A/N: Hello. This story came to me once upon a time as I was curled up in a blanket that's so soft it's like clouds and thinking, "I wonder what it's like to be blind?" Enter the feeling of touch. I believed in Garrett and Kayley during the movie, and I had never wondered what happened after. And then I suddenly wondered what happened after. This is that byproduct! Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: If I owned Quest for Camelot, would I be writing about it? Probably. Do I own it? No.
Warnings: Sexual references.
He could feel Kayley's heart through his chest.
"Well," she said nervously, muscles tensing as she reined in the smooth horse, "We're here." Her pulse sped up.
Garrett quietly touched her side with his broad hands, feeling the way her side quivered in anxiousness. It made him frown. Weren't they married now? Didn't she trust him? "Can I know where 'here' is? Or do I have to guess?" He took a giant sniff of the air, smelling only freshly cut grass, charcoal, and manure. "A…farm?"
Skye, the ever-steady mare was shaking from the long journey while the air slowly cooled: evening. Kayley laughed –although he could tell she wasn't really laughing- and slipped from his arms with a creak of leather. The custom built saddle easily held both of them; without her in front of him, it felt deep and unnatural. A hollow noise of her feet hitting rocks met his ears. He cocked his head to the side, trying to hear grass.
Kayley touched his shoulder, cajoling him to follow her. "It's my mother's summer home. I wanted to bring you…home."
Dismounting uncomfortably, Garrett held onto the leather and stretched until his feet found the hard ground. It was a rocky path, with the individual stones putting pressure on his arches through his soft boots. He regained his grounding, smiling wryly. Fishing for her hand, he held it to his chest.
"You know Kayley, I -"
"Let's go inside. I'll make dinner."
He hesitated, aching for a walking stick. She made navigating hard with her continual tugging and leading. "Actually, I want to walk around the house. I don't want to be tripping over things in the middle of the night." He shrugged his shoulders. The feet in front of him shifted, and Kayley snorted slightly.
"Garrett," she giggled, "You can't see anyway."
There. She was really laughing. Releasing her hand, he grinned, "But I can feel. It hurts when my shin bangs something."
"Okay, okay, okay…I'll take you up the steps. There's four wide ones, four inches high to the door."
The journey was slightly slow, but Garrett made sure to count his steps, finding the exact position of the stairs. The texture of the ground changed from rocks to dirt – it gave slightly under his feet when he pressed down. Human-built tiered steps. Kayley was explaining the history of the house and how some summers had been spent here with her mother when her father needed to be closer to Camelot for planning the lands of the kingdom.
There was a wooden door when he held out his hand after the fourth step, and he easily found the knob, waist high on the left and smooth as water. It was metal, but not heavy enough to be completely made of the material. At his side, his wife patted his shoulder, releasing him except for her hand. Garrett gently pushed it open, allowing Kayley to go in first.
Her hand instantly pulled out of his grip, politely. "I'll go out back to the garden for some strawberries. There's five rooms. Try to find the sitting room and my favorite object." A pat on his arm told him that she was awkwardly excusing herself. Garrett only nodded, left hand trailing on the rough-hewn wooden walls. He could definitely feel that he was inside from the dank smell and the stale air along the doorway.
Once her footsteps fell away from his ears, he sighed deeply, wandering through the house. Why had it gotten so difficult in the past few hours to talk to her? He had tried sincere, joking, cold, warm, even brash attitudes, and all she had done was politely laugh with him. It made him think wistfully of the Forbidden Forest. She was truly wild, and annoying, and lovely – just the person he wanted to spend his life with.
Which made him think of the marriage ceremony on the rocky shores of Kayley's childhood home. It had felt incredible to stand before a small group of friends including Devon, Cornwall, Lady Julianna, King Arthur and a few trusted knights; Kayley was marrying Garrett despite his forever-lost vision. A wind off the ocean had cooled down the air. Kayley had been glowing at his side the entire evening.
