always someone with an arm’s reach- even on the battlefield. While Guinevere had proved herself worthy and fought alongside her people with a ferocity many men had never encountered, her outward appearance was far from what she sheltered inside.
There was a fear inside her that made her blood run cold. It was a curse-like grasp that took hold of her. It was a crippling thing, her mind was laced in darkness and haunting images. Her body felt old pain and torture that had come to her in the pits of those wretched man that had held her captive.
The hands of a soldier reached for hers- and entwined together. Fingers that had been cold, now throbbing with warmth and familiarity as they smoothed over one another. Her eyes were drawn to their touch- and she watched as their fingers tightened against one another. There had been many times in which they had been this close and touched- but Lancelot offered Guinevere something, she suddenly felt she could not bare to be without.
Her eyes strayed from their connection and followed a path that slowly traced up his arms- to his rapidly moving chest, along his cheekbones and then to his eyes. In that moment his hand withdrew from their connection and once again reached for her cheek- keeping her attention on him. But her eyes did not share the same path as his, but swept to the movement of his lips.
Before her mind could cop up a reply, or even digest the words he had shared with her- he closed the distance between them. Their lips meeting in a gentle kiss. A warm touch against frosty cold lips- suddenly turned into a connection of warmth. Guinevere felt her body naturally closing in on the distance between them. Pressing her lean body against his, as the kiss developed into something more violent and passionate.
But the kiss was broken before it could develop into anything. She stood there, almost accosted with the thought that she had not met his standard. There was no doubt that Lancelot loved women- his remarks often indicated the many nights he had not been alone. She felt rejection- just like she did with Arthur. She felt herself sinking into the puddle that offered her nothing but her own strangling solitude.
She bit her lip and her eyes might have glassed over.
As he backed away, she felt the draw to follow him. How could he say she would not be alone? She was alone. She was here in this foreign place. Arthur was not in her bed. Her companions shacking up elsewhere. Guinevere was alone.
This she could not handle. The moment she was left alone, she was tormented.
”Please…. Lancelot…” and there was a begging tone to Guinevere’s voice. She could still hear his footsteps, perhaps he might here her pleading.
Posted: Dec 27 2016, 10:53 AM
The odd-season for snow began to blanket the ground… and in the silence of the night… she would hear a fast pace of boots crunching snow as Lancelot was returning to her… and as he met her, his bearded lips crushed upon hers as he fell into a kiss that could be titled in the annals of history… his strong arms enveloped her and he drew her to him snugly… she had no time for any resistance, if she were to give any… The kiss they now engaged with one another was so passionate, unrestrained. His hands entangling in her hair as he bent her head back to kiss her throat…
They were but a few mere steps from the quarters in which she would stay… his kisses returned to her lips and he would back her to the door… and was never relenting, he lifted her and kicked the door open… only to set her down inside after he kicked the door closed.
There was pause… not to engage resistance, but to look at her… to see her… his deep brown eyes would examine his snare… or had he been ensnared by her? Now it did not matter. His sword harness was unbuckled and dropped to the floor… with the pull of a cord, the breast plate fell to the floor with a metallic thud.
“May the Gods forgive me… but I serve no one but thee, the love of my heart…” and he stepped to her… and they fell into a kiss that would burn deep into both of them.
Posted: Dec 29 2016, 11:50 PM
A pleading tone and doe brown eyes laced with needing company and the fear of being alone, had scored Guinevere the affection of a loyal Knight. Her entire being had poisoned the mind of Arthur's most trusted friend.
The alcohol had poisoned what was once good intentions, a fierce and passionate friendship with pillars of respect, into a feeling of pure wanton behaviour and uncanny desire. It had blurred the line of what was right and what wasn't and mistaken it with need and a falsehood that would mask Guinevere's innermost secret.
It was a moment where no sane ties were present. Where any sense of wrong doing would not be realised. For the sake of this moment, it was comfort in a weak moment. It was alcohol bringing problems to the surface, that would otherwise remain dormant.
Lancelot headed her call- her soft words that echoed a weakness in the young Queen. He came to her call as though she were a damsel in distress. His weight crushing her backwards- his mouth unyielding as it stole the space between their ice cold lips.
Guinevere was not left to her own devices- but instead overtaken and left without breath, not resisting the strength he used to guide her back into the room.
There was the sensation of heat to her neck, as he showered it with passionate kisses. His sturdy balance, kept her from stumbling as she had been all evening.
