Arthur watched Gwen all through the evening.
She was there to pour drinks at dinner and her presence was distracting for him. It was also frustrating. They had promised to meet that night only for the king to tell his son at the last minute that Sir Ector would be dining with them to discuss the pious concerns of the nobility, as if that was more important than the rebuilding of Camelot and imminent war.
Ector droned on and on all night about nonsense that neither Arthur nor Uther really cared about. There was nothing useful or interesting, just endless wind and wasted breath.
Gwen was also bored; she delicately covered her mouth with her hand to muffle a yawn.
Arthur watched her keenly, rubbing his forefinger and thumb together with anticipation. His eyes were dark with want. She noticed him looking at her and wetted her lips slowly. They could have been in bed right now if it hadn't been for that moron knight.
"Problems today routed to the lower classes and peasantry," Ector grumbled loudly. "They're more interested procreation than doing a decent day's work."
He snapped his fingers for Gwen and she swiftly went over to fill his goblet. He watched her eagerly and red-faced as she leant down to pour.
"That's a good girl," Ector muttered with a grin. His eyes flittered between watching the red liquid fill the goblet and Gwen's neckline. He raised his hand to stop her and she moved away. "That's what they need to be, quicker and more efficient."
Uther also held his cup out to be filled; as Gwen went Ector tilted his head and watched her in a way that made Arthur scowl. There was no denying that Ector was admiring her back, just as he had been drooling over her breasts moments before. The old coot was harmless enough but... he was old enough to be her father for God's sake!
It all made Arthur feel edgy, and Ector wasn't even the type to cavort with younger women. Lady Ector would slaughter him. That didn't stop him fantasising, though.
"Pity they don't make them all like you, young lady," the middle-aged knight leered towards Gwen.
Arthur chewed the inside of his cheek.
Gwen seemed unvexed, though. As she filled his cup the king paid her no heed despite Ector's 'compliment'. She glanced at Arthur. His eyes beckoned her towards him. She immediately walked towards him with the jug. Then as she leaned over to pour more wine he noticed a small smile.
From the angle she was standing as she poured wine into Arthur's goblet, Uther and Ector couldn't see her free hand brushing against his back.
"A lot of disease at the moment," the king said generally. "Killing the older and more experienced workers, leaving the young untrained..."
Arthur jerked a little. Old familiar desire flowed through him as she twirled her fingers through his hair. It was a simple yet intoxicating thing that solidified the looks exchanged between them all night. He knew what she was suggesting with these caresses...
"That is so, my lord" Ector agreed.
She pulled gently at his nape. That was when Arthur decided it was time to take action. It was a horribly muggy evening but they had needs.
Without hesitation Arthur purposely knocked over his goblet of wine. The clang of the metal hit the floor and the wine spread over the tiles under the table.
"Oh I'm sorry," he announced to the room, unconvincingly.
Uther and Ector glanced over as Gwen disappeared from sight beneath the table.
Instead of mopping up the wine she laid a hand on his thigh. Arthur's knee jerked up and hit the table. The goblets, metal places and candles clinked and shook. It didn't deter Gwen, who lowered her head to hide a proud grin as she began to mop the liquid up with her free hand.
The king lurched forward to save his chalice. He looked down the table at Arthur with a scowl. "Is everything alright?"
Arthur swallowed hard. He felt Gwen's hand gently stroke its way towards his crouch. He leaned his elbow against the table and rubbed her mouth as she began to rub him, slowly. He couldn't keep this up much longer; his father might stand-up, lean over and notice what Gwen was going.
His palms were getting sweaty.
"No—I mean, yes" Arthur replied quickly.
The room suddenly seemed a lot hotter despite it already being stifling. He urgently used his other hand to clasp Gwen's firmly. Alright, alright now!
"I just need a bit of fresh air," the prince said. He stood quickly, grabbing a napkin from the table. "Excuse me."
Uther nodded absentmindedly.
Arthur didn't look at Gwen as he left; fearing one look would give the game away. Not just what they were about to do, but everything there was to know about their relationship.
He knew she would follow him soon.
Gwen kept her head down. She was smart enough to pretend to mop for a thirty seconds before deciding she would need another cloth. She curtsied politely to the king and his guest before disappearing through the same doors Arthur had. She had left it long enough for Uther and Ector to forget about her.
She closed the doors carefully before she eagerly walked down the dimly lit corridor to find where Arthur had gone.
A few doors down and she found the napkin he had taken lying on the floor. She picked it up and looked to the door it was marking. After a quick glance both ways down the hall, she opened the door and was pulled inside by her waiting lover.
Twenty minutes later Gwen returned weak in the knees and warm between the legs. Once again her return went unnoticed by Uther and Ector. The king briefly glanced to the door, but upon seeing it was not Arthur he ignored her and continued his conversation with Ector.
"I think it's the young in general," Uther told him. "Not the peasantry in general. Most youngsters are lazy and too occupied with 'recreation'."
He didn't notice she was holding the napkin Arthur had taken with him. Then again he probably hadn't seen him take it in the first place. Gwen used it to gather up the rest of the wine. She was almost reluctant to do so; it still carried the mingled scent of her and Arthur from their laboured tumble from moments ago.
Her cheeks were flushed but Uther and Ector didn't notice. She was just a servant girl.
"This hot weather doesn't help," Ector said.
Arthur finally returned. He had taken a moment to cool down, right his clothes and brush down his hair. His cheeks were still red though.
"Feeling better now?" the king asked.
"Much better thank you," Arthur replied with a regal smile.
He glanced at Gwen again, giving her the regal smile too. She bit her lip and looked down humbly. She read the smile differently – it wasn't regal but cocky. Yet she didn't mind as it was difficult for her to suppress a similar smile on her own lips.
"What were you saying when I came in, Ector?" Arthur asked generally, almost mockingly, picking up his goblet and proceeded to drink.
Ector went on. "That hot weather has always been said that heat encourages loose morals..."
Arthur nearly chocked. Even Gwen's head snapped up in brief shock as she carried the fallen goblet and two soaked napkins to one side. Then they both calmed.
Of course Ector was still just making generalisations about the young and lower classes.
"Is that so?" the prince coughed.
"Yes," Ector said with certainty, "Especially the young."