In a place like Camelot Castle, there are a lot of places, nooks and crannies to hide in should you ever feel the need. There is also a lot of wall tapestries, screens and curtains should you really be caught short.
Such as the case of the Prince and the Pauper.
"Merlin said you needed my assistance, my lord," Gwen announced when entering his chambers before she managed to shut the door on the rest of the world.
Arthur was sat at the table, helping himself to the breakfast Merlin had prepared for him, "Ah, Guinevere, I was hoping you'd come," Gwen raised her eyebrows and smirked, "Quite," Arthur cleared his throat, "It seems Merlin has gotten over calling me fat and has dished me a breakfast I couldn't possibly finish."
"Nothing to do with your orders this morning, at all."
"Not at all," he couldn't help the grin from spreading across his face.
"Of course," Gwen leant against the table and folded her arms across her chest, "So what did you want me for?" Arthur pushed his plate towards her and continued to eat. Gwen reached across and picked up one of the rolls, she silently picked at it, "Anything else, my lord, or is this all. As Peter is expecting me in the kitchens."
"My company is that bad?" His face concerned, Who is Peter? he wondered, but assumed that he must be something to do with her work. No threat. At least he hoped not.
"Unlike some, some of us have work to do at this time of morning."
"Fine, tell Merlin he is to take lunch off, and that somebody else is tending to me."
"Do I need to tell anybody else?" She smirked again, she knew perfectly well what he was implying.
"I think that's it."
"Okay," she headed for the door having finished her roll, "Have a good day, sire."
"Did he tell you why?" Merlin asked as he shovelled the clean straw into the stable.
"Only that somebody else was dealing with it," Merlin twigged them, smiling inanely at his friend.
"Tell him subtly is not his forte."
"I'll past it on," Gwen turned on her heel with a smile, heading back into the castle to the kitchens.
When Gwen noticed training was over, she grabbed the tray of meats and vegetables and headed towards Arthur's chambers. She knocked, balancing the tray on her hip.
"Enter," came the tired reply.
Arthur was reclined back in his chair, head lolling back. He didn't bother to look up before he spoke, "What clever remark did he make?"
"That you were very unsubtle."
"Probably true," he shrugged if off and sat up in his seat, rubbing his eyes quickly. He leant forward in his seat, still in his armour. She set the tray on the table top and left it.
"Swivel to face the wall."
Arthur smiled slowly, "I digress, there is a much better view this way," Gwen accepted the compliment with a warm smile. She placed her open hand on his head and turned his head to look the other way, "Fine," he shifted in his seat aligning his body with his head's new angle.
Gwen reached for the buckle on his shoulder, slipping the leather through the metal and allowing the breast plate to slip forward. She reached around to catch it as Arthur put his hand up to stop it falling to the ground with a clatter.
Arthur allowed his fingers to wrap over her hand for a brief moment before gingerly letting his hand fall, "Sorry."
"No problem," Gwen lifted the plate high over his head. She set it on the chair next to her and turned back. She ran her fingers over the mail protecting his neck. She rolled it, "Ready?" Arthur made a non-committal noise of agreement and she continued reaching around to his front to lift it over his face without grating him with it.
"You're very good at this, better than Merlin."
"Merlin isn't a Blacksmith's daughter," Gwen laid his head piece over the back of the chair and once again returned to Arthur's side.
"This is also true," he agreed. Gwen motioned for him to stand. He did so. She reached for his belt buckle. Arthur shifted uncomfortably but allowed her to continue. She placed it down with his sword belt and gloves that he must have abandoned on the table prior to her arrival.
Net she rolled up the bottom of the main mail, her fingers accidentally brushing his thigh. He gulped, letting out a high pitched breath. That had shocked her, "Are you okay?"
"Fine, it's okay. I can do that," he took the mail from her and lifted it over his head. Gwen frowned as she moved away from him. She poured out two goblets of water, taking a sip from one before she moved the contents of the tray to Arthur's place setting.
He skirted around behind her to place the mail with the rest, and picked up his belt fastening it around his waist again.
