It's finally here, so let the weeping and denial begin! This is the last chapter for Glitter in the Air! Let me say an absolutely huge thank you to my two beta's who have been with me all the way through this story! You two fabulous ladies have been absolutely fantastic and your input has been greatly appreciated! Let me say an absolutely huge thank you to every single one of you that have reviewed this story! It has been an absolute delight to wake up every day to new emails saying that I've had a review, and they've all made me really smile!
So please, read this last chapter, and let me know what your favourite bits were or what you think could have happened! All input is greatly appreciated!
BACK TO CAMELOT
The early morning sun roused Arthur from his peaceful slumber. He rolled over on the bed, opening his eyes quickly when he felt a hot body beside him. What on earth...? As he pushed himself upwards, the blanket that had kept him warm pooled at his lower back, leaving a bare torso exposed to the chilled air. Merlin's face was turned to the side and memories of last night flooded Arthur's thoughts. He slowly went to lie back down, but instead stretched out on his side and gently stroked Merlin's face as the other man slept. You have no idea how much I love you, Merlin. Arthur watched Merlin smile faintly in his sleep. And I won't let you go when we return to Camelot.
"Of course you won't," Merlin mumbled sleepily, eyes still closed as Arthur stopped stroking his face. "What did you stop for? That felt nice."
"That's the second time that's happened, you know," Arthur said, and Merlin sat up, love bitten neck on full display to Arthur. "Where it feels as though you've read my mind when I know I haven't said anything. I wonder if someone's using magic here, to read thoughts?"
"Magic? Here? In Ealdor?" Merlin stuttered, and Arthur smiled. As though Merlin could have magic! The thought was...completely ridiculous. "The only magic here is that I haven't had to be your servant for the last twenty four hours," Merlin added.
"Only because you've been my lover instead."
With the smile on Merlin's lips, Arthur leant forward and snagged a kiss just as Merlin's hand slid up his chest. Arthur felt a push and let himself fall back onto the bed with Merlin beginning to straddle him, their naked bodies fitting perfectly with each other. A small moan escaped Arthur's lips as Merlin's hand went to guide the fully aroused Arthur inside him, only to have the front door open and Hunith walk in with a tray of food. Seeing an extremely naked Arthur and Merlin, Hunith quickly placed the tray of food down and darted out of the front door again. Merlin quickly scrambled off, but Arthur grabbed hold of his wrist. With a firm tug, Arthur had Merlin back onto the bed with a small laugh.
"What are you laughing for? My mother just walked in on us while we... I..."
"Your mother will be fine, Merlin," Arthur replied, only to receive a cross look from Merlin. Another small laugh earned him a sharp poke in the ribs, which Arthur took as a sign to restrain Merlin before any more poking ensued. Straddling the slender frame beneath him, and pinning Merlin's hands above his head, Arthur continued, "She knows how I feel about you, and how you feel about me. She was probably expecting us to still be asleep, but instead found us completely and utterly awake."
"But she's my mother!"
"Which is why when I have thoroughly made love to you before we eat breakfast, you can tell her wholeheartedly that I love you."
Before Merlin had a chance to respond to Arthur's statement, Arthur saw to it that he acted out what he had just declared.
Merlin was just tying up his neckerchief when Hunith knocked on the front door before walking into her home again. Merlin looked up at his mother and both blushed. Plucking up the courage to walk to her, Merlin hugged her tightly, and she returned the hug. Hunith pulled away first and led her son to the bed, sitting down and then patting where she wanted Merlin to sit. Merlin joined her. Arthur was outside preparing the horses for their return to Camelot.
"That's the first time I've seen you smile like that in a long time," Hunith began, and it only caused Merlin to smile more brightly. "You're truly happy?"
"Oh, mother. You have no idea how happy I feel," Merlin answered, his blue eyes twinkling with a mixture of delight and mischievousness. "And it's all because of Arthur."
Hunith smiled gently, but Merlin detected a hint of sadness hidden within. He took her hands and squeezed them.
