Last week Morgawse won the consent of the king. Now she must get Lot’s agreement…
“How are you, Prince Lot?” she managed.
He raised his eyebrows. “I am well, Lady Morgawse. And you?”
“Well, thank you.”
“May I offer my condolences on the death of your father.”
“I thank you, Prince.”
The two young people stared at each other. “Well, it is lovely to see you again,” Lot broke the silence, smiling.
A flame of hope danced across Morgawse’s face. “It is lovely to see you, as well.”
“Why are you here, Morgawse? If I may ask?”
“Of course you may ask. Thank you for making this easier, Prince.”
His mouth twisted. “Well, I’m extremely curious. To make such a long journey, almost on your own, even if you didn’t come the ordinary way…you must be pretty desperate about something.”
“I am.” She turned to look Lot full in the eyes. “Lot, I must ask you to be honest with me.”
“I will,” he said, surprised at her serious tone.
Morgawse clasped her hands tightly together. “Lot, last summer, we discovered feelings for each other, did we not? At least, it was that way with me.”
Lot hastened to reassure her. “And with me, Morgawse.”
She flashed an uncertain glance up at him. “Well, I still hold those same feelings for you. What about you?”
“As far as I can tell, Morgawse. My feelings for you had gone a little dormant, but I have them even more now I am seeing you again.” He smiled at her. “Such a rush I got when you came in through the door.”
Morgawse drew a sigh of relief. “You speak the truth, Lot, you still care for me?”
“I think I do.”
“Well, then,” the words came out in a rush now. “You heard my story, I am pretty desperate. Uther is planning a marriage to goodness knows who. So my errand in Lothian – entirely my own idea – is to see if you still care for me, and to see if you would be willing – really, only if you want to – to marry me. I’m trying to fight for a good life for myself, but only if you want it too.”
Morgawse stared at him desperately, her heart in her throat. Prince Lot looked at the ground, frowning. Presently he raised his head. “Morgawse, I do think we became very good friends, and I do like you a lot, but I’m not sure I would call what I feel for you love. It doesn’t seem like the overwhelming emotion one associates with that word. Do you want to risk a marriage without that?”
Was he going to refuse? “It’s alright, Prince, I don’t think I would call my feelings love, either. But for me, it’s either this, or a marriage to someone I don’t know. Of course, you might get other chances.”
“I don’t think I will, Morgawse,” said Lot. “My parents have started to look for a wife for me. Are you sure you want to marry me?”
Surprised, Morgawse sat back. She was supposed to be the one asking questions! “If my father was not dead, I would not have rushed up here. But, to be honest, I wouldn’t have got much of a choice anyway. In view of that, I would probably have chosen you.”
“You have been very honest, Morgawse, and in my turn, I was willing to go along with whoever my parents picked out for me, because it did not seem to me that we “love” each other in the commonly understood way. But you are right, this seems like the best thing.”
“Only if you want to, Prince.”
He looked at her long. Morgawse felt her cheeks go hot under his gaze. “I’m not sure that a have a great overwhelming desire to marry you, Morgawse.”
“Nor I,” she smiled. They were on the same page at least.
“But I am very willing. We are lucky indeed to get any sort of choice. I choose you, Morgawse and we will make the rest come.” He held out his hand.
“Under the circumstances, I am very willing,” she echoed, giddy with relief.
“I choose you, Lot.” She laid her hand in his.