Timeline: S1, directly following Hope for Camelot.
Synopsis: Morgana wants more but is more than a little nervous. Uther knows what to do to calm her nerves.
Author’s Note: Special thanks to my Merlin-verse beta, fairygothmum.
Morgana closed her eyes as Uther’s lips glided along her shoulder while his hands worked to free her from her gown. “Uther...”
“Mm?” He murmured, unclasping the last catch before sliding his hands underneath the soft fabric to rest against her bare back as he moved his mouth to her neck.
“I...thought we were going to wait...” She whispered, shuddering as his teeth scraped across her skin.
“Indeed, that was the idea...” He admitted as he lifted his head and turned her to face him.
He smiled tenderly, recognizing the look in her eyes for what it was...arousal mixed with anxiety. Licking his lips, he led her to her bed and sat down...pulling her down next to him.
“I understand your hesitation, Morgana.”
Her gaze dropped to his lips and then returned to his eyes. “What if I am unable to ease your ache, my Lord?”
He felt his heart melt a bit at her words. Lifting his hand, he ran his fingers through her dark hair and smiled warmly.
“Impossible, my love.” He responded, stretching out on her bed and resting his head on her pillows before arching an eyebrow at her. “And I’m rather certain that I requested no titles tonight.”
She sighed heavily as he reached for her, gently pulling her to him. “Uther...”
He met her eyes as the fingers of his left hand lovingly caressed the side of her neck. “I stated earlier that I wouldn’t force you. That fact remains true.”
She lightly bit her bottom lip, sitting beside of his hip and curling her legs underneath her. “But, you want – ”
“Explore me, Morgana.” He interrupted, allowing his fingers to trace the neckline of her gown.
“Explore?” She questioned, placing her hand on his chest to steady herself, her skin tingling from his light touch.
He nodded as his eyes darted to her shoulder as her loosened gown slipped to expose it. “Learn my body…how my skin feels under your hands, your…lips…”
Realizing her hesitation, he slid his hand into her hair and drew her down to his lips. As she responded heatedly to the kiss, he rolled over…pulling her over his body until her back was pressed into the mattress.
Her fingers curled into his blue tunic as he placed a line of warm, desperate kisses along her jaw until he reached her ear. He smiled inwardly when her back arched as he nipped her lobe with his teeth.
“Touch me, Morgana.” He whispered gruffly.
He raised his head and glared at her, the light from the candle on the bedside table illuminating his face. He shook his head and then sat up to pull the tunic over his head. His jaw clenched as he tossed it to the floor.
“No titles.” He growled, grabbing her wrist and pulling her hand to his chest.
She stared at him for a moment, waiting until his glare softened before dropping her gaze to her hand. She lightly ran her fingers over a line of scarred flesh. “What happened here?”
He sighed, realizing that she was uncomfortable and silently cursing himself for that fact. “Many years ago, I foolishly left my chainmail behind during battle. I never made that mistake again.”
She bit her lip and touched the scar tissue that curled over his shoulder. “And here?”
He glanced down at her hand, even though he knew which scar she was asking about. “My…father’s brother, Aldroenus. He and my father didn’t see eye to eye on many things. He had my eldest brother, Constans, murdered…and then I was tortured. Until my father relinquished control of the realm.”
Morgana’s eyes widened and then filled with tears. He offered her a gentle smile and lowered his body to the mattress beside of her, facing her as his thumb stroked her cheek.
“You had no way of knowing, Morgana. Please do not fret over this. It was a lifetime ago…and I survived.” He licked his dry lips and slowly pulled her gown down, freeing her shoulders from the heavy fabric. “Continue, my love.”
She gave him a nod and slowly moved her fingers over his chest, feeling the surprisingly soft hair under her fingertips. She heard his sharp intake of breath when her touch glided over a hardened nub.
He shook his head and smiled, reaching over to brush the backs of his fingers over her right breast…moving slowly over her nipple, eliciting a soft gasp from her. Satisfied that she understood his meaning, he swallowed hard.
And that was when Morgana’s instinct took over, her nervousness seemingly melting away as she lowered her mouth to his chest. When her tongue flicked against his nipple, he groaned her name and wove his fingers into her long, dark hair.