He smiled, checking another door. A store room? It reminded him of the wedding. Garrett had known what she was going to be wearing: a silk white dress smooth around her small waist. Although it wasn't proper, he had slipped into the corner room in the back hallway, nervously fleeing her mother and the Knights wanting to encourage him on his wedding night. Instead of screeching or kicking him out, the woman let him touch the dress, a smile in her voice.
"You aren't seeing it, so it's not bad luck," she whispered.
In that one moment, his heart pounded so hard he felt lovesick. Kayley's hand on top of his felt natural as she let him run his hands around her warm shoulders, down her slender sides to the floor, where he felt the seamless hems of the dress. It was white, she explained, like the clouds. It felt like clouds…
In a second he bashed his knee on a low-lying stool. Resisting the urge to curse, the man felt around and with some amount of luck settled into a hard-backed chair. The cushion was stiff, and he couldn't lean back, but it was nice to not be galloping across the country.
Obviously he was in the study: he could smell leather, dusty paper, and the strange smell of ink and wood together. Deftly reaching his hand out, his knuckles bumped into a wooden table. It felt only a foot long, and square, and made of hard oak. Upon the top, there seemed to be a copper candleholder, framed by glass. He twisted the knob: an oil wick lantern, he guessed. Then, his pinky brushed a book.
There were depressions in the leather spine where fingers had gripped it tightly. The pages felt frayed along the front, and a tattered piece of cloth remained in the spine. A favorite book.
Garrett smiled. His fingers traced the cover: Tales of Knighthood, Honor, and Damsels.
Kayley's favorite book. If only he could read it to himself! The ink would be too slender for him to trace, unlike the signs in the woods. His smile faded slightly.
Over the years, it had been easy to forget his eyesight. The smell of a rose versus a rotten bark or even water told him his location in the Forbidden Forest; he could feel the way the trees shifted in a southward breeze versus a westward. There was a path through the forest, but only he could follow it through touch. He could stand losing the ability to read, to see the living sky, to know for certain what the colors under his hands were.
But now, the one thing he couldn't stand was not being able to see Kayley's eyes.
He frowned deeply, feeling the lack of strength of the sun through a greasy window. He would have to wait until dinner to truly talk to his wife. In the meantime, there was a house to explore. Garrett climbed to his feet, still clenching the book.
By the time he checked the time again, Garrett still didn't know what color the table was, or the exact location of the summerhouse, or how long the two of them would skirt each other despite the fact they were newlywed. It frustrated him.
He did know that it was twenty-five long paces from one side of the house to the other, and fifty from the front door to another door in the backyard. He knew that there was slightly cracked tile in the kitchen, and dirt floors with thick carpets in the study and two extra rooms. The bedroom had wooden flooring, a wool rug, and a cobblestone fireplace. Candles were placed on shelves, cupboards, and the floor; all of them were far away from the walls, and possible fire hazards. Rugs –homemade from the slightly crooked weaving- were thrown across any cracks in the doorways and on the stone. It was a warm house, but drafty in some places. It never echoed.
Currently, he was back in the chair in the study, clasping Kayley's favorite book tightly in his calloused hands. It seemed strange that she had been gone for an hour. He hoped she hadn't gotten into too much trouble. After all, he hadn't wandered through the fields yet.
Just as he thought that, the sound of a shutting door came from the back patio. He lifted his head as Kayley went into the kitchen, grunting slightly as she released an armful of fruit. He heard the ripe fruit slightly thud on the countertop. Her feet danced slightly, drawing scraping noises from the tile. She huffed for one moment, and then was quiet.
He shifted. "I'm in the study."
Her voice sounded incredulous. "How did you…?" Quick footsteps brought her to his left, through the doorway. She smelled like dirt and fresh grass, along with an intoxicating smell of her own. There was a small step onto the carpet. "What did you find?"
Garrett stumbled for a moment. He had a vision of grabbing her waist and pulling her onto the couch. The vision ended in him kissing her, hard.
He had only kissed her twice: after being knighted and after being married. The two best moments in his life had been followed by kissing the only woman he wanted at his side.
"Tales of Knighthood, Honor, and Damsels." He held it up, slightly hefting it. "I think it's your favorite book."
