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Blood.

That was all he could see. It streamed from Anwen’s stomach down the pale marble altar and pooled at Kyna’s feet. He saw colour leave Anwen’s skin and she struggled to keep her eyes open. Arthur’s was vaguely aware Kyna calling Merlin to them and two of them shouting healing spells on Anwen. All he was focused on was Anwen’s paling face and screams of pain that tore from her throat.

Arthur woke up with a start thin layer of sweat on his face as he worked to get his breathing under control. Despite the fact that the Dorocha incident happened five months ago, he still had nightmares. It was a small and hollow comfort to know he was not the only one. Every member of their group had some form of nightmares, all revolving about what happened on the Isle of the Blessed.

His mind snapped to attention as he heard doors of his chambers open, letting in Merlin with breakfast tray. Although his manservant/future court sorcerer had a teasing smile on his face, it dropped at the sight of still slightly distressed Arthur sitting up in his bed. He did not need to ask why he was awake.

On his part, he would never forget the feel of ice cold blood that gushed out of Anwen’s stomach as Kyna and he worked on healing her. Kyna later explained that Anwen’s blood was cold because of the blade. Not that it calmed him down. Although they sealed her wound shut and prevented Anwen from bleeding to death, they still raced back to Camelot to get her to warm and enclosed space where they could watch over her better.

“I do not think Anwen would want you to greet your birthday with that sullen look on your face.” Merlin remarked as he set down the tray and walked over to part the curtains, letting the sunlight in.

“I know but I can’t help myself. It is not something I will forget easily.” Arthur yawned and extracted himself from the bed.

“You are not the only one. Anwen told me there are nights when Lancelot holds her so tightly she has to slap him awake to let go off her.” Merlin commented.

“I perfectly understand him. If something like that happened to Guinevere…” Arthur trailed off and shivered.

“Alright, enough of that gloominess . It’s your birthday. Look!” Merlin grinned as he opened the window to see the entertainment troop come up to the citadel, making people smile as they went.

“It’s a man throwing sticks in the air Merlin.” Arthur stated patronisingly as if he was talking to a child. “I am pretty certain even you can do that despite your endless clumsiness.”

“I could probably do far better than him. But that is beside the point. You’ve got the entire troop to entertain you.” Merlin remarked, teasing grin on his face. “It has to be a terrible burden to endure all that fun.”

“Perhaps I am not as easily impressed as you are.”

“I am really looking forward to tonight’s feast.”

“Because you have mind of a child.” Arthur muttered as he dug in his breakfast.

“Yeah and I’m still more intelligent than you.” Merlin threw back, making Arthur choke a bit on his food but he did not have time to get Merlin back because the warlock hurried out with Arthur’s laundry.

~O~

Anwen thought about the present she got for Arthur as she walked to the armoury to find her fiancé and rest of the knights as they were needed up in the council chambers by Arthur, probably to discuss security for tonight’s feast and to give in reports from their patrols.

She nodded her greeting to several knights that just exited the armoury and went inside only to stop and smile appreciatively at the sight in front of her, which was five shirtless knights. Although they were of different builds and heights, something Percival greatly surpassed them all, they muscle structures were a sight to admire.

They were laughing at Gwaine’s joke as usual when she cleared her throat to get theirs attention. Although most of them had the decency to look modest, Gwaine on the other hand looked quite proud and winked at her, making her chuckle. Goddess help them all with Gwaine and Kyna as couple.

“Not that I do not appreciate the view gentlemen but Arthur needs you up in the council chambers. Probably for you to give your reports and discuss security for tonight.”

To emphasize her point, she bit her lower lip and did not even try to hide her appreciative look.

“Right. Arthur could have sent a servant to inform us of that. So why are you here?” Gwaine asked.

“He could have yes, but there is also a matter of me wanting some moments alone with my fiancé. So if you do not mind gentlemen…” She motioned to the door.

“I swear you two are going to give me stomach sickness from all the romantic expressiveness.”

“Like you are any better Gwaine. You and Kyna are ten times worse.” Elyan remarked as the knights made their way out, leaving Anwen and Lancelot alone.

“How was your patrol?”

“Uneventful.”

“I got a letter from my mother today.” Anwen came to stand face to face with Lancelot.

“What does it say?”

Lancelot still remembered the long letter he received from Anwen’s grandfather that informed him that they all knew something has happened to Anwen and that they wish for him as her future husband, how they knew that was still a mystery to him, to keep her safe and alive at all costs until Inis arrives with her husband to Camelot. The visit itself that occurred full week after they returned from the Isle of the Blessed was a quiet one, without the usual decorum they usually had when foreign royalty was visiting.

Although they already knew Inis, her husband Airell was visiting Camelot for the first time since he left it and many were impressed by his very appearance. During their visit, Airell was often seen splitting time between watching over his unconscious daughter and giving advices to Arthur, it was obvious that the prince regent of Camelot found it beneficiary to listen to his uncle. Lancelot however was surprised the most when Airell approached him and gave him the engagement ring he gave Inis with a knowing smile and told him he expected the official announcement at some reasonable time. That time was decided to be Arthur’s birthday and Arthur himself was happy with the idea to announce the engagements of his cousin and first knight of Camelot at his birthday feast.

“The usual. But she also wanted to know if we decided on the wedding date yet? Seeing as we have been engaged for five months despite we are making the engagements official tonight.”

“I was thinking that your birthday would be a good date.”

“You wish for me to be your May Queen.” Anwen concluded with small smile.

“Yes. If that’s alright with you.”

“It is. I just hope you do not have some sort of sacrifice planned for later.” Anwen teased.

“Would not dream of it. Unless you misbehave.” Lancelot replied with teasing smile, kissed her and hurried out to meet Arthur before she came up with a come back.

“Men…” Anwen shook her head with fond smile and made her way to the banquet hall where she was supposed to meet Kyna.

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