Arthur looked at her for a moment and then looked away. "I need no thanks for being a decent human being, Guinevere. There was no reason that you should have been held in that place or treated like that. I am sorry that you endured such a hell at the hands of men who claimed to be following God's edict. My God does not act in such a vile way, nor does he condone torture and murder of innocents."
No, she shouldn't have been there at all. He may think she owed him no thanks, but in her eyes, he and Lancelot had saved her life when they rescued her from there. They had never asked her how she knew who they were as soon as she saw them in the light. "Lancelot said that he would have left us there."
"He didn't mean it."
"At the time, he sounded so sure."
"Do you think so now?"
Guinevere shook her head. "No. I don't think he would have left us there." She smiled faintly. "I think he was just being prickly."
"That's an interesting way of describing Lancelot," he said with a fond smile. "But you're right. Lancelot never would have left you there. He was just as determined to get you out of that cage as I was."
"He does have a way with words."
"Yes, he does. He never does anything but speak what he feels or what he thinks. He is not one for falsehoods or ego stroking."
"That's a good man to have at your side both in war and in peace."
Arthur nodded, but was silent as he looked over the land, watching the clouds moving in.
"You seem to be having such deep thoughts, Arthur," she said as she looked at him. "What is weighing so heavily on your mind?"
He sighed. "I am wondering if the choices I will make are going to be the right ones. My choices already almost got Lancelot killed. My choices where you are concerned could do the same to you. Even though you are my claim to the throne, I am not sure it is worth the risk of endangering you." He frowned, and then turned to look at her. "On the other hand, there has not been a great deal of time for you and I to spend any time together to get to know more about ourselves and each other. For that, I would like to apologize."
"...you're my claim to the throne..." There was that confusing blend of feelings that she felt whenever she was close to understanding things again. She looked away for a moment and then looked back at him.
"Arthur... your best friend and companion almost died. I can no more fault you for spending time at his side and doing the things that were needed than I can fault the sky for being blue. It is things like that which show us that you are going to be a very good king to the people of Briton." She smiled faintly. "Yes, it’s true we do need time. Time to talk, time to figure all of these things. We also need time to see if we are going to be comfortable around each other."
"I may not believe in destiny, but I know about time. The winds of change and life are coming, coursing after us like hounds. I hope we have that time, but I fear we will not. And I dread what it will make of your... your feelings for me. Whatever happens, know this, you never need fear being forced, never need fear being made to do or be anything or anyone you are not. I may have little choices in most things these days, but that? That I can and will spare you."