When they arrived at the castle they could see that some people looked distraught. Amelia looked to Gwen confused. “What’s the matter?”
Gwen shrugged not knowing either. Amelia gathered pace to get to the entrance of the castle but when she got there found King Uther, Prince Arthur and her brother descending.
“Is everything alright?” Amelia asked. Alistiar looked at his sister both relieved to find her better and within the castle.
“Some of Camelot’s villages have been attacked.”
Amelia gasped looking towards the King and Arthur who seemed grave and in deep conversation.
Alistiar shook his head. “It’s more like what.”
Amelia grasped the situation. A creature was attacking the villages not people.
“Where are you going?” Amelia asked to no one in particular.
This time Arthur answered her once he had mounted his horse.
“We need to assess the situation, we will not be gone long”
Amelia nodded, she had so desperately wanted to give Arthur his gift immediately but certainly not in front of his father and her own brother.
“Be safe.” Amelia said simply.
The three men then turned and galloped out of the castle leaving Amelia slightly lonely. It was odd being in a castle without the appropriate royalty within in it and Amelia felt at a loss for what to do.
That was until she remembered a servant that Arthur had on her last visit and she really wanted to meet him again.
“Does a servant called Merlin still work for Arthur?” Amelia asked Gwen. Immediately Gwen blushed.
“Yes he stays with Gaius the court physician.”
“Can you take me there?”
Once more Gwen showed the princess the way but as she did she could not help but tug at her clothes to be neater or play with a stray curl that had fallen near her face.
“Gwen, do you like this man?” Amelia asked casually.
“No, no, no well actually, no, I mean here we are!”
Amelia bit back a laugh as she knocked on the door.
Within minutes the door opened to reveal an old man who was slightly stooped with shocking white hair.
“Princess Amelia I see you have recovered!”
“Yes, I believe I have you to thank”
“Not at all, now what can I do for you?” Gaius had now motioned the princess and Gwen inside.
“Does the man Merlin still reside here?” Amelia asked and as if on cue a bustling noise issued from behind a door in the corner that swung open too reveal two men.
Both men could see that the lady downstairs was of high importance so they belted down the stairs to be level with the lady.
Princess Amelia was beaming at Merlin who seemed happily perplexed at this.
“My lady it has been a long time since I last saw you!”
Amelia could not help herself any longer and threw herself at Merlin to give him a hug.
Merlin could not help but smell cinnamon and something floral from the princess, she smelt of home.
“I am sorry, being a princess has it downsides.”
Everyone in the room laughed. Now apart from Merlin, Amelia took in the appearance of the second man. He was tall, with messy dark hair and was handsome if you liked that sort of thing. At once the man bowed.
“I am Lancelot at your service.”
Amelia smiled but Merlin cut in.
“He’s being humble, this is Lancelot the fifth son of lord Eldridge of Northumbria.”
Amelia looked confused. “I did not know he had a fifth son.”
At once everyone’s breath caught.
“I was a latecomer my lady.” Lancelot gave a nervous smile.
Amelia gave a laugh. “Now I know that feeling.”
“Princess what can I do for you anyway?” Gaius asked trying to change the subject.
“Gaius, I came here to provide help with my healing expertise and I was wondering if I could help you if you’d like?”
Gaius beamed he had heard stories of Amelia’s soft touch. “I would be honoured- you could help Merlin here get supplies.”
“Certainly at once.”
Merlin however looked less happy. “I needed to help Lancelot sort some things.”
Gaius cut in. “I’m sure Gwen here can manage.”
The princess turned to Gwen who had forgot her presence momentarily then she realised it was not Merlin who was making her blush… it was Lancelot.
Smiling knowingly Amelia walked towards the door.
“Will there anything in particular you want us to get you Gaius?”
Gaius could not get over the fact that this royal was so eager to help.
“Merlin knows, have fun.”
As the Princess and the servant started towards the gardens, Amelia slinked her arm around Merlin’s like it was a natural thing to do with a servant. A male one no less.
“It must be two years at least since I last saw you.” Merlin commented feeling important.
“Nearly three.” Amelia replied back.
“You look different now than when you did back then.” Merlin stated now blushing a deep crimson.
