Part 44: link
Arthur manages to bring in もっと見る than enough firewood just before the skies open up.
“Just made it,” he says, dropping the box in the parlor, near the large fireplace.
Guinevere is in the kitchen, putting things away and cleaning things up. Except the fish, which are Arthur’s responsibility. He strolls into the キッチン and slides his arms around her waist, キス her shoulder, then the 宇宙 on the back of her neck between her ponytails.
“Those 魚 aren’t going to clean themselves, mister,” she chides; ignoring the flutter his kisses are sending through her body. Ignoring them for the moment, anyway.
He looks over at the shoebox. She sees this, turns in his arms and says gently, “That will keep. The 魚 will not, love.” She places a hand on his cheek and kisses him sweetly on the lips, knowing his curiosity is killing him.
“I know,” he drops his forehead and rests it on hers. He sighs. “It won’t take that long to do these two fish.”
As he spreads newspapers down on the counter, Gwen starts rummaging around the kitchen, seeing what she can find to have with the fish. Potatoes. Definitely. Those are easily cooked over the 火災, 火 if need be. Hmm… Fridge. Ah, a lemon, good. Any vegetables in here? Bag of prepared salad; that’ll do.
She moves to look through some drawers and cupboards. Foil, foil, foil… ah, good, here it is. Will need that if I’m cooking on the fireplace.
Thunder rolls across the sky outside, sounding like a large boulder rolling through the attic, from one side to the other. Gwen looks up and follows the sound. That was a big one.
“Getting hungry for lunch at all, Arthur?” she asks, returning to the pantry cupboard.
He turns and holds a handful of 魚 innards aloft. “Hmm, tasty,” he raises his eyebrows impishly.
“Lovely,” she rolls her eyes, and he drops the entrails on the newspaper.
“Yeah, I could do with a spot of lunch. Anything worth having in there?”
She looks in, says, “Ooo…” and withdraws a box of macaroni and cheese. “Yum.”
“Seriously? You, the gourmet cook?”
“I 愛 this rubbish,” she grins, closing the cupboard door. “I do make a mean baked homemade variety, too, though.”
Gwen bends over to find a 鍋 in which to boil the water for the macaroni. Arthur, distracted によって the view, slips with the ナイフ and nicks his thumb.
“Ah!” he hisses.
“What did あなた do?” she asks, straightening and setting the pot down.
“Just cut myself. A little.”
She grabs a paper napkin and walks over to him, taking his hand and looking.
“Yeah, just a little one. Clean, too,” she says, pressing the napkin to it.
“There are some bandages in the bathroom,” he tells her. “Would あなた get one for me?” Men are such babies,
she thinks, but says, “Sure. Keep holding that tight; it’ll help stop the bleeding.”
He looks at her with a look that says excuse me, but what do I do for a living?
She laughs and goes to find a bandage.
She returns and patches him up, gives him a kiss, and tells him, “You still have to finish cleaning the fish.”
He scowls, saying, “Next time I’ll have to remove the entire thumb.” She swats him playfully on the rear and goes back to making lunch.
“Let’s take our bowls and this box and go out to the conservatory,” Arthur suggests. “It’s mostly windows out there, and we can watch the storm.”
He tucks the box under his arm, picks up his bowl and his drink and follows Guinevere back to the conservatory, where they sit at a small 表, テーブル together.
“All we need are some cut-up frankfurters mixed in and カートゥーン on the telly and we could relive our childhood,” he jokes.
She laughs, “Oh, God, everyone did that, didn’t they? With the hot dogs?”
Arthur opens the box and Gwen takes a few bites, letting him decide how to proceed. He lifts out the stack of letters and looks at them.
Lightning flashes outside, illuminating the glass room as if someone had just taken a 写真 with a giant camera. 秒 later there is a loud crack of thunder. Arthur looks up for a moment, then back to the letters.
“They’re in order. Chronologically.”