Soft fingertips brushed his, withdrawing with the book. "Yea," Kayley whispered, fingers tracing the title, "My favorite story was of the cold hearted Knight by the ocean. He managed to become the finest warrior, but never found he cared about anything beside himself. Only when he met the maiden from the sea did his cold heart melt." She giggled slightly.
He laughed with her, saying, "I'm glad it wasn't the story of the cat in boots off the side of the road. In Camelot, that's all I heard about. I figured there was a cat in the Forbidden Forest waiting to pounce on me."
Her warm hand fell on his shoulder, making his skin shiver slightly. "I put Skye into the paddock. There's a small garden out back from mother tending to it a few months ago. I'm going to cut up that fruit," she said, not noticing his mouth opening slightly, "It's dark now, and I need to have more matches on hand before we burn thousands of candles. The wagon will be here in two days, so we'll unpack then."
Garrett blinked in surprise but she had already turned away.
He lifted his arms in the chair. "Do you want help cutting?" he called.
A noncommittal "Oh no, you can sit for a while," came from the direction of the kitchen, more muttered than anything. An awkward silence fell as she set about producing a wooden board to cut the fruit with. A sharp clinging told him she'd found the knife.
Well, he didn't want to sit out. He got to his feet, wincing at the way his muscles tightened, and asked, "Is it good to be back in civilization? This used to be your summer home." He wandered around the edge of the room, fingering small mementos his fingers brushed along shelves.
"Yes. It's familiar." A slight pause. Then more chopping noises. "We're having strawberries and a few apples –wow these are ripe. I also have some potatoes from the side garden."
Her babbling was endearing. Garrett smiled to himself, finally coming around to the kitchen. The noises were louder the closer he got. His fingers traced the wall edges until the cold counter came to his fingertips. "So I can't do anything to help?" Gently, he found her shoulder, and followed the line down to her stilled hand with the knife. The skin was warm and comforting under her thick shirt and the jacket she wore over top. He could feel the lace ends tickling her stomach.
"Um…here." Embarrassed, she put the handle of the knife into his hand, giving him a potato in the other. It was rough, freshly washed. She'd probably cleaned it off outside. "Just chunks of potato I guess. I'll cook them in the pot in a minute."
There was clanging behind him –Kayley was finding a pot in a cupboard. Confused at how suddenly she had turned away, Garrett just set to work on cutting the fibrous roots. The knife was sharp and cut straight through, making a snick sound when it hit the board. He measured the distance with his thumb, about half.
It was awkward. His petite wife at his side was mute, and the only noises were those from coming outside the windows such as crickets chirping and the wind rustling the grass. The quiet snaps from the knives were in tandem.
The air was cooling down around Garret's ears. "It's a beautiful night out," he offered.
"Mmmmm," was her only response.
There was a splash of water into a hollow metal pan, then hands slipped into his area, gathering up the potatoes. His lips pressed together.
It had only been a week since the two of them had frolicked in the waves down below her house, holding sand-encrusted hands. He had tasted salt for days afterwards. Laughing, they had played in the spray of the sea. Wet and soaking, he had hugged her close. Feeling her laughter through his ribs had made his heart sing. Where was that feeling now?
He tapped the counter. "Kayley..."
"What's the matter?" Garret shifted.
"I don't know what you're talking about." There was a soft peck on his stubbled cheek. "It's the happiest day of my life!" A lock of hair brushed past his ear, reminding him that she wasn't trying to move away purposely.
He forced a smile, knowing it didn't reach his milky eyes. Should he let it go?
"It will be ten minutes. I'm going to check on Skye because I just let her out into the pasture. The water tub isn't full. I'll be right back, so don't go anywhere." There were boots striking the title, then a wooden click as the door shut slowly. And within several seconds, he was left with a bubbling pot of potatoes. The house was empty and hollow; the slight wind was blowing at a crack under the doorjamb, making a slight howl. It was unnerving.
"Great," he scowled.
