Part 27: link Why am I cold?
Arthur is slowly waking. He gropes around, feeling for Guinevere, eyes still closed. No Gwen. Oh. That’s why
He opens his eyes when he hears the 淋浴 turn on. Good, I haven’t missed her,
he thinks, swinging his feet to the floor. He feels groggy this morning. It’s your own damn fault, man. 你 were the one that couldn’t keep your hands off of her.
Several hours after they had fallen asleep, Arthur had woken up and decided he was ready for Round Four, and so he kissed and caressed Guinevere into compliant wakefulness. They made sleepy 爱情 before passing out again, exhausted.
Arthur staggers down the hall to the bathroom. He pokes his head into the 淋浴 saying, “Good morning, my love.”
Gwen’s back is to him and she turns her head and makes eyes at him over her shoulder. “Good morning,” she smiles at him. He beckons to her and she leans over, kisses him, and then pushes his head back out to the other side of the 淋浴 curtain with a giggle.
He stands there for a moment. Oh, no.
“Are you… close to being done in there?”
“Not really, why?”
“Well, just stay in there a bit. I’ll let 你 know when it’s 安全 to come out.”
“Safe?” she asks. What is he doing out there?
“Just trust me.”
“Arthur, what are 你 talking about?”
“Let’s just say nature is calling, and at the moment she is calling me to sit down.”
Much to Arthur’s surprise, Gwen laughs. “Well, don’t let me stop you,” she says.
Gwen laughs again, saying, “Honestly, Arthur, everyone does.”
“Well, if it’s all the same to you, I’d really rather not think about that. At least not pertaining to you.” I suppose I should be glad that she’s that comfortable with me,
he thinks. Gwen is still chuckling from inside the shower.
“Oh, Arthur, Morgana’s sent a text this morning.” She changes the subject.
“Yes. She says that 你 need a haircut and that 你 are to be at her salon at nine.”
“Am I, now? Alone?”
“Yes. I promise she’ll behave. And she really does excellent work.”
“Or 你 can choose not to 显示 and face the consequences.”
The toilet flushes. “Hmm. I guess I do look a bit scruffy.”
“There won’t really be anyone there that early anyway,” she reassures him, turning off the shower. She steps out to find Arthur standing there with her towel open, waiting to receive her.
He wraps the towel and his arms around her and kisses her still-wet neck.
“All right, you, I do have to get to work this morning,” she pulls away from him. “I’m actually a bit sore from all your... attention yesterday,” she tells him.
“Oh, sorry about that.” He blushes. “I guess I was
a bit affectionate yesterday. Not sure why exactly, but I just had to... have you. As much as possible.”
Gwen gives him a kiss, and says, “I think I know why; it’s okay.”
“Yes. You’d never admit it, but 你 crave affection, unconditional love, Arthur. 你 were denied that, though,” she says softly, putting her hand on his cheek. “And since you’ve put this ring on my finger, well...”
They regarded each other in the poignant silence that followed her statement, leaving Arthur's tragically absent mother and Uther’s somewhat cold upbringing unspoken. Arthur turns his head and kisses her palm.
Gwen rises up on tiptoe and kisses him softly, whispering, “Every woman should feel so loved.”
She sighs, gently stroking his cheek, a half smile still playing about her lips. As she turns to leave, she stops and says, “I’m not going anywhere. I 爱情 you, Arthur Pendragon, with my entire soul.”
Once alone, he smiles sadly, finally allowing the tears to fall, caused 由 words he never knew he needed to hear.
At the library, Gwen decides not to make any big announcements. She is not that close with anyone there, and doesn’t want to draw attention. Besides, those two nosy girls will be sure to pounce as soon as they see the ring. And they will see it.
Gwen is not disappointed. As soon as she walks behind the circulation desk, Vivian zeros in on the ring as if Gwen had a giant red 《绿箭侠》 pointing at it.
“What. Is. That??
” Vivian asks, scurrying 前锋, 期待 and grabbing Gwen’s hand.
“Really, Vivian, it’s an engagement ring. What does it look like?” Gwen replies, using the voice she uses when talking to a slightly naughty child.
That gorgeous blonde guy you’ve been parading around here?”
“I have not been parading
him…” she stops, refusing to be drawn in. She sighs, and says, “Yes. Saturday night.”
“That’s a huge diamond! Is he rich?”
“That is none of your business.”
“So he is!
Gwen rolls her eyes and extracts her hand, turning to help some visitors. Vivian scuttles away, presumably to go gossip with Elana.
At eleven thirty, Gwen is checking out some 图书 for Dr. Gaius. “That’s a lovely ring, Gwen,” he tells her.
“Thank you, Dr. Gaius,” she smiles.
“Have 你 set a date?”
“Not yet. He just asked me Saturday.”
“Of course,” she says, offering her hand for his inspection.
“Very nice. This is old. Family heirloom?” He studies the ring.
Gwen is surprised. “Yes! It was his mother’s. She died when he was born. How did you…”
“I have seen a lot of diamond rings in my time, my dear,” he says and releases her hand. “Make sure 你 send me an invitation,” he adds.
“Of course,” she tells him. It’s about time they found each other,
Gaius thinks as he winks at her and turns to leave.
She watches him walk out the door, and through the glass she sees Arthur approaching. He stops, taking Gaius’ bags and carrying them to his car for him. She moves so she can see them. Gaius shakes Arthur’s hand warmly, placing his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. He says something to Arthur, and Arthur nods solemnly.
Arthur pats Gaius on the shoulder and returns on his original path to the library. Gwen is waiting for him behind the desk.
“Hello, handsome,” she greets him, “Nice haircut.” Morgana hasn’t talked him into trying a new style, thankfully, but he looks tidier, 更多 handsome. If that was even possible,
“Yeah, not bad, hey?”