“Are あなた going to read them?” she asks.
He looks up, eyes wide. “Good God, no! That would be… I… don’t want to infringe… It’s private
,” he finally decides.
Gwen smiles, understanding. He doesn’t want to risk 読書 anything
suggestive that his mother may have written.
She leans over, looking as he flips through them.
“Look at the postmarks, Arthur. She was all over. What did your mother do for work?”
“She was a nurse,” he says. “I think she used to travel to poor areas of the world to help provide health care. Checkups, immunizations, that kind of thing. Maybe. She must have written these when she was doing that.”
“Fascinating,” Gwen says as Arthur puts the letters back into the box. He pauses to eat some of his lunch.
“Mmm. This is the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had,” he teases.
“I slaved over it, あなた know.”
More lightning. The thunder follows faster this time. A gust of wind blows the rain hard against the windows.
“That one was close,” he says, not looking up from his bowl. He looks in the box, frowning for a moment. He’s afraid to look at the pictures,
Putting her hand on his arm, she says softly, “We’ll finish eating, then look at the pictures together. Okay?”
He smiles slightly and nods. She’s 読書 my mind again.
They finish eating in a comfortable silence, the only sound coming from the rain hammering on the windows and the occasional crack of thunder. Guinevere takes the bowls back to the キッチン for a rinse.
When she returns she finds Arthur sitting on a sofa near the window. He pats the シート, 座席 cushion 次 to him and she sits, curling up beside him. He is holding the 写真 in his hand. The 上, ページのトップへ one is of his parents, standing at the front of the church, a basic wedding 写真 that any married couple would have.
“What are あなた afraid of, love?” she asks him quietly.
He actually chuckles. “It’s totally silly and probably not at all what あなた think,” he says.
“Well, these were hidden for a reason, weren’t they? I mean, what if there are… naughty
写真 in here? I’ve already been damaged enough being raised によって my heartbroken father, I don’t need to be traumatized further.”
She smiles, and gently takes the stack from him. She quickly flips through the photos, eyes scanning for anything objectionable.
Finding nothing, she hands it back to him.
“I think the most you’ll see is your mother’s leg when they remove the garter during the reception. They look like basic wedding pictures, not wedding night
pictures,” she can’t resist needling him just a little.
He goes to the 次 picture. Another basic wedding shot, with a tiny elderly lady in the shot as well.
“That’s my Gran,” he points. “She died when I was 18. Really hung in there, though, she was ancient.”
“She’s cute,” Gwen says. “No other grandparents?”
“My granddad and my mother’s parents all died before my parents were married.”
“Wow,” she says. That’s a lot of death.
“It’s a lot of dead people, I know,” he says, voicing her thought. He gives her half a smile. “Granddad was a heavy smoker. Emphysema did him in. My mother’s dad died in a factory accident when she was very young. Her mum got ovarian cancer. I only know this because I wanted to know if I had any, あなた know, health issues that I might’ve inherited from them.”
“Merlin’s idea, actually, while he was in nursing school,” he admits. Another bolt of lightning shoots across the sky, and this one they actually see.
“Nice one,” Gwen says, just before the accompanying thunder interrupts. Arthur looks at her and places his hand on her cheek for just a moment, キス her briefly before turning his attention back to the photos.
He flips through them, stopping at one of his mother with a laughing dark-haired man with his arm around her shoulders.
“My Uncle Andrew,” he says. “He lives in southern France now. We never hear from him.”
“That’s too bad,” Gwen says. At least we don’t have to add him to the Family Body Count.
“Not really. He’s a total prat. Pompous, overbearing, opinionated. France can keep him.”
“Look how beautiful your mother was,” Gwen takes the picture from him and holds it up. “Every woman looks beautiful on her wedding day, but あなた can really see the joy in her.”
He takes the picture back and touches his mother’s smiling face with his thumb.