"Mother, are you all right? You are happy for me, aren't you? I mean, you do approve of Arthur, don't you?"
Hunith was silent for a moment, thinking about her answer. "Of course I'm happy for you, my son. You have found someone whom you love with all of your heart, and a mother couldn't ask for anything less. Arthur is a fine young man, and I know that he will make sure you want for nothing. But your magic..."
Merlin suddenly realised why his mother had felt sad whilst she had smiled, and her worries only mirrored his own. What do I do if Arthur ever finds out that I have magic? Putting a reassuring smile on his face, Merlin spoke.
"My magic is a part of me, mother, and I can't change that. But if Arthur finds out..."
"You mean when Arthur finds out, because these things have a way of coming out in time."
"When Arthur finds out, I know in my heart that he'll stand by me and will still love me. I know it."
Hunith looked at Merlin quietly for a few moments before smiling. She shouldn't worry about me, Merlin thought for a moment as he smiled back, I know Arthur's heart.
"I better get outside. Who knows what Arthur's doing with those horses."
Arthur was at the edge of the village, tending to Midnight and Blazer, while William quietly spoke of the most romantic part of the day before, and Galwaine busied himself with making sure the horses were properly shod. Each horse received a good rubbing down with the curry comb and loose horse hairs clung to Arthur's clothing. At the end of the rub down, each horse was dutifully scratched and fussed at affectionately. Realising that William had stopped talking, Arthur peered over Midnight's saddle to look at him.
"Is everything all right, William?"
"I was just wondering if maybe I could call you my friend?" William asked quietly as Galwaine stood beside him, towering over his shorter lover. "I mean, that is to say..."
"I'd be honoured if you were my friend," Arthur told him, and William positively beamed happiness. "And Galwaine's as well."
Galwaine nodded his head quietly, and William walked quickly around Midnight to hug Arthur tightly. Taken aback at first, Arthur quickly returned the hug just as he spied Merlin walking over to them with Hunith by his side.
"I hope that's just a friendly hug," Merlin commented as he stopped beside Galwaine, who was smirking at the quickness with which William detached himself from Arthur. "Because I'll fight you tooth and limb for Arthur's affection, you know."
"I was just..."
"Making sure that he cemented our new friendship with a manly hug," Arthur finished and winked at Merlin, who smirked back.
"Do you boys have everything you need for the journey ahead?" Hunith asked whilst she busied herself checking their bags for supplies. "I know you'll be in Camelot by nightfall, but well, you can never be too prepared."
"Yes, Hunith. I made sure there was ample food in the bags, as well as any medicine should Merlin find himself falling off the horse," Arthur stated, and Merlin narrowed his eyes. "Don't give me that look. You know as well as I do that with your clumsiness, it's a sure thing that something will happen."
Arthur came around Midnight then so that he could stand in front of Hunith. He took a small pouch from his coat pocket and placed it into her hands. She gasped and began to protest.
"Please, keep it. If it hadn't been for you this past day, then I doubt I would have plucked up the courage to tell your son that I love him," Arthur said, and he noticed Merlin smile warmly at him from the corner of his eye. "Put it to use in Ealdor, if you don't want it for yourself."
"You are a kind man, Arthur Pendragon. I hope my son realises how lucky he is to have you."
With that, Hunith hugged the blonde prince to her and held him tightly while Galwaine and William said their goodbyes to Merlin. Arthur heard Hunith whisper something in his ear, and he frowned. What did she mean by that? Before Arthur had a chance to comment, Hunith had pulled away and went to say her goodbyes to Merlin. Arthur said his goodbyes to his two new friends and turned to mount his horse. Merlin gently detached himself from Hunith and climbed into his saddle.
"You boys travel safely," Hunith told them.
Both waved goodbye. Hunith stood, waving, until she could no longer see them. Shivering, she turned to go back inside, a wave of foreboding sweeping over her.
To be continued...
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