Title: The Royal Family
Word Count: 1227
Prompt:262. Family Dinner
Author's Notes: Royals #15
The Royal Family
The next morning the trio packed up and headed to Camelot. The dew was still clinging to the leaves when they broke camp.
Sharing a saddle once again, Arthur and Gwen were quiet as the reality of what was about to happen started to set in.
When the castle came into view, they stopped and looked at it in the midday sun.
“This is your new home, my lady.” Arthur glanced back to see Gwen’s expression.
Gwen was staring in awe at the palace. “It’s beautiful.”
Arthur smiled and nudged the horse forward. “I hope you will be happy within its walls.”
Gwen sighed. “That depends on you, my lord.”
Arthur nodded. “I will do my best to make you happy.”
“That is all that I can ask for.” Gwen tightened her grip around Arthur’s waist. “I wonder how angry my father is with me.”
“No more than my father was with me when I came back from a week long hunting trip so that I could avoid marrying you.” Arthur chuckled. “I didn’t know that you were so kind and gentle at the time.”
Merlin laughed from his horse behind them. “He means he didn’t realize how beautiful you are and how hard he would find it to keep himself in check.”
Arthur felt his cheeks flush. He looked back at merlin. “Merlin, say nothing or I will put you in the stocks.”
Merlin shrugged. “The people expect to see me in the stocks. I have quite the following.”
They continued on in silence until they reached the courtyard.
The two kings were standing on the steps waiting for them with stern expressions.
Arthur handed Gwen down from the horse and then dismounted. He handed the reins to Merlin. He took Gwen’s hand and walked up the waiting fathers.
“Sire. King Thomas.” Arthur bowed with respect. “As you can see I have found the Princess safe and sound.”
Gwen dipped low into a curtsey. “My lords.”
“Guinevere, where did you go? I was so worried for you. You could have been killed.” King Thomas came down from the steps and hugged her. “There was no reason for you to run off into the woods in the middle of the night like that.”
“I’m sorry Father.” Gwen whispered in his ear.
King Thomas turned to Uther. King Uther Pendragon, may I present my daughter, Princess Guinevere.”
“My lady.” Uther nodded to her. “Since we have been waiting for you to arrive, all preparations for your wedding are finished. You will speak your vows at sunset then we shall have a family dinner to celebrate. We have chambers waiting for you to prepare for the ceremony, Princess.”
“Father, we are tired. Can it not wait one more day?” Arthur asked. He looked at King Thomas for support but he didn’t get any.
“We have waited long enough.” Uther waved a maid over. “This servant will show you to the chambers.”
Gwen followed the servant to chambers where everything had been laid out for the wedding.
Gwen turned to the girl. “I would like a bath.”
The maid nodded. “One is being prepared, Highness. I was told not to leave you alone for any reason.”
“I see. I am already a prisoner of this place.” Gwen walked over to the bed where her wedding dress was laid out. “I suppose it could be worse. Arthur could look like the backside of a horse and smell just as bad.”
The maid giggled. “Merlin says he’s more like an ass. Oh! Sorry, my lady.”
“It’s fine.” Gwen laughed. Merlin and Arthur have a very odd relationship, not at all like your typical servant and master.”
There was a knock on the door and it opened slowly. Morgana Pendragon entered. “You are Princess Guinevere?”
“Yes.” Gwen looked the woman up and down. She was obviously not a servant. “Lady Morgana?”
“Yes.” Morgana smiled. “Was Arthur telling tales of me?”
Gwen glanced at the maid then shook her head. ‘Not at all.”
“I came to assist you, if you like.” Morgana smiled.
“Thank you. That is very kind.” Gwen smiled.
Arthur walked to his chambers with Merlin following him. He was thinking of the wedding and the night that would follow.
“You’re going to need a bath. You smell like a dead toad.” Merlin said as they entered Arthur’s chambers. He looked over and saw George filling the bath tub. “Apparently your father got a whiff of you too. Hello George.”
“Merlin.” George acknowledged him then turned to Arthur. Your bath is ready, my lord. I pressed your shirt and cloak. I polished your ceremonial sword as well. Will there be anything else, my lord?”
“No George. You may go. Merlin will see to the rest of the preparations.” Arthur waved the man out the door. He turned to Merlin. “A family dinner? That is all my bride gets? Just a family dinner?”
“Well, you both kept everyone waiting.” Merlin helped Arthur off with his jacket.
“They are acting like she is with child or something.” Arthur pulled off his sword belt and threw it on the table. ‘She’s not, you know.”
Merlin grinned. “Not for lack of you trying.”
“Merlin….” Arthur sighed.
“Sorry.” Merlin sighed. “She is the right one for you. I can feel it in my bones.”
Arthur stripped and eased into the tub in brooding silence.
At sunset, they said their vows in the council chambers in front of the council members. It was short and obviously rushed.
Afterwards, they headed to the dining room and sat down to eat. The room was quiet as the servants placed food in front of them.
Uther stood and raised his goblet in the air. “Now that they are married, our alliance is sealed with the Leodegrance crown. I, for one, would like to wish Arthur and Guinevere a long happy life with many heirs. To the happy couple!”
Everyone toasted to Arthur and Gwen and the meal continued. It was very quiet in the room despite it being a celebration.
“Um… Father, about that.” Arthur glanced at Gwen. “I think my wife would be more comfortable with Gaius, the court physician, as the only witness to the consummation. It would be awkward if you and her father were there.”
Uther nodded. “If there is no objection from King Thomas, I will allow it.”
“No objection.” King Thomas smiled. “Thank you Arthur for thinking of my daughter’s comfort.”
Suddenly, the doors burst open and two cloaked people came in. the taller of the two threw back his hood.
“Elyan!” Gwen was surprised to see her brother.
“Cenred had taken our kingdom and is marching toward Camelot.” Elyan glanced at his sister. “I apologize for bursting in but I felt it was urgent.”
The cloaked figure behind Elyan pushed the hood back revealing herself as a woman. “We barely escaped with our lives.”
“Who are you?” Uther asked.
“I am Princess Adara of the Druids. Wife of Prince Elyan Leodegrance.” Adara bowed.
Uther turned to King Thomas. “You didn’t tell me your son’s wife was a …druid. You are aware that magick is outlawed in this kingdom. I should have you all put to death.”
“Father!” Arthur stood up. “We need to prepare for the attack. We can discuss this later.”
Uther nodded. “Summon the knights. We need to prepare for battle.”