What was Kayley doing? She was leading him in one direction, then pushing him in the other. She had obviously brought him to her mother's summer home, a pleasant place to live. Isolated, quiet, and beautiful, the home was somewhere where they could live forever as one. They were married. He was getting used to the layout. That would come to perfection with time. Yet she had made every excuse to leave him in the house while she wandered off. To clear her thoughts? Or just get away from him? They were married and living in an isolated place. This was not the time to start hiding the truth. She was ignoring his questions. What could she possibly be upset about?
Garret let his hands rest on the countertop. He waited. All he had ever wanted in young adult life was to be alone. Now that he was, as a Knight of the Round Table and husband to Lady Kayley, it was torture. He wanted the free-spirited, annoying Kayley back. He wanted to laugh. He wanted to talk. He wanted to hold her...
The door opened. He swung up into a straight line, hands reaching for Kayley. There was a timid giggle; her hand rubbed his veins, fingernails slightly raising the skin. He shivered.
"Oh!" she said hastily, recoiling faster than light, "I'm sorry."
And it hit him. He knew what was wrong.
"You ready to eat?" she asked sweetly.
The potatoes were soft and sweet, especially with parsley pulled from the herb garden. He could taste the pepper. The strawberries and apples were easy enough to eat; Garrett bit off the entire flesh of the red ripe berry.
Kayley was seated on his right, at the head of the table. The edge of her boot was tapping at the table's carved leg, and she was telling a story about the fireplace, and how she had nearly burnt a hole in the tapestry because she had been sleeping so close to the embers. There was laughter in her voice, but it was still distant. Garrett nodded and smiled in the appropriate places.
His revelation wouldn't stop pounding at him. Did he dare to ask her straight? Or should she wait until later, when she was calm after a few days? No. This had to be asked now.
She continued to speak about this object or that or how the ground outside was rock hard in the wintertime and she had nearly broken her ankle on leaping from her house's window. He couldn't get in a word edgewise. He didn't even think she was eating because the words never stopped. Rambling on, Kayley said, "-father and mother used to plant trees together along the back fence-"
"Will we do that?" Garrett asked, seeing his chance before setting down his fork. The plate was clean. "I think it would be a great idea."
There was a second of silence, and then Kayley began slower, "Of course. It's a great opportunity to help the environment."
Garrett clenched his jaw. Sometimes... "And be together."
This time his wife didn't let out even a sigh. There was clanking from the plates and silverware, and the sound of sucking from the fork. She was eating finally. He lowered his head slightly, and then asked, "Kayley? What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," she replied, and he could just imagine her eyebrows furrowed and her cheeks blushing.
"No," he said, gazing in what he thought was her direction, "You have been avoiding me all day. There is something wrong. You won't even let me get in a word edgewise." He pushed the plate toward the center of the table, and he continued, "I'm your husband. You can tell me."
"Are you worried about…tonight?" he asked, feeling a hitch in his breath. All his hormones had been curbed in the dark, dangerous forest, and ever since getting out, all he had wanted to do was kiss Kayley until both of them were senseless.
"No!" she gasped, sounding alarmed. "Why would I be worried?"
He heard the tremor in her voice. Subconsciously, he knew he had correctly hit the problem. "Your mother…she seemed very intent on keeping the tradition of the wedding night alive. She spoke to me about-"
"Mother! Oh…" Kayley's embarrassed outburst faded as she muttered, "And to think I wanted to ask her about the-" Suddenly, the quiet fell. Garrett cursed that he couldn't see her face. Because he heard the confusion, the fear and frustration. He felt the prickle of emotion on his neck.
She really was afraid. And uncertain.
He frowned, "Kayley, I meant my vow."
There was only a shifting of her chair on the flagstones and a soft intake of breath to give him any sign of her attention. Heart hammering, Garrett hoped she was watching him, not the floor. He took a breath, and said slowly, "I want you to know that I will be there for you, without force. Through peace, war, famine…I will allow you to decide when to have children. Just because your mother wants grandchildren doesn't mean she needs them now. We can wait." He held out his hand. The wood was smooth on the back of his hand, caressing his nerves. For a heartbeat, he thought she would walk away.
