Pulling a pillow over her head Charlotte thought about the day of work ahead of her. She could try to avoid Percival as much as possible but then again she had to serve him breakfast and clean his room. This was going to be much harder than she expected.
In all honesty Charlotte never really thought about the consequences or really a proper reaction to the kiss. She knew it was inappropriate and down right absurd but do normal people run away? It took a lot of effort for her to stir from her bed.
She threw on her serving outfit and headed out the door, not even bothering to brush her hair.
She gave a few awkward smiles to a few passing servants on her way towards the castle but her mind was elsewhere. The best solution to her problem was to avoid him as much as she possibly could. Yes, to Charlotte this was her only option.
She headed to the banquet hall to help out with clearing up the mess from the previous night but it was there that she was hit with the horrific news of the King's death.
"We are not really sure what has happened at this moment in time but Gaius is currently with the King. So, we should know in due course." Charlotte heard from one of the night guards from across the hall.
She noticed Merlin standing to the side eying the room in thought; Charlotte made her way towards him hoping to retrieve some valuable information on what happened in the past 12 hours.
"Merlin," she called as she reached his side. "What happened?"
Merlin turned to face her, a sad look on his face. "There is still hope," Merlin said almost to himself. The room was crowded with maids scrubbing and chattering away to business that wasn't there's to speak of. Merlin's face was thoughtful as Charlotte stared at him intently.
"So he hasn't –"
"No, not yet anyway." Charlotte left the conversation at that, Merlin looked troubled and her best option was to leave him alone.
The room suddenly began to quiet down. Charlotte turned and noticed Gwen standing by the door eying the maids with caution. Gwen looked troubled and she knew the King meant a lot to her.
Charlotte met Gwen's eye from across the room she smiled slightly before nudging her head for Charlotte to approach her.
The room was erupting with loud whines and groans as many received the news of the King's death. Gwen moved quickly hushing the maids and manservants. She looked stressed and Charlotte thought it was best to speak to her quickly.
"Gwen," she said, "Have you any idea what is going on?" Charlotte hesitated for a moment before continuing. "Well, I mean-"
"Shh Charlotte I need a second to think." Gwen interrupted. Charlotte was slightly taken aback but remained quiet anyway.
Gwen, who was obviously troubled, glanced around the room with a frantic expression her eyes trailing over every door of the hall. Charlotte opened her mouth to speak but no words came out.
"Charlotte," Gwen said indicating towards the girl. "I need you to do me a favour." Charlotte nodded without hesitation.
"I need you to stay here and make sure none of the maids made to much noise, I need to go see Arthur." And with that she left the room leaving Charlotte alone and in charge of a bunch of maids she knew she couldn't control.
"Quiet down please." She said to a bunch of servants gossiping in the corner. They glanced her way most likely expecting to see Gwen but continued chattering when they realized it was only Charlotte. Sighing she walked towards the most concealed corner in the hall hoping to stay out of glance from any arriving Knights.
"Quiet please." she repeated as she headed away from the chatter. At least they're actually cleaning the hall and not just talking, Charlotte thought to herself.
She remained silent as her eyes trailed over every silhouette in the room. Her glance automatically stopped when a pair of dark green eyes fixed on her face.
Macy smiled at her from across the room and Charlotte nodded slightly. Before Charlotte could do anything the maid started to approach her.
Although Charlotte knew the truth she was still rather jealous of Macy and she couldn't really put her finger on why that was.
"Hi Charlotte," Macy said once she approached.
Charlotte smiled, "How are you Macy?"
"I'm fine, I just wanted to make sure you're alright, the other day you seemed a bit…frazzled."
"Oh that no, I wasn't feeling very well that day."
"I thought so, but Percival was polite enough to help you out." She smiled and played with a piece of dark hair on her shoulder. "He speaks very fondly of you."
Before Charlotte had a chance to reply Merlin came running into the hall. She glanced at her friend as he ran quickly over to her sweat dripping down his forehead.
"Charlotte," he said breathless. "Arthur's coming down now, we need to get everyone out."
