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Arthur wondered how much longer he would be able to surprise Gwen with his presence. It was quite darling, seeing the sword clatter to the ground as she squealed his name like a startled, but excited child. “I hope you don’t startle so easily on the battlefield,” he teased. Her cheeks burned rosy red, but this he chose to ignore as he collapsed on the bed. Technically, he wasn’t supposed to be here. It was tradition in Calladahn, or at least in the Pendragon family that the groom not see the bride the day before the union. But he had already upset Pendragon tradition...so why not a bit more? He was feeling rebellious.
He couldn’t help the grin on his face. Despite the troubles with arrangements, he couldn’t help but be happy. He was happier than he could have ever imagined, and just yesterday he’d thought the same thing. However, he was distracted from his thoughts by Gwen speaking up, and laughed at her response. So the news of the nudity threat /had/ spread. Good. As she continued, Arthur wondered if she was really thinking through her words. She was teasing, but to suggest taking off all her cloths so tantalizingly close to their wedding day. As the elaborate scheme continued, a wicked smirk began to grow on his face.
“Careful my dear,” he said softly. “Or I may have to take pre-emptive action to spare the court such a sight.” He sat upright, looking at her, the same wicked smirk still plastered on his face. This was their wedding, and they were in a private room. Nobody needed to know what happened in here….and for all intents and purposes, nothing would have. Yet Arthur was bound, not by the rules of marriage so much as his own. Besides, as easily overwhelmed as Gwen seemed to be at time, she wasn’t stupid; it was a bit risky, and they certainly did not want their marriage to begin with a scandal seeing as they were already breaking the rules pf a royal marriage.
Mercifully, Gwen changed subject to the activities of the day, and as she began he frowned slightly. Kidnapping the bride? Well that didn’t seem much like Gwen. However, a moment later he laughed. Of course, he should have known. Gwen always put her own spin on traditions, or really anything. Whatever they were doing, Gwen would make it her own in some way and that was one of the many wonderful things about her. “Well that sounds perfectly marvelous. I wonder if my staff would be more self sufficient if they knew they could ask me for nothing for the rest of the day.”
He grinned, then leaned over and gave her a light kiss. “By the gods I’m so glad I decided to marry you.” Hopping off the bed, he looked briefly around the room before turning to Gwen. “I don’t really know where you keep your things, but I have some things that should disguise me in my room. It will be easier for me to kidnap you without being noticed if you were to find yourself by the north entrance on the first floor next to the hideous statue of my father. Nobody goes there, you will find yourself easy pickings for a thief. Say...in 20 minutes.”
Beaming, Arthur blew her a farewell kiss and forced himself to walk out the door. There were a couple of guards patrolling, but they were facing away. Arthur fixed himself with a stern gaze and marched past them. They bowed as he walked by, and Arthur merely offered them a curt nod. As he passed them, he wanted to run but his route was crowded with staff and the occasional advisor. It took him nearly half the allotted time just to get back to his room, and once he had arrived he had to channel all of his creative energy as quickly as possible. He settled for a servant’s costume. Finding disguises was more difficult than it had once been because Arthur was, unfortunately, no longer the size of a fourteen year old. He was not scrawny or even short anymore, which annoyed him; gone were the days when he could slip seamlessly into a crowd and not be noticed for hours on end. Now, he actually looked the part of a king. What an inconvenience.
As he slipped out of the room in his disguise, he put the last thing that could still serve him to use - his knowldege. He hunched over slightly, tipping his servant hat down to obscure his face a little, cleared his throat and walked quickly with shorter strides. This utterly diminished him, so as he walked past one of his advisors, they didn’t spare him a second glance. He made it like this quite a ways until something rather unexpected happened.
Arthur looked around to see one of the senior staff marching towards him.
“Yes sir?” He called, the commoner’s drawl jumping to his lips as easily as if he was right back doing Kay’s laundry again.
“I need you to get the flowers, Peter’s gone home feeling ill. Pink roses only, do you hear?”
Arthur felt his blood pressure rise. His eye twitched slightly. He was already late, and one of his senior staff couldn’t remember that it was red and white that he’d requested in honor of his mother’s favorite colors. It was the one piece of information he'd managed to get from Mags about his mother; evidently the woman had once been Ygraine's handmaiden before she'd married into the Pendragon name. “I heard it was red and white,” he muttered.
“Don’t question me! We’re behind schedule as is and the King is nowhere to be found!”
“Well then you’d better get going with the fucking red and white roses then, shouldn’t you Theodore?” Arthur growled, dropping the accent and leveling his boiling gaze upon his staff member. The man looked like he was about to emplode. His cheeks turned bright red, and he gasped.
“Red and white sire!” He squeaked.
“If you forget again I swear on the Destroyer I will hang you upside down by your toes in the dungeon! Now get out of my sight and tell nobody of this encounter!” He snarled.
Arthur lived for the little things in life. Like watching his staff get so flustered and frightened that he crashed into the doorway in his hurry to get away, bouncing backwards and then scrambling haphazardly to his feet and disappearing. Shaking his head, Arthur resumed his march to the other side of the castle. It was empty as he expected, and soon enough, he saw the gaudy, distasteful statue of his late father. Arthur wanted it removed but it wa part of a large, weight bearing arch, thus could not be damaged. Arthur had knocked the nose off of it when he was seventeen though. It had been glued back on but was at an awkward angle,’thus making the statue look even more ridiculous.
However, it was not the statue that had his attention when he arrived, it was a far more pressing matter; Gwen was not there. He looked both ways on the corridor but she was nowhere to be seen. Where was she?