"Would you like a fresh shirt?"
"Why? Do I need one?" he lifted his arm to check, only to hear Gwen chuckle, "What?"
"I was only asking, so you could be more comfortable."
"I'm fine, thank you, Guinevere," he smiled, unsure of where to move next, Gwen stood between him and the table but the route to his chair was empty. Somehow Arthur found himself rooted to the spot.
It took a second before Gwen cleared her throat and moved towards the chair covered with armour. Arthur too moved in his nerves and made for his seat.
Half an hour later and all the food was clean from his plate, both parties satisfied. They were both laughing, Gwen fumbling with her goblet. Arthur reached out, tugging at her fingers gently, gladly she let him take it, the Prince interlocking his fingers with hers.
"Thank you for this," he said as he gently rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand.
"It was no trouble."
An 'I should hope not' played on his lips but never left. He was smiling, a moment this perfect shouldn't be ruined by a snide remark. Gwen nervously looked away, chewing on her lip. Her hair fell in her face, she shook her head slightly to shift it. She caught Arthur's gaze studying her.
Nervous, and no idea what to do, she started to gather cutlery and their plates with her free hand. Arthur gently released her hand allowing her to be so endearingly Gwen about the situation as she tidied, "I should be going," she stood placing the plates on the try. Arthur followed suit and pushed his chair. As Gwen went to lift the tray Arthur caught her hand again, in a rash action that he would no longer refuse.
He pulled her to him, her eyes were wide in surprise as his other hand clasped her cheek and he kissed her.
Comprehending what was happening took her a couple of seconds before she relaxed. Arthur dropped her hand, moving his to rest on her lower back, bringing her body flush to his own.
Gwen reached up one hand to play with the collar of his shirt, the other resting at his hip hovering over his belt.
Her fingers slipped under the material of his shirt. With his heart rate already racing he thought his chest about to burst beneath her fingers.
Even more so when there was a knock on the door. Both of them jumped springing away from each other, "Arthur?" Leon.
The Prince inwardly groaned and grabbed Gwen's hand and pulled her behind his dressing screen.
He silenced her by placing his ringed finger over her lips. She bit her lip, silencing herself. At they heard the door click open Gwen tried her hardest not to breathe to loudly. She caught Arthur's gaze.
She could feel his heartbeat beneath her hand, and the heavy rise and fall of his chest and he too tried not to make a sound. Her fingers traced his skin at the opening of his shirt, her hand over his heart. Silently she took his hand and placed it over her own. He swallowed, when she le go he let his hand rest on her chest before tracing a line to hold he nape of her neck.
She didn't care in that moment that the Knight may find them at any moment. The feeling of Arthur's lips on her own made all rational thought abandon her in a second. She pressed her lips to his in a strong kiss, trying not to make a sound was proving difficult, but with Leon stood just inside Arthur's door looking for the Prince they didn't have much choice.
Leon called out again, checking about the chamber – he was certain that Arthur had come here.
He shrugged and left again, perhaps Arthur had gone elsewhere once he'd changed. He would have to find Merlin.
The door clicked shut again, but the young couple didn't move from behind the screen. They didn't think about moving, but even if they had, perhaps their current position was safer, even if there was a severe lack of room.
Moments like this made Gwen forget about everything. She forgot about how their love was doomed to fail; about how Arthur would be forced to move on without her; about how one day she would be hurt by him through no choice of his own.
Moments like this told her he would try to find a way.
Moments like this were what kept her going.
For Arthur; this gave him hope that she wouldn't give him up, that she too thought that it was a love worth fighting for. That, maybe, if Lancelot ever came back Gwen would choose Arthur over him.
If they lost this, Arthur didn't know what he would do. You only found true love once in a lifetime. He knew that Gwen was it.
Nobody else treated him like an equal, or told him the blunt truth.
His heart was hers, and her heart was his.
The feel of her body leant into his, and the heat of her skin as her hand slipped further past his collar told Arthur a thousand things that words never could.
And had it not been for the bumbling manservant that came in and actually looked behind things to find him, her touch would have told him a thousand more.