嘿 all! Sorry this part took so long to get to you. Hope 你 enjoy 阅读 as much as I did 写作 it!! :)
p.s. Updated for length of spell. Needed 更多 time than expected for the 下一个 chatper. :) :)
Arthur Pendragon was a man with a plan.
Actually, that's not quite accurate.
He was a man with a goal. And a very vague outline of how to reach it.
Since that goal was to seduce his ever-enticing and usually compliant wife, he wasn't worried too much about the details. In fact, this was going to be one of those go-with-the-flow-see-what-mood-my-wife-is-in-and-bring-her-round kind of nights.
Because, after all, it had been that kind of day.
No matter what stolen moments Arthur tried to conjure, Guinevere somehow managed to dispel them. Each hallway where he laid in wait was avoided. Every dark corner that held the promise of an illicit rendezvous was ignored. 晚餐 with the children had been just that. She barely cast a glance in his direction, effectively evading his hungry gaze. And she slipped out of the beginning of an embrace 更多 times then their sons had years.
As the sun dipped its golden head in homage to the coming night, Guinevere Pendragon remained un-kissed, untouched and un-conquered.
Any other man might have been angry. Any other many might have been despondent. Any other man might have felt a heavy blow to his ego.
Arthur Pendragon was not any other man.
He was a hunter who loved the thrill of the chase. He was a champion who savored the thrust and parry of a challenge. He was a lover who relished the ebb and flow of the dance.
As he 说 good night to his sons and watched his wife 亚瑟小子 them toward their bedchamber, Arthur silently promised a retreating Guinevere a dance she would never forget.
He'd done his due diligence.
Her maidservant had been excused for the rest of the night. His paperwork was finished and tucked away. The fireplace was aglow with a well-tended fire. The faint smell of exotic sandalwood was in the air. New candles had been placed, unlit, strategically around the room. He'd even consulted an expert on the matter.
Once the setting was in order, Arthur turned a critical eye on himself.
He'd changed into breeches that were just tight enough to showcase all of his assets and specifically chose the white linen 衬衫 that -- for reasons that still remained a mystery to Arthur -- was Gwen's favorite. He secretly called it his white-shirt-of-resistance-is-futile. She secretly made sure it lived up to its name.
Now, in their private haven he waited for his Guinevere to return.
And the dance to begin.
Unbeknownst to him, in another part of the castle, a conversation was taking place that threatened to thwart all of his plans.
"Merlin! Oh, thank goodness. I was just sending someone to fetch you."
Merlin stepped from the hallway into the light filtering out from the princes' bedchambers, concern written on his face. "Gwen, what is it? What's wrong?"
Gwen glanced over her slender shoulder at her two overly rambunctious sons, the frown on her lips pronounced. They were both jumping on Colin's bed, preparing to pretend fight with make-shift swords.
"Ant gward!" Shouted a fierce Colin.
Coulby dropped his sword and shook his head in intense disapproval. "Colin! S'not what daddy said!"
"Is too!" Colin rejoined before taking up his stance and challenging his brother once more. "Ant gward!"
"Cols! 你 gotta say it right 或者 I'm not pwaying!"
"Boys! Enough arguing. If 你 can't play nicely, I'll take both of your swords away and you'll go to 床, 床上 post haste." Gwen reprimanded sharply. 或者 as sharply as Gwen could ever be. It earned her all of five 秒 of silence before they resumed their bickering, albeit in hushed tones.
Wisely realizing that was the most she was going to get on this particular night at this particular juncture of their young lives, Gwen rolled her eyes and turned to Merlin, flustered. "I need your help on a matter of grave importance. It is, in fact, a matter of state."
"Allllright. Does it have to do with Arthur or..." He nodded past her shoulder at the bouncing boys.
"Both, I'm afraid." Gwen explained. "You know what today was."
"Yes, it was the boys' first training day. In fact, I was coming round to see how it went." His face scrunched questioningly. "Dare I ask?"
Gwen's face 分裂, 拆分 into a proud grin. "Oh, Merlin. They were adorable and brilliant and..." The renewed ruckus behind her put an end to all her praise. Gwen squeezed her eyes shut and bit back a scream of royal proportions, her shoulders lifting and falling with the effort. Then she launched into a rant that took all of ten 秒 and occurred all in one breath. Complete with appropriate hand gestures. "You know they are my 心 and soul, but I promise if I have to hear one 更多 word about how they bested each other on the training grounds today with all the cursed Pendragon pride they can muster I fear I shall strangle their darling little necks myself."
Merlin chuckled and placed a calming hand on Gwen's shoulder. "Would 你 like me to put them to 床, 床上 tonight?"
"Oh, Merlin, could you? I'm used to their energetic little selves, but this has Pendragon written all over it."
"Of course, I will."
The relief that washed over her was as comical as the impromptu 吻乐队（Kiss） she placed on Merlin's cheek was surprising. "You are an 天使 sent from heaven above."
Merlin grinned from ear to ear. "Nothing doing. 你 know I 爱情 the boys as if they were my own."
"I know." She beamed. "And they 爱情 你 right back."
Ushering Merlin into their room, Gwen spun to face her sparring sons, her excitement instantly gaining their attention. "Poppets, look who's here to tuck 你 in tonight."
"Uncca Merwin!" The boys shouted in unison.
It was Merlin's turn to beam.
"Lookie, lookie, daddy gave me a sword!" Colin produced his sword with a proud grin.
"And lookie, Uncca Merwin!" Not to be outdone, Coulby produced a small round shield that covered three fourths of his miniature frame. "Daddy gave me a shields! Wanna polish it?"
Gwen giggled. Merlin scrunched his nose in disgust before a slow smile touched his lips. "Why don't we see if Sir Gawaine would like to polish it tomorrow, shall we?"
"Yes!" Coulby agreed with an excited jump. Colin followed suit. "Sir Gawaine! Sir Gawaine!"
"Alright now, boys, settle down a bit." Merlin interjected when he saw his idea take hold and start to spin out of control. "Your Mummy and I have something very important to talk about then I want to hear all about your day. I might even tell 你 a story and give 你 a magic show. But..." He held up a finger of warning. "...only if I return to 你 both in your beds and quiet as little mice."
The transformation was magical.
So magical, in fact, that Guinevere almost regretted her impending absence. But as Merlin mentioned, they had something very important to discuss. And then Guinevere Pendragon had something very important to do.
Instead, she floated to their sides, placed a loving 吻乐队（Kiss） on each adorable cheek, whispered her heartfelt wishes for a good night's sleep then stepped into the hallway with Merlin, closing the door halfway behind her.
"Now, don't make the story too long." A motherly Gwen instructed.
"Or the magic too fantastic." She added with a little smile, knowing that request would be harder for Merlin to fulfill. Especially with her boys as his audience. "They'll never get to sleep if 你 do."
"Don't worry. I have magic for that too." Merlin grinned. "So, there was something else 你 needed?"
"Right." Gwen bashfully averted her gaze. "Well, ummm...you see, Merlin, my request is...well, it is of a rather delicate nature."
A hint of earnest alarm raced through his eyes. "Whatever it is, Gwen, 你 know 你 can trust me."
"That is true." Gwen agreed before expanding on her earlier statement. "But this is so delicate, in fact, that if 你 utter one word to anyone..." Gwen transformed into Arthur right before his eyes. "...I will have 你 drawn. And quartered. After dipping 你 in a vat of hot oil."
Merlin breathed a sigh of relief. Then Merlin treated the non-threat like any other he had received from the Prince in days long gone. "You know it's true what they say. After a time, couples do start to resemble each other. Ah, yes, I'm seeing the toad-like features beginning to emerge as we speak..."
"Merlin!" Merlin chuckled at her playful slap and adorably offended expression.
"Whatever it may be, your secret, my Queen..." Merlin solemnly promised with an exaggerated bow. "...is 安全 with me." He casually leaned against the stone wall. "So, what can I do for you?"
There was a pause. There was a bottom lip bitten in uncertainty. Then there was a deep breath and the determined set of her chin.
"I need an anti-love potion 或者 spell or..." Her hand fluttered nervously in the air as her words practically tumbled over each other. "...whatever 你 can whip up for me in the 下一个 few minutes. Before I go to Arthur. It needs to take effect immediately and cease at will. 或者 an established time, if that's the preferred method, I'm not quite sure how these things work..."
Merlin blinked. Three times. Rapidly. Then he scratched behind his ear, his head tilted to the side as if a new position would unscramble the jumble of words that couldn't possibly mean what he just heard.
For if they did, it could spell the end of Camelot.
"I'm...I'm sorry. Can we go back to the anti-love portion of this conversation? Why would 你 need...are 你 trying to fall out of 爱情 with Arthur?"
"What? Oh, no! No, no, not at all." Alarmed, Gwen recoiled from the thought and reconsidered her request. "Maybe...anti-love is the wrong word?"
"Well, 你 might want to choose the right word because these types of enchantments can be rather tricky." Merlin chuckled in confusion as Gwen nervously bit her nails in renewed concentration. "Gwen, what's going on?"
Gwen offered a dramatic sigh. "You see, Merlin, I've been trying to teach my husband a lesson today."
"I'm not quite sure." She declared definitively. "But I know he needs to learn it and I'm in the mood to teach it."
Her chin tilted stubbornly and dared a challenge.
Merlin was too smart to argue with her. But, as usual, not smart enough to keep his thoughts to himself. "Aaaand people wonder why I've never married." He muttered under his breath.
Gwen shot him a look that would wither a lesser soul and continued, choosing rather to let that 评论 go. For now. "But, 你 see, there is a...slight problem with my plan."
"Well...after observing him with the boys today and watching him 摇摆, 秋千 that..." Her bosom heaved with something that could only be described as a half sigh, half whimper and all swoon. "....really, really big sword with those big, strong hands of his..." Her eyes drifted closed, a 粉, 粉色 tongue darted out to wet dry lips and a fluttering hand rested against her 心 as she melted into the silence of an Arthur-induced 幻想 that was based on events that were all too real.
Merlin cleared his throat. "Uh, Gwen?"
"Huh? Oh!" Gwen snapped out of her daydream, an embarrassed flush rushing to her cheeks as her chagrined gaze shifted. In the awkward silence that followed, she tried to look the very picture of a nonchalant lady of royalty as she delicately smoothed the invisible creases in her dress and delicately cleared her throat.
She glanced over at him. He was waiting. Grin in check. Eyes laughing at her.
She'd been caught. And she knew it. And this was, after all, Merlin. She instantly deflated. One upraised eyebrow and a quirk of his lips and Gwen gave up all pretense in mock irritation and a rushed confession. "Yes, well, let's just say, I've never wanted him more."
His twinkling blue eyes narrowed suspiciously. "Hmmm. As I recall you've 说 that before. Many times, in fact."
"Oddly enough, it's true every time." Gwen sighed absently, as if that fact was still as much a mystery to her as anyone. A darling little smile played along her lips signaling the secret knowledge that, 给 her experiences with 说 husband, it was the least mysterious thing of all.
"Gwen, what exactly are 你 trying to do?"
"Hmmm?" Momentarily distracted 由 the obvious, Gwen was dragged back to the topic at hand. "Oh, right. Arthur has tried on several occasions today to...woo me. And I..." Her smile held a note of pride. "...have resisted each and every attempt. Rather valiantly, I might add."
"Why would you..."
"The lesson, Merlin. The lesson." An increasingly impatient Gwen reminded him.
"The one 你 can't name."
"Huh. Ok. Soooo...the problem then is..."
She looked positively incredulous. "I know Arthur. 由 now he is sitting in our bedchamber plotting the use of his considerable charms. On me. Tonight. As revenge."
"How can it be revenge if 你 like his considerable charms?"
Exasperated, Gwen shot Merlin a look. "It's a husband-wife thing, Merlin."
"Like the lesson." Merlin mused, trying his best to make sense out of the illogical ways of a woman. And a married one at that. "How will 你 know he's learned it if 你 yourself don't know what it is?"
"Really, Merlin. Is that what we're going to dwell on? I have a problem and need your help. Why must 你 insist on making me think?" Not waiting for his answer, she shook her head, a comical look of defeat passing over her expression. "I'm doomed. I won't last a minute. Thirty 秒 if he's wearing that blasted white 接吻 shirt. Fifteen if he says my name..."
"His white kiss..." Merlin stopped himself, and threw his hands up in protest. "I don't even want to know." He thought a moment, leaving Gwen in tortured silence. Then he turned to her suddenly with a twinkle in his eyes. "So, what 你 really need is an anti-charm spell."
"Yes! Yes, that would be perfect!" An animated Gwen agreed. Then retreated. "Wait. What exactly would that do?"
"Well, Gwen, the name is rather indicative." Merlin teased then clarified. "It would help 你 resist his charms, considerable 或者 not."
"Will I be able to resist a look?"
"Yes, well, Arthur can uh..." The suggestiveness of her smile, the dreaminess of her sigh indicated they were headed back into 幻想 land and a slow-on-the-uptake Merlin suddenly began to see her problem. "...well, he can make me come undone with a look." She noticed Merlin's upraised eyebrow and wary expression. "Oh, don't look at me so odd, Merlin. It's not just any look. It's intense and...delicious and..."
"Gwen, I'm learning way too much about you."
"Oh, please. I'm sure that in all this time Arthur has divulged a few secrets of his own."
"Maybe a few." Merlin conceded with a hint of a smile. "But for the most part, I know what I know 由 what he tends to reveal when he's watching you. In fact, there's this one look that...OH! That look."
Gwen chuckled at Merlin's enlightened expression. "Yes, Merlin. That look."
"And that makes 你 come undone?"
"Every time its tried." A evocative smile played on her lips and she suddenly felt the need to 粉丝 herself. And so she did. "Is it getting hot in here?"
"Only in your mind." Merlin quipped only to receive another slap on his arm. He laughed at the blush creeping up her face then turned his attention back to the issue at hand. "Right. 接吻 shirt. Name. Look. Is there anything else of particular weakness?"
"Too many to list."
"A general charm spell it is then."
"Oh. What about a time limit?" Gwen asked then responded to the quizzical look on Merlin's face. "What? I don't want to resist him all night."
"I could spell it to end at will."
Gwen shook her head vigorously and flashed a self-conscious grin. "Noooo, I don't think that's a good idea. As 你 can tell, my will is rather weak right now. Hence, the need for the spell..."
"Ah, yes. That has become rather apparent." Merlin quipped, biting back a rumble of laughter. He cleared his throat instead. "Well, how much time would 你 need? An hour?"
"Oh, heavens, no. Spell 或者 no spell I could never resist for that long." Gwen smirked as a devilish glimmer sparked in her eyes. "Spell 或者 no spell, I wouldn't want to."
Merlin seemed not to notice her obviously suggestive tone and offered a 秒 option. "How about...thirty minutes?"
"Ten. Are 你 sure?"
"Yes, well, I want to..." Gwen silently played out the rest of the night in her head. "...then I want to...and then there's..." She nodded and bounced with eager anticipation on the balls of her feet. "Hmmm, yes. Twenty 分钟 should do quite well."
"And you're absolutely sure 你 want to do this?"
"Merlin, have 你 not been paying any attention?" Was Gwen's only reply.
"Right. Lessons to be learned and all." Merlin turned to Gwen and released a sigh. "Alright, then. Let the resistance begin..."
Shaking his head, Merlin entered the prince's bedchambers with a chuckle.
"Lookie, Uncca Merwin, we're being quiet as mice." Colin informed Merlin in a loudly hushed tone he obviously thought was a whisper.
"I see that." Merlin noted with praise as he slipped onto the edge of Coulby's bed.
"Did mummy make 你 laugh?" Coulby inquired, seemingly out of the blue. "Cuz we heard giggles and Mummy always makes us giggle."
"She did indeed." Merlin confirmed as he reached over and tweaked both of their noses. "In fact, I believe 你 two have the silliest mum in all of Camelot."
Colin was quick to correct Merlin. "If mummy's being silly, it's only cuz she wuvs us so much."
"Is that so?"
"Uh-huh. Daddy said." Coulby confirmed.
"Yeah? What else did daddy say?"
"That's she's quite insane." Colin offered
flippantly as he played with a stuffed bunny, a present from Merlin on the two-year anniversary of his birth.
"Yes, well, that about sums it up." Merlin quipped before turning to the task at hand. "So, who wants to tell me about their first 日 as future knights of Camelot?"