Character/s: Hunith, Merlin, Sir Leon
Summary: Gwen settles into her new life while Arthur is confronted with a problem
Word Count: 600
Prompt:251. Perfectly Imperfect
Author's Notes: Royals #4
Gwen walked into Hunith’s home and dropped down on the stool by the table. “I hurt everywhere and I'm exhausted.”
“That's the way life is here, Gwen.” Hunith brought her a cup of tea. “Here. Drink this. It will make you feel a little better.”
Gwen took the cup and carefully sipped.
“Our supper will be ready in a few moments.” Hunith sat down. “You've been here for a week now. Are you going to tell me anything more about yourself?”
Gwen shook her head. “That life is behind me. I must focus on my life as it is now.”
“I see.” Hunith rubbed Gwen's shoulder. “I won't press.”
“Thank you Hunith.” Gwen smiled. “There is nothing back there for me anymore. My mother would say that life is a perfect imperfection. It's the flaws that bring joy and happiness. I was living a life with no flaws. No imperfections. No joy. I see that now and I don't ever want to go back.”
Hunith smiled. “I agree with your mother. Small things can bring so much happiness. Sit. I’ll get our supper then we can relax.”
Gwen stifled a yawn. “I hope that I can stay awake long enough to eat.”
Hunith laughed as she served up the simple soup and bread.
Three riders approached Camelot. Arthur moved to take the lead as they grew closer.
Gwaine grinned. “So how many taverns in Camelot?”
“Just the one.” Merlin smiled. “The Rising Sun. There are rooms there too, if you’re thinking of staying on.”
“I may for a while.” Gwaine sighed as the castle came into view. Just how long he would stay depended on what he found when he got to Camelot. A home was not easy to find these days for an impoverished nobleman hiding his true identity.
When they reached the lower town, Gwaine headed straight for the pub. Merlin and Arthur headed to the castle gates.
Sir Leon met them there with an uncomfortable look on his face. “My Lord, the King requests your presence immediately. He is waiting in the council chambers.”
“I believe he does. I'm late for my nuptials.” Arthur sighed.
“My Lord, the princess has been kidnapped.” Sir Leon shifted on his feet. “We have sent patrols out and the King suspects Carleon or Cenred of the deed.”
Merlin frowned. “Does he have proof that they were involved? Was there a letter stating the terms of her release?”
Arthur took a breath and actually looked concerned about his future bride.
“No.” Sir Leon shook his head. “Her maid was drugged and her jewels and clothes were untouched. It looks like someone came into her tent and took her away. There has been no demands as of yet.”
Arthur dismounted. “As much as I am against this marriage, I never wanted her harmed. Merlin, tend to the horses. I need to speak to my father.”
Merlin dismounted and took the reins to Arthur’s horse. “Good luck!”
When Arthur was inside, Sir Leon turned to Merlin. “Where have you been for over a week?”
“Dovetown, after a bit of hunting.” Merlin sighed. “I couldn’t get him back any quicker. He wanted to stay as long as he could.”
“Arthur’s a prince. He can’t stay single forever.” Sir Leon scowled. “I hear Princess Guinevere is a rare beauty. He will be a lucky man.”
“Yes, but will we find her unharmed?” Merlin led the horses to the stable and left Sir Leon to ponder that question.
Sir Leon thought for a moment then followed Arthur into the castle. He knew there was more trouble ahead.