Amelia smiled slyly. “Oh now, do tell.”
“Now you have filled out more.”
Amelia gasped playfully. “Are you suggesting I have put on weight?”
Merlin stopped abruptly looking scared. “No not at all, you just look womanly now.”
Amelia burst out laughing and push Merlin forward “My dear, dear Merlin you amuse me.”
Merlin laughed nervously. “I’m sorry, I’m not good with words sometimes.”
“It’s fine Merlin really, now let’s get some work done.”
Two hours later and Merlin and Amelia could be found hunched over a hedge seemingly looking for something.
“What does it look like exactly?” Merlin asked again even though he had heard the description over a million times.
“It has a purple head, with a long stalk and small leaves.” Amelia replied determined. She had saw this plant in abundance back home, but here it was a rarity and it made Amelia mentally note to bring some back to Camelot the next time she visited for this plant had healing qualities for sprains and pulled muscles. Perfect for the knights and soldiers of Camelot.
“And are you sure it’s found in hedges?” Merlin asked again. Amelia could hear the desperation in his voice.
Amelia continued on unknowing that Merlin had stopped.
Merlin wondered if determination was a royal thing that you inherited for both Arthur and Amelia both had it in abundance.
“Aha – here we go!” Amelia had found a little bundle of the flowers underneath one of the hedges.
Pulling them out of the ground she pocketed them alongside Arthur’s present.
Walking back towards the castle Princess Amelia and Merlin heard the distinct noise of horns.
“Sounds like the royals are back – time for dinner I think!” Merlin said rubbing his stomach.
Amelia laughed but then she realised that after dinner she would deliver her present with new excitement she turned to Merlin and handed him the sought after flower…
along with Arthur’s pendant.
Lifting it Merlin inspected it closely. Princess Amelia’s mouth ran dry.
“This is lovely – who is it for?”
Amelia looked at Merlin as if he was stupid then the sudden realisation dawned on Merlin’s face.
“He’ll like it!” Amelia looked hopeful.
“Really do you really think so?”
“Go now!” Merlin said slowly handing back the pendant.
Amelia walked towards Arthur’s chambers slowly tidying up her appearance, as she got closer.
Taking a deep breath she quietly entered his room to find Arthur looking determinedly into the fire.
“Are you alright Arthur?” Amelia said quietly.
Arthur started and took in Amelia. Her appearance still had the air of being ruffled and to Arthur it was extremely comforting.
“This beast has a thirst for human blood.” Arthur said dryly.
Amelia spying a jug of wine walked over to it and poured a large amount for Arthur and passed it too him. He smiled and took a large draught.
“I believe you’ll catch it.” Amelia said
sincerely. “Actually Arthur…”
Arthur looked at Amelia questioning.
Amelia placed her hand in her pocket and grabbed the pendant in a way that Arthur would not be able to see it.
“Open your hand out.” Amelia instructed.
“What are you on about?”
“OPEN IT!” Amelia said loudly once Arthur had done so with a smirk on his face did Amelia place the pendant on his hand.
Once having done so Amelia felt stupid.
“It’s a thank you, I know its not the best gift you’ve been given but…”
Arthur placed a sole finger on Amelia’s mouth to silence her. Once Amelia was silent Arthur put the pendant on and then stared at Amelia silently.
“It’s perfect Amelia.”
Amelia beamed. Arthur had now started to close the gap between himself and Amelia, then by reaching his hands out to her face he gently pulled her face inches within his own.
Amelia could feel his breath beating on her face for a few seconds before Arthur moved in too brush his lips against Amelia’s. Amelia lifted her hands to Arthur's who still had is snaked around her to feel that his hands were rough.
"I'll see you at dinner Arthur." But Amelia would not move. Just then Merlin walked in Arthur's chambers catching sight of the two royals.
"Oh im so sorry!"
Immediately Arthur's hands dropped and faced Merlin with an angry look on his face.
"What are YOU doing Merlin?"
Merlin was pointing to Arthurs' freshly washed clothes. Amelia looked to both men and smiled.
"I'll go now."
As Amelia left she could distinctly hear something being thrown and the words. "And that is why you'll never have a woman MERLIN!"
Author's Chapter Notes: