Title: Forbidden Love

Summary: Lancelot loves Guinevere but cannot bear seeing her with Arthur any longer.

Pairing: Lancelot/Guinevere, Arthur/Guinevere

Rating: NC-17 (for later chapters)

Disclaimer: I don't own the characters, I just have fun with them.

A/N: My first King Arthur fic! AU - Lancelot survives the battle of Badon Hill.

Chapter 1 – The Wicked Woods

Warm sun radiated down on Lancelot's mop of unruly black curls. With the beautiful weather as an excuse, he left the castle to meander through the woods. He needed to get away, for the constant sight of them together all the time, smiling and laughing, was weighing down upon him. He was too well versed in the art of wallowing in his misery, and the calm of the forest did nothing to temper his thoughts. Thoughts of her, always of her. The Woad who had captured his heart. The cruel fate of his dreams, and the tragic destiny of his reality.

Lancelot heard them before he saw them. Soft cries that quickly increased in pitch. He recognized well the sound of love-making. A twinge of anguish marred his soulful eyes and he envied the unseen pair and their public lust. For months, he and Guinevere had been meeting in secret, late at night when the whole world was asleep. They would whisper to each other in the black of night, forbidden words that could not be said in the light of day. When only the moon and the stars lit the sky, she was his and his alone. Yet when the sun rose, she would always leave him and return to Arthur, and he would pass another day in constant longing for twilight. Part of him was plagued with guilt for betraying his best friend, but his heart and soul were drawn to her, like a moth to flame. He hated the unseen couple, for never could he and Guinevere be allowed the pleasure of such a reckless encounter out in the open. With a sigh, he continued walking quietly along the forest path not wanting to disturb the blissful couple.

"Oh, Arthur."

Stopping stone cold dead in his tracks, he felt his stomach turn to ice at the recognition of her voice. Guinevere. As if some hidden force pushed him, he strode quickly in the direction of her cries. He came upon them in a thickly wooded grove and silently moved behind the shelter of a nearby tree to avoid detection. The knight's dark eyes were transfixed on the scene before him, a scene that made him wish for blindness.

Gleaming in the sunlight, Guinevere's naked body straddled Arthur's, desire radiating from her face as she undulated atop him. Her raven hair cascading down her back, she was the most beautiful creature Lancelot had ever laid eyes on. And she was making love to his best friend in the world, his brother in arms, his dearest and most beloved Arthur. Were it any other man, Lancelot would have instantly drawn his blades and thoroughly relished in severing the man's head from his body. But it wasn't just any man she was making love to, it was Arthur, which only made Lancelot's heart ache all the more. How could he begrudge Arthur his love for her? She was no mere woman, but a goddess worthy of any man's worship.

Lancelot was mesmerized, unable to move, unable to look away. He watched with hidden eyes as her slight body writhed above Arthur's muscular frame. Arthur grabbed her buttocks and pushed her harder and faster into him, his eyes enraptured with her. Guinevere let out a loud moan, her eyes closed tight, savoring the feel of him inside her. They moved together as one, panting and moaning in unison.

A war raged inside the fearless knight, worse than the battle at Badon Hill. His heart burned with jealous rage. The bitter taste stung in his mouth as the bile reached the back of his throat, his stomach somersaulting. At the same time he felt his pants tighten as his body reacted to the sights and sounds before him. He cursed his manhood, cursed himself, and cursed her for staking a knife into his heart. This pain was far worse than the Saxon arrow that had almost taken his life, yet he could not look away.

Their rhythm became faster and most desperate and by Guinevere's cries he knew she was close. With one final guttural moan they both came, and Arthur slowly pulled her down atop him for a soft kiss. She smiled, kissing his forehead and laid down beside him captured in his strong arms.

Lancelot was thoroughly disgusted - with Guinevere and the sight before him, with himself for becoming aroused at the sight of them, and with his all-consuming love that burned his very soul. A love he could not have yet could not end. As long as he drew breath into his lungs, he would love her. Whether she loved him in return did not matter, for she was Arthur's and would only be Lancelot's alone in his dreams. Arthur would have her and love her until his dying days. And all Lancelot was left with was this nightmare of a life and undying love for a woman who would never be his. He turned and started making his way back to the castle. Despite the warmth the fine spring day afforded, he was numb to the bone, and a fog settled over his heart and his thoughts as he traipsed back through the forest to the castle.

Lancelot stared into the fire, his heart burning fiercer than the heat of the flame. She was late. He had been waiting for over an hour for her to arrive. Every evening for the past two months they would meet here, in secret. He had stumbled across this place one day shortly after his recovery from the battle. Deep in the quiet of the forest he had found a glorious waterfall concealing a small cave, just roomy enough for two people to occupy. The instant he saw this location, he knew he had to bring her here. He had not been in search of a secret place of their own, yet he had found it nonetheless. Just as he had not been in search of love, yet Cupid's arrow had struck him all the same.