Stroking the nub with her tongue again, she looked up at him to find his eyes closed and his mouth partly open. She watched his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed and found the entire scene completely arousing.
Her heart began to race and a rush of heat flooded through her body. When Uther’s hand loosened slightly, she took advantage of the situation and lifted her head. His eyes snapped open, his passion-glazed irises holding a host of unspoken questions.
She offered him a smile and sat up, allowing the gown to slide down to her waist. His eyes followed the fabric before moving back to her firm breasts. When he didn’t say anything, she wondered if she’d done the wrong thing.
“Uther?” She whispered softly.
His eyes darted to hers when he heard the uncertainty creep into her voice. “You are magnificent, Morgana.”
A light tinge of pink graced her cheeks as she dropped her gaze to his chest. “So are you, my Lord.”
“I know better, my love.” Uther chuckled softly, not bothering to correct her once more on the use of the title. He lifted his left hand to gently stroke the firm flesh of her breast before teasing the nipple with his fingertips, eliciting a soft moan from her lips.
“You are.” She insisted, her eyes sparkling in the moonlight that filled the room as she arched her back, pushing her breast into his now opened hand. “Please do that again, Uther.”
He shook his head and stared into her eyes. “I think I know of something that would give you much more pleasure, Morgana.”
Uther gave her a quick nod and pushed himself up, grimacing lightly at the twinge in his shoulder. He smiled as she ran her fingers over the joint that had been known to cause him pain.
“Are you sure?” She questioned softly, gently massaging his shoulder.
“I’m sure that I’ll forget any trace of the ache momentarily.” He replied, lowering his mouth to her breast.
Her fingers gripped his aching shoulder tightly as her eyes closed. When his lips closed around her hardened nipple, she moved her hand to the back of his head, holding him in place as she moaned his name.
He shifted beneath her, his erection rapidly becoming uncomfortable in the confines of his leather pants. It became more uncomfortable when she instinctively moved with him, grinding her hips against his as her nails lightly scratched his scalp.
She felt his deep growl against her breast, his hands sliding down her torso and pushing her gown down as far as it would go in their current positions. Opening her eyes, she looked down at him and rocked against him again. This time she was rewarded with his strong hands slipping underneath the fabric to grip her hips.
He pulled his mouth from her flesh and lifted his glazed eyes to hers. She smiled, watching his eyes darken further as she ran her fingers down the back of his neck.
“Let me see you, Morgana.” He whispered, his voice thick with desire. “Allow me to rid you of...”
He trailed off as his right hand pushed at the gown some more.
“I want to see you...all of you...my sweet Morgana.”
“And you?” She whispered, tracing his lips with her fingers.
He nodded slowly, understanding the tentatively asked question. “If you so wish.”
She licked her lips and inhaled deeply. “I wish for your kiss...”
His eyes darted to her lips and, in one fluid motion that surprised her, he rolled their bodies until she was lying beside him. He leaned over her body, pausing long enough to look at her before granting her wish.
He kissed her slowly at first, savouring her taste before nudging his tongue into her mouth. As his passion increased, so did the intensity of the kiss. And before long, his fingers were curled in the fabric and tugging it over her hips as he moved his mouth to the side of her neck.
He sucked at her tender flesh, relishing her gasps, her moans, her writhing body. When he felt her hand brush against his erection, he tore his mouth from her neck and loudly groaned her name...too loudly, she momentarily feared.
Her fears were forgotten as he released her dress and grabbed her hand, pressing her palm against the hard bulge as he moved his lips to her ear.
“Touch me, Morgana...feel my passion for you.”
Her fingers moved of their own volition, it seemed...pulling at the laces of his pants as his hand returned to the soft material of her gown. Before she had gotten halfway through pulling the laces free, she felt the remainder of her own clothing slide down her thighs. And as she pushed the leather further down and his cock sprang free, all movement stopped.
They stared at one another, each knowing that they had crossed a line they could never redraw. He swallowed thickly, resting his hand on her bare thigh...but not daring to allow his eyes to drift just yet.
“We can stop now.”