A mere moment of pause, as he placed her upon the bed. Both eyes caught in the web of the other. Weapons to the ground- leather belts aside, they became entangled in their affair. Guinevere returning the affection he showered her in.
Not a single thought crossing her mind, but the contact they shared. The unyielding passion between them. She would not be alone tonight.
Posted: Jan 3 2017, 10:11 AM
The deed was done… and yet… he had no regrets. And they had shared themselves with one another, totally and wholely… no emotion was left wanting… no physical need left to sate… though the yearning for more still lingered. His dark eyes would look to the wooden ceiling as he lay beside the nude woman; his beloved Guinevere… the wife of his best friend.
Rolling to his side, he would look upon her… the beauty, his to behold for now. She had been Arthur’s intermediary with the Xiomara, and his messenger of good news to his First Knight... Had he known why his First Knight requested a place far away from Camelot? Had he known how much he cared for the Lady?
The first Knight then used his fingers to push the hair from her face… and his hand caressed her abdomen as his arm lay upon her. How could something so good be so wrong?
Posted: Jan 7 2017, 02:55 AM
There was no going back.
Regrets were already beginning to surface- as was a ghastly headache.
Guinevere’s bare chest rose against the sheets- as she took a deep breath and woke to the morning light. It stared in through the window like a nosy intruder. Cringing her eyes from the brightness, she turned away from it- only to face the Knight she had laid with.
His eyes were also watching her. One arm embraced her and held her close, whereas the other traced her abdomen tenderly. Guilt flooded her like the alcohol had the previous night. She enjoyed Lancelot’s touch, his tenderness- and to see this entirely different side of a man, known for living on the edge and on the dark-side of life.
She had cracked him. She had found that sweet spot after all these years. And, he had seen her fall into the shames of weakness. Never once, since she had been rescued had Guinevere ever showed her weakness. Beside Arthur, she was a reckoning force- a political powerhouse.
”We have betrayed Arthur, you and I,” she said bluntly, almost without emotion.
But as plainly as she had said it, her words echoed guilt. She was Arthur’s Queen- and she had laid with his best friend. She’d broken a bond of trust. If Arthur was to ever find out… who knows how he would be. Would he even understand how she feared to be alone, especially at night….
In her head, it all sounded like excuses. Idiot excuses- that Arthur would never accept.
Guinevere did not move from Lancelot’s hold, but she did not absorb herself into it- like she might have the night before. Slowly coming to her senses- the Queen was realising what yet would lay ahead of her. In doing what they had done, they had started down a path that there would be no return from.
She swallowed and bit down on her lip. At least that took her mind off the headache and the guilt for a moment. But the moment her teeth released her red lip, another thought strayed- what if they had been seen? Word would get back to Arthur before she could even confess it to him in person.
Oh! How would he react- surely, he would order her death and Lancelot’s. How could he ever trust either of them again? How could he ever truly believe that a child she bore him, was his- if she had laid with another?
Suddenly, Guinevere was clouded with more guilt. She sat up and pulled herself away from Lancelot’s grip. Only to be sickened by the headache. Holding the mattress beneath her firmly, to steady her position, she took a deep breath.
Her naked back to Lancelot, her thin frame- as it had always been starring back at him.
The thoughts Guinevere was thinking could not easily come to her lips- with her head spinning and aching from the toxin that had laced her system the night before…. She struggled to feel at pace, reasonably human. Had her father seen this?
But she loved Arthur, she had always loved Arthur.
She squinted and looked for her clothes- but she didn’t move. Not ready to be up on her feet. She sat there and contemplated her next actions, her next words- but even they were a blur. She was to blame for this. This was all her doing.
Posted: Jan 8 2017, 08:46 AM
She had not cracked him… the darkness of his life in Britain had… the battles had… the only things he loved was Arthur, the loyalty of the Knights, and Guinevere. But that love was always held silent, ne’r to speak of. Now, he lay beside the beautiful love of his life… and he lavished in the affections they had afforded one another. Affections of the oddest nature, one of unbridled sensations… affections and deeds worthy of the best lovers… and he held no regrets… save one.
The hand rose to her face and the calloused fingertips brushed errant strands from her lovely face. “Aye, we have… and ne’r can we return to what was…” Her words seemed cold… like she was blaming them… blaming them for some outside force that changed friendship to desire. But for him, the desire had always been there… at least since those days before the battle at the frozen lake. And friendship? That would always be there, in some form or fashion… til the day he died.
The expression that formed, then deformed, and reformed her face meant that she was in distress of what they had done. What they had done was, she did betray a husband… and he did betray his best friend and commander. But neither could, as much as they wanted to, take back what had occurred, or even make it disappear. He pulled her naked form closer to him. “What done is done… we can only move forward. What we have is special… always has been… nothing need change, for I love you no less now than before… save maybe even moreso now. We cannot change the way we feel about one another… tis a gift from our gods… and if Arthur’s God cannot forgive us, then who is he anyways?”
His hand touched her back, and she flinched, as if deep thought. “I know you love Arthur… and me, for you would not seek me out this way. You came here for a reason… now just as a messenger.” What would become of them now?
Posted: Jan 9 2017, 03:13 AM
She loved both of them.
There was no denying the connection she felt to both men, how they stimulated her and brought to life many side of her own personality. Both men were two completely different people, and the person Guinevere was with each of them was a reflection of her future and past. Two very different women that Guinevere craved to be.
But she could not be both. In this world, you could only be one.
In her heart Guinevere could only blame herself. As flash backs of the night before invaded her memory- she remembered calling after the dark knight, time and time again. She had craved his company, and what more possibly his touch.
Whenever in their presence, Guinevere was drawn to them. Both Arthur and Lancelot. Something inside her- pulled her closer to them. Wanting their companionship, their eyes upon her. There was a guilty desire to be the only woman in both their eyes… and somehow she had made that possible, with barely a shout of affection shown to either.
Guinevere took another deep breath, her lips parted, ”It is not Arthur’s gods I fear,” she admitted, ”It is Arthur… and his council.”
Yes, she did flinch at Lancelot’s touch to her back. It had come as a surprise, as she regained her composure and began to feel the headache subside somewhat.
“I know you love Arthur… and me, for you would not seek me out this way. You came here for a reason… now just as a messenger.”
At this moment, she listened to Lancelot’s words and knew them to be true. Till this day, well… the night before, she had been loyal to Arthur. She had been by his side and supported his cause. She had been everything he had needed of a Queen. Yet, she had failed him twice. Once in not having providing an heir, and then now… with his best friend.
How could she do that to a man she loved? Forsake his love for another?
”Arthur’s court will want our heads,” she spoke blankly again, but turned her eyes over her shoulder to look at the man that lay behind her in his glory, ”I fear Arthur will never trust either of us again. Our lives are forfeit- and for what?”
She turned her head back to the window. They were surely heading to their deathbeds. This was adultery at its best. There was no questioning of where their fates would take them now. They could run away and shield themselves… both her and Lancelot. But they would live lives constantly looking over their shoulders, never knowing a moment’s peace.
They would come to hate one another- they would become bitter, and there would be no happiness. She saw it flick through her mind. A very negative future telling- but it was the truth. After this night, she deserved no happiness. The guilt was her own- and somehow she had magically coerced Lancelot into her arms.
It had taken one long journey and a drink to do this them, give and take the affection they felt for one another.
”We have to tell him.”
Posted: Jan 12 2017, 08:31 AM
Guilty of all charges !! That is the way he approached the fear that she emitted. He was guilty of loving, and trusting, a man far more than he had ever allowed himself; but the pair boys grew up together… protected one another, despite their class differential. As warriors, he obeyed his commander, and his commander, despite being Roman, treated him with respect. He was guilty of loving the Woad woman from the very beginning… at first, seeing her in the dungeon and being maltreated by those religious zealots, to her bravado at the frozen lake… and the way she defended Dagonet… to the urges he felt upon seeing her bathe… but the way she tended him in his days of dire circumstance capitulated his emotions for her… and upon that day she married Arthur, he chose exile over watching them be together.
“I fear no man…” he boldly stated… “I only fear for you…” he paused.
“I do not see my brothers-in-arms seeking my death… maybe being barred from the Round Table… nor do I see them seeking your death… exile maybe, but not death… and I know Arthur shall be heart-broken, and his trust destroyed… but tis something that I shall live with… but you… I am worried about you, and what shall become of you.” He never took his eyes off her… his hand would comfort her arm; as if to non-verbally assure her he was there for her.
Lancelot cants his head at her words… a scowl look upon his face. Did he mean so little to her? In his mind, surely she cared for him as much as he did for her. The decision to love her, and make love to her, had not come easily… nor frivolous by any measure. And his heart sank.
And all he did was rise, shrug, and move to the fire. No words, no emotion… Staring into the fire, he shakes his head.