This week's excerpt comes from The Rightful King, book 2 of the Fate Of The Crown Duology which follows Arthur after Lancelot and Gwen have officially become an item. Writing his friendship with Lancelot was one of my favourite parts!
Copyright 2020 Laura Greenwood
"You seem extra bright tonight," Lancelot observes, amusement clear in his voice. He's leaning against the wall just down the corridor from Gwen's room while we wait for the girls to meet us so we can go to the ball. We're the only ones waiting, so I suspect most people are already in the ballroom. Or they're even more behind at getting ready than Gwen is, which says something.
"And you weren't when you could take Gwen to the first ball after you were allowed to court openly?"
"It wasn't a criticism," he promises. "Though when did things get so serious with Dindrane? I didn't even realise the two of you spoke much."
I shift uncomfortably, not sure how much it's possible to reveal without sounding like a terrible person. "I've liked her for years," I admit. He's my best friend, and my bodyguard, he won't judge me for anything I have to say.
"Ah. I see. So the end of your betrothal..."
"Was enough for me to be able to talk to her about it. I'd never have done anything while betrothed to Gwen, despite how I felt."
"Then why do you sound as if you're guilty?" Lancelot asks.
I sigh deeply and begin to pace without even realising it. "Because of everything it means. Dindrane is the selfish choice. You know as well as I do that she and Percival are much further down the social order than Father would find acceptable for a betrothal, or he would have considered her as my bride when the prophecy about me and Gwen came out."
"My family aren't as noble as Gwen's, it hasn't stopped us," Lancelot points out. "Though I suppose everyone knows I'm beloved of the Crown Prince, so maybe they'll overlook it."
I snort. "Beloved of the Crown Prince? That's what you're calling yourself?"
He shrugs. "Until you knight me, I am."
"Then I'll make sure to do that at the next opportunity," I tease.
"I'd appreciate that. It makes it a lot easier to introduce myself." He grins. "But seriously, you have nothing to worry about. Your Father isn't going to deny you love if you can show him that's what you have. And the people will follow you regardless. It's more important to them that Dindrane is fair to them, and loyal to you, than that she was born as upper nobility like Gwen."
"You always know what to say," I admit.
He shrugs. "It's part of what makes me perfect for the job. Some people think bodyguarding is all about the brawn, but it's got to come with some brain too."
"If you say so."
Before he can retort, Gwen's door swings open, and she bounces out, looking her normal glamourous self in some pink confection of a dress. She would have made a good Queen, if we'd loved one another.
"Hello." She kisses Lancelot on the cheek.
But I don't pay any attention to her, my gaze is fixated on Dindrane walking towards us. Fiery red ringlets frame her face, and the dress is one of the most opulent I've ever seen her wear. I don't know anything about women's fashion, but I suspect it's one of Gwen's based on what I know about how much these things cost.