With the two of them cleaning it didn't take long to restore the kitchen to clean. They ate breakfast and then Galahad took her for a ride. Bella didn't feel comfortable riding by herself so she rode in front of him with his arms around her waist. She leaned back into his chest and for the first time in a long time she felt at peace.
Galahad held her close to him and kept the horse at a slow walk. He couldn't believe he was holding Bella. He hadn't thought he'd have that chance. To be honest, he hadn't felt he had the right. Everything he could see about her told him she was good. Bella was a lady; a true lady. Galahad had been a warrior for fifteen years. Those years of battle, years of bloodshed, stained him. His body, though still young, bore scars and marks of those battles. If they ever got to the point where Bella saw his body would those scars scare her away? Would they repulse her?
The horse came into a small clearing of the woods and stopped at Galahad's gentle command. Thick trees surrounded most of the area in a circular pattern, and a small stream ran through. Galahad dismounted and then helped Arabella down. She pulled a blanket out of the saddle bags and spread it out on the soft grass. Bella and Galahad made themselves comfortable and just enjoyed the peace.
"I cannot remember the last time I experienced such quiet." He murmured. "We have been fighting for so long." Bella was sitting with her legs outstretched and she motioned him to lay with his head in her lap. He sighed as she ran her fingers through his curls. "I always thought I'd either die, or if I did manage to live I would head back to Sarmatia as soon as possible."
"But now you stay. Your forced servitude is behind you. It would be possible for you to go and find your family. You could go home." Bella spoke softly as he relaxed.
His green eyes opened and he looked into dark eyes. "No. I realized very quickly I couldn't go back. Not when my brothers are here. They're my family. I couldn't go even if they weren't here. You're here."
Bella smiled sweetly at him. "I spent so much time working when I was back home. Everything else was put on hold as I tried for bigger and better stories. All I thought about was finding THE story. Do you know I can't even remember the last time I got together with my parents without thinking I'd have rather been home working on an article?"
"Do you miss them desperately?"
"I do. I miss them terribly. Perhaps it's harder because I know I shall never see them again. And my cat, I miss my cat Oliver. He was a big orange tom-cat. He let me cuddle him every night." Bella blinked back tears and saw Galahad frowning sadly. "But then I look at where I am, and it's magical. I have Pooh Bear and all of you… Most of all Galahad there's you, and what you make me feel. I never thought I'd meet anyone who makes me feel the way you do." Galahad sat up and moved a hand to her smooth cheek. "Your kisses make me feel things I've never felt."
Galahad leaned in and began to kiss the edge of her mouth. Bella closed her eyes and reveled in the feel. He moved his lips over hers placing light kisses along the outline of her lips until finally his mouth closed on hers. This time he was gentle and sweet compared to the two other times they'd kissed. This time instead of ravaging he soothed. Bella didn't think she'd ever felt anything more heavenly. She ran her hands along his neck and hairline loving the way he felt to her.
The two slid to the blanket and lay on their sides with their lips never parting. Galahad finally pulled away and looked at her. Bella's head lay cushioned on his arm and she smiled at him. "I do so enjoy that." She told him.
"Oh Bella." He murmured. "You're stealing my heart."
The two stayed that way for awhile before it came time to head back to the others. Bella was helping Vanora in the tavern that evening, and Galahad had to attend a meeting with the other knights.
The tavern was bustling with activity that night. Even without Arthur and his knights it was extremely busy. Men and women crowded in, and populated all but one lone table. That one table seemed to be permanently set aside for the knights. Several hours into the night the men filed in and took seats. Bella moved quickly to bring them drinks and food. She was getting tired by the time Vanora sent her to the table with her own plate and mug. She sat in the chair next to Galahad wearily.
"How did your meetings go?" she murmured.
"Good. Tiring. I'm not much for politics I'm thinking." He shared a wry smile.
"Politicians aren't normally as honest as you are."
"We're going to begin to build." He told her, and this time there was excitement in his voice. "A kingdom. We're going to build a kingdom for Briton."
"A new dawn is approaching our lands my friends." Arthur stood and held up his tankard. "A dawn that will be a beginning for all of us. We will call our kingdom…"
At the same he spoke Bella whispered. "Camelot."