It was the ball to find the prince's future bride. Only that the Prince wasn't really happy with that. Arthur stood next to his father's throne and tried to smother a yawn. He didn't know why the king had grown fond of this idea. Arthur had done his best to change his mind but the king was headstrong, he would go through with this. The prince would rather be outside and fight with a sword than to fight against smiling women who tried to seduce him. It was always just the same. Now Arthur couldn't resist and yawed.
"Pay attention, son!" The king said directly with a serious voice. "Watch them. You won't go out here without a bride."
There was no way that he made a joke. He really meant what he said. Arthur stroked his forehead. Well then, way to get on with this. He watched over the coming women who bowed before him. There was Morgana, smiling and winking. There was Elaine with her wonderful blonde hair which fell down like Gold and there was Vivienne with a look on her face that said Arthur was hers. He just shook his head in disbelief. He wasn't hers and he would never be. Just like he thought: they were all the same.
Arthur tried to find Merlin in between the many of women. He found him leaning on one of the pillars in the great hall. The prince tried to give him a look that made clear how much he wanted to escape. Merlin just grinned at him. Very disgusted by this Arthur wanted to turn around… and couldn't.
Something had caught his view. Someone. Someone different.
The woman was slowly walking directly into the middle of the hall. The fabric of her dress was flooding over the floor like water. Her hands were slightly folded over her light blue dress.
Arthur's eyes wandered over her body and stopped by her face. It was hidden by a veil. A shroud of mystery came from her and at the same moment the air around her seemed to shine. The prince blinked. Even if he couldn't see her face he could feel the strong look in her eyes, how she smiled. And he could feel the warmth in her face.
Without a second thought he turned to his father. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I think I actually found my bride." Arthur smiled. Then he turned away and took his way through the crowd to the woman.
She still smiled at him. Then she bowed. "Thank you for welcoming me, Arthur." Her voice was filled with more warmth than Arthur could handle. When she rose again her veil shortly got lifted and the prince recognized her. As if it was needed.
"Will you dance with me, my princess?"
The woman's smile got deeper. "I'm here for you, only tonight."
In the corner of the hall hidden by a few astonished people Merlin watched how Arthur took the once and future queen to dance.
Enjoy it Guinevere, he thought, as you have only tonight.
But it will last forever.