Chapter 7 : With Suspicious Minds
Gwen stomped furiously across the town center, when suddenly she decided to stop and head back.
He would be gone by then….they all would. All of them!
She could sense something different about these new comers…
They were not from Mercin, she recalled how Kiki misspoke the city’s name… how could anyone from Mercin not know the King Uther and Camelot???
And…they were clearly not commoners….they possessed the same arrogance she witnesses in Arthur once in a while…clearly Merlin was hiding something.
She turned around, when suddenly an arm pulled her to the side.
Caught unawares she struggled to break free from the person’s grip.
“Hush! It is I, Merlin.”
“Merlin!” she exclaimed, he had followed her, “You left them in my home alone?”
“They are good people!” he tried to reassure her.
She shook her head, “Perhaps…but they are hiding something…and…”
“and what Gwen?” Merlin asked
She looked at him, his eyes glistening in the dark “and you are aiding them…” she calmly whispered.
“Aiding them?” he let out an amusing smirk, “Of course I am! They needed food and shelter and some work to upkeep that need!”
Gwen sighed, “You know clearly what I meant with aid. You know something about them….”
He held her by the shoulders, trying to look into her eyes, but she avoided his gaze, nevertheless he continued, “All that I know…I have told you, Gwen…”
After that he was instantly sorry he had to lie to her…how could he explain that he did not know who these people really were and what part of Albion they came from?
He doubted that they were even from Albion…their accent was unlike any other he had come across.
But they had magic and he sensed it was good…suspicious but something in him reassured him that, they do not mean any harm to anyone.
He decided that he will approach the matter with patience…in time…one of them will open up…in due time….
There was a moment silence between the two friends.
“Let me take you home.” He offered his hand…as he sensed her reluctance he raised his palm to his chest, “He is a smart fellow…he won’t be in your home for now…but you have to understand them…”
Defiantly swinging her arms she exclaims, “They mock us!”
“It was only him…the rest did not say a word.” He spoke in their defense, “and he was not mocking us…he…he did not mean it…”
“and you are sure?” she questioned.
Merlin nodded confidently, “Yes.” Offering out his hand once more he finally added, “You may be right about one thing though…”
Gwen bit her lips, a habit she did when in deep thought, “Which is?”
“They are definitely not like you and I…”He smiled, his empty palm still waiting for her, “They might be nobility….but I am not too sure…however there is good in them…I am sure of that Gwen…”
The truth of the matter was that Merlin was actually not so sure about this set of individuals, he did not know the intentions they desired, be it for the Kingdom or even themselves.
But yet he felt drawn to them…because he could sense it all, the fear, the confusion, the despair and the anxiety with dealing with what they had and not knowing how to really come to terms with it.
They had magic as much as they denied it...he knew, he saw how they appeared from the sky…only magic could do such. Powerful magic…yet they seemed humble about it...and he admired it…Merlin was close to confess his powers to them…but quick enough to decide against it…John’s strong character worried him…he seemed like the type that acted more on his emotions than common sense, he could spill his secret…he could…he was not sure...hence Merlin opted to observe them a little while longer…
He looked down at Gwen and smiled when he noticed the creases on her forehead…like him she was deep in thought.
“How is it with you and Arthur?” he asked smiling ear to ear.
“It is how it was meant to be…” she commented dryly.
“Which is?” he pushed on.
“Non existent.” She looked at him, her expression sad, her voice brittle, shaking her head slowly she eventually managed to speak, “My place is not by his side, Merlin…he tried to convince me otherwise…and maybe it would have changed things…but our dinner tonight….the words your friend spoke…”
“He did not mean it…he does not know Arthur…” Merlin added quickly.
She agreed, “Yes…he may not know Arthur…”
“Then how can his words affect you in such a manner?”
She took a deep breath and painfully she spoke out, “Because, Merlin…it is and shall forever remain…the Truth.”
She waited a moment…and when she noticed that he had nothing to say to this she wordlessly placed her hand in his and together they quietly strolled back into the night.
When I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder, I jumped up in freight, whilst waiting for Gwen, I had fallen asleep – HEAD ON THE TABLE.
I was that tired.
“It’s me, Gwen. Sorry, I laid out some sheets for you…” she said smiling.
I yawned and allowed her to show me the way to my bed, which wasn’t too far away from the where I was sleeping earlier.
Looking at the sack of maize or whatever was in it and the rags on the floor, I wondered perhaps maybe where I was earlier was a lot more comfortable than what she had made….but however considering that she did make an effort…I smiled dryly at her and practically collapsed on the floor.
After she blew out the candles, and gently managed her way on her bed. I could hear her sigh out quietly to herself.
As we lay silent on our individual sleeping corner, the silence was excruciating. Tempted to know what was wrong with the strong willed maiden I didn’t see any harm in using my enhanced hearing ability.
It amazed me to hear her gentle sobs, I sighed, “Gwen?” I called her name out.
It took a little while until she finally managed to utter out a “Yes?”
“Are you alright?” I asked, for indeed I was a little concerned.
“Yes…Yes, I am fine…It’s been a long day.” She said sounding very unconvinced.
“I’m sorry about my friend…” I felt the urge to apologize for John’s harsh and rather crude remarks, “We are very far from home…and have no means to head back, it is frustrating…to be in a place that is very different from Merdin…”
“Mercin…” she corrected me softly…
“Uh…yeah…Mercin…sorry my accent is a bit off…” I lie, thinking in my head Where and what the fuck is this Mercin place!!!!!!!!”
There was another odd silence between us, she was thinking hard…and I was beginning to feel that she did not really believe our story.
“Thank you for taking me in…” I say, I meant it, if I were in her shoes, I wouldn’t have done the same….neither this century I found myself trapped in or the century I originally came from.
“It is the least I could do…in Camelot everyone is welcome….” Not in the mood for a chat, she wished me a good nights rest and a quick reminder that as soon as day light breaks she would wake me for our work in the stables.
Great! I was to saddle Morgana’s horse, that shouldn’t be too hard but of course that was not my only task.
She turns in her sleep and I know she has trouble sleeping; I close my eyes but open them almost instantly.
For Guinevere muttered something out in her sleep, I am not really sure if I was dreaming…but I did hear it pretty clear….
I held my breath as I tried to listen in once more, this time there were tears, a sob now and then- and the lamentable call of a name all too familiar with me now.
“Arthur…” she whispers into the night, “Oh Arthur…how I love you so….”
I do not say anything to that, after all if I did, she would know that something was not right, for how could any “normal” human being hear from such a distance?…I close my eyes and try with great fervor to sleep on the cool floor barely covered in sheets….
Amidst the silent tears and gentle sobs of a heartbroken maid, the eerie howls of wolves in the distance and the occasional horse trots, I finally managed to fall into a sweet slumber, hoping desperately that perhaps maybe….just maybe, I would wake up to find myself back in the world that I know…the 21st Century.