Charlotte automatically started running around yelling at the maids and man servants to leave the room, this time they decided to listen to her as they all grabbed bits or materials and rubbish and headed out the opposite door leaving a very clean room behind them.
Charlotte turned to leave when Merlin stopped her.
"You can stay Charlotte - you are the Knight's servant." He gripped her hand firmly and dragged her to the side of the room. The room was clean and despite the cold chill in the air it was just like any other day in the castle.
"Charlotte," Merlin nudged her just as the Prince entered the hall. Arthurs blond hair was messy and his eyes were red and puffy like he had spent hours crying. She didn't exactly blame him.
Sighing she looked at Merlin to see his reaction. Merlin seemed lost in thought, his eyes focused completely on the floor. Charlotte opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted by the hall doors swinging open.
The Knights of Camelot stormed through the hall in sync each one carrying a sword and suited up completely in armour.
Charlotte's eyes bounced from Knight to Knight until they landed smoothly onto the rather large man walking alongside Gwaine. The very sight of the man made Charlotte weak to the knees.
Her eyes remained on him as she took in his appearance. Dressed in his usual Knight attire she was surprised to see how clean and prepared he was, especially without her interference.
At that moment his eyes trailed the room and landed on hers. At first she looked away but she felt herself glancing back at him. His face was filled with questions that Charlotte was not prepared to answer. Frowning she looked at the ground.
The next 20 minutes or so consisted of the Prince speaking and organizing what will happen since the King's death. Charlotte was barely listening to a word since the idea of death made her feel queasy.
The meeting ended with the Prince leaving the room looking heartbroken and tormented. Charlotte watched as Gwen followed behind him. She frowned as they left and her heart broke for the young Prince.
One by one everyone left the room. Charlotte and Merlin stayed behind not leaving until they were certain they were the only to remain.
They parted in the hallway, Charlotte heading towards the Knights quarters and Merlin to Arthurs. They didn't say much to each other as they left but the silence spoke a thousand words.
All the preparation in the world did not prepare her for her encounter with Percival, but Charlotte knew they needed to speak and seeing him was inevitable. She decided that it was best if she cut off all ties with him in a romantic setting. There was no point in continuing a prosperous romance when really it would just lead both to trouble.
When she reached him room he hand hesitated in the air before she found the courage to knock.
The door sung opened instantly.
Percival seemed almost unhappy to see Charlotte and that made the situation that whole lot more awkward.
She tried to smile as she carried the tray of food into the room. It was heavy enough filled with chicken and bread and plenty of wine. It was a terrible morning and even the Kitchen hands were aware of that.
She turned towards the door planning on making a sharp exit but was stopped by Percival who was standing right in front of her only departing point.
"I think we need to talk." He said his voice hoarse. Charlotte sighed in defeat; she didn't really have an answer prepared for any of his questions so her plan was to just improvise her way through the conversation, even if she had to lie.
"Yes, I suppose we do." She said her eyes fixed on the cracks in the floor.
"I suppose there is the obvious question," he said as he began moving towards her. "Why did you run away?"
Charlotte forced herself to look at him then. Percival was only a few steps away from her and she found herself remembering the night before when his proximity was intimate. Shaking her head she opened her mouth to say something but nothing came out. They were silent for a moment before she finally spoke up, her voice uncertain.
"I think it would be best if we just pretended that it never happened." She paused fighting to hold the tears back, she held her breath and held her head high she needed to finish this with confidence. "I'm just a servant and you're…important."
She trailed off her face crimson. They stood in silence and all Charlotte could focus on was her breathing.
"Charlotte," He said moving towards her. Charlotte sucked in a breath and held it in as he approached her, his hand outstretched. "You are important," he said as his face leaned into hers. Without a thought Charlotte pulled her face away from him causing his lips to press gently into her temple. "To me." He finished with a whisper.
She felt the heat on her head from where his lips had been and she wished she could hold him for longer. But she needed to walk away before anything bad happened.
"I'm sorry," she said pulling herself from his grasp. "Like I said, you're important and I don't want this." She hated speaking those words and she hated the look of pure sadness on his face. But she needed to do what was right for them even if it tore her heart out in the meantime.
She left then leaving Percival alone in his room