The knock on the doors of her chambers sounded few hours after she returned from the council meeting. Although she was not really showing it openly, she was annoyed and wanted to inflict bodily harm to that snake of her uncle.
The man was talented with words, she would admit him that as he spent half of the council yapping on about how Kyna and she are supposed to conduct for the first few weeks of their stay here and repeatedly reminded her subtly she gave her word on not using magic, something other councillors were merely nodding their ‘wise’ heads to.
Though she did note that Geoffrey of Monmouth, the court genealogist and archivist, did not particularly like her uncle’s honey laced jabs and warnings other lords were obviously oblivious to.
“Come!” she called from her sun bathed desk where she was currently reviewing copy of a treaty Uther made with Alined, Olaf, Irvyn and Reghan three years ago as she did not wish to be caught by surprise, especially by Alined of all people.
She looked up to see Lancelot coming in with slightly overstuffed food tray he balanced almost with same expertise as Merlin.
“Merlin told me in the passing your uncle was less than pleasing this morning and that you did not have your dinner yet so I thought you might want to share, my lady.” He offered that ‘disarming’, kind smile as Kyna dubbed it the first time she saw Lancelot smile.
“Indeed I would. My eyes need rest from this anyway.”
“What are you reading?”
“The treaty from three years ago. I have no desire to get caught unprepared by that toad Alined.”
That elicited small chuckle from him.
“Yes, Merlin did mention something like you turning Lord Alined into a toad.”
Even when they were alone, Lancelot still kept to his manners and referred to those higher and lower of ranks by their titles. It is something she admired about him but there were moments when it annoyed her.
“I should have turned him into something smaller and feed him to Shae. Like I should probably do with my dearest uncle.” Anwen growled a bit.
“Gwaine has tried to flirt with Kyna today. Again.”
Lancelot decided to switch the subject; obviously Agravaine was off limits for further discussion.
“I swear that those two enjoy this flirting game they are playing.”
“At least she keeps him away from the tavern. Most of the time anyway.”
“It would be interesting to see Gwaine trying to drink her under the table.”
“Yes, she gets the alcohol resilience from her father. Lord Orin is known to hold his liquor for quite a long time.”
“I am not certain that is such a good idea. Arthur doesn’t like hung-over Gwaine. None of us do; he is insufferable during patrols the day after.”
“I can believe that. But enough of Gwaine. How are you today?”
“As well as I can be with all the preparations and security measures Arthur ordered us to do in light of king Alined’s arrival.”
“You are tired.” Anwen summarized, noticing the weariness on his face and entire posture as he nibbled on some fruit.
“I am but there is nothing I can do about it right now. I have another hour before I have to return to my duties.”
“But I can.” Anwen got up from her chair and walked over to the locked looking cabinet stationed next to her wardrobe.
“Onlúcan.” her eyes flashed briefly after her murmur and a soft click was heard from the cabinet.
She opened the cabinet and after few moment of hearing the glass clicking, Lancelot saw her remove a small, round vial with golden-yellowish liquid inside.
“Here.” she handed him the vial and smiled when their hands brushed, there was always rush of warmth whenever their skins made contact.
“What is this?”
“Energy replenishing potion. Drink some of that, it will make you feel lot better but drink only three sips. It is highly addictive to those without magic if it is not used properly.”
Lancelot took her warning into consideration and drank exactly three small sips from the vial. The potion left sharp, burning sensation as it flowed through his throat before it settled in his stomach and suddenly he felt tingling sensation in his entire body that was soon accompanied by sudden amount of energy.
“This feels…strange. And invigorating.”
“That is its purpose.” Anwen kindly smiled, taking the vial away from him and locking it in the cabinet again.
“Thank you but I assumed I am not to tell about this to others.”
“Especially Gwaine because he would not stop pestering me until he got it.”
Lancelot made a move to collect now empty food tray but Anwen stopped him.
“I will take that to the kitchens. Perhaps I can sweet talk Mary to give me an extra apple tart.”
“It really isn’t...”
“Of for the love of Mother Goddess!” Anwen suddenly exclaimed, slightly annoyed and without thinking leaned forward, cutting off the rest of his sentence with soft but passionate kiss.
“Anwen could you…Oh!” Kyna’s amused exclamation broke the moment and whilst Lancelot actually blushed slightly at being caught, Anwen chuckled but glared at her friend for breaking the moment.
“Is there something you needed Kyna?”
“I came to ask you if you are in a mood for afternoon ride but if you are busy…”
“She is not busy, I was just leaving.” Lancelot quickly cut in, kissed Anwen and Kyna’s hands politely before leaving Anwen’s chambers.
“I am really sorry for interrupting. From now on I will ask you before I even knock.” Kyna bit her lower lip guiltily; she knew Anwen was trying her best to get Lancelot to loosen up a bit.
“Doesn’t matter, I still have lot to do. He is still far too courteous for my taste. I mean, it is an admirable trait that small number of men posses nowadays but it can be really annoying at times.” Anwen sighed.
“Come on…Arthur said Agravaine was far from pleasant and you have to be nice to Alined tomorrow. Nothing like a horse ride to cheer you up.” Kyna grabbed her gently but firmly by her arms and dragged the princess out of the chambers.
The impassive look on Anwen’s face as she descended on the entrance stairs to stand just behind Arthur was impressive and slightly frightening. Merlin was surprising a smile because he knew she did not like to wear dresses as every day outfit, little less to greet men like Alined in it, with nice hairstyle and all other things ladies of the court used to make them look extra beautiful.
Kyna seemed amused at Anwen’s obvious annoyance but said nothing as she was too busy to flirt discretely with Gwaine. Those two were really source of entertainment. Just like yesterday when inebriated Gwaine started singing slightly changed version of ‘Fair Annie’ and though the ballad was bold in the context, no one could stop laughing.
After few minutes of just standing there, with half of the courtiers and knights present on the staircase and staring into nothing, sound of horse hooves started to echo the courtyard; and soon enough Alined appeared with his sizeable escort in all his obnoxiousness. Anwen scowled at the very sight of him and got a little nudge in the back from Merlin that clearly stated for her to be nice.
They wanted her to be nice then. Fine, she could to nice. She can do an outstanding nice. As a matter of fact she will be so nice that it would leave them dumbfounded. That does not mean she could not have discrete fun with the obnoxious king though. Oh yes, she would make his stay in Camelot a memorable one.