She licked her lips nervously, her fingers still clutching the open waistband of his pants. “No, we can’t. We’ve come too far, Uther.”
Uther’s eyes narrowed slightly. “We can stop whenever we choose. There is no ‘too far’ here.”
Morgana made the first movement...resting her hand on his hip. “No, what I meant was...I’m not sure I can stop. I’m equally unsure as to whether I want to stop.”
Before he could respond, her gaze moved to the thick flesh...her fingers followed her gaze and his eyes closed as she touched him almost reverently.
“You look different to Owain and Percival.”
Uther’s eyes snapped open and his jaw clenched. He had known about Owain, for he had threatened to have the young knight beheaded for daring to touch Morgana. However, he knew nothing of a dalliance with Percival...and that caused a sudden rage to bubble within him.
“Percival?” He growled more than asked.
Morgana’s eyes widened, obviously unaware that she had spoken aloud. “I...we didn’t...he doesn’t even know that I saw...”
His brow furrowed as he stared into her eyes. “And how did you come to see him in this manner?”
Morgana looked into his eyes for a moment and then a slow smile appeared. “Uther Pendragon, are you...jealous?”
He opened his mouth to retort, but luckily his mind processed her tone before the words spilled from his lips. Realizing she was merely teasing him, he arched an eyebrow and slid his hand between her thighs.
“Pendragons do not become...jealous. I just needed to know whether or not to have Percival disposed of in the morning.”
Morgana gasped as his fingers lightly stroked her soft curls. “No...no, it was an innocent mistake on my part. He was bathing in the lake and I was on a walk with Gwen...”
As she carried on with her rambling explanation which involved more detail than he needed, or wanted, he settled his body down next to hers and placed a warm kiss on her left breast. He smiled as she trailed off in mid-sentence, a light tremble coursing through her body as his fingers slipped through her wet folds.
He lifted his head to watch her skin flush, but became concerned about the look of surprise in her eyes. His fingers stopped their movement and she whimpered softly.
“I was under the impression that Owain had...touched you in this way...”
Morgana nodded, swallowing hard as his fingertip circled her hardened nub. “It felt different to this...this is...please, don’t stop, Uther.”
It was then that he realized and a wave of childish pride swept through him. “He was unable to make you tremble with pleasure.”
“No...” She agreed, her right hand gripping the bedsheets as she spread her legs further apart. “But you are.”
“My utmost desire at this very moment is to watch you come apart beneath me...hear you cry my name in passion as you do so. I want to be inside of you, feel your warmth surround me as you hold me in your embrace.”
Her hand found his hard flesh, thick and hot, resting against her hip. She blindly explored him, her fingers wrapping around the shaft causing him to gasp.
“Will it be painful?” She asked softly.
He wanted to tell her ‘no’. He wanted to tell her that it was the most sublime sensation ever imaginable. But, he also knew that he couldn’t lie to her in this instance.
“At first.” He replied, dipping the tip of his middle finger into her briefly. “It becomes more pleasurable with time and...I will take my time with you, Morgana. I loathe to cause you physical pain, but the pleasure we’ll receive greatly outweighs any pain.”
She lightly stroked his erection, her teeth biting at her bottom lip as she struggled with her decision. “What if it’s too painful?”
“Then I stop.” He stated matter-of-factly, pushing his finger further into her and stopping when he felt the thin barrier that he wished so desperately to break through.
“And what would become of us?”
He couldn’t help but smile at her nervously asked question. “Then we’d wait until you’re no longer fearful of the pain.”
Her eyes glistened as she met his gaze. “Would you still love me, my Lord?”
His smile faltered and he removed his hand from between her thighs to pull her into his arms. His voice was a ragged whisper as he lovingly stroked her back. “Until I take my dying breath.”
Hearing the sincerity in his words, she knew that she had trusted no one more in her life. She pulled back just enough to lift her mouth to his. As she kissed him, he carefully repositioned himself between her thighs and guided the head of his cock through her wet folds, coating his flesh with her juices.
He broke the kiss and gazed into her eyes as he slowly pushed into her. As he felt her heat surround him in agonizing slowness, he fought the urge to merely plunge into her. Those who had shared his bed since the loss of his wife had lain with men before and it hadn’t mattered how voracious his movements had been.