“Did she behave?”
“Yes, she was a good girl. I prefer 你 washing my hair, but I guess that can’t be helped.” He grins at her, and she leans forward, hopping up onto the counter a bit to 吻乐队（Kiss） him.
“She didn’t even charge me, either,” he adds. “Just a 吻乐队（Kiss） on the cheek.”
“I thought as much. She does my hair for free as well. Morgana and I think of each other as family, and apparently 你 fall under that umbrella now as well. What did Dr. Gaius say to you?”
His brows knit briefly. “He 说 that I had better take good care of 你 because 你 are a very special girl. Which I knew.”
Gwen smiles at this.
“But then he 说 something odd.”
“He said, ‘You two are destined to be together, 你 know.’ Then he got in his car and closed the door.”
Gwen blinks. “That is odd.”
“Well, he’s old. Sometimes old people say odd things,” he shrugs.
“Arthur!” she exclaims, but laughs despite herself. “Perhaps he is just wise in ways we cannot fathom,” she says with mock mysticism.
Arthur laughs at her uncharacteristic display of silliness. Then he looks at his watch and sighs. “Gotta get going, love. See 你 Wednesday.” He leans over and kisses her again.
“I 爱情 you,” he tells her.
“I 爱情 you. Be—“
“—Be safe, I know,” he smiles at her, gives her one 更多 kiss, and turns to leave.
“Arthur,” she says as he walks to the doors, “I’m going to talk to Morgana tonight. About the living situation.”
He turns and grins at her one last time before he exits.
“Is this some new service the 图书馆 is providing?” a man says to Elana at the 秒 counter behind the desk, his eyes on Arthur and Gwen 接吻 six feet away.
“If 你 treat me the way he treats her, I’ll consider it,” she tells him, checking out his books.
The man chuckles and turns to leave. Elana walks over to Gwen.
“Wow,” Elana says.
“Yes, yes, I know the ring is huge,” Gwen says, waving her hand dismissively.
“No, not that. Well, yes, it is,
but the wow was for him. The way he looks at you… he really loves you.”
Gwen just smiles.
“I’m very happy for you. And jealous. I hope one 日 to find that kind of love,” Elana says.
Gwen is surprised. Elana is usually quiet, never saying much about how she feels about anything. “I hope 你 do, too. And 你 will.” Gwen smiles at the girl.
Arthur arrives at the firehouse, dumps his bag 由 his bunk, then heads for the kitchen. As expected, he finds Leon working on lunch.
“Leon,” he calls. Leon turns and Arthur hands him something.
Leon takes the folded sheet of paper and looks at it.
“What’s this?” he asks.
“It’s from Gwen.”
Leon opens the page and sees the cookie recipe. “She remembered,” he smiles, looking it over.
“What have 你 got there?” Paul wanders over, peeking over Leon’s shoulder.
“It’s the recipe for those 饼干 from Arthur’s girlfriend,” Leon tells him, and Paul’s eyes light up.
“Fiancée,” Merlin corrects him from where he is seated at a table, going over some papers with another EMT.
“Merlin!” Arthur shouts, 更多 out of surprise than irritation.
“Sorry, did I steal your thunder?” Merlin grins. Arthur rolls his eyes.
“Congratulations, Chief,” Leon says, grasping Arthur’s hand warmly.
“Yeah, she seems wonderful,” Paul chimes in.
“What’s going on?” Wayne has arrived and is curious about the commotion.
“Arthur’s getting married,” Leon tells him.
“To that little brown crumpet that was here last week? Nice work,” he says, slapping him on the shoulder.
“All right, lads, let’s let Leon get back to making our lunch. I want to run some training drills today,” Arthur says, ready to change the subject before he starts blushing.
He walks past Merlin and gives him a light thump on the back of the head.
Gwen is shelving, and it is late afternoon. Almost time to go,
she thinks, and realizes she has to go 首页 to her own apartment, with only Morgana to keep her company. She loves Morgana, but she’s certainly not Arthur. My own lonely bed, with only my 熊 to keep me company, no strong arms to hold me through the night.
She sighs. Then she hears the sirens. They are close. Very close.
She rushes to the window, not far away, and watches. Her hand is once again pressed to the glass. The sirens are getting louder, coming from the left. As she watches, the engine comes roaring past, and her eyes lock on the driver. Time seems to slow down so that she can see his blonde hair, slightly obscured 由 a headset, driving the engine down the street. His face turns and looks in her direction – she thinks – as the truck screams down the street. Gwen watches, forehead to the glass, face turned to the right, until she can no longer see them.
“Yes, I am perfectly fine to at least drive the truck,” Arthur declares, staring down Merlin. “We’ve no time to 辩论 this. I’m going.” With that, he swings up into the driver’s 座位 and fires up the engine.
The 火, 消防 is on the far side of the downtown area, and he knows the fastest route will take him past the library. He maneuvers the large vehicle expertly, winding through the traffic that pulls out of his way as they hear the sirens and see the lights.
He sees the 图书馆 approaching, and he scans the windows. No… no… no… there.
He spots her in the last window, standing just as he saw her the first time. He turns his face and spares a 秒 to watch her as he roars past. She saw me.
Somehow he knows she has.
Guinevere waits for his text. It comes an 小时 and a half later. Saw you. :) I only drove the truck.
“Gwen?” Elana’s head pokes into her office door.
Gwen looks up, “Yes?”
“More 花 for you,” she brings them in. “I can’t imagine who they’re from,” she giggles. In her hands is a crystal vase containing one dozen lavender colored roses.
Gwen smiles and thanks her. Elana sighs and walks out the door as Gwen opens the card. Thank you. I 爱情 你 very much. –A
Part 29: link