"I'm…I've just never…" she whispered, shifting in the chair. It creaked on the floor. Her hand slowly slipped into his, warm and comforting.
Garrett decided to be as honest as he could be with her; he said coolly, "It will be my first time too." His heart was pounding, his cheeks flushing. "You're the only woman I've ever kissed. I don't know if I even…can without my sight."
Her left fingers stilled from their scraping on her jacket, and she said, "I understand." He could only assume she had nodded then remembered that he couldn't see her. He could hear it in her voice: she was awkward talking to him.
Sighing, he said, "Kayley. It's okay. I just wanted to make sure what was bothering you." The darkness in his eyes seemed to pulse. This was more of a mess than he wanted.
Then her other slightly sweaty hand was placed into his, and he heard her whisper, "I do want you…Garrett…I just don't know what to do...?" Like he was a strange dog, she moved closer. He could feel her teeth clicking together. "I want you to kiss me like you did after we were Knighted."
His heart gave a giant leap; he smiled, "All right." Moving surely, he rose from his chair, and with his other hand, calculated where her fine boned chin would be. Without any hesitation, he leaned down to kiss her lips.
The skin around her cheek was soft as his palm lowered. Her nose brushed his slightly as he cocked his head, rough lips meeting hers. A hand touched the back of his neck –her left hand- and he sighed into her wet mouth that reminded him of a peach. To his utter enjoyment, the mouth opened for him, and Kayley's tongue came into his.
He took a deep breath through his nose, and edging around the table, he pulled her from her chair to allow her back against the table. Without even thinking, his hands grasped the rough tunic around her hips and lifted her light frame onto the hard surface with a slight thump. Her lips curled into his.
Settling between her slender thighs, he lowered her body until her back was flat against the dining table; his hands held his body over hers, the heat radiating through his shirt. The texture of the wood and Kayley's skin made a strange feeling on his hands, and he constantly touched his new wife. Slowly, he broke the kiss. His lips pressed sensually against the spot just under her ear, and his heart pounded, I love you.
Fingernails dug into his shirt, sending a shiver of pain down his spine. "G-Garrett," the woman in his arms groaned, "Kiss me again."
He could feel the blood rushing under her jaw. Struggling to speak, his hands scooped her back up from the table, slamming his lips into hers. This time, their tongues clashed quickly, rolling into a warm hot mess. Pressure on his lower back told him that her muscular legs had closed around him. Her hands bit into his hair, trying to pull him closer.
The warmth of day was completely gone from his skin, but a new sense was filling him. He swore it was Kayley's glow of happiness. He stopped, panting into her collarbone. Garret's left hand trailed over her face, his right holding hers to his heart.
"I love you."
"I know," her voice whispered, chest heaving, "I want...I want more."
He groaned, smelling the grass in her hair. His body was aching. Making a smile against her skin, he asked, "Do you want to try...?"
Kayley was nodding before he even finished. Her body rocked into his, pushing him back slightly. There was a patter of her boots on the floor; linking hands, she giggled and pulled him back in the direction of the master suite. The wooden walls nearly put splinters in his hands from the pace she was leading him at.
The door creaked. He was nearly thrown down onto the bed.
"Feisty," he teased, kissing her cheek, hands sliding down her slender thighs, "I want to take this off, but if we're going too fast..."
She laughed, "Garrett!" But her fingers let his trace the contours of her chest.
The straps on her jacket were cracked leather. His deft fingers unclasped the front, wrangling her out of it. As soon as her head was free, he fished for her lips, a groan coming from deep within his throat as she met his lips, hands on his face. A fine-textured shirt was quickly slipped over her head. Garrett couldn't help himself: he smiled and kissed between her breasts.
"You are so beautiful."
An intake of breath came as Kayley whispered uncertainly, "You can't see me."
He smiled against her skin. She didn't understand. Kayley was perfect, vision or no. Nothing would change that for him. Heart pounding, he felt it deep inside. He loved her with everything he had to offer.
"But I can feel," his calloused hand traced up her side, "I can feel you."