But, it mattered now. With Morgana...it mattered.
And so he continued...watching her closely for any sign of distress. He paused when he reached the barrier and lowered his lips to kiss her forehead.
He pulled his hips back and pushed forward again, this time with a bit more force...still stopping when he reached the barrier. He continued this motion, back and forth...each thrust causing her to gasp softly...each thrust stopping in the exact same spot each time.
When he felt her hips arch towards him, he licked his lips. The moment was nearing and he was sure she could feel it as much as he could.
Knowing he was asking permission in his own way, she swallowed hard and gave him a nod. “I love you...Uther Pendragon.”
He smiled in response, covering her mouth with his and swallowing her cry as he finally broke through. Completely buried within her, he paused his motion and continued kissing her until she relaxed. When he felt her inner walls quiver around him, he ended the kiss and sighed heavily.
“The...worst is over...my love.”
She blinked and a tear rolled down from the corner of her eye. They both knew that her want, her need to come apart beneath him in passion had dissipated with the sharp displeasure of what had just occurred. They also both knew that his burning ache still remained.
His hips moved in gentle thrusts against her as he whispered tender apologies and lovingly wiped the tears from her face. It didn’t take him long to reach the point where he was unable to form words, only grunts and gasps. But that wasn’t a surprise to him...and he knew deep down that she just wanted this to be over.
And so when he felt the crest approaching, he didn’t fight it. Instead of prolonging her discomfort for the sake of extending his pleasure, he gave into the sensations and erupted deep within her as he cried her name.
His softening cock slipped from her as he rolled to the side and pulled her into his arms. She wept softly as she held onto him tightly. Even as he whispered that the next time would be much more pleasurable for her, he cursed himself for hurting her.
When she heard him whisper an emotionally charged ‘I love you’, she pulled back and looked at him through watery eyes. “I’m sorry it wasn’t enjoyable for you.”
His eyes widened slightly at her tenderly spoken statement. She sighed and lifted her trembling hand to his cheek.
“You hate to see me in pain of any sort. I know this, Uther.”
She placed two fingers over his lips and shook her head. “But, even through it all...I felt your love for me more than everything else I was feeling. And I’m sorry I couldn’t show you the same.”
He smiled and kissed her fingertips. “We could always make another attempt later...”
She returned his smile and her tears began to clear from her eyes. “I do love you so, Uther.”
“And I you, Morgana.” He replied softly, rolling onto his back and curling his arm around her as she rested her head on his chest.
Slipping out from underneath his arm, she reached down and pulled the thick bedclothes up over their bodies. She kissed his lips and then settled back down, placing her head on his chest once more. His fingers idly stroked her skin as they relaxed.
The thought that he should probably return to his own chambers never crossed their minds.
* * *
Gwen smiled at Merlin as she walked through the corridors, a freshly washed gown draped over her arms. “Good morning, Merlin.”
He gave her a shy wave and smiled back. “Good morning. Off to rouse the Lady of the Castle?”
Gwen chuckled and gave him a strange look. “I suppose she could be considered as such. The closest thing to a Queen that Camelot will see until Arthur takes a wife and control of the kingdom.”
Merlin lowered his eyes, his cheeks reddening as he jerked his thumb over his shoulder. “Speaking of His Royal Pain in my – ”
“Merlin!” Gwen interrupted, laughing brightly as his blush deepened. “Oh, you do make me laugh!”
He grinned happily and then glanced at the window. “I should see that Arthur’s breakfast is ready.”
She nodded and then narrowed her eyes. “You should ask Gaius to have a look at your neck.”
Merlin automatically lifted his hand to his neck and his eyes widened. “My neck?”
“Mm...looks to be a rash of some sort. With all the adventures you and Arthur have in the forests, you’ve probably gotten into something. Gaius could probably make a poultice for you...or teach you how, considering you’re his apprentice.”
He smiled nervously and rubbed at his neck. “Yeah...um...I’ll see to that after Arthur’s breakfast. I’ll talk to you later, okay?”