“You have her smile,” Gwen says. “And your eyes are the same blue as hers, exactly.”
He goes to the 次 photos, ランダム shots of the reception. People eating. People dancing. Uther dancing with his mother, very sweet. Arthur’s parents dancing, staring into each other’s eyes, holding each other close.
“I can’t get used to seeing my father like this,” he says, pausing on a close shot of their two faces gazing at one another, similar to the other 写真 they found earlier.
“You do realize you’ll have to give these back to him, don’t you?” she asks.
“What? I was just going to put the box back in the boathouse!”
“Don’t あなた dare! This is the perfect opportunity for あなた to have a serious chat with your father. あなた deserve to know about your mother, Arthur. Keeping her from あなた because of his own grief is selfish of him and unfair to you. It’s time he come out of hiding and be a man about this. And you’re the one who’s going to have to drag him out.”
He stares at her. Damn it, she’s right. Again.
“You know, your tendency to always be right is going to get irritating after a while,” he says. “But あなた are right. I really want to know about her. It’s like she haunts
me. But how can I be haunted によって someone I’ve never met?”
“That’s exactly why あなた need to talk to him.”
“I know,” he looks down at the 写真 in his hands.
“When we get home, would あなた call your father and set up a ディナー with him, just the two of you?”
“And ambush him?”
“I don’t know if ‘ambush’ is exactly
the word I’d use, but basically, yes. Have a nice talk with him. Try to draw him out. It’ll be good for both of you,” she wraps her arm around his waist, leaning her head on his shoulder.
“I promise,” he leans down and kisses her just as another flash of lightning illuminates the prematurely darkening sky.
He flips to the 次 photo. It’s the garter picture, and since his father is in the process of removing it from her leg with his teeth, Arthur quickly flips past it, making Gwen laugh.
“Lovely; Uncle Andrew caught it. Ick: catching your sister’s garter.” He makes a face.
“Who is that that caught the bouquet?” Gwen asks when they see the 次 photo.
He looks close. “I don’t know. Appears to be a bridesmaid, but I don’t know who that is. Probably a school chum または coworker of Mum’s, I would guess. Poor girl; she probably got groped によって Andrew during the dance,” he laughs.
There are a few もっと見る ランダム shots of the reception, then the 上, ページのトップへ 写真 appears again. “That’s all of them,” he says, and goes to return them to the box.
“What’s this?” he sees one もっと見る item in the bottom of the box. A newspaper clipping, folded and slightly yellowed. He opens it. Intoxicated Motorist Kills Pregnant Nurse LONDON – Yvette Pendragon (nee Matthews), 25, was killed early Thursday morning on the A5 Motorway when her car was struck によって another motorist, believed to be intoxicated at the time. Rebecca Nimueh, 32, also of London, did not yield to 投稿されました signs and collided with Mrs. Pendragon’s vehicle on the driver’s side.
Mrs. Pendragon did not survive her injuries, but her unborn child was delivered safely in the emergency room. Her husband, Uther Pendragon, and their newborn son survive her.
Ms. Nimueh suffered a broken wrist and several scratches and bruises. She was taken into custody によって police inspectors and is awaiting charges.
“Was she charged? Did she go to prison?” Gwen asks.
“Yes, to both. No idea where she is now. Really don’t care, honestly.” He wipes at his eyes with the back of his hand, folds the 記事 and replaces it in the box, putting the 写真 back on top.
Arthur puts the lid back on the box and sets it on the 表, テーブル nearby. He then turns to Guinevere and pulls her to him, into his lap, wrapping his arms around her tightly. She rests her head against him as he buries his face into the side of her neck, apparently his お気に入り place to be.
She lets him hold her, knowing that’s what he needs right now. She strokes his hair with one hand and wraps her arm around his ribs with the other, closing her eyes. There is another flash of lightning that she can sense through her closed eyelids, followed immediately によって a very loud crack of thunder.
The power goes out.
Part 46: link