Closing his eyes, the sound of the falling water brought back memories of the first night he had brought her here.

Her eyes sparkled at the majestic beauty as he led her to the streaming water. A surprised smile crossed her lips when he pulled her into the hidden cave, for the water obscured it from anyone save those with a keenly discerning eye.

"It's perfect." She breathed.

"So are you." He replied.

He quickly lit a fire and pulled her down onto the blanket he had stowed in his pack. The light from the fire danced over her hair and eyes, and he thanked the gods for sending this goddess down from heaven. They made love for the first time that night, fierce and passionate as they both poured out all of the want and desire they had both been holding in for so long.

His pleasant thoughts from that night quickly turned dim, as the pleasurable images in mind were replaced with appalling ones of what he had witnessed earlier. A shadow passed over his eyes and his heart, as he replayed the entire odious scene in his mind. With each minute that passed his fury grew. He was just about to get up and leave, go into the surrounding green and kill something, or perhaps someone, when she finally arrived.

"I am so sorry I am late, I …"

He remained seated as she entered the cave, his eyes never leaving the fire as he addressed her with a venomous tone.

"Wicked woman."

Guinevere jumped at the sound of his voice. The smile that was slowly forming on her face quickly faded from his tone and his refusal to even glance at her.

"Is everything alright?" She asked standing on the other side of the small fire, concern dancing across her countenance.

"Where have you been?" He continued to stare downward, flames dancing around his pupils.

"I fell asleep. I must have been more tired than I realized." She could not fathom why her tardiness would anger him so.

"Tired." He snorted. "And what pray tell tired you so, my lady?" His eyes finally rose to meet hers, defying her to answer him.

"I was out for a walk earlier and ..." She replied softly.

"Aye, a simple stroll in the forest." He retorted with daggers in his gaze.

His black eyes pierced her soul and she realized. He knows the truth. Of course he knew, he always did. They were connected, attached, like the stars were fixed to the sky. He thought her thoughts, breathed her breath, held her heart, and shared her soul.

Standing up finally as if to prove his point, he yelled at her. "Do not deny it my lady for I saw you! I saw you with him. Saw you reveling in his touch, heard you calling his name." He was enraged and made no effort to conceal his anger.

Curse the gods, he has seen us. Blood rose to her cheeks at her indiscretion. She traced every etch of pain on her lovers face, pain she had caused.

"Fair lady, if you have aimed to destroy me, I congratulate you, for you have succeeded beyond measure."

"Lancelot, you know I must marry Arthur and you know well my reasons. It should not shock or surprise you to learn that we are intimate, he and I. I am to be his wife in not one month's time." She tried reasoning with him, but he would have none of it.

"Guinevere, it is one thing to know you are with Arthur, and quite another to see it with my very own eyes."

His eyes captured hers and for what seemed an eternity he stared into the gateway of her heart. Words were meaningless and could not convey his true feelings, but he spoke them nonetheless.

"By the gods, I love you. And I love Arthur. He is a brother to me. I cannot ask you to leave him."

Surely he could ask her no such thing; though he would be a liar for admitting he didn't wish she would ask the same of him. A breath later and she spoke aloud the response he already knew would spill from her lips.

"Nor would I accept. My duty is to my people, my country and thus to marry Arthur. But my heart...
my heart is divided between my duty and my love." Her eyes pleaded with him to understand, but his jealous rage had left his mind cloudy and unsusceptible to the logic of her argument.

"And what of my heart! Guinevere, please, I can bear this torment no longer." He pleaded.

What have I done? She understood the pain she had caused him, and thought herself beyond selfish for causing her true love such distress.

"Lancelot, I love you!" She moved around the fire to stand beside him, reaching out her hand to stroke his cheek.

Capturing her hand in his, he stared into her chocolate brown eyes; eyes that reflected the pain they both shared. The feel of her skin softened his heart a fraction, and he addressed her in a hushed tone.

"And I you, my fair Guinevere. Which is why this madness can continue no longer."

She again tried to reach out to him with her other hand, yet he stopped her touch once more from reaching his face.

"Please, don't." He said softly and let her hands fall from his grasp.

He was right of course. She knew sooner or later their affair must end, though she had hoped she would have had this last month of freedom with him. She watched as he turned his back to her and walked away. A single tear fell to the ground, and her breath was stolen from her lungs. She belonged to no man, but never had any intention of being unfaithful to Arthur after they were married. She had let her heart command her for the present, yet she knew not how she would have found the strength to resist in the future. It seemed there was no need to worry herself further; for Lancelot had made it quite clear he no longer wanted her. Waiting outside of the cave, she stared into the depths of the waterfall for hours before returning to the castle. Rushing to her room, she prayed to the gods she did not encounter anyone along the way. The instant she was inside her chamber she felt the warmth of tears flowing freely down her cheeks. She lay on the bed, willing herself to sleep, for now she could only be with her love in her dreams.