Gwen watched him curiously as he turned and ran down the corridor. She shook her head in amusement and thought, not for the first time, what a strange young man he was. With a smile on her face, she continued on her way to Lady Morgana’s chambers.
* * *
Gwen carefully balanced the gown and gave a light knock on Morgana’s door before pushing it open. She walked in and started talking immediately, sure that her mistress was awake as usual.
“I think Merlin has found himself a young lady friend. He had this mark on his – ”
Gwen stopped suddenly, her eyes widening as she gasped at the sight before her. The King. King Uther Pendragon. Sleeping soundly in Morgana’s bed...with Morgana’s bedclothes pulled up to his mid-chest. His bare mid-chest.
The King was unclothed and asleep in his ward’s bed...with his equally unclothed ward draped over his chest. She gasped again, this time dropping the gown to the floor.
It wasn’t that she didn’t suspect how Morgana felt about the King...
She scrambled to pick up the gown and paused when Morgana stirred. She raised her head to find Morgana’s green eyes shining brightly at her.
Morgana held a finger to her lips and then gestured to the sleeping King. Gwen nodded and then smiled, knowing that Morgana would tell her all later.
“I’ll just leave you be for now, my Lady.”
Morgana chuckled as Gwen quickly left the room, closing the door behind her. She was sure that Merlin would know within the next few minutes. As a result of Merlin’s knowledge, Arthur was sure to know before his father even made his presence known at the breakfast table.
She looked down to find Uther’s sleepy eyes gazing at her. “Good morning, Sire.”
Her rolled his eyes and pulled her down for a kiss. She giggled, something that he had decided was one of the most beautiful sounds he’d ever heard, and playfully struggled against him.
Her ‘struggle’ ended abruptly when he pulled her on top of him and smiled up at her. “Considering what took place between us last night, I believe I’d prefer for you to call me ‘Uther’ from this day forth.”
“Only ‘Uther’?” She asked, her smile showing in her eyes.
“Is there something else you’d rather call me?” He responded, unsure if he really wanted the answer.
“Love? Dearest? Cor?” She smiled shyly as she felt him harden beneath her. “Or...I could simply call you ‘Uther’.”
“Cor?” He asked, his gaze dropping to her chest for a moment.
“Cor meum is cumbersome.” She gave as her explanation, leaning down to kiss his warm lips.
He responded to the kiss quickly, groaning when she pulled away. “Morgana?”
She moved off of him, kneeling at his side and wrapping the sheet around her body. “You need to know something, Uther.”
He pushed himself up, leaning back against the pillows as he carefully regarded her, curious as to her sudden seriousness. “What is it, Ana?”
“Ana?” She raised an eyebrow at him and smiled. “I haven’t heard you call me ‘Ana’ in years.”
He ignored her statement and lifted his hand to her cheek. “Is something troubling you? Did your pain worsen throughout the night?”
“No, my...” She hesitated when she realized that she was getting ready to call him the familiar ‘my Lord’. It was going to take time to get used to not using formal...or informal...titles when speaking to him. “My pain has ebbed, Uther. It’s just...Gwen saw us this morning.”
“Ah.” He murmured, relaxing when he realized it was nothing more dire.
“Ah? She’ll probably tell Merlin...and Merlin will tell Arthur. And...well, more than likely, they already know that we’ve – ”
“That does not concern me, Ana.” He interrupted with a smile. “They would find out soon enough because I have no desire to hide my love for you any longer. Does this trouble you?”
“No.” She answered honestly, gazing into his eyes as he reached out and gently tugged the sheet away from her body. “I thought it might trouble you...”
He shook his head slowly and allowed his eyes to roam over her body for the first time in the daylight. “You are even more magnificent in the light of day.”
He swallowed and cupped her left breast in his hand, rubbing his thumb over her quickly hardening nipple. “Is it too soon, my love?”
“You want?” She gasped.
He gently pushed her onto her back and moved between her thighs, his eyes darkening with passion as she bent her legs and rested her knees against his sides. “Very much.”
“Ease my ache, my Lord.” She whispered, pulling his mouth down to hers.
His original plan was mapping her body with his lips and tongue, covering her core with his mouth and listening to her cry out his name. His original plan was thwarted as she arched her hips towards his.
He tried to pull from the kiss as he eased his thick cock into her, but she slid her hands into his hair and kissed him harder. Only when he started his gentle thrusts did she allow the kiss to end.
He slowly lifted his head and gazed into her eyes, elated to see no signs of distress as he had the previous night. No, all he saw was her love...her desire...for him. He supported his weight with his left hand on the mattress as he stroked her hair with his right.
“Oh, Morgana...” He whispered thickly. “I love you so.”
She nearly questioned him over his earlier statement about his inability to simply say ‘I love you’, but her question was lost as his mouth found her neck and the force of his thrusts increased. Instead, she moaned his name and lifted her left leg over his hip.
He wanted to roll over, watch her move atop him as his hands guided her hips, but understood that she was still extremely new to the act of making love. Though, by the way she was moving with him and against him, he could tell that she had a natural talent. It wouldn’t be long before she would feel comfortable enough to experiment with different positions.
But, for now...their current position would more than suffice.
“Uther...” She groaned, her hands pressed tightly against his ribs as she threw her head back against the pillows.
He watched her through passion-glazed eyes...her body writhing beneath him, beads of sweat rolling into the small hollow of her throat, her skin flushing a deep pink as her arousal neared its crest. And as her fingernails dug into his flesh and her eyes clenched closed, he thought she had never looked more beautiful.
“That’s it, my love...my Ana...” He whispered encouragingly. “Allow the sensations to take you away...to take me with you...”
As he pushed harder against her, she instinctively bit her lip to stifle her cry. He smiled and lightly flicked his tongue against her mouth.
“Let me hear you, Morgana...do not silence yourself in this moment. Please...”
And that was all it took for Morgana to find her release. One simple word... ‘please’...it was so rare for her to hear that word spill from his lips. King Uther Pendragon need not say please for anything, and yet he did...for her to let him hear her pleasure.
And as his name left her lips on a loud scream, he closed his eyes and gave a cry of his own as his orgasm crashed over him. Momentarily sapped of all strength, he collapsed at her side. She trembled violently as his cock slipped from her, allowing their fluids to soak into the sheets beneath her.
As he gathered her into his arms and they each fought for their breath, he knew that he’d finally found his Queen. He knew that she’d never replace Igraine, but he also knew that she would fill an empty spot in his heart that he hadn’t known existed until he admitted his true feelings for her.
She licked her dry lips and looked into his eyes. “You seem lost in thought.”
“Nothing to concern yourself with, Ana.” He sighed contentedly, threading his fingers through her dark, damp hair. “You are the most beautiful creature I’ve seen in many, many years.”
Just as she opened her mouth to reply, a soft gurgle emanated from Uther’s stomach. She smiled in amusement and gently rubbed her palm over his abdomen.
“I’m sure it’s nearly time for breakfast.”
Uther nodded in agreement and heaved a heavy sigh before placing a light kiss on her lips and climbing out of bed. She watched him as he collected his clothing and dressed, waiting to start getting dressed herself until he sat on the edge of the bed to pull his boots on.
He looked up as she walked around the bed in her naked glory, a deep bruise showing prominently on the side of her left breast. She smiled inwardly, feeling his gaze on her body as she picked up the dress Gwen had brought in earlier.
She chuckled when she felt his hand wrap around her wrist and pull her back towards him. “Uther, I must get – ”
“Agree to be my Queen.” He interrupted softly, his eyes showing a vulnerability she had never seen before.
“What?” She gasped, her eyes widening in shock at his sudden proposal.
“I…understand this is unexpected.” He swallowed nervously and took a deep breath. “I feel it is right, though seemingly soon. You brighten my days, Morgana. The birds in Camelot sing for you…as does my heart. I wish for my songs to warm your heart for the rest of my life.”
She was quiet for a few moments, neither of them seeming to realize that she had yet to dress. After what felt like an eternity to the King, Morgana smiled warmly.
“You could have just said ‘I love you’.”
“What I feel runs deeper than a simple statement.” He replied, returning her smile. “I do not expect an answer at this moment, but perhaps we could explore the forests to the west and discuss it further.”
