Title: Husband and Wife
Character/s: Hunith, Will, Merlin
Summary: Arthur and Gwen get to know each other a little.
Word Count: 827
Prompt:255 Its Quiet Uptown.
Author's Notes: Royals #8
Husband and Wife
“Mother, what did she tell you when she came here?” Merlin asked when he, Hunith, and Will got to the common vegetable garden in the center of Ealdor.
"She said she was running away from an arranged marriage.” Hunith sighed. “I could tell she was a noblewoman from her hands. She had never done a day’s hard work in her life. I thought maybe she would give up and go home but she hasn’t.
“Great! She is as stubborn as he is.” Merlin rolled his eyes and shook his head in disbelief.
Will picked up the spade and handed it Merlin. “Since you’re here you might as well get some work in. I know being a manservant is an easy job but I hope you haven’t forgotten how to till the soil.”
“It’s Arthur. Nothing is easy with Arthur. The princess will learn that quickly.” Merlin took the spade and sighed. “This will actually be relaxing after the past few weeks.”
“I doubt that.” Will laughed.
Hunith folded her arms and stared back at her home. She wished she knew what was going on inside. She had become fond of Gwen and she didn’t like the thought of her being forced to do anything against her will.
“You hit me!” Arthur sat down at the table. The sting of Gwen’s slap was still on his cheek. “You actually hit me.”
“I won’t go to Camelot with you.” Gwen said defiantly. “I’m happy here. I spend hours in the garden. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I find peace in the quiet.” Gwen threw up her hands. “I never liked the quiet before. “
“I still have to take you back.” Arthur looked up at her. “It doesn’t matter what either one of us wants we are to be wed.”
“I was in love with someone and he died. I will never love you. Why should we do what our fathers want? Why are we not free to love who we want? To marry who we want?” Gwen asked. “You could go back and say that you found my body in the river or something.”
Arthur shook his head. “That won’t work they will expect me to bring your body back. Guinevere, I understand that this is difficult for you but I promise not to force you to do anything that you aren’t willing to do.” Arthur stood up. The petite brunette had piqued his interest. “I just want us to make the best of things.”
“No one has ever wanted what was best for me. They said they did but what they really wanted was something that was best for them.” Gwen eyed Arthur as he took a step closer to her.
“I understand that never used to happen before but I’m promising it now. You have my word.” Arthur put his hand over his heart. “Please. Let’s go to Camelot and at least try to be happy in this situation we are in.”
“I suppose you have a mistress that will be more than willing to take care of my duties.” Gwen turned away from him and looked into the smoldering embers of the fire.
“I have no mistress.” Arthur took another step closer. “I will not take one as long as we are wed. I will wait for you.”
“You shall have a very long wait, my lord.” Gwen rolled her eyes in annoyance.
Arthur reached out and turned her around before pulling her into his arms. Before Gwen could protest, he kissed her deeply. When Arthur let her go, she staggered backward, breathless, and shocked.
“Why did you do that?” Gwen put a shaking hand to her lips.
“You have already slapped my face I thought that I should at least do something to deserve it.” Arthur grinned. “Was it that objectionable?”
Gwen stared at him. “You’re mad!”
“Guinevere, as soon as I saw you I knew that I was in trouble.” Arthur sighed. “You will never make things easy for me, will you?”
“Not for a moment.” Gwen looked at Arthur. He was her husband but that didn’t mean she had to be a docile wife. “I will fight you from morning to night.”
“I expect no less.” Arthur laughed. What say you, Princess Guinevere? Are you ready to travel to your new kingdom and await the day that you will be queen.”
“When I am queen, can I have you executed?” Gwen asked with a glint in her eye.
“No. I don’t think so but perhaps, by then, I will have won you over.” Arthur shrugged. “Maybe a little.”
“Never!” Gwen shook her head.
"Then I shall have to start winning you over immediately." Arthur laughed and took a step toward her.
Gwen grabbed the wooden spoon on the table and brandished it like a sword. “Don’t you dare try to kiss me again! I will hit you with this….spoon.”
Arthur held up his hands and laughed. “I yield …for now.”