Morgana’s eyes glistened as her smile grew. “I would like that, Uther.”
His eyes darted to her chest before resuming their mutual gaze. “I’ll leave you to dress. Do try not to keep us waiting long.”
Before she had a chance to respond, he turned and quickly made his way out of her chambers. She stared at the door as it closed behind him, clutching her clothing to her chest as the reality of the situation sank into her mind.
He, Uther Pendragon, wanted her to be Queen. His Queen.
She would agree, of course…for she loved him dearly. The thought also crossed her mind that maybe, just maybe, she’d be able to tame the ruthless King. She smiled at that…ruthless. If anyone had seen him last night, they’d rethink that word that had been used to describe Uther.
But, she supposed he was to an extent. Especially in dealings with sorcery in all forms. And that was what she wanted to tame, to make him understand that not all magic came from evil.
For now, she’d dress and rush to the banquet hall. After all, she did hate to keep him waiting.
* * *
Uther shifted in his chair as Morgana strolled into the room. He gestured to the empty chair to his left and smiled.
“Good morning, Morgana.”
She returned his smile, her eyes sparkling as she sat down at the table. “Good morning, my Lord.”
Arthur rolled his eyes and snorted as he reached for a chunk of bread. Uther turned his eyes to his son and raised an eyebrow.
Arthur sighed and gestured vaguely as he darted his eyes between his father and Morgana. “You two…exchanging morning pleasantries as if everything is perfectly normal.”
Uther echoed the Prince’s sigh and met Morgana’s eyes. “Seems as though you were correct in your assumption that word would travel quickly.”
Arthur furrowed his brow in confusion. “Word? I haven’t heard anything.”
“And yet, you know?” Uther questioned, instinctively leaning towards Morgana.
“Well, you weren’t exactly careful about how or where you were saying ‘goodnight’ last night.” Arthur replied with a smile.
Arthur’s smile faded as Morgana raised an eyebrow. “We were standing in my doorway…where were you?”
“Um…coming back from a, uh…training exercise.” He finished lamely, glancing at his father.
“A training exercise? What sort of training exercise could you have possibly been holding at that time of night?”
Arthur opened his mouth, closed it when he noticed his father impatiently awaiting the answer to Morgana’s question, and then gave her a look of utter annoyance. “I’m not a child, Morgana…and I do not have to justify to you my comings and goings to and from the palace in which I was born.”
Morgana grinned and looked at Uther, reaching over to place her hand on top of his gloved one. Uther gently squeezed her hand and then sat back in his chair, giving Morgana a subtle nod to continue.
“And her name?”
Arthur gave a sigh of exasperation and pushed his chair back from the table. “A bear. Merlin and I were tracking a bear. And seeing as we weren’t successful in our venture, we’ll head out again as soon as I hand out the daily orders for the Knights.”
“A bear?” Morgana asked, her tone laced with amusement.
“A bear. Large, black, furry.” Arthur growled, standing up and stomping across the room. “When I return with its head, I’ll be sure to leave it at your door.”
Uther chuckled and then called his son’s name just as Arthur reached the archway. Arthur took a deep breath and then turned around, staring at his father expectantly.
Uther’s smile grew. “While handing out the orders to the Knights, could you see that Percival checks the stables for bats? I’m certain I heard them rustling around the other day while I was examining my steed…and the last thing we need is the stables to become overwrought with bats and their vile excrement.”
Arthur’s disbelief shone clearly in his eyes. “You want me to have Percival clean the stables of bat excrement?”
Uther nodded and bit through a piece of ham, answering as he chewed. “Common labour teaches a warrior the meaning of humility. See to it that each of your Knights learn this lesson…starting with Percival.”
Arthur rolled his eyes and muttered a ‘yes, Sire’ as he walked out of the room. Morgana shook her head and looked at Uther.
“The meaning of humility?”
Uther smiled and pushed the bread basket towards her. “Pendragons do not become jealous.”
Morgana laughed and reached into the basket. After breakfast, she’d request that they explore the forests to the west of the castle…but, for now she just wanted to enjoy